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

Volkswagen’s New CEO is Porsche Chief Matthias Mueller

Volkswagen’s New CEO is Porsche Chief Matthias Mueller Volkswagen has appointed the Chairmen of Porsche, Matthias Müller, as its new CEO.
In the wake of a diesel emissions scandal, in which the company admitted to installing software to cheat diesel emissions tests on 11 million vehicles, Volkswagen’s former CEO Dr. Martin Winterkorn resigned. Winterkorn accepted responsibility for the scandal as the CEO of the company, though he claims no personal incorrect doing.
“My most urgent task is to win back trust for the Volkswagen Assemble – by leaving no marble unturned and with most transparency, as well as drawing the aptly conclusions from the current circumstances,” said Müller.
Reorganization is also coming to VW’s workings in North America. The brand has named Dr. Winfried Vahland as the head of a newly formed North American region which combines the USA, Mexico and Canada. Vahland was formerly the Chairman of the Board for Skoda, with his potion being filled by Bernhard Maier, the current board limb in charge of sales and marketing for Porsche.
SEE ALSO: Resigned Volkswagen CEO Will Probably Collect $32 Million If Not Much More
Michael Horn, the President and CEO of Volkswagen Assemble of America retains his position.
“Under my leadership, Volkswagen will do all it can to develop and implement the most stringent compliance and governance standards in our diligence,” said Müller. “If we manage to achieve that then the Volkswagen Assemble with its innovative strength, its strong brands and above all its competent and highly motivated team has the opportunity to emerge from this crisis stronger than before.”
Volkswagen is now under investigation by government agencies in both the U.S and Germany, the results of which will likely end up in hefty fines and possibly criminal charges.
This article originally appeared at Rawvehicle.com

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What Is The Actual Overall Horsepower Rating For The Tesla P85D?

What Is The Actual Overall Horsepower Rating For The Tesla P85D? Ever since the release of the high-performance Tesla P85D, its combined horsepower of 691 has been quoted liberally and loudly.
CEO Elon Musk confirmed the rating on “60 Minutes.” It was printed in a Tesla Model S brochure (see below). And a multitude of automotive magazines and websites listed it.
But one assemble of Tesla owners questioned whether this number is accurate. In an open letter to Musk last month, the owners challenged Tesla’s statements on the P85D’s horsepower.
“We are writing to you as a assemble of concerned Tesla owners, investors, and perhaps most importantly, supporters … because the Tesla Model S P85D falls considerably small of really making 691 horsepower,” the letter stated, which was signed by 71 Tesla owners.
An excerpt from the letter:
“The basic facts are as follows:
“The P85D was marketed as making 691 horsepower. It doesn’t. We believe, based on various testing methods and tools including dynamometer testing and testing with professional performance data loggers that the most energy output is 415 [kilowatts], which results in a most horsepower of 557 before any drivetrain losses on a fully exciting battery. Even without factoring in drive train loss, this is nearly 20 percent less than the advertised horsepower.
“The missing horsepower is quite noticeable at highway passing speeds. For example, from 70-90 mph, the P85D should perform like a car with a power to weight ratio of one HP for each seven pounds. Instead it performs like a car with one HP for each nine pounds. The result of this is that from 70-90 mph the P85D is easily outperformed by an Audi RS7 with a power to weight ratio of only one [horsepower] for each eight pounds.”
Yesterday, Tesla’s Chief Technical Officer JB Straubel discussed horsepower ratings for electric vehicles (EVs) on the company blog, though he didn’t mention if his post was in response to the letter.
“There is some confusion in this area our methodology for specifying ‘equivalent’ horsepower ratings for our all-wheel drive, dual motor vehicles,” Straubel said. “Attempting to directly correlate horsepower ratings in petroleum burning vehicles to horsepower in an electric vehicle is a hard challenge.”
“Major electric power in stipulations of horsepower is not very intuitive. Kilowatts or Megawatts are a much more useful unit. Electricity alone can’t generate physical motion the way a horse or a fuel-burning engine does. An electric motor converts electricity into motion,” Straubel clarified.
In this brochure, Tesla states that the P85D has a combined horsepower rating of 691.
“Since the battery electric horsepower rating varies it is not a precise number to use for specifying the physical capability of an EV. The motor shaft horsepower, when in commission alone, is a more consistent rating.”
Straubel also noted that, to calculate the overall horsepower of a dual-motor EV, the rating of the adjoin motor was added to the rating of the rear motor.
“The shaft horsepower rating of the rear wheel drive release motor Model S is straightforward and roughly 360-470 [horsepower] depending on the variant (60, 85 or P85),” he said. “When we launched the all-wheel drive P85D, we took the straightforward and consistent approach of specifying the combined capability of the two electric motors, adjoin + back.
Tesla’s website has deleted the combined horsepower rating for the P85D, even though these ratings are still listed for the other dual-motor versions.
“Where some confusion occurs is that in the 85D and 70D vehicles the combined motor shaft power is very similar to the battery electrical horsepower under many normal conditions. With the P85D the combined motor shaft power can often exceed the battery electrical horsepower available. The dual motors utilize the battery horsepower in the widest variety of real world conditions.”
In his article, Straubel offers plenty of technical specifications for the P85D. He talks in this area the g-forces during acceleration, He lists how many seconds it takes the P85 to reach 60 mph and the length of the rollout that’s excluded. But nowhere in the article does he either confirm or right the 691 combined horsepower rating.
SEE ALSO: Model X Seat Questions Have Some Tesla Fans Sitting on Pins and Needles
Instead, he offers a final impression:
“The right measures for any performance EV driver are acceleration times and pouring performance of the vehicle.”
P85D owners that feel cheated out of the promised 691 horsepower will likely not feel appeased by Straubel’s finishing plotting, or by a letter that doesn’t directly declare what the combined horsepower is.

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Spy Shots of Hyundai’s ‘Prius Fighter’ Keep Showing Up

Spy Shots of Hyundai’s ‘Prius Fighter’ Keep Showing Up As Toyota prepares to reveal its 2016 Prius ahead of schedule next month, spy shots of Hyundai’s attempt to compete with it have been revealed.
The camouflaged car appears more like a Prius than does our image of a concept above, which is shown in lieu of copyrighted images at Rawvehicle.
A report by Rawvehicle says a remarkable up-to 38 miles all-electric range from a lithium-ion polymer battery may be in the offing, presumably by a plug-in hybrid version.
If right, that would contest the 2015 Chevy Volt’s electric range, at least in theory.
The Hyundai “Prius fighter” – as it’s been called in the absence of an official name – is reportedly being developed on the 2017 Elantra’s platform, but will be a dedicated hybrid model based around a 1.8-liter engine.
Interior styling will likely borrow from family members including the Elantra and Sonata.
The production-ready Hyundai hybrid may be shown at a major auto show in 2016 and released late 2016 as a 2017 model.
Photos can be seen at Rawvehicle here and here.

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Study: EPA Understates Hybrid MPG By Up To 33 Percent

Study: EPA Understates Hybrid MPG By Up To 33 Percent Hybrid vehicles may really get much better fuel economy than their EPA-rated stickers say, according to a new study.
The analysis, conducted by Britt A. Holmén and Karen M. Sentoff with the University of Vermont, looked at the fuel consumption of a square Toyota Camry and compared it to a Camry Hybrid the same model year. But instead of using a controlled laboratory setting – as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does – the researchers tested the cars on a 32-mile course spanning city streets, an Interstate and rural roads.
Changing testing methods to real-life pouring conditions increased fuel economy for the Camry Hybrid by as much as 33 percent, said Holmén and Sentoff.
“Our real-world … measurements suggest computed city cycle [square vehicle] fuel use would be nearly 2 times higher than for the [hybrid vehicle] and 1.3 times higher than the [hybrid vehicle] for highway pouring,” the researchers said in their recently published paper. “These ratios exceed the factors that EPA fuel economy values would predict for these vehicle types.”
“Thus,” they added, “inclusion of real-world road grade and ambient conditions in our [vehicle specific power] and emissions measurements, compared to controlled laboratory tests, show fuel consumption benefits for the [hybrid vehicle] increased 18 percent and 33 percent (highway and city, respectively) compared to estimates based on EPA adjusted fuel economy “sticker” values.”
Comparing the fuel economy of a 2010 Toyota Camry Hybrid (left) and a 2010 Toyota Camry with a gasoline engine (aptly). Source: FuelEconomy.gov.
The EPA-rating on the test car, a 2010 Camry Hybrid, is 33 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Using the calculations from this study bumps the sticker-stated fuel economy up to in this area 44 city/40 highway. Such a significant gain in fuel savings would shorten length of time it takes for the hybrid powertrain to pay for itself, and could make hybrids a more attractive option for patrons.
According to the researchers, changing testing methods from a sterile laboratory setting to a course that emulates a variety of conditions found in everyday pouring and adding additional hybrid models would yield more accurate fuel estimates.
“Prior studies are not well-suited to forecast the magnitude of current-technology [hybrid vehicles] on transportation energy use because the data were from laboratory studies of one or two ahead of schedule model [hybrid vehicles] (i.e., Toyota Prius, Honda Insight) compared to square vehicles of dissimilar make/model and vehicle size,” Holmén and Sentoff said.
“Our results with one vehicle pair exhibit that similar studies can be used to develop robust models of all types of [hybrid] platforms under actual pouring conditions and improve quantitative estimates of the future fleet contributions to the U.S. CO2 emissions inventory and petroleum consumption. Studies such as these are critical as [hybrid vehicles] and other electrified vehicles comprise a larger part of the on-road fleet.”
SEE ALSO: Study Says Most Drivers Get Better Than EPA-Estimated MPG
As the duo mentioned, more research is de rigueur to see if these results are applicable to other hybrid vehicles. But with fuel savings potentially 33 percent higher than previously plotting, it’s likely that others will step forward to additional investigate the real-world fuel economies of electrified powertrains.
More information on the researcher’s testing methods and results can be read in their paper, “Hybrid-Electric Passenger Car Carbon Dioxide and Fuel Consumption Benefits Based on Real-World Pouring.”
 
Green Car Congress

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More Apple-BMW Collaboration Rumors Come Forth

More Apple-BMW Collaboration Rumors Come Forth Rumors of a collaboration between Apple and BMW are heating up.
According to a recent report, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited BMW’s headquarters last year along with senior executives from the Cupertino-based company, taking a tour of the German automaker’s factory in Leipzig to learn more on how BMW manufactures the i3 all-electric vehicle. The stay finished without any sort of collaboration, with Apple wanting to explore developing a vehicle on its own, but that could all change in the future.
Since Apple’s stay to BMW, the automaker has seen new Chief Executive Harald Kreuger take position and Herbert Diess, who played a role in the initial talks with Apple, moving onto a position at Volkswagen. It remains to be unseen whether Kreuger will explore the thought of collaborating with Apple additional and how Diess’s departure affects the potential relationship.
SEE ALSO: BMW ‘Would Be Pleased’ To Share Battery Tech With Competitors
During the stay, a senior BMW source said, “Apple executives were impressed with the fact that we abandoned traditional approaches to car making and started afresh. It chimed with the way they do things too.” That of course makes reference to the BMW i3, which was developed from “scratch” as an all-electric vehicle.
Rumors of an Apple iCar have been circulating for years now, but more speculation has surfaced in recent months as the company has been spied testing its own vehicle. In addition, Google isn’t holding back in developing its own self-pouring car and Apple sees the tech-giant as one of its main competitors in numerous markets. It is said that if Apple wants to develop its own car, it will likely enter or at the very least, seek a partnership with an existing automaker.
This article originally appeared at Rawvehicle.com

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Average Age For Cars in US Increases To 11.5 Years

Average Age For Cars in US Increases To 11.5 Years The average vehicle on U.S. roads is roughly 11.5 years ancient.
That means that the average car pouring beside you was bought groundbreaking new in 2004 (like the 2004 Town, seen above). According to IHS Automotive, overall vehicle registrations have grown by 2 percent compared to last year, and now sit at a record 257.9 million cars and trucks on U.S. roads.
Since IHS started tracking vehicle age in 2002, the average age has consistently gone up thanks to the ever better reliability of new vehicles. On average, new car buyers hold onto their cars for 6.5 years, while buyers of used vehicles tend to hold onto their cars for five years.
The report also shows that the roads are no longer dominated by ancient trucks, as the average age of cars has now caught up and sits on par with pickups.
Climbing new car sales will likely slow down the aging of our automotive fleet, which IHS predicts will hit an average of 11.7 years ancient by 2018.

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By 2025, Hybrids Could Be Priced Evenly With Non-Hybrids

By 2025, Hybrids Could Be Priced Evenly With Non-Hybrids If hybrid vehicles continue humanizing at their current pace, a new study said manufacturing costs will “be cut in half before 2025,” positioning hybrids to compete directly with non-hybrids for sales.
John German’s technical paper, published by The International Council on Clean Transportation, named advances through the learning process, increases in vehicle production and development of new technologies as some of the factors pouring the lower hybrid manufacturing costs.
Even beyond these costs, German said hybrids as a class are also apt more refined. Better fuel efficiency, larger vehicle size and the addition of comfort features are some of the ways these vehicles have improved in the past 15 years.
In his study, German often uses the Toyota Prius to illustrate these changes, a logical choice given the model’s long production history and sales domination in the hybrid market.
“If Toyota continues to achieve the same rate of improvement in succeeding Prius generations, or if newer types of hybrid systems that are in much earlier stages of engineering development can replicate that rate of improvement, full-function hybrid system costs will be cut in half before 2025,” said German.
“And that projection does not consider modest hybrid system size and cost reductions associated with future vehicle lightweighting; for example, 10 percent reductions in weight would reduce hybrid system cost by in this area 5 percent.”
Figure 1. Historical and projected hybrid system direct manufacturing cost
Fuel savings are more than just an environmental perk for hybrid vehicles; the money saved at the gas pump also counterbalances the higher buy price of a hybrid. With more than 40 models of hybrid vehicles on the market, German said quoting rigorous savings is hard. But looking only at average savings of the hybrid class, the increased fuel efficiency is significant.
“Hybrid systems can reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 35 percent, equivalent to more than a 50 percent increase in fuel economy,” said German.
“Now, roughly 29 percent of hybrid models (9 out of 31) pay back the initial hybrid price premium with fuel savings within 5 years. Roughly 61 percent of hybrid models (19 out of 31) pay back within the full useful life. On average, the fuel savings over the full useful life are in this area $1,300 more than the initial price premium,” he calculated.
SEE ALSO: Toyota Prius Taxi In succession Strong With 600,000 Miles And Original Battery
Though the fuel savings are evident, German noted that they are a major motivator for hybrid sales, as determined by the category’s low market share. He attributes sales trends to other improvements instead.
“The tenfold increase in hybrid sales from 2003 to 2013 suggests that many of the ahead of schedule concerns in this area hybrids, such as reliability, battery life, resale value, and safety, have been successfully addressed,” German said.
Figure 3. Historical U.S. hybrid sales and number of models
Hybrid sales have stalled in recent months, but overall, the 15-year trend shows a steady increase. German predicts that future sales will be strongly tied to auto manufacturer’s skill to continue cutting costs. The tipping point will come, he said, when the buy price of a hybrid meets or beats the price of its gasoline-powered counterpart.
“Because most hybrid systems are at a relatively ahead of schedule stage of development, costs are still relatively high and manufacturers are looking to recover some of the costs by charging customers a premium for hybrid vehicles,” said German.
“Thus, now the hybrid system needs to offer a major improvement in fuel economy to entice customers to pay the price premium. This favors full-function hybrids and works against mild hybrid systems. But, in the future, lower cost, mild hybrid systems will be able to compete directly against square technology improvements on a cost-benefit basis.
“Thus, hybrid market penetration will likely increase only modestly in the near term, but as costs drop hybrids will become just another technology that manufacturers sell on its positive efficiency and drivability impacts, not on the technology itself, similar to what is now occurring with turbocharged gasoline engines.”
 

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