Honda reveals 50 mpg rated Accord Hybrid

The start of the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid has begun. (Honda photo)

The start of the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid has begun. (Honda photo)

  • 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid is top-rated 4-door sedan with EPA fuel economy rating1 of 50 mpg city
  • Mass production2 of the new hybrid begins today at Honda’s manufacturing facility in Marysville, Ohio
  • Model to go on sale nationwide later this year

TORRANCE, Calif. – With the first models rolling off the Marysville, Ohio assembly line today, the all-new 2014 Accord Hybrid (http://automobiles.honda.com/accord-hybrid/) will carry an EPA fuel economy1 rating of 50 mpg in city driving, making it the new leader in gasoline fuel-economy ratings among 4-door sedans. Set to go on sale at Honda dealerships nationwide later this year, the 2014 Accord Hybrid’s city fuel-economy rating is three miles per gallon higher than the closest segment competitor and its calculated driving range of 673 miles is more than 46 miles3 farther than any vehicle in its segment.

“Even before it hits showrooms this fall, the Accord Hybrid is already surpassing the competition and claiming segment leadership,” said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president of auto operations at American Honda. “For customers looking for a 50 mpg rated 4-door sedan, there is no other choice than the 2014 Accord Hybrid.”

With EPA fuel-economy ratings1 of 50 mpg city / 45 mpg highway / 47 mpg combined, the 2014 Accord Hybrid combines the sophisticated exterior styling and spacious interior packaging of the Accord Sedan with a highly efficient two-motor hybrid system from Honda’s Earth Dreams™ Technology advanced powertrain series. The Accord Hybrid joins an already fuel-efficient Accord lineup that includes the EPA-rated 36 mpg highway1 4-cylinder Accord Sedan and the Accord Plug-in Hybrid, EPA-rated at 115 MPGe combined1 in electric-only mode.

The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid is the first Honda hybrid vehicle produced in Ohio, at the company’s Marysville Auto Plant, and joins the Greensburg, Indiana-built Civic Hybrid as the second Honda hybrid model built in the U.S. Honda invested $18.8 million in a 94,000-square-foot expansion of the Marysville Auto Plant, along with the addition of 50 new full-time jobs to handle the special processes specific to the production of this advanced hybrid model.

“With more than 30 years of experience producing the Accord in Marysville, our associates have continued to advance our capabilities, and the new 50-mpg rated Accord Hybrid is a very special milestone in our history of innovation in Ohio,” said Rob May, Plant Manager of the Marysville Auto Plant. “Production of this class-leading hybrid represents an important achievement by our associates as they create new value for Honda customers using advanced manufacturing skills and new, cutting-edge technologies.”

Including the expansion at the Marysville Auto Plant, in the past three years Honda has invested nearly $2.7 billion in innovations to and expansion of its North American operations, with more than $1 billion spent in Ohio alone.

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Ford never tested C-Max for MPGS: Automotive News

Ford C-Max Hybrid

Ford C-Max Hybrid

Ford’s announcement: Owners will get $550; C-Max combined mpg now 43

BY GERRY MILES

According to a story on the Automotive News’ website by staff writer Nick Bunkley, Ford Motor Company will give C-Max owners $550 back and revise its combined EPA 47 mpg figure to 43 mpg because the company used Fusion Hybrid figures instead of testing it to provide realistic mpg numbers on its own.

Customers who are leasing a C-Max will receive a $325 payment.

C-Max customers will be notified by mail. Ford will work with its dealer network to re-label the vehicles.

• Customers with questions can contact the Ford Customer Relationship Center at http://corporate.ford.com/owner-services/customer-support/contact-ford or 800-392-3673.

Ford lowers mpg figures on C-Max hybrid

Ford C-Max Hybrid

Ford C-Max Hybrid

From Edmunds.com
Earlier today Ford announced that it will reduce the stated fuel-economy rating of its C-Max Hybrid. Edmunds.com has been tracking this story closely ever since consumers on our forums complained late last year that the vehicle does not come close to the advertised 47 mpg.
Edmunds.com Green Car Analyst John O’Dell offers the following take:

“Ford wouldn’t take such a drastic step if it didn’t feel that it was absolutely necessary, even if it’s just a move to protect its image. Edmunds.com’s own testing found that the 47 mpg mark is achievable in the C-Max, but that was under controlled driving conditions. As we all know, our own driving styles rarely reflect the perfect behaviors needed to reach peak fuel economy. Additionally, hybrids perform best in slow, stop-and-go city traffic while for many people the daily drive is spent mostly on the freeways. These are two areas where the disconnect between EPA testing and real-world driving experiences come into play.”
Just last month Edmunds.com worked with KNBC in Los Angeles to test a C-Max Hybrid that one local couple claimed fell far short of its advertised gas mileage, and over the course of a 105-mile loop, Edmunds.com achieved a rate of over 50mpg. Watch more on this test at http://www.nbclosangeles.com/video/#!/on-air/as-seen-on/Hybrid-Owners-Find-Gas-Mileage-Isnt-As-Expected/215939001.
Edmunds.com offers more detail into why real world MPG doesn’t match EPA ratings at http://www.edmunds.com/fuel-economy/heres-why-real-world-mpg-doesnt-match-epa-ratings.html.

Chevy cuts Volt $5,000 to charge sales

2014 Chevrolet Volt

2014 Chevrolet Volt

BY GERRY MILES

Think of it as a $5,000 VAT Rebate. From Chevy. And General Motors.

Because, they say, so many owners are so satisfied with the Chevy Volt, GM is cutting the price $5,000 to $34,995 (which includes the $810 destination fee) for the 2014 model year.

If you now figure in the federal tax credits, which range up to $7,500 reflective of your income tax range, the Volt could cost as little as $27,495.

Chevy, naturally, says the downturn in price results from the aggregated knowledge base from producing the Volt, making things better, faster, cheaper and the like. Others say it’s due to slow sales and the value-added pitch is just that…an advertising ploy.

“We have made great strides in reducing costs as we gain experience with electric vehicles and their components,” Don Johnson, U.S. vice president, Chevrolet sales and service. “In fact, the Volt has seen an increase in battery range and the addition of creature comforts, such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and MyLink, since its launch in 2010.”

Chevy’s Volt lags in sales with the Nissan Leaf, which dropped its price earlier in the year and outpaces the GM product, as Nicole Wakelin wrote earlier this year.

Volt owners who charge their car regularly typically drive 900 miles between fill-ups and visit the gas station about once a month. The 2014 Volt will continue to provide owners with impressive fuel economy of 98 MPGe (electric) and 35 city/40 highway on gasoline power without any need to change their daily driving habits while saving $900 in annual fuel costs. Chevy claims Volt owners have logged 364 million miles, including 225 million electric miles in their famed plug-in.

Chevy proudly crows over 70 percent of its buyers are conquest buyers – or new to GM – and they add, not surprisingly – Chevy’s PR words not mine – the Prius is the most commonly traded vehicle for a Volt. That is surprising because the Volt is much smaller in person than it appears in pictures, has less backseat and hatch space than a Prius. Perhaps folks don’t care about versatility and opt for only the mpgs. Who knew?

The Gold Coast is not surprisingly (my words) Volt’s largest market. Volt’s low emissions earn it a “sticker” for single-occupancy HOV lane access in California and New York.

The Chevrolet Volt allows gas-free driving for an EPA-estimated 38 miles, depending on terrain, driving techniques and temperature. The range-extending engine gives the Volt up to 380 total miles of total driving range.

Oh yeah: here’s the value part that’s hidden at the bottom of the PR sheet: Volt will come in 2 new colors: Ashen Gray Metallic and Brownstowne Metallic. And don’t overlook the leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Nissan Leaf 25,000 unit US sales mark falls

Leaf_25k_1000px
BY GERRY MILES
Another month, another auto maker crosses the finish line of another sales goal.
Nissan’s all-electric Leaf had its best sales month in March, and recorded a 423.5% increase year-over-year last April wile crossing the 25,000 unit sales threshold. The result, Nissan sayeth, it is the world’s best-selling electric vehicle.

“From the beginning our goal with LEAF has been to bring affordable, zero-emission transportation to the mass market in a practical, fun-to-drive package,” said Erik Gottfried, Nissan director of electric vehicle (EV) marketing and sales strategy. “With more than 25,000 LEAFs in the U.S. and 62,000 around the world, we’re seeing the adoption curve for EVs accelerate, and there is tremendous interest not only on the West Coast but in a number of new strongholds like Atlanta, Raleigh, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, St. Louis and many more.”

Nissan says LEAF sales have risen steadily since its launch with sales jumping several-fold in high-performing markets such as San Francisco—where LEAF was the top-selling vehicle for the Nissan brand in April—Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland and San Diego.

“Pioneering the EV trail with LEAF, we’ve had the opportunity to evaluate the purchase process of EV buyers. We have maintained an ongoing dialogue with our customers, and through that we’ve learned just how different the process is for buying a LEAF versus a traditional gas-powered car,” said Gottfried. “We’ve found that customers interested in LEAF come to the showroom exceptionally well educated about the product. Then post-purchase, they stay engaged with us, connect with the LEAF owner community and share their experience broadly, which drives greater interest in LEAF.”

“We’ve also learned how infrastructure plays a role in a consumer’s decision to go all-electric,” added Brendan Jones, Nissan’s director of EV infrastructure strategy and deployment. “We already knew that areas with a higher concentration of EVs would require more charging stations, but trends show that the reverse is also true—a more robust charging infrastructure generates greater interest in EVs and stimulates more EV driving among EV owners.”

Nissan continues to make progress with its commitment to enhance the charging infrastructure in the United States and since announcing plans earlier this year to triple the number of quick chargers from 200 to 600, Nissan and its charging partners already have installed about 50 additional units where interest in LEAF and EVs is highest.

“Nissan is taking a three-prong approach to bolster infrastructure by working with commercial charging partners to bring a variety of charging options to our customers, collaborating with businesses to encourage workplace charging on their campuses and engaging in pilots with our dealers to determine how to optimize the role they can play in EV infrastructure,” said Jones. “This enhanced infrastructure—particularly with more businesses offering workplace charging as an employee benefit—builds range confidence and gives EV drivers better end-to-end charging ability, meaning they can leave home fully charged, plug in at work and be charged when they leave.”

Nissan, which now assembles LEAF, its battery and its electric motor all in Tennessee, introduced the 2013 LEAF with more customer-focused features and an expanded range of trim levels to include a more attainable version and models with more premium amenities such as leather seats and BOSE energy-efficient audio.

U.S. pricing for the 2013 LEAF starts at $28,800 and depending on location, some consumers may get the vehicle for as low as $18,800 by qualifying for federal and state tax credits, making LEAF competitive with gas-powered vehicles of its size. Nissan LEAF currently may be leased for $199 per month with $1,999 down for 36 months. Learn more at www.NissanUSA.com/LEAF.

BMW Chairman of the Board statement on BMW i3 world debut in NYC

201307_P90129581-zoom-origStatement by Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, World Premiere BMW i3, New York City, 29 July 2013

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Innovation drives change.

And truly revolutionary innovations can even transform society. There is a powerful idea behind them – and a strong desire to create something better for tomorrow.

This is why we are here today. We are at the starting-blocks of a new era — the era of sustainable mobility.

Welcome to New York City, America’s premier megacity with over 8.3 million residents.

I am delighted to present – for the first time – the BMW i3.

Big changes start small. Looking back in history, we can find many examples of this. Today, the BMW i3 marks the beginning of a new mobility age. To put this into perspective, take a look at the mobile phone in your pocket. We had more than one hundred years of landline telephones. Then came the mobile phone and it completely changed how we interact with our world. The mobile phone opened up business opportunities that no one would have believed possible.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The car industry has waited well over a century for its own revolution. Today the wait is over. What the mobile phone did for communication, electric mobility will do for individual mobility.

The BMW i3 is more than an evolutionary step —it is a great leap forward. From sketch to street, the i3 is unique in every respect. With the intention of creating a truly sustainable car, we conducted research in megacities around the world.

This included:

  • Millions of test miles with our retro-fitted electric cars, MINI E and BMW ActiveE,
  • Years of research in collaboration with Megacity experts around the world, and
  • Thousands of hours talking with customers.

From the start, we redesigned our entire development and production processes. The BMW i3 is purpose-built around an electric powertrain to serve the needs of our megacity customers.

The BMW i3 is Born Electric.

This is premium at its very best.

With every step of the way from development, to production, to after-sales, the BMW i3 sets new benchmarks in sustainable mobility. In the brand-new architecture, we use carbon fibre for the passenger cell — a first in high-volume car production. Our expertise in manufacturing with this material makes the passenger cell extremely strong and light weight. We produce the carbon fibre material using hydroelectric power. And we build the BMW i3 using wind power.

This is an industry first.

Our innovative production methods are also unique.

Carbon fibre components are bonded together in a fully automated process. The bonding techniques we have developed in-house are setting new industry standards.

The innovations of the BMW i3 go beyond R&D and production to include customer experience.

We will support all of our BMW i3 customers with a comprehensive set of premium service offerings. This approach, “360 Degree Electric”, will make BMW i3 driving enjoyable and easy. Adding to the BMW i3’s relaxing experience is the open interior with its lounge atmosphere.

And of course, the BMW i3 will share one dynamic quality with every other BMW on the road: It will be an Ultimate Driving Machine.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In response to global trends such as urbanization and increasing carbon emissions, sustainability is an important part of a modern, urban lifestyle. The BMW i3 is the perfect solution to the mobility needs of people here in New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has committed the remainder of his term to making New York City the greenest city on earth by supporting several citywide programs. Foremost, he seeks to improve and expand sustainable transportation infrastructure. We support with Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts to connect public parking spots in NYC for electric vehicle charging – up to 20 percent over the next seven years. This promotes not only sustainable mobility solutions, but also cost savings.

Charging your electric car costs up to 30 percent less than the average of what you now pay at the pump.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The car has existed for nearly 130 years.

Today marks a shift — a change — in the future of mobility.

The BMW Group is proud to be driving this change.

Today, the BMW i3 begins a new era:

The era of true sustainable mobility.

Thank you.

Toyota statement re: Collaboration with Ford, Commitment to Hybrids

Toyota and Ford have completed their feasibility study for collaboration on the development of a new hybrid system for light trucks and SUVs, which was first announced in August of 2011.  As a result, we have agreed to develop hybrid systems individually.  Toyota and Ford continue to evaluate the feasibility of working together on next-generation standards for telematics and will consider other areas for future collaboration as well.

Toyota’s commitment to hybrid technology is unwavering.  We have sold over two million Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles in the U.S., representing 70 percent of the U.S. auto industry’s total hybrid sales, and over 5 million hybrids worldwide.  In addition, Toyota remains on track to offer 18 new or redesigned hybrid models globally by the end of 2015.

All told, Toyota estimates that its global fleet of nearly 20 hybrid vehicles (12 available in the United States) has resulted in approximately 34 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions than those emitted by gasoline-powered vehicles, and have saved their owners more than 3 billion gallons of gasoline.