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Inside autos: Volts undergo road tests

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Inside autos: Volts undergo road tests


Volts undergo road tests

Chevy Volts are being spotted around Detroit as GM tests the electric car in advance of production this fall. Free Press auto critic Mark Phelan photographed this near-production electric car parked in downtown Ferndale. A chef at the Nami Sushi bar alerted Phelan to the car. Phelan said the car had a laptop plugged into the dashboard.

Daimler's Car2go service grows

After a six-month trial, Daimler's car-sharing service Car2go is opening up to membership by regular folks in its test city, Austin, Texas.

For Daimler, it's a great way to showcase its little Smart ForTwo, the little car at the center of the sharing effort. Daimler, of course, is best known for Mercedes-Benz, but it's not part of car-sharing.

In Austin, people can sign up to become part of the program. It allows them to reserve a car or walk up to a Smart car that's part of the program, swipe their membership card against the windshield, get in and drive wherever they need. They pay up to 35 cents a minute, or up to $12.99 per hour and up to $65.99 a day.

Car2go signed up 3,000 members during the six-month trial. They racked up 20,500 rentals. Car2go is only one of several car-sharing efforts going on around the country, but is unusual because it is backed by a major automaker. It is receiving a governmental blessing because people who rent the cars tend to drive less than those who own cars, creating less pollution.



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