The Progressive Auto X Prize is down to a dozen contenders with 15 cars. And some of the remaining contestants give new meaning to the concept of automotive innovation. Car Talk takes a closer look at the field.
The assumption seems to be that urban EV early adopters will plug in at "home garages," but what does that mean when you live in an apartment building and work in an office tower? Maybe the solution is a downtown charging farm.
We're moving away from internal combustion, but what's next--and how fast will it happen? People are wagering on the uncertain future for plug-in and hydrogen cars, but there aren't any sure things out there.
People sometimes say one thing and do another when it comes to buying cars. They love fuel economy, but they also love seven seats, huge towing capacity and not having to pay more than they're already paying. What does this say about the prospects for EVs?
Chinese-made cars have faced persistent quality issues, but the country is now the world's largest auto market, and its major manufacturers are determined to make a dent in the western world. Why not? We buy everything else from the Chinese. Tom and Ray may soon be fielding questions about Cherys, Geelys and BYDs.
Electric cars charged from a coal-heavy grid are still 30 to 40 percent cleaner than the average internal combustion car. And that means a coal-fired EV is still about on par with a Prius.
The mid-60s VW Beetle was a green icon in its day, but in terms of smog it's a gross polluter even when compared to a Hummer. So converting old Bugs to electric drive turns out to be a great idea.
Americans talk a good game about recycling, but the Europeans are way ahead of our blue bins--they're making manufacturers (including carmakers) responsible for their waste. We're starting to get the message over here, though. When your car is junked, 80 percent of it is recovered, but we can do better. The technology exists to reclaim the last 20 percent--plastics and seat foam
The hydrogen highway has roadblocks, because both cars and pumping stations are expensive. But Tom Sullivan plans to get the fuel-cell vehicles rolling with a network of 15 stations from Maine to Miami. And he's investing $15 to $20 of his own money because "someone has to do it."
Vans don't get much respect, but how do you think all our stuff gets delivered? Ford is fielding 1,000 battery electric Transit Connect delivery vehicles and I just took a silent spin in a very promising example.
This is my very first post as a blogger at Car Talk! Check this space to see how long I last. It has been a twisted road from my first car writing as an ink-stained wretch, and here's the short version of my checkered career. Can I use the word "career" around Tom and Ray?