Hybrid News

BMW Increases Focus on Hybrids, Aims to Increase Plug-in Sales by 50 Percent in 2018

BMW is already the largest seller of hybrid and electric cars in Europe — and wants to remain the industry leader. The automaker has ambitious plans for 2018, aiming to increase the number of plug-in hybrid and fully-electric vehicles sold by 50 percent.

To meet that goal, BMW is launching several new vehicles this year. The 8 Series coupe and the X7 crossover are luxury vehicles that are likely to include some type of electrification.

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The unique approach Ford is using to get consumers excited about a hybrid pickup

Bloomberg recently published a fascinating feature about how Ford is marketing its hybrid F-150 pickup truck. The story (Ford’s Key to Selling Truck No One Asked For: Keeping Beer Cold) explains that people who buy F-150s don’t much care about fuel economy.

So how do you get them excited about the advantages of a hybrid?

“The marketing will go something like this,” writes Keith Naughton. “The battery in the hybrid F-150 not only feeds the electric motor, it’s a mobile generator that can keep the beer cool at a tailgate party, charge your miter saw and run the coffee maker on a camping trip.

The story notes that Ford is “playing catch up in the race to put electric vehicles and autonomous technology on the road,” and explains that the automaker is spending $4.5 billion to field 13 electric and hybrid models by 2020.

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Kia introduces Niro Plug-in Hybrid at LA Auto Show

Kia introduced the 2018 Niro Plug-in Hybrid at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. It has an estimated 26 miles of all-electric range and gets 46 mpg then not running on electric power.

The Niro features a larger battery and motor — a 8.9-kWh lithium-polymer battery pack and a 60-horsepower (44.5-kw) electric motor.

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Ford introduces plug-in hybrid police car

Ford is introducing a plug-in hybrid vehicle for police and government customers. The Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan has an all-electric range of 21 miles and is designed for police and fire chiefs, detectives, and other government personnel whose jobs don’t require a pursuit-rated vehicle.

This is the third police vehicle Ford has revealed this year, joining the Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan and F-150 Police Responder.

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2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid Available December 1

Honda has announced that the 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid will go on sale December 1 with a starting price of $33,400. Buyers are eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500.

Honda reports that the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid earned the highest all-electric range rating among all plug-in hybrid sedans with its EPA range rating of 47 miles on a full charge. It received an EPA fuel economy rating of 110 combined MPGe and a gasoline only 44/40/42 MPG rating (city/highway/combined).

The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is the latest in the line of Clarity electrified sedans, joining the Clarity Electric and Clarity Fuel Cell vehicles.

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Will Ford hybrids be excluded from the U.S. for infringing Paice patents? ITC hearing begins Nov. 2


Will Ford hybrids be excluded from the U.S. for infringing Paice patents? ITC hearing begins Nov. 2
U.S. International Trade Commission could ban Ford from importing hybrid vehicles made in Mexico

Paice LLC, a pioneer in the development of hybrid vehicle technology, and Ford Motor Co. will appear before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) this week to address patent infringement claims against Ford. The ITC hearing before the Honorable David P. Shaw will begin on Thursday, Nov. 2.

If Paice prevails, all imports of Ford’s infringing hybrid cars (including the Fusion and Lincoln MKZ models) would be barred from entering the United States.

“Not weeks, not months, but years. That’s how long Paice engineers worked alongside Ford to teach them in exacting detail how our patented technology could make their hybrids more competitive,” said Paice CEO Robert Oswald. “Then, they tossed us aside and started introducing hybrid vehicles that used our technology. Ford started winning in the hybrid space when they embraced Dr. Severinsky’s inventions.”

Paice and the Abell Foundation filed a complaint in February 2017 asking the ITC to prohibit Ford from importing hybrid vehicles. Ford manufactures many of its hybrid vehicles in Mexico.

Paice’s hybrid vehicle technology is well known. It 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. An independent study concluded that Paice’s hybrid vehicle patents are among the world’s most significant.

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 multi-year relationship between Paice and Ford from 1999 to 2004 during which Paice interacted with more than a dozen Ford executives and engineers. Paice performed detailed modeling and component design work for Ford in the belief that the companies would come to a business agreement.

In the end, other than a stopgap license to a single patent, Ford refused to license the full scope of Paice’s patented technology.  This, despite the fact that Ford was fully aware that Toyota lost a jury verdict to Paice on what Ford characterized as being essentially the same technology.

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 many carmakers have licensed Paice’s hybrid patents, Ford chose to try to bury Paice in litigation. 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. The first meaningful evaluation will occur in the ITC.

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.

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Save fuel without sacrificing fun: The best hybrid cars you can buy

You don’t have to give up comfort, practicality, or performance when you buy a hybrid car. For those who want it all, Digital Trends says the best hybrid car you can buy is the Toyota Prius.

Other hybrids receiving kudos included the Honda Accord Hybrid, Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Acura NSX, Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid, and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.

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