Dec 6, 2011
Chris Weiss

Nissan To Offer Wireless Charging, Home Power In 2013 Leaf

The Nissan Leaf already offers unparalleled fuel economy and cleanliness, and it will soon offer more convenience than ever. Nissan announced recently that it will be offering a wireless charging system as of 2013. The Leaf will also be gaining the ability to power your home as early as next year.

We knew wireless EV charging systems were on the horizon, but home power systems? Through installation of a Power Control System device, the Leaf will be able to feed into the home power grid as well as take from it. The user could control how much electricity the Leaf’s 24 kWh battery sends into the home grid, ensuring that it has enough energy left for tomorrow’s commute.

Nissan estimates that a full Leaf battery offers enough juice for about two days’ worth of energy needs in the average Japanese home. With installation of Nissan’s equipment, the Leaf would be a back-up generator for the 21st century.

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Nov 30, 2011
Dave Walter

Mercedes’ Aero Trailer Design Improves Efficiency

The “Aero Trailer” is what Mercedes-Benz calls it’s new tractor trailer redesign aimed at reducing wind resistance and increasing fuel efficiency.

With the help of a front airdam, side trim panels, rear diffuser and tapered rear design, Mercedes noticed a drop in wind resistance by 18 percent. This 18 percent, Mercedes believes, will result in a truck averaging 150,000 kilometers (93,205 miles) per year saving 2,000 liters (528 gallons) of diesel and dropping carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by five tons.

And that’s just for one truck over a year!

Nov 25, 2011
Chris Weiss

More Than One Way to Go Green: Honda Civic NG Is ‘Green Car of the Year’

Honda-Civic-NG

The Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf have been busy hogging green car awards around the world since they launched last December. But at this year’s LA Auto Show an obscure vehicle surpassed them and earned the “Green Car of the Year” award. The 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas may not be as well-known or advertised as the Leaf or Volt, but it is the green car of the year.

To be fair, neither the Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf was up for this year’s award. They competed last year, and the Chevy Volt took home the honor. However, the Civic NG did beat out some higher profile competitors including the Ford Focus Electric and Toyota Prius V.

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Nov 23, 2011
Chris Weiss

Volkswagen Introduces The eT! Van

VW introduces The eT! Van

Volkswagen introduced its latest electric concept last week, a van that it calls the eT!. Outside of extending the Volkswagen exclamation point MO that we’d wish had ended a year ago, the eT! looks to be a pretty cool, funky van from the OG of cool, funky vans.

The eT! shares a very similar shape and look with the Bulli concept from earlier this year, a fact that immediately endears us to it. The Bulli conveyed its consumer intents with more curves and raked lines, whereas the eT! shows its more utilitarian purposes with a squarer stance. Despite that, this concept van still screams, “Strip my rear seats, toss in a mattress and tour the country.”

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Nov 23, 2011
Peter C Sessler

2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco Priced Under $26,000

New Chevrolet-Malibu-Eco

The all-new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco midsize sedan will start at $25,995 when it arrives in dealerships in the first quarter next year, reinforcing the value proposition of the midsize segment’s longest-running nameplate. It delivers hybrid-like fuel efficiency for a non-hybrid-like price.

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Nov 21, 2011
Chris Weiss

41 MPG Toyota Camry Hybrid Hits US Dealerships

2012-Toyota-Camry-Hybrid-XLE-front-three-quarters

Last generation parallel hybrids may be somewhat passé in terms of green technology and brow-raising fuel economy numbers, but they still offer some of the best efficiency at the lowest prices. Take the 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid, which began rolling into dealers this week. The car gets a combined 41 mpg and starts under $26,000.

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Nov 21, 2011
Chris Weiss

Tesla To Build First Rapid Charge Station In California

It’s a well-documented fact that Tesla has yet to become a profitable company. Some might be surprised to hear this, because the EV-maker has been one of the most innovative things to hit the automotive industry in decades. But, as many famed minds and companies could tell you, innovation doesn’t always equate to profits.

One of the big things that still stands in the way of Tesla and other EV manufacturers is limited range and limited charging. As a quote from a charging hardware manufacturer recently made clear, even the Level 2 stations that are being deployed around the country are really insufficient for any meaningful range boost.

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Nov 20, 2011
Chris Salamone

GM Deploys Solar Power Blooms, EVs Suddenly Practical

Solar Tree Charging Station

Everyone knows the big issue with electric vehicles is range. There are lots of ways to look at the range problem, from battery life to recharging stations to aerodynamics, engine efficiency, and the like. Despite mounting consumer concerns over the future of electricity, the General has taken a stand at Warren, Michigan’s Company Vehicle Operations. GM is officially the first automaker to deploy parking lot solar power blooms which move with the sun and…collect enough solar energy to charge six electric vehicles per day.

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Nov 19, 2011
Dave Walter

Jay Leno Drives His Volt 11,000 Miles Without Refueling

Despite its 40 mile electric range, Jay Leno has managed to drive 11,000 miles in his Chevy Volt without refueling once in the 11 months he’s owned it.

“They gave it to me with a full tank of gas. I’ve used less than half of that, ” says the Leno. “It’s my daily driver… I commute in it to work every day. My commute, and all my other daily running around, totals less than 35 miles.”

Read more about Leno and his Volt at The New York Times.

Nov 18, 2011
Dave Walter

Natural Gas Civic Named Green Car Journal’s Car of the Year

Green Car Journal‘s choice for this year’s “Car of the Year” isn’t the Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf. It’s not the Mitsubishi i, Toyota Prius, Honda Fit EV or Ford’s new Focus Electric either.

According to editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and editor of GreenCar.com, Ron Cogan, “There is no other vehicle like the Civic Natural Gas on American highways, and this recognition has been a long time coming for Honda… The Honda Civic Natural Gas is a prime example of an alternative fuel that is viable, efficient and practical, making it worthy of the 2012 Green Car of the Year award,” said Cogan.

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