Electric car maker/modifier Zap has been busy lately. At the end of February, they took an order for 100 electric SUVs from Korean company Samyang, who also happens to be its strategic investor and distribution partner. Now, they've announced an agreement with Battelle, an international science and technology company that manages Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, to license PNNL's Smart Charger Controller. The controller allows owners of plug-ins to minimize the cost of charging their vehic
We've been chronicling the world of more efficient vehicles for almost four years now, but we're still the new kind on the block compared to long-time organizations like CalCars and that group's leader, Felix Kramer. At a recent meeting of the Electric Auto Association (of which CalCar is also a chapter) in Palo Alto, CA, Kramer took a look back at what CalCar has accomplished over the last eight years or so and, in doing so, created a slide show of the recent history of the plug-in vehicle move
digg_url = 'http://digg.com/autos/Plug_in_Cars_To_Get_Special_License_Plates_in_Ontario_by_10'; Want to emblazon your ride with Ontario's new "environmentally friendly vehicles" license plate? There are two hurdles you'll have to jump. First, wait until next year when the plate actually becomes available on July 1. Second, you'll need to get a car with a plug. According to the Toronto Star, the new green vehicle plates are for plug-in hybrids and battery-powered cars only.
Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota brand, came to Detroit on Monday to have lunch with some local media. Among the topics of discussion at the gathering were Toyota's plans for zero emissions vehicles.
They won't look like the second-generation Prius plug-in pictured above, but Toyota has announced the first of its non-European leasing programs for its new PHEV (see here). Starting late this year Toyota will start leasing 200 plug-capable Priuses to government and commercial fleets in Japan. A similar program has been mentioned by Toyota executives for the U.S. market in the past and an announcement on that should probably be coming soon.
We all know that there is a hardcore group of consumers out there chanting the mantra of "No plug, no sale!" Okay, well, at least a few of you. The problem is that, like commenters on the internet, the loud fringe makes most of the noise, but often actually represents a very small percentage of the total population. For the rest of the car buying public, the realities of choosing a new car go well beyond the ability to "refuel" from a plug in the garage. This is the reality that Toyota, General
We all know that there is a hardcore group of you out there chanting the mantra of "No plug, no sale!" Okay, well, at least a few of you. The problem is that, like commenters on the internet, the loud fringe makes most of the noise, but actually represents a very small percentage of the total population. For the rest of the car buying public, the realities of choosing a new car go well beyond the ability to "refuel" from a plug in the garage. This is the reality that Toyota, GM, Nissan, Mitsubis
Nearly a year ago the city of Seattle started a field test of 14 Toyota Priuses converted to plug-in hybrid capability. At the time, the expectation was that the cars would top 100 mpg overall and 150 mpg in urban driving. The problem is that these PHEVs, like all other hybrids, are particularly sensitive to driving style. If you try to accelerate at any rate above the bare minimum the system won't stay in EV mode and the mileage improvement is slashed. After 17,636 miles, the 14 cars in the cit
Even if not everyone likes the Prius conversion aftermarket results, it can't be a bad thing that there is one more team out there willing to add batteries and a plug to your Prius, right? The WSJ recently profiled Daniel Sherwood and Paul Guzyk of Berkeley's 3Prong Power Inc., which will upgrade your Prius for about $7,000. That seven grand will get you an extra 5 kwh of power from 360 lbs of lead acid batteries (originally designed for electric wheelchairs), enough to go about 10 miles in elec
Despite Toyota's reluctance to release plug-in hybrid versions of its popular Prius hatchback, there are a number of companies that are willing to sell you a retrofitted model. Add another to the list, as Jungle Motors in Orange County, California, which has been converting Porsche 911s and Chrysler PT Cruisers to electric drive for a little while now, has just released its PHEV Prius. The company has created a facility that performs the conversion so the owner just needs to drop the car off. Af
At least a few dozen people around the country have now done one-off conversions of hybrids like the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape to transform them into plug-in vehicles. For those who may not have the hardware hacker gene in their DNA, the first commercially available plug-in conversion kit is now on the market from A123 Systems subsidiary HyMotion. Popular Mechanics Detroit Editor Larry Webster recently had the chance to sample a converted Prius with the HyMotion kit for a couple of days. The