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June 7, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Honda Motor Co.'s all-electric version of its popular Fit subcompact will be able to travel 82 miles on a single charge, leapfrogging its competitors in mileage range, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Fit's range is better than the Ford Focus electric (76 miles), the Nissan Leaf (73 miles) and the Mitsubishi i MiEV (62 miles). "The 82 miles is great. Every little bit helps when you are talking about range in an electric vehicle," said John O'Dell, who follows alternative fuel vehicles for auto information company
September 10, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch
Is General Motors losing $49,000 on every Chevrolet Volt electric car it sells? If so, it could be bad news for taxpayers who helped bail out GM and now own a third of an automaker that has seen its shares plunge 30% since it went public in 2010. A Reuters report Monday said GM's plug-in hybrid was a big money-loser.   GM, though, disputed the contention, saying Reuters' research "is grossly wrong" and accusing the news agency of bad math. The automaker said the news agency incorrectly "allocated product development costs across the number of Volts sold instead of allocating across the lifetime volume of the program, which is how business operates.” The debate over the cost of the Volt is highlighting how much of a lightning rod GM -- and the Volt -- have become since the automaker's federal bailout in 2009 and as the presidential election approaches, analysts said.
September 22, 2010 | Jerry Hirsch
Coda Automotive Inc., a startup electric-car company in Santa Monica, said Tuesday that it would start taking deposits for its four-door, five-passenger sedan this week and would begin delivering the cars in December. The automaker is pricing the car at $44,900, a sticker price above electric vehicle offerings from the much larger General Motors Co. and Nissan North America Inc. that also go on sale later this year. The Coda will be will be eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit and $5,000 California tax rebate, which brings the price down to $32,400.
September 8, 2011 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
AeroVironment Inc., the Monrovia company that makes small hand-held drones for the Pentagon and charging systems for electric vehicles, swung to a profit in its first quarter, bolstered by a 62% increase in sales. The company Wednesday posted earnings for the quarter ended July 30 of $326,000, or 1 cent a share, compared with a loss of $3.4 million, or 16 cents, a year earlier. Analysts on average had forecast a profit of 1 cent a share. AeroVironment is the Pentagon's top supplier of small drones, which include the Raven, Wasp and Puma models.
November 18, 2010 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
Rival Japanese automakers Toyota Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. unveiled prototypes of upcoming electric cars as alternative-fuel vehicles took center stage Wednesday at the start of the Los Angeles Auto Show. Amid buzz about General Motors Co.'s multibillion-dollar initial public offering, major automakers scrambled to show off their latest electric car offerings to hundreds of reporters gathered for a preview of the annual event at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The show opens to the public on Friday.
April 24, 2013 | By Ronald D. White
Chevrolet says it has earned bragging rights as the car company with the most efficient electric vehicle. The automaker says that the 2014 Spark, which is set to go on sale this summer in California and Oregon, has an EPA estimated range of of 82 miles when fully charged and an estimated combined city/highway 119 mpge. Mpge stands for miles per gallon gasoline equivalent. PHOTOS: Kelley Blue Book's top 10 'green' cars for 2013 Chevy said the subcompact car will save an average of $9,000 over the next five years, compared with other new vehicles.
October 9, 2012 | By Dan Turner
Last Friday, I set out to write a blog post that would answer the question, "With gasoline prices spiking, are electric cars really a good deal?" I learned two things from this exercise. First, doing a cost/benefit analysis comparing vehicles is trickier than it seems, thanks to differing government incentive programs that can radically alter the cost equation. Second, readers are really, really passionate about this topic. After having been informed, repeatedly and in no uncertain terms, about my many failings on that post, I've decided to start over -- hopefully screw-up free this time, and with a new comparison among "green" cars.
April 16, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch
Apparently, location, location, location is the latest twist on electric vehicles and the environment: Whether an electric car such as the Nissan Leaf protects the atmosphere from greenhouse gases depends on where it's charged, according to a new study.  Such a car is no better than a standard gasoline-powered subcompact such as a Hyundai Elantra in cities such as Denver and Wichita, but far exceeds even the best hybrids in Southern California....
January 16, 2011 | By Susan Carpenter and David Undercoffler, Los Angeles Times
Awards season is at hand, so it's only fitting to salute top performers in one of L.A.'s favorite categories: autos. Our work as Times car reviewers put us behind the wheels of dozens of vehicles last year. Breakout stars included two new electric vehicles: the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt. Luxury models by Jaguar and Porsche also impressed us with their style and power. The new Jeep Grand Cherokee, an American classic, got a big thumbs up. Fans in the cheap seats will find there's something for them too: One of our winning cars has a sticker of only $19,690.
April 26, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch, Los Angeles Times
Car shoppers will soon find two Ford Focus sedans sitting side by side when they visit the dealership — one with a gas tank and another with batteries. In a milestone for the auto industry, an automaker will give consumers an option to purchase the same model of a vehicle with either a traditional combustion engine or one powered only by electricity. It will mark the first time that buyers can compare the different powertrains on the same car. An electric Focus, next to the gas version, provides, "more transparency to what it means to pay for an electric vehicle," said Thilo Koslowski, an automotive analyst at research firm Gartner Inc. Ford Motor Co.'s strategy of producing an electric car that shares the platform, body style and many components of the standard gasoline model is a departure from other automakers pioneering the electric car market.
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