Three Ways To Celebrate National Drive Electric Week

Three Ways To Celebrate National Drive Electric Week National Drive Electric Week starts this Saturday, with more than 150 cities around the world gearing up to celebrate plug-in cars and other electrified vehicles (EVs).
“What strikes me the most in this area National Drive Electric Week is the incredible diversity of our participants and our event organizers’ passion,” said Joel Levin, executive director for Plug In America, which started the event. “At present, we have 171 events in 39 states crosswise the American landscape – in huge cities, in farm towns and on top of mountains.”
“Plug-ins are not a supporter issue any more,” he added. “Public just like these vehicles and the volunteers putting on these events are keen to educate public in this area EVs and share their excitement.”
Whether you already own an alternatively-fueled vehicle or you’re considering buying one, there are plenty of ways to participate. Here are three ways to celebrate National Drive Electric Week (NDEW):
Take a Test Drive
If you’re unusual to encounter what it’s like to drive an EV, many NDEW events will be giving the public a chance to get behind the wheel. Electrified vehicles from Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Fiat, Kia, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen will be onsite for a test drive at the NDEW event in Los Angeles this Saturday. You can even get a peek at the Bolt EV, a battery electric concept from Chevrolet.
“I got to look at and test drive a broad spectrum of electric vehicles without any car dealership pressure,” Peggy Vadillo Orenstein said of her encounter at a 2014 NEDW event. “I was able to compare different vehicles at the same time.”
After owning BMWs and an Audi Q5, she finished up picking a 2015 Ford Fusion Energi after her test drive.
Join A Record-Breaking Parade
Many cities are kicking off their NDEW event with an EV parade. You can join in the processions in cities such as Poolesville, Md., and Cohoes, N.Y. The parade in Lincoln City, Ore., has already received so many registrations, that organizers had to start a wait list.
Last year, attendees at one NDEW celebration set a world record for their parade: 507 battery electric cars lined up for a procession in Cupertino, Calif. Check out their gathering in the record below. Read more

German Tuner Mansory Offers Surprisingly Subtle Model S Upgrades

German Tuner Mansory Offers Surprisingly Subtle Model S Upgrades Mansory has revealed its version of the Tesla Model S and surprisingly it’s not that idiotic.
The Germany-based tuner is well known worldwide for its aggressive creations, but with the Tesla Model S, Mansory chose to take a different approach. Using ultra-light carbon fiber, Mansory has outfitted the Model S with a newly designed adjoin apron with integrated LED daytime in succession lights, side skirts, a rear spoiler lip and a rear apron with diffuser insert.
“Nothing looks pretentious or ostentatious,” Mansory said, though we’ll note the new look puts the finishing touch on making the EV look indistinguishable from an ICE.
The Model S deliberately blocks off the adjoin end because air intake is not needed for a radiator. This vehicle looks like it could just as well have a supercharged V8 under the hood. Read more

2016 Nissan Leaf To Offer 107-Mile Range

2016 Nissan Leaf To Offer 107-Mile Range As the summer draws to a close, Nissan is announcing what was reported as likely late May, that the Leaf will come in two trim levels offering 107-mile range.
Really, the report then said “over 105″ estimated miles, and spot on was the advance notice that a new 30-kwh lithium-ion battery would be existing.
2016 Nissan Leaf Could Have Over 105 Miles Range Read more

Tesla Wants White House To Help US Companies Build Cars In China

Tesla Wants White House To Help US Companies Build Cars In China Tesla Motors wants an simpler way to build its vehicles in China, and is hoping the Obama administration can help.
Under current laws, China only allows foreign auto companies to build vehicles within the country if they are first paired with a Chinese partner. This adds to the cost and complications for carmakers that aren’t based in China. It’s also unfair, Tesla said, because Chinese carmakers can sell in the U.S. without this restriction.
“The China-owned companies are not expected to sell controlling stakes to American companies and are free from other trade hurdles that we face,” said Tesla spokesman Ricardo Reyes.
“The requirement that Tesla establish a joint venture for local manufacturing and other obstacles to our activities, such as much higher import duties in China compared to the United States, place American car companies at a significant disadvantage,” he added.
SEE ALSO: China Set To Hit US In 2015 As EV Sales Leader
Tesla wants the Obama administration to address the issue during Chinese president Xi Jinping’s stay to the U.S. next month.
Other major auto companies, such as General Motors and Ford Motor Co., have chosen to form partnerships with Chinese companies instead of fighting over this requirement.
But Tesla, which is well known for questioning automotive traditions, is already laboring through significant challenges to sell its Model S in China. Adding to this is a tighter profit margin, due in part to the import fees that Tesla absorbs to keep the buy price of its electric car low. By building a factory within the country, Tesla could lower its costs and hopefully take advantage of China’s growing electrified vehicle segment.
SEE ALSO: Tesla Considering Partners For New Factory In China
Tesla has begun preliminary steps for a factory in China, which CEO Elon Musk said could open within the next three years. Earlier this year, Tesla representatives spoke with Lifan Assemble and Chang’an Automobile Assemble – two Chongqing-based auto manufacturers – in this area the possibility of forming a new partnership.
 
The Wall Street Journal

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Chevrolet To Delay Volt Production To Next Spring as 2017 Model Year For 39 States

Chevrolet To Delay Volt Production To Next Spring as 2017 Model Year For 39 States A rumor that Chevrolet was pushing back its nationwide production schedule for the next-generation Volt, and nixing 2016 model years altogether for 39 states has been verified.
Chevrolet will as scheduled continue an ordering process for 2016 model year Volts that started in California in May, and later with 10 more ZEV states, but the Volt will change over to 2017 ahead of schedule next spring and at that point it will be existing to the rest of the country.
This was verified following an interview and a brief statement by the automaker describing the change of plans.
“Chevrolet has a shortened model year for the 2016 Chevy Volt that will have a limited distribution arrangement,” said GM media rep Kevin Kelly reading a set statement. “The 2016 Volt will be sold in our strongest EREV markets. The 2017 Chevrolet Volt will start production ahead of schedule this spring and will be available throughout the country.”
SEE ALSO: Has GM Postponed Nationwide Next-Gen Chevy Volt Production To Spring 2016?
Not said in the statement is that 2016 model year had been originally plotted for the full nation beginning November, but the production for the 39 non-ZEV states has been pushed to February 20167, according to info full to Chevy dealers, and obtained by Rawvehicle.com.
On Saturday Rawvehicle.com posted news of a rumor – explaining it was a rumor – and only one other publication also ran with it, as it was based on images represented as full by Chevy dealers. We did so based on communications also with the head moderator at GM-Volt.com who is well connected, and he was now saying the photo appeared like it could be authentic. Turns out it was.
So, the Volt will be a 2017 by ahead of schedule spring. Whether this means Development, April, or what month, GM could not confirm in an interview today.
This tale started when certain known Volt-supporting dealers expressed disappointment on Facebook over small supplies of 2016s this fall, and a delay for most of the country to next year. Initially GM-Volt.com’s head moderator dismissed the tale as unreliable, but this image changed things, and it does lend credibility to the belief that GM has quietly revised its plans for reasons known only to itself. Click image to enlarge.
Why the changes in plans are being made has not been fully divulged. GM rep Kevin Kelly could only confirm that the 2017 model year will have one new color from the Disney Tomorrowland feature of the Volt, Citron Green Metallic. And, adaptive cruise control and Android Auto will also be made available for 2017 model year Volts.
The go, while not without precedent, is unusual, and there are potential pros and cons.
A con, obviously, is many buyers outside the select ZEV states will have to wait perhaps a quarter year or longer to get the Volt. A pro might be owners will get nearly one year’s worth of model equity as a bonus. That is, they will have a 2017 model ahead of schedule in 2016. Hypothetically, someone could return a car after a one-year lease and it would still remain as current model year.
Those are two possible ways to look at things. If we learn more on Chevrolet’s thought, we can report that later.

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$50M Being Invested By Toyota to Reduce Highway Injuries and Fatalities

$50M Being Invested By Toyota to Reduce Highway Injuries and Fatalities Toyota has announced a collaboration with Stanford and MIT in hopes of making the roads safer.
The Japanese automaker will be investing $50 million over the next five years to establish joint research centers at each university that will focus on the research and development of intelligent vehicle and mobility technologies. Toyota believes that there are opportunities to improve everyday living through artificial intelligence and believes there is significant breakthrough potential for the development of life-saving intelligent vehicles and life-humanizing robots.
Research at MIT will be led by Professor Daniela Rus, Andrew and Erna Viterbi, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Knowledge and Director of the Institute’s Computer Knowledge and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). The Stanford-based research center will be led by Professor Fei-Fei Li, director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL).
“We’re here today to mark the beginning of an unprecedented commitment,” said Kiyotaka Ise, TMC senior managing officer and chief officer, R&D Assemble. “We will initially focus on the acceleration of intelligent vehicle technology, with the immediate goal of helping eliminate traffic casualties and the ultimate goal of helping improve quality of life through enhanced mobility and robotics. This partnership, led by Dr. Pratt, is a fantastic opportunity to work with two leading research teams from two top universities. I am very excited in this area what this new venture means for Toyota, and I look forward to more announcements in the future.”
This article originally appeared at Rawvehicle.com

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GM Postpones Nationwide Next-Gen Chevy Volt Production To Spring 2016

GM Postpones Nationwide Next-Gen Chevy Volt Production To Spring 2016 If a photo of the GM Workbench ordering system proprietary to Chevy dealers is right, next-generation Chevrolet Volt production is delayed in 39 states until February 2016.
We say “next-generation” Volt and not 2016, because it appears there will be no 2016 model year at all made available to buyers outside of 11 states that follow emissions rules set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Read more

Tesla Referral Program Expanded Because It ‘Seems To Be Working’

Tesla Referral Program Expanded Because It ‘Seems To Be Working’ Tesla CEO Elon Musk is extending the company’s referral program by removing a limit and adding an extra bonus.
The program started earlier this year, worthwhile Model S owners around the world for any referrals that resulted in a finalized sale. Under the program, if someone refers a buyer, they receive $1,000 to use towards a new car, service or an accessory. When someone uses a referral link to buy a Model S, that person gets $1,000 credit off the buy price of the sedan.
In addition, the first person to make 10 successful referrals in each sales region receives a free Model X.
According to Musk, this program has been so successful that the company is expanding it. He sent a letter to Model S owners with more details.
“As you know, the Model S referral program was designed as an experiment, and so far it seems to be working,” said Musk in the letter. “So, we’ve chose to take out the 10-referral limit. From now until the end of the program, you can refer as many acquaintances as you’d like. Your link will continue to work until October 31st. What’s more, we’ve added an additional reward: the customer who makes the most referrals by the end of October will be invited to swap their current Model S for a fully loaded Ludicrous P90D Model S, for free. All other stipulations of the program remain unchanged.”
Other rewards under the program include: Read more