Ford and SunPower offer a rooftop solar system that will allow Focus Electric owners and other electric car drivers to “Drive Green for Life” by providing customers with enough clean, renewable energy to offset the electricity used to charge the vehicle. The SunPower rooftop solar system will be compatible with the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicle Ford is rolling out in 2012. This pre-configured solution makes solar charging easy for new customers.
By Tom Bartley (3/24/11) My two weeks were up yesterday and I had to pass the car to the next Clean Fuels Coalition board member. I liked the experience and it saved me money. This dual fuel (electricity and gasoline) Prius is all about having a nice ride and being energy efficient. The car I [...]
Toyota officially expanded the Prius family to four models: 2011 Prius – world’s best selling hybrid, 2012 Prius v –midsized wagon with 40 mpg goes on sale Summer 2011, 2012 Prius c Concept – city car hybrid goes on sale by Summer 2012, 2012 Prius Plug-in Hybrid – best mileage of any Prius goes on sale by Summer 2012. My test drive of the Prius Plug-in felt just like driving the best selling Prius.
We finally have great fuel economy in roomy 5-seat crossovers with the new Ford C-MAX Hybrid and the breakthrough C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid. With its comfortable crossover design and potential lower price, the C-MAX Energi is likely to compete well with plugin hybrids like the Chevrolet Volt. The C-MAX Energi is likely to offer more range than the Toyota Prius Plug-in.
BMW will test its second-generation electric concept car in six cities, starting in Fall 2011. This Active E will be a Series 1 BMW converted to be an electric car. The Active E will be BMW’s first opportunity to test new electric drive system technology and SB LiMotive lithium batteries. In two years, BMW will start selling two cars that deliver BMW “driving pleasure” – the new Megacity Vehicle and the new BMW Plug-in Hybrid Sports Coupe.
Toyota plans to introduce 11 hybrids by the end of 2012, consisting of all-new models and redesigned models. A new compact will deliver a jaw-dropping 94 mpg. Lexus offers five premium hybrids including the CT200h with 42 mpg. Toyota demonstrates a big electric future with 600 Prius Plug-ins now on the road, and trials to start for the new all-electric SUV – the Toyota RAV4 EV Powered by Tesla.
Honda Fit EV will be popular with current drivers of hot compact hatchbacks such as the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Ford Fiesta, Chevy Cruze, and Mini-Cooper. In the next few months the Fit EV will hit the streets with real world at Stanford University, City of Torrance, and Google’s fleet and car share programs. Honda also announced that a new plug-in hybrid will go on sale in late 2012.
The Chevrolet Volt was awarded the Motor Trends Car of the Year and Automobile Magazine Car of the Year. The Volt won because average daily trips can be in pure battery-electric mode, yet all trips can be handled by this plug-in hybrid. Today, Chevrolet handed the keys to early customers here at the LA Auto Show. At least 300 will be delivered by the end of 2010.
GE will purchase 25,000 electric vehicles by 2015 for its own fleet and through its Capital Fleet Services business – the largest-ever single electric vehicle commitment. GE will convert most of its 30,000 global fleet and will partner with fleet customers to deploy a total of 25,000 electric vehicles by 2015. GE will initially purchase 12,000 GM vehicles, beginning with the Chevrolet Volt in 2011, and will add other vehicles as manufacturers expand their electric vehicle portfolios.
The best selling all-electric car in 2012 is the Nissan LEAF. The Chevrolet Volt is the best selling plug-in hybrid. In 2013, Toyota, Ford, and Tesla have intensified the battle for electric car leadership. How will U.S. electric buyers vote with their pocketbooks for electric cars? See the list of Best Electric Cars and Plug-in Hybrids for 2012 and 2013.
The best electric cars for 2011 will be on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show this November. Featured will be plug-in cars that can be ordered and delivered in 2011 including the Nissan LEAF, the Chevrolet Volt, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Coda, and Fisker. Also displayed will be hot electric cars and concepts for 2012 and beyond. SUV drivers that want to go electric will be excited to see the new aerodynamic 2012 Toyota RAV4 EV, the result of Toyota’s partnership with Tesla.
My test drive of the Volt demonstrates this plug-in hybrid is a winner. I settle behind the steering wheel, feel comfortable in the bucket seat, and am impressed with the display behind the wheel, and the 7-inch navigation screen. While driving, I was able to try the three modes of the car with a push of the button. In Normal mode, the Volt always stayed in the quiet electric mode that gives this 4-door sedan a 40 mile electric range before engaging its 1 liter gasoline engine to provide 300 extra miles of range, depending on driving conditions. In Sport mode, the Volt goes 0 to 60 in 8 seconds.
The Volt can be lease for as low as $350 for 36 months, with $2,500 due at lease signing; it can be purchased starting at $41,000. Back-up camera, premium leather, paint, and wheel options can take the price to $45,000 and a higher lease rate. This compares with the Nissan LEAF price of $32,780 to $33,720, and lease of $349 to $379. Starting today, participating Chevrolet dealers in launch markets will begin taking customer orders for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt in California, New York, Michigan, Connecticut, Texas, New Jersey and the Washington D.C. area.
As the world leader in hybrid cars, Toyota is fighting to extend that leadership in both plug-in hybrids and battery-electrics. In plug-in hybrids, GM plans on first mover advantage with the Chevy Volt. In electric cars, the Nissan LEAF has a sizable lead over the Toyota FT-EV. But Toyota has more cars on the road with electric motors, advanced batteries, and electric drive systems than all competitors put together. This article discusses Toyota’s roll-out of the Prius PHV, the FT-EV, and progress with advanced batteries.
A new National Academies report considers two vehicles. One, the PHEV-10, uses hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) technology similar to that used in the Toyota Prius. However, it has a larger battery than an HEV to allow 10 miles of driving powered by electricity only and a gasoline engine that drives the wheels in parallel with the electric motor when power demand is high or the batteries are discharged. The other vehicle, the PHEV-40, is similar to the Chevrolet Volt. Thirteen to 40 million PHEV out of 300 million total vehicles are projected to be on the U.S. roads by 2030 under different scenarios.