US Won’t Reach Goal of 1 Million EVs in 2015

US Won’t Reach Goal of 1 Million EVs in 2015 In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama said he wanted the U.S. to become the first country with one million plug-in electrified vehicles (PEVs) on the road, targeting the end of this year for his goal.
With fewer than 300,000 plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles sold since then, but, it appears the country will fall small.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said he remains optimistic, but, that the country isn’t far from hitting the 1-million mark.
“We’re going to be a few years after the president’s aspirational goal of the end of 2015, but I reckon that we are within a few years of reaching that goal,” Moniz told the Detroit News last week.
Between 2011 and 2014, green car analyst Alan Baum says 295,322 electrified vehicles have been sold. This total includes both plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
Moniz had hoped for a quicker decrease in costs, encouraging more patrons to consider EVs. Gas prices have also place a damper on sales of alternative-fuel vehicles, with gasoline dropping below $2.00 a gallon for the first time in six years.
SEE ALSO: California Leads the Way in Electric Vehicle Sales
In 2011, the president’s office recognized that a goal of one million electrified vehicles was ambitious, but had plotting strategic financial help would encourage more patrons to buy EVs.
“While it appears that the goal is within reach in stipulations of production room, initial costs and lack of familiarity with the technology could be barriers. For that reason, President Obama has proposed steps to accelerate America’s leadership in electric vehicle deployment, including improvements to existing consumer tax credits, programs to help cities prepare for growing demand for electric vehicles and strong support for research and development,” stated a 2011 report from the Department of Energy.
The report estimated that 120,000 Chevrolet Volts would sell each year, with 505,000 sold by the end of 2015. The predicted five-year total for Nissan Leaf was 300,000 units. Sales from Fisker Karma, Ford, Tesla, Navistar, Smith Electric and Reckon City were included in the forecast.
In actuality, only 55,357 PHEV and 63,325 BEVs sold in 2014, diminishing far small of the report’s predicted 368,000 for the year. In this area 18,800 Volts sold last year (a decrease of 4,300 from the year before). Leaf increased its market share with 30,000 sales, and Tesla placed third with 16,550 sales of the Model S. Electrified vehicles from Ford, Toyota, BMW, Cadillac, Honda, Porsche, Mercedes, Smart, Volkswagen, Fiat and Mitsubishi accounted for remaining units.
Production for Fisker’s plug-in hybrid is still on hold, but. The 2011 report had predicted that the company would add 85,000 units to the 2014 sales forecast.
The Detroit News

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Nissan e-NV200 Named ‘Best Green Van’

Nissan e-NV200 Named ‘Best Green Van’ Nissan’s all-electric e-NV200 van is proving well loved choice-wise in the UK.
The electric van received last week its sixth diligence choice in as many months, winning the Best Green Van honor at the Business Van of the Year awards in London, held by the Business Van magazine.
Nissan stated the model won at the independent awards after being place through its paces by an outside panel of expert judges. Their verdict, added Nissan, chains that of the wider motoring media, which has bestowed a string of highly regarded awards on the van since its launch in the summer.
SEE ALSO: Taxi Duties For Nissan e-NV200
In December, the e-NV200 won What Van? magazine’s Green Choice; it has also been named Diligence Innovation of the Year by GreenFleet, LCV of the Year by Next Green Car and has helped Nissan obtain the ULEV Manufacturer of the Year title at the Energy Saving Trust’s Fleet Hero awards; it also received the Green Van Manufacturer of the Year title at the Fleet Van Awards.
“Going green has by no means been so simple,” said Ralph Morton, Editorial Director at Business Van. “The electric e-NV200 is just like the standard NV200 except it costs just two pence per mile to run, has a range in excess of 100 miles, is emission free, and still manages to grant an uncompromising flat load-space stump that takes two Europallets and a 703kg payload. It’s a brilliant achievement and the van to change the perception of the electric van – it’s practical, green, cost effective all in one.”

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Porsche Planning Tesla Fighting EV For As Soon As 2016

Porsche Planning Tesla Fighting EV For As Soon As 2016 If a German-language report is right, Porsche is developing its first dedicated all-electric Tesla competitor, the Pajun.
According to Auto Motor und Sport, “there is speculation” the Pajun will be on the market by 2016.
The Pajun, called by some a “baby Panamera” has been reported upon previously, but rather than receiving a multitude of powertrain options, this one is said to be going honest EV.
It will thus be a less vital four-passenger vehicle than the Panamera S E-Hybrid, and the assumption according to the report is Porsche believes in four years’ time, battery tech will be at a level of development to produce range estimated between 217-249 miles (350-400 km).
“Apparently, Porsche expects that in four years, the battery technology is so advanced that ranges from at least 350 to 400 kilometers is possible,” says a Google version of the German text which doesn’t quite contest up with: “There is speculation that should be on the market in 2016, is now plotted as a pure electric and Tesla competitor.”
The version of the German report is thus ambiguous speaking of this range four years’ from now, as 2016 is only one year away, so would Porsche launch with less range, or is up-to 250 miles on the table for launch?
At any rate, given Tesla’s Model S already has this range, the unspoken assumption is newer tech or cheaper batteries will enable the business case and engineering for the new EV to Porsche’s satisfaction.
The Pajun is expected to be otherwise a sporty car with lessons folded in from the Panamera line which is also due for refresh.
Specs like top speed, and 0-60 – and beyond doubt not price – were not reported.
Auto Motor und Sport via AutoGuide

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Toyota’s Bob Carter Rebuts Elon Musk’s Comments Against Fuel Cell Vehicles

Toyota’s Bob Carter Rebuts Elon Musk’s Comments Against Fuel Cell Vehicles Toyota has for a while heard criticism against “fool cells,” as Tesla CEO Elon Musk called them last June, and this week Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations Bob Carter answered Musk’s newest panning of the technology. Read more

Retrofit Powertrain Sales Grow for Wrightspeed

Retrofit Powertrain Sales Grow for Wrightspeed Wrightspeed’s aftermarket microturbine-powered plug-in series hybrid powertrain is quick momentum, with more orders and a new gift plotted in the immediate future.
The company’s main product is the Route, a retrofit Range-extended Electric Vehicle (REV) powertrain built for commercial vehicles. Typical applications include medium-duty trucks, such as delivery trucks, and heavy-duty purpose-built vehicles, like garbage trucks.
In the last year, Wrightspeed has received 42 orders to retrofit trucks with FedEx and recycling company Ratto Assemble. According to USA Today, founder Ian Wright now plans to relocate the company from its original 30,000 plant-square foot (opened five years ago in San Jose, Calif.) to an airplane hangar outside of Oakland that’s more than three-times the size. In the next three years, Wright predicts that the company will grow from 23 employees to more than 200.
SEE ALSO: Wrightspeed Combines Gas Turbine And Batteries For Huge Fuel Savings
The need for aftermarket powertrains already exists, clarified Wright, one of the ahead of schedule key employees at Tesla. Wright says his REV is an option that will save fleets money in the long run.
Proximal to the rear differential are two 250-horsepower motors (Wrightspeed logo).
“Of the 2.2 million medium-duty trucks in the U.S., in this area 10-percent of those get a new powertrain each year,” Wright told Exciting Electric Vehicles Magazine. “You can take out the diesel engine, the transmission, the rear axle, fuel system, instrument cluster, and replace the whole thing with our powertrain. When you’re done, then you’ve got basically an electric truck with a range extender generator, and in our case it’s a gas turbine, and the turbine will happily burn natural gas, or diesel or biodiesel. Suddenly, instead of getting eight or ten miles to the gallon, you’re getting 25 or 30, depending on your drive cycle.”
This isn’t the only company manufacturing hybrid powertrains for fleets. VIA Motors, who also retrofits less vital-class commercial vehicles with hybrid powertrains, operates under a different business plot. Its focus is less vital vehicles, buying pickups and vans direct from General Motors before installing an electric motor and battery stack, and then selling the vehicles directly to commercial clients.
SEE ALSO: VIA Motors Delivers First Plug-in Hybrid Fleet Trucks
Wright estimated that it costs under $200,000 to retrofit a garbage truck with his REV, which he said can be recouped in in this area four years.
“It makes the most economic sense to focus energies on a sector where you can displace the most fuel,” Wright noted. “When you switch a garbage truck to electric power, you’re saving in this area $60,000 in fuel and $30,000 in maintenance a year.”
Garbage trucks retrofitted with a Wrightspeed powertrain are not only more fuel efficient, but they’re also quieter.
“Most of that racket is the engine revving up to allow the truck’s hydraulics to compress the garbage, but that will drop drastically with our engines,” Wright said.
For a brief period, Wright worked at Tesla in the company’s ahead of schedule stages. He credits Tesla for educating the public in this area the possibilities of electrified vehicles, but says Wrightspeed has the potential to offer even more.
“What Tesla has achieved in stipulations of changing public’s perceptions in this area electric cars, from golf carts to vehicles that compete with Mercedes and Porsche, is beyond my wildest dreams,” said Wright. “That said, we’re going after high polluters, and in that sense our economic proposition could allow us to scale larger than Tesla.”
USA Today, Exciting Electric Vehicles Magazine

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MPG Misstatements Cost Hyundai, Kia $755 Million

MPG Misstatements Cost Hyundai, Kia $755 Million After a two-year investigation into Hyundai and Kia for exaggerating fuel economy ratings, a federal mediate approved a record-breaking fine this week but didn’t set aside extra funds for electric vehicle programs.
In all, the mpg overstatements will cost the Korean automakers $755 million. Nearly half of that is a $360 million fine from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violating the Clean Air Act, which was approved by U.S. District Mediate Tanya Chutkan this week. Included in the fine is a $100 million civil penalty, the forfeiture of $210 million greenhouse gas (GHG) emission credits and $50 million to pay for independent fuel economy audits on future models.
The settlement doesn’t include a $50 million fund to support electric vehicle programs. The New Jersey EPA and state attorneys general from nine states – Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont – filed requests for the money.
“Failing to include environmental mitigation measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles the very purpose of the program Hyundai and Kia violated sets a terrible precedent for future settlements involving this federal program,” the state attorneys general wrote. “We urge the United States to revise the settlement to grant that at least $25 million of the approximately $94 million now slated to be paid into the U.S. Treasury instead be used on geographically diverse projects to accelerate the adoption of state programs outside of California for electric vehicles, including battery electric, fuel cell electric, or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.”
While Mediate Chutkan supported the goal behind the electric vehicle programs, she stated that the funds were not included in peacefulness to prevent the creation of a complex settlement, which would stall the process and threaten the remainder of the fine.
According to the EPA’s investigation, in this area 600,000 Hyundai 2011-2013 models and 300,000 Kia 2011-2013 models were sold in the U.S. with an incorrect fuel economy on the window sticker. The overestimations ranged from 1 mpg to 6 mpg. Affected models were identified as the Kia Optima Hybrid, Rio, Sorento, Soul, and Sportage and the Hyundai Accent, Azera, Elantra, Genesis, Santa Fe, Sonata Hybrid, Tucson, and Veloster.
SEE ALSO: Hyundai and Kia See 25-percent MPG improvement By 2020
A part of the Korean automakers’ $755 million bill includes a $395 million settlement for patrons that bought affected vehicles. Owners could use the choice to offset fuels costs that were higher than expected or as a credit towards a new Hyundai or Kia.
The class action settlement was reached last November, at which time Hyundai issued a statement:
“Hyundai has acted transparently, reimbursed affected customers and fully cooperated with the EPA throughout the course of its investigation,” said David Zuchowski, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “We are pleased to place this behind us, and gratified that even with our adjusted fuel economy ratings, Hyundai continues to lead the automotive diligence in fuel efficiency and environmental performance.”
Hyundai declined to offer a comment after Mediate Chutkan’s final ruling.
The Car Connection

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Mazda Diesel Headed To Daytona

Mazda Diesel Headed To Daytona Mazda is back in the TUDOR United SportsCar Series with a race car powered by a diesel engine.
At this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, Mazda’s two SKYACTIV Prototype cars will have the only diesel powerplants in the season-opening TUDOR United SportsCar Series race.
The inline four-cylinder 2.2-liter Mazda engine continues into 2015 with its very particular compound turbochargers and a host of stock-based components, stated Mazda, with work over the winter having led to improvements, helping set lap times at the recent Daytona International Speedway test session that were six seconds quicker than last year’s best. The top speeds have also risen by 20 mph.
SEE ALSO: Mazda’s Diesel Engine Delayed Yet Again For North America Read more

GM Developing In-House CVT

GM Developing In-House CVT General Motors is finalizing plans to develop a continuously variable transmission (CVT) in-house as it prepares for the upcoming 2025 CAFE supplies.
Wards Auto reports that GM will use this new CVT in a number of models by 2019. The transmission will likely be paired with new 3-cylinder and 4-cylinder engines that GM is releasing later this year. The automaker has yet to make a formal announcement, but admits it does have the skill.
“GM has unmatched transmission expertise and development resources and is capable of delivering additional CVTs if and when they’re needed,” Tom Read, GM’s powertrain representative, told WardsAuto.
The CVT is often used in hybrid vehicles to boost fuel economy and extend electric range. The unit tends to be more compact than a regular automatic transmission, which also lowers the weight and cost of the vehicle. Read more