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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Hybrid / Green

Is There Clean Fuel In The Future?

On: Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 7:14PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Is There Clean Fuel In The Future? test 1-1

Today it seems that everyone is clamoring for a cheaper fuel to power everything. Can a cleaner, less expensive form of gas actually be created from something other than oil? The diligent scientists at Cella Energy, a U.K.-based research company, think they have discovered the formula. According to their research data recently released, they’ve created a hydrogen-base synthetic fuel that could mean the end of gasoline, as we know it; at least that’s what they’re claiming.

Volkswagen To Offer 100-Model Production On Its Intriguing XL1 Concept

On: Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 6:35PM | By: Chris Weiss

Volkswagen To Offer 100-Model Production On Its Intriguing XL1 Concept test 1-1

Last week, Volkswagen made a big splash with the plug-in diesel-electric hybrid concept that it calls the XL1. It introduced the concept, which looks straight out of a futuristic thriller, at the Qatar Motor Show. The XL1 is an updated version of the L1 concept that VW first showed in 2002. It promises incredible efficiency, thanks to its tiny diesel- and electric motor-based powertrain. And good news for green lovers: Volkswagen plans to put it in production by 2013. For now, however, production will be limited to just 100 units.

Automotive News quotes VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech from Qatar: "We want to go into series production with this car starting in 2013." Piech went on to indicate that production will be very limited, with no more than 100 units planned, but that the car will be sold to actual consumers as opposed to fleet customers. Sales will begin in Germany and will move to the U.S. and China.

Battery Loans Start Pulsing With Power

On: Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 10:32AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Battery Loans Start Pulsing With Power test 1-1

The next time someone tells you that our government is spending too much of our money, remind them that sometimes they actually are pretty slow at spending our money. Such is the case with around sixteen billion in loan money that was set aside in 2008. Here we are in 2011 and those loans are now finally getting doled out. What are the loans for? Think batteries. These loans are brought to automakers courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy under their Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program and all the car makers are lining up for their piece of the pie.

New Bill Would Increase Number Of Rebates For Electric Vehicles

On: Fri, Jan 28, 2011 at 3:11PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

New Bill Would Increase Number Of Rebates For Electric Vehicles test 1-1

One of the many traditions that follow the President’s annual State of the Union Address is for administration officials to hit the road in an attempt to bolster some of the plans and promises made in that speech. While the heavy hitters are doing the speechifying, members of Congress are left to sort it all out and “make it so.”

First out of the gate are a pair of Michigan brothers who just happen to work on the same side of the aisle, but in different houses. U.S. Representative Sander Levin and his bro Senator Carl Levin both put forth new legislation that would expand the per-manufacturer cap on a $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles. Right now the number of eligible cars is 200,000. The Levin boys want to kick that up to 500,000. This will certainly help deliver on President Obama’s pledge to put a million EVs on the road by 2015.


Porsche 918 To Debut As A Spyder

On: Thu, Jan 27, 2011 at 11:11AM | By: Chris Weiss

Porsche 918 To Debut As A Spyder test 1-1

Truth be told, I was a little disappointed by the 918 RSR at the Detroit Auto Show. Now, don't get me wrong: the RSR was an exciting car in its own right. And I was all about its 756 horses. The silver-and-orange paint job was a distinctive (and hot) bonus as well. But I was hoping we'd get a look at a road-ready preview of the eventual production model as opposed to a track-focused car. And the RSR just wasn't it.

Well, according to a new report out of Europe, the 918 will debut in Spyder form, the way it was originally shown at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. The RSR is designed for racing as opposed to production and the market model will come with a removable hard-top similar to that of the Carrera GT.

Roads of the Future--Idaho Inventor Envisions Solar-Powered Roads With No Ice

On: Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 6:10PM | By: Chris Weiss

Roads of the Future--Idaho Inventor Envisions Solar-Powered Roads With No Ice test 1-1

Having lived in the Rocky Mountains for about five years, I've often daydreamed about a smarter type of road. The road crews here are generally quite adept at clearing things quickly, but there is always the chance for snow build-up and icy patches. There's only so much you can do to keep the roads clear, dry, and safe and, as is the case throughout the rest of life, Mother Nature really has the last say.

But what if we could make a road that snow and ice don't stick to? It doesn't seem that hard to imagine some type of heated road surface that simply doesn't allow for freezing or snow build-up. An Idaho start-up called Solar Roadways has just such a plan.

Henrik Fisker Makes Rosy Prediction "Plug-Ins Will Take Off Like Smartphones"

On: Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 3:55PM | By: Chris Weiss

Henrik Fisker Makes Rosy Prediction "Plug-Ins Will Take Off Like Smartphones" test 1-1

Well, here's a media sound bite that I'm dismissing as complete, investor-befriending positioning. Henrik Fisker was quoted last week as stating that plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles will take off the way that smartphones and flat-panel TVs did. It's a fair comparison in terms of new, cutting-edge technology, but there's one major difference: flat-panel TVs and smartphones were flat-out better than existing devices in every discernible way. Plug-in vehicles, while certainly more efficient and cheaper to own in the long run, are not quite at the same respective level.

Ethanol Fuel Standards Get A Boost From EPA

On: Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 8:29AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ethanol Fuel Standards Get A Boost From EPA test 1-1

Back during WWII, Americans were encouraged to start their own Victory Gardens. By growing their own produce they could effectively take the burden off farmers, who needed to send food to the men and women fighting overseas. These gardens were all the rage. Now, new versions of Victory Gardens are cropping up all over as more and more folks are turning to the “organic way of life” to feed their families. One by-product of a home garden could be feeding your car as well. The EPA announced today that they are easing the mixture content on gasoline and ethanol from 10% limit to a boosted 15% limit. Good news for people who want to make more home-grown fuels. Bad news for automakers, so they say.

New Video Of The Tesla Model S

On: Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 2:38AM | By: Chris Weiss

New Video Of The Tesla Model S  test 1-1

Next year, the Tesla Roadster will get a larger brother. Originally shown in 2009, the Tesla Model S is an electric sedan that will package Tesla's electric powertrain know-how in a more practical, more affordable car for the masses. Tesla is still refining and developing the Model S and has released a new video of the latest version of the sedan.

The Model S here is an Alpha version that Tesla is currently testing with plans to build the Beta version later this year. The newest prototype features much of the same styling as the original, but gets a few changes, including the new air intakes up front. View the video after the jump.

New Ford Transit Taxi Runs On Natural Gas

On: Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 1:33PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ford Transit Connect Taxis test 2

In many major metropolitan centers, taxis are the lifeblood of the transportation system. Without them, many folks would be stranded. If you really want to know what’s going on in a town, ask a cabbie! It’s also a lot of fun when you’ve got an enthusiastic cabbie who is willing to share his/her stories with you. Over in the Windy City of Chicago, there’re going to be some welcome new additions to their cab fleet in the form of the Ford Transit Connect Taxis. These are the alternative-fuel cars that are getting rave reviews from passengers, drivers, and citizens alike.

In each major city, the Taxi Medallion Management runs the cab fleet and gets to say who drives what. The Chicago version of the Medallion Management branch ordered up 12 of the clean-burning compressed natural gas or CNG for their fleet. These new taxis will fly the banner of the Yellow Cab Chicago.

Mercedes-Benz Working On Smart Charging

On: Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 10:24AM | By: Chris Weiss

Mercedes-Benz Working On Smart Charging  test 1-1

Much of the auto-show drama and theatrics of the past several years has been centered on the advanced technologies and promising efficiency of plug-in electric vehicles and hybrids. But there's been a side plot that is equally compelling, if not quite as flashy: charging technology.

With the growth of the plug-in market comes the need for a better charging infrastructure. Companies and team-ups between automakers and electric start-ups and mainstays have been working hard to make charging as fast, intuitive, efficient, and inexpensive as possible. Technologies like wireless charging and smart homes have been undergoing testing and promise to make a better future for plug-in vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz is spearheading one large effort toward creating a smarter charging system. The system would allow cars to communicate with the greater electrical grid toward providing less expensive charging.