Electric Pininfarina Battista Shows Its Sleek Nose In New Teaser

We’ll see Italy’s most powerful car ever in a couple of months at the Geneva Motor Show.

With the zero-emissions era upon us, it means we’ll be seeing more and more electric cars across the automotive spectrum. This EV assault will include not just mainstream models such as the Volkswagen I.D., but also fully fledged hypercars like the Battista from Automobili Pininfarina. Attempting to succeed where the Audi R8 E-Tron has failed, the all-electric machine formerly known as PF0 is back in a new teaser image to get us all excited about its highly anticipated premiere.

Arriving in a couple of months at the Geneva Motor Show, the high-performance EV has already revealed its sleek rear end design and a good chunk of its futuristic cabin in previous teaser images. Now, Automobili Pininfarina is willing to put the spotlight on the front end design by showing the low-slung nose of the Battista in more detail than ever before.

The lack of a conventional front grille emphasizes the Battista’s electric nature, while the slender LED headlights mimic the thin strip of taillights and give the electric hypercar a high-tech look. The wide U-shaped piece that goes from one headlight cluster to the other likely serves as the daytime running lights based on previous teasers.

Aside from having a pretty good idea about the Battista’s design, Automobili Pininfarina has been nice enough to share plenty of technical specifications in the build-up to the official reveal in March. With 1,900 horsepower on tap, you’re looking at the most powerful production car to ever come from Italy, one that will top out at 250 mph (402 kph) and will cover more than 300 miles (483 kilometers) before running out of juice.

The immense amount of instant torque – 1,696 pound-feet (2,300 Newton-meters) – will be enough to propel the Battista to 62 mph (100 kph) in less than two seconds. That means it will be on a par with the second-generation Tesla Roadster and the Rimac C_Two. Speaking of the Croatian hypercar marque, the Battista’s electric powertrain is being developed with Rimac, which will supply not only hardware and software, but also its engineering know-how.

Following its world debut in March at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, the Battista will be in the hands of early adopters towards the end of 2020. Only 150 units will ever be built at an estimated price tag of $2 to $2.5 million, with 50 examples heading to the United States, another 50 to Europe, and the remaining 50 to the Middle East and Asia region.

Source: Electric Vehicle News

Tesla opens Model 3 orders to the public in Europe and China

After opening Model 3 orders to reservation holders in Europe and China, Tesla is now opening its online design studio to the entire public in order to get more orders ahead of the start of deliveries in those markets. more…

The post Tesla opens Model 3 orders to the public in Europe and China appeared first on Electrek.

Source: Charge Forward

Road Test: 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE

Toyota’s All-new Compact Hatchback

Toyota says the 2019 Corolla Hatchback is its “most technologically advanced small car” and proudly says “the Hatch is back!” So, what’s the big deal about this being hatchback? Well, forever Toyota has shied away from the “H” word, calling its previous five-door small cars a “liftback.” Remember, the Scion iM and the Corolla iM, which the all-new 2019 Corolla Hatchback replaces, may have been liftbacks to Toyota (as are most members of its popular Prius family), but a hatchback to the rest of us. Nice they are now onboard as there is nothing to be afraid of.

One Engine, Two Transmissions

The front wheel drive 2019 Corolla Hatchback has a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine putting out 168 horsepower and 151 pounds-feet of torque. All three of these are increases over the 2018 Corolla. Running on unleaded regular, our test car had a 10-speed Dynamic-Shift CVT automatic with paddle shifters, a Sport mode and an actual conventional first gear. A six-speed manual transmission with rev matching, is standard, and could add a bit of excitement. The EPA fuel economy ratings at 30 city/38 highway/33 combined, are all improvements over last year’s Corolla. If you opt for the SE trim level, the fuel estimates are a bit higher at 32/42/36, mostly due to smaller tires than came on the XSE model being tested by Clean Fleet Report.

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

Another entrant in the 40 MPG Club

In 371 miles of 75-percent highway/25-percent city driving we averaged 33.4 mpg. However, in two 100-mile highway runs, with the dynamic cruise control set at 65 mph, we achieved 40.1 mpg. So, settle back, crank-up the radio and let the 13.2 gallon fuel tank take you more than 500 miles down the road.

Driving Experience: On the Road

The unique CVT, with the fixed first gear, allows for a more responsive launch from stop before the 10 preset ratios of the CVT take over.  Toyota was attempting to eliminate two common CVT complaints: the rubber band feel during “shifting” and the droning sound. After driving the Corolla hard, slow, fast and on-and-off the accelerator, I can report that Toyota’s engineers accomplished their goals. So far, so good, but how is the performance? Zero-to-60 times right around 8.5 seconds is a bit quicker than the outgoing Corolla, but certainly not fast. The engine has a nice note to it when pushed hard, but on the highway all you hear from the engine is…nothing.

The 2019 Toyota Corolla’s electric power-assisted steering was not programmed to be too light, actually providing good feel and communication to the driver. Turning the Corolla hard into a tight corner results in a bit of manageable understeer, but the Yokohama Avid GT 225/40R tires, on 18-inch aluminum wheels, were up to the task of keeping the Corolla planted. With this said, the sport-tuned suspension helps greatly, but the Corolla looks more sporty than it is. To be fair to Toyota, they do not market the Corolla as a sports car, something they will leave to the wonderful 86.

Stopping was straight with no fading from the power-assisted front ventilated and rear solid disc brakes, assisted by the four-wheel anti-lock brake system, brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, and Smart Stop technology.

Driving Experience: Exterior

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

Toyota’s big on grills these days

Toyota is into big grills these days, and the all-new 2019 Corolla got a whopper of one. For this car, it seems to work as the hawk-like LED headlights and the full chrome trim balance the gaping grill nicely. Toyota says the Corolla Hatchback has “flair extraordinaire” and “emotive lines, creases and surfaces.” What we see is a sharp-looking hatchback with some unique design cues. The biggest of which is the high stance of the tail, with what has to be the largest spoiler on the market. The LED taillights and twin chrome exhaust tips finish off what is sure to be a popular design for Toyota.

Driving Experience: Interior

Toyota obviously spent extra time on updating the interior, adding soft materials and accent top stitching. The simple, cleanly designed interior had both matte and high gloss surfaces, including piano black accents. Our Corolla front seats were leather trimmed in black with very stylish gray fabric inserts. The driver seat was eight-way power adjustable with lumbar. There was plenty of room up front, but the rear seat is tight. Putting the three adults that Toyota says can sit back there might work for short jaunts. Otherwise, to keep your passengers on friendly terms, limit the rear occupancy to two. The back seat really shines when the 60/40 split, reclining and fold-flat seats are laid out, providing for good storage space. It will not be surprising if most Corolla Hatchback owners keep those rear seats in the down position.

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

The interior’s nicely upgraded this year

The optional eight-speaker JBL Premium infotainment (information and entertainment) system that came with Toyota’s Entune and their App Suite was controlled through the 8.0-inch, high resolution touch-screen. Entertainment was through SiriusXM/FM/CD/HDAM with MP3 playback capability. There is an auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod connectivity, music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology, Siri Eyes Free and Apple CarPlay. Clean Fleet Report was pleased to see channel and volume knobs as well as larger control wheels for the dual zone automatic climate system.

Safety and Convenience

The 2019 Toyota Corolla came with the Toyota Star Safety Sense system that included seven air bags, a tire pressure monitoring system, pre-collision system, lane departure alert, traction control, ABS brakes and stability control. The 2019 Corolla Hatchback has not been crash-tested by the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA), but its sibling the Corolla sedan has earned Five Stars, its highest rating.

Pricing and Warranties

Base price for the 2018 Toyota Corolla hatchback is $18,850 with the six-speed manual transmission while with the seven-speed CVTi-S automatic transmission it is $19,590. Our test XSE had optional equipment totaling $2,813 for an MSRP of $26,903. All prices exclude the $920 freight and handling fee.

The 2019 Corolla comes with these warranties:

  • Powertrain  Six years/60,000 miles 
  • Basic             Three years/36,000 miles       
  • Corrosion     Perforation Five years/Unlimited miles
2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

A new badge

The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback comes in four trim levels, with base pricing of:

SE Manual             $19,990

SE CVT                   $21,090

XSE Manual           $22,990

XSE CVT                 $24,090

Observations: 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE

If you have driven any of the previous generation Corolla models since it was introduced in 1966, you owe it to yourself to take a test drive in the all-new 2019 Corolla. Old school impressions of the Corolla were that it was an inexpensive econobox. Frills and excitement need not apply. Fast forward to 2019, and the fit and finish, especially the interior, is a step-up from previous versions, making a strong case for the Corolla to be considered as a top value in the compact car category.

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

A compact contender with five doors

Price should not be the only thing to be concerned with though. Performance, high fuel economy, a comfortable ride, sharp styling and standard equipment need to play an important part in the purchase consideration. Considering these, the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback stands strong. Then for five-door aficionados, the hatchback is a must see.

When at your local Toyota dealer, take the Corolla Hatchback for a lengthy test drive. Find some highway on-ramps for hard acceleration, and tight corners to judge for yourself if the Corolla Hatchback ticks off enough boxes to be parked in your garage.

Ed. note: The Corolla also has a hybrid version coming that will offer even better fuel economy, so if that’s your top concern, you might want to check when your dealer will have that in stock (it’s a 2020 model so it may be later this year).

Make sure to opt-in to the Clean Fleet Report newsletter (top right of page) to be notified of all new stories and vehicle reviews.

Whatever you buy, Happy Driving!

[See image gallery at www.cleanfleetreport.com] Related Stories You Might Enjoy—The Complete Compact Competition

Gas Misers

Road Test: 2018 Honda Civic

Road Test: 2018 Volkswagen Golf R

Road Test: 2016 Volkswagen Jetta

Road Test: 2017 Kia Soul Turbo

Road Test: 2019 Hyundai Veloster

Road Test: 2018 Hyundai Elantra

Road Test: 2017 Mazda3

Road Test: 2018 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel

First Drive: 2016 Nissan Sentra

Road Test: 2018 Subaru Impreza


News: 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid Debuts

Road Test: 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

Road Test: 2019 Honda Insight

News: 2019 Toyota Prius AWD Debuts

Plug-in Hybrids

Road Test: 2019 Chevrolet Volt

Road Test: 2018 Toyota Prius Prime

Road Test: 2018 Hyundai Ioniq PHEV


Road Test: 2018 Nissan Leaf

Road Test: 2017 Hyundai Ioniq EV

Road Test: 2018 Volkswagen e-Golf

Road Test: 2016 Ford Focus Electric

News: 2020 Kia Soul EV Debuts

Road Test: 2017 Chevrolet Bolt


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.

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

Sponsored Post: 4 Issues That Could Arise When Going Off-Roading

Ways to Prevent Them & Get You Back Running Efficiently

Situation: You’ve done your research and bought the four-wheel drive machine of your dreams. It’s the most fuel-efficient in its class and can take you wherever you want to go–except when it can’t. Besides keeping you from getting where you’re going, a stuck 4WD adds unnecessary emission while also hitting you in the wallet.

Here are some savvy tips to get your off-road machine back doing what you bought it for. 

Whether as a recreational activity in itself or a means of getting to the campsite or fishing hole where the real recreation can begin, off-roading can do a number on your vehicle. From the undercarriage to the tires to the wheels, a 4×4 vehicle is better equipped to handle the potential hazards of driving over rugged off-road terrain, but there are steps you can take to prevent damage or unplanned stops ahead of time.

Tire traction

You need to keep your tires rolling to maintain fuel efficiency

Issue: Loss of Control Due to Poor Tire Traction

Losing control of your vehicle in an off-roading situation can cause serious trouble. Maximizing tire traction helps you to keep a better grip.

Solution: When you get on the trail, air down your tires. This will help you maintain maximum traction by growing your contact patch. The trail series of method racing wheels have a patent-pending Bead Grip technology that allows you to drive with lower tire pressure.

Issue: Vehicle Becomes Stuck in The Mud

Jeep mud tires are designed to handle muddy conditions, with their self-cleaning abilities and large tread lugs, but tires can only do so much if the mud is too deep.

Solution: Making yourself aware of weather and trail conditions beforehand can help you avoid the muddy spots, but if you do get stuck, vehicles equipped with winches are often successful at pulling themselves or other vehicles out of sticky situations.

Issue: Tire Goes Flat or Becomes Damaged

Tires specifically designed for off-roading perform far better on the trails than tires designed for the street. However, though built to take a lot of punishment, off-road tires are not invulnerable to punctures.

VW Alltrack

Tires need to be designed to take you where you want to go; some will take you farther than others

Solution: Be sure you carry a spare off-road tire and ensure that it is properly inflated and in good repair before you set out.

Issue: Long-Term Damage to Your Vehicle

Over time, the demands of off-roading can cause damage to even the hardiest vehicle, particularly to the transmission, brakes, and suspension.

Solution: You can slow the damage and lengthen the life of your vehicle by cleaning it and performing maintenance after every trip.

Whatever off-road issues you’re facing, we can help you find the solution when you visit with us.

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

Polestar 2 Electric Car: First Image / Specs Released

A true Tesla Model 3 competitor?

Perhaps. However, only a few details are known at this point in time. Therefore, we’ll leave judgment for a later date.

Here we present the first-ever image of the Polestar 2, the brands first pure electric car. Specs impress too with a claimed range of 300 miles and 400 HP.

Polestar 2 follows the very expensive, limited-run Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid.

In addition to the one lone image, Polestar released this information on the car:

The Polestar 2 will be fully revealed in the coming weeks, but here are some initial specs and information:

  • First full BEV from Polestar and the Volvo Car Group
  • ~300 miles of range (all final specs to be announced shortly)
  • ~400 HP (all final specs to be announced shortly)
  • Four-door “fastback” body type
  • World debut of the new Google Android HMI, which in turn is also the debut of the in-car version of Google Assistant
  • Will be sold in the Tesla Model 3 price range
  • Available on subscription, which will be a slightly more premium version of our sister brand’s Care by Volvo package, although we will honor/take cash sales

Polestar 2, the second production vehicle from Volvo’s electric performance brand, will go into production shortly after Polestar 1, which will enter production later this year.

Source: Electric Vehicle News

Tesla Model 3 Vs. Genesis G70: Video

Can the new hottest new kid on the block keep up with its electric counterpart?

When it comes to competing against the Tesla Model 3, the Genesis G70 is no slouch. At least if, unlike us, you can forgive its internal combustion engine. Recently crowned car of the year by MotorTrend — which, for whatever reason, didn’t include the new Performance variant of the mid-sized Tesla sedan in its contest — the Kia Stinger-based sports sedan is the heir apparent to the gasoline-fueled sports sedan throne. The video above, from the Redline Reviews YouTube channel, takes a look at how the two compare.

The review kicks off discussing the styling, both inside and out. Despite the dimensions of the two contenders being equal, the differences are rather huge. Of course, many elements of style can be subjective, so there may be room for disagreement here, especially when it comes to the exterior. It’s inside the car that things become more interesting.

The Korean car, with its upgraded interior, has a more traditional type of luxury feel. Our host here brings up the Bentley brand as he discusses how its vast swaths of animal hide cover the dash, seats, and steering wheel. Certainly the quilting on the door panels and heated and ventilated front thrones look upscale, and better adapted to sporty driving than those in the American car. Its switchgear isn’t overpopulated either and, for the most part, seems thoughtfully laid out.

Still, it falls down in a couple areas: the rear seating area is cramped and it aside from featuring Apple Carplay and Android auto compatibility —  something the Model 3 lacks — its in-car technology is somewhat wanting. It “features” a 7-inch screen running software borrowed from lesser vehicles in the Hyundai lineup. It does, though, offer a 360-degree camera view, another thing the Model 3 currently lacks.

For its part the Model 3, as our readers are no doubt aware, employs an entirely different design philosophy. Styling is minimalistic, with the accent firmly on technology instead of buttons and bows. Aside from its steering wheel, there is no leather in this interior, the surfaces are plainer, but the cabin feels more spacious due to the advantages of having a drivetrain that doesn’t intrude on interior space. The glass roof panels also accentuate its airiness.

As far as on-the-road performance, our host is quite impressed by the experience the Genesis offers. He calls it very European and definitely superior to competitors from Japanese manufacturers. The optional twin turbo V-6 has lots of power and its sound can be artificially augmented (blech), but it’s also very thirsty. Like 18-mpg-city thirsty (double-blech). Its steering is very direct and this rear-wheel-drive variant can make the backend step out under the right circumstances.

If you thought it might have an edge on the Tesla here, you’d be wrong. At least, according to this reviewer. With its instant response, superior acceleration, excellent grip, and even-more-direct steering, the Tesla making our host giggle while accelerating, turning, or doing both of these at the same time.

There are lots of other points made in the video which are quite salient, so we recommend finding the time to watch it. It’s a little over 35 minutes in length, but it presented well enough that the time passses quickly. Enjoy!

Video description:

As electrification continues to grow in popularity around the world, we’re seeing a huge shift in vehicle technology among car brands with #Tesla leading the change in what people are demanding in today’s modern cars. In previous years, compact sport sedans were often the vehicle of choice for younger drivers looking to make their first big purchase fresh out of college.

Today, both Tesla and #Genesis are the newcomers on the block with the #Model3 being the first all-electric sport sedan to offer over 300 miles of range with either RWD or available dual motor AWD.

While the all-new 2019 #G70 offers a more traditional approach with two turbocharged gasoline engines, standard RWD or AWD, and the availability of an enthusiast friendly 6-speed manual transmission on 2.0T Sport trims. For the first time ever, we have two compact sport sedans from new brands designed to not only steal sales from Germany, but give this new tech savvy buyers a glimpse into the future of motoring… But which one is actually the better option?

Source: YouTube

Source: Electric Vehicle News

Volvo’s Polestar releases first image of its all-electric ‘Tesla Model 3 competitor’

Polestar, Volvo’s performance brand which has been relaunched as an electric brand, released the first image of its upcoming all-electric Polestar 2 sedan, which it describes as a Tesla Model 3 competitor. more…

The post Volvo’s Polestar releases first image of its all-electric ‘Tesla Model 3 competitor’ appeared first on Electrek.

Source: Charge Forward

Tesla Rides Model 3 Wave To Become U.S.’ #1 Selling Premium Brand

Might the same be true in Europe soon?

Tesla noted in its announcement on Q4 results that in 2018, the Tesla Model 3 has not only become the best-selling premium car in the U.S., but also that it brings the title back to an American car after decades.

“2018 was the first time in decades that an American car – the Model 3 – was the best-selling premium vehicle in the U.S. for the full year, with U.S. sales of Model 3 roughly double those of the runner up.”

Recently, Atherton Research hints – before official sales reports – that Tesla as a brand has become the U.S.’ number one premium company:

“Well, I can confirm today, exclusively for Forbes readers, that Tesla is officially the #1 premium automotive company in the U.S. outselling BMW and Lexus by a wide margin.”

“As we expected and wrote two months ago, Tesla has now become in the fourth quarter of 2018 the number 1 luxury automaker in America both in sales volume, outselling Lexus and BMW, and revenue—a remarkable milestone, for a 15-year-old company with just 3 models and no dealer network.”

Tesla delivered about 90,700 cars in Q4, including roughly 77,525 in the U.S. (IEVs estimation).

Atherton Research adds that now German manufacturers need to watch out in their home market, as Model 3 is scheduled for European launch. Serious electric competition for Tesla from German brands is expected no earlier than 2020.

Source: Forbes

Source: Electric Vehicle News

Kia SEED Electric Car (Cycle?) To Debut At CES

Four-wheel electric cycle with a range of 100 km (62 miles)

At the upcoming 2019 CES, Kia will present an unusual vehicle, the SEED Car, which turns out to be four-wheel electric cycle.

It could be an interesting mobility solution for cities, especially since the pedal-electric hybrid system will enable it to go up to 100 km (62 miles) on a single charge without much effort (required pedal input from the driver will not be high).

“The concept has been designed to make urban driving easy, fun and safe, while exploring how Kia could make the final mile of any journey possible with a personal mobility device.

For longer journeys, the ‘SEED Car’ is housed within the ‘BIRD Car’ – an autonomous shuttle vehicle capable of travelling further than the four-wheel cycle’s range capabilities. Once within 100km of its final urban destination, the ‘SEED Car’ is ‘dispersed’ to complete its journey.”

R.E.A.D. System

Kia ‘Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving’ (R.E.A.D.) System

The other EVs from Kia at CES are to be futuristic autonomous vehicles, smart enough to recognize humans emotions – this is what happens when making us pod people is not radical enough.

The system is called Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving (R.E.A.D.). Kia says that it’s the automotive industry’s first technology converging human senses-oriented in-cabin environment control and AI-based emotional intelligence.
More explained in the press release:
Kia Motors is previewing a range of new technologies developed for the post-autonomous driving era at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019, to be held in Las Vegas from January 8 to 11.
Building on the the brand’s ‘Beyond Autonomous Driving’ vision for connected vehicles presented at CES 2018, Kia is looking ahead to a time when autonomous driving has become the norm with an interactive ‘Space of Emotive Driving’ exhibit at this year’s show.
Introducing ‘Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving’ (R.E.A.D.)
In a future where vehicles have the potential to drive themselves, Kia is laying the foundations for major technological development to improve the human mobility experience. Central to the presentation of this ‘Space of Emotive Driving’ vision at CES 2019 is Kia’s new Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving (R.E.A.D.) System – a world-first emotional AI-based optimized and interactive in-cabin space centered on human senses.
The R.E.A.D. System can optimize and personalize a vehicle cabin space by analyzing a driver’s emotional state in real-time through AI-based bio-signal recognition technology. The technology monitors a driver’s emotional state using sensors to read their facial expressions, heart rate and electrodermal activity. It then tailors the interior environment according to its assessment – potentially altering conditions relating to the five senses within the cabin, creating a more joyful mobility experience. AI deep-learning technology enables the system to establish a baseline in user behavior, and then identify patterns and trends to customize the cabin accordingly.
Mr. Albert Biermann, President and Head of Research & Development Division of Hyundai Motor Group said, “Kia considers the interactive cabin a focal point for future mobility, and the R.E.A.D. System represents a convergence of cutting-edge vehicle control technology and AI-based emotional intelligence. The system enables continuous communication between driver and vehicle through the unspoken language of ‘feeling’, thereby providing an optimal, human-sense oriented space for the driver in real-time”
The R.E.A.D. System is revealed alongside V-Touch – a world-first virtual touch-type gesture control technology. V-Touch employs a 3D camera to monitor users’ eyes and fingertip, allowing occupants to manage several in-car features via an unobtrusive head-up display. Through simple finger gestures, all vehicle occupants can make changes to the cabin environment, including lighting, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) and entertainment systems, eliminating the need for buttons or touch screen.
Another feature of the innovative R.E.A.D. System is Kia’s music-response vibration seats, where occupants can ‘feel’ their favorite songs as well as listen to them. The sensory-based signal processing technology adapts seat vibrations according to sound frequencies of the music being played. The vibration seats can also be set to massage mode to increase cabin comfort, as well as enhancing safety by providing haptic warnings from the vehicle’s advanced driver-assist systems.
Some of the technical expertise required to make this demo possible arose out of Kia’s research collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab’s Affective Computing Group as part of Kia’s Media Lab membership.
Kia giving CES visitors an opportunity to experience R.E.A.D. technology
Kia will have specially-designed experiential modules installed at its CES booth to demonstrate the potential of the R.E.A.D. System. For the first time ever, the public will be able to experience vehicle technology that recognizes their physiological emotions based on facial expressions, electrodermal activity, and heart rate. Visitors to CES will be able to witness the sensory controls react in real-time to their changing emotional state.
‘R.E.A.D. Me’ is a one-person cockpit that analyzes the ‘driver’s’ emotional state and creates a ‘space mood’ according to its judgment, using R.E.A.D. technologies such as facial expression recognition and vibration seats. This tailored environment will include bespoke sounds and fragrances to best suit the occupant’s current disposition.
‘R.E.A.D. Now’ is a two-person cockpit simulating a ‘Las Vegas autonomous tour car’ that will make suggestions on route choice and in-car entertainment based on an analysis of the driver’s mood. The occupants will be invited to use the V-Touch gesture control system to play games, select music genres, modify the cabin environment and browse the internet for local information.
‘R.E.A.D. Motion’ is a four-person cockpit which simulates a ‘mobile workspace’ that is expected to be a key benefit of life with autonomous vehicles. Occupants will be invited to take on the role of a ‘Kia executive’ preparing for a business trip, using V-Touch to check their schedule and meeting minutes, open emails and so on. The long-distance functionality of the system means occupants can take control of the R.E.A.D. Motion cockpit controls from a distance. The experience will finish with a live conference call on the head-up display.

Kia ‘Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving’ (R.E.A.D.) System

Source: Electric Vehicle News

EV Comparison: 3 Flavors Of Honda Clarity: PHEV, BEV & Fuel Cell

Choose your source of power: electricity, hydrogen, or hybrid.

Honda hedged its bets on the fuel of the future when it created its Clarity series of vehicles. All three versions use the same mid-size sedan, five-passenger fastback design, but the trio of Clarity cars each have their own specific source of power. There’s a plug-in hybrid, a pure battery-electric model, and hydrogen-powered fuel-cell electric vehicle.

Which one is best for you? Read on to see our comparison, which sheds light on the pros and cons of fuel cells, battery packs, and plug-in hybrids.

How Far Can You Go?

The Honda Clarity Fuel Cell can go 366 miles on a single tank of hydrogen.

Clarity Plug-in Hybrid: The Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid has an official E.P.A. rating for 48 miles of all-electric driving. In most conditions, nearly all of those miles will be purely on electrons. But in real-world driving conditions, the gas engine will fire up for maximum power as needed, say, for speedy highway onramps. Now that the Chevy Volt is discontinued, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid becomes the model with the most all-electric range among cars that utilize both the plug and the pump. It’s total range on both gas and electricity is 340 miles.

Clarity Fuel Cell: The Honda Clarity Fuel Cell can travel an estimated 366 miles after a quick, five-minute fill-up at a hydrogen fueling station. That amount of driving range and fast fueling is the beauty of hydrogen fuel-cell technology. After a quick trip to an H2 station, a typical driver can forget about range for at least a week. The obvious downside is the lack of hydrogen fueling stations. Honda also only leases the Clarity Fuel Cell vehicle at a dozen California dealerships in regions where hydrogen stations can be found.

Clarity Electric: With an electric motor providing the only source of power for the Clarity Electric, it earns an official E.P.A. efficiency rating of 114 MPGe. That beats the other Clarity models for efficiency. The problem with the Clarity Electric is its small battery pack compared to the EV competition. At just 25.5 kilowatt-hours, it only yields 89 miles on a single charge. That’s a generation behind cars like the 238-mile Chevy Bolt. And it’s a deal-killer for most buyers.

WINNER: Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid
On a literal basis, the fuel-cell version has the most electric range among Clarity models. Its 366 miles on a single tank obviously beats the 48-mile all-electric range of the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid. However, for practical purposes, the plug-in hybrid is the winner. It has greater overall efficiency than the fuel-cell version, and on most days you would only use a few drops of gasoline. More importantly, it can still function as an efficient 42-mpg hybrid for long trips – with conventional gas stations available on the road.

Which Car Is The Most Fun To Drive?

When its two sources of power are combined, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid produces 212 horsepower.

Clarity Plug-in Hybrid: The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid combines a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine with two electric motors. For a sizable and relatively heavy sedan, it has a decent overall output of 212 horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque. But that’s when both sides of the powertrain are engaged. When operating just on electricity, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid makes a less impressive 181 horsepower. Just on gasoline, after depletion of the battery pack, you’re down to 103 horsepower and 99 pound-feet of torque. Still, when power is truly needed, it’s available via both sources of power.

Clarity Fuel Cell: There’s a ton of technology that goes into fuel-cell technology and how it converts gaseous hydrogen into electricity. But the Clarity Fuel Cell has a single source of propulsion: a 174-horsepower electric motor providing 221 pound-feet of torque. Is it fun to drive? Moderately. With a curb weight of 4,134 pounds, you can expect it to be slightly slower off the line than the plug-in hybrid at full throttle.

Clarity Electric: The purely electric version of the Clarity is the simplest powertrain of the bunch. It has a single electric motor that receives energy from a lithium-ion battery pack. That motor makes 161 horsepower while producing 221 pound-feet of torque. The Clarity Electric is the lightest of the three vehicles at 4,024 pounds. While it keeps pace with its sibling vehicles, the all-electric Clarity lacks the pep found in smaller EVs with bigger motors.

WINNER: Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid
While all three models were designed to provide about the same level of performance, the plug-in hybrid’s total output of 212 horsepower gives it a slight edge. That said, Honda never intended any of the Clarity models to be great performers. Their size, narrow energy-saving tires, and quasi-luxurious interior represent a sacrifice in the fun category in exchange for comfort.

Fueling/Charging Times for the Clarity Trio

Refueling the Clarity Fuel Cell takes less than five minutes.

Clarity Plug-in Hybrid: The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid uses a 6.6-kilowatt onboard charger. With a 240-volt supply of power, you can add about 20 to 25 miles of range per hour of charging. Replenishing all 48 or so miles of all-electric range takes less than 2.5 hours. Using a standard 110-volt source requires about 12 hours. Filling up the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid’s seven-gallon gasoline tank is standard procedure.

Clarity Fuel Cell: The big promise of fuel-cell cars is that refueling works much like filling up a gas-powered vehicle. It takes a few times to get used to handling the bigger nozzle delivering gaseous fuel, but it quickly becomes the new normal. Pull up on empty, attach the nozzle, and four or five minutes later, you have 366 more miles of energy. Unfortunately, given the current lack of hydrogen stations, the time getting to the pump and back is not nearly as convenient as plugging in at home.

Clarity Electric: The charger used in the Clarity Electric is the same 6.6-kW as found in the plug-in hybrid. So expect the same rate of charging – about 20 to 25 miles of added range per hour via a 240-volt charging station. Because the battery holds 25.5 kilowatt-hours, expect a full charge from empty to full in less than four hours. Using public chargers equipped with the standard CCS charging port, you can restore 80 percent of the battery capacity in about 30 minutes. Unfortunately, that only equates to about 70 miles of driving until you would need to repeat the process.

Hydrogen is dispensed much like gasoline is pumped.

WINNER: Honda Clarity Fuel Cell
The fuel-cell electric version of the Clarity wins the race for fastest fueling. There’s no denying that a five-minute fill-up of a hydrogen car with a 366-mile range can’t be beaten by battery-electric vehicles. Of course, there’s a big caveat: access to charging stations. So while we give the fuel-cell Clarity the prize for fastest refueling, it’s more of a future promise than reality until hydrogen stations are more plentiful. In the meanwhile, anybody living outside Southern California or the Bay Area, where H2 stations exist, should feel good about the ease of plugging in at home.

Comparing Passenger and Cargo Space

The trunk of the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid doesn’t lose any space to make room for batteries.

Clarity Plug-in Hybrid: The Clarity is the largest sedan sold by Honda. It’s a comfortable ride for five adults. Passenger volume and other dimensions are practically identical for the three Clarity versions. Where things diverge is in the packaging of engines, motors, batteries, and energy tanks – and its effect on trunk size. Although the plug-in hybrid shaves off a half-cubic-foot of passenger volume (down to 101.5 cubes), it has the edge regarding cargo space with 15.5 cubic feet. And it offers folding rear seats.

Clarity Fuel Cell: Honda engineers had to make room for two scuba-like tanks that store the Clarity’s hydrogen. One of them sits behind the rear seats, which explains why the Clarity Fuel Cell’s trunk is diminished to 11.8 cubic feet. Folding rear seats are also sacrificed.

Clarity Electric: The all-electric version of the Clarity also loses some of its cargo capacity to make room for its battery pack. The sacrifice is not as bad as what the fuel cell version gives up. The Clarity Electric offers 14.2 cubic feet of cargo. While the rear seats fold, the pass-through from the trunk is small.

WINNER: Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid
The passenger space and creature comforts of the three models are virtually identical. So that’s a tie. The battle here is based strictly on the tape measure. The Plug-in Hybrid doesn’t make any compromises in trunk space. The other two, to varying degrees, give up room for their electric powertrains.

Three Clarity Models, Three Different Prices

The Clarity Electric is available for $199 a month in a three-year lease.

Clarity Plug-in Hybrid: The base-level Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid starts at $33,400, not including a $7,500 federal tax credit. The list of standard features includes heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and keyless entry. All models come with a rearview camera, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. Rear climate control adds $514 to the price. The Clarity Touring trim, which starts at $36,600, brings creature comforts like leather upholstery and navigation. The Plug-in Hybrid is available throughout the United States. California resident might also qualify for an extra $1,500 rebate.

Clarity Fuel Cell: The hydrogen-powered Clarity is available only for lease in about a dozen dealerships in California. With $2,868 due at signing, the 36-month lease costs $369 per month. The lease price factors in the federal incentive. California residents might also qualify for a $5,000 rebate. The Clarity Electric comes with all the features of the Plug-In Hybrid Touring. Considering the current high cost of hydrogen, Honda bundles a three-year Clarity lease with fuel cards worth about $15,000. Free fuel for three years is a great perk.

Clarity Electric: The Clarity Electric is the lowest priced version of the model. It’s available only in California and Oregon for $199 a month with a 36-month lease and $1,499 due at signing. The Clarity Electric comes with all the features of the Plug-In Hybrid Touring. California residents also qualify for a $2,500 rebate.

WINNER: Honda Clarity Electric
An EV with 89 miles of range might not work for everybody, but it’s hard to beat the value of a $199 lease, especially for California residents who receive a check for $2,500 – enough to cover the first year of payments.

BEST OVERALL: Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid

The plug-in hybrid version of the Clarity rises above the pack.

More overall power. A bigger trunk. Wider availability. In addition to those superlatives, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid provides more all-electric range than any other plug-in hybrid on the market. All versions of the Honda Clarity offer a comfortable and spacious ride. But the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is the only one that eliminates range issues.

The runner-up is the Clarity Fuel Cell. For adventurous Californians who want zero emissions but don’t mind visiting special fueling stations, it’s a fascinating alternative.

Where does that leave the Clarity Electric? A mid-size all-electric sedan is needed in the marketplace, but 89 miles of range doesn’t cut it. We look forward to Honda going back to the drawing board to produce a battery-electric model with at least 200 miles of range.

Source: Electric Vehicle News