Hybrid Cars

Hybrid Police Cars in Hot Pursuit of Fuel Savings

Ford debuted its latest Explorer crossover/SUV at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year– and, while a big SUV isn’t something we normally get all that excited about here at Gas2 Enrg.io, this one was a little different. What made it slightly different from what we were used to was Ford’s commitment to using recycled and recyclable materials throughout the vehicle. What made it really different, though, was that this new Explorer was available in a hybrid version … a hybrid version packing more than 300 HP. We weren’t the only ones to notice that, either! Local police departments from California to New England are snapping up the new hybrid police cars (both the Ford Explorer and and Ford Fusion-based Interceptor Hybrid models) in a bid to both reduce their d...

Toyota Releases Thousands of Hybrid Patents

In a complete reversal of its longstanding policy, Toyota has decided to stop suing every manufacturer that dares to offer a hybrid vehicle to the public in an effort to protect its more than 24,000 patents on the technology. It says everyone is free to use those patents without paying royalties from now until 2030. Why? Because it thinks there is more money to be made consulting with others than preserving the moat it has built around it hybrid systems. Toyota executives believe that other companies will be happy to pay it fees to use its tech, saying “when (other companies) use Toyota’s motors, batteries, PCUs, control ECUs, and other vehicle-electrification system technologies as part of their power train systems,” according to Green Car Reports.   More Hybrids for More People Toyo...

2020 Ford Explorer Gets ST, Hybrid Variants

At last week’s Detroit auto show, Ford showed off two new versions of its 2020 Ford Explorer that caused a lot of excitement. The first one is a more powerful, sporty version of the soccer mom SUV called the ST that’s with a twin turbo 3.0 liter EcoBoost engine good for 400 HP. The other version is probably more exciting to Gas 2 readers, though: it’s a hybrid! Surprisingly, this isn’t a boring, half-hearted, cynical PR-grab attempt at a hybrid, either. The 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid seems to be pretty well-sorted, and is projected to produce a combined three-hundred and eighteen horsepower and have a more than 500 mile range between fill-ups. That’s– that’s a lot of horsepower AND serious cruising range! Check out the press release from Ford below,...

2020 Jeep Renegade Hybrid Nearly Ready

The Jeep Renegade plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) that will be launched in early 2020 is inching closer to production. Currently, the Fiat Chrysler Melfi Plant in Italy is being readied for the production run. Pre-production copies will be made in 2019, before the final versions in 2020. €200 million is the amount reportedly invested in the new powertrain’s launch. “With over 742,000 Renegades produced to date in Italy, the Melfi plant and the Renegade are the ideal location and the perfect product to launch the PHEV, further strengthening the offer of this highly successful Jeep,” said FCA’s Pietro Gorlier. The subcompact Renegade PHEV has a rear-mounted electric motor for the rear wheels and retains the normal front-wheel drive. Details about the PHEV Renegade’s performance are sc...

LA 2018: Toyota Launches First AWD Prius

Whether it was through leaked technical drawings or fanciful renderings of our own making, we’ve been been predicting the coming of an all-wheel drive Toyota Prius for years. It never arrived– until last week’s LA Auto Show, that is, when Toyota took the wraps of the all-new Toyota Prius AWD! Well, it’s not ALL all-new. See, Toyota has been offering an AWD Prius in Japan since 2016. There, the system is called “e-Four” instead of “AWD-e” as it will be called here. Regardless, it works the same way– which is to say: it’s weird. In typical Prius fashion, AWD-e doesn’t have a conventional drive shaft from the front to the back axle. Instead, a second electric motor is installed at the back of the car. That motor provides extra ...

2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid Arrives in Dealerships

Sport Hybrid SUV. Three words calculated to appeal to an impressive Venn diagram of the American motoring public. Paired with a premium badge, 37% higher fuel efficiency, and not so premium hybrid upgrade cost, this seven passenger NSX cousin may be the large SUV hybrid to beat in 2019. And you can see one right now. The 2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid began arriving at Acura dealerships nationwide August 1st featuring four new exterior color options and new interior wood treatment. The 2019 MDX Sport Hybrid will open with a starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $52,800 (excluding $995 destination and handling). This price reflects only a modest price premium of $1,500 over the conventionally powered MDX SH-AWD® with Technology Package despite offering standard adaptiv...

Forbidden Fruit: Nissan Serena Hybrid Minivan

Meet the 2018 Nissan Serena. It’s a minivan, in the first-gen Nissan Quest/Mercury Villager sense of the word, with room for seven passengers, a number of different seating configurations, and massive cargo-hauling capability. More to our purposes, however, it is not “just” a minivan, but a hybrid minivan. A hybrid minivan that you can’t buy in the US. All of which is to say, of course, that I’m bringing back the old “Forbidden Fruit” series of articles. They were– well, they weren’t “much loved” by readers, usually. But I like writing them, so you people will have to ignore them or something. The Nissan Serena is powered by a 2.0 liter, direct injection engine tuned for maxuimum fuel economy. You get about 150 HP and 145 TQ...

Made in the USA: All-new 2019 Volvo S60

Earlier today, Volvo Cars took the wraps off the all-new 2019 Volvo S60 sedan. Built on the same award-winning scalable product architecture (SPA) platform as the award-winning, safest-ever new Volvo XC60, the S60 is expected to take the entry-luxe fight to BMW’s 3 series and Mercedes’ C class when it starts to reach dealers next year. We’ll have more on the new bread-and-butter Volvo as soon as we get one to drive– which will be soon enough. In the meantime, check out the official press release, below, and let us know what you think of the new S60 in the comments section at the bottom of the page.   Volvo Cars Launch New S60 Sports Sedan – the first Volvo Made in the USA Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, today revealed the new S60 mid-size premium sports seda...

Polestar 1 to Make its Goodwood Debut

The Volvo-developed Polestar 1 is a formidable coupe. Packing 600 electrified horsepower and nearly 740 lb-ft of torque into a lightweight carbon body shell and putting that power to the ground via all four wheels, it’s going to be a thriller– but when it makes its debut on Goodwood Hill later this summer, it will have a chance to be an iconic thriller. Polestar’s chief test driver, Joakim Rydholm, is certainly ready for the drive up the hill. “I am really looking forward to driving the prototype of Polestar 1 on Goodwood Hill,” he said, in an article featured in the Spanish-language Motorpasion. “Piloting this climb has been a personal ambition for a long time and we can do it in the same prototype in which we have invested months. and months of develop...

GM Pumps Up its Electrified Chinese Lineup

In the US, General Motors has two EVs for sale — the Chevy Volt and the Chevy Bolt. But in China, it has just doubled down on its electric car plans. According to Reuters, Matt Tsien, head of operations for GM in China, told the press in Shanghai this week the company plans to launch 10 more heavily electrified vehicle models in China between 2021 and 2023. It has already committed to offering 10 electrified models by 2020. “Clearly, we have a strategy in place and there is an implementation in place to do that,” Tsien said. The South China Morning Post reports that Tsien told the press, “China plays an essential role in the world’s drive towards a zero-emissions future.” He added that GM will continue to work with the government and suppliers to create higher awareness of electric cars in...

McLaren to Focus on Future Hybrids, not SUVs

Tony Joseph has an absolutely awesome job. He’s the president of McLaren North America. As such, he knows a thing or two about McLaren’s future products- and, thankfully, that product lineup includes more P1-style hybrids, and zero hulking SUVs. “We (McLaren) have been a company in existence for a long time prior to automotive and we’re a profitable company, so there’s really no need to go into SUVs,” Joseph told Automotive News during an interview last week, referring to the company’s long history as a racing team. “We want to concentrate just on two-seat sports cars and be known as the iconic sports car company.” Joseph seemed to confirm that the company had plans to announce as many as fifteen new models or derivatives over the next ...

Geely Bo Rui is First Look at Volvo Mild Hybrid Tech

Volvo’s parent company, Geely, really stepped up its game in China with the launch of the all-new Geely Bo Rui GE. The Bo Rui (pronounced “bow-ray”) does more than represent a new chapter for Geely, however. It also represents a new chapter for Volvo, since it’s one of the first vehicles to make use of Volvo’s all-new PHEV and MHEV technology. That’s because the new Bo Rui is built using the same CMA architecture found in the award-winning Volvo XC40. That’s significant for us here in the US, too, because it’s our first glimpse at the brand-wide electrification that’s set to happen from 2019 on. The MHEV– or, Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle— makes use of a 48-volt belt-driven starter generator (BSG) that is linked to a small ba...

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