VW Passat, Cadillac, BMW, Kia, Acura.
VW Passat Plug-in Hybrid: For the Paris Auto Show, the eighth generation of VW’s sedan adopts the plug-in hybrid technology already seen in the Golf GTE but with a little more power. The Passat will have a combined output of 218 hp and torque of 400 nm. The electric range is 50 km thanks to a 9.9 kWh battery and the car will be offered both in sedan and wagon versions.
ELR gets a makeover: According to a Cadillac spokesperson, the “improved version” of the ELR will include “engineering enhancements.” More details have not yet been revealed. The updated version of the plug-in hybrid will premier at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.
Getting the i3 off the lot: One California car dealer offers a discount on five of its BMW i3 in stock. REx models or models with extended options are not part of the deal. It is a first sign that the initial hype is over and dealers will “have to work a little harder” to sell the EV.
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Kia Soul EV gets price tag in Canada: The basic model will go for 34,995 Canadian dollars (31,373 USD), while the luxury trim will cost 37,995 CAD (34,062 USD). The latter comes with a heat pump that reduces energy consumption by about 27 percent.
The Acura RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD is now available in the United States. Pricing ranges from 59,950 dollars for the Technology Package to 65,950 dollars for the Advance Package. Honda’s hybrid comes with a 35 kW front and two 27 kW rear electric motors.
puregreencars.com, leftlanenews.com, honda.com
Hong Kong, Warsaw, PlugSurfing, Cadillac, ChargePoint.
Electric van testing: Hong Kong District Cooling Company Limited (HKDC), a Veolia subsidiary, has begun field-testing the Nissan e-NV200 at Kai Tak Development (KTD) in Hong Kong. The electric van will serve under real life conditions and will be utilised for both developed areas and those under construction.
Poland plans electric car sharing: The city of Warsaw is about to publish a tender for a carsharing system that is expected to see at least 300 electric or hybrid vehicles. Already Daimler as well as Fiat have expressed their interest. Meanwhile, Wrocław will introduce a car sharing called GoGet next year – if electric is not yet clear.
PlugSurfing extended: Users of the PlugSurfing app now have access to charge points of two more providers. Apart from E.On, which is responsible for the fast chargers along the German Autobahn A9, users can now plug and pay at Ebee stations in Berlin.
A free charging station is the latest lure Cadillac came up with to win over buyers for the ELR, this time in Canada. There, as in the U.S., every new owner of the luxury volt gets a complimentary 240-V home charger by Bosch, including installation.
On-campus charging: ChargePoint says it has installed 1,134 charge points on university and college campus so far. This number was increased from 838 last year, right in time for the beginning of the new academic year. With 38 spots, the University of California at Davis is the most accommodating for electric vehicles.
NEVS, Mitsubishi, Jaguar, Chevy Volt, Cadillac.
Saab plays for time: NEVS, owner of the Swedish carmaker, has applied for short-term protection from creditors. The reason, they say, is that investor talks with two carmakers are taking longer than planned. Apparently, the court has declined the application and NEVS’ future remains uncertain.
Mitsubishi eyes Russia: The Japanese manufacturer is currently showing its Outlander PHEV at Moscow Motor Show, just before it will kick off sales in the country in September. Mitsubishi is also presenting it plug-in concepts GC-PHEV and XR-PHEV in Moscow.
electriccarsreport.com, greencarcongress.com, puregreencars.com
A hybrid Jaguar? Spy shots of the new Jaguar XF prototype to become available in 2016 are circulating the internet. Since the carmaker is hoping to compete with the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 and Mercedes E-Class, the possibility of the Jaguar being offered as a hybrid is rather realistic.
The new Chevy Volt: Yesterday, we reported on supposedly “exclusive images” of the Nissan Leaf and today, we can show you what the next generation Chevy Volt may look like. It features a sleeker and more aerodynamic design, with the interior now allowing room for five instead of four people.
Driving the Cadillac ELR: Right of the bat, Rucell Purcell notes that this car is just too expensive. While he likes the design and finish of the plug-in coupe, as well as its performance, he still thinks that the Chevy Volt is a better choice since it offers more legroom in the back and is cheaper.
Bugatti, Honda, Cadillac, BMW, Bristol Cars.
Hybrid Bugatti? Sources at the VW group, owner of the French supercar brand, confirmed that the successor of the Veyron could get a hybrid heart. According to Reuters, this is a request of Bugatti’s new chief executive Wolfgang Dürheimer, who also is CEO at Bentley.
uk.reuters.com via hybridcars.com
Honda recalls hybrids: The company is recalling 175,356 Fit and Vezel Hybrids in Japan. The reason is a software problem which might cause the motor to accelerate unexpectedly. Eleven accidents have already been reported, though none of them heavy or deadly.
Too much for too many: Cadillac’s luxus-loving Volt brother, the ELR, apparently cannot find enough buyers. Dealers in the USA are now offering discounts of up to 12,000 dollars for the (almost) 76,000-dollar model.
BMW i8 review: Alex Kersten is nothing but in awe with the Bavarian hybrid’s appearance as well as performance. In his opinion, the “pin up car” makes you “feel special” when driving it, especially on the open and empty roads of Scotland.
New British-built plug-in? Bristol Cars hatches plans for a new luxury sedan with four electric drives – one for each wheel. The 408,000-dollar machine will come with a range extender and aims to be proper competition to the likes of Rolls Royce. So far, it is only at concept stage and a market entry not to be expected before 2016.
Audi, Toyota/Tesla, Mitsubishi, Cadillac.
Audis e-tron series: Audi CEO Rupert Stadler announced to offer the next A6 and A8 as plug-in hybrids. Furthermore, he hinted at more pure electric cars apart from the R8 e-tron – if cell technology would continue to advance as rapidly. Next up is the Audi A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid.
autonews.com, wiwo.de (in German)
No more Rav4 EVs from Tesla? In its quarterly filing, the Californian electric car maker announced the deal about the delivery of components for Toyota’s electric RAV4 is to conclude later this year. So far, the Japanese have not confirmed the news.
Certified safety: The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV again proves a firm favourite with safety authorities as it has just received a five-star rating from the Japanese JNCAP. The same it got from the European counterpart, the NCAP. According to Mitsubishi there are currently 90,000 plug-in Outlanders on order in Europe.
thegreencarwebsite.co.uk, transporter-news.de (orders, in German)
Mind the fine print: The battery warranty of the Cadillac ELR comes with a limitation: GM does not warrant for gradual loss of battery capacity, which apparently may be as much as 40% over eight years. Those in California or states that adopted its regulation do not have to worry though as the 150,000 miles AT-PZEV warranty applies.
Fiat, Subaru, Hybrid SUVs, Porsche, Cadillac.
500e recall: Chrysler Group has issued the second recall for its electric Fiat 500e compliance car. Over time, coolant could seep into the power inverter module and cause a short-circuit followed by power loss. 4,151 cars are affected and will have their inverter module replaced.
Plug-in hybrid from Subaru: Subaru announced a new plug-in hybrid in order to meet U.S. zero emissions vehicle regulations taking effect in 2018. The vehicle will be based on Toyota’s hybrid technology and chances are it will be a new seven-seat SUV, replacing the aging Tribeca.
autonews.com via autoblog.com
No big hybrids: The bigger the car, the more a hybrid engine can help improve mileage. Nevertheless, big hybrids are having a hard time in the States. Giants like the Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon SUVs, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Lexus LS hybrids have already been discontinued there.
usatoday.com via green.autoblog.com, thegreencarwebsite.co.uk
Porsche loves hybrid: With the Panamera Turbo S, 911 Turbo S, Macan S and GT4 expected to get a partly-electric heart soon, it is safe to say that Porsche has jumped on the hybrid bandwagon for good. For more details on these desirable sports cars, check out the links below.
wot.motortrend.com via autoweek.com, autoblog.com
Luxurious ELR: The New York Times finally got their hands on the Cadillac ELR. The review is rather detailed and comes with a video. The general verdict is positive, with the only real downer being the car’s 82,135-dollar price tag.
Geely, Volkswagen, Tesla, Cadillac, BMW, Elon Musk.
Geely plug-in concept: The Volvo owner is looking at electrifying its own models too and presented the Emgrand Cross Concept PHEV in Beijing. The car is destined to hit its domestic market by 2015 and has a said electric range of 31 miles.
Passat gets a new look: Spy shots of the next generation VW Passat have emerged. The pictures show the Chinese version called Magotan, which is identical to the European version except for the longer wheelbase. Based on VW’s MQB platform, it will almost certainly be offered as plug-in hybrid by 2015.
Better safe than sorry: To minimise any delay caused by last-minute issues for its Gigafactory battery plant, Tesla will move forward its planning considering at least two different states. Tesla is currently assessing sites in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. California is not an option due to timing requirements of regulatory matters.
bloomberg.com via green.autoblog.com
A taste of luxury: Cadillac has started a series of test drive events to get people into the new ELR. The ‘ELR Mobile Experience’ is currently travelling through California, stopping at busy districts and festivals in L.A. and the San Francisco Bay Area.
How sexy is the BMW i8? Wondered John Voelcker and colleagues. So they took the Bavarian plug-in hybrid for a spin in L.A. where it “drew crowds” while its wingdoors when opened inspired numerous selfies. Inspiring enough?!
Salary slash: Tesla paid its CEO Elon Musk 69,989 dollars in 2013. Compared to 2012 where he made almost 80 million, this seems to be a rather radical cut. Yet, a thorough look reveals Musk as Tesla’s biggest shareholder, not to speak of his numerous other sources of income and ventures.
Tesla, SGL, Walmart, Cadillac.
Tesla triples safety: Following incidents of burning Model S’ last year, the Californian carmaker now outfits its vehicle bodies with a triple underbody shield. All Model S produced since 6th of March already have this feature. For all others, Tesla offers retrofitting upon request and free of charge. The NHTSA fully approved the measure and has closed its investigation.
chargedevs.com, medium.com (with videos), electriccarsreport.com
Cheaper carbon fibre: German carbon specialist SGL expects prices to fall by up to 90% within the next few years due to reduced manufacturing costs. This would mean 30 euros (41 dollars) or less per kilo and could make carbon fibre reinforced parts an even more viable alternative for cars.
Walmart shows the future in form of its aerodynamic hybrid truck. Its trailer is entirely made out of carbon fibre. The whole vehicle has now been presented at the Mid America Trucking Show (MATS) in Kentucky, USA.
hybridcars.com, greencarcongress.com (with video)
First-world problems: Cadillac is recalling 656 ELRs with range extender due to a fault with the electronic stability control. Fortunately, only 55 had actually been delivered to consumers while the rest is still at dealers or at the plant. According to GM, the problem does not affect any Volt vehicles.
The New Fisker, Chevrolet, Saleen, A2B, Cadillac.
The New Fisker: This is the name under which Wanxiang will start selling the plug-in hybrid “as soon as possible.” Production of the Karma is to be restarted in Finland while all planned Fisker models like the Atlantic, Surf Shooting Brake and the Sunset convertible are said to be launched eventually.
autoweek.com, greencarreports.com, thenewfisker.com (new website)
Chevy Volt redesign: Industry insiders believe GM to launch an update of its Volt in the U.S. by 2015. It will possibly feature a new front-wheel drive platform while the body style is not expected to change too much.
edmunds.com via electric-vehiclenews.com
Saleen to enter China: The automotive manufacturer has chosen GreenTech Automotive (GTA) as its distributor in China. The US-based GTA will start selling in spring and offer the full Saleen range in China. Saleen has recently made the news when it teamed up with AC Propulsion to work on a new electric sports car (we reported).
Review Alva+ e-bike: This model of the A2B company is a hybrid between e-bike and pedelec, combining pedal-assist and throttle operation. While Jason Fogelson concludes that the Alva+ is “a very attractive form of alternative green transportation” he cannot see it outperform a scooter or motorcycle yet.
The Caddy ELR is more than just a luxury version of the Volt: John Voelcker joins the club of reviewers who admit that GM has launched a “very stylish coupe with a luxurious interior” but still thinks it overpriced by as much as 30,000 dollars, esp. as its electric drive is “just not there” in freezing temperatures.
Ford Focus Electric, Cadillac ELR.
Video tip 1: Robert Llewellyn from Fully Charged tested the Ford Focus Electric in Germany. While he thinks the car is “great,” its price is “interesting” and in his opinion cannot be fully explained be higher battery cost alone.
Video tip 2: Cadillac’s recent spot for the ELR called Poolside, advertised the electric car as for the few – or at least that is how it was perceived. It has now sparked discussions all over the web.
Nissan Leaf battery survives abuse, Cadillac ELR.
Video tip 1: Just how much abuse can a Nissan Leaf battery cell take? Apparently a lot! This video shows that even after being damaged with a screwdriver and a gas burner, it still runs just fine.
Video tip 2: CNNMoney takes the Cadillac ELR for a spin. Conclusion? A smooth ride with nice acceleration. And the car’s interior also earned points. The only glitch is the 70,000 dollar price tag…
Nissan, Peugeot, Mahindra, ExtraEnergy, Cadillac.
Nissan Murano debut: The Japanese carmaker will show its 2015 Murano at the New York Auto Show this April. No details have yet been revealed about powertrain options but a hybrid version is expected.
Hybrid Air launch: Peugeot has confirmed series production of its Hybrid Air system from 2016. The Peugeot 2008 will be the first model to use compressed air instead of a battery pack in combination with a combustion engine. Later the B and C segment commercial vehicles from Peugeot and Citroen will follow.
Another Mahindra export: As the electric Reva e2o has not received much response in India so far, the company is looking to offer it to island states. Mahindra believes tourists to be more open to the vehicle and that its range of 100 kilometres would be just enough for small isles.
LEV Business park: The ExtraEnergy Service GmbH is a newly formed subsidiary of the organisation of the same name. Its mission is to promote light electric vehicles. The company together with the ExtraEnergy and EnergyBus organisations is now moving to its new premises in the German town of Schleiz, Thuringia. Here it plans to revive an industrial estate by inviting LEV component manufacturers to relocate.
ea.sendcpt.com (Press release)
Cadillac ELR review: Matt Keegan spent a week with GM’s luxurious electric car which turned out to be as much about the driving experience as it was about finding an empty public charger. Here, the strongest competitor was not a Volt, which drivetrain the ELR shares, but a Nissan Leaf using the same park and charge spots.
My Electric Avenue, Cadillac, London, Edinburgh.
‘My Electric Avenue’ is a British project funded with nine million pounds (14.9m dollars) by Ofgem. In June last year, seven neighbourhood clusters with ten families each have been chosen to share a Nissan Leaf. The aim is to see if the grid can cope with the charging activities. Now, project leader EA Technology Group is looking for a company to join the scheme.
Complimentary Caddy charger: GM offers early buyers of its luxury electric Cadillac ELR a free 240-Volt home charger, including installation. The ELR, which is a more luxurious and re-tuned version of the Chevrolet Volt, starts at 75,000 dollars.
EV trip London to Edinburgh: EV advocates Robert Llewellyn and David Peilow crossed Britain south to north in a Nissan Leaf in just over 13 hours along Ecotricity’s Electric Highway. They stopped eight times to fast-charge for free. Three years ago, the same 400 miles took BBC journalist Brian Milligan four days in a BMW Mini E.
Nissan, Audi, Hyundai, Toyota, Cadillac.
America loves the Leaf: Nissan is increasing output of its Leaf by about 50%, now producing 3,000 units a month at its plant in Tennessee. The surge in demand is bolstered up by the growing charging infrastructure as well as customers are increasingly becoming aware about the cost benefits of EVs.
German Tesla-Fighter? The German car magazine ‘Auto Bild’ reports in its print edition about Audi’s plans of an upcoming electric Audi Q8 with a range of up to 700 kilometres. While details are yet scarce, the Q8 with an expected price of at least 100,000 euros (136,000 dollars) is believed to be a direct answer to Tesla’s upcoming Model X – but at least two years later.
‘Auto Bild’ No. 2/2014 p. 10, bild.de (In German)
Hyundai readies FCEV: This spring, Hyundai will introduce its Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle to the US market, initially in the Los Angeles region. The IX35 FCEV, as it is known in Europe, comes with a range of up to 300 miles and refuelling will only take ten minutes. Hyundai launches the FCEV in California as the state recently agreed to build one hundred H2 fueling stations.
Six million hybrids: Toyota hit yet another milestone right at the end of 2013 when billing 6,072 million hybrids. This last million took Toyota only nine months after celebrating five millions in April ’13. The Japanese currently offer 24 hybrid models and one plug-in hybrid worldwide with another 15 in the pipeline.
Volt owners test Caddy ELR: Is a fancy name and hefty price tag enough to make a difference? Two Volt owners set out to drive the Cadillac ELR, which has the Volt system under the hood. Both drivers found the Electrified Luxury Coupe (ELR) to be “luxurious” indeed.