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Lithium-ion battery maker A123 Systems is officially unplugging from the grid. The company, which was acquired by Wanxiang Group last year, is selling its grid-storage business to Japan-based NEC Corp. The company's Massachusetts and Missouri facilities are going along with it.


We know that start-stop technology – which shuts down a car's engine when the car comes to a halt – is going to be available in more and more vehicles. BMW, Mercedes and Porsche already have the technology on non-hybrid vehicles and Jaguar and Kia will introduce it soon. Ford, too, is adding start-stop to non-hybrid models for a modest fee. In the 2013 Fusion (pictured), it costs just $295. But how many vehicles soon get all quiet at red lights? Around 8 million in North American by


We've discussed the virtues of stop-start technology (aka micro hybrid) before and we've even touched on many of the upcoming models that are slated to receive this fuel-saving technology soon, but we never really expected that the stop-start system would become so widespread in application that even vehicles like BMW's vaunted M3 would be scheduled to receive the micro hybrid setup soon.


With much of our discussions focusing on hybrid powertrains and the electric cars of tomorrow, we occasionally overlook some of the simpler, efficiency-boosting technologies available today. A prime example of this is the second-generation micro-hybrid stop-start technology from Valeo called i-StARS. Set to debut later this year, the system will initially be featured on diesel-powered Peugeot and Citroen vehicles. A lot of them. Valeo hopes that its i-StARS micro-hybrid technology reaches one mi


Citroën and Peugeot have been putting out small, efficient vehicles for many years. At this weekend's H2Roma, the PSA group will talk about the green vehicles it hopes to bring to market in the future. H2Roma is an annual sustainable mobility and the PSA group's press release announcing its participation (pasted in full after the jump) gives us a compact rundown on how the companies will make future cars even cleaner. Check out the list:


The city of Frankfurt is celebrating the Automechanika trade show which is focused on aftermarket equipment. During this exhibition, awards are handed out and one went to autoparts maker Valeo, which got the Automechanika Innovation Award for its StARS Micro-Hybrid System, also called Stop&Start.


Micro hybrid. Start-stop. Whatever we call it, people like it. The micro hybrid system, currently available in cars like the Smart fortwo and through aftermarket suppliers like Ricardo, is preferred by three out of four drivers, the UK's Motorpoint car supermarket group found in a recent survey. This technology is cheap to implement (compared to full hybrid systems) and is available today, but isn't exactly widespread. Only Citroen, BMW and Mini offer it on non-hybrid vehicles. Motorpoint found


Much like Delphi, auto parts supplier Visteon has struggled mightily to survive since being spun off from former parent Ford. Over the last few years they have shed many business units with the latest being a portfolio of technologies for reducing CO2 emissions. Controlled Power Technologies has just acquired powertrain technology and licenses that Visteon had in advanced development including an electronically-controlled supercharger, a micro-hybrid start-stop system and exhaust gas energy reco


One of the biggest contributors to pollution and wasted fuel in urban areas is vehicles sitting in traffic jams with their engines idling. Hybrid vehicles address this problem by automatically shutting engines off when the vehicle is slowing or stopped and then restarting them only when they're needed for acceleration. Unfortunately, the cost premium to add a full hybrid system is still fairly high thanks to the required battery pack and the associated electric motor and transmission system. In

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