There's a cute VW bus made for little kids

Three hundred and fifty bucks doesn't seem unreasonable for this kids' electric VW T1 Camper Van. The red-and-white two-seater IS an officially licensed product, so it may be of decent quality. Not only does it have working head and tail lights but it also goes forward and in reverse. It can only handle up to 110 lbs., so grownups will just have to get a real one (or get this T1 fridge).

(The Awesomer) Read the rest

2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Tesla S

For the first time ever, the winner of the 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year is not powered by an internal combustion engine; it is the all-electric Tesla S. Not surprisingly, Motor Trend is also spinning the news as a big win for American innovation. "2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Tesla Model S" Read the rest

Why would a battery burst into flame?

In several crash tests, the battery on a Chevy Volt began to heat up or burst into flame. The battery problems happened a few days or weeks after the impact and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating. (One potential factor: NHTSA testers didn't drain the batteries of juice after the crash, which is recommended. As a comparison, it's standard practice to drain a gas tank after a similar collision. So this could be an issue of new technology learning curve.) If you want to better understand why a battery that's been through a car accident could burst into flame, I'd recommend reading this piece by the Midwest Energy News. It's a nice summary of how lithium-ion batteries work, and how they respond to damage. Read the rest