The Chron says that gasoline-powered cars are getting greener. “Proposed fuel economy standards through 2025 should dramatically improve efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, while increasingly stringent air quality standards should continue to reduce smog-forming pollutants of these “advanced gasoline” vehicles. Emissions from advanced gasoline vehicles could fall more rapidly than those from electrics and sometimes be a better choice for the environment.” The post cites the Ford Focus, Chevy Cruze Eco and Honda Civic HF as examples of fossil fuel vehicles leading the charge.

Torque News tells how the US trucking industry is moving away from crude oil (diesel) to new technologies to power it in the 21st century – specifically natural gas, biofuels, electric and hybrids.

The home garage will be the fueling station of the future. While this gigaOM article focuses on the rise of compressed natural gas, it is also important to note that we are already witnessing this movement with people recharging their electric cars at home.

Market Watch says that alternative fuels offer fleet owners total lower cost of ownership with the battery electric vehicle being the lowest cost. According to Pike Research, the lowest total cost of ownership vehicles are the compact options, whether hybrid, gasoline, or compressed natural gas (CNG). The compact battery electric and hybrid electric models have lower total cost than the small gasoline model, while the plug-in hybrid, mid-size hybrid electric, diesel and CNG all have lower total cost than the mid-sized gasoline sedan. Pikes analysis says its findings apply only to fleet vehicles that have over 120,000 miles on them.

USA Today tells us to do a reality check before you buy a car based on its miles per gallon (or liters per kilometer). The article points out that many of those low mileage vehicles that you admire are quite expensive because of their sophisticated technology and buying one may actually be more costly than keeping your existing vehicle, even when you factor in the substantial fuel savings. At the same time, energy digital explores the economics of electric cars, the San Francisco Chronicle asks Are Hybrids Worth the Extra Cost? and InsuranceStep reports that Hybrid Car Owners Typically Pay More for Car Insurance.

The EV industry is “far from settled” says Renewable Energy Magazine. Commenting on a recent international EV industry forum in China, expert James Post found there was agreement that uncertainty, lack of infrastructure and associated standards are the main issues faced by the industry. This post is a compilation of the opinions of international leaders in the EV field and where the industry is now and where it is headed in future. Topics include battery charging and charging infrastructure and how the electricity grid can adapt to an EV world.

On the topic of EVs and the electric grid, Earth Techling reports on a recent partnership by IBM, Honda and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) in the US to assess the stress EVs are likely to put on the grid and what changes can be made to safely and quickly accommodate them.

Islands are becoming popular destination for EVs says plugincars. “Islands offer many ideal conditions for plug-in electric vehicles, including: short driving distances (limited by geography), expensive gas, local motivation to reduce carbon emissions, higher income residents and tourists who can afford the vehicle premium, and abundant sun to enable solar EV charging.”

Torque News lets us in on the hidden benefits of plug-in electric vehicles. These include access to special traffic lanes such as the carpool lane, access to specially marked parking spots for EVs, and higher trade-in values when you decide to change your vehicle. The same source also told us the most common questions asked about EVs. For example, When will there be an electric car with 400 miles range, costing the same as a gasoline car?

The Gulf Times reports that Qatar’s bus company, Mowasalat, has  launched an electric bus. It can travel up to 160 km on a single charge in typical urban conditions and can be used for both intercity and intracity travel.  

TheGreenCar brings us the 2012 guide to alternative fuel vehicles.  The post highlights the various makes of high mileage, low emission vehicles now available on the market in different categories – battery electric vehicles, hybrids, range extended and plug-in hybrids, natural gas and hydrogen.

There were a number of posts about the Chinese EV market this week. In Electric Vehicles in China, MyPerfectAutomobile let us know that China’s Electric Cars Usually Have 3 Wheels (see photo below). REVE tells us about a new report that discusses the opportunities, trends and challenges persisting in the Chinese EV market. China Daily warns that it will be a bumpy road ahead for electric cars.  The government hopes to have half a million EVs on the road by 2015. However, the problem of insufficient infrastructure coupled with battery delays and costs must be resolved before the sector can takeoff. This theme was also picked up by the Portland Press Herald in China paring electric-car ambitions. To address the infrastructure problem, gasgoo says China intends to construct 400,000 EV charging posts by 2015. Over the next few years, 400,000 new charging posts and 2,000 charging stations are expected to be built in over 20 key cities and their surrounding areas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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