By Nick Chambers ·
February 15, 2011

Electric Smart ForTwo Plans Unclear as Smart USA Merges with Mercedes

After dismal U.S. sales under the Penske Automotive Group, the Smart USA brand is heading for the comfortable territory of Mercedes-Benz USA. The transition is happening at a time when the Smart Electric Drive is starting to hit early consumers' hands, but the fate of the Smart ED is unknown.

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By Nick Chambers ·
February 11, 2011

Coal-Fired Electricity Headed for 'Massive' Declines, Electric Cars to Benefit

If you are into electric cars, chances are pretty good that after a while you get a little tired of responding to claims that plug-in vehicles are simply shifting pollution from tailpipes to smokestacks. U.S. Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, predicts that within the next eight years, the U.S. will see "massive" closures of coal power plants. These plants are old and the cost of upgrading them to meet new regulations doesn't make sense when a company could easily open up a much cleaner natural gas power plant in its place—or even a nuclear facility or a wind farm.

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By Nick Chambers ·
February 09, 2011

White House Pushes For a $7,500 Instant Cash Rebate Towards Electric Car Purchases

A day after U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) reintroduced a bill to turn the existing $7,500 federal electric car purchase tax credit into an instant rebate—and a couple of weeks after President Obama called for a renewed goal of getting one million electric cars on the road by 2015—the Obama administration is putting its full weight behind the instant rebate proposal, saying it's the most effective way to make electric cars more accessible.

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By Nick Chambers ·
February 09, 2011

Nissan Unveils ESFLOW Electric Sports Car Concept, Solidly Hinting At Future Design

Both the Z series and the GT-R have established Nissan as a force in the sports car world, and with the LEAF Nissan is already considered the leader in pure electric drivetrains. So it's only natural the company would want to mash the two seemingly disparate things together—which is exactly what they've gone and done

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By Nick Chambers ·
February 08, 2011

Nissan Won't Deliver 20,000 LEAFs in U.S. in 2011, Again Commits to All Firm Orders Being Filled By September

At the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) annual convention in San Francisco, Nissan's North American Senior Vice President for Sales, Brian Carolin, said that reaching 20,000 deliveries of Nissan LEAFs in the U.S. in 2011 was not likely to happen—the first time Nissan has said it won't reach its original goal. The admission comes at a time Nissan is facing criticism for its management of the LEAF rollout.

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By Nick Chambers ·
January 30, 2011

Buy a Nissan LEAF Now or Wait to Buy a Ford Focus Electric? 7 Things to Think About.

If you're in the market for an all-electric car, the lack of competition for the Nissan LEAF is about change with the impending arrival of the 2012 Ford Focus Electric. What this represents is no less than the first time ever that two mass-produced, relatively affordable, consumer-oriented, mid-sized 100% electric cars will be available for regular folks to buy and own. So, how do these two EVs stack up?

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By Nick Chambers ·
January 29, 2011

Ford Focus Electric Likely Won't Support DC Fast Charging at Launch

If you've been following the news about the upcoming Ford Focus Electric, you've likely seen Ed Begley Jr. junior acting as a pitch man for the vehicle. One of the loudest selling points that Ford has Begley Jr. espouse to set the Focus Electric apart from its only all-electric competition—the Nissan LEAF—is that the Focus charges at twice the speed of the LEAF. Turns out, that point is a bit disingenuous.

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By Nick Chambers ·
January 27, 2011

Exclusive: Mitsubishi's North American CEO Details New Electric Vehicle Strategy

Last week we heard that Mitsubishi—in an effort to staunch a sales decline and move the company into the future—is completely revamping its product strategy to focus on global platforms and electrified vehicles. The plan ambitiously calls for the introduction of six new electric vehicles by 2015, plus an unknown number of hybrids, and will entail a 30% increase in Mitsubishi's global research and development budget. PluginCars.com reached out to Mitsubishi for their take on it and to get a bit more detail.

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By Nick Chambers ·
January 27, 2011

Smart USA Delivers First ForTwo Electric Car—Also Available as a Convertible

Chalk up another first delivery for an electric car manufacturer in the U.S.—smart USA has delivered the first of 250 nationwide pilot program electric vehicle leases, leading up to a full launch in 2012. The vehicle, a purpose-built electric smart ForTwo—also known as the smart ED—comes in both a hard top and cabriolet configuration, making it the first average consumer-targeted electric convertible on the U.S. market

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By Nick Chambers ·
January 26, 2011

Obama: Pay for Increased Electric Car Funding By Cutting Big Oil Subsidies

With a bunch of new faces in the crowd last night—and with a clearly unenthusiastic new Speaker of the House sitting behind him—President Barack Obama spent a significant portion of his State of the Union Address talking about the country's energy challenges. And, as opposed to last year's address, the electric car was prominently featured.

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