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May 2013

May 31, 2013

Florida repeals state Renewable Fuel Standard

Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed into law HB 4001, the “Florida Renewable Fuel Standard Act”, which repeals the state’s Renewable Fuel Standard, effective 1 July 2013.


May 31, 2013 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

PGE showcases 5MW Li-ion grid energy storage system; transactive control

Portland General Electric showcased its 5 MW lithium-ion energy storage system to the public today at the utility’s Salem Smart Power Center in South Salem, Ore. The energy storage facility is part of PGE’s contribution to the Battelle-led Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project.


May 31, 2013 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

ABB develops and demonstrates “flash charging” system for electric buses

Close-up of the charging mechanism on the demo TOSA bus. Source: ABB. Click to enlarge.

ABB has developed and is demonstrating a high-capacity “flash charging” system for electric buses. The system enables onboard batteries to be charged in 15 seconds with a 400 kW boost at selected stops using a roof-mounted system (“Flash station”). The flash stations are connected to the 50kVA electricity network and also have a 3kWh storage unit (supercap) for smoothing peaks in consumption.

At the end of the bus line (“Terminus station”) a 3 to 4 minute boost at 200 kW tops up the batteries. At the depot station, the bus plugs into a multi-bus supply station connected to the 50 kVA network.


May 31, 2013 in Electric (Battery), Heavy-duty, Infrastructure, Smart charging | Permalink | Comments (27) | TrackBack

2014 Chevrolet Malibu equipped with new 2.5L iVLC base engine with start-stop

2014 Malibu. Click to enlarge.

Chevrolet unveiled the 2014 Malibu, featuring updated styling (and more rear seat room) and a new 2.5L base engine with variable valve lift control (Intake Valve Lift Control, iVLC earlier post) and start/stop technology as standard. Estimated fuel economy with the base engine is 23 mpg US city / 35 mpg highway (10.2 and 6.7 l/100km, respectively)—5% and 3% improvement, respectively. The new 2014 Malibu goes on sale this fall.

Chevrolet will continue to offer the Malibu ECO with eAssist (earlier post), as well as the 2.0L turbo; the latter, which features a 14% boost in torque (295 lb-ft/400 N·m), does not come with start-stop technology.


May 31, 2013 in Engines, Fuel Efficiency | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Volkswagen Group expands research partnership with Stanford University

Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA) has expanded its automotive research initiatives with the contribution of $1.7 million to Stanford University. The latest investment broadens an existing partnership. With this contribution, new research will begin in the areas of virtual intelligence, material research, data security, and vehicle dynamics.


May 31, 2013 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Oxis Energy polymer Li-S pouch cell surpasses 450 cycles

Oxis’ standard polymer Li-S pouch cell has surpassed 450 cycles. Click to enlarge.

Oxis Energy, a UK-based developer of lithium-sulfur batteries, reported via Twitter that one of its standard polymer Li-S pouch cells surpassed 450 cycles this week. Oxis has developed a patented polymer lithium sulfur (Li-S) based battery technology platform using a lithium metal anode, a sulfur-based cathode, and a lithium sulfide electrolyte rendering the Li metal anode safe.

Battery systems using metallic Lithium offer very high specific energy; sulfur represents a natural cathode partner for metallic Li. A lithium-sulfur couple has theoretical specific energy in excess of 2,700Wh/kg. Oxis demonstrated 300 Wh/kg in 2010; the company has a target of 600 Wh/kg in 2016. (Sion Power, supported by an ARPA-E grant, also has a 600 Wh/kg in 2016 target for its Li-S batteries. Earlier post.)


May 31, 2013 in Batteries, Li-Sulfur | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Nissan LEAF hits 10,000-unit sales mark in Europe

Nissan has now sold 10,000 units of the battery-electric LEAF in Europe. The LEAF went on sale in Europe in March 2011 in a handful of markets and is now available across the region.


May 31, 2013 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Honda joins DOE’s H2USA partnership to promote fuel cell electric vehicles and infrastructure

American Honda Motor Co, Inc. has joined H2USA, a new public-private partnership launched by the US Department of Energy (DOE) earlier this month to promote the commercial introduction and widespread adoption of fuel cell electric vehicles. (Earlier post.)


May 31, 2013 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

NHTSA issues preliminary policy on development of autonomous vehicles to provide guidance to states

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a preliminary policy statement concerning vehicle automation, including its plans for research on related safety issues and recommendations for states related to the testing, licensing, and regulation of “autonomous” or “self-driving” vehicles.

Self-driving vehicles are those in which operation of the vehicle occurs without direct driver input to control the steering, acceleration, and braking and are designed so that the driver is not expected to constantly monitor the roadway while operating in self-driving mode.


May 31, 2013 in Autonomous driving, Connected vehicles, Policy | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Freescale S12 MagniV Mixed-Signal MCUs supporting mid-class vehicle growth in China

S12SVH Block Diagram
Freescale’s S12 MagniV block diagram. Click to enlarge.

China’s automotive market is now the largest in the world by volume, with some 22 million units produced last year, and expectations of 22-23 million units this year. Automobile sales alone in China posted a 13% year-over-year gain for April 2013, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

At the same time, the amount of electronic content per vehicle continues to increase as automakers add features to differentiate themselves in this highly competitive market. To help address the need for cost-effective vehicle electronic systems, the Freescale Semiconductor S12 MagniV mixed-signal microcontroller (MCU) portfolio (earlier post) offers Chinese automakers highly integrated, single-chip solutions that are reliable, easy to develop with, and energy and weight efficient, helping to reduce the bill of materials and hence, overall manufacturing costs.


May 31, 2013 in China, Market Background, Microprocessors and controls | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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