Archives – July, 2009

2010 Toyota Prius EV-Drive Mode and Drive Modes

2010-prius-1-610One of the new features in the 2010 Toyota Prius is the EV-Drive Mode during hybrid driving. The Toyota mode optimizes the Prius settings for total efficiency and keeps the hybrid car operating on power for longer distances.

The 2010 Prius actually has three driving modes that include Power, Eco, and EV. The Power Mode increases gas-pedal sensitivity for enhances acceleration. The Eco mode also changes air conditioning operation to reduce fuel consumption.

To extract the best performance from the hybrid powertrain, select the Power mode to increase midrange throttle response. This enables the Toyota Prius to easily keep pace with city traffic. These settings also allow owners to prioritize by saving time and by driving 5 mpg under the speed limit.

In addition, the Power mode delivers the best acceleration and the most immediate response when the driver steps on the gas. This also gives the 2010 Prius light acceleration between stops, which can greatly improve efficiency. Also, while the Eco mode does change a/c operation, it also reduces throttle response for better gas mileage.

Along with exceptional fuel economy, it benefits from a taller, more airy cabin and improved driving feel. Another solid feature is the controls mounted on the steering wheel. While lots of cars offer this feature, the Toyota Prius is the only one equipped with touch sensors for these controls.

Leave a Comment July 22, 2009

Lexus Announces Suggested Retail Price of the New Hybrid Model


Yesterday, Lexus announced the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price for the new HS 250h hybrid, which will arrive at dealerships in late August. The new model has the best combined EPA mpg rating of any luxury vehicle in the United States, emitting 70% fewer smog-forming emissions than an average new car. It received EPA-estimated ratings of 35 mpg when utilizing regular 87-octane gasoline.

The HS 250h is offered in standard and premium models. The standard version will have a MSRP of $34,200 and the premium model will carry an MSRP of %36,970. The MSRP does not include a delivery, processing and handling fee of $875, but it still comes in about $10,000 less than one of its entry luxury sedan segments competitors.

Leave a Comment July 21, 2009

Local Software Engineer Builds Electric Car

If you’re going to the Marin County Fair, go check out a home-built all-electric car.  It took two years and 2,000 hours for Raul Atkinson to finish it. Now he’s hoping to come home from the fair with some cash and attention to see if he can move the idea toward mass production. Read more at NBC New York.

Leave a Comment July 14, 2009

2010 Mercedes-Benz Hybrid S400 gets 30 mpg, 0 to 62 mph in 7.2 sec.


Mercedes-Benz has released a short press release about its upcoming S-Class – S 400 Hybrid highlighting the environmentally-friendliness of what is known as the world’s first series production car to feature a hybrid drive system with a lithium-ion battery. Power for the S 400 Hybrid comes from a V6 gasoline engine mated to a compact hybrid module. That allows for a total output of 299-hp with a maximum torque of 284 lb-ft. 0 to 62 mph comes in 7.2 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited). Fuel-economy is estimated at 7.9L per 100 kilometers (30 mpg on U.S. terms). The Mercedes-Benz S 400 Hybrid also features an ECO start/stop system, which automatically switches the engine off when the S-Class comes to a stop. Taking the ‘green’ theme a little further, Mercedes-Benz says that the S 400 Hybrid features a “number of recycled parts and renewable natural materials are used in the production of the S-Class.” 45 of the components of the S 400 Hybrid, such as wiring ducts or underbody panels are made from recycled, high-quality plastics. The Mercedes-Benz S 400 Hybrid is scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. later this year in September. For Hybrid Car accessories go to

Leave a Comment July 14, 2009

Thinking About Going Hybrid?

Extreme Gas Prices

This day in age, when the price of gas is so crucial to the status of a driver’s budget, it is vital to do some research on Fuel Economy statistics before considering  which new car to purchase. A great place to begin your studies is at the online site of the Environmental Protection Agency, where a list of 2009 modeled cars (divided by class) with the highest fuel economies was recently published.

Among the winners in the many vehicle categories/classes listed, there are a few that I would like to address that are relevant to us, as a hybrid community. First is the Toyota Prius, taking the prize for Highest Fuel Economy-Midsized Car boasting an average of 48MPG on city streets. Another winner that hits close to home was the Honda Civic Hybrid, taking the cake for Highest Fuel Economy-Compact Car. Among the other winners were the Ford Escape Hybrid, Mazda Tribute Hybrid, Mercury Mariner Hybrid, and Chevy Silverado Hybrid. These category winners left little room for comparison amongst hybrid and non-hybrid vehicles in regards to fuel economy records.

The diffence in amount of money saved on gas between hybrid and non-hybrid vehicles is astronomical. In these rough economic times, every saved dime matters. Think about it. Though it may seem extreme-a few dollars saved each time you are at the gas pump adds up to a lot of dollars saved weekly, monthly, and especially annually. Therefore, the EPA’s list of Highest Fuel Economy Cars (2009 Models) should help make your decision making a little bit easier After all, who doesn’t want to save a few dimes every now and then?Extreme Gas Prices

Leave a Comment July 8, 2009

Sales of hybrid cars increase in US

After months of doom and gloom for the auto industry in the USA, there is finally a ray of hope courtesy of hybrid cars.

Reported sales of hybrids in the US increased by 5.2 per cent by volume in June 2009 compared to the same month in the previous year. This meant that a total of 26,205 hybrid units were sold – some three per cent of all new vehicles, the highest monthly new vehicle share since April 2008.

Indeed sales of hybrids have significantly out-performed the total light duty vehicle market, which dropped by 27.7 per cent in volume to 859,847 units.

Here is a look at how each manufacturer faired:

Ford: It was a decent month for Ford with the new hybrid version of the Fusion and Milan boosting overall hybrid sales to 3,649 units – a June sales record and up 91 per cent compared to the previous year.

General Motors: A total of 1,454 hybrid models were delivered in the month, which is a rise of 26.5 per cent. GM hybrids currently include the Chevrolet Malibu, Saturn Aura and Saturn VUE BAS; as well as the Tahoe, Silverado, Sierra, Yukon and Cadillac Escalade two-mode hybrids.

Honda: Total hybrid sales hit 3,662 units for American Honda, up 34.5 per cent year on year. This was led by the success of the new Honda Insight with 2,079 units sold. The Civic Hybrid meanwhile posted 1,583 units, which is a fall of 41.6 per cent compared to the previous year.

Nissan: The Japanese manufacturer posted 666 units of the Altima Hybrid, which is a fall of 50 per cent compared to June 2008.

Toyota: Taking the lion share of hybrid sales in the US, the Japanese manufacturer posted 16,744 units in June. The improved performance was led by the Prius which saw an increase in volume of 10.5 per cent with 12,998 units sold through the month. Meanwhile, the Camry and Camry Hybrid remained the company’s volume leader with the Camry Hybrid selling 2,093 units – this represented a 31.5 per cent fall compared to the previous year. The Highlander Hybrid sold 1,098 models, a fall of 27.3 per cent.

In terms of its luxury division Lexus, the RX hybrid sold 527 units, down 60.4 per cent; while the GS450h Hybrid sold just 27 units – a drop of 63 per cent. The LS600h meanwhile saw a 57.5 per cent fall to a meagre 31 units.

1 Comment July 7, 2009

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