Can the lithium-ion battery save the auto industry?
Honda unveils its first car with a lithium-ion battery pack, other manufacturers follow suit.
Gas prices and consumer reaction have increasingly driven automobile producers to change their philosophy. It has taken a while just to change the mindset of these companies. However, with the recent start of production of Honda’s FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle, plants are getting their first taste of manufacturing true alternative-energy vehicles.
Although the vehicle is being produced only in Japan, if the technology becomes popular it will not take long for American automotive companies to seize the opportunity. The first of the Honda vehicles in the United States are to be leased out to Hollywood, Calif., celebrities. Hitachi has announced that it has received an order from GM for more than 100,000 of lithium-ion batteries which are supposed to be installed in GM vehicles starting in 2010.
If the consumer demand for these vehicles increases there could be a potential for some of the jobs that have been lost to be regained back by the automotive industry.
Full story from the US department of Energy
Honda press release
Totoya press release
Hitachi press release
Sanyo press release
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Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.