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Archive for December, 2010

Toyota Working in Prius Plug In Hybrid

Only a few years ago, Toyota introduced us to the Eco-friendly most sold hybrid all over the world. Currently, a plug in version, is set to be launch around Feb 2012.

The new model, Prius PHV for “Plug in hybrid vehicle” is currently only being tested on a Toyota’s pilot program within government agencies and various utilities in order to gather data.

Comparing Regular Prius to the PHV

Exterior and interior changes are minimal. We could say that apart from door handles, silver paint on mirrors and a few PHV specific displays, there is absolutely no change at all. The difference comes entirely from the battery it uses. Old Prius carries a nickel-metal hydride battery pack, the new PHV uses a lithium-ion pack, which is supposed to be much more potent. Toyota is yet not giving specifics on how much more potent it will be. However, the new battery permits to drive more miles on electricity alone, therefore it is more fuel efficient. The new battery can be charged in 3 hours from any regular 110 volt outlet and only 1.5 hours from a 220 volt one. If you drive at a recommended speed, you will be able to drive up to thirteen miles in electric mode. Once the battery dies, the car automatically reverts to conventional hybrid functions.

This model same as the older one, will not give you speed! It goes from 0-to-60-mph in a time of 11.3 seconds contrary to the older Prius that could do the same in 9.8 seconds. This is caused by the battery adding 330 more pounds. However, it is clear for everyone (at least that’s what I hope) that the Pruis is not a car for speeding or for collection, we are talking about a safe, comfortable car that has great fuel efficiency. And, of course, rest free, as you are contributing to Mother Nature with this one.

We don’t have an estimate on how much it could cost yet, however sources tell us it won’t cost as much as the new Chevy Volt.

Ford to Introduce 10 New Compact Cars

Ford Motor Company is expanding its range of compact cars and it has announced to launch at least ten new models in the coming years.

Some of the models are Ford Escape crossover, C-Max small minivan and Ford Focus. Some of these automobiles will be shown at the North American International Auto Show, open only to journalists on the second week of January 2011.

The plan for 2012 is to have build a single platform for all regions, this way, the company plans to reduce engineering costs and make manufacturing process easier. Not to mention the money that can be saved as most all parts will be shared with different cars, addressing different markets and consumer taste. As an example, The Ford Focus currently sold in North America does not uses the same parts as the European one. With the new platform, production will increase from 200,000 to at least 850,000, boosting Ford’s sales up the roof. This initiative is part of the One Ford Strategy, mentioned Alan Mulally, Chief Executive.

According to stats, 1 out of each 4 automobiles in the world is a compact, making this, a very intelligent move from Ford.

    2011 Ford Focus
  • 25 city/35 hwy mpg
  • 2.0L 4-cyl. engine
  • Manual or automatic transmission
  • Up to 25 cty/35 hwy mpg
  • MP3 Player
  • Side/Curtain Airbags
  • Stability control
  • Traction control
  • MSRP from 16640
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