Hybrid News

Acura’s 2019 MDX Hybrid arrives at dealerships

Acura’s 2019 MDX Sport Hybrid has arrived at dealerships around the country. The vehicle, priced at $53,975, offers a combined EPA rating of 27mpg. The vehicle employs a 3L i-VTEC V6 engine as part of its Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system that powers to 321hp and 289 lb-ft. The MDX Sport also includes a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission which “offers ultra-fast gear changes and operates without the need for a torque converter, significantly improving efficiency” according to Motor Way America.

For Acura, the MDX Sport Hybrid is its most powerful and efficient electrified SUV in an already electrified line-up. Read more.

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Nissan will expand HEV and PHEV offerings

Nissan has announced it will augment its line-up to include hybrids and plug-in hybrids in the near future. Currently, Nissan’s main green model is its full-electric Leaf EV, which has been a strong seller in recent years. Nissan is also projecting 35% of its European sales will be of electrified vehicles by 2025, according to an article by CTV News.

The automaker is one third of an alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi, the third of which has significant experience in hybrid vehicles. Read more.

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Clarity plug-in hybrid compares with Chevrolet Volt

For years, the Chevrolet Volt has led the pack of plug-in hybrid vehicles. However, as David Noland points out in a new article for Green Car Reports, the Volt finally has a challenger in the 2018 Honda Clarity plug-in. Both vehicles have high EPA ratings: both cars are rated at 42mpg overall in gas mode. For all electric range, the Volt is rated at 53 miles while the Clarity reaches 48 miles. In terms of horsepower and torque, the Clarity attains 181 hp and 232 lb-ft, while the Volt performs at 149hp and 298 lb-ft. Both models are priced in the thirty-four thousand range.

Noland, a long-time Volt owner, notes the Volt’s superiority in terms of regenerative braking and acceleration. However, the Clarity wins for interior space and styling. Read the full comparison.

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Mild hybrid Jeep Wrangler hits dealerships

According to a new article from Allpar, the mild hybrid Jeep Wrangler has finally hit dealerships around the country. The 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL carries a turbocharged 2.0L engine in combination with an eTorque mild hybrid system. The powertrain achieves 270hp and 295lb-ft of torque. The vehicle has an EPA rating of 22/24/22 mpg, which is an improvement on the non-hybrid version. Read more.

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Range anxiety not a worry with Chevrolet Volt

Consumers often fear running out of battery when driving an electric or electrified vehicle, and the phenomenon has been termed “range anxiety.” Yet, in a new article for Huddle, Carl Duivenvoorden explains why range anxiety simply does not apply when driving his Chevrolet Volt. He writes, “‘Range anxiety… [has] not been an issue with my PHEV, because with its backup engine it has a range comparable to any vehicle. The proof: when I brought it home from Montreal last July, my first fuel stop was in Woodstock, over 700 kilometres [435 miles] from my starting point.” Read more.

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Lexus leads luxury brands for full hybrid fuel economy

The EPA mileage rating for Lexus’s new ES 300h has been released, and it leads the pack for non-plug-in luxury hybrids. The vehicle is rated at 43/45/44 mpg according to a new article by Green Car Congress. The luxury sedan attains this rating through its upgraded fourth-generation Hybrid Drive System, “designed to help eliminate the rubber-band feeling associated with some hybrid systems.”

The ES 300h has 215 horsepower and employs a nickel-metal hydride battery and a 2.5L 4-cylinder Atkinson cycle gas engine. The vehicle is priced at $41,310. Read more.

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Kia Niro Plug-In Surpasses Expectations

Green Car Reports took the 2018 Kira Niro Plug-in Hybrid for a test drive, and found that in ideal conditions, the vehicle’s fuel economy performs even better than could be expected. The vehicle is rated at 46mpg combined (gas-only), but in a scenario driving “mostly on rural byways almost ideal for maximizing fuel economy,” the Kia Niro performed at 79.3mpg gas-only (when subtracting out all-electric miles).

As the author noted, “even more impressive…is the electric range” of the plug-in. The model is estimated to achieve 26 miles in its all-electric mode, but in the test scenario of “a mix of freeway and backroads driving,” the vehicle achieved 36.1 miles on its battery.

In terms of other features, the Kia Niro plug-in has a generous amount. For Green Car Reports‘ full review of the vehicle, read more.

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Land Rover to add additional plug-ins in 2019

Land Rover is set to offer a plug-in hybrid version of its Discovery Sport vehicle in 2019, according to The Torque Report. The automaker currently offers plug-in hybrid versions of two of its Range Rover models. There are few details available, but it is likely the Land Rover will utilize a similar powertrain to the Range Rover models. Read more.

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Toyota continues to grow hybrid market share in Europe

Toyota Motor Europe’s first quarter results showed a not-unexpected climb in hybrid sales. The automaker has reported that 45% of its total sales on the continent were for hybrid vehicles, and in Western Europe, the rate climbs to 55%. In other words, for Europe, hybrid vehicles are quickly becoming the norm.

For Toyota’s Lexus division, hybrids represent an even greater portion of sales in Europe, with 66% of all sales and 98% of Western Europe sales being of electrified vehicles. Overall, Toyota sold 125,400 hybrid vehicles in Europe in Q1, an 18% year on year growth. Read more.

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Edmunds: Best hybrid cars for 2018

Edmunds has released its list of top hybrid cars for 2018. The automotive industry research group rates each car after putting it through an in-depth testing process. For standard sedan hybrids, the 2018 Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Ford Fusion hybrids took the top spots with each receiving four out of five stars.

The 2018 Lexus RX 450h received the highest rating in the luxury hybrids category. The vehicle received almost five out five stars, partially owing to its EPA estimated 30mpg in combination driving. However, the hybrid with the best mileage rating was the Hyundai Ioniq Blue with 58 mpg, followed by the Toyota Prius Eco and Prius Prime with 56 and 54mpg, respectively. Read the full rankings here.

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