Toyota Entune takes on Sync, Android headrests, and streaming radio shows up everywhere.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 198 SHOW NOTES
These days you can't throw a stick at a car show without hitting an electric or electrified vehicle. The 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit was no exception.
Among the full-electric vehicles were the Ford Focus Electric and Honda Fit EV, but there were also examples from smaller companies, such as Venturi and Li-ion Motors. Toyota's Prius gained a plug-in model. Conventional hybrids were among the most numerous, counting among their ranks Toyota's new Prius V and C models, Audi's new A4 hybrid sedan, and Porsche's beastly 918 RSR concept.
We've gathered … Read more
The technology to shift U.S. transportation from oil to electricity is basically ready to go, but political and infrastructure issues could stymie growth beyond a niche set of drivers, according to a study done by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The report, put out today by the MIT Energy Initiative, said that the two main reasons for electrifying transportation are to lower greenhouse gas emissions and to reduce dependence on imported oil.
Conventional hybrids lower carbon dioxide emissions compared to gasoline engines by about 33 percent, it found. If a plug-in hybrid were charged by carbon-free electricity, such as … Read more
BYD, a Chinese car and battery maker backed by investor Warren Buffett, expects to enter the mass U.S. auto market in the first quarter of 2012, starting with its e6 all-electric car model, its chairman said yesterday.
"The United States offers a huge opportunity for new-energy vehicles, especially pure electric," Chairman Wang Chuanfu told Reuters in an interview at the Detroit auto show.
"Many auto companies will pay attention to this market, and BYD will take this opportunity as well," he said through a translator, adding he wants BYD to lead in the field of … Read more
There's significant interest in all-electric vehicles among car buyers, but automakers have a few obstacles to navigate in order to satisfy consumers, according to an IBM study.
IBM's Institute of Business Value, an internal IBM think tank, on Tuesday is expected to release results of a survey it did with both consumers and auto executives, which found that the industry's bet on electrification has some market pull from consumers.
Nineteen percent of 1,716 U.S. drivers said they were likely or very likely to consider an all-electric vehicle for their next car. The average driving range … Read more
We've known for some time that Ford Motor Company has been developing a battery electric vehicle (BEV) variant of its Ford Focus. However, the mule previously showcased was based on the second-generation Focus chassis, which is now old-new following the unveiling of the third-generation Focus. Today, the automaker has released teaser photos of what appears to be a new Focus BEV concept and announced via its Ford Electric Vehicles Facebook fan page that it will have big news at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
A set of photos posted on the automaker's Facebook wall … Read more
The U.S. House of Representatives passed S. 841, the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act, which would require the U.S. Department of Transportation to set standards for alert sounds in electric or hybrid vehicles. The bill also creates a deadline for the safety protocols to be met by 2013.
"The passage of this legislation is momentous and marks over two years of vigorous advocacy by ACB membership that has resulted in consensus by the blind community, auto industry, and Congress," said Mitch Pomerantz, president of the American Council of the Blind, in a news release.
The National Alliance … Read more
Norwegian automaker Think plans to deliver 15 of its Think City cars to Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana today.
Think CEO Barry Engle is expected to hand over the vehicles at Fort Harrison State Park as part of a ceremony to promote the all-electric vehicle.
Indiana will be the first U.S. customer, as part of the state's Project Plug-In initiative, to drive U.S.-assembled versions of the Think City, and it's obvious why.
Think's U.S. assembly plant happens to be in Elkhart, Indiana. And while not all the City's parts are "Made … Read more
Ford is about to start assembling gas-powered, electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles in its remodeled Michigan assembly plant that now is the size of 22 football fields.
Ford recently invested $550 million to remodel the plant. Improvements include a three-wet-paint booth that utilizes 66 paint robots with seven axes of movement to precisely apply paint to the cars and 500 robots in the body shop, capable of 4,000 welds per vehicle. But it's not just robots assembling cars; the 1.2-million-square-foot plant has 3,200 employees.
"We've modernized just about every square foot of this … Read more
The first 40 miles you drive in a fully charged 2011 Chevrolet Volt uses energy stored in the 16kWh battery to propel the vehicle, with the 1.4-liter gas engine kicking in only when the battery is drained and needs to be recharged. But GM engineers are working on a switch for the British version of the Volt, the Vauxhall Ampera slated for 2012, that will let U.K. drivers decide when to drive in electric-only mode and when to use the gas engine, according to an article in TheGreenCarWebsite.co.uk.
The tweak is designed to suit the driving … Read more