The new models and concept cars just keep on coming at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show. One notable trend at this year's event is the willingness of luxury German automakers to finally embrace hybrid technology, with Audi, BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes all either announcing production hybrids or showing off advanced hybrid concepts. Meanwhile, the 2009 Jaguar XF shows that concept technology can make it off the auto show floor, as the latest Big Cat retains its futuristic shifter for production. On the subject of cabin gadgetry, automotive equipment manufacturer Siemens VDO showed off its next-generation in-car touch screen technology, … Read more
If diesels and hybrid cars both get great mileage, why not add a hybrid system to a diesel engine? Mercedes-Benz decided to answer that in the affirmative, showing off numerous diesel-electric hybrids at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show. Because diesel engines and electric motors duplicate their most efficient performance bands, high torque at low RPMs, Mercedes-Benz found a small hybrid system was all that was needed on its Bluetec diesel electrics, rather than the more robust two-mode system coming out on its ML450 and S400.
In 2010, Mercedes-Benz will launch the E300 and the S300, both cars using a Bluetec … Read more
Transonic is coming clean with its ambitions: it is working on a fuel injection system that will let liquid fuel cars get 100 miles a gallon.
And an engine equipped with Transonic's technology will be able to run on gas, ethanol or other types of fuel without help from batteries. In other words, a car with a Transonic-assisted engine would get as good or better mileage than a plug-in hybrid (mileage on plug-ins drops on freeways) but still have the punch of a gas car. More mileage leads directly to lower emissions, and also less dependence on foreign oil. … Read more
Volvo announced Monday that an "Efficiency" version of the 2008 C30 with a 1.6-liter turbo diesel engine will get about 4.5 liters/100 km (52 mpg).
Additionally, Volvo said that its Volvo C30, S40 and V50 with the 2-liter turbo diesel engine will have a new "Powershift" gearbox that will reduce overall fuel consumption by about 8 percent.
The Volvo C30 … Read more
One big yellow bus is going green in Napa County. The Northern California school district today received a plug-in hybrid diesel-electric school bus -- the first of its kind in the state.
The move is part of a nation-wide initiative aimed at reducing school bus emissions and cutting costs by improving fuel efficiency. The program is led by Advanced Energy, a non-profit corporation based in Raleigh, N.C.
The bus, which doesn't look terribly innovative on the outside, is built by IC Corporation, the largest school bus manufacturer in the country. It uses a hybrid drive technology dubbed a … Read more
PALO ALTO, Calif.--This is sort of like the "two, two, two mints in one" solution for the clean-tech set.
Australia's Terra Fuel Technologies has come up with a device that, when added to a diesel car, bus or truck, lets the vehicle also run partly on ethanol. You need to add a second gas tank on the vehicle to hold ethanol, but in the end, it's an ethanol-diesel car. The device, a black box, controls the flow of ethanol into the engine.
The company has tested it and will start selling it in the United … Read more
We know Audi has the fastest diesel engine in the world, but does it also have the cleanest one?
Many car companies have been touting diesel engine technology as the short-term solution to fuel prices and environmental concerns. Others are making hybrids or concentrating on improving the efficiency of gas engines.
Audi may have something that will blow them all away.
The company plans to incorporate the TDI (turbocharged direct injection) technology that was used in its Le Mans-winning R10 TDI sports car into its existing line of consumer cars. That's not surprising.
Here's the kicker.
The company … Read more
Barely a week after it was announced that a California man is suing Honda for the worse-than-advertised fuel economy of his Civic Hybrid, an independent study has found that he is not alone in his disillusionment.
Results from this week's J.D. Power and Associates' second annual Alternative Powertrain Study show that the number of customers considering buying a hybrid has declined over the past year, partly due to a realization of the actual mileage that hybrid cars are likely to achieve. Of the 4,000 participants surveyed, 50 percent said they were considering a hybrid compared with 57 … Read more
DaimlerChrysler, looking to meet tighter emission standards, on Tuesday announced a deal with Fiat for diesel engine technology.
The German-American company said the partnership will result in Fiat supplying 80,000 diesel engines per year beginning in 2009 to DaimlerChrysler's truck group, Mitsubishi Fuso. The group includes the Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, Sterling, Western Star and Fuso trucks brands.
Daimler said that it saw the deal as a way to more easily save money and accommodate future emission standards as they come due.
"Today's and future emission regulations demand a high level of investment and technological specialization. This agreement … Read more
Toyota plans to announce specifics next month regarding collaboration with Isuzu on diesel engines.
Toyota has been in discussions with Isuzu, a company known for its expertise in diesel engine technology, since November, said Tina Ewald, assistant manager for media and investor relations at Toyota Motor North America.
Earlier Friday the Nikkei, Japan's leading business daily, reported that Isuzu has invested in a plant in Hokkaido, Japan for the purpose of supplying Toyota with 200,000 low-emission diesel engines per year. The report said the plant will be operational by 2012.
Toyota would not confirm or deny the report.… Read more