Japan’s Top Automakers Pledge Support for ‘Hydrogen Society’

Japan’s Top Automakers Pledge Support for ‘Hydrogen Society’ Today from Japan, Toyota, Honda and Nissan overcame previous lack of unanimity on the subject of fuel cell vehicles and agreed to morally support one another and financially support the country’s fledgling hydrogen fuel cell diligence.
The occasion was a rare joint press conference held by JAMA, the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association. With each expressing varying degrees of enthusiasm for the viability of a “hydrogen the upper classes,” the country’s three major automakers nonetheless vowed to waste as much as $40 million to offset up to one-third of hydrogen fuel stations costs.
Japan has set an optimistic target – which observers say may not be met – of 100 hydrogen stations by next year. These will be mainly clustered around megacities of Tokyo, Kobe/Osaka, Hiroshima, and along highway arteries between them. Read more

Nissan Leaf June Sales Hold Against the Tide of Pending Competition

Nissan Leaf June Sales Hold Against the Tide of Pending Competition Nissan’s 2,074 Leaf sales in June were nearly flat next to May’s 2,104 as the carmaker continues to keep the car relevant in the eyes of buyers.
Despite the 2016 Chevy Volt’s presence on the horizon cannibalizing 2015 Volt sales down more that 35 percent this year, and implicitly threatening the Leaf, so far Nissan is holding steady. This it is doing also against the potential for a 200-mile range Chevy Bolt next year and Tesla’s revelation of its 200-mile-plus Model 3.
SEE ALSO: 2015 Chevy Volt Sales Dwindle in June As 2016 Volt Waits in the Wings
The seller of the globally best-selling EV is offering a $229 lease with $2,399 down for the Leaf, and free charging comes with it in 16 major markets with a 17th due to be announced later today.
This is its “No Charge to Charge” program offering a chip-enabled card for free public charging through a nationwide arrangement.
Additional local dealers themselves are discounting the car to add to the effect of a $7,500 federal tax credit and state credits that can add up. Net prices down into the middle teens have been reported from various regions for Leafs stickering above $32,000, and whatever the case, Nissan is moving product.
Company wide, Nissan Assemble total U.S. sales including Infiniti in June 2015 totaled 124,228 units, an increase of 13.3 percent and a record for June.
SEE ALSO: Nissan Testing 250-Plus-Mile Range Leaf Mule With New Battery Chemistry Read more

2016 Honda Fit Priced From $16,610

2016 Honda Fit Priced From $16,610 The 2016 Honda Fit is getting a small price increase.
Entering the second year of its third generation, the 2016 Honda Fit will start from $16,610 including destination, $140 more than the 2015 model. That price will get you the standard Honda Fit LX with a six-speed manual transmission and standard features including roofline spoiler, LED tail lights, Bluetooth connectivity and a rearview camera. All 2016 Honda Fit models will continue to be powered by a 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine with 130 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque while returning 34 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway when equipped with a CVT. The CVT-equipped Honda Fit LX will start from $17,410.
SEE ALSO: 2015 Honda Fit Review – Record
Stepping up to the Honda Fit EX with a manual transmission will cost $18,520, while the CVT variant is $19,320. The range-topping EX-L model comes standard with a CVT and starts from $20,885, and adding Navigation will cost an additional $1,000. The EX and EX-L CVT models return 32 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway, while the manual transmission models get 29 mpg city and 37 mpg highway.
“The new Fit has been a tremendous hit with buyers seeking a fun, practical and stylish transportation key,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice-president and general manager of Honda. “It’s a nourishing car for a wide variety of needs and lifestyles.”
The 2016 Honda Fit will go on sale July 1, 2015.
This article originally appeared at Rawvehicle.com

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Toyota Mirai EPA-rated for 312 Miles Range

Toyota Mirai EPA-rated for 312 Miles Range The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rated the 2016 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle for 67 mpg gas gallon equivalent (GGE) and 312 miles range.
And, fuel is free, as is maintenance, an infotainment suite, 24/7 customer support, roadside help, maintenance, leasing benefits, and more – with asterisks emotionally involved to all these benefits, of course.
In a statement issued today for the veritable package deal starting at $57,500, Toyota said the Mirai sets a record among all zero-emission cars for range.
“Mirai is the only zero emission electric vehicle on the market that tops the 300 mile range milestone,” said Toyota.
SEE ALSO: 2016 Toyota Mirai FCV First Drive – Record
The Mirai will be the “world’s first mass produced” FCV says Toyota, although Honda has had its limited production FCX Clarity in production since 2008 and Hyundai has beat it to the market with its Tucson.
The Mirai’s newly minted EPA rating of 67 mpg GGE and 312 miles range also eclipses its two H-brand competitors. The 2014 Honda FCX Clarity is rated 59 mpg GGE combined, 58 city, 60 highway. The 2016 Hyundai Tucson is rated 50 mpg GGE combined, 49 city, 51 highway.
Honda is preparing a five-passenger replacement for the FCX to arrive after the Mirai. Source: EPA
Not disparate an internal combustion car, range is a function of the fuel tank, which in Toyota’s case is a carbon-fiber wrapped, bulletproof capsule to contain gaseous hydrogen at over 10,000 psi .
And, an apple-to-orange comparison to be sure, the Mirai’s 67 mpg os 5 mpg above a very theoretical “62 mpg” the EPA officially pins on the 2015 Chevy Volt. Being a plug-in hybrid, the Volt may operate on pure electricity or on gas, but 62 combined is the calculated average based on EPA formulations.
As for range, the Mirai beats the Honda FCX Clarity’s 231 miles and Hyundai Tucson FCVs’ 265. And, it edges out the highest range battery electric car, Tesla’s 270-mile Model S.
Toyota has seen a bit of a rivalry with Tesla whose chairman declared FCVs are bovine fertilizer and Toyota in turn ran with that and made a commercial based on it and is marketing the car as capable of in succession on fuel derived from cow waste. Read more

European Automakers Ask To Delay 2025 Emissions Standards

European Automakers Ask To Delay 2025 Emissions Standards European automakers are asking for a five-year extension to meet new emissions guidelines, saying they don’t have the technology ready for 2025’s target goals.
The request came through the European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association (ACEA), which questioned the governing European Commission for the delay, reported Automotive News Europe.
“ACEA is arguing that the car diligence needs until 2030 – or in this area two full model cycles – to meet a new target,” said Automotive News Europe.
To be in compliance, European automaker’s CO2 emissions must reach an average of 95 grams per km over the next six years. And by 2025, the standards will tighten to a range between 68 g/km and 78 g/km. In comparison, last year’s CO2 emissions averaged 123 g/km.
According to ACEA, “it may not be possible” to reach the 2025 goal because the diligence has already reached the efficiency limits of traditional technology.
“Before the diligence is in a realistic position to make any new commitments beyond 2020, it needs to assess consumer uptake and the impression of an increased and wider portfolio of alternative powertrains including electric, hybrid, fuel-cell and natural gas-powered vehicles over the next years,” ACEA stated.
SEE ALSO: Nissan: EVs And Autonomous Tech Are Key To Progression In US, Europe
The organization is calling for additional infrastructure to offer more charging options, along with upgraded incentives to boost sales of electrified vehicles.
Per vehicle costs have been another obstacle for European automakers, which already report low profit margins. Building a vehicle that meets current emission standards costs in this area 1,000 euros per vehicles, said Arndt Ellinghorst, an analyst with ISI Evercore.
Poor EV sales and additional production costs are not convincing everyone to back down on the 2025 standards, though.
“Our research shows one simple fact: without fuel efficiency standards for cars, vans and lorries, EU countries will struggle to meet their 2030 climate obligations,” said Transport & Environment manager William Todts. “But if the EU sets 2025 standards for cars, vans and trucks, the climate targets could be reached in a way that is excellent for both the economy and the environment.”
SEE ALSO: Reaching 2025 CAFE Standards Will Be Simpler Than Predicted
A similar discussion is being mirrored in the U.S. as automakers and legislators prepare for the upcoming midterm review. Much of the automaker’s arguments in this market are similar: costs are too high and sales are too low to support increased emission measures.
But a recent analysis commissioned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) pokes holes in these arguments. A report released earlier this month by the agency suggests that automakers will have relatively low per vehicles costs. And, by maximizing already developed technologies on combustion engines – like efficient transmissions and lightweight materials – NHTSA reiterated that only a small percentage of electrified vehicle sales will be needed for companies to reach emission targets.

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Consumer Reports Targets 30 New Cars That Burn Excessive Oil

Consumer Reports Targets 30 New Cars That Burn Excessive Oil Not to be baffled with cars that scoff fuel, Consumer Reports “Thirsty 30” list spotlights late model “oil-guzzling” cars that consume excessive oil too ahead of schedule in their lifecycles, but several automakers say these conditions are OK.
According to the watchdog report, two percent of newer cars or more than 1.5-million 2010-2014 model year vehicles on the road today burn excessive oil.
The report follows analysis of data from Consumer Reports’ 2014 Annual Auto Survey providing feedback from owners of 498,900 vehicles from 2010 to 2014 model years.
Specific models called out on the list include the Audi A3, A4, A5, A6, and Q5; BMW 5, 6, and 7 Series, and X5; and Subaru Forester, Impreza, Legacy, and Outback.
“Several engines emerged as the main offenders,” said the publication in a statement, “Audi’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder and 3.0-liter V6, BMW’s 4.8 liter V8 and twin-turbocharged 4.4 liter V8, and to a lesser extent Subaru’s 3.6 liter six-cylinder and 2.0- and 2.5-liter four-cylinders.”
The reliance on turbocharging has been on the rise both for most performance models and by those trying to downsize the engine to increase fuel economy on government test drive cycles, while providing power of a larger engine.
Alleging something is incorrect with this oil-buriniing depiction, Consumer Reports said responses by automakers vary but some say nothing is incorrect. Audi, BMW, and Subaru are sticking to their tale that oil consumption is normal.
Burning of one quart is reasonable each 600-700 miles according to Audi and BMW, and Subaru says a quart each 1,000-1,200 miles is OK.
Consumer Reports but disagrees.
“While it’s normal for cars to burn a modest oil as they age toward 100,000 miles and beyond, we believe that for a late-model car to burn a quart or more of oil between changes is unacceptable,” said Mark Rechtin, Consumer Reports’ Cars Content Development Team Leader. “It’s also our strong attitude that any engine that burns oil between changes should be repaired under the powertrain warranty.”
Whether a warranty might fix a perceived problem the automaker says is to be expected as inherent with the vehicle’s engineering parameters is an open inquiry.
Meanwhile certain class-action lawsuits in cases are underway, while it’s made clear also Consumer Reports has not been able to prove excessive oil loss to the degree reported correlates with actual engine failures or mechanical problems.
Obviously in succession an engine too low does increase internal metal-on-metal friction, and maintaining full levels at all times is preferable to what’s nigh to a mild continuous-loss system.
So while the named carmakers say it’s all fine, what this at least means is buyers of these cars need to carry around a bottle of oil or drop by a service station to have them tartan and topped off between normally serviced oil and filter changes.
The article is to be found at ConsumerReports.org and in the August 2015 print issue.

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Non-driving Replica of Porsche 919 Hybrid Sells For $106,000

Non-driving Replica of Porsche 919 Hybrid Sells For $106,000 Porsche has sold a model car for $106,100.
The German automaker auctioned off a Porsche 919 Hybrid 1:1 model car on eBay, a full-sized replica of the 919 Hybrid race car that competed in last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The model car is one of 13 replicas in the world to be privately owned and includes the original six signatures of the Porsche 919 Hybrid drivers that participated in last year’s race: Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley, Mark Webber, Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb.
The model car is made from resin, weighs in this area 1100 lbs and can be mounted on a wall for a truly extravagant show. The adjoin wheels can also rotate and Porsche mentioned at the auction that the power plug for the lights do work. The highest bidder will also receive a pair of Business Class tickets to Singapore and a two-night stay at a five-star hotel so that they can attend The Porsche Circuit event on July 23-24 to celebrate Singapore’s 50 years of independence.
All proceeds from the auction are heading to benefit SportCares Foundation and Movement, a local charity organization in Singapore.
This article originally appeared at Rawvehicle.com

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