Tag: Green

By on June 8, 2016

OJ Simpson chased by a fleet of LAPD BMW i3s

The Los Angeles Police Department just inked a deal that will see 100 BMW i3 electric vehicles wear the iconic black-and-white paint job of their vehicle fleet.

BMW emerged the winner in a supply bid that saw the i3 and rival EVs vie for the LAPD contract. The force chose the slab-sided Bimmer for its reliability and connectivity, and for the company’s charging infrastructure and service network. (Read More…)

By on June 2, 2016

2017 IONIQ HEV

If you’re still holding on to that copy of Who Killed the Electric Car? you bought back in your university days, it might be time to toss it in the trash.

In just two years, there could be four 200-plus mile electric vehicles on the market, now that Hyundai plans to jump into the long-range EV game.

The South Korean automaker doesn’t want to be an also-ran in the emerging field, so it’s planning a 2018 introduction of an EV designed to battle the 215-mile Tesla Model 3. It’s an ambitious goal for a company whose green car chief once called EVs and hybrids “a headache.” (Read More…)

By on May 21, 2016

2016_Toyota_Prius_001_2452A99B7A0DE853E9CCBFC12E5E78A937FFFBE2

It’s easy to understand Toyota’s enthusiasm for selling 9 million hybrids worldwide since 1997. (Well, 9.014 million, but who’s counting?)

After all, have you sold 9.014 million hybrids? Don’t lie. You haven’t.

Toyota’s announcement comes as the world’s largest automaker accepts a challenge (from itself) to bring the total number of hybrid models sold to 15 million by 2020. It will do that by introducing more hybrid versions of its vehicles, then selling — it hopes — 1.5 million of them each year. (Read More…)

By on May 16, 2016

2014_Nissan_Qashqai_Right_Side

It’s nowhere near the scale of the Volkswagen debacle, but Nissan is in hot water with the South Korean government over dodgy emissions from its diesel SUV.

That country’s environment ministry accuses Nissan of using a “defeat device” to disable the emissions controls on its UK-built Qashqai SUV, Automotive News reports. (Read More…)

By on May 16, 2016

Norway

Norway is gearing up for a legal fight, and its sights are set on a troubled automaker from Germany.

The country’s sovereign wealth fund, built from oil and gas revenues and assorted investments, plans to file a class-action lawsuit targeting Volkswagen over its diesel emissions scandal, Reuters reports. (Read More…)

By on May 13, 2016

2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel HFE, Image: FCA

You know the world is a bit upside-down when master wordsmith Jack Baruth spins a web so tight in favor of the EPA and CARB that even the Best and Brightest can’t see through it.

Jack makes a valid point today: light-duty trucks, especially those of the diesel variety, are often driven by people who don’t need the capability that those trucks provide. It’s those diesel pickups that spew tons of particulates and NOx into the atmosphere, both of which are harmful to human health. Goodbye, he says to the light-duty diesel truck, before we turn into Europe. Turbo-fed gasoline engines offer just as much torque as their diesel-powered brethren, he exclaims. There’s no need to buy an $80,000 phallus extender. What do you think of this twin-turbo V6 Raptor?

However, Mr. Baruth stopped just short of saying recreational use of light-duty diesel trucks should be outright banned, instead offering up a solution that’s analogous to gun control.

(Read More…)

By on May 11, 2016

2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI-011

Investigators are still probing Volkswagen’s actions in the diesel emissions scandal, but the board that oversees the actions of the company’s top brass isn’t too concerned.

The supervisory board, made up of investor and labor interests, just cleared Volkswagen’s management of any breaches of duty in 2015 in preparation for their annual shareholders meeting, Bloomberg reports.

To say 2015 was an eventful year for Volkswagen is akin to saying Neil Armstrong had fun in the late ’60s. It was so eventful, its CEO took a permanent vacation. Many medicine cabinets in Wolfsburg were likely renovated to handle an influx of new prescriptions. (Read More…)

By on May 10, 2016

Porsche cayenne diesel

After agonizing over a fix for its 2.0-liter diesel models, Volkswagen is close to finalizing a plan for vehicles powered by the 3.0-liter TDI V6.

The first fix forced Volkswagen into a wildly expensive buyback-and-fix program for the nearly half million 2.0-liter TDIs sidelined by the diesel emissions scandal, but that won’t be needed for the bigger engines, sources close to the issue tell Bloomberg. (Read More…)

By on May 9, 2016

2014-Ford-Fiesta-Ecoboost-transmission

In the 1960s, automakers wanted to put a tiger in your tank, but now Ford Motor Company wants a howler monkey under your dash.

The automaker was concerned that drivers used to “shifting by ear” aren’t getting the gas mileage their efficient, small-displacement engines were designed for, so it patented an acoustic device that mimics a bigger powerplant, Autoblog reports. (Read More…)

By on May 7, 2016

2017 Elantra Eco

Hyundai sent its newly redesigned compact away for a lifestyle change, and it returned as the fuel-sipping Elantra Eco.

Sporting a new drivetrain and an EPA-estimated highway fuel economy rating of 40 miles per gallon, the 2017 Elantra Eco retails for $21,485 (after freight). City and combined ratings are 32 and 35 mpg, respectively.

The 2017 Elantra Limited we tested was no gas guzzler, often surpassing its 37 mpg highway rating, but the new Eco clearly has its competitors’ 40-plus mpg ratings in its sights. It’s also possible that Hyundai still has some lingering guilt over the not-yet-forgotten gas mileage scandal of four years ago. (Read More…)

By on May 5, 2016

Average fuel economy April 2016

On the heels of America’s auto industry growing by over 3% in April 2016, a report from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute says the average fuel economy of those vehicles dipped slightly from the month of March.

Given the rise in sales of SUV and trucks, this should surprise no one except amoebas living under a rock. (Read More…)

By on May 5, 2016

Elon Musk + Tesla Model S Circa 2011

There’s probably no s’mores or ghost stories, but Tesla founder Elon Musk is still a fan of camping out at his company’s Fremont, California production facility.

Musk admitted to giving his sleeping bag a regular workout during a recent earnings call, during which he outlined his production goals for the upcoming Model 3. The optimistic deadline of July 1, 2017 is now viewed as impossible (due to supply issues), but Musk is optimistic that significant quantities of the $35,000 EV will be out the door before New Year’s Eve.

Musk might need to splurge on an upgraded sleeping bag next summer. (Read More…)

By on May 4, 2016

2015 Volkswagen eGolf Motor

“Do those non-diesel things, only better,” seems to be Volkswagen’s mantra these days.

The aftermath of the continuing diesel emissions scandal saw the embattled automaker dive deep into cleaner technology, and it now looks like VW wants its name on a relatively cheap electric vehicle, Autocar reports (via Carscoops). (Read More…)

By on May 3, 2016

BMW i3 and i8

BMW’s electric car sub-brand is growing, thanks to new and upgraded models, but its management ranks are shrinking as executives flee to a Chinese startup.

Three top names, including the program’s head, were lured to China’s Future Mobility Corp. this year, Automotive News Europe reports, while sales dropped by nearly a quarter in the first three months of 2016.

Call it a case of “i” gotta go. (Read More…)

By on April 29, 2016

Volkswagen 1.5-liter TSI engine

Diesel? What’s that?

Volkswagen is embracing a far less controversial type of fuel with its new 1.5-liter TSI engine, unveiled yesterday at the Vienna Motor Symposium.

The ultra-efficient four-cylinder uses variable turbine geometry (VTG) in its turbocharger to generate peak torque at a low 1,300 rpm, then maintain a flat torque curve until about 4,500 rpm. This leads to fuel economy gains and a better driving experience. (Read More…)

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