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Green Fleet Roundup: Ford, DNV GL, Alcoa, NRG eVgo

fordFord has unveiled its Lightweight Concept vehicle, which uses advanced materials to explore future weight-reduction features that could improve performance and fuel efficiency while reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The concept car (pictured) reduces the weight of a 2013 Ford Fusion to that of a Ford Fiesta, resulting in a nearly 25 percent weight reduction.

Ford has also announced a partnership with and Samsung SDI to research different levels of hybrid technology that could one day be produced in high volume on non-hybrid vehicles for greater fuel savings. The dual-battery system combines a lithium-ion battery with a 12-volt lead-acid battery that could enable regenerative braking technology in non-hybrid vehicles for greater fuel savings.

Maritime classification body DNV GL is partnering with GTT, Hyundai Heavy Industries and GasLog in a bid to develop a new type of liquid natural gas carrier. The aim is to produce a carrier that has a significantly improved environmental footprint, is more energy efficient and better suited to future trading patterns than existing vessels.

Metals firm Alcoa and clean technology company Phinergy have unveiled a zero-emissions electric demo car powered by a aluminum-air battery.  The companies are collaborating on new materials, processes and components to commercialize the aluminum-air battery, which can extend the distance an electric car travels by approximately 1,000 miles.

Audi is releasing 10 new fuel-efficient, low-emission “ultra” models in its A3 car line. All the new cars have a fuel economy of 50 mpg or above.

Retail real estate firm Simon and NRG eVgo have announced the installation of electric car fast-charging Freedom Station sites that can recharge shoppers’ vehicles in 30 minutes or less at four Orange County, Calif., Simon shopping centers: The Shops at Mission Viejo, Brea Mall, Westminster Mall and The Outlets at Orange. All stations should be operational by mid-June.

American Power Group has received an order valued between $400,000 and $500,000 to upgrade and convert 12 high pressure diesel engines used for hydraulic fracturing to APG’s S3000 Dual Fuel Turbocharged Natural Gas system for a fracking rig customer operating in the Eagle Ford shale region of Texas. The units should be shipped in mid-2014.

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