Category: Alternative Energy

By on December 12, 2015

Volkswagen Microbus CES teaser

Multiple outlets are reporting that the vehicle seen in this teaser photo from Volkswagen is none other than an electrified version of the Microbus concept and it will debut at the Consumer Electronics Show next month. The photo follows an earlier report by Autocar (which has since been updated with the same photo and new text) that said Volkswagen would bring a new Microbus to the Las Vegas convention.

We won’t disagree. We also won’t hold our breath for a production model.

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By on December 10, 2015

Ford fusion Plug in

Look, this is pretty awkward. While nearly every auto journalist in the country has congregated in Dearborn, Michigan today for Ford’s annual Christmas party, we’re here at work pounding out stories about Camaro steering wheels and drinking cheap coffee. We weren’t invited to the party, it’s cool. We can both be adults about the sitch.

But according to various Twitter feeds — including the Wall Street Journal’s Detroit Bureau Chief John Stoll and WWJ’s Jeffrey Gilbert— Ford is talking battery packs and showing off a covered car that looks like a Fusion with a half-assed bed sheet covering it.

Oh, and there’s a plug running right into it, as if Kevin the Ford shop hand forgot to unplug the damn thing before letting a roomful of journalists snap pictures of it.

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By on December 7, 2015

IONIQ image

Hyundai announced Monday it would bring back silliness to car names and make the world’s first hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicle available in the same body, catering decadently to an individual’s fondness for electrons.

The Ioniq — which sounds like it’s spelled — will be unveiled January in South Korea and later next year in Geneva and New York. It will go on sale next year.

According to the automaker, Ioniq is the type of car people have been asking for: a model named after slightly obfuscated common words to fit with an over-stretched marketing philosophy rather than alphanumeric letters and symbols that require no creativity whatsoever. (God, I miss the Integra.) Read More >

By on December 4, 2015

Porsche Mission E

Porsche announced Friday that it would build its Mission E car — an all-electric sedan with looks that a Panamera would kill for — and sell the car by 2020. The Mission E concept was announced at Frankfurt earlier this year.

In addition to the car’s 0-60 mph time in under 3.5 seconds, the Mission E (no word on whether that is the final name) will also boast a 310-mile range and an 800-volt charge capability that could recharge the battery up to 80 percent in 15 minutes, providing you can find a charger for it.

Porsche didn’t announce pricing or availability yet, because presumably they’re figuring out exactly how much people will be willing to pay for the Stuttgart coat of arms and how many sales they’ve already lost to Tesla.

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By on November 6, 2015

2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Platinum

I was driving along the other day and I realized something: the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is currently the most popular vehicle in North America.

Okay, this might be a slight exaggeration. For instance, I am told that the bicycle is quite popular. But on a list of today’s most popular vehicles, the Highlander Hybrid is right up there with the bicycle, and the wheelchair, and that Ford pickup that sells more units in an afternoon than Ferrari sells globally in an entire calendar year.

It is very obvious to see why the Highlander Hybrid is so popular. For one thing, it’s a normal family SUV with three-row seating, which is incredibly hot right now; so hot that I am quite certain it is not actually possible to rear children in today’s society without a three-row SUV. If you showed up at a child’s birthday party in a Toyota Camry, and you had forgotten to dress your child, and you had brought the wrong child, and your child was vomiting all over everything in sight, people would not call attention to your child-related issues. They would ask: Why don’t you have a three-row SUV?

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By on October 15, 2015

Volvo Cars' vision of an electric future

Volvo announced Thursday that it would make an all-electric car available by 2019 and offer more plug-in hybrid versions of its cars sooner, starting with the S90. Volvo already sells a plug-in hybrid version of its XC90 SUV.

The automaker’s announced plans follow news that it would make a compact crossover by 2018, likely called the XC40, which would eventually share the same architecture as its V40 and V40 Cross Country.

According to the automaker, Volvo expects 10 percent of its sales by 2020 to be of electric cars. The automaker reported 465,000 sales in 2014.

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By on October 14, 2015

2016-toyota-mirai-front-three-quarters-03

Toyota officials insisted Wednesday that its hydrogen-powered cars, such as the Mirai, will comprise up to 30,000 sales by 2020, and will help the automaker eventually reduce emissions from cars it produces by 90 percent by 2050.

The Associated Press (via Detroit News) reported that the automaker said it would work with investors and governments to deliver on its promise of producing only a small number of gasoline-powered cars for small countries in 35 years.

“You may think 35 years is a long time. But for an automaker to envision all combustion engines as gone is pretty extraordinary,” Senior Managing Officer Kiyotaka Ise said, according to the AP.

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By on October 13, 2015

Uber At Igby's In Cincy Circa April 2014

John Martin, Nissan North America’s senior vice president of manufacturing and supply chain management, had some harsh words for Tesla on Friday. According to him, Uber — not Tesla — is the real disruptor, and what Tesla is doing now is relatively easy, Automotive News reported.

“Lot’s of people are calling Tesla a disrupter. They are not,” he said while arguing that building a performance vehicle that’s priced over $100,000 is much easier than manufacturing an electric car for under $30,000.

And what about Apple and Google? Martin doesn’t foresee either of them getting into the auto manufacturing business anytime soon.

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By on October 12, 2015

Tesla Building Circa March 2015

A self-professed reformed BMW enthusiast says backlash against Tesla comes from car owners “stuck in the past” who consider grease under their fingernails as a “manliness” status symbol among “nostalgic car weenies.” Basically, military-grade trolling. 

Mike Barnard, a writer at Slate.com, says that the time is coming for internal combustion engine fans to give up the ghost and get with Tesla because:

People who don’t like hybrid race cars and production supercars are saying that they don’t like better all-around performance—they just really only love things with cylinders and pistons, make of that what you will.

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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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