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Motor Trend Car of the Year? 2011 Chevrolet Volt

So, you going to buy one?

Tags: gm, chevrolet, volt, green, domestic

Motor Trend Car of the Year? 2011 Chevrolet Volt
Motor Trend loves giving out awards, but its most coveted piece of hardware is undoubtedly its Car of the Year trophy. This year, the golden calipers have been bestowed upon the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

General Motors' joins a long line of Motor Trend COTY winners that date all the way back to 1949. Last year, the Ford Fusion took home the prize and prior to that, the Nissan GT-R claimed the magazines coveted spot. The Chevrolet Volt is a hard hitter in each of MT's six categories: Advancement in Design, Engineering Excellence, Efficiency, Safety, Value and Performance of Intended Function.

Source: AutoBlog

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GM Lied

Chevy Volt Is Not a True EV

Tags: gm, chevrolet, volt, green, electric, domestic

GM Lied
It's the big headline currently on GM's media news site:

"2011 Chevrolet Volt Reinvents Automotive Transportation In A Complete No Compromises Electric Package"

Um, well, no. Even conceding that all engineering projects involve compromise and chalking that phrase up to marketing hyperbole, the Chevy Volt isn't as electric as GM pretends it is. And it isn't as electric as GM has been saying for the past three years. You know, GM statements like this one:

"The Chevrolet Volt is not a hybrid. It is a one-of-a-kind, all-electrically driven vehicle designed and engineered to operate in all climates."

In fact the Chevy Volt is a plug-in hybrid and it has more in common with conventional "series-parallel" hybrids like the Toyota Prius than the marketing hype led us to believe. There are circumstances in which the Volt operates with the internal combustion engine directly driving the front wheels. That's right, like a Prius.

At the heart of the Volt is the "Voltec" propulsion system and the heart of Voltec is the "4ET50" electric drive unit that contains a pair of electric motors and a "multi-mode transaxle with continuously variable capacity." This is how GM describes it:

"Unlike a conventional powertrain, there are no step gears within the unit, and no direct mechanical linkage from the engine, through the drive unit to the wheels."

The 4ET50 is, however, in fact directly bolted to the 1.4-liter, four-cylinder Ecotec internal combustion engine. When the Volt's lithium-ion battery pack runs down, clutches in the 4ET50 engage and the Ecotec engine is lashed to the generator to produce the electric power necessary to drive the car. However, under certain circumstances — speeds near or above 70 mph — the engine will directly drive the front wheels in conjunction with the electric motors.

Source: InsideLine

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General Motors bringing back mild hybrids

Next year green is coming back in full force.

Tags: gm, hybrid, green, domestic

General Motors bringing back mild hybrids
General Motors has announced that it will jump back into the mild hybrid game by the third quarter of 2011. Larry Nitz, the company's director of hybrid and electric powertrain engineering, made the announcement at a seminar in Traverse City, Michigan, though he declined to comment on exactly which models would get the fuel-saving tech next year. Nitz did say that at least one American model and one Chinese model would be a mild hybrid by the end of 2011, which leads us to believe that the tech will work its way into the Buick lineup.

GM walked away from mild hybrids after Saturn was sent to the company's scrap heap. At the time, both the Chevrolet Malibu and the Saturn Vue wore the tech, but with the Vue out of the picture, the company couldn't justify the cost of investing in the drivetrains. Unlike a full hybrid, mild-hybrid vehicles can't cruise along on just electric power. Instead, the system allows the gasoline engine to shut off when the vehicle is stopped. The electric motor then starts the engine again when the accelerator pedal is depressed.

If we were guessing, we'd say that GM will debut the rebirth of the tech on the Buick LaCrosse – a model that has enjoyed equal success in China and has the potential to revitalize the brand in the U.S.

Source: AutoBlog

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Leno Not Impressed by Chevrolet Volt

Haters gonna hate.

Tags: leno, gm, chevrolet, volt, green, electric, domestic

Leno Not Impressed by Chevrolet Volt
Late-night comic and "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno, who has been courted by General Motors Co. to help build buzz for the Chevrolet Volt, zinged the automaker with a backhanded compliment to the highly anticipated electric car.

GM executives gave Leno a Volt late last year to test drive, but the noted gearhead -- who says he is excited about the Volt launch later this year and hasn't ruled out buying one -- likened the extended-range electric car to an underwhelming compact model being phased out by GM's Chevrolet brand. More in the jump!

"If you didn't know, you might think it's a Cobalt or a Camry," Leno said in an interview with The Detroit News to promote a Saturday charity performance at the Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills. Leno will be inducted into the Walter P. Chrysler Legacy Circle along with former Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca, NASCAR champion Richard Petty and the late Chrysler design chief Virgil Exner.

"I don't think there's a lot of cachet in having the first one," said Leno, who owns a 17,000-square-foot garage stocked with rare and exotic vehicles. "It's meant to be a people mover, not a people impresser.

"It's not like when you pull into Bob's Big Boy parking lot with the Volt, you're going to open the hood," Leno said, referring to a landmark classic car hotspot in Burbank, Calif.

Yes, you do, GM spokesman Rob Peterson said.

"We've pulled into Bob's Big Boy parking lot, opened the hood and drawn some great attention," he said, noting the Volt was at the diner late last year in conjunction with the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Source: Detroit News

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Volt to Get 8 Year, 100,000-Mile Battery Warranty

Volt’s long-life battery warranty most comprehensive of any electric vehicle.

Tags: gm, chevrolet, volt, domestic, green, electric

Volt to Get 8 Year, 100,000-Mile Battery Warranty
The Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range will provide customers with an unprecedented, standard, eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on its advanced, lithium-ion battery. It is the automotive industry’s longest, most comprehensive battery warranty for an electric vehicle, and is transferable at no cost to other vehicle owners.

“The Chevrolet Volt’s batteries have exceeded our performance targets and are ready to hit the road,” said Micky Bly, GM executive director, global electrical systems. “Our customers are making a commitment to technology that will help reduce our dependence on petroleum. In turn, we are making a commitment to our customers to deliver the highest standards for value, safety, quality, performance and reliability for an unprecedented eight years/100,000 miles.”

The Volt’s comprehensive battery warranty covers all 161 battery components, 95 percent of which are designed and engineered by GM, in addition to the thermal management system, charging system and electric drive components.

Source: GM

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Tesla Roadster 2.5 unveiled

New look, new features.

Tags: tesla, roadster, electric, green

Tesla Roadster 2.5 unveiled
Hot on the heels of Tesla Motors making headlines with its initial public offering, the electric-car maker decided to unveil the Tesla Roadster 2.5, and updated version of its popular Roadster electric sports car.

“Although development of the Model S is our main focus, this shows that we still care a great deal about improving the Tesla Roadster,” said Tesla CEO Elon Musk. “These improvements are a direct result of customer feedback and come only a year after release of Roadster 2.0, showing an exceptionally rapid pace of innovation. Where feasible, we will also offer existing customers the ability to purchase the upgrades now available in version 2.5.”

What news for the Tesla Roadster 2.5? First off a new look includes a new front fascia with diffusing vents, a new rear diffuser, directional forged wheels available in both silver and black, new seats with more comfort/lumbar support, power control hardware that enables spirited driving
in exceptionally hot climates, an optional 7″ touchscreen display with a rear back-up camera and interior sound reduction including new front fender liner material make the cabin even quieter.

The Tesla 2.5 Roadster is available for order now.

Source: eGMCarTech
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NHTSA Opens Prius Brake Probe

Toyota has seen better days.

Tags: toyota, prius, recall, green, electric, import

NHTSA Opens Prius Brake Probe
The U.S. Department of Transportation on Thursday joined Japan's Ministry of Transport in opening a formal defect investigation into brake problems on the 2010 Toyota Prius.

The U.S. investigation, to be conducted by DOT's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, was announced shortly after Toyota startled media and industry watchers early Thursday with the acknowledgement that it had been aware of Prius brake issues for months and that it had already implemented a fix to some cars, without notifying Prius owners or the general public.

NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) said it has received 124 reports from Prius owners "alleging a momentary reduction in braking performance while traveling over an uneven road surface, a pothole or a bump."

ODI already has been conducting preliminary fieldwork and said four of the complaints involve crashes, with injuries in two instances.

From its Torrance, California, headquarters Toyota Motor said it would cooperate with the NHTSA investigation and will keep the agency informed of the progress of its own work.

Source: InsideLine

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Land Rover working on Range Rover Sport Hybrid

Time for SUVs to get green.

Tags: land rover, range rover, hybrid, green, european

Land Rover working on Range Rover Sport Hybrid
Land Rover has confirmed that it is working on five Range Rover Sport Hybrid prototypes for next year to kick off a test project ahead of the models sales launch in 2012. According to AutoCar, the Range Rover Sport Hybrid will emit just 100g/km of CO2 emissions and will offer an electric-only driving range of as much as 20 miles.

If Land Rover is able to hit CO2 levels of 100g/km, it will top the popular Lexus RX450h, which emits 148g/km of CO2.

Power for the Range Rover Sport Hybrid will come from a new 3.0L V6 diesel engine mated to a 25kW electric motor. There are no concrete details on how the model will travel 20 miles on battery power alone, but it is said that the hybrid SUV will work as a plug-in hybrid vehicle.

Source: eGMCarTech

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Cadillac Converj Greenlighted?

Detroit News is saying so...

Tags: gm, cadillac, converj, hybrid, green, concept, domestic

Cadillac Converj Greenlighted?
General Motors Co. has decided to produce the Cadillac Converj, an extended-range electric car using the same technology as the Chevrolet Volt, The Detroit News has learned.

Cadillac included the Converj, a concept car that wowed industry critics and the public at the 2009 North American International Auto Show, in a presentation made to the automaker's board of directors Nov. 2, according to sources familiar with the production plan.

A production date has not been set, and it likely will be a few years before consumers can buy a Converj. A Cadillac spokesman declined comment.

Before GM emerged from bankruptcy July 10 with about $50 billion in federal aid, company executives said there were no plans to build the angular Converj.

At the auto show, Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said if the Converj was approved, the production model would resemble the concept, likening it to the Chevrolet Camaro's evolution from concept to production.

Source: Detroit News

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GM has 50,000 intenders to buy a Volt

That's a good sign!

Tags: gm, chevrolet, volt, green, hybrid, domestic

GM has 50,000 intenders to buy a Volt
Bob Lutz, vice chairman in charge of marketing, says 50,000 people have registered at Web sites and indicate a strong intention to buy the vehicle, which is scheduled to arrive in November 2010.

But many may be scared off by sticker shock. Sources familiar with GM's plans have said the price will be about $40,000.

A federal tax credit of up to $7,500 will take some sting out of the price.

GM will build about 10,000 Volts next year. In 2011, the company expects to build 50,000 to 60,000 Volts. GM plans to ratchet up Volt marketing at the Los Angeles auto show in December.

Once GM has about 200 preproduction Volts in stock next year, it will "pull out the heavy artillery and get Volt buzz" going with media and customer events, Lutz says.

Source: AutoNews

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Porsche CEO confirms working on electric car

It's the new thing to do!

Tags: porsche, green, electric, exotic

Porsche CEO confirms working on electric car
Speaking for the first time publicly at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, Porsche’s new CEO, Michael Macht, said that the Stuttgart automaker is “considering and working hard on an electric-powered sports car that would meet the high demands of the Porsche brand.”

“I am also convinced that one day Porsche will have an electric sports car in its line-up,” said Macht. He cautioned that so far the available battery technology is not “sufficient to meet Porsche’s strict requirements.”

Macht said that Porsche engineers are working hard on improving battery technology and that “an electric sports car would therefore only make sense for Porsche if it offers performance and a cruising range similar to that of current sports cars in the market.”

“We are therefore taking the first step in this direction with a full hybrid – in the Cayenne, the Panamera and maybe in the not too distant future also in a racing car or a production 911. Why not?,” he said.

Source: eGMCarTech

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Online survey for the hints at Chevy Volt Price

Sounds like it could be $32,000 after tax credit.

Tags: gm, chevrolet, volt, hybrid, green, domestic

Online survey for the hints at Chevy Volt Price
A recent survey making its way around to those interested in purchasing the 2011 Chevrolet Volt next year has revealed some pricing details on the new plug-in hybrid.

In the short 15-minute survey GM said: “Depending on content, the vehicle will effectively cost between $32,000 -$38,000 after a tax credit of $7,500.”

The survey also showed that an optional 220V charger will be sold between $800 and $1500. GM says that the cost of operating a Volt will be 2 cents per mile.

The 2011 Chevrolet Volt will carry a 16kWh electric-motor that runs on lithium-ion batteries. It will be able to travel 40 miles on battery-power alone. After battery power is depleted a small 1.4L 4-cylinder engine will kick in to provide a driving range of more than 300 miles.

Source: eGMCarTech

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Fisker to Make Announcement About $39K Hybrid

Now we're talking affordable.

Tags: fisker, hybrid, green

Fisker to Make Announcement About $39K Hybrid
Kleiner Perkins investor, and former President of Oracle, Ray Lane, said that electric vehicle maker startup Fisker is gearing up to make a major announcement about a $39,000 plug-in hybrid vehicle later this week or next week. The venture capitalist, whose firm funded Fisker, let the news slip at the AlwaysOn Going Green conference in Sausalito, Calif. on Tuesday. Fisker has already developed its inaugural plug-in car the Karma, which will be sold for $87,900, but as Lane put it on the panel “who would not want to buy a Fisker Karma if you could afford it.”

Does that mean that Fisker has received a Department of Energy loan? In March, Henrik Fisker, founder and CEO of the Irvine, Calif.-based company, said that Fisker plans to refurbish a factory in the U.S. and develop a lower-cost plug-in hybrid car than its $87,900 Fisker Karma if DOE loans come through. Back then Fisker did not specify how much money the company requested, but said “If we get the DOE loan we will start the project this year. . . It could be in the market in as little as 26 months from when we start.”

Fisker Automotive has raised some $100 million since its founding in 2007, but, like Tesla, needs much more to build an auto factory and produce a cheaper plug-in at scale. Competitor Tesla received a DOE $465 million loan in June.

Source: earth2tech

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Fisker: Karma to average 67 MPG

Luxury hybrids are becoming enticing.

Tags: fisker, karma, electric, hybrid, green, other

Fisker: Karma to average 67 MPG
Fisker says that its 403-horsepower Karma high-performance luxury hybrid will average an impressive 67 mpg in the combined cycle and it will emit just 83 g/km of CO2. The automaker says that the extra-green sedan will cost about $0.03 per mile to operate.

Fisker had a production-ready version of its Karma high-performance hybrid-electric sedan on display at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Though not quite a series production model, the Karma on display was significantly closer to production than the concept car shown previously. Ultra-luxurious inside and out, the Karma is aimed at well-heeled enthusiasts looking to use a little less fuel.

The Karma’s styling is modestly tweaked from the concept car and the interior is considerably better finished. Every surface is covered in hides with a rubbery finish – good for cornering, bad for entry/exit. Fisker showed the Karma with two sets of golf clubs in the trunk, further illustrating its no-compromises intent.

Production is expected to begin in mid- to late-2009. The company says it is sold out of the $87,900 (base price) through mid-2010.

Source: LeftLaneNews

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Hybrids-Only Bikini Car Wash

They are anti-performance. But at least they look good.

Tags: hybrid, green, other

Hybrids-Only Bikini Car Wash
Usually, I don't condone these green hippies. But, they are in bikinis. One of my weaknesses.

Source: Angry Green Girl
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FQuick Blog Staff