You'll have to wait four months if you want a Prius, Toyota Motor Co.'s first mass-produced hybrid. People were skeptical about the commercial viability of the car when it was introduced in 1997. Today Toyota can't meet the demand. The Tokyo automaker produced 300,000 in 2005 and plans to ramp production to 400,000 in 2006. The Prius gets 60 mpg in the city and 51 on the highway, according to the U.S. government.
Toyota has been leaning hard on its suppliers for more parts. Company executives denied speculation that the automaker has been locking up suppliers in order to maintain its domination over the hybrid market. Ford Motor Co. officials grumbled to the Wall Street Journal that they are having trouble getting hybrid parts because Toyota is squeezing the supply. Hybrids were effectively novelty vehicles until gas prices soared.
Engineers at Fuel Cell Energy have found a way to take advantage of a side reaction, unique to their carbonate fuel cell that has nothing to do with energy production, as a potential, cost-effective solution to capturing carbon from fossil fuel power plants.
This is part one of an article discussing the University of Washington’s nationally ranked FSAE electric car (eCar) and combustible car (cCar). Stay tuned for part two, tomorrow, which will discuss the four unique PCBs used in both the eCar and cCars.
Researchers working with additive manufacturing have said multimaterial techniques will allow industry “to fabricate materials with combinations of density, strength, and thermal expansion that do not exist [yet].”
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