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Posts Tagged ‘electric vehicles’

Green Car of the Year Finalists Revealed

“Green” comes in many forms.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.30, 2018

The 2019 Insight is Honda's third attempt to market a mainstream, entry-level hybrid: an a possible winner of Green Car of the Year.

Not all that long ago, motorists looking for an environmentally friendly vehicle were likely in for a long search, with only a handful of models on the market. These days, it’s becoming a lot easier, as more and more new alternatives come to market, seemingly almost every week.

And that’s convinced the organizers of the annual Green Car of the Year Awards to expand their program this year. “Green comes in many forms,” they explain, noting that this year will bring new awards for the Luxury Green Car of the Year and the Green SUV of the Year.

Dig Deeper!

The three awards will be handed out at the Los Angeles International Auto Show just a month from now, and could see the jury highlight the wide range of “green” technologies now available to American motorists. (more…)

AMG Electrifies: Mercedes’ New E53 Takes 1st Step towards Battery-Based Performance

48V powertrain set to debut later this year.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jun.21, 2018

The Mercedes-AMG E53 will be offered in sedan, coupe and cabrio body styles.

Whether on track or on the road, Mercedes’ AMG brand offers a broad array of models that have relied on a variety of methods to maximize performance, including turbo and supercharging. Now, however, AMG is pushing into a new world with the upcoming launch of the E53.

The performance version of the familiar Mercedes E-Class will pair a turbocharged inline-six engine with an electrically driven supercharger to turn out an impressive 429 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. But unlike traditional “blowers,” which need to rev up before they deliver full boost, the new system will deliver maximum power essentially the moment the driver’s foot hits the throttle.

Performance News!

“Electric forced induction devices mitigate turbo lag,” explains Brian Cotter, the U.S. product manager for the AMG brand. But it promises to do even more, Cotter says, suggesting that electrified drivetrain technology could radically change the world of performance driving in the coming years.

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Kia Shows Off Latest Niro Model: the EV

New EV expected to compete with Chevy Bolt, Tesla Model 3.

by Michael Strong on Jun.07, 2018

The Kia Niro EV made its public debut at the Busan Motor Show in South Korea.

Kia Motors is giving the public a look at what many in the media have already seen: the Niro EV. Introduced at the 2018 Busan auto show in South Korea, the new battery-electric Niro is a reminder that the mainstream EV market is getting more and more crowded.

The original concept was unveiled in January at the Consumer Electronics Show with the production version being shown to the media in South Korea last month, helping to round out the Niro line-up, which already has gas-powered and hybrid models.

News You Can Trust!

“The Niro EV will be Kia’s second globally-sold electric vehicle, following the immensely popular Soul EV. It demonstrates the progress Kia has made in delivering comfortable, practical and fun-to-drive vehicles that lead the way in zero-emissions driving,” said Han-Woo Park, president and CEO of Kia Motors Corp. (more…)

Polestar’s First EV Looks Like Modern Take on Classic Volvo P1800

Order bank opens next week in 18 global markets.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.07, 2018

The Volvo P1800 reborn? Not quite. This is the all-new Polestar 1 performance PHEV.

It started out as a motorsports contender then went on to become Volvo’s in-house performance tuner. But with the debut of the Polestar 1 at this week’s Geneva Motor Show, Polestar formally transitions into Volvo’s high-performance sub-brand.

And it will focus exclusively on vehicles with electrified drivetrains. The Polestar 1 features a twin-motor plug-in hybrid coupe churning out an impressive 600 horsepower. Pure battery-electric offerings will follow, company officials said, while adding that they plan to take a novel approach to selling their low-volume, high-performance offerings.

Insight!

“We will focus on electric mobility and make it a reality by having something that is not just a dogmatic electric vehicle but something that is desirable to drive,” said Thomas Ingenlath, the former head of Volvo design who, late last year, was reassigned to run Polestar.

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Autonomous EVs Will Drive Ride-Share Costs by 50 Percent

BP economist predicts vehicles will run twice as much, leading to price drops.

by Joseph Szczesny on Feb.22, 2018

BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale predicts that the prices of ride-sharing companies will fall 50% with the arrival of autonomous vehicles.

With the first wave of self-driving cars expected to reach the streets in the early 2020, the price of ride-sharing trips offered by Uber and Lyft could drop by half, according an estimate from one of Great Britain’s leading energy experts.

BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale said at an International Petroleum Week conference in London that self-driving cars initially will be too expensive for normal people to buy and instead will be snapped up by commercial companies.

News Now!

“The vast majority of these will be purchased by commercial fleets offering mobility services, so think Uber or Lyft. The potential here — if you suddenly get an Uber or Lyft without paying for a driver — is that it leads to a significant fall in the cost. We estimate that could reduce the cost of that type of service by around 40% or 50%,” Dale said during his appearance at the conference. (more…)

PSA Lays Out 3-Stage, 10-Year Roadmap for U.S. Return

CEO calls for “100% electrified” line-up by 2025.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.19, 2018

PSA CEO Carlos Tavares has been credited with turning around the near-bankrupt French company.

After a 26-year absence from the North American market, French automaker PSA Group is formalizing plans to reenter the market, though in a series of interviews and appearances in Detroit this week, CEO Carlos Tavares made it clear he’s not in a rush.

With the once nearly bankrupt automaker now flying high in most of its other markets, Tavares outlined a three-stage process that will take as much as a decade to complete. In the meantime, he is focusing on several other critical endeavors, including the revival of the Opel/Vauxhall operations PSA purchased from General Motors last year, as well as a plan that call for the company to have 100% of its products electrified by 2025.

Industry News!

“When we go into a country we try to be really cautious,” Tavares said during a Thursday roundtable with a small group of journalists, one of several meetings he held in connection with the annual North American International Auto Show. The plan for North America is “more frugal, more humble” and will require only “a small investment,” he explained.

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Britain’s Retro-carmaker Morgan Electrifies with New EV3

Battery power “plays an important role in Morgan’s future.”

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Dec.20, 2017

The Morgan EV3 blends old and new, including ashwood framing, composite panels and electric drive.

It’s hard to find an automaker these days that isn’t going electric – even exotic brands like Aston-Martin, Bentley and Lamborghini. But Morgan?

The tiny British maker has made a handsome business out of being decidedly retro, even retaining the classic wood frames of yesteryear. So, when it unveiled a quirky, three-wheeled EV prototype in 2015 few took it seriously, even when it followed with a more production-ready version at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

Global Auto News!

But the Morgan EV3 is about to become a reality with the help of Frazer-Nash Energy Systems, says Morgan Managing Director Steve Morris. “We have been working closely on optimizing the EV3’s architecture in every way to develop a car which will offer proven reliability range and cooling performance, combined with the pure driving experience that is expected of every hand-crafted Morgan.”

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First Drive: 2018 Nissan Leaf

Nissan balances range and price while upping the fun factor.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Dec.12, 2017

Nissan's second-generation Leaf features a significant upgrade in range and technology.

Eight years after Nissan lifted the covers on what would become the world’s first mass-market battery-electric vehicle, the Japanese automaker has just launched production of the all-new, second-generation Nissan Leaf.

Plenty has changed since the original model came to market. Batteries are growing more powerful, even as their price has fallen more than six-fold since the beginning of the decade, translating into longer range at lower costs. And while “BEVs” still make up little more than a rounding error when it comes to overall U.S. sales, demand is clearly growing. But so is the list of competitors Leaf has to stare down, including both the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Tesla Model 3.

News You Can Use!

With the Gen-2 Leaf, Nissan chose to walk a tightrope. It doesn’t offer quite as much range as the Chevy and Tesla battery-cars, but it’s thousands of dollars cheaper. The 2018 Leaf is also less wonky in appearance and a lot more fun to drive than the model it replaced, TheDetroitBureau.com discovered, during a long day of driving through fire-scarred Napa Valley earlier this month. (more…)

EU Plans Big Cuts in CO2 Emissions; Move Will Accelerate Race to Electrify

Proposal would cut exhaust emissions by 30% -- which automakers label “overly challenging.”

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.09, 2017

The EU's current target for 2021 would equal 54 mpg. That would jump 30% by 2030.

With some of the world’s toughest emissions rules already in place, the European Commission wants to crack down even harder on CO2, the gas primarily blamed for global warming.

This week’s announcement comes at a time when a number of European countries, as well as some major cities, are planning their own crackdowns on emissions. Several nations, including Norway, the UK and France, have either laid out plans to ban the internal combustion engine entirely or are studying such moves.

Industry News!

Currently, the EU is set to trim CO2 emissions to just 95 grams per kilometer by 2021, equal to fuel economy of about 57.4 miles per gallon, for passenger cars. For light commercial vehicles the target is 147 grams.

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A Substation on Every Corner? Mass EV Charging Could Pose Some Electrifying Challenges

Will motorists continue to do most charging at home or office?

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.03, 2017

An EV charging station the size of a Costco or freeway truck stop gas station would require an electric substation to provide enough power.

The auto industry is getting ready to plug into battery power in a big way. In recent months, virtually every major automaker has announced some form of “electrification” and, by the middle of the coming decade, conventional hybrids, plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles could account for nearly a third of all new vehicle sales – even more if California regulators ban the internal combustion engine entirely, as they’re now considering.

Charge!

But this dramatic shift raises plenty of questions, including one of the most basic: where will American motorists plug in? And where will all the energy come from to charge up millions of new plug-based vehicles?

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