Ford's cloud service is now keeping an eye on fleet location and performance, and even whether the drivers are wearing their seatbelts.
Echo Automotive is adding General Motors vans to its offerings of converted plug-in hybrid vehicles and will bring its EchoDrive PHEV system to GM 2500 and 3500 vans. That will include model year 2010-2014 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana, but don't go trying to get these vehicles converted quite yet.
The Ford Motor Company is getting competitive on the compressed natural gas (CNG) truck front. While Detroit counterparts General Motors and Chrysler have a head start, Ford has begun manufacturing its 2014 F-150 – the first CNG/LPG-capable half-ton pickup – and the CNG engine will be extended to eight of its commercial vehicles.
After working with Coritech Services on a bi-directional DC fast charging solution, Boulder Electric Vehicle says it's now the first-ever electric truckmaker to successfully implement Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) charging. The two companies displayed an electric flatbed utility truck equipped with a Tesla-sized 72-kWh lithium battery pack and a Coritech 60-kW DC fast charger at the Alternative Clean Transportation Expo in Washington, DC this week.
Alliance AutoGas has announced the installation of its 600th autogas (a.k.a. propane) refueling station in the US this month. That's about 21 percent of the 2,842 total propane autogas stations now in the US, according to US Department of Energy data. The Alliance AutoGas industry organization says that it signifies the important role propane autogas is playing in making clean transportation fueling more widely available for US fleets.
In Europe, car rental and car sharing are getting tapped into by automakers to "move the metal." Electric vehicles may come equipped with cutting-edge technology, but when buyers balk, automakers are quick to dump them on fleets.
Echo Automotive, Inc., a start-up company that converts fleet vehicles to hybrids and plug-in hybrids, has announced an impressive Technical Advisory Board. Plug-in electric vehicle expert Chelsea Sexton and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk are two of the seven board members who met in early December to discuss the company's initial product, EchoDrive.
The fight to be the most popular fuel for commercial trucks wages on between the natural gas and clean diesel factions, with alt-player biodiesel joining forces with the Diesel Technology Forum team. The National Biodiesel Board joined up with the forum to improve diesel's reputation in Washington, and beyond, at a time when natural gas is gaining support.
Plug-in electric vehicles haven't been selling at the high rates hoped for in the past two years as the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt and other competitive models made their way to dealer lots. President Obama's lofty goal of one million electric vehicles sold in the US by 2015 appears to be unattainable. By the end of this year, it looks like there will have been around 65,000 to 70,000 plug-in EVs sold in the US market.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Smith Electric Vehicles are working together to create an electric vehicle manufacturing facility in Chicago. Smith Electric Vehicles was drawn to the city by the mayor's voucher system designed to accelerate conversion from diesel to zero-emission electric vehicles, a large number of fleets that are interested in going electric and development incentives offered to Smith. Smith is saying it will create "hundreds of direct and indirect jobs" there.
On- and off-road, multiple-use electric vehicles are being developed by two companies with experience in electric motor technology and powertrains. KLD Energy Technologies, which develops high-performance electric motor technology, and Cenntro Group Limited, a developer of powertrains fueled by diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (also known as propane autogas), have made an agreement to produce four-wheel drive electric vehicles that incorporate KLD's drive system technologies.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is leading a coalition of 22 states to buy up to 10,000 new compressed natural gas cars and pickups per year. The big idea is to present joint bids that would spur production, encouraging automakers to build CNG vehicles at their assembly plants instead of converting them from existing vehicles after the fact. Hickenlooper says this production volume is enough to force a change. "If you do it off the assembly line, it's hardly any additional cost," he told t
Based on the early numbers, Better Place is having a tough time meetings its initial sales target in its primary market of Israel of 4,000 electric vehicles in the first year, but the official word is that the slow start is meeting expectations. How slow? Since selling the first vehicles in July 2012, only 380 Renault Fluence Z.E. EVs had been sold (including cars to employees), with only 80 of those taking place in August.
Smith Electric Vehicles has been patiently waiting to go public on Wall Street, and the time might soon arrive. The Kansas City, MO-based maker of electric delivery vehicles supplies trucks to clients such as Coca-Cola, FedEx Corp. and DHL, and filed for its initial public offering in November.
We've talked before about President Obama's plan to greenify the federal fleet, generally thought of as a good thing. In leading by example, Obama hopes to show the American public that flex-fuel vehicles – and other gas-misers like hybrids and plug-ins – can substantially reduce our dependence on gasoline. However, Automotive News (sub. req.) has posted an interesting article showing that even the best of intentions don't guarantee success.
It's common knowledge that most carmakers selling cars in Europe have a set of models that are a little "greener" than the rest of the line-up. Each OEM's respective marketing department created a set of evocative names for these models, like Citroën's Airdream. Now, Citroën has taken the good idea a step further: mating the green label to its fleet cars. This makes cars with reduced CO2 emissions and lower fuel consumption available to fleet users, and it also makes sense from an econ
Mineta San José International Airport (SJC) has announced $1.3 million in funding for two projects to enhance the airport's publicly-accessible compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station and provide more incentives to assist owners of taxis and shuttle vans to convert vehicles to CNG.
A Spanish Leasing/Renting company called LeasePlan (which actually manages company car fleets) has launched a program called GreenPlan which is an "efficient management program" based on vehicle CO2 emissions. The plan aims to balance green and "real driving" for its 8,000 customer companies and 97,000 drivers.