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Adding a teenage driver to a married couple's car insurance policy leads to a 79% higher average annual premium, according to a new insuranceQuotes.com report. Teenage males (+92%) are much more expensive to insure than teenage females (+67%). The good news is that the premium increases decline each year, from 96% for 16-year-olds to 58% for 19-year-olds.

The most expensive state to insure a teenage driver is New Hampshire, where the average premium spikes by 111%. The Granite State is one of seven states where premiums more than double after adding a teen driver to the policy. The others are Rhode Island (+107%), Maine (+107%), Wyoming (+106%), Connecticut (+102%), Illinois (+101%) and Oregon (+101%).

To the 48% of consumers who think that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are at least a decade away, the auto industry is saying, “Welcome to the year 2024!”

In May, Hyundai Motor Co. began leasing a fuel-cell version of its Tucson sport-utility vehicle in California — the first mass- produced fuel cell vehicle to be sold in the United States. Other automakers plan to introduce their vehicles beginning next year.

To support the sale — or leasing — of these new vehicles, the California Energy Commission announced in May that it is investing $46.6 million to help develop the hydrogen fueling infrastructure in the state.  This latest investment will add 28 stations to the nine in operation and 17 under development in the state, according to USA Today.

Yet another Gulf Coast oil play may have the potential to yield millions of barrels of high quality crude oil… but don’t look for it in Alabama. 

The Tuscaloosa Marine Shale holds an estimated 7 to 9 million barrels of light sweet crude spanning across a large slice of mid-Louisiana and extends into counties in southwest Mississippi.  LSU research says the TMS is deposited in a marine environment that existed across the Gulf Coast region approximately 90 million years ago. So why is it blossoming now?

The Energy Information Administration released its weekly report on the status of petroleum inventories in the United States today. 

Here are some highlights:

CRUDE INVENTORIES:
Crude oil inventories decreased by 4.0 million barrels to a total of 371.1 million barrels. At 371.1 million barrels, inventories are 6.9 million barrels above last year (1.9%) and are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year.

GASOLINE INVENTORIES:
Gasoline inventories increased by 3.4 million barrels to 217.9 million barrels. At 217.9 million barrels, inventories are down 4.8 million barrels, or 2.2% lower than one year ago. Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (-0.4mb); Midwest (+0.1mb); Gulf Coast (+2.6mb); Rockies (N/C); and West Coast (+0.9mb). It is important to note which regions saw increases/decreases as this information likely drives prices up (in the case of falling inventories), or down (in the case of rising inventories).

DISTILLATE (diesel, heating oil) INVENTORIES:
Distillate inventories increased by 1.6 million barrels to a total of 125.9 million barrels. At 125.9 million barrels, inventories are now down 0.5 million barrels, or 0.4% lower vs. a year ago.
The Chicago Tribune has announced a shocking finding: the City of Chicago has hit thousands of motorists with $100 red light fines that city officials themselves can't even explain. 
Results of the Tribune's investigation are indeed damning. According to the 10-month Tribune investigation, there appear to be more than 13,000 questionable tickets at 12 different intersections across the city. These 12 intersections experienced significant spikes in tickets, but even dozens more intersections also saw similar patterns.

“Something is terribly amiss here,” said Joseph Schofer, an associate dean at Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science who reviewed the Tribune's research.

What do you get when you combine the world's best-selling zero emission vehicle with innovative paint technology that repels mud, rain and everyday dirt? Answer: a very special Nissan LEAF electric vehicle that might just be the "world's cleanest car."

Created to demonstrate its potential use in future production vehicles, this Nissan LEAF's exterior was treated with a specially engineered superhydrophobic and oleophobic paint that is designed to repel water and oils.

The "self-cleaning" paint, called Ultra-Ever Dry®, creates a protective layer of air between the paint and environment, effectively stopping standing water and road spray from creating dirty marks on the LEAF's surface. Nissan is one of the first carmakers to apply this technology to a vehicle.

Future Ford vehicles may soon be able to identify their owners using facial-recognition software, the automaker says. 

"The use of interior imaging is purely research at this point," said Paul Mascarenas, Ford Research and Innovation chief technical officer and vice president.  "However, the insights we've gained will help us shape the customer experience in the long term."

Ford is also developing a mobile phone app that gives drivers the ability to remotely peer into their car. The feature would enable the user to check for belongings left inside the car or authorize/decline other drivers to operate the vehicle.

For the third consecutive week, the national average is looking at a downward trend across much of the U.S.- prices countrywide now stand an average of 12c/gal below their peak of $3.68/gal on June 27.
Gas prices now stand lower on many comparative metrics: lower than yesterday, a week ago, a month ago, and down 11c/gal versus a year ago. Compared to last week Monday, just two states are seeing prices higher, Ohio stands 2.6c/gal higher than last Monday, and Indiana stands 3.1c/gal higher than last week, thanks to price cycling behavior in those states that sees prices go very low only to rebound slightly.

There’s new evidence that suggests drivers with allergies can actually be impaired, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  A new study from the Netherlands shows that drivers with allergy symptoms are comparable to drivers with a .03 percent blood-alcohol level.

The study focused on people with tree and grass pollen allergies. Participants drove 60 minutes with a camera recording them to see how often they veered to the center lane.

This technique, called standard deviation of lateral position, is used to assess drunken driving.

The economics are simple: Buy an all-electric Nissan LEAF, and you save money by avoiding the gas pump. With Nissan's "No Charge to Charge" promotion, new LEAF buyers in certain markets get an even better deal with two years of free public charging.

New Nissan LEAF drivers are now enjoying free charging at eligible public stations, thanks to the new "No Charge to Charge" program, which is now live in 10 markets across the United States. With free access to charging at more than 2,600 public stations available in the initial program markets, including more than 200 quick chargers, LEAF drivers are also experiencing the "range confidence" that public charging can provide.  Is that what you'd need to consider buying one?

IEEE recently unveiled the findings of a survey that revealed expert opinions about the future of driverless cars, such as speed bumps to mass adoption, essential autonomous technologies, features in the car of the future, and geographic adoption. More than 200 researchers, academicians, practitioners, university students, society members, and government agencies in the field of autonomous vehicles participated in the survey. 

Speed Bumps to Mass Adoption

When survey respondents were asked to assign a ranking to six possible roadblocks to the mass adoption of driverless cars, legal liability, policymakers, and consumer acceptance were ranked as the biggest obstacles, while cost, infrastructure, and technology were viewed as the smaller speed bumps. 

Today's teachers educate tomorrow's leaders... and, frankly, everyone else too. Yet in too many states those who engaged in this noble profession rarely receive the respect they deserve and that goes for compensation too.

Kudos to General Motors! From now through Jan. 2, 2015, current employees of a public or private school, university or college are eligible to participate in the new GM Educator Discount program and receive a significant discount on the purchase or lease of a new 2015 or 2014 Chevrolet, Buick or GMC vehicle.

“GM values the work our educators and support staff are doing across the county to create a strong, responsible workforce for the future,” said Linda Stouffer, manager, Vehicle Purchase Programs. “The GM Educator Discount is our way of showing our support and appreciation for everyone in the education community.”

Every once in a while government can offer a glimpse of hope by doing things that make sense. And that's what happened when the Environmental Protection Agency said it wants to put automakers’ mileage claims to the test.

An EPA proposal would require automakers to road test vehicles to verify mileage claims posted on window sticker prices, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing EPA officials. 

The move follows the recent restatement of EPA ratings on several cars and light trucks by Hyundai, Kia and Ford.  And what do you suppose is the EPA's #1 consumer complaint?  You guessed it... Inaccurate mileage claims.

The Energy Information Administration released its weekly report on the status of petroleum inventories in the United States today. 

Here are some highlights:

CRUDE INVENTORIES:
Crude oil inventories decreased by 7.5 million barrels to a total of 375.0 million barrels. At 375.0 million barrels, inventories are 8.0 million barrels above last year (2.2%) and are above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

GASOLINE INVENTORIES:
Gasoline inventories increased by 0.2 million barrels to 214.5 million barrels. At 214.5 million barrels, inventories are down 9.6 million barrels, or 4.3% lower than one year ago. Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (-1.4mb); Midwest (+1.3mb); Gulf Coast (+0.4mb); Rockies (-0.2mb); and West Coast (N/C). It is important to note which regions saw increases/decreases as this information likely drives prices up (in the case of falling inventories), or down (in the case of rising inventories).

DISTILLATE (diesel, heating oil) INVENTORIES:
Distillate inventories increased by 2.5 million barrels to a total of 124.3 million barrels. At 124.3 million barrels, inventories are now down 3.4 million barrels, or 2.6% lower vs. a year ago.

If you’re seeing a pleasant decrease in the price at the pump you’re not imagining things.

The U.S. average retail price of gasoline has fallen below $3.60/gal for the first time since April 10, 2014. Prices have been on an 18 consecutive day streak where the current price was less than the price from the previous day, and it’s the highest number of consecutive down days since the period between April 4, 2013 and April 19, 2013, when prices fell 11.8cts/ gal from $3.63 to $3.52. The U.S. average, now $3.59/gal., has dropped by 5 cents in the past week.

"Consumers working together to save on gas"