Am I nuts (it's debatable) or are there a number of important auto niches that nobody's exploring? Here are some concept cars I'd really like to see, some of which would actually sell if given half a chance.
Networks of EV chargers 40 to 60 miles apart will turn electric cars into long-distance travelers. The west coast is going to get hooked up first, but the pace is accelerating all over the country.
Big delivery companies have central garages that are perfect for charging EVs. They want to be green. But so far it's happened only in small volumes, largely because of price premiums that can total $30,000. FedEx has a novel solution: Smaller batteries, shorter ranges, and cheaper trucks.
Corn ethanol never made any sense, either economically or environmentally. Congress is finally killing corn ethanol subsidies, but it shouldn't abandon ethanol entirely. Made from the fiber of plants and with a really good energy balance, cellulosic ethanol is the better alternative.
The Think electric car has been through four bankruptcies, but this one looks terminal. There's a lesson in this--start-up EVs priced higher than volume leaders like the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf are going to have a tough time in the marketplace.
Automakers and environmentalists are in a battle royal over not just a federal fuel economy standard (greens want 62 mpg, the industry will settle for 47) but over how it will affect future sales. Lions don't lie down with lambs, so don't expect a happy resolution with everybody singing "Kumbaya."
From a perch in the cloud, Watson-like supercomputers could offer solutions for clueless drivers, including finding that sushi restaurant whose name you forgot, or that song by the guy who sounds kind of like Bob Dylan.
The new fuel economy window stickers are out, minus the big, fat letter grades that would have made it especially easy for consumers. But at least the replacements have plenty of other information.
I prove that it's not hard to drive like a complete moron this holiday weekend. But you can also drive smart and actually save bundles of money at the pumps.
The fuel-cell revolution is coming, and sooner than you'd think. Automakers are planning significant volumes in 2015, but they'll be deployed around the hydrogen stations--like the network Proton OnSite is building.
The Lindell family of Stockholm, Sweden, is living in the middle of a corporate greenhouse gas reduction experiment that includes an ultra-green house and a battery-powered Volvo C30.
The Big Three are baaa-ck, after a long, agonizing skid. With Chrysler announcing Monday that it has finally turned a modest $116 million profit in the first quarter, all of America’s carmakers are back in the black. What a relief. I hate “The Big Two.”
Chris Paine's new film is Revenge of the Electric Car, and it's the optimistic flip side to his previous one--which chronicled the crushing of GM's all-electric EV-1. What a difference a decade makes.