Watch the Falcon Wing Doors Operate On Tesla Model X

Watch the Falcon Wing Doors Operate On Tesla Model X An amateur record uploaded to YouTube has given us a new look at the Tesla Model X falcon wing doors in action.
The Tesla Model X is the automaker’s third vehicle and will officially launch on Tuesday at an event held in Fremont, Calif. One of the most unique features of the Model X will be its falcon wing doors, which open vertically, nearly like gull-wing doors. The variation is that the falcon wings are double hinged, so they don’t swing out to the side of the vehicle.
In the record, we can see one of the falcon wing doors opening and finishing, though this test mule requires the driver to hop out and end finishing the door.
This month, Tesla invited Model X Signature Edition buyers to configure their cars, which start at $133,200. These models include the 90-kWh battery with the electric motors providing 503 horsepower to all four wheels, giving the Model X a zero-to-60 time of 3.8 seconds. Pricing and power details on other models has not yet been revealed.
Check back tomorrow for more info on the Model X launch event which will likely include details on the new all-electric crossover. Read more

Toyota’s C-HR Concept Will Become New Hybrid SUV

Toyota’s C-HR Concept Will Become New Hybrid SUV If Toyota’s unveiling of the C-HR Concept in Frankfurt feels repetitive, that’s because it is.
This week, Toyota showed its second rendition of the C-HR Concept; the first debuted at the Paris auto show in 2014. Following its original presentation, designers took feedback from the public to make some changes, which culminated in the compact crossover seen in Frankfurt.
Toyota also announced that the C-HR has been confirmed for production. Read more

Proposed EPA Truck Rules Promised To Cut 1 Billion Tons of CO2; 1 Year’s Worth of OPEC Imports

Proposed EPA Truck Rules Promised To Cut 1 Billion Tons of CO2; 1 Year’s Worth of OPEC Imports New emissions and mpg standards for generous trucks down to pickups and even now trailers jointly proposed today by federal government agencies promise to slash oil consumption equal to one year of OPEC imports.
The new rules announced today are projected after a additional review process to be finalized by 2016. They would apply in cases by 2018 and for trucks through model years 2021-2027 and they build on pre-existing federal rules in place. Included in the proposed new rules for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles would be trucks as small as pickups, vans, buses and work trucks and as generous as semi tractor trailers.
In a statement today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are pitching the deal as a win-win scenario for patrons, diligence, the environment, and energy security – in small, everyone – and the federal government says it’s kept key parties in the loop.
“The agencies have worked closely with the State of California’s Air Resources Board in developing the proposed standards,” said the EPA today in a statement.
For the first time also, the new rules would account for efficiency of trailers. This would exclude some categories including mobile homes, but the plot for certain trailers would start in 2018 and ramp up toward 2021 with voluntary compliance requested in the interim.
“Cost effective technologies for trailers – including aerodynamic devices, light weight construction and self-inflating tires – can significantly reduce total fuel consumption by tractor-trailers, while paying back the owners in less than two years due to the fuel saved,” said the EPA in a statement.
Today’s news was announced after three years of “extensive testing and research,” the case is presented as a strong one, and the EPA touted benefits up adjoin that would result with implementation of the standards.
Chief among these is expected reduction of CO2 emissions by approximately 1 billion metric tons, fuel costs cut by approximately $170 billion, and oil consumption cut by up to 1.8 billion barrels over the lifetime of the vehicles sold during the program’s time frame.
“These reductions are nearly equal to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with energy use by all U.S. residences in one year,” said the EPA in a statement. “The total oil savings under the program would be superior than a year’s worth of U.S. imports from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).”
“Once upon a time, to be pro-environment you had to be anti-huge-vehicles. This rule will change that,” said U.S Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “In fact, these efficiency standards are excellent for the environment – and the economy. When trucks use less fuel, shipping costs go down. It’s excellent news all around, especially for anyone with an online shopping problem.”
Additional making the case for what might receive pushback from the trucking diligence, the EPA appealed to the interests of those who would have to develop more-effieicnt vehicles to stay in compliance and those who stand to benefit from them.
“The proposed standards are cost effective for patrons and businesses, delivering propitious payback periods for truck owners; the buyer of a new long-haul truck in 2027 would recoup the investment in fuel-efficient technology in less than two years through fuel savings,” said the EPA.
The EPA said it has to date worked closely with diligence and other stakeholders, and today represented the law as speaking with one voice from EPA, NHTSA, and CARB.
After the proposal is published in the Federal Register. a public comment period will be open for 60 days. Also, NHTSA and EPA will host two public hearings and continue our open-door policy of meeting with stakeholders over the course of the comment period.
“We’re delivering huge time on President Obama’s call to cut carbon pollution,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “With emission reductions weighing in at 1 billion tons, this proposal will save patrons, businesses and truck owners money; and at the same time spur technology innovation and job-progression, while protecting Americans’ health and our environment over the long haul.”
For more details, click here and here.

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California Politicians Destroy Gas Guzzlers To Promote New EV Rebate

California Politicians Destroy Gas Guzzlers To Promote New EV Rebate In California, promotions for a new discount program to help low income families switch to a fuel-efficient vehicle have become explosive.
It started with California Senate leader Kevin de León crushing a 1984 Ford Ranger pickup at the state’s capitol building. His publicity stunt kicked off California’s new program to help families below the poverty level trade in an older vehicle for a plug-in hybrid, electric car or other fuel-efficinet vehicle. Read more

Second-Generation Volt Transmission Operation Explained

Second-Generation Volt Transmission Operation Explained Preface
This article co-written by Jeff Nisewanger, Patrick Groeneveld and George Bower first appeared on It’s more than a modest bit technical, but for those who want more than a cursory explanation, it’s based on GM patent US 8,602,938, issued in December 2013, and presentations by GM at an SAE vehicle electrification conference on February 11, 2015 in Los Angeles. The presentations by GM verify that the patent described here is indeed used as the basis for the next generation “Voltec” transmission. This article describes the design of the new transmission in detail. Read more

BMW Experiments With Online i3 Sales Through Amazon Japan

BMW Experiments With Online i3 Sales Through Amazon Japan If you’re shopping for an electric vehicle in Japan, BMW has just made it simpler to buy an i3.
After partnering with Amazon Japan, the German carmaker is now selling its all-electric i3 online.
The i3 hatchback, first delivered to Japanese auto dealers a year ago, is a purpose-built EV with a range of in this area 81 miles. The hybrid system includes a 170-horsepower electric motor and 22 kilowatt-hours lithium-ion battery pack, which takes in this area 3.5 hours to get a full charge.
Screenshot of BMW i3 listing on Amazon Japan, translated by Google.
If you want to add a few extra miles, BMW also offers a Range Extender. This mounts a small 34-horsepower, 647-cc engine to charge the battery. After pouring for 72 miles on battery alone (the heavy generator lowers the i3′s all-electric range), the generator and 1.9-gallon gas tank can keep the battery exciting for in this area 75 more miles.
BMW is offering the i3 through Amazon Japan for 5,270,000 Japanese yen (JPY), requiring a 990,000 JPY ($8,229) down payment. This includes a manufacturer option price, which isn’t detailed additional. The current currency exchange sets the i3′s overall Japanese price of $43,807 only slightly higher than the U.S. MSRP of $43,350 (which includes a destination and handling fee).
Screenshot of BMW i3 listing on Amazon Japan, translated by Google.
The Amazon Japan list price for the i3 Extended Range is 5,790,000 JPY ($48,130), also just a smidge higher than the U.S. price of $47,200.
In an interview with The Japan Times, a BMW spokesman said the company “wants to find more customers through the online retailer.”
“We have 46 dealers (that sell the electric model) in Japan, but we hope this ‘e-selling’ will cover the entire market more thoroughly. This will widen the sales channel and improve convenience for customers,” the spokesman said.
“So many public are using the website. We want to research potential customer groups who may be interested in our products.”
Screenshot of BMW i3 listing on Amazon Japan, translated by Google.
Purchasing a BMW i3 online isn’t quite the same one-click shopping encounter Amazon offers for other products. After patrons select the vehicle they want, they must wait for a BMW representative to contact them. And, before the buy is approved, Japanese customers must send in ID verifying they have a place to park and charge the EV.
SEE ALSO: BMW i8 Is 2015 World Green Car
Amazon offers an array of parts, garnishing and add-ons for cars and motorcycles on its U.S. site. Complete production vehicles, but, are not available.
In addition to the U.S. and Japan, Amazon also sells to customers in Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Italy and Spain. We reached out to BMW and Amazon to find out if this experiment will spread to additional markets, but have not yet heard any additional details.
The Japan Times

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Toyota Reveals 2016 RAV4 Hybrid

Toyota Reveals 2016 RAV4 Hybrid Today in New York Toyota announced the RAV4 Hybrid due to launch this fall.
The brand’s eighth hybrid uses the same essential powertrain that the new Lexus NX 300h crossover does, a 2.5-liter system with eCVT transmission, and included “intelligent All-Wheel Drive” (AWD-i), which employs an electric motor for rear propulsion duties.
Specific miles per gallon has not been announced, but for reference, the NX 300h AWD is rated 33 city, 30 highway, 32 combined. Unknown is whether weight or aerodynamic differences would result in much of a variance.
Also for reference, the 2015 non-hybrid RAV4 is rated 22 city, 29 highway, and 25 combined and the 2016 RAV’s mpg has also not been published.
Vital Segment
The RAV4 itself was launched in 1994 and invented the segment which has grown as a successful sales leader in this family oriented segment said Bill Fay, assemble vice president and general manager.
“Twenty years later, it is still making news,” he said of the RAV4, “as its sales are among the fastest growing in the segment, and I’m not just talking in this area any segment, but the fastest growing segment in the diligence. There is no doubt that the RAV4 is hot aptly now.”
As has been seen before for Toyota’s hybrids, the base level will be a higher grade than the square gas RAV4’s four grades of LE, XLE, Limited and SE.
The RAV4 Hybrid starts at the XLE level and a Limited is to be made available also. Read more

Mercedes-Benz To Release 10 New Plug-Ins By 2017

Mercedes-Benz To Release 10 New Plug-Ins By 2017 Over the next two years Mercedes-Benz will launch 10 new plug-in vehicles, releasing one each four months.
The plot is part of the company’s hybrid initiative, which includes a hybrid setup that can easily transfer to different vehicle classes. This gives Mercedes the skill to use the technology on its entire fleet, from the base-grade C-Class sedans to the larger SUVs.
Since 2012, Mercedes has introduced nine electrified models to the market. Only one was a plug-in hybrid; the others were powered by an electric drive, gasoline hybrid or diesel hybrid. But that ratio is in this area to change.
“In the years to come, the main emphasis as regards alternative drives will be on plug-in hybrids,” said Mercedes.
The one-vehicle-per-quarter is only an estimated timetable for the rollout, and all new PHEV models will be labeled with an “e” instead of “plug-in hybrid.”
Mercedes-Benz at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show – Volker Mornhinweg , Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, presenting the Concept V-ision e, a V-Class with plug-In hybrid technology.
In a recent statement, Mercedes officials talked in this area why plug-ins will be the company’s main hybrid focus.
“Plug-in hybrids are a key technology on the road to the local emission-free future of the automobile,” said Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, limb of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and reliable for Assemble Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
“Plug-in hybrids offer our customers the best of both worlds; in the city they can drive in all-electric mode, while on long journeys they benefit from the combustion engine’s range.
“In addition, hybridization makes the combustion engine more efficient and brings with it a special type of dynamic performance – making pouring an absolute pleasure.”
Mercedes said its next step will be to apply hybrid technology to its SUVs, with plans for an upcoming plug-in version of the GLE.
One of the future models may also be the Concept V-ision e (pictured above). The mid-size van, which Mercedes previewed in Geneva last week, uses a four-cylinder gasoline engine and a 90 kW electric motor. Total output is 333 horsepower, and top speed is 128 mph.
To power the electric motor, Concept V-ision e draws from a 13.5 kilowatt-hour battery. This gives the van an emission-free range of 31.1 miles at up to 50 mph says the manufacturer.
SEE ALSO: Mercedes Reveals Details On 2016 C350 Plug-in Hybrid
If Mercedes successfully launches all 10 PHEV models, and doesn’t retire any current hybrid models, the carmaker will have nearly 20 electrified vehicles in its fleet. Current hybrid and electric vehicles (and their release date) include:
2012: smart fortwo electric drive
2012: E 300 BlueTEC HYBRID
2013: SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive
2013: S 400 HYBRID
2013: S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID
2014: C 300 BlueTEC HYBRID
2014: B-Class Electric Drive
2014: S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID
2015: C 350 e

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