Tesla batteries, EPA comments, Hyundai and Kia plug-in availability: Today's Car News


2020 Kia Soul EV

2020 Kia Soul EV

Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said electric cars are "not grounds for concern" at the EPA—yet highway safety and car prices are. Tesla buys a company that builds ultracapacitors. Hyundai and Kia aim to avoid the dreaded "compliance car" label with their EV sales—barely. We investigate the hesitation. In our latest Twitter poll, readers tell us how important it is to them that their electric car be American-made. All this and more on Green Car Reports.

At a Bloomberg conference on the future of mobility in California, Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler sat down with California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols to try and iron out their differences over emissions and fuel-economy standards. Wheeler also told the Bloomberg conference, that whether cars run on electricity or some other fuel "is not grounds for concern" at the EPA. Or at least it isn't if the agency doesn't concern itself with air quality.

On Monday, Tesla bought San Diego-based ultracapacitor manufacturer Maxwell Technologies, in what looks like an effort to develop more energy-dense batteries and possibly even acquire solid-state technology.

Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia are cranking out new electric and plug-in cars right and left, with four electrics and four plug-in hybrids among their lineups. Yet the cars are not widely available and many buyers complain of not being able to get one. We look at what's going on.

In our latest Twitter poll results, our readers weigh in on how important it is to them to buy American with their next electric car, if the purchase supports building an innovative economy in the U.S.

Aston Martin's uber-exclusive luxury brand Lagonda plans to show its first electric SUV at the Geneva auto show next month.

Finally, the National Transportation Safety Board released its "most wanted" list of new laws to make roads safer. On top of the list: mandatory automatic emergency braking for cars, trucks, and RVs that will stop for motorcycles, too; and a lower 0.05 blood-alcohol threshold for drunk driving arrests.

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