DOT, IIHS and 20 automakers commit to AEB standard on new vehicles

McLEAN, Va. — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced today a historic commitment by 20 automakers representing more than 99 percent of the U.S. auto market to make automatic emergency braking a standard feature on virtually all new cars no later than NHTSA’s 2022 reporting year, which begins Sept. 1, 2022.

Automakers making the commitment are Audi, BMW, FCA US LLC, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla Motors Inc., Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo Car USA. The unprecedented commitment means that this important safety technology will be available to more consumers more quickly than would be possible through the regulatory process.

AEB systems help prevent crashes or reduce their severity by applying the brakes for the driver. The systems use on-vehicle sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to detect an imminent crash, warn the driver and apply the brakes if the driver does not take sufficient action quickly enough.

NHTSA estimates that the agreement will make AEB standard on new cars three years faster than could be achieved through the formal regulatory process. During those three years, according to IIHS estimates, the commitment will prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries.

“It’s an exciting time for vehicle safety. By making automatic emergency braking systems standard equipment on their vehicles, these 20 automakers will help prevent crashes and save lives,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “It’s a win for safety and a win for consumers.”

Based on mounting evidence that AEB effectively reduced crashes and injuries in the United States and around the world, NHTSA and IIHS issued a challenge to the industry in September 2015 to encourage automakers to voluntarily make AEB a standard feature. A series of meetings followed to establish details of the commitment.

“IIHS member companies strongly support the adoption of effective safety technologies,” said IIHS Board Chairman and CEO of American Family Insurance, Jack Salzwedel. “Deploying AEB on a wide scale will allow us to further evaluate the technology’s effectiveness and its impact on insurance losses, so that more insurers can explore offering discounts or lower premiums to consumers who choose AEB-equipped vehicles.”

“We’re getting these safety systems into vehicles much faster than what would have been otherwise possible,” said NHTSA Administrator, Dr. Mark Rosekind. “A commitment of this magnitude is unprecedented, and it will bring more safety to more Americans sooner.”

“The benefits of this commitment are far reaching, from injuries and deaths averted to the recovery of productivity that would otherwise be lost in traffic jams caused by the crashes prevented,” said IIHS Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer David Zuby. “It also assures that all Americans will benefit from this technology.”

“With roadway fatalities on the rise, the commitment made today has the potential to save more lives than almost anything else we can accomplish in the next six years,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, who attended today’s announcement. “Including all models in the agreement ensures that safety isn’t for just those who can afford it.”

NHTSA and IIHS also announced that Consumer Reports will assist in monitoring automaker progress toward meeting the AEB commitment. Jake Fisher, Director of Auto Testing for Consumer Reports, said, “We have been calling on automakers to make automatic emergency braking standard in all new vehicles, and today is an important step toward reaching that goal. This proven technology is among the most promising safety advances we’ve seen since electronic stability control almost two decades ago. We look forward to working with NHTSA and IIHS to help put this plan into action and hold automakers accountable for their commitments.”

Today’s commitment will make AEB standard on virtually all light-duty cars and trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 pounds or less beginning no later than Sept. 1, 2022. AEB will be standard on virtually all trucks with a gross vehicle weight between 8,501 pounds and 10,000 pounds beginning no later than Sept. 1, 2025.

As NHTSA continues its regulatory work in this area, NHTSA will track the progress industry is making towards its commitment.

The commitment takes into account the evolution of AEB technology. It requires a level of functionality that is in line with research and crash data demonstrating that such systems are substantially reducing crashes, but does not stand in the way of improved capabilities that are just beginning to emerge. The performance measures are based on real world data showing that vehicles with this level of capability are avoiding crashes.

To encourage further development of AEB technology, NHTSA will accelerate its research on more advanced AEB applications, including systems that reduce the risk of collisions with pedestrians. In December, NHTSA announced plans to rate AEB systems and other advanced technologies under its 5-Star Safety Ratings beginning in model year 2018.


Fact sheet:
Auto Industry Commitment to IIHS and NHTSA on Automatic Emergency Braking

Participating manufacturers: Audi, BMW, FCA US LLC, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla Motors Inc., Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo Car USA — representing more than 99 percent of the U.S. new-car market.

Details of the commitment: Participating automakers commit to make AEB standard on virtually all light-duty cars and trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 8,500 pounds or less no later than Sept. 1, 2022, and on virtually all trucks with a gross vehicle weight between 8,501 pounds and 10,000 pounds no later than Sept. 1, 2025.

What is AEB? Automatic emergency braking helps prevent crashes or reduce their severity by applying a vehicle’s brakes automatically. The systems use on-board sensors such as radar, cameras or lasers to detect an imminent crash, warn the driver, and apply the brakes or increase braking effort if the driver does not take sufficient action.

Performance requirements: Participating manufacturers will ensure vehicles have both a forward collision warning system that meets a subset of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s current 5-Star Safety Ratings program requirements on the timing of driver alerts and an automatic braking system that earns at least an advanced rating in the current Insurance Institute for Highway Safety front crash prevention track tests. The baseline performance measures are a speed reduction of at least 10 mph in either the IIHS 12 or 25 mph tests, or a speed reduction of 5 mph in both of the tests.

Safety benefits: IIHS research shows that AEB systems meeting the commitment would reduce rear-end crashes by 40 percent. IIHS estimates that by 2025 — the earliest NHTSA believes it could realistically implement a regulatory requirement for AEB — the commitment will prevent 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries.

Monitoring progress: IIHS and NHTSA will monitor automakers’ progress toward the commitment and provide annual updates on that progress. Commitment letters from each of the manufacturers, along with annual submissions on their progress, will be posted at www.regulations.gov under docket number NHTSA-2015-0101.

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Auto industry drives most intimate brand relationships

The four highest ranking automotive brands are: BMW, Toyota, Harley-Davidson and GMC.

NEW YORK — Four out of the top 10 most intimate brands are in the automotive industry, according to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2015 Report, which examines ultimate brand relationships.

“Automotive is the highest ranking industry across all three of our markets, the U.S., Mexico and the UAE. That’s pretty suggestive of the strong bonds people have with their cars and the ability of this category to connect with consumers,” stated Mario Natarelli, MBLM’s managing partner. “Car brands are more than one of our most significant purchases. They represent our sensibilities and our status in life. As important as these values are to consumers, fulfillment of the brand (how well it exceeds expectations, delivers superior service, quality and efficacy) remains a top factor. Recent experiences by brands like Volkswagen will likely have profound effects on the bonds with their consumers.”

In the auto industry, the top 10 is rounded out by:

  • Jeep
  • Chevrolet
  • Ford
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Chrysler
  • Honda

“With all the dramatic evolution in this category enhanced by technology and from trends like car sharing and autonomous driving, intimate brands will win in the long term,” added Natarelli.

This year’s report contains one of the most comprehensive rankings of brands based on emotion, analyzing the responses of 6,000 consumers and 52,000 brand evaluations across nine industries in the U.S., Mexico and UAE. MBLM’s reports and interactive Brand Ranking Tool showcase the performance of almost 400 brands, revealing the characteristics and intensity of the consumer bonds.

Ford won’t be first with driverless car: Mark Fields

While there’s a bevy of technology in all shapes and forms always on display at the CES or Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Ford CEO Mark Fields spoke with Bloomberg TV’s Brad Stone where he said the first driverless car on the road will not be a Ford.

He said, “Our view is within five years somewhere within the industry somebody is going to be introducing a vehicle. In our case at Ford we have semi-autonomous vehicles on the road today that people can buy, features that will help people keep in their lanes, allow to adjust their speed based on traffic flow, those types of things. And we at Ford eventually will have a fully autonomous vehicle, but our approach when we introduce it goes back to our history. We want to make sure it’s accessible and affordable for the masses because we’re Ford.

Field’s interview with Stone can be viewed by clicking on this link

A full transcript of the Bloomberg TV interview can be found below.

 

BRAD STONE, BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK: Hi, Mark.

MARK FIELDS, CEO, FORD MOTOR COMPANY: How you doing?

STONE: Pretty good. So you said yesterday, you told my colleague, Keith Naughton, that you think we will have a fully-automated driverless car in five years. That kind of took my breath away. Is the state of technology that advanced?

FIELDS: I think when you look at the level of advancement in sensors, and cameras, and software and the algorithms behind it, it’s moving very, very fast. So our view is within five years somewhere within the industry somebody is going to be introducing a vehicle. In our case at Ford we have semi-autonomous vehicles on the road today that people can buy, features that will help people keep in their lanes, allow to adjust their speed based on traffic flow, those type of things. And we at Ford eventually will have a fully autonomous vehicle, but our approach when we introduce it goes back to our history. We want to make sure it’s accessible and affordable for the masses because we’re Ford.

STONE: So when does Ford get there? And let me ask you, because I’ve sat in a Google driverless car, is Google a partner?

FIELDS: Well I think from that we see a lot of different players now making some inroads into that. And I think that’s overall the level of innovation I think is very exciting for the industry. So as we look at it, and we’re always looking for great partners, we’re going to decide the things that we want to do ourselves, develop ourselves, things that we want to buy, things that we want to partner with others, but I think it will be very collaborative. And our approach is to make sure we have fully autonomous test vehicles on the road today. And some of them have been on the road since 2013. We haven’t announced a time frame when it’s going to be introduced, but it’s all going to come back to make sure it’s accessible and affordable for the masses, versus some of our luxury competitors.

STONE: Well one of your competitors, Mercedes, is here at the show showing a concept car with four seats that swivel inward. So none of them are facing the road. There’s no driver. There’s no driver’s wheel, no steering wheel. Do you get in that car?

FIELDS: Well I haven’t seen the Mercedes concept. I’ll get into any Ford vehicle of course, but as I said, we have research vehicles on the road today gathering data, understanding the situation and making sure all with that aim to making sure they’ll eventually be affordable for the masses.

STONE: So let’s talk about the in-vehicle computer systems. They are not perfect today. Any new car owner can tell you that there are flaws, there are bugs. They’re too difficult to use. How are we to trust the carmakers to deliver a reliable, 100 hundred reliable automated experience when playing Pandora and getting your phone to work on your in-vehicle system is not as simple as it should be?

FIELDS: Well our approach at Ford is pretty simple. We want to make sure we’re listening to our customers. And when we come out with our systems like our SYNC system we want to make it very intuitive and we want to improve it over time. For our SYNC system right now we have — it’s our vehicle connectivity system. We have ten million folks around the world that have purchased that system. And the system keeps getting better and better. We’re actually here at CES introducing SYNC 3.

STONE: And tell us a little bit about the SYNC 3. What does it bring?

FIELDS: Well it takes all the learnings that we’ve — and input that we’ve gotten from customers over the last eight years. So it’s more intuitive, easier to use. It’s also faster. It has more conversational voice commands, so enhanced voice commands. It allows you to update. If we need to update the software we’ll be able to do it over Wi-Fi. And overall just at the same time we’re also going to be offering Siri’s eyes-free in the vehicle as well. So it’s really taking the foundation and the leadership that we had with SYNC and now taking it to the next level with SYNC 3.

STONE: Do you see the smartphone as the center of the in-vehicle computer experience, or an in-vehicle computer that has its own connection to the internet?

FIELDS: Well I think it will be a piece of it. With the SYNC system we took the approach of a brought-in device that the customer can stay connected. As you think about going forward we’re in the process of introducing embedded modems into our vehicle because that allows the vehicle to be part of the Internet of Things. And as we go forward and as customers decide to opt in to share their data with us we want to make sure that for that we’re providing them first safety and security of their data, and secondly giving them something back that they find a lot of value for. So it’s going to be a combination of both.

STONE: So, Mark, let’s talk about 2014. All the automakers had a great December. The price of gas is very low right now. People are excited about new cars, but overall you were a little soft and you missed expectations for 2014. What happened?

FIELDS: Well as we started 2014 we said very clearly that 2014 was an important transition year for us. We said our revenue was going to be about equal to the previous year. And that’s because we’re launching 23 global launches. And we launched all of them, and many of them in the third and fourth quarter. So that sets us up very well for 2015. And when you look at some of those new products we’ve introduced, our Mustang, our Transit, our new Lincolns, they’re doing extremely well in the marketplace. And I think that bodes well for all the new products that we’ve launched in the last couple of quarters.

STONE: And one of those new products is the new Ford F-150, an all-aluminum vehicle. What does that mean exactly to move from steel to aluminum? And is that — do you see that as an industry trend?

FIELDS: Well we’re always looking at things from a customer standpoint. And obviously we spend a lot of time with our truck customers. We’re the leader in that area for 38 years. And what they told us is they continually want better capability of the truck, better payload, better towing, et cetera. And they want really good fuel economy. So we were able to take 700 pounds out of the vehicle. We put it on a diet by putting it on aluminum. And we’ve been able now to deliver industry-leading levels of capability and great fuel economy.

STONE: Last question, Mark. You recently said that you’re going to increase your dividend to shareholders by 20 percent. And yet profitability is challenged. It’s a time of enormous change. Why not reinvest that money, that capital in the business and in these technologies?

FIELDS: Well our capital strategy, as we’ve said before, is pretty simple. We want to keep reinvesting in the business. We want to keep and strengthening our balance sheet. And we want to reward shareholders. At the same time we want to make sure over time that that dividend is sustainable versus the economic and the business cycles. We haven’t announced anything about increasing dividends. We did it last year in January at this time. And that’s really our capital strategy.

STONE: Thank you, Mark.

FIELDS: All right. Thanks, Brad.

 

2015 Ford Mustang GT Fastback Sells for $300k at Barrett-Jackson

BJAZ_15MustAuction

The first retail unit 2015 Ford Mustang GT Fastback sold for $300,000 with proceeds benefiting JDRF, the leading diabetes research organization

With this sale, Ford has increased its JDRF charity car vehicle sales to more than $3.5 million

The winning bidder will personalize their new car with available 2015 Mustang GT options

Shelby GT500-inspired, 1956 Ford F-100 pulled in $450,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan in Canada. KISS bassist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Gene Simmons, his wife and Canadian-born actress, Shannon Tweed-Simmons, attended spurring on the auction crowd

At Barrett-Jackson Auction Company’s sale in Scottsdale, Ariz., a car collector and North Texas Ford dealer, Sam Pack, paid $300,000 to have the first retail production unit of the all-new 2015 Mustang GT when it goes on sale this fall. This purchase helped Ford Motor Company increase its charity vehicle sales to more than $3.5 million for JDRF, the leading diabetes research organization and a Ford partner since 1983.

The future Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan received a large donation through the sale of the 1956 Ford F-100 or “Snakebit,” as the truck is known. It is a blend of street rod styling with influences from the iconic Ford Shelby GT500. It boasts a supercharged 5.4-liter V8 breathing through a high-performance exhaust system. A six-speed manual gearbox feeds the estimated 550 horsepower to the 20-inch rear wheels.

The future Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan received a large donation through the sale of the 1956 Ford F-100 or “Snakebit,” as the truck is known. It is a blend of street rod styling with influences from the iconic Ford Shelby GT500. It boasts a supercharged 5.4-liter V8 breathing through a high-performance exhaust system. A six-speed manual gearbox feeds the estimated 550 horsepower to the 20-inch rear wheels.

New Ford Transit Connect Taxi Ready for Service from New York to LA to Hong Kong

Ford introduces the 2014 Transit Connect Taxi, prioritizing passenger and cargo space, livery-duty durability and low operating costs.

Ford introduces the 2014 Transit Connect Taxi, prioritizing passenger and cargo space, livery-duty durability and low operating costs.

  • All-new this model year, Ford Transit Connect Taxi features an unmatched combination of performance, fuel economy, safety, comfort and flexibility
  • Ford C-MAX Hybrid also being adopted by taxi operators across the United States, where Ford leads with 60 percent share of the taxi market
  • Ford Transit Connect with HK Skyline Night
  • Ford Transit Connect Taxi adds Hong Kong to list of global cities where the vehicle will be in service

DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 21, 2013 – Ford Motor Company today adds Hong Kong to the list of global cities served by its Transit Connect Taxi, building on the vehicle’s popularity among taxi operators in New York City, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles.

All-new this model year, Ford Transit Connect Taxi features an unmatched combination of performance, fuel economy, safety, comfort and flexibility.

“Ford Transit Connect Taxi has proven itself in taxi fleets across the U.S.,” said Raj Nair, group vice president, global product development. “Now, we are building on that success, offering the vehicle for sale in even more markets, including global cities like Hong Kong.”

The Transit Connect Taxi Ford unveiled in Hong Kong comes equipped with a Ford-engineered, clean-burning liquefied petroleum gas fuel system. It is designed to run on Hong Kong’s well-established LPG infrastructure, providing dependability, low maintenance and long-range travel.

In the United States, Ford owns nearly 60 percent of the taxi market. On sale since 2010, Ford Transit Connect Taxi serves passengers in some of the most demanding taxi markets, including Philadelphia and Boston.

Taxi of the future today

The 2014 Ford Transit Connect Taxi comes with a new powertrain – a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a new, fuel-efficient six-speed automatic transmission – providing drivers with quick response as well as durability, low-rpm cruising and an expected best-in-class highway fuel economy rating.

In addition, Transit Connect will be the only taxi in America offered with a compressed natural gas and LPG engine prep package. Conversion to CNG and LPG is supported by Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifiers, enabling significant fuel cost savings.

Ford’s second-generation Transit Connect Taxi features a lower vehicle height, providing improved roof clearance for taxicab companies to place advertising on the cabin roof. A new interior hood release gives drivers easy access to check fluid levels prior to starting a shift.

The new Transit Connect Taxi also is longer, offering seating for five and increased cargo capacity. It has an expected best-in-class 60.5 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the second row. The vehicle can accommodate a compressed gas tank, while still leaving ample room for luggage.

The Transit Connect Taxi floor has been lowered for improved access to the cabin, and it can be modified for wheelchair accessibility through Ford’s Qualified Vehicle Modifier program.

Ford C-MAX Hybrid chosen by taxi operators

In addition to Transit Connect Taxi’s success, Ford C-MAX Hybrid is being adopted by taxi operators right from dealer lots. A purpose-built taxi package isn’t available. Taxi operators like the vehicle’s utility, maneuverable size and class-leading U.S. EPA combined fuel economy of 43 mpg. C-MAX Hybrid taxis are on the road in San Francisco and New York.

Taxi operators attribute Ford C-MAX Hybrid’s class-leading fuel economy, 522-mile overall range and spaciousness to its success in taxi fleets. C-MAX Hybrid offers best-in-class passenger volume, plus best-in-class front- and second-row headroom and legroom, and plenty of room for cargo.

In addition, Ford C-MAX Hybrid’s ease of entry and exit is one of its top-rated features by customers – important for passengers quickly entering and exiting the vehicle.

Toyota statement re: Collaboration with Ford, Commitment to Hybrids

Toyota and Ford have completed their feasibility study for collaboration on the development of a new hybrid system for light trucks and SUVs, which was first announced in August of 2011.  As a result, we have agreed to develop hybrid systems individually.  Toyota and Ford continue to evaluate the feasibility of working together on next-generation standards for telematics and will consider other areas for future collaboration as well.

Toyota’s commitment to hybrid technology is unwavering.  We have sold over two million Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles in the U.S., representing 70 percent of the U.S. auto industry’s total hybrid sales, and over 5 million hybrids worldwide.  In addition, Toyota remains on track to offer 18 new or redesigned hybrid models globally by the end of 2015.

All told, Toyota estimates that its global fleet of nearly 20 hybrid vehicles (12 available in the United States) has resulted in approximately 34 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions than those emitted by gasoline-powered vehicles, and have saved their owners more than 3 billion gallons of gasoline.

Consumers plug in to Ford hybrids, growing market share

Ford Electrified Vehicles

DEARBORN, Mich. – As Ford’s share of the U.S. electrified vehicle market has quadrupled in the past year, the company is announcing improvements to the on-road fuel economy performance of its hybrid vehicles, hiring new engineers, and expanding its research facilities for expected continued growth.

This year, Ford’s share of the U.S. electrified vehicle market is up 12 share points to nearly 16 percent, while Toyota’s share is down 8 share points, and more customers are trading in their Priuses for the new Ford C-MAX Hybrid.
“Strong consumer acceptance of Ford hybrids shows that our plan to lead in fuel economy across our lineup is working,” said Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development.
Ford reported electrified vehicle sales of 46,197 units through June – more than 400 percent higher than the same period a year ago. Ford C-MAX Hybrid and Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid are helping drive this growth. C-MAX is drawing new buyers in coastal markets and in Florida and Texas, as Toyota Prius U.S. sales have declined 5 percent. Meanwhile, the Ford brand had the largest retail share increase in California of any brand during the first five months of 2013, based on the latest Polk retail registration data.
Last month, 64 percent of C-MAX Hybrid buyers came from non-Ford brands. In fact, the vehicle most traded in for a Ford C-MAX is Toyota Prius.
Lincoln MKZ also is bringing new customers into the showroom. Strong demand has led Lincoln to increase the production mix of MKZ Hybrid to 40 percent of MKZ production, up from 20 percent.
Electrified vehicles part of larger Ford success story
The company’s strong product lineup has led to Ford’s U.S. market share growing at a faster rate than competitors – gaining nearly a full percentage point through the first half of the year. The Ford brand also achieved the fastest retail share growth of any automotive brand on the coasts, up almost 2.5 percentage points compared with 2008, based on Ford’s analysis of Polk retail registration data.

Ford’s Super Segment

Ford calls the “super segment” – small cars, midsize sedans and small utilities that have fueled 42 percent of the company’s overall growth since 2008. Ford’s small cars, including Fiesta, Focus and C-MAX, totaled 35,851 sales last month, a 39 percent increase over last year and the company’s best June small car sales in 13 years.
Ford Fusion has seen record sales for the first half of the year, and Escape continues to be the best-selling utility in America – posting record sales the last five months.
Overall, Ford is on track to be the best-selling brand of utility vehicles for three straight years. Ford F-Series has been America’s best-selling pickup for 36 straight years; it sold more than 367,000 trucks during the first half of the year – a 22 percent increase over last year.
Better on-road mileage performance for hybrids
As its electrified vehicle market share grows, Ford also is taking action to improve the on-road fuel economy performance of 2013-model hybrid vehicles in the United States and Canada. Starting in August, the company will make calibration updates designed to improve on-road fuel economy for owners of the 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid, 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid and 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.
Calibration updates to Ford hybrid vehicles include control system enhancements for a variety of driving conditions on the highway, during short trips and while using the climate control system. Enhancements designed to improve customer satisfaction include:
  • Increasing the maximum pure electric speed to 85 mph from 62 mph, allowing increased use of electric-only mode on the highway
  • Optimizing the use of Active Grille Shutters to reduce aerodynamic drag under more driving and temperature conditions including cold weather, during air conditioner use and when the engine coolant temperature is higher
  • Reducing the electric fan speed as a function of coolant temperature to minimize the fan’s energy consumption
  • Shortening engine warm-up time by up to 50 percent to enable electric-only driving and engine shutdown at stops sooner after cold starts
  • Optimizing the climate control system to minimize use of the air conditioning compressor and reduce the energy used in cold weather operation
Expanding for the future
This year, Ford also will expand its electrification engineering team by nearly 50 percent, growing to 500 salaried employees.
Ford will double electrification battery-testing capabilities by the end of the year – to a total of 160 individual battery-test cells – helping to speed hybrid and electric vehicle development by as much as 25 percent.
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