Vehicle Features

2018 smart fortwo loses its top – and its gas engine

The smart isn’t for everyone, and it has never pretended to be. The media buzz these days centers around the trendy trio – Model 3, the Bolt and the new LEAF, each of which aspires to be “your affordable, every-day, one-and-only car,” as Motor Trend recently put it. The smart does not aspire to any… Read more »

A redesigned Nissan LEAF arrives in 2018, joining the new generation of plug-ins

When some future author writes a book about the most influential cars in automotive history, the Nissan LEAF will be right up there with the Model T, the VW Beetle and the Tesla Model S. The LEAF was the first EV aimed at the mass market, and as of this writing, it remains the best-selling… Read more »

Questions and concerns: Battery power in marine applications

Experts discuss the special concerns when designing battery technology for marine environments. There is growing worldwide demand for electric-powered vessels and for broader electrification in maritime operations, particularly in ports. Consider the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, for example. Air pollution from those ports is a top concern for environmental and public health… Read more »

Tesla Model 3: Will this machine kill the Oil Age?

It’s hard to overestimate the importance of the Tesla Model 3 (although the media has been doing its best). There’s no question that it’s a momentous motorcar on (at least) three levels. First, Model 3’s success is widely assumed to be an existential issue for the company – if it fails to deliver on its… Read more »

What’s going to happen with US emissions regulations?

Q&A with emissions standards expert Michael Steel of the law firm Morrison & Foerster For better or for worse, the proliferation of plug-in vehicles that has occurred over the past few years is largely the result of government regulation. Automakers are producing some excellent EVs, but (except for a certain California carmaker) to put it… Read more »

Flying electric: Both startups and industry giants push ahead with electric airplanes

In the popular imagination, aviation represents the last frontier for electrification. Considering the weight and limited range of batteries, an electric airplane might seem practically impossible. However, while electric long-haul airliners probably lie pretty far in the future, the fact is that, in some applications, the technical obstacles to electrified aircraft are not as formidable… Read more »

Workhorse CEO on the company’s new plug-in hybrid pickup truck and its expansive plans for the future

We all acknowledge the absurdity of ignoring an elephant, when one is present in the very room in which important matters are being discussed, but what about a hulking, jacked-up, V8-powered monster truck? Tesla permanently changed the conversation about EVs when it electrified a sporty two-seater, a luxury sedan and a crossover SUV, but few… Read more »

New Eagle teams up with Inventev to offer electric Ford Transit vans

The business case for electrifying commercial vans would seem to be a no-brainer – the savings on fuel and maintenance are substantial and demonstrable. In the real world however, pilot projects are plentiful, but substantial orders have been slow to materialize. More than one promising startup has gone under while waiting for fleet customers to… Read more »

Hyundai launches Ioniq with three distinct powertrain choices: EV, PHEV and hybrid

In the short history of the modern EV industry, it’s been common for automakers to launch plug-in cars under a new brand or model – particularly those companies who are serious about selling EVs at scale. Or, at least the ones that want to appear serious about selling a lot of EVs. Even though Hyundai… Read more »

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV: The era of long-range, mid-priced EVs is here

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV will surely be remembered as a milestone model in automotive history – and hopefully for more than just the hype that heralded it. For several years, the punditocracy has been saying that the “killer app” that would bring electromobility to a “tipping point” and build that all-important “critical mass” would… Read more »