November 30, 2010
Specially developed versions of 3M’s Thinsulate material can absorb the higher frequency sounds produced by hybrid vehicles’ electric motors and transmissions. The material is lightweight and, because it is compact and compressible, packaging and assembly is straightforward.
|The new entry-level 2011 Insight. Click to enlarge.|
The 2011 Honda Insight hybrid, now on sale in the US, gains new standard features and the addition of a value-oriented entry model featuring an MSRP starting at $18,200. The new base model is simply designated as “Insight”. The Insight LX and top-of-the-line Insight EX are still available. All Insight models are equipped with Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) for 2011, which was previously exclusive to the Insight EX.
The five-door dedicated hybrid vehicle is powered by an Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system comprising a 1.3-liter i VTEC gasoline engine and a DC brushless 10 kW electric motor that together contribute to an EPA-estimated city/highway/combined fuel economy rating of 40/43/41 miles per gallon US (5.74 L/100km combined). The Insight features the Ecological Drive Assist System (Eco Assist) to enhance efficient vehicle operation while providing feedback related to individual driving styles.
SOFC company wins Boeing/DARPA contract to supply energy storage and generation technology for ultra-long endurance aircraft
Versa Power Systems, Inc., a developer of high-power solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), has been selected as one of the key suppliers to The Boeing Co. under the next phase of a US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program to develop and fly a very long endurance unmanned aircraft. (Earlier post.)
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and The University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) have formed a new collaborative research center dedicated to the study of the Sun’s effect on Earth’s climate. The center, called the Sun-Climate Research Center (SCRC), will be directed by Robert Cahalan, Head of Goddard’s Climate and Radiation Branch, Douglas Rabin, Head of Goddard’s Solar Physics Laboratory, and Peter Pilewskie, a LASP research scientist and CU professor.
Global braking and chassis systems specialist BWI Group has developed a new generation of lightweight smart passive dampers for B, C and D-segment vehicles. The application-ready units improve cars’ handling without compromising passengers’ ride comfort and without the need for more expensive, heavier adaptive dampers.
Honda introduced a prototype of Honda BRIO, the new small-sized vehicle developed for Asian markets and scheduled to be introduced in Thailand and India in 2011, at the 27th Thailand International Motor Expo.
NPE working group submits first version of German Standardization Roadmap for Electromobility; focus on charging interfaces, charging stations and battery safety
|Timetable for the implementation of the recommendations. Higher priority topics (in red) include safety for charging stations, high voltage wiring, and batteries; and the charging interface. Click to enlarge.|
The “Standardization and Certification” working group of Germany’s National Platform for Electromobility (NPE) has submitted its interim report—the “German Standardization Roadmap for Electromobility”—to the Federal Ministries of Economics and Transport. The interim report includes the first recommended actions to ensure a successful launch of electromobility on the market.
The report provides an overview of the existing structures and specifications in the standards landscape and identifies fundamental requirements and recommended actions. The report also identifies the most important requirements for the market introduction of electromobility—charging interface, charging stations and battery safety—in order to contribute to the worldwide breakthrough of electromobility.
BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany) and INEOS Industries Holdings Limited (Lyndhurst, UK) intend to combine their global business activities in styrene monomers (SM), polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), styrene-butadiene block copolymers (SBC) and other styrene-based copolymers (SAN, AMSAN, ASA, MABS) as well as copolymer blends into a new joint venture called Styrolution.
Cracker Barrel to install 24 Ecotality EV charging systems in select Tennessee locations; Level 2 and Fast Charge
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is becoming a major participant in The EV Project and will install 24 Blink electric vehicle (EV) chargers, provided by ECOtality, Inc., at select locations in “The Tennessee Triangle,” the 425-mile stretch of interstate highway that connects Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga. The EV Project, designed to increase the adoption of electric vehicles by creating a solid charging infrastructure across the country, is managed by ECOtality.
The Automobile Sector of the Fiat Group and Adam Opel GmbH signed a contract agreement whereby Fiat will supply vehicles comprising of several variants to Opel commencing December 2011. The model will replace the Opel Combo light commercial vehicle, which reaches the end of its lifecycle in the fourth quarter 2011.