Hybrid News

Automotive News: BMW sued for patent infringement over hybrid engine technology

Automotive News reports that BMW has been hit with a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Paice LLC and The Abell Foundation in the U.S. District Court in Maryland. The lawsuit alleges that BMW has infringed on their patents involving hybrid engines.

The story notes that Paice was involved in similar litigation with several automakers, including Ford, Toyota, Hyundai and Kia. Those automakers subsequently paid Paice to license its technology.

“Beginning in the early 2000s, Paice taught BMW how its patented technology could maximize fuel efficiency and reduce emissions without sacrificing driving performance, the suit alleges. The company held in-person meetings and shared technical materials with BMW’s senior management and BMW engineers,” the story reports.

“BMW readily expressed interest in Paice’s technology because BMW was still pushing its diesel technology and was years behind other leading automakers that were actively pursuing hybrids,” the 31-page complaint states. BMW eventually dismissed Paice after learning what it could about Paice’s technology, the filing noted.

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Cheaper Volvo plug-in hybrids on the horizon

Volvo will offer its 2021 plug-in hybrids models at a discount to its 2020 models. The XC60 comes in with the lowest price reduction of $450. The new entry-level S60, the R-Design, slated to cost $48,645, comes at a price reduction of $7,750. The price cuts are yet another move Volvo is taking to increase the sales of its hybrid models.Read more

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Mitsubishi licenses hybrid technology patents from Paice, Abell Foundation


Mitsubishi licenses hybrid technology patents from Paice, Abell Foundation
With strong European sales, Mitsubishi has become a global leader in plug-in hybrids

BALTIMORE (AUG. 24, 2020) — Paice, a pioneer in hybrid electric vehicle technology, announced today that it has reached an agreement to license its patented hybrid technology to MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORPORATION, a global leader in plug-in hybrid vehicles. The Mitsubishi Outlander is the world’s best-selling plug-in hybrid.

“Mitsubishi is one of the most successful hybrid vehicle companies in Europe, and we are pleased to be adding them to the long list of leading automakers who have recognized the value of Paice’s hybrid technology,” said Paice Executive Chairman Frances Keenan. “We continue to reach meaningful agreements with responsible car companies without the need for litigation, expanding the reach of our technology and supporting the good works of the Abell Foundation.”

Paice was an early leader in electrified vehicles. The company was awarded its first hybrid vehicle patent in 1994, long before most automakers began seriously focusing on ways to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. Paice’s technology proved valuable and helped accelerate the growth of the hybrid vehicle industry. An independent analysis concluded that Paice owns the most dominant hybrid vehicle patents in the world.

During the company’s early years, Dr. Alex Severinsky, inventor and founder of Paice, worked closely with two experienced automotive veterans: Bob Templin, a Paice board member who had served as chief engineer of Cadillac and technical director of GM’s Research Laboratory; and Ted Louckes, a 40-year veteran of General Motors who served as Paice’s Chief Operating Officer and was instrumental in developing Paice’s hybrid technology alongside Dr. Severinsky.

About Paice (www.paicehybrid.com)
Dr. Alex Severinsky, a Russian immigrant, founded Paice in 1992 with the support of the University of Maryland. The company has been awarded 30 U.S. and foreign patents. It has licensing agreements with many of the world’s leading automakers.

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. Since 1999, Abell has helped support Paice’s efforts to develop and promote its hybrid technology.

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BMW 545e xDrive Sedan: new details announced

The BMW 545e xDrive Sedan plug-in hybrid is the new “top-of-the-range” model for the BMW 5 Series, according to a new report from Green Car Congress. The vehicle features an electric motor in combination with “an efficient straight six-cylinder gasoline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology… generating an overall system output of 290 kW/394 hp.” The 545e xDrive Sedan features a 400V lithium-ion battery, and carries an all-electric range of 54-57km. Green Car Congress has the story. Read more.

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Ford’s Transit Custom PHEV pushes for cleaner air in EU

Ford’s Transit Custom PHEV includes a geo-fencing feature wherein while in predetermined zones, the vehicle will switch to electric-only, allowing for reduced carbon emissions. The Transit Custom PHEV has an electric-only range of 35 miles, allowing it to maintain zero emissions while in pre-determined low-carbon zones, like London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone. Vehicle operators can also create additional zones for electric-only mode, allowing for greater carbon reduction. Read more.

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BMW adds geo-fencing for PHEVs in Europe

BMW has launched a new geo-fencing feature for its plug-in hybrid vehicles in two areas in the UK. In special zones in London and Birmingham, BMW PHEVs running the automaker’s latest update will now automatically shift into electric-only mode. By shifting into electric-only, the vehicles will reduce their carbon footprint. Car Magazine has the story. Read more.

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RAV4 Hybrid tops Motor Trend rankings

Motor Trend has released rankings of the best compact hybrid SUVs for sale in 2020. At the top of the list is the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. The compact SUV carries a 41/38/40 mpg rating, and features 219 horsepower combined, powered by a 2.5L I-4 engine and dual electric motors. In second and third place came the Honda CR-V Hybrid and the Ford Escape Hybrid, respectively. Read more.

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Maserati to launch its first electrified vehicle in Europe

Maserati has joined the ranks of hybrid and electrified automakers with the introduction of a mild-hybrid version of its 2021 Ghibli model. Ronan Glon at Auto Blog writes the Ghibli “features a gasoline-electric powertrain [with] turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It works jointly with a 48-volt belt-driven starter-generator and what the company calls an e-booster that’s essentially an electric supercharger.” The Ghibli hybrid features 330hp and 332lb-ft of of torque. The vehicle will go on sale in Europe beginning in October 2020. At present, Maserati does not have plans to bring the mild-hybrid to the U.S. Read more.

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Toyota launches hybrid-only Venza for 2021

Toyota is relaunching the Venza brand with a hybrid-only model for the 2021 model year. The crossover model employs a similar powertrain set-up to Toyota’s RAV4, employing a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and three electric motors, according to a new report from Auto Blog. The Venza hybrid will carry manufacturer-estimated 40/37/39 mpg and 219 hp ratings. Auto Blog has the story. Read more.

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Jeep Renegade, Compass PHEVs on sale now in Europe

Green Car Congress reports that customers can now order the Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe PHEVs from Jeep in Europe. The vehicles will arrive in showrooms on the continent in September. Green Car Congress writes, “both [the] Jeep Renegade 4xe and Compass 4xe integrate two electric motors and an 11.4 kWh, 400V, NMC Li-ion battery pack, with a fuel-efficient 1.3-liter turbo gasoline engine and six-speed automatic transmission.” The PHEVs each have three operating modes (hybrid, electric, and e-save), and feature more torque than standard models. Read more.

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