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Like the previous generation Cayenne, Porsche has included an electrified version to bring greater efficiency and performance to its 2019 crossover SUV. It features a completely re-engineered hybrid powertrain compared to its predecessor, the Cayenne S E-Hybrid, using the third new hybrid powertrain from Porsche since just 2017. The 2019 Cayenne E-Hybrid is distinguished from its gasoline counterpart with Acid Green brake calipers and matching outlines around all of the model’s badges, aligning it with other current Porsche plug-in hybrid models.

Porsche’s third-generation Cayenne features new styling cues that lend a more athletic appearance and a lighter weight body courtesy of extensive use of aluminum. It also rides on a lighter weight chassis and incorporates other innovative lightweighting strategies, such a lithium-ion polymer starter battery that brings an additional 22-pound weight reduction on its own.

porsche-cayenne-cabinPower is provided by a 3.0-liter turbo engine offering 335 horsepower and 332 lb-ft torque. The plug-in hybrid powertrain is augmented by a 134 horsepower electric motor boasting 295 lb-ft torque, with the combination delivering 455 total system horsepower and 516 lb-ft torque. The result is exceptional performance featuring 0-60 mph acceleration of 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 157 mph. Power is delivered to the road via an eight-speed Tiptronic S transmission.

Four drive modes allow tailoring the driving experience. E-Power mode allows driving on battery power alone an estimated 20+ miles. An all-new Hybrid Auto mode uses gas and/or electric power to achieve optimum efficiency. E Hold conserves the battery’s current state-of-charge for use at a desired time later in the drive, such as in urban areas. E-Charge mode directs the gas engine to generate more power than needed for driving to charge the battery.

porsche-cayenne-e-hybrid-frontThe E-Hybrid is equipped with a liquid-cooled, 14.1 kWh lithium battery with about 30 percent more energy than the previous Cayenne S E-Hybrid. The additional battery power is the result of greater energy density so the size of the battery has not increased. It can be charged from a fully-depleted state with the E-Hybrid’s optional 7.2 kW on-board charger and a 220-volt power source in just over two hours, and with the standard 3.6 kW on-board charger in just under 8 hours.

Porsche’s new InnoDrive is featured in the Cayenne E-Hybrid. The system combines onboard map data and existing traffic sensing systems to look ahead 1.8 miles, allowing it to determine the best balance of gas and electric power for upcoming corners and changes in grade.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EVChevrolet’s milestone Bolt EV will be coming to showrooms in late 2016 as a 2017 model, representing the first truly affordable battery electric vehicle with a sought-after 200 mile driving range. This is a big win for Chevrolet since the Bolt beats the 200 mile Tesla Model 3 to market, likely by a long shot. Unlike the Chevy Spark EV, an adaptation of a gasoline-powered model that’s been available in select markets since 2013, the Bolt EV was designed from the ground-up as an electric vehicle. Thus, there are no compromises along the way.

The heart of the Bolt EV is a nickel-rich lithium-ion battery pack developed with LG Electronics. The 200 mile range provided by this pack is about twice that of competitive EVs now on the market. New battery chemistry delivers desired levels of power, in this case 160 kW, and energy of 60 kWh. The chemistry also provides improved thermal performance that requires a smaller active thermal conditioning system to keep the battery operating at its optimum temperature, delivering longer battery life and maintaining peak performance under varying climates and driver demands.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EVThe battery pack consists of 288 lithium-ion cells in a configuration that spans the entire floor to maximize interior space. The five-door Bolt EV seats five passengers and has 16.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat. Thin-frame seats enhance rear-seat roominess.

A standard 7.2 kilowatt onboard charger allows overnight charging from a 240 volt wall charger. A typical commute of 50 miles requires a charge of less than two hours. The Bolt also features an optional SAE Combo DC fast charging connector so the battery can be charged to deliver up to 90 miles of range in just 30 minutes at a public fast charger, if one is available.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EVElectricity is supplied to a 200 horsepower drive motor featuring 266 lb-ft torque that delivers 0-60 mph acceleration under 7 seconds and a top speed of 91 mph. Power delivery is controlled by Chevrolet’s first Electronic Precision Shift system. This shift and park-by-wire system sends electronic signals to the Bolt EV’s drive unit to manage precise feel and delivery of power and torque based on drive mode selection and accelerator inputs. A by-wire shifter requires less packaging space than a traditional mechanical shifter resulting in more interior space and improved interior layout.

Regenerative braking has become more than a means to boost range by recapturing energy. Now it can also can provide an improved EV driving experience. The Bolt EV has a new regenerative braking system that can provide one pedal driving through a combination of increased regenerative deceleration and software controls. When operating in Low mode or by holding the Regen-on-Demand paddle located on the back of the steering wheel, a driver can bring the vehicle to a complete stop under most circumstances by simply lifting their foot off the accelerator. However, the system does not eliminate the need to use the brake pedal altogether. Operating in Drive mode without pulling the paddle while decelerating requires using the brake pedal to stop.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EVhe Bolt EV will offer connectivity and infotainment technologies that seamlessly integrate smartphones and other electronic devices. Low energy Bluetooth, designed specifically for the Bolt EV to minimize energy usage, seamlessly connects a smartphone to the car as an owner approaches the vehicle. Many of the Bolt’s technologies are supported by OnStar 4G LTE, which turns the Bolt EV into a Wi-Fi hotspot that provides easier access to apps and services via a high-speed wireless connection.

Additional connectivity and infotainment features include a 10.2-inch MyLink color touchscreen display, rear camera mirror, and Surround Vision that provides a bird’s-eye view around the Bolt for improved safety during low-speed driving and while parking. An all-new MyChevrolet Mobile App combines important owner and vehicle information and functions including battery charge status, OnStar Map service, remote start, cabin pre-conditioning, owner’s manual information, and dealer service scheduling. EV-specific navigation capability provides routes that maximize range and while identifying nearby charging locations. In the future an accurate driving range projection will be based on the time of day, topography, weather, and an owner’s driving habits.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EVThe Bolt will be built at GM’s Orion, Michigan assembly facility while its battery pack, motor, and drive components will come from Korea. Its price is expected to be $37,500, a figure that dips below $30,000 after full federal tax credits.

 

todd-kaho-leftDiesel haters seem to be overly anxious to pile-on and shout ‘death to diesels’ these days. It’s human nature to take offense at being fooled and the diesel market certainly is paying the price of the recent emissions scandal. Serious deception took place and it’s far from forgotten, even as corrections are underway or being explored. The green car market is very competitive so it’s not surprising that some supporting alternative transportation technologies are quick to point the finger.

Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum, responded to a story entitled “The Dirty Truth About Clean Diesel” in The New York Times with the following statement, which the Times ran in its Opinion pages. “Here are the facts about diesel straight from the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board: Clean diesel technology and fuels have reduced particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 98 percent, and sulfur content by 97 percent. The American Lung Association cites clean diesel fleets as one of the two primary reasons for improved air quality in the United States.”

Personally, I’ve owned a diesel powered Ford pickup for many years and its overall capability and economy are simply hard to replace. Consider that nearly every product we touch on a daily basis – from the food on our table to the consumer products we all rely on – are harvested and/or transported by diesel powered trucks, trains, and ships. Diesel is an important part of our infrastructure and without it the cost of all goods and services would certainly increase.

I don’t mind admitting I’m still a fan of advanced diesel. I find it discouraging that just as smaller next-generation diesel passenger vehicles were gaining momentum in the North American market, this distrust has many questioning diesel’s place in the automotive landscape. As far as the driving experience goes, it is tough to beat the satisfying torque that a modern diesel delivers. When combined with advanced transmissions they are quite fun to drive.

With EPA federal rules requiring significantly better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions by 2025, next-generation diesel should be a key player in achieving these goals. A primary advantage of diesel has always been superior fuel economy. A diesel will generally deliver 30 percent higher fuel economy than a comparable gasoline model. That huge bump in mileage also brings a significant decrease in CO2 emissions.

b20-powerstroke-emblemPlus, it’s important to note that the more advanced diesels on the road, the greater the potential use of even cleaner-burning biodiesel, a renewable diesel fuel replacement that has experienced significant growth over the past decade.

The road back to diesel acceptance will likely come first in the light truck and sport utility vehicle market with more light-duty diesel pickups and luxury SUVs moving forward. Good examples are the recent introduction of the 5.0-liter V-8 Cummins turbo diesel in the new Nissan Titan and 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder turbo diesel in the mid-size Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon. Want something a little more exotic? Land Rover and Range Rover are now offering models with their Td6 next-generation diesel, with other automakers also introducing newer, more efficient, and cleaner diesel models as well.

We hope to see lower-priced, high mileage next-generation diesel models in the near future to fill the void in the small car market.

vw-jetta-tdi-dieselVW and Audi are returning their Green Car of the Year® awards in the wake of Volkswagen Group’s admission that it deliberately deceived government authorities about emissions from the Audi A3 TDI and VW Jetta TDI. Concurrently, Green Car Journal has rescinded these Green Car of the Year® awards honoring the 2009 VW Jetta TDI and 2010 Audi A3 TDI diesel models. This is the first time this has occurred in the award program’s decade-long history.

The magazine points out that these models were selected as Green Car of the Year® for compelling reasons including high fuel efficiency, reduced carbon emissions, a fun-to-drive nature, and the ability to meet 50 state emissions requirements with advanced diesel technology. However, as VW Group has now admitted, its on-board software programming intentionally caused in-lab emissions testing to read significantly lower nitrogen oxide emissions than these vehicles actually produced on the road. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board emissions certifications used in the process of determining award eligibility were thus incorrect, and have since been declared invalid by these government agencies. This means both models would have been ineligible to be finalists in their respective award years.

In returning its award, Audi of America President Scott Keogh advised the magazine, “Audi has won hundreds of races and thousands of awards throughout its history. But we only want to win fair and square. Therefore, in light of recent developments, we believe the only right thing to do is to return this important recognition of environmental stewardship. We are determined to compete – and hopefully win – Green Car of the Year® awards the proper way in future years.”

2009-vw-jetta-tdi-engineGreen Car Journal points out that the award rescission and unfortunate news surrounding Volkswagen Group's wrongdoing should not cast a negative light on advanced diesel technology in general. Many diesel models from a variety of auto manufacturers meet EPA and CARB emissions standards, bringing with them higher fuel efficiency, decreased petroleum use, and lower carbon emissions – all important environmental goals. Many are also approved for use with renewable biodiesel fuel.

The annual Green Car of the Year® award recognizes the vehicle model that best raises the bar in environmental performance. Efficiency, EPA/CARB certified emissions, and overall environmental improvement are considered along with market significance, value, and widespread availability to consumers. Recent Green Car of the Year® winners include the 2015 BMW i3; 2014 Honda Accord, including gas, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid variants; and 2013 Ford Fusion, including gas, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid models.

A steady stream of advanced powertrains, new fuel-efficient systems like stop/start, and more alternative fuels have helped raise fuel economy to new heights in recent years, but the latest breakthrough in energy-efficient cars may surprise you: safety technology. 

Photo Taken by Ralph Alswang email:ralswang@aol.com 202-745-0455You got it. Safety equals green. New safety systems are fuel economy game-changers, because fewer crashes mean less congestion, less fuel use, and fewer carbon emissions.

Recently in a white paper on autonomous vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted that “Vehicle control systems that automatically accelerate and brake with the flow of traffic can conserve fuel more efficiently than the average driver. By eliminating a large number of vehicle crashes, highly effective crash avoidance technologies can reduce fuel consumption by also eliminating the traffic congestion that crashes cause every day on our roads.”

NHTSA is referring to a new generation of energy-saving, life-saving technologies on our roads – and often these systems are money-saving and time-saving, too.

Real-time navigation in cars helps drivers keep their eyes on the road while diverting them around traffic. The Texas Transportation Institute estimates that, in 2011, congestion in 498 metropolitan areas caused Americans to travel 5.5 billion hours more and buy an extra 2.9 billion gallons of fuel, for a congestion cost of $121 billion.

Adaptive cruise control is a new driver assist that automatically keeps a safe distance from the car ahead, keeping traffic running smoothly. A report by MIT estimates that a 20 percent reduction in accelerations and decelerations should lead to a 5 percent reduction in fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that 25 percent of congestion is attributable to traffic incidents, around half of which are crashes. Sophisticated automatic braking technology helps drivers avoid crashes, and fewer fender benders improve fuel economy since drivers spend less time idling in traffic.

In the future, autonomous cars may enhance road safety while giving us a leg up on fuel efficiency. After analyzing government data, Morgan Stanley observed, “To be conservative, we assume an autonomous car can be 30 percent more efficient than an equivalent non-autonomous car. Empirical tests have demonstrated that level of fuel savings from cruise control use/smooth driving styles alone. If we were to reduce the nation’s $535 billion gasoline bill by 30 percent that would save us $158 billion.”

With all these benefits, clearly the traditional definition of ‘fuel economy’ is restrictive and counter-productive. We can achieve much more with a broader view. Here’s how.

The federal government established a national fuel economy/greenhouse gas program with the ambitious goal to nearly double fuel economy by 2025. Our compliance is based on the fuel efficiency of what we sell, not what we offer for sale. While consumers have more choices than ever in energy-efficient automobiles, if they don’t buy them in large volumes, we fall short. So we will need every technology available to make this steep climb.

We can still squeeze more fuel savings from safety and congestion-mitigation technologies, but these systems reduce fuel use in ways not apparent in government mileage tests so the government doesn’t consider them towards meeting federal standards.

The federal government should recognize the real-world fuel economy improvements from these safety technologies. In fact, the government can encourage their deployment by allowing automakers to count the demonstrated fuel economy benefits of these safety technologies towards meeting their compliance with the federal fuel economy program.

While automakers don’t advocate speeding, we are urging regulators to put the pedal to the metal on this priority. More rapid adoption of these new technologies will help keep drivers safer, avoid traffic congestion, save time, save money, and reduce fuel use.

Mitch Bainwol is president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, www.autoalliance.org

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The San Antonio Auto & Truck Show has a big interest in trucks. After all, we’re talking Texas. Now ‘green’ is gaining even more emphasis at the show with Green Car Journal’s inaugural Green Truck of the Year™ award.

Green Car Journal has presented its coveted Green Car of the Year® award in Los Angeles for the past decade, recognizing the best and the brightest vehicles with improved environmental performance. The Green Truck of the Year™ award program in San Antonio is a natural complement. Trucks are a high-profile part of the San Antonio Auto & Truck Show and Texas is the largest truck market in the nation, making this an ideal venue for this new high-profile award.

In selecting the program’s five finalists, Green Car Journal editors consider all potential truck models in the U.S. market, weighing environmental attributes alongside traditional touchstones that define what makes a great pickup, such as functionality, versatility, safety, value, and style. The 2015 Green Truck of the Year™ winner is selected from these five finalists by a Green Truck of the Year™ jury comprised of automotive experts and Green Car Journal staff.

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Trucks are no strangers to Green Car Journal. The magazine’s editors and writers have deep backgrounds with trucks, having served on staff at enthusiast truck publications during their careers. They have owned sport trucks, work trucks, custom trucks, and off-road trucks so they know what's important to truck buyers, just as they know the importance of 'green' features in the trucks of our future.

The 46th annual San Antonio Auto & Truck Show will take place on November 6-9, 2014 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas, with the 2015 Green Truck of the Year™ announced during the show's media day on November 6. Presented by the San Antonio Automobile Dealers Association, the show highlights the auto industry’s newest innovations and provides a ‘one-stop shop’ for evaluating the latest cars, trucks, and technologies. It is recognized as South Texas’ premier automotive event.

hyundai-tucson-fuel-cell-front-1Many believe that the ultimate goal for electric transportation is the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV), with battery electric vehicles being just a step along the way. Hyundai is skipping this step and concentrating on developing and marketing FCVs.  The automaker notes that affordable electric vehicle technology is best suited to smaller urban vehicles, not to larger family and utility vehicles that many families require to meet all of their needs.

To that end, Hyundai is poised to offer its next-generation Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle in Southern California Hyundai dealers starting sometime this spring. Production is taking place at the automaker’s Ulsan plant in Korea. Hyundai already began production of the ix35 Fuel Cell, the Tucson’s equivalent in Europe, at Ulsan in January 2013. Since the Ulsan plant builds the gasoline-powered Tucson CUV, this allows Hyundai to take advantage of both the high quality and cost-efficiency of its popular gasoline-powered Tucson platform.

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Hyundai’s third-generation fuel cell vehicle features significant improvements over its predecessor, including a 50 percent increase in driving range and 15 percent better fuel efficiency. The Tucson and ix35 Fuel Cell are equipped with a 100 kilowatt electric motor, allowing a top speed just shy of 100 mph. Instantaneous 221 lb-ft torque from the electric motor means spritely acceleration.

Sufficient hydrogen for an approximate 370 mile range is stored in two hydrogen tanks. Refueling is accomplished in less than 10 minutes, providing daily utility comparable with its gasoline counterpart. Electrical energy is stored in a 24 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer battery that’s been jointly developed with LG Chemical. The fuel cell reliably starts in temperatures as low as -20 degrees C (-4 degrees F). Unlike battery electric vehicles there is minimal capacity decrease at very low temperatures.

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Hyundai’s fuel cell fleet has completed over two million durability test miles since 2000. Extensive crash, fire, and leak testing have been successfully completed. Hyundai says that high reliability and long-term durability come as a matter of course with the power-generating fuel cell stack, which has no internal moving parts.

The Hyundai Fuel Cell will be leased for $499 per month on a 36 month term, with $2,999 down. This includes unlimited free hydrogen refueling and At Your Service Valet Maintenance at no extra cost. Hyundai will initially offer the Tucson Fuel Cell in the Los Angeles/Orange County areas at four dealerships that will have hydrogen refueling capability.  The automaker says that availability will expand to other regions of the country consistent with the accelerating deployment of hydrogen refueling stations.

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Hyundai is also partnering with Enterprise Rent-A-Car to rent the Tucson Fuel Cell at select locations in the initial lease regions. This will allow interested consumers to evaluate the Tucson Fuel Cell for their lifestyles on a multi-day basis. Rentals are also planned sometime this spring.

Computer and communication technologies are proving important in helping motorists drive more intelligently and efficiently. These high-tech strategies are increasingly being used to complement the fuel economy and emissions reductions brought by improved powerplants and vehicle electrification. On the way to the federally mandated fleet fuel economy average of 54.5 mpg, all strategies and efficiency technologies become important.

Like many other automakers,  the BMW Group is investing large amounts in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technologies to make traveling  more efficient, safer, and more convenient. Recently, the BMW Group presented some of its latest innovations that are part of its BMW ConnectedDrive.

BMW's Mobility Assistant, currently being tested in Berlin, can help travelers chose the best way of traveling to a destination, especially in a congested city. This iPhone app can provide information on a variety of transportation options. When a destination is entered, the Mobility Assistant displays various routes to reach the destination cost-effectively and quickly – whether by car, public transportation, or a combination of modes.

Finding a place to park can waste fuel and time. BMW's ParkatmyHouse and ParkNow provide an answer by making it easier to locate parking spaces. ParkatmyHouse is for entrepreneurs and homeowners who want to rent parking spaces, with ParkatmyHouse parking spaces at more than 20,000 locations in the United Kingdom and over 150,000 registered drivers using them. With ParkNow, drivers can book parking spaces in advance through the ParkNow website or by using the ParkNow App for smart phones. There are currently 14 ParkNow locations in the San Francisco area.

The ability to travel in city traffic without constantly stopping and starting at traffic lights means calmer and safer driving while saving fuel and reducing emissions. BMW's Traffic Light Assistant communicates with traffic lights to obtain and evaluate their timing, and then informs a driver about the optimum speed to match traffic light timing. For instance, if the light at the next intersection is projected to be red if the driver doesn't change speed, the driver would be informed early enough to brake smoothly.

Getting stuck in a traffic jam can waste lots of fuel, not to mention being a source of frustration and  even lead to road rage incidents. ConnectedDrive-equipped BMWs with RTTI (Real Time Traffic Information) provides drivers with the latest information about traffic conditions, enabling drivers to select routes with less congestion, thus saving time, emissions, and fuel.      

Updated every three minutes, RTTI indicates five levels of traffic flow including flowing normally,  slow-moving traffic, heavy traffic, congested, or gridlocked.

BMW is also developing BMW ConnectedRide, a version of BMW ConnectedDrive for BMW motorcycles. Currently, the emphasis is on safety with features like Left Turn Assistant, Traffic Light Assistant, Collision Warning, and Traffic Sign Recognition. The motorcyclist would be alerted about adverse weather conditions like fog, rain, snow, and ice, which are all much greater hazards for motorcycle riders. The cyclist could also be warned about other hazards like an oil slick, loose gravel, potholes, or an obstacle in the road. Warnings could be presented via a heads-up display in the windscreen.