The Los Angeles Auto Show features a little side competition: the Green Car of the Year. Each year multiple powertrains are introduced in an attempt to take the coveted title. This year the Honda Civic NG took the honor.
 
That is not to say there was not a strong field of competitors. The Civic NG faced the Ford Focus Electric, Toyota Prius V, Volkswagen Passat TDI, and Mitsubishi’s i vehicle. ”There is no other vehicle like the Civic Natural Gas on American highways, and this recognition has been a long time coming for Honda,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and editor of GreenCar.com.

  • The Honda NG has been around since 1998, but has been one of the best-kept secret of the green car set. This is the fifth generation and it features better fuel efficiency: 27 city, 38 highway. The NG can travel about 240 miles on a tank of natural gas, giving it a much greater range than all-electric vehicles.
  • The Civic NG is the only mass produced CNG passenger model for sale in the United States. The main challenge to the vehicle is the availability of filling stations.
  • The Civic NG is more expensive than its gasoline counterpart, starting at $26,155. The extra cost can be recouped when you fill up since compressed natural gas costs less than gasoline. An added bonus is that CNG burns cleaner.

For more information, visit Honda Civic Insurance.

Since his retirement, Norman Mineta, the longest serving U.S. Transportation Secretary in history, is urging a more common sense approach to allocating public funds as they apply to the development of automotive technologies.

He has released a white paper titled ”The Case for Technology Neutral Public Policy in Fuel Economy Debate: Allowing Performance To Determine Solutions” in which he asks that the government adopt a technology-neutral approach and allow mass-market adoption decide where funds should be allocated.

The paper makes many points, but one of the highlights is that high-efficiency gasoline and diesel engines are within 15 percent of the performance of EVs and hybrids and that these vehicles are the most effective way to lower emissions in the short and mid-term. He goes on to point out that the Obama administration’s preference for battery-assisted vehicles is siphoning needed money away from potentially better solutions.

While it makes sense to spread funds around for research, most administrations have put all of their eggs in one basket, so it is easy to see that the paper may have been published in vain.

Bummer: Fisker Karma Only Gets 52 MPGe Rating

The Fisker Karma finally got its official EPA fuel economy rating after years of anticipation.The Karma is officially rated at 52 MPGe and the Nissan Leaf is set at 99 MPGe.The company was claimed close to 68 mPGe for some time and also said that the car had an all electric range of 50 miles. The Karma is a luxury brand, and vehicles it is designed to compete with all get about the same mpg without the all electric bonus.

Read the full article here:
Fisker Karma’s Official EPA Numbers Disappoint – Green Car Fans.

2012 fisker karma

Image by Fisker Auto

New-Car Fuel Economy Flat for September

Last Month (September), 22.1 mpg has been the average fuel economy of the cars sold. Despite the hype about green cars and better fuel economy, new car fuel economy has come down since March. Michael Sivak says that the drop in gas prices since the spring season and the unemployment caused the decrease in the fuel economy. Though the fuel efficiency became less, the fuel economy average is higher than that of cars manufactured four years ago.

Read the full article here:
New-Car Fuel Economy Flat for September

2012 toyota prius v

Image by mariordo59

Town of Normal (IL) Goes “EV”

Mitsubishi installed 30 electric vehicle charging stations in the town of Normal, Illinois. They did this to boost sales of their new all electric vehicles. They are calling this the EV Town. The town has been doing poorly in the recent recession, and they hope that the program will help the region. The new electric vehicles are affordable to many people, with prices starting around $20,000.

Read the full article here:
Mitsubishi Transforms Small Town Into EV Town.

mitsubishi i ev

Image by David Villarreal Fernández

Philippino Designers Create Biodegradable Concept Car!

Every automaker in the world is striving to use more and more recyclable and sustainable materials. A group of designers in the Philippines have taken a huge leap and made the world’s first biodegradable parts.

Kenneth Cobonpue and Albrecht Birkner have created a car, dubbed “The Phoenix,” set out to reduce waste materials. The body and interior of this car are made of bamboo, rattan, nylon and minimal amount of steel. It is powered by a small electric engine. Many doubts have been raised such as how will bamboo fare in a crash and many remarks have been made such that one may be as well driving in a car made of bubble wrap. One may giggle and poke fun at the car, but one can’t argue that the intention is solid and commendable.

Read the full article here:
First Biodegradable Car Can Go In Curbside Garbage – Green Car Fans – Social Network for those of us whose passion is following the green, hybrid, electric, and alternative fuel vehicle industries.

Hybrid MSRP Premium Takes 6-10 Years To Pay Off

The MSRP of hybrid cars is comparatively less these days than at the time when they were first released. Why? It’s because more hybrid cars are available today. When first released, their MSRP was huge when compared to the standard gasoline cars available at the time. The Kia Optima hybrid and the Toyota Hybrid take 6 years to make up for the additional money in gas savings while the Hyundai Sonata hybrid and the Volkswagen Passat hybrid take 10 years to make up. The Ford Fusion takes a modest 8 years. The Toyota Prius is the leader and would take 3 years to pay off it’s MSRP when compared with the Toyota Camry. It seems that hybrids take long time to pay off because four-cylinder gasoline engines are offering more mpg and because gas prices have been falling. When this decrease in gasoline rates decreases, hybrids will start to pay off sooner.

Read the full article here:

How Long Does It Take A Hybrid To Pay Off Its Extra MSRP? – Green Car Fans.

Kia-Badged EV On The Way?

Kia Motors, together with parent company Hyundai Motor Co, are planning (reportedly) to launch a Kia-badged small electric motor vehicle by year end and follow with more EVs starting in 2014. Kia’s first EV will be a small vehicle based on the platform underpinning the Hyundai i10 mini car.

Read the full article here:
Report: Kia bringing EV to market this year

hyundai i10

Image by theKCB

Zero Motorcycles Sets Sights on Brazil

This article briefly explains the partnership that is been established between Grupo Izzo and Zero Motorcycles, in order to enhance the latter’s sales in Brazil after proving themselves in Europe through their exceptional growth. The company has introduced many new motorcycle models of which a few are the new Zero S, DS and XU.

Read the full article here:
Zero Motorcycles Expands Sales Reach – Green Car Fans.

This article describes the decision made by President Obama with regard to the DOT. According to the words of Ray LaHood, the transportation secretary of the President, the heavy duty truck standards that are being issued by the EPA and the NHTSA at the transportation department will have a very huge impact on the truckers of Mexico.

Read the full article here:
Obama’s EPA will add costs for cross-border trucking

2011 freightliner

Image by Jack_Snell

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