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Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Coming to Kohl’s

By EarthGarage
February 6, 2012
File under: Alternative Transportation, Electric, Fuel Efficiency, Innovation, Sustainable Practices

Kohl’s Department Stores (NYSE: KSS) recently announced it will install electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across America. 33 stores in Arizona, California, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington will take part in the pilot program.

Kohl’s customers will be able to charge their EVs for free while they shop. Charging stations can be activated with radio frequency identification cards (RFID) or by using telephone numbers located on the charging stations. Each participating store will have one to four parking spaces reserved for EV drivers.

According to Kohl’s Chief Administrative Officer John Worthington, “Not only are these stations an added shopper convenience, they also encourage environmental responsibility among our shoppers. We will continue to explore additional locations to pilot charging stations at our stores nationwide.”

Read the entire article at EnergyBoom

Earthgarage – Greener Car. Fatter Wallet

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Green Luxury

By Ted Nelson
August 8, 2010
File under: Alternative Fuels, Auto Industry, Electric, Hybrid


While, personally, it gets my heart racing a little to see hot new fuel efficient models on the street, fuel efficiency is not generally associated with sexiness. Green cars can, however, be engineering marvels both visually and in terms of performance.

Whether you’re looking for an eye-catching sports car or a safe, reliable way to transport your family, some high-end models are more fuel efficient than others. This efficiency will save you money on gas, and is an easy way to lower your ecological footprint.

Below is a list of  some green luxury options, organized by fuel source. Of course, some of the fuel sources themselves are greener than others. Some key stats accompany each model, or click on the model name itself for a link to the product page on the manufacturer’s website. …read more of Green Luxury here

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The shrinking American car (batteries included)

By Kirsten Dirksen
May 20, 2010
File under: Alternative Transportation, Auto Industry, Electric


The arrival of the Smart car on the U.S. market has helped Americans re-think whether bigger is better when it comes to their vehicles, but it’s only the beginning of the miniaturizing of the American market

It’s not just fuel economy that has driven an interest in smaller cars, but the changing demographics in America. “Even as fuel prices have stabilized, we’ve continued to see growth in the small-car markets”, explains Ford marketing manager Chantel Lenard. “There are two reasons driving that. One is the demographics of the baby boomers. As they’re getting older and their kids are leaving the household, they’re downsizing. On the other end of the spectrum, we see the millennials, the young people coming into the segment. They don’t need a bigger vehicle, so they’re buying on the basis of affordability.”

While most buyers of small are looking at compacts and subcompacts, there’s an even smaller category that is growing fast: The microcar …read more of The shrinking American car (batteries included) here

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Segmenting the EV Market

By Ted Nelson
November 24, 2009
File under: Auto Industry, Electric, Innovation

Image Source: FrankH, Flickr CC

Ever since Henry Ford used the assembly line to introduce the Model T in 1908, cars have been the poster child for mass manufacturing. At the same time, consumers have become used to a great deal of choice when if comes to cars.

Cars are differentiated along several lines: make (compact, sedan, SUV, pick-up, stationwagon, etc.), price range, fuel efficiency, and power are among the most notable.

The young electric vehicle (EV) market hasn’t reached the point of either mass production or deep market segmentation yet, but it’s not too early to start planning the industry’s future. Consulting giant McKinsey offers some advice to the EV industry in a recent article featured in the McKinsey Quarterly.

Electric Commuter & ‘Around Towner’ Options

The central message offered by authors Nick Hodson and John Newman is that two distinct segments dominate the personal vehicle market–commuters and around towners–and that the EV industry can better serve its customers by creating specific products for each segment.

A major difference between an EV and a traditional gas vehicle is that a major cost driver for EVs is energy storage. For pure EVs, the authors conclude that driving around town requires roughly 1/3 the battery capacity of commuting, due largely to increased driving speeds on highways used for commuting.

For plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), the optimal all-electric range for driving around town (16 miles) is considered less than 1/2 of that for commuting (38). People who use their EV to drive around town will be overpaying for a commuting model.

What Does This Mean for You?

For the consumer, the implication is that a household may need two vehicles with two distinct uses (of course, public and/or self-powered transport are viable options in many cases). Many households already have two or more vehicles, and may already use them for slightly different purposes. Others may have a lifestyle that demands two multi-use vehicles.

Although the EV industry is still in its early stages, it has naturally grown up a bit around the incentive structure Hodson and Newman describe: neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) are low-speed and good for getting around town, while many EV and PHEV manufacturers–like GM with the Volt–are focused largely on consumers’ commuting needs.

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Fisker Starts Putting Government Loan to Use

By Ted Nelson
October 29, 2009
File under: Alternative Fuels, Alternative Transportation, Auto Industry, Electric, Hybrid

2009 Fisker Karma

Fisker Automotive will begin deploying its government loan designated to spur U.S. production of fuel-efficient vehicles by buying and restoring an out-of-use GM plant in Delaware. Fisker paid only $18 million for the idle plant, but plans to spend an additional $175 million on refurbishing it. This Wilmington plant will be the manufacturing site for the company’s second model, a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) sedan.

The factory–originally built by GM in 1947–will reach full production capacity of 75,000-100,000 vehicles a year by 2014. By that point Fisker estimates that reopening the plant will create 2,000 factory jobs. The automaker expects production from this plant will create an additional 3,000 vendor and supplier jobs. …read more of Fisker Starts Putting Government Loan to Use here

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Discover the latest developments in improving technologies, tightening auto standards, fuel alternatives and how to make your current car eco-friendly. Find out which companies are investing in energy efficient vehicles.

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