The last semi-official number we had for pre-orders for the 2016 Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle was around 200. But demand is strong enough that Toyota is saying that it will spend 20 billion yen ($168 million US) to expand annual production capacity at the "secretive workshop" where the Mirai will be built from 700 in the first year (2015) to around 2,000 after that.
Honda Fires Up Brazil Wind Farm; Toyota hybrids win two WEC championships; Mercedes S-500 Plug-In Hybrid Gets Environmental Certification; Groups Call For 48-Volt Standard
The Mercedes-Benz S-500 Plug-In Hybrid has earned an Environmental Certificate from the TÜV Süd technical inspection authority. The award is based on a lifecycle assessment of the vehicle. This includes the ability to reduce CO2 emissions by 43 percent through charging, and by 56 percent if charged using hydroelectricity. Read more in the press release below.
Production Starts In December At Same Secret Workshop That Made Lexus LFA
Toyota built 500 Lexus LFA supercars between 2010 and 2012 in what Automotive News has called a "secretive workshop." The automaker has been wondering what to do with that production line since the last LFA rolled off in December 2012 and, like so much else for Toyota these days, the answer is a hydrogen car – and in about the same small numbers.
BMW i Invests In Zendrive; Chicago Petitions For E15
Porsche will be running a third 919 Hybrid LMP1 car in the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. The extra Porsche will race in the six-hour May 2 WEC race at Spa-Francorchamps as a lead-up to the legendary 24-hour race on June 13 and 14. Porsche hasn't announced the driver lineup for the third 919 Hybrid, but drivers will remain the same for the other two cars. Including the third car is meant to help further test performance and efficiency as part of development for future hybrid systems. R
Should we try to translate "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" into German? Audi might force us to do that. That's because the German automaker has stepped up production of its new plug-in vehicle – the A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid – which is never a bad thing.
Volkswagen Reports Environmental Program Is Doing Well; Beijing's EV Registration Lottery Flops; Dealer Protection Laws Hurt EV Adoption
Tesla has revealed the details of the upgrade of its Fremont, CA factory. One major change is the addition of a dedicated production space for the dual-motor P85D version of the Model S. Robots will be doing the battery installation on the Model S to save some time, and new export docks allow Tesla to get the cars out the door and on the way to their new owners more quickly. The new robots that move the cars around the factory have been named after X-Men characters, which makes our inner geeks s
EIA Predicts More Ethanol Next Year, Shorter Oil Supply In Coming Years; EV Interface Controller now available
Andromeda Interfaces has launched its Electric Vehicle Interface Controller (EVIC), which displays and allows the user to visualize various vehicle systems. Users can monitor their EVs battery usage, motor controllers and vehicle charging. The EVIC gathers various data - voltage, cell temperatures, amperage, etc. - from the car and displays it in a user-friendly way using easy-to-understand graphics. The EVIC is currently available through Andromeda Interfaces' website. Read more in the press re
Hyundai and sister company Kia are giving themselves a little bit of time to make up a lot of ground in the fight for better fuel economy. We wonder if a recent multi-million fine might have something to do with this public target.
Vehicle-To-Grid Could Mean Longer EV Range In US; LG Chem Breaks Ground In China
Indianapolis will deploy 425 battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles as part of its municipal fleet by 2016. The fleet will include such cars as the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt and Ford Fusion Energi. The city will also reduce its overall fleet by 100 vehicles. In all, the revised group - called the "Freedom Fleet" - will save $8.7 million and 2.2 million gallons of gasoline over 10 years. Read more at Hybrid Cars.
If there's one thing we've learned about plug-in vehicle fans, you have a thing for seeing your cars get made. The series of videos showing BMW i3 production was strangely popular, as were the shots from inside the VW e-Golf plant. Well, with General Motors pulling the veil off of the 2016 Chevy Volt this week, it's time to take a peek at the production process for that vehicle as well. You're welcome.
New Ethanol Plant Capable Of 25 Million Gallons Annually; Chevrolet Bi-Fuel Impala Runs On Garbage And Sewage
Detroit Electric has a new teaser video and has updated its brand in preparation of the introduction of the SP:01. The refreshed logo uses a blue and white color palette, and the company has also given its website a new look. The teaser video, which gives a sneak peek at the exterior of the SP:01, shows the car taking form in the midst of an electrical storm. Watch the video or learn more in the press release below.
To paraphrase Dr. Evil from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, why spend a trillion when you could spend ... billions? That's what Panasonic is saying about its investment in Tesla's gigafactory, though there's a catch. The billions are in Japanese yen.
BMW has found a receptive audience for its first batches of plug-in vehicles in the good 'ole USA. The German automaker, which started selling its first mass-produced i plug-ins in Europe late last year, will send a higher percentage of those vehicles to the US because of strong demand here, according to Automotive News, which talked with BMW executive Ian Robertson. And the Americans might cause Bimmer to speed up production, to boot.
BMW Incentives Favor All-Electric i3 Over REx, Honda Revamps R&D After Fit Hybrid Recalls
Volkswagen says EV ranges over 300 miles aren't too far in the future. Plug-in hybrids are merely a bridge to all-electric mobility becoming more practical for people who need to travel longer distances, according to Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neusser, Volkswagen's head of powertrain development. Energy density is increasing rapidly in new batteries. Speaking about the e-Golf, Neusser says, "I expect the next generation in 2015-17 will increase to around 300 km [186 miles] and the following step will be ar
Volvo Finds New Way To Heat Factory And Reduce Emissions
The Danish Energy Agency is offering funding to get more electric cars on the road. In Denmark, 99 percent of vehicles are still powered by gasoline and diesel, so the government is offering about $6.44 million in grants to help change this. The money will go to projects such as carsharing and leasing programs that can offer EVs at prices comparable to traditionally powered cars. The country aims to add 1,400 electric cars to the roads through 2015. Copenhagen City Council also recently announce
Average New Car Fuel Economy Down Slightly For September
The average fuel economy of new cars sold in the US went down in September. According to the University of Michigan Transportation Research (UMTRI), the average mileage was 25.3 mpg, down from 25.8 mpg in August. The dip is likely from increased sales of light trucks and SUVs. Still, the national average is up 5.2 mpg since UMTRI started tracking it in October 2007. The group's Eco-Driving Index measures average emissions per distance driven (with a lag of two months) and shows that figure at an
Kentucky Man Builds Electric 1939 Dodge; Elon Musk Will Speak At Automotive News World Congress; Toyota Rav4 EV Production Ends
A Kentucky man has converted his 1939 Dodge pickup to an electric vehicle. Al Gajda of Lexington built the electric truck, which he now uses as his daily driver. "I take advantage of any excuse to drive it; just banging around town, errands, short runs on the interstate, delivering my granddaughter to school in the morning," he says. It is powered by a lithium-ion phosphate battery, which is mounted in a wooden box on the truck bed, and gets about 100 miles per charge. Read more at the Lexington