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It’s not dead yet! The electric car makes a comeback, again, maybe

There are a couple of things you ought to know about the new film Revenge of the Electric Car, director Chris Paine's sequel to his 2006 documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? First, this would be more aptly named The Running Saga of the Electric Car, or better yet, How The Electric Car Gets Its Ass Kicked Over And Over, But Keeps Crawling Back for More. The second thing you should know is that this is a movie made to appeal to car freaks -- read: most Americans -- but even if you consider yourself above all that, as you …

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One-wheeled electric motorcycle is like a Segway, but cool

Sure, the RYNO looks like the hideous progeny of a motorcycle and a unicycle (nobody likes to talk about that night behind the circus tents), but it could be your new means of urban transportation. It runs off a lithium-ion battery that recharges in 90 minutes, has a smaller footprint than a Vespa, and is easily maneuvered even in a group of pedestrians. With a top speed of 25 miles per hour and a top incline capacity of 30 degrees, its range and capabilities are pretty similar to a bike. But come on, some days you're just tired.

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Hybrid power plant turns wind directly into automotive fuel

Enertrag is a new hybrid power plant whose parent company invites you to "drive to [your] local petrol station and fill up with 50 litres of wind … !!!" Three exclamation points! Renewable energy has made Germans so adorable. Their website even has a picture of German chancellor Angela Merkel showing off a tank of hydrogen gas like it's a baby panda. The idea is simple: Use tried-and-true methods to transform wind power into electricity, which is used to electrolyze water and strip out the hydrogen, which can then be used as automobile fuel or burned in a combined heat …

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Why does ABC News hate electric cars?

Elon Musk, billionaire founder of Skype, wants to revolutionize the landscape of American cars with his Tesla Motors Model S sedan. He's already got a contract with Toyota, and he's been lauded by every outlet that knows what the hell it's talking about. So why does ABC News want to smear Tesla as the next Solyndra? "The cringe-worthy fail [begins] in the intro, which sets the segment’s tone and frames the subsequent reporting," writes Mike Orcutt in The New Fuelist.  Host Terry Morgan leads with this: Two and a half years ago President Obama pushed a $787 billion stimulus bill …

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Solar airship is most efficient way to fly, ever

How can you carry huge amounts of cargo thousands of miles with no fuel and no infrastructure? By combining an airship with an airplane, of course. The resulting wing-shaped blimp requires less helium than a conventional dirigible, but has a shorter takeoff than an airplane. Hybrid Air Vehicles has been proposing this for years, but upstart Solar Ship has taken the additional step of designing a craft that can be powered entirely by the sun. It's intended to service remote areas without roads, where fuel and even runways aren't available. It comes in three sizes. Caracal class Solar Ships are for …

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The facts on Fisker: The media’s latest faux scandal

The Fisker Karma, sexy but not scandalous. Photo: Fisker AutomotiveHere we go again. ABC News and iWatch have a big new report out that desperately tries to lend an air of scandal to another Department of Energy loan guarantee. It's a remarkable package, nearly 3,000 words and three ABC News segments full of handwaving and innuendo suggesting that there's something shady going on, using the word "Solyndra" as often as possible, but in the end there's ... nothing. Not a single bit of evidence of wrongdoing or corruption. It's a gigantic nothingburger. It just describes the loan program working exactly …

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Electric vehicles improve fuel economy even if people don’t buy them

The first version of a radical new technology always gets off to a slow start -- remember what they said about the first iPhone? -- and so it is with the all-electric Nissan Leaf and plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt. Yet both vehicles are having an unexpected effect on their makers' bottom line. By getting people into the showroom, they’re helping to move other fuel efficient vehicles. Just having those vehicles in the showroom can translate into sales of other models, [said Oliver Hazimeh, an automotive industry consultant]. Shoppers come in to check out the electric vehicles but then drive off …

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Critical List: Climate change is happening (no, really!); the gas industry has some weird ideas

A Berkeley scientist who was once critical of climate science did an independent study that confirmed that climate change is happening and that common claims from skeptics are totally spurious. Skeptics are still skeptical. Three-quarters of Americans think that the government should push harder on developing clean energy. Shocker: The government also invested in electric cars and some of them were not perfect, i.e., THIS IS THE NEXT SOLYNDRA. Natural gas companies don't understand why the EPA would want to make rules about fracking wastewater disposal: "We'll do it in a responsible way! Well, at least, we do now, after …

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Northeastern states build giant electric vehicle network

A consortium of northeastern states stretching from New Hampshire down to Maryland is working together to construct an electric vehicle network. EV infrastructure is only just starting to build up, so it's great that states are coordinating on it, rather than each building their own system and creating a hodgepodge of nonsense that no sensible person could actually use. Instead, the Northeast Electric Vehicle Network is going to work on agreeing what the most sensible places are to locate charging stations and working with owners to help upgrade their home chargers. Commuter rail stations are one idea for plug-in locations; …

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Coming in 2013: Electric DeLorean!

The DeLorean Motor Company (not the original one but a reboot) will be coming out with an all-electric version of the iconic gull-wing auto in 2013 -- two years early for the events of Back to the Future II. Dear god, we'd better get cracking on those self-lacing shoes! The car has a top speed of 125 mph, though of course you'll only need 88 of them, and has a 260 horsepower engine. As usual with EVs, though, charging it is the real challenge. You think it's a pain to let your car charge overnight? You try stringing wires to the …