A123 expands, BMW electric plans, fuel-economy battle, Kia Niro chatbot: Today's Car News

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2017 Kia Niro, San Antonio, Texas, Dec 2016

2017 Kia Niro, San Antonio, Texas, Dec 2016

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Today, BMW's electric-car plans may have changed, Tesla solar roof tiles can be preordered, A123 is bigger than you think, and VW plans even greater reductions in the environmental impact of carmaking. All this and more on Green Car Reports.

We ran down our top news stories from the previous week.

If you're interested in the new Kia Niro hybrid wagon, the company's chatbot can answer questions about the car—and VentureBeat tested it to see how it did on some tough queries.

Tesla's solar roof tiles are now available for order, and first deliveries are to start in California next month.

Battery maker A123 has quietly become a half-billion-dollar company under new owner Wanxiang, despite its Fisker fiasco in 2012.

Volkswagen plans to cut the environmental impact of its carmaking by 45 percent, after achieving earlier goals ahead of schedule.

News emerged last week that BMW may have canceled its planned i5 electric SUV; we looked at what that could mean for its future plug-in car plans.

A bill quietly introduced into Congress last week would loosen CAFE rules by letting automakers use various credits more generously.

But supporters of fuel-efficiency rules fought back, noting that those rules have created many thousands of U.S. jobs.

Pricing for the 2018 Honda Odyssey minivan has been released; it's on the high side, but the new seven-seater has lots of amenities (and is a bit more fuel-efficient than its predecessor).

Finally, Mazda is celebrating 50 years of rotary-engined cars, even though it doesn't sell one at the moment.

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