How many electric cars can we pack onto the road? Among other factors, it depends on how fast we can scale production. Elon Musk, the man behind Tesla, is now calling for “gigafactories” to build batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles.
Audi presented a four-door concept car at the Beijing International Automobile Exhibition, showcasing the brilliance of combining the efficacy of a compact SUV with the sportiness of a coupe. While Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development, would like us to believe that this concept is a glimpse of how future TT models would be, we would still like to focus on details such as the plug-in hybrid drive with two electric motors and consumption of 1.9 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers.
Bentley is set to show off its hybrid car concept at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition on April 20. The hybrid vehicle that will on display at the show is based on the Mulsanne, which is the top of the line vehicle that Bentley produces. Bentley won’t be offering the Mulsanne in a hybrid version anytime soon. It's simply the test bed for showing off the plug-in hybrid technology.
BMW's i8 hybrid supercar will start reaching preorder customers in June, with the German marque finalizing the 362HP powertrain ahead of production kicking off in April. Demand during presales - open since fall 2013 - has already exceeded BMW's expected ramp-up production, the company says, despite the not-inconsiderable $132k+ sticker price.
Volkswagen has officially unveiled the new plug-in hybrid Golf GTE compact car. The GTE has an all-electric driving range of 31 miles. The car is rated for combined fuel economy of 157 mpg in the European Driving Cycle. In addition to being green, the car should offer nice performance as well.
Fisker was one of the auto manufacturers that received huge loans from the US federal government to create green vehicles. Things started going bad for Fisker last summer when it laid off a massive number of its workers and the federal government pulled the firms remaining loan funds leaving the company unable to operate. In November of last year, Fisker entered bankruptcy.
Audi may give its eye-catching Sport Quattro concept the green light to hit production, the company's chief engineer has teased, though the show car's 700HP V8 hybrid engine is unlikely to make it to forecourts. The slope-backed all-wheel-drive concept was first shown off at the Frankfurt auto show last year, as well as at CES 2014 in January, with Audi describing any production potential likely seeing the Sport Quattro positioned as a "boutique" model with a price tag in the region of $160k+; now, though, there's chatter of an altogether more realistic positioning for the car.
Honda has outed a pair of alternative fuel Civic models for 2014, tapping hybrid and natural gas power to boost mileage to as much as 47mpg. The 2014 Civic Hybrid hits forecourts today, also debuting a number of aerodynamic tweaks, a new fuel pump and ignition coil, and higher-efficiency regenerative braking - which feeds power back into the batteries when the car is slowing - which help it hit a 44/47/45 mpg trio for city/highway/combined driving.
For a long time the Toyota Prius was one of the few viable hybrid vehicles on the road. That meant that the car was rather unique compared to other cars on the market. With just about every automaker out there offering hybrid vehicles now and some of them being more efficient than the Prius, that unique selling point is getting lost.
Volvo has high hopes for 2014, glowing from a multi-billion investment after its break-up from Ford, and with a new engine architecture, Drive-E, for its refreshed best-sellers, the S60, V60, and XC60. They're important models for the Swedish car company, together expected to comprise 80-percent of Volvo's sales this year, but what's under the hood is arguably more of a game-changer. We grabbed the keys to all three to see whether a 4-cylinder engine can really deliver the best of a V6, and to see if Volvo stands a chance in coercing Audi buyers to swap their brand loyalties.