Honda Fit EV review

I’ve got some things in the works, meantime, I came across another review for the Honda Fit EV from TechnoBuffalo’s Driven hosted by Jon Rettinger: 

 

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More EV News

Honda Fit EV SOLD OUT!

In less than two weeks after changing their lease pricing, Honda has full waiting lists at all California dealerships, the limited-production 2013 Fit EV is already SOLD OUT! I hope this means they will offer more EVs for 2014! 😀 http://www.plugincars.com/southern-california-honda-dealerships-sell-out-fit-ev-following-price-cut-127452.html

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Driving the ZelectricBug Electric VW Beetle at Highway Speeds

(testing the range of the battery)

Zelectric Motors initial EV conversion is the ZelectricBug featuring the Zelectric powertrain built into restored VW Beetles (1958-1966). They are in final prototype testing and plan to have the first model for sale this summer. For more, see their website:

http://www.zelectricmotors.com

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First Drive: 2013 Smart ForTwo ED (Electric Drive) Vastly Improved from Previous Versions

Review: http://www.plugincars.com/2013-smart-fortwo-proves-good-things-come-small-packages-127447.html

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Tesla Supercharger Announcement

Tesla is expanding their supercharger network, and installing faster chargers (demonstration coming June 20). Keep in mind, when Elon Musk says “free”, that is, supercharging is included with the purchase of the 85 kWh Model S’s, optional on smaller battery sizes (for a one-time price, same unlimited free super-charging deal).

A Quick Post To Catch Up…

I missed these posted back in March…

Elon Musk interview on Tesla, Solar City, Space X:

When asked about why Space X, he didn’t have kid dreams of being an astronaut, he says it’s more from the standpoint of “What are the things that need to happen in order for the future to be an exciting and inspiring one.” My favorite quote.

Tesla Model S & BMW M5

A Video Showing the Tesla Model S (w/Performance Package) and the BMW M5 as tested by Edmunds (Two separate tests edited into one video, not a race). Pretty close! It’s obvious Telsa had the M5 in mind when designing the Model S w/Performance Package. Gas/electric aside, if you think about the fact that this is Tesla’s first production car and the M5 has decades of development behind it, the Model S is pretty impressive! Now think about the fact that this is an electric car, and what that means for the future.

websites:

http://www.teslamotors.com

http://www.solarcity.com

http://www.spacex.com

http://elonmusk.com

http://www.bmw.com

twitter:

https://twitter.com/elonmusk

https://twitter.com/teslamotors

Did you know there were Electric cars on the road over 10 years ago?

Did you know that in the early 1900s there were more electric cars on the road than gas? There were three types of cars on the road at the turn of that century: steam-powered, electric-powered, and gas-combustion powered. While steam cars were the fastest, steam cars ran out of steam because it had a very long warm-up time. While electric cars were favored among women, gas combustion won because, at the time, they were able to make gas cars faster than electrics, began making gasoline available and the cars were easier to mass produce. Ford had innovated mass car production with the first conveyor-belt assembly line for the Model T. And you know the rest. …Or do you?

Innovation…

Anyone remember the Japanese car that changed auto-making history?

1982 Honda Accord Sedan

The 1982 Honda Accord looked very similar to BMWs of the day.

1982 BMW 3 Series Sedan

This was no coincidence. This car (Sedan & Hatchback) was a game-changer for the auto-industry. Although it had a similar look to the BMW, the front grille had sleeker styling w/rectangular headlights instead of the old round ones. (However, Honda changed the grille every year until the next redesign–perhaps it was too similar?). But, it was not only the sleek looks, this pre-Acura/Lexus/Infinity Japanese car had upped the ante not only on looks and the overall quality of the mainstream car, but also on interior quality/refinement and fit & finish. No, honda didn’t have a six-cylinder option yet, but, it combined the quality of an expensive european luxury car and the astuteness of a compact japanese car in such a way as to shake up the auto-industry. They raised a new standard for mainstream automobiles.  The result was, Honda became the best selling Japanese nameplate in the US, holding that position for 15 years. We would not have the cars today from the US that we do, if it was not for this one innovation that stirred up the competition, because, it outsold them.

Today, there is a new car innovation, beyond previous innovations because it does away with the one factor they are all afraid to let go of, that has stirred up the auto-making industry once again (and most of them are pissed, like a hornet’s nest that’s been stepped on). One word. Tesla.

But, before we get to Telsa, you need to know that GM had the chance to become what Tesla has. They were given the first opportunity to re-invent the car and make the first viable electric car, over ten years ago, and could not get past Big Oil’s stranglehold on the automotive industry, politics and their own old vision/profit path. GM was given a bit of a head-start on California’s 1996 laws governing that a certain percentage of automobiles be emission-free. But, Detroit, Big Oil and lobbyists fought it….

Did you know…

Did you know that from 1996-2004 there were all-electric cars made by GM, Honda, Ford, & Toyota in use in the state of California? Until a few years ago, I did not. Not many of us outside of CA did. They were not for sale, only on lease contracts, and only in the state of California. GM was given a bit of a head-start and made an all-electric car called the EV-1, and, to the people that drove them, they were a perfectly usable car, that drove as well as any car, without gas, for their daily driving. Now, you will find GM talking about the marketing hyped Chevy Volt as if the electric car lives on. Deception. The Chevy Volt is not an all-electric car, but, an electric/gas hybrid. This would be considered a plug-in hybrid or PHEV vehicle, while the former car, the EV-1 was a true EV (Electric Vehicle) or ZEV (Zero Emissions Vehicle). The Volt still has all of the things that gas-combustion cars have, because it still has a gas-combustion engine. Yes, you can drive it on the electric motor alone, for up to 40 miles max., then the gas engine kicks in. (Go to wikipedia, in the first sentence you will see what GM does not want you to see, it is a plug-in hybrid vehicle.) Hybrids (all types) are a compromise car for an ignorant american society. And they want to keep you ignorant. However, on the other side of that coin, the success of hybrids (especially the Toyota Prius) has helped pave the way for EVs.

Who Killed The Electric Car?

Without further ado, for those who haven’t seen it yet, I would like to present to you the documentary made in 2006 about this subject, called “Who Killed The Electric Car?”. If you scroll down you will find a trailer for this video, followed by the movie, presented to you for free on youtube. (It is also available on DVD and on-demand.) If you watch the DVD, be sure to check out the special features. If you think that electric cars are not green enough because you have to use electricity to charge them and that means using a coal-power plant, that is a well over-exaggerated argument those against EVs use. To charge your car has much, much less damaging effects to our environment than some would lead you to think. For one thing, not all power-plants are based on coal. There are natural gas, hydro, and (ugh) nuclear powered plants. Some power companies are starting to also source their electricity from renewable sources as well. Plus, the nay-sayers never take into account how much electricity is used to process oil into gas, which far outweighs any charging argument.

Alright, if you haven’t seen this, watch this must-see documentary, it is enlightening, not only for what happened in California not too long ago, but it will reveal to you why there is still so much debate about electric cars today.

Who Killed The Electric Car? Trailer:

Who Killed The Electric Car? Full movie:

Other ways to watch:

• iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/who-killed-the-electric-car/id277048813

• Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Who-Killed-the-Electric-Car/dp/B000MRICYW/ref=pd_cp_mov_0

• I first borrowed the DVD from my local library.

• Or purchase the DVD from various sites or your local video store.

A Few of My Favorite Automotive/On-The-Road Apps

I will be posting soon on the topic of electric cars, in the meantime here are a few of my favorite automotive/on-the-road apps (all apps are free unless otherwise stated). (Links open in a new page/tab in your browser.):

Automotive News

Automotive news apps I like on my iPad:

Automobile Mag. News:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/automobile-magazine-news-for/id395579285

“CarBuzz”:
http://www.carbuzz.com/carbuzz-apps.aspx

Motor Trend Mag. News:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/motor-trend-news-for-ipad/id395055760

(more Motor Trend apps iOS & Android: http://www.motortrend.com/mobile/app_page/)

—If you have Flipboard you can also get Car & Driver magazine news (maybe others as well).

There’s an app for that!

MPG? “Road Trip Lite”
If you want to know what kind of MPG you’re getting “Road Trip Lite” is a free app, input your mileage, gallons, price per gallon, filled/not-filled and upon your 2nd filling it will begin to give you your current MPG and average MPG. It graphs your price per gallon, miles driven, costs/averages and your MPG for one car. (If you forget to use the app while at the gas station, you can input the info. later, if you have your gas receipt.) You can input/output data in CSV or MS Office format as well. This free app is limited to one vehicle.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/road-trip-lite-mpg-mileage/id299392794
 “Road Trip”
You can upgrade to the full version (not free) of “Road Trip” which lets you input unlimited vehicles, adds a service and repair log, expense tracking and more.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/road-trip-mpg-mileage-fuel/id298398207

“Rest Area Finder”
If you are on an Interstate highway and need to go soon, but want a rest area and would rather not take an exit for a (possibly dirty) gas station rest room, or simply for trip planning “Rest Area Finder” is great for finding rest areas closest to your current location (you can zoom out as far as you need to as well):
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rest-area-finder/id330740828

“Parking Time”
Where’s my car? How much time left on the meter? This nifty little app answers those questions with a parked car GPS tracker and parking timer with push notifications, (just remember to open the app after you plug the meter 😉 ).
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/parking-time/id551244666

“KBB.com”
Kelley Blue Book Official Guide:
http://www.kbb.com/company/mobile/

“Foursquare”
A great app for finding eateries and other local businesses when you are out of town (pull over or let a passenger use this, please). https://foursquare.com/download/ 

“Car Talk”
Lastly, have you heard Click & Clack the Tappit brothers? Don’t have the radio on at the right time? You can listen anytime…there’s an app for that too! Although you can no longer call in live as they have retired as of last fall (after 35 years), the “Car Talk” producers at NPR are assembling shows using the more than 1200 programs the brothers have recorded since 1987 (it’s well done, you can’t really tell). If you haven’t heard them, they are funny and informative, you must download this app and hear at least one show. The current show is available for free. The weekly show is updated on saturdays at 6pm (I think). They also are continuing their blog for the time being (see below).

Car Talk iOS app: https://itunes.apple.com/app/car-talk/id325965405 (listen to this week’s show via wifi or 3G or better data connection (data rates apply)).

Tom & Ray’s blog: http://www.cartalk.com/content/tom-ray

iTunes podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/npr-car-talk-podcast/id253191823

“Breakdown Lane” In the event of a breakdown, this app helps you locate the nearest consumer-recommended mechanic, (not free): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/breakdown-lane-from-car-talk/id548771566

Website: http://www.cartalk.com Here you can listen online via computer, there’s a consumer-recommended mechanic finder, forums, all kinds of goodies.

Article about their retirement: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/09/entertainment/la-et-0609-car-talk-20120609

 

(You can find these apps by searching on your mobile device using the name of the app inside the quotes””, or (via computer or mobile browser) by clicking on the hyperlinks above. Some apps may only be available for iOS devices.)