Recharge Wrap-up: Q50 Hybrid video, Iran's biodiesel weed

2015 Toyota Prius C Named IIHS Top Safety Pick

A new video from Infiniti showcases the Q50 Hybrid's kinetic energy recovery technology, borrowed from Formula One. The video details what is going on inside both the Q50 Hybrid and the racecar when it gathers energy to store for later use, offering better performance than an internal combustion engine alone. In the Q50 Hybrid, that electric energy helps the car accelerate from 0-60 in 4.9 seconds. The video also serves to highlight the relationship between racing innovation and performance and efficiency improvements in production vehicles. See the video above.

The 2015 Toyota Prius C has been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The compact hybrid, updated for the 2015 model year, has been upgraded from a "poor" to "acceptable" rating in the small overlap crash test, placing it on the Top Safety Pick list. Beginning in the 2016 model year, cars will have to score a "good" rating on the test to make the list, which means further improvements will be necessary if Toyota wants the Prius C to maintain its safety status with the IIHS. Read more at Green Car Reports.

A couple in Tennessee have been found guilty of scamming the state in a fake biodiesel scheme. John and Lisa Brichetto's Northington Energy LLC received a state loan to produce biodiesel in 2011, but the facility never started production and was later foreclosed upon. In addition to the $142,215 the Brichettos defrauded from Tennessee, the state also invested in utilities and roads, while the US Department of Agriculture also paid for site improvements. Read more from the Times Free Press.

Researchers in Iran have developed a way to make biodiesel from a weed. Scientists at the Islamic Azad University have created two liters of biomass for biofuel from flixweed. Flixweed, also called herb-Sophia and tansy mustard, is a non-edible weed that grows in various climates with little to no effort. It was found to contain 22 percent oil and fatty acids, and the biomass contains oxygenated chemical components. "This issue is important because the atomic oxygen in the fuel of a car directly cuts exhaust and the dangerous carbon monoxide and cancerous particles suspended in air," says Mehdi Alami, a chemistry graduate working on the project. Read more at Press TV.

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