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  • The 2010 Toyota Prius

    When it comes to lemons, are defective green cars different than traditional all gas or diesel engine vehicles? The simple answer is, no. The statistics of manufacturing ensures that lemon cars and trucks will be made regardless of manufacturer. That’s the simple answer. The Toyota Prius is a good example for study because they have been around much longer than some of the newer model hybrids and Toyota has made and sold a lot of them. As an engineer and a technical analyst for defects, I thought a lot about the Prius and hybrid electric vehicles in general. How would they fail? Would...

  • Are Public Charging Stations Really Needed for EV Deployment?

    There's been a lot of discussion and consideration given to the topic of public charging stations for electric vehicles. The old "chicken verses egg" conundrum is called to mind as auto makers and politicians seem to fumble around without really knowing what to do and where to allocate funds. Will...

  • Mitsubishi MiEV
    2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Drive: Mixed Verdict from USA Today

    The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is an intriguing prospect. On the one hand, it was one of the first breed of usable electric cars to the market. It's a proper car that doesn't feel like a golf cart to drive, and offers all the safety features we've come to expect from regular cars over the years. On the...

  • Bruce Richter drives the 2010 Tesla Roadster Sport
    Senate Panel Backs EV Bill; Global EV Initiative Launched

    Electric vehicle manufacturers will be energized this week by the news that a bipartisan Senate panel has just given their approval to a proposed plug-in vehicles bill. Although not final, as the bill needs approval first by the full Senate and then the House and Senate, the measures introduced in...

  • Renault Fluence ZE production electric sedan
    Nissan, Infiniti To Look To Renault For Sports, Luxury EVs?

    With Nissan busy working on bringing the 2011 Leaf to the market you think they'd have their hands full with EV development right now. Despite this, both Nissan and luxury arm Infiniti are looking to expand their electric vehicle program into other corners of the market and may tap into their...

  • 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser
    The Meteoric Rise and Catastrophic Fall of the PT Cruiser

    On Friday, the very last Chrysler PT Cruiser rolled off the assembly line in Mexico. To say that the last PT Cruiser marked the end of an icon would be a total understatement. The retro model’s life began a decade ago and was an instant hit, helping Chrysler rack up sales as high as 144,717 units...

  • Bruce Richter drives the 2010 Tesla Roadster Sport

    Ever since the first car radio--let alone the in-car record player and drive-time radio--there have been few finer places to listen to your favorite tunes than from the driver's seat of your car.   So far, though, amidst all the pounding rock and funky pop music, nobody seems to have considered the electric car when trying to write their next hit song. To make up for this oversight, we've come up with a list of 10 songs perfect for that road trip in your 2011 Nissan Leaf (or 2011 Chevrolet Volt--while it's running in battery mode). (1) Danger! High Voltage by Electric Six Although you might...

  • Nissan LEAF
    Do EVs Need A Passing Gear? Nissan Says Yes, Chevy Disagrees

    One of the benefits of the electric vehicle experience is the near instantaneous torque at your disposal when you prod the right-hand pedal: no shifting, no "kickdown," just smooth power. So why exactly would the 2011 Nissan Leaf electric car have a "passing gear"? On any electric car, the torque...

  • 2011 Coda Sedan prototype - side
    Coda's Electric-Vehicle Cost Calculator: What Can You Save?

    Have you ever wondered how much money you'd save by switching from a gasoline car to an electric vehicle? If you're not too hot at math (join the club), it can be a confusing process. Now, Southern California-based Coda Automotive wants to lend you a helping hand. Their website features a handy...

  • 2010 Scion xB 5dr Wagon Auto (Natl) Angular Front Exterior View
    2010 Scion XB: Quick Review

    The 2010 Scion xB is a little more curvy than the previous model.  However, it still has that boxy look that you either love, or hate.  Some buyers will think it's a quirky and fashionable small car, while others will think it looks funny or just plain ugly in appearance.  Whatever your point of...

  • 2008 Smart Fortwo
    The Great Smart MPG Mystery

    Since its official introduction into the U.S. in January 2008, the Smart ForTwo has come under near constant criticism for the poor economy figures it achieves despite being one of the smallest engined and lowest performing vehicles on the market. The initial sales it enjoyed were no doubt...

  • 2011 Smart electric drive  -  first drive
    Five Things EVs Will Need To Do Before They Become Mainstream.

    Let's face it. EVs are still a very small, very niche market. Expensive, short on supply and not even universally supported throughout the USA there are a whole series of achievements EVs will need to attain before they are considered regular cars. Here's the five most important things EVs will...

  • 2011 Nissan Leaf

    More evidence this week that Nissan is ready to consolidate its position at the vanguard of the new electric vehicle market.Finally the production Leaf is available to reviewers and early signs are that even the most rigorous of UK journals are ready to embrace it. Despite predictable doomsaying from some of the more conservative commentators, those who have actually driven the Leaf comment on its on-road abilities. Questions were naturally to be asked of an original configuration, with all that battery weight positioned low in the center of the car. Autocar commented on the lack of body roll...

  • 2011 Nissan Leaf
    Nissan Breaks Ground For Lithium-Ion Battery Plant In U.S.

    Nissan has broken ground for the lithium-ion battery plant that will produce the power packs for the Leaf, Nissan’s battery electric vehicle. The production facility is located in Smyrna, Tennessee, near Nissan’s existing vehicle assembly plant. Nissan expects to be able to produce up to...

  • 2009 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Sang Bleu
    Bugatti Experiments With All-Electric Supercar Based on Audi E-Tron

    Bugatti, the automaker that gave us the Veyron--the world's fastest and most expensive series production car--may be set to revolutionize the car industry once again. Bugatti's engineers are now experimenting with an electric powertrain that can deliver 800 HP. Benefiting from the experience of...

  • 2011 Nissan Leaf prototype
    2011 Nissan Leaf Prototype: Quick Drive Impressions

    Having announced that they were to be building the 2011 Leaf electric car at their Washington plant in England, Nissan have been taking the car around the UK on a whistle-stop tour of Europe. Whilst the car was on public display at Newcastle's Centre for Life science and technology centre, I...

  • Lutz Drives Volt
    Lutz Predicts Range-Extended EVs Like Chevy Volt Here To Stay

    With GM's 2011 Chevrolet Volt now in pre-production and due to launch in November 2010, Former GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz fully supports range-extended electric vehicles but remains doubtful of the near future of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. In an interview with GM-Volt.com before his retirement...

  • 2011 Nissan Leaf prototype
    Covering Electric Cars: Is It Really THAT Hard For the Media?

    If you pay attention to the so-called mainstream media, you could be forgiven for thinking that electric vehicles are alien technology, rather than cars with plugs. Though happy to cover natural disasters; governmental coups, and the latest celebrity gossip, pretty much any reporter seems...

  • Aptera 2e during Automotive X-Prize handling tests, from Consumer Reports video on YouTube

    Optimism is a useful thing for a startup company, maybe even a requirement. But the April newsletter from Aptera Motors, which is struggling to launch its ultra-aerodynamic three-wheeled electric vehicle in the face of delays and funding constraints, smooths over some crucial handling issues with blind optimism. On the face of it the Californian company seems chipper, with first deliveries of the 2e electric car by 2011. Company CEO Paul Wilbur's statement at an April 14 press conference that Aptera was "on the road to financial stability" is reiterated in the newsletter, along with the fact...

  • 2010 Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD 4-door Hybrid Limited Angular Front Exterior View
    A Look At The 2010 Ford Hybrid Escape

    Being the first on the scene with its hybrid SUV, the Escape Hybrid, Ford has experience in the industry that many of its competitors can’t claim. With over six years spent on developing the vehicle, Ford has been given plenty of time to tweak and fidget with it to create a superstar. But...

  • 2011 Nissan Leaf
    Will Nissan Have a Smaller Electric Car For Sale After the Leaf?

    Rumors are flying that Nissan is preparing a subcompact electric vehicle to compete directly with cars like the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, and it may even be made in China. The rumors are unconfirmed: word of mouth from inside a partner company of Nissan. But given the number of pre-launch reservations for...

  • 2011 MINI Countryman
    The New 2012 MINI Countryman

    MINI has announced that starting in February of next year buyers can opt for a pumped-up new model called the 2012 MINI Countryman. This ‘Super Mini’ of sorts is an SUV version of the cute little retro car that won our hearts in movies like The Italian Job. The Countryman will compete with the...

  • 2011 Nissan Leaf
    Buying An Electric Car: What You Need to Know

    Everyone pretty much knows what to look for when buying a gasoline vehicle. But what about an all-electric vehicle, of the sort that will go on sale at the end of the year? Here's some background information on the technologies used, and the few differences in the instrument panel you'll see...

  • 2011 Nissan Leaf
    2011 Nissan Leaf: Its Future Success

    “No tailpipe means no emissions” is one of the many pitch lines that the Nissan Leaf has to offer. In late 2010, while rolling out the M56, M37 and the Juke, the Nissan Leaf will enter car dealerships as the first affordable 100% electric car. Some competitors such as Chevy are...