The Supreme Court is back in session, and Environmental Protection Agency emissions regulations are on the docket.
The court will hear a case challenging EPA regulations of greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources like power plants, The New York Times reports.
However, the justices declined to hear any petitions challenging the EPA's regulation of motor vehicle emissions, leaving that authority intact regardless of the outcome of the current case. ( Continue… )
The assets of the long-struggling Ecotality electric-car charging network have a buyer.
The Car Charging Group announced it has purchased Ecotality's Blink network of charging stations for $3.3 million.
The purchase includes approximately 12,450 240-volt Level 2 charging stations, 110 DC quick-charging stations, and other assets pertaining to the operation of the network.
Two Ecotality branches--Minit-Charger and Etec Labs--were not included in the sale. ( Continue… )
In the eight months I've owned my 60-kWh Tesla Model S, I've never had occasion to drive it more than 120 miles, comfortably within the car's EPA-rated 208-mile range. The phrase "range anxiety" was not in my lexicon.
Sherman was making a dry run for an upcoming article about a 700-mile cross-country race in a Model S--and Danville, just off Interstate-80, was going to be a charging stop. We'd e-mailed back and forth about Model S driving and charging strategies, and this would be a chance to meet and compare notes.
The journey seemed short enough to be eminently doable--yet long enough to engender, if not range anxiety, then at least acute range awareness. ( Continue… )
Autonomous cars are coming -- that much we know.
Nissan promises to debut models by 2020. So does Mercedes-Benz. Tesla may arrive a few years earlier. And Google, the company that most folks currently associate with self-driving vehicles? Who knows?
Well, sort of. ( Continue… )
Well into week two of the federal government shutdown, we're noticing some inconsistencies in what's truly been shut down and what's still up and running.
In the latter category: the military, medical facilities for veterans, and gyms for U.S. Senators and Representatives (but sadly, not their staffers).
If you really want to reduce emissions or conserve energy, get rid of your car.
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For the first time in several decades, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' National Report on Commuting Patterns and Trends found an increase in the share of American households that don't own cars. ( Continue… )
Already one of the top choices for luxury SUV buyers who actually use their vehicle for serious work (or serious play), the Cadillac Escalade gets a complete redesign for the 2015 model year, bringing a more powerful and efficient new V-8 engine, a completely revamped exterior, and a more luxurious, spacious interior.
Now entering its fourth generation, the Escalade is Cadillac's flagship SUV, and it's clearly aiming to put the rest of the large luxury SUV world on notice: as with its sedans, Cadillac is gunning for world-class marks.
While production of the new Escalade doesn't begin until next spring, at GM's Arlington, Texas factory, the Escalade's details portend a smart--if not revolutionary--advance on its third-generation model. Both standard and ESV long-wheelbase (14-inches extra wheelbase, 20 inches longer overall) models will be offered; no EXT model with the short pickup-like bed is planned. Rear-wheel drive is once again standard, with all-wheel drive available.
The heart of the new 2015 Escalade is the 6.2-liter V-8 engine shared with the new Chevy Silverado High Country and GMC Sierra Denali, rated at 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Those figures represent a 5 percent rise in horsepower and a 10 percent rise in torque from the previous model. The grille hosts active shutters to reduce drag when less airflow is needed, just as in many other current GM vehicles. Direct injection, cylinder deactivation, and continuously variable valve timing further help enhance gas mileage, though Cadillac hasn't yet revealed estimated EPA figures for the Escalade. ( Continue… )
Ford is recalling 23,800 cars because they do not make a sound when the driver's door is open, the Detroit News reports. An audible door chime is required by Federal regulations.
All of the vehicles involved are equipped with push-button start, which makes it more likely for drivers to leave their "keys" in the car.
Since the key fob doesn't need to be inserted into the dashboard to start the car, Ford and federal regulators believe drivers are more likely to leave their fobs in running cars, increasing the likelihood that the vehicles could be stolen.
Ford will update vehicles' software to add the door chime. The company will contact owners with the details.
The recall includes 2013 C-Max Hybrid and Energi models, as well as a much smaller number of the 2012 and 2013 Ford Focus Electrics the company has managed to shift. Only about 2,000 of the all-electric cars have been sold.
Last month there were a few reports of Focus Electrics suddenly stalling, but Ford has not issued a recall.
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Gas mileage has gotten far more important in new-car choices over the last 10 years, and that's not likely to change.
But not everyone really understands automobile efficiency--or how to maximize their mileage--and which tactics will really save them money.
Here's our cheat sheet. ( Continue… )
Back in 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency issued new standards for corporate average fuel economy -- CAFE for short. While the regulations themselves are fairly complex, the gist is that automakers will have to achieve fleet-wide fuel economy of 54.5 mpg by 2025. Passenger cars will be held to a higher standard (62 mpg), while trucks and SUVs have a lower goal (44 mpg).
Some loved the new regulations, particularly consumer and environmental groups who looked forward to the greener cars that the rules would inspire. Others loathed them, particularly European automakers like Volkswagen, who said that they gave U.S. companies an advantage thanks to the huge numbers of trucks and SUVs that Chrysler, Ford, and GM manufacture. ( Continue… )