This Week in Car World

What's new in electric cars. GM to build its own electric engines in U.S.

There was plenty of action on electric and hybrid cars this week. A new study concludes, "Powering a car on electricity would result in 93 percent less smog-forming volatile organic compounds and 31 percent less nitrogen oxide emissions than powering a car on gasoline. If half of the light vehicles in the United States were electric vehicles powered by completely clean electricity in 2030, total fleet emissions would be reduced by 62 percent. If three-fourths of American vehicles including cars, pick-up trucks, SUVs and vans were electric, oil use would be reduced by about one-third. Operating costs of plug-in cars are likely to be significantly lower than those of gasoline-powered cars. Electricity costs three to five cents per mile with average electric rates, or the equivalent of $0.75 to $1.25 per gallon of gasoline." That study comes from Environment Arizona.

The fad for electrics and hybrids has now reached the outer limits. Even swanky brand Ferrari plans to unveil a hybrid soon. And never averse to making an extra thou on selling a new car, the auto industry now stands accused of deliberately inflating hybrid car costs by loading them down with unwanted extras. In Ventura, they’ve rolled out a hybrid school bus. Good idea because those buses spend a lot of time sitting with engines running, a great source of energy savings with a hybrid engine that can idle with only battery power.

And there’s even been a demo of the “smart garage” that presumably would talk to your smart home via the smart grid. Here’s the youtube video.

MADE IN THE U.S.A.

Perhaps the most interesting, electrifying news: General Motors will eventually build its own electric car engines. And in the United States. Perhaps a tiny pay-back for all those billions taxpayers shelled out last year to save GM’s rancid bacon. The engines will be built at a plant in Maryland.