Filed under: Green News and Products

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

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

Electric Car Owners Promised Free Charging

nissan_leaf_got_thirstyAt least one hundred cities across the United States will participate in the Drive Electric Week that is held nationally on a yearly basis. The event will take place between the 10th and 18th September and will comprise of several local gatherings celebrating and promoting electric vehicles. The charging network of EVgo has the plan of being part of the festivities and playing a major role. All the members attending Electric Week will have the opportunity to charge their electric cars free of charge. It will be essential to have a legal EVgo charging card in order to charge your vehicle at any given network. There will be approximately one thousand charging sites that will be available across more than fifty metropolitan markets.

The tally is inclusive of roughly seven hundred sites offering DC fast charging. They will also include charging stations that comply to both Combined Charging Standard and CHAdeMO standard. EVgo separated from its mother company, NRG, earlier this year. NRG was under the ownership of the charging network. In May, the autonomous EVgo secured a major investment from Vision Ridge Partners while continuing to get some funds from NRG. The major reason for spinning off EVgo as a major effort by NRG was to lower costs, as well as shift the focus to generation of electricity.

As an independent entity, EVgo is still committed to expanding the infrastructure of electric vehicle charging and courting new customers. The best way to achieve this mission is participating in the Drive Electric Week to be held nationally. This event officially began in the year 2011 and was then dubbed as National Plug-in Day. It is still run by Electric Auto Association, the Sierra Club and many more local groups. Organizers hope to have about two hundred and twenty three events spanning across Denmark, United States, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Italy, Croatia and Canada. Some of the events to be highlighted include test drives, electric vehicle rallies, as well as information sessions that cover important topics.

The website for the Drive Electric Week contains the entire list of all the events to be covered. You can search specific events for your city or region using ZIP codes. If you own a charging card as well as an electric car, you should consider making the trip to attend one of the events within your region. It will give you a platform for chatting with other electric car enthusiasts, as well as getting a free charge.

 

 

Leave a Comment September 16, 2016

Hybrid Cars Have Led to Increased Conductors and Volts in the Car Market

battery-pack-wiringFrom a historical perspective, cars began with systems of six volts. The voltage was changed to 12 volts in the 1950s as the complexity of the cars’ electrical systems increased. The increased voltage was in response to additional electric starters and appliances. Despite the high cost constraints, designers have started to come up with 48-volt systems with the hope that the costs will lower as adoption starts to pick up. It is essential to clearly understand the importance of the extra volts in question.

One of the key reasons for the need for extra volts is that vehicles usually have several components, which demand more electric power. Some modern vehicles have up to 150 electric motors in additional to new features such as the stop-start technology. Such features strain the car systems, especially those that have diesel engines. The second reason dates back to electric and hybrid car development. The additional voltage would allow manufacturers to not only boost efficiency, but to also minimize emissions. For instance, when a car is on brake, the starter may serve as a generator to generate electrical energy from kinetic energy and then store it.

It is undoubted that a hybrid can reap more benefits from the technological advancements in question compared to either pure electrical cars using multiple electric motors or complex systems. Hybrid cars can also gain the most returns from smaller sized engines. It is not surprising that Audi already has a plan of making the move and currently uses a 48-volt system in the SQ7 luxury car. Operating an Audi requires a 48-volt system as well as an electrical turbine for forcing additional air to the engine. The response time given under this system is faster compared to that given by a turbocharger.

More electrical motors mean more conductors for hybrid and electric cars. It will be necessary for cars to utilize 12-volt systems in addition to 48-volt components. The 12 volts will be required for media, lights, as well as the general electrical appliances. Components like generators, circuits and battery will be separate so as to give high performance. The beefed up systems will increase the demand for silver, copper and batteries. It has been projected that the 48-volt systems will necessitate vehicles to have two batteries, lead acid as lithium-ion or lead-carbon to be used on 48-volt circuits. It is apparent that there has been a considerable improvement in emissions and performance. 

Leave a Comment September 9, 2016

The 2017 Ford’s Focus Electric to Cover 110 Miles on a Single Charge

640px-Ford_Focus_Electric_WAS_2011_878While it has not been confirmed yet, preliminary reports indicate that Ford’s fully electric 2017’s Focus will have a higher mileage. Increasing the battery size translates to an increase in range by up to one hundred miles per charge. The specification sheet shows that the new battery will be a lithium ion pack of 33.5 kWh from the previous version of 23 kWh. This means that the energy storage capacity will increase by 46 percent. Although the range figure has not yet been issued by Ford concerning its Focus Electric, the EPA rating for the 2016 version is 76 miles with a battery of 23 kWh. Considering the increase in battery size percentage, it is highly likely that the 2017 version will go up to a range of 110 miles per charge.

With the range in question, the new Focus Electric car will directly compete with same-sized fully electric models. It will however be clearly below 2017’s Chevrolet Volt and the yet to be released Tesla’s Model 3. Hyundai’s Ioniq electric car has been projected to go for approximately 110 miles on a single charge. The SV and SL versions of Nissan Leaf have a rating of 107 miles on a single charge. This is the least range for now since Nissan has reported that a new model with a substantially higher range will be released soon. Ford has also hinted about its plan to increase the fast charging capacity of its Focus Electric.

According to Inside EVs, additional changes will be implemented in Ford’s 2017 C-Max plug-in hybrid car. It seems the car will get some amendments similar to those applied to Fusion Energi in the United States. It appears the car’s exterior design will be similar to that of the current version in North America. The front fascia will be slightly refreshed and this will give it a look that is slightly different from that in European market versions. The trim edition dubbed as “SEL” will now be replaced with “SE” as the base level. The sticker price for the SE level may be lower compared to that of SEL edition.

A few tech and exterior changes will also be made for C-Max Energi. The plug-in hybrid and hybrid versions of C-Max have reported low sales over the past few years. Ford plans to increase electric car production in future, and these cars may serve as a perfect replacement. A good example is Model E, which will be available in both compact utility vehicle and car versions.

 

Leave a Comment August 26, 2016

Positive Aspects that People Rarely Think About Concerning Plug-in Hybrids

24321161405_3b71811b1e_bMany people do not have a clear picture of what plug-in hybrids are and the benefits associated with these vehicles. Non-plug in hybrids such as Toyota’s Prius models requires gasoline to function, with the electric motor serving as a temporary helper. A plug-in hybrid on the other hand refers to a hybrid car that has a larger-sized battery to allow pure electric driving for a specific distance. In other words, PHEVs are part-time hybrids and part-time electric vehicles. The electric aspect of the car is dependent on the all-electric range of the plug-in hybrid. The range in question is based on the size of the battery in kilowatt-hours.

One of the merits of plug-ins that many consumers in the U.S. might not know much about is that there is no need to have or hire an electrician. Some people have the wrong idea that that there is special charging equipment that has to be installed. Contrary to pure electric cars that have large-sized batteries, PHEVs normally require the standard household outlet of 120 volts. That’s the same voltage your washing machine uses. The package comes with a special charging apparatus and cord.

The second advantage is convenience. A plug-in runs on electricity or gas and you can charge the battery at home. However, if you don’t manage to charge, the car can function just fine using the gasoline engine in the hybrid mode. These cars are great since drivers aren’t obliged to wait for them to charge as is the case with battery electric cars. Additionally, they can also be used when one wants to cover longer trips.

Another benefit worth noting is that plug-in cars have a hundred percent battery usage. Battery electric vehicles on the contrary have a limitation in terms of the battery range that can be used. For a driver to get to the next charging point, they have to keep a buffer. For PHEVs, drivers are free to utilize all the usable energy without worrying about getting stranded. Models such as Chevrolet Bolt have proved that they can accomplish better EV mileage compared to fully electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf.

Finally, PHEVs guarantee a satisfying driving experience. Driving and handling is just like other standard cars with great torque and in electric mode, they aren’t noisy. The drive is smooth, with some drivers terming it as addictive. The electric driving experience of PHEVs is certainly better than that of a regular hybrid car. Although hybrids are quiet as well, it is slightly harder to accelerate with a gas engine.

 

Leave a Comment August 12, 2016

July’s Plug-in Electric Vehicle Sales: Volt Triumphs

Chevrolet_Volt_2nd_201606_02A major milestone was marked in the United States last month with respect to plug-in electric vehicle sales. The milestone in question is the delivery of the 100,000th Chevy Volt. Volt became the first plug-in model to hit the 100,000th mark. The automaker celebrated this achievement with some fanfare and a press release. Both Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt were officially put on sale in late 2010, and for the most of five years, the Leaf surpassed the Volt in terms of total sales.

The second-generation Chevy Volt plug-in has been a well-received car and emerged the winner in 2016 Green Car Reports on the best cars to purchase. It topped the Leaf and has continued to flourish for ten consecutive months. In July, the sales of Volts reached 2,406, one of its best months since 2014 August. The total units sold for the seven months in 2016 are 12,214 and since 2010 December the grand total sales amount to 100,964. On the other hand, the Nissan Leaf made deliveries amounting to 1,063.

Since its launch, the Leaf has sold 96,447 units, implying that if it continues with the same pace it would cross the one hundred thousand line in October. Tesla’s Model S emerged as the third ranked selling electric vehicle in the Unites States. However, its manufacturer didn’t give details of the monthly sales. The quarterly sales breakdown details are also not available. The fourth-best is Toyota’s Prius plug-in with sales total exceeding 42,300. This plug-in car’s replacement is Prius Prime, scheduled to officially enter the market at the end of this year.

In the plug-in hybrid sector, Ford recorded the highest sales with its Energi versions. The Fusion and C-Max Energi have recorded higher sales compared to Nissan for several months. Contrary to the usual pattern, the sales of Fusion Energi dropped to 1,341 units, while those of C-Max were 755 deliveries. Both of the cars collectively recorded total sales amounting to 2,096. Ford and Chevy seem to have exchanged the lead with respect to plug-in vehicle sales this year for some time. Nissan has lagged behind.

BMW’s i3, planned for an update in 2017 recorded remarkable sales amounting to 1,479 units. This marked the highest sales in a month since July last year. Since its launch in the United States, i3 has sold 21,475 units. Volkswagen’s e-Golf made deliveries of 344 units in July, with a total of 1,799 units for seven months. Lower-volume cars include Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV and Mercedes’ 250e.

 

Leave a Comment August 12, 2016

A First Drive Review of 2017’s Honda Accord Hybrid

Honda_ACCORD_(CU1&CR6)_frontAfter its debut in 2014 to 2015 followed by a year 2016, dealers will get a revamped Accord Hybrid in 2017. The major competitors of this Honda model include Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu and Hyundai Sonata. Despite this strong competition, Honda still manages to remain at the top in terms of horsepower and EPA mpg. It also matches up to its competitors with respect to key specifications in areas such as ride, comfort, interior space, and acceleration. Considering its positioning as quite a range topper, Honda’s Accord hybrid hasn’t managed to outdo Ford’s Fusion Hybrid when it comes to the main market share.

The 2017 version, which has a highway range of 47 mpg, a city range of 49 mpg, and a combined range of 48 mpg is slightly more efficient compared to 2015’s version. The latter version had a rating of 45 mpg highway, 49 mpg city and a combined range of 50 mpg. It is also expected that the new version will have a launch time of as low as 7 seconds for the 0 to 60 mph. According to Honda’s executives, the production of this model in the U.S market will be doubled to about 30,000 in 2017 from approximately 14,000 cars in 2015.

Several changes have been made to the new model to increase its efficiency. For instance, a new design had been given to the front suspension in order to balance the control and bump compliance. To further enhance a sure-footed feeling, the new model has revamped power steering assistance. This makes it easy make corners through meandering hills with minimal roll.

The new Accord hybrid has several similarities with the conventional model in the main specifications. It is large enough to accommodate four passengers including their luggage comfortably. Even five passengers can still fit in the car reasonably. To mark the car’s electric heritage, there are light blue tints at the front part a hybrid label and rear lamps. Only minor alterations have been made to the car’s interior display monitors.

Regarding its feature content and accessories, base Accord is quite similar to the Accord EX trim, a non-hybrid counterpart. All hybrid Accords have a sensing package comprising of radar-based features such as Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Active Control Cruise, Collision Mitigation Braking, and Forward Collision Breaking. Honda’s Accord hybrid tops the chart with its high EPA Mileage accounted for by a powertrain that uses a clutch, double electric motor, and a fixed gear rather than the traditional Continuously Variable Transmission or multi-speed between the wheels and the engine.

 

Leave a Comment July 22, 2016

Auto Insurance Available for Hybrid Vehicles at Low Costs Online

car-insurance-keyboard-crop-600x338A blog post had been released by the website, lowcostcarinsuranceprice.com giving an explanation on how to purchase hybrid vehicles’ auto insurance cheaply. The general popularity of hybrid cars is increasing, pushing for the need to have affordable insurance rates. Although it can be expensive to insure a hybrid car, the car’s high safety rating, fuel efficiency, and general functionality offer great compensation. Even when the prices are quite steep, purchasing a hybrid vehicle helps the environment, as well as other numerous advantages. This information was presented in a newly revealed blog post. One of the merits of a hybrid car is that of having high cost efficiency. This is most likely a key attractive feature of these cars. A hybrid vehicle can help drivers to save on the cost of fuel, since it can operate on both electricity and gasoline. This feature is also particularly beneficial for long-distance drivers.

Instant torque, regenerative braking system and availability of tax incentives are other noteworthy advantages. You must be wondering how to get yourself low priced auto insurance for your hybrid car. You can easily find one by visiting insurance websites that provide several insurance offers that you can use for your hybrid cars. Some insurance websites give several auto insurance quotes from different insurance companies. These websites are insurance brokers who send the information you provide to several different insurance companies and then give you the results. This can be a beneficial and easy way to get many quotes without having to go to the separate websites such as Farmers, Allstate, GEICO, etc.

Drivers who make comparisons of various auto insurance quotes are highly likely to get reduced coverage expenses. It has been found that exploring different coverage can help you save up to twenty-five percent on premiums. According to the Internet Marketing Company’s Marketing Director, Rusell Rabichev, hybrid vehicles are currently more popular compared to gasoline cars. If you have a plan on purchasing one, ensure that you’ve compared different auto insurance quotes that you can get from websites. This will help you land on offers that are advantageous to your budget.

Lowcostcarinsuranceprice.com and websites like them play the role of providing home, life, auto insurance, and health quotes. These websites are extraordinary since they doesn’t rely on a single type of insurance provider. Rather, it gives customers the best deals from several insurance carriers. This allows clients to access offers available from multiple carriers within a similar location. On the site, clients can access insurance plan quotes from different agencies including nationwide or local agencies as well as insurance company brand names.

 

Leave a Comment July 15, 2016

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