green cars

green cars

  green cars are good for the environment, saving gas, reducing CO2 emissions and use recycling materials

Everyday, thousands of new cars, trucks , vans , and SUVs roll off assembly lines the world over. They represent the newest technology and innovation their respective manufacturer has to offer, and for many buyers, will be the second-largest single purchase they make following their house.

But what happens to a vehicle once its life on the road comes to a stop? The latest infographic from gocompare.com details just how automotive recycling programs are cutting back on unused waste and reintroducing the market with quality recycled materials by shredding the old family sedan for all it’s worth.

Before the recycling process can begin, all fluids are drained, tires are removed, and special equipment like mercury switches and batteries are sent off for separate recycling. The tire-less, dry vehicles are then crushed and ground up. The fist-sized chunks coming from the grinder are then sorted, depending on material. At this point, roughly 15 to 25 percent of the vehicle is considered waste and enters a landfill, with the large remainder headed for further processing.

Plastics and metals are two of the largest reclaimed materials from recycled vehicles. In fact, recycled vehicle plastics save roughly 24 million barrels of oil annually in the U.S. alone. Metals like iron and steel are separated with magnets while copper and aluminum are separated by weight. Car batteries are also a highly recyclable material and can yield up to 97 percent of its original lead content in the process.

Automotive recycling is big business in America with over 12 million vehicles processed annually. Recycling is a $22 billion dollar industry and growing. That growth helps conserve resources and reduce landfill waste while expanding job growth the world over.

Click past the jump to check out the infographic

Posted on by TB +  

Seeing a line of pristine Carrera White Audi ’s from across the paddock at Autobahn Country Club was almost enough to make a guy start jogging to get the first seat time. The brand-new S Q5 was on the pre-event list of attendees, and the new grille finish of the Q5 in brilliant white was very promising.

Within closer range, the “TDI clean diesel” script was visible on the side of almost all ten Audi ’s on offer for the car writers to sample. The A7 and A8 were common sights leaving the club gates, but at least one car writer was mildly disappointed.

Not only was the S Q5 not present, but diesel engines all around? Eek. One bright spot was visible: a gigantic white Q7 with some snazzy fender flares on anthracite grey alloys.

Also... a diesel, but this was more TopSpeed style.

A quick blast up to my gravel road photo spot was enough time to fall head-over-heels for the big Q7, even as its replacement is firmly on the horizon for 2014 or 2015.

This Audi is a creamy beast with torque for days even in the 3.0-liter TDI specification. The real clue to its fresher-than-average looks is the S-line trim worn by the tester, which brings along a host of sporty programming options and décor inside as well.

When a Cayenne is too bouncy, and an Escalade is too soft, look no farther than the Q7 TDI S-line for a seven seats and a ride that is ’juuusst riight’.

Click past the jump for all the beautiful sunny photos of the 2014 Audi Q7 TDI S-line, plus some first-hand observations on how the small-capacity diesel engine performs.

Posted on by Simona  

Cadillac unveiled a first ELR concept back in 2011 and ever since then everyone was pretty sure a production will also follow. Things got pretty clear in 2012 when a leak from OnStar confirmed Cadillac will dive into the hybrid realm with a vehicle not named "Escalade ." The model finally made its world debut at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show and according to the first official details we have, it offers "an unprecedented combination of luxury, advanced engineering and progressive design."

However, this is not the first time in Caddy’s long history that it’s tread into the economy car world. The first one was the laughably Cavalier-like Cimarron. If you recall, Cadillac was so embarrassed by the Cimarron that the automaker refused to call it a Cadillac and instead dubbed it the “Cimarron by Cadillac” originally. GM later forced a name change to “Cadillac Cimarron.”

Needless to say Caddy does not want to relive those days, so they took things pretty serious with the ELR. The model is being powered by the latest GM EREV technology that combined a pure electric drive and an efficient, range-extending 1.4 liter gasoline-powered electric generator.

Updated 02/10/2014: Cadillac unveiled a first commercial for its new ELR electric coupe featuring actor Neil McDonough. Enjoy!

Updated 03/25/2014: Cadillac unveiled a new video for the new ELR coupe which hopes it will help it sell the electric coupe better. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read the entire review to see if the ELR will end up on TIME’s “50 Worst Cars of All Time” list alongside the Cimarron.

At the 2010 New York Auto Show , Hyundai unveiled the Sonata Hybrid , and the 2014 model that we got our hands on its nearly identical to the debut model.

Regardless of its age — about 40 years old in car years — the Sonata Hybrid still looks pretty modern, with its distinctive front fascia that shows off LED-trimmed headlamps and a wavy front grill. The LED taillights and aerodynamic rims are the only details that scream "hybrid." Though it remains relatively up to date, we do expect Hyundai to reveal a redesigned Sonata line for 2015, including the hybrid model.

The interior is very well-appointed, and only LCD gauges and "Blue Efficiency" button on the steering wheel clue you in that this is indeed a hybrid model. A quick press of this "Blue Efficiency" button, and the Sonata Hybrid awakens from its efficient — boring — mode. The hybrid system is attached to a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that pumps out 159 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. The hybrid system chimes in with an extra 47 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. In all, this system puts down a respectable 200 horsepower, but don’t expect the mid-3,000-pound, midsize cruiser to pin you to your seat.

After some seat time in the Lexus ES Hybrid , we are a little spoiled, but we have to remind you that you get what you pay for. The Sonata checks in around $30,000, and it delivers a premium look and feel. Taking into consideration that hybrid cars tend receive a 20 to 30 percent premium over their gasoline counterparts, the Sonata Hybrid is a relative bargain.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited

Posted on by TB +  

The first reviews of the production i8 and i3 are finally out, and the styling really cleans up nicely without the trademark blue disguise wrap worn by the prototypes over the past two years.

The other shock of shocks? The first drive impressions of the i8 are coming back as highly favorable, with great interactivity on the limit and track poise beyond any current EV.

This is huge news for the future of the Ultimate Driving Machine as we know it. The slow creep of isolation and refinement is becoming problematic on the M6 and other fast Bimmers, so the worry has been that adding electricity to the mix will further isolate and dull the experience.

Everyone can sigh a breathe of relief. Both BMW i models run a 50:50 weight balance, carbon-fiber tub with alloy crash cradles. These are all extremely advanced designs shared between the i8 hybrid supercar and the i3 . So, where does a potential i3 M fit in the pricing and technology mix for the future BMW i range?

With the i3 and i8 arriving at American BMW dealers together as 2015 models, all systems are go for the global roll-out of these production models. The price gap might raise an eyebrow or two: from about $43,000 for the i3 up to $135,000 for the i8 .

This exclusive preview brings the first renderings of a performance middle ground for 2016: the BMW i3 M.

Click past the jump for this amazing three-pack of renderings that show the potential style of the 2016 BMW i3 M.

Posted on by Simona  

Land Rover and Jaguar announced a collaboration to develop a new ‘Range Rover Evoque _e’ research project that tests new hybrid and battery-electric vehicle (BEV) technology. The research required a total of £16.3 million (about $25 million at the current exchange rates), and was supported by UK’s innovation agency the Technology Strategy Board.

Along with Jaguar and Land Rover, the Evoque_e’s development required the an additional 12 partners, including: Zytek Automotive, GKN Driveline, Motor Design Limited, AVL, Drive System Design, Williams Advanced Engineering, Delta Motorsport, Tata Steel, Bristol University, Cranfield University and Newcastle University.

According to the first details we have, this collaboration will bring to the market three research vehicles: the next-generation powertrain concepts for a mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV); a Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) and a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV).

While no other details were revealed, Jaguar’s previous PHEV system revealed in the XJ_e plug-in hybrid , which combines a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, with a 92-horsepower electric motor and a 12.8kWh Lithium Ion battery pack. Land Rover also revealed numerous "_e" projects, like the Range_e , which combined a 3.0-liter TDV6 diesel with an electric motor and an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.

We’ll bring you all of the details once Land Rover releases them.

Click past the jump to read more about the Land Rover Evoque.

Fisker Karma

When we went out for a test drive in the Fisker Karma last year, we thought that it felt a little more high-tech than the $100,000 price tag led us to believe. Everything operated smoothly, the interior was plush, the performance was admirable and its look was downright stunning. With all of this technology and design comes a hefty price, and boy did Fisker feel its belt tightening with each and every Karma it produced.

With its bankruptcy proceedings pretty mu inevitable, PrivCo dug up all the public record s it could to have a look at Fisker ’s financial goings on, and it found that the each Karma produced cost a total of $660,000 but sold for only about $100k – that’s just bad business, folks. Now, we’re not saying that each car it built literally cost $660k, what this means is that when you take all of the research and development cost, advertising costs and the other costs associated with the car and divided it by the number of Karma’s sold, you get roughly $660k.

At that rate, there was no way Fisker could have survived anyways, but the fact that it was the victim of management that would likely make Lotus’ former management look good just accelerated things. In fact, PrivCo has released a detailed review of Fisker Fisker $1.3 billion debacle, which really opens our eyes to just how promising the model was and outlines exactly where things completely fell apart. You can see this study here.

The fortunate thing is that Fisker’s advanced EVer system will likely be bought out during the bankruptcy process, so even though we will not see another Karma on the road, it may live on in spirit through future models using this awesome drive system.

Click past the jump to read more about the Karma

Source: PrivCo

Typically, when Jay Leno gets his hands on a car, it is all about horsepower and loud exhaust, but he does have his eco-friendly moments. This time around, Jay gets the best of both worlds, sans the loud exhaust, as Tesla stopped by to let him take the Model S on a drive. There is not an abundance of Model S driving footage available and certainly none to the degree that Jay Leno does it.

Jay gets us a good look inside the car and we even gets a nice idea of how the Model S’ driver information center – you know, the massive, iPad-looking deal in the center of the dash – works, and we are certainly impressed. It literally controls everything, taking the old days of buttons aplenty strewn up and down the center stack to a well-placed screen that offers up the same controls.

Then the part that we want to see: the drive. Jay takes it pretty easy on the main roads, as he focuses more on its economy and regenerative systems. He does manage to get into the Model S a little bit, but only in small doses. Well, at the end, we get exactly what we have all wanted to see: a Tesla Model S doing a burn out.

Good call, Jay. We bet that poor PR guy had to beg Mr. Musk to allow that one. Then again, that burn out likely sold a lot of `tweeners on this EV performance sedan.

Toyota is slowly announcing the trim levels for the Prius ’ 2013 model year and it has been relatively “blah” so far. Toyota is at least attempting to spice things up – or at least mailing in its attempt – by releasing a :ahem: “Special Edition” model that it has dubbed the Prius Persona Series.

This so-called special edition has pretty much just two things that are special about it. The first is a black-cherry paint job that can only be found on the Persona Series model. Also unique to this model are the darker-finished 17-inch wheels and the “Persona Series” badges on the outside. In addition to the black-cherry paint, you can also opt for black and Blizzard Pearl.

On the inside, Toyota will fit the Prius Persona Series with black SofTex seats with red accent stitching. For those that don’t know, SofTex is imitation leather that Toyota patented earlier this year. Also wrapped in charcoal-colored SofTex with black accents and red contrasting stitching is the steering wheel.

Lastly, the Prius Persona Series gets dark chrome accents throughout the interior, including on the steering wheel, gear shifter ring, arm rest, door handles, and front cup holders. Other than those additions, the Prius Persona Series comes with the same 134-horsepower, 1.8-liter engine that the base Prius Two comes with.

Toyota has priced this special model at $27,890, which is about $1,300 more than the 2013 Prius Three. At least this is a step in the right direction for the Prius, but we are still waiting for Toyota to find a way to really make the Prius “cool.” The wait shall continue…

Cadillac ELR

As if it wasn’t already obvious, given GM is about as good at holding its secrets as a tissue is at holding water, the Cadillac ELR has finally been confirmed for production. Production will kick off in late 2013 in the automaker’s Detroit-Hamtramck factory alongside the Chevy Volt, Opel Ampera, and Holden Volt. This will also bring about $35 million in updates to the plant in order to get it ready to handle the extra production and this high-tech extended-range EV.

There are still no exact figures on its driveline, but we all assume it will be based on the Chevy Volt’s platform. GM’s presser does let us know that the ELR will feature a T-shaped lithium-ion battery and will run primarily on electricity. Once the battery becomes discharged, a 4-cylinder engine will kick in to recharge the battery.

We’re all anticipating – maybe more like hoping – that if the ELR uses the Volt’s drivetrain, GM will retune the system to be a little more performance-oriented. Given the sporty look of the concept version of the ELR, it just wouldn’t sit right with us if the ELR takes over 9 seconds to get to 60 mph, like the Volt does.

We’ll keep an eye on the ELR’s progress and relay its official specs to you just as soon as GM leaks – err – releases them.

Click past the jump to read GM’s full presser.


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