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Insight: In green car race, Toyota adds muscle with fuel-cell launch

By Norihiko Shirouzu, Paul Lienert and Yoko Kubota TOYOTA CITY, Japan/IRVINE, California (Reuters) - In 1997, Toyota caught its competitors by surprise with the revolutionary Prius, the first commercially successful gasoline-electric hybrid car. Now, the Japanese firm is trying to do the same with a technology that seems straight out of science fiction. Toyota Motor Corp will next year launch a hydrogen-powered car in the United States, Japan and Europe. For now, people at Toyota are calling it the 2015 FC car, for fuel-cell.

S. Korea adds another system to its EV charging standard

SEOUL, April 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has decided to incorporate an electric vehicle (EV) charging standard used by U.S. and European car manufacturers after an industry study showed that it is compatible with the country's smart grid, a local auto company said Thursday.

GM investing $449M in 2 Detroit-area plants to build next-generation Volt; more jobs expected

DETROIT - General Motors plans to invest $449 million in two Detroit-area factories to build the next-generation Chevrolet Volt hybrid electric car and two unspecified new vehicles. The company said the investment eventually will bring a second shift at the Detroit assembly plant that makes the Volt and other cars. But it wouldn't say how many jobs would be added or when the people would be hired. The plant now employs about 1,600 on a single shift.

Fact sheet: 2014 Cadillac ELR

2014 Cadillac ELR BASE PRICE: $75,995. PRICE AS TESTED: $82,135. TYPE: Front-engine, front-wheel drive, four-passenger, subcompact, plug-in, extended-range electric-gasoline coupe. ENGINE: 162-kilowatt drive electric motors, 16.5-kilowatt lithium ion battery pack and 1.4-litre, double overhead cam four cylinder. MILEAGE: 82 mpg equivalent (combined city/highway on all electric), 33 mpg (combined city/highway on gasoline engine). ELECTRIC RANGE: Up to 37 miles from full battery charge after 5 hours at 240 volts. TOP SPEED: 106 mph.

Chinese cities open up green car markets as government battles pollution

By Samuel Shen and Kazunori Takada SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Three of China's biggest cities are helping consumers pay for a range of electric cars, heeding calls to encourage the sale of green vehicles that the government sees helping tackle pollution. China's smoggy skies topped the agenda at the annual parliamentary session this year, while Premier Li Keqiang in January demonstrated the importance of green cars by visiting a factory of BYD Co Ltd, maker of the e6 pure electric car.

Rough road ahead for GM as U.S. Congress plots safety probe

By Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. congressional investigation into General Motors Co automobile defects will bring aggressive scrutiny to a company with powerful lobbying clout and strong ties on Capitol Hill. GM's recall of 1.6 million vehicles, due to an ignition-switch problem linked to 12 fatalities, has put the Detroit automaker in Congress' cross hairs, with potentially dramatic hearings kicking off in April.

Toyota recalls 1.9 mn Prius cars worldwide

Toyota on Wednesday announced a global recall of 1.9 million of its signature Prius hybrid cars, dealing a blow to a brand favoured by the eco-conscious including Hollywood celebrities. The company said it decided on the call-back -- its biggest-ever for the vehicle -- after the discovery of problems with software used to control a power converter that posed a risk to drivers.

Toyota recalls 1.9 million Prius cars worldwide to fix software glitch

TOKYO - Toyota is recalling 1.9 million hybrid Prius cars globally for a software glitch that could cause the vehicle to stall. Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday that 997,000 Prius cars in Japan, some 713,000 in North America, another 130,000 in Europe and the rest in other regions are being recalled for a problem in the software to control the hybrid system. No accidents or injuries have been reported related to the problem. Toyota Canada says 13,791 Prius cars are being recalled in the country.

Toyota recalls 1.9 mn Prius cars worldwide

Japanese auto giant Toyota said Wednesday it was recalling 1.9 million of its Prius hybrid cars around the world because of a fault that might cause the vehicle to slow down suddenly. The company said there was a problem with software used to control a power converter. "In limited cases, the hybrid system might shut down and the vehicle will stop, perhaps while being driven," it said in a statement.

Too few charging ports for electric cars in Silicon Valley creates 'charge rage' incidents

PALO ALTO, Calif. - An increasing number of electric-vehicle driving employees at Silicon Valley companies are finding it hard to access car-charging stations at work, creating incidents of "charge rage" among drivers. Installation of electric vehicle charging ports at some companies has not kept pace with soaring demand, creating thorny etiquette issues in the workplace, the San Jose Mercury News reported (http://bit.ly/1joxwJ6).
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