Hyundai Unveils 2016 Sonata Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle
It was a first for Hyundai at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, as the Koreans officially unveiled their first ever plug-in hybrid vehicle.
The 2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) may sound like a mouthful, but this vehicle delivers up to 22 miles on electric power, and can be charged with a Level 2 charger in as a little as two and a half hours.
Production of the vehicle will take place in Asan, South Korea, and will be available to consumers in select U.S. states later this year.
22-Mile All-Electric Range
There are a number of technological advancements to be found in the Sonata Plug-in hybrid, but from a driver’s standpoint, it will feel a lot like a regular Sonata. The 9.8 kWh lithium polymer battery is about 5 times the size of the battery in the Sonata hybrid, and is expected to deliver an all-electric range of up to 22 miles.
That puts it ahead of all the other midsize plug-in sedans on the market.
A 6-speed automatic transmission that comes with Hyundai’s Transmission-Mounted Electrical Device (TMED) and a 50 kW electric motor in the place of a torque convertor is under the hood of the Plug-In Hybrid, resulting in 32% more power than what you get with the regular Sonata hybrid.
When the battery charge of the Sonata plug-in hybrid model is depleted, it begins to operate like the regular hybrid model, thanks to the coupling of a 2.0L Nu 4-cylinder GDI engine and the electric motor.
That engine delivers 154 horsepower and 140 lb. ft. of torque and the total system output is 202-hp.
Hyundai states that their internal estimates suggest the Sonata PHEV will deliver 93 MPGe combined in EV mode.
That number becomes 38 mpg city, 43 mpg highway, and 40 mpg combined with the vehicle in charge sustaining mode.
A full charge can be achieved in only two and a half hours at a Level 2 charging station, and takes about 5 hours with a standard 120V outlet.
Graphite Blue Pearl and Seaport Mist are the two exterior colors that will be offered. On the inside, the color options are gray and beige for cloth and leather seating, with a Blue Pearl option available for leather only.
The latter option will feature contrast stitching and trim accent elements.
2016 Sonata PHEV U.S. Availability
The states where the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid will be made available in 2015 are California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Tax credits for buyers include a $2,500 fixed federal tax credit and a variable federal tax credit based on battery capacity that will also be over $2,000.
These are more valuable than tax deductions, and there may be even more tax breaks available depending on location.
For example, California residents may be eligible for Green Clean Air Vehicle Decals that allow access to the HOV lanes.
Complete pricing details of the 2016 Hyundai Sonata plug-in hybrid sedan will be revealed closer to the official on-sale date.