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Archive for the ‘Electric Vehicles’ Category

Hyundai Diving Into EVs with 26 New Models

May 26th, 2016
2017 Ioniq HEV

2017 Ioniq HEV

The year 2020 could become a major turning point for electric vehicles in this country.

Aston Martin, Audi, Ford, GM, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Volkswagen, and Volvo are some of the major automakers with plans to introduce at least one all-electric vehicle by the end of the decade. Newcomers Faraday Future, Apple, and maybe even Dyson (yes, the vacuum company) are rumored to be working on electric vehicles as well.

We’re on the cusp of an electric revolution in the auto world, but the cars won’t replace gasoline-fueled cars until people stop caring about electric range. That’s getting easier to comprehend, as Tesla and GM will both produce affordable EVs with a 200-mile range.

Looks like we can include Hyundai on that list now, too.

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Cadillac ELR Gets the Ax, Chevy Bolt Prepares for Domination

May 24th, 2016

2014_Cadillac_ELR

Automakers, please note: The future of electric cars doesn’t include $76,000 luxury vehicles that look fast but go slow.

That seems like common sense, right?

A Cadillac that looks like the one pictured here should wrap its occupants in opulence while also delivering tooth-rattling performance.

This is the Cadillac ELR, though, a vehicle that brought everything to the table except performance. Like the 2005 Ford Thunderbird, this Caddy has failed to find a long-term home because it didn’t deliver on the promises made by its seductive design.

Production of the ELR has come to an abrupt end after just two years on the market.

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Is Anyone Aware That Tesla Will Revive the Roadster?

May 23rd, 2016

Tesla_Roadster

Perhaps people have forgotten that the Tesla Roadster is what started it all.

The innovative electric supercar stunned the auto world all the way back in 2008 and remained in production into 2012. The car, which used the body of a Lotus Elise and Tesla’s own electric drivetrain, carried a $109,000 base price and could accelerate from 0-60 in under 4 seconds. Tesla produced about 2,400 copies of the car before discontinuing it to focus efforts on the Model S sedan.

The Model S, of course, became wildly popular and quickly erased memories of the Roadster. Then the Model X hype was followed by a massive number of pre-orders for the Model 3, and the Roadster suddenly felt like ancient history.

Maybe that’s why no one has reacted to news that the Roadster is making a comeback.

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Ford to Compete With Tesla, Chevy, for Long-Range EV Customers

May 2nd, 2016

ford_Focus_electric

Chevrolet will very likely be the first to get a 200-mile $30,000 electric car to market. The company’s Bolt will go into production this fall, followed a year (or so) later by the Tesla Model 3.

Ford has, thus far, shown no interest in a long-range EV, even saying earlier this month that a 100-mile range is plenty. Ford has increased the range of the 2017 Focus Electric from 76 miles to 100, and has said that’s as far as the company plans to go due to the increased costs of larger battery packs. Ford’s electrification guru, Kevin Layden, said,

I think right now with the launch of the Focus Electric at 100 miles, it is going to satisfy a big chunk of the population. It’s going to be really affordable and a step up from where we are now.

Ford CEO Mark Fields seems to have other plans.

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Can Cars Drive Better Than People? Elon Musk Says Yes

April 27th, 2016

tesla-autopilot

This is a topic that’s come up before, but it’s becoming more and more relevant as time goes on. We’re talking about autonomous and semi-autonomous driving.

First, let me recount a quick conversation with my wife yesterday morning as she drove to work:

Wife: “I may be becoming too comfortable in the abilities of my car.”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Wife: “I don’t even have my feet on the pedals. I’m vaguely aware that the car in front of me is slowing down, but I don’t even move my feet. I assume the car will stop for me.”

Me: “You know, that’s meant to be a safety feature that stops for you if you aren’t able. You’re not supposed to rely on it like that. Please don’t do that.”

Wife: “But it always works, and I don’t have to think about it.”

Her car is equipped with adaptive cruise control which does indeed slow down and even stop to accomodate traffic ahead. However, my lovely wife uses it all the time, whether cruising at 70 down the Interstate or in stop-and-go traffic on city arterials. Is she right to rely on her car?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says yes.

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Faraday Teases its Mysterious Future

April 8th, 2016

faraday-future-teaser

Mysterious car company Faraday Future hasn’t done much to shine light on its product plans or promote itself as the next up-and-coming electric car brand for the masses.

Since unveiling the raucous (and highly impractical) FFZERO1 supercar concept at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Faraday has released approximately zero product-related press releases or updates on the status of development. No one knows when, or if, the company will release a vehicle for sale or what type of vehicle it will be.

The absence of marketing is in fact great marketing. Nothing generates interest in a product like billions of dollars of mysterious investments and only the promise to “redefine our relationship with the automobile.”

We may have finally gotten a hint, though, of what’s coming next for Faraday.

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Are Electric Cars Bad for the Environment?

April 6th, 2016

nissan-leaf-rear

Drive behind an electric car and you’ll notice there are no tailpipes. That’s obvious, because electric vehicles don’t create any emissions and have no need for an exhaust system.

Since electric cars don’t create any pollution, they are a great choice for people who want to contribute to a greener Earth by reducing their carbon footprint.

There’s a caveat, though, to electric cars. They don’t create any emissions while driving, but they consume a large amount of electricity that is often produced in ways far more harmful to the planet than the emissions of a regular car.

How do you know if your EV is good for the planet? Read on.

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Could Tesla Change the Entire Auto Industry?

April 4th, 2016

Tesla_Model_3

Tesla has dominated the news cycle all weekend after Thursday night’s unveiling of the Model 3.

Tesla didn’t give us any specifics about upper trim levels, exact performance, or range numbers, but it did generate enough interest in the roughly $35,000, 200-mile electric car to have accepted well over 250,000 pre-orders.

That’s an impressive number for a car that’s still two years from being released.

Such extraordinary interest is unprecedented in the auto industry and could be indicative of massive change on the horizon. Will it be for the better?

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After 10 Years of Waiting, Here’s the Tesla Model 3

April 1st, 2016

Tesla_Model_3

Last night may be remembered as the night cars and technology officially became one.

In the hours leading up to Tesla’s unveiling of the Model 3, CEO Elon Musk sent out a series of Tweets saying that online orders would be opened up an hour before the unveiling event kicked off. The company also announced via Twitter that orders would be welcomed from India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Slovokia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Ireland, in addition to the United States, but that a 2 car-per-household limit would be in effect.

It sounds more like a tech unveiling than an auto event, but the hype evidently worked. As of last night, more than 133,000 people put down at least $1,000 each to reserve a car.

But enough about that. This is the car that’s been hyped for about a decade and could change EVs as we know them.

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Dyson, the Vacuum Company, Could Develop an Electric Car

March 30th, 2016
What would a Dyson car look like?

What would a Dyson car look like?

An electric car that doesn’t suck.

It’s a horrible cliche but when a vacuum company is rumored to be developing an electric car, there’s a certain responsibility to dive into the realm of predictable jokes, get them out of the way, and then move on to the bigger news.

In this case the news is that Dyson, the company famous for selling expensive vacuums and the hand dryers found in public restrooms, could be working on an electric car.

The joke potential here is huge, but I will refrain and instead comment on what matters: Another company from outside the car industry is reportedly building a car.

If true, this is big.

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