Electric Cars

  • BMW ActiveE

    The BMW ActiveE, first unveiled at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, is BMW's second attempt at an all-electric vehicle. It follows the not-very-pleasant Mini E, of which 600 examples were tested in the U.S. and Europe during 2009 and 2010. Ahead of the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, BMW has now released new photographs and a very detailed description of the car's features. The ActiveE should be a considerably better vehicle, and it's worth noting that it's the first one that BMW has permitted to wear the hallowed BMW rondel. Its lithium-ion battery pack is liquid-cooled, which offers better control...

  • Gas pump
    Oil Exec Says Electric-Car Batteries 'Not Ready for Primetime'

    It's always good to hear the arguments against electric cars. Some are valid, some are idiotic, and some simply betray a lack of knowledge about how the auto industry really works. Into that last category may go some comments by one William M. Colton, ExxonMobil’s vice president for corporate...

  • 2011 BMW Vision ConnectedDrive Concept
    BMW Reveals All-Electric Vision ConnectedDrive Concept

    BMW is going to great lengths to show that electric cars can look good as well as just being green, revealing today its new Vision ConnectedDrive zero-emission roadster concept ahead of its world debut next month at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The automaker doesn’t go into detail as to what...

  • 2011 Nissan Leaf at quick-charging station
    Obama Seeking Rebates Instead Of Tax Credits For Electric Car Buyers

    Currently, buyers of electric cars receive a $7,500 tax credit that they can only realize once they file their taxes, often up to a year after they actually make their purchase. Without a doubt, this has limited the effectiveness of the incentive so it’s not surprising to hear there are many...

  • cash
    Senator Stabenow: $7,500 Electric-Car Credit Should Be Rebate

    It's long been known that purchase rebates--buy a car, get a check--are a more effective incentive for purchase of any kind of car than an income-tax credit, which may take a year or more to affect the buyer's cash position. But the current tax credits for purchase of plug-in cars, up to $7,500 for...

  • Aston Martin designed London Routemaster bus
    Can London's Mayor Make It The Electric-Car Capital of Europe?

    Like most capital cities, London is choked with traffic, fumes and noise. But London's charismatic if disheveled mayor Boris Johnson hopes to change this, with grand plans to encourage to make it easier to run electric vehicles in the city. The key to Johnson's plan is the £17 million ($27.5...

  • 2011 Chevrolet Volt

    Anyone who's stored a car in a rural area has heard stories of the chaos wreaked by nesting squirrels. Engine compartments stuffed with leaves, twigs, nuts, and even entire furry families can cause overheating and sometimes fires. But now a new peril has come to light against which electric-car owners may have to guard: Rodents seeking warmth can be attracted to their high-voltage battery packs and other components when the car is plugged in to recharge. While gasoline vehicles go cold when they're switched off and parked, the batteries of electric cars stay warm as long as the vehicles stay...

  • BMW ActiveHybrid 5 Concept
    BMW Working On 5-Series Based Electric Car For China

    Electric car development is quickly proving to be a worldwide effort, with companies and research institutes from across the globe and in varying industries and fields forming partnerships and alliances in order to accelerate the roll out of zero-emission electric cars. The latest is BMW and its...

  • U.S.-spec Mitsubishi i-MiEV
    Mitsubishi Picks Central Illinois For Initial Tests Of ‘i’ Electric Car

    Mitsubishi was one of the first major automakers to announce plans for a mass-produced electric car and even had a working prototype out testing as far back as 2008 in the form of the first generation i-MiEV. Since then the i-MiEV has gone through a series of redesigns until finally being launched...

  • 2011 Tesla Roadster Sport. Photo by Joe Nuxoll.
    Report: Tesla Model X SUV Will Be Compact Yet Spacious

    We got our first hints that Tesla was planning several new models after the Model S electric sedan following the release of some official slides in the company’s IPO presentation last June. Soon after Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed that one of these new models, an electric SUV dubbed the Model...

  • OnStar utility grid
    Video: OnStar Previews New Energy Management Tools For EV Owners

    As electric cars start to trickle into the market and public charging infrastructure grows, their drivers will need to know the best times to charge, the best places to charge on longer journeys, and the exact amount they will pay for the electricity they use. That will require automakers, utility...

  • BMW Megacity Vehicle official teaser
    BMW May Only Lease Its Advanced MegaCity 'i' Electric Car

    Of all the electric vehicles planned by major automakers, few are more eagerly awaited than the BMW MegaCity 'i' all-electric urban car, expected to go into production late in 2013 or early in 2014. It's a BMW, which means it will be sporty and handle well. It's likely to be the smallest BMW since...

  • Toyota exec Frank Miller and Zipcar CEO Scott Griffith

    With cars like the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf already on sale, plus a handful of startups either selling or building battery-powered cars on U.S. soil, it’s safe to say that the electric car revolution is truly upon us. Sadly, the cost of entry to be a part of this revolution is still quite high, even with the myriad of state and federal incentives designed to get us all behind the wheel of a zero emission vehicle. And for now, demand exceeds supply, meaning interested buyers have to wait for months to get their cars. Several companies, however, are hoping to change all that...

  • First 2011 Nissan Leaf delivered to buyer, San Francisco, Dec 2010, photo by Eugene Lee
    Which Is Selling Better: 2011 Chevy Volt Or 2011 Nissan Leaf?

    The first business day of every month is when automakers release sales data for the previous month. Today, we got January's sales figures, which are an improvement over last January's. But the question that we keep hearing is: Which sells better, the 2011 Nissan Leaf or the 2011 Chevrolet Volt?...

  • 2009 dodge ram pickup 006
    Electric Pickups: When Will We See Them Again?

    Think back to the late 1990s. While the EV1 was making waves smoothly whirring down the freeways and highways of Arizona and California, an altogether more rugged fleet of electric utility trucks were living a less obviously electric lifestyle. Enter GM’s S10 Pickup and Ford’s Electric...

  • Lithium-ion battery pack for 2011 Chevrolet Volt
    Choice Of Electric-Car Battery Size? GM Investment May Make It Real

    A recent investment by General Motors in a new lithium-ion battery cathode technology will give the automaker more pricing options for future generation electric vehicles. It could give consumers more choices, as well. On January 26, GM announced it had invested $7 million in energy storage systems...

  • Think City electric vehicle
    Even Electric Cars Get Recalled: 2011 Think City Safety Notices

    Recall notices are now a standard part of the automotive landscape. Last year's recall of almost 10 million Toyota and Lexus models only highlighted the fact that most vehicles get called back to dealers for minor upgrades or inspections to fix or avert potential defects. Despite their much smaller...

  • Lithium-ion battery pack for 2011 Chevrolet Volt
    GM Bets On Cheaper Electric-Car Batteries With Envia, Invests $17 Million

    Riding high on a bout of good press of its Chevy Volt, GM is putting $7 million into its next big bet on electric cars: cheaper, higher-energy batteries. In his state of the union address yesterday, President Obama called for the U.S. to be the first country to put one million electric cars on the...

  • BBC Correspondent complains about MINI E

    by Chelsea Sexton Slanted, anti-EV reporting is hardly a new thing, and I suspect we're in for a lot more of it in 2011 as plug-in vehicles hit showrooms. But the recent BBC "Mini Adventure," a 484-mile journey from London to Edinburgh in a Mini E, has caught fire like nothing I've seen in a while. Helen Keller could have predicted the outcome of the trip itself:. Cold weather affected both comfort and range, and combined with lack of abundant infrastructure, created a less than optimal experience for the BBC's Brian Milligan, who finally made it to the end of his journey after four days and...

  • 2011 Chevrolet Volt
    Congressmen Propose Lifting Number Of Vehicles Eligible For EV Tax Credits

    Hot on the heels of President Barack Obama’s pledge of support for expanding U.S. production and sales of plug-in electric cars in his State of the Union address earlier this week, comes more support for the zero emission vehicles from a pair of Michigan Democrats. Brothers Rep. Sander M...

  • Smart Makes It Three: First Smart Electric Drive Delivered

    And the entry of electric cars into the U.S. market continues apace. The first 2011 Nissan Leaf was delivered in San Francisco on December 12, and the first 2011 Chevy Volt came three days later in New Jersey. Now, Smart has delivered the first example of its own electric car, the 2011 Smart ForTwo...

  • First 2011 Nissan Leaf delivered to buyer, San Francisco, Dec 2010, photo by Eugene Lee
    2011 Nissan Leaf Laurels: Euro Car of the Year, U.S. Cell Plant Underway

    Initial deliveries of the 2011 Nissan Leaf battery electric car have been fitful, compared to hundreds of Chevy Volts sold each week. But Nissan's first modern mass-produced battery electric car continues to rack up accomplishments (and the company says it will be at full production by March)...

  • Barack Obama
    Obama Sticks With 1 Million Plug-Ins by 2015, Cuts Oil Sweetheart Deals

    His party may be under increasing pressure from the Tea Party movement as it fights conservative attempts to stifle everything from healthcare reform to government spending, but President Obama is still keen to push the electric car revolution. Speaking at last night’s State of the Union...

  • Barack Obama
    Obama Doubles Down on Plug-In Cars, More Policy Tweaks Coming

    Last night, in his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama reiterated his support for expanding U.S. production and sales of plug-in cars that run on grid power. Today, according to the Detroit News, a slew of policy changes will be unveiled by Vice President Joe Biden to advance that...