By Nick Chambers ·
March 09, 2011

Republican Senator Buys Nissan LEAF: 'Patriotic Not Sending Money to People Trying to Blow Us Up'

If there's one thing about plug-in cars that makes them great conversation pieces, it's that no matter what your concerns or political stripes there is something beneficial in them for you. From the environment, to supporting a local economy, to decreasing dependence on foreign oil, to national security, electric cars have the potential to kill many birds with one stone. One Republican Senator—Lamar Alexander—is proving this point in droves by continuing to be one of the most outspoken electric car advocates in Washington D.C.

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By Nick Chambers ·
March 07, 2011

Leviton's Portable Electric Car Charging Stations Are a Big Deal, Here's Why

The lack of public charging stations for electric cars is often cited by EV foes and skeptics alike as one of the major reasons they aren't practical for daily driving. But imagine if you could pop your personal charging station into the trunk of your Nissan LEAF at the beginning of every day, drive to whatever destinations you needed to go that day, and add 15 miles of driving range every time you stopped for an hour without depending on there being an existing charging station? Having that capability would certainly add some security to your EV lifestyle.

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By Nick Chambers ·
March 03, 2011

Next Generation Lithium-Ion Batteries With at Least 40% More Capacity Get $25M Investment Boost

Amprius, a California-based company founded in 2008 by Stanford Professor Yi Cui, has been working diligently on commercializing some promising next generation lithium-ion battery technology since 2007. With at least a 40% gain in capacity over conventional lithium-ion batteries—and potential for as much as a 500% gain—the $25 million shot in the arm the company received today helps to validate their progress and highlight the potential for the new technology.

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By Nick Chambers ·
March 02, 2011

Mitsubishi Reportedly Readying Online Reservation System for i-MiEV Within Next 90 Days

Mitsubishi may be the quietest EV manufacturer in the initial crop of modern electric cars, but that doesn't mean it's out for the count. In preparation for the imminent arrival of the i-MiEV on the U.S. market, Mitsubishi is reportedly prepping an online reservation process and hopes to avoid some of the foibles of rivals in the electric car market.

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By Nick Chambers ·
March 01, 2011

Electric Volkswagen Microbus Becomes Reality in New Concept

Unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show today, Volkswagen's new Bulli concept revives the Microbus in modern form and stuffs it full of batteries to turn it into an all-electric vehicle with a stated 186 mile range. On the surface it's an exciting concept that's very close to something I've been audibly pining for with the German carmaker. But it also feels like a bit of a miss.

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By Nick Chambers ·
February 24, 2011

2012 Fisker Karma First Drive Roundup; Production Begins Next Month

We're now about a month away from the expected start of production of the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid electric luxury sports sedan. To mark the occassion, Fisker has provided a scant few chosen media outlets with the opportunity to drive the $97,000-$110,000 car—representing the first time it has been driven and reviewed for public consumption. PluginCars.com has the roundup.

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By Nick Chambers ·
February 21, 2011

Volvo Unveils Plug-in Hybrid Diesel V60: 124 MPG, 30 Electric Miles, AWD, 0-60 in 6.9 Sec

Ahead of next week's Geneva Motor Show Volvo has taken the wraps off its latest plug-in project, the V60 PHEV. Calling it "three cars in one," Volvo has included just about everything but the kitchen sink for next generation car enthusiasts: an all-electric range of 30 miles using a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery, 124 mpg when driving in hybrid mode, a 2.4 liter turbocharged diesel engine, all-wheel drive using the electric motor for the rear wheels and the diesel engine for the front wheels, and a sport mode that combines both power sources for maximum performance resulting in a 0-60 mph time of 6.9 seconds.

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By Nick Chambers ·
February 17, 2011

Tesla's 2010 Losses Widen Amid Preparation for Release of Model S

Tesla may still be burning through cash at a breakneck pace, but that didn't stop the company from predicting up to 50% growth in revenue for 2011. The company ended the 4th quarter 2010 with a loss of $51.4 million dollars, compared to a loss of $23.2 in the 4th quarter a year earlier, but reported that revenue for 2010 was $116.7 million, up from $111.9 in 2009.

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By Nick Chambers ·
February 16, 2011

Land Rover Unveils 'Range_e,' a Diesel-Electric Plug-In Hybrid SUV

"Diesel-electric plug-in hybrid SUV" might be a bit of a mouthful, but it's a mouthful many alternative vehicle supporters have drooled over for some time. And by combining the efficiency and torque of a diesel engine with an electric drivetrain that allows 20 miles of zero-tailpipe emissions on a full battery into the body of a tried and true SUV, Range Rover has succeeded in building a slobber-worthy concept.

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By Nick Chambers ·
February 15, 2011

Obama's Proposed Budget Pumps Up Support for Electric Cars, Bipartisanship Hard to Come By

In the weeks following President Obama's State of the Union Address, the Administration's public campaign to increase support for electric cars and associated infrastructure has been gaining both steam and focus. In coordination with Democratic members of Congress, Obama has renewed his call for the U.S. to become the first country to get 1 million electric cars on its roads by 2015. With the unveiling of President Obama's proposed federal budget, those words have been turned into concrete steps—but does it have legs?

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