GM suspends Volt production for five weeks, while the Prius C gets EPA rating of 53 mpg. Micro-hybrids could make cautious consumers comfortable with fuel saving technology without price premium. Creators of the Sparrow EV are working on a revival, while Envia claims it battery shatters both energy density and cost per kilowatt hour barriers.
19 PAGES : 2.07 MB PDF


In This Edition:

  • 53 MPG
  • Making Hybrids Affordable
  • Rehatching the Sparrow2
  • Envia's Breakthrough Battery
  • Eric Bolling's Fuzzy Math
  • 53 MPG
    It could be the lowest priced hybrid yet, and it could significantly shift consumer attitudes and expectations about cars that merge electric power and gasoline. The Prius ‘C’ will go on sale this year and when it does, it’ll be offered in four model configurations, the most basic version (Model 1201) stickering out at $18,950US, effectively making it the lowest priced hybrid in the North American market. Engineered to fit the urban environment, hence “C” for city designation, the car is shorter and narrower than the standard Prius. It weighs 542 pounds less and has a smaller 1.4L Atkinson engine, but all these reductions equate to class-leading fuel economy EPA -rated city fuel economy of 53 mpg. That’s the best since the original Honda Insight of a decade ago. The highway rating is 45 mpg; the combined is 50 miles per gallon. While the car is small and light weight, it comes with 9 passenger- protective air bags. The baseline model comes standard with “automatic climate control, tilt-telescopic steering wheel with audio, climate, multi-information display and Bluetooth® hands-free phone controls; and remote keyless entry with illuminated entry,” Toyota’s data sheet explains.

    In addition to the air bags, the company also points out that it is “equipped with the standard Star Safety System™, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), and Smart Stop Technology (SST).”

    And as with most Synergy Drive Hybrids, it’ll travel about a mile in EV mode. Let’s see how long it takes to offer a PHEV version. Care to place a wager? 2015 model, maybe?

    Making Hybrids Affordable
    Just this morning, we learned that General Motors has ordered a temporary suspension of production of the Chevy Volt and its sibling, the Ampera. The company stated that it is realigning production with demand, which is not an uncommon procedure in the automotive industry, we’re reassured.


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