General Motors has begun development of the world's first plug-in hybrid production vehicle, which will be offered as a version of the 2008 Saturn Vue hybrid. The announcement was made at the kickoff of the 2007 Los Angeles Show this morning at the Los Angeles Convention Center by GM's CEO Rick Wagoner. The front-wheel-drive 2008 Saturn Vue hybrid will incorporate GM's two-mode hybrid system, which will make its first appearance in the Chevrolet Tahoe hybrid, due to come to market next year. Wagoner said that no definite timeline had been decided for the Vue hybrid plug-in, but … Read more
The Japanese are giving an entirely new meaning to the term "hybrid vehicle" with a combination train-bus.
Interestingly, the Hokkaido Railway Company has dubbed it the "DMV" for "dual-mode vehicle." (We hope that the abbreviation won't be as despised as the other DMV that we know all too well.)
The 28-passenger train-bus "looks like a minibus and runs both on conventional railway tracks and paved roads was tested on the Gakunan railway in Fuji city (Shizuoka prefecture) on the night of November 24," according to Tokyo-based Pink Tentacle. "The vehicle … Read more
General Motors will be keeping us busy this week as we report live from the exhibit floor of the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show. Over the weekend, GM announced that it would be debuting two production hybrids in addition to its already substantial offering of new model releases and special editions.
The 2008 Buick Enclave, the 2008 Saturn Vue, and the 2008 GMC Acadia crossovers were on our radar already, but the General has thrown in a couple of extra debuts in the shape of the Saturn Aura Green Line, a hybrid version of Saturn's Euro-inspired sedan that makes … Read more
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District, an agency that many young kids grow up dreaming about working for someday, is testing out a plug-in hybrid crafted by Valence Technology and Energy CS. The car is a 2005 Toyota Prius that contains a lithium-ion auto battery from Valence that essentially lets the car run mostly on electricity. The battery gets recharged through a wall socket.
Plug-ins get about 100 miles to the gallon, although the cost of the additional battery makes them a tough sell, concede plug-in proponents. The range is also limited, but that's not a big deal for fleet … Read more
We've seen hybrid cars, motorcycles and even planes. But hybrid trains?
Pink Tentacle, our favorite Japanese blog, reports that East Japan Railway Company just completed a dry run of the world's first fuel cell hybrid train. "With two 65-kilowatt fuel cells and six hydrogen tanks under the floor and a secondary battery on the roof, the clean train emits only water and runs without receiving juice from power lines," PT says.
Thirty passengers were aboard for ride, which supposedly will be just as comfortable as that of a standard train. Unless, of course, its riders must … Read more
Those of us who cover auto technology are tired of laptops getting all the attention when it comes to battery life. Take this, for example: A new kind of battery made primarily from carbon and plastic could extend the range of electric cars up to 100 miles.
Technology Research Laboratories announced the new battery technology, claiming that it has been tested beyond 100,000 cycles and handles full discharge without damage. TRL also claims less than 1,000 pounds of the new batteries will power an electric car or plug-in hybrid for 75 to 100 miles.
TRL is seeking manufacturing … Read more