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Posts Tagged ‘green cars’

It’s (Almost) Hydrogen Day!

Have you hugged your fuel cell lately?

by on Oct.05, 2016

Honda's new Clarity fuel-cell vehicle is part of an onslaught of the vehicles that have hit U.S. roads in the last 18 months.

We’re not quite sure how it managed to nearly slip by us, but we’re coming up on National Hydrogen and Fuel-Cell Day. October 8th has been designated a day to promote awareness of this clean and green powertrain technology.

There are plenty of folks who believe hydrogen is the fuel of the future. And they can point to the small but growing number of vehicles that use the lightweight gas. In the coming weeks, Honda will launch its Clarity FCV to become the third fuel-cell maker on the U.S. market.

Green Day!

Of course, not everyone is so optimistic. Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, calls them “fool cells.” Of course, he wants to sell you a battery-powered car, instead. Who is right? (more…)

Dandelion Tires; Wires from Soy

Automakers search for natural and recycled alternatives to rubber, plastic, even leather.

by on Jun.07, 2016

A prototype tire from Continental that uses dandelion-based Taraxa Gum instead of a rubber tread.

They may be a nuisance for gardeners, but dandelions can find a place in salads and even can be made into wine. Now, what many consider a noxious weed could find an even more useful application: as a replacement for natural rubber.

German supplier Continental Tire hopes to put the synthetic material, known as taraxa gum, into production “in five to 10 years” as an alternative to conventional rubber tire treads. And industry researchers are developing other natural and recycled alternatives that are replacing wire insulation, plastic panels, carpets and even leather and suede.

Green News Now!

Some of these environmentally friendly substitutes aren’t entirely new, however. Henry Ford was tinkering with soy-based compounds and recycling wood a full century ago. And, like then, researchers find some of these seeming solutions can create unexpected problems of their own.

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Automakers Expanding Car-Sharing Programs – with Emphasis on Green Cars

Jaguar goes InMotion; Hyundai shares hydrogen cars in Germany.

by on Apr.11, 2016

The fuel-cell version of the Hyundai Tucson will be offered through the new BeeZero car-sharing program in Munich.

Wondering what it’s like to drive a fuel-cell vehicle? For now, only a handful of qualified buyers living in a handful of communities in Southern California, Japan and Europe can find out, due to the limited availability of hydrogen and the low number of vehicles capable of using that super-clean fuel.

But if a new venture starting up in Munich, Germany is any indication, lots more motorists will get the chance to test drive hydrogen cars in the near future. And similar car-sharing programs opening up everywhere from Beijing to Indianapolis are offering motorists the opportunity to try out battery-cars like the Smart Electric Drive.

A Source You Can Trust!

While only a small percentage of motorists have yet signed up to participate in car-sharing programs like ZipCar, Car2Go, BlueIndy or BeeZero – the latter offering Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell vehicles in Munich, industry analysts anticipate rapid growth in the coming years. And a growing number of automakers are looking to participate in a potentially industry-transformative shift.

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Honda, GM Exploring Joint Fuel Plant Project

Mass production reportedly set to begin by 2025.

by on Jan.18, 2016

Honda revealed its Clarity fuel-cell vehicle in LA, and will put it into production later this year.

(This story has been updated with a comment from GM.)

General Motors and Honda may partner on a new fuel cell plant in a bid to bring a promising, clean alternative to battery-electric vehicles to market, according to a news report from Japan.

The two automakers already have established a joint venture aimed at developing advanced fuel cell technology, but the new measure would take things a critical next step, helping put their research into production.

Technology News!

Honda is set to become the third major automaker to begin retailing a hydrogen-powered vehicle with the planned introduction, later this year, of its Clarity FCX. Hyundai introduced its Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicle in 2014 and Toyota launched its Mirai model last year. GM has not yet marketed a production model.

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LA Auto Show Shifts Gears but Maintains High-Tech Focus

Autonomous, connected-car tech vie for attention with green machines.

by on Nov.20, 2015

The L.A. Auto Show carved out a niche on the circuit as the showcase event for green technologies. However, that's changing to all auto technologies.

When it lifted the covers off its new Clarity Fuel-Cell Vehicle this week, Honda carried on a long-running L.A. Auto Show tradition of focusing on green automotive technology.

But where hybrids, plug-ins, battery-electric and hydrogen vehicles have dominated the annual Tinseltown event for much of the last two decades, environmentally friendly vehicles have had to share the stage this year. The 2015 show, in fact, opened with a day-long symposium on connected car technology, and much of the buzz during the media preview surrounded autonomous vehicles.

News Now!

The L.A. Auto Show “has evolved from a single technology – environmental technology – to a broader range of technologies,” said American Honda Executive Vice President John Mendel. (more…)

Tokyo Goes Green – and Autonomous

Concept hydrogen and battery cars in abundance at 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.

by on Oct.30, 2015

The design of the IDS Concept hints at the direction Nissan will take with the second-generation Leaf.

When the Olympics roll into Tokyo in 2020, visitors from around the world are likely to get a glimpse of the future as they race to the various sports venues now under construction around the sprawling, crowded city.

One choked by pollution, Tokyo plans to use the Olympics to showcase groundbreaking environmentally friendly – and safe – automobiles. But there’s no need to wait four years. The 2015 Tokyo Motor Show is already offering a glimpse of what’s coming.

Beyond the Headlines!

Among the futuristic models introduced at the show this week, Nissan’s IDS – short for Intelligent Driving System – can be driven autonomously and, with its 60 kilowatt-hour battery pack, can clock about 200 miles between charges. That intelligent drive system, claims CEO Carlos Ghosn, is capable of learning the habits of its owner to modify the way it drives, even to recommend places to stop for a bite. (more…)

GM Wants to Profitably Redefine Personal Mobility

CEO Barra outlines $5 bil investment in autonomous vehicles, carsharing and other game-changers.

by on Oct.01, 2015

GM is "working to redefine our relationship with customers and personal mobility," says CEO Barra.

With autonomous vehicles, car-sharing programs and alternative powertrains reshaping the auto industry, some manufacturers have begun referring to themselves as “personal mobility companies.” The challenge is finding a way to profit from that transformation, said General Motors CEO Mary Barra, as she opened the maker’s “Global Business Conference” with investors and financial analysts.

General Motors is exploring ways to expand the services it offers customers around the world and expects to invest $5 billion in the effort as part of an effort to meet the competition from new challengers such as Apple, Google and Tesla,  Barra said, during the conference at the GM Proving Grounds an hour outside Detroit.

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Transformative!

“We’re working to redefine our relationship with customers and personal mobility,” Barry explained, adding that “We want to own that relationship inside and outside the vehicle.”

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Picking the Hottest Debuts at 2015 LA Auto Show

Tinseltown event to bring 50 unveilings, 30 world debuts.

by on Sep.04, 2015

A first glimpse of the direction Hyundai will take with the next-generation Elantra.

The annual auto show season is just getting underway, with manufacturers set to kick things off in Frankfurt, Germany barely two weeks from now. Then the automotive circus will move on to Los Angeles, the first of the big U.S. extravaganzas.

And it looks like the 2015 L.A. Auto Show could be a big one, at least based on preliminary numbers suggesting there will be 50 vehicle unveilings, including 30 world debuts.

Auto Show News!

With the Frankfurt Motor Show still yet to begin, most automakers are being tight-lipped about Tinseltown plans, but Infiniti has already confirmed it will reveal the new QX30 – barely two months after showing its near-twin, the Q30, in Germany. Hyundai, meanwhile, will be on hand to unveil the next-generation Elantra line.

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BMW i3 Named Green Car of the Year

“Validation” of a breakthrough concept.

by on Nov.20, 2014

BMW's Tom Plucinsky,left, accepts the Green Car of the Year award from Green Car Journal's Ron Cogan.

Squaring off with four tough – but environmentally friendly – competitors, the BMW i3 claimed victory as the Green Car of the Year, an award the maker says “validates” the costly development program behind the breakthrough battery-electric vehicle.

The i3 is the smaller and more affordable of two new battery-based vehicles being offered by the German maker’s new brand-within-a-brand, BMW i. It is offered as either a pure battery-electric vehicle, or with an optional range-extending internal combustion engine that automatically fires up when the batteries run down.

Your Source for Auto Show News!

The i3 “breaks the mold” not only with its battery drive system but by bringing the use of lightweight carbon fiber down to the mainstream, said Ron Cogan, the publisher of Green Car Journal, which sponsors the award program. (more…)

Green Car Finalists Announced

Battery power vies with diesel, CNG and advanced gas options.

by on Oct.21, 2014

The BMW i3 is one of five cars up for the 2015 Green Car of the Year award at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

There’s been plenty of attention paid to electric vehicles over the last several years, but not all green machines have a battery under the hood.

To underscore that point, just check out the five finalists for the 2015 Green Car of the Year. The nominees for the annual award, which will be presented at the Los Angeles Motor Show next month, present a mix of alternatives that include not only the requisite EVs, but also a diesel, a bi-fuel package and a conventional gasoline-powered model. The list is dominated by three European models with one each from Japan and the U.S.

Your Automotive Source!

“These five exceptional vehicles reflect an expanding ‘green’ car field that embraces diverse fuels and technologies as answers to a more efficient and low carbon future,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and CarsOfChange.com. “Each offers a distinctly different approach to driving ‘green’ that appeals to buyers with varying needs and perspectives on how best to lessen environmental impact, while maintaining the joy of driving.” (more…)