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The ugly economics of green vehicles

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    The ugly economics of green vehicles
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    What happens when you take an engineer sliding in a BMW i8
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    Toyota ad says fuel cell cars are inevitable
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    IRS won't, or can't, reveal how many plug-in vehicle tax credits are left
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Stop-start problems could lead to rise of ultracapacitors

Posted Sep 20th 2014 9:00AM

Car engine start button

The proliferation of start-stop systems in today's cars and trucks is pretty simple to explain. With these systems, manufacturers have an easy, mostly unobtrusive way of boosting a vehicle's fuel economy. As with just about anything though, there are drawbacks to modern start-stop tech.

In particular, they're not great when paired with today's lead-acid batteries. These batteries limit the ability of the start-stop function to operate based on factors like charge level and temperature. If the battery is outside the parameters, the stop-start system won't function, curbing any potential fuel economy gains. Obviously, this problem will only become more noticeable as the battery ages.

Ultracapacitors could solve this problem, though, according to a new report from Ward's Auto. Because ultracapacitors can be cycled rapidly and they can store quite a lot of energy – they don't function via chemical reactions, like standard batteries – they could handle the stop-start duties when the battery isn't up to snuff.

There are other applications for the high-powered capacitors too, including regenerative braking functions, where their ability to harness energy can really be taken advantage of. Ward's has a great breakdown of the pros and cons in a fairly extensive feature on the future of this potentially big automotive technology.

News Source: Ward's Auto

Image Credit: Flickr CC 2.0 - quimby

Recharge Wrap-up: Smart Fortwo ED "Yo" Video; Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle Event highlights

ClipperCreek Amps Up EV Charging

Posted Sep 20th 2014 8:30AM

smart fortwo electric drive yo

Last month, Smart used the Yo app to give free rides to San Franciscans in the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive. For those who are curious - or as Smart puts it, "electricurious" - about the event, but weren't in the Mission or SoMa neighborhoods on the day it went down, Smart filmed the fun to bring the rest of us along for the ride. In the short video, we get to see the action behind the scenes in Smart's mission control-style operation, as well as the riders' reactions to the tiny electric car. Check out the video below for more.

The 2014 Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle Event took place at Millbrook last week. The show featured the latest in clean car technology. It included exhibitions, demonstrations and talks about the current state of green cars and of what's to come in the future. Green Car Guide summed up key details of the event, pointing out that new car emissions are down over one third in the last 10 years, and buyers have more low-carbon choices than ever before. See some show highlights in the video below, or read the full event wrap-up at Green Car Guide.

ClipperCreek is providing more power from its EV charging stations without increasing price. The HCS-40 and CS-40 chargers now offer 32 amps continuously, up from 30. The HCS-40 240-volt, level 2 home charger has a price tag of $590. It's rated for indoor or outdoor use, and can be installed by any licensed electrician. Read more in the press release, below.

News Source: YouTube: Smart USA, Green Car Guide, ClipperCreek

Image Credit: @smartcarusa

The ugly economics of green vehicles

All Of Us Want Cleaner Cars, But How Many Of Us Are Willing To Pay For Them?

Posted Sep 19th 2014 6:45PM

Oil Prices

It's fair to say that most consumers would prefer a green vehicle, one that has a lower impact on the environment and goes easy on costly fuel (in all senses of the term). The problem is that most people can't – or won't – pay the price premium or put up with the compromises today's green cars demand. We're not all "cashed-up greenies."

In 2013, the average selling price of a new vehicle was $32,086.

The truth is that most Americans can't afford a new car, green or not. In 2013, the average selling price of a new vehicle was $32,086. According to a recent Federal Reserve study, the median income for American families was $46,700 in 2013, a five-percent decline from $49,000 in 2010. While $32,000 for a car may not sound like a lot to some, it's about $630 a month financing for 48 months, assuming the buyer can come up with a $6,400 down payment. And that doesn't include gas, insurance, taxes, maintenance and all the rest. It's no wonder that a recent study showed that the average family could afford a new car in only one of 25 major US cities.

AutoTrader conducted a recent survey of 1,900 millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) about their new and used car buying habits. Isabelle Helms, AutoTrader's vice president of research, said millennials are "big on small" vehicles, which tend to be more affordable. Millennials also yearn for alternative-powered vehicles, but "they generally can't afford them."

When it comes to the actual behavior of consumers, the operative word is "affordable," not "green." In 2012, US new car sales rose to 14.5 million. But according to Manheim Research, at 40.5 million units, used car sales were almost three times as great. While the days of the smoke-belching beater are mostly gone, it's a safe bet that the used cars are far less green in terms of gas mileage, emissions, new technology, etc., than new ones.

News Source: AutoTrader, Think Carbon

Image Credit: Cars: Automakers, Dealership: Rick Bowmer / AP

Is Lamborghini readying a hybrid for Paris?

Posted Sep 19th 2014 5:58PM

Lamborghini teaser

AsterionLamborghini had us seriously stumped when it released its teaser (above) for a new vehicle that'll debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show. The image seemed to depict a fastback GT somewhat reminiscent of Lambo's earlier 2+2 models like the Espada, and was accompanied by the sentence, "Once perfection is achieved, you can just double it." We're still not entirely sure what the means, but a possible leaked logo for the car might offer some big hints about its powertrain.

According to the Office of Harmonization in the Internal Market in Europe, Lamborghini applied for a trademark on the name Asterion on September 15 to cover vehicles, clothing, toys and video games. The logo (right) included a lightning bolt slashing through the 'O' in the word. That could suggest this forthcoming vehicle is a hybrid, but it's also not clear whether we're going to be hearing about a pure concept, or a production model.

The name itself might also be a tell. Asterion is one of the names for the Minotaur in Greek mythology, which is a creature that is part bull and part man. This could be another indication that the concept combines the traditional Lamborghini style with something else.

The possibility of a hybrid Lamborghini really shouldn't be a total shock, though. The latest run of hypercars like the Ferrari LaFerrari and McLaren P1 already use the tech, and the company's own Aventador has capacitors to power its stop/start system. Still, we can't wait to see what the new Lambo has to show when it debuts on October 2.

Peugeot Quartz Concept is sinister 500-hp hybrid crossover

Posted Sep 19th 2014 2:16PM

Peugeot Quartz Concept

Peugeot Quartz ConceptThe Peugeot family might be going back to their pepper mill business since losing a big stake in the company, but the automaker itself is still hard at work with a new concept for the Paris Motor Show. Its latest creation is the Peugeot Quartz that imagines a high-performance CUV with a 500-horsepower, hybrid drivetrain on tap.

To move this sporty-looking CUV, Peugeot fits it with the company's 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 270 hp and 243 pound-feet of torque with a six-speed automatic, then augments that with two electric motors that each produce 114 hp (85 kilowatts) to directly drive the front and rear axles. The automaker claims that the Quartz could go 31 miles on a purely electric charge. However in Race mode things get really interesting, and all three power units work together to motivate the concept.

With its long hood and sloping roof, the Quartz looks like a sports coupe that lifts weights. Its 23-inch wheels have composite flaps to direct airflow, and look massive. Up front, the concept is all business with a mesh grille and arching LED headlights. The subtle louvers hidden in the sides of the hood-bulge are an especially neat styling trick. Moving back from there, the red accents on the flanks actually disguise extending steps into the cabin.

Being a French car, it's almost a rule to have at least one truly weird design detail. For this one, it's the double rear spoilers mounted on the roof. They make the concept look like an excited dog just starting to perk up its ears.

The Quartz's interior is supposed to be reminiscent of the slightly porous texture of basalt rock, with a driver-focused, wrap-around cockpit. Much of it is covered in a "digitally woven" textile from recycled plastic bottles; the new technique allows the company to create large, complex patters with no cutting required, which means less waste. Scroll down to read the full announcement for this high-performance, hybrid CUV.
Related GalleryPeugeot Quartz Concept
Peugeot Quartz ConceptPeugeot Quartz ConceptPeugeot Quartz ConceptPeugeot Quartz ConceptPeugeot Quartz ConceptPeugeot Quartz ConceptPeugeot Quartz ConceptPeugeot Quartz Concept

News Source: Peugeot

What happens when you take an engineer sliding in a BMW i8

Qualcomm's Wireless Charging Is More Fun This Way

Posted Sep 19th 2014 12:50PM

bmw i8 safety car qualcomm engineer video

The BMW i8 is a pretty impressive car, and a highly visible one at that. It's a great brand ambassador, but not just for BMW. It's really no surprise that Formula E chose it as the safety car from the electric racing series. And, for its duties at tracks around the word, the i8 safety car got some slick upgrades, including wireless charging capabilities courtesy of Qualcomm.

It's not your regular, cut-and-dry technology presentation.

In the video below, Qualcomm engineers explain a little bit about what they do to enhance electric vehicles. But it's not your regular, cut-and-dry technology presentation. The engineers are forced to answer questions about Qualcomm's technology while riding along in the BMW i8 Qualcomm Safety Car driven by none other than Formula E driver Nelson Piquet, Jr. Sure, riding shotgun for hot laps at Donnington Park in an i8 sounds like a lot of fun, but these guys have a job to do, and Mr. Piquet isn't making it easy for them. The Qualcomm guys talk about taking technology and beefing it up for automotive use, explain the benefits of wireless charging and discuss some other stuff that's hard to pay attention to while watching the i8 get totally sideways in a smoky powerslide.

See for yourself in the video below. If you miss something, don't worry; Qualcomm provides more explanation about its automotive technologies at its website, including safety, communication and, of course, inductive charging.

News Source: Qualcomm

KTM officially launches battery-powered Freeride E [w/video]

Only In Europe, For Now

Posted Sep 19th 2014 10:14AM

KTM Freeride E electric motorcycle

It's official. KTM will be the first legacy brand to sell an electric motorcycle to the public. The Freeride E, a motocross-flavored machine available in both off-road (E-SX) and street (E-XC) versions, will be found at European dealers in just a few short weeks. As with so many cool things, don't look for it to come to the US any time soon.

KTM Freeride E motor and batteryThe Austrian company first showed off an electric Freeride prototype way back in 2010 and a refined version a year later at EICMA. Although it has held a couple racing/promotional events featuring the battery-powered bike in the three-year interim, there has been some speculation as to whether it would ever pull the trigger. Consider those mumblings silenced.

KTM has announced that it is "Gettin' High on Voltage," choosing street trials rider Danny MacAskill as brand ambassador and launching a trick Freeride E microsite. The choice of MacAskill is interesting as he comes from the bicycle world, but highlighting that transition could be a shrewd move if it attracts other pedelers into the motorized scene.

One thing the new electric shares with human-powered machines is its braking setup – its back disc brake is activated by a lever on the left handlebar as opposed to a right-side foot-controlled arrangement. Besides that, everything is, of course, different. The bike is powered by a liquid-cooled, permanent-magnet AC motor that's good for 16 kW (21.5 horsepower) at peak and 42 Nm (31 pound-feet) of torque. It employs a single-speed gearbox to get the back wheel spinning.

The battery is a slight 2.6 kWh-box located directly beneath the seat and can be easily swapped out with the removal of four bolts. Said to be good for about an hour of riding, charging to 80 percent takes 50 minutes, while a full refill happens in 80 minutes. Interestingly, the system voltage is a relatively high 260 to 300 volts. Despite the smallish battery, at 106 kgs (233.7 pounds) the E-SX is still more than 29 lbs heavier than its Freeride 250 two-stroke cousin.

The German price tag reads 10,995 euros ($14,130 US) for the E-SX and 11,295 euros ($14,515) for the E-XC, which includes that country's "value-added" tax. We imagine similar pricing in other European countries. Though perhaps a bit steep, the bike does come with quality components, including WP suspension, and should have a lot less expensive maintenance cycle.

KTM doesn't believe that electric motorcycles will replace gas-powered machines any time soon. It does, though, say that it expects battery bikes will carve out their own unique territory and is hoping the segment will attract new riders as well as boost its environmental cred. You can see the new Freeride E in detail by browsing the gallery. Watch it in action in the fresh video below where it keeps company with the official press release.
Related GalleryKTM Freeride E
KTM Freeride EKTM Freeride EKTM Freeride EKTM Freeride EKTM Freeride EKTM Freeride EKTM Freeride EKTM Freeride E

News Source: KTM

Tesla wins in Massachusetts, tries for more in New Jersey

Posted Sep 19th 2014 9:18AM

tesla store

Another brick falls as Tesla fights to practice its direct-to-consumer business model. A Massachusetts high court has thrown out a lawsuit seeking to block the electric car company from selling vehicles the Tesla way in the state. The Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association, along with two dealers, claimed that Tesla was in violation of a law that protects affiliated dealerships from oppressive practices from automakers.

According to the law, it is illegal for an automaker to operate "a motor vehicle dealership within the relevant market area of a motor vehicle dealer of the same line make." The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the plaintiffs didn't have a standing in this case because they weren't affiliated with Tesla, and because Tesla also doesn't have any franchise dealerships in the state. Judge Margot Botsford writes that the law, "was intended and understood only to prohibit manufacturer-owned dealerships when, unlike Tesla, the manufacturer already had an affiliated dealer or dealers in Massachusetts."

Armed with the Massachusetts win, Tesla is taking another whack at New Jersey.

Armed with that win, Tesla is taking another whack at New Jersey, which barred Tesla from selling cars directly to customers in the state. Tesla's appeal argues that the state franchise statute doesn't apply to it, as the automaker lacks any franchisor-franchisee relationship. Tesla also argues that the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission doesn't have the authority to enforce the statute, and that certain rules (requirements of minimum square footage, multiple display models and on-site servicing) violate the state Constitution.

In New Jersey, though, the appeal may become moot, as there are currently at least two pending bills that could grant exemption to Tesla, allowing it to sell cars directly to consumers. Jim Appleton, president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, says, "Something may be on the governor's desk and signed before they even decide to grant oral arguments at all."

Tesla recently won the right to practice its sales model in the state of Nevada as part of a deal to build its Gigafactory in Reno. Tesla is still barred from selling its cars in Texas, Arizona and Maryland.

News Source: Reuters, Automotive News

Image Credit: Rick Bowmer / AP

Toyota ad says fuel cell cars are inevitable

Are You A Handbrake Or A Trailblazer?

Posted Sep 18th 2014 6:58PM

Toyota fuel cell ad

Toyota's confidence in H2 technology remains as strong as ever. The company has released a new commercial that says it's not a matter of if we all start driving hydrogen cars, but when. In fact, the 70-second spot calls 2015 the turning point for the alternative powertrain technology.

Here's a bit of the voiceover for the animated spot, which to our eyes and ears comes off as more than a little defensive:

There will be the naysayers. The handbrakes, who say that it can't be done. that it's unsafe. That there's no infrastructure to support it. Then there'll be the trailblazers. The first to put up their hand, and put down their foot. The bold few, driven to be remembered as those who made a difference. And perhaps, the ones that made all the difference.

In the end, Toyota says, we're all going to be driving hydrogen cars, starting perhaps with the company's first H2 sedan which will go on sale next year. But, if the early comments on the video's YouTube page are any indication, then Toyota's might be a bit lonely driving down the hydrogen highway. Watch the ad below, then vote in our poll below and let us know what you think of Toyota's approach.

When it comes to hydrogen cars, I am:

News Source: Toyota via YouTube

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Jonathon Ramsey / AOL

Citroen C4 Cactus Airflow 2L promises 141 mpg, no door dings [w/video]

Posted Sep 18th 2014 4:29PM

Citroen C4 Cactus Airflow 2L Concept

Citroen C4 Cactus Aero 2L concept - rear sail area closeupI'm the president of Autoblog's chapter of the Citroën C4 Cactus Appreciation Club. Full Disclosure: I'm also probably its only member. Why am I fan, you ask? Because the C4 and its ding-resistant Airbumps offer the versatility of a five-door Ford Focus, but it's 350 pounds lighter than today's Mazda MX-5 Miata, tipping the scales at just over 2,100 pounds. And when equipped with a diesel, it returns 91.1 miles per gallon (European), all while looking like the epitome of French quirkiness and style. I can't think of anything not to like about it, aside from the fact that I haven't actually driven it (Citroën, call me, we can change this).

For the 2014 Paris Motor Show, Citroen is bringing a new concept version of the Cactus. Unlike the Adventure Concept shown at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, the Airflow 2L Concept is focused on increasing the Cactus' already impressive fuel economy. Through a fanatical observance of aerodynamics and the shedding of a further 220 pounds of weight, the Airflow 2L Concept returns over 141 miles per gallon (in other words, it consumes just two liters of fuel per 100 kilometers, hence the "2L" in the name).

Aerodynamic drag has been reduced by 20 percent thanks to three adjustable intakes in the front fascia, which can open and close automatically based on driving conditions. Side deflectors divert air around the body while active shutters on the 19-inch wheels further cut down on drag even further. The old concept car trope of video cameras in place of traditional wing mirrors is present, ostensibly to further reduce drag, while Citroën has added an air curtain system on the front bumper to manipulate air around the wheels.

The Airflow's floor is carbon fiber, while carbon composites have been used in the roof, tailgate and doors. Aluminum has been extensively employed, both for structural components as well as the hood and engine cradle.

Under that hood sits the brand's latest Hybrid Air powertrain, which boasts a three-cylinder gas engine as well as a compressed air motor. Citroën reports that this new powertrain is responsible for 30 percent of the Airflow's improved fuel economy.

Take a look below for the full press release from Citroen, as well as a hefty gallery of images of the funky, fuel-efficient five-door. We'll have much more on the C4 Cactus Airflow 2L, as well as everything else the French brand is debuting, when we cross The Pond early next month for the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

News Source: Citroën, Q Cars via YouTube

IRS won't, or can't, reveal how many plug-in vehicle tax credits are left

No One At The Federal Agency Seems To Know What's Going On

Posted Sep 18th 2014 2:59PM

Stop, pay your taxes!

The IRS has set up a page to help track individual automaker sales figures, but it's a complete mess.

One of the benefits of driving a plug-in vehicle these days is a federal tax credit worth up to $7,500. Officially called IRC 30D, this credit is intended to make the high cost of new EVs sting less for early adopters. Of course, free government money doesn't last forever, and when the tax credit law was first passed in as part of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, lawmakers built in a phase out. The rules say that the tax credit only lasts for each automaker until its first 200,000 EVs have been sold. After that, a company's qualifying vehicles (list here) will gradually net their buyers smaller and smaller tax credits – first 50 percent of the full amount for six months, then 25 percent for the next six months – over the following year until they're just gone. We've got the law's specific language at the end of this article.

Why This Matters

Let's be clear: no automaker has come close to selling 200,000 plug-in vehicles in the US. Nissan and Chevrolet are closest with over 60,000 each of the Leaf and Volt, respectively, and Tesla is catching up. Still, EVs sales are doing better than some might expect, and with around 250,000 EVs sold throughout the US from all automakers – up from just 130,000 a year ago – we're likely to hit the 200,000 target before we know it. With that in mind, it'd be nice to know how the various companies and plug-in vehicles are selling. Automakers are supposed to file their sales numbers quarterly and the Internal Revenue Service is supposed to share those official numbers with the public (more on this below), but when you try to look up the data, things quickly get messy. If if it's not clear how many the IRS says are sold, then how will anyone know when the tax credits run out?

The IRS has set up a page that is supposed to help buyers figure out how much time is left for plug-in vehicle buyers to get a tax credit, and it tracks individual automaker sales figures. Trouble is, it's a complete mess. There are years' worth of data that the IRS is not making available to the public. Or perhaps some of it's the automakers' fault. Some plug-in models – most of them, in fact – don't even show up on the chart. This all needs to be fixed before someone goes to buy a Leaf, for example, expecting to get money back and then is served a nasty surprise. We know that when incentives run out, sales tend to suffer.

News Source: Internal Revenue Service

Image Credit: Marc Norman / Getty

Meet Sparky, Nissan's Leaf-based, Frontier-bedded EV parts hauler [w/video]

Posted Sep 18th 2014 12:44PM

Nissan Leaf Frontier

For many enthusiasts, the concept of the ute – a car with a pickup bed – is somehow irresistibly appealing. On paper, it promises the marriage of a truck's utility and a car's superior driving dynamics, and for that reason alone, we'd love to see more of them. Yet while other parts of the world get them in good numbers, North America doesn't ever see them – at least not for long. Based on what we've seen of late, though, that's not due to a lack of motivation on the part of engineers.

BMW wowed us several years ago with an M3 ute, and earlier this year, some interns converted a Mini Paceman into the pickup-bodied Paceman Adventure. Loathe to let their rivals in Munich and Oxford have all the fun, Nissan has built its very own car-based pickup. Meet Sparky, the world's first Leaf Frontier.

Like the M3, this all-electric ute is used as a parts hauler for Nissan's engineering teams at its sprawling Stanfield, AZ tech center and proving grounds. "We tried to keep it a secret and be exciting for everybody. But we have visitors and they come and they see that truck and they go straight to 'What is it?' and they start looking at it, and it makes great conversation," Nissan's Roland Schellenberg said in a statement.

Schellenberg completed the months-long team-building project alongside fellow engineer Arnold Moulinet. "After [Schellenberg] told us it was going to be the Leaf that we would redo, I went home and stayed up til like four in the morning making all kinds of designs for what would work. We basically got the stock Leaf, and after reviewing a bunch of designs of pickup trucks that we have here at Nissan, we decided to go with a Frontier bed," Moulinet said in a statement. "My main job here is working on rough-road vehicles, rough-road testing. I'm pretty good at taking cars completely apart to the bare frame and putting them back together again to resume testing."

Take a look below for the video on the impetus behind Sparky, the build process and to see the final result in action.
Related GalleryNissan Leaf Frontier
Nissan Leaf FrontierNissan Leaf FrontierNissan Leaf FrontierNissan Leaf FrontierNissan Leaf FrontierNissan Leaf FrontierNissan Leaf FrontierNissan Leaf Frontier

News Source: Nissan Newsroom via YouTube

Recharge Wrap-up: Free chargers for Canadian ELR buyers, Renovo gets funding for EV supercar

Chevrolet Express Van Offers Renewable Fuel Options; Renault To Build Fluence ZE In China; Germany Lifts Uber Ban

Posted Sep 18th 2014 8:00AM

renovo coupe ev supercar

Chevrolet offers versions of its Express passenger van with B20 biodiesel and E85 capability. Customers can buy the van with the Duramax turbodiesel V8, which is compatible with the 20-percent biodiesel blend. There is also a FlexFuel V8, which can use the 85-percent ethanol gasoline blend. It's a great option for shuttling the whole soccer team to practice using renewable fuels. Read more at Domestic Fuels.

Early buyers of the Cadillac ELR in Canada will get a 240-volt charger installed at their home for free. It should help convince some buyers to adopt the range extended luxury EV. Cadillac's Chief Marketing Officer Uwe Ellinghaus says, "Professional installation of the fastest home-charging unit is a natural way to mark the introduction of ELR to the luxury market." Read more in the press release below.

Renovo has received venture capital funding from California-based True Ventures to build its Coupe electric supercar. The impressive EV, with its 500 horsepower and 1,000 pound-feet of torque, is an inspiring vehicle built by a promising company, according to its financial backers. Toni Schneider of True Ventures says that Renovo has "created incredibly advanced technology and a beautiful machine that is well positioned to disrupt the automotive market." Read more in the press release below.

Renault says it will build its Fluence ZE electric car in China for an unnamed brand, pending government approval. Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn announced the plan at a test drive event in France on Monday. Renault has a partnership with Dongfeng Motors to build and sell its cars in China. Read more at Reuters.

Germany has lifted its ban on Uber. While the German court believes the ride-hailing service is operating illegally without proper licensing for drivers, it says Taxi Deutschland waited too long to file the case against Uber. The taxi association plans to appeal the decision soon. See more in the video below, and read more at The New York Times.

A new report from UC Davis claims that a global expansion of public transit could save 1,700 megatons of carbon dioxide yearly and over $100 trillion by 2050. A "high-shift scenario" would be necessary, wherein governments invest in rail and clean buses, expand biking and walking infrastructure and shift focus away from projects that encourage car use. This shift to public transit would especially be important in the US, China and India. Read more in the press release below.
Related GalleryRenovo Coupe EV Supercar
Renovo Coupe EV SupercarRenovo Coupe EV SupercarRenovo Coupe EV SupercarRenovo Coupe EV SupercarRenovo Coupe EV SupercarRenovo Coupe EV Supercar

News Source: Domestic Fuel, Cadillac, Renovo Motors, Reuters, New York Times, UC Davis

Image Credit: Renovo Motors

This guy sold his Camaro to buy a Smart EV, and loves it

Making The Shift To EV Can Be Hella Fun

Posted Sep 17th 2014 6:57PM

Mk II Chevy Camaro SS

The Dead Milkmen will be very displeased. Stephen Grinwis has decided to explain to Clean Technica why he sold his Chevrolet Camaro for – get this – a Smart ED electric vehicle. We can already hear the Milkmen, performers of the 1985 punk masterpiece Bitchin' Camaro, crying in their Stoney's Extra Stout.

But green is green, and this case, the man said he was going broke driving the Camaro by spending $550 a month on gas and shredding his $3,000 set of tires. His Smart ED costs him about $20 a month worth of electricity, and the maintenance costs are way lower. Grinwis also claims the Smart ED is more fun because he can floor it off the line without garnering any police attention. He also says lots of folks ask him about the car, perhaps because he's always zipping a full speed. He boasts of having an eco-driving rate in the ED of under 20 percent, making us wonder if his single-charge range is about the length of a driveway.

Grinwis is somewhat of a rare breed, in that just 1,390 Smart EDs were sold in the US through July (Smart, a division of Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler, still hasn't submitted its August numbers to AutoblogGreen). Through August, General Motors sold about 65,000 Camaros. And they're still bitchin'.

News Source: Clean Technica

Image Credit: JoeBenjamin/Flickr

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