What Led Volkswagen To Use Emission Cheats

What Led Volkswagen To Use Emission Cheats As the tale of Volkswagen’s emission defeat devices continues to unfold, details on how the diesel engines were rigged and which cars are affected are slowly coming to light.
But executives within the carmaker – along with others involved with the investigation – have said very modest on what motivated Volkswagen Assemble to install these cheats on more than 11 million cars worldwide. Like many scandals that have come before, the trigger of Volkswagen’s “dieselgate” appears to be rooted in money.
Over the last decade, Volkswagen had been struggling to gain a solid footing in the U.S. diesel market. The perception that diesel emitted more pollution than gasoline engines, tumultuous diesel fuel prices and the cost of diesel technology proved challenging to overcome.
This ad for Volkswagen proudly describes the TDI engine as “clean diesel.” Promise not kept.
To help boost sales, Volkswagen started a marketing campgain labeling its powertrain as “clean diesel.” The ads seemed effective.
“In 2012, Volkswagen’s U.S. sales volume rose to the highest level since 1973,” noted Timothy Cain, an analyst that tracks vehicle sales for GoodCarBadCar.net.
Sales numbers refused to solidify for the company, as Business Insider noted just two years later:
“Volkswagen recently announced that its U.S. auto sales dropped by a staggering 22 percent in June,” Business Insider reported in June 2014. “This will mark the fourth time in the last six months that the brand has experienced a double-digit fall in sales.”
Volkswagen’s share of the U.S. diesel market was quick ground, though. Last year, Car and Driver noted that 75 percent of all diesels cars sold in 2013 were a Volkswagen.
But at the same time Volkswagen was working to maintain its market share, the cost of efficient diesel engines was chipping away at its profits.
“The problem for VW was that cutting NOx [nitrogen oxides] is expensive,” said Automotive News‘ Nick Gibbs. “Analysts from Exane BNP Paribas estimate that reduction technologies have risen from around 700 euros ($790) per vehicle to meet Europe’s Euro5 emissions targets to 1,300 euros for Euro6, which has just come into force this month.”
SEE ALSO: Volkswagen Was Warned in 2007 By Bosch In this area Illegal Software
When comparing markets, Alberto Pisoni, a director with Genera Motors Powertrain in Europe, said lower unit sales and more stringent emissions regulations make the U.S. the “most challenging” diesel market.
“When you have a larger scale for your product then for sure there is a benefit,” commented Pisoni.
For other auto manufacturers trying to mix together low-emission technology in an appealing, competitive vehicle, the reality of Volkswagen’s pressure to use a defeat device could become a warning against using diesel. Gibbs clarifies why:
“The knowledge that arguably the world’s technology leader in diesels can’t make the U.S market work without cheating could now repel other makers.”

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Why Isn’t Tesla Selling EVs in Russia?

Why Isn’t Tesla Selling EVs in Russia? With no Tesla stores in Russia – and no current plans to add one – some Russians are going to fantastic lengths to buy a Model S.
Software executive Andrey Vratskiy was so motivated to own a Model S that he bought one from the U.S., then washed-out an additional $62,000 to transport it to Russia and clear customs.
He isn’t the only wealthy Russian paying nearly double to buy a Tesla, reported Automotive News. And this year, Russia’s luxury car market could surpass $2.6 billion if sales trends from the first half of the year continue, according to calculations from market research firm Avtostat.
That’s much less vital in comparison to the $100 billion luxury car market for the U.S., but some Russians are still questioning why Tesla isn’t making moves to add a store within the country.
So why isn’t Tesla considering a Russian store?
Customer Support
For Tesla, the issue is more complicated than simply opening up a store like a square auto dealer. In peacefulness to honor the company’s standard inclusions, Tesla would need to grant its proprietary charging, warranty support, service and other customer help to Russian buyers.
Now, the nearest Tesla service center for Moscow, said Automotive News, is in this area 550 miles away in Finland.
Low EV Adoption Rate
Market and consumer researcher Gfk said only 10 percent of Russians would consider buying an EV, even though 72 perent have a propitious attitude of them.
Alexander Kissov, the head of Gfk’s automotive and mystery shopping division in Russia, said an inadequate charging infrastructure and lack of knowledge on EVs are holding Russians back from buying.
“To be successful with EVs in the Russian market, the Russian government and car manufacturers should make a joint effort to address these concerns,” said Alexander Kissov, who leads Gfk’s automotive and mystery shopping division in Russia.
“That said, a high number of patrons in the market for a luxury small car in Russia (81 percent) are open to considering EVs,” said Kissov.
SEE ALSO: Tesla Model S Crosses 50,000 U.S. Sales Milestone
The X Factor
One of the other underlying issues blocking a Tesla store may have nothing to do with autos at all. Elon Musk, the CEO for Tesla Motors, is also the head of rocket and space technology company Space X.
Following Russia’s invasion of Crimea, Musk spoke out against Space X competitors that used Russian-made rockets.
In the end, “[Space X] won U.S. Air Force certification in May to conduct military missions,” said Automotive News, “while a joint venture of rivals Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. is being limited because of biased pressure over its use of Russian rockets.”
These relations between Russian rockets and Space X may be enough reason for Tesla to reckon twice before opening a store on Russian soil.

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What We Know About The BMW i5

What We Know About The BMW i5 What we absolutely know for certain in this area the i5 is that it is a potential future car to be made by BMW.
OK, we can say a few more things than only that, but will try and avoid blurring the distinction in this area what “will” be and what could be.
Market Position
The i5 was reported to be in plotting stages as ahead of schedule as October 2013 when the ink was not even dry from the first i3 launch reports.
Rumors of its final configuration have come and gone, BMW has not spelled out too much and reports have conflicted thus the back-and-forth conjecture.
Assuming the production-pending i5 is announced as expected, it does grow to be the closest thing yet from BMW to a “Tesla Fighter” by today’s armchair spec-sheet reckoning.
SEE ALSO: Tesla Prompts BMW To Consider An i5 Competitor
According to Automobile Magazine’s Georg Kacher, it could be approved for production by October, and may be for sale by 2019. Other reports have suggested launch dates of 2018-2020, even later.
Germany’s Autobild.de says the long-wheelbase 5-Series could be the basis for the next i-Series.
It is at least certain BMW does want another i-Series, as it’s trademarked all the potential name combos it could through i9 and is committed to its sustainable sub brand.
How it will be positioned is also up for speculation but. Automobile’s European Bureau Chief – who may have excellent contacts, one would surmise – said in late April the i5 will split the variation between the semi-exotic i8 plug-in hybrid and i3 electric city car with optional range extender.
Germany’s Autobild but suggested a couple weeks prior only 30,000 annual units and low-six-figure pricing – and the way BMW likes to pile on option pricing, we’re talking much more of an exclusivity factor.
Either way, it appears certain BMW hopes to broaden its appeal with powertrain options to satisfy consumer expectations for small-range and long-range travel distances.
If it goes for more volume than Autobild suggests, it may do so by cutting costs where possible, trickling down lessons cultured to date.
Ego Factor
While you as a potential consumer are thought in this area a potentially cool car, this endeavor is being driven by 1) a corporation that wishes to make money, and 2) Type-A personalities who want to make their mark.
Tesla has its Elon Musk, and last year Car & Driver noted former BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer who green-lighted the i-Series to leave behind a legacy of leading the German brand to the green future.
Following on Reithofer’s heels, Automobile’s Kacher notes BMW Chairman Harald Krüger and R&D chief Klaus Fröhlich who took a knife to various future cars underway and cut off a slew of BMW and Mini projects while leaving Reithofer’s i5 goal intact.
Design
Rumors have abounded for the car varying from exotic B-pillarless design to crossover to traditional sedan.
The newest ostensibly plausible view is that the i5 will not look like a bloated i3 an actor’s rendering suggested last year, but may be based on the Chinese long-wheelbase 5-Series sedan.
According to Kacher, Americans and Chinese prefer sedans to spacepods, and to save costs – assuming BMW needs it to stay competitive for higher volume – could be achieved by sticking to a less-exotic three-box design.
It’s unlikely the i5 will be a derivative of the i3 but previous reports suggested it could be.
If so, it may not receive extensive carbon fiber reinforced plastic in its construction. This is not clear, but a Chinese 5-Series certainly does not.
If it does get CFRP, economies of scale hoped by relatively larger sales volume could help offset this, and at very least it could get other materials and engineering techniques developed for the i3 and i8 and befitting the next “i” model.
Or, its high price as Autobild suggest will take care of the production cost problem of the upscale car BMW settles on.
Powertrain
A fuel cell variant co-built with Toyota appears unlikely, at least before well after 2020, says Katcher.
Rather, a 250-mile range all-wheel-drive all-electric version and plug-in hybrid version could come along.
The all-electric model may see its battery mounted along the center and low but weight estimates have been broad between 880 pounds and 1,450 pounds – which really means no one knows for sure.
Battery room could be in the locality of 75 kilowatt-hours to support the range goal, and this energy will be routed to a 225-horsepower rear and 135-horsepower adjoin motor.
BMW calls this mule “The Thing.” Not to be baffled with a 1970s VW, this vehicle sports a 700-horsepower, AWD plug-in hybrid powertrain BMW means to apply to future cars, like the i5.
Zero-to-sixty could arrive in the mid-low four-second range and torque vectoring could add exceptional cornering prowess for the car targeted in the middle-3,000-pound range combined with low-as-possible center of gravity and rigid chassis and body architecture.
The real screamer but might be one that burns gasoline as an option, namely the plug-in hybrid version of the i5.
It’s said this could get BMW’s newest plug-in hybrid architecture designed to run farther on batteries than today’s shorter-range regulations satisfiers.
Instead the i5 could be fitted with a Power eDrive PHEV system making fuel savings at will more of an option, and it less of a puffed up virtual compliance car. The i8’s EV range is in this area what a Prius plug-in gets on a excellent day, 14 miles, and regardless, it’s best loved by performance enthusiasts with gas engine on.
As for the gas-engine to be used, the i8 uses a turbo 1.5-liter three-cylinder similar to the naturally aspirated unit in a Mini Cooper, but this too is up in the air for the i5.
Word has it a four-cylinder may be in the offing, but whatever they choose the goal according to Autobild magazine and as reported by the BMW Blog is upwards of 640 combined horsepower.
This would be derived from a 218-horsepower gas engine plus 272-horsepower rear and 150-horsepower adjoin electric motors.
The car could alternately go briskly in EV mode but not as far as the engine financial statement for mass on a car targeted for sub-3,450 pounds, or it could combine output for serious go-power.
The competition.
With cars like the Tesla Model S P85D boasting 691 in 2015 spec, one might believe that would be a minimum bar for just OK bragging rights, or perhaps this too will be boosted by production time in two-three years time?
Then again, if BMW achieves within a couple hundred pounds of its mid-3000-pound weight goal, it will chip away at the high-4000-pound Model S by one-third the weight.
If there’s one thing BMW knows how to do it’s engineer a competent handling and quick car. The i5 could span from quick to blistering and go around corners better too.
Build quality is expected to rival Tesla’s as well.
In a recent teardown of the i3, engineer Sandy Munro said that car was the “most advanced vehicle on the earth” with groundbreaking assembly techniques, exotic materials and more.
The i5 is to build on the legacy and fill a new spot in the growing roster.
What We (Really) Know In this area The BMW i5
Next to Target Tesla, BMW is late to the game, chasing a moving target at that. But, BMW has engineering prowess and determination, and no other German automaker has shown as much dedication to plug-in electrification to date.
Despite the newest-believed spec sheets that vary as time goes by, BMW has not announced specifics but only shown hints along the way.
Whatever it is – assuming it’s even called “i5” – it will need to be special in this very fluid market where innovations keep experience, and global pressure is on to perform.
We believe BMW does know that and that’s the plot.

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Hyundai Showing Green In Paris

Hyundai Showing Green In Paris Hyundai opted to showcase its green side for the Paris Motor Show this year.
The Korean automaker has on show a 48-volt Hybrid version of its i40 and a New Generation i30 powered by compressed natural gas (CNG).
“Hyundai Motor is committed to making sustainable mobility for European patrons,” said Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO, Hyundai Motor Europe. “Alongside our pioneering fuel cell program, we continue to develop vehicles that use new technologies and alternative fuels to reduce vehicle emissions and improve consumer’s experiences with Hyundai.”
The i40 48V Hybrid
The i40 48V Hybrid reduces CO2 emissions and fuel consumption significantly compared to the standard production model, said Hyundai, yet only costs a quarter of a full hybrid key to build.
Hyundai clarified this hybrid is based on a 1.7-liter diesel powered i40, the show car is equipped with a 48-volt lead-carbon battery, boosting power by 15 percent and reducing CO2 output by up to 20 percent.
Using a belt-driven starter generator (BSG) to replace the square alternator, the engine is said to be able to restart with nearly no noise or vibration. Hyundai added the i40 48V Hybrid can operate in electric-only mode at low speeds and when cruising.
As with many hybrids, the lead-carbon battery pack recharges itself during deceleration through regenerative braking, with the BSG working as a generator. While accelerating, the BSG chains the engine with its additional 10 kilowatt to reduce fuel consumption and CO2-emissions, said Hyundai.
A lead-carbon battery was chosen Hyundai said due to brilliant power-to-cost ratio, rapid charging capability and high levels of durability. It requires no active cooling system and can therefore be stored within the spare-wheel well, ensuring luggage space is not compromised. In addition, the lead-carbon battery is nearly completely recyclable at the end of its lifecycle.
The company says the 48V Hybrid’s technologies are cost effective, have compact dimensions, apply a minimal weight penalty (just 46 kilograms), and can be easily introduced alongside existing powertrains. This means, it asserted, they could have far-reaching potential application in future Hyundai production cars.
New Generation i30 CNG
Hyundai clarified the New Generation i30 CNG features a debut of the company’s new 1.4-liter T-GDI engine, combined to a new seven-speed dual-clasp transmission, as well as the newest application of its CNG research and development program.
When equipped with the new seven-speed dual-clasp transmission, the engine emits CO2 emissions as low as 87 g/km, said Hyundai, a significant reduction compared to the equivalent internal combustion engine (ICE) model, and meets the strict Euro6c emission standards three years ahead of introduction in 2017.
The CNG is stored, clarified Hyundai, in a rectangular tank within the stump pan, ensuring interior space remains the same as its ICE counterpart. Lined with a gas-impermeable polyamide matrix (surrounded by) and protected by high-performance schooner-fiber reinforced plastic (outside), the new system provides a high-strength, low-cost key to gas storage, and weighs 50 percent less than an equivalent steel tank.
Up to 15 kg of gas can be stored in the tank at 200 bar pressure, said Hyundai. A new electrical pressure regulator lowers gas pressure to an operable state in two steps, first to 20 bar and then to 4 to 11 bar, which is fed into the engine. The bi-fuel power plant uses both gasoline and compressed natural gas as fuel, with the flexibility to automatically switch to gasoline once the supply of CNG has been used.

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Toyota Announces 2015 Camry Hybrid Prices

Toyota Announces 2015 Camry Hybrid Prices Toyota’s extensively re-worked 2015 Camry Hybrid models are priced at $26,790 for the base LE, $27,995 for the new SE, and $29,980 for the premium XLE excluding $825 destination fees.
The new cars will be available this fall and Toyota has replaced or tweaked much in a thorough mid-cycle refresh for its well loved Camry line which n 2011 had been comprehensively updated as a new generation. Hybrid powertrains but carry forward the same as prior year Camry hybrids.
In a go reminiscent of Honda’s Treaty Hybrid, Toyota has taken the cars additional upmarket with more standard features packed in at higher price points. By comparison, 2013/14 model year prices were $26,140 for the LE, and $27,670 for XLE. Read more

HYbrid Air To Be Seen At Paris Show

HYbrid Air To Be Seen At Paris Show Peugeot will be showcasing its 208 HYbrid Air 2L demonstrator at next month’s Paris Motor Show.
The 2L stands for two liters per 100 kilometers, equivalent to 141 imperial mpg, and is based on a production version of the Peugeot 208 1.2-liter PureTech 82 horsepower 5-seater hatchback.
To achieve such fuel economy, Peugeot said it, with its project partners, used technologies previously reserved for competition and luxury models. Weighing just 860 kilograms – 100kg less than the production car – the concept is a mix of steel, aluminum and composites. Peugeot added engineers embarked on a meticulous selection process to choose only those materials compatible with existing production facilities and a high manufacturing output. In addition, the process involves reducing consumption without altering the car’s characteristics.
Carbon composites are used for the body panels, sides, doors and roof, along with the coil springs for the suspension. In the latter case, the use of composites has a positive impression on dynamic handling by reducing unsprung weight. Peugeot also stated the demonstrator vehicle has been fine-tuned aerodynamically, with a number of improvements to reduce drag, including a lower stance on the road.
The search to reduce weight has not focused solely on the use of new materials; it has also sought to redesign existing parts, added Peugeot. This has led to changes in the thickness of the stainless steel exhaust system, enabling a 20 percent improvement on this part alone.
The standard powertrain has been replaced by a hybrid drive system featuring a mix of gasoline and compressed air. HYbrid Air technology combines two types of energy: the compressed air is used to help and even replace the gasoline engine to enable most efficiency during transition phases, such as acceleration and starts.
The system includes: Read more