Honda launches world’s first sporty hybrid car

25 02 2010

Honda Motor Co. on Thursday rolled out the CR-Z, the world’s first hybrid sports car.

News photo
Environmental sport: Honda Motor Co. President Takanobu Ito unveils the world’s first hybrid sports car, the CR-Z, at a news conference in Tokyo on Thursday. KYODO PHOTO
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The car, which will hit domestic showrooms Friday ahead of its global launch, comes with an electric motor equivalent to 1.5 liters and a 2.0-liter gasoline engine for acceleration. Its fuel efficiency is rated at 25 km per liter, compared with about 12 for similar gas-powered Honda models.

Honda said its domestic sales target for the CR-Z is 1,000 units per month, and that prices will start at ¥2.268 million for the four-seater and ¥2.498 million for the upgraded model.

The new hybrid will also be eligible for the government’s “green car” tax breaks.

President Takanobu Ito said at a press event in Tokyo that he hopes Honda’s latest offering will attract more people to the pleasures of driving.

Noting the global importance of promoting the expansion of hybrid cars, Ito said he believes the CR-Z hybrid will “exceed customers’ expectations” because it is fun to drive and environment-friendly.

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Reggie’s Protection at the Super Bowl

23 02 2010

Posted Jan 27th 2010 3:30AM by TMZ Staff

The New Orleans Saints‘ luckiest charm — Kim Kardashian‘s booty — is gonna be the most protected back at the Super Bowl this year … because it’s set to be chauffeured around Miami in a veritable fortress on wheels.

TMZ has learned Reggie Bush‘s favorite asset will be hitting the town on Super Bowl weekend in a Vault XXL2 Limousine by Armor Horse — which is a tank/limo hybrid built with composite ballistic panels and bullet-resistant windows.

And that’s not all: Both doors on the limo are fitted with emergency gun ports.

Is he telling the truth or is he just another Crackpot?

19 02 2010

Mike Ruppert believes the end is near. It’s too late for hybrids, too late for electric vehicles, and too late for alternative energy. We’re simply going to have to learn to live without. Ruppert, a former LA cop and investigative journalist, is the focus of Collapse, a new documentary from director Chris Smith—whose previous works include American Movie and The Yes Men.

Smith’s portrait is one of a deeply concerned and troubled man whose personal misfortunes parallel the downfall he sees civilization hurtling towards. But Ruppert’s semi-apocalyptic vision for humanity is built on a simple premise that actually isn’t all that controversial: modernity is powered by oil, and one day this non-renewable resource is going to run out.

A Matter of When

As far as conspiracy theories go, “peak oil” isn’t outlandish. In fact, the US Department of Energy was concerned enough about it to commission the so-called “Hirsch Report” [pdf] in 2005. The report concluded that peak of oil production is coming—perhaps within the decade—and that governments will have to act fast to adopt serious measures to mitigate a range of terrifying consequences that might come with it.

What separates the chain-smoking Mike Ruppert, and a growing movement of peak oil alarmists from others, is that they believe a catastrophic sequence of events is either inevitable or has already begun. Collapse makes no judgments about Ruppert’s prophecies, but it also makes no effort to disguise his edginess. (At one point in the film, Ruppert has an emotional breakdown on camera.)

Ruppert deserves credit for his previous work in exposing CIA drug-smuggling operations. More recently, he’s been associated with the 9/11 truth movement. But whether or not one connects the dots on peak oil the way Ruppert does, there is an undeniable volatility in oil prices and nearly everyone—for one reason or another—agrees that we need to cut our dependence on petroleum.

Mike Ruppert in CollapseIn Collapse, the filmmakers combine shadowy interviews with Mike Ruppert, archival footage, and suspenseful music, into a compelling portrait of a peak oil theorist who can’t get the world’s attention.

Mounting Evidence

Two weeks ago, a new warning came from a whistleblower within the International Energy Agency. The whistleblower said the agency’s estimates had been inflated due to “fears that panic could spread on the financial markets if the figures were brought down further.” The IEA’s annual report is widely considered to be the most important publicly available energy forecast in the world. Serious doubts about its credibility could threaten the stability of oil markets on their own.

In the past year-and-a-half, the world has seen $35-a-barrel oil and $140-a-barrel oil. You may not be stockpiling seeds or learning to cultivate arable land, as Ruppert suggests, but like many, you’ve probably wondered how you would get to work or heat your home if crude were to surpass $200 per barrel.

Collapse, a breathtaking wake-up call, is a must-see for hybrid and electric cars fans motivated to reduce—and ultimately eliminate—our dangerous addiction to oil. See the movie and make your own judgments about Ruppert, the man, and peak oil as a theory. Check the Collapse website for the schedule of limiting screenings around the country in the coming weeks.

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Prius Owners Mostly Unfazed by Recall

12 02 2010

Prius Rebuke

On the first day or the announced recall of Toyota Priuses, the reaction from hybrid owners has been remarkably muted. Media reports from around the country reveal that few Prius drivers seem overly concerned about a potential problem with uneven braking. The calm reaction could be explained by the devotion of Prius drivers to their hybrids—or to the Toyota brand—or by the fact that Toyota’s much larger and potentially dangerous recall involving unintended accleration makes the Prius problem seem minor. Or is the public growing weary of the Toyota recall story?

Toyota president Akio Toyoda, head bowed, was rebuked by Japanese Transport Minister Seiji Maehara regarding the Prius recall. But reaction in the US was muted.

Industry Viewpoint

Industry observers generally view the Prius recall as a relatively minor event—one which will not slow down the growth of hybrid and electric cars. Oliver Hazimeh, director of the North American Automotive Practice for consulting firm PRTM, believes the “recall presents a short-term bump in the road regarding consumer perception of hybrid-electric vehicles and [pure] electric vehicles.” Hazimeh published his view on the website Green Car Congress: “There is no question that longer term, the fundamental drivers for increased powertrain electrification are alive and well.”

According to PRTM, hybrid technology has been successfully and robustly used for more than 10 years in other Prius models, as well as in non-Toyota models. PRTM believes that the worldwide tipping point for acceptance of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles, whereby these vehicles become a major part of the automotive powertrain portfolio, will likely occur in the next few years.

Consumer consideration Prius, as measured by data analysts late last week, actually rose after news of the recall first emerged. “Most Prius shoppers aren’t looking for anything else and are likely to be willing to wait until they feel the problem has been fixed rather than going to another hybrid,” said Jessica Caldwell, director of industry analysis. “We think the recalls will have less effect on the Prius than on any other model, and it really doesn’t look like any of the Toyotas are going to be hit that hard.”

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10 02 2010

“Toyota recalling 2.3 million cars because of two problems — unintended acceleration and possible brake problems. Things are not looking good for Toyota. In fact, today, two crash test dummies refused to get in the car.” –Jay Leno

TOYOTA Issues 2010 Prius Recall

10 02 2010

Published February 9, 2010

Toyota answers the most frequently asked questions about the Prius recall.

After several days of speculation, Toyota today issued a recall of the 2010 model year Priuses as well as Lexus HS250h luxury hybrid. Only the 2010 model year vehicles are involved because previous generations had different brake system software. The total recall will include about 150,000 vehicles in the United States.

With the recall, Toyota is responding to about 200 official complaints that the anti-lock braking causes the cars to have an “inconsistent brake feel” during slow and steady application of the brakes on rough or slippery surfaces. Toyota says that the system is working as intended. The Prius and HS250h recall is separate from the company’s larger recall regarding unintended acceleration.

The repair, which involves loading new anti-lock brake software onto the car, takes about 30 minutes to perform. 2010 model year Toyota Priuses manufactured after January 27 and Lexus HS250h units manufactured after February 8 already have the new software.

Toyota says the 2010 Prius is completely safe. If your brakes feel unusual, keep pressing firmly on the brake pedal. Don’t pump brakes. Instead, keep the pedal firmly pressed down.

Beginning in late February, Toyota will send letters to owners of affected vehicles, who will be able to get the problem fixed at no cost.

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Honda plans on development of hybrid that betters Prius MPG

8 02 2010

Honda is planning on giving the Toyota Prius a challenge…..again. Although the consumers have spoken and proved that they prefer the Prius rather than the Honda Insight, Honda is not willing to wave the white flag. These numbers do not lie……

2009 Honda Insight Sales: 20,572 2009

Toyota Prius Sales: 139,682

Honda Insight MPG City/Highway: 40/43

Toyota Prius MPG City/Highway: 51/48

Can you blame drivers for choosing the Prius over the Insight?

Let’s just say the average American drives 12,000 miles a year, and the average gallon of gas costs $2.75. We could save ourselves a decent chunk of change with the Prius. Even though the Prius is slightly more expensive, with the amount of complaints we have seen about the Insight, it makes the price worth it. Honda needs to step their game up. They have already worked up a new advertisement campaign for the Insight, and they are also looking farther into the future in hopes of eclipsing the famed Prius. Honda CEO Takanobu Ito alledgedly has told his researchers to develop a hybrid that has a better miles per gallon rating than the world’s most beloved hybrid(Prius). If the the next hybrid is going to be an improvement to the already establish Insight or a brand new design is unknown right now but its going to have to be something quite impressive to knock off the reigning champ.

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