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AddABG First Impression: Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid w/Video

At the New York Auto Show last week we had our first opportunity to actually go for a drive in one of Ford's new plug-in hybrid Escapes. Last year Ford announced a partnership with Southern California Edison to build and test twenty plug-in hybrid Escapes. SCE will be using the crossovers in their fleet to evaluate performance, durability and mileage. They will also be testing out vehicle-to-grid technology using the Escapes. For our drive, Chief Engineer Greg Frenette accompanied us on a half h

AddNew York 2008: BMW North America CEO takes a swipe at Mercedes' clean diesel

During the BMW press conference at the New York Auto Show last week, BMW North America president and CEO Tom Purves made a nice swipe at the earlier announcement from Mercedes about those clean diesel SUVs. While Purves talked about the BMW's ActiveHybrid and clean diesel systems in general, he also said the following (listen for it starting at about a minute into the video after the jump):

AddNew York 2008: Motive Industries' muscular X Prize entry vehicle needs a name

Of the 60+ teams that have signed a letter of intent to participate in the Progressive Automotive X Prize, about 15 were on hand at the New York Auto Show. With only four cars on stage, it's easy to calculate that some teams arrived sans vehicle. The group from Motive Industries had just a little folded flyer to show what they've been working on for their entry vehicle. The basic idea for the as-yet-unnamed Motive vehicle is an electric car with an on-board ICE for range extension. The real chal

AddHow much demand is there for a $60K electric MINI? Not much!

About a month ago Hybrid Technologies sent out press release that they were slashing the price of their electric vehicle conversions. For some time now, they have been offering up MINI Coopers, Chrysler PT Cruisers and even Crossfires among others. The flaw in the plan however was the pricing. There have been questions about actual performance and how many vehicles the company has actually delivered. The one independent test that we are aware was a battery powered Chrysler PT Cruiser the company

AddNew York 2008: Actually, it's not called the Air Car - Q&A with MDI's Guy Negre

The Automotive X Prize announcer used it. We've been using if forever. And, until recently, MDI and Zero Pollution Motors were still calling their vehicles the Air Car. Now, though, to avoid confusion as much as possible, the preferred term is "Compressed Air Vehicle" (don't look now, but the ZPM website still says Air Car). At the New York Auto Show this week, we finally had a chance to sit down with Guy Negre, the creator of the CAV, and his partner Shiva Vencat (Vencat also provided translati

AddNew York 2008: Progressive Insurance CEO on why he's spending $10m on the Auto X Prize

In the general hub-bub before the Automotive X-Prize kick-off event yesterday, we cornered Progressive Insurance's President and CEO Glenn Renwick for a few brief moments to get his thoughts on the prize. I mean, it's his company that is putting up the ten million dollars in prize money, so you can bet he's thought long and hard about paying someone that much for a freakin' car. While insurers are not usually known for being happy about seeing money go out the door, Renwick said he hopes the com

AddOfficially, official: The Progressive Auto X Prize has now begun

Before this release gets too much older (traveling sure eats into blogging time, I'll tell you that), let's confirm what was announced today at the New York Auto Show about the Progressive Automotive X Prize. The full statement can be found after the jump, but here's a bulleted list of highlights:

AddToyota is considering a hybrid for Scion

Click above for high-res gallery of the Scion Hako Concept

AddNew York 2008: Auto Alliance re-emphasizes focus on environment and safety

When the U.S. Congress passes or is about to pass some legislation relating to issues of automobile safety or vehicles' ecological impact, the Auto Alliance speaks up. Why do we only hear from the group on these issues? The Alliance's Charles Territo sat down with us at the New York Auto Show to explain how ten large automakers - BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes Benz USA, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen - work together. The short answer is that, when it comes to sa

AddNew York 2008: will Prius sales make up for slowing Tundra sales?

At the New York Auto Show, Toyota U.S. General Manager Bob Carter spoke with Bloomberg about high fuel prices and the full-size truck market (see video below the fold). Carter said "we are not immune to what the current market conditions are and many full-size truck owners are delaying their purchases, waiting to see exactly where the market is going to go in fuel prices." Not to worry, Carter said, because "we may sell a few less Tundras but we will transfer that reduction in sales to our more

AddNew York 2008: Milner plug-in hybrid waiting in the wings

click to enlarge and enter ABG's high-resolution gallery

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