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Ford schedules entrance to E.V. market in 2012

13/04/2011 Comments off

2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid with inset Ford's leaf...

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The automobile giants Toyota and Ford unveiled their new entries into the hybrid electric vehicle market at the 2011 North American International Auto Show.

Ford’s C-MAX Energi and C-MAX Hybrid will hit the North American market in 2012 with the C-MAX Energi touted as the company’s pioneer venture into the production plug-in hybrid market.

Meanwhile, Toyota unveiled three new models of their Prius hybrid line to enter the markets in 2011 and 2012.

Pioneer plug-in hybrid

The Ford claims its C-MAX Energi can provide more than 500 miles of overall driving range through the combined electric-gasoline drivetrain – more than any other plug-in or extended-range electric vehicle in the market.

The C-MAX Energi has an electric drivetrain comprised of an electric traction motor powered by a high-voltage lithium-ion battery. This will be combined with a high-efficiency Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine to achieve optimum fuel efficiency. Read more…

Microsoft and Toyota to have E.V.’s running on the cloud by 2012

09/04/2011 Comments off

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...

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Microsoft Corporation and Toyota Motors Corporation are jointly investing 1 billion yen ($12 million) in one of Toyota’s subsidiaries to develop a service that can connect its electric and plug-in hybrid cars to homes and smart grids by 2012 using cloud computing.

The world’s biggest software company and the biggest automaker made the investment in Toyota Media Service, a subsidiary that handles the automaker’s digital information services for its customers. Microsoft and Toyota did not disclose the breakdown of how that investment would be split between the two companies.

The pair is planning to provide data services to Toyota car owners worldwide using Microsoft’s Azure, its cloud computing system that can deliver and collect data and software delivered over the Internet.

Aside from offering telematics services such as navigation, in-car entertainment and multimedia, thesystem might also manage energy use of the vehicle and houses connected to the smart grid, the companies said. Read more…

Toyota Sells One Millionth Prius in U.S.

06/04/2011 2 comments

 

prius-battery
The Toyota Prius has hit a major milestone:  there are now 1 million of them on U.S. roads.  But it’s not just popular in the U.S.  As of a month ago, the hybrid has surpassed 3 million sales worldwide.

More than 97 percent of Priuses sold since the car’s debut 11 years ago are still on the road, confirming two things that were unsure back in 2000 — that millions of people would want to buy a hybrid electric vehicle and that the vehicle would be just as durable and reliable as a conventional car over a decade later.

That’s great news for all the electric car launches happening now and in the near future.  What may seem like a vehicle only coveted by a small percentage of people now, could have millions and millions of drivers in just a decade.  And the benefits will be measurable:  since 2000, the Prius has saved 881 million gallons of gas and 12.4 million tons of CO2 emissions.

via USA Today

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Toyota To Build Hybrid Yaris Car In France

08/09/2010 Comments off

The new headquarters of the Toyota Motor Corpo...

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Toyota Motor Corp plans to begin producing a hybrid version of the Yaris subcompact at its factory in France in the business year starting next April, the Mid-Japan Economist newspaper said.

The gasoline-electric Yaris, called Vitz in Japan, will be sold in Europe, the paper, owned partly by Toyota, reported without saying where it obtained the information.

A Toyota spokeswoman said the automaker could not comment on future product plans. A year ago, France’s La Tribune newspaper ran a similar report citing Toyota’s plans to build a small hybrid car at its Valenciennes factory, which builds the Yaris subcompact. A spokesman at the time had denied that such a plan was under consideration.

Hybrid cars have been a tough sell in Europe, which prefers diesel engines to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Toyota has said it plans to add the hybrid option across its entire lineup by around 2020, but has not announced plans for a gasoline-electric Yaris/Vitz.

Rival Honda Motor Co is about to launch a hybrid version of Jazz/Fit in the coming months, with plans to unveil the Jazz hybrid at the Paris motor show this month.

Hyundai FCV Fuel Cell Car To Be Launched 3 Years Earlier Than Toyota’s

07/09/2010 1 comment

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.

Underlying technology for its hydrogen tanks has not yet been unveiled by Hyundai.   Read more…

Toyota Prius Best-Selling Car in Japan for August

07/09/2010 Comments off

Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid

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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 British-built Auris hybrid challenges Prius for eco efficiency

07/09/2010 Comments off

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.  

Auris hybrid

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.

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