Archive for August, 2011

John Deere wide area mower improved for 2011

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Wide area mower improved for 2011

John Deere’s new version of the Series II 1600 Turbo WAM out-front rotary mower features as standard a Stage IIIB (Interim Tier 4) engine to meet the latest emission standards, a fully adjustable high-backed air suspension seat to improve operator comfort, and run-flat tyres on the castor-action gauge wheels to reduce downtime and increase productivity.

With its 3.25m (128in) overall cutting width, the 1600T WAM offers the ultimate in power, manoeuvrability, traction and operator comfort for commercial mowing contractors, local authorities, golf courses and other public and private institutions. Additional improvements for 2011 include more efficient hydraulics and deck motors, a two-post folding ROPS and Service ADVISOR diagnostics for extra serviceability, both in the workshop and in the field.

The 1600T WAM is powered by a 57hp turbocharged Yanmar diesel engine, equipped with electronic engine control and a cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system for lower emissions and improved engine responsiveness. It has a high torque reserve and can produce plenty of power for the toughest conditions.

The three robust rear discharge mower decks are fabricated from 7-gauge steel, the thickest in the industry. In mower form, the machine is capable of covering up to 3.4ha (8.5ac) an hour, at speeds of up to 9mph, with a cutting height of between 25 and 140mm (1 and 5.5in).

Each wing has a breakaway feature that allows the mower deck to move back and away from any obstacle, then automatically reset to the normal working position. Other operator friendly specifications include electronic cruise control, hydrostatic power steering and a tiltable steering wheel, and the ROPS can be folded down easily without tools for safe operation under tree canopies or in other confined spaces.

Featuring a proven mechanical four wheel drive system, an 83 litre (18gal) fuel tank and a transport speed of up to 14.5mph, the machine is particularly suitable for large-scale commercial mowing. Base UK list price of the 2011 season John Deere Series II 1600 Turbo WAM is the same as the previous model, at £41,143 (€47,849 in Ireland).

Volvo Car Corporation tests flywheel technology – cuts fuel consumption with up to 20 percent

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Volvo Car Corporation tests flywheel technology – cuts fuel consumption with up to 20 percent

A light, cost-efficient and very eco-efficient solution that makes a four-cylinder engine feel like a six-cylinder, at the same time as reducing fuel consumption by up to 20 percent. This autumn, Volvo Car Corporation will be one of the world’s first car makers to test the potential of flywheel technology on public roads. The company has received a grant of 6.57 million Swedish kronor from the Swedish Energy Agency for developing next-generation technology for kinetic recovery of braking energy in a joint project together with Volvo Powertrain and SKF.

“Our aim is to develop a complete system for kinetic energy recovery. Tests in a Volvo car will get under way in the second half of 2011. This technology has the potential for reducing fuel consumption by up to 20 percent. What is more, it gives the driver an extra horsepower boost, giving a four-cylinder engine acceleration like a six-cylinder unit,” relates Derek Crabb, Vice President VCC Powertrain Engineering.

60,000 revs per minute
The new system, known as Flywheel KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), is fitted to the rear axle. During retardation, the braking energy causes the flywheel to spin at up to 60,000 revs per minute. When the car starts moving off again, the flywheel’s rotation is transferred to the rear wheels via a specially designed transmission.

The combustion engine that drives the front wheels is switched off as soon as the braking begins. The energy in the flywheel can be used to accelerate the vehicle when it is time to move off once again, or to power the vehicle once it reaches cruising speed.

“The flywheel’s stored energy is sufficient to power the car for short periods. However, this has a major impact on fuel consumption. Our calculations indicate that the combustion engine will be able to be turned off about half the time when driving according to the official New European Driving Cycle,” explains Derek Crabb.

Since the flywheel is activated by braking and the duration of the energy storage – that is to say the length of time the flywheel spins – is limited, the technology is at its most effective during driving featuring repeated stops and starts. In other words, the fuel savings will be greatest when driving in busy urban traffic as well as during active driving.

If the energy in the flywheel is combined with the combustion engine’s full capacity, it will give the car an extra boost of 80 horsepower, and thanks to the swift torque build-up this translates into rapid acceleration, cutting 0 to 62 mph figures significantly.

Carbon fibre for a lightweight and compact solution
Flywheel propulsion assistance was tested in a Volvo 240 back in the 1980s, and flywheels made of steel have been evaluated by various manufacturers in recent times. However, since a unit made of steel is large and heavy and has rather limited rotational capacity, this is not a viable alternative.

The flywheel that Volvo Car Corporation will use in its test car is made of carbon fibre. It weighs about six kilograms and has a diameter of 20 centimetres. The carbon fibre wheel spins in a vacuum to minimise frictional losses.

“We are not the first manufacturer to test flywheel technology. But nobody else has applied it to the rear axle of a car fitted with a combustion engine driving the front wheels. If the tests and technical development go as planned, we expect cars with flywheel technology to reach the showrooms within a few years,” says Derek Crabb. He concludes: “The flywheel technology is relatively cheap. It can be used in a much larger volume of our cars than top-of-the-line technology such as the plug-in hybrid. This means that it has potential to play a major role in our CO2-cutting DRIVe Towards Zero strategy.”

Flywheel KERS

Flywheel KERS 2

Flywheel KERS 3

Volvo Car Corporation starts production of the Volvo C30 Electric to leasing customers in Europe.

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Volvo Car Corporation starts production of the Volvo C30 Electric to leasing customers in Europe.

The Volvo C30 Electric has now left the product development stage. Initial deliveries to leasing customers, mainly companies, authorities and governmental bodies, will take place immediately after the summer.

The Volvo C30 Electric will be manufactured and delivered to leasing customers throughout Europe, including in Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway, although not Ireland at this initial stage. Tests on a fleet of about 50 cars have been conducted since autumn 2010, mainly internally at the Volvo Car Corporation. A Volvo C30 Electric was also part of the “One Tonne Life” project in which a family was given the task of living as climate-smart as possible for a period of six months. About 250 cars will be built by end 2012, possibly more if market interest takes off.

The Volvo C30 Electric is built on the regular assembly line in the Ghent factory and then transported to Göteborg for installation of the motor, batteries and other model-specific electronics. The batteries are installed where the fuel tank normally sits and also in a special compartment in the car’s central tunnel. As a result, the luggage compartment is unchanged. The car is recharged from a regular household power socket. A full recharge takes about 7 hours. The operating range is up to 150 kilometres per full charge. Top speed is 130 km/h and acceleration from 0-50 km/h takes four seconds.

The Volvo C30 Electric project is part of the Volvo Car Corporation’s highly ambitious electrification strategy for the forthcoming years. The electric car has attracted considerable international attention.

C30 Electric Production 1

C30 Electric Production 2

C30 Electric Production 3


Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011


A new van purchase finance scheme which opens up a line of funding that would assist small businesses planning to upgrade their transport fleet has been introduced by Mercedes-Benz in Ireland.

Designed to unblock the lending logjam that has prevented many owners from acquiring or replacing their van fleet, the scheme provides finance over periods from 3 to 5 years, upon payment of a ‘modest’ deposit.

Confined to the purchase of new vehicles only, the scope of the plan can also be extended to include maintenance costs. Moreover, dealers can facilitate buyers by agreeing a residual value that would be placed on each vehicle after the finance term has expired.

Describing the plan as one ‘mutually advantageous’ to both sides, Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles sales manager Fergus Conheady said that it will “stimulate and assist the small business sector whose progress has been blocked on all fronts by the current restrictions on lending”.

Newly Launched Peugeot 508 is Best New Car of 2011

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

Newly Launched Peugeot 508 is Best New Car of 2011

Peugeot’s just-launched 508 has won its first award after being crowned ‘Best New Car of 2011’ in the Fleet World Honours. Dubbed by Irish motoring journalists as Peugeot’s best saloon yet, the new flagship stole the limelight during an awards ceremony at the Royal Automobile Club, London.

Fleet World Editor, Steve Moody, said: “The 508 changes the game for Peugeot. A massive leap forward from the 407, it offers a premium brand level quality cabin, a range of frugal, refined and powerful engines all wrapped in a stylish bodyshell, taking the firm right back into the upper echelons of this vital fleet sector.”

Des Cannon, Sales & Marketing Director at Peugeot Ireland, said: “The 508 is an incredible car and what better way to open up our awards account than winning Fleet World’s Best New Car of 2011.  We’re confident this will be the first of many.”

The Fleet World Honours are presented annually to those motor manufacturers, service companies and individuals who have, in the opinion of the judges, achieved the highest possible level of excellence in their respective sectors.

The Peugeot 508 is now available at Peugeot Dealerships across Ireland. Prices start from €24,850 plus delivery related charges for the 1.6 HDi 112bhp Access model and rise to €35,150 for the top of the range, 2.0 HDi 163bhp Automatic Allure model.