Recharge Wrap-up: Tesla rainbow charging port, dandelion tires

Ford employs SCR in EU diesels; Total buys Saft.

A Tesla owner has discovered a rainbow charging port Easter egg. In both the Model S and the Model X, quickly clicking the charging handle ten times in a row while the car is locked and charging causes the port to flash in a psychedelic array of colors. See the light show in the video above, and read more at Teslarati.

Ford is switching to cleaner diesel technology for Europe. Following the lead of PSA (and its brands Citroën, Peugeot, and DS), Ford's new 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel engine will use selective catalytic reduction ( SCR) to decrease NOx emissions, despite the added cost. Volkswagen has also said it will switch to SCR in its diesels "as soon as possible." Analysts predict 34 percent of European diesels will use SCR by 2021, up from eight percent in 2014. SCR can reduce NOx emissions by up to 90 percent. Ford says its 2.0-liter EcoBlue engine also reduces CO2 emissions by up to 13 percent thanks to lower frictional losses. The automaker is also planning a 1.5-liter EcoBlue motor capable of using SCR as well as the lean NOx traps (LNT) it currently uses. Read more at Automotive News Europe.

Continental is exploring how to make tires using rubber made from dandelions . The process uses the stalks of the common weed as a source of latex, which is refined into rubber. It's not guaranteed that dandelion rubber tires will ever be brought to market, according to Richard Durance, the Automotive Engineering Manager of Continental UK. "It's too early to say if these tires would give us the correct properties," says Durance, "and I'm not sure on yield per acre, but it will reduce the amount of synthetic oil required." Read more from Car Magazine.

Oil company Total will buy battery maker Saft for about $1.1 billion. The deal to buy all of Saft's issued and outstanding shares at a premium has been approved unanimously by the Supervisory Board of Saft. "The acquisition of Saft is part of Total's ambition to accelerate its development in the fields of renewable energy and electricity," says Total Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné. He adds, "This transaction will enable Saft to successfully accelerate its development." Read more at Green Car Congress.

Share This Photo X