U.S. Alternative Energy Correspondent
Nichola's Feed
Nov 20, 2014

Henrik Fisker is back with a souped up Mustang

LOS ANGELES, Nov 20 (Reuters) – A year after the
government-backed electric car company bearing his name filed
for bankruptcy, Henrik Fisker is back.

The Danish designer on Thursday will unveil a souped up Ford
Mustang to be sold in limited numbers by Galpin Auto
Sports, a Southern California car dealership that specializes in
customizing vehicles.

Nov 19, 2014

Cadillac boss envisions $250,000 flagship car – in 2029

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Cadillac’s new boss believes General Motors’ premium brand could eventually sell ultra-luxury cars that retail for a quarter-million dollars by 2029.

“It is too early today for a $250,000 Cadillac,” said Johann de Nysschen, in an interview on Wednesday at the annual auto show here. “Fifteen years from now, it won’t be.”

Nov 19, 2014

Alfa Romeo expansion on track, Fiat Chrysler executive says

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The sporty Alfa Romeo brand’s growth into one of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ main global brands, along with an imminent U.S. relaunch, is on target, its North American chief said at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday.

Reid Bigland, who also heads U.S. sales for the Chrysler Group, said FCA’s commitment of $6.5 billion to revamp Alfa Romeo makes the company’s lofty sales goal announced earlier this year “achievable.”

Nov 18, 2014

Exclusive: NRG betting big on rooftop solar in California

By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – U.S. power company NRG Energy Inc aims to grab a bigger piece of the residential solar industry by expanding its business in California, the nation’s biggest solar market, and offering a new financing option to its customers.

NRG Home Solar on Tuesday will announce two new offices and plans to add 100 employees in the Golden State. The company is already a top competitor on the East Coast but has lagged rivals such as SolarCity Corp and Vivint Solar Inc in California.

Nov 18, 2014

Toyota aims to replicate Prius success with fuel cell Mirai

NEWPORT BEACH California (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp on Monday said it will introduce its first mass-market fuel cell car in the United States next year, hoping to replicate the success of its Prius hybrid with a vehicle that runs on hydrogen instead of gasoline.

The four-person sedan named Mirai, the Japanese word for “future”, will be at California dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2015. Only 200 will be available in the United States next year, with volumes increasing to 3,000 by 2017, executives said at a press conference in Newport Beach, California.

Nov 13, 2014

Exclusive: Controversial U.S. energy loan program has wiped out losses

By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – The controversial government program that funded failed solar company Solyndra, and became a lighting rod in the 2012 presidential election, is officially in the black.

According to a report by the Department of Energy, interest payments to the government from projects funded by the Loan Programs Office were $810 million as of September – higher than the $780 million in losses from loans it sustained from startups including Fisker Automotive, Abound Solar and Solyndra, which went bankrupt after receiving large government loans intended to help them bring their advanced green technologies to market.

Nov 13, 2014

Controversial U.S. energy loan program has wiped out losses

Nov 13 (Reuters) – The controversial government program that
funded failed solar company Solyndra, and became a lighting rod
in the 2012 presidential election, is officially in the black.

According to a report by the Department of Energy, interest
payments to the government from projects funded by the Loan
Programs Office were $810 million as of September – higher than
the $780 million in losses from loans it sustained from startups
including Fisker Automotive, Abound Solar and Solyndra, which
went bankrupt after receiving large government loans intended to
help them bring their advanced green technologies to market.

Oct 27, 2014

Stealthy Norwegian entrepreneur aims to revolutionize U.S. energy storage

Oct 27 (Reuters) – Jostein Eikeland, a Norwegian
entrepreneur with a mixed record of success, is hoping to jolt
the world of energy storage.

On Tuesday, Eikeland’s latest venture, Alevo, will unveil a
battery that he says will last longer and ultimately cost far
less than rival technologies.

Oct 22, 2014

Big utilities pushing into booming home solar market

Oct 22 (Reuters) – For years, the utilities responsible for
providing electricity to the nation have treated residential
solar systems as a threat. Now, they want a piece of the action,
and they are having to fight for the chance.

If utilities embrace home solar, their deep pockets and
access to customers could transform what has been a
fast-growing, but niche industry. Solar powers only half a
million U.S. homes and businesses, according to solar market
research firm GTM Research.

Oct 10, 2014

Tesla unveils all-wheel drive Model S, ‘autopilot’ features

By Nichola Groom

HAWTHORNE Calif. (Reuters) – Tesla Motors Inc on Thursday took its first step toward automated driving, unveiling features that will allow its electric sedan to park itself and sense dangerous situations.

The company also said it will roll out an all-wheel drive option of the Model S sedan that can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds yet doesn’t compromise the vehicle’s efficiency.