Hybrid News

New PHEVs launching in 2020 from Kia

Kia has announced two additional plug-in hybrid models for its European line-up. The automaker will add a PHEV version for both its XCeed and Ceed Sportswagon models. The vehicles will feature a 8.9kWh battery in combination with a 44.5kW electric motor and 1.6L engine, according to Drive Mag.

The vehicles will launch in Europe in 2020 after being built in Slovakia. Read more.

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2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid fuel economy announced

The Ford Explorer Hybrid has achieved 27/29/28 mpg EPA fuel ratings for the rear-wheel-drive version of its 2020 model. The RWD model “leads the pack” of Explorer Hybrids with its EPA ratings, according to a report from Left Lane. The AWD version of the vehicle has lower EPA ratings of 23/26/25 mpg. Both vehicles have impressive full-tank capability, of 500 and 450 miles, respectively, on one tank of gas.

The Hybrid Explorer and its ICE counterpart are each capable of hauling up to 5000 tons. Read more.

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Volvo’s Polestar launches new PHEV factory

Polestar, Volvo’s luxury electric performance brand, has announced its Chengdu production facility has begun producing the brand’s Polestar 1 vehicle, a plug-in hybrid. The facility itself is billed as “one of the most environmentally responsible car factories in China” and will seek LEED Gold status. According to Bengt Halvorsen at Green Car Reports, Polestar will deliver 200 Polestar 1 vehicles to North America later this year. The vehicles are available for pre-order at a price of $155,000. Halvorsen notes, “Polestar calls the 600-horsepower, carbon-fiber bodied 1 to be the most exclusive electrified vehicle to be manufactured in China.”

The automaker will launch its Polestar 2 from a facility in Luqiao, China, in early 2020. Read more.

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VW upgrades Passat PHEV all-electric range

Volkswagen has increased the all-electric range on the European version of its Passat plug-in hybrid to up to 70 kilometers, according to a new report from Green Car Congress. The Passat GTE PHEV has a substantial increase in all-electric range compared to its predecessor. The plug-in hybrid features three operating modes – EV, GTE, and hybrid. The hybrid system carries 115 horsepower in combination with a 156 hp engine. Notably, in order to charge the hybrid battery while in transit, the driver of the Passat must activate the hybrid mode. Read more.

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Prius durability explained

A new piece from Torque News argues that the reason the Toyota Prius is so popular is its durability. Peter Neilson writes, “The question is, what makes the Toyota Prius such an attractive vehicle? This one word describes it: durability.” The Prius employs a specially forged engine, transmission and traction battery alongside Toyota’s hybrid system, which all contribute to the vehicle’s staying power, according to Neilson, who drives a Prius with more than 245,000 miles on it. Read more.

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BMW 330e PHEV doubles electric-only range

The BMW 330e plug-in hybrid features an upgraded powertrain, pushing the vehicle to 41 miles of all electric range, a greater than 50% increase on the old model. The vehicle carries a 2L four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor for total system output of 292hp and 310lb-ft of torque. Green Car Congress reports that a new feature, XtraBoost, allows the driver to access an additional 40 horsepower with the flip of a switch. Read more.

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Plug-in hybrid model to be Cayenne flagship

Porsche is pushing ahead with additional plug-in hybrid vehicles as mainstays of its lineup. The German automaker will debut a plug-in hybrid as the flagship model of its Cayenne series. The Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid and the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe will each feature a total system output of 500 kW, powered by a 4L V8 engine in combination with an electric motor and eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission, according to a new report from Green Car Congress. The sister vehicle of the two turbo hybrid Cayennes, the Cayenne E-Hybrid Coupe, will carry a slightly less powerful system, with a total output of 340kW. The vehicles can achieve speeds up to 135km/h (~85 mph) on only electric power. Green Car Congress has the story. Read more.

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BMW launches wireless charging pilot for 530e PHEV leases in CA

BMW has announced it will begin offering wireless charging pads for new leases of its 530e plug-in hybrid in California. In order to qualify, a customer must purchase a thirty-six month lease on a 2019 model BMW 530e plug-in hybrid and be a residential homeowner with an enclosed garage space, according to Road Show. As part of the pilot program, BMW will cover the costs of installation, maintenance, and removal of the charging pad. Read more.

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July 2019 Plug-In Hybrid Sales Report

In July, 26,395 plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles were sold in the U.S., a slight decrease on the number sold for the same month last year. The top-selling plug-in hybrid was the Toyota Prius Prime, which sold 1,875 units in July. The Honda Clarity PHEV sold the second-highest amount of PHEVS for the period.

Tesla continued to hold the top-spot for highest selling electric vehicle. The automaker sold 13,450 of its Model 3, 1,875 of its Model X, and 975 of its Model S. Chevrolet sold slightly more of its Bolt EVs than Tesla did of its Model S.

Read Inside EVs full plug-in sales scorecard here.

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New active shift control developed for Sonata hybrid

Hyundai has developed a new technology for debut in its upcoming Sonata hybrid. The technology is an Active Shift Control (“ASC”) transmission technology, which “optimizes transmission efficiency by monitoring gear shifts 500 times per second, precisely adjusting the transmission rotation speed to for faster shift times,” according to a report from Green Car Congress.

The ASC technology “allows the hybrid’s electric motor to also take control of gear shifts by applying new software logic to the Hybrid Control Unit (HCU) to mitigate issues with slower shift time.” Green Car Congress has the story. Read more.

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