• Image Credit: Chevrolet
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet
We knew the 2016 Chevrolet Volt's new powertrain would provide more range, but we didn't know how much. According to GM's Executive Director Larry Nitz, it is about 12 percent more, overall. "I can't think of a powertrain we've re-engineered more extensively within a five-year period than this one," he said. The battery, electric drive system and gasoline generator have all been reworked to allow for an overall driving range of up to 425 miles, with electric range speculated to reach 42 miles or more. The new Volt will also benefit from 20 percent quicker low-end acceleration, weight reductions and improvements in NVH. Read more at Hybrid Cars and at the SAE website.

Hyundai's FCEV research and development boss, Dr. Sae-Hoon Kim, is optimistic about the future of hydrogen mobility in Japan. With the Tucson Fuel Cell already in production ahead of Toyota's FCV, Hyundai has a foothold in the hydrogen car scene. Kim believes that since the Fukushima disaster, Japan's attitudes toward energy make it friendly to a growing hydrogen economy. He also says that hydrogen won't be limited to Hyundai, with Kia getting all the battery EVs. "Both types are for both companies," Kim says. "For the moment, volumes are small and it is not wise to have Hyundai and Kia competing." Read more at Just Auto.

The Latvian/German startup Inabikari is using crowdfunding to build an electric crossover for Europe. The Rev.01 EV hopes to compete with Tesla's upcoming Model X with a range of over 400 miles and a five-second 0-60 time. The group currently is trying to raise initial funds through an Indiegogo campaign, with hopes of more investment in the future and sales beginning in 2017. See the video below, and read more at Hybrid Cars and at the Inabikari website.

Fuel economy and emissions regulations could lead to some interesting design changes to automobiles. The World Light Duty Test Procedure, set to replace the New European Driving Cycle in 2017, will push automakers to find new ways to reduce drag on their vehicles. For better aerodynamics, we could see traditional side-view mirrors replaced by cameras that display what they see on screens inside the vehicle. Another likely change will be the introduction of smaller, narrower wheels. Improving the average drag coefficient from 0.32 to 0.20 could reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 20 percent. Read more at Automotive News Europe.


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