Detroit Auto Show 2011 (1): electric vehicles on display
Toyota unveils Prius-family, GM shows Chevy Volt, and Ford exhibits Focus EV ready for markets
Below is a summary of reports on electric vehicles, such as HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicles), EV (Electric Vehicles), and PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles) and their technologies unveiled at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) held in Detroit, Michigan, on January 10~23, 2011.
The economy seems to be recovering gradually in the United States with auto sales there showing a steady growth to 11,590,000 vehicles in 2010, up 11.1% from the previous year. The auto industry in the U.S. saw some brisk activities focusing on electric vehicles toward the end of the year with GM starting production of its Chevrolet Volt PHEV and Nissan putting its LEAF EV on sale in the Californian and other market.
Displayed vehicles except EV/HEV are reported in "Detroit Auto Show 2011 (2): vehicles slated for sale and powertrains"
2011 Detroit Auto Show: Main electric vehicles and technologies exhibited by automakers
|Toyota||Prius 3rd Generation,
Prius c Concept*, "
|Prius PHEV*||RAV4 EV*|
of PHEV *
|Fit EV*||FCX Clarity*
(Fuel Cell EV)
|Hyundai/KIA||KIA Optima HEV,
2011 Sonata HEV*
|GM||Cadillac Escalade HEV,
2012 Buick LaCrosse
|Focus EV*||Engine mounted on PHEV*,
Motors for EV *,
Li-ion Battery *
|BMW||Active Hybrid 750i,
Active Hybrid X6
F500 Mind* HEV
|S500 PHEV*||SLS AMG E-CELL*,
|B-Class F-CELL EV
(Fuel Cell EV)
|Porsche||Cayenne S HEV|
|VW||Touareg HEV||Golf blue-e-motion*|
*White body of
(powered by Venturi)
"*" indicates conceptual vehicles and vehicles slated for market launch in the near future.
Toyota: Introducing Prius family of Prius v , Prius c Concept and Prius PHEV
Toyota exhibited the midsize Prius v HEV ("v" stands for versatility) in addition to the third-generation Prius, Camry HEV and Highlander HEV that are already available in the market. The Prius v uses a 1.8L hybrid system as does the third-generation Prius. Its rear section has been increased by 155mm/30mm/85mm in length, width and height with 50% larger interior luggage space, resulting in overall length, width and height of 4615/1775/1575mm, respectively. The HEV features Toyota's first resin-made panoramic roof and is slated for market introduction in the summer of 2011.
Toyota Prius v HEV
Also exhibited by Toyota was the Prius c Concept HEV ("c" stands for city). The Prius c is a five-door hatchback model smaller in size than the Prius. Toyota defines it as a fuel-efficient car designed for young singles and couples seeking fun-to-drive sensation. The Prius c HEV and the Prius PHEV are to be put on sale in the first half of 2012.
Toyota also exhibited the RAV4 EV that was unveiled at the Los Angeles auto show held last year. In the same year, Toyota formed a partnership with Tesla Motors, an American manufacturer of electric vehicles. Toyota plans to adopt the multipurpose lithium-ion battery technologies used on the Tesla Roadster for the RAV4, which is slated for market launch in 2012.
Toyota Prius c Concept HEV
Toyota Prius PHEV
Toyota RAV4 EV
Toyota exhibited CT200h and other HEV in the Lexus display arena. Toyota is currently selling four HEV models under the Lexus brand in the United States, namely the LS600hL (5L V8 engine), RX450h (3.5L V6 engine), GS450h (3.5L V6 engine) and HS250h (2.4L inline four-cylinder engine). The CT200h (1.8L inline four-cylinder engine) is planned for market launch in 2011 and will be the fifth Lexus HEV model then.
Lexus CT200h HEV
Honda: CR-Z HEV and Fit EV Concept
Honda exhibited the CR-Z two-seater HEV that was put on sale last year in Japan and North America, the Fit EV Concept, and the fuel-cell vehicle FCX Clarity. The Fit EV Concept was first revealed in the 2010 Los Angeles Auto show and is said to be slated for market launch in Japan and the United States in 2012 for urban commuters.
The driver can choose one of the three driving modes, namely NORMAL/ECON/SPORT. The Fit EV will use the same motor as the FCX Clarity (max. power 92kW, max. torque 256N･m) and have a cruising range of over 100 miles (in the U.S. LA4 test mode). The lithium-ion battery requires 12 hours of charging from a 120V source or 6 hours from a 240V source. The battery details have not been disclosed.
Honda Fit EV Concept
Honda also exhibited the technical models of its next-generation PHEV. As is the case with the Fit EV, Honda will go through a series of proving tests with actual vehicles toward the goal of market launch of the PHEV in 2012. The PHEV's main specs are written below.
|Engine||Inline four-cylinder 2L Atkinson cycle i-VTEC engine|
|Motor||Two-motor system (drive, regeneration)|
|Motor max. power||120kW|
|Battery||6kWh lithium-ion battery|
|Range||500 miles and longer (LA4 test mode)|
|EV range||10~15 miles|
|EV max. speed||62mph|
|Charging time||Up to 2~2.5 hours (110V); 1~1.5 hours (220V)|
(Source: Honda website)
Honda PHEV technology models
Hyundai and KIA: Hyundai Sonata HEV and KIA Optima HEV
Hyundai exhibited the 2011 Sonata HEV planned for market launch in the United States in the first quarter of 2011. It is a parallel type HEV powered by the Atkinson cycle DOHC 2.4L inline four-cylinder engine (max. output 166hp, max. torque 154lb･ft) having a variable valve timing system on both the intake and exhaust lines, and a 40hp electric motor. The electric motor gives the max. speed of 62mph (100km/h).
The vehicle is equipped with the six-speed AT, 270V lithium-polymer battery, regenerative brake and a generator that also functions as the hybrid starter. The parallel hybrid system gives the maximum horsepower of 206hp (compared to 187hp from Toyota's 2.4L Camry HEV and 156hp from Ford's 2.5L Ford Fusion HEV). According to the automaker, the HEV has the body cd value of 0.25 and the fuel economy of 40mpg on highway mode.
Hyundai Sonata HEV
KIA exhibited the 2011 Optima HEV unveiled at the 2010 Los Angeles auto show and planned for market launch in 2011. As is the case with the Hyundai Sonata HEV, Kia's Optima HEV is powered by the Atkinson cycle DOHC 2.4L engine, six-speed automatic transmission, 30kW (40hp)/151lb･ft electric motor and lithium-polymer battery supplied by LG Chem. The system has a maximum of 206 horsepower.
Since the engine is disengaged during idling stop and EV mode travel, a clutch is positioned in place of the torque converter between the engine and the motor. The vehicle also features the hybrid starter generator that plays the role of an 8.5kW starter and a 270V generator for regenerative brake and the idling stop.
KIA Optima HEV
GM: Chevy Volt put in the market at 2010 end, and the 2012 Buick LaCrosse with eAssist
GM exhibited the Chevy Volt, a serial type PHEV and the laureate of the North American Car of the Year for 2011. The car is equipped with a 1.4L inline four-cylinder gasoline engine producing 80hp electric power, and a motor with 149hp and maximum torque of 273lb･ft, 16kWh lithium-ion battery supplied by LG Chem, regenerative brake, and a generator used for charging exclusively (on-board generator).
It has an EV range of approximately 35 miles (EPA estimation) and a hybrid range of 375 miles along with fuel efficiency of 93MPGe (EV mode) and 35mpg/40mpg (city/hwy mode). It takes approximately 10 hours for charging from a 120V home outlet and 4 hours from a 240V source.
GM's Chevy Volt
Chevy Volt's structural model
GM also exhibited the 2012 Buick LaCrosse HEV with eAssist that was unveiled at the Los Angeles auto show last year. The car, slated for market launch in the summer of 2011, is a mild HEV system equipped with the direct-injection DOHC 2.4L inline four-cylinder engine (134kW/233Nm), a six-speed automatic transmission, a water-cooled motor generator (15kW when generating, 11kW during electric assist), a 115V air-cooled lithium-ion battery, regenerative brake and an idle stop system. GM managed to suppress the vehicle weight increase to 29kg compared to the model without the eAssist feature and achieved approximately 25% improvement in city/hwy fuel mileage to 25mpg/37mpg, respectively.
2012 Buick LaCrosse eAssist
Ford: Focus EV planned for market launch, and the new C-Max with HEV and PHEV versions currently being developed
Ford displayed 75 vehicles and 22 panels occupying a 25% larger space than it did last year. The exhibits included the Fusion HEV already available in the market, and the Focus EV that was unveiled at the 2011 CES in Las Vegas.
During the press conference held on the first day of the show, Ford announced plans to start production of the Focus EV at the Wayne, Michigan plant initially for the North American markets in the second half of 2011, and to start production later in Europe as well. The Focus EV will have a 92kW/246Nm motor (compared to Nissan Leaf's 80kW/280Nm motor) and water-cooled 23kWh lithium-ion battery (compared to Nissan Leaf's 24kWh) supplied by LG Chem (Chevy Volt also uses batteries supplied by LG Chem). The Focus EV has the maximum speed of 84mph (135km/h) and requires 3-4 hours (240V) or 18-20 hours (120V) of charging.
Ford stressed the Focus EV's eco-friendly design as symbolized by the seat cushions made from 100% recycled polyester cloth and bio-foam. Also exhibited by Ford was the charging cord with a standard plug developed jointly with Yazaki Corporation.
Motor unit for Ford EV
Cutaway model of the motor for Ford EV
Lithium-ion battery for Ford EV
Convenience cord for Ford EV
Ford also announced that the compact minivan Ford C-Max currently sold in Europe will be put on sale in North American markets as well. To be more exact, Ford will develop three grades for the North American markets, namely the gasoline-fueled vehicle, HEV and PHEV (C-Max Energi) to be produced at the Wayne Michigan plant, where the Focus EV will begin to roll out from 2012.
The C-Max will be built on Ford's global C-car platform and the PHEV will have a cruising range of over 500 miles and city driving mileage of 47mpg, higher than the Fusion HEV's 41mpg, if all goes as envisioned. The seven-seater gasoline-fueled car, on which the C-Max is based, is powered by a 1.6L inline four-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost engine.
Mercedes-Benz: Seven electric vehicles on display to appeal environmental readiness
Environmental friendliness and higher fuel efficiency have been important initiatives among German automakers and their clean diesel engine technologies prevailing in European markets have been introduced actively in North America. But the market condition is changing as, among others, new regulations on fuel efficiency are placed by the state of California urging all automakers to bring in electric vehicles into market. As a result, German automakers are expediting efforts to develop or produce electric vehicles and a larger number of German-made electric vehicles were seen than ever at the Detroit auto show.
Mercedes-Benz exhibited seven electric vehicles, the second largest number next to Toyota. Among them, two HEV models, namely the S400 Sedan and the ML450 SUV, are already available commercially in the United States. At the press conference on the first day of the Detroit auto show, Mercedes-Benz announced that the SLS AMG E-CELL sports car (EV) displayed at the show was to launch in the market in 2013.
Electric vehicles displayed by Mercedes-Benz
|S400 HEV||S500 PHEV||ML450 HEV||F500 Mind HEV||SLS AMG E-CELL EV||A-Class E-CELL EV||B-Class F-CELL EV|
|Remarks||On sale in the U.S.||Concept model unveiled at 2009 Frankfurt auto show||On sale in the U.S.||Concept model unveiled at 2003 Tokyo auto show||Announced at 2011 Detroit auto show||Concept model unveiled at 2010 Paris auto show||Available for lease in California starting in December 2010|
|Engine||3.5L V6 4OHC||3.5L V6 4OHC||3.5L V6 4OHC||4L V8 Diesel||EV||EV||Hydrogen- fuel cell|
|Max. system output||220kW (295hp)||354hp||335hp||314hp||392kW (526hp)||70kW/94hp (peak) 67hp (permanent)||134hp|
|Max. system torque||284 lb･ft||381 lb･ft||634 lb･ft||649 lb･ft||214 lb･ft/ 290Nm||214 lb･ft|
|Max. speed||130mph||155 mph (electric brake limiter)||130 mph (electric brake limiter)||155 mph (electric brake limiter)||93 mph (electric brake limiter)||106 mph|
|T/M||7AT||CVT (w/8-speed MT mode)|
|Motor||15kW(20hp) 118 lb･ft||44kW(59hp)||80 and 83 hp 192 and 173 lb-ft||50kW||4 motors||100kW (134hp)|
|Battery||120V, 0.9kWh Li-ion||>10kWh Li-ion (130Kg)||288V, 2.4kWh Ni-MH||300V Li-ion||48kWh, 40Ah(400V) water-cooled Li-ion||36kWh Li-ion||1.4kWh Li-ion|
|Charging time||1 hour (20kW)|
|Range||20 miles (EV mode)||524 miles||Over 90 miles||Over 150 miles||Around 270 miles|
|Fuel tank||23.8 gal||23.8 gal|
|city/hwy mileage||19mpg/25mpg||3.2L/100km (NEDC mode)||20mpg/24mpg||20% less fuel than CDI engine|
|GVW||4474 Lbs||5227 Lbs||3750 Lbs|
(Note) Spaces left blank where details are unavailable.
Mercedes-Benz S500 PHEV
Mercedes-Benz F500 Mind HEV
Mercedes-AMG SLS AMG E-CELL EV
Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL EV
In addition to the vehicles on display, Mercedes-Benz had panels describing its clean diesel technologies on HEV and other electric vehicles and exhibited relevant parts. The Photo in the midst shows the "Hybrid Module" system used on the S400 HEV that consists of the compact Li-ion battery placed under the engine hood, and the motor-alternator built in between the V6 engine and the seven-speed automatic transmission. The A-Class E-CELL EV uses two Li-ion battery packs in addition to the motor and the reduction system (The Photo in the lower).
Mercedes-Benz technologies on display
Engine, Li-ion battery and motor system on Mercedes-Benz S400 HEV
Motor and reduction system on Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-CELL EV
BMW：Active Hybrid 750i and Active Hybrid X6
BMW exhibited, as it did last year, two types of HEV namely the ActiveHybrid 750i and the Active Hybrid X6. The two HEVs currently sold by BMW in the United States are characterized by high power outputs of 455hp and 480hp, respectively.
BMW ActiveHybrid 750i
BMW ActiveHybrid X6
Main specifications of the two HEV models exhibited by BMW
|ActiveHybrid 750i (Mild) HEV||ActiveHybrid X6 HEV|
|Engine||Direct-injection 4.4L V8 4OHC 32-valves||←|
|Variable valve timing mechanism||Intake + Exhaust||←|
|Max. engine output||440hp||400hp|
|Max. engine torque||480 lb･ft||450 lb･ft|
|T/M||8-speed AT||7-speed AT|
|Motor||1-motor (15kW, 210Nm)||2-motors (62kW/260Nm each)|
|Battery||Li-ion 120V||Ni-MH 2.4kWh|
|Max. system output||455hp||480hp|
|Max. system toque||700N･m/515lb･ft||780N･m/575lb･ft|
|Start & Stop system||Auto Start Stop||←|
|city/hwy fuel efficiency||17mpg/26mpg||17mpg/19mpg|
|GVW||4795 Lbs||5765 Lbs|
VW: Golf Blue-e-motion Concept EV and Touareg HEV
VW exhibited the Blue-e-motion Concept based on the Golf that was revealed in Germany in May last year. VW is planning a market launch of the Golf EV and the Jetta EV in 2013 and will then start production of the Lavida EV in China.
The Touareg HEV, currently sold in the United States, has a 3L engine with the addition of the supercharger and the motor resulting in the maximum output of 100hp higher than the 3.6L gasoline-fueled counterpart (280hp). Its city/hwy fuel efficiency of 20mpg/24mpg represents a significant improvement in city mode compared to the 16mpg/23mpg of the 3.6L gasoline-fueled model (see the table below).
VW Golf Blue-e-motion EV
VW Touareg HEV
Main specifications of the two HEV models exhibited by VW
|Golf EV Concept Blue-e-motion||Touareg HEV for US market|
|Engine||-||Supercharged Direct Injection V6 3L DOHC 24 valves|
|Max. system output||85kW/115ps||380hp|
|Max. system torque||270Nm||425 lb･ft|
|T/M||-||8 speed AT|
|Battery||Li-ion 26.5kWh||Ni-MH, 288V420A/75Ah173.8 Lbs(79Kg)|
|city/hwy fuel efficiency||-||20mpg/24mpg|
|GVM||205 kg heavier than Golf TDI||5135 Lbs|
Audi：New A6 and A6 HEV
Audi introduced the new A6 during the press conference held on the first day of the show. Audi will start production in the first half of 2011 and add the HEV type to the gasoline-engine and diesel-engine lineup. The A6 HEV will be powered by an inline four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline-fueled engine, 33kW (45hp)/211Nm motor and lithium-ion battery (1.3kWh) with the system output of 180kW(245hp).
Audi's new A6 (gasoline-fueled model in photo)
Tesla Motors: Roadster EV and Model S EV in development
Tesla Motors exhibited the EV Roadster 2.5 currently available in market, and the skeleton model of the Model S EV currently being developed. Tesla has sold over 1500 units of the Roadster EV in more than 30 countries and, according to Tesla Motors, their total travel distances add up to 8.5 million miles, saving 415,000 gallons (1.57 million liters) of gasoline fuel.
Tesla also exhibited the skeleton model of the Model S EV slated for production starting in 2012. The EV will have aluminum-made suspensions in both front and rear including the multi-links. It is a four-door sedan seating seven (five adults, 2 children), compared to the compact two-seater sports car Roadster, and the driver can choose from three types of cruising ranges (160, 230, and 300 miles).
Tesla EV Roadster 2.5
Tesla Model S EV in development (skeleton)
BYD: F3DM PHEV and two other vehicles
BYD exhibited the compact sedan F3DM PHEV already sold to the government agencies and fleet customers in China, the S6DM PHEV slated for market launch in the SUV segment, and the e6 EV Concept model. As were the case with BYD vehicles on display at last year's Detroit auto show, all BYD vehicles this year were displayed with all doors locked.
BYD PHEV S6DM
Smart: 'Electronic drive passion coupe' EV
Smart exhibited an EV with a rather long name, electronic drive passion coupe. The two-seater RWD car, powered by a 30kW (41hp) motor and 16.6kWh lithium-ion battery, has the price tag of $44,837 (approx. Y3.7 million), maximum speed of 100Km/h (electric brake limiter) and cruising range of 98 miles (LA4 test mode) and takes 3.5 hours to charge (from a 220V source).
VOLVO: C30 EV and crash-tested car
Volvo exhibited the C30-based EV and a crash-tested C30 EV. The C30EV unveiled at 2010 Detroit auto show is an experimental vehicle, powered by EnerDel's 230V/24kWh lithium-ion battery and an 82kW (111hp) motor, with the maximum speed of 81mph and cruising range of 94miles (NEDC mode). It takes up to eight hours to charge from a 230V source and the battery weighs 280Kg. Whether the C30 EV will be put on sale or when has not been disclosed.
VOLVO EV C30
EnerDel's Li-ion battery on VOLVO C30 EV
VOLVO C30 EV after frontal offset crash test