Enova Systems (OTCBB:ENVA – news) has announced that it has teamed with Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea and Capstone Turbine Corp. (Nasdaq:CPST – news) to develop and integrate a series hybrid electric drive system which utilizes Capstone’s microturbine.

Hyundai, in conjunction with Enova Systems, will develop the drive system and controlling systems while Capstone, based in Woodland Hills, Calif., will provide the gas-fueled turbines. Hyundai will also provide the vehicle systems other than the drive system.

The first prototype hybrid model will be produced in the first half of year 2001. Hyundai will install the hybrid drive system in its Santa Fe sport-utility vehicle (SUV) for testing and evaluation. Hyundai stated in its press release that “the application will then be expanded to Hyundai’s commercial vehicles in 2002.”

“This teaming represents another achievement in Enova’s strategic plan to ally itself with the foremost companies in the alternative fuel industry. The powerful combination of Hyundai’s strength and expertise in the automotive area, Capstone’s leadership in microturbine technology and Enova’s drive system technology will enable us to significantly expand our customer base,” stated Carl Dean Perry, president and CEO of Enova Systems. “Hybrid electric drive systems are a force in providing lower emissions and higher fuel efficiency for consumer.”

Hyundai Motor Co., Korea’s largest carmaker, is developing low-emission cars to meet stricter emission rules being introduced in the U.S., Europe and Japan.

Enova Systems, with headquarters in Torrance and offices in Hawaii and Korea, is a leading designer, developer, and manufacturer of electric, hybrid-electric, and fuel cell propulsion systems and components for the global vehicle market. The company’s technology and products in power conversion, energy management, and system integration enable Enova Systems to integrate a wide range of power sources, including advanced batteries, fuel cells, and turbine generators, in mobile and stationary power applications.

The company’s product lines include the Panther(TM) propulsion systems ranging from 30kW to 120kW, accessory power supplies for electric power steering and air-conditioning, DC-DC supplies for low voltage accessories, and battery management products. Enova’s propulsion systems and components are used in OEM vehicles from Hyundai Motor Co. and are supplied to EcoStar for use in the Ford TH!NK city vehicle. Enova is also developing a new all-electric tram system for the U.S. Department of Transportation for use at Honolulu International Airport in Hawaii