Hybrid News

Toyota: Hybrid technology remains central part of strategy

While other automakers are increasing their electric offerings, Toyota says hybrid technology will remain central to its strategy.

“With hybrid technology at the center, Toyota will offer fuel-cell vehicles, plug-in hybrids, gasoline cars, and — although we’re a little bit late — electric vehicles,” said Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda. “We’re not thinking about deciding that now it must be EVs, and we’ll only do EVs.”

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September 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 $149 per month with $2,549 due at signing.

Toyota Prius c: $3,000 in incentives available.

Kia Optima Hybrid: $4,000 in incentives available.

Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid: Lease options start at $249 per month with $1,999 due at signing.

Chevrolet Volt: Lease options start at $294-$299 per month for 39 months with $491-$1,301 due at signing.

Ford Focus Electric: Lease options start at $139 per month for 36 months, with $2,739 due at signing.

Chevrolet Bolt EV: Lease options start at $299 per month for 36 months with $502 due at signing (available only in certain states).

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Coming in 2018: Range Rover plug-in hybrids

2017-Land-Rover-Range-Rover-SVAutobiography-Dynamic-front-end-in-motion-2Land Rover will add plug-in hybrid versions of the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport by 2018.

Land Rover currently offers a Range Rover hybrid, but it features a diesel engine. The planned hybrids will pair an electric motor with the automaker’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder Ingenium gas engine. The SUVs could be capable of about 30 miles of pure EV range.

More details will be revealed in October.

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Review: 2018 Volvo XC60 T8 Plug-In Hybrid

After taking the 2018 Volvo XC60 T8 Plug-In Hybrid for a spin, The Car Connection had a mixed reaction about the vehicle.

While the stylish crossover offers “a lot of power, a balanced chassis, grippy all-wheel drive, and nicely weighted steering controlled via a thick-rimmed, three-spoke wheel,” the review says there’s some “fine-tuning to be done” and notes that it “is hardly as athletic as its horsepower rating suggests.”

In the end, the review says the car “winds up feeling like something of a placeholder.”

“If it’s eco-friendly motoring you’re after, the XC60 delivers—but we can’t say just how much. Volvo hasn’t had its latest crossover certified by the EPA, so it’s hard to say how much it’ll improve on the XC60 T6’s 21 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, 23 mpg combined. We’re willing to bet it’ll be much thriftier, but until Volvo announces this crossover’s price tag, it’s hard for us to make a real judgement call.”

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GKN announces a new electric axle product

Powertrain supplier GKN has developed a lightweight eAxle that it calls “the world’s most advanced electrified driveline technology.” The system will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this month.

GKN says the system is far smaller and lighter than the current range of powertrains on the market, making it ideal for smaller EVs. It has previously been said that the heavy weight of electric powertrains makes them unsuitable for smaller cars.

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Bosch develops new e-axle

Green Car Congress reports that Bosch has developed a new electric axle drive, or e-axle.

“The motor, power electronics, and transmission form one compact unit that directly drives the car’s axle. This makes the powertrain not only far more efficient, but more affordable as well,” the article explains.

Bosch first introduced electric axle drives in 2012, but the power electronics was not fully integrated into them. Green Car Congress says that samples of the electric axle are currently being tested, with production planned for 2019 at the latest.

The e-axle will allow Bosch to deliver customers a customized solution that provides peak performance, weighs far less than individual components and eliminates the time consuming task of developing new components.

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Honda to display CR-V hybrid at the Frankfurt Auto Show

AutoBlog.com reports that Honda will showcase its CR-V Hybrid prototype at the Frankfurt Motor Show, which begins September 14. It is expected to be the same vehicle introduced at the Shanghai auto show earlier this year, featuring a 2.0-liter four-cylinder coupled to a pair of electric motors.

“Though the crossover is listed as a prototype, it’s all but guaranteed that it will enter production and will come to the U.S.,” the article says, noting that as one of Honda’s best-selling models the CR-V is a logical crossover to electrify.

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Aston Martin is Going ‘100 Percent Hybrid’ by 2025

Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer has told the Financial Times that every one of the manufacturer’s cars will be offered as a hybrid by 2025. That doesn’t mean all Aston Martins will be hybrids, but all will at least be offered with some sort of hybrid powertrain. Palmer also said about a quarter of the supercar maker’s vehicles will be fully electric by the end of the next decade.

Aston plans on developing its own hybrid system, rather than borrowing one from technology partner Mercedes-Benz. The first Aston Martin EV, an electric version of the Rapide called the RapidE, is set to arrive in 2019.

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Report: Ford’s Largest SUVs Are Getting Greener

A new report says that Ford is continuing its push to make its largest SUVs more fuel efficient. Sources told Automotive News that Ford is planning to introduce hybrid variations of the Expedition and Navigator in 2019.

The same story says that the defunct Escape Hybrid will reappear in 2019, along with a gas-electric version of its Lincoln MKC platform mate. Ford is expected to introduce a total of 13 electrified models within five years.

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Review: 2017 Ford Fusion Titanium Hybrid

Ford-Fusion-Hybrid-LSF
TheFastLaneCar.com raves about the 2017 Ford Fusion Titanium Hybrid, noting that it is attractive, drives well and provides the latest in safety features, infotainment and technology.

“When driven in a responsible and sensible manner, both the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Energi Plug-in Hybrid provide a pleasantly smooth and quiet ride quality in their electric mode,” the review says. “When the gasoline engine kicks in, it is a seamless transition.”

The review notes that Ford has refreshed both Hybrid versions with an exterior facelift as well as some significant interior upgrades. The addition of a Titanium model for the non-plug-in Hybrid caters to consumers who happen to be ecologically minded, but who also want to be pampered with luxurious features.

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