Following recent announcement of new incentives for electric vehicle (EV) owners in Dubai, Renaul -in conjunction with its alliance partners Nissan & Mitsubishi motors- has pledged to launch 12 new zero-emission electric vehicles by 2022.

Renault has also released details of a six-year plan which will cement its reputation as EV trailblazers in the region.    

The new incentives announced by Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, allow new EV buyers to charge their vehicles for free at Dewa-approved stations until 2019, access free designated green parking in Dubai, qualify for free electric vehicle registration and renewal fees, as well as, exemption from Salik’s tag fee and a licence plate sticker identifying the vehicle as an electric car.

As the first automotive company to launch a 100 per cent electric car in the UAE, and with further EV vehicles set to arrive in the region over the coming years, Renault is well placed to support the movement for a greener Middle East.

Marwan Haidamous, Renault Middle East managing director, said: “As the pioneers in electric mobility in the Middle East and the market leader for electric vehicles in Europe, we intend to continue to lead the way in developing electric vehicle solutions in the region. With the new incentives announced by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and the much-anticipated introduction of the ZOE Long Range, which features the longest range of any mainstream electric vehicle, together we can start the electric revolution in the Middle East.”

Renault is the only car manufacturer to offer a full range of electric vehicles, with the Twizy (quadricyle), ZOoe (hatch) and Kangoo (Utility Van). First launched in the Middle East in 2014, the Renault Twizy was designed as an ‘ultramobile’, with its ultra-compact dimensions (2.34m long, 1.24m wide and 1.45m tall) and powered entirely by electricity. In addition, the flagship of Renault’s Z.E. (Zero Emissions) range, the Zoe Long Range, an all-electric, multi-award winning five-door supermini, is due to arrive in the Middle East in the coming months.

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BMW is bringing wireless charging to its electric cars in 2018

Apple might be making a noise about wireless charging with the iPhone X and iPhone 8, but BMW wants to steal some of Cupertino’s thunder by showing off a giant inductive charging mat for its electric cars.

While wireless charging for electric vehicles is nothing new, it has yet to become readily available to the consumer market. But BMW, clearly tapping into its work with Qualcomm to produce charging pads for the BMW i3 and i8 safety cars uses in the Formula E racing series, plans to bring its wireless charging pad to the market in 2018.


Using inductive charging the pad uses BMW Wireless Charging tech to provide electrical juice to the company’s plug-in hybrid vehicles without needing to plug a compatible car into a charging socket.

Once the BMW pad is connected to a 220V power outlet, all a driver needs to do is position their hybrid electric BMW over the charging pad, aided by visual positioning from BMW’s iDrive system. From there the inductive pad to works its electrical magic, or more correctly works its physics, as it charges the vehicle’s Lithium-ion battery by generating a magnetic field between the pad’s electrical coil and another on the car’s floor allowing for 3.2kW of power to to be transferred to the car wirelessly.


The pad will be initially available for the BMW 530e iPerformance, and through using what is essentially an up-rated version of the wireless charging tech found in some smartphones, the car can be filled up with electricity within 3.5 hours.

BMW’s wireless charging pad is set to come to other electric hybrids Beemer has in its vehicle portfolio, including the 330e, 740e and the i8. The price of the pad and its exact release date has been kept under wraps, but we’d hazard a guess and say it’ll be priced in the ballpark of BWM’s i Wallbox Pro charging station, which costs around $900/£670.

Having tech that makes it easier to charge electric vehicles could be the means to accelerating their appeal to more motorists originally concerned about the faff of charging an electric hybrid; the simplicity of the BMW charging pad and the fact that it can withstand a clumsy driver running over it, might be the gadget to get people driving greener cars.




The Toyota Prius has long been a polarizing vehicle. Enthusiasts don't like it because it defined the car as an appliance, a way to get from A to B without any driving engagement. Of course, millions of people didn't care about that in the slightest (Toyota's sold 3.5 million Priuses), and simply appreciated the Prius because it let them get 45 or 50 miles to the gallon without a thought while encouraging a relaxed rate of progress – maddening to any driver stuck behind a slow-moving Prius on the road. After all these years, the Prius is as much a Rorschach test as it is a form or transportation.

The new Prius is going to present the world with a conundrum: The fourth-generation hybrid is Toyota's attempt to redefine what it means to be a Prius.

If you've seen the new Prius, then you likely have an opinion about what it looks like. Initial response to the leaked spy photos was overwhelmingly negative. After spending some time with the new Prius in Japan and California recently, the look has grown on us. The back end is still the most difficult angle to appreciate, but walking up to a parking lot of these is not the dispiriting experience some of our readers might expect. And that's before we tell you about how this thing drives


The main reason Toyota was able to introduce actual driving dynamics into the new Prius lies in the Toyota New Generation Architecture (TNGA). The car is wider now, which helps, and has a lower center of gravity. The MacPherson strut suspension up front remains the same as before, but in the back, Toyota has gone to a double wishbone setup. TNGA increases the stiffness by 60 percent compared to the third generation, which helps with overall rigidity.

There's an energy to cornering that simply didn't exist before.

It's no longer the case that the car "drives like a Prius", but true driving aficionados won't fall in love with the way the new hybrid handles. There's an energy to cornering that simply didn't exist before. You've still got electronically controlled steering and a CVT, but the entire package now promises that, if you want to – and this remains a big if – you can be sprightly while still getting well over 50 miles per gallon. For that sort of fuel economy, the new Prius is honestly more fun than it should be. You can learn more about the promise of TNGA here.

It says something about the new Prius that we're a number of paragraphs into the story before we get to the car's fuel economy. And here's where the Prius reverts back to its old habits. We drove the Prius Two trim model, which is the new car's entry point. It gets the same estimated fuel economy figures as most of the rest of the trim levels – 55 city, 50 highway, and 52 combined – but the new Prius Two Eco, which uses a li-ion battery instead of the NiMH, gets an estimated 58/53/56. It does this mostly by being 65 pounds lighter, losing weight in the different battery, and because it comes without a spare tire.

Over a gentle drive of 22.5 mostly highway miles, we got a dashboard display of 67.3 mpg. But when you add in a similar stretch of more stop and go driving and some winding roads, our total for 48.8 miles was 57.3 mpg. That's a great number, even if the overall average amount of fuel you'll save over the course of a year with the fourth-gen Prius instead of a third-gen model is negligible. Given 50 mpg combined in the third-gen and an estimated 52 in the new Prius, you'll save around 12 gallons if you drive 15,000 miles a year.

The different trim levels offer quite a disparity of functions and available technology. The coolest of these, Toyota's new TSS (Toyota Safety Sense) Package is standard on touring models and available on Prius Three and Prius Four with the Advanced Technology Package. It's not available on the Prius Two.

TSSP doesn't turn the new Prius into a self-driving vehicle, but it does set the stage for that sort of thing. The package includes a pre-collision warning and braking system that can identify vehicles and pedestrians (it's not failsafe, though, as we learned on the track in Japan, where our driver had to manually hit the brakes or else he would have hit the pedestrian dummy) as well as a lane departure alert with steering assist and other conveniences.

If you opt for the Prius Two Eco trim, you might have a problem in tremendously cold temperatures. A Toyota representative said that if the li-ion battery pack gets to below -29 degrees Fahrenheit, it doesn't work right, and the car itself might not be able to function because the battery is an integral part of the powertrain. It should be noted that an outside temperature of -29 won't be a problem in and of itself, since the battery is protected from the cold to some degree. Still, sitting for a week in some Point Barrow parking lot in the dead of winter might not be ideal. Then again, northern Alaska is a tough challenge for most vehicles.

2016 Toyota Prius2016 Toyota Prius2016 Toyota Prius2016 Toyota Prius

The entire cockpit area feels spacious and the rear passenger area is decently sized.

The 2016 Prius will start at $25,035 for the Prius Two model. That's the same as the entry-level 2015 Prius, but you now get a lot more, including those twin pleasures of higher fuel economy and a better driving style. The top-of-the-line Prius Four Touring model starts at $30,835, but has a number of packages you can add on for extra tech. These prices include the delivery and handling fee of $835.

Besides the looks, which opinionated people will continue to disagree on, you can come up with some minor complaints about the new Prius. The doors feel a bit thin and flimsy when you slam them shut, even though the car overall feels solid. Also, there are no rear cup holders like in previous models.

So, we've got a bit of the familiar and some unfamiliar aspects of the Prius here. The good news for people looking to upgrade is that pretty much everything from the driver's seat falls into the familiar category. If you've driven a Prius before, you'll know how everything works. Push-button start. The now-traditional Toyota hybrid drive modes (Eco, Normal, and Power, with a near-useless "EV Mode" button). A high and center-mounted driver information display. But things have been improved, too. The info screen, for example, is now in color instead of the straight-out-of-the-80s blue-green of the third-gen model. There are cool mini badges that say Prius in the air vents. The entire cockpit area feels spacious and the rear passenger area is decently sized. I'm not a huge guy, just five-foot-nine, but I was comfortable enough sitting back there.

2016 Toyota Prius

The new Prius doesn't force you to learn how to be a better eco driver every day, but if you're interested in this sort of thing, it's available for you.

Controlling the car's settings was comfortable, too. The simple HVAC buttons deserve a special call-out, for making it easy to adjust the temperature. Toyota hasn't seen fit to add Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to the new Prius, but connecting an iPhone to the car's infotainment system was a quick enough process. The whole dashboard seems designed for maximum use and minimum fuss. When you're done driving, you can toggle to a little green driving score on the info screen (also available as a preview in real-time screen while on the road) that includes an Eco-Diary that shows you how far you drove and your daily fuel economy for the past four days. The new Prius doesn't force you to learn how to be a better eco driver every day, but if you're interested in this sort of thing, it's available for you.

And this, again, shows that the new Prius isn't trying to dominate your driving experience with fuel efficiency metrics. Toyota representatives said at the launch that one of the missions of this new car is to appeal to buyers who were new to the Prius family (of course, is there a mass-market car that doesn't try to do this?). The way that the new Prius goes about this task is by offering up more than a pure fuel-efficiency story. It doesn't have an electric vehicle's sprightly acceleration (it's still slow), but by trying to expand the definition of what it means to be a Prius – fuel efficient andlegitimately sort of fun – this car has a better chance than most.

Of course, the green car environment is broader and healthier than it's ever been, so just getting great fuel economy was never going to cut it in 2016 (the car arrives in mid-January). If you're not going to offer a plug-in version (and Toyota hasn't said one way or the other it if will), you're going to need to come to the table with something efficient, futuristic, and familiar to complete with the Chevy Volts and the ever-more-efficient gas competition. Luckily for Toyota, that's exactly what the fourth generation Prius represents. It's just might be what it takes to redefine an icon.

Source : 2016 Toyota Prius First Drive

Conventional vehicles use gasoline or diesel to power an internal combustion engine. Hybrids also use an internal combustion engine—and can be fueled like normal cars—but have an electric motor and battery, and can be partially or wholly powered by electricity.

By using both a conventional engine and electric motor, the best hybrids achieve significantly better fuel efficiency than their non-hybrid counterparts. They also pollute less and save drivers money through fuel savings.

The most advanced hybrids have larger batteries and can recharge their batteries from an outlet, allowing them to drive extended distances on electricity before switching to gasoline or diesel. Known as "plug-in hybrids," these cars can offer much-improved environmental performance and increased fuel savings by substituting grid electricity for gasoline.

Hybrid car features

The addition of a battery-powered electric motor increases the fuel efficiency of hybrids in a number of ways.

Like the switch that turns off your refrigerator's light bulb when the door is closed, "idle-off" is a feature that turns off your car's conventional engine when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel. The battery provides energy for the air conditioner and accessories while the vehicle idles at stoplights or in traffic, and the electric motor can start the vehicle moving again. If needed, the conventional engine will reengage to provide more power for acceleration.

"Regenerative braking" is another fuel-saving feature. Conventional cars rely entirely on friction brakes to slow down, dissipating the vehicle's kinetic energy as heat. Regenerative braking allows some of that energy to be captured, turned into electricity, and stored in the batteries. This stored electricity can later be used to run the motor and accelerate the vehicle.

Having an electric motor also allows for more efficient engine design. This "power assist" feature helps reduce demands on a hybrid’s gasoline engine, which in turn can be downsized and more efficiently operated. The gasoline engine produces less power, but when combined with electric motors, the system’s total power can equal or exceed that of a conventional vehicle.

The most efficient hybrids utilize "electric-only drive," allowing the vehicle to drive entirely on electricity and use less fuel. In hybrids that can't be plugged-in, electric-only drive is typically only utilized at low speeds and startup, enabling the gas or diesel-powered engine to operate at higher speeds, where it’s most efficient.. Most plug-in hybrids—which tend to have larger batteries and motors—can drive entirely on electricity at relatively high speeds for extended distances (typically 10 to 30 miles).

Different hybrids also use different types of "drivetrains," the mechanical components that deliver power to the driving wheels. Learn about the implications of different hybrid drivetrains here.

Differences between hybrids and other EVs

Hybrids that can't be recharged from an outlet aren't generally considered to be electric vehicles, as they rely exclusively on gasoline or diesel for energy. Plug-in hybrids, described above, are considered electric vehicles, along with battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Learn more about how plug-in vehicles work >

Battery electric vehicles only use an electric motor and battery, eschewing conventional engines altogether. Because they don't use gas or diesel, battery electrics are often cleaner and cheaper to fuel than hybrids and conventional vehicles. Learn more about how battery electrics work >

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles power an electric motor and battery by converting stored hydrogen gas to electricity using a fuel cell. These vehicles are only beginning to come to market, but offer great potential as a low-carbon alternative to conventional cars and trucks as they have no tailpipe emissions, reduced global warming emissions, and can be refueled at a filling station similar to a gasoline vehicle. Learn more about how fuel cells and fuel cell vehicles work

How Do Hybrid Cars and Trucks Work?source  :

When people think of Volvo, they tend to think of safety. For decades, that’s how the once-Swedish company advertised its cars.

Now under Chinese ownership, Volvo Cars aims to set itself apart as an aggressive early mover in the electrification of the automobile.

On Wednesday, the company said that all new models starting in 2019 will be equipped with an electric motor. Some will be hybrids. Some will be pure electrics. But as new models come on line, Volvo plans to phase out the conventional automobile powertrain that runs 100% on gasoline or diesel fuel.

"This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion-engine-powered car," Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said in a conference call with reporters. "People increasingly demand electrified cars, and we want to respond to our customers' current and future needs."

Volvo is the first traditional automaker to take such a plunge, which comes despite few signs that the market is ready to bury the combustion engine.

Sales of SUVs and pickup trucks have actually surged recently in the United States, helped by cheap gasoline. And Volvo itself will keep using petroleum-powered engines for some time to come. Current models won’t change their powertrains until they’re upgraded, something that could take years.

The end of the combustion engine “is being overstated,” said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Autotrader.

“People always say they’re interested in these cars,” she said of electrics. “They’ll consider them, but they don’t buy them.”

Hybrids and electrics are most popular in California, yet only about 3% of 2016 total car sales in the state were hybrids and about 2% pure electrics. Those numbers are picking up a bit this year.

Nationally, less than 1% of car sales are pure electrics. A report from Deutsche Bank last year predicted that by 2025, “increasingly efficient” combustion engines would still power about 95% of all vehicles.

But global concerns about climate change and air pollution have generated pressure to make the switch. Governments around the world — most notably the Chinese, with the largest car market in the world — are offering incentives and issuing mandates to push buyers into electric cars.

In the wake of emissions-cheating scandals, Europe is moving away from once-popular diesel engines. India is considering banning combustion engines by 2030. Norway, Germany and other countries have also considered bans.

China’s government policies strongly favor electric cars, and the country plans to become a major electric car exporter. China is Volvo’s second-largest market, nearly as large as the United States.

At the same time, battery costs are dropping and maximum mileage range is expanding enough, Volvo believes, to lure more people away from traditional powertrains.

“Volvo has always been an innovator, and this is a massive change in terms of operating a business,” said Akshay Anand, an analyst at Kelley Blue Book.

Volvo’s goal is to sell 1 million electrified cars by 2025, Samuelsson said, including five new pure-electric models.

The first of the pure electrics will be manufactured in China, before assembly expands to Europe and a plant now under construction in South Carolina.

The Volvo brand, while well known, is a niche player in the United States with less than 1% of total passenger vehicle sales.

Globally, Volvo sold 534,532 light vehicles last year, including 84,000 in the United States, nearly the same as in China.

China sold 28 million light vehicles in 2016 compared to 17.55 million in the United States. It also is the fastest growing market for electric cars, with sales of 352,000 cars in 2016, more than double the 160,000 new electric-car sales in the United States.

The Chinese government has poured subsidies into the electric-vehicle market, driven by fears over urban pollution and a desire to make its local industry leaders in green technology.

Earlier this year, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology set a target of 2 million electric car sales, or 20% of all auto sales, by 2020.

Chinese carmaker Geely, and Volvo, plan to be a big part of that.

Led by its charismatic chairman, Li Shufu, Geely purchased Volvo in 2010 to lift the Chinese brand, which had failed to even crack the top 10 in its own market.

The ambitious parent company is determined to make China synonymous with cars the way Japanese and South Korean automakers did decades ago.

Li expanded the company’s portfolio to buy a majority stake in Lotus Cars, the British luxury automaker. He announced plans to make Geely the first Chinese carmaker to market its own brand in Europe and North America with Lynk & Co., a joint initiative with Volvo.

Analysts say Geely shrewdly left Volvo alone, choosing instead to glean expertise from the automaker, particularly on safety. That’s no small detail for a Chinese manufacturer that once unveiled a sedan at the Detroit Auto Show that failed to pass U.S. road standards.

“There seems to be more latitude than expected between Geely and Volvo, which I would say is a great thing,” said Anand, the Kelley Blue Book analyst.

Chinese electric car and battery factories, analysts say, may gain the economies of scale needed to force down electric car costs worldwide.

Tesla is trying to do the same with its mid-market Model 3, which the company plans to begin assembling in large numbers sometime later this year. Next year, Tesla plans to build 500,000 cars in its Fremont plant — about the same number of cars that Volvo now sells worldwide.

In the United States, federal and state subsidies for electric cars haven’t moved the sales needle much. Chevy introduced its Bolt EV this year, a compact car with a range of about 240 miles. Neither Ford nor Fiat Chrysler have designed and built an electric car from the ground up.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration is considering pulling back mileage and pollution requirements approved under former President Obama. President Trump has been silent on electric car policy, with no hint whether or not the federal government’s $7,500 buyer subsidies will continue.

Even Volvo isn’t ditching combustion entirely. Its new “mild hybrid” cars will have a small electric motor that gives an occasional boost to a conventional fuel engine.

That improves gas mileage, and allows the car to idle at stoplights, but launch as soon as the driver hits the gas pedal.

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Hyundai Hybrid vehicle