January 31, 2012
Initially announced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this month, Hyundai’s Lifetime Hybrid Battery Replacement Guarantee applies to all US 2012 model year Sonata Hybrids and is the first-of-its-kind in the industry.
Navistar to take stake in Brazilian bus builder Neobus; to partner on fully integrated commercial buses for the Americas
Navistar, Inc. is planning to enter into a global commercial bus partnership with Brazilian commercial bus body manufacturer San Marino Onibus e Implementos Ltda (Neobus) and will invest in the company. Navistar intends to leverage the bus body building expertise of Neobus and Navistar’s strengths in powertrain and chassis development.
The Center for Automotive Research announced the launch of the Coalition of Automotive Lightweighting Materials (CALM) to support efforts by auto manufacturers to aggressively down-weight vehicles to improve performance, fuel economy and safety. CALM will coalesce the strengths and knowledge of the aluminum and plastics/composites industries with technology providers in design, fabrication and joining to accelerate the implementation of mixed-material solutions that will reduce vehicle mass.
Integrating advanced low-weight materials can present challenges with the design, joining, and structural validation. CALM’s purpose is to support the cost-effective integration of mixed materials to achieve significant reductions in weight through the collaborative efforts of technology providers with the auto manufacturers.
Micro-hybrids will grow nearly eight-fold to 39 million vehicles in 2017 and create a $6.9 billion market for energy storage devices, according to a Lux Research report titled, “Every Last Drop: Micro- And Mild Hybrids Drive a Huge Market for Fuel-Efficient Vehicles.”
Reaction Design, a leading developer of combustion simulation software, has added the ability to accurately simulate particle size distributions, as well as total particulate-matter emissions, to CHEMKIN-PRO. The new particle tracking technology in CHEMKIN-PRO was derived from and inspired by the accomplishments of the Model Fuels Consortium (MFC). (Earlier post.)
Borla Performance Industries developing muffler/membrane unit for exhaust water extraction with ORNL nanopore membrane technology
Borla Performance Industries, a leader in the design and manufacture of stainless steel performance exhaust, has an option to license a novel nanopore membrane technology developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Borla will combine this with its diesel exhaust technology to create a low-cost, novel system that doubles as a device to extract potable water from diesel and other internal combustion exhaust. Borla is participating in the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) “America’s Next Top Energy Innovator Challenge” with this development.
The researchers at ORNL developed the membrane technology for applications such as gas separation, water purification, energy and water recovery from industrial process streams, and solid oxide fuel cells. For the recovery of previously wasted energy from relatively low temperature (<100°C) exhaust/effluent streams, the process envisioned involved removing moisture from the exhaust streams and recovering the latent heat when water condenses in the membrane.
BRUSA Elektronik AG together with the Swiss Forum for Electric Mobility is launching an international sponsorship award for outstanding projects in the field of electric mobility. The award is dedicated to the late Arno Mathoy, an innovator of modern electric mobility development and the Chief Technical Officer at BRUSA Elektronik AG for more than 20 years.
Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading US airlines, and Boeing released several recommendations to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to accelerate the commercial viability and deployment of aviation biofuels. The recommendations were announced in conjunction with the publication of the working-draft Farm to Fly initiative report, Agriculture and Aviation: Partners in Prosperity: Putting Aviation at the Forefront of the President’s Biofuels Targets” issued by the USDA, A4A and Boeing.
Novozymes and Sea6Energy collaborating on the conversion of seaweed to sugars for production of fuels and chemicals
Novozymes and India-based Sea6Energy have entered an exploratory research agreement jointly to develop a process for the production of biofuels from seaweed. The research alliance will use enzymes to convert seaweed-based carbohydrates to sugar, which can then be fermented to produce ethanol for fuel, fine chemicals, proteins for food, and fertilizers for plants.
Novozymes will research, develop, and manufacture enzymes for the conversion process, while Sea6 Energy contributes its offshore seaweed cultivation technology.
Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (HATC), the Honda automobile production subsidiary in Thailand, which experienced damage from the major flooding in the country last year, reports that it expects to resume production by the end of March 2012.