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Mazda to unveil Mazda3 CNG Concept at 2013 Tokyo Motor Show

Mazda will display the recently unveiled Mazda3 with a variety of engine types at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show that is set to open on November 23 at Tokyo Big Sight. The latest Mazda3 is being touted as a ‘multi-solution’ as the fuel types increase in numbers. The carmaker will unveil in Tokyo the Mazda3 SKYACTIV-CNG Concept, which is powered by compressed natural gas.

A CNG version is the latest addition to Mazda3’s already diverse offerings -- SKYACTIV gasoline and diesel-engine models and a hybrid variant.

Mazda’s exhibit at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show also highlights its most recent technologies while hinting at the direction of future models. The Mazda3 is regarded as the core of the carmaker’s line-up as it accounts for over 30 percent of the company’s global sales volume. Mazda3 is also the third of Mazda’s new generation vehicles to be completely redesigned.

Read the entire article Mazda to unveil Mazda3 CNG Concept at 2013 Tokyo Motor Show

An LPG-powered Opel Crossland X is now available

You can now get the Opel Crossland X that’s LPG-powered if you are not a fan of diesel. Recently, the company released their version of the Peugeot 2008 equipped with a 1.2 liter three-cylinder engine running on liquified petroleum gas, that is hooked to a five-speed manual gearbox only.

This version enables it to carry out 81 horsepower (60 kilowatts) and is marketed to budget-conscious buyers who want to save money on gas. The Rüsselsheim- based company, who is also part of the PSA Group, did not give any information regarding the crossover’s performance, but we do think that it is going to be exciting to try an overtake cars with its tiny engine.

But that’s not the main feature of this vehicle. What matters more with the LPG-compatible car is its fuel efficiency. To give you some numbers, the Opel Crossland X will be needing 8.4 liters in the city, 6.0 liter extra-urban, and 6.9 liter combined in the LPG mode. On the other hand, it will consume 6.8 liters in the city, 4.5 liters extra-urban, and 5.4 liters combined on gasoline mode - that is with CO2 emissions of 123 grams per 100 kilometers.

Read the entire article An LPG-powered Opel Crossland X is now available

2018 Mazda3 with sparkless ignition engine technology will make its debut in Frankfurt

Every year, Mazda gives their cars upgrades in small increments, and customers definitely appreciate the changes that the Mazda3 has gotten. This year, according to Motoring, the company is stepping up its game in terms of combustion engine efficiency with the new powerplant they are releasing - with homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI). This will be launched in August at a technology conference that will take place in Frankfurt.

HCCI is a gas-powered engine that works like a diesel mill. It compresses the mixture of air and fuel in the cylinder until combustion. Apparently, the Mazda engine (a Skyactiv II engine) will use spark plugs at lower speeds, but when the car goes faster, the powerplant will switch to HCCI.

The company further added that the Skyactiv II engine is going to be more efficient by 30 percent compared to current gasoline-fueled engines. This means that the new Mazda 3 could have a fuel economy of 42 miles per gallon compared to the current 32 mpg combined.

Read the entire article 2018 Mazda3 with sparkless ignition engine technology will make its debut in Frankfurt

Quality problems delay shipment of bi-fuel 2015 Chevrolet Impala

Because of a quality problem, customers have been waiting for nearly a year for the “bi-fuel” Chevrolet Impala that runs on both gasoline and compressed natural gas. It was in October 2013 that GM announced the impending arrival of the 2015 “bi-fuel” Impala. The automaker referred to it as the only production full-size sedan in the industry that runs on both types of fuel.

Dan Akerson, the CEO at the time, had made the announcement during a national energy summit. He said that this Impala would start selling in the summer of 2014. To date, not one customer has gotten one. In a May 29 memo, GM informed 3,200 dealers that its delivery will be delayed further because of a “second quality hold” as the automaker assesses the car’s CNG system, which incorporates a 7.8-gallon, all-steel tank in the trunk.

According to this memo, the tentative shipping date is “mid-July” and that some of the orders made in April and May won’t get produced. When asked by Automotive News, one person who ordered a bi-fuel Impala said that it has been over a year ago that he had made a down payment. He wasn’t told of the reason for the delay.

Read the entire article Quality problems delay shipment of bi-fuel 2015 Chevrolet Impala

Compressed natural gas-powered vehicles could see their sales grow tenfold in Europe by the end of the decade, Natural and Bio Gas Vehicle Association in Europe told Automotive News Europe. Matthias Maedge, deputy secretary general of the association, said that they believe gas is the “next big thing in transport.”

NGVA expects the number of CNG-powered vehicles in Europe to surge to between 10 million and 12 million – most of which will be passenger units -- by 2020 from just 1.2 million now. That growth, however, will be dependent on the government incentives as well as a surge in the number of CNG stations across Europe.

Likewise, natural gas is much cheaper than gasoline. As of September 2014, the average price for CNG across Europe was 79 cents, while the average prices for gasoline and diesel were EUR1.49 and EUR1.39, respectively according to NGVA data. The association also notes that CNG is a low-carbon dioxide fuel that can be easily mixed with biogas to improve its environmental credentials.

Read the entire article CNG vehicle sales seen to surge 10 times by end of decade

The 2015 Honda Civic Hybrid will start at $25,525, including the $790 destination charge, while the 2015 Civic Natural Gas will cost $28,225, including shipping. New prices show only a $100 increase compared to the 2014MY and those interested can contact their Honda dealer as the vehicles are already available.

Still, you should know that the most expensive 2015 Civic Hybrid model with leather, navigation and a CVT transmission starts at $28,225, including shipping.

Meanwhile, the most expensive 2015 Civic Natural Gas with navigation system and a five-speed automatic transmission starts at $30,180, including shipping. According to the Japanese manufacturer, the Civic Hybrid returns a fuel economy of 44 mpg in the city and 47 mpg on the highway.

Read the entire article 2015 Honda Civic Hybrid starts at $25,525, Civic Natural Gas costs $28,225

If you didn’t notice already, you should take a look at Mazda’s latest offering, the Mazda2, Mazda3, CX-5 and Mazda6. As you can see, the vehicles produced by the Japanese car manufacturer are getting better and better, while the new ‘Kodo’ design language continues to impress.

According to the latest reports, Mazda is not working on the next-generation Mazda3, which will arrive as a 2017 model year and will be launched with a new design in the second half of 2017.

What’s more interesting is that with the new model, the Mazdaspeed3 high-performance version will return to the lineup. Power will come from a 2.5-liter SkyActiv engine that will generate more than 300 hp.

Read the entire article Mazdaspeed3 will return to the lineup in 2016, may receive AWD system

Residents in California purchasing a new Honda Civic Natural Gas unit are eligible for an immediate $1,000 purchase credit from the California Energy Commission. Customers will receive the credit immediately from certified Honda Civic Natural Gas dealers at the time of purchase.

Civic Natural Gas vehicle customers in the state are also eligible for single-occupant access to High Occupancy Vehicle "carpool" and High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes. The state currently boasts of a strong natural gas fueling network with more than 150 stations in operations.

The CNG-powered passenger car boasts of a combined EPA fuel economy rating of 31 mpge and a fuel cost savings of up to 40 percent – which means its drivers don’t have to worry much about shelling out more money at the pump.

Read the entire article 2014 Honda Civic Natural Gas buyers to get $1,000 purchase credit

GM announced that the 2015 Chevrolet Impala Bi-Fuel will have a starting price of $38,210, including an $825 destination charge, but excluding tax, title, license, dealer fees as well as operational equipment. Set to arrive in the fourth quarter of 2014 to both fleet and retail customers, the 2015 Chevrolet Impala Bi-Fuel is able to run on both compressed natural gas (CNG) and gasoline.

The Impala Bi-Fuel is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that generates 303 hp and 358 Nm (164 lb-ft) of torque when running on gasoline. When running on CNG only 85 percent of the power produced with gasoline is available.

According to the official press release, the engine comes with hardened valves and valve seats for improved resistance and durability with the CNG fuel system. The CNG tank is located in the trunk and has a capacity of 7.8 gallons of gasoline, meaning that it provides a range of 150 city miles.

Read the entire article 2015 Chevrolet Impala Bi-Fuel has a price tag of $38,210

The Mazda Driving School Program will now include the all new all-new 2014 Mazda3. It will join the popular Mazda2 and all-new Mazda3 in the program that is targeted towards qualified driving instructors across the United Kingdom who either are self-employed or are working for small driving schools.

Driving instructors can avail of the Mazda2 and the Mazda3 as complemented by new incentives like a cash saving of £1,350 on the all-new Mazda3 and £650 on the Mazda2 as well as low rate vehicle finance at 5.9% APR on both models.

Under the program, both models would be supplied and fitted with approved He-Man dual controls at no cost. Mazda launched the Mazda3 in January and has since posted strong sales figures thanks to its good looks, performance, and fuel efficiency benefits. Mazda sees more sales for the Mazda3 following its inclusion in the driving school program.

Read the entire article 2014 Mazda3 now included in Mazda Driving School Program

For those who are looking for an alternative to the GMC Sierra Denali, Ford F-150 King Ranch or the Ram Laramie Longhorn, we have good news: GM has just introduced the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD High Country. As expected, the new Silverado HD High Country comes with several exterior featured and according to GM the additions include a new chrome grille with horizontal bars, body-coloured front and rear bumpers including the CornerStep rear bumper, 6-inch tubular chrome assist steps, High Country badges on the doors as well as the tailgate, but also High Country logos on the door sill plates.

Moreover, the 2015 Silverado 2500HD High Country receives 20-inch chrome wheels. If you get the bigger 3500HD model with a single-rear-wheel you will get the 18-inch chrome wheels, while the dual-rear-wheels model get receives 17-inch forged polished aluminum wheels.

Open the door and you will see the exclusive saddle brown interior, the standard heated and cooled perforated premium leather front bucket seats with High Countru logos on the headrests, a Bose premium audio system, front and rear park assist and the Chevrolet MyLink connectivity with an 8-inch touch screen.

Read the entire article 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD High Country reveals more styling

When Mazda started selling the 2014 Mazda3 last fall, the compact received awards as the driving enthusiast's choice in the segment. It sales, however, has been dropping every month since August 2013. In fact, the Mazda3 posted a 27-percent dive in sales in the first two months of 2014.

Since the Mazda3 is being sold using Mazda’s near-premium pricing strategy, it has fallen prey to the ongoing price war between its two main rivals -- Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. While Mazda has been limiting incentives to maximize transaction prices and profits, Toyota and Honda are shoring up theirs.

According to Dennis Bulgarelli, director of the automotive practice at Millward Brown Digital, the Mazda3 has ended up as collateral damage in the Corolla-Civic battle. The 2014 Mazda3 went on sale around the same time as the 2014 Corolla.

Read the entire article 2014 Mazda3 caught in pricing war between Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic

Audi will soon be launching the A3 Sportback g-tron developed to enable long-distance mobility that is also environment friendly. The A3 Sportback g-tron is powered by a 110 PS 1.4-litre TFSI engine that can be operated in two ways: through ultra-clean Audi e-gas produced using green electricity; or through compressed natural gas. Both are readily available in Germany.

In Audi e-gas mode, the g-tron entirely does not emit carbon dioxide, which means mobility can be achieved without harming the environment. Audi e-gas is a synthetic methane produced at the Audi e-gas facility in Werlte, Germany.  Green electricity is used in the production of Audi e-gas, and the generation process binds as much carbon dioxide as is released when the g-tron is driven using gas.

On average, the Audi A3 g-tron consumes just between 3.2 and 3.3 kilograms of gas per 100 kilometers, with fuel costing at around EUR3.50 per 100 kilometers.

Read the entire article Environment-friendly Audi A3 Sportback G-Tron introduced in Germany

General Motors has just announced that the CNG option is available on all Silverado 2500HD configurations and Silverado 3500HD models with single rear wheels. Both 2500HD double cab and crew cab models are on sale now, while the 2500HD regular cab and all 3500HD models will go on sale in July. With a separate CNG tank, the Silverado HD bi-fuel models have a total range of up to 650 miles.

The 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD CNG is powered by a unique version of the 6.0-liter V8 engine (dubbed LC8), which is rated at 360 horsepower (268 kW) and 380 lb-ft of torque (515 Nm) on gas, and 301 horsepower (225 kW) and 333 lb-ft of torque (452 Nm) on CNG. A separate CNG fuel tank enables the driver to switch between fuels at the flip of a switch.

For those who don’t know, CNG is cleaner burning than conventional gasoline or diesel. Moreover, most of the natural gas used in the U.S. comes from domestic or other North American sources. According to General Motors, a CNG-powered truck that is driven for 26,000 miles per year can save over $2,000 if natural gas is used at least 75% of he time.

Read the entire article 2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD now available with the CNG option

Mazda will increase its marketing budget for the United States in the next fiscal year beginning April 2014 to back the launch of the redesigned Mazda3, which it expects to spearhead its goal of achieving 400,000 sales in the country in 2016. According to Russell Wager, vice president of marketing at Mazda North America Operations, the mass-market stage of the Mazda3's advertising launch commences in January 2014 and will continue until June.

Wager said that funds were added to next year’s budget partly to ensure that Mazda3 will attract enough attention in the already crowded compact car segment to drive the brand's sales targets.

Mazda, likewise, spent a lot in the past year for advertising. The Japanese carmaker rolled out the redesigned Mazda6 in the summer and also placed ads for other models like the 2013 Mazda3 and the CX-5 compact crossover. Wager remarked that for Mazda to grow, they need to invest more in marketing.

Read the entire article Mazda to hike US marketing budget next year to support Mazda3 launch

General Motors will be selling a version of the Chevrolet Impala sedan that could switch between gasoline and natural gas, chief executive Dan Akerson has announced. The move is part of GM's plan to take advantage of a drilling boom in the United States that has made natural gas a more viable fuel for cars. The dual-fuel Impala will have one engine and two fuel tanks: one for gasoline and the other for compressed natural gas.

Drivers could almost instantly switch between the two fuels, depending on what they perceive as cheap and available. Akerson remarked that there will be nothing like the duel-fuel Impala on the road. A number of carmakers sell CNG-fueled pickups.  With the launch of the CNG-powered Impala sedan, GM is giving us a preview of what it is seeing as the future of natural gas in the passenger-car market. According to Akerson, CNG Impala will have a combined range of up to 500 miles. It boasts of a gasoline tank that could go up to 350 miles and a CNG tank that could go for 150 miles.

The CNG Impala sedan could be available next summer as a 2015 model. According to GM, CNG Impala will be sold to both fleet and retail buyers. The CNG Impala is expected to appeal to most corporate and government fleet customers -- which prefer fuel efficient vehicles and generally have easier access to natural-gas fueling stations, according to Alan Baum, an industry consultant.

Read the entire article Dan Akerson bets on the 2015 Impala Bi-Fuel, but will it sell?

The 2015 Chevrolet Impala Bi-Fuel sedan was announced by General Motors for those who want a cheaper way to drive. As you may know already, compressed natural gas is less expensive than gasoline and also reduces carbon dioxide emissions compared to traditional liquid fuels. Featuring a separate CNG fuel tank mounted in the trunk, the driver can switch between fuels at the push of a button.

Still, when the CNG tank is depleted, the system automatically switches to gasoline. The Impala Bi-fuel is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine rated at 303 hp and 358 Nm (164 lb-ft) of torque when using gasoline, but when using CNG the engine delivers only 85 percent of the power produced with gasoline. Using the CNG, the Impala Bi-fuel has a total range of up to 500 miles.

Despite the fact that a fuel tank is in the trunk, the bi-fuel model offers 10 cubic feet of cargo room. Standard features include ten airbags, air conditioning, Bluetooth for phone, audio system with color infotainment, four-wheel disc brakes, antilock brakes, StabiliTrak electronic stability control system and fuel-saving electric power steering.

Read the entire article 2015 Chevrolet Impala Bi-Fuel arrives with a range of 500 miles

Mazda Motor Corp. has set its highest ever target for the Mazda3 compact car of 500,000 units worldwide, according to CEO Masamichi Kogai. The Mazda3, the automaker’s best-selling model, is also known as Axela in Japan. Last year, it made up about 30% of Mazda's global sales of 1.25 million vehicles.

Of this figure, approximately 40% of the Mazda3 vehicles were sold in North America (the biggest market of the company). At a news conference, Managing Executive Officer Masahiro Moro introduced the Mazda3 for the domestic market and told reporters that the company has to meet this target as it attempts to reach sales of 1.7 million vehicles set in its mid-term plan.

The Mazda3 rivals popular vehicles in the C segment like Volkswagen AG's Golf and Ford Motor Co.'s Focus. Mazda has made a full introduction of its fuel-efficient, profitable Skyactiv technology in the redesigned Mazda3. The vehicle started selling last September in the U.S. and it’s set to be available in Europe this month. It will go on sale this November in Japan.

Read the entire article Mazda has a new target: aims to sell 500,000 Mazda3 a year

Natural gas is much a cheaper fuel than the traditional gasoline. So, why are people not so quick to shift from petrol vehicles to natural gas-powered ones? If there is something that prevents the driving public in the United States to adopt natural gas-powered vehicles, it is the high cost of getting a home refueling unit. Reuters told the case of information technology manager Connie Jones, who along her husband Travis, drives a Honda Civic GX. With natural gas priced at $1.40 per equivalent gallon, the Joneses only have to spend $30 monthly to drive their Civic GX around 1,200 miles each month – around $130 less than an average gasoline car covering the same distance. Home refueling units work by tapping into a house natural gas main and compress the fuel so it can fill a vehicle tank overnight. Home refilling remains uncommon in the US, even though it offers cheaper fuel

This could be attributed to the fact that those who want the system have to shell out a considerable amount of money to buy and install new home refilling units. Likewise, there is an apparent lack of natural gas cars, which are around $10,000 pricier than comparable conventional vehicles. Curtis Martin, program director of the government-funded Clean Cities Coalition in Antelope Valley, Calif. remarked to Reuters that "affordable home refueling is the missing link to public adoption of natural gas vehicles in far greater numbers."

But with a boom in U.S. natural gas drilling, it’s hoped that lower prices of such fuel will be sustained. Likewise, appliance companies like General Electric Co., Whirlpool Corp. and Eaton Corp. are developing more affordable home refueling systems, which will only cost around a tenth of the price of current models, plus installation. Also energy providers in Georgia, California and Utah are holding discussions about distributing new refueling units when they become available in the next two years, according to Reuters’ interviews with industry executives.

Read the entire article Costly home-refueling unit is impeding US adoption of CNG vehicles

IGS Energy has opened its first compressed natural gas fueling station in Bridgeport, West Virginia. The station is part of a plan to offer CNG along the I-79 corridor between west central West Virginia and Southwestern Pennsylvania. IGS said in January 2013 that it would build and operate a network of CNG stations along I-79 -- from Charleston, W.Va. to Mount Morris, Pa. – for around $10 million.

IGS President Scott White disclosed that the CNG stations will be located in the same areas where drivers also fill up with diesel or gasoline. He noted that fueling with CNG takes around the same amount of time as fueling with diesel or gasoline.

He, however, noted that CNG is much cheaper than diesel or gasoline, at a price point of $2.19 a gallon. A lack of refueling stations has undermined demand and sales of CNG-powered vehicles, although they appeal to fleet users that operate on fixed delivery schedules.

Read the entire article IGS Energy opens first CNG station in Bridgeport, West Virginia