The LA Auto Show kicked off this week, and among the big, bulky, and expensive gas-guzzlers, there's also an army of small, eco-friendly, and electric vehicles that are taking the show by storm. Check out a few of my faves in the slideshow and tell me — would you consider driving one of these cars?
Move over Batmobile, if there's one car straight from a movie we'd take home in a heartbeat, a DeLorean in the style of Back to the Future is at the top of the list. A built-in flux capacitor isn't even required. And as it turns out, the DeLorean Motor Company is still in business, repairing parts from old DMC-12 vehicles and even building new custom cars using 80 percent original DeLorean parts and 20 percent modern engine technology.
The DMC has joined forces with an electric car company, called Epic EV, to produce a new fully electric DeLorean. A prototype of the electric DeLorean, called the DMCEV, was displayed at last week's International DeLorean Owners Event in Houston. The two companies hope to have the DMCEV in production by 2013. The ultimate fan car and good for the environment! Pricing details weren't released alongside the DMCEV's unveiling; how much would you be willing to pay to bring a piece of your favorite movie home?
Living in a big city can create all kinds of transportation nightmares — packed buses, expensive cabs, and traffic everywhere. And while you should always try to reduce your carbon footprint where you can (riding a bike or walking is ideal!), having a small car when you need it is a lifesaver. The good news is, you don't have to join the Mini or Smart Car masses — break away from the crowd and check out the 2012 Fiat 500 instead. Making its debut in the US this year, the Fiat 500 (and cabriolet version, the 500c) is the perfect city car. I should know — I recently bought one!
The Fiat 500 is small enough to fit in those tiny "in-between driveway spaces" that regular cars are too big for, but is big enough to hold four adults and is incredibly fun to drive (especially with the top down!). This little car is easy on gas (up to 38mpg), adorable, and — wouldn't you know it — tech savvy, too. Check out these geeky facts about the Fiat 500 below.
- EcoDrive — The Fiat comes with a cool feature called EcoDrive that lets you download your driving information via USB, analyzes it, and then gives you tips on how to conserve gas the next time you hit the road.
- Blue&Me — Fiat teamed up with Microsoft to bring you a new way to make calls and listen to music while you're driving. Using your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, Blue&Me lets you use a series of voice commands to make calls, listen to incoming texts, navigate the road, and listen to MP3s stored on your phone without taking your hands off the wheel.
- MobileTrace — Better than LoJack, MobileTrace can track your Fiat in real time if it happens to get stolen and send you text alerts if someone's trying to break in, but you can also open and lock the car with your smartphone, and get alerted if your bro — who's borrowing it for the weekend — is going over the speed limit.
- MultiAir Engine — Fiat's patented MultiAir engine cuts down on gas consumption and emissions while at the same time, increasing power by controlling the air intake of your car. It's a revolutionary design that earned the title of International Engine of the Year in 2010.
Intrigued? Check out more images of the Fiat 500 and Fiat 500c in the gallery.
Fur flying and tongue flapping in the wind, many pups simply smile with heads out the car window. While it's not the safest thing to do for a couple of reasons — including the risk that he'll jump out and that bad things can get into his eyes, ears, or mouth — I still see it all the time. Am I seeing your pooch riding this way?
A hot day equals a hot dog, inside or out! Before bringing a pooch along for the ride, remember the risks of leaving a dog in the car for a "quick errand." Ever notice how warm you feel opening the door once again? Well, imagine how a pup feels trapped inside that greenhouse on a Summer day. In case you're tempted to try this out at home, and the poster below isn't sign enough, take this quiz to see some shocking stats to change your mind.Take the Quiz
With road trips, soccer practice runs, grabbing groceries, daycare drop-offs, and more, it's important that your car is economical, built to last, and offers some family-friendly features to make it easier for you to transport your tots. The good news is more car companies are incorporating nifty kid-oriented characteristics into their cars to qualify a vehicle as a family car. And because of this, parents are left with a wide variety of choices to suit their particular needs. Here are some 2011 models that are taking the "kid-friendly" motto to a whole new level.
Thanks in part to skyrocketing gas prices, earth-friendly electric cars are getting more popular in America. While home owners have the luxury of adding an electric car charger to their garages, apartment dwellers (like myself) are not so lucky. Fact is, I would definitely consider an electric car purchase if more charging stations were made publicly available. So imagine my excitement when I heard that San Francisco is in the process of installing around 90 electric charging stations in public parking garages that can be used for free until 2013. All of the stations can be found on Google Maps, and some are already up and running in the city. The stations will provide both 140 and 240 volt chargers, which would juice up a car like the Nissan Leaf in about three hours.
I'm a big fan of the Nissan Leaf, but that's not the only all-electric car to keep your eye on. Check out a few others in this slideshow!
Happy Earth Day! In honor of the eco-conscious holiday, we're taking a look at five different all-electric or hybrid cars that are easier on the planet. Thanks to their low emissions and near zero gas dependencies, you'll be spending less at the pump (if anything at all!), and driving a lot cleaner in the process. Which one is your favorite? Take a look at all their features and vote in the gallery!