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Tesla boosts Model S drive unit warranty; 8 years, “infinite” miles

Pipe: Advanced tech - Fri, 2014-08-15 19:33

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

cc -- September 9 Public Workshop on U.S. EPA s Clean Power Plan

Pipe: Advanced tech - Fri, 2014-08-15 19:30
The Air Resources Board (ARB) staff invites you to participate in a public workshop to discuss the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (U.

arbcombo -- SAVE THE DATE Public Workshops on Mobile Source Technology and Fuels Assessments

Pipe: Advanced tech - Fri, 2014-08-15 18:24
The Air Resources Board (ARB) staff invites you to participate in a series of public workshops to discuss technology and fuels assessments for trucks and buses, transport refrigeration units, rail, fuels, ocean-going vessels, commercial harbor craft, cargo handling equipment, and aviation.

AVIC in talks to buy Avolon

Pipe: Aviation - Fri, 2014-08-15 17:42
China aviation group AVIC says it is in talks to buy aircraft leasing company Avolon of Ireland, which is also considering an IPO in New York

AVIC in talks to buy Avolon

Pipe: Aviation - Fri, 2014-08-15 17:42
China aviation group AVIC says it is in talks to buy aircraft leasing company Avolon of Ireland, which is also considering an IPO in New York

Volvo V40 T4: Simply phenomenal

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-08-15 17:00
Engines include a low-tax 1.6-litre diesel engine that emits just 94g/km of CO2 with a claimed average fuel economy of 78.8mpg. That means it'll be ...

arbcombo -- September 2014 Sustainable Freight Strategy Public Workshop

Pipe: Advanced tech - Fri, 2014-08-15 14:24
The California Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) invites you to participate in a public workshop to discuss and provide input on the development of the California Sustainable Freight Strategy (Strategy).

<b>Fuel economy</b> a highlight of 2014 Mazda3

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-08-15 14:00
The full-scale redesign of the Mazda3, on sale since September, provokes a craving for a blend that would include the Mazda's own exceptional ...

5 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Improving Indoor Air Quality

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-08-15 13:48
I live on the corner of a highly congested neighborhood surrounded by constant air pollution of neighboring trucks, busses and cars. I used to think that ...

Bill Kay Ford highlights features in the 2015 Ford Fusion for Chicago residents

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-08-15 13:37
With 181 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque, the Fusion gets a little bit more power while not sacrificing in fuel economy at 24 mpg city/ 36 hwy.

Toyota Today and the Future of Fuel Cell Cars

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-08-15 13:37
... NX will be the first Lexus to offer a turbo-charged gas engine that will generate plenty of horsepower while delivering impressive fuel economy.

Where Comfort is King: The 2014 Buick LaCrosse sedan delivers amenable all-around <b>...</b>

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-08-15 13:15
All-wheel-drive is optional for added foul-weather traction, though it exacts a toll in terms of fuel economy. New radar- and camera-based safety ...

The Most Powerful Range Rover Ever Is Surprisingly Fuel Efficient

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-08-15 13:03
Fuel economy is a big deal for Jaguar Land Rover. Per federal CAFE standards, automakers have to hit increasingly stringent fuel economy figures.

Air pollution still takes a toll on Americans' health: As I See It

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-08-15 12:52
If we, as a nation, act responsibly now to reduce carbon pollution we can simultaneously improve our air quality now and prevent many of the adverse ...

Joule says it has improved the photosynthetic efficiency of its engineered cyanobacteria by nearly 100%

Pipe: Advanced tech - Fri, 2014-08-15 12:47

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.

Cummins meets new <b>emissions standards</b>

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-08-15 12:41
Cummins meets new emissions standards. Cummins announced on Friday that it has received certification for its 6.7L Turbo Diesel from the California ...

EY: oil & gas megaproject overruns to cost industry more than $500B

Pipe: Advanced tech - Fri, 2014-08-15 12:11

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.

Proportions of projects facing cost overruns, delays and budget overruns. Source: EY Megaprojects oil and gas report. Click to enlarge.

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.

UK airspace environmental and operational efficiency continues to improve but NATS faces challenge

Pipe: Aviation - Fri, 2014-08-15 12:01
Fri 15 Aug 2014 - According to UK air traffic services provider NATS, the environmental and operational efficiency of UK airspace improved during the first half of this year. However, it faces a challenge to meet a new tighter year-end target set by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). In 2012, NATS became the first ANSP to be set an incentivised efficiency performance target by its regulatory authority. NATS measures the route and trajectory of every aircraft flight within UK airspace using its three-dimensional inefficiency (3Di) metric, with each flight compared to a scale where zero represents total environmental efficiency. Most flights typically score between 15 and 35. During the January to June 2014 period, NATS achieved a rolling average score of 23.3, lower than the score of 23.7 for 2013 but higher than the 2014 target of 23 set by the CAA.

Cummins 6.7L Turbo Diesel first medium-duty engine certified to meet LEV III standards; Ram Heavy-Duty

Pipe: Advanced tech - Fri, 2014-08-15 11:58

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 modestly optimizes Volvo V60 diesel Plug-in Hybrid

Pipe: Advanced tech - Fri, 2014-08-15 11:29

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.

Earlier this year, Volvo Cars introduced an R-Design version of the V60 plug-in featuring a number of interior and exterior features to create a sporty presence. The exterior blends the Plug-in Hybrid identification with the R-Design front, rear diffusor and 18-inch ‘Ixion’ wheels. Click to enlarge.

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).