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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Hybrid / Green

Good Move/Bad Move? Nissan Launches Mobile EV Charging Station

On: Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 4:28PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Launches Mobile EV Charging Station  test 2

In building the market's first real, mass-produced electric vehicle, Nissan bravely went where no other automakers were ready to go. And now it's going somewhere else where no other automaker has gone. But the question is: should it? 

One of the primary reasons that other automakers are focusing more on hybrids and range-extenders is range issues. Batteries can get you only a fraction of the distance of gas engines and hybrid powertrains. Now, if there was a robust electrical charging infrastructure on highways and byways, this wouldn't be as much of an issue. But since there isn't, people are basically limited to home and work charging, something that's given way to the rightful fear of getting stranded. It's called range anxiety and it's a major obstacle that electric-vehicle manufacturers face.

Surprise? Electric Rolls Royce Is Not Happening

On: Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 3:37PM | By: Chris Weiss

Rolls Royce Phantom 201EX test 2

At the Geneva Motor Show this past March, Rolls Royce made a rather strong impression with the 102EX, an electric ultra-premium. The move made some wonder whether Rolls may just cut its otherwise atrocious fuel economy numbers with a fully electric production version. At the time, Rolls would commit only to the fact that it would test the waters for an EV's potential. Apparently, those waters turned up pretty chilly, because Rolls has moved an EV off the table for the time being.

According to anAuto Evolution report based on a conversation with CEO Torsten Mueller-Otvos, Rolls has officially sidelined the EV because it doesn't believe that it makes sense at the moment. It's not so much that customers aren't interested in a premium EV, or that there was a tepid reaction to the 102EX, it's that Rolls doesn't think an EV fits its customer base very well.

Plug-In Porsche 911 A Possibility, But Not Anytime Soon

On: Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 1:46PM | By: Chris Weiss

Plug-In Porsche 911 A Possibility test 2

The Porsche 911 (one of the greatest icons of the automotive world) is set for a redesign. The 2012 911 will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year, and rumors, spy shots, and speculation have been flying around willy nilly (yeah, I said willy nilly) as the new sports car draws nearer.

Now, if there's one thing we know about the Porsche 911, it's not going to look any different—the thing's looked pretty much the same for the past four-and-a-half decades, albeit with a very slow, steady stream of modernizations. So there's really no sense in speculating on what the 2012 911 is going to look like, just take a good look at the 2011 911.

Bad News/Bad News: Tesla Ending Roadster Production, Adding Crossover

On: Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 10:30AM | By: Chris Weiss

Tesla Ending Roadster Production test 2

Well, I suppose it was bound to happen. But I just wish it didn't have to happen like this. Tesla filed some papers with the SEC last week, and in those papers was an admission that we all knew was coming, but hoped against: it will wind down Roadster production by the end of the year. A few stragglers will remain at dealerships until they're all sold, but the Roadster's days are clearly numbered.

Never fear, Tesla has a new car on the way. No, not an all-new sports convertible, but a crossover! Joy.


GM Cancels Plans For Luxury Plug-In Hybrid

On: Sat, May 28, 2011 at 10:25AM | By: Tim Healey

GM Cancels Plans For Luxury Plug-In Hybrid test 1-1

Sources are telling Automotive News that General Motors will drop plans to build a luxury plug-in hybrid using the Cadillac SRX crossover's platform. Apparently, the reason for the decision is that the company felt that the project was not financially viable.

The plan could be restarted using another platform, but sources told Automotive News that the engineers have been reassigned to other projects.

Protospar Lampo3: 560-HP, Three-Motored Electric Concept

On: Fri, May 27, 2011 at 9:35AM | By: Chris Weiss

Protospar Lampo3 test 2

Ever notice that the Swiss have pretty much zero automotive presence. Despite dominating industries like timepieces and pocket knives, and despite that "Swiss engineered" is about the equivalent of "utmost quality," the Swiss don't really get involved in cars, outside of a couple of tuning firms and a handful of small, specialty automakers.

And maybe that's because the process behind making a car that's good enough to wear a "Swiss engineered" label is just so damn intricate and time-consuming, it's not worth it. At least that's the impression we're getting from Swiss EV-maker Protoscar. Because we're on the third iteration of the company's "Lampo" EV prototype and it still don't appear to be anywhere near actual production.

Money Meet Mouth: Obama Orders Government To Buy Green Cars

On: Thu, May 26, 2011 at 4:50PM | By: Chris Weiss

Obama Orders Government to Buy Green Cars  test 2

A well-publicized and long-standing goal of President Obama and his administration is to put a million electric vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015 in an effort to cut dependence on foreign oil and improve emissions. Recently, though, it's become increasingly obvious that that goal may just be a little too ambitious, with media reports showing that the administration's numbers are overly optimistic, to put it politely.

So, Obama is taking a little motivation from the age-old maxim "If you want it done right, do it yourself." He recently ordered the government to purchase more than 100 EVs for the government fleet.

Volkswagen's XL1 Spotted On US Soil

On: Thu, May 26, 2011 at 11:18AM | By: Chris Salamone

Volkswagen's XL1 Spotted On US Soil test 1-1

Back in January we had our first glimpse at the incredible new generation XL1 which uses a mere 0.9 liters of gas per 100 km. The prototype XL1 is the latest vision in VW’s quest to create a production 1-liter car which is both affordable and practical. And most recently, VW debuted the XL1 to the United States at the New York City Museum of Modern Art, or MoMA, as residents affectionately proclaim.

VW suggests that future mobility is one of the most stimulating topics of our time and the XL1 aims to address the most critical question: how little energy consumption can a single car operate on? Well, since January 2011 the answer comes in vehiclar form. VW doesn’t just pose outlandish questions while standing on the sideline. No, no, VW actually delivered a new version of the XL1 which sets a new standard for efficiency.

First Official Pics: Honda CR-Z Mugen Hot Hatch

On: Mon, May 23, 2011 at 5:21PM | By: Chris Weiss

Honda CR-Z Mugen test 2

Honda has released the first official photos of the CR-Z Mugen, a tuned-up concept that will debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this July. The prototype is a supercharged version of the CR-Z that adds some pep and performance to the hatch's eco-heavy resume.

The CR-Z Mugen is being developed jointly by Honda and Honda's tuning arm Mugen Euro. It will provide an enviable mix of hybrid-powered fuel economy and on-tap speed and performance.

Chevy Cruze Eco: A Great Choice To Beat High Fuel Costs

On: Thu, May 19, 2011 at 12:03PM | By: Chuck Arehart

Chevy Cruze ECO test 2

When General Motors announced the new Chevy Cruze as the replacement for the Cobalt, it was easy to dismiss it as another ho-hum small car from GM that lacked refinement and was nothing more than basic transportation. Let's face facts. GM has a nearly 40-year record of making small cars that never competed for top-of-class honors. The new Chevy Cruze changes that.

All it took was years of red ink and the death bed of bankruptcy, but GM finally put the resources that transformed the rest of its line from middle-of-the-road to world-class into creating the Cruze. The result is what we always knew GM could do and the Cruze really can go toe-to-toe with Japanese competition. Those words are typed from the fingers of a driver who's owned Japanese products for the last 20 years.

Top Gear Runs Out Of Juice In Nissan Leaf

On: Thu, May 19, 2011 at 9:53AM | By: Chris Weiss

Top Gear's Clarkson, May runs out of power in Nissan LEAF test 2

BBC television series Top Gear is just not having any luck with electric cars lately. Not only does it have to deal with the lawsuit smacked down on it by Tesla Motors, but it ran out of battery power once again. This time it was in a Nissan Leaf.

Jeremy Clarkson and James May were outed when they rolled up to the University of Lincoln looking for a place to plug in. And by rolled, we mean they rolled the powerless car by way of good, old fashioned elbow grease.