Hyundai pledges average 50 mpg, debuts hybrid in fall

Hyundai said today it will boost the overall fuel efficiency of its fleet to at least 50 mpg by 2025.

Hyundai. Yes, the Korean automaker.

But the directive makes sense, judging by the way Hyundai's done with its fuel-friendly model line-up. Company officials say market share is up 50 percent, and Hyundai tops the Environmental Protection Agency's corporate average fuel economy, or CAFE, rating in the agency's most recent auto trends report with 30.9 mpg.

"Getting to 50 mpg and beyond seems like a huge leap, but by making this commitment and aligning our R&D initiatives now, we know we can get there," said John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America president and CEO, in a statement.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and EPA now require automakers to achieve a CAFE rating of 35.5 mpg by 2016.

Hyundai's plans to reach its goal include improvements and innovation in gasoline-direct injection systems, turbocharging, electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids and lightweight materials and design.

This fall, Hyundai will launch the company's first hybrid in the United States. Officials said the "Sonata Hybrid features a 2.4-liter Theta II 4-cylinder gasoline engine mated to an electric motor-boosted 6-speed automatic transmission and incorporates an industry-first lithium polymer battery, which packs greater power density and stability into a smaller, more package-efficient space."

Also coming out this fall are Chevy's Volt and Nissan's Leaf. Read more here.