Archive for the ‘Hybrids’ Category

First Drive: 2019 Toyota Avalon

New model enjoys upgraded interior, and a hybrid option.

by on Apr.23, 2018

The 2019 Toyota Avalon XLE is the automaker's fifth-generation of its flagship model.

Big passenger cars have seemingly gone out of style perhaps for good.

After all Toyota admits the average age for the buyers of its full-size sedan, the Toyota Avalon, is 64, hardly the age of trend setters in our youth-oriented culture.

Reviews You Can Use!

But with the fifth-generation Avalon, which is about to reach Toyota show rooms across the country, the Japanese auto giant thinks it has found a way to bring some younger buyers with an all-new vehicle that offers more style, more power, more comfort and more features. (more…)

Walmart Set to Add Super Fast-Chargers in 34 States

Chargers will deliver up to 200 miles in 10 minutes.

by on Apr.19, 2018

The new Walmart chargers will be capable of boosting range by as much as 20 miles a minute.

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer could soon operate one of the nation’s larger vehicle charging networks.

The Arkansas-based company is partnering up with Electrify America to set up 100 fast-charger stations at stores in 34 states by mid-2019. That’s part of 2,000 chargers Electrify America aims to have in place by then at 500 stations across the U.S.

Electrifying!

“Along with providing our customers with an enhanced shopping experience through added convenience, this initiative also allows us to contribute to the expansion of our nation’s EV charging station infrastructure,” said Mark Vanderhelm, Vice President of Energy for Walmart, Inc.

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Slot Car-Like eRoad Debuts Outside Stockholm – Could Eliminate Range Anxiety

System would allow an EV to constantly stay charged.

by on Apr.16, 2018

A truck using the eRoad heads from Stockholm out towards the city's Arlanda Airport

Battery-cars are great – as long as you don’t worry about running out of power without a place to charge back up. But a consortium set up by the Swedish Transport Administration may have come up with a solution for range anxiety it has dubbed eRoadArlanda.

The pilot project, which stretches for 1.2 miles between the capital city of Stockholm with Arlanda Airport, allows electrified vehicles to draw power from an underground electrical grid so that their batteries never run down.

Electrifying News!

It works much like an oversized slot car track, explained Hans Säll, the chief executive of eRoadArlanda, who said, “There is no electricity on the surface. There are two tracks, just like an outlet in the wall. Five or six centimeters down is where the electricity is.”

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BMW Going Big at Auto China in Beijing

Automaker debuting mix of next-gen utes and concepts.

by on Apr.10, 2018

BMW plans to unveil its third-gen X3 sport-activity vehicle at Auto China in Beijing later this month.

BMW is preparing use the Auto China 2018 show in Beijing later this month to show off an array of new models, including the debut of the third generation X3, concept vehicles and developments in automotive technology.

The selection of new products on display in Beijing underscores the company’s commitment to the next steps in its electrification strategy and heralds its upcoming model offensive in the luxury segment, BMW officials said this week.

Global News!

BMW also said the displays also underscores the huge significance of China as both the world’s largest car market and the production location for a growing number of BMW models. (more…)

Cadillac Exposed!

Here's how brand boss de Nysschen plans to use a new fleet of cars, crossovers and EVs to double U.S. and Chinese sales and even – finally – crash Europe. Exclusively on TheDetroitBureau.com.

by on Apr.06, 2018

Cadillac President John de Nysschen had two big intros in NY, including the CT6 V-Sport.

Cadillac is covering both ends of the spectrum at this month’s New York International Auto Show, offering up both the new entry-luxury XT4 sport-utility vehicle, as well as a high-performance version of its flagship sedan, the new CT6 V-Sport.

The two mark the start of an unprecedented product roll-out that, Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen announced during a NYIAS news briefing, will add 11 models to the brand’s line-up by 2021. But that’s only a glimpse at what’s actually coming, the South African-born executive revealed in an exclusive interview with TheDetroitBureau.com.

The Last Word!

Long positioned as “the standard of the world,” Cadillac fell off its perch in the 1990s, dethroned by high-line European and Asian imports like Lexus, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. It’s had a few false starts in its bid to regain its former glory. But de Nysschen has put in place a do-or-die strategy that is aimed at more than doubling Caddy’s global volume with a mix of new products, advanced powertrains and a new approach to sales and service. Much will depend on the booming Chinese luxury market, but the Caddy chief is also determined to take on key rivals in their home, European market.

(more…)

Tesla Hit With NLRB Complaint Over Mass Firings

Feds probe controversial firing of nearly 1,000 employees.

by on Apr.05, 2018

Tesla's Fremont plant has faced a series of problems over the last year.

The National Labor Relations Board has filed a formal complaint against Tesla, finding merit to a series of charges involving the company’s treatment of employees over the past months, including claims that union supporters were swept out in a mass firing.

Charges, cited by the NLRB, range from terminating employees in retaliation for engaging in union and/or protected activities to unlawful interrogations of union supporters. Many of the pro-union employees were fired last fall when Tesla dismissed nearly 1,000 employees for what it described as substandard job performance.

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Unplugged?

Tesla has yet to file an answer to the complaint lodged by the NLRB but denied the allegations when the union fielded the charges last autumn. It will have to come up with a response before a trial date now set for June 11.

(more…)

EPA Rolling Back CAFE in Move Likely to Set Up Legal Battle with California

The Trump Administration wants to eliminate the California waiver and adopt one national mileage standard.

by on Apr.02, 2018

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt plans to rollback CAFE - and eliminate the CA waiver.

In a widely expected move, Trump EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has confirmed the agency will roll back the current Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, though by how much is not yet clear.

The news was largely hailed by the auto industry, which had challenged the 54.5 mpg target it initially agreed to under the Obama Administration. But the announcement drew significant criticism from consumer groups, environmentalists and, in particular, California regulators. Under current Clean Air standards, that state has the right to set its own standards which are normally even tougher than the EPA rules. But Pruitt signaled his intention of revoking that authority, something likely to touch off a legal battle that could delay any steps the EPA takes.

Breaking News!

“The Obama EPA’s determination was wrong,” Pruitt said in a statement Monday. “Obama’s EPA cut the midterm evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality and set the standards too high.”

(more…)

Luxury Plug-Ins Shift Emphasis on Performance

Emphasis shifts from mileage.

by on Apr.02, 2018

The production Aviator's fastest powertrain package will pair a turbo-six with electric drive.

When the first hybrids came to market nearly two decades ago, the emphasis was on mileage, the original Honda Insight delivering as much as 70 miles per gallon, albeit at the expense of what might be described as the fun-to-drive factor.

That approach carried over as more advanced, battery-based models came to market – and as luxury brands started to plug in with vehicles like the Cadillac ELR. Based on the Mainstream Chevrolet Volt, Caddy’s first plug-in hybrid was lavishly equipped but took almost 10 seconds to get from 0 to 60.

Performance News!

A visit to this year’s New York Auto Show will reveal a wide array of PHEVs, and among mass market brands, like Chevy, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota, fuel economy is still the primary target. But it’s another matter entirely among luxury brands, such as BMW, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. There’s no question they’re also using battery power to boost mileage, but they’re also putting a premium on performance.

(more…)

Lincoln Hopes to Take Wing with New Aviator SUV

Midsize luxury ute will offer PHEV option.

by on Mar.28, 2018

The Lincoln Aviator Concept breaks ground ahead of the opening of the NY Auto Show.

When you’re struggling to gain some altitude it helps to have a good aviator on hand. Make that Aviator, the all-new version of what had been known as the Lincoln MKT. The new model, making its debut at the New York International Auto Show, is more than just a new name, however, getting an all but complete, ground-up makeover.

One of two new SUVs coming for the brand by 2020, the new Lincoln Aviator is part of an aggressive push aimed at rebuilding a once shining star in the American luxury firmament while also helping Lincoln gain ground in what has become its fastest-growing market, China.

Insight!

That’s where the new Aviator could see the strongest demand for its optional plug-in hybrid drive system, especially considering the tough new zero-emissions mandates Chinese regulators put in place late last year.

(more…)

Honda Debuts 2019 Insight Hybrid Remake

Will 3rd-generation hybrid be the charm?

by on Mar.26, 2018

The 2019 Insight is Honda's third attempt to market a mainstream, entry-level hybrid.

Try and try again, Honda is coming back with a third-generation Insight hybrid and hoping it finally has found the formula after widely missing the mark with two earlier versions.

The Japanese automakers offered a first look at a thinly disguised “concept” version of the ’19 Insight during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Now, the production model is rolling into the Big Apple. And the model making its debut at the New York International Auto Show adopts a much more conventional appearance – as well as the latest in Honda hybrid technology.

Product News!

“The Honda Insight shows consumers that the efficiency of a hybrid car doesn’t mean sacrificing style, refinement or performance,” said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “The Insight is another symbol of a new era in the evolution of Honda electrified vehicles, where customers can have everything they want with no compromises.”

(more…)

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