Archives – June 5, 2015

The Range of 2016 Nissan Leaf may Exceed 105

2013_Red_Nissan_Leaf_SLNissan may be getting ready to debut a 30-kwh battery this fall before revealing its all-new second generation Leaf a year from now. The current 24-kwh, 84-mile EPA rated Leaf that was officially launched in December 2010, and refreshed for 2013, is the best cumulative seller globally and the best selling plug-in car in the United States. However, Nissan sales have slumped a bit as other electric vehicles in its class have been taking a share. The rumors that have been circulating this past week on MyNissanLeaf forum and reported by InsideEVs concerning the 2016’s Nissan Leaf range having not yet been officially confirmed by the Japanese automaker.

According to the Editor of InsideEVs, Jay Cole, the report came out two weeks ago and during this time he has been in communication with Nissan. He said however, that the automaker has not commented on the report. The only on-the-record comment said by Brain Brockman, Nissan’s Senior Manager of Communications, was that the company had not yet made any public announcement about the 2016 Nissan Leaf. Cole himself has shown immense support for the Leaf and has also raised his concerns on further hurting Leaf sales once a Superior Leaf is launched. The term that is usually used is sales cannibalization, something that is now being experienced by Chevrolet following the launch of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt. The release of the new Chevy Volt has led to the lowering of the 2015 Chevy Volt sales. Some of the would-be Leaf buyers have taken a pause, because of the prospect of the new 50-mile extended-range Volt. The simple psychological basis is that the sales of the present car may not increase when buyers hear that the newest product around the corner substantially outdoes the present one. Considering the fact that Nissan finished an 18-month record streak early this year, the question of sales and reports on the new Leaf becomes a dilemma.

As of now, the InsiderEVs claims that two Nissan dealers have confessed to seeing information concerning the 2016 Nissan leaf with the S Model base. They said that the model will retain the 24 kwh, while a 30kwh will be given to the SL and SV trims. Although the EPA range is not yet out, it has reasonably been estimated to be between 105 and 110 miles range. The car itself may be out by 2017’s second quarter. It may have a toned down mainstream appearance and even new colors. It thus seems that there is quite solid information concerning the 2016 Nissan Leaf.





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A 40% Thermal Efficiency Engine for the 2016 Toyota Prius

'12_Toyota_Prius_(MIAS_'12)According to Toyota, its 2016 Prius engine that delivers up to 40% thermal efficiency will be the most efficient yet. The automaker made this announcement during the Annual Spring Congress for Japan’s Society of Automotive Engineers that was held last week, while giving additional details concerning the engine. The company said that improvement of the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) limit from 21 to 28 percent is what will improve the engine’s efficiency. Following this boost, the 2016 Prius hybrid car’s engine will become a leader in terms of efficiency. This is in comparison to the previous two generations whose thermal efficiency was at 37 %. The current third generation has a 1.8-liter engine with an efficiency of 38.5%. Last year Toyota made clear of its intention to upgrade the fuel efficiency of its next generation of Prius by 15%. It therefore seems that Toyota has achieved its goal with the 2016 Prius.

Although a 40% thermal efficiency is a significant increase, Toyota had originally hoped for more. Toyota’s Koichi Nakata in 2011 said that the automaker’s hope was to reach a thermal efficiency of 45% for its hybrid cars. Some of the ways in which Toyota managed to achieve an additional 1.5% thermal efficiency as explained by Nikkei Technology Online include straightening the intake port, recirculating more exhaust gases and redesigning the shape of the piston. The heat capacity increases when the EGR limit and hence, the amount of cooled exhaust gas being circulated is increased. This in turn lowers the gas temperature in the cylinder. This prevents knocking and the cooling loss may reduce by up to 8% in comparison to the existing model. Toyota will increase combustion speed in order to increase the EGR limit. It is important to disturb airflow inside the cylinder to realize the high speed combustion. The tumble ratio, which is the ratio between the swirl flow in the piston movement direction and then in the axial direction, was increased by the company to 2.8 from 0.8. This method can easily disturb the airflow near the top dead center for the piston.

The tumble ratio is increased by straightening the lower side of the suction port to make the airflow a perpendicular vortex. According to estimates made by Toyota, the mean turbulent velocity of the gas inside a cylinder, in the compression stroke with a 2,000 rpm engine speed, can be increased to 3.4 m/s from 2.5 m/s. Additionally, the piston’s top face shape was changed by Toyota to allow easy disturbance of the airflow inside the cylinder.







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