Jaguar – Land Rover is taking its electrification offensive to the next level. The British company has boldly announced every car it develops after 2020 will be electrified in one way or another.“From 2020 all our new vehicles will be electrified, giving our customers more choice. We will introduce a portfolio of electrified vehicles across our model range, embracing fully electric, plug-in hybrid, and mild hybrid cars and SUVs,” affirmed Jaguar – Land Rover boss Dr. Ralf Speth while speaking at the first JLR Tech Fest in London, England.The decision to put a battery pack in every new car applies to both the Jaguar and Land Rover brands. It’s crucially important not to confuse electrified and electric, however. Customers will still be able to buy a Jaguar or a Land Rover with a gasoline- or diesel-burning internal combustion engine after 2020, but it will also come with an on-board electric motor to help improve gas mileage and reduce exhaust emissions. … [Read more...] about Every new car developed by Jaguar Land Rover after 2020 will be electrified
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As it presently stands, modern hybrids are big, heavy and full of electricity. Shade-tree mechanics dare not tuck into an at-home repair on their hybrid due to the risk of severe electrocution. That all might change in the future, though.MaryAnn Wright, vice president of technology and innovation for Johnson Controls Inc. Power Solutions, recent revealed at a at Michigan State University’s Bioeconomy Institute speaking engagement that she believes in the future micro-hybrids will supplant modern hybrid and electric powertrains of today, according to an M Live report.Wright focused in on the extra cost surrounding modern hybrids, which scare many buyers off despite the fuel savings they provide. Bizarrely, Wright equated modern hybrid sticker prices to dog food, “If the dog does not like the dog food, the dog food isn’t going to get eaten.”Micro-hybrids, Wright wagers, will run on less than 60 volts. Current hybrids run at voltages ranging from 120 to 350 volts. … [Read more...] about Could your next car be a ‘micro-hybrid?’ Johnson Controls Inc. exec says yes
Charles and David Koch have used their considerable wealth to fund numerous conservative causes, and their next spending spree could help boost the oil industry and target electric cars, according to a new report.The Koch Brothers are planning a new lobbying group that could spend up to $10 million a year to kill the electric car, according to The Huffington Post. James Mahoney, a confidante of the brothers who also sits on the board of their company, Koch Industries, has reportedly teamed up with lobbyist Charlie Drevna about starting up a new pro-petroleum lobbying group.The unnamed group is expected to use paid and earned media to promote the oil industry, but will also target electric cars specifically. The launch of this group is partly attributable to “electric cars and the subsidies for them,” an unnamed oil-industry source familiar with the matter said. The involvement of Mahoney indicates the new group is “being driven by the business side of … [Read more...] about Koch Brothers plan multimillion-dollar campaign against electric cars
It has always been tempting to compare smartphones and tablets with in-car infotainment system. After all, they perform many of the same tasks and even use similar touchscreen interfaces. With the arrival of Apple CarPlay and Android-based systems like Subaru’s StarLink, this comparison becomes all the more obvious. So why don’t systems in the car work as quickly and smoothly as their mobile counterparts?Beneath the obvious similarities lie a host of differences. In-car systems require radically different hardware and software, as well as facing a host of legal and development issues that regular consumer technologies do not. This week in Road Rave, we want to take a look at some of those challenges and which ones may be overcome in the future.HardwareWe normally don’t consider it, because driving is such a normal part of our routine, but cars are a unique and challenging environment for electronics. Take for example the expected lifespan of a car versus … [Read more...] about Why does in-car tech lag behind phone tech? It’s trickier than you think
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final determination on Friday to keep the strong clean greenhouse gas (GHG) standards for model year 2022-2025 vehicles set earlier. The EPA found automakers are “well-positioned” to meet the standards at even lower costs than previously estimated.This determination by the EPA comes even after many of the same automakers who previously reported they were on track to meet the standards more recently changed their position via a lobby group. Two days after last November’s presidential election, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team asking for relief from the standards. Except for Tesla, the Alliance represents most major carmakers who sell in the U.S.The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an international nonprofit environmental organization, hailed the announcement. In a blog post on … [Read more...] about Breaking: EPA refuses to roll back strong clean car standards for 2022-2025
We mentioned Vinli before as one of the hot new car adapters that not only gives users ODB II port info, but also turns cars into 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspots. On top of that, it works in conjunction with a suite of smartphone apps that connects drivers to a network of services for both maintenance and utility. These things are certainly handy, but shouldn’t those hands be on the wheel instead of on a phone?Today at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show, Vinli announced Carport, a cloud-based system that packs all these features seamlessly into the dashboard of your vehicle.The main difference between Carport and the Vinli adapter is that Carport will be installed by auto manufacturers and work within the dashboard infotainment system. From here, drivers can have access to the same app suite that Vinli offers on the phone, but in a more integrated, streamlined manner.Carport has a few neat tricks built in even without loading up on third party apps. Carport Home Connect links your car up with … [Read more...] about Cloud-based Carport connects cars to homes and families with seamless car integration
When people talk about alternative fuels, electricity and hydrogen usually dominate the discussion. Yet there is an alternative to those alternatives that doesn’t require exotic technology and is available right now. Compressed natural gas (CNG) can power an internal combustion-engined car with relatively minor modifications, with almost no difference in fuel economy or performance.Don’t jump the CNG fence just yet, though. Its green benefits could be offset by a dirty drilling process, and finding a CNG filling station, or a CNG-compatible car, could take some doing.What is CNG?Compressed Natural Gas is stored under pressure (which can vary depending on the application) while remaining in a gaseous state. It’s different from Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), which is pressurized (and cooled) until it changes from a gas to a liquid.The natural gas used as fuel is mostly methane, although smaller amounts of other compounds can be present. Like gasoline or diesel, it falls … [Read more...] about The invisible fuel: Is a natural gas car a good way to go green?
A year after MyFord Touch launched last fall, Ford has announced that it is rolling out a major upgrade to the in-vehicle information system. MyFord Touch is a touchscreen system that debuted on the Ford Edge, and quickly appeared as a standard feature on other higher-end models (like the Explorer and Focus) as well as select Lincoln models under the name MyLincoln Touch. Built on the Microsoft Sync technology Ford has been offering for four years, MyFord Touch replaces many traditional dashboard controls like climate control with a touchscreen interface, and includes support for phone charging and syncing, satellite navigation, and voice recognition for hands-free use. Basically, MyFord Touch was supposed to interface with drivers’ phones and digital gear and make ever-lengthening commutes more bearable — including doing things like integrating with Pandora streaming music via Sync.The problem with MyFord Touch was, in essence, that many customers hate it. No sooner … [Read more...] about Change the oil, upgrade the firmware? The digital dilemma when cars and computers collide
Pushing to elevate its brand status even more, Cadillac has added several new enhancements to its certified pre-owned vehicle programs.Effective today, the luxury carmaker’s Certified Pre-Owned program will now extend vehicle coverage to match the new-vehicle bumper-to-bumper warranty for up to six years or 70,000 miles, whichever comes first.Cadillac’s extended coverage now covers more than the certified pre-owned vehicles sold by Lexus, BMW or even Mercedes-Benz, according to an official company press release. Cadillac’s pre-owned vehicle services will also include complimentary 24-hour roadside assistance, courtesy transportation and a three-month subscription to OnStar and SiriusXM Satellite Radio and other convenience features.Under the program, most owners of 2011 and newer models also will be eligible to purchase Cadillac’s Premium Care Maintenance. The car maintenance service has been previously reserved for new vehicles only and covers oil and … [Read more...] about Will Cadillac’s new certified pre-owned program help to give the brand more clout – and buyers?
Be it with ethanol, unused or recycled vegetable oil, biodiesel or carbon fixing, substantial efforts and progress are being made toward developing a biofuels-based energy infrastructure in the U.S. within the next decade or so. Parts one and two of this four-part article included discussions of the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative fuel source. Here, in Part 3, we'll examine one communications medium that will be playing an increasingly central role in this ongoing debate: the Internet.The issue of biofuel development is cutting across regional, political, economic and social lines in a manner reminiscent of the grass roots advocacy of the American Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam era anti-war protests. Take, for example, the clean energy plan California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced on July 13.The plan aims to reduce air, land and water pollution, as well as the state's dependency on imported fossil fuels, by increasing the state's biofuels production. … [Read more...] about Green Energy, Part 3: Fostering Change via the Internet