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Electric Vehicles

June 11, 2013 | By Ronald D. White
Chevrolet has again jumped into the fight to make alternative fueled vehicles more competitive, offering cash-back incentives for buyers of its Volt plug-in of $5,000 for 2012 models and $4,000 for 2013 models. It's the latest chapter in a bid by several automakers to make their electric vehicles and plug-ins more attractive On June 1st, Chevy dropped the lease price for a Volt from $299 a month to $269 a month, according to Michelle Malcho, a Chevrolet communications manager.
June 5, 2013 | Jerry Hirsch and Brian Thevenot
If you've been enticed by the recent spate of cheap lease deals on electric cars, good luck finding one. Southern California dealers are seeing heavy demand for battery-powered cars, now leasing for as little as $199 a month. Fiat dealers have waiting lists for the new 500e even though the car hasn't hit their lots yet. And Honda dealers have already sold out of the Fit EV since a $259 lease was announced Thursday. The reaction revealed pent-up demand for electric vehicles -- as long as the price is right.
June 1, 2013 | By Brian Thevenot, Los Angeles Times
What would it take to get you into an electric car today? Forced by state regulators to sell more zero-emission vehicles, automakers are tripping over each other to offer consumers rock-bottom lease deals. For the first time, electric vehicles are penciling out cheaper than their gas-powered counterparts. Honda joined the price war this week by dropping the lease on its Fit EV from $389 to $259 a month. It threw in collision and vehicle theft coverage, maintenance, roadside assistance - even a charging station at your house.
May 31, 2013 | By Peter Pae
For years I contemplated selling my car and riding a bicycle to work. I would ride to the Tustin train station four miles from my Irvine home on a bike path that would put me just half a mile from the station. From there, I would take the Metrolink train to work in downtown Los Angeles. But the few times I tried riding my road bike, I was exhausted by the time I got home. Getting there was easy - all downhill - but coming home was sheer agony, grinding up hills after a long work day. The road bike went back up on the rack in the garage.
May 29, 2013 | By Ronald D. White
Gasoline prices are only slightly below levels set in 2011 and 2012, according to Energy Department statistics. But even a relatively small decline is enough to dent the used car auction prices of hybrid vehicles and the retained value of electric vehicles. That's the conclusion of the latest Kelley Blue Book Used-Car Market Report for May. As usual, the KBB analysis looks at the prices used car dealerships are paying at auctions to stock their inventories. Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst for Kelley Blue Book, said in an interview there is usually a close correlation between dealer auction prices and the sticker prices buyers will see at used car sales lots.
March 19, 2013 | By Ronald D. White
A new National Research Council report says the U.S. may be able to reduce fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 in light-duty cars and trucks. The highly ambitious goal could be reached, the report says, through a combination of more efficient vehicles and the use of gasoline and diesel alternatives such as bio-fuels, electricity and hydrogen. "To reach the 2050 goals for reducing petroleum use and greenhouse gases, vehicles must become dramatically more efficient, regardless of how they are powered," said Douglas M. Chapin, principal of MPR Associates and chairman of the committee that wrote the report.
March 11, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details. After two years of disappointing sales of its Leaf electric sedan, Nissan replaced the executive overseeing its electric-car program. Toshiyuki Shiga, the automaker's chief operating officer will take charge of Nissan's zero-emission-vehicle planning and strategy as well as production of batteries for such cars, the company said.   Hideaki Watanabe, a corporate vice president who headed the division, was shuttled off to a Nissan-affiliated supplier.
February 20, 2013 | By Andrea Chang and David Undercoffler
Tesla Motors Inc. reported a larger-than-expected loss in the fourth quarter, but its revenue of $306 million beat expectations. For the three months that ended Dec. 31, the electric car maker said it lost $90 million, or 79 cents a share. Excluding one-time charges, the company posted a loss of $75 million, or 65 cents; analysts had expected a loss of 53 cents a share. The results released Wednesday were considered decent but not stellar for the Palo Alto, Calif., company, and shares fell 99 cents, or 2.6%, to $37.55 in after-hours trading.
February 20, 2013 | By Andrea Chang and David Undercoffler, Los Angeles Times
Tesla Motors Inc. reported another good-not-great quarter, renewing concerns about its ability to quickly churn out enough electric vehicles to sustain the company for the long term. The company plans to ramp up the introduction of Tesla Model S cars to consumers worldwide, saying it was "on a journey" this year to expand the line and turn profitable, Chairman Elon Musk and Chief Financial Officer Deepak Ahuja wrote in a letter to shareholders Wednesday. "Our intention is not to make customers wait six months for a car," Musk said in a call with analysts.
February 5, 2013 | By Ronald D. White
Mitsubishi Motors North America is recalling certain model year 2012 i-MiEV electric vehicles that were manufactured from Dec. 2, 2011, through Sept. 7, 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration . The brake system vacuum pump on those vehicles may fail, rendering the vacuum pump inoperable. If the vacuum pump system fails, the recall notice says, it will reduce available brake power, which would result in lengthened stopping distances and could increase the risk of a vehicle crash.
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