Page 79 - ElectriCar Magazine
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      fuel economy numbers.
in city and on highway.
RideandHandling: Ridequalityisgoodovermostsurfaces,andthecarsoaksupalotofimperfectionsontheroad.This Hybridisn’tthemostfuntodrivecarintheclass,butitimpresseswithresponsivesteering. Theregenerativebrakesaren’t grabby, but instead they feel like a traditional setup.
Chevy Malibu
BMW i3 continued from page 76
The i3 performance in range-
extending mode may be more limited than when it was running on battery power, as BMW clarified the range extender was designed not for long-distance travel but purely as an emergency backup to keep the electric system going until the next recharging location. According to BMW, at
the beginning of the i3 release, the use of range-extender was much more than the carmaker expected, more than sixty percent. Over time it had decreased significantly, with some people almost never using it, in 2016 it was being regularly used in fewer than five percent of i3s.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s 2014 edition of the “Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Fuel Economy Trends” introduced utility factors for Plug-In Hybrids to represent the percentage distance driven using electricity by an average driver, in electric-only or blended modes. The BMW i3 REx, classified as a Plug-
In Hybrid by the EPA, has a utility factor in Electric Vehicle mode of eighty-three percent, compared with sixty-six percent for the Chevrolet
Volt, sixty-five percent for the Cadillac ELR, forty-five percent for the Ford Energi models,thirty-seven percent
for the BMW i8, thirty-three percent
for the Honda Accord Plug-In
Hybrid, and twenty-nine percent for the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid.
California’s Classification of the range-extender option of the BMW i3 was designed to meet the California Air Resources Board regulation
for an auxiliary power unit called
REx. According to rules adopted in 2012 by CARB, the 2014 BMW i3 with an REx unit fitted is the first car ever to qualify as a range-extended battery-electric vehicle or “BEVx”. CARB describes this type of electric vehicle as “a relatively high-electric range battery-electric vehicle to which an APU is added”. The unit, which maintains battery charge at about thirty percent after the pack has been depleted in normal use,
is strictly limited in the additional range it can provide, and delivers a minimum 75 miles of electric range.
CARB classified the i3 with the REx option as a “Transitional Zero Emission Vehicle”, the same classification as other Plug-In Hybrids such as the
BMW i3 continued on page 78 77
MSRP 28,200
1.8L, 1.5kWhLI, 182HPc, MPGe 49/43, Wt 3,366
 The 2020 Chevy Malibu Hybrid’s powertrain consists of a four-cylinder engine, two electric motors, and an automatic transmission. As with most hybrids, the two-motor setup delivers almost instantaneous acceleration, and the Malibu feels very quick off the line. However, the gas engine is loud andunrefinedincertainsituations. Theseincludemerging or passing at high speeds, or going up steep hills.
The hybrid is one of the most fuel-efficient hybrids you can buy. ItgetsanEPA-estimated49mpginthecityand43 mpgonthehighway. Theprimaryrivalsearnsimilarlyhigh
The Toyota Camry Hybrid gets up to 51/53 city/highway, while the Honda Accord Hybrid gets 48
   3.6L, 16kWhLi, 260HPc, MPGe 18/28, 33e, Wt 4,987
The front-wheel-drive Chrysler Pacifica is a minivan that seats seven or eight, depending on its interior configura- tion. The Plug-In Hybrid version delivers an EPA-estimated electric range of up to 32 miles from a 16-kWh LithiumIon battery, with a total gas and electric range of 520 miles. Second-row Stow ‘n Go bucket seats that fold into floor bins remains a distinguishing feature that enhances the Pacifica’s versatility while the available Uconnect multime- dia system with an 8.4-inch touchscreen is easy to use. The available dual-screen Uconnect Theater rear-seat entertain-
ment system is a hit with kids, and the Pacifica Hybrid lets you drive gas-free for shorter trips while still being able to tackle a familyroadtrip. Second-rowStow‘nGobucketseatsthatfoldintofloorbinsremainsadistinguishingfeaturethatenhances the Pacifica’s versatility while the available Uconnect multimedia system with an 8.4-inch touchscreen is easy to use. The available dual-screen Uconnect Theater rear-seat entertainment system is a hit with kids, and the Pacifica Hybrid lets you drive gas-free for shorter trips while still being able to tackle a family road trip.
FordFusionEnergi MSRP$36,595
2.0L, 9.0kWhLI, 188HPc, MPGe 43/41, 26e, Wt 3,986
This drivetrain is the reason anyone would choose the Energi version of the Fusion, and its powered by a 2.0-liter Atkin- son-cycle engine while the electric drive is supplied by a recently updated 9.0-kWh LithiumIon battery pack. Power is then delivered to the wheels via an eCVT (Electrical Variable Transmission). On electric power only, the Energi is rated for upto26miles. TheEnergiboasts103mpgwithafullbat- tery working with the gas engine and 42 mpg on gas only. Driving around town the transition between electric power and the engine is smooth enough not to notice. The battery
is also charged using regenerative braking and the display gives you useful feedback about how efficiently you are using thatfeatureasyoudrive. TheEnergihasacontinuouslyvariableautomatictransmission(CVT)isstandard.Withastandard 110-volt outlet, you can fully charge the Energi’s battery in about seven hours. That time shrinks to around 2.5 hours with a Level2charger. ItsCVToperatesseamlessly,andtheelectricmotorgivesitenoughpowertocomfortablycruisearound town and accelerate quickly from a stop. Transitions from electric to gas are generally smooth.
Honda Accord MSRP $25,990
2.0L, 1.3kWhLI, 212HPc, MPGe 48/48, 47e, Wt 3,315
As the name implies, the 2020 Honda Accord Hybrid is the gasoline-electricversionoftheregularAccordsedan. The Accord was redesigned last year. There are no changes for 2020. Thesystemconsistsofa2.0-liternaturallyaspirated 4-cylinder and and two electric motors fed by a LithiumIon battery. Duringmostdrivingsituations,powercomesfrom that motor while the gas engine mostly serves as a genera- tor to feed the battery. Total system output is a healthy 212 horsepower. Fuel economy is an even healthier 48 mpg city/48mpghwy/48mpgcombined. The2019AccordHy-
bridbelongstoagenerationthatbeganwiththe2018modelyear. Therearen’tanynotablechangesfor2019,butthe2018 Accord Hybrid provides much more rear-seat space than the outgoing model, and the redesigned version has 3 additional cubic feet of trunk space.
Itwilltakeyouaboutfour-and-a-halfyearstorepaythepricepremiumoverthebaseengine. Ofcourse,that’snotbadgiven the average life of a car and it would be shorter if gas prices go up again.
JUNE 2020
Chrysler Pacifica
MSRP $41,490

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