Honda will add its i-MMD two-motor hybrid system to additional vehicles in its lineup, according to a new report from Green Car Congress. The news comes from a briefing in Tokyo earlier this month where the automaker announced it will “expand the application of its i-MMD (Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive) two-motor hybrid system from large to mid-sized vehicles to small-sized vehicles, as well as to PHEVs and to evolve it as the core of Honda electrification technologies.” Notably, the two-motor system works in combination with Honda-developed electric motors that “use magnets containing no heavy rare-earth metals.”
The two-motor system is currently featured in the 2019 CR-V Hybrid, 2019 Insight, and 2018 Accord Hybrid. Read more.
In June, 37,818 plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles were sold in the United States, an increase of thirteen thousand sales on this month last year. The top-selling plug-in hybrid was the Toyota Prius Prime, which sold 1,144 units in June. The Honda Clarity PHEV also sold well, at 1,030 units for the month.
Tesla maintained its spot as the top-selling automaker of electric vehicles, selling 21,225 Model 3, 2,725 Model X, and 1,750 Model S vehicles. Chevrolet also had high sales in June, selling 1,659 of its Bolt EVs.
BMW’s lineup of plug-in hybrid models will be able to transition automatically from hybrid to electric vehicle mode when they cross into certain emissions free zones in 2020. The automaker will add a feature informed by geofencing technology that recognizes when the vehicle enters an emissions free zone, and will automatically switch the car to electric drive only mode.
Car Scoops writes, BMW “is hoping that eDrive Zone will give PHEVs the same type of access rights as with fully electric models, since they will behave in the same exact way when entering specific areas.” All plug-ins by the automaker will have this feature in Europe starting in 2020. Read more.
Bentley, the ultra-luxury automaker, will launch its first plug-in hybrid this year. The Bentayga hybrid will feature a V6 motor in combination with an electric motor “for V-8 like performance but with 6-cylinder economy,” according to Motor Authority. The automaker is set to launch plug-in hybrid versions of more of its existing line-up in the next few years, but a full-electric Bentley is still to come. Motor Authority reports that the automaker may be waiting for solid state batteries to be commercially viable before it sells an electric vehicle, but it will demo one rumored to run on both hydrogen and a battery in the near future. Read more.
According to a new report from Emissions Analytics, an independent group known for the scientific measurement of real-world emissions, the mass adoption of hybrids is more effective for cutting CO2 emissions and meeting 2030 emissions targets than the mass adoption of battery electric vehicles would be. Green Car Congress breaks down the report’s findings, saying, “of all electrification strategies, full BEVs currently offer the least effective CO2 reduction per kWh of battery size… 21 times worse than mild hybrids and 14 times worse than full hybrids.”
The report points to BEV’s “disproportionately large batteries” as a main driver of the BEV’s less impactful emissions profile. Read more.
BMW will launch a plug-in hybrid version of its Series 3 Touring model. The hybrid features an ICE engine and an electric motor “integrated into the eight-speed Steptronic transmission,” for a total system output of 292 horsepower when XtraBoost mode is engaged. XtraBoost allows the vehicle’s horsepower to be increased by an additional 40hp “under particularly hard acceleration.” In other words, the BMW plug-in will be able to reach 62mph from rest in 6.1 seconds. The vehicle also carries 39 miles of all electric range. Green Car Congress has the story. Read more.
Green Car Reports has published its monthly round-up of the best deals on hybrid and electrified vehicles. For the month of June, the best priced non-plug-in hybrid is the Ford Fusion Hybrid, which can be leased for $209/month with a little over three thousand due at signing.
The top-priced plug-in hybrid for the month is a race between the Kira Niro LX PHEV and the Toyota Prius Prime. The former can be leased for $249/month for 36 months with $2,999 due at signing, while the latter is on offer for $299/month for 36 months with $1,999 due at signing.
Of all-electric vehicles, the Chevrolet Bolt EV is the best deal for June. The Bolt can be had for almost $7000 offer the MSRP, with $1250 in cash and 0% financing for 72 months. The vehicle also qualifies for a federal tax credit through the end of August.
Toyota’s 2019 RAV4 Hybrid is “incredibly popular, to undersell and sugarcoat the situation a little,” according to a new report from Torque News. The hybrid has been a sales driver for the automaker, pushing the company to its highest RAV4 sales ever last month. The RAV4 hybrid comes in four style levels: LE, XLE, Limited and XSE, with the XSE being the most popular. The XSE comes equipped with a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine in combination with two electric motors, pushing the system to a total horsepower of 219 hp, with an EPA rating of 41/38/40mpg. Read more.
Mercedes is developing a plug-in hybrid version of its new GLB Compact CUV. Details on the U.S. version of the vehicle are scarce, but Wards Auto suggests the hybrid will have all-wheel-drive, and will feature “an electrified rear axle” and “well over” 31 miles of electric range. The non-hybrid GLB will be offered in Europe with multiple gasoline and diesel models available, with the U.S. engine line-up to be announced in the coming months. Read more.
The all-new Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pick-up from Chrysler will feature a mild-hybrid powertrain, according to a new report from Hot Cars. The pick-up achieves 260hp and 480lb-ft of torque, powered by the brand’s eTorque mild-hybrid powertrain system. The vehicle features a 3L EcoDiesel V6 turbocharged engine. This turbodiesel engine is available with every trim level of the pickup. The Ram 1500 EcoDiesel will become available later this year. Read more.