July 15th, 2009
Written by Andrew Williams, courtesy of Gas2.0, originally published on July 10, 2009
US-based car-share giant Zipcar Inc. has launched its first ever Electric Vehicle Pod, featuring an all-electric Citroen C1 and a Plug-In Toyota Prius. The vehicles, among the most efficient and technologically advanced on the road today, can be hired by the hour for a fraction of the cost of owning one.
The company figures that EVs are ideally suited for early, large-scale use in Zipcar’s car sharing platform since the average Zipcar trip lasts just under four hours and less than 25 miles, well within the range of a typical EV. (more…)
Popularity: 7% [?]
April 9th, 2009
Just when you thought GM was a washed up brontosaurus, they come out with a pretty cool announcement. GM and Segway are teaming up to develop an electric two-seater called the PUMA. This small vehicle is for urban use– with a top speed of 35 miles per hour. And they say it can go for about 35 miles on a single charge.
The producers are comparing the vehicle to “an iPod on wheels” due to its revolutionary nature. (Wishful thinking?) The snappy little car comes complete with Internet connectivity and an electronic brain to drive by itself. They claim it can even find its own parking spot!
They plan to roll the PUMA out in 2010 but they have not yet announced a price.
Popularity: 4% [?]
March 26th, 2009
There are two important pieces of hybrid auto news today. First, according to Reuters, Honda Motors has announced the base price for their new Honda Insightat $19,800, which is 10% lower than the base Toyota Prius. Honda is positioning the five-door Insight as an economical alternative to the Prius, which has so far dominated the hybrid market. We welcome the competition and hope that this aggressive pricing will entice many buyers. But, is it just us or does the Insight look shockingly like the Prius?
Second, according to AP, Toyota Motors announced that it will continue to sell the current Prius even when the revamped version goes on sale in May. This is an unusual move, and is likely directly a response to the Honda Insight’s pricing. The 2009 Prius pricing starts at $22,000.
Let the hybrid wars begin!
Popularity: 3% [?]
March 22nd, 2009
Written by Clayton B. Cornell, courtesy of Gas2.0
President Obama announced today that $2.4 billion will be made available for the US-based development of plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.
The fund is intended to spur growth in research and manufacturing of next-generation plug-in hybrid vehicles and advanced battery componenents for electric cars, while creating tens of thousands of US jobs and reducing US petroleum dependence. It should also help meet the President’s goal of putting one million plug-in hybrid vehicles on the road by 2015.
The President made the announcement while visiting Southern California Edison’s Electric Vehicle Center. SCE is one of the largest electric utilities in the country and researches battery-powered and hybrid engines, along with potential impacts of having massive numbers of electric vehicles taking power from conventional utility networks.
This investment will not only reduce our dependence on foreign oil, it will put Americans back to work. It positions American manufacturers on the cutting edge of innovation and solving our energy challenges.
The plan was partially outlined on the Department of Energy’s website:
- The Department of Energy is offering up to $1.5 billion in grants to U.S. based manufacturers to produce these highly efficient batteries and their components.
- The Department of Energy is offering up to $500 million in grants to U.S. based manufacturers to produce other components needed for electric vehicles, such as electric motors and other components.
- The Department of Energy is offering up to $400 million to demonstrate and evaluate Plug-In Hybrids and other electric infrastructure concepts — like truck stop charging station, electric rail, and training for technicians to build and repair electric vehicles.
Popularity: 3% [?]
February 23rd, 2009
There are lots of exciting developments on the green auto scene…and here are some of the highlights.
San Francisco continues to be a leading green city and is installing electric vehicles in front of City Hall. Mayor Gavin Newsom did a guest blog post on Gas2.0 last week in which he describes the city’s commitment to making electric transportation a feasible reality. Let’s hope more American cities follow SF’s approach.
Speaking of electric cars, there is a new one on the market– the ZERO from Tazzari. This is a cute little city car worth checking out. According to the company ZERO’s electric motors deliver brisk acceleration to 35 mpg and a top speed just over 55 mph for a claimed 88 miles. Click here to watch a video of the ZERO in peppy action.
On the not-so-good-news front, one of our favorite green car companies has decided to delay the launch of their plug-in hybrid by a bit. The futuristic Aptera 2e was slated for release in late 2008, but is now aiming for late 2009/early 2010. This is a hotly awaited vehicle. The company says they just want to get it right and make sure that all customers are totally delighted with the vehicle. They did offer test drives at the recent TED conference, though.
A bit of great news is how amazing the mileage is for the new Honda Insight. HybridCars.com reports that the 2010 Insight is routinely getting over 60 MPG in road tests. Originally Honda had announced that the new 2010 Honda Insight would “only” average about 41 or 42 mpg — but it seems they have outdone themselves. (Hey that even puts my Prius to shame.) And what’s even better is the price point Honda is aiming for: somewhere around $19,000. (There is no official exact price yet.) If they can deliver a sub-$20K car that gets 60 MPG, this car will seriously be a green dream.
Popularity: 3% [?]