January 21, 2013 |
Battery maker GS Yuasa has suddenly become the focus of international attention - - but not in a way it wanted. Yuasa, based in Japan, made the lithium ion batteries used in the troubled Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets. A fire and overheating of those batteries were among the chief recent problems with the jets, leading to them being grounded around the world. Japanese and U.S. investigators were at Yuasa's plant in Kyoto on Monday, according to Bloomberg News. It was part of a probe into a fire on a Dreamliner operated by Japan Airlines and an overheated battery that forced an emergency landing of another of the jets flown by All Nippon Airways.
March 14, 2013 |
Boeing Co. said its planned fixes for the issues with its lithium-ion battery systems on the 787 Dreamliner passenger jet removes any related risk of a fire breaking out. Speaking to reporters from Tokyo, Boeing officials addressed concerns about its new flagship jet, which has been grounded worldwide since Jan. 16 after two incidents within two weeks involving the battery systems. FULL COVERAGE: Boeing's troubled Dreamliner Boeing's plan to fix to the 787 battery system involves insulating and spacing out parts, reducing charging levels so the battery cannot be overcharged and enclosing the lithium-ion batteries in stainless-steel cases so very little oxygen can get at them.
May 8, 2010 |
Yet-Ming Chiang relishes his 20-mile drive to work. His hybrid car gets more than 100 miles per gallon, recharges by plugging into a regular wall outlet and purrs so quietly that it's his favorite place for making important phone calls. But what makes Chiang's ordinary-looking beige Toyota Prius even more special is that it's powered by a breakthrough battery that he invented and is working to turn into the kind of high-tech, green, "Made in America" product that many see as the key to the nation's economic future.
September 11, 2012 |
A small slice of Audi's future recently began testing on U.S. roads around the country, but if you look too hard for these prototypes, they'll probably drive right under your nose. That's because rather than spend precious development dollars on a uniquely-designed body that's more science experiment than it is a practical application, Audi went and hid an all-electric drivetrain under the skin of its well-known A3 hatchback. Jeff Curry, the head of Audi's electric vehicle strategy in the U.S., brought one of the 17 A3 e-tron prototypes to Santa Monica this week for a few hours of driving.
November 15, 2012 |
Fresh off of launching the Spark (sub) sub-compact car this past summer, Chevrolet has revealed details on the all-electric version the company will be debuting at the 2012 L.A. Auto Show. Chevrolet says the Spark EV will have 130 horsepower (100 kW) coming from an oil-cooled electric motor, a hearty jump from the 84 horsepower in the gas-powered car. Meanwhile, torque skyrockets to 400 pound-feet (better than a new Porsche 911 ), which Chevy says helps move this car from 0-60 in less than eight seconds.
November 25, 2011 |
For General Motors Co., the Chevrolet Volt may be generating the wrong kind of spark. Federal officials on Friday launched a formal safety defect investigation into GM's plug-in hybrid vehicle after crash tests on several Volts and their batteries resulted in fires. In one case, a fire that started in one of the test vehicles consumed three others parked nearby. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it was "concerned" that damage to the Volt's batteries sustained in tests designed to replicate real-world crash scenarios resulted in the vehicles' catching fire.
May 5, 2012 |
The car: 2012 Mitsubishi i SE The power: 66 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque coming from a 49 kW AC synchronous electric motor that's powered by a 16 kWh lithium-ion battery. It routs power to the rear wheels via a single-speed transmission. The photos: 2012 Mitsubishi i The speed: 0-60 mph in a long weekend (13.4 seconds) The bragging rights: Cheapest and most efficient electric vehicle currently on the market. Expect a 62-mile range from a fully charged battery, which comes with an eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
March 16, 2013 |
For all the advantages of diesel cars - fuel economy, robust torque, bomb-proof durability - many U.S. buyers just aren't that into them. Volkswagen knows as much. So despite offering a wide range of fuel-efficient diesels, the company is now moving into hybrid territory. It took its first hybrid step with the Touareg SUV, which costs an eye-popping $63,000. Now VW is offering a Jetta Hybrid sedan. It's also not cheap: the loaded model we tested came to $31,975. Photos: Volkswagen Jetta Turbo Hybrid VW actually prefers you call it the Jetta Turbo Hybrid.
March 30, 2013 |
Electric bikes are slowly picking up speed. Already booming in Europe and Japan, these bike-path legal bicycles combine a normal drivetrain with an electric motor, which is usually embedded in the rear hub. You decide how much to juice your pedaling with the motor, allowing you to fly up steep hills or commute to work without huffing and puffing, then push it manually when you want a workout. There are two types of electric bikes: a "pedal-assist" that kicks in only while you are pushing the pedals, and a throttle-actuated motor that works without pedaling.
March 27, 2013 |
With the introduction of a new Pathfinder hybrid crossover at the New York Auto Show on Wednesday, Nissan signaled that it's going to once again move back into vehicles that have a combined gas and electric powertrain after nearly abandoning the technology to develop the all-electric Leaf compact car. “It makes sense considering where consumer sentiment is and where fuel prices might go,” said Ken Kcomt, Nissan's director of product planning for...