on 03.30.2011 21:49
Chevrolet will showcase on of its hottest concept cars this century at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show this week, the Mi-ray. Celebrating the brand’s centennial, this hybrid proves that green machines from mainstream brands needn’t be dull. The powertrain is configured to operate as an electric-only front drive, or all-wheel drive with the 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine motivating the rear wheels.
The name “Mi-ray” translates to “future” in Korean, and the car is described as the first future-looking concept GM has debuted in South Korea. More...
on 03.08.2011 21:54
For a small company, Telsa Motors has been making big ripples in the automotive industry with its electric roadster, Toyota partnership, and soon its electric luxury sedan. Even though the first Alpha-build Model S began road evaluations in December 2010, and it won’t be delivered to customers until mid 2012, the company has stated that pricing will begin at $49,900, after a $7,500 federal tax incentive.
Breaking News: Tesla Model S Scores 99 Rating from Consumer Reports
Pricing is tiered based on the storage capacity for the lithium-ion battery pack and projected range, climbing in $10,000 increments. The base car will promise a 160-mile range. The middle model touts a 230-mile range for $59,900, and the top model will give 300 miles for $69,900. More...
on 02.22.2011 21:23
As Apple has taught us in recent years, an “i” makes everything better. BMW hopes so, as it has launched its new green division called i. Not very search engine friendly, nor easy to pluralize (see Toyota Prii), the brand will be the home to envelope-pushing vehicles and technology that will shape the future of mobility. Or so BMW says.
The first vehicles will include the BMW i3 and i8, not to be confused with the BMW 328i. That’s totally different. (We’re sensing some showroom challenges with this naming.)
Look for more to come about i, as the electrified brand makes its appearance at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show and beyond. More...
on 01.29.2011 17:54
Ford has donated one of the two Focus Electric prototypes featured on “The Jay Leno Show” in a recurring celebrity driving segment to the Petersen Automotive Museum. These Electric Orange sedans were used throughout the 2010 season for the Green Car Challenge.
Actress Drew Barrymore was the first celebrity guest to accept the show’s racing challenge. Other participants included Steve Carell, Sheryl Crow, Rush Limbaugh, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Serena Williams. At the end of the run, it was Dr. Phil McGraw who recorded the fastest lap of all the celebrities to drive the vehicle. The Focus Electric will now be parked in the museum’s permanent Alternative Power exhibit. More...
on 01.29.2011 15:21
In the latest sign that General Motors’ has emerged from the auto crisis and bankruptcy as a strong, vibrant company, the Detroit-based automaker withdrew its application for $14.4 billion in direct loans from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) this past week. (Learn about fuel economy and driving green in our Green Corner.)
The DOE had been authorized to provide $25 billion in loans as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act passed in December 2007 to support advanced-vehicle development and production. Other companies, such as Fisker and Tesla, have reached out for this funding to aid bringing their electrified products to market.
“This decision is based on our confidence in GM’s overall progress and strong, global business performance,” said Chris Liddell, GM vice chairman and chief financial officer. “Withdrawing our DOE loan application is consistent with our goal to carry minimal debt on our balance sheet.” More...
on 01.18.2011 01:32
In the waning weeks of December, before recessing for the holiday, the U.S. Congress took action on several notable bills, including the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell (passed) and the Dream Act (failed). Not many noticed another bill that passed, but advocates for the blind hail it as a major victory.
On December 16, the House passed the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act (S. 841), which could eventually require hybrid and electric vehicles to emit a noise, to inform pedestrians of their presence. Initially known as the "quiet car" bill, it targets cars that run wholly, or partially, on electricity, thus emitting no engine sounds at low speeds or while stopped.
After decades of making automobiles quieter, engineers (and drivers) are being asked to reverse course a bit. The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) points out that noise devices also benefit children, elderly pedestrians—anyone who might not hear a car that's standing at a stoplight or approaching an intersection.
Chevrolet is installing such a device in its Volt extended-range electric car, and Nissan has one in its all-electric Leaf. In both installations, the driver can switch off the sound. Chevrolet has stated that in the next-generation Volt, the noise device will not have an on-off switch. More...