Your weekly Green Overdrive episode is here, and we’ve brought you the ins and outs of the concept Honda Fit electric vehicle, an EV version of Honda’s cute and boxy Fit line. It’s the company’s first pure EV since the late 90’s.
With the launch of Nissan’s LEAF and GM’s Volt this year, the first mainstream electric cars are finally reaching customers in the U.S. But it’s clear that Big Auto as a whole is still in the baby step stage.
The LA Auto Show, which kicked off on Wednesday and is now open to the public, featured a wave of the next-generation of plug-in cars from big auto makers and startups alike. Here’s a couple dozen more of my photos from the past couple of days:
The first dozen customers of GM’s electric car the Volt, are expecting their cars shortly after Thanksgiving. The green car that GM hopes will help revive its brand has finally made it to market.
The city that’s so defined by its car culture, traffic and massive freeways, is hosting a major auto show this week: the LA Auto Show. Here’s 10 green cars to watch for outta the show this week.
The story General Motors (s GM) wants to tell today is about the Chevy Volt — the extended-range electric vehicle that symbolizes the company’s efforts to emphasize innovation, advanced technology, fuel efficiency and a new culture for the Detroit automaker in a post-bailout world.
But while GM has released new details this morning about its initial rollout plan for the Volt — it will start in California with several utility partners in a demo program supported by a $30 million stimulus grant — the story that GM won’t be able to avoid is about a company out of sorts following the sudden exit of CEO Fritz Henderson (pictured with the Volt). Read More about GM Details Volt Rollout Plan Amid Tumult Over CEO’s Sudden Exit
ARCHOS is pushing the envelope where its Android (s goog) Internet Tablets are concerned. Putting the phone OS on a web tablet is an interesting use of the Android platform, and early reviews of the devices are starting to trickle out onto the web. When ARCHOS first announced the tablets, it also pushed its own app store to carry programs more appropriate for the tablet format. I wondered at the logic behind that decision, and information coming out now makes me wonder if the company had no choice in the matter of opening a special store. According to one review (linked above), Google would not allow the Android Market to be included on the tablets due to their lack of both a camera and an integrated compass.
“Without a camera or a compass Google wouldn’t give the green light to this product so don’t expect any Market Place action.”
This is the first I’ve heard of this requirement by Google, and since many enterprises won’t allow phones with cameras to come on-site, this could be a factor in Android adoption for them.
Detroit’s top executives have other obligations this week, but in Los Angeles, the auto show must go on. In addition to electric-vehicle infrastructure initiatives, hybrid and all-electric vehicles figure large among more than 30 North American and world premieres at this year’s event, which opens to the public tomorrow. These five models stand out from the herd in terms of affordability, design — and likely time to market.
Mini E: Early next year, BMW (s bmw) plan to lease 500 prototypes of these all-electric coupes for year-long test drives in New York, New Jersey and California. A timeline has yet to be established for full-scale production, but relative to other EV developers, BMW is moving fast. A heavy lithium-ion battery pack takes only three hours to charge with a special “wallbox unit,” and can power the car for up to 150 miles, the company reports. Downside: The batteries eliminate backseat space found in the Cooper S model, the basis for the Mini E. Read More about LA Auto Show: 5 to Watch