China is the future of the electric car.
At least, that's what Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn believes.
Speaking to the Associated Press at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show, he said the car industry is carefully watching China to see how it decides to reduce emissions.
When the Chinese do make their move, it will bring on "the explosion of the electric car," Ghosn said. (His words, not ours.)
While no one wants exploding electric cars, it's not surprising that Ghosn is hoping for an increase in demand from China. ( Continue… )
It's won awards, thrilled thousands of buyers, and demolished a lot of stereotypes.
But among the things you may not know about Tesla is this: The Model S requires almost no maintenance.
Without the valves, camshafts,a crankshaft, connecting rods, gears, clutches, and more found in a gasoline car, the Tesla Model S, like any battery-electric car, needs almost no almost no regular adjustment.
About the only parts that need regular replacement are four tires and two windshield wiper blades.
Even brake pads, which you might expect to need regular replacement on such a high-performance car, last many times longer than those on comparable gasoline cars. ( Continue… )
Is Brazilian sugarcane the perfect biofuel for American drivers?
Brazil believes ethanol made from sugarcane can supplement corn-based ethanol produced in the United States, which would help meet U.S. government targets for increased biofuel consumption.
Under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, the U.S. is required to gradually increase the consumption of biofuels. The goal is to increase production from 4.7 billion gallons per year in 2007 to 36 billion gallons per year in 2022. ( Continue… )
Tesla always tops the charts.
Coverage of the feisty startup electric-car maker from Silicon Valley attracts huge attention any time it appears.
Discussion boards, forums, videos, comment sections, and investment blogs overflow with opinions, analysis, and utterly confident (and wildly differing) pronouncements about what will happen to Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA} and its Model S electric luxury sedan.
But we've put together a few facts that even diehard Tesla fans may not have known.
Test yourself to see how many you knew. ( Continue… )
To some of us, road trips are among life's great pleasures. Ambling down a scenic byway, a full can of Red Bull/Diet Coke/chamomile tea in our hand/cupholder/lap, the wind in our hair/eyes/bald spot: these are the things we live for.
But although the view from our perch behind the wheel seems magnificent, we'd best not look down: according to a recent analysis, over ten percent of the bridges that we cross on our outings are deemed "structurally deficient" -- and some of them carry the ominous designation "fracture critical".
This news verifies what we've heard many, many times before. In 2009, for example, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave U.S. roads a grade of D-minus. Pew Research says that one-third of those roads are substandard, and a quarter of our bridges are falling apart. In fact, America's crumbling infrastructure could be one cause for the uptick in traffic fatalities we saw in 2012.
The latest report stems from an analysis of data found in the National Bridge Inventory (yes, it's a thing). Of the 607,380 bridges included in that inventory, 20,808 are judged to be "fracture critical", meaning that they have no structural redundancy. If just one component on a fracture-critical bridge fails, it puts the bridge at risk of immediate collapse.
But wait, there's more: of those 20,808 fracture-critical bridges, 7,795 are also "structurally deficient", meaning that at least one major element on those bridges is in poor or deteriorated condition. (Examples include such well-traveled stretches as Washington, D.C.'s Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge and New York City's Brooklyn Bridge.) ( Continue… )
By most accounts, the conventional gasoline engine's days are numbered. Long before electric cars become commonplace, automakers expect to wean themselves off gas-powered powerplants, replacing them with fuel-efficient alternatives.
On Monday, Ford's Joe Bakaj told Detroit News that the time is coming when most Ford vehicles will come with either a diesel or an EcoBoost engine, the latter of which relies on turbocharging, direct injection, and other innovations to wring mileage from every drop of gas.
And even before these grand pronouncements, we saw this trend migrating across the entire auto industry. Have you looked for a V8 lately? The shift toward smaller, tech-heavy engines has played out in family cars, luxury rides, and even performance models. ( Continue… )
Honestly, Tesla can't catch a break.
First, it had to make a fully electric car that didn't look like a doorstop or a computer mouse from 1997. No small task, that.
Then, it had to find a few backers, which caused consternation in some corners.
And then it had to jump perhaps the biggest hurdle of all: selling cars to the public without creating a network of dealers. (For that, the company brought in no less than the man who created Apple's outrageously successful chain of retail stores.)
Dealers' associations across the country have been suspicious of Tesla from the start. Early on, many dismissed Elon Musk's vision as a pipe dream, but when it became clear that he wouldn't give up, they aimed for his Achilles Heel: Tesla's unusual, showroom-based sales model.
What those associations didn't expect was that the courts would often rule in Tesla's favor. Nor did they expect that the public would often side with Tesla, too, as disgruntled car customers, tech fans, and innovators said, "Let the little guy give it a go!"
A NEW APPROACH
And so, according to AutoNews, the California New Car Dealers Association has changed its tactic. It now says, "Oh, you must've misunderstood. We're totally cool with Tesla's 'showrooms'. What we have a problem with is Tesla's marketing. Elon Musk is trying to pull a fast one on poor consumers!" ( Continue… )
But while the General has the technology to build this new electric car, it won't go on sale particularly soon--due to high battery costs, said Douglas Parks, GM's vice president of global product programs.
When you have, quite literally, everything--or at least the capacity to buy everything--what do you want? Solid gold models of $400,000 cars, apparently.
That's our take-away from this $7.5 million solid gold Lamborghini Aventador model, anyway.
Carved from an 1,100-pound block of solid gold, the model will weigh 55 pounds. In solid gold.
Fortunately for the automotive world's collective soul, the model is being put up for auction, with $650,000 intended for charity. Fortunately for the security of the showroom in Dubai, the model currently on display is a prototype, made of less valuable materials, reports CNBC.
This isn't the first time we've caught wind of this model by Robert Gülpen. Back in 2011, the model was announced with the intent of becoming the most expensive model car in the world.
The model still hasn't been built, but Gülpen clearly has the intent to do so, and he's garnered support for the project directly from Lamborghini. Gülpen will use computer models of the actual Aventador and a five-axis milling machine to form an aluminum mold, which can then be used to make a carbon fiber mock-up of the model.
Solid gold isn't the only possible material for the car. In addition to details like wheels, glass, and interior made from gemstones and other precious metals, Gülpen says on his website that he'll build the car out of whatever the buyer wants--as long as they have the money. ( Continue… )
Next week, the EPA is expected to set limits on greenhouse gas emissions by new power plants, The New York Times reports.
These new standards may deter the construction of new coal plants.
While full details of the proposal have not been released, the EPA is expected to set separate limits for coal and natural-gas plants. ( Continue… )