Green auto news

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AutoblogGreen for 07.20.09

07/20/2009   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Hybrids/Alternative, Green

Fox Business Newsflash: Tesla Motors not curing children's cancer! [w/VIDEO]

The things you can learn on TV.

Toyota chafes at Ontario $10,000 EV rebate, calls it GM subsidy


eBay finds of the day: Vectrix maxiscooters

Now that the company is going bankrupt, how does 70 percent off sound?

Other news:

  • Zipcar CEO says it'll be a while before electric cars can come to car sharing
  • REPORT: Nissan will bring own hybrids to Japan in 2011
  • Kia plans UK hybrids within three years, but favors hydrogen in long-term
Read more..

AutoblogGreen for 07.17.09

07/17/2009   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Hybrids/Alternative, Green

Greenlings: What's the difference between AC and DC? Which is better for electric cars?

You've got questions, we've got answers.

MSNBC: Early electric car adopters are the "lunatic fringe"

Know anyone who resembles that remark?

Sure swappable batteries would help EV adoption, but are they practical?

Better Place funds a study that finds that Better Place's strategy is a good one.

Other news:

  • Cargohopper, a tiny electric "train," does deliveries in the Netherlands
  • Tesla to use sales revenue, Daimler cash for DOE loans instead of new equity
  • Officially, Official: Mercedes to produce electric SLS gullwing
Read more..

BMW trademarks "Countryman" for Mini crossover name?

07/16/2009   [Original: German Car Zone via BMW Blog via Autoblog]
Category: Frankfurt Auto Show, Hybrids/Alternative, Green, Crossovers/CUVs, BMW, MINI

MINI Crossover Concept - Click above for a high-res image gallery

Thanks to a few eagle-eyed BMW fans with a handy penchant for tracking trademark filings, we may know the name of the upcoming and oft-spied Mini crossover: the Countryman. If this is indeed the case, the badge would go hand-in-hand with BMW's current naming convention for its Mini line, which includes the extended-length Clubman in addition to the standard Cooper and convertible. We're expecting the new CUV to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in production form as a 2011 model.

Interestingly, BMW also trademarked the name ActiveE, which some are speculating will be the moniker applied to the automaker's upcoming electric vehicles as it matches up quite nicely with BMW's present ActiveHybrid series. Last year, the German automaker reserved the name eDrive, and it seems the two labels could somehow be paired together as part of the company's Project I initiative.

Gallery: MINI Crossover Concept

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Officially Official: Mercedes to produce electric SLS gullwing

07/16/2009   [Original: Daimler via Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sports/GTs, Green, Tech, Supercars, Mercedes Benz, AMG

Mercedes-Benz has officially confirmed the rumors that have been floating around in recent days - it will build an electrically powered version of its upcoming SLS gullwing coupe. The EV version of the SLS will drive all four wheels by means of an individual motor for each corner. It will not however use wheel hub motors, since those add too much unsprung mass. The motors will be mounted just inboard of the suspension components.

Energy will be stored in a 48 kWh liquid cooled lithium ion battery pack running down the central tunnel. The combined output of the electric drive system is 392 kW (526 hp) and 880 Nm (649 lb-ft), which compares to 420 kW (563 hp) and 649 Nm (479 lb-ft) for the 6.3-liter V8 in the conventional SLS. Mercedes claims it will accelerate to 62 mph in four seconds. No range is being quoted at this time, but given that the battery capacity is lower than the Tesla Roadster and the car is larger, it will likely be well under 200 miles. No timeline for the electric version is being quoted, although earlier rumors placed it at 2015.

One of the reasons that Daimler said it was investing $50 million in Tesla Motors was the upstart's ability to move quickly and develop systems faster than could be done at Daimler. Given that, we may well see the electric SLS sooner rather than later. Check out our high-res gallery of (internal combustion) Mercedes SLS prototypes below and the official press release after the jump.

Gallery: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Continue reading Officially Official: Mercedes to produce electric SLS gullwing

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REPORT: Toyota in talks to provide Mazda with hybrid tech

07/16/2009   [Original: Reuters via Autoblog]
Category: Hybrids/Alternative, Green, Tech, Mazda, Toyota, Rumormill

MINI Crossover Concept - Click above for high-res image gallery

Mazda already has one of the first non-Toyota hybrids to hit the market with its Tribute SUV (above), but that model is only on sale in California, with hybrid tech from Ford Motor Company. Now that Ford has a much smaller percentage stake in the automaker, Mazda cannot rely on the Blue Oval to develop its future hybrid technology. With hybrid sales in its home market of Japan booming, the Hiroshima-based automaker is rumored to be looking for potential partners.

According to Reuters, Japan's Nikkei business daily is reporting that Mazda is in talks with Toyota to license the Japanese juggernaut's hybrid technology for future models. Toyota and Mazda are thus far denying the reports, but Nikkei quotes anonymous sources saying the deal could include the licensing of batteries, motors, and other vital components. The publication further reports that the first Mazda-badged hybrid could arrive as soon as 2013. That's two years earlier than Mazda research and development boss Seita Kanai speculated earlier in the year.

The move would benefit Toyota by boosting revenue and increasing economies of scale. Some analysts speculate that Toyota, which has been in the global hybrid game longer than anyone, could capitalize by leasing out its gas-electric tech to more automakers. Toyota already has an arrangement with Nissan to supply technology for use in its Altima Hybrid.

Gallery: Mazda Tribute Hybrid SUV

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AutoblogGreen for 07.16.09

07/16/2009   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Hybrids/Alternative, Green

Why not a higher gas tax?

Give me one good reason why the gas tax shouldn't be increased.

Renew America Roadtrip Roadster hits the highway

Cross country in a Roadster? Possible and awesome.

Ontario announces incentives for plug-in vehicles, up to $10K

EVs just got a lot more affordable up north.

Other news:

  • Rumormill: BMW working on electric scooter?
  • REPORT: Vectrix ready to file for bankruptcy
  • Lawsuit confusion in Hybrid Kinetic Automotive's new hybrid plant
Read more..

REPORT: Ontario to announce incentives for plug-in vehicles, up to $10K

07/15/2009   [Original: CTV via Autoblog]
Category: Economy, Hybrids/Alternative, Government/Legal, Green

Ford Focus EV "mule" - Click above for high-res image gallery

The premier of the Canadian province of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty, reportedly plans to announce a major incentive program for plug-in vehicles today in Toronto. Ontario has already given several billion dollars to General Motors and Chrysler and wants to help boost the industry further to try and recoup some of its "investment." To that end, McGuinty plans to offer tax incentives of up to $10,000 toward the purchase of plug-in vehicles.

No details are available yet, but the plan would likely be similar to a U.S. program, with graduated incentives of up to $7,500 depending on the capacity of the battery. A wide array of plug-ins are expected to arrive over the next several years, including the Chevrolet Volt, Ford's Transit Connect and Focus based EVs, Toyota's PHEV Prius and Nissan's EV, among others. McGuinty will reportedly also pledge to have at least 20 percent of the province's vehicle fleet be plug-ins by 2020. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Gallery: ABG Quick Drive: Ford Focus EV mule

Photos Copyright (C)2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.

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AutoblogGreen for 07.15.09

07/15/2009   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Hybrids/Alternative, Green

Where is the government spending for plug-in hybrid conversions?

Doesn't it make sense to shift some of the stimulus billions over to adding plugs to hybrids on the road now?

GM's hydrogen proponent, Larry Burns, set to retire

After 40 years at GM, their most vocal hydrogen advocate is leaving.

Schwinn! Biking to brothel can save you bucks in Berlin

Showers available. [Photo by Mac McKean.]

Other news:

  • Is Exxon making a real, $600 million biofuel shift?
  • Global Green Cars unveils plans for three new models: two all-electrics and a PHEV
  • Mercedes-Benz S 400 hybrid: 30 mpg and 47 pounds of recycled goodness
Read more..

Nissan unveils new Dual Injector System to boost efficiency

07/15/2009   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Green, Tech, Nissan

Nissan Dual Injector System - Click above for high-res image gallery

We've said it before and we'll say it again - the internal combustion engine has a lot of life left in it. While we fully expect electric cars to make an impact in time, the reality is that the ICE's reign as sales leader won't be coming to an end for at least the next several years, possibly with a little assistance from biofuels. With that in mind, even mild efficiency improvements are always welcome to Otto's good old four-stroke engine.

Nissan believes its new Dual Injector System will offer a fuel mileage increase of roughly four percent, a small but important improvement. While larger displacement powerplants will be blessed with direct injection, small-bore motors will get the Dual Injector System. The Japanese automaker says the technology, which splits the fuel squirting duties through twin intake ports, reduces the diameter of fuel droplets by a substantial 60%, thereby improving vaporization.

Besides the obvious benefit of improved efficiency, Nissan claims its Dual Injector System costs 60% less than comparable direct injection technology. Plus, the system allows for a 50% reduction in the amount of rare precious metals in the catalytic converter. Check out the press release after the break for all the techy details.

Gallery: Nissan Dual Injector System

Continue reading Nissan unveils new Dual Injector System to boost efficiency

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AutoblogGreen for 07.14.09

07/14/2009   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Hybrids/Alternative, Green

REPORT: Daimler sells 4% of Tesla to Middle East investment fund

And this after buying the stock just two months ago.

X Rider nabs first EPA Certification of Conformity for electric motorcycles

The first in a likely long line of getting sweet ebikes on the streets.

Production Honda CR-Z hybrid coming to Japan in February 2010

The wait is almost over (in Japan, at least).

Other news:

  • Green gasoline: Coming soon to a pump near you?
  • A truly renewable vehicle comes to the Philippines: coconut oil-fueled bamboo taxi
  • Newsflash: Turned in Cash for Clunkers cars will get recycled
Read more..

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