The Detroit News reports that an all-electric pickup and a plug-in hybrid will pay a visit to the White House today. How Phoenix Motor Cars, which has been making the altfuel circuit with its AltairNano powered pickup, found itself on Bush's radar isn't clear. A123 Systems, a much larger company which is providing batteries to GM for possible use in the Vue and Volt, will be showing off a plug-in hybrid powered by its Lithium batteries. Will Bush get the first view of a plug-in Vue?
The story makes clear the Big Three are not involved in the meeting. Interestingly, the story veers off electricity and on to ethanol midway through. Detroit is both very close to corn country, and clearly would rather make flex-fuel internal combustion vehicles to beginning the transition to electricity. The Prez seems to get the commonsense value of the plug-in hybrid as the truely flexible vehicle - one you can plug "right into the wall" as he famously said last year.
Friday, February 23, 2007
The National Center for Policy Analysis reports: CAR M.P.G. RATINGS GOING DOWN. The cars aren't actually getting worse mileage, but the government's new tests going into effect next year more accurately reflect real-world driving.
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.So how will the 08 Prius, rumored to get upward of 80 mpg achieve it? Can it be done without making the high-mileage leader a plug-in hybrid?
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.