Tag: regenerative braking

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 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

Chevrolet’s 2016 Malibu Hybrid

640px-Chevrolet_Malibu_Hybrid_DCBuyers are shifting from sedans to crossovers, a move that has dropped the market’s car share from 50 to 43 percent within only three years. If the cost of standard gasoline increases to more than $3.60 per gallon, these defectors may again settle for a family sedan that is more fuel-efficient. General Motors used its sharpest engineering tools and brightest minds to slice off close to three hundred pounds from its Malibu. This car falls in the mid-sized category with respect to space for cargo and passengers. For the hybrid model, four cubic feet of trunk space is sacrificed to create room for the battery pack and an intact interior compartment.

The Malibu hybrid will have a retail price of $28,645, with its interior having diamond-pattern upholstery. To add to modern assists and safety alerts, there is a Driver Confidence package worth $1195 as well as Technology and Convenience package costing $895. There’s a center display screen of 7.0-inch and some electric frills like 110-volt current outlet and wireless charging pad. Chipping in a red paint job of $395 dollars coupled with the sticker raises to the retail price to a reasonable $31,130.

Learning from lessons acquired, Malibu hybrid has some components similar to those of the Chevrolet Volt. General Motors incorporates a Voltec drive, a nut combining two electric generators, two clutches, a power inverter, hydraulic control system, planetary gearsets, and hydraulic control system. All these components are confined within aluminum housing. The horsepower of this hybrid car has a capacity of 1.8 liters. Although it is primarily composed of cast iron, there are modern features like variable valve timing, direct injection, as well as roller cam followers to increase the engine’s efficiency.

Driving the Malibu hybrid is a great experience. It shifts through four different hybrid modes and doesn’t use a drone or ruckus. Its execution is exemplary, giving it a feel of a third or even fourth generation drivetrain. It is quite difficult to figure out whether it is the electric motors or engine giving a large portion of propulsion torque. The fully electric range doesn’t exceed five miles using a Hitachi battery pack of 1.5-kWh. Regenerative braking can be increased by changing the transmission lever to L2 from L1 though the difference is hardly noticeable. During the shift to friction-based deceleration from electric braking, the change is insignificant. Basically, the key mission of the Malibu hybrid is fuel efficiency. Its 35 mpg still outcompeted most of the mid-sized hybrids tested.


Leave a Comment July 8, 2016

An Overview of Honda’s 2015 Accord Hybrid

2015_honda_accord_hybrid_angularfrontThe Honda Accord Hybrid is among the few hybrid cars that utilize advanced technology, which is mostly a reserve for plug-in hybrid customers. When it comes to green cars, plug-in cars are now leading in emission reductions and technological advancement. This is coupled to the fact that the prices of gasoline have dropped at a lower level compared to last year. In comparison to regular cars, hybrids save gas. It is even easier for buyers to include fuel efficiency in their list of buying priorities given the lower prices of gas, coupled with increased efficiency of regular cars. Still, there is quite a good number of consumers who appreciate the strong efficiency associated with hybrid cars and would go for nothing less. For several years now, Toyota’s Camry Hybrid has remained one of the best-selling cars, in not only the United States, but also Canada. Among the electrified hybrid sedans, the gas-electric Camry is still leading the way with regard to sales.

Accord Hybrid’s design is parallel to that of the Accord Plug-in, but there is a difference in terms of battery size where the Accord Hybrid has a smaller battery size. The advanced technology utilized by both is a major similarity that allows the cars to maximize the time of operation in the quiet electric-only mode. The 2015 Honda’s Accord Hybrid uses a generator, as well as a two-motor system for driving at low speeds. In this way, the car is able to generate electricity that is doled out to the front wheels, as well as any electricity recaptured at city speeds using gas. The car does not have a functional transmission at city speeds.

There is still some lumpiness in the brake pedal feel from the driver’s seat and more often than not, the hydraulic brakes comes into play when the car stops. Like most hybrid cars, the system has the advantage of helping minimize brake wear. This is because the regeneration mode of the electric motor is sufficient enough to fully stop the vehicle to approximately 8 km/h when the driver uses full hydraulic pressure. The engine is a Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder of 2 liters with an electric motor of 124 kilowatt. This combination gives a 196hp with the electric motor releasing a torque of 226 lb-ft. Although overall acceleration effect is not enough to make the Honda Accord a sports sedan, it is evidently enough to make it a responsive mid-sized sedan. Therefore, the Accord should be a good choice owed to its impressive technology.



Leave a Comment May 1, 2015

Why Hybrid Cars Are the Best Choice for Summer

When hunting for cars in summer, it is wise to choose cars that have optimal saving potential. Hybrid cars have proven to be the best choice, especially for savvy drivers. A hybrid car consists of both a rechargeable battery and conventional gas engine. Such a car is also the topmost choice for an environmentally-conscious driver. Some of the reasons why one should choose a hybrid car will be presented below.

Pumping Up Fuel Economy

The most clear savings from hybrid cars are probably found at gas stations. Basically, hybrid cars operate on electric and gas energy. The electric reserve operates when the car comes to a halt. The response of the gas engine is complete shut-down. Once the car restarts, the engine comes back to life, hence, eliminating the need to have a starter. This greatly improves your mileage, depending on the driving frequency. To save even more on gas costs, drivers can use a credit card for gas rewards, or one that has great perks.

Hybrid Cars are Safe

Hybrid car drivers are perceived to be safer in group statistic terms. Novel research studies and information obtained from the Highway Loss Data Institute show that in an accident, those in hybrid cars are safer compared to those in non-hybrid or conventional vehicles. The studies found that including a hybrid battery, which contributes to 10% of the car’s weight, gives the cars ‘heft,’ thereby minimizing the probability of crash injuries. Additionally, the studies have concluded that hybrid cars have a special battery charging technology that encourages drivers to drive safely.

Hybrid cars operate on a system referred to as ‘regenerative braking,’ which helps charge the batteries when there is engagement of the car’s brakes. This means that a gradual hybrid car break, instead of a sudden stop, is beneficial to the overall fuel economy. Also, hybrid cars are more suitable for driving around the city.

Hybrid Drivers Can Get Discounts

Hybrid cars can potentially save on car insurance. Although hybrid cars do not have lower premiums compared to conventional cars, some insurance companies choose to offer discounts to hybrid owners. This is mainly because of the perception that hybrid drivers are generally safer than their non-hybrid counterparts.

From the above information, it is clear that hybrid cars are the best choice for summer. They are not only safe, but they also have the potential to enhance fuel economy.


Leave a Comment August 29, 2013

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