North American Car And Truck Of The Year Finalsts Announced

Finalists for the North American Car and Truck of the Year have been announced, with Chrysler dominating the truck field, and electric vehicles comprising 2/3rds of the car category.

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Nissan Shows Off Leaf Assembly Process (Video Inside)

While General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt build video has been making the internet rounds recently, Nissan decided to counter the PR onslaught with a similar video, showing the Leaf’s own assembly.

Of course, Nissan has one-upped the Volt by producing a longer, more in-depth video, and even us jaded journos have to admit it’s pretty damn cool. Check it out for yourself.

Hit the jump to see the Nissan Leaf production video

[Source: Nissan]

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GM Announces 1,000 New Jobs In Michigan For EV Research

General Motors has announced that it’s hiring 1,000 people over the next couple years to help improve electric vehicle related infastructure, as well as charging, motor and battery technology.

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Renault To Launch EV With 150 Mile Range By 2015

Renault is already one of the auto industry’s leaders in electric vehicles, investing enormous sums in the Better Place battery swap technology and introducing one of the first mass-market electric cars with their Nissan division, in the form of the Leaf hatchback.

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Mitsubishi Builds 5000th I-MiEV Electric Car

Mitsubishi recently reached a milestone with the completion of their 5000th i-MiEV electric car, which rolled off the line at its Mizushima plant this week.

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GM Daewood Planning Two New Subcompacts For Europe, Electric Vehicles For Korea

General Motors is harnessing the small car expertise of their Daewoo division to develop two new small cars, an upscale hatchback to be branded as a Vauxhall or Opel products, and a smaller, less expensive version likely to be sold as a Chevrolet.

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Chevrolet Volt Wins Big From Automobile, Motor Trend

The Chevrolet Volt has won two major magazine awards, becoming Automobile Magazine’s Automobile Of The Year and Motor Trend’s Car Of The Year.

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Ford Focus EV To Launch In 14 States As Well As Washington D.C.

Ford will sell an all-electric version of its Focus compact in 14 states, including Washington, D.C. when the vehicle goes on sale at the end of 2011.

Among the locations where the Focus EV will be offered are Atlanta, Austin, Houston, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Orlando, Phoenix, Tucson, Portland, Raleigh Durham, Richmond, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

With a 100 mile range, the Focus EV won’t be cut out for much beyond the usual urban commuting, and owners will be able to attend seminars that educate participants on topics such as charging the car’s batteries.

Hit the jump to view the official press release

[Source: Ford]

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Toyota Teases RAV4 EV Ahead Of Los Angeles Auto Show Debut

The next product from Tesla is not the long awaited Model S sedan, but something far more plebian – a Toyota RAV4 using a Tesla derived battery pack and electric propulsion system.

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First Chevrolet Volt TV Ad Hits the Web Before World Series Debut

Chevrolet will debut their first television commercial for their Volt electric car during Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday. The ad will tout the Volt’s ability to go farther than other electric vehicles by using its gasoline-engine range extender.

The range issue is a major concern for many potential EV customers, and Chevrolet is hoping to position the Volt as one that can be more than just urban transportation. Shots of freeways, suburban neighborhoods and rural two-lane roads feature prominently throughout the ad, ostensibly to highlight the Volt’s ability to drive extended distances.

Don’t want to wait for the World Series to start? Check out the commercial after the jump:

[Source: Chevrolet Volt]

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Report: Nissan Leaf Hits 60 MPH in 7 Seconds

While a car’s 0-60 time is far from a perfect metric for evaluating performance, it does act as a heuristic, giving us a quick and easy method to judge how a car does in a straight line.

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Nissan Leaf Begins Production Today, 250,000 To Be Built By 2012

Nissan‘s Oppama plant, located south of Tokyo, began producing the Leaf electric vehicle, with exports commencing in November. Nissan is also building plants in the United States and Europe to help with production, but initial vehicles will be built in Japan.

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Nissan To Display Plug-In Sedan At Los Angeles Auto Show

Nissan has released information about a new plug-in sedan set to debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, a vehicle known as the Ellure. No details or photos have been released, but a nice bit of marketing fluff states that “Nissan’s dramatic new-value sedan exploration, the Nissan Ellure, is designed to bring a higher level of progressive and distinctive expression to the segment – adding passion and emotion to traditional sedan efficiency.”

The Ellure will debut alongside the Murano CrossCabriolet, as well as the new Quest minivan. Hit the jump to see the official press release.

[Source: Nissan]

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Chevrolet Volt Production Numbers Get A Bump

General Motors is increasing Chevrolet Volt production numbers in 2012, from 30,000 to 45,000 to a maximum output of 60,000 units.

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Toyota/Tesla RAV4 EV Will Cost Toyota $60 Million

Toyota‘s initial investment of $50 million in its partnership with Tesla will also cost the company another $60 million in development costs needed to bring its RAV4 EV to market.

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