Audi bringing plug-in hybrid in 2014


By the year 2020, Audi hopes to be the "leading premium seller of electric vehicles," Franciscus van Meel, the automaker's manager for electric mobility, told AutoWeek during a recent technical workshop at the company's headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany. In addition to launching a number of hybrid vehicles (including the A8 and Q5) over the next few years, Audi plans to debut a plug-in hybrid in 2014.

Exactly what sort of plug-in hybrid we'll actually see hasn't been disclosed just yet, but the whole business is part of Audi's e-tron division – the folks that gave us beauties like the R8-based e-tron supercar (pictured above) that debuted at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Furthermore, Audi's board member for technology, Michael Dick, says that by 2020, he wants to see the automaker's internal combustion engines improve efficiency by 30 percent, with 5 percent of the brand's lineup to be purely electric. That's a tall order, indeed, but with parent company Volkswagen AG aiming to be the number one producer of hybrid and electric cars before the end of the next decade, the four-ringed automaker's quest for electrification isn't as far-fetched as you might think.

Mitsubishi electric vehicle unveiled North American




Mitsubishi Unveils North American Version Of New "i" Electric Vehicle At The 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show

Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - LOS ANGELES -
Building on the company's more than 35 years of involvement in advanced electric vehicle development, Mitsubishi Motors has unveiled its first all-electric production vehicle bound for the North American market.

Based on the very popular gasoline-powered "i" minicar in the Japanese market, this roomy and practical four-door 2012 model serves as the basis for the new 100% battery-powered Mitsubishi "i" for the North American market. The zero tailpipe emission "i" will be the first North American production vehicle to be powered by Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle (MiEV) technology – cutting edge drivetrain engineering that will serve as the basis for future ultra-environmentally-friendly vehicles from the company. Gone are conventional automotive systems including a gasoline engine, transmission and a fuel tank, having been replaced by advanced components including a lithium-ion battery system, electric motor and an efficient battery charging system in the all-new "i". This electric vehicle has already proved itself a viable and reliable form of transportation as Mitsubishi has been selling the car in its home market since the summer of 2009; production has already commenced for the European-spec i-MiEV, with deliveries beginning later this year.

Mitsubishi anticipates an initial roll out of the "i" to its dealership network in the western United States (specifically California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii) in November 2011, with entry into the northeastern market to follow by March 2012 and nationwide availability by the end of 2012. The vehicle's MSRP is expected to be around $30,000, not including Federal and available state financial incentives.

The new production Mitsubishi "i" bound for the North American market further differentiates itself from its Japanese- and European-spec versions with a retooled, larger body to provide even more interior comfort for four adults, along with new North American-spec bumpers front and rear for enhanced protection in the event of a collision. Other noteworthy safety measures on the North American-spec vehicle include airbags that protect passengers and control deployment force, Active Stability Control (ASC) and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) - all included as standard equipment.

Easier on the Environment

Thanks to its extremely efficient all-electric powertrain, the Mitsubishi "i" produces zero on-road CO2, making it a zero emissions vehicle. What's more, when factoring in the CO2 emissions produced by the power plants that generated the electricity that provides the energy for the "i", this revolutionary Mitsubishi production car only produces about 30% of the CO2 emitted by the 660cc gasoline engine that powers the non-electric-version of the car in its home market. And the reduction in CO2 becomes even more statistically significant considering that the 660cc gasoline engine found in the Japanese market is only about one-third of the displacement of the typical four-cylinder gasoline engine powering cars in the North American market.

Additional energy efficiency can be wrung from the "i" model's electric powertrain thanks to Eco (Economy) and Brake driving modes that supplement the vehicle's standard Drive mode. The Eco mode limits excessive power usage from reaching the motor while the Brake mode increases the resistance of the regenerative braking system (especially when driving downhill) to feed even more energy back into the car's bank of lithium-ion batteries.

Low Cost "Fuel" Source

The operating cost per mile of the electrical-powered Mitsubishi "i" is significantly cheaper than that of a comparable gasoline-powered vehicle. In Japan, the operating cost is only 1/3 that of the 660cc gasoline engine-powered version of the car, and the operating cost can drop even more significantly than that of its internal-combustion sibling by taking advantage of reduced electricity rates by recharging during nighttime or off-peak hours*.

Clever Design = Spacious Accommodations, Outstanding Safety

Thanks to the vehicle's excellent packaging and engineering in relation to its size, this uniquely styled automobile provides an excellent level of safety, ample room for four adults plus handy cargo space.

How can a small car possess such ample interior volume? Mitsubishi engineers have cleverly placed the high-capacity lithium-ion batteries beneath the floor, and the electric motor, inverter and battery charger have been located behind and below the rear passenger area. This setup also has the added benefit of lowering the vehicle's center of gravity. Along with the wheels being placed at the farthest corners of the vehicle, this gives the "i" exceptional stability along with surprisingly agile handling.

Advanced Electric Powertrain

The power system consists of a permanent magnet synchronous electric motor and a high energy density lithium-ion battery pack that consists of 88 cells (22 modules, 4 battery cells per module) for a maximum battery capacity of 16 kWh. The battery modules can be installed either transversely or vertically; this packaging flexibility allows them to be stored underneath the cabin floor. All 88 cells reside within an extremely sturdy stainless steel capsule to provide maximum protection.

The "i" also features a groundbreaking three-way battery charging system that allows the vehicle to be charged using the onboard household charger through either 110V (15A) or 220V (15A) power sources or by a quick-charger system that utilizes a three-phase 220V power supply. The charging times from a very low battery to completely full are approximately 8 hours at 220V and 16 hours at 110V. The three-phase 220V quick-charger can take a low battery all the way up to an 80% battery charge in under a remarkably fast 30 minutes. The three-phase quick-charger makes use of a special outlet that is accessible on the driver's side of the vehicle, while the onboard household charger's outlet is located on the passenger side of the "i".

Strategic Research and Logistical Partners

The Mitsubishi "i" has undergone several years of exhaust testing and evaluation not only internally by the Japanese auto manufacturer but with several other institutions, including seven utility companies in Japan, as well as prototype evaluation programs with major United States utilities Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Portland General Electric and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

And in an effort to help expand and improve the logistical side of the electric vehicle ownership experience, Mitsubishi has teamed with corporate titans including consumer electronics retailer Best Buy and leading power management company Eaton Corporation. Best Buy, through its 20,000-plus strong employees in its Geek Squad division, has partnered to provide site analysis and work to manage installation of a Level 2 Charging Station it will sell through its stores for Mitsubishi "i" owners to use in their own homes. Designed and manufactured by Eaton - a company that has more than 20 years of experience in developing electrical and hybrid power systems for commercial vehicles - this 220V charging station will cut the time it takes to charge the car's batteries in half when compared to a standard 110V electrical outlet.

*Note: Electricity rates can vary by region, supplier and timing.

Mitsubishi "i" specifications

(North American Version)
Overall length
144.8-in.
Overall width
62.4-in.
Overall height
63.6-in.
Track: F/R
55.9 / 54.3-in.
Wheelbase
100.4-in.
Number of passengers
4
Vehicle weight
2584 lbs.
Motor output
63 hp
Motor torque
133 lb.-ft
Battery system
330V lithium-ion
Drive mode
Mid-engine, rear-wheel drive

Ford picks 19 launch markets for Focus Electric


FORD NAMES FIRST MARKETS TO SELL FOCUS ELECTRIC, THE COMPANY'S FIRST ALL-ELECTRIC PASSENGER CAR
  • Ford has announced the first U.S. markets slated to receive the all-new Focus Electric, which debuts in late 2011
  • Markets were chosen based on several criteria, including commuting patterns, existing hybrid purchase trends, utility company collaboration and local government commitment to electrification
  • Focus Electric is Ford's first all electric passenger car, and is targeting up to 100 miles of zero CO2-emissions, gas-free driving on a full charge
  • Ford has an aggressive strategy that will deliver a range of electrified vehicles in both Europe and North America, including the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van, two next-generation lithium-ion battery hybrids and a plug-in hybrid
DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 15 – Ford Motor Company has announced first markets that will sell the Focus Electric, Ford's first all-electric, zero CO2-emissions passenger car.

The first markets selected for Ford Focus Electric: Atlanta, Austin and Houston, Texas; Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Orlando, Fla., Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh Durham, N.C.; Richmond, Va., Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

"There is a great deal of excitement for the Focus Electric across America and Ford wants to build on this enthusiasm by making our first all electric passenger vehicle available in as many pilot markets as possible," said Mark Fields, President of the Americas, Ford Motor Company. "This is the first step in rolling out the Focus Electric. As the country continues to build up its electric vehicle infrastructure and demand for the Focus Electric grows, Ford will continue to evaluate additional markets and consider making this vehicle available in more cities across the country."

The Focus Electric initial markets were chosen based on several different criteria including existing hybrid purchase trends, utility company collaboration and local government commitment to electrification. As part of the collaboration with dealers, utilities and local governments, Ford will help develop consumer outreach and education programs on electric vehicles as well as share information on charging needs and requirements to ensure the electrical grid can support customers' needs.

Last month, Ford launched a new educational Web site on electric vehicles (http://www.fordvehicles.com/technology/electric/). The site offers video, text and diagrams to help consumers understand differences in the technologies of electrified vehicles

Focus Electric, available in late 2011, will be built at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. Production will occur on the same line as the gasoline version of the Focus. Using an existing vehicle platform and assembly line will give Ford the ability to vary production based on demand for the Focus Electric.

The Focus Electric will offer consumers the same fun and exciting driving experience as the gasoline powered version. Instead of a traditional gas engine, the Focus Electric's motor will be powered by a 23 kwh lithium-ion battery. The system utilizes liquid heating and cooling system to maximize battery life and driving range.

Collaboration between Ford and local authorities
Ford has been working with local government agencies and utilities in several of the selected markets to help prepare for the adoption of electric vehicles. Efforts focus on development of consumer outreach and education programs on electric vehicles as well as shared information on charging needs and requirements to allow for ease of consumer charging and to ensure the electrical grid can support the necessary additional demand.

"Making electric vehicles a viable option for consumers requires teamwork across a variety of industries and government entities," said Mike Tinskey, Global Manager of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure, Ford Motor Company. "Working with utilities, governments and technology companies is a key part of our electric strategy to make sure the infrastructure and support for electric vehicles is in place as we begin rolling them out."

As part of its electrification outreach, Ford has been conducting the "Charging Into the Future: The Ford Electric Vehicle Tour." The 14-city tour promotes Ford's electric vehicle strategy and educates consumers about what to expect from electrified automobiles and what is needed from the public and private sector to support this new technology.

Electrification is an important piece of Ford's overall product sustainability strategy. Ford's aggressive strategy includes the launch of five new electrified vehicles in Europe and North America. In addition to Focus Electric, Ford will introduce the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van, two next-generation lithium-ion battery hybrids and a plug-in hybrid. The range of electrified vehicles allows Ford to address a variety of consumer driving needs.

Ford's electrification strategy also leverages the most fuel-efficient powertrains, the most technically competent hybrids and the company's global vehicle platforms in order to develop affordable choices for consumers.


# # #

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 163,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln and Mercury, production of which has been announced by the company to be ending in the fourth quarter of 2010. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com
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Nissan Renault Twizy based on new Mobility concept


At first glance, Nissan's New Mobility Concept fooled us. We looked at the images and saw nothing more than a slightly modified Renault Twizy with a Nissan badge and "zero-emissions" lettering. But when we turned to the automaker's press release, we discovered that the New Mobility Concept is not really about the vehicle – whether it be Twizy-based or a ground-up design – it's about discovering new ways to in which electric vehicles (EVs) can be designed to meet our driving needs in the future.

Nissan envisions the New Mobility Concept as but one proposal that could provide an efficient and convenient mode of transportation in the future. The concept vehicle will be used to study two possible car-sharing scenarios that Nissan hopes will one day become reality:
  • Seamless mobility service: a highly efficient and convenient public transportation service linking public transportation and EVs supported by IT.
  • Two-mode EV car sharing: where the vehicle is used as a private commuter vehicle in the mornings and evenings, and as a corporate car during business hours.
Additionally, Nissan hopes that the vehicle's maneuverability, compact dimensions and emissions-free driving experience will prove that owning a vehicle like the New Mobility Concept makes perfect sense for people with short-distance commutes and those who travel down congested roads on a daily basis. Hit the jump for more on Nissan's New Mobility Concept.

PRESS RELEASE

NISSAN PRESENTS NEW MOBILITY CONCEPT FOR SUSTAINABLE ZERO-EMISSION SOCIETY


Nissan Motor Co., Ltd today announced a proposal for new mobility in a sustainable zero emission society and an electric vehicle (EV) embodying its proposal, 'NISSAN New Mobility CONCEPT'.

Nissan continues to envision new possibilities realised by EVs. One proposal is a sustainable, efficient and convenient mode of transportation focussing on the increase of elderly and single households, as well as the trend of driving short-distances or in smaller groups. NISSAN New Mobility CONCEPT is our proposal to make this a reality.

Four keywords outline the NISSAN New Mobility CONCEPT:

Innovative – New two-seater compact mobility for various needs and occasions
Easy – Size which enables anyone to drive and park easily
Safe – Manoeuvrability equivalent to motorbikes with greater safety
Clean – No emissions while driving

Nissan New Mobility Concept is a user-friendly, ultra-compact 100% electric vehicle with no emissions which is expected to be utilised in various situations in everyday life.

Nissan will study the use of this vehicle for a variety of services, such as: 'seamless mobility service', a highly efficient and convenient public transportation service linking public transportation and EVs supported by IT, '2-mode EV car sharing', where the vehicle is used as a private commuter vehicle in the mornings and evenings, and as a corporate car during business hours, and, contributing to the revitalisation of communities with improved mobility in both urban and tourist locations.

Aiming to be a global leader in zero-emission mobility with Alliance partner Renault, Nissan will launch Nissan LEAF, the first 100% electric, mass-marketed, zero-emission car in December 2010 in Japan and the United States, and in early 2011 in Europe. In addition to the development and production of EVs, Nissan is taking a comprehensive approach to promote sustainable mobility. This includes Nissan's engagement with more than 80 zero-emission partnerships worldwide with countries, cities, organisations and other key stakeholders, the deployment of charging infrastructure, second-life use of lithium-ion batteries in EVs and the promotion of recycling parts used in vehicle production.

First World's greenest parking with free electric vehicle charging

Denver International Airport is knee-deep in its attempt to offer frequent flyers access to one of the world's greenest parking facilities and, with work by BMW Group and DesignworksUSA whizzing along ahead of schedule, completion of the 4,200-vehicle facility has been moved up to the middle of this month.

The project, formerly known as Green Park and now referred to as the Canopy Airport Parking project, will tap into renewable power sources like solar, geothermal and wind power and will feature ground transport vehicles powered by natural gas, biodiesel and hybrid drivetrains.

On top of this, users of Denver's airport – at least those that drive electric vehicles (EVs) – will be treated to a freebie that's sure to charge things up a bit. Greenscape Capital Group and partner BMW DesignworksUSA announced that the overhauled 4,200-vehicle parking facility will also feature up to ten Garage Juice Bar multi-level (Level 1 and Level 2) charging stations. This charger, developed by Green Garage Associates and designed by BMW Designworks USA, juices up EVs free of charge. The idea of free fill ups is something we've touched on many times before, but installing ten charging units at a single site is something that we don't hear about that often. Hit the jump to learn more about the Canopy Airport Parking project.

PRESS RELEASE

BMW Group DesignworksUSA creates brand experience for Canopy Airport Parking, expected to be the world's greenest parking facility


October 21, 2010 – Los Angeles, CA. – BMW Group DesignworksUSA has partnered with Canopy Airport Parking to create the brand experience, look and feel for what's anticipated to be the world's greenest parking facility.

Slated to open in time for the holiday season in November 2010 with capacity for 4200 vehicles, Canopy Airport Parking is located at 8100 Tower Road at Colorado's Denver International Airport and showcases a variety of advanced environmentally-friendly technologies, including solar power, geothermal, wind, CNG, Biodiesel and hybrid shuttles all helping to reduce consumption, costs and emissions. Canopy Airport Parking expects to attain LEED Gold certification and is also striving for Platinum certification by the Green Parking Council, the non-profit organization responsible for certifying parking structures that incorporate ecologically and socially beneficial technologies.

Through this collaboration DesignworksUSA is developing systems for Canopy Airport Parking that create a unified and uniquely rewarding customer experience for patrons across all touch points. This experience will convey Canopy's values in an integrally connected manner to heighten the sustainable foundations of this facility, and build brand equity through a highly positive customer journey. This process began with DesignworksUSA first developing an identity that communicates the brand values, positioning and promise of the facility.

Garage Juice Bar charging stations for electric vehicles, also co-created by DesignworksUSA, will be among the many innovative technologies available to customers parking at Canopy Airport Parking. Garage Juice Bar provides charging on a complimentary basis to help speed the adoption and deployment of electric vehicles and charging stations across North America. Garage Juice Bar is a high-power Level-2 EV charging station with the SAE-approved J-1772 charge point that will work with all OEM EV cars.

ProPark, the operating partner at the Canopy Airport Parking Denver facility, is one of the leading parking companies in the United States and has been instrumental in aiding the evolution of the green parking movement. This initiative at DIA is the latest example of ProPark's commitment to advance sustainable systems and design within communities.