Browsing articles tagged with " EV"
Jul 3, 2013
Elizabeth Puckett
Comments Off on Solar Cars Edging Closer to the Market With a More ‘Normal’ Looking Design

Solar Cars Edging Closer to the Market With a More ‘Normal’ Looking Design

There’s a lot of things going on with solar-powered vehicles that make them look out of this world; their body paneling is what harvests energy and it has to lie a certain way to be effective. Most would say that solar vehicles look like flying saucers from a 1950s B-movie. The newest generation of engineers want to change that exterior design in order to push solar cars one step closer to the public marketplace. Engineers who design and develop the more normal-looking platforms call these project cars ‘cruisers’. These cruisers are said to look more like mid-sized sedans than alien aircraft. The cruiser has been described as being a two-door coupe with a large rear hatchback—it also has twice as much storage space as a Honda Civic.

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Dec 26, 2012
Dave Walter
Comments Off on City of Indianapolis Decides to Go Hybrid

City of Indianapolis Decides to Go Hybrid

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard posing with an electric Ford sedan (AP Photo/Rick Callahan)

The city of Indianapolis is aiming to be the first in the country to replace its entire vehicle fleet with hybrids, EVs and other eco-friendly vehicles. The city hopes to refresh its vehicle fleet within the next three years.

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Jun 29, 2012
Chris Salamone

Cadillac ELR Details (And Weight) Add Up

The journalistic wizards at Car and Driver have uncovered a motherload of new details regarding the incoming Cadillac ELR, based on the current Chevy Volt. Originally billed as the Cadillac Converj Concept, at Detroit’s 2009 Auto Show, the Cadillac ELR has been the focus of rumors all over the blogosphere for years. ELR-related conversations have mostly involved concern that the Volt is already priced like a Cadillac – and already appeals to Cadillac’s consumer market.

But another potential issue has arisen as well. Cadillacs must be powerful, quiet, luxurious, and a long list of other features – which, in sum, amount to a heavy vehicle. The Volt’s mechanical guts, rated at 94 MPGe and powered by an uninspiring 1.4 liter engine plus 16.5 kWh battery, are simply not strong enough to accommodate the extra weight.

That’s why Cadillac will be adding a little fuel to the fire.

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Jun 8, 2012
Chris Salamone

Fit EV Reigns MPG Supreme!

There’s no denying that consumers are fond of the Honda Fit. Time and time again, auto journos rank Honda Fit among the best subcompacts available on the market – despite a virtually un-updated design since 2007. But one of the major drawbacks of Honda’s popular people mover, especially relative to newer subcompacts, is fuel economy. The standard Fit achieves a mere 27 mpg city and 33 mpg highway, both woefully inadequate in a category of vehicles topped with 40+ mpg stars.

Interestingly, though, the Honda Fit’s mpg inadequacy did not carry over to the incoming 2013 Honda Fit EV. As of today, Honda released a press statement which summed up the findings of the Environmental Protection Agency’s MPG test.

2013 Honda Fit EVs are rated to achieve 118 MPGe with a range of 82 miles, or the highest ever fuel efficiency tested by the EPA.

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Mar 30, 2012
Chris Salamone

Spark EV Hits Pavement, Closer To Production

Back in October, General Motors made some big electric vehicle predictions. Among them, the good General believed the company’s soon-to-be megahit Chevy Volt would start to sell big volumes. While many spectators rationally dismissed the Volt’s projected sales target, some were eager to learn more about GM’s future production of an electrified Chevy Spark – the traditionally petrol powered sub-subcompact.

Count your lucky stars, because the Spark EV has mobilized for a 65% development drive. Whatever that means.

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Mar 7, 2012
Chris Salamone

Ford Focus Electric Buzzes Into Life

Way back in December 2011, Ford began production of the Focus Electric at the company’s Michigan Assembly Plant. A lot of speculation has occurred as to what kind of numbers the latest Ford EV might produce, but apparently our waiting has not been for naught. The Focus Electric was recently EPA certified to achieve 110 MPGe in the city and 105 MPGe combined, making this the most fuel efficient five-passenger vehicle in America.

As if high fuel economy weren’t enough, Ford is taking direct aim at the Nissan Leaf. And don’t expect this to be a lightweight sparring match. The Focus looks like a true heavyweight contender, in a small package…of course.

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Feb 16, 2012
Chris Salamone

Obama Budget Throws Giant EV Bone

Say what you will about our President, but the man knows his logical reasoning. The big problem with EV sales is that only America’s financial elite can afford to go electric and take advantage of the $7,500 tax credit. In point of fact, GM recently came out and admitted that Chevy Volt buyers are some of the company’s most wealthy customers, averaging about $170,000 in income per year.  And since Obama has a goal of having one million “advanced technology vehicles” on the road by 2015, clearly the President cannot rely on an exclusive class of citizenry.

In an effort to make electric vehicles more attainable for your average Joe, President Obama’s federal budget will include a provision to change the EV tax incentive from a credit to a rebate and increase the dollar amount from $7,500 to $10,000.

While a credit can be very useful for high income earners, as a method of deducting total taxable income, a rebate will function as an immediate incentive for all consumers to go electric. Thus, $10,000 would be chopped off that Chevy Volt’s sticker price at the point of purchase, not during next year’s tax season as a deduction. Suddenly EVs could look at lot more affordable.

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Feb 9, 2012
Chris Salamone

Prius Plug-In Posts Potent MPGe

Since Toyota Motor Corp. announced plans to develop a Prius Plug-In Hybrid, industry analysts have speculated time and time again how the company’s top gun hybrid would perform with a plug-in system – especially relative to other electric-trend automakers General Motors and Nissan. To appease the media community, Toyota released an initial MPGe estimate back in September of 2011 which projected an average of 49 mpg during hybrid mode and, more importantly, 87 MPGe with frequent battery charging.

At first blush industry competitors might have looked down on 87 MPGe. The Nissan Leaf is currently rated at 99 MPGe, without using an ounce of gasoline. And even the Chevy Volt, an American whale by comparison, delivers a strong showing at 94 MPGe. But unlike other automakers, Toyota chose to remain modest about the Prius Plug-In’s potential.

The company now expects the rechargeable Prius to be capable of at least 95 MPGe, which effectively attaches a sinking anchor onto the pricey, less-efficient Volt and Nissan’s range anxiety-inducing Leaf.

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Feb 1, 2012
Chris Weiss

Chevy Volt Owners Could Get Renewable Charging With Innovative OnStar App

Chevy Volt owners clearly care about the environment or they wouldn’t be coughing up a big premium for series-hybrid technology. GM may give these owners even more power to clean up their commutes by launching a unique renewable-energy program for OnStar.

With the proposed system being developed in conjunction with Google, OnStar would receive a signal from PJM Interconnection showing the available renewably-sourced energy within the grid. PJM Interconnection is a regional electricity transmission organization (RTO) that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in more than a dozen eastern states.

The information would be uploaded to OnStar’s Advanced Telematics Operating Management System (ATOMS), where OnStar could use it to automatically match up charging Volts with renewable energy. A mobile app would let owners know when renewable energy is available.

“In the near future customers will have a real signal of demand for renewable energy,” said Nick Pudar, OnStar vice president of planning and business development. “As customers configure their Volts to favor renewable energy for their charging cycle, this real demand signal will influence utilities to tap into renewable sources.”

The system is still in the prototype stages and may or may not become commercially available. If it does, GM says that Volt owners will need only sign up to opt in. OnStar will take care of the rest.

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Jan 27, 2012
Chris Salamone

GM Acknowledges Rough Volt Publicity, Launches New Ad To Bolster Sales

For the next month GM will air a commercial which aims right to the heart of the matter, suggesting the Volt is a car “America had no choice but to build” and implying the car’s automotive nuts and bolts make up the very fabric of Detroit. If this all sounds a bit desperate, that’s because the Volt needs a lifeline. GM just recently publically acknowledged that sales of the Volt have been dramatically hurt by recent negative publicity. Concerns ranging from battery safety, design, and price have popped up everywhere and often.

The Volt has become something of a media-induced tumor, made even more noxious because of GM’s otherwise financially successful 2011. Which effectively means the new Volt “Morning in Hamtramck” ad represents a critical attempt by the company to salvage the Volt’s sinking reputation.

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