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 >>>

Toyota May Have Just Made the Prius Obsolete

Trying to sell someone a hybrid car while gas prices are low is a little like selling summer clothes in Barrow, Alaska.

It might be a great concept, but if there’s not a lot of need, there won’t be a lot of sales.

Such is the case with the newest version of the Toyota Prius. Yes, it’s one of the best hybrids that the market has ever seen. Yes, it’s at least somewhat fun, engaging, and, some might say, even good-looking.

The new Prius Prime is so good, in fact, it might render the regular Prius obsolete.

If, that is, anyone can be convinced to buy one. Continue reading >>>

Chevy Bolt vs. Hyundai Ioniq: Which Has a Brighter Future?

Flexibility is a benefit enjoyed often by small companies, but rarely by large ones. Like a small boat, businesses still in early stages can maneuver quickly; they can alter business plans, tweak messaging, and otherwise pivot without having to worry about re-orienting a large workforce or undermining the public’s understanding of the brand. By contrast, large businesses operate more similarly to a container ship. Every move requires extensive planning, communication, and extreme foresight. Fine-tuning a product can take months, and changing direction entirely can take years. Continue reading >>>

Ioniq Versus Prius: The Battle for MPG Superiority

2017 Hyundai Ioniq

Maybe Toyota didn’t realize it at the time, but when it first debuted the Prius it also launched an entirely new segment of vehicles. While the Prius inspired competing automakers to get into the world of hybrids, the Toyota easily outsold them all and remained king for nearly two decades.

The Prius, which debuted in the U.S. in 2001, has evolved from a basic transportation appliance into an entirely different beast. It’s filled with new technology, improved performance, and increased efficiency. The latest iteration also has something it’s never had to deal with before:

Real competition. Continue reading >>>

Are You Less Safe in a Hybrid Car?

I’ve heard from more car shoppers than I can count over the years asking for advice on purchasing a new car. Yesterday a question was asked that no one had previously brought up to me.

The shopper is in the market for a new 2017 hybrid or plug-in hybrid SUV. She drives a lot, lives in an area known for epic snowfall, and has had her share of scary incidents while on the road. Naturally, she wants something safe and reliable that goes at least a few miles on electric power to save a few bucks on gas.

Considering the close calls she’s had while driving, she asked me if rescue workers are able to use the Jaws of Life on hybrid and electric vehicles. She’d heard a rumor that first responders won’t extract people stuck in such vehicles due to risks of electrocution from cutting into high-voltage lines.

Could that rumor be true? Continue reading >>>

The 2017 North American International Auto Show: An Odyssey Worth Traversing

2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT C

When the 2017 Pacifica was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last year, Chrysler restarted its minivan team’s engine and started down the road toward family-moving domination. The advanced dual-monitor rear-seat entertainment system. The built-in Ridgid vacuum cleaner. The hybrid drivetrain. With the Dodge Caravan crumbling, the Pacifica managed to surge past the competition, and this morning was awarded the North American Utility Vehicle of the Year.

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Coming Soon: A Hybrid Mustang (With V8 Power)

2017_mustang_gt

People get all bent out of shape when reading about their beloved Mustang going hybrid.

“I need my V8,” they say.

“A Mustang can’t be electric,” they say.

Part of the reason for the anti-hybrid sentiment is the legacy of the Prius. The slow, emotionless Toyota has branded hybrids as unexciting and something for the performance-minded to avoid altogether.

So the idea of a hybrid Mustang, the epitome of tire-smoking V8 power, has folks, well, up in smoke.

Continue reading >>>

They Forgot the V8s: Wards Announces 10 Best Engines for 2017

Volvo V60 Polestar engine

For the past 23 years, WardsAuto has published a list of the 10 best engines available for the upcoming model year. In an industry where reviews are more and more dominated by instrument tests, where cars are differentiated by tenths (if not hundredths) of a second on a drag strip and by tenths (if not hundredths) of a g-force on a skid pad, Ward’s list is based on objective, but also delightfully subjective, data.

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Donald Trump’s Presidency Won’t Impact Car-Buying Decisions for EV Shoppers

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Concerns about America’s future have run rampant since the night of November 8th, 2016. Suddenly, we’ve come to see our own social-media-driven bubbles, the emergence and impact of fake news, and how easy it is to accept what we already believe while adopting blinders for anything else. Questions have arisen regarding how the American government will amend laws surrounding health care, taxation, and even the auto industry.

Continue reading >>>