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Posts Tagged ‘CO2 emissions’

GM Promising 8 Models Will Top 40 MPG

Detroit maker also targets big cut in CO2 emissions.

by on Jul.11, 2013

General Motors reaffirmed its commitment to reducing the energy it uses and to improving the gas mileage of its vehicles.

General Motors has promised at least eight of its U.S. vehicles will get 40 miles per gallon or better by 2017, while also pledging to reduce the CO2 emissions of its fleet 15% by 2015.

The mileage target, listed in GM’s latest sustainability report, would double the current number of products achieving at least 40 mpg, and reflect an expanding use of battery-based technologies, like those in the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, as well as advances in more conventional internal combustion technologies.

The Last Word!


Battery Maker Claims EVs Viable Now

Company founder wants to partner to create new innovations.

by on Aug.05, 2010

The EV future is bright with unnamed programs at makers.

Battery technology has advanced to the point that it is viable for powering vehicles and they could be in dozens of new electric vehicles within the next few years, the leader of a growing battery company said Thursday.

Christina Lampe-Onnerud, founder and CEO of Boston Power, called on those attending the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City to join in developing the vehicles that will run on batteries.

Battery costs of $500 per kilowatt/hour are now low enough for BEVs to make sense when the total cost of ownership is considered, she claimed. Other industry estimates put cost of lithium ion batteries for automobiles at twice that – before any markup.

While she would not give figures for her own company because of its venture-capital funding, Lampe-Onnerud expects as many as 100,000 EVs on roads in as little as two years. And phone calls from consumers who want to know about EVs show the public is clamoring for them, she claimed.

Watts and Whats!

The company is currently building electric vehicle batteries for pilot programs, but she would not say how many the company has in production.


Think Fast! New EV Fast Charge Method Announced

Zero-to-80% charge in 15 minutes, said to be a new standard.

by on Jan.26, 2010

A new time joins the zero-to-60 mph number, minutes from depleted to mostly recharged.

Electric vehicle manufacturer Think will announce later today  that it will join with AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV) to jump-start the fast-charge infrastructure in the United States.

The announcement will come at a 15-minute news conference at the Washington Auto Show.

Fifteen minutes is the time it will take to charge a Think City electric vehicle from completely depleted to 80% using an advanced fast-charge system, establishing what Think thinks is a new benchmark for the rapidly developing electric vehicle industry.

“This is a major leap forward for electric vehicles, according to Think CEO Richard Canny. “ The development and deployment of very-fast-charge stations will help speed the electrification of automobiles in the United States and globally.”

We're Fast!

Think will also announce that it has chosen EnerDel, the Indiana-based lithium-ion battery manufacturer, to be the exclusive battery supplier for its City electric vehicles sold in the U.S. through 2012. EnerDel also will also supply at least 60% of the batteries for City electric vehicles sold in Europe.     (more…)

Another Toyota Hybrid Due at NAIAS

Expanding the lineup with a post Prius offering?

by on Dec.15, 2009

No details, just a teaser shot of another dedicated hybrid?

No details yet, just a teaser shot of another dedicated hybrid?

Toyota Motor Sales, USA will stage the world debut of a new “dedicated” hybrid concept vehicle during the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The vehicle will be revealed during a news conference held on Monday, January 11.

No other details were released, leading to speculation that Toyota’s phenomenal success with hybrids in general and with the third generation Prius makes room for a second freestanding hybrid, one not built off an existing platform and model series.


Worldwide Sales of Toyota Hybrids Top 2 Million

What started in '97 as a niche is now a formidable business.

by on Sep.28, 2009


Next Prius is a plug-in hybrid design, although Toyota remains leery of lithium ion batteries.

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has steadily expanded its line-up of hybrid-electric vehicles, or HEVs, since launching the first version in Japan, the “Coaster Hybrid EV,” during August of 1997. The Prius followed  that December in Japan, and sales of the mass-produced Prius models began in North America, Europe and elsewhere in 2000.

Executives at other Japanese companies, as well as U.S. and European automakers, scoffed at what was a technological triumph. Only Honda was seriously pursuing this emissions cutting and fuel economy-increasing technology during that period.

Today, virtually all other makers are scrambling to catch up with the innovation, while also trying to protect their investments in older technologies at a time when regulations are making it increasingly expensive, perhaps prohibitive to pursue both paths at once. Add in the ongoing negative  effects of the Global Great Recession, with its concomitant collapse of vehicle sales — especially in what were the most profitable big truck and SUV segments, and the collapse of the  luxury segments — and you have a potential radical recasting of the global automotive order.

I am reminded of the lead of Tale of Two Cities with fat kings and queens on long established thrones thinking things were pretty much settled forever. Some older automotive companies and their royalty are now in a similar position.

Worse, if you are a competitor, Toyota promises to eventually offer hybrid technology in virtually every product in its line-up. A clear challenge to the established monarchies. And this challenge doesn’t stop there. As first reported last month, senior American officials at Toyota have been seeking to broaden the use of the Prius name, essentially creating a hybrid-based brand-within-a-brand. It could therefore become the strongest  global name in automotive  history.

Yes, there are caveats here aplenty.

The first is Toyota’s own weakened financial position, which has and will slow down its expansion of hybrids. Iits operating income has drastically declined in all  sectors: Toyota Motor Corporation finished fiscal 2009 with a huge $7.7 billion loss during the fourth quarter of the traditional Japanese year, which ended March 31. The fourth quarter loss left the Japanese auto giant with a decidedly non-traditional full-year loss of $4.4 billion, the largest in the company’s 71-year history. Net revenues dropped 22%.  Toyota also released guidance that it expects another loss ¥550 billion or nearly $6 billion for the coming year. The company, used to never-ending expansion, is having extreme difficulties managing a forced contraction.

However, virtually all other automakers are having the similar problems. And they don’t have the experience in  hybrid technology, so catching up will be hard — and complicated by the  experience,  intellectual property rights and the patents Toyota holds. And here, Toyota’s record of hybrid design progression and sales expansion is formidable.

What happened after the  initial Prius revolution, that caught automotive royalty eating cake, is a tale of a changed world. Toyota’s  next big step was  the second-generation Prius in 2003 and the expanded use of its hybrid system to minivans, SUVs and rear-wheel-drive sedans. As a result on May 31, 2007, the global cumulative sales of TMC’s hybrid vehicles topped 1 million.

This year, TMC continued to expand its hybrid vehicle lineup, launching the Lexus  RX450h in April, the third-generation Prius in May and the Lexus HS250h—the first dedicated Lexus hybrid model—in July.

No Lithium!

No Lithium!

All three vehicles are well received, although the Great Recession has drastically decreased the planning volumes. Nonetheless, they are expected to contribute to the ongoing popularization of hybrid vehicles.