2014 Volkswagen XL1 (Euro spec)Enlarge Photo
Over the last five years, Green Car Reports has steadily grown in both traffic and readership. Our articles on hybrids, diesels, plug-in hybrids, all-electric cars, and even hydrogen-powered vehicles seem to be gaining a following.
Car buyers are still interested in the same things as always--getting a vehicle that meets their needs at the lowest possible cost--but we now have more options than ever for better fuel efficiency (or not using any fuel at all).
As the year ends, it's time to look back at some of the more notable green automotive stories of 2013 as reflected in our social-media outlets.
We could barely go a day without some piece of news about Tesla Motors. From the brand's rising and falling stock price to growing sales and production numbers, there's no question Tesla was a hot topic. Three Model S electric cars caught fire this year, which led to an investigation by the NHTSA that's still underway. This came shortly after the Model S earned one of the highest safety ratings ever given by NHTSA, leading Tesla to claim the Model S is the safest car on the road.
Less happily, we have Fisker Automotive--which now hasn't made a vehicle in 18 months. The startup carmaker finally filed for bankruptcy after defaulting on its government loan. Fisker's remaining DoE loan of $139 million reportedly went for just $25 million and Fisker's assets will go to the Hong Kong-based Hybrid Technology Holdings. None of that stopped a few consumers from buying brand-new Fisker Karmas remaining on dealer lots.
We were smitten with one very unusual new vehicle: the Volkswagen XL1, the German carmaker's plug-in diesel hybrid ultra-economy two-seater. After driving this rolling showcase of technology, we were awestruck. It's not fast, but its combination of engineering, technology, and futuristic design made the very limited-production car fascinating--and a huge lure for questions from bystanders. Only 200 XL1s are being made, and they won't be imported into the U.S., but elements of the XL1 will likely appear in future VW Group products.
These were just three of the more than 1,800 stories we published over the last year. They're the ones that stand out, but let us know in the Comments which topics stand out as important for you.
To spark your memory, be sure to take a look at the past 12 months of Green Car Reports via our Instagram photos below.