Popular Mechanics brings us a brief history of the flying car.

Japan is planning a 500 km/h meglev train reports Electric Vehicle News. (with video)  Central Japan Railway expects to put it into commercial operation on the 450 km route between Tokyo and Osaka from 2027 onwards. The first trial operation on the Yamanashi test track is expected at the end of 2013. Work is currently underway to extend the Yamanashi test track from 18·4 km to 42·8 km, in order to allow a longer length of sustained operation at speeds of 500 km/h and above. Maglev is a system of transportation that uses magnetic levitation to suspend, guide and propel vehicles with magnets rather than using mechanical methods, such as wheels, axles and bearings.

The Sacramento Bee says diesel automobile sales in the US rose 25% this year. This increase is almost double the overall US auto market increase of 13.8% for 2012. New federal fuel efficiency standards that will required a 54.5 mpg average by 2025 is expected to boost diesel auto sales in the US, since diesel cars are 20% to 40% more fuel efficient than gasoline versions. Pike Research forecasts the number of diesels autos available in the US will almost double to about 30 in the next 18 months.

auto-types suggests gasoline engines may make a comeback in Europe with more stringent diesel emission rules on the way under Euro 6. “Experts say making gasoline pass Euro 6 is easier than diesel. As a result, automakers are making smaller engines fitted with turbochargers and direct injection, in order to make gasoline engines more efficient with no penalty to performance.” Currently, in Europe more than half of all new cars are diesels. In some countries like Ireland and France this amounts to 60 to 70%.

The Engineer answers our questions about hydrogen-powered vehicles.

The US state of California is going to subsidize the construction of hydrogen refueling stations according to Green Car Congress. The California Energy Commission will award up to $28.6 million for new hydrogen refueling stations in 25 selected areas of the state. The goal is to expand the network of publicly accessible hydrogen fueling stations to accommodate the planned large-scale roll-out of fuel cell vehicles commencing in 2015. Individual projects are eligible for up to 65% of the total project cost or $1.50 million, whichever is less.

Hydrogen fuel-cell cars look to overtake electric autos posts CNN. A fuel-cell-powered car can travel much longer distances than battery-powered ones before needing to be refueled, and fuel cells can be more readily used in large vehicles like trucks and SUVs. As a result, in recent months Toyota, Hyundai, Daimler and Honda announced plans to build fuel cell vehicles within the next year or two. The advantages fuel-cell vehicles have over EVs like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt are shorter refueling times and greater range. The Leaf, for example, runs for only 73 miles and takes seven hours to charge on a home-charging station. In contrast fuel-cell cars can be driven for hundreds of miles before needing to be refueled, and it takes only a few minutes to fill a tank with hydrogen.

On the other hand, hydrogenfuel news thinks hydrogen-powered vehicles may be a hard sell because of lack of refueling infrastructure and the costly materials required to build them.

The Netherlands will have glow in the dark smart highways next year says SingularityHUB. Over the next few years, southern Holland roads will have glow-in-the-dark roads, paint that illuminates to warn of icy conditions, interactive and wind lighting, and an induction priority lane for electric cars. The purpose is to save energy costs, make roads safer, and promote green highways. Glow in the dark paints would illuminate the road and reduce the costs of electric lighting.

greener ideal tells us all about hybrids. Meanwhile we can learn about EV technology at Burnaby Now and at the British Columbia Automobile Association website.


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