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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Hybrid / Green

Chevy Volt Selling Out In California

On: Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 1:35PM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy Volt Selling Out In California test 2

The Chevy Volt hasn't exactly been GM's bestseller since hitting dealerships in December 2010. The plug-in hybrid found its way to fewer than 7,700 homes last year, well short of the 10,000 that GM had aimed for. While consumers may be warming to the car, it's selling slowly enough that GM stopped production several times and plans another stoppage in the summer.

Overall US sales may be slow, but residents of the country's leader in all things eco-vehicle (that's California) have been quite eager to get their hands on the Volt.  A few in-state advantages have combined to make the Chevy Volt quite attractive to Californians.

Worth It Or Not? Consumer Reports Puts High-MPG Cars To The Test

On: Fri, Jun 8, 2012 at 2:59PM | By: Chris Weiss

Worth It Or Not? Consumer Reports Puts High-MPG Cars To The Test test 2

"40 mpg" is kind of a big buzz term these days, with manufacturers looking to claim that their cars are in the 40 club. But does the number really matter that much? Consumer Reports tested three 40 mpg cars to see if the premium in pricing is offset by gas savings.

The testing organization put the Chevy Cruze Eco, Ford Focus SE SFE and Honda Civic HF, three special high-mpg versions of their base cars, to the test to see how much that 40 mpg impacts the wallet in real world conditions. As with anything fuel economy, the answer is 'it depends'.

Hyundai Makes A Push For National Fuel Efficiency Month

On: Fri, Jun 8, 2012 at 11:23AM | By: Chris Weiss

Hyundai Makes A Push For National Fuel Efficiency Month test 2

With gas prices as high as they've been, many people might like to think of every month as "national fuel efficiency month," but Hyundai is making a push to give August that distinction. It hopes that August 2012 can be the first official National Fuel Efficiency Month in the United States and is even petitioning the government to make it happen.

Hyundai explains: "You know, there’s a day or month devoted to just about everything. At Hyundai, we think there should also be a month dedicated to something that affects everyone: FUEL EFFICIENCY."

Fisker Expands Its Fire Recall

On: Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 11:15AM | By: Chris Weiss

Fisker Expands Its Fire Recall test 2

Well, that wasn't destined to last very long. After a rare spate of good news last week, Fisker is back in the negative headlines business. The green automaker is expanding a previous recall. While recalls are a standard part of the industry, a potential battery fire issue in a battery-powered plug-in is an image-damaging affair - especially when you basically forgot a few models the first time around.

The company was quick to provide a retort to early reports that the recall was a new recall, saying in a statement: "Fisker Automotive would like to reassure customers and dealers that it has not issued a new product recall, contrary to erroneous suggestions in an earlier blog-posting carried on WSJ.com today. The minor adjustment to the VIN range is an administrative filing with NHTSA, the federal transport safety agency, to update information relating to an existing voluntary recall of 239 Fisker Karma vehicles from December 2011."


General Electric Opens EV Comparison Center In Minnesota

On: Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 9:26AM | By: Chris Weiss

General Electric Opens EV Comparison Center In Minnesota test 2

While the most visible work in terms of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids comes from automotive manufacturers, there are many other players doing research, development and testing behind the scenes. One player that has stepped into a more visible role is General Electric, which has announced the opening of its Vehicle Innovation Center. The new center at GE's fleet management business headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minnesota allows GE customers to research, test and compare various green vehicles.

The new facility was opened by GE Capital Fleet Services as a means for GE employees and fleet customers to test drive and compare the various alternative-fuel vehicles on the market. The center, which GE calls the first of its kind, has alternative-fuel vehicles from 20 different manufacturers, including staples like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt. It gives businesses, researchers and industry groups a one-stop destination for comparing the broadening number of green vehicles with help and insight from GE’s fleet, transportation, energy and advanced technology experts.

Fisker Doing Just Fine Despite Setbacks

On: Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 4:35PM | By: Chris Weiss

Fisker Doing Just Fine Despite Setbacks test 2

Since arriving in the industry with fanfare back in 2007, Fisker has read like a textbook chapter about how difficult it can be to get a business off the ground. Despite having a beautiful product to sell, virtually nothing has gone smooth for the green start-up. It's been mired in all kinds of delays, has had publicity issues, has seen a leadership shake-up, and has fallen out of favor with government backers. We're sure we missed a few setbacks.

If you've watched any of the Great Fisker Debacle, you might be under the impression that a bankruptcy announcement is imminent. However, Fisker sales numbers actually seem encouraging.

According to the numbers released by Fisker earlier this week, it's delivered a total of 1,000 Karmas to customers in the US and Europe. Given that deliveries began in December of last year, that's not bad at all.

Nissan To Build All Electric Van

On: Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 3:02PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan e-NV200 test 2

Nissan announced last week that it will begin production on its second electric vehicle in the 2013 financial year. The vehicle in question is the e-NV200, which will add some serious people/cargo moving capability to the electric market.

With the exception of the costly RAV4 Electric, the EVs on the market today are all small compact and subcompact cars. The e-NV200, on the other hand, will be based on the standard NV200, a compact commercial cargo van that offers 123 cubic feet of cargo space in back.

Fiat Not Too Optimistic About 500 Electric

On: Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 12:45PM | By: Chris Weiss

Fiat Not Too Optimistic About 500 Electric test 2

The thought of a Fiat 500 Electric was exciting enough to get third-party manufacturers hacking their own version, but it's apparently not enough to stir any kind of emotion over at Fiat itself. While the tiny 500 might seem like an ideal place to stick a lithium-ion battery pack and small electric motor, Fiat isn't all too optimistic on the 500 Electric's future.

During the same interview in which he mentioned the fate of the Chrysler Town & Country and Jeep Compass, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne mentioned the upcoming electric 500. While you might expect Fiat/Chrysler to be upbeat about its first North American electric vehicle, the tale of the event paints everything but smiles on Marchionne's face. He said that Chrysler is essentially building the electric car only to meet requirements in California and other states and expects to lose money on every model sold.

2012 Ford Focus Electric Deliveries Have Begun

On: Thu, May 24, 2012 at 2:13PM | By: Chris Weiss

2012 Ford Focus Electric Deliveries Have Begun test 2

Ford was rather vague in terms of delivery dates for the Focus Electric when it announced details a few weeks ago, but the automaker has officially begun shipping Focus Electrics to dealerships, according to news reports. Ford's first electric vehicle will be tearing up roadways - 100 miles at a time - in just a few more days.

Reuters reports that Ford began shipping Focus electric models about a week and a half ago. The EV is set to make it to around 70 dealerships in California, New Jersey and New York over the coming weeks. Each dealership will get about half a dozen cars.

Ferrari Confirms Enzo Hybrid

On: Wed, May 16, 2012 at 11:39AM | By: Chris Weiss

Ferrari Confirms Enzo Hybrid test 2

It was really just a formality at this point, but Ferrari has officially confirmed that the F70 Enzo successor will be a hybrid. Ferrari spiced up an otherwise dull press release by confirming the F70 for debut by year end.

Ferrari said in a press release about its first quarter earnings: "At the end of the year, we'll also be unveiling the new Enzo, a limited series model and our first ever hybrid car."

EPA Rates Tesla Model S Range

On: Mon, May 14, 2012 at 4:11PM | By: Chris Weiss

EPA Rates Tesla Model S Range test 2

Tesla will begin Model S deliveries next month, a little earlier than initially planned. The EPA has tested and rated the model, keeping Tesla at its untouchable pinnacle in terms of EV range.

When tested by way of the EPA's new stricter 5-cycle testing, which adds cold-weather with heater, hot-weather with air conditioner and high-speed driving to its 2-cycle testing, the EPA stamps a 265-mile rating on the top-tier Model S, only about 12 percent lower than Tesla's 300-mile claim. Considering ratings of cars like the Nissan Leaf take a hit of nearly a third when tested by the EPA, that's not bad at all. Further, when tested under the 2-cycle procedure that the Roadster was judged by, the Model S exceeds Tesla's estimates, earning 320 miles of range.