Jan. 1, 2020
Vehicles Top Recycling List ... AAIA Recognizes World-Class Technicians ... Tires Equipped With Retractable Studs Introduced ...Monroe Promotion Rewards Technicians ... and other headlines from around the industry.
NEWS BRIEFS FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 3, 2007 Vehicles Top Recycling List SOUTHFIELD, MI (April 20, 2007) - According to statistics published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 95 percent of vehicles are now recycled. Moreover, on a weight basis, 84 percent of each end-of-life vehicle (ELV) is recycled. Unlike other products, vehicles in the United States go through a market-driven recycling infrastructure, with no added cost or tax to consumers. Recycling 
in America
Item % RecycledVehicles 95%Major appliances 67%Steel packaging  63%Paper  50%Aluminum cans  45%Plastic bottles  34%(Table source: USCAR)In addition, the United States Council for Automotive Research's (USCAR) Vehicle Recycling Partnership (VRP) - comprised of DaimlerChrysler AG, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. - is working in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and the Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council to raise the recycling percentage of each ELV to as close to 100 percent as possible. "The U.S. automakers have long taken a proactive stance in vehicle recycling, beginning back in 1991," says Don Walkowicz, executive director of USCAR. "They continue to work side-by-side with government and private industry to optimally recycle all vehicles, regardless of age, content or origin." (Source: USCAR) Catalyst Breakthrough Advances Hydrogen Fuel Cell Feasibility CHICAGO (April 26, 2007) - Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have developed an advanced concept in nanoscale catalyst engineering that will bring polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells for hydrogen-powered vehicles closer to massive commercialization. The researchers, Nenad Markovic and Vojislav Stamenkovic, discovered that the nano-scale segregated platinum-nickel alloy surfaces have unique catalytic properties. This discovery opens up important new directions for the development of active, stable and practical cathode catalysts in fuel cells. They identified a fundamental electro-catalytic trend for extended surfaces that explains the activity pattern of nanocatalysts and provides a fundamental basis for the enhancement of cathode catalysts, specifically regarding the oxygen-reduction catalytic reaction.  "At practical operating current densities, the significant over-potential for the oxygen reduction reaction reduces the thermal efficiency well below its thermodynamic limits," says Markovic.  In addition, an approximately fivefold reduction of the amount of platinum-loading in current fuel cell stacks will help to meet cost requirements for large-scale automotive applications. To make hydrogen viable as a renewable energy source, a breakthrough in catalyst research was needed. George Crabtree, director of Argonne's Materials Science Division, emphasizes the path-breaking importance of the research. "This dramatic increase addresses one of the grand challenges of the hydrogen economy: reducing the amount of expensive platinum catalyst needed to operate fuel cells efficiently," he says. "It is not only world-class basic science; it is a major advance for energy research." (Source: Argonne National Laboratory) Next-Gen Telematics Increases 
In-Vehicle Content, Mobility
FRANKFURT, GERMANY and GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - Continental Automotive Systems is designing intelligent electronics that will wirelessly connect portable devices and external digital content in cars, enabling drivers to access their personal music collection and other entertainment in new ways while on the move.  Drivers will have the ability to conduct hands-free mobile phone calls, as well as play digital music, navigate and access songs using voice commands, controls in the steering wheel or instrument panel. For example, drivers can navigate playback lists or specifically choose individual songs in the memory of the MP3 player, PDA or cell phone.  Continental announced its next-generation telematics products in development will be adaptable to future wireless technologies and standards by software updates, making it easier to stay connected to the latest devices. Digital music will be transferred via Bluetooth wireless technology or USB connection. The USB connection also can charge the device's battery simultaneously.  In addition, mobile phone functionality will be improved, enabling phone lists to be wirelessly downloaded into the vehicle, incorporating personalized ringtones, storing speed dialing numbers and employing text-to-speech to read incoming short messages (SMS) aloud if desired - all while allowing up to 12 Bluetooth phones to be connected to the system.  (Source: Continental Automotive Systems) AAIA Recognizes 
World-Class Technicians
BETHESDA, MD (April 18, 2007) - The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) has announced that of the more than 871,000 automotive technicians working in the United States, nine outstanding individuals have qualified for its "World Class Technician" award.  Each honoree had tested and obtained ASE certification in 22 specialty areas during the 2006 test administrated by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The nine World Class Technicians are: David R. Clark, Hollywood, FL; Glenn A. Costello, Las Vegas; Jason Dube, The Woodlands, TX; Steven L. Franklin, Oxnard, CA; Matthew M. Gareis, Round Lake Beach, IL; Chuck Harvey, Hackettstown, NJ; Neil R. Martin, Clinton, MD; Gary S. Stonestreet, Fontana, CA; and Albert B. Unruh, Philadelphia.  "Just imagine the knowledge and skills needed by a technician to pass 22 ASE tests," says Kathleen Schmatz, AAIA president and CEO. "These folks are truly the best of the best, and we are proud to be associated with them through our annual recognition in conjunction with ASE."  Established 20 years ago, just 1,741 technicians have been honored with the World Class designation. Recipients receive a special certificate, an engraved toolbox plate and an embroidered shoulder insignia. Additionally, their name is inscribed in an honor book located in the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, MI. (Source: AAIA) Diesel Dosing Aftertreatment 
System Debuts
DETROIT (April 26, 2007) - Siemens VDO is helping diesel customers meet impending emissions requirements with the introduction of its diesel dosing exhaust aftertreatment system. According to the company, the diesel dosing system is scheduled to go in series production for a light-duty North American application in 2010. The diesel dosing injector provides a highly efficient spray pattern for optimal regeneration of the particulate filter, helping to reduce particulates while improving fuel efficiency. Siemens says it applied its DEKA[HG2] injection technology to the diesel aftertreatment process to produce a simpler, more reliable and efficient, cost-effective exhaust aftertreatment system.  The aftertreatment solution, which is independent of the engine and requires no change to engine architecture, uses a fuel injector in combination with a high-temperature poppet valve to directly spray a precise dose of diesel fuel into the exhaust before it enters the particulate trap. The injector's unique nozzle design is engineered with an outward opening device, creating a self-cleaning feature to prevent coking build-up.  This poppet design also optimizes the diesel spray pattern to evenly distribute the fuel for efficient regeneration of the particulate filter. Depending on a customer's design, it also may eliminate the need for a mixing device, helping to significantly drive the system's cost down.  (Source: Siemens VDO) U.S. Fuel Consumption Reaches Record High in April WASHINGTON (April 25, 2007) - The Energy Information Administration, an office within the Department of Energy, has reported that U.S. demand for gasoline reached a record high in April. The latest weekly data showed demand continuing to grow at a strong clip. For the four weeks ending April 6, gasoline consumption averaged 9.363 million barrels per day, or 2.5 percent higher than the same period last year. In addition, demand for the week ending April 6 averaged 9.472 million barrels per day, a record for the month of April. The figure far surpasses the previous weekly record of 9.338 million barrels per day for the week ending April 9, 2004.  (Source: Energy Information Administration) Emissions Concerns Drive Market 
for LPG, CNG
LONDON (April 18, 2007) - According to research firm Frost & Sullivan (F&S), as concerns over global warming continue to increase, the automotive industry is facing tremendous pressure to reduce vehicle emissions, such as nitrous oxide (NOx), carbon dioxide (CO2) and particulate matter (PM). Simultaneously, the prices of conventional fuels such as gasoline and diesel are increasing. As a result, F&S forecasts that the number of liquid propane gas (LPG)/compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle conversion kits sold globally will rise from 2.9 million sold in 2006 to more than 8.0 million kits by 2012.  "The global automotive industry is making emission reduction a top priority, and this is leading to increased development of LPG/CNG as alternative fuels and associated conversion kits," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Krishnasami Rajagopalan. "With the provision of appropriate infrastructure and strong support from governments and fuel suppliers, LPG/CNG will gain greater acceptance as alternative fuels across the globe." Tempering the growth of LPG/CNG is competition from other alternative fuels, such as ethanol and biofuels. In addition, the lack of appropriate infrastructure for the distribution and refueling of these fuels, and low levels of customer awareness about the benefits of CNG and LPG, are hindering market development.  (Source: Frost & Sullivan) Tires Equipped with 
Retractable Studs Introduced
GREENVILLE, SC (April 27, 2007) - Q Tires Inc. has developed and introduced Celsius Tires, a tire technology that deploys retractable studs on demand in snow and ice. Legislation has already been passed and signed by Montana, Idaho and Washington governors that permit the use of tires equipped with retractable studs. Q Tires plans to have the new tires available for sale later this year. 
Celsius Retractable Stud Tire
(Photo: Q Tires Inc.) The technology enables air pressure from the main chamber of the tire to expand a secondary chamber, which lifts the studs above the surface of the tread. When road conditions no longer require studs, the air pressure is released to atmosphere and the studs retract below the tread face. There are no chains to add, no tires to change and no extra tires to store, says the company.  The new tires also provide a sound alternative to the effects of studded tires and chains, which cost taxpayers millions of dollars in road repair each year, adds the company. (Source: Q Tires Inc.) Monroe Promotion 
Rewards Technicians
MONROE, MI - Tenneco Inc.'s "Total Reward!" promotion rewards service shops and technicians who install Monroe premium brake pads, with retail gift cards valued up to $75. The promotion's gift cards are available for the following stores: Best Buy, Circuit City, Costco, Home Depot, Lowe's, Starbucks, Target and Wal-Mart/Sam's Club. The program continues through Oct. 31, 2007.  More information is available at (Source: Tenneco Inc.)

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