Autonomous Toyota EV Could Use Mazda Rotary Range Extender

Mazda has said its rotary engine could be used as a range-extender in a future autonomous Toyota EV.

Speaking to WardsAuto in Detroit, Mazda North America’s president and CEO, Masahiro Moro, said the rotary engine has been under continuous development within Mazda. The company teamed up with Toyota on its e-Pallete concept for CES 2018, which is essentially a self-driving, fully autonomous electric mobility pod, and says the rotary could be used on a production version of the vehicle to boost its overall range.

SEE ALSO: Mazda is Again the Most Fuel-Efficient Automaker

“Well, (the) rotary engine is our heart-line,” Moro said. “I think a rotary engine could be a generator in the near-term to contribute to electrification.”

“Toyota announced the e-Palette,” he added. “Mazda is a technical partner. That technical (partnership) means they need our rotary range-extender technology,” he says.

This isn’t the first time Mazda has expressed interest in using the rotary engine as a range extending solution. In October of last year, the automaker said the rotary makes a good EV range-extender as it doesn’t make a lot of noise. There are more efficient motors that could be used, but the rotary is the quietest, the automaker argues. It’s also experimenting with a hydrogen rotary engine. Additionally, the automaker is open to using it in another sports car, although there are currently no concrete plans to do so.

This article appeared originally at AutoGuide.com

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Chrysler Pacifica Based Crossover On its Way

A crossover based on the Chrysler Pacifica minivan has been confirmed by Fiat-Chrysler and will be built at the Windsor Assembly Plant in Ontario, Canada.

Speaking to Motor Trend at the 2018 Detroit auto show, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed the Pacifica-based crossover was coming, saying it had already been designed and that the Windsor plant was ready to accept it. The vehicle was expected to arrive at an earlier date, but FCA pushed it back until 2019 to ensure it got it right.

“We’re still playing with that thing,” Marchionne told MT. “It’s there. We have the car designed and we’re ready to go.”

“The platform is ready, and the plant can take it,’ he added. “We can probably get it up and running in 18 months.”

Not much is known about the Pacifica-based crossover, but we’re expecting to to offer considerable room for both passengers and cargo due to the size and shape of the Pacifica. A plug-in hybrid version may be offered as well, sharing a 16 kWh powertrain with the Pacifica Hybrid. We wouldn’t be shocked to see Pacifica-style interior touches either, and we could see the two vehicles sharing design cues as well.

We should find out more about the Pacifica-based crossover in coming months.

This article originally appeared at AutoGuide.com.

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Gas-tax hike, Kia Sorento Diesel, Bolt EV after a year, 37-mpg F-150, electric cars in CA: Today's Car News

2018 Hyundai Kona, 2017 Los Angeles auto showToday, we’ve got an interesting mix of stories, from a debate over how many electric cars California needs to the source of funds for an engine promised to deliver 37 mpg in a full-size Ford F-150 pickup. Also, your Tesla primer (it’s not what you may think) and the Chevy Bolt EV after a year. All this and more on Green Car Reports. California…

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NASA Says Last Year was the Second-Warmest Year on Record

The year 2017 was the second-warmest year on record, according to the scientists at NASA.

Since reliable record-keeping began in 1880, scientists have been keeping track of global temperatures. At the end of 2017, scientists at NASA calculated the global temperature and ranked it second on the warmest years list. The hottest year on record was the year prior; 2016.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), uses a different analytical method for calculating global temperatures, ranked 2017 as the third-warmest year on record.

Previously, the warmest years have occurred during the weather pattern known as El Niño. During El Niño years, the trade winds weaken or reverse causing cold parts of the ocean to warm up. Those warmer water temperatures lead to warmer atmospheric temperatures and a warmer year.

The year 2017 was an exception, because it was a La Niña year. In those years, the trade winds strengthen and the ocean waters are cooler than normal. Despite the extra cooling that should’ve occurred, 2017 still remained warm.

SEE ALSO: UK Watchdogs Call for 70 Percent of New Cars to be Zero Emission by 2030

To determine temperature, both NASA and NOAA use weather stations both on land and at sea. The difference in the final results comes from NASA giving the arctic regions more influence in the final calculation.

Despite differences in how they analyize the data, both NASA and NOAA have said that 17 of the 18 warmest years have occured since 2001. Global temperatures have increased by more than 1 degree Celsius since the beginning of record keeping.

Anthony Barnston, chief forecaster at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columubia University doesn’t believe that 2018 will be a record breaking year. It’s another La Niña year.

“That will probably hold back the average mean temperatures from breaking records again,” Dr. Barnston said.

The New York Times

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