Archive for hybrid

Chevrolet Volts surpass half a billion electric miles

2014 Chevrolet VoltWhile General Motors may be experiencing some major issues in other areas of its auto manufacturing programs, the Chevrolet Volt has been cruising along in gas-assisted electric mode for nearly four years and is exceeding customer expectations.

Today GM announced that owners of the Volt have surpassed more than a half a billion miles driving in all-electric mode.

Here’s the announcement from GM:

After 30 months of use, a sampling of Volts shows consistent all-electric range

DETROIT – Since its launch in late 2010, Chevrolet Volt owners have accumulated more than half a billion all-electric miles.

Additionally, based on a General Motors’ study of more than 300 Volts in service in California for more than 30 months, many owners are exceeding the EPA-rated label of 35 miles of EV range per full charge, with about 15 percent surpassing 40 miles of range.

“The fact that most of the folks who purchased the Volt at launch are still enjoying EV range performance on target with when they took delivery is testament to the attention to detail our team paid to delivering on our promise of most people driving all electrically most of the time,” said Pam Fletcher, Chevrolet Volt executive chief engineer.

2014 Chevrolet Volt-Volt owners are doing more than 63 percent of their overall driving in EV mode. While the driving range in EV mode can be greatly impacted by temperature, driving technique and terrain, the ease with which Volt drivers are avoiding gasoline use further shows the Volt’s suitability for almost any lifestyle.

Volt owners who charge regularly typically drive more than 970 miles between fill-ups and visit the gas station less than once a month. The 2014 Volt provides owners with fuel economy of EPA estimated 98 MPGe (electric) and 35 city/40 highway on gasoline power, saving $1,450 in annual fuel costs with no change in daily driving habits.

In an independent study conducted between July and December 2013, Volt drivers who participated in the Department of Energy’s EV Project managed by Idaho National Labs totaled 1,198,114 vehicle trips of which 974,692, or 81.4 percent, were completed without the gasoline-powered generator being used.

Since the Volt was launched in 2010, owners have helped to reduce gasoline consumption by more than 25 million gallons, the equivalent of no gasoline being used in Washington D.C. for 2½ months.

The Volt continues to attract new buyers to Chevrolet with 69 percent of Volt buyers new to GM. The Toyota Prius is the most frequently traded-in vehicle for a Volt.

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Honda installs advanced fast-fill hydrogen refueling station

Honda Next Generation Hydrogen StationHonda has repeatedly said that fuel-cell vehicles are the wave of the future for alternative fuel transportation. Now, after introducing the FCEV Concept at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, the company is paving the way with fast-fill hydrogen fueling stations.

Here’s one just announced for Torrance, CA.

Honda Media Newsroom – Headlines – Honda R&D Installs Advanced Fast-Fill Hydrogen Refueling Station.

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Volvo introduces “Drive-E” for efficiency and future electrification

At first glance, one might think that Volvo’s new “Drive-E” powertrains mean that the Swedish carmaker is rolling out a fleet of pure electric vehicles. But that is not the case. In fact, the “E” in Drive-E stands for efficiency – as in better fuel mileage with fewer emissions — but not through the use of electrified motors.

Not yet, at least.

We went to the Nevada desert oasis of Las Vegas, which knows a thing or two about electricity, to learn about what Volvo calls its “60 cluster” of car models: the S60 sedan, V60 sport wagon and XC60 crossover, all of which in 2015 will feature a choice of two Drive-E engines with a dizzying array of all-wheel-drive and front-wheel drive choices and horsepower.

Here’s how Volvo explains it:

“Two gasoline Drive-E engines are offered in the United States, a 240 horsepower version and a higher performance 302 horsepower version. In the United States, Volvo will continue to offer its current lineup of AWD powertrains, along with DriveE, currently front drive only. As a result, U.S. customers can choose between the new engines and some current engines until Volvo transitions solely to DriveE. DriveE powertrains efficiently deliver performance that was once only thought possible with six or eight cylinders.

Those possibilities will further expand in the future when the Drive-E engines are teamed with electrification. The first model to offer this combination will be the all new Volvo XC90 plug-in
hybrid.

The smaller, lighter engines — by nearly 100 pounds on the higher performance engine — also offer considerably lower emissions and higher fuel economy savings (240 horsepower and 37 mpg highway) — ranging from 13 to 26 percent depending on the engine to which they are compared.”

So there you have it, the Drive-E powertrains are lighter, smaller and more efficient than previous Volvo engines, and are designed to be electrified in future models, with the XC90 plug-in hybrid coming first. For the 2015 “60 cluster” a T6 engine will offer a turbo only or turbo and supercharger to increase air flow through the engine, giving it 302 horsepower. The mechanically linked supercharger compressor starts to function immediately at low revs while the turbocharger kicks in when the airflow builds up.

Another Drive-E benefit is a new ECO+ fuel-saving function that when activated by the driver can improve fuel economy by five percent, depending on driving style, temperate and climate. ECO+ features a start/stop function, ECO coast that disengages the engine “brake” to enable the vehicle to coast at idle when the accelerator is released; and ECO climate that disconnects the air conditioning to reduce the energy load on the engine.

All of these Drive-E attributes translate into estimated fuel averages of up to 37 mpg on the highway (29 mpg combined) in the front-drive V60, which starts at $33,300.
Here’s how the entire “60 cluster” models line up:
Model MSRP City / Highway Combined

S60
S60 T5 DriveE FWD $33,300 25 / 37 29

S60 T5 AWD $34,800 20 / 29 23

S60 T6 DriveE FWD $38,150 24 / 35 28

S60 T6 RDesign AWD $42,700 19 / 28 22

V60
V60 T5 DriveE FWD $35,300 25 / 37 29

V60 T5 AWD $36,800 20 / 29 23

S60 T6 RDesign AWD $44,300 19 / 28 22

XC60
XC60 T5 DriveE FWD $35,750 24 / 31 27

XC60 3.2 AWD $37,250 18 / 25 20

XC60 T6 DriveE FWD $40,050 22 / 30 25

XC60 T6 AWD $41,550 17 / 24 20

S60 T6 RDesign AWD $45,800 17 / 24 20

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Mitsubishi drops price on all-electric i-MiEV

2014Mitsubishi i-MiEVSo you think that electric cars are too expense? Think again!

Mitsubishi just announced that the 2014 version of it’s all-electric i-MiEV will cost just over $15,000 with all the rebates and federal tax incentives figured in.

2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Cheaper And Better Equipped – HybridCars.com.

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Honda Accord’s family of fuel-efficient models win Green Car of the Year Award

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Mike Accavitti, senior vice president of Automobile Operations at American Honda and the 2014 Honda Accord.

The Honda Accord is the 2014 Green Car of the Year.

In fact, it’s not just one model of the ever-popular Accord that wins the award — it’s the family of three, four-cylinder, fuel-efficient Accords.

LOS ANGELES — The 2014 Honda Accord, America’s top-selling car with retail car customers, has been named the “2014 Green Car of the Year” by Green Car Journal. The award recognizes the class-leading environmental performance of the Accord family of vehicles, including the fuel-efficient and low emissions Accord 4-cylinder and V-6 Coupe and Sedan, the EPA-rated 50 mpg city Accord Hybrid and the EPA-rated 115 MPGe combined Accord Plug-in Hybrid.

“Led by the 2014 Accord Hybrid, the entire Accord lineup really embodies the promise of the Honda brand to deliver both fun-to-drive enjoyment and outstanding fuel efficiency at the highest level,” said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president of Automobile Operations at American Honda. “I want to say thank you to Green Car Journal, not just for honoring Accord, but for shining a spotlight on the environment and our shared vision for an ultra-low carbon future.”

2014 Green Car of the Year jurors selected the Accord as the winning model for many reasons, not the least of which is its ability to offer an efficient choice for a wide range of buyers, from those seeking better fuel efficiency in a conventionally powered model to those desiring the milestone efficiency of a world-class hybrid or plug-in hybrid. In addition to the “Green Car of the Year” honor, the Accord was earlier honored as one of Green Car Journal’s ‘Top 5 Green Cars for 2014’ and additionally earned the magazine’s ‘Green Car Product of Excellence’ distinction.

The 2014 Accord is the second Honda brand vehicle named as “Green Car of the Year” in the past three years, joining the 2012 Civic Natural Gas, which netted the distinction in 2011.

According to Accavitti, winning the Green Car of the Year Award signals a new era at Honda that focuses on a broad range of alternative technology.

“What you’re seeing at Honda is a development and innovation of our hybrid technology.

“We are one of the only manufacturers that have . . . a natural gas car, a battery car, a plug-in car, three different types of hybrids and an internal combustion car. ”

We have the one-motor system that we offer now in our Insight and the brand new two-motor system that we offer in the Accord Hybrid, again delivering great fuel efficiency. It’s a different, new solution and I encourage you to learn more about the Accord Hybrid because it’s not what the other guys’ got. It’s a new solution that enables us to achieve best-in-class fuel economy.”

But that doesn’t mean Honda is focused on just hybrid technology, said Accavitti.

2014 Honda Accord group.

The Honda Accord family includes fuel efficient 4-cylinder and 6-clyinder models, a 4-cylinder gas/electric hybrid and a plug-in hybrid sedan.

“We showed yesterday that our vision for the future is fuel cell technology, but we are not hanging our hat on just one specific technology,” he explained. “At Honda, we have a portfolio of alternative fuel technologies that we are developing right now. We are one of the only manufacturers that have, on the road now, a natural gas car, a battery car, a plug-in car, three different types of hybrids and an internal combustion car. So we feel that wherever the market goes we will be in a real good position to take advantage of it.”

The 2014 Honda Accord lineup features Honda’s innovative Earth Dreams Technology powertrains, including Honda’s next-generation 2.4-liter, direct-injected 4-cylinder engine with continuously variable transmission or 6-speed manual transmission. The Accord Plug-In, with an 115 MPGe combined EPA fuel-economy rating, and the Accord Hybrid Sedan, with a class-leading 50 mpg EPA city fuel-economy rating, are powered an all-new highly efficient Atkinson cycle engine and two-motor hybrid system2. Fuel efficiency is the best ever for Accord in the EPA Midsize class, with 4-cylinder models earning a 36 mpg highway EPA rating and the V-6 models garnering a 34 mpg highway EPA rating.

In addition to fuel economy ratings leadership, the Accord has continually led the industry in meeting strict emissions standards. The Accord Plug-In is the first vehicle to achieve SULEV 20 emissions standards, with the lowest tailpipe emissions of any ICE vehicle currently available. Additionally the Accord was the first vehicle to meet ULEV (1998) and SULEV (2000) emissions standards.

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Go green young man! Women favor men who drive green cars, study finds

2013 Nissan LEAFA study by Mother Nature Network, as reported in Green Car Reports, finds yet another reason that men should be choosing fuel-efficient green cars over gas-guzzling horsepower.

Ditch the Ferrari and go green, young man!

Forget Red Ferraris; It’s Green Cars Men Should Drive To Attract Women.

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Surprise! No electrics among finalists for Green Car of the Year

Today the Green Car Journal announced the five finalists for the 2014 Green Car of the Year award — surprise — the list DOES NOT include any electric vehicles and has only one model (Honda Accord) that is available in a hybrid/hybrid plug-in and high-mileage conventional.

Here’s the announcement.

LOS ANGELES, CA Green Car Journal has identified its five finalists for the magazine’s high-profile 2014 Green Car of the Year® program. The five 2014 models include the Audi A6 TDI, BMW 328d, Honda Accord, Mazda3, and Toyota Corolla. These five finalists are also honored as Green Car Journal’s “Top 5 Green Cars for 2014” and earn the magazine’s “Green Car Product of Excellence” honors.

The Ford Fusion was the winner of the 2013 Green Car of the Year Award.

The Ford Fusion was the winner of the 2013 Green Car of the Year Award.

An increasing number of vehicle models are considered for the Green Car of the Year® program each year, a reflection of the auto industry’s expanding efforts in offering new vehicles with higher efficiency and improved environmental impact. Green Car Journal has been honoring the most important “green” vehicles every year at the LA Auto Show, since its inaugural award announced at the show in 2005.

“The diversity of this field of finalists illustrates not only that ‘green’ has gone mainstream, but also that there is no single approach to achieving ever higher levels of fuel efficiency and environmental performance,” says Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and CarsOfChange.com. “There’s something for everyone in this year’s field of finalists, including clean diesel, high efficiency gasoline, and hybrid/plug-in hybrid power featured in mainstream, sporty, and executive models.”

Finalists are selected for their achievements in raising the bar in environmental performance. Availability to the mass market is a factor to ensure honored models have the potential to make a real difference in environmental impact, and finalists must be available for sale by January 1st of the award year.

Green Car of the Year® jurors include auto enthusiast and Tonight Show host Jay Leno, plus leaders of the nation’s major environmental organizations including Jean-Michel Cousteau, president of Ocean Futures Society; Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council; Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club; and Matt Petersen, board member of Global Green USA. Green Car Journal editors round out the 2014 Green Car of the Year® jury.

The Finalists:

 Audi A6 TDI

ImageAudi’s 2014 A6 TDI blends excellent “green” credentials with unexpected levels of performance in a high efficiency vehicle. Its 3.0-liter, 6-cylinder TDI clean diesel engine with tiptronic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive provides 240 horsepower and 428 lb-ft torque, achieving 0-60 mph in just 5.5 seconds. A start-stop system aids efficiency, as does a lightweight body that makes extensive use of aluminum body panels. This sedan features an EPA estimated 38 highway mpg that enables over 700 miles of highway driving range.

BMW 328d

ImageFeaturing the first 4-cylinder BMW diesel engine in the U.S., the new 328d combines exceptionally high fuel efficiency with the performance expected of BMW models. EPA estimated 45 mpg highway fuel economy is achieved with this sedan’s 2.0-liter TwinPower clean diesel powerplant, which produces 180 horsepower and 280 lb-ft torque. Efficiency is enhanced with engine auto start-stop and brake energy regeneration. A 328d Sports Wagon is also available. The models are offered in rear wheel drive or with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system.

Honda Accord

ImageHonda’s popular Accord sedan aims to lead in the efficiency space with an array of efficient powerplant choices including four-cylinder, V-6, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid versions. Even the V-6, the largest engine option, nets 34 highway mpg with the four-cylinder rated at up to 36 highway mpg. The bar raises considerably with the Accord Hybrid at 50 city and 47 highway mpg, and the Accord Plug-In with its 47 city and 46 highway mpg on hybrid power. The Plug-In also offers an EPA rating of 115 MPGe, the highest of any mid-size hybrid sedan in the country.

 Mazda3

ImageThe all-new third generation Mazda3, this automaker’s best-selling model worldwide, is lighter, more efficient, and packed with advanced electronics. The 2014 Mazda3 features an appealing new design and has been built from the ground-up with Mazda’s award-winning SKYACTIV technology. The 2.0-liter powered Mazda3 four-door sedan offers best-in-class 41 mpg highway fuel economy, with the five-door hatch coming in at up to 40 mpg. A more powerful 2.5-liter engine with an i-ELOOP capacitor-based regenerative engine braking system gets 38 mpg.

Toyota Corolla

ImageThe Toyota Corolla has long been a best-seller due to its blend of efficiency and affordability. With the all-new 2014 Corolla, Toyota adds visual excitement, improved driving dynamics, and even greater efficiency to its popular compact sedan, achieving up to 42 highway mpg delivered by the model’s Eco version. This level of efficiency is achieved with a 1.8-liter, 140 horsepower engine featuring the first use of Toyota’s Valvematic technology in this country. A driver selectable ECO function moderates acceleration and optimizes on-board systems to enhance mpg.

About Green Car of the Year

The GCOY award is an important part of Green Car Journal’s mission to showcase environmental progress in the auto industry. Since 1992, Green Car Journal has focused on the intersection of automobiles, energy, and environment. Today, the magazine is considered the premier source of information on high fuel efficiency, low emission, advanced technology, and alternative fuel vehicles. CarsOfChange.com presents ‘green car’ articles online along with a focus on infotainment and connectivity. Green Car of the Year® is a registered trademark of Green Car Journal and RJ Cogan Specialty Publications Group, Inc.

 About the Los Angeles Auto Show and Connected Car Expo

Founded in 1907, the Los Angeles Auto Show is the first major North American auto show of the season each year.  Press Days for the 2013 LA Auto Show® will be held on Nov. 20 and 21. The show will be open to the public Nov. 22 – Dec. 1. The Connected Car Expo (CCE) will be the first expo to unite automotive and technology professionals in an effort to increase development and foster relationship-building in the connected car industry, providing attendees with access to the key players and top media constructing the future of the connected car. CCE will debut on Nov. 19, and continue in conjunction with the 2013 LA Auto Show Press Days.  The LA Auto Show is endorsed by the Greater L.A. New Car Dealer Association and is operated by ANSA Productions. To receive the latest show news and information, follow LA Auto Show on Twitter at twitter.com/LAAutoShow or via Facebook at facebook.com/LosAngelesAutoShow and sign up for alerts at www.LAAutoShow.com. For more information on CCE please visit www.connectedcarexpo.com.

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