EV’s prove their mettle in Disaster Struck Japan

WITH deep-tread tires and ample ground clearance, a rugged 4-wheel-drive Hummer or Jeep might seem the best choice for navigating through the wrecked cities of northeastern Japan. The areas pummeled by the earthquake and tsunami in March would surely be inhospitable for an electric vehicle.Yet in the days and weeks after the horrific one-two punch of natural disasters, wispy battery-electric cars — engineered for lightness and equipped with tires designed for minimal rolling resistance — proved their mettle.These welterweight sedans, including models from Mitsubishi and Nissan, turned out to be the vehicles that got through — not because of any special ability to claw their way over mountains of debris, but because they were able to “refuel” at common electrical outlets.

Read the rest of the story: After Disaster Hit Japan, Electric Cars Stepped Up.

Eco-friendly cars creating alliances among car companies

The need to spread the huge costs of developing modern eco-friendly cars was the key factor in negotiations that led to Wednesday’s announcement of a loose capital tie-up between the Nissan-Renault alliance and Germany’s Daimler AG.

While demand for eco-cars is expected to increase because of stricter regulations for carbon dioxide emissions, development costs for these cars can be prohibitive for a single automaker.

The three companies instead hope to share each other’s technologies, allowing them to develop a wider range of fuel-efficient cars at lower cost.

Read the rest of the story: Huge eco-car bill prompts tie-up