Verizon Communications Inc. has launched a pilot project to retrofit its service vans with environmentally friendly hybrid-engine systems. Verizon is working with a company that specializes in hybrid power systems to retrofit the new vans, since no domestic vehicle manufacturers currently produce hybrid vehicles in the van category.
Verizon officials want this move to prompt domestic carmakers to deliver hybrid vans. “As an operator of one of the largest private motor vehicle fleets in the United States, we hope to send a message to automotive manufacturers that they should be manufacturing hybrid vehicles in all classes,” says Kathryn Brown, SVP of public policy development and corporate responsibility at Verizon. “There is a market here, especially for companies like Verizon that seek to minimize the environmental impact of their operations.”
Verizon’s retrofitted hybrid vans use both a traditional gasoline-powered engine and a battery-powered electric motor. An onboard computer coordinates the use of the two engines depending on driving conditions. When the internal combustion engine is running, it charges the batteries for the electric motor. The vans will be used by technicians who install and maintain the company’s digital fiber-optic services.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
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