Amazon is establishing an Alexa beachhead in the connected car world, challenging Apple and Google, both of which offer phone apps for remote services and communicating commands to your car, such as lock and unlock, start the engine and turn on the climate control. Related: Toyota Adds Amazon Alexa, Android Auto Adds Google Assistant Those other tech giants had a head start, but Amazon is rapidly catching up with available Alexa connected car "skills" (Alexa-speak for apps) from the automakers that let you tell the car what to do via Amazon's Echo and other Alexa voice-controlled devices. Apple and Google also have infiltrated the dashboard screen in the car with smartphone-based Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Amazon also has a toe in the water there with, for example, the new Ford+Alexa and Lincoln+Alexa systems. They combine an app on your phone with Ford's Sync AppLink to provide access to Alexa voice capabilities and skills in the … [Read more...] about Hey, Alexa! What Cars Can I Talk to With My Amazon Echo?
2013 nissan leaf s review
The previous generation Honda Fit, which we know as the Honda Jazz, had a battery-powered variant called the Fit EV. It made its debut in 2011 with a 20 kWh battery and 122 km range (US EPA), but there hasn’t been an electric version of the third-gen GK since it debut in 2013. That might change in the near future. According to Nikkei Asian Review, Honda will team up with Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology to develop new batteries for use in a Fit-based EV. The “new Fit EV” is planned for launch in China by the first half of 2020. The business publication says that it will be an affordable electric car that will cost “slightly more than two million yen” (RM72,735). To keep prices down, the EV will use a small battery that will give it a range of around 300 km. To compare, the current second-gen Nissan Leaf‘s 40 kWh battery is good for 400 km in Japan’s cycle and 378 km in the European cycle. The Fit EV was launched in 2011 … [Read more...] about New Honda Fit EV
Firefighters doused the blazing Tesla Inc. Model X’s battery pack, and then company engineers removed about one-quarter of its power cells before the vehicle was deemed safe to tow off a California freeway. That didn’t prevent the powerful and highly flammable lithium-ion battery cells from reigniting. The car caught fire twice more within 24 hours of the March 23 fatal crash, and again six days later, according to a safety bulletin from the fire department in Mountain View. Fires on electric vehicles are rare, but the volatile chemistry of their batteries and the need for special training on how to extinguish them raises new safety questions as automakers are poised to dramatically increase production. Techniques for putting out burning gasoline-fueled vehicles could make worse a blaze in a battery powered one. “We’re in uncharted waters here,” said Donald Sadoway, a professor of materials chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. … [Read more...] about Electric-car era threatens firefighters with new risks
The Perfect Car? Clean Fleet Report staffers are frequently asked, “What car should I buy?” Our answer is always some version of “What type of driving do you do?” From there we ferret-out that the family of four Outstanding in its field may want but have no practical need for a Mazda MX-5 Miata; the single woman with her first job out of college should probably stay away from a Cadillac Escalade and the person driving to work 80 miles round trip, five days a week, should be driving an electric car such as a Nissan Leaf, Volkswagen eGolf, Chevrolet Spark EV, Fiat 500e, Ford Focus EV, BMW i3 or Kia Soul EV. But what about the vast majority of people that have a need for a versatile car that can carry four passengers and all sorts of stuff, is comfortable on long trips and zippy around town, and when driven reasonably can get 45+ mpg? Oh, and the car needs to cost less than $30,000. Impossible, you say. But not if you consider the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen … [Read more...] about Road Test: 2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen TDI
The world is shifting, and with it, the automobile. In another generation or so, gas powered cars may be a thing of the past, left only to enthusiasts and collectors. Electric cars are nothing new. In fact, the world’s first practical electric vehicle dates back to 1835, predating Karl Benz’ patent on his motorized carriage by 50 years! However, what is new in the world of electric cars is mainstream variety. EV’s are no longer an obscure novelty item, nor are they being stamped out by “Big Oil” like GM’s fabled EV1 of the 90’s. Nowadays nearly every car company offers some variant on an electric car, hybrid or plug-in hybrid. With more and more popping up every day, you now have your pick of the litter. Electric cars now come in a variety of shapes, sizes and trim levels. With an electric vehicle that can meet almost any budget, there’s an electric out there for you. Here at Auto City, we are fortunate enough to see some really great … [Read more...] about THE ELECTRIC CAR SHOOTOUT: Chevrolet Volt vs. Nissan Leaf vs. BMW i3
The Malaysian car market is fairly predictable, but every once in a blue moon, someone will spring a surprise. And as surprises go, the introduction of the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid late last year (yes, we’re in 2017!) was a huge one. It’s not just the availability of the Korean green car here either – the timing, the fact that it’s locally assembled, the pricing; everything was scarcely believable to pundits and competitor brands alike. It has been awhile since a regular, non-plug-in hybrid car was launched in Malaysia. Ever since the tax-free window of opportunity for CBU hybrids (and electric vehicles) ended in 2013, the two Japanese companies that profited the most from the battery rush have stopped promoting the genre. Understandably so, as without government incentives, prices ballooned to the usual high levels that we pay for imported cars. Hybrid cars made a recent comeback, but the proponents this time are premium brands pushing plug-in hybrids. The small … [Read more...] about DRIVEN: Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid review