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Sandia, Lawrence Livermore team improves solid-state H2 storage using nano-confinement; new paradigm for hydrogen storage

25 February 2017

Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, Mahidol University in Thailand and the National Institute of Standards and Technology have leveraged nano-confinement to develop an efficient solid-state hydrogen storage system that could be a boon for hydrogen-powered vehicles.

The researchers examined the high-capacity lithium nitride (Li3N) hydrogen storage system under nanoconfinement. Using a combination of theoretical and experimental techniques, they showed that the pathways for the uptake and release of hydrogen were fundamentally changed by the presence of nano-interfaces, leading to significantly faster performance and reversibility. The research appears on the cover of the 23 Feb. edition of the journal Advanced Materials Interfaces.

Continue Reading “Sandia, Lawrence Livermore team improves solid-state H2 storage using nano-confinement; new paradigm for hydrogen storage”

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Next-Gen Ford Fiesta St with new 200 PS 3-cylinder, 1.5L Ecoboost with 3 drive modes; cylinder deactivation

24 February 2017

Ford Performance unveiled the next generation Ford Fiesta ST, powered by an all-new three-cylinder, 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine. Shown for the first time ahead of its global public debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month, the next generation Fiesta ST will deliver 200 PS, 290 N·m of torque, and anticipated 0-100 km/h (0‑62 mph) acceleration in 6.7 seconds.

The third generation of Fiesta ST will be the first Ford Performance model ever powered by a three-cylinder engine, and will be the first Fiesta ST to feature selectable Drive Modes—enabling engine, steering and stability controls to be configured to Normal, Sport and Track settings.

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NSF to award $13M to projects focused on electrochemical and organic photovoltaic systems

24 February 2017

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) will award more than $13 million to projects in the Energy for Sustainability program. The goal of the Energy for Sustainability program is to support fundamental engineering research that will enable innovative processes for the sustainable production of electricity and fuels, and for energy storage. Processes for sustainable energy production must be environmentally benign, reduce greenhouse gas production, and utilize renewable resources.

The focus of this funding opportunity (PD-17-7644) is on electrochemical energy systems and organic photovoltaics.

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New Turbo S E-Hybrid PHEV to be the flagship model in the Panamera line

24 February 2017

Porsche is launching the new Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid plug-in hybrid as the flagship of a model line for the first time. The four-liter V8 engine from the Panamera Turbo is combined with an electric motor, resulting in 500 kW/680 hp of system power and outstanding power delivery—even when just above idle speed, the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid—the second hybrid variant in the Panamera lineup—offers an 850 N·m (627 lb-ft) of torque. The new PHEV accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of 310 km/h (193 mph).

The boost strategy of the all-wheel drive Panamera comes from the 918 Spyder super sportscar. (Earlier post.) In the New European Driving Cycle, the average fuel consumption is 2.9 l/100 km (81 mpg US), and the new flagship Panamera can drive on fully electric power for up to 50 kilometers. Porsche says that the new Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid underlines the high importance of electromobility to the company.

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Toyota delivers fuel cell bus to Tokyo Metropolitan Government; more than 100 planned by 2020 Olympics

24 February 2017

Toyota Motor Corporation delivered the first fuel cell bus (FC bus) sold under the Toyota brand to the Bureau of Transportation of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. This FC bus will be put into operation as a Toei route bus in March along with a second bus that is scheduled for delivery in the same month.

Toyota plans to introduce more than 100 FC buses mainly within the Tokyo area, ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The increased use of FC buses in urban areas is expected to help raise the level of understanding by the general public regarding the use of FC buses as a form of public transportation.

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Navy researchers produce high-density, high-cetane bio-hydrocarbon fuels from sesquiterpenes; jet and diesel

23 February 2017

Researchers at the Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division, China Lake have produced three new high-density, high-cetane biofuels from sesquiterpene feedstocks. In an open-access paper published in the RSC journal Sustainable Energy & Fuels, they describe the preparation of the three fuels from sesquiterpene components of cedarwood oil.

The three biofuels described in the work could outperform conventional fuels. The researchers, Kale Harrison and Benjamin Harvey, note that with recent advances in metabolic engineering, the generation of multicyclic sesquiterpenes from biomass sugars could allow for the production of these new fuels on a commercial scale.

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Qualcomm and LG bringing 5G and Cellular-V2X communications into vehicles

23 February 2017

Qualcomm Incorporated, through its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and LG Electronics (LG) announced coordinated efforts to facilitate testing and adoption of 5G and Cellular-V2X (C-V2X) communications into vehicles. Qualcomm Technologies and LG expect to showcase these next-generation wireless technologies through trials during the first half of 2018. This work builds on the long-established relationship between Qualcomm Technologies and LG since the two delivered their first telematics system in 2004.

On the path to 5G, LG is developing advanced automotive connectivity solutions based on Qualcomm Technologies’ connected car platform, which features support for Gigabit LTE speeds using the Qualcomm Snapdragon X16 LTE modem (earlier post), and is complemented by the QCA65x4 Wi-Fi 802.11ac solution. The connected car platform also supports 802.11p/DSRC and C-V2X, based upon 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 14 specifications. (Earlier post.)

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European truck manufacturers call for action to prevent aftermarket manipulation of NOx emissions controls

23 February 2017

In the wake of a report by the German television station ZDF identifying widespread aftermarket manipulation of NOx emissions control technologies on trucks, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) is calling for government action to preclude such manipulation.

The ZDF report, based on research ZDF commissioned at the University of Heidelberg, found that some 20% of trucks operating in eastern Europe have effectively circumvented NOx reduction technology, causing around 14,000 tonnes more NOx to be emitted per year than would be the case if all trucks that say they use AdBlue were doing so. The additional 14,000 tonnes of NOx would make it twice the size of the Volkswagen “Dieselgate” scandal of 2015, noted environmental NGO T&E.

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EIA: China’s use of methanol in liquid fuels has grown rapidly since 2000; >500K bpd in 2016

23 February 2017

China is the global leader in methanol use and has recently expanded its methanol production capacity. Now, a study commissioned by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) from eia.gov (a global provider of analysis on energy and commodities), finds that since the early 2000s, China’s consumption of methanol in fuel products has risen sharply. The report estimates consumption to have been more than 500,000 barrels per day (b/d) in 2016.

EIA commissioned the study to better understand China’s consumption of methanol and its derivatives. The estimates developed in the study have now been incorporated into EIA’s historical data and forecasts of petroleum and other liquids consumption in China.

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Auto Alliance urges EPA to withdraw premature Final Determination on light-duty GHG regulations, resume Midterm Evaluation process with NHTSA

23 February 2017

The Auto Alliance has sent a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt requesting that the US Environmental Protection Agency withdraw the Final Determination on the Appropriateness of the Model Year 2022-2025 Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards under the Midterm Evaluation which EPA announced on 13 January 2017. (Earlier post.)

It its letter, the Alliance argues that by rushing to issue the Final Determination (which maintains the current GHG standards as defined through 2025) in January 2017, EPA abrogated its commitment to a robust Midterm Evaluation of the standards in coordination with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is conducting its own midterm review of the fuel economy standards through 2025. Furthermore, the Alliance argues, EPA never published the final rules in the Federal Register. The Alliance is not arguing for a rollback of standards; instead, it is arguing for a resumption of the original Midterm Evaluation timetable (to which NHTSA appears to be adhering), that would result in findings by April 2018.

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Alfa’s first SUV: the Stelvio

23 February 2017

Alfa Romeo is introducing its first SUV, the Stelvio. The Stelvio is Italy’s highest mountain pass and Highway 38, which crosses it, more than 20 kilometers in length and with more than 75 hairpin bends, has iconic status. The new SUV delivers sports-car-handling, with balanced weight distribution, the most direct steering ratio in the segment and state-of-the-art suspension with the exclusive Alfalink technology.

Stelvio features extensive use of ultra-lightweight, hi-tech materials including carbon fiber for the drive shaft and aluminium for the engines, suspension systems, hood, wings, doors and the tailgate. The Stelvio SUV also features the Alfa Romeo Q4 all-wheel drive system, and can be equipped with mechanical self-locking rear differential on request.

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Tesla posts 79% gain in automotive revenue in Q$2016 to $1.994B, drops back into red

23 February 2017

Tesla posted a strong increase in automotive revenue in the fourth quarter of 2016, rising 79% year-on-year to $1.994 billion. However, the company dropped back to a net loss for the quarter of $121 million. Total revenue for the full year hit $7 billion. In Q4, global net orders for Model S and X combined rose more than 49%, compared to the same period in 2015, as both vehicles continue to win over new customers.

In its quarterly update, Tesla said that the Model 3 program is on track to start limited vehicle production in July and to ramp production steadily to exceed 5,000 vehicles per week at some point in the fourth quarter and 10,000 vehicles per week at some point in 2018. To support accelerating vehicle deliveries and maintain our industry-leading customer satisfaction, Tesla will expand its retail, Supercharger, and service functions.

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