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Cadillac ELR first-drive – Tesla gets competition

Cadillac ELR first-drive – Tesla gets competition

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.

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Tesla Model S priced up for UK launch as Elon Musk teases EV truck again

Tesla Model S priced up for UK launch as Elon Musk teases EV truck again

Tesla has announced UK pricing and availability for the Model S, opening its first showroom in the country, as CEO Elon Musk reawakens chatter of a future Tesla truck. The right hand drive version of the Model S will start at £49,900 for the 60 kWh model with roughly a 240 mile range, Tesla said today, while the Model S 85 kWh version, with a 310 mile range and 60HP more, will start from £57,300. They'll also be offered alongside the P85 performance version, though deliveries of all three aren't expected to begin in the UK for another 6-7 months.

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Tesla low-cost EV plans teased as 3rd-gen platform work starts 2014

Tesla low-cost EV plans teased as 3rd-gen platform work starts 2014

Tesla's more affordable, third-generation cars will begin development next year, the company's chief designer has confirmed, describing the upcoming BMW 3-Series rival as "more expressive" than the award-winning Model S. Former VW, Mazda, and GM designer Franz von Holzhausen was playing Tesla's cards close to his chest when he spoke to Gigaom this week, saying the unnamed new car - known in some quarters by its "BlueStar" codename - would be "as cool as anything we've done today and better."

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Zero-emission cars get 8 state commitment but charging shortage pinches

Zero-emission cars get 8 state commitment but charging shortage pinches

A push to increase zero-emission cars has seen eight US states set ambitious targets of 3.3m EVs and plug-in hybrids on the roads by 2025, an exponential increase on today's numbers, with collaborative infrastructure development near the top of the priority list. The pact, signed by California, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Oregon, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Vermont, aims to consolidate pro-EV legislation, public charger roll-out, and other elements, "to make it easier for customers to operate and use zero-emission vehicles" according to California Air Resources Board chair Mary Nichols. However, auto makers have already warned that waning subsidies and tax credits could see the cost of zero-emission vehicles rise by up to $4,000.

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BMW i3 range-extender gas backup engine priced up for US

BMW i3 range-extender gas backup engine priced up for US

BMW has finalized pricing for one of the more interesting options on its BMW i3 electric car, the range-extending gas motor that gives the city runabout longer legs. The two-cylinder gas engine - known as the "ReX" - increases the total range of the i3 to around 185 miles, BMW says, and will add $3,950 to the sticker price in the process. Without it, the i3 is estimated to manage up to 112 miles on electric power alone, and when in the most draconian driving mode.

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Toyota RAV4 EV first drive

Toyota RAV4 EV first drive

For a while, the modern eco-friendly vehicle had a familiar silhouette, and it was Prius shaped. Now, though, Toyota is branching out in not only its electric range but its types of drive, and so we have the RAV4 EV, eschewing gas and fuel-cells altogether in favor of what could be the most pious interpretation of green driving so far. Still, when your engine and battery are provided by Tesla, there's probably more to the story than just making all-electric family-friendly. We clambered behind the wheel (and brought our heaviest right foot) to see if the RAV4 EV holds up to scrutiny.

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Hybrids and EVs could soon cost up to $4k more Toyota warns

Hybrids and EVs could soon cost up to $4k more Toyota warns

Hybrid and ZEV car prices could rise by up to $4,000 as battery technology fails to keep pace with dwindling federal tax credits, Toyota has warned, despite aggressive targets for low-emission cars in the US. Development of cheaper, more power-dense batteries are likely to bring down the cost of building cars like the Prius, Toyota's Tom Stricker, VP of technology and regulatory affairs said, but countered that good news with the company's own internal calculations that its cars - and those of competitors, like GM's Volt and Nissan's Leaf - could still end up costing between $2,000 and $4,000 more as subsidies and credits expire and are not reinstated.

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Toyota: 5m US hybrid sales goal by 2016 is “friendly challenge”

Toyota: 5m US hybrid sales goal by 2016 is “friendly challenge”

Toyota may have sold 5m hybrids worldwide since the launch of the original Prius in 1997, but the company's next goal is a lot more localized: 5m hybrid sales in the US by 2016. Speaking at the company's Hybrid World Tour, senior vice president of automotive operations Bob Carter threw down the gauntlet to not only Toyota but the car industry in general, highlighting that if as a whole it could achieve the ambitious hybrid shift, it could save three billion tons of gasoline per year.

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