Ford let us take one of its preproduction 2008 Escape Hybrids for a couple of days to get an early look at the next major upgrade for this little environmentally oriented SUV. This new generation of the Escape Hybrid brings its tech up to modern standards and is a big improvement over the 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid. Where the 2007 model had sporty lines, the 2008 upgrade looks much tougher. It has square indentations along the sides and rear bumper, fog lights molded into the front bumper that echo earlier Land Rovers, and high wheel arches. But it also has … Read more
The evolution of language moves so quickly wherever technology is concerned. Some day soon, the term "hybrid" may come to refer almost exclusively to alternative energy for automobiles (and maybe the occasional train or golf cart). But until then, it could apply to any number of combinations in any number of products--even watches.
Tokyoflash is selling a timepiece called the "DT1" from Fusion, which it describes as "a hybrid LCD/LED." That, we're afraid, is where our respect ends. The site, which says the watch is "very simple fo read" (yeah … Read more
Following the introduction of its 2007 Altima Hybrid, which we saw at this month's LA Auto Show (and which makes use of Toyota's hybrid drivetrain technology), Nissan has outlined plans to introduce a car using its own hybrid technology in 2010.
The announcement is part of the Nissan Green Program 2010, which also includes plans to introduce an original hydrogen fuel-cell car incorporating an in-house-developed stack, and a "three-liter car"--a car that gets gas mileage of 100km per three liters of gasoline (around 79mpg)--both by 2010.
Nissan's news is the latest in a … Read more
On paper, at least, Hitachi's hybrid camcorder appears to be one of these exceptions. Gizmag says the video camera, which Hitachi calls the first DVD/HDD product of its kind, can easily burn videos directly onto a DVD inside the camcorder, bypassing the need for a computer altogether. It comes in 1.3- and 3.3-megapixel models, each with an 8GB hard drive that can store 110 minutes of video, at about $1,450 … Read more
Following the announcement this morning from GM chief Rick Wagoner that Saturn plans to bring to market a plug-in hybrid vehicle, the company continued its hybrid kick with the unveiling of the 2008 Saturn Aura Green Line Hybrid here at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show. The Aura Green Line Hybrid makes use of the same belt alternator system (BAS) technology that we recently saw in the Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid, and will deliver a 25 percent increase in fuel economy over the gasoline-only Aura, according to Saturn representatives.
Production of the Aura Green Line Hybrid is scheduled to … Read more
General Motors has begun development of the world's first plug-in hybrid production vehicle, which will be offered as a version of the 2008 Saturn Vue hybrid. The announcement was made at the kickoff of the 2007 Los Angeles Show this morning at the Los Angeles Convention Center by GM's CEO Rick Wagoner. The front-wheel-drive 2008 Saturn Vue hybrid will incorporate GM's two-mode hybrid system, which will make its first appearance in the Chevrolet Tahoe hybrid, due to come to market next year. Wagoner said that no definite timeline had been decided for the Vue hybrid plug-in, but … Read more
The Japanese are giving an entirely new meaning to the term "hybrid vehicle" with a combination train-bus.
Interestingly, the Hokkaido Railway Company has dubbed it the "DMV" for "dual-mode vehicle." (We hope that the abbreviation won't be as despised as the other DMV that we know all too well.)
The 28-passenger train-bus "looks like a minibus and runs both on conventional railway tracks and paved roads was tested on the Gakunan railway in Fuji city (Shizuoka prefecture) on the night of November 24," according to Tokyo-based Pink Tentacle. "The vehicle … Read more
General Motors will be keeping us busy this week as we report live from the exhibit floor of the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show. Over the weekend, GM announced that it would be debuting two production hybrids in addition to its already substantial offering of new model releases and special editions.
The 2008 Buick Enclave, the 2008 Saturn Vue, and the 2008 GMC Acadia crossovers were on our radar already, but the General has thrown in a couple of extra debuts in the shape of the Saturn Aura Green Line, a hybrid version of Saturn's Euro-inspired sedan that makes … Read more
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District, an agency that many young kids grow up dreaming about working for someday, is testing out a plug-in hybrid crafted by Valence Technology and Energy CS. The car is a 2005 Toyota Prius that contains a lithium-ion auto battery from Valence that essentially lets the car run mostly on electricity. The battery gets recharged through a wall socket.
Plug-ins get about 100 miles to the gallon, although the cost of the additional battery makes them a tough sell, concede plug-in proponents. The range is also limited, but that's not a big deal for fleet … Read more
We've seen hybrid cars, motorcycles and even planes. But hybrid trains?
Pink Tentacle, our favorite Japanese blog, reports that East Japan Railway Company just completed a dry run of the world's first fuel cell hybrid train. "With two 65-kilowatt fuel cells and six hydrogen tanks under the floor and a secondary battery on the roof, the clean train emits only water and runs without receiving juice from power lines," PT says.
Thirty passengers were aboard for ride, which supposedly will be just as comfortable as that of a standard train. Unless, of course, its riders must … Read more