Conventional Cars

The Newest EV Data: CleanTechnica’s 2018 EV Report is Now Available

For the third year in a row, CleanTechnica has published an in-depth report on electric car drivers in North America and Europe. For the cross-continental report, we surveyed over 2,000 electric car drivers. This year, we also surveyed over 1,000 people who don’t yet have an electric car. You can read the executive summary below, get a free preview of the report here, or go ahead and buy the full report at a 50% discount in the coming week ($1500 instead of $3000). If you will be at AEC2018 in Brussels in a couple of days, I will be presenting additional findings from the report there during the opening plenary — along with other electric vehicle findings and hopefully useful insights. The electric transport industry is one of the hottest industries in the world. Billions of dollars ...

EV Charging Vs. Rolling Gas Stations: Shell Spots An Opportunity

In a true story ripped from the pages of The Onion, Royal Dutch Shell is bringing all the convenience of EV charging to the gasoline-buying public. The company is pilot testing a fleet of rolling gas stations that will deliver fuel to wherever your car is. The idea is to mod out a tanker truck with pumps, and bring it to convenient spots like restaurants and shopping malls — and perhaps to gasmobile drivers who run out of gas on some lonely road miles from the nearest gas station. No, really. It’s really real. Do the google yourself — Shell launched its “Shell TapUp” service in Rotterdam last year and is now launching a new pilot program for the service in Houston. So, is this a super smart strategy to sell more gas in a shrinking market, or does it point to a...

CNG Trucks are Hauling Without Emissions

Almost a half trillion dollars worth of goods are imported in the US through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach every year. Almost all the containers that arrive at those ports are hauled relatively short distances to freight distribution facilities located inland by special purpose drayage trucks designed specifically for such short-haul work. At those freight terminals, the containers are hooked up to the long distance tractors that will deliver them to every part of America. With so much cargo coming in, tens of thousands of trips between the ports and the terminals take place all day every day. With rare exceptions, all those drayage trucks are equipped with diesel engines that spew out tremendous quantities of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur oxide emissions, making th...

2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid Arrives in Dealerships

Sport Hybrid SUV. Three words calculated to appeal to an impressive Venn diagram of the American motoring public. Paired with a premium badge, 37% higher fuel efficiency, and not so premium hybrid upgrade cost, this seven passenger NSX cousin may be the large SUV hybrid to beat in 2019. And you can see one right now. The 2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid began arriving at Acura dealerships nationwide August 1st featuring four new exterior color options and new interior wood treatment. The 2019 MDX Sport Hybrid will open with a starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $52,800 (excluding $995 destination and handling). This price reflects only a modest price premium of $1,500 over the conventionally powered MDX SH-AWD® with Technology Package despite offering standard adaptiv...

Mazda Denies Emissions Cheat Allegations

When news broke that Mazda might have been caught cheating on emissions tests, the press moved quickly to report it. I didn’t, because I didn’t believe Mazda had it in them. Today, Mazda released more details about the “suspect” tests and their testing methods that seems to effectively refute those cheating allegations recently leveled at Mazda (and, it should be said, Suzuki). The official Mazda statement is included, below. Before you read that, however, consider the culture of Mazda. Mazda is the company that drilled holes into seats, pedals, and bulkheads to reduce weight in the 90s. They’re the company that brought back the roadster. They’re also the company that forged ahead with the Wankel, and made it a workable, emissions friendly passing thing....

US Appeals Court: $10 Billion VW Settlement Stands

Any hope VW had of avoiding a $10.03 billion payout to owners of its emissions-cheating diesel cars were dashed Monday, when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a number of the company’s objections to the settlement. The settlement, originally reached in 2016, is meant to appease the owners of nearly 500,000 polluting diesel vehicles. In their judgement, the three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said that the settlement, “delivered tangible, substantial benefits to class members, seemingly the equivalent of — or superior to — those obtainable after successful litigation, and was arrived at after a momentous effort.” All of which is to say that it seemed pretty fair to them. So far, it looks like VW will be on the hook for as much as $25 b...

Ford Hits CO2 Emissions Targets — 8 Years Early!

Earlier this week, Ford announced that it had achieved its stated goal to reduce the CO2 emissions of its manufacturing facilities to more sustainable levels. The kicker, though, is that it didn’t just meet its 2017 goal. The Blue Oval has met its 2025 goal. (!) I will freely admit that I’ve been a bit hard on Ford lately forever, but stuff like committing its EV development to China while its US lineup languishes is annoying. The company’s decision to wait for an NEP mandate to commit to electric, biofuel, or fuel cells is also pretty f***ing maddening. Still, this is a big win, and I’m happy to give the Ford guys a well-earned victory lap for it. You can check out the official Ford press release, below. Then let us know what you think of the company’s effort...

Death of Diesel: Volvo Says No to New Diesel S60

Volvo has been leading the way recently with a carbon neutral engine factory in Ghent, Belgium and a commitment to electrify its entire model range from 2019 on. So, Volvo is committed to doing good stuff- but it’s also going stop doing bad stuff. In that spirit, Volvo Cars have announced that they will not be offering a diesel version of their mainstream S60 sedan when that model gets redesigned next year. That’s huge! It’s not just a big deal in light of Volkswagen’s multi-billion dollar criminal fraud case for diesel emissions, either. It’s huge because the S60 diesel has been one of the company’s hottest sellers. Pulling the plug can mean only one thing: Volvo is serious about going green. Check out the official press release, below, then let us know...

Hyundai Launches Redesigned Veloster in Austin

I have a bit of a soft spot for the Hyundai Veloster. With its asymmetrical doors and a bulldog stance that was evident from the very start, I feel like it’s hard not to love the little Veloster. “It won’t last,” I said, the first time I saw one up close. “It’s too weird and too cool- it can’t possibly be allowed to live.” But live it does, and live it will, because Hyundai just launched an all-new Veloster for 2019. The official press release goes into detail about the car’s new Nu (get it?) turbo engine- which takes me way back to 1994 when Hyundai launched its first “Alpha” 1.5 liter 3 valve engine in the Veloster’s spiritual ancestor, the Scoupe. That was another car I have a bit of a soft spot for. Enough about ol...

Volvo to Embed Android Apps into Next-Gen Infotainment

Volvo was the first mainstream company to integrate Apple CarPlay compatibility into its products. Since 2017, in fact, every new model the company has launched has been more than compatible- they’ve had Apple’s CarPlay as standard. Volvos have also offered the hyper-connected an Android option, as well, with Android Auto (downloadable as a free app), but it seems that the company is taking its relationship with Android and Google even further in the coming months by incorporating Android Apps directly into its “front and center” Sensus infotainment system. The move would allow Volvo owners to access apps like Google Maps and Google Assistant without the need to connect their car to a mobile device. It’s a slick move, I think. It will allow users to seamlessly...

Celebrating 40 Years of the VW Jetta

Volkswagen will soon be celebrating a major milestone- the fortieth anniversary of the VW Jetta. Being the company’s most popular model in North America, the success or failure of the Jetta is (or, at least, was) the success or failure of VW. As such, it seems a fitting time to look back at the first Jetta as we prepare to welcome the newest redesign of the iconic nameplate. The Germans seem to think so, anyway- because that’s precisely what they did! So, take a look at the photo gallery, above, then read the full press release, below. Once you’ve taken it all in, we’d love to hear what you think of the cars- past and present!- the comments section at the bottom of the page.   FOUR DECADES OF PROGRESS: HOW THE 2019 VOLKSWAGEN JETTA COMPARES TO THE 1980 ORIGINAL...

Mazda Skactiv-X Gets Gold at Edison Awards for Innovation

Mazda may be alone in their belief that the internal combustion engine has plenty of life left, but their Syactiv-X HCCI engine definitely seems like the real deal. To recap: Mazda believes their tech will both increase horsepower and improve fuel economy and vehicle emissions without the added weight and cost of a battery and charging system. It seems to work- well enough, at least, to earn the company Gold at the Edison Awards for Innovation earlier this month! “We are humbled that Edison Awards steering committee and industry leaders selected Mazda’s Skyactiv-X engine for a gold award,” said Masashi Otsuka, VP of R&D and design, Mazda North American Operations. “Mazda’s goal is to create a sustainable path forward, introducing cars and technologies that enrich people’s lives as wel...

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