Edmunds makes a bold statement about the new 2017 Hyundai Ioniq hybrid, declaring “the hybrid electric vehicle throne no longer belongs to the Toyota Prius.” It says the Ioniq hybrid “raises the bar with an incredible EPA-rated 58 mpg,” beating the Toyota Prius by a decisive 6 mpg.
BMW has an ambitious goal: to sell 100,000 electric cars and plug-in hybrids this year. Green Car Reports says the automaker is off to a strong start.
In the first two months of 2017, BMW doubled the sale of electric cars and plug-in hybrids over the same period last year. To reach its goal, it will need to sell the same amount of plug-in cars in one year as the company sold in the previous three years.
Green Car Reports highlights the best deals this month on hybrid and electric vehicles:
2016 Kia Optima Hybrid: Lease options start at $179/month for 36 months, with $1,999 due at signing. Offer good through April 3.
2017 Lexus CT 200h: Lease options start at $249/month for 36 months, with $1,499 due at signing.
2017 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid: Lease options start at $289/month for 36 months, with $1,999 due at signing. Offer good through April 3.
2016 Ford Focus Electric: Lease options start at $119/month for 36 months, with $669 due at signing.
Plugincars.com has a comprehensive rundown of state and federal incentives for purchasing a plug-in hybrid or electric car.
Incentives include federal tax credits up to $7,500 for buying a new plug-in hybrid or electric car, depending on battery size. Other incentives include tax credits for purchasing charging equipment, insurance discounts, and special electricity rates.
PAICE PRESS RELEASE | MARCH 8, 2017
Ford hybrids made in Mexico may be banned from U.S.
U.S. International Trade Commission launches formal investigation into Ford
Paice, a pioneer in the development of hybrid vehicle technology, announced today that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has instituted a formal investigation into patent infringement claims against Ford Motor Co. If Paice prevails, all imports of Ford’s infringing hybrid cars (including the Fusion and Lincoln MKZ models) would be banned from entering the United States.
Paice and the Abell Foundation filed a complaint in February 2017 asking the ITC to prohibit Ford from importing hybrid vehicles it manufactures abroad. While Ford claims to support President Trump’s initiative to “buy American and hire American” and announced earlier this year that it was scrapping plans to build a new, fourth plant in Mexico, Ford continues to manufacture many of its hybrid vehicles in Mexico.
The Paice/Ford Relationship
Ford’s senior management, including Chairman Bill Ford, Jr., supported Ford’s initial foray into the hybrid market and encouraged Ford’s collaboration with Paice. That support initiated a four-year relationship between Paice and Ford from 1999 to 2004 during which Paice interacted with more than a dozen Ford executives and engineers. Paice even performed detailed modeling and component design work for Ford on the belief that the companies would come to a business agreement.
“We trusted Ford,” said Paice CEO Robert Oswald. “Our engineers spent years sharing technical details about our patented hybrid technology with Ford in good faith — that faith was misplaced.”
In the end, Ford declined to take a license from Paice. Tellingly, Ford licensed Toyota’s hybrid technology, and Toyota later took a global license for all of Paice’s patented technology. Paice currently has license agreements with Toyota, Hyundai, Kia and other automakers who collectively account for 70% of all hybrid vehicles sold in the U.S.
In 2015, Ford announced plans to introduce 13 new electrified vehicles by 2020 as part of a $4.5 billion investment. After years of trying to negotiate a licensing agreement with Ford, Paice filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Ford in U.S. District Court in 2014. While other carmakers have seen the wisdom of licensing Paice’s patents, Ford has chosen a different path. It filed 25 petitions before the U.S. Patent Office challenging the patents, and delayed the case in federal court. Despite Ford’s efforts, Paice has many claims that remain valid, meaning the dispute will progress to a resolution.
Paice believes Ford needs a license to continue using Paice’s patented hybrid technology. Paice has now turned to the ITC to hold Ford accountable.
About Paice (www.paicehybrid.com)
Dr. Alex Severinsky, a Russian immigrant, founded Paice in 1992 with the support of the University of Maryland. Paice made its mark in the hybrid industry by discovering new ways to maximize fuel efficiency and reduce harmful emissions without sacrificing driving performance. Paice presented its hybrid breakthroughs alongside Toyota and Ford at industry conferences and before the U.S. Senate. To date, Paice has been awarded 30 U.S. and foreign patents, including four of the world’s most influential hybrid patents according to an independent study.
About The Abell Foundation (www.abell.org)
The Abell Foundation, a Baltimore-based charitable organization dedicated to fighting urban poverty and promoting social objectives by investing in progressive local start-ups, is a co-owner of the Paice patents and a co-complainant in the ITC filing. Since 1999, Abell has helped support Paice’s efforts to develop and promote its hybrid technology.
The Volvo XC60, the best-selling car that accounts for about a third of Volvo sales worldwide, is now available with a powerful new plug-in hybrid powertrain that features a 320 horsepower compound turbocharged gasoline engine and an 87 horsepower electric motor.
Volvo is also creating plug-in hybrid powertrains for its smaller cars, including the S40 sedan, V40 wagon, and an upcoming small SUV.
Gas 2.0 reports that fleet customers will soon be able to choose the popular Ford F-150 pickup truck with a hybrid powertrain. XL Hybrids turns a standard vehicle into a plug-in hybrid electric pickup truck. The system delivers a 50% increase in fuel economy while reducing carbon dioxide emissions significantly.
HybridCars.com reports that the new Kia Niro will feature three powertrain options, including a hybrid, plug-in hybrid and
battery electric options. It’s the same template being used for the Hyundai Ioniq.
The Niro will be powered by the same electric motor as the Ioniq electric, a 28 kWh battery that can travel 124 miles on a charge.
TruckTrend magazine has posted a review of the 2017 Kia Niro, but says it’s too early to tell if the Niro will steal substantial numbers of Prius owners away from Toyota.
The Niro is billed as “a no-compromise vehicle that combines driving enjoyment with eye-catching design, functional utility, and hybrid efficiency,” features aimed in large part to counter consumer frustrations with the Prius’ look and lack of space.
HybridCars.com reports that Mercedes will designate all future hybrid and electric vehicles under the new “EQ Power” brand.
The first model unique to the EQ Power name will be a mid-sized electric crossover with a targeted range of over 300 miles. The vehicle, scheduled to arrive in 2019, will be the first of ten planned all-electric vehicles in the line-up to be introduced by 2025.