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UC Riverside team fabricates nanosilicon anodes for Li-ion batteries from waste glass bottles

23 April 2017

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have used waste glass bottles and a low-cost chemical process to fabricate nanosilicon anodes for high-performance lithium-ion batteries.

Coin cell batteries made using the glass bottle-based silicon anodes greatly outperformed traditional batteries in laboratory tests. Carbon-coated glass derived-silicon (gSi@C) electrodes demonstrated excellent electrochemical performance with a capacity of ~1420 mAh g-1 at C/2 rate after 400 cycles. An open access paper describing the research was published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.

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Clemson research developing integrated modeling and control systems to reduce particulates from GDI engines

21 April 2017

Simona Onori, an assistant professor at Clemson University, has received a $500,000 Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation to advance her work to develop integrated modeling and control for aftertreatment systems to reduce fine-particle emissions from gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines.

GDI engines now account for about 60% of the US market, and their use worldwide is forecast to grow. GDI engines have better fuel economy and lower carbon-dioxide emissions than more conventional port fuel injection engines; however, the technology results in higher fine-particle emissions. The research Onori and her team are doing focuses on gasoline particulate filters (GPF). While the dynamics of diesel engine particulate filters (DPF) are well understood, particulates produced in GDI engines have substantially different characteristics.

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Dongfeng Motor to use Visteon SmartCore cockpit domain controller; third SmartCore win

21 April 2017

China’s second largest vehicle manufacturer, Dongfeng Motor, has selected Visteon’s SmartCore cockpit domain controller technology (earlier post) for a future domestic Chinese light vehicle program. This will be Visteon’s first SmartCore application in China, the company’s largest market and the world’s biggest automotive market.

With the average number of ECUs in high-end vehicles more than doubling over the past decade, it is essential to more efficiently manage the increasing cost and complexity of in-vehicle electronics. (Earlier post.) SmartCore combines previously separate instrument clusters, head-up displays (HUD) and advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) domains on a one-chip, multi-domain controller featuring a single integrated human-machine interface (HMI)..

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SunLine Transit receives $12.5M for five H2-powered buses, H2 generating station in Coachella Valley

21 April 2017

California Climate Investments is awarding a $12.5-million grant to SunLine Transit Agency for five new zero-emission New Flyer hydrogen fuel cell buses. The grant also supports the development of the largest hydrogen fueling station in the US of its kind, from Hydrogenics, using electricity and renewable energy to generate clean hydrogen.

The grant is part of the state’s effort to use proceeds from the climate change cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gases, including a widespread effort to promote low carbon transit such as hydrogen-powered or electric buses throughout California, with a special focus on serving disadvantaged communities.

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Hyundai launches new subscription program for Ioniq Electric

21 April 2017

Hyundai Motor America launched its new “Ioniq Unlimited+” electric vehicle subscription program for California residents. This innovative program offers a carefree way to drive Hyundai’s newest zero-emission, eco-focused vehicle; the 2017 Ioniq Electric. (Earlier post.)

Electric shoppers in California are now able to select one fixed payment for a 36-month term. No other manufacturer currently offers this kind of subscription option for their battery-electric vehicle offerings. Hyundai designed the entire process to be transparent, stress-free and enjoyable. The monthly payment includes:

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EEA: Fuel efficiency improvements of new cars in Europe slowed in 2016

20 April 2017

The fuel efficiency of new cars sold in the European Union (EU) continued to improve last year but at a slower rate, according to provisional data from the European Environment Agency. The 1.4 g of CO2/km reduction (-1.2%) compared to 2015 constitutes the smallest annual improvement recorded over the last decade.

Official emissions have decreased by a total of more than 22 g CO2/km (-16%) since 2010, when an updated monitoring system started under the current EU legislation. The EU remains well below its target of 130 g CO2/km set for 2015; however, compared to 2016, annual improvements in vehicle efficiency need to increase significantly in each of the coming five years in order to achieve the second average emissions target of 95 g CO2/km by 2021.

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Researchers uncover mechanism behind oil synthesis in algae

20 April 2017

Researchers led by a team from Kobe University in Japan have revealed the mechanism behind oil synthesis within microalgae cells. Many species of algae are capable of producing large amounts of oil (lipids), but this is the first time that researchers have captured the metabolic changes occurring on a molecular level when lipids are produced in algae cells.

The discovery could contribute to the development of biofuels. The findings were published in an open access paper in the journal Scientific Reports.

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Velodyne introduces new low-cost fixed-laser solid-state LiDAR for autonomous driving and ADAS applications

20 April 2017

Velodyne LiDAR announced its new fixed-laser, solid-state Velarray LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensor, a cost-effective yet high-performance and rugged automotive product in a small form factor. (Earlier post.) The Velarray sensor can be seamlessly embedded in both autonomous vehicles and advanced driver-assist safety (ADAS) systems.

The new Velarray LiDAR sensor uses Velodyne’s proprietary ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) to achieve superior performance metrics in a small package size of 125mm x 50mm x 55mm that can be embedded into the front, sides, and corners of vehicles. It provides up to a 120-degree horizontal and 35-degree vertical field-of-view, with a 200-meter range even for low-reflectivity objects.

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USC team demonstrates novel hydrogen storage system; amine reforming of methanol

20 April 2017

A team at the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute and Department of Chemistry, University of Southern California, has demonstrated a novel hydrogen storage system based on the release of hydrogen from catalytic dehydrogenative coupling of methanol and 1,2-diamine. The hydrogen-generating step of this process can be termed as “amine reforming of methanol”—in analogy to traditional steam methane reforming, but without the concurrent production of CO2 (unlike steam reforming) or CO (by complete methanol dehydrogenation).

A paper on the team’s work, which is part of their long-term development of aspects of the “Methanol Economy” (earlier post), is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

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Dana showcasing electrified technologies at Auto Shanghai

20 April 2017

At Auto Shanghai 2017, Dana Incorporated is showcasing select technologies from its Spicer Electrified portfolio of fully integrated motor, control, and e-drive technologies, as well as thermal-management products for electric and hybrid vehicles.

On display is Dana’s new Spicer electric motor-driven gearbox, which is specifically engineered to deliver better acceleration and higher torque in high-speed battery electric vehicles (BEV). Additionally, Dana’s new Spicer Electrified e-axles for electric transit buses and city delivery vehicles feature a fully integrated motor and gear box and leverage the company’s experience in chassis drivetrain applications. These e-axles are planned for launch in 2018.

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Toyota North America unveils hydrogen-fuel-cell heavy-duty truck proof-of-concept; twin Mirai fuel cell stacks

19 April 2017

Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMNA) revealed “Project Portal”—a hydrogen fuel cell system designed for heavy-duty trucks applied in a Class 8 truck for use at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA).

Announced at a press conference with Port officials and representatives from California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Energy Commission (CEC), the zero-emission truck proof-of-concept will take part in a feasibility study examining the potential of fuel cell technology in heavy duty applications. The study will begin this summer and contribute to the Port’s Clean Air Action Plan, which has significantly reduced harmful emissions from operations at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles since 2005.

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GKN Driveline presents fully integrated compact eDrive system in Shanghai; less weight, lower cost, easier integration

19 April 2017

GKN Driveline has presented an advanced technology concept for a fully integrated, compact eDrive system at the 2017 Auto Shanghai motor show. All of the components of GKN’s eDrive system are contained within a bespoke housing, resulting in optimized packaging and greatly simplifying the integration process for car manufacturers. The system generates a maximum 65kW of power and can deliver up to 2,000 N·m of torque to the rear wheels.

GKN’s complete eDrive system packages the water-cooled electric motor, power inverter and single-speed eAxle reduction gearbox within a single casing. The all-in-one eDrive system replaces external wiring with a bus bar to eliminate unnecessary mechanical interfaces. The close proximity of the components results in improvements in both mechanical and electrical efficiency compared to today’s technology.

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