Mazda6 Diesel Sets 20 Speed Records

Mazda6 Diesel Sets 20 Speed Records Mazda managed to break 20 speed minutes with its diesel-powered Mazda6.
The company set these 20 minutes, which are still subject to FIA homologation, at the ATP test oval in Papenburg, Germany.
Three Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D 2.2-liter clean diesels completed a 24-hour marathon run on the high-speed track this last weekend, with the adjoin car achieving an average speed of 137.37 mph and the other two close behind. The current record for diesel-powered production cars (2.0-2.5 liter displacement) is 130.38 mph.
In total, the cars covered over 3293.3 miles during the 24-hour period.
Mazda added each of the three Mazdas also set several other average speed minutes over a variety of distances (also subject to FIA homologation).
At the wheel of the cars were 23 drivers from seven EU countries. Mazda clarified they included professionals as well as journalists and car enthusiasts, who could apply to take part as part of a battle started by Mazda last May. During their 1.5-hour stints behind the wheel, they were not allowed to follow in the slipstream of a preceding car and needed to be exceptionally careful in the steeply banked curves at each end of the oval to avoid losing speed.
Mazda said only 0.55mph of average speed separated the three Mazda6 cars after 24 hours – a tribute to the drivers and pit teams, which were made up of employees from various Mazda dealerships, but above all to the design, drivability and fidelity of these cars even when pushed to their limits.
Mazda’s SKYACTIV-D clean diesels feature a 14:1 compression ratio, the world’s lowest in a diesel engine. This engine is available in various parts of the world in the Mazda CX-5, Mazda6, all-new Mazda3 and coming soon in the all-new Mazda2, but not yet available in the U.S.
Mazda added demand for these clean diesel engines has been strong around the globe from day one and has not let up since. They have been successful on the track elsewhere, too: in mid-2013, a SKYACTIV-D powered Mazda6 became the first diesel to ever win a race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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Solar Energy For Chevy Cruze Plant

Solar Energy For Chevy Cruze Plant General Motors is in the center of installing solar panels at Ohio’s Lordstown Complex, the plant where GM builds the Chevy Cruze.
General Motors said its new 2.2 megawatt ground-mounted solar array will be complete by the end of 2014. When the last of more than 8,500 solar panels are in place, it will be GM’s leading solar installation in the Western Hemisphere.
The renewable energy produced by the array is enough, according to GM, to power nearly 1.5 percent of the plant and helps avoid the equivalent of 1,993 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the atmosphere. That is equivalent to the amount of carbon pulled from the air by 1,634 acres of U.S. forests in one year.
“With more solar installations than any other automotive company and the second-highest percentage of solar among all commercial users, GM shows that manufacturing and the use of renewable energy can go hand-in-hand.” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association.
SEE ALSO: Jaguar Land Rover Engines Built With Solar Power
Easily seen from the Ohio Turnpike, GM said the array will stand as a visual cue to the more than 49 million travelers who pass it each year that GM is committed to the use of solar power.
This solar install comes nearly one year after GM announced completion of the 1.8 megawatt solar array on the rooftop of GM’s Toledo Transmission gift, also in Ohio. GM stated that array is the leading rooftop array in the state, producing enough energy to power 149 homes for a year.
“You don’t often reckon of the Midwest when you reckon of ultimate locations for solar, but reduced costs and increased utility rates have made sites like Lordstown and Toledo optimal locations to expand GM’s use of solar power,” said Rob Threlkeld, GM global manager of renewable energy.
With the Lordstown project, GM added it remains on track to meet a company goal of 125 megawatts of renewable energy deployed globally by 2015.

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Daimler Sells Tesla Shares

Daimler Sells Tesla Shares Yesterday Daimler AG announced it has reorganized its cooperation with Tesla Motors Inc.
In doing so, the German automaker terminated the share-price ring fence it initiated in 2013 and has sold its approximately 4-percent stake in Tesla.
Daimler clarified it initially bought a 9.1 percent interest in Tesla in May 2009 for an estimated $50 million. Forty percent of that investment was transferred to Aabar Investments PJSC in the perspective of a joint strategic project in July 2009. Tesla has been listed on the stock exchange since the end of June 2010. As a result of capital increases at Tesla, Daimler’s stake in the company decreased to around 4 percent, without affecting the two companies’ strategic cooperation or joint development projects.
The cooperation between the partners on the automotive projects is unaffected, said Daimler, adding even though the development work for the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is completed, the partnership with Tesla remains in place.
SEE ALSO: Tesla On Track To Sell 50,000th Model S This Month
“We pursue our strategy for emission-free pouring consequently. Electric vehicles are one component of this roadmap. In Tesla we do have a bold partner. Together we launched the B-class Electric Drive successfully in the United States this summer. In November, the B-Class Electric Drive will be launched in Europe as well. We are persuaded that this powerful electric vehicle for each day use will appeal to a lot of customers,” stated Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Our partnership with Tesla is very successful and will be continued.”
The B-Class Electric Drive is not the only Daimler vehicle to benefit from Tesla’s cooperation. The batteries for the first generation of the smart fortwo electric drive had been from Tesla; this two-seater with electric drive is one of the best-selling electric cars in Germany.
“We are extremely satisfied with the development of our investment in Tesla, but it is not de rigueur for our partnership and cooperation,” said Bodo Uebber, Limb of the Board of Management of Daimler AG for Finance & Controlling and Financial Air force. “For this reason, we have chose to divest of our shares. This will also allow Tesla to broaden its investor base.”
The sale of Daimler’s stake in Tesla will result in a cash inflow of around $780 million, which will be used to strengthen Daimler’s operational business, said the German company.
This sure looks like an fascinating profit considering the original $50 million invested.
“We have supported Tesla as a startup company for many years and have cultured a lot from Tesla. At the same time, Tesla was able to profit from our automotive expertise. The cooperation with Tesla is one component of our activities in the field of electric mobility. It optimally complements our involvement in Deutsche ACCUmotive,” said Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, limb of the Board of Management of Daimler AG for Assemble Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
Daimler now offers electric vehicles ranging from cars and vans to buses and light trucks: smart electric drive, Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-CELL, B-Class Electric Drive, B-Class F-CELL, SLS AMG Sports car Electric Drive, Vito E-CELL, Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL-Hybrid, Fuso Canter E-CELL and Freightliner Custom Chassis MT E-CELL All-Electric.
Daimler added systematic hybridization is also a fixed element of Daimler’s powertrain strategy. In 2014, Mercedes-Benz sold more automobiles with hybrid drive than all other German manufacturers combined. The focus for Daimler will continue to be on plug-in hybrids in the coming years, said the company.
By the year 2017, Mercedes-Benz Cars will launch ten new plug-in hybrid models in all market segments.
Both Daimler and Toyota’s investments in the ahead of schedule years of Tesla were key in helping this EV manufacturer become the strong automaker it is today. Toyota’s investment was also an estimated $50 million and was invested in 2010. Toyota still holds a 2.4 percent stake in Tesla with an indicated value of $692 million.

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Nissan EV Taxis For Madrid And Barcelona

Nissan EV Taxis For Madrid And Barcelona Nissan has delivered the vehicles that became Madrid and Barcelona’s first 100 percent electric taxi.
These first Spanish EV taxis are a Nissan Leaf for Madrid’s taxi fleet and a e-NV200 taxi for Barcelona.
Nissan stated the Barcelona deliveries served as an vital step in the execution of an agreement between Nissan, the City of Barcelona, and the Barcelona Metropolitan area which brings the Barcelona-built e-NV200 to the streets of the city where the revolutionary electric van is produced.
“Declining air quality levels are a top concern crosswise Europe and it’s fantastic to see Madrid and Barcelona taking such positive steps in humanizing air quality through the incorporate of Nissan’s all-electric cars into their taxi fleets,” said Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Director of Electric Vehicles for Nissan Europe. “These taxi bring a huge benefit not only residents but also for the drivers – thanks to the ultra-low in succession costs only an electric car can offer. This scheme demonstrates that sustainable transportation is simple and affordable for everyone.”
SEE ALSO: Mexico’s Leaf Taxi Pilot Program Well Received
An event was held at Puerta del Sol in Madrid, where the “Zero KM” the measuring starting point of all the Spanish roads is located, to celebrate the arrival of this first Leaf taxi.
Antonio Berzal Prieto is the first taxi driver in Madrid to choose electric technology for his business.
“When I heard that the Nissan LEAF had been approved as a taxi for the city, I quickly looked into all the options it existing me,” said Antonio Berzal Prieto. “In addition to the environmental benefits, the costs of ownership are highly competitive and the car’s performance is brilliant.”
Meanwhile in Barcelona, the delivery of the first three Nissan e-NV200 Taxis took place during the Expo-electric Formula-e event, described by Nissan as one of the most vital meetings on sustainable mobility in Europe. Marco Toro, Nissan Iberia Managing Director and Antoni Vives, Deputy Mayor for Urban Habitat at Barcelona City Council, attended the event. Read more

Honda HR-V Set To Launch In Los Angeles

Honda HR-V Set To Launch In Los Angeles Honda revealed its all-new Honda HR-V entry crossover will make its North American debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show on Nov. 19.
The HR-V, already known as the Vezel in other markets, will serve as the entry point to the Honda light truck lineup; Honda said it is positioned below the CR-V in both price and size and competing in an all-new segment for the brand.
Honda added the HR-V is anticipated to launch this winter. Built on the same global compact platform that underpins the Fit, the HR-V is said to feature a versatile and spacious interior helped by a center fuel tank layout.
SEE ALSO: Honda Calls Vezel CUV HR-V For North America
The HR-V will be equipped with the Honda-special Key Seat, which allows for multiple seating configurations and the skill to fold the second row seat completely flat for added cargo space, clarified the company.
The HR-V or Vezel is available in hybrid version in other markets. We’ll have to wait for the reveal in Los Angeles to know exactly the powertrain choices to be existing in North America.

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Tesla On Track To Sell 50,000th Model S This Month

Tesla On Track To Sell 50,000th Model S This Month Tesla may have just announced the quickest 0-60 sedan, but just as notable is how Model S has sprinted from 0-50 – thousand sales that is – as it’s on track for 50,000 globally by the end of October.
Estimated sales through the end of September are 46,928 according to various reports and Tesla’s quarterly shareholder letters through June. It’s said the automaker will have delivered as many as 51,300-plus units before November 1, although there is room for error in the actual count.
That notwithstanding, it won’t be long now, and this shows the electric luxury performance sedan has grown its global market and maintained well loved interest to accelerate sales on par with a far-cheaper Nissan Leaf.
It took established automaker Nissan around two years, two months from December 2010 through its mid-February 2013 announcement of its 50,000th Leaf sale worldwide. The Model S costing two-three times more, could cross that milestone in only around one extra month. Read more

Ford Cuts $6,000 From Focus Electric; Now $29,995

Ford Cuts $6,000 From Focus Electric; Now $29,995 Ford Motor Co. has confirmed another slashing of the Focus Electric’s price by $6,000 to $29,995 including dealer shipping charge.
The converted all-electric 2012 Focus started sales in 17 initial markets in November 2011 at $39,995 with first deliveries in December. In July 2013 received a $4,000 cut, and now if anyone questions whether Ford wants to go more units, it’s effectively 25 percent off.
While ahead of schedule reports suggested it was essentially a compliance car, Ford product communications representative Aaron Miller today observed the Focus Electric is available now in all 50 states and Washington D.C.
SEE ALSO: 2014 Ford Focus Electric Overview
“The Focus Electric has provided customers the design and engineering of the world’s best-selling nameplate combined with unrivaled fuel economy,” said Miller to “We hope by reducing the price, we will give more patrons another reason to consider it.”
Model year 2014 cars had already been receiving a $6,000 discount, and Miller said 14s will be discounted as are 2015s on the sticker. The price cut mirrors other cuts to plug in cars such as by Chevy for its Volt, Mitsubishi for its i-MiEV, and Nissan for its Leaf which as of 2013 was priced at the sub $30,000 level Ford is now offering.
Focus Electric on the assembly line.
But the Ford has sold fewer than 4,000 units for as long as it’s been on the market. From January through September, the automaker went 1,534 Focus Electrics compared to Nissan’s 21,822, and even the California and Oregon-only Chevy Spark EV has sold 895.
The Leaf and Focus are quicker in size to one another and offer effective range in the 80-90 mile locality, depending on how one drives. The Leaf is a purpose-built EV with battery in the stump. The Ford is an adaptation, but does one better with liquid cooling thermal management.
Since its launch, Ford has broadened the Focus Electric’s market and its price is now lower despite ahead of schedule statements by Ford execs signifying the EV was a niche car, and its battery costs a king’s ransom.
SEE ALSO: Is Ford Treading Cautiously with its Focus Electric? Read more