Mopar brings 6 concepts to SEMA including a wild Challenger

Mopar concept at 2016 SEMAMopar in recent years has been bringing some serious muscle to the annual SEMA show. And some of the show cars have ended up as production models. Prime examples include the Dodge Viper ACR concept we saw in 2014 and the Dodge Challenger GT AWD concept we saw in 2015. (The wide-body, all-wheel-drive Challenger concept isn’t in production...
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Analyst Forecasts PEVs Will Make Hybrids Obsolete Soon in the UK

Improvements in plug-in electrified vehicle coming to market soon could make traditional hybrids obsolete in the U.K., warns an automotive analyst.

Battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have sold more at this point than in all of 2015 in the U.K. at a time when the British government approved another 10 million pounds ($12.2 million) investment in PEV charging infrastructure. Advances in PEVs, especially longer range battery-electric vehicles, should drive that further along, said Rupert Pontin, director-valuations for Glass’s, a U.K. used-vehicle-evaluation service.

“Hybrids are designed to solve two of the problems that EVs have faced in recent years – high cost and low range,” Pontin told WardsAuto. “However, there are very clear signs that these issues are being resolved very quickly.

One of these signs was the Renault Zoe announcement at the Paris auto show that it has a 250-mile (403-km) range and costs 17,000 pounds ($20,751). Other examples include a new BMW i3 battery that can travel about 190 miles (306 km), Volkswagen is claiming that its upcoming IQ will go up to 373 miles (600 km) between charges, at least by New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) standards.

“The fact is that vehicles such as this effectively remove the rationale for hybrids, he said. “Within a few years, hybrids could be seen as little more than a curiosity and this will undoubtedly affect their values.”

SEE ALSO:  UK Video Ad Shows ‘Simple But Advanced’ Features of Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has been the most popular plug-in hybrid, and best-selling PEV, in the U.S, with 7,700 registrations through September. The Nissan Leaf, made in the U.K. at the Sunderland plant, is this year’s best-performing all-electric car in the country with 3,728 registered by the end of September.

Discounts for government purchases helped push the U.K.’s nine month total 36.7 percent ahead of that time period in 2015 for PEV sales.

Hybrids have been popular in the U.K.’s company-car fleet market. The low levels of carbon-dioxide coming from these cars has reduce driver tax bills, Pontin said.

Pontin notes the popularity of hybrids in the U.K. has been driven by the company-car fleet market, where the vehicles’ low levels of carbon-dioxide emissions reduce drivers’ tax bills. However, they haven’t done as well on the used vehicle market as other vehicle segments, taking away some of their appeal.

“As viable EVs start to become available in larger numbers, this will only become more acute and it is difficult to foresee a situation in which (hybrid) demand is likely to increase. Our view is that, unless manufacturers find it difficult to bring the price of EVs down to somewhere near family cars, then hybrids will simply be seen as a passing phase in the history of the car,” Pontin said.

WardsAuto

The post Analyst Forecasts PEVs Will Make Hybrids Obsolete Soon in the UK appeared first on HybridCars.com.

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Video: Stolen Chevy Volt Leads LA Police on Harrowing Street Chase

The plug-in gas-electric Chevy Volt’s immunity to range anxiety came in handy today when a car thief led Los Angeles police on a chase ending in the driver’s arrest.

According to news station KTLA5, the first-generation Volt was stolen at 3:09 p.m, left, a strip mall in the Sherman Oaks area, and was apparently immediately pursued by police.

The suspect drove, as one might expect, recklessly, nearly missing other vehicles, speeding, and cutting others off.

Police almost had him trapped at one point when the Volt pulled into a parking lot, but the desperate suspect squeezed past and kept going.

When the suspect pulled into an enclosed parking area at 3:40, it was here that he was trapped, and as he looped around, he was blocked by police cars, smashing into one, an SUV.

This led to a stand off, as the driver parked near Burnet Avenue and Keswick Street stayed in the Volt.

Not reported is whether he pressed OnStar or called a Volt advisor for assistance.

Police eventually bashed the window in, shot bean bags, which were not verified whether they hit him.

The driver was pulled out, cuffed, arrested, and another Chevy Volt was down for the count.

KTLA5

Hat tip to Brian Ro.

The post Video: Stolen Chevy Volt Leads LA Police on Harrowing Street Chase appeared first on HybridCars.com.

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Why Petroleum Reduction Should Be An Easier Sell For All Americans Than Either Trump or Clinton

As Americans focus on a contentious presidential election between diametrically opposed candidates, an issue that’s challenged the last eight presidents combined remains, and this is its “addiction” to its monopoly energy source, petroleum.

Since President Richard Nixon, the call for “energy independence” has been described as having potential to profoundly shape the U.S. economy, culture, and the very air its people and their future generations breathe.

Today the U.S. consumes half the oil used daily in its cars and trucks, and if multiple technologies and strategies are employed, the UCS argues the net use in all sectors of oil may be cut in half inside of 20 years.

Today the U.S. consumes half the oil used daily in its cars and trucks, and if multiple technologies and strategies are employed, the UCS argues the net use in all sectors of oil may be cut in half inside of 20 years.

To some who may have heard just some of the issues, this can appear as divisive a topic as the election, but advocates have long said this need not be so. That is because, regardless whether one agrees with all reasons for reducing petroleum consumption, there is something in it for everyone.

In other words, if viewed from the big picture, the benign general goal of using less oil has bipartisan appeal, they say. Anger and heated rhetoric have only been incited when people dive into the details and debate policies aimed at achieving what for America has been an elusive objective.

Advocates, such as the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), trying to work with all stakeholders, have generally talked about a multi-pronged approach – as have legislators and government regulators. This means, while the UCS pushes for plug-in electrified cars, its Half the Oil plan recommends several strategies and technologies for several sectors, including transportation, and aspires to be win-win for all.

Reality Check

As you may have noticed, the line between what could be, and what is, can be a real one.

With fuel prices artificially low, American car sellers have been recording record profits driven by truck and SUV sales with hybrids down to 1.97 percent of the market, and plug-ins climbing, but still at just 0.83 percent.

The UCS plan calls for a comprehensive attack on reducing energy demands by vehicles, buildings, and industry.

The UCS plan for now through 2035 is to be achieved by whittling consumption in all sectors possible, including trucks, rail and air, as well as making buildings more efficient, and more.

It’s been said a mass changeover to plug-ins is not going to happen until the price-for-performance barrier comes down versus incumbent gasoline. This is happening, with new models much better than those introduced earlier this decade, and meanwhile the effort continues.

Realistically, individual consumers buy into technology like EVs or hybrids when the light bulb goes on for them that these will meet their budget and needs.

But petroleum reduction is not just about electrified vehicles. The move away from oil also embraces alternative fuels, simply more-efficient conventional vehicles, even bicycles, mass transit, and other alternatives.

That wheels have turned more slowly than predicted – for the past 42 years or more – is undeniable, however, as comedian Jon Stewart shows in parodying the somber declarations of presidents past.

 

In any event, and as Americans prepare yet again to hope in the words of who ever will be the next president, reality pushes ahead in the face of an “entrenched” oil-dependent paradigm.

SEE ALSO: What’s Really Motivating Automakers To Build Electric Cars?

As for cars we drive, the transition to lower emitting and higher mpg is being forced by Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rules from now through 2025 – with intent to continue reductions beyond. Although parallel California rules do call for more zero-emission electrified vehicles, the federal plan is more flexible in allowing automakers to choose multiple ways to get the job done. Under U.S. EPA rules, only 1-3 percent plug-ins are required by 2025, though the move is on for much more than this.

With a focus on the vehicles we drive, following are a few reasons why this could be good for everyone in the long run.

Reduce Global Warming

scientists-clues-print

To get one of the potentially contentious issues out of the way, the often-heard motivation for alternative fuels is climate change.

As the U.S. uses advanced petroleum extraction techniques like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to squeeze out more oil, advocates say these do nothing for already troublesome greenhouse gas emissions.

Lower emission vehicles on the other hand can cut down on the millions of tons of greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere.

Plug-in vehicles in particular let drivers bypass the gas pump altogether on daily drives. This is true even of plug-in hybrids with as low as 20 miles range, assuming one’s daily needs are that low, or not much more.

The UCS estimate by 2035, the transition to plug-ins could cut 1.3 million barrels per day from U.S. oil consumption.

The advocacy also pitches advanced cellulosic biofuels derived form waste products and environmentally friendly crops such as perennial grasses that would not compromise the food supply.

These are estimated by the UCS to cut oil use by 1.7 million barrels per day by 2035.

Clean Air

clean_air

Less controversial than the effects of CO2 on the climate is that tailpipes today are spewing toxic gases and particles into the air everyone breathes.

Where a blanket of smog exists, this may be more apparent, but otherwise an often invisible issue like air quality may be hard to grasp.

It is a reality, however, and authorities unanimously cite this as responsible for numerous health concerns.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, aside from climate change concerns, also affecting us all are smog-forming NOx, particulate matter (PM), and ozone pollution.

Smog can wreak havoc on the lungs, aggravating conditions like asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis, among a list of concerns.

Particulate matter (PM) has been traced to premature death for people with heart or lung disease, nonfatal heart attacks, decreased lung function, and asthma attacks.

Reducing tailpipe emissions stands to curtail these pollution-related illnesses and deaths, especially for those near roadways, and people in cities.

Job Creation

Tesla_factory

This one stands to be a debate too, but it depends on how things play out.

According to the UCS, upwards of a million new jobs are projected assuming the country moves forward on alternative energy transportation.

Driving the shift are the “hard won” CAFE rules, and here a battle line is perceptibly drawn.

Fighting the enterprise, says the UCS, are oil companies which have been alleged to be in cahoots with auto companies resisting more-rapid development.

Presently, the industry’s lobby arm – the Auto Alliance – is creating case studies and statistics attempting to weaken federal 2022-2025 emission regulations.

Representing a dozen automakers, the Auto Alliance has said the exact opposite of the UCS in that 1.1 million jobs could be lost if automakers are made to toe the line and raise fleet average mpg from today’s 26 mpg to about 39 mpg by 2025.

A comprehensive examination of the merits of both positions is beyond the scope of this overview, but the UCS has shot holes in arguments by the Alliance saying it has regurgitated old data, cherry picked facts, and presented false assertions.

Meanwhile, unemployment predicted since 2011 by the Alliance has not happened, and the UCS predicts a boost to the economy, as well as the country which yet leads, but is slipping in an emerging global plug-in car industry.

SEE ALSO: China Now Ties US For Leadership In Cumulative Global Plug-In Sales

Aside from automakers hiring new people to design and build new kinds of vehicles, today’s new-tech auto environment has prompted startups to jump into the market such as has not been seen for decades.

Energy Options and Freedom

16_Volt_plug-668x448

Oil is the monopoly fuel and has been likened to having almost all of ones eggs in one basket.

This has benefitted oil companies and auto companies set up to profit from this reality, but it also leaves the U.S. tied to OPEC, and the global market which is out of its control.

At the moment while gas prices are relatively affordable, consumers who manage their lives either by reaction, or crisis management, may feel fine, as today’s cheap gas makes it seem there is no perceived pressing crisis.

That, says advocates, is a false sense of security, as the underlying umbilical cord that keeps the U.S. vulnerable to what is happening in other unstable regions remains. Oil is what economists call a “global fungible commodity” and its price is not on the world market, and out of U.S. control.

Domestically sourced energy – including electricity and proposed alternative fuels, assuming they become feasible – mean consumer choice.

This also stands to reduce and ultimately end the reliance on petroleum that has pulled the country into war, continually demands expensive military protections and foreign policy actions in nations where terrorists target the U.S.

Save Money

C-Max_energi

The economics of new alternative energy hybrid and plug-in cars today are a mixed bag. Some clearly pay back, other may pay back, and meanwhile developments are improving the value question.

The UCS says typical American drivers spend almost as much on gas as they do on their vehicle. All told, this is around 2 billion dollars spent on oil and petroleum products per day.

Money savings from cutting this applies not just to individuals – like you – but for all, though today alternatives are can be relatively higher cost.

While these are still ramping up, critics have observed high costs offsetting those fuel savings, but this was predicted from the outset, and is considered normal at this early stage.

As economies of scale and costs decrease, and as technologies improve, the cost equation is getting better.

For example, Chevrolet is doubling the EV range per dollar one could have gotten just one year ago, with its $30,000 (after federal tax credit), 238-mile range Bolt EV.

At least five other companies are at work on similar price for performance, and this is just generation two, with more development and efficiencies expected.

In Sum

Like the election, the subtopic of alternative energy, and cutting petroleum dependence can be a source of heated debate with radically opposed viewpoints, but alternative energy actually offers something for everyone.

Who does not care about air quality for themselves, and their children, and children’s children? And, who does not care about having consumer choice? And who does not care about global ties to nations where terrorists see the U.S. as public offender number one?

These factors remain before anyone begins to talk about global warming, or taxpayer dollars devoted.

To be sure, much more could be said on these topics only brushed, but the entire world is actually moving this way.

Aside from the U.S. policymakers in Europe, China, and Asia are also attempting to curtail petroleum use. Last month the major automakers of Europe announced by 2025 their global sales would consist of 15-25 percent plug-in cars, with implication that was just a beginning.

Undoubtedly potential for contention is in the details, but at least certain is these issues are not going away. The shift away from what has been a security blanket and shaper of our very culture for the past hundred years is happening.

UCS

The post Why Petroleum Reduction Should Be An Easier Sell For All Americans Than Either Trump or Clinton appeared first on HybridCars.com.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Why Petroleum Reduction Should Be An Easier Sell For All Americans Than Either Trump or Clinton

As Americans focus on a contentious presidential election between diametrically opposed candidates, an issue that’s challenged the last eight presidents combined remains, and this is its “addiction” to its monopoly energy source, petroleum.

Since President Richard Nixon, the call for “energy independence” has been described as having potential to profoundly shape the U.S. economy, culture, and the very air its people and their future generations breathe.

Today the U.S. consumes half the oil used daily in its cars and trucks, and if multiple technologies and strategies are employed, the UCS argues the net use in all sectors of oil may be cut in half inside of 20 years.

Today the U.S. consumes half the oil used daily in its cars and trucks, and if multiple technologies and strategies are employed, the UCS argues the net use in all sectors of oil may be cut in half inside of 20 years.

To some who may have heard just some of the issues, this can appear as divisive a topic as the election, but advocates have long said this need not be so. That is because, regardless whether one agrees with all reasons for reducing petroleum consumption, there is something in it for everyone.

In other words, if viewed from the big picture, the benign general goal of using less oil has bipartisan appeal, they say. Anger and heated rhetoric have only been incited when people dive into the details and debate policies aimed at achieving what for America has been an elusive objective.

Advocates, such as the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), trying to work with all stakeholders, have generally talked about a multi-pronged approach – as have legislators and government regulators. This means, while the UCS pushes for plug-in electrified cars, its Half the Oil plan recommends several strategies and technologies for several sectors, including transportation, and aspires to be win-win for all.

Reality Check

As you may have noticed, the line between what could be, and what is, can be a real one.

With fuel prices artificially low, American car sellers have been recording record profits driven by truck and SUV sales with hybrids down to 1.97 percent of the market, and plug-ins climbing, but still at just 0.83 percent.

The UCS plan calls for a comprehensive attack on reducing energy demands by vehicles, buildings, and industry.

The UCS plan for now through 2035 is to be achieved by whittling consumption in all sectors possible, including trucks, rail and air, as well as making buildings more efficient, and more.

It’s been said a mass changeover to plug-ins is not going to happen until the price-for-performance barrier comes down versus incumbent gasoline. This is happening, with new models much better than those introduced earlier this decade, and meanwhile the effort continues.

Realistically, individual consumers buy into technology like EVs or hybrids when the light bulb goes on for them that these will meet their budget and needs.

But petroleum reduction is not just about electrified vehicles. The move away from oil also embraces alternative fuels, simply more-efficient conventional vehicles, even bicycles, mass transit, and other alternatives.

That wheels have turned more slowly than predicted – for the past 42 years or more – is undeniable, however, as comedian Jon Stewart shows in parodying the somber declarations of presidents past.

 

In any event, and as Americans prepare yet again to hope in the words of who ever will be the next president, reality pushes ahead in the face of an “entrenched” oil-dependent paradigm.

SEE ALSO: What’s Really Motivating Automakers To Build Electric Cars?

As for cars we drive, the transition to lower emitting and higher mpg is being forced by Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rules from now through 2025 – with intent to continue reductions beyond. Although parallel California rules do call for more zero-emission electrified vehicles, the federal plan is more flexible in allowing automakers to choose multiple ways to get the job done. Under U.S. EPA rules, only 1-3 percent plug-ins are required by 2025, though the move is on for much more than this.

With a focus on the vehicles we drive, following are a few reasons why this could be good for everyone in the long run.

Reduce Global Warming

scientists-clues-print

To get one of the potentially contentious issues out of the way, the often-heard motivation for alternative fuels is climate change.

As the U.S. uses advanced petroleum extraction techniques like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing to squeeze out more oil, advocates say these do nothing for already troublesome greenhouse gas emissions.

Lower emission vehicles on the other hand can cut down on the millions of tons of greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere.

Plug-in vehicles in particular let drivers bypass the gas pump altogether on daily drives. This is true even of plug-in hybrids with as low as 20 miles range, assuming one’s daily needs are that low, or not much more.

The UCS estimate by 2035, the transition to plug-ins could cut 1.3 million barrels per day from U.S. oil consumption.

The advocacy also pitches advanced cellulosic biofuels derived form waste products and environmentally friendly crops such as perennial grasses that would not compromise the food supply.

These are estimated by the UCS to cut oil use by 1.7 million barrels per day by 2035.

Clean Air

clean_air

Less controversial than the effects of CO2 on the climate is that tailpipes today are spewing toxic gases and particles into the air everyone breathes.

Where a blanket of smog exists, this may be more apparent, but otherwise an often invisible issue like air quality may be hard to grasp.

It is a reality, however, and authorities unanimously cite this as responsible for numerous health concerns.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, aside from climate change concerns, also affecting us all are smog-forming NOx, particulate matter (PM), and ozone pollution.

Smog can wreak havoc on the lungs, aggravating conditions like asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis, among a list of concerns.

Particulate matter (PM) has been traced to premature death for people with heart or lung disease, nonfatal heart attacks, decreased lung function, and asthma attacks.

Reducing tailpipe emissions stands to curtail these pollution-related illnesses and deaths, especially for those near roadways, and people in cities.

Job Creation

Tesla_factory

This one stands to be a debate too, but it depends on how things play out.

According to the UCS, upwards of a million new jobs are projected assuming the country moves forward on alternative energy transportation.

Driving the shift are the “hard won” CAFE rules, and here a battle line is perceptibly drawn.

Fighting the enterprise, says the UCS, are oil companies which have been alleged to be in cahoots with auto companies resisting more-rapid development.

Presently, the industry’s lobby arm – the Auto Alliance – is creating case studies and statistics attempting to weaken federal 2022-2025 emission regulations.

Representing a dozen automakers, the Auto Alliance has said the exact opposite of the UCS in that 1.1 million jobs could be lost if automakers are made to toe the line and raise fleet average mpg from today’s 26 mpg to about 39 mpg by 2025.

A comprehensive examination of the merits of both positions is beyond the scope of this overview, but the UCS has shot holes in arguments by the Alliance saying it has regurgitated old data, cherry picked facts, and presented false assertions.

Meanwhile, unemployment predicted since 2011 by the Alliance has not happened, and the UCS predicts a boost to the economy, as well as the country which yet leads, but is slipping in an emerging global plug-in car industry.

SEE ALSO: China Now Ties US For Leadership In Cumulative Global Plug-In Sales

Aside from automakers hiring new people to design and build new kinds of vehicles, today’s new-tech auto environment has prompted startups to jump into the market such as has not been seen for decades.

Energy Options and Freedom

16_Volt_plug-668x448

Oil is the monopoly fuel and has been likened to having almost all of ones eggs in one basket.

This has benefitted oil companies and auto companies set up to profit from this reality, but it also leaves the U.S. tied to OPEC, and the global market which is out of its control.

At the moment while gas prices are relatively affordable, consumers who manage their lives either by reaction, or crisis management, may feel fine, as today’s cheap gas makes it seem there is no perceived pressing crisis.

That, says advocates, is a false sense of security, as the underlying umbilical cord that keeps the U.S. vulnerable to what is happening in other unstable regions remains. Oil is what economists call a “global fungible commodity” and its price is not on the world market, and out of U.S. control.

Domestically sourced energy – including electricity and proposed alternative fuels, assuming they become feasible – mean consumer choice.

This also stands to reduce and ultimately end the reliance on petroleum that has pulled the country into war, continually demands expensive military protections and foreign policy actions in nations where terrorists target the U.S.

Save Money

C-Max_energi

The economics of new alternative energy hybrid and plug-in cars today are a mixed bag. Some clearly pay back, other may pay back, and meanwhile developments are improving the value question.

The UCS says typical American drivers spend almost as much on gas as they do on their vehicle. All told, this is around 2 billion dollars spent on oil and petroleum products per day.

Money savings from cutting this applies not just to individuals – like you – but for all, though today alternatives are can be relatively higher cost.

While these are still ramping up, critics have observed high costs offsetting those fuel savings, but this was predicted from the outset, and is considered normal at this early stage.

As economies of scale and costs decrease, and as technologies improve, the cost equation is getting better.

For example, Chevrolet is doubling the EV range per dollar one could have gotten just one year ago, with its $30,000 (after federal tax credit), 238-mile range Bolt EV.

At least five other companies are at work on similar price for performance, and this is just generation two, with more development and efficiencies expected.

In Sum

Like the election, the subtopic of alternative energy, and cutting petroleum dependence can be a source of heated debate with radically opposed viewpoints, but alternative energy actually offers something for everyone.

Who does not care about air quality for themselves, and their children, and children’s children? And, who does not care about having consumer choice? And who does not care about global ties to nations where terrorists see the U.S. as public offender number one?

These factors remain before anyone begins to talk about global warming, or taxpayer dollars devoted.

To be sure, much more could be said on these topics only brushed, but the entire world is actually moving this way.

Aside from the U.S. policymakers in Europe, China, and Asia are also attempting to curtail petroleum use. Last month the major automakers of Europe announced by 2025 their global sales would consist of 15-25 percent plug-in cars, with implication that was just a beginning.

Undoubtedly potential for contention is in the details, but at least certain is these issues are not going away. The shift away from what has been a security blanket and shaper of our very culture for the past hundred years is happening.

UCS

The post Why Petroleum Reduction Should Be An Easier Sell For All Americans Than Either Trump or Clinton appeared first on HybridCars.com.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Last Call: The Scream Edition

This morning’s movie matinee got me thinking about old Caddy’s, and whether or not they are inherently evil. I was beginning to think not. Then I came across this image of the tail lamps and bumper exhaust on a ’58 Sixty Special, which together looks eerily like the face in Edward Munch’s ...
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Toyota Developing Car-Sharing Technology Platform

DSC_0384

Toyota Motor Corporation announced plans for a new technology platform that will support vehicle-sharing for car owners on Monday.

The platform is intended for use by car-sharing services, and the car company plans to conduct a pilot with car-sharing company Getaround, a company that somewhat akin to what Aribnb does, albeit only with cars. The pilot will launch in January 2017 in San Francisco.

“Our goal at Getaround has always been to empower people to car-share everywhere,” said Sam Zaid, CEO of the car-sharing company. .

To facilitate car sharing, Toyota developed a smart key box that can be placed in an owner’s vehicle without modifications. Those wishing to use the car via a car-sharing service will receive a code that authorizes their device to access the vehicle.

Drivers will be able to lock and unlock the doors of a car, as well as start the engine, via an app on their smartphone.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Posted in Uncategorized |