Green Cars

Critical List: Tornado hits Joplin, Missouri; Chicago preps for climate change

A half-mile wide tornado leveled a Missouri town. And another volcano in Iceland poured ash into the sky. Cut it out, nature, we get it: you don't like airplanes. In Chicago, government officials not only believe in climate change, they are preparing the city for a steamier future. Local officials have been leading on adaptation for awhile, but, in this case, it probably doesn't hurt Chicago pols to say, loudly, that the city's destined to get less frigid. High gas prices means job-seekers are looking for employment closer to home. Sounds like it's time to invest in some public transportation …

Green Cars

Turning over the new Leaf

How do the Leaf’s emissions stack up?Finally. If you don’t like being dependent on oil — but find that you do need to drive — you’ve got at least one decent option. The Nissan Leaf is the first mass-produced, mass-market electric vehicle to hit the U.S. sales floors in … well, essentially forever. (Yeah, I know about the Tesla and the EV1. But the former is too expensive to be in the range of most families, and the latter was never really offered for sale — you could only lease it.) The Leaf’s a bit pricey, but for many families …

Eco-geeks rejoice: Here is Nathan Fillion with an electric car

Remember when we called the Arcimoto SRK "an electric car for the Facebook generation"? Apparently it's also an electric car for the "Firefly" generation. Actor Nathan Fillion got all excited about the car at its launch, and his remarks get at the main reasons for wanting an electric car: Spaceship resemblance and revenge. Thank you for giving me a way to stick it to big oil and big auto companies. Because… I am a vengeful man. And they've been sticking it to me for a long time. No matter how old I get, I don't think I'll ever get tired …

Toyota to make all Prius hybrids plug-in by 2014

This is how the century-long dominance of gas-powered vehicles ends: not with a bang, but with a widget. By 2014, the world's best-selling hybrid vehicle will have plug-in capability, standard, which means every trip up to 14 miles will be all-electric, all the time. This move to plug-in-standard vehicles is a harbinger of a future in which the automotive fleet doesn't switch over to electric all at once, but piecemeal, as manufacturers learn to harness new tech and economies of scale, and batteries drop in price as a result. Important to this transition is Toyota's switch to the more energy-dense …

Baddest-ass hybrid in the world to become a reality

Jaguar has announced plans to build a hybrid-electric supercar that goes from 0 to 60 in three seconds — proving once again that green cars aren't just better for the environment; they're also substantially more bad-ass than the belching, muck-fueled dinosaurs they replace. The C-X75 will have an ultralight carbon-fiber chassis and an all-electric range of 30 miles, which the car would blow through in less than 9 minutes at its top speed of 205 mph. Two electric motors, one for each axle, give the car all-wheel drive. As the CEO of Tata (which owns Jaguar) puts it: "[This points …

Better Place taps China in bid to take over the world, more or less

If a supervillain wanted to roll out a plan to turn the planet's car infrastructure on its head, he could hardly do better than the deal that Israeli company Better Place just announced with the China Southern Power Grid Co. Better Place is a company that wants to replace filling stations with battery swapping stations. (The batteries are swapped by robots.) If it works, the concept eliminates the range anxiety, long charging times, and battery ownership headaches that come with driving an electric car. The first pilot station is in Israel, and its CEO has estimated that he can cover the …

Green Cars

Chamber of Commerce and auto dealer group lose last-gasp lawsuit to stop clean cars

Cross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. The federal court of appeals in Washington today rejected the last legal attack on California’s landmark greenhouse-gas standards for new cars built in model years 2012-16.  The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sought to overturn EPA’s waiver giving California the green light to set its greenhouse-gas standards. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson granted California the waiver in June 2009, reversing her predecessor’s unprecedented attempt to block California’s program.    The appeals court ruled that neither NADA nor the chamber had demonstrated injury necessary to support their standing. NADA had …

Arcimoto is an electric car for the Facebook generation

Marketers are learning that kids don't want cars anymore. They blame it on Facebook — kids don't need cars to socialize — instead of facing up to the reality: cars suck. They are boring and dirty and no longer integral to teenage courtship rituals. This car, however, does not suck: Announced just last week, the Arcimoto SRK is starts at $17,500. That's $10,000 less than the next cheapest electric car, the Mitsubishi iMiEV. Throw in thousands in federal incentives, and you could probably put it on your credit card, I mean if it's like an Amex black or something. I don't …

The iPad of electric cars will be available in 2012 — for as little as $8,000

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is so button-cute it makes the BMW mini look like the smash-faced cyclops from Jason and the Argonauts, and if you are one of a handful of lucky Americans, you might be able to pick one up at a price that matches its diminutive size. The list of requirements you have to satisfy to get approximately $20,000 worth of rebates on the $27,990 all-electric vehicle is long, but even if you're merely a resident of California, you can still take $12,500 off the top in Federal and state credits. Further rebates are available for residents of the …