Style & Culture


Thu Oct 10 2013 00:47:47 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

4 Quick Green Car Care Tips.


Mon Jul 15 2013 21:51:54 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Make your own biodiesel for $0.80 - $0.90 per gallon!

40 Gallon kit for $1,819.95


Fri Jun 07 2013 17:19:45 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Portland a EV-charging haven with no excuse for range anxiety

Portland, Oregon is making good on its green image by providing enough publicly accessible electric-vehicle charging stations for a plug-in driver to peruse the region without getting even a hind of range anxiety, AOL's Translogic reports.

Translogic drove a Nissan Leaf about 300 miles during a 48-hour timeframe, touring much of the city as well as surrounding areas such as the Columbia River Gorge, Hood River and Mount Hood. The reporter found the city to be "modern, progressive and prepared to take on a large EV population."

Oregon had 326 publicly accessible charging stations as of late last month, putting it fifth among all US states, according to the US Department of Energy. There are about 85 publicly accessible charging stations in Portland proper, according to the DOE.

The US government's EV Project has installed about 400 Level 2 commercial chargers and 14 fast chargers in Oregon's Willamette Valley, and more than 40 fast chargers are supposed to be online in the state by the end of the year. You can watch the Translogic video below.


Sun Mar 17 2013 15:23:16 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

The number one complaint about electric vehicles is the range. This infographic lists the average range of an EV at 60 miles, which I think is a little low at this point. But on average, do most people REALLY drive more than that in a day?


Sun Mar 17 2013 15:30:54 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Got a Chevy Volt? Pick up an extra charger so you can keep one at home and one with you all the time!


Mon Feb 04 2013 17:23:28 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Tesla now delivering 60-kWh Model S. A Tesla Model S for hoi polloi? Not quite, but the luxury electric vehicle maker apparently has started deliveries of its "middle-ground" sedans fitted with 60-kWh batteries, Green Car Reports says, citing threads from the online Tesla Motors car club.

Tesla hasn't yes confirmed 60-kWh Model S deliveries, which has a base price of $62,400. That's a $10,000 "discount" from the 85-kWh versions already on the road. The trade-off is a single-charge range that's about 75 miles less than the 285-mile range of the top-of-the-line battery. For buyers who want to spend even less, the better news is that Tesla's 40-kWh version should start deliveries by the middle of 2013, offering a single-charge range of about 145 miles (and no Supercharging) for another $10,000 less.

Earlier this month, Automotive News reported that Tesla was on the verge of hitting full production capacity of 400 new vehicles a week, about double Tesla's pace three months ago. The Model S won the Motor Trend Car of the Year award last November.


Thu Jan 31 2013 21:07:59 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

The Mini E is powered by an asynchronous electric motor that is mounted in the former engine bay and is rated at 204 PS (150 kW) and 220 N·m (160 lbf·ft) of torque. Drive is sent to the front wheels. The Mini E employs a lithium-ion battery pack with an overall capacity of a 35 kilowatt-hours (130 MJ). The batteries weigh 572 pounds (259 kg) and replace the back seat. Top speed is electronically limited to 95 mph (153 km/h). The car’s range is 156 miles (251 km) on a single charge under optimal conditions. Estimates of normal driving conditions put ranges at 109 miles (175 km) city and 96 miles (154 km) highway.


Thu Jan 31 2013 21:18:19 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

These kits turn your Prius into an emergency generator. Homeowners up and down the East Coast have bought a lot of hybrid converters, devices that turn their Toyota Prius into an emergency generator. In fact, ConVerdant Vehicles, LLC, which offers so-called Plug-Out Kits, sold out after Hurricane Sandy caused blackouts in upper Northeast, said owner Randy Bryan.

Given semi-regular power outages, there had been some interest in the kits before the Superstorm, Bryan said, but once the storm hit and local residents were plagued by blackouts for days after the downpour, the demand for Plug-Out Kits took off. "They're using it for a lot more than just a 12-volt battery," he said.

Bryan has used a Prius generator for non-emergency power tasks – from powering speakers and a microphone at a nearby sustainability fair to charging a Tesla (the mind whirls). Once the kit is installed, using it is a simple process – connect an extension cord from the car to the house or worksite and enjoy the power.

ConVerdant (the name means "with green") claims the Prius generator is much more efficient than typical backup generators, which need maintenance to keep them working and produce their fair share of noise and exhaust. Since the Prius has built-in stop-start technology, it only runs the generator motor when the battery gets too low. Of course, all the energy is still coming from gasoline, but stop-start allows the Prius to use only a fraction of the fuel required by typical generators, the company says.

Most of ConVerdant's customers are using their Plug-Out Kit on a second- or third-generation Prius or on a Prius V. The Prius C doesn't use the same battery, and neither does the Prius Plug-In Hybrid, so those vehicles are not compatible. ConVerdant Vehicles is testing out the larger li-ion battery packs and their potential for backup generators, but for now, the regular Prius hybrid powertrain is the natural fit. In Japan, Toyota is testing vehicle-to-home connections using Prius Plug Ins.

The Concord, NH, company also sells Plug-In Advanced Kits, converting hybrids like the Prius into super high-mileage plug-in hybrids.


Sat Jan 26 2013 17:04:32 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Tesla Model S spanks Mercedes E63 BiTurbo in quick street race!


Thu Jan 17 2013 15:19:52 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Motor Trend pits the all-electric Tesla Roadster Sport against the enthusiast favorite, the Porsche Boxster Spyder.


Thu Jan 17 2013 15:26:08 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Why did GM crush the EV1??

"Range problem??"

The NiMH EV1 had an EPA certified range of 140 miles on a charge; none of the EV1 lessees complained about the range. So if the customer wants the car, despite what someone else says, why not sell it to them?


When GM crushed the EV1, it drove away its own customers, who went to Toyota. Toyota was happy to take our money and sell us the Toyota RAV4-EV, last sold in Nov., 2002. If there was no "liability" issue for Toyota, GM did not have that excuse either.

"Not enough electric??"

Far from a shortage of electric, being able to buy a plug-in car would actually help the utility grid. The EV1 charges slowly, at night, when there is too much electric; and the money you save NOT buying gasoline will more than pay for your rooftop solar PV system. This isn't fantasy, it's FACT; hundreds of Toyota RAV4-EV drivers put solar on their roof and now drive for free, free of pollution and free of cost since the money they saved paid it off years ago. But you can't do this unless you can buy a plug-in car, none are offered for sale by the Auto Alliance.

"Battery too expensive??"

The EV1 came in two "flavors": one using advanced NiMH batteries, and the other using cheaper lead-acid batteries. With PSB EV-EC1260 lead batteries, this EV1 had a range over 100 miles on a charge. The cost of this off-the-shelf battery pack is no more than $4,800. The rest of the EV1 is just electronics and bent metal. As for Nickel, it's entirely recyclable; after the Nickel battery wears out, perhaps 200,000 miles, the only expense is melting it down and "reforming" it into a new battery, using all the old metals and components.

"Cost too much to build??"

Lutz stated that the EV1 would cost too much to build. But in 1994, GM bought control of the NiMH batteries under guise of going into production, and, in 1996 and in 2000, famously claimed that it would have leased as many as people wanted, it was a "production vehicle".


Thu Jan 17 2013 15:40:54 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

New hybrid from the NObama administration.


Mon Jan 14 2013 19:43:41 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

The 25 most fuel-efficient cars of all time. Many are not even hybrids. Geo Metro XFI: 52 mpg!

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