earth friendly

Toyota hunts RAV4 EV buyers as eco-SUV sales stall

Toyota hunts RAV4 EV buyers as eco-SUV sales stall

Toyota will cut the cost of financing to boost sales of its electric vehicle range, the company has confirmed, after demand for models like the RAV4 EV proved less enthusiastic than predicted. The Japanese company had aimed to shift 2,600 RAV4 EVs - priced at around $50,000 apiece - by the end of next year, though sales from September 2012 to July 2013 amounted to 709 cars. Toyota isn't alone in struggling to sell its EVs, however, with suggestions that there is a growing "two-tier" market for the low-emission vehicles in which Tesla is leading while others struggle.

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Infiniti EMERG-E First Drive

Infiniti EMERG-E First Drive

As environmentally-friendly concepts go, Nissan's Infiniti EMERG-E is definitely more in the BMW i8 camp of performance first, rather than the meek eco-boxes that can give EVs a bad name, and we've been lucky enough to grab a test drive of one of the two working cars in existence while at Nissan 360. While most concepts look great but can often manage no more than a sluggish roll from delivery trailer to car show stand, the 402HP EMERG-E isn't short on either power or poise. Read on for some first impressions.

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BMW Concept X5 eDrive teases hybrid SUV to challenge Lexus

BMW Concept X5 eDrive teases hybrid SUV to challenge Lexus

BMW's i3 may be the company's first electric car to reach the market, but the company knows it's gas-guzzling SUVs that could really benefit from an eco-friendly update, hence the new BMW Concept X5 eDrive. Set to debut officially at the Frankfurt International Motor Show, the concept SUV bears a few design tweaks on the outside to differentiate it from its gas and diesel powered siblings, but the real magic goes on under the hood, where a plug-in hybrid drive system promises to take the polluting edge off of owning a big all-wheel-drive car.

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Tesla Model E trademark tips “affordable” EV name

Tesla Model E trademark tips “affordable” EV name

A new Tesla trademark registration for the "Model E" has prompted speculation that the company's much-anticipated low-cost electric car will launch under that name, following the Model S and upcoming Model X crossover. Filed on August 5, the "Model E" application - for "automobiles and structural parts therefor" - comes well in advance of the car expected to bear the name, which Tesla CEO Elon Musk has warned shouldn't be expected until 2016 at the earliest.

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Bill Gates: Google web balloons “won’t help” key issues

Bill Gates: Google web balloons “won’t help” key issues

Bill Gates has slammed Google's Project Loon, which would bring internet connectivity to developing nations using high-altitude balloons, arguing that getting online won't help core issues like malaria, and suggesting that the search giant has lost its way when it comes to altruism. "When you're dying of malaria, I suppose you'll look up and see that balloon, and I'm not sure how it'll help you" Microsoft founder Gates told Bloomberg Businessweek, when asked whether he saw schemes like Project Loon helping low-income countries. "When a kid gets diarrhea, no, there's no website that relieves that."

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Tesla Q2 2013: 5,150 Model S sold, income up 70% and expansion ahead

Tesla Q2 2013: 5,150 Model S sold, income up 70% and expansion ahead

Tesla sold 5,150 Model S cars in Q2 2013, pushing net income up 70-percent versus the previous quarter as production rates rose and, this week, European sales begin. The disruptive electric car company - which had warned investors of a potential shortfall in profit for Q2, after a strong opening quarter - has seen production climb by 25-percent to nearly 500 vehicles leaving the line a week, while margins have also extended.

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BMW i8 sports hybrid gets wild track outing

BMW i8 sports hybrid gets wild track outing

Now that BMW's i3 production car has broken cover, the German company has moved onto arguably more exciting things: namely throwing the BMW i8 around a track in France for some performance testing. Shown off in Spyder concept form back at the LA Auto Show in November 2012, the slinky hybrid borrows the plug-in eco-friendliness of its boxy i3 sibling, but cranks up the performance for a sub-4.5s 0-62mph dash and a top speed limited to 155mph.

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BMW i3′s cure for range anxiety is a gas-guzzler on demand

BMW i3′s cure for range anxiety is a gas-guzzler on demand

BMW isn't counting on brand cachet and outlandish styling to sell the new i3 EV, with the "range-extender" gas generator option getting an even more fossil-fuel-reliant companion in the shape of access to a loaner X5 SUV. The backup option, which BMW will market as an "add-on mobility" feature Bloomberg reports, will effectively offer i3 converts access to the more traditionally powered X5 for a number of weeks each year.

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BMW i3 production car revealed

BMW i3 production car revealed

BMW has officially revealed the production BMW i3, the company's first i-Series electric car for the market, a carbon-fiber clad urban vehicle set to reach roads from November. Based on the i3 concept first shown off in early 2011, the new i3 will manage 80-100 miles on a full charge in its cheapest $41,350 form, though a hybrid-style version with a compact two-cylinder engine will effectively double that for an extra $1,150.

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Nissan takes on Tesla Superchargers with dealership quick-charge network

Nissan takes on Tesla Superchargers with dealership quick-charge network

Nissan will borrow some of Tesla's Supercharger network strategy by turning US dealerships into recharging points for the Nissan Leaf, the car company has revealed, promising an 80-percent "refuel" in half an hour. The scheme will see more than 124 quick-charge systems offered at Nissan dealerships across the US, and is expected to be fully operational by April 1, 2014.

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