Toyota Prius Four Review

How Green Is It?

As before, the Prius driver has four driving modes which are:
Normal
POWER
ECO and
EV for Electric Vehicle

However, this Prius four in ECO mode got closer to 60 MPG in the city (58 MPG).

I think in part the LED headlights and the better drag coefficient helped increase the mpg.

Toyota Prius Four hybrid electric car by Toyota Motor Corporation
Toyota Prius Four
As Edmunds wrote:

The new, fourth-generation Prius carries on its predecessors’ virtues, yet it’s more fuel efficient, comfortable and practical than before. The Prius also drives better than its predecessors, with a composed ride and smooth, linear brakes. Overall, the Prius reminds us why it’s still the king of efficient practicality.

Yet I have to agree with Motor Trend on the 2015 version interior. 

Refinement is another 2015 Prius weak point, thanks to its noisy cabin, especially under hard acceleration. Though there’s an extensive use of hard plastics inside, controls and gauges are easy to use and read, allowing the driver to operate them with ease and in a safe manner. Interior space is generous, with a large trunk and split folding rear seats for expanding the cargo area to accommodate large items. 

Yet for $16,000 this car is a great price for everything nowadays. 

Test Drive Results 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Electric Car

Can you say 42-44 MPG on the highway in stop and go traffic trying to get onto the Tri Borough bridge in New York City?! So basically this SUV loves stop and go traffic! It says Bring it!  I love congestion because I go all electric vehicle!

As Toyota stated recently about the RAV4:

With more than 20 years under its belt, Toyota’s popular RAV4 continues to set the stage for the compact sport-utility segment, bringing high doses of value, style, and safety to discerning drivers. The 2017 RAV4 offers a bevy of standard-issue safety technologies with its Toyota Safety Sense™ P active safety package, and is the only vehicle in its (class/segment) to have a standard pre-collision system with pedestrian detection.

Yet this one is the most powerful and fuel-efficient RAV4 in the model’s history according to Toyota. 

While good ol EPA and Toyota report that the 2017 RAV4 Hybrid achieves an EPA-estimated 34 mpg city/30 mpg highway/32 mpg combined and comes equipped with an Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel-Drive System with intelligence (AWD-i) as standard. Yet in eco mode it couldn’t leave 40-42 mpg. No kidding!! So is the EPA giving false data?? LOL. No they just drive it wrong!  Common!  I only drove in ECO mode. So they drove in normal mode. Whatever!!

Check this! The “hybrid-related components” including:

1.the HV battery

2. battery control module

3. hybrid control module

4. inverter with converter

are all covered for eight years/100,000 miles. In applicable states, hybrid-related component coverage is 15 years/150,000 miles with the exception of the hybrid battery, which is covered for 10 years/150,000 miles.

Hybrid Trailblazer: 2017 Lexus CT 200h Earned an EPA-Estimated 42 MPG Combined, All in a Luxuriously Compact Package

Fun to drive, versatile and efficient 42 MPG EPA-Estimated Combined Fuel EconomyF SPORT Package Delivers Sporty Flare

When more luxury brands build hybrids that can offer 42 MPG EPA-estimated combined fuel economy, they will have caught up to the Lexus CT 200h – which got there in 2011. From the instantly recognizable spindle grille to the impeccable workmanship throughout, the 2017 Lexus CT 200h delivers the brand’s signature design and luxury experience in a unique compact hybrid package.
Designed from the outset as a dedicated hybrid model, the Lexus CT 200h provides a roomy cabin within its compact exterior dimensions. For 2017, Lexus gives the CT 200h some distinctive new colors, including Atomic Silver, Caviar, Autumn Shimmer and Blue Vortex Metallic.

Lexus got the whole luxury category thinking about hybrids 11 years ago with its first, the RX400h. The CT 200h brought Lexus hybrid technology and benefits to a whole new segment and also became the brand’s entry model. “Entry” is a relative term; the CT 200h never lets you forget it’s a Lexus. Take the standard NuLuxe seating, for example. It feels as supple as leather yet, compared to leather, weighs half as much, and its manufacturing process generates far fewer CO2 and VOC emissions.

Fun to drive, versatile and efficient 42 MPG EPA-Estimated Combined Fuel EconomyF SPORT Package Delivers Sporty Flare

Luxury Motoring on Very Little Fuel

The CT 200h draws from the world’s deepest well of hybrid expertise and experience to deliver responsive performance and fuel efficiency. EPA fuel economy estimates of 43 MPG city / 40 MPG highway / 42 MPG combined help make it one of the most efficient luxury hybrid models without a plug available today.

Lexus Hybrid Drive in the CT 200h includes a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle inline four-cylinder gas engine teamed with a 650-volt motor generator for a combined system output of 134 horsepower.
A second motor generator in the hybrid system serves as a starter for the internal combustion engine and generator to charge the hybrid battery pack.

Fun to drive, versatile and efficient 42 MPG EPA-Estimated Combined Fuel EconomyF SPORT Package Delivers Sporty Flare

The powertrain is mated to an Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission
(E-CVT) that makes the best use of the electric motor’s instant torque and quickly finds the optimal ratio to enhance driving conditions.

It’s the unseen engineering details that really make a difference in the CT’s fuel efficiency. For example, an exhaust heat recovery system uses the heat of spent exhaust gases to speed engine coolant warm-up. That in turn allows the hybrid system to stop the engine earlier and more often in the driving cycle when it’s not needed, for example in low-power-demand city driving conditions.

Like other Lexus models, the CT 200h puts a wide range of vehicle control at the driver’s fingertips through the Lexus Drive Mode Select system. You can choose from four distinct modes: Normal, Sport, Eco or EV. Normal mode has an essentially linear throttle response that gives naturally progressive power. Sport mode yields a more responsive and dynamic driving experience.

Source: Toyota Motor Corporation

In Eco mode, air conditioning settings are adjusted and the throttle response is reduced relative to the pedal angle to emphasize fuel economy. Under certain circumstances, the EV mode can allow the

CT 200h to be driven short distances using only the electric motor. It’s ideal for crawling through a crowded parking lot or garage when searching for a space, for example.

 F SPORT: Green, with Envy

A sporty chassis featuring a double-wishbone rear suspension and lateral performance dampers keeps the CT 200h connected to the road’s curves while providing a Lexus-smooth ride.

A sporty chassis featuring a double-wishbone rear suspension and lateral performance dampers keeps the CT 200h connected to the road’s curves while providing a Lexus-smooth ride.

The CT 200h F SPORT model kicks it up a notch with even sharper curve-handling prowess thanks to F SPORT-tuned suspension with specially tuned dampers and springs. The 17-inch wheels get a five-twin-spoke design with two-tone graphite and machine finish. An exclusive mesh version of the Lexus spindle grille, black contrast roof, rear spoiler with two large air ducts, and mesh and fog lamp inserts with black surrounds complete the F SPORT exterior package. Among the color choices, Redline features a highly scratch resistant self-restoring coat.
Advance Multimedia 

A 10-speaker system is available and includes Siri® Eyes Free Mode that lets you call contacts, get turn-by-turn navigation voice navigation through Siri, select and play music from iTunes and much more.
Both systems, of course, live up to the brand’s reputation for crazy crisp and tough sounding music. The Display Audio and Nav systems use that Bluetooth® 3.0 while including dual USB ports to ensure you can connect your music any way you like.

Lexus Enform Remote (subscription required) allows the owner to remotely view and control certain vehicle features using a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Key features include remote door lock/unlock; remote stop/start for the engine and climate control; vehicle finder, guest driver monitor and more.

New for 2017

New colors include: Atomic Silver Caviar, Autumn Shimmer, Blue Vortex Metallic

Vehicle Details

Chassis/Body/Suspension/Tires/Brakes

Suspension design combines a MacPherson strut front system with a fully independent double-wishbone rear suspension.

The CT 200h braking system is augmented by regenerative braking which also helps recharge the hybrid battery pack and enhance fuel efficiency.

Safety

Standard eight-airbag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) with dual-stage driver and front passenger airbags and knee airbags, side curtain airbags, and front seat-mounted side airbags.

Optional Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control can help reduce collision damage under certain conditions Dynamic Radar Cruise Control system uses millimeter-wave radar to measure and help maintain a pre-set distance from a vehicle traveling ahead. PCS is equipped with a front-mounted radar sensor that is designed to detect certain obstacles in front of the car.

Luxury/Comfort/Convenience

8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support and four-way manual-adjustable front passenger seat.

Dual-zone automatic climate control system.

Standard six-speaker audio system features speakers constructed with sustainable bamboo and resin.

Voice recognition and Bluetooth technology hands-free communication when paired with a compatible smartphone.

Luxury Options

Navigation with Lexus Enform Destinations, Lexus Enform App Suite (Destination Services, Pandora®, iHeartRadio, Slacker, Open Table®, Yelp®, Movie Tickets.com), and HD Radio with iTunes tagging. Package includes HDD navigation system, back-up camera and voice command. Also features Bluetooth hands-free phone, phone book download capability and Lexus’ exclusive Remote Touch controller with user-adjustable haptic feedback.

Premium Audio Package includes the Lexus Premium Audio System with 10-speakers and six-disc CD changer, Homelink and electrochromic rearview mirror with compass.

Leather Package includes perforated leather-trimmed seats, driver memory, and rain sensing variable intermittent wipers.

Seat Comfort Package: Heated front seats and four-way power passenger seat.

LED low-beam headlamps with headlamp washers.

Electrochromic (auto-dimming) rearview mirror with backup camera.

Pre-Collision System with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

Intuitive Parking Assist.

Power tilt-and-slide moonroof with one-touch open/close and manual sliding sunshade.

F SPORT Package

The last time I test drove the car, it was the F SPORT-tuned suspension and 17-inch wheels two-tone finish.

Now, it includes a front grille with mesh inserts, metal front scuff plates, black contrast roof, a perforated leather-trimmed steering wheel, leather-trimmed shift knob, aluminum sport pedals and metallic trim on the dash panel all add to the sporty feel.

Black NuLuxe trimmed seats or available perforated black leather-trimmed seats with white perforation.

Warranty

48-month/50,000miles basic limited warranty with roadside assistance for 48 months/unlimited miles.

72 months/70,000 miles powertrain and restraint system coverage.

72 months corrosion perforation protection coverage, regardless of mileage.

Eight years/100,000 miles hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery-control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter.

Why Regenerative Braking Works!

Regenerative braking is a mechanism that reduces vehicle speed by converting some of its kinetic energy into another useful form of energy. This captured energy is then stored for future use or fed back into a power system for use by other vehicles. It is estimated that on hybrid electric vehicles one can save 10 to 25%.

NYC Taxi Cabs becoming hybrid electric vehicles will use more regenerative braking:

Tesla Motors brakes include regenerative braking
Tesla Motors brakes include regenerative braking

It has been really great to see an increase in the amount of hybrid electric car and particularly cab owners (especially NYC taxi owners).

When you accelerate, you do not need to floor it and then coast. You can slowly step on the accelerator and then take your foot off of the accelerator to coast. When you coast, you use the regenerative braking. It is much smoother and a more efficient use of the vehicle since it is moving forward and charging at the same time. While there are plenty of people that own converted EVs that like to floor it and coast, regeneration can be a very big help in most stop and go driving.

 

Ford Focus Electric Car going 200 miles with autonomy

Source: Ford Motor Company

JAN 3, 2017 | FLAT ROCK, MICH.

FORD EXPANDED U.S. PLANT TO ADD 700 JOBS TO MAKE EVS, AUTONOMOUS CARS

Ford is piloting wireless technology that makes recharging an electric vehicle as easy as pulling into a parking spot; in addition, the company is testing EV prototypes this year in Europe, New York and other large U.S. cities

FLAT ROCK, Mich., Jan. 3, 2017 – Ford today detailed seven of the 13 new global electrified vehicles it plans to introduce in the next five years, including hybrid versions of the iconic F-150 pickup and Mustang in the U.S., a plug-in hybrid Transit Custom van in Europe and a fully electric SUV with an expected range of at least 300 miles for customers globally.

The automaker also announced plans to invest $700 million to expand its Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan into a factory that will build high-tech autonomous and electric vehicles along with the Mustang and Lincoln Continental. The expansion will create 700 direct new jobs.

The moves are part of a $4.5 billion investment in electrified vehicles by 2020, offering customers greater fuel efficiency, capability and power across Ford’s global vehicle lineup. The plans are part of the company’s expansion to be an auto and a mobility company, including leading in electrified and autonomous vehicles and providing new mobility solutions. 

“As more and more consumers around the world become interested in electrified vehicles, Ford is committed to being a leader in providing consumers with a broad range of electrified vehicles, services and solutions that make people’s lives better,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “Our investments and expanding lineup reflect our view that global offerings of electrified vehicles will exceed gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.”

Ford is focusing its EV plan on its areas of strength – electrifying its most popular, high-volume commercial vehicles, trucks, SUVs and performance vehicles to make them even more capable, productive and fun to drive.


The seven global electrified vehicles announced today include:
An all-new fully electric small SUV, coming by 2020, engineered to deliver an estimated range of at least 300 miles, to be built at the Flat Rock plant and sold in North America, Europe and Asia. 

Unique Electrification Technology

Building on two decades of experience, Ford is applying lessons learned to deliver patented technology, software and services to appeal to truck customers, SUV owners, performance enthusiasts, high-volume commercial fleets and everyone in between.

“Ford’s global EV strategy is to build on our strengths,” said Raj Nair, executive vice president, Product Development, and chief technical officer. “While some others seem to be focused on marketing claims and numbers, we’re focused on providing customers even more of what they love about their Ford vehicles. This means more capability for trucks, more productivity for commercial vehicles and more performance for sports cars – plus improved fuel economy.”

Ford Focus Electric Car

This year, Ford begins testing its new generation of EV technology.

Today, Ford is America’s top-selling plug-in hybrid brand and second in overall U.S. electrified vehicle sales.

New Services

Applying approximately two decades of leadership in EVs and commercial vehicles, Ford also is working on a suite of services to make EVs even easier to live with.

“Innovative services can be as important to customers as the electrified vehicles themselves,” said Hau Thai-Tang, group vice president of Purchasing and Ford’s EV champion. “We are investing in solutions to help private customers as well as commercial fleet owners seamlessly incorporate these new vehicles and technologies into their lives.”

Ford already has a memorandum of understanding with several other automakers in Europe to create an ultra-fast charging network projected to be significantly faster than the most powerful charging system deployed today. An initial target of about 400 sites in Europe is planned. By 2020, consumers should have access to thousands of high-powered charging points. 

Ford also is piloting wireless technology on company EVs in the U.S. and Europe that make recharging as easy as pulling into a parking spot so drivers never forget to recharge. Wireless recharging extends electric-only range for short distance commuters, even during quick stops. FordPass® also can help consumers reserve charging times.