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Extreme Motorsports Completes Engineering for First Electric Sandcar

Extreme Motorsports of California, Inc. (Xtreme), the world’s only publicly traded sandcar manufacturer, recently completed the engineering and manufacturing plans for the first completely electric sandcar. A conventional 2007 Dune Racer. The Zero Emissions Sandcar (ZES) uses motor and controller technology from Azure Dynamics and a lithium-ion pack from AEVehicles.... Read more →

LA County Lifeguards to Use Fleet of 45 Customized Escape Hybrids

The Los Angeles County Lifeguards (LACL), a division of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, is getting a fleet of 45 Escape Hybrids with Intelligent four-wheel-drive specially equipped for use on rescue patrol. The LACL Escape Hybrid. The Intelligent four-wheel-drive version of the Escape Hybrid offers fuel economy of 29... Read more →

GM Pushes for Ethanol; Update on Cellulosic Biofuels Partner Coskata

Cellulosic ethanol producer Coskata has rapidly brought its microbes to levels of commercial productivity with the assistance of genomic analysis that identified optimized nutritional pathways. Click to enlarge. Source: Coskata General Motors is picking up the pace on its steady push for the adoption of ethanol as a major alternative... Read more →

EIA: ANWR Oil Production Would Peak at 780K Barrels per Day

ANWR production would peak in 2028 (ten years after the start of production). Click to enlarge. Source: EIA The opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR 1002 Area) to oil and natural gas development would result in additional oil production of a peak 780,000 barrels per day in 2027,... Read more →

Concept Engine: Intermeshing Differential Rotors

The basic element of the IDR engine is two intermeshing rotors. Click to enlarge. A South African inventor has developed a new engine concept—the Intermeshing Differential Rotors (IDR) engine—intended to provide a better power-to-mass ratio, improved efficiency, reduced manufacturing cost and durability than current engines. The company commercializing the concept,... Read more →

Researchers Find Upwelling of ‘Acidified’ Water on the Pacific Continental Shelf

A team of researchers from the US, Canada and Mexico found evidence of the acidification of the ocean caused by the ocean’s absorption of carbon dioxide less than 20 miles off the west coast of North America during a field study from Canada to Mexico last summer. This was the... Read more →

Ford Cuts North American Production of Large Trucks and SUVs, Increases Production of Cars and Crossovers

Ford Motor Company announced that it is cutting planned North American production and revising downward its near-term North American Automotive profit outlook, while planning further manufacturing capacity realignments, additional cost reductions and changes to its product mix to respond to the rapidly changing business environment in the US. The company... Read more →

StatoilHydro to Build First Full-Scale Floating Wind Turbine

The HyWind floating turbine. Click to enlarge. StatoilHydro will build the world’s first full-scale floating wind turbine, Hywind, and test it over a two-year period offshore Karmøy, Norway. (Earlier post.) The company is investing approximately 400 million NOK (US$80 million) in the project, and plans to have the floating turbine... Read more →

Report: Toyota and Matsushita Building Two Battery Plants

The Nikkei reports that Toyota Motor Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. intend to build two plants for automotive batteries: one for NiMH cells, the other for Li-ion cells. The companies seek to lift annual production of such batteries to around 1 million units by 2011. Panasonic EV Energy Co.,... Read more →

ARB Approves $221M for Diesel Engine Emission Reduction Projects

The California Air Resources Board approved the final list of diesel emission reduction projects to be funded by the first installment of $221 million out of the $1 billion from voter-endorsed Proposition 1B. ARB voted to distribute $221 million among California’s four trade corridors based on the funding targets adopted... Read more →

Translinc Introduces Smith Edison Electric Van for Courier Service

Translinc, a UK provider of fleet services, is introducing a Smith Edison electric vehicle (earlier post) into courier service for the Lincolnshire County Council (LCC). LCC’s courier service operates eight weekly runs within Lincoln city and throughout the county, supporting the library services, inter-school deliveries and the city council’s internal... Read more →

Green Star Says New Micronutrient Boosts Growth Rate of Algae by 34%

Green Star Products, Inc. has developed a new micronutrient which increases the growth rate of certain strains of microalgae. Biotech Research, Inc., a consortium partner of Green Star, has confirmed a daily growth rate increase of 34% using the “Montana Micronutrient Booster (MMB)” formula. This growth rate booster can increase... Read more →

Researchers Determine Method for Boosting MOF H2 Storage Capacity

Researchers at the University of Crete calculate that modifying metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with lithium alkoxide groups can boost the MOF’s gravimetric hydrogen storage capacity to 10 wt% at 77 K (-196°C) and 100 bar. That capacity, as determined by ab initio calculations, is about three times larger compared with unmodified... Read more →

Mississippi State University Students Win GM and DOE Challenge X 2008 Competition; New ZEV-Based Competition To Begin

The Mississippi State winning Equinox. Mississippi State University, for the second consecutive year, earned top honors in the GM and US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Challenge X student engineering competition. Over the past nine months, the 2008 Challenge X: Crossover to Sustainability competition challenged 17 university teams from the US... Read more →

SwRI Initiates Diesel Emissions Accelerated Aging Cycle Consortium

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) will launch a cooperative research program this June to develop accelerated aging procedures for diesel emission systems and components. The effort will seek to provide common procedures for use by industry in general, and to potentially simplify certification procedures required to sell diesel-powered vehicles in the... Read more →

China and US Researchers Make Progress With Catalyst for Conversion of Stranded Methane to Transportable Liquid

Researchers in China and the US have identified details of the structure of a known catalytic material that can turn methane into a safe and easy-to-transport liquid. The insight lays the foundation for converting stranded methane in oil fields into a variety of useful fuels and chemicals. The catalyst—molybdenum oxide... Read more →

AT&T Introducing 105 Alternative-Fuel Vehicles to US Fleet

AT&T Inc. plans to add 105 alternative-fuel vehicles to the corporate fleet of its operating companies. The company will deploy three types of alternative-fuel vehicles: 25 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vans; 65 electric hybrid OEM vehicles (Ford Escapes and Toyota Priuses); and 15 electric hybrid conversion work trucks (gasoline parallel... Read more →

ACGT and Synthetic Genomics Complete First Draft of Oil Palm Genome; Jatropha Sequencing Progressing

The Asiatic Centre for Genome Technology Sdn Bhd (ACGT) and Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI) have completed a first draft assembly and annotation of the oil palm genome. (Earlier post.) The organizations also announced that they have made progress in sequencing and analyzing the jatropha genome. The oil palm and jatropha... Read more →

Honda Planning on Leasing 200 FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicles in First Three Years

The FCX Clarity. Honda plans to deliver about 200 FCX Clarity hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles to customers during the first three years of production, with leasing beginning this July. Initially, the program will be based on a 3-year lease term with a price of $600 per month and will be... Read more →

New UK Electric Car Company Targets Luxury Car and SUV Segments

Newly-formed UK-based Liberty Electric Cars Ltd is investing £30 million (US$59 million) in the re- engineering of large luxury cars and SUVs into electric vehicles. The new company says that it will design and manufacture a unique electric drivetrain platform to power a wide range of large vehicles. Annual vehicle... Read more →

Report: Europe To Exempt SUVs from Tire Noise Regulations

T&E, a European environmental NGO focusing on sustainable transport, reports that the European Commission is set to propose new noise and energy efficiency standards for tires with a blanket exemption for SUVs, according to draft rules seen by the organization. Research presented by the German environment agency (Umweltbundesamt, UBA) to... Read more →

Toshiba Developing 3.0 Ah High Power SCiB Li-Ion Cell for HEV Applications

A 140-cell pack of Toshiba’s 3.0 Ah SCiB cells meet the FreedomCAR HEV power assist goals. Click to enlarge. Toshiba, which last December announced the general commercial launch of a 4.2 Ah cell version of its fast-charging SCiB—Super Charge ion Battery—lithium-ion battery (earlier post), is developing a 3.0 Ah high-power... Read more →

Honda Provides Additional Details on New Small Hybrid Vehicle

Honda provided additional details regarding its new small hybrid scheduled for introduction in early 2009, as part of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. CEO Takeo Fukui’s mid-year address. An official name and full product details will be announced later this year. In addition to weight reduction, Honda is targeting a significant... Read more →

Antonov Developing Low Cost Transmissions for Ultra Low Cost Cars

Antonov low cost automatic transmission for emerging markets. Click to enlarge. Antonov, the automotive technology company, is returning to its first principles to develop low cost transmission systems required for ultra low cost cars. Antonov’s underlying automatic transmission concept for this nascent market segment uses its original patented shift system,... Read more →

Eni to Invest US$3B in Republic of Congo; Focus on Tar Sands and Palm Biodiesel

Italy-based oil and gas major Eni will invest US$3 billion in the Republic of Congo over the next four years, generating an expected equity production of 150 million barrels of oil equivalent from tar sands and biodiesel production. Eni reached an agreement with the government for the exploration and exploitation... Read more →

NCSU to Produce and Test Renewable Diesel, Biojet and Biogasoline Fuels from Centia Process

The Biofuels Center of North Carolina has awarded North Carolina State University (NCSU) a $200,000 grant to further the development of Centia—a three-step thermal, catalytic, and reforming process that has the potential to turn virtually any lipidic compound into drop-in replacements for petroleum jet fuel, diesel, and gasoline. (Earlier post.)... Read more →

Fresno Introduces CNG Plug-in Hybrid Refuse Vehicle

The City of Fresno, CA has introduced its new CNG plug-in series hybrid electric refuse vehicle, equipped with PHEV technology from Odyne Corp. (Earlier post.) The modified Autocar refuse collector has a 10 mile engine-off, zero-emissions driving mode of operation. The powertrain uses a Cummins Westport C Gas Plus engine... Read more →

EIA Flash Estimate: US Energy-Related CO2 Emissions Grew by 1.6% in 2007, Transportation Flattening

The EIA is projecting 1.6% growth in CO2 emissions in 2007 from 2006. Click to enlarge. US carbon dioxide emissions from energy sources grew 1.6% in 2007, according to the flash estimate for the year released by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). The full report on CO2 emissions will... Read more →

DOE to Host Regional Workshops on Electric Transmission Congestion

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will hold six regional technical workshops across the country to seek input on available electric transmission congestion data to be considered during preparation of a Congestion Study, as directed by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct). The study is intended to provide detailed... Read more →

GE and C-MAR to Develop Hybrid Tugboat Technology

GE leverages technology across its mega-hybrid projects. Shown is the hybrid mine truck, which uses a NaNiCl2 battery pack. Click to enlarge. Source: GE GE and the C-MAR Group are partnering to develop and to demonstrate new hybrid technology for tugboats. The two announced their alliance during the International Tug... Read more →

Enova Systems and IC Bus Execute Long Term Agreement For Hybrid School Buses

Enova Systems has entered into a Long Term Supply Agreement with IC Bus, a wholly owned affiliate of Navistar, Inc. and the nation’s largest school bus manufacturer, that guarantees that Enova’s proprietary Post Transmission Parallel Hybrid Electric drive system will be used in IC Bus’ hybrid school buses. (Earlier post.)... Read more →

Nissan and Kanagawa Prefecture Agree to Study Full-Scale EV Project in 2010

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., and the government of Kanagawa Prefecture have agreed to conduct a feasibility study of a full-scale electric vehicle project in Kanagawa starting in 2010. The joint-study will explore various opportunities including the establishment of a local electricity-charging network and offer appropriate incentives. Under its GT 2012... Read more →

Rolls-Royce Completes Initial Design Reviews for HEETE Aircraft Engine Program

HEETE program engines are intended to provide a 25% reduction in fuel consumption. Click to enlarge. Rolls-Royce has successfully completed both a Conceptual Design Review and a Preliminary Design Review for the Highly Efficient Embedded Turbine Engine (HEETE) technology program for the US Air Force Research Laboratory (USAFRL). The objective... Read more →

California ARB Receives Additional $48M to Clean Up On-Road Trucks

The California Air Resources Board has received an additional $48 million from the state to help low-income truckers comply with regulations aimed at cleaning up diesel emissions from trucks and buses. (Earlier post.) The funds from AB 118 will combine with previously allocated Proposition 1B funding to help truckers pay... Read more →

Collaboration Targeting Fleet of 50-100 Hydrogen Fuel Cell London Taxis by 2012

A collaboration led by hydrogen fuel cell developer Intelligent Energy, and including Lotus Engineering Ltd, LTI (London Taxis International) Ltd and TRW Conekt, will produce a fleet of classic London cabs fitted out with hydrogen fuel cell power systems. The program is part of the UK government’s Technology Strategy Board... Read more →

Methods to Reduce HC and CO Emissions in Diesel HCCI

Although advanced combustion strategies such as homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) enable the reduction of NOx and PM emission to very low levels due to a resultant low combustion temperature, HC and CO emissions can increase, especially at low load when the catalyst bed temperature is not sufficient for their... Read more →

Ocean Power Technologies and Griffin Energy to Develop Western Australian Wave Power Station

Ocean Power Technologies (Australasia) (OPTA) and Griffin Wave Power Ltd, a subsidiary of Griffin Energy, are partnering to develop, build and operate a wave power station off the coast of Western Australia. The partners will develop a wave power station capable of producing up to 10 MW, with potential expansion... Read more →

PSA and Mitsubishi Set Up JV in Russia for Mid-Range and SUVs

PSA Peugeot Citroën and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) have signed a joint venture agreement to produce vehicles for 3 brands—Peugeot, Citroën and Mitsubishi—in Russia. The JV will produce mid-range SUVs for Mitsubishi, Peugeot and Citroën brands as well as medium size Peugeot and Citroën vehicles, with an overall installed capacity... Read more →

Nissan-NEC Joint Venture Li-Ion Company Begins Full Operations

Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC)—the joint venture between Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., NEC Corporation, and its subsidiary NEC TOKIN Corporation created for the development and production of automotive lithium-ion batteries for a wide range of automotive applications from hybrids, electric vehicles to fuel-cell vehicles (earlier post)—has begun full operations. The... Read more →

Indian Companies to Build IGCC Coal Power Plant

Indian companies BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals, Ltd.) and APGENCO (Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation Ltd.) will set up a 125 MW power plant at Vijaywada using IGCC (integrated gasification combined cycle) technology that BHEL has been working on for the past two decades. Unlike the seven or eight IGCC plants... Read more →

UC Davis Report Provides Overview of Goals and State of PHEV Batteries

Various PHEV targets and battery cell and pack potential mapped to a Ragone plot. Click to enlarge. A report from the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis provides an overview of the current state of several battery chemistries—including NiMH and Li-ion—and their abilities to meet the goals and subsequent... Read more →

BMW Developing Power Net Extension With Ultracapacitors to Support Broader Application of Improved Micro-Hybrid Functions

The ultracapacitor-based Power Net Extension is designed to alleviate the demands placed on the 12V battery by increasing micro-hybridization and electrification. Click to enlarge. The BMW Group is developing an application of ultracapacitors and a DC/DC converter to extend the power of the 12V power net in its vehicles to... Read more →

Test of MUSIC Engine Shows 20% Improvement in Fuel Economy Over Conventional Gasoline Unit

MUSIC engine on the test bed. Recent testing of a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder implementation of the Merritt Unthrottled Spark Ignition Combustion (MUSIC) engine, initially developed at Coventry University, (earlier post) showed a 19.8% improvement in fuel economy compared to a baseline Ford 2.0L Duratec. MUSIC is an un-throttled, high thermal efficiency,... Read more →

Port of Los Angeles and South Coast Air Quality Management District Introduce Heavy-Duty Electric Drayage Truck

The Nautilus E-30 electric drayage truck. The Port of Los Angeles and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) introduced an all-electric heavy-duty short-haul drayage truck—the first of its kind—that can pull a 60,000-pound cargo container at a top speed of 40 mph, and has a range of 60... Read more →