Fuel-saving gasoline-electric hybrid cars don't save as much fuel as thought, according to new government fuel-economy ratings available to the public for the first time.
The new ratings go into effect beginning with 2008 models, a few of which will soon be on sale. But now it's possible to tell what rating 2007 and older models would get using the 2008 standards.
Toyota's Prius, the best-known and best-selling gas-electric car in the United States, drops from a 60 mpg rating under the current system to 48 miles per gallon in the city under the 2008 testing procedure -- a 20 percent decline.
Its highway mileage rating falls about 12 percent, to 45 mpg.
The Ford Escape hybrid, which uses a gasoline-electric drive system similar to Toyota's, goes down about 12 percent.
"What the cars get hasn't changed. It's just the numbers on the sticker," says Toyota spokesman Mike Michels. The lowered Prius rating is "probably more reflective of real-world experience," he says.
Read more from USA Today.
Vice president of Sales and Marketing Nick Scuderi just returned from the Society of Automotive Engineers’ Hybrid Symposium held Feb. 7 - 8 in San Diego
. Many of the world’s top automakers were on hand to hear presentations and discussions around the latest trends and technology in the hybrid auto industry.
Organized by representatives of Honda, Toyota, the California Air Resources Board, and Argonne National Laboratory, the conference covered the latest developments in hybrid technology relating to powertrain and vehicle design, controls and energy management strategies, the environment, and government regulations.
The Scuderi Group sponsored an exhibit table at the symposium featuring a DVD presentation along with technical and marketing materials. Nick reports having several fruitful and interesting conversations with some of the attendees as well as a few members of the auto press and analyst community. "This was a very focused event given that everyone there is interested in hybrid technology," says Nick. “So the backgrounds of attendees on hand gave us a great opportunity to reach the caliber of engineers we want to educate about the air-hybrid approach."
Associated Press, Feb. 13, 2007
STRASBOURG, France - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday urged EU governments to follow Berlin's example and accept the European Commission's demands for a cut in carbon dioxide emissions.
"Germany is going to have to accept compromises which won't be easy for us. Each member state must put in its own contribution. It would be an error if we pursued only our own interests, and we're not going to make that error," she told the European Parliament.
The EU executive office said last month Europe must embrace a low-carbon economy and cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 to limit global warming and prevent serious damage caused by climate change.
The Commission also proposed binding rules to force carmakers to cut carbon dioxide emissions from all new cars sold in the EU by 2012, arguing the tough measure was needed to fight global warming.
Read the rest of the story on BusinessWeek Online.
Following the change at the head of the group, VW reviews its Hybrid strategy. The chances of it soon being deployed in the compact car segment seem to have rapidly shrunk.
According to a report in Automobilwoche, the new Volkeswagen CEO, Martin Winterkorn, expects that sales figures of Volkewagen's Hybrid Touran are far too low to be economically viable for the company. The Hybrid Golf Limousine and the Hybrid VW Jetta are also not expected to be profitable, said the report.
VW estimates the additional price for a Hybrid engine to be at least Euros 2000. In the highly competitive compact car segment, the report said that VW executives believe that very few customers would be willing to pay this markup. Furthermore, the advantages in consumption compared to a diesel are hardly recognizable, it said. Nevertheless, VW seems to be working at full tilt on the Hybrid version of the SUV Touareg, which will be introduced to the market at the end of 2008. This will be a first VW series with Hybrid technology.
Hybrid technology is considered to be environmentally friendly and combines gasoline and electric engines. Toyota is especially successful with Hybrid cars, particularly in the United States. VW, Porsche and the suppliers ZF Friedrichshafen and Continental are all working together to push the development of hybrid engines, as is an alliance of General Motors, DaimlerChrysler and BMW. Even so, at January’s Detroit Auto Fair, it was obvious that the German car manufacturers were placing their bets principally on the diesel engine.
Read the report in Automobilewoche (German)
After delays, threat of legal action, and defense of the German auto industry, Berlin will accept the European Commission's demand for a cut in CO² emissions
By Honor Mahony
Germany has backed down from a high-profile fight with Brussels over proposed cuts to its greenhouse gas emissions.
Environment minister Sigmar Gabriel said Berlin would accept the European Commission's demands for a cut in carbon dixoide emissions between 2008 and 2011, according to German daily die Tageszeitung.
"Germany has another basis for its calculations but in the end we are only 2 percent apart," said the minister adding "We will accept this; to make clear also that we stand behind European emissions trading,"
The commission had asked Germany, as the biggest carbon dioxide producer in Europe, to reduce its emissions limit to 453 metric tonnes, far less than the 482 limit Berlin had originally proposed.
Read the story on euobserver.com.
The European Union (EU) last week announced proposed rules that would force European automakers to drastically curb the emissions from their vehicles by 2012 – something manufacturers are finding extremely hard to do using existing engine technologies. The Scuderi Air-Hybrid engine offers European automakers and economically viable solution for the emissions dilemma they are currently facing. In response to the proposed emissions laws, the Scuderi Group’s European headquarters issued a statement to the media asking the industry to further embrace its air-hybrid technology. Vice President of European Operations, Lutz Deyerling, said in his statement:
By CONSTANT BRAND, Associated Press
BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Commission declared war on gas-guzzlers on Wednesday, proposing binding rules to force carmakers to cut carbon dioxide emissions from all new cars sold in the European Union by 2012, arguing the tough measure was needed to fight global warming.
The EU executive's plan, which faces strong opposition from the car industry, foresees the drafting of lower emissions limits -- a cut of 18 percent or 130 grams of CO2 per kilometer from current emissions levels -- for new cars sold in or imported into the EU by 2012.
EU officials acknowledged the move would likely lead to higher car prices as they try to force Europeans to adopt greener modes of transport amid growing calls for action to save the environment.
Read the article on BusinessWeek Online.
Automotive Engineer is running an article this month about air-hybrid engine design that features The Scuderi Group and the Scuderi Air-Hybrid Engine:
"Say hybrid and most people think electric, but there could be another answer. Both Lotus and U.S. Engine developers Scuderi Group are working on versions of an air-hybrid engine. They disagree on the details, but both say the technology's impact will be big..."Read the article in Automotive Engineer.
Die Zeit is a national weekly newspaper in Germany that has an estimated readership of more than 1.4 million. It's one of the most highly respected newspapers in Germany. On January 4, Die Zeit published a comprehensive article about the Scuderi Group and the Scuderi Air-Hybrid Engine.
Read the story in English or German.