Taxis in Holland, incentives in China, future models and other green-car trivia

A Tesla Model S demonstrator at the electric automaker's new Showroom-Service Center on Route 17 north in Paramus.


I don't envy all of those full-time auto writers and bloggers who have to scramble for green-car news.

Many of them write for sponsored sites, and range far and wide, even years into the future, in search of stories.

Look at all of the copy about the Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle, which isn't scheduled to come out until late in 2015.

But with a first-year production of only 2,100, it's unclear how many will be available in the United States.

What is clear is that Toyota dealers are sure to squeeze anyone who wants to buy one of the few available for a lot of added profit over the $57,500 base price, if past practice is any guide.

Junket to Japan

One of the blogs that wrote about the Mirai acknowledged Toyota provided airfare to Japan, lodging and meals to enable the writer "to bring you this first-person report."

Another blog, Gas2, even compared the Mirai to Tesla's Model S, which has been sold since 2012.

The writer did note there are only a "couple of dozen" public hydrogen fueling stations in the U.S.

China and Holland

I just read about air pollution in China, and how one city plans to limit registrations of new cars while the government weighs adding incentives for the purchase of plug-in hybrids and EVs.

In Holland, there is a fleet of Tesla Model S taxis at the airport serving Amsterdam, according to Gas2.

None of that is of any interest to me.

I've read that incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles are far higher in Europe than in the U.S., but I haven't seen anything on whether the new Congress will attempt to get rid of the $7,500 federal tax credit for the purchase of a green car.

From hybrid to electric

I live in northern New Jersey and have driven Toyota Prius hybrids since 2004.

Now, I plan to make the transition to an all-electric car, and I want to know all I can about my choices.

The Tesla Model S has twice the range of any other all-electric vehicle sold in New Jersey.

But I just read real breaking news in Automobile magazine, quoted in Green Car Reports, which says Audi, BMW and Porsche plan to attack Tesla with new green-car models due in 2018 to 2021.

Is Automobile magazine suggesting I wait?

Best Cars of 2014 

The Tesla Model S just finished first in Consumer Reports' Best Cars of 2014.

The only other green car on the list, the Mercedes-Benz E250 diesel, finished fifth.

More news I can't use

The annoying Gas 2 blog, which claims to report on "Green Cars that Don't Suck," carries a ton of news that is of little use to anyone planning to buy an all-electric car:

Only one of the 15 is all-electric -- Tesla's Model X crossover with gull-wing doors -- unless you want to count a Croatian super-car concept with an MSRP of $1 million. 

The rest are plug-in hybrids from BMW, Mercedes, Volvo, Audi and Chevy, but the BYD Tang will be sold only in China.

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