Posts Tagged ‘paul a. eisenstein’

Bigger is Better with Hydrogen Power, GM Concludes

Automaker’s fuel-cell efforts will target big SUVs, pickups, commercial and military vehicles.

by on Oct.18, 2017

SURUS was designed to form a foundation for a family of commercial vehicle solutions that leverages a single propulsion system integrated into a common chassis.

It’s been four decades since General Motors rolled out its first fuel-cell vehicle, a large van offering the room needed to haul around all the powertrain hardware and tanks full of hydrogen.

These days, all that technology has been downsized to the point where it can fit inside a compact car and leave plenty of room for passengers and cargo. But while some competitors – including Toyota, Hyundai and Honda – are focused on bringing to market small, hydrogen-powered passenger cars, GM is, in a sense, going back to its roots.

Beyond the Headlines!

The automaker is betting that it makes more sense to electrify small vehicles, like its Chevrolet Bolt EV and the roughly 20 other BEVs it plans to bring to market by 2023. When it comes to hydrogen, the head of its fuel-cell program sees the biggest opportunity for vehicles like large SUVs, full-size pickups and commercial and military vehicles. (more…)

Ford Addressing Exhaust Fume Concerns with 1.4 million Explorer SUVs

Detroit maker offering free inspections, repairs; recall could be in offing.

by on Oct.17, 2017

Ford is addressing concerns about exhaust fumes entering the cabins of 1.4 million Explorers.

Facing concerns about possible exhaust fume leaks in more than 1 million of its midsize Explorer SUVs, Ford is telling owners it will inspect the vehicles and, if necessary, make free repairs.

The Explorer came under scrutiny when reports began to surface that some versions of the popular SUV, modified for use by police, may have been experiencing exhaust fume leaks, including deadly carbon monoxide, into the passenger compartment. That briefly led some police departments to pull their Explorers out of use until repairs could be made.

News You Can Trust!

But despite the automaker’s insistence that civilian versions of the SUV “are safe,” there has been growing concern that the issue is more widespread than initially thought. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration currently has an open investigation underway. (more…)

Volvo’s Polestar Unveils First Electric Model

Plug-in Hybrid Polestar 1 to push performance but also deliver 95 miles in EV mode.

by on Oct.17, 2017

Volvo unveiled its first offering from its Polestar high performance division, the Polestar 1.

Polestar, the performance arm of Swedish automaker Volvo, rolled out its first electrified model during a ceremony in Beijing on Tuesday, the plug-in hybrid Polestar 1.

Originally formed as a race car team, Polestar began producing high-performance versions of Volvo products like C30 and S60 a decade ago. Polestar Performance was purchased by Volvo in 2015 and is now focusing exclusively on sportier models relying on battery-based drivetrains. An all-electric Polestar model targeting the Tesla Model 3 is now in development, the company said.

Performance News!

While Volvo itself now plans to shift exclusively to battery-based drivetrains, “There will be a clear difference between the two brands that add to each other in a very good way,” Thomas Ingenlath, the former head of Volvo design who was named Polestar CEO in June, told the Associated Press. (more…)

Daimler Restructuring Move Could Lead to Break Up

Company splitting up Mercedes and truck unit.

by on Oct.16, 2017

Daimler's Dieter Zetsche outlined the company's plans to restructure its business into two units.

Daimler is taking steps to transform its Mercedes and Daimler Truck units into legally independent entities, a move that has some observers wondering if the parent company may be preparing to break up.

For its part, Daimler said Monday that the new structure will turn the two units into more entrepreneurial operations at a time when they need to be more flexible to respond to a fast-changing world.

News You Can Trust!

Mercedes itself is restructuring its various automotive brands to reflect the evolving auto industry, and the truck unit is exploring various new technologies, including electrification and autonomous driving. (more…)

Toyota to Highlight Cars that Can Read Motorists Emotions at Upcoming Tokyo Motor Show

Japanese giant to begin testing autonomous EVs by 2020.

by on Oct.16, 2017

The next iteration of Toyota's Concept-i can determine if a driver is sleepy or hungry and adapt accordingly.

Hungry? Tired? Frustrated? Toyota plans to reveal a concept vehicle that will be able to not only tell if you are too tired to drive but also read more subtle emotions and adjust the way it drives – or even take over driving duties entirely. It will also be able to converse with a motorist using artificial intelligence.

The Japanese giant gave a hint of what it has in mind at last January’s Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, in Las Vegas. A more advanced version of the Concept-I prototype will make its debut at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, and Toyota said Monday that it plans to begin testing autonomous electric vehicles by 2020 that will share many of the features found in the concept car.

Auto Show News!

“By using AI technology, we want to expand and enhance the driving experience, making cars an object of affection again,” said Makoto Okabe, general manager of Toyota’s EV business planning division, during a preview in Tokyo. (more…)

Richard Branson Aims to Make Hyperloop Travel a Reality

British billionaire buys stake in high-speed transpo company, rebrands it Virgin Hyperloop One.

by on Oct.13, 2017

Virgin Founder Richard Branson invested an undisclosed amount in Elon Musk's Hyperloop One project, which is now named Virgin Hyperloop One.

British billionaire Richard Branson already has taken aim at space with his Virgin Galactic rocket ship company. Now he wants to get travelers rocketing along closer to earth, the head of the Virgin Group joining the board of start-up Hyperloop One.

Branson is also buying an unspecified stake in that company – which aims to commercialize the high-speed transportation system envisioned by Tesla CEO Elon Musk – and it will now be renamed Virgin Hyperloop One. The goal is to send passenger and cargo pods shooting great distances through low-pressure tubes at speeds of more than 600 miles an hour.

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“Virgin Hyperloop One will be all-electric and the team is working on ensuing it is a responsible and sustainable form of transport,” Branson’s firm said in a statement. (more…)

Aston Martin Drops the Top with New DB11 Volante

A one-touch affair.

by on Oct.13, 2017

The new Aston Martin DB11 Volante comes out just in time for a few indian summer, top-down runs.

Better late than never. While autumn may be upon us, Aston Martin is giving luxury buyers a reason to look forward to warmer weather with the debut of the new DB11 Volante.

The convertible is set to become the third variant of the Aston Martin DB11 when it rolls into showrooms next spring, joining a rapidly growing line-up that will soon include both the DBX sport-utility vehicle as well as the British maker’s first all-electric model.

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Aston sticks with a folding cloth top for the DB11 Volante, rather than the origami-like metal alternatives some competitors have opted for. But the approach helps minimize added weight and keeps the center of gravity down low, a definite for a 2+2 sports car. (more…)

VW Latest to Target EV Heavy Truck Market

Move poses another threat to Tesla.

by on Oct.12, 2017

Volkswagen will be competing with the likes of the Nikola One heavy-duty rig, which will be able to travel up to 1,200 miles on a tank of hydrogen.

Volkswagen plans to invest about $1.7 billion to develop a new range of high-tech trucks, much of that going into the development of battery-based vehicles, the maker said today.

VW becomes the latest on a growing list of manufacturers planning to develop electrified trucks, something that could pose yet another challenge to battery vehicle maker Tesla. The California-based company is developing an electric semi-truck, though it has again delayed the introduction of a prototype until next month due to problems with the launch of its new Model 3 battery-sedan.

Stay Plugged In!

The German company has already committed to spending about $20 billion on electrifying a broad range of its passenger car line-up, and it says it now sees tremendous opportunities on the truck side. Working with affiliate Navistar International, it hopes to introduce an electric medium-duty truck in North America by late 2019 or early 2020, according to VW Truck & Bus chief Andreas Renschler. (more…)

Hyundai, Bisimoto Team Up for 80 MPG HyperEconiq

Tuner shifts gears, puts emphasis on efficiency, rather than performance.

by on Oct.11, 2017

Bisimoto's HyperEconiq takes Hyundai's Ioniq hybrid to a new level, getting 83 mpg.

We’ve seen automotive tuner Bisimoto partner up with Hyundai for a series of impressive, high-performance custom projects in recent years, and with the annual SEMA show just around the corner they’re pairing up this time. But this time around, the focus is on fuel efficiency.

California-based Bisimoto has taken Hyundai’s already high-mileage Ioniq hybrid to create the HyperEconiq, in the process upping its numbers substantially, a series of 83 tests yielding an average of 83 miles per gallon. That compares impressively with the 58 mpg Combined rating achieved by the stock Hyundai Ioniq.

Tech Talk!

Bisimoto suggests it was able to get there by using what it describes as “the best hypermiling, economy and friction tech.” A quick glimpse reveals a handful of modifications its made, including the use of wheel spats to reduce drag around the rear wheels, but there are also a number of upgrades hidden under the stock Hyundai Ioniq’s skin. (more…)

Drivers Now Can “Subscribe” For Access to Up to 22 Different Porsche Models

German maker joins growing list of automakers experimenting with new purchase, ownership models.

by on Oct.11, 2017

The third-generation 2018 Porsche Cayenne is part of the German maker's new "subscription" service.

Looking for a Porsche but not sure what you want? Maybe you’d like a 911 for the workweek, a Cayenne for getting away over the weekend.

Now, you won’t have to choose, at least not if you live near the German maker’s U.S. headquarters in Atlanta and sign up for the new Porsche Passport program. The pilot program will offer two subscription levels and, for a price tag of up to $3,000 a month, you’ll be able to slip behind the wheel of as many as 22 different Porsche models pretty much whenever you want.

Industry News!

The subscription program is one of a number of new retail programs automakers are launching in the U.S. – some running as pilots, others reaching out to all potential buyers. The same day the German maker announced the Porsche Passport, Hyundai introduced its own Shopper Assurance program which will include a three-day, money-back guarantee. (more…)

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