Green Cars

150 MPH bus is basically a public transit Batmobile

Hey, life imitates Onion! A physicist in the Netherlands has designed the "Superbus," a sleek 23-seater that can go up to 150 miles per hour. And it's electric! You're not drunk, the video is in Dutch, but we assume he's saying "dude, this thing is fast as BALLS, and look at all the Delorean doors! Seriously, it's like Batman meets Speed meets Back to the Future." Okay, so there's the teeny problem where if you don't live in Europe, a vehicle on the highway going 150 miles per hour is kind of cause for alarm. The inventor is envisioning the …

The ultimate hippie mobile: An electric VW bus

Volkswagen has unveiled an electric concept vehicle based on the classic VW bus. The Bulli has a driving range of 184 miles, so if it goes into production, it could get you and your friends to Bonnaroo from as far away as Atlanta. It's smaller than the original bus, but it still seats five — room for Shaggy, Velma, Fred, Daphne, and Scooby.

FedEx’s Republican CEO wants you to buy an electric car [VIDEO]

Clean energy: not a partisan issue, says FedEx's CEO. That's why he commissioned this slick little promo, which sums up everything that's wrong with our current transportation infrastructure but stops just short of mentioning peak oil. That's OK, because the facts speak for themselves: The U.S. uses a quarter of the world's oil. Seventy percent of that goes to transportation. Electric vehicles cut the Gordian knot of our dependence on fossil fuels, because electric cars can be powered by anything. Does it get any more straightforward?

Car parts made out of mushrooms will — wait, what?

Man, is there anything mushrooms can’t do? They make a damn fine fake meat, they make Mario bigger, caterpillars smoke hookahs on them, the whole nine yards. And now, thanks to a company called Ecovative, they can be used to replace styrofoam in some of Earth’s most persistent enemies: packing materials and car parts. The fake foam actually grows itself — Ecovative fills a mold with a mix of mushroom spores and a waste material like oat husks, and over a few days the mushrooms grow and the roots glue themselves together into a strong and lightweight material. Like styrofoam, …

Putin test-drives, makes fun of radical new hybrid

Mikhail Prokhorov, Russia's richest man and owner of the New Jersey Nets, has bankrolled an all-Russian natural gas-electric hybrid car called the ë-mobile (pronounced yo-mobile), but that wasn’t enough to impress Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his tiger blood. Putin: "This yo-mobile of yours, I hope it won't fall into pieces, will it?" Before a test-drive of the ë-mobile, the famously butch-tastic Putin also joked about whether it had the range to make it all the way to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's house. Ha ha, puny hybrid! But the car held it together, so when the rest of the world …

Business & Technology

Powering up: Green tech investment surges

The money’s coming in for green tech.Photo: MoneyblognewzSome good news on the environmental front for a change: Global investment in green technology in the first quarter of the year spiked 52 percent compared to the previous quarter, to $2.57 billion. That’s according to a report released Tuesday by the Cleantech Group, a San Francisco research and consulting firm. The increase represents a 13 percent jump over the first quarter of 2010, and indicates that investors’ appetite for renewable energy, electric cars, and other green technologies continues to rebound from the recession. But the numbers aren’t exactly good news for entrepreneurs …

Obama to encourage America’s truck companies to do thing they were already planning to do

A group of truck fleet-owning companies that collectively owns 275,000 vehicles is scheduled to get a gold star from the president today, as part of the administration's Clean Fleets Initiative. FedEx, UPS, AT&T, PepsiCo, and Verizon are the charter members of a group that is pledging to reduce its collective petroleum consumption by more than 7 million gallons a year. Through the magic of hybrid vehicles, mostly, these companies will be given backslaps and encouraging words from the federal government for doing the thing they are already required by law to do — make money and generate shareholder value by, …

Green Cars

China charges up the on-ramp of the electric highway

Electric charging stations like this one in Shenzhen could become a common sight in China if the government sticks to its ambitious EV goals.Photo: Remko TanisWhen it comes to the future of electric cars, as with other green technologies, the wild card is China. The People’s Republic has invested billions in renewable energy and has become a solar superpower in photovoltaic manufacturing. It’s also poised to one day potentially blow away the competition in wind turbine production. China’s new five-year plan calls for dramatic increases in energy efficiency and designates electric cars as a strategic industry. (The government has set …

Green Cars

Free ride: Rising oil prices boost electric cars’ affordability

Will car buyers get the message?Photo: Tom LafteryOne of the biggest knocks against electric cars, other than their current range, is the rather steep upfront cost due to the price of the battery. Of course, you’re essentially pre-paying much of your fuel costs for the life of the car. But that’s a hard message to get across to a potential buyer contemplating forking over $41,000 for a Chevrolet Volt or $33,000 for a Nissan Leaf before state and federal incentives. However, rising gasoline prices — now topping $4 a gallon in the San Francisco Bay Area — may finally drive …