By Nick Chambers ·
April 28, 2011

Taking Cues From Other Supercar Makers, McLaren Imagines Electric Cars in Its Future

McLaren—best known for its Formula One racing performance and carbon fiber innovation with the legendary F1 production car from the 90s—has once again started building production supercars. But McLaren, like other supercar makers of the day, senses that shifting emissions regulations worldwide will force them to start thinking outside of the box and has begun planning on ways to include battery propulsion into its supercar mix—using technology it has been perfecting in Formula One racing.

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Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF Earn Top Marks on Crash Tests

By Nick Chambers ·
April 26, 2011

For as long as modern electric cars have been around their batteries have been singled out by the naysayers as an additional liability in an accident. The usual argument revolves around the fact that they have a lot of energy stored in them just waiting to be unleashed on unsuspecting crash victims—frying them to a crisp in the process. But in the first U.S. tests of their kind, the Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt have earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's absolute top crash test ratings.

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By Nick Chambers ·
April 18, 2011

BMW Unveils Pricing for ActiveE—on Sale in 7 U.S. Markets Fall 2011

BMW's much anticipated follow-up to their successful Mini-E test program, the ActiveE all-electric 1-series coupe, is a natural evolution in the company's slow and steady progression towards the launch of the carbon-fiber-framed i3 (formerly known as the MegaCity EV) in 2013. Today BMW revealed that the ActiveE will be available in seven U.S. markets starting in Fall of this year. The price of entry: $2,250 down and $499 per month for 24 months.

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By Nick Chambers ·
April 18, 2011

UPDATED: Who Knew a Single Garage Fire Could Spark So Much Electric Car Bashing?

As modern electric cars pick up steam and win over consumers, the anti-EV crowd is grasping at shorter and shorter straws to try and prove that electric cars are bad. Now it seems that the risk of fires from using electricity is another reason we should fear electric cars. Probably shouldn't be using the computer, that hairdryer or the dining room chandelier either. The solution: candles.

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By Nick Chambers ·
April 15, 2011

New Toyota RAV4 EV Unlikely to Support DC Fast Charging at Launch

The Toyota-Tesla RAV4 EV test drives are done, but it doesn't appear the vehicle will support DC Fast Charging at launch. Citing the lack of agreement on a standard, the high cost of installation and the lack of access to charging stations, Toyota says it will considered changing its mind if some or all of those barriers change in the next year.

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By Nick Chambers ·
April 08, 2011

Plug-in Carmakers Must Figure Out How to Meet New Demands of the Technology Crowd

Cars are increasingly become more computer than car, and plug-in cars are an especially good example of this. The marriage of connectivity and high tech drivetrains is being driven by consumers that are demanding it, but car manufacturers aren't able to keep up with the expectations of consumers that are used to getting the newest gadget every six months to a year. Something's going to have to give, and it won't be the consumers.

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By Nick Chambers ·
March 31, 2011

Morgan Stanley Says Electric Cars Set to Surge, Tesla Stock Surges Too

Citing skyrocketing oil prices and new government policies, investment banking powerhouse Morgan Stanley has released a 50-page manifesto in which company analyst Adam Jonas writes, "conditions are ripe for a shake-up of a complacent, century-old industry," and that Tesla will turn the Big Three into the Big Four American automakers.

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By Nick Chambers ·
March 14, 2011

Japanese Earthquake Disrupts Electric Car Supply, Long-Term Effect Unknown

As Japan comes to grips with the scope of the impact and the human toll of an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami, the country's industrial base has also been shaken. Although most of the southern industrial complexes were spared major damage, most Japanese carmakers have had their Japanese factories closed since the initial earthquake and subsequent tsunami happened on Friday to assess potential impacts to machinery, workers, supply chain logistics, and transportation infrastructure. At minimum, deliveries of the LEAF and i-MiEV can expect significant short term disruption.

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By Nick Chambers ·
March 11, 2011

Mitsubishi's Global Small Concept Designed "From Ground Up" to Support Electric Drivetrain

The name of Mitsubishi's new "Global Small" concept car, unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, does very little to indicate just how important the vehicle is for them—but don't let it fool you. It's the first platform designed by the company to be sold anywhere in the world—developed, undeveloped, first, third, industrialized, computerized, westernized—you name it, the Global Small will be sold everywhere Mitsubishi has a presence. And not only is it designed to have a global appeal, it's designed to be global in its diversity too.

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By Nick Chambers ·
March 10, 2011

Nissan Clarifies: 10,000 LEAFs Built by End of March, Faster Charging Upgrade Being "Studied"

A couple of news items popped up in the last week about the Nissan LEAF that seemed to be promising, but lacked the complete information to make them fully digestible. PluginCars.com thought it would be helpful to delve into these items further, so we reached out to Nissan for clarification.

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