New York state legislature fails to address anti-Tesla EV bill

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Tesla Motors, Legislation and Policy

Tesla Motors service bay with Model S in red and white

A surprise pair of bills in the New York State Assembly that would have narrowly targeted Tesla Motors and its direct-to-customer sales model has been put in neutral. The State Assembly ended the 2013 legislative session Friday without taking action on the bill and, since the lawmakers will not reconvene until January, it is effectively dormant for now.

Tesla said that had the bill passed, it would have had to close its stores and stop operations in New York, which is why Tesla CEO Elon Musk took a personal interest in the situation when it hit the headlines late last week. Once the bill was stopped, Musk tweeted, “The kill Tesla bill in NY was stopped in the 11th hour due to public outcry. Am super grateful to everyone who helped.”

Behind the scenes, Automotive News reports that there were attempts at dealmaking that Tesla turned down. The Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association said it would allow Tesla’s existing New York stores (all three of them) to keep operating but would not allow new stores to open. Tesla turned down the deal. A Republican sponsor of the bill also offered to put in a Tesla exception, so as not to “adversely impact any business operating in the state of New York,” Senator Lee Zeldin told AN.

The president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, Mark Schienberg, told AN that Tesla should just set up dealers like other automakers (something Musk has explained is a bad idea) and that Musk has “just chosen that he’d rather not follow any of the rules and regulations and standards that each state has, and that’s why there’s a pushback right now.”

The “pushback” here was started when the New York dealers association filed a suit against Tesla in late 2012. The NY State Supreme Court ruled this year that they did not have a claim to file suit. With this case and more pushback in Texas and Massachusetts and other states, we wouldn’t be at all surprised if this issue goes national at some point.

New York state legislature fails to address anti-Tesla EV bill originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Mon, 24 Jun 2013 14:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: New York Taxi Commission moves to ban Lexus RX 450h

Filed under: Hybrid, Government/Legal, Crossover, Lexus

NYC Taxi

With over 13,000 taxis in Manhattan, it’s easy to blend in. Over half of those taxis are of the Crown Victoria variety, while a quarter are Ford Escape models. Hybrids are beginning to enter the New York taxi fleets in solid numbers, but a certain model has been singled out as being “too powerful.”

The New York Times reports that The Taxi and Limousine Commission has recently passed a regulation removing the Lexus RX 450h from the list of approved cabs. We’ve never thought of the RX hybrid as “too powerful,” but that doesn’t seem to matter to the commission.

The move, while a bit odd, will only affect six cab owners. But those owners dropped over $40,000 for their high-end taxis, and more money was spent adding the required yellow paint, lights, a camera and television screen. The owners are hoping to have their Lexus cabs grandfathered in before the Nissan NV200 van is officially ushered in as the Taxi of Tomorrow, but the Taxi and Limousine Commission isn’t commenting on the issue.

For our money, it seems as though the Commission is a bit off on this one. After all, most any passenger is going to enjoy the luxury taxi experience, especially since the fares are the same as they are in an Escape or Crown Vic. And “too powerful?” Seriously?

New York Taxi Commission moves to ban Lexus RX 450h originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 18 May 2011 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Can’t make the New York Auto Show? Take a virtual tour with a hot model

Filed under: New York Auto Show, Videos

serene hosting new york auto show after dark

Serene brings us the 2011 New York Auto Show After Dark – Click above to watch video after the jump

The public portion of the 2011 New York Auto Show is in full swing, but not everyone can (or wants) to make the trip to the Big Apple. The producers of the show have come up with a solution, which allows you to check out the action from the comfort of your favorite computin’ chair.

Your host for New York Auto Show After Dark is an attractive lass named Serene. She and her crew have put together a few videos, giving you a look at a few select vehicles and events at the 2011 NYIAS. Click past the jump to view the clips and take in a bit more of the New York Auto Show.

Of course, you can also see high-res image galleries of all the new vehicles from the show right here.

[Source: YouTube]

Continue reading Can’t make the New York Auto Show? Take a virtual tour with a hot model

Can’t make the New York Auto Show? Take a virtual tour with a hot model originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Apr 2011 19:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Autoblog Podcast #227: with Brock Yates, Jr. of One Lap of America, New York recap and more!

Filed under: New York Auto Show, Podcasts, Government/Legal, Safety, Acura, Infiniti, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi

Click above for the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes, RSS or listen now!

Brock Yates, Jr. joins Chris Shunk, Dan Roth and Chris Paukert for Autoblog Podcast #227 to talk about the 2011 Tire Rack One Lap of America, which starts this weekend. The crew also recaps the New York International Auto Show, Mitsubishi pulling the plug on the Eclipse and Endeavor, the push for standardizing push-button starting systems and your feedback and questions with the Q&A module. We’ve re-posted the Q&A at the bottom of this post so you can play along at home, too. Thanks for listening, we’ll see you next week!

Autoblog Podcast #227: with Brock Yates, Jr. of One Lap of America, New York recap and more!

  • New York Auto Show Wrap-up
  • Mitsubishi to kill off Eclipse, Endeavor
  • Fed mulling regulating push-button start
  • Scion iQ delayed due to parts shortages
  • Hyundai launches Assurance trade-in value guarantee

In the Autoblog Garage:

2012 Acura TL SH-AWD
2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo
2011 Infiniti M35h
2012 Mazda CX-7

Hosts: Dan Roth, Chris Shunk, Chris Paukert
Guest: Brock Yates, Jr.
  • Runtime: 01:35:20


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Autoblog Podcast #227: with Brock Yates, Jr. of One Lap of America, New York recap and more! originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 26 Apr 2011 15:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Cab Cannonball? Men take taxi ride from New York to Los Angeles [w/video]

Filed under: SUV, Etc., Videos, Ford, Specialty

men take ford escape taxi cab across the country

Men take taxi ride from New York to Los Angeles – Click above to watch the video after the jump

We’ve taken a couple crazy cab rides in our lifetime, but we’ve never paid up for a ride that took us from New York to Los Angeles. John Belitsky and his buddy Dan Wuebben have done the deed, though, with cabbie Mohammed Alam providing the yellow Ford Escape taxi. The cost? $5,000. The media attention from paying a cabbie five grand to take you cross country? Priceless.

If you’re thinking that this sounds like the script to a movie, Belitsky is probably thinking the same thing. CNN reports that the investment banker and son of a cab driver is heading to Hollywood to pitch the story as a movie idea, adding “we’re going to take it to some movie people when we get there and see what happens.”

We’re all for a good (and we stress “good“) road trip movie, but we’re more impressed with the fact that Belitsky was able to convince a cab driver to take the fare in the first place. The traveling pair reportedly asked more than a few cabbies if they were up for the journey, but only Alam was interested in risking the hefty fare. But even at $5,000, Belitsky got off easy on the trip. We’re guessing the trip would have cost at least three times as much if the meter were actually running, and the cab driver still had to get his Escape all the way back to the Big Apple.

Hit the jump to watch a WBIR video report about the trio’s momentous road trip.

[Source: CNN]

Continue reading Cab Cannonball? Men take taxi ride from New York to Los Angeles [w/video]

Cab Cannonball? Men take taxi ride from New York to Los Angeles [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 26 Apr 2011 15:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New York 2011: We check out VW’s new Fender audio systems

Filed under: Coupe, Sedan, Technology, Volkswagen

2012 Volkswagen New Beetle

At the 2011 New York Auto Show we experienced the 400-watt, nine-speaker Fender premium audio system in the Volkswagen Passat, Jetta GLI and Beetle, the three models in which it will be offered. When VW announced the partnership last December, the company said “Volkswagen and Fender put the concert in the car.” That wasn’t just a reference to getting good sounds in your ride, it was also a clue to how you’d get that sound. But before we even sat down in the Passat for a listen, our first question was: why Fender?

Continue reading New York 2011: We check out VW’s new Fender audio systems…

Photos copyright (C)2011 Jonathon Ramsey / AOL

Continue reading New York 2011: We check out VW’s new Fender audio systems

New York 2011: We check out VW’s new Fender audio systems originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 22 Apr 2011 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New York 2011: Every new VW Beetle will be a second-generation design

Filed under: Coupe, Volkswagen, Design/Style

2012 VW New Beetle on display in New York
2012 Volkswagen Beetle – Click above for high-res image gallery
Volkswagen made a big deal about having the original Beetle in the studio when the designers went to work on the 2012 Beetle, so at the 2011 New York Auto Show, we spoke to Rainer Michel, vice president of product marketing and strategy for VW of America, about why that decision was so important.

“What we did in ’98 was the right car for that time,” he said, “but this one is more true to the design of the original,” a design philosophy that is apparent in items like the decreased rake of the A-pillar and the flattened line of the roof that descends further back and more cleanly into the bumper.

And Michel said that the next time they redesign the Beetle, they’ll again return to the source. “We went back to the original and did a design based on that, and when we do the next one we’ll go back to the original. Maybe we’ll go in a different direction, but it comes from the original.” The idea is that the third generation of the New Beetle won’t be a redesign of the current car, it will be another modernized version of the original.

As to the increased masculinity of the 2012 Beetle, Michel said, “The last car was about 60/40 female to male.” He intimated he’d be happy with a 50/50 split, but what was more important to him was getting away from that concern at all. “We wanted a car with good interior space, more shoulder room and head clearance, a car which accommodates passengers nicely and has a range of powertrains,” he said. “The car shouldn’t depend on any demographics.”

Gallery: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle: New York 2011

2012 Volkswagen Beetle2012 Volkswagen Beetle2012 Volkswagen Beetle2012 Volkswagen Beetle2012 Volkswagen Beetle

Live photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

New York 2011: Every new VW Beetle will be a second-generation design originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 22 Apr 2011 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 New York Auto Show Round Up

Filed under: New York Auto Show

New York Auto Show

It’s official. Our coverage of the 2011 New York Auto Show has come to an end. Take a look at every significant automobile that we covered from The Big Apple. There’s something here for everyone, from sports cars to budget rides to mainstream machines. That’s a total of 33 vehicles, for those keeping track. Got any favorites? Let us hear about them in the Comments. See ya in New York next year!

2012 Fiat 500c

2012 Shelby GTS
2012 Honda Civic
2012 Kia Rio 2011 Chrysler 200S 2012 Mazda3

2012 Jaguar XF
Suzuki EcoCharge Concept

2012 Kia Soul
Suzuki Apex Concept

2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
2012 Dodge Avenger R/T

Facebook 911 GT3 R

2013 Chevy Malibu Eco

2012 300C Executive

Nissan Leaf NISMO RC

MB SLS AMG Gulf Livery
Scion FR-S Concept
2012 Chrysler 300C SRT8 2011 Jeep Wrangler Mojave 2012 VW Beetle

2012MB C63 AMG
2012 Nissan Versa

2011 Subaru Impreza
2012 Ford Taurus SHO

2012 Chrysler 300S
2012 Jeep SRT8

2011 Panamera Turbo S

2012 Hyundai Accent

Lexus LF-Gh Concept

MB Concept A-Class

2012 MB E63 AMG

2013 Chevrolet Malibu

2011 New York Auto Show Round Up originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Apr 2011 20:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New York 2011: Chrysler’s SRT division open to smaller engines, but there’s still a market for big V8s

Filed under: Sedan, Performance, SUV, Chrysler, Luxury

2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 6.4-liter HEMI V8

2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 – Click above for high-res image gallery
When asked about Chrysler’s Street Racing Technology (SRT) division rolling out another big-bore, high-horsepower engine at the 2011 New York Auto Show, Dan Reid, the company’s head of media relations, said “there’s a market for it – cars that go fast and sound good.”

Joseph Grace, the vehicle line manager for the SRT division, agreed that “big, naturally-aspirated V8s” can still find enough buyers to support halo cars. The tuning arm is open, however, to less potent options. “There’s a precedent for four-cylinders [with the Dodge Neon SRT4], and a 6 [on the Crossfire SRT6], and when we get the right platform we’ll look at it again.” Added Reid, “The five areas for SRT are powertrain, braking, handling, interior and exterior,” and any potential SRT vehicle has to live up to that first qualification. Grace then told us that the 6.4-liter engine in the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, with its cylinder deactivation and active exhaust system, was “the most efficient way to deliver the kind of performance the customer expects.”

“We had great success with the SRT4 and there’s a trend toward smaller displacement turbo engines, there’s actually a demographic that that appeals to,” Grace said. But when asked whether there could be something like an Dodge Journey SRT, Grace suggested not and said, “That’s why we have the Man Van.”

As for where else Chrysler is looking for special models, Reid said, “Want to expand the 300 model line to a car for every personality, tailor models to different customers. Right now we have a ‘bare-bones’ model, the 300, 300 S, 300C Executive, and SRT8. We’re looking at the non-traditional customer and seeing what they’d like.”

Gallery: 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8: New York 2011

Live photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

New York 2011: Chrysler’s SRT division open to smaller engines, but there’s still a market for big V8s originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Apr 2011 19:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New York 2011: Jeep says point of 2012 Grand Cherokee SRT8 was better, not faster

Filed under: New York Auto Show, Performance, SUV, Jeep, Luxury, Off-Road

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 – Click above for high-res image gallery

At the 2011 New York Auto Show, we asked Joseph Grace, vehicle line executive for the SRT line, about the specs on the new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 – specifically, why didn’t they make it… more. The previous Grand Cherokee SRT8 was said to reach 60 miles per hour “in under five seconds” while the new one is pegged at 4.8 seconds. While that’s an improvement of, at most, one-nineteenth of a second, it puts it right about square with the Mercedes ML63 AMG and at least three-tenths of a second adrift of the BMW X5 M.

But Grace said that wasn’t really the point. “The major issues customers had that we wanted to address,” he said, “were the ride, the exhaust, and fuel economy and range.” This wasn’t about making a faster SUV, it was about filling in the gaps of the previous model.

The center-mounted exhaust was swapped for dual pipes at the corners. The engine technologies – “it’s the first time we’ve coupled all-out performance with cylinder deactivation and active exhaust,” Grace said – have yielded better gas mileage and longer range.

The adaptive ride suspension developed in conjunction with Bilstein addresses the handling issues with five settings. On the matter of having a Track setting in such serious tonnage, Grace said “It was an application we had available with the adaptive damping.” It shunts a little more torque to the rear wheels, going to a 60/40 front-to-rear split instead of 65/35, but Grace says “The track setting will keep the tires on the ground and makes [the ride] stiff but it can still be used on the road.”

As for those German rivals, Grace said “We haven’t announced pricing, but in comparison to the others it will be a benchmark in performance-for-value in a super-equipped vehicle.”

Gallery: 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8: New York 2011

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 at the 2011 New York Auto Show2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 at the 2011 New York Auto Show2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 at the 2011 New York Auto Show2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 at the 2011 New York Auto Show2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 at the 2011 New York Auto Show

Live photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

New York 2011: Jeep says point of 2012 Grand Cherokee SRT8 was better, not faster originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Apr 2011 18:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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