Where Will We Get the Power for Full Electric?

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 >>>

Can Hydrogen Surpass Electricity As the Fuel of the Future?

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 >>>

Gas Prices Rise as Car Prices Fall

Maybe you’ve noticed, but gas prices are going up again.

That’s bad news for drivers, automakers, and car dealers, but could be good for people in the market for a new car.

Low prices over the last couple of years have driven sales of trucks and SUVs while stifling sales of sedans and compact cars. If you’re one of the people who recently bought a big SUV, you might regret your choice once filling up the tank starts draining Benjamins from your bank account.

But there could be a great deal on a gas-sipper in your near future. Continue reading >>>

The One Thing Diesels Still Do Well

Only with a diesel?

It’s now impossible to talk about diesel engines without mentioning Volkswagen. The company accidentally—but fundamentally—changed the landscape of diesels and the attitude of American buyers toward the oil burners.

Not only that, other automakers are now second-guessing their diesel programs and vowing to pursue electricity instead.

In fact, Volvo says that the next generation of diesels will be its last. Audi and Mercedes have pulled diesel options from the United States. Cadillac, meanwhile, has plans to buck that trend and introduce diesel engines to the U.S. market in hopes of capturing whatever enthusiasm remains for the alternative fuel.

Despite Cadillac’s optimism, diesels have one purpose, and Volkswagen has made it exceptionally clear that the future of clean driving isn’t it. Continue reading >>>

Mirage or Metro? The Battle for MPG Supremacy Spans the Decades

It was Earth Day, and I pulled up to a noodle joint and parked next to an old Geo Metro. The diminutive little car stood out in a sea of pickups and SUVs, like a defiant statement against the modern status quo.

As I exited my vehicle, the owner of the Metro approached his.

“Great car,” I said.

“Thanks,” he replied, ”I get 46 miles per gallon, I’ll keep ‘er till she stops running. They just don’t make ‘em like this anymore.”

I smiled, nodded, and went into the restaurant thinking about his claim. Was he right? Are there any cars like the Metro that are still available for purchase in the United States?

I can think of at least one. Continue reading >>>

Coming Back to a Dealership Near You: Volkswagen TDI!

Volkswagen has approval to bring back the diesels!

Not since 2015 has a VW TDI left a dealer’s lot. In September of that year, news broke that the German automaker had been cheating on government emissions tests and its diesel-powered cars actually emitted many times the legal limits of nitrogen oxides during normal driving conditions. All new diesel-powered Volkswagens were suddenly illegal and a stop-sale followed immediately.

No doubt you’re overly familiar with the scandal and its far-reaching fallout that killed not only VW’s diesel business, but has virtually knocked diesel out of the American market just as it was gaining steam here.

After criminal charges and billions of dollars in fines and repair costs, the EPA has finally approved Volkswagen to sell repaired 2015 TDI models in the U.S. Continue reading >>>

5 Essentials for the Perfect Spring Break Road Trip

The snow has begun to melt, the sun is sticking around longer each day, and for thousands upon thousands of college students, the next few weeks will be some of the year’s best. For many, Spring Break means precious days away from school and the opportunity to hit the road and get out of town. Every road-trip car needs plenty of space for food and snacks, a couple of pillows, and enough room to make sure the travelers on board don’t murder each other. But there are a few other essentials, without which an interstate odyssey could easily become a terrible long haul. Continue reading >>>

Newsflash: Electric Cars Are Here!

2016_nissan_leaf

A lot of people don’t realize this, but it’s possible, right now, to head to a local dealer and drive home in an electric car. You, being an informed and educated car guru, are likely well aware of this. Up to 60 percent of the American public, however, don’t realize that plug-in electric cars are a thing.

Last summer I drove a brand new Nissan Leaf onto a local community college campus to help set up an event. The response from people that day was complete disbelief that a car could run so silently.

“It’s electric,” I said.

“Electric? Like you plug it in?”

“Yup.”

“So it doesn’t need gas?”

“Nope.”

Most of the folks I spoke with that day didn’t know about electric cars. As it turns out, most people in America don’t either.

Continue reading >>>