[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.]
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.
Ford aggregate driver data show its PHEV owners operate in electric mode nearly 60% of the time
July 30, 2013
Ford plug-in hybrid owners are operating in electric mode nearly 60% of the time, according to new aggregate data collected from Ford’s MyFord Mobile app.
MyFord Mobile is available on Ford’s plug-in (PHEV) and battery-electric (BEV) vehicles, Fusion Energi, C-MAX Energi and Focus Electric, and is available for download both through the App Store and Google Play. Early aggregate data collected through vehicles tied to MyFord Mobile show nearly 60% of total PHEV miles driven every day are in electric mode, and that there is an improvement in this figure over the first 30 days of vehicle ownership.
Ford says its own RWD hybrid system for pickups and SUVs to be ready “later this decade”
July 24, 2013
Following the conclusion of a collaboration with Toyota (earlier post), Ford is moving forward with the development of a rear-wheel-drive hybrid system on its own; the company says that it will have the hybrid system ready “later this decade” on rear-wheel-drive Ford pickups and SUVs. The new hybrid system will be based on an all-new architecture.
In August 2011, Ford and Toyota signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the joint development of a new rear-wheel drive hybrid system for light trucks and SUVs. (Earlier post.) Following the completion of their feasibility study for collaboration, the two companies agreed to develop hybrid systems individually. Ford has been rapidly gaining share in the hybrid market in the US; Ford’s share of the US electrified vehicle market has grown to nearly 16% in the first half of 2013—a 12-point gain over last year.
Renault Trucks and Norbert Dentressangle testing 16t series hybrid electric truck
July 22, 2013
|Series hybrid 16-t truck. Click to enlarge.|
Renault Trucks is working with Norbert Dentressangle, a major transport, logistics and freight forwarding company, to develop and to test a 16-tonne series hybrid electric truck. Developed on a Midlum chassis, the vehicle has an all-electric range of up to 60 km (37 miles), with a total operating range of more than 400 kilometers (249 miles).
The vehicle will be tested from June 2013 to January 2014 in the Paris region on behalf of ThyssenKrupp Materials France. This project is part of the continued technology partnership between Renault Trucks, PVI and IFP Energies nouvelles.
Ford tweaking calibrations to boost on-road fuel economy for MY2013 hybrids
July 16, 2013
Ford is boosting the on-road fuel economy performance of its 2013 model year hybrid vehicles in the US and Canada. Starting in August, the company will make calibration updates for owners at dealerships designed to improve on-road fuel economy of the 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid, 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid and 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. New 2014 models will have the updated settings from the factory.
Ford had attracted criticism (and lawsuits, see below) around the end of 2012 for the large discrepancy between real-world fuel economy results for the C-MAX hybrid and its EPA fuel economy ratings—47 mpg (5.0 l/100km) city, highway and combined—earlier highlighted in detail by Consumer Reports. (Earlier post.)
Caterpillar Marine Power Systems introduces Marine Hybrid System
July 15, 2013
|The Cat marine hybrid power system uses AKA’s XeroPoint Hybrid system. Source: AKA. Click to enlarge.|
Caterpillar Marine Power Systems has introduced the the Cat Powered Marine Hybrid System, a complete hybrid propulsion package applicable to all engine platforms. Developed with systems integrator Aspin Kemp & Associates (AKA), the package utilizes AKA’s XeroPoint Hybrid marine propulsion system and provides fuel savings of up to 25% and corresponding emissions reductions.
The XeroPoint Hybrid system consists of a diesel engine and an electric motor that independently or simultaneously drive a propulsion shaft. The system is targeted to vessels that have a duty cycle profile with extended periods of low- to medium-power requirements, as diesel engines are least efficient at these load levels. Application examples are workboats; platform supply vessels and offshore supply vessels; research and scientific vessels; fishing boats; and leisure and eco-tourism boats (e.g., whale-watching.)
Bosch and PSA present first two OpEneR prototypes for increased range of electric drive vehicles
July 13, 2013
|OpEneR prototype at RIVE2013 in Alès. Click to enlarge.|
Bosch, PSA Peugeot Citroën and partners recently presented the first two Optimal Energy Consumption and Recovery solution (OpEneR) prototypes. OpEneR is a European research project under the Seventh Framework Programme designed to increase the range of future hybrid and electric vehicles by optimizing energy management.
Launched in 2011, OpEneR is developing new driving strategies and driver assistance systems that significantly increase the efficiency, driving range, and safety of electric vehicles without increasing battery size—and thus also by limiting battery price and charging time. This is achieved by merging data from on-board and off-board sources. A particular focus lies on an optimal cooperation between the electric drivetrain and the regenerative braking system, supported by data from radar, video, satellite navigation, car-to-infrastructure and car-to-car systems.
ORNL researcher proposes more efficient control strategy for series hybrids
July 09, 2013
|Cumulative fuel consumption for a modeled series hybrid electric truck using a thermostat-type controller and the centralized controller using the equilibrium control policy. Malikopoulos 2013. Click to enlarge.|
The increasing demand for and investment in hybrid propulsion systems has brought with it focused study of the supervisory control (i.e., energy management) problem along with a range of different approaches (e.g., rule-based control, dynamic programming, equivalent consumption minimization strategies, and so on) to tackle the problem.
In a paper presented at the recent 2013 American Control Conference (ACC) in Washington, Dr. Andreas Malikopoulos from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) described an approach to the problem of optimizing online the supervisory control in a series hybrid configuration by modeling its operation as a controlled Markov chain using an average cost (in this case, fuel consumption) criterion to create an equilibrium control policy.
Navigant forecasts US military spending on non-tactical alt drive vehicles to more than double to $926M by 2020 from 2013; 11.4% CAGR
July 05, 2013
|Non-tactical vehicle spending by alternative drive type, US Department of Defense: 2013-2020. Source: Navigant Research. Click to enlarge.|
In a new report, Navigant Research forecasts that US military spending on alternative drive vehicles (ADVs—including hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), and ethanol-powered vehicles—for the non-tactical fleet will increase from more than $435 million in 2013 to $926 million by 2020, a CAGR of 11.4%. A majority of the growth will be made through spending on HEVs and PEVs, Navigant projects.
Navigant forecasts that annual fuel consumption in the non-tactical fleet will decrease by a 2.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) almost from more than 81 million gasoline gallon equivalents (GGEs) in 2013 to just fewer than 70 million GGEs in 2020 due in part to increased use of alternative fuel vehicles.
Worldwide Prius sales top 3-million mark; Prius family sales at 3.4 million
July 03, 2013
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announced that as of the end of June, worldwide cumulative sales of the Prius gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle (generations I, II and III) passed the 3-million mark. (The figure is based on worldwide cumulative sales through the end of May 2013 plus June sales in the US.) Total global Prius nameplate sales (the expanded Prius family) are at 3.436 million units.
TMC launched the Prius in 1997. The second generation followed in 2003, and the third generation in 2009. From the first to third generation, TMC greatly reduced the cost of the hybrid system by two-thirds and increased fuel efficiency from 28 km/L to 38 km/L (65.0 mpg US to 89.4 mpg US, as measured using the 10-15 test cycle of the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism). In addition, TMC applied for 1,261 patents relating to the third-generation Prius.
XL1 dive and drive: Volkswagen aggressively optimizes for efficiency in its sleek diesel plug-in hybrid
June 24, 2013
|XL1s ready to roll. Click to enlarge.|
During a media event in Wolfsburg, Germany, Volkswagen provided a medium dive into details of its two-seater XL1 Super Efficient Vehicle diesel plug-in hybrid (earlier post) as well as some driving time on local roads and highways.
The XL1 is aggressively optimized for efficiency in all areas of its design and technology—from materials (carbon fiber reinforced polymer monocoque); to powertrain (0.8L two-cylinder diesel, 20 kW electric motor and 5.5 kWh Li-ion pack with efficiency-optimized control and brake regeneration strategies); to lightweighting (little baffling to shield the driver from engine, chassis and road noises); to aerodynamics (with a Cd of 0.189, the XL1 bests the only other production vehicle that has come close, the GM EV1’s 0.19; the original Honda Insight hybrid had a Cd of 0.25). It reflects, the Volkswagen team members said, an effort by the company to deliver the most efficient vehicle they could—but one that could still be series-produced, homologated and sold—with current technologies.
Renault presents new hybrid power unit for F1 in 2014
June 21, 2013
|Renault’s hybrid power unit for F1 in 2014 includes a turbocharged, direct-injected 1.6L engine plus two motor generator units for energy recovery and use: the MGU-H (heat) and MGU-K (kinetic). Click to enlarge.|
At the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, Renault presented its new power unit designed to the new technical regulations to be used in the FIA Formula One world champion ship from 2014 onwards: the Energy F1-2014. The regulations call for a 1.6L direct injection Turbo V6 plus a single turbocharger; an electric motor for boost is allowed
There is a strong focus on improved vehicle fuel efficiency / reduced fuel consumption, with the fuel quantity for the race limited to 100 kg—about a 35% reduction from the current V8 F1 engines. Fuel mass flow rate is limited to 100 kg/hr max (it is currently unlimited), and Energy Recovery Systems (ERS) are allowed.
Nissan unveils ZEOD RC electric Le Mans Prototype; targeting 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours
|Nissan ZEOD RC. Click to enlarge.|
Nissan unveiled the ZEOD RC (Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car)—an electric Le Mans prototype racing car intended to reach speeds of more than 300 km/h (186 mph) at the Le Mans 24 Hours race in 2014, where it will makes its debut.
Nissan will use the same core lithium-ion battery technology as in the LEAF and will test out variants of new electric drive train technologies as part of its intended future return to LM P1 competition.
Honda introduces Accord hybrid and plug-in in Japan; hybrid in US in October
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has introduced the new Accord Hybrid in Japan. Featuring the new Sport Hybrid i-MMD (intelligent Multi-Mode Drive) powertrain, the Accord Hybrid offers fuel economy of 30.0 km/L (70.6 mpg US, 3.33 L/100 km) on the JC08 cycle. The company also introduced the Accord Plug-in Hybrid, with fuel economy (gasoline plus electricity) of 70.4 km/L equivalent (165.6 mpg US, 1.42 L/100 km) on the JC08. The plug-in will be available for lease, primarily to corporations and government agencies. (Earlier post.)
The Accord plug-in came in limited availability to the US earlier this year. Honda will introduce the conventional hybrid version of the Accord in the US nationwide in October. Honda estimates that the Accord Hybrid will earn an EPA fuel economy rating of 47 mpg US (20 km/L, 5.0 L/100 km) on the combined cycle. The plug-in hybrid in the US has a fuel economy rating of 115 mpg US (48.9 km/L, 2.05 L/100 km) equivalent.
Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupé plug-in makes its European debut; showcasing the MQB
June 20, 2013
|Engine compartment of the CrossBlue Coupé plug-in hybrid shows the transverse-mounted 3.0L V6; DSG is to the right, with the power electronics unit mounted above it. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen brought the new CrossBlue Coupé plug-in hybrid sporty mid-size SUV show car, introduced in April at Auto Shanghai 2013 (earlier post), to a media event in Berlin for its European premiere.
The CrossBlue Coupé—based off the Volkswagen Group’s MQB architecture (the Group’s modular assembly kit for vehicles with transverse-mounted engines)—features a transverse-mounted turbocharged direct-injection (TSI) 220 kW (295 hp) 3.0L V6 gasoline engine (EA 390) and six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission with 40 kW electric motor (DQ 400 E) in the engine compartment. The DQ 400 E hybrid transmission is also being applied in the upcoming Audi A3 plug-in hybrid. (Earlier post.)
New Bosch iBooster for improved braking control, more complete capture of braking energy in hybrids and EVs
June 18, 2013
|The iBooster. Click to enlarge.|
Bosch has developed the iBooster, an electromechanical brake booster that provides situation-dependent support when the driver initiates braking. The iBooster makes hybrid and electric vehicles even more efficient, while enhancing safety through shorter braking distances, says Gerhard Steiger, president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division.
For hybrid and electric vehicles to achieve their intended range and fuel efficiency, they must recover as much electrical drive energy as possible when braking. Ideally, cars would be slowed down purely as a result of their electric motor converting their kinetic energy into electricity, avoiding the loss of valuable energy through braking. The Bosch iBooster recovers almost all the energy lost in typical braking operations by ensuring deceleration rates of up to 0.3 g are achieved using the electric motor alone. It thus covers all common braking maneuvers in everyday traffic.
Bosch sees future requiring multiple powertrain technologies; the larger the vehicle, the more the electrification
|Powertrain technologies outlook up to 2020. Click to enlarge.|
At the company’s 61st Automotive Press Briefing in Boxberg, Germany, Bosch senior executives outlined the company’s view on the general future of automotive technology—“efficient and increasingly electrical”, and provided a thumbnail of the way they see—and thus are developing products for—sector-specific technology trends.
In general, said Dr. Bernd Bohr, Chairman of the Bosch Automotive Group, the pace of development continues to pick up, in the form of powertrain electrification and the automation of driving. Bosch does not believe there is just one powertrain solution for the future; most of the cars on the world’s roads are still running on diesel and gasoline, and things will stay that way for the rest of the decade, Bohr noted. However, “slowly but surely”, the number of alternatives is growing.
EADS demonstrating electric and hybrid aviation propulsion; innovative distributed propulsion series hybrid
June 17, 2013
|E-Thrust is a “series hybrid” electrical distributed propulsion system concept using one gas power unit providing the electrical power for six fans for lower fuel consumption, fewer emissions and less noise. Click to enlarge.|
The EADS Group—comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter—is demonstrating at the Paris Air Show 2013 a number of initiatives in the field of electric and hybrid propulsion, which it calls its “E-aircraft projects”.
The Group has developed and built a battery-electric general aviation training aircraft in cooperation with Aero Composites Saintonge (ACS), called E-Fan. EADS has also engineered together with Diamond Aircraft and Siemens an updated series hybrid electric motor glider, the Diamond Aircraft DA36 E-Star 2. EADS is also cooperating with Rolls-Royce on a future distributed propulsion system concept (DEAP) for full-size passenger aircraft.
Honda outlines short-term directions for China; local production of hybrids pushed back to 2016
Jointly with Guangqi Honda Automobile Co., Ltd. and Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., Ltd., Honda’s automobile production and sales joint venture companies in China, Honda Motor (China) Investment Co., Ltd. (HMCI), a wholly-owned Honda subsidiary, outlined Honda’s technology directions, plans for new model introductions, and increasing localization of research and development operation in China. Honda is planning to introduce 12 new models in China before the end of 2015.
Among the outlined directions was a statement that Honda “is striving to begin local production of hybrid models within the next three years”—i.e., by 2016. The company earlier had suggested that it would begin local production of hybrids, which it sells into the China market, in 2014. (Suggestions of local production of Honda hybrids in China go back further than that to at least 2004. Earlier post.)
SEAT unveils plug-in hybrid prototype based on the new Leon hatchback; smart charging and V2G
June 12, 2013
|SEAT Leon Verde PHEV prototype. Click to enlarge.|
SEAT, a Spanish motor company and member of the Volkswagen Group, has unveiled a plug-in hybrid R&D prototype based on the new Leon hatchback. The Leon Verde (“Green”) prototype is the culmination of the four-year Cenit Verde research project in Spain, and was presented at the official closing event of the project.
The plug-in hybrid combines a 120 hp (90 kw) 1.4 TSI gasoline engine with a 75 kW electric motor. Combined maximum output is 125 kW. Combined cycle fuel consumption is estimated at 1.6 l/100 km (147 mpg US), with 36 g/km CO2; all-electric range is 31 miles (50 km). With a fully charged battery and a full 40-liter (10.6 gallons US) gasoline tank, its total range is 507 miles (816 km).
Navigant forecasts hybrids to account for almost 4% of global LDV sales by 2020, plug-ins 3%
June 11, 2013
|Annual light duty electric vehicle sales by drivetrain, world markets: 2013-2020. Source: Navigant Research. Click to enlarge.|
In its latest forecast for hybrid and plug-in electric vehicle sales, Navigant Research expects that hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), which today account for about 2% of global light duty vehicle sales, will grow to almost 4% of global LDV sales by 2020.
The company also expects, despite the challenges of new technology, that plug-in electric vehicles will grow rapidly in many regions as a result of rising fuel prices, falling PEV prices, and increasing availability of PEV models. The result is a PEV market that will reach 3 million vehicles sold in 2020, representing 3% of the global light-duty vehicle market.
CMU study finds driving conditions have “substantial” impact on benefits of electrified vehicles; policy implications
June 10, 2013
|NHTS-Averaged Annual GHG Emissions per vehicle type by drive cycle. (Base Case). Source: Karabasoglu and Michalek. Click to enlarge.|
A new analysis by Orkun Karabasoglu and Jeremy Michalek of the Carnegie Mellon Vehicle Electrification Group at Carnegie Mellon University found that driving conditions affect the economic and environmental benefits of electrified vehicles “substantially”.
As a result, they suggested, vehicle window stickers, fuel economy standards, and life cycle studies using average lab-test vehicle efficiency estimates are incomplete. Driver heterogeneity matters, they found, and efforts to encourage adoption of hybrid and plug-in vehicles will have greater impact if targeted to urban drivers vs. highway drivers. Further, electrified vehicles perform better on some drive cycles than others, so non-representative tests can bias consumer perception and regulation of alternative technologies. Their study is published in the journal Energy Policy.
ALABC lead-acid UltraBattery Civic hybrid surpasses 100,000 miles of fleet duty
June 06, 2013
In a project co-funded by the US Department of Energy and managed by Ecotality North America, the Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC) has demonstrated the durability of lead-carbon batteries in the high-rate, partial state-of-charge operation of a hybrid electric vehicle. A Honda Civic hybrid retrofitted with lead-carbon UltraBattery modules (earlier post) (provided by East Penn Manufacturing) has recorded more than 100,000 miles (161,000 km) of courier duty in the local area of Phoenix, AZ.
The HEV demonstrator, which was first retrofitted and put into fleet duty by Ecotality in November 2011, achieved the benchmark—and continues to run smoothly—in the varying temperatures and elevations of the Phoenix area in just under two-years of operation with no significant loss in battery capacity. The hybrid has also achieved comparable MPG performance with that of the same model powered by Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries but at a significantly lower cost, ALABC said.
Oerlikon and Continental to cooperate on motor and transmission systems for hybrid & electric vehicles
May 28, 2013
Swiss high-tech industrial Group Oerlikon and international automotive supplier Continental have entered into an agreement to cooperate on the development and marketing of integrated axle drive motor and transmission systems for hybrid and electric vehicles featuring optimized overall powertrain efficiency.
Oerlikon Graziano SpA will contribute its know-how in the development, production and design of high-performance transmissions, while Continental’s Powertrain Division will bring to the table its expertise in the development of conventional, hybrid and all-electric passenger car powertrains.
Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid PHEV averages 4.4 l/100 km (53.4 mpg US) during test drives
May 24, 2013
|Panamera S E-Hybrid PHEV on the road. Click to enlarge.|
During an international press event in Germany, in which more than 42 test drives were conducted with journalists in the Panamera S E-Hybrid (earlier post) covering a total distance of more than 1,200 kilometers (746 miles), the new plug-in hybrid model consumed 4.4 l/100 km (53.4 mpg US) averaged over all drives.
The lowest fuel consumption value recorded on the circuit course for the Panamera plug-in hybrid was 2.8 l/100 km (84 mpg US). NEDC testing indicates combined cycle fuel consumption of 3.1 l/100 km (75.9 mpg US) for the PHEV, with accompanying CO2 emissions (combined) of 71 g/km. Electrical consumption (combined) is rated at 162 Wh/km.
National Academies issues interim report on overcoming barriers to PEV deployment
May 22, 2013
The National Academies has issued a pre-publication version of an interim report on Overcoming Barriers to Electric-Vehicle Deployment. A final, comprehensive report will be published in late summer 2014.
Given recognized technical, social, and economic barriers to widespread adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicles), Congress had asked the Department of Energy (DOE) to commission a study by the National Academies to address market barriers that are slowing the purchase of electric vehicles and hindering the deployment of supporting infrastructure. As a result, the National Research Council (NRC)—a part of the National Academies—appointed the Committee on Overcoming Barriers to Electric-Vehicle Deployment.
Porsche introduces 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid sports car
May 16, 2013
|The 918 Spyder. Click to enlarge.|
Porsche has introduced the 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid sports car, the first of six or more plug-in hybrids coming from the Volkswagen Group. (Earlier post.) Porsche had unveiled the concept version of the 918 Spyder Plug-in Hybrid at the Geneva Motor Show in 2010. (Earlier post.)
The 918 Spyder features a novel all-wheel drive concept with a combination of a 608 hp (453 kW) V8 combustion engine, 115 kW electric motor on the rear axle and ~95 kW electric motor on the front axle. Combined system power is 887 hp (661 kW). It is based on knowledge gained by Porsche during motor races with the 911 GT3 R flywheel Hybrid (earlier post).
Lexus begins sales of new IS 300h hybrid in Japan along with new IS lineup
|IS 300h. Click to enlarge.|
Lexus has begun sales of the new IS sports sedan lineup in Japan with the introduction of the redesigned IS 350 and IS 250, and the introduction of the IS 300h hybrid. Monthly sales target for the hybrid model in Japan is 800 units. Lexus unveiled the new 2014 IS sport sedan at the North American International Auto Show in January. (Earlier post.)
The IS 300h achieves fuel economy of 23.2 km/L (54.6 mpg US, 4.3 l/100 km) and CO2 emissions of 100 g/km under the Japanese MLIT JC08 test cycle. This performance exceeds the 2015 fuel efficiency standards by 20% and the 2005 standards of the MLIT approval system for low-emission vehicles by 75%.
Mercedes-Benz launches new S-Class with hybrid, diesel, gasoline models; 59 mpg PHEV model to come
|New S 400 HYBRID. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz’s new generation flagship S-Class, introduced at an elaborate event at Airbus in Finkenwerder, marks a number of technology firsts in numerous areas from comfort, to driver control, to efficiency. As one example of the last, the new S-Class is the first car in the world to completely dispense with conventional electric bulbs, making exclusive use of energy-saving LED technology both inside and outside.
On a larger efficiency scale, the new S-Class in its first year will offer two hybrid versions, a gasoline model and a diesel variant: the S 400 HYBRID, S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, S 500, and S 350 BlueTEC. The models offer up to 20% lower fuel consumption than the outgoing model series. These soon will be followed by the S 500 Plug-In HYBRID—the first S-Class with a fuel consumption lower than 4l/100 km (59 mpg US). All the engines already meet the requirements of the Euro-6 emissions standard.
Volvo plug-in hybrid bus with Bůsbaar rapid charging to begin field testing in Gothenburg; 75-80% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2
May 14, 2013
|7900 Volvo Plugin Hybrid Charging at Redbergsplatsen in Gothenburg. Click to enlarge.|
Volvo Buses’ new plug-in hybrid buses will begin field tests in Gothenburg, Sweden this month. Volvo Buses has already sold more than 1,000 of its conventional hybrid units; the plug-in version will facilitate the reduction of fuel consumption and carbon dioxide by 75 to 80%, compared with current diesel buses, the company said.
The plug-in hybrids are based on the Volvo 7900 Hybrid, Volvo Buses’ second series-produced hybrid bus model. The plug-in hybrids have been further developed, and enable rapid recharging from electricity grids via the Opbrid Bůsbaar pantograph on the roof (earlier post).
GM recalling certain eAssist models; up to 42,904 vehicles potentially affected by GCM issue
May 06, 2013
General Motors (GM) is recalling certain model year 2012 and 2013 Buick LaCrosse and Regal, and model year 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco vehicles equipped with the eAssist light electrification system. (Earlier post.) Some of these vehicles have a condition in which the Generator Control Module (GCM) may not function properly. This could cause a gradual loss of battery charge and the illumination of the malfunction indicator light, GM said in its notice to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
If these warnings are ignored, eventually the engine may stall and/or the vehicle may not start. In addition, there may be a burning or melting odor, smoke, and possibly a fire in the trunk. Potentially up to 42,904 MY 2012 and MY2013 vehicles may be affected.
Renault adapts F1 KERS system for electric Twizy F1 Sport Concept
April 26, 2013
|The Twizy Renault Sport F1 concept. Click to enlarge.|
Renault engineers have built an “F1” concept version of the Twizy EV featuring a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) based on the solution used by Renault-powered Formula 1 race cars.
Twizy Renault Sport F1 is consequently equipped with two electric motors—i.e. the original motor (17 hp/13 kW) onto which the F1-style KERS with its own motor has been grafted. When the KERS is activated, Twizy Renault Sport F1’s power output climbs instantly by a factor of six, from 17 to 97 horsepower (72 kW). This boost is available for approximately 14 seconds, just as it is in the case of a Formula 1 car. Thanks to this additional power, the concept car is capable of accelerating from standstill to 100 km/h in the same time as Mégane R.S.
Winterkorn says Volkswagen developing 10-speed DCT and high-performance diesel; plug-in hybrids offer great potential
|Volkswagen’s view of powertrain technologies to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. Source: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Leohold, Executive Director Volkswagen Group Research. Click to enlarge.|
At the International Vienna Motor Symposium Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, gave a forecast of future drive system technologies. Areas of work being focused on by Volkswagen include the development of a high-performance diesel engine delivering 100 kW (134 hp) per liter of displacement and a new 10-speed dual clutch gearbox that reduces fuel consumption.
The high performance diesel engine features a variable valve-train assembly, a high-pressure injection system at up to 3,000 bar and combined charging with an innovative e-booster. Among alternative drive systems, plug-in hybrids in particular offer great potential, Winterkorn said. (The Volkswagen Group intends to launch at least 6 new plug-in hybrid models starting in 2014 and beyond. Earlier post.)
Volvo Cars’ tests of flywheel technology confirm fuel savings of up to 25%
April 25, 2013
|Volvo Car’s flywheel KERS system. Click to enlarge.|
Results of Volvo Car Group’s testing of kinetic flywheel technology on public roads during 2012 show that the flywheel technology combined with a four-cylinder turbo engine has the potential to reduce fuel consumption by up to 25% compared with a six-cylinder turbo engine at a comparable performance level, according to Derek Crabb, Vice President Powertrain Engineering at Volvo Car Group. (Earlier post.)
If the energy in the flywheel is combined with the combustion engine’s full capacity, it will give the car an extra 80 horsepower. Combined with the swift torque build-up, this translates into rapid acceleration, cutting 0 to 100 km/h figures by seconds. The experimental car, a Volvo S60, accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.5 seconds.
ALABC and CPT to introduce 48V LC Super Hybrid demonstrator at Vienna Motor Symposium
April 24, 2013
|12V and 48V LC Super Hybrid technology demonstrators. Click to enlarge.|
The Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC) and Controlled Power Technologies (CPT) will introduce a low-carbon 48 volt LC Super Hybrid technology demonstrator at the International Vienna Motor Symposium this week. The 48V LC Super Hybrid aims to demonstrate CO2 emissions of 120 g/km, combined with 0 to 100 km/h acceleration in less than nine seconds, in a family-sized sedan.
Employing cost-effective low-voltage micro-mild hybrid technology, the LC Super Hybrid, which is based on a 1.4-liter VW Passat, will make its global debut at the 34th annual powertrain conference. The 48-volt version of the LC Super Hybrid complements the existing 12 volt technology demonstrator unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2012. (Earlier post.)
IEE forecasts electric-drive LDVs could constitute between 2 to 12% of US vehicle stock by 2035
April 22, 2013
|Forecast by LDV scenario (millions). Source: IEE. Click to enlarge.|
Under its most conservative of scenarios, more than 5 million light-duty electric-drive vehicles will be on the road in the US by 2035, according to a new forecast by IEE, an institue of the Edison Foundation. According to the report, “Forecast of On-Road Electric Transportation in the US (2010-2035)”, this figure could increase to as high as 30 million EVs depending on advances in battery technology.
IEE developed three general scenarios for electric transportation: low, medium, and high. These scenarios provide projections based on EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) 2012 Reference Case, advances in battery technology (e.g., improved battery chemistry that allows for faster and deeper charging and reductions in battery cell and other component costs), and oil prices increasing to $200 per barrel:
Johnson Controls to supply AGM batteries to Chery Jaguar Land Rover in China; introducing 48V micro hybrid system
April 19, 2013
Johnson Controls will provide its Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) advanced lead-acid battery technology to power the Chery Jaguar Land Rover Start-Stop and other vehicles made in China to serve the China market. Start-Stop systems help reduce fuel consumption as the engine shuts off when the vehicle comes to a stop in traffic or at a red light. The battery restarts the engine when the driver’s foot releases the brake pedal or engages the clutch.
Separately, the company will debut to the China market its 48-volt Micro Hybrid battery demonstration module (earlier post) at the 15th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition (Auto Shanghai 2013). Leveraging a dual voltage architecture, the Micro Hybrid battery system involves a low voltage lead-acid battery and a 48 volt Lithium-ion battery that enable optimization of energy generation and consumption, thus saving fuel.
Volkswagen unveiling CrossBlue Coupé concept plug-in hybrid in Shanghai
|CrossBlue Coupé. Click to enlarge.|
At the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show, Volkswagen will introduce the “CrossBlue Coupé” concept plug-in hybrid SUV. The automaker introduced the “CrossBlue SUV” concept—developed specifically for the US and Canada—at the North American International Auto Show earlier this year. (Earlier post).
The CrossBlue Coupé is powered by a plug-in hybrid system comprising a V6 turbo direct gasoline injection engine (TSI) and two electric motors; maximum system power is as much as 305 kW (409 hp). The Volkswagen accelerates to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds, and its maximum speed is 236 km/h (147 mph). The CrossBlue Coupé has a combined fuel consumption of 3.0 l/100 km (78 mpg US) in the new European driving cycle (NEDC).
Linamar introduces Agilit-e rear axle hybrid power unit for OEMs; FWD Cadillac SRX converted to AWD plug-in hybrid as demo
April 18, 2013
|The Linamar Agilit-e unit contains the two motors, gears, power electronics, and cooling. The ECU, which is discrete in this first demo application, will be subsequently integrated into the main unit. Click to enlarge.|
Global automotive supplier Linamar Corporation has developed a fully-integrated, compact, modular and scalable twin-motor bolt-on rear axle unit to enable hybrid all-wheel drive applications: the Agilit-e Hybrid Power Unit. The company presented the unit, applied in a conventional front-wheel drive Cadillac SRX now converted to an AWD plug-in hybrid, at the 2013 SAE World Congress in Detroit.
The demonstration unit features twin independent 75 kW motors (150 kW total output), each coupled with a single-speed reduction gear (8.4 ratio), which is bolted to its respective half shaft. Coupled with a 330V, 9 kWh Li-ion battery pack in the SRX, the system enables an all-electric range of up to 30 km (18.6 miles) with a maximum all-electric speed of 130 km/h (81 mph).
IEA: carbon intensity of global energy supply has barely changed in last 20 years; “window of opportunity in transport”
|The ESCII, along with projections for three scenarios. To meet 2DS targets, the index needs to decline by 5.7% by 2020, and 64% by 2050. Source: IEA. Click to enlarge.|
In a fairly bleak assessment of global progress towards low-carbon energy, the International Energy Agency (IEA) concluded that, despite a few bright spots such as the rapid expansion of renewable technologies and the growth of hybrid and EV sales, the progress is far below that required to achieve a 2 °C pathway—i.e., to hold warming to 2 °C as outlined in the IEA Energy Technology Perspectives 2012 (ETP) 2 °C Scenario (2DS). The assessment came in an annual report to the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM).
To illustrate this inertia, the report, Tracking Clean Energy Progress, introduced the Energy Sector Carbon Intensity Index (ESCII), which shows how much carbon dioxide is emitted, on average, to provide a given unit of energy. The global energy supply became 6% cleaner from 1971 to 1990,in response to the oil shocks of the 1970s. Since 1990, however, the ESCII (2010 = 100) has remained essentially static, changing by less than 1%. In 1990 the underlying carbon intensity of supply was 57.1 tCO2/TJ (2.39 tCO2/toe); in 2010 it was 56.7 tCO2/TJ (2.37 tCO2/toe).
Honda details development of powertrain components for Accord plug-in hybrid
April 17, 2013
At SAE World Congress in Detroit, Honda engineers presented several papers on the development of the new Accord plug-in hybrid, describing work on the new gasoline engine (which will also be featured in the coming full hybrid version of the Accord), and the development of the new two-motor system. Through the end of March, Honda has sold 45 units of the new plug-in, which went on limited sale earlier this year.
The Accord plug-in hybrid has an all-electric range of 13 miles (21 km); charge depleting (EV mode) combined fuel economy of 115 MPGe; charge sustaining (hybrid mode) combined fuel economy of 46 MPGe; and meets California LEV3-SULEV20 emissions standards.
Toyota cumulative global hybrid sales pass 5M, nearly 2M in US
|Cumulative global sales of TMC hybrid models as of 31 March 2013. Click to enlarge.|
Cumulative global sales of Toyota Motor Corporation’s (TMC’s) hybrid vehicles—including plug-in hybrids—topped the 5 million unit mark as of 31 March 2013, reaching 5.125 million units. Of the global total, sales in the US have accounted for nearly 2 million units (1,951,243).
Last year, hybrid vehicles accounted for 14% of TMC’s global vehicle sales and 40% of its vehicle sales in Japan. As of this month, TMC sells 19 hybrid passenger car models and one plug-in hybrid model in approximately 80 countries and regions around the world. Between now and the end of 2015, Toyota will introduce 18 new hybrid models and expects global sales of its hybrids to be at least 1 million units a year in the same period. TMS forecasts that about one-third of those will be sold in the United States.
Toyota wraps up 3-year Strasbourg Prius PHV demo project; average 46% reduction in fuel consumption compared to gasoline ICE vehicles
April 13, 2013
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has completed its three-year plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV) demonstration project jointly carried out with Électricité de France (EDF) and the City and the Urban Community of Strasbourg in France.
The partners revealed the final conclusions collected from this large-scale demonstration, in which approximately 70 units of the Prius PHV were provided to Strasbourg. Data was accumulated by utilizing the 145 dedicated charging stations installed in the city by EDF to identify vehicles and exchange information. The vehicles travelled more than a total of 4 million kilometers (2.485 million miles) during the project. Among the findings were:
Tesla likely Q1 US PEV leader with 4,750+ sales in North America; Nissan surges with LEAF in March in US
April 04, 2013
With the US sales numbers for the first quarter of 2013 in, Tesla appears to be the leading seller of plug-in vehicles for that period, with more than 4,750 units of the model S sold in North America. (Earlier post.) (Tesla doesn’t break out sales by country at this time, so there are no US-specific figures from the company.)
GM posted sales of 4,244 Volt extended range electric vehicles in the US in the second quarter, representing an 8.4% increase year-on-year. March sales of the Volt in the US were weaker in March, with 1,478 units, compared to 2,289 units in March 2012, a decrease of 35.4%. (In Canada, GM sold 177 Volts in Q1, and 82 in March.)
Porsche introducing first plug-in hybrid with second generation of the Panamera
April 03, 2013
|2014 Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
Porsche is introducing its first plug-in hybrid and two new extended wheelbase variants with the second generation of the Panamera. The new Panamera S E-Hybrid produces 416 total system horsepower (310 kW) and is joined by Panamera 4S Executive and Panamera Turbo Executive models in the revised Panamera lineup.
The new Panamera S E-Hybrid improves upon the hybrid powertrain offered by the previous Panamera S Hybrid (earlier post)—which is not listed in the new generation Panamera line-up—with a more powerful electric motor, and a higher-performance battery that supplies more energy and is able to be recharged from home or public vehicle charging stations.