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Mercedes-Benz unveils its revamped G-Class


The all-new G-Class makes its public debut at the Detroit auto show in G550 form. Completely redeveloped and fitted with a 4.0-liter V8 biturbo gasoline engine offering 427ps and 450 lb-ft of torque at 2,000rpm to 4,750rpm, despite near-identical looks to its predecessor plenty has changed for the Mercedes-Benz SUV.

Ford’s F150 pickup gets its first diesel motor


Developed by the powertrain team behind the 6.7-liter Power Stroke engine for super duty trucks, the all-new 3.0-liter V6 Power Stroke unit promises 250ps, 440 lb-ft of torque, and an anticipated 5175kg of towing capacity.

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In light of Fisker's solid-state battery breakthrough and claims of a one minute charge time, will this electric vehicle technology development kick-start mass BEV uptake? 


Ricardo reveals battery breakthrough

Ricardo and QinetiQ have claimed to have made significant breakthroughs in the development of affordable high-performance battery technology for hybrid and electric vehicles.

Coming off the back of a two-year partnership codenamed the Reduced cost Li-Ion (RED-LION) project, the core aim for the two UK organizations was to develop an alternative Li-Ion cell chemistry that could be integrated within an HEV using a bespoke battery management system. Following completion of the project, the partners have announced that a battery pack using QinetiQ’s new and innovative iron sulphide-based cell chemistry and Ricardo’s latest advanced battery management system, has demonstrated both cost and weight reductions compared to Ricardo’s Efficient-C full hybrid vehicle.

To prove the potential of the alternative cell chemistry, the RED-LION project, which has been part funded by the Department for Transport under the UK Energy Saving Trust Low Carbon R&D program, set out to replace the battery pack used in the Efficient-C prototype HEV with one using new cells capable of demonstrating suitable material cycle life, capacity, specific energy, rate capability and safety. Custom cells were manufactured and packaged within a bespoke battery pack incorporating many novel features.

Ricardo designed the overall battery pack to directly replace the existing unit, developing a new battery management system to manage the iron sulfer chemistry. Meanwhile the prototype cells were designed and manufactured by QinetiQ, and during tests, the cells have shown to deliver a cycle life of over 1,000 cycles at a limited depth of discharge. Such a high charge/discharge rate capability means that the cell design would make it suited to both HEVs and low-range PHEVs. Comparing the performance of the prototype high rate cells with the cells originally used in the Efficient-C HEV, a 20% reduction in weight on a Wh/kg basis was achieved by the partners.

5 January 2010


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