Car-Sharing Goes Green in Baltimore

Thursday June 25th, 2009 at 7:66 AM
Posted by: m35man

Electrovaya electric car-sharing programThe nation’s first all-electric car-sharing program debuted earlier this week in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, with manufacturer Electrovaya hoping urban residents seeking to go green and curious tourists will take the concept for a spin. Electrovaya Inc. is offering its Maya 300 for rent at the Maryland Science Center. The car can go up to 120 miles on one charge of its lithium-ion battery system, and it gets its juice from a regular 110-volt outlet.

This is a great step in the right direction. There are many car-sharing programs out there in this country right now, and they all seem to work best in large metropolitan areas. We have one in San Francisco that is very successful, because it doesn’t make sense for a lot of people to own a car in this city. Think about it—you can save on payments, insurance, fuel and repairs.

But, now Electrovaya is offering the city of Baltimore the best of both worlds—a GREEN car-sharing program. You can’t buy the kind of positive press they will receive for this brilliant marketing move. I had never heard of Electrovaya before today and now I am blogging about them (and you’re reading about them) so you can see what I mean.

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New Venture Car Company to Make Cars in Bayou State

Thursday June 18th, 2009 at 10:66 AM
Posted by: m35man

mystery car A new car company with backing from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins and billionaire investor T. Boone Pickens intends to manufacture fuel-efficient cars in Louisiana, at the site of a closed General Motors auto supplier’s plant. V-Vehicle Company said it will approximately double the size of the facility and hire more than 1,400 workers to produce a “high-quality, environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient car for the U.S. market,” according to a press release issued this morning.

That’s all the information the company is releasing right now, though there’s speculation the car will be powered only by gasoline and that it won’t be a hybrid, full-electric or other alternative-powered vehicle.

“We’re not prepared to talk about the product yet,” VVC spokesman Joe Fisher told Cars.com this afternoon. “But V-Vehicle believes the new car will reconstruct the entire automobile [manufacturing and sales] process from beginning to end to provide extra value to customers.”

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Electric Jaguar On The Way?

Tuesday June 16th, 2009 at 8:66 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Jaguar headlight

Jaguar, a company long known for making very beautiful, very fast cars seems to be turning its eye towards a green other than its traditional British Racing Green. Reports indicate that not only will Jag soon be building a hybrid, but they are also seriously looking at, if not already committed to building an all-electric model. And this electric will be a two-seater convertible.

Dubbed the XE roadster, the news suggests that it will have a very novel drivetrain similar to that of the Chevrolet Volt. The engine will be a three cylinder that will drive an electric generator (at least that’s what Motor Trend says), the genny will charge the batteries, and off you go. Sort of like a diesel/electric train. MT states that it’s just a concept, and is not definitely slated for production, but it IS a very interesting idea. Dubbed the Jaguar XE-EREV, it will likely debut at the 2011 Geneva show.

Just to make things more confusing, it’s not clear whether the electric Jag would be the only electric Jaguar, or if it would be in addition to the XJ range-extended electric car Jaguar says it will roll out in 2011. The XJ would have an all electric range of 30 miles and get 57 mpg, which are very impressive numbers for a car that big. Also, the CO2 emissions would be on par with a Honda Civic Hybrid. To make the XJ, and possibly the roadster a reality, Jaguar is counting on a more than $407 million loan from the European Investment Bank to help develop the car.

Pass the popcorn.

Source: Wired Autopia

Photo from Flickr user xmatt

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Mitsubishi Bringing Electric i-MiEV To Market (video)

Tuesday June 9th, 2009 at 9:66 AM
Posted by: tonyb

It looks like Mitsubishi is getting very serious about it’s i-MiEV EV that caused such a splash at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. The diminutive, all electric city-car is headed not only for production, but will be for sale to any Joe Schmoe off the street with the money and the desire to buy one of the little guys. As long as they live in Japan (for now).

Mitsubishi is starting off small, and being nice and logical and methodical about the first sales of its i-MiEV. The initial sales targets are aiming to move only 1400 of the little guys in fiscal year 2009, but that seems like a good way to go about it.

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Mitsubishi bringing the i-MiEV to the world and that includes the U.S.

Thursday April 9th, 2009 at 12:44 PM
Posted by: Derek

Mitsubishi representatives officially announced that the i MiEV electric vehicle – already a hit in test drives and closely involved in joint programs with power companies across the world – will be coming to the U.S. This move has been hinted at for a long while, but now we know for certain that the electric jellybean, based on the “i” minicar, is coming.

Official details are scarce, but company representatives told us ahead of schedule that the car would be available here sometime “before 2012.” The problem isn’t the technology (a left-hand drive model should go on sale in Europe in 2011 after the right-hand model hits Japan this summer and the UK, maybe in 2010), but guaranteeing a supply of lithium. If GS Yuasa can’t produce the batteries, Read the rest of this entry »

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Chevy Volt Rebadged as a Holden

Thursday March 12th, 2009 at 8:33 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Holden Volt

Not all the car news is coming out of Geneva these days, there’s big, if low-key news that came out from the auto show in Melbourne Australia. Much has been made about just what GM would do with its highly anticipated Volt hybrid besides selling it in North America. There were rumors of an Opel variant for the Euro market, but other than that, it was a big question mark.

But now GM makes the obvious, yet great move of rebadging the thing as a Holden, a raises the possibility of selling them in the Australian market. The Holden Volt shown at the Melbourne Auto Show is right-hand drive but other than that and the badges, it does not differ in any way from its Chevy counterpart. The Volt, in either GM or Holden form, can travel up to 64 kilometers on electricity before using petrol or producing exhaust pipe emissions, will be launched in Australia in 2012. When compared to similar sized petrol-powered vehicles, the Volt will save Australian motorists up to 1892 liters of fuel a year.

GM Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mark Reuss said, “We think Volt has the potential to change the game in Australian motoring. Since we announced our plans to introduce Volt to Australia, we have been overwhelmed by public interest in the car and the technology that makes it work. At Holden, we believe Volt will play an incredibly important role in our efforts to make motoring better for the environment.”

Source: CarScoop

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The Aptera 2e: An Electrifying 3-Wheeler

Monday January 26th, 2009 at 8:11 AM
Posted by: m35man

Aptera 2eA futuristic looking electric car with three wheels, called the Aptera 2e, is supposed to start production in October. Aptera Motors describes their 2e as a two-seat commuter vehicle that will feature a driving range of more than 100 miles per charge, go from zero to 60 m.p.h. in under 10 seconds and hit speeds of 90 m.p.h.

The Vista, Calif., company is one of several new start-ups hoping to sell electric cars. The 2e will be sold only in California initially with plans to sell it elsewhere in the United States by late 2010. Aptera gave a wide range for the price–$25,000 to $45,000.

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Nuts and Bolts of Solar Power: Giving Your Car Sun Stroke

Monday January 19th, 2009 at 7:11 AM
Posted by: goofshow

solar powered carHopefully we’ll soon move into an automotive age when cars are running on empty. No, I don’t mean because gas prices are going to become so outrageous that no one can afford to drive; we’re talking the dawn of solar powered cars. Yes, cars powered by our good old friend the sun! There’s some nuts-and-bolts to it. To be more specific we’re talking electric vehicles that are powered by renewable energy obtained from solar panels attached to the vehicle’s roof. Am I blowing your mind?

A quick solar power automotive lesson for you hotshot: the photovoltaic cells convert the Sun’s energy directly into electrical energy—this how it runs. Sounds great on paper if you live in such places as Australia—where they hold an annual 3000 kilometer solar race across the continent. But what about those who inhabit such foggy havens such as my beloved San Francisco?

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ZAP Zips Up Manufacturing Deal

Friday January 16th, 2009 at 7:11 PM
Posted by: m35man

ZAP carBy Edsel Rollin

ZAP, headquartered in Santa Rosa, Calif., has been on the leading edge of all-electric transportation for a long time now, with some amazing electric vehicles on the market and in development. They make electric sedans, trucks; even scooters and ATVs. Two veteran automotive executives, H. Dennis Kammerer and Rodger L. Cornish, recently noted that electric car pioneer ZAP is already building all-electric models, and the US government should offer support to companies who are already building plug-in transportation.

I sat down with representatives from ZAP last year at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Annual Exposition, held in San Francisco, and I could tell from the way they talked about their vehicles that they’re extremely passionate about making vehicles that are emission-free and planet friendly. The company has come a long way in a short time.

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Toyota Unveils New FT-EV at Detroit Auto Show

Wednesday January 14th, 2009 at 1:11 PM
Posted by: m35man

Toyota FT-EV conceptLast Sunday as part of the opening festivities for the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Toyota unveiled their new FT-EV concept car, scheduled for release in 2012.

I like the idea behind it (“green and lean”) but couldn’t Toyota come up with a design that doesn’t look like something out of “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”? I keep expecting a Oompa Loompa to pop out from under the hood of this thing. If Scooby Doo and Shaggy lost their van, they would probably drive something like this, if the Great Dane could fit in it. No gear head worth his weight in engine grease would be seen dead driving this thing. It looks like grandma’s golf cart and even she might find it a little too cutesy.

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