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Clever Engineer Creates Car-Sized Bag That Floats During Floods

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Cars and water do not mix. Once water spreads through the interior, excessive corrosion and electrical problems soon follow and the consequences can be deceptively dangerous. That’s why flood-damaged cars are usually totaled by insurance companies even if they appear normal. It’s never a good situation, but if you’re particularly fond of your car, giving it up when it looks fine can be harder than seeing it crushed.

Now, there could be a way for folks to avoid such situations. Rahel Abraham is an engineer living in Texas, and she knows the pain of dealing with floods after losing her car back in 2008. She put her knowledge of chemical and environmental engineering to work, and after studying different materials for longevity and water resistance, she came up with the ClimaGuard. In short, it’s a big bag that you simply drive over, then zip up and around to keep the water away. But there’s a bit more to it than that.

Zippers can’t keep water out, but as The Drive reports, the location of the zipper plays an important role in the ClimaGuard’s design. When waters reach a certain depth, the car will actually float and the zipper is located above the waterline. In theory, as long as an absolute deluge of water doesn’t come roaring in, the car contained within the ClimaGuard can simply ride the storm out. Tie-downs help keep the car in place while it’s floating, and the protection isn’t limited to cars. Since it lays out like a tarp, any number of items can be wrapped up.

ClimaGuard
ClimaGuard

If this seems familiar, it’s because we reported on a similar design in 2017 from a company in the Philippines. Called the Flood Guard Car Bag, it’s literally a bag that’s sealed on three sides. As such, it requires at least two people to set up, whereas Abraham’s ClimaGuard can be set up quickly by one person.

That could be the difference between saving and losing your car in a flash flood situation, and at $400, it seems like an inexpensive bit of security for folks in areas that are prone to flooding.

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Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/534396/climaguard-car-bag-flood-protection/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

Automotive

This Toyota Mirai 1:10 Scale RC Car Actually Runs On Hydrogen

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What’s the worst part about having a radio-controlled car? Having to stop for fuel or a fresh battery, which is usually about 20 minutes or so in best-case scenarios. New battery technology is increasing that time, but now you can add hydrogen to the list of RC fuel sources. Sort of, anyway.

Yes, this mini Toyota Mirai runs on an equally small hydrogen fuel cell. Toyota turned to UK-based tech company Bramble Energy for a miniature fuel cell, a project which the company says was a challenge. Basically, a miniaturized version of Bramble Energy’s printed circuit board fuel cell system was created with the idea of fitting it into a 1:10 scale radio control chassis. Two small hydrogen tanks that resemble AA batteries are installed on either side of the board, feeding the hydrogen manifold in front.

Toyota Mirai Hydrogen Fueled Radio Controlled Model Car
Toyota Mirai Hydrogen Fueled Radio Controlled Model Car

It’s all mounted into a 1:10 scale chassis from Tamiya, the other partner Toyota called upon for this experiment. Known for its wide range of scale radio-control cars, Tamiya supplied a TT-02 four-wheel-drive chassis for the foundation. For you RC fans out there, we’re sad to say Toyota doesn’t offer information on the motor or the mini Mirai’s speed, but power output is listed at 20 watts. Toyota claims it’s enough to double the normal operating range versus conventional batteries, and it’s all topped off with a custom-molded body finished in the shape of a Toyota Mirai.

Why build a hydrogen-powered RC car? According to Toyota, it’s not about creating a cool new toy. Rather, it’s showcasing how hydrogen fuel cell technology can expand beyond automobiles. That means you won’t be buying one from the local hobby store anytime soon, and yes, there’s some irony in Toyota creating a model car to make a case for using hydrogen outside the automotive realm. But everyone loves RC cars, and there’s no denying this project is very cool both in terms of tech and fun factor.

“Cars are the tip of the iceberg for Toyota in terms of progress towards a hydrogen society,” said David Rogers, Toyota spokesperson on alternative fuels. “Hydrogen will play a key role in meeting our future energy needs, bringing zero-emission driving for both big cities and small villages. It allows us to store renewable energy and transport it easily, so that it can be used on demand to power a variety of industries.”

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Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/541553/toyota-mirai-hydrogen-rc-car/

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Toyota Investing $3.4 Billion In US For Hybrid Battery Production

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Automakers are pushing hard towards an electric future. To meet both current and future demand for hybrid and battery-electric vehicles, manufacturers are ramping up battery development and Toyota is no exception. Part of its global $13.5 billion battery investment will include battery development and production in the United States to the tune of $3.4 billion.

The US investment includes construction of a dedicated battery plant. To make that happen, Toyota will actually work with its subsidiarity Toyota Tsusho to create a new company focused on batteries. That includes production as well as development on the technology side, specializing in Lithium-ion batteries. The newly formed company will also be responsible for creating and expanding local supply chains to bring these batteries to production.

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Toyota says the effort will create 1,750 jobs, but the automaker isn’t ready to share specifics as to where the plant will be. Total production goals are also unknown, but the plan calls for production to begin by 2025 starting with hybrid batteries. By then, Toyota hopes to have 70 models globally using some degree of electrification, with 15 of those being pure battery electric vehicles.

As of 2021, Toyota offers only hybrid vehicles in the US market, though the production version of the Toyota bZ4X concept crossover is expected to debut by the end of the year. By 2025, Toyota hopes to have seven additional all-electric bZ vehicles in its portfolio. There’s also the Subaru Solterra, nearly a carbon copy of the bZ4X on which it’s based. It could also debut before the end of 2021.

“Toyota’s commitment to electrification is about achieving long-term sustainability for the environment, American jobs, and consumers,” said Ted Ogawa, Toyota North America CEO. “This investment will help usher in more affordable electrified vehicles for U.S. consumers, significantly reduce carbon emissions, and importantly, create even more American jobs tied to the future of mobility.”

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Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/541499/toyota-inventment-battery-us/

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Evans and TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Seal Second in Spain

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Toyota City, Japan, Oct 18, 2021 – (JCN Newswire) – Elfyn Evans finished second overall at the Rally de Espana to set up a final-round FIA World Rally Championship title decider with his TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team team-mate Sebastien Ogier, who finished fourth.

Car 33 (Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin)

Evans and co-driver Scott Martin had led the rally after winning the first three stages on Friday, but despite battling hard didn’t quite have the level of performance over the rest of the weekend to maintain the fight for the victory. Still, the second-place finish ensures that Evans remains in with a shot of a maiden drivers’ championship going into the final round in Italy.

Ogier was in contention for a podium position all the way to the end of the rally, but just missed out on third position in a closely-fought battle through the final day’s four stages – missing out by 6.8 seconds. Nevertheless he and co-driver Julien Ingrassia continue to the lead the standings with a 17-point advantage over their team-mates as they look to claim an eighth world title.

In the manufacturers’ championship, the points scored by Evans and Ogier – including those achieved by setting the third and fourth fastest times in a tricky rally-ending Power Stage – have added to the team’s tally and brought it a step closer to sealing the title. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing leads by 47 points with a maximum of 52 available from the final round.

All three of the team’s cars finished inside the top five places, with Kalle Rovanpera and Jonne Halttunen securing fifth in the overall classification and in the Power Stage on their first time competing in Spain in the top category of the WRC.

TGR WRC Challenge Program driver Takamoto Katsuta also continued his learning alongside co-driver Aaron Johnston as they reached the finish after restarting the event on Saturday morning.

Quotes:

Akio Toyoda (Team Founder)
“Just before this rally, I received a message from Jari-Matti. He told me that regaining the manufacturers’ championship as a team principal and celebrating together with me was one of his dreams. Three years ago, as a driver, he was having a very tough season. His first win that year was at the final event in Australia and his victory brought the team’s manufacturers’ title in 2018. I clearly remember how happy and excited I was. I, as a driver, was participating in a rally in Japan on that day. When I got the news, I shouted with joy and sent him a congratulatory message right away. I am sure that his dream will come true in Monza, and am looking forward to celebrating together with him.

The drivers’ and co-drivers’ champions were not yet decided either. I simply hope that Seb & Julien and Elfyn & Scott will compete without regrets until the very end, and I’m sure the team will prepare the best cars for them to do that.

The next rally will be the last event we compete in with the current Yaris WRC. Since we came back to WRC in 2017, we have been always saying “let’s keep making the Yaris WRC stronger”. I hope we can have a solid competition in Monza and that the crews and our fans will see the Yaris WRC is the strongest in the last event. I am confident that the team will make it happen!

P.S. to Julien,
I really hope Monza will be a great event for you as it will be your last rally. I wish I could witness your final event in Japan. I’m still disappointed it didn’t happen… Good luck!”

Jari-Matti Latvala (Team Principal)
“In the end this weekend was not as strong for us as it could have been. It’s important that we learn for the future about why we were struggling at times and how we can react better. But there are still positives: Firstly, that all three cars finished in the top five without any problems. Also, second place for Elfyn is another good result for him and it keeps the fight for the drivers’ title alive until the final round, which is obviously exciting for the championship as a whole. The manufacturers’ championship wasn’t quite decided in our favour this weekend, but our target now is to secure both titles in style at Monza.”

Sebastien Ogier (Driver car 1)
“Coming here I was targeting more than fourth position, but it is still good points towards the championship. It was a close fight today and we definitely tried in the first three stages; then the rain on the last one did not help with my strategy of not taking risks, and I was definitely on the safe side there. But overall, we have to remember that this weekend is another positive step for the championship and that’s what matters the most. It’s not over yet though, so we’ll have to be good at Monza and try to repeat the success we had there last year.”

Elfyn Evans (Driver car 33)
“Second place is a positive result but it’s not so easy to be happy when we made such a good start to the weekend. Unfortunately it faded away a little bit and I didn’t feel completely at one with everything. There was perhaps a little bit more to gain from this weekend. The good thing from the weekend is that we managed to close the points gap and that the championship is still open. Realistically it’s a big gap to close in one round, but as we experienced last year, anything can still happen and we’ll try our best once again at Monza.”

Kalle Rovanpera (Driver car 69)
“Overall it has been quite a good weekend for us. There was a lot of learning, especially on Friday, but it got better with the setup and with my driving as the weekend went on. Today we were aiming for the Power Stage but the conditions were tricky and it was drying for the guys behind us on the road, so we didn’t have the chance to fight for more. We didn’t quite find the perfect feeling and not the pace that we wanted, but we tried our best and it was a solid weekend.”

For the latest results please visit www.wrc.com.

What’s next?

Italy’s famous Monza racing circuit will host the final round for the second year in a row on November 19-21. This year’s event features a greater number of stages on mountainous asphalt roads near Bergamo.

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Source: https://www.jcnnewswire.com/pressrelease/70304/3/

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Automotive

Why The Mustang Mach-E GT Is Great 0-60, Less So In The Quarter Mile

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Ford wants the Mach-E to last.
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Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/541029/ford-mache-gt-performance-time/

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