Toyota's Grand Master of Hybrid, Kentaro Tomo, discusses the new planetary gear set in the Toyota Prius. In the video, Tomo meets with Lou Ann Hammond of Driving the Nation to explain the technology. He says it improves efficiency by 20 percent, which is part of the reason for the increased fuel economy. Other factors include improvements to engine combustion with exhaust gas recirculation. See the video above, and read more at Driving the Nation.

The UK government is giving £40 million (about $57 million) to four cities for green car initiatives. Bristol, London, Milton Keynes, and Nottingham will share the funds for a range of programs, including building rapid-charging hubs and street lights that double as EV chargers. Cities will create parking spaces reserved for plug-in vehicles, and give EV drivers privileges like driving in bus lanes. "With thousands more plug-in cars set to be sold, cutting running costs for motorists and helping the environment, this investment will help to put the UK at the forefront of the global ultra-low emissions race," says Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low. Read more at Engadget, and from the UK government.

Tesla is looking to manufacture cars in China. Elon Musk told Engadget that he would like to find a local partner and a site for a factory in China by the middle of 2016. Tesla already has 15 stores in seven Chinese cities, as well as more than 340 Superchargers and 1,600 destination chargers. Hong Kong, in particular, has been a successful market for Tesla, while the automaker is now is now "doing reasonably well" in Mainland China, according to Musk. Read more from Engadget.

Half of the miles driven by Ford Fusion Energi and Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids are electric, according to Ford. Energi drivers average 42 miles per day, with 21 of those miles being driven solely on electricity from the grid or accumulated through regenerative braking. Ford says that owners of its three EV models have driven a total of 610 million electric miles since 2011. 237 million of those miles were "carbon free," using electricity from renewable sources. Read more at Green Car Reports.


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