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Fleet Briefing: GM and Teijin, Networkfleet, NREL on EVs, and Mitsubishi

General Motors and carbon fiber products company Teijin Limited are to co-develop carbon fiber products for potential worldwide, high-volume use in GM cars, trucks and crossovers. The agreement involves the use of Teijin’s carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic technology that the company calls a faster and more efficient way to produce carbon fiber composites. This will potentially allow GM to use components made using the carbon fiber technology on mainstream vehicles, the companies say. Carbon fiber is 10 times stronger than regular-grade steel yet only one-quarter of the weight, according to the companies. This announcement follows recent automotive partnerships involving GE and Nissan; GM and electronics manufacturer LG and Ford and Toyota.

Wireless fleet management company Networkfleet has announced that Campbell Oil Company, an oil and lumber delivery service, has reduced vehicle idling and saved $1800 in fuel costs within the first month of implementing Networkfleet’s product. Through continuous GPS vehicle tracking and engine diagnostic monitoring, Campbell has reduced speeding, increased on-time deliveries and streamlined fuel tax reporting, Networkfleet says.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has released a technical report that it says could help improve the performance of electric vehicles and the efficiency of the electric utility grids that power them. Interim Test Procedures for Evaluating Electrical Performance and Grid Integration of Vehicle-to-Grid Applications says that as the use of electric vehicles grows, grid operators may be able to take advantage of the two-way flow of power from vehicles plugged into utility grids to smooth spikes in demand and improve the reliability of their systems.

Mitsubishi has completed the first fleet delivery of its 100 percent electric-powered i-MiEV to City CarShare, a nonprofit vehicle sharing scheme based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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