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It's (Not) Electric: Why A Natural Gas Car is the Greenest of 2011

Green means less science fiction, more market impact.

At the Los Angeles auto show, where practically all the car companies I’d heard of and many I had not exhibited their latest models, nearly all of them had a new electric-only vehicle to display: The newest iteration of the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt, the Honda FIT EV, the Mitsubishi MiEV, the Ford Focus Electric, Toyota’s new all-electric Prius, and upstart CODA’s EV Sedan, which promises the longest range, at 150 miles on a single charge.

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The New Nissan Leaf Ad: Humorless, Brilliant, or Both?

The new ad for Nissan's electric car features scenes from a smoggy alternate reality in which our computers and cell phones spew out exhaust.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0sCCJFkEbE

The new ad for the all-electric Nissan Leaf asks, "What if everything ran on gas?" and answers in the form of vignettes from a smoggy alternate reality in which our microwaves, computers, and cell phones spew out exhaust.

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Why Electric Cars Will Succeed Even Though Six in Ten Americans Don't Want Them

Sure, Americans claim they don't want electric cars. But demand isn't the problem right now.


A new USA Today/Gallup poll asked Americans about their interest in electric cars. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they “won't buy an all-electric car no matter the price of gas.”

USA Today uses those numbers to make the standard case that the electric car is doomed because it just doesn't appeal to the public.

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Houston Gets Private Electric Car Charging Network

Texas might be getting the most innovative and practical electric car charging system in the United States. Surprise?


Houston, Texas, may end up being the first American city with a great electric car charging infrastructure. A company with the phonically awkward name of NRG Energy is rolling out "the world's first privately funded comprehensive electric vehicle ecosystem."

The system (or "ecosystem," in their overwrought marketing speak) is called eVgo and it employs a very interesting business model. NRG is going to install between 50 and 150 high-speed chargers in public places—think shopping centers and the like—by the end of 2011. They'll also be installing chargers in people's homes.

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Electric Cars Are Coming, But Can the Grid Even Handle Them?

What will happen when we all plug in our electric cars at the same time?n

What will happen when we all plug in our electric cars at the same time?

Have you noticed that plug-in electric vehicles are slowly trickling into the mainstream? If you haven't, you certainly will soon—major automakers like Nissan, Chevrolet, and Toyota all have plug-in electric or hybrid electric offerings set to roll off production lines in the next few years. But there's a catch: As it stands, the electrical grid can't handle the onslaught of electric vehicles that will all start charging at, say, 7 p.m. every evening when commuters get home from work. If everyone in your city or town started driving (and subsequently charging) EVs today, the grid would probably fail. So what can be done?

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General Motors has asked to trademark the phase "range anxiety," which refers to the anxiety one might have about the limited range of his or her electric car. Jalopnik speculates that this is preparation for a marketing campaign to distinguish the Chevy Volt from its all-electric competitors.

The application filed with the U.S. trademark office in July suggests GM wants every marketing weapon it can find when it finally starts selling the Jesus Car Chevrolet Volt — GM's Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV), basically a plug-in electric with a gas engine to charge the battery when needed — in a couple of months. That includes range anxiety — a fear of driving too far from your power plug.

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