Volkswagen held the world premiere of its new, third-generation Touareg SUV in China—its largest market. Worldwide sales of the previous two generations amount to nearly one million units; the largest markets for the new Touareg—which serves as a technology flagship for the automaker—are China, Europe and Russia. Volkswagen will be... Read more →

SEAT to introduce 500 km MEB-based EV, Leon PHEV in 2020

SEAT, a member of the Volkswagen Group, will introduce its first fully electric vehicle in 2020. Built on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform, the new EV will feature a range of 500 km (311 miles). The EV launch comes as part of a product offensive, in which SEAT will launch... Read more →

Daimler is currently systematically preparing for series production of the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL; the company had shown preproduction models of the hydrogen fuel cell SUV at the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt last September (Earlier post.) The plug-in hybrid SUV will be produced at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen.... Read more →

Toyota unveiled a prototype hybrid flexible-fuel vehicle (Hybrid FFV) during an event Toyota held São Paulo, Brazil. Stakeholders including the state government, universities, and the sugarcane association (the Sugarcane Industry Union: UNICA) attended the event. The prototype is the combination of a flexible-fuel vehicle (FFV) that can be powered by... Read more →

Ford management gave an update on its product line plans, touting that by 2020, the company will offer “North America’s freshest lineup among all full-line automakers,” with its average showroom age dropping from 5.7 to 3.3 years as it replaces three-quarters of its lineup and adds four new trucks and... Read more →

Polestar, Volvo Cars’ new electric performance brand, introduced the Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid to the public for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show. The European debut follows its global media reveal in Shanghai, China, in late 2017. (Earlier post.) Polestar 1 is an electric performance hybrid 2+2 GT... Read more →

Lexus hosted the world premiere of the new UX crossover at the 2018 Geneva Motor show. The UX marks a series of technical innovations, including the first use of the new global architecture platform GA-C, which delivers fundamental high structural rigidity and a low center of gravity, thus securing excellent... Read more →

Toyota phasing out diesel in passenger cars in Europe, keeping diesel for commercial vehicles

Buoyed by strong European customer demand for hybrid versions on its core models, Toyota will phase out diesel engines from all its passenger cars in 2018. In 2017, hybrids represented 41% of Toyota’s European total sales, rising +38% year-on-year to 406,000 units. In contrast, Toyota’s diesel mix on passenger cars... Read more →

Techrules, a China-based automotive R&D company (earlier post) is unveiling the final production design of its Ren RS series-hybrid supercar at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. The single-seat race car—equipped with Techrules’ Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle (TREV) system—is a lightweight, high-performance track variant of the Techrules Ren supercar that was first... Read more →

At the Geneva Motor Show this week, Mercedes-Benz is unveiling two new preproduction models that combine the new OM 654 four-cylinder diesel engine with the latest-generation 9G-TRONIC 9-speed hybrid transmission. Like the S 560 e (combined fuel consumption 2.1 l/100 km (112 mpg US), combined CO2 emissions 49 g/km) (earlier... Read more →

The BMW Group Leipzig plant has started series production of the BMW i8 Roadster, unveiled at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show (earlier post). It will be launched parallel to the enhanced version of the BMW i8 Coupé. Both vehicles are flexibly manufactured on a single line in the BMW... Read more →

Infineon Technologies and SAIC Motor establish power module JV in China

SAIC Motor Corporation Limited and Infineon Technologies AG established a joint venture to manufacture power modules for the developing electric vehicle market in China. SAIC Motor holds a stake of 51% of the JV and Infineon 49 percent, respectively. The partners have received all approvals by public authorities. The JV... Read more →

Honda will reveal the European production version of the all-new CR-V at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. The company showed a CR-V hHybrid prototype for Europe at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2017. (Earlier post.) The company first unveiled a CR-V hybrid at Auto Shanghai in 2017. (Earlier post.) The... Read more →

GKN Driveline has begun testing an SUV technology research vehicle which showcases the company’s eDrive, All-Wheel Drive (AWD) and systems integration capabilities. Based on a Mercedes-AMG GLA 45, the one-off GKN Technology Demonstrator 2018 vehicle (GTD18), features mechanical and electric Twinster torque vectoring, a plug-in hybrid system, and completely re-engineered... Read more →

Audi unveiled the eighth generation of its successful A6 full-size sedan; all engines feature Audi’s 48V mild-hybrid (MHEV) system (earlier post) as standard equipment. In Audi’s new mild-hybrid technology, a belt alternator starter (BAS) works together with a lithium-ion battery. The Audi A6 can coast between 55 and 160 km/h... Read more →

Nissan Serena e-POWER goes on sale in JapanThe Nissan Serena e-POWER will go on sale in Japan on 1 March, combining the exceptional driving performance of the e-POWER electrified powertrain (earlier post) with the family-friendly features of the popular Serena minivan. The Serena will be the second model with the... Read more →

XL Hybrids will display three fleet-ready, electrified pickup truck solutions at NTEA’s Work Truck Show next week in Indianapolis. XL is unveiling the industry’s first XLH hybrid-electric F-250 pickup in its booth, while also displaying an XLP plug-in hybrid-electric F-150. Both trucks in XL’s booth will be displayed on vehicle... Read more →

Toyota Motor Corporation has developed a new continuously variable transmission (CVT) featuring a launch gear; a new 6-speed manual transmission; a new 2.0-liter engine with 40% thermal efficiency (41% in hybrid applications); a new 2.0-liter hybrid system; and new 4WD systems—one for gasoline-engined cars, one for hybrids—based on the Toyota... Read more →

Volvo Cars revealed the new V60 five-door, mid-size premium wagon. The V60 comes with two plug-in hybrid powertrain options: the new T6 Twin Engine AWD gasoline plug-in hybrid that generates a combined 340 hp or the T8 Twin Engine AWD gasoline plug-in hybrid that delivers 390 hp. The regular gasoline... Read more →

BP outlook: Energy demand grows as fuel mix continues to diversify; EVs in global car parc at 15% by 2040, but electric share of VMT at 30%

The 2018 edition of BP’s Energy Outlook considers the forces shaping the global energy transition out to 2040 and the key uncertainties surrounding that transition. The speed of the energy transition is uncertain and the new Outlook considers a range of scenarios. Its evolving transition scenario, which assumes that government... Read more →

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will stage the global premiere of the new 2019 model year Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV at the upcoming Geneva show. The new PHEV will be introduced to the European market towards the end of the year. Additionally, MMC will celebrate the European premiere of the Mitsubishi e-EVOLUTION... Read more →

Volvo Cars launched its new three-cylinder Drive-E powertrain in the XC40, the company’s first entry into the compact SUV segment. The new powertrain is the first three-cylinder engine in the company’s 91-year history. The new three-cylinder powertrain has been deliberately designed for integration into Twin Engine plug-in hybrid cars. A... Read more →

New Argonne-developed tool helps car buyers compare electric-drive and traditional vehicles

Consumers in seven US Midwest states seeking information about plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles now have access to a new-vehicle purchase guidance tool created by Argonne National Laboratory. The tool was created as a part of an innovative clean-vehicle program recently launched in the Midwest. States currently covered by the... Read more →

Alongside the A-Class, the G-Class and the new four-door Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé, Mercedes-Benz will hold the world premiere of the new facelifted C-Class Saloon and Estate models featuring new gasoline and diesel engines, and plug-in hybrid versions. The C-Class in its current generation was Mercedes-Benz’s top-selling model in its fourth... Read more →

Audi has unveiled the second-generation A7 Sportback, which is the essence of Audi‘s new design language. The four-door coupé brings the show car design of the prologue studies (earlier post) to production. The drive system features a new mild-hybrid system (MHEV) as standard. At market introduction the coupé will be... Read more →

Forerunner and historical leader of the leisure activity vehicle (LAV)—i.e., small vans—segment in Europe, Groupe PSA will introduce three latest-generation models designed for its different brands: Peugeot, Citroën and Opel/Vauxhall. The new line-up stems from a single development program aimed at increasing the efficiency of investments and resources devoted to... Read more →

A cradle-to-grave (C2G) assessment of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and costs for current (2015) and future (2025–2030) light-duty vehicles by a team from US DOE and national laboratories, major automakers, EPRI and Chevron has found that currently, hybrid and plug-in hybrid petroleum-fueled vehicles provide the most attractive cost in terms... Read more →

Hyundai unveiled the redesigned 2018 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models at the Chicago Auto Show. Although the powertrains remain the same, the new Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid feature a comprehensive exterior and interior redesign, safety, suspension and new and improved infotainment and connectivity features. The 2018 Hybrid and... Read more →

Lexus is pricing the new 2018 RX 450hL three-row hybrid SUV—announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2017—with a starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $50,620—$1,550 more than its gasoline-engined RX 350L AWD three-rowed sibling. The RX 450hL is set to go on sale at dealers in... Read more →

Dongfeng Motor to introduce more than 20 electric models under new 2022 midterm plan; battery-electric and e-POWER

Dongfeng Motor Co., Ltd. (DFL)—a 50-50 joint venture between China’s Dongfeng Group and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.—plans to increase annual sales by 1 million vehicles to 2.6 million by 2022 and projects revenue will rise to RMB 300 billion (US$48 billion), under the company’s new midterm plan. The company aims... Read more →

ExxonMobil’s newly released Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040 anticipates that global energy needs will rise about 25% over the period to 2040, led by non-OECD countries. While the mix shifts toward lower-carbon-intensive fuels, the world will need to pursue all economic energy sources, the report says. The Outlook... Read more →

Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) sold more than 1.52 million electrified vehicles (hybrids on up) worldwide in 2017. This represents an increase of eight percent over the prior record set in 2016, marking back-to-back years of growth and accomplishing one of Toyota's Environmental Challenge 2050 targets—i.e., selling more than 1.5 million... Read more →

The new Qualcomm Safety Car BMW i8 Coupé made its debut on Thursday in Santiago, Chile. The car will feature from the fourth race in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, which will take place on Saturday. BMW i has been “Official Vehicle Partner” since the first Formula E season... Read more →

Punch Powertrain, a Belgium-based full-system supplier of fuel-efficient powertrains including transmissions and plug-in hybrid and battery-electric systems, is acquiring France-based power electronics expert Apojee. Apojee has customers in the German and French automotive industry (both OEMs and Tier 1s), as well as in motorsports (inverters for Formula E and for... Read more →

A bespoke development of GKN’s coaxial eAxle powers the rear wheels of the LEVC (London EV Company, formerly known as London Taxi Company)’s electrified TX model. GKN Driveline launched its coaxial eAxle in its first application across Volvo’s range of T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrids, picking up an Automotive News... Read more →

Electric motor manufacturer YASA secures $21M growth funding, opens new Oxford production facility

YASA, a manufacturer of axial-flux electric motors and controllers (earlier post), has raised £15 million (US$21 million) in growth funding. Universal Partners joined Parkwalk Advisors and other existing investors in the round, bringing the total raised by the company to £35 million (US$49 million). This £15-million investment follows YASA’s signing... Read more →

FCA US LLC announced an agreement to supply “thousands” of Chrysler Pacifica plug-in Hybrid minivans (earlier post) to Waymo to support the launch of its driverless ride-hailing service. FCA previously delivered 100 Pacifica Hybrid minivans, adapted for self-driving, to Waymo during the second half of 2016 and an additional 500... Read more →

Mercedes-Benz to build electric vehicles in 6 plants on 3 continents; global battery network; EQC in 2019

Mercedes-Benz is in the process of building out hubs for the production of electric vehicles and batteries around the globe. Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain said that Mercedes-Benz will build its electric vehicles in six plants on three continents. By 2022,... Read more →

Diesel car registrations in Europe in 2017 down 7.9%; SUV sales up 19.5%; AFVs up 46% but share still low

In Europe, diesel car registrations fell by 7.9% to 6.76 million units in 2017, representing just 43.7% of market share—the lowest for the segment in the last decade, according to figures from JATO Dynamics. Gasoline car registrations benefited from the decline of diesel, growing by 10.9% (+760,000 units) to a... Read more →

Via Motors, Geely to co-develop medium-duty extended-range electric truck for China and Americas

VIA Motors International is partnering with China-based Zhejiang Geely New Energy Vehicle Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Zhejiang Geely Commercial Vehicle Group, to co-develop a medium-duty extended range electric truck. The truck will incorporate VIA’s proprietary vehicle software and systems control technology, for launch in China and the Americas in... Read more →

GKN order book for electric driveline technologies totalled $2.8 billion by end of 2017

GKN Driveline announced that its order book for electric driveline (eDrive) technologies hit a record £2 billion (US$2.8 billion) by the end of 2017 following a series of significant program wins with major global automakers. Sales, which were previously forecast to rise from £33 million (US$45.7 million) in 2017 to... Read more →

Delphi Technologies invests in innovative capacitor start-up PolyCharge

Delphi Technologies PLC, a leader in vehicle propulsion technologies, has invested in PolyCharge America, Inc, a start-up established to commercialize a new capacitor technology. This technology helps to make high-power inverters smaller, lighter and more tolerant to high temperatures. The minority equity investment, for an undisclosed sum, builds on an... Read more →

Ricardo aims to be the niche battery pack manufacturer of choice for premium high-performance hybrids and EVs

Ricardo said that its recent completion of a full EV sports car battery manufacturing concept program by its Performance Products division is a significant milestone in its aim to become the niche battery manufacturer of choice for high performance hybrids and EVs. Ricardo Performance Products has been in niche volume... Read more →

INFINITI will offer mix of BEV and e-POWER vehicles from 2021; 50% of global sales by 2025

INFINITI Motor Company will introduce new vehicles with electrified powertrains from 2021, said Nissan Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit. INFINITI will offer a mix of pure electric vehicles (EV) and e-POWER series hybrid vehicles (earlier post), demonstrating the full range of low-emission... Read more →

Toyota unveiled the new fifth-generation Avalon at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Avalon received an all-encompassing makeover by Toyota’s US-based design, engineering, and manufacturing entities at Calty Design Research Inc. (Calty) in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Toyota Motor North America Research and Development (TMNA R&D) in Saline, Michigan;... Read more →

Continental is supplying the 48V belt-starter generator with integrated power electronics that is at the heart of the mild-hybrid (MHEV) system that is standard on Audi’s new A8. (Earlier post.) The system replaces a conventional starter pinion and is driven by a belt connected to the engine crankshaft. Together with... Read more →

FCA pulled the wraps off the new 2019 Ram 1500 at the Detroit Auto Show. Overall weight for the Ram 1500 has been reduced by 225 pounds (102 kg). As the truck’s backbone, the frame uses advanced materials and engineering to eliminate 100 pounds while increasing stiffness and durability for... Read more →

DENSO Corporation and FLOSFIA Inc., a tech startup spun out from Kyoto University, are partnering to develop a next-generation power semiconductor device expected to reduce the energy loss, cost, size and weight of inverters used in electrified vehicles (EVs). Through the joint development project, the two companies aim to improve... Read more →

Caterpillar Marine developing hybrid tug with Sanmar Shipyards; Advanced Variable Drive

Caterpillar Marine is collaborating with Sanmar Shipyards in Istanbul, Turkey to build an innovative tugboat with a hydraulic hybrid propulsion system. Sanmar is the largest tug builder in Turkey with over 40 years of experience and known as a market leader at the forefront of the tug building industry. The... Read more →

Hyundai’s 2018 Plug-in Hybrid Ioniq (earlier post) is heading to dealerships now—joining the Hybrid and Electric models—with an aggressive starting price of $24,950—$5,000 less than the full battery-electric version of the Ioniq but with more than five times the range. Depending upon the carbon intensity of the electricity used to... Read more →