By on July 7, 2016

2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), Plug-In Outlet

Sales figures point to a record-breaking month for electrified vehicles in June, but the final tally doesn’t tell the whole story.

After a dismal May that saw sales fall below the previous year’s numbers, sales of plug-in vehicles (battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids) surged in June, hitting a combined total of 13,722 units in the U.S., according to Hybrid Cars. (Read More…)

By on June 17, 2016

2017 Toyota Prius Prime Front 3/4, Image: Toyota

Hybrid fans looking to harvest free solar power as they drive (or park) won’t get that ability when the Toyota Prius Prime arrives in the U.S. this fall.

The automaker announced that European and Japanese buyers will get a solar roof version of the plug-in sedan, but Stateside customers will have to wait, Automotive News reports. Toyota faces an engineering and regulatory hurdle in the U.S. — America has stricter crash regulations, and its engineers haven’t been able to create a solar panel mount that doesn’t shatter during rollovers. (Read More…)

By on May 3, 2016

BMW i3 and i8

BMW’s electric car sub-brand is growing, thanks to new and upgraded models, but its management ranks are shrinking as executives flee to a Chinese startup.

Three top names, including the program’s head, were lured to China’s Future Mobility Corp. this year, Automotive News Europe reports, while sales dropped by nearly a quarter in the first three months of 2016.

Call it a case of “i” gotta go. (Read More…)

By on April 22, 2016

cmax

Thirty-three months ago, I announced the addition of a long-term C-Max to our “fleet” with much Sturn und Drang about how I’d be keeping you comprehensively updated on the ownership experience and whatnot.

Well, I’m sure none of you noticed, but I never wrote about the thing again. Why? Well, there wasn’t anything about which to write! My baby-momma got a steady 42 miles per gallon, never had a single mechanical issue, loved the car to death, and became a total Jonestown convert to the C-Max way of life.

It’s now time to replace that C-Max. I suggested an Accord Hybrid. My son suggested a used AMG SLS Black Series. Her new husband suggested keeping the C-Max and getting a faster motorcycle for him instead — possibly a Hayabusa, who knows. All of these were good ideas. But she decided she wanted another C-Max, so we started running the numbers … and as they say on Buzzfeed, you won’t believe what happened next!

(Read More…)

By on April 4, 2016

2017 IONIQ HEV

“It’s a headache,” said the Hyundai vice president in charge of eco-friendly vehicles of his company’s efforts to chase Toyota and others in building green vehicles, Automotive News has reported.

Speaking at a South Korean electric car expo, Lee Ki-Sang, senior VP of Hyundai’s Eco Technology Center, went on to state that 26 hybrid, plug-in, full-electric, and fuel cell models will arrive by 2020, but added that Hyundai and Kia’s relatively small home market of Korea will make these moves risky and “difficult.”

One would think that the executive charged with building and selling an innovative line of vehicles would discuss the development of said vehicles with more than a simple yawn.

(Read More…)

By on April 4, 2016

2016 Audi A3 Sportback E-tron Exterior Front 3/4, Image: © 2016 Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars

Emissions legislation politics is a hairy subject at the company holiday party. But there are some unexpected benefits regardless of your take on California’s ZEV mandate or the EPA’s CAFE standards.

Without this legislation we may never have seen Audi’s smallest station wagon return to America. Yep, Audi’s first plug-in hybrid comes in the form of a small hatchback-cum-station-wagon. That means if you want an Audi plug-in, a compact wagon is in your future. If you want a compact wagon, you aren’t going to get one without a plug.

Fortunately, the Audi in question is the tasty new A3 Sportback E-tron.

(Read More…)

By on March 24, 2016

2017_Mirage_G4_HR-27

Mitsubishi today pulled the cover off its new Mirage G4 sedan, which adds a longer wheelbase and a trunk to the occasionally-maligned subcompact, the 2016 New York International Auto Show. As we noted with the restyled hatchback, 4 more horsepower — for a total of 78 — will hum from the Mirage G4’s 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine, and Mitsubishi will make available Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as an option.

(Read More…)

By on March 23, 2016

2017 Toyota Prius Prime Front 3/4, Image: Toyota

In the nearly 20 years it’s been on the market, the Toyota Prius has become an icon of eco-friendly motoring. Now, Toyota wants to build on the legend with a new, more upmarket version called Prius Prime. It comes equipped with plug-in charging, but it should be much more than the previous-generation Prius Plug-In. While the Plug-In was basically nothing more than a basic Prius with a larger battery and electric plug, the Prime is supposed to add style and luxury.

(Read More…)

By on March 15, 2016

2016 Toyota Prius

Toyota is hoping to break the internet with an alluring butt shot of an upcoming Prius variant.

That, a new guy will turn around Lada (again), Buick says you’ll never drive an Avista, the second GM ignition trial begins, and Google’s got its eye out for buses … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on January 24, 2016

Cadillac China

China’s finance minister said Saturday that the government will end green car subsidies by 2021 and let its market dictate whether EVs or plug-in hybrid can sell on their own in the country, Reuters reported.

Lou Jiwei told reporters that the government would cut subsidies by 20 percent over the next two years, by 40 percent before 2020 and eventually end subsidies altogether by 2021, according to the report.

China surpassed the U.S. last year in electric car sales, in part because of the government’s aggressive support. Few electric cars made in China are available outside the country, however its expected that Cadillac will build in China and sell in the U.S. a plug-in version of its CT6 sedan.

(Read More…)

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