We've been hearing for a while that the steady drop in US fuel prices are hurting sales of fuel-efficient cars like hybrids and plug-ins. As far as driving habits, though? Lower prices are the pump are having little impact on how much people are behind the wheel, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
It's almost impossible not to notice that it's a lot cheaper to fill up at the gas station in the latter portion of this year. As of December 1, the US Energy Information Administration said the average cost of a gallon of gas was $2.778, down almost 50 cents from a year ago. In general, fuel prices have been on the decline for much of 2014, and the effects have started showing themselves with people seemingly more willing to buy lower efficiency vehicles.
Transport And Environment Says WLTP Can't Come Soon Enough
It's expected that Mercedes, like any automaker, aspires to be number one. But we've found a case where being at the top of the list is unlikely to be something of which Daimler is going to boast. That's because we're talking about the automaker most likely to cheat the European fuel economy tests.
Hyundai and sister company Kia are giving themselves a little bit of time to make up a lot of ground in the fight for better fuel economy. We wonder if a recent multi-million fine might have something to do with this public target.
SkyzMatic Telematics System Will Offer Remote Tracking, More
Elio Motorz is getting zerious with Infinite Skyz. The highly efficient three-wheeled vehicle isn't due until late 2015 (and that may change based on the result of Elio's DOE Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan request) but we now know that the 84-mpg trike can be connected to the cloud with Infinite Skyz's SkyzMatic vehicle connectivity system option.
"Cheating Is Not Profitable," Attorney General says
Nearly two years after Hyundai and Kia announced they exaggerated fuel economy numbers for several of their most popular models, the two Korean automakers have paid a heavy penalty for the transgressions.
If you say a car – the Ford C-Max Hybrid, for example – is "fun to drive," can anyone really come up with some empirical evidence against your claim? What about calling it "versatile"? We wonder if Ford has been thinking along these lines when it talks about the green little hatch.
After the huge problems that Hyundai/Kia experienced with its mislabeled fuel economy labels, you'd think that any time an automaker has to adjust its mpg numbers, heralds would be shouting from the rooftops. But, after Ford admitted to three big mistakes with its numbers for the 2013 C-Max Hybrid and Mercedes-Benz had to lower the fuel economy rating for the C-Class, we understand if those heralds are a bit tired by now.
What, you expected the "fastest muscle car ever" to help fleetwide fuel economy? Nope, don't think that's going to happen. That means Fiat Chrysler will likely to continue to languish at the bottom of the heap when it comes to fleetwide fuel economy among the largest automakers serving the US, especially as the automaker starts to sell its Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. A few hundred Fiat 500E electric vehicles aren't going to turn the trend around.
Talk about a report both green-car advocates and gearheads can celebrate. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put out its annual Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends report. And the 148-page study has something for everyone.
2013 Model Year Was Half-Gallon MPG More Efficient Than 2012
Well done, America. Through some combination of market forces and government regulations and advancing technology, you've managed to buy enough fuel efficient vehicles to raise the overall average for the 2013 model year to 24.1 miles per gallon – that's 0.5 mpg higher than model year 2012. It's also an all time record high.
*UPDATE: Donna Boland, manager of corporate communications at Mercedes Benz USA, told AutoblogGreen that the sticker change only applied to around 500 C-Class vehicles on dealer lots, since a new C-Class came out in late August. "About 500 are left in the United States, and we've relabeled them," she said.
Elio Motors is taking its green-is-good mentality to its factory equipment. The company, which is planning to make super-light three-wheeled vehicles that get 84 miles per gallon, will finally start making trikes next year. The plan is to sell off extra equipment from an old General Motors factory to do so.
Toyota Highlander Hybrid Knocks Out Midsize SUV Competition
Consumer Reports takes its independent vehicle testing procedures seriously. In an era when we have to question the EPA's official ratings thanks to recent re-evaluations from Ford and Hyundai, an independent voice is important. So, when CR says something is the best, it's worth paying attention to.
Most cars use a 12-volt system to power their electrical components. But, with more and more electric bits and bobs being added to new vehicles, a dozen volts is looking a bit weak these days. In fact, Audi says that standard 12-volt systems are being stretched "to their very limits." Enter 48 volts.
It is totally possible, today, to take the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pickup truck, load it up with gear and people, and drive it from Texas to Michigan while getting 38 miles per gallon. We know because we did it. Officially, though, the 1500 gets just 20 mpg combined. A more impressive number is the 28 mpg on the highway.
Google Street View is looking for gas leaks. Natural gas leaks are not only extremely dangerous, they're a terrible waste of resources and, as a greenhouse gas, a threat to the environment. Unfortunately, with the decaying infrastructure in many of America's older cities, they're pretty common, too. That's why Google is teaming up with the Environmental Defense Fund to map gas leaks. With sensors attached to the Street View cars, they are sniffing out methane leaks and documenting them. So far,
Scroll down the leaderboards of Nürburgring lap times and you'll see mostly racing cars, supercars and sports cars. Delve deep enough and you'll eventually get to hatchbacks and sedans, albeit the most performance-focused of their kind. But a hybrid? Sure, the Porsche 918 Spyder posted the top time for a street-legal series production car, and it's technically a hybrid, but we're talking about another kind of hybrid here. We're talking about a Toyota Prius.