VW Passat

BYD has enjoyed a tremendous leap in sales since last year, according to Want China Times. Sales from January to April were ten times that of the same period last year, with much of the credit going to government subsidies for clean cars. BYD claims, though, that battery production is limiting the number of vehicles it sells, and that by increasing that production capacity, it will see even more success. BYD's Qin plug-in hybrid, introduced in December, has already sold 4,500 units with another 8,000 orders already placed. Read more here.

Mazda will reveal the fourth generation of its MX-5 roadster in September. To celebrate the car's 25th anniversary, the all-new two-seat convertible will debut during simultaneous private events in Spain, Japan and the US on September 3 and 4. Furthermore, the new Miata will be the center of a more public event in Barcelona on September 6. For fans in the US, Mazda will hold a Miatas at Mazda Raceway event from September 5 to 7. The 2016 MX-5 promises to continue to offer a lightweight, balanced design for fun and efficiency.

The new Volkswagen Passat will feature a plug-in hybrid version. Volkswagen confirmed the Passat PHEV for Europe at the model's unveiling at the Volkswagen Design Centre in Potsdam, Germany. The plug-in Passat uses a 154-horsepower TSI engine and an 80-kilowatt electric motor for a total output of 208 horsepower. With a full charge, it can travel up to 31 miles on electricity alone. All versions of the eighth-generation Passat use stop-start and regenerative braking. Read more at Green Car Congress.

BBC warns that the costs of charging an electric vehicle in the UK could surpass those of fueling a gasoline engine. Not so fast, says The Green Car Website. While the BBC cites charging services like Charge Master introducing fees for rapid charging making it cost about as much per mile to drive as traditional internal combustion engines. The Green Car Website points out that most people usually charge at home for much less, that paying for rapid charging is still not that expensive and that the BBC article misses the point about EVs, anyway. See the BBC article here or click here to read the rebuttal.