Killer Aps: Plugging Chevy Volts into the Smart Grid

10.10.2012

Through the OnStar system, Texas-based Volt owners are doing some really smart smart-grid experiments. Texas, by the way, is quietly taking the lead in electric car ownership and charging.

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Tomorrow's Tech Today: Cool Innovations, from Smart Windshield Wipers to Start-Stop

09.28.2012

Bosch throws open the lab doors and lets Car Talk see what it's working on. Much of the new stuff is laser-targeted at making cars more fuel efficient, but there's also safety electronics that get us closer to self-driving cars.

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Electric Cars By the Numbers

09.14.2012

A growing number of attractive models, high gas prices and growing public acceptance led to strong sales numbers for electrics and hybrids in August. And with more cars on the road, we're getting a sense of how people are using them.

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My Back Pages: The Worst Cars I've Ever Owned

09.07.2012

Jim Motavalli takes a trip down a rust- and black-smoke-filled memory lane. 

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Obama's Green Car Plan Is a Job Creator (or Not)

08.30.2012

The Obama Administration has finalized its fuel economy plan through 2025, and its supporters say it's a big engine for job growth. Romney disagrees, but he's talking millions of jobs from his drill, drill, drill energy plan. What's going on? A political season with worrisome unemployment figures.

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It's a Gas: The Powerful Argument for CNG and LNG 18-Wheelers

08.23.2012

Big rig truckers are saving a lot of money by switching from diesel to natural gas, but we need a national network of filling stations before this cheaper, cleaner fuel takes over.

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Will the VW Microbus Keep on Truckin'?

08.09.2012

Believe it or not, they still make these quintessential hippie vans in South America, though they've been off the North American market for decades. Now VW is talking about building an updated and retro version as part of its "heritage series" (alongside the new Beetle).

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Stick Figures: The Last Days of the Manual Transmission

08.01.2012

Driving a stick is becoming an endangered art in America: fewer and fewer of us even know what to do with a clutch.

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Fast Forward: First Pedal to the Metal in Tesla's Model S

07.24.2012

The Tesla Model S is billed as an electric rocket ship with 300-mile range that doubles as a practical sedan. How's it stack up against those claims? Jim Motavalli takes it for a spin and reports back.

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Coming Soon: The Idiot-Proof, Thinking Car

07.20.2012

What if you could make your car absolutely idiot-proof? MIT, right here in Cambridge, is working on a semi-autonomous accident-avoidance system that promises to take over when danger is imminent.

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Perfecting Paradise: Hawaii Plugs in to Electric Cars

07.17.2012

Hawaii has abundant sunshine, geothermal resources and strong winds to make sustainable energy. It also has expensive imported gas and a state mandate for electric cars. With the tourism industry on board and the universities doing their part, battery vehicles are hitting the roads.

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The Messiest Car Ever

07.17.2012

There's a bit of a slob in all of us, but sometimes our car clutter gets the better of us. Do you know a vehicle--yours maybe--that's beyond untidy? Has it been the maid's day off for, like, decades? Send the evidence to Car Talk Plaza.

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"Taxi!" And Make it a Battery Electric

06.26.2012

A few plug-in taxis are plying the world's roads, but almost all are in pilot programs and special tests. Don't our planet's polluted cities deserve zero emission fleets? The world's still waiting for a full-blown commitment to electric taxis, which would be ideal for battery swapping and other innovations.

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The World's First Electric Fleet? Maybe Iceland.

06.21.2012

The U.S., European and Chinese markets have their challenges. But a perfect storm is aligning over the tiny island nation of Iceland, which has geothermal electricity almost too cheap to meter. The big news this week is a major tax break for EVs.

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Driving Audi's Electrifying E-Tron

06.13.2012

Audi's electric e-tron division has unveiled battery-powered city cars and the high-performance R8, the first that will actually be produced. I finally got behind the wheel of an e-tron on a rainy Manhattan afternoon. This A3 won't be produced, but a plug-in hybrid version will be out in 2014.

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