Archive for the ‘Hybrids’ Category

Porsche Plugging In: Half its Line-up Will Be Electrified

German carmaker looking to expand battery-electric use.

by on Jan.18, 2018

Porsche is moving forward with its newest electric vehicle, the Mission E, as it expands its electrification efforts to half of its line-up.

It will be another year before Porsche’s first pure battery-electric vehicle, the Mission E, finally reaches market, but the German sports car brand already is laying out big plans to electrify.

Fully half of all Porsches will use some form of battery power by 2023, according to a presentation by Porsche Cars North American CEO Klaus Zellmer. That is expected to include not only the hybrids and plug-in hybrids currently in the line-up, but also additional BEVs like the Mission E. Porsche officials have also suggested they will eventually electrify even such classic core models as the iconic 911.

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While such a move might be a stretch for traditional Porsche buyers, the brand has begun bringing in younger buyers who are more open to experimentation, said Zellmer, speaking at the annual Automotive News World Congress. Nearly 80% of the customers who are signing up for the new Porsche Passport subscription service “have not owned a Porsche before,” he noted. (more…)

Live From Detroit!

Are Sedans a Dying Breed?

by on Jan.15, 2018

The 2018 North American International Auto Show is making big news this week and revealing some of the significant trends reshaping the auto industry.

Of course, TheDetroitBureau.com is still combing the show floor to bring stories and analysis so keeping checking the site often for additional must-know news and the latest updates. (more…)

GM CEO Barra Wants to Turn a Profit – Soon – on Electric Vehicles

New platform, high volume and cheaper batteries are key.

by on Jan.15, 2018

General Motors CEO Mary Barra recently signed off on a plan to expand the company's portfolio of electric vehicles.

While there are only a handful of long-range electric vehicles on the market right now, you can expect to see as many as two dozen or more in U.S. showrooms by the end of the decade, and several times as many five years from now.

Virtually every major automaker has promised to “electrify” its line-up, and companies like General Motors, Toyota and Daimler AG plan to put a premium on pure battery-electric models. While that may be great news for green-minded auto buyers, there’s a serious flaw in the equation for auto manufacturers, says Woong-chul Yang, the head of R&D for both Hyundai and its sibling brand Kia.

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“Whenever we sell eco-friendly vehicles we all lose money,” the South Korean executive told TheDetroitBureau.com after presiding over the rollout of the new Kia Niro EV at the Consumer Electronics Show last week. “Even battery vendors are losing money.” (more…)

China Posts Meager Auto Sales Gain in 2017

Sport-ute led the way to small 1.4% increase last year.

by on Jan.12, 2018

Auto sales in China increased marginally for 2017, but they were led by sport-utilites.

China’s auto sales stalled in December and ended 2017 up a meager 1.4% compared with a year ago results as the popularity of SUVs helped to offset falling demand for sedans, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said.

With global car makers such as General Motors, BMW, Volkswagen AG, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Nissan all reporting solid, but not spectacular, gains during 2017, smaller local brands common to almost every province and international brands such Ford and Hyundai, appeared to suffer the most for the slowdown, which was due in part to the end of special tax credits.

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The growth rate was barely one-tenth the previous year’s 15% rate, which was boosted by a temporary tax cut. (more…)

Mitsubishi Building on Strong 2017 Finish

Maker ready with new product, improving image.

by on Jan.12, 2018

Mitsubishi Motors North America EVP Don Swearingen says the brand has big expectations for 2018.

Mitsubishi emerged from 2017 as the fastest growing non-luxury brand and is pushing into 2018 with momentum thanks to a combination of new product, new advertising that has elevated the brand’s visibility in the U.S. and the support of the Renault-Nissan-Alliance.

“2017 was a challenging year for the industry, however, Mitsubishi was able to defy the trend and prove that it has the right products at the right time,” said Don Swearingen, executive vice president and chief operating officer, MMNA.

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Swearingen, however, noted during a press gathering in Detroit on the eve of the North American International Auto Show that Mitsubishi’s CUV line-up posted banner sales, up 15% over 2016. (more…)

Honda Plans to Show Off Insight Prototype at NAIAS

New hybrid fills the gap between Civic and Accord.

by on Jan.11, 2018

Honda plans to unveil the Insight Prototype at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week.

Honda continues to expand its electrified offerings and will show off its Insight Prototype at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week, and provided an early look today.

The Insight prototype is likely not going to vary much from the actual Insight, which is slated to hit dealerships later this year. It’ll be the automakers fifth electrified vehicle and it will be built alongside the Honda Civic and CR-V in Indiana.

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“The new 2019 Honda Insight signals we are entering a new era of electrification with a new generation of Honda products that offer customers the benefits of advanced powertrain technology without the traditional trade-offs in design, premium features or packaging,” said Henio Arcangeli Jr., senior vice president of Automobile Sales and general manager of the Honda Division, American Honda Motor Co. Inc. (more…)

Traditional Automakers Could Be Left Out in the Cold By the Rise of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles

Ride-sharing services could turn car manufacturing into a low-profit commodity business, says new study.

by on Jan.11, 2018

Waymo is already testing autonomous ride-sharing vehicles and will soon add fully driverless ones.

A century of growth seems likely to come to a screeching halt for the global auto industry, and that spells potentially serious trouble for major automakers, according to a new study – though the report also anticipates big opportunities for ride-sharing services.

It is widely expected that the auto industry will go through more radical changes in the coming decade or so than it has since Henry Ford fired up his first moving assembly line. Among other things, the report by the Boston Consulting Group, or BCG, anticipates that electrified vehicles will soon become commonplace, while millions of motorists in the U.S. and abroad will switch from owning a car to relying on ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber.

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So, while global auto sales will continue to grow to around 108 million annually, “We will (then) reach a plateau around 2029 or 2030,” forecast Thomas Dauner, the head of the auto practice at BCG. “An industry that has been growing over the past century will stop.”

(more…)

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance Creates $1 Bil Venture Fund

“We can’t everything ourselves,” says Ghosn.

by on Jan.10, 2018

The new fund is expected to invest about $200 million annually in new technology and services.

The Renault-Nissan- Mitsubishi Alliance will invest around $1 billion over the next five years to help it fund start-ups and other small tech companies that can help it bring to market electrified, connected and autonomous vehicle technologies, Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn announced Tuesday.

The corporate venture capital, or CVC, fund is intended not only to give the Franco-Japanese alliance access to potentially breakthrough technology but to help it make decisions more quickly than is normally the case for a big corporation, Ghosn said during a news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

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“We can do everything ourselves,” explained the Brazilian-born executive. “We have to get access to people who think about things in different ways.”

(more…)

Plug-In Vehicle Sales Surge Past 1M for 1st Time as Demand Jumps in U.S.

Shrinking battery costs, longer range, more model choices bolster sales.

by on Jan.05, 2018

The Chevrolet Bolt is now one of the world's best-selling plug-based vehicles, and GM has more coming.

Motorists around the world are showing signs they’re getting charged up by a new wave of plug-based vehicles, global sales passing 1 million for the first time ever in 2017, and U.S. demand setting a new record during the final month of the year.

Though still making up only a small fraction of worldwide motor vehicles sold last year, demand for plug-in hybrid and pure battery-electric vehicles, or PHEVs and BEVs, has been rising rapidly, according to a new report from Navigant Research. A variety of reasons get credit, including declining prices and the availability of more products, especially longer-range models like the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Tesla Model 3 and second-generation Nissan Leaf. Rising oil prices are also playing a factor.

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“Battery costs have shrunk dramatically in the last five years and promise to shrink further with the commercialization of solid-state batteries on the horizon,” says Scott Shepard, a senior research analyst with Navigant. “In addition, increasing regulatory pressure in Europe and China may well push the PEV (or plug-based vehicle) market to the aggressive end of the forecast range regardless of oil prices.”

(more…)

More Than Half of Norway’s New Cars Sold are EVs

The total is up from 40% in 2016.

by on Jan.05, 2018

In Norway, where 52% of new vehicles sold are EVs, the eGolf was among the top sellers.

In one European country, Norway, sales of electric and hybrid accounted for half of new registrations in 2017, a record fueled by subsidies that have extended the country’s push to lead in shifting from fossil-fuel engines.

Pure electric cars and hybrids, which have both battery power and a diesel or petrol motor, accounted for 52% of all new car sales last year in Norway versus 40% in 2016, the independent Norwegian Road Federation reported this week.

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“No one else is close” in terms of a national share of electric cars, OFV chief Oeyvind Solberg Thorsen said. “For the first time, we have a fossil-fuel market share below 50%.” (more…)