Aug 9, 2011
With the Toyota Prius outselling all other green car competitors with annual sales of approximately400,000 units sold annually worldwide, the Prius has become the face of the green car revolution whileleaving its competitors out of the limelight. This lack of attention from the general public has leadmanufacturers to develop new innovations in electric and hybrid technology that have the means to dethrone Toyota as the new breakout green vehicle.
In a new green car comparison, manufacturers like Nissan with the Leaf and SMART with the ForTwo Coupe have surpassed Toyota’s Prius when put in a side by side comparison. From this comparison, it isclear to see that these new competitors in the green car market are gaining headway on Toyota as theyhave been ranked higher than the Prius in categories such as Air Pollution score, MPG, and overall greenrating.
Although the sales numbers for the Leaf and the ForTwo Coupe are abysmal in when compared to thatof the Prius, they are growing rapidly with cars like the Nissan Leaf selling over 10,000 units worldwidein its very first year of production. With these cars scoring higher in green testing, it is only a matter oftime before we see a new powerhouse in the green car market.
May 22, 2011
With the electric and hybrid cars making a splash as THE green cars of the future, the hydrogen fuel cell cars seems to have been forgotten.
Here are just some examples of how the Hydrogen car has fallen:
- The current US Govt has plans of cutting spending on hydrogen technology by 40 percent next year.
- California’s plans of a hydrogen highway has gone nowhere.
- Some car manufacturers like Ford and Renault has focused more on electric cars now rather than hydrogen ones.
But people are still hanging on the idea of a hydrogen car in the future.
“Yes, there are a lot of opportunities for battery-powered vehicles, but in many ways, the opportunities for fuel cells are much bigger,” says Herbert Kohler, head of the Daimler AG research unit that is developing electric and other alternative-fuel technologies.
If one compares an electric to a hydrogen car, it totally beats it. An electric vehicle can run at an average of 100 miles before the next recharge, while a hydrogen one can go 240 miles. Fuel cells are much more powerful therefore it can power big vehicles like SUVs and trucks.
Car manufacturers like Toyota has found ways to even further downsizing the fuel cells, lowering its cost. According to them a Toyota hydrogen car may cost around $50,000 and be ready come 2015.
May 16, 2011
Fisker Automotive Inc., a Finnish Hybrid car manufacturer has just received a $100 Million investment from unknown stakeholders.
The company has only just finished raising $190 million in an additional investment round in March, pushing the total raised funds above $1 billion. The extra $100 million is expected to ensure an initial production target of 3000 units for the Fisker Karma is met.
The Fisker Karma is an electric hybrid car. It has a 2-litre Ecotec turbocharged petrol motor, with gas consumption at 2.4L/100 kms. It’s also expected to run 0 to 100 kmh at 5.8 seconds.
With the additional money supporting it, it is now expected to appear on showrooms within May or June this year.
May 13, 2011
According to German Media, Volkswagen and its subsidiary Audi is planning a package where when one buys a green car, he or she has the option to buy the fuel that comes with it as well.
Audi announced on Thursday evening it would invest in four large wind turbines at a cost of tens of millions of euros. The company declined to say who its partner would be, but the FTD reported that talks were underway with Bard, which runs the Borkum offshore wind farm.
I think this is a good plan for Volkswagen as it not only becomes a car manufacturer but also a possible alternative fuel seller.
May 12, 2011
Google and Ford, two of the biggest names in their industries have decided to join forces to create the best green car possible.
The deal was first announced at the recently held Google I/O Developers conference. Ford said that it is keen on applying the Google Prediction API in its own research to predict drivers’ behaviour on the street.
The reason behind it was that by predicting driver habits, Ford can find ways to optimize engine functions that would result into better hybrid or electric cars.
The result of all this planning and predicting may come to fruition in four to eight years from now.
May 11, 2011
Great movies influence people. The more they like it the more they are inclined to try it out, especially if it’s based on reality (nope, you can’t do Thor sorry). Wouldn’t it be great if a movie could help influence people to buy green cars?
A good example of a movie affecting how people buy and/or use their cars is The Fast and the Furious franchise. According to the statistics in this site, when the first movie was released 2001, the compact performance products sales went up to $2.86 Billion. At the end of 2002, the sales was at $3 Billion. There was also a 25 percent in performance and racing products. This is all good for the movie franchise but won’t help in decreasing the dependence on gasoline.
Maybe a Fast and the Furious Green Car version movie would do well?
Image via Wikimedia Commons (Copyleft License)
Apr 27, 2011
Electric cars not only allow you to save money by not buying gas, not only does it reduce the carbon emissions around you, it may also save your life.
According to some crash tests don on both the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt, they performed really well. The reason for their performance? Weight.
“They behave like heavier cars, and in a crash that can be a good thing,” Wiesenfelder told FOX Business Network’s Jeff Flock. “All other things being equal, heavier cars fare better in crashes.”
Specifically, the battery is so heavy that the roof strength needs to be reinforced. This results in the roofs not buckling as much during crashes.
Apr 25, 2011
The hybrid car is not a recent concept as the The Lohner-Porsche Semper Vivus shows. It’s a car that was originally designed and created in 1900.
The Lohner-Porsche Semper Vivus uses a gas engine to run a small generator, which in turn provides power to a pair of electric hub motors built inside the front wheels. A battery can run the car if you run out of fuel, which was kind of a problem back in 1900 when there wasn’t a gas station on every corner.
An additional trivia is that this car has also inspired NASA’s drive system of its Lunar Rover. Hopefully it will also serve as inspiration to other car manufacturers to go green.
Apr 20, 2011
What do you an electric car that can go hybrid and also has an electric scooter in the back to boot? It’s the Geely’s McCar.
Here’s some of the details:
The 12kWh battery version has a range of 93 miles, a top speed of 52mph and takes six hours to recharge. Equivalent figures for the 8kWh plug-in hybrid are 31 miles on electric power and 373 miles on petrol and battery, with a top speed of 80mph and a recharge time of two hours.
The tiny scooter, which parks in the back of the McCar, does 18mph and has a range of 18 miles, after which it requires a two-hour charge.
Certainly not your run of the mill Electric or Hybrid Car.
[Article via: The Telegraph | Image via: Andrew English]
Apr 13, 2011
America’s largest auto club, AAA, just released their top green cars per category. We have to admit that most who were voted were already expected, but still it bears to hear them out as to why they were chosen:
Top Electric Powered Car: The Nissan Leaf
The car is comfortable and the driving experience is enjoyable. Depending on traffic, speed and temperature, owners can expect to travel 50 to 80 miles on a single charge.
Top Plug-in Hybrid: Chevrolet Volt
Owners can plug in the car for recharging overnight then drive 25 to 40 miles before the gasoline engine starts to recharge the batteries. For most drivers, this range covers the daily commute, suggesting that the gasoline engine will rarely be needed.
Top Gasoline-Electric Hybrids: Toyota Prius
Its fuel economy is outstanding, with many owners reporting 50-plus miles to the gallon in daily driving. Making the vehicle even more appealing is a surprisingly roomy and flexible interior.
[Article & Image via: Press Release]