12 January 2016

Detroit Motor Show 2016 - Sustainability Highlights

Following last week's CES in Las Vegas, where several auto manufacturers shared their new technology, the 'Motor City', Detroit, has started its NAIAS motor show, where a more traditional showcase attracts many more manufacturers.  Below are the highlights which have relevance to sustainability.  

Audi h-tron quattro concept

Hydrogen-fueled powertrains aren't yet commonplace, but as that might change in the future (i.e. when/if hydrogen refueling infrastructure is rolled-out), manufacturers are continuing to develop the technology.  At Detroit, Audi have revealed their h-tron quattro concept.


Audi h-tron quattro concept
Personally, it's the most attractive form factor for future mobility - combining four wheel drive, ample space inside, and of course an emission-free experience.  This particular concept also suggests a 4 minute refueling can offer a 370 mile range - comparable to people's current petrol-pump expectations.




The fuel-cell provides an output of 110kW and has over 60% efficiency.  There is also a 100kW lithium-ion battery, to support short bursts of acceleration.  Power is sent to the wheels via two electric motors - 90kW at the front and 140kW at the rear. Additional efficiencies are made by having a heat-pump to support the air conditioning, and a solar roof.


Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Concept

Keen to find 'good environmental stories', VW recently revealed their Budd-E concept at CES2016.  For Detroit though, they have shown their Tiguan GTE Active Concept:


VW Tiguan GTE Concept


It's actually a 'ruggedised' version of the Tiguan GTE Concept unveiled at Frankfurt:



VW Tiguan GTE Concept (Frankfurt Sept 2015)

Power comes from a 148bhp 1.4litre turbo-charged petrol engine, with electric motors and the front (54bhp) and rear (114bhp).  A 12.4kWh battery is charged either via a socket, or by the engine.  There's a claimed 20 mile all-electric range, with a total range of 580 miles.
Volvo S90

Following the huge success of the XC90 which has received much acclaim, Volvo have now revealed their 'elegant and sophisticated' S90.

Volvo S90

It will feature a plug-in hybrid 'T8' powertrain, delivering 410bhp 44g/km of CO2.  With an incredibly strong heritage in safety, as one would expect, Volvo are looking seriously at autonomous driving capabilities.  The S90 includes 'Pilot-Assist', a semi-autonomous feature which allows hands-free driving on motorways at speeds up to 80mph.

FordPass

Away from the technology of autonomy, powertrains and entertainment, one of the most interesting developments was from Ford, who introduced the FordPass.


The platform provides a portal to provide its user with a total mobility experience, from reserving parking spaces to participating in car sharing.  In fact, they are "aiming to do the same thing for car owners that iTunes did for music fans".  Encouragingly, Ford are also looking at ride-sharing and multi-modal transportation, all potentially great news for sustainability.


FordPass App
Here's a video which explains the concept in a little more detail:




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