Spurred by the popularity of the Prius, its best-known model, Toyota hybrid sales recently passed the 10 million mark worldwide. The company offers 33 hybrid models in 90 countries, with Japan and North America being the strongest markets. The Prius accounts for 3.9 million of that sales number since it was introduced in 1997.
In a Hybrid Cars article, Takeshi Uchiyamada, chairman of the board of directors at Toyota and the man known as the “father of the Prius,” observed “When we launched Prius, no one even knew what a hybrid was. Those who drove it were called geeks or other names. Today, thanks to those early adopters who gave Prius a chance, hybrids have grown in popularity, and have ridden a wave of success out of the unknown and into the mainstream.”
Toyota projects that hybrid sales will reach 15 million cars by 2020.
During January 2017, half of all personal vehicle sales in Oslo, Norway, were fully electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles, reports CleanTechnica.com. Drivers will be able to charge their new vehicles at the more than 100 stations available in the Norwegian capital.
“For Oslo, this part of a long-term effort to get more people to opt for zero-emission vehicles,” said Lan Marie Nguyen Berg, Oslo’s city councilor for environment and transport.” We need to rethink and expand. The City of Oslo will go ahead and make it easier for the city’s growing number of electric vehicles. We will expand the supply of charging garages for EVs only, charging in municipal car parks, fast chargers, and semi-fast chargers.”
A report released by P&S Market Research projects that compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG, also known as propane autogas) markets will grow by more than 10% each year between now and 2022. P&S attributes this growth to increases in population and urbanization, growing demand for vehicles, and efforts to mitigate air pollution.
Europe is the largest CNG and LPG market due to the high price of diesel and stringent emissions standards. The market for vehicles running on these fuels is expected to increase significantly in South America and the Asia-Pacific region.
Beijing’s famously polluted air could be getting a little cleaner. The city recently announced a plan to replace more than 67,000 conventionally fueled taxis with electric models. The project, expected to cost $1.3 billion will be phased in over the next decade.
The efforts in Beijing coincide with the “new energy vehicle” campaign promoted by the national government. Hybridcars.com reports that China is now the largest market for plug-in electric vehicles and, with subsidies available for fleets and manufacturers, sales will likely skyrocket.
Beginning in May, Tesla will begin selling vehicles in South Korea, after receiving government approval. In addition to sales locations, the company will establish service centers to oversee maintenance and to provide charging stations.
Korea’s domestic hybrid and electric market sold nearly 69,000 vehicles in 2016, an increase of 27,000 over the previous year, according to the Korea Herald.
Commuters in the Belgian cities of Charleroi and Namur will be riding on Volvo 7900 Electric Hybrid buses later this year. Charleroi is the destination for 55 new buses, along with four ABB fast chargers, while Namur will get 35 buses and eight fast-charging stations. Namur has already begun using 11 of these vehicles.
The fast-charging stations are built to the OppCharge open standard so that they can be used by a variety of manufacturers. The vehicles, which run on electric approximately 70% of the time, will reduce emissions by more than 60% compared to conventional diesel.
Later this year, selected Shell stations in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands will add electric vehicle charging capabilities to their stations. With gasoline prices remaining high in Europe and residents becoming increasingly interested in clean vehicle alternatives, this infrastructure encourages alternative vehicle growth.
“The push toward renewable, clean energy is strong in Europe,” says Cynthia Shahan in a CleanTechnica story about this development. “One of the benefits of electric cars is the convenient ability to charge at home, or perhaps at your workplace, the grocery store, IKEA, etc. However, installing EV charging stations at gas stations can be helpful to bridge gaps in charging infrastructure for those who are out and about and low on charge.”
According to Shahan, Shell sees the chargers as a business opportunity that will drive customers into the convenience stores typically found with traditional gas stations.
The Nissan Note e-Power, a hybrid that uses a 1.2-liter 3-cylinder engine as a generator to charge the 1.5-kWh battery while an electric motor drives the front wheels, is now being sold in Japan. The vehicle shares several components with the company’s more familiar Leaf model.
According to Tim Healy of hybridcars.com, “Nissan hopes it will serve as a ‘bridge’ for customers as they move from gas-powered vehicles to all-electric vehicles,” and that the shared Leaf components will help reduce the Note e-Power’s costs.
Similar to the Chevrolet Volt, the e-Power system uses an electric motor to drive the wheels and a gas engine to provide charge for the electric motor. The e-Power’s electric motor is 40 kW and makes 109 horsepower. The battery pack is 1.5 kWh. Nissan claims fuel economy of up to 80 mpg.
Tesla founder Elon Musk aroused curiosity this month when he said that the company would be selling its electric vehicles in India.
Responding to a query about when Tesla might launch in India, Musk tweeted “hoping for summer this year.”
“The nation of India is vast market with a growing population and economy, and very few EV offerings in the market,” writes Jon LeSage, “and Tesla could be well positioned to make a splash there. Like China, India has put in place incentives to get automakers to build EVs, and import them, in the country.”
A previously published article reports that Tesla will be building a $9 billion manufacturing plant in Asia sometime soon. Tesla had plans in place to build a factory in China, a person close to the matter told Bloomberg last year. While it hasn’t yet happened, the company had announced it would start the process during 2016.
Earlier in 2016, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a delegation toured the Tesla’s California corporate campus. As a result of the visit, LeSage reports, Tesla was invited to be a part of India’s strategy to become a renewable energy hub.
A report released by Research and Markets predicts that the global biodiesel market is projected to surpass $41 billion by 2021.
In Biodiesel MarketGlobal Forecast to 2021, the company states, “Rising use of biodiesel in the fuel and power generation application segments have led to an increased demand for biodiesel, globally. Europe is estimated to be the largest market for biodiesel, followed by North America. Germany is expected to account for the largest share in Europe [until] 2021 [while] Italy is expected to be the fastest-growing market for biodiesel during the forecast period.”
The report notes that companies are investing in expansions of production capacities to increase market share and supply increasing demand for biodiesel.
Korean automaker SsangYong Motor says it may be rolling out three battery electric vehicles by 2020, as reported in Autocar.
The company will compete with the Nissan Qashqai in the small SUV segment with the SIV-2 concept, which has made it to production level. That vehicle’s release has been pushed back to 2019, and it may come out as an electric version of the SsangYong Korando small SUV.
SsangYong has been in the Korean auto market for years and is considered one of the national car companies, Autocar states. However, it is far behind Hyundai and Kia, and U.S. automakers like GM, that have a strong share of the market.
In January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, 13 CEOs and chairpersons from major international corporations met to form a new “Hydrogen Council.” The first global initiative of its kind, the council plans to invest more than $10 billion in hydrogen-related products over the next five years.
Imperial College London and 10:10, a climate change organization, announced a partnership to explore installing solar panels alongside British railway lines and using them to power electric trains.
At the Sustainable Road Transport Conference the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and Innovate UK announced funding for 20 firms that have plans to deploy low and zero emissions vehicles. The aim of the competition is to demonstrate new technologies and to encourage the widespread introduction of low and zero emission vehicles to UK fleets.
In Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation has launched the TOYOTA NEXT Open Innovation Program. The program seeks to promote joint development of new services by using new ideas, technologies, and solutions held by various organizations regardless of scale, as well as by businesses that have already launched services, which departs from Toyota’s usual practices of trying to be self-sufficient in terms of development.
Mercedes-Benz recently confirmed plans to produce 10 electric models by 2025 under the new EQ sub-brand. The first of the new electric vehicles is the Generation EQ concept unveiled at the 2016 Paris auto show.
BMW, Daimler, Ford, and Volkswagen Group (including Audi and Porsche) have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop an electric fast-charging network in Europe.
Credit: Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles.
Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles Pvt. Ltd recently unveiled a four-door version of the e2o vehicle. There are reports that the automaker plans to export the new vehicles early next year to countries offering electric vehicle incentives.
Credit: Automobile Club de Monaco.
The hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai from Toyota France took first place in the first e-Rally Monte-Carlo, which was held between Fontainebleau and Monaco.
Oil refiner and renewable solutions developer, Neste, is planning to sell diesel produced entirely from raw materials which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90% compared to conventional diesel.
While the Swedish Transport Administration has been testing an electric road, a new Swedish project, Research and Innovation Platform for Electric Roads, will explore how to make the step to large-scale operation, and examine technical issues such as the standardization of interfaces.
Electric roads feature electric sources that provide continuous power to electric trucks a system similar to that used by railroads. The lines may be placed overhead, under the pavement, or through a rail in the pavement.
Eleven international teams hailing from nine countries drove a total of 289,662 km together across Europe, North America, and Asia with 100% electric vehicles during the 80eDays Rally. In early September the electric vehicle rally completed their journey finished at the Arc de Triomf in Barcelona, Spain.
According to reports, the Nissan Note could get a battery powered “hybrid” counterpart, with an on-board gasoline-powered range extender as soon as November.
More than 150 Tesla owners showed up for the opening of a fast-charging station at rural Nebbenes, Norway. The new station can charge 28 electric vehicles simultaneously.
Credit: Gevo Inc.
Gevo Inc. announced that it will supply Deutsche Lufthansa with alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ) from a new hydrocarbons facility planned for Luverne, Minnesota. The terms of the agreement state that Lufthansa will purchase up to eight million gallons per year of ATJ from Gevo, or up to 40 million gallons over the five-year span of the agreement.
Nissan has revealed its Solid Oxide Fuel-Cell technology that can power a vehicle by converting multiple fuels, such as bioethanol and natural gas, to pure electricity.
Recently, natural gas truck manufacturer Iveco announced a record order of 250 natural-gas-powered trucks ordered by the Perrenot Group, one of France’s leading transport and logistics companies.
A trio of Toyota hydrogen vehicleswhich emit only water vapor from their tailpipeshas landed in Australia ahead of a three-year trial of the future technology.
Sweden has opened a 1.2 mile electric highway for trucks.
The Karnataka State Road Transport Corp. (KSRTC) is ready to begin routes running with a 100% biodiesel bus. The effort is part of a plan to reduce fuel expenditure and air pollution.
According to the Asia Equity Strategy report, recently released by HSBC Global Research, electric vehicles could make up 35% of new car sales in Asia by 2040.
Credit: Réseau des Transports Marseillais (RTM).