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Automobile Industry


Michelin Reaches Initial Prototype Development Stage For New Tires Geared Toward Reducing Rolling Resistance

All of the Audi Mileage Marathon vehicles were outfitted with Michelin Green X low rolling resistance tires. Low rolling resistance tires help improve fuel economy. Photo courtesy of About.com.

GREENVILLE, S.C.- Michelin - at the one-year marker of its three-year partnership plan with Clemson University - has begun testing the first of a series of tire prototypes being developed to reduce rolling resistance and increase fuel economy in next generation vehicles.

“We have been doing a lot of computer simulation work. We are getting some results that are helping us in our path toward the goals that we have for the project. We learned a lot about aerodynamic losses in this first loop that we weren’t expecting,” said Jim Anderson, research director for passenger car and light truck tires of Michelin America’s research and development company.

“When you work on a long-term project like this, new approaches are tried, which also bring up new challenges. Our ambition is quite high for this project in terms of being able to significantly reduce rolling tire resistance and reduce the energy contribution that tires make in operating a vehicle,” added Mr. Anderson.

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Better Place Partners With Ontario Government to Develop Electric Car Infrastructure in the Province

Image courtesy of Treehugger.com

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Better Place is partnering with the government of Ontario in an effort to develop an electric car infrastructure in the province.

The company, which was unavailable for comment, released a statement saying that Better Place plans to install a network of charge spots and battery exchange stations in Toronto and later across Canada, which it hopes will give drivers the same convenience as gasoline stations.

Better Place says that it plans to “install charge spots in parking spaces at home, at work, and at retail locations, which [will] enable the network to automatically top off the electric car.”

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New Prototype Technology Expected to Use Road Bumps to Regenerate Battery

GREENWICH, Conn.- A new prototype technology that can use the bumps in a road to regenerate power to the batteries of hybrid and electric vehicles has been exclusively optioned to Electric Truck, a privately held licensing and technology firm.

The commercial rights were optioned to the company by Tufts University, Boston, which originally developed and patented the technology through its Office for Technology Licensing and Industry Collaboration.

Drivers of hybrid cars could increase their miles per gallon by 20 to 70 percent through the use of this new technology, according to Martin Son, associate director of the OTL&IC at Tufts.

The new technology was illustrated as “one that can be implemented as a shock absorber and instead of having the energy as heat and dissipating, it can be converted into a usable electrical energy which can then be used to recharge the battery,” said Mr. Son.

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