For Today: Finalists named for Green Car of the Year award, Tata Motors wins first contract to supply electric vehicles

Green Car of the Year nominees:  Five finalists have been named for the 2018 Green Car of the Year award, which will be presented on Nov. 30 during the LA Auto Show’s partner event, AutoMobility LA. Honda received two of the nominations. The 2018 Honda Accord comes with three now powertrain options – two direct-injected and turbocharged 4-cylinder engines and the third generation of Honda’s two-motor hybrid powertrain. The Honda Clarity comes in all-electric, plug-in hybrid, or hydrogen fuel cell options. The Hyundai Ioniq comes in three versions – hybrid, battery electric, and plug-in hybrid. The all-new Nissan Leaf comes with a redesigned look, longer driving range, and Nissan Intelligent Mobility technologies, Toyota’s eighth generation Camry is available with three new powertrains – a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, 3.5-liter V-6, and a Hybrid powered by the automaker’s next-generation Toyota Hybrid System. The winner will be named at 8:00 am PST on Nov. 30 inside the Technology Pavilion.

BMW forging China JV alliance:  BMW may be forging another alliance with a Chinese automaker to serve that market, which will likely focus on electric vehicles. The German automaker is now creating a joint venture agreement with Great Wall Motor in China, according to two sources familiar with the matter. BMW previously set up a JV in China with Brilliance China Automotive Holdings; the partners produce cars at two plants in Shenyang. The company is now it talks with Great Wall about setting up a JV company to manufacture cars in the eastern city of Changsu, a BMW executive said.

EV sales in India:  Tata Motors has won a major contract with the Indian government to supply an order for 10,000 electric cars. It will be the very first EVs that the major Indian automaker has sold. The country is making efforts to reduce emissions and curb fuel imports. Prime Minister Narendra Modi sees the EV acquisition as a way to support the country’s pledge to ban the sale of internal combustion engine light-vehicles by 2030. Mahindra and Mahindra has so far been India’s only domestic carmaker that currently makes EVs. India is far behind China in EV sales, with China selling about 336,000 units last year versus about 450 in India, according to the International Energy Agency.


Top events of the year in clean transportation and advanced vehicle technologies

Green car salesThese topics continue to be big in the auto industry and transportation sector, a trend which started up around 2007. Here are what might be considered the top 10 news developments for this year……

New model launches and revamps – The Chevrolet Bolt, Tesla Model X, and revamped Toyota Prius, Chevrolet Volt, and Nissan Leaf were announced or released this year. The introduction of the Bolt led to the conclusion that battery electric vehicles with 200 miles per charge would be enough to find a wider level of acceptance from car shoppers (along with a more affordable price). The Model X was delayed and gained a lot of attention in blogs and social media on when it will actually be delivered to owners. The Prius, Volt, and Leaf are seeing their biggest changes adopted since first being launched, and are expected to see sales gains. Of course, increasing gasoline prices would help with consumer demand for green cars.

Volkswagen scandal – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in September found that several cars sold by Volkswagen through its VW and Audi brands were given a “defeat device,” which is software in diesel engines that could detect when they were being tested, changing the performance accordingly to improve results. The EPA’s findings cover 482,000 cars in the US only, and VW admitted that about 11 million cars worldwide, including eight million in Europe, are fitted with the defeat device. VW has denied another claim by the EPA of modifying software on the three-liter diesel engines fitted to some Porsche, Audi, and VW models. VW has been firing employees and bringing in outside inspectors; and its numbers have changed on how many vehicles sold in Europe are affected by “irregularities” in tests to measure carbon dioxide emissions – from about 800,000 in November to only about 36,000 in December following investigations. VW will be losing billions of dollars as government investigations and fines in Europe, North America, and Asia continue, class-action lawsuits pile up, and car shoppers choose other brands.

Renewable fuels – Renewable fuels saw significant gains this year with availability of commercial scale renewable natural gas, renewable diesel, and cellulosic ethanol. Fleets in California are adopting these fuels faster than in other states, but the interest level is high nationwide. California’s low carbon fuel standard and funding its producing in carbon credits is helping the new fuel move along, too. One of the best parts is that fleets can use existing diesel, flex fuel, and CNG vehicles with these renewable fuels to significantly reduce emissions.

Tesla Energy – Tesla Energy is bringing Tesla batteries to homes, business, and utilities to store energy to better manage power demand, provide backup power, and increase grid resilience – with much of it coming from solar power. Called the Tesla Powerwall, it includes Tesla’s lithium-ion battery pack, liquid thermal control system, and software that receives dispatch commands from a solar inverter. Soon after its launch in May, Tesla gained $800 million worth of reservations in the Powerwall.

Chinese companies enter America – Along with the Chinese government’s mandate to bring more electric vehicle to pollution-packed Chinese cities, the U.S. has been seeing more presence from Chinese investors in U.S.-based facilities producing electric cars. Fisker Automotive, owned by Chinese auto parts giant Wanxiang, signed an 11-year lease deal estimated to be worth about $30 million. Fisker will be opening a production plant in Moreno Valley, Calif., about 60 miles from its corporate office in Costa Mesa. Later in the year, the company was renamed Karma Automotive. Chinese startup electric carmaker Faraday Future will spend $1 billion on a U.S. factory and operates out of a former Nissan research facility in Gardena, Calif., next to Los Angeles. NextEV is a well-funded electric-vehicle startup backed by firms in China. The startup has an 85,000-square-foot U.S. headquarters and R&D center based in San Jose, Calif.

COP21 – The U.N. climate change agreement moved forward for the first time in several years. To help developing countries switch from fossil fuels to greener sources of energy and adapt to the effects of climate change, the developed world will provide $100 billion a year. The Obama administration was pleased with the agreement, including the section where all countries will be required to report on national inventories of emissions by source and also to report on their mitigation efforts. At the beginning of the Paris meetings, billionaire Bill Gates announced formation of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a group of 28 investors that will include Gates, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg, and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson. The dollar amount hasn’t been announced, but investment funds will be available for biofuels, solar and wind power, efforts to capture carbon emissions from fossil fuels, and other clean energy projects. Another coalition that has met during COP21 is the ZEV Alliance, a group of local and national governments that plans drastic reductions in vehicle emissions over the next 35 years.

Uber and other shared economy suppliers – The “shared economy” has gained a lot of attention this year with companies like Airbnb making personal homes available to travelers who want to spend a lot less on lodging and want to avoid the corporate hotel environment. Uber and Lyft have taken off in ridership, where car owners share their personal vehicles for a fare to take passengers to airports, work, social life, etc., for half the cost of a taxi ride. Zipcar, Car2go and other carsharing suppliers are seeing their user numbers grow in the past year as more consumers lose interested in car ownership and want to have solid transportation alternatives in place.

Urban mobility – “I believe we’ll see more change in the automotive industry in the next five to 10 years than in the past 50. Driving this historic transformation are shifting views of vehicle ownership, growing urbanization and the very digital and sharing economies that have disrupted so many other industries,” wrote General Motors CEO Mary Barra in a LinkedIn guest editorial. Shared mobility, autonomous vehicles, and alternative propulsion were analyzed in her column. These are the reasons Green Auto Market has added a new section on advanced transportation and urban mobility – very big changes are in the works.

Autonomous vehicles – This topic continued to be hot in 2015. Along with the California DMV deciding to require a human passenger in the driver’s seat for emergency takeovers, Google and Ford made big news deciding to forge an alliance for joint development of autonomous vehicles. That could help jump-start testing an autonomous version of the Ford Fusion Hybrid sedan on public roads near its high-tech center in Silicon Valley in the near future. Another interesting move has been Austin, Texas, courting Google to set up self-driving car testing in that city.

FAST Act – House and Senate negotiators passed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, a five-year, $305 billion package, in early December in a 1,300 page transportation bill. Signed into law by the president, advocates are pleased to see support for the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program; incentives for natural gas vehicles and fueling infrastructure; and support for intelligent transportation systems. Electric vehicle advocates are also pleased with FAST Act. One of the items in the final bill is a mandate for the Department of Transportation to designate corridors for electric-car charging; it also requires more hydrogen, natural gas, and propane fueling on the nation’s highways.

Sales are soft, but OEMs aren’t giving up on zero emission vehicles

EV sales through 2015As reported lately in Green Auto Market and several major media sources, it’s been a tough year for green car sales. Hybrid sales were down 18.5% in the first half of this year compared to last year. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles had it much worse – plunging 33.7% versus a year ago. Battery electric vehicles have bucked the trend, with the Tesla Model S, Mercedes B-Class Electric, and the BMW i3 doing well in July. Sales increases reported by Tesla haven’t been enough to lighten the mood.

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, especially the upcoming Toyota Mirai, are getting much attention this year and impressing some with California’s (and other states’) commitment to zero emission vehicles (ZEVS). The numbers aren’t there yet in hydrogen fueling stations or car sales. Hyundai has sold just 17 Tucson FCVs this year in the U.S. Toyota is investing a lot into its upcoming Mirai FCV. Pre-orders are being placed now for deliveries starting this fall.

For electric vehicles, there’s been concern that federal and state incentives need to increase to gain more sales appeal. The July total, only one-third of last year’s sales, may reflect the June 30th end of Georgia’s generous income-tax credit for purchasing ZEVs in the state.

Then there’s the overall economic climate. Sales started softening in June and continued into July, with low gasoline prices and cheap small cars and crossovers with strong fuel economy driving much of the interest.

That being said, automakers don’t appear to be backing away from launching all-new or revamped versions of their plug-in electric vehicles or fuel-cell vehicles. For example, Nissan, BMW, General Motors, and Tesla don’t appear to be backing down under the current market dynamics.

Sales have dropped quite a bit for the Nissan Leaf, with a seven-month total this year of 10,990, one-third less than the 15,755 Leafs sold in the first seven months of 2014. Some of this likely has to do with a refreshed Leaf coming out in the 2016 model year, with a battery range that could be 25% higher. There’s talk out there that Nissan may go the way of the 2012 Toyota Prius family, with more versions of the Leaf rolling out in 2016 or 2017. One of these might be a crossover Leaf along with the five-door hatchback that you see now out on the road.

BMW CEO Harald Krueger has said that an electrified crossover will be coming out in the i Series. BMW may also add a big battery-electric SUV to its main brand in a direct challenge to the Tesla Model X sedan. BMW is also said to be looking into working with Apple on the new high-tech vehicle the technology giant wants to develop.

The Chevrolet Volt appears to be very much affected by a new model coming to dealerships this fall. In July, Chevrolet reported a year-to-date sales figure of 6,935 for 2015, versus 10,635 for the same period during 2014. Sales did increase to over 1,000 during the past three months, right after seeing four months of sales at less than 1,000 units. General Motors and its Chevrolet dealers may have been aggressively attempting to sell off the 2015 models before the 2016 model gets closer to coming to market.

The Volt may be going up to 53 miles on battery power with the revamped model – 40% more in battery range than the current model. It will also have a more power engine and, for some models, a fifth “seating position” to increase its appeal.

Tesla Motors is counting on its Model X building up its global sales. During its second quarter earnings report, the company said that its full-year delivery forecast will be coming down from 55,000 to between 50,000 and 55,000. That may come from a delay in production of the Model X.

Tesla will manufacture the Model X on the same general assembly line as its Model S sedan at the factory in Fremont, Calif. That could could slow down overall production if there are problems that come up during the ramp-up of the new product, according to CEO Elon Musk. Seeing strong sales increases in the Model S has encouraged Tesla to increase its production. The automaker reported producing a record 12,807 vehicles in Q2, which beat its goal of 12,500 units.

One of the big hopes for plug-in sales is coming through more affordable cars with more miles between charges. Tesla is placing a lot of its strategic plan on rolling out its $35,000 Model 3 in 2017 (which will include advanced batteries being manufactured at the new Gigafactory in Nevada that will power the car for 200 miles on a single charge). General Motors has high hopes for the Chevrolet Bolt is expected to make it 200 miles on a charge and start at $30,000 when it rolls out in 2017. Tesla and GM are putting a lot of hope on these cars, which face the fundamental challenge all of these electrified vehicles must address:  getting more consumers to overcome concerns about investing in a new technology.


Strategic analysis and market data available in Green Auto Market – Extended Edition

Green Auto Market - EELooking for an information resource to view the landscape of where clean transportation is heading? Subscribers to the monthly version of this newsletter, Green Auto Market – Extended Edition, have told me there’s nothing else like it out there – and for a much better price than you’ll see with reports released by market research firms. In the extended edition, you read about strategic developments in the industry and can study market data – hybrid and electric sales; installation of alternative fuel stations and electric vehicle charging stations; publicly-traded stock price for several companies in green transportation; and fuel prices including most expensive markets for gasoline and diesel.

Here’s some of the content that subscribers have recently read:

Will gasoline prices spike in California with fuel being added to cap and trade?
Starting in January, transportation fuels sold in California will fall under the cap-and-trade system. One major oil company is sending a loud warning to the legislature and residents of California: this will cause a big spike in gasoline prices.

How have electrified vehicle sales gone lately? Depends on who you ask and Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) saw August hybrid and plug-in sales numbers very differently. is seeing a stalled market for battery-powered cars – including hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and battery electric vehicles.

CarCharging Group added to list of publicly traded companies
One of the largest charging station network companies, CarCharging Group, has been added to Green Auto Market’s list of publicly traded companies to follow.

Check out a recent edition of Green Auto Market – Extended Edition. For subscribing, go here and scroll down.

And for those of you who missed my announcements, I recently released a white paper, “Hands off the Steering Wheel.” You may be asking, what does this have to do with clean transportation? Quite a lot. I’ve spoken with DMV administrators, automaker and technology supplier executives, and reviewed a number of reports on the subject matter that have been recently released. Google’s announcement in May of this year on its 100 test car fleet launched a lot of coverage and debate in news media and in social media. This paper digs into the legislative, liability, safety, and traffic congestion issues – and what states and the federal government, and automakers and technology companies, are doing about it. Plus, when these cars are likely to show up on our roads beyond the testing process.

Two studies show potential for reaching more consumers on green product purchases

car shoppersWhat do consumers think about buying green products like electric vehicles (EVs), hybrids, and alternative fuel vehicles? Two studies show some of the market trends with American consumers that are worth paying attention to.

“Greener” products and corporate commitments to sustainability are desired by 70% of consumers, according to a new study by Shelton Group, a marketing and communications firm focusing on the green and sustainability industry sectors. A Harris study has found that 75% of American adults reported buying green products and services; that’s down from 78% last year, but still represents three quarters of US adults.

As for generational trends, the Harris poll reported that 27% of millennials say they’ve increased the number of green products and services they select; 18% of adults 35-to-44 years old say they’ve made this increase; for adults over 45 years old, 15% have increased their green product and service selections. What if it costs more than other products and services? Forty percent of adults said they would pay more for products if ethical and responsible manufacturing practices are guaranteed; 56% of millennials said they would pay more for such products, according to the Harris study.

What are your thoughts on successful green marketing? Please Leave a Reply below or email me at (You’ll need to click on the link for this article in the headline to access the Leave a Reply section.)

As for my perspectives, here are some market trends with real potential for sales growth in clean transportation……..

  • Automakers and dealerships reporting commitment to sustainability and ethical standards from factory production, materials used in the vehicles, energy efficiency, and LEED-certified dealers.
  • Luxury buyers and car buffs who want to latest in high performance, disruptive vehicle technologies. The Tesla Model S has gained a legion of hardcore enthusiasts, and the BMW i3 is starting to get a lot buzz amongst car buffs.
  • More affordability and accessibility. Prices for EVs, hybrids, and alternative fuel vehicles have been reducing in the past couple of years – and federal and state incentives will be around for a while. Manufacturer incentives and lease deals make them more cost competitive, too. Another market trend to educate consumers and fleets about is how widespread the charging and fueling infrastructure is becoming in the US.
  • Test drives and rentals. Enterprise Rent-A-Car has found a lot of interest and enthusiasm from customers who rent an EV for a few days. Test drive events are making waves, as Tesla Motors has found out in recent years. Another winner has been deploying a few of these vehicles for studies with fleets.
  • Marketing alliances. We’re starting to see more partnerships and alliances offering incentives and benefits to car owners – such as free EV charging programs; mobile apps for smart phones and tablets mapping out charging and fueling stations; open sourcing EV charging stations to make them more accessible to EV drivers; card payment systems for charging and fueling; and adding more options to gas station pumps.
  • Educational events. Clean transportation experts typically call out for more educational and information resources that are needed out there. I would say that the greatest potential for reaching people would include:  training programs for dealers on answering car shopper questions in less than 10 minutes; get more “butts in seats” at car show ride and drives, test drives through dealers and car rental companies, fleet vehicles, and through carsharing services; celebrities who love their green cars; and analytics on the benefits derived from clean transportation in emissions reduction, cost savings, freedom from oil dependency, and domestic economic growth.

What car shoppers have been asking dealer about their green car owner experience

Utah Car CentsIt was a lot of fun to participate in a radio show on Saturday morning that focused on questions consumers are having about green cars. Special thanks to show co-host Jeff Miller of Mark Miller Subaru for inviting my participation on the Utah Car Cents radio show that broadcasts on Saturday mornings in Salt Lake City. The hosts shared a lot of valuable feedback about what dealers are hearing from car shoppers. Here are few of the points I made during the radio show……

Hybrids – are popular with a lot of people though they’re only about 2.75% of US new vehicles sales – but the Toyota Prius family makes up over 41% of hybrid sales. Subaru is rolling out its 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid AWD crossover SUV that gets 33 mpg highway and 25 city.

Tesla Motors is still waiting for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to get clear about its Model S recall after four fires that took place last fall. Tesla has re-stated that NHTSA still gives the 2014 model-year Model S a five-star crash-test rating, and reminds everyone that the car remains far safer than the typical gas-powered vehicles. It sales are doing pretty well too, leading the way in January numbers…….

2013 Plug-In EV US Sales
Chevrolet Volt  23,094
Nissan Leaf  22,610
Tesla Model S  18,650
Toyota Prius Plug In  12,088
Ford C-Max Energi  7,154
Ford Fusion Energi  6,089

January 2014 Plug-in EV US Sales
Tesla Model S   1,300
Nissan Leaf   1,252
Chevrolet Volt   918
Toyota Prius Plug In   803
Ford Fusion Energi   533
Ford C-Max Energi   471

As for this year, the BMW i3 and plug-in hybrid crossover i8 are getting a lot of attention, along with the Cadillac ELR extended range luxury car. Fiat 500E is getting interest and rave reviews. The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid crossover SUV coming out.

The general consensus among experienced EV drivers is that a charging station will cost around $600 to $700. Some installation jobs can cost as little as $200; it can run as much as several thousand dollars if a conduit needs to be run from another part of the house, or if new or upgraded electrical service is required at that home.

Federal tax credits are available for $7,500 on qualifying electric vehicles including the Chevy Volt; other plug-in hybrids usually have less of a credit such as Ford Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi at $4,007. Hybrid and diesel credits expired a few years ago.

It’s very popular to lease electric cars these days rather than buy – and it makes up most of the sales transactions now. You can get a three year lease on the $28,000 Leaf for $199 per month in payments after an $1,800 down payment. Chevrolet is advertising a $299 a month lease for 36 months on a 2014 Volt priced at $34,995. That requires $2,499 as a down payment.

The two most popular compressed natural gas vehicles for consumers are the Honda Civic Natural Gas and a version of the Ford F-150 pickup launched last year. There are other CNG vehicles out there including pickups from GM and Chrysler – Ford is the only half-ton CNG (and propane autogas) pickup out there and more suited for personal driving trips than for work in construction and other industries. The Civic varies in price from $18,190 for the traditional version up to $27,965 for the natural gas version. A federal 50 cent per gallon equivalent credit in refueling natural gas expired at the end of 2013, but it’s still being determined how this will affect CNG prices. So far it doesn’t appear to be changing them, which can be about one third the price of diesel. The range estimate is shorter on the CNG version – maybe 225 miles on the natural gas fill up and about 425 miles on a tank of gasoline in the regular version of the Civic. Though customers will pay about $10,000 more to buy the CNG version of the F-150, they could see a payback on their investment in as little as two to three years because natural gas prices are so much cheaper than gasoline or diesel fuel, according to Ford.

Clean Diesel – 2013 sales
Volkswagen Jetta Diesel  43,983
Volkswagen Passat Diesel  34,963
Volkswagen Golf Diesel  7,558
Mercedes GK Class Diesel  6,200
Porsche Cayenne Diesel  5,386
Mercedes ML Class Diesel  4,886

Top selling US clean diesel model:
Chevrolet Cruze Diesel   2,995

The price is higher than gasoline – about $3.31 regular gasoline and $3.94 for diesel on Wednesday. But the mileage is very strong – usually higher than the comparable gasoline engine vehicles, which offsets the gas pump price differential. The technology is becoming more trustworthy as more Americans are changing perceptions of diesel from large, smelly, and sooty commercial trucks to clean, high performance German passenger cars. Turbo direct injection on the VW and Audi models is helping. The Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel ruling in the fuel pumps has helped, too.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles:  That’s been a very popular topic in all types of media in the past few months – consumer, automotive, and business. The Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell rolled out at the LA Auto Show and is initially being offering in the Los Angeles and Orange County region of Southern California staring this spring for $499 per month on a 36 month lease with $2,999 down. This includes the addition of a remarkable new addition to the Hyundai Assurance program –unlimited free hydrogen refueling. The problem is that there’s only 10 hydrogen fueling station in the US right now, with eight of them in Southern California. Honda has the FCX Clarity fuel cell car in small numbers and will be rolling out its next generation fuel cell car soon. Mercedes has the F-Cell but also on small numbers. Toyota will be rolling out its FCV model fuel cell crossover in the US in 2015. They are amazingly clean – water vapor and zero emissions and you can fuel it up four minutes. But the cost has been high and the volume low; and you have the range anxiety challenge with its lack of refueling stations. 

Inside the minds of car shoppers: The latest on green car surveys and branding trends

Leaders in alternative fuel vehicles - AutoTrader studySales of plug-ins, hybrids, natural gas vehicles, and other alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) are comparatively small when looking at overall new vehicle sales in the US. Still, they’re grabbing a lot of attention from media and marketing analysts lately, especially if you add in diesel-engine vehicles. While some will scoff at the idea of “clean diesel,” these cars are growing significantly in US sales numbers; diesel is about 55 cents more expensive than gasoline at retail stations, but the cars (especially from German automakers) are getting great mileage and performance. Here’s the latest coverage on how car buyers are perceiving AFVs……

Follow the money:  A recent survey by says that the top reasons shoppers would consider purchasing an AFV are less emotional and more practical, with three of the top five being related to saving money. “Better fuel economy” came in first at 70%, followed by “Cost of savings on gas” at 56%, “Cleaner emissions” at 37%, “Better for the environment” at 28% and “Federal Tax Credit” at 24%. The survey measured consumer attitudes on a range of fuels and technologies including diesels, hybrids, electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. The study also found that perceptions about battery life/range are working against hybrid and plug-in vehicles. Diesel is facing concerns about the fuel expense, the cost of the vehicles, and potentially high cost of maintenance.

Luxury buyers: Phoenix International’s recent finding on AFVs found that luxury SUV consumers and non-luxury car consumers have the most interest; hybrid and electric vehicles are in the non-luxury car category, so that wasn’t a surprise in the survey findings. What about luxury SUVs? Diesel SUVs have been growing in popularity, which seems to have opened the door for car shoppers to consider alternatives, along with the perception that AFVs partially embody the latest in automotive technology. Phoenix International finds it very interesting that Tesla Motors is going after all of the luxury market by adding its upcoming Model X – an electric SUV – to its model lineup next year.

As for branding: In the AutoTrader study, for all the automakers who offer AFVs, seven had high awareness among survey respondents: Toyota, Honda, Ford, Lexus, Chevrolet, Nissan, and Volkswagen. When asked which automakers they would identify as leading in the space, Toyota came out on top with 48%, Honda came in second with 28%, and Ford made third place with 25%.

As for sub-brands: Green Car Reports made a very convincing point that the way automakers are marketing green sub-brands aren’t clicking very well for name retention. The article gives readers a test – to read a list of sub-brands for automaker green technology offerings, then scan a list of automaker brand names, and then accurately connect the dots. Here’s the correct answers: BlueEfficiency – Mercedes-Benz; BlueMotion – Volkswagen; Drive-E – Volvo; EarthDreams – Honda; EcoBoost – Ford; EcoTec – GM; EfficientDynamics – BMW; Hybrid Synergy Drive – Toyota; PureDrive – Nissan; and SkyActiv – Mazda. Ford’s EcoBoost has stuck with many minds along with Mazda’s SkyActiv; Honda’s EarthDreams and Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive stand out a little bit. The other ones seem pretty forgetful (at least for this writer).