Automotive Green Coverage Moves to

By Jeff Hester December 14, 2011
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Thank you for your interest in's coverage and analysis of green issues related to the auto industry. is being integrated into a new area of Green coverage now can be found at To stay connected via social media as well, please follow... more

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Aptera Will Auction Off Assets This Month

By Danny King December 10, 2011

Aptera Motors, the electric-vehicle maker that said earlier this month it would shut down due to lack of funding, will auction off its assets later this month at its Carlsbad, Calif., headquarters, including computers, furnishings and auto-repair equipment, in order to raise funds to pay off some of Aptera's creditors. Heritage Global Partners will conduct the auction on Dec. 20 and Dec. 21, and will offer a preview of the assets on Dec. 19. The auction will be staged through Heritage Global Partners' website. more

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California To Mandate Clean Car Availability?

By Scott Doggett December 10, 2011

California air-quality regulators this week proposed a plethora of rules aimed at curbing tailpipe emissions in the state, including a proposal intended to dramatically boost the number of advanced-technology automobiles and light-duty trucks on California's roads. The regulations prepared by the state Air Resources Board (CARB) and applicable to vehicles manufactured from 2015 to 2025 would be enacted into law in 2012 if approved by the state's Office of Administrative Law, which will consider the new rules on Jan. 26. more

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We Get Fisker Karma To Go Farther Than EPA

By John O'Dell December 8, 2011

For years, Fisker Automotive co-founder, chief executive officer and head designer Henrik Fisker insisted that the exotic plug-in hybrid sports sedan his company was developing would deliver 50 miles of all-electric range before its 4-cylinder gasoline engine/generator kicked in and started burning hydrocarbons. Counter to the claim, however, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tested the 2012 Fisker Karma (above) recently and, after applying its adjustments for plug-in technology, ruled that the car would have a window sticker that said 32 miles of all-electric range and 20 miles per gallon on gasoline. more

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Mitsubishi Pushes Up Nationwide i EV Sales Date

By Scott Doggett December 7, 2011

Mitsubishi, which late last month started selling its i electric vehicle (above) on the West Coast and in Hawaii, bumped up the nationwide launch date for the Japanese automaker's first U.S. EV because of expected demand. Mitsubishi will start selling the B-Class i EV in mid-2012 instead of late-2012, Mitsubishi Motors North America spokeswoman Christine Jew confirmed. The company will also start selling an electric version of its Mirage compact in Japan in 2013, though it hasn't set a date for U.S. sales of that car. more

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Better Place Drives Israel's First EV Rentals

By Danny King December 6, 2011

Better Place, the Silicon Valley company founded in 2007 by former high-tech executive and Israel native Shai Agassi, reached an agreement with Israel's largest rental car company that will enable that country's first-ever electric vehicle rental program. Eldan Group, the rental company, will purchase "hundreds" of Renault Fluence Z.E. (above) electric vehicles from Better Place and then will rent them to the public in 2012, Better Place said in a statement Monday. In conjunction with the agreement, Eldan will provide a free service package for the EVs as well as monthly subscription and discounted daily rates for the EVs. more

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Hybrid Sales Soar In November

By John O'Dell December 6, 2011

Propelled by healthy inventories, increased incentives and a slight uptick in consumer confidence and willingness to make big-ticket expenditures, November sales of conventional and plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles hit an eight-month high of 27,897, soaring 34 percent above advanced-drive vehicle sales for November 2010. Most of the gain came from increased sales of the segment-leading Toyota Prius (above) and its Lexus cousin, the CT200h. Sales of General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid and Nissan’s Leaf EV also added to the month’s showings as did the presence in the market of several conventional and micro- hybrids that weren’t available more

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Volkswagen Debuts Cross Coupe Plug-In At Tokyo

By Danny King December 6, 2011

Volkswagen debuted its Cross Coupe plug-in hybrid compact SUV at the Tokyo Motor Show and said the concept gas-electric vehicle can produce 261 horsepower while getting the equivalent of about 87 miles per gallon, per European fuel economy standards. VW didn't release any details about a possible production timetable or pricetag. The four-seat Cross Coupe is powered a turbocharged gasoline engine and two electric motors. The rear electric motor drives the rear wheels, the front electric motor drives both the front and rear wheels, and the gas engine acts as an on-board generator for the front motor. Because of more

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Investment-Starved EV Maker Aptera Pulls Plug

By Scott Doggett December 5, 2011

Five years after its founding, would-be electric vehicle maker Aptera has decided to call it quits. The decision followed the Southern California company's inability to raise $150 million in private investment to activate a federally guaranteed loan commitment for an additional $150 million. The government funds were not for Aptera's sensational 2e -- a widely publicized three-wheeled, bicycle-fendered, teardrop-shaped electric vehicle -- but rather a prototype midsize four-door electric sedan (top) the company had quietly developed using the same composite materials and electric-drive technology appearing in the three-wheeler, CEO Paul Wilbur told AutoObserver. It was the sedan that had won more

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Mazda Regenerative Braking System Uses Capacitor

By Scott Doggett December 1, 2011

Mazda Motor Corp. has developed the world's first regenerative braking system for passenger vehicles that uses a capacitor, instead of a battery, to store electricity that can power various components. The Japanese automaker said that in real-world driving conditions with frequent acceleration and braking, the "i-ELOOP" system can improve fuel economy by 10 percent. I-ELOOP will begin to appear in Mazda's vehicle lineup next year, the company said in a statement. more

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