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Honda Goes Solar

Partnership promises to deliver sun power for less than the local electric utility charges.

by on Feb.21, 2013

Honda has had an ongoing interest in solar power, such as this sun-powered hydrogen station at its LA research center.

The first automaker to offer a hybrid-electric vehicle in the U.S. market, Honda is diving even deeper into renewable energy with a project it says could make solar power affordable for its dealers and customers.

The goal of Honda’s new partnership with SolarCity is to make energy from the sun less costly than utility-supplied power, according to the carmaker – which has set up a $65 million investment fund to back the project.

“We believe Honda and Acura customers are going to be very interested in going solar once they find out that they can install solar at their home with little or no upfront cost, can lower their monthly utility bill, and can make a positive contribution to protecting the environment,” said Steven Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

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Founded by brothers Lyndon and Peter Rive in 2006, and headquartered in San Mateo, California, SolarCity provides a wide range of sun-powered technologies, including commercial and residential solar energy arrays, as well as solar charging stations for electric vehicles which Honda says it also is “envisioning” for its future EV and plug-in hybrid customers.


GM Opens EV Motor Plant – Then Pumps Big Bucks into Conventional Gas Engine Factory

Maker covering all bases.

by on May.18, 2011

The Chevy Sonic will be the next model to get GM's Ecotec four-cylinder engine.

As former General Motors Chairman Bob Lutz liked to say, “there’s no silver bullet” when it comes to finding the cleaner, more fuel-efficient technology for tomorrow’s cars. Instead, he and other industry experts believe that, over the next decade or two, we’ll likely see cars run on a variety of different, increasingly efficient, forms of power.

GM is underscoring that point, this week, with two big announcements covering both conventional and advanced engine technology.

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The maker broke ground, on Tuesday, at what will become the first U.S. plant owned by a major automaker specifically to produce electric motors.  They’ll be used, the maker said, in the next generation of its two-mode hybrid system – which should be both more efficient and less expensive than the current version of that gas-electric driveline.

“Going forward, we want to see these things not only invented in America; we want to see them built in America,” said U.S. Energy Sec. Steven Chu, during a ceremony at the plant, near Baltimore. “And it’s that combination of invented in the U.S., built in the U.S., and sold worldwide that’s going to be the heart of our future.”