Our favorites from the New York auto show; BMW, Google, and the U.S. make electric car moves this week; Chevy recalls the Cruze after one very high-profile screwup; and we take a spin the electric Smart car.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 212 SHOW NOTES
Suzuki's Kizashi is a solidly performing midsize sedan. It produces a reasonable amount of power. It's not terribly efficient, but also not particularly inefficient. There's not much to complain about when it comes to the Kizashi, but not much room for praise either. At the 2011 New York auto show, Suzuki pushed its lovably meh sedan in two very different directions with two very different Kizashi concepts.
The Kizashi EcoCharge concept aims to increase fuel efficiency by as much as 25 percent over the standard Kizashi Sport. It starts by reducing its gasoline engine displacement from 2.… Read more
Remember the Samsung 4G LTE smartphone that was announced at CES 2011 for Verizon Wireless? Well, it's finally got a new name (thank goodness) and a release date and pricing.
Verizon Wireless revealed today that the Samsung Droid Charge will be available on April 28 for--brace yourselves--$299.99 with a two-year contract. The 4G-capable Droid Charge will ship running Android 2.2 and features a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, mobile hot-spot capabilities, and a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus touch screen, which has 50 percent more subpixels than the original Super AMOLED touch screens (read: improved outdoor visibility and … Read more
The eVgo chain of charging stations for electric vehicles will have its official coming-out party today at a Dallas event whose speakers include Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
The first U.S. commercial chain of charging stations, eVgo (pronounced ee-vee-go), is set to announce that it will have a total of 60 electric-vehicle charging stations in place by Labor Day. It is owned by NRG EV Services, a subsidiary of NRG Energy, one of the largest electricity providers in Texas.
NRG EV Services and eVgo will also likely announce their specific pricing structure and plans for station customers. So far, eVgo … Read more
Owners of Google's Nexus S smartphones can soon use the device to process mobile payments via near-field communications tech, via software from a company called Charge Anywhere.
Charge Anywhere's existing mobile payments application has already allowed owners of iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android devices to process credit card payments with their phones and a dedicated reader to swipe the cards.
But the latest version to the software, announced at yesterday's CTIA trade show, turns the Nexus S phone into a full mobile payment terminal. This means that owners can process MasterCard PayPass and Visa Blink payments remotely using … Read more
Ever since the debut of the Palm Pre, I've been enamored with inductive charging. After all, what could be easier than recharging your phone just by laying it on a special pad or dock--no cord required?
Nothing, that's what. Straight outta "Star Trek," inductive charging relies on an electromagnetic (i.e., wireless) transfer of energy between devices. Yet phone manufacturers still haven't embraced the technology.
The initial results of pilot programs on plug-in electric vehicles may spook companies and create a vicious cycle of inefficiency when it comes to charging.
That's according to one of the topics covered in the "Changing the game: Plug-in electric vehicle pilots" report (PDF) released yesterday by technology consulting giant Accenture.
The Accenture report examined the recent data garnered from over 25 pilot programs scattered around the world that have been monitoring EVs and driver habits.
Overall the pilot programs found public charging stations have not yet been getting enough use to pay for themselves and their … Read more
The windshield-mounted aftermarket accessory is powered by a 12-volt outlet and uses magnetic induction to wirelessly charge devices in the cradle. The Car Charger adjusts its width to hold any of the mobile phones that Powermat supports, and consumers will need to purchase the Powermat Battery Door separately ($19-$29) for each smartphone they wish to charge.
It's not as sleek as the integrated solution in the Volt. Plus, … Read more
WhatsApp Messenger has been around for quite a while, but it's still an app that's extremely useful to texting addicts. With this chat app installed on your iPhone, you'll save a considerable amount of money on text charges through your carrier. The only catch is that you'll have to persuade your most frequent texting partners to download the app, too, but once they see WhatsApp's advantages, they'll probably pony up a buck.
Much like the texting app that comes on the iPhone, WhatsApp Messenger shows your chats in little text bubbles, gives you a … Read more
An interesting news item over at AppleInsider caught my eye the other day, but I'm not sure how I would feel about this particular rumor if it turned out to be true. Apparently Apple is investigating the use of hover gestures on its devices as an alternative to multitouch. A few of the ideas include the ability to make the OK gesture with your hand or use hitchhiker thumb gestures to navigate around. As a tech writer, I can't wait to see how something like this would be implemented, but as an iPhone user who will be using … Read more