Friday, July 30, 2010

Nissan selling rechargeable Leaf hatchbacks to Enterprise for rental fleet

Nissan Motor Co. will deliver rechargeable Leaf hatchbacks to rental-car company Enterprise Holdings Inc. to be used in its US operations.

Enterprise, which runs Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo and National car rental lots and the WeCar car-sharing service, is purchasing 500 lithium-ion-powered Leafs, according to Nissan spokeswoman Katherine Zachary. Delivery of these vehicles will begin in January.

Nissan, currently Japan’s third-largest automaker, desires to sell a minimum of 20,000 units of the Leaf in the US during the model’s first year. The Leaf, which will be pioneered in the US later this year, is priced at $32,780.

Nissan aims to become the major producer of electric vehicles. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said that it has set a target of expanding global Leaf production to up to 500,000 vehicles by the end of 2012.

The sales agreement between Nissan and Enterprise for electric vehicles is in fact the second such arrangement for Nissan. Last February, Nissan had declared that it will sell Leafs to Hertz Global Holdings for use in rental fleets in the US and Europe.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Modern system to crash test vehicles

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government says it plans to test 55 vehicles from the 2011 model year under a new safety ratings system that comprises tougher requirements.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the tests will be accomplished under a new five-star ratings system that includes new tests.

The revamped system will give consumers a single overall score for the initial time.

Some of the best-selling cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles in the U.S. will be tested, as well as the Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford F-150 and Honda Odyssey.

The consumer program was started in 1979. Some safety advocates have said most vehicles make four or five stars on the tests, making it complicated for consumers to compare safety features.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Drivers to acquire £5,000 electric car subsidy

Drivers will get up to £5,000 from the Government if they buy an electric car however the number of grants has been sharply cut from earlier plans.

The subsidy was announced by the Labour government in 2009 but placed on hold by the Coalition awaiting the autumn spending review.

From January, any motorist buying a new generation electric car, or ultra-low carbon hybrid, will get 25 per cent off, up to a maximum £5,000.

However, the number of grants has been slashed from a lowest amount of 46,000 to as few as 8,600.

The scheme has been partly ring-fenced from cuts following pressure from car makers and Britain’s green energy industry.

The grants will be available now in time for the UK launch of the Nissan Leaf, the first major rival to the globally victorious Toyota Prius.

A full grant would engrave the cost of a new Leaf from £28,350 to £23,350, according to a report in The Sun. Once charged, the cars run for about 70 miles, costing now 3p a mile.

Nissan’s Sunderland factory will assemble future Leafs, meaning Britain will from 2013 be the company’s third-biggest global electric car base.

Nissan itself received grant from the Government to build the Leaf in Sunderland, where the workforce of 4,100 built 338,000 Qashqai, Note and Micra models in 2008.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Indonesia Transport International Motor Show

Two workers clean a concept car during Indonesia's International Motor Show in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 23 July 2010 as shown in above figure.

Indonesia's car sales, an indicator of consumer demand in Southeast Asia's largest economy, rose 21 percent to 370,208 units in the first half of 2010 versus the same period last year.

Indonesia's major automotive distributor PT Astra International expected this year's vehicle sales to rise to a record of 650,000 units or even up to 700,000.

The above picture shows customers seem at cars during Indonesia's International Motor Show in Jakarta, Indonesia.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Meet a really smart driverless car: It has no driver

It's a modern-day version of Marco Polo's journey halfway around the world - however is anyone at the controls?

A technician works in an unmanned electric-powered vehicle as it builds its way in a street of Parma, Italy.

Next week, four electric-powered orange vans depart on what has been visualized as the longest-ever test drive of unmanned vehicles: a 13,000-kilometer (8,000-mile), three-month road trip from Italy to China.

The vehicles, equipped with four laser scanners and seven video cameras that work in concert to detect and assist avoid obstacles, will brave the traffic of Moscow, the intense summer heat of Siberia and the bitter cold of the Gobi desert prior to the planned arrival in Shanghai at the end of October.

The project has been funded with a euro1.8 million ($2.3 million) grant from the European Commission's European Research Council, and Vislab has technical sponsors including Piaggio, which has offered the Piaggio Porter vans.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lamborghini developing a SUV with inputs from the innovative Porsche Cayenne

Lamborghini, as per reports emerges to be working very hard on some new models. One of these products is predictable to be a modernized version of the LM002 which is known for its monstrous looks.

Introducing an SUV into its present lineup which would be built on the same platform as the 2011 Porsche Cayenne and 2011 Volkswagen Touareg is the thought process that is at present being tried out in earnest in the Lamborghini camp.

The LM002 would have a 5167 cc V12 engine powering it and the transmission would be a 5 speed manual gearbox. A 4.8 liter V8 Biturbo engine is also probable to be fitted on the new car.

This is the same engine that is installed on the Cayenne and can expand 500 hp and more of power.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Innovative Love of all automakers – LPG & CNG cars

The decision coming from the government for deregulating the fuel prices in the country, major auto manufacturers in the country are currently starting their movements to move towards the alternate fuels for the future growth.

Now many of the leading automobile players in India are building plans in order to strap more of CNG and LPG powered variants of cars.

Apart from the fact that these LPG & CNG variants would be extremely low in terms of running costs, the fact that it would become more lucrative depends on the fact that the diesel prices would depend of the free market movement.

There are reports that the companies similar to Maruti Suzuki, Toyota, GM and Hyundai are now working to expand their portfolios in the field of CNG & LPG offerings. Many of the manufacturers by now have some models in the LPG & CNG variants under their portfolio, but the expansion focus would currently lead to the launch of several more products under the segment.

The estimated costs as per Industry are : the per km cost on petrol is Rs 3.44, it is Rs 2.35 for diesel, Rs 2.23 for petrol-LPG and Rs 1.31 for petrol-CNG.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Honda to commence Plug-In Hybrid Car in 2013, a Year after Toyota

According to a Reuters report, the company will launch both a plug-in hybrid and a fully electric car for the 2013 model year. The electric car will be presented in the U.S. market first, to compete against such upcoming entries as the 2011 Nissan Leaf.

By 2013, the company plans to have no less than five hybrids for sale. It currently offers the 2010 Honda Civic Hybrid sedan and the Insight dedicated hybrid hatchback. Its 2011 CR-Z hybrid two-seat sports car arrives this summer.

The fourth model is estimated to be a hybrid version of the Fit subcompact, but no facts have come to light yet on the fifth and final hybrid.

Honda is also considering manufacturing the Insight in one of its U.S. plants, most expected to reduce costs so it can lower the price below its current $20,400 level.

It may build two other hybrids in the U.S. too, one of them most probably the Civic Hybrid, since Civics are already built in North America.

Honda's proposed plug-in would struggle against a plug-in model of the Toyota Prius hybrid. That vehicle, presently known by the cumbersome name of 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, will hit dealers in very early 2012. Honda's plug-in would trail it by approximately a year.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

2011 Subaru Outback Goes 3G, Wi-Fi Router Option now

The automaker announced it will now present a mobile Wi-Fi router as an option for its 2011 outback. Much similar to Chrysler's UConnect Web, Subaru's hotspot is based upon Autonet's in-car router, which taps into a 3G network. Speeds can average everywhere between 400 kbps and 1.2 mbps, which is ideal for light web surfing, e-mail, or listening to internet radio stations. Up to 20 people can distribute the Wi-Fi connection, so long as their devices are within 150 feet of the router.

According to Subaru, the router can be installed also at the port or at your local dealer. Although you could fit an Autonet router on your own (and in any Subaru model, no less), adding it to a 2011 Outback in this fashion allows it to be considered a genuine Subaru accessory, meaning it's covered by a Subaru-backed warranty. Better so far, Subaru will give the first three months of 3G service at no extra cost.

Opting for the router will include $499 to the Monroney of your new Outback, along with a one-time activation fee of $35. After the first three months, suppose to shell out approximately $29 a month to retain in-car 3G service.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Obama in driver's seat -- of electric cars

President Obama rode roughshod over the U.S. automobile industry last year to oblige changes that would make them profitable once again.

All that was forgotten this afternoon, though, when the president had only the kindest things to say concerning new electric cars from Ford and Chevrolet.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, this shot of Obama getting into a bright orange Ford Electric Focus spoke volumes about his new attempt to jump-start electric car sales.

"I'm telling you guys, I counsel it," Obama said as he appeared from the driver's seat. "My first car didn't appear like these. I wouldn't have intellect tooling around in one of these when I was 20 years old."

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chevy Volt will hold 8-year battery warranty

NEW YORK -- General Motors will guarantee the lithium-ion battery in the Chevrolet Volt for 100,000 miles of driving or eight years, whichever comes first, the automaker noticed Wednesday.

The warranty is proposed to ease concerns that the Volt's high-tech battery might not last.

Popular hybrid car models now on the market, including the Toyota Prius and the Ford Escape Hybrid, have related warrantees on their battery packs.

The Volt, though, uses different battery chemistry. Also, since the car runs entirely on electricity from the battery for up to 40 miles, the Volt's battery is subjected to larger workloads than one in a gas/electric hybrid.

The Volt's gasoline engine, which produces electricity should a driver want to travel beyond 40 miles after charging, will be covered by the standard 5-year, 100,000 mile warranty. Other parts of the car will be enclosed by GM's standard 3-year, 36,000 mile "bumper-to-bumper" warranty, which matches that of most other major automakers.

Production of the Volt is still on schedule to start in November, a GM spokesman said Wednesday. GM plans to manufacture 10,000 Volts, which will be sold in seven U.S. states, through the end of 2011. Production will increase to 30,000 cars in 2012.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

BMW begins production of new 5-Series in India

German luxury car maker BMW now started rolling out new 5-Series sedans from its Chennai facility in India at a price between Rs 38.9 lakh and Rs 58 lakh (ex-showroom).

The company had revealed the new 5-Series sedans with petrol and diesel options in April.

"The BMW 5 Series is the core product in our model range and has considerably contributed to the image and victory of BMW in India. We are sure that the new BMW 5 Series produced in Chennai will further boost our momentum in the Indian luxury car segment," BMW Plant Managing Director Juergen Eder said in a statement.

The company will begin the deliveries of the cars by end of this month, the statement added.

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Transfer truck and four vehicles crash near highway in New Glasgow

Noontime collide near Westville Road, New Glasgow, sends people to hospital.

Emergency crews responded to an accident concerning a fly ash transport truck and a Fed-Ex truck and three cars at the eastbound Exit 23 ramp of the Trans Canada Highway around noon today.

A female child was tricked in a car when emergency crews arrived, but they were able to effectively get her out using Jaws of Life.

She was aware and talking at the time. At least five people were taken to hospital. Check back for more details.

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dodge Challenger Mopar '10 limited edition announced, one you can't construct yourself

One could almost construct a Dodge Challenger Mopar ’10. The entire parts are there in the Mopar parts bin. All that would be essential is to check off the proper numbers on the order form, wait for Speedy Delivery to transport the lot to your driveway, and then fit them on a Dodge Challenger R/T.

Well, that's not accurately true. What one would have is a well-equipped, well-Mopared Dodge Challenger. But it wouldn't be a real Dodge Challenger Mopar '10. exclusively, it wouldn't be the first ever collaboration between Dodge and Mopar on a special car, it wouldn't have the unique Challenger Mopar '10stripe and it wouldn't be on hand ready to drive from the local Dodge dealer.

Available, Dodge noticed today, only to the first 500 enthusiasts to place an order. And the order books are open at present for this limited edition Challenger with an August delivery date.

Despite Mopar being famous as the source of Chrysler Corp factory performance parts throughout the muscle cars era of the Sixties, there was never collaboration between Chrysler's parts department and the Chrsyler, Dodge or Plymouth divisions on a co-branded vehicle.

That's where the “Mopar modified” 2010 Dodge Challenger R/T comes in. The Dodge Challenger Mopar '10 remains the essential mechanical specifications of the basic Challenger R/T, including the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, but adds a hood-venting system, a cold-air intake, a front strut-tower brace with shock caps, and a unique engine cover, all from the Mopar parts catalog. A rear strut-tower brace that stiffens the chassis and develops the car's handling is another over-the-counter part that comes previously installed on the Mopar '10.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Nissan’s modern Hybrid Doubles Mileage, Part of Broad Green Strategy

The phrase “Zero Emission” is Nissan’s clarion call for a new era of electric cars, the company’s long-term plan for sustainable mobility. But Nissan today proclaimed a full range of mid-term fuel-saving technologies; including hybrids, clean diesels, stop-start systems, and continuously variable transmissions. In today’s press release, the company used the slogan “Pure Drive” to portray its “comprehensive suite of automotive technologies.”

The announcement mirrors the generally trend in the auto industry: to lead the march to better efficiency and reduced emissions with marquee electric-drive vehicles—like the all-electric LEAF for Nissan or the Chevy Volt for General Motors—while rolling out a wide range of efficient gas and diesel technologies for at least the next decade or two.

Nissan’s global introductions in the next year will comprise a hybrid gas-electric version of the luxury Fuga—marketed in the United States as the Infiniti M35 Hybrid—which the company says could nearly double the mileage of its conventional counterpart. “We expect fuel efficiency to recover by 60 to 90 percent,” Koichi Hayasaki, chief engineer of Nissan’s hybrid system, said at a meeting briefing. Pricing has not been announced, but the M35 Hybrid is like to come close to, or exceed, $60,000.

Nissan will also begin the lightweight three-cylinder March microcar with stop-start—capable of about 60 miles per gallon—including a clean diesel version of the X-Trail crossover SUV.

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Toyota files for recall of 90,000 cars, as well as Lexus models

Toyota Motor Corp. filed with the transport ministry Monday for a recall in Japan of over 90,000 cars straddling eight models, frequently of the luxury Lexus brand, due to an engine defect, in the hottest of a series of recalls to hit Japan's top carmaker.

The recall start Friday will cover a total of 91,903 cars of seven Lexus models -- the top-of-the-line LS460 sedan, LS600h, LS600hL, GS350, GS450h, GS460 and IS350 -- as well as the Toyota Crown, according to Toyota and the ministry.

The defect in the engine valve spring makes an unusual sound, results in engine malfunction and in the worst cases stalls the engine while the car is moving.

In its recall notice to the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry, the automaker said it will substitute the defective valve springs with reinforced springs to fix the problem.

Toyota said it has received 220 complaints in relation to the valve springs except no reports of accidents. Toyota has proclaimed it will also recall in the United States around 138,000 Lexus vehicles including the LS460. Including Japan, about 270,000 vehicles worldwide are probable to be recalled due to the defective engine valve springs.

The latest development could deal so far another blow to the company's efforts to redeem its reputation through stricter quality control checks, as more than 8 million vehicles have been recalled worldwide since last autumn, as well as some of its top-selling models such as the Prius hybrid and the Camry sedan, over problems concerning accelerator pedals, floor mats and brakes.

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Friday, July 2, 2010

Most recent Electric Car Will Be a BMW, from the Battery Up

BMW has revealed plans for an environmental sub-brand, which will be commenced in 2013 on the front of a brand-new two-plus-two-seat, lithium-ion battery car.

The latest Megacity Vehicle will have a 134bhp, all-electric driveline with a single-speed electric motor revving up to 12,000rpm. It will also feature an aluminium chassis holding the wheels, suspension, battery and electric motor, and a separately-formed carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic passenger cell.

The latest brand and car is born out of BMW's "Project i" research scheme launched in 2007, which has inspected the consumer feedback from the 2008 electric MINI E and the 2009 Active E vehicles. Feedback shows that as usage patterns for the MINI E were not considerably different from that of a normal car, the most effective area of improvement would to be its 93-mile range.

To that end, BMW is running with partner SB LiMotive on added energy-dense batteries and with SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers on lightweight body materials. The company has not ruled out by a small 40bhp petrol engine as a range extender, in the manner of the petrol engine fitted to the approaching Chevrolet Volt/Vauxhall Ampera hatchback. It has also admitted that there will be bigger versions of the Megacity Vehicle.

The Megacity project is designed to give environmental transport for the growing number of urban conurbations with 10 million-plus populations, of which there were 83 in 1950 and 468 in 2007.

The United Nations guessed that the 2010 urban population of 3.2 billion will have grown to 5 billion by 2030, when three in five people will be city dwellers. Problems related with such urban pressure includes: air pollution, traffic congestion, urban sprawl, slums and huge pressure on resources.

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

After IPO Tesla reveals Updated Roadster

Tesla's on a roll, it seems. Two days after its victorious public stock offering, the company has unconfined details of the newest updates to its Roadster electric sports car--known as "Roadster 2.5" after software-release numbering.

The 2.5 version sports some new styling at front and rear, as well as a new front fascia (the grille-and-bumper area) that incorporates diffusing vents. There's moreover a diverse rear air diffuser that reflects, says the company, "the future of Tesla design."

Inside, the most important alteration is undoubtedly more comfortable seats, which have larger bolsters and now comprise a lumbar support system. Interior noise has been abridged in several ways, as well as new sound-suppressing front fender liners.

There's currently an optional backup camera in a 7-inch touchscreen display as well.

The company is now taking orders for the 2011 Tesla Roadster 2.5, and it will emerge shortly in Tesla's network of stores in the U.S. and overseas. "Where feasible," according to Musk, "we will also present existing customers the ability to purchase the upgrades."

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