plug-in hybrids

California extends HOV lane access for plug-in cars to 2019

California's HOV lane sticker program -- which is meant to give drivers incentive to adopt more efficient, but more expensive, electrified vehicles -- was scheduled to come to a close at the end of 2015, but a bill approved by the state legislature has extended the program until 2019.

Drivers of fully electric vehicles (such as the Tesla Model S, Nissan Leaf, or Fiat 500e) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (such as the Toyota Prius Plug-in or Chevrolet Volt) can receive white or green stickers, respectively, that will allow them full access to high-occupancy vehicle carpool lanes, even if they'… Read more

2013 Ford C-Max Energi moonlights as an electric car

For those not ready to jump feet-first into the electric-vehicle pool, the 2013 Ford C-Max Energi offers a toe-dipping experience, a chance to check the water temperature before committing to the deep dive. And after experiencing the C-Max Energi, any reservations about electric cars should be erased.

The C-Max Energi is a variant of Ford's C-Max Hybrid, a funky European-derived car abounding in sheer practicality. In our testing, the C-Max Hybrid achieved consistent low-40s fuel economy, while offering a large amount of versatile interior space.

Due to a larger lithium ion battery pack, the C-Max Energi sacrifices some of … Read more

Capability to charge EVs lacking in homes, apartments

High price and limited driving range are just two of the obstacles keeping car buyers from making the switch to plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles en masse. But there could be another problem to contend with: the inability for prospective buyers to charge the cars at home.

Using findings from a 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that only 49 percent of households with at least one car have access to parking within 20 feet of an electrical outlet. Residents of freestanding homes make up the majority of survey responders who say they … Read more

Finally, a plug-in hybrid with four-wheel-drive is coming

News leaked out early today that Mitsubishi will debut its upcoming plug-in hybrid Outlander SUV at the 2012 Paris Motor Show.

Although there is no official news release or announcement from Mitsubishi, Edmunds InsideLine confirmed with a company spokesperson that the SUV is headed to the auto show next fall. It also confirmed that U.S. buyers will get the vehicle either in late 2013 or 2014.

The plug-in hybrid will be based on the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander, and will have three driving modes, including all-electric, serial hybrid, and parallel hybrid. Based on the PX-Miev II Concept that debuted at … Read more

BMW i reveals electric car concepts

BMW revealed two new electric car concepts that will be launched under its new i brand in Germany early this morning. The BMW i3 city car and the BMW i8 will be the auto manufacturer's first production vehicles designed from the ground up as electric or plug-in hybrids, rather than starting as an existing model and swapping the gas engine for an electric motor.

The BMW i3 is an electric vehicle designed for urban environments. Formerly called the MegaCity Vehicle, the EV is powered by a 125 kW electric motor that offers drivers an 80-mile electric driving range. The … Read more

Survey reveals consumers prefer plug-in hybrids over EVs

Given the choice between full electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, consumers prefer a battery-powered car that comes with a built-in backup plan, according to Accenture.

The consulting group conducted a survey of 7,000 people in 13 countries to gauge consumer readiness for the new clean automotive technologies coming to market. Accenture found that 58 percent of drivers were in favor of battery-powered vehicles replacing conventional gasoline-powered cars, but they weren't ready to give up gasoline all together. If they had to choose between a a plug-in hybrid or a pure electric vehicle, 71 percent of the responders favored … Read more

GM ups Volt, Ampera production outlook

Reuters

General Motors said yesterday that it will make 60,000 Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera plug-in hybrids in 2012, up from its previously announced 45,000 production outlook.

GM also said that its Volt and Ampera production will be 16,000 in 2011, up from a previous forecast of 15,000.

The plant in Detroit that makes the two plug-in hybrids will shut for four weeks starting in early June, which will crimp already tight supplies, GM said.

Volt, the poster car for GM's effort to tilt its model lineup toward fuel-efficiency from gas-guzzling, will experience delays in dealer deliveries this summer as gasoline prices could soar over $4 per gallon, GM said.

"Already in tight supply, the number of Volts available for delivery to retail customers will be further restricted over the next three months before production resumes and the Volt and the Opel Ampera begin being exported to Europe and China," GM said in a statement.

Volt sales are to be especially reduced in June and July, GM said.

In April, Volt U.S. sales were 493, and for the first fourth months of this year sales were 1,703. It debuted late last year. … Read more

Car Tech Live 215: CNET drives the Hyundai Equus (podcast)

Stranded on the road? There's an app for that. Google will tell future Ford cars how to drive. Will you buy your next car at Best Buy? And we drive the Hyundai Equus, well actually, we get driven in it.

Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) Episode 215 Show Notes

CNET drives the 2011 Hyundai Equus

Google to give Ford cars a crystal ball

Pioneer has an Android announcement for the dash

Jaguar will produce the CX-75 hybird supercar

VW will offer a plug-in hybrid by 2013

CNET's LOLCars gallery!Read more

Google Prediction to make Ford plug-ins more efficient

To take the guesswork out of efficient driving, Ford may employ Google's Prediction API to do the energy-saving calculations for commuters.

Google's Predictive API is already used by Web sites to recommend products to users and by mail programs to decide which missives are spam. But Ford is also exploring ways the pattern-matching program could be used to program vehicles to run more efficiently based on driving patterns and styles, according to an article in PC World.

At the Google I/O conference yesterday, Ford presented a use case for the predictive engine that analyzed previous trips to … Read more

Volkswagen to produce a range of plug-ins in 2013

Volkswagen jumped on the plug-in bandwagon and will produce a range of plug-in hybrid vehicles starting in 2013. Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn made the announcement at the Vienna Motor Symposium this week, but he didn't specify which vehicles will get the plug-in power-train.

"The plug-in hybrid offers precisely what many customers expect: unlimited internal combustion engine performance combined with attractive electric mobility ranges in everyday driving," Winterkorn said. The company acknowledges that electric vehicles will play a large role in the automotive future, but finds plug-ins to be a happy medium until infrastructure, technology, and consumers make … Read more