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electric vehicles

An electric car at a charging station
Wikimedia Commons

A lack of public charging stations is hurting the growth of electric cars in Michigan, according to some clean energy advocates.

Consumers Energy recently pulled the plug on a plan to set up hundreds of charging stations around Michigan. This was in response to pushback from competitors and consumers who don't want to pay for the system.

NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

These days, Detroit is all about showing it’s new. It’s different. That it’s learned from the past.

Then what happened at the New York Auto Show this week? Markets collided, and the winners are buyers of trucks, SUVs and even muscle cars, not investors hot for all things electric.

Major players transformed the Big Apple into a shameless celebration of size and horsepower. It’s more evidence that the emissions-free future touted by the industry and rewarded by traders is trumped by reality, that is: consumer demand, low interest rates and cheap gas.

Lincoln

 

The big auto shows are a chance for automakers to show everyone what they're all about.

 

Automakers are making huge investments in electric cars and autonomous driving technology.  But muscle cars and big, luxurious SUVs were the stars at this week's New York International Auto Show.

 

 

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes spoke with Cynthia Canty about the New York show’s “shameless celebration of size and horsepower.”

Ford autonomous test vehicle
Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company won't be building a new plant in Mexico, but will instead invest $700 million in a plant in southeast Michigan.

The Flat Rock Assembly Plant will be updated to create a factory capable of producing high-tech electrified and autonomous vehicles.  

The plant’s expansion will bring 700 new jobs directly to Flat Rock.

Ford also confirmed seven of 13 new global electrified vehicles will be coming in the next five years, including an F-150 Hybrid, a Mustang Hybrid and a Transit Custom plug-in hybrid.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has often sought to entice Chinese business investment in Michigan
Detroit Regional Chamber / flikr

Just as Governor Rick Snyder is wrapping up his latest investment trip to China, the Chinese owned vehicle manufacturer S-F Motors has finalized its plans for opening a research and development center outside of Ann Arbor.

The investment of more than $10 million will includes hiring 150 engineering jobs.

Ford Motor Co.

Hybrid and electric car sales right now are weak.  That's not surprising, given that the price of a gallon of gasoline is averaging under $2 a gallon in 41 states.

So why is Ford upping the ante on electrification?

Steve Jurvetson / Flickr

Are you really doing the environment a favor by buying and driving an electric car? 

The answer may depend on where in the country you live.

New research indicates the impact of electric cars on the environment is much more nuanced than many people realize.

Steve Jurvetson / Flickr

Michigan will have two new battery supercharging stations by the end of the summer courtesy of Tesla Motors.

Tesla's Model S electric car gets up to 300 miles on a single charge. It normally takes several hours to charge the car. But a "supercharger"shortens the charging time to 20 to 30 minutes, according to Tesla spokeswoman Alexia Georgeson. 

Self-driving technologies like Tesla's Autopilot mode are limited by the sensors they use to detect obstacles on the road.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Updated:  10:23 am 6-17-15

Tesla's foray into advanced battery manufacturing in the U.S. is apparently no threat to advanced battery manufacturer LG Chem of Korea.

Tesla, with the help of partner Panasonic, is building a massive lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in Nevada.

GM

GM announced today that the price of a Chevy Volt will drop by $5,000:

The 2014 model will start at $34,995...

If consumers include federal tax credits ranging from $0-$7,500 (depending on individual tax liability), pricing could start at $27,495.