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Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

BMW’s iX3 Reveals a More Normal-Looking Approach to All-Electric Driving

New battery-electric SUV ushers in a dramatic shift in direction for BMW’s i brand.

by on Apr.26, 2018

The BMW iX3 Concept debuted in Beijing and revealed the automaker's shift in its electric vehicle strategy.

The BMW i3 is one of the market’s more technologically advanced vehicles – and also one of the weirdest looking. Introduced in 2014 and updated for the 2018 model-year, it helped introduce the Bavarian automaker’s distinctive i brand of electrified vehicles.

But with BMW getting ready to roll out a new wave of battery cars, and shift away from its original strategy of using unique platforms for products like the i3 and i8, the iX3 concept making its debut in Beijing this week gives us a good hint of what’s to come.

News Now!

The concept debuting at the Beijing Motor Show “offers a look ahead to the expansion of the model line-up in this area,” the automaker announced ahead of the formal unveiling. “The first model from the BMW brand to be driven purely by electric power will be a fully-fledged Sports Activity Vehicle – and without compromises when it comes to functionality and comfort.” (more…)

Volvo Aims for Half of its Sales to Be Pure EV by 2025

All of Swedish maker’s models will use some form of electrification.

by on Apr.26, 2018

Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said that 50% of the company's sales will come from EVs.

Expect to see a flood of pure battery-electric vehicles hit showrooms over the next few years – by one analyst’s count, as many as 101 will be in U.S. showrooms in 2021, with plenty more to follow.

That’s expected to include a number of offerings from Volvo which now says it expects all-electric, or BEV, models to account for fully half of its global sales by 2025. And that doesn’t include the mild, conventional or plug-in hybrid products that will flesh out the rest of the Swedish automaker’s line-up.

News Now!

“Last year we made a commitment to electrification in preparation for an era beyond the internal combustion engine,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars. “Today we reinforce and expand that commitment in the world’s leading market for electrified cars.” (more…)

Tesla Model 3: How Can Such a Good Car Be So Bad

Teardown of battery-electric vehicle reveals many surprises.

by on Apr.25, 2018

"You can see the gaps from the moon" on the body of a Tesla Model 3, according to Sandy Munro.

With apologies to Charles Dickens, think of it as two tales of a car, suggests Sandy Munro, head of the suburban Detroit competitive analysis firm, Munro and Associates. How can such a breakthrough vehicle also have so many problems, he asks, during a lengthy look at what’s under the skin of the Tesla Model 3.

Over the years, Munro’s firm has vivisected hundreds of automobiles, including a number of new battery-electric vehicles, such as the BMW i3 and Chevrolet Bolt EV. But few teardowns, he suggested, have been more eye-opening than Tesla’s first mainstream offering. In terms of its battery-based drivetrain technology, the Model 3 readily sets a benchmark, but it’s another matter entirely with many of the things an owner more readily sees, including a body with massive quality and fit-and-finish problems.

Dig Deeper!

“It’s the best of (cars) and the worst of (cars),” Munro said, during a special meeting of the Detroit Automotive Press Association held at his Auburn Hills facility. “Some stuff gets a six, on a scale of one to five, others a one.”

(more…)

Bosch Says It has Secret to Cleaning Diesel Emissions

Fix could save the diesel engine — in Europe anyway.

by on Apr.25, 2018

Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner says the company has resolved the issue of diesel emissions.

Nearly three years after the start of “dieselgate” and Volkswagen’s nearly complete switch from diesels to battery electrics, auto supplier Robert Bosch GmbH says it has developed a method for cutting emissions from diesels to levels well below U.S. and European requirements.

If true, the move could save the diesel — at least in Europe where a number of cities are enacting bans on vehicles with emissions above certain levels.

News Now!

“There’s a future for diesel,” Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner says in a statement announcing the breakthrough alongside the organization’s annual meeting in Stuttgart. “Today, we want to put a stop, once and for all, to the debate about the demise of diesel technology.” (more…)

Court Orders Reinstatement of Fuel-Economy Fines

Automakers will need to keep to Obama administration numbers.

by on Apr.25, 2018

President Donald Trump's rollback of Obama administration CAFE standards was halted by an appellate court.

The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals this week blocked the Trump administration’s efforts delay indefinitely higher penalties for automakers that don’t meet certain fuel efficiency standards.

The rule calling for higher penalties on gas guzzlers was first imposed by the Obama administration and the court’s decision was hailed by environmental groups led by the Natural Resources Defense Council and officials from five states led by California and New York that challenged Trump administration in court.

Industry News!

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, one of five attorneys general, who brought the suit at the behest of the environmental groups also lauded the court’s decision, which makes it far less likely the Trump administration can block the added fines. (more…)

2019 Lexus ES Sedan Breaks Cover in Beijing

Point-counterpoint, as Lexus adds F Sport, as well as hybrid versions.

by on Apr.24, 2018

Lexus aimed to put more "passion" into the design and performance of the 2019 ES.

After a series of fan dance teases, Lexus has finally pulled the wraps off its seventh-generation in a dual presentation at the Beijing Motor Show and near its old U.S. corporate headquarters in Los Angeles.

One of the first models ever introduced by the Japanese automaker, the ES has long been known for its comfort, reliability and value, though it has also helped Lexus earn a reputation for plain vanilla design and performance. The luxury arm of Toyota Motor Corp. is determined not to let that happen again.

News Now!

“The ES has always been an elegant luxury sedan,” said Yasuo Kojino, the 2019 model’s chief designer. “For this generation, we have added daring design elements that challenge the traditional expectations of buyers.”

(more…)

Musk Gets Preliminary Approval for Testing Tunnel in L.A.

Los Angelse City Council must provide a final approval.

by on Apr.20, 2018

Elon Musk's Boring Co. got preliminary approval for a proof of concept tunnel under Los Angeles.

The City of Los Angeles has approved Elon Musk to be more boring, er, to do more boring of tunnels that is.

Actually, Los Angeles City Council’s public works committee approved an environmental review exemption for a tunnel that Musk, through his Boring Co., wants to dig to test his underground transportation system.

Pushing the Envelope!

The committee approved the measure noting it was in favor of any idea that could help alleviate the crippling traffic jams that so often plague the city and surrounding areas. The motion now heads to the full City Council for approval. (more…)

Walmart Set to Add Super Fast-Chargers in 34 States

Chargers will deliver up to 200 miles in 10 minutes.

by on Apr.19, 2018

The new Walmart chargers will be capable of boosting range by as much as 20 miles a minute.

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer could soon operate one of the nation’s larger vehicle charging networks.

The Arkansas-based company is partnering up with Electrify America to set up 100 fast-charger stations at stores in 34 states by mid-2019. That’s part of 2,000 chargers Electrify America aims to have in place by then at 500 stations across the U.S.

Electrifying!

“Along with providing our customers with an enhanced shopping experience through added convenience, this initiative also allows us to contribute to the expansion of our nation’s EV charging station infrastructure,” said Mark Vanderhelm, Vice President of Energy for Walmart, Inc.

(more…)

Slot Car-Like eRoad Debuts Outside Stockholm – Could Eliminate Range Anxiety

System would allow an EV to constantly stay charged.

by on Apr.16, 2018

A truck using the eRoad heads from Stockholm out towards the city's Arlanda Airport

Battery-cars are great – as long as you don’t worry about running out of power without a place to charge back up. But a consortium set up by the Swedish Transport Administration may have come up with a solution for range anxiety it has dubbed eRoadArlanda.

The pilot project, which stretches for 1.2 miles between the capital city of Stockholm with Arlanda Airport, allows electrified vehicles to draw power from an underground electrical grid so that their batteries never run down.

Electrifying News!

It works much like an oversized slot car track, explained Hans Säll, the chief executive of eRoadArlanda, who said, “There is no electricity on the surface. There are two tracks, just like an outlet in the wall. Five or six centimeters down is where the electricity is.”

(more…)

FCA Continuing Diesel Settlement Talks with DOJ, CARB

Discussions centering on potential penalties for automaker.

by on Apr.11, 2018

The 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is part of the group of vehicles that allegedly used a cheat device to beat emissions tests.

Despite repeatedly denying any wrongdoing, Fiat Chrysler is in talks with the U.S. Justice Department and California Air Resources Board to reach a settlement about accusations it used illegal used software to beat diesel emissions tests.

The discussions, which according to multiple reports, are very far along, address allegations that FCA used the software, in a manner similar to Volkswagen’s diesel testing cheat device, for 104,000 U.S. diesel vehicles – mostly light trucks – sold since 2014.

Diesel News!

According to Reuters, Ken Feinberg, an adviser in the process, at a federal court hearing in San Francisco revealed that government lawyers and Fiat Chrysler were swapping documents as part of the settlement process, which was moving “at a rather swift pace.” (more…)