"Help me help you!" Tom Cruise's title character pleaded repeatedly in the movie Jerry Maguire. That sentiment could be said by appears to be echoed by a UC Davis study that looks at why many car dealers are loathe to sell plug-in vehicles and how they can be, uh, helped.
If Tesla Motors chief Elon Musk was an I-told-you-so type of guy, here's his chance to do so. It turns out that plug-in vehicle buyers are generally less satisfied with their dealership experience than conventional-vehicle buyers. And the dealers themselves don't like the process much, either. So says a study from the University of California, Davis.
When it comes to deploying electric-vehicle charging stations, University of California Davis is giving it the old college try. The school, located just outside of Sacramento, has 38 plug-in vehicle charging stations on campus, making it the most charging-friendly institution of higher learning in the country. That's according to ChargePoint, which says more than 1,100 on-campus stations have been deployed since the first one was installed at Pasadena City College four short years ago.
Shopping for cars is exciting, but daunting, especially when trying to calculate cost of ownership. And if you commute to work, you want to know what you'll be spending to get there and back. If you want to compare electric cars to gasoline-powered options, this can all get pretty confusing. Thankfully, UC Davis has launched its online Electric Vehicle Explorer tool to help make driving costs much clearer.
A UC Davis white paper maps out "Three Routes Forward for Biofuels," balancing investment risk with carbon benefits. The first option is "incremental," in which we tinker with the existing biofuel manufacturing infrastructure for small improvements over time. The "transitional" plan suggests integrating cellulosic production and other innovations with existing operations. The third route, called "leapfrogging," would mean building refineries based on new technology such as cellulosic and algae-b
In the three years since automakers started selling mass-produced plug-ins such as the Nissan Leaf battery-electric and Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in, global customers have acquired a half-million plug-ins, according to a UC Davis report. That adoption rate is faster than how quickly people bought hybrid-electric vehicles during the first three years of gas-electric vehicle commercial availability more than a decade ago.
OK, so this isn't exactly a "man-bites-dog" type of story, but it's still worth noting that electric vehicle buyers enjoy green energy. Turns out, folks are more likely to buy a plug-in vehicle if they know the electricity that will power the car, or at least some of it, will come from a renewable energy source.
Newsflash: Over the last few decades, cars have gotten both heavier and more powerful in addition to getting somewhat better fuel mileage. No shocker, right? Still, it's interesting to actually sit down and take a good look at the data to see what additional information can be gleaned.
UC Davis got $3 M from the California Energy Commission to open a new plug-in, hybrid research center. Pat's Garage will convert 10 Priuses for the center, adding a $12,000 battery that extends the electric-only range up to 40 miles, and the total range of the car to 100 miles per gallon. UC Davis will loan the cars for eight weeks to 100 random members of AAA Northern California.
Back in January we told you about Team Fate, the UC Davis entry in the Challenge X: Crossover to Sustainable Mobility competition. Team Fate are outfitting a GM Equinox with a plug-in electric hybrid flex-fuel powertrain which will increase the fuel economy of the vehicle from its original 19 mpg to 36.2 mpg in city traffic. The head of the UC Davis team, Prof. Andrew Frank, was kind enough to answer some of our questions about the competition, their entry and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (P
The Challenge X: Crossover to Sustainable Mobility engineering competition is on. And the University of California, Davis Hybrid Electric Vehicle Group (Team Fate) is calling on Lithium Technology Corporation (LTC) to help them out in re-engineering the Chevy Equinox to use lithium-ion cells. The contest, sponsored by General Motors (GM) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), is running over three years with the challenge to re-engineer a GM Equinox crossover sport utility vehicle to minimize