The Latest on EVs and Hybrids, Outside of Media Blitz

Fisker at LA Auto Show

While Fisker Auto­mo­tive and Tes­la Motors had the lion’s share of media cov­er­age recent­ly, here’s a few oth­er inter­est­ing news briefs on EVs and hybrids…

  • Mer­cedes has final­ly entered the plug-in game with the new B-Class Elec­tric Dri­ve that made its world debut at the New York Auto Show. It will go on sale ear­ly next year, most like­ly at first in Cal­i­for­nia, and is a bat­tery-elec­tric ver­sion of the automaker’s pop­u­lar B-Class series.
  • Mit­subishi Motors Corp. has sus­pend­ed pro­duc­tion of its Out­lander plug-in hybrid crossover and a vari­ant of its i elec­tric car after one lithi­um ion bat­tery melt­ed at a deal­er­ship and anoth­er caught fire in an assem­bly plant. Mit­subishi also has sus­pend­ed sales of both vehi­cles in Japan. The automak­er is still look­ing into whether the bat­tery prob­lem may affect the US and oth­er mar­kets.
  • As it comes to mar­ket in Cal­i­for­nia this sum­mer, the 2013 Fiat 500e elec­tric car will offer a dis­tinct perk – own­ers get to use a rental car from a major nation­al chain up to 12 days a year. Own­ers will have an account set up with Enter­prise Rent-A-Car.
  • Hybrids make up about 4% of new vehi­cle sales now in the US – that num­ber could go up to 8%, accord­ing to ana­lysts. There’s a lot of prod­uct on the mar­ket to choose from and price points are more com­pet­i­tive with fuel effi­cient cars. There’s also a wide dis­play of offer­ings, from basic sub­com­pacts to lux­u­ry CUVs.
  • Nis­san final­ly got back into the hybrid game, the com­pa­ny will soon be launch­ing the Pathfind­er Hybrid.
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