Mike Stevens | Sep 21, 2011

Hybrid, hydrogen, all-electric: there's no shortage of alternative-energy options, and new reports out of Korea this week suggest the Hyundai-Kia duo is divvying up the development workload.

According to Korea's The Chosuniblo, Hyundai-Kia research & development boss Yang Wong-chul has confirmed a new strategy that will see Hyundai focus on plug-in hybrids and hydron fuel-cell vehicles, while Kia focuses on electric vehicles.

The move would see Hyundai step away from its i10-based BlueOn electric vehicle project, focusing instead on the Blue-Will plug-in hybrid and Blue2 hydrogen-fuelled car.

Hyundai also revealed a hydrogen-powered version of its ix35 small SUV late last year, with a production debut promised for 2015.

Even now, Hyundai offers a hybrid version of the new i45 in the US, where the medium sedan is sold under the Sonata Hybrid name.

Kia will push ahead with its existing electric vehicle development, previewed by the Naimo EV earlier this year, under a new project dubbed "TAM".

The report adds that the technology driving both the Naimo and Hyundai's BlueOn will debut in new Kia models by the end of this year - but only in Korea.

Our tip: watch for an electrified Picanto in the near future.

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