Beijing Hyundai plans to launch of a hybrid version of the Accent on the Chinese market, according to SinoCast.

China Daily added that the company will start producing the petrol-electric hybrid before the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.

This will be followed by hydrogen-powered fuel cell cars by 2010, reported the paper.

Several vehicle manufacturers have said they will start producing hybrid vehicles in China in response to the fact that the country is short of oil.

Toyota started producing the Prius in 2005 in partnership with First Automobile Works. GM, Volkswagen and Geely have also said they plan to produce hybrid vehicles from 2008, and GM has said it plans to produce fuel cell vehicles from 2010.

Separately, Beijing Hyundai said it would produce a unique-for-China car from 2008. It will be designed at a new R&D centre currently being built in Beijing, alongside a new 300,000 unit plant.