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Grant Gerke writes about manufacturing, factory and plant automation, packaging, electric cars and renewables for business and consumer media sites.

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Tuesday
Nov042014

Large Alternative Fueling Station Coming to O’Hare Airport 

The new alternative fuel station will be located at Higgins and Patton Drives, near long-term parking lots. This made my day late Monday as the City of Chicago and Chicago Dept. of Aviation announced a rather large alternative fueling station for O'Hare airport by early 2016, according to a press release. The press releases details a 4,000 sq-ft. facility—quite large for prized real estate near the airport—that will include compressed natural gas and electric charging stations. 

Big tip of the hat to the city of Chicago and Rahm Emanuel providing fleets and consumer electric vehicle owners a place to charge their vehicles near the airport and bring two different drive train technologies (& industries) together. Government working on a local level.  

Also, the location is very close to long-term parking areas for the airport, see left.

The refueling station will be run by PMG Airport Developers (pmgairport.com), builder and operator of travel plazas at airports across the country, and Clean Energy Fuels (cleanenergyfuels.com). So the developer has ties to the natural gas station chains and I just hope there's an electric vehicle advocate all through this project.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct302014

#TBT | The Chevy Volt, a Hidden Gem

With more information about the new Chevy Volt this week, EVP posts a historical overview of the interesting path taken by General Motors and Chevy Volt from John Voelcker, Green Car Reports.

Editor's note: If you introduce a new drivetrain technology, you should support it with this technique called ADVERTISING. Great overview.

Below is the story & link to this week's article in Green Car Reports from John Voelcker on some of the new electric bits for the 2016 Volt.

Related Content2016 Chevy Volt: Bigger Battery, More Motor Power, New Range Extender Engine Details: EXPANDED

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Win a $100 Amazon Gift Card

Complete a brief survey on your electric vehicle knowledge and automatically
be entered into a drawing to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card. Visit bit.ly/evpsurv001
to take the 5 question survey.

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Tuesday
Oct282014

Video | Is BMW's Hybrid i8 Too Quirky for the Sporty Types?

I seem to gravitate toward video car reviews that have In-and-Out burger segments and luckily this one is pretty quick as David Rose describes BMW's i8 hybrid sports car in great detail. 

This is a fun video car review and more on the unofficial battle between BMW's i8 and Tesla Motor's new all-wheel drive Model S85D in this luxury segment. The price point is pretty comparable as I have seen the 85D for about $120,000, fully loaded, and the i8 is listed at $135,000 MSRP. 

I'm obviously biased towards Tesla Motors—owner—and wonder if the i8's "a sports car but not a gas belching sports car" is a bit of a deterrent for the ultra sporty crowd.

Quick Takeaways:

  • Rose says this car almost looks identical to the concept car
  • No squeaks and rattles says David Rose in electric mode
  • Loves the torque with the canyon driving
  • 22-23 electric miles  

*****************************************

Win a $100 Amazon Gift Card

Complete a brief survey on your electric vehicle knowledge and automatically
be entered into a drawing to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card. Visit bit.ly/evpsurv001
to take the 5 question survey.

*****************************************

Monday
Oct272014

New 'Hapiness' Wrinkle to Model S Leasing

The new U.S. Bank cost calculator on the Tesla Motors page with the new financing for the 208 mile, 60kWh battery Model S. Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla Motors posted a blog post today about new Model S leasing options  with U.S. Bank and it includes a happiness clause, from Tesla Motors:

Leasing now also comes with the Tesla Motors happiness guarantee. If you don't like our car for any reason in the first three months, you can just return it and your remaining lease obligation is waived. The only catch is that you can't then immediately lease another Model S. Upgrading early is no problem if you want to do that, but there is a pass-through fee to cover the new vs used value difference. 

That's pretty tantalizing for luxury buyers and shrewd. I gave a test ride to a BMW owner last week and his response the next day is "I want a Tesla." Get them in the car, not much selling needed.

Also, this is good timing by Musk and company as he tries to highlight the inherent hassle with franchise dealers compared to a low-maintenance electric vehicle and sale.

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Related Content:

No Rush for Tesla Motors Hybrid Franchise Model
One on One Elon Musk interview at MIT

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Thursday
Oct232014

#TBT | Tesla Model S Torque Surprises Adam Carolla 

In this video test drive, Adam Carolla's provides a fun inside-the-car view of a Model S back in early 2012 on the streets of L.A, with the Tesla Model S's torque providing big fun for the comedian. 

*****************************************

Win a $100 Amazon Gift Card

Complete a brief survey on your electric vehicle knowledge and automatically
be entered into a drawing to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card. Visit bit.ly/evpsurv001
to take the 5 question survey.

*****************************************

Friday
Oct172014

Against It | Greed Runneth Over in the Michigan Legislature

Joe Hune, state senator, Michigan, added language to a bill that would effectively ban Tesla Motors car sales and galleries.

Update on 10/21: The Michigan Governor signed the bill to ban Tesla Motors from Michigan. 

Strike up the Ramones, the greed freaks from the Death Star (or the Michigan legislature) are back and targeting Tesla Motors business model, a direct-to consumer structure a la Apple and Dell Computers.

Today, Tesla Motors released a pointed blog post today about how this "shifty" amendment to a state bill that would allow dealers to add sales fees without any real oversight  

Here are pure greed nuggets from Tesla Motors web site, "A Raw Deal in Michigan":

"Senator Joe Hune added new language in an attempt to lock Tesla out of the State. Unsurprisingly, Senator Hune counts the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association as one of his top financial contributors, and his wife’s firm lobbies for the dealers."

This amendment goes even further. It also seeks to prevent Tesla from operating a gallery in Michigan that simply provides information without conducting sales. We could even be barred from telling people about our car.

This is from the same guy that said, "Providing health insurance for half a million working poor Michiganders is "nauseating." Hester Prynne had a scarlet letter on her clothing, how about a "G" for greed head?

Sad thing, these greed heads from the Death Star have no shame. Selah.

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Related Content:

Will Gov. Rick Snyder ban Tesla's direct selling?
Tesla Hits Back Hard In New Jersey Lawsuit Brief 

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Thursday
Oct162014

Energy Focus | Drop in Oil Prices and Its Effect on Electric Vehicles

Financial markets are in a tizzy with the drop in oil prices and I recently read an article from the Financial Times (free reg reqd.), "Falling Oil Prices Raises Questions on Viability of Shale," on shale drilling could be in trouble due to a strategic play by Saudi Arabia. 

It's great reporting, a must read. Here are some takeaways from the article:

  • Saudis oil barons are producing a lot barrels of oil while far exceeding demand. Why? The Financial Times article reveals to business readers not familiar with the oil and gas business that shale drilling companies—mid-size and smaller—are in heavily in debt to meet the fracking boom and will have a hard time surviving with such low oil prices for any extended period of time.   

  • This is serious business from the Saudis as they take a profit hit in the near term, but try to displace compressed natural gas's (CNG) fuel as an option for more business and government fleets—shale oil and natural are gas tied together. Encana, mentioned in the FT article, is a familiar natural gas advocate in many industries and is pushing natural gas hard as a fuel as long as abundant supply is present.  
  • Not to mention the push of Liquefied Natural Gas and terminal growth to Europe.

 

Source: Energy Policy Information Center

 

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