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Plug-in Hybrid

From top left, the Aqua, FT-EV III, FCV-R and Fun-Vii

The world's largest automaker has been slow off the mark in the race to bring electric vehicles to market, but it is now playing catch up at a fearsome rate, and we'll see the first of its new range of electric vehicles two weeks from now at the Tokyo Motor Show. The first Toyota EV (top right) will be a four-seater based on the iQ with a range of 65 miles (100 km) and it will hit showrooms next year. It is one of several new cars set to be shown, including a smaller, cheaper plug-in hybrid named the Aqua (top left - on sale in Japan THIS year), a plug-in version of the Prius hybrid and a hydrogen fuel cell midsize sedan (bottom left) to go on sale in 2015. The most intriguing of its Tokyo exhibits is the (bottom right) Fun-Vii concept “where people, cars and society are linked”. All we know is that the two “i”s stand for interactive and internet. As many details as are known inside.  Read More

SEAT's electric vehicle prototypes: the Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive plug-in hybrid (left) and...

SEAT is the latest automobile manufacturer set to make the move to electric vehicle production. With a view to mass-producing its first electric vehicles in the next five years, this week the company presented not one, but two prototype electric vehicles. The first is a plug-in hybrid called the Leo TwinDrive Ecomotive plug-in hybrid, while the second is an all-electric car known as the Altea XL Electric Ecomotive.  Read More

Few road-going cars have seen variable aerodynamics beyond the raising of rear  spoilers i...

Honda's AC-X is a plug-in hybrid concept that at first glance appears to be relatively conservative. It is not conservative in the least, and when the vehicle's full capabilities are unveiled in Tokyo a few weeks from now, we expect it to have front and rear bumpers which raise and lower to offer better aerodynamics depending on the speed, an autonomous or semi-autonomous driving mode which does not require the driver to steer, a radical smart key device and some very interesting 3D GPS displays which stretch right across the dashboard to give the passenger an unprecedented view of the surroundings.  Read More

TUV tests saw the Fisker Karma plug-in electric vehicle get a range of 51.6 miles (83 km) ...

Having received certification, a 10 out of 10 fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions rating and an electric-only range of 32 miles (51.5 km) from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last month, Europe’s independent regulatory body, the Technischer Ueberwachungs Verein (or Technical Inspection Association in English) has given the Fisker Karma a more impressive 51.6 mile (83 km) range in electric mode.  Read More

BYD's all-electric e6 hits the market - 87 mph and a range of 190 miles

One of the stars of the Chinese automotive industry is Shenzen-based BYD, which although only sixth largest of the Chinese manufacturers, had the country's top selling individual vehicle last year in the form of the BYD F3 (a Toyota Corolla E120 clone). Now, after substantive testing of its e6 all-electric model in taxi and company fleets, the five-seater 75 kW, 87 mph crossover has gone on sale to the Chinese public, with a (claimed) range of 300 km (186 miles), which would give it the longest range of any EV in the world at present. It also has a smartphone-based information system which seems at least as advanced as anything currently available anywhere.  Read More

Fisker Automotive's 2012 Karma sedan PHEV is now selling

Having unveiled the Fisker Karma at NAIAS 2008, Fisker Automotive had originally intended to begin sales of the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) in late 2009, but funding setbacks saw the car’s launch date delayed several times. With the first deliveries to fulfill early customer orders taking place in late July this year, the wait is now finally over for U.S. retail customers with the 2012 model year Karma sedan hitting showroom floors after the vehicle received certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week.  Read More

Volvo plans to launch the V60 diesel plug-in hybrid in 2012

At its unveiling at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, Volvo said its V60 plug-in hybrid was "virtually production-ready." This was an accurate statement as it turns out, with the Swedish automaker announcing that from next year it will begin selling what is likely to be the world's first diesel plug-in hybrid production car. The V60 plug-in hybrid has a range of up to 50 km (31 miles) when driven purely by the electric motor, with the car's total operating range extending up to 1,200 km (745.6 miles) when combined with the ICE.  Read More

The Karma plug-in hybrid electric vehicle from Fisker Automotive

Following a series of funding setbacks that has seen the launch of Fisker Automotive’s Karma four-door saloon plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) sports car pushed back from the initial late 2009 launch date a number of times, there’s finally some good news. According to Gigaom, the company has surpassed its US$1 billion funding goal and plans to have vehicles in dealer showrooms in May or June and will begin fulfilling its 3,000-some pre-orders from June or July.  Read More

Audi's hybrid A3 E-tron

Audi's A3 e-tron concept to be shown at Auto Shanghai for the first time today, is a plug-in hybrid technical study based on the company's four-seat RS 3 Sportback. It uses a turbocharged, direct injection, 211 hp, 1.4 litre TFSI unit and a 27 hp electric motor to give the E-Tron a top speed of 144 mph plus exceptional frugality and energy efficiency.  Read More

Porsche plug-in-hybrid 918 Spyder to go into production in 2013

First shown as a concept at the Geneva Motor Show 2010, Porsche's highly innovative and deliciously proportioned Hybrid 918 Spyder is now available for order. Powered by a 500 hp V8 assisted by two electric motors, no more than 918 units of the new two-seater supercar will be made with production slated to begin in September 2013. The asking price: US$845,000.  Read More

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