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A 12m Solaris battery-electric bus with electrical traction and on-board power supply equipment from Vossloh Kiepe has entered passenger service with the Braunschweiger Verkehrs-AG as the first of five such buses. For the first time, the modular system from Vossloh Kiepe has been combined with the PRIMOVE inductive charging system from Bombardier (earlier post).
The PRIMOVE inductive charging system system is designed with an output of 200 kW, and uses an undercarriage pantograph-like mechanism lowered above the in-ground charging pad.
The vehicle is operated on line 19, a 12 km (7.5-mile) circular line, within the scope of the project “EMIL” (Elektromobilität mittels induktiver Ladung, electric mobility via inductive charging). From October, four 18 m articulated electric buses will follow.
Vossloh Kiepe has delivered all the electrical traction and on-board power supply equipment for the battery-electric bus. Besides the power electronics, the equipment includes the 240 kW traction motor and the energy management system. In addition to the provided inductive charging system an additional charging unit for plug-based charging with up to 90 kW has been installed.
The Solaris 8.9m and 12m battery buses have been manufactured up to now for overnight charging.
Vossloh Kiepe used its standard modular components for electric buses for the contactless intermediate charging concept (opportunity charging), in which the electric buses are charged at special stopping places during their dwell time. This modular design can be applied to nearly all variants of electric buses, e.g. hybrid buses, battery buses, fuel cell buses and trolleybuses, and comprises:
The system-overlapping interaction of the energy storage unit and the power supply system with the power train and the recharging unit is optimized by Vossloh Kiepe’s energy management system.Illustrated overview of EMIL project. (German captions.)
Honda released the first official photos of the US-bound HR-V today at the New York International Auto Show. Built on the same global compact platform that underpins the Fit, the HR-V will feature a “versatile and spacious” interior thanks to a center tank layout.
The HR-V will be equipped with the Honda Magic Seat, which allows for multiple seating configurations and the ability to fold the second row seat completely flat for added cargo space.
The HR-V will serve as the entry point to the Honda light truck lineup, positioned below the CR-V in both price and size. Additional details about the HR-V will be announced later this year; Honda anticipates launching the HR-V this winter.
Saft has received an order from Stockholm ferry operator Ballerina for lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery systems that will power a new electric ferry boat for the city of Stockholm.
Ballerina is a well-established operator of ferries and has placed the order for Saft’s Li-ion marine battery systems on behalf of Stockholm Public Transportation in Sweden, which ordered a battery powered ferry with the objective of saving fuel and improving its environmental credentials.
The order builds on Saft’s experience of supplying Li-ion battery systems to the marine sector, where there is growing demand for propulsion systems that offer significant fuel savings compared with diesel engines as well as operation that is both quiet and low in emissions.“Saft sees significant potential in this market”—Christer Steen, Saft Sales Manager for the Nordic countries and Germany
In 2013, Saft supplied batteries for two new hybrid battery-and-diesel-powered ferryboats for the city of Bordeaux, as well as a 100% battery powered shuttle boat began service on the canal Saint-Denis in Paris.
When it starts operation in September 2014 Ballerina’s new electric ferry, which is yet to be named, will carry foot passengers and cyclists between 10 stops on a 50 minute route of the waterways of Stockholm. It will operate throughout the year, completing eight round trips per day. The batteries will be fully charged during the ferry’s overnight stay in the harbor with two partial charging sessions during the course of the day.
To deliver the required duty, Saft is supplying its marine battery systems with a total energy storage capacity of 500 kWh, at 650 V. Ordered in December 2013, the Li-ion cells for the battery systems will be manufactured at Saft’s facility at Nersac with delivery of the entire energy storage systems units (ESSUs) in May.
Subaru of America, Inc. introduced the 5th-generation 2015 Outback. The 2015 all-wheel drive Outback offers the roomiest interior, most capable chassis and highest fuel-efficiency in the model’s 20-year history.
New for 2015, all Outback models come standard with the Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission), which features paddle-shift control switches and is instrumental in the Outback’s significantly improved fuel economy. Manufacturer-estimated ratings of 25 mpg city / 33 mpg highway / 28 mpg combined (9.4, 7.1 and 8.4 l/100 lm, respectively) for the Outback 2.5i model are up from 24/30/26 (9.8, 7.8 and 9.0 l/100 km, respectively) in the 2014 model—a 7.7% improvement in the combined figure.
These figures place the 2015 Outback 2.5i at the top of the midsize crossover class, bettering front-wheel drive versions of some competitive crossovers, Subaru noted.
Due largely to its new Lineartronic CVT, the 6-cylinder Outback 3.6R Limited also improves fuel economy, with manufacturer-estimated ratings of 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway/22 combined (11.8, 8.7 and 10.7 l/100 km, respectively) vs. 17/25/20 (13.8, 9.4 and 11.8 l/100 km, respectively) for the previous version—a 10% improvement in the combined figure.
The 2015 Outback 2.5i is powered by a double-overhead-cam (DOHC) FB series 2.5-liter BOXER engine that debuted for 2013 and now receives numerous enhancements for lighter weight, improved efficiency and quieter operation.
Power is increased slightly, to 175 hp (130 kW) vs. 173 hp (129 kW) before. Peak torque remains at 174 lb-ft (236 N·m) but is spread over a broader engine speed range for more responsive performance in all driving situations.
In the Outback 3.6R Limited, the 3.6-liter BOXER 6-cylinder engine produces 256 hp (191 kW) and 247 lb-ft (335 N·m) of peak torque. Notably, the 3.6 engine sustains at least 225 lb-ft (305 N·m) of torque from 2,000 to 6,000 rpm, making the Outback 3.6R Limited feel exceptionally smooth and responsive in everyday driving.
While all Outback models now come standard with the Lineartronic CVT, the 6-cylinder model uses a high-torque version. Changes made to reduce friction in the CVT contribute to higher fuel efficiency. The CVT’s selectable manual mode offers six pre-selected ratios to allow the driver to “shift” manually using steering wheel paddle switches. This feature can provide added driver control when driving down inclines, for example.
A new Active Grille Shutter system on the 2015 Outback 2.5i helps to improve fuel economy by reducing wind resistance when closed. Electric Power-Assisted Steering and improved aerodynamics also contribute to the increased efficiency in all models.
Standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and enhanced capability. A newly refined version of the Active Torque Split version of Symmetrical AWD comes standard in all 2015 Outback models. The system’s electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch actively controls torque distribution in response to driving conditions and wheel slippage. Taking input from acceleration, steering angle and yaw rate sensors, Active Torque Split AWD optimizes traction and steering response when accelerating through turns and curves, particularly when the road surface is slippery.
All 2015 Outback models come equipped as standard with the X-Mode system, which debuted on the 2014 Forester. When engaged by a switch on the console, X-Mode optimizes engine output and CVT ratio position, increases Active All-Wheel Drive engagement and uses enhanced control logic for the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) system to reduce individual wheel spin.
Engaging X-Mode also activates the new Hill Descent Control, which uses engine braking to help maintain a constant vehicle speed when the Outback is traveling downhill, enhancing vehicle control. New Incline Start Assist helps to momentarily minimize forward or backward vehicle rolling on inclines, and the electronic Hill Holder System holds the vehicle in place until the driver presses the accelerator pedal to pull away from a stop.
Safety and security technology. The 2015 Outback adds new front seat-cushion airbags that help to keep occupants in place in a frontal collision. All trim lines come standard with a rear-view camera, and a new rollover sensor can deploy the side curtain airbags if an imminent rollover is detected.
For added nighttime security, the 2015 Outback features new standard Welcome Lighting that automatically turns on cabin illumination and exterior lights as the driver approaches or departs the vehicle. The Limited trim offers a Keyless Access & Start system with PIN Code Access.
The new Subaru Rear Vehicle Detection System, which is standard on Limited trims and available for the 2.5i Premium, offers three functions:
Blind Spot Detection detects vehicles on either side of the vehicle, in the driver’s blind spots;
Lane Change Assist detects fast-approaching vehicles in adjacent lanes; and
Rear Cross Traffic Alert detects vehicles approaching from a perpendicular direction while reversing, such as from a driveway. LED indicators on the side mirrors alert the driver. Rear Cross Traffic Alert uses an indicator in the rear view camera display.
The 2015 Outback offers the latest version of the EyeSight driver-assist system, the highest-rated front crash prevention system by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Available for Outback Premium and Limited trim lines, EyeSight uses Subaru-developed stereo camera technology and integrates Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning. Subaru expects the 2015 Outback to achieve the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, as the 2014 Outback did.
Models equipped with EyeSight also come with new Steering-Responsive Fog Lights. The feature, which works only when the fog lights are turned off, activates the left or right fog light independently, depending on vehicle speed and steering angle, to provide enhanced illumination in the direction of the turn. The fog lights are pre-aimed for maximum coverage in corners.
Agility and ride. Subaru extensively revised and retuned the MacPherson front strut suspension and double-wishbone rear suspension for greater handling agility and a more compliant ride—a difficult balance. New quick-ratio electric power-assisted steering delivers outstanding feel and also helps reduce fuel consumption.
Active Torque Vectoring, an enhancement of the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control system, fosters more neutral cornering by applying brake pressure to the inside front wheel. The Outback 2.5i now uses larger brakes previously available only on the 6-cylinder model, and all models now have ventilated rear discs in place of solid discs used previously. The Brake Assist safety system automatically applies maximum braking pressure in an emergency stop.
The cabin blocks more sources of noise thanks to a new acoustic windshield, liquid-filled engine mounts, thicker panels in key locations (floor, toeboard, rear wheel apron, inner fenders) and expanded use of foam insulation and floor damping material.
The 2015 Outback arrives in Subaru dealerships in summer 2014.
CO2 Solutions Inc., an innovator in the field of enzyme-enabled carbon capture technology, has entered into a Collaboration Agreement with Husky Energy. Under the terms of the agreement, CO2 Solutions will install and operate a pilot unit capturing approximately 15 tonnes of CO2 per day at Husky’s Pikes Peak South, Saskatchewan heavy oil site on a once-through steam generator. Operation of the pilot unit is expected to commence in early 2015 with completion of testing expected in the third quarter of 2015.
Subject to a positive review by Husky of the results of the pilot test, the agreement provides for Husky to consider the use of CO2 Solutions’ technology for commercial carbon capture projects.
The project will be funded in part by the Government of Canada’s ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative (ecoEII) program, as previously announced on 24 January 2013.
The agreement comes shortly after CO2 Solutions announced that it had exceeded the second set of technical performance milestones for its oil sands project. (Earlier post.)
The company expects the pilot test to confirm the positive techno-economics of CO2 Solutions’ carbon capture process and will provide an operational basis to compare the process against other new and conventional technologies in terms of performance and cost.
A successful project will pave the way for the CO2 Solutions technology to be applied broadly for cost-effective carbon emissions mitigation in heavy oil and oil sands operations in Western Canada and other industrial applications.
CO2 Solutions has built an extensive patent portfolio covering the use of carbonic anhydrase, or analogues thereof, for the efficient post-combustion capture of carbon dioxide with low‐energy aqueous solvents. Carbonic anhydrase is the most powerful catalyst known for the hydration of CO2—i.e., the conversion of carbon dioxyde to bicarbonate and protons.