- Where We Work
- Who We Are
- Info & Tools
Tesla Motors has increased the Model S drive unit warranty to match that of the battery pack—i.e., the 85 kWh Model S, the company’s most popular model, now has an 8-year, “infinite-mile” warranty on both the battery pack and drive unit. The warranty extension will apply retroactively to all Model S vehicles ever produced.
There is also no limit on the number of owners during the warranty period. No other changes have been made to the warranty.
In hindsight, this should have been our policy from the beginning of the Model S program. If we truly believe that electric motors are fundamentally more reliable than gasoline engines, with far fewer moving parts and no oily residue or combustion byproducts to gum up the works, then our warranty policy should reflect that.
To investors in Tesla, I must acknowledge that this will have a moderately negative effect on Tesla earnings in the short term, as our warranty reserves will necessarily have to increase above current levels. This is amplified by the fact that we are doing so retroactively, not just for new customers. However, by doing the right thing for Tesla vehicle owners at this early stage of our company, I am confident that it will work out well in the long term. —Elon Musk
At the 2014 Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB) Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, Joule reported that its has improved the overall photosynthetic efficiency of its engineered cyanobacteria by nearly 100%, and estimates a maximum 14% energy conversion efficiency in its biomass-to-fuels process. (Joule has developed a direct, single-step, continuous process for the production of solar hydrocarbon fuels earlier post).
Prior research has generally capped the photon energy conversion efficiency of photosynthetic processes at 2 – 3%. This was based on observations of photosynthesis in nature, where it encounters its two significant drains of useful energy—photorespiration and photoinhibition. These conditions prevent the optimal use of CO2 and light, and cannot be regulated in open outdoor environments, Joule noted.
By contrast, Joule has applied a systems approach that spans biocatalyst, reactor and process engineering to negate the effects of these conditions, resulting in many-fold greater energy conversion efficiencies and supporting Joule’s estimated process maximum of 14%.
The engineered biocatalysts are able to divert 95% of fixed carbon normally converted to biomass directly to fuel.
Joule presented at the SIMB Annual Meeting during a session on the metabolic engineering of photosynthetic microbes. Using a variety of techniques to genomically engineer these microbes, Joule has changed the products of this natural process into fuel molecules, including ethanol and diesel.
A new report by EY finds that 64% of multibillion-dollar, technically and operationally demanding oil & gas megaprojects continue to exceed budgets, with 73% missing project schedule deadlines. On average, current project estimated completion costs were 59% above the initial estimate. In absolute terms, the cumulative cost of the projects reviewed for the report has increased to $1.7T from an original estimate of $1.2T, representing an incremental increase of $500B.
The report—“Spotlight on megaprojects”—is based on the review of 365 projects with a proposed investment of above US$1 billion in the upstream, LNG, pipelines and refining segments of the oil and gas industry. Included are projects that have been proposed but have yet to reach the final investment decision (FID) and those that have passed the FID and are in the construction phase but still have yet to begin operations. Of the total number of megaprojects (365), updated cost data and time data was available for 199 and 243 projects, respectively.
While the report looks at current industry performance, longer-term industry outlooks suggest that project delivery success is actually decreasing, especially in certain segments of the industry, such as deepwater, where complexity and risk are considerably higher. Poor execution can potentially result in the project being economically uncompetitive and negatively impacting an organization's overall financial results.
Companies can no longer rely on oil and gas price increases which in the past have masked many of the consequences of megaproject overruns. Unconventional discoveries have already had an impact on the economic viability of many megaprojects and securing capital is only going to become more difficult unless companies are able to consistently deliver on deadline and within budget.—Axel Preiss, EY’s Global Oil & Gas Advisory Leader
Geographically, the proportion of projects facing cost overruns is highest in the Middle East (89%), followed by Asia-Pacific (68%), Africa (67%), North America (58%), Latin America (57%) and Europe (53%).
These figures tie in with the proportion of projects reporting schedule delays with the Middle East being the highest (87%) followed by Africa (82%), Asia-Pacific (80%), Europe (74%), Latin America (71%) and North America (55%).
The research shows that in the post-Final Investment Decision (FID) stage, 65% of the projects analyzed were facing cost overruns, with an average escalation of 23% from the approved FID budget. The reasons for this are varied and may be impacted by the geographic location of the project.
There are several internal and external factors that influence the success of a megaproject. Internal factors include inadequate planning; access to funding; poor procurement of contractors and contractor management; aggressive estimates; optimism bias and changing risk appetite. External factors such as regulatory issues and geopolitical challenges can also hamper performance. In addition, given the scale of the investment, the impact of exchange rate fluctuations and commodity constraints can be severe and lead to megaprojects being delayed or even cancelled.
Cummins Inc. has received certification for its 6.7L Turbo Diesel from the California Air Resources Board (CARB), meeting the Low-Emission Vehicle III (LEV III) standards. This new standard applies to all vehicles under 14,000 lb GVWR. The Cummins 6.7L Turbo Diesel powers the Ram Heavy-Duty lineup, and is the first medium-duty diesel engine in the 8,501-14,000 lb GVWR segment to be certified to the new 2015 LEV III standards.
Under LEV III, NOx and non-methane organic gas (NMOG) standards are combined into a single NOx+NMOG standard, along with extension of emissions-useful life to 150,000 miles for emissions control systems. LEV III standards also introduce more stringent NOx+NMOG fleet average requirements, which phase in from MY 2015-2022 for all medium-duty vehicles.
These new standards were adopted by the Air Resources Board (ARB) in January 2012.
Cummins began providing diesel engines to Chrysler in 1988, and has shipped more than 2 million engines in the last 25 years.
Polestar, the motorsport and performance collaboration with Volvo Cars, has introduced a modest Performance optimization of the Volvo V60 diesel Plug-in Hybrid. (Earlier post.) The Polestar optimization increases the power output to a total of 298 hp (222 kW) and 670 N·m (494 lb-ft), making it the strongest ever diesel model from Volvo.
The new optimization boosts the power of the 5-cylinder, 2.4-liter turbodiesel diesel engine by 15 hp and 30 N·m, including an optimized power graph. Combined with the 50 kW, 200 N·m electric motor on the rear axle (the same as in the original), acceleration improves to 0-100 km/h in 6.0 seconds, with unchanged fuel consumption and emission levels: 1.8 l/100 km (131 mpg US) and 48 g/km.
The V60 Plug-in Hybrid is also equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission and an 11.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack installed under the floor of the load compartment.
The optimization is so far only available in Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.Polestar Performance D60 D6 Plug-in Hybrid Original Performance Power (hp), engine + motor 215 + 68 230 + 68 Power (kW), engine + motor 158 + 50 169 + 50 Power max rpm 4000 4000 Torque (N·m) engine + motor 440 + 200 470 + 200 Torque max rpm 1500 - 3000 1750 - 2250 Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s) 6.1 6.0 Fuel consumption comb. l/100 km 1.8 1.8 CO2 (g/km) 48 48
The optimization makes the car more fun to drive, while also increasing the safety in situations requiring extra performance, such as during an overtaking maneuver, the company suggests.
Polestar Performance is installed by Volvo dealers with retained Volvo warranty. The work can be carried out in connection with a regular service, tire change, installation of Volvo accessories or reconditioning.
Volvo sold almost 8,000 units of the plug-in hybrid in 2013, making one of the top three best-selling plug-in vehicles in the EU (along with the Renault Zoe and Mitsubishi Outlander).