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EU eyes hi-tech systems to cut road deaths, fuel use

by Staff Writers
Brussels (AFP) May 23, 2008
The European Commission said Friday that it wants to make advanced braking systems and hi-tech tyres obligatory on cars and trucks in an effort to reduce road deaths and greenhouse gas emissions.

The plan is to have electronic stability control systems on all new cars from 2012 and advanced emergency brakes plus lane departure warnings on trucks and other heavy vehicles the following year.

The commission, the European Union's executive body, estimates that these steps would save around 5,000 lives a year.

At the same time, it proposed that low rolling resistance tyres be fitted to all new cars from 2012, and that a tyre pressure monitoring system be introduced, as the amount of air has a direct impact on fuel performance.

Brussels claims this would result in a five-percent fuel saving and a cut of seven grammes per kilometre of carbon dioxide emissions -- the main greenhouse gas that causes global warming.

A commission spokesman said the move would add 100-300 euros (160-470 dollars) to the price of a new vehicle, but that the advantages it brings would be offset after about five years.

"We are convinced that the extra costs will be paid back by the fuel savings," spokesman Ton van Lierop told reporters.

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Lithium Technology Powers Hybrid Electric Supercar
Plymouth Meeting PA (SPX) May 20, 2008
Mr. Heinz-Harald Frentzen and Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur have announced plans to enter a hybrid electric version of its Apollo supercar into this year's Nurburgring 24 hour race, at the end of May 2008, powered by a battery solution from Lithium Technology.

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