Tag Archives: hybrids

Milestones – Toyota Motor Sells 4 Million Hybrid Vehicles

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) in Japan announced today that its global hybrid vehicle sales totaled four million vehicles through April 2012. of that 1.5 million Toyota hybrids have been sold in the United States where it dominates the advanced technology vehicle market by outselling all other hybrid and electric vehicles combined. Toyota in the U.S. now holds 65% of the hybrid market, with the Prius a line accounting for 1.2 million vehicles year-to-date. Continue reading

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April Sales at Toyota Motor up 12%. Honda and Nissan Flat

The strong April sales performance at Toyota Motor Sales brought it to within a rounding error to surpass a slumping Ford Motor Company for the Number Two ranking in U.S. auto sales. TMS was only 1,614 units behind Ford Motor, according to numbers from the consultancy AutoData. Continue reading

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Cadillac ELR Coupe Coming Using Chevrolet Volt Technology

General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson announced plans today the new Cadillac ELR luxury electric coupe to China. The announcement of the first extended range electric vehicle from Cadillac in China shows just how significant the world’s largest auto market has become to all automakers. The question now is where the ELR will debut first – the U.S. where it was developed and Cadillac’s home market or China? Continue reading

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Acura 2013 ILX Compact Starts at $26,795 this May

The hot selling Civic costs several thousand dollars less, but if you think this car is cool then you will fork over the extra money for what Acura hopes will be perceived as “smart luxury.” Continue reading

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DOE Gives EV Supplier UQM More Time on ARRAS Grant

The politically contentious American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contained billions upon billions in taxpayer funding to businesses though a number of Recovery Act and related programs, including loans, loan guarantees, grants, contracts and tax incentives, in partnership with the Department of Treasury. In total, CBO estimates that the legislation will increase budget deficits by about $831 billion over the 2009–2019 period. Continue reading

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Honda to Recycle Rare Earth Metals from Nickel-Metal Hydride Batteries in World’s First Mass Production Process

Honda previously had been applying a heat treatment to used nickel-metal hydride batteries and then recycling nickel-containing scrap as a raw material for stainless steel. Now, the successful stabilization of the extraction process at a Japan Metals plant makes possible the extraction of rare earth metals with what’s said to be purity as high as that of newly mined and refined metals. Rare earth metals are in high demand and short supply. Since they are critical for the production of electric motors, demand will grow as the production of hybrids and EVs increase at automakers. Right now China controls 90% of the world’s supply of rare earth metals, and exports are tightly regulated. Continue reading

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Toyota Starts Sub-Compact Yaris Hybrid Production in France

Toyota Motor Manufacturing France began production today of an all-new Yaris Hybrid. This means that TMMF is the first French and first European auto plant to produce full hybrid vehicles for the high-volume sub-compact B-segment. Continue reading

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Colorado Volt Buyers Eligible for $13,500 in Taxpayer Subsidies

The core environmental problem here is an economic one. The slow selling $40,000 Volt – even with subsidies – remains overpriced and not competitive in the marketplace. No wonder that the Volt plant in Michigan is currently down for five weeks. More troubling is the sales of the smaller Prius c hybrid. In the first three days since the small Prius c went on sale this month it sold 1,201 units, bypassing sales of the much more expensive – two times the price – Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf for the entire month of February. Continue reading

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Electric Sales for Prius C Hybrid after Three Days

While Detroit Three Automakers concentrate on increasing the transaction prices of their new models, Toyota Motor Sales is proving that price matters. In the first three days since the small Prius C went on sale it sold 1,201 units, bypassing sales of the much more expensive – two times the price – Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf for the entire month of February. The Volt plant in Detroit suspends production for five weeks starting next Monday because of slow sales. Continue reading

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Buick Drops Base Regal Model in 2013. E-Assist Now Standard

Starting with 2013 models this fall, E-Assist will be standard on the mid-size Buick Regal with the discontinuation of the 2.4-liter base model. It is the second mild-hybrid to join the Buick lineup as standard equipment following the full size … Continue reading

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2012 Toyota Prius C Hybrid Priced from $19,610 to $25,140

Though relatively high prices for a sub-compact car in the U.S., Toyota is betting that the hatchback with an EPA-estimated 53/46/50 city/highway/combined mpg along with Toyota’s unquestioned leadership in hybrid vehicles will be sufficient to make the car a success. Notably, the highway rating leads all cars except plug-in hybrids, which benefit in the ratings from credits when they run on electricity. Even the base Prius C model is loaded with equipment as an added incentive to spur sales. Continue reading

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Toyota Camry Hybrid Prices Cut $850 to $1,150 for 2012

The revised hybrid-electric powertrain, like other 2012 Camry models has a newly-developed 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Toyota says that improved electric motor-voltage control, optimized regenerative braking, and reduce parasitic losses in the transaxle are key to the ratings. Reduced vehicle weight and improved aerodynamics are also factors in the class-leading fuel economy ratings. Continue reading

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50 MPG Predicted for Toyota Prius c Hybrid

While not priced yet, expect the Prius c to sell for around $22,000, which is likely how Toyota will define entry level or an affordable price. In spite of fuel economy benefits, hybrids remain a tiny portion of the U.S. auto market – a little over 2% of sales YTD – because mainstream buyers refuse to pay a premium amounting to several thousand dollars over a comparable gasoline-fueled car. Continue reading

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Ford Taking Orders for 2012 Focus Electric at $39,995

No lease is available, so a typical payment to buy – with $4,000 down for 48 months – is almost $800 per month at Ford’s 7% interest rate. The gasoline Focus starts at just over $17,000. This means that the sales volume of the EV will likely be limited to a few enthusiasts. And Focus Electric also faces tough competition from the Nissan Leaf, which can be leased for about $400 a month. Continue reading

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2012 Honda Insight Hybrid Ups Fuel Economy at Under $20,000

Honda’s latest attempt to catch Toyota Prius, the undisputed hybrid sales leader, results in an updated 2012 Insight hybrid with revised exterior and interior styling, as well as an improved EPA fuel economy rating of 1 mpg. The new Insight’s city/highway/combined EPA fuel economy rating of 41/44/42 mpg, is up from 40/43/41 on the outgoing Insight hybrid model.

More significant is the price as Insights are just now arriving in dealerships. Honda continues to offer the highest EPA fuel economy rating of any new vehicle currently available with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting under $20,000, which is really $19,120 for the base Insight delivered, plus state and local taxes. Continue reading

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