Category: Green

By on September 23, 2016

Buick Velite

American Chevrolet Volt fans have long discussed how the quasi-upscale extended-range EV might have fared with a Buick badge instead of being branded as a bread-and-butter Chevrolet.

It appears the Chinese have gone beyond the discussion phase.

According to Chinese website Autohome, Shanghai GM gets it, and has pulled the strings to rename the Chevy Volt the Velite for a brand that is more prestigious and sells in higher volume in China. Read More >

By on September 23, 2016

2017 smart fortwo cabrio electric drive (Euro spec image)

Smart, the plucky and perplexing subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz, has the unique distinction of offering an EV variant of its sole U.S. model that’s generally accepted as being an improvement over the gas-powered model.

Certainly, a vastly reduced range doesn’t boost the tiny package’s appeal, but the two-seat city car really isn’t meant for those long-legged highway trips. That’s what the Ford F-150 and Fiat 500 are for. No, the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive has two aces up its sleeve — instant thrust, and a transmission that mercifully stays in the same gear.

For 2017, Smart has sized up its Electric Drive, accepted its limitations (no, we can’t add a backseat ... ), and made it a bit better in any way it can. Read More >

By on September 22, 2016

2012 Buick LaCrosse eAssist, Interior, fuel economy, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

As low gas prices persist and electric vehicles fail to find the widespread traction once predicted by the Obama White House, automakers have supercharged their fight against the country’s lofty 2025 fuel economy target.

Fuel prices and the popularity of trucks and SUVs means the federal 54.5 mile per gallon target isn’t reasonable, automakers say. Continuing down the same road and pretending the landscape hasn’t changed? That’s a recipe for disaster, according to industry groups. Read More >

By on September 20, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

After revealing the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt’s surprising EPA-estimated range (238 miles), General Motors has now rolled out the price for its long-awaited electric car.

What will it take to get into Chevy’s EV? $37,495, which includes destination. A federal tax credit lowers that to $29,995, or five bucks below the “affordable car threshold” so sought after by EV builders. Read More >

By on September 20, 2016

2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited red

The next-generation Jeep Wrangler needs to satisfy increasingly stringent fuel economy requirements, which means shaving weight off of the brick wherever possible.

While Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has shunned widespread use of aluminum (a la Ford F-150), a significant amount of the lightweight metal will still find its way into the upcoming model, according to an internal Alcoa new release posted to JL Wrangler Forums. Read More >

By on September 19, 2016

2015 BMW i3

The LAPD liked them enough to buy a bundle, but lackluster demand for the oddly proportioned i3 has BMW executives locked in a battle over the brand’s product direction.

“Do we, or don’t we?” is the question, aimed squarely at the automaker’s plans to develop a number of electric vehicles. If this one isn’t selling well, some of the company’s top brass figure, why would we invest in building more?

According to Automotive News, the two camps are so divided that BMW’s management board has planned an intervention. Read More >

By on September 15, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

The United Kingdom isn’t scared of electric vehicles, what with their high fuel prices and limited driving distances (when compared to the U.S.).

However, General Motors has developed a serious case of cold feet on the issue of launching a Vauxhall-branded Chevrolet Bolt, which could prove a decent sales performer. An all-electric range of 238 miles is impressive, so why is the General so shy? Read More >

By on September 13, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

After promising to surpass the storied 200-mile mark with its upcoming “affordable” electric car, General Motors has revealed that the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt will boast an EPA-estimated range of 238 miles.

The space-maximized EV’s long electric legs gives GM bragging rights over its chief rival, the Tesla Model 3. Read More >

By on September 9, 2016

2017 Porsche Panamera 4 e-hybrid

With Porsche’s four-door sedan looking less and less like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Paris Motor Show will see Porsche unveil the fourth model in the Panamera line: a plug-in E-Hybrid with all-wheel drive and an electric range of 31 miles (that’s 50 kilometres for the rest of us).

More than just a luxury sportscar with green overtones, Porsche’s new plug-in packs a grab-bag of technology that other Volkswagen Group brands will want to get their hands on.

Read More >

By on September 6, 2016

Tesla Model 3 Unveil, Image: Tesla Motors

The electric vehicle revolution, if you want to call it that, won’t happen in the “I woke up and everything was different” manner envisioned by hard-core EV enthusiasts.

EVs are no longer new to the automotive scene, but there’s still a vast gulf between the opinions of politicians and automakers and that of the buying public. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of Americans polled in a recent study say they aren’t ready or willing to add an electric vehicle to their household. Read More >

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