Demand For 261 MPG VW XL1 Outstrips Supply

Important Media Cross-Post

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Originally published on Gas2.
By Christopher DeMorro.

Is the next order of “supercars” less concerned with performance and more concerned with fuel economy? That could be the case if the success of the Volkswagen XL1 super-hybrid is any indicator. Despite indicating it would only build 200 of the XL1 super-hybrids, Volkswagen has let it slip that demand and interest exceeds planned production.

So despite being priced at $145,000, well outside the reach of all but the wealthiest human beings, but it seems money alone is not enough to get behind the wheel. Because of increased interest, Volkswagen is carefully selecting from among the interested and capable buyers who will and who won’t get one of the 261 mpg diesel-electric super-hybrids.

Rather than build more of the XL1 hybrids, which Volkswagen is said to be selling at a loss, they’re simply going to make the car even more exclusive. And why not? The Volkswagen XL1 is a peek at the future, a small-displacement, flyweight hybrid capable of stretching a single gallon of gasoline across many hundreds of miles.

In 30 years, the cars we buy and drive could all look back on the XL1 as the car that began another automotive revolution.

Source: Green Car Reports

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This article, Demand For 261 MPG VW XL1 Outstrips Supply, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

All New Non-Hybrid Taxis In NY Will Be The NV200

by Important Media Cross-Post

Originally published on Gas2.
By Andrew Meggison.

The Taxi of Tomorrow is most likely coming to New York City. As it stands, on October 28th, all new non-hybrid taxis in the city will be a Nissan NV200, though there are still those opposing the program. New York, get ready for a Nissan invasion.

The Nissan NV200 is more of a van than a traditional sedan that is routinely used as cabs, and was the winner of the Taxi of Tomorrow contest. The Nissan NV200 was designed from the inside out using input from New York taxi drivers, medallion holders, and passengers. The NV200 vehicles offer interesting features such as more space for passengers, increased cargo room, and even a transparent roof so passengers can look up at the city. An electric version is even in the works specifically for taxi and delivery use.

So how is the NV200 on gas mileage? Well, about 24 miles per gallon in the city, which isn’t bad, but it’s not great either. The NV200 will only be replacing non-hybrid cabs in the city however, and some NYC taxi driver operators aren’t happy with being told what to buy.

Lawsuits to prevent implementation of the Taxi of Tomorrow have been filed, claiming the vehicle is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act because it is not wheelchair accessible, although the Nissan NV200 can be retrofitted. Additionally, a few NYC taxi fleets have planned to retire their current no- hybrid cabs early and purchase new cabs that are not Nissan NV200s, likely using the old Crown Vics for as long as possible. With these new cabs in operation before the deadline, implementation of the 3 to 5 year plan could take much longer.

So why all the fuss over the NV200s? Well historically it seems that any change that impacts the The Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade is met with opposition – these are the guys who fought mandatory air conditioning in cabs. Concerning the NV200, it is one part money and one part politics. The Greater New York Taxi Association, a group of medallion owners that oppose the plan, is flat-out accusing NYC of exceeding its authority by mandating that operators buy a Taxi of Tomorrow. They don’t want to be told what cars they have to buy, and they have a point.

As for politics, Bloomberg is on his way out of office, so any delay of the Taxi of Tomorrow implementation by a court of law could push the project off to the next administration, where it might get struck down or just lose traction and fall flat. The kicker here is that the Taxi of Tomorrow was selected by taxi operators and users. People who use cab services want this vehicle!

The good news is the people will most likely get what they want; even with the opposition mass production of Nissan NV200 began in August at Nissan’s assembly plant in Cuernavaca, Mexico. That is a good indication that the vehicles will soon hit the roads. As October 28th approaches keep your eyes open in NYC, your next ride could be in a Taxi of Tomorrow.

Source: NYTimes.com

This article, All New Non-Hybrid Taxis In NY Will Be The NV200, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Important Media Cross-PostCleanTechnica is one of 18 blogs in the Important Media blog network. With a bit of overlap in coverage, we sometimes repost some of the great content published by our sister sites.

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2015 BMW i8 PHEV Priced At $135,925

by Nicholas Brown – Special to JBS News

BMW i8 PHEV with doors open.Image Credit: BMW.com

At the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW unveiled its first plug-in hybrid, which is the i8 sports coupe. The US price is set at $135,925. Decide whether you think this is justifiable after reading the specifications below, and leave a comment or two!

It is a two-door, two-seat car outfitted with full LED, laser headlights, as well as 20 inch wheels. It accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, and can achieve a top speed which is electronically limited to 155 MPH.

This performance is partially attributable to a drag coefficient of 0.26, and the light 3,285-pound curb weight, which was achieved with its “LifeDrive” architecture, which consists of a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) body (like what the i3 has) and an aluminum platform (aluminum is lighter than the traditional steel).

It is equipped with a 362 HP powertrain that produces 420 pound-feet of torque. This powertrain consists of an electric motor and gasoline engine. The gasoline engine uses only three cylinders to generate 231 HP and 236 pound-feet of torque, and that 1.5 liter gasoline engine, which is mounted in the rear of the vehicle turns a 6-speed automatic transmission. Wow! That engine packs a punch!

The electric motor, which drives the front wheels, generates 96 kW (131 HP) of power (mechanical, not electricity), and 184 pound-feet of torque. In electric mode, this vehicle can travel 22 miles per charge, provided that velocity does not exceed 75 MPH.

Finally, the vehicle is equipped with a 5 kWh lithium-ion battery bank which the performance of this vehicle benefits from as well, as older hybrids had less powerful, heavier nickel-metal hydride battery banks. This 5 kWh pack achieves 4.4 miles per kWh, which is not bad for a vehicle weighed down by a gasoline engine.

This article, 2015 BMW i8 PHEV Priced At $135,925, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, geography, and much more. My website is: Kompulsa.

Audi Presenting 94 MPG, 700 HP Sport Quattro PHEV At IAA

by Nicholas Brown — Special to JBS News

Audi has announced that it will present the Sport Quattro PHEV at the International Auto Show (IAA) in Frankfurt. This vehicle has three modes:

EV Mode

In EV mode, the vehicle operates on electricity only. This mode can be used both in and outside of the city. The Audi Sport Quattro PHEV can travel 31 miles (50 km) in this mode.

Hybrid Mode

This involves the use of the electric motor and combustion engine, although not necessarily simultaneously. It decides whether or not to utilize the electric motor alone or simultaneously with the combustion engine, depending on environmental factors, in order to maximize efficiency for the chosen route.

Sport Mode

In this mode, the vehicle adjusts itself to maximize performance when selected. As there is often a trade-off between performance and efficiency, this mode is reserved for when the driver really wants speed. Think of this as having your cake and eating it too, you can enjoy both high fuel efficiency and speed.

Audi Sport Quattro
Audi Sport Quattro PHEV. Image Credit: Audi USA.

According to Green Car Congress, this vehicle generates an impressive 700 HP, 590 pound-feet (700 N·m) of torque, which enables it to accelerate from 0-62 MPH (0-100 km/h) in 3.7 seconds. It also achieves 94 MPG! Which car can achieve that combination?

Apart from that, the Audi Sport Quattro PHEV achieves this with an idea that came to mind a couple of years ago (I wasn’t sure if it would work, but I’m glad to see it did): it is called the Cylinder On Demand (COD) system. COD allows the twin-turbo, 4-litre, 8-cylinder engine to shut off 4 of the cylinders when the engine is at ‘part load’ (a formal way of saying, “when they aren’t needed”). This efficiency is also partly attributable to the use of a start-stop system which makes the engine idle less often.

The vehicle is constructed partly of aluminum body panels and carbon-fibre-reinforced polymers (plastics) to reduce weight without compromising durability.

This TFSI engine is assisted by a 110 kW (147 HP) electric motor between it and the transmission, which generates 295 pound-feet (400 N·m) of torque. This disc-shaped electric motor is powered by a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery in the back, which has a capacity of 14.1 kWh.

This article, Audi Presenting 94 MPG, 700 HP Sport Quattro PHEV At IAA, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Nicholas Brown has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, geography, and much more. My website is: Kompulsa.

Four ways to help our environment TODAY

by John Brian Shannon

We all love this planet. Or we should. It is the only home that humanity has in the entire cosmos.

The universe is comprised of up to one billion galaxies, and each galaxy holds an average of 1 trillion stars. Each star has approximately 2.3 planets orbiting it. Many stars have zero planets with them, while other stars have hundreds of planetary sized objects traveling around them in the huge (gravitationally-induced) circles which we call orbits.

But so far, we have not been to visit even one of the stars in our own galaxy the Milky Way — let alone travel to other galaxies. And, for the foreseeable future that will continue to be the case.

Therefore, we are dependent on this, our only planet, for our survival.

Maybe we should take care of the place while we are here at least until we have Warp-speed capability and can locate other suitable planets to live on.

On that note, and assuming you agree with the statement I have posited, here are a few ways that we can lower the human impact on our shared environment.

Problem: For most people, their largest CO2 contribution comes from driving their vehicle.

Solution #1: Cut your vehicle related CO2 emissions in half

No fancy calculations needed for this equation. Simply drive half as many miles per week. If you live near a public rapid transit system, you will save money on fuel, parking fees, vehicle wear and tear, and you will arrive at your destination less stressed.

I took Vancouver’s SkyTrain (LRT) yesterday which cost a lot less than putting gas in the tank and I didn’t have to search for a parking spot, or pay parking fees in downtown Vancouver.

In this city, it isn’t so much the parking fees as the towing fees in case you get delayed at your meeting. Then, it is a taxi ride to the impound yard plus the $175.00 to get your car back. Ouch, there goes $200.00 of your hard-earned money! Just like that.

Sure, once I arrived in the city, I hailed a cab to get me to my final destination. Had I been a little better organized, I could have found the right transit bus to take me to my final stop instead of a taxi. Live and learn.

But for regular commuters who travel to the same destination every weekday; adopting public transit for 3 days per week should be an easy transition. If you choose this option, give yourself a pat on the back every time you step aboard. Well done!

Vancouver Skytrain

Solution #2: Buy an Electric or Hybrid-Electric vehicle

Continue to drive the same number of miles per month, but still cut your CO2 emissions in half! In some cases, you will drop your carbon footprint by much more than 50% if you drive an EV. Not only that, in many jurisdictions, you get to use the HOV lanes on the freeway, which is a bonus for you. If you buy or lease one of these vehicles, give yourself a pat on the back every time you get in your low emission vehicle!

Ford-Fusion-Energi-2013-front

Solution #3: Optimize your existing car to get better MPG

The easiest suggestion of all. Buy a reliable, quality tire gauge (about $15.00) and put some air in those tires!

Always go for the highest pressure recommended by the manufacturer. That will give you better mileage. Check the pressure weekly and add air as needed. It takes 2 minutes a week to save your gas money.

Another way to get better mileage from your vehicle is to take it to the shop for a tune-up. Get that air filter changed, it is a cheap way to get better mileage from most cars. Replacing sparkplugs and other wearable parts can help, particularly if your car hasn’t been tuned for a while now. C’mon, be honest, you were going to take it in last fall, but you got busy. Now’s the time!

Solution #4: Reward yourself for your environmental ‘goods’

As always, whenever you do a good deed for the environment, give yourself a pat on the back.

My personal environmental reward system involves a stop at Starbucks, but whatever works for you.

Once you get used to rewarding yourself for doing environmental ‘goods’ the sky is the limit. A nice clear sky with clean breathable air is the goal, feeling good about it is the key to get us there.

I bid you a good day and in the meantime, let’s all be good to our shared planet — we’re going to need it for a long time to come!

JOHN BRIAN SHANNON

To follow John Brian Shannon on social media – place a check-mark beside your choice of Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn: FullyFollowMe/johnbrianshannon