Hybrid News

Toyota prefers full hybrids over EVs, PHEVs

In a new conversation with Wards Auto, Toyota’s general manager of powertrain reiterated the company’s stance that “hybrids will come ahead of full electrics,” citing the price and quality of batteries involved in EVs as an explanatory factor. Toyota has launched an electric vehicle in China, but the company’s 2030 sales projections put conventional hybrids strongly ahead of PHEVs and EVs.

The automaker is not completely dissuaded by electric vehicles, with the GM of powertrain Shizuo Abe expressing the company’s interest in solid state batteries, a technological successor to today’s lithium-ion batteries. Solid state batteries are expected to be market ready by 2030. Read more.

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Increased sales volume expected for new Insight hybrid

Honda has announced its 2019 Insight Hybrid, and with it, the company’s expectations for the new model. According to its conversation with Auto Blog, Honda expects to “do better” with the new Insight Hybrid than the previous Insight models. The company has a stated 2030 electrified vehicle target of 2/3 of total sales.

Pricing is still to come for the Insight Hybrid, but the automaker has said the model will be priced less than the Accord. Read more.

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S60 to offer plug-in hybrid powertrain

Volvo is set to release its new S60 line with both powertrain options as plug-in hybrids. The lack of a diesel option is a marked departure for Volvo, but is on trend with Volvo’s stated goal of releasing only electrified models starting in 2019. According to Left Lane News, “the company remains committed to introduce mild hybrid versions starting next year.”

The Volvo S60 PHEV will be released in the near future. The vehicles are to be produced in South Carolina at a new Volvo manufacturing facility. Read more.

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Best hybrid, PHEV, EV deals for May 2018

Green Car Reports has released its monthly round-up of deals on electrified vehicles. For full hybrids, a Ford Fusion is the discerning buyer’s best bet. The vehicle is on offer with 72-month no interest financing and a $3000 cash discount. A second hybrid also with a solid price: the Toyota Avalon Hybrid. The model is being offered with a $5000 discount.

For plug-in hybrids, the Chevy Volt maintains its stellar lease pricing: $270/month for 39 months. The all electric model with the best deal for May is the Kia Soul EV. In California, the vehicle is being offered for $199/month for 36 months with a nominal sum due at signing. Read more.

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Insight hybrid model production launched in Indiana

Honda recently celebrated the grand opening of its Greensburg, Indiana manufacturing facility. Honda Manufacturing of Indiana is set to produce all Insight models to be sold in North America. The Greensburg plant employs more than 1000 workers.

Honda’s newly configured facility in Greensburg is part of a wider initiative of investment in American manufacturing. The Insight hybrid is powered by a transmission, battery pack, and gasoline engine all assembled or produced at one of three of the company’s Ohio-based manufacturing plants.

The Indiana site will produce the Insight, Civic, and CR-V on the same production line, according to Greensburg Daily News. Read more.

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Porsche levels up with 2019 Cayenne E-Hybrid

Porsche’s 2019 Cayenne E-hybrid packs additional technology, allowing it to push ahead in value compared to the conventional Cayenne S, according to Green Car Reports. The hybrid employs a 3L turbocharged V-6 in combination with a 14.1kwh lithium-ion battery, powering up to 27 miles of all electric range. The model has a total system output of 455 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. Further, the Cayenne hybrid has an additional electric boost capability—a simple button push adds 20 seconds of electric boost power.

The EPA ratings have yet to come out for the 2019 Cayenne E-Hybrid, but the 2018 model was rated at 47mpg-e.

Andrew Ganz at Green Car Reports sums it up well: “at Porsche, electrification moved from showpiece to practicality with one fell-swoop in the 2019 Cayenne E-Hybrid.” Read more.

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2019 Crosstrek plug-in hybrid scheduled for late 2018

Subaru is set to launch its second iteration of a Crosstrek hybrid. The model, set to hit dealers in late 2018, will utilize a version of Toyota’s plug-in hybrid system. This PHEV system has been deployed previously in Toyota’s Prius Prime. However, when implemented in the 2019 Crosstrek PHEV, the technology will not be in combination with the Prius Prime’s 1.8L inline engine. Instead, Subaru will employ a four-cylinder direct-injection Boxer Engine.

The Subaru/Toyota alliance is not out of the blue. The two automakers have partnered previously on a separate vehicle. The Detroit Bureau has the story. Read more.

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Jeep making a more efficient, mild hybrid Wrangler

Jeep has unveiled its 2018 Wrangler line-up, and alongside its traditional V6 option, the automaker will offer a turbocharged 4-cylinder powertrain with better EPA ratings than any previous Jeeps. For 2018, the turbo-4 is actually a mild hybrid, giving the model 22% lower fuel consumption than the previous year. The EPA has rated the model at 23/25/24 mpg for a 2-door, and 22/24/22 mpg for a 4-door.

As Green Car Reports notes, the mild hybrid Wrangler is the harbinger of a more fuel efficient line-up for Jeep. The automaker is set to release a diesel Wrangler in 2019 and a plug-in hybrid model in 2020. Read more.

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April 2018 Hybrid Car Sales Report

Hybrid Cars published its April 2018 Hybrid Sales report, with the month coming in lower than the previous year. As is becoming a trend, PHEVs and all-electric models did well year-on-year, while full hybrid sales decreased against the metric.

There were 25,019 hybrid cars sold in April, an 18% decrease from 2017 and a 12.8% decrease from March. Toyota again led the category with the Prius Liftback and RAV4 topping the sales counts. However, both models sold less than the previous month. Of the top ten hybrids by sales count, the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid showed the strongest growth, both from the previous year and from March.

9,807 PHEVs were sold in April, a 37.9% increase off of April 2017. However, the total volume was lower than March. The Toyota Prius Prime, Chevrolet Volt, and Honda Clarity PHEV led the category.

Battery electric cars continue their growing sales appeal to consumers, with 9,589 sold in April, a 60.9% increase off of this month last year. Tesla led the category with 3,800 Model 3s sold, a 3.3% increase from March. Chevrolet’s Bolt EV and Tesla’s Model S* rounded out the top 3.

Note, General Motors has stopped reporting monthly sales data, so Hybrid Cars has predicted their electrified vehicle sales. The automaker announced it will report its sales quarterly from now on. Read more.

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Nissan’s 2018 Rogue Hybrid hits stores

Nissan has reintroduced the 2018 Rogue hybrid with a few upgraded features. The Rogue Hybrid is offered in a variety of layouts, with the all-wheel drive version carrying an EPA rated mileage of 31/34/33 mpg, while the front-wheel drive version has a 33/35/34 rating.

The Rogue hybrid MY18 will be offered primarily in the Western and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. Andrew Ganz for The Car Connection has reviewed the model. Read more.

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