Filed under: hybrid cars

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

Pricing and Details of Kia Niro 2017 Hybrid Crossover

20160913_Kia_Niro_0022017s Kia Niro, unveiled almost a year ago is finally available for sale. This model is the first dedicated hybrid car by Kia, with the Korean automaker taking an unusual move to describe the new model. The Niro is referred to as a crossover, despite lacking all-wheel drive and having a significantly low ground clearance. Its outlook is more like that of a conventional wagon and less of a real utility vehicle. Pricing of this 2017 Niro model starts at $23,800, which is inclusive of a mandatory destination charge of $895. For the mentioned price, a customer can own the base model, the FE, which is among the five trim levels launched.

The higher-end models include the Touring, LX and the EX. A special edition will also be available to commemorate the beginning of the production phase. The FE will have standard equipment that includes a rearview camera, alloy wheels, Apple CarPlay and a 7-inch touch screen display. The fuel economy returned by the FE model is slightly better compared to that of other Niro variants. Its city rating is 52 mps, highway rating of 49 mpg and a combined rating of 50 mpg. The EX and LX models have a city rating of 51 mpg, highway rating of 46 mpg and a combined rating of 49 mpg. Details on the EPA ratings for the launch edition have not yet been revealed.

The LX model’s starting price is $24,095 with additional features being roof rails, push-button start and rear combination lamps using LED technology. Additional features of the EX model include leather-wrapped steering wheel, cloth-and-leather seats, fog lights, LED headlights, power-folding exterior mirrors, as well as other driver-assistance features. Its starting price is $26,595.  At $28,895, the cost of the Launch Edition is slightly less than that of the highest-priced Touring model. Some of the distinguishing features of the Launch Edition include a metallic grille and 18-inch alloy wheels. Extra convenience features include a touch screen navigation system, driver’s seat 10-way power, and an audio system by Harman Kardon comprising of 8 speakers.

The starting price for the Touring trim level of $30,545, offers additional features like park assist, power sunroof, heated steering wheel and both ventilated and heated seats. A similar powertrain is used by all Niro models, and the power train comprises of a 4-cylinder engine of 1.6 liters and a dual-clutch transmission of 6-speed. The combined horsepower generated by the electric motor and gasoline engine is 139 with the front wheels’ torque being 195 pound-feet.

Leave a Comment February 3, 2017

2017’s Kia Niro’s Starting Price is less than $23,000

2016-03-01_Geneva_Motor_Show_1057The 2017’s Kia Niro will be available in the market before this year’s end of first quarter. Prior to officially going on sale, the manufacturer states that the base price for will be $22,890, which is not inclusive of the destination fee. The automaker, through an email failed to reveal the destination prices and fee for the two trim levels. This crossover has a dedicated hybrid design from the bottom to the top and it will be a stiff competitor to the current established hybrids. Niro is a base crossover, whose combined EPA-rating is 49 mpg comprising of 46 mpg highway and 51 mpg city.

Niro FE is a step up from the base model with a rating of 52 mpg for city driving and 46 mpg for highway driving, which gives 50 mpg as the combined EPA-rating. The fuel economy of the Niro Touring is the lowest of the three. Its combined EPA rating is 43 mpg, with 46 mpg for highway driving and 46 mpg for city driving. While the full pricing details for Niro will be released by Kia at a later date, initial figures indicate that this model will be one of the strongest competitors in the segment. For instance, a comparison between Niro and Toyota’s RAV 4 hybrid shows that the Niro comes out ahead, at least on paper.

The starting price of RAV XLE base hybrid is around $29,970 with a destination charge of $940. Its combined rating is 32 mpg. This car’s city rating is 34 mpg, while the highway rating is 30 mpg, figures that are slightly below those of Niro. However, for those who are looking to buy Toyota’s crossover, it has the advantage of all-wheel drive.

Advertisements have been released to clearly indicate how the car is presented by Kia. The Niro will come with all the latest features of the automaker including Lane Change Assist, Blind Spot Detection, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Smart Cruise Control, and much more.

When Niro finally hits the market, the expectation is that it will be available in five trim levels. These levels are EX, LX, Touring, FE and finally a special edition will also be launched. It has been confirmed that in the near future the automaker is set to release a plug-in hybrid car variant of this model. Rumor has it that a fully-electric version of the car is also under consideration. Niro is clearly one of the models that customers need to look forward to because it has a lot to offer. Moreover, it will be a major competitor to giant automakers such as Toyota.

 

Leave a Comment January 28, 2017

Global Plug-in Car Sales Hit the Two-Millionth Mark

CalCars_Plug_in_100+_June_2006At the beginning of this decade, plug-in electric car sales were almost zero and it is amazing that the global count is now slightly above two million units. To be more specific, the figure through the end of last year was approximately 2,032,000 passenger cars, including light-duty plug-in electric vehicle vans. Excluded from this figure is heavy duty plug-ins, as well as other light-duty electric cars or commercial plug-ins. The numbers would definitely fluff up slightly if the mentioned cars are included. Nevertheless, there has been a measurable progress for the types of cars driven by consumers.

Petroleum has been dominating for more than a century, with up to 1.4 billion gas motor cars being driven on global roads. This means that two million plug-in electric cars would make up only 0.15% of the total cars in the world. However, this percentage has increased from 1.10% in the year 2015. Therefore, while plug-in electric cars are still few, advocates of green cars might still consider the glass to be half full. Basically, this is just the beginning with 2016 being the year that major car manufacturers committed to producing plug-in electric cars. These manufacturers promised that in the next 8 years, 15-25% of their total sales will be accounted for by plug-in electric vehicles. Other automakers have also set the goals of advancing this market.

The half-full glass scenario is justifiable since the plug-in electric vehicle market was not there until six years ago. The current decade is when the mainstream car manufacturers started to shift from conventional powered vehicles to computer-powered plug-in electric and hybrid cars that use electric motors and lithium-ion batteries. About 1,720 plug-in passenger car sales were recorded across the globe. The figure then increased to 6,560 in 2010. After that 118, 690 plug-ins were sold in 2012, 192,010 in 2013 and in 2014, 325,090 cars were sold. In 2015, 550,570 units were sold while in 2016, 775,000 plug-in electric car units were sold globally. China, the United States, and Europe are the top markets. China and Europe’s plug-in electric vehicle market share is about 1% with the United States’ share being about 0.9%. For the initial years of this decade, the United States was leading in plug-in electric vehicle sales. In November and December of 2016, the U.S. PEV market share went above 1% with December’s share being the highest at 1.39%. More than 250,000 units in the U.S are in the state of California. California alone surpassed the whole of China in the year 2014 in terms of PEV sales.

Leave a Comment January 28, 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

America Records the Best Plug-in Car Sales

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

The first plug-in car was introduced in the United States six year ago and since their introduction, the 2016 sales were the highest. At the top of the list of the achievements, plug-in electric car sales totaled 157,181 last year. This was an all-time high, a figure that went up by 37.6% from 2015s sales that were 114,248. Sales for 2014 were 123,347, 24.7% less than the 2016 sales. The previous highest sales records had been those of 2014. Hence, 157,181 is such a healthy number to add to 570,187 cumulative total number of plug-in electric cars sold in the United States since 2008.

Monthly Breakdown

Monthly analysis shows that the strong results were largely contributed by December sales. The month recorded an all-time highest of 23,288 plug-in electric car sales. This was up from the former record held by September 2016 of 16,069 sales. Consequently, the market share for 2016 rose to 0.90%, with battery electric comprising of 0.48% and plug-in hybrids contributing to 0.42%. This was a huge improvement from the year 2015 where the market share for plug-in electric vehicle was 0.66% and 0.75% in 2014. As predicted, the market share for December 2016 hit the highest record of 1.39%. Plug-in hybrid comprised of 0.78%, while the battery electrics contributed to 0.61%. September, the prior-record month had 1.12% market share for plug-in electric vehicles.

What’s Selling?

Regarding the best sellers, Tesla’s Model S was at the top of the list for a second consecutive year. There were 29,156 units of Model S delivered, with about 5,300 accounting for December only. The model outdid the revamped Chevrolet Volt, whose December sales were 3,691 adding up to a total of 24,739 units for 2016. At the third place was Tesla’s Model X, which recorded 18,028 sales, with December sales being about 3,300 units. This clearly shows the strength that Tesla has, regardless of having higher prices for its vehicles in comparison to other models. Ford’s Fusion Energi took the fourth place with its yearly sales totaling 15,938 units. Nissan Leaf recorded 14,006 sales. Overall cumulative figures show that Chevy Volt is at the top with a total of 113,489 units. These units are close to 10,000 more compared to the Leaf, with both cars introduced in 2010. Currently, there are 17 plug-in hybrid and 13 battery electric cars sold in the United States. This is in comparison to hybrid electric cars, which are 33. The year 2016 also saw remarkable sales in conventional crossovers, SUVs, and trucks.

Leave a Comment January 20, 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

The Next Leaf Confirmed at CES by Nissan’s CEO

'16_Nissan_Leaf_(MIAS_'16)According to a statement made by Carlos Ghosn, Nissan CEO, a second-generation Nissan Leaf is set to be produced in the next few years. He however, did not give additional information about the date, driving range or model year. Nissan managed to develop a lithium-ion battery of 60-kWh as per the suggestions made during 2015’s Tokyo Motor Show regarding the concept vehicle reveal. In January 2015, Ghosn further stated that the automaker was developing a battery with a range of 200 miles. Recently, a Renault electric vehicle, ZOE, was introduced and stated to have a 186 mile range.

Shortly before Ghosn’s speech, Nissan’s Vice-President of Advanced Engineering and Research, Takao Asami said told reporters that the next Nissan Leaf would have a range of more than 200 miles. He further added that the automaker had the plans of introducing a charge rate of 150 kilowatts. Asami noted that Nissan was considering developing batteries of different sizes and different driving ranges for North America, Europe and Asia. The keynote address by Ghosn revolved around the upcoming connected and autonomous vehicle technology. The model is set to have the ProPilot technology that enables the functionality of an autonomous drive for highway driving. For the connected vehicles, Ghosn said that NASA introduced the artificial intelligent technology that is currently referred to as Seamless Autonomous Mobility.

The technology in question plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between the roads populated by human drivers and those filled with autonomous traffic. Ghosn also noted that Nissan has diverse types of electrified technology that includes a series hybrid, the e-Power. The power required by the e-Note’s wheels is provided by an electric motor, which generates electricity from a battery pack. A gasoline engine is used for charging the battery pack. Hence, the car’s fuel economy is comparable to that of hybrid vehicles, though the driving is similar to that of electric cars. The big question is regarding the exact date that the new Nissan Leaf is set to be revealed to the general public. Reports indicate that this new vehicle may be available as early as this coming week. Consumers may get the opportunity to see the car for the very first time during Detroit’s auto show. Alternatively, the waiting period may extend till Tokyo’s Motor show that is scheduled for October. Regardless of this uncertainty regarding the actual release date, the full details of the car should be expected any time from now.

Leave a Comment January 13, 2017

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