BMW, Daimler, Ford and VW are planning a joint venture for ultra-fast, high-power charging stations along major highways in Europe. The goal is the quick buildup of a sizable number of stations to enable long-range travel for battery electric vehicle drivers, an important step toward facilitating mass-market battery electric vehicle adoption. The projected ultra-fast charging network with power levels up to 350 kilowatts will be significantly faster than the most powerful charging system deployed today. An initial target is 400 stations with “thousands” planned by the year 2020. This does raise the question of whether auto makers could form the same kind of program here in the U.S.
Look for information on the new Ford Fiesta right here tomorrow.
The best lease deals these days are being offered on the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Infiniti Q50, according to Kelley Blue Book. The top deals for cash back and financing deals are being offered on the Hyundai Velostar, and the VW Golf.
Rearview cameras, soon to be standard on all new vehicles, can be expected to prevent nearly 1 in 6 police-reported backing crashes, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The study compared rates of backing crashes for vehicles equipped with optional rearview cameras from four manufacturers with crash rates for the same models without the feature. On average, the cameras cut such crashes by 16 percent. Drivers ages 70 and older appeared to benefit the most.
The Grand Cherokee has earned a five star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, its highest rating. That includes testing for a frontal collision with another vehicle, a side impact with another vehicle and a side impact with a pole.