Bob Lutz is staying very busy. The ex-vice chairman of General Motors, and champion of the Chevrolet Volt, has been named chairman of the board at Via Motors. Lutz will need to squeeze that in between his role as senior advisor at vehicle interior designer Katzkin, being an owner at VL Automotive and perhaps as an advisor to Wanxiang and Fisker Automotive.
General Motors is at it again with a new Chevrolet Volt TV commercial. Viewers of the Winter Olymics (at least in some markets) recently saw a TV ad in between the skating and the skiing that made no mention of the environmental benefits or freedom from the power of Big Oil that electric vehicles provide. No, this one was based on pure survival instinct.
Cadillac dealers will soon receive deliveries of the all-new 2014 ELR extended range electric luxury coupe. Shipments started from General Motors' Detroit-Hamtramck facility this week, and initial deliveries will take place after the first of the year.
The top-selling dealership offering the Fisker Karma has got some deep discounts available as it awaits the future of the troubled automaker. Fisker of Orange County is dropping the price well below the manufacturer's suggested retail level of between $105,000 and $120,000. In fact, a Karma recently sold for "just" $80,000.
Tony Posawatz, president and CEO of Fisker Automotive, recently made the case for how Fisker and other cleantech companies can find the right investors. Speaking at a conference in Santa Barbara, CA, Posawatz said new clean technologies take years to be adopted and investors should be patient.
Right after being displayed and winning an award at the cozy confines of the Detroit Auto Show, the Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid went into the snow for some real-world extreme driving conditions. Cadillac engineers recently completed chassis testing on pre-production ELR models, evaluating the car's handling in winter weather conditions.
The 2014 Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid got a lot of buzz at the Detroit Auto Show, and was awarded the Eyes on Design honor as Best Production Vehicle. It's taken four years for the original concept car – the 2009 Converj based on the Chevrolet Volt powertrain – to make the next step forward.
Maruti Suzuki could make the first light-duty hybrid-electric vehicle produced in India by collaborating with its sister Suzuki affiliate in Japan, the International Business Times reports. Maruti Suzuki is looking to tread where competitors Toyota and Honda have failed; neither company has had success bringing hybrids to India.
Some would say Lotus has some credibility among the green-car set since it supplied the body for the Tesla Roadster and has always been obsessed with extracting maximum performance from light weight. Now, our friends at Green Car Reports are suggesting that the UK boutique sportscar operation could lose that reputation by simulating the acceleration of a conventional geared transmission for its Evora 414E extended-range plug-in.
Now he tells us. Bob Lutz, who helped spearhead the development of the Chevrolet Volt at General Motors, told UK's Autocar that the Volt's extended-range plug-in powertrain would've been better developed for full-size SUV than a smaller-sized car because of the greater opportunity to cut fuel use compared to gas-guzzling models like the Cadillac Escalade.
No one's ever accused Bob Lutz of underselling his products, and the former General Motors Vice Chairman – a key development force for the Chevrolet Volt – is at it again with Via Motors. Via, which will present three new full-size extended-range plug-ins at Detroit's North American Auto Show next week, will show off a truck that will have, as Lutz puts it in a one-minute video, "the torque of a monster truck" and "the fuel economy that makes a Prius looks like a gas guzzler." Ah, th
A plug-in hybrid delivery van sure seems like a good idea for commercial fleet customers looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and better manage volatile gasoline prices, right? Some companies, FedEx and Frito-Lay, are already buying green vehicles, and there are many other companies making a lot of short hauls in crowded urban areas where people would notice a reduction in diesel fumes. So why is this nut so difficult to crack?
Fisker Automotive has shed more light on its upcoming Fisker Atlantic plug-in hybrid. The company is opening up a new Technical Center in the Midwest for the launch of its second model, which looks a little like a smaller version of the first one.
The Chevrolet Volt is leading the pack of plug-in electric vehicles and has kicked butt on Nissan Leaf sales numbers but the goal for 2012 is to make 35,000 to 40,000 Volts. Through July, General Motors has sold 10,666 Volts in the U.S., which should get the automaker to 19,000 units sold this year. In Europe, through June, GM sold 2,861 Ampera plug-in hybrids, aka the European version of the Volt. The company recently started selling Chevy Volts in the rapidly growing China market where only 18
To get an accurate reading of how a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle performs in battery-only mode and in overall extended range, two experiences are useful: lots of behind-the-wheel driving time under various driving conditions (altitude, climate temperature, average speed driven, stop-start, etc.) or a detailed conversation with the chief engineer who designed the car.
Extended range electric powertrain, federal and state incentives, still-high gasoline prices and hip interior and exterior design are all helping the Chevrolet Volt lead U.S. plug-in vehicle sales. Even though the overall numbers remain small, the Volt is clearly bypassing the Nissan Leaf and niche competitors. The stumbling block has always been the MSRP sticker price, which started out at about $41,000 when the Volt was launched in late 2010. So far, leasing has been the solution and that's ge