Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Plug-in Hybrid

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

'Born Electric' BMW launched its new BMWi sub-brand in Munich on Monday

In a move designed to highlight the company's commitment to "sustainable mobility solutions," BMW has launched a new sub-brand – BMW i. Two models based on existing concept studies will start the ball rolling under the new label from 2013. The BMW i3 will be based on the all-electric Megacity urban vehicle concept, while the BMW i8 is the planned production version of the plug-in hybrid BMW Vision EfficientDynamics sportscar shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 2009.  Read More

Volvo's V60 plug-in diesel hybrid uses a 215 bhp five-cylinder 2.4-litre D5 turbo diesel c...

Plug-in diesel hybrids seem like such a no-brainer that it’s surprising that we haven’t seen a production model prior to now. Peugeot and Mercedes Benz announced the first production diesel hybrids last year in the form of the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid 4 and E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID which should both see showrooms this year. Volvo today announced the first diesel plug-in hybrid – the incredibly frugal V60 Plug-in Hybrid uses a 215 bhp five-cylinder 2.4-litre D5 turbo diesel coupled with a 70 bhp electric motor to offer sporting acceleration (0-100 km/h in 6.9 secs thanks to a whopping combined 640 Nm of torque) and just 49 gm/km of CO2. Its electric-only range of nearly 60 km (32 miles), means most folk will be able to use it as an electric only vehicle.  Read More

Volvo will unveil the V60 plug-in hybrid diesel at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show

Volvo will introduce a "virtually production-ready" plug-in hybrid version of it's V60 sports wagon at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. Expected to hit showroom floors in 2012, the hybrid V60 splices together a 2.4-liter D5 turbodiesel driving the front wheels with a 70 horsepower electric motor at the rear axle. According to Volvo this configuration delivers incredibly miserly fuel consumption of 124 mpg (1.9 l/100 km) along with the ability to cover 31 miles (50 km) using only the electric drive.  Read More

The Volkswagen XL1 protoype

At the dawn of the millennium, Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, who is today Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, set his sights on creating a practical everyday use production car with a fuel consumption of 1.0 liter per 100 km (235 mpg). In 2002 a prototype VW 1-Litre was unveiled, which was followed in 2009 by the second-generation model, dubbed the L1, which boasted a combined diesel fuel consumption figure of 1.38-liter/100 km (170 mpg). As impressive as that figure is, the company has now managed to squeeze a combined fuel consumption of just 0.9-liter/100 km (261 mpg) with its third-generation VW 1-Litre prototype – the XL1.  Read More

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