By on January 6, 2016

Autodesk VRED Professional 2014 SR1-SP7

UPDATE: Volkswagen says the range is 233 miles on the EPA cycle, 373 miles on the New European Driving Cycle.

Volkswagen unleashed its futuristic Microbus concept car in Las Vegas on Tuesday, complete with expressive face, connectedness to the “Internet of Things,” and gesture control everywhere, but only its bare bones are rooted in any real future for the automaker.

The 2016 Microbus, which is “dubbed BUDD-e,” is the latest and perhaps most significant iteration of the Microbus because of its timing. This week, the U.S. Justice Department announced it filed a $40 billion lawsuit against the automaker for cheating emissions tests.

In Las Vegas, Volkswagen showed off its modular electric powertrain architecture underpinning the Microbus that’ll almost certainly make it to production in one, or several cars — just probably not this one.

(Read More…)

By on January 3, 2016

Mercedes-Benz "Concept IAA"

While none of them will look anything like this, Car reports that Mercedes-Benz has a pretty firm plan in place to compete against EV makers and German rivals before the end of the decade.

The magazine reports that Mercedes plans to have a sedan on sale by 2018, followed shortly by a crossover to compete directly against Tesla before the end of the decade. Car also reported that Mercedes will add another crossover and an electric S-Class shortly thereafter.

The first car will reportedly be sized between its C- and E-Class, but it’s price tag sure won’t be. (Read More…)

By on December 28, 2015

news-2015-audi-e-tron-quattro-concept-4

Audi on Monday delayed construction of a new wind tunnel because of the company’s massive diesel scandal, but announced that it would invest nearly $3.3 billion for 2016 — including bringing to market a new Q2, an updated Q5 and a SUV based on the concept shown above in two years.

The automaker’s chief, Rupert Stadler, affirmed the company would release a battery-powered vehicle by 2018, inspired by the e-tron quattro concept revealed at Frankfurt.

No word if the delayed wind tunnel would have allowed Audi to develop real mirrors.

(Read More…)

By on December 28, 2015
The first Ford electric car, 1914

The first Ford electric car, 1914

Ford Motor Company recently announced that it will be investing more than $4.5 billion over the next five years into its electric vehicle program and that it will have 13 electric vehicles on sale by 2020. The announcement follows the Ford company’s original investment in EV technology and the first Ford electric cars by 102 years.

Hopefully, the current spending will yield more fruitful results than did Henry Ford’s original look into EVs more than a century ago. (Read More…)

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.

(Read More…)

By on November 23, 2015

Tesla Model S Center Stage

On Friday, Tesla announced a voluntary recall of every single damn Model S on the planet to check the front seatbelt installed on those cars. According to the automaker, one belt in a car that was sold in Europe wasn’t connected to an outboard lap pretensioner. The car was not involved in a crash, nor was anyone injured because of the defect.

According to Tesla, the automaker has inspected more than 3,000 Model S cars for similar faults and found none.

Regardless, the automaker said it would ask owners to bring in 90,000 Model S cars — literally, all of them — for inspection because having a seatbelt that doesn’t work is probably bad.

(Read More…)

By on October 19, 2015

2015 Nissan Leaf

Almost three out of four electric cars on the road are leased — not purchased — according to data from Edmunds, which was compiled by CNBC. (The leasing data excludes Tesla, who does not report leasing rates.)

The overall lease penetration rate for electric cars, which is 74.9 percent, is much higher than the overall rate for all cars, which is 28 percent. The leasing rate for luxury cars is roughly 50 percent, according to Edmunds.

According to the report, EV drivers are more likely to be early adopters but are hesitant to own the vehicles due to increasing battery capacity and rapidly evolving technology. In other words, electric cars are becoming the new iPhones.

(Read More…)

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.

(Read More…)

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.

(Read More…)

By on October 2, 2015

press03-model-x-front-three-quarter-with-doors-open

The world is abuzz this week with news of the all-new Tesla Model X, which is a minivan that looks like it may at any moment take flight and get tangled up in some power lines.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that’s right: Tesla has brought the first gullwing minivan to market, and people are excited. And not just slightly excited. Elon Musk is giving press conferences to delighted admirers. Tesla fans are running up and down the streets in Palo Alto screaming “THE TESLA IS COMING! THE TESLA IS COMING!” And Pacific Gas & Electric engineers are currently on the job trying to figure out how to get the first Model X down from some high-voltage wires near Tarzana.

Essentially, it is Tesla pandemonium.

(Read More…)

By on September 2, 2015

Vincent Bollore with his Bluecars in Paris

BlueIndy, the nation’s first electric car sharing service, launched in Indianapolis on Wednesday, according to Time, but with controversy.

The car service, which uses Bollore Group electric cars, has met initial opposition with the Indianapolis City Council, who’ve taken aim at the mayor who launched the project with Bollore — whose other EV car-sharing cities include Paris and London.

The cars shouldn’t be parked in downtown spots, council members say.

“The mayor needs to understand that even though this is one of his pet projects, he is not above the law,” City council member Zach Adamson, told WXIN.  (Read More…)

By on September 1, 2015

teaser@2x

Prospective buyers of Tesla’s coming Model X SUV can go online Tuesday and pick out their color and options for their cars, which should be arriving at the end of September, Automotive News is reporting.

The online configurator popped up Monday night for potential buyers and forum users started posting pictures of their cars online. The pictures are the first from the automaker before its official reveal.

The interior pictures detail seating for seven adults and the Model X’s falcon doors that will reportedly sport sensors that keep passengers from getting out hitting the doors on low garages.

(Read More…)

By on August 26, 2015

2011 Nissan LEAF

I live at the crossroads of liberal and libertarian. Despite what some of you have said, I’m not Marxist (although I have read plenty of his work, along with Ayn Rand and Adam Smith, Milton Friedman followers, et al.) and economics for me qualifies as a hobby.

Therefore, the economy of how Colorado just made the Nissan Leaf one of the least expensive new cars in America is fascinating.

(Read More…)

By on August 20, 2015

AstonMartinRapide

Gearing up to sell its own four-door, all-electric sedan in a couple years, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer told well-heeled listeners in Monterey, California that Tesla’s “Ludicrous Speed” was plain ol’ dumb, Automotive News reported.

“We don’t do Ludicrous because Ludicrous speed is stupid,” Palmer said.

(But selling a variation of a four-door Aston Martin that’s been on sale for 6 years with a 200-mile range for $200,000 to $250,000? That’s genius.) (Read More…)

By on August 19, 2015

A157360_large

Audi’s first production electric car will be a crossover to fight the Tesla Model X, the German luxury carmaker said Wednesday.

Concept drawings and initial specifications released by Audi detailed their crossover that is powered by three electric motors — borrowed from its R8 e-tron concept car — with a proposed range of over 300 miles. According to Audi, the crossover, which is called the “e-tron quattro concept,” would slot between the company’s 182.6-inch Q5 and 200.3-inch Q7. Tesla’s Model X is 197 inches long.

The crossover’s lithium-ion battery would give the car a range more than 300 miles.

(Read More…)

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