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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.


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.


Ford to Invest $4.5 Bil in New Electrified Products

By 2020, 40% of its nameplates will be offered with battery-based options.

by on Dec.10, 2015

"More than 40% of our nameplates will be electrified," announced Ford CEO Mark Fields.

Ford Motor plans to invest $4.5 billion to add an array of new hybrids, plug-ins and battery-electric vehicles to its line-up by the end of the decade, CEO Mark Fields announced on Thursday.

The maker plans not only to add more battery-based vehicles but also to expand where it will offer those models, with two new produced, the plug-in C-Max Energi and the Mondeo Hybrid, entering the Chinese market in the coming months.

Plug In!

By the end of the decade, said Fields, “More than 40% of our nameplates will be electrified,” up from 13% today, and the list will include “a full range” of the maker’s products, not just a limited selection like today. Where there are six battery-based products today, Ford will add 13 more by 2020.


2016 Chevrolet Volt Named Green Car of the Year

Second win for Chevy Plug-in Hybrid.

by on Nov.19, 2015

Green Car Publisher Ron Cogan, Chevy Marketing Director Steve Mojoras and the 2016 Volt.

The completely redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Volt has been named Green Car of the Year, repeating a victory it claimed when the original plug-in hybrid debuted a half-decade ago.

The Volt knocked down an impressive list of competitors that included the new, fourth-generation 2016 Toyota Prius, the world’s best-selling hybrid-electric vehicle.

A Winner!

“This is certainly something special,” proclaimed Steve Mojoras, Chevy’s marketing manager, after accepting the crystal trophy at the L.A. Auto Show event. “This is a hard market to crack. This is the Super Bowl of green car awards, so it adds instant validation.”


EV Buyers Tend to Be Younger, More Affluent Than Hybrid Owners

One in five battery-car owners has income topping $175,000.

by on Apr.22, 2014

The high cost of the Tesla Model S has raised the average income for all EV buyers.

Motorists who purchase battery-electric vehicles tend to be younger and more affluent than drivers who buy more conventional hybrid vehicles, according to a new study.

That’s in line with other studies that have found the Tesla Model S has become one of the most popular products among motorists in the nation’s wealthiest zip codes.

Data Check!

“At first glance, one would imagine that consumers purchasing either a hybrid or electric vehicle would be nearly identical; both are environmentally conscious, are of similar ages and have higher income levels,” said Melinda Zabritski, senior director for Experian Automotive. But the data tracking firm found surprising differences.


Sales of Plug-Based Vehicles Doubled in 2013

Segment approaches 100,000 sales for first time.

by on Jan.06, 2014

The Chevy Volt was the market's best-selling plug-based vehicle in 2013 - though sales were down from 2012.

For the first time ever, sales of plug-based vehicles came within a hairsbreadth of hitting the 100,000 mark last year, jumping by 84% year-over-year as a flood of new products came to market.

Conventional hybrid vehicles scored a more modest but still strong 15% increase in demand last year, reaching an all-time record of nearly 500,000 sales.  Together, all battery-based vehicles still captured less than 4% of the total U.S. new vehicle market, however, less than the total number of F-Series pickups Ford Motor Co. sold for just the first 11 months of 2013.

Stay Plugged In!

Nonetheless, advocates contend that the numbers show a growing interest in battery-based vehicles, something that’s backed up by several recent surveys showing more American motorists are considering the technology as a viable alternative.

They have a growing list to choose from, a total of 16 different plug-based offerings reaching U.S. showrooms last year.  With yet more new battery-based vehicles coming this year, the consensus is that sales of plug-based vehicles – both plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles, or PHEVs and BEVs – will smash through the 100,000 mark in the coming year, though the segment is likely to remain a small niche for the foreseeable future.


Despite Fires, Range Issues EV Sales Continue to Rise

Year-to-date sales have blown past all of 2012 results.

by on Oct.24, 2013

BMW is already considering increasing production levels on its new i3. Global electric vehicles sales are up significantly this year.

Despite the concerns including range anxiety and battery fires, sales of both plug in hybrids and battery electric vehicles have increased significantly.

The Union of Concerned Scientists, a major promoter of electric vehicles, said sales of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs), including both plug-in hybrids and battery electrics, are up significantly compared with last year. More than 59,000 EVs were sold in the United States by the end of August — already surpassing EV sales for all of 2012.

Fuel Your Automotive Knowledge!

In addition, sales in California, where major manufacturers such as General Motors, Chrysler, Daimler AG and Honda, have focused their attention sales are more than double the rate of last year, representing 29% of U.S. plug-in vehicles sales. California is the one state with tough regulations that require carmakers to offer zero-emission EV’s as part of their fleet. (more…)

BMW Plugs-in with Battery X5 Concept

Frankfurt debut planned.

by on Aug.23, 2013

The BMW Concept X5 eDrive delivers 19 miles of battery-only range before switching to hybrid mode.

Who says you need a microcar to get good mileage? While SUVs have traditional inspired the wrath of environmentalists, BMW hopes to win some love with the Concept X5 eDrive it will bring to the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.

The show car is expected to return in the not-too-distant future as a plug-in version of the popular BMW X5 Sport-Activity Vehicle, part of a growing line-up of plug-based vehicles from the Bavarian maker that will soon include its i3 battery-electric vehicle and i8 plug-in sports model.

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The lithium-ion-powered BMW Concept X5 eDrive boasts about 19 miles of battery range, with the ute able to operate in electric-only mode at speeds up to 75 mph. Fuel economy is an estimated 60 miles per gallon – though European tests generally yield higher results than what the American EPA testing cycle gets.


Edison Foundation Forecasts at Least 5 Mil Battery Cars on Road by 2035

With battery breakthrough that could jump to 30 million.

by on Apr.24, 2013

An optimstic scenario foresees plug-ins accounting for nearly one in 10 vehicles on US roads by 2035.

There are an estimated 90,000 plug-based vehicles on U.S. roads today and, with sales only slowly beginning to accelerate, few expect to see that climb to 1 million advanced battery vehicles, as the Obama Administration has called for.

Nonetheless, battery car proponents are nothing if not optimistic, and a new white paper produced for Earth Day by the Edison Foundation projects that even under the most conservative scenario there’ll be at least five million plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, on the road by 2035.

We Keep You Plugged in!

In fact, the figure could jump as high as 30 million, the foundation forecast, in the event of a critical battery breakthrough — or other factors that change the cost/benefit equation.


Auto Geeks Give Nod to Lotus Evora Plug-In Hybrid

Two-seat plug-in gets Tech Award at auto engineering fest.

by on Apr.16, 2013

The Lotus Evora 4414 plug-in gets the auto engineering world's nod.

There seems to be no limit to the number of awards handed out in the auto industry these days.  But what sort of vehicle might the engineers who actually design our cars, trucks and crossovers give the nod to? This year, it’s the Lotus Evora 414E Range Extender Hybrid that wins the SAE World Congress Tech Award.

The timing of the Tech Award coincides with the industry geek fest held at Detroit’s Cobo Hall each spring at which time all sorts of new technologies are introduced. So, it’s perhaps no surprise that a plug-in vehicle takes the honors for 2013 – though Lotus is not a name one normally associates with green machines.

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Sponsored by the SAE’s Automotive Engineering International Magazine, the award is supposed to highlight a mix of design and engineering innovation, “uniqueness,” potential for real-world applications and other benefits to both customers and the auto industry.