Archives – March 31, 2016

Toyota Unleashes its Prius Prime Plug-in Car at New York’s Auto Show

Toyota_Prius_HybridThree new vehicles were unveiled by Toyota during New York’s Auto show that was held earlier this month. One of the key highlights was the new Prius Prime hybrid plug-in, which is the automaker’s first new Prius since 2014. The other two cars that were unveiled are the 86 sports vehicle and an upgraded model of Toyota’s Highlander SUV. The new Highlander version has a new engine, more aggressive grille and a novel transmission. Although the Highlander has a high likelihood of outselling the Prius Prime, the show’s highlight was still the plug-in Prius’ return.

All Electric Range of 22 Miles

The release of Prime plug-in is a clear indication that Toyota is committed to adding to its lineup of Prius hybrids even at this time when the prices of gas is still low. The automaker has projected that the Prius Prime’s mileage will be higher when compared to its previous plug-in cars. It will have at least 120 more miles per gallon in comparison to the other plug-in hybrids. This is equivalent to about 26 percent increase from its predecessor. According to Toyota, the new Prius Prime will have the capacity to cover up to 22 miles when fully charged before switching to the gasoline engine. On a fully electric mode, the car can go for speeds of 84 mph.

An electric range of 22 miles means that more than half of the American population can drive to work then back home without having to rely on gasoline. For the people who are able to charge their cars at work, the figure increases to 80 percent. Those who commute longer miles can depend on a hybrid system deemed to be the most fuel efficient in the auto industry. The Prius Prime will run on a battery pack of 8.8 kilowatts when in electric mode. Additionally, it will feature Toyota’s drive system based on a dual-motor generator. Such a system utilizes both the generator and electric motor as the driving force.

A major question is whether the unveiled Prius Prime will turn out to be a fan favorite. Later this year, Chevrolet plans to put its Bolt electric vehicle on sale. The new Bolt will have a battery with a capacity of 60 kilowatts and a projected mileage of 200 MPGe per a single charge. Its price tag after the addition of tax credits will be 30,000 dollars. Other notable competitors of the Prius Prime are the siblings of Ford Energi, the Fusion and C-max, which will have an electric range of 19 miles.





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Hyundai Ioniq Debuts in New York

Ioniq_Rear_SideThe official introduction of the Hyundai Ioniq to the United States market took place during the New York motor show. This car that has an electric powertrain and will start its sales with the 2017 model with a battery electric and hybrid models in this year’s fourth quarter. Early next year, the 2018 plug-in version of the hybrid will follow. According to Hyundai, the revealing of these three green cars in Geneva earlier this month was a significant milestone. The car will compete with Toyota and other big manufacturers in the auto industry. Hyundai would have spent a lot of money if it had chosen to develop the three cars separately. Hence, billions were saved in terms of development costs with the Ioniq.

Moving into the Hybrid Market

All the three variants of Ioniq share major specifications such as the use of high strength steel and aluminum, which cuts the total curb weight. The use of the two metals is also seen as a way of attaining maximum mpg. These inaugural vehicles are a clear representation of Hyundai’s new model line and are expected to remain relevant throughout the next decade. Creature comforts are also anticipated for the cars. Other details included are the Android Auto and CarPlay, TET display, advanced safety features and wireless smart phone charging. The safety department has features such as Lane Departure Warning, Automated Emergency Braking, Cross-Traffic Alert and Blind Spot Detection.

The Toyota Prius was used to benchmark the Ioniq Hybrid and Hyundai has projected a United States EPA rating of 57 to 58 mpg. This figure isn’t official, but if it is so, the car will surpass even the Eco version from Japan. It will take the top spot in the United States market cars in terms of mpg. The plug-in Ioniq is based on the powertrain of a hybrid car but has an additional lithium-ion battery of 8.9-kilowatt-hours that allows emission-free driving. According to Hyundai’s Product Planning manager, the EV range offered will be between 25 to 30 miles. The European rating is at 32 miles.

May Surpass Prius in Mileage

With respect to its competitiveness, the Ioniq trio can be likened to an electrified version of a jack-of-all trades. All the three versions have promised high performance and efficiency. The car has also been projected to surpass the 2016 Toyota’s Prius in terms of mileage with variations in highway and city efficiency. The plug-in hybrid variant also surpasses 2017’s Prius Prime in terms of mileage. These are just estimates since the official EPA-certified figures have not yet been released by Hyundai and Toyota.


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