Posts Tagged ‘PHEV’

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Concept S Coming to Paris

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Mitsubishi Concept S Teaser

With the 2014 Paris Motor Show just two weeks away, it’s no surprise that we’ve had an influx of previews for cars making their debut at the event. Today we’re looking at a new SUV concept from Mitsubishi, although it’s not nearly as out-of-this-world as the C-HR Concept that Toyota showed us yesterday.

You probably don’t remember the initial teaser Mitsubishi released of their new Outlander PHEV Concept S earlier this month (above), but this is our first full photo of the actual SUV coming to Paris:

2015 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Concept S

As the name implies, this concept is a direct introduction to the upcoming production Outlander PHEV. The Concept S pictured above is a study for a “special design package” for the production model. We’re willing to bet that the ‘S’ at the end of the concept’s name probably stands for Sport, because this SUV is one sleek ride.

Starting with the front, we can see that the Outlander PHEV Concept S features a minimalist new grille outlined with pristine chrome accents. We love the direction that Mitsubishi is going with this – where other automakers are going bigger and more complicated with their front-ends, Mitsubishi is keeping it clean and simple. The slanted wraparound headlights fit into the front-end very nicely to increase the sports appeal of the SUV, and the design is clean and crisp.

2015 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Concept S rear view

As you can see, the rear of the Concept S study isn’t quite as exciting as the front-end, although it does showcase similar chrome accents as those around the grille. However, you’ll notice a slight rear spoiler and taillights reminiscent of those up front.

Mitsubishi Concept S black and burgundy interior

As stylish as the exterior of the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Concept S may be, the interior is where it really shines. What you see above is a Black and Burgundy-themed interior that’s meant to contrast the Platinum White exterior. The plush hand-stitched burgundy leather seating is stitched with subtle silver accents, and the predominantly black trim around the dash gets a rich lacquer treatment along the center console.

Speaking of the center console, it’s obvious that Mitsubishi is packing a lot of technology into this new Outlander Concept S, although we don’t have any concrete details at this time. From the image, we can see plenty of infotainment goodies including steering wheel controls, an engine start/stop button, built-in navigation, and we’re willing to be that center screen functions as a backup camera too.

At first glance, the Outlander PHEV Concept S doesn’t seem like the most exciting one coming to the Paris Motor Show, but hopefully now you can see there’s a lot of depth to this sporty new Mitsubishi SUV.



First Details for the 2016 Toyota Prius Emerge

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, July 17th, 2014

2014 Toyota Prius

We still have over a year until the next generation of Toyota Prius makes its official debut. It was originally set to premiere early in 2015, but Toyota moved that date back to allow plenty of time for an out-of-the-park launch. However, even though we still have a while to wait, Toyota is already starting to drop some serious hints about what we can expect in the next-gen hybrid.

High-Density Lithium Ion Battery

The first major addition to the 2016 Toyota Prius will be a second battery option. Toyota will still offer the affordable nickel-metal hydride battery that’s in their current model, but they’ll also offer an upgraded lithium ion battery pack.

This rumor was confirmed by Toyota’s chief managing officer of powertrain development, Koei Saga, in an interview with Automotive News. While he didn’t give us any specifics, we can assume that the high-tech lithium ion battery’s higher density will allow the Prius to more efficiently store and use energy, allowing for improved fuel economy and longer electric-only range. The downside is a higher manufacturing price, which in turn necessitates a higher MSRP for any Prius with that technology.

Toyota New Global Architecture w/ AWD

To help Toyota achieve their stated goal of an 8% improvement in fuel economy and 40% thermal efficiency, the next-gen Prius will ride on Toyota’s New Global Architecture. This new modular chassis will offer up to 20% weight reduction over their current underpinnings, which in and of itself makes for significant efficiency improvements. And, while it’s not written in stone, it may even feature an all-wheel drive layout in addition to the front-wheel drive available in today’s model.

This actually makes a lot of sense for Toyota. The whole point of their New Global Architecture is to increase sharing of parts and technologies between different vehicles in order to save on manufacturing and development costs. If they can build an AWD hybrid drivetrain for the Prius, then it’ll be easy to port that same setup over to any of their other vehicles that eventually use the new platform. In fact, Saga even hinted at the possibility of new “unprecedented” concepts for large hybrid vehicles built on their NGA.

All in all, it’s already clear that the next-gen Toyota Prius will be just as groundbreaking as the original model all the way back in 1997. Saga agreed, finishing his interview with Automotive News by saying, “The batteries will be renewed. Everything will be revised. And I think we will come up with a fuel economy that will surprise everyone.”

And that will be surprising, after all the current Prius has just lapped the Nurburgring at 698 MPG. (That’s MPG, not MPH!). Of course, that’s a bit of a cheat, given that for most of the course it was using electrical power, and that power had to come from somewhere. After all, you could put an all-electric Tesla Model S on the same track and claim that it’s MPG for the circuit was infinte because it did not use any gas at all.

In any case, it’s an impressive feat, which shows what hybrid tech + renewable electricity generation can do in partnership. And it whet’s our appetite for the next Prius.

See the current one lap the Nurburgring slightly slower than fellow hybrid, the Porsche 918, in the video below:

Toyota PHV / EV to Home Power Sharing

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

While “power sharing” sounds like a phrase you would expect to hear in the context of a Greek coalition government, here we’re talking about an experimental development from Toyota to share electrical power between PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) or EVs (electric vehicles) and the home.

Toyota’s demonstration system in Toyota City, Japan will comprise 10 homes and Toyota’s plug-in hybrid version of its Prius. The V2H (Vehicle to Home) system, as they are calling it, balances power use between home and car, sometimes using electrical power stored in the car battery to power the home, while at other times reversing this flow to recharge the vehicle’s battery. The HEMS energy management system balances competing demands of home and vehicle, as well as making use of the best power source at the best time. For example, on a sunny day it may be most efficient to draw power from the solar panels on the home or in the local area. At night, it may be best to draw cheap off-peak electricity from the regular grid. This cheaper off-peak power can be stored in the car’s battery and then released to the home during the day when the grid supply is more expensive.

In an emergency situation, such as an earthquake, a manual override permits the user to draw all the power from the car’s battery pack and generate additional power with its engine. A PHEV withe a full battery and full tank can supply the needs of an average home for 4 days. Not only that, but unlike a “pure” EV, replenishing the gasoline makes it drivable and able to continue supplying power even if the battery has been completely run down. With this in mind, Toyota is also considering the possibility of providing these kinds of hook-ups at emergency shelters so that PHEVs can provide power to displaced people if disaster strikes.

Source: Nikkei BP (Japanese)