Hybrid Cars - Alternative Energy

Hybrid cars have increased in popularity as of late.Nows the time to support alternative energy solutions and technologies.

Hybrid Cars - Alternative Energy


"Hybrid Nation"

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Altima hybrid is a lot like a Camry, but sexier

You know that horror movie where the mad scientist straps two victims to gurneys, lowers the metal skull caps on them and, by dint of special effects the victims' personalities are switched?

The 2007 Nissan Altima hybrid is like that. The company's first effort at a gas-electric auto, using parts and technology licensed from Toyota, drives like a Nissan with a Prius soul transplant: The same ninja-in-the-night silence at low speeds; the same tremble when the gas engine lights up; the same bubbly, torque-infused acceleration as the gas and electric motors pull on the oars, only quite a bit more so.

Anybody who has driven a hybridized Toyota Camry will recognize the company's power-management graphics displayed on the Altima's center-dash LCD screen. In fact, the Altima hybrid -- nearly a numerical dead ringer for the Camry hybrid (wheelbase, height, weight, horsepower, acceleration) -- might be thought of as a Camry hybrid with sex appeal. Let us not underestimate the magnitude of that achievement.

This is not a car that Nissan wanted to build, particularly. Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn has long argued that hybrid cars were a money-losing proposition with little consumer demand -- of course, this was before Toyota started selling more than 100,000 Priuses annually.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Toyota revving up to overtake GM

By Chang-Ran Kim

Toyota expects to produce a record 9.42 million vehicles in 2007 - a four per cent rise that should see it over-take General Motors and become the world's biggest auto maker.

As the Japanese firm woos buyers worldwide with cars seen as safe, affordable and fuel efficient, US rivals GM and Ford are fighting falling market share, closing factories and shedding thousands of jobs.

Soaring fuel prices have battered Detroit's auto heartland, with customers shunning gas-guzzling pickups in favour of cheaper-to-run models from Japanese and South Korean car makers.

Asked about the possibility of passing GM in 2007 - Toyota's 70th anniversary - company president Katsuaki Watanabe said: "That would merely be a result, not a goal.

"The important thing is to be a leader in car-making, and that's done by improving products."

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Detroit Preview: Volvo XC60 Concept Gets Ethanol Engine

GOTEBORG, Sweden — Volvo's XC60 concept, which will make its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, will be equipped with a 3.2-liter six-cylinder bioethanol engine and all-wheel drive.

The bioethanol engine will make 265 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. Carbon dioxide emissions will be down 80 percent compared with the same engine if it ran only on gasoline, Volvo says. Three current Volvo models, the C30, S40 and V50, are currently sold in several European countries with optional bioethanol FlexiFuel power plants, but all are four-cylinder engines.

The XC60 Concept's inline-6 is based on a gasoline engine, but "optimized" for E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Using the E85 blend, Volvo says, fuel economy averages 19.2 mpg.
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Monday, December 25, 2006

Honda may assemble hybrid vehicles in NAmerica - report

TOKYO (XFN-ASIA) - Honda Motor Co Ltd may produce hybrid vehicles in North America to deal with growing demand there for eco-friendly cars, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported, citing company president Takeo Fukui.

Fukui was quoted by the financial daily as saying that the new US factory, which will be built in Indiana, 'will produce mainly small models, which are seeing strong demand,' but added that the firm is considering building there its small hybrid-only model, which is due out in 2009.
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Friday, December 22, 2006

Toyota set to overtake GM next year

NAGOYA - Toyota expects to produce a record 9,42-million vehicles next year, a 4% rise that should take it past General Motors (GM) as the world’s biggest car maker.

As the Japanese firm woos buyers worldwide with cars seen as safe, affordable and fuel efficient, US rivals GM and Ford battle falling market share, closing factories and shedding thousands of jobs.

Soaring fuel prices have battered Detroit’s auto heartland, with customers shunning gas-guzzling pickups in favour of cheaper-to-run models from Japanese and South Korean car makers.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

New type of battery pushed for hybrid cars

Executives with Firefly Energy Inc., a battery developer in Peoria, Ill., came to Detroit on Friday pitching what they said was a smaller, safer and less expensive battery than those now used in hybrid electric vehicles.

Firefly cofounders Mil Ovan and Ed Williams are visiting automakers worldwide, persuading them to use their patented lead acid batteries -- equipped with carbon in lieu of metal -- instead of nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion batteries.

Ovan declined to say which Detroit automakers he visited, but Firefly, a former division of Peoria-based Caterpillar Inc., has customers that include the U.S. Army and Husqvarna AB, the world's largest lawn equipment manufacturer.story continued

The Greenest Cars

From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: What are the most environmentally friendly and highest mileage cars on the market today? Also, are the batteries in hybrid cars recyclable? -- Shiela Gosselin, via e-mail

According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) Green Book, an annual environmental rating of the best and worst cars, Honda and Toyota models led the pack as the world’s “greenest” automobiles for 2006. Not surprisingly, top honors went to a hybrid gasoline-electric vehicle, Honda’s Insight, which pairs an efficient electric motor with a gasoline engine to save gas and minimize emissions. Unfortunately, the Insight, launched in 1999, will soon be discontinued due to declining sales.

To determine a car’s rankings, in addition to fuel efficiency ACEEE factors in the pollution generated by a given vehicle based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions ratings. While the Insight does not have as clean an exhaust rating as Toyota’s hybrid Prius, it has slightly better highway mileage (56 versus 51 miles per gallon), making it the overall winner. Other top green models on ACEEE’s list include various versions of Honda’s Civic (particularly its natural gas version) and Toyota’s Corolla and Matrix. The Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Mazda 3, Chevrolet Cobalt and Saturn Ion also placed well.

Regarding batteries, hybrid advocates insist that the nickel-metal hydride batteries found in the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight and other hybrids contain far fewer pollutants than the lead-acid types present in traditional gas-powered cars. Furthermore, carmakers are keen to keep such batteries out of landfills, with Toyota even offering to buy back spent hybrid batteries for $200 so it can recycle them.
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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Nissan blueprint for greener future

Nissan has lost ground to other Japanese manufacturers in the green technology field and raised eyebrows when president Carlos Ghosn dismissed hybrid cars as a “terrible business proposition” last year.

In its “Nissan Green Programme 2010” the company makes reductions in carbon emissions one of its key management performance indicators. The company will also concentrate on fuel-efficiency, with plans to produced an internal combustion engine that will return 100km on 3 litres of fuel by 2010.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Volvo to revolutionise hybrid and electric car making

5 December 2006 - Volvo has invested £150,000 in a company that says it has developed am energy-efficient conductor that could revolutionise hybrid and electric car making.

The conductor is used, among other things, when battery direct current is converted into alternating current in an electric motor. The basis for most semi-conductors in vehicles today is silicon, which has the double disadvantage that it can withstand neither high temperatures nor high electrical voltages.

TranSiC AB, however, has developed a conductor based on silicon carbide, which is as tough as a diamond and has enormous resistance to heat.

Toyota in the U.S.: Different shades of green

It's Los Angeles in the morning. There are four or five lanes along the highway, but in the morning rush hour, they're all jam-packed. One lane on the far left, however, has fewer cars than the others. It's the car pool lane.

This lane was originally made available only to cars carrying at least one passenger other than the driver and was set up to try and ease traffic congestion and limit the effects of traffic on the environment. But there is a Toyota Prius traveling along the car pool lane carrying only one person, though nobody is complaining.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Types of fuels