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REPORT: 76% of “Electric Propulsion Vehicle” Patent Applications Come from Japan

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2010 Toyota Prius vs 2010 Honda Insight FbaPPs

According to a recent study by the Japan Patent Office, 76 percent of the 16,670 patents filed for electric propulsion vehicles (here defined as practically all pure electric vehicles, hybrids and fuel cell vehicles, except railroad vehicles) came from Japanese companies. As the list below shows, Toyota by far has the most patents applications, which is not too surprising given that it is leader in hybrid vehicles. The finding may suggest that the Japanese have a heads-up in the hybrid/electric vehicle race; however, it must be noted that the quantity of application doesn’t necessarily mean all of them are of good quality.


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Hatchbacks

Toyota Kills The Prius C, Replaces It With Corolla Hybrid

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2018 Toyota Prius C Hybrid Hatchback

Buyers are encouraged to go for the new Corolla Hybrid instead.

Now that there is a hybrid version of the popular Corolla, Toyota figures it has one too many small hybrid vehicles in its lineup. It has quietly killed off the Prius C hybrid to give more breathing room for both the regular Prius and Corolla hybrid.

The Prius C debuted in 2011 as a smaller alternative to the Prius Liftback, but the Corolla Hybrid is bigger and more efficient, matching the standard Prius’s 52-mpg combined rating in the United States compared to the Prius C’s 46-mpg combined rating.

“You’re probably not going to see Prius C for long,” Toyota marketing vice president Ed Laukes told . “The Prius C has served its purpose well.”

The fuel-sipping Corolla is intended to maximize sales of Toyota’s hybrid powertrain platform by appealing to a broader group of customers who may be put off by the Prius’ polarizing looks but still want extremely good fuel efficiency.

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Coupe

Ford Mustang Hybrid Will Have V8 Engine And AWD?

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Green Ford Mustang driving

Ford’s gasoline-electric muscle car will be a first in more than one way.

The upcoming Ford Mustang hybrid might actually have a V8 engine like its predecessors, literally giving it V8 power rather than the “V8-like” power previously alluded.

New patent filings uncovered by suggest Ford doesn’t necessarily see electrification as an excuse to downsize. Filed by the American automaker in July 2017 but not published until January 2019, the filings outline a “twin motor drive system for hybrid vehicle” consisting of a a longitudinally-mounted internal combustion engine that powers the rear wheels and a two electric motors that each spins one of the front wheels via a reduction gearbox.

This setup effectively gives the Mustang all-wheel drive for the first time ever in the model’s long and storied history.

Although the patent notes the hybrid system is compatible with a variety of internal combustion engines, it clearly shows an eight-cylinder engine. Ford wasn’t necessarily alluding to V8-like power when it announced back in 2018 that the Mustang hybrid would have “V8 levels of power and even more torque.”

The company has fast-tracked the Mustang hybrid to production, with plans to release it sometime in 2020. How do you envision it?

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Detroit Auto Show

New Ford Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid Is Ready To Fight Crime

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New, 2020 Ford Police Interceptor Utility SUV

When the all-new Ford Explorer suits up to protect and serve…

Ford has revealed the new Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid, its latest crime-fighting SUV for law enforcement officers in North America and possibly elsewhere.

Based on the 2020 Ford Explorer, the Police Interceptor Utility promises added protection for those in the line duty while also delivering better fuel mileage and reduced emissions than its predecessor. It features a Police Perimeter Alert system that not only provides 270 degrees monitoring around the vehicle, but can also analyze the movement of bad guys; can automatically secure the vehicle by locking doors and rolling up windows; and create motion trails on perpetrators outside so that officers can track their movements.

On the mechanical front, there is an optional hybrid powertrain that delivers an estimated fuel economy rating of 24 mpg combined rating, which is a a whopping 41 percent improvement over the 3.7-liter gas engine under the hood of the previous Police Interceptor Utility.

Interceptor Utility Hybrid also has better acceleration than the old 3.7L-engine equipped model, reaching 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) 1.1 second faster and shaving an impressive 4.7 seconds off the 100 mph (161 km/h) sprint.

According to Ford, the hybrid Utility could save up to 1,276 gallons (4,830 liters) of fuel per year in regular operations, a figure that’s based on 4.9 estimated hours of idling per eight hour shift, with two shifts daily.

A 3.0L EcoBoost and 3.3L V6 are available for state authorities looking for something more bit more old school. All three engine options are mated to a new 10-speed automatic transmission and a permanent all-wheel drive system.

Other mechanical highlights include an upgraded cooling system, specially tuned brakes, cop-spec steel wheels, and additional reinforcement to help it withstand eight-inch curb impacts and high-speed crossings over medians and railroad tracks. It also meets 75-mph rear-impact crash standards and can wade through 18 inches of water.

New, 2020 Ford Police Interceptor Utility SUV, officers

New, 2020 Ford Police Interceptor Utility SUV, on duty

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