AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
The Volt set its best sales month yet, with 2,289 units sold in March 2012. That’s more than double what they sold in February 2012. Before March, the most Volts Chevy had sold in a single month was back in December 2011, when it sold 1,529 units.
In comparison, the Volts biggest competitor, the pure-electric Nissan Leaf sold just 579 models in March. That is an increase from their February numbers, but is a far cry from their best selling month back in June 2011 when they sold 1,708.
Hopefully if sales of the Volt keep climbing, perhaps Chevy could consider canceling that extra week off in the summer at their Volt plant.
What’s one simple way to extend range on the next-gen Fisker gasoline-electric powered car? Cut pork from the gasoline-engine side of the equation by using a lighter-weight, three- or four-cylinder engine.
According to information leaked by very knowledgeable sources, Fisker is weighing the feasibility of a dedicated range-extended engine after the current crop of Karma models has been launched.
The idea would be to slash anywhere from 110-160 pounds or so from next-gen models’ curb weight by replacing the 255-horsepower, 2.0-liter GM Ecotec engine, which was originally designed for a gas-only car.
The GM four-cylinder “LNF” turbocharged engine weighs about 360 pounds. Fisker is reportedly looking for a 200- to 250-pound turbo to feed the lithium-ion battery in its future cars.
The 1.2-liter Lotus Engineering three-cylinder is one likely candidate. It is produced with Fagor Ederlan Group in Spain, and is said to be the front-runner in consideration for the next iterations.
Fisker’s present generation cars are being built in Finland, according to a Fisker spokesperson. After Q4 of next year, they will be built in a former GM plant in Delaware.
Build Your Dreams (BYD) selling hybrid entry level F3DM and family sedan F6DM in China
Chinese battery company and auto manufacturer Build Your Dreams (BYD) announced at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit that it is already selling its F3DM compact plug-in hybrid and F6DM family-sedan plug-in hybrid in China and has plans to do so in the near future in the United States.
The manufacturer recently made news when it announced that Warren Buffet and MidAmerican Energy Holdings had invested $230 million for a 10 percent stake in the company. The money which will be used to continue the company’s expansion and the development of its e6 electric vehicle.
Both the F3DM and F6DM can travel 62 miles using a zero-emission electric engine. After that point a 1.0-liter gasoline engine will kick in to power the electric engine and charge the batteries. BYD claims the vehicles can be recharged in a standard outlet in seven hours but can also receive a half charge in just 10 minutes. Total range of the vehicles is 267 miles.
Performance is hardly astounding but these are hybrids after all. With the same engine both models have an output of 168hp and 265 ft-lbs of torque. The F3DM can hit 62 mph in 10.5 seconds and the larger F6DM can hit the same speed in 13.5 seconds.
The “DM” in F3DM and F6DM stands for dual mode, as BYD’s hybrids are able to run as both zero-emissions electric vehicles and as conventional hybrids.