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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hyundai unveiled its 2021 Santa Fe hybrid recently, but the automaker has only now released additional details. Joel Stocksdale at Auto Blog reports, “the regular hybrid powertrain combines a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with a 44-kW electric motor… [with] 227 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The plug-in hybrid uses the same gas engine, but gets a bigger 67-kW motor along with a 13.8-kWh battery… [with] 261 horsepower [combined], and torque… at 258 pound-feet.” These details are specific to the European market, but the U.S. market is expected to be similar. Read more.
Volkswagen has released a plug-in hybrid version of its Tiguan model in select markets. The non-hybrid Tiguan was VW’s most popular model for 2019 and the Tiguan PHEV, known as the Tiguan eHybrid, is expected to be an attractive buy for consumers as well. Green Car Congress has the story. Read more.
Mercedes has confirmed the all-electric range of the plug-in hybrid version of its new S-Class model will be 62 miles (100km). This stat puts the new S-Class PHEV from Mercedes near the top of the list for all-electric range from PHEVs. Details are scarce, but Inside EVs has a round-up. Read more.
Motor Biscuit has released a list of the five most affordable hybrid SUVs for 2020. At the low-end of the prices listed are Honda’s CR-V and Toyota’s RAV4, both coming in below $29,000 for a basic model. The Subaru Crosstrek and Toyota Highlander are at the high-end range of the list with prices over $35,000. Ford’s Escape hybrid also makes the list for its mid-range affordability priced around $30,000. For the full list, read more.
Ford will re-release its Bronco SUV model, this time with a hybrid option. Details on the powertrain are not yet available, but the model is expected to have the same set-up as “the Ford F-150 Hybrid and Ford Explorer Hybrid… [with] a modular electric motor system and a disconnect clutch to the 10-speed automatic transmission, with a V-6 engine” according to Green Car Reports. The vehicle will be priced under $30,000. Read more.
Volkswagen is set to launch a plug-in hybrid version of its updated Arteon product line, according to a report from Green Car Congress. The PHEV powertrain will feature “a 1.4-liter TSI engine paired with an electric motor and fed by a 12.7 kWh battery,” powering the vehicle to 160kW and 34-miles all-electric range. The product line also includes a number of other technical upgrades. Read more.