Beyond our own electric vehicle (EV) stories, here are some topic EV stories from around the interwebs from the past week or so:
Thanks to the success of the Prius and others, hybrids have become a big deal in the automotive universe – so much so that boutique carmakers like Porsche and Ferrari are looking to hybrid technology to stay relevant. Cars aren’t the only people-movers moving to hybrid power, of course. Trains are adopting the technology in a bid to reduce harmful emissions and stabilize fuel costs – especially in the European Union.
The German Railway (Deutsche Bahn) is Germany’s biggest consumer of electricity. They use about 12 TWh, according to SPIEGEL.
And they are using renewable electricity, since their customers want them to do so.
The latest news is that everybody in a large group of customers will be traveling with 100 percent renewable electricity from April this year. People who are in the ‘Bahncard’ rebate program, people who have a monthly ticket, and people working with companies registered in the corporate rebate program.
Today in America more than 90% of new cars are sold with an automatic transmission. The adoption of hybrid and electric cars is only accelerating this trend away from shifting for yourself, though Lotus is hoping to offer customers an electric driving experience that includes fake shifting software that mimics a manual transmission.
What you see above is a group of high-risk teens that built a fully electric Lotus Esprit and drove it all the way across these great United States. It’s pretty awesome.
Electric cars have always been around in one form or another, and when the auto industry was still in its infancy, electric vehicles were actually quite popular. To kick off a new series of articles looking at the green cars of yesteryear, we decided to go all the way back to the very beginning of the American car culture, when a little company called Detroit Electric was selling a 100% electric car with an advertised driving range of 80 miles.
The name Bob Lutz is no doubt familiar to those of you who closely follow the auto industry, but for the rest of you, know that he is considered the father of the Chevy Volt. Lutz left GM after a long and storied career, though he now finds himself heading VIA, a plug-in hybrid truck company which recently unveiled an 800 horsepower concept called the X-Truck.
President Barack Obama pledged to modernize the government fleet, and he has done just that… though, many of these new, fuel-efficient cars aren’t American. In fact, 54% of the Obama Administration’s fleet of alternatively fueled vehicles come from Asian brands.
In Japan, Toyota’s Prius C, which is the subcompact version of the Prius, is called the Aqua. Toyota has developed a more aesthetically sporty conceptual version of it called the Aqua G, with more aggressive styling, an adjusted suspension, and some other things that make it more appealing to young people.
2012 was not a good year for green car maker Fisker, makers of the Fisker Karma, and the news isn’t getting any better. A new report reveals that Fisker hasn’t built a car in six months, which is troubling in and of itself. Even worse though, Fisker claims this is no big deal, because they have a “sufficient supply” of Karma hybrids on hand. So why is that bad?
In the world of performance cars, the dynamometer (or dyno for short) is a tool used for measuring the horsepower and torque of a vehicle. Usually this is used for tuning purposes, but some people just like to brag about how much power their car does (or doesn’t) have. We’re surprised it took so long, but someone finally put their Tesla Model S on the dyno…and the results are predictably awesome.
It has been almost a year since Tesla Motors unveiled its Model X SUVto a select group of journalists and bloggers. This year at the North American International Auto Show, Tesla finally trotted out the Model X for consumption by the rest of us lowly peons, and they brought outone of their new Supercharger charging stations as well.
We’re back, rested, and ready to bring you all the live shots and info from the 2013 North American International Auto Show. While there were many cool, green cars on the showroom floor, we found ourselves gravitating back to one car over and over again; the Cadillac ELR, GM’s luxury version of the Chevy Volt.
The 2013 Detroit Auto Show officially kicked off last week and it marked one the biggest years for the show in at least five years. Automakers pulled out all the stops with big debuts like the 2014 Chevy Corvette and Cadillac ELR. This year was also significant as we saw more luxury automakers unveil new electric and hybrid models than ever before. Here’s our list of the top seven hybrid and electric cars that took the stage in Detroit.
Stuttgart’s new Green Party mayor, Fritz Kuhn, recently paid a visit to Porsche’s manufacturing facility in Germany, where he praised the company’s recent efforts to bring clean diesels and innovative hybrids to market.
To paraphrase the old Elvis Presley tagline, more than 800,000 Europeans can’t be wrong. That’s the conclusion of Pike Research, which estimates that sales of electric vehicles in Europe will jump more than fivefold between now and the end of the decade.
Specifically, EVs will account for about four percent of the European new-car market in 2020, up from 0.7 percent last year. That means that about 827,000 EVs will be sold throughout the continent in 2020. Pike acknowledges there are conflicting factors that need to be taken into account when estimating EV growth. While Europe’s higher fuel prices will help push EV sales, the broader prevalence of fuel-efficient diesel vehicles may hamper automakers’ effort to get potential customers to consider EVs.
Better Place has long promoted itself to the electric-vehicle advocate community as the expert in battery-swapping technology. Turns out, the company is proficient at swapping out its CEOs, too.
Evan Thornley, who became CEO in October, had been chief of the company’s Australia operations before replacing Better Place founder Shai Agassi. Thornley is now out, the company says.
Thornley helped the company “raise the capital it needed to sustain continued operations,” but won’t be leading the company’s effort in expanding its sales and network of battery-swapping stations in countries such as Israel and Denmark. Better Place CFO Alan Gelman will oversee the company until yet another CEO successor is tapped.
EV (+ Some Oil & Nuclear) News from Mr Energy Czar
EV Q&A with Mr Energy Czar #6
Oops, I Lied, We’ve Also Got Some Non-EV Transportation News
There have been renewable, “green” jet fuel tests in the past. However, they were not completely renewable, they were just used in addition to jet fuel to offset petroleum usage. This time, however, the test was completely offset, resulting in an important aviation milestone.
Yesterday, I found myself clicking around a website that called itself “smarter fuel future“. The distortion of facts to fit fictions and lies by omission committed throughout the site would be laughable, if they weren’t so readily accepted by some of the mental midgets (mental little people?) that frequent this site’s comments section from time to time.
E15 is coming, and federal courts think that is just fine according to a federal appeals court decision rendered Tuesday that denied a request by food and oil lobbyists that it reconsider a decision upholding a federal measure allowing gasoline to be mixed with a higher percentage of ethanol. Known as E15, the ethanol/gasoline mix is expected to reduce dependence on foreign oil while encouraging the development of ethanol-friendly fuel systems and modern, turbocharged engines that can benefit from the increased octane available from ethanol fuels.
Toyota’s Lexus LFA supercar program is over – but the lessons Toyota learned from building the light weight, ultra-fast exotics are going to carry forward into the future of Toyota’s mainstream cars, if the latest reports are to be believed.
Sapphire Energy has built the world’s first large-scale farm to grow algae and produce crude oil. If all goes according to plan, commercial production of perhaps 10,000 barrels a day will begin in 2018.
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on some of your favorite social networks, go to zacharyshahan.com or click on some of the links below.