• Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
  • Image Credit: Porsche
The EPA and Department of Energy have released the 2015 Fuel Economy Guide. Unsurprisingly, the groups say that this year features more fuel efficient and low-emissions vehicles than previous years, and they span a greater variety of vehicle types. The guide also provides "best-in-class" lists, greenhouse gas ratings and estimated fuel costs for each vehicle. The EPA and DOE hope that car buyers will use the guide to help choose cars that are better for the environment and the climate. Check out the guide for yourself or read more in the press release below.

To get from one WEC race to the next, Porsche ships its 919 Hybrid LMP1 cars by air. As the team travels around the world - from continent to continent - it must take 35 tons worth of cargo with it, including two LMP1 cars. That means draining fluids, partially dismantling the cars, and fitting everything into a 747. The team also ships items by sea, which requires shipping extra sets of items due to the longer shipping times. "It's all about efficiency," according to Porsche. Read more in the press release below.

Terra Motors is unveiling the A4000i electric scooter, which it will sell in Europe, at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan. The A4000i, which features smartphone connectivity, will be the company's European flagship model. Terra Motors will begin selling in Italy, and plans to make arrangements to sell in several more countries shortly after. Terra hopes to set up manufacturing in Europe, as well. Also on display at EICMA is the company's Bizmo II electric scooter, which has a driving range of 93 miles on a single charge. Read more in the press release below.

Volkswagen is providing a 2015 e-Golf to Stanford University for research. The car will be used to study electric mobility, improvements in the driving experience and people's driving behavior and attitudes toward EVs. "Volkswagen's longstanding relationship with Stanford has allowed us to push the boundaries of automotive research and innovation," says Volkswagen's Ewald Goessmann, "and we look forward to extending our work together to drive advances in electric vehicles." See the video and read more in the press release below.
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EPA, DOE Release 2015 Fuel Economy Guide for Car Buyers

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) today released the 2015 Fuel Economy Guide, providing consumers with a valuable resource to help them choose the most fuel-efficient and low greenhouse gas emitting vehicles that meet their needs.

In comparison to previous years, the 2015 models include a greater number of fuel efficient and low-emission vehicles in a broader variety of classes and sizes.

"Automakers' innovation is thriving, and Americans are benefiting from new consumer choices that limit carbon emissions and slow the effects of climate change," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "This year's guide is not just about how the latest models compare with one another; it's about providing people with an excellent tool so that they can make informed decisions affecting their pocketbooks and the planet."

"Today's announcement builds on the Administration's commitment to developing a transportation sector that minimizes harmful emissions and saves consumers money at the pump," said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. "This year's guide provides the American people with user-friendly information for making the best decisions for their pocketbooks, while also helping create a more sustainable energy future."

The guide provides "best-in-class" lists to help consumers find the most fuel-efficient advanced-technology vehicles as well as the most efficient gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. The best-in-class lists include multiple market segments, from two-seaters to large pickup trucks.

Consumers will find a broad range of information that can be helpful while shopping for a new vehicle - including an estimated annual fuel cost for each vehicle. The estimate is based on the vehicle's miles per gallon (mpg) rating and national estimates for fuel prices. The online version of the guide, available through www.fueleconomy.gov, gives consumers a personalized fuel cost estimate based on local gasoline prices and their personal driving habits. The guide includes a greenhouse gas rating (from one to 10) for each model, giving consumers a quick way to identify vehicles with low greenhouse gas emissions.

EPA fuel economy estimates are the best way to compare fuel economy among vehicles. Official fuel economy testing is controlled, repeatable, and accounts for a variety of real-world conditions, like air-conditioning use and a variety of speed and temperature conditions. Individual mileage will vary depending on factors such as driving style, weather, air-conditioning use, and extra weight being carried or towed.

Under President Obama's Climate Action Plan, EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration established national car program standards for model years 2012-2025. These standards are projected to cut six billion metric tons of greenhouse gas over the lifetimes of the vehicles sold, save families more than $1.7 trillion in fuel costs, and reduce America's dependence on oil by more than two million barrels per day. So far, automakers' overall greenhouse gas and fuel economy performance was, on average, ahead of what the standards require.

For tips on more fuel efficient driving, check out the gas mileage tips at http://fueleconomy.gov/feg/drive.shtml.

More information, including a complete version of the guide and details on fuel economy labels, are available at http://www.fueleconomy.gov/ and at http://fueleconomy.gov/m/ for mobile devices. EPA and DOE will update the guide online as more 2015 vehicles become available.


FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), LMP1

Logistic challenges – circling the globe

Stuttgart. Entering the two highly complex Porsche 919 Hybrids at the overseas races of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship does not just pose new sporting challenges for the Porsche Team. The logistics are a race of their own for the LMP1 newcomers from Weissach. The travel itinerary for the second part of the World Championship, with Austin (Texas, USA), Fuji (Japan), Shanghai (China), Sakhir (Bahrain) and Sao Paulo (Brazil) as the destinations, adds up to around 40,000 kilometres – which is almost exactly equivalent to a trip around the globe. The team's air freight for this enterprise is 35 tons. Nevertheless, only indispensible items are taken on board. The team's hospitality, for example, isn't one of the essentials. The works team eats in the paddock canteen.

Air cargo is complex. Like in the classic computer game Tetris, items have to be stacked without gaps, using the aircraft's hold including any sloping sections. The area for the Porsche freight is limited to 12 units. Each of them measures 304 by 230 centimetres and, when fully loaded, should not be heavier than 3000 kilograms, otherwise the basic costs increase. Months ago it was calculated it was 12 units that would be needed. The cargo list contains several thousand items. In order to ensure that everything fits into the limited space, the team always had the air freight requirements in mind when making decisions over what to purchase – whether for a tool cabinet, packaging for the drivers' helmets, or an engine box. Furthermore, similar to moving house, the rule is: whatever is needed first at the destination, must be immediately available. Perfect organisation is essential to build up the garage on time, and once a three-ton container has been unloaded in a freight packed pit lane it sits there until it is empty.

The air freight goes on an Atlas Air 747 cargo plane, chartered by DHL and shared with other WEC teams. It took off on September 11 from the Frankfurt-Hahn airport in Germany to fly to Austin, Tokyo, Shanghai, Manama and Sao Paulo.

Obviously the Porsche Team had to arrange everything from scratch in its debut season. Ten tailor made containers have been purchased. Six of them, the so called Q7, have sloping tops, two are the flatter Q6 and two are "winged lowers", shaped especially for the lower cargo space in the aircraft. They are more efficient than anything you can buy ready-made, and save a lot of packing material compared to stacking single boxes one on top of another. Each Q7, for example, is 120 kilos lighter than those normally used in Formula One. Plus, it can be loaded onto the aircraft with no net around it, which saves another 1.3 centimetres in height. Alongside the ten lightweight containers, the remaining two units accommodate the big parts, such as the flight case with the spare chassis or the hundred wheel rims.

Each of the 12 units has a unique worldwide number plate and each component packed inside the containers has a QR code, so that by using a scanner everything can be located. This painstaking organisation doesn't just achieve labour and cost efficiency. Customs offices, too, have a need for information. Whether the serial numbers of the 120 radios, the number of chassis components, packets of screws, or rolls of tape – Porsche puts a lot of effort in reliable documentation. Everything imported into the various countries has to be exported out again. The containers are x-rayed, and customs officers may, of course, want to unpack them. Time for this is factored into the schedules.

The two race cars don't fit into containers. The Porsche 919 Hybrids travel securely strapped down onto extra car racks. All of their fluids have been drained, fragile body parts, such as the wing mirrors and front and rear wings, have been packed safely elsewhere. Fitting a set of used tyres is just right for travelling around the world. Between the races some components go back and forth. For example, the two-litre four-cylinder engines for rebuilding in Weissach.

Hazardous materials go separately. These include adhesives and resins, as well as spray cans and the lithium-ion batteries for the hybrid drive systems. These batteries even require permission from federal aviation administration offices in the various countries. The fact that Porsche possesses considerable expertise in hybrid matters helps the race team, but the procedures are time-consuming nonetheless. The hazardous materials also have to stay in a secure room for 48 hours before and after every flight without being moved. Fuel is shipped by Porsche's partner Shell, and ExxonMobil brings all the oils and lubricants to the tracks. Michelin sends the tyres.

The team also ships some items by sea, which is considerably less expensive, but also much slower. Equipment shipped in August will only return in January. But then this doubles or triples what is needed. Because of the long distances there are three sets of sea freight on the high seas. The contents consist of relatively inexpensive but heavy equipment. Metal posts, for example. Instead of flying 20 of those heavy Tensator barriers around the world, it is cheaper to buy sixty of them and load them onto three vessels. It's all about efficiency.


Terra Motors breaks into the European market at EICMA.

It will unveil "A4000i", the world's first electric scooter with smartphone connectivity, at 2014 EICMA show in Milan.

Tokyo, Terra Motors Corporation, Japan's leading innovator of electric two- and three-wheelers, will unveil "A4000i" at 2014 EICMA Show in Milan, 6-9 November. They will be the first Japanese electric motorcycle manufacture to break into the European market with full force.

Toru Tokushige, CEO of Terra Motors said, "Terra Motors has had the largest market share in Japan and expanded into Asian countries. However, demands for electric motorcyclesare increasing rapidly in Europe, because of the concern for energy and environment. Today, we are pleased to finally announce our entry into European market."

At first Terra Motors expands into Italy.

Terra Motors will start to market A4000i in Italy in partnership with Spesso Srl. Then, it plans to make distributor agreements in 3-5 European countries within the year, with the aim of manufacturing their products early in Europe.

"We are very excited that the distribution of Terra Motors electric vehicles in Europe will start in Italy with our company. We believe that other than introducing cost-effective and pollution free vehicles, the quality of Terra Motors' products will make the difference in this evolving industry, finally providing a quality product that can be a real game changer in urban transportation" said Francesco Possio, Spesso's EV Division Manager.

One of the main functions of A4000i is the world's first smartphone connectivity with its powertrain. A4000i will be the flagship model to change European people's perception towards electric scooters. In addition, Terra Motors will also displays, "BIZMO II" which fully satisfies the needs of commercial usewiththe range of 150km on a charge at EICMA.

Terra Motors will expand their customer base in Europe to achieve their vision of "leading innovations with electric vehicles in creating clean & sustainable society".

About Terra Motors

Terra Motors Corporation is an electric two & three wheeler manufacturer in Japan. The company was established in 2010 and has the largest market share in Japan. It is headquartered in Shibuya, Tokyo, and it has overseas affiliated firms in India, Vietnam and Philippines.

For more information, http://www.terra-motors.com/


VOLKSWAGEN GROUP OF AMERICA PROVIDES E-GOLF ALL-ELECTRIC VEHICLE TO STANFORD UNIVERSITY FOR E-MOBILITY RESEARCH

Continues Long-term Relationship Dedicated to Driving Automotive Innovation

Belmont, Calif. (November 7, 2014) – Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA) today announced that it will provide an all-electric 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf to Stanford University for research dedicated to advancing e-mobility and improving the driver experience in electric vehicles.

Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Volkswagen of America and a member of Stanford Engineering Advisory Board, presented the vehicle at Stanford on November 6. Persis S. Drell, the Frederick Emmons Terman Dean of the Stanford School of Engineering; Sven Beiker Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for Automotive Research (CARS); and Dr. Wendy Ju, Ph.D., Executive Director for Interaction Design Research, Center for Design Research (CDR), accepted the keys on behalf of the principal investigators, Stanford Engineering professors Fritz Prinz and Larry Leifer.

"Volkswagen's longstanding relationship with Stanford has allowed us to push the boundaries of automotive research and innovation, and we look forward to extending our work together to drive advances in electric vehicles," said Ewald Goessmann, Executive Director, Volkswagen Group of America Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL). "We are proud to provide the e-Golf to Stanford to help shape the future of e-mobility and further the educational experience of its engineering students and researchers."

The all-new e-Golf is Volkswagen's first fully-electric vehicle and operates solely on an efficient 24.2 kWh lithium-ion battery. It produces zero tailpipe emissions, and requires zero trips to the pump.

The Volkswagen e-Golf will initially be provided to the Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Laboratory (VAIL), located on the Stanford campus, to offer researchers the opportunity to evaluate the vehicle and inspire new research themes.

Beginning in 2015, the e-Golf will be used for a one-year research project focused on advancing the driver experience and understanding of e-mobility to help drivers feel more confident and empowered driving an electric vehicle. With the goal of helping drivers maximize EV benefits and reduce energy usage, researchers from Stanford will work with the ERL to study driver behavior and provide real-time feedback on behaviors that waste energy.

In addition to the vehicle loan, Volkswagen Group of America will join the Stanford University CDR Industry Affiliates Program. Membership further expands Volkswagen's research collaboration with Stanford and provides dedicated students and academic resource support to help advance the electric vehicle study, as well as other engineering design research initiatives.

In 2009, the VWGoA invested $5.75 million in the creation of the VAIL with Stanford, and then further expanded the research partnership in 2013 with an additional $1.7 million donation. Since 2009, VAIL has conducted numerous breakthrough research projects in several areas including autonomous transportation, vehicle dynamics, safety, and environmental performance.

In addition to funding, VWGoA continues to provide resources, vehicles, technical expertise and access to the ERL for Stanford researchers actively collaborating on various automotive and technology projects.

About Volkswagen Group Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL)
Volkswagen Group of America's Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) located in Belmont, California represents the company's applied research and development initiatives in North America. With a focus on advanced technology, the ERL's mission is to develop innovations for future generations of vehicles with the goal of transferring technologies from many industries into the automotive domain. The ERL was established in August 1998 with three employees and today has grown to become the Volkswagen Group's largest research facility outside of Germany employing approximately 140 engineers, social scientists, researchers, and product designers.

About Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.

Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWGoA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, one of the world's leading automobile manufacturers and the largest carmaker in Europe. VWGoA operates a manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee and houses the U.S. operations of a worldwide family of distinguished and exciting brands including Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Volkswagen, as well as VW Credit, Inc. Founded in 1955, the company's headquarters are in Herndon, Va.; VWGoA brings vehicles to the U.S. that marry the science of engineering and the art of styling, with the goal of offering attractive, safe, and eco-conscious automobiles that are competitive and set world standards in their respective classes. The company has approximately 6,000 employees in the United States and sells its vehicles through a network of approximately 1,000 dealers.

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