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Green Fleet Roundup: Honda, Nissan, London Cabs, Ford

metrocabRossi Honda of Vineland, NJ, has become the US’ first and only dealer to achieve “electric grid neutral” status. This means the dealership produces as much as or more energy from renewable sources than it consumes from its local electric utility over a one-year period.

Honeywell has entered into a supply agreement with Asahi Glass Company to increase production for HFO-1234yf, a refrigerant for automobiles with a low global warming potential (GWP). The product’s GWP is 99.9 percent lower than that of the current refrigerant in use, HFC-134a, Honeywell says.

FedEx Express and Nissan are testing the Nissan e-NV200, a 100 percent electric compact cargo vehicle, under real world conditions in Washington, DC. This test marks the first time the vehicle will be running in North America. FedEx Express and Nissan have conducted similar e-NV200 tests with fleets in Japan, Singapore, the UK and Brazil.

Ford has launched projects with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University to research and develop solutions to some of the technical challenges surrounding automated driving. The MIT research focuses on scenario planning to predict actions of other vehicles and pedestrians, while Stanford is exploring how a vehicle might maneuver to allow its sensors to peek around obstructions.

Metrocab has launched a zero-emission possible London taxi. The Range Extended Electric cab (pictured) can reach efficiencies of 75 mpg and is over three times more fuel efficient than comparable current London taxi.

Global Bioenergies and Audi are collaborating on the development of isobutene-derived isooctane, a high performance biofuel for gasoline engines. As a 100 percent drop-in fuel, isobutene-derived isooctane can be used in any blending ratio with all standard fuels for gasoline motors. It does not present the drawbacks associated with alcohol-based biofuels such as ethanol or isobutanol, which lead to limited blending ratios and lower mileage per liter, the company says.

Cadillac’s “Regen on Demand” regenerative braking system technology has taken top honors as the winner of Green Car Journal’s 2014 Green Car Technology Award. Cadillac’s system allows the driver to instantaneously engage and disengage it at will by pulling back or releasing left or right steering wheel paddles. This creates electricity on demand and enhances driving dynamics by inducing regen drag that allows decelerating before turns and in other circumstances, without braking or requiring a driver’s foot to reposition from the accelerator pedal, Cadillac says.

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