2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid - production modelEnlarge Photo
Five years ago today, Green Car Reports began a daily publishing schedule.
At first one a day, and then more, we wrote articles on fuel efficiency, hybrids, diesel vehicles, and the plug-in electric cars that were then still two years away from the market.
Think back to February 2009, when the Tesla Roadster was the sole modern battery-electric car available in any volume--at a price of $109,000.
FIRST DAILY ARTICLE: GM: Give Us Plugs, We'll Sell You Volts
Then fast-forward to today, with no fewer than 16 different cars with plugs offered at least in some regions of the U.S.
They include battery electrics, range-extended electrics, plug-in hybrids, and span the gamut from two-seat minicars to fast, sleek, luxurious five-seat sedans (plus one compact crossover).
Barack Obama speaking Detroit Economic ClubEnlarge Photo
A lot has happened over five years, and Green Car Reports has documented much of it.
From the very first deliveries of a Nissan Leaf and a Chevy Volt in December 2010 to the first Tesla Model S in July 2012--and then 20,000 or more to date--we've written about the cars, the policies, the laws, the science, the people, and occasionally, the wackiness.
As of today, we've produced just under 10,000 articles. Some of them came from All Cars Electric, which we acquired and which brought an additional audience eager for plug-in electric car coverage that was both broad and deep.
Today, we shoot for roughly half our articles to be about plug-in cars--and with roughly 180,000 on U.S. roads in just over three years, there's clearly a lot more coverage to come.
We've road-tested and written about more than 200 different cars, including every plug-in electric car on the market and most hybrid models--and we're working on doing the same with the growing number of diesel vehicles as well.
Still, it's important to keep in mind that the major force that is greening every new vehicle sold in North America was the enactment of new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) rules by the Obama White House, first in 2009 for 2012-2016 models, and then in August 2012, for model years 2017-2025.
Not everything we do meets with unalloyed approval from our readers, who are quick to add to our articles and--put gently--occasionally to question our thought processes.
2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZEnlarge Photo
For instance, we wrote about fuel-economy improvements in current-model full-size pickup trucks.
We got many comments saying that no pickup truck could ever be "green"--and that merely by writing about them, we were "greenwashing" trucks that really weren't needed anyway.
We disagreed, and late last year, we laid out our case in a further piece that explained why we cover all segments of the vehicle market, including full-size pickups.
More than 500 comments later--the highest number ever--that debate is still raging among readers.
'Diesel fuel only' caution on Audi Q7 TDIEnlarge Photo
But what's made it all possible has been our growing base of loyal readers--many hundreds of thousands of you, logging almost 1 million visits in the last 30 days--and our truly dedicated writers.
From Lyle Dennis, who founded All Cars Electric, to our first staff writer, Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, many people worked long hours for very little reward to tell the stories and spread the word that green cars come in a variety of forms and can be propelled by many different forms of energy.
Today, Antony Ingram and Stephen Edelstein join editor John Voelcker in cranking out five to nine stories a day--and one on each weekend day as well--to bring you the latest news.
We thank them, and most of all, we thank our readers. We couldn't have done it without your feedback, your suggestions, your tips, and your comments.
Here's to five more years of green car coverage!