Monthly Archives: September 2014

Audi A8 e-tron on the way with new V6 diesel-electric engine

Audi A8 e-tron (Image: O. Clay)
Audi A8 e-tron (Image: O. Clay)

More powerful plug-in hybrid version of V6 diesel to get first showing in Audi A8 e-tron, then rolled across the range

Audi will add a second more powerful e-tron drivetrain to its model range using the new 3.0-litre V6 diesel, appearing first in the Audi A8 e-tron.

The new model follows the smaller A3 e-tron Sportback, which uses a smaller 1.4-litre engine paired to an electric motor. The new set-up will be used to power larger models in the range, and Audi’s board ember for technical development Dr Ulrich Hackenberg confirmed that the A8 would be the first car to get the tech.

There were no details on the size of electric motor, but Audi did confirm that the new system would have 368bhp and up to 700Nm of torque. The manufacturer also confirmed that it would have an all-electric range of 30 miles.

The new system will be presented at the beginning of 2015, before going into production. It will then rolled out across other cars in the range. Dr Hackenberg told us. “The 3.0-litre e-tron will be used in different cars. The plugin hybrid is an exciting combination.” That means it’s likely to turn up in things like the Q7 and A6, too.

Dr Hackenberg also revealed that the the A8 e-tron should boast some impressive figures when it does arrive. “It will go under the 100g/km barrier, especially in Europe,” he explained.

Source: Auto Express

Volkswagen Passat GTE revealed ahead of Paris debut

Volkswagen Passat GTE plug-in hybrid (Image: Volkswagen)
Volkswagen Passat GTE plug-in hybrid (Image: Volkswagen)

Volkswagen has unveiled the plug-in hybrid Passat GTE prior to its official premiere during the Paris Motor Show next week.

Based on the eight generation Passat, the model is the third plug-in hybrid from the German manufacturer after the limited-run XL1 and the Golf GTE. When sales start in the second half of 2015, the vehicle will be available in both saloon and estate body styles.

Visually the GTE modification differs from the standard Passat with its blue accents on the radiator grille, the restyled front bumper with integrated C-shaped LED lights and the bigger alloy wheels. The interior benefits from a blue ambient lighting, a redesigned gear knob and a leather-trimmed flat bottom steering wheel.

The Passat GTE is powered by a petrol-electric hybrid system that includes a tuned version of the 1.4-liter TSI petrol unit rated at 156 HP (115 kW), supported by an electric motor with 115 HP (85 kW) and 400 Nm (243 lb-ft). The combined output is 218 HP (160 kW), while the transmission is a six-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Volkswagen says the average fuel consumption is 2.0 l/100 km (141 mpg) and 13.0 kWh/100 km, which responds to CO2 emissions of less than 45 g/km. With full 50-liter fuel trunk and lithium-ion battery fully charged, the car has a range of 1000 km (622 miles). The 0-100 sprint (0-62 mph) takes less than eight seconds, while top speed reaches 220 km/h (137 mph).

Source: Volkswagen

Mercedes S-Class Plug-In Hybrid on sale now

Mercedes S-Class Plug-In Hybrid (Image: Car Buyer)
Mercedes S-Class Plug-In Hybrid (Image: Car Buyer)Sparky: Under the bonnet, there’s a 113hp electric motor with a top speed of 87mph and a single-speed automatic gearbox (Image: LES)

The new Mercedes S 500 Plug-In Hybrid will do 101mpg and emit just 65g/km of CO2

The super-economical Mercedes S 500 Plug-In Hybrid will cost from £87,965, be exempt from road tax, and return up to 101mpg. That makes it the most economical Mercedes S-Class ever, despite being able to do 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds and hit a top speed of 155mph. It’s the third hybrid model in the S-Class line-up, joining the S 300 BlueTEC diesel hybrid and S 400 petrol hybrid versions. The S 500, however, is the first plug-in version – giving it an electric-only range of more than 20 miles.

The S 500 Plug-In Hybrid is not to be confused with the standard S 500 petrol version. That model will only manage 31.7mpg, while emissions of 207g/km mean it’ll cost £285 per year to tax. The Plug-In version will do 100.9mpg and emit just 65g/km of CO2 – the latter surely making it very popular in London, where it will escape the daily Congestion Charge. Mercedes has tuned the S 500 to read the road ahead and minimise energy loss. That means the Hybrid can store power on motorways and open roads, ahead of urban areas where it can then run on electric power alone.

The S 500 Plug-In uses a 328bhp petrol engine mated to an 114bhp electric motor, for impressive performance and acceleration. The 0-62mph time of 5.2 seconds makes it faster than a Porsche Cayman, and only 0.4 seconds slower than a Porsche 911. Based on the long wheelbase Mercedes S 500 AMG Line, the S 500 Hybrid gets 19-inch alloy wheels, a sporty AMG body kit and noise-insulating glass. Leather seats, sat-nav and LED lighting are also standard. Like all S-Class models, the S 500 Hybrid is available with imitation hot stone massage seats, as well as heating and ventilation systems in the front and rear. Magic Body Control, which uses a camera to read the road and prep the suspension for a soft ride, is also available as an option.

The S 500 Hybrid can be charged using a standard three-pin plug, but a typical top-up at a public power point will take around two hours. Of course, like all other plug-in models, when the batteries run dry, the Mercedes will seamlessly switch to petrol power to allow owners to continue their journey stress-free. It’s on sale now priced from £87,965, with first deliveries from November.

Source: Car Buyer

Outlander PHEV wins towcar award

The Outlander PHEV won the judges' Innovation Award (Image: NGC)
The Outlander PHEV won the judges’ Innovation Award (Image: NGC)

The Caravan Club, formed in 1907 and now representing over 375,000 members, has honoured Mitsubishi Motors with its ‘Award for Innovation’ for the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). The award was made at The Caravan Club’s Towcar of the Year presentation at the Royal Automobile Club, London.

The Outlander PHEV is a full-sized family 4×4 SUV. It uses both electric and petrol power to propel itself. Unlike many other traditional hybrid vehicles, the Outlander PHEV can travel 32.5 miles without using any petrol. It emits just 44g/km of CO2 and the official combined fuel consumption figure is 148mpg.

Stewart Mckee, Mitsubishi Motor’s General Manager for Press, Public Affairs and Events received the award from Nick Lomas, Director General of the Caravan Club. Stewart said:

‘We are very grateful to the Caravan Club for recognising the plug-in Outlander with its special award for innovation.’

The annual Towcar of the Year Competition tells members which is the best towcar to buy in 2015. The judging is carried out by caravan journalists, national motoring journalists and Caravan Club members at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire and attracted 39 entries this year.

Vehicles are evaluated using the same criteria; acceleration, braking, reversing, ergonomics, hill-starting, visibility, traction and the suitability of the gear box.

Source: Next Green Car

Packing up the ZOE in Brighton ready to go home (Image: T. Larkum)

My Longest Trip in the Renault ZOE – Part 2

Packing up the ZOE in Brighton ready to go home (Image: T. Larkum)
Packing up the ZOE in Brighton ready to go home (Image: T. Larkum)

Once our Brighton trip was over, after lunch we packed up and headed north out of town. We charged up at Cobham services again without incident, and then headed into London to visit family.

An EV Queue at Cobham (Image: T. Larkum)
An EV Queue at Cobham (Image: T. Larkum)

Late in the evening after our visit was over we went to Cobham again. This new opportunity to charge (Cobham has only been open a few months) has been a real boon to us as a family. Previously there had been no chargers in this area, and so we’ve had to visit family by driving through London and using the Scratchwood/London Gateway services, with all the potential delays that entails. Now we can just stay on the M25 and charge ‘as we go past’.

A BYD E6 electric car at Cobham (Image: T. Larkum)
A BYD E6 electric car at Cobham (Image: T. Larkum)

Anyway, things didn’t go quite as smoothly as we’d hoped this time. There was a small queue of other EVs waiting to charge – two Nissan Leafs were ahead of us. By this time it was pouring with rain and we needed to eat so we decided to just wait anyway and have dinner. In fact less than an hour later we were charging up so it wasn’t a huge delay. Another EV turned up before we left, a Chinese BYD E6 – a type I have seen a couple of times charging at Cobham.

364 Miles: A new ZOE trip range record (Image: T. Larkum)
364 Miles: A new ZOE trip range record (Image: T. Larkum)

The rest of the journey home was uneventful – just another top-up and loo stop at Toddington, and we were home. The final tally for the trip was 364 miles to Brighton and back in the weekend. It had been very straightforward, indicating that an EV is practical as a primary family car, even for cross-country trips.

My Renault ZOE fast charging at Rothersthorpe Services (Image: T. Larkum)

My Longest Trip in the Renault ZOE

Mitsubishi Outlander fast charging at Rothersthorpe Services (Image: T. Larkum)
Mitsubishi Outlander fast charging at Rothersthorpe Services (Image: T. Larkum)

During the summer we took our longest ever single trip in the ZOE, from our home in Northampton down to Brighton and back in a weekend. We went down for a gymnastics competition on the Saturday in which my daughter was taking part. After the event was over, we had a good time walking around the town on the Saturday and lazing on the beach on the Sunday.

My Renault ZOE fast charging at Rothersthorpe Services (Image: T. Larkum)
My Renault ZOE fast charging at Rothersthorpe Services (Image: T. Larkum)

We started out Friday evening. I had been at work in Milton Keynes as usual that day so by the time I got back to Northampton I was already 40 miles down on range. I therefore went home via the Northampton Rothersthorpe motorway services to top up at an Ecotricity rapid charger. I initially tried the northbound side but the chargepoint there was occupied by a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Instead I hopped over to the southbound side, and filled up without incident so getting home (about 10 miles further on) nearly full. I plugged in the ZOE while we packed to leave so it would be 100% full on leaving.

Fast charging at Toddington Services (Image: T. Larkum)
Fast charging at Toddington Services (Image: T. Larkum)

We left home a little before 8pm and headed down the M1. We pulled in at Toddington to recharge only to find the charge point broken. Not a major emergency, however, as we had had this occur before and knew what to do. I got permission from the service station manager and drove across the service road to the northbound side. There we plugged in, charged up and had some food.

Taking a break at Cobham Services (Image: T. Larkum)
Taking a break at Cobham Services (Image: T. Larkum)

We continued our journey down the M1 and then around the M25 to the new services at Cobham. There we had our second charge, after which we headed down the M23 towards Brighton. This was the longest leg of the journey and although we had just about enough charge to get to Brighton, I wasn’t confident that we could easily get a charge once we arrived. We therefore popped into the Pease Pottage services as we went past and just had a five minute top-up (enough for an extra 15 miles driving) while sitting in the car.

A brief top-up in a rather dark corner of Pease Pottage Services (Image: T. Larkum)
A brief top-up in a rather dark corner of Pease Pottage Services (Image: T. Larkum)

We needn’t have worried though, as we didn’t use the car much once we were in Brighton. It had comfortably enough charge to get us to the gymnastics venue and back. The competition went well, and my daughter was awarded a gold medal in her category.

Gymnastics medal event (Image: T. Larkum)
Gymnastics medal ceremony (Image: T. Larkum)

After the event we spent Saturday afternoon walking along the promenade and around the town. On the Sunday we had a great time on the beach, and then it was time to head home.

Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Scoops BusinessCar Green Award

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

CIRENCESTER – Mitsubishi Motors in the UK is celebrating the news that the all-new Outlander Plug-in electric 4 x 4 is to receive the ‘Green Award’ at this year’s BusinessCar magazine’s Techie Awards.

Lance Bradley, Managing Director of Mitsubishi in the Motors UK, said:

“We are delighted that the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has won the ‘Green Award’ at the BusinessCar Techie’s. The Outlander PHEV is an exciting new vehicle, at the forefront of a new era in fleet and company car use.”

The BusinessCar Techie’s are the industry’s only technology-specific awards which celebrate clever use of technology that makes company car and fleet operation easier, cheaper, cleaner, safer and more straightforward. Now in the sixth year, the Techies are judged by BusinessCar’s expert and experienced editorial panel, covering all the major sectors of the corporate marketplace.

Paul Barker, Group Editor said:

“The Outlander PHEV is, as Mitsubishi claims, genuinely a game-changer in terms of opening up ultra-low emission vehicles to a wider audience, thanks to the car’s practicality and post-grant pricing against an equivalent diesel. Plug-in technology is going to form part of fleet mobility in the near future, and Mitsubishi is showing that, with the right deployment, it can make great financial sense as well as helping enforce a firm’s green credentials.”

Read more: Mitsubishi Media

Formula E Support Cars Get Equipped With Wireless Charging

Qualcomm Formula E Wireless Charging: BMW i3, Spark-Renault SRT_01E, BMW i8
Qualcomm Formula E Wireless Charging: BMW i3, Spark-Renault SRT_01E, BMW i8

Formula E Gets Wirelessly Charged Up

Four plug-in BMWs will be support vehicles (safety, medical, etc.) for the all-electric Formula E racing series. These 4 vehicles have now been fitted (or will be soon) with Qualcomm Halo wireless charging technology.

Per Formula E:

All four BMWs have been specifically modified to meet FIA requirements, with one of the BMW i3 models featuring an inductive charging system from Qualcomm Incorporated, with the remaining three vehicles set to be adapted at a later stage. The technology has been developed by San Diego-based Qualcomm Incorporated, one of the official Founding and Technology Partners of the series and a global leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies. The Qualcomm Halo™ technology uses resonant magnetic induction to transfer energy between a ground-based pad and a charging pad fitted to the underside of the vehicle. The cars can then simply park over the base pad for charging to start automatically.

Read more: Inside EVs

New B-Class to get Leaf-rivalling all-electric powertrain

Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric (Image: Green Car Website)
Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric (Image: Green Car Website)

Mercedes-Benz is promising improved fuel efficiency and an all-electric powertrain from the facelifted B-Class when it hits UK roads in November.

With 124 miles of range, the B-Class will match the Nissan Leaf in terms of thirst for charge, but it will offer extra badge prestige, a little more practicality and increased performance. It will be the fastest B-Class in the range, with 180bhp powering the car to 62mph in just 7.9 seconds – more than 3.5 seconds faster than a Leaf.

It’s not just the electric model which has allowed Mercedes to clean up its act, with fuel consumption and CO2 emissions improving across the five-engine range, despite performance staying more or less the same.

Ola Källenius, a member of the Mercedes-Benz’s divisional board responsible for marketing and sales, said: “As the first member of a completely new generation of compact class, for us the B-Class paved the way for great success in this vehicle segment. The pioneer is now in better shape than ever.”

Source: Green Car Website