November 15, 2011 |
Volvo hopes to prompt an adjective other than "safe" when customers think of its cars. In a media event at its Volvo Monitoring Concept Center in Camarillo on Monday, the company showcased an ambitious new effort to up-market its entire vehicle lineup and un-stick the brand from its no-man's-land, stranded between the middle class and premium markets. Volvo was liberated from Ford Motor Co. in August 2010, and, though it is now owned by the Chinese auto maker Geely, its relationship with its new owner is more financial than industrial, said Volvo Chief Executive Stefan Jacoby.
November 12, 2011 |
Federal safety officials have launched a probe into whether the batteries in Chevrolet's Volt plug-in hybrid sedan are prone to fires. The probe by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was launched after a Volt caught fire following a crash test, General Motors Co. said. The agency will be looking at the safety of batteries from several makes of electric vehicles, according to the Associated Press. The Volt is designed to run off its batteries for about 40 miles.
August 28, 2011 |
Electric cars are back. Popular in early automotive history, electrics quickly got smoked by their internal combustion-driven cousins. But in this age of volatile gas prices and climate worries, these clean, quiet vehicles are winning new fans. Advances in technology have improved their range and power. Companies are rolling them out in every flavor. Need a small SUV? Take a look at the Toyota RAV4 electric hitting the market next year. How about a luxury sedan? There's the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid, which the automaker compares to a Maserati Quattroporte but with better mileage and lower emissions than a Toyota Prius.
August 18, 2011 |
Cadillac, the upscale General Motors Co. brand, plans to come out with a luxury electric compact car — based on the decidedly blue-collar Chevrolet Volt. GM said Wednesday that the Cadillac ELR will use a drivetrain similar to what it developed for the Chevrolet Volt, which will enable the new model to travel some distance on only electricity before a gas motor kicks in to act as a generator and extend the vehicle's range. Such a system is known as a series plug-in hybrid vehicle, but others, including GM, call it an extended-range electric vehicle.
July 21, 2011 |
It's going to cost more to buy electric cars in California. The state has run out of the $5,000 rebates it was giving people who purchased all-electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Roadster. That's on top of a price increase for the Nissan Leaf. The automaker said this week that it would raise the price of the base model when the 2012 cars come out this fall by $2,420 to $36,050, including destination charge. The higher-trim-level Leaf SL will go up $3,530 to $38,100, including destination charge.
July 16, 2011 |
When it comes to sales of electric vehicles, Nissan's Leaf is charging ahead. Nissan Motor Co. has sold 4,134 of the battery-powered electric cars this year. General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet, by comparison, has sold 2,745 of its Volt car, which is technically a plug-in hybrid because it runs on electricity for about 40 miles before a gasoline-fueled generator kicks in to extend the vehicle's range. Fans of the pure electric vehicles, rather than plug-in hybrid models such as the Volt, should be pleased, said Mike Omotoso, an auto industry analyst at J.D. Power & Associates.
January 14, 2011 |
Californians may end up paying the highest electricity rates in the country to charge their electric vehicles, a new study says. The state's tiered rate system, in which customers are charged higher rates as they use more electricity, could make plug-in hybrid and battery-powered vehicles more costly to own, according to a Purdue University study. The study was unveiled as the first of the electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are reaching consumers. Two vehicles, the all-electric Nissan Leaf and the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt, started being delivered to their first customers last month.
January 11, 2011
The North American International Auto Show in Detroit kicked off Monday with many of the major automakers rolling out or unveiling vehicles ahead of the official public opening of the annual auto showcase this weekend. Here are some of the notable announcements made Monday: Chevrolet unveils new Sonic Chevrolet revealed its latest small car. Going into production later this year for the 2012 model year, the Sonic will be available in sedan and hatchback versions and use the same two engine types offered for its Cruze: a turbocharged 1.4-liter with about 138 horsepower and a 1.8-liter estimated at 135 horsepower.
November 18, 2010 |
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.
November 17, 2010 |
Battery-powered vehicles are about to start rolling into U.S. dealerships, and a sprawling industry is springing up to gain a foothold in what many hope will be a lucrative new niche. In four years, the North American market for electric vehicles is expected to more than double to $20 billion as alternative-fuel vehicles make up nearly 10% of all new-car sales in the U.S., according to separate studies by research company SBI Energy and J.D. Power & Associates. "Clearly, we've come a long way," said Jordan Ramer, chief executive of charging infrastructure company EV Connect.