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Silence Isn’t Golden, Electric Cars Have to Make Noise

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One of the defining features of Electric cars has been their near silence when operating, but they won’t lead to the noise-free cities many had hoped for. In the United States at least, all electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid vehicles will be required by law to make some kind of noise.

Passed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the law goes into effect in September of 2019 and is predicted to help prevent 2,400 pedestrian injuries annually.

Although the NHTSA didn’t specify the kind of noise electrified cars have to make, it pointed out that they must be clearly heard whether moving forward or in reverse. NHTSA administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind stated:

“This is a common-sense tool to help pedestrians — especially folks who are blind or have low vision — make their way safely.”

Interestingly, battery-powered cars will only need to make noise at speeds of up to 19 mph (31 km/h) because, as the organization explains, making noise above that speed isn’t necessary due to such factors as tire and wind noise alerting pedestrians of an oncoming vehicle.

The law also only applies to vehicles with four wheels, meaning two-wheelers like electric Vespas and motormikes will be allowed to operate in total silence.

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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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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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Porsche 911 Hybrid Will Have Mild And Plug-in Hybrid Versions

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New Porsche 911 Carrera_4S, side view

The new 911 was designed to support various forms of hybrid technology.

The Porsche 911 hybrid is still a few years away, but when it eventually hits the market, it will be offered with both mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid drivetrains during its planned seven-year life cycle.

In an interview with , Porsche’s sports car development boss August Achleitner revealed that the eighth-generation 911 (992) has been future-proofed with a series of engineering measures that allows it support either hybrid tech.

“We’ve taken the experience we gained with hybrid versions of the Cayenne and Panamera, as well as the 918 Spyder, and applied it to the new 911,” Achleitner stated. “In the future, this will allow us to offer it with pure-electric capability.”

To provide room for the battery and electric motor, engineers tweaked the 911’s updated 3.0L six-cylinder and eight-speed automatic transmission to allow a disc-shaped electric motor to be housed within the rear section of the transmission. The new gearset is actually 100 millimeters shorter.

Achleitner didn’t provide any performance details about the hybrid powertrain, but he did hint that the Panamera S E-Hybrid was used as a reference. And although Porsche has no plans for a fully electric 911 anytime soon, the 911 hybrid will be able to travel several miles in electric-only bode.

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