Fuel cell cars have just begun to show up shyly, and the competition starts to intensify in this market segment. Toyota, who has already announced a $50,000 price tag on their first hydrogen fuel cell car, is being “beaten” by Hyundai, who announced that their first fuel cell vehicle will be available three years earlier than Toyota and of course the other automakers. Pretty optimistic someone could say.
Hyundai announced that it plans to have ready for sale 10,000 units by 2015, when all the others will only have made their first deliveries of fuel cell cars. 1,000 units are planned to be shipped in 2013 and will mainly go to fleets and organizational buyers. 500 fuel cell vehicles will be available for sale during 2012.
Toyota’s Prius was the top selling car in Japan during August. This happends for the 16th consequetive month and is mainly explained from local incentives which have driven further more demand for hybrid cars.
The Prius, Toyota Motor Corp.’s best-selling gasoline-gas hybrid, sold 22,263 of the cars during August 2010.
However, sales of Prius in August, were the lowest ones during the year and there worries that sales may further lower as government incentives will stop during the end of this month in Japan.
Prius still remained Toyota’s best seller model despite massive global recalls for issues including faulty floor mats and defective gas pedals.
Toyota‘s Auris HSD is the first mass-produced hybrid car to be built in Europe, being assembled at the Burnaston plant in Derbyshire. It is both smaller and cheaper than Toyota‘s better-known hybrid, the Prius, which is built in Japan.
The Auris hybrid matches Prius’s impressive economy when equipped with 15-inch wheels and economy-biased tyres, setting an official score of 74.3mpg and 89g/km. Optional 17-inch wheels provide more grip but worse fuel economy, at 70.6mpg and 93g/km.Both Prius and Auris hybrids use the same powerplant: a 1.8 litre, 98bhp petrol engine coupled to an 80bhp electric motor, each capable of independently driving the front wheels through a variable-ratio gearbox, or combining to give a maximum of 138bhp. The electric motor doubles up as a generator, either drawing power from a bank of NiMH batteries to speed the car up or feeding power back to the batteries as the car slows down.
<!––>SB 535 will allow up to 40,000 new HOV plug-in hybrid access stickers to be issued prior to 31 December 2014. In order to be eligible for PHEV HOV access under SB 535, vehicles must meet the California Air Resources Board’s Enhanced AT-PZEV standard.
This bill is good public policy because it creates a very strong incentive for the next generation of plug-in vehicles and will encourage more California drivers to plug in and reduce oil consumption.—Jay Friedland, Legislative Director of Plug In America
Speaking of lithium-ion batteries, a recent life-cycle analysis (a type of study that aims to find the complete environmental impact of something, taking into account manufacturing, usage, and disposal) of the lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars had some very interesting findings. It turns out that batteries have an even lower impact than most of us thought.
The company signed a memorandum of understanding with the State of Hawaii last week, committing itself to build a facility that would make 10,000 two-seater electric vehicles a year. The new plant is also expected to assemble electric buses and four-seater electric vehicles.
As many as two in every five American consumers would be keen to test drive an electric vehicle, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.
The consumer electronics trade body has published a study suggesting that the environmental benefits and potential cost savings of electric cars are proving attractive to consumers.