When we got our first look at the next generation of the Honda Civic at the 2011 Detroit auto show, we were generally underwhelmed. The Civic Concept resembled the outgoing Civic so closely that it was easily overshadowed by more visually interesting reveals, such as the Hyundai Veloster. Today, with the unveiling of the production versions of what will be the 2012 Civic coupe and sedan, we're unsurprised to find that Honda's bread-and-butter model is just as visually underwhelming as when we last saw it. However, digging into the specs, we find that there are a few revisions … Read more
Lithium ion battery company A123 Systems today said that it will supply a 20-megawatt battery for grid storage in northern Chile, one of the larger projects to use batteries to fortify the grid.
AES Gener, a division of U.S.-based power generation company AES, will install 10 shipping container-size storage systems in northern Chile to work in conjunction with a new 500-megawatt power plant called Angamos.
The batteries will be used for "spinning reserves" to ensure grid reliability by filling gaps in power in that area, which needs a reliable supply of electricity for mining operations. The … Read more
Here's something that could have publishers quaking in their books: gadget makers continue to look for ways to do for books what the CD ripper did for music.
Ion Audio, a company known for helping vinyl-record owners digitize their music, says it will trot out sometime this summer a device called the Book Saver, according to a story on Engadget. Ion said the Book Saver is capable of digitizing a 200-page book in 15 minutes. An owner of a Book Saver, which will likely sell for $150, places a book into the scanning cradle and the device makes color … Read more
We saw an early mock-up of Ion's dual-lens Twin Video mini camcorder at last year's CES. Now, almost a year later, the product is finally shipping, and it doesn't really look like the mock-up. However, it still has two lenses that allow you to shoot rear and front video feeds with the touch of a button.
What's the purpose of that? Well, the idea is that the person shooting the video can easily--and smoothly--get in on the action. Ion's billing the Twin Video as perfect for "blogging, interviewing, and creating videos with an easy-to-use, … Read more
A General Motors patent application addresses one of the downsides of electric vehicles--battery degradation--with a system that would let technicians refurbish a lithium ion car battery.
After several years of driving, the lithium ion batteries would either be refurbished on site or the battery pack would be swapped out. Even if a fresh battery pack is installed, GM's patent application argues that refreshing used batteries without totally dismantling them can save on costs significantly.
"The … Read more
Japanese electronics giant and battery manufacturer Panasonic has invested $30 million in Tesla Motors, the U.S. automaker best-known for its all-electric luxury sports car, both companies announced Thursday.
Per the terms of the deal, Panasonic, which already has a working relationship with Tesla through their battery pack collaboration, purchased Tesla common stock at $21.15 per share, acquiring approximately a 2 percent stake in the company.
Tesla, which also builds power trains for use in electric vehicles in addition to manufacturing cars, has previously used battery components from a variety of companies. But the company announced Thursday that it &… Read more
Element Case, the maker of high-end iPhone cases, including the Vapor case for the iPhone 4, is trotting out a couple of new "motorsport-inspired cases" for the iPhone 3G and 3GS: the Formula 3 and Ion 3.
According to the company, the Formula 3 is the successor to its Liquid case, and is a three-piece "slide on" case that has flared corners and rubber tone finish. Its bottom piece is designed to easily slip off when docking your iPhone.
Meanwhile, Element is billing the Ion 3 as the most durable case in the line. It's … Read more
Owners of the new Ford Focus Electric won't have to worry about going out to warm up the car before driving on a winter's day, the car will warm up its battery pack automatically if left plugged in.
Ford announced Thursday its Focus Electric, due out next year in the U.S., will contain a lithium ion battery pack with a liquid-based thermal management system.
In addition to keeping the car's battery within a preferred temperature range while engaged, the system also kicks in to cool or warm the car's battery pack as needed while it'… Read more
Ford, a company known for big trucks and muscle cars, has ambitious plans for several upcoming zero-emission vehicle fleet launches--including the Transit Connect Electric, in North America in late 2010 and in Europe in 2011, and the Focus Electric passenger car in North America in 2011 and Europe in 2012.
In an effort to make the new electric fleets more efficient, the company today said it is using the Internet and wireless technology to test advanced lithium ion battery systems, collect real-time performance data and make software updates.
Engineers use two monitoring methods to collect data from batteries in the … Read more
Jetting off to San Francisco last Thursday to appear at the live Netbooks and Tablets CNET Showcase event, I thought the most interesting part might be seeing which systems the guest vendors were going to demo for the live audience.
With Toshiba, Asus, Panasonic, Nvidia, Samsung, and Archos on hand, there were plenty of examples of both traditional Netbooks and touch-screen PCs, including a few on our most-wanted list. While the upcoming Asus Eee Pad didn't make it, two other very interesting laptops did.
First was the Toshiba Libretto W100. With its dual screens and lack of a physical … Read more