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Automotive Feature

The stinkers list - 10 model series that were less reliable than the previous model

When the likes of Jaguar, Porsche, Ford, GM, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, Renault and Chrysler introduce a new model series, it is equally or more reliable than the model it replaces. Right? Wrong! New information has been released this week which indicates all of the above companies have replaced major models with less reliable models in the last decade - the worst three examples were 60%, 54% and 40% more likely to break down than their predecessor. Read More

Automotive

GM shows 85 kW permanent magnet EV motor

General Motors will become the first American automotive manufacturer to build its own electric motors when production begins in White Marsh, Maryland, in late 2012. In promoting this capability, GM has released details of the first motor to be built there, the 85 kW (114 hp) permanent magnet motor to be used in the 2013 Chevrolet Spark EV.Read More

Automotive

FIA Formula E Championship for EVs looking likely for 2013

The FIA, governing body of internal-combustion-engined motorsport, appears to have finally recognized the bleeding obvious (that electric vehicles will become mainstream) and is planning a high profile electric racing championship series beginning in 2013. The FIA Formula E Championship series has not been publicly framed as yet so it is not known if the series will be run at the same venues as the Formula One series but it can be expected to be held at a range of international venues and will logically serve as the first official championship for electric vehicles. Whether the series will have world championship status ...Read More

Automotive

Chevrolet to conduct real-world tests of EN-V concept in Tianjin Eco-City

Last year, GM unveiled its EN-V (Electric Networked-Vehicle) concept in three flavors conceived by design teams around the world. In an effort to ascertain the real-world practicality of the two-seat, electric urban mobility concept, GM has begun work on the next-generation EN-V concept vehicle that the company plans to test in pilot demonstration programs in megacities around the world. Read More

Automotive

GM to introduce industry-first front center airbags

With frontal, roof-mounted and rear-window airbags you'd be forgiven for thinking that there couldn't possibly be anywhere else in a car automobile manufacturers could cram one. But you'd be wrong. General Motors (GM) has just announced it will introduce the industry's first front center airbag in selected vehicles in 2013. The latest airbag addition is designed to protect drivers and front passengers in the event of side impact crashes.Read More

Automotive

Jet aircraft-inspired Chevrolet Mi-ray roadster concept

With General Motors last year announcing its intention to roll out Chevrolet across Korea, this year’s Seoul Motor Show has seen the unveiling of a slick hybrid roadster concept developed by the GM Advanced Design Studio in Seoul to celebrate Chevrolet’s 100-year heritage and showcase future design possibilities for the brand. The Mi-ray, which is apparently Korean for ‘future’, is a small open top vehicle that boasts an aerodynamic body that GM says is reminiscent of modern jet fighters. Read More

Automotive

Emergency response crews learning how to deal with EV wrecks

As electric cars edge their way further into the mainstream, there is increased talk of how our infrastructure must adapt to accommodate them – networks of charging stations must be established, methods of recycling or disposing of their batteries must be developed, mechanics need to learn how to fix them ... but what happens when they crash? They may not have a big flammable gas tank, but there’s still a lot of electricity to be wary of. In order to educate emergency response personnel on how to safely work with EVs at accident scenes, the US National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is currently offering its Electric Vehicle Safety Training course to first responders across America. Read More

Automotive

GM to recycle used Gulf of Mexico oil booms into parts for Volt

During the course of this year’s Gulf Oil Spill, a lot of media attention was paid to the oil booms used to contain and/or absorb the surface slick. While a small percentage of the sausage-shaped tubes of netting were stuffed with unusual materials such as hair, most of them contained oil-absorbent polypropylene. Now that the Deep Horizon well has been capped, the question of what to do with all that oily plastic arises. It turns out that some of it will find its way into Chevrolet Volts.Read More

Automotive

First Chevrolet Volt delivered to customer

It’s been a big week in the world of mass-produced electric vehicles. Hot on the heels of Nissan delivering the first of its LEAF all-electric vehicles to a customer in California last Saturday, a retired airline pilot by the name of Jeffrey Kaffee has become the first customer in the U.S. to take delivery of a Chevrolet Volt. Although the Volt he received wasn’t actually the first available for sale, with that particular vehicle going to the winner of an online charity auction, which closed on Tuesday with a winning bid of US$225,000. Read More

Automotive

First Chevy Volt up for auction

After a build-up that's lasted for almost four years, you now finally have the chance to buy the first-ever Chevrolet Volt “extended range electric vehicle” available for retail sale. The catch: General Motors has decided to auction the car off to the highest bidder. Proceeds will go to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation, to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics initiatives. Online bidding started at US$50,000, and at the time of publication is already up to $180,000. The car’s MSRP is $41,000.Read More

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