Category: Fuel Economy

By on August 26, 2015

2011 Nissan LEAF

I live at the crossroads of liberal and libertarian. Despite what some of you have said, I’m not Marxist (although I have read plenty of his work, along with Ayn Rand and Adam Smith, Milton Friedman followers, et al.) and economics for me qualifies as a hobby.

Therefore, the economy of how Colorado just made the Nissan Leaf one of the least expensive new cars in America is fascinating.

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By on August 23, 2015

2014-b-class-electric-drive-3

Two stories paint an interesting present reality for hybrid and electric vehicles in America. Interest in hybrid vehicles has stayed consistent for the last two years among people in the U.S., AutoGuide is reporting. But apparently dealers and buyers can’t keep their hands off of those cars in Connecticut, where that state recently offered up to $3,000 on the hoods of those cars, Automotive News is reporting.

According to a Harris Poll, 48 percent of polled Americans say they would consider a hybrid vehicle next time they’re in the market for a car, which is roughly the same number of people who said so in 2013. Interest in electric and plug-in hybrid cars was up slightly to 21 and 29 percent of respondents, respectively.

Getting people to pull the trigger on that purchase, it seems, is still a matter of dangling a tangible benefit — fuel economy and environmental benefit may still not be enough.

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By on August 19, 2015

2016 Toyota Prius Getting Gas At Vons

Toyota’s next-generation Prius, which will be the first use of the automaker’s new global platform, will be shown to media in Las Vegas next month, Bloomberg is reporting (via Autoblog).

The report doesn’t specify when the automaker would build the next-gen Prius, or why it chose southern Nevada in the summertime for its reveal (Tesla speculation starts now).

Sales of the Prius have declined since 2007 and 2008 when average gas prices in the U.S. hovered around $4 per gallon. Toyota hasn’t fully updated the Prius since 2009, with a mild refresh gracing the hybrid in 2011.

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By on August 18, 2015

2016 Cadillac XT5

Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen said future Cadillac cars in the U.S. will have diesel powertrains, Automotive News is reporting (via Autoblog).

De Nysschen told journalists that oil burners would make their way to the States after they’re launched in Europe, presumably around 2019. He said engineers at Cadillac were working on 4- and 6-cylinder models, but wouldn’t specify what cars those engines would power.

Audi, BMW and Mercedes offer diesel power plants in their compact or mid-size sedans that would compete with the theoretical Cadillac.

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By on August 16, 2015

M4 Motorway England, UK

The British government is continuing on with a study of inductive charging on England’s busy A roads a reality, reports the BBC (via Gizmodo).

Feasibility of the technology hasn’t been fully proven as of yet, but England is getting one step closer by tendering bids for off-road trials. If off-road trials are successful, you might be able to drive long distances across the UK without needing to stop to recharge. The trials are expected to take 18 months from 2016 to 2017.

Elon, you might soon lose your killer app.

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By on August 13, 2015

2014 Lexus GS 450h Hybrid Exterior-004

The 2016 Lexus GS will sport Toyota’s 2-liter, turbocharged engine, which is already in the NX200t and is coming to the IS200t. The GS will be the third Lexus model in the States to feature the engine — overseas, the RC will get it as well, but that model hasn’t been confirmed for the U.S. market.

The 2-liter turbo, which produces 241 horsepower, will complement the GS350 and GS450h, which will get incremental improvements over last year. The 3.5-liter V-6 underneath the hood of the GS350 will get a small power bump (311 horsepower vs. 305; 280 pound-feet vs. 277). According to Lexus, the V-6 will have port and direct injection, but the automaker didn’t specify if the engine used the same D-4S system found in the 2016 Toyota Tacoma.

The GS200t will be rear-wheel drive only and will be paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Countdown to the RX getting the same treatment starts … now.

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By on August 11, 2015

Mary Nichols

Last week, Bloomberg Business profiled the one woman who may have more influence in the automaking universe for the next decade than any other person on the planet.

California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols’ story about running the nation’s most stringent air quality standards board is compelling, fascinating and terrifying — if you’re an automaker.

The state’s ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gases 80 percent by 2050 is met by an equally ambitious — and onerous — goal for automakers: don’t sell new cars with internal combustion engines in California by 2030.

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By on August 7, 2015

E10 + 100 Percent Gasoline at the Pump

Speaking at a conference this week, EPA exec Christopher Grundler said automakers have asked for higher octane fuels for higher compression tolerance and more powerful engines, Automotive News is reporting.

Speaking at the CAR Management Briefing Seminar series, Grundler said the EPA has the authority to regulate fuel, but that the agency would investigate whether it would make sense to offer the higher-grade fuel. Grundler is the agency’s director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality.

(Note to Grundler: You seem like a smart guy. Why can’t we all have race fuel all the time?)

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By on August 4, 2015

2016 Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet announced Tuesday that its new 2016 Volt would extend its all-electric range from 38 miles to 53 miles, which is a 40-percent improvement and would satisfy more than 90 percent of normal drives.

The feat itself would put the Volt on par with many all-electric commuters, whose normal range is anywhere from 60 to 90 miles. Of course, the Volt packs with it a 1.5-liter turbocharged four cylinder that bumps that range up to more than 400 miles, but that’s neither here nor there.

Let’s talk about the batteries.

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By on July 31, 2015

Lexus RC 200t

Lexus will take the turbocharged four cylinder from the NX 200t and plant it in its RC coupe, the automaker announced today.

The RC 200t, which will make 245 metric horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, has only been announced officially for sale in Europe — for now. It joins the RX 200t, NX 200t and IS 200t in the Lexus lineup as the fourth model to sport the engine on the Old Continent.

Parent-company Toyota has quickly adopted the turbo four as its preferred replacement for its aging V-6 in other cars, including the Camry.

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