October 25, 2009 |
Fisker Karma Drivetrain: Plug-in hybrid :: When available: Summer 2010 :: Price: $87,900 :: Range: 50 miles on battery, 300 miles total :: The juice: Vying to be the first plug-in hybrid on the market, this luxury sedan will have a top speed of 125 mph. A solar roof will help power the air conditioning and electronics and charge the battery. Nissan Leaf Drivetrain: All-electric :: When available: Late 2010 :: Price: $25,000 to $33,000 :: Range: 100 miles :: The juice: Although Nissan will start mainly with fleet sales, a few Leafs (Leaves?
September 23, 2009 |
In its latest bid to help finance the car of tomorrow, the Obama administration said it would lend more than $500 million to Irvine-based Fisker Automotive Inc. to develop a pair of plug-in hybrids. The loans, announced Tuesday, come from a $25-billion Department of Energy program to fund development of alternative vehicles. According to the administration, the funding will help create or save 5,000 jobs at Fisker and its suppliers. The $528.7-million low-interest loan "is another critical step in making sure we are positioned to compete for the clean energy jobs of the future," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said.
March 25, 2009 |
Even the car of the future needs old-fashioned sales technology. Irvine-based Fisker Automotive said Tuesday that it had signed up 32 new-car dealers in North America to sell its plug-in hybrid sedan, which begins production late this year. "Our retail partners are our most important assets," said Vic Doolan, a Fisker board member who played a central role in locating prospective dealers. "They are the face of the company."
June 28, 2008 |
The last thing backers of plug-in hybrid vehicles needed was the sight of a modified Toyota Prius powered by the cutting-edge technology sitting in flames beside the road. That's exactly what they got this month, when a plug-in Prius operated by a South Carolina electric cooperative caught fire and was burned to the automotive equivalent of "well done." No one was injured in the blaze, which apparently started when sparks from loose connections in the car's battery compartment ignited some upholstery.
September 22, 2007 |
On a much smaller scale, Aptera Motors Inc. of Carlsbad, Calif., plans to unveil its three-wheel hybrid/electric vehicle at a semiprivate confab this weekend. Called the Typ-1 (no, that's not a typo), the car is the latest advanced-technology vehicle to roll off the drawing board of someone not employed by GM, Toyota or one of the other big auto companies. Plans call for having the Typ-1 in production by October 2008, with an initial goal of making 10 cars a month at a facility in Carlsbad, said Steve Fambro, founder and chief executive of Aptera.
September 8, 2007 |
Yet another environmentally friendly automobile is headed your way -- if you have a spare $80,000 or so. Irvine-based car designer Henrik Fisker just announced plans to unveil a plug-in hybrid at the Detroit auto show in January and to have his high-performance gasoline-electric sedans ready for sale in the U.S. within 18 months. If Fisker's hybrid is too rich for your blood, and you're patient, no worries.
August 10, 2007 |
General Motors Corp. took another step Thursday in its quest to develop a car that will be able to travel as far as 40 miles on a single electric charge. GM said it had signed a contract with battery maker A123Systems to develop lithium-ion batteries specifically designed to power the Volt plug-in hybrid vehicles that GM hopes to put on the market in the next few years.
July 26, 2007 |
Toyota Motor Corp., the leading seller of gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles in the U.S., is moving closer to bringing a plug-in version of its popular Prius to market. The automaker said Wednesday that it was teaming up with two California universities to test so-called plug-in versions of the Prius, cars that would be capable of traveling farther and faster than current models on electricity alone.
July 20, 2007 |
The widespread use of plug-in hybrid vehicles -- which could be driven up to 40 miles on electric power alone -- would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States without overloading the nation's power grid, according to a new study. The upbeat news for plug-ins, seen by many as the next big step in environmentally friendly automotive technology, came with two caveats.
June 19, 2007 |
Pretty soon, if you Google "hybrid car," one of the search results may be Google. Google Inc. on Monday unveiled a program to speed up the development of so-called plug-in hybrids, which can run for limited periods on electric power and deliver significantly better fuel economy than the Toyota Prius and other hybrid vehicles. The search-engine giant's philanthropic arm, Google.