OOIDA participates in CCMTA stakeholder meeting

OOIDA Director of Regulatory Affairs Joe Rajkovacz attended the annual meeting of the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, May 16-20 in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Meeting topics involved hours of service, electronic on-board recorders, speed limiters and motor carrier evaluations.

Motorcycle riders making annual Run For The Wall

Just before noon on Monday, hundreds of motorcycle riders rolled by OOIDA’s Grain Valley, MO, headquarters on I-70. It was just one pack representing the thousands of riders participating in the annual Run For The Wall. The bikers, mostly military veterans, are riding from California to the Vietnam War Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, DC.

Port of L.A. eyes lowering the bar for companies to get truck incentives

First the Port of Los Angeles appeared to lash out at Swift Transportation and other motor carriers for accepting millions of dollars in free trucks, while hundreds of trucks made few or zero port deliveries. Now, it appears, the ports agree with Swift that the economy is the chief villain to blame for a lack of activity among trucks provided by the port.

Irish Government, ESB, Mitsubishi Motors, MC Automobile (Europe) and MMC Commercials to Promote Electric Motoring in Ireland

The Irish Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan; Electricity Supply Board (ESB); and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation; MC Automobile (Europe), N.V.; and MMC Commercials Ltd. signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the parties to promote the electric vehicle (EV) industry in Ireland.

At the same time, Ireland’s first EV trial-project, conducted by Trinity College Dublin’s (TCD) School of Engineering on behalf of ESB, was also announced.

As part of the trial, the electric i-MiEV will be used throughout Ireland to support the planning and implementation of the ESB nationwide charging infrastructure. TCD will research customer behavior and attitudes to gain an understanding of how customers want to use their EVs. The parties intend to make the vehicles available to a wide range of users—both residential and pilot corporate customers—and to promote EVs in light of the recently announced enhanced Irish Government incentives. The Irish Government has set a target of 10% for all vehicles on Irish roads to be electric by 2020.

A “Smart Home Charging” system will be trialed which will allow the cars maximize the amount of energy they get from renewable sources, while also facilitating the operation of the electricity system. ESB has committed to installing 1,500 publicly accessible charging stations, 2,000 domestic charging points and 30 fast charging units on a nationwide basis throughout Ireland by the end of 2011.

Mitsubishi Motors has made available 15 all-electric Mitsubishi i-MiEVs in advance of the general European launch in October 2010.


Hyperbrake Hydraulic Braking System Technology Completes Preliminary Thermal Stress Testing

Hyperbrake1

Cross-section of the current Hyperbrake. 1. Housing; 2. End Plug; 3. Inner Piston; 4. Outer Piston; 5. Threaded Plug; 6. Check Valve. Click to enlarge.

Janel Hydro Company, in conjunction with Automation & Control Services (ACSS) of Schererville, Indiana, has completed further preliminary tests of the Hyperbrake system this week in Griffith, Indiana. The preliminary test results indicate neither heat nor cold stressing will negatively affect the Hyperbrake system operation.

The Hyperbrake is a novel fully hydraulic braking system that increases the pressure of hydraulic fluid by means of a mechanical advantage inherent in a single or dual piston(s) with a large input ratio versus a small output ratio. The device multiplies output pressure through coupled pistons, an interconnecting cylinder and a spring loaded feedback valve.

In physics terms, it is analogous to a lever, the company says. It employs pure hydraulic forces, requiring no electric or vacuum assisted power. The Hyperbrake can be utilized in any hydraulic system, according to Janel Hydro, and is being used on several experimental automobiles.

The preliminary thermal stress tests of the Hyperbrake were very successful. Heating the unit to 202 degrees Fahrenheit and cooling the unit to -46 degrees Fahrenheit had no substantial adverse issues with the operation of the unit. The test ran just as we had expected.

—Roger Florkiewicz, ACSS President and Engineering Manager

Our initial milestones have been completed with our successful testing of the Hyperbrake. We will now move forward identifying potential development partners to work with us in bringing this product to the automotive, heavy equipment, aviation and other markets with hydraulic applications.

—Tan Chen, Janel Hydro President & CEO

Hyperbrake2

The Hyperbrake multiplies pressure by taking in more fluid from the master cylinder than it delivers to the brake system. To realize the pressure increment, an auxiliary valving system is required, with a central check valve plays the crucial role. The current design uses two pistons to compact the design, so that the pistons have longer stroke without making the Hyperbrake oversized. Click to enlarge.

The Hyperbrake is installed between the master cylinder and the wheel cylinders of the automotive braking system. Receiving brake fluid under pressure from the master cylinder, the Hyperbrake delivers brake fluid to the wheel cylinders at an increasingly higher pressure. The harder the driver presses his or her foot on the brake pedal, the more the output pressure of the master cylinder is multiplied. In most stock braking systems, the vacuum power assist and master cylinder mechanisms on most cars and light trucks performs the same function. Use of the Hyperbrake thus allows the removal of the vacuum booster system which is currently standard on all new automobiles.

Through removal of the booster, weight and fuel savings are created while eliminating the cost of the vacuum booster. Preliminary on-vehicle testing shows stops of up to 166 feet less with the Hyberbrake system than vehicles without the Hyperbrake system installed, thereby increasing vehicular safety. The Hyperbrake has the potential to save precious underhood space, improve fuel economy, and reduce required parts and their associated costs, Janel Hydro says.

Janel Hydro Company was founded in 1991 in Detroit, Michigan by Leo Cooney. The original concept of the Hyperbrake technology was originally developed by Axel Jansson, father-in-law of Cooney, and also a former Chief Brake Engineer for General Motor Corporation.

2005, Chinese entrepreneur Tan Chen purchased the company, and began working with former professional racing driver Paul Goldsmith (Motorsports Hall of Fame 2008) to commercialize the technology.


Report: Daimler and Toyota May Partner on Fuel Cell Vehicles

The Financial Times Deutschland reports that Daimler and Toyota are planning a comprehensive partnership on fuel cell vehicles. Neither company would comment on the report.

It would be the first joint technical project of this size of the two companies and could give impetus to the alternative drive. Already, both automakers are among the main promoters of the technology.

With Toyota’s recently announced plan to invest $50 million in Tesla Motors following that company’s IPO (earlier post), both companies would also be investors in that electric vehicle company. Daimler took a 10% stake in Tesla last year. (Earlier post.)

Toyota started research in 1992 on fuel cell vehicles; Daimler started in 1994. Estimates peg both companies’s investment in the technology to date at more than €1 billion apiece, according to the report. Both companies are planning to introduce fuel cell vehicles to the market in 2015.


Report: UK Government May Scrap EV Discounts

The Guardian reports that the UK government is considering scrapping the £5,000 (US$7,200) discount on all new electric cars, which had been due to be introduced next year, as part of a cost-cutting drive.

The Department for Business has told car industry executives the planned offer was being reviewed. Scrapping the discount would be a set back for the electric car market, which accounts for 1% of the 26m cars on British roads. The industry has already begun marketing its new electric models on the basis that the offer would remain in place. Last month Nissan announced that its Leaf, a 100% electric five-seater, would go on sale next year for £23,350—including the £5,000 discount.

…The £5,000 discount—along with financial support promised to Vauxhall, Ford and Nissan by the previous government this year—is being reviewed and a decision is expected in “weeks not months”.

The government also announced that it was closing its grant program for households and firms installing thermal heat pumps and solar panels.