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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Hybrid / Green

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.

Nissan Shows New Mobility Concept

On: Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 10:06AM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Shows New Mobility Concept test 1-1

Exploring the ground between the subcompact and personal mobility devices like the Segway has been a popular course of action lately. The latest example is this mobility concept from Nissan, a vehicle which it unveiled this week. In a clear case of the engineering department wearing out all its creativity on the concept itself, Nissan chose the name "New Mobility Concept" for the tiny urban car.

Like the Renault Twizy, which was shown in full production garb at the Paris Motor Show, the New Mobility Concept is powered by a small, 15-kW electric motor. The two-seat, zero-emissions concept can reach speeds of up to 47 mph and distances up to 60 miles per charge. Unlike the Twizy, there are no current production plans for the NMC, and Nissan is using it more as an exploratory vehicle. The company mentioned a "seamless mobility service" use, which would have the NMC vehicles linking urban drivers with public transportation in order to cut down on traffic and pollution.

Wireless Vehicle Charging System Launches In London

On: Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 9:49AM | By: Chris Weiss

Wireless Vehicle Charging System Launches In London test 1-1

Last week, we took a look at a new partnership that is working toward a wireless charging system for plug-in hybrids and EVs. At the time, we mentioned it's not the only system of its kind out there; not a full week later, a new system has launched in London. Designed by New Zealand-based start-up HaloIPT, the system, which is hailed as the world's first wireless charging system for vehicles, is even more intriguing than other systems in that it can provide for charging when parked and when in motion.

Pint-Sized Fiat Mio Concept Designed By Team of 17,000

On: Tue, Nov 2, 2010 at 2:42PM | By: Chris Weiss

Pint-Sized Fiat Mio Concept Designed By Team of 17,000 test 1-1

The Sao Paulo Auto Show isn't as world-renowned as the Paris and LA shows that it's sandwiched between, so there aren't many huge debuts coming out of Brazil. But Fiat did use the show to introduce a tiny subcompact that's not only an interesting concept but also an interesting concept in the auto design process.

The Mio concept was created with help from a team of no less than 17,000. Fiat opened the design process up to online collaborators who worked through the company's website to design the concept. Those contributors offered up some 10,000 different ideas about the overall design, components and materials, and input came from countries around the world. The inspiration behind the design was to create a car that emphasized futuristic mobility and sustainability.


Study: Consumers Want Green Cars, Barely

On: Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 4:45PM | By: Chris Weiss

Study: Consumers Want Green Cars, Barely test 1-1

Consumer Reports recently released the results of a consumer survey on green car buying that unveiled some interesting attitudes. The findings were originally presented at the GridWeek summit held earlier this month, a meeting of the stakeholders and players in the Smart Grid arena. While most consumers did admit to considering the green factor in a new car purchase, it's still not a primary a concern.

Honda To Introduce EV Concept and Hybrid Platform in LA

On: Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 4:20PM | By: Chris Weiss

Honda To Introduce EV Concept and Hybrid Platform in LA test 1-1

In addition to the concepts and electric vehicles detailed by the LA Auto Show last week, Honda will be bringing a brand new electric vehicle concept to the show. The automaker will also detail a new plug-in hybrid platform that will guide the future of Honda hybrids. Both initiatives will help to flesh out the future of green vehicles under CEO Takanobu Ito.

The Future of EVs: Wireless Battery Charging

On: Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 10:57AM | By: Chris Weiss

The Future of EVs: Wireless Battery Charging  test 1-1

The electric automobile industry faces a large hurdle in developing the infrastructure and technology needed to make charging vehicles both practical and easy. One of the main negatives of electric vehicles is that they require special equipment, time and effort for charging. Another big negative is that unlike gasoline vehicles, which can be filled up by the gas stations that line nearly every route in the country, there simply isn't a sufficient charging infrastructure in place, leading consumers to have justifiable concerns with range anxiety.

One technology that is in development by a new team-up of companies could address these major concerns all at once. Imagine being able to pull up into a parking spot and get a charge without having to connect a single wire. That's the future of wireless EV charging.

Ford Will Add 1,200 Jobs to Produce Fuel Efficient Vehicles

On: Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 10:08AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ford Will Add 1,200 Jobs to Produce Fuel Efficient Vehicles test 1-1

Ford has announced that the it will invest $850 million in order to produce more fuel efficient vehicles, which will add 1,200 jobs in Michigan by the year 2013. Ford’s decision is supported by $400 million in state incentives.

According to Mark Fields, Ford’s president of North America reported that the State of Michigan will contribute $400 million in tax incentives over a 15 year time span. The plan will create 900 hourly jobs and an additional 300 salaried positions in order to complete the engineering and manufacturing operations. Ford’s Van Dyke Transmission plant, Sterling Axle, Livonia Transmission, and Dearborn Truck Plant will all be involved in the expansion plan that will create new jobs.

Nissan Begins Production On The Leaf

On: Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 1:36PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Begins Production On The Leaf  test 1-1

The Nissan Leaf EV has been one of the biggest ongoing auto stories of the past year as Nissan prepares to bring it to market. One of the final chapters of the story is now underway as production on Nissan's first electric vehicle has officially begun in Japan.

The Leaf is being built at Nissan's Oppama plant, which also builds the Cube and Juke models. The Leaf will be shipping to the U.S. market within about a month or so and arrivals are expected sometime in December. European deliveries will commence early next year.

Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn said of the occassion: “This is a significant milestone, not only for Nissan and the Renault-Nissan Alliance, but also for the entire automotive industry. Consumers are clear. They want sustainable and affordable mobility...and the Alliance is leading the way with cars that deliver exactly that, with the reliability, excitement and performance that consumers demand. The high-quality, innovative Nissan LEAF will radically transform what consumers expect from automobile manufacturers worldwide.”

Porsche Planning New Model Between 911 and 918 Spyder?

On: Tue, Oct 26, 2010 at 1:09PM | By: Chris Weiss

Porsche Planning New Model Between 911 and 918 Spyder? test 1-1

Porsche is in the process of trying to boost yearly sales to nearly double the level of last year. With such an ambitious goal, it's clear that they're going to need some fresh blood--there's only some many different types of 911s that the market is willing to take. According to a new rumor out of Europe, one car Porsche is considering is a high-end coupe that would slot between the 911 line and the upcoming 918 Spyder Hybrid.

LA Auto Show Design Challenge: The 1,000 Pound Car

On: Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 9:29AM | By: Chris Weiss

LA Auto Show Design Challenge: The 1,000 Pound Car  test 1-1

At the Paris Motor Show, Lamborghini made a big splash when it cut hundreds of pounds off a concept that it called the Sesto Elemento. Using all kinds of  stripping and composite construction, Lamborghini created a V10-powered concept that weighed just 2,200 lbs.

Now that the LA Auto Show is on the way, some automakers will be making an even bigger splash by showing designs that weigh less than half Lamborghini's Sesto Elemento. This year's Design Challenge at the show involves creating four-seat vehicles weighing no more than 1,000 lbs.