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Cleaner, Fuel Efficient Vehicles

The upcoming 2014 Tesla Type X (CUV)
Image from: http://goo.gl/500VX
The list of clean and fuel efficient vehicles continues to grow by the day. Every major automakers and many minor automakers are developing hybrid, plug in hybrid and electric vehicles.

In this posting I will list out some of the more recently announced/ launched vehicles that make use of advanced technologies that reduced fuel consumption and emissions, saving their owners money at the gas pump while improving air quality where these new vehicles replace dirtier conventional vehicles from the past.


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The 2014 Land-Rover Plug-in Diesel Hybrid Concept Vehicle
333 horsepower and 45 miles per gallon

It will likely be produced in 2014 for the European market. 

Image from: http://goo.gl/wOqOI

2012 Honda FCX Clarity : Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle

100 kW Honda Vertical Flow (V Flow) hydrogen fuel cell stack

134 horsepower (100 kW) and 189 lb·ft (256 N·m) torque @0-3056 rpm

The range on a full hydrogen tank (4.1 kg @ 5000psi) is EPA certified at 240 miles (~386 km). The vehicle is estimated to get about 77 miles (123.9 km) per kilogram hydrogen in the city, 67 miles (107.8 km) per kilogram highway and 72 miles (115.9 km) per kilogram in combined driving.
The FCX can only be leased for now by a small number of people. 
The FCX will in be available to the public for purchase in a few more years. 

Image from: http://goo.gl/Zc0V8
The 2013 Ford C-Max Energi Plug-In Hybrid


The C-MAX Energi is America's most fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid with U.S. EPA-certified 108 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) in the city

C-MAX Energi achieves a best-in-class combined EPA-certified rating of 100 MPGe, topping the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid combined rating by 5 MPGe, which the EPA says will help customers save nearly $7,000 in fuel costs in five years

A Californian facing record $5-per-gallon gasoline and turning in an average 23-mpg vehicle for a C-MAX Energi would pay the equivalent of $1.25 per gallon for the same distances traveled
At $29,995, the C-MAX Energi is America's most affordable plug-in hybrid; available this fall, C-MAX Energi is Ford's first production plug-in hybrid, part of Ford's first hybrid-only dedicated line of vehicles.

Image from: http://goo.gl/2SDO0

The 2012 Fisker Karma Plug-in Hybrid

The Karma's two 201 brake horsepower motors produce 960 lbf·ft of torque: the 5,300 lb beast capable of reaching 60 mph from a standstill in 6.3 seconds. The all-electric range for the Fisker Karma is 32 mi: 52 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent. The Karma returns about 26MPG overall in long term continuous operation mode where the engine is run continuously to power the electrical system that drives the Karma. The total range with a full tank of gasoline and a fully charged battery is 230 miles

The Karma is a pure series hybrid, driven by a pair of 120 kW (161 hp) electric motors that get their power from a 20 kWh lithium ion battery supplied by A123 Systems. Once the battery is depleted, or when the driver presses the "Sport" mode button, the front-mounted 260-hp, 2.0-liter Ecotec four-cylinder direct-injected and turbocharged gasoline engine powers a generator that sends electricity directly to the drive motors. The Karma includes as standard a solar paneled roof manufactured by Asola Advanced and Automotive Solar Systems GmbH, a Quantum Technologies affiliate, not only to aid in the recharging of its lithium-ion batteries but also to aid the cabin climate control system. The solar roof is capable of generating a half kilowatt-hour a day and is estimated to provide up to 4 to 5 miles (6.4–8.0 km) of additional range a week assuming continuously sunny days.
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The 2011 Chevy Volt Plug-in Hybrid 

The 2011 Chevrolet Volt has a 16 kW·h / 45 A·h (10.4 kW·h usable) lithium-ion battery pack that can be charged by plugging the car into a 120-240 VAC residential electrical outlet using the provided charging cord. No external charging station is required. 

The Volt is propelled by an electric motor with a peak output of 111 kW (149 hp) delivering 273 lb·ft (370 N·m) of torque. The Volt has a top speed of 100 mph. the Volt's 0 to 60 mph acceleration time is 9.2 seconds running on electric-only mode, and 9.0 seconds with the gasoline engine assisting propulsion. The returns a quarter mile time of 16.8 sec @ 81.5 mph in electric-only operation, and 16.6 sec @ 85.5 mph with the gasoline engine assisting. 

The Volt's all-electric range with fully charged batteries varies from 25 to 50 miles (40 to 80 km) depending on terrain, driving technique, and temperature. In hybrid mode the volt returns approximately 37MPG. The Volt's fuel tank capacity is 9.3 US gallons. The total range with a full tank of gasoline and a fully charged battery will be 380 miles.

While driving, after the Volt battery has dropped to a predetermined threshold from full charge, a small naturally aspirated 1.4-liter 4-cylinder gasoline fueled internal combustion engine (Opel's Family 0) with approximately 80 hp (60 kW), powers a 55 kW generator to extend the Volt's range. The vehicle also has a regenerative braking system. The electrical power from the generator is sent primarily to the electric motor, with the excess going to the batteries, depending on the state of charge (SOC) of the battery pack and the power demanded at the wheels.

Image From: http://goo.gl/q4xUu

The 2012 Nissan Leaf  : Electric Vehicle

The Leaf uses an 80 kW (110 hp) and 280 N·m (210 ft·lb) front-mounted synchronous electric motor driving the wheels, powered by a 24 kilowatt-hours (86 MJ) lithium ion battery pack rated to deliver up to 90 kilowatts (120 hp) power. The Leaf has a top speed of over 93 mph) and a 0 to 60 mph performance of 9.9 seconds.

The range of a Nissan Leaf is anywhere from 45 to 138 mi per charge. It gets the best range (130+ miles) going 38MPH in 68 degree weather on relatively flat terrain with low wind conditions. In the worst cold or super hot weather, with the climate control system running maxed out in heavy traffic congestion, the range can be as low as 45 miles. The battery, like all batteries, will slowly degrade over time. Storing the leaf or operating it in a super hot climate make the battery wear out faster. Fully charging the leaf every cycle also make the battery wear out faster. Driving at high-way speeds most of the time makes the battery wear out faster.

The Nissan Leaf is ideal for people that have shorter daily commuters (under 50 miles round trip), whom live in a home where they can park the Leaf in a garage with access to a Level 2 charger. People who live in Urban/ Suburban areas will access to public Level 2 chargers will also better be able to make use of the Leaf.



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The 2010 Toyota Prius Hybrid 

This is a third generation Prius. 

The 1.8-liter gasoline engine generates 98 hp, and with the added power of the electric motor generates a total of 134 hp. The larger engine displacement in this model allows for increased torque, reducing engine speeds (RPM), which combine to improve fuel economy at highway speeds. Thanks to its electric water pump, the engine in this Prius is the first consumer automotive production engine that requires no accessory belts, which also further improves its fuel economy.The Original Prius became available in 2001 and sold through 2003. The Gen II Prius became available in 2004 and sold through 2009. The Gen III Prius became available in 2010 and is still the current model revision of the standard Prius. They return approximately 44MPG, 47MPG and 50MPG respectively, an improvement of 3mpg for each model revision. 


Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prius_V

The 2012 Prius V CUV Hybrid

The Prius v powertrain uses the same 1.8 liter Atkinson cycle gasoline inline-four engine used in the conventional Prius, a 60 kW traction motor, and shares the Prius’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system and the same 201 volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack. The Prius V fuel economy is rated at 44 miles per US gallon for city driving and 40 miles per US gallon for highway, and a combined rating of 42 miles per US gallon.

The interior cargo space is more than 50% larger than the 2010 Toyota Prius, 5 inches (130 mm) longer and 1 inch (25 mm) wider, providing 34.3 cubic feet (970 L) of cargo space behind the rear seats; it also offers 38 inches (970 mm) of rear leg room, and more head height. With the rear seats folded down, two smaller fit adults can easily sleep in the back on a twin sized air mattress. With the rear seats folded down it is also easy to load a full sized dual suspension mountain bike in the back, or a ton cargo. It has tones of utility and rivals the cargo carrying capacity of many far less efficient conventional vehicles.

Toyota introduced some refinements unique to the Prius v powertrain. These refinements include a new "Pitch and Bounce" motor control that the Prius v automatically employs on undulating roads and the refined control was designed to improve ride comfort and control. Because the Prius v is a larger vehicle with greater load capacity, suspension components were redesigned to improve handling and ride quality. "Pitch and Bounce" control works with the vehicle’s suspension to cancel longitudinal oscillation when the Prius v is driven over uneven surfaces. The Prius v also includes a redesigned engine coolant heating structure surrounding the vehicle’s catalytic converter and the exhaust heat recirculation system has been refined to reduce engine warm-up time and improve occupant heater response time in cold weather. A switch valve electronically controls coolant recirculation through the exhaust heat recirculation system.


Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Prius_c

The 2012 Prius C Hybrid 
Toyota expanded its line of Prius by introducing the smaller, less expensive Prius C (City Car). The Prius c features Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive with a 1.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder, 16–valve with VVT-i gasoline engine with a high-output motor. The hybrid system includes a new inverter, motor and battery. The hybrid powertrain weighs around 88 lb (40 kg) less than that the standard Prius Liftback. The 1NZ-FXE engine produces 73 hp and the HSD electric motor is rated at 60 hp, producing a Total output of 99 hp. The Prius c is rated at 53 mpg-US city and 46 mpg-US highway, for a combined fuel economy of 50 mpg-US, the same as the conventional Gen III Prius but better in city driving because of its smaller size and lower mass, which reduces low speed losses typical in urban areas. 





Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plug-in_Prius

The 2012 Prius Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV)

The Prius PHV is based on a third generation Toyota Prius, but is outfitted with 4.4 kWh lithium-ion batteries co-developed with Panasonic, which enable all-electric operation at higher speeds and longer distances than the conventional Prius hybrid.

The Prius plug-in total all-electric range is 11 mi; with a full charge and a full tank of gasoline the Prius+ has an expected total range of 540 miles, and a maximum electric-only speed of 62 mph. The lithium-ion battery pack can be charged in 180 minutes from a normal houshold electrical outlet, or in 90 minutes at a level II charger. It is rated for 50MPG combine in hybrid mode, but when the battery is used more often in short commutes (under 20 miles) you can expect to see much greater fuel economy.

Many people are able to drive the Prius+ without using much gas at all because they live in dense urban areas with relatively flat topography, enabling the electrical system to handle the majority of the energy requirements to move the Prius and its passengers.

Some people have been able to average hundreds of miles per gallon with the Prius Plug-in: in a similar way that Chevy Volt driver can get away with using very little gas if the electrical half of the Volt is primarily utilized for shorter commutes. This Prius Plug-in has a shorter all electric range than the Chevy Volt, but the Prius is more fuel efficient overall when the gas motor is used. Someone with a daily commute of under 30miles would be better off with a Chevy Volt. It should be noted however that the Chevy Volt sells for north of $42K while the Plug-in Prius sells for under $33K.

Toyota is the undisputed leader of Hybrid Vehicle sales. The Prius family along with Toyota's other hybrids (highlander) (camry) and the Lexus Group hybirds, have sold over 4 million units worldwide. The Prius has loads of cargo room, but for people who need more utility the Prius V will make better sense. Those who want to spend less can opt for the smaller than standard Prius C, ideal for people who live in urban areas. Those who want better than standard Prius fuel economy can purchase the Plug-In Prius (which returns north of 65MPG's in the real world) 

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The 2012 Honda Civic GX Natural Gas Vehicle

The Honda Civic GX is the only car factory-built to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) in the U.S. available to non-fleet customers. For eight years in a row up to 2011, the Civic GX had been rated first by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy in the "Greenest Vehicle of the Year" list. The 1.8 liter inline four-cylinder engine produces 110 hp, giving a Zero-to-sixty time of 12.6 seconds. The estimated fuel cost for this vehicle to drive 25 miles for a combination of city and highway driving is $1.47 using CNG (as it costs much less than gasoline or diesel fuel) It is also far cleaner burning as a fuel, and America has abundant supplies of natural gas. 
Home refueling is available for the GX with the addition of the Phill Home Refueling Appliance. This unit attaches to a home or commercial natural gas source, and compresses the gas into the car's tank through an attached hose. The unit requires a 110V power source, and uses 800 watts when in operation


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The 2012 Mitsubishi I-MIEV Electric Car

Also called: Peugeot iOn: Citro├źn C-Zero: Mitsuoka Like

A single permanent-magnet electric motor produces 63 hp) and 133 lbf·ft of torque, propelling the 2400lb i-Miev to a top cruising speed of 80mph. The 16-kilowatt-hour (58 MJ) lithium-ion battery pack that consists of 88 cells is placed under the base floor. The pack has 22 cell modules connected in series at the nominal voltage of 330 V.

The official range for the 2012 model year American "i" version is 62 mi, but can be as high as 105mi or as low as 38mi depending on driving conditions, driving style, topography, age of the battery and other factors.

Mitsubishi introduce the use of lithium titanate oxide SCiB battery technology in the i-MiEV; developed by Toshiba, this battery can withstand 2.5 times more charge/discharge cycles than a typical lithium-ion battery. Charging with Level III CHAdeMO allows the SCiB battery to reach 80% capacity in 15 minutes, 50% in 10 minutes and 25% in 5 minutes. The SCiB battery offers a higher effective capacity than a typical lithium-ion battery, which combined with more efficient regenerative charging during braking or coasting downhill, allows the SCiB battery to deliver 1.7 times the driving range per charge of a typical lithium-ion battery of the same size. Recharging is estimated to take 14 hours from a normal 110 volt resident outlet, 7 hours from a 220 volt power outlet, and as little as 30 minutes from a Level II quick charging station.

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The 2011 Honda CRZ Hybrid : 6sp Manual Sport Hybrid

The CR-Z is the sixth unique version of Honda's IMA technology. The CR-Z is powered by a 1.5 L i-VTEC SOHC inline-4 engine, designated as LEA, with Honda's Integrated Motor Assist(IMA) hybrid-electric system. A six-speed manual transmission is standard equipment and a continuously variable transmission(CVT) is available. The system delivers a combined peak output of 122 bhp at 6000 rpm and 128 lb·ft at 1000 to 1500 rpm (123 lb·ft on CVT-equipped models). The gasoline motor itself contributes only 111 bhp at 6000 rpm and 106 lb·ft at 4800 rpm. The CR-Z does 0-60 mph in about 8.5 seconds and the quarter mile in 17.6 seconds.
The 2011 CR-Z U.S. EPA ratings are 31 miles per US gallon city and 37 miles per US gallon for highway with manual transmission.  The model with CVT transmission has a rating of 35 miles per US gallon for city and 39 miles per US gallon for highway.

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The 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid

The 2012 model year Fusion Hybrid is very fuel efficient than its predecessor, with a rating of 47 mpg-US combined (city, highway and combined). It is powered by a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle inline-four combined with an electric gen-set of motors to produce a total system output of 185 hp and 130 ft·lb of torque, running to the front wheels via an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission. This vehicle will soon also available in a Plug-in Hybrid version that is even more fuel efficient.
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The 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid

Using a 2.0L I4 engine and 124 KW electric motor, the IMA system in this Accord produces 196 HP and 226 LB-FT of torque. The lithium-ion battery gives the PH Accord approximately 12 miles of all electric range, after which it resume operating in normal hybrid mode, returning somewhere between 37 and 50MPG depending on driving style, topography, weather and other factors. Other details remain illusive at this point.
Image from: http://www.teslamotors.com/models
The 2012 Tesla Model S Electric

This is the coolest car ever made! The high end version has a range of nearly 300miles per charge. The 85kWh lithium battery delivers power to a Three-Phase AC induction motor that produces 416hp and 443ft*lb's of torque, accelerating the 4700lb Signature Performance Model S to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. It is available in lower trim levels for less $, that have less range, 230miles, or 160miles and correspondingly smaller battery storage systems.


Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexus_RX_Hybrid

The 2012 Lexus RX 450h Hybrid 

The RX 450h features an upgraded 3.5 L 2GR-FE V6 Atkinson cycle engine which produces 245 hp  at 6000 rpm, along with a the electric system produces a total horsepower of 297 hp. Three electric motors are used in the hybrid system, including two dual motors for the forward wheels (123 kW output), and a third for the rear wheels on the AWD model (50 kW; engages when slippage is detected or the throttle pressed firmly). An exhaust-heat recovery system to reduce engine warm-up periods (optimizing engine start-stop times, particularly in cold conditions), and a cooled exhaust gas-recirculation system the reduces fuel pumping loss, combine to further improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. The electric motors use in the RX 450h are the first automotive application of liquid cooling on both sides of the high-current transistors, allowing greater contribution from the electric motors versus the gasoline engine. With a fuel economy rating of 32 mpg city, 28 highway for the FWD model, and 30 mpg city, 28 highway for the AWD model, it is the most fuel efficient RX offered. 

Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_ActiveE
The 2012 BMW ActiveE 1 Series Electric 

The official range is (94 mi), ranging from ~50mi worse case to ~120mi in idea conditions. The ActiveE has a 168 hp electric synchronous motor integrated into the rear axle to power the rear wheels. The ActiveE has a 50:50 weight distribution of its 4000lb mass. This is a demonstration testing vehicle that is part of the BMW iSeries development program. BMW set the ActiveE lease pricing at $499 a month for 24 months with a down payment of $2,250, several thousand people signing up for it in early 2012 :) From this platform BMW is developing their i3 and i8 vehicles which will likely go into production in late 2013. 

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The 2012 Porsche 918 Plug-in Hybrid
The Spyder is powered by a 4.6 litre V8 engine, developing 580 horsepower (430 kW), with two electric motors delivering an additional 218 horsepower (163 kW). It is the first plug-in hybrid car from Porsche.  This gives the 918 Spyder a 0-60MPH time of just under 2.9 seconds and a top speed of over 210 mph.  

The energy storage system is a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery positioned behind the passenger cell. In addition to the plug-in recharge the batteries can also be charged by regenerative braking and by excess output from the engine when the car is coasting.  The 918 Spyder offers 4 different running modes: E-Drive allows the car to run under battery power alone, using the rear electric motor only, giving a range of 20 miles. Three hybrid modes (Hybrid, Sport and Race) use both the engine and electric motors to provide the desired levels of economy and performance. In Race mode a push-to-pass button is available to deliver additional electrical power

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The 2015 Acura NSX Hybrid 

Details are scarce: A seventh generation IMA system with three electric motors mated to an iV-Tech V6 providing more than 400hp and 4wd, while returning ~30mpg combined. We will find out more in the future. 

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The 2011 Ford Escape Hybrid Powered by a 2.5L Atkinson-cycle four cylinder engine with 155 hp at 6,000 rpm with an electric motor that produces 94 hp at 5,000 rpm. The combined output of both is 177 hp. 
The fuel economy for the Escape Hybrid is rated at 34 MPG city, and 31 MPG highway.
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The 2013 Mercedes Benz E400 Hybrid


 The E400 gets a 302-hp, direct-injection, 3.5-liter V-6 and a 27-hp electric motor. The E400 H can go up to 22 mph and cover up to half a mile on the electric motor alone. The hybrid tech boosts the E-class’s fuel economy to an estimated 24 mpg city and 31 highway.
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The 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid

The Cayenne S Hybrid uses an Audi-sourced 3.0 L V6 engine producing 333 PS (245 kW; 328 hp) paired with a lithium ion battery capable of 47 PS (35 kW; 46 hp) for a total of 380 PS (279 kW; 375 hp), returning 20mpg City and 24mpg highway, an improvement over the 15mpg City and 23mpg Highway of the non-hybrid versions.
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The 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid 

The Sonata Hybrid combines a 2.4-liter engine with six-speed automatic transmission, and a 30kW electric motor and lithium polymer batteries to produce a full hybrid that returns 37 miles per US gallon in the city and 40 miles per US gallon on the highway.
Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Insight

The 2010 Honda Insight Hybrid

Despite technological advances, the fuel efficiency of the second-generation Insight was lower than that of the first because of significant increases in size, weight and power. Fuel efficiency is City 40 mpg-US Highway 43 mpg-US and Combined 41 mpg-US. The 2012 U.S. version has minor improvements and its updated EPA fuel economy rating is: City 41 mpg-US, Highway 44 mpg-US, Combined 42 mpg-US (5.6 L/100 km; 50 mpg-imp).

The engine system consists of a hybrid system with Eco Assist comprised of a
1.3 L LDA series 1.3 Liter 8-valve SOCH i-Vtec gasoline engine coupled to a brushless DC motor that achieves a total net system output of 98hp at 5800rpms and 123 lb-ft of torque from 1000-1700rmps. The high torque level at low RPM's is primarly due to the lovely properties of electric propulsion motors :) 
 the Insight achieved 0-60 mph in 10.3 seconds (Prius, 10.0 seconds), the quarter mile in 17.9 seconds at 78 mph (Prius, 17.6 at 79 mph), and 70-0 mph braking in 181 feet (Prius, 182 feet). The Insight is noted for being more fun to drive than the Prius, noting also that the Insight is smaller, less fuel efficient and costs less.

It is one of the most affordable and practical hybrid vehicles available. Do you notice that it looks very similar to the Toyota Prius ? Naughty Honda ! Admittedly it is "that" shape that makes it aerodynamic with lots of utility space in the cargo area, especially with the rear seats folded down. I am actually a fan of this car overall, but think the Prius is better ^^

Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Focus_Electric
The 2012 Ford Focus Electric "Cool" 

This 100% Electric Focus is the coolest car that Ford has ever made! I would love to drive one as my primary personal conveyance. The Focus Electric is powered by an electric motor rated at 130 hp and uses a 23 kWh capacity lithium-ion battery pack, which together deliver 123 bhp and 181 lb·ft of torque. This results in a real world driving range of anywhere between 40 and 120 mi depending on driving conditions, driver inputs/ driving style, road topography, weather and other factors: officially the range is 76mi. 


A full "recharge" using the car's 6.6 kW charger takes 3–4 hours using a Level II J1772 charging station powered from a standard 240 volt socket. A 120-volt convenience cord is also included allowing recharging from normal household electrical outlet which could take up to 20 hours. The advanced lithium-ion battery system is being engineered by Ford in cooperation with supplier Compact Power, Inc., a subsidiary of LG Chem.

The advanced battery system uses an active liquid cooling and heating thermal management system to precondition and regulate the temperature in the battery system. This feature helps to maximize battery life and driving range. The active liquid system heats or chills a coolant before pumping it through the battery cooling system. This loop regulates temperature throughout the system against external conditions. On a hot day the cooled liquid absorbs heat from the battery pack, dispersing it through a radiator before pumping it through the chiller again. On a cold day the heated liquid warms the batteries, gradually bringing the system’s temperature to a level that allows it to efficiently accept charge energy and provide enough discharge power for expected vehicle performance. Ford began taking online orders on November 2, 2011, with pricing starting at US$39,995, including a US$795 destination charge, but before the US$7,500 US federal tax credit along with other state and local incentives available for eligible buyers of electric vehicles. This means your total out of pocket costs for the Electric Ford Focus would be less than $35K. 

Through an association with SunPower, an optional solar-power system will be offered by some Ford dealers to be installed on the homes of Focus Electric owners to generate enough renewable energy during the day to offset the electricity used to charge the vehicle at night. The SunPower's home solar charging option costs US$10,000 before the available local and federal tax credits.

Speaking of Ford: My favorite Tech Blog Editor Josh T interviewed Alan Mulally the CEO of Ford who laid out the 4 power approach 1. Improved Conventional Engine Powered 2. Hybrid Electric Powered 3. Plug-in Hybrid and 4. Pure Electric

On Youtube
http://youtu.be/oTUjg4b3_zg?hd=1
 



Image from: http://goo.gl/o1se0

The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid ^^ 
The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid will hit dealers near the end of 2012, and we've now learned that the new compact fuel-sipper will be priced from $24,995, (*) excluding the $795 destination charge.

For that price, buyers will be treated to a vehicle packed with a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a 27-horsepower electric motor. Total system output is rated at 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, and the only transmission on offer is a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox. According to Volkswagen's estimates, the Jetta Hybrid will return a combined fuel economy rating of 45 miles per gallon, making it the most fuel-efficient model in the Jetta range. The Hybrid will sprint to 60 miles per hour in just under nine seconds, and it can even cruise in EV mode at speeds as high as 44 mph.

Unlike other automakers that force you to spec a certain trim level in order to get the hybrid technology,Volkswagen is launching its gasoline-electric Jetta in four different configurations. The base model, simply called Hybrid, nets you daytime running lights, power/heated mirrors, 15-inch alloy wheels, Climatronic climate control, Bluetooth and a host of other class-standard features.


Moving up from there, the Hybrid SE – $26,990 – adds LED taillights, power reclining front seats, a MDI audio interface with iPod connectivity, a premium touchscreen radio, Sirius and keyless access. And for $29,325, you can spec the Hybrid SEL which includes goodies like 16-inch alloys, a power sunroof, navigation, heated washer nozzles, heated seats and a full-power driver's seat. At the top of the range is the Hybrid SEL Premium, featuring niceties like bi-xenon headlamps with LED running lights, foglights, 17-inch wheels, a rear-view camera and Volkswagen's excellent Fender audio system.

For comparison, the not-quite-as-efficient (but likely more fun to drive) Jetta TDI – rated at 42 mpg highway – starts at $22,990, and loading one up will set you back $26,990, excluding destination.


Another Interesting Bit of Fresh Eco-Car-Tech News :) 

Thank you Autoblog Green ^^
Image from: http://goo.gl/7k3Gd

The Denso "Lithium Ion Start Stop Energy Storage Module" 

This little 5.5lb chuck replaces a big 60lb+ AGM battery for "Start Stop" technology. It combines a DC to DC converter with a BMS and some really high powered lithium-ion batteries to produce a lightweight alternative technology to conventional cheap but heavy failure prone AGM lead acid batteries. These could even be used to replace the conventional "12v Accessory Battery) in a most automotive applications. They will cost a little more, but will last longer and shave weight off the car, while also boosting its overall fuel economy: which more than pays for the little device. It was developed by Japanese automotive OEM Denso and will see its first application in the Suzuki Wagon-R.

A start-stop system automatically shuts down and restarts the engine to reduce the amount of time the engine spends idling, thereby reducing fuel consumption and emissions. This is most advantageous for vehicles which spend significant amounts of time waiting at traffic lights or frequently come to a stop in traffic jams. This feature is present in hybrid vehicles, but has also appeared in vehicles which lack a hybrid technology. when Start-stop is used in a conventional vehicle, fuel economy gains from this technology are typically in the range of 5 to 10 percent. 





Citations

This post borrowed content and information heavily from the following two web-sites:
http://green.autoblog.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

The "Image from: " links provide access to the pages where I obtained the content. I shortened the URL's in these links with Google's Url Shortener http://goo.gl/

As of Friday October 12, 2012 at 2:21PM: this posting is at revision one, and contains substantial technical errors (typos) and will be heavily revised in the near future. I was going for efficiency and speed during this posting! Enjoy

Several updates as of 2:22PM on Saturday October 13th 2012. More coming later on  ^^ Only two vehicles left to post, and two of the coolest ones at that ^^


4 comments:

  1. The idea here is to aggregate the "current" Good vehicles with short summaries here so someone can "at a glance" grab an overview of the market. It is targeted primarily for Americans FYI. I live in America, was born here, and America is a net oil importing country with an economy that suffers as a result of our dependence on foreign oil. I was motivated to publish this posting in order to help educate and inform people about what is out there and what is coming up!

    ReplyDelete
  2. There are so many vehicles for sale now and announced for availability next year that I don't see a need for the concept and fuel cell vehicles that may never come to market to be on this list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To show people what could be brought to market immediately, what is right on the horizon, what is possible with off the shelf technology today. To inspire people to ask questions and demand more from the automakers: they have been selling the same antiquated technology for the last 20 years... snore... while technology as whole has been rapidly improving that whole time. The fleet average of cars in America in 2011 was a disappointing abysmal 23.6MPG : fail

      I posted the vehicles as they popped into my mind: so the list is kinda random in the listing order. FYI

      More content to enjoy:

      Thank you for reading my posting and thank you for visiting my blog. Peace be with you~

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