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Recharge Wrap-up: Big Oil fails at renewable fuel, scientists study air with EVs, plug-in Panamera sales

Big Oil companies help keep renewable fuels out of your tank, a new report shows. No surprise there, right? The Renewable Fuels Association published a report card grading the country's largest retail gasoline chains on fuel offerings like E85 and E15. The report gave failing grades, with less than one percent of stations offering E15 or E85, to "Big Five" companies Exxon, BP, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Shell, among other oil company and convenience/grocery store brands. The only major oil companies that didn't get an "F" were Valero (D), Cenex (B), and Marathon (A-). The eight companies that scored an A+ had at least 25 percent of their stations offering E85 or E15. Read more at Domestic Fuel.

Leicester scientists are studying local air pollution using EVs. Beginning July 4, University of Leicester researchers began driving electric vehicles kitted out with special sensors to monitor air quality throughout the city (similar to how California does it). Now their emissions-free daily driving duties double as data collection for their studies. "By monitoring air quality as a seamless part of our daily transport system, we are providing a cost-effective way to help inform future policy and operational systems," says the University's Dr. Roland Leigh. Read more at Fleet News.

"There is no doubt electric cars are the future." – Nissan's Andy Palmer

Nissan is exploring the idea of taking its Leaf EV to India, but a lack of charging options is an obstacle. According to Nissan's chief planning officer Andy Palmer, "There is no doubt electric cars are the future. The product is there, what we need is infrastructure. Charging is a big challenge." Though Nissan stopped short of saying it (this time), this could possibly mean working with Mahindra, which said it is open to collaborating with other companies concerning EVs. Learn more in this article from the Hindustan Times and know that India is rolling out a plan to encourage the production and adoption of EVs. The National Electric Mobility Mission Plan will get over $2 billion in funding, and some of that will go toward creating a charging infrastructure (you hear that, Nissan?). This is good news for EV manufacturers, India's economy and people who enjoy breathing clean air. Read more at The Financial Express.

Porsche has reported a significant sales increase, part of which is due to demand for the Panamera S E-Hybrid. Of the 87,800 Porsche cars delivered in the first half of 2014 - a nearly eight percent boost over last year - 13,500 were Panameras. About 10 percent of those sales were the Panamera S E-Hybrid. Green Car Congress has more details. Featured Gallery2014 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: First Drive Source

Read also: recent reviews, test drives, automotive trends and the latest news from the world of cars.

  • Tesla about to sell 50,000th Model S

    Tesla about to sell 50,000th Model S

    Nissan sold its 50,000th Leaf a total of two years and two months after introducing the EV to dealerships. Tesla isn't as established as Nissan, and its Model S - with its higher levels of luxury and performance - costs multiple times more than the Leaf. Consider the Tesla's starting price of $70,000-plus (and easily much more with a bigger battery and a few upgrades), and compare that to the

  • 2016 Nissan Maxima offers 300 hp and 30 mpg for $32,410* [w/video]

    2016 Nissan Maxima offers 300 hp and 30 mpg for $32,410* [w/video]

    After a surprise debut during the 2015 Super Bowl, Nissan has finally divulged the details on its latest Maxima sedan at the 2015 New York Auto Show. Starting at $32,410 (*not including a $825 destination charge), the Maxima retains the current car's powertrain, featuring a 3.5-liter V6 and a continuously variable transmission. Unlike its predecessor, though, the new fullsizer boasts 300

  • Nissan union wants French to stop meddling with Renault alliance

    Nissan union wants French to stop meddling with Renault alliance

    Nissan is getting some unexpected reinforcements in its ongoing battle with the French government over its involvement in Renault. Its Japanese union, which has traditionally been a very hands-off entity, issued harsh criticism for the French government's attempts to assert control over its alliance partner. According to Bloomberg, this is the first time in 16 years that Nissan's union has

  • 2016 Nissan Altima gets SR model, 39 mpg, 3 press releases [w/video]

    2016 Nissan Altima gets SR model, 39 mpg, 3 press releases [w/video]

    UPDATE: After taking exception with Seyth's reaction to press-release overdose, a Nissan spokesperson commented,"It gets 39 mpg. That's ******* epic." The Mazda 6, rated 40 mpg highway, is the only car among the Altima's peers to do equal or better. (See a full list of gas-powered non-hybrid cars that do 39 mpg highway or better here.) It seems that Nissan just can't stop selling its hot


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