Twenty two years ago, General Motors unveiled its all-electric car, the EV1, at the Los Angeles Auto Show on January 4, 1996. What better time to look back at how far the technology has come — and consider whether we are finally on the brink of acceptance on a worldwide scale.
The auto industry is evolving in two ways, both of which spell massive changes for the industry with which we all grew up.
First, the industry has become globalized like never before. American cars are built in Mexico, Japanese cars are made in America, parts are sourced from around the world, and finished cars are exported into global markets.
Second, this global evolution is the continued blurring of the lines between car and tech experience. Rather than cars offering tech products, tech products are becoming cars.
That’s an important distinction from the carmakers of our youth, and one that’s driving a new breed of automaker into the limelight. Chinese automaker Byton is a perfect example. Continue reading >>>
Volkswagen knows a thing or two about branding.
VW’s first hit the U.S. market in 1949. The Type 1 Beetle was a car with a deep military history, earning it its nickname “The Victory Wagon.” In 1959, the company stepped away from its military history with its “Think Small” campaign. It set its sights on a decidedly different audience with a new campaign with the goal of attracting a younger consumer eager to find an affordable car that was also fuel efficient.
The oil crises of the 1970s led VW to make a major pivot: It invested in diesel engines. And for decades, the company could, literally, go the distance with diesel.
But oh, how the times have changed. Nowadays, consumers want fuel-efficient cars that are also environmentally friendly.
Based on what we saw at the LA Auto Show, VW is up to the task.
Enter the Volkswagen I.D. Crozz.
BMW and Chevrolet are changing the world of transportation, but not in the way we might have thought they would.
Both companies are driving us toward an electric future, and both have just taken epic steps to help solidify their choice of EVs as the cars of the very near future.
More specifically, both have selected SUVs and crossovers as the electric cars of the future. Continue reading >>>
When Tesla started selling cars, CEO Elon Musk probably didn’t think his little company would eventually cause Porsche to completely restructure itself.
But it’s starting to happen.
As demand for Tesla cars continues to grow, other automakers are wondering how they can grab a piece of the action and divert some of the dollars from that demand into their own bank accounts. Continue reading >>>
Much like an extended family getting together for the holidays, we try to avoid talking about politics on this blog at all costs.
We like to keep the focus on exciting new cars that are coming soon, or helping shoppers get the best deal on cars. Of course, we also love showcasing the best in car culture and analyzing changing trends.
Sometimes, though, a political development comes along that forces us to talk politics, because it affects car shoppers around the entire country. Today is one of those days. Continue reading >>>
What’s a parking garage without charging stations?
In San Francisco I could roll into a downtown garage, plug in, and go about my day. Here in my Washington State home, I’ve been parking at a downtown garage, but there are no charging stations to be found on the entire 6-floor structure. Could mine be the only electric car that parks there?
Unlikely. But the lack of chargers illustrates a potential problem that could be just around the corner as nearly every major automaker plans new electric cars in the coming years. That’s supposed to be a huge move forward for our environment, but there are some unanswered questions that need to be addressed:
Where will we charge these cars, and where will the electricity come from? Continue reading >>>
Electric cars are quickly becoming the mainstream choice for alternative fuels. As has been well-discussed here over the last few months, cities, countries, and automakers are committing to the elimination of gas-powered cars and the adoption of electric ones.
Toyota was among the first to introduce electricity to the masses with the hybrid Prius, but now it seems to believe the fuel of the future is hydrogen.
Could electric cars be just a stop-gap on the way to a true fuel revolution? Continue reading >>>
A British legend was born in 1959. No, we’re not referring to the great Tracey Ullman, but another icon that has become deeply rooted in British culture and is known around the world:
The economy car, originally produced by the British Motor Corporation, was voted the second most influential vehicle of the 20th century, just behind the Ford Model T and ahead of the Volkswagen Beetle. Production began in 1959 and continues to this day, though ownership has changed hands a number of times.
The famous British brand has been under BMW ownership since 2001, and now the German automaker plans to further dilute MINI’s English roots. Continue reading >>>
Freezing air has descended upon my city. Those leisurely mornings of heading out to the car in shorts and a T-shirt have been replaced by scraping windshields free of frost.
I love my electric Nissan Leaf, because I can start and warm it up using an app on my phone while I stay toasty warm inside the house. My Subaru Legacy actually requires me to go outside and start the motor with a key.
This week I needed the Legacy, because my errands required more range than the Leaf could provide. That meant I had to brave the cold, trek outside, and start the Subaru so it would be warm for my family.
When I got back inside, my wife, who was getting ready in the upstairs bathroom, asked why the car was so loud.
“Because it has a gas motor,” I said.
Needless to say, we have become accustomed to driving electric.
We’ve been hoping the next electric car might be a Tesla Model 3, but with production problems pushing back availability of the car, we, like thousands of other drivers, may have to look elsewhere. Continue reading >>>