Feds issue strongest position yet against distracting car tech, Tesla Model X has us excited, and confounded. Is Washington state penalizing electric car drivers? And we drive the 2012 Subaru Impreza.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 251 SHOW NOTES
Commentary Tesla Motors is helping destroy the notion that electric vehicles are green cars with unfortunate compromises.
The company last night unveiled the Model X, a sleek-looking cross between a minivan and SUV with clever "falcon wing" doors and a new electric all-wheel drive system. People can start placing reservations tomorrow for the Model X, which is expected to be available late next year with prices in the $55,000 to $75,000 range before tax incentives and rebates.
Beyond making an attractive crossover, Tesla has shown how electric vehicles open up new design possibilities. The Model X … Read more
Honda's first all-electric vehicle is hitting the streets a little early.
The Honda Fit EV debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2011, and it's expected to be available for lease this summer. However, Honda announced that Google and Stanford University got a special early delivery of the tiny EV this week. … Read more
Electric vehicles have floundered into obscurity more than once in U.S. history and now they're staging yet another comeback. Regardless how this latest wave of EVs fares, electrification in its many forms is here to stay.
To give CNET readers some perspective, we've assembled a slideshow of the colorful past, hopeful present, and possible future of electric autos.
Last year was a pivotal year in the history of electrical vehicles because of the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt, which became available in late 2010. Sales of these cars are small in the scheme of overall volume and … Read more
Stanford researches may have solved the problem of range anxiety by wireless charging technology that could one day create an electric highway.
Wireless recharging already is used by some electric vehicle charging stations to fill up batteries without cords or plugging into an outlet. MIT helped pioneer this technology and spun it off into a wireless charging startup, WiTricity. However, Stanford researchers improved on this concept and devised a way to transmit 10 kilowatts of electric power across a 6.5-foot distance with minimal energy loss. By overcoming transmitting electricity across a significant distance, researchers will make it possible to … Read more
Sales of the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf dipped in January, with Volt sales apparently hit by a now-closed safety investigation.
The volume of these high-profile electric cars sold is closely watched as a barometer of consumer demand. Several more battery-electric and plug-in hybrid models from other automakers are expected to come out this year and next.
General Motors said yesterday it sold 603 Volts in January of this year, more than the 321 it sold in January last year. GM shipped 1,529 Volts in December last year, its best month since production, although the yearly total of 7,671 was less than it had hoped. … Read more
Startup Oorja Protonics has dodged some of the traditional barriers to fuel cell vehicles, at least with forklifts. In the future, its hybrid approach could be used on cars and trucks, too.
The Fremont, Calif.-based company is in the process of raising funding from corporate partners to ramp up production of its product. The venture-backed company is also profitable, something that few other fuel cell companies can claim.
Rather than use hydrogen as a fuel, Oorja Protonics converts the liquid fuel methanol into electricity in fuel cells. And its onboard fuel cells are designed only to provide a trickle … Read more
A safety investigation into the Chevy Volt is now behind General Motors.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Friday said that it has ended an inquiry into potential safety problems with the battery-run Chevy Volt.
"Based on the available data, NHTSA does not believe that Chevy Volts or other electric vehicles pose a greater risk of fire than gasoline-powered vehicles," the agency said in a statement.
Last year, the NHTSA started a safety defect investigation after a side-impact collision test caused a fire three weeks after the test. That and subsequent tests led GM to make modifications to reinforce the battery pack and the coolant system. … Read more
With only 700 ActiveEs to lease, you'll have to move fast if you want to be one of BMW's electric pioneers.
Months later than expected, BMW officially opened the order books for the all-electric ActiveE field trial today. The manufacturer was supposed to take reservations last year, but delayed it to streamline the delivery process. The first electric sedan has already been delivered to EV veterans Tom and Meredith Moloughney, who lease an electric MiniE from the manufacturer. If you think you're ready to go electric, don't drag your feet--availability will be on a first-come, first-served … Read more
Electric carmaker Coda Automotive thinks its car batteries are versatile enough to buffer the electric grid.
The company today announced a venture called Coda Energy, a business unit created to build stationary energy storage systems.
The expertise Coda acquired in designing lithium ion batteries for electric vehicles translates directly to the grid energy storage world, the company said. Its battery system includes an active thermal management to keep batteries at a safe temperature and it has a manufacturing partnership with Lishen in China to make products at large scale. It plans to make modular energy storage systems that can be … Read more