Fuel Cell

Plug-in Hybrid 2011 Chevrolet Orlando Being Investigated

Posted in Cars, Chevrolet, Electric Vehicles, Emissions, Fuel Cell, General, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, New Cars, Plug-In Vehicles, Vans by Geoff | August 5th, 2009 | 1 Response |

Chevrolet_Orlando_side

Word out of Detroit is that GM is looking to spread Volt-developed technology to other vehicles in their lineup. A smart move in light of the fact that they have dropped significant funds into the plug-in hybrid system. So what vehicle will benefit from this decision? A sporty two-door coupe or convertible? Perhaps one of their numerous thirsty trucks or SUVs. Nope. Their newest minvan.

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2009 Silverado Hybrid Epitomizes Chevy Strategy

2009 Silverado Hybrid

2009 Silverado Hybrid

A casual look around at the hybrid offerings of the major automakers will find an assortment of small or smaller vehicles, usually not exceeding the size of a Camry or Accord. And while GM has the underrated Malibu Hybrid to throw to the wolves that are Honda and Toyota, their other hybrids are large. As in, about as large as they come. In fact, of the eight hybrids in the GM family; besides the Malibu and the soon to be gone Saturn Aura and VUE, the remaining five are SUV/trucks. What’s going on here? Surely there is some sort of method to all of this hybrid madness. Well it turns out that GM is clinging to its SUV roots by attempting to boost up fuel economy in its largest vehicles, like the Silverado truck. Does it work? Or has the added “green” diluted the Silverado’s Bob Seger-loving ways. “Turn the page” to find out. Read More…

Massive Electric Car Roundup: Which Plug-in Is For You?

Opel Ampera

Opel Ampera

Unless you’ve been living in a cave on the Moon with your eyes shut and hands over your ears, you know that electric vehicles are the future. Not a week goes by where there isn’t some announcement about the car that will break the ties of petroleum oppression. For you, dear readers, I have assembled a list of some of the more notable entrants into the EV market with the pros and cons of each. From econoboxes to SUVs, grocery getters to exotics. Enjoy.

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GM’s Project Driveway Brings Hydrogen Fueling Station To JFK Int.’l

Posted in Alt Fuels, auto industry, Car Tech, Cars, Chevrolet, Emissions, Environment, Fuel Cell, Fuel-efficient, GM, Hybrid Technologies, Hydrogen Cars, Newsworthy by Suzanne Denbow | July 14th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |

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Intending to gauge the real-world sustainability of hydrogen-fueled vehicles, GM launched Project Driveway in 2008, equipping select consumers in the greater New York City, Washington D.C., and L.A. areas with a hydrogen powered Chevrolet Equinox for two month increments.

To accommodate the alternatively-fueled vehicles, GM partner Shell Oil, opened its first hydrogen powered fueling station in White Plains, New York in tandem with Project Driveway’s launch. Today, GM and Shell announced the grand opening of a second hydrogen fueling station at JFK International Airport, to be followed be a third opening in the Bronx later this summer.

“These partnerships are critical to building the infrastructure that will make hydrogen a relevant alternative fuel in the future as well as a key to the ongoing success of Project Driveway,” said Larry Burns, GM vice president of R&D and Strategic Planning. Added Duncan Macleod, Shell vice president of Hydrogen, “The prospects for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are strong in the longer-term. This first cluster is an important step as we continue to build capability in retailing hydrogen fuel, in line with the auto makers’ plans to develop hydrogen vehicles.” Read More…

Consumer Reports Places Honda Insight 21st of 22 Cars Reviewed

Posted in Car Buying, Car Reviews, Cars, Fuel Cell, Honda, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, Import Review, Newsworthy, Press Release by Corey | June 30th, 2009 | 1 Response |

2009_honda_insight_hybrid_fail

I’ll go ahead and answer the question in your head. The Dodge Caliber, with a final score of 49 out of 100, is the only vehicle tested by Consumer Reports that scored lower than the Honda Insight (54 points). David Champion, senior director of CR’s Auto Test Center calls it “the most disappointing Honda Consumer Reports has tested in a long time”. CR testers berated everything from its visibility to interior noise and handling. The as-tested 38 mpg fell within manufacturer’s claims and softened the blow a bit, but I have to wonder how a car with so many faults still garners a “Good” overall rating from Consumer Reports. First place was given a “Very Good”. Photos, full press release and my proposed ratings system after the jump.

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Chevy Volt Officially In Prototype Phase

Posted in Car Tech, Chevrolet, Electric Cars, Electric Vehicles, Environment, Fuel Cell, GM, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, Newsworthy by Nathan Redden | June 26th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |

blackvolt1

I’m not even going to try and stifle my fanboyism here. I am totally stoked about the Chevy Volt. As of now, GM has ditched the “Volt in Cruze clothing” mules for full-on preproduction prototypes. Up to 80 cars will be produced between now and October while engineers work out the bugs. So far, I’m loving it in black.
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DOE Cuts Fuel Cell Funding for Cars

Posted in Alt Fuels, auto industry, Car Tech, Emissions, Fuel Cell, Hybrid Technologies, Hydrogen Cars, Newsworthy by Alex Kierstein | May 8th, 2009 | 1 Response |
GM HydroGen3 fuel cell vehicle.

GM HydroGen3 fuel cell vehicle.

The Department of Energy has deeply cut funding for hydrogen fuel cell development for vehicle applications. Several automakers, including Honda and GM, have been touting fuel cells as the premier clean power source of the future, but the DOE is unconvinced.

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2009 GMC Yukon Denali Hybrid Preps For NY Auto Show Debut

Posted in Auto Show, Emissions, Fuel Cell, GM, GMC, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, Luxury Cars, New Cars, New York Auto Show, Newsworthy, Pictures, SUV by Suzanne Denbow | April 6th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |

2009_gmc_yukon_denali_hybrid

Slightly less popular but still just as ridiculous, the 2009 GMC Yukon Denali Hybrid will be joining the 2009 Cadillac Escalade Platinum Hybrid at GM’s “Hey look, we’re trying!” booth at the 2009 New York Auto Show next week. Like the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, the Yukon Denali Hybrid is equipped with GM’s 332-horsepower 6.0L Vortec V8 VVT engine, mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Thanks to GM’s Active Fuel Management system and automatic cylinder deactivation, the Yukon Denali Hybrid achieves a fairly significant boost in fuel economy with an official EPA rating of 20 mpg city/21 mpg hwy (up from 12 mpg city/17 mpg hwy on the standard Yukon).

As GMC’s premium SUV, the Yukon Denali Hybrid doesn’t skimp on luxury and comes standard with 12-way power, heated/cooled leather-appointed perforated front seating and heated, second-row, leather-appointed bench seating, GM’s OnStar with Directions & Connections and Turn-by-Turn Navigation, navigation radio with rear camera system, a Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound System and three years of real-time XM NavTraffic. Optional accessories include either an Ebony or Cashmere interior, a sunroof, rear-seat entertainment DVD system, and side blind zone alert mirrors.

Also standard on the 2009 GMC Yukon Denali Hybrid is a hefty price tag, and buyers can expect to part with anywhere from $59,185 (2WD) to $62,030 (AWD) for the privilege of parking the green wagon in their driveway. In addition, thanks to its official classification as a hybrid, buyers may also be eligible to receive up to $2,200 in federal tax credits – which should be just enough to cover the tab for whatever hooker buying/8-ball snorting activity the Denali’s target demographic typically engages in. Read More…

Mercedes-Benz F-CELL Roadster Throws It Clear Back To 1886

mercedes-benz-f-cell-roadster-7

Not to be confused with the battery-powered Mercedes-Benz F-Cell Sports Tourer hybrid introduced at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show, the F-CELL Roadster unveiled today is a concept vehicle created by engineering students from Mercedes-Benz’s Germany-based Sindelfingen plant. A purely student-driven (no pun intended) project from the ground up, the F-CELL Roadster is the tangible result of an internal educational program aimed at providing hands-on training in automotive research, development, and production. Designed to pay homage to the rich history of Mercedes-Benz, the F-CELL Roadster cleverly integrates the design aesthetic of the first gasoline-powered automobile ever created more than 120 years ago with the cutting-edge electric hybrid technology of the 21st century. Precariously perched on a set of large-spoke wheels inspired by those found on the Benz Patent Motor Car in 1886, the F-CELL’s carbon fiber body houses an extremely advanced 1.2kW propulsion system capable of traveling up to 350km on a single charge.

“This project impressively demonstrates that the topic of sustainable mobility has become an integral part of our vocational training,” explained Mercedes-Benz Human Resources Board member and Labor Relations Manager, G√ľnther Fleig. “I am delighted to see how much initiative and creativity the young people have put into this project.” Read More…

Tata Nano To Hit Dealerships In April ’09 As World’s Cheapest Car

Posted in Cars, Commuter Cars, Compact Cars, Emissions, Foreign Cars, Fuel Cell, Micro Cars, New Cars, Newsworthy, Tata by Suzanne Denbow | March 24th, 2009 | Leave a Reply |

tata_nano_worlds_cheapest_car

Despite our earnest hope otherwise, it appears as though the Tata Nano is once again slated for release and poised to take the global auto market by storm. Initially unveiled in production form back in January, the Tata Nano instantly made headlines with its sensational claim as the cheapest car in the world. Featuring a retail price of just 100,000 rupees ($1,979) the 10-foot long Nano was designed to encourage India’s motorcycle riders to upgrade to a safer means of transport by offering an affordable four-wheel vehicle. Powered by a 33bhp, 624cc 2-cylinder rear-mount engine, the Tata Nano maxes out at 65 mph yet supposedly achieves 54 mpg, making it highly desirable for India’s primitive, congested traffic conditions.

As expected, Indian consumer demand for the Nano has been enormous, but construction complications with Tata’s factory have limited the number of Nano’s produced to only 100,000 units the first year. Taking great pains to resolve the problem as fairly as possible without alienating any potential customers, Tata has announced they will be using a computerized lottery system to distribute the first vehicles when they officially become available on April 9th. Read More…