Chevy Volt to my smartphone: “You complete me.”

Piping Bluetooth audio to a car isn’t all that new, but running smartphone apps on the car is and it’s quickly gaining momentum. Here’s how important my smartphone is to my current vehicle.

One month with the Chevy Volt; so far, so very, very good

Has it really been four weeks since we bought a Chevy Volt to supplement our 41 solar panels? Indeed it has and after topping 1,300 miles we’re about to fill the gas tank for the very first time. Here’s how the initial month of driving went.

MobileTechRoundup podcast 285: Surface RT as iPad replacement?

After a few weeks of use, Matt’s Surface RT has replaced an iPad for most purposes. But what bought the Surface Pro: a compelling package or a let down? Hear about portable speakers from both hosts and learn more about the very connected Chevy Volt.

Going electric: Adding the 2013 Chevy Volt to a solar-powered home

After a year of using 41 solar panels on our home, we generated more excess electricity than expected. So this past weekend, we drove a 2013 Chevy Volt of the lot and our first impressions are pretty positive, both for the technology and the efficiency.

Reading Tesla’s tea leaves

Tesla has drawn fire for raising more cash and being 4 to 5 weeks behinds its production schedule. It still has challenges but is ultimately laser focused on avoiding recalls and laying the groundwork for future EV rollouts.

Today in Cleantech

Ford is taking its shot at the Toyota Prius with its C-Max Hybrid and its C-Max Energi. The plug-in hybrid C-Max Energi is interesting because it’s priced at $32,950 and is eligible for a $3,750 tax credit, pushing its price under 30K. And while everyone is talking about Ford taking on the Toyota Prius, with the plug in C-Max Energi dipping below 30K, I think it could be a bigger headache for the Chevy Volt. The C-Max Energi has a range of 550 miles, and it’s MSRP is well below the $39,145 that the Chevy Volt is priced at though the first 200,000 Volt buyers qualify for a $7500 federal tax credit, which is double the credit for the C-Max Energi. In the end, what’s good about Ford’s foray into the plug-in hybrid market is that it’s an incremental step towards cheaper EVs and more importantly, Ford didn’t take any government bail out money so it’ll be harder to politicize the car the way the Volt has become, in the words of GM’s CEO Dan Akerson, “a political punching bag.”

How electric vehicles are paving the way for better telematics

This is the year of the electric vehicle rollout. Offerings in the EV space will explode with everything from a long-awaited plug-in Prius to the first all-electric SUV, from Tesla. And the most innovative aspect of this flurry may not be that the vehicles are electric but that they are ushering in the era of the connected car and an entirely new relationship between a driver and his vehicle.

Waiting for the EV market to materialize

It was a tough week for electric cars, with Chevy Volt’s sales falling short and Aptera’s filing for bankruptcy. The barriers to EV adoption are widely known but center around a few major issues, including range anxiety, charging time and initial cost. Range anxiety and unease about charging time will decline as consumers get more comfortable with the product. That leaves the real long-term issue: initial cost.

Today in Cleantech

News arrived yesterday that GM won’t hit its 2011 sales goal of 10,000 for the Chevy Volt. Add to that was a report that in some safety tests, the car can catch fire 7 days after a side impact collision. Talk about a delayed response. GM has offered to buy back Volts from unhappy customers. This double whammy isn’t great for a car that will be important to the automakers hitting their new fuel efficiency standards. Next year will see more EV rollouts with a Tesla sedan and perhaps finally a car from Fisker. We can’t read too much into these early figures, but it’s certainly raises the question: Are EVs still too expensive and are they only generating interest from cleantech aficionados?