Category: Electric Vehicles

By on August 10, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Green cars should cut through the air like a bird, not a wall, but a team of stylists at General Motors’ South Korean design studio wasn’t thinking of that when they put together the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt.

The main goal of the team crafting the first “affordable” 200-mile electric vehicle was creating a vehicle with enough interior room to satisfy a nation of crossover fanatics. The result? A veritable brick, but a spacious one at that. Read More >

By on August 10, 2016

Tesla Model 3 Unveil, Image: Tesla Motors

In his Master Plan, Part Deux, some of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s visions make a lot of sense, like a compact SUV based on the Model 3 platform, and a pickup truck, which will presumably have more than enough torque to haul around a big load (and plenty of space for a big battery pack).

That’s not at all what I want to talk about. Instead, I want to talk about some of the more speculative parts of the Musk vision: the self-driving vision. (I first wrote about some of the dystopian aspects of self-driving cars for TTAC in 2010.)

Musk wants you, the owner of a Tesla, to click a button and have your self-driving car go off and Uber itself during the day while you’re at work, earning you money. It will come back to you at the end of the day, ready for you to use again. This vision is going to have a very harsh collision with reality. Read More >

By on August 10, 2016

2016 Nissan Leaf, Image: Nissan

With Nissan Leaf sales falling like autumn foliage, a few enterprising EV fans hope to reverse the trend (or at least slow it) through group discounts.

After a Colorado group negotiated a 248-vehicle Leaf purchase for the you’re kidding me price of $12,130 per unit, other groups now wants a piece of the cheap Leaf action. In Montreal, 2,500 Quebec residents just signed up for a reduced group price, while a Wisconsin group negotiated a similar discount. Read More >

By on August 5, 2016

2015-mercedes-benz-c63-amg-02

Forget the American displacement wars of the 1960s (and to a lesser degree, the 1990s). On the other side of the Atlantic, it’s all about who has the biggest all-electric lineup.

Volkswagen, hoping to wash its hands of diesel residue, announced three modular vehicle platforms that could spawn 30 electric vehicles across the company’s brand portfolio. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz wants a whole new sub-brand for its looming crop of EVs. Read More >

By on August 4, 2016

Elon Musk + Tesla Model S Circa 2011

The dialogue from Tesla wasn’t all rainbows and puppies this week.

In oddly coordinated diatribes, CEO Elon Musk and his vice-president of business development took off the soft driving gloves and laid into their competition and the country’s regulators. The message? Put up, pay up, or shut up. Read More >

By on August 2, 2016

Scooby Doo Mystery Machine

If Elon Musk’s tweets are accurate (and who can prove that they aren’t?), the Tesla CEO plans to build Millennials and hippies their dream ride at some point in the foreseeable future.

As per tradition, Musk took to Twitter to release snippets of detail about his sprawling (but vague) 10-year “master plan,” including what to expect from the automaker’s next two models. One proposed model is a no-brainer, but the other would be worshipped at a counterculture love-in. Read More >

By on August 1, 2016

Tesla Model X

To bastardize an old Dodge slogan, if you’re willing to devote your life to sustainable driving and ditch your electricity provider, you could be Tesla material.

The electric automaker announced a deal with solar company SolarCity today — an all-stock agreement worth $2.6 billion. Acquiring the nation’s largest rooftop solar provider gives Tesla CEO Elon Musk the top-to-bottom green company he always wanted, but it opens the company up to new risks. Read More >

By on July 29, 2016

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Image: Mitsubishi

The long-anticipated Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid, expected later this year, has once again been postponed for the U.S. and Canada.

This is at least the fifth time it’s been delayed in North America since its 2013 Japan-market launch. Mitsubishi’s U.S. market public relations manager, Alex Fedorak, confirmed the latest delay.

“Following a thorough evaluation process, we have determined that, in order to meet a level of competitiveness that will exceed customer expectations in the United States, the launch of the Outlander PHEV will be delayed until the summer of 2017,” said Fedorak.

Read More >

By on July 22, 2016

BMW X5 xDrive40e PHEV

Yesterday the Obama administration announced “an unprecedented set of actions” to grow the U.S. plug-in electrified vehicle market.

The initiative represents a broad collaboration between federal agencies, state governments, major automakers, utilities, and others to aid the ongoing push to make electric cars viable alternatives to the internal combustion variety.

Perhaps chief in a laundry list of public and private sector agreements is up to $4.5 billion in loan guarantees for commercial scale charging — including fast charging — to create a nationwide network.

Read More >

By on July 21, 2016

BYD

As the saying goes, if you can’t sign a supply agreement with ’em, buy a part of ’em.

That’s clearly not a saying, but that’s what Samsung Electronics Company just did with Chinese electric automaker BYD, handing over $440 million deal for a 1.9 percent stake in the company. According to Bloomberg, a Samsung subsidiary was turned down by China as an approved supplier of batteries to the automaker, so the electronics giant tried another door. Read More >

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