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Archive for the ‘industry news’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Ford Won’t Revive the F-150 Lightning But This Dealership Did

Truck fans will instantly recognize the Lightning name – it belongs to Ford and its two generations of performance-minded F-150s from back in the 1990s and early 2000s. These were short-bed, single-cab trucks with lowered suspensions and big V-8s under their hoods. Sadly, Ford dropped the F-150 Lightning in 2004 and has since kept its SVT team busy with the F-150 Raptor. That’s left the street performance pickup niche rather cold, with only the 2014 F-150 Tremor showing any signs of hope.

But like in the late 1960s, a dealership has launched its own performance upgrade for the current Ford F-150.

Pioneer Ford in Bremen, Georgia put together an “F-150 Lightning Tribute” that turns a single-cab, short-bed F-150 into a 650-horsepower monster with a side exhaust, 22-inch wheels with street rubber, and a Roush supercharger bolted to that 5.0-liter Coyote V-8. Yep, it’s got the right number of cylinders and none of that EcoBoost stuff under the hood. It doesn’t get any more American than this!

Keep reading for more on the Pioneer Ford F-150 Lightning Tribute.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Comes Through for its Customers as they Scramble to get out of Harm’s Way

Now, there’s no denying that after Hurricane Harvey kicked the hell out of Texas, it was a ridiculous for Mother Nature to rape all of Florida too, but sure enough, it happened anyway. Originally deemed the most powerful storm ever recorded, Irma was larger than the state of Florida itself and has left a path of destruction as it made its way from the Atlantic toward the sunshine state. It decimated a few smaller islands and kicked Cuba’s ass a bit too before crossing directly over the Florida Keys and wrecking the West coast of the Florida peninsula. As Irma made its deadly approach toward the land of oranges, evacuation orders were issued and panic set in – not so much so that looters didn’t take their chances, of course, but we’ll leave that story for another time. In the end, the last few days before Irma made landfall in Florida were chaotic, to say the least.

Air traffic was a nightmare, leaving us to question how air traffic control even managed to prevent disaster, and the highways were jammed up like Satan himself was birthing from the bowels of the earth. Gas prices skyrocketed, and so did the price of bottled water as everyone tried to take advantage of the situation, claiming supply and demand as the reasoning for price gouging. Meanwhile, Tesla took a different approach and helped out its customers as they struggled to evacuate.

So, while some local businesses showed their ugly side by hiking prices like the apocalypse was coming, Tesla decided it would remove the range limiter on its lesser Model S and Model X vehicles in Florida, effectively giving owners an extra 30 to 40 miles, according to Electrek. And, it was all thanks to one owner who reached out to Tesla saying he needed just an extra 30 miles to get out of his mandatory evacuation zone. So, once Tesla heard from this customer, it decided that other Tesla owners might need the same, and temporarily unlocked the extra range via an over-the-air update. The update was effective on all 60D models of the Model S and X, which were sold with 75 kWh batteries that were limited with the option to unlock their full potential at a later time – something that would cost owners between $4,500 and $9,000 depending on the vehicle and time of the update. Keep in mind that this isn’t a permanent upgrade, and it will expire, but it certainly served an important purpose and has proven that not all automakers are greedy and self-absorbed. Keep reading to learn more.

PostHeaderIcon The 370Z Continues to Show its Age, Yet Nissan Refuses to Kill it

As excited as it was to hear rumors that Nissan was bringing thesuccessor to the 370Z sports car at the Tokyo Motor Show, it appears that the hype has fizzled out even before it had a chance to be worth anything. The latest word coming from former Nissan Australia Managing Director, Richard Emery, who has come out saying there are unlikely to be any plans for a new Z concept anytime soon.

Speaking with Motoring, Emery said that there are no plans to introduce a replacement study for the 370Z. His comments also came a few days after the automaker unveiled the 2018 370Z in Europe, packing some aesthetic improvements in the exterior and interior. Considering these recent developments on the front of Nissan’s Z sports car family, it does look like all those talks of a successor were premature. It doesn’t mean that they were unwarranted, though. The fact remains that the 370Z is eight years old and (should be) at the end of its lifecycle. It’s certainly possible that Nissan is giving the sports car one final facelift before officially launching the successor. Whether that’s a couple of years from now or not, it’s going to be a while.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE Apparently Can’t Be Sold In Europe

Part of what makes the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1 LE such a potent piece of machinery is that it’s bleeding in aerodynamic equipment. Compare to the “standard’ ZL1, the 1LE version looks and performs like it’s from a completely different planet altogether. And yet, it is this very feature of the Camaro ZL1 1LE that has made it impossible to own in Europe. That’s because according to Motor Trend, Chevrolet can’t sell the ZL1 1LE in that region because the dive planes in the car violate Europe’s pedestrian safety laws.

It may sound trivial to ban a car because of one piece of aerodynamic component, but the way those dive plans, or canards, stretch out does make you wonder if they can clip a pedestrian who’s standing a little to close to the car when it drives by. Then again, Chevrolet itself can’t just take out those dive planes just so it can sell the car in Europe. They play an important role in enhancing the Camaro ZL1 1 LE’s aerodynamic capabilities, not the least of which is its ability to work with the splitter and the carbon fiber wing to create as much as 300 pounds of downforce at speeds of 155 mph. Without the dive plans, the Camaro ZL1 1LE is effectively comprised of the very features that make it the most track-capable Camaro ever created. Tough luck then to our European friends, although it does feel like a little bit of fair play considering that we were shut out of getting cars like the Ford Focus RS and Honda Civic Type R for so long.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon How Should We Measure Fast?

Mercedes recently announced the top speed of its upcoming hybrid F1-inspired hypercar, the Project One, and a lotta folks are less than impressed. 217 mph is the figure in question, and while that’s certainly a whole lot faster than the old family minivan, it’s not quite up to snuff compared to the world-eating Bugatti Chiron. Thanks to four turbos, 16 cylinders, and a veritable ocean of gasoline, the Bug tops out at 261 mph. Amazingly, the Chiron can, in theory, go even faster, but finding the right tires to do so is a challenge.

But while Merc has yet to actually reveal the Project One, I think the relatively low 217-mph top speed isn’t really the point. What really makes it stand out is its F1-inspired powertrain, and as such, I’m expecting godly levels of grip and physics-defying acceleration numbers. In this case, it’s not how fast you can go, but how fast you can get there.

Which opens up the question of how we should measure what it means to be “fast.” 217 mph might not seem that quick compared to 261 mph, but if you can hit 217 from a dig in 10 seconds, I think we’ll all agree – that’s fast (or maybe “quick” would be the more appropriate nomenclature). Or take something like a Dakar rally machine. Top speed in those things is only about 130 mph, but thanks to crazy suspension travel and an unbreakable chassis, they can do 130 over just about any kind of terrain. And that’s fast too.

So then, dear reader, what’s fast mean to you?

PostHeaderIcon Think the Note 7 Fiasco was a Disaster? Just Wait Until Samsung Puts Autonomous Cars on the Road!

No company is immune to building an Edsel, but one of the most prominent failures in world history has to be the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. I mean, this phone was responsible for causing some people severe burns, it destroyed a number of vehicles, and was even banned from airplanes because they could suddenly catch fire or, for the most part, blow up. For what could have been a pretty serious tragedy for a prominent technology company, Samsung came out of that shit storm smelling like a rose. In fact, fans of the brand have been quite forgiving and, as such, Samsung has been said to be offering Note 7 owners a pretty significant discount to help keep them all happy. But, that’s not why I’m talking to you today. Instead, I’m here to tell you that Samsung has just received approval and a permit from California to put self-driving cars on the road. Yes, you read that right – the company that brought you the explosive Note 7 could soon put autonomous cars on the road.

Of course, there’s really nothing to freak out about quite yet. The company may have failed miserably with the Note 7, but some of you are driving around with Samsung battery technology in your vehicles right now. Yup, that’s right. Samsung SDI, a division of Samsung, supplies batteries for electric cars and has joined other tech companies like LG and Panasonic in venturing toward automotive products instead of the usual electronics that consume nearly every second of our lives. Unlike other big tech brands out there though, Samsung actually has a history with the automotive world, as it did have its own vehicle division back in the 1990s. But, thanks to the Asian financial crisis, no cars were ever produced and it was sold off to Renault by the turn of the millennium. After the acquisition, there were a total of a total of three cars produced – the Samsung SM 3, SM 5, and SM 7. If you live in the right part of the world, you might recognize the name Renault-Samsung Motors. The brand is basically the equivalent of what Opel was to GM as it sells rebadged Renaults and Nissans in certain models.

With that said, Samsung hasn’t released any information as to what it will have on the road in California or how soon it will manage to get a self-driving car on the road. But, you can bet they are coming at some point. Recently, the company was given permission to do the same thing on the streets of South Korea and has been using various but modified Hyundai models as test mules for its self-driving software and technology. So, there could eventually be a handful of Hyundai’s with Samsung technology cruising around Los Angeles, or who knows, maybe Samsung will eventually design its own car and try the market again. Considering most of you probably don’t even remember that Samsung had a car division, I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one, but you never know. With that in mind, let’s just hope that when these self-driving cars hit the streets of L.A., they aren’t as explosive as the Note 7 – the last thing we need is a bunch of autonomous cars rolling around and blowing up at random. This country has enough problems for now. But, what do you guys think? Let us know in the comments section below!

PostHeaderIcon Detroit Electric Still Has A Pulse, Or So It Claims

Believe it or not, but Detroit Electric is still alive and kicking. I won’t hate on anyone thinking otherwise because even I thought the company had long hit the dirt. But it’s apparently not true. The company is headed to the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicles event in the U.K. next week and it’s bringing an announcement of some kind that points towards its future as an EV company. This should be interesting.

The company was coy on details when it announced its intentions, but it seems that it’s now on a far better financial footing than where it was in the past. At least that’s the picture Chief Technical Officer and Company Director, Richie Frost, tried to paint when he said that the company has “secured the solid financial foundation to embark on our business plan.” More to that, Frost added that the company is actually embarking on a major recruiting drive with plans to fill its ranks with anywhere from 150 to 200 new employees. For sure, it’s a revealing development that puts to light a different perspective on what the company’s status is at the moment and moving forward. Whether this new-found optimism lasts is an entirely different matter. After all, this is the same company that promised to launch the SP:01 electric sports car three years ago and then added an electric SUV and an electric sedan to its plans two years ago. Nothing’s come out of it so it’s going to be interesting to see if the “solid financial foundation” Frost is talking about has legitimate legs to it.

Continue after the jump to read the full story

PostHeaderIcon Ford’s Trying To One-Up Toyota In Useful Patent Applications

It’s hard to imagine these days being the season of strange patent applications, and yet here we are. Another day, another automaker with an amusing patent application that, in hindsight, should probably have been done years ago. Ford, for all of its engineering and innovation, is now looking into developing a unique contraption that essentially makes cup holders a lot more useful than they already are.

Imagine this: you have a hot cup of coffee while you’re on the road. The only place to put it in is in the cup holder, right? Well, cup holders have never been the most useful of items because any sudden external force experienced by a car, be it acceleration or braking, ends with the contents of the cup, in this case, coffee, spilling everywhere. Ford, however, has a designed what it calls a self-leveling cup holder that renders all these external forces moot. You can blast off the highway, brake suddenly, and the coffee stays where it’s supposed to be: inside the cup. The device itself is a good idea. A little strange, or at least late in the game, but a good idea nonetheless. It’s on par with Toyota’s own under-seat device patent application, which itself is a fascinating new wrinkle to the functionality of a car’s interior. It’s unclear, though, whether Ford has any plans for this patent beyond applying for it. Don’t expect it to arrive soon because even if the Blue Oval does bring this new feature to life, it’s unlikely to happen anytime soon. Still, a self-leveling cup holder that’ll keep your beverage in place sounds like a good idea.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Take a Quick Look at What it will be like to Travel at High Speed in Elon Musk’s HyperLoop!

One could argue that Elon Musk is the world’s best guru when it comes to revolutionizing the way we transport our weak, frail bodies from point A to point B. He’s pretty much the man responsible for the EV craze that has swept the world and led some markets to consider banning non-EVs altogether, simply by showing that long-range electric cars are possible. He’s also got some other crazy ideas that have, so far, proven to be on their way to being just as successful as the Tesla brand. Of course, I’m talking about building hyperloops for faster travel and digging tunnels to combat traffic congestion. Should both prove to be successful, Musk will have successfully rewritten the book on high-speed travel and mass transit at the same time. Talk about trying to find your way into the history books, huh? Like most people with outrageous and groundbreaking ideas, he has been met with a lot of skepticism, but as it turns out, everything continues to fall into place as it should. And now, some students over in Germany, have shown us what 200 mph will be like inside one of these crazy Hyperloop tunnels.

Of course, this is a small demonstration, and the WARR pod used to make the run isn’t exactly the real McCoy. It’s quite a bit smaller, but assumingly to scale, and a preview of what we can expect – to a point. See, Musk speculates that his Hyperloop tunnel will be able to transport folks like you and I and speeds of up to 800 mph. Let me say that again… 800 MPH! Now, that’s fast. So fast, in fact, that it beats out the cruising speed of a Boeing 747 by nearly 200 mph. So, keep that in mind when you watch the video below. 200 MPH looks pretty damn fast, but increase the speed by a factor of four, and you’ll really see what kind of insane speeds we’re talking about. Musk says it will be safe, but just imagine one of those pods dislodging at 800 MPH – now that’s a scary accident from which the likelihood of surviving is pretty slim.

PostHeaderIcon Elon Musk Receives Official Approval for The Boring Company’s First Tunnel under L.A., but it Doesn’t Mean what you Think

I just brought you news about the potential opportunity to pilot the tunnel-digging beast that is Godot, assuming you have enough friends who want a Model S or Model X – and your opportunity might take place under the streets of Los Angeles. As of the morning of August 29, Elon Musk has received official approval from Los Angeles City Council to begin extending the tunnel he begun on SpaceX’s property a total of two miles. The council approved his request with a 4-1 vote (who really downvoted this, seriously?) and have authorized a two-mile stretch of tunnel below 120th street, effectively connecting the SpaceX car elevator to Hawthorne Boulevard by the time everything is said and done. It’s not all fun and games, though, and it could prove to be challenging as there is at least one requirement that The Boring Company must follow.

All told, Godot can do its thing under 120th under the stipulation that the surface area above doesn’t subside by more than half of an inch in any place. There’s no word as to what will happen should such a thing take place, but one has to assume that digging will be halted until a solution can be put in place and a new plan devised to prevent such a thing from occurring in the future. On the plus side, the tunnel will be dug at a depth of 44 feet below ground, which means city residents shouldn’t hear any of the construction, see construction crews, or have their lives interrupted in any way, shape, or form – assuming 120th doesn’t collapse into a massive man-made trench, that is. And, to prove a point, Musk has already released a photo of a Model S sitting inside the tunnel at its very first entry point. Check out the photo and learn a little more about it below.

PostHeaderIcon Auto Show Season Is Coming, But Does It Really Matter?

We’ve all heard it before – the auto show isn’t long for this world. As high costs, new technology, and a shift in consumer interest continues to chip away at this standard-bearer event of the industry, it’s impossible not to hear the critics cry out that the sky is falling. Indeed, there are few trends that warrant a raised eyebrow. Take the decline in automaker participation at traditionally well-attended shows like Frankfurt, which this year won’t see the likes of Alfa Romeo, Jeep, Fiat, Nissan, Infiniti, and Peugeot, among others. Then you have an automaker like Tesla, which seems to shirk any and all connections to the industry status quo, including auto shows. So the question is this – will the auto show format we know today cease to be?

Here’s my take – yes and no. There’s no denying that the industry is changing very rapidly, and auto shows have to keep pace in order to stay relevant. Hence the huge influx of tech like virtual reality booths, app integration, and live streaming debuts that we’re seeing, all of which are immediately obvious reactions to the changes currently taking place.

So where are we headed? Long story short, into uncharted waters. The model for showing off cars and getting consumers engaged is headed towards more accessibility, more customization, and more hands-on experience, all of which an auto show can provide, given the right prep. After all, until we’ve all got a holodeck in the basement, there are still plenty of things to experience outside the confines of a glowing computer screen.

Major automakers will likely continue to participate in these annual events, but innovation is needed to evolve the format. Behind-the-wheel driving and ride-alongs will surely continue to draw the crowds, as will advanced VR and opportunities to meet industry super stars.

So don’t worry, the auto show isn’t going anywhere, it’s probably just gonna get a little smaller and look a little different, not to mention get a whole lot more interesting.

PostHeaderIcon Refer your Homies to Tesla, and You Might Get to Drive Godot, Elon Musk’s Prized Tunnel Digger

If you’ve been paying attention for the last few years, you know Elon Musk has a funny way of driving sales, generating money, and enticing customers. When it comes to money, the man might as well have a key to Fort Knox, and with Tesla’s referral program, he’s coming up with ways that really make you want to push your friends to jump on the EV bandwagon. As reported by Teslarati, Tesla’s newest incentive, which is currently called “Secret Level Two,” allows members of the referral program to give five more of your friends unlimited supercharging and $1,000 off of a new Model X or Model S. But, that’s not all, if all five of those people take delivery, you’ll get the chance to drive Godot and will get unlimited bragging rights to remind all of your friends that you got to take part in digging holes under cities like Los Angeles – where Musk just recently received official approval to start his mass transit tunnel.

So, get enough people to spend some $80,000 on a Tesla, and you could take place in a piece of history should Musk’s tunneling system really work out. Who knows, maybe he’ll even be nice enough to let you engrave your initials inside one of the tunnels or sign your name on Godot somewhere for the world to see. Right now, however, Godot is at rest, hibernating some 15 feet below the surface of Tesla’s parking lot in Hawthorne, California – the site of Musk’s test hole and what undoubtedly led to him getting the interest of some city officials in making his transit system a reality. Musk has even been quoted by other publications as saying “I’ve been down there on the machine and it’s mind-blowing.” Hard to believe for a machine that quite literally craws through the earth like a big earth worm, but how often do you get to take part in digging a tunnel with a beast of a machine like Godot?
Check out the “Secret Level 2” alerts below and learn a little more about The Boring Company.

PostHeaderIcon Getting Ready For Winter With FWD

So the old Scoobaru isn’t the greatest place at the moment. It’s got a leaking transmission, and while I won’t go into the technical details, it’s gonna need some loving before it’s back to running in tip-top shape. You know, the expensive, time-intensive sort of loving. In all honesty, I’m not totally sure when it’s gonna be back up to snuff, and with the winter months closing in fast, I’m a little nervous. I live high in the mountains of northern California, and while the skiing is great, AWD is really the optimal transportation solution four months out of the year. But when power at all four corners isn’t an option, whatddya do? You work with what you got. Luckily, what I’ve got is a second car – my spouse’s Mazda6. It’s a lovely sedan, great for long trips (especially compared to the loud, brash, harsh Subaru), and it’s a definite smile-maker in the corners. But how will it handle in the snow, and how do I make the most of FWD during the winter months?

These are the questions I’ve been wrestling with as I work on getting the Subaru back online, and luckily, I think I’ve got a few answers. Read on for some tips and tricks for making FWD work in the snow

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Judge Rules Texting and Driving Accidents Aren’t Apple’s Fault

These days lawsuits are passed around like dirty diapers, with every American looking to hold someone responsible for anything they can think of. But it also comes down to people not wanting to take responsibility for their own stupidity, either. Just think of all the frivolous lawsuits surrounding Tesla, and its AutoPilot software – most of these were complete crap, and people didn’t want to admit they drove their car into their own house. Well, the same thing boils down to texting and driving, with people wanting to blame phone manufacturers for not doing something to block distracted driving. In this case, I’m talking about Apple, and the lawsuit brought against the company by David Riggs, whose son was unfortunately killed way too soon by someone who was texting and driving. That lawsuit has been withstanding for a while now, but it’s finally coming to a close.

Whether or not Apple has really put profits above safety remains to be seen but, much like the case from 2016 that said it was unreasonable that Apple be held “responsible for ultimate harm,” the Judge ruled in Apple’s favor for this case as well and dismissed this lawsuit, ultimately saying that blaming of the fatal accident on Apple was “attenuated.” The case was thrown out and cannot be filed under the same claim again. The driver that was responsible for the accident was charged with a misdemeanor for using his iPhone while driving, but Riggs ultimately wanted to put the blame on Apple. For now, it looks like Riggs will have to look somewhere else to place blame, and should perhaps consider going after the person responsible for the accident… just a thought.

PostHeaderIcon Storm Chaser Live Streams Insane Hurricane Harvey Footage

There’s certainly no shortage of dramatic footage coming from Hurricane Harvey, but this is, without a doubt, the scariest we’ve seen thus far. Broadcast live by Jeff Piotrowski, a professional storm chaser, Emmy Award winner, and owner of nerves of steel, the video comes from Rockport, Texas, taken right smack dab in the middle of the storm as it tore its way through the state over the weekend. Roughly 1.5 million viewers looked on as Piotrowski took refuge in an open car wash with the eyewall approaching, watching the intense wind and rain slam into the area, even tearing apart the building he was using for cover. Wind speed reportedly hit as high as 150 mph, and at one point during the stream, the building Pitrowski used to protect himself and his truck is ripped apart.

The stormchaser later posted pictures and video taken from inside the eye of the storm before braving the second eyewall and dodging debris. Luckily, Pitrowsky managed to make it out unscathed, but the footage is evidence of just how hairy things got. Granted, Piotrowski is a pro with decades of experience chasing down the nastiest that Mother Nature has to offer, but still – stay safe out there.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Storm Chaser Live Streams Insane Hurricane Harvey Footage

There’s certainly no shortage of dramatic footage coming from Hurricane Harvey, but this is, without a doubt, the scariest we’ve seen thus far. Broadcast live by Jeff Piotrowski, a professional storm chaser, Emmy Award winner, and owner of nerves of steel, the video comes from Rockport, Texas, taken right smack dab in the middle of the storm as it tore its way through the state over the weekend. Roughly 1.5 million viewers looked on as Piotrowski took refuge in an open car wash with the eyewall approaching, watching the intense wind and rain slam into the area, even tearing apart the building he was using for cover. Wind speed reportedly hit as high as 150 mph, and at one point during the stream, the building Pitrowski used to protect himself and his truck is ripped apart.

The stormchaser later posted pictures and video taken from inside the eye of the storm before braving the second eyewall and dodging debris. Luckily, Pitrowsky managed to make it out unscathed, but the footage is evidence of just how hairy things got. Granted, Piotrowski is a pro with decades of experience chasing down the nastiest that Mother Nature has to offer, but still – stay safe out there.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Reporter Flags Down Sheriff To Save Stranded Truck Driver

As we continue to look through the images and stories of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey, it’s comforting to come across something like this. During a live broadcast covering the flooding, local news team KHOU reporter Brandi Smith found a trucker stranded in his cabin. Broadcasting live on a deserted highway, Smith managed to flag down a passing Sheriff that just so happened to be towing a boat, informing the officers about the trucker on the street below. Thankfully, the deputies managed to get the trucker to safety without incident.

The drama was posted to Twitter showing Smith’s efforts to help save the man. A follow-up post to Facebook shows the Sheriff deputies loading the rescue boat into the water and approaching the cab of the truck before the driver manages to crawl out the window and into the boat. Smith later confirmed the man was okay and would try to “find a hotel.”

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Petroleum Industry Feels Effects of Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey is the most powerful storm to hit Texas in over half a century, wreaking havoc across the state and causing at least two fatalities. High winds and widespread flooding have devastated the Gulf Coast, and the U.S. petroleum industry is feeling the impact as a result. Many refineries have ceased production, while several ports involved in the export of oil have closed. Reuters reports that between Texas and Louisiana, refining capacity is capped at roughly 8.9 million bpd, with Texas contributing 5.6 million bpd and Louisiana contributing 3.3 million bpd. With the arrival of Hurricane Harvey, an estimated 2 million bpd has been knocked out.

As a result, crude oil futures took a dive on Monday, while gas prices soared.

Asian and European sources will likely see a bump in terms of exports, but experts say global refining margins are expected to stay strong. Meanwhile, fuel shortages are being reported in Latin America as exports from Texas drop off. Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency has announced that it would respond to any major oil supply disruptions. As of this writing, it’s unclear how quickly production will return to normal levels, but as flooding spreads east towards Louisiana, it’s likely we’ll see some sort of long term impact on production.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Petroleum Industry Feels Effects of Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey is the most powerful storm to hit Texas in over half a century, wreaking havoc across the state and causing at least two fatalities. High winds and widespread flooding have devastated the Gulf Coast, and the U.S. petroleum industry is feeling the impact as a result. Many refineries have ceased production, while several ports involved in the export of oil have closed. Reuters reports that between Texas and Louisiana, refining capacity is capped at roughly 8.9 million bpd, with Texas contributing 5.6 million bpd and Louisiana contributing 3.3 million bpd. With the arrival of Hurricane Harvey, an estimated 2 million bpd has been knocked out.

As a result, crude oil futures took a dive on Monday, while gas prices soared.

Asian and European sources will likely see a bump in terms of exports, but experts say global refining margins are expected to stay strong. Meanwhile, fuel shortages are being reported in Latin America as exports from Texas drop off. Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency has announced that it would respond to any major oil supply disruptions. As of this writing, it’s unclear how quickly production will return to normal levels, but as flooding spreads east towards Louisiana, it’s likely we’ll see some sort of long term impact on production.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Who Knew That Supervolcanoes Could Be Important To The Auto Industry?

The wonders of this world never cease to be amazing. Just when you thought we’ve figured everything out about this planet of ours, scientists stumble into a new discovery that could alter the future of the auto industry. No, they haven’t figured out a way to make cars fly or make them invincible; they’ve found an unlikely source of lithium that could be a tremendous boost to the advent of electric cars: supervolcanoes.

Scientists and researchers at Stanford University made the discovery when they examined and analyzed the contents of the craters that were created by supervolcanoes millions of years ago across the entire U.S., including Nevada. Upon careful study of the volcanic magma hiding in crystals in the craters, including slicing bits of magma that were trapped in the crystals, scientists discovered the presence of the highly combustible silvery white alkali metal. This discovery could be a boon to the auto industry, which has become increasingly reliant on lithium, which serves as the beating heart element of the batteries that are the core of any electric vehicle. While there’s still no certainty that the lithium discovered in supervolcanoes can be mined on a massive scale, the mere discovery could have short- and long-term ramifications on a number of industries. The auto world, in particular, will inevitably need more lithium if it really wants electric cars to be the future of the industry. It’s good to know that these supervolcanoes have turned out to be sources of the same material that the business needs in abundance.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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