Imagine being able to charge your electric car in minutes rather than hours, or your smartphone in seconds. That’s the enticing prospect being touted by researchers who reckon they’ve discovered a new material that could boost the performance of a carbon-based supercapacitor – sometimes called an ultracapacitor – a type of energy storage device that can be charged very quickly and offload its power very quickly, too.
If you’re thinking that conventional tires aren’t quite up to snuff for the greenest possible electric vehicle driving experience, run right out and buy yourself a cigar. Some of the world’s most forward-thinking automotive engineers have been tackling the problem, and engineers at Goodyear have come up with a solution: moss.
Cars with plugs may be the cleaner and greener future, but at the moment, they make up only about 1 percent of global sales approaching 100 million vehicles a year. That means that automakers continue to work ceaselessly on more efficient gasoline engines and lighter vehicles to put them in. Last week, Toyota summarized its plans in that arena and revealed some of the future powertrains we’ll see in Toyota and Lexus vehicles over the next several years.
Anyone who tells you that dealing with climate change is simply a matter of sweeping away the obstructionism of oil companies is living in a dream world. The real obstacle is us — our vast dependence on fossil fuels and the difficulty of extricating ourselves without crippling the world economy. It’s true that the Trump administration has withdrawn from the Paris climate agreement, making any transition harder. But the problems transcend President Trump’s disengagement, as a new study from the oil giant BP makes clear.
Responding to fleet market demand for complete, body-ready chassis, Motiv Power Systems is introducing the EPIC (Electric Powered Intelligent Chassis) all-electric family of chassis for 2018. Debuting at Ford’s booth and based on the E-450, F-59, and F-53 platforms, the EPIC all-electric chassis are production-line ready, drop-in replacements for the equivalent ICE chassis and are available for a wide range of medium-duty body applications including walk-in vans, box trucks, school buses, shuttle buses, work trucks and specialty vehicles.
The Kona Electric will make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland next week. It’s based on Hyundai’s small gasoline-powered Kona SUV. With the standard battery, the Kona Electric will have a range of about 186 miles. With an optional high-capacity battery it could go as far as 292 miles. These figures are based on new European driving test designed to yield more realistic results than tests that have been used before.
XL Hybrids will offer an electrified 2018 Ford F-250 pickup to commercial and municipal fleets that will be unveiled at NTEA’s Work Truck Show in Indianapolis in early March, the company announced. The battery-electric hybrid F-250 will be equipped with the vehicle modifier’s XLH hybrid drive system that’s expected to increase fuel economy by 25% and significantly reduce carbon-dioxide emissions. Production of the hybrid F-250 conversions will begin in March. The Work Truck Show is set for March 6 to 9 in Indianapolis. XL Hybrids will also make its technology available on more F-150 pickups, by adding SuperCrew models. The company now offers F-150s with its XLP plug-in hybrid electric system that improves fuel economy by 50%, according to the company.
The reviews are mixed. In the Los Angeles Times, Todd Darling writes:
The bill…proposes a market-based “carbon trading” plan that mirrors a European system initiated in 2005. This plan requires polluters to obtain government-issued “carbon credits,” which then allow them to pollute above the agreed-on limit….the Waxman-Markey plan…gives 85% of the pollution credits to the biggest polluters for free….
In Europe, the distribution of free pollution credits to industries failed to establish a strong carbon market. In turn, the weak market in carbon credits failed to generate the money needed to fund new technology. And because there was a glut of free credits, polluters that went over the emissions limit could buy the necessary credits cheaply. So important states, such as Britain, continue to exceed the pollution limits.
Faced with disappointing results, Europe began auctioning off more of the credits in 2006. But the damage was done….The complex European trading scheme, started with free pollution credits, has not produced dramatic cuts in pollution or dramatic developments in technology or a robust market in carbon credits. The Financial Times of London was blunt: “Carbon markets leave much room for unverifiable manipulation. [Carbon] taxes are better, partly because they are less vulnerable to such improprieties.”