Those who need big SUVs for towing or other reasons can now benefit from the fuel savings provided by hybrid drive trains. General Motors' full-size Chevy Tahoe Hybrid and GMC Yukon Hybrid both have a two-mode hybrid system that can cut fuel consumption by as much as 50 percent in city driving. Freescale's 32-bit Power Architecture controls the power inverter module that's the basis of the hybrid system. The chips help assure smooth transitions during transitions from gasoline to electric power. The two-mode system, developed in conjunction with Chrysler, Mercedes and BMW, sometimes operates with both electric and gasoline engines to improve performance and economy.
Researchers have been working on a number of alternative chemistries to lithium-ion for next-gen batteries, silicon-air among them. However, while the technology has been viewed as promising and cost-effective, to date researchers haven’t managed to develop a battery of this chemistry with a viable running time -- until now.
Norway-based additive manufacturing company Norsk Titanium is building what it says is the first industrial-scale 3D printing plant in the world for making aerospace-grade metal components. The New York state plant will produce 400 metric tons each year of aerospace-grade, structural titanium parts.
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