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280 posts categorized "Cars Be Green & Eco-Conscious"

December 18, 2013

Fighting Range Anxiety in the Electric 2014 Chevrolet Spark

2014-Chevrolet-SparkEV-008By Matt Kelly

"It’s a rocket,” said Dave Barthmuss, GM’s Western Region PR Manager, when I took delivery of the new 2014 Chevy Spark EV for a four-day test drive in Southern California.

Able to reach 0 to 60 mph in less than 7.6 seconds, all on pure battery electric power, Barthmuss was right about the spritely performance of the electric Spark: That’s pretty good performance for an electric car. Based on the Beat, one of GM’s global triplet concept cars unveiled at the 2007 New York International Auto Show and designed at the automaker’s Korean design studio, the four-passenger Spark EV has a top speed of 90 mph and boasts 105 kilowatts (140 horsepower) of electric drive power. Not that speed was my primary interest when I took delivery however, but speed and quick pick-up did come in handy when I wanted to change lanes or merge in front of that driver talking on his cell phone while driving 75 mph in a gas-guzzling SUV on LA’s tightly packed 101 and 405 highways. But I digress.

Continue reading "Fighting Range Anxiety in the Electric 2014 Chevrolet Spark " »

December 11, 2013

At The Los Angeles Auto Show, Hyundai's Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Is The Next Big Thing

2013_Los_Angeles_Auto_Show-BAS_6950-Hyundai_Tucson_hydrogen_fuel_cellThe Los Angeles Auto show was a buzz with “Green Automobiles,” the alternatives to the gasoline-powered internal combustion engines  (ICE) we are all so accustomed to driving. Seems to me that electric automobiles have been increasing in popularity for the last couple of years!

Manufacturers have made some great progress with plug-in electric automobiles: they’ve increased the distances the automobiles are able to go on a single charge, and there are more charging station outlets available for electric car drivers to use.  Fisker and Tesla  have also made sure that frumpy style is no longer an issue. Automakers have even made great strides to reduce cost and make the electric automobile much more affordable and appealing to mainstream public. However much to my surprise electric automobile reveals were not the only big thing at the Auto show this year: it was actually the hydrogen fuel cell automobile presented by Hyundai stealing the “green” show…

Continue reading "At The Los Angeles Auto Show, Hyundai's Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Is The Next Big Thing" »

November 26, 2013

Nissan Takes a New Path for Families with the 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid

2014_Nissan_Pathfinder_hybrid-frontview_0657By Sue Mead

Nissan went after families when remaking the Pathfinder last year. This somewhat trucky SUV morphed into a kinder, gentler crossover with an uplevel interior that can carry seven passengers and, at the same time, tote up to 16 cubic feet of cargo; there’s even way more room when you have fewer riders.

What could be better? Nissan realized that many women with children are also looking for the better fuel economy, so has now expanded its Pathfinder lineup, adding the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid to the list of 14 available models that include both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive (4WD) versions.

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November 05, 2013

Green Facts About Ford’s Environmentally Friendly F-150 Pickup Truck

2014_Ford_F150_sustainable-pickup-truckMost people don’t think that a truck can be tough and green. However, the 2014 Ford F-150 is proving everyone wrong when it comes to reducing the truck’s environmental impact.

Ford now uses several sustainable materials -- including rice hulls, and many others -- inside the vehicle to make it more ecofriendly.

“Fuel economy is a top priority when it comes to Ford’s environmental impact,” says Carrie Majeske, Ford product sustainability manager. “But we also recognize the tremendous impact that can be made by using sustainable materials inside our cars, utilities, and trucks.”

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August 12, 2013

2013 Ford Escape From A BMW X5 Owner's Perspective

Ford Escape 2014
2014 Ford Escape

When you put a friend whose main ride is a fully loaded 2010 BMW X5 into the driver’s seat of a 2013 Ford Escape, you kind of hold your breath.

Then again, this Escape was all new: a delightful ginger metallic color with 19-inch painted aluminum wheels and silver roof rails. The charcoal black interior had leather-trimmed seats and a Sync activated voice system that Kathy quickly figured out. All in all, it was a pretty snazzy ride.

Kathy settled in and murmured,  “Nice seats, much more comfortable than my car.” Hmmmm…

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July 22, 2013

Nissan's 2014 Versa Note is Your ‘Door to More’!

2014-Nissan-Versa-NOTE-sue-mead-lead_1168By Sue Mead

What is the 2014 Nissan Versa Note?

With three names and three trim lines, the 2014 Nissan Versa Note  seems like a lot of car, at least on paper. But call it simply ‘the Note’ as they do in non-U.S. automotive markets around the globe, and you’ve got a straightforward, family-friendly small people-hauler with some nice features, notable options, and helpful technology under the hood. The Note is a small car with lots of features for women to love. The attractively-designed, five-door, five-passenger hatchback is especially “cargo friendly” for its size, and has been value priced starting at $13,999 making it the lowest-priced hatch in its segment.

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July 19, 2013

Volt Owners Exceeding EPA Electric-Driving Estimates

Chevrolet-Volt-Electric-Driving-miles-infographic“Your mileage may vary,” says the familiar disclaimer, and it’s not often a vehicle delivers better fuel economy than originally promised. However, according to a recent release from Chevrolet, many Volt owners are not only consistently achieving the published EPA-estimated mileage of its 98 MPGe gasoline-free mile estimates, many are even exceeding it.

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July 05, 2013

2014 Acura MDX: Updated According to Consumer Feedback

 

2014-Acura-MDX-frontview_0090One of the most interesting aspects of being an automotive writer is discovering the back-story behind the technical, physical, and design elements of creating a better vehicle. Like fashion, electronics, and other industries, automakers update their products every year. But, how and why do they do it? 

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July 01, 2013

Speaking Of Alternate Fuels, Have You Heard Of “E-Gas”?


2014-Audi-A3-sportback-e-gas-g-tron-frontview-A3120283It begins with green electricity, water, and carbon dioxide. The end products are hydrogen and a synthetic methane Audi calls “e-gas.” It is virtually identical to fossil natural gas and is climate neutral. Audi opened an e-gas plant in Germany this week, making it the first automobile manufacturer to develop its own sustainable energy chain, but major German energy utilities have since taken up the idea of power-to-gas cogeneration and are following Audi with initial projects of their own.

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June 28, 2013

Infographic: What Do Car Buying Patterns Say About Your Neighborhood?

Ford-Escape-Greenest-Geekiest-CitiesWhat do car sales patterns tell about regional consumer preferences? More than you might think. According to Ford sales data on the new Escape and Explorer, San Francisco residents are tech geeks, Philadelphia residents are more eco friendly than the rest of the nation, Seattle seems to be the leader in mindful driving, and New Yorkers are stargazers.

Those are just a few of the findings from Ford’s annual look at U.S. car-buying preferences. Analysis of its U.S. sales data helps Ford identify buying patterns and to better understand unique consumer preferences by region. The analysis helps Ford ensure it is delivering the specific vehicles and options to those parts of the country where they’re most in demand.

“Across America – from its most sprawling suburban areas to its largest industrial centers – technology now plays a defining role in millions’ lives,” said Scott Steinberg, technology analyst for strategic consulting firm TechSavvy Global. “Going forward, from better ways to connect and communicate to more energy-efficient travel, innovative and eco-friendly solutions are only expected to have a growing impact on how we live, work and play.”

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