Recharge Wrap-up: Biodiesel ad campaign, Toyota battery replacement cost

Ricardo adds sound to EVs.

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Ricardo is developing its Realistic Augmented Sound technology not just for sports cars, but also for electric vehicles. In order to provide a more pleasant and whole sensory experience, Ricardo believes its system can make green cars more appealing to customers. When purchasing a vehicle, subtle nuances affect the customer's overall "feel" of the car. "And of all of the sensory considerations, the least recognized but the strongest influence may be that of sound," says Ricardo NVH specialist Mathew Maunder. "Ricardo's RAS-R technology enables us to engineer the most attractive acoustic quality and character for any vehicle type, from performance sports cars to the latest electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids." Company engineers are presenting a paper on their system at the "The NVH complexity challenge: achieving appealing 'green' vehicles" conference in Austria this month. Read more at Green Car Congress.

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) has introduced a new ad campaign for the alternative fuel. Called "More is Less," the campaign stresses that opting for greater amounts of biodiesel in heavy duty fleets is better for the environment. "Using more biodiesel means less fossil fuel, less carbon emissions, less carcinogens, less environmental impact," says NBB COO and interim CEO Donnell Rehagen. The campaign includes a 30-second TV spot featuring school buses running on biodiesell, highlighting that if more districts did the same, there would be less carbon pollution. Check out the campaign at its website, and read more from Biodiesel Magazine.

Green Car Reports has updated its guide to battery replacement costs for Toyota hybrids. First of all, replacement is rare, as the NiMH battery is meant to last the life of the car. Additionally, Toyota warranties in most states cover the battery for eight years or 100,000 miles (10 years/150,000 miles in California). Beyond that, replacement batteries cost between $3,649 and $6,353 (MSRP) depending on the model and year, plus labor costs, but minus a $1,350 "core credit" for recycling the old battery. Get the full rundown at Green Car Congress.

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