HybridCars.com reports that the 2017 Kia Niro hybrid will soon go on sale with a base price of $22,890. The crossover, designed from “the ground up as a dedicated hybrid,” has a combined EPA-rating of 49 mpg (51 mpg city/46 mpg highway).
PAICE PRESS RELEASE | JANUARY 11, 2017
BALTIMORE – Paice, a pioneer in hybrid electric vehicle technology, and the Abell Foundation announced today that they have entered into a settlement agreement with Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche regarding Paice’s hybrid vehicle patents. Terms of the agreement are confidential.
The agreement brings an end to all pending legal issues between the companies. Paice and the Abell Foundation had filed a patent infringement complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in April 2016. A hearing at the ITC was scheduled for January 2017.
Paice LLC is the creation of inventor Dr. Alex Severinsky, who founded the company in 1992 with the support of the University of Maryland incubator program. Led by an innovative and experienced team of automotive veterans, Paice made its mark in the hybrid industry by discovering new ways to maximize fuel efficiency and reduce harmful emissions without sacrificing driving performance. The company has been awarded 30 U.S. and foreign patents.
About the Abell Foundation
The Abell Foundation, Inc., a Baltimore-based charitable organization dedicated to fighting urban poverty and promoting social objectives by investing in progressive local start-up companies, is a co-owner of the Paice patents. Since 1999, Abell has invested millions of dollars to support Paice’s efforts to develop and promote its innovative hybrid technology.
Audi is expanding its crossover lineup with the addition of the Q6 and Q8 models. The automaker previewed what the new Q8 flagship SUV will look like with the debut of the Q8 concept at the Detroit Auto Show.
The Torque Report notes that the Q8 concept is powered by a plug-in hybrid system that pairs a 3.0L V6 to an electric motor for a total output of 442 horsepower and 516 lb-ft. of torque. The plug-in hybrid system can accelerate the Q8 from 0-62 mph in 5.4 seconds and has the ability to drive in fully electric mode for up to 37 miles.
Read more at http://www.thetorquereport.com/2017/01/audi_q8_plug-in_hybrid_concept_.html#7zQzQWwCMu1S4A9e.99
Honda will introduce a new dedicated hybrid in 2018. The vehicle will utilize Honda’s innovative two-motor hybrid system found in the 49 mpg Accord Hybrid, the most fuel efficient midsize sedan in America.
“Half of the all-new models Honda will launch in the United States in the coming two years will be electrified vehicles,” said Takahiro Hachigo, President & CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
The AP reports that the 2017 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid is more fuel efficient — and more affordable.
The Fusion Energi’s fuel economy rating improved to 42 mpg (combined) this year, with a range of 21 miles on electric power alone. That means a single tank of gas can take drivers more than 600 miles. The 2017 model is available at $31,995, nearly $3,000 less expensive that the 2016 model.
HybridCars.com reports that Ford has its eye on the taxi market with the development of a Transit Connect hybrid taxi prototype that will be featured at the North American Auto Show in Detroit.
Transit Connect already has a big taxi presence in large cities such as Chicago, New York and San Francisco. Ford plans to begin testing a fleet of 20 Transit Connect hybrid taxi prototypes in major cities across the U.S. this year
Ford will introduce seven new electrified vehicles in the next five years, including hybrid versions of the iconic F-150 pickup and Mustang in the U.S., a plug-in hybrid Transit Custom van in Europe and a fully electric SUV with an expected range of at least 300 miles for customers globally.
The moves are part of a $4.5 billion investment in electrified vehicles by 2020.
Toyota is on track to sell 40% more hybrids in Europe this year compared to last year.
HybridCars.com reports that Toyota had decided to take a persistent, steady approach to bringing its hybrid technology to Europe. The goal: to be well positioned if there was an increased for hybrids. A report issued earlier this month predicted that sales of diesel cars will be almost completely replaced by hybrids and all-electric vehiclesby 2025.
BMW will introduce the new BMW 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid at the North American International Auto Show in January in Detroit.
GreenCarCongress reports that the BMW 530e iPerformance offers the full breadth of BMW 5 Series Advanced Driver Assistance systems and the latest technology introduced with the new 5 Series, combined with eDrive plug-in hybrid powertrain technology.
Toyota has announced it may open up its hybrid technology to other automakers.
HybridCars.com reported that Toyota will consider selling its hybrid powertrain modules — including engines, transmissions, and other drivetrain components — to other automakers. Such a move could help push the industry toward adopting electrified vehicle technologies.
“It will be an historic cultural shift for Toyota, long known for keeping its network of automotive suppliers in-house. Suppliers have kept joint developed technology exclusive to Toyota, which the automaker had used as a competitive edge against competitors,” the article notes.