Hybrid Cars - Alternative Energy

Hybrid cars have increased in popularity as of late.Nows the time to support alternative energy solutions and technologies.

Hybrid Cars - Alternative Energy


"Hybrid Nation"

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Nissan developing smaller, lighter car batteries for hybrids and electric cars, CEO says

BANGKOK, Thailand: Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said Wednesday his company is working hard to develop the next generation of smaller, lighter auto batteries — a technology that holds promise for electric cars as well as for hybrids.

He also said Nissan and its French partner Renault SA are moving ahead with studies on a US$3,000 (€2,230) car for the Indian market.

As demand for green vehicles grows, automakers are racing to develop viable lithium ion batteries, which are common in gadgets such as laptops and cell phones but have yet to be fully adapted to the more rigorous demands of a car engine.

Nissan, which has fallen behind rivals such as Toyota and Honda in hybrid vehicles, recently opened a new tech center in Japan dedicated to developing environmentally friendly technologies. Nissan Motor Co. last year introduced a hybrid vehicle with nickel-metal hydride batteries, but licenses the technology from Toyota.

Ghosn believes that Nissan's investment in green technologies will help it narrow the gap or even put it ahead of competitors down the road.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hybrid Cars Now Available to Rent

In an apparent race to be seen as the greenest company in the industry, car rental companies Hertz and Avis are adding thousands of fuel-efficient hybrid cars to their fleets this month.

Hertz and Avis are both adding 1,000 Toyota Prius gas-electric hybrids. Hertz’s automobiles will be available at 50 airport locations and in New York City. The company expects to have nearly 2,000 hybrids in its 410,000-vehicle North American and European fleet by the end of this year and 4,300 by the middle of next year, Executive Vice President Brian Kennedy says. The Avis hybrids will primarily be available in California, with some in the Washington, D.C., area, Seattle and Portland, Ore., spokesman John Barrows says. Both companies say they'll guarantee hybrid reservations.

The moves follow a public relations initiative last week by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, highlighting what the company called its "unparalleled fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles," which includes 3,000 gas-electric hybrids. Enterprise says it has more fuel-efficient cars than any other rental company.
story continued

Monday, June 18, 2007

Google plugs in to hybrid car development with $10M

By James R. Healey, USA TO
Internet search giant Google (GOOG) hopes to speed the development of plug-in hybrid cars by giving away millions of dollars to people and companies that have what appear to be practical ways to get plug-ins to market faster.
But the money, announced Monday afternoon at Google headquarters in Mountain Valley, Calif., totals just $1 million so far with another $10 million pledged, which might not be enough to move the needle.

Auto development is crushingly expensive, especially when it involves the kind of advanced battery and powertrain technology used in plug-in hybrids.

Though automakers are tight-lipped about what they spend, bringing a plug-in hybrid to market could cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

story continued

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Honda planning to test China market for hybrid Civic cars

SHANGHAI (XFN-ASIA) - Honda Motor Co is planning to test-market its hybrid-powered Civic economy car in China within three months, an official with a Honda joint venture was quoted as saying in the official Shanghai Daily.

The Dongfeng Honda (nyse: HMC - news - people ) Automobile official, who was not identified, said: 'It would be a trial operation to test the market response before localized production begins.'

'Our hybrid Civic will have a price advantage against Toyota (nyse: TM - news - people )'s Prius,' the official said, without providing details.

Toyota Motor Co became the first foreign car maker to produce hybrid autos in China with its Prius model in late 2005.

The Prius sells for 288,000-302,000 yuan and annual sales are expected to hit 3,000 this year.

The official added that the hybrid market will become more favorable if the government offers favorable tax policies to reduce driving costs for hybrid owners.

story continued

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Mike Millikin
June 10, 2007 9:17 AM

At the G8 Summit, six of the G8 countries agreed to “at least halve global carbon dioxide emissions by 2050” and to achieve this goal together “as part of a United Nations process.” The US and Russia were holdouts on halving. Together, all eight nations agreed to “substantial” emissions cuts, without setting any target. The agreement paves the way for talks beginning in Bali, Indonesia in December to find a successor to the UN-backed Kyoto Protocol.

An unusual and intense tropical cyclone—Gonu—formed and headed into the Gulf of Oman, striking Oman and Iran. More...

Hundreds of glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula (AP) are flowing faster, further adding to sea level rise according to new research published this week in the Journal of Geophysical Research. Climate warming, which is already causing increased summer snow melt and ice shelf retreat of the Antarctic Peninsula, is the most likely cause.
story continued

Monday, June 11, 2007

Ikea switches UK car fleet to hybrids

Ikea is switching its entire UK company-car fleet to hybrid vehicles as a prelude to a possible company-wide shift to greener vehicles.

The Swedish retailer said it would trade in its Skoda company cars for Honda Civic hybrids by next year in a pilot programme that it was considering extending to other countries.

The move is a significant one for the growing market for alternative-fuel cars, given the home furnishing group's size and global reach.

It is a coup for Honda, which has seen its rival Toyota achieve global market dominance in hybrid vehicles, which are powered by a combination of an electric motor and a conventional engine.

Honda last week said it was discontinuing production of a hybrid version of its mid-size Accord, US sales of which have trailed behind Toyota's top-selling Prius. However, its hybrid Civics have sold well, and the company is developing a smaller new hybrid car.STORY CONTINUED

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Hybrid cars the go as fuel price rockets

Josh Dowling
June 10, 2007

AS petrol heads towards $1.50 a litre, and the consumer watchdog renews its focus on fuel pricing, Australians are buying hybrid cars in record numbers.

Last month the petrol-electric Toyota Prius recorded its best monthly sales since its release six years ago.

And year-to-date figures show sales have almost doubled compared with the same period last year. Its competition, the Honda Civic Hybrid, at $32,990, the cheapest petrol-electric car in Australia, has a two-month waiting list.

Conrad and Jane Silvester, husband and wife operators of the East Orange post office, liked the Prius so much they bought two.

"I can tell you why they're selling - ours has nearly paid for itself in fuel savings alone," Mr Silvester said.

story continued

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Toyota sells its millionth hybrid

Toyota has sold its millionth hybrid car, 10 years after introducing its first one in Japan.

It took Toyota eight years to sell its first 500,000 hybrid cars and only two more to break the one million barrier.

Hybrid cars achieve high fuel efficiency by switching between a petrol engine and an electric one.

Toyota's most popular hybrid car is the Prius, which has sold 757,600, but it now sells hybrid versions of other models including the Camry and Lexus.

The company said last year that it hopes to sell one million hybrid cars a year by 2010.

Its most expensive hybrid, the Lexus LS600h, went on sale in Japan recently priced at 15m yen (£62,000). story continued

Monday, June 04, 2007

Hybrid cars face 'Catch 22' situation

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 4 (UPI) -- A U.S. study shows alternative fuel cars with the same performance and price as gasoline vehicles won't sell well, even if three times more fuel efficient.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology analysis found, among other things, until many alternative fuel vehicles are on the road, people won't consider buying one -- so there won't be many on the road, thereby producing a "Catch-22" situation.

"The challenge is not just introducing an (alternative fuel) vehicle," said postdoctoral associate Jeroen Struben of the Sloan School of Management. "Consumer acceptance, the fueling infrastructure and manufacturing capability all have to evolve at the same time."

Thus, he said, fuel suppliers won't build alternate fuel stations until they're certain of future demand; but until the fuel is widely available, consumers won't buy the vehicles. And manufacturers can't make such vehicles cheaper and better until production volume is high; but high-volume production won't happen until such improvements are in place to attract buyers.

The research was supported by MIT, the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Shell Hydrogen.