HUMMER H2 ON SALE IN JULY
2003 Hummer H2Enlarge Photo
ROAD TEST: 2002 JAGUAR XJ8 VANDEN PLAS
2002 Jaguar XJ8 Vanden PlasEnlarge Photo
CHRYSLER UNVEILS NATRIUM FUEL CELL VEHICLE
While the first "production" fuel cell vehicles will hit the road by 2004, most observers don't expect serious volumes for another decade or more. Improving fuel cell technology is only part of the cost. An equal challenge is finding a way to produce and then store the hydrogen FCVs run on. Chrysler's prototype Natrium minivan unveils a new approach. Other FCVs either store hydrogen in liquid or gaseous form, or produce it out of more conventional fuels, like gasoline. Natrium, however, uses a chemical called sodium boro-hydride, a hydrogen-rich form of the cleanser, borox. A simple onboard reformer splits off the H2 needed for the fuel cells, and the used chemical slurry is then stored, so it can be pumped off the vehicle and recycled. Natrium combines the fuel cell system with regenerative braking and batteries, yielding a top speed of 80 mph and a range of 300 miles. It will make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show next month.
EXPLORER BESTS CRASH TESTS
The industry-funded Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says the newest Explorer earned its top rating in crash tests, while the Jeep Liberty and Isuzu Rodeo got marginal ratings. The tests crash vehicles into a barrier at 40 mph, five mph faster than those conducted by the federal government. Ford had asked the IIHS to delay its test so that it could make modifications to the Explorer’s structure. Along with the Explorer, four other SUVs — the BMW X5, the Acura MDX, the Lexus RX 300 and the Mercedes M-Class — were awarded the highest rating.
Ford Begins Tough Struggle by TCC Team (12/10/2001)
CAR THEFT UP IN 2000
Following a ten-year decline, car theft is on the rise in the U.S. once more, climbing 1.2 percent in 2000, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The industry-funded organization says 1.17 million cars were reported stolen last year, based on statistics from the FBI. The top ten stolen cars reads like a who’s who of the best-sellers list: the Toyota Camry was the most stolen vehicle, followed by the Honda Accord, Honda’s Civic and the Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. A complete list can be found on the institute’s Web site,http://www.greencarreports.com
TCC Tip: Hands Off, Crooks by Bengt Halvorson (1/19/2001)