The X-37B, an unmanned U.S. Air Force space plane whose mystery mission set off a round of speculation over the spring and summer, returned to Earth early this morning after its maiden flight lasted 220 days in orbit.
The space plane landed at 1:16 a.m. PT today at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, officially making it the U.S.'s first unmanned vehicle to return from space and land on its own, according to Boeing, which designed the craft. Launched in April from Cape Canaveral by an Atlas 5 rocket, the X-37B was designed to stay … Read more
Well, the Nissan Leaf has done it again. It's garnered another award.
This time, the Leaf has been named 2011 European Car of the Year. The Leaf beat out 40 contenders including Alfa Romeo, Citroen, Dacia, Ford, Opel/Vauxhall, and Volvo.
In the 47-year history of the annual competition, this is the first time the award has gone to an electric vehicle. This comes on the heels of the Leaf being rated at 99 MPGe by the Environmental Protection Agency.
"This award recognizes the pioneering zero-emission Nissan Leaf as competitive to conventional cars in terms of safety, performance, … Read more
Everything is come up roses for the all-electric Nissan Leaf.
The Environmental Protection Agency just named the Leaf best in the midsize vehicle class for fuel efficiency and best for the environment.
The EPA tested the Leaf for an MPGe, or MPG equivalency, rating. After five-cycle tests using varying driving conditions and climate controls, the EPA gave the Leaf a rating of 106 city, 92 highway for a combined 99 MPGe. The EPA's formula of 33.7kW-hrs being equivalent to one gallon of gasoline energy, Nissan said in a press release.
The 99 MPGe rating will be added to … Read more
Tesla got a great deal on the NUMMI plant in its deal with Toyota this year, but what does Toyota get out of it? At the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, Toyota let us know, pulling the wraps off of its RAV4 EV Concept powered by Tesla. However, the EV wasn't the production-bound model that many were expecting. Rather, what we were shown was more of a stepping stone to a more complete vehicle that may come later.
To call the RAV4 EV a glorified test mule would be understating things a bit. Then again, the concept is built … Read more
Every year at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Green Car Journal crowns one new car the Green Car of the Year. This year that vehicle is the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.
In previous years, this honor has gone to vehicles as varied as the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid to Toyota's Prius, while the last two years have been dominated by Volkswagen and Audi's TDI vehicles. This year, Chevrolet brings it back to the electric camp with its solution to what GM calls range anxiety: a range extended EV powertrain that starts as an electric, but features a gasoline engine that … Read more
Toyota Motor unveiled big plans for staying in front in clean-car technology as rivals race to play catch-up, saying it would launch 11 new hybrids and a rechargeable Prius that may cost as little as $36,000.
Having dominated the hybrid field for more than a decade with the iconic Prius and 13 other models so far, the world's top automaker has won a reputation as the most advanced car maker in next-generation technology.
But with governments tightening environmental and fuel economy standards, competitors are turning up the heat with new technologies including battery electric cars and "range … Read more
While it's unclear how many consumers are willing to pay more for plug-in electric cars, the case for fleet operators is a lot simpler to make, according to advocacy group the Electrification Coalition.
The group, made up of CEOs from the auto and electric power industries, today released a road map for fleet electrification in which it argues that corporate fleets can help make plug-in vehicles more commonplace. The document, prepared in an effort to influence policy, was released by members at a press conference in Washington, D.C.
Electrifying transportation offers the best means for reducing oil consumption, … Read more
Electric vehicles will figure prominently at the upcoming LA Auto Show, but yet another survey is highlighting that consumer apprehension about the new technology is one of the biggest challenges to plug-in vehicles.
Pike Research today released a survey of 1,042 U.S. consumers that found interest in highway-capable gas-electric hybrids and battery electric cars, with 44 percent of respondents saying they would be interested in a plug-in with a range of 40 miles to 100 miles and a fuel equivalent of 75 cents per gallon.
A battery range of 40 miles suited 83 percent of drivers, with the … Read more
BMW announced today that it's sending the Vision EfficientDynamics plug-in sports car to production.
The plug-in diesel concept coupe was revealed at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show and won the manufacturer several awards for its innovative design and clean technology. The Vision EfficientDynamics uses three power plants to propel the winged 2+2: a three-cylinder turbo diesel engine along with electric motors at each axle. The exotic can operate using its electric motors, diesel engine, or a combination of the two. Full throttle, the trio produces a total of of 328 horsepower and has a 0-60 mph time of … Read more