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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Jan 30 2012, 1:30 PM

1,400 metric tons of diesel fuel is difficult to imagine from an average consumer perspective. That’s enough to power a diesel compact car for about 350,000 miles, much more than it would probably ever drive.

That’s also how much diesel Nissan will save every year thanks to a new transport ship which launched on its maiden voyage last Friday. The Nichioh Maru is the company’s newest freight liner and it’s making a splash in the green technology world thanks to it’s innovative design which offers an 18 percent fuel savings over similar ships without the technology.

The ship features 281 solar panels on the deck which power LED lighting throughout the ship. It also has a specially coated hull to reduce drag and is about the length of 1.5 football fields (557 feet).

The Nichioh Maru carries up to 1,380 cars and travels at a top speed of 24.4 mph or 22.1 knots to make two domestic round trips per week totaling just over 2,200 miles. Nissan released a video featuring the ship, you can watch it below.

Continue Reading…

 |  Jul 12 2011, 10:30 AM

Do you feel that your electric vehicle isn’t clean enough because it uses power from the grid to charge up your car, and the grid could be run on fossil fuels?

To make your green motoring even greener, Nissan and 4R Energy has teamed up to develop a new EV charging system, that makes use of solar power.

This system combines the solar power generator system with high-capacity lithium ion batteries to re-energize your car. Testing with this new system has begun today at Nissan’s HQ in Yokohama, Japan.

The system uses solar power to generate power, and it then stores the acquired energy in lithium ion battery packs. So when a Leaf wants to get charged up, it can take use of the stored energy in these battery packs. A quick charge will take 3-hours, while a normal charge requires an extra hour. Nissan believes this facility will be able to charge 1800 LEAF’s annually.

The added benefit of this set-up is having energy to charge your car with green energy, at anytime of day or even during bad weather.

Currently this is just a test project, but if successful will lead to more such stations for public and fleet services.

 |  May 27 2011, 12:02 PM

GE is introducing a solar powered carport designed for charging electric cars that uses solar panels that produces enough energy every year to power 20 homes with electricity.

Rather than a home unit, the carport is intended for public usage, with six charging stations allowing for a total of 13 EVs to be charged each day. Since the carport is connected to the grid, the unit can both draw and feed power, depending on the amount of electricity required.

The first carport will be installed in Connecticut, but expect to see this kind of technology elsewhere in the future.

[Source: CNet]

 |  Oct 17 2010, 8:29 PM

At the recent IAA Commercial Vehicle Expo in Hanover, Germany; MBtech a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz unveiled a striking concept truck called the Reporter.

Stylistically the Report looks like what would happen if a modern European B-car and a pop-up camping trailer were left alone for a few hours, but it does incorporate some innovative features, including flexible strips of solar material that are both removable and storable.

The solar ‘roof’ helps charge the vehicle’s 12-volt battery, important considering that the Reporter is a natural gas-electric propelled conveyance; the two motors working together to allow this truck to reach a top speed of more than 80 mph and a range of 186 miles before recharging. What’s very interesting, is that besides working together, each power source can also operate independently – the 70 kW electric motor driving the rear wheels, while the 1.2-liter natural gas unit powers the fronts. In addition the gas engine can also run on regular petrol (gasoline) considerably extending the vehicle’s range.

The Reporter also boasts three different operating modes 4Dynamic (for maximum power when hauling or towing); 4Range (that minimizes fuel consumption) and Eco, where the vehicle runs purely on electric power. Considering that weight remains a challenge with many electric and hybrid type vehicles, the Reporter concept is constructed using a large amount of aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced plastics in order to keep mass to a minimum. Although the vehicle shown here is very much a concept, MBtech claims that eventual production is a very real possibility. At the IAA show, the company stated “two further project phases will follow soon.”  Watch this space.

[Source: Pickup trucks.com]