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Posts Tagged ‘electric cars’

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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Car Industry News, Car Lists, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Electric Vehicles, General Chat, Hybrid Cars , ,

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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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Electric Vehicles, General Chat , , , , , , ,

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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Car Lists, Car Minded, Domestic Cars, Electric Vehicles, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , , , ,

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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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’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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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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How to Go Electric for the First Time

December 5th, 2013

2013 Nissan Leaf

What’ll it be:

A new Nissan Leaf for less than $25,000, a new Chevy Volt for around $37,000, a new Cadillac ELR for $76,000, a new Tesla Model S for upwards of $80,000 or maybe the new BMW i3 or i8 or Mercedes-Benz B-Class electric?

A growing number of used electrics are also hitting the market. Prices for those range from the high teens to $400,000. (More on that later.)

How’s a car shopper supposed to decide the best course of action to go electric for the first time?

Read on, friends, for the answer awaits.

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Small, Safe, Narrow and Harrowingly Fast: It’s Time to Tango

May 22nd, 2013

TangosSharingFwyLaneCropped

Before shoes were invented, two guys were walking through the mountains of Tibet. One man turned to the other and said, “I sure wish we could cover the world with leather.”

The other guy paused, looked at his friend, and said, “Or we could just cover our feet.”

It’s a common story, with many variations, but you get the idea.

Rick Woodbury, founder of Commuter Cars and maker of the Tango electric car, wants to apply that logic that to automobiles and change the way the world drives.

I had an opportunity to meet with Rick yesterday and ask him a few questions about the fastest urban car in the world. His company has been around for many years and has seen some success, but a potential deal looms that could catapult his company into the mainstream.

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

Should Electric Vehicles Make Noise at Low Speeds?

January 9th, 2013

2012 Nissan Leaf

Imagine walking toward the entrance of your local grocery store when, as you pass the row of parked cars, you hear the clip-clop of an approaching horse.

Surprised, you stand still and wait, not wanting to get run over by a Clydesdale.

But instead of a majestic animal, a diminutive Nissan Leaf glides by, emanating the sound of hooves on pavement.

It seems ridiculous, but something similar could soon become law.

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