Archives – March, 2014

Deliveries of BMW i8 Plug-in Hybrid to Start in June

One of the highly anticipated plug-in hybrid cars of 2014 is the BMW i8. Well, the good news is that this vehicle will enter into the production stage in April. June will mark the beginning of customer deliveries. The first market to receive this car is the European market and is sure to have a huge market base owed to its highly differentiated nature.

Complete car specifications were released and are apparently more impressive compared to initial approximations. The fuel consumption for the car has been projected at 112 miles per gallon. This helped in strategically positioning the plug-in car for tremendous commercial success. The rate of electricity consumption was estimated at 19.1 Kilowatts per one hundred miles. For a sports car, this is an extremely impressive figure. The car has been projected to go up to sixty- two mph within 4.4 seconds. The top speed that can be reached is 155 mph. Another notable feature concerning this electric car is the fact that its electric range is 23 miles with a battery of 7.1 kilowatts. It is possible to charge eight percent of the battery within two hours or less using a socket of 230 Volts. When the battery drops at high speeds or below a stipulated minimum, the combustion engine is activated.

The use of lightweight materials is another feature associated with this plug-in hybrid vehicle. Carbon fiber is extensively used in both the i8 and the i3, which is i8’s cheaper cousin. Carbon fiber is a light composite material. This material is lighter than aluminum and steel and has also been found to have the same strength as steel. Additionally, the material has the ability to tolerate high stress. The auto industry has constantly been urged for several years to make use of materials of carbon fiber. The materials have been thought to minimize fuel consumption. while at the same time increasing safety. However, due to the high costs of these materials, they are only utilized in small markets.

A quick drop in carbon fiber prices will lead to better outcomes. This will result in increased production of this material and its use implies that the prices will reduce. The introduction of carbon fiber to the market of luxury cars will result in increased use, and this may positively impact the fuel economy. BMW has for several years been deemed as a sustainable automaker. This means that the introduction of BMW i8 has drawn much attention and is likely to be a huge success.


Leave a Comment March 27, 2014

The Possibility of Renault to Introduce a Plug-in Hybrid

Some people consider the launch of an electric vehicle in the current market is one of the greatest risks that an automaker can take. Launching four such cars, a step taken by Renault, a French automaker has been deemed to be suicidal. Despite this fact, the automaker has the intentions of adding a plug-in hybrid vehicle model. According to a report by Wards Auto, currently, Renault Company is in the development stage of the plug-in hybrid car. The development of this car will be seen as a way of increasing its diversification from the company’s current electric car models.

The real-world range offered by the Kangoo van, the Zoe, the Twizy and Fluence ZE sedan are less than one hundred miles. However, there has been a positive reception for some range-extended vehicles and plug-in hybrids. This implies that there is still a halfway-house market between full electric vehicles and hybrids. According to the words of Jean-Pierre Fouquet, the project leader for the Renault plug-in hybrid, many competitors have introduced both plug-in and electric vehicles. Hence, Renault wants to follow suit.

Renault management has not yet given a go-ahead to the project branded, “Zero Emission on Demand.” The decision is expected before the end of this year. The new plug-in hybrid would fall under the “C” segment in Europe. This is the equivalence of the compact sector of the United States. This means that the car will have the same size as Renault’s Megane or Ford Focus. Development of the new car has shown some progress. According to Fouquet, the car’s battery will be approximately one third of the 22-kilowatt unit size that has been utilized for a range of 19-25 miles in the Zoe subcompact. The target emissions of carbon dioxide are below fifty-kilograms per kilometer. This computes to about 109 miles per gallon.

The company aims at setting a price that would lower the cost of ownership. This means that owning the car would cost less than owning an equivalent diesel powered vehicle with a transmission that is automatic. The car will also have higher performance than its diesel powered counterpart. The new vehicle will not embrace the current business model of Renault that entails the renting of the car’s batteries. This is because most of Renault’s competitors add the cost of batteries to the total cost of the car. If the project is approved, Renault will be on record as one of the automakers that offers a car range with the lowest carbon monoxide emissions in Europe.



Leave a Comment March 27, 2014

New Full-Sized Models Fuel the Popularity of Hybrid Vehicles in South Korea

The overall sales of hybrid cars in South Korea have grown because of the increasing popularity of full-sized hybrid cars that have recently come on the market. These new offers provide good fuel economy and high-end comforts. In February, the combined sales of hybrid cars manufactured by Kia Motors Corp. and Hyundai Motor Company reached a peak of 2982 units. Last year’s sales were at 1507 units. These reports on sales were obtained from reliable automobile industry sources.

The demand for K7 and Grandeur hybrids has played a significant role in triggering the increase in sales. The two hybrid cars were unveiled in late 2013. The rather staid lineup of the K5 and Sonata models was augmented by the two cars that have been on offer from 2011. A notable feature about the two hybrid cars is that they have a combination of electric motor and a combustion engine. International markets such as the United States refer to the Grandeur and K7 models as Azera and Cadenza respectively.

In January, the demand for Grandeur increased to 1156 units. The following month, 1578 units were sold. This clearly shows that the sales have been steadily increasing. With respect to the locally manufactured hybrid vehicles, 52.9 percent of the total sales in February were accounted for by the Grandeur model. In relation to the hybrid cars’ popularity, business insiders have claimed that what draws people into purchasing hybrid models is the fuel economy that the cars offer at a similar comfort level to combustion engine counterparts.

A few years ago, the general population was content with different amenities provided by full-sized vehicles. They were reluctant to purchase such cars owed to their average mileage. This is according to a Hyundai company official. The official further added that this trend has changed following the inception of hybrid cars. Additionally, hybrid cars have been made more affordable by tax benefits and reduction of prices.

According to car dealership, it costs one 34.6 million ₩ ($32,412 US) to own a Grandeur hybrid with a fuel economy of about sixteen kilometers per liter. Industry experts have claimed that the demand for cars that have good mileage will continue to increase as long as the prices of fuel remain high. This means that the competition has a high likelihood of heating up. The experts further added that this year, the competition to win over customers is expected to be fierce. This is because there are plans for the release of new hybrid models in South Korea by the Japanese carmakers.






Leave a Comment March 20, 2014

Outlook of the Global Hybrid Market to 2017

Over the last few years, there has been a growing concern over the necessity to minimize carbon emissions. This has been in addition to the ever changing oil prices. The two aspects have forced worldwide automobile industry players to focus and invest in developing better and advanced alternative fuel cars. The players have been forced to utilize advanced technology that will produce cars with increased fuel economy.

The most viable solution that has gained considerable attention among automobile industry players is the concept of hybrids. The trend is clearly evident based on the fact that the sales of hybrid cars globally saw a positive growth. It is anticipated that by the end of the year 2017, the annual sales will have reached 3.7 million units. The compound annual growth rate for 2013 to 2017 is expected to be around twenty-one percent.

A report on the outlook of the global hybrid car markets to 2017 the current market state, as well as the currently available infrastructure. The report has also provided a coherent discussion of various challenges and drivers of the market. It goes further to give a projection that shows comprehensive market dynamics. The fundamental role of the section is to assist players in the design of business strategies, in addition to giving them significant insights to help in boosting profit margins.

The report particularly analyses the worldwide hybrid vehicle industry by breaking it down into two major grounds, competition and the key markets. The report presents a study of the market for hybrid cars in thirteen major countries focusing on sales by models and type, market scenarios, governmental activities, as well as the major industry players. The report has helped analysts to make a clear identification and highlights of the markets that provide maximal growth opportunities.

The study in question goes further into providing an extensive overview of the major manufacturers of hybrid cars, in addition to sales and key financials of each model. The strengths and weaknesses of the analyses made by the players have also been included. In this way, readers can gain a deeper understanding of the automobile industry’s competitive scenario. In summary, the research has clearly highlighted the most important information and key facts that potential investors should keep in mind when venturing into such markets. The information will also help investors to formulate viable strategies prior to investing in the industry of hybrid cars.


Leave a Comment March 20, 2014

A Glorious Next Generation Hybrid Racer by Porsche

There is more to the future of racing than speed. It entails the use of technology to enhance efficiency and performance. This is important in Le Mans, and Porsche hopes that endurance racing will be redefined by the 919 Hybrid. After a 16-year break, Porsche is coming back to the greatest race globally, where it will take part in top-tier prototype class competition. Private groups have taken part in the competition and won. However, since GT1 emerged the overall winner in 1998, Porsche has not fielded a factory team.

The return of Porsche coincided with the new regulations of Endurance Championship that would increase the efficiency of racing. This means that there would be an increased use of lightweight materials, hybrid drive-trains and smaller engines. The company has introduced several motorsports technologies in the past for road cars. It has termed its 919 Hybrid as a race car that is the most technologically advanced to be developed by Porsche. This new hybrid car will be built upon the lessons acquired from 911 GT3 R Hybrid, as well as the 918 gas-electric. The lessons will then be applicable to the race.

Porsche will be delving into a field that has been dominated by its competitor, Audi. Audi is the team to beat despite the fact that Porsche has attained 16 outright wins at Le Mans. The company’s diesel races have amassed 12 wins in fourteen years. Some of its key competitors in the past have been Toyota and Peugeot. Toyota and Audi, just like Porsche, will be showcasing their hybrid cars in June to Circuit de Le Sarthe. However, the company that has the most at stake is Porsche. It has both the technological and racing rep to uphold. The world’s first hybrid car was developed by Ferdinand Porsche more than 110 years ago.

Porsche will be taking part in the Premiere Class competition, which will give it a maximum of eight mega joules. However, this means that the hybrid system is not only heavier, but also more complex. This implies that several things could go wrong and the fuel that would be consumed is less. By having great efficiency, it means that refueling will take less time and the distance covered will be greater. This is definitely the whole point of racing for endurance.

Irrespective of the mentioned hardware, a notable feature of 919 Hybrid is that it is significantly light, at a weight of 1,918 pounds. This means that it is about sixty-six pounds lighter than the previous year’s models. Therefore, the 919 Hybrid is the car to watch and beat.


Leave a Comment March 13, 2014

The 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid

Based on the figures, it seems that witchcraft powers the 2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid. It is hard to believe that just 71g/km of carbon dioxide can be emitted by a 410 bhp supercharged V6 petrol-powered car with the potential of 0-62 mph within 5.5 seconds. The car’s price is approximately equal to that of BMW 320d. In reality, S E-Hybrid is powered by both a 94bhp electric motor and a petrol engine. This computes to a range of 11 to 22 through electric-only propulsion.

It is possible to conventionally charge the batteries by plugging the vehicle to a fast charger and a domestic socket. It is also possible to charge them when the car is moving by the use of the car’s regenerative braking system and the petrol motor. The car’s price is less magical at 88,967 Euros. However, this hybrid car makes an intriguing prospect in the fleet world with the company’s monthly tax bills of approximately 150 Euros.

With respect to driving the car, one impressive aspect is the speed and distance that can be covered using electric power only. It is also easy to drive using the power in question. When switched on, the car’s default is the electric power mode. This works in such a way that the driver maximizes the electric range. In this mode, it is possible to drive up to eighty four miles per hour. However, the faster the speed, the faster the battery would drain. It is almost impossible to over press the accelerator and unexpectedly switch the car to petrol or gasoline mode. This is because the car would exert an obvious pedal resistance that has to be punched through.

According to Porsche, the S E-Hybrid has the potential to go to around eleven to twenty two miles using electric power. This claim is supported by numerous tests that have been conducted. For instance, the car managed to go for 11.2 miles on a blend of various roads with 5 degrees outside temperature. The company strongly believes that in warmer conditions, the range would be better.

The interior part of this hybrid car is mostly the same. This is actually a good thing unless a driver has expectations of unique practicality. Two people can be accommodated in the rear cabin and the seats are adjustable. The boot is big enough and is slightly bigger compared to that of VW Golf. This car is evidently a luxurious one where the driver would feel pampered when driving. With all the technicalities, it may be unsuitable for a private buyer.



Leave a Comment March 13, 2014

The 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

The 2014 Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid is similar to the previous year’s version, with the exception of a price cut. This means that the 2014 version is much cheaper compared to the previous year’s versions of plug-in hybrid by Toyota. Both the “Advanced” and “Base” variants of the 2014 Prius plug-in have significantly decreased. The base plug-in hybrid electric car has a starting price of $29,995, exclusive of handling and destination fees. This cost is less by $2,010, which computes to 6.3 percent less compared to the previous plug-in which cost $32,000.

The advanced plug-in hybrid now sells at $34,905. It has been reduced by $4,620, which computes to a 11.7 percent reduction. Despite the persistent talks on introducing a new plug-in car in 2012, the Toyota Prius plug-in vehicle is available in only fifteen states. The fans of Prius are anticipating a potential car upgrade. The upgrade will include an increase in the electric car range. It will also provide for a more sporty appearance, as well as wireless charging. Having been in on the ground floor of the hybrid market, Toyota is highly credible. In terms of sales, the Toyota plug-in hybrid electric vehicle was ranked fourth last year in the category of plug-in cars, including plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars.

With respect to the powertrain, Toyota plug-in hybrid has a 98 horsepower base engine. The engine holds a maximum volume of 1.8 liters and is associated with double electric motor. One of the motors is 80 horsepower, and plays the role of powering the transaxle. The second motor is much smaller in size and functions as a source of electric power to regenerate the battery. Additionally, it functions in starting the engine. The entire system has a combined output of 134 horsepower. This is similar to the Liftback model.

One of the key features that distinguishes the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle from the normal Toyota Prius is a lithium-ion battery that is 4.4 kwh. This is different from a regular Prius that has a nickel-metal hydride pack that is 1.3 kwh. It takes about three hours to charge a depleted battery through 120 volts charging. It is possible to cut the time by half through the use of a charger of 240 volts. It is also essential to acknowledge the fact that the Toyota plug-in hybrid electric vehicle has three modes that can be selected by the driver. These are Eco, Sport, and EV.



1 Comment March 6, 2014

Overview of the 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid

Ford’s Fusion Hybrid was redesigned last year with minor updates being made this year. The car has seen a significant gain in market shares against the popular Toyota. Ford Fusion has continued to gain popularity regardless of a few controversies concerning its potential to attain its approximate mileage rating. In 2013, Fusion Hybrid was ranked number three best selling hybrid car in the United States. Its key competitors are the Prius Liftback and the Toyota Camry Hybrid. The car sales went up last year and were at 164 percent.

A less expensive “S” trim level was introduced this year by Ford, and this new model’s price starts at $26,270. This is in comparison to the previous year when the entry point was at $27,200. Other models that are also available are the Titanium model and an SE. There are some other modifications that have been made for the 2014 Ford Fusion. One of the key changes is with respect to external color options. There is the Sunset and the Dark Side. Another change is inflatable rear seat belts that are in-house designed. It is therefore evident that the 2014 Ford Fusion is quite unique and slightly different from the previous versions.

With respect to the full hybrid description, the 2014 Ford Fusion has a hybrid system that has an engine of 2.0 liter Atkinson-cycle. The engine is combined with an electric motor. The approximate horsepower delivered by the gas engine is 141, while the torque is at 129 pounds feet square. The system output in total is at 188 horsepower. This output is sufficient enough to drive the car to 60 miles per hour in about 7.3 seconds via eCVT transmission. The all-electric would run up to 85 miles per hour at small intervals.

Another modification worth noting is an upgrade in the car’s software. With the software update, the car can attain 47 miles per hour. Despite the mentioned claims, Internet users have given mixed responses. Some have claimed that the car cannot attain the mentioned mileage, while others have claimed that it can. The average miles per hour that have been confirmed are 39-41. It is suspected that the car can achieve more.

The Ford Fusion has a strong build quality, attractive styling, and reasonable space. The wheelbase is 112.2-inches and the overall length is 191.8 inches. The diameter wheels, which are optional measure 18 inches. The internal part of the car has instrument features that keep the driver’s apprised. It is thus clear that the Fusion Hybrid is worth buying.



Leave a Comment March 6, 2014

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