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 →


The technology group Wärtsilä will supply two Wärtsilä HY 2 hybrid power modules for a new escort tug being built for the Swedish port of Luleå located on the Gulf of Bothnia in the northern end of the Baltic Sea. The vessel is being built at GONDAN Shipbuilders, in Asturias,... Read more →


Honda will unveil the Honda Insight Prototype at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January as the precursor to the new third-generation 2019 Honda Insight—an upscale, stylish five-passenger sedan positioned above the Civic in Honda’s passenger car lineup. The new Insight features the latest generation of... Read more →


The BMW Group has delivered more than 100,000 electrified vehicles to customers worldwide in 2017, as promised at the beginning of the year. In recognition of the miletone, BMW used a light installation to transform its Group headquarters—the world-famous “Four-Cylinder” in the north of Munich—on the evening of 18 December... Read more →


Toyota aims for sales of more than 5.5M electrified vehicles including 1M ZEVS per year by 2030; no models developed without electrified version

Toyota Motor Corporation announced its plans regarding the mass adoption of electrified vehicles for the decade 2020-2030. Toyota’s electrified vehicle strategy centers on a significant acceleration in the development and launch plans of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), and fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).... Read more →


Groupe Renault, Brilliance form JV for LCVs in China in three segments with three brands; accelerating electrified powertrains

Groupe Renault and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Limited have signed a contract for the formation of a joint venture to manufacture and sell light commercial vehicles (LCV) under the Jinbei, Renault and Huasong brands with the goal of achieving 150,000 sales annually by 2022 and an acceleration of electrifying powertrains.... Read more →


Porsche reports that around 60% of all new Panamera models that have been delivered in Europe were equipped with a hybrid drive. The new Panamera plug-in hybrid models were launched on the European market in June 2017. The Panamera plug-in hybrids (Panamera 4 E-Hybrid and Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Executive) have... Read more →


The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Verizon announced that Verizon has replaced 234 of its existing gasoline-powered vans with hybrid-electric vans for use in New York City. Verizon purchased the new vans using rebates offered through the New York Truck Voucher Incentive Program—the largest purchase... Read more →


On 30 November, the European EU-LIVE consortium unveiled a new L5e-category (3-wheeled vehicles one can use at a speed above 50 km/h and on any road) electrified mobility solution. Positioned between the two-wheel and four-wheel segments, it is equipped with a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) powertrain, two electric in-wheel... Read more →


Kia introduced the 2018 Niro Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) (earlier post) to the US market at the Los Angeles Auto Show. As Kia’s third plug-in model after the Soul EV and the Optima PHEV, and anticipated in retailer showrooms by the end of this year, the Niro PHEV offers an estimated... Read more →


At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Jeep unveiled the 2018 Wrangler, with new mild hybrid (eTorque) and diesel options to be available. The 2018 Jeep Wrangler 2-door model is available in three different trim configurations: Sport, Sport S and Rubicon. Wrangler 4-door models are available in four different trim configurations:... Read more →


At the Los Angeles Auto Show, BMW unveiled the first i8 Roadster, along with the 2019 i8 Coupe. Optimized BMW eDrive technology delivers more power—total output increased to 369 hp (+12 hp)—and a refined high-voltage battery with increased capacity and range. The new BMW i8 Roadster and BMW i8 Coupe... Read more →


In an open-access paper published in Scientific Reports, a team from Fraunhofer ISI and KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) has presented the first systematic overview of empirical findings on the electrification of vehicle mileage based on on actual PHEV (plug-in hybrid) and BEV (battery-electric vehicle) usage for the US and... Read more →


Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens have formed a partnership to develop a near-term hybrid-electric flight demonstrator for commercial aircraft. The partners expect the E-Fan X series-hybrid-electric technology demonstrator to fly in 2020 following a ground test campaign, provisionally on a BAe 146 flying testbed, with one of the aircraft’s four gas... Read more →


Earlier this year, Ford revealed the world’s first-ever pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicle. (Earlier post.) Now, the company is introducing a plug-in hybrid vehicle with an all-electric range of 21 miles for police and government customers. The Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan, the first PHEV police vehicle from Ford, is designed... Read more →


Federal-Mogul Powertrain acquires Controlled Power Technologies; adds electrification capability; 48V

Federal-Mogul Powertrain has completed the acquisition of UK-based Controlled Power Technologies Ltd (CPT). The purchase provides a timely route for Federal-Mogul Powertrain to expand into the development and manufacture of powertrain technologies for electrification and hybridization that complement the company's existing capabilities. Headquartered in Laindon, Essex and with a further... Read more →


Opel’s PACE! plan calls for electrification of all carlines by 2024

The sale of Opel Automobile GmbH with its brands Opel and Vauxhall by General Motors to Groupe PSA was finalized at the beginning of August. The Opel/Vauxhall management team set to work on a plan for the future, now announced as its PACE! strategic plan. Under PACE!, all of the... Read more →


Siemens and the California South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) are conducting a one-mile, zero-emission eHighway demonstration in Carson, Calif., near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. (Earlier post.) Three big-rig trucks hauling freight are running along the stretch of highway that uses Siemens technology to electrify... Read more →


Ricardo and A2Mac1 renew partnership to expand benchmarking and competitive analysis of EVs and PHEVs; online database

Ricardo Strategic Consulting and A2Mac1 today will renew their partnership providing benchmarking and competitive analysis of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Since 2011, the two organizations have partnered to develop innovative benchmarking services, including the first web-based electric and hybrid electric vehicle (EV & HEV) benchmarking and competitive analysis online... Read more →


Porsche has earned a third consecutive Manufacturers’ World Championship title with the 919 Hybrid. A second- and third-place finish at the Shanghai 6-hour race on Sunday produced an early title decision at round eight of nine on the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC calendar. At the same time, Earl Bamber... Read more →


In a new report (its fourth on electric car adoption) the Boston Consulting Group forecasts that a combination of hybrid and fully electric powertrains will cut the global market share of pure internal combustion engines (ICEs) by about 50% by 2030. ICEs will continue to play a major but changing... Read more →


Ricardo working to reduce development time for 48V-based powertrains; THOMSON project

As part of the EU-funded THOMSON (Mild Hybrid cOst effective solutions for a fast Market penetratiON) project, Ricardo is pursuing research that aims to reduce the development cycle time of hybrid vehicles through the use of simulation for the simultaneous optimization of mechanical, thermal and electrical energy efficiency. The €11.7-million... Read more →