Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Fuel efficiency

Road test: Mercedes-Benz B Class F-Cell

What's it like to drive a hydrogen powered car? It depends on which one. In the case of BMW's Hydrogen 7, essentially a 760i with its 6.0 liter V12 tweaked to burn hydrogen instead of petrol, one might suspect it's pretty much like the donor vehicle. In the case of Mercedes-Benz's B Class-based F Cell, powered by electricity from a lithium-ion battery pack fed by an on-board fuel cell, you might think different.  Read More

Cargill Ocean Transportation has announced that it will be installing a SkySails wind prop...

For the past ten years, Hamburg-based SkySails has been engineering and producing what are essentially giant kites, designed to help ships reduce their fuel use by catching the wind and pulling them across the surface of the ocean. The system was put into regular shipping use for the first time in 2008, when one of the kites was attached to the 132-meter (433-foot) multi purpose heavy lift carrier MS Beluga SkySails. Now, Cargill Ocean Transportation has announced that it plans to use the technology on one of its long-term charter ships, a vessel of between 25,000 and 30,000 deadweight tonnes (27,558 to 33,069 US tons). It will be the largest kite-assisted ship in the world.  Read More

The Triple-E Maersk container ship will be the world's largest ship and the most efficient

Korea’s Daewoo is to build the world’s largest ship for Mærsk line. The US$190 million, 400 meter ‘Triple-E’ class behemoths will carry 18,000 TEU containers, 2500 more than the current largest, Emma Mærsk. Superior economies of scale will enable the new monsters to surpass the industry record for both fuel efficiency and (20% better) CO2 emissions per container moved. In a move set to impact global shipping transport costs and efficiencies, ten Triple-E ships will go into service between 2013 and 2015 with a further 20 ships optioned. If the same number of containers were loaded on a train, it would be 110 km long. If they were stacked on top of one another, they’d reach beyond the stratosphere (47 km).  Read More

The Eco-Navigator provides real-time fuel consumption and CO2 output data to drivers, to h...

Pretty much everyone knows that driving too fast wastes fuel and creates excess carbon emissions, as does revving the engine and not bothering with tune-ups. We can try to alter our driving habits accordingly, but how can we know how much to alter them? What speed should we drive at when, and how often should we take our car to the garage? These questions can be instantly and completely answered, right in your car, if you’re using an Eco-Navigator device.  Read More

The Volkswagen XL1 protoype

At the dawn of the millennium, Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, who is today Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, set his sights on creating a practical everyday use production car with a fuel consumption of 1.0 liter per 100 km (235 mpg). In 2002 a prototype VW 1-Litre was unveiled, which was followed in 2009 by the second-generation model, dubbed the L1, which boasted a combined diesel fuel consumption figure of 1.38-liter/100 km (170 mpg). As impressive as that figure is, the company has now managed to squeeze a combined fuel consumption of just 0.9-liter/100 km (261 mpg) with its third-generation VW 1-Litre prototype – the XL1.  Read More

Ford's Auto Start-Stop system will be added to conventional cars, crossovers and SUVs in N...

Auto Stop-Start technology that shuts off a vehicle’s engine when it comes to a stop to save fuel is a standard feature on many hybrid and electric-vehicles (EVs), including Ford’s Fusion Hybrid and Escape Hybrid. Ford has now announced its Auto Start-Stop system will be added to conventional cars, crossovers and SUVs in North America from 2012.  Read More

BAE is developing a parallel version of its HybriDrive system for medium and heavy-duty tr...

The HybriDrive series propulsion system developed by BAE Systems is currently enhancing the fuel efficiency and cutting emissions on more than 3,000 transit buses in cities around the world, including New York and London. The system is specifically suited to the driving patterns of urban transport, which involve low average speeds and frequent stopping and starting. To meet the needs of applications that have higher operating speeds and less frequent stops, BAE is developing a new parallel hybrid propulsion system to bring the fuel-saving benefits of its technology to medium and heavy-duty trucks.  Read More

The new label provides relevant information for buyers of EVs and hybrids

With hybrid and electric vehicles appearing in more and more automobile showrooms around the world, the traditional fuel efficiency measure of miles per gallon (MPG) alone just doesn’t cut it anymore. With cars able to be powered by electric power alone or a combination of electric and gasoline, new measures are needed to better inform consumers when buying a new car. To this end, General Motors (GM) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have teamed up to design a new window label for the Chevrolet Volt that has more information than any EPA label before it.  Read More

The Urbee's entire body was 3D printed (Image: Kor Logic)

In the early 20th century Henry Ford revolutionized automobile production with the introduction of the assembly line for the iconic Ford Model T. Now, almost a century later, a car has been produced using a process that could prove just as revolutionary – 3D printing. Code-named, Urbee, the streamlined vehicle is the first ever to have its entire body, including its glass panel prototypes, 3D printed with an additive manufacturing process.  Read More

The Edison2 team, with Oliver Kuttner beside the Very Light Car

The Edison2 team took away US$5 million for winning the Mainstream class of the Automotive X-PRIZE last week with its 100+ MPG car of the future – Very Light Car #98. Gizmag caught up with team leader Oliver Kuttner after the ceremony to find out what's next for Edison2.  Read More

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