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

Amidst Growing Concerns, GM Offers Volt Refunds

On: Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 2:26PM | By: Chris Salamone


Chevrolet Volts on Woodward Ave. test 2

This last month has not been kind to GM’s latest EV innovation, the Chevy Volt. From fire risks, to government probes, to competitor advancements, and an unexpected sales slump – a mere 60% of the company’s sales target for 2011 – GM will have to face some difficult hurdles in order to raise the Volt to the vehicle’s full market potential. But have no fear, the good General is always ready for decisive action. On Thursday the automaker said it would buy back any Chevrolet Volts from customers nervous about fire risks.

This is exactly the type of product ownership that consumers need to see. People must believe that Chevy will stand by the Volt, through thick and thin, stalwartly accepting responsibility. But, the true beauty of GM’s buy-back plan is that the company expects few, if any, of the 6,000 current Volt owners to ask for a refund.


Everyone Else Is Doin' It: Jaguar Wants A Mini Car

On: Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 10:56AM | By: Chris Weiss


Everyone Else Is Doin' It: Jaguar Wants A Mini Car test 2

BMW has Mini. Mercedes-Benz has Smart. Lotus has an upcoming city car. Aston Martin has the Cygnet. Jaguar? Well it's owned by Tata, maker of the world's cheapest tiny car, so it probably should have a tiny luxury car, but right now it doesn't have anything. That all appears likely to change as a top Jaguar exec expressed interest in designing one.

Jaguar design chief Ian Cullum--mastermind behind such greats as the C-X75--told What Car? recently: 'It's a personal view, but there's room for a premium small car. It would be a high-end small car for city use."


Toyota Shows Off Volt-Killing Prius Plug-in

On: Thu, Dec 1, 2011 at 11:04AM | By: Chris Salamone


2012 Prius PHV test 2

Since September we’ve had a good idea of what the 2012 Prius Plug-in would look like. Toyota plans to start selling Prius PHVs in the US next spring, but just recently chose the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Japan as an ideal spot for a pre-Tokyo Motor Show release party featuring the company’s latest plug-in/hybrid vehicle. During the press conference, Toyota was quick to reinforce the Prius PHVs competitive advantages while jabbing at other, less practical EV brands – noting that green vehicles are only good for the environment if they are commonly used.

Considering the Nissan Leaf is a pure plug-in with limited range and Chevy’s Volt costs at least $41,000, the Prius PHV appears poised to reestablish Toyota as the preeminent maker of eco-friendly autos.


Toyota Bringing Trio of Eco-Friendly Concepts to Tokyo

On: Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 1:45PM | By: Chris Weiss


Toyota Bringing Trio of Eco-Friendly Concepts to Tokyo test 2

While Honda plans to use the Tokyo Motor Show to show us the sporty side of green vehicles, Toyota will let its GT-86 handle the sporty end while a trio of concept cars showcases the practicality of green design. Toyota will debut fuel cell, electric and commercial vehicle concepts at the show.

Perhaps the most interesting of the three concepts is the FCV-R or "Fuel Cell Vehicle--Reality and Revolution." While the full name sounds about as overdramatic and conceptual as we've seen, Toyota is hoping to bring an actual fuel cell vehicle to market within the next four years, and the FCV-R is its latest step. The small sedan features a high-pressure hydrogen tank that delivers up to 430 miles of fuel-cell-powered driving.


 

Hertz For Heroes Program Offers $3M In Free Weekend Rentals To Returning U.S. Service People

On: Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 4:54PM | By: Andrew W Davis


Illustration by author test 2

In a campaign they say is designed to “honor…U.S. troops returning home” and “thank them for their bravery, sacrifice, and dedication,” the folks at Hertz Corp. will be giving said service people 40,000 vouchers that entitle each of them to a free weekend (Friday to Monday) rental of a “midsize”—more on that later—car anywhere in North America.

If you do your part.

[It’s easy. Honest.]


Infiniti Teases Glimpses Of Future At Geneva

On: Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 2:46PM | By: Chris Salamone


Infiniti Sports Car Concept test 2

During this LA-induced period of auto euphoria, Infiniti has dropped a bombshell set of teaser images depicting a car they believe will extend the potential for both high performance and low emission electric cars. Set to make an official debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March of 2012, this latest Infiniti sports car concept looks to be an attempt to bridge the gap between performance enthusiasts and eco-friendly hipsters.

Although little and less is currently known about whether Infiniti plans to go into full production on this vehicle, the company’s official press video offers some insight into their game plan. From the upcoming JX to Nissan’s GT-R, we are talking about a brand which constantly strives to be on the cutting edge of style and technology. This future high performance range-extending electric sports car is an effort to raise the bar even further – a sort of one-up in the game of Mother Nature-approved performance.


Tokyo Motor Show Preview: Honda Combines Sportiness And Green Powertrains

On: Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 1:48PM | By: Chris Weiss


Honda Combines Sportiness And Green Powertrains test 2

There are two ways to really get us excited about electric vehicles. Either design EVs that can drive just as far or farther than gas vehicles on a single charge or design sporty, performance-oriented cars that show that EVs can be more than tiny, boxy commuters. Honda's upcoming Small Sports EV Concept goes the latter route, showing what we hope will one day be an electrically driven Honda convertible.

Similarly, the Honda Advanced Cruiser-X concept puts a sporty package around a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

The Small Sports EV packs sporty curves into a pint-sized, two-seat roadster package. While Honda hasn't provided the specs of the car just yet, it's clear from looking at it that it should have spry handling and ample performance thanks to its tiny size (and weight).


Audi Urban Concept May See Production

On: Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 12:25PM | By: Chris Weiss


Audi Urban Concept May See Production test 2

When Audi introduced its Urban Concept before the Frankfurt Motor Show, it appeared like a concept in the strictest definition of the term. Audi called it a "technology study" and it didn't look like anything we'd imagine driving around city streets. In other words, it didn't appear to have a prayer at seeing production.

However, production may actually happen. Car magazine reported last week that Audi is not only considering, but close to approving, a limited production run.


Elon Musk: Model S Is Sold Out For First Year

On: Mon, Nov 7, 2011 at 2:36PM | By: Chris Weiss


Elon Musk: Model S Is Sold Out For First Year test 2

Tesla may just make a profit yet. After losing money since its inception, the company is hoping to actually jump into the black with its next model: the Model S sedan. And things are off to as good a start as they can be, with CEO Elon Musk claiming that the Model S has already sold out months before it's even hit dealerships.

Musk told Bloomberg that Tesla has 6,500 orders for the Model S, meaning it's sold out of the entire 2012 production run. The Model S will go into production next year and is expected to hit the market by summer. Not surprisingly, since the market for an electric sedan is much different than the market for a $100,000 electric sports car, Tesla says that outside of about 600 Roadster owners, those orders have been placed by new customers.


Varley: Electric Supercar From Australia

On: Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 5:30PM | By: Chris Weiss


Varley: Electric Supercar From Australia test 2

Well, it's been at least two days since we covered a new, vaporous supercar from an unknown brand, so you know what that means: there's another vaporous supercar from an unknown brand to report on. This time, it's an all-electric supercar from Australia—only slightly more believable than an all-electric supercar from Croatia.

The evR450 is an electric sports car prototype from Australia's Varley Electric Vehicles. Varley is calling it Australia's first electric supercar, a title that we're confident it earns, since we're aware of only one other Australian supercar, and that's gas powered. While Varley has plenty of electrical design and engineering experience, this is its first sports car.


BMW Special Sneak Preview On November 9

On: Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 4:16PM | By: Peter C Sessler


BMW Special Sneak Preview On November 9 test 2

BMW will host a special sneak-preview event to unveil for the first time in North America what it considers to be the cars of the future: the BMW i3 and BMW i8 concept vehicles. These concepts represent the first purpose-built electric and electric-hybrid vehicles to be made primarily of carbon fiber when they become available in 2013 and 2014, respectively. The unveiling will take place in New York City on Wednesday, November 9th at 11 AM (EST) at Center 548 (548 West 22nd Street between 10th & 11th Avenues).