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Eaton is working on upgrading its hybrid electric vehicle power control system by reducing the size of the battery 50 percent and improving the total performance of the system and its charge rate while maintaining battery life, fuel economy and overall vehicle performance. The R&D project will be funded jointly between Eaton and a grant from the Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). It's intended to optimize operations of hybrids, from passenger ca

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In yet another example of two major automotive companies joining forces for the sake of CO2 reduction, BMW and Toyota announced a joint research collaboration that will tackle the problems of "next-generation environmental-friendly technologies."

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Take a look at the left column of the chart above. As displayed in a new report called "Automaker Patent Assets Intelligence Report" by PatentCafe.com, this chart shows that GM's green tech patent focus is far, far smaller (as a percent of total portfolio) when compared to the rest of the auto industry. Note, though, that this chart is based on 2007 data and the "green tech" category isn't exactly perfectly defined. PatentCafe is still willing to make the following claim:

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Development of the Chevrolet Volt may be continuing full-speed for now at GM but that program is the exception rather than the rule at the General. Everywhere else in the company, programs and introductions have been delayed. The combination of excess inventories of existing vehicles resulting from slow sales and cash flow issues have caused vehicles such as the Saturn Vue and Two-Mode hybrid and the plug-in version to be delayed. If GM were to start building the new strong hybrid Vue they would

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Green and racing don't seem like natural allies. Making a car more environmentally friendly or making a racecar go faster seemed to be at opposite ends of the spectrum when it came to automotive technology. And yet there have been glimpses of the two coming together for the benefit of all. The Audi R10 immediately springs to mind. Well now the world's premiere motor sport is getting into the swing of things as well.

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