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AutoblogGreen

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    toyota hydrogen fcv

    Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Ministry has certified Toyota to self-inspect its high-pressure hydrogen tanks. The approval allows more freedom in production timing, as outside inspectors previously had to be on site during the manufacture of hydrogen tanks for vehicle prototypes. Toyota has passed the stringent standards to become a registered manufacturer of the 700-bar hydrogen tanks, which the company will use in its upcoming fuel cell vehicle (FCV). With the improved efficiency this certification allows in the manufacturing process, Toyota believes it will help to lower the cost of the FCV. Read more in the press release below.

    A look inside Telsa's fremont Factory shows thriving activity and increased capacity. Analyst Trip Chowdhry, in a rare tour of the factory, describes a bustling facility capable of producing the Model X and Model III alongside the Model S. A part of the floor labeled "Driver Assist" suggests to Teslarati that Tesla is researching a self-driving car. Chowdhry reports that the factory lobby was "busy with European suppliers and Asian suppliers." He also found an energized workforce and culture similar to Silicon Valley startups. Read more at International Business Times.

    Mahindra has introduced a premium version of the e2o electric car, made in partnership with Reva. The car features a range of almost 75 miles, power steering, infotainment, rear-view parking camera, driver information display and an emergency power reserve feature, called REVive, offering an extra five miles of range activated through a smartphone. Mahindra also launched a program called "Goodbye Fuel, Hello Electric" in which customers pay to use the e2o by the mile. Learn more at The Indian Express.

    Continue reading Recharge Wrap-up: Toyota allowed to inspect own hydrogen tanks, Telsa tour reveals expansion

    Recharge Wrap-up: Toyota allowed to inspect own hydrogen tanks, Telsa tour reveals expansion originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Tue, 02 Sep 2014 14:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Tesla Gigafactory finalist states

    How desperate are the states in the US Southwest for a Tesla Gigafactory? Maybe a little too desperate, according to the California Budget Project. CBP says that the five states that are vying for the new big battery plant from Tesla and Panasonic are really in a "a race to the bottom from which no real winner may emerge." The CBP issued an open letter to leaders in those states that called for "greater openness in the process, strong accountability measures, and cooperation - not competition - among the states."

    Basically, what CBP is saying is that Tesla is trying to get too good a deal from whichever of the five states (Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, California or Arizona) will be picked for the Gigafactory to be built (well, the first one, at least). We have known for a long time that these states are fighting amongst themselves, and the CBP says that even though the Gigafactory is "undoubtedly a valuable source of economic growth for its eventual home state," since the public bidding process starts at $500 million in subsidies, the five states 'have more to gain from cooperation than from competition." After all, Tesla has made it clear that it needs the Gigafacatory to make its cheaper EV a reality, so CBP is suggesting that the states communicate with each other so that no one offers too many tax breaks in the "harmful pattern of one state 'winning' a high-profile competition." The $500 million could be better spent on other things, CBP argues, and wonders if Tesla would be "receptive to a multi-state dialogue." Your Houston News notes that Tesla is asking the states "not to discuss their offers, and states aren't talking."

    Tesla did not have anything more to add to AutoblogGreen, but the company has said that an official announcement on the location of the first Gigafactory is coming toward the end of this year. For now, you can read CBP's open letter in full below.

    Continue reading Budget watchdog warns Tesla Gigafactory fight could be 'race to the bottom'

    Budget watchdog warns Tesla Gigafactory fight could be 'race to the bottom' originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Tue, 02 Sep 2014 18:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    range rover hybrid

    A new study out of Germany suggests adopting a modular approach to battery offerings in plug-in hybrid and extended range electric vehicles. Automakers could offer the same car with different battery sizes (and different costs, accordingly) to drivers depending on their driving ranges. This would optimize the total cost of ownership for various drivers better than the current approach. Developing a modular battery design and offering appropriate batteries for different customers "is the key for electric powertrains to meet customer expectations and become cost competitive against conventional technologies," according to the report from the Institute of Vehicle Concepts, German Aerospace Center. Learn more at Green Car Congress.

    Jaguar and Land Rover are looking to offer more electric driving from their vehicles. Wolfgang Ziebart, head of product development for Jaguar Land Rover, said in an interview that its hybrid system is being tweaked for more electric power and "downsized" combustion. He also said the likely target market for EVs would be second and third vehicles, rather than primary vehicles for urban driving. Within that market, Europeans look for something smaller, while American drivers lean toward larger luxury vehicles for their second car. Ziebart uses the Tesla Model S as an example of American tastes, and compares its size to that of the Jaguar XJ. Read more at Automotive News Europe.

    Thailand will likely approve a Volkswagen factory as early as next week. A German newspaper suggests that Thailand's Board of Investment is set to greenlight the plant, which is planned for a site near the Port of Bangkok. Thailand is a relatively large and growing auto manufacturing country, which seeks to be a major producer of eco-friendly vehicles. The country's "Eco2" program would provide incentives to Volkswagen if it builds clean cars and meets certain production targets. Read more at Reuters.

    Formula E has chosen Sky Deutschland for broadcasting rights in the German market. The deal includes television rights, as well as online broadcasting. Sky Deutschland has 3.8 million subscribers in Germany and Austria. Showing the races on Germany's largest pay television provider should help generate interest for the series, particularly the Berlin ePrix - the inaugural season's penultimate race - scheduled for May 30, 2015. Read more at the Formula E website.

    Recharge Wrap-up: Jaguar Land Rover talks EVs, Batteries should be modular originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Wed, 03 Sep 2014 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Stormy View from University Park, Reno, Nevada

    After months of guessing, the location of the first massive Tesla battery plant should be announced around 24 hours from now. A joint press conference has been called by Tesla and the Nevada Governor's office for tomorrow afternoon and the subject is likely to be that the so-called Gigafactory will be built in Reno, NV.

    Reno was first confirmed as a serious candidate for one of the Gigafacatory locations during Tesla's most recent shareholder call at the end of July, when the automaker said it had broken ground on a potential location there. Speculation was swirling before that that Reno would be chosen first. Tesla wouldn't directly confirm what the subject of tomorrow's announcement would be, but did give AutoblogGreen a statement that said, "Tesla looks forward to joining Governor Sandoval and legislative leaders tomorrow in Carson City at 4 pm for a major economic development announcement." We'll let you decide.

    When it announced the $4-5-billion Gigafactory, Tesla said it would provide up to 6,500 jobs and make enough batteries to supply 500,000 Tesla electric vehicles a year, in particular the company's next vehicle, the lower-cost Tesla Model 3. Of course, Tesla also said it would not announce the location of the battery plant until "late 2014," so we'll take everything with a grain of salt for now.

    Recently, the California Budget Project suggested the five states in the running for the first Gigafactory should work together so as to not give too many tax benefits to Tesla. We should find out tomorrow how much Nevada "spent" to attract the new battery plant and a host of other details.

    Continue reading Tesla will build first Gigafactory in Nevada

    Tesla will build first Gigafactory in Nevada originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Wed, 03 Sep 2014 16:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Tesla Motors Gigafactory

    With pro football season about to begin, we thought it appropriate to use a gridiron metaphor: one research firm is estimating that Tesla Motors will outkick its coverage when it comes to the Gigafactory it's planning for the western US, likely Reno, NV. The electric-vehicle maker has said needs the giant battery plant because its annual sales will reach a half-million by the end of the decade. Lux Research is saying the company's EV sales will be closer to about half that.

    In fact, Lux says, Tesla will have to sell much of its battery-pack production to either other automakers or to entities such as solar-panel makers for their stationary-battery needs because of overcapacity. And with Panasonic footing the bill for a good chunk of the estimated $4-5 billion pricetag for the plant, the battery maker will also be taking a bit of a bath, at least for the first few years.

    Tesla has said its Gigafactory will help it cut battery costs by about 30 percent by 2020, and could have it up and running as soon as 2017. Tesla spokeswoman Alexis Georgeson said in an e-mail to AutoblogGreen that the company wouldn't comment on the Lux Research report (they're probably busy preparing for this afternoon's Nevada announcement) but you can still take a look at Lux Research's short summary of the report called The Tesla-Panasonic Battery Gigafactory: Analysis of Li-ion Cost Trends, EV Price Reduction, and Capacity Utilization below.

    Continue reading Will the Tesla Gigafactory be too big?

    Will the Tesla Gigafactory be too big? originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Thu, 04 Sep 2014 10:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    renault nissan alliance orange

    Before the Nevada announcement was hinted at, a deal to incentivize a Tesla Gigafactory in California fell through. Tesla was looking for around $500 million in incentives, which the California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development was willing to offer in tax breaks along with making the permit and environmental processes easier. According to Senator Ted Gaines, there still remained "a gap between what Tesla wanted and what California was willing to offer," the contents of which were undisclosed. California could still be chosen for another of Tesla's battery plants, should those ever materialize. Read more at The Desert Sun.

    The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will consider allowing a bit of compliance flexibility to its Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulations for some automakers. CARB will hold a hearing to discuss giving intermediate volume manufacturers (IVMs) - carmakers that do between 4,501 and 60,000 new vehicle sales in the state - some leniency catching up to the larger manufacturers when it comes to clean vehicle production. The ZEV regulation changes take into account the amount of revenue IVMs have available for developing the cars, particularly plug-in hybrids. Read more at Green Car Congress or see the notice from CARB here.

    Certain units of the BMW i3 are subject to an airbag recall. For cars built March 31, 2014, the passenger airbag inflator may have been assembled incorrectly, which could keep it from deploying when needed. Owners will be notified by BMW, and the problem will be fixed for free. The recall also affects certain 2014 Mini Cooper models. Learn more at the NHTSA website.

    The Renault-Nissan Alliance is providing 200 electric vehicles to telecommunications company Orange in France. The cars, which will include the Nissan Leaf, Nissan e-NV200, Renault ZOE and Renault Kangoo ZE, will be used mostly for carsharing. Through the program, Orange employees can book a car for work or personal travel using a smartphone. The Alliance will also help Orange install charging stations for the new cars. The addition of the EVs to the fleet will help Orange achieve its goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 20 percent by 2020. Read more in the press release, below.

    Jianghuai Automobile Company (JAC) is delivering its first 100 EVs to the US. The shipment is part of a larger order of 2,000 cars to be sold by GreenTech Automotive in the US market. Read more at ECNS.

    Continue reading Recharge Wrap-up: No Tesla Gigafactory deal with California, BMW i3 recalled

    Recharge Wrap-up: No Tesla Gigafactory deal with California, BMW i3 recalled originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Thu, 04 Sep 2014 15:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Tesla gigafactory aerial render

    You want details on the Gigafactory? You got 'em. At least the preliminary ones. At an event with Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval this afternoon, Tesla Motors announced that its first Gigafactory will be built outside Reno. As was leaked yesterday and confirmed by unnamed state officials today, the plant will be where Tesla will make a big statement not only about EVs but also the power of Nevada to further that particular fight.

    The incentive package is worth $1.2 billion over 20 years.

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk, speaking in Carson City, said that Nevada did not offer the biggest incentive package, but that, "This is not just about the incentives. [Nevada is a] really get things done state. That was a really important part of the decision," according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. That said, the incentive package is still more than twice what Musk originally said would be needed. The state worked out a deal with the automaker that will be wordh $1.2 billion over 20 years and should basically let Tesla operate tax-free for ten years, the RGJ reports. ​That will not surprise some people.

    The RGJ breaks down the numbers this way:
    • $725 million for a 20-year 100 percent sales tax abatement
    • $332 million for a 10-year 100 percent property tax abatement
    • $120 million in transferable tax credits
    • $75 million in transferable tax credits worth $12,500 per job times 6,000 jobs).
    • $27 million for a 10-year, 100 percent modified business tax abatement
    • $8 million in discounted electricity rates for eight years
    The Gigafactory is Tesla's answer to the question of how it will be able to make a $35,000 EV that will be able to over 200 miles on a charge. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that a 30-percent decrease in cost for the batteries is "probably conservative at this point." The Reno Gigafactory could be in operation by late 2016. Tesla is partnering with Panasonic on the plant. The governor thanked Senator Harry Reid, who he said played an important role.

    Whether the Reno announcement is the first of many remains to be seen. For now, the other states that wanted the plant, like California and Arizona, remain hopeful. Tesla's official statement and a short local news report on yesterday's rumors are available below.

    Continue reading Tesla Gigafactory coming to Reno, Nevada with $1.2 billion in tax incentives

    Tesla Gigafactory coming to Reno, Nevada with $1.2 billion in tax incentives originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Thu, 04 Sep 2014 19:50:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    FRANCE-TRANSPORT-RENAULT-BOLLORE

    The Bollore Bluecar has a deep connection to Pininfarina. The Italian design house and coachbuilder helped Bollore create the B0 (the concept that led to the Bluecar) and has built all of the Bluecars to date. Starting in the second half of 2015, though, Renault is going to take over production of the carsharing electric vehicle at its plant in Dieppe in Normandy, France.

    Bollore isn't just asking Renault for a new place to make the Bluecar, it wants to get information about how to design its next EV. This may be a new three-seat city EV with a 20-kWh lithium metal polymer battery. Renault is now going to do a feasibility study for Bollore on whether such a vehicle is a good idea. If the result is positive, then Renault could design and build the new car.

    Finally, the French automaker will also start adding its own vehicles to Bollore's carsharing fleet. The plan is "to reach a proportion of 30 percent as quickly as possible," according to a press release announcing the new partnership (available below). Renault and Bollore are also creating a new joint venture "to sell complete electric car-sharing solutions in France and Europe." Renault's share will be 30 percent in the new carsharing JV and the first Renault EV to join Bollore's carsharing service will be the Twizy, coming to Lyon (Bluely) and Bordeaux (Bluecub) later this year.

    Continue reading Renault, Bollore get together for new EV, Bluecar production, carsharing

    Renault, Bollore get together for new EV, Bluecar production, carsharing originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Tue, 09 Sep 2014 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Tesla gigafactory

    When it comes to Nevada's financial incentives that lured Tesla Motors to build its Gigafactory in the Silver State, some lawmakers have said Gov. Brian Sandoval has some 'splain' to do. And such explanations are slated to start today, reports Reuters. When there are $1.3 billion or so worth of incentives, the conversation's likely to be a lengthy one.

    Nevada Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick is expected to oversee the talks about the incentives, which have been criticized in some circles as being overly generous (even the idea of massive incentives was criticized). Tesla's tax exemptions alone would amount to about $725 million, and there would be about $300 million in payroll savings. Other goodies include business-tax abatements and discounted electricity rates.

    Sandoval has argued that the Gigafactory, which could open by late 2016, could create $100 billion worth of economic activity during the next two decades, making it a pretty good deal for the state. The factory, to be built near Reno, will be about 5 million square feet and includes battery-maker Panasonic as an investor. It's considered vital to Tesla's goal of making a $35,000 electric car with a 200-mile range. Nevada beat out Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Tesla's home state of California for Gigafactory bragging rights, but the fight might be just beginning.

    Nevada lawmakers debating Tesla gigafactory tax breaks today originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Wed, 10 Sep 2014 16:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    local motors strati 3d printed car

    Petroleum and liquid fuel consumption will increase 38 percent globally by 2040, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Developing parts of the Middle East and Asia account for 85 percent of that increase. In 2040, 92 percent of liquid fuel will be consumed by the transportation and industrial sectors. Liquid fuel use by the residential, commercial and electric power sectors is expected to decrease. Fuel consumption in areas with established oil markets, including the US and Europe, has probably already peaked. Read more at Green Car Congress, or in the press release below.

    California is funding $13.3 million worth of programs for manufacturing zero-emission vehicles and advanced vehicle technology. The California Energy Commission's Zero Emission Vehicle Readiness grants, worth $3.3 million, will go toward planning for plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles. Advanced Vehicle Technology Manufacturing grants, worth $10 million, will fund manufacturing lines for alternative fuel vehicles. That includes lines that manufacture complete vehicles, as well as ones that build power- or drivetrain components for those vehicles. The grants require a 50 percent cost share with the awardees. Read more at Green Car Congress.

    Local Motors is currently making its 3D printed car, called Strati, at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago. The design, created by Italy's Michele Anoé, was chosen in the 3D Printed Car Design Challenge earlier this year. Printing began Sunday, and is expected to finish this Saturday. The Strati is being made using the Big Area Additive Manufacturing machine - which can print 10 pounds of plastic per hour - with carbon reinforced ABS plastic. If successful, the Local Motors team will drive the Strati away from McCormick Place, where the printing is taking place. Read more at 3D Print, or see the printing process in the video below.

    Proterra has chosen Toshiba as the battery supplier for its electric bus. The Toshiba battery is the Rapid Recharge SCiB battery, which is capable of at least 10,000 charge-discharge cycles, as well as vehicle-to-grid operation. The Proterra bus' fast charge system can charge the battery in less than 10 minutes, making it ideal for the demands of public transit. Read more in the press release, below.

    Continue reading Recharge Wrap-up: Local Motors begins 3D printing Strati car, global liquid fuel use to increase 38% by 2040

    Recharge Wrap-up: Local Motors begins 3D printing Strati car, global liquid fuel use to increase 38% by 2040 originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Thu, 11 Sep 2014 08:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Tesla Battery Factory

    Now that the Nevada deal for the Tesla Motors Gigafactory has the governor's signature, we've got more details on the automaker's $1.2-billion benefits package. As originally reported, this is the broad breakdown:
    • $725 million for a 20-year 100 percent sales tax abatement
    • $332 million for a 10-year 100 percent property tax abatement
    • $120 million in transferable tax credits
    • $75 million in transferable tax credits worth $12,500 per job times 6,000 jobs).
    • $27 million for a 10-year, 100 percent modified business tax abatement
    • $8 million in discounted electricity rates for eight years
    New reports say that one way that state legislators freed up some money ($125 million) was by ending a long-standing tax break for insurance companies. Legislators also eliminated some tax credits for movie companies to give the money ($70 million) to Tesla. One surprising side benefit for Tesla is the ability to sell its EVs directly to customers in Nevada. The state hasn't been a big player in the EV dealer fight issue, but now the company's right to sell cars there is secure.

    What does Nevada get out of the deal? Well, a lot of publicity, for starters, but also a big new employer. The state is also requiring that at least half of all the workers at the $5 billion Gigafactory be from Nevada, but there is a way for Tesla to get waivers around this if needed.

    Add that all up and you get what state Assemblyman Ira Hansen called, "arguably the biggest thing that has happened in Nevada since at least the Hoover Dam." Not everyone is so positive. A Las Vegas schoolteacher told the Nevada Appeal, "I think it is kind of ironic that a renewable energy, a green energy car company we are courting to come to our state, that one of the things we are giving them is free energy."

    You can watch a video of the September 4th Tesla/Nevada announcement and read the governor's press release about signing the bill below.

    Continue reading Nevada's $1.2 billion deal for Tesla Gigafactory lets EV company sell direct

    Nevada's $1.2 billion deal for Tesla Gigafactory lets EV company sell direct originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Fri, 12 Sep 2014 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Japan Nissan

    The big news on the electric vehicle front today is that Nissan is considering slowing down EV battery production in the US and UK and source all of Nissan's big packs come from Japan. Nissan may also buy some batteries from the Korean company LG Chem. This is apparently causing dissent within Nissan, but it follows what Alliance partner Renault is doing in the hunt for 180-mile EVs.

    This change - officially denied by Nissan - raises a lot of questions here, since Nissan made a huge deal about building the Leaf pack in Tennessee a few years ago. In fact, the car's big price drop was due, in part, to localizing battery production. If the company is really going to give up on building the packs where it makes the cars, then does Nissan not see itself as being capable of producing an energy-dense battery cheap enough to compete with Tesla and its Gigafactory and GM (which, of course, has long worked with LG Chem on batteries)? Whatever Nissan decides, it needs to be ready to compete in a market that offers a $35,000, 200-mile car by 2017.

    "We have not taken any decision whatsoever to modify battery sourcing allocation." - Renault-Nissan's Rachel Konrad

    Nissan would not comment directly on the reported change, but Rachel Konrad, the Alliance's global director of communications and marketing told AutoblogGreen, "The Renault-Nissan Alliance remains 100 percent committed to its industry-leading EV program. This global commitment continues for the foreseeable future, and we have not taken any decision whatsoever to modify battery sourcing allocation. Nissan has no plans to impair its battery investments. Beyond that,we will not comment on speculation or anonymous sources, and as a matter of policy the Alliance does not confirm or deny procurement reviews."

    Continue reading Nissan not shuttering Leaf EV battery plants, at least not yet

    Nissan not shuttering Leaf EV battery plants, at least not yet originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Mon, 15 Sep 2014 17:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    GreenTech Auto's MyCar

    Will the rubber really hit the road for GreenTech Automotive (GTA) this year? The company said "yes" last week after announcing that it finished building its factory in Tunica, MS. With that done, the company's low-speed neighborhood-electric vehicles (NEV) will start production by the end of 2014. In the meantime, the company is shipping its stuff over from a temporary factory in Horn Lake, MS, about 30 miles away.

    GTA broke ground on the factory early this year and is prepping two models. One is an NEV called MyCar that has a single-charge range of about 65 miles. The other is the G2 battery-electric sedan. And, while no word is out on when the latter will see the light of day, MyCar is slated to start production this year.

    GTA was founded in 2009 by Terry McAuliffe, who invested about $20 million in the company. He left GTA in 2012 and is now governor of Virginia. The latest wrinkle with the company is that it merged with VL Automotive this spring. VL is the company that had planned to take Fisker Karma bodies and bolt them on a frame with a V8 engine. Fun stuff, but a far cry from a little-bitty electric vehicle. Check out GTA's press release below.

    Continue reading GreenTech Auto restarting production later this year

    GreenTech Auto restarting production later this year originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Wed, 17 Sep 2014 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    mercedes-benz b-class electric drive

    Car and Driver has published a comparison test pitting the 2014 BMW i3 against the 2014 Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive. The test not only measured the quality of the driving experience, but also all the quantitative details that are especially important when looking at electric vehicles. For instance, the Benz's real-world MPGe surpassed its own rating, but it still couldn't match the BMW. The B-Class, though, won in the range department. We won't spoil all the results, or Car and Driver's overall pick, but you can head over to the article to find out for yourself.

    Tesla's expanding business, including the Gigafactory being built in Reno, NV, is encouraging growth in the locales and associated businesses. Some of Tesla's suppliers are talking of relocation, wanting to be close to the action stirred up by the electric automaker's expansion. It makes good business sense to be in the same neighborhood as Tesla. "We can react quickly, and our engineers are constantly working with Tesla," says Futuris General Manager Sam Coughlin. Brookings Institute fellow Jennifer Vey says, "The land around Tesla is being redeveloped and reimagined. It's a mash-up of an anchor campus, startups, housing and transit, in a physically compact area where companies can cluster and connect." Read more at San Jose Mercury News.

    EVs are doing even more to reduce energy use clean up the air, according to new analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists. According to findings, 60 percent of Americans now live in areas where EVs do more to reduce emissions than hybrids, up from 45 percent in 2012. Average electricity use is now 0.325 kWh per mile, down five percent from 2011. EV performance - in terms of mileage and emissions - is improving compared to traditional fuel vehicles, based on the sources of electricity in various regions. Read more from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

    Zipcar's carsharing network has launched in Paris. Zipcar is expanding across Europe, and has already established itself in Austria, Spain and the UK. According to Zipcar France's General Manager Etienne Hermite, "In a highly populated city, Zipcar's model has been proven to remove up to 15 personally owned vehicles from the road for each Zipcar in service, reducing parking demand, congestion and emissions." Zipcar European President Massimo Marsili hopes that most Parisians will eventually be just a short walk from a Zipcar. The company also announced partnerships with Opel and Peugeot at its Paris launch. Read more in the press release, below.

    The RoadRunner navigation system earned a best-paper award at Intelligent Transportation Systems World Congress. Developed by researchers at MIT, RoadRunner directs drivers around congested roadways in a way similar to Singapore's toll system for congested areas. RoadRunner caps capacity for any certain zone, assigning tokens to cars in the area. When that capacity is met, cars are routed around the zone. Cars leaving the zone put a token up for grabs for another vehicle trying to navigate through the same area. The developers offer various ways the system could be deployed with or without including tolls. Read more in the press release below.

    Continue reading Recharge Wrap-up: BMW i3 goes against Mercedes B-Class ED, Tesla good for business

    Recharge Wrap-up: BMW i3 goes against Mercedes B-Class ED, Tesla good for business originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Wed, 17 Sep 2014 10:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    renovo coupe ev supercar

    Chevrolet offers versions of its Express passenger van with B20 biodiesel and E85 capability. Customers can buy the van with the Duramax turbodiesel V8, which is compatible with the 20-percent biodiesel blend. There is also a FlexFuel V8, which can use the 85-percent ethanol gasoline blend. It's a great option for shuttling the whole soccer team to practice using renewable fuels. Read more at Domestic Fuels.

    Early buyers of the Cadillac ELR in Canada will get a 240-volt charger installed at their home for free. It should help convince some buyers to adopt the range extended luxury EV. Cadillac's Chief Marketing Officer Uwe Ellinghaus says, "Professional installation of the fastest home-charging unit is a natural way to mark the introduction of ELR to the luxury market." Read more in the press release below.

    Renovo has received venture capital funding from California-based True Ventures to build its Coupe electric supercar. The impressive EV, with its 500 horsepower and 1,000 pound-feet of torque, is an inspiring vehicle built by a promising company, according to its financial backers. Toni Schneider of True Ventures says that Renovo has "created incredibly advanced technology and a beautiful machine that is well positioned to disrupt the automotive market." Read more in the press release below.

    Renault says it will build its Fluence ZE electric car in China for an unnamed brand, pending government approval. Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn announced the plan at a test drive event in France on Monday. Renault has a partnership with Dongfeng Motors to build and sell its cars in China. Read more at Reuters.

    Germany has lifted its ban on Uber. While the German court believes the ride-hailing service is operating illegally without proper licensing for drivers, it says Taxi Deutschland waited too long to file the case against Uber. The taxi association plans to appeal the decision soon. See more in the video below, and read more at The New York Times.

    A new report from UC Davis claims that a global expansion of public transit could save 1,700 megatons of carbon dioxide yearly and over $100 trillion by 2050. A "high-shift scenario" would be necessary, wherein governments invest in rail and clean buses, expand biking and walking infrastructure and shift focus away from projects that encourage car use. This shift to public transit would especially be important in the US, China and India. Read more in the press release below.

    Continue reading Recharge Wrap-up: Free chargers for Canadian ELR buyers, Renovo gets funding for EV supercar

    Recharge Wrap-up: Free chargers for Canadian ELR buyers, Renovo gets funding for EV supercar originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Thu, 18 Sep 2014 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    fisker karma

    Fisker Automotive appears to be wrangling up its proverbial ducks and properly aligning them again after halting production nearly two years ago. After filing for bankruptcy, the Chinese company Wanxiang, like an angel made of money, scooped up the maker of the Karma range-extended electric sports car for the sizeable sum of $149.2 million. Now, Wanxiang is looking to relaunch the Karma by early 2015, and the car that we see upon its revival will likely look quite familiar.

    An insider who wished to remain anonymous told Automotive News the new Karma "will have to be nearly identical to the 2012 model." Hoping to relaunch quickly, the company doesn't have the luxury of undergoing new safety testing and certification that would be required if it made major changes to the car. Also, the less engineering that needs to be done and the more old parts Fisker can take advantage of, the better.

    However, another person close to the project paints a slightly different picture of the new Fisker Karma. "The new Karma will be different in many key areas," said the unnamed source, without giving specifics. "It will have noticeable upgrades."

    Throwing a possible wrench in the works are Fisker's old suppliers, who are none too pleased about being left behind when the automaker stopped making cars. Many ended up clearing out the tools they were using to make parts for the Karma. With the time that has passed, one critical supplier suggests that the new Karma might be a bit stale, stating, "You're not buying something that's considered 'state of the art' necessarily."

    Still, with only about 1,800 Fisker Karmas having been sold before the disruption, the renewed model, similar as it may be to the old, will still seem fresh to all those eyes that haven't yet beheld the sleek EV. Even if, as some worry, it takes a bit longer to get production back on track, there's sure to be many happy to see the new car (and even some of the old ones) on the road.

    New Fisker Karma will look a lot like the old one originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Sun, 21 Sep 2014 09:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    yamaha motiv.e city car gordon murray

    Car designer Gordon Murray, known largely for his work in Formula 1 and with McLaren, says progress is going well for the development of the MOTIV.e City Car electric vehicle for Yamaha, according to Autocar. The MOTIV.e was on display at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle event at Millbrook, where Murray updated the attendees about the state of the project.

    It was the first showing of the car in the UK since it debuted at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. Murray says that he has been getting positive signals from Yamaha, which has yet to give its final approval. "It's all good news and we expect an important announcement in November or December," says Murray. We look forward to hearing more soon.

    The MOTIV.e uses Murray's own manufacturing process, called iStream.

    The signs point to the car coming closer to production. Murray says, "We've been doing a great deal behind the scenes on things like model range, factory layout and production procedures." The MOTIV.e uses Murray's own manufacturing process, called iStream, which uses composite technology borrowed from Formula 1 to produce cars efficiently, with maximum flexibility and low environmental impact.

    Murray says that besides just the electric powertrain, a gasoline-powered version of the car is also in the works. This could be in reference to the sports car Murray spoke of late last year, which he said would be based on the MOTIV.e platform. Considering the claimed flexibility of Murray's iStream manufacturing system, we won't be surprised if we see other cars based on the MOTIV.e.

    In all, Murray seems quite happy with the undertaking and the nature of the relationship with Yamaha. "Yamaha's people are brilliant engineers and great to work with," Murray says. "The company is the perfect co-operative partner when you're doing a project like this."

    On a bit of a side note, Murray says that in addition to the MOTIV.e EV, he has eight different vehicles in development, including a low-cost, flat-packing light truck called Ox.

    Gordon Murray's MOTIV.e City Car still in the running originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Mon, 22 Sep 2014 07:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Tesla gigafactory

    It's a good thing Dr. Menahem Anderman doesn't run the Nevada state government. The longtime battery-technology researcher, who heads the Advanced Automotive Batteries conference, isn't buying Tesla Motors' claim that it'll get lithium-ion battery costs down to less than $100 per kilowatt hour within the next 10 years. That would be bad news, since that price will be key to the automaker's ability to make a $35,000 electric vehicle.

    The good doctor is instead pegging battery costs at about $167/kWh in 2025, and says they will "unlikely" drop below $200/kWh before the end of the decade. He makes a rather detailed case in his report, which can be found here (PDF). Tesla representatives didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from AutoblogGreen on Anderman's numbers, but we all know how confident CEO Elon Musk has been on his company's price predictions to drop the price of a pack by "more than 30 percent."

    Tesla has said its planned Gigafactory will provide the scale needed to bring battery costs down enough to make the $35,000 EV. By Anderman's estimates, the battery costs will be more commensurate to a $50,000 EV, which isn't horrible, but it's not the type of mass-market price that the industry (and Tesla stockholders, for that matter) are expecting. Earlier this month, Nevada offered an incentive package worth about $1.3 billion to Tesla, which is planning its plant near Reno. Battery-maker Panasonic is an investor in the factory as well.

    Battery price skeptic says Tesla's $35,000 EV won't happen originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Mon, 22 Sep 2014 12:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    Elio Motors

    Elio Motors is taking its green-is-good mentality to its factory equipment. The company, which is planning to make super-light three-wheeled vehicles that get 84 miles per gallon, will finally start making trikes next year. The plan is to sell off extra equipment from an old General Motors factory to do so.

    Elio was founded in 2008 and bought the factory in Shreveport, LA last year. The company is working with manufacturing partner Comau to sell any equipment they don't need to raise enough cash for production to start next year. And Elio will "recycle" whatever it doesn't use or sell, which is rather kind, environmentally. The company will occupy about 1.5 million square feet of the factory building.

    Elio says it has 34,000 reservations for the $6,800 trike. That's up from 25,000 in July and from 10,000 in late February, indicating solid sales momentum. The production process will employ about 1,500 people. Sales appear to be helped by a 33-city tour Elio undertook this year to show off a prototype of the vehicle to prospective buyers. The company also "matched" reservation-deposit amounts (in the form of discounts on the purchase price), but that offer sadly expired September 1. Anyone who put money down - or the simply interested - should out Elio's press release for more info.

    Continue reading Elio getting closer to building actual 84-mpg cars

    Elio getting closer to building actual 84-mpg cars originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Tue, 23 Sep 2014 07:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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    tesla model s

    Telsa Motors has some big plans. The electric car company is building its $5-billion Gigafactory near Reno, NV to guarantee a steady supply of lower-cost batteries, has plans to release two new models and is even talking about providing home energy storage on a large scale. The California automaker is ramping up EV production, and hopes to eventually be producing 500,000 cars per year. To do all this, Tesla is going to need a lot of cash, particularly if any of its cars becomes the "next big thing," so to speak.

    This is money Tesla would need in addition to the revenues it already pulls in.

    Patrick Archambault, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, said last week that Tesla could need at least $6 billion through 2025 to complete all of the plans listed above and any others, should Tesla become the automotive Apple. An increase in popularity that would see the company hit its production targets would create a need for capital to match that growth. Keep in mind, this is money it would need in addition to the revenues it already pulls in.

    Tesla has already secured a portion of the funds for its Gigafactory, but still needs to make up the rest. Some will come from its partner Panasonic and Tesla is receiving some serious tax incentives from the state of Nevada (to the tune of $1.2 billion). Archmabault predicts that most of the funds would be needed beginning in 2017, suggesting that Tesla has the financial means to reach its target of 100,000 vehicles by the end of next year. It's not until the Model III comes into play that Tesla might come to need the hefty sums suggested by the analyst.

    Whether Tesla will become more of a disruptive brand in the automotive world is still anybody's guess. Still, Archambault's suggestion of that possible $6 billion figure was enough to have an effect on Tesla's stock price, which fell after the estimate was released last week, and remains down as of this writing after a note from JP Morgan.

    Tesla could need another $6 billion to really change the auto landscape originally appeared on AutoblogGreen on Wed, 24 Sep 2014 11:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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