Posts Tagged ‘alternative-fuel vehicles’

Mirai Sets Fuel Economy Benchmark of 67 eMPG

Toyota’s new fuel cell vehicle meets daily needs.

by on Jun.30, 2015

The 2016 Toyota Mirai will debut with plenty of incentives to buy one, including three years of free fuel and app to help find fueling stations.

Much of the hubbub surrounding fuel cell vehicles focuses on, well, the “fuel.” How will you get it and how far can you go with it? The Toyota Mirai answered both of those today.

The Japanese maker said today the new fuel cell vehicle will average 67 miles per equivalent gallon and 312 miles on a full tank. The Mirai is expected to go on sale this fall in California with additional markets added later.

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“Toyota realized in the early 90’s that electrification was key to the future of the automobile,” said Jim Lentz, Toyota North America CEO, in a statement. “Just as the Prius introduced hybrid-electric vehicles to millions of customers nearly twenty years ago, the Mirai is now poised to usher in a new era of efficient, hydrogen transportation.” (more…)

Ford Going Mainstream with CNG Version of F-150

High-mileage, low-cost alternative.

by on May.04, 2015

The 2016 F-150 will offer a gaseous-fuel prep option, making it the only light-duty pickup capable of running on compressed natural gas or propane.

Ford Motor Co. will launch a new compressed natural gas version of its F-150 pickup, the first light-duty full-size truck to offer a CNG option.

The alternative fuel has become increasingly abundant thanks to the growth of fracking in the U.S. For cars and trucks, it typically offers lower operating costs – though there is a significant up-front investment, as much as $10,000 on the Ford truck. CNG also allows a buyer to maintain the towing and payload capacity of the F-150, unlike some other options.

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“We surveyed customers likely to use natural gas or propane, and 72% told us they want to have these alternative-fuel capabilities available on F-150 with the 5.0-liter V8 engine,” said Jon Coleman, Ford fleet sustainability and technology manager. “We expect the gaseous-fuel prep package will be even more popular than it was on the 2014 F-150 with the 3.7-liter V6 engine, given the capability of the 2016 F-150 5.0-liter V8.” (more…)

Toyota Baiting Mirai Buyers with Free Fuel

Japanese maker plans to have car in showrooms in October.

by on Apr.15, 2015

The Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle will hit showrooms in the U.S. this fall with free fuel to buyers.

Automakers have been providing a variety of incentives to entice buyers for decades, but Toyota’s trying to kill two birds with one stone when it comes to its new Mirai: free fuel.

The Mirai is a small four-door sedan that uses hydrogen fuel cell to generate the electricity that drives the car 300 miles on a full tank – a tank that takes just five minutes to refuel.

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First, everyone likes free fuel, but with potential Mirai buyers it’s almost a must. While hydrogen may be the most abundant gas on Earth, it’s almost non-existent when talking about fueling up a vehicle. California, where most of the Mirais will be sold, has the largest number of public fueling stations with nine, but that number is expected to rise to 20 by the end of the year. (more…)

Nearly Half of All EVs Sold in California

Ten states generate 25% of EV volume

by on Dec.11, 2014

Despite the fact that Nissan Leaf buyers don't have to pay for gas as owners of an electric vehicle, EV sales are still less than 1% of new car sales.

Nearly half of all the battery-electric vehicles sold in the United States are going to customers in California, according to a new report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, or EIA.

The report also noted that sales of plug-based vehicles, including plug-ins and pure battery-electric models, still constitute a tiny fraction of the total American vehicle fleet, with demand growing at a marginal pace despite a flood of new models.

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Along with California, motorists in Hawaii and Washington have been quickest to plug into the electric vehicle market, with at least three of every 1,000 registered vehicles in those states. In only three states – Virginia, Georgia and Oregon – have EVs reached more than two in 1,000. (more…)

Toyota Launching Hydrogen Car in December, But Honda Delays its Fuel-Cell Vehicle.

Named Mirai, Toyota betting its new entry is the "future" of clean mobility.

by on Nov.18, 2014

Toyota announced it would begin selling its Mirai hydrogen fuel car in Japan this year and the rest of the world in 2015.

Declaring plans to be “at the leading edge,” Toyota says it will launch its new hydrogen-powered Mirai next month, bringing its first fuel-cell vehicle to market a bit ahead of its original schedule.

Honda, meanwhile, revealed an updated prototype of the hydrogen car it plans to bring to market, though its own plans may be slightly delayed. Nonetheless, it would join not just Toyota but also Hyundai in marketing the alternative powertrain technology that advocates claim could sidestep the limited range and other problems faced by today’s battery-electric vehicles.

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“In time, the fuel cell vehicle will become mainstream. We wanted to take the first step,” declared Mitsuhisa Kato, a Toyota executive vice president, at Mirai’s launch in Tokyo. “We want to be at the leading edge.” (more…)

Obama Wants to Fund Energy-efficient Communities

Grants would help communities set up advanced fueling stations.

by on Mar.08, 2012

President Obama announces a new $1 billion National Community Deployment Challenge to help boost the deployment of clean, advanced vehicles all over America.

With interest in cars such as the Chevrolet Volt waning, President Barack Obama went on the offensive Wednesday, announcing a new $1 billion fund to help 15 local communities encourage greater use of energy-saving technologies.

During a visit to the Daimler Freightliner plant in Mount Holly, N.C., Obama said the country has to find a way to reduce its dependence on oil.

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“If you make a commitment to buy more advanced vehicles for your community – whether they run on electricity or biofuels or natural gas – we’ll help you cut through the red tape and build fueling stations nearby,” the president said.

But Obama said he also wants to extend tax breaks on fuel efficient cars to company trucks, such as the ones Freightliner builds. (more…)

Styling Sells – Battery Cars – More Than Mileage

Alt-fuel vehicle sales rising, but exterior design may be more important than fuel economy.

by on Jun.18, 2010

Styling sells, even when it comes to high-mileage "green" machines.

How much of a market is there for battery cars and other “green” powertrain technologies? 

The answer seems to depend on who you ask and what your basic assumptions about fuel prices are, though there’s little doubt demand for alternative fuel vehicles is growing steadily.  But concerns about such issues as rising fuel costs and global warming may not be the biggest motivators, suggests at least one new report.  Styling may be equally important.

The current year will be a milestone in the green movement, what with two significant launches scheduled for later this year: the 2011 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and the pure battery-electric Nissan Leaf.  Makers around the world are ramping up production of more conventional green powertrain vehicles, as well, Hyundai, for one, readying its first hybrid-electric vehicle for the U.S. market.

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While Volt and Leaf will come too late to make any real impact on the market, a new study by J.D. Power and Associates predicts that global sales of alternative-fuel vehicles will surge a significant 28% this year, “outpacing the 8% growth we expect in light vehicle sales.”