Filed under: Electric Cars

Toyota Prius Prime on Gas Savings

toyota_prius_hybridFirst of all, the Prius Prime has proven to achieve impressive mileage figures very easily. This new plug-in model of Prius has been projected to cover up to 25 miles using battery energy only. This exceeds two times the electric power range of the previous Prius plug-in.  In addition, the Prime will remain in electric power mode at 84 mph. These are the numbers Toyota has released.

Toyota also revealed that Prius Prime will have the highest miles-per gallon rating at 133 MPGe. This rating is given by the government in an effort to help customers to know the amount of energy consumed by an electric or hybrid car. Chevrolet Volt hybrid has been given a rating of 106 MPGe, BMW i3 electric car at 111 MPGe, while Tesla’s Model S has a rating of 99 MPGe. Whichever way you view it, the fact is that the owners of Prius Prime will visit gas stations less often. Regardless of whether you choose to plug in the car at night or not to plug in, Prius Prime’s highway range is at 53 mpg, while its city driving rate is at 55 mpg. The overall range while driving in the hybrid mode is 54 mpg.

It is quite clear that the numbers are by far exemplary, which makes Prius Prime a great alternative to other models such as Tesla’s fully electric car for people intending to be ecological. Another advantage is that the Prius Prime is cheaper with respect to its purchase price and the cost of gas. Estimates provided by Toyota show that this new plug-in car will cover 640 miles in between fill ups. This is quite impressive for a vehicle that has a gas tank with a capacity of only 11.3 gallons.

For now, the major competitor of Prius Prime will not be Tesla, but rather the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid vehicle as well. At a starting cost of $27,100, the Prime’s price is significantly lower that Chevrolet’s $33,320. However, the Volt clearly outshines the Prime with its electric-only range of 53. The extra high-tech touches that Prius Prime has are worth noting. These include an 11-inch centrally placed screen, with a vertical orientation resembling a tablet computer. This screen is the same as that present in a Tesla. In a nutshell the Prius Prime is a car worth purchasing if you consider its reliable nameplate, impressive gas mileage and not forgetting its respectable starting price.


Leave a Comment October 21, 2016

New Hybrid and Electric Vehicles on the Way

20160317_hyundai_ioniq_2Although the prices of gas are low, car manufacturers are still introducing new hybrid and electric vehicles. The interest in fuel efficient and alternative energy cars is high. Automakers such as Volkswagen, Hyundai, Toyota, and Tesla have intensified the development of cars that pollute less and utilize less fossil fuel. Fuel efficiency is one of the topmost factors that most buyers consider. Prices are going down while at the same time practicality is increasing. Most people were shocked when Chevrolet released its Bolt electric car with a range of 238 miles for $37,495. Chrysler also plans to reveal its Pacifica minivan that has promised a range of 30 miles when driving without gasoline. Other alt-fuel, hybrid and electric cars about to enter the market are highlighted below.

Chevrolet Bolt

Experts have predicted that this new Chevy model will be in high demand and could outshine the upcoming Tesla model. It has a lithium-ion battery that is expected to deliver an EPA range rating of 238 miles. Although the Bolt is a small hatchback, its cargo and passenger space is surprisingly more than enough. The starting price after incentives is less than $30,000.

Acura NSX

This is an eco-friendly super car with a wheel drive system that is synchronized to a V6 gasoline engine. The engine is linked to three electric motors that play the role of turning different wheels. This model takes about 4.4 seconds to jump from 0 to 60 mph. Its combined highway and city driving is 21 mpg.

Kia Niro

Although the Niro looks like a sports utility car, it will only have a front-wheel drive. Its drivetrain has a 1.6 litre engine that gives 146 horsepower in total. There is also an electric motor that is connected to a dual-clutch transmission of six-speeds. The sales will start in 2017.

Hyundai Ioniq

Hyundai will introduce a group of compact hatchbacks, which is highly likely to challenge the status of Toyota Prius. The Hyundai powertrain lineup is set to feature a plug-in hybrid, fully-electric model, and a hybrid car. Official figures of the fuel economy, range and price will be released closer to the date when the dealers will receive the Ioniq. Sales of the electric and hybrid version are expected to begin later this year. The plug-in will be available for sale early next year.

Other models on the way include Chevrolet’s Equinox and Cruze, Porsche Panamera, Tesla’s Model 3, Toyota’s Prius Prime and Highlander, and 2016 Volvo S90.

Leave a Comment October 21, 2016

A Review of Hyundai Ioniq Electric Vehicle

20160317_hyundai_ioniq_1Having enjoyed the hybrid version of Ioniq, it makes sense to test-drive the electric model. The Ioniq electric version completely eliminates the gas engine. While Ioniq hybrid directly competes with Toyota Prius, the competitors of the electric version include models such as BMW i3, Kia Soul and Nissan Leaf. Buyers interested in an electric vehicle will consider all the mentioned models including the newest one in the list. Luckily, Ioniq happens to be among the best electric cars in the market. While it has its limitations, it has a high capability of outshining its main competitors.

Most buyers in the United States and even the UK market have not yet fully embraced electric vehicles. The electric range of cars such as the Ioniq is still meager, which gives drivers the feeling of driving on an almost empty fuel tank all the time. This short range works only when commuting for short distances with charging along the way. In such a case, the vehicle’s range of 174 miles should be sufficient. This range is slightly higher than that of the Nissan Leaf, which offers 155 miles. With a lithium-ion polymer battery, the Ioniq’s electric motor has the ability to generate a torque of 295 Nm, which is present in the Sport mode. The Eco and Normal modes help in reserving torque, consequently boosting the range. Other tricks that drivers can enjoy include regenerative braking, an aerodynamic body and a unique system for climate control.

The electric model of Ioniq slightly differs from the hybrid version. In the place of a grille, there is a large plastic panel that aids circulating air in a more efficient manner. The same function is also achieved by the car’s odd-looking wheels. Unluckily, Ioniq doesn’t have the same quirkiness as that of Toyota’s Prius. Instead, it has the look of a traditional petrol vehicle, though it isn’t offensive. It is more impressive on the inside with materials that have a good feel. Its cabin has copper-colored accents to give a fresh appeal. The inside is more upmarket in comparison to the Leaf. Driving it is more like the Leaf, with the electric motor providing an instant response. Off the line, the car is less aggressive compared to other electric vehicles, though it is more powerful when starting off. At minimal speeds, Ioniq electric car is just the best, with a sense of refinement and ease of driving in the city. Hence, the Ioniq appears to be better than its competitors in terms of range and a more mature feel.


Leave a Comment October 14, 2016

Porsche’s New Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Car Revealed at Paris Motor Show

640px-porsche_panamera_hybrid_4During the recently held Paris Motor Show, Porsche unveiled its new Panamera hybrid with a high performance level. The new model also proved to have a superior drivetrain with minimal carbon dioxide emissions. According to Porsche, its hybrid lineup that is inclusive of the 919 Le Mans and 918 Spyder is clear proof that there is more meaning to the term hybrid than just environmental and economical sustainability. The term can also mean enhanced performance. Another faster hybrid version is under production, though the official details haven’t been revealed.

The new Porsche Panamera functions in the same way as the 918 whereby the electric motor kicks in once the driver pushes the accelerator. The electric motor generates a total power of 134 bhp, while the V6 engine generates 321 bhp. The previous model of the Panamera hybrid required depression of the pedal to at least eighty percent for maximum thrust to be provided by the powertrain. Contrary to the majority of hybrid cars that have continuously variable gearboxes, this new version of the Panamera hybrid has a dual-clutch (PDK) with eight-speeds. This serves as a replacement to the torque converter to give better efficiency and faster response time. The 2018 version is reported to do 0 to 60 in 4.6 seconds and reach a maximum speed of 87 mph using just electric mode.

There will be many driving modes for this new hybrid model. The Panamera hybrid will begin in the fully electric mode, though drivers can opt for the E-hold, which is beneficial in maintaining the current battery charge level. The E-Charge mode is used for recharging the batteries and the Hybrid Auto mode allows the vehicle to select a power source independently. The new Panamera hybrid can cover up to 31 miles solely on electric power. This means that electric power alone is sufficient to traverse numerous cities with no exhaust emissions released. There is the normal complement of Sport Plus and Sport driving options, which give ultimate performance instead of efficiency.

Additionally, the new hybrid car enjoys similar merits obtained from the upgrades incorporated in the standard car. It implies that there is an improved interior integrating touch-sensitive buttons, minimal divisive styling, and substantially improved comfort and refinement. Following its official reveal during the recent motor show, orders have already been received. Initial deliveries are anticipated to begin next year in April. The automaker is yet to offer official information regarding the car’s pricing. The key question is whether the hybrid Panamera as gas great and efficient as the traditional engine-powered vehicles. Consumers are yet to get a feel of the vehicle and only time will tell.

Leave a Comment October 7, 2016

It May Cost you Less to Drive a Climate-Friendly Vehicle

14_chevrolet_volt_mias_14Several people believe that low-emission cars such as electric and hybrid vehicles are more costly compared to other alternatives. However, a novel study proved that green cars are actually a better option when the costs of maintenance and operation are added to a car’s buying price. The trucks and cars usually driven account for at least 20 percent of all the greenhouse gas emissions countrywide. The worrying rates of environmental pollution prompted an energy scientist, Jessika Trancik, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to investigate the issue of vehicle emissions. The first question asked during the investigation was how cars and personal vehicles related to climate targets.

Trancik and her colleagues were interested in finding out the number and type of cars in the United States that are both climate-friendly and cost-efficient. The findings of their study were published online this week accompanied with a paper in Environmental Science and Technology journal. The results were interesting concerning the ultimate cost of green cars. Trancik said that consumers don’t have to spend a lot for green cars or lowest-emitting cars. The findings further revealed that some vehicles currently on the market, a majority of battery electric and hybrids already comply with the world emission goals that the United States has promised to meet within in the next 14 years. The cars in questions include models such as Chevy Volt, Ford’s Focus Electric, Toyota Prius, BMW i3, Tesla Model 3 and Nissan Leaf.

The study showed that a standard vehicle sold has more emissions than the 2030 target by about 50 percent. This means that there is evidently a disconnection between the type of vehicles bought and where we hope to be by 2030. For instance, falling at the other side of the chart is the Chevy Suburban, whose lifetime costs are high, while its emissions are more than the American average. There is also a wide gap with respect to the 2050 goals. This is according to Chris Gearhart, who plays the role of directing transportation research in Colorado’s Laboratory for National Renewable Energy. Chris says that his motivation is the belief that eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation industry is a key priority. He further added that Trancik’s study is interesting since it clearly illustrates the impact that individual choices have. He believes that even an average person can afford or own a Tesla. Currently, United States’ vehicles emit greenhouse gases that are sufficient to fill at least seven hundred thousand Empire State Buildings. This situation can change if people embrace green cars such as electric and hybrid vehicles.

Leave a Comment October 7, 2016

The Cost Advantage of Hybrid Cars over Diesel Cars

2015toyota_priuszvw50_a_2wd_rear1It has been almost two decades since the first ever Toyota Prius officially entered the market in Japan. Since then, the hybrid technology cost is now lower when compared to diesel. This is according to Satoshi Ogiso, the original lead engineer of the Prius.  Ogiso said during an interview with Bertel Schmitt, the Forbes’ contributor, that the hybrid technology that he has been part of since its inception has a cost advantage. In Europe and America, the cost of producing a diesel and an automatic hybrid system is now the same. This means that hybrids would, in the long run, have a cost advantage over the costs of battery electric cars. Now, after the Volkswagen diesel-gate, car manufacturers are required to set up more expensive emission treatments in order to adhere to government-mandated standards. According to these standards, car makers should produce vehicles with lower greenhouse gas emissions, especially nitrogen oxide.

A while back, diesels occupied almost half of the market share since they were perceived as the only solution to meeting the regulations and were cheaper compared to hybrids. Things have now changed considering higher cost of installing systems for treatment of such emissions. The hybrid and electric car batteries have become more powerful and cheaper, which has further magnified the hybrid case.  When it comes to pure battery electric vehicles, Ogiso said the numbers are likely to go up although they will not be the key transportation form. It has been estimated that on a global scale, over 50-60% of vehicles will be fuel cell or hybrid for the next ten or twenty years. The grounds behind this estimation are that the cost of batteries is gradually going down following increased access to battery research across the world.

The pure electric car cost is very much dependent on range with battery electric cars that can go for up to 250 km, requiring less production cost compared to hybrids. The market generally demands cars with a higher range. Battery electric cars with a range of more than 186 miles will still cost more through 2025. Automakers are aware of governmental emission standards and are gradually shifting to PHEVs from diesels. Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW already have plans of incorporating PHEVs to their fleet of cars. A PHEV is basically a standard hybrid car with an additional large-sized battery that you can easily recharge at home. The gasoline engine comes into operation after depletion of the battery energy so that the car can run as a hybrid.


Leave a Comment September 30, 2016

The Merits of Electric Vehicles over Gas Vehicles

15_nissan_leaf_galeries_danjou1Electric cars have been widespread in the United States’ market for seven years and this is partly because they have specific advantages. To date, over 500,000 electric cars have been sold with virtually all manufacturers planning to produce more. The value of these vehicles is being recognized considering the high range models such as Tesla Model 3, Chevy Bolt and the upcoming Nissan Leaf. One of the key merits of electric cars is their zero tailpipe emissions. This means that there is no exhaust, which is beneficial to the environment and health. On the other side, gas cars in the United States offer an average range of 26 mpg and release emissions. Policymakers still prefer electric cars since managing power plant emissions is easier in comparison to the management of individual fuel-emitting car engines.

Another advantage of electric cars is their minimal maintenance. These cars have powertrains with fewer moving parts. Maintenance of such vehicles doesn’t require services such as spark plug replacement and oil changes. Additionally, there is regenerative braking where energy is returned to the battery. The most costly electric car component is the battery. Although engines and batteries wear out with time, electric car batteries are designed in such a way that they will last as long as the car’s service life. Electric cars offer instant torque and quiet drive, which are also key upsides. By owning an electric car, you get a nice quiet drive. Moreover, the power in such vehicles is delivered in a satisfying manner. Their motors offer 100 percent torque, which refers to the work energy necessary to jump start from zero rpm.

Electric cars are sold at subsidized prices depending on the state that one resides in. In some regions federal and state subsidies may underwrite as much as 33 percent of a $30,000 electric car. Every electric car is currently allowed a one-time tax credit of $7,500 from the federal government. Assuming your current tax situation allows, several states give at least $2,500 in addition to the mentioned $7,500 in terms of federal subsidies. The bottom line is that numerous electric vehicles can be bought at prices that are comparable to that of a hybrid Toyota Prius. Policymakers are also in support of zero-emission electric cars because they do not have to import energy from outside interests. A standard electric car operates on energy that is 100 percent domestically sourced. It is evident that green cars contribute significantly towards energy security and fuel diversity.

Leave a Comment September 30, 2016

Cool Facts about Chevrolet’s 2017 Bolt Electric Car

urlAs the production and on-sale date of 2017 Bolt nears, more information has been released concerning this model. General Motors has made it a priority to produce electric cars having more than 200 miles in range. Consumers are looking forward to the day Chevy will allow ordering via its numerous dealers. There are some cool facts that buyers and other interested parties need to know about the 2017 version of the Chevy Bolt. The range of this model will be 238 miles. This is a combination of both highway and city driving with a battery capacity of 60-kWh. This battery size is similar to that of the base Tesla’s S Model. This is a big change from Nissan’s first 2011 Leaf that had a range of 73 miles with a battery capacity of 24-kWh. Nissan then increased the range in 2013 by 11 miles and in 2016 by 23 miles, giving the Chevy Bolt a decided advantage.

Another cool thing about the Chevy Bolt is its stupendous energy efficiency. The General Motors engineers earlier this year said that their powertrain was highly efficient. This week, further information revealed that the approximate EPA ratings are 110 and 128 for city driving. The Chevrolet Bolt claims to be the best model in terms of a highway MPGe of all the electric vehicles with a range of more than 81 miles. Its major competitor is BMW’s i3 with a battery capacity of 22-Kwh and 111 MPGe. The highway rating of this model lowers to 106. The Bolt’s range may be surpassed by Model S, which has superior aerodynamics particularly at a higher speed.

Chevrolet Bolt for 2017 also has respectable performance and speed. Although a Prius may seem a gas guzzler at city or suburban driving, the Bolt can handle the road in a satisfactory manner. Furthermore, its acceleration, especially from a stoplight is spritely. It can jump from zero to 30 mph in about 2.9 seconds with its single-speed transmission, 294-pounds-feet motor, and 200 horsepower. It has been reported that the Bolt can jump from zero to 60 mph within 6.5 seconds while its passing power speed at 50-75 mph is 4.5 seconds.  With the highest speed being 91 mph, it seems that GM’s emphasized the car’s legal performance, translating to the utilizable get-up-and-go power. Another remarkable fact concerning the Bolt is excellent space use. Details such as thin-frame seats contribute to the car’s roominess in the interior. General Motors further adds that this model’s interior is twice as large as the exterior.

Leave a Comment September 23, 2016

The Best Electric, Hybrid, and Fuel-efficient Vehicles for September 2016

16_hyundai_sonata_hybrid1Surveying the best deals out there on electric, hybrid, fuel-efficient and diesel cars is a necessity. Car dealers and makers are looking forward to moving the inventory of the remaining 2016 cars considering the fact that 2017 versions are entering the market in large numbers. Starting with the hybrid cars, Toyota’s 2016 Prius has had several incentives since its entry into the market. With 2017 models entering dealerships, Toyota has decided to cuts the rates of lease on 2016 Prius by twenty percent. This information was given by CarsDirect. The cut lowers the lease to about $199 per month for three years. The offer’s expiry date is 3rd October. The 2017 models are also displacing Hyundai’s 2016 Sonata hybrid.

For plug-in hybrid models, Hyundai’s 2016 Sonata has also received increased incentives. Hyundai is giving a bonus of $3,500, as well as a conquest bonus of $1,500 through 30th September. These bonuses translate to $2,500 and $1,500 increase, respectively. Ford’s 2017 Fusion Energi has undergone a fresh transformation and update, with numerous changes including an increased electric range. The range went up to 22 miles from 20 miles. The refurbished model is also a wonderful deal, with a lease rate being $219 per month for a period of three years. This offer is there until 3rd October and is inclusive of $1,999 as the down payment, as well as 10,500 miles annual mileage allowance.

Regarding the electric cars, Nissan’s 2016 Leaf has significant incentives that were introduced two months ago extending to September. Hence, you can still lease this model for $199 per month for a period of 36 months including 12,000 miles per annum. Additionally, the base S model doesn’t require a down payment. The Leaf S also utilizes a battery pack of 24-kilowatt-hour with a range of 84 miles. The offer is also valid until 3rd October. Chevy Spark electric vehicle is yet another great deal for September. Buyers can lease it for $139 a month for three years.  They don’t have to give a down payment for this model with the offer including a 10,000 miles yearly allowance. This offer’s expiry date is 30th September. Some of the best fuel-efficient gasoline vehicles for this month include Honda’s Fit hatchback, which had 0.9% APR financing for three years. According to CarsDirect, dealers in some regions are also offering discounts. Another heavily discounted model that buyers should consider is Chevrolet’s 2016 Sonic.

Leave a Comment September 23, 2016

A Review of Porsche’s 2018 Panamera 4 E-Hybrid

porsche_panamera_hybrid_21Several people hold the notion that hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius have a loveless and boring existence. Well, this isn’t the case with Porsche’s new Panamera hybrid car. There are several reasons why this car is considered an interesting choice for green car enthusiasts. For starters, the vehicle isn’t as ballistic as the P1, the 918 Spyder and the LaFerrari. It is a high-performance hybrid car that people are highly likely to purchase. It will be extremely affordable, which means that you don’t have to part with hundreds of thousands of dollars to get it, although the official price has not yet been confirmed by the automaker.

Contrary to the previous Panamera hybrid, this new 4 E-Hybrid will be an all-wheel-drive. It has a horsepower of 330, a twin-turbocharged 331 lb. with a capacity of 2.9 liters.  Its electric motor will be 100 Kw, producing a 462 HP combined output, with a torque of 516 lb-ft. All these features are linked to a dual-clutch gearbox of eight-speeds. According to Porsche, the new hybrid car will go from 0 to 60 within only 4.4 seconds. This speed is pretty fast when you consider the fact that the car’s weight is almost five thousand pounds.

Porsche’s 4 E-Hybrid has a standard Sport Chrono Package that will let drivers do various forms of performance activities with the vehicle. The V6 remains active in the Sport Plus and Sport modes. In the sport mode, there is maintenance of battery charge at a specific level that ensures that the e-boost capability is sufficient enough when needed. In the sport plus mode, the Panamera is goosed up to a top speed of 172 MPH. The battery is also recharged quickly when the vehicle is set in this mode. The mode also allows you to get the maximum performance level from the system.

Porsche further notes that there is electric power at all times, and this is an upgrade from the previous model. The previous Panamera required users to press the accelerator down so as to activate the E-Boost. For other, slower life situations, the new model has modes that allow drivers to save gas and increase efficiency. The car will begin in fully electric and has a range of approximately 31 miles before attaining a maximum speed at 80 mph. For the remaining part, the driver may choose various modes to balance out electric motor and gasoline engine. The mode chosen depends on whether one wants to charge the battery or save gas.


Leave a Comment September 16, 2016

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