A recent study from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute finds that planes are more efficient than cars by a wide margin. The gap between them isn't shrinking quickly, either.
Keeping up its from-all-angles approach to efficiency, Toyota has found yet another way to eke out up to ten percent more precious MPGs in its hybrid vehicles, this time electronically. The automaker has announced the development of new silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors for use in power control units, which it will begin testing on Japanese roads within the next year.
Volkswagen has staked out a claim to be the industry leader in electric vehicles. One of the executives leading the VW Group into an e-mobililty future is Rudolf Krebs, who took over VW's electrification efforts back in 2010. Today, he is the group commissioner for electric drive systems for the VW Group, and he took part in a green energy round table at the LA Auto Show today. We'll have a more complete write-up on that discussion later, but for now we wanted to tease out something Krebs said a
Key to production of any kind is efficiency - the ability to achieve maximum productivity with minimal effort or waste. Toyota has become a master of efficiency, with streamlined manufacturing operations around the world. In fact, the Japanese brand has become so well known for efficient operations that it now offers consulting services for organizations and companies outside the auto industry.
Americans have gained weight over the last thirty years, and not just around the midsection. American garages and driveways have also put on pounds as cars have become larger and more powerful. A new study from MIT says that, if not for the increase in vehicle weight, we could already be exceeding vehicle mileage targets still years away.
Volkswagen piled on some big-time profits for the 2010 model year, as the German automaker finished the year in the black with a staggering $10 billion. VW sales were up, too, with 7.1 million units moved for the year. And compared to VW's long-term production plans, 7.1 million is a relative drop in the bucket – the German automaker plans to build 10 million vehicles per year by 2018, making the massive conglomerate the largest automaker in the world by volume.
Compared to gas and diesel vehicles, electric cars are incredibly efficient. It's a good thing too, since their batteries hold only a small fraction of the energy in a typical gas tank. As with most any technology, though, there is always room to boost efficiency. This is where start-up Transphorm comes in, and perhaps in a big way. Why? Because Transphorm just secured $20 million from backers Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, Foundation Capital and Lux Capital. The company
Math isn't appreciated enough in our society. As a big fan of the "I'm an English Major, You do the math" shirt, I'll admit I'm part of the problem. We can all agree, though, that it's hugely important to "get" basic mathematical concepts, especially when it comes to understanding energy efficiency (like miles per gallon). Trouble is, too many Americans don't have this knowledge.
Every month, Ward's Auto posts its Fuel Economy Index (FEI) numbers. Last time around, we noted that Ward's witnessed a decrease in buyer interest in fuel-efficient vehicles. While the numbers did indicate that overall fuel efficiency was still on the rise, it was also evident that buyers were opting for larger, less efficient vehicles. The FEI numbers posted for May are even more disturbing.