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It won the North American truck of the year award and in the commercial sector, the Transit Connect has been generating a lot of interest over the last year. The Turkish built, small delivery van has been on sale in Europe since 2002, but was only introduced to our market last year. As Ford is retiring its fleet mainstay, the Crown Victoria sedan in 2011, many government agencies and taxi fleet operators are looking at a suitable replacement. With its small size, tight turning radius, significant interior capacity and decent fuel economy, the Transit Connect is seen as a logical alternative to the Vic taxi by some. Recently, the city of Boston announced that it will be adding these vehicles to its taxi fleets in the fall of this year, making it the first major American metropolis to do so.
According to Mark Cohen, Licensing Director for the Boston Police department that issues cab licenses, “we’ve been very impressed with the Transit Connect. The size, shape and configuration make it comfortable for the driver and passengers. It’s the closest thing to a purpose-built vehicle for taxi use that I’ve seen in 25 years.”
Besides space; durability, ease of maintenance and the ability to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) are all high priorities for taxi fleets. In addition to the Transit Connect’s 2.0-liter gas engine, the company will also be offering new pre prep conversions that allow the vehicle to run on CNG or LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas). Even without that, if the Transit Connect proves successful as a taxi, it is likely to boost the average fuel economy of taxi fleets by as much as 30 percent.
[Source: Ford Motor Company]
Hybrid Elantra uses new lithium ion polymer batteries and gets 41.9 mpg
Today Hyundai introduced a hybrid version of its compact Elentra sedan for the Korean marketplace. This mild-hybrid system makes use of an unconventional 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that is powered by LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), or what is also known as propane. That engine is then mated to an electric motor, which receives its power from Lithium Ion Polymer battery packs.
Together these two motors combine to make 134hp and propel the hybrid Elantra to 62 mph in 11.7 seconds, which, says Hyundai, is about two seconds faster than the Civic Hybrid. Hyundai claims the car will deliver $1,100 in saving annually over a conventional gasoline powered car, but much of that savings has to do with the fact that LPG costs roughly half the price of gasoline.
In total, Hyundai claims the Elentra LPI (liquid petroleum injected) Hybrid gets an average of 41.9 mpg. To achieve this it also has a Start-Stop function and an ‘Eco Guide’ tree icon to let drivers know when they are driving in a fuel-efficient manner. There is also an E or “Eco Drive” gear, which the driver can select, to optimize gearing, while increasing the level of electric power assistance and regenerative braking.
Hyundai will build 7,500 units for the Korean market with a starting price of 20.5 million won ($16,180). There are no immediate plans to export the car to other markets, but the Korean automaker is exploring the possibility in regions where LPG is readily accessible.
GALLERY: Hyundai Elantra LPI Hybrid
Official release afteer the jump: