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.
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…)
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…)
American Chevrolet Volt fans have long discussed how the quasi-upscale extended-range EV might have fared with a Buick badge instead of being branded as a bread-and-butter Chevrolet.
It appears the Chinese have gone beyond the discussion phase.
According to Chinese website Autohome, Shanghai GM gets it, and has pulled the strings to rename the Chevy Volt the Velite for a brand that is more prestigious and sells in higher volume in China. (Read More…)
With Porsche’s four-door sedan looking less and less like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Paris Motor Show will see Porsche unveil the fourth model in the Panamera line: a plug-in E-Hybrid with all-wheel drive and an electric range of 31 miles (that’s 50 kilometres for the rest of us).
More than just a luxury sportscar with green overtones, Porsche’s new plug-in packs a grab-bag of technology that other Volkswagen Group brands will want to get their hands on.
The search for better fuel economy takes engineers down weird paths, and the latest plan to wring out extra mileage is no different. It involves an unlikely part of the vehicle — the suspension.
Audi just announced a new suspension system that harvests wasted energy and turns it into electricity, capable of adding juice to a vehicle’s 48-volt electrical subsystem. (Read More…)
Many industry reporters and enthusiasts attached stigma to early mass market hybrids because of the unknown reliability of their batteries. Potential owners worried that a failed battery would stick them with an expensive, out-of-warranty repair bill.
The first generation of hybrid vehicles hit the streets right around the turn of the century, right at the same time the domestic market was in love with SUVs. Anecdotes abounded about how dangerous and expensive hybrids would be to fix and maintain. Now that they’ve been on the road for over a decade, data shows — for the most part — there was no reason to fear these electrified fuel sippers.
2016 will be the final model year for the extraordinarily slow-selling Honda CR-Z in Canada. Honda Canada spokesperson Maki Inoue confirmed that the CR-Z is done, indirectly supplanted in Honda Canada’s lineup by the reborn Honda Accord Hybrid.
“As Honda aligns its product portfolio to best take advantage of growth opportunities in the marketplace, it will add a new Accord Hybrid, and discontinue CR-Z this year,” Inoue told GoodCarBadCar earlier this afternoon.
Of course, we knew the CR-Z was done for. Separate articles on TTAC earlier today made mention of an American Honda spokesperson’s impression that the CR-Z was already dead and the glut of CR-Z inventory of which Honda dealers must now rid themselves. (Read More…)
Honda’s hybrid sport hatch, the lackluster CR-Z, may have mastered the art of invisibility in the marketplace, but it couldn’t hide from company executives.
The model looks to be on its way out in Japan, according to Carscoops, with Honda now offering a ‘Final Label’ edition of the slow-selling vehicle. (Read More…)
Lexus is looking to replace its aging Prius-based CT200h hybrid with a new model — possibly one that’s bigger, wider, and boxier than before.
Since it’s 2016, Lexus decided the crossover craze demands a move away from a compact hatchback design, the brand’s European chief implied when speaking to Autocar. (Read More…)