Land Rover set to launch electric vehicles

If you’ve been impressed with the latest hybrid technologies from supercar manufacturers like McLaren, Porsche, and Ferrari, and the on-going electric efforts of Tesla, then you might be wondering why electric cars aren’t yet the norm. After all, they offer emission free driving, considerable savings in fuel, and a unique driving experience with maximum torque available from 0 rpm.

Well, the reason they’re not the norm yet is simple – charging points are not common enough, and even with a Government incentive, electric cars cost a lot of money. Even hybrids usually top the range.

All of that will change eventually, though, or rather, it has to, as our planet is running out of resources for us to use. Thankfully, almost all automotive manufacturers are investing in next-generation technologies, and Jaguar Land Rover is one of them.

Jaguar Land Rover will produce zero emission electric vehicles within the next decade, with power trains that will trickle down through the Land Rover and Range Rover brands. Currently, Jaguar Land Rover’s fleet emissions aren’t spectacular, as the engines that power their cars are above 2.0-litres and have a fair bit of weight to pull. The way Jaguar Land Rover sees it, hybrid vehicles will much more common across the next decade.

“This is an area that is especially important for manufacturers that do premium cars as in this class you can afford more sophisticated solutions that cost more money, but are not affordable in the mass market,” Dr Ziebart, group engineering director of Jaguar Land Rover, said last year at the Geneva Motor Show.

“And I personally think that the hybrid drive will become the dominant drive train in the upper vehicle classes,” he explained. “I cannot say too much but we are observing the market (electric vehicles) carefully. There is a market that is much more relevant to us as the second or third vehicle in the family, and it makes sense to have an alternative drive train or electric car to compliment the first car in the family.”

Farnell Land Rover is extremely excited about the future of motoring, and the technologies that the Jaguar Land Rover engineering department are working on.

The first electric Land Rover Defender placed at the Eden project in October 2013 is one such example of why Farnell are excited. This electric Defender effortlessly towed a 12-tonne road train and performed all of its tests fantastically. And, in recent tests, the Range Rover Hybrid scored extremely well, with reviewers praising the car for its refinement, pace, and off-road abilities. The hybrid Range Rover offers an 18% improvement in fuel consumption over regular models, which might not sound like much, but in a big car like a Range Rover, the savings soon add up.

The long-term future isn’t about hybrids though, it’s about electric vehicles. Jaguar Land Rover is working hard on developing this technology, but it is not a practical method of motoring just yet, except for motorists who travel very little.

  

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5 Global Cars with Excellent Gas Mileage

With the onset of the credit crunch and increased fuel prices, motorists are increasingly seeking out vehicles with long term affordability and lower running costs. Where once looks and performance played a major role in choosing a new car, in recent years this has often been replaced by questions about reliability, low service cost and good fuel economy. Manufacturers have played an important part by employing new and improved technologies to not only meet ever-demanding emissions standards and Green agendas but also to improve fuel consumption and make their vehicles more attractive to the discerning buyer. This article features five cars that top the tree when it comes to fuel economy.

Kia Rio

At one time Kia was viewed as very much a low-budget, inferior-quality alternative to more traditional manufacturers, but in recent years the company has evolved into one the world’s foremost automotive companies. With vehicles boasting a surprisingly high level of equipment and a wide range of options, the Kia Rio has undergone several incarnations. The most recent ‘Ecodynamics’ versions boast extremely frugal petrol and diesel engines, with some models claiming fuel economy approaching 90 miles per gallon (mpg). This is one small car not be overlooked.

kia rio

Toyota Yaris Hybrid

Toyota are renowned for launching the world’s first mass-produced hybrid, the Prius, and have now extended the technology across the range. The Yaris, already a very fuel efficient and highly-respected supermini, is now available as a hybrid, and boasts economy in the range of 80 mpg. There’s an added premium to pay for the car, but the accompanying lowered emissions and great economy make this a terrific vehicle.

Citroen C3

Another car which has been refined over the past few years, the C3 ‘Airdream’ model can attain a fuel economy around 83 mpg, and features many of the associated benefits in lowered emissions and comfort as its immediate competitors. With low provisional insurance and new driver costs, coupled with its great environmental credetials, this is a very worthy contender among the most efficient and economical cars in its class.

Renault Clio

The Clio has been around for many years, and is extremely familiar to the UK market thanks to an impressive marketing campaign in the 1990s. The bolted-on ECO credentials have once again put the Clio to the fore, with the latest models reputedly rivalling the Kia Rio’s 88 mpg performance level at a very similar cost. In a market consistently dominated by Far Eastern vehicles, the French are definitely catching up again.

Chevrolet Volt

No look at the most economical vehicles on the road would be complete without mention of the remarkable Chevrolet Volt, and its sister car, the Vauxhall Ampera. One of the first truly next-generation cars to hit the market, the Volt is the European Car of the Year 2013. It boasts an electric battery with relatively limited range, but with a petrol-powered electricity generator as backup, tests have reportedly shown that the Volt can, remarkably, produce fuel consumption of 235 mpg!

chevy volt

As new technologies are introduced into the market, no doubt fuel economy among all classes of car will continue to improve. The five examples above demonstrate that fantastic fuel savings can be made without compromising great performance and comfort, and have ushered in a new era in car manufacturing.

  

Interview with Nissan Senior Vice President José Muñoz

Bullz-Eye had the opportunity to pose questions to Nissan Senior Vice President José Muñoz from our editors and readers at the New York Auto Show. WE got a great response, and Nissan Product Specialist Caroline Oberst was on hand to relay the questions submitted on this blog and by Twitter to Mr. Muñoz. The questions covered a wide variety of vehicles and topics, including new hybrids like the 2014 Pathfinder pictured in the first photo above and sales of the Nissan Leaf.

We’ve been very impressed with Nissan’s new vehicles, so if you’re in the market or want to learn more about upcoming models, check out the interview below.

  

2011 Chevy Cruze Eco Gallery

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The Chevrolet Cruze is a big deal for GM and Bullz-Eye will let you know how we feel about it in an upcoming review. We're currently testing a 2011 Chevy Cruze Eco which clocks in at 42mpg in highway driving. Check out this gallery of our test model and stay tuned for the full review.

  

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