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green cars

green cars

  eco friendly vehicle using low c02 emission or no emission at all.

Scion tC Sports Coupe

We have seen nearly every gimmick under the sun with various automakers, from Saturn and its "No Haggle" pricing — see where that got it — to Volkswagen with its "Sign Then Drive Event." One gimmick that we’ve been waiting for is for when dealerships start renting out their cars for extended test drives or just a weekend trip.

Well, the wait is now over, as Toyota has done just that. From the looks of things, about 85 percent of Toyota and Scion dealers across the U.S. participate in this program and Toyota claims that its rental rates are competitive with local car-rental companies. According to the Toyota Rent a Car website, you can rent cars, trucks, SUVs, Hybrids and even the 2013 RAV4 EV for a day, week or even months. Unfortunately, the 2013 Scion FR-S isn’t on the list of available models, but the almost-as-cool Scion tC is on the list.

So, we can now check brand-new rent-a-buckets off of our wish list, now we are just waiting for all of the dealers to morph into rental showrooms and Internet-based car buying — now that is "no haggle pricing!" Those two will likely never happen, but at the rate that Tesla is changing the car-buying experience, you just never know what will happen.

Your move, Elon Musk...

Click past the jump to read about some of the coolest models that Toyota is renting out under this program

Posted on by Simona  

Volkswagen ’s dream of developing a 235-mpg car (1 liter per 100 kilometers) has finally been realized, as the new XL1 will be making its world debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. To make things even better, the first details have been released today. Volkswagen describes it as "a spectacular appearance – a car of the future, built for today."

On the exterior, the model remains pretty much identical to the concept unveiled at the 2011 Qatar Motor Show, including those cool gullwing doors. Still, the car is a little bit better than VW hoped, because its fuel consumption goes down to an impressive 0.9 liters per 100 kilometers, or 261 U.S. mpg.

The model will be unveiled next month at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and the first production batch will consist of just 50 units, with any other unit being developed on demand.

Updated 02/21/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs.

Updated 07/11/2013: The new Volkswagen XL1 will make its British debut at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed. With this occasion, Volkswagen unveiled a series of new images and a new video for the XL1.

Hit the jump to read more about the new Volkswagen XL1.

Posted on by Simona  
Kia Soul EV

Rumors have been swirling about a possible all-electric Kia Soul crossover for quite some time now, and today our spy photographers caught the Soul EV testing on public roads for the first time.

Reports suggest that the electric Kia Soul will feature a battery pack that will ensure a driving range of 200 km (124 miles) on one single charge. The same rumors suggest that the Soul EV’s electric motor will afford the electric crossover a top speed of 87 mph and a sprint from 0 to 60 mph in under 12 seconds.

According to a report from Kia World, the Soul EV will have a global presence, as Kia will sell its upcoming EV in Europe, China and the U.S. The model will be put on sale in Europe in the first half of 2014 at a starting price of €27,500. We expect to see a price tag around $30K in the U.S. market.

Posted on by TB +  

The Fusion Energi is the first in a large wave of mainstream, plug-in Fords in the mid-term future. The extra EV power doubles silent range and EPA efficiency of the already-stellar Fusion Hybrid for only about $6,000 more than a loaded Hybrid Titanium model.

Who killed the electric car? Was it you?

No, it was coal. Coal killed the electric car.

Until 2012, the idea of an electric car faced not only the technical challenges of building one but also the significant consumer hurdle of buying something without knowing the actual savings over gasoline.

Anyone who has ever gotten a $400 power bill for a hot summer month would certainly think twice about the cost and hassle of plugging in the car constantly. Consumers rightly wondered: How high could an EV charger spike that utility bill?

Large-scale U.S. energy shifts to natural gas power stations mean home electricity is at record lows and expected to stay low for years. ‘Natty G’ costs about a fifth as much as coal per megawatt and significant savings are coming to home users in the U.S. as well.

Suddenly, Ford ’s plug-in hybrid electric car not only satisfies Eco-minded hybrid buyers but also the hardcore-green BEV owners in Nissan Leaf and Tesla vehicles. There’s simply no drawback to this Fusion Energi PHEV when the equation is close to $1 of juice (very roughly) equaling $10 in gasoline.

Add in the peace of mind of a gasoline backup and less cord fumbling… and it all starts to make sense. The Chevrolet Volt the first to a market that also includes the Honda Accord Plug-in and low-tech Prius Plug-in .

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Ford Fusion Energi including an exclusive video tech overview of the interior.

Posted on by TB +  

The Fusion Hybrid finally cracks the code to unravel Toyota’s stranglehold on the eco market by offering consumers what they actually want: a gorgeous sedan shape, a quiet cabin and very good handling. These are all places where the Prius cannot compete. The Ford also runs lithium-ion batteries for a 47 mpg rating, despite costing just $27,000.

Ford’s most promising hybrid to date is joined by a plug-in model called the Fusion Energi. The Hybrid is the volume electrified sedan and packs some great technology into one of the most attractive midsize car shapes on the market.

The Hybrid might actually be the pick of the range that also includes a 1.6-liter EcoBoost and a base 2.5-liter four-cylinder in a new-for-2014 ‘S’ trim at the bottom of the range.

The Fusion Hybrid offers nearly all of the Energi’s benefits for about $10,000 less. This makes it a really viable contender among urban dwellers without access to a garage plug.

The 47/47/47 mpg across all EPA categories takes most of the headlines but the Fusion Hybrid also drives really nicely and is more balanced that the typical sedan, thanks the trunk-mounted battery pack helping even the weight distribution of this front-drive car.

Conventional Hybrid sedans are just starting to really move up the sales charts versus the dedicated Prius hatchback. Even among Prius owners, there is some latent desire for a classic large sedan’s refinement and handling. The Fusion Hybrid aces these criteria and many more, via a sophisticated suite of interior technologies and active safety options that are from a class above.

How will the Ford fare versus this fall’s supercharged Nissan Altima Hybrid and the popular Toyota Camry Hybrid ?

Click past the jump for the first-drive review of the 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid with highlights on the new features and equipment.

Tesla just keeps on rolling out new programs that make electric cars a real possibility for the majority of daily commuters. First came the introduction of the up-to-300-mile Tesla Model S, which was a revolution in EV technology in itself. Then came the release of the Supercharger network, which is free on any Model S with an 85 kWh battery – a $2,000 option on any Model S with a 60 kWh battery.

Sure, the Supercharger network is still small, but Tesla promises to have 98 percent of the U.S. covered by 2015 and enough to enable coast-to-coast driving in the winter of 2013. You can actually see a cool interactive map on the Tesla site. However, we’re not here to plug the website; we’re here to tell you that Tesla has again revolutionized the EV world with its pack-swap option at Supercharger stations.

This gives Model S owners the ability to choose waiting 20-plus minutes for their Model S to recharge and pay nothing or pay a fee and have their Model S’ battery pack swapped for a fully charged one. You’re likely thinking that these battery packs are so complex that it has to take hours to replace. But that’s not the case at all.

Thanks to Tesla using automation and a drive-over system, you can pull up to a station and drive over a small pit – similar to a quick oil-change place – and an automated system removes the discharged battery and replaces it with a fully charged one in just 90 seconds.

With Elon Musk being as flamboyant as he is – and rightfully so – he challenged the fastest gas pump in Los Angeles to a duel. Well, Tesla managed to swap out two Model S batteries before the gas pump could fill up an empty tank.

So it’s your choice: free or fast? We are just concerned with exactly how much this “fee” is for the pack swap. We bet it’ll run about the same price as a tank of gas: $50. Unfortunately, there is no ETA for the roll out of this program.

Click past the jump to read more about the Supercharger stations

Posted on by TB +  

The new Nissan Altima is enjoying a sales up-swing at the moment following a $580 price cut that took effect May 3 of this year. The cheapest Altima’s are now just below $22,000 up to just above $30,000 for the loaded V-6 SL model. This comes on the back of poor launch sales and critiques of the marshmallow driving characteristics.

The big news for the 2014 Altima is the introduction of an all-new, Nissan-developed hybrid drivetrain option.

From extensive technical previews of the new supercharged 2.5-liter four plus Li-Ion battery packs, Nissan is clearly proud of the system and will also roll it out on the 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid for the first time.

Pre-2011 Ford and Nissan hybrids used technology from the Toyota Prius for the electrified system components including the transmission, power inverter, battery, and charging control unit via a licensing agreement. The Toyota-supplied components were then married to Ford or Nissan platform and engine designs.

As a result, the Altima Hybrid drove a lot like the Prius despite using a more-powerful gasoline engine for primary power. This is set to change with the new 2014 Altima Hybrid. The supercharged four-cylinder should deliver good torque and the use of lithium-ion batteries will mark a first for a mainstream, value-oriented hybrid sedan.

Will one Hybrid be enough to battle the Camry Hybrid, the Plug-in Honda Accord and the two hybrid variants of the Ford Fusion ?

Click past the jump for the full review of the new Nissan Altima Hybrid.

Posted on by TB +  

The C-Max is Ford’s first Hybrid-only model and comes in two mechanical configurations: Hybrid and ‘Energi’ Plug-in Hybrid. Bringing the heat to Toyota ’s popular Prius and the Chevy Volt , the C-Max fills a solid gap in the marketplace among consumers who won’t settle for the other cars’ many limitations.

C-Max sales are ramping up steadily and the C-Max is on track to be Ford’s best-selling hybrid model of all time by the end of 2013, based on current year-to-date sales and projections. Granted, Ford has some major ground to make up versus the Prius lineups, which has topped 200,000 sales annually in recent years.

The first-to-market advantage of the Prius continues today with the model family taking 58 percent of the market share for hybrid-electric cars. Despite its utter dominance of the segment so far, there’s no reason that the Prius should set the template for all PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) or simpler full hybrids. As shown by the Tesla Model S , there really is a better way. Driving a hybrid shouldn’t have to mean total misery on the road. Would anyone choose a Prius if it didn’t get amazing mileage? No way.

Living somewhere between the Prius and Prius V models, the C-Max offers some real advantages versus its archrivals from Toyota .

Ford’s bringing its fun-to-drive C-Max to crash the dull Prius party. With more space and more family-friendly packaging than the Focus , but all of its enthusiasm for corners, the C-Max pair will continue to gain ground in the sales battle among eco-keen drivers.

Click past the jump for the full C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi review, detailed specs and jumbo image gallery.

Posted on by TB +  

The 2013 Camry Hybrid takes the core Camry attributes to another level of sophistication and brilliance. Put simply, there are a thousand reasons why buying a new Camry has become a reflexive behavior for millions of Americans. Then again, there are more than a few nasty traits about the new Camry Hybrid, but none of them are deal-breakers for typical car shoppers.

So how has this Kentucky-bred Toyota dominated the sales charts for so long? It can’t simply be the bulletproof reliability, but that certainly helps. There are legendary mechanic’s anecdotes about running Camry engines that have never had an oil change in ten years, but keep humming along. For every whine about the Buick -style ride and handling, there are a million drivers who appreciate its anodyne driving style.

For 2013, the Camry Hybrid receives some interior enhancements, like softer plastics just a year after going on sale. With sales numbers above 350,000 units a year - every year - more than 50 new Camry’s will roll off the assembly line in just the next hour.

Please hit the jump for the full review of the 2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid.


It’s no surprise to anyone that Fisker is on life support and is nearing its final breath, as it has had way too many issues over the years. Even with the company likely organizing its affairs for bankruptcy, no one could have ever anticipated seeing a Karma for sale at less than half of the sticker price.

Well, we can now see that the unexpected is a reality, as Karmas are starting to trickle onto Ebay at massive discounts. When we drove the Karma , we found that it drive like a far more expensive car than its $100K price tag and later found that it actually costs more to develop and advertise than Fisker was actually selling the model for.

As of May 17th, we found four Karmas for auction on Ebay with current bids that run from $50,000 to $79,995 with less than 10,000 miles on their odometers. In fact, the $50,000 model only has 550 miles and it is 1 of 100 Signature Editions. Business Insider actually managed to dig one up for $40,200, which adds up to 60 percent off of the MSRP.

From the looks of it, Karma owners are getting spooked by Fisker’s financial trouble and the fact that if the company goes under, there is no large backer to cover warranty and service issues. Unlike when Pontiac and Saturn closed up shop, Fisker doesn’t have GM behind it to provide post-mortem support.


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