- Welcome to the weekly edition of Green Auto Market. Some of you were previously reading Green Automotive Digest, and others have been reading the monthly Green Auto Market for the past year and a half. This weekly blog newsletter is produced by Jon LeSage, editor and publisher, along with Automotive Information Network, Inc. (parent of Automotive Digest, Dealer Digest Daily, Fleet Management Weekly, and Used Car Market Reports). This newsletter will be published on Tuesday mornings; it will continue offering the same analysis, coverage, and style – now in a more timely weekly format.
As for this week…..
- Chevrolet is marketing torque power in its Spark EV, which has been launched in California and Oregon. A new online video declares that the car’s 400 pounds-feet of torque are “more than a Ferrari 458 Italia.” The 30-second spot shows the minicar zooming through a gleaming white test facility at the speed of light – it goes 0 to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds, faster than the Fiat 500e, Ford Focus Electric and Nissan Leaf, GM says.
- Mack Trucks is following parent company Volvo Trucks and will begin production of dimethyl ether-powered Pinnacle Axle Back models with the 13-liter MP8 engine in 2015. Volvo introduced its DME option with fuel supplier Oberon Fuels in Sacramento last month. DME engines emit no soot — diesel particulate filter. When produced from biomass or biogas, DME can provide up to a 95% percent carbon dioxide reduction compared with diesel.
- More than 3,000 attendees made it to ACT Expo 2013 last month in Washington, DC, making it the largest and most significant US annual conference on alternative fuels and vehicles. It took place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy as a platform to put key players together in green ground transportation. “We’d like to thank our sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and attendees for a terrific event in Washington,” said Erik Neandross, CEO at organizer Gladstein, Neandross and Association. ACT Expo 2014 will be held with NGV Global 2014, the world natural gas vehicles meeting. These will take place May 5-9, 2014 in Long Beach, Calif.
- Hertz has not officially entered the car sharing business – unlike Avis, which bought Zipcar, the largest car sharing company, at the beginning of 2013. Yet Hertz is in the car sharing business through its 24/7 service, which offers rentals at any time of day or night for any length of time. Hertz has about 35,000 vehicles in the US equipped with technology enabling the car sharing service. By 2016, the car rental giant expects to have about 500,000 vehicles ready worldwide for this 24/7 (also called Hertz On Demand) service. That would be about 10 times the size of the current car sharing industry, Hertz said.
- General Motors plans to double the amount of models that achieve 40 mpg highway or better by 2017. The Chevrolet Volt, Sonic, Cruze Eco Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel already meet that requirement, and the 2014 Cadillac ELR and Spark EV will do even better when released. GM’s long-term approach to sustainability enables us to increase efficiency and re-imagine personal mobility to best meet customer needs and lifestyles, the company said.
- Ford is attempting to make things right for its 2013 model hybrid vehicles that have been coming up short on its fuel economy performance compared to the official ratings. The company is offering free software upgrades intended to improve fuel economy to owners of 2013 Ford C-Max and Fusion and Lincoln MKZ. Ford drew a lot of criticism following 2012 tests by Consumer Reports, which reported that the Fusion hybrid had 17% less and the C-Max had 21% less than Ford’s original promise of 47 miles per gallon.
- The 2014 BMW i3 has an MSRP of $41,350, before BMW’s $925 destination fee–for a starting price of $42,275 before the federal tax credit or local incentives.