Category: Hybrid

By on February 17, 2017

2017 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Platinum - Image: Toyota

For far too long, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid has been an especially costly version of Toyota’s popular three-row crossover.

Fortunately, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid’s base price drops by $11,600 in 2017 as Toyota introduces two additional lower trim levels, which have eased the cost burden of upgrading to the hybrid. Read More >

By on February 15, 2017

2017 IONIQ HEV

Once upon a time, Toyota’s Prius was the only real choice for anyone looking to get into a futuristic “hybrid” car. The microscopic Honda Insight, looking like a tear dropped from a poet’s eye, held two seats — and that’s no good for taking your friends to book club.

As technology did what it has been known to do (advance), other automakers picked up the torch, outfitting conventional family sedans with battery packs and Atkinson-cycle engines. The segment soon became more diverse, just in time to see the public’s enthusiasm for hybrids taper off.

Now, from Japan’s neighbor, comes a new Hyundai model — offered as a hybrid or electric, and with a plug-in on the way — that undercuts the world’s most recognizable hybrid in price. Your move, Toyota. Read More >

By on February 3, 2017

Sometimes, a brand, person, or thing is forever tainted by an unfortunate occurrence.

Think of Anthony Perkins and the movie Psycho. Because a character can be played a little too well, the roles really didn’t pour in after that. The same goes for Ted Kennedy and a certain incident involving an Olds 88.

In the automotive world, few people bothered picking up a second-generation Chevrolet Corvair, despite the elimination of the previous generation’s wildly controversial — an potentially deadly — swing-axle rear suspension.

Stigma skews people’s perception, and Volkswagen, frankly, has had enough of it. So, in an effort to keep the name of its most fuel-efficient production vehicle clean, VW has dropped a certain fuel from a model that once knew nothing else. Read More >

By on January 24, 2017

Kia has released the price list for its new hybrid crossover, the Niro.

The Niro, which launches in the first quarter of this year, carries a base sticker price of $23,785 after destination. Carrying a brand name that doesn’t immediately spring to mind when utility-hungry shoppers think “crossovers,” the front-wheel-drive-only hybrid Niro stands out on the basis of its powertrain alone, but is it what people want? Read More >

By on January 16, 2017

2018 Lexus LS

The next-generation Lexus LS flagship’s top-to-bottom revamp took some fans by surprise when it was revealed ahead of the Detroit auto show. Not only did it do away with a formal roofline, a V8 engine — which has powered the model since its inception — was no where to be found, replaced by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6.

It appeared as if convention wasn’t the only thing Lexus planned to ditch, as a hybrid model was neither announced, nor teased. As it turns out, Lexus did tease an upcoming hybrid variant — we just needed to look closer. Read More >

By on January 11, 2017

SLS AMG Electric rear

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Mercedes-Benz’s high-performance AMG division, and the company decided to celebrate by offering a new Anniversary Edition GT Coupe and letting slip that it will build electric vehicles in the future.

While Mercedes-Benz formerly provided an extremely limited-production SLS AMG Electric Drive in 2014, that EV’s restricted functionality and stratospheric price tag left the impression that the technology wasn’t yet ready. The juiced SLS turned out to be more of an experiment than anything but, now that the experiment is over, it sounds like they’ll be taking a serious stab at electrified AMGs.  Read More >

By on January 3, 2017

2017 Ford Mustang - Image: Ford

Ford Motor Company announced today that it is committing itself fully to the development of electric vehicles, including a hybridized Mustang and F-150 pickup, a small electric crossover, and a fully-autonomous hybrid unit. Company CEO Mark Fields expressed his faith in the future of electric cars and Ford’s intention of bringing 13 new electrified models to the global market within the next five years.

“The era of the electric vehicle is dawning and we at Ford plan to be a leader in this exciting future,” Fields said. “Leading in electrification, in autonomy, and also connectivity are critical as we expand to be both an auto and a mobility company.”  Read More >

By on December 16, 2016

2016 Toyota Prius Touring

It hasn’t given the plan a green light just yet, but Toyota is seriously considering letting other automakers tap into its engine, transmission and hybrid technology.

The automaker’s powertrain division chief has opened up on his desire to give rivals everything they need to offer customers a cutting-edge, fuel-efficient vehicle. Why should R&D departments muss their hair when they could just buy off-the-shelf gear from Toyota?

Sergio, are you listening?

Read More >

By on December 10, 2016

Toyota Dynamic Force engine

(Update: Specifications for the 2.5-liter engine have been added.)

Dynamic Force. It sounds like the name of a military offensive from the early 2000s, but it’s also the name of Toyota’s next-generation gasoline powerplants.

The automaker has revealed the first of a slew of new engines that should power 60 percent of its vehicles within five years. Oh, and there’s new transmissions and hybrid components to go with them. Read More >

By on December 9, 2016

BYD_Line-up_2015

The recent Guangzhou Auto Show in China was a reflection of everything stereotypical about the Chinese car market: Chinese OEM clones of European vehicles, North American and European legacy platforms resurrected into new China-only models, wacky supercars from unknown Chinese OEMs, stretched European executive sedans, and weird electric vehicles.

The only major North American press headline from the show was bold: “Five New Electric Cars from China, World’s Largest EV Market.” I never saw China as a leader in electric vehicles. However, green car publications like CleanTechnica have stated China is the world’s largest EV market for almost two years now.

What’s the real story behind China’s EV market? There’s both truth and lies in these headlines.

Read More >

By on December 6, 2016

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota has announced it will expand the development of hybrid technology over the next five years to get ahead of strict global emissions standards.

The  automaker plans to increase staff on its hybrid technology development team 30 percent by 2021, setting the goal of 19 emissions-friendly drivetrain components. The fuel-sipping technology could soon find its way into the majority of Toyota vehicles. Read More >

By on December 5, 2016

2017 Mazda CX-5 soul red crystal - Image: Mazda USA

Mazda has big aspirations for the future. However, its immediate plans don’t appear to include a successor to the RX-8, despite Mazda’s continued development on its trademark rotary engine and other conflicting information.

Instead, CEO Masamichi Kogai says the company is going to focus on its push upmarket while diversifying powertrains and cementing itself as the sporting choice over its rivals. Read More >

By on November 17, 2016

2019 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

We’ve seen some early images, and we know that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles feels the upcoming Jeep Wagoneer could warrant a price tag of up to $140,000.

What the folks at Jeep aren’t exactly sure of is how diverse they want the brand’s flagship SUV to be when it rolls out, likely as a 2019 model. One this is for sure — a model that exclusive likely needs some electrification, and Jeep brand chief Mike Manley knows it. Read More >

By on November 15, 2016

Car noise hearing

The U.S. Transportation Department has finalized rules that will require electric vehicles and hybrids to emit “alert sounds” at speeds below 18.6 miles per hour, to warn cyclists, pedestrians, and the blind of the approaching danger.

By adding noise to silent-running vehicles, the NHTSA and DOT hope to reduce the number of people currently being run over by EVs. Is this a big problem, you ask? Apparently it is — the regulator claims EVs are 19 percent more likely to strike human flesh.

Read More >

By on November 14, 2016

BMW i3 and i8

BMW has announced to the world that it wants to increase electric vehicle sales to 100,000 units next year — choosing a figure that is hypothetically possible while remaining statistically unlikely.

Taking all bets.

Read More >

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