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Archive for the ‘Electric Vehicles’ Category

Our 10 Favorite EVs

October 17th, 2014

2011 Chevrolet Volt

There’s been quite a bit of debate as to where electric cars will fit into the consumer car market in the next few years. Tesla’s recent announcement of their P85D shows that electric cars are starting to infiltrate even the ranks of performance vehicles. Although there have been a number of additions to the EV category in recent years, a lot of people still question the practicality of transitioning to a purely electric vehicle. Battery charge times and driving range on a single charge certainly leave a lot to be desired. These are legitimate concerns, but automakers are making strides in addressing them. With the addition of home charging stations, charge time drops drastically, and more public charging stations will certainly help extend the EV’s range. And of course Tesla is making waves with its 30-second-swappable batteries.

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The EV That Won’t Look Like an EV

October 10th, 2014

nissan-leaf-2017

If you want your “green” car to stand out, it should resemble something green. That’s why designers of the Nissan Leaf, an all-electric vehicle, designed it to look like a lizard.

Well, that’s the only explanation I can come up with to justify the Leaf’s bulging eyeballs and arched back.

Don’t get me wrong here, I love the Leaf. My in-laws own one and have traversed over 30,000 gas-free miles in it, while getting stranded away from home only a handful of times.

The Leaf is the world’s top-selling electric car because it’s the EV most similar to its juice-drinking cousins.

That design, though, just has to go.

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Get Your Half-Price Tesla! Eventually

October 8th, 2014

Tesla Model S dealer

Remember when Tesla CEO Elon Musk personally guaranteed the resale value of the Model S to be 50 percent of its original value after three years?

That guarantee allowed the company to offer a lease with payments as low as $1,500 a month.

Today a 2014 60kWh Model S with a 208-mile range starts at just over $75,000 and leases for about $932 per month. With the first Teslas now a few years old, can they be picked up for half price? Are we now in the age of the $35,000 used Tesla?

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Which of These Electric Cars Couldn’t Go Up a Hill?

September 26th, 2014
Hint: It wasn't this one

Hint: It wasn’t this one

There are some things all cars should be able to do:

  1. Go
  2. Stop
  3. Make it up a hill

Pretty basic, right? The only car I’ve ever driven that struggled to make it up a hill was a 1987 Subaru GL. That car, for whatever reason, barely had enough power to drive over the added elevation of stripes in a parking lot.

I mention this because last weekend I attended an electric car show and managed to take an up close and personal look at some of the EVs currently on American roads. All were impressive.

One couldn’t make it up a hill.

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Tesla Model 3: A $35,000 Game Changer?

September 16th, 2014

Tesla Model S

In 2017, $35,000 might buy you a really nice 2014 or 2015 Audi A6 or a beautiful pre-owned BMW 5 Series.

However, come 2017, the world of buying a luxury car could be very different than it is today. Keep in mind, 2017 is less than two and a half years away, and there usually isn’t a lot of change in such a short amount of time. The 2012 cars on the road today aren’t all that different from 2014 models.

Tesla, though, thinks it can usher in an era of electric driving that we’ve never seen before with its forthcoming $35,000 2017 Tesla Model 3.

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Are Free Cars On the Horizon?

August 7th, 2014

toyota-fcv-concept

How would you like to have an alternative fuel car?

I know, thoughts of expensive cars that can’t be driven too far from home are flooding your mind. Plus, why pay so much more for an electric or hydrogen car when you can have a traditional car that runs on relatively cheap and widely available gasoline?

Alternative fuel cars can be a tough sell. But what if you could have one for free?

Automotive News has a story about the possibility of Japan offering free hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles to its citizens. Could that be what’s needed to convince people to go green?

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Futuristic Cars You Can Buy Today

July 4th, 2014

Nope, not going to happen

Forget flying cars and hoverboards. The future of personal travel won’t look anything like it did in movies like Total Recall, Tron or Back to the Future. 

The way I see it, there are two options for how the future will turn out. It’ll either be a peaceful world full of light and love, or it’ll be a wasteland of post-apocalypse Americana. I’m hoping for the first option, but already there are cars available that will serve us well in both situations.

Keep reading for the cars of the future that you can buy today!

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Car Startups and Their Odds of Success

July 1st, 2014

Commuter Cars Tango Parked-Side

At the beginning of football season, every team believes it will win the Super Bowl. With nothing but optimism in the air and a young season full of promise, football players have the confidence and drive to believe they’ll make it all the way. Of course, most do not.

Breaking into the National Football League is no easy task, and even the lucky few who make it have to prove themselves as worthy of being there.

The auto business is similar. The big players like General Motors, Toyota, Honda, Ford and Chrysler have made it exceptionally difficult for new players to participate in the auto manufacturing game. Tesla has finally made it to the party and started the process of proving itself as a big-league automaker.

Who will be the next rookie automaker to take things to the next level?

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Anyone Else Ready for the Tesla Model X?

June 19th, 2014

Tesla Model X

It all started with a tiny squeak behind the fireplace.

Some investigation on my part led to the discovery of a baby mouse in the venting system, which in turn led to the removal of handfuls of insulation, which in turn led to the discovery of a perfectly folded newspaper dated September 1988.

I thought maybe I had discovered a hidden stash of money long forgotten by a previous owner, but all I found was a 26-year-old sports section. After the disappointment subsided I headed to the garage to look deep into its abyss to find some tools, so I could fix the damage I did in my quest to remove said mouse and prevent others from entering my abode.

It was there that I made my great discovery. A discovery that could potentially set me up for a future of gas-free motoring.

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Owning Electric Cars Could Get Easier

June 12th, 2014

Tesla Supercharger

The biggest challenge in owning an electric car is getting it recharged. Charging a battery takes a lot longer than filling a gas tank, and there are far fewer places to recharge than refuel.

For the people who use electric cars just to commute from home to work and back, recharging every night at home is enough.

For people who want to use their electric vehicles as replacements for gas-powered cars, EVs just haven’t proven useful enough to convince people to jump ship.

Elon Musk, the infamous Tesla CEO, wants to change that.

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