Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Chevrolet The Nissan Leaf, the Fiat 500e and now the 2014 Chevy Spark EV 1LT. Three different electric hatchbacks that can all be had for the same low lease price: $199 per month. The Spark even has the same appealing $999 down payment as the Fiat (the Leaf's is $1,999) and both require 36-month leases, so the cost of these two city runabouts is identical, at least at the base level. The one potential hiccup: Chevy says it's a "low mileage lease," and you'll pay 25 cents a mile for each mile over 12,000 per year. Considering these are urban-minded vehicles with limited ranges, however, that doesn't seem like as pressing an issue. If you want to buy a Spark EV outright, General Motors will ask you for $27,495, a figure that will drop to $19,995 for anyone who qualifies for the full $7,500 federal tax credit. That's a good deal for EVs, but the gas-powered Spark starts at just $12,185. Before Fiat announced its low lease deal last month, all GM would say is that the Spark EV would cost somewhere "under $25,000 with tax incentives." Well under, apparently. The Spark EV goes on sale in California and Oregon in the middle of June. The car is rated at 119 MPGe combined and has a range of 82 miles. When that's not enough, DC quick charging with the SAE combo charger will refill the battery to 80 percent in about 20 minutes (when such DC stations stations become available, since the Spark is not compatible with the already-available CHAdeMO stations).Continue reading Chevy Spark EV priced at $27,495; will lease for $199/monthChevy Spark EV priced at $27,495; will lease for $199/month originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Thu, 23 May 2013 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Videos, Audi, Nissan The team over at Motor Trend has pitted the new Audi R8 V10 Plus against the Nissan GT-R. While both of the bright red all-wheel-drive supercars are comparably matched in power output, the similarities end there. Audi offers a mid-engine aluminum coupe with a naturally aspirated V10 that spits out 550 horsepower. Nissan shows up with a more traditional coupe equipped with a 545-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 at the front of the car. The Head-to-Head video takes both cars to the Streets of Willow Springs in the California desert for some track work with professional racing driver Randy Pobst behind the wheel. After a day at the track, the pair head to the local mountains for some spirited real-world driving. One dominates on the circuit, while the other earns back its credibility in the canyons. We won't tell you which coupe comes out on top, but we think you may be surprised. Follow the link below to watch for yourself.Continue reading 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Pack squares off against Audi R8 V10 Plus2014 Nissan GT-R Track Pack squares off against Audi R8 V10 Plus originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 22 May 2013 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: Emerging Technologies, EV/Plug-in, Infiniti While we had been told it was coming in 2014, the exact release date of the production version of the Infiniti LE concept might just might hinge on something you can't see and that the Japanese automaker can't control: wireless charging infrastructure. That's the word from Autocar, which talked to Nissan executive vice president Andy Palmer, who admits that wireless charging "is this technology we want to shine a light on, so while there is no world standard on methods, the rollout will be dependent on region." In other words, if you want the latest luxury EV, you'd better hide those wires. They're so gauche. There's a good chance Infiniti will be the first OEM to sell a production inductive charging vehicle (companies like Mitsubishi and Audi are also working on the technology), which is likely to be a double-edged sword. Yes, it'll have bragging rights, but the wired infrastructure is proving difficult enough to put into place, and having the coolest tech doesn't mean much if you can't put it into use. Thankfully, the LE (or whatever it will be called) is also expected to come with conventional wired charging capabilities. Also, Infiniti is, at this point, trying to get induction charging technology to be open source, which could help a lot of players in the industry. The LE concept, based on the Nissan Leaf, has the same 24-kWh lithium-ion battery pack but a more powerful 100-kw electric motor good for 134 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque.Infiniti luxury electric sedan needs more wireless charging originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 22 May 2013 18:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Tesla Motors, Legislation and Policy We're willing to bet there are bottles of champagne popping all the way from Washington, DC to Palo Alto, CA today with the announcement that Tesla Motors has, as suspected, paid off the entirety of its $465-million Department of Energy loan. "I hope we did you proud" - Elon Musk As far back as July 2012, Tesla began talking about paying the US government back early, but it was apparently the tremendous rise in the company's stock value recently that prompted CEO Elon Musk to push for the immediate repayment this week. From a price of $33.87 on January 1, TSLA has climbed to $87.24 today (down a bit from the recent highs of over $92). Last week, Tesla sold enough stock to raise over a billion dollars to repay the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan, with interest. This makes Tesla the first automaker to pay the DOE back, and it did so nine years ahead of schedule. In a prepared statement, Tesla CEO Elon Musk thanked the DOE and Congress and "particularly the American taxpayer from whom these funds originate. I hope we did you proud." The DOE is certainly proud, issuing a release that said the repayment "shows the strength of energy department's overall loan portfolio." The DOE has come under fire recently for the loan it gave to Fisker Automotive. Two other ATVM recipients, Nissan and Ford, have not yet paid all theit money back, but there are no apparent worries there, either. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement that, "not every investment will succeed" but that the DOE's overall $34-million loan portfolio of more than 30 loans "is delivering big results for the American economy while costing far less than anticipated." Details in the press releases below.Continue reading Tesla pays back $465m DOE loan, Musk says 'I hope we did you proud'Tesla pays back $465m DOE loan, Musk says 'I hope we did you proud' originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 22 May 2013 17:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
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