Category: Green Auto Technology
Business owners interested in protecting the environment and working toward more sustainable business practices may be interested in the Sustainable Quality Awards scheduled for April 21st this year. The event is set to begin at 11:00 AM and will be help in the Delfina Santa Monica Hotel Penthouse Ballroom. It’s going to be a fun day of awards, speeches, demonstrations and food for surrounding business owners and enthusiasts. A sustainable lunch will be served to everyone in attendance and there will be an hour dedicated to business networking for anyone looking to make connections.
Learn to Build a More Sustainable Business
Clinton Maloney, an expert in sustainable businesses with more than 17 years of experience in the matter will be giving a keynote speech at the event. Anyone interested in building a more sustainable business can learn something from Maloney and his wealth of experience and knowledge.
Enjoy a Bite to Eat
Attendees will have the opportunity to try out different appetizers from Uplifters Kitchen, Sunny Blue, Lo/Cal Coffee, and the Art Institute International Culinary School.
Pedal Up in Style
The Santa Monica Bike Center is coming together to organize a group ride to the Awards on April 21st. The ride starts at Santa Monica bike Center and takes a direct route to Le Meridien Delfina Hotel. If you’re interested in taking part in the ride make sure you show up at 10:30am. If you’ll need bike tuning you should show up earlier so you have time to prepare for the ride.
It’s a Green Event
This organized event will produce zero waste thanks to careful organization and planning. It’s lead sponsored by LAcarGUY and Morley Builders and will show off local restaurants that rely heavily on local Farmers Market Produce.
When and Where?
The 2016 Sustainable Quality Awards are set to take place on April 21st and the Le Meridien Delfina Hotel in Santa Monica. If you aren’t sure where that is, the address is 530 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA. Prepaid tickets for Chamber members is just $50 and nonmembers can pick up tickets for $60. Tickets are available online here or you can call (310) 393-9825 to reserve your spot at the big event.
If you would like to be more involved with the big day than just being an attendee now’s your chance. Visit this link to learn how you can be an event sponsor, a volunteer or an exhibitor at the 2016 Sustainable Quality Awards.
When you think about high-octane racing vehicles, chances are the Toyota Prius isn’t the first one to come up. After all, the Prius is known far and wide as the ultimate hybrid vehicle, not a gas-guzzling racecar. However, all that is about to change, as Toyota has just unveiled a high-performance version ready for Japan’s Super GT racing series. Introducing the 2016 Toyota Prius GT300!
The big question: When is it coming out?
No firm date was given, but it looks like early first quarter of 2016
What is going to cost?
Again, no firm numbers were given, but we’d bet that it will be very close in pricing to the current one, even though there is more content and safety items available.
How big is it?
The new Prius is 2.4 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider and 0.8 inches lower than the model it replaces, providing a planted on-road presence while delivering more occupant and cargo room.
Will it get better fuel economy?
With an expected ten percent improvement in EPA estimated MPG on core models, Prius will offer best-in-class fuel economy among vehicles without a plug. A soon-to-be unveiled Eco model will achieve an even greater improvement, strengthening Toyota’s leadership in hybrid fuel efficiency.
What is the interior like?
The Prius’ new, premium interior adopts advanced technology complemented by features that are functional, fun and have high visual impact. The wrap-around dash design, form-hugging seats, ease of controls and improved visibility put the driver in complete control.
What has Toyota done to make the Prius safer?
The new global architecture that the 2016 Prius is built on also provides a more rigid structural framework to help enhance occupant protection in the event of a collision. The high strength upper body is designed to distribute frontal collision impact energy. Plus, the Prius will be among the first U.S. models to offer Toyota Safety Sense (TSS), a new multi-feature advanced safety package anchored by automated pre-collision braking. TSS bundles cutting edge safety technologies including:
- Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
- Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
- Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
- Automatic High Beams
What inspired the design?
From the side, it is longer and sleeker with the overall outline evoking an athletic shape. Inspired by a runner in the starting blocks, the sporty design conveys a feeling of forward motion.
The hood is lower and the distinctive roof peak has been moved forward. Bold character lines run along the side from the front fenders – one just above the sill that sweeps up towards the rear fender, while the upper crease morphs into the rear spoiler, which has been lowered.
The use of new standard LED headlamps minimizes the Prius’ front fascia and, at the same time, provides an arresting lighting display which helps define the vehicle’s character. The unique and striking rear combination lamps express the distinctive lines of the Prius from the rear spoiler to the trailing edges of the sides.
When can I place my order?
Make sure that you follow us on Facebook and Twitter and we will let you know just as soon as you can.
It never ceases to amaze us how far some of these little diesel vehicles can travel. Volkswagen just set a new record with the Golf TDI by travelling a whopping 8,233.5 miles on less than 300 dollars in diesel fuel. If that’s not an impressive return on investment I don’t know what is. During the course of the trip the vehicle managed to travel through each of the 48 lower states and traveled for a total of 16 days.
Setting the Record
Volkswagen managed to beat its own record while trying to do the same thing the company already did. Over this trip they managed to get 81.7 MPG, beating the old record of 77.99 MPG. It’s important to note that this trip beats the hybrid vehicle record by more than 6 MPG, which is pretty impressive since hybrids are supposed to be highly efficient drivers.
Driving Skills Preparation in California
You can’t just start driving and expect to meet the level of fuel efficiency that Bob Winger and Wayne Gerdes managed during their world-record trip. In order to hit the records that they did, the team had to spend hundreds of hours training in different driving conditions. They weren’t verifying the chosen route using these test trips, but rather honing efficient driving skills that would provide the fuel figures the team was striving for.
In a recount of the prep leading up the big trip Gerdes is on record saying that he relied on the Tejon Pass, the Cajon Pass, the San Gorgoino Pass and the Laguna mountains to figure out how to drive efficiently through steep elevation climbs and descents. It took countless trial runs through these mountain passes to hone steep incline driving skills enough to keep efficiency levels up where they needed them to be.
In order to learn how to deal with the highly congested sections of I-95 the trio would encounter through the northeastern portions of the trip, they headed over to 405 and 5 between LAX and San Diego. These notoriously congested sections served as a training ground to master efficient driving even when roads are packed and driving conditions are more restricted and start and stop traffic is common.
California is a state filled with unique features and even though the state was only a small portion of the overall record-setting trip, it served as the key training ground that made it possible for the trip to be successful in the first place.
The trip started at the American Headquarters in Herndon Virginia on Monday the 22nd of June. After 16 days of straight driving the vehicle ended up in the same exact spot on July 7th. The main driver doing the run was Wayne Gerdes, but he had help from Bob Winger the co-driver along on the trip.
About the Vehicle
In order to accomplish this very impressive feat the 2015 Golf TDI relies on a turbo-charged engine that uses direct-injection technology and runs on diesel fuel. It has a 6-speed manual transmission that’s quite efficient. This particular vehicle was fitted with Linear Logic ScanGuage II to take a precise measure of the fuel economy throughout the trip. It also relied on an LG G4 smartphone and a Garmin Nuvi LM GPS navigator to get the vehicle where it needed to go all along.
This record shows you how far you can push a couple tanks of diesel if you know what you’re doing and if you have the proper equipment. The Golf TDI is meant to drive far without burning through much fuel, but I doubt anyone expected it to travel quite as far as it did in real-world driving conditions, or as efficiently.
Diesel vehicles are well-known for being fuel efficient and that’s why truck drivers rely on them to get freight around the country. It’s a benefit that recent vehicle buyers are beginning to notice, and could cause more shoppers to start choosing diesel when making their purchases.
For all the critics out there that say that hybrid vehicles are a waste of resources, particularly because the batteries go bad after a time, it’s important to realize that many hybrid batteries live another life after they aren’t suitable for use in vehicles any longer. A cluster of buildings in Yellowstone National Park powered solely by car battery packs are an excellent reminder that hybrid batteries don’t have to be tossed out when they aren’t usable in vehicles any longer.
Harnessing Solar Power Effectively
Most of the time when solar energy is harnessed the excess power that’s produced is simply sent off to the rest of the power grid for someone else to use. This works well for those who are tied to an existing power line, but isn’t a viable option for more remote buildings without remote access. For situations such as those battery storage is the best solution and that’s exactly what’s used at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch buildings. There are five in all and they make use of a collection of vehicle batteries to store energy collected from solar, and soon hydro energy sources.
Inspecting the Packs
Each of the excess battery packs is disassembled and tested to make sure they can be used for energy storage. After the batteries are approved they are given a new battery management systems and arranged into 52 pack arrays for a high storage capacity. The five buildings make use of an array of 208 batteries that hold a total of 85 KWH of energy in all. The storage solution offers plenty of power for the buildings to use when the sun isn’t out, and helps keep any excess energy that the building doesn’t make use of during the day too.
Toyota has a recycling program for its battery packs, but it’s even more beneficial to reuse the packs for another purpose before they are recycled. The packs offer a lot of great storage capacity and could be used in a range of possible projects, especially with so many homes turning to alternative energy sources like solar panels to provide needed power.
That’s why hybrid vehicles may not be the responsible vehicles that some people are making them out to be. Whether the batteries they use are recycled or put to another use, they aren’t going to the landfill anytime soon and that’s a good thing. The packs offer a lot of precious metals that most people aren’t going to want to simply let go to waste.
Developing new automotive technologies can be extraordinarily expensive and it makes sense to advance technology in the most affordable way possible. That’s why many car companies are starting to work together to try and lower research and developments costs for new technology. Toyota is considering a partnership with Mazda so that both companies can improve their lineup affordably. Toyota is known for its hybrid and fuel cell technology and Mazda has some highly efficient gas and diesel engines. By sharing these technologies amongst each other both automakers could improve their vehicles noticeably.
An Existing Relationship
Toyota and Mazda already have a mutually beneficial relationship and this latest deal would just be expanding upon the benefits that both are already enjoying. Currently Toyota is making its gas-electric technology for some of Mazda’s lineup and Mazda is working on developing a small car at its Mexico plant for Toyota. Mazda should start development on the vehicle later on this year.
Meeting Strict Emissions Requirements
All around the world governments are cracking down on fuel efficiency and emissions standards. The governments want cleaner vehicles. They want less pollution going into the air and they want their nations to stop depending on fossil fuels so much. What this really means is that automakers have a lot of work ahead of them and they will probably spend a great deal on research and development to meet the new guidelines and remain in operation legally. While some automakers are focusing on lobbying and stopping these new laws, or at least softening the requirements, other car companies are striking up relationships to try and spread these developments costs amongst themselves. With the new Mazda engine technology Toyota will be able to make its lineup more efficient and improve MPG across its lineup. Toyota fans can expect even more impressive vehicles in the future with technology that was only available to Mazda previously. Mazda will be able to make similar changes to its own lineup and will likely begin offering some hybrid and possibly fuel cell cars in the future to help reduce its dependency on gas and diesel.
Mazda plans to form additional partnerships in the future, and with Toyota giving out information and working to expand its fuel cell technology so aggressively it’s likely they will form new partnerships in the future as well. Each new partnership helps bring better more technologically advanced vehicles to the marketplace for everyone to enjoy.
LAcarGUY has lead the revolution when it comes to offering environmentally friendly vehicles for sale to the public, more people come to the LAcarGUY family of dealers for EV’s Hybrids and Clean Diesels that just about anyone else in the country. Our leadership on that front continues as Toyota Santa Monica has been named one of eight exclusive stores to sell the Toyota Mirai, the next step in the revolution of environmentally responsible vehicles from Toyota.
The Toyota Mirai is a four-door, mid-size sedan with performance that fully competes with traditional internal combustion engines – but it uses no gasoline and emits nothing but water vapor. The groundbreaking fuel cell electric vehicle is powered by hydrogen, re-fuels in about five minutes, and travels up to 300 miles on a full tank.
In its basic operation, a fuel cell vehicle works much like a battery electric vehicle. But instead of the large drive battery, Mirai’s fuel cell stack combines hydrogen gas from tanks with oxygen to produce electricity that powers the electric motor.
Beginning in summer, you can request a Mirai by visiting www.toyota.com/mirai. Production of the Mirai is limited to approximately 3000 units through 2017 , and vehicles will be placed with select, eligible customers. Therefore, we encourage you to make your requests early to save a potential parking spot in transportation history. You can visit www.toyota.com/mirai today to sign up for more information and notification of exact order request launch timing in the coming months, also make sure to stop in at Toyota Santa Monica to talk to us about the Mirai, and watch for more news coming on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
When most people think about electric vehicles one of those dinky little Prius models comes to mind, or even an under powered all-electric commuter. It’s vehicles like these that make it hard to imagine Porsche utilizing electric technology to enhance their own vehicles, but that’s just what the automaker intends to do.
Porsche believes that all-electric, and hybrid electric vehicles are the future of the premium segment. There are a few major benefits to using the technology, and one of them is something you might not have considered, added power!
Enhanced Torque and Power
In vehicles like the Cayenne hybrid, or the Tesla Roadster you can really feel all the power and torque available. That’s because electric motors provide a nearly instantaneous power source and ridiculous levels of torque. Even just adding in a small electric motor alongside a standard gasoline engine will add in a noticeable amount of torque to the equation. This makes cars feel more responsive and improves acceleration capabilities dramatically.
Reducing Turbo Lag
Today most automakers are switching over to smaller turbo-charged engines, Porsche included. With turbo’s being used more frequently it makes sense to try and come up with a good reliable fix for turbo lag. There are many advanced turbo systems that remedy lag pretty well, but one of the best solutions is to include an electric motor as well. The electric motor can provide that initial power burst while the turbo-charged engine gets up to speed, masking nearly all of the lag.
More Fuel Efficient Sports Cars
Consumers looking for top-level sports cars normally don’t care about fuel efficiency figures, but the EPA and other sources do. Porsche has to follow fuel efficiency and emissions regulations just like every other automaker in the industry, and electric technology can help them meet the requirements. As regulators become more strict about fuel efficient requirements Porsche will likely lean on electric power more and more to keep their dynamic cars from becoming sluggish when meeting efficiency demands.
All of these very real benefits pretty much guarantee that the Porsche lineup is going to become thick with electric models. Someday every vehicle may integrate some type of electric engine into the mix, but for now you’ll just see more electric and hybrid variations popping up.
Even though Toyota seems to be focusing on Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles as the transportation of the future, they are still working hard to develop their electrical technology, and they have quite a few developments up their sleeve. The automaker has two different powerful battery technologies in development that could both dramatically improve the performance capabilities of electric-driven vehicles, one of which is in the prototype stage already, solid-state batteries. Solid State Batteries Toyota is developing a technology known as solid state batteries and they have already produced a coin-sized prototype that manages an impressive level of energy density compared to current lithium-ion batteries. The battery manages an energy density of around 400 Watt-hours per liter, or 400 Wh/L. This is currently close to two times as dense as lithium batteries being used today, which could do great things for electronics in general outside of the automotive industry. On top of offering more energy storage capabilities, this battery can also put out a power stream about five times as powerful as lithium-ion batteries are capable of doing. That means more powerful motors can be driven using fewer batteries. This technology is expected to be released in 2020 and should be perfected enough to hit between 600 and 700 Wh/L by 2025. What Makes them Different Solid state batteries are known as such because they rely on a solid electrolyte in place of the liquid electrolyte that’s used in lithium ion batteries. Instead of nickel-metal hydride or a lithium ion, solid ceramic or a polymer is used instead. This packs more energy into a smaller area allowing for a greater storage capacity. What the Batteries Can Do With solid state batteries being at the current energy density of the prototype in development a family sedan would be able to drive for around 300 miles on a single charge. While this is quite a ways off from the 600 miles that many automakers are shooting for, this is still a huge step forward for the industry overall and something to get excited about. Lithium Air Batteries Toyota is also developing lithium air batteries, but they expect these to take about five to ten years longer to develop than solid state batteries. These batteries rely on a small cathode that interacts with oxygen and requires less materials overall. This makes it possible to squeeze even more energy into a tiny area and could allow up to 1,000 Wh/L of storage by 2030. These two advances represent major breakthroughs for the electronics industry and will make it possible to produce long-distance electric vehicles that are much more efficient than the ones we see today. It’s hard to say if they are simply hedging their bet on Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles with this technology or if they plan to incorporate it into future vehicles to create something even more sophisticated for drivers to rely on.
Volkswagen recently announced the release price and date of the e-Golf electric hatchback vehicle. It’s set to go on sale in November and the SEL premium model will be sold at around 35,000 not including the destination fee. This price point is relatively affordable for such a capable electric vehicle that produces no tailpipe emissions but the even more remarkable thing is that VW went to the trouble of buying a carbon emission offset from 3Degrees for each of the vehicles produced to help the environment.
Capable and Spacious
The e-Golf is comfortable on the inside and offers the most interior space of any compact electric vehicle with a whopping 93.5 cubic feet of space for up to five passengers. The rear of the vehicle offers 22.8 cubic feet of storage space unless the seat is folded down and then the number goes up to 52.7 cubic feet in total space.
The e-Golf is capable of achieving a range of over 100 miles when driven carefully but automakers state that it averages between 70 and 90 miles on a single charge. The 199 lb.-ft. torque provided by the engine offers plenty of power for quick acceleration and enjoyable driving. A rapid charging system makes it possible to recharge the battery up to 80 percent full in just 30 minutes making a series of short trips in the car much more convenient than in other electric vehicles. This compact car is built on the same MQB architecture as the rest of the Golf lineup, giving it a sporty feel and agile handling. The e-Golf is also the first VW vehicle to offer complete LED headlights in the US, giving it a higher level of visibility while consuming less power.
Equipped with satellite radio, Bluetooth technology and an advanced media system with a remote app, the e-Golf is certainly a well-connected vehicle. It offers all the features that you would expect in the latest luxury sedans and that makes the driving experience all the more enjoyable. Dual-zone automatic climate control keeps the vehicle at an ideal temperature, and three different driving modes help you adjust how much energy you burn through while travelling. Heatable seats and keyless entry add further conveniences to the vehicle and a rearview camera and Park Distance Control make driving more convenient.
The Carbon Offset
Volkswagen worked with 3Degrees to offset all of the CO2 emissions created during the production and distributions of the vehicles as well as for charging the vehicles during the first 36,000 miles of operation. This helps lay the argument of whether electric vehicles are actually useful for reducing CO2 emissions to rest. With the offset purchased the e-Golf is clearly the superior choice for the health of the environment.
This latest release will bring more usable all-electric vehicles to the masses in a fun little platform. No information has been released about lower trim packages if there are going to be any, but the e-Golf SEL looks like a lot of fun to drive around.