So I was not the only one who thought that FFV are just another gimmick put up by the “Big3”. So gas price outside Ann Arbor is priced between $2.13-2.23, this does not mean that its going to stay like that forever. So these guys say oh, buy a FFV, be a patriot, buy American, save the economy. Do people forget we are a Capitalist democracy, when it comes to goods and services, Americans look for the best deals. It has nothing to with a patriotism. If Ford,GM and Chrysler build good fuel efficient cars, people will buy them. But, no these guys want to try and hoodwink the American buyer and call on they patriotism. If this article offends your patriotism, then you may have a problem, because patriotism has nothing to do with what kind of bloody car you own. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary Patriotism is defined as love or devotion to one’s country, yes, I support the USA, but I am not going to become a patriot by buying a car that gives lousy gas mileage. Check out how through a clever combination of marketing and gimmickry that would make P.T. Barnum blush, domestic automakers claim to be “green” while diverting attention away from the real issue: A federal tax loophole is creating an artificial market for ethanol, while stifling the development of new technologies by automakers that would put more fuel-efficient vehicles on the road.Read the article by William O’Keefe “Ethanol is a Gimmick and not an answer to high gas prices”.
Source: Mercury News
GM has teamed up Chrysler & BMW, and have plans on taking on Toyota and its hybrid technology head on. Now we all know two brains are better than one, lets see what we get out of three. Imagine the amount of resources these guys will be pooling together, instead of competing with each other, these auto giants will be able to produce a hybrid car that can potentially beat the Pruis, albeit it may be a few years before we see a prototype, but imagine having a hybrid that has the power of a GM truck, sleek design of a BMW and looks like the Chrysler Crossfire. To catch Toyota, GM and its partners are adopting common specifications for a hybrid system built around a GM automatic transmission. They will use a single factory to build hybrid systems, a GM plant in Baltimore, achieving economies of scale none could realize on its own. The three-way alliance on gas/electric hybrids is a sign of the times as automakers search for partners as a way to save money globally on purchasing, product development and new technology.
Source: Hybrid Efort: Trio takes on Toyota
If you have a spare 100k hanging around and gathering dust in your bank account, and you want fully powered electric vehicle. Guess what you can buy one from Tesla. The Tesla Roadster has a range of 250 miles, says the company. The EV1, with the best nickel metal hydride batteries, could go about 150 miles under ideal conditions. A full charge of the EV1 could take eight hours. The Tesla’s lithium-ion batteries can be raised from the dead to a full charge in 3 1/2 hours and, unlike the EV1, the Tesla will come with its own portable charging pack so it won’t be range-tethered to its home charging station.
So when are we mere mortals ever going to be able to buy such a car, never. Great idea, just built for billionaires. Now all we need is for someone transfer this technology into the mainstream automobile industry. Big 3, look this one is on the house. Yeah, I know was it GM who tried this earlier in the 90’s.
The last three weeks have been crazy, especially since I got a job offer and started work three weeks ago, I have been swamped, but now that things are finally getting down to a routine (sort of), I was totally cut off from the rest of the world, gas prices are at $78 a barrel, people are bombing each other, Italy won the Football World Cup (not without controversy), what the hell happened in the last four weeks. So with gas currently retailing anywhere between 2.89-3.05 a gallon in Ypsilanti, MI, is it worth owning a hybrid now. We all know that the initial cost of hybrids are high but these cars give about 20 miles more than conventional vehicles and for every gallon of gas saved on a hybrid, that prevents 18 pounds of CO2 being emitted. But mileage alone isn’t enough to outweigh hybrids’ disadvantages for most drivers, said Philip Reed, consumer advice editor for Edmunds.com, a consumer finance-oriented Web site. Looks like that Smart car option is looking better day by day.
Last week I was able to get a ride in a super-charged MINI Cooper, this animal was fully loaded. I just fell in love with that little beast. It had 214-hp engine/ 6 speed MT and costing between 18-20k depending on the type of trim. A bit pricey for such a small car, and I would have expected the fuel economy on this car to be really good but it gives about 25/32 city/hwy MPG.When compared to my Mazda3 AT which gives 28/35 city/hwy MPG. But then this little beast has more hp that my Mazda3, so who am I to say anything. Would I buy a MINI if I could, YES!! Imagine how easy parallel parking is with this car (I failed parallel parking), literally you can park this car anywhere. Now this is a small car with attitude.
Earlier this year or was it last year, I forget, Ford said it would sell 250,000 hybrids by 2010, this week Bill Ford said that the Ford Motor company would concentrate on the FFV program. Currently, there are 12 E85 fueling locations in Michigan. Ford and the other Detroit Automakers plan on producing two million FFV by 2010. Seems that these guys have some “corny” plan in mind. To read the full article click here.
Due to resounding sale success in Canada, DaimlerChrysler plan on launching the gasoline version of the Smart Car in the US. This car will target the urbanite’s who consider themselves to be outside the main stream of car owners. DaimlerChrysler Inc. said high gas prices and the unexpected success of its two-seater Smart car in Canada convinced it the brand will sell in the U.S., too. A redesigned, second-generation version of the Smart that will meet U.S. emission rules will go on sale in a new dealer network in the first quarter of 2008, DaimlerChrysler president Dieter Zetsche said Wednesday. Its time big cities in the US started getting people to drive smaller cars. If you are an urbanite/student then this car is the solution to all those parking problem. Con, if you are late for work you cannot use the excuse anymore, that you could not find a parking spot for this car.
Newsflash from GM (apparently off the record), GM plans on building a plug-in hybrid that can be recharged from any domestic electric outlet. GM plans on unveiling this car at the Detroit Auto Show next year. GM now wants a share of the hybrid market which the Big Three lost out to Toyota. General Motors Corp., losing sales to fuel-efficient cars from Toyota Motor Corp., is developing a hybrid-electric vehicle with a battery that recharges at any outlet.
Now that hybrid car demand is on the rise and the profit margins are attractive, GM wants a piece of the pie.