Category: Alternative Energy

By on October 9, 2015

Lexus GS-F

Lexus announced Friday that it would show a concept for “progressive luxury” at its Tokyo Motor Show stand when the show starts later this month.

The car, which Automotive News reported could be a concept for its flagship LS sedan, may be powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, hybrid or Bernie Sanders.

Lexus may also need to update its CT 200h, which is based on the Prius. Toyota is rolling out its new 2016 Prius, which will be the first car based on Toyota’s new global architecture. The CT 200h went on sale in 2011 and hasn’t changed much since.

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By on October 8, 2015


Toyota on Thursday released a preview of what to expect on its stand at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month and it’s all sorts of steampunk and futuristic weirdness, but more on that in a moment.

While the Scion FR-S isn’t flying off dealer lots here in North America, the Japanese seem to like their compact sports coupes. The S-FR, according to Toyota is ” a lightweight, sporty concept offering a fun, responsive driving experience” and slots below the Toyobaru twins and go head-to-head with the Honda S660 kei sports that America won’t get because of course we won’t.

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By on September 30, 2015


Honda took the wraps off its hydrogen-powered FCV sedan Wednesday. It that will pick up from where the FCX Clarity left off last year.

The FCV will be shown Oct. 28 at the Tokyo Motor Show this year, alongside the automaker’s NSX and Civic Type R. (Any bets on what goes on sale first?) However, it probably won’t be called the FCV when it goes on sale next March in Japan in sometime after in the U.S. Like the FCX Clarity, the FCV may not have much of a life outside California — that’s really the only state with a semblance of hydrogen fuel infrastructure.

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By on September 25, 2015


A recent press release on the completion and success of a three-year program to test biofuels in Volkswagen Jetta and Passat TDI models may hint that two external companies had knowledge of the high levels of NOx produced by the “Clean Diesel” vehicles.

The two California-based companies — Solazyme and Amyris — were given the Volkswagen vehicles to test their fuels. VW announced that the program was a success a few months ago, stating CO2 emissions were reduced when using the biofuels. However, the companies only would have known their fuels produced less emissions if the biofuel companies tested the emissions output using diesel fuel and compared it with their own products.

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By on September 19, 2015

Volkswagen TDI

This is hardly the most severe fallout from Volkswagen admitting that it installed “defeat devices” on some of its diesel models to help pass emission tests, but it’s the first of many.

Consumer Reports announced Friday that it was stripping the models of its “recommended” rating until recall repair work was complete on those cars. The publication had bestowed the ratings on Volkswagen’s Jetta TDI and Passat TDI models.

On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency said it would force VW to recall nearly 500,000 diesel cars for the illegal “defeat device” that could detect when it was being tested for emissions and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 10 to 40 times beyond its normal operations. The EPA could fine VW up to $37,500 for each car that violates its standards, which could tally up to $18 billion in fines.

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By on September 15, 2015

Porsche Mission E

Porsche announced its all-electric four-door concept sedan at the Frankfurt Auto Show, complete with 15-minute charging (to 80 percent) and 310-mile overall range. There’s also some holographic and emoticon blather, but we’ll get to that later.

According to Porsche, the Mission E will use two electric motors with a combined output of 600 horsepower to power the car up to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. The car’s 800-volt charger would be a first for electric cars, and would help the car charge up to 80 percent in 15 minutes. According to Tesla, the Model S takes about 30 minutes to charge up to 80 percent for similar range.

Porsche didn’t say when (or even if) the car would make it into production, but it’s likely that something very much like it will be heading our way soon. Maybe this will be a new Panamera?

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By on September 15, 2015

The Nissan Gripz Concept is what we all feared. The pseudo two-door vehicle, which takes inspiration from a bicycle, is the result of Nissan’s designers wanting to create “something free of conventional standards” — which is a crossover, apparently.

Executive Design Director, Mamoru Aoki, says Nissan has “a history of pioneering new crossovers.” Nissan also has a history of creating sports cars. This is where the two might, quite unfortunately for us, collide.

“The traditional two-seater sports car is evolving and this is our interpretation of its future,” said Senior Creative Design Manager Giovanny Arroba in the video showing the Gripz attacking a city in ruins.

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By on September 15, 2015


Audi’s latest reveal, the e-tron quattro, might be only a concept at this point, but the all-electric SUV offers a glimpse as to what’s to come from the German premium automaker in 2018 when they roll out a production version in the same vein.

We won’t have full specs on the production EV until closer to launch, but Audi touts the e-tron quattro as having 310 mile range capability along with up to 496 horsepower from three electric motors driving all four wheels.

Yet, even with all that power and efficiency, can you find what’s missing from this all-electric concept?

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By on September 10, 2015

Chevron Fuel Prices In Oceanside, California Circa March 2011

California’s ambitious climate change bill was stripped Wednesday night of its toughest provision that would have cut the state’s gasoline consumption 50 percent by 2030, Automotive News is reporting.

A pared down version of California’s wide-rangning transportation bill will reach Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, but won’t include the gas target nor a plan to fix California’s roads.

The controversial bill was met last month by an automotive lobby that flooded the state with advertisements and money to combat the provisions.

“Oil has won the skirmish. But they’ve lost the bigger battle,” Brown said, according to the LA Times. “Because I am more determined than ever.”

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By on September 10, 2015


Nissan announced Thursday that the 2016 Leaf would run more than 100 miles on a single charge in SV and SL trim, increasing its range by 25 percent over last year. The base S model will keep the 24 kWh battery that manages more than 80 miles on a charge.

For the dozens and dozens of 2015 Leafs wilting on lots around the Denver metro area — where a combination of tax credits and cash back from the manufacturer makes the Leaf the least-expensive new car in America — I can hear them calling. And after Nissan sweetened its own deal this month with no interest for 72 months, it’s getting louder.

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