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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Ford Starts Taking Orders For Focus Electric

By Danny King November 3, 2011

Ford Motor Co. began online order-taking Wednesday for the Ford Focus Electric sedan that it'll start selling later this year. Its price starts at $39,995. The automaker also launched a website dedicated to providing specifications and build-out options for its Focus Electric. Ford has said it Focus EV sales would begin with  about 70 dealers in California and in the New York-New Jersey area by the end of the year. It will expand to 15 other markets, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Seattle and Washington, D.C., by the end of 2012. 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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Mitsubishi To Market 2012 i EV As Commuter Car

By Scott Doggett October 4, 2011

Mitsubishi Motors North America will not attempt to sell the 2012 i to one-car households when the fully electric four-door hatchback goes on sale in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington in November and the rest of the United States by the end of next year. Instead, Japan's fourth-largest automaker will market the subcompact here as a great commuter car that's super user friendly, permits 24/7 access to carpool lanes and is priced more than $6,000 less than its direct competition – the 2012 Nissan Leaf electric vehicle. Despite the substantial price difference – the 2012 i will start at more

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BMW Will Start Selling 5-Series Hybrid in March

By Danny King October 4, 2011

BMW said it will start selling a performance-oriented hybrid version of its 5-series sedan next March, as the German automaker looks to make another attempt at the luxury-hybrid market after discontinuing its ActiveHybrid X6 crossover. Based the 535i sedan, BMW's ActiveHybrid 5 will pair the sedan's turbocharged in-line six-cylinder engine with an electric motor that combined will deliver 335 horsepower and propel the car from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.7 seconds. While BMW will announce pricing closer to the March 24 launch, BMW spokesman Dave Buchko told AutoObserver said the model, aimed at the core BMW 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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Fisker To Fill Most Karma Pre-Orders In 2011

By Danny King September 29, 2011

Fisker Automotive says it will fill most of the advance orders for 3,000 range-extended plug-in hybrid Karma sport sedan (above) by the end of the year. The Southern California company also said that the cars could be certified to meet federal and state emissions standards by the end of the week. The company, which has gained publicity of late by identifying early celebrity owners such as actor Leonardo DiCaprio and former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, earlier this month started delivering cars to European dealers and customers. more

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Coda Test Drive Shows Strong Heart In Plain Wrap

By John O'Dell September 9, 2011

The Coda sedan isn’t a car whose exterior will generate much comment. It looks a lot like a 3-year old Corolla, or any other of the all-purpose Japanese family cars of the past decade. In fact, it’s based on a Chinese-licensed Mitsubishi design, and inside is about the same – uninspiring, but inoffensive. Punch the accelerator, though, and your interest in this soon-to-be entry in the battery-electric vehicle (BEV) segment is bound to soar. AutoObserver got the opportunity to drive an early pre-production Coda EV (the company calls it a pre-pre-production model) on a roughly three-hour jaunt along Southern more

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Next Popemobile To Be A Fortified Plug-in Hybrid

By Scott Doggett June 22, 2011

Despite Pope Benedict XVI's wishes that the next-generation popemobile be powered solely by solar energy, Vatican security personnel have instead ordered a heavily fortified plug-in hybrid sport utility vehicle for His Holiness based on the Mercedes-Benz M-Class. A battery-electric vehicle, propelled to a large extent by power provided by the Vatican's enormous solar arrays, was deemed too risky due to purported acceleration issues. The hybrid, which will employ technology found in the Mercedes Vision S500 plug-in hybrid concept displayed at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, will replace a gas-guzzling custom-made M-Class that B16 has been using since 2007. more

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Road-Scarce, Volt and Leaf Focus on Marketing

By Dale Buss June 14, 2011

Nissan has begun a new TV-advertising campaign for Leaf suggesting that, if electricity rather than gasoline is the right power source for everyday devices from hair dryers to dentists’ drills, the same can be so for automobiles. Meanwhile, General Motors has just stripped a couple of features out of its base Chevrolet Volt so the company can push the small car’s entry-level price below the daunting $40,000 mark. But while Leaf and Volt parry and thrust in their marketing and positioning – including using each other as foils – the real issue is whether all this activity comprises much more

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