Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘electric vehicles’

First Drive: 2017 Kia Soul EV

Zippy performance overrides limited range.

by on May.25, 2017

The 2017 Kia Soul EV provides plenty of oomph to get around town while keeping its popular exterior design.

Driving a pure battery electric vehicle in the heartland can be a challenge.

But after a spending a week with the 2017 Kia Soul in around and around Detroit, I found it could be done with a little bit of planning and forethought.

Stay Connected!

For starters, I enjoyed driving the Kia Soul. The electric motor is fitted into the shape of the gasoline version of the Kia Soul, which has become popular in recent years and is consistently one of the South Korean-brands most popular and best-selling models. (more…)

Hyundai Belatedly Plugging In

Korean maker planning array of plug-ins, EVs and FCVs for Hyundai, Kia, Genesis brands.

by on Mar.31, 2017

Hyundai will roll out its first EV, the Ioniq Electric, next month, but plans a wave of new EVs.

Slow to charge into the electric vehicle market, Hyundai Motor Co. is about to get charged up, with an assortment of electrified models set to debut for the Hyundai and Kia brands, as well as the new Genesis luxury marque.

The three brands will add a number of new battery-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. Hyundai also plans to launch an all-new fuel-cell SUV model next year that, it claims, will offer greater range than any hydrogen car now on the market.

Charge Up!

Hyundai has been slow to enter the electric vehicle market and is now racing to catch up. Key to its new program will be an all-new platform specifically dedicated to battery-based vehicles, the automaker said this week.

(more…)

Autonomous Cars, Battery Vehicles and Record Sales: a Look at 2016’s Top Auto Stories

Industry at “an inflection point.”

by on Dec.29, 2016

Ford's next-generation autonomous Fusion prototype. Self-driving cars were a hot story in 2016.

Barring an unexpected, December surprise, 2016 will go out like a lion for the U.S. auto industry, automakers collectively racking up their third consecutive year of record sales. That’s an all the more massive achievement considering the decade began with the worst downturn the U.S. car market had suffered since the Great Depression.

What’s ahead for the industry is far from certain, demand showing signs of losing momentum in recent months. But what’s clear is that 2016 will not only go down in the record book from a sales perspective but that the year could be seen as marking a series of major transitions – “an inflection point,” in the words of John Krafcik, the CEO of Waymo, Google’s recently renamed autonomous vehicle subsidiary.

The Last Word!

What was once the stuff of science fiction began shifting into everyday reality this past year, with hundreds of self-driving vehicle prototypes taking to public roads across the country – some even being used as part of ride-sharing pilot programs in Pittsburgh and San Francisco.

(more…)

Mysterious Faraday Future Takes a Step Closer to Reality

Chinese-owned battery-carmaker signs up Korean battery supplier.

by on Oct.04, 2016

The Faraday Future FF Zero1 concept made its debut at CES Las Vegas last January.

Faraday Future, the mysterious, Chinese-owned automotive start-up, has taken a critical step closer to getting something on the road.

Based in the old Nissan headquarters in suburban Los Angeles, Faraday has signed up the Korean-owned LG Chem to provide the lithium-ion batteries that will power its planned line-up of electric vehicles. LG Chem is the same battery supplier used for the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and Chevy Bolt battery-electric vehicle.

Electrifying!

“LG Chem worked closely with Faraday Future to develop a tailored cell chemistry to optimize the range and safety of our mass production battery hardware,” said Tom Wessner, Faraday Future’s vice president of global supply chain.

(more…)

Jeep Electrified – SUV Maker Adding EVs, Plug-Ins

Battery-based Jeeps “under active development.”

by on Jun.24, 2016

The Jeep Renegade could be one of the first models electrified, a plug in the Chinese market.

Today’s battery-based vehicles tend to be small sedans, coupes and hatchbacks. But that’s beginning to change with high-end products like the Tesla Model S and, more recently, the Model X.

Tesla will soon have some challengers in the battery-electric SUV market including Audi, set to debut an all-electric ute in 2018. And Jeep is getting ready to weigh in, as well, according to brand boss Michael Manley.

Plug In with Free Subscription!

While Fiat Chrysler’s SUV division isn’t ready to release specific plans, Manley told TheDetroitBureau.com that new battery-based products are “under active development,” and other company sources indicate they aren’t very far from launch.

(more…)

Chevrolet Volt Plugs into the Battery Car Sales Lead

Nissan Leaf loses momentum despite increased range.

by on Jun.02, 2016

The second-gen Chevy Volt got a new, roomier design, better performance and longer EV-mode range.

After seemingly coming unplugged, the newly redesigned Chevrolet Volt has charged into the U.S. sales lead among plug-based vehicles, overtaking long-time rival Nissan Leaf.

That’s based on the likelihood that at least 10% of the demand for the Tesla Model S has come from abroad through the end of May, a strong likelihood considering the long-range electric sedan now is being marketed in a number of countries, including China and the European Union.

Green Tech!

Even factoring out those overseas sales, and with a number of manufacturers not yet breaking out May battery-car numbers, there’s good reason for EV advocates to celebrate. After taking a tumble last year in the wake of a sharp downturn in gas prices, sales of plug-based vehicles have been recharged in recent month.

(more…)

Despite Low Gas Prices, Interest in EVs Still Significant

Californians, Northeasterners express curiosity about battery electrics.

by on May.26, 2016

A creep upward in gas prices may be stimulating interest in EVs. A new survey shows some parts of the country are curious.

With the holiday weekend upon us, the inevitable creep of rising gas prices is beginning to force some motorists to wonder: when will be back to $4 a gallon gasoline? This kind of burbling concern can only make EV automakers giddy with anticipation.

In fact, on America’s coasts, the demand for electric vehicles is still surprisingly high, even in an era of $2.28 a gallon gasoline.

Electrifying!

A recent survey by the Union of Concerned Scientists revealed more than half of Californians are likely to consider an electric vehicle as their next vehicle and in the Northeast, 35% of owners are likely to have an EV in their ranks of possible purchases next, in spite of the limitations that cold weather places on electric vehicles. (more…)

Shopping to Go Green? How About a McLaren?

More than half of British makers supercars will be hybrids.

by on May.06, 2016

The McLaren P1 GTR makes 986 hp from a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 paired with an electric motor.

Despite sluggish battery-car sales at a time when gas prices are running barely half their 2014 record high, automakers are laying out plans to add lots more electrified models in the coming years. And for those who might not find a Toyota Prius, Chevrolet Volt or Nissan Leaf quite stimulating enough, one might consider McLaren as an alternative.

McLaren, as in the British company that has been rolling out a growing range of supercars, such as the 675LT and the P1. The latter model, costing more than $1 million, just happens to be a plug-in hybrid. And, it seems, McLaren has plans to add a lot more green machines going forward.

Electrifying!

McLaren sold 1,654 vehicles worldwide last year, and it is looking to grow that to as much as 5,000 by early in the next day, CEO Mike Flewitt told Automotive News Europe. He also noted that, “In the latter part of this business plan to 2022, more than half our cars will be hybrids.”

(more…)

Ford Planning Long-Range EV to Challenge Tesla, GM

Goal is to be “in a leadership position,” says CEO Fields

by on Apr.29, 2016

Ford is upping the range of the current Focus Electric to more than 100 miles for 2017.

Ford Motor Co. plans to join the ranks of automakers offering a battery-car capable of at least 200 miles per charge, said CEO Mark Fields, helping eliminate the so-called “range anxiety” that has many potential customers shying away from electric vehicles.

That’s a shift in strategy for Ford which decided to hold the range of the updated 2017 Focus Electric to just 100 miles. But a growing list of manufacturers are pushing to 200 miles or more, including Tesla, General Motors, Volkswagen and Audi.

Plug In Now!

“We want to make sure that we’re either among the leaders or in a leadership position,” Fields said during a conference call with automotive analysts and reporters. “When you look at some of the competitors and what they’ve announced, clearly, that’s something we’re developing for.”

(more…)

Karma Set to Build Renamed Battery Car in the U.S.

Plug-in hybrid now dubbed the Karma Revero.

by on Apr.26, 2016

The original Fisker Karma relied on a 2.0-liter I-4 range extender gas engine from GM.

The recently reborn Fisker Automotive will formally unveil its revived battery vehicle this coming summer, but both car and carmaker will be carrying a new name.

Now owned by Chinese auto parts company Wanxiang Group, Fisker has now been christened Karma Automotive, picking its name up from the plug-in hybrid vehicle it was building before its 2012 bankruptcy. That battery car will now be known as the Revero.

Stay Charged Up!

The original Fisker Karma cost around $110,000, around the same price as a well-equipped version of the current Tesla Model S P85d battery-electric vehicle. The company’s new, California-based management team isn’t saying when the new model will go on sale, nor what it will cost, Chief Marketing Officer Jim Taylor cautioning that, “We are being careful about making promises.” But the goal is to start taking orders over the summer.

(more…)