Archive for May, 2012

Kia Rio exploresYosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park. Its natural beauty is jaw-dropping, almost too magnificent to comprehend. Yet it’s everywhere, from the skyrocketing spires and gigantic mountain perches, to the many waterfalls that pour from the heavens into the lush, green, pristine valley below.

We took the 2012 Kia Rio EX five-door sedan with Eco fuel-saving transmission on an adventure to the amazing, breathtaking YosemiteNational Park. The roads into and around the 7.3 million-acre park (95 percent wilderness) take you on a journey that reaches nearly 8,000 feet at Glacier Point to sea level in the Central Valley of California.

Not only was the Kia Rio up to the task of tackling the steep mountains and deep valleys in and around the park, but it did so with amazing power and fuel efficiency.

Yosemite offers an abundant list of things to do for people of all ages and abilities. You can hike the many wilderness trails that wind up and around the many waterfalls that cascade into the valley floor below. Or you can ride a bike, take a walk, paint a picture or . . . climb the shear face of 7,500-foot- tall El Capitan (experienced and fearless climbers only).

The Kia Rio achieves its remarkable fuel mileage by super timing an inline 4-cylinder, 1.6-liter engine to get 30 miles per gallon in city driving, and 40 mpg on the highway. For our trip from Los Angeles to Yosemite, we averaged just about 37 mpg in all sorts of challenging terrains. Very impressive!

The Kia Rio also features an “Auto Stop” function that shuts down the engine when you come to a stop. Interestingly, when the engine starts back up, it creates an audible noise that sounds just like an engine starting up. It was a bit unnerving at first, but we soon became used to its constant starting and stopping sounds.

In these times of economic stress, it’s important to get away and enjoy some of the most awesome natural wonders this world has to offer. Yosemite National Park is a look back in time, back millions of year to a time when glaciers retreated and created a landscape that is so dramatic, and so magnificent, that you just have to see it to believe it.

Just a short drive from the major cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento, Yosemite is a place that everyone should visit at lest once. And chances are that once you’ve been there, you will want to return.

Check out the stunning video here.

For more information:

Yosemite National Park

Kia Motors


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FedEx adding electric trucks; Tesla S delivering soon

There’s a lot of activity in the electric vehicle market these days and Green Family Car wants to share it with the world. Here is today’s Green Car Recharge:

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

FedEx hopes electric trucks will deliver savings

ImageThe Memphis company will deploy 34 electric trucks in the Bay Area this year and will roll out another 53 elsewhere in the country. Some are already here, at a distribution facility in Menlo Park.

The trucks, made by Navistar International Corp. and Smith Electric Vehicles, have a battery range of 100 miles – bad for rural routes but perfect for the Bay Area’s dense street grid.

Read more  

And from the Los Angeles Times:

Tesla to start deliveries of Model S electric cars next month

ImageTesla Motors Inc. said it will begin delivering its first mass production electric car -– the high-end Model S to customers starting June 22, about a month ahead of the expected schedule.

The Palo Alto-based company says it has more than 10,000 orders for the battery-powered car but that not all will be delivered this year.


And from Automotive News:

Ford is shipping Focus Electric to dealers

DETROIT (Reuters) — Ford Motor Co. started shipping its first electric passenger car to dealers this past weekend, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

ImageAbout 350 Focus Electric cars will be sent to 67 dealers in California, New Jersey and New York over the next couple weeks. Manufacturing executives signed off on the decision on Friday.

Each dealer will get about six cars, one of which will be a demonstration model, the people said.

Read more

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The future of electric transportation is on display at EVS26

Toyota and Tesla teamed together to make the biggest announcement at today’s Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS26) at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Here’s a portion of the press release from Toyota:

LOS ANGELES (May 7, 2012) — Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. today revealed the highly anticipated all-new Toyota RAV4 EV at the 26th annual Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles. This all-electric SUV has an expected driving range rating of approximately 100 miles and charging time of approximately six hours on a 240V/40A charger. The RAV4 EV’s driving performance, dynamics and cargo capacity are equal to or exceed the gas powered RAV4 V6. Arriving fully-equipped with an MSRP of $49,800 the RAV4 EV doesn’t compromise on performance, comfort or versatility.
This marks Toyota’s first entry into the all-electric vehicle market after achieving such tremendous success in the hybrid market with the Prius, the Prius V and the Prius C as well as the Prius Plug-In hybrid vechile coming on the market this year. According to Toyota’s Bob Carter, the RAV4 EV will be built in Fremont, California at the former New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) plant that was established as a joint venture in 1984 to manufacture vehicles to be sold under both brands.
“It’s all about blending the best of two worlds,” said Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota division. “The all-new RAV4 EV marries the efficiency of an EV with the versatility of a small SUV – in fact, it is the only all-electric SUV on the market.”

The RAV4 EV is the product of a unique collaboration with Tesla Motors spurred by Akio Toyoda, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation. Twenty-two months after the project announcement, Toyota and Tesla engineers have succeeded in bringing an outstanding product to market in record time.

Tesla is also set to roll out its new all-electrfic model “S” sedan sometime this summer.

Among the other highlights of EVS26 is the introduction of a plan to create an “E Highway” where electric trucks will can drive in specific lanes that have electric wires above the lane to power the truck and a large battery pack that powers the vehicle when it is out of the electric lane.

The plan, introduced by global energy powerhouse Siemens, could eventually eliminate the smelly, fuel-hogging diesel trucks that move freight from the ships docked in the port of Los Angeles up the 110 freeway to distribution points throughout the city.

That plan is welcomed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who accepted the Electric Vehicle Visionary Award for the City of Los Angeles in the morning session kicking off EVS26.


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