Green Cars

Critical List: Toxic chemicals on the rise; baby seals in trouble

The EPA may retest water in Dimock, Pa., where residents have linked polluted water to fracking operations. In its first round of testing the town's water, the EPA declared it safe. GM is fixing up the Volt in order to avoid in real-life battery fires like the ones that started during testing. As winter sea ice disappears in the Arctic, fewer baby harp seals are making it. The amount of toxic chemicals shunted into the environment went up 16 percent between 2009 and 2010, according a new EPA report.

Huge strides in fuel efficiency innovation canceled out by bigger cars

If, and this is true, automakers have made huge strides in fuel efficiency over the past 30 years, why aren't we all driving the 100 MPG ubercars we were promised at Epcot Center when we were but wee lads and lasses? The answer is that our cars, like our homes and just about everything else we consume, have been supersized, says MIT economist Christopher Knittel.

Election 2012

Confused with a chance of flip-flop: Mitt Romney’s views on climate and energy

Where does Mitt Romney stand on climate change and energy issues? Brace yourself: He doesn’t have that flip-flopper reputation for nothing.

Prius is the only survivor of $3 million car crash

A car crash in Japan that's being hailed as the most expensive ever, even though it totally wasn't, totaled eight Ferraris, a Lamborghini, and three Mercedes…es. (Ugh, I just looked it up and Mercedes looks like a fifth-declension noun with the nominative plural "Mercedes," so I can't even make up a cutesy Latinate plural, WHATEVER LATIN.) Nobody was seriously injured, so you can feel free to point and laugh a little bit at the 1 percent getting their fancy toys smashified (to the tune of an estimated $3 million, no less). Here's where it gets really funny, though: The crash …

Efficiency standards are the SINGLE BIGGEST CLIMATE DEAL EVER

The U.S. federal government teamed up with all of the major auto manufacturers and hammered out a deal to double the average fuel efficiency of all vehicles on the road by 2025 — to 54.5 miles per gallon. New vehicles sold under the program will save "a total of four billion barrels of oil and prevent two billion metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution," reports Tom Friedman, whose most recent stab at being a cleantech advocate almost redeems all that time he spent misdirecting us on foreign policy.  According to Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign of the …

Electric car ad from 1912

Matt Novak of the always worthwhile blog PaleoFuture just stumbled across this ad for an electric car — from 1912. The Columbus Buggy Company once employed 1,000 people in a factory that produced horse-drawn carriages, and at the dawn of the automobile it attempted to make the leap to motorized versions. At the time, there was nothing odd about electric cars, given that no one had any preconceived notions about how a car should operate. Then Henry Ford rolled out the Model T and the rest is history. 

Interactive map shows hybrid and electric car sales in your area

See the map This interactive map from NPR, which shows hybrid and electric car sales figures across the U.S., is a handy way of calculating the hippie concentration of your area at a single glance. But it also might help predict which areas will get EV infrastructure soonest, because of high demand. Also, it's kind of neat. San Francisco is leading the pack, no surprise there, and on the whole the West Coast is seeing more green car sales than the East Coast or the Midwest. I'm surprised that my city, D.C., had the highest hybrid and EV sales percentage …

After-school EV club is so much cooler than yearbook

In Kansas City, Mo., high school students enrolled in the after-school program Minddrive are building an electric car. They meet three times every two weeks. They started with a decade-old Reynard Champ Car, and have turned it into an electric vehicle that will drive from Jacksonville, Fla., to San Diego, Calif., over their spring break. Every 100 miles, they will stop to recharge the car and meet with other students to talk about electric vehicles. The extra awesome part of this program is that it's targeted to students that haven't been thriving in traditional classrooms. In Minddrive, they learn actual …

Uganda’s electric car is super cute

Meet the Kiira. It was built in Uganda, from parts mostly sourced in Uganda. It's a triumph of "African Science," a phrase that reminds this reporter of "gay parking," but whatever. And it is adoooooooorable. The Kiira is a two-seater that can go 50 miles on a charge, with a top speed of around 60 mph. It was built by students at Uganda's Makerere University, and not by Santa’s elves, like you might think from looking at it. Some people hate the Kiira. But some people club baby fur seals to death, so whatever.

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