Green Cars

Green Cars

Charging ahead: Report predicts 3.8 million electrics on road by 2016

The Volt is still charging up.As the first mass-market electric cars start to, slowly, hit the streets, the big question is whether battery-powered vehicles are the future or a fad. The answer won’t be known for years but a new report from GTM Research offers some interesting insights into where the electric road might lead. The report, “The Networked EV: The Convergence of Smart Grids and Electric Vehicles,” predicts there will be 3.8 million electric cars on the road worldwide by 2016, with about 1.5 million in the United States, 1.5 million in Europe and 760,000 in Asia. “It is …

Transportation

The E.U. wants gas-powered cars gone from its cities by 2050

Can he look forward to a future with no gas-powered cars?Photo: Alison OddyThe European Union has just announced an ambitious transportation goal: the elimination of gas-powered cars in its cities by 2050. It’s part of a plan that aims to radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation sources: A new European transport plan [PDF] aims to increase mobility and further integrate the EU’s transport networks — while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the bloc’s dependence on imported oil. Measures to encourage major infrastructure investments, change the way freight moves and people travel would boost economic competitiveness and create jobs. The …

Budget-strapped police forces going with green vehicles to save on fuel

Aspiring Blues Brothers may be able to get old Crown Vics cheap pretty soon — but if you’re at all eco-minded, you may not want to drive them. The iconic and soon-to-be-retired police rides only got 14 m.p.g. in the city, but the Ford Interceptor — set to be their primary replacement when they go out of production — does 20 to 25 percent better. That’s good news for the planet, but even more compelling for most police departments, it’s also good news for local budgets. Detroit, for instance, could save $2 million a year on fuel costs with a …

How coal could make your car more efficient

That’s right: You may soon be able to use coal to make your car more fuel-efficient. Not by running it on coal — gross! — but building it out of metal mixed with structures found in coal ash. Fly ash, a byproduct of burning coal, contains microscopic bubbles called cenospheres. They sound like Clive Barker creatures, but they’re actually really useful — because when you mix them with metal, they make the metal lighter without compromising its strength. Even regular gas-powered cars could be at least 10 percent lighter, and thus more fuel-efficient, if they were made out of cenosphere-infused …

Nissan Leaf, meet Ford Pinto

There were two interesting cars parked on my street this week. One was a Nissan Leaf (see my test drive video here). The other was a Ford Pinto. The Pinto was one of the forerunners of today’s small hatchbacks. It had bucket seats with a hand brake between them, a back seat that folded down, a small four-cylinder engine, and of course a hatch back. I owned four of them through high school and college because used versions were inexpensive and easy to repair, although thanks to shody manufacturing, they never lasted long. Long ago and far away, I once …

Google Maps tells you where to shove it, where “it” is the plug of your electric car

Looking for a place to plug in your electric car? Now you can find it the same way you find everything else: Google Maps. The Goog has reached out its electronic tentacles and absorbed the Department of Energy's master list of U.S. electric vehicle charging stations (there are over 600, at least one for every Volt sold in the country this year).

trips up homes down

Wanna green your ride? Ditch the Prius, hop on a train

Chart: EPA Here’s one to piss off the yuppies: Driving your hybrid car from your Energy Star home to the food co-op is not as green as hopping on the subway from your apartment. A new EPA study says that moving from a car-oriented to a transit-oriented community has the biggest impact on your energy usage — more than green buildings or green cars. Of course, doing something is better than nothing. Not everyone can move to multi-family building in a transit-oriented city, which the study found is the greenest way to go (besides, of course, moving to a multi-family …

Plugging in

Chicago to build electric car charging network

An electric car charging station next to a gas station in Lake Oswego, Ore.Photo: Todd MecklemFirst Chicago gets Rahm Emanuel, now electric cars. Well, at least an electric car infrastructure. In a move that indicates electric cars won’t just be a phenomenon of Greater Portlandia, utility Exelon and the city will roll out 280 charging stations across Chicagoland by year’s end. Two stations will even be solar-powered. It’s part of a smart grid demonstration project, partially funded by the federal government, to get a jump-start on the potential impact on the electric system if Chicagoans start buying battery-powered vehicles in …

how we rolls

Rolls Royce electric car will let blue-bloods go green

  Here’s what needs to happen for electric cars to become the new industry standard: They need to be seen as sexier, manlier, and more upscale than original fossil-fuel flavor. We know, we know, but don’t shoot the messenger. Fortunately, Rolls Royce is now making inroads into the last one (and maybe the first) by unveiling a new electric car. The Rolls-Royce 102EX, also known as the Phantom Experimental Electric, will be used as part of a pilot project to test the future of EVs with the car company’s core drivers. If it goes into production, this will be one …

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