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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Hybrid / Green

Tesla Planning A Cheaper Sedan Next

On: Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 12:12PM | By: Chris Weiss

Tesla Planning A Cheaper Sedan Next test 2

While the short driving range of other electric vehicles makes for a questionable purchase, the 300 miles of the Tesla Model S is the surest bet in the EV market. If they could somehow figure out a way to cut that $77,000 price tag by a few ten thousands, the electric vehicle might actually become quite popular. Of course, they did figure out a way to cut the price tag by $20,000, but that way includes cutting the range nearly in half, which gives the base Model S the same problem as other EVs: not enough driving range.

While it very well could still be too expensive to be the mainstream EV solution the world needs, Tesla does plan to launch a less expensive vehicle in the future.

GM Gets Factual (Not Convincing) In New Volt Commercial (Video)

On: Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 11:14AM | By: Chris Weiss

GM Gets Factual (Not Convincing) In New Volt Commercial test 2

GM is in crisis mode in regards to the Chevy Volt, but you'd never know it based on its ad campaign. First, we got a pretty sappy, 'heart strings'-type ad that seemed to be more about the Detroit auto manufacturing industry than the car itself. Then we got some creepy aliens. And now we have a new commercial that sets out to lay down some facts - only it totally misses the important ones.

The new commercial titled "Just the Facts" rests largely on the Volt's past achievements, which were accomplished before all the battery fire talk and government investigations. The first set of facts relates to the entirely subjective: Chevy lists all the awards that the Volt won... long before the battery fires ever became public. Old news, and not really impressive anymore.

Jaguar Moving Toward Development Of C-X75 Microturbines

On: Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 2:32PM | By: Chris Weiss

Jaguar Moving Toward Development Of C-X75 Microturbines test 2

It's hard to put a finger on what exactly we like best about the Jaguar C-X75 concept that Jaguar debuted at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. It has exquisite styling, a high-tech performance-hybrid powertrain and is the first Jaguar supercar since the XJ220. If we were forced into revealing a single favorite element, we'd probably have to go with the sci-fi-like microturbines that were used as generators for the concept's electric motors.

Because those microturbines were highly experimental, word was that Jaguar would use a more conventional engine in the production C-X75. Somewhere along the line, Jaguar decided to build two versions of the supercar - one with a small turbo engine and one with the microturbines. The company is officially ready to get to work on the turbines.

Fisker Loses Government Loan Money, Delays Next Vehicles

On: Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 5:27PM | By: Chris Weiss

Fisker Loses Government Loan Money, Delays Next Vehicles test 2

I hate to say it, but Fisker just has the feel of a company teetering very closely to disaster and bankruptcy. The start-up has encountered nothing but obstacles and speed bumps in its attempts to get its Karma and next-generation models to market. The latest speed bump culminates from past speed bumps.

Delay after delay on Karma production. Price increase after price increase. Unimpressive official fuel economy rating. Battery fires. Did we miss anything? All those factors have hampered Fisker's ability to get its Karma plug-in hybrid rolling. The car was introduced back in 2008 and just barely made it to market last year.


Gas Mileage A Primary New-Car Consideration, Says J.D. Power

On: Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 10:36AM | By: Chris Weiss

Gas Mileage A Primary New-Car Consideration, Says J.D. Power test 2

J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Avoider Study indicates that gas mileage was the biggest factor influencing car buyers' purchasing decisions last year. Fuel economy surpassed such factors as reliability, price and styling in the survey.

The new study is based on responses from more than 24,000 owners who registered a new vehicle in May 2011. JD Power conducted the survey between August and October of last year.

While the study focuses primarily on reasons that consumers avoided particular models and brands, JD Power's press release includes the observation: "The study finds that gas mileage is the most influential reason for purchasing a particular vehicle model in 2012, surpassing the influence of other key reasons such as reliability, the deal and exterior styling, which were the most influential purchase reasons in 2010."

Late-Surging Prius V Beats Chevy Volt

On: Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 12:34PM | By: Chris Weiss

Late-Surging Prius V Beats Chevy Volt test 2

All last year, the automotive world watched the sales race between the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf unfold. Which technology - series hybrid or all electric - would win the hearts and minds of early adopters?

In the end, neither one really made a clear statement. The Nissan Leaf performed very closely to company goals of 10,000 with 9,674 units sold in the US. The Chevy Volt fell a little shorter of the same goal with 7,671 sales. While the Volt lost by 2,000 units, it ended the year beating previous month sales over the last four months of the year and Nissan Leaf sales over the last three.

So the 2011 sales totals left the question of series hybrid v. electric vehicle inconclusive. What is conclusive is that consumers prefer a third option: parallel hybrids. The Toyota Prius V, which was only on sale for a fraction of the year, beat out the Volt in total sales.

Automakers' Green Strategy Switching From Hybrids And EVs To Small Gas Engies

On: Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 9:42AM | By: Chris Weiss

Automakers' Green Strategy Switching From Hybrids And EVs To Small Gas Engi test 2

Hybrids and electric vehicles are great at making headlines. Because they're new technology, these vehicles make headlines on technology blogs and magazines that could care less about the latest small turbocharged gas engine. Problem is, while everyone likes reading about new technology, not everyone is as quick to buy it, especially when it proves more expensive. Automakers are starting to respond to consumer apathy to hybrids by putting more emphasis on building efficient gas vehicles.

According to the Detroit News, the expense of equipping cars with batteries and electric motors combined with the increasing fuel economy of small gas engines has convinced some automakers to spend more resources on increasing the efficiency of gas cars. A few auto retailers quoted in the article explained that hybrids start a nice conversation about eco-friendly automobiles in showrooms, but the conversation often ends in the customer deciding that hybrids are too expensive.

Tesla Reveals The Model X, And It Makes An Impression

On: Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 11:43AM | By: Chris Weiss

Tesla Reveals The Model X, And It Makes An Impression test 2

Well, Tesla didn't disappoint. After calling its Model X crossover "pretty revolutionary" for an SUV when teasing it, we thought for sure we were listening to marketing hype. But the car does indeed have some surprises up its sleeve.

Tesla introduced the Model X on Thursday night from its California design studio. It also streamed the live event over the Internet.

The new crossover is definitely sportier than pretty much any crossover or SUV we can think of. It effectively translates the Model S' styling into a larger form. The only real visual complaint that we have is that the roof seems a little too round and long - it has a little bit of "large head" syndrome like the 2012 Honda CR-V. Overall, though, we're impressed with how Tesla was able to give us the utility of a crossover while still presenting a car that we don't want to stop looking at.

XSeed Hybrid Buggy Concept

On: Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 2:33PM | By: Chris Weiss

XSeed Hybrid Buggy Concept test 2

The Peugeot EX-1 just got a little competition. The EX-1 was one of the few vehicles that we could think of that compares to the new XSeed concept, a small hybrid speedster that's part go-cart or buggy and part car.

The Xseed is the work of designer Marcus Beltrao, according to Ubergizmo. It's just a design, so take the actual design features and hard figures with a grain of salt.

All-New Mitsubishi Outlander To Debut At Geneva

On: Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 12:23PM | By: Chris Salamone

Mitsubishi Outlander test 2

From March 6 through March 18, Mitsubishi will debut an all-new global version of the company’s much-adored Outlander model at the 82nd Geneva International Motor Show. Which, as it turns out, is great news for Outlander enthusiasts and converts alike – the new model will be built with an eco-friendly focus on fuel efficiency, low CO2 emissions, and enhanced storage space functionality.

Launching this summer in Russia, the latest Outlander will then go on to markets in Europe, Japan, Oceania, China and North America.

In the same bold maneuver, Mitsubishi will also unleash an EV-based Outlander which will utilize the same charge system found in the company’s already-to-market MiEV.

Volt Sales Drop In January

On: Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 9:55AM | By: Chris Weiss

Volt Sales Drop In January test 2

The Chevy Volt is starting to look like one of those Miss America winners that get rocked by a scandal during their year of reign and fall rapidly from grace. The Volt got to do its best pageant wave when it took home all kinds of awards and accolades in late 2010 and early 2011. Then, during the remainder of 2011, it was one 'scandal' after another: poor sales, battery fires, government investigations, lowered expectations, etc.

This year isn't starting off any better. In addition to Congressional hearings on the Volt fires, the Volt's sales are off to a sluggish start.