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Rolls-Royce Going Green with Plug-in Hybrid

Maker following path of rival Bentley.

by on Mar.11, 2014

Rolls-Royce abandoned the 102EX battery-car concept when potential buyers turned thumbs-down.

If you think “green” when someone mentions Rolls-Royce, you’re probably thinking about the cost of the maker’s big sedans, coupes and convertibles which can push you up and above the $500,000 in a hurry. But Rolls could add a new meaning if it goes ahead with plans to add a plug-in hybrid to its line-up.

Don’t be surprised to see one in the near future, CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos reveals – though not necessarily because Rolls elite buyers are demanding one.

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“It will be essential in two years, maybe not from customer demand but through legal regulation on emissions,” Muller-Otvos told British publication Auto Express during an interview at the Geneva Motor Show.


First Drive: 2015 Cadillac ELR

Caddy hopes to plug into luxury battery-car market.

by on Dec.02, 2013

The Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid.

Even though U.S. motorists haven’t been all that charged up by the nascent battery-car market, there’s a flood of new products heading for showrooms in the coming month. But while most makers are struggling to drive down prices, betting that the cheaper the product the bigger the demand, a handful of manufacturers are targeting the other end of the spectrum.

Among the brands betting that even affluent buyers want to go green are Porsche, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and, of course, Tesla which has been beating even its own optimistic forecasts with the Model S electric vehicle. A few months from now, Cadillac will join the upscale list with the launch of its new ELR plug-in hybrid.

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Think of it as a mix of something old and something new.  The 2015 Cadillac ELR features the latest take on the maker’s distinctive Art & Science design language – as well as the most elegant and high-tech interior Caddy has ever offered. Under that sexy skin, however, is an updated version of the Voltec plug-in hybrid system already in use in the more mainstream Chevrolet Volt – albeit with some welcome improvements.


Audi About to Plug in its A3 e-tron

“A realistic glimpse into the future.”

by on Feb.21, 2013

The Audi A3 e-tron will deliver about 30 miles per charge, with a tentative rating of over 150 MPG-e.

Audi will move a big step closer to launching its battery-powered sub-brand when it reveals the new A3 e-tron at the Geneva Motor Show early next month.

Like many of its key competitors, the luxury maker has been toying with a variety of electric drivelines, from conventional hybrids up to pure battery drive, but it appears to be ready to place its chips on plug-in hybrid power as offering the right balance of price, range and performance.

(Electric) Power to the People!

The March 5th debut of the Audi A3 e-tron at Geneva’s PALExpo Center “will provide a realistic glimpse into the future of mobility as Audi is planning it. The electrification of the drivetrain, above all using plug-in technology, plays a deciding role in the strategy of the brand,” according to an advanced statement describing the new model.


Daimler Promises More Electric Vehicles

Maker readying plug-in S-Class, battery supercar and more, says Zetsche.

by on Apr.13, 2011

Who says battery power can't be fun? The Mercedes SLS E-Cell is one of the big debuts at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.

The battery-powered version of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG supercar will reach dealers in 2013.

Mercedes-Benz plans to introduce a plug-in hybrid version of S-Class by mid-decade and launch an electric version of the SLS AMG “gull wing,” Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsch told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting in Berlin.

“We now manufacture four fully electric models, which is more than any other automaker worldwide,” said Zetsche, citing production of the Smart electric drive, the A-Class E-Cell, the small Vito Van E-Cell and the B-Class F-Cell.

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“Three of these models – the Smart, the A-Class and the Vito –rely solely on a battery-electric drive system” said Zetsche. “Our experience has been so positive that we will soon be introducing additional models,” he said.

Among the models under development is a plug-in hybrid version of the next-generation S-Class, Zetsche revealed, “in other words a ‘partially electric’ vehicle whose battery can be recharged from a normal power source,” he said.