Battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids may be the hot commodity in the green automotive game right now, but if you ask many of the engineers and executives in the auto industry about the best long-term solution for eliminating vehicle pollution, their answer is likely to be an electric vehicle powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.
It's now been just over a decade since the first hybrids, the original Honda Insight and Toyota Prius, were introduced. After a slow start, rising fuel costs caused consumer interest to take off mid-decade. Today, most consumers have some idea of what a hybrid is, but many are unaware that hybrid systems from competing manufacturers have entirely different hardware and function in dramatically dissimilar ways. That's why, for instance, you can't drive a Honda Civic hybrid on electric power alone
After nine months of meetings, the Electric Vehicles Infrastructure Council created by Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell has issued its final report on how to promote the use of plug-in vehicles in the state. The list of proposed incentives covers all of the usual bases but doesn't get too specific about anything.
In the realm of vehicle electrification, EEStor and its super-duper ultra-capacitors are roughly the equivalent of Duke Nukem Forever for video game players. The creators of both products have made impressive claims and repeatedly promised public demonstrations and introductions for many years. In both cases, the creators have missed every single promised date with nothing to show for it.
Hyundai has unveiled the BlueOn, which it claims is South Korea's first full-speed battery electric vehicle (EV). The tiny BlueOn is based on the Hyundai's i10 minicar and was first shown as a prototype at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show when it was called the i10 Electric. The little EV is equipped with a 16.4 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack but other than the capacity, Hyundai hasn't announced details about the battery yet. The pack will probably come from LG Chem, which also supplies lithiu
Since Ford is replacing the entire engine lineup for the 2011 F-150 pickup trucks, it has apparently decided not to reinstall at least one component that is usually bolted to those engines: the hydraulic power steering pump. According to PickupTrucks.com, the updated models will be the first full-size trucks to use electric power steering (EPAS) almost across the board.
Until now, one of the big downsides of battery electric vehicles (EVs) was the risk of running out of energy before getting back to a charging station. When an internal combustion vehicle runs dry, a driver can always call roadside assistance to bring some fuel or just hike to a station and bring back a can of gas or diesel. Under the same circumstances, an EV would require a tow to an outlet somewhere.
Long-time environmental activist Dr. David Suzuki is unconvinced that a huge shift to electric vehicles will do enough to address the impact of our transportation culture. It's clear that simply replacing internal combustion engines with electric drive powertrains will definitely reduce the direct pollution of operating vehicles, but Suzuki argues (correctly) that the total impact of the way our transportation system has evolved over the past century goes way beyond what comes out of the tailpip
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