The Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAPA) has given the Lexus CT 200h its Favorite Hybrid title. It named the compact luxury hybrid its favorite of 2014 at its Drive Revolution in Portland (where it also named the new Volkswagen Golf TDI the Northwest Green Car of the Year). According to NWAPA president Nik Miles, the CT 200h earned the honor for "impressive combination of state-of-the-art small car luxury and hybrid technology." For 2014, the Lexus CT200h got an updated front end, including the spindle grille we've been seeing on new Lexus vehicles, plus a redesigned steering wheel and sliding sun visors. Read more in the press release below.
Chevrolet credits the Malibu for helping make stop-start mainstream. Chevrolet started including stop-start technology standard in Malibus equipped with the four-cylinder engine. Chevy has sold about 83,000 of that model, so 97 percent of 2014 and 2015 Malibu sales include stop-start. Now, that technology has made its way into the 2015 Impala. With drivers idling an average of 16 minutes a day, stop-start can significantly reduce harmful emissions and save fuel. According to Navigant Research, we can expect annual sales of cars equipped with stop-start technology to surpass 55 million by 2022. Read more in the press release below.
Nissan Leaf customers in Los Angeles will get access to free charging beginning August 15. Nissan is extending its "No Charge to Charge" promotion to LA, which will allow customers to charge at public charging stations at no cost. Leaf customers - including those who bought or leased their car from the participating dealerships on or after July 1 - will get an EZ-Charge card, allowing them to use ChargePoint, Blink, CarCharging, AeroVironment and NRG eVgo chargers for free. Rapid chargers can charge the Leaf's battery to 80 percent in 30 minutes. Nissan plans to offer the "No Charge to Charge" in at least 14 more markets in the US, bringing the total to 25, within the next year. See the press release below for more details.
California will get six all-electric school buses for three school districts as part of a demonstration program. The California Energy Commission awarded a grant of $1.4 million for the program to National Strategies LLC; this is in addition to a $2.2-million grant from the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The EV buses use vehicle-to-grid technology, allowing them to sell energy back to the grid when it is needed. They are also equipped with vehicle-to-building tech, which can provide power during an outage or disaster. The six emissions-free buses will be used in Torrance, Kings Canyon and Napa Valley Unified School Districts to evaluate their performance. Learn more in the video below.