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2015’s Top Ten Tech Cars

This year’s cars are super fuel efficient. But with today’s gas prices, will anyone care?

2 min read
2015’s Top Ten Tech Cars
Photo: BMW

For the auto industry, predictions have been as reliable as a moth-eaten Yugo: Global oil prices are at a five-year low, sales of pickup trucks and SUVs are booming, and purchases of gas-electric hybrids have fallen. Yet automakers still face a monumental challenge to boost fleetwide fuel economy: In the United States, they must reach 4.3 liters per 100 kilometers (54.5 miles per gallon) by 2025, from approximately 7.6 L/100 km today. In the European Union, meanwhile, automakers face other headwinds, flowing from a requirement to cut carbon emissions and fuel consumption, even as sales remain mired in a vicious slump.

This year’s Top 10 Tech Cars reflects on the effects of those competing demands. Consider the Tesla Model S: Only three years ago this electric sedan dazzled pundits, who predicted that Tesla would revolutionize automobiles. But any such revolution depended on a lower-price follow-up—the Model X crossover—which has been delayed again. And while long-range electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids remain very much in play, the world is still waiting for one of them to go beyond a mere plaything of the wealthy to become the Model T of its age.

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The Aftershocks of the EV Transition Could Be Ugly

To avoid unintended consequences, bring realism to the table

10 min read
CEO of Dodge Brand standing on a podium next to a Dodge Charger Daytone SRT concept all-electric muscle car. Behind him a giant screen displaying the sentence: The Rules Have Changed.

Tim Kuniskis, CEO of Dodge Brand, Stellantis, introduces the Dodge Charger Daytona SRT Concept all-electric muscle car on August 17, 2022 in Pontiac, Michigan.

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

The introduction of any new system causes perturbations within the current operating environment, which in turn, create behavioral responses, some predictable, many not. As University of Michigan professor emeritus and student of system-human interactions John Leslie King observes “People find ways to use systems for their own benefit not anticipated by designers and developers. Their behavior might even be contradictory to hoped-for outcomes.”

“Change rides on the rails of what doesn’t change,” King notes, “including people being self-serving.”

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Bosch Powers the Automotive Sector Toward an Electrified Future

The German company has optimized three-phase inverters and their DC link capacitors with a simulation-powered design process

8 min read
Digital art showing a 3D transparent car with the electric engine connected to batteries.

The global transition toward electric cars is getting a boost from industry suppliers like Robert Bosch, which provides electrical components and systems to car manufacturers. The Bosch team optimizes three-phase inverters and their DC link capacitors with a simulation-powered design process, which enables them to identify potentially destructive "hot spots" early in the development cycle.

This sponsored article is brought to you by COMSOL.

Just as tourists in Paris are drawn to the Louvre, visitors to Stuttgart, Germany, also flock to museums displaying the great works of the city. Stuttgart may not boast of Degas or Monet, but its prominent names are perhaps even more famous than Paris’ painters: Mercedes–Benz and Porsche. Each of these iconic automakers maintains a museum in the southwestern German city they call home. Their gleaming galleries feature many historic and influential cars, almost all of them powered by petroleum-fueled internal combustion (IC) engines. Looking ahead, Stuttgart will likely continue to be the heart of the German auto industry, but how long will the IC engine remain the heart of the automobile?

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