For the third consecutive year, Apple tops the list of most innovative companies.
Automakers Look to Take Advantage of CA Gas Crunch
Refinery problems, pipeline issues and a change in the state's gasoline blends all conspired to push gas prices near record highs in some parts of California in the fall. However, where drivers may have seen despair, manufacturers of alternative fuel vehicles are seeing opportunity.
When a major Chevron refinery was shuttered in Northern California due to fire and a large Exxon Mobil refinery in the southern half of the state suffered a major power failure, the state's already tight gas supply was nearly strangled and prices surged to record highs in some areas. To help ease the pocketbook pain many Californians were feeling, Gov. Jerry Brown even ordered stations be allowed to begin stocking "winter-blend" fuel ahead of schedule. However, that brought little relief to drivers, with gas prices hovering around $4.60 a gallon for most of the state.
Even though the gas crunch eased as this winter approached, makers of alternative fuel vehicles still are trying to take advantage.
Honda is promoting its 2012 Civic Natural Gas Vehicle with a free, pre-loaded debit card with $3,000 worth of fuel until Jan. 2, 2013.
Not to be out done, Nissan began a program in California that provided dealers with $4,500 in incentives to customers to help sell the electric Leaf, The New York Times reported.
The Leaf and other all-electric vehicles already are eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit and a $2,500 state rebate. California also offers a $1,500 rebate to buyers of plug-in hybrids such as the Chevy Volt.
Those incentives -- along with the debut of the highly anticipated Ford C-Max Hybrid -- may force Golden State drivers out of the gas station and into dealer lots.