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Archive for the ‘Electric Vehicles’ Category

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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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Safety, Domestic Cars, Electric Vehicles, General Chat , , ,

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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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Domestic Cars, Electric Vehicles, General Chat , , , ,

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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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, Electric Vehicles, Exotic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , , , , ,

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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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Domestic Cars, Electric Vehicles, General Chat , , ,

Tesla’s “Gigafactory” Could Change the Future

February 27th, 2014

Tesla Gigafactory

Today we will discuss an important theme: the future.

In the film Back to the Future 2, Marty McFly travels from 1985 to 2015 and encounters a future he didn’t expect, only to return to a present he never knew.

That’s on my mind today, because I’m watching the antics of crazy old scientist Doc Brown with my family while reading about a young brilliant entrepreneur and his plans for the future. Doc Brown needed 1.21 gigawatts to power his DeLorean, while this modern-day man plans a “Gigafactory” that could change the auto industry as we know it.

What is a Gigafactory? Read on, with no worry that you’ll learn too much about the future and cause a chain reaction that could unravel the very fabric of the space-time continuum and destroy the entire universe! This time, the future seems set.

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The Would You Rather Game: Karma Edition

February 19th, 2014

VL Destino

Have you ever played the “Would You Rather” game? It’s a wonderful way to get to know someone or discuss topics that might not otherwise come up in conversation.

There are thousands of possible questions, including scenarios like: Would you rather have a million dollars right now or get $40,000 per year for the rest of your life?

Of course the questions can get a lot more serious, funny or downright inappropriate. Today we’re going to play one round of “Would You Rather,” but first I’m going to give you some details so you can make an informed decision.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Domestic Cars, Electric Vehicles, Exotic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , , ,

This Is How to Get an Electric Car

January 29th, 2014

Tangos sharing freeway lane

Did you ever think you could drive an electric car for about $25 a day?

That probably sounds like a cheesy ad for a low-priced rental-car company, and I guess there’s some truth to that. When compared with the costs of buying or leasing a new EV, this brilliant little plan seems like the way to go.

Selling electric cars in the traditional manner will take decades before enough are on the road to make a real difference in air quality. Speeding that process up will require some thinking that challenges conventional wisdom. We all know that nothing changes when things are done the way they always have been.

So what’s the most economical, efficient and accessible way to get electric vehicles on the road? For that answer, we should look to China.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Electric Vehicles, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , , ,

Buying Cars with Bitcoins?

January 17th, 2014

2013 Tesla Model S and bitcoins

Perhaps this is a sign that I’ve officially become out of touch with advances in technology. I thought I’d been doing pretty well keeping up, as I’m well-versed in things like The Google and The Facebook.

But when a friend mentioned bitcoins to me yesterday, my response was nothing more than a blank stare.

“What kind of coins?”

“Bitcoins,” he answered.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“How can you not know about bitcoins? Someone just bought a Tesla with them!”

That caught my attention. “Someone bought a car with Monopoly money?”

“It’s not Monopoly money,” he replied. “It’s actual worldwide digital currency.”

“So someone strolled into a dealer, paid in these bitcoins, and drove away in a $100,000 car?”

“Yes.”

Naturally, I had some research to do.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, Electric Vehicles, Exotic Cars, General Chat , , ,