Wednesday, January 10, 2007
New battery in GM Hybrid auto future
This is the interesting end part of a CBC article about the woes of American auto makers and future plans.
Will GM and Ford be able to turn it around? The automakers, of course, say yes. Analysts say they'll need to chop vehicles, models or brands that are unprofitable (much as GM announced the phase-out of its Oldsmobile brand in 2000). They'll also need to modernize an outdated dealer network and boost investment in their remaining plants and products.
As part of that investment, GM announced a $2.5 billion program in March 2005 to upgrade plants and boost research and development in Ontario. In November 2005, DaimlerChrysler said it would invest $768 million to upgrade and modernize its Ontario operations.
======= Gradually, ever so gradually ===== TG
And, as industry aficionados gathered in Detroit for the 2007 North American International Auto Show, GM announced it was working on a lithium-ion battery that would significantly boost the gas mileage of hybrid sport utility vehicles. GM's Saturn Vue Green Line gets about 13.5 kilometres per litre on the highway. The new battery could more than double that to 30.
=== Li is misleading =meaning, pay royalty to large format NiMH patent holder, Chevron? See TonyGuitar.blogspot.com === TG
Update While Chevron holds the *large format* NiMH patents for North America, Exxon-Mobile make the Lithium Ion seperator film,[like a thin white plastic], backbone of the Lithium battery. Exxon-Mobile $39 billion$ *06 profit.
Meanwhile, Canadian and American automotive journalists chose Saturn's Aura and Chevrolet's Silverado as the car and truck of year. The Aura beat the Honda Fit and Toyota Camry for the award. The Silverado was picked over the Ford Edge and Mazda CX-7 crossovers.
The honours have been handed out annually since 1994. Japanese and European brands have taken top marks seven times. With this year's wins, North American carmakers have also come out on top seven times.
=== Hint, buy American. Malibu, Impala and Cobalt are good value.= TG
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Hybrid, Battery, Plug-in, Hdrogen = Oil price drop
Auto consumers are voting with their dollars for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, as auto makers are scrambling to provide alternatives, such as hybrids and fuel cell.
January 06, 2007: Gerry Malloy
We looked into the future ...
Although they still represent a relatively small proportion of the market, hybrids have been the most visible of these technologies. And their availability is growing.
Nissan and Mazda will soon have hybrids on the road [Altima and Tribute, respectively].
Saturn will be offering a gas-electric version of its Aura mid-size sedan, followed by a similar variant of the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu.
Others are just over the horizon. One of the most significant will be the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Two-Mode Hybrid – the first fruit of a hybrid collaboration among BMW, DaimlerChrysler and General Motors.
Excellent example of pooling a technical standard for group economy of scale savings. = TG
It will be followed by a Dodge Durango hybrid, as well as more GM variants and others from BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
While they will share core hybrid systems, the rest of the vehicles, including their internal combustion (IC) engines, will remain unique to each brand.
While these early applications will be rear-wheel drive, GM will offer a green package in front-wheel-drive form in the next-generation Saturn Vue.
The next major step in fast-moving hybrid technology may be plug-in hybrids. Ford, GM and Toyota are working on them, with production applications in mind.
With greater battery capacity and the potential to be recharged from the electrical grid, as well as by their IC engines, they offer many of the advantages of pure electrics, without many of the disadvantages. The ability to charge a larger battery pack yields an increased driving range on electric power only.
As with pure electrics – and we haven't seen the last of them – the issue remains of how electricity for the grid is generated. If not from renewable, non-nuclear sources, it may be a case of simply shifting the environmental burden from the automobile to somewhere else.
Nevertheless, plug-ins are going to happen, perhaps sooner than you think.
HYDROGEN FUEL CELLS
These remain the Holy Grail of powerplants for many.
GM will build 100 Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles in 2007 – right here in Canada. They will be put into fleet service throughout the U.S.
Honda has announced that it will put 100 of its recently revealed FCX fuel-cell sedans into similar service, probably in 2008.
Of course, the same question applies to hydrogen as it does for electricity: where will it come from, and what energy source will be used to produce it?
Looking a little further out, the driveable version of GM's Sequel fuel-cell vehicle takes the technology a whole lot further. Built from the ground up as a fuel-cell vehicle, Sequel takes advantage of everything the technology has to offer, including a fully electric/electronic drivetrain, with drive-by-wire steering and brakes that spurn hydraulics. (Electric motors squeeze the brake pads against the calipers and release them.)
Such features are another step toward the demise of mechanical componentry – the bedrock of the auto for more than 100 years.
Iran*s intensity can be reduced through the coming drop in oil demand. Oil prices are now on the decline as the market looks forward, taking super efficient cars and alternate fuels into account. = TG
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
EVs _ Is Government ready?
Is government ready for EV [Electric Vehicle] Era?
New super power cells like the ones being developed by Eestor will usher in the new EV era of quiet reliable and non-polluting transport. The EV wave is well under way.
Big oil and Big auto did lobby the US government to reverse stringent California emission standards in 1993. The result was all of GM*s EV-1 leased Evs were recalled and crushed at a secure GM site in Arizona.
Dilemma: Above all, Canadian and US governments want to be re-elected.
Has government looked ahead and developed a tax income model for Evs that will provide the huge cash flows that oil and gas provide for government today? Not much room for that when 8 cents of hydro power pays for 250 km of travel.
Has government thought up a transition plan for the massive unemployment coming in the oil and gas distribution and auto-mechanical manufacturing sectors?
Government re-election is very doubtful if future plans are not carefully designed and carried out.
This future planning for Evs is an urgent priority for many reasons, not the least of which is removing the fire from a fast moving terrorist movement financed through oil revenues to
countries like Iran, Pakistan , Saudi-Arabia, Indonesia, and soon, Venezuela.