The 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line 2 Mode is the first car to offer two different hybrid powertrains. We take a first look from the 2008 Detroit auto show.
If plug-in hybrid cars become popular, the cars could potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on foreign oil. But will they cause electricity prices to zoom?
Scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Labs are trying to figure out that right now, according to staff scientist Michael Kintner-Meyer in an interview. PNNL hopes to issue a report this summer that will help answer that question.
Last year, PNNL studied how well the grid, as it exists today, could accommodate an influx of plug-in hybrids. (Unlike a conventional Prius hybrid, plug-ins can be charged from a wall socket. General Motors, Toyota … Read more
The guy who designed BMW's Z8 has a greener idea. Get a first look at the Fisker Karma from the 2008 Detroit auto show.
The Chevrolet Volt has some high standards to live up to: In conversations with Wired News at this week's North American International Auto Show (aka the Detroit auto show), General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said that a successful launch of Chevy's plug-in hybrid could have "the same sort of symbolism" for GM and the U.S. auto industry as the Apollo missions and the moon landings did for NASA and American scientific endeavors. (He also talks price, batteries, and looks.)
Toyota surprised us with a plug-in hybrid Prius on the floor at the 2008 Detroit auto show. The company has resisted the plug-in hybrid movement previously, citing the fact that you don't need to plug in the Prius as a virtue. But there has been quite a bit of interest in plug-in hybrids from individuals and even power companies. Plug-in proponents claim to get 100 mpg by modifying Priuses and recharging the batteries when the cars aren't being used. Toyota seems to have finally given into the plug-in pressure, starting up its own plug-in program and handing over … Read more
Fisker Automotive formally unveiled its upscale hybrid car today and said it has received an infusion of cash from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
The investment is believed to be the first direct investment by Kleiner Perkins into an alternative car company. (Rumors swirled that the company invested in Phoenix Motorcars, but it was never confirmed, and Phoenix subsequently had delays). Fisker did not officially release the amount of the investment but Kleiner partner Ray Lane told the Wall Street Journal that the investment exceeds $10 million.
The company is founded by noted automotive designer Henrik Fisker. He came up … Read more
A new car company named Fisker showed off its luxury plug-in hybrid sports car and demonstrated its substantial financial backing by occupying some prime real estate on the floor of the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. The company follows in the wake of Tesla in its effort to develop a successful, high-end, eco-conscious sports car.
AFS Trinity Power Corporation showed off its plug-in hybrid SUV, the XH-150, at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. The car's power train represents a refinement of the hybrid concept by employing ultra-capacitors for fast acceleration under electric power. Traditional hybrids use batteries to power low speed driving, but kick in a gas engine when high speeds or heavy acceleration is required. AFS Trinity builds on this concept by adding ultracapacitors, which, unlike batteries, are designed to quickly discharge electricity, providing power to the hybrid's motors for fast acceleration. The company's demonstration vehicle, the XH-150, also features plug-in … Read more
LAS VEGAS--One of the big complaints from consumers who buy General Motors cars that run on E85 ethanol is the lack of places to fill up.
GM CEO Rick Wagoner, in a meeting with reporters at the Consumer Electronics Show taking place in Las Vegas this week, says he has received hundreds of e-mails from customers who have bought such cars and are frustrated they can't find ethanol stations.
When GM started selling its flex-fuel cars, there were about 600 stations that sold ethanol in the U.S. Now there are about 1,400 stations.
But there are 170,… Read more
Porsche announced today that it's developing a hybrid version of the Panamera, a four-door GT car that will debut in a traditional combustion engine version in 2009.
The hybrid system will use a combustion engine, plus an electric motor and an additional clutch, along with a battery pack to store power. The system can switch between the combustion and electric motor, or combine power from both, depending on driving conditions. And although we haven't seen specific technical data yet, this system sounds strikingly similar to GM's "two-mode" hybrid system, which can yield anywhere from zero … Read more