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.
For at least the last decade Mitsubishi has been on the ropes in North America, but they’re still formidable in global markets. As a show of force the three-diamond brand revealed three concept vehicles at the Tokyo Motor Show.
With electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles getting their prices slashed this year, it’s no surprise that residual values are also being cut.
The U.S. Department of Energy has released a graph showing that electric vehicles are outselling hybrids over the same period of time since their introduction to the market.
Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the U.S. company responsible for developing product safety tests, is revamping the lithium-ion battery standards.
The debate on taxing hybrid owners to help recover lost gas taxes has hit the state of Michigan, home of the U.S. auto industry.
According to a recent study released by IHS Automotive, an estimated 10.7-million charging stations will be available globally by the end of the decade.
Few have been optimistic about the market for plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, but Edison Foundation believes there will be at least 5 million of them on the road by 2035.
There’s a fat growth margin in mind at General Motors for plug-in hybrid sales in 2013.
Fuel efficiency is on everyone’s minds, including top automotive brass. In a new report by the analysts at KPMG, current and future industry trends are unveiled by top auto execs.
Wanxiang Group’s purchase of A123 Systems Inc. has been approved by the U.S. government, despite concerns of sensitive technology being transferred to China.
Bankrupt battery manufacturer A123 Systems expects its sale to Chinese firm Wangxiang to be complete in a little over a week.
As global demand for hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles continues to grow, the demand for lithium is also growing exponentially.
The Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf initiated a whole new movement in the auto industry. With the realization that an all-electric vehicle can be useful in everyday driving situations thanks to a large battery and more efficient fast charging technology, automakers are hopping on the electric vehicle bandwagon.
“Overall automakers want to be prepared,” says Devin Lindsay, an automotive powertrain analyst from IHS Automotive. “EVs are another tool for automakers to reach out to consumers” he says, mentioning that automakers are taking EVs seriously, rather than just putting a bunch of batteries and motors in an existing product.
It’s interesting to see how automakers make electric cars from the ground up to use only electric propulsion. For example Tesla and Cadillac are all making vehicles that will exclusively be used with an electric powertrain. Others are modifying their current successful vehicles to EVs. Lets take a look at the different EVs that will be arriving soon (or are already here), and learn a bit about the new technology behind it.
Ford recently announced the EPA fuel efficiency rating for its electric Focus model. Since it doesn’t burn any gasoline, the number isn’t in miles per gallon (MPG), but was given as miles per gallon gasoline equivalent, or MPGe. A new term to the automotive lexicon, it’s worth exploring exactly what MPGe means and how an MPGe rating is determined, especially as the number of electric cars and plug-in electric hybrids on the roads continues to increase.
While the Toyota Prius has long been the automotive ambassador of the green movement, Pike Research conducted a Cost of Driving test to find out whether the all new 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in can trump the Chevrolet Volt. According to its findings, by first establishing the price for every gallon of gas at $3.50 and every kilowatt-hour for 11 cents for the test, the Volt earned a more economic and cost effective result than a Prius Plug-in for trips under 70 miles.
For the first 15 miles of the graph, the lines are not visible because both vehicles will be capable running full electric. By 30 miles, the Volt’s cost for every mile gets significantly more expensive until it eventually crosses over Prius’ costs at 70 miles of driving.
Of course, if pricing parameters on gas and electricity were to change, then a different result would surface. All in all, customers should consider their driving routines day to day. When trips taken are no longer than 70 miles, as is often the case in urban regions where electric vehicles are popular, then a Volt proves to be more appealing.
GALLERY: Toyota Prius Plug-in & Chevrolet Volt
[Source: Autoblog Green]
Honda CEO Takanobu Ito has given a look at the direction Honda will be taking in the coming years, putting strong emphasis on small cars and hybrids. At his annual mid-year speech, Ito gave a rough outline of the Japanese automaker’s future direction, while dropping a few important notes about new products.
Two important new hybrids will join the automaker’s lineup: a revised Civic Hybrid and plug-in hybrid. The Civic Hybrid (which will be the only version of the Civic Honda plans to sell in Japan in the future) will toss its conventional nickle metal hydride battery for a more advanced lithium ion unit, that will be more powerful and more compact. That model is set to debut in 2012 in both the U.S. and Japan.
That same year Honda also intends to bring a plug-in hybrid model to market, as well as a battery-electric “commuter vehicle.” It’s not yet clear if the plug-in hybrid will be a version of the Civic Hybrid, or perhaps a version of the Insight or CR-Z.
In addition, Honda will expand its hybrid lineup with a long list of small cars, many of which are also tipped to include hybrid drivetrains. The first of these will be the Fit Hybrid, which is set to debut this Fall – possibly at the Paris Auto Show.
Honda is expected to stick with it’s IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) hybrid setup for these new models. While not as sophisticated as Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive, nor as good on fuel, it is significantly less expensive, allowing Honda to equip smaller cars with the system and to sell them at more affordable rates.
In the same timeframe Honda is expected to debut a new small car for emerging markets like India. Last year Honda hinted at the direction this new model would take when it unveiled its New Small Concept at the Auto Expo show in New Delhi, India.
Beyond 2012, Honda will look to add electric vehicles to its lineup, improve upon its gasoline and diesel engines, with a new diesel engine being developed for Europe that is smaller than the current 2.2-liter offering). Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles are also in the automaker’s plans, with Ito commenting that the company’s FCX Clarity, “will provide the ultimate mobility.”
GALLERY: Honda New Small Concept
Several new models are planned for emerging markets that will also be locally built to improve cost effectiveness. A new sub-£7000 small car will be launched in India next year, while Thailand will also get an “eco-car with an excellent level of fuel economy” in 2011. This model will be exported to other emerging nations, too.