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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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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Car2Go, San Diego Launch First EV-Sharing Service

By Danny King November 21, 2011

Daimler's Car2Go car-sharing unit and the city of San Diego has launched the first all-electric-vehicle car-sharing network in the country with 300 all-electric Smart ForTwo EVs. The Car2Go program launched in Austin last year, but uses gasoline-fueled Smarts. The San Diego program follows Car2Go's initial all-electric car-sharing service launch in Amsterdam last month. Members of San Diego's car2go service are charged a $35 registration fee and pay rental rates or 35 cents a minute for brief trips, no more than $12.99 an hour for longer trips and no more than $65.99 a day to rent the two-seaters for one more

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GM Invests $325 Million For EV Part Production

By Danny King November 3, 2011

General Motors will invest $325 million to upgrade a Michigan factory to produce GM electric-vehicle components, as the U.S. automaker looks to expand its inventory of electric-drive vehicles. GM's investment in the 2.1-million-square-foot Warren, Mich., plant, which produced almost 340,000 transmissions last year, will result in 418 jobs, some newly created and others saved from elimination. The automaker didn't disclose the timing of the investment or details on of the EV components to be manufactured at the Warren factory. GM’s Warren plant currently makes transmissions for the Chevrolet Traverseand Malibu, Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia models, so manufacture of more

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Onetime Battery Star Ener1 Delisted By NASDAQ

By Scott Doggett November 2, 2011

Ener1 Inc., the struggling parent of Indianapolis-based advanced-battery maker EnerDel, has been booted off the NASDAQ stock exchange. The New York-based company said in a filing early last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it would be suspended from the exchange starting last Thursday due to non-compliance with filing requirements. NASDAQ did indeed delist Ener1 and the company said it has no intention of appealing the action. more

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Enterprise Expands EV Rental Inventory

By AutoObserver Staff November 2, 2011

Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the largest U.S. car-rental company, has almost doubled the number of its California electric-vehicle rental locations in an effort to give more customers a chance to drive Nissan Leaf battery-electric vehicles and Chevrolet Volt (above) plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Enterprise said that electric-drive vehicles now are available at its Encino, Newport Beach, Palm Springs, Riverside and Santa Barbara locations, giving it a total of 11 California EV rental stores. The company, which started renting electric-drive vehicles in January, also offers them at its locations in Ontario, Pasadena, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Monica and Thousand Oaks. The more

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Continental To Turbocharge Ford Focus

By John O'Dell October 14, 2011

Global automotive components developer Continental Corp. is launching new turbocharger business and said Friday it will be supplying Ford Motor Co. with turbos for the automaker’s new line of three-cylinder engines. The use of smaller engines with power-boosting turbochargers has become a key ingredient in automakers’ push to cut costs and improve fuel efficiency while continuing to deliver the performance characteristics car buyers demand. Continental, which began developing its turbocharger in 2006, said it expects to see 25-percent annual growth in the market. The German components supplier is entering a market dominated by companies such as Honeywell, BorgWarner and more

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Daimler-BYD Set For 2012 BEV China Prototype

By Danny King October 12, 2011

Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG and its Chinese automaker partner BYD are on schedule to produce the prototype of their first battery-electric vehicles (BEV) as soon as next spring, despite recent layoffs and production delays by BYD, according to Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche,'s Inside Line reported. Daimler, which formed the joint-venture with BYD last year, will supply the majority of the BEV's new technology and says the design of the car is "frozen," indicating that no further design changes are required. more

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Tesla Wows With Model S Rides, Factory Tour

By Scott Doggett October 4, 2011

It was only a year ago that Tesla took over ownership of the former New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) factory jointly operated by General Motors and Toyota for a quarter-century. But today the old NUMMI plant is barely recognizable. Its surfaces are scrubbed clean. Countless windows have been added to let in natural light.  A fresh coat of bright-white or Tesla-red paint covers seemingly everything. Plus 90 percent of the equipment needed to make the upcoming Model S (above) battery-electric sedan is installed. On Monday, the Silicon Valley electric-vehicle maker allowed a handful of journalists to tour the more

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Battery Maker Ener1 CEO Resigns As Stock Tumbles

By John O'Dell October 3, 2011

EV battery developer Ener1, gasping for breath after the bankruptcy of its largest customer, said that longtime chairman and chief executive Charles Gassenheimer is out as part of a senior management shakeup. The lithium-ion battery company also said in a statement that it expects Gassenheimer (below) to resign from its board. Chris Cowger, recently hired as president of Ener1 and CEO of its battery-making subsidiary EnerDel, has replaced Gassenheimer as chief executive of the parent company. Before joining Ener1, Cowger had been an executive with Advanced Micro Devices. He is the son of former General Motors North America President more

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