Archive for the ‘Electrified Vehicles’ Category

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.”

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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.

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Hyundai Plugs Into Mainstream with Long-Range Kona Electric

At 250 miles/charge, battery-ute tops Tesla Model 3,

by on Mar.28, 2018

Hyundai wasted no time in getting the battery-electric version of its new Kona compact ute in front of the people.

The race to bring out affordable, long-range battery-electric vehicles is shifting into high gear, Hyundai among an assortment of manufacturers revealing new products – or laying out plans – at this year’s New York International Auto Show.

And the Korean carmaker wasn’t pulling any punches as it pulled the wraps off the Kona Electric, the battery-powered version of its new Kona sport-utility vehicle. During a media preview, Hyundai Motor America CEO Brian Smith pointed out that is rated at 250 miles per charge, more 12 miles than the Chevrolet Volt EV and 30 more than the Tesla Model 3.

EV News!

Hyundai has, in fact, taken pains to tweak Tesla in recent weeks, warning the California carmaker it’s coming into the market with a billboard-sized banner that greeted visitors to the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month. In his Wednesday comments, meanwhile, Smith noted that Hyundai is “a company that meets its production deadlines,” a clear shot at Tesla’s ongoing production problems with the Model 3. (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.

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Here’s What Mini’s 1st All-Electric Model Will REALLY Look Like

Forget the NYIAS concept; check out this show car from Frankfurt.

by on Mar.28, 2018

Look beyond the retro Mini Electric Concept and you'll see what the British marque's first all-electric car really will look like come late 2019.

It took a little prodding and plenty of cajoling, but we’re now able to fill in some more of the blanks when it comes to the all-electric model that Mini will add to its line-up late in 2019.

As we reported Tuesday evening, the British automaker offered us a look at a retro-futuristic concept model specifically created for this year’s New York International Auto Show. But if you really want to see what the brand’s first battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, will look like you need to think back to the show car crafted for the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Electrifying!

Crafting a concept based on one of the very first, ’60s-era Minis actually makes some sense if, as Senior Vice President Sebastian Mackensen suggested, you believe that, “If Alex Issigonis, (the marques legendary founder) had invented Mini today, it would have been an electric brand.”

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Waymo Putting 20k Jaguar I-Pace EVs into New Driverless Ride-Share Service

Moving from “R&D to deployment,” despite cloud form fatal Uber crash.

by on Mar.27, 2018

Waymo and Jaguar are partnering to produce 20,000 I-Pace SUVs for next few years.

Despite a cloud created by this month’s fatal crash of an Uber autonomous vehicle prototype, Waymo today announced it will be full speed ahead as it launches what is expected to become a nationwide driverless ride-sharing service.

During a New York news conference, Waymo CEO John Krafcik revealed the Google spinoff will begin adding as many as 20,000 Jaguar I-Pace SUVs to its fleet, the battery-electric vehicles joining thousands of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans Waymo had already committed to purchase.

News Now!

Waymo has spent nearly a decade developing what many experts call the most sophisticated self-driving technology on the road, but Krafcik said his company has now “shifted our focus from research and development to operations and deployment.” (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.”

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First Drive: 2018 Hyundai Kona

Putting a little crossover through its paces on the Big Island.

by on Mar.26, 2018

The Hyundai Kona is one of the smallest of the small CUVs - but only on the outside.

So much for palm trees swaying in a sunny, South Pacific breeze. The wind is blowing, all right, but the normally desert-like Kona Coast is anything but warm and dry as we head out for a day’s drive across the Big Island of Hawaii.

Actually, we’re just fine with that, as it gives us a chance to put the new 2019 Hyundai Kona through its paces as we explore one of the most ecologically diverse places on the planet. By the time we wrap up we’ll experience just about every sort of weather one can imagine short of snow – and at the top of Saddle Road, which cuts between the currently dormant Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, even a blizzard is possible.

Reviews You Can Trust!

We’ve spent nearly 12 hours in the air flying to, yes, Kona, Hawaii to see just how well the new Kona crossover lives up our expectations. Hyundai was slow to recognize one of the most dramatic shifts in the automotive market, the rapid shift from sedans and coupes to SUVs and crossover-utility vehicles. As it rolls into dealer showrooms across the U.S. in the coming weeks, it becomes the Korean brand’s third utility vehicle, joining the compact Tucson and midsize Santa Fe – with an assortment of others, including the hydrogen-powered Nexo, to follow.

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Nissan Aims to Add 8 New EVs, Boost Electrified Vehicle Sales to 1 Mil Annually

Japanese maker also planning 20 autonomous models.

by on Mar.23, 2018

One of the new EVs will be based on the Nissan IMx concept that debuted at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.

Already the world’s largest seller of battery-electric vehicles, Nissan is targeting sales of 1 million electrified models by 2022, a five-year, six-fold increase, officials said Friday at the company’s headquarters in Yokohama.

The second-largest of Japan’s automakers also plans to add 20 new autonomous models by 2022, while having all of its vehicles, both under the Nissan and Infiniti brands, equipped with connected car technology.

Plug In - For Free!

“The heart of our strategy in terms of electrification is battery EVs and e-Power technology,” Nissan Chief Planning Officer Philippe Klein told reporters during a media briefing. E-Power is the company’s term for vehicles using gasoline engines to extend range.

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Tesla Shareholders Vote Yes on Musk’s $2.6B Compensation Plan

Total payout could exceed $55B if Tesla his all targets.

by on Mar.22, 2018

Tesla's shareholders approved the $2.6 billion compensation package for CEO Elon Musk.

Tesla Inc. shareholders told founder and CEO Elon Musk that they liked him, but not that they really, really liked him. Investors approved Musk’s compensation package by almost a 3-to-1 margin, which is lower than typical approvals.

The grant gives Musk $2.6 billion in stock options in 12 tranches, each of which vests as the company hits performance markers during the next 10 years.

Industry News!

The electric vehicle manufacturer must meet certain value targets in order for Musk to receive additional shares of Tesla stock. There is no cash compensation in the deal, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. (more…)