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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? 


GM to accelerate EV development in China

General Motors plans to fast track the development of electrified vehicles in China, the company’s senior technology leader recently told reporters.

“China has made electrification a key strategy. Electrified vehicles will play a critical role in efforts to conserve and ultimately displace petroleum as the major source of transportation energy,” Jon Lauckner, GM CTO, vice president of global R&D, and president of GM Ventures, said during a presentation at the FISITA 2012 World Automotive Congress in Beijing.

In September 2011, GM China opened the Advanced Materials Lab in Shanghai. The facility, which is part of the GM China Advanced Technical Center, is engaged in cutting-edge research on battery technology and lightweight materials.

“We will apply innovative technologies to cell design and fabrication, test and validate advanced cell materials provided by suppliers, and ultimately integrate battery cells into future battery systems for our vehicles,” added Lauckner. “We believe the further development of lithium-ion battery technology is possible through improvements in cell chemistry, cell and pack design, and optimization of thermal management.”

GM’s says its goal is to improve the energy density of its batteries so that they are smaller, lighter and less costly than today’s batteries. In the long term, the car maker believes there is potential to double the energy density of battery packs in electric vehicles.

“Greater adoption of electrified vehicles requires a greater breadth of offerings; cost reductions in technology for more competitive pricing compared to conventional vehicles; and, of course, more infrastructure for convenient charging,” Lauckner said.

The CTO added that GM’s global strategy is to provide consumers a variety of choices through a range of vehicles with electrified powertrains. Its strategy includes mild hybrid technology such as the eAssist system, which can improve fuel efficiency in anything from small cars to full-size cars and luxury sedans; full hybrid technology such as the two-mode hybrid system on full-size trucks and SUVs; extended-range electric vehicles, which offer electric propulsion and contain an on-board engine generator to extend the vehicles’ range; and pure electric vehicles, which run on full electric propulsion.

GM has brought to the China market many of its latest electrified vehicles, including the Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle, Buick LaCrosse with eAssist and Cadillac Escalade Hybrid. On November 22 at Auto Guangzhou 2012, Shanghai GM introduced the SAIL SPRINGO pure electric vehicle, which will be built and sold in China.

According to Lauckner, one other important area where GM is applying electrification and connected vehicle technology is on urban mobility solutions. GM has showcased in China its vision for sustainable urban transportation through products such as the EN-V (Electric Networked-Vehicle) concept, which introduced the world to a new automobile DNA from GM based on electrification and connectivity.

Earlier this year, GM signed a memorandum of understanding with the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City Investment and Development and the Tianjin Eco-City Administrative Committee to collaborate on assessing the real-world application of GM’s EN-V 2.0 concept in the Tianjin Eco-City.

14 December 2012


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