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.
Get in, buckle up, push the start button, put it in forward, push the right pedal, and go. Driving the new Toyota Scion IQ EV the day before the official press release was a real treat, not an October Halloween promotion trick. Feeling like a good dance shoe or ski boot, quick, positive, solid, no [...]
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.
An estimated 691 million passenger cars were on the world’s roads in 2011. When both light- and heavy-duty trucks are included, the number rises to 979 million vehicles, which was 30 million more than just a year earlier. By the end of 2012, the global fleet could top 1 billion vehicles—-one for every seven people on the planet.
With the backing of the House and Senate, Republicans and Democrats, automakers and auto drivers, 54.5 miles per gallon (MPG) is now the law. Many are already driving cars with better than 54 MPG thanks to innovative programs from Zipcar, Enterprise, Hertz, car2go, and other car sharing providers.
It’s never been easier to get into an electric car and drive away. I hold my Drive Now card to the window of this BMW ActiveE, the car unlocks and I take the driver’s seat. I type in my 4-digit passcode, touch Start, shift into Drive and away I go. Today, BMW has added 70 of its electric cars to a unique car-sharing program in San Francisco. I drive a dozen blocks to a parking garage near a meeting at the Marriott. I park the car, log-off with a push of the button, use my membership card to lock the car and I’m done.
One million people around the world are members of a carsharing program offered by Zipcar, Enterprise, Hertz, some innovative regional service, and even programs that let one person make money sharing with others in the community. Electric car owners can use car rental and car share to get hybrid cars that can take them beyond EV range, when they need SUV cargo space, and when they need AWD for snow and storms. For gasoline car owners, car share programs allow drivers to try an electric car for a few hours.
The United States is reducing its dependency on oil as we now consuming 18.3 million barrels a day, down from our peak of 21 million barrels a few years ago. Record use of public transit is a major. According to a report released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Americans took 10.4 billion trips on public transportation in 2011, the second highest annual ridership since 1957.
Iran stopped shipping oil to the United Kingdom and to France. Global oil prices shot-up and we pay more at the pump. Fortunately, oil consumption has peaked in the USA for the 10 reasons that follow. Over 96 percent of our transportation fuel comes from oil refined into gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. To protect our security and national leadership, Americans are taking 10 actions that are reducing our need for oil, not increasing the demand.
Volkswagen’s “Think Small” is ranked as the most successful campaign in advertising history. Electric city cars are a great match for small car lovers. Most city drivers need far less than the range of smaller electric cars which may be limited to 50 miles on highways but double that cruising city streets and benefitting from regenerative braking. The electric city car sales leader is the Mitsubishi i. It can be purchased for $29,125, which is about $6,000 less than the larger Nissan LEAF.
Electric vehicles use electric motors not internal combustion engines. You can probably find a number of smaller electric motors in your house running everything from the washing machine to the garbage disposal. You might also have a cordless power tool that you charge and then run with power from the internal battery. Electric cars use the same approach. Plug in to charge the batteries and then drive away.
I drive this electric smart fortwo to Balboa Park, a popular destination with its vast acres, museums, and famous San Diego zoo. We park the car, sign-off and walk away. If we were paying members, this trip would have cost us only $3 or $4. We got there in minutes without the hassle of car rental or bus transfers. Car2go is a point-to-point car sharing service. You pay 35 cents a minute. If you use lots of minutes your automatically lowered $12.99 per hour. Keep the electric car overnight and pay $65.99 per day.
The number of countries running high-speed rail is expected to double over the next few years, according to new research by the Worldwatch Institute. By 2014, high-speed trains will be operating in nearly 24 countries, including China, France, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the United States, up from only 14 countries today. The increase in HSR is due largely to its reliability and ability to cover vast geographic distances in a short time….
The new 2012 Toyota Camry family of sedans offer improved fuel economy and more for the money. The new Camry Hybrid delivers a combined 41 mpg, soaring past current midsized sedan leader the Ford Fusion Hybrid. The Camry is so popular that 15 million have been sold. It has been America’s best selling car for 9 years. Toyota has sold more than 3 million hybrids; more than all competitors combined. Toyota announces its new seventh-generation Camry family as a bold, sophisticated new design with a more spacious interior, class-leading safety features, improved driving dynamics and quieter ride than before.