Inside these posts: Electric cars

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Walgreens to install charging stations for electric cars

Walgreen Co. announced today it will install charging stations for electric vehicles as part of a Chicago-area public charging infrastructure rollout led by California-based 350Green LLC.

Already, more than 150 private charging stations have been installed throughout the city, and an additional 280 public charging stations have been announced for the Chicago area. Walgreens is the first company is the first retail partner to formally announce their participation in the $8.9 million project. Get the full story »

Consumer Reports: GM Volt falls short on range

A Chevrolet Volt sits plugged into a newly installed electric charging station outside General Motors' world headquarters in Detroit, Oct. 12, 2010. (Reuters/Rebecca Cook)

General Motors’ mostly electric Chevy Volt turned in a lackluster performance for efficiency in its first series of road tests by product raters at Consumer Reports.

“We would have really liked to have loved it,” David Champion, director of Consumer Reports auto test center told Reuters on Monday after announcing the organization’s top picks for 2011.

“It was fun to drive and the ride quality was pretty good. But when you look at the finances, for us it doesn’t make any sense,” Champion said. Get the full story »

Chicago OKs contract for 280 car charging stations

A residential electric car charging station in Washington D.C. (Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty)

By the end of this year, Chicagoans will not only be able to purchase and drive electric vehicles, but also charge those vehicles in the time it takes to finish a cup of coffee.

The city of Chicago has awarded a $1.9 million contract to a California firm to install 280 electric vehicle charging stations in Chicago and surrounding suburbs by the end of 2011.

The contract — paid for with equal state and federal dollars though a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — means the city has cleared a major hurdle on the road to widespread electric vehicle adoption. Get the full story »

$7,500 electric car discount scares dealers

In an effort to put 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015, the Obama administration has proposed a plan that would put up to $7,500 directly in the hands of car buyers without having them jump through any tax hoops. Plug-in car advocates love the idea but dealers aren’t so sure about it.

Under the proposal, auto dealers and finance companies would take the tax credit for themselves and give customer’s a simple on-the-spot discount. Get the full story »

GM’s next Volt challenge: cut the price

The Volt has won nearly every major award offered and stirred up tons of interest, but one criticism persists: It’s too expensive.

The next-generation Volt will almost certainly cost less than the $41,000 list, GM spokesman Rob Peterson said. And the  changes that make it cheaper should make it better, too. Get the full story »

GM to put Volt technology to wider use

General Motors Co. is looking to apply the technology of its Chevrolet Volt to a wide array of vehicles, potentially including a Cadillac SRX plug-in, Chief Executive Daniel Akerson said Tuesday.

The automaker is developing a hatchback and a crossover that could use the Volt technology, Akerson said during a speech at the Automotive News World Congress. Get the full story »

Ford plans to hire 7,000 U.S. workers by 2012

Ford Motor Co. says it will add more than 7,000 workers in the U.S. over the next two years as it begins producing several new vehicles. Get the full story »

Buffett-backed Chinese carmaker prepares for U.S.

BYD Co Ltd., a Chinese car and battery maker backed by Warren Buffett, expects to enter the mass U.S. auto market in the first quarter of 2012, starting with its e6 electric car model, its chairman said on Monday. Get the full story »

Ford introduces Focus Electric

Ford unveiled the Focus Electric at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Friday, promising an electric car that’s fun to drive.

Ford’s electric will have a top speed of 84 miles per hour and the suspension, steering and brakes will be shared with the gasoline-powered car. Get the full story »

Paris preparing for electric car-sharing program

A visualization of a proposed electric car station in Paris. (AP)

After its successful bike-sharing program, Paris is moving into higher gear, preparing to lend out 3,000 electric cars across the City of Light to fight air pollution.

City officials on Thursday chose a bid by French billionaire entrepreneur Vincent Bollore to run Autolib’, a new automobile-sharing program modeled on Paris’ successful, three-year-old bicycle-sharing program, Velib’. Get the full story »

Production of Think electric cars starts in Indiana

Think,  the Norwegian electric vehicle maker, has started production of the City at its plant in Elkhart, Ind.

The company plans to build 300 Think City electric cars there by year-end and some 2,500 in 2011. Get the full story »

Chevy ships first 160 Volts to dealers

Five trucks carrying Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric cars left General Motors Co.’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant Monday, marking the first shipment to dealers after nearly four years of expectation.

GM said it expected 160 Volts to ship this week to its initial markets: California; Austin, Texas; New York City; and Washington, D.C. Get the full story »

Nissan sees electric car envy in criticism of the Leaf

(Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images)

From The International Herald Tribune | Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn says criticism of the company’s Leaf car is due to electric car envy. “They don’t have one, so it’s not a surprise,” Mr. Ghosn said in an interview this week at Nissan headquarters. “People who are challenged by innovation are going to fight it in the beginning,” he said. “Get ready to see a lot of converts.”

Agency trying to bring plug-in electric cars to Ill.

The first mass-market electric cars go on sale this month. And Illinois authorities want the state to be in the driver’s seat in using plug-in cars.

The state’s Commerce Commission formed a committee called the “Initiative on Plug-in Electric Vehicles” earlier this year. It has asked utility companies to respond by Dec. 15 on how plug-in cars would affect Illinois’ electric grid. After that, a public meeting is planned in January. Get the full story »

GM hiring to push electric effort beyond Volt

The Chevy Volt. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

General Motors said on Tuesday it would hire 1,000 engineers and researchers in Michigan over the next two years to develop more electric cars and hybrids as it launched its battery-powered Chevrolet Volt.

“Volt clearly demonstrates that we are well on our way and it is especially true when it comes to the electrification of the automobile,” GM Chief Executive Dan Akerson said at a ceremony marking the start of production of the plug-in hybrid.

The Volt, which tops the Toyota Prius for fuel economy, is a first-of-its-kind vehicle that GM has touted as a symbol of its commitment to pushing for gains in fuel efficiency and developing new technology. Get the full story »