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Here are the EVs nominated for ‘North American car of the year’

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This article was originally published by Michael Coates on Clean Fleet Report, a publication that gives its readers the information they need to move to cars and trucks with best fuel economy, including electric cars, fuel cells, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and advanced diesel and gasoline engines.

Every year automotive journalists tee up what they feel are the most significant new models in a contest known as the North American Car of the Year (NACOTY). In spite of the “car” name and in recognition of the diversity of the automotive market, there are three categories—car, utility and truck. For 2021 a total of 27 news vehicles (or vehicle families in some cases) were nominated, including a significant number of electrified models.

2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid
The new Elantra Hybrid is one of the contenders

Among the eight cars, 15 utility vehicles and four trucks are several stand-outs with electric power. In the Car of the Year group, the all-electric Polestar 2 was nominated along with the new Hyundai Elantra Hybrid.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E
Expect the Ford Mustang Mach-E to make a strong impression among jurors–we were impressed

The utility field includes more contestants than both the car and truck categories combined, which reflects the direction the market is heading right now. Among its 15 nominees are the full electric Ford Mustang Mach-E, the Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid, Toyota Venza Hybrid and all-electric Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge. In the smaller truck field, Ford’s 2021 F-150 Hybrid will be among those evaluated.

“Many of the new models on our semifinalist list make bold statements that are intended to distinguish them within their segments,” NACTOY President Gary Witzenburg said. “Several are all-electric, while others have groundbreaking designs or off-the-charts capabilities. It will be fascinating to see which risks pay off this year as our evaluation process continues.”

The process

This year’s semifinalists were picked by a jury of 50 jurors from print, online, radio and broadcast media across the U.S. and Canada.

The next step in the awards process is an annual comparison drive that will take place Oct. 5-8, where jurors will have another chance to evaluate the vehicles that made the semifinalists list.

2021 Toyota Venza Hybrid
The re-born Venza is among a big list of challengers we’ve driven

Next, jurors will vote to select three finalists from each category, which will be announced in December during an event hosted by the LA Auto Show. Winners will be announced in January 2021 during an event hosted by the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

We at Clean Fleet Report are not among the jurors, but we have evaluated several of the contenders or reported on them. We’ve linked our stories to mentions above and include them below.

You can follow Clean Fleet Report on Twitter and Facebook.  


SHIFT is brought to you by Polestar. It’s time to accelerate the shift to sustainable mobility. That is why Polestar combines electric driving with cutting-edge design and thrilling performance. Find out how.

Published October 13, 2020 — 11:11 UTC

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You can now buy Vizio’s rotating Atmos soundbar

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Vizio’s Elevate soundbar has finally hit shelves. You can buy it today for $999.99. The 48-inch soundbar supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. The soundbar houses 18 speakers and comes with a wireless eight-inch subwoofer. The cool thing is that some of the speakers rotate — they face upward while you’re playing Dolby Atmos content and point forward for standard audio.

I spoke to Vizio CEO William Wang about the Elevate earlier this year. He said the soundbar is intended to hook non-enthusiast customers on Dolby Atmos by showing them, visually, the difference between the two tiers of audio. He also noted that while the Elevate is asking a steep price, he expects the rotating speakers to appear in lower-cost devices down the road. The Elevate is being positioned as a good companion purchase for Vizio’s first 4K OLED TV, which is also now available.

Currently, you can order the Elevate at Best Buy and Walmart. Vizio says it’s coming to Amazon and Sam’s Club, too, but those don’t appear to have active links yet.

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Don’t Eat Deli Meat if You’re Pregnant or Old, CDC Says

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slices of salami on bread, surrounded by pretty food things

Photo: photocrew1 (Shutterstock)

There’s an outbreak of listeriosis linked to deli meat, the CDC says. The exact source has not been tracked down, but they say if you are pregnant, over 65, or have a weakened immune system, to not eat deli meat or take extra precautions.

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Listeria bacteria can live at refrigerator temperatures, but are killed by heat. That’s why they turn up in deli meats (including Italian style processed meats like salami) and soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk. If you’ve ever been told not to eat brie while you were pregnant, this is why—although most soft cheeses in U.S. supermarkets aren’t made with raw milk. In the past few years, Listeria outbreaks have also been linked to lettuce and other produce.

If you don’t fall into those risk groups, listeriosis is not a serious illness. But if you are pregnant when you get it, it could cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or death of your newborn. It can also be serious for people who are elderly or have a weakened immune system.

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The CDC says it knows of 10 recent cases in which people were hospitalized, and one died. Here’s what they say about the source:

  • Ill people have reported eating Italian-style meats, such as salami, mortadella, and prosciutto.
  • People have reported purchasing both prepackaged deli meats and meats sliced at deli counters. The investigation is ongoing to determine if there is a specific type of deli meat or common supplier linked to illness.

If you are in one of the higher risk categories (pregnant, older, or with a weakened immune system) the CDC recommends either avoiding deli meats or making sure they are heated just before serving until they are steaming hot. (That’s an internal temperature of 165 Fahrenheit, if you’re able to get a thermometer probe into your salami.)

You should also wash your hands after handling deli meats, clean any surfaces that deli meats or their juices have been in contact with (such as your refrigerator shelves) and make sure you’re not keeping deli meats in the fridge too long. Meat you buy from a deli counter is usually good in the fridge for five days; factory sealed packages are good for two weeks.

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See Who’s Mooching Off Your Netflix Account by Checking Its Recent Access

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A screenshot of the Netflix

Screenshot: Joel Cunningham

Depending on how much you pay for your plan, your Netflix account can only be used by so many people at once. Exes, old roommates, or thoughtless siblings—anyone you’ve unwisely trusted with your password—might be mooching off the account you pay good money for, but it’s not too difficult to find out if they are.

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A simple trip to your Netflix account settings will allow you to discover the IP addresses and locations of whoever has been accessing your account. Here’s how to find it:

  1. Head to the Netflix home page in your browser and sign in.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner you’ll see your account symbol. Mouse over it, then click “Account.”
  3. Scroll down and click the “Recent device streaming activity” link.
  4. Then click the “See recent account access” link.

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You’ll see the IP address, location and type of device that has been watching Netflix with your account, as well as when. You’ll probably be able to deduce who has been using your account from there. Once you know who is mooching, you can ask them to get their own account and stop filling your queue with bad movies, or you can just return to the Account page, choose “Sign out of all devices” and then change your password in your account settings and shut them out for good.

Netflix also allows you to download some content to your device(s), but how many are allowed to do so will once again vary based on the details of your monthly plan. From your Account page, you can also select “Manage download devices” to remove any that are unauthorized; this will remove content downloaded to those devices and free you up to offload content on your own phone or tablet.

This post was originally published in 2016 and updated on October 27, 2020 with more complete, up-to-date instructions and screenshots.

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