I ride this new e-bike past thousands strolling along the San Francisco Bay. Travelers ferry to Tiburon, Sausalito, and Alcatraz. Large catamarans race the wind as they prepare for the America’s Cup. The Golden Gate Bridge majestically displays our gateway to Asia. I am test riding a new Specialized Turbo electric-assist bicycle. For the first time, when I leave bicycle paths and merge into traffic I can maintain the same speed as the cars.
Nissan has dropped the price by $6,000 for the new 2013 Nissan LEAF to $28,800 for the newly added S grade, making it the lowest priced five-passenger electric vehicle sold in the United States. In states like California, you can buy this all-electric car for as low as $18,800 with qualifying federal and state tax credits. For the almost 2 years, my wife and I have been driving the all-electric 2011 Nissan LEAF. We love the car.
With 574-miles range, the Accord plug-in hybrid will challenge the Chevrolet Volt, Ford Fusion Energi, and Toyota Prius Plug-in. My test drive was the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV), which will go on sale this January 2013 in California and New York for $39,780. This new Accord has the classic lines of a 4-door, 5-passenger midsized sedan.
Superstorm Sandy, “Snowmegeddon,” El Nino. You need a great car or crossover SUV when that 100-year storm hits. These new all-wheel drive (AWD) cars, crossovers, and SUVs have the best AWD mileage in the United States in 2013. The range from fun, yet thrifty, from Subaru to luxury turbo diesels and hybrids from Audi. We’ll also give you a peak at future plug-in hybrid AWD wonders from Tesla, BMW, and Mitsubishi.
This all-electric city car is priced so low that I had to ask 3 times to confirm. I heard it right. Spring 2013 you can order the smart fortwo electric drive (yes the car name is not capitalized) for $25,000 and be eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit. Your state may offer added incentives. $17,500!
The 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV will be priced by GM at less than $32,500 and eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit and added incentives in several states. Now that GM leads electric car sales in the United States with the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt, it will go after urban dwellers who want a less expensive city EV. Spark EV is the first all-electric vehicle in North America to offer optional SAE Combo DC Fast Charge capability, which can charge the battery to 80 percent of capacity in about 20 minutes.
Before stepping inside Ford’s new crossover for an 80-mile test-drive, I can’t help admiring the looks of this 2013 Ford C-MAX. This 5-seater rides tall like an SUV with a height of 63.8-inches. Here you can buy the C-MAX Hybrid starting at $25,200 and get 47-miles per gallon and 570-mile range, or you can buy the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid starting at $32,900 and get 100 mpg and 620 mile range.
The Los Angeles Auto Show gives a world debut to 50 vehicles for 2013 from Ford, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Subaru, Chrysler, General Motors, BMW, Fiat, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen. If I could select two cars for Green Car of the Year, they would be the Toyota Prius c and the Ford C-MAX.
As I approached the new Avalon Hybrid for my test drive, I noticed that Toyota had preserved the subdued elegance of the exterior while making it more aerodynamic with a .28 coefficient of drag. I sat behind the leather steering wheel in the 10-way power driver leather seat to insure my comfort even on a long drive. The 2013 Avalon Hybrid is rated at 40 MPG city, 39 highway, 40 MPG overall. Price starts $35,555.
The 50,000 electric car owners in the United States are discovering more range from their electric vehicles. Range anxiety is real, but over played due to 2 car households, public charging, business model and battery innovation, and especially due to the convenience of plug-in hybrids.
The new 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid delivers more miles per gallon than any luxury luxury hybrid car in America with an EPA-certified 45 mpg across the board – city, highway and combined. It doesn’t cost a dime extra to get the MKZ as a hybrid. The 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid starts at $35,925 for this richly appointed sedan. The price is the same whether you buy it as a 45-mpg hybrid or with a 2L EcoBoost engine. Other competitors charge a premium for their hybrid models.
As I drive Toyota’s sporty new electric car, sun streams through the red and yellow fall colors that grace Denver’s downtown. This is the new 2013 Scion iQ EV, Toyota’s fourth electric car that joins the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, FCHV, and the RAV4 EV all-electric SUV. This iQ-EV is a micro-compact all-electric city car.
America leads the world in carsharing with one million members – some 65% of the global market. For many people living in university towns and cities, transit, walking, bicycling, and carsharing meets their mobility needs. They do not own a car. For others, carsharing allows households to own only one car, instead of two or three. For many Americans, their first chance to drive an electric car has been in carsharing where costs are as low as $7 per hour or even 35 cents per minute to drive the new electric cars from Nissan, Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Smart, BMW and other automakers.
The past decade has been a pretty incredible time for advances in sustainable transportation. All over the globe, scientists and engineers have worked harder than ever to create greener ways to get around. In looking back, three developments stand out in particular.
At utility giant PG&E, 190 electric trucks are now used to keep things running. If a neighborhood has a power outage, a troubled truck rolls in. A technician is lifted high in the air to look at a transformer on a pole. Auxiliaries can be run for hours including test equipment into a communications. These plug-in trucks can be used twice as many hours per day as diesel trucks with legal noise restrictions. By switching from diesel to electric, PG&E pays for the electric trucks in 2.5 years according to Dave Meisel, Director Transportation for Services for PG&E.