Thursday, December 29, 2011

CODA goes green

CODA Holdings announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show that production of its self-named flagship sedan has begun for next year.

Inspired by the Chinese mid-class Saibao sedan, the CODA is built by China’s Harbin HF Automobile Industry Group (Hafei), and then sent off to California for final assembly.

CODA is a privately owned, Los Angeles-based company that produces low-speed, short-run electric vehicles (EVs) for government use. Thanks to a private funding worth about $300 million, the company ventured out to produce an affordable, mainstream EV with a greater range than any car currently available on the market.

Consumers can get the car at a starting price of US$39,000, but a California rebate worth $2,500 and federal tax credits amounting to $7,500 would make the price more attractive.

CODA is committed to reduce costs and pass the savings on to consumers, said CEO Phil Murtaugh. The company also hopes to sell 14,000 EVs in the US and aspires of eventual worldwide distribution.

The CODA boasts an electric drivetrain that offers twice as fast charging times than the Nissan LEAF’s, as well as a driving range of up to 240 km on a single full charge. The car is even more powerful with 134hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. The CODA also comes with a 36 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which stores 50 percent more energy than the LEAF’s.

For the original article, click here.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Alberta biofuels gets investment from government

Alberta-based Kyoto Fuels Corporation will get an investment from the federal government worth up to $31.14 million over six years through the ecoENERGY for Biofuels program.

Kyoto Fuels will generate up to 66 million litres of biodiesel every year, converted from animal fat or cooking or vegetable oil. The firm plans to sell the product to diesel producers in the northwestern United States and Western Canada.

Greenhouse gas emissions from biodiesel can be reduced up to 80 percent over regular diesel, said the government.

Canada is spending up to $1.5 billion via the ecoENERGY for Biofuels program over a period of nine years to generate jobs in the clean energy sector and cut greenhouse gas emissions. Current regulations require a 2 percent in heating oil and diesel fuel and 5 percent renewable fuel content.

For the original article, click here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nissan Leaf available to all Canadians

Canadians living within the area of the 27 certified Nissan Leaf dealers throughout the country can now have access to the all-electric Leaf.

Before, reservations were limited only to those who had signed up on Nissan’s website.

The first 40 2011 Nissan Leafs were taken in the first few minutes that registration officially opened. A total of 350 model year 2012 cars were available earlier this fall.

“The feedback we’ve received from Nissan Leaf owners in Canada has been incredible, with many sharing their journey and experience through social media,” said Judy Wheeler, marketing director for Nissan Canada. “As more people live with and share their experience of all-electric mobility, particularly with the Nissan Leaf, more and more Canadians will consider this an exciting option for their next vehicle. Opening reservations to the broader public is an important step in the roll-out of the car in Canada.”

As end-November, more than 110 Leaf vehicles have been shipped to Canadian customers, with over 20,000 units sold worldwide. The Leaf wears a starting price tag of $38,395 and can qualify for provincial rebates of $8,500, $8,000 and $5,000 in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, respectively.

Online reservations can be made at Nissan for customers living within the vicinity of a certified Leaf dealer. To obtain a reservation, Nissan requires a reservation fee worth $99, fully refundable.

Read the original article here.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

smart for-us concept to be unveiled at Detroit

It looks like this is another redefinition and reinvention of small cars from smart.

The smart for-us is the newest in a long lineup of unconventional smart concepts that includes the ForSpeed, the crossblade and the crosstown.

The for-us is unique in the sense that its rear cargo area can accept two smart ebikes. The tailboard of the rear bed opens up, thus allowing easy access to the cargo floor. Another interesting thing is that it can recharge the ebikes, thanks to a 55kW magneto-electric motor.

Compared to the production fortwo, the for-us is longer and wider, yet it retains the roomy for-two cabin. This could be the most versatile go-anywhere car; you can pull out the ebikes once the roads run out!

The for-us concept is set to be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2012.

For the original article, click here.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Daimler tests inductive charging

Is it possible to charge an electric vehicle without plugging it in? Well, Daimler AG will just show that as it embarks on a project that will test inductive charging in real-world conditions.

Under this project, a special charging coil will be fitted in a Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-Cell and will be placed over another charging coil in the ground to start the charging process automatically. The car is set for deployment in March in Berlin.

“We are keen to find out how the inductive charging process proves in daily use,” said Herbert Kohler, head of e-drive and future mobility. “We have already demonstrated the essential feasibility of the technology. The experience in day-to-day use will now provide important pointers for the further course of development. A number of technical and financial issues also need to be resolved before we can really assess the marketability of this technology.”

This project is part of a bigger project that includes an energy-efficient house designed to produce more electricity than it uses. The excess electricity will be utilized to recharge the EV. A four-member family will live at the house for 15 months and use several EVs to demonstrate and explore how electric mobility and a new generation of buildings can interact in everyday life. The vehicles will include a Smart ebike, a second-generation Smart Fortwo Electric Drive and the A-Class E-Cell.

To read the original article, click here.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

2013 Dart to debut at North American International Auto Show

The 2013 Dodge Dart compact sedan will make its worldwide debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this coming January.

The all-new Dart will be made available with an option of three engines: a Tigershark MultiArt 2.4-litre, turbocharged MultiAir 1.4-litre, and a “Tigershark” 2.0-litre engine, with three transmissions also available.

Features on this new vehicle include a signature split-crosshair grille, dual exhaust as well as full-width LED taillights adapted from the Dodge Charger.

To be built at Chrysler’s plant in Belvidere, Illinois, the 2013 Dart is the first vehicle of Chrysler Group that is based on Fiat architecture and adapted from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

For the original article, click here.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

CAA unveils new smartphone app

Canadians can now request roadside assistance, plan a trip with TripTik and search for exclusive member savings thanks to a new, all-in-one smartphone application launched by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).

This easy-to-use application, launched for the Android, iPhone and Blackberry, can be downloaded for free and is available in French and English. Non-CAA members can also access this app.

Thanks to this innovation, users can easily find exclusive member savings at more than 100,000 partner locations across the US and Canada. Users can also request for CAA Roadside Assistance without the need to place a call, get instant battery quotes, locate auto repair shops approved by the CAA and access automotive and insurance information. CAA members and non-members can also use the application to locate AAA/CAA-approved restaurants, lodging, campgrounds, attractions and events.

For the original article, click here.