The key to cheaper hybrids and EVs is US production, or is it?
In order for plug-in and hybrid cars to mainstream, prices need to decline. Both Toyota and Nissan have suggested that prices of their hybrid and electric cars would be cheaper if made in the US, rather than in Japan.
But how much cheaper? Read more…
The luxury space is the plug-in segment to be in today
Yesterday we covered Fisker’s tough path to success in Fisker crosses Atlantic to real plug-in competitiveness? Essentially, Fisker is more of a design company than a technology company — a key to plug-in success. However, design is critical in the luxury segment. Nevertheless, the design competition in the plug-in space is primed to boil over.
And the BMW i8 Spyder plug-in hybrid concept making the rounds in New York is just another example. Read more…
Fuel economy is slightly more important, but not much
Gas prices are almost $4.00 per gallon across the country, and as much as $5.00 in some areas. $6.00 isn’t fantasy by Independence Day. Thus, one might assume that sales of hybrid cars and other fuel efficient vehicles are exploding, while light duty truck sales are getting squashed. Unfortunately, while fuel efficient vehicle sales are up, a bit, pickup truck sales aren’t declining. Instead, automakers are using exceptionally low interest rates to offer huge deals on pickup trucks.
It’s bitterly ironic that higher energy prices are both making it harder for the economy to recover while also helping to fund gas-guzzling. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Read more…
Summing up Americana through the US auto culture
After reading that the Kia Rio EX was Consumer Report’s top pick amongst subcompacts, I started matching it up with the Toyota Prius C. Immediately, it became obvious to me just how much sense the Prius C makes. Of course, it became equally as obvious why the Prius C won’t be the top selling subcompact car in America anytime soon.
Interestingly, the Prius C is a unique benchmark for America, and what it shows is a very dysfunctional country. Read more…
Another step to cheaper hybrids?
Toyota will invest $400 million in its Highlander plant in Indiana so that it can begin manufacturing the Highlander hybrid there in 2013 for US sales and to export to the rest of the world.
Is US Prius production next? Read more…
While qualifying for additional tax credits
GM is adding a Low Emissions Package to all 2012 Chevy Volts sold in California that will enable the new Volt to both qualify for HOV access in California and also a $1,500 rebate under California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.
Carpool lane access, however, is not granted upon purchase and buyers must apply for 1 of the 40,000 HOV access passes created under the Clean Vehicle project.
Source: Straightline and GM
It’s about more than just EV range
Was just checking out some pictures of the new Tesla Model S in the noteworthy CNNMoney article Inside the Tesla Model S, and I absolutely love the 3rd row of seating that turns the gorgeous Model S sedan into the coolest station wagon ever.
Tesla isn’t just challenging conventional automakers on advanced powertrains and automotive manufacturing, but on virtually every element of automotive design. Read more…
All deposits being returned
Obviously, the situation at Aptera hasn’t been good for some time, especially since offering up a less than stellar performance at the Progressive Automotive X-Prize, despite being the clear favorite.
Now comes word that all deposits have been refunded. Read more…
Hybrid sales still down 32 percent compared to last year
If there was one vehicle hit particularly hard by the Japanese earthquake/tsunami disaster, it was the Toyota Prius. In the last month, however, the situation has improved significantly, although Prius supplies are still not yet back to normal.
Thanks to this improving supply story, Toyota’s July hybrid sales almost doubled compared to June. Read more…
Toyota doesn’t lead with just words, but also actions
A new study by Interbrand finds that Toyota is the best global green brand in the world, not just based on consumer perceptions, but also Toyota’s real world green actions, such “the companies’ operations, their supply chains, transportation systems, and policies” according to GreenCarReports.
“We believe the strongest green brands lie at the intersection of performance and perception: their ability to build stronger connections with consumers as a result of actionable and credible environmental practices,” claims Interbrand CEO Jez Frampton. Read more…