How Green Is Your Car’s Interior?

Going green in our cars means more than just getting better fuel economy. As early as 1998, Chrysler aimed to use recycled materials for the fabric roof liner of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Fast forward to the 2010s and the list of automakers using recycled materials has grown.

Since 2014, The BMW i3 has used natural fibers along with recycled plastics and aluminum. The 2015 Nissan Leaf incorporated 25 percent recycled materials, including steel for the body.

Ford stands out when it comes to using recycled materials; in addition to using recycled materials in the wire frame and under the hood, Ford incorporates recycled materials in tactile components of a car’s interior, such as seat cushions and fabric. In 2011, Ford began using soy foam for its seat cushions. Shortly after, the automaker incorporated Repreve fabric, made of recycled water bottles, in the 2012 Ford Focus Electric.

Ford isn’t just focusing its recycling efforts on one or two models. Instead, its efforts span multiple models, from trucks to compact vehicles.

It’s turned its attention to another interior component, with some inspiration from bees. Continue reading >>>

Nissan’s New Crossover Kicks Aside All-Wheel Drive

Rarely does a new vehicle debut with less power and capability than the model it’s replacing. Yet the Nissan Kicks compact crossover is hitting the market without all wheel drive and with less horsepower than its predecessor, the Juke.

AWD has become a staple of crossovers from almost all automakers. So, the decision not to offer it as an option is an interesting one. Will the new Nissan Kicks find a fan base in spite of its front-wheel-drive-only architecture and 1.6-liter 125-hp motor?  Continue reading >>>

Automaker Byton Focuses on Tech First with Electric SUV

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 >>>