12 January 2015

Detroit NAIAS - a [thunder] Bolt for sustainable mobility?

Today marks the start of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and encouragingly, manufacturers have taken the opportunity to launch new sustainable driving solutions, most as plug-in hybrids.  Here's a quick outline of the highlights so far:

First up is an electric-only concept from Chevrolet (part of the GM Group) who introduced their new Bolt:

Chevrolet Bolt Concept Car
The headline figures are a game-changer - $30,000 and a 200 mile range.  That nicely knocks 'range anxiety' out of the minds of anyone considering all but long distance travel.

It's especially encouraging to see that it will support new car sharing models, and will "...Allow ride-sharing management, including reservations, vehicle location, digital key and even payment processing via the smartphone"

PS - does it look like there might have been some inspiration from the BMW i3?

BMW i3

Not content with the game-changing Bolt, Chevrolet also updated their Volt:

Chevrolet Volt 2
The updated version has a 50 mile EV range, and is 12% more efficient and 45kg lighter than its predecessor.

Hyundai will release a new Sonata in 2016 in selected markets, which will include an all-electric range of 22 miles, and a charging time as little as 2.5 hours.  A smartphone app will allow charging to be setup as a weekly schedule.

Hyundai Sonata PHEV 2016

Mercedes C350 Plug-in Hybrid

Following the C500 Plug-in hybrid launch last year, Mercedes have just launched the C350:

Mercedes C350 Plug-in Hybrid

Just in case you weren't sure...
It has an electric-only range of 19 miles, and C02 rating of only 48g/km.  5.9 seconds is all it will take to get to 62mph, and only 0.3s slower for the estate version.

Audi Q7 PHEV

Audi are updating their Q7 model, including a 3.0 litre diesel plug-in hybrid, with a 35 mile electric-only range, and 0-62mph in 6.0 seconds

Audi Q7 PHEV

Honda / Acura NSX

The NSX is reborn, and this time, in the form of a high-performance hybrid.

Honda / Acura NSX
Its powerplant is "...a twin-turbocharged 75-degree DOHC V6 engine with a 9-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) and three-electric motor Sport Hybrid system".  An electric motor powers each of the front wheels, whilst "...the rear direct-drive electric motor, housed between the engine and transmission, supports acceleration, braking and transmission shifting performance".

Honda / Acura NSX powertrain

N.B. some of the specifications don't translate directly from the US market to Europe, e.g. mpg figures.  Something to do with gallons, and different test cycle conditions...