British Army Takes Delivery of Hybrid Vehicles to Cut CO2 Emissions

By dancurranjr On June 10th, 2009

toyota_priusThe British Army has recently taken delivery of 50 “green cars” as part of its long-term plans to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions produced by its vehicles.

The deal, brokered by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) through its leasing partners Lex and VT Group, concerns 50 Toyota hybrid vehicles, which switch automatically between petrol engine and electric motor, depending on driving conditions.

The cars produce 104g/km of CO2, compared to the 154g/km emissions produced by the vehicles they are replacing.

The Army is working towards a government target to ensure all cars procured between 2007 and 2011 produce on average less than 130g/km of CO2.

The Army has also ordered another 1,250 vehicles, which are due by the end of the year, emitting 119g/km of CO2.

Brigadier Mark Armstrong, who leads the Army’s sustainable development projects, said that with the delivery of hybrid vehicles, the Army was already ahead of schedule in terms of emission targets set for 2011.

It is expected that with further deals to come before 2011, CO2 emissions will be well below the 130g/km target.

SOURCE: Leasing Life

Toyota Camry Hybrid Offers Proven Reliability

By dancurranjr On June 10th, 2009

2009-toyota-camryThe 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid is still one of Toyota’s best selling cars. Camry Hybrid has a starting price of $26,150 and can deliver up to 34 miles per gallon. Camry is unique with its new green technology that can deliver better than average fuel economy, according to NADA’s Fast Facts.

Toyota Camry achieves over 10 mpg above its gas-powered automobiles and has a 0 percent emission rating. The Camry hybrid comes equipped with luxury features found in Toyota’s top-of-the-line XLE model. The vehicle has proven reliability and is still a best-seller.

Fuel economy should be the main reason to buy a hybrid vehicle. Some hybrids offer up to 40 mpg, but make sure you check the specs on what you’re buying. The Toyota Camry Hybrid is reliable and the price is worth the savings in gas.

If gas prices were to go up to $3.96, which most analysts predict, you will be saving $1,746 each year on fuel. If fuel prices rise again, as they did in 2008, Toyota Camry owners will be saving more each year. There are also government tax credits, although most have expired (check with your tax planner or the IRS for additional information).

New car owners are encouraged to adopt new driving habits, which will also increase mileage for the Camry hybrid. Some of these driving techniques include coasting to red lights or stop signs, instead of immediately braking, and slowly accelerating after completing a full stop. Camry drivers should also keep the windows rolled up while driving on highways in an effort to make use of the vehicle’s aerodynamic technology.

SOURCE: News Oxy

Used Toyota Camry

Steve Ballmer’s “Awesome” New Ford Hybrid

By dancurranjr On June 9th, 2009

Times are tough for car makers, so Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally is going the extra mile by delivering cars to customers himself.

Unfortunately you have to be CEO of a very large company to qualify. Here’s Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer taking possession of his new Ford Fusion Hybrid at the software company’s Seattle-area campus.

“This is awesome!” Ballmer declared, before climbing into the car for a quick seminar on how it works. He didn’t seem too interested in the fuel consumption figures, but said his wife insisted on a hybrid.

The car was the millionth with Ford’s SYNC system — powered by Microsoft technology — which allows you to control a phone and play music with voice commands. So people in the back seat can embarrass you by shouting “Play Abba”.

The high-octane double-act of Ballmer and Mulally — CEO pitch-men par excellence — seals an interesting alliance between Seattle and Detroit. Ford’s Mulally lived in the Seattle area in his 30-plus years at Boeing’s nearby commercial plane operations, while Ballmer’s father — who raised his family in and around Detroit — was a long-time Ford employee, starting in the company’s financing unit in 1950.

SOURCE: Reuters

Ford Says Online Fusion Hybrid Offer is a Hoax

By dancurranjr On June 9th, 2009

ford fusionAn e-mail making the rounds on the Internet this morning that says Ford’s offering 500 copies of its new Fusion hybrid for $15,000 each — almost 50% below list — is a hoax, the automaker said.

Employing the sort of fractured English that has become a familiar feature of certain types of Internet scams, the e-mail says:

“Due to the World Economy Recession, Ford Motor Company, Inc undergo a statistic fall in Sales and result in a drastic financial crisis this last season. The United States Government has given us the opportunity to bounce back on our feet, but unfortunately we have not achieved the fund necessary.

10FusionHybrid_22 “Therefore, we offer you the opportunity to purchase a very good Auto at half of the price. We decided to pull the sales of 500 cars at a very low price for us to aquire the capital needed to bounce back in business and to use this medium to increase the scale of our valued customers.”

The e-mail is signed “Ford Sales Manager Gary Settles” in Dearborn, Mich., where Ford has its headquarters.

“Unfortunately, the offer is not legitimate and the e-mail is a hoax,” Ford said in a statement. “Also, the sales manager listed in the e-mail is not a company employee.

“Ford recommends that people delete the e-mail and any attachments.”

A spokesman for Ford said the company’s IT department is looking into the matter and added that “we’re getting the word out to dealers as soon as we can that this is not a real offer.”

And for the record, the base MSRP for the 2010 Fusion hybrid is $27,270.


Cadillac Converj Hybrid Gets Green Light – Volt Spinoff in 2011

By dancurranjr On June 9th, 2009

cadillac-converjGeneral Motors offers an immense lineup of mainstream and performance-oriented models all across the globe. Cars like the Corvette, Camaro and CTS-V might make North American hearts go aflutter, but elsewhere VXR and SS V-Series stir the souls of young and old.

But a new day has dawned, when even young enthusiasts are more interested in a vehicles’ impact on the planet than they are about zero to sixty times, slalom speeds or skid pad results, which has resulted in a bevy of low and even zero-emissions vehicles that target an entirely different kind of performance enthusiast. GM is at the forefront of this new wave of performance, with vehicles like its new Chevy Volt, Opel Ampera and, now that it’s official, Converj.

According to Motor Trend magazine, the upscale Cadillac Converj, a spinoff of the Volt, will be built in 2011, a year after the four-door Chevy bows. Will the production Cadillac look the same, or change as much as the Volt did from concept to reality? The Volt, initially shown in concept form with two doors and a very different overall shape, got a thorough redesign that included a more practical four-door configuration. Most applauded GM’s decision, and most like the looks of the new car. Such a move, especially considering Cadillac will bring the CTS Coupe to market the year prior, would be smart.

Whatever Cadillac finally shows for production, the Converj will ride on the same Voltec architecture as the Volt and Ampera, which is also a smart move by GM as it will need to recoup as much research and development costs from its unique plug-in series hybrid chassis as possible, and there’s no better way to do that than via a higher end, pricier model. It is also possible that, while the shared powertrain will be identical, it may be calibrated to offer a little more performance in the premium Cadillac offering.

While Cadillac may be celebrating this news, there is still the hurdle of funding the operation. Volt will be built, says GM’s executive team, which is currently lobbying the US Treasury and Energy Departments to allow access to ATVM loans and will no doubt drop another project in order to fund the series hybrid if necessary, but if money is tight it’s possible the Converj could be delayed. It would be unlikely to get cancelled altogether, however, as the money for Volt will have been spent and GM will need to take advantage of the economies of scale possible by a Cadillac version.