Boutique German Carmaker Artega Comes Back From Bankruptcy with 400-HP EV

Boutique German Carmaker Artega Comes Back From Bankruptcy with 400-HP EV After filing for bankruptcy in 2012, German automaker Artega is back with an all-electric vehicle.
First established as a niche sports car manufacturer for the European market, Artega had Henrik Fisker pen its GT sports car that debuted with either a V6 engine or an electric powertrain. The company then ran into financial issues, filed for bankruptcy and eventually merged with German supplier Paragon.
Earlier this month, Artega had a surprise resurfacing at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show with the Scalo sports car that has been inspired by the original GT but updated bumper to bumper. This time around, Artega plans on offering the Scalo sports car with an electric powertrain only, sporting 400 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque.
According to the German automaker, the Scalo can go zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and will have a limited top speed of 155 mph. Artega estimates that owners will be able to get up to 250 miles on a release charge. The car also tips the scales at 3,494 pounds, thanks to a polyurethane and carbon fiber body.
The Scalo is now available for peacefulness in Europe, but there is no word if Artega has any plans to expand to the U.S. market.
This article originally appeared at Rawvehicle.com Read more

Volkswagen Sets Up Diesel Information Website

Volkswagen Sets Up Diesel Information Website Today Volkswagen tweeted it has established a website to handle consumer concerns over its four-cylinder diesel cars embroiled in an emissions cheating scandal.
A record and letter accompany the home page, and other vital info is provided as it seeks to finally come clean, no pun intended.
In a list of “frequently questioned questions,” the automaker’s number-one inquiry and answer is an admission that it did install a defeat device in affected models.
Inquiry: “Are the news reports of this “defeat device” right?”
Answer: “Government regulations limit the use of engine software that reduces the effectiveness of a vehicle’s emissions control systems. Those are the “defeat device” regulations, and regrettably, VW violated those regulations. We take full responsibility – and deeply regret that this happened.”
SEE ALSO: Volkswagen’s Diesel Scandal Could Bring Positive Changes To the Automotive Diligence
Another inquiry questions whether the vehicles are safe to drive, and as has been repeated, Volkswagen assures patrons they are.
Unaddressed are more adventurous allegations being floated by at least a couple publications which have extrapolated a case well beyond what VW admits or the government says, by trying to place a body count on the cheating scandal.
Rough analyses accounting for 11 million vehicles worldwide emitting more NOx than tolerable have come up with estimates ranging from release digits, to a few hundred, to truly staggering numbers.
According to Mother Jones, its title says it all – “Volkswagen’s Emissions Conspiracy May Have Killed at Least 4,000 Public Worldwide.”
Again, the EPA has not accused Volkswagen of butchery anyone, and has instead told patrons to keep pouring the cars.
In its FAQs, Volkswagen also addresses potential snags such as states possibly refusing to pass affected cars in emissions testing. It also addresses public who wish to turn in their affected TDI.
SEE ALSO: What’s So Terrible In this area the Extra NOx VWs Emitted?
VW says it does not expect a problem, but a hotline number is provided should anyone run into issues with state emissions tests. And, an answer to those wanting to get a refund questions public to be patient, without saying that option is not still under consideration.
“We are cooperating closely with the regulatory authorities to develop a remedy as quickly as possible,” says Volkswagen in response to the inquiry. “We question for your patience as we work to get this done aptly,” says the automaker.
Volkswagen has meanwhile gone into hurt control mode. Its CEO has quit, others are being terminated, and it is agreeing with accusations that it did the incorrect thing, while still affirming environmental sustainability is a corporate goal.
In other arena, the automaker is developing cars known to be environmentally forthcoming, and not known to have any emissions cheating device, and the problem to date is confined to the named vehicles.
Following is the letter signed by Michael Horn, president and CEO, and posted to the new website. As one of the executives expected to be let go in the scandal, this letter and record may be one of his last major duties on the job. Read more

Lemonade-Powered Toyota Mirai Has 1,100 Orders – Video

Lemonade-Powered Toyota Mirai Has 1,100 Orders – Video When life gives you lemons, make hydrogen.
With first California-market Mirai fuel cell vehicles to be delivered in October, Toyota says the tally is up to 1,100 requests out of 30,000 inquiring shoppers. And, it runs on lemonade.
Not really, but a record as part of Toyota’s Runs on All battle presents a modest skit with kids who sell off their lemonade to a person to use in hydrogen production.
SEE ALSO: Toyota’s Bob Carter Rebuts Elon Musk’s Comments Against Fuel Cell Vehicles
“Our newest hydrogen experiment is a sweet one,” Toyota said to Edmunda.com in a text accompanying the record.
In case anyone wonders, Toyota does include a disclaimer that the Mirai won’t really run on lemonade. It needs to be converted to the gaseous stuff but it can and has been done, says the automaker. Read more

Fuel Cell Vehicles Can Only Be Eco-Friendly With One Key Factor

Fuel Cell Vehicles Can Only Be Eco-Friendly With One Key Factor One part of the ongoing debate over fuel cell vehicles questions how environmentally forthcoming the technology really is; one new study said the answer depends on the source of the hydrogen fuel.
Dominic Notter, a researcher with Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Knowledge and Technology (Empa) and his colleagues used a life cycle assessment approach to better know this issue. Their methods tracked fuel cells for cars and home heating units, beginning with the hydrogen’s production, through the life of the fuel cell and its eventual disposal.
“The result was conclusive,” said Empa. “Fuel cells for cars are only ecologically sound if they are able to run on hydrogen from renewable energy sources.”
Notter and his associates compared fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) with battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and gasoline-powered cars. The calculations were based on standard refueling methods now used for each type of technology in Europe.
“Today, a small fuel-cell car that uses [European Union] electricity to generate hydrogen would easily be the worst option,” Empa said. “The car would have the same environmental impression as a luxury sports car.”
Using electricity from the grid to produce hydrogen fuel is inefficient and makes a high amount of carbon emissions, said the study. And extracting hydrogen from natural gas didn’t improve the equation.
“At present, industrial hydrogen is predominantly obtained directly from natural gas. But, the fuel cell does not really have any environmental advantages with this kind of fuel, either,” Empa said. “A car with a combustion engine now has the edge: The production of square cars is less harmful for the environment.”
When comparing fuel cells to BEVs, researchers found   the latter once again had the advantage.
“First of all, electricity is needed to generate hydrogen, which the car tanks up on,” clarified Empa. “Electricity is then produced from hydrogen again in the car. This double conversion significantly reduces the efficiency level. Public who use the same electricity to charge the battery in their electric cars directly travel more economically and thus in a more environmentally forthcoming way.”
SEE ALSO: Three Ways To Expand The Fuel Cell Market
But that doesn’t mean that fuel cells can’t be an eco-forthcoming key. The rotary point, according to the study, will come when hydrogen fuel can be existing at mass-production levels from renewable sources.
“We found an environmental advantage” of an FCV over a gasoline-powered vehicle, “but only if hydrogen is produced with renewable electricity,” said Notter.
“A fuel cell car will become competitive as soon as a company chiefly produces its electricity from solar, wind and hydro power – because the vehicle will scoff fewer resources during production than a battery-operated electric car, have a far superior range and can be refueled more rapidly,” Empa said.
Notter’s full study is available here through the Energy & Environmental Knowledge journal.

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Volkswagen Axes Touareg Hybrid, Reduces 2016 Model’s Price

Volkswagen Axes Touareg Hybrid, Reduces 2016 Model’s Price Volkswagen is canceling the hybrid Touareg while price-cutting the square version.
The Touareg hybrid model will be discontinued for the 2016 model year, and had started at $67,905 at the top of the range. Over the years, the Touareg hybrid struggled to stay competitive and existing very modest benefits compared to the standard V6 gasoline Touareg and the diesel-equipped models that were cheaper. The go is a bit similar to Nissan giving the Pathfinder hybrid the ax as hybrid SUVs aren’t proving to be hot sellers at dealerships.
Meanwhile, the regular 2016 Touareg will be priced from $43,615 including destination, a price reduction of in this area $2,000 as the German automaker hopes to gain ground in the luxury SUV segment.
The Touareg received a facelift for the 2015 model year, so this year’s lineup will have insignificant content changes such as Lux and Executive models adding 14-way power modifiable ventilated seats. In addition, Executive models will also get power modifiable steering discourse, Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking and Lane Departure Warning.
The Driver Help Package on Sport with Tech models will get Park Distance Control, while an optional 21-inch wheel package will be available on Lux and Executive models.
This article originally appeared at Rawvehicle.com

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Refer 10 New Tesla Buyers, Get a Free Model X

Refer 10 New Tesla Buyers, Get a Free Model X Tesla is starting a new referral program that will encourage public to refer new car buyers to the brand with a chance to get a free Model X.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, clarified the new discount strategy yesterday during an earnings call yesterday afternoon. Simply place, current Model S owners can refer new car buyers, who will get a $1,000 discount on the buy of their new Tesla. Those who referred their acquaintances will also get a $1,000 credit towards the buy of a new Tesla.
But Musk is channelling his inner Billy Mays and is offering even more with this program. Owners who refer five new buyers will earn a tour of the Gigafactory while if they refer 10 new customers, they get a $20,000 discount on the new Founder’s Series Model X. Finally, helping to kick things into action, if you’re the first in your region to refer 10 new Tesla customers, a fully-loaded Model X is all yours at no charge.
The program runs through October 31st of this year, and is only available for buyers of new Teslas although Musk suggested it could extend to used car sales if successful.
This article originally appeared at Rawvehicle.com

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Study Considers How To Boost Plug-In Sales From 1 to 30 Percent

Study Considers How To Boost Plug-In Sales From 1 to 30 Percent With carbon emission targets long-lasting to become more stringent, regions around the world are grappling with how to get more plug-in electrified vehicles on the road, but a new study may be able to grant some answers.
The report makes one of the most comprehensive pictures of plug-in electrified vehicle (PEV) sales, with information that is vital for policy makers, automobile corporations and utility companies. The researchers really termed these “plug-in electric,” but considered plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
Their report takes an in-depth look at who buys PEVs, what factors are vital in that choice and why the bulk of patrons are still purchasing non-PEVs instead.
Though the study comes from Canada, the issue of rising PEV sales is global. In the U.S., for example, PEV sales only made up 0.7 percent of all new vehicle sales last year.
“Widespread uptake and use of plug-in electric vehicles will involve consequential shifts in social and technical systems,” said researchers Dr. Jonn Axsen and Dr. Mark Jaccard with Simon Fraser University’s School of Resource and Environmental Management. “A amalgamation of demand-focused and supply-focused policies is likely required to induce adoption of PEVs significant enough to achieve deep greenhouse reduction targets, as well as other environmental and energy goals.”
After surveying nearly 2,000 PEV owners, the researchers separated their analysis into three groups of patrons: PEV Pioneers (current owners of PEVs), the Ahead of schedule Mainstream PEV buyers (the segment most likely to buy PEVs in the next 10 – 15 years), and the Late Mainstream (the segment not likely to buy PEVs in the next 10 – 15 years).
Some of the highlights from the study’s 200-page report include:
Increase PEV Options
The Canadian PEV market is in this area a year behind the U.S., giving patrons far fewer choices at the dealer. This variable alone significantly reduces sales.
“With the current supply of PEVs in Canada (7 models), future PEV new market share is not likely to exceed 4 – 5 percent by 2030; rising supply (to 56 models) could increase market share to over 20 percent by 2030,” said Axsen and Jaccard.
“This analysis makes the case for the importance of having both demand-focused PEV policies that encourage consumer adoption of PEVs (such as financial and non-financial incentives) as well as supply-focused policies that require automakers to increase the availability and variety of PEV models (e.g. like California’s Zero Emissions Vehicle Mandate),” the study said.
SEE ALSO: How Can Other States Take Advantage Of California’s EV Momentum?
Recognizing Different Types of PEV Buyers
Axsen and Jaccard reported several significant differences between the types of buyers, including:
PEV Pioneers tend to be of higher income and education and are more engaged in environment- and/or technology-oriented lifestyles, relative to Mainstream respondents.
In this area one-third of potential Mainstream respondents want a PEV – the vast majority want a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) rather than a pure electric vehicle (BEV).
Most of our PEV Pioneer respondents own either the Nissan Leaf (46 percent), Chevrolet Volt (24 percent) or Tesla Model S (10 percent) Tesla owners, in particular, report the highest income and education levels.
Mainstream and Pioneer respondents differ considerably in stipulations of motivations for PEV interest, e.g. exploring new technology, seeking environmental benefits, or realizing savings.
Educating The Public
It’s clear that, even though plug-in hybrids have been on the market for years, many patrons are still unclear on how the vehicles work, how to fuel them at the gas station and how to charge them, both at home and in public.
“While PEV Pioneers exhibit considerably high familiarity with major PEV models (77 – 84 percent), only a minority of Mainstream respondents were familiar with PEVs (14 – 31 percent) and were able to correctly identify how to fuel [them],” said the study.
“Mainstream respondents demonstrated a particular confusion in this area the thought of PHEVs,” the researchers continued. “For example, in an interview, [a respondent] expressed some confusion with PHEVs, saying ‘so just to clarify… let’s say I didn’t have time to charge it and I still had to drive it, it would still drive because it would just default to gas?'”
Source: Axsen, J., S. Goldberg, J. Bailey, G. Kamiya, B. Langman, J. Cairns, M. Wolinetz, and A. Miele (2015). Electrifying Vehicles: Insights from the Canadian Plug-in Electric Vehicle Study. Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada
Identifying The Most Successful Charging Locations
The study noted that rising patrons’ awareness of home charging options is far more vital than making a vast arrangement of public charging stations. In this area 70 percent of the Mainstream respondents already have access to some type of charging at home, said the researchers, and home chargers were used far more often than public chargers.
“Only 20 – 33 percent of Mainstream respondents are aware of public chargers, but awareness does not seem to influence PEV interest,” wrote Axsen and Jaccard.
“We find that awareness of public charging infrastructure has a weak or non-existent relationship with PEV interest. Instead, the results indicate that having PEV charger access at home is a stronger and more consistent predictor of PEV interest, signifying that PEV policy ought to prioritize home charging access over public charging deployment.”
Source: Axsen, J., S. Goldberg, J. Bailey, G. Kamiya, B. Langman, J. Cairns, M. Wolinetz, and A. Miele (2015). Electrifying Vehicles: Insights from the Canadian Plug-in Electric Vehicle Study. Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada
The study also provides feedback on the different pouring patterns of PEV owners, motivations behind buying decisions and predictions on the future market of PEVs. The full report, ” Electrifying Vehicles: Insights from the Canadian Plug-in Electric Vehicle Study, is available here.

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China’s BYD Beats U.S. Automakers In Bid For Cuban Auto Sales

China’s BYD Beats U.S. Automakers In Bid For Cuban Auto Sales The Cuban government, which owns in this area half of the country’s cars, has placed an peacefulness for just over 700 passenger vehicles through Chinese automaker Build Your Dreams (BYD).
“Cuba is buying a fleet of fuel efficient cars through a company called Tecnoimport to support its growing tourist diligence,” Forbes reported. “The peacefulness for its first 719 vehicles will be Cuba’s first fleet of tourist leasing vehicles and BYD’s leading vehicle peacefulness in the Cuban market.”
The peacefulness marks the leading for BYD in Cuba, but not the first. Last November, after showing its F3 sedan and S6 SUV at the Havana International Expo, the Cuban government bought 40 vehicles from BYD.
Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, said futures orders for government official vehicles may follow later.
BYD said that its gasoline-powered Suri, L3 and G6 sedans, S6 SUV and M6 MPV will all be part of the upcoming peacefulness. But, it doesn’t grow that the e6 (BYD’s battery-electric sedan) or its hybrid Qin and F3DM will be included in the shipment.
For Tesla, General Motors and other U.S. automakers, opportunities are still limited as there is no retail market now established in Cuba. But this may end soon. After President Barack Obama lifted the 54-year ancient trade embargo last year, U.S. auto dealers immediately started researching new possibilities.
“We are reviewing the initiative to determine its potential impression for the auto diligence,” said a Ford representative last December.
General Motors also commented, saying, “We will certainly evaluate any opportunities that may present themselves.”
On the outside, Cuba appears to offer a lucrative market for the U.S. auto diligence. Reuters reported last year that there are 650,000 vehicles now in the country. Many of these are American classics built before 1959, possibly ready to retire from service.
SEE ALSO: Buffet-Backed BYD Plans To Lease E6 EVs To Uber For Testing
“No doubt there’s a potential progression. Cubans like American cars, the demand is there,” said Akshay Anand, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book. “You can look at it and say Cuba is an oasis for the automakers.”
But even though BYD was able to get into Cuba before Tesla, its position in line doesn’t guarantee its success in the retail market. After the embargo was lifted in 2014, Automotive News stated that a “major headwind [for the auto diligence] is purely economic: Nearly all Cubans live modestly and cannot afford new or used American cars.”
The cost for BYD’s e6 hatchback (which now isn’t available in the U.S.) is estimated at $35,000, matching the price of Tesla’s upcoming Model 3. Price estimates don’t include potential incentives.

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