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Posts Tagged ‘hybrid’
Look at that S-Car Go! Comments Re: Today’s Bit on “Electric Cars” in the Chronicle – EL CHEVY VOLT NO ES UN COCHE ELECTRICOWednesday, March 21st, 2012
“After a year’s success in casting bankrupt Fremont solar maker Solyndra as the prototype for President Obama’s energy policies, Republicans now are targeting what they have dubbed “Obamacars.”
OBAMACARS? THAT’S A NEW ONE ON ME. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA INDEED HAS A PROBLEM ON HIS HANDS WITH THE VERY UNPOPULAR DETROIT BAILOUT. I’M NOT SAYING IT WAS HIS IDEA BUT HE CERTAINLY SUPPORTED IT AND IT WAS BAD IDEA, IMO. FOR SOME REASON, HAVING SOMETHING TO DO WITH OBAMA, GM MADE WILDLY UNREALISTIC FORECASTS FOR THE VOLT PLUG-IN HYBRID. OBVIOUSLY, THERE’S GOOD AND BAD FOR OBAMA TO BE SO INVOLVED WITH DETROIT.
For some GOP members of Congress, the Chevy Volt, made by General Motors, is a fire hazard and a job loser, while Palo Alto’s Tesla Motors is a crony capitalist purveyor of toy cars for Silicon Valley millionaires.
FIRE HAZARD? NO. JOB LOSER? NO. BUT CRONY CAPITALIST PURVEYOR OF TOY CARS FOR SILICON VALLEY MILLIONAIRES? YES! DING DING DING!
The campaign has tainted Energy Secretary and UC Berkeley physicist Steven Chu and his agency’s renewable energy loan programs, rupturing a consensus under former President George W. Bush, who started the programs to end America’s addiction to oil.
I DON’T KNOW IF THE CAMPAIGN DID THAT. WE’VE WASTED A LOT OF MONEY ON A LOT OF FEDERAL PROGRAMS – THIS IS TRUE WITH OR WITHOUT ANY CAMPAIGN.
But it may not stop the electric car. The assault has enraged General Motors. On March 1, the company opened an unprecedented campaign to re-introduce the Volt in California, the biggest U.S. auto market, even as it temporarily halted production because of slow sales.
THE CHEVY VOLT IS NOT AN “ELECTRIC CAR.” SORRY. IT’S A PLUG-IN HYBRID, IRL.
GM Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson has complained about the political atmosphere that surrounds the Volt.
UH, DOESN’T HE OWE HIS JOB TO THE “POLITICAL ATMOSPHERE?” I THINK SO.
“Sometimes I feel bad for President Obama,” he said this month after an appearance at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
AWW. AND SOMETIMES SMITHERS FEELS BAD FOR MR. BURNS. SOMETIMES.
The automaker accused Republicans and the media of hyping claims that the car caught fire during testing, which forced temporary layoffs at the Volt plant in Detroit.
IF THE VOLT WERE WAAAAAY CHEAPER, IT WOULD SELL SOMEWHAT BETTER. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH NEWS OF FIRES. GM, FOR POLITICAL REASONS, WAS WAAAAAAAY OFF ON PREDICTIONS OF SALES FOR THIS MODEL.
Tesla, which received a $465 million Department of Energy loan, has dropped pursuit of new federal loans, raised private cash and plans in July to start deliveries of its $50,000 S car, claiming it is on its way to the mass car market.
“We applied during the Bush administration, and we were approved under the Obama administration, so as far as we’re concerned, we at least had a bipartisan relationship for the loan,” said Tesla spokesman Ricardo Reyes. “We got one of first loans and we used it to build the car that is now going into production in a U.S.-based facility. … I’d like to think we’re pretty much a case study on what the loan program was designed to do.”
THE FEDS SHOULD NOT HAVE PUT ANY MONEY INTO TESLA. SORRY.
Showing photos of a charred Volt, a panel of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista (San Diego County), held a hearing in January called “Volt Vehicle Fire: What Did NHTSA Know and When Did They Know It.”
NOW WE’RE INTO THE POLITICS. BUT I THINK ELEMENTS OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION PLAY THE EXACT SAME GAME, RIGHT?
“Without a doubt, the antics have hurt sales, which has probably contributed to the need to shut down the plant for a few weeks and temporarily lay off 1,300 employees,” said GM spokesman Shad Balch. “It’s just blatantly wrong information. You get some of these folks on national news shows making outrageous statements about batteries catching on fire and cars randomly exploding.”
THE “BLATANTLY WRONG INFORMATION” ABOUT THE VOLT MOSTLY COMES FROM GM. MOSTLY. THE VOLT IS AN UNPOPULAR CAR. DEAL WITH IT, GM. WHAT IF THERE WERE A HEARING SOMEWWHERE IN DC ABOUT EXPLODING APPLE IPADS? DO YOU ALL THINK THAT WOULD MAKE THE IPAD AN UNPOPULAR PRODUCT ALL OF A SUDDEN? THE EXPENSIVE VOLT IS THE EXPENSIVE VOLT. DEAL WITH IT.
An independent analyst at TrueCar.com, a new-vehicle pricing and research firm, said what is slowing Volt sales is GM’s failure to tout its economics as gasoline prices soar past $4 a gallon.
TRUECAR.COM IS A BIG POS OF A WEBSITE. WHY IS IT BEING CITED IN THIS FASHION?
The Energy Department’s loan programs have been plagued by politicization, bankruptcies and bureaucratic bungling.
OH, HEY. HEY, THAT SHOULD BE THE HEADLINE. NOW YOU’RE ON THE TROLLEY!
Electric car maker Fiskar Automotive of Anaheim, which produces the luxury Karma in Finland and is aiming to produce a mass market “Project Nina” car in the United States, was approved for a $529 million loan guarantee. But it has drawn down just $193 million and was blocked in May by the Energy Department from further disbursements for failure to meet project milestones. It has stopped work at its Delaware plant.
WHAT A FIASCO. WHY DO WE GIVE MONEY TO CARMAKERS?
Toprak of Truecar.com said the 18,000 electric cars sold in the United States last year, mostly the Volt and the Nissan Leaf, make up just one-tenth of 1 percent of new car sales.
TO REPEAT, THE VOLT IS NOT AN “ELECTRIC CAR.” REPETICION: EL CHEVY VOLT NO ES UN COCHE ELECTRICO. IT WAS GOING TO BE, BUT THEN THINGS CHANGED.
What the Chevy Volt looked like back when it really was an electric car. As seen on Market Street in San Francisco back in 2008:
Later on they added in a gas engine and they made it look lame and then they jacked up the price waaaaaay high.
That’s GM for you…
This Video Shows How the SFPD Runs Its Broadway Tunnel Speed Trap – Beware Drivers of Audis, MINIs and PriusesesesMonday, February 27th, 2012
In the space of about ten minutes one quiet morning, two or three SFPD motorcycle cops handed out citations to the drivers of three Audis, a MINI and a Toyota Prius hybrid in the area of the western terminus of the Broadway Tunnel.
Audis and MINIs generally go too fast, of course – I didn’t see exactly what the Prius driver did wrong.
Anyway, here’s one of the Audis, a TT, coming out of North Beach way too fast. My buddy Nelson thought this was real funny:
Audi drivers, you may have good reflexes ‘n stuff but you’re right down there with the Prius drivers.
Anyway, it’s unusual to see the SFPD care about speeding, IMO.
Crazy State Worker Lady Wants Honda Civic Hybrid Owners to Sue Honda in Small Claims Court Over Low MPGWednesday, December 28th, 2011
I’ll tell you, I don’t know how good your odds would be if you sued the maker of your car because you felt it didn’t meet the EPA mileage estimate, but this lady in SoCal appears to have a good shot.
I’ll tell you, Honda Civic Hybrid owners, The System wants you to take some worthless $100 coupon or whatever to compensate you for Honda messing up. The System doesn’t want you opting out of the national class action settlement.
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Choose or lose, Honda owners.
Normally a small claims case is just that – small – in fact, barely an annoyance to large corporations because damages are limited. However, one small claims case pending in the Los Angeles area is certain to get a lot of attention because it will be going to trial just when approximately 200,000 Honda Civic Hybrid owners are opening their mailboxes to find notices of a proposed class action settlement where the Honda owners would get no more than $200 cash and the lawyers would get $8.474 million!
One disappointed Honda Civic Hybrid owner in California who got wind of the tiny settlement offer in advance chose to opt-out of the class and paid $75 to file a small claims case instead. The trial was set for January 3rd, six weeks before the 200,000 Civic owners are set to decide if they want to stick with the class action or file their own suits which can often be done quickly and cheaply without lawyers. (Think Judge Judy where regular people get up and give a 15 minute version of their complaint in plain English and then get a decision from the court). This case will be one of the first under the new 2012 law allowing individuals to sue for up to $10,000 in small claims court in California.
Honda has attempted four different legal maneuvers to postpone the trial until after the deadline had passed for Hybrid owners to opt-out of the class action, but the Judge said “no” all four times and the trial will proceed as originally scheduled on January 3rd. If the Plaintiff in that case wins and gets awarded thousands of dollars in damages, then Honda will have a lot of explaining to do to justify paying other Hybrid owners just enough to cover a few tanks of gas instead of replacing the defective hybrid batteries at $3,000 a pop – roughly $600,000,000.00!”
The 2011 San Francisco International Auto Show at Huge Success at Moscone Center – Mini Cooper Coupe, Scion IQFriday, November 25th, 2011
Our San Francisco International Auto Show runs through Sunday, November 27th, 2011 down at Moscone Center.
That’s Fisker Automotive down there on the left. They make the Karma hybrid car. (Half a decade ago, Fisker competitor Tesla Automotive had this very space, but they’ve run into trouble since then and they were nowhere to be seen in 2011):
This is the second thing you’ll see as you descend from Howard Street:
From the Academy of Art University (“the Art School of Art Schools”) collection:
Isn’t it cute?
It’s a 1959 Autobiancho Bianchina Transformabile, “the rich man’s Fiat 500.”
Lot’s of nostalgia on hand this year, as per usual:
Classic 1965 Ford Mustang pool table with working headlights:
Here’s your Best in Show #1, the 2012 MINI John Cooper Works Coupe:
All the deets:
A huge Nissan something or other:
The American Pride Camaro:
Here’s the Aftermarket Avenue. Why would you need even one flat panel TV in your trunk?
Oh look, Tesla Automotive makes gasoline-powered cars now! These Lotus cars are shorter and lighter than those failed Tesla Roadsters, so handling is probably much better. Oh, they’re a lot cheaper to boot:
Does your Rolls Royce convertible have suicide doors? If not, why not?
Toyota will slam your Prius hybrid these days. What’s next, a factory chop and channel job?
And here’s your other Best in Show, the Scion IQ 3+1. That 3+1 means that the seat behind the driver has zero legroom, basically, but the seat behind the front passenger is roomy owing to the front passenger seat being mounted closer to the windshield than the driver’s seat. Check it:
See you there!
And you know what was across the street? Another three Priuseses in a row.
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And the “v” model is coming soon – it’s a station wagon, so that will add a little variety to the mix…
Tough Times for Pribot: Google Employee’s Robotic Toyota Prius Hybrid Gets in Fender Bender, Gets TicketedMonday, October 3rd, 2011
Well, those halcyon days are over, so now Pribot has been relegated to getting ticketed by DPT, just like regular nonrobotic cars.
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You can’t see the the damage from when Pribot scraped its left side exiting the Bay Bridge, but these days there’s evidence he/she/it has had more driving trouble.
Did Pribot crash into something? Or maybe a careless San Francisco driver backed up too far? Or maybe a human master made a mistake?
All I could do was put a spare Kraftwerk mixtape under one of its windshield wiper arms and then turn to walk away.
Pribot, you were the first, you are the ur-robotic Prius, you are the Jetfire of the autonomous car universe.
Bon courage, Pribot!
Oh Noes! Is Costco Planning on Removing Its Electric Car Charging Stations Instead of Upgrading Them?Monday, August 15th, 2011
Well, I’ll tell you, I was worried about Costco’s unused electric charging stations last year, and now it looks like America’s favorite big box has given up on them, electing not to upgrade to this year’s flavor-of-the-month charging system, the au current J1772. (The chargers Costco installed in their parking lots back in The Aughts looked like they were from an electric car museum, covered so much with detritus and spider webs and whatnot they were.)
But you know, if you live in the 415, your new Nissan Leaf all-electric car should be able to make it home anywho.
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Let’s ask, “Why would an electric car pioneer like Costco just give up now?” (They must have a rationale or two…)
This is quite a change from the heady days of 2006. Indeed, Costco has been offering electric chargers of some sort since the 1990′s:
“Costco offers 90 charging stations at 64 locations. Most of the stations are in California, with a handful in Arizona, New York and Georgia…The process couldn’t be simpler. Members park in reserved spaces, attach special paddles and head into the warehouse. By the time their shopping is done, their car should be, too.”
Now, some are saying that Costco is looking into / reviewing this issue, so who knows what will happen.
All right, here’s a bit from 2008 to show you what things looked like at San Francisco’s SoMA Costco back then:
“Whether your ride swings AC or DC, whether it needs MagneCharge or Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (EVI) “brand” electricity, Costo has got you covered. Shop at the store and buy a $1.50 hot dog and a Coke, all while recharging.
The future is now:
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