Ford has now announced that it is taking orders for the C-Max Hybrid utility vehicle. The C-Max Hybrid is the most affordable and fuel-efficient hybrid utility vehicle in America according to Ford with a base price that's about $500 lower than that of the Toyota Prius V. Ford's C-Max has some interesting features such as a hands-free lift gate.
Google has been using what many consider to be economy cars for its autonomous vehicle fleet. The autonomous vehicle we've seen most from Google has been a Toyota Prius. Google has apparently now added something more luxurious to its autonomous fleet with the addition of a Lexus RX450h hybrid SUV.
I've wondered for a long time why it is manufacturers tend to make electric vehicles and hybrids so unattractive. Cars like the Nissan Leaf the Toyota Prius are boring and boxy looking. Thankfully, some companies are starting to come out with hybrids and EVs that are green and good-looking. One of the latest vehicles that falls into the green and attractive range is the Infiniti LE concept that surfaced this week at the New York Auto Show.
Philippe Starck has designed an electric vehicle from the angle of a person who hates cars. Seriously, he hates cars, he said so himself. Apparently, he thinks cars and noisy, dirty, antisocial, masochistic, and bring out the worst in people. Ironically, I rather feel the same way about some designers. The EV looks like something from a 60s moon-themed beach movie. I'm pretty sure Starck wants the owners of this vehicle to die.
Google's famed self-driving car got into its first fender-bender this week. The project is aimed at creating less traffic accidents and improving transportation safety and productivity, which makes the event a bit embarrassing. But before you start discounting the advancements in computer capabilities, Google says that the incident was actually caused by human error.
Nissan has found a way to take advantage of the competition between eco-conscious drivers to promote fuel-efficient use of its new Leaf electric vehicle. The Leaf's CARWINGS telematics system includes an app, the My Nissan Leaf forum discovered, that not only tracks individual efficiency but compares it with other Leaf drivers in the region.
Let's face it, the Toyota Prius - while still a reasonable hybrid - has lost one of its more important draws: its newness. That leaves the floor open for a new generation of earth-friendly vehicles, and one of the more eagerly anticipated is the Chevrolet Volt. Set to hit driveways in November 2010, Chevrolet brought the Volt along to SXSW last week for the geeks to play with.
Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Nissan and Renault said it was far too early to invest in hybrid technology, because costs outweighed the benefits for both consumers and manufacturers. The fuel savings of a hybrid vehicle did not justify the fuel savings incurred.
In fact, on highways a hybrid car like the Toyota Prius might actually use more fuel than a normal car. This is because on highway speeds, the Toyota Prius runs on full gasoline as the ECU detects highway long journeys might drain the battery too fast as the time for journeys are usually long and there is very little opportunity for regenerative braking. Since the Toyota Prius gasoline engine is quite tiny relatively, it actually has to work harder and use more fuel compared to a conventional powered vehicle with a larger more potent engine.
GM is working on a new compact electric car for 2016, expected to cost around $30,000 and use a similar range-extending generator to the Chevrolet Volt and Cadillac ELR. The project, currently unnamed and with no confirmation of which GM-owned brand it will launch under, has a target electric-only range of 200 miles, outgoing GM CEO Dan Akerson told Bloomberg Businessweek as he hands over the reins to new chief exec Mary Barra.
The Cadillac ELR is an important car for quite a few big reasons. Cadillac itself admits it has been playing catch-up in the luxury sedan market, pitching the ATS and CTS as more virile US alternatives to the typical options from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi, but with the electrified ELR it's finally an opportunity to strike at a niche where the Germans aren't playing yet. Borrowing the torquey electric drive of GM's Volt but leaving behind any sort of hair-shirt eco sacrifice, it's an angular slab of luxury that, thanks to its own onboard generator, promises to be the headache-free EV discerning drivers have been waiting for. Then again, it really should be: with a sticker price just short of $76,000, the ELR is firmly in Tesla territory. We grabbed the keys of one of the very first production ELR off the line to see if Cadillac has a potential winner on its hands.