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Subaru is the automobile manufacturing division of Japanese transportation conglomerate Fuji Heavy Industries , the twenty-second biggest automaker by production worldwide in 2012.Subaru is known for its use of the boxer engine layout in most of its vehicles above 1500 cc as well as its use of the Symmetrical All Wheel Drive drive-train layout since 1972. The flat/boxer engine and all-wheel-drive became standard equipment for mid-size and smaller cars in most international markets by 1996, and is now standard in most North American market Subaru vehicles. The lone exception is the BRZ, introduced in 2012, which uses the boxer engine but is rear-wheel-drive. Subaru also offers turbocharged versions of their passenger cars, such as the Impreza WRX and the Legacy 2.5GT.Fuji Heavy Industries, the parent company of Subaru, is currently in a partial partnership with Toyota Motor Corporation, which owns 16.5% of FHI.Subaru is the Japanese name for the Pleiades star cluster M45, or "The Seven Sisters" , which in turn inspires the logo and alludes to the companies that merged to create FHI. Wikipedia.


Gao J.,Cornell University | Lowe M.A.,Cornell University | Kiya Y.,Subaru | Abruna H.D.,Cornell University
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2011

A sulfur/carbon composite has been prepared to serve as a cathode for lithium/sulfur batteries. The effects of seven different liquid electrolytes on the electrochemical performance were investigated using galvanostatic discharge-charge tests on coin cells. The electrolytes included ether, sulfone, and carbonate solvents with common lithium salts. It was found that the solvent plays a key role on the electrochemical performance of the lithium/sulfur battery cathode while the lithium salt has no significant effects. Additional characterization, using in situ sulfur K-edge X-ray absorption spec- troscopy (XAS), provided insights into the soluble sulfur species in the discharged and charged batteries. We find that the use of low-viscosity ethereal solvents results in a more complete reduction of soluble polysulfides, while soluble polysulfides remained more oxidized in viscous ethereal solvents. Moreover, XAS revealed that reduced sulfur species chemically react with carbonate-based solvents, making this class of solvents inappropriate for elemental sulfur cathodes of lithium batteries. © 2011 American Chemical Society. Source


News Article | January 9, 2016
Site: http://cleantechnica.com

The Tesla Model S is the most satisfying car for commuting, according to the most recent Annual Auto Survey from Consumer Reports. Following closely on the first place position held by the Tesla offering are two of the other top-selling electric vehicles out there — the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and the Nissan LEAF all-electric (EV). The Chevy Volt ranked second overall, and the Nissan LEAF third overall. Following those top three, the Ford C-Max took the fourth position, the Lexus ES took the fifth position, the Mazda3 took the sixth position, the Subaru Legacy took the seventh position, the Toyota Prius took the eighth position, the Honda Accord took the ninth position, and the Volkswagen Passat took the tenth position. Overall, the list does seem to put EVs and PHEVs in a good light — with such vehicles dominating the list. The list was compiled based on owner satisfaction surveys related to 230,000 vehicles (all vehicles being less than 3 years old). The Model S has topped the list every year since it came to market, and the Chevy Volt was #1 for two years before that. “It is a joy to drive: comfortable, agile, responsive, quiet, and ‘green.’” “Driver assist and cruise control with tracking are very convenient for routine rush hour stop and go traffic.” “Auto Pilot 1.0 keeps a safe distance between my car and others; Quiet; Comfortable; Navigation automatically adjusts to the fastest route (huge when the 405 is backed up).” Commenting on the Chevy Volt, those that answered the survey stated: “Essentially I gave myself a raise. My electric bill increased about $100 overall. However my employer has free charging stations at work, so I no longer pay the cost of commuting home. The HOV sticker took me about 60 seconds to appreciate.” “Able to complete my daily commute using no gas on most days. The car is much more comfortable than I anticipated. Nice to see an American manufacturer stepping up to the plate with a great EV.” “My wife uses this car for her daily commute. She can do so easily on battery alone, even on the coldest days. We then recharge overnight in the garage at a fraction of the cost of a gasoline powered vehicle. The car is smooth, comfortable and quiet.” Images by Zachary Shahan & Cynthia Shahan | EV Obsession | CleanTechnica    Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”   Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.  


« Tohoku researchers develop efficient hydrodynamic reactor for pretreatment of biomass | Main | Toyota begins production at efficient new engine plant in Indonesia » Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the manufacturer of Subaru automobiles, outlined the Subaru Global Platform which is currently under development as the architecture to be used for all the company’s next-generation vehicles. The next-generation platform looks ahead to 2025. The main features include Subaru’s biggest-ever enhancement in overall vehicle performance, with an emotionally engaging “dynamic feel” that goes beyond high performance; the highest levels of safety; and a single design concept for development of all models, adaptable to electrification in the future. The Subaru Global Platform is part of the six initiatives to enhance the Subaru brand described in the Company’s mid-term management vision, “Prominence 2020,” announced in 2014. Together with the horizontally-opposed engines, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD), and EyeSight that represent Subaru’s core technologies, the new platform will constitute the basic foundation of the next generation of Subaru vehicles. “Dynamic feel”. The new platform will further refine Subaru’s dynamic feel in the following areas: (1) straight line stability, (2) noise and vibration suppression, and (3) comfort. Straight line stability. The new platform significantly increases rigidity throughout the body and chassis (a 70% to 100% increase over present models) and incorporates substantial improvements to the suspension system and achieves a lower center of gravity, bringing about highly responsive steering that allows drivers to control the vehicle precisely as they want. The eradication of unnecessary movement in handling makes the car seem to grip the road surface, achieving a traveling performance that looks ahead to the need for enhanced straight line stability in the autonomous vehicles of the future. Noise and vibration suppression. Optimized frame structure and stronger joints between parts allow the new platform to improve overall torsional rigidity by 70% over present models. This distributes the resonance and distortion throughout the body, greatly reducing vibrations from the steering wheel, floor, and seats. It achieves a quietness that goes beyond vehicle class. Comfort. The new platform increases the rigidity of the suspension mounting, improving the absorption of the suspension without warping the body of the car, and providing a smooth and comfortable drive whatever the irregularities in the road surface. By mounting the rear stabilizer directly to the body, the new platform reduces the body roll of the vehicle by 50% compared to present models. Active safety. The new platform achieves a center of gravity that is 5 mm lower than present models. Together with the major improvements in rigidity and the evolution of the suspension system, this lower center of gravity makes possible a more stable driving experience than ever before, and offers outstanding danger avoidance capabilities on a level with a high-performance sports car. Passive safety. Thanks to a frame structure that enables more efficient energy absorption in the event of collision and the enhanced body rigidity resulting from the increased use of high-tensile steel plates including materials formed by the hot press method, impact energy absorption is improved by 40% over present models. The platform anticipates further improvements in strength and new materials and has the potential to continue to offer the world’s highest levels of collision safety even in 2025, FHI said. Single design concept, adaptable to electrification. The new platform will offer a single unified design concept for all Subaru models. Planning the main specifications of all vehicle types at one time and flexibly adjusting these basic specifications to match with the requirements of different models will strengthen the entire Subaru lineup while still allowing the company to develop models that take advantage of each model’s strengths. The new concept allows one design concept to be adapted not only to gasoline engines but also to hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrids, electric cars, and other types of alternative power units for which demand will increase further. Development based on a single design concept makes it possible to use limited development personnel and facilities efficiently to develop a diverse range of models and to direct the resulting savings into areas that can make our products more competitive. It will also become possible to produce platform components for multiple models in the same one production facility, rather than manufacturing them in different factories as has been the case in the past. This will increase production efficiency at Subaru’s factories and at our partner companies. The new unified design concept will also make it easier for the two factories in Japan and the Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant in the United States to carry out bridge production of multiple different models on a single line, making the global production system more flexible. The Subaru Global Platform that offers these benefits will be used in the development of all Subaru vehicles from now on, beginning with the next-generation Impreza, due to hit the market in 2016.


« US files civil complaint against Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche for alleged Clean Air Act violations | Main | Ford tripling autonomous vehicle development fleet; Gen 3 autonomous dev platform; new Velodyne LiDAR » Liberty Mutual Insurance is introducing the new Liberty Mutual RightTrack in-vehicle application with Subaru of America, Inc.—a first-of-its-kind app that offers real-time driving feedback and tips while helping to reduce insurance premiums for safe drivers. The new Liberty Mutual app will be available on the SUBARU STARLINK cloud platform, powered by Clarion’s Smart Access technology that connects Subaru vehicles to a driver’s smartphone to monitor driving habits, provide trip reports and offer tips to become a safer driver. The app will be available in 2016 to Subaru models equipped with SUBARU STARLINK. STARLINK In-Vehicle Technology is all the audio, infotainment and connected service features available in Subaru vehicles. The RightTrack in-vehicle app will provide real-time driving assessment and coaching for Subaru owners based on their actual driving behavior. For example, after each trip, a driver will receive a report based on their behaviors such as rapid acceleration or hard braking. Depending on their performance, Subaru drivers will be eligible for savings through Liberty Mutual’s RightTrack, a usage-based insurance program that lets customers save on their auto insurance based on their driving habits. Subaru owners may also qualify for additional savings through Liberty Mutual’s affinity program, of which Subaru of America, Inc. has been a partner since 2002. In the near future, SUBARU STARLINK users will also receive benefits such as severe weather alerts, accident scene assistance and roadside assistance directly to their connected vehicle.


« Series production of next-generation Acura NSX hybrid supercar begins in April at new Performance Manufacturing Center | Main | Nevs in strategic cooperation with China’s State Grid for EVs » The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced the commitment by 20 automakers representing more than 99% of the US. auto market to make automatic emergency braking (AEB) a standard feature on virtually all new cars in the US no later than NHTSA’s 2022 reporting year, which begins 1 Sept 2022. Automakers making the commitment are Audi; BMW; FCA US LLC; Ford; General Motors; Honda; Hyundai; Jaguar Land Rover; Kia; Maserati; Mazda; Mercedes-Benz; Mitsubishi Motors; Nissan; Porsche; Subaru; Tesla Motors; Toyota; Volkswagen; and Volvo Car USA. The unprecedented commitment means that this important safety technology will be available to more consumers more quickly than would be possible through the regulatory process. Automatic emergency braking helps prevent crashes or reduce their severity by applying a vehicle’s brakes automatically. The systems use on-board sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to detect an imminent crash, warn the driver, and apply the brakes or increase braking effort if the driver does not take sufficient action. NHTSA estimates that the agreement will make AEB standard on new cars three years faster than could be achieved through the formal regulatory process. During those three years, according to IIHS estimates, the commitment will prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries. The commitment will make AEB standard on virtually all light-duty cars and trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 lbs (3,856 kg) or less beginning no later than 1 Sept. 2022. AEB will be standard on virtually all trucks with a gross vehicle weight between 8,501 lbs. and 10,000 lbs (4,536 kg) beginning no later than 1 Sept. 2025. Participating manufacturers will ensure vehicles have both a forward collision warning system that meets a subset of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's current 5-Star Safety Ratings program requirements on the timing of driver alerts and an automatic braking system that earns at least an advanced rating in the current Insurance Institute for Highway Safety front crash prevention track tests. The baseline performance measures are a speed reduction of at least 10 mph (16 km/h) in either the IIHS 12 or 25 mph (19 or 40 km/h) tests, or a speed reduction of 5 mph (8 km/h) in both of the tests. As NHTSA continues its regulatory work in this area, NHTSA will track the progress industry is making towards its commitment. The commitment takes into account the evolution of AEB technology. It requires a level of functionality that is in line with research and crash data demonstrating that such systems are substantially reducing crashes, but does not stand in the way of improved capabilities that are just beginning to emerge. The performance measures are based on real world data showing that vehicles with this level of capability are avoiding crashes. To encourage further development of AEB technology, NHTSA will accelerate its research on more advanced AEB applications, including systems that reduce the risk of collisions with pedestrians. In December, NHTSA announced plans to rate AEB systems and other advanced technologies under its 5-Star Safety Ratings beginning in model year 2018. Based on mounting evidence that AEB effectively reduced crashes and injuries in the US and around the world, NHTSA and IIHS issued a challenge to industry in September 2015 to encourage automakers to voluntarily make AEB a standard feature. A series of meetings followed to establish details of the commitment. NHTSA and IIHS also announced that Consumer Reports will assist in monitoring automaker progress toward meeting the AEB commitment.

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