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Audi unveils e-car

Audi has unveiled its first fully electrically powered series production model, the Audi e-tron SUV.

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“Standing still or on the move, the Audi e-tron is electrifying,” the company declared. “Its expressive sill area, the electric tailboard and the light gray Singleframe are indicators of the high-voltage technology that makes for a special driving experience. The electric SUV is powered by two powerful electric motors that are locally CO2-neutral and virtually silent. A new generation of the quattro drive, the electric all-wheel drive, ensures excellent traction and dynamics. It ensures the continuous and variable regulation of the ideal distribution of drive torques between the two axles – within a fraction of a second.”

Audi provided the following information:

A key factor for the sporty character and outstanding transverse dynamics is the low and central position at which the battery system is installed. It gives the vehicle a range that is suitable for driving long distances. During far more than 90 percent of all decelerations, the Audi e-tron recovers energy solely via its electric motors. The electric SUV taps its maximum recuperation potential in combination with the integrated electrohydraulic brake control system. Audi is the world’s first carmaker to use such a system in an electrically powered series production vehicle. The cleverly designed aerodynamics also contribute significantly to its efficiency. One highlight of this concept are the optional virtual exterior mirrors – a worldwide first in a series production model. Not only do they reduce aerodynamic drag, they also take digitalization in the vehicle to a whole new level.

The Audi e-tron offers the spaciousness and comfort of one of the brand’s typical full-size models. Paired with high-quality materials and fine workmanship, it makes electric mobility a premium experience. This is also ensured by the comprehensive and reliable range of charging options with intelligent solutions for at home and on the go.

From navigation with the e-tron route planner, which displays the appropriate route with the required charging points, automated billing at the charging station and all the way to remote control via smartphone – the Audi e-tron is extremely well connected. It is equipped with the high-end media center MMI navigation plus including LTE Advanced and a Wi-Fi hotspot as standard. Numerous assist systems further relieve the driver. For example, the standard efficiency assist promotes an economic driving style by displaying predictive information and performing automatic recuperation. If the customer selects the adaptive cruise assist, the system can also brake and accelerate the electric SUV predictively

The Audi e-tron rolls off the assembly line at the CO2-neutral plant in Brussels. Initial deliveries to European customers are planned for late 2018. The starting price of the electric SUV in Germany is Eu79,900.

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Make cars, not waste

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Jaguar Land Rover is trialling an innovative recycling process which converts plastic waste into a new premium grade material that could feature on future vehicles. 

It’s estimated that the amount of waste plastic is predicted to exceed 12 million tonnes globally by 2050*. Today, not all of this plastic can be recycled for use in automotive applications – especially in vehicle parts that are required to meet the most exacting safety and quality standards.

Working in conjunction with chemical company, BASF, Jaguar Land Rover is part of a pilot project called ChemCycling that upcycles domestic waste plastic, otherwise destined for landfill or incinerators, into a new high-quality material. 

The waste plastic is transformed to pyrolysis oil using a thermochemical process. This secondary raw material is then fed into BASF’s production chain as a replacement for fossil resources; ultimately producing a new premium grade that replicates the high quality and performance of ‘virgin’ plastics. Importantly, it can be tempered and coloured making it the ideal sustainable solution for designing the next-generation dashboards and exterior-surfaces in Jaguar and Land Rover models.

Jaguar Land Rover and BASF are currently testing the pilot phase material in a Jaguar I-PACE prototype front-end carrier overmoulding to verify it meets the same stringent safety requirements of the existing original part.

Pending the outcome of the trials and progression in taking chemical recycling to market readiness, adoption of the new premium material would mean Jaguar Land Rover could use domestically derived recycled plastic content throughout its cars without any compromise to quality or safety performance**. 

Chris Brown, Senior Sustainability Manager at Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Plastics are vital to car manufacturing and have proven benefits during their use phase, however, plastic waste remains a major global challenge. Solving this issue requires innovation and joined-up thinking between regulators, manufacturers and suppliers.

“At Jaguar Land Rover, we are proactively increasing recycled content in our products, removing single-use plastics across our operations and reducing excess waste across the product lifecycle. The collaboration with BASF is just one way in which we are advancing our commitment to operating in a circular economy.”

This is the latest example of Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to addressing the challenge of waste plastic. The company has collaborated with Kvadrat to offer customers alternative seat options that are both luxurious and sustainable. The high-quality material, available initially on the Range Rover Velar and Range Rover Evoque, combines a durable wool blend with a technical suedecloth that is made from 53 recycled plastic bottles per vehicle. 

Jaguar Land Rover has already met its 2020 target for Zero Waste to Landfill for UK operations. This includes the removal of 1.3 million m2 – equal to 187 football pitches – of plastic from its manufacturing lineside and replacing 14 million single use plastic items in business operations. 

Together, these efforts are driving towards Jaguar Land Rover’s vision for Destination Zero; an ambition to make societies safer and healthier, and the environment cleaner. Delivered through relentless innovation to adapt its products and services to the rapidly-changing world, the company’s focus is on achieving a future of zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion.

Editor’s notes:

https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/7/e1700782.full

** All Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles tested have achieved a Euro NCAP 5* rating.

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Bloodhound land speed record attempt in SA back on track

The Bloodhound land speed record attempt is back on track, with the news that the team will be going to Hakskeen Pan in South Africa in October for high-speed testing.

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The Bloodhound land speed record attempt is back on track, with the news that the Bloodhound team will be going to Hakskeen Pan in South Africa in October 2019 for high-speed testing.

The plans were confirmed at a press conference last week by Bloodhound LSR CEO Ian Warhurst.

“I’m thrilled that we can announce Bloodhound’s first trip to South Africa for these high-speed testing runs,” he said

“This world land speed record campaign is unlike any other, with the opportunities opened up by digital technology that enabled the team to test the car’s design using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and that will allow us to gather and share data about the car’s performance in real-time.”

Why High-Speed Testing?
The Bloodhound LSR team says it has been hard at work preparing the car for these high-speed test runs, upgrading and changing many aspects of the car following successful low-speed test runs at Cornwall Airport Newquay in 2017.

It said in a newsletter last week: “We’ll be using the high speed runs to test the car’s performance and handling at much higher speeds. It will also be a full dress rehearsal for the overall record-breaking campaign. This will include developing operational procedures, perfecting our practices for desert working and testing radio communications.”

One of the most obvious changes to the car is the wheels, which have been swapped for the specially designed solid aluminium desert wheels.

Warhurst said: “We’re running the car on a brand new surface. The wheels have been designed specifically for this desert lake bed, but it will still be vital to test them at high speeds before making record speed runs.”

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