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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Hybrid / Green

Tesla Plans For Global Growth

On: Mon, Nov 15, 2010 at 4:33PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Tesla Plans For Global Growth test 1-1

Elon Musk, CEO of electric sports car maker Tesla Motors Inc., said Friday that he expects Japan to become the company's largest market outside of the U.S. Musk also predicted that the niche luxury auto maker's U.S. customer base will expand steadily overseas, and the goal is that sales will be evenly split between the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

"We do believe Japan will be our No. 2 country in terms of sales, over time," Musk said, speaking at a joint press conference with the CEO of Toyota Motor Corp. "Japan is a key market for the kind of product we produce," he added. The first Asian Tesla showroom was opened in Tokyo as Musk announced plans to enter the European market with dealerships in Paris, London, and Monaco.

GE and GM Team-Up: GE Going Electric

On: Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 4:29PM | By: Chris Weiss

GE and GM Team-Up: GE Going Electric  test 1-1

If President Obama's plan to put a million electric and hybrids on the road by 2015 succeeds, at least 25,000 of those will belong to General Electric, as announced by the company this week. GE plans to add 25,000 plug-ins to its company-wide auto fleet by 2015 in what BusinessWeek calls the "biggest such order ever", beginning with 12,000 Chevy Volts. The cars will be used in part for GM's traveling salespersons.

Opel Ampera: Meet Volt's Attractive German Step-Sister

On: Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 4:26PM | By: John Welch

Opel Ampera: Meet Volt's Attractive German Step-Sister test 1-1

The Chevrolet Volt is cool enough on its own, any vehicle as complicated and well executed as the Volt would have to be, at least, sort of cool. But it could be sooo much cooler. It could look like a DTM car, it could look like a rocketship, it could look like the Opel Ampera.

The Ampera is the Volt, just draped in stylish Germanic sheetmetal. The wheels are slick, the headlight treatment divine. Around back, the Volt's taillights are in place, but there are vents and curves not seen on Volt flanks. It makes the Volt look less like a Prius. I understand the need for differentiation between markets, but c'mon . . . This is the difference between the Ford Mondeo and the Ford Contour. The Holden Commodore and the Pontiac G8. The Honda Civic Type R and Si. The Sierra and XR4Ti . . . the Euro version is better.

Pricing on the old continent is a little difficult to pin down. We pay $41,000 dollars, before tax credits and other incentives for the Volt. The Opel Ampera could be as much as 42,900 euros, but countries such as Germany offer their own discounts. Some, again, like Germany, are substantial. A German Ampera could dip as low as 36,000 euros. Look for the little Opel's to dot the old country by the thousands by the end of 2011. This is probably the last time we will mention the Ampera so you'll find a proper image gallery inside the post.

London Set to Take a Lead In EV Charging Infrastructure

On: Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 4:33PM | By: Chris Weiss

London Set to Take a Lead In EV Charging Infrastructure  test 1-1

Here in the United States, we've heard President Obama's goal of getting a million plug-ins on the road by 2015. It's a good goal, but so far the implementation of a charging infrastructure has been rather slow and piecemeal.

London recently revealed its own plan for plug-in vehicle charging infrastructure, a plan that could serve as a model for Europe and other countries worldwide. The plan calls for the addition of 1,300 EV charging stations around the city by 2013. The U.S. might want to watch closely.


2011 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Will Debut at the L.A. Auto Show

On: Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 10:34AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

2011 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Will Debut at the L.A. Auto Show test 1-1

In order to satisfy the American consumer, Mitsubishi has redesigned the i-MiEV to incorporate a wider-body. Mitsubishi's electric vehicle has sold a few thousand units on the European market since it went on sale last month.  The wider version of the mini electric car is already being sold in Japan, but the refreshed version designed for the U.S. market will be longer in the front and rear.

BMW Confirms Vision EfficientDynamics-Inspired Plug-In Sports Car

On: Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 3:47PM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW Confirms Vision EfficientDynamics-Inspired Plug-In Sports Car test 1-1

The Vision EfficientDynamics seen at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show is officially go. Well, kind of. BMW confirmed today that it will be producing a plug-in hybrid sports car, and while it will be based on that model, we're not expecting to see some of the most intriguing aspects of the concept, like the glass doors and blue, white and black motif.

BMW Invests $751 Million In Factory To Build Electric Vehicles

On: Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 5:27PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

BMW Invests $751 Million In Factory To Build Electric Vehicles test 1-1

BMW's Megacity Vehicle will be the company's first battery-powered vehicle and BMW plans to market the car under a sub-brand. The German automaker recently reported its plans to invest $751 million in a new carbon fiber production plant in the U.S. that will build its Megacity electric-powered urban car. The new BMW factory is projected to create over 1,000 jobs, according to the company. The investment will also fund a $400 million expansion project for BMW’s Leipzig, Germany automotive plant. BMW plans to create 800 jobs at the eastern German site as it adds production of the Megacity Vehicle. The Leipzig factory currently assembles BMW's 1-series entry-premium car and X1 small crossover, and produces as many as 730 vehicles daily.

Green and Sexy: British-Made Lighting GT Gets a Little More Real

On: Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 4:54PM | By: Chris Weiss

Green and Sexy: British-Made Lighting GT Gets a Little More Real test 1-1

The Fisker Karma and Tesla Roadster may just be getting a little competition from over the pond. Lightning, a U.K.-based auto firm, is entering a late prototype phase on its GT, an all-electric sports coupe that it originally launched at the British Motor Show in 2008. A sexy coupe about the size of an Aston DB9, the Lightning GT is the latest to deliver on the promise of sporty performance and green build.

Once Again, We Do blogaboutthis.com: BMW Confirms Production For VED Concept

On: Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 12:50PM | By: John Welch

Once Again, We Do blogaboutthis.com: BMW Confirms Production For VED Concept test 1-1

Back in September we came across dontblogabouthis.com, a URL purchased by everyone's favorite Bavarian car company, BMW. The website was populated with weird posts regarding what appeared to be a BMW 6 Series coupe. Some things didn't add up. The car has a single exhaust pipe and really skinny tires. The body work was of course ill-fitting and featured enormous fender flares. Strange, to say the least.

BMW did want us to blogaboutthat, and they placed two eerily vague videos featuring this . . . whateveritis car zipping in and out of focus, though never actually being in focus. We were intrigued, naturally. BMW has produced some extremely interesting concept cars in the last few, post-Bangle years, though their actual cars have gotten pudgy and staid. I didn't like the goofy trunklid that came with Bangle-butt; I don't like a 5-Series riding on a 7-Series platform either.

So, now it is official, the mystery coupe is, in fact, a production varient of the Vision Efficient Dynamics concept. This car is a looker for sure, but it also brings some interesting techno-zaniness to the Fisker luncheon. Prius-pounding economy? Check. WRX-whipping acceleration? Check. Doors that out-SLS the SLS? Check. Dueling hybrid powertrains, plug-in capability, and full electric operation? Check, check, and Check.

Honda Committed To EV Technology

On: Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 10:54AM | By: Chris Weiss

2011 Honda Jazz (Fit) Hybrid test 2

Over the past year, Honda has been doing a slow U-turn in terms of developing and committing to electric vehicles. Plug-ins were considered a waste of resources by previous CEO Takeo Fukui, but CEO Takanobu Ito, who took over last summer, seems to view them a little less skeptically. Last week, Honda announced a new electric vehicle concept that will debut at the LA Auto Show, and Ito said of the future of EVs and Honda: "...we have been researching [batteries] all along. Since I became president, that was accelerated quite a bit." Ito recently provided some further insight into Honda's EV plans in a discussion with Reuters.

Audi To Offer Robotic Engine Note in Its EVs

On: Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 10:13AM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi To Offer Robotic Engine Note in Its EVs  test 1-1

Range anxiety isn't the only big issue facing electric vehicle manufacturers. About a year ago, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration released study findings showing that crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists occurred more frequently among hybrid drivers than among gas-powered drivers. While the NHTSA didn't get involved in analyzing the reasons behind the discrepancy, the quiet, "silent killer" nature of the hybrid (and electric vehicle) has been a concern among road safety organizations, organizations for the blind and vehicle manufacturers. Companies like GM, Toyota and Nissan have worked on artificial systems designed to mimic the sound of a gas car and warn pedestrians of approaching vehicles.

For its own future electric vehicles, Audi has decided to take a different route. Instead of a faux engine grumble, the company is borrowing some inspiration from Hollywood.