Recharge Wrap-up: Lexus CT 200h is NWAPA's favorite hybrid, 'No Charge to Charge' in LA

97 Percent Of New Chevy Malibus Have Stop-Start; California Schools Gets EV Buses

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The Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAPA) has given the Lexus CT 200h its Favorite Hybrid title. It named the compact luxury hybrid its favorite of 2014 at its Drive Revolution in Portland (where it also named the new Volkswagen Golf TDI the Northwest Green Car of the Year). According to NWAPA president Nik Miles, the CT 200h earned the honor for "impressive combination of state-of-the-art small car luxury and hybrid technology." For 2014, the Lexus CT200h got an updated front end, including the spindle grille we've been seeing on new Lexus vehicles, plus a redesigned steering wheel and sliding sun visors. Read more in the press release below.

Chevrolet credits the Malibu for helping make stop-start mainstream. Chevrolet started including stop-start technology standard in Malibus equipped with the four-cylinder engine. Chevy has sold about 83,000 of that model, so 97 percent of 2014 and 2015 Malibu sales include stop-start. Now, that technology has made its way into the 2015 Impala. With drivers idling an average of 16 minutes a day, stop-start can significantly reduce harmful emissions and save fuel. According to Navigant Research, we can expect annual sales of cars equipped with stop-start technology to surpass 55 million by 2022. Read more in the press release below.

Nissan Leaf customers in Los Angeles will get access to free charging beginning August 15. Nissan is extending its "No Charge to Charge" promotion to LA, which will allow customers to charge at public charging stations at no cost. Leaf customers - including those who bought or leased their car from the participating dealerships on or after July 1 - will get an EZ-Charge card, allowing them to use ChargePoint, Blink, CarCharging, AeroVironment and NRG eVgo chargers for free. Rapid chargers can charge the Leaf's battery to 80 percent in 30 minutes. Nissan plans to offer the "No Charge to Charge" in at least 14 more markets in the US, bringing the total to 25, within the next year. See the press release below for more details.

California will get six all-electric school buses for three school districts as part of a demonstration program. The California Energy Commission awarded a grant of $1.4 million for the program to National Strategies LLC; this is in addition to a $2.2-million grant from the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The EV buses use vehicle-to-grid technology, allowing them to sell energy back to the grid when it is needed. They are also equipped with vehicle-to-building tech, which can provide power during an outage or disaster. The six emissions-free buses will be used in Torrance, Kings Canyon and Napa Valley Unified School Districts to evaluate their performance. Learn more in the video below.
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Lexus CT 200h Named Favorite Hybrid by Northwest Automotive Press Association

Stylish Exterior Design and Efficient Hybrid Engine Make the 2014 CT 200h a Favorite at Drive Revolution Event

TORRANCE, Calif. (July 22, 2014) – With a fun and stylish exterior and a remarkable EPA-estimated 42 mpg combined fuel economy rating, it's no surprise that the 2014 Lexus CT 200h was named Favorite Hybrid at the Northwest Automotive Press Association's (NWAPA) Drive Revolution event last week in Portland.

During NWAPA's annual summer event, journalists gathered to assess the green vehicle market, learn and engage about upcoming technology and to share what's worked in the Pacific Northwest with the rest of the nation. The two-day event featured vehicle presentations and a focused media ride-and-drive session for journalists to experience driving each vehicle as well as learn each unique technology.

The CT 200h was chosen for its impressive combination of state-of-the-art small car luxury and hybrid technology, according to NWAPA President Nik Miles.

"With six hybrid vehicles in our Lexus lineup, the most of any luxury brand, we are naturally thrilled to be recognized with this honor from NWAPA," said Michael Bevan, General Manager, Lexus Western Area. "We appreciate that drivers in the Pacific Northwest want a compact luxury vehicle that is both fun to drive and highly efficient – the CT 200h really delivers on all fronts."

With its impressive fuel economy rating, sporty exterior and advanced new multimedia features, the CT 200h continues to exceed expectations for a high-efficiency luxury vehicle. Its 1.8-liter gasoline engine blends with an electric motor through an electronic continuously variable transmission for a total system output of 134 horsepower.

The 2014 CT 200h includes several new changes over the 2013 model, including a new front-end design with the brand's dramatic signature spindle grille. The 2014 model also has new interior luxury details, including a redesigned steering wheel and sliding driver and passenger sun visors.

The CT 200h is currently the second best-seller in the entry-luxury automotive segment nationwide, and the best-selling vehicle in the segment in the western United States.

About Lexus
Lexus launched in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since that time, Lexus has expanded its lineup to meet the needs of global luxury customers. Lexus is now going beyond its reputation for high-quality vehicles with the integration of innovative technology, emotional exterior and interior designs, and engaging driving dynamics and performance. With six models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers six F SPORT models and two F models, including the LFA supercar, for top-of-the-line performance. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 233 dealers who are committed to exemplary customer service.

Malibu Leads U.S. Mainstreaming of Stop/Start Technology

Fuel-saving 'blink of an eye' standard application combats effects of vehicle idling

DETROIT – In the blink of an eye, the 2014 and 2015 Chevrolet Malibu is leading the way in bringing fuel-saving standard start/stop technology to the mainstream sedan market.

Ninety-seven percent of customers who purchased a 2014 or 2015 Malibu – accounting for about 83,000 vehicles – opted for the 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder base engine equipped with standard stop/start technology. It is the most aggressive rollout of stop/start technology in the U.S. by an American automaker.

Stop/start reduces fuel consumption and wasteful idling by automatically shutting off the engine when the car comes to a stop – such as at a traffic light. The engine automatically restarts within 337 milliseconds – about the speed of the blink of an eye – after the driver takes his foot off the brake.

"Chevrolet will continue to bring innovative technologies across our product lineup and stop/start is one of many ways we are helping customers save at the gas pump," said Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet cars.

Last fall, the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu became the first vehicle for the brand sold in the U.S. with stop/start technology. In conjunction with a new valve lift control feature and a new six-speed automatic transmission, it helped achieve a 14-percent improvement in city fuel economy, or an EPA-estimated 25 miles per gallon.

J.D. Power's most recent Initial Quality Survey, which measures the quality of vehicles after 90 days of ownership, showed customers ranked the 2014 Malibu higher than any other vehicle in its segment.

The technology capitalizes on vehicle idling occurrences. According to Sustainable America, the average American driver spends 16 minutes each day idling in his or her vehicle. That adds up to four days a year going nowhere.

Vehicle idling also results in Americans wasting approximately 3.8 million gallons of gas each day, according to a study by The Hinkle Charitable Foundation.

This explains in part Chevrolet's commitment to the technology. Recently, Chevrolet announced the addition of standard stop/start technology in the flagship 2015 Impala sedan. It improves city fuel economy by 5 percent, or one mpg for an EPA-estimated 22 miles per gallon. The 2015 Impala is available for sale now.

A report from Navigant Research predicted worldwide sales of vehicles with stop/start technology will grow from 8.8 million in 2013 to 55.4 million in 2022.

For more information on the impact of vehicle idling, visit

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at

Nissan offers free charging for new LEAF buyers in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – There are many attractive reasons for Angelenos to own the all-electric Nissan LEAF: single-occupant access to high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes; an available California state tax rebate of $2,500; much lower operating costs than a gas-powered car and now, free public charging.

Nissan announced today that it is adding Los Angeles to its "No Charge to Charge" promotion, a program that will offer two years of no-cost public charging at hundreds of stations with the purchase or lease of a new Nissan LEAF in the Los Angeles area. This includes no-cost access to fast chargers that can charge a LEAF battery pack from zero to 80 percent in less than 30 minutes.

"Los Angeles has long been one of the world's top markets for electric car sales," said Brendan Jones, director, Nissan Electric Vehicle Sales and Infrastructure. "Adding free access to public fast charging in the LA market gives us a competitive edge over other vehicles, regardless of their fuel source."

"No Charge to Charge" takes advantage of the new EZ-ChargeSM card, a first-of-its-kind card that offers Nissan LEAF owners access to five leading EV charging networks with a single card. New owners will receive an EZ-Charge card that will provide access to chargers with ChargePoint, Blink, CarCharging, AeroVironment and NRG eVgo. (Note: not all chargers available with the EZ-Charge card are part of "No Charge to Charge.")

Nissan now offers "No Charge to Charge" in 11 of the top markets for Nissan LEAF sales, including San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle, Portland, Oregon, Nashville, Phoenix, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston and Washington, D.C. In the next year, Nissan plans to offer the "No Charge to Charge" program and EZ-Charge card at LEAF dealers in at least 14 additional U.S. markets.

"No Charge to Charge" will launch at Nissan LEAF dealers in the Los Angeles market on August 15, 2014. LEAF owners who purchased or leased their vehicle on or after July 1, 2014, in the Los Angeles market will receive entry into the "No Charge to Charge" program retroactively.

For more information on the "No Charge to Charge" promotion and EZ-Charge, visit

About Nissan LEAF
With about 125,000 global sales since launch, Nissan LEAF is the world's top-selling electric vehicle. LEAF seats up to five passengers and boasts an estimated driving range on a fully-charged battery of 84 miles and MPGe ratings of 126 city, 101 highway and 114 combined. The effective price of a Nissan LEAF starts at about $20,000 after the available $7,500 federal tax credit and $2,500 California state rebate, which is competitive with similar gas-powered cars while providing the benefits of lower running costs and less scheduled maintenance.

LEAF is powered by an advanced lithium-ion battery and an 80kW motor that provides a highly responsive, fun-to-drive experience.

The all-electric Nissan LEAF is offered in three trim levels, and shoppers can choose from a variety of available premium features such as leather seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, 7-speaker BOSE® energy efficient audio system and a 6.6 kW onboard charger that significantly reduces 220V charging times.

About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at and, or visit the Americas media sites and

About Nissan Motor Co.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 244,500 employees globally, Nissan sold almost 5.2 million vehicles and generated revenue of 10.5 trillion yen (USD 105 billion) in fiscal 2013. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history with almost 50% share of the zero-emission vehicle segment. For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at

Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) demonstration project partner wins grant to build All Electric School Buses

Largest EV School Bus Project in nation will be the first to launch school buses fitted with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology

WASHINGTON DC: The Commissioners of the California Energy Commission today (7/22/14) approved a grant to National Strategies, LLC (NSI) for $1.4M for an all electric school bus demonstration program in California, the largest EV school bus demonstration in the nation and the first to deploy Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology. The demonstration is part of a Clinton Global Initiative – America (CGI- America) Commitment to Action to assist in launching the market for zero emission, all electric school buses in the U.S. Coupled with a previously awarded grant to NSI from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the total of $2.2M in California will lead to the development of six all electric school buses that will be deployed in Torrance Unified School District (TUSD), Kings Canyon USD and Napa Valley USD.

Kevin Matthews, Managing Director for NSI, and Co-Project Director of the EV School Bus Demonstration project said; "We are very pleased to have received this award from the California Energy Commission and thank them and the South Coast Air Quality Management District for their support. This is the largest demonstration of zero emission school buses in the country and the first to utilize V2G technology to aid in reducing student transportation costs. We are looking forward to working with all of the project participants in California to demonstrate that all electric, zero emission school buses can deliver students safely and cost effectively in school districts across California and the U.S. The project will show that we can remove children from diesel emissions and improve air quality while simultaneously reducing the cost of student transportation and supporting the utility grid."

The goal of the project is to demonstrate and document that the total cost of ownership of all electric school buses is equal to or less than that of traditional diesel powered school buses. The demonstration will document the reduced costs of operating all electric school buses through lower fuel and maintenance costs, the potential to generate revenue by supplying energy stored in the school buses batteries back to the utility grid when not transporting students, as well the reduction of harmful emissions into the air we breathe. The revenue generation component of the demonstration is done by new, but proven technology known as Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) and will be one of several technology projects to be tested during the demonstration. Other areas to be studied, but not limited to are: the all electric school buses performance characteristics, range of operation, emissions reductions and Vehicle-to-Building (V2B) technology, where the school buses can provide power to buildings or other facilities during a power outage or post disaster situation.

The project's additional Commitment to Action partners are: PJM Interconnection, E&Y, NRG, Drive Oregon, The County of Los Angeles and Drive Oregon. The six buses for the California demonstration will be built by Transpower of Poway, CA.

About CGI America
The Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America), a program of the Clinton Global Initiative, addresses economic recovery in the United States. Established in June 2011 by President Bill Clinton, CGI America brings together leaders in business, government, and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster innovation, and support workforce development in the United States. Since its first meeting, CGI America participants have made over 300 commitments valued at more than $15 billion when fully funded and implemented. To learn more, visit

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders year-round and at its Annual Meeting to create and implement solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. CGI also convenes CGI University, which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their communities and around the world. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 2,800 Commitments to Action, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $103 billion. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at

About NSI
NSI is a state and local government consulting firm providing government relations, government sales, public affairs, research and strategic planning services. The firm is organized around seven sector practices, including sustainability, technology, public safety, health care, transportation, education and financial services. In addition, NSI has built a network of over 2500 consultants across the country. This network covers all 50 states as well as the largest 100 cities and largest 100 counties. NSI has become nationally known for its success in generating revenue for its clients, solving problems and creating opportunities through government relations activities, and developing and executing new ideas to help transform government across the country.

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