Last week was a rough one for Mitsubishi and its efforts to broaden its appeal among potential plug-in vehicle buyers. Two fires caused the Japanese automaker to halt production of both the Outlander plug-in hybrid and a version of the all-electric i-MiEV. The two separate incidents – both in Japan – involved plug-in vehicle battery-pack fires and, until the cause is found, production will be suspended, reports Automotive News.
From its headquarters in Maranello, Ferrari has traditionally operated two divisions: one that makes exquisite road cars, and another that competes in motorsports. More recently, however, a third division has emerged, with the responsibility of conducting the company's ever-increasing marketing enterprise. The Global Branding Division itself seems to be following two tracks: licensing products as exclusive as the road cars and targeted towards their owners, and marketing merchandise to the Scude
Automakers continue to take branding to new heights by slapping their logos on everything from computers to speakers to fitness apparel, but HUMMER has gone one step further by introducing the HT1 slider cellphone. Rather than merely affix their iconic logo to some high-end cell phone from South Korea, HUMMER had French design firm ModeLabs Group actually develop a new cell phone from the ground up. You won't be able to find this cell phone from Nokia, Motorola or any other major cell phone manu
High fuel prices and energy mandates bring all sorts of alternative fuel research and technology to the fore. University and government researchers recently whipped up a special blend of 13 enzymes and spices that releases hydrogen from a mixture of starch and water. There's no word on how it tastes, but it will definitely give you some pep, packing into six pounds the same wallop as a gallon of gasoline. The process produces hydrogen efficiently, so a vehicle using a hydrogen-powered fuel cell
China BAK Battery, Inc. (BAK) has announced plans to develop and manufacture lithium-ion batteries, commonly used in laptops and cell phones, but increasingly being sought after for hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles. BAK will build a new facility in which to undertake the research and is planning to produce advanced li-ion batteries with higher energy density and power, longer life cycle and shorter charge times as compared to other types of lithium-based batteries.
Toyota is sending Tadashi Yamashina from corporate headquarters in Japan to Cologne, where their F1 team is based. On the surface it looks like a routine, mundane management shuffle, with Toyota sending over an experienced manager to help get things moving with the Formula One team that's been a bit of a disappointment for the ever-growing industry giant. After all, Toyota's far more accustomed to runaway success than dismal failure.
When unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit back in January, the Chevy Camaro Concept managed to get hearts pumping. Not everybody loved it, but those who did could hear their pulse over the announcer. Until the car was started. That great American V-8 burble was the perfect compliment to the muscular looks of the car, and it drowned out just about every other sound in the hall.
The European Union tries to focus its research funding through what they call the European Technology Platforms. There are currently 29 of these ETPs, focusing on a range of areas. ETPs get together industry, government, research institutions, and the financial world to define the research in a specific field. Hydrogen and fuel cells that use hydrogen have just been identified as an area for a Joint Technology Initiative, which is a long-term public private partnership that implements the resear
The 16th World Hydrogen Energy Conference, which started yesterday in Lyons, France, will be the stage where Renault will present the progress it has made in fuel cell research. Contrary to most manufacturers, Renault has chosen to power its fuel cell vehicles with hydrogen generated through on-board reforming. The on-board reforming can produce the hydrogen when needed, which means there is no need for a hydrogen storage tank, one of the problems when dealing with fuel cell vehicles. The vehicl
Ford has fielded a fleet of 30 Focus Fuel Cell Vehicles in seven U.S. cities and in Canada and Germany. The cars, powered by fuel cell stacks from Ballard Power systems, have demonstrated promising performance and have been for the most part robust. More importantly, customers indicated they enjoy driving the vehicles. I actually saw one of these going down the road recently, and two things surprised me: the car looked exactly like any other focus, aside from the large FCV lettering on the side,
Designline, a New Zealand coach building company known for its hybrid buses, is building a prototype commuter bus powered by a unique fuel cell, developed in collaboration with NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and Cal Tech. The fuel cell, produced by U.S. based Alchemy Enterprises Ltd, uses magnesium as its catalyst material for a chemical reaction that generates electricity. Metal-air fuel cells (MAFC) use metal and oxygen to generate electricity. The more common PEM (Proton-Exchange Membrane) fuel ce
The UK Sunday Times reports Honda plans a production hydrogen fuel cell car in three to four years time. The car will be based on the FCX concept shown at last years Tokyo Motor Show. Honda engineers are focusing their efforts on reducing the size and increasing efficiency of the fuel cell to increase power and cabin space. Honda is concurrently developing a home "energy station" which generates hydrogen from natural gas, allowing refueling in your driveway. I wonder how many consumers would be
Could it happen? CNET pundit Rafe Needleman let us know via email he asked this very question after reading a Ford press release that reveals turn signals of today emit a digital tone that has been meticulously engineered by dudes in white labcoats. In the past that familiar clicking sound that accompanied those flashing green arrows was caused by a mechanical relay. With the electronic revolution having banished nearly all mechanical operations in a car besides the engine itself, it’s fea
Demetrius Thompson was struck, twice, by drivers distracted while chatting on their cellphones. Instead of understandably getting mad or sensibly suing the drivers for millions, he instead founded the company Global Mobile Alert which developed a system called MyMobileAlert.
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