Ignition locks that incorporate an alcohol detector are being developed around the world, to combat drunk driving. Honda and Hitachi have fitted the breathalyzer inside an automobile smart key to make testing more convenient.
The Nikkei, a Japanese news outlet, reports that Hitachi Ltd. and Ube Industries Ltd. will establish a joint venture to manufacture separators for lithium-ion batteries bound for use in the automotive industry. Apparently, both firms are looking to bolster their position in the battery market and hope to do so by joining forces and achieving economies of scale.
Hitachi Automotive supplies engine control units to Nissan. Further up the chain, an unnamed supplier hasn't been able to fulfill Hitachi's need for a custom integrated circuit, so Hitachi hasn't been able to fulfill Nissan's orders for ECUs. That has put Nissan in the potential position of needing to halt Altima and Sentra production for three days, July 14-16, at factories in Tennessee and Mexico.
Battery breakthroughs seem to pop up almost every day. There's always a new idea, different material or unique design that makes the battery better. Some manufacturers make outlandish claims that can't be true while other companies string us out for years awaiting amazing products. This time around, Hitachi makes a bold claim for its breakthrough-tech, but it's believable and has already been put through preliminary tests.
Hitachi and Airbiquity have announced a partnership to develop new telematics systems aimed at plug-in vehicles. In all likelihood, you've never heard of Airbiquity, but there is a decent chance you've used some its technology. Airbiquity provides much of the back-end communications infrastructure used by General Motors and Ford for the OnStar and Sync systems.
Cars might be techno-marvels, but the way cars get from the factory to your driveway, in large part, isn't. Plain old ink and paper, with carbon copies for good measure, still factors into the process – and that means an extra dose of time and (potential) error as well.
By fall 2010, Hitachi plans increase its production capacity for lithium ion batteries by 600 percent in the first phase of a major expansion. Hitachi will be supplying the batteries for General Motor's second-generation mild hybrid system that debuts late next year for 2011 model year vehicles. GM has placed an order for enough cells to support 100,000 hybrid vehicles a year. Beyond that, Hitachi is planning to ramp up to build cells for 700,000 hybrids a year by 2015, a 70-fold increase from c
Hitachi has just announced a new generation of its lithium ion batteries with significantly more specific power than current cells. The new cells have 70 percent more power than current cells and 50 percent more than the next-generation cells that go into production in 2010. The new cells are claimed to produce 4,500 W/kg along with 20 percent longer life than existing units. Hitachi expects to start producing the new cells sometime in the middle of the next decade.
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