Posts Tagged ‘Focus Electric’


Press preview days started on Wednesday 16 November 2011 and it was a busy time. First, there was a palpable level of optimism this year – more than there has been in the past three years. We all hope that the economy doesn’t do a double dip recession and that Europe’s euro doesn’t tank or disintegrate.

There are tons of new products, including promised electric vehicles and hybrids.  Internal combustion engines are going to be with us for a very long time, and in 2011, manufacturers are showing off the latest in fuel-saving technologies including direct injection, turbo-charging, 6- 8- and 9-speed automatic transmissions are here or coming to many different products.  Accessories like air conditioning are no longer run by a belt on the engine, they are powered by the car’s electrical system.  Same for power steering.  It’s a testament to modern automotive engineering that a large, heavy rear-drive sedan like the 2012 Dodge Charger is rated at the same 31 mpg highway as is the all-new 2012 Honda CR-V.

Part 1 is BMW Group through Honda/Acura. Enjoy!

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed new window stickers for all cars/trucks sold in the United States.  The mandates come from a 2007 law (not implemented by the Bush Administration) that requires labels to put a new vehicle in context with the rest of the herd.  The EPA’s mandate must take into account (1) fuel economy, (2) greenhouse gasses and (3) smog-forming pollutants.  It also must contextualize your average car/truck with a gasoline-fueled internal combustion engine with EVs, hybrids and advanced clean diesels.

One of two new stickers assigns letter grades (remember elementary school?) from A+ to D-.   It’s pretty easy to guess which car gets the highest and lowest grades.  A pure EV (electric vehicle), like the Nissan Leaf, will get an A+ (117  mpg and higher) while my Italian friends, Lamborghini and Ferrari, would get the D-.

Proposed EPA-DOT Window Sticker with Letter Grade

Note that the sticker even has a QR Code™ that can be read by your smartphone to get even more information about the car and the EPA’s ratings.

A plug-in hybrid, rated at the equivalent of 59 – 116 mpg, like the upcoming Chevy Volt (it has an internal combustion engine that runs a generator to juice the batteries to give it an extended range) would get an A.   “Normal” hybrids like the Toyota Prius and the Ford Fusion would earn an A-.  Lesser hybrids, like the Nissan Altima, Ford Escape and Toyota Camry will have to sit in the second row and with a B+. (more…)