[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
More details on Mitsubishi’s three hybrid concepts: two PHEVs and one 48V mild hybrid
March 06, 2014
Mitsubishi Motors (MMC) is showcasing its three new hybrid drive concepts—two plug-ins and one 48V mild hybrid—at the Geneva Motor Show. The three vehicles were introduced earlier at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show (earlier post).
Concept GC-PHEV. Concept GC-PHEV (for “Grand Cruiser”) is a next-generation full-time 4WD full-size SUV, fitted with an advanced plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) powertrain. Applying Outlander PHEV’s engineering fundamentals to a much bigger, more powerful, all-terrain (where legal) high-end full-size SUV, Concept GC-PHEV develops plug-in hybrid electric powertrain technology further.
Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 Le Mans prototype makes its debut at Geneva Show
|Porsche 919 Hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
The Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP1 Le Mans prototype made its premiere at the Geneva Motor Show. The hybrid prototype will be joined by the Porsche 911 RSR at the Porsche exhibition in Geneva as well as at all eight races of the World Endurance Championship (WEC), the season highlight of which will be the 24 hours of Le Mans.
Porsche 919 Hybrid development began in the middle of 2011 on a blank sheet of paper. With a 16-year absence from the LMP1 class, Porsche engineers have had to develop the racecar without the same experience of their competitors. However, the experience acquired in racing the 911 GT3 R Hybrid (earlier post) and production of the 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid (earlier post) has directly translated to the 919 Hybrid.
Subaru shows VIZIV-2 diesel plug-in hybrid concept; independent rear-motor driven Symmetrical AWD
March 05, 2014
|VIZIV-2. Click to enlarge.|
Subaru returned to the Geneva Motor Show with the VIZIV-2 plug-in hybrid concept. The automaker unveiled the first version of the VIZIV concept at the 2013 Geneva show (earlier post), followed by the VIZIV Evolution Concept at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.
The plug-in hybrid system combines a 1.6-liter diesel Horizontally-Opposed direct injection turbo (DIT) Boxer engine; high-torque-compatible Lineartronic (CVT) automatic transmission; one front electric motor; and two rear electric motors with vectoring. Subaru’s new independent rear motor-driven Symmetrical AWD system developed for VIZIV-2 points to a future generation of Subaru AWD technology.
Toyota Europe hybrid sales up 43% year-on-year in 2013; almost 18.5% of total TME sales, 28% in W. Europe
March 04, 2014
At the Geneva Motor Show, Toyota Motor Europe (TME) announced that European sales of hybrid vehicles reached an all-time high in 2013 totaling 156,863 units, up 43% year-on-year. Hybrid models now represent 18.5% total TME sales, including several countries outside of the EU. In Western Europe, 28% of all Toyota and Lexus vehicles sold are hybrid models.
In 2013 total Toyota Motor Europe sales reached 847,540 vehicles, an increase of 9,569 units from 2012, equalling a 0.2 percentage point share gain to 4.7%. This progress is mainly due to the excellent sales performance of hybrid models.
Kia introduces new mild hybrid powertrain, 7-speed DCT
|Kia’s 48V mild hybrid system uses a lead-carbon battery. Click to enlarge.|
Kia revealed a new mild hybrid powertrain as well as its new 7-speed DCT at the Geneva Motor Show. (Earlier post.) Developed by Kia’s European R&D centre, the new hybrid system employs a 48V lead-carbon battery, which powers a small electric motor to increase the engine’s power output and cut exhaust emissions. The mild hybrid powertrain will be available on new diesel and gasoline production cars from Kia in the near future.
The development team behind the mild hybrid powertrain selected lead-carbon batteries over lithium-ion equivalents as they require no active cooling, are more easily recyclable at the end of the vehicle’s life and can function much more efficiently in sub-zero temperatures.
Volkswagen to introduce Passat Plug-in hybrid “soon”; Group electrifying more than 40 more models over next few years
In remarks before the opening of the Geneva Motora Show, Volkswagen Group Chairman of the Board of Management Prof. Dr. Winterkorn said that a plug-in hybrid version of the Volkswagen Passat would join the Group’s range of low-CO2 vehicles “soon.”
In his remarks, Winterkorn noted that Group research and development expenditure rose by 15% last year to the record value of €10.2 billion (US $14 billion), with the “lion’s share going to green technologies.” Winterkorn said that the Group was reinforcing its objective to become the world’s leading automaker, also in ecological terms, by 2018.
Honda to end production of the Insight hybrid, commits to the expansion of hybrid offerings in the US
March 01, 2014
|Annual sales of the second-generation Honda Insight. Data: Honda. Click to enlarge.|
Honda announced that while the US model Insight will be available at dealerships in the US through the end of the year, production of the hybrid will end in summer 2014.
Honda said the move reflects its reinforced commitment to a clear product strategy focused on further advancing fuel-efficient and alternative-fuel vehicle technologies that are better aligned with customer needs and that strengthen the company’s US sales momentum. The Insight, introduced in 2009, had posted steadily decreasing sales, from a high of 20,962 units in 2010 down to 4,802 units in 2013.
Flybrid flywheel KERS to be integrated into a manual gearbox by Lotus-led consortium
February 27, 2014
The UK’s Technology Strategy Board has awarded Torotrak, in collaboration with lead technology partner Lotus Cars, a grant to develop a new application of the Flybrid KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) technology for integration into a manual gearbox. (Torotrak completed its acquisition of Flybrid in January. Earlier post.)
The project is valued at £4.3 million (US$7.2 million) to the consortium members and will be part-funded by the Technology Strategy Board grant, with a value of works undertaken by the Torotrak Group directly of approximately £0.7 million (US$1.2 million) over the course of the project. It will run for approximately 24 months from its commencement in the second quarter of 2014 and will see the lightweight, race-proven Flybrid KERS technology installed into one of Lotus’s signature performance road cars.
Magna to introduce lightweight natural gas vehicle concept at Geneva; less than 49 gCO2/km
February 26, 2014
|MILA Blue. Click to enlarge.|
To showcase its capabilities, global automotive supplier Magna International Inc. will showcase the MILA Blue vehicle concept at the Geneva Motor Show 2014. MILA Blue is a natural-gas powered, A-segment lightweight vehicle that produces less than 49g CO2/km.
MILA Blue, the seventh concept vehicle in the MILA family, represents a new lightweight design approach. Realized through a combination of an optimized vehicle architecture and lightweight design concepts as well as novel materials and joining technologies, MILA Blue achieves a weight savings of 300 kg (661 lbs) compared to typical current A-segment vehicles.
New Fuso Canter with EcoEfficiency; up to 9% more fuel efficient; new hybrid
February 25, 2014
|Fuso Canter 7C15 Eco Hybrid, box body. Click to enlarge.|
Mitsubishi Fuso, 90% owned by Daimler AG, has improved the performance of its Fuso Canter light-duty truck. With 140,000 units produced worldwide, the Fuso Canter is an international hit in the light-duty-truck sector and easily the best-selling truck model at Daimler Trucks. The new Canter is up to 9% more economical than its predecessor, depending on variant and field of application. At the same time, CO2 emissions have been reduced by a similar amount.
The new Canter offers compliance with Euro 5b+ emissions for the light versions up to 6.0 t permissible GVW and Euro VI for the heavy versions. The “EcoEfficiency” models combined a number of measures available as standard for all Canter model variants. These include higher injection pressure for even more efficient fuel combustion; low-friction engine oil to reduce in-engine friction; an electromagnetic fan clutch; an optimized cooling system; a start/stop system for the engine; a new axle ratio configuration; low rolling-resistance tires for the Euro VI models; and reduced friction losses in the transmission with manual gearshift.
Ricardo launches pre-production prototype of high-speed flywheel energy storage for off-road equipment
|200 kJ capacity TorqStor prototype to be shown at CONEXPO. Click to enlarge.|
Ricardo will introduce TorqStor—the latest generation of Ricardo’s high speed flywheel energy storage technology—at the CONEXPO 2014 show in Las Vegas as a pre-production prototype for OEM product integration.
Ricardo’s TorqStor technology combines a modular, high-efficiency, carbon-fibre composite construction flywheel with a magnetic coupling and gearing system to provide for a scalable range of energy storage capacities for different equipment applications. The magnetic coupling also enables the unit to operate in a permanently sealed vacuum and permits ease of in-field maintenance for high availability applications.
Oerlikon Fairfield introducing off-highway hybrid electric drivetrain technology; up to 30% fuel economy improvement
February 24, 2014
Oerlikon Fairfield will unveil its new patent-pending off-highway hybrid electric drivetrain technology at the upcoming ConExpo-Con/Agg trade show from March 4-8 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The drivetrain technology utilizes a Tier 3 or Tier 4 engine driving a 227kW switch reluctance generator with step-up gearing to produce electrical energy. Alternators and starter motors are eliminated to improve system reliability.
Volkswagen to introduce Golf plug-in hybrid at Geneva; first deliveries in autumn
February 21, 2014
|Golf GTE plug-in hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen will formally unveil the Golf GTE—a new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the Golf hatchback combining electric mobility with the dynamics of a Golf GTI—at the Geneva Motor Show next month. The GTE marks the fifth drive type for the Golf, which is already available with gasoline, diesel, natural gas, and battery-electric drives, varying with markets. Golf GTE will arrive at dealers in the first markets world-wide in autumn 2014.
The Golf GTE packages a 1.4-liter 150 PS (148 hp, 110 kW) TSI direct-injection gasoline engine with a 75 kW electric motor; combined system power is 204 PS (150 hp), with torque of 350 N·m (258 lb-ft). Using the electric motor alone, the GTE is capable of speeds of 81 mph (130 km/h); with the TSI engine as well, the Golf GTE can accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 7.6 seconds and on to 135 mph (217 km/h).
Update on Nissan’s 1-motor, 2-clutch hybrid system
February 20, 2014
Nissan’s 1-motor, 2-clutch parallel hybrid system (1M2CL), first introduced in 2010 for the rear-wheel drive Infiniti M35 Hybrid (earlier post), has since grown into its second-generation rear-wheel drive system as well as spawned a front-wheel drive variant with CVT (earlier post). The system and its offshoots are now applied in 4 Infiniti and Nissan hybrid vehicles—Q50, Q70, QX60 and Pathfinder.
At the recent SAE 2014 Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Technologies Symposium, Tomoaki Momose, manager of powertrain development from Nissan Technical Center North America, gave an update on the technical evolution of the core hybrid system.
BMW provides initial look at X5 eDrive plug-in hybrid prototype
|BMW X5 plug-in hybrid prototype at Efficient Dynamics Innovation Days 2014. Click to enlarge.|
At BMW’s Efficient Dynamics Innovation Days 2014 in Germany, the company provided the first opportunities for test-driving the BMW X5 eDrive plug-in hybrid (PHEV) prototype (earlier post). BMW also presented the first four-cylinder member of its new EfficientDyanamics engine family—the 2.0-liter unit would serve as the engine component in a future production X5 eDrive PHEV—as well as ideas for future solutions in the field of lightweight design, aerodynamics and thermal management.
Powertrain technology is key to BMW’s EfficientDynamics strategy, with a dual focus on the continuous evolution of conventional internal combustion engines on the one hand and the development of alternative drive concepts on the other. As well as achieving significant emissions reductions based on continuous evolutionary advances of the TwinPower Turbo gasoline and diesel engines, future BMW core brand models will also benefit from the transfer of new electrified drive technology (BMW eDrive) developed by the BMW i sub-brand.
CPT presenting two papers at SAE World Congress on SpeedStart and TIGERS for 48V mild hybrid systems
February 18, 2014
Controlled Power Technologies (CPT) will deliver two technical papers at SAE World Congress in April on its SpeedStart torque assist and kinetic energy recovery system (earlier post) and TIGERS turbine integrated gas energy recovery system (earlier post) for 48V mild hybrid vehicles.
The switched reluctance (SR) motor-based SpeedStart and TIGERS technology are being incorporated into the recently announced Advanced Diesel Electric Powertrain project known as ADEPT. (Earlier post.) ADEPT combines the two technologies, which have been demonstrated individually but not yet as an integrated system, applying the low voltage concept of ‘intelligent electrification’ for the first time to a diesel car. For the ADEPT project, the consortium comprises CPT, the European Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (EALABC), Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies, Ford and the University of Nottingham. The management of the project is being handled by Ricardo.
Peugeot showing new 108, new engines, new HYbrid Air implementation at Geneva Show
February 17, 2014
Peugeot will unveil two all-new models—the 108, successor to the popular 107; and the 308 SW—and two new engine technologies—the 1.2-liter PureTech e-THP three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engines and new BlueHDi diesel emissions technology, to appear on several versions of PEUGEOT 308, 308 SW and 508—at the forthcoming Geneva Motor Show.
The company will also showcase a 2008 HYbrid Air crossover—an implementation of Peugeot’s HYbrid Air hybrid system (earlier post) in a 2008 Crossover. HYbrid Air is a full-hybrid solution combining compressed air and hydraulic power, with no battery required for energy storage. Hybrid Air combines a PureTech gasoline engine, a compressed air energy storage unit, a hydraulic pump/motor unit and an automatic transmission with an epicyclic gear train.
Magnetic eCVT could replace conventional hybrid mechanical eCVT with likely 1-2% fuel economy improvement and other benefits
February 12, 2014
|MAGSPLIT is intended to replace mechanical eCVTs with a combination motor/magnetic gear. Source: Magnomatics. Click to enlarge.|
At the SAE 2014 Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Technologies Symposium in San Diego, Chris Kirby, founder and Managing Director of UK-based Magnomatics, presented an overview of the company’s second-generation MAGSPLIT (Magnetic Power Split) eCVT system, a compact magnetic transmission designed to replace both the mechanical planetary gearset and motor/generator that form a typical hybrid powersplit system.
Preliminary testing results of a prototype of the magnetic eCVT presented at the conference suggest a likely 1-2% improvement in fuel consumption compared to a conventional hybrid system, along with the benefits of reduced system complexity, no lubrication, low battery charge swing (allowing either downsizing the battery or extending the life of the original size) and compact packaging. Much further testing and optimization remains to be done, Kirby noted.
Toyota recalling about 701,000 Gen 3 Prius vehicles in US over software issue in inverter assembly
Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., is advising the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of plans to conduct voluntary safety recalls of approximately 701,000 Model Year 2010-2014 Prius vehicles to update the motor/generator control ECU and hybrid control ECU software. This is part of a global recall for the issue.
According to the information Toyota is providing Prius customers in the US, the problem resides in the Intelligent Power Module (IPM), which is inside the Hybrid Inverter Assembly. The inverter converts high-voltage direct current (DC) stored in the high-voltage (HV) battery into high-voltage alternating current (AC) for the motor/generator. It also converts AC into DC during regenerative braking for storage in the HV battery. According to Toyota, due to problems with the software, certain transistors in the IPM could become damaged when operating the vehicle under high-load driving conditions, such as accelerating during highway driving.
Honda recalls Fit Hybrids and Vezel Hybrids in Japan; 3rd recall due to problems with 7-speed DCT
February 10, 2014
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced a voluntary recall of the all-new Fit Hybrid (earlier post) and Vezel Hybrid (earlier post) produced in Japan from July 2013 through February 2014 due to a problem with the software program controlling the 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) which could cause non-engagement of gears, a delay in the ability to begin driving or the inability to move at all. Honda notified Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of the recall with a total recall population of 81,353 units.
Honda conducted two earlier recalls in October and December 2013 due to a defect with the software program controlling the 7-speed DCT which could have caused a delay in the ability to drive the vehicle or the inability to drive. This latest recall is this the third related to problems with the 7-speed DCT. Each recall was due to a different cause.
IHS Automotive forecasts global production of plug-in vehicles to rise by 67% this year
February 04, 2014
|Global electric vehicle production forecast for 2014. Source: IHS Automotive. Click to enlarge.|
Driven by tighter emission standards in Europe, worldwide production of plug-in electric vehicles(PEVs)—including both battery-electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models—will increase by 67% this year, according to IHS Automotive, driven by Polk. The jump in the PEV market this year contrasts with an expected 3.6% rise in global manufacturing of all motor vehicles expected in 2014.
Total production of PEVs is projected to rise to more than 403,000 this year, up from slightly more than 242,000 in 2013. Growth will accelerate sharply from the 44% increase in 2013, based on data from the new IHS Automotive Hybrid-EV Portal. In December 2013, IHS projected total global automotive sales in 2014 of 85 million, roughly resulting in an expected approximate 0.5% share for PEVs in the global market this year.
New Toyota TS040 racing hybrid features new V8 all-wheel drive hybrid system with supercap energy storage
February 03, 2014
Since 2012, Toyota has been racing its TS030 Hybrid, equipped with a full racing hybrid system, in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). (Earlier post.) Participating in all eight races and with two wins last year, Toyota plans to enter all races this year with two new TS040 vehicles from Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) designed to meet changes in this year’s vehicle rules. Toyota hopes to achieve its first win in this year’s Le Mans 24-hour race, the third race in the WEC series.
The THS-R (Toyota Hybrid System―Racing) powertrain, developed at Toyota’s Higashi-Fuji Technical Center in Japan, incorporates a new hybrid system equipped with a new V8 engine and an Aisin AW motor/generator on the front axle in combination with the DENSO unit at the rear to better power all four wheels to meet changes in vehicle rules this year.
Hino and DENSO develop the world’s first electric refrigerator system for heavy-duty trucks powered by a hybrid unit
January 31, 2014
|Hino Profia with an electric refrigerator system. Click to enlarge.|
Hino Motors, Ltd., a Toyota Group company, and DENSO Corporation have jointly developed the first electric refrigerator system for heavy-duty trucks using a hybrid unit. This system is being applied in the Hino Profia, which will be released on 1 February in Japan; Hino is targeting annual sales of 180 units.
Hybrid trucks conventionally use energy generated from hybrid systems to assist the vehicle’s driving. However, this new truck uses energy from hybrid unit only for the new electric refrigeration system. The compact and light-weight hybrid unit—also applied in the Hino Dutro Hybrid (Hino 300 outside of Japan)—was optimized as an energy source for this new refrigerator. With the combination of Hino’s hybrid powertrain system technology and DENSO’s electric refrigerator system technology, the two companies have developed a high-quality refrigerator system that helps improve fuel economy, improves refrigeration performance, and is quieter when operating.
China Yuchai introduces 8 new diesel engines for on-road and off-road applications; plug-in hybrid model
January 27, 2014
China Yuchai International Limited’s main operating subsidiary, Guangxi Yuchai Machinery Company Limited (GYMCL), unveiled 8 new engine models for truck, construction and marine applications.
To better meet the needs of the truck and bus markets in China, several new engine models were introduced, all meeting the National IV emission standards (comparable to Euro IV). The new YC4E-48 is a light-truck diesel engine for urban logistical uses, special purpose vehicles and other vehicles focused on short- to mid-range transportation. This model uses a two-valve cylinder head combined with a Bosch common rail system paired with EGR, DOC and POC technologies. Its power range covers 103-118 kW (138-158 hp).
Schaeffler demo vehicle hits 2020 CAFE targets without electrification; 15% cut in fuel consumption; 48V hybrid system for 2025
|Schaeffler Efficient Future Mobility North America demo vehicle in Detroit. Click to enlarge.|
At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Schaeffler highlighted its range of fuel-efficiency technologies and systems in the form of its current demonstration vehicle: Efficient Future Mobility North America. Based on the current version of a popular mid-size SUV, the demonstration vehicle achieves the limit values specified by the CAFE standard for 2020 with no additional electrification of the powertrain.
The use and optimization of a range of Schaeffler technologies allowed the vehicle’s fuel consumption to be reduced by 15%. These values were initially simulated using Schaeffler calculation programs and verified by Schaeffler’s experts in North America using measurements and test cycles, and then certified by an independent testing institute.
CMU researchers find controlled charging of PHEVs can cut cost of integration into electricity system by 54-73%; higher benefits with wind power
January 24, 2014
In a new study published in the journal Applied Energy, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) researchers found that controlled charging of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) reduces the costs of integrating the vehicles into an electricity system by 54–73% depending on the scenario.
More specifically, controlled charging can cut the cost of integrating PHEVs approximately in half. The magnitude of these savings is ~5% to 15% higher in a system with 20% wind penetration compared to a system with no wind power, and the savings are 50–60% higher in a system that requires capacity expansion.
DOE to award $49.4M for advanced vehicle technologies research; meeting Tier 3 emissions
January 22, 2014
The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award $49.4 million to projects to to accelerate research and development of new vehicle technologies. The new program-wide funding opportunity (DE-FOA-0000991) (earlier post), was announced by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz at the Washington Auto Show.
The funding opportunity will contains a total of 13 areas of interest in the general areas of advanced light-weighting; advanced battery development; power electronics; advanced heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems; advanced powertrains (including the ability to meet proposed EPA Tier 3 tailpipe emissions standards); and fuels and lubricants. These areas of interest apply to light, medium and heavy duty on-road vehicles.
Renault Energy’s Sport F1 hybrid Power Unit; competing with intelligent energy management, not just power
|Exploded view of the parts of the power unit: 1.6l turbocharged V6 engine; battery; turbocharger; MGU-K; and MGU-H. Click to enlarge.|
Renault’s Energy F1-2014 hybrid Power Unit (earlier post), designed and developed for the FIA Formula One World Championship this year, is ready for the track; the 2014 season kicks off in Australia on 16 March. New FIA regulations are driving energy efficiency levels higher this year, with two types of energy propelling the cars. The internal combustion engine will produce power through consumption of traditional carbon-based fuel, while electrical energy will be harvested from both exhaust and braking by two discrete motor generator units. Teams and drivers will balance the use of the two types of energy throughout the race.
This year, the power unit is divided into six separate elements: Engine (ICE); Motor generator unit-kinetic (MGU-K); Motor generator unit-heat (MGU-H); Energy store (ES); Turbocharger (TC); and Control electronics (CE). The combination of the 1.6-liter turbocharged direct injection V6 engine (maximum speed of 15,000 rpm) with the two motor generator units and battery energy store delivers combined maximum power output of 760 bhp (567 kW), on a par with the previous V8 generation.
Toyota launches fully redesigned Voxy and Noah minivans in Japan; class-first hybrid system
January 20, 2014
|Noah G (hybrid model with options). Click to enlarge.|
In Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation launched the completely redesigned Voxy minivan through Netz dealers, and the completely redesigned Noah minivan through Toyota Corolla dealers; hybrid models are scheduled for release on 14 February. Monthly sales targets for Japan are 4,600 units for Voxy and 3,400 units for Noah.
For the hybrid variants, a 2ZR-FXE 1.8-liter Atkinson cycle combustion engine, evolved and matured from the third-generation Prius, together with a class-first full hybrid system (THS II with reduction gear) achieves fuel economy of 23.8 km/L (56 mpgUS, 4.2 l/100 km) and CO2 emissions of 98 g/km under the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s (MLIT) JC08 test cycle.
Worldwide sales of Toyota hybrids top 6 million units
January 15, 2014
|Annual global sales of TMC hybrids. Click to enlarge.|
Cumulative global sales of Toyota’s hybrid vehicles topped the 6 million unit mark as of 31 December 2013, reaching 6.072 million units. The latest million-unit milestone was achieved in the fastest time yet for Toyota, taking just nine months.
As of this month, Toyota sells 24 hybrid passenger car models and one plug-in hybrid model in approximately 80 countries and regions around the world. Within the next two years, Toyota will launch a total of 15 new hybrid vehicles worldwide, including the new Harrier Hybrid in Japan on 15 January and the new Highlander Hybrid in the United States in the near future.
BYD launches Qin plug-in hybrid in China
|BYD Qin. Click to enlarge.|
BYD has officially launched its Qin plug-in hybrid in China; the performance-based hybrid car is intended to target key world markets. European availability of a similar but probably renamed model is planned for early 2015.
The dual mode Qin can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.9 seconds and has a top speed of 185 km/h (115 mph) with a claimed overall fuel consumption of up to 1.6 L/100 km (147 mpgUS). The Qin can be driven in pure electric mode for up to 70 km (44 miles). For long distance journeys the car uses its 1.5TID gasoline engine.
Audi wheeling out all-road shooting brake plug-in hybrid concept at Detroit show; the first e-tron quattro
January 12, 2014
|Shooting brake concept. Click to enlarge.|
Audi will unveil an all-road shooting brake plug-in hybrid concept at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The two-door car is a crossover; its hybrid drive demonstrates a new form of quattro drive—the e-tron quattro.
The Audi allroad shooting brake represents the first time that Audi has combined the all-road and e-tron form languages. The compact crossover plug-in hybrid has a low fuel consumption figure of 1.9 liters of fuel per 100 km (123.8 mpgUS), equivalent to 45 g CO2 per km (72.42 g/mile) based on the relevant ECE standard. Its total driving range is up to 820 km (510 miles).
Swiss WTW study finds important role for alternative fuels as well as alt drivetrains in move to low-emissions vehicles
January 03, 2014
|WTW energy demand and GHG emissions for EV and PHEV drivetrains for various electricity sources; gasoline ICE vehicle is solid square, hybrid the hollow square. Click to enlarge.|
A comprehensive analysis of well-to-wheel (WTW) primary energy demand and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the operation of conventional and alternative passenger vehicle drivetrains in Switzerland has concluded that alternative combustion fuels—not only alternative drivetrains such as PEVs or FCVs—play an important role in the transition towards low-emission vehicles.
The study by a team at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, reported in the Journal of Power Sources, is novel in three respects, the researchers said. First, it considers the performance of both mature and novel hydrogen production processes, multiple electricity generation pathways and several alternative drivetrains. Second, it is specific to Switzerland. Third, the analysis offers a novel comparison of drivetrain and energy carrier production pathways based on natural resource categories.
Ford unveils C-MAX Solar Energi concept; “plug-in” hybrid not dependent on electric grid can fully recharge from sun
January 02, 2014
Ford Motor Company announced the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept, a sun-powered hybrid vehicle that can deliver the efficiency of a plug-in hybrid without depending on the electric grid for recharging. Instead of recharging its battery from an electrical outlet, Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept uses a special Fresnel lens-based solar concentrator as a stationary canopy working with solar panels on the vehicle roof to recharge directly from the sun.
The concept vehicle uses a day’s worth of sunlight to deliver the same performance as the conventional C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid (earlier post), which draws its power from the electric grid. Ford C-MAX Energi gets a combined EPA-estimated 108 MPGe city and 92 MPGe highway, for a combined 100 MPGe. C-MAX Solar Energi Concept, which will be shown at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, is a collaborative project of Ford, SunPower Corp. and Georgia Tech.
Audi to unveil Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept plug-in hybrid at CES; 700 hp and 94 mpg
|Audi Sport quattro laserlight concept. Click to enlarge.|
Audi will present the Audi Sport quattro laserlight plug-in hybrid concept at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) from 6 to 10 January in Las Vegas. The coupe represents a new evolutionary stage of the Sport quattro concept (earlier post).
The e-tron powertrain delivers 515 kW (700 hp) of system power with 2.5 l/100 km (94.09 US mpg) fuel economy, equivalent to CO2 emissions of 59 g/km (94.95 g/mile); higher performance laser headlights; and new user control and display interfaces and lighting technology. The plug-in hybrid system torque is 800 N·m (590 lb-ft). Power flows via a modified eight-speed tiptronic to the quattro drivetrain, which features a sport differential at the rear axle. The combustion engine is a four-liter V8 with biturbo charging; it produces 412 kW (560 hp) of power and 700 N·m (516 lb-ft) of torque. The cylinder on demand (COD) system, which deactivates four cylinders under part load and a start-stop system contribute to the engine’s efficiency.
Honda begins sales of new VEZEL and VEZEL hybrid in Japan
December 20, 2013
|VEZEL HYBRID. Click to enlarge.|
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. began sales of the VEZEL in Japan today. Honda says that the VEZEL fuses the dynamic qualities of an SUV, the elegance of a coupe, the functionality of a minivan and excellent fuel economy.
The conventional VEZEL is equipped with a 1.5L direct-injection DOHC i-VTEC engine coupled to a CVT, as is available in front-wheel and four-wheel drive versions. The VEZEL HYBRID is equipped with Honda’s next-generation SPORT HYBRID i-DCD system (earlier post) that combines a 97 kW (130 hp), 156 N·m (115 lb-ft) 1.5 L direct injection engine with a 22 kW (30 hp), 160 N·m (118 lb-ft) motor. The realized maximum system output of 112 KW (150 hp) is equivalent to that of a 2.0-liter engine.
New Mercedes-Benz C-Class drops weight, adds new engines, diesel hybrid, w/ plug-in to come; up to 20% cut in fuel consumption
December 16, 2013
|The new C-Class. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz has launched its new C-Class, featuring a lightweight design concept with weight savings of up to 100 kg (220 lbs); excellent aerodynamics; and new, economical engines along with a hybrid model. The C-Class is the top-selling model series from Mercedes-Benz; sales of the preceding model, which was launched in 2007, total more than 2.4 million.
Ordering for the C-Class sedan have begun in Europe, with the model range initially comprising the C180, the C200; and the diesel C220 BlueTEC. All are equipped with the ECO start/stop function and comply with the Euro 6 emissions standard. They also cut fuel consumption by up to 20% compared with the preceding model. The US market launches with two C-Class models: C300 4MATIC and C400 4MATIC.
EIA: light duty vehicle energy consumption to drop 25% by 2040; increased oil production, vehicle efficiency reduce US oil and liquid imports
Reflecting slow growth in travel and accelerated vehicle efficiency improvements, US light-duty vehicle (LDV, cars and light trucks) energy use will decline sharply between 2012 and 2040, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA’s) Annual Energy Outlook 2014 (AEO2014) Reference case released today.
AEO2014 includes a new, detailed demographic profile of driving behavior by age and gender as well as new lower population growth rates based on updated Census projections. As a result, annual increases in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in LDVs average 0.9% from 2012 to 2040, compared to 1.2% per year over the same period in AEO2013. The rising fuel economy of LDVs more than offsets the modest growth in VMT, resulting in a 25% decline in LDV energy consumption decline between 2012 and 2040 in the AEO2014 Reference case.
ExxonMobil Outlook: 35% growth in energy demand by 2040; hybrids to account for ~50% of new vehicle sales
December 15, 2013
|By 2040, hybrids are expected to account for about 35% of the global light-duty vehicle fleet, up from less than 1% in 2010. Hybrids are expected to account for about half of global new-car sales by 2040. Source: ExxonMobil. Click to enlarge.|
Driven by increasing population, urbanization and rising living standards, the world will require some 35% more energy in 2040, according to ExxonMobil’s annual forecast report: Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040. Anticipated population growth will reach nearly 9 billion in 2040 from about 7 billion today, and the global economy is projected to double—at an annual growth rate of nearly 3%—largely in the developing world.
Demand for energy in non-OECD nations will grow by about two-thirds, accounting for essentially all of the increase in global energy use. ExxonMobil projects that meeting future energy demand will be supported by more efficient energy-saving practices and technologies; increased use of less-carbon-intensive fuels such as natural gas, nuclear and renewables; as well as the continued development of technology advances to develop new energy sources. Without the projected gains in efficiency, global energy demand could have risen by more than 100%.
EPA trends report sees record levels of average new vehicle fuel economy and CO2 emissions for MY 2012; role of new gasoline vehicle technologies
December 13, 2013
Average new vehicle CO2 emissions rate and fuel economy in the US achieved record levels in MY 2012, and have improved in 7 of the last 8 years, according to the newly released Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 - 2013 (the annual “Trends” report) from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The majority of the emissions and fuel savings from current vehicles, EPA noted, is due to new gasoline vehicle technologies.
The final model year (MY) 2012 adjusted, real world CO2 emissions rate is 376 g/mi—a 22 g/mi decrease (-5.5%) relative to MY 2011. MY 2012 adjusted fuel economy is 23.6 mpg (9.97 l/100 km), which is 1.2 mpg higher (+5.4%) than MY 2011. Both values represent all-time records since the database began in MY 1975, and the authors of the report believe that these represent historical records as well. The 1.2 mpg fuel economy improvement from MY 2011 to MY 2012 is the second largest annual improvement in the last 30 years.
Torotrak to acquire remaining 80% of Flybrid for up to £23M; targeting commercial launch of M-KERS in 2015
|Torotrak’s M-KERS unit. Click to enlarge.|
Supercharger, kinetic energy recovery and transmission specialist Torotrak will acquire, pending shareholder approval, the remaining 80% of flywheel hybrid innovator Flybrid for up to £23.0 million (US$37.4 million), of which £15.0 million (US$24.4 million) is subject to performance targets. Torotrak had acquired 20% of its partner in March of this year. (Earlier post.)
Torotrak uses Flybrid’s flywheel module in its Mechanical Kinetic Energy Recovery System (M-KERS). M-KERS captures and stores energy that is otherwise lost during vehicle deceleration events. The integration of Flybrid and Torotrak provides a platform for a joint development and commercial launch of M-KERS, Torotrak said. The group intends to exploit what it sees as a market window from 2015 to 2020 in which new technologies are being demanded to achieve new EU CO2 targets applying to vehicle manufacturers’ overall fleets.
New Audi R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 racer integrates two hybrid systems, kinetic and thermal
December 12, 2013
|Audi R18 e-tron quattro 2014. Click to enlarge.|
Audi has released initial details on its new 2014-generation Audi R18 e-tron quattro LMP1 Le Mans prototype racer. Although the new diesel hybrid sports car appears like a continuous further development of the World Championship winning car and Le Mans winner of the past two years, due to the new LMP1 regulations that will come into effect in 2014, Audi Sport redeveloped every component.
In the new Technical Regulations, a large number of principal definitions, which concern the powertrain, body dimensions, safety and aerodynamics, were re-determined. With the new R18, Audi Sport has opted for a similar concept as in the past—albeit with new detailed solutions and an additional hybrid system. Powertrain elements include:
New Bosch start-stop system with coasting mode can reduce fuel consumption by up to another 10%
December 11, 2013
Bosch has developed a new start-stop system with coasting mode; the system stops the engine when the vehicle is traveling at speed, helping to reduce fuel consumption by up to 10%. The function can be combined with any type of combustion engine.
First generation start-stop systems stop an engine only when the vehicle is completely stationary; enhanced versions of this start-stop system cut the engine as soon as the vehicle is coasting to a halt—e.g., at a red light. In contrast, as soon as the driver’s foot is off both the gas and the brake pedal, vehicles equipped with the new start-stop coasting function stop the engine while the vehicle is in motion. Because the engine is disengaged, the vehicle can coast for longer than it could with an overrun fuel cutoff system, for example.
Ricardo report finds hybrid buses have higher regulated emission intensities than conventional buses; need for whole vehicle testing
December 09, 2013
While technologies for low carbon buses such as hybridization offer the prospect of significant reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to conventionally powered vehicles, the improvement in terms of regulated emissions (criteria pollutants) may not be as great, according to a new report by Ricardo. Local emissions from buses are of particular significance, as the vehicles mainly operate in urban areas.
The UK’s Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) commissioned the review of the air quality impacts arising from the recent rapid increase in the number of low carbon buses in the UK, a result of subsidies provided through the Government’s Green Bus Funds. The UK now has around 1,300 low carbon buses in operation. The new report recommends that the legislation needs to consider hybrid technology impacts in the test processes to avoid potential unintended consequences in terms of local emissions.
Anderman report sees strongest growth for full-hybrid systems; Li-ion batteries for hybrids may be in short supply
November 22, 2013
Low-cost 14V micro hybrid systems and full (strong) hybrid (i.e., systems with limited electric drive) architectures at 140-300V are entering strong growth phases, while the future of intermediate systems—those falling between the high-voltage full hybrids and the low-voltage stop-start systems—is less clear, according to “Assessing the Future of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles: The 2014 xEV Industry Insider Report” by Dr. Menahem Anderman of Advanced Automotive Batteries (AAB), to be released next week.
The 170-page report also finds that while the combined global EV and plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) market share is expected to grow to about 1.5% of total vehicle sales by 2020, the more significant story is the rapid expansion of strong-hybrid vehicles led by Toyota, Ford, and Honda, followed by Hyundai, Nissan and others. The current market share in Japan already exceeds 20%, and the world market share is estimated to exceed 5% by 2020.
Mazda showcases CNG and hybrid Axela models in Tokyo; Mazda’s approach to environmental performance
At the Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda is showcasing the recently-released Mazda Axela (known as Mazda3 overseas) with a variety of engine types at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, including a CNG concept and hybrid variants. (Earlier post.)
The Axela accounts for more than 30% of global sales; the latest Axela is the third generation. The new Axela range also introduces a hybrid vehicle, and marks the first time for a single model launched on the Japanese market to include gasoline, diesel, and hybrid power plants in its powertrain lineup.
Volkswagen combines XL1 powertrain with up! for the twin up! concept plug-in diesel hybrid; 214 mpg
November 20, 2013
|Introducing the twin up! Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen presented the twin up! concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show. Equipped with a plug-in hybrid system from the super-efficient XL1 (earlier post), the four-seater based on the up! city car achieves combined fuel consumption of 1.1 liters per 100 km (214 mpgUS) (NEDC), with corresponding CO2 emissions of 27 g/km.
All new Volkswagen vehicles are configured to accept alternative drive systems as well as conventional ones, making installation of the compact XL1 plug-in hybrid system in the twin up! relatively easy. The only modification made in the production version was to lengthen the up!’s extremely short front overhang by 30 mm. The drive unit of the twin up! (system power: 55 kW) is mounted at the front of the car. It comprises a two-cylinder 0.8L TDI (35 kW); electric motor (35 kW); a 7-speed DSG (DQ200E) and the power electronics.
Lexus introduces RC and RC hybrid sports coupes; to launch in 2H 2014
|Lexus RC. Click to enlarge.|
At the Tokyo Motor Show, Lexus unveiled the new RC 350 and RC 300h hybrid variant sports coupes scheduled for launch in the second half of 2014. The platform is based on the GS package, enabling the use of large-diameter wheels. The wide tread and a wheelbase that is 70 mm shorter than the IS further highlight the sporty design and nimble handling.
Two powertrains are available: a 3.5-liter gasoline powertrain and a 2.5-liter Lexus Hybrid Drive. The RC 300h hybrid utilizes a 2.5-liter 2AR-FSE engine with D-4S1 direct injection technology for high power and fuel economy.
Field test shows Volvo Buses’ plug-in hybrid reduces fuel consumption by 81% and energy consumption by 61%; 21 mpg
November 14, 2013
|Volvo Bus’ plug-in hybrid. The pantograph for rapid charging can be seen on the roof. Click to enlarge.|
Field tests being conducted in Gothenburg show that Volvo Buses’ plug-in hybrid reduces fuel consumption by 81% and total energy consumption (diesel plus electricity) by 61% compared to a comparable Euro 5 diesel bus. (Earlier post.)
The field test in Gothenburg began in June 2013 and includes three plug-in hybrid buses, the batteries of which are rapidly recharged at the terminals. This makes it possible for the buses to run on electric power for most of the route.
Toyota launching redesigned Harrier (Lexus RX) in Japan; hybrid model following in January
The hybrid model, powered by a 2.5-liter engine and hybrid system achieves fuel efficiency of 21.8 km/L (51.3 mpgUS, 4.6 l/100 km) and CO2 emissions of 106 g/km under the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s JC08 test cycle.
Nissan launches new Skyline in Japan; one-motor two-clutch hybrid system in every grade
November 12, 2013
|New Skyline. Click to enlarge.|
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. launched of the all-new Skyline, which will go on sale late February 2014 with an Infiniti badge at Nissan dealers throughout Japan. Nissan first introduced the Skyline in 1957; Skyline is sold overseas as the Infiniti Q50.
Nissan’s original one-motor two-clutch parallel hybrid “Intelligent Dual Clutch Control” system (earlier post) is adopted in every grade. Skyline delivers maximum power output of 268 kW (360 hp) and fuel economy of 18.4 km/L (43.3 mpgUS, 5.4 l/100km) on JC08 mode. The new Skyline achieves 20% improvement in fuel economy over 2015 standards and SU-LEV certification, emitting 75% fewer exhaust emissions than 2005 standards, thereby fully exempting it from the automobile acquisition tax and automobile weight tax in every grade.
Ford takes lead with plug-in hybrid sales in US in October; 34% of market
November 05, 2013
|Monthly sales of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in 2013 in the US. The Ford line (blue) represents combined sales of the Fusion and C-MAX Energi models. Click to enlarge.|
With a significant increase in monthly sales for each unit, Ford took the top spot in plug-in hybrid vehicle sales in October with the C-MAX Energi (1,092 units) and the Fusion Energi (1,087) units posting a combined 2,179 units for the month. This represented 34% of the total plug-in hybrid market
The combination of the two PHEV Energi models pushed Ford just beyond the second-place Prius PHV (2,095 units, for 33% of the market) and the third-place Volt (2,022 units, for 32% of the market.) The Honda Accord PHEV was a distant fourth (71 units.)
Toyota showing latest fuel cell concept, hybrid minivan, other future mobility vehicles at Tokyo show
|Toyota FCV Concept. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota confirmed that it will display its latest fuel cell vehicle concept along with four other world premiere future mobility concepts at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show. The Toyota FCV Concept is a practical concept of the fuel cell vehicle Toyota plans to launch around 2015 as a pioneer in the development of hydrogen-powered vehicles. The vehicle has a driving range of at least 500 km (311 miles) and refueling times as low as three minutes, roughly the same time as for a gasoline vehicle.
The Toyota FC Stack has a power output density of 3 kW/L, more than twice that of the current “Toyota FCHV-adv” FC Stack, and an output of at least 100 kW. In addition, the FC system is equipped with Toyota’s high-efficiency boost converter. Increasing the voltage has made it possible to reduce the size of the motor and the number of fuel cells, leading to a smaller system offering enhanced performance at reduced cost.
JRC study finds 8 metals for low-carbon energy technologies at risk of shortages; EVs, wind and solar, and lighting the applications of most concern
November 04, 2013
A new European Joint Research Centre (JRC) study looking into the supply of raw materials for the manufacture of low-carbon energy technologies found that eight metals were at high risk of shortages. The applications, i.e. technologies, of particular concern as a result are electric vehicles, wind and solar energy, and lighting. The risk arises from EU dependency on imports, growing demand worldwide and geopolitical reasons.
The study builds on a 2011 effort which looked into the six key applications of the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan: wind, solar, nuclear fission, bioenergy, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and the electricity grid. In the new study, these were re-assessed and considered along with 11 other technologies—including fuel cells, electricity storage, electric vehicles and lighting—treated in the new report, this time evaluated on the expected supplies of the metals and not on the current situation as in the first report.
Stanford faculty awarded $2.2 million for innovative energy research; fuel cells, hybrids, splitting CO2
October 30, 2013
Stanford University’s Precourt Institute for Energy, the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center and the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy have awarded 11 seed grants totaling $2.2 million to Stanford faculty for promising new research in clean technology and energy efficiency.
The seed funding supports early work on concepts that have the potential for very high impact on energy production and use. Through a competitive process, two committees of faculty and senior staff awarded the grants to Stanford researchers from a broad range of disciplines, including engineering, physics, economics, business, communication and education.
Governors of 8 states sign MoU to put 3.3M zero-emission vehicles on roads by 2025; 15% of new vehicle sales
October 24, 2013
The governors of 8 states—California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont—have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to take specific actions to put 3.3 million zero emission vehicles on the roads in their states by 2025, along with the refueling infrastructure required to support those vehicles. Zero-emission vehicles include battery-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel-cell-electric vehicles; the technologies can be applied in passenger cars, trucks and transit buses.
The 3.3 million ZEVs would represent a new vehicle market penetration for the group of states of about 15%, said Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board (ARB), during a conference call announcing the agreement. This multi-state effort is intended to expand consumer awareness and demand for zero-emission vehicles. Collectively, the eight signatory states represent more than 23% of the US car market.
UCR CE-CERT testing of hybrid construction equipment finds reduction in fuel consumption, but increase in NOx emissions
October 22, 2013
A study of hybrid excavators and dozers in use in public and private fleets found that while the use of hybrid equipment could decrease fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 28%, depending upon the type of work being done, NOx emissions could increase by up to 21%.
In the study, researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) completed activity characterization; sequence of operations/test cycle development; and in-use emissions testing on three hybrid Komatsu HB215-LC-1 excavators and three hybrid Caterpillar D7E dozers.
Tier 1 HELLA evaluating PowerGenix NiZn batteries for 48V mild hybrid vehicles
October 21, 2013
PowerGenix, the developer of nickel-zinc (NiZn) rechargeable batteries (earlier post), has signed a product evaluation contract with HELLA, a Tier 1 supplier to major automotive manufacturers worldwide. HELLA will conduct real-world vehicle tests to evaluate NiZn’s ability in meeting the high-power requirements of 48-volt mild hybrid systems, while substantially reducing overall system complexity and cost.
High-rate, high-power capabilities are critical to the performance of 48-volt systems, but cost and complexity of Li-ion battery technologies capable of meeting such requirements pose the biggest challenge to their widespread adoption. Advanced battery solutions such as NiZn offer a promising alternative, while meeting both the cost and technical performance targets of mild hybrids, PowerGenix suggests.
Tesla leads with transfer of ZEV credits for year ending 30 Sep 2013
October 17, 2013
|Tesla by far dominated the transfer of ZEV credits in California in 2012. Data: ARB. Click to enlarge.|
Between 1 October 2012 and 30 September 2013, electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors transferred out 1,311.520 ZEV (zero emission vehicle) credits, according to the latest report by the California Air Resources Board (ARB)—by far, the largest of any automaker in the state. The next closest was Toyota, with 507.5 credits; Nissan only transferred 25 credits, and those generated from its PZEVs—not from the LEAF EV.
As of 30 September, Tesla still had a balance of 276.080 credits, according to the data; behind the six major automakers, who are mostly banking their credits.
Under Wanxiang, Li-ion battery maker A123 Systems to increase focus on low-voltage hybrids
October 09, 2013
A123 Systems LLC, a developer and manufacturer of Nanophosphate lithium iron phosphate batteries and systems, has outlined its new organizational structure and strategic focus as a member of the Wanxiang Group, which acquired nearly all of A123’s businesses last January. (Earlier post.)
A123’s transportation business continues to serve customers including BAE Systems, BMW, Daimler, GM and SAIC, among others. The production facilities in Michigan continue to produce the majority of A123’s transportation output and successfully launched the Chevy Spark EV battery system for General Motors earlier this year. (Earlier post.) However, going forward, the transportation unit will be increasingly focused on low-voltage (12- and 48-volt) hybrids to capitalize on the performance advantages of its Nanophosphate EXT chemistry and systems competence in micro-hybrids. (Earlier post.)
Pre-orders start for Mazda Axela in Japan; gasoline and hybrid models first, followed by diesel
|Axela Hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
Mazda Motor Corporation will begin taking pre-orders for the new Mazda Axela sports compact (known outside of Japan as Mazda3) on 10 October 10, 2013 at its dealers throughout Japan. (Earlier post.) The company expects to sell 3,000 units per month in Japan.
Sales will begin on 21 November, starting with the gasoline engine and a hybrid models, to be followed by a diesel version. This will make Mazda the first domestic automaker to offer gasoline, diesel and hybrid versions of a single model in Japan.
Ford doubles electric drive market share in US from 2012 to 2013; surging with plug-in hybrids
October 04, 2013
|Ford’s changing share of the hybrid-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, battery-electric vehicle segments and total ED market in the US in 2012 and YTD 2013. Data: EDTA, Ford Motor. Click to enlarge.|
Ford Motor Company’s C-platform electric drive strategy has driven an increase in Ford’s overall electric drive market share (hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric) from 7.3% in calendar year 2012 to 14.7% for the first nine months of 2013.
Specifically, out of 487,480 electric drive units sold in 2012 (according to data from the Electric Drive Transportation Association), Ford accounted for 35,719 units (7.3%). From January through September 2013, total electric drive sales were 457,704 units (EDTA); Ford’s electric drive sales climbed to 67,232 units during that period (14.7%).
XL Hybrids introduces 3rd generation hybrid system for Class 1-4 trucks; XL3 features in-line motor to ease upfitting
October 01, 2013
|XL Hybrids’ third-generation inline post transmission motor and system components. Click to enlarge.|
XL Hybrids, Inc., developer of a low-cost hybrid electric powertrain designed specifically for class 1 to 4 commercial fleet use (earlier post), unveiled its third-generation XL3 product release for model year 2014 vehicles. The XL3 system features a patent-pending inline traction motor system design, the newest upgrade for its hybrid conversion system.
The new inline (post-transmission) motor delivers the same output power rating (40 kW peak) as the preceding system, which used a motor installed in parallel to the existing drivetrain along with a 1.8 kWh Li-ion battery pack, said Justin Ashton, VP Business Development and co-founder. From a system-level perspective, the XL3 will deliver the same level of fuel economy, the same overall system efficiency Ashton said—but with lower cost components and lower cost installation.
Chrysler Group files S-1 for IPO; snapshot of R&D priorities; exploring a light-duty hydraulic hybrid
September 24, 2013
Chrysler Group LLC has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to a proposed initial public offering of common shares. Details of the offering—i.e., number of shares and price range—are yet to be determined.
However, the document not only provides a detailed look at the finances of the company, it also provides a quick recap of recent technology developments and some insight into the company’s immediate research priorities. Chrysler writes that its has “made the development of more fuel-efficient vehicles a priority to meet retail consumer preferences, comply with future regulations and as part of our commitment to sustainability.”
One way or another, Fisker Automotive may soon be off the market
September 23, 2013
by Keith Patterson
Two German investors, Ingo Voigt and Fritz Nol, announced their intent to buy Fisker Automotive, the failing plug-in hybrid car company, on 11 September. The team submitted a detailed offer to the US Department of Energy (DOE) along with a letter of intent for restructuring Fisker.
The purchase funds for Fisker would in theory go directly to the DOE since the government agency loaned the auto company a large sum of money before it stopped production more than a year ago. Though the Voight/Nol offer amount has not yet been made public, many predict the company will sell for $25 million to $50 million. However, subsequent to the Voight/Nol offer, DOE announced it would auction off the remainder of Fisker’s loan obligation, “after exhausting any realistic possibility for a sale that might have protected our entire investment.” [See sidebar.]
Balqon working with Polar Power to develop series plug-in hybrid drive system for heavy-duty trucks and buses
September 16, 2013
|XRE-20 battery-electric yard tractor. Click to enlarge.|
Balqon Corporation, a developer of electric drive system technology for commercial vehicles (earlier post), has entered into a Joint Development Agreement with Polar Power Inc. to develop a series plug-in hybrid system for Balqon’s line of heavy-duty electric trucks and buses. Under this agreement both companies will work towards development of a 40 kW on-board DC generator to charge batteries during the daily drive cycle to increase the range of Balqon vehicles.
Balqon’s heavy-duty trucks and drive systems are designed to transport up to 30 ton cargo containers. Products include the Li-in battery-powered Model XRE20 yard tractor designed for port drayage applications.
Ford launches electric vehicle charging network for employees; hoping to increase number of all-electric trips
Ford Motor Company is installing a new workplace plug-in vehicle charging network at nearly every Ford facility in the US and Canada. Ford will install charging stations at more than 50 company offices, product development campuses and manufacturing facilities. Installation will begin later this year and roll out throughout 2014.
Ford employees will be able to charge the all-electric Focus Electric, as well as Ford’s two plug-in hybrids—the Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi—at the charge stations. The service will initially be free to employees for the first four hours. Ford estimates it will cost the company about $0.50 fully to charge a vehicle.
ETH Zürich team developing light-duty natural gas-diesel hybrid electric powertrain; 43 g/km CO2
September 12, 2013
|Consumption measurements of the dual-fuel natural gas-diesel engine as a function of speed and load. Source: Ott et al. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at ETH Zürich have developed a light-duty hybrid electric vehicle featuring a dual-fuel natural gas-diesel engine. In an open access paper in the journal Energies, they report that CO2 emissions can be reduced to as low as 43g/km in a subcompact car configuration using the dual-fuel hybrid electric powertrain on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). The dual-fuel engine can also serve in a non-hybrid application.
In the dual-fuel engine, the natural gas (usually a fuel for spark-ignited engines) is injected into the intake manifold of a compression-ignition diesel engine. Instead of using a spark plug for ignition, the premixed air-gas mixture is ignited with a small amount of directly injected diesel fuel. This approach—already being successfully commercialized in heavy-duty engines by Westport Innovations (e.g., earlier post) and Clean Air Power (e.g., earlier post)—delivers the high performance and efficiency of diesel with lower CO2 and tailpipe emissions.
Johnson Controls introducing first-generation 48V Micro Hybrid battery at Frankfurt show (fuel economy benefit corrected)
September 11, 2013
|The first-generation 48-volt Lithium-ion Micro Hybrid battery has the potential to enable up to 1% fuel savings in vehicles. Click to enlarge.|
Johnson Controls unveiled its first-generation 48-volt Lithium-ion Micro Hybrid battery (earlier post) at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany. The company had shown demonstration modules earlier in the year at the Detroit Auto Show and the Hannover Messe.
Leveraging a dual voltage architecture, Johnson Controls’ Micro Hybrid battery system will involve a 12-volt lead-acid starter battery and a 48-volt Lithium-ion battery that enables optimization of energy generation and consumption. The Micro Hybrid technology has the potential to provide up to 15% fuel savings in vehicles and is available for testing with key automotive customers this December.
Navigant forecasts 18.6% CAGR for plug-ins in North America to 2022; 2.4% new vehicle share in US
September 10, 2013
|Annual light duty PEV Sales, top 5 states, 2013-2022. Source: Navigant. Click to enlarge.|
In an update to its 2012 geographic breakdown of plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) sales in North America, Navigant Research now forecasts that overall sales of will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18.6% between 2013 and 2022. Navigant Research forecasts that PEVs will reach 416,153 annual sales in the United States and 230,479 in Canada by 2022.
The model for North American PEV sales by US state, metropolitan statistical area (MSA), Canadian province, Canadian city, and selected US utility service area has been updated to better align with actual sales data from the first full year of wide availability of PEVs.
Continental presents new “48 Volt Eco Drive” system; orders received and production begins in 2016
|Components of the 48 Volt Eco Drive system and the demonstrator. Click to enlarge.|
Continental presented its new “48 Volt Eco Drive” system at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The new system supplements the traditional 12V electrical network with a 48V electrical system and components, bridging the gap between low-end hybridization based on present-day 12V start/stop systems and more sophisticated high-voltage hybrid solutions.
Installed in a demonstrator vehicle, the 48 Volt Eco Drive system offers NEDC fuel savings of around 13%. First orders have been received, and production will begin in 2016, according to José Avila, Head of the Powertrain Division and Member of the Continental Executive Board.
Opel Monza Concept at Frankfurt features CNG extended range electric vehicle powertrain with new 1.0L 3-cylinder engine
|Monza Concept. Click to enlarge.|
Opel intends that its Monza Concept (earlier post), unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, serve as a role-model for next-generation Opel cars, with particular emphasis on design, maximum connectivity, and optimum efficiency, including advanced powertrain flexibility.
The Monza Concept is based on a modular design to allow highest-possible flexibility when selecting a propulsion system. A variety of sustainable powertrains based on increasing electrification of the automobile are conceivable, Opel noted. For the Monza Concept displayed at the Frankfurt show, engineers conceived an electric drive with a CNG (compressed natural gas) range extender—a further development of the Ampera’s technology.
BMW unveils production i8 plug-in hybrid; 94 mpg; on sale in US in 2014 priced from $135,925
|The BMW i8 goes on sale in the US in 2014. Click to enlarge.|
BMW unveiled the BMW i8 2+2 plug-in hybrid sports car (earlier post) today at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. The i8—the first plug-in hybrid vehicle from the BMW Group—will have a manufacturer’s suggest retail price of $135,925 (including destination and handling) when it arrives in US showrooms in spring of 2014.
The combination of a new 3-cylinder, 1.5-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo engine and BMW eDrive technology plus intelligent energy management produces system output of 266 kW/362 hp (max. torque: 570 N·m / 420 lb-ft). The BMW i8 accelerates from 0 – 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds), and offers EU combined cycle fuel consumption of 2.5 liters per 100 km / 94 mpg (US) along with an AWD driving experience with torque distribution geared towards optimized dynamics. The everyday driving range of the BMW i8 on a full fuel tank and with a fully charged battery is more than 500 kilometers (310 miles) in COMFORT mode.
Georgia Tech study suggests unlinking EVs from CAFE and coordinating with power sector for low-cost benefits
September 08, 2013
A team from Georgia Tech suggests, based on their modeling of electric vehicle (EV) adoption scenarios in each of six regions of the Eastern Interconnection (containing 70% of the US population), that coordinating EV adoption with the adoption of controlled EV charging, unlinking EVs from consideration in the CAFE fuel economy regulations; and implementing renewable electricity standards would deliver low-cost reductions in emissions and gasoline usage. (For the study, they define EVs as including both battery-electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) vehicles.
Only in the case of high EV market share and a high renewable electricity standard (RES) do EVs make a material contribution to greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, they found. However, managed EV adoption can reduce the cost of achieving GHG reductions through a RES, they concluded in their paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Citroën to show Cactus concept with Hybrid Air powertrain
September 06, 2013
|Citroën Cactus concept with Airbumps (not related to the Hybrid Air powertrain). Click to enlarge.|
At the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show, Citroën will showcase its Cactus C-segment concept car, featuring, among other technologies, the Hybrid Air powertrain co-developed by PSA Peugeot Citroën and Bosch. (Earlier post.)
Hybrid Air is a full-hybrid solution combining compressed air and hydraulic power, with no battery required for energy storage. Hybrid Air combines a PureTech gasoline engine, a compressed air energy storage unit, a hydraulic pump/motor unit and an automatic transmission with an epicyclic gear train.
2014 Honda Accord Hybrid EPA-rated at 50 mpg city
|2014 Honda Accord Hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
Honda has begun US production of the 2014 Accord Hybrid (earlier post), which will carry an EPA fuel economy rating of 50 mpg (4.7 l/100 km) in city driving. The EPA rating is 1 mpg higher than Honda had originally anticipated for the hybrid (49 mpg). The new Accord Hybrid also carries an EPA-rated highway fuel economy of 45 mpg (5.2 l/100 km) and combined cycle fuel economy of 47 mpg (5.0 l/100 km) as the company had earlier projected.
Set to go on sale in the US in October, the 2014 Accord Hybrid’s city fuel-economy rating is 3 mpg higher than the closest segment competitor (Ford Fusion Hybrid) and its calculated driving range of 673 miles is more than 46 miles farther than any vehicle in its segment, according to Honda’s analysis. (The Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid holds the top highway fuel economy rating at 48 mpg (4.9 l/100 km).)
August sales of plug-in hybrids in US up 83% from July, up 65% y-o-y
|Monthly sales of plug-in hybrids in US. Data: EDTA, automakers. Click to enlarge.|
Sales of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the US in August reached 6,407 units—up 83% from the prior month and up 65% from results in August 2012. jumped 83% from the prior month to 6,407 units. The results marked the strongest monthly results to date for plug-in hybrids (i.e., not conventional hybrids, and not battery-electric vehicles.)
Sales were led by the Chevy Volt, with 3,351 units, up 18.4% from its August 2012 results of 2,831 units. Jan-August 2013 sales for the Volt were 14,994 units, up 11.1% from the same period in 2012. The Prius PHV put in a very strong second-place showing of 1,791 units in August 2013, up 65% from 1,047 units in August 2012. Its sales for the first 8 months of 2013 were 6,822 units, up 11.6% from the same period in 2012.
ADEPT project to apply gasoline engine HyBoost system to diesel; 48V architecture; full hybrid fuel economy at much lower cost
September 04, 2013
The developers of the successful gasoline-engine HyBoost project (earlier post)—Ricardo, Ford Motor Company, Control Power Technologies (CPT) and the European Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (EALABC)—will be joined by Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies UK Ltd and University of Nottingham to apply the intelligent electrification concept for the first time to a diesel vehicle (a Ford Focus).
The Ricardo-led Advanced Diesel Electric Powertrain (ADEPT) project will apply 48V “intelligent electrification” concepts, mild hybridization and waste heat recovery in a Ford Focus diesel demonstrator. The project aims to deliver full hybrid equivalent fuel economy and performance with less than 70 g/km CO2 emissions as measured over the European Drive Cycle, but at a significantly lower cost.
Jaguar Land Rover to lead $25M Evoque_e collaborative research project to develop new modular HEV, PHEV and BEV technology
Jaguar Land Rover will lead a £16.3-million (US$25 million) “Evoque_e” collaborative research project to develop new modular hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery-electric vehicle (BEV) technology. Evoque_e is a two-year UK government Technology Strategy Board project.
Jaguar Land Rover will contribute £4 million (US$6.3 million) to the project and will lead a consortium of 12 selected partners—eight from industry and three universities. The partners include Zytek Automotive, GKN Driveline, Motor Design Limited, AVL, Drive System Design, Williams Advanced Engineering, Delta Motorsport, Tata Steel, Bristol University, Cranfield University and Newcastle University.
Audi presenting plug-in hybrid Sport quattro concept show car at Frankfurt; 700 hp and 94 mpg
|The Audi Sport quattro concept. Click to enlarge.|
At the upcoming 2013 IAA in Frankfurt am Main, Audi will present the Audi Sport quattro concept show car—a coupé plug-in hybrid with a system output of 515 kW (700 hp). The original Sport quattro, which made its debut at the 1983 IAA and was designed as a homologation model for the World Rally Championship, delivered 225 kW (306 hp).
The new Audi Sport quattro concept show car, which picks up on an Audi quattro concept study of three years ago, combines acceleration of 0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds with fuel consumption of 2.5 liters per 100 kilometers (94 mpgUS)—a CO2 equivalent of 59 grams per kilometer (95 g/mile).
VW introducing 1.8L EA888 Gen 3 engine in 2014 Jetta, Passat and Beetle; driving impressions
August 29, 2013
Volkswagen of America is introducing the Group’s third-generation EA888 1.8-liter TSI four-cylinder engine in the 2014 Jetta and Passat, followed by the 2014 Beetle. The 1.8-liter unit produces 170 hp (127 kW) and 184 lb-ft (250 N·m) of torque as early as 1,500 rpm. The horsepower is the same as the outgoing 5-cylinder 2.5-liter engine, but it delivers 7 lb-ft more torque at 2,750 fewer revs (see chart at right).
Mated to an automatic or a manual transmission, the new EA888 offers up to a 17% decrease in fuel consumption while providing even better acceleration. In a presentation at Volkswagen of America’s 2014 line drive in St. Helena, California, Hubertus Lemke, Head of Technical Project Management for Volkswagen AG, described the advances in the new third-generation engines. (The 2.0-liter version of this engine has already made its debut in the 2013 Beetle and Jetta GLI, delivering a 10 hp improvement.)
Toyota broadly outlines next-generation Prius; developing wireless inductive charging for the plug-in model; bullish on hydrogen
August 28, 2013
Toyota’s next-generation Prius will deliver significantly improved fuel economy in a more compact package that is lighter in weight and lower in cost, according to Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) Managing Officer Satoshi Ogiso. Ogiso—who earlier in his career had been the chief engineer for the Prius, chief engineer for the Prius family, and chief engineer, product planning—made the remarks at the “2013 Toyota Hybrid World Tour” event the company staged in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
The performance of this new generation of powertrains will reflect significant advances in battery, electric motor and gasoline engine technologies. Among the broad technology advances Ogiso outlined during his talk were:
BAE Systems’ HybriDrive HDS300 technology to power new articulated buses in San Jose
August 27, 2013
New Flyer Industries has selected BAE Systems’ HybriDrive HDS300 propulsion system to power a fleet of new 60-foot, low-floor rapid transit buses for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) in San Jose, California. New Flyer Industries will provide up to 29 articulated hybrid buses for the transit agency, with an option for up to 20 additional buses at a later date. Articulated buses are comprised of a single-deck design with two rigid sections linked by a pivoting joint, allowing for higher passenger capacity.
The HDS300 articulated bus solution, which powers 60-foot transit buses, is the most recent addition to the HybriDrive Solutions product line. The HybriDrive family of products also includes the HDS100 European lightweight bus model and the HDS200 for 30- to 40-foot North American bus fleets.
Peugeot and Total unveiling 208 HYbrid FE concept at Frankfurt; leveraging motorsports
|HYbrid FE concept. Click to enlarge.|
At the Frankfurt Motor Show, PEUGEOT and Total will unveil the hybrid 208 HYbrid FE concept. Based on a production 208 hatchback, the HYbrid FE accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 8 seconds, with CO2 emissions of 49 g/km (NEDC combined cycle).
The objective of the 208 HYbrid FE is to halve the CO2 emissions of the Peugeot 208 equipped with the 3-cylinder 1.0-liter VTi 68 hp and to provide it with acceleration comparable to a performance hatchback. The hybrid powertrain combines the latest generation of 3-cylinder engines with a battery and an electric motor taken from Peugeot Sport’s Endurance program. Overall, the efficiency of the powertrain increases by 10%.
Toyota provides some details on Yaris Hybrid-R 420hp powertrain; three 45 kW motors
August 26, 2013
|The Yaris Hybrid-R features three 45 kW electric motors, one on each rear wheel and a third between the engine and transmission that operates as a generator. This third motor can act as an advanced traction control system. Click to enlarge.|
At the Frankfurt Motor Show, Toyota will showcase the Yaris Hybrid-R concept, created as a showcase of possible ideas for the development of hybrid technology for maximum performance and increased driving pleasure. (Earlier post.) Toyota has now provided a few additional details about the powertrain in advance of the show.
The front wheels are driven by a 300 hp (224 kW) 4-cylinder 1.6 turbo gasoline direct injection engine specifically developed by Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) according to the rules of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) for a Global Race Engine to be utilized in various motorsport disciplines.
BMW to present Concept X5 eDrive all-wheel drive plug-in hybrid at Frankfurt show
August 22, 2013
|BMW Concept X5 eDrive PHEV. Click to enlarge.|
BMW will present the Concept X5 eDrive all-wheel drive plug-in hybrid at the 2013 Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA). The Concept X5 eDrive delivers the handling of a BMW, with an all-electric maximum speed of up to 120 km/h (75 mph), maximum electric range of 30 kilometers (19 miles), and average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 3.8 liters per 100 kilometers (61.9 mpgUS).
The concept study’s BMW eDrive system consists of a four-cylinder combustion engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and an electric motor which is also the work of the BMW Group. (Earlier post.) The 70 kW/95 hp motor sources its energy from a high-voltage lithium-ion battery that can be charged from any domestic power socket.
Bosch and partners launch new €4.3M project on powerline communications for smart battery management
August 21, 2013
|Concept of the IntLiIon project. Click to enlarge.|
Bosch and partners Pro Design Electronic GmbH, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hannover and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have launched a new €4.3-million (US$5.8-million) project to improve battery performance in hybrid and electric vehicles with smart battery management. The technical basis of the project is an innovative method that uses the path traveled by the electricity in the battery to transmit data for the optimum exchange of measurement data and control signals.
Between now and May 2016, the IntLiIon project (intelligent data bus concepts for lithium-ion batteries in electric and hybrid vehicles) will receive €2.5 million (US$3.4 million) in funding from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Land Rover launching diesel hybrids: Range Rover Hybrid and Range Rover Sport Hybrid
|Hybrid Range Rover. Click to enlarge.|
Land Rover is launching its first hybrid models—Range Rover Hybrid and Range Rover Sport Hybrid. The two all-aluminum diesel-electric hybrids are based on Land Rover’s Premium Lightweight Architecture and share an identical powertrain. First deliveries will be in early 2014.
The new Range Rover Hybrid powertrain features three driver-selectable modes and combines Land Rover’s popular 3-liter SDV6 diesel engine with a 35kW electric motor integrated with the 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. The hybrid system, including lithium ion battery pack, inverter and electric motor weighs less than 120 kg (282 lbs). Fuel consumption is 6.4 l/100 km (36.7 mpgUS) on the combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 169 g/km.
Mercedes-Benz unveils S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID
|S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz unveiled the third hybrid model of the new S-Class, the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID, prior to its introduction in a few weeks at the Frankfurt Motor Show. (Earlier post.) Market launch for the plug-in will be next year.
The S 500 PLUG-IN combines an 80 kW, 340 N·m electric motor, externally rechargeable battery, and a new 245 kW, 480 N·m 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine. Fuel consumption is 3 l/100 km (78 mpgUS), with about 30 km (18.6 miles) of all-electric range possible. CO2 emissions are 69 g/km. Top speed is 250 km/h (155 mph), with 0-100 km/h acceleration in 5.5 sec.
Honda two-motor Accord Hybrid goes on sale in US in October; 47 mpg combined
August 19, 2013
|2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Click to enlarge.|
Honda’s new 2-motor MY 2014 Accord Hybrid, built with the rest of the Accord lineup in a Honda plant in Marysville, Ohio, will go on sale in the US in October. The two-motor hybrid system, which is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, has already made its debut in the Accord Plug-in Hybrid, which went on sale in California and New York on 15 January 2013. (Earlier post.)
Honda anticipates the new Accord Hybrid will obtain an EPA fuel economy rating of 49/45/47 mpgUS (4.8, 5.2 and 5.0 l/100 km, respectively) (city/highway/combined). The two-motor SPORT HYBRID Intelligent Multi Mode Drive powertrain in the Accord Hybrid supports three different driving modes—EV Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive—to optimize fuel efficiency.
Toyota goes all hybrid for Frankfurt Motor Show; Yaris Hybrid-R concept, fuel cell update
|Teaser sketch of Yaris Hybrid-R concept. Click to enlarge.|
At the upcoming 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Toyota stand will be devoted entirely to hybrids, the company says. Toyota’s hybrid portfolio, built over the past 16 years, comprises 23 models sold in 80 countries. As of the end of July 2013, Toyota Motor Corporation has sold more 5.5 million hybrid products—more than 10% of which have been sold in Europe.
Toyota will also use the venue to unveil further potential technology directions in the future of low-emission and zero-emission vehicles with the world premiere of the Yaris Hybrid-R concept, as well as the latest status of its fuel cell technology development, due to be launched in a production car by 2015.
Hybrids take 7% of California market in 1H 2013; PHEVs 0.7%; EVs 1.1%
August 17, 2013
|Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric vehicle share of the California retail market. Source: California Auto Outlook. Click to enlarge.|
Hybrid vehicle market share (excluding plug-in hybrids) in California increased to 7% in the first half of 2013, up from 6.2% in 2012, according to the California Auto Outlook for the second quarter of 2013. Plug-in hybrid market share was an estimated 0.7%, while battery electric vehicle market share hit 1.1%. California Auto Outlook is sponsored by the California New Car Dealers Association.
For the first six months of 2013, hybrid registrations (excluding plug-ins), were 59,300 units; plug-in hybrids, 5,736 units; and battery electric vehicles, 9,708 units.
Ford relabels 2013 C-MAX Hybrid to 43 mpg, upgrades 2014 C-MAX Hybrid to boost fuel economy; pitfalls of the EPA “general label” rule
August 15, 2013
|After re-labeling the 2013 C-MAX Hybrid with lower fuel economy, Ford is upgrading the 2014 C-MAX to increase fuel economy. 2014 mpg is not yet announced. Click to enlarge.|
Ford has opted voluntarily to relabel the 2013 C-MAX Hybrid with revised fuel economy labels following EPA testing of the 2013 C-Max Hybrid. EPA had received consumer complaints that the vehicle did not achieve its label values of 47 mpgUS for city, highway, and combined driving (5.0 l/100km).
The new fuel economy estimates, as determined by the EPA, for the 2013 C-MAX Hybrid are 45 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 43 mpg combined (5.23, 5.88 and 5.47 l/100km, respectively).
Bosch eClutch enables stop-and-go driving with manual transmission without driver engaging clutch
August 12, 2013
|This electronically controlled eClutch closes the gap between automatic and manual transmissions. In addition, the eClutch makes the coasting function possible, which saves fuel. Click to enlarge.|
Bosch’s electronically controlled eClutch allows drivers of cars with a manual transmission to use first gear in stop-and-go traffic without engaging the clutch. If the powertrain is electrified, the electronically controlled clutch means that a combination of hybrid powertrain and manual transmission is now possible.
Up to now, it has only been possible to combine a hybrid powertrain with an automatic transmission, since it is not possible to coordinate a combustion engine and an electrical powertrain using a merely manual transmission. In this respect, the eClutch offers two advantages, Bosch says: (1) a manual transmission is possible in hybrid vehicles, and (2) the price of entry-level hybrids can be reduced, since a fully automatic transmission is no longer necessary.
New York launches $19M truck voucher incentive program; $9M for EVs, $10M for alt fuels
August 09, 2013
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a $19-million New York Truck Voucher Incentive Program to encourage the purchase of battery-electric commercial trucks as well as other energy-efficient transportation, including hybrid and CNG (compressed natural gas) trucks. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) estimates that this program could encourage the purchase or retrofit of up to 1,000 low-emission trucks in areas of the state with the poorest air quality.
The truck voucher program will include two voucher funds: $9 million for battery-electric truck vouchers offered in 30 counties around the state that did not meet federal clean air standards, primarily downstate New York, the Capital Region and Western New York; and a $10-million alternative fuels voucher fund for New York City, which also includes compressed natural gas, hybrid-electric vehicles and retrofitting diesel engines with emission control devices.
BMW Group presents prototype of i8 plug-in hybrid; first use of new 3-cylinder engine
August 07, 2013
|Prototype BMW i8 at the track. Click to enlarge.|
BMW i presented a prototype of its second production vehicle, the i8 (earlier post), at a driving event at the BMW Group’s Miramas test track in France. Following the world debut of the first production model, the battery-electric urban-focused BMW i3 (earlier post), the BMW Group’s next step will be to address the sports car segment with the plug-in hybrid BMW i8. The BMW i8 will make its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month and arrive in BMW showrooms in 2014.
Calculated using the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, the average fuel efficiency of the BMW i8 at model launch will be less than 2.5 liters/100 km, which equates to approximately 95 miles per US gallon, with CO2 emissions of less than 59 grams per kilometer.
SoCal Edison white paper shares data about PEV usage and charging
August 06, 2013
|About 50% of the more than 12,000 PEV owners in SCE territory charge at Level 1. Click to enlarge.|
Southern California Edison (SCE) released a white paper summarizing learnings from its Electric Vehicle (EV) readiness program. The paper, “Charged Up: Southern California Edison’s Key Learnings about Electric Vehicles, Our Customers and Grid Reliability,” shares information based on customer data and utility operations gathered since SCE began to prepare the distribution system and its customers for widespread electric vehicle (EV) adoption in its service territory.
Currently, SCE customers lease or own more than 12,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), both battery electric (BEVs, for about 35%) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs, for about 65%)—about 10% of national EV sales. (SCE estimates that by 2020, there will be about 350,000 PEVs in its service territory.) Because California leads the nation in EV adoption, other utilities and stakeholders in the auto industry may find the information from the white paper useful, SCE suggested.
Toyota launches Corolla hybrid models in Japan
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) launched hybrid versions of the Corolla Axio sedan and Corolla Fielder station wagon in Japan. In addition, there will be a special Corolla Fielder Hybrid G Aerotourer·WxB grade. Monthly sales target for Japan are 1,000 units of the Corolla Axio hybrid and 1,500 units of the Corolla Fielder hybrid.
The vehicles are equipped with a 1.5-liter hybrid system akin to that in the Prius c (earlier post) and that achieves a fuel efficiency of 33.0 km/L (77.6 mpg US, 3.0 l/100 km) under the JC08 test cycle of the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT).
New high-temperature ceramic capacitor could reduce cooling needs in power electronics for hybrids and EVs
August 02, 2013
Scientists from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in the UK have developed a new lead-free, high-temperature ceramic capacitor that could improve the efficiency and reliability of electric and hybrid vehicles.
Hybrid and electric vehicles rely on high efficiency power conversion and management, with automotive power electronics representing an emerging £40-billion (US$61-billion) global market, NPL noted. The power electronics found in vehicles today require cooling because of limitations in the temperature rating of components such as capacitors, which are used to store electrical energy. This is a disadvantage as the extra cooling systems add weight to the vehicles, reducing efficiency and reliability.
“Big data” analysis of Beijing taxi fleet suggests maximum electrification subsidy benefit from targeting medium-range plug-in hybrids
A pair of researchers at the University of Michigan have used “big data” mining techniques to evaluate the impact of adopting plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in the Beijing taxi fleet on life cycle greenhouse gas emissions based on the characterized individual travel patterns.
Although the results are based on a specific public fleet, the study demonstrates the benefit of using large-scale individual-based trajectory data (big data) to better understand environmental implications of fleet electrification and inform better decision making, Hua Cai and Ming Xu suggested in a paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. This research represents the first of a series of studies exploring the role of big data in environmental systems analysis for the emerging PHEV/BEV systems.