Tag Archives: EV

Official: Volkswagen CrossBlue Coupe is a green fun-machine we want to drive

By Seyth Miersma

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Think back to January’s Detroit Auto Show. Those of you that are fans of the Volkswagen brand, impressed with green technology or simply fall into the “diesel geek” category, will almost certainly remember VW’s CrossBlue concept with its diesel/electric hybrid powertrain, seating for seven, and somewhat awkward crossover styling. It was an impressive piece of future tech, to be sure, though it left something to be desired in the, well, desirability department.

Here in Shanghai, VW has brought along a CrossBlue Coupe concept that would seem to include most of the goodness of the original, but flavored with more sport and style this time around.

The CrossBlue Coupe makes use of the same electric drive components as the larger three-row concept: two electric motors (front and rear) powered by a 9.8-kWh lithium-ion battery. However, where the original concept made use of a TDI four-cylinder, the Coupe substitutes a 295-horsepower, direct-injection, gasoline-burning V6.

In terms of performance, this combination of powertrains is impressive. Total system output is rated at 415 hp. With power flowing through a six-speed DSG transmission, the CrossBlue Coupe will scoot from 0 to 62 miles per hour in just 5.9 seconds, and will continue on to a top speed of 147 mph.

The CrossBlue Coupe will scoot from 0 to 62 mph in just 5.9 seconds, and will continue on to a top speed of 147 mph.

Even with that go-fast ability, however, the Coupe doesn’t belie its “blue” origins. As in the original concept, the CrossBlue coupe offers all-EV operation with a maximum range of 21 miles, and a top speed of 75 mph (though likely not both of those at the same time). VW quotes a combined fuel consumption figure of 79 miles per gallon on the European cycle – 34.1 mpg when running on the V6 alone – and a total theoretical range of close to 720 miles.

The CrossBlue coupe is shorter and lower than its three-row progenitor, but just as wide. The result, as you can see, is a far sleeker and more aggressive looking crossover that looks quite planted on its 22-inch alloy wheels.

Inside, we find an interior that is quite high-tech though not unrecognizable from the VW interiors on the current line. A muted black and gray pallet is accented with brightwork and a thick yellow trim line that surrounds the cabin. There’s a dominating 10.1-inch touchscreen up front, complete with proximity sensors, which is used to control all of the vehicle systems and entertainment options. In the back seats, passengers find twin iPad Mini units on the headrests (seen above), which they can use to, “enjoy audio, video and online programs.” Sounds like just the thing for the family’s summer road trip to

From: http://feeds.autoblog.com/~r/weblogsinc/autoblog/~3/AYgX60NMoh4/

Video: Translogic test drives the Epic Torq three-wheeled EV roadster

By John Neff

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Only about a week ago did the company Epic EV makes its very first delivery of the Torq Roadster to a customer. Before that, our colleagues at Translogic spent some time with company founder Chris Anthony and were the very first to get some seat time in this Morgan-Three-Wheeler-Meets-Tesla-Roadster EV.

You may recall, Chris Anthony has been involved with some some very special EVs, including the ill-fated Aptera, the DeLorean EV, the all-electric wakeboard boat and an EV ATV.

The Torq Roadster is a natural extension of his work in electrified transportation, and while somewhat spartan, keeps up nicely with the EV world’s performance standard-bearer, the now-cancelled Tesla Roadster, in the performance department: 0-60 miles per hour happens in about four seconds and this very wide trike (80.5 inches) can pull 1.3G while cornering.

Watch Translogic host Bradley Hasemeyer take it for a spin below.

Continue reading Translogic test drives the Epic Torq three-wheeled EV roadster

Translogic test drives the Epic Torq three-wheeled EV roadster originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 18 Apr 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First Drive: 2013 Fiat 500e

By Sebastian Blanco

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Cinquecento’s Electrifying One-Price Strategy Is A Gas

America’s electric vehicle segment is getting crowded, but sales remain tiny compared to the overall market. Listening to EV pitchmen, a key phrase heard over and over is “no compromises.” This particular EV, the seller says, offers all* the things you want in a car, without the gasoline and without compromises. That asterisk thing? Well, sure, the electric vehicle paradigm requires you rethink the “one car that does everything” mentality, but once that’s out of the way, there are no compromises here. No siree.

Of course, all EVs require compromises – but the truth is that every car forces owners to make compromises. Big SUVs don’t always fit into parking spaces and suck down fuel. Subcompacts can’t hold a gaggle of children and dogs. High-performance sports cars compromise wallets. Once you wrap your head around the idea that choosing electric is an option just like vehicle size or color – where no one choice is right for everybody, even if it’s perfect for some – the 2014 Fiat 500e, going on sale this summer, asks a simple question: when you’re driving in a city, why would you drive anything except an EV?

Fiat has been making the 500e at its Toluca, Mexico plant since early December, but it isn’t busy building a million so that just anyone can own one. In fact, the automaker is going out of its way to make sure you don’t buy a 500e if it’s not right for you. The official website will soon have a “compatibility matching service” that will use information you feed it to determine if you’re an EV candidate (we’re guessing a short commute, an understanding of new technology and a place to charge at home will be the key factors). If the system doesn’t think you’re EV-ready, it’ll propose a different 500 for you. Nice, huh?

So, does the 500e actually offer pure electric mobility without compromises? Yes and no. Mostly yes, and it’s a fun yes.

Continue reading 2013 Fiat 500e

2013 Fiat 500e originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Apr 2013 11:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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California Dreaming: All-Electric 2013 Fiat 500E Prices Set, Starts at $32,500

By Kirk Seaman

15 Advanced Drinking Games - Image 1

Fiat has announced what it costs to combine Italian style with all-electric technology: the 500E will start at $32,500 when it goes on sale (available only in California) later this summer. For Golden State residents who are eligible for certain federal credits, state incentives, and Fiat rebates, the price could drop as low as $20,500, or about $200 cheaper than the starting price of a similarly equipped, gas-powered Fiat 500 Lounge. The 500E also will be available for lease, with $999 down and $199 per month for 36 months, which is the same as for a gas-powered Fiat Pop. What makes the 500E most interesting, however, is the special program and features Fiat is introducing to address some of the concerns related to electric-vehicle ownership.

Perhaps the main concern among potential EV owners is driving range. The EPA estimates the 500E should be good for about 87 miles. Not bad for around-town driving, but road trips definitely are not happening. Cargo capacity is another issue; how are you going to move your kid’s stuff to college or do other serious hauling?

Introducing the Fiat 500E Pass Program

That’s where the Fiat 500E Pass program comes in, providing buyers and lessees with up to 12 days of alternative transportation each year for the first three years after the purchase or lease of a 500E. Partnering with Enterprise Holdings (which owns Enterprise, Alamo, and National car-rental companies), the program will give 500E customers access to other vehicles such as gas-powered 500s, the upcoming 500L, the Dodge Dart, or the Chrysler 200. Customers also will have the choice of upgrading to a larger vehicle such as a minivan or a pickup. The 500E Pass program is a standard feature on the car and the program includes unlimited mileage on eligible vehicles used as alternative transportation.

Dedicated Customer Care and Charging Stations

Each Fiat dealership, or “studio” in Fiat parlance, in California will have a staff trained to answer any questions consumers may have about the 500E. Each studio will have a hotline that will connect consumers to experts who can answer questions about the car, including how to file for federal, state, and local tax credits. The hotline experts also will have access to a list of companies in California that offer incentives to employees who purchase an EV.



After the regular Fiat dealerships have closed for the day, there will be a dedicated customer-care number that consumers and owners can call to answer any questions they might have. Each dealership will offer four charging stations for the use of 500E customers; to help them find other charging points, the standard nav system includes the locations of the nearest charging stations along their routes.

There’s an EV App, Too

In addition to the in-car nav system, 500E customers also will receive a 500E smartphone app (for use with both iPhone and

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/caranddriver/blog/~3/PJrB9toV3R0/

Fiat 500e priced at $32,500, leases start at $199/month

By Sebastian Blanco

Fiat 500e on the move

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Something interesting happened on the way to make the 2014 Fiat 500e a real car. As the idea for the car was bandied about in public for many years, FiatChrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne complained bitterly, saying the only reason the car was coming to market was because mean ol’ California was forcing Fiat to do so. This was after he said that Fiat would lose $10,000 on each one they sell. That’s all pretty boilerplate stuff. What’s interesting is that Fiat has gone ahead and priced the Fiat 500e so competitively that you’d think they wanted to sell a million of these things. Or lease a million, at least.

The Fiat 500e has a bargain lease price of $199/month for 36 months with $999 down.

That’s the message we take away from the surprisingly affordable lease price of $199 a month for 36 months with $999 down. Those are the same numbers as if you went in to lease a gas-powered 500 Pop. If you want to buy the little electric vehicle outright, it’ll cost you $32,500, but that’s before a potential $7,500 federal tax credit and – since the car will only be sold in California, at least for the first year – the state will kick in another $2,500. Fiat is also promising company rebates that could drop the price down to $20,500, which puts the 500e well into the range of most of the people we know of in the EV buyer demographic.

The 500e is officially rated at 122 MPGe in the city, with highway efficiency at 108 MPGe, for a combined 116 MPGe. The official range number is an impressive 87 miles, and from what we’ve seen, that might be a low estimate. Throw in up to 12 days of free rental cars through Enterprise and something called the Fiat 500e Pass program and you’ve got a non-Tesla EV that allows drivers a long-distance solution when needed. The electric Cinquecento goes on sale in California this summer. Want one? Have your say in Comments.

Continue reading Fiat 500e priced at $32,500, leases start at $199/month

Fiat 500e priced at $32,500, leases start at $199/month originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Sat, 13 Apr 2013 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hackers could start abusing electric car chargers to cripple the grid, researcher says

Hackers could use vulnerable charging stations to prevent the charging of electric vehicles in a certain area, or possibly even use the vulnerabilities to cripple parts of the electricity grid, a security researcher said during the Hack in the Box conference in Amsterdam on Thursday.

While electric cars and EV charging systems are still in their infancy, they could become a more common way to travel within the next 10 years. If that happens, it is important that the charging systems popping up in cities around the world are secure in order to prevent attackers from accessing and tempering with them, said Ofer Shezaf, product manager security solutions at HP ArcSight. At the moment, they are not secure at all, he said.

“Essentially a charging station is a computer on the street,” Shezaf said. “And it is not just a computer on the street but it is also a network on the street.”

Users want their cars to charge as quickly as possible but not all electric cars can be charged at once because the providers of charging stations have to take the local and regional circuit capacity in mind, said Shezaf. “Therefore we need smart charging,” he said.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

From: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2033826/hackers-could-start-abusing-electric-car-chargers-to-cripple-the-grid-researcher-says.html#tk.rss_all

T3 Motion Prepares to Launch New T3 Vision Series Personal Electric Vehicle

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

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T3 Motion Prepares to Launch New T3 Vision Series Personal Electric Vehicle

The Revolutionary T3 Vision™ Series Vehicles are designed to compete in the Consumer, Resorts, RV and Touring markets

COSTA MESA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– www.t3motion.com– T3 Motion, Inc. (NYSE MKT: TTTM) the dominant leading provider of EV technology to law-enforcement and government markets, today announced their upcoming launch into the consumer and related markets with the development of a new personal EV, the T3 Vision™ Series, which will launch in the coming weeks. The T3 Vision™ Series, after completing rigorous beta and final field testing, has now entered full production and will be released and widely distributed throughout a new global dealer network.

“With the huge success of our professional T3 Patroller™ Series in law enforcement and commercial security applications where we hold an estimated 84% market share, we’re now prepared to launch a next generation ESV designed to fulfill the large number of requests we receive for a smaller consumer sized vehicle where we believe our superior and patented technology will once again demonstrate our ability to dominate the market.”

“As an important element of our aggressive, growth-oriented business plan the new Vision™ Series of vehicles will target new markets first by launching into the consumer market space and then also expanding us in to numerous other commercial transportation solutions. The beautiful new designs and functionality we’ve incorporated in to our T3 Vision™ Series vehicles will set new standards and offer significant advantages over any other competitive technology in the market today,” stated William Tsumpes, T3 Motion Chief Executive Officer.

“As the proven leader in Electric Standup Vehicles technology T3’s new Vision™ Series is the result of 7 years of experience in building vehicles to meet the demanding environments of government and law enforcement applications but incorporates a consumer-oriented twist, a smaller footprint and rich accessory line, resulting in a fully-customizable vehicle that will be perfectly suited for any market from airports and indoor applications to campuses, parks, RV and touring applications.”

The new vehicles will continue our proud tradition of being “Made in America.”

About T3 Motion

T3 Motion, Inc. (NYSE MKT: TTTM) designs, markets and manufactures the T3 Patroller and Vision Series Electric Stand-up Vehicles. Headquartered in Orange County, California, T3 Motion is dedicated to raising the

From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/11/t3-motion-prepares-to-launch-new-t3-vision-series-/

Spy Shots: BMW i3 EV continues to shed camouflage

By Jeffrey N. Ross

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As BMW gets closer to introducing the production version of its plug-in i3, we keep seeing the hatchback being tested with lessening degrees of design-obscuring camouflage. Last we heard, BMW is expecting to have the i3 ready by the end of this year, and the swirly, blue camo does little to hide its basic design in these latest spy shots.

We get our first clear look at almost everything above the wavy beltline including the silver roof edges and matching mirror caps, and it can’t hide the dip in the beltline behind the B-pillar – matching what we’ve already seen on the i3 Coupe Concept unveiled at the LA Auto Show last year. Another change we notice is the lower portion of camo removed from the front fascia allowing us to see the air opening and the black, vertical inserts leading up to the fog light bezels. Judging by the “Hybrid Test Vehicle” stickers on the side of this prototype, we can only assume that this is the optional range-extended model.

BMW i3 EV continues to shed camouflage originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 11 Apr 2013 10:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mercedes-Benz Execs Talk 13 New Models, Electric Cars, and Hybrid AMGs

By Eric Tingwall

Mercedes-Benz has little fear its entry-level CLA250 will cannibalize sales of its C-class.

Mercedes-Benz has never had a stronger first quarter in the United States than it has had in 2013, but the German automaker isn’t about to slow down. The company is taking strides to secure its position over the long term and to bolster its global sales with 13 all-new new models by 2020. These vehicles aren’t just refreshes and redesigns; the Stuttgart-based marque will introduce 13 new nameplates—vehicles without a predecessor. We know there will be the front-drive-based GLA-class crossover and the S-class will add coupe and convertible variants, but the bulk of the plan remains a mystery. Hoping to fill in some of the unknowns, we sat down with four of the most influential executives at Mercedes-Benz: Thomas Weber, head of R&D; Dieter Zetsche, Daimler chairman and head of Mercedes-Benz cars; Jörg Prigl, vice president of small-car development; and Ola Källenius, chairman of Mercedes-Benz AMG. Here’s what they had to say about the future of Mercedes:

Car and Driver: We’re struggling to find 13 obvious holes in the Mercedes-Benz lineup. What kinds of vehicles are coming? Should we expect Mercedes versions of BMW’s Gran Turismos?

Thomas Weber: To build such a vehicle is easy. To be successful is the name of the game. You also must be careful not to say a current trend is a trend forever. We will certainly add long-wheelbase models targeting the Asian markets. As we look at these new models, we need to beat our competitors in three areas: design, powertrains, and environmental and safety technologies.

C/D: Is there any concern that the $30,825 CLA250 might dilute the brand image in the U.S. or cannibalize C-class sales?

Dieter Zetsche: Our more-mature, more-affluent customers are very good to us. At the same time, the A-class has an average age drop of 10 years [in Europe]. It’s all about striking the right balance. The new S-class will move into Rolls-Royce Ghost territory. Just as we introduce small cars, we keep the light shining on the brand.

Jörg Prigl: If we saw that as a risk, we shouldn’t have done the CLA. We are not fighting for the loyal customers we have.

Mercedes wants to be at the forefront of EV development.

C/D: Electric vehicles have failed to take off in the U.S. Why bring the electric B-class to market?

Prigl: Technology leadership in a potential future drivetrain is a must for us. The partnership with Tesla will help us speed up and beat the competition. If you believe you can do this alone as an automaker, you will fail. The battery cell should not be done by the OEM. There should be huge competition among suppliers to get the cell right. The specific know-how for the automaker is in the packaging and the battery management. Tesla provides the complete powertrain for the B-class

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

More than 48,000 Public Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles Have Been Deployed Worldwide, Accord

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

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More than 48,000 Public Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles Have Been Deployed Worldwide, According to New Navigant Research Tracker

BOULDER, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Over the last two years, growing sales of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) have fueled a burst of activity in electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) infrastructure development. To realize the economic and environmental benefits of electrified transportation, national and local governments across the globe are backing deployments of PEV charging stations in an effort to increase consumer interest in PEVs. According to a new tracker report from Navigant Research, there are currently 48,705 public charging stations around the world.

“Numerous companies offering various technologies and business models have emerged to take advantage of the large public investments in this emerging industry,” says Lisa Jerram, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “There has also been enormous private investment in EV infrastructure as these companies respond to and anticipate growing demand. As the market for PEVs grows, and government support for charging infrastructure tapers off, the EVSE industry will become more dependent on private investment to expand.”

Public networks of charging stations for electric vehicles are spread among those operated by manufacturers, utilities, and third-party service providers. Charging stations also vary widely from country to country in terms of size, number of units, and configuration, while charging systems encompass AC and DC technology, as well as battery-swap modes. The wide range of ownership and operating models reflects the lack of clarity within the EVSE industry as to the best business models for public charging, according to the report. Companies in this sector are still figuring out how much customers are willing to pay for charging, and what return on investment station hosts should expect.

The report, “Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Tracker 1Q13”, surveys more than 150 key players in the EVSE industry and tracks the total number of publicly accessible EVSE units, segmented by region and technology, with an additional focus on all commercial EVSE installed in the United States, both public and private. In addition, the report examines EVSE technologies, business models, and market barriers on a regional basis. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

About Navigant Research

Navigant Research, the dedicated research arm of Navigant, provides market research and benchmarking services for rapidly changing and often highly regulated industries. In the energy sector, Navigant Research focuses on in-depth analysis and reporting about global clean technology …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Spy Shots: Electrified BMW X1 spotted testing

By Steven J. Ewing

BMW X1 EV/Hybrid spy shots

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So here’s something interesting. This might look like an ordinary BMW X1, but take a closer glance – those stickers on the side read “hybrid test vehicle,” and around back, there doesn’t appear to be a tailpipe at all. But does this mean that BMW is working on a straight-up all-electric version of its smallest crossover? Let’s hypothesize for a moment.

Just because we can’t see a tailpipe in these photographs doesn’t mean there isn’t one somewhere under there. And while those hybrid stickers are an indication that there’s some sort of electrification going on underhood, it could just be for a forthcoming gasoline-electric version of the X1. Lexus recently confirmed it would be bringing a small hybrid CUV to market that will compete in the X1’s space, so perhaps BMW is working on another powertrain option to offer when its littlest crossover gets refreshed.

Also consider that Toyota collaborated with Tesla to bring back the RAV4 EV, which would sort of compete with the X1, so it also stands to reason that perhaps this is an early test mule for a larger all-electric vehicle in the upcoming, eco-minded BMW i range. Our spies seem pretty confident that the prototype seen here is indeed an all-out EV, but we just can’t say with certainty without more evidence.

Look through the shots in our high-resolution gallery above and give us your best guess in the comments.

Electrified BMW X1 spotted testing originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 09 Apr 2013 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Green Automotive Organizes First Open Day for Newport Coachworks

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

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Green Automotive Organizes First Open Day for Newport Coachworks

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Green Automotive Company (www.thegreenautomotivecompany.com) (OTCQB:GACR) is organizing its first Open Day on the 4th of May to present its new manufacturing facility in Riverside, California, and to view the first buses to roll off the production line. The GAC management team will all be there, and available to discuss aspects of the groups achievements and future plans.

Over the past 9 months Green Automotive has made significant changes to its company in order to become a competitive player in automotive niche markets. Its acquisition of Liberty Electric Cars and its unique technical expertise in EV technology had been followed by the acquisition of Newport Coachworks, the Californian based shuttle bus and limo manufacturer, and GoinGreen, the largest single distributor of EVs in Europe.

The Newport Coachworks team has been working hard to build its first “all American” shuttle buses in its new state-of-the-art production facility in Riverside, California. The company is now starting to deliver the first buses to its major customer, Don Brown, who has placed several orders that are expected to fill the plant’s current capacity for the next 2 years. To meet this demand, GAC has invested heavily in the most technically advanced machinery such as a 5 axis CNC machine and a full length spray booth and oven for painting even the longest buses. Furthermore the company has embarked on the development of its first “All American” electric shuttle bus in cooperation with its specialist EV division Liberty Electric Cars.

These successful developments have prompted Green Automotive to invite all its stakeholders to view the facility in Riverside and to share with them the latest achievements. Commenting on the day, Ian Hobday, Director GAC, said, “The day is open to our Customers, the Press, VIPs from region, Suppliers and of course our Shareholders and Investors. Thanks to our Californian team, we have made tremendous progress in the past months and we would like to share this outstanding result with all of our stakeholders.”

Those interested in joining us on the 4th of May can confirm their participation to the Open Day on GACR‘s website www.thegreenautomotivecompany.com.

About Green Automotive Company

Green Automotive Company is a state-of-the-art niche vehicle design, engineering, manufacturing, and sales company, driving innovation in the use of cutting …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Tesla's Biggest Order to Date

By Tamara Rutter, The Motley Fool

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Electric-car maker Tesla Motors is off to a fast start this year. The California-based company kick-started 2013 by increasing production on its Model S sedan, unveiling a new finance product, and celebrating its first profitable quarter as a public company. Not bad for a little EV start-up that few had heard of until recently. Still, many analysts worry that demand for Tesla’s Model S may begin to stall as the year unfolds.

100 ways to love Tesla
Once again, the critics appear to be wildly shortsighted. Not only is Tesla cranking out Model S deliveries, counting more than 4,750 cars in the first quarter, but the company is also beefing up its backlog of orders. Last month, Tesla secured its largest U.S. Model S reservation in the company’s history.

Downtown Project and Project 100 have committed to buy 100 zero-emission Model S cars from Tesla, in an effort to revitalize downtown Las Vegas. Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh is heading up the Project 100 initiative, and Vegas residents who become members will have on-demand access to cars, bikes, shuttle buses, and other modes of transportation.

So why Tesla? The Project 100 team liked the high-tech nature of the Tesla Model S platform, particularly because it gives them more control over the member experience while also letting Project 100 collect valuable data about how members are using the vehicles.

This is Tesla’s largest single customer order to date, and I suspect that Model S demand will continue to surge in the quarters to come.

Near-faultless execution has led Tesla Motors to the brink of success, but the road ahead remains a hard one. Despite progress, a looming question remains: Will Tesla be able to fend off its big-name competitors? The Motley Fool answers this question and more in our most in-depth Tesla research available for smart investors like you. Thousands have already claimed their own premium ticker coverage, and you can gain instant access to your own by clicking here now.

var FoolAnalyticsData = FoolAnalyticsData || []; FoolAnalyticsData.push({ eventType: “TickerReportPitch”, contentByline: “Tamara Rutter”, …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Tesla’s Model S Lease and Financing Program Expensive, Misleading

By Justin Berkowitz

With the help of two banks, federal tax credits for EV purchases, and math that even Wall Street would find fishy, Tesla now has an official loan program for the electric Model S sedan. Company founder (and noted pugilist) Elon Musk announced the news himself earlier this week, calling the deal a “revolutionary new finance product,” enabling buyers to get a $79,995 Model S for just $500 per month. Apart from the misrepresentation of the monthly price, there’s little that’s revolutionary about the loan deal—including the presence of hidden costs. If, then, Tesla truly is the car company of the future, one might call the company’s new financing offer the three-card Monte of the future.

What the Program Actually Says

  • 63 monthly payments of $1097, excluding taxes and registration fees, for the 60-kWh model.
  • 63 monthly payments of $1252, excluding taxes and registration fees, for the 85-kWh model.
  • A down payment of 10 percent of the purchase price is provided by one of the partnering banks, US Bank or Wells Fargo.
  • US Bank or Wells Fargo gets the buyer’s $7500 federal income tax credit for buying an EV, plus any eligible state tax credits.
  • After 36 months (but only until 39), buyers can sell their Model S back to Tesla for 43 percent of the original purchase price.

Other than the buyback program, this is a pretty standard bank loan for a new car—including the decent 2.95-percent interest rate. Note, though, the fact that US Bank and Wells Fargo essentially are advancing tax credits, using them as a down payment now, and then collecting buyers’ money later from Uncle Sam. This sounds like a giant payday loan.

The Promotions are Littered With Misleading Info 

The crux of the problem is Tesla’s use of an interactive calculator to determine what it calls a “true cost of ownership” for the Model S. This fatuous little feature allows people to enter their own variables—cost of gasoline over the next three years, how many miles they drive per year, what their time is worth in dollars per hour—and should your numbers match those Tesla has preselected as defaults, the company figures the real expense of a Model S is $500 per month. This isn’t just a “you’ve got to read the fine print” issue, nor is it really a problem with trying to assign a dollar value to minutes saved by driving in carpool lanes. The website setup could be misleading to most readers, makes fine print hard to find, and the calculator itself can be contradictory and makes unreasonable price comparisons.

Not $500 Per Month? Why Didn’t You Say So?  It would be bad enough if Tesla was saying that the Model S effectively costs $500 a month once you factor in all the other savings from owning an EV instead of a comparable gasoline-engined car, but here, we don’t even get that kind of double talk. On its homepage and the Model S page, Tesla is presenting the “$500 per …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

The Continental: The Good, the Bad, and the Ho-Hum from the 2013 New York Auto Show

By Jens Meiners

Each week, our German correspondent slices and dices the latest rumblings, news, and quick-hit driving impressions from the other side of the pond. His byline may say Jens Meiners, but we simply call him . . . the Continental.

Another New York auto show has come and gone, and this year’s was a good one. Most manufacturers were present in the Big Apple last week, and there was a number of new vehicle launches. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the 2015 Volkswagen Golf won World Car of the Year honors, and the Porsche Boxster/Cayman duo was voted World Performance Car. The Tesla Model S earned the World Green Car nod, while the Jaguar F-Type roadster took the well-deserved World Car Design of the Year award.

Consulting firm Prime Research surveyed the 66 World Car Awards jurors, a global group of motor journalists which includes myself, and came up with some interesting results. While connectivity and efficiency still rank among the most important topics worthy of coverage, E-mobility has most definitely fallen out of favor. It dropped to sixth—from third last year—out out of ten topics of focus.

Asked only about alternative powertrains, journalists ranked the most conservative approach—the plug-in hybrid—above the range-extended electric vehicle, reversing the two options’ rankings from last year. Only the plug-in hybrid was evaluated more positively than last fall, while ratings for the range-extended EV, fuel-cell-electric, and battery-electric dropped sharply. The media’s love affair with the EV—which I was never quite able to understand—seems to be over.

2012 Mini John Cooper Works Coupe - rear three-quarter view

Just before the New York show, BMW let a few journalists sample a prototype three-cylinder engine in a European 1-series hatchback body. Contributing editor Csaba Csere has already levied a thorough assessment of the technology, and I too liked the little engine—it is a cheerful, lively motor with a sporty exhaust note. BMW readily admits that the three’s 1.5-liter displacement is not ideal in terms of noise and vibration, but it is the best compromise for fuel economy. The three-banger is part of an engine family that will include four- and six-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines. It might sound odd, but I found the three-cylinder engine to have more character than most four-cylinder engines. Bring it on. A quick side note: The upcoming BMW M4 and its four-door sister model, the M3, will get an engine based on the current N55 straight-six, not a member of this new engine family.

BMW rival Audi presented the A3 sedan, but not exactly at the show itself. Not wanting to spoil its own upcoming Shanghai show debut, Audi definitely wanted to spoil the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG‘s big reveal. So it put …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver

Video: Translogic goes two-wheeling with the electric Brammo Empulse R motorcycle

By Seyth Miersma

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The Translogic crew has trekked northward to Ashland, OR, to ride the epically electrified Brammo Empulse R motorcycle. With a six-speed transmission that enables both huge accelerative potential and 100+ mile per hour top speeds, as well as a maximum range of 121 miles, the Empulse R case on paper is pretty solid.

As it turns out, the case the EV bike makes for itself on the street is rock solid, too – at least that’s the impression we’re given from the huge smiles in the video below. Translogic also chats with Brammo CEO Craig Bramscher, and catches up with the progress of the racing team. Check it out.

Continue reading Translogic goes two-wheeling with the electric Brammo Empulse R motorcycle

Translogic goes two-wheeling with the electric Brammo Empulse R motorcycle originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 04 Apr 2013 19:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Official: Detroit Electric SP:01 picks up where the Tesla Roadster left off

By Steven J. Ewing

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We won’t fault you if the name Detroit Electric has fallen off your radar. After all, the company is best known for producing around 13,000 electric vehicles in the early 1900s, not to mention a revival from the Zap brand that, well, faded away. But the company is back in action, and today showed off its first product that is set to go on sale later this year, the sweet little SP:01 that you see above.

By the end of 2014, Detroit Electric will produce a range of all-electric cars.

It’s no secret that the company is relying on a Lotus Exige shell for its new electric car, and that’s largely thanks to the fact that the brand was revived by former Group CEO of the Lotus Engineering Group and executive director of Lotus Cars of England, Albert Lam. As its name suggests, Detroit Electric has set up shop in the city’s historic Fisher Building, and will produce cars at a facility somewhere in the metropolitan Detroit area. The company states that this dedicated production shop will have an annual capacity of building 2,500 cars and will create over 180 jobs in the process.

By the end of 2014, Detroit Electric will produce a range of all-electric cars, with two more machines scheduled to launch sometime next year. The SP:01 – the first product to wear the Detroit Electric name since 1939 – starts production this August, and pay attention, because it looks to have all the chops of a serious high-performance EV. Scroll down to read on.

Continue reading Detroit Electric SP:01 picks up where the Tesla Roadster left off

Detroit Electric SP:01 picks up where the Tesla Roadster left off originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 03 Apr 2013 20:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Nissan Turns Over a New Leaf

By Rich Duprey, The Motley Fool

Ford Atlas Concept Early Design Sketches

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It’s safe to call me something of a bear when it comes to electric vehicles. Though I find Tesla‘s luxury EVs sleek and awesome, I’m not ready to go so far with the automaker itself and am less than impressed with its quarterly profit reported the other day (at least till I see some hard-and-fast numbers).

And I’m still not willing to think General Motor‘s Chevy Volt is anything more than a taxpayer-financed, money-losing boondoggle at the moment as U.S. sales of the hybrid EV plunged 35% in March to 1,478 vehicles. And it should be noted that General Electric bought 160 of them — or 11% — for its fleet purchases. Consumer demand, therefore, is even less than what’s been depicted. Heck, even Tesla’s sold more EVs in the U.S. over the first three months of 2013 than GM has sold Volts and that was after juicing the financing with $3,000 in rebates.

While Toyota sold more than 22,000 Priuses in March, that’s 20% fewer than it sold last year.

Yet consumers are only willing to shell out $4 or $5 a gallon for gas for so long before they start looking at alternatives. And more so than Model Ss or Volts, it seems the EV they want is a Nissan Leaf, which recorded its best month ever for sales in March, moving 2,236 vehicles. Indeed, last month was the Japanese car maker’s best month ever across its Nissan and Infinity lines, with sales rising to 137,726 units, a 1% increase over 2012.

It remains difficult, nevertheless, to estimate real consumer demand for the cars since Nissan’s sales have been all over the place. Until last month, it hadn’t sold more than 1,500 cars in a month since Nov. 2012.

Along with all my other bearishness on the sector, I’m not sure the technology is completely ready for prime time. While the battery fires GM experienced has died from the headlines and the battery woes of the Tesla are no longer front and center, the implosion of A123 Systems and numerous other battery makers suggests there’s still room for technological improvement.

Yet after a sluggish start to the New Year, it could be that Nissan has turned over a new leaf and will give GM, Tesla, and even Toyota a run for their money in 2013.

Running down the highway

Near-faultless execution has led Tesla Motors to the brink of success, but the road ahead remains a hard one. Despite progress, a looming question remains: Will Tesla be able to fend off its big-name competitors? The Motley Fool answers this question and more in our most in-depth Tesla research available for smart investors like you. Thousands have already claimed their own premium ticker coverage, and you can gain instant access to your own by clicking here now.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Nissan Has Best-Ever U.S Sales Month in March

By Rich Duprey, The Motley Fool

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Recording 137,726 units sold in March, the 1% increase from last year marks Nissan‘s best month ever for sales in the U.S., the company announced Tuesday.

It also marked the best month for its all-electric Leaf since it was launched in 2010. Nissan Leaf sales totaled 2,236 deliveries, up 286.2% from the previous March, according to the company. March marks the first full month of deliveries of the lower-priced 2013 Leaf, now produced at Nissan’s assembly plant in Smyrna, Tenn.

The company’s Nissan division sold 126,623 vehicles last month, up 0.4% from March 2012, with the Pathfinder recording the second-best gain with a 177% rise in vehicles moved. (The Leaf’s jump topped the Nissan division.) The worst performer was the Quest, which saw sales nearly cut in half in March to 1,345.

While it sold more Pathfinders (9,071) than it did Leafs (2,236), the electric vehicle’s 286% increase in sales was tops in the division, making it the best-selling pure EV in the world.

Nissan’s Infiniti division saw a 9% jump in sales, for a total of 11,103 sold in March, compared to 10,185 sold last March. The biggest gainer in this class was the JX, which saw sales nearly quintuple to 2,633 vehicles.

 

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The article Nissan Has Best-Ever U.S Sales Month in March originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Tesla announces 'revolutionary' lease option for Model S starting at $1,050/month

By Sebastian Blanco

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Just how “revolutionary” you think the just-announced lease option is for the Tesla Model S will depend on a lot of factors, like how much gas costs where you live and whether or not your current car drinks premium or not.

The promised “excitingnews from Tesla Motors is what the company calls a “revolutionary new finance product.” It’s not really a lease, but it is claimed to combine the “best aspects of car leasing and ownership.” As with everything else, Tesla is going its own way here.

There are specific lease payment costs – $1,199 a month for the 85-kWh Model S, $1,421 for the 85-kWh Performance model and $1,051 for the 60-kWh version – but Tesla is putting up invisible asterisks all over the place.

There are specific lease payment costs – $1,199 a month for the 85-kWh Model S, $1,421 for the 85-kWh Performance model and $1,051 for the 60-kWh version – but Tesla is putting up invisible asterisks all over the place. Instead of highlighting those numbers, Tesla’s online calculator talks about the “true cost of ownership.” Tesla factors in the value of your time, cost of gas and EV incentives. We appreciate that there is much more to buying any car than the initial cost, but there is a lot of sunlight between Tesla’s headline-grabbing $500/month cost and what you’ll really pay. “Your net cost of ownership is five-to-six hundred dollars a month,” said Tesla CEO Elon Musk in a conference call announcing the new pricing structure, adding, “As much as possible, I’d like to broaden the affordability of the car.” Musk said he expects around half of the Model S “sales” in the US to be this new lease-like option.

I calculated my own numbers for the 85-kWh model and came out with an effective monthly cost of $1,133. Other Autoblog writers calculated theirs, and came up with results between $834 and $688. This makes us think that to hit that $500-a-month level you need to be in the center of a very strange Venn diagram.

In any case, Tesla has done some interesting things here. It worked with Wells Fargo and US Bank to reduce the cost of driving a Model S while also giving drivers the opportunity to own their cars. The banks, if you have good enough credit, will “provide 10% down financing for purchase” and that payment “is covered or more than covered by US Federal and state tax credits ranging from $7,500 to $15,000.” Now, the loan is a 66-month term loan but, after 36 months, “you have the right, but not the obligation to sell your Model S to Tesla for the same residual value percentage as the iconic Mercedes S-Class, one of the finest premium sedans in the world, made by Daimler (also a Tesla partner and investor).”

So, that Tweet about how Musk was putting his money where his mouth …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog