February 28, 2010
The integration of component thermal management technologies within a viable vehicle package will be important to the commercial success of advanced electrified drive systems—i.e., hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles—according to a pair of researchers from the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy laboratory (NREL).
As an example, current hybrid systems use a separate low temperature liquid cooling loop for cooling the power electronics and electric machines (PEEM). One research goal under the DOE Vehicle Technologies Program proposes a single, integrated cooling loop for an HEV, allowing for a cost savings of approximately $188 for a hybrid such as the Toyota Prius.
The new Lexus premium compact hybrid CT 200h (earlier post) to be introduced next week at the Geneva Motor Show combines a 1.8-liter VVT-i gasoline, permanent magnet synchronous motor, electrically controlled continuously variable transmission (E-CVT) and NiMH battery pack.
Toda America, Inc., a subsidiary of Toda Kogyo Corp. in Japan, recently concluded a $35-million award contract with the US Department of Energy (DOE), granted under the Recovery Act – Electric Device Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative last August for the production of nickel-cobalt-metal cathode material for lithium-ion batteries. (Earlier post.)
Japan Automakers Support B5, E10 as Baseline Biofuel Blends, Recommend Specifications to ASEAN Countries
The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc (JAMA), a nonprofit industry association comprising fourteen manufacturers of passenger cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles in Japan, recently issued position statements on and recommended specifications for bioethanol and biodiesel (fatty acid methyl ester, FAME).
Experts from JAMA visited six countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) to share their recommended specifications of the two first-generation biofuels. JAMA is proposing that the ASEAN countries follow its recommended specifications to ensure appropriate quality of biofuels and their smooth introduction into the market.
February 27, 2010
Study Finds Availability of Low-CO2 Electricity and Hydrogen May Paradoxically Delay Large-Scale Transition to Electric and/or Hydrogen Vehicle Fleet
Increased availability of low CO2 sources of electricity and hydrogen could counter-intuitively delay, rather than accelerate, a large-scale transition to an electric and/or hydrogen vehicle fleet, according to a new study by researchers from Ford Motor Company and Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. They reported the results of their modeling study online 26 February in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.
For future scenarios where vehicle technology costs were sufficiently competitive to advantage either hydrogen or electric vehicles, the increased availability of low-cost, low-CO2 electricity/hydrogen provided more cost-effective CO2 mitigation opportunities in the heat and power energy sectors than in transportation. For example, the study found that the availability of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology has a major impact on the lowest cost passenger vehicle fuel and technology choice.
US House Members Introduce Bipartisan Disapproval Resolution to Block EPA Regulation of GHG; Mirrors Murkowski Resolution
Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo); Congressman Collin Peterson (D-Minn), and Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo) introduced a joint resolution in the House of Representatives to nullify the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) finding in December 2009 that greenhouse gases (GHG) are a threat to human health and therefore could be regulated under the Clean Air Act. Congressman Skelton is the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
US Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) earlier introduced an identical resolution, S.J. Res. 26, in the US Senate. (Earlier post.)
IBM Research Initiative Developing Adaptive Systems to Provide Personalized Travel Routes to Avoid Gridlock
IBM has launched a new research initiative to build personalized travel routes for commuters to avoid traffic gridlock. IBM researchers are using advanced analytics to develop adaptive traffic systems that will intuitively learn traveler patterns and behavior to provide more dynamic travel safety and route information to travelers than is available today.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has begun sales of the all-new CR-Z (“Compact Renaissance Zero”) hybrid (earlier post) in Japan on Friday, February 26, 2010. Honda is targeting monthly sales of 1,000 units of the new hybrid.
ClearFuels to Develop Co-Located Commercial-Scale Biorefinery for Renewable Jet or Diesel Production in Tennessee
Biomass-to-liquids company ClearFuels Technology Inc. and Hughes Hardwood International, Inc. have executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the development of a commercial scale biorefinery facility for the production of renewable jet or diesel fuel.
The renewable energy facility will be co-located with Hughes Hardwood’s wood component products manufacturing facility in Collinwood, Tennessee. Under the MOU, Hughes Hardwood will supply 1,000 dry ton per day of wood product for conversion into approximately 16 million gallons of synthetic jet or diesel fuel and 4 million gallons of naphtha per year, as well as approximately 8 MW of excess renewable power. The project is currently expected to be operational by early 2014.
Coulomb Technologies has released a free app for the iPhone and iPod Touch platforms which allows electric vehicle operators in North America to locate nearby ChargePoint charging stations; identify whether or not a given station is available; find recharging locations along a given route with a trip mapping feature; calculate energy use; and receive updates about their vehicle’s charging status.