Ever since 2009, Audi has been showing off enticing electric cars under the E-tron name, its brand for any electrified power train. I finally got to drive one during a green industry conference in San Francisco, but it was a far cry from the original sporty-looking E-tron concept. However, the A3 E-tron looks a lot more like a car that Audi would put into production.… Read more
The 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year has all the features you'd expect from a vehicle that has earned that honor. It has a light body, advanced design, a roomy cabin, and plenty of load capacity. What the Tesla Model S doesn't have is an internal combustion engine.
Motor Trend heaps praise on the Model S, saying it drives like a sports car and sashays like a supermodel working a Paris catwalk. I never thought about a car being able to sashay, but it's certainly an evocative comparison.
This all-electric supermodel starts at $58,570 and has a range of 265 miles. That's not enough for a cross-country road trip, though a new network of Supercharger fast charging stations could make it more practical for long journeys.… Read more
A story by Business Insider reports that 16 Fisker Karmas at the Port of Newark in New Jersey, submerged in seawater by Hurricane Sandy, caught fire.
Because of the storm damage, Fisker representatives have not had access to the port facilities. At this point, there is no reliable information about what might have happened, or if the fires had anything to do with the cars' electric drive systems.
A Fisker spokesman sent CNET a statement saying that the cars were not being charged at the time, and that there were no injuries related to the fire. The statement goes on … Read more
After a sluggish start in its Model S car production, it seems electric-car company Tesla is getting back on track for the year's end. Reaching a milestone today, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that his company had just finished the production of its 1,000th Model S car.
As noted in Musk's tweet, Tesla has made more cars in October than the whole rest of the year combined. In a July letter to shareholders, Tesla said its Model S volume projection was 5,000 units for 2012. However, Tesla's ability to crank out the Model S has … Read more
Each year, Green Car Journal names its Green Car of the Year at the Los Angeles Auto Show. For the upcoming award, the field has narrowed down to five contenders, each using technology to achieve high fuel economy.
Here are this year's nominees:
Dodge Dart Aero Ford C-MAX Ford Fusion Mazda CX-5 SkyActiv Toyota Prius C
The Aero version of the new Dodge Dart uses aerodynamic components, low rolling resistance tires, and a grille shutter to get 41 mpg highway from its turbocharged 1.4-liter engine. However, its combined city/highway fuel economy is only 32 mpg.
Ford gains … Read more
The move makes A123 the latest government-backed energy company to file for Chapter 11. Many of these companies have struggled to make money as demand slows for their products. A123 received more than $250 million in state and federal funding to help it run its operations providing batteries for electric cars and other products. But it has also faced many problems, including defective products.
A123 today said Johnson Controls will help finance the filing by buying A123's automotive business … Read more
Exotic cars, such as the McLaren MP4-12C, boast lightweight bodies made entirely of carbon fiber-reinforced panels, yet a demonstration by Ford of a carbon fiber hood suggests that mass commercialization of this advanced material will trickle out on a piece-by-piece basis.
Carbon fiber-reinforced components can weigh less than half of their steel equivalents, while exhibiting similar strength. However, carbon fiber is currently too time-consuming and expensive to produce for use in affordable, mass market cars. BMW currently builds a carbon fiber roof over the cabin of its M3 performance vehicle, and is working with Daimler on developing a practical production … Read more
Even if you have a dashboard display showing what's behind your car when you back up, it's hard to be 100 percent sure you won't hit something. Or someone. That's why researchers at Japan's Keio University are working on a system that makes the back seat invisible, so to speak.
From the driver's perspective, the back of a car, in this case a Prius, is transparent, thus eliminating blind spots that could conceal hazards. The system is called the "see-through Prius" and it's being showcased this month at the 2012 Digital Content Expo in Tokyo. … Read more
PARIS--These may be trying times for the European economy, but that automakers rallied at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, bringing out a variety of new concepts and some model updates relevant to the U.S. buyer. As has become a theme given European interest in CO2 reduction, many of the cars we saw featured hybrid or electric drive trains. And many new models and updates were what we in the U.S. consider premium cars boasting fine coachwork.
In the early days of the internal combustion engine, gas stations were generally spaced a tank apart, or the distance the average car could go on a single tank. History is repeating itself with Tesla's announcement it would build a network of fast charging stations on major traffic corridors around the U.S.
The first six stations have already gone up in the California towns of Folsom, Gilroy, Harris Ranch, Tejon Ranch, Los Angeles, and Barstow. The placement seems designed to support road trips from San Francisco to Los Angeles and Lake Tahoe, and from Los Angeles to Las … Read more