Hybrid News

Green Car Congress offers a primer on “electric” vs. “electrified”

When Volvo’s announced that it would electrify every vehicle in its lineup by 2019, many media misinterpreted the German automaker’s plans. John Voelcker, a senior editor at Green Car Congress, wants to set the record straight.

Two days after the Volvo announcement, Coelcker wrote an aptly-titled column: Hey, media, get it straight: “electrified” is NOT “electric,” and the difference matters. He explains that “electric” cars are vehicles that plug into the electric grid to recharge batteries that provide the energy to run them, while “electrified” cars simply have an electric motor somewhere in the drivetrain.

As he notes, the difference is huge… “which is why you need to understand the difference between the two words when a car company makes a big announcement about future products and you hear what you think is the word ‘electric’ somewhere in the press release.”

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Volvo: All of our vehicles will soon have an electrified powertrain

Volvo made waves across the automotive industry when it announced that every new vehicle it brings to market, beginning in 2019, will be electrified. The company says it marks the end of an era for cars that only have an internal combustion engine.

Green Car Congress reports that Volvo will introduce a portfolio of electrified cars across its model range, embracing fully electric cars, plug in hybrid cars and mild hybrid cars. “The announcement represents one of the most wide-reaching moves by any car maker to embrace electrification,” it reported.

“This is about the customer,” said Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo’s president and CEO. “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.”

Volvo plans to launch five fully electric cars by 2021.

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Early sales show Kia Niro outperforming Hyundai Ioniq

Through the first half of 2017, the Kia Niro is outselling the Hyundai Ioniq nearly 3-to-1. Ward’s Auto reports that Kia sold 12,676 Niro’s compared with 4,881 Ioniq’s since the vehicles were introduced in February.

The major difference between the vehicles: Kia opted to develop a CUV while Hyundai developed a more traditional mid-size sedan.


“We really from the beginning of the program did not want to do another Prius, Insight, Ioniq – a Leaf, a Volt – that sweeping-fast-aero-Kammback shape,” a Kia official said.

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The advantage of two-motor hybrids

A recent article in Green Car Congress compares hybrids that use one- and two-motor systems, concluding that two-motor systems deliver a more pleasant experience for drivers.

“The challenge with a single-motor system is that one motor-generator can either provide torque to the drivetrain or act as a generator to recapture energy on engine overrun or regenerative braking. But it can’t do both at the same time,” the article explains.

“That means the single-motor systems in Hyundai-Kia and various German systems are constantly switching their motors back and forth depending on speed, acceleration, and grade.”



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Honda introduces 2018 Clarity Plug-in Hybrid

Honda has added two new vehicles to the Clarity line of green vehicles, including the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Clarity Electric (available only in California).

The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is expected to have a range of 330 miles, including an electric-only range of 42 miles. The Clarity series is part of Honda’s efforts to increase U.S. sales of electrified vehicles five-fold over the next four years. By 2030, Honda hopes two-thirds of its global automobile sales will come from electrified vehicles.

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June 2017 Deals on Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

Green Car Reports highlights the best deals this month on hybrid and electric vehicles:

Ford C-Max: Lease options start at $169 per month with $1,999 due at signing.

Lexus CT 200h: Lease options start at $249 per month for 36 months with $1,499 due at signing.

Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid: Lease options start at $289 per month for 36 months with $1,999 due at signing. It is also eligible for more than $5,000 in tax credits and rebates.

BMW 330e Plug-in Hybrid: With a lease credit of $5,500, payments start at $319 for 36 months with $4,244 due at signing.

Ford Focus Electric Hatchback: Lease options start at $149 per month for 36 months, with $2,639 due at signing.

2017 Chevrolet Volt: Lease options start at $278 per month for 39 months, with no money down (available only in certain states).

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A new wave of plug-in hybrids will hit the market this year

A new report indicates that the market for plug-in hybrid vehicles is poised for major growth, predicting that 100 new plug-in hybrid models would be launched by 2021.

“Plug-in hybrids have a better market than battery-electric vehicles, due to uncertainty in charging infrastructure,” said a Frost & Sullivan analyst. “The plug-in hybrid market is set for high demand and growth.”

Seven new plug-ins will be introduced this year, including the Bentley Bentayga, BMW 530e, Cadillac CT6, Honda Clarity, Hyundai Ioniq, Maserati Levante, and Volvo XC60 T8.

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