bmw 2 series active tourer plug-in hybrid prototype
  • Image Credit: BMW
A Tesla owner in Canada was quoted $8,500 to repair the brakes in his 2012 Model S. Tesla waived the labor costs, bringing the total price down to $5,824.75. Tesla said that since regenerative braking means the regular brakes get less use, occasional hard braking can help keep them working properly. Also, the salt on the roads in winter leads to corrosion of both the rotors and the calipers. Tesla suggests yearly brake service in harsh climates. Read more at Clean Technica.

GKN is launching an electric all-wheel-drive system using its eAxle technology. BMW will be the first to use the system – which is optimized for compact vehicle platforms – in its 2 Series Active Tourer plug-in hybrid. On its own, the electric axle drive offers up to 70 kilowatts (94 horsepower) and 1,475 pound-feet of torque, enough to propel a vehicle up to almost 78 miles per hour under electric power alone. It can also disengage from the driveline when it's not needed in order to reduce rotating losses at higher speeds. Read more from Green Car Congress.

The Orange County Transit Authority's (OCTA) first zero-emission, hydrogen powered bus uses a fuel cell from Ballard. The 40-foot ElDorado National Axess bus, powered by Ballard's FCveloCity fuel cell, was funded by the Federal Transit Administration's National Fuel Cell Bus Program. "Clean energy mass transit alternatives, such as this new fuel cell bus in Orange County, are a tremendous example of what can be done to help address clean air challenges," says Ballard Vice President Karim Kassam. "We are excited by the progress being made at OCTA and by others in California." Read more in the press release below.

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Ballard Module Powers First Zero-Emission Fuel Cell Bus for Orange County Transportation Authority

VANCOUVER, CANADA and ORANGE COUNTY, USA – On May 23rd representatives from Ballard attended a ceremony to unveil the first zero-emission fuel cell bus to provide service for the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), one of the largest transit agencies in California. The OCTA bus is the 6th American Fuel Cell Bus (AFCB) configuration delivered in California.

Karim Kassam, Ballard Vice President - Commercial said, "Clean energy mass transit alternatives, such as this new fuel cell bus in Orange County, are a tremendous example of what can be done to help address clean air challenges. We are excited by the progress being made at OCTA and by others in California."

The AFCB configuration utilizes a Ballard FCveloCity® fuel cell module to provide primary power. This is combined with BAE Systems' HybriDrive® propulsion and power management systems and deployed in an ElDorado National 40-foot (12-meter) Axess model, heavy duty transit bus. The OCTA bus was manufactured only a short distance away at ElDorado National's facilities in Riverside, California.

Oscar Pardinas, Regional Sales Manager with ElDorado National – California (ENC) said, "With the Axess fuel cell bus, ElDorado National once again proves our commitment to providing North American transit agencies an innovative and highly customizable heavy-duty transit bus."

Funding for the project was provided by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) under the National Fuel Cell Bus Program (NFCBP). The program includes testing of fuel cell bus technology components as well as demonstration of a number of fuel cell bus platforms. The NFCBP aims to improve fuel cell bus technology and manufacturing, moving the industry towards commercialization.

The OCTA bus will initially utilize hydrogen fueling infrastructure at the campus of the University of California in Irvine, which deployed its first fuel cell-powered bus in 2015, also utilizing a Ballard FCveloCity® fuel cell module. UC Irvine is home to the National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC) which is focused on: facilitating, demonstrating and accelerating the development and deployment of fuel cell technology and fuel cell systems; promoting strategic alliances to address the market challenges associated with installation and integration of fuel cell systems; and educating and developing resources for the various stakeholders of the fuel cell community.

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