Posts tagged “Prius”
C-Max Crossover: Ford’s hope to compete with Toyota’s Prius
Taking advantage of unpredictable gas prices and a rising consumer interest in all things green, auto-maker Ford is finally making its way into sales of dedicated hybrid vehicles with its freshly announced 2013 C-Max line.
The hybrid auto niche has long been dominated by Toyota and its popular Prius, with major players lke Hyundai, Kia and General Motors working their way into top spots as well, making Ford a relative latecomer at risk of being overshadowed by the competition; while Ford has released hybrid versions of its existing models in years past, the C-Max compact crossover stands as its first dedicated hybrid line.
This will be the conclusion of Vinod Khosla’s (VK) recent lengthy interview at the Milken Institute 2009 Global Conference. The interview was conducted by Elizabeth Corcoran (EC) of Forbes and can be viewed here. In Part I, VK discussed the role of government money, capital intensity of renewable projects, and some of his solar investments. In Part II, VK discussed butanol, cellulosic ethanol, nuclear power, and cap and trade. Here in Part III, VK discusses his beef with electric cars, has lots to say about Black Swans, discusses his problems with nuclear in more detail, talks about green jobs, sugarcane ethanol, and weighs in on indirect land use issues for biofuels. EC (39:00): Let’s get to those electric cars. You… Continue»
In 2009 and 2010 we should see a lot of hybrids and fully electric cars hitting the roads. I spent a little time this weekend reviewing the potential offerings. Here is where some of the more frequently-mentioned offerings stand. 1. The Aptera 2e The Aptera 2e This is probably the most unusual offering. I first mentioned the Aptera in a story last year, and the roll-out is still on target for Q4 of this year. It is a 3-wheeled vehicle, made of light-weight composites. The shape is very aerodynamic to minimize wind resistance. The batteries recharge in 8 hours, and the car reportedly has a range of 100 miles. The cost is going to be in the range of $30,000,… Continue»
Retail gasoline prices in the U.S. peaked back in July at $4.17 a gallon. (Source: EIA). At the end of 2008, gasoline had fallen to $1.67. We typically use about 140 billion gallons of gasoline each year, so that $2.50 drop amounts to an annualized difference of $350 billion in the pockets of consumers – and into the U.S. economy instead of the economies of Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Add in the drop in diesel, home heating oil, and jet fuel and you are looking at half a trillion dollars. And while I am strongly in favor of raising gasoline taxes to reduce our fossil fuel consumption (and demand has been sharply down as a result of high prices), the… Continue»
I hear a lot of questions about the economics of a diesel engine versus a gasoline engine, given the fact that diesel prices are now much higher than gasoline (and likely to remain that way). Diesels have two things going for them. First, a gallon of diesel contains more energy than a gallon of gasoline. Second, a diesel engine achieves a higher compression ratio, and gets more useful work out of the engine. Diesels are estimated to be around 30% more efficient than combustion engines. I checked the EPA’s site on fuel efficiency – http://www.fueleconomy.gov – and compared a 2009 Volkswagen Jetta on diesel versus gasoline. Comparing identical cars – 2-L, 4-cylinder, 6-speed manual transmission shows that the diesel version… Continue»
Some of the consequences of very high oil prices are pretty predictable. Homes way out in the suburbs are likely to lose value. Prices will rise across the board for goods and services. Airlines will struggle. And gas guzzlers will be much less attractive: Gas costs deflate prices on used SUVs High fuel prices are causing the value of used SUVs to plummet, often below what’s listed in the buying guides many shoppers use to negotiate with dealers. “The dealer is going to offer a price, and the customer is going to be ticked off,” says Tom Webb, chief economist for Manheim, operators of auctions where car dealers buy their used-vehicle inventories. “The guidebooks have not caught up to the… Continue»
I was talking to my wife on the phone yesterday, and she asked what I knew about the 2009 Prius. I asked what she was talking about, and she started telling me about some of the features. She said that Toyota has been keeping the details pretty quiet, but details are available. Actually, I think it has come up here a couple of times, but here’s a picture: There have been some pretty big claims about fuel efficiency: 2009 Prius May Reach 94 MPG Auto Observer reports that the next generation of Toyota’s wildly successful Prius hybrid “is coming soon and will launch at the Detroit auto show in January 2009.” The car will be “a touch bigger so offering… Continue»
Thanks to a reader for calling this story to my attention. I will be spending most of my time in the U.S. by summer, and I think I am going to have to get a car. Right now, I don’t own a car, and am happily biking to work. While biking is the national pastime in the Netherlands, I fear this is not a good option for Dallas. The New VW Golf Diesel Hybrid I had just about decided on a Toyota Prius – because it gives me the best possible compromise between something I can haul the family in, and something that gets great gas mileage (EPA-estimated 46 mpg). I really couldn’t find anything else that came close. (Suggestions… Continue»