Reviews/Test Drives: CR-Z, Rav4 EV, Spark EV, Zelectric Bug (videos)

Nicholas Zart (CarNewsCafe.com) Week Long Test Drive:

2013 Honda CR-Z 6-speed manual hybrid

Article here:
http://carnewscafe.com/2013/07/test-drive-hondas-sporty-cr-z-hybrid-why-we-loved-it/

 

Pamela Woon (Car Pro) reviews 2013 Toyota Rav4 EV

(Available in California only at this time)

 

Engadget on the 2014 Chevy Spark EV

Full article & pics here: http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/26/spark-ev-test-drive/

(Available in California & Oregon right now, more states on the way)

 

Driving the Zelectric Bug

(Coming soon. Check out the website: http://www.zelectricmotors.com)

 

 

Must See Documentary: “Revenge of the Electric Car”

Revenge of the Electric Car
Director: Chris Paine
Documentary
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I finally saw “Revenge of The Electric Car” last week of June. It goes all the way up to the pre-production version of the Tesla Model S. This movie gives insight behind the scenes of what it takes to get EVs on the road. I highly recommend it.

Trailer:

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(If you haven’t seen it yet, in my blog posted march 13 you’ll find the full movie (free) “Who Killed The Electric Car”. Watch first, or, if only have time for one documentary, just get Revenge….)
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Get it, rent it, stream it, borrow it (from local library?), just find a way to watch it, here are a few links:
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Hulu: (w/Hulu Plus subscription): http://www.hulu.com/watch/322022
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Also available on demand with these cable providers:
Direct TV VOD
ECHOSTAR IPVOD
Verizon
TVN
Charter
AT&T
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See movie website for UK & Canadahttp://www.revengeoftheelectriccar.com/buy-the-dvd

Whatever happened to NiMH Batteries?; ’13 Leaf Impressions

I just read this…good read! :
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Why Do Some Electric Cars Have Short Range?

“EVs in 1996 were going farther than todays EVs using Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries, why are they not being used today?” (The real reason)
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MotorWeek’s “First Impressions” of the 2013 Nissan Leaf

Smart FourTwo Goes Off-Road :o)

I’m not a big ad person, but, this one is fun…Overseas ad for Smart FourTwo:

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Thanks to @CarTalk for the tweet:

Screen Shot 2013-07-04 at 4.19.09 AM

The Tweet: https://twitter.com/cartalk/status/352596573731041282

Top 10 Viral Videos of the week (The above vid., and 9 more): http://www.autonews.com/article/20130702/VIRALVIDEO/307029999/#axzz2Y2tymzXK

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Refuel 2013

The 5th Annual Clean Power Motorsports Event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was same day as Pikes Peak (Sunday June 30th).

This was done quietly, I have a bit of coverage I’m finding as the week progresses (see my twitter). I did a search for vids and found a bunch, people are still uploading, so I will create vid playlists and do a new blog post w/Refuel 2013 coverage sometime over the next week.

http://www.refuelraces.com/about.php

Ride The Future Tour (EV) Launch Today

Today (July 4th) Ride The Future will begin an all-EV transcontinental trek (cars, bikes, motorcycles, and scooter), starting at 9AM in Charleston SC and finishing 3,745 miles, zero gas, across the country at Google HQ, Mountain View CA.

They will be setting three world records:

The Guiness Record for the Longest Journey:

1) in an Electric Car

2) on an Electric Scooter

3) and on an Electric Motorcycle

(Complete information at their website, here’s “The Scoop”: http://ridethefuturetour.com/how-it-all-began/)

If you’d like to help send them off, come out around 8am at Brittlebank Park on Lockwood Blvd, Charleston SC

I will be (re-)tweeting anything I find on this 44-day trek (see sidebar for my twitter link). There also is a twitter you can follow: https://www.twitter.com/@Ride_the_Future

Chicago Tribune writeup: http://cars.chicagotribune.com/fuel-efficient/news/chi-transcontinental-electric-vehicle-parade-20130626

Here are the stops: http://ridethefuturetour.com/611/

Chevy Spark EV & More EV News

Chevy Spark EV

I don’t have much, but, it has begun to go on sale and I found a couple walk-through & drive videos on the production version:

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Edmunds review: http://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/spark-ev/2014/#fullreview

If you live near Portland OR, check out the Chevy Spark EV on July 16th: http://www.evite.com/event/0296CIYTQCREFQCHKEPC3GR7KENVPA via @OEVAorg

Note: Anything you read or hear about DC quick charger taking 20 mins. to 80% charge…these are commercial chargers that are yet to be installed anywhere, using a huge SAE combo connector, not available for home charging. (IMO, they are trying to set a standard outside of Tesla superchargers, which, I think, all would be better off licensing from Tesla, as Tesla has a head start and more on the way, but, who am I to make sense?) So, looks like multiple charging standards abound, sucks for consumers again. More: http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1084771_gm-bmw-complete-testing-of-new-ccs-quick-charging-stations-for-electric-cars

EV News

Wired (UK) Review of Toyota Rav4 EVhttp://www.wired.co.uk/reviews/gadgets/2013-06/toyota-rav4-ev

Fiat 500e virtually sold out in CA: http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1085045_2013-fiat-500e-electric-car-sold-out-in-california

Ford Focus Electric Ultimate Guide: http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1065308_ford-focus-electric-ultimate-guide-to-what-you-need-to-know (2013 model is virtually unchanged from 2012 model)

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Electric cars break the 10 minute barrier for the first time ranking an EV in 5th place!

http://www.electric-vehiclenews.com/2013/06/monster-tajima-wins-ev-class-with-fifth.html

Lightning’s Electric Motorcycle Dominates the two-wheeled segment, EV beats gas!

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/07/lightning-pikes-peak-2013/

More here: http://www.autoblog.com/2013/07/01/race-recap-the-lion-roars-at-2013-pikes-peak-international-hill

And, In Case You Missed It

Tesla Model S Battery Swap Demo: