Filed under: Green News and Products

Review of Porsche’s 2018 Panamera 4 E-Hybrid

Porsche_Panamera_S_e_hybrid_SAO_2014_0294This could be the vehicle that has it all. It comes as a full-sized prestige sedan handling like a sports vehicle. This bit is applicable to all Panamera models. This four-door sedan is not only fast, but it can be used to run short errands without using any gasoline. All the features in question also apply to Tesla’s Model S. However, Tesla comes as a fully electric car. It means that drivers would be required to look for a charger at some point. The Panamera E-Hybrid falls under the plug-in hybrid electric car category. Just like other plug-ins, the model comes with a plug-in battery that is rechargeable. The gasoline engine takes over once the battery is depleted. The range of the hybrid mode ranges from 340-373 miles.

Porsche’s Panamera underwent a full redesigning for the year 2017, with the launch of a Turbo and all-gas 4S models. So, the Panamera model in question is E-Hybrid’s second generation. The new model not only adopts a shapelier body of the Panamera, but it also has gas-electric powertrains that combine a gas engine that is V-6 turbocharged with an electric motor. The electromotive capacity of the battery is 50% more with its size or weight being virtually the same. The torque-converter is displaced by a new transmission that is eight-speed and dual-clutch. The hybrid strategy of the Panamera was coined from the 918 Spyder.

In the hybrid mode, acceleration is enabled by the electric motor. When the car sets off, it is always in E-power mode, especially when the battery has a charge. For optimal efficiency, the Hybrid-Auto alternates automatically between the gas and electric propulsion. The E-Hold mode is important in conserving a charge that is to be used later. The E-Charge mode comes to play when the gas engine is used for recharging the battery as the car moves. According to Porsche, the model’s electric range at full charge is 31 miles. Statistics from a different Panamera driven previously indicates a range of 42 miles when driven at an average of 7.6 liters per 62 miles, which leaves a remainder of 8.7 miles electric range. Panamera’s E-Hybrid will be available in international markets around the middle of this year. This is clearly a great investment since it is a green car that is environmentally friendly. It also promises to deliver a striking combination of speed, space, as well as potential frugality. The styling of this model has changed from the original model. It has also improved in terms of performance and the technology used.

Leave a Comment February 16, 2017

Honda Accord Returns Great Range without Compromising Comfort

2018-honda-accord-hybrid-reviewThousands of hybrid cars have been tested over the years. A notable aspect is that a majority of purchasers keep returning to specific ones. Most consumers often prefer a mid-sized hybrid sedan because of their efficiency. With such cars, one can carry their family, as well as their luggage and still manage to return around 35-45 mpg on daily driving. The newest version of Honda, the Accord hybrid car is one such vehicle that purchasers keep going back to. This generation hybrid car happens to be the most powerful in its category. At the bottom part of the hood, there is an Earth Dreams engine with a capacity of 2 liters. This engine is connected to an electric transmission cable, as well as lithium ion batteries. This gives a good combination for a total output of more than 200 horsepower. It also enables the hybrid car to easily sprint using highway speeds.

Although the motors tend to be quite noisy at high speeds, this sedan is capable of pepping up when there is the need to do so. It has a sport mode that exaggerates the electric parts of the motors to allow a more responsive experience. The exterior design is fully Accord, as well as unmistakably Honda. At the front grill, there is a chrome-coated badge, daytime running lights and LED headlamps. When darkness falls, the hybrid’s exterior headlights glow in a clear white light generated from the LEDs. These lights are neither the normal projector beam lights nor diffused reflectors. Instead, they are amazing full LED housings. The tail lamps around the back also have LED treatment to complete the look.

The interior part of the Accord is the same as that of the standard models, except for the hybrid details present on the dash. There are two monitor systems, which are not a problem to most drivers. However, for a few drivers, the double monitors are a bother because they prefer a clean and streamlined look of a single monitor. The car’s touch screens are well responsive to touch commands with the remaining part of the dashboard being pleasant to the eyes. The color and font of text is not only attractive, but also visible from a distance. The hybrid has both Android and Apple smartphone connectivity. The comfort of front seat is top-notch, while the rear seats are also spacious, giving adequate space for passenger’s legs. The car can still accommodate two adults comfortably even with its two child seats. Finally, the hybrid is efficient and very subtle on road.

Leave a Comment February 11, 2017

A Glance at the Nissan Note E-Power Hybrid Car

Image via autoevolution

Image via autoevolution

This year marks 20 years since the first hybrid car entered the US market with the Toyota Prius. It is thus, an appropriate time to get a rethink of the original technology that would move us in a cleaner direction. The e-Power version of the Nissan Note fits the bill. This car is neither a pure electric nor a hybrid car. It is in between the two types of vehicles. It is not a kind of hybrid car that has ever been produced in the past. The industry refers to the e-Power as a series hybrid, implying that it can be used for all purposes and intents. The car falls into the electric category because it operates via an electric motor. This motor is responsible for driving the front wheels.

The car also has a three-cylinder, gasoline engine with a capacity of 1.2 liters that serves the role of generating battery charge. The engine does not play any part in driving the wheels, a concept that is entirely new. A comparison between the e-Power and the Nissan Leaf electric car will reveal the uniqueness of this powertrain. The electric motor or e-Power has 40kW, whose potency is half that of Leaf’s. The battery pack of e-Power is a twentieth the Leaf’s size, in a vehicle tipping the scales at 1220 kgs, 109 hp and a torque of 254 Nm are produced. According to Nissan, the vehicle is capable of achieving 80 mpg. Contrary to comparable cars such as BMW i3, Nissan e-Power lacks a plug-in facility.

The model has been tested on the roads surrounding Nissan’s world headquarters and the results are exemplary. Once the starter button is pressed, no sound is produced, just like a typical electric car. Similar to the Leaf, Nissan e-Power provides smooth and instant acceleration. With the engine, motor, and inverter located at the lower side of the chassis, the e-Power experiences minimal body roll, especially in the corners. It has great stability even at highway speeds. Just like the Nissan Leaf, the e-Power’s steering is precise and well-weighted, with a minimal understeer. The working of regenerative brakes is effortless as they play the role of charging the batteries when decelerating. The brake pedal is progressively firm and rigid. Another feature concerning the e-Power is that it is capable of being driven using a single pedal. In D or normal modes, the regenerative brakes of e-Power run almost similarly to a normal gasoline vehicle’s brake feel. According to a commentator, ten years from now, every new vehicle will somehow be electrified.

Leave a Comment February 11, 2017

The Green Car Roundup in 2017’s Detroit Auto Show

hqdefaultThe Detroit 2017 Auto show marked the launch of several new green cars, some of which will be highlighted.

2018 Camry Hybrid that is More Efficient

For the critics of Toyota’s styling such as that of Mirai fuel cell car, and the 2016 Prius, the redesigned Camry lineup should make them happy. The lineup includes a hybrid model that has fuel efficiency comparable to that of Prius. This is great for a vehicle whose powertrain of 2.5 liters was updated in 2012. It is also good for a car whose 40/41 mpg needed to undergo an improvement alongside newcomers such as Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid of 46 mpg and Honda Accord Hybrid with 48 mpg. The EPA rating for the Camry is expected to be 50/54 mpg.

Audi’s Q8 Plug-in Hybrid

This Audi model will officially be available for sale next year and it has been postulated to be sleek, powerful and energy efficient. It has a turbocharged battery capacity of 3.0 liters with a rating of 37.3 miles in electric range. While the United States EPA rating would add sobriety to the above figures, the electric range would probably range in the 20s, which is OK as per the current standards. This SUV offers a cool ride and can go from zero to a hundred km/h within 5.4 seconds, with its top speed being 155.3 mph.

Volkswagen’s I.D. Buzz Concept

This is a neo-retro model of Volkswagen’s classic bus with style. Its EPA-rating ranges between 200 and 270 miles and it has a dedicated electric vehicle platform. It is a concept for now, though the Volkswagen Group has promised to produce thirty electric vehicles by the year 2025. This concept could serve as a precursor to producing upcoming cars. Under this car, there is a lithium-ion battery pack of 110-kWh that easily fits into a wheelbase of 129 inches. This concept uses an electric motor of 200 horsepower for each wheel set. The total horsepower amounts to 370, which is sufficient to push the car from zero to sixty mph within five seconds.

Purpose-Built Honda Hybrid

This 2018 truck as revealed as Honda’s hybrid-only model. A notable fact about Honda is that its trucks are slightly different from those produced by other automakers. However, it made the right decision by dedicating itself to a hybrid platform that may give a mileage exceeding 40 mpg. It is still a mystery as to why the automaker has not hybridized its popular models like HR-V and the CR-V.

Leave a Comment January 21, 2017

Ford’s Big Bet on Electric Cars as It Invests in the U.S. Plant

2016_A&M–Commerce_Homecoming_Parade_03_(Pres._Emer._Keith_McFarland_and_Nancy)The first few days of 2017 have been significant to Ford Motor Co. A lot of attention has particularly been geared towards the company’s move to opt against setting up a Mexico manufacturing plant worth more than a billion dollars. Instead, Ford plans to invest about $700 million in its Michigan plant, which will help in creating jobs for 700 Americans. Though it might seem that the decision was prompted by some high-profile individuals, this is not the case. The reason behind the change of plans is Ford’s independent analysis of the company’s business imperatives.

However, it would also be essential to consider other news related to Ford. Earlier in the week, Ford gave details concerning its increasing commitment to producing electric cars. It particularly emphasized expanding its offerings in the coming years. One of the notable moves is the automaker’s plan to produce a small electric SUV. This SUV will have an approximate range of about 300 miles. This information concerning the car was obtained from a press release issued by the company. The designing of the new SUV will take place from the ground up, contrary to utilizing an existing car platform. Ford’s electric vehicle champion and Purchasing Vice President, Hau Thai-Tang, gave information on the automaker’s new approach through a telephone interview.

Thai-Tang explained that this was the very first time that the automaker had optimized a full-battery electric car’s architecture. This would give the company the opportunity to give consumers the full merits of an electric car. The benefits will be in terms of the car’s engineering configuration and the vehicle packaging. It will also provide occupants with an optimized experience. In addition to developing a fully electric SUV, Ford also plans to launch a number of hybrid electric cars in by the year 2022. These cars will help in showcasing the clear advantages of electrification, which go beyond fuel-efficiency merits.

Three iconic sub-brands will specifically receive the hybrid treatment. Hybrid versions will be added to both F-150 pickup truck and Mustang lines. A plug-in hybrid will be incorporated into the company’s commercial car sector. In Mustang’s case, the addition of the hybrid technology is expected to help the company in showcasing both the low-end torque and performance. For the hybrid F-150, capability will be showcased and the Transit’s role will be enhancing productivity. Productivity, capability and performance are the attributes that define the major benefits of electrification other than fuel efficiency.

Leave a Comment January 13, 2017

Hybrid Cars that Take Less than Three Years to Pay Back

2017-ford-fusion-hybrid

Ford Fusion 2017hybridcarsuv.com

While critics have raised questions concerning the higher cost of alternative energy cars compared to conventional cars, there are some hybrid cars that are worth a purchase. Owners of these cars are likely to be paid back in less than three years. The pay back is possible within the three years even in the absence of government subsidies, which are usually available for plug-in vehicles.

Toyota’s 2016 Avalon Hybrid

This hybrid car would pay back in about 2.8 years. The Avalon is one of Toyota’s top range sedans that is likened to a Lexus having Toyota’s badge. It also closely resembles the non-hybrid version of Avalon. It is known for saving fuel. Its powertrain is a 2.5 liter Hybrid Synergy and was coined from the Camry Hybrid. The non-hybrid version’s powertrain has a capacity of 3.5 liters with a range of 24 mpg. Although the non-hybrid model is more powerful, EPA figures indicate that the Avalon hybrid can save up to 540 dollars annually.

Honda’s 2017 Accord Hybrid Touring

Honda was on a hiatus for model year 2016 and then came back with a revised version of the Accord Hybrid. This car is high-tech and gives a range of 48 mpg. Its non-hybrid counterpart has a range of 25 mpg. The power of the Accord hybrid is also greater in comparison to that of a V6. In terms of price, the hybrid costs $1,305 more, but according to the EPA figures, savings for the hybrid car amount to $621 annually.

Ford’s 2016 Fusion Hybrid Titanium

This model was released this year, with the updated model for 2017 available for sale now. The 2016 hybrid model’s cost is only $160 more than the non-hybrid Fusion Titanium. It promises a range of 41 mpg in comparison to the non-hybrid’s 26 mpg. The 2016 Fusion is likely to pay back in less than five months with the approximate annual savings amounting to $456. The updated 2017 Fusion now gives a range of 42 mpg, with its pricing remaining reasonable.

Lincoln’s 2016 MKZ Hybrid

The pricing policy of Ford for its upper scale Fusion becomes better for the MKZ Hybrid of the Lincoln division. The hybrid luxury car has a hybrid engine with a capacity of 2 liters, while the non-hybrid version has a turbocharged engine with a capacity of 2 liters, as well. There is also a V6 with a rating of 21 mpg. The hybrid, which the gas-saver within the family, offers plenty of power with a range of 40 mpg.

 

Leave a Comment December 16, 2016

Supercapacitor Breakthrough to Allow Electric Cars to Charge within Seconds

BMW i3 Electric

BMW i3 Electric

Augmented Optics, a technological firm, has manufactured a supercapacitor material that allows electric cars to be charged as fast as refueling a normal car. This innovation threatens to make lithium-ion batteries useless. The new material that is set to serve as a replacement for conventional batteries comes as a polymer utilizing the soft contact-lens technology. This technology may increase the performance of the electronic components of the supercapacitors, which play the role of storing and distributing high power volumes. Polymers are composed of organic molecules that have repeated sub-units bonded together into a three-dimensional system.

Tests have been done on the new material by researchers from the University of Bristol and the University of Surrey in Great Britain. Their test findings reveal that the material’s effectiveness is a thousand to ten thousand times more compared to current supercapacitors. Augmented Optics’ technical director, Dr. Donald Highgate said the technology has a high potential. Hughes added that if the material is as good as it is thought to be, it may entirely replace battery technology. It will be shocking to vehicle manufacturers if this new technology turns out to be disruptive. However, cars could still be manufactured on similar factory lines. This project has been kept a secret until this point, with global patents having been filed last week.

A key advantage of supercapacitors is their capability of charging and discharging quickly through numerous cycles. Unfortunately, the efficiency that the current supercapacitors have on holding charges is not as high as that of batteries. For example, some supercapacitors utilized by buses in China need recharging every three to four miles. With the new material, supercapacitors now have a storage capacity that is closer to that of lithium-ion batteries. They have the additional benefit of cheaper costs of production and immediate recharging.

Dr. Ian Hamerton , one of the project’s scientists from the University of Bristol said that they initially did not consider the automotive industry. However, as the findings were revealed, it was evident that this technology would be adopted by the car industry. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors said that he was sure the supercapacitors were a breakthrough for the auto industry, especially for electric cars. According to Augmented Optics’ Chief Executive, Jim Heathcote, the group is in search of partners to whom it can offer assistance in building these storage devices and supplying the polymers. Auto Express reported that the team plans to produce a prototype electric vehicle by the year 2017. Owners of this car will be able to charge it in a few seconds with a driving range of about 150 miles.

 

 

Leave a Comment December 16, 2016

MINI Unveils a New Countryman at the Auto Show in LA

2017 MINI Clubman

2017 MINI Clubman

The 2017 Countryman is one of the largest vehicles produced by the MINI automaker. This car has improved engines, advanced tech, and a plug-in version. MINI hatch was the first model to be released followed by Clubman. The brand owned by BMW has now released a new MINI Countryman. Since the rebirth of MINI, this model is Countryman’s second-generation. Official pictures were first available for public viewing last month. All three new iterations of the Countryman were debuted at the LA Auto Show, including the new Countryman plug-in hybrid, dubbed the SE ALL4.

The Countryman whose starting price is less than $35,000 is set to reach the UK market in February. The new Countryman was reviewed by Auto Express, which gave details on the new design adopted for the new model.  Auto Express emphasized on the toughness and ruggedness of the new design. According to Nicolas Griebner, the head of product at MINI UK, this car is clearly suited for having an adventure in. Regardless of the fact the Countryman has a new platform; its design can still be recognized as MINI’s. All the Countryman models come equipped with faux leather upholstery, Mini connected infotainment systems, rear parking sensors, rearview camera, sunroof, automatic headlights and Bluetooth.

In comparison to the previous model, the new Countryman model is longer by 200mm and wider by 30mm. Regarding its size, it lies in between Audi’s Q3 and Q2, with both cars being key competitors. Its wheelbase is longer by 75mm to give it a rear legroom that is 50mm more. Additionally, with it’s fold down, sliding rear seats it has 16 cubic feet of cargo space.

Accompanying the extra size is a design emphasizing the elements of a sports utility vehicle. Most of the vehicles have silver roof rails as well as sill plates. Both of these features work with a high shoulder line and sculpted sides to give the car a trendy outlook. Griebner added that the Countryman is by far the most masculine design that MINI has ever produced. The wide grille, pop-out tail-lamps, as well as large-sized LED headlights are features coined from the MINI hatch. The number plate at the rear end has now been shifted to the bootlid. The customization of the Countryman is what distinguishes it from its competitors. It has alloy wheels, contrasting black-colored roof and a unique blue paint available.

 

Leave a Comment December 2, 2016

Motor Trend Awards Chevrolet Bolt the Car of the Year Title

chevrolet_bolt_concept_front_naias_2015Despite the fact that there are a few weeks remaining before Chevrolet Bolt enters dealerships, Motor Trend announced that it was the ultimate winner for the Vehicle of the Year Award. This is the first time a fully electric car has won the prestigious award. The ceremony marked the beginning of the yearly LA Auto Show held in Los Angeles. The award was received by the Electric Vehicle Chief of General Motors, Pam Fletcher, and Alan Batey, the North American Toyota president. Other finalists acknowledged during the 2017 awards include Cadillac CT6, Audi A4, Jaguar XE, Genesis G90, Chrysler Pacifica, Tesla’s Model S 60/75, Volvo S90 and Porsche 91.

Motor Trend recognized the Bolt because of a number of features offered by the model. One of the key aspects is the car’s EPA rating that has been confirmed to be 238 miles/charge. This is close to triple the range offered by the majority of pure electric cars currently on the market, with the exception of Tesla’s Model X and Model S. These two models have longer ranges, however, Model 3, which isn’t set to hit the market for a year, and will be considerably more expensive than the Bolt. The Bolt was also recognized because of its low retail price, considering its good range. Its base price is $37,495 excluding a federal tax credit of $7,500, as well as the numerous state incentives available, bringing the drive off cost to an affordable $30,000 or less.

Even if the Bolt did not have a battery propulsion system giving a long range, it would still be a great contender for the award. This is according to the jury of Motor Trend, which claims that this world-class small vehicle offers quietness, smoothness, and an electric motor that offers an instant-on torque. The ride is not only sporty and firm, but the road noise transmitted is well damped.

In other categories of the award, the new model of Mercedes-Benz, GLC, was named as the sports utility vehicle of the year. The winning truck per Motor Trend was the newly revamped Ford’s Super Duty.  Motor Trend has also acknowledged plug-in car winners in the past, with Tesla’s Model S taking the vehicle of the year trophy three years ago (2013). The top honor was given to Chevrolet Volt in the year 2011.

Similar awards to be held in North America named the Bolt as one of the three finalists. Trophies for the award in question will be given in January. An award organized by Green Car Journal named 2017 Bolt Green Car of the Year. Hence, Chevy Bolt is clearly a new winning entrant.

 

Leave a Comment November 25, 2016

Electric Cars as Finalists in the Green Car Annual Awards

2016-03-01_geneva_motor_show_1067One of the key themes for the award finalists that were announced this week was electrification. Five finalists were confirmed by the Green Car Journal. Four of the models are available as plug-in hybrid versions, while one is a fully-electric car. The nominees for the 2017 model year are the Chevy Bolt, BMW’S 330e, Kia Optima, Toyota Prius Prime and Chrysler Pacifica. The award was officially founded in 2005 and since the,n an increasing list of models has been chosen by its judges’ panel. According to Green Car Journal, this reflects the car’s industry’s increasing efforts to produce new cars with improved environmental impact and higher efficiency.

This year’s finalists are a clear representation of the momentum being experienced by electrification in the vehicle industry. This is according to the journal’s Publisher and Editor, Ron Cogan. Electrification is an important technology for manufacturers regardless of whether they are dealing with plug-in hybrid, hybrid, all-electric or two or more powertrains in combination with traditional gasoline engines. It is essential technology, not only for the present, but also future high-efficiency car models. BMW has been acknowledged for launching the 330e to add to its current plug-in lineup. According to a report by Green Car Journal, the car’s electric motor in combination with a 4-cylinder engine gives a total of a 248 horsepower system output and a torque of 310 pounds-feet.

The Chevy Bolt follows another Chevrolet model that was nominated last year, the second-generation Chevy Volt, which emerged the winner. The Bolt is recognized as the first plug-in hybrid car to have a driving range exceeding 200 miles. It also has technological features to personalize and enhance the driving experience. Fiat Chrysler was nominated and acknowledged for being the first plug-in electric car to enter the market. The first-ever minivan class plug-in hybrid was Chrysler’s Pacifica. The judges acknowledged Chrysler’s efficiency of 80 MPGe and an electric driving range of 30 miles. It’s total driving range is 530 miles.

Kia is in the list owed to the addition of a plug-in hybrid and hybrid systems by adding the 2017 Outlook to its lineup. An electric motor, as well as a 2-liter gas engine is used to power both model variations. The plug-in hybrid’s battery pack is larger than that of the standard hybrid. Toyota is also a finalist, thanks to its efforts in unveiling the new Prius Prime to serve as a replacement for its Prius Plug-in. The range of the 2017 model is double that of the initial plug-in hybrid. The winning model will be known on 17th November.

 

Leave a Comment November 18, 2016

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