China’s Big Decision Would Impact U.S. Auto Strategy

GM will offer this EV for about $5,300 in China

This is big.

For a few months now, we’ve been following stories of certain countries playing with the idea of banning the use of gasoline and diesel vehicles. India, France, Britain, Norway, and Germany have floated plans to do away with the sales of new vehicles powered by fossil fuels.

France and Britain plan to ban sales starting in 2040, while India is looking at 2030. Germany hasn’t committed to a year yet, and Norway wants to see the ban go in place by 2025.

Now, the world’s largest car market is following suit, which could change everything. Continue reading >>>

2018 Nissan Leaf Debut: Yay or Yawn?

Nissan has been teasing its new electric Leaf for months. The sleek teaser images suggest a racy shape and a whole new Leaf experience.

It also came with the preconceived notion that it would come with a range on par with the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3. Nissan never made specific mention of that, but we all just kind of assumed it would step up to meet the competition.

The new Leaf was unveiled this week, and while Nissan may have expected much fanfare, it debuted to a whole lot of silence. Can anyone else hear the crickets?

The newly redesigned Leaf looks like a Toyota and has the range of, well… a Leaf. Continue reading >>>

The Best Used Deals Are Electric

We all want a good value when buying a used car. Who doesn’t love picking up a five-year-old low-mileage car for 60 percent less than what the car cost new?

Getting a great used car deal is the holy grail of car shopping for many value-oriented shoppers. My best experience was scoring an almost half-price deal on a used car that had been sitting on a dealer’s lot for a long time. It was a base model and had a 5-speed manual. No one wanted the car, the dealer wanted it gone, and I made a half-price offer, which was accepted.

Boom!

That was a little over five years ago. Today’s best bargains are a little different. In fact, they’re electric. Continue reading >>>

Volkswagen Caters to Modern-Day Hippies with ID Buzz

It’s finally happening.

Some 60 years after the Volkswagen Microbus became a symbol of peace, love, and happiness in the United States, a new version will land on dealer floors aimed at the modern, and somewhat affluent, hippie.

The ID Buzz has been a concept floating around the blog-o-sphere for at least six months, and now VW has confirmed that it will indeed go into production. However, it won’t happen until after a smaller electric compact car, simply called the ID, goes on sale by 2020. Continue reading >>>

Autonomous Car Progress: Approaching Level 5

BMW iNext rendering

I thought adaptive cruise control was the coolest thing ever. Simply set the cruise to 70 miles per hour, and the car does the rest, even slowing down to match traffic when speeds drop.

I first experienced adaptive cruise control in 2014, and now, just three years later, we have automakers talking about “level 5” autonomy.

What is level 5? It means a car can control itself in all situations and doesn’t need a driver for anything. We’re not there yet, but some powerful and influential automakers are on the path to making it happen. Before level 5 cars arrive, lower priced cars will receive levels of autonomy that make my adaptive cruise look like technology straight out of 1999. Continue reading >>>

Tesla: The World’s Most Popular Automaker?

We can’t seem to escape news about Tesla lately. The company is dominating headlines on auto blogs and news websites across the Internet. If the story isn’t about a new innovation, idea, or product from Tesla, it’s about another car company trying to beat Tesla at its own game.

Never, in my lifetime at least, has one automaker demanded so much attention and inspired so much competition.

Here’s a rundown of stories, from this week alone, showing Tesla’s dominance over the automotive news cycle: Continue reading >>>

Should the United States Go Gas-Free?

Like it or not, we are moving toward a future of gas-free automobiles.

We discuss the topic often, but two recent developments suggest that the end of the fossil-fuel era could happen sooner than we once thought.

Volvo now plans for all of its vehicles to be either electric or hybrid starting in 2019, and France has said it will ban all gas and diesel vehicles within the next 20 years. Should the U.S. follow suit? Continue reading >>>

New Teslas Could Last 1,000,000 Miles

We’ve all known people who sell their cars before they turn past 100,000 miles.

That was probably a wise move back in the 1980s, but today’s vehicles can live well past that mark, even doubling or tripling it with proper care.

Diesel engines can go even farther, routinely cruising past 500,000 miles.

The longevity of gasoline and diesel motors are ultimately limited by all the moving parts and heat generated by the process of turning liquid fuel into energy. Pistons, valves, injectors, gaskets, and more are subject to eventual failure, thereby limiting how long a motor can last.

Electric cars don’t have those parts and are sometimes advertised as needing less maintenance. But just how many miles can an EV go? Continue reading >>>

Tesla Remains Perfect, Audi Hopes to Follow Its Lead

Safety is quickly becoming a trademark quality for Tesla. The California-based electric carmaker builds the Model S sedan, which achieved the best safety rating of any car ever tested back in 2013.

Now it can lay claim to something else no other automaker has ever been able to accomplish: a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) perfect score for an SUV in its 5-star crash-testing system.

Yes, the Tesla Model X is now the safest SUV ever tested by the government agency. Continue reading >>>

Should You Be Worried About Replacing a Used EV’s Batteries?

2017 Chevy Bolt

One of the benefits of owning an electric car is not needing to buy gasoline. The cost savings add up year after year, even when you include the cost of electrons to recharge the batteries.

Two of the biggest concerns since the advent of hybrid and EV technology are electric range and potential cost of replacing battery packs.

Range anxiety has mostly been solved as EV range steadily increases to over 200 miles per charge. Replacing battery packs has, so far, proven to be a non-issue, but it’s bound to become one as the earliest EVs continue to age. How much should people expect to pay once the inevitable happens?

About half of what the car cost new, at least according to Chevrolet. Continue reading >>>