While the Senate has passed House Bill No. 2856, also knowns as the “Electric, Hybrid, and Other Alternative Fuel Vehicles Incentives Act of 2011,” it has yet to be enacted into a law. Not until a certain Mr. Benigno Aquino III signs it, at least. But that didn't stop Honda Cars Philippines Inc. (HCPI) from rolling the dice and bringing in some hybrids to our shores. And though most of us may have to wait a little bit longer before the latest Insight sets foot on any local Honda dealer, we were privileged enough to go on a test drive so we can tell you how this hybrid is set to change how Filipinos chug about in our polluted streets.
After many years and many iterations of several bills which seek to reduce our country's fossil fuel dependency for motor vehicles, the Senate of the Philippines has finally approved the final reading House Bill No. 2856 - otherwise known as the “Electric, Hybrid, and Other Alternative Fuel Vehicles Incentives Act of 2011.” When passed into law and finally takes effect, it will allow for more affordable and more Earth-friendly vehicles - something that both private vehicle owners and public transport vehicle operators can benefit from. With a variety of alternatives to choose from, one can choose which ecologically sound fuel suits their needs best: electric, hybrid, CNG (compressed natural gas), solar, hydrogen fuel cells, liquefied petroleum gas, or methane.
Some of the incentives to be granted to encourage the use of alternative power sources include exemption from payment of excise taxes and duties for the manufacturers and importers of completely knocked down parts of electric, hybrid, and other alternative fuel vehicles for a period of nine years from first day the law takes effect. Conversion of vehicles into alternative fuel vehicles is also exempt.
Words by Carl Trocio | Photos courtesy of Porsche AG
Porsche gives in to tree huggers yet again. The Stuttgart-based company recently unveiled the Panamera Sport Turismo Concept to display the proper marriage of “drive technology” and “evolution of the Porsche design for tomorrow.” I guess what they're trying to say is, it's the latest hybrid from Porsche and it hints of what Porsches eventually will look like in the near future.
Words by Jade Lu | Photos courtesy of Honda Motor Co. Ltd.
It’s no surprise that Honda decided to develop a sport hybrid coupe, given that the Japanese automaker is known for the sportiness attached to its name. Th CR-Z made its debut as a concept way back at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show and as a production car three years later at the North American International Auto Show.
When it started out, the CR-Z was the brave new hybrid compact to veer away from traditional hybrid impressions by packaging itself as a “low, short, wide” parcel. But as environmental consciousness developed throughout the years, succeeding hybrid units from other automakers has downplayed the uniqueness of the CR-Z.
To stay ahead of the pack, Honda re-hashed its sport hybrid and came out with the new 2013 CR-Z, which made its official public debut at the 2012 Paris Motor Show.
Words by Niky Tamayo | Photos and video courtesy of Infiniti USA
Let's get this out of the way: I was going to title this: "Electrifying Concept Emerges", but that would have been over-the-top. Forget for the moment that the Infiniti Emerg-E is an electric sportscar concept with 402 horsepower and range-extender technology. Forget that it's made out of carbon-fiber, keeping the weight to a relatively trim 1.6 tons. Forget that it's a Japanese concept built in Europe based on a design by an American.
No, these are merely trivial items. The important thing here is that it's sexy. Damn sexy. The organically fluid lines sculpted into the body are something you'd expect from an Italian exotic with a seven-figure price tag, not an Infiniti. Did I mention how sexy it was yet?
When Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) hinted the arrival of yet another new model this January, we began to speculate what it could possibly be. Some suggested it's the long-awaited new Innova, while others believed that it's the Camry's timely all-new replacement. Then there were those delusional fanatics who kept their fingers crossed for the FT-86. Well, it's none of the three, as Toyota caught us by surprise when they unveiled the all-new Prius C last January 20, 2012.
Fresh from its world debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show, it was the least-expected Toyota nameplate to come into the country, especially with the local government's lack of support for hybrids. But TMP bit the bullet to lead the Philippines' hybrid revolution.
Back in the mid-90's, I honestly believed that cars with power windows, airbags, anti-lock brakes, and other gizmos were already considered “high-tech.” Through the years, my perspective gradually has changed. Cars now have reverse cameras, iPod ports, navigation systems, and up until recently, cars that are powered by both nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries and a gasoline engine - otherwise known as hybrids. And it was only when I spent a week driving in a Toyota Prius did I grasp the true meaning of “high-tech.”
Words by Christopher Kho | Photos courtesy of the Volvo Car Corporation
The radical shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy has surely taken off in the automotive industry. The first wave of this green movement came in the form of hybrids as a way to bridge the huge gap between internal combustion to electric, led by the Honda Insight and the hugely-successful Toyota Prius. It was only after years of development did we see the first all-electric vehicles such as the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf. However, there are still some impending issues over their battery system's range until this day. Then came the likes of the Tesla Roadster, which tried to satisfy our need for speed. But with its limited range and hefty price tag, it never quite lived up to expectations. And that's where Volvo steps in with the world's first diesel plug-in hybrid.
The Volvo S60 Plug-in Hybrid's front wheels are driven by a five-cylinder 2.4-liter turbo diesel that pumps out 215 hp via a six-speed auto, while the rear axle gets an extra 70 hp from an electric motor. And with a touch of a button, the V60 can switch into three very different driving machines.
Words by Christopher Kho | Photos and video courtesy of Monster World Rally Team
Ken Block is busy getting down to business with his Monster Energy Ford Fiesta: performing at his Gymkhana World Tour, competing in the WRC, and showing-off at the Summer X Games. Nevertheless, no matter how similar the three disciplines may seem, gymkhana, stage rally, and rallycross each requires very different machines to suit. So instead of hauling together three separate vehicles, Block swings out his newest 600hp weapon that goes by the name Hybrid Function Hoon Vehicle or HFHV for short. The 2011 Ford Fiesta RS might be called a hybrid and draped in Monster Energy green, but there's nothing clean about this gremlin. Instead, with a little bit of wrenching, this Fiesta can be transformed to do the job of all three disciplines and race on the highest level.
Words by Christopher Kho | Photos and video courtesy of Volvo Car Corporation
With a US$1m grant from the Swedish Energy Agency, Volvo is developing a lightweight, inexpensive, and eco-efficient boost to give a four-cylinder engine the power of a six. Called the Flywheel Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), Volvo's unique approach to the technology is purely mechanical and doesn't need to convert kinetic into electrical energy that a Formula One or hybrid system does.