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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Hybrid / Green

Nissan Leaf Gets Stretched Into A Limo

On: Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 4:52PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Leaf Limo test 2

The Nissan Leaf may not be the right choice for a taxi cab, where it would risk running out of power meeting the varying demands of street customers, but it could perform as a hotel limo, where specific guidelines could ensure that it never travels too far from home. At least one hotel in Nashville, Tennessee seems to think so.

We've heard whispers about a Nissan limo being designed in Missouri, but this is the first time we've seen a comment from Nissan on it. In a press release, the automaker quotes a hotel executive in calling it "the world's first road-worthy, licensed, street legal electric limousine."

Chevy Volt Experiencing Electric Mileage Drops In The Heat

On: Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 11:28AM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy Volt Experiencing Electric Mileage Drops In The Heat test 2

A few weeks ago, we reported that some Nissan Leaf owners have been experiencing battery capacity issues. Those owners were concentrated in hot states, supporting the fact that hot weather will be an obstacle for electric vehicle performance. Now that it's a scorching mid-July, Chevy Volt owners are reporting some problems with battery performance.

Infiniti's Flagship May Be Emerg-E...Or An SUV

On: Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 10:03AM | By: Chris Weiss

Infiniti's Flagship May Be Emerg-E...Or An SUV test 2

Things were going so well. The Infiniti Emerg-E was looking good to fill the role of Infiniti flagship, and if it didn't make it, it was looking like it would be an Essence-inspired sports car - even better! The latest report throws that little slice of Infiniti utopia into question. While the Emerg-E is still a possibility, the other possibilities aren't as attractive.

After what we assume was the same discussion with Nissan that brought news about the 370Z, Inside Line reports that Infiniti's flagship could be either the Emerg-E, a sedan or ... an SUV. Interestingly, the report doesn't mention the Essence-based sports car that Car & Driver talked about just two weeks ago.

Mitsubishi May Offer A Full Line Of Hybrids And Electrics In North America

On: Fri, Jul 13, 2012 at 10:27AM | By: Chris Weiss

Mitsubishi May Offer A Full Line Of Hybrids And Electrics In North America test 2

A couple weeks ago, Mitsubishi teased the upcoming Outlander PHEV, which it will show at the Paris Motor Show. While it hasn't yet announced plans for North American production, new reports indicate Mitsubishi will offer a line of hybrids and electrics here.

Mitsubishi kicked off its North American electric presence with this year's iMiev, which won an EPA best with its 112 mpg-e rating. AutoGuide reports that the Japanese automaker is currently looking at the feasibility of developing a broader electric American lineup. The report doesn't get into specific models, outside of the Outlander PHEV that we already know about.

The report is a follow-up to Autocar's revelation that Mitsubishi will electrify its entire fleet in the UK. According to the magazine, Mitsubishi will offer a hybrid or electric powertrain, alongside a gas engine option, on all its offerings.


Toyota BMW Partnership May Work On Supra Successor

On: Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 1:05PM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota BMW Partnership May Work On Supra Successor test 2

Last month, BMW and Toyota announced an expansion of their working relationship and mentioned that part of the agreement will include joint work on a sports car. The statement made the expanded relationship sound largely like a trade-off: Toyota's expertise in hybrid powertrains for BMW's expertise in sports cars. In a report that essentially puts itself together, the sports car in question may be the rumored Supra successor.

We've been hearing about a Supra successor for a while now. With Toyota known to be working with BMW on a sports car, it would make sense that that sports car be a mid-level/high-end coupe like the Supra. While Automotive News Europe doesn't know this for a fact, it cites a "BMW insider" in speculating that the sports car could indeed be a new Supra successor, possibly based on the new 6 Series architecture.

EV Or Hot Rod? How About Both With BMW Venture Design (Video)

On: Mon, Jul 9, 2012 at 2:49PM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW Venture Design test 2

Green vehicles are exciting to some folks, but the guys that really live for automobiles - that element of hard-charging, tire-burning classic-car lovers - are unlikely to experience a heightened pulse over the latest city car. Perhaps if electric cars had just a little more soul and fun factor, they would. How about a thrifty commuter workhorse during the week and a fast, hot-cornering hot rod on Saturday and Sunday? This design study blends those two worlds into one.

Watch The Infiniti Emerg-E Take On Goodwood (Video)

On: Fri, Jul 6, 2012 at 5:07PM | By: Chris Weiss

Watch The Infiniti Emerg-E Take On Goodwood test 2

Infiniti said that it would use the Goodwood Festival of Speed for the Emerg-E concept's first public drive, and it made good on the promise over the weekend. Infiniti rolled out the working prototype, and drivers hit the Hillclimb with it. A short, sweet video brings all us non-Goodwood attendees up to speed.

Infiniti debuted the Emerg-E at this year's Geneva Motor Show. It spent the ensuing months building a working prototype true to the concept, with the help of a variety of British partners, including the UK Government's Technology Strategy Board (TSB), Lotus Engineering, EVO and Xtrac.

Nissan Leaf Sets Goodwood Record...In Reverse

On: Fri, Jul 6, 2012 at 12:53PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Leaf Sets Goodwood Record...In Reverse test 2

If there's one car that you could safely say would not set a record at the "Festival of Speed," it would be a small electric car like the Nissan Leaf. Or so we thought. The Leaf set an interesting record at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed.

During this past weekend's Goodwood festivities, stunt driver Terry Grant powered the Nissan Leaf to a Goodwood record...multiple times. While the Nissan Leaf was ill-equipped to compete with the suped-up sports coupes and supercars in most categories, it took its own direction - fastest time over the course of a mile, in reverse.

Toyota And BMW Team Up On Sports Car

On: Fri, Jul 6, 2012 at 10:58AM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota And BMW Team Up On Sports Car test 2

The Bimota? The Toyimmer? We'd better start working on a name that flows as naturally as "Toyobaru," because Toyota and BMW have announced a partnership that includes co-development of a sports car. The new announcement is the latest expansion in an agreement that was first announced last year and includes development of battery technology.

Toyota president Akio Toyoda explains in a statement: "BMW and Toyota both want to make ever-better cars. We respect each other. That is why we already can take the next step together. Toyota is strong in environment-friendly hybrids and fuel cells … I believe BMW's strength is developing sports cars. I get so excited thinking about the cars that will result from this relationship."

Bad Omen For EVs: Nissan Leaf Battery Capacity Complaints

On: Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 5:29PM | By: Chris Weiss

Bad Omen For EVs: Nissan Leaf Battery Capacity Complaints test 2

Battery range is already a major reason that electric vehicles are destined to remain a small niche in the market. An often overlooked demon lurking ominously behind the greater range issue is the penchant for battery capacity to decrease over time. Indeed, over the course of years, batteries will slowly lose their ability to hold charge, and range will get lower and lower until a replacement is needed.

If the experiences of some Nissan Leaf owners are any indication, battery capacity may soon displace range as the biggest drawback of electric vehicle ownership. Not two years after launch, some owners are already complaining about discernible capacity losses.

Tesla Model S Scores 89 MPG-e rating

On: Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 2:43PM | By: Chris Weiss

Tesla Model S Scores 89 MPG-e rating test 2

Tesla has begun deliveries of the Model S. About a month ago, we saw the EPA's official range rating for the Model S. This week, we get the full picture, as the EPA has released the fuel economy rating.

The EPA rates the Tesla at 89 mpg-e, which is lower than most other EVs on the market - the Mitsubishi i leads the way with 112 mpg-e; the Ford Focus Electric comes in at 105 mpg-e; and the Nissan Leaf sits at 99. Of course, none of the competitors can hit 60 mph in 5.6 seconds (4.4 seconds in the Performance trim). The Model S gets 88 mpg-e in the city and 90 mpg-e on the highway.

As we learned last month, the largest battery pack that Tesla will offer has enough capacity to send a driver out for up to 265 miles of cruising. That's just an average, and Tesla believes that drivers will be able to get more than 450 miles with just the right conditions (though they'd have to turtle along at residential speeds to do so).