In January, the Honda Fit outsold the Prius in Japan. Prius had been the number one selling car in Japan for 20 months. Half of the Fits sold were the new Fit Hybrid, which delivers a stunning 71 miles per gallon (MPG). In 2012, both the Fit Hybrid and new Fit EV are expected to start selling in the U.S. The Honda Fit has been a popular small hatchback, with over 3.5 million sold globally. With five doors, seating for five, and flexible cargo space it is big enough for most, yet small enough to fit in those precious city parking spaces.
GM Ventures is focused on investing in innovative and early stage companies. Jon Lauckner, President GM Ventures, has been busy since GM Ventures was established last June and he was promoted from head of GM global product planning. GM Ventures has invested in Bright Automotive, which has designed an advanced plug-in hybrid delivery van with much greater cargo space than Ford’s Transit Connect Electric. GM has invested in two advanced next generation biofuel corporations – Mascoma and Coskata. Given the success of the Amyris IPO, these investments could should a high return for GM.
This is my first time to drive on a race track and I’m wondering if these are my final moments on planet earth. Here at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca I take the Andretti Hairpin and learn to accelerate in successive turns. After accelerating uphill, I enter “The Corkscrew” where I cannot see the sharp [...]
by Richard T. Stuebi Betcha didn’t know that there was an Energy Policy Act of 2008, did you? Well, you won’t find any bill of that name. But, the passage of last week’s appropriately titled “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008″ is almost tantamount to an energy bill. The Senate prepared a nice summary of [...]
by Cristina Foung My favorite green product of the week: 2009 Toyota Prius Hybrid Car What is it?For a lot of folks, “hybrid” is synonymous with “Prius.” Well, 2009 will see some changes to the car more people say they’d buy again. This version is 3-4 inches longer and 1 inch wider than previous generations. [...]
by Richard T. Stuebi Fascinating article in this month’s Atlantic profiling the herculean efforts apparently being undertaken by General Motors (NYSE: GM) to launch its plug-in hybrid vehicle, the Chevy Volt, by the incredibly ambitious deadline of 2010. I took away the following thoughts from the article: 1. GM seems to actually recognize that they [...]
By John Addison (6/17/08). Last week, I test drove of the new Volkswagen Jetta TDI Diesel. It accelerated on to the freeway faster than my Toyota Prius. Driving freeways and stop-go city, I wondered which would be the bigger seller, the new European turbodiesels or the Japanese Hybrids. For Detroit, May was the cruelest month, [...]
By John Addison (3/26/08). Like all great universities, the University of California at San Diego, must either spend millions for car parking or spend millions for improved transportation. Using transportation demand management, UC San Diego is spending millions less in both areas. 27,500 students attend the university. “We encourage commuters to use alternate forms of [...]
By John Addison (3/4/08). When something must absolutely, positively, arrive the next day, people increasingly turn to FedEx. Shipped is everything from million dollar loan documents to birthday presents. FedEx is also integral to the just-in-time supply chain that allows businesses to grow, even as they shrink inventory. FedEx generates over $35 billion annually. FedEx [...]
By John Addison (2/8/08). Most oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from transportation are not from passenger vehicles; they are from the heavy-duty vehicles, ships, and planes that move all our goods, serve public transit, and provide the infrastructure that keeps cities running. Heavy-duty operators have often been years ahead of passenger vehicle owners in [...]
by Richard T. Stuebi My good friend Gerrit visited me last week from Canada, driving down his prized Mercedes diesel. We talked about diesel autos, and how they were likely to be an increasing part of the energy/environmental solution. Gerrit told me that he had been hearing that auto manufacturers were losing enthusiasm for hybrids, [...]
As consumers, we generally like choices. In the world of cleaner cars, those choices have been few and far between, but slowly that is changing. I had a chance recently to test drive two of the cars whose creators are bent on changing the way we view transportation, a converted all electric Scion eBox by [...]
By John Addison (5/15/07) People buying new cars are asking if they should get a high mileage hybrid that runs on gasoline, or a flex-fuel vehicle that could run on E85 ethanol. The United States DOE’s and EPA’s fueleconomy.gov, made it easy for car buyers to compare choices. When you drive, there is most likely [...]
Two interesting cleantech reports came out in the last couple of days. One talking about the problem, the other the solution. On the problem side, as reported in USA Today, a team of researchers working at Texas A&M found that increased pollution in Asia, primarily from the rise of industrialism in China over the last [...]
I had a chance to chat with Dr. Klaus Brandt, EVP of Lithium Technology Corporation (Ticker symbol LTHU.PK). LTC has been in the business of Lion battery development for over 10 years. They are focused on large energy content / high power applications, primarily using lithium polymer technologies. The Company was formed 4 years ago [...]