TECHNOLOGIES * WORLDWIDE
* Victoria / Australia - Carbon fiber wheels lighter. New product boosts vehicle performance, but pricey for now
(Photo: Carbon Revolution CR-9 Full Carbon Fiber Automobile Wheels)
Waurn Ponds,VIC,Australia -The Detroit News, by Larry Edsall -November 15, 2012: -- What began as a collegiate engineering exercise has produced the first commercially available one-piece automobile wheel made from carbon fiber... Why would someone want such a wheel on a car? Basically, because carbon fiber is as strong as — or even stronger — than steel and weighs much, much less. Reduce weight, in this case, unsprung weight at each of a car's four corners, and the car's dynamic performance parameters — acceleration, turning, stopping — are enhanced... At the moment, the Carbon Revolution wheels are available only for the Porsche 911, Audi R8 and Lamborghini Gallardo. Oh, and they cost $15,000 for four... But the wheels' developers say that they expect the cost to drop sharply as production ramps up and sizes are created for a much wider variety of vehicles, including wheels for trucks and airplanes... Ashley Denmead was an engineering student at Australia's Deakin University and wondered if the car's wheels might be made from the space-age composite material used in the bodies and other components of jet fighters and Indy racers... Because of its potential for making vehicles lighter and therefore more fuel and emissions efficient, the carbon fiber wheel development program received a grant from the Australian government...
* Sweden - Volvo fast charger fills an EV battery in an hour and a half
(Image; Volvo is testing the charger on its C30 EVs)
Stockholm,Sweden -Gizmag, by C.C. Weiss -November 8, 2012: -- Volvo is working on what it calls the world's first three-phase on-board charger. The charger promises to make electric-vehicle charging much faster than it is now. Instead of charging a vehicle overnight or for hours at a time, Volvo claims its on-board unit will allow users to completely refresh their batteries in just 1.5 hours...