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Lightweight

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    Study: Aluminum lightweighting does, in fact, save fuel
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    When the best-selling US truck sheds the equivalent weight of three football fullbacks by shifting to aluminum, folks start paying attention. Oak Ridge National Laboratory took a closer look at whether the reduced fuel consumption from a lighter aluminum body makes up for the fact that producing ...

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    Official: Patent granted for Lit Motors C-1 gimbaled flywheel stabilization system
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    There are a number of transportation devices under development deserving of the adjective, "revolutionary." There are also no shortage of vehicles bestowed with the "vaporware" descriptor. High on both of those lists rests the C-1 from Lit Motors – a self-balancing fully-enclosed electric ...

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    Official: Epic EV delivers first Torq Roadster to former Tesla exec
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    Finally, success! Chris Anthony has been trying to launch a three-wheeled electric vehicle for years now – first, with the ill-fated Aptera Motors, which he co-founded, and now with his own Epic EV. Last Saturday, all that effort came together in a triumphant event that saw the Torq ...

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    Epic EV throwing a Torq launch party with free rides
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    The journey of the Torq roadster from Epic EV has been pretty low key for a three-wheeled bullhorn of a car that screams, "LOOK AT ME!!!" with its volume stuck at 11. There hasn't been a flood of press releases calling attention to the effort and there are no bizarre long-form commercials ...

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    Official: GM CEO Akerson confirms 200-mile EV in the works, says death of the V8 "greatly exaggerated"
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    General Motors isn't talking about how far the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV can go before it needs a charge, but par for the course for today's electric vehicles i2 around 70-100 miles. GM CEO Dan Akerson today confirmed that the company is working on a 200-mile EV (perhaps a Spark, perhaps not) ...

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    Report: Toyota may integrate carbon fiber after Lexus LFA shut-down
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    Toyota could integrate carbon-fiber components into some of its future models after shutting down production of its Lexus LFA supercar last month, Automotive News reports. Carbon fiber is both stronger and lighter than traditional vehicle-body materials. It makes sense for Toyota to take ...

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    As Renault delivers first Zoe, company's EV strategy questioned
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    Arnaud Montebourg, France's Minister of Industrial Recovery, was handed the keys to the first Renault Zoe electric car on December 17 by Carlos Tavares, Renault Group's chief operating officer. Renault calls the Zoe the "first broadly affordable full-electric car," and the EV qualifies for a ...

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    Bob Lutz joins GM-backed NanoSteel
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    NanoSteel Company, a nano-structured steel materials designer, has announced that one of the most quotable characters in the auto industry, Bob Lutz, has joined its board of directors. The 10-year-old, Providence, RI-based company says that it "has achieved a significant breakthrough in the ...

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    Mazda's SkyActiv technology driving hefty weight loss goal
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    You may have noticed that Mazda hasn't released a lineup of electric vehicles, hybrids and alternative fuel vehicles. So, how will the automaker reach the demanding 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 federal mandate? By going lightweight and utilizing its Skyactiv technology. As part of its Skyactiv ...

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    Report: GM Ventures invests in new lightweight NanoSteel
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    Cutting pounds while making cars safer and stronger is a pursuit of all auto companies. Creative uses of aluminum alloys and exotic materials like carbon fiber help reduce weight and increase fuel economy and/or performance. But both aluminum and carbon fiber are expensive. Steel has been around ...

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    Video: Chip Yates sets electric airplane speed record, lives to tell tale [w/video]
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    Because he's quick like that. And lucky. Chip Yates has, in a few short months, converted a Burt Rutan-designed Long-EZ airplane to battery power and, at the same time, undergone all the flight training necessary to get his pilot's license. On Wednesday, he took his renamed Long-ESA (Electric ...

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    Report: Going directly downwind faster than wind, Blackbird again breaks records
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    Once again, reports are out about a vehicle powered solely by the wind that can outrun the wind. And once again, we expect continued debates on the subject. Rick Cavallaro and his merry band of enthusiasts recently improved the upwind and downwind speeds of their Blackbird, their DDWFTTW ...

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    Two Wheels: Roskva Electric Motorcycles explores the lighter side with carbon fiber
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    Electric vehicles push technologies beyond batteries and software. Take this new prototype from Roskva Electric Motorcycles, for example. In pursuit of a lighter bike, the five UMB engineering students behind this machine took a page from MotoGP and decided to go all out with carbon fiber ...

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    Rice University scientists devise spray-painted battery [w/video]
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    Talk about lightweighting. Rice University researchers have figured out a way to – wait for it – spray paint the components of a lithium-ion battery onto any hard surface, suggesting that someone looking to get a little rechargeable power can make like Earl Scheib. The mad scientists ...

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    Report: Honda N600-derived retro city car revealed?
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    A spate of images depicting what looks like a new kei car from Honda have jumped online. The diminutive five-door looks to have borrowed its lines from the N Concept 4 the Japanese automaker first showed off at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. That funky little machine lifted design elements from the ...

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    Report: 2015 Toyota Prius rumors start flowing
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    Toyota has already picked the low-hanging fruit when it comes to boosting the Prius hybrid's fuel economy. But the Japanese automaker's planning on climbing a little further up that tree. That's what Inside Line is reporting about the next, fourth-generation Prius, which is likely to debut in ...

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    BMW and Toyota to partner on sports car and EV tech
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    If you are any other carmaker, this is really not what you want to hear on a Friday morning: The industry's 800-pound gorilla and one of its most profitable brands are joining forces. If you are an enthusiast (or environmentalist), however, the would-be products of this collaboration may have you ...

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    Report: BMW, Toyota mulling expansive partnership for fuel-efficient vehicles
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    In December of 2011, BMW and Toyota signed an agreement to collaborate on lithium-ion battery development, and the deal included a provision where BMW would small-displacement diesel engines for Toyota products sold in Europe. It was brought up at the time that the partnership could expand ...

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    Report: BMW banking on carbon fiber costs to broaden M range
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    There once was a time when BMW only produced a handful of its models in high-performance M guise. There was the M3, the M5, and that was pretty much it. Now, however, it offers M models based on the 1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series, 6 Series, X5 and X6. And that's only expected to grow. The first on ...

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    Official: BYU wins SAE 'Formula Hybrid' competition
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    We can't say we've ever seen a Toyota Prius rip through a slalom course like this, either. A team of engineering students from Brigham Young University won the 2012 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Formula Hybrid competition at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after finishing second last ...

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