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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Have 2016 Toyota Prius Specs Already Been Revealed?

Have 2016 Toyota Prius Specs Already Been Revealed? Next Tuesday in Las Vegas Toyota will take the wraps off the 2016 Toyota Prius, but were the honors already done this summer?
As some of you saw, on July 3 we posted pictures from a Taiwanese automotive website, Autonet.tw, that we were tipped in this area by a reader. The site represented the images as being the actual 2016 Prius and Prius PHEV – which gets differentiating headlight treatment this time around, but the PHEV (pictured at bottom) is not expected to be shown next week.
Those images, while caution over their authenticity was expressed, were quickly circulated around the U.S. by other major and insignificant automotive sites, and now in retrospect, it would grow these may have been bootlegged drawings from Toyota. Read more

Model S Driven At 125 mph For 12 Minutes On Autobahn – Video

Model S Driven At 125 mph For 12 Minutes On Autobahn – Video Tesla’s Model S is the highest rated range EV on the road, but in Germany Tesla owning enthusiast Bjørn Nyland cruised for 25 miles at 125 mph to exhibit how much more energy it has potential to consume under heavier use.
“The autobahn stretch was 40 km [25 miles] which I covered in 12 minutes averaging 200 km/h or 125 mph. Consumption was 520 Wh/km (840 Wh/mi),” he said.
The 25-mile (40 km) trip ends at the German-Danish border where speed limits drop to 100 km/h (62 mph).
The Model S is a release-speed vehicle and does not benefit from a multi-speed transmission which lowers motor in commission rpm at speed.
For U.S. drivers traveling slower this matters less, and with Superchargers enabling free fill ups, it may not be a worry for Nyland either.
Note car’s the state of charge meter before and after as it drops by more than 100 indicated kilometers during the high-speed highway drive.
Quick starts, heavy foot and drivng the car quick without preconditioning the battery in cold also contribute to inordinate consumption. Read more

Audi Says All-Electric SUV and Autonomous Tech Will Help Brand Grow

Audi Says All-Electric SUV and Autonomous Tech Will Help Brand Grow Audi said that a new, all-electric SUV will be one of the key vehicles to help Audi grow, along with integrating more self-pouring features into its vehicles.
Rupert Stadler, CEO of Audi, discussed the carmaker’s strategy for the SUV segment at the company’s annual general meeting in Germany last week.
“We intend to continue growing this year – quicker than the world market and in all regions. Our brand aims to set new minutes,” Stadler said of Audi Assemble’s business goals.
The yet-to-be-released battery electric SUV, along with two other new SUVs, “are intended to grant a solid foundation for the Audi Assemble’s progression path,” he clarified.
A concept sketch of Audi’s battery electric SUV, expected to be released in 2018.
Now nameless, Audi’s electric SUV is expected to have a range of more than 300 miles. With an anticipated release date of 2018, the SUV will arrive more than two years after one of its main competitors: the Tesla Model X.
The German carmaker presented a concept version last Development, with a few details provided by Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, a limb of Audi’s board of management for Technical Development.
“This sports activity vehicle will be built on the second generation of the modular longitudinal platform – our concept for optimal drivetrain diversity implementation. You will hear and see more of this before the end of the year,” Hackenberg said.
SEE ALSO: Audi Is Developing 300-Mile Range All-Electric SUV For 2018
Audi has previously talked more in this area electrifying more of its drive trains, but now the brand’s offerings are limited in the U.S. market. The crossover-sized Q5 Hybrid is the only model for sale aptly now, and it’s struggling to gain a foothold in the market. As of April, only 34 have sold in the U.S. If Q5 Hybrid sales continue at this pace, the vehicle’s totals for 2015 will post behind last year’s 116 sales.
In addition to expanding its SUV fleet, Stadler said Audi will also add more self-pouring features to its vehicles to improve market share.
“In the new premium SUV Audi Q7, which is to be launched in Europe in the second half of the year, customers can encounter a preliminary stage of piloted pouring with adaptive cruise control and the traffic‑jam supporter,” stated Audi. Accelerating, braking and steering will be controlled by the vehicle with these features.
The company said it has been testing these programs, along with full autonomous pouring, for several months.
“In October 2014, an Audi RS 7 piloted pouring concept drove laps of the Grand Prix racetrack in Hockenheim – without a driver and at speeds up to 240 km/h (149 mph),” Audi said. “And in ahead of schedule January … journalists traveled approximately 900 kilometers (559 miles) in regular traffic in an Audi pouring in piloted mode.”

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6 Ways the 2016 Chevy Volt Has Been Improved

6 Ways the 2016 Chevy Volt Has Been Improved Borrowing a description from one of dozens of awards received, Chevrolet says its first-generation Volt was a “moonshot” so in what way has the 2016 Chevy Volt been improved in peacefulness to top that glowing description?
Now that we know pricing starts at $33,995 for the base 2016 LT, $38,345 for the LTZ, and GM’s ordering guide is online, some public are still wondering whether the 2016 Volt is indeed better than the original.
If you want the seller to tell you, Chevrolet’s dedicated 2016 Volt web page boldly quotes another publication saying “Second-Generation Volt is better by each measure,” and for many this will be absolutely right. For others, maybe the new car will be close but no cigar?
Chevrolet says it listened to focus groups in developing the 2016 Volt, and to cast a bit more detached spotlight on it, following are some of the changes including major ones, insignificant ones, and ones that are merely different.
The release largest reason to buy a plug-in gas-electric car is of course to avoid using gas. Does that sound nearly weird or are you already with us?
The Volt’s mission in life is as an extended-range electric vehicle and its 50-mile EV range is more than double the next-closest 19 miles from a Ford Fusion and C-Max Energi and significantly above the 2011-2015 Volt. Read more

The Five Safest 2015 Green Cars Under $35,000

The Five Safest 2015 Green Cars Under $35,000 Last week J.D. Powers’ U.S. Tech Choice Survey reported respondents overwhelmingly said they wanted advanced crash mitigation technologies and it so happens these are required to make the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick Plus list.
Our list culled from the newest IIHS data thus merges two desirable “technologies” – electrified powertrains that save gas and cut emissions as well as the crash avoidance systems offering superior chances of personal safety.
Two of these vehicles are hybrid variants within broader model ranges, but being heavier, they may even do slightly better in some kinds of accidents according to IIHS Vice President of Communications Russ Rader.
“All other things being equal, larger, heavier vehicles are more protective in crashes than less vital, lighter ones,” said Rader. “Similarly, in keeping with the laws of physics, public riding in a hybrid are better protected in a crash than public riding in the same non-hybrid model. Batteries add weight which improves protection in collisions.”
Two Measures of Safety
Each year the IIHS evaluates vehicles for 1) crashworthiness – how well the airbag-equipped vehicle protects in various types of collisions, and 2) crash avoidance and mitigation.
The TSP+ category is the highest acknowledgment the IIHS bestows on vehicles in various size categories. It measures one step above “Top Safety Pick” which requires “excellent” ratings in five crash tests: moderate overlap adjoin, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, as well as a excellent or acceptable rating in the small overlap adjoin test. Potential ratings are: excellent, acceptable, marginal, and poor.
Crash avoidance technology can include radar, cameras, automatic braking and more to make the car virtually vigilant in case you are not, or caught off guard.
As you can tell given only five models under $35,000 qualify, it is not available on many cars, but more are expected to get it in years ahead. At this stage many cars with crash avoidance technology tend to be priced higher than our mainstream-ish level cutoff, but there are a growing number of exceptions.
This list is not a status because even authorities do not go so far as to grade a hierarchy of definitive “safest,” next-safest, and so on. Each car listed is linked to the IIHS original report. You’ll note also it is dominated by Toyota products. No pure electric cars made the list.
2015 Lexus CT 200h Read more

Chevy Releases (Almost) Full Details And Specs for 2016 Volt

Chevy Releases (Almost) Full Details And Specs for 2016 Volt Full details on the 2016 Chevrolet Volt – including specifications, standard equipment and optional upgrades – have just been released by General Motors. The only tidbit missing now is the price.
GM listed all of the information in its 25-page ordering guide online. The carmaker isn’t long-suffering orders quite yet for the next generation Volt, but, and a representative didn’t have a released date available.
For 2016, the Volt comes in two different trim levels. As the base model, the 2LT Hatchback has fewer color and trim options. And though it doesn’t include perks like wireless charging for devices, automatic parking help (which are automatically added with the upgrade to 2LZ Premier trim), the basic Volt is far from meager.
SEE ALSO: How Much Better Is The 2016 Volt?
Chevy has upgraded much of the Volt in a go to position the hatchback as more of a premium vehicle. Standard equipment now includes a Wi-Fi Hotspot and two air bags have been added. A rear vision camera, previously an upgrade on the 2015 Volt, is now included in the base model, and the touch-screen console grew to an 8-inch show.
Regen on Demand, a new standard for 2016, gives drivers more control over energy regeneration, with a paddle-style switch mounted on the steering wheel. The charging system also includes a new feature that links to car’s GPS for smarter charging, as clarified by Volt Chief Engineer Andrew Farah.
“Owners will now be able to set their charging preferences exclusively for ‘home’ charging and the vehicle will automatically adjust to that setting when it is at ‘home’ based on GPS data,” said Farah. “The new Volt will give owners superior flexibility for charging on their stipulations and make public charging simpler.”
SEE ALSO: Chevy Borrows Volt Tech For 2016 Malibu Hybrid
In addition to the automatic parking help and wireless charging for devices listed above, the upgraded 2LZ trim also gains a set of eight Bose speakers for premium sound. Heated adjoin seats, a heated steering wheel and heated mirrors are all included as part of the comfort package.
Many of these are available as options on the 2LT package, but a few options can only be tartan if you are ordering the 2LZ trim. Several driver help features can be added upgraded Volt, such as side blind zone alert, forward collision alert, automatic high beam headlights and a sensor to keep the car centered in the lane.
The specs sheet shows that the new Volt has grown all around, adding nearly half an inch to the wheelbase, 0.8 inches to the sides and 3.3 inches to the length. The extra inches don’t transfer surrounded by to start more space for the passengers, though.
Not each aspect of the Volt grew. The new generation will be 243 pounds lighter, with a curb weight of 3,543 pounds. The fuel tank also shrank slightly from 9.3 gallons to 8.9 gallons.
GM hasn’t released pricing yet on the car or its options – that announcement will come later this year before deliveries start in the fall. MSRP for the 2015 Volt starts at $34,345 (without dealer fees or potential rebates). Many are predicting that the base 2016 Volt will be priced at, or possibly even under, this in peacefulness to remain competitive.

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GM Recognized For Its Environment Efforts

GM Recognized For Its Environment Efforts General Motors has been recognized by the U.S. EPA as a 2015 Energy Star Partner of the Year.
The Detroit-based company has received this choice for Sustained Excellence for leadership in protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency.
At the same time, GM also received the Energy Star Climate Communications choice.
SEE ALSO: 2016 Malibu Hybrid Promises 47 MPG
The EPA describes the Energy Star Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence choice as the highest recognition a corporation can receive from the EPA.
This year’s choice marks GM’s fourth such choice for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by setting and achieving aggressive goals and employing innovative energy-efficiency approaches.
“Achieving operational excellence in all we do extends to reducing the environmental impression of how we build our vehicles,” said Greg Martin, GM executive director for sustainability. “We are leveraging our scale to conserve energy and resources throughout the manufacturing process.”
GM joined Energy Star in 1995.
The company said it has since reduced energy intensity of its U.S. operations, or the amount of energy used per vehicle produced, by 40 percent. It has reduced carbon dioxide emission intensity 41 percent. Combined, these savings are said to be the equivalent to the electricity used by 875,000 homes in one year and allowed GM to avoid $435 million in energy costs.
In handing out the choice, the EPA cited these GM achievements in 2014: Read more