BYKES - Safe Physically Separated Bike Lanes Finally Make Their Way to East Harlem

Congratulations to the locals who fought to get better and safer streets!
http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/east-harlem-finally-got-separated-bike-lanes-video-nyc.html

CARS - Audi Planning 282 MPG Car (Yes, 282 MPG!)

Say what?! 282 MPG is a lot. Like, really, a lot. It's not the 984 MPG equivalent (MPGe) that bikes get, or the 700 MPGe or 315 MPGe pedestrians and runners tend to get, respectively. But other than those human-powered options, 282 MPG may very well be better than any common personal mode of transport I'm aware of. And it's getting pretty darn close to the efficiency of running, at least.
And, in all seriousness, it looks like Audi is really developing it and will eventually bring it to market... but we'll have to wait and see. Here's more from Chris DeMorro (who also mentions a 313 MPG VW I don't seem to recall reading about):

An Audi executive revealed that the German automaker is working on a project known as the "1.0-litre car" that will seat four people and deliver up to 282 mpg.
In an interview with AutoCar, Wolfgang Durheimer revealed that Audi was working on an ultra-efficient car, based on the A1 platform, that would deliver outstanding fuel efficiency. The "1.0-litre car" will be both affordable and practical, using some kind of hybrid system most likely in conjunction with a small diesel engine.
While Durheimer didn't go into any details, he did say that it won't use parent company Volkswagen's two-cylinder diesel that will debut in the 313 mpg XL1 two-seater. I expect we'll see some sort of plug-in hybrid with a small diesel engine, and Durheimer goes on to add that it will have all the creature comforts you expect from an Audi...though the interior and suspension may be a bit radical in order to shed weight.
If you'll recall, Durheimer is the same fellow who revealed that Audi was hoping to bring a diesel-hybrid supercar based on their Le Mans-winning design to market in the next few years.
Sounds good. Looking forward to seeing it!
Audi Planning 282 MPG Car (Yes, 282 MPG!) was originally published on: CleanTechnica
http://cleantechnica.com/2012/11/29/audi-planning-282-mpg-car-yes-282-mpg/

CARS - Ford Steps Up Branded-Goods Sales to Dealers, Consumers

Ford redoubled efforts to sell its growing collection of non-vehicle branded merchandise for Cyber Monday and got a satisfying result: The enterprise saw roughly an 80-percent increase in revenue over 2011.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/dalebuss/2012/11/30/ford-steps-up-branded-goods-sales-to-dealers-consumers/

CARS - Inside The $500,000 Rolls-Royce Phantom Aviator

Rolls-Royce is doing something different this year for the Los Angeles Auto Show. Instead of shuffling against the riff-raff at the convention center like everyone else, they're holding an invite-only viewing of their cars at a private villa in the Hollywood Hills.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/hannahelliott/2012/11/29/inside-the-500000-rolls-royce-phantom-aviator/

CARS - Jaguar F-Type at the Los Angeles Auto Show

The latest roadster from the British automaker.
http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mkm45gehej/jaguar-f-type/

CARS - LA Auto Show: Fiat 500E Debuts To Combat Global Warming, Start Global...Hotness?



Fiat 500e, so cute you just want to pinch her cheeks. Photo courtesy Katherine Tessier
Once again bringing overpowering sex appeal to the LA Auto Show as only Italians can, Fiat delivered some very steamy videos to promote their latest offerings. The 500c Cabriolet video was especially thrilling and tastefully done. The 500E video was charming, but between the woman being in the passenger seat, and the overdose of analogies to Viagra by the announcer, it could've been better. Yes, you want to make a sexy electric car. We get that. But Tesla and Fisker have already been doing so for years now.
On the other hand, the Fiat 500E is a sexy affordable electric car (granted, pricing hasn't been announced yet). If you ask me, the 500E is cute, well dressed, and rides like a real champ, but I'd hardly call any Fiat 500 "sexy". Even having had the most fun I've had on 4 wheels in the one I rented in England.
Sure, I'd take her for a romp again, but I wouldn't necessarily be showing her off to all my friends. She's that nice, practical girl next door with a lot of baggage from her tortured past (Fix It Again, Tony!) who's desperate to be sexy. Although they do an excellent job in marketing, with taglines such as "Stop Global Warming, Start Global Hotness!" and it is a great little car, there are far sexier Italian cars on the market. Read all about the 500e here.
THIS Fiat, on the other hand, is truly sexy.

1967 Fiat Dino Spider photo courtesy of ipocars.com
All that said, I'm glad to see Fiat going electric with the 500. The 500 is a fun car, and it is already very popular in Europe, and gaining popularity here in America. However, like the Smart and the Mini, the MPG is lower than it should be for such a small car. The Fiat 500 and the Mini both average 31mpg, while the Smart gets 36MPG.
Although this is great compared to that 1985 pickup truck you've traded it in for, it's just about average these days. According to the US DOE, there are 143 gasoline-powered vehicles on the market today in the US which get over 30MPG, so the Fiat has lots of competition in that arena.
However, the field of electric vehicles is much narrower. Enter the Fiat 500E, which gets a whopping 116 MPGe out of an 83kW electric motor with 147 ft lbs of torque. The Fiat 500E is reportedly capable of an estimated range over 80 miles from the 24 KwH battery pack. Expect the 500e at your local (ahem, if you're Californian) Fiat dealer in Spring 2013. Check Fiat's YouTube page for the videos we were shown today, they should be up eventually.
Other neat features on the 500e include:
  • 13% more aerodynamic than other 500's
  • Fiat 500e Smartphone App (compatible with iPhone and Android) that enables real-time vehicle status, manages charging, tracks the driver's energy use, locates the vehicle and nearby charging stations, plans and sends routes to the vehicle and provides text-message alerts.
  • TomTom Navigation unit shows the vehicle's charge schedule, range, and power-flow gauges, and can even request nearby charging stations with real-time availability.
It is also worth mentioning that Fiat debuted a four-door 500L and a cabriolet version of the Fiat 500 Abarth. But you're here for the EV, am I right?

Gallery Photos Courtesy of Fiat:
Looks right at home in San Francisco.her sexier brother.much prettier on the inside, with that excellent Italian craftsmanship.Her heart and mind exposed, just for you.2013 Fiat 500e Smartphone appdashboard screenshot.startup screenshot2013 Fiat 500eFiat 500e, so cute you just want to pinch her cheeks. Photo courtesy of Katherine Tessier http://ktessier.com1967 Fiat Dino Spider photo courtesy of ipocars.comThe post LA Auto Show: Fiat 500E Debuts To Combat Global Warming, Start Global...Hotness? appeared first on Gas 2.
http://gas2.org/2012/11/29/la-auto-show-fiat-500e-debuts-to-combat-global-warming-start-global-hotness/

CARS - New Cars To Avoid

Here's a rogues gallery of new cars and trucks for 2013 that fail to make the grade, based on a wide variety of sources.
http://www.forbes.com/pictures/ehmk45jeel/dodge-journey/

CARS - The Cars Drivers Love Best

Here's a list of 22 cars rated as being best loved by their owners according to the 2012 J.D. Power and Associates APEAL Study.
http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mkk45hdkl/subcompact-car-chevrolet-sonic/

CARS - Toyota Jazzes Up The 2013 RAV4 With Redesign

The newly redesigned 2013 Toyota RAV4, unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, looks more appealing than the model it replaces.
http://www.forbes.com/pictures/egdh45hlhh/a-new-look/

CARS - Would You Drive The New SUV From Mercedes? It's Huge.

At the Los Angeles Auto Show this week Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its Ener-G-Force concept SUV, a seven-passenger giant expected get 550 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/hannahelliott/2012/11/28/would-you-drive-mercedes-new-suv-it-looks-like-a-transformer/

ENERGY - The World's Biggest Oil Consumers

When it comes to using petroleum, there's the U.S. and then there's everyone else.

http://www.forbes.com/pictures/ehim45glih/1-united-states/

EVs - 2012 CODA Sedan

It?s hard not to admire the gumption of CODA, a four-year old California-based electric car and battery company. The first CODA vehicle, the 2012 CODA Sedan, is on sale now with a list price of $38,145, including $895 in destination charges.

http://www.forbes.com/pictures/ehim45hdjf/coda-logo/

EVs - 2013 Fiat 500e Recharges The Electric Vehicle



Fiat is planning on introducing the all-new 2013 Fiat 500e in the second quarter of 2013, and the company believes that this new small car "electrifies the next chapter of the brand's legacy by embodying the FIAT brand's simple, purposeful and fun-to-drive values - through iconic style, engaging dynamics and an environmentally responsible zero-emissions design."
Whatever that means.
Fiat 500e Builds a Greener Future for Chrysler
"The Fiat 500e changes the paradigm in an electric vehicle market that's quickly becoming crowded," said Tim Kuniskis, Head of FIAT Brand North America. "The Fiat 500e offers iconic Italian design and a great combination of performance and range, with battery technology that delivers consistent performance across all weather conditions."
Time and time again I'm surprised by my editor's insistence* that I write these car pieces. Why? you might ask? Because I'm nearly 30 and I still haven't bothered getting my drivers license. I don't get cars, but here I am reporting on them anyway.
To be fair, this new little Fiat looks really beautiful and according to the information provided by Fiat it is building towards a much greener future.
The new 2013 Fiat 500e is "designed to be a no-compromise electric vehicle" by building on the early Fiat "Cinquecento's successful small-car formula" by introducing an all-new battery-electric powertrain that is capable of producing 111 horsepower, recharges in less than 4 hours, and delivers nearly 130 kilometres (80 miles) of estimated driving range and over 160 kilometres (100 miles) in the city with no tailpipe emissions.

The 500e also comes with an all-new, world-class chassis and suspension for the new electric powertrain and an increase of 13% in aerodynamics thanks in part to over 140 hours of wind tunnel testing and refinement.
The Fiat press release is filled with hyperbole that simply leaves me baffled, but for those who want to witness the reason some public relations officers are paid more than others, here are a few highlights:
  • The all-new Fiat 500e pushes its iconic Italian design forward with its wind-tunnel-sculpted shape and retro-futuristic dot-matrix styled cues for a cutting-edge look.
  • Inside, 2013 Fiat 500e fuses retro-futuristic design with unique EV technology elements for an environment comprised of simplicity with innovation.
All in all, the new Fiat 500e will be a highlight of the 2013 automotive year and is set to arrive at the FIAT Studios in California sometime during the second quarter of 2013.
Source: Chrysler
*Editor's note: no writer is ever pressured to cover any particular story; however, a number of stories (regarding different types of cleantech) are throughout the day provided to writers to choose from (if they're into them). :D
2013 Fiat 500e Recharges The Electric Vehicle was originally published on: CleanTechnica

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/11/30/2013-fiat-500e-recharges-the-electric-vehicle/

EVs - 44% Of San Francisco's City CarShare Fleet Is Electric


City CarShare is the largest nonprofit carsharing organisation in North America, and it has recently increased its share of electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid vehicles to 44% in the San Francisco Bay Area with the introduction of two new Ford Focus all-electric vehicles.
City CarShare's fleet is now made up of 160 hybrids, 13 plug-in electric hybrids, and 5 all-electric vehicles.
This high percentage of electric vehicles helps City CarShare's fleet prevent 80 million pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere each year.
San Francisco City CarShare Electric Vehicles Hybrids
City CarShare Mitsubishi i-MiEV
"We are very close to meeting one of our mission goals of converting half of our fleet to electric or hybrid by 2015," says Rick Hutchinson, City CarShare CEO. "By offering innovative and greener mobility options to individuals and businesses, we are significantly reducing gas consumption and CO2 emissions, making the Bay Area a more livable place."
A recent survey of City CarShare members found that many favoured electric and hybrid vehicles as a transportation option. When asked why, members indicated the following reasons:
  1. curious about the technology
  2. environmental reasons
  3. to reduce petroleum or fossil fuels
  4. the potential for cost savings or fuel efficiency
  5. an affinity for new technology.
"City CarShare's expansive electric and hybrid fleet is the largest in the Bay Area and provides San Francisco residents and businesses with an environmentally-friendly choice that helps ease congestion on our City's streets and leads the way in environmental stewardship in this collaborative consumption economy," said Edwin M. Lee, Mayor of San Francisco.
44% Of San Francisco's City CarShare Fleet Is Electric was originally published on: CleanTechnica

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/11/29/44-of-san-franciscos-city-carshare-fleet-is-electric/

EVs - A123 Systems bankruptcy stalls Fisker Karma production

http://www.torquenews.com/1075/a123-systems-bankruptcy-stalls-fisker-karma-production

EVs - Better Place To Bring Electric Taxi Service To California in 2013

It?s not uncommon to see Tesla Roadsters and Model S?s silently rocketing down Bay Area roads, particularly along the 101 and 280 corridors, the highways that link Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Head south of San Jose and there?s even a Tesla Motors Supercharger station that lets Model S drivers add 150 miles of range to their electric rides in 30 minutes if they?re heading to Los Angeles.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddwoody/2012/11/29/better-place-to-bring-electric-taxi-service-to-california-in-2014/

EVs - Chevy Volt Driver's Savings After One Year (Getting 980 MPG!)


First of all, I'll just note that these are simply the results of one Chevy Volt driver. Not the best, not the worst. I'll get to some stats from other drivers after the repost.
After one of our dozens of Chevy Volt posts, a Volt driver dropped us a note that he had bought the car and had a blog going on his experiences with it. I was interested, so subscribed to the blog. Yesterday, "Volt Owner" posted an update showing his stats, including savings, after 1 year of driving the Volt. Here's his full post:
"I am not going to do a big write-up on this one. I think the numbers speak volumes. At the end of the year, I will calculate the yearly average price of fuel (will likely be about 20 cents higher than he current rates listed) and give a total. Look for that post around the one year anniversary mark, which will be January 7, 2013.
"If you drive a car that gets 23 MPG (the national average), the yearly savings based on my driving habits and electricity costs are going to be around $3000 PER YEAR."
volt miles savings
Kudos to this driver, for sure - 980 MPG! (And a savings of about $2000-3000 to reward him for that.)
But some others are actually fairing even better. "Volt Owner" would rank 58th on the Volt Stats site right now, based on MPG. (In actuality, my hunch is that this driver is #54 - @Voltdriver - but that's just a hunch.)
The current top 10 Volt drivers based on MPG (on that site) are as follows:
  1. Rocky Volt (100% electric so far!) - 15167.95 MPG! (92.45 MPGe)
  2. CT GM-Volt - 9789.12 MPG (92.28 MPGe)
  3. Millenium Falcon - 6565.84 MPG (91.95 MPGe)
  4. Volt - 4534.24 MPG (91.34 MPGe)
  5. PLUG1N - 4375.99 MPG (91.70 MPGe)
  6. Gary and Lisa's Volt - 3928.43 MPG (90.95 MPGe)
  7. Red-Volt - 3696.61 MPG (90.91 MPGe)
  8. Mike's Volt - 2966.31 MPG (90.50 MPGe)
  9. MaxVoltage/BudClary - 2774.73 MPG (90.77 MPGe)
  10. TrunkMonkey - 2729.27 MPG (90.84 MPGe)
Pretty amazing ratings, eh? All of those drivers are driving at 99% electric or higher. Of those, PLUG1N has the most EV miles - 19657.43 - while Mike's Volt has the fewest - 1731.76.
If you love to look at stats (and who doesn't), check out Volt Stats for other interesting tidbits.
Chevy Volt Driver's Savings After One Year (Getting 980 MPG!) was originally published on: CleanTechnica

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/11/30/chevy-volt-drivers-savings-after-one-year-getting-980-mpg/

EVs - Fiat 500E Debuts, Toyota EVs, & More (LA Auto Show Inside Look)


Susanna Schick of sister site Gas2 is at the LA Auto Show pumping out several posts on EVs and such. Here are four of those:

LA Auto Show: Fiat 500E Debuts To Combat Global Warming, Start Global...Hotness?


Fiat 500e, so cute you just want to pinch her cheeks. Photo courtesy Katherine Tessier
Once again bringing overpowering sex appeal to the LA Auto Show as only Italians can, Fiat delivered some very steamy videos to promote their latest offerings. The 500c Cabriolet video was especially thrilling and tastefully done. The 500E video was charming, but between the woman being in the passenger seat, and the overdose of analogies to Viagra by the announcer, it could've been better. Yes, you want to make a sexy electric car. We get that. But Tesla and Fisker have already been doing so for years now.
On the other hand, the Fiat 500E is a sexy affordable electric car (granted, pricing hasn't been announced yet). If you ask me, the 500E is cute, well dressed, and rides like a real champ, but I'd hardly call any Fiat 500 "sexy". Even having had the most fun I've had on 4 wheels in the one I rented in England....

LA Auto Show: We Talk The Toyota RAV4, V6 Engines, And EVs With Toyota (Video)


Toyota Rav4 EV Photo courtesy of Toyota
I managed to catch Toyota's Environmental Communications Manager, Jana Hartline, while her Rav4 EV was out being tested, and we had a lovely chat about Toyota's plans for the future. As the full range vehicle manufacturer with the highest fleet MPG, they know a thing or two about building efficient vehicles....

LA Auto Show: Smart Goes Electric and Grows Wings


In the future, your car and your shoes will have wings. Photo Courtesy of Smart
Today at the L.A. Auto Show, Smart had two new cars to show off- theirfully electric Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, and their electric Smart ForJeremy concept, which was launched last night at a fabulous party we weren't invited to. But that's ok, because these cars are still pretty cool.
The Fiat 500 has become the classic fashionista car overnight, popping up in every parking lot in the garment district here in LA. Their ad campaign for the Abarth proved sex does indeed sell. So what's the smaller, more efficient, and thoroughly practical Smart supposed to do to compete? Smart has launched a concept car designed byJeremy Scott, an American fashion designer known for his outrageous, fun, colorful designs, targeted to appeal to a more fashion-forward, individualist customer than Fiat's Gucci partnership....
LA Auto Show: Fisker Karma Phones It In Via Google


Photo courtesy Katherine Tessier http://ktessier.com
I'm not sure what it takes to get a time slot in the jam-packed schedule at the LA Auto Show media days, but I think having something new to announce is pretty much a requirement. So it's no surprise that Fisker chose to have a Q&A on Google Hangout livestreamed via YouTube instead of the usual fanfare. This actually makes more sense for a company still experiencing severe growing pains.
Fiat 500E Debuts, Toyota EVs, & More (LA Auto Show Inside Look) was originally published on: CleanTechnica

http://cleantechnica.com/2012/11/30/fiat-500e-debuts-toyota-evs-more-la-auto-show-inside-look/

EVs - Fisker Karma Production Halted Due To Lack Of Batteries


2012 has not been a good year for Fisker, and the bad news just keeps coming. With the bankruptcy of its main battery supplier, A123 Systems, production of the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid has been halted. Not good.
Then again, this was fully expected. A123 Systems is the sole supplier of Fisker Karma batteries. Because Fisker emulates the last-minute supply chain of major automakers, they don't have much of a stockpile of batteries. With no batteries, Fisker can't rightly sell a $100,000 plug-in car missing half its drivetrain, now can they?
Fisker won't know when production will start again until after the scheduled auction of A123 Systems, which has lined up buyers from both America and China. Fisker hopes to keep their favorable contract with A123 Systems in place, but at the moment that seems unlikely.
It's been a bad year for Fisker, from Karmas catching fire to a highly publicized battery recalls to angry investor lawsuits. This is just the latest setback...and hopefully one of the last.
Source: Reuters
The post Fisker Karma Production Halted Due To Lack Of Batteries appeared first on Gas 2.

http://gas2.org/2012/11/30/fisker-karma-production-halted-due-to-lack-of-batteries/

EVs - LA Auto Show: Fisker Karma Phones It In Via Google



photo courtesy Katherine Tessier http://ktessier.com
I'm not sure what it takes to get a time slot in the jam-packed schedule at the LA Auto Show media days, but I think having something new to announce is pretty much a requirement. So it's no surprise that Fisker chose to have a Q&A on Google Hangout livestreamed via YouTube instead of the usual fanfare. This actually makes more sense for a company still experiencing severe growing pains.
The Fisker Karma is a stunning beauty, and shows real potential. She even has over 1,500 (mostly) happy owners in North America, Europe and China, and has just expanded to the Middle East. But I can't help feeling like I'm watching some thrilling cliffhanger/horror film in watching this company continue to struggle. It is one problem after another after another for Fisker, though the little time I spent behind the wheel was absolutely outstanding.
It's not easy starting a car company these days, especially working with cutting edge technology. I do hope Fisker continues to grow and thrive despite the difficulties they've had, as the world needs more sexy eco cars. Here's the full 45 minute live chat Fisker did while the rest of us were at the Hotel Figueroa being entertained by Tenacious D, courtesy of Hyundai...
The post LA Auto Show: Fisker Karma Phones It In Via Google appeared first on Gas 2.

http://gas2.org/2012/11/29/la-auto-show-fisker-karma-phones-it-in-via-google/

EVs - LA Auto Show: Honda Accord And Civic Take Center Stage, But EV-STER Steals The Show



I'm sorry, I can't hear you talking about how efficient, reliable and safe your Accords and Civics are over the deafening hotness of this concept car you'll probably never bring to market. No Honda EV-STER for you, America!
Honda employs designers, so why don't they let them do any actual design work on the cars they actually sell? Granted, most people have no taste or sense of style, but do their cars actually have to reflect this? Working in the world of high-end fashion design most of my career, with some stints in the mass market, I know it doesn't cost any more to simply finesse the silhouette to make it more attractive, sexier.
Having friends who play with carbon fiber and sheet metal I know the same goes for these materials. Clearly Honda's designers know how to design sexy cars, as evinced this season with the EV-Ster (above) which would do a stellar job of filling the void left by the discontinued Tesla roadster. Honda's other fun little car, the S2000 was so fun to drive I've met fellow motorcycle racers who loved it so much they were even willing to give up their street bike.
So while Honda tells us the Civic is fun to drive, this motorcyclist is skeptical. Or was it the Accord? They're interchangeable to me like their Goldwing and CBR1000RR are to most of you.

photo courtesy of Katherine Tessier http://ktessier.com
Having had the pleasure of giving the Honda Fit EV a proper test drive, I know they know how to make cars that are fun to drive. And the Fit at least has some personality. But I think it's time the major OEM's, especially Honda, take note of the rapid sales growth of the more stylish cars coming to the market like the Fiat 500 and the Mini. Honda proudly displayed this wall of trophies, none of which are in design.

So, about that Accord Plug-in Hybrid... For Model Year 2014, Honda has announced a PHEV Accord with 115MPGe, which is higher than any in the mid-size class. The Accord PHEV will go on sale in New York and California January 15th with an MSRP of $39,780.That's before tax incentives.
The Accord has 47/46/46 mpg (city/hwy/combined) and is the first production car in America to meet the more stringent new LEV3/SULEV20 emissions standard. It will also qualify for single-occupant carpool-lane access in California. But it most certainly won't get you laid. Even if you're Brad Pitt.
2014 Honda Accord PHEV. Photo courtesy of Honda2014 Honda Accord PHEV cockpit. Photo courtesy of HondaHonda EV-SterEV-Ster ftEV-Ster rearMore about the EV-Sterawardphoto courtesy of Katherine Tessier http://ktessier.comThe post LA Auto Show: Honda Accord And Civic Take Center Stage, But EV-STER Steals The Show appeared first on Gas 2.
http://gas2.org/2012/11/30/la-auto-show-honda-accord-and-civic-take-center-stage-but-ev-ster-steals-the-show/

EVs - LA Auto Show: Smart Goes Electric and Grows Wings



In the future, your car and your shoes will have wings. Photo Courtesy of Smart
Today at the L.A. Auto Show, Smart had two new cars to show off- their fully electric Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, and their electric Smart ForJeremy concept, which was launched last night at a fabulous party we weren't invited to. But that's ok, because these cars are still pretty cool.
The Fiat 500 has become the classic fashionista car overnight, popping up in every parking lot in the garment district here in LA. Their ad campaign for the Abarth proved sex does indeed sell. So what's the smaller, more efficient, and thoroughly practical Smart supposed to do to compete? Smart has launched a concept car designed by Jeremy Scott, an American fashion designer known for his outrageous, fun, colorful designs, targeted to appeal to a more fashion-forward, individualist customer than Fiat's Gucci partnership.
Smart already appeals to anyone who wants to save money, with an average mpg of 38. With their newly launched Smart EV, that jumps to 93 mpg-equivalent average. I spoke with Smart's General Manager Tracey Matura, Esq. about targeting the elusive Gen Y consumers who aren't nearly as interested in cars as the older generations.
What about the news that younger customers simply aren't interested in owning cars?
We're collaborating with car 2 go, for people who don't want to make the investment in a car. Many of them rent one through the service and later buy one because they enjoy it so much. We also launched an electric bicycle in Europe and will launch in the US in the 2nd quarter of 2013.
Will Smart work with other designers, like Patricia Field who was at the launch party?
Smart may consider working with other designers in the future, but we focus on representing individuality. The smart driver can get there wearing dress shoes or their Chucks.
...Or something more appropriate, when piloting the Jeremy Scott model. Here's the basic performance specs on the Smart and Smart Electric Drive.

Notice how the electric drive is more than a second faster to 60 mph...but its top speed is 12 mph less. With an EPA-rated 68 miles, and pricing to start at around $25,000, the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive may be the most appealing EV on the market when it hits dealerships next year.
With flamboyant design and a practical and affordable EV in their lineup, Smart is looking to appeal to a broad demographic, from fashionistas to millennials.
In the future, your car and your shoes will have wings. Photo Courtesy of SmartSmart ForJeremy interior courtesy of SmartSmart ForJeremy on the go photo courtesy of SmartThe Smart ED is ready to ride, too. Photo courtesy of Katherine Tessier http://ktessier.comSmart for Jeremy at LA Auto Show Photo courtesy of Katherine Tessier http://ktessier.comSmart Electric Drive Photo courtesy of SmartSmart Electric Drive: Smaller than a bicycle? Photo courtesy of Smartsmart specsThe post LA Auto Show: Smart Goes Electric and Grows Wings appeared first on Gas 2.

http://gas2.org/2012/11/29/la-auto-show-smart-goes-electric-and-grows-wings/

EVs - LA Auto Show: The Green Car Of The Year Is The 2013 Ford Fusion


Ken Block and the Ford Fiesta he fed us tire smoke with. It was delicious! Photo courtesy Katherine Tessier http://ktessier.com
Nope, it's not the Tesla Model S, lauded as CAR of the year (not just green) by everyone from Motor Trend to...many more. The award for Green Car of the Year came with a few caveats-primarily sales volume. Green Car Journal Editor Ron Cogan was adamant that this award be given to the car likely to get the most wheels to the ground. Sales volume matters a lot when determining which car will have the most significant impact in reducing CO2.
While the Fisker Karma and Tesla Model S, as well as CODA and others were considered, the 5 finalists were all cars with dramatically higher sales volume. And, coincidentally, prime real estate here at the LA Auto Show. When Cogan gave a brief memorial to Caroll Shelby, who was a judge in previous years, and stated that Shelby would be proud of this year's winner, I knew the winner had to be Ford.
And it was. The Ford Fusion PHEV won over all the rest, mainly because of the variety of powertrain configurations available within the Fusion family. I'd also say the Gymkhana exhibit by Ken Block the day before combined with parental control options make this one a real winner.

photo courtesy Katherine Tessier
With the Fusion, Ford has created a car that's practical, sporty, economical, efficient, and appeals to a younger audience through their sponsorship of Ken Block and his hot rod Fiesta. If you can't make it look as sexy as a Fisker, it's just as worthwhile to make it seem totally bad-ass. There's no better way to prove how bad-ass you are than with the loud squeal of tires as you clog up the immediate environment with the delicious taste of tire smoke.
And since it's bound to appeal to teens with a taste for loud music and fast driving, parents can set the top speed governor and maximum volume as well, taking all the fun out of being a teenager with a car. But seriously, it's a brilliant way to get teenagers excited about an economical, fuel efficient car, sponsoring a world rally racer and Gymkhana ingenue. Granted, the one you buy your kid won't have 650hp, but he or she won't notice the difference. This video makes me even want one, and I hate cars.
Now, for the practical stuff... The nominees were:
The Fusion features:
  • Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (don't tell your teen that)
  • Starting MSRP of $21,700
  • Five powertrains to choose from:
    • 3 efficient gasoline engines
    • 2 with eco-boost technology (combines direct fuel injection with turbocharging)
    • 1 47 MPG hybrid with 188HP
    • 1 PHEV expected to top 100MPGe
  • Base model features a 175 HP 2.5L engine capable of up to 34MPG highway. (adjust at least 10% down if your teen drives like Block)
  • One of my favorite features, below, is the light which shows how fully charged the batteries are on the outside of the car. This should be standard on all cars, as it's easy enough for someone to walk up to an electric motorcycle and read that on the instrument cluster.
However, I have yet to see a car which makes this easy to see. As plug-ins become more popular, we're having to fight for space at the local charging station. Plug-in owners don't mind being unplugged when their car is full, but what's missing is a simple way to communicate this to others who may be waiting to plug in. I had to unplug a Prius hybrid to plug the Brammo in here, and justified it because that Prius had two fuel sources.

photo courtesy Katherine Tessier

2013 Ford Fusion photo courtesy Katherine Tessier

2013 Ford Fusion photo courtesy Katherine Tessier
The post LA Auto Show: The Green Car Of The Year Is The 2013 Ford Fusion appeared first on Gas 2.
http://gas2.org/2012/11/30/la-auto-show-the-green-car-of-the-year-is-the-2013-ford-fusion/