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Archive for the ‘Electric Vehicles’ Category

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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Tesla Moves Ahead While Keeping an Eye Out for a Ghost

May 22nd, 2014

Fisker Karma

Tesla has reached its tipping point.

How do I know this? I can feel it. I can sense it. I credit my finely tuned sense of the automotive industry.

Well, that and I’m hearing about Tesla everywhere. In the news, in blogs, on drives with friends and coworkers, and while working in my front yard. Tesla has infiltrated the auto world, and things are looking great for the California automaker.

Unless Fisker’s rebirth poses as much of a problem as its new owner promises.

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Cadillac ELR: Biggest Car Flop Ever?

May 15th, 2014

2014 Cadillac ELR

Ahhhh, karma.

It’s proving to me that maybe Americans can hope not to go down in history as the arrogant materialistic egomaniacs for which we are gaining a reputation.

Even American advertisers advertising to American consumers seem to believe all we care about is working every day of our life and ignoring our families so we can buy expensive cars.

Okay, maybe that’s a generalization, but at least one car company took that approach to sell a new model, and wouldn’t you know it, that model now looks to be on track to go down in history as one of the biggest automotive flops of all time.

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The Best Cars to Drive Every Day

April 25th, 2014

subaru-brz

Just driving.

That’s a phrase that should never be uttered, regardless of circumstances. I called a friend yesterday, asked him what he was doing and he said, “Just driving.”

Oh.

That got me thinking. This is a world filled with two types of people: those who love to drive and those who have to drive. If you’re behind the wheel, and the phone rings, I hope you’re the kind of person who doesn’t even notice because you’re so in tune with your car and your driving.

I hope you’re NOT the kind of person who is able to fumble for the phone, turn on Bluetooth, answer and say that you’re “just driving.”

If you’re the kind of person who loves to drive, and has the opportunity to drive to work every day, here are some of the most fun cars you can take on your daily commute.

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Anyone Else Sick of Muscle Cars?

April 23rd, 2014
Who does this impress?

Who does this impress?

I’m going out on a limb here and risking the complete revocation of my man card. I’m also risking the wrath of millions of Mustang and Camaro fanatics everywhere.

I’m sick of muscle cars.

The Mustang came out 50 years ago and captured the hearts of Americans. As a teenager in the 1990s, a ’65 Mustang was my dream car. I wanted a red convertible with the 289-cubic-inch V8 engine so badly that I worked two part-time jobs to save for one. I had dreams about that car and would have done anything to get one. Instead I met a girl and spent all the saved money on her, then settled for a black 1994 V6 Mustang.

Not the same, I know.

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Should Lane Splitting Be Legal?

April 21st, 2014

Tango lane splitting

We live in a society of single-family homes spread through countless suburbs surrounding big cities. We work in those cities, often driving many miles and spending hours commuting from our suburban homes to our urban workplaces.

In places like Los Angeles, the commute consists of congested freeways and long lines of stop-and-go traffic. In most cities, a driver’s only option is to wait out the traffic and arrive whenever the brake lights finally fade and the pavement opens up.

In California, though, there’s another option—assuming you have the right vehicle.

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Here Comes Tesla’s Competition

March 28th, 2014

Commuter Cars Tango and George Clooney

When you think of electric cars, the first maker to come to mind is probably Tesla. The company has done an amazing job branding itself as the leader in vehicles powered by electrons. With sexy car designs, lots of media coverage and a personable-yet-eccentric CEO, Tesla has become the gold standard in electric vehicles.

That doesn’t mean Tesla is alone, though.

Other carmakers build and sell vehicles that use alternative fuels, and there’s no way the legacy automakers are going to sit down and watch Tesla silently drive into the sunset with all the cash.

From the big boys to some small guys with big ideas, it seems EVs are here to stay. Keep reading for some interesting competitors Tesla may face.

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Tesla Challenging Dealer Franchise Laws, and Winning

March 24th, 2014

2012-Tesla-Model-S

The American dealer franchise system might be on its last tank of fuel.

Since the advent of the mass production of cars, their sales have been filtered through a system of dealerships not affiliated with the carmakers. By acting as the middleman between the factory and the consumer, the dealer is free to negotiate and attempt to maximize profits. The downside for consumers, of course, is that uneducated people can be taken advantage of and charged more than necessary. The upside is that car buyers have local sales people and reliable service.

Tesla wants to change things up by selling directly to consumers in a retail model that could, and probably will, revolutionize how we buy cars.

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New Fisker Owner Alienates Existing Owners

March 14th, 2014

Fisker Karma

Let’s say you bought a Chevrolet. Not just any Chevrolet, but a really nice expensive one. In fact, let’s say you went crazy and checked all the boxes on a 2014 Corvette Stingray 3LT with the ZL5 performance package, carbon fiber roof, racing stripes—the whole shebang.

The purchase set you back about $75,000, but you love the car.

Now fast-forward two years. Let’s say General Motors had some serious trouble, went bankrupt (again), but this time was purchased by a foreign company. That company vowed to put products, like your Corvette, back into production but stop supporting, warranting or servicing models produced before bankruptcy.

How would you react?

For the answer, please speak with your nearest Fisker Karma owner.

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Cadillac Ad Spotlights American Materialism

February 28th, 2014

Cadillac ELR ad, poolside

After what I saw yesterday, I kind of wish I was from France.

In France, and many other countries, people don’t live to work, they work to live. It’s not uncommon to take exceptionally long lunch breaks, work 4 days a week and even take the entire month of August off. New mothers often take far more time off in other countries than they do here in the States.

Why is that?

People in other countries value family time and personal growth over materialistic success.

Here in the U.S., that hasn’t traditionally been the case. We’ve been quite the opposite, working our tails off to accumulate stuff and all the debt that goes with it. We’re making slow progress in the other direction, much to the chagrin of marketers everywhere.

None, perhaps, more than Cadillac.

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