Hyundai Elantra Electric Concept at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show

By Mike Hanley  on January 10, 2012

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  • Looks like: The gas-only Elantra, with a big helping of EV stickers
  • Defining characteristics: All-electric drivetrain, 124-mile range, 27-kilowatt-hour lithium-polymer battery pack, 90 mph top speed
  • Ridiculous features: In the past, maybe the electric drivetrain, but no more
  • Chance of being mass-produced: Hyundai says this is just a concept for now

Not to be left out of the electric-vehicle frenzy, Hyundai showed an all-electric version of its Elantra compact sedan at the 2012 Detroit auto show. It's purely a concept car at the moment, but it's yet more evidence of the weight automakers are giving to electric cars.

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If it weren't for the elaborate graphics the Elantra Electric wouldn't have trouble blending in with its gas-only counterpart. The concept also gets a few extra badges, slightly different wheels and a unique Hyundai badge on the grille.

The big changes, however, are beneath the sheet metal, where the conventional four-cylinder powertrain has been swapped with an electric drivetrain. It consists of an 80-kilowatt motor powered by a 27-kilowatt-hour lithium-polymer battery pack. Hyundai claims the combination provides a driving range of 124 miles. The 6.6-kilowatt onboard charger enables a depleted battery to be replenished in five hours on 220-volt service, according to Hyundai.

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Senior Editor Mike Hanley is a father of three boys; he reviews new cars, admires classic cars and has embraced the minivan lifestyle.  Email Mike