Hybrid Technologies

2012 Toyota Prius C: Ridelust Review

Posted in Car Reviews, Domestic Rides, Featured, General, Hybrid Technologies, Import, Import Review, Import Rides, Rides, Toyota by MrAngry | October 30th, 2012 | 2 Responses |

2012 Toyota Prius C

PRO’s: Great mileage / economy, nicely styled.

CON’s: Simply adequate power, performance and handling.

FINAL THOUGHT: A decent hybrid that you’ll enjoy as long as you’re not a rabid automobile enthusiast.

Believe it or not but the Toyota Prius has been around for 15 long years. It debuted in Japan in 1997 and since that time it’s been the go-to hybrid for those looking to be a bit more environmentally friendly. Now by this time we know all the cars in the Prius family get good fuel economy, but the real question is – are they any good to drive? I was recently given a 2012 Toyota Prius C, the baby of the Prius family and although yes, the mileage is great, the car itself is simply “OK” in my opinion.

Read More…

The RYNO One-Wheeled Scooter

Posted in Best of, Educational, Electronics, Engines, Fuel Cell, General, Hybrid Technologies, Pop Culture, Videos by MrAngry | January 5th, 2012 | 2 Responses |

Ryno Cycle

Have you ever wanted a Segway scooter, but thought that having two wheels was one-to-many? Well ladies and gentlemen, here’s your solution. It’s called the RYNO Micro Cycle and it seeks to take transportation in an even weirder direction. The RYNO is for all intents and purposes, the worlds first electric production one-wheeled cycle. It employs a gyroscopic stabilizer to keep you pointed upwards and is said to be able to obtain speeds of 25 mph with a 30-mile range. Powered by a lithium-iron-phosphate battery pack, its recharge time is just an hour and a half. Not bad if you ask me. RYNO is not targeting the traditional scooter buyer, nor are they looking at the Segway customer. Instead their focus is for those who seek reliable green transportation with space saving capabilities.

It’s cool, but honestly this thing just screams FACE PLANT every time I look at it.

Source: Ryno Motors

Read More…

Are Prius Drivers the Worst Offenders?

Posted in Alt Fuels, Best of, Car Branding, Electronics, Engines, Fuel, Fuel Cell, General, Hybrid Technologies, News, Pop Culture, Rants & Raves, Traffic by MrAngry | November 9th, 2011 | 19 Responses |

Toyota Prius

Ever since I moved out to the West Coast I’ve been noticing a trend amongst those who drive hybrids and electric cars. For one, they’re generally more aggressive behind the wheel and two, they seem to feel that because they drive an economy car that this gives them the right to act like complete assholes on the open road. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve been known to fracture an occasional traffic law from time to time, but these hybrid drivers, especially those who pilot the Toyota Prius, are in a class by themselves. On the highway for instance it’s more often than not that I see Prius drivers motoring at 80-85 mph through traffic. I’ve been flashed by them, tailgated by them and even flicked off by a few. I’ve also been chastised by owners while getting coffee for driving what they consider to be gas guzzling automobiles.

Back in NYC the Prius driver used these cars as they were intended – to get great economy. They drove them in a normal fashion and simply enjoyed their little hybrids. Out here in California though it’s almost as if owners used them as a way to be passive aggressive on the open road – “Yes of course I’m speeding and driving erratically, but I drive a Prius, so it’s ok…” Now I suppose I could be imagining this, but I highly doubt it. What I’m curious to know is, has anyone out there experienced a similar occurrence or am I the only one?

It’s Official: Infiniti Builds The Fastest-Accelerating Hybrid

Posted in Car Buying, Emissions, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, Infiniti by Kurt Ernst | September 22nd, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Infiniti's M35h runs at Britain's Santa Pod Raceway. Image: Infiniti

Mention the phrase “hybrid car” to most enthusiasts, and their eyes glaze over before they nod off to sleep. By definition, hybrid cars contain two propulsion systems, which makes them heavy and overly complex. Worse, most are built simply to get you from point “A” to point “B” using as little fuel as possible, so typical hybrids are slow, lumbering beasts with the acceleration of moped and the handling of an economy car, Carrying a load of bricks on the hood. Read More…

Jaguar’s C-X16 Concept: A Hybrid We Can Love

Posted in Concept Cars, Design, Frankfurt Motor Show, Hybrid Technologies, Jaguar, Promoted by Kurt Ernst | September 10th, 2011 | 3 Responses |

Jaguar's C-X16 Concept. Image: Jaguar

I’ll come clean up front: I’m not a hybrid guy. If you’re a long-term reader, you already know this, but if you’re new to RideLust it might be the first time you’ve heard this. I’ve driven plenty of hybrids, but all of them to date have been built with an eye to fuel economy, not performance. In fact, hybrids add weight and complexity, two thing that tend to have a negative impact on acceleration, braking and even long-term reliability. Read More…

Fisker Karma In Production?

Posted in auto industry, Fisker, Hybrid Technologies, News by Kurt Ernst | July 17th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

The Fisker Karma. Image: Fisker Automobile

The long awaited Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid is now in production, at least according to Britain’s Autocar webzine. The first car in America is set to be delivered at the end of this month, and the lucky owner is… Leonardo di Caprio. Next up on the delivery list are former presidential candidate and global warming town crier Al Gore and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Sometime after the celebrity deliveries are through, Fisker dealers will likely start to get demonstrator vehicles, too. Read More…

Fisker Karma Launch Delayed, Again.

Posted in Electric Vehicles, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, Plug-In Vehicles by Kurt Ernst | June 5th, 2011 | 2 Responses |

The Fisker Karma. Image: Fisker

In the we-saw-this-coming-months-ago department, deliveries of the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid have been delayed for another month. Motor Authority says that initial deliveries of demonstration vehicles and customer cars will begin in July, but didn’t give any indication of quantities. Their source is Roger Ormisher, Fisker’s director of global communications, so even the July timeline may prove to be a bit optimistic. Read More…

A Lexus CT 200h… Race Car?

Posted in Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, Lexus, Racing Coverage by Kurt Ernst | May 17th, 2011 | 1 Response |

Image: Gazoo Racing, via Autoblog

One of my press fleet cars for this week is Lexus’ new CT 200h hybrid. After spending a few days behind the wheel, I understand the car’s popularity. It’s well-appointed, supremely comfortable and not at all a bad choice for urban driving. Despite what Lexus’ ads would have you believe, it’s in no way, shape or form a sports car. Even in “Sport” mode, which calls up a tachometer instead of a power monitor and lights the dash in red, acceleration is best described as “leisurely”. The steering, however, is nicely weighted and the CT 200h is fairly nimble in the twisties. I’d even consider one if I had the type of commute I used to (110 miles a day in rush hour traffic), but I definitely wouldn’t consider building a race car for next year’s One Lap of America from a CT 200h.

That didn’t stop Gazoo Racing from building a CT 200h to run in last weekend’s six hour Adenauer ADAC Rundstrecken-Trophy at Germany’s Nürburgring. Built to compete in the S4 class, the Gazoo Racing CT 200h had a few minor improvements done to make it more competitive: first, the stock car’s 1.8 liter engine was yanked out, replaced by a higher horsepower 2.4 liter variant. The electric motor, controller and batteries were left alone, and the car did indeed run as a parallel hybrid. At start up and under regenerative braking, the car’s engine isn’t used, preserving fuel and reducing overall tailpipe emissions. There’s no word on how the CT 200h did overall, but I promise an update as soon as I can find the results.

Source: Autoblog

Mind-Melting Tracked VW Bus

Posted in Best of, Bizarre, DIY, Hybrid Technologies by Dustin Driver | May 13th, 2011 | 8 Responses |

Some art transcends the human experience, elevates its viewers to a higher state of consciousness—the glory of the Sistine Chapel, the gaze of the Mona Lisa. This astounding tracked VW bus has launched my mind into the stratosphere, has changed my worldview. It’s a life-altering experience. And it’s for sale.

Read More…

2012 Buick Regal eAssist gets 25% bump in mileage.

Posted in Best of, Buick, Domestic Rides, Hybrid Technologies, Rants & Raves, Rides by MrAngry | February 8th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

2012 Buick Regal eAssist

Due out this fall is the new 2012 Buick Regal with eAssist, a new fuel saving technology that should boost the 2012 Regal’s fuel economy by 25%. By combining a lithium-ion battery system and electric induction motor-generator that works in conjunction with the Regal’s 2.4L Ecotec direct injection four-cylinder, Buick is predicting mileage figures of 26 city / 37 highway. For comparison the standard Regal without eAssist gets 19 city / 30 highway so the improvement we’re seeing is actually quite good. Quite honestly I have no idea why Buick isn’t calling this a hybrid, but I suppose that’s due to their marketing people as “eAssist” just sounds more fun. Aside from the additional mileage generated by the electric motor, eAssist also provides regenerative braking, automatic engine shut-off when the vehicle comes to a stop and improved under-body aerodynamics with tires optimized for performance and fuel economy. Buick has cars like the Acura TSX dead in its sights with the 2012 Buick Regal eAssist. In fact according to Tony DiSalle, vice president of Buick marketing,

“Buick’s eAssist technology means customers don’t have to trade a premium driving experience for efficiency”.
Read More…