Automaker DaimlerChrysler will sponsor the nation's first EcoZone in the District of Columbia. The EcoZone is a public/private partnership designed to fund solutions that can measurably improve the local environment at no cost to taxpayers. As part of its sponsorship, DaimlerChrysler will contribute two technologies developed to reduce emissions and provide higher fuel economy in city buses. One is the Orion VII diesel-electric hybrid bus that provides cleaner emissions than conventional diesel buses. The other is the GEM neighborhood electric vehicle with zero emissions and high fuel economy. Both vehicles have long histories of urban use. The Orion VII has 10 million miles logged in major U.S. cities. More than 30,000 GEMs are in use internationally.
A new federally sponsored manufacturing innovation center to strengthen US manufacturing abilities in fiber-reinforced composites has formed, bringing together materials suppliers, OEMs, university R&D labs, and national labs.
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