Monday, March 10, 2014

Motley Fool Rates Top MPG Cars

Motley Fool recently reviewed and rated cars that get an average 50 MPG.  And surprisingly,  there's one THAT'S NOT an hybrid or plug-in electric vehicle.  Find out more,  here's the link to the post for more information 50 mpg cars.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Update Report: European Battery Manufacturing Status

Here's a link to a recent Chicago Tribune comprehensive report on electric vehicle battery manufacturing in Europe by companies like Siemens:  European Battery Manufacturing Report.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Walmart's Radical New Concept Truck Design

The driver is centered in the middle of the truck cab  instead of seated on the left in Walmart's New WAVE concept truck design.

This revolutionary design creates a  truly fuel sparing, aerodynamic truck cab .

The truck has a hybrid power train with  a micro turbine.  Here's more information in this YouTube video from Walmart:

The concept truck design also features a trailer made entirely from  lightweight carbon fiber. The truck was manufactured by Peterbilt Motors for Walmart.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

DIY Easy Home Solar Charging for Cars

Ensupra Solar says that its DIY Solar Power Kit is the future of charging-up electric cars at home:  All by simply plugging their solar panels into a regular household electrical outlet.  Ensupra says that its PluggedSolar Kit can produce 3,000 kWh of electricity, enough to power an electric vehicle to operate 10,000 miles in a year.

You can evaluate  the company's data and claims at this link for PluggedSolar Kit.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Volvo's Car Solar Charger Vision

Huang Pure Tension Pavillion Solar Charging Station Lani Garfield
Alvin Huang's "Pure Tension Pavilion" Solar Charger (photo by Lani Garfieldl)

Volvo debuted a portable  vehicle solar charger designed   by architect Alvin Huang for the V60 diesel Plug-in Hybrid recently in Palm Springs.  The luxury auto manufacturer and Dwell Media sponsored the "Future of Mobility" at Modernism Week at the California convention.

Here a link to more information  and video from Dwell Media on Volvo's vision for solar charging of  electric vehicles: Future of Mobility.

Hawaii Looks To Charge Electric Vehicle Tax

The Hawaii state legislature is considering an electric vehicle tax to offset a decline in motor fuel tax revenue.  Here's a link to the Pacific Business News article on the controversy surrounding the proposed tax which would affect owners of cars like the electric Nissan Leaf.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tesla Model S Tops According to Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports revealed its 2014 'Top Picks' for vehicles and Tesla's Model S won the top spot.  Consumer Reports tested a $89,650 version of the Model S. 

Here's the link to Consumer Reports 2014 Top Picks for more information about  all the tested vehicles.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Tesla Motors Stock Charged Up

Luxury electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors' stock (TSLA, NASDAQ) spiked to $211 today February 21, 2014.    Here is the link to the  company's 2013 financial results for the 4th quarter: Tesla 4th Quarter 2013.  Here's a YouTube video on Tesla production principles:

Tesla Motor's electric vehicle factory is the largest American auto manufacturing plant start-up in 90 years.

New 2016 Fuel Standards For Trucks Planned By Obama

Safeway announced a new more aerodynamic design for its delivery trucks, in time for proposed new fuel efficiency  standards in 2016.    President Obama highlights the fuel savings of the new truck design in this news video.

The truck design  has a decidedly "low rider" look that achieves significant fuel savings.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

GM's Lutz Now VIA Motors' Chairman

After retiring from General Motors, Bob Lutz has started a second career as Chairman of electric vehicle maker VIA Motors. 

Bob Lutz with an electric Chevy Silverado
Bob Lutz with an electric Chevy Silverado (photo courtesy

VIA manufactures a proprietary electric power train, V-Drive. It integrates the equipment into OEM  trucks, vans and SUVs.  The company then sells the electrified vehicles to fleets with the VTRUX brand name.

Lutz said "...VIA is electrifying the right end of the business and is implementing a very sound business strategy".

For electric vehicle savings and payback information here is the link for VIA Motors.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Cadillac ELR: GM Does The Electric Slide

For $76,000,  you will look upscale and  hot driving by in a blur with  power from the Cadillac ELR's instant torque.   GM introduced it's new  luxurious plug-in and gas hybrid Cadillac ELR in  a slick commercial spot during 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics' television programming. 

GM is very modest about the range for the ELR's electric motors, it's about 37 miles.    I appreciate the honesty about this part of the vehicle's performance. 

Total range with the electric motors and hybrid batteries is 340 miles according to the manufacturer.  Get more statistics about the total performance at the this GM link for the Cadillac ELR.

The Cadillac dealer in my area, Chicago's south suburbs, said that the ELR will be on his showroom floor in mid summer 2014.

GM shares  rarefied air along with luxury electric vehicle manufacturers Porsche, BMW and Tesla.   The Cadillac ELR is a first-class ride from all appearances.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Doctor's Tesla

Here's a Tesla I spied at a medical facility in Chicago's south suburbs.  I know it's a doctor's car because the driver is parked in a space designated for  doctors only.

Black Tesla  Model S photo by Pat Thomas Aug 2013
Tesla Model S photo by Pat Thomas
I spotted it out the corner of my eye, stopped driving while thinking 'there is something different about that car'. I got out of my car (in back)  to look closer and then I noticed the Tesla badge.
It's a Tesla Model S trim P85, ultra-new shiny clean black.  The manufacturer claims 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds.  The Doc's car looks like it could go even faster.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ford Unveils Solar Energi

Ford Motor Company has just changed the definition of "sunroof".  Ford debuted Solar Energi,  a concept  car version of the Ford C-MAX plug-in hybrid in January 2014.  According to Mike Tinskey, Ford's Director of Vehicle Electrification, the Solar Energi can  both convert solar energy and use conventional  electrical grids for power. 

Ford and it's contractors, re-invented solar panels to power the weights of conventionally designed cars.  Contractors working on  the Solar Energi project team include Sunpower, Eaton, Whirlpool and students at Georgia Tech.

The current plug-in Ford C-MAX version achieves 108 mpg in the city and 100 mpg combined.  There's no word yet on how much Solar Energi will top that or horsepower production.  But Ford claims that Solar Energi's  roof top panel redesign produces 50% more energy than the typical solar panels used in solar racing cars.