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BUSINESS
August 6, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
In an effort to juice up tepid sales of its 2014 Chevrolet Volt, General Motors Co. will slash the sticker price by $5,000, to $34,995, including shipping. The price cut makes the plug-in hybrid Volt more competitive with other rechargeable cars, including rival plug-in hybrids such as the Toyota Prius and all-electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf. Most of the big car companies have reduced the prices of their rechargeable vehicles this year because consumers have been slow to adopt the technology.
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AUTOS
July 25, 2013 | By Catherine Green
The cost of owning an electric car is wriggling its way down to becoming competitive with its gas-powered peers, according to new projections by the Electrification Coalition. Representatives from the Washington, D.C., advocacy group said during a conference call Thursday that short-range plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are already cost competitive with cars powered by internal combustion engines, as well as hybrid electric vehicles. The recent analysis assumed five years of ownership and about 14,000 miles driven each year.
AUTOS
July 23, 2013 | By Catherine Green
BMW will sell its i3 electric vehicle, slated for official debut on July 29, for a base price of $42,275. “The BMW i3 has strong emotional appeal, outstanding product substance and a guarantee of sheer driving pleasure,” Ian Robertson, a BMW board member, said in a statement. Enthusiasts will be able to judge for themselves next week when the automaker's first battery electric model premieres in New York, London and Beijing. Carrying a 22-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, the i3 promises 80-100 miles between charges.
SPORTS
July 17, 2013 | By Jim Peltz
Formula E, a proposed new series featuring all-electric race cars, got a substantial boost Wednesday when the Andretti Autosport team said it would join the program. Andretti Autosport, led by former racer Michael Andretti, is one of the major teams in the Izod IndyCar Series. The team's drivers include reigning IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti, Michael's son. Formula E proposes to hold street races starting next year in 10 cities around the globe, including Los Angeles.
AUTOS
July 13, 2013 | By Catherine Green
Electric car owners can get special discounts from utilities to charge their vehicles at home, but the amounts vary widely among power companies, according to a new study of charging costs. The study by Northeast Group calculated that Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers pay 53 cents per gallon of gas equivalent to charge at home, 40 cents cheaper than the average cost of discount programs nationwide. Southern California Edison customers choose from one of two discounted rate plans, depending on their usage habits, costing $1.11 or $1.24 per gallon equivalent.
AUTOS
July 12, 2013 | By Catherine Green
Tesla Motors chief executive Elon Musk delivered a teaser for the electric carmaker's second-quarter earnings this week, divulging that Model S output had surged past its initial weekly goal. That target was to build 400 sedans a week, the pace of manufacturing has already exceeded that -- "and not trivially," Musk said Wednesday in an interview with Bloomberg News . He also said he expected production to hit 800 cars per week by late next year, adding, "I'm very confident we'll get there.
AUTOS
July 12, 2013 | By Catherine Green
Ford Motor Co. will knock $4,000 off the price of its 2014 Focus electric cars, slated to hit dealers' lots in a few weeks. With destination charge included, the base model will now cost $35,995. In a statement Thursday, a company spokeswoman said the lowered price of the “fully-contented” cars “keeps us competitive in the marketplace and is an important part of our commitment to provide customers with a range of electrified vehicles to choose from.” The electric Focus has lagged far behind other battery-powered competitors, selling just 177 of the 2013 model cars in June.
AUTOS
July 3, 2013 | By Catherine Green, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
General Motors came out ahead of Nissan in the rechargable car race this month, an ongoing showdown driven by falling lease prices and piqued consumer interest in the alternative fuel market. While June auto sales looked promising across the board for the auto industry, figures in the electric car sector were especially encouraging for plug-in proponents. Nissan said it sold 2,225 of its Leaf electric cars, making June the second-highest month ever, up over 315% compared to the same month last year.
AUTOS
July 3, 2013 | By Catherine Green
If Chief Executive Elon Musk was at all concerned about Tesla's position as the most technologically advanced electric car on the market, a new app designed for Google Glass just might cement the luxury brand's status.  Software engineer Sahas Katta, who at 24 years old has already founded two tech companies, has created an app that allows Tesla owners to control a host of car functions from the head-up displays on Google Glass. GlassTesla lets drivers check how much battery and range their cars have left, stop and start charging to avoid paying higher rates at peak hours, and find the vehicles on a projected map -- all done remotely through Google Glass' Internet connection.
AUTOS
July 1, 2013 | By Catherine Green
Head-up displays on car windshields are expected to boom in the next few years, according to a new report from IHS Automotive. Global sales of cars outfitted with HUDs are expected to rise to 9.1 million units in 2020, up from 1.2 million in 2012. Sales projections show a 7% climb to 1.3 million units this year. The displays project essential information usually found in dashboards -- speed, RPMs, warning signals -- onto windshields. HUD images also have the potential to show more sophisticated data, such as navigation and safety features including blind spot detection and lane departure warnings.
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