Vehicle Features

The promise of the Prius Plug-in

On the march toward widespread adoption of 100+ MPGe plug-in vehicles, the Prius Plug-in could take the most significant step. “When you think of hybrids, you think of Prius.” So says Geri Yoza, National Manager for Advanced Technology Vehicles, Product Planning Department at Toyota.  Of course, that would be the standard company line at Toyota,… Read more »

Find your niche: Balqon Corporation targets short haul drayage tractors

Electric vehicles (EVs) have their partisans and detractors. Supporters see the be-all and end-all transportation solution, while opponents argue the technology is too young. Somewhere between the two extremes lies the truth: today’s commercially available EVs have strengths and weaknesses compared to internal combustion engine (ICEs). The strong points include lower operating costs and lack… Read more »

Ford’s new plug-ins

Ford’s recent launch of the Focus Electric, and the upcoming launches of the Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrids, are major milestones for the American EV industry. The Focus Electric claims the title of the only pure EV currently available from the Big Three US automakers, and the Fusion Energi and C-MAX Energi will… Read more »

Company man: Q&A with Bob Lutz

The automotive legend turned 80 on February 12, but he still looks and sounds vital. Even better, and in contrast to the typical assumption about octogenarians Lutz is still entirely relevant. Bob Lutz tends not to speak in abbreviations. More often than not, it’s “gasoline,” not gas, “General Motors,” not GM. Perhaps it’s indicative of a… Read more »

Slot cars on steroids: the birth of electric motorsport

The prospect of zero emission, near-silent race cars has set moustaches twitching throughout the motorsport fraternity. Many see it as heresy, while the enlightened few realize that we have a golden opportunity to inject some new life into a hundred-year-old sport.   Doug Peck, editor at emotorsportnews.com, explains why the future of racing runs on… Read more »

The fleet footed survive: VIA Motors electrifies trucks, vans and SUVs

On the strength of a shrewd business plan and ties to GM, VIA Motors plans to jump-start the electric transition through the back door of America’s service vehicles. Its E-REV pickup trucks and vans prove that you can have your fuel efficiency and costs savings, too.  Everyone should want an EV. They’re more efficient than… Read more »

Why I bought a Volt

I swore I would never buy a new car… and yet, December 23, 2010, I took delivery of my brand new, cyber gray metallic Chevrolet Volt – number 186 off the assembly line – and I couldn’t be happier. The car is amazing. But don’t take my word for it – to date the Volt… Read more »

Book review: “Bottled Lightning: Superbatteries, Electric Cars, and the New Lithium Economy”

Seth Fletcher, in the epilogue to his book about the burgeoning lithium economy, asks: “Will this last? Is this…the beginning of something enduring – a new era for transportation, energy and American high tech manufacturing? Or will it turn out to be a portrait of another false start, an anomalous couple of years in which,… Read more »