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Driving Toyota i-ROAD: Crazy tilt meets genius strategy

Driving Toyota i-ROAD: Crazy tilt meets genius strategy

Who says electric cars have to be boring? Toyota's Prius may be poster child for the eco-pious, but its i-ROAD tilting trike shows there's still potential for madness in the EV. SlashGear is no stranger to the i-ROAD, and in fact we've driven earlier prototypes over in Japan before now. They're less commonly found in the US, however, but Makoto Morita, Grand Master of the Product Planning Division and lead of the i-ROAD project brought a handful with him to test the waters among potential American drivers.

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Grunt versus Green: Detroit shows an auto industry torn

Grunt versus Green: Detroit shows an auto industry torn

Not everything on four wheels is created equal, and while the Detroit Auto Show had its fair share of eco-mindful cars this week, the industry still couldn’t resist some heavy duty muscle. Cars like the new Chevrolet Volt and its baby - and currently only conceptual - brother, the Bolt, showed GM isn’t giving up on plug-in hybrid and range-extended cars. Its efforts were arguably overshadowed with the reveals of Ford’s GT and Acura’s NSX, however, along with a brace of new, luxury vehicles that gave only minor nods to the environment, if at all.

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Chevrolet Bolt EV tipped to take on Tesla Model 3

Chevrolet Bolt EV tipped to take on Tesla Model 3

Chevrolet is set to reveal a second hybrid EV, the Chevrolet Bolt, in concept form at the Detroit Auto Show on Monday, insiders claims, as a pre-emptive strike against the upcoming cheaper Tesla. The Bolt - its name a nod to the existing Volt, which itself will be updated for the 2016 model year at Detroit - will reportedly cost around $30,000 and be able to run around 200 miles on a charge. Like the Volt, it will not only support being plugged-in to replenish the batteries, but have a range-extending gasoline engine onboard.

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Toyota shares fuel-cell patent portfolio to drive hydrogen

Toyota shares fuel-cell patent portfolio to drive hydrogen

Toyota has thrown open its fuel-cell patent portfolio, offering royalty-free access to almost 6,000 patents used its Mirai car, in the hope of driving adoption of the technology. "At Toyota, we believe that when good ideas are shared, great things can happen," SVP of automotive operations Bob Carter said of the CES 2015 announcement, which will cover not only other car companies looking to add fuel-cell vehicles to their fleets, but to infrastructure and parts specialists, and even firms looking to leverage hydrogen power for busses and industrial equipment.

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Is Lexus next on the fuel-cell bandwagon?

Is Lexus next on the fuel-cell bandwagon?

Lexus is reportedly eyeing Toyota's fuel-cell powertrain, planning a new flagship version of its LS luxury sedan that would run on hydrogen not gasoline. Currently, the Lexus four-door range is topped by the LS 600h L, a long-wheelbase hybrid pairing a 6.0-liter gas engine and an electric drive system, which conveniently makes for a quieter limo and a good example of how parent company's hybrid strategy makes sense for more than just the Prius. However, according to new leaks, it's the propulsion system inside the Toyota Mirai which has now caught Lexus' eye.

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BMW has 670HP plans for ubiquitous plug-in hybrids

BMW has 670HP plans for ubiquitous plug-in hybrids

BMW will distill the electric hybrid drive offered in its i8 eco-supercar and unusual i3 city car for its mainstream models, with the German company revealing plans to offer plug-in hybrid versions of every car. Kicking off with a 3 Series plug-in hybrid prototype set to be shown off in Miramas, France, and then spreading across the rest of the marque's line-up over the long term, the technology will see a battery-powered electric drivetrain paired with a frugal gas engine, the latter used as a range extender. However, BMW is also promising less time with that extender active.

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We could fuel astronauts with human waste says research

We could fuel astronauts with human waste says research

Future astronauts and planetary colonists may end up breathing and watering plants with human waste, not to mention traveling in vehicles powered by it, if one research team has its way. NASA tasked the group at the University of Florida with figuring out what to do with the inevitable outcome of astronaut's freeze-dried meals, preferably something more productive than simply flushing it away into the nearest black hole. While the initial goal was lightening the load for space-faring folk, though, the research could have new implications down on Earth, too.

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Tesla battery talks with BMW continue says Musk

Tesla battery talks with BMW continue says Musk

Tesla and BMW continue to have discussions around potential collaborations on batteries, charging stations, and lightweight car components, Elon Musk has confirmed, though the EV firm maintains the talks are still "casual" at this stage. "We are talking about whether we can collaborate in battery technology or charging stations," Musk told German press, in addition to suggesting that Tesla was aiming to launch a battery production plant for its EVs like the Model S and the upcoming Model X SUV in Germany within the next five to six years.

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Audi A7 h-tron flirts with performance fuel-cells

Audi A7 h-tron flirts with performance fuel-cells

The LA Auto Show 2014 is shaping up to be the car show where fuel-cells come to the fore, with the new Audi A7 Sportback h-tron quattro joining Toyota’s Mirai and Honda’s FCV in turning to hydrogen for its power. Officially a plug-in hybrid + fuel-cell electric car, as Audi would have it, the A7 Sportback h-tron quattro concept delivers 230 HP and 400 lb-ft of torque from its combined powerplants, as well as delivering what the Germany company says should be around 342 miles of driving range.

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2016 Toyota Mirai First-Drive – Fuel-Cells Dawning

2016 Toyota Mirai First-Drive – Fuel-Cells Dawning

You can’t accuse Toyota of rushing the 2016 Toyota Mirai to market. The hydrogen powered sedan may look like a vision of the future circa Buck Rogers, but its fuel-cell powertrain is decidedly cutting-edge, not to mention determinedly optimistic around issues of infrastructure and regulatory commitment to zero-emission vehicles. At $57,500 pre-subsidies, it seems the future carries a significant cost of entry, too. So, after some time behind the wheel of the Mirai, the question remains: is the age of hydrogen finally upon us?

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