Powering up with electric motors Get to know these proven and increasingly efficient power generators as they take over more of the vehicle's propulsion load from internal-combustion engines. Structural form, electrical function Carbon fiber-reinforced polymer body panels that store electricity could boost EV range or performance.
Top technology stories of 2010 The editors complied this top 10 of the past year's most significant automotive-engineering articles based on the online activity of our readers. Integrating safety Disparate systems and sensors are being networked or combined to provide new functions at reduced cost. Investing in EV/PHEV validation Automakers and suppliers are relying on new testing equipment and facilities to evaluate the performance of today's class of electric and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles.
Top technologies of 2010 Abridged versions of the most significant innovations as voted on by readers. To read the full veresions of the year's top technologies, including interviews with engineers, visit the website at the end of each story. Trends impacting military and defense engineering Industry leaders discussed a number of pressing issues- ranging from the need for more young engineers to significantly compressed design cycles- at the recent SAE Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress. Biomaterials: more to come Plants and animals-renewable resources- have begun to make measurable contributions to materials for equipment design.
Tolling for large, light composite parts Aerospace engineers use carbon-fiber composites to create larger, unified parts to replace many smaller parts fastened together. As composite parts get larger, tooling to make them is evolving.
Why Volt? After 48 months' development, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt has enetered series production. The pioneering "E-REV" is as important to the mobility industry as it is to GM. Creating the heart of Volt GM's battery requirements meant creating new state-of-the-art in-vehicle engery storage - and doing it in less than four years. Top GM and supplier engineers reveal how they did it. Engineering with maniacal focus A dedicated, cohesive team and a conservative engineering approach put this innovative vehicle into production at moon-shot speed. A unique electrified transaxle Hybrid or not? Definitions aside, what really matters is GM wisely leveraged its next-generation Two Mode propulsion technology to give Volt greater overall efficiency. Sweating the body details Extensive wind-tunnel work gave Volt a shape that's slicker than it looks. But engineers aren't happy with the curb weight.
Competitions demonstrate effectiveness of project-based learning Mississippi State University students designed and fabricated award-winning hybrid-electric vehicles with support from industrial mentors. The journey of Lakehead University's rookies (of the year) Ryan Clark, communications manager, tells the two-year story behind a Formula SAE team with meager resources but big dreams. Chevrolet Volt When General Motors management approved its 2011 E-REV for production, the batteries-and other technologies-did not exist. Finding off-highway's top model Modeling, simulation advances help engineers get complex designs to market quickly. Behavioral interviews-3 steps to great answers Sometimes referred to as a competency-based interview, how a candidate responds to questions about previous behaviors can make or break the chances of landing a job.
Spotlight on Bernhard Bihr The President of Bosch Engineering explains to Ian Adcock why he believes the internal combustion engine (ICE) will continue to dominate Flywheel power booster Battery hybrids are grabbing the headlines, but a rival could be cheaper and more efficient, as Ian Adcock discovers Sounds fantastic The auto industry is looking to provide studio quality sound on the move. Graham Pitcher tunes in
Chevrolet Volt When General Motors management approved its 2011 E-REV for production, the bateries- and other technologies- did not exist. Ford Explorer New engines, more extensive use of lightweight metals, and a patented shift-on-the-fly terrain management system highlight the next-generation model as the former frame-based SUV re-emerges for 2011 as a unibody crossover SUV. Honda Odyssey Engineers tried to strike a balance between practicality and sportiness in their 2011 minivan- and succeeded. Jeep Grand Cherokee Chrysler engineers wanted to maintain or enhance off-road capability while significantly boosting refinement. Telematics takeoff comes with many questions Connections for infotainment and app delivery, and design for safe use to head off limiting regulations, are among issues still being debated.