A hybrid version of the Ford F-250 pick-up truck will make its debut at the NTEA Work Truck Show this March. XL, formerly XL Hybrids, will show the plug-in F-250 that employs its electrification platform. The company had previously released a plug-in hybrid F-150 and a standard hybrid F-250. The company caters to municipal and utility fleets, according to a report from Green Car Congress, and the F-250 plug-in model employs regenerative braking.
The reports notes, “Because the XL plug-in hybrid electric system works in parallel with the factory gas-powered engine, fleets will not need to be concerned over vehicle range, performance or infrastructure requirements, and XL’s Ford eQVM certification ensures that all standard OEM warranties on the vehicle will remain intact.” Read more.
Volvo’s luxury brand Polestar will be releasing its first vehicle this year. The Polestar 1, as the vehicle is known, will employ a high-performance “twin-charged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a pair of electric motors,” according to Car Scoops who caught the vehicle cold weather testing recently. The vehicle will have an all-electric range of 93 miles. The plug-in will have a carbon fiber section along its chassis, “radically improving the [vehicle’s] torsional stiffness.” Polestar is set to begin regular production in mid-2019, with 2019’s vehicles already sold out. Read more.
A little over 17,000 plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles were sold in January 2019. For plug-in hybrids, Honda sold the highest number of cars for the month, selling 1192 of its Clarity PHEV. Toyota had the second highest selling plug-in hybrid nameplate for the month—the automaker sold 1123 units of its Prius Prime.
For full electric vehicles, Tesla continued to lead the market, selling 6500 units of its Model 3. Chevrolet and Nissan sold 925 and 717 units of their Bolt EV and Leaf models, respectively. The Tesla Model X and Model S also sold well.
AutoCar has released a new ranking of the top ten hybrid hatchbacks available. Taking the top spot is the Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid which received high marks for its combination of “usability, real-world economy and value.” In the number two spot is the Toyota Prius, a long-time leader amongst hybrid hatchbacks. The Mini Countryman Cooper S E All4 took the number three spot. AutoCar highlighted the Mini’s “characterful” personality, four-wheel drive, and combined 221bhp and 284lb-ft of torque.
Toyota and Hyundai/Kia took additional spots in the top ten, with BMW and Ford winning one each. For the full rankings, read more.
Green Car Reports has published its monthly round-up of best deals on hybrid and electrified vehicles. For full hybrids, the Ford Fusion Hybrid is priced most affordably at $179/mth for thirty-six months with a little over three thousand due at signing. Ford will continue this deal through April 1.
The Honda Clarity PHEV leads plug-ins for affordability for the month. The vehicle is on offer for $209 a month for thirty-six months to lease, with $2,299 due at signing. As Green Car Reports notes, this pricing makes the Clarity PHEV cheaper than the standard powertrain Honda Civic EX.
For full electric vehicles, Hyundai’s Ioniq leads the month. The vehicle can be leased for $239 a month with $2,500 due at signing. Like Honda’s Clarity, the Hyndai Ioniq is cheaper this month than the standard powertrain Hyundai Elantra SE.
Honda’s recent launches have brought accolades for style, pricing and performance, and as Christopher Teague at Forbes notes, it’s a winning strategy for hybrid vehicles. Teague notes that Honda’s moderate pricing of its vehicle is attractive to consumers: for similar features, Honda’s Insight can be had for five- and ten-thousand less than competitors from Hyundai and Toyota.
Style-wise, Honda has chosen to package “standalone models with cutting edge technology that looks… normal.” As Teague notes, this design choice is a major seller for customers. For the full breakdown of Honda’s hybrid strategy, read more.
Though electric vehicles have received significantly more press in recent years, plug-in hybrids still lead their full electric competitors when affordability is taken into account, according to a new report from John Goreham at Torque News. As Goreham points out, Tesla’s full electric vehicles have the highest share of the market, but the vehicles are beyond the reach of the average consumer. The Toyota Prius Prime, a plug-in hybrid, was the highest selling affordable partially electric vehicle in 2018 in the U.S. market. Honda’s Clarity PHEV was the next top seller amongst affordable partial electric vehicles. Read more.
The Honda Accord Hybrid has won the 2019 Best Engine Award from Ward’s Auto. The Accord Hybrid carries a 47mpg EPA rating, powered by its 2L iVTEC Atkinson-cycle engine in combination with dual electric motors. The vehicle’s powertrain functions primarily as a serial hybrid, but occasionally switches to functioning as a parallel hybrid when on the highway.
Ward’s comments, “this car is one very smooth operator… making believers out of even our staunchest hybrid skeptics.” Read more.
Ford has announced it is electrifying its Explorer SUV: the automaker will augment its Explorer model with a hybrid system in 2020. The vehicle is the first new hybrid for Ford in six years, according to Motor Trend. The 2020 Explorer Limited Hybrid will employ a a 3.3L V6 engine in combination with a 1.5kW/hr capacity battery, and will be able to tow 5000lbs. As Motor Trend points out, the hybrid Explorer is not meant for “electric-only propulsion.” Rather, the vehicle delivers “no-compromise fuel efficiency” with a range of up to 500 miles. Read more.
Overall plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle sales increased for the month of December, with 49,900 total vehicles sold. The Honda Clarity PHEV led the month for plug-in hybrids, selling 2770 units. Toyota’s Prius Prime sold only eleven fewer units for the month. Both vehicles saw a month to month increase in sales.
For full electric vehicles, Tesla’s Model 3 continued to lead in sales. Tesla sold 25,250 units of the vehicle for the month. The Tesla Model X and Model S also sold well. Of non-Tesla electric vehicles, the Nissan Leaf was the strongest seller in December.