We've been trawling the floor on the first day of the Frankfurt auto show, and there have been plenty of new model launches and concept-car unveilings to keep us busy. Mercedes-Benz delivered on its promise to take the wraps off a fleet of new cars, including hybrid versions of its C300 wagon and its ML450 SUV, as well as its F700 research vehicle. Volkswagen and BMW also took advantage of being on their home turf, with the latter unveiling its partnership with Google for a local-search-enabled in-dash navigation system, and VW showing off its Up concept, an ultra-compact rear-engined … Read more
In Honda's exhibition area at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, we were surprised to find a Civic all painted up in racing colors and promotions. Even stranger, it's a Civic Hybrid, not a car you see on the NASCAR circuit. This Civic Hybrid, the accompanying placard informed us, has been entered in the 2007 Nurburgring 24-hour race. That got our attention.
Honda considers its finish of 108th out of 220 teams starting a "sensational result." We will give them that. Twenty-four hours of laps around the Nurburgring, one of the world's most grueling courses, is … Read more
We're just a couple of weeks away from the first major auto show of the new season, and the buzz around concept cars and new model launches is already in full swing. According to Just Auto, GM is planning to use the Frankfurt show to unveil a concept hybrid version of its compact Opel Corsa. The Corsa Hybrid concept will make use of the same belt-alternator starter system that we've seen recently in the Saturn Vue Green Line and the Saturn Aura Green Line. Unlike the production Saturn models--but similar to the much-hyped Chevy Volt--the Corsa Hybrid … Read more
Given the spate of electric motorcycles hitting the market, many of us might be tempted to give one of them a shot for the health of the environment if nothing else. But one about our personal well being?
Currie Technologies is trying to provide the best of all worlds with its "iZip Express," a hybrid bike that can supplement your natural pedal power with a small electric motor. Gizmag says the bike's engine, which generates more power as you pedal faster, can yield top speeds of 25 mph on a battery with a range of 31 miles … Read more
It's been said before, but can't be said enough. This is not a technology problem. When it comes to fighting global warming, it's the little things we do that will make the difference.
The average American consumer is responsible for about 9-10 tons of carbon emissions per year.
The big three culprits for us consumers: 1) Car miles driven and car size; 2) Power used; 3) Airline miles flown
Here are my favorite little things:
1) When you have the option, drive the family car with the best gas mileage and drive together--no more three-car families driving … Read more
Full hybrids have to date been almost synonymous with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) system, which, in addition to being the technology behind all Toyota and Lexus hybrids, is licensed by Nissan for its Altima Hybrid and is used in a modified version by Ford in the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner hybrids. This hybrid monopoly is about to change, however, as GM readies its 2-Mode hybrid system for introduction later this year in the Yukon Hybrid and Tahoe Hybrid SUVs. Like HSD, GM's 2-Mode system enables cars to run just on electricity, just on gasoline, or a … Read more
Security will be crawling at Lake Tahoe on August 17 as bigwigs such as U.S. Senator Harry Reid and former president Bill Clinton along with his wife (who has some sort of government job) attend the Lake Tahoe Summit.
(Update: Arnold Schwarzenegger was listed as a possible attendee. But apparently he can't make it now, according to his press office.)
And one of the highlights, at least in my mind, will be the test-drives of the all-electric SUV from Phoenix Motorcars. Phoenix's car can go 130 miles on a single charge and hit 100 miles per hour. (… Read more
General Motors is banking on the increasing demand for fuel-efficient cars by launching hybrid versions of two of its full-size SUVs: the GMC Yukon and the Chevy Tahoe. And although the cars aren't slated to go on sale until this fall, GM is already busy building buzz.
The new models, available in both two- and four-wheel drive, use a "two-mode" powertrain designed jointly by GM with BMW and Daimler-Chrysler. This Hybrid Operating System (HOS) allows the car to operate either on electricity or gasoline, depending on the power needs of the car.
Bob Kanode, the CEO of Valence Technology, which makes lithium-ion batteries for vehicles, recently said one of the big issues for the electric car world was going to be cobalt versus phosphate. And he may be right.
The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) has reported that Toyota has delayed a new generation of hybrid vehicles, including a new Prius, because of concerns about safety and reliability of the batteries inside them. These batteries are lithium cobalt oxide batteries, the same chemistry used in laptop lithium batteries. (Currently, Toyota hybrids use nickel metal hydride batteries.)
Toyota was supposed to start introducing … Read more
One big yellow bus is going green in Napa County. The Northern California school district today received a plug-in hybrid diesel-electric school bus -- the first of its kind in the state.
The move is part of a nation-wide initiative aimed at reducing school bus emissions and cutting costs by improving fuel efficiency. The program is led by Advanced Energy, a non-profit corporation based in Raleigh, N.C.
The bus, which doesn't look terribly innovative on the outside, is built by IC Corporation, the largest school bus manufacturer in the country. It uses a hybrid drive technology dubbed a … Read more