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Toyota Unveils Next-Gen Mirai Fuel Cell Car

Toyota Unveils Next-Gen Mirai Fuel Cell Car

Toyota’s gawky Mirai fuel cell car have received a beauty treatment and a 30% range boost.

The second-generation car, which went on sale in Japan on Dec. 9, boasts a more efficient powertrain and greater hydrogen fuel capacity.

A third fuel tank extends the range of the redesigned Mirai to 850 km (528 miles) from 650 km (404 miles) per fill-up.

Toyota says the new model “marks a starting point for widespread use of hydrogen.”

Styling Upgrade

The four-door makes a notable move toward sleeker styling. The four-passenger Mirai introduced in 2014 was notable for its dumpy profile and ungainly front end.

The new model, now a five-seater, has a huge but far simpler single front grille. The car is about three inches longer, lower and wider than its predecessor. Those ...READ MORE

Mayflower Consulting
A Business Case for Automated Electric Vehicles: Farming

Monarch Tractor has started taking orders for a $50,000 self-driving tractor that promises to bring the latest electrification, automation, safety and artificial intelligence technologies to farmers.

This may sound like a cool and innovative idea, but is it worth the investment?

The answer is simple, according to CEO and co-founder Praveen Penmesta. He boasts that the new tractor can do everything farmers can do with current diesel-powered equipment—and much more—while saving money every hour it’s used.

From an operating standpoint, the company calculates the electric tractor can save as much as $45 a day in fuel and maintenance costs.

Other potential benefits are even greater. This includes everything from reducing emissions (a diesel tractor emits 14 times more ...READ MORE

LMC Automotive
Dandelions and Tires

Pedaling your bike through a dandelion field or hopping off to pick a few of the yellow buds sounds like an idyllic leisure time pursuit.

But what about using the wildflowers to make the tires?

That’s exactly what Continental is doing with its Urban Taraxagum bicycle treads. And the company eventually aims to spread the technology to a wide range of other applications, including passenger cars, commercial trucks, farm equipment and other rubber goods.

Why It Matters

Using dandelion roots in place of rubber derived from hevea brasiliensis (rubber trees), which mainly come from countries near the equator, enables local sourcing. This could substantially increase rubber supply and reduces the cost of shipping the material to tire plants around the world.

The dandelion rubber ...READ MORE

Volvo Ready to Make Its Own EV Motors

Volvo Cars says it will take over production of motors used in its electric vehicles by about 2025.

The Swedish carmaker expects to spend 700 kronor ($83 million) between now and then to equip its 113-year-old engine plant in Skovde to make the devices.

Do It Yourself

The facility will begin by assembling motors from purchased parts, then shift to full in-house production within five years. Volvo says controlling design and production will help to maximize the efficiency of future EVs.

Skovde’s current internal combustion engine production will be merged with similar activities by Volvo owner Zhejiang Geely Holding into a Volvo subsidiary called Powertrain Engineering Sweden.

Volvo announced last month that it planned to design and develop its own EV motors. But it ...READ MORE

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