Hybrid News

Review: 2018 Volvo XC60 T8 Plug-In Hybrid

After taking the 2018 Volvo XC60 T8 Plug-In Hybrid for a spin, The Car Connection had a mixed reaction about the vehicle.

While the stylish crossover offers “a lot of power, a balanced chassis, grippy all-wheel drive, and nicely weighted steering controlled via a thick-rimmed, three-spoke wheel,” the review says there’s some “fine-tuning to be done” and notes that it “is hardly as athletic as its horsepower rating suggests.”

In the end, the review says the car “winds up feeling like something of a placeholder.”

“If it’s eco-friendly motoring you’re after, the XC60 delivers—but we can’t say just how much. Volvo hasn’t had its latest crossover certified by the EPA, so it’s hard to say how much it’ll improve on the XC60 T6’s 21 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, 23 mpg combined. We’re willing to bet it’ll be much thriftier, but until Volvo announces this crossover’s price tag, it’s hard for us to make a real judgement call.”

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GKN announces a new electric axle product

Powertrain supplier GKN has developed a lightweight eAxle that it calls “the world’s most advanced electrified driveline technology.” The system will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this month.

GKN says the system is far smaller and lighter than the current range of powertrains on the market, making it ideal for smaller EVs. It has previously been said that the heavy weight of electric powertrains makes them unsuitable for smaller cars.

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Bosch develops new e-axle

Green Car Congress reports that Bosch has developed a new electric axle drive, or e-axle.

“The motor, power electronics, and transmission form one compact unit that directly drives the car’s axle. This makes the powertrain not only far more efficient, but more affordable as well,” the article explains.

Bosch first introduced electric axle drives in 2012, but the power electronics was not fully integrated into them. Green Car Congress says that samples of the electric axle are currently being tested, with production planned for 2019 at the latest.

The e-axle will allow Bosch to deliver customers a customized solution that provides peak performance, weighs far less than individual components and eliminates the time consuming task of developing new components.

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Honda to display CR-V hybrid at the Frankfurt Auto Show

AutoBlog.com reports that Honda will showcase its CR-V Hybrid prototype at the Frankfurt Motor Show, which begins September 14. It is expected to be the same vehicle introduced at the Shanghai auto show earlier this year, featuring a 2.0-liter four-cylinder coupled to a pair of electric motors.

“Though the crossover is listed as a prototype, it’s all but guaranteed that it will enter production and will come to the U.S.,” the article says, noting that as one of Honda’s best-selling models the CR-V is a logical crossover to electrify.

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Aston Martin is Going ‘100 Percent Hybrid’ by 2025

Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer has told the Financial Times that every one of the manufacturer’s cars will be offered as a hybrid by 2025. That doesn’t mean all Aston Martins will be hybrids, but all will at least be offered with some sort of hybrid powertrain. Palmer also said about a quarter of the supercar maker’s vehicles will be fully electric by the end of the next decade.

Aston plans on developing its own hybrid system, rather than borrowing one from technology partner Mercedes-Benz. The first Aston Martin EV, an electric version of the Rapide called the RapidE, is set to arrive in 2019.

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Report: Ford’s Largest SUVs Are Getting Greener

A new report says that Ford is continuing its push to make its largest SUVs more fuel efficient. Sources told Automotive News that Ford is planning to introduce hybrid variations of the Expedition and Navigator in 2019.

The same story says that the defunct Escape Hybrid will reappear in 2019, along with a gas-electric version of its Lincoln MKC platform mate. Ford is expected to introduce a total of 13 electrified models within five years.

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Review: 2017 Ford Fusion Titanium Hybrid

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TheFastLaneCar.com raves about the 2017 Ford Fusion Titanium Hybrid, noting that it is attractive, drives well and provides the latest in safety features, infotainment and technology.

“When driven in a responsible and sensible manner, both the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Energi Plug-in Hybrid provide a pleasantly smooth and quiet ride quality in their electric mode,” the review says. “When the gasoline engine kicks in, it is a seamless transition.”

The review notes that Ford has refreshed both Hybrid versions with an exterior facelift as well as some significant interior upgrades. The addition of a Titanium model for the non-plug-in Hybrid caters to consumers who happen to be ecologically minded, but who also want to be pampered with luxurious features.

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The most fuel-efficient family sedans

The Motley Fool has highlighted nine family-sized sedans that get at least 40 miles per gallon (combined): 

2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid ($27,800 / 40 mpg combined)

2017 Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid ($35,210 / 40 mpg combined)

2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid ($25,295 / 42 mpg combined)

2017 Fusion Energi ($31,120 / 42 mpg combined)

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid ($29,605 / 48 mpg combined)

2017 Toyota Avalon Hybrid ($37,300/ 40 mpg combined)

2017 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid ($27,975 / 46 mpg combined) 

2017 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid ($35,170 / 40 mpg combined)

2017 Lexus ES 300h ($41,820 / 40 mpg combined)

 

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Consumer Reports names the most fuel-efficient hybrids

Consumer Reports conducted a series of tests to determine themes fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles. And the winners were…

 

10. Toyota Camry Hybrid (38 mpg combined)

9. Ford Fusion Hybrid SE (39 mpg combined)

8. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid (39 mpg combined)

7. Lexus CT 200h (40 mpg combined)

6. Toyota Prius V Three (41 mpg combined)

5. Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid (41 mpg combined)

4. Toyota Prius C Two (43 mpg combined)

3. Kia Niro EX (43 mpg combined)

2. Hyundai Ioniq (52 mpg combined)

1. Toyota Prius Three (52 mpg combined)

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Hybrid and plug-in vehicle trends and forecast

HybridCars.com reports that plug-in hybrids are projected to begin outselling hybrids in the U.S. — but it may not be as soon as some people think.

Analyst Alan Baum estimates that the sale of plug-in hybrids will match the sale of traditional hybrids in 2021, then pull away. Baum, the report says, weighs things including known automaker product plans, regulatory requirements, market facts, and more.

Currently, there are 30 hybrid vehicles that account for about two percent of all U.S. vehicle sales and 34 plug-in vehicles that account for one percent of vehicle sales.

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