Since we’ve been doing these Ask Bark columns at the beginning of the year, I’ve received well over a hundred questions from you, our loyal readers. While I truly want to answer all of them, some of them don’t need a 1,000 word response, so they’ve been languishing in my inbox because I can’t turn them into a full column on their own.
So, today we’ll be doing some quick hits and answering several questions in one column. In other words, here’s your chance to call me an idiot multiple times, which I know that some of you are already quite giddy about.
Let’s get to it.
Is there a Nissan competitor to the BMW i8 in the works? A senior executive has hinted there might be.
Speaking to Auto Express, senior vice-president Shiro Nakamura said an electric sports car is one option the automaker is considering for its upcoming modular vehicle platform.
Is Tesla planning a Model S update that squeaks past 300 miles of range?
That, a savior is needed at Lada’s parent company, Nissan wants your future car to be everything, Ford goes all in down under, and pedestrians and cars are meeting frequently … after the break!
Electric vehicles aren’t rollin’ coal anymore — or, at least, not nearly as much as they used to.
Reuters reports coal-fired electricity generation is now at a 35-year low in the U.S., and November 2015 was the fifth month in a row more natural gas than coal was used to produce electricity.
That’s not all. From Reuters:
With just one month of data missing in 2015, some analysts think power companies may have burned more gas than coal for the full year for the first time in history.
Oh, and guess what’s dirtier than natural gas when burned? You bet: gasoline.
Bark and I, either by fate or consequence, were presented with very similar automotive options lately. While his choice was made on the Emerald Aisle, mine was made over the phone before a planned trip to watch the final round of the Nissan Micra Cup in Quebec.
And while he was less than impressed with the 370Z — and, on the surface, I can’t disagree — his view extended to the rest of the Nissan lineup.
From an enthusiast’s perch, Bark may not be able to see the forest for the trees.
“The future vision of car intelligence and electrification.”
That was the entire press release provided by Nissan along with the above photo. That’s it. That’s all.
So, let the wild speculation begin. Is this the next-generation Nissan Leaf? Or is it a life orb that will ship us off to fight to the death in some futuristic panopticon? Who knows?!?! It could be at least one of those things.
All power is not created equal.
That’s one of many takeaways from a comprehensive study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, one of the nation’s prominent think tanks.
The paper focused on the relative impact of green-energy cars, concluding that an electric car in New Jersey doesn’t have the same environmental impact as an electric car in California.
The initial reaction has been largely surface-deep: electric cars on the East Coast and in the South are powered by “dirty energy” and aren’t as clean as their gas-powered counterparts. That much is a quasi-fair assessment — the source for the electric cars’ power should be considered when it comes to ultimately determining their environmental impacts.
The study, however, is a larger look at the federal subsidies offered on electric cars.
We’re accustomed to seeing outdated sports cars stumble as they age.
They’re as capable as they were when launched, of course, but demand for the cars often decreases rapidly. Those who were interested in the stylistic proposition already bought one. Those who saw them as paragons of performance encounter newer models with a greater dynamic portfolio.
Consider the Scion FR-S, sales of which plunged 23% in its second full year in the United States; sales of which declined 29% in the first four months of 2015.
Perhaps exacerbated by falling fuel prices, the sharp downturn in sales of two particularly famous, unconventionally powered hatchbacks is vaguely reminiscent of a sports car nameplate’s yo-yoing. A Camry-like ability to sustain demand right up until the new model arrives in dealers? Not for the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt. (Read More…)
In the same way that consecutive games without a point draw attention to the fact that Sidney Crosby previously achieved a 25-game point streak, the Nissan’s Leaf slight decline in the lowest-volume month on the calendar shines a light on what was a 23-month streak of year-over-year improvements.
Leaf volume slid 15% in January 2015, a 182-unit drop. On a monthly basis, Leaf volume increased every month between February 2013 and December 2014, year-over-year. (Read More…)
Engineers at Nissan’s Arizona proving grounds have created a one-off pickup truck variant of the Nissan Leaf.