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New Electric Vehicle Announced by Nissan

Nissan just announced their first mass market EV, called the Leaf.  It is a 4-door and is said to take you 100 miles between complete charges.   Probably you will need to to buy or lease the battery separately, but Nissan appears to be focused on keeping the total cost more reasonable than the other announced EVs of similar quality level, such as the Mitsubishi i MiEV.  Some of the reports indicate that the car itself may only be available via a lease.  It is planned for introduction to selected areas of the US market late 2010.... read more

New Hybrid vs. Used Car: What's Better for the Environment?

When you're in the market for a car, what's the most eco-friendly option?  Buy a new fuel-efficient car, such as a hybrid, or buy something used?... read more

Pretty Pictures of Nissan's 2010 Electric Vehicle

Nissan recently showed their first major production EV at an auto show in Yokohama, Japan this weekend.  You didn't go?  Well, no worries because Nissan released a gallery of pictures of the vehicle on their company website also.Nissan Leaf EV... read more

Don't Believe the Hype... in Lithium-Ion Batteries

In the words of that dynamic duo of Chuck D & Flava Flav, DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE!  Well, that is sort of what Vinod Khosla said recently about the potential of lithium ion batteries at the AlwaysOn Summit at Stanford.  And why should you listen to this Mr. Khosla, you may ask.  Well, this is the man who founded Sun Microsystems and is one of the top investors in clean technology.  For example, he currently is a major investor in both Sakti3 and Seeo, two lithium ion start ups.

Vinod Khosla Questions Lithium Ion Batteries

The problem, according to Khosla, is that lithium ion batteries are still cost restrictive.  In an interview with GoodCleanTech Khosla states, “The most important thing to remember is economic gravity — the cheapest thing ends up winning.”  The only way that lithium batteries will become cost competitive is if oil jumps to $150 a barrel.  (Which is a very real possibility once the global economy rebounds.)  ... read more

Confusion over US Cash for Clunkers Program

The United States is currently spearheading an effort to lower carbon emissions and boost the flailing auto industry with a government sponsored cash for clunkers program. The program, officially titled, Cars Allowance Rebate System, seeks to provide up to $4,500 towards a purchase of a new car if an older, less gas efficient model is taken off the street. Sounds simple, well as they say the devil is in the details.

US Cash for Clunkers Program The standards originally announced for the program have been changed. As Business Week reported, this altered whether 164 vehicles would be covered by the program. Of these 78 will no longer qualify while another 86 vehicles will. Confused? Well, don't feel alone.... read more

Green Double Deckers

The United Kingdom is known for many things, but one of the most recognizable is the huge double decker buses that drive through the streets of every major metropolis.  These symbols of British mass transits are now entering the next century of green technology.  Volvo is launching a hybrid version of double deckers along the roads of London. These buses will utilize Volvo's hybrid I-Sam technology, combining diesel and electric power.  The company originally believed that the buses would save 20 to 25 percent in fuel usage, but in reality it was more than 30 percent.... read more

Honda Will Launch Three Hybrids

According to the folks at Gearlog, Honda is planning a big push into the hybrid market.  The plan is an effort to catch up with Toyota and Ford's aggressive entry into the hybrid market, while staving off competition from GM, Daimler & Hyundai.  The three separate hybrid vehicles seek to encompass three sectors of the current car market.

Honda Hybrid

The first vehicle is five door hatchback hybrid.  This model will be smaller than the current
Civic and is designed as a market competitor to the Toyota Prius.... read more

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The autobloggreen.com recently reported that Hyundai is planning to get into the plug-in market in the very near future.  By 2012 the Korean automaker hopes to introduce a snazzy plug-in sports sedan.  The car will be monitored on Blue-Will concept car featured this year at the Seoul Auto Show.  (Check out the concept below) The plug-in sports sedan will be powered by aa 1.6-liter gasoline direct-injected powerplant and 100kw electric motor mated up with a CVT automatic transmission.  The range of the vehicle is to be 38 miles and has an overal rating of 55 mpg for its gas engine.  The Chevy Volt's competition is sure stiffening up.

Hyundai's First Plug-In Sports Sedan... read more

Winners of the Auto Loans

C-Net's Cartech Blog posted the results of some loan awards by the federal government that I thought were note-worthy.  The Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, a loan program created by the federal government to promote the next fuel efficient cars, were awarded three weeks ago.  The car companies included two household names and one up and coming American car company.

First off, Ford Motors received a $5.9 billion dollar loan to advance new fuel efficiency initiatives.  This should help with the planned launch of an electric vehicle by 2011.

Tesla Sports Sedan

Second, Nissan received $1.6 billion to retrofit a Tennessee plant for production of electric vehicles.  Nissan promises to outshine Ford by releasing their lithium ion powered vehicle in 2010.... read more

Want to See a Really Cool Electric Bike?

Yamaha is filed a patent this previous week concerning a revolutionary new motor bike to accompany their current line.  This 2005 Gen-Ryu hybrid concept bike will utilize a YZF-R6 600cc engine to power a generator, which in turn will drive the bike's rear wheel.  By using electricity as a power source this eliminates the need for both a clutch and gearbox.  This reduces the weight of bike and increases power efficiency.

Yamaha Electric Motorcycle

I know many of you will ask why do we need to improve fuel efficiency of bikes since they are already frugal in gas use?  Well, simply it isn't all about fuel efficiency, it is also about power.  By dropping weight the Gen-Ryu hybrid can feel like a bike with twice as large an engine.  At the same time the bike becomes much less complex, making it more attractive for older riders.... read more

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