My iPod doesn’t seem to hold a charge like it used to. I seem to recall reading that it’s good for about 400 charges. I haven’t been counting, so I don’t know how many are left, and my inclination is to charge it the night before I plan to use it. Maybe it will last another year and then I can justify replacing it in order to gain some newer technology.
Some day batteries may be so advanced that we don’t think about them, but for popular consumer electronic devices, including hybrid and electric vehicles, batteries are still an issue. If something goes wrong, they are expensive to replace.
Hyundai is developing a hybrid version of its popular Sonata mid-sized sedan, and to set prospective customers’ minds at ease, the company is including the battery in its 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Hyundai is also taking a step into the future by equipping its hybrid with lithium-ion polymer batteries, which Hyundai says are about 35 percent lighter than the nickel-metal hydride batteries in hybrid cars today.
Reducing vehicle weight is one way to improve fuel economy, and fuel economy will be a focus of competition among automakers, whether with hybrid and electric vehicles or gasoline or diesel engines.
Hyundai previewed five new powertrains last week, ranging from the 1.6-liter Gamma, with peak output of 138 hp and maximum torque of 123 lb-ft at 4,850 rpm, to the 5.0-liter Tau V8, which can deliver 429 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. Hyundai said the Gamma will debut next year in a sporty coupe, while the Tau will power the Genesis, and later the $58,000 top-of-the-line Equus.
The new powertrains are generally smaller, lighter, cleaner, and more powerful than their predecessors. Most feature gasoline direct injection (GDI), and the Gamma and the Tau also have dual continuously variable valve timing (D-CVVT).
Engines and iPods. Each new generation delivers more value for the dollar.