Green Fleet: Amtrak, Airbus and Dell, Tesla and Google
Amtrak says the first of 70 advanced technology electric locomotives (pictured) being built by Siemens began rolling off the assembly line yesterday. The first units of the $466 million order will be field tested this summer for entry into revenue service in the fall. The new locomotives will operate on Northeast Regional trains at speeds up to 125 mph on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) along the Washington – New York – Boston route and on Keystone Service trains at speeds up to 110 mph on the Keystone Corridor from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, Pa. In addition, all long-distance trains operating on the NEC will be powered by the new locomotives.
Crowley Maritime’s petroleum services group has entered the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market by acquiring Carib Energy, the company says. The acquisition of Carib Energy, which becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Crowley Petroleum Services, now provides Crowley an immediate book of business for the supply, transportation and distribution of LNG via 10,000 gallon ISO tanks. While Carib Energy has a pending DOE application to supply LNG transportation services into non-FTA countries, its current licensing allows it, and now Crowley, to supply LNG from the US to both commercial and industrial customers within the Caribbean and Central and South America.
Dell OEM Solutions has partnered with Airbus to launch an electronic flight bag (EFB) service, an electronic system for viewing and interacting with flight crew functions that have previously been accomplished using paper references (operating manuals, performance calculations and navigation charts). Dell laptops will be pre-loaded with FlySmart with Airbus software and installed as Class-2 EFB equipment. A Class-2 EFB takes the form of a portable laptop, which is connectable to aircraft’s avionics systems and power supply via a docking station. As such, this EFB classification means that it need not be permanently built into the cockpit’s console. The pilots can disconnect it from the aircraft, take it with them when leaving the aircraft and continue working with the data to prepare for the next flight. This EFB approach eliminates the need to carry paper-based flight documentation while digitizing information in a way that supports local specifications, the companies say. This initial launch will cover EFB Class-2 solutions for Airbus’ single-aisle aircraft, though the agreement includes scope to extend EFB to other aircraft types.
Electric-car maker Tesla Motors is in talks with Google about adding driverless technology to its vehicles, Bloomberg reports. Nissan and other automakers say fully autonomous vehicles may not reach dealer showrooms for a decade, which twice as long as Google expects, according to Bloomberg. The search engine giant has been demonstrating a driverless fleet of Toyota Prius hybrids with laser-radar devices mounted on the roofs.
Bosch Automotive Service Solutions has introduced Power Max, which the company says is the automotive industry’s first electric vehicle charging station with a price point of less than $450. The Power Max will retail for roughly half the cost of current EV charging stations, offering 240V charging, and reducing charging time by half, Bosch says. The Bosch Power Max is UL-certified in both the US and Canada.
LG Chem Michigan says it will start commercial production of automotive lithium-ion battery cells in July 2013 at its Holland, Mich. facility once it has successfully completed the Production Part Approval Process (PPAP) and gained customer approval. Test runs have already begun at the facility. LGCMI anticipates shipping product by the end of this summer. The plant initially will manufacture batteries for the Chevrolet Volt.
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