Category: Hybrid

By on October 21, 2013
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Infiniti Essence concept

Andy Palmer, who is in charge of global future product planning for Nissan, says that the company’s Infiniti luxury brand is considering a sporty four door flagship to compete in the segment defined by the Porsche Panamera. A likely candidate would be Nissan design chief Shiro Nakamura’s Infiniti Essence concept first shown at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show. However, an Infiniti flagship would not reach the market before 2017. It would be part of Nissan’s goal to grow Infiniti into a global luxury brand by the end of the decade.

Infiniti has not competed head to head with European luxury marques in the S Class or 7 Series segment since the early days of Nissan’s luxury brand and the original Q45. Instead Infiniti has built its brand around a lineup of sporty sedans, coupes and crossovers. “We can’t just take on the opposition directly,” said Infiniti chief Johann de Nysschen while speaking to Automotive News. “We have to bring our own unique flavor to the global market.” Read More >

By on October 18, 2013

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According to data released by the California Air Resources Board, CARB, Tesla Motors was the top seller of the zero-emission vehicle credits that regulatory board requires car makers to have if they want to sell cars in that state. Toyota was the top seller of hybrid-car credits.

Tesla sold 1,311.52 ZEV credits from Oct. 1, 2012, through Sept. 30 this year. Suzuki Motor Corp., the next biggest seller, transferred about 41 credits. Though Suzuki no longer sells cars in the United States, they still have credits accumulated from prior sales. Toyota transferred 507.5 plug in zero emission vehicle credits generated by its Prius hybrid. General Motors Co. acquired the same number as Toyota sold, so presumably GM bought them from its Japanese rival. Read More >

By on September 27, 2013

China-EV-Sales

China has renewed government subsidies for three more years for private buyers of electric vehicles and plugin hybrids, but contrary to some observers’ predictions, incentives for the purchasers of conventional gasoline-electric hybrids have not been renewed. Reuters reports that the national government in Beijing said that it would provide up to 60,000 yuan ($9,800) towards the purchase of an all-electric vehicle and as much as 35,000 yuan for each “near all-electric” plug-in vehicle. The purpose is ostensibly to reduce air pollution but the policy is also expected to benefit Chinese car makers like BYD. Read More >

By on September 10, 2013

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Porsche has released the final, official data on their hybrid supercar, the 918, developed alongside of the car the the company will be racing at LeMans in 2014. The 11,000 word press release has everything you could possibly want to know about the 918, plus the new 911 Turbo as well as the rest of Porsche’s presence at the Frankfurt show, which focuses on the 50th anniversary of the 911. The 918 is powered by a 4.6 liter V8 gasoline fired ICE, dry sumped and mounted behind the cockpit, that puts out 608 hp, along with three electric motors that combined produce 286 hp, giving the driver up to 887 horsepower at his or her discretion (there is, apparently, a loss of 7 hp somewhere in full power mode). Performance is rated at 2.8 seconds for 0-100 kmh (0-62 mph) and 0-200 kmh in only 7.7 seconds. The 918 is a plug in hybrid, with a recharging time for the 7 kw/h lithium-ion battery of 4 hours on Germany’s 230 volt AC mains. Fast DC charging is said to take 25 minutes. If you want to, you can even get a speeding ticket while retaining green cred, top speed on electric power alone is 93 mph. Electric-only range, though, is limited to 10 to 20 miles per charge. Porsche is claiming 85 to 94 miles per gallon, but that probably isn’t when doing 0-62 kmh runs. Read More >

By on August 29, 2013
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Toyota’s Satoshi Ogiso and Bob Carter address the global media gathered in Ypsilanti for Toyota’s Hybrid World Tour press event

The chief engineer for Toyota’s Prius program, Satoshi Ogiso, who is also managing officer of Toyota Motor Corp, gave some hints about the next generation of Toyota’s highest profile hybrid car at a presentation held as part of Toyota’s Hybrid World Tour, a press event that gathered together all of Toyota’s hybrid cars sold around the world for the first time in one place, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, not far from Toyota’s large R&D center in Ann Arbor.

Ogiso, who oversees product planning and chassis engineering for Toyota, said that while the company continues to work on fuel cell cars and expects to be selling 10,000 or more fuel cell cars a year by the 2020s, Toyota is committed to the concept of hybrid cars that combine electric motors and combustion engines. Due to refinements in Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive, the next Prius will get “”significantly better fuel economy in a more compact package that is lighter weight and lower cost, Ogiso said.

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By on July 24, 2013
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The honeymoon is now officially over. 2011 Ford Motor Co. photo.

Two years ago, Ford and Toyota agreed to perform a feasibility study on the two companies working together to develop a hybrid drivetrain for rear wheel drive pickups and SUVs. Apparently, working together wasn’t going to be feasible because Ford and Toyota have both issued statements announcing the end of the tie-up. Ford said that the Dearborn automaker will be developing their own hybrid system for RWD and said that the completely new hybrid architecture will be available by 2020. Read More >

By on July 18, 2013

All-New 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

When the Lincoln MKZ was introduced, Ford Motor Co. took the unusual step of pricing the MKZ Hybrid the same as the non-hybrid version of the car, $35,925. Assuming that would mean a good take rate for the Hybrid, Ford production planners for the 2013 model year set the mix at 20% for the gas-electric MKZ. The take rate turned out to be so good that for 2014, 40% of MKZs made will be hybrids. That’s what Raj Nair, Ford’s group vice president of global product development, said at the automaker’s Dearborn campus on Tuesday. Hybrid sales in the U.S. market overall are up 18.3% for the first six months of this year, compared to 2012, and Ford has been benefiting from that surge. Ford’s share of the hybrid and EV market is now close to 16%, a huge improvement of 12% over last year. The C-Max, Fusion and MKZ hybrids have given the company a strong presence in the hybrid market. Ford attributes part of it’s overall U.S. market share increase of almost 1% over 2012 to electrified vehicle growth. For the first six months of 2013, Lincoln sold 3,090 MKZ Hybrid models, an average of 515 cars a month, but now that production delays that hampered the revised MKZ’s launch have apparently been overcome, for the 2nd quarter sales exceeded 715 units each month, closely matching the current build rate at Ford’s Hermosillo, Mexico assembly plant.

Source: The Detroit News

By on June 25, 2013
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Hackenberg hints on future cars, with the members of the social media in rapt attention

Volkswagen plans to use the 0.8 liter diesel  hybrid drivetrain from its futuristic, ultra-efficient and ultra-expensive  (no pricing announced) XL1 two-seater in a future regular small car, Volkswagen’s R&D Chief Ulrich Hackenberg said today in an interview in Wolfsburg’s Autostadt. Said Hackenberg: Read More >

By on May 23, 2013

VW XL1. Photo courtesy Wired Autopia.

Wired Autopia’s Damon Lavrinc got the chance to drive the Volkswagen XL1 in Germany. Lavrinc, who has a wealth of experience writing about automotive technology and alternative powertrains, gives us a good picture of what it’s like to drive the XL1, from the awkward entry/egress, to the seemingly underpowered air-conditioning system to the lack of a simple iPod connector (because that adds weight, natch). Check it out over at Autopia.

In three weeks, Bertel will return to the scene of his crimes at Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, and will drive the XL1 on the same Wolfsburg-to-Berlin trip as Wired, maybe even the same XL1 as Wired. Check it out when he returns. If he does.

By on May 3, 2013

 

Ford is “seeking to challenge Toyota Motor Corp.’s dominance in gasoline-electric vehicles,” says Bloomberg.

According to the report, Ford “has rolled out the new C-Max hybrids and electric versions of its redesigned Fusion sedan in the past year to take on Toyota, which has dominated with its Prius hybrids since the early 2000s.” Some say, Ford already subjugated Toyota. Read More >

By on April 25, 2013

The Feds will get an additional 10,000 hybrids over the 10,672 they already have, lifting the federal hybrid market share from 5.3 percent to over 10 percent, the Detroit News says. Read More >

By on March 15, 2013

 

Volkswagen has been tinkering with hydrogen for longer than I can remember. Yesterday, CEO Martin Winterkorn said it was all for naught. Hydrogen fuel cells are unlikely to become a cost-effective way to power cars in the near future, Winterkorn told Automotive News at Volkswagen’s press conference in Wolfsburg. He said it’s not Volkswagen’s fault: Read More >

By on March 8, 2013

Last month, we suggested that PSA’s new compressed air hybrid system was a good way for PSA to drum up some investment into its ailing new car business. Now comes word that PSA wants to talk to other car makers, including alliance partner General Motors, about pooling the R&D cost of the new tech.

Read More >

By on February 21, 2013

Afew years after its debut in concept form, Volkswagen is readying the ultra-efficient XL1 on a limited production basis. The XL1 could cost as much as 70,000 pounds (or $106,000), and return as much as 314 mpg (according to European test protocols).

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By on January 11, 2013

Imports led the majority of the government’s green car purchases last year, with 54 percent of the nearly 1,800 green vehicles purchased by the federal government coming from Hyundai, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Honda. The federal government’s most-purchased hybrid wasn’t a Big Three product either. Instead, it was the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.

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