Not wanting to be left out of the luxury hybrid market created by Lexus, BMW unveiled the ActiveHybrid 7 Series at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. A mild hybrid by definition, the electric motor exists only to assist the gasoline engine. We can't help but to wonder: how much electric assistance do you need with a 4.4 liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 under the hood?
At the 2008 Paris Motor Show, Hyundai displayed a hybrid version of its Santa Fe small SUV. This hybrid powertrain uses a 2.4-liter gas engine complemented by a 40 horsepower electric motor that generates 151 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission delivers this combined power to the wheels. But the real innovation in Hyundai's hybrid system is the use of a 270 volt lithium polymer battery pack. Hyundai says that lithium polymer has greater energy density than lithium ion, can take more recharging cycles, and is cheaper to manufacture. In the Santa Fe Hybrid, this system returns … Read more
Honda has revived the Insight moniker to create a Prius-fighting hybrid that says to Toyota, "Anything you can do, I can do cheaper.
After much badgering by DIYers and energy activists, Toyota relented and built a plug-in version of its Prius hybrid, showing it off at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. Noting that the Prius' hybrid system let it run on electricity only during low speed driving, a few DIYers hacked their Priuses to run longer and at higher speeds on electricity, keeping the batteries charged by plugging them in overnight and achieving over 100 mpg in some cases. For a long time, Toyota refused to acknowledge the benefits of plugging in, but now has seen the light, sort of.
The plug-in Prius … Read more
Although it may be a five-door hatchback, like Toyota's Prius, the Honda Insight concept, unveiled at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, probably won't significantly displace the Prius. This concept, set to unveil as a production vehicle at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show and go on sale in the first half of 2009, uses Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system and, as such, is considered a mild hybrid, because it doesn't drive the car under electric power only. IMA integrates a small electric motor with the transmission, which provides extra boost when the car is accelerating, … Read more
SEOUL--Hyundai Motors is a latecomer to the hybrid-vehicle race, but the Korean automaker is setting high targets for the technology as it chases Toyota and Honda.
Hyundai is scheduled to sell its first U.S. hybrid, a version of its mid-sized Sonata sedan, in 2010. Initial annual volume is expected to be around 50,000 units.
But Hyundai expects its annual hybrid sales to balloon to 500,000 units worldwide by 2018, says Brandon Yea, senior vice president for marketing. That still puts Hyundai behind the forecasts of its two Japanese rivals but it at least puts it into the same arena.
Hyundai's confidence stems partly from its partnership with LG Chem, a South Korean company that is supplying next-generation lithium ion batteries. The batteries will boost the mileage of the hybrid Sonata by as much as 70 percent over the nonhybrid version, says Hyundai research and development chief Lee Hyun-soon.
TOYOTA CITY, Japan -- For a taste of future fuel-efficient styling from Toyota, go no further than the FT-HS hybrid sports car. It is counterintuitive, high-tech, and unconventional.
But global design chief Wahei Hirai says the FT-HS will form the foundation for all future styling as Toyota Motor Corp. tries to squeeze every mile from a gallon of gasoline.
The angular, low-slung FT-HS is just a concept. But its design elements already are incorporated into Toyota's iQ minicar, which will be on the streets in Japan and Europe in five months.
The new styling also will surface in upcoming hybrids, where green-conscious customers appreciate avant-garde looks.
From a design point of view, the goal is to make air-slicing cars even more slippery.
"Aerodynamics have always been important, but today they are getting more and more important," Hirai says. "We are paying very serious attention to very small details."… Read more
Dell announced on Wednesday that within 12 months, all displays in its new laptops will be light-emitting diode (LED)-based.
LED backlights are known to be mercury-free and very recyclable. Compared to cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) technology, which most LCD displays use today, LED displays are much more energy efficient. Dell says that its 15-inch LED displays consume an average of 43 percent less power at maximum brightness.
Dell estimates that, … Read more
Chrysler surprised everyone with the announcement of three electric vehicle concepts. The company showed working versions of the all-electric Dodge EV sports car, plus a range-extended Chrysler minivan and Jeep Wrangler. The two range-extended models use powertrains similar to that found in the Chevy Volt, an electric motor and batteries to run the car, and an onboard gas engine generating electricity to extend the range.