June 5, 2013 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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 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 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 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.