May 29, 2013 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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.
January 9, 2013 |
Nissan said Wednesday that it will offer a lower-priced version of its Leaf electric car this year and that it has begun making the Leaf and its battery pack at the automaker's giant factory complex in Smyrna, Tenn. The Japanese automaker also said it will increase how far the Leaf can travel on one charge, but did not provide any specifics. Nissan also didn't give any details on new pricing for the Leaf. The current model starts at $36,050 including a destination fee. That is before a $7,500 federal tax break and, for California buyers, a $2,500 state rebate, which together lower the price to $26,050.
January 8, 2013 |
Electric vehicles and hybrids are quiet - a little too quiet for the U.S. Department of Transportation. The agency on Monday announced proposals for minimum sound requirements on hybrid and electric vehicles. Without an internal combustion engine running, many vehicles can operate under full or partial electric power with little to no sound to warn pedestrians or cyclists, particularly the visually impaired. “This proposal will help keep everyone using our nation's streets and roadways safe, whether they are motorists, bicyclists or pedestrians,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.
December 5, 2012 |
AeroVironment Inc., the Monrovia company that makes small spy drones and electric vehicle charging systems, posted second-quarter earnings of $8.7 million, or 39 cents a share, despite decreased sales of its robotic aircraft. The results beat analysts' average estimate of 23 cents a share. In the same period last year the company had a profit of $6.6 million, or 30 cents a share. AeroVironment is the Pentagon's top supplier of small drones - including the Raven, Wasp and Puma models - that give troops on the ground a bird's-eye view of what's happening over a ridge or around a bend.
November 30, 2012 |
Don't be surprised to see a decline in electric car prices over the next several months. When Chevrolet introduced its Spark EV at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, it said the car will sell for less than $25,000 after a federal tax rebate. That would be lower than the prices of electric vehicles on the market now, although there are attractive lease deals. The Leaf starts at $28,550 after the federal tax credit. California buyers get an additional $2,500 state rebate. Nissan also offers the Leaf through a 36-month lease for $199 a month with a $1,999 down payment in some regions of the U.S. A week ago, Nissan disclosed that the version of the Leaf electric vehicle it sells in Japan will see a price drop and an increase in driving range per charge.