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Posts Tagged ‘luxury electric vehicles’

Jaguar Going Electric with E-Pace

British luxury brand working up its first battery car.

by on Oct.30, 2015

Jaguar's F-Pace could be the first of several JLR vehicles with EV variants.

Jaguar appears ready to join the rapidly growing list of luxury brands planning to offer long-range electric vehicles.

Several senior officials contacted by TheDetroitBureau.com confirmed an electric vehicle program is underway, and it could result in a variant of the new Jaguar F-Pace SUV, in this case renamed the E-Pace.

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“Plans are still developing,” said one source, asking not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the topic. But others stressed that Jaguar will need a variety of new, higher-mileage technologies, ranging from diesel to hybrid to pure battery-electric, to meet tough global emissions and fuel economy standards. (more…)

First Drive: Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

German automaker the latest to plug-into the battery-car market.

by on May.05, 2014

Mercedes enters the California battery-car market with the new B-Class Electric Drive.

With the debut of the new B-Class Electric Drive, Mercedes-Benz not only becomes the latest entrant into the fast-growing battery-car line-up, but also sets out to prove that everything you thought you knew about electric vehicles is wrong. Well, almost everything.

The battery-powered version of the maker’s European compact hatchback is certainly no stripped-down econobox. And you’re delivered a pleasant, neck-snapping surprise when you stomp on the throttle. As for the price tag, while significantly more than a Nissan Leaf or Ford Focus Electric, the Mercedes model is nonetheless reasonably affordable once federal and state incentives are calculated in.

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There is that little issue of range, however, that continues to plague the B-Class Electric and just about every other entry into the battery-car segment with the exception of the Tesla Model S. Ironically, Mercedes can thank that upstart start-up for some of the B-Class Electric’s most appealing attributes.

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Cadillac Considers More Battery-Car Options

Maker also developing business plan for Elmiraj concept.

by on Oct.31, 2013

Cadillac is looking at adding other battery-based vehicles that would follow the ELR plug-in, shown here.

Even though its new plug-in hybrid, the Cadillac ELR, is still nearly two months from launch, the Detroit luxury maker is giving serious thought to adding more battery-based vehicles to its line-up, TheDetroitBureau.com has learned.

Other models could include an even larger and more upscale offering than the compact ELR, confided Caddy’s global sales chief Bob Ferguson, who said the technology could generate significant interest among buyers – both at home and abroad – who don’t have General Motors’ flagship brand on their radar screens.

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In a wide-ranging discussion, Ferguson also told TheDetroitBureau.com that there is growing support inside GM for transforming the well-reviewed Elmiraj concept vehicle into a production vehicle – and as quickly as possible, though formal corporate approval is not yet a certainty.

“I’m so optimistic about how well (the Cadillac ELR plug-in) will do, especially on the West Coast and in the Northeast,” said Ferguson during a one-on-one discussion with TheDetroitBureau.com. “It will bring us a lot of new customers, I’m sure.”

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Still a Month From Launch, BMW Considering Boosting Production of i3 Battery-Car

Initial demand outstripping planned capacity.

by on Oct.15, 2013

The production version of the all-electric BMW i3 city car will go on sale in Europe on November 16th and in the U.S. by mid-2014.

The first of BMW’s new “i” branded battery-cars won’t start rolling into European showrooms next months – U.S. sales to start next years – but initial demand is so strong that the Bavarian maker is already talking about ramping up production.

Customers have already placed orders for 8,000 of the new BMW i3 city cars, which will eventually be sold with a choice of either a pure battery-electric drivetrain or an optional range-extender which adds a small internal combustion engine that can allow a motorist to keep going even when the battery runs down.

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“If demand holds, which is what it’s looking like, we will soon have to invest more,” said BMW Chief Financial Officer Friedrich Eichiner during an Amsterdam news conference.  That translates, he clarified into “adjust(ing) capacity according to demand.”

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Range Rover Diesel Hybrid Coming to U.S. – Eventually

High-mileage option to appear on two models initially.

by on Sep.10, 2013

Even the folks from Land Rover are getting into the hybrid segment with the Range Rover Sport Hybrid.

It seems like everyone is getting into the battery-car game, whether with hybrids, plug-ins and full battery-electric vehicles. Among the latest to reveal plans is Land Rover, the British maker pulling the wraps off the new diesel-electric Range Rover hybrid during the opening day of the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show press preview.

In a bit of a surprise, a senior official has told TheDetroitBureau.com that Land Rover has apparently reversed course and will be bringing the new high-mileage package to the United States at an as yet-unspecified date.

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“It’s not a matter of ‘if,’ but ‘when,’” revealed Andy Goss, the outgoing CEO of Jaguar-Land Rover’s U.S. operations, who will soon become the company’s global marketing czar. (more…)

BMW Reveals Running Prototype of New i8 Plug-in Hybrid

by on Aug.07, 2013

BMW is offering a closer look at this thinly disguised prototype of its i8 plug-in sports car.

Confirming plans to reveal the production version of its new plug-in hybrid at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW has also offered up a look at a camouflaged version of the new i8 battery sports cars.

The unveiling at the Miramas test track in France comes just a week after the Bavarian maker gave the world a first official look at another new electric model, the little i3 city car. Both the i3 and i8 will form the backbone of a new battery brand-within-a-brand to be called BMW i.

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The plug-in drivetrain will rely on a 231 horsepower turbocharged 3-cylinder 1.5-liter TwinPower Turbo gasoline engine – similar to what we’ll be seeing in a new version of the BMW 1- and 3-Series models but here paired to an electric motor turning out 131 horsepower. That will be enough to launch the BMW i8 from 0 to 60 in just 4.5 seconds, or roughly comparable to the fully-electric Tesla Model S.

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Infiniti Delays LE Luxury Battery Car

Nissan division waiting for battery range, performance gains.

by on Jul.10, 2013

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn shown with the Infiniti LE battery-car concept.

Even as demand for its little Leaf battery-electric vehicle begins to gain momentum, Nissan has temporarily pulled the plug on plans to bring the Infiniti LE to market, though sources tell TheDetroitBureau.com that the luxury electric vehicle is still very much part of the maker’s mid-term plans.

The challenge, it seems, is to come up with the sort of improvements in range and performance – as well as the requisite upscale niceties, such as leather seats – that would make the Infiniti more than just a gussied-up Leaf. Nissan is also watching to see how the market responds to other luxury battery cars, notably including the new BMW “i” models, as well as the more expensive Tesla Model S.

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“The car is still planned but I don’t think we’re in any rush to bring the car to market,” said a ranking source closely connected to Nissan’s battery car program.

While he noted the growth of the overall market for electric propulsion, the source acknowledged it is not coming “as rapidly as we initially thought,” adding that “we need to get the mass market to grow before luxury buyers accept the technology.”

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