Technologies

Automotive Green Coverage Moves to Edmunds.com

By Jeff Hester December 14, 2011
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Thank you for your interest in Edmunds.com's coverage and analysis of green issues related to the auto industry. AutoObserver.com is being integrated into a new area of Edmunds.com. Green coverage now can be found at http://www.edmunds.com/fuel-economy/. To stay connected via social media as well, please follow... more

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Mazda Regenerative Braking System Uses Capacitor

By Scott Doggett December 1, 2011

Mazda Motor Corp. has developed the world's first regenerative braking system for passenger vehicles that uses a capacitor, instead of a battery, to store electricity that can power various components. The Japanese automaker said that in real-world driving conditions with frequent acceleration and braking, the "i-ELOOP" system can improve fuel economy by 10 percent. I-ELOOP will begin to appear in Mazda's vehicle lineup next year, the company said in a statement. more

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Continental To Turbocharge Ford Focus

By John O'Dell October 14, 2011

Global automotive components developer Continental Corp. is launching new turbocharger business and said Friday it will be supplying Ford Motor Co. with turbos for the automaker’s new line of three-cylinder engines. The use of smaller engines with power-boosting turbochargers has become a key ingredient in automakers’ push to cut costs and improve fuel efficiency while continuing to deliver the performance characteristics car buyers demand. Continental, which began developing its turbocharger in 2006, said it expects to see 25-percent annual growth in the market. The German components supplier is entering a market dominated by companies such as Honeywell, BorgWarner and more

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Nissan Shows New Hybrid System, Cheaper Fuel-Cell

By Danny King October 13, 2011

Nissan Motor Co., pushing its goal of extremely low-emission passenger transportation, has unveiled a new hybrid powertrain, a smaller and less-expensive hydrogen fuel cell and a new, more efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT). The company said the new hybrid system likely will appear in front-wheel-drive hybrid-electric vehicles in North America by 2013. The CVT will be used in some U.S. vehicles starting next year and in hybrids the following year. Nissan's new hybrid system includes an electric motor and two clutches as well as the new XTRONIC CVT, which boosts fuel economy relative to previous transmissions by as much more

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Audi E-Tron Spyder Highlights Diesel PHEV Tech

By John O'Dell October 13, 2011

Germans are a practical people, so when automakers such as the Volkswagen Group’s Audi churn out an expensive new concept car, there’s usually a retail version lurking somewhere in the background.  That the company flew the only existing version of its latest advanced-drive concept – the hand-built, $2.75-million (give or take) Audi E-Tron Spyder plug-in hybrid -- from Germany to Los Angeles to let U.S. journalists sample it says even more about the likelihood of production intent. It may be a few years, but it’s a pretty safe bet that some sort of a production mid-engine Audi roadster will more

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Study Finds EVs With Smaller Batteries Are Greener

By Scott Doggett October 11, 2011

Electric vehicles (EVs) fitted with small battery packs are more environmentally friendly than EVs fitted with large battery packs, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Mellon University. Plug-in vehicles with small battery packs and hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) that don't plug in can reduce life cycle impacts from air emissions and enhance oil security at low or no additional cost over a lifetime, researchers found. But plug-in vehicles with large battery packs are more costly and may have higher or lower emissions than HEVs, depending on where and when they are plugged in. more

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2020 Fuel-Cell Vehicle Sales Forecast Reduced

By Danny King October 11, 2011

Global sales of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) will grow slower than previously expected as the economic downturn has hindered governments and other public entities from investing in the hydrogen-delivery infrastructure necessary to refuel such vehicles, according to a report by Pike Research, a market research and consulting firm specializing in clean technology. Cumulative FCEV sales will surpass 1 million and will generate $16.9 billion in annual revenue by the end of the decade, the newest report said. Those numbers are down from the 2.8 million and $28.9 billion Pike Research forecast for 2020 in February 2010. more

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Companies Marry EV Charging and Solar Power

By AutoObserver Staff August 19, 2011

Electric vehicles and solar power seem to be a perfect match. That's what Bruce Tucker, a retired microbiologist, says. He's got both an electric car and a solar system that provide his household power – including the juice that goes into his 2002 Toyota RAV4 EV.  So far, it's been mostly individuals like Tucker who've been singing the praises of running cars on sunshine, but the chorus is getting louder as major automaker and solar power companies see the light. more

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Johnson Controls Eyes Start-Stop Vehicle Surge

By Danny King June 28, 2011

Global automakers' annual orders of vehicle battery systems that save fuel by shutting down the engine when the car's not moving will surge over the next few years and dwarf alternative-fueled vehicle sales, battery-making giant Johnson Controls said at its annual analyst meeting for its power solutions division. Automakers will use so-called start-stop systems as a way to meet progressively more stringent emissions requirements in both the U.S. and overseas while better serving customers looking for relatively inexpensive ways to save on fuel in the midst of rising gas prices, the company said. more

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Company Says Its Software Boosts EV Battery Range

By Danny King June 27, 2011

A Massachusetts software maker recently awarded $25,000 by the state of Michigan for its work on a software-based control system that the company says can boost automobile batteries' power by at least 25 percent, plans to open a Michigan facility next year io develop the system for use with the lithium-ion batteries used with most electric-drive vehicle batteries and the nickel-metal hydride batteries used in most hybrid cars and SUVs. Clean Energy Innovations, founded in 2009 in Michigan but now based in Fall River, Mass., was awarded the so-called Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest Emerging Business grand prize this year more

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