We're just a couple of weeks away from the first major auto show of the new season, and the buzz around concept cars and new model launches is already in full swing. According to Just Auto, GM is planning to use the Frankfurt show to unveil a concept hybrid version of its compact Opel Corsa. The Corsa Hybrid concept will make use of the same belt-alternator starter system that we've seen recently in the Saturn Vue Green Line and the Saturn Aura Green Line. Unlike the production Saturn models--but similar to the much-hyped Chevy Volt--the Corsa Hybrid … Read more
Given the spate of electric motorcycles hitting the market, many of us might be tempted to give one of them a shot for the health of the environment if nothing else. But one about our personal well being?
Currie Technologies is trying to provide the best of all worlds with its "iZip Express," a hybrid bike that can supplement your natural pedal power with a small electric motor. Gizmag says the bike's engine, which generates more power as you pedal faster, can yield top speeds of 25 mph on a battery with a range of 31 miles … Read more
It's been said before, but can't be said enough. This is not a technology problem. When it comes to fighting global warming, it's the little things we do that will make the difference.
The average American consumer is responsible for about 9-10 tons of carbon emissions per year.
The big three culprits for us consumers: 1) Car miles driven and car size; 2) Power used; 3) Airline miles flown
Here are my favorite little things:
1) When you have the option, drive the family car with the best gas mileage and drive together--no more three-car families driving … Read more
Full hybrids have to date been almost synonymous with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) system, which, in addition to being the technology behind all Toyota and Lexus hybrids, is licensed by Nissan for its Altima Hybrid and is used in a modified version by Ford in the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner hybrids. This hybrid monopoly is about to change, however, as GM readies its 2-Mode hybrid system for introduction later this year in the Yukon Hybrid and Tahoe Hybrid SUVs. Like HSD, GM's 2-Mode system enables cars to run just on electricity, just on gasoline, or a … Read more
Security will be crawling at Lake Tahoe on August 17 as bigwigs such as U.S. Senator Harry Reid and former president Bill Clinton along with his wife (who has some sort of government job) attend the Lake Tahoe Summit.
(Update: Arnold Schwarzenegger was listed as a possible attendee. But apparently he can't make it now, according to his press office.)
And one of the highlights, at least in my mind, will be the test-drives of the all-electric SUV from Phoenix Motorcars. Phoenix's car can go 130 miles on a single charge and hit 100 miles per hour. (… Read more
General Motors is banking on the increasing demand for fuel-efficient cars by launching hybrid versions of two of its full-size SUVs: the GMC Yukon and the Chevy Tahoe. And although the cars aren't slated to go on sale until this fall, GM is already busy building buzz.
The new models, available in both two- and four-wheel drive, use a "two-mode" powertrain designed jointly by GM with BMW and Daimler-Chrysler. This Hybrid Operating System (HOS) allows the car to operate either on electricity or gasoline, depending on the power needs of the car.
Bob Kanode, the CEO of Valence Technology, which makes lithium-ion batteries for vehicles, recently said one of the big issues for the electric car world was going to be cobalt versus phosphate. And he may be right.
The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) has reported that Toyota has delayed a new generation of hybrid vehicles, including a new Prius, because of concerns about safety and reliability of the batteries inside them. These batteries are lithium cobalt oxide batteries, the same chemistry used in laptop lithium batteries. (Currently, Toyota hybrids use nickel metal hydride batteries.)
Toyota was supposed to start introducing … Read more
One big yellow bus is going green in Napa County. The Northern California school district today received a plug-in hybrid diesel-electric school bus -- the first of its kind in the state.
The move is part of a nation-wide initiative aimed at reducing school bus emissions and cutting costs by improving fuel efficiency. The program is led by Advanced Energy, a non-profit corporation based in Raleigh, N.C.
The bus, which doesn't look terribly innovative on the outside, is built by IC Corporation, the largest school bus manufacturer in the country. It uses a hybrid drive technology dubbed a … Read more
Plug-in hybrids have emerged as the favorite form of transportation for reducing greenhouse gases in the near term, but calculating their energy efficiency can be a little complicated.
Plug-ins won't conk out after 130 to 200 miles, like electric cars, and they don't require major technological breakthroughs, like hydrogen cars. Converting a Prius to a plug-in hybrid costs about $10,000 to $15,000 now--that's part of the reason only about 50 exist--but if car manufacturers decide to make these at the factory, the additional cost may only run $6,000 or so, say proponents. That'… Read more
A friend of mine sent me a link to a story at gizmag.com (here) that quotes another site as saying that Porsche is planning to offer a hybrid-power version of its forthcoming Panamera sedan. (I couldn't find the story on the original site, so I can't offer a link to it.)
The story claims this might be the fastest hybrid car in the world when it debuts in 2011, but that's purely hypothetical. By that time, there will likely be a lot of very fast hybrids. In fact, I suspect that most cars will be sold … Read more