December 31, 2010
Bombardier Recreational Products and Government of Canada funding C$11.3M project to develop plug-in hybrid Can-Am Spyder roadster with target of 50% reduction in fuel consumption
|Maquette of the Can-Am plug-in Hybrid Spyder. Click to enlarge.|
The Centre de technologies avancées BRP at the Université de Sherbrooke (CTA) is receiving C$11.3 million (US$11.3 million) in financial support to develop a plug-in hybrid version of BRP’s (Bombardier Recreational Products) Can-Am Spyder roadster. The government’s Automotive Partnership Canada program is contributing $6.2 million and BRP is contributing $5.1 million over a four-year period.
Target features for the hybrid roadster include a 600 cc internal combustion engine and 20 kW continuous power electric motor powered by a Li-ion battery pack that delivers similar acceleration to the Spyder 990 RS roadster. Target range in electric mode is 30 km (20 mi), and total range is targeted to be 600 km (375 mi).
Wärtsilä has introduced a more powerful version for marine applications of its popular medium-speed Wärtsilä 32 engine. First introduced in the 1980s, the Wärtsilä 32 has sold more than 4,000 units sold to the marine industry alone.
December 30, 2010
California gasoline consumption increased 1.5% in September and increased 0.8% in the third quarter of 2010, according to figures from the Board of Equalization (BOE). Diesel consumption increased 0.2% in September compared to last year and 2.3% in the third quarter.
Deutsche Welle. Super E10 (10% ethanol-gasoline blend) will become available at the more than 14,000 service stations in Germany as of 1 January 2011. Previously, biofuel in Germany had only 5% ethanol content.
Massachusetts sets state GHG emissions limit for 2020 at 25% below 1990 levels, releases plan with additional measures, including Pay As You Drive auto insurance
Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Ian Bowles has set the statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions limit for 2020 required by the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008 at 25% below 1990 levels, the maximum authorized by the Act, saying that measures already in place will get Massachusetts much of the way toward that goal.
A targeted portfolio of additional policies, chosen because they promise overall cost savings, will allow the state to reach the most ambitious target for GHG reduction of any state in the country, Secretary Bowles said. Included among these is a pilot program for Pay As You Drive auto insurance, intended to incent reduction in vehicle miles travelled (VMT).
The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that the US will incorporate 310 quick charges using Japan’s standardized CHAdeMO system (earlier post) in its large scale EV tests being held in Arizona, California, Texas, Tennessee, Oregon and Washington State.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking input from industry, academia, and other biofuels stakeholders regarding supply systems and services for the production, handling, storage, transport and delivery of algae via a new Request for Information (RFI) (DE-FOA-0000466). DOE may use the information in support of program planning and may determine to issue a formal Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for this area.
Fuels derived from algal biomass qualify as advanced biofuels. Although algal biofuels have tremendous potential, no commercial entity today can yet produce algal biofuels at a cost that is competitive with petroleum-derived fuels, DOE notes. DOE’s National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap report, released publicly in June 2010, highlights some of the commercialization opportunities and challenges for algae. (Earlier post.)
U Michigan team boosting efficiency of thermoelectric materials; potential of reaching 15-20% efficiency could result in practical applications
|Example of the structure of a partially filled CoSb skutterudite. Source: C. Uher. Click to enlarge.|
Researchers at the University of Michigan and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology are working to improve the thermoelectric (TE) capabilities of filled skutterudites to the point that they could improve the performance of thermoelectric materials from about 5% efficiency to about 15 or 20%, according to Massoud Kaviany, professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and co-author of a paper on the work published in the journal Physical Review Letters.
At that level of efficiency, TE materials become useful in practical applications such as waste heat recovery in vehicles, Kaviany noted. Earlier this year, the Directorate for Engineering at the National Science Foundation in partnership with the US Department of Energy Vehicle Technologies Program issued a solicitation for proposals for thermoelectric waste heat recovery devices for automotive applications. (Earlier post.)
TravelCenters of America LLC confirmed its on-island DEF (diesel exhaust fluid for use with selective catalytic reduction exhaust aftertreatment systems) dispenser roll-out. TA expects to install about 50 on-island DEF dispensers at locations across the country in 2011.
December 29, 2010
Report: Fuji Heavy Industries may suspend production of Stella EV with end of minivehicle production
Kyodo News reports that Fuji Heavy Industries may suspend production of its electric minivehicle, the Stella EV (earlier post). While details including the timing of the suspension have not been decided, the maker of Subaru brand cars may suspend production of the EV when it stops manufacturing the Stella minivehicle, according to unidentified sources.