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Fuel efficiency

Audi's GFRP springs (left) are lighter than the steel units they replace

The quest for ever-greater fuel efficiency is driving auto manufacturers to extreme lengths to reduce the weight of their vehicles. Aluminum, carbon fiber and fiberglass are all being used to help meet stringent emissions standards. In its search for "enlightenment," Audi has announced it will introduce glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) springs in its vehicles before the end of the year.  Read More

In its low-drag configuration, the 'smorph' looks like a golf ball (Image: MIT)

Researchers at MIT have developed a smart curved surface that can morph at will to reduce drag, generating a series of small, evenly spaced dimples that make it resemble the outside of a golf ball. This technology could be used to reduce hurricane damage on some public buildings, as well as increase the aerodynamic and fuel efficiency in cars.  Read More

Volkswagen has been working on a new 10 speed dual-clutch autobox (DSG)

How many gears are too many for the average commuter vehicle? If you’re pulling a load of cattle across Saskatchewan, then a semi-tractor unit with nine gears should suffice. But if you’re Volkswagen, then the magic number for your upcoming models is in fact 10.  Read More

In order to achieve significant improvements in thermal efficiency, the Atkinson Cycle eng...

Toyota has announced the development of two hyper-fuel-efficient small-displacement petrol Atkinson cycle engines: a three-cylinder 1.0-liter and four-cylinder 1.3-liter which will be introduced across the range from next year in 14 different variations. The smaller engine will deliver 78 mpg (US) in the Toyota Aygo, an improvement of 30 percent.  Read More

A pre-certified Split Scimitar Winglet installed on a United Boeing 737-800 during the tes...

If you think that you've been seeing some funny-looking airliners in the past couple of months, you're not imagining things. On February 18th, a United Airlines Boeing 737-800 made the world's first commercial flight by an aircraft equipped with fuel-saving Split Scimitar Winglets.  Read More

The team observed reductions in emissions of NOx, particulate matter and greenhouse gases ...

The EPA has identified pollution from ships as a contributing factor to respiratory problems and premature deaths suffered by residents of the US and Canada. As such, it is in the process of implementing stricter emissions standards for ships operating within 200 miles (321.9 km) of shore with the aim of significantly reducing emissions by the year 2020. In a development that could play into these environmental initiatives, the SeaChange Group, a US-based start-up that converts agricultural by-products into clean-burning fuel, has been awarded a patent for an eco-hybrid fuel technology shown to reduce NOx, particulate matter and greenhouse gas emissions.  Read More

The Audi traffic light system uses icon prompts

One of life's small but satisfying pleasures is hitting the sweet spot while driving across town and catching all the green lights. At the moment, having that happen is a matter of luck, but Audi is developing a system that will make never getting caught by a red light an everyday thing as a way of speeding up traffic while improving fuel efficiency and cutting emissions.  Read More

The front-wheel-drive pocket rocket market is likely to become all four-wheel-drive in the...

If you were compiling a list of the world’s sportiest front wheel drive cars, you’d no doubt start with names like the MINI Cooper S, Volkswagen Golf GTI or Scirocco R, Ford Focus RS500 or Taurus SHO, Honda Integra Type R, Vauxhall/Opel Vectra or Astra VXR models, Peugeot 205 GTi, Alfa Romeo 147 or 156 GTA models, Nissan Altima Coupe, Mazda speed3, one of the Renaultsport Meganes, or if you’re a little older perhaps the Lotus Elan, Lancia Fulvia, Fiat Abarth or Volvo S80 T6. Now there’s a new name to put at the very top of that list and several new contenders gunning for the crown.  Read More

The Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience, on the road

According to a report in Truck News, Walmart plans on doubling the fuel efficiency of its trucking fleet by next year. In order to show that it's not kidding around, the retailer has collaborated with Peterbilt, Great Dane Trailers, and Capstone Turbine to create a concept "truck of tomorrow" known as the Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience – or WAVE.  Read More

The unit will fit inside a shipping container, and could be towed around the port on a bar...

Shipping ports are major sources of air and water pollution, due in part to anchored or docked ships using diesel generators to keep their onboard systems powered up. A year from now, however, the Port of Honolulu will be trying out a mobile hydrogen fuel cell unit, as a more eco-friendly and fuel-saving alternative.  Read More

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