4G with your coffee? Verizon sticks LTE in just about everything

Verizon is putting LTE chips in TouchTunes’ new digital karaoke machines, but that’s not all. At CES, Verizon seemed determined to embed its latest wireless network technology into anything that could conceivably need an Internet connection, including ATM machines, robots and photo booths.

Connected Car App Users Accelerating 40-Fold by 2016

With more chips, our cars are getting smarter. That paves the road for more mobile apps that work between a phone and a vehicle: 129 million will use such apps by 2016, up from the 3.2 million consumers this year. What will the apps look like?

MyFord Mobile App Makes Ford Focus a Smart Car

Ford today announced a new mobile app to help drivers remotely manage energy consumption in the automaker’s upcoming Ford Focus Electric vehicle. The software can schedule and monitor the recharge process, and plan intelligent driving routes with recharging stations along the way.

French Coup: Daimler to Build Electric Smart Car in France, Invest Millions

daimler-sarkozyDaimler AG (s DAI), as it closes in on the November start date for its initial run of electric vehicles — 1,000 Smart Fortwo minicars set to be built with Tesla Motors battery technology — is mapping out the road to large-scale production. The German automaker this morning announced that it will invest a “double-digit million euro amount” toward readying a plant in Hambach, France, for production of the electric Smart in 2012.

The French government — which last week unveiled a 14-point plan to accelerate development, production and sales of electric vehicles in the country — along with regional authorities will provide funding for 15 percent of Daimler’s project costs in Hambach. Read More about French Coup: Daimler to Build Electric Smart Car in France, Invest Millions

Daily Sprout

Bill Gates Gets Into Hybrid Car Tech: Microsoft founder Bill Gates appears as a principal applicant on a new patent for a smart engine that could theoretically switch between electricity and gas power “in response to actual or predicted operating conditions.” — Fast Company
Uh-Oh Nano: A new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says three minicars — the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris and Smart Fortwo — fared poorly in 80 mph head-on collision tests with midsize models. Solution: Cut speed limits and reduce horsepower. — New York Times
Offshore Wind Industry Wants You, UK: The UK will fail to meet its legally binding target of sourcing 15 percent of energy from renewables by 2020 and miss out on tens of thousands of green jobs unless the government helps build out the offshore wind industry, according to a new Institute for Public Policy Research report. — Guardian
Brazil Renewable Portfolio Set to Slip: Brazil gets 46 percent of its energy from renewable sources, compared with the average 13 percent for the rest of the world. But new thermoelectric plants are scheduled to come online and increase the country’s reliance on fossil fuels. — Cleantech Group
Fiat + Chrysler = Cars for the Masses?: A Fiat-Chrysler linkup could bolster Chrysler’s lineup with Fiat’s fuel-efficient cars — and give the Detroit company guidance from the Fiat CEO who sees automaking as “a Wal-Mart industry” rather than a luxury business. — Washington Post

Daimler to Build $9.9M Hybrid Tech Center in Michigan

Less than six months after Michigan lost one high-profile R&D center for alternative-fuel vehicles (that of Tesla Motors, shuttered last fall), the state has wooed another: Daimler AG’s (s DAI) Mercedes-Benz Hybrid subsidiary plans to build a $9.9 million R&D facility in southeast Michigan for propulsion systems that can be used in alternative-fuel as well as conventional vehicles.
Lured away from an alternate site in South Carolina by $7.5 million worth of state tax credits over the next decade (approved yesterday), and possibly more tax incentives at the local level, the automaker will create more than 450 jobs with the project, according to an announcement from the office of Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm.
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Read More about Daimler to Build $9.9M Hybrid Tech Center in Michigan