Friday newbriefs

July 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

Residents of Los Angeles are preparing – with a certain degree of hysteria – for ‘Carmageddon’ this weekend: the closure of a 10-mile stretch of the 405 Freeway, a major through-route across the metropolis, for roadworks. The LAPD has put out a warning that parties on the off-ramps and mass bike-rides will not be tolerated; the media’s asking people about their plans for this most unusual weekend, and pressure groups are urging everyone to stay home, use public transport, and shop/socialise locally. What a novelty! Follow the fun at the LA Times. Thing is, it’s all in aid of widening the road to carry even more traffic…

  • Daimler has formed a 50:50 joint venture with Bosch to develop and produce  motors for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The JV will be headquartered near Stuttgart and production will begin at the start of 2012. Detailed story at Edmunds AutoObserver.
  • A Japanese company claims it has developed a type of porous aluminium which, when used in batteries, could improve an EV’s range by as much as 300%. Sumitomo Electric Industries calls this substance Aluminium-Celmet, and is planning to start a production line in Osaka (Autoblog Green).
  • Diesel exhaust fumes – and specifically the nanoparticles produced in combustion – are significant contributors to “adverse cardiovascular events” (heart attacks, strokes, blood clots), reports a study from Edinburgh University. The new finding is that it’s the particles, not the gases, that are responsible. More at Green Car Congress. (And blog on the same matter by MP Caroline Lucas at The Guardian). Good reminders that, in cleaning up transport, it’s not all about reducing CO2.
  • MAN Truck & Bus has set up a new Centre of Competence for hybrid R&D. It plans to deliver 66 Lion City Hybrid buses this year (Green Car Congress).

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