2011 in the Rear-View Mirror: Eight Trends to Watch


It was the most important year for electric cars since, what, 1910? The market is still in its infancy, but here’s a look at early directions it’s taking. The battery EVs and plug-in hybrids are hitting the road, and so are the charging stations—including fast charging. And don’t forget about hydrogen!


Volt Owners: All You Need Is Love


The early-adopter owners of Chevy’s plug-in hybrid car are ecstatically happy, and the Volt fire reports don’t seem to be reducing their hot passions.


The Big EV Crapshoot


Early sales of electric cars haven’t been stellar, but it’s far too soon to write an obit. If gas prices spike, all bets are off—and when you throw in wild cards like regulation, charging networks, incentives and competition from China, it makes predicting the future a real challenge.


Cars We'd Love to Buy (But Can't)


The American consumer is thought to love big clumsy cars, so some of the most interesting international offerings never make it to our shores. Look what we’re missing!


We CAN Drive 54.5


Cleaner cars will hit the road by 2025, and the Obama Administration makes it official. It’s all good, but there are some pesky loopholes to worry about.


Ford, Its Sync System Under Attack, Plans an Emergency Fix


Let's give a thought to auto audio. In the early days of motoring, the gas engine was so loud it's unlikely that any motorist could have heard a car radio, even if the electronics of the period were up to the task.


Copper Theft: Are EV Charging Stations the Next Target?


Copper thieves cost the nation as much as $1 billion a year, and the electric grid infrastructure is one of their biggest targets. What's going to happen when copper-rich charging cables for public EV charging stations are located out in plain sight?


The Big Dog Garage: Inside Jay Leno's Car Collection


There is no more committed "car guy" than Jay Leno, and I was able to stop by the garage for an interview about my new book--and tour the most eclectic, mouth-watering auto assemblage I've ever seen.


Reinventing Fire: Visions for Building a Clean Transportation Grid


Obama's renewable vision is scattered and under attack, and it lacks what they call a "narrative." Both green futurist Jeremy Rifkin and the Rocky Mountain Institute are presenting clean energy frameworks that Obama could embrace.


Wireless Charging: From Tesla to Today's EVs


Several companies are competing to charge electric cars through transmitters buried in garages and parking spaces. If they're right, you will soon be able to charge automatically and hands-free, without plugging into anything. The big challenges are safety (they think they have that one licked) and efficiency (they're working on it).


Forward Thinking: BMW Goes Electric and Ponders the World's Urban Future


The BMW Guggenheim Lab is a traveling think tank designed to produce out-of-the-box thinking about living in tomorrow's megacities. And it also promotes a new wave of electrified BMWs.


Oil Around Us: Energy Pundit Says We're Awash in the Stuff


Daniel Yergin, who set a standard for oil reporting with The Prize, is back with a new book called The Quest, and he says peak oil theory is bunk. But that view is getting challenged.


Concours D'Elegance: High-End Car Shows Weather the Recession


The blue blazer and white-glove auto events in upscale Connecticut can dazzle, even if the owners just write the checks. Auctions are part of the picture, and this year the results were decidedly mixed.


Self-Driving Cars: Look, Ma, No Hands May Be Around the Corner


Audi hosts a forum for futurists who see a self-driving car in your future. The technology (including artificial intelligence software, radar, GPS, and embedded sensors) is there, but liability questions still loom large.


Weird But True Facts About Fuel Economy


You've heard it all before--inflate your tires, take off the roof rack, don't drive like a jerk--but here are the actual amounts fuel economy will suffer if you not only buy a gas guzzler but act like an idiot with it.