Every week The Green Register online website offers the absolute best news when it comes to the latest technology, architecture plans, what universities are doing to better ‘go green’ and all the political news that’s fit to print regarding your environment and what the ‘masters and mistresses of Washington’s universe’ are doing to help or harm YOUR world.
This week, we are looking into the latest news that’s coming out of the automotive industry as it pertains to the next hybrids – even the next new sports models that have celebrities running to get a set of keys. Now can all us normal, hard-working ‘Joe’s’ purchase one for our own driveways? Not a chance. But there are some seriously interesting and vibrant concepts coming ‘down the line’ that may just fit even the tightest pinched pocketbooks.
International automakers at the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition held in April, truly believe that their sales can be kick-started when it comes to electric vehicles and hybrids by developing plug-in hybrids, which provide a practical bridge to pure electric vehicles (EV).
Overseas, the current focus is directly aimed at producing battery electric vehicles, but various stumbling blocks getting in the way have not exactly made this venture fully successful. Take, for instance, the battery bottleneck, which is a must but has a very high price tag on the technology. Add in to that the lack of charging infrastructure, and it makes it almost impossible to do what carmakers want to do to help improve the environment and, at the same time, boost sales.
The interim solution? Plug-in hybrids. A slew of car companies at the exhibition announced hybrid EV plans and competed to showcase their green technologies, which may help to convince customers to swap gas-guzzlers for cleaner options.
It was Toyota/Lexus that presented fifty models which represent almost a third of hybrids or electric vehicles in the industry. The extremely successful gasoline-hybrid Prius is the biggest seller in the United States and the company announced plans to localize its latest energy-saving technology in China. But Toyota is not the only one expanding. Volkswagen also confirmed the fact that several of their brands will launch hybrid models after 2013.
This is the latest in ‘green’ vehicle development, which shows that China, itself, will try and put five million hybrids and EVs on the road by 2015. Despite ambitious goals set out years ago, China is unlike the United States in the fact that they have witnessed extremely low sales of EVs – producing 6,000 cars with no more than 10 models in 2011.
The United States seems to have, as we know, quite a bigger push when it comes to ‘going green’ with our electric cars. The redesigned, eighth generation 2013 Malibu went on sale early 2012, and is doing very well – representing Chevrolet’s first global mid-size sedan with sales planned for nearly 100 countries.
Ford’s C-MAX Energi is the car that won the 2012 Green Car Vision Award™ at the Washington Auto Show and displayed that this highly-efficient plug-in model, which consumers here in the U.S. will see in late 2012, is built on the same global C-car platform as the Ford Focus.
Are there ht rods? Oh, God, you betcha. For the ones whose pocketbooks are truly able to be opened wide, the incredible JAG is working on the C-X16, which is a performance-oriented hybrid sports car concept that explores future drivetrain options while still being placed in the perfect package – the seductive, classy, and extremely fast Jaguar design. In addition, JAG s working on the C-X75, which is probably the most stunning hybrid concept ever shown. A 200+ mph, ultra-low emissions ‘supercar’ that everyone will want (and very few will actually get).
Oddly enough, when it comes to the celebrity icons who preach AND follow the world of hybrid cars, a great many middle-class people find them smug, saying nothing more than – “Of course THEY can buy it, they’re rich.” It becomes almost a smugness to them when actors and actresses wear t-shirts for a cause and answer phones for charitable causes, BUT there are a select few who walk-the-walk. When it comes to environmentally friendly automobiles, there are some who truly make sure that they are practicing what they preach – AND they don’t have JAGs.
DiCaprio is the biggest star who absolutely has stood by his causes without wavering, with the environment being the biggest. Driving an electric-car, a Tesla Roadster, he certainly did have to spend over a hundred thousand, but it is fully-electric and gets 245 miles on a single charge. A huge proponent of green initiatives, this was the first celeb in ‘Tinseltown’ to own and spread the word about the Toyota Prius back in 2001. In fact, DiCaprio has only owned hybrids and electrics over the years.
Cameron Diaz is another with her Toyota Prius which is a mid-sized sedan that, actually, many of us could put in our driveway. With a price tag of $22,000, this hybrid gets 52 miles per gallon in the city. A seriously excited vocal proponent of hybrids, she is constantly being ‘seen’ in her model.
Mr. Clooney also has his electric-car. I’ll be it, another in the hundred thousand range, but it is fully electric; his Tango 600 gets between 40-100 miles depending on battery. (And, yes, keeping up with his bachelor beliefs, the one seat makes it easy to forget the chick as he cruises with a top speed of over 130 mph.)
Be like the President! Barack Obama’s hybrid is a Ford Escape, and he is in the range of us ‘normal’ workers. This twenty thousand dollar car is a mid-sized SUV and was around long before the Presidency (which does come with riding in gas-guzzling motorcades – but that’s not really his fault.)
Jay Leno has his Chrysler Crossfire fully-electric car, but we won’t even go there as far as price is concerned. Believe me, we would have an easier time pooling our money and buying New York City.
Al Gore is actually the one who received the most notoriety for his work in the electric car field, as well as all other fields, and even gained a Nobel Peace Prize for raising awareness of environmental issues through all of his efforts. An Inconvenient Truth is still one of the most seen documentary’s in the world, and Gore’s Mercury Mariner hybrid is just the car for such a ‘green’ guy!
In the end, The Green Register will tell you all you need to know about the future of our automotive industry – and the – hopefully, better – future of our world!
Until Next Time, Everybody!
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