Toyota will release the first mass-produced gasoline/electric
hybrid vehicle in the U.S. this year. Configured in parallel, the engine and
electric motor are connected to the drive train.
The company claims that the ratio of power provided by each system
is constantly controlled to keep the vehicle in its most efficient mode to
deliver a city/highway fuel economy rating of 52/45 mpg.
More than 35,000 already have been sold in Japan since its release
in 1997. However, the US and Japan versions are designed differently. Engineers
at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) test drove the American
version and found it to handle very well in the Colorado mountains. "Because of
the steeply sustained mountain grades, Colorado provides excellent testing
grounds for an HEV (hybrid electric vehicle)," says a test engineer. "The
engines in the Japanese and American Prius are the same, but the American
version performs better because Toyota engineers have increased the engine speed
from around 3,500-4,000 to 4,500 rpm, providing higher engine horsepower." For
more information see http://www.toyota.com.
Earlier this year paralyzed IndyCar drive Sam Schmidt did the seemingly impossible -- opening the qualifying rounds at Indy by driving a modified Corvette C7 Stingray around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Wearables are changing the way we see ourselves. With onboard sensors that have access to our bodies, we are starting to know our physical selves like never before, quantifying our activity, our heart rate, breathing, and even our muscle effort.
Last week, the bill for reforming chemical regulation, the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015, passed the House. If it or a similar bill becomes law, the effects on cost and availability of adhesives and plastics incorporating these substances are not yet clear.
This year, Design News is getting a head start on the Fourth of July celebration. In honor of our country and its legacy of engineering innovation -- in all of its forms -- we are taking you on an alphabetical tour through all 50 states to showcase interesting engineering breakthroughs and historically significant events.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.