Filed under: Electric Cars
Example of a plug-in electric hybrid.
Catching a glimpse of a fancy Tesla model on the road may be a new experience for many, but it is essential to keep in mind that these cars are not really new. Electric cars emerged way back in the 1980s and they have gradually gained popularity and can now be spotted on virtually all roads across the country. The first electric car that could utilize rechargeable batteries was created in 1884 by Thomas Parker. In the 1930s, electric cars disappeared from the market as they were replaced by their gasoline counterparts that were cheaper with better efficiency. A surge in electric car interest was again experienced in the 1980s and 90s as the U.S government raised concerns regarding environmental pollution caused by gasoline powered cars. For this reason, electric cars are now the best option to drivers who are concerned with conserving the environment, as well as saving on fuel.
Electric cars differ from gasoline cars in that they make use of electric engines while gasoline cars use gasoline engines. Another notable difference is with respect to the battery. The central component of an electric car comprises of a battery in combination with an electric motor, as well as the motor’s controller. The battery plays the role of supplying power to the controller. Electric cars can be powered by two forms of motors. These are the direct current and the alternating current. Nikola Tesla was the one who invented the alternating current, while Thomas Edison invented the direct current. The two types of motors differ in terms of voltage needed to operate them. The voltage needed for a direct-current motor ranges from 92-192 volts. The alternating-current motor on the other hand needs a voltage of 240 volts coupled with a battery pack of 300 volts.
In terms of cost, direct-current motors are less costly, but have some limitations including overheating and insufficient acceleration. Alternating-current motors on the other hand are not only less expensive, but implementing them into cars is also easier. They make use of regenerative braking that allows for power delivery to the battery when the brakes are used. One of the major challenges facing the electric vehicle industry is regarding battery power. Lead-acid batteries have numerous flaws. For this reason, other batteries such as nickel-metal hydride have been introduced. This battery has been found to be more long-lasting compared to a lead-acid battery. Other batteries used include the sodium battery, which us non-toxic, and the lithium-ion battery that is commonly sold in many electronics.
August 14, 2015
Any person planning to purchase a car needs to take into consideration their budget, as well as the environmental implications of the car. The impact that green cars have on nature is less harmful. The car market has numerous options to cater to the convenience of the buyer. Cars that have been launched in the recent past are made in such a way that less carbon dioxide and fuel is released to the environment. Eco-friendly cars have been known to have high fuel efficiency. Owed to the fact that the prices of fuel have been increasing, a car that is fuel efficient will help drivers to save more money.
Electric and hybrid vehicles would definitely make a huge contribution in the green movement across the world. However, the market has a wide range of hybrid car models and this makes it hard for buyers to make the best choice. This necessitates the need for tips that would aid in influencing the process of making the decision. One of the key tips to keep in mind is that the decision to purchase should be determined by travelling frequency, mileage and the conditions of the road. A buyer needs to come up with a clear comparison based on fuel options available like electric, hybrid, natural gas and many more. It is also important to have a look at the amount of air pollution or greenhouse gases emitted by the car models. The rating given by EPA to govern such emissions ranges from 0 to 10 with 10 indicating minimum emissions and zero indicating highest emissions. Another aspect that needs to be considered is the car’s driving character. Such character varies, particularly in hybrid vehicles based on the model. It is recommended for buyers to take test-drives in different cars so that they can experience and know their performance on road.
It is also advisable to get information on the green car’s driver scores. These scores are normally available on a 0 to 5 scale. Buyers should choose models that have high drive scores since a high score is an indication that the car can be handled better and is also comfortable on roads. The buying process needs should also depend on the engine’s size and configuration. The car’s size, as well as its engine is the most important determinants of the overall price. The efficiency of smaller-sized cars has been found to be higher than that of SUVs or trucks. Preferences should also be given to models that offer sufficient space for maximum comfort.
August 7, 2015
After PSA boss Carlos Tavares was seen testing the 493 bhp car, it is clear that Peugeot Sport’s much discussed 308 R Hybrid looks closer to production than ever. Peugeot boss Maxime Picaa asserted at that the company was quite advanced with development during the unveiling of the concept car in Shanghai. He also hinted of the high possibility of the car’s production start. The big question that was raised is with regard to how the automaker was going to commercialize the hybrid car. The pricing or cost was also another question raised concerning the hybrid car that is yet to be produced.
The petrol-electric power train of the Peugeot 308 R Hybrid gives the engine of the Peugeot RCZ R coupe two electric motors. 493 bhp and 538 lb. ft. of torque is the combined result that is sent to the four wheels. Hence, the potential carbon dioxide emissions of the car are just 70 g/km, while the sprint time of 4.0 seconds can be achieved for 0-62 mph. The driving modes are Track, Hot Lap, and the ZEV. Out of the different modes, a petrol engine supplemented by the rear motor is what is used by the 296 bhp Road mode. Track cuts output to 395 bhp while Hot Lap maximizes the car’s power. The acceleration booster is the function of the front motor. The electric motors are solely used by the ZEV mode. No word has been given yet concerning the range of the car on electric power alone. However, on a fast charger, Peugeot claims a 45 minute full recharge.
To deal with the extra power, the 308 has surprisingly been substantially modified. In comparison to the standard car, front and rear tracks have both been widened by 80mm. The whole braking system has been upgraded and the wheels are 19-inch alloys with 235/35 R19 tires. The 308 R concept that was first seen at the Frankfurt motor show in 2013 is reprised by the two-tone exterior, though the blue and black paint of the hybrid car has glass particles that add shine. Four individual sports sets on the inside have fawn leather as upholstery and data is projected into the driver’s line of sight via a head-up display. Hybrid sports cars were cited by the head of Peugeot as the company’s future. So far, the company has spent a whole year developing the car, which has been deemed to be very drivable. The car will be the most powerful production Peugeot if and when it reaches the showrooms.
July 31, 2015
According to Tesla Motors’ CEO, Elon Musk, the next leg of growth for the company will be driven by the help of the Model X sports utility vehicle (SUV). He hopes and believes that the sales volume of the electric car manufacturering will be doubled by Model X. Musk said during an interview with CNBC that Tesla’s volume is likely to double because there is an almost equal demand for SUV’s and sedans. This would imply that Tesla’s volume would be doubling, if the Model X is well received. Previously, James Albertine, Stifel Nocolaus analyst had suggested that the stock price of Tesla Motors could be boosted by Model X to as high as 400 dollars per share. The analyst was positive that the electric car manufacturer would enjoy a huge success with the Model X.
With respect to Model X’s production, Musk said that nothing had changed since Tesla’s shareholder conference. He further said that by the end of summer, Tesla Motors might ship Model X. According to Musk, there was uncertainty as to the period the company would take for its production of the electric SUV to be ramped up. Since Tesla’s initial announcement in 2012, Model X launching has been delayed for more than a year now. The company’s production facility in Fremont was recently visited by some Wall Street analysts who strongly believe that Model X will be launched on its target schedule.
Estimates by Morgan Stanley show that less than 100 Model X units will be rolled out by Tesla Motors in the 3rd quarter and by the end of the year, around 3,000 units will be rolled out. Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts on the other hand projected that around 5,000 Model S units will be shipped by Tesla Motors this year. Twenty-thousand pre-orders for Model X have already been received. The sales target for Tesla Motors are around 55,000 vehicle units this year. To achieve its target sales volume, the company is dependent of the Model X. Tesla Motors reported earlier this month that its deliveries for Model S had increased by 52 % during the second quarter, which translated to 11,507 units. A total of 21,522 Model S units had already been delivered by the electric car manufacturer between January and June. This translated to about 40% of the target sales volume of Tesla for 2015. Last week, an analyst of Jefferies LLC, Dan Doley, said that the demand for new vehicles was high.
July 17, 2015
Peugeot’s boss has been tweeting spy pictures of the 308 R-Hybrid out testing. According to sources at the firm, Peugeot’s shock entrant to the Shanghai Motor Show, the 308-R Hybrid concept is likely to enter production. To confirm the rumors, two images of PSA boss, Carlos Tavares attempting a test mule of the 493 bhp mega-hatch were tweeted by Peugeot CEO Maxime Picat. According to senior company sources who spoke at an event, the images tweeted were those of the R Hybrid’s test mule. With little giveaway on the huge performance on offer, the R-Hybrid looks like a standard 308 GTI at a glance with some simple disguises. Picat said during a previous conversation with Auto Express that the automaker is well developed with the car and is currently in commercialization process.
We could see the car on the road within the next two to three years, assuming Peugeot can actually make the business case stack up. Details concerning the number of petrol electric maga-hatch that the firm plans to make are not yet out. Picat will be positioning Peugeot alongside Citroen and DS since the 308 GTI hot hatch has already been unveiled. It has been claimed that the Peugeot is sporty, as will be seen gradually as 22% of the 308 sales in Europe are already accounted for by the GT and GT-Line models. This will be followed by yet a different hot model, as well as the Hybrid R later on.
With regard to the full specifications of Peugeot’s 308 R Hybrid, the car will be lightly centered on the 308 R Hybrid concept. The Paris Motor show was the very first one to showcase this concept last year, which took performance a step further compared to what had been promised originally. The front and rear tracks have been widened by Peugeot Sport by 80 mm, while converting the 308 into all-wheel drive and adding beefier brakes. A combination of the 276 bhp 1.6 liter four-cylinder turbo found in the RCZ R is what makes up the powertrain. Bolted to each axle are two 114 bhp electric motors. Peugeot has claimed to offer a top speed of 155 mph that is electronically limited and a range of 0-62 mph in 4.0 seconds. The different degrees of performance of the 308 R Hybrid is accounted for by four driving modes, ZEV, Road, Track and Hot Lap. This hybrid car develops the full 493 bhp and 730 Nm torque in its most extreme setting.
July 10, 2015
The Tesla Model S has outsold Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, despite being a luxury product by a startup priced 2-4 times more than the two mentioned plug-in electric cars this year. In America, Model S is thus far 2015’s top selling plug-in electric vehicle. The estimated sales of 11,900 in the Unites States are clearly more than the 9,816 Nissan Leaf sales and 5,622 Chevy Volt sales between January and June 2015. The second-quarter delivery report that was released by Tesla further confirms these figures. Last month the automaker was due to surpass a 75,000 global cumulative sales milestone. Tesla did cross this milestone, publishing info that 78,334 units were sold in the first half of 2015. Sales tracker, Mario Duran notes that if Tesla keeps this present pace, it will manage to sell its 100,000th car across the world prior to end of 2015.
The Volt/Ampera has sold approximately 95,000 and the Leaf has sold more than 180,000 units since their launches one and a half years before the Model S in December 2010. Tesla has kept the Model S car fresh through updates, despite the fact that the car was launched in June 2012 and hence July is the first month of its fourth year. The automaker also updates customers on the deletions and additions made to the car’s specifications. For instance, Tesla introduced the 691-hp, all-wheel-drive Model S P85D last fall. This was followed up with an all-wheel 70D this year, which was a substitute to the rear-wheel-drive P60. Expansion of Tesla’s presence in Asia and Europe has also been done by Tesla with general increasing success. Networks of superchargers providing free lifetime electricity for the cars are also being planted.
There has been a growing breed of Tesla’s supporters who are in favor of the gas-chewing ethos of the company, as well as the company’s vision seen to have aided in maintaining Tesla’s popularity. Tesla’s need is being seen by the public, which purchases its products and gets a neat vehicle. GM and Nissan as major automakers are gearing forward while getting money through the selling gas-reliant vehicles such as SUVs and some trucks. Nothing really is as cut and dried as the outlook could suggest, even through people may be quick to put a label to heros and villains. If there were not a huge demand for gas guzzlers, the major car makers would not be selling them. Tesla’s win this year is with more plug-in vehicles sold than any carmaker in the U.S is the bottom line.
July 10, 2015
There are several reasons to own an electric car, without taking into consideration the painfully steep entry price. One of the major reasons is their lack of a gear box. This gives them rapid acceleration and smooth nimble driving, thanks to the instant, linear torque. Driving an electric car also expells fewer carbon emissions. Scientists have noted that to limit global warming, carbon emissions from the use of energy and other activities will have to go down towards zero. Electric cars have no exhaust. This means that there will be no need for costly pollution stacks like those planned for Sydney’s M4 expansion tunnel.
Electric cars cause less noise pollution. Driving such cars is a quiet experience and at speeds of less than 30km/h, a special noise is emitted and hence, pedestrians are not surprised. The fact that service station visits are unnecessary is another benefit of owning an electric car. Charging is mainly done in the evenings at the comfort of one’s home. The Energy Suppliers Association of Australia said that up to 500,000 electric vehicles could be handled charging at night and extra demand would be welcome. The running costs for electric cars are low. The cost per kilometer is about one-third of the operating cost of 2005 petrol-fueled X-Trail, even for green power. Maintenance costs are likely to be less too, with fewer moving parts.
With respect to their design, electric cars have a futuristic design with great chic styling, weight-saving carbon-fiber body, and a lack of engine block that increase occupant safety and crumple zone. Solar panels are also linked up and may be extra batteries. This means that the car’s reliance on the electric grid would be greatly reduced. Waste wariness is another benefit of owning an electric car. Driving efficiency is displayed by instant feedback, while energy is reclaimed by regenerative brakes when the accelerator is lifted off by the foot. At 11.7kwh/100km it is the best efficiency so far while 14kwh/100km is the average efficiency.
The electric car market is ripe for international sharing. For instance, there are 78,000 Autolib subscribers for its electric cars in Paris. Each subscriber pays $174 annually and for the first 20 minutes of use, about 3.66 euros. The firm, whose owner is Bollore, a French conglomerate, is expanding in the United States and London. This shows that the future is geared towards electric and hybrid cars. The novelty value adds to electric cars’ appeal. Since 2010, only about 800 electric cars have been sold in Australia. It is hoped that by 2020, more and more people will own electric cars.
July 3, 2015
Efforts to develop natural-gas powered cars are being phased out by Honda, which plans to now focus on the production of electric and hybrid cars. A next generation, double motor hybrid system is being developed by the automaker, and the system will be featured in a novel Accord Hybrid set to be launched by 2018. Honda will also release a fuel-cell vehicle with an all-new design next year. This information was given by the Executive President of American Honda Motor Co., John Mendel, at a conference held earlier this week. Mendel added that also in the works are a new battery-electric, a new plug-in hybrid car and a three-motor hybrid system. He however, failed to give further details concerning the developments in question.
Mendel said that an extensive new generation of electrified vehicles expected to yield significant sales, are under development. The battery-electric car, fuel-cell vehicles, as well as plug-in hybrids will become Honda’s mainstream, volume pillar. The automaker will cease the sale of natural-gas powered models of the Civic Hybrid and Civic this year. This move comes after Honda withdrew the sale of Accord Plug-in Hybrids in the United States. The Civic Hybrid will be dropped partly because the company plans to redesign the 2016 Civic to have a range of more than 40 mpg. Honda has tried to commercialize natural-gas vehicles since 1998, but a great barrier has been the lack of a fueling infrastructure. Mendel said that the infrastructure just wasn’t as convenient as petrol even though it was improved. About 16,000 natural-gas vehicles were sold by the company, mostly to commercial and taxi fleets.
The combined United States light-vehicle sales of Acura and Honda brands as of 2015 are likely to reach a high record. The previous combined best with sales of 1.55 million was recorded in 2007. In 2014, the sales totaled to 1.54 million. The Honda brand U.S. sales through May increased to 547,044 vehicles, a 0.6 % increase. The total sales of Acura increased by 7.2%, and totaled to 71,560 vehicles. The uni-body platform of the new generation Honda Ridgeline will be the same as that of the Odyssey minivan and Pilot Crossover. Similarly, it will have a V-6 engine with a 3.5–liter capacity and an automatic transmission of nine-speeds. The Ridgeline pickup that it set to arrive next year will have a truck look that will be more traditional.
June 26, 2015
Pundits started writing obituaries for green cars as gas prices fell this year. It was said that electric and hybrid vehicles would not save enough money on fuel to cater for the high up-front prices with $2-a-gallon gas. However, that is actually not the case. The personal finance of green cars is better than skeptics believe, even with today’s gas prices. May’s U.S. auto-sales reports serve as the latest evidence. According to this report, green cars’ sales for the month went up by 24% and a 10-year-high annual rate of 17.8 million was the reported overall vehicle sales. It is evident that the movement for green cars is still moving forward.
Buying a hybrid car is one of the most financially important decisions that a person can make. A basic flaw suffered by articles and studies arguing otherwise is that of making assumptions concerning the way people budget. It is up to automakers to fix much of the remainder of the shift by further lowering the prices of hybrids, especially with respect to getting leasing deals that are more aggressive. If you analyze the way most people buy cars, you will find that hybrids do save money, and right way. It is the manufacturers’ fault when such cars do not save money and a thrifty shopper has the option of checking elsewhere.
This basic question is mentioned in an April study of first quarter sales by Edmunds.com. In the study, the average savings from hybrids are compared to the price difference between hybrids and their gas-powered counterparts and goes further to divide the savings per month to the higher price. The study’s conclusion is that for a Toyota Camry Hybrid, the payback period can be as long as ten years in comparison to a conventional hybrid that cannot last for that long. To buy electric and hybrid vehicles, people do not make an extra down payment. Normally, about 85 percent of novel cars purchased are financed and the additional money is directed to the payment. Taking this into consideration, you will find that hybrid car drivers actually save money on gas.
Some automakers such as Hyundai are making the smart move of paying attention to market cues. There is about $ 1,400 price spread, which has helped in preserving the savings per month. With such a spread, a driver buying gas at $2.50 per gallon, there is a less than $25 extra payment and about $30 gas savings.
June 26, 2015
Hybrid and electric cars are among the best cars that drivers need to take a look at when deciding on a car to buy, given their impressive mileage and fuel-efficiency. One of the best electric cars is the BMW i3, which has been said to be a game-changer model. The BMW i3 is not only appealing, but it is also an electric car that is highly drivable. In terms of performance, the car is exemplary and performs just the way it was meant to perform. A real insight into what the future will be is shown by the fact that this electric car has a zero-emissions motor. Hence, it is a great way of minimizing environmental pollution.
Another model worth mentioning is the Vauxhall Ampera, which is similar to the Chevrolet Volt. The Ampera has a suitably futuristic outlook and an 85 bhp power. The petrol engine has a capacity of 1.4 liters and this is coupled with an electric motor of 148 bhp. The theoretical fuel economy provided by this car is around 235 mpg and 27 g/km carbon dioxide emissions. Hence, driving and running the Ampera is easy and cheap respectively.
Another model that is in the top five is Mitsubishi’s Outlander plug-in electric vehicle. The Outlander PHEV, the world’s first plug-in hybrid SUV, has reported high sales, not only in the United States, but also in the UK. The headline figures of 148 mpg and 44g/km are the main attraction for buyers. Additionally, at the car’s disposal is a combined 204 bhp. The car’s price is also reasonable, considering its great mileage and efficiency. The refined Outlander PHEV is popular among drivers covering large mileages regularly.
The BMW i8 also make it to the list of the top five best hybrid and electric cars. This is a hybrid SUV that is fun to drive. Powered by a three-cylinder engine, the i8 is a real sports car. It also has an electric motor, which gives a total of 231 bhp enabling a time of 4.4-second 0-62 mph.
Finally, it is also worth to mention Tesla’s Model S, which is a groundbreaking vehicle. Model S is all-electric saloon car with highly innovative battery technology. This car can attain a range of 220-250 miles and is fitted with an all-electric powertrain and rear-wheel drive. If its 3-4 second 0-62 mph sprint time is not tested, the car can even go up to a range of 300 miles. Having mentioned the five cars, it is clearly evident that hybrid and electric cars are the best and are gradually gaining popularity.
June 19, 2015