The Corey Story

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Archive for the ‘Cars’ Category

Toyota, Tesla Will Build Electric Cars Together in California

Posted by Corey Kaster on May 25, 2010

Posted on GNN via Jenny Cellander

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Toyota and Tesla Motors have announced a surprise joint venture, augmented by Tesla’s purchase of a sprawling auto plant, recently closed near San Francisco.

The remarkable turn of events creates the potential for Toyota to become more involved in the production of electric cars, and a boost for the recently embattled Tesla, as well as a huge rebound for the factory that just last month produced its last Toyota Corolla before closing its doors.

Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla Motors, said the company has already begun hiring some former workers and will continue to hire more.

(READ more at SunPluggers.com)

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Fuel-injection System That Delivers 64 Miles Per Gallon

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 16, 2010

Posted by geri via GNN

Saturday, 13 March 2010

A startup company developed a new fuel injection system with the goal of increasing the fuel efficiency of existing gasoline engines.

The best hybrid cars of today can only deliver about 48 miles per gallon. By using this newly developed fuel injection system, a test vehicle achieved 64 miles per gallon in highway driving — a nearly 50% increase in fuel efficiency.

(READ More at PhysOrg.com)

Transonic Combustion

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The Sexiest Plug-in Hybrid Ever – It’s a Porsche!

Posted by Corey Kaster on March 5, 2010

Posted by geri via GNN

Thursday, 04 March 2010

Porsche shocked the world this week at the Geneva Auto Show unveiling its first plug-in hybrid car.

The Spyder 918 is gorgeous, with its open-top and fast, with a V8 engine. The combination gas-and-electric sports car uses the 500+ hp to reach 60 mph in 3.2 seconds, quicker even than a Carrera GT, possibly making it the peppiest Porsche road car ever. It would also be the most fuel-efficent, according to Porsche, achieving around 78 mpg.

The company is only testing the water here, not saying whether the concept car will go into production or how much it would cost. But it was the hit of the show and some car columnists are betting that the design will surely make it to showroom floors.

For those who are ready to purchase now, and have $250,000 to spend, you might try this stunner from Ronn Motor Company — the Scorpion HX .

Headquartered in Texas, Ronn Motor Company received its first purchase order in January for the manufacture and delivery of these eco-exotic cars to a distributor in the Atlanta-Miami region.

The Scorpion is hydrogen assisted with 450 hp, 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds, and a top speed of 200 mph. This two-seater’s swoopy shape gets 40 mpg by adding a small amount of hydrogen to the intake air/fuel mixture, which allows the engine to operate with less fossil fuel.

The Scorpion produces hydrogen on board and injects it into the fuel stream to get the benefits of increased fuel economy and reduced emissions without having to “gas-up” at non-existent hydrogen refueling stations. Ronn Motors claims a boost in mileage of 20 to 30% and a substantial drop in emissions of C02 and NOx output.

Read more about the Scorpion at the Ronn Motor Car website , and learn more about the Porsche at InsideLine.com.

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Just added a little something to my wish list for Christmas. Don’t worry, don’t worry about wrapping it.

Posted by Corey Kaster on December 17, 2009

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Toyota Promises an ‘Affordable’ Plug-In Prius in 2011

Posted by Corey Kaster on December 15, 2009

By Tony Borroz via Wired

The moment we’ve been waiting for us is here: Toyota has announced it will offer a plug-in Prius to the masses in 2011 and it will be an “affordable” car, offering triple-digit fuel economy.

The world’s No. 1 automaker has for years offered a litany of reasons why adding a cord to the world’s most popular hybrid wasn’t as easy as all those enthusiasts who have done it would have you believe. There were questions about range, reliability and cost. But it seems Toyota has at last answered them, and today it announced it will offer the plug-in Prius in “widespread release” as a 2012 model.

So what made Toyota finally get off the dime? Could it be that the company that made hybrid a household word is a wee bit worried about losing the green mantle to General Motors or Nissan? After all, theChevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf electric vehicles roll into showrooms at the end of next year.

The New York Times says Toyota has “scrambled to gain the upper hand in an increasingly crowded battle over next-generation ‘green’ technology.” It’s a fair assessment, now that everyone’s jumping on the hybrid bandwagon. You know it’s a crowded field when there’s a Porsche Cayenne hybrid and even a Tata Nano hybrid on the horizon.

Clearly Toyota needs to do something if it is to retain its rep for innovation. And when you look at what Toyota is bringing to the showrooms, the plug-in Prius is a fairly nice piece of kit. For starters, it will be the first Toyota with lithium-ion batteries. It will allow the corded car to travel 14.5 miles on electricity alone. Not much, but it’s a start. More impressive is the fuel economy — Toyota’s claiming 134 mpg.

The Times notes Toyota is throwing its considerable weight behind hybrids and won’t be looking at battery electrics or other alt fuels anytime soon.

“We have been working on developing efficient powertrains to be able to use oil as efficiently as possible. Many hurdles remain for alternative fuels,” Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota’s executive vice president, told the Times. He went further when he talked to the Wall Street Journal: “Toyota believes that plug-in hybrids are a realistic solution among vehicles using electricity.”

Toyota is developing the batteries through its partnership with Panasonic, which has provided the nickel-metal hydride batteries in the Prius we all know and love. Production started last month at its Teiho factory in Japan, but Bloomberg reports future batteries could be sourced from other suppliers, such as Sanyo Electric Company.

Although we won’t see the plug-in Prius in showrooms until 2011, Toyota is rolling out 500 of them in the coming months. It’s providing 350 of them to municipal fleets in Japan to further refine the technology. Another 150 are slated for fleets in the United States early next year. Toyota will collect info on a variety of topics, including how and when the vehicles are charged, whether the batteries are depleted and how they are performing.

No word on what the plug-in Prius will cost, but Uchiyamada promised it will be “affordable.” The 2010 Prius starts at $22,400.

Photos: Jim Merithew / Wired.com

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Just changed my car battery out of necessity. Um, brrr!

Posted by Corey Kaster on December 7, 2009

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We did a little toy shopping today.

Posted by Corey Kaster on December 5, 2009

They are coming out with a four door version in 2011 that goes over 300 miles on a charge and is only $50,000!

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Fewer 2010-Model Vehicles Pass Tougher Safety Tests

Posted by Corey Kaster on November 18, 2009

[volvos80]

Associated Press

2010 Volvo S80

By JONATHAN WELSH

Shoppers looking to buy the safest 2010-model cars will have 67 fewer choices this year than they did in 2009. That’s because the test for safety ratings got a lot tougher.

A new roof-strength requirement aimed at protecting passengers in rollover crashes cut the number of top-rated vehicles to 27 for the 2010 model year, compared with 94 in 2009. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety added the roof test to the already-rigorous tests it uses to address increasingly specific circumstances under which drivers and passengers are injured and killed in collisions.

Safest Cars of 2010

The institute, an auto-safety research group funded by the insurance industry, named 19 cars and eight sport-utility vehicles as “top safety picks.” Among them are the Audi A3, Honda Civic, Dodge Journey and Ford Taurus. Auto makers with the most top-rated models include Subaru, a unit of Fuji Heavy Industries, with five vehicles making the cut. Ford Motor Co. and its Volvo unit had six top-rated vehicles, and Volkswagen AG and its Audi unit combined for five vehicles. Four Chrysler LLC vehicles got the top rating. General Motors Corp.’s Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Malibu are also on the list.

Among major auto makers with no top picks is Toyota Motor Corp. Toyota’s Camry came close with good front, side and rollover protection, but fell short in the rear-impact test. A Toyota spokesman called the institute’s findings “extreme and misleading,” considering that Toyota and its units make 38 different vehicles and that only three were tested for roof strength. BMW AG says none of its models were tested by the institute and that its cars must pass rigorous rollover tests conducted internally.

To become a top safety pick, a vehicle has to have the insurance group’s top rating of “good” in front, side, rollover and rear-impact crash tests and also have electronic stability control, which helps drivers maintain control of their vehicles in situations that might otherwise result in crashes.

Adrian Lund, president of the Insurance Institute, says his group tests about 50 to 55 vehicles during the model year, using its own funding. Additional cars are tested at the request of car makers, which in these cases pay for the test vehicle. Often these vehicles initially missed the top rating and were resubmitted for testing later in the model year. At the beginning of the 2009 model year, 72 vehicles received the group’s top rating. By the end of the year, following additional tests, the list grew to 94.

The 2010-model roof-strength requirement, however, pared the list considerably. In this test, a metal plate is pressed against one corner of the roof. To receive a top rating, the roof has to withstand a force equal to four times the vehicle’s weight without crushing the roof five inches inward.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration earlier this year said it was making its roof-strength test more stringent as well. In this test, a force equal to 2.5 times a vehicle’s weight will be applied separately to the right and left sides of the roof. The rule will limit how much the roof can buckle under the pressure. The previous standard was 1.5 times the vehicle’s weight.

The main difference between the two safety groups’ test programs is that the federal standard sets a requirement every vehicle must meet. The Insurance Institute tests are designed to show consumers the differences from one vehicle to another under more severe crash conditions.

Roof strength has long been a point of contention between the Insurance Institute and the auto industry, as well as among safety experts. Car makers have resisted tougher roof-strength standards, in part because they say their testing hasn’t shown a conclusive relationship between roof strength and occupant safety. They also say that focusing on roof strength in isolation doesn’t consider how well a vehicle’s structure performs as a whole in a rollover crash.

Other safety experts point out that most people killed in rollovers weren’t wearing seat belts and died after being partially or completely ejected from the vehicle. Some say this further clouds the role of roof strength in preventing fatalities.

The institute’s Mr. Lund says that while seat belts and crash-avoidance technology like electronic stability control are critical in reducing rollover fatalities, a strong roof is better at maintaining the overall integrity of a vehicle’s passenger compartment. Mr. Lund says his group’s research, which looked specifically at rollover crashes, indicated occupants die more often in vehicles with weaker roofs.

Top Models

Vehicles that received a top rating of “good” in all four crash tests—front, side, rollover and rear impact—and have electronic stability control to help drivers avoid crashes.

Large Cars Buick LaCrosse, Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKS, Volvo S80
Midsize Audi A3, Chevrolet Malibu built after Oct. 2009, Chrysler Sebring, with optional ESC, Dodge Avenger with optional ESC, Mercedes C class, Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Volkswagen Jetta 4-door, Volkswagen Passat 4-door, Volvo C30
Small Cars Honda Civic 4-door, Kia Soul, Nissan Cube, Subaru Impreza, Volkswagen Golf 4-door
Midsize SUVs Dodge Journey, Subaru Tribeca, Volvo XC60, Volvo XC90
Small SUVs Honda Element, Jeep Patriot, Subaru Forester, Volkswagen Tiguan

Write to Jonathan Welsh at jonathan.welsh@wsj.com

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Hi-Tech Peugeot a Cross Between Scooter and Car

Posted by Corey Kaster on November 17, 2009

Peugeot last week unveiled in London its radical rethink on electric urban cars, the BB1, during a 5-stop world tour, saying the car’s inspiration is a zippy Vespa scooter.

The four adults are positioned with the rear seat occupants’ legs wrapping around the front seat, in the same way that a passenger sits behind the driver of a motorbike.

The small car, not yet in production, has a solar cell-covered glass roof to power the AC and innovative reverse opening doors.

With a turning radius of just 3.5 meters and a mere 8 foot in length, it zooms about in traffic — and into parking spots –with great agility.

 

 

Source – Good News Network

Read more in this UK Sun story, and watch the promo video below….

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