November 24, 2013 |
With eco-friendly cars taking center stage at the 2013 L.A. Auto Show, it was no surprise luxury carmakers wanted to tout their stuff too. And not just far-off concepts that drivers will need to wait years for, either. BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac each brought production-ready fully electric or plug-in hybrid models. FOR THE RECORD: Electric vehicles: In the Nov. 23 Business section, an article about new electric cars said the BMW i3 is front-wheel-drive. The BMW i3 is a rear-wheel-drive car. - It's not hard to see why they chose to do this at the Los Angeles show.
November 20, 2013 |
Volkswagen used the Los Angeles Auto Show to launch its first U.S. electric vehicle in the nation's premier zero-emissions car market. The 2015 Volkswagen eGolf, in its North America debut on Wednesday, joins a host of electric cars from automakers seeking to comply with California's strict pollution standards, which essentially mandate production of cars with no tailpipe emissions. The eGolf will go on sale in select states in fall 2014. It will join a host of other electrics that sell in low volumes but nonetheless have sparked high competition among automakers.
November 18, 2013 |
For decades, hydrogen fuel cell cars have been the automotive technology of tomorrow: the big idea, for someday far in the future. No longer. At auto shows in Los Angeles and Tokyo this week, Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. will introduce hydrogen-powered cars. Hyundai's will reach U.S. showrooms next year, while the other models will begin selling a year later. It amounts to “a coming out party for hydrogen,” said John Krafcik, chief executive of Hyundai Motor America.
November 17, 2013 |
Question: Our 15-unit condo complex, built in 1982, has only one parking space assigned to each unit. One owner purchased an electric car and requested board permission to install an electric vehicle charging station in her assigned parking spot, costing her $3,000. The electric plug she plans to use cuts into another homeowner's exclusive-use garage parking spot. There's a 24-hour electric vehicle charging station open to the public less than 0.1 mile from our building, but she wants to plug her car into the homeowners association's electricity.
November 15, 2013 |
Google Inc. plans to invest $80 million in six utility-scale solar facilities in California and Arizona as the tech behemoth continues to put money toward alternative energy projects. The Mountain View, Calif., company will partner with solar developer Recurrent Energy and private equity firm KKR & Co. on the projects, which are estimated to generate enough combined electricity to power more than 17,000 homes, Google said in a blog post. "You'd think the thrill might wear off this whole renewable energy investing thing after a while," Google wrote on its official blog.
November 13, 2013 |
One of the reasons why electric cars are poor sellers is because consumers have little understanding of the financial incentives and other benefits available to owners of the vehicles. That's the finding of two Indiana University researchers who surveyed more than 2,000 drivers in 21 of the nation's largest cities. They discovered that 95% of respondents didn't know about state and local subsidies, rebates and other incentives. For example, only 2 out of 758 survey respondents living in areas where subsidies for home charging equipment are offered were aware of their availability, the researchers said.
November 3, 2013 |
Does turning one's limitations into shtick amount to moving past them? Janelle Monáe seemed to think so Saturday night at Club Nokia, where she brought her tour behind this year's “The Electric Lady” for a sold-out concert as accomplished as it was frustrating. The lady in the album's title is Cindi Mayweather, the embattled android heroine of an elaborate sci-fi yarn that Monáe has been spinning since her first major-label EP in 2007; “The Electric Lady” evidently serves as a prequel to Monáe's 2010 disc, “The ArchAndroid,” with clues about Cindi's origin story.
November 3, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Jerry Brown's vision to build electric buses in California may be giving him a black eye. In April, Brown visited the factory of Chinese vehicle manufacturer Build Your Dreams, or BYD, and announced that the company would make similar vehicles in the high-desert city of Lancaster. "It's very significant," Brown said at the Shenzhen plant of BYD. "I think it's very important that we start replacing the bus fleet with electric buses. " But BYD has run into trouble with Brown's own labor regulators, now that the Lancaster assembly plant is gearing up for production.
October 27, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY -- Assailants early Sunday blew up at least nine electrical power plants in one of Mexico's largest states, triggering blackouts that gunmen then used as cover to torch gasoline stations, residents and authorities said. The attacks in Michoacan state, west of the capital, did not cause deaths or serious injuries, authorities said. But they served as a pointed reminder of the strength of drug gangs and other criminals. Shortly after midnight, attackers armed with Molotov cocktails almost simultaneously disabled electrical substations in at least nine cities and towns in Michoacan, plunging an estimated 1 million people into darkness.
October 18, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO -- California's electric utilities and other power sellers better hope that scientists and engineers come up with a surefire way to bottle lightning. That's a dramatic way of describing the more prosaic goal of finding a way to store large amounts of electricity, something that, up until now, did not seem practicable. On Thursday, the state Public Utilities Commission voted to create a formal "energy storage target" of 1,325 megawatts -- equivalent to the output of almost three modern, natural gas-fired power plants.