Login to your account
Not a member? Register now.
AutoShopperBlog

Subscribe To The Blog:




Follow Us



The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Hybrid / Green

Chevy To Replace Charging Cords On 2011 Volts

On: Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 4:53PM | By: Chris Weiss


Chevy To Replace Charging Cords On 2011 Volts test 2

Ordinarily when things go wrong with a car, an automaker needs to issue a recall, bringing owners in to repair the model. But when that problem only pertains to an ancillary component - say a charging cable - then the automaker can take care of business without inconveniencing owners as much. That's what Chevy is doing for Volt owners in order to improve their charging experience.

Chevy told media this week that it plans to replace the 120V charging cords on all 2011 Volts and some 2012 models. The new cords are designed to offer an improved, more reliable charging experience and sound to be more durable. A company spokesperson was careful to distinguish it as a proactive action and not a recall, when speaking with Inside Line.


Fisker Teases Project Nina

On: Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 9:51AM | By: Chris Weiss


Fisker Teases Project Nina test 2

Fisker may be dealing with all kinds of internal turmoil, but it's trying to put on a brave public face. The green start-up released a teaser of its Project Nina sedan this week in anticipation of an event at the New York Auto Show next month.

Fisker didn't specify the exact nature of the event, saying vaguely that it's "a special event ahead of the New York Auto Show to share with media, retailers and the public a business update and give a glimpse of the future of our company." Given that the teaser is clearly a car, we'll assume that "future" is a concept version of the Project Nina sedan.


First Phase Of The West Coast Electric Highway Now Open

On: Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 2:11PM | By: Chris Weiss


First Phase Of The West Coast Electric Highway Now Open test 2

The West Coast Electric Highway is a project that should allow EVs to gain some real world practicality. The project is designed to make it possible to travel from Canada to Mexico along Interstate 5 in an electric vehicle. The first phase of the highway in southern Oregon is now open.

The West Coast Electric Highway is being made possible by collaboration between the governments of California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, private companies, the US Department of Transportation and non-profit organizations. When complete, the highway will offer DC fast-charging stations - 480-volt stations that can charge a battery to about 80 percent full in half an hour - every 40 to 60 miles. While a trip down the full length of the highway via EV won't exactly be fast or convenient, considering the short range of EVs and length of time involved in charging, it will be possible, unlike on the average highway.


Prius C Throws Down Sales Gauntlet

On: Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 9:54AM | By: Chris Salamone


Prius C test 2

Since last week, any doubts we’ve had about the potential market for Toyota’s new-entry Prius c have been erased. This brand new Prii has suddenly become one of Toyota’s fastest-selling vehicles and churned up loads of media attention in the meantime. But strong sales and media support really shouldn’t come as a surprise. Toyota is actually attempting to give people what they want – rather than forcing something undesirable down our collective gullet.

In the Prius c’s first three days of sales Toyota moved 1,201 units, a quantity which overshadows Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt sales over the entire preceding month.


 

Infiniti Shows The Sporty Side Of Green With Emerg-E Concept

On: Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 5:31PM | By: Chris Weiss


Infiniti Emerg-E Concept test 2

Infiniti pulled the cloth off of what is likely its sexiest, most dynamic car ever at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month. The Emerg-E concept is part Earth-hugging range extender, part menacing, pure-blooded super sports car. We tend to love both parts equally.

The third in a line of "E" concepts designed to showcase what Infiniti calls its Adeyaka design language (the Essence and Etherea being number 1 and 2), the Emerg-E is a lightweight, range-extending sports car. Infiniti turned to Lotus for help in equipping the Emerg-E. The concept uses a 402-hp pair of electric motors driving the rear axle. Those motors, which were also seen in the Lotus Evora 414E concept, provide up to 30 miles of all-electric capability. Hethel's 47-hp 1.2-liter three-cylinder range-extending engine delivers up to 270 additional miles for a nice, round total of 300.


Fastest, Most Powerful Ferrari Ever Coming Next Year

On: Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 11:14AM | By: Chris Weiss


Fastest, Most Powerful Ferrari Ever Coming Next Year test 2

Not two weeks ago, Ferrari introduced the F12 Berlinetta (pictured), the 740-hp car that's now the fastest, most powerful Ferrari road car ever. That coupe will have a pretty short ride at the top, though. The F70, Ferrari's Enzo successor that was originally supposed to debut this year, will make its debut sometime next winter. Ferrari describes the car as its fastest, most powerful road offering ever, meaning it will bump the F12 to number 2.

In spring 2010, Fiat laid out several years of new Ferraris and said that the Enzo successor was due for a 2012 debut.


Hyundai Has The Most Fuel Efficient Fleet In America

On: Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 9:57AM | By: Chris Weiss


Hyundai Has The Most Fuel Efficient Fleet In America test 2

With a national gas price average that's likely to break the all-time high, we all could use a more efficient car. The best place to look appears to be your local Hyundai showroom. The EPA declared Hyundai Motor America the most fuel efficient automaker in the US earlier this month.

The EPA's recently published 2011 Light-Duty Automotive Technology and Fuel Economy Trends Report looks at fuel economy averages for the 2010 model year, the last year that complete data is available for. Hyundai and sister company Kia both scored solid 27.0 mpg ratings, up from 2009 ratings of 25.1 and 24.2, respectively. Hyundai jumped three spots to capture top billing, beating out 2009 winner Toyota, which held steady at 25.4, and 2009 #2 Honda, which rose from 24.6 to 24.9.


To Hell With Safety...Fisker Karma Shoved Onto Market Early, According To Ex Employee

On: Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 12:19PM | By: Chris Weiss


Fisker Karma test 2

Last month, the media reported that Fisker had lost millions of dollars in loan money from the Department of Energy. The plug-in start-up is still reeling from the loss and trying to figure out where to turn now. It has a new leader at the helm who appears confident (or at least good at giving the appearance of confidence to appease investors and the media) and is moving forward with plans to get the money back from the DOE or elsewhere. A new report alleging that Fisker essentially threw caution to the wind to get the Karma to market and secure DOE funding probably won't help its case.

According to a conversation between a former Fisker employee and technology blog GigaOM, Fisker rushed the launch of the Karma so that it could meet the milestones necessary to maintain its funding. That would explain why the Karma has been guilty of everything from battery fires to less-than-advertised fuel economy to fizzling out on delivery (for Consumer Reports, nonetheless).


AMP Electric Vehicles Cleared For Federal Tax Credit

On: Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 11:02AM | By: Chris Weiss


AMP Electric Vehicles Cleared For Federal Tax Credit test 2

Options in the electric car market are pretty slim at the moment. It's basically a matter of small sedans and hatchbacks with limited range or $60,000 + luxury performance cars with decent range. To channel Henry Ford, you have your pick so long as it's small, expensive or both. You don't have the option of a truck, AWD SUV, large car, etc.

While future models like the Tesla Model X and Toyota RAV4 EV will expand your options, third-party electric tuners are another route. One of those tuners that we've covered recently officially got the IRS' blessing, qualifying buyers for the federal green car tax credit.


Jaguar Close To Giving The C-X16 Hybrid The Thumbs Up

On: Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 10:59AM | By: Chris Weiss


Jaguar Close To Giving The C-X16 Hybrid The Thumbs Up test 2

Jaguar already has one sporty hybrid on the way in the C-X75. But that model will be way out of the price range of most car owners. For those looking for a sporty, sexy hybrid with a little more of an affordable price, they may get it in the way of a production C-X16.

Inside Line reports that Jaguar is close to a decision on the C-X16, which it showed in concept form at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show. If it gets the green light, the C-X16 could go on sale in 2014. Jaguar has done several months’ worth of market research on the model, and it sounds as though Jaguar is already making production plans, with the green light a mere formality.


Mitsubishi's Smart, Connected MiEV House

On: Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 3:45PM | By: Chris Weiss


Mitsubishi's Smart, Connected MiEV House test 2

The Geneva Motor Show is packed full of plug-in vehicles of all kinds - from sexy smart cars to ultra-efficient city cars. Thing is, though, the world really doesn't need any new electric vehicles or concepts unless they happen to travel 400 miles on a charge and cost under $30,000. There's hardly much interest in the electric vehicles we do have.

What the world needs is a better charging infrastructure to support electric vehicles. That may not make for as sexy an auto-show concept, but it would certainly help grow the industry more than a one-off electric sports car with a sub-4-second 0-to-60 time. Mitsubishi trudged through that unsexy terrain to present its MiEV house, a concept that gives one take on the future of home charging.