GM set to make changes to the Volt in response to fires, Nissan moves ahead on wireless charging for EVs, so long Aptera, many young Americans prefer the Internet to a car, and we drive the new Camry with Entune.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 244 SHOW NOTES
In classic Japanese style, Honda calls its new drivetrain effort Earth Dreams Technology.
Once upon a time, Honda engineers came up with VTEC, a valve control system that made its engines the most advanced in the industry. But that was years ago, and other companies, notably BMW, have pushed the envelope with new valve control, direct-injection, and turbocharging technologies. With each model update it releases, I've been waiting for a similar advance from Honda.
The wait appears to be, mostly, over, as Honda announced a new set of engines, transmissions, hybrid system, and electric drive at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. Giving these new drive components the overall moniker of Earth Dreams Technology emphasizes the goal of greater efficiency and Honda's effort to reduce its vehicle's CO2 emissions 30 percent by 2020.… Read more
Tesla may be dropping production of its Roadster, but Honda seems to have taken up the gauntlet with this new electric concept.
The EV-STER is a concept electric car unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. Like the Tesla Roadster, it is a two-seater with a carbon fiber body to reduce weight, but that is where the similarities end.
Honda claims a range for the EV-STER of only 100 miles, with acceleration timed at 5 seconds to 60 km/h (37 mph).
Styling takes some cues from the CR-Z, with a big dose of futuristic design thrown in. The driver uses a yoke to steer rather than a wheel, and the cockpit has displays geared toward the electric power train.
The driver's seat is of a different color than the passenger seat, a choice we have seen in a few other concept cars recently, suggesting that in the future people will have trouble discerning right from left.
Although it represents no electric power train breakthroughs, the EV-STER concept is exciting in that it shows Honda is actively exploring new electric vehicle types. The company has already promised to put its Fit EV in production next year.
These electric velocipede concepts are wired to connect to smart grids, smartphones, home network systems, and sharing services.
With populations in urban centers expected to surge over the next few decades, auto manufacturers are looking beyond cars to find ways to mobilize the population without using more fossil fuels. Toyota teamed up with Yamaha to show off a couple of electric bicycle concepts at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. They're not the first companies to tackle e-bikes, but they could be the first companies to show how these non-traditional EVs can be connected to smart grids.
The three-wheeled EC-Miu and the electrically power-assisted Pas With bicycle are designed to work with the Toyota Smart Center, an advanced smart grid energy-management system designed for homes, businesses, and power companies, which means your e-bike will be another appliance you can manage online.… Read more
The new Honda Civic is green, but in some ways rather gray.
Honda hasn't been a leader in sportiness, styling, performance, or even cabin tech. But somehow it still turns out alluring cars for the everyday driving set. Brian Cooley takes you for a drive to check the tech.
Also, check out CNET's full review of the 2012 Honda Civic EX-L.
LOS ANGELES--Honda says it will begin leasing the electric version of its Fit small car at a price of $399 per month.
Honda joins the ranks of automakers offering electric cars with the new Fit EV, showing off a production version of the car at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show. The standard Fit uses an economical 1.5-liter gasoline engine. Honda removed the gasoline power train, replacing it with lithium ion batteries and an electric motor.
The 20 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery is packaged under the floor, and impinges on interior space slightly, reducing cargo space. The battery gives … Read more
LOS ANGELES--The 2012 Green Car of the Year was announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show today. It's a 2012 Honda Civic, but it's not the hybrid model.
When the curtain dropped on the stage where the 2012 Green Car of the Year was announced this morning, it was the oft-overlooked 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas that stood before the room full of journalists.
Green Car Journal cites natural gases abundance in the United States, low tailpipe emissions, and lower fuel cost (by about 30 percent) than gasoline among its reasons for selecting the Civic Natural Gas as … Read more
With 29 models in the crossover segment, the competition between vehicles is fierce. To make the 2012 Honda CRV stand out from the crowd, Honda has refined its best-selling SUV and dubbed it the "Super CR-V." But does the fourth generation of the crossover live up to its new moniker?
When you're selling a couple hundred thousand units of a crossover, it's a tough job trying to be all things to all people. Honda built an improved version of a best-selling vehicle that will impress a broad range of consumers, but it doesn't mess with … Read more
Environmentally conscious consumers these days have more choices when it comes to deciding on a greener car. Hybrid? Plug-in hybrid? All-electric?
Well, what about natural gas, says Honda. The automaker has been rolling out its Civic that runs on natural gas to more states. But how common are fueling stations with natural gas? (As with electric vehicles, it's all about the infrastructure.)
In the video above, SmartPlanet's Sumi Das talks to Jay Guzowski, senior product planner with Honda, about the automaker's plans to sell the Civic nationwide.
This video first appeared at SmartPlanet under the headline "… Read more
Honda's humanoid robot Asimo can now run faster, hop around, autonomously avoid people, and communicate in sign language with its new hands.
In the first major update to the droid in four years, Asimo has improved AI skills, being able to operate continuously without human control, and also has better locomotion, and a remarkable 57 axes of movement.
It's another step in the multimillion dollar, decades-old effort to make Asimo, first unveiled 12 years ago, useful. It also follows criticism of Japan's robotics community for a limp response to the Fukushima nuclear crisis. … Read more