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Posts Tagged ‘electric cars’

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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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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Which Electric Cars Can Compete With $2 Gas?

March 11th, 2016

tesla_model_x

Electric cars solve a lot of problems. They don’t pollute, they can be recharged at home overnight, and they save owners money by eliminating the need for gasoline.

The trouble is, electric cars could end up being remembered as the right cars that happened at the wrong time.

The quality, reliability, comfort, and driving range of electric vehicles are better than ever before. They offer a gas-free way to commute to work and the peace-of-mind of driving on clean energy.

What EVs don’t have is the right timing. Gas prices are still hovering around $2 per gallon, so it’s hard for car buyers to justify the added cost and limited range when compared to a gas-powered car.

For an electric car to succeed in an era of cheap gas, it needs to have something special. Keep reading for the electric cars that should thrive regardless of gas prices.

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Could Narrow Cars Solve Our Transportation Problems?

February 2nd, 2016

toyota_i-road

You’ll laugh the first time you see a narrow car on the road.

There aren’t many just yet, so unless you’re driving the streets of Japan, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Seattle, your odds of seeing a narrow car are about the same as stumbling across a traveling fleet of motorized La-Z-Boys.

Narrow cars do exist, however, and it seems they might be starting to pick up steam, at least judging by media coverage for the last month or so.

The most famous narrow car in the news right now is the Toyota i-Road, a 3-wheel tandem 2-seater that is testing in Japan. It’s funny looking, but the i-Road, and cars like it, could shape the future of mobility.

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Have Electric Cars Already Beat Fuel Cell Vehicles?

January 29th, 2016

2017-Honda-Clarity-Fuel-Cell

The price of electric cars is quickly falling into the $30,000 range. The Nissan Leaf, the upcoming Chevy Bolt, and, presumably, next year’s Tesla Model 3, will all be available for about the price of the average new car.

Infrastructure for charging electric vehicles is becoming more common and people are getting used to their limited range. Part of the reason for less range-anxiety is because cars are going farther on a single charge and taking less time to recharge.

Amidst the looming mass-adaption of EVs by consumers around the country, another type of alternative-fuel vehicle is starting to hit the market.

But is it too late for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles?

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Tesla Model 3 or Chevy Bolt? No Contest!

January 25th, 2016

Tesla Model 3

Soon a $37,000, 200-mile electric vehicle will arrive on the market. The car could be the one that finally ushers in the era of the affordable, high-range, mass-produced electric car.

This car is well along in its development and will be available to purchase in the coming year.

The car’s designers made aerodynamics a top priority, so it slips effortlessly through the air. When in motion, wind flows around the vehicle from the headlamps to the rear wheels. The aluminum body and smooth proportions cut down on weight and drag to increase both range and acceleration. Plus, the bottom of the car is completely flat, since there aren’t any exhaust bits that need to be kept cool.

Yes, this car could be a game changer.

Oh, and Tesla is building one, too.

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Will Gas-Powered Cars Rule for Another 25 Years?

December 28th, 2015
With electrics like this, how can they fail?

With electrics like this, how can they fail?

Electric cars are the transportation solution of the future, but that future might be farther away than we think.

There’s so much talk about automakers increasing the number of EVs in their fleets by 2020 that we might start believing an all-EV future is right around the corner. California has toyed with the idea of banning the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2030 and Norway has proposed eliminating new internal-combustion car sales by 2025.

Green Car Reports says,

If laws were passed tomorrow to limit the number of new internal-combustion cars, it would likely take almost two decades to bring half the overall fleet in that jurisdiction to electric propulsion.

No law outright banning operation of any vehicle with a tailpipe has been proposed anywhere, as far as we know, even in Norway.

Like it or not, we can be sure that gas-powered cars will account for our transportation needs for many decades to come.

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Nissan Could Rule the EV Mass Market

December 3rd, 2015
Does the NIssan IDS concept preview the next Leaf?

Does the Nissan IDS concept preview the next Leaf?

Conversation tends to drift toward Tesla and its competitors when the topic of discussion turns to electric cars.

That happens because Tesla is a sexy topic. Its cars are fast, beautiful, expensive, and represent some of the most advanced technology in the auto business. Both mainstream and upstart automakers want to compete with Tesla.

Audi and Porsche are scrambling to field a competitor to the Model S, while Karma Automotive teases us with the rebirth of an early EV. But these are all cars that will require an executive salary to afford.

The real money, though, is probably found where very few are currently looking: the mass market.

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A Quarter of All Audis to Be Electric Within 10 Years

December 1st, 2015

audi_a3_e-tron_sportback

The electric revolution got another dose of support late last week.

Considering how much media coverage electric cars get, a person would be forgiven for thinking EVs constitute a somewhat hefty portion of car sales. The truth, however, is that the market for plug-in electric cars in the United States is ridiculously small.

Through the first nine months of 2015, EVs accounted for only .62 percent of new car sales. Yes, the market share for electric cars is currently well below one percent.

That number should rise as more automakers provide more options and as the logistical issues of limited range and a lack of charging stations are addressed.

But who will step up and cater to such a small market?

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A Smart Alternative to Boring Cars: Our 2016 Nissan Leaf Impressions

November 13th, 2015

2016 Nissan Leaf SL

There are no falcon doors, there is no Ludicrous Mode, and the company isn’t run by a man fashioning himself after Tony Stark. The center console isn’t comprised of a mega-iPad, and there are no rear-facing jump seats in the trunk. The Nissan Leaf is no Tesla Model S—a brilliant car, made by a fascinating company, and the first image to come to mind when one thinks of electric cars. But in the end, the Leaf may be more likely to succeed.

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