Land Rover hands over fleet of Rugby World Cup vehicles

August 22nd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Last Friday, Land Rover handed over a special fleet of vehicles to Rugby World Cup Ltd (RWCL) in a ceremony outside Eden Park Stadium. As Official Vehicle of the Rugby World Cup, Land Rover has provided 30 vehicles to tournament organisers and officials. This special fleet is made up of Range Rover Sports and Land Rover Discoverys.

The vehicles have been specially customised with RWC branding, number plates and commemorative badging to celebrate the association throughout New Zealand.

Kit McConnell, Tournament Director of RWCL, was presented with the fleet by Land Rover at Eden Park, which will host the first game on Friday 9th September. “The provision of the Official Vehicles by Land Rover is key to the successful running of the Rugby World Cup and will be put to good use to ensure that the Tournament is run smoothly over the next couple of months,” said Mr McConnell.

In addition to the vehicles being supplied to the RWCL, Land Rover is also supplying another 42 vehicles for Land Rover VIPs and international media use during the tournament, bringing the total number of Land Rovers and Range Rovers imported specifically for the tournament to 72. Continue reading “Land Rover hands over fleet of Rugby World Cup vehicles” »

What happens to Japan’s tsunami damaged cars?

March 29th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

It’s been impossible to miss the news coverage of the Japan earthquake and you’ve likely seen the damaging tsunami footage showing vehicles being thrown around like Matchbox cars. These written-off waterlogged vehicles number in the thousands, and the Japanese government is currently faced with a huge task in cleaning them all up.

How are they doing it? According to reports, Japanese workers are using construction equipment to lift the vehicles onto trucks, which then take the damaged cars and trucks to auto graveyards. These final resting places are located in the now-dry flooded plains in and around the quake zones. The vehicles are lined up in huge rows, with the license plates all facing the same direction so owners can recognise and locate their wrecked rides. The organised workers use a color-coated spray painting system that indicates whether the vehicle has a body in it that needs to be removed by the authorities. Grim stuff. Continue reading “What happens to Japan’s tsunami damaged cars?” »

Nissan unveils EV and hybrid prototypes

August 7th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

nissan-cube-ev-fq

Nissan has unveiled all-electric and original hybrid electric prototype vehicles, both powered by advanced lithium-ion batteries. Under the NISSAN GT 2012 business plan, the company has committed to zero-emission vehicle leadership, and has announced plans to introduce an all-electric vehicle in 2010 and mass market globally in 2012.

Powered by advanced lithium-ion batteries, the EV prototype is part of Nissan’s substantial research and development programme on zero emission vehicles. This latest generation vehicle features a front-wheel drive layout and uses a newly developed 80kW motor and inverter. The advanced laminated compact lithium-ion batteries are installed under the floor, without sacrificing either cabin or cargo space.

Nissan say the production vehicle to be introduced in 2010 will have a unique bodystyle and is not based on any existing Nissan model.

The Nissan original HEV delivers two breakthrough technologies — a high-performance rear-wheel drive hybrid system and parallel-powertrain hybrid system. The hybrid employs Nissan’s own originally developed hybrid technology and its first rear-wheel drive hybrid powertrain.

The parallel-powertrain system comprises an energy-optimising system with two clutches, where one motor is directly connected to an engine and transmission via two separate clutches. Under changing driving conditions, the motor switches between the two clutches to optimise and conserve energy utilisation as well as improve fuel-efficiency.

The parallel-powertrain hybrid system eliminates the need for conventional torque converters, contributing to higher responsiveness and linear acceleration for improved driving feel.

The dynamic characteristics of the clutches are as follows:

* Idle-stop: The battery is used to power the motor to save on fuel.
* Regular driving: The engine is used to power the motor as well as regenerate the battery.
* Acceleration: Both the engine and battery (power assist) is used to power the motor to achieve smooth acceleration.
* Deceleration: Energy from braking is conserved and re-routed back to regenerate the battery.

The advanced lithium-ion batteries used in both prototypes are sourced from the Nissan-NEC joint-venture, AESC (Automotive Energy Supply Corporation). These advanced batteries offer superior performance, reliability, safety, versatility and cost competitiveness, compared to the conventional nickel metal-hydride batteries. Its compact laminated configuration delivers twice the electric power compared to conventional nickel-metal hydride batteries with a cylindrical configuration. The compact batteries also allow for improved vehicle packaging and a wide range of applications.

Nissan has long experience in electric-powered vehicle development, commencing from the first EV “Tama Electric Vehicle” back in 1947.  The company introduced the world’s first application of lithium-ion batteries to the Prarie Joy EV in 1996, followed by the ultra-compact electric vehicle, Hypermini, released in 2000.  Nissan also introduced its first original hybrid vehicle Tino Hybrid back in 1999 in Japan. In 2006, the Altima Hybrid was introduced in North America using licensed technology.

Under the Nissan Green Program 2010 environmental plan, the company aims to develop new technologies, products and services that can lead to real-world reductions in vehicle CO2 emissions, cleaner emissions, and recycling of resources. Nissan continues to invest substantially in a wide range of technologies including CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), VVEL (Variable Valve Event and Lift), clean diesels, biofuels and fuel cell vehicles.