Tag: clean mpg

The 2016 Toyota Prius FAQ: What We Know Right Now

September 11, 2015 lacarguy Green Articles, Green Auto Technology, Hybrid Vehicles, Toyota, Toyota of Hollywood, Toyota Santa Monica Tags: , , , , , ,

2016 Toyota Prius-1

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.

Toyota’s Next Revolution, The Mirai, Comes To Toyota Santa Monica

May 8, 2015 lacarguy Green Articles, Green Auto Technology, LAcarGUY News & Events, Toyota Santa Monica Tags: , , , ,

2016 Toyota Mirai Toyota Santa Monica

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.

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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.

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Subaru Announces Pricing On XV Crosstrek Hybrid

October 4, 2013 lacarguy Green Auto Technology, Hybrid Vehicles, Subaru, Subaru Pacific Tags: , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Subaru’s XV Crosstrek has been a sales success since entering the market last September. Subaru reports having sold 45,000 of the little crossovers in its first year and the brand as a whole is set to top 400,000 U.S. sales this year – the fifth year in a row the company has witnessed a sales increase.

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In order to keep the momentum going, Subaru is introducing its very first hybrid-electric vehicle for the 2014 model year, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid. Sure Subaru may be a little late in coming to the hybrid party, but it’s better late than never.

Starting at $25,995, the XV Crosstrek Premium takes the topline non-hybrid XV Crosstrek Touring and builds on it. That means besides added fuel efficiency the new XV Crosstrek Hybrid comes with features such as LED rear taillights, a standard 4.3-inch LCD display, a standard rearview camera, keyless access and ignition that allows owners to unlock and start the vehicle without removing the key from his or her pocket, and automatic climate control.

Step up to the $29,295 XV Crosstrek Hybrid Touring and you’ll receive a standard navigation system with a 6.1-inch display, leather seats, and a sunroof.

To learn even more about the capable and fuel efficient XV Crosstrek Hybrid, as well as the standard XV Crosstrek, stop by Subaru Pacific today.

Audi Reportedly Developing 235-MPG Car

November 29, 2012 lacarguy Audi, HybridCars.com Tags: , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

by Zach McDonald: HybridCars.com

According to a recent report by What Car, Audi has plans to release a small plug-in hybrid boasting fuel efficiency in the neighborhood of 1 liter per 100 km—or roughly 235 mpg. Audi’s head of research and development, Wolfgang Durheimer, told What Car that although the car hasn’t yet been confirmed for production, it’s one of several new plans for high-efficiency vehicles he has been trying to institute since taking over his post in September.

The vehicle would be built around the carmaker’s A1 platform, but would likely be fine-tuned for optimal aerodynamics and outfitted with ultra-lightweight materials. The conceptual and technological underpinnings of the car are based around parent company Volkswagen’s “one-liter” program, which has been experimenting with vehicles capable of hitting the vaunted efficiency mark for more than a decade.

Confirmed for release in Europe for 2014, the Volkswagen XL1 will be the first “one-liter” production vehicle ever sold. A prototype of the two-seat XL1 was photographed testing in March sporting a set of gullwing doors. The car draws its power from a two-cylinder turbo-diesel engine paired with a 27-hp motor attached to a small lithium ion battery pack. The car will be tuned to switch between electric and gas-electric modes depending upon use to ensure maximum efficiency. Audi’s version of the vehicle would likely carry a very similar configuration.

Despite the range of measures geared at optimizing efficiency, Audi’s attempt at a one-liter would remain true to the carmaker’s luxury standards. “I’m not talking about a car with a lot of deficiencies and things lacking, but a car that delivers everything that a car needs to deliver to the customer, in terms of seat space, climate conditions and comfort,” said Durheimer to What Car.

It’s still not known how much the VW XL1 will cost when it hits the market next year, but given the cost of high strength, light-weight materials, it figures to be very expensive for a two-seat car. An Audi version of the vehicle would likely add a significant luxury premium to whatever the XL1 costs. Neither car would be expected to post earth-shattering sales numbers, and at this point it’s a relative long shot that either are headed to the U.S. market.

Still, Volkswagen and Audi are further demonstrating their commitment to high-efficiency vehicles through a wide range of drivetrain configurations headed to different markets around the world. After establishing a reputation for clean diesel TDI vehicles in the 2000s, both Volkswagen and Audi have lagged somewhat in releasing battery powered hybrids or plug-ins. Now, with multiple plug-in concepts headed to market and in test fleets, it’s beginning to look like the Volkswagen Group’s answer to fuel economy will be “all of the above.”

2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid First Drive

November 16, 2012 lacarguy Green Articles, Green Auto Technology, Hybrid Vehicles, Volkswagen Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

by Dan Grey: MPGOmatic.com

I can hear what you’re thinking … Volkswagen, selling a hybrid sedan?

Aren’t VW’s fuel-efficient TDIs the best-selling passenger car diesels in America?

Indeed they are, but VW faced a dilemma.

The typical Toyota Prius owner, they say, rarely considers buying a diesel.

So Volkswagen decided to build a hybrid of their own. A very different hybrid. One with a turbocharged engine. Marketed to folks that love to drive.

The typical hybrid has a continuously variable (CVT) transmission, lackluster handling, and a rather unsporting demeanor. The Jetta Turbo Hybrid, by contrast, has a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission and a suspension that’s rewarding to drive through the twisty bits.

In order to best show the Jetta Hybrid’s potential, Volkswagen invited a group of automotive journalists out to New Mexico, to enjoy a spectacular drive from Santa Fe to Taos and back. I had the good fortune to be able to tag along.

The Jetta Hybrid boasts the most rear-seat legroom and largest trunk in in its class. To prove the latter point, Chicago-based automotive journalist Jill Ciminillo, a.k.a. The Girl in the Trunk, applied her rather unique method of measurement. (The video is a must see!)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKgaErHtwck&w=640&h=360]

A rear spoiler, front air dam, extended side skirts, and underbody trickery lower the Jetta Hybrid’s Coefficient of Drag (Cd) to 0.28, a solid improvement over the standard Jetta’s already respectable 0.30.

While the official EPA estimates were not available at the time of testing, Volkswagen is aiming for 45 miles per gallon (MPG) combined. Through four hours or so of driving, we averaged approximately 46 MPG, with some hefty climbs through the hills and plenty of foot on the throttle. Volkswagen claims a 0-60 mile per hour (MPH) time of 8.6 seconds, and while we didn’t have the opportunity to time (or shoot) a run, it’s clearly that fast.

Faster than one might expect from a 1.4-liter hybrid … were it not turbocharged.

In Boost mode – with the electric motor working in concert with the turbocharged 1.4-liter gasoline-powered engine – the drive train produces a total of 170 horsepower (HP).

The Jetta Hybrid will run under electric power at speeds up to 37 or 44 miles per hour, when in “E-mode.” The engine will shut off while foot-off coasting at speeds all the way up to 84 MPH. The transitions between modes are seamless.

The dashboard includes a unique “Power Meter” to the left of the speedometer to indicate regeneration and efficient driving. It’s quite different from what most hybrid drivers may be accustomed to. While the LCD screen provides historical fuel economy data, we’d like to see more depth and features here. Adding a fuel economy training application would help drivers exceed the official mileage estimates.

Overall, VW’s engineers have hit the mark. The Jetta is the driver’s hybrid sedan.

Get To Know The Toyota RAV4 EV

October 31, 2012 lacarguy Electric Vehicles, Green Articles, Green Auto Technology, Toyota Tags: , , , , 0 Comments

At a quick glance, the Toyota RAV4 EV looks a lot like the gas-powered RAV4; however, upon closer inspection Toyota has done a lot to differentiate the two RAV4 models that serve very different purposes.

 

As noted in the video below, Toyota incorporated a more aerodynamic front-end design to the RAV4 EV, as well as power saving LED headlights and daytime running lights.  Revisions extend to the rear end too, where unique taillights sit below an extended rear spoiler and next to a tailgate that forgoes the RAV4’s signature hatch mounted spare tire (the latter feature being available to the gas-powered RAV4 as well).

Design changes reach underneath the car too. Redesigned spats near the wheels, and a smooth underbody aid in vehicle aerodynamics.

Inside, the RAV4 EV gains a new gauge pack and center console controls that reflect the high-level of technology the car packs. Watch the video below to see these new features in action on the Toyota RAV4 EV.

 [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU1JgGMvpW0&w=640&h=360]

Living with an electric vehicle doesn’t mean having to live with compromise. To assist owners of the new RAV4 EV, Toyota has designed its Entune app to specifically accommodate their needs.

From the vehicles multimedia system owners can access Entune’s variety of apps, one of which is a list of the nearest charging locations. Owners can also set the time their RAV4 EV will begin charging if leaving it on a charger for an extended period of time. This feature can save RAV4 EV owners money as charging during off-peak hours is often less expensive.

Other interesting features include the ability to set a “pre-climate” mode from the owner’s smart phone. Selecting this mode engages the vehicle’s air-conditioning system before the driver arrives at the vehicle so that the RAV4 EV’s interior temperature is already set to his or her preferences. But don’t take it from us, watch the video below to see the RAV4 EV’s Entune features in action:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PrnpU4WaMU&w=640&h=360]

Fisker Takes Steps Toward Production of Next Vehicle

October 15, 2012 lacarguy Fisker Tags: , , , , , , , 0 Comments

by Zach McDonald: HybridCars.com

Fisker announced this week it had completed a successful round of fundraising worth more than $100 million dollars, bringing total financing for the company to more than $1.2 billion. The new influx of private capital was necessary for the carmaker to move forward with its second model, the Atlantic sedan, which will reportedly be priced between $50,000 and $60,000.

Following a path similar to that of Tesla, Fisker hopes to work its way toward building increasingly affordable cars as its production volumes increase. Currently, it’s unknown where the Atlantic will be built or where the remaining money to begin production will come from.

As recently as last year, the carmaker had planned to use the bulk of its $528 million Department of Energy loan to outfit a former GM factory in Delaware and begin production on the Atlantic. However, the DOE withheld $359 million of that loan money after Fisker failed to meet some of the loan’s requirements.

Though the setback delayed the release of the Atlantic somewhat, Fisker has spent the better part of the last year focused on the rollout of its current model, the Karma sports sedan. In addition, the carmaker garnered praise this summer for the hiring of its new CEO, Tony Posawatz, the former GM executive responsible for overseeing the Volt program.

Posawatz said recently that the company would announce production details for the Atlantic in December—including a timeline and manufacturing site. The company has also said that the original proposed Delaware site remains in consideration. “The intent and plan is to utilize that Delaware facility and build cars there in the future,” Posawatz said, as reported by Bloomberg.

The CEO also said his company resolved its DOE loan requirement issues and hopes to draw the remaining $359 million of the loan. The carmaker is currently exploring partnerships with other OEMs as it seeks to work toward an IPO stock offering down the line.

Fisker Karma Meets Fuel Economy Standards For 2025

September 25, 2012 lacarguy Fisker Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Fisker Automotive, the leading manufacturer of luxury Electric Vehicles with extended-range (EVer™), today announced that the company’s flagship Karma sedan already surpasses its 2025 fuel economy target under Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards – recently finalized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

“It’s a testament to the disruptive power of technology that a premium luxury sedan like the 2012 Fisker Karma beats its fuel economy target for 2025 – today,” said Fisker CEO Tony Posawatz. “We applaud NHTSA and the Environmental Protection Agency for their efforts to increase fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With the Karma, we have brought to market the technology that these regulations are designed to encourage, and we’re pointing the way for the rest of the industry.”

On August 28, NHTSA and EPA finalized fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for model years 2017 through 2025. The rule sets an average fuel economy target for an automaker’s entire fleet of new vehicles, based on the footprint of each individual model in the fleet. For a vehicle of the Karma’s size, the fuel economy target for 2025 is 45.6 MPG. Current NHTSA methodology – notably different than the EPA label – assumes the Karma will drive half its miles on gasoline and half on electricity and takes into account the energy consumption of both, giving the Karma an equivalent fuel economy of 47.3 MPG.

“The Karma is way ahead of the curve, and we are pleased that these fuel economy standards demonstrate that,” said Henrik Fisker, Executive Chairman. “Regulations must make assumptions about how a car is driven on average, but the appeal of the Karma is that the driver can decide when to drive on electricity and when to drive on gas. The car’s performance in the real world is what matters most – and customer feedback so far suggests Karma owners are outperforming the assumptions behind the regulations.

On a recent conference call, Karma owners were asked to report their fuel economy. The results were impressive: the group of over 30 respondents averaged 150 MPG. One customer reported achieving 57 MPG for the previous 5,500 miles of driving, which included weekend trips of over 300 miles, while another averaged over 100 MPG with 5,000 miles on the odometer. One owner reported consuming only 20 gallons of gasoline over the last 3,500 miles – for an average of 175 MPG – and many others reported average fuel economies of well over 200 MPG.

“This is just a small sample of Karma owners, but they demonstrate what we’ve said all along – the Karma’s fuel economy performance depends on how you use it,” said Henrik Fisker. “The Karma’s technology puts the freedom in drivers’ hands. We’re thrilled to see from these early reports that Karma customers are relying predominantly on the electric range – plugging in at home and maximizing their zero emission driving – but not compromising on their driving habits.”

Toyota Tests Vehicle-to-Home Technology

June 7, 2012 lacarguy HybridCars.com, Plugin Hybrid Vehicles, Toyota Tags: , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Toyota has announced the development of a new vehicle-to-grid-like setup capable of sharing power between plug-in vehicles like the Prius Plug-in or RAV4 EV, and a home. The vehicle-to-home system (or V2H as the carmaker is calling it,) can cycle energy from an EV or PHEV into the home during periods of outage or to balance out the power load during peak hours of energy usage. The system will begin testing in ten Japanese households by the end of the year.

Toyota says the technology is being developed as part of the “ToyotaCity Low-Carbon Verification Project” it started two years ago, partnering the carmaker with 19 other companies in an effort to help households and cities optimize their energy management, with the overall goal of reduced CO2 emissions. Vehicle-to-home and other energy-balancing systems require a means to build up and store energy during times of lower usage so that it can be used later, when there is more demand and utilities tend to charge more for power. Plug-in vehicle batteries have long been identified as potential sites for this kind of energy storage, and in recent years a wide array of carmakers and charging station manufacturers have announced plans to develop such systems.

In addition to helping utilities avoid strain on the grid (and the environment,) V2H benefits electric vehicle owners in several ways. Most attractively, it helps to lower overall utility costs by diverting peak usage to off-peak hours, when electricity is cheaper. Those savings can help to offset the added cost of an electric vehicle battery pack by providing multiple uses for the pack. During emergency situations or when power is scarce or unavailable, V2H can also allow a plug-in owner to power his or her home for anywhere from a few hours to a few days depending upon the kind of vehicle.

Plug-in hybrids like the Prius Plug-in are particularly useful in this situation, because their engines can act as generators, converting gasoline to much-needed electricity. According to Toyota, a fully charged Prius Plug-in with a full tank of gas can power the average Japanese home for up to 4 days.

Volkswagen Passat Sets Single-Tank Efficiency Record

May 9, 2012 lacarguy HybridCars.com Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

by: Zach McDonald – HybridCars.com

An Australian couple has set a new record for single-tank fuel economy this week, making the more than 1,600-mile trip from Houston, Texas to Sterling, Virginia on just one tank of gas. The duo used an American-built 2012 Volkswagen Passat SE TDI Clean Diesel to set the new mark, beating the old one (also set in a diesel-powered Passat,) by 99.5 miles.

Over the course of their journey, Helen and John Taylor drove 1.626.1 miles, using 19.3 gallons of diesel and averaging more than 84 mpg. Their fuel costs averaged out to less than 5 cents per mile, whereas the average new vehicle currently sold in the U.S. will cost its owner more than three times as much to drive.

The couple used a regular, stock Passat TDI (which is rated at 30 mpg in the city, 40 mpg on the highway, and 36 mpg combined) for their drive, but were able to use so-called “hypermiling” techniques to get even better fuel economy from a car that is already one of the most efficient non-hybrid sedans on the road.

“The Passat TDI was the perfect car for the trip. It offers plenty of interior and cargo space, yet is frugal enough to help us achieve this record,” said John Taylor, in a press release provided by Volkswagen.

Though the Taylors have used a lot of Volkswagen-built diesels for their trips, their mission is about more than just promoting a single vehicle maker’s cars. Last year, they achieved nearly 75 mpg in a Toyota Prius hybrid driving across South Africa, and drove through every U.S. state in a Chevy Cruze Eco at an average of 64 mpg.

In fact, you might say that the couple have turned personal fuel economy into their life’s work. In addition to several record-setting attempts each year, the Taylors teach green-driving seminars through their Australia-based driving school, Fuel Academy. In all, the husband-wife team hold more than 90 world driving records.