Flash Drive: 2019 Subaru Crosstrek PHEV

Subaru’s First-ever Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle

Automotive journalists and enthusiasts have been wondering when Subaru is coming out with a plug-in model. Well, wait no longer as the 2019 Crosstrek Plug-in Hybrid will be in dealerships by the end of 2018. Priced at $34,995, excluding the $975 delivery fee, Subaru says the 2019 Crosstrek Hybrid is the most powerful and efficient compact SUV ever. Optional equipment can bring the price higher, but federal and certain state tax rebates can significantly drop the final price.

2019 Subaru Crosstrek PHEV

The Crosstrek can take you well off the highway

Subaru recently invited the automotive press to Santa Barbara to introduce this much anticipated crossover, which is a significant addition to their line-up. The chance to drive it on varied terrain, from highway to city streets to off-road, was a good mix, especially the latter being a proper challenge to test the all-wheel drive capability.

Clean Fleet Report takes a quick look at the all-new Crosstrek Hybrid, with this Flash Drive; a longer and much more detailed Road Test will be posted in the coming months.


The Crosstrek Hybrid is powered by the Subaru StarDrive system that includes two electric motors, and a four-cylinder 2.0-liter boxer (horizontally opposed pistons) engine that puts out 148 total system horsepower, and 149 pounds-feet of torque. Subaru’s Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) delivered power to the symmetrical all-wheel drive system. The CVT was smooth and included X-MODE and hill descent control for off-roading.

2019 Subaru Crosstrek PHEV

Subaru adds full-electric power to the Crosstrek

The Crosstrek Hybrid has an EPA fuel economy estimate of 35 mpg highway, and a 90 MPGe. MPGe is a measurement of how efficient a car powered by electricity is, using the same amount of energy as is contained in one gallon of gasoline. With the 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery fully charged, and the 13.2 gallon tank filled with 87 octane, the Crosstrek Hybrid has a potential driving range of 480 miles. Recharging the battery comes with the driver-selectable onboard charger, regenerative braking, and by plugging into a 120V (Level 1) or a 240V (Level 2) outlet. To replenish the lithium-ion battery’s 17-mile driving range, estimate plugging-in for five hours for Level 1 or two hours for Level 2.

Driving Experience: On the Road

Cars made for highway cruising and semi-serious off-roading need to find a ride and handling compromise. The Crosstrek Hybrid was smooth and easy to drive on the open highway, with acceptable wind and road noise for a compact crossover. When the road became a series of moderate speed sweepers, as on Highway 154 cutting through the San Marcos Pass between Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez, the suspension required small steering wheel corrections to find and keep the apex. When the sweepers became tighter twisties, the handling became more confident as the suspension tightened, and the brake-based active torque vectoring helped put needed power to the correct wheel at the correct time. There was very little at-speed body roll, and the 3,726 pounds never felt heavy.

2019 Subaru Crosstrek PHEV

Where the Crosstrek shines

Where the Crosstrek Hybrid shined was off-road. It isn’t designed or built for rock crawling, so we stayed away from anything too severe. However, loose rocks and gravel, along with deep ruts and mounds, were easily mastered. The instant torque from the electric motors, and selecting the X-mode setting, gave confidence in any surface we encountered. If you live in an area where snow covers your roads each winter, the traction and grip delivered by the Crosstrek Hybrid will bring a level of reassurance that will get you where you are going.

Driving Experience: Exterior

The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid is based on the completely redesigned 2018 Crosstrek, but carries minor identifiers that says it is electrified. First off, all Crosstrek Hybrids can be ordered in a unique color of Lagoon Blue Pearl, with blue protector rings on the headlights, and “plug-in hybrid” badges on the front fenders and the rear hatch, with the word “plug-in” embossed on the charge door. Other design cues that differentiate the Crosstrek Hybrid from its gasoline-only sibling, are grill, fascia and roof rail treatments and unique 18-inch wheels with a black machine finish in a “throwing star” design. All in all, this is an attractive crossover.

Driving Experience: Interior

The 2019 Crosstrek Hybrid interiors all get seats in gray and blue leather. Blue top stitching and accents appear on the dash and door panels. The heated front seats have manual adjustments, but no lumbar, which would have been nice to support the lower back for road trips and when going off-road.

2019 Subaru Crosstrek PHEV

The interior is inviting and techy

The Crosstrek Hybrid’s infotainment (information and entertainment) system is fully equipped with all the convenience features. The 8.0-inch, high-resolution touch-screen houses the StarLink in-vehicle technology of Tom Tom navigation, and multimedia systems of SiriusXM/FM/CD, with Aha, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Harmon Kardon eight-speaker system with a 432-watt amp really rocked the cabin.

The second-row seats are best for two adults or three children. The second-row folds 60/40, which is good, as storage space behind the upright rear setback is limited due to the hybrid battery placement. Therefore, the Crosstrek Hybrid is ideal for two on those long road trips.

Observations: 2019 Subaru Crosstrek PHEV AWD

Subaru has a winner on their hands with the 2019 Crosstrek Hybrid. The plug-in feature gives drivers up to 17 miles of gasoline-free driving, while the over-the-road hybrid fuel economy is attractive at 35 mpg.

2019 Subaru Crosstrek PHEV

A new badge in town

The selection of AWD plug-in hybrid electric crossovers is small (and most are more expensive than the Crosstrek), but more are coming to market each year. This lack of competition presents Subaru with a good opportunity to impress consumers, and lock-in sales of buyers looking for a comfortable crossover that also doubles as a very competent off-roader.

The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid goes on sale in late December 2018 in California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Before visiting your local Subaru dealer, call and make an appointment with a factory-trained and certified hybrid specialist. Then, see if they will let you take the Crosstrek Hybrid for a lengthy test drive that includes corners, freeway onramps and, if possible, some dirt to play in.

Whatever you end up buying, Happy Driving!

[See image gallery at www.cleanfleetreport.com]

Related Stories You Might Enjoy—Other AWD Plug-in Hybrids

Road Test: 2018 Volvo XC60 T8 AWD

Road Test: 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Road Test: 2018 BMW 530e xDrive iPerformance

Road Test: 2018 Volvo S90 PHEV AWD


Clean Fleet Report is loaned free test vehicles from automakers to evaluate, typically for a week at a time. Our road tests are based on this one-week drive of a new vehicle. Because of this we don’t address issues such as long-term reliability or total cost of ownership. In addition, we are often invited to manufacturer events highlighting new vehicles or technology. As part of these events we may be offered free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our best to present our unvarnished evaluations of vehicles and news irrespective of these inducements.

Our focus is on vehicles that offer the best fuel economy in their class, which leads us to emphasize electric cars, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and diesels. We also feature those efficient gas-powered vehicles that are among the top mpg vehicles in their class. In addition, we aim to offer reviews and news on advanced technology and the alternative fuel vehicle market. We welcome any feedback from vehicle owners and are dedicated to providing a forum for alternative viewpoints. Please let us know your views at publisher@cleanfleetreport.com.


The post Flash Drive: 2019 Subaru Crosstrek PHEV appeared first on Clean Fleet Report.

Source: Electric, Hybrid, Clean Diesel & High-MPG Vehicles

Tesla Model 3 Owner Test Drives A Model S For The First Time

This review turns the table from what has become the norm.

Many people reviewing the Tesla Model 3 are either new EV owners entirely, those that have come from another non-Tesla plug-in vehicle, or current Model S or Model X owners. Additionally, many of those buying a Model 3 that hadn’t previously owned a Model S or X have noted that they’ve at least driven the automaker’s more expensive siblings. This is also true of most professional automotive reviewers, since they likely reviewed the Model S and X prior to writing a Model 3 review.

In this case, YouTuber and Tesla Model 3 owner Joey Gill never drove a Model S until after acquiring his Model 3. However, he does admit to having previously owned a Chevy plug-in. So, what’s it like jumping in a Tesla Model S 75D after getting acquainted with your new Model 3? How do the cars compare? Which is a better choice, at least from Joey’s perspective?

After you have a chance to check out the video, we’d love to hear your opinions. Have you driven both cars? Do you own both? Please apprise us in the comment section below.

Video Description via Joey Gill on YouTube:

Model 3 owner tries out a Tesla Model S

Edit: I apologize about the audio quality. I’m cleaning up the subtitles / close captions so it can be watched muted.

Most of Tesla Model S and Model 3 comparisons came out a while ago, when only previous Tesla owners were getting the Model 3. Coming from Model S or Model X, many viewed the Model 3 as something of a “downgrade.” I have a different perspective.

The Model 3 is my first Tesla, but not my first plug-in. Also, I’m not really a luxury car kind of guy. If it wasn’t for the Model 3, I’d get another Chevy. So, here are my thoughts on the Model S.


20 photos
Tesla Model 3 Performance - Midnight Silver Tarmac Motion (wallpaper 2,560x – click to enlarge)

Tesla Model 3 Performance - White Interior - Wide
Tesla Model 3 Performance - White Interior - Touchscreen

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 is not hiding anymore!
Tesla Model 3 (Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs)

Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model 3 Road Trip arrives in Tallahassee
Tesla Model 3 charges in Tallahassee, trunk open.


19 photos
Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S
Michael's Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S, Image Credit: Tesla
Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S, Image Credit: Tesla
Tesla Mode
Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S P100D
Inside the Tesla Model S, Image Credit: Tesla
Tesla Model S Interior, Image Credit: Tesla
Inside a Tesla Model S

Source: Electric Vehicle News

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Colorado cleans up, why not a Tesla Model 3 or plug-in: Today's Car News

Mercedes-Benz eSprinter electric delivery van in GermanyThe 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid gets better fuel economy than any other SUV without a plug. We take a look at the benefits of short-range plug-in hybrids. Our readers weigh in on why they haven’t yet bought a Tesla Model 3. And Colorado joins up with California emissions standards. All this and more on Green Car Reports. We take a closer look at what…
Source: Hybrid and Electric Car News and Reviews

This $660 folding electric mountain bike surprised the heck out of me

Electric bicycles come in a wide range of price and quality. From $10,000 super premium electric bicycles to $400 specials, I’ve pretty much ridden the gamut. And while the high-end electric bicycles are nice, I think that budget electric bicycles are perhaps more important because they open the door for first-time e-bike converts.

The latest budget electric bicycle I’ve been riding is the $660 Ancheer folding electric mountain bike. And believe it or not, this bike really surprised me.


The post This $660 folding electric mountain bike surprised the heck out of me appeared first on Electrek.

Source: Charge Forward

These Standardized Electric Car Battery Modules Save Money & Time

Standardization is key.

Swiss company ecovolta is introducing a new standardized lithium-ion battery module designed to make electric vehicle development easier, cheaper and quicker.

The standardized modules are certified for transport safety (including UN 38.3), don’t use active cooling and can be connected in packs up to 7,600 kWh (from 24 to over 800 V). The base 10 kWh / 48 V module weight is 50 kg, which translates to 200 Wh/kg.

According to ecovolta, manufacturers will be able to quickly configure prototype packs for test mule vehicles and significantly cut the time and expense needed to bring electric vehicles to the serial production stage.

Earlier this year, ecovolta launched a manufacturing facility in Schwyz, Switzerland capable of producing 200 MWh of batteries annually.

ecovolta 10 kWh evoTractionBattery:

  • 48 V DC / 200 Ah / 10 kWh
  • (L x W x H): 520 x 218 x 320 mm
  • Weight: 50kg
ecovolta  evoTractionBattery

5 photos
ecovolta  evoTractionBattery
ecovolta  evoTractionBattery
ecovolta  evoTractionBattery
ecovolta evoTractionBattery Development

From press release:

Development costs for vehicle manufacturers are falling considerably

Previously, customised battery packs had to be developed for each individual vehicle model. The time taken up by this process created additional risks and meant that electric vehicle manufacture was only profitable with larger production runs. In contrast, ecovolta’s evoTractionBattery is already certified as a universal solution and can be quickly put to use.

“We estimate that vehicle manufacturers using a battery with an operating voltage of 48 volts and a capacity of 10 kilowatt hours (kWh), for example, will be able to save a total of 250,000 to 500,000 euros in development and certification costs,” says CTO Paul Hauser.

“And things can move a lot faster, too. Our customers are generally looking at a development time of up to 2 years for a battery pack and the accompanying battery management system. The evoTractionBattery, on the other hand, can be configured within a few hours, whether it’s being used in a golf cart or a lorry,” adds Hauser.

Standardisation and certification smooth the path to e-mobility

This standardisation cuts the costs per kilowatt hour of electricity stored, lowering the barriers to entry for companies looking to move into e-mobility. It covers aspects of the dimensions, capacity levels and electronics. Users of the evoTractionBattery receive fully documented certification for all battery packs, including the crucial UN 38.3 certification for transport safety.

The integrated battery management system enables master-slave operation as well as connection of the batteries to a CAN bus. This allows the batteries to exchange data with the higher-level control system, which is essential for safe and efficient vehicle operation. The safety technology, relay and precharging are also integrated.

The evoTractionBattery is available with a voltage of 24 volts, 48 volts and 400 volts as well as a capacity of 2.5 kWh to 15 kWh. Up to 16 batteries can be connected in series in any configuration, and up to 32 strings can be connected in parallel, allowing a battery voltage of between 24 and 829 volts and a total capacity of up to around 7,600 kWh.

Every individual battery module has a fixed length of 520 mm and a width of 218 mm, while the height depends on the voltage and capacity. This creates clear parameters for the vehicle design.

Source: ecovolta, Green Car Congress

Source: Electric Vehicle News

Colorado sides with California standards but won't yet mandate electric vehicles

Smog over Los Angeles, courtesy Flickr user steven-bussColorado last week formally joined the ranks of states that are in some way choosing to adopt California’s rules for emissions, rather than those of the federal government. With a unanimous vote by the state’s Air Quality Control Commission, Colorado is joining Pennsylvania and Washington in agreeing to adopt California low emission…
Source: Hybrid and Electric Car News and Reviews

Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid Test Drives & Video Reviews

Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid received the first real reviews.

Ahead of its public debut at the LA Auto Show, some reviewers were already able to check out the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid.

The plug-in hybrid version of Subaru‘s third most popular model could be intriguing for those interested in improving efficiency during the daily commute, while maintaining all-wheel-drive capability for off-road driving on the weekend.

The PHEV is one second quicker than the conventional version (0-60 mph in around 9 seconds), but the battery pack supplied by Toyota compromises the cargo area.

Overall, the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid looks is well equipped and seems practical.

Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid specs:

  • 8.8 kWh battery (5.5 kWh usable), 25.0 Ah; 351.5V
  • all-electric range of 17 miles (27 km) (EV mode up to 65 mph); total range: 480 (772 km)
  • 0-60 mph in around 9-10 seconds
  • Towing capacity: 1,000 lb. (class 1); 100-lb. tongue capacity
  • System output: 148hp from 2.0L engine (137hp @ 5,600 rpm), Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission) and two electric motor-generators:
    MG1 Operates as power generator to charge and maintain the high-voltage hybrid battery. MG1 is also the starter motor and generator for the gasoline engine.
    MG2 supplies electrical drivetrain power output for the hybrid and electric vehicle (EV) driving modes. Also provides charging for the high-voltage hybrid battery during regenerative braking.
    MG2 output: 118.0 HP / 148.9 lb-ft of torque, 0-1,500 rpm.
  • all-wheel drive
  • charging time: around 2 hours at 3.3 kW (240 V)
  • Curb weight: 3,726 lb (1,690 kg)

Alex on Autos – Second Time’s The Charm

“The 2019 Crosstrek is Subaru’s second ever hybrid and it is a light-year beyond their last attempt. For the new model Subaru borrowed some Toyota tech, mixed it with their in-house developed AWD system and poured the mixture into their popular Crosstrek crossover. With 17 miles of EV range and by 35 MPG in hybrid mode the new Crosstrek PHEV is the most efficient Subaru and the most efficient plug-in hybrid with a true mechanical AWD system. Unlike the eAWD systems we see in the competition, the Subaru system has the exact same off-road capability as the non-hybrid model, and thanks to the borrowed Toyota parts, I suspect it should also be more reliable than the regular CVT-equipped models. While some may be disappointed with the range, this is exactly the model many Subaru fans have been waiting for.”

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Redline Reviews – The First EVER Plug-In Subaru!

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Driving Sports TV  – Dirt Road Review

“The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid is Subaru’s first Plug-In Electric Hybrid. Featuring dual gas and electric Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and advanced EyeSight Safety tech, is this PHEV version as good as the standard Crosstrek? Is it better? Ryan travels to California to find out, joining him is Sofyan Bey from Redline Reviews.”

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Source: Electric Vehicle News

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: At 39 mpg, the highest-mileage SUV without a charge port

2019 Toyota RAV4 HybridYesterday, when we brought you our 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid first drive review, we missed one very important point. At 39 mpg, the RAV4 Hybrid is now the highest-mileage sport-utility vehicle (as the EPA lists them) without a charge port. All the more impressive is that it’s not a low, teardrop-shaped vehicle with utility compromised in the…
Source: Hybrid and Electric Car News and Reviews