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General Motors China ATC and PATAC award for development of magnesium-intensive decklid highlights focus on lightweight materials

The GM China Advanced Technical Center (ATC) and GM’s Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) joint venture in Shanghai received the Material Technology Innovation Award for the research and development of an innovative magnesium-intensive decklid. The magnesium-intensive decklid covers the trunk of a vehicle. Developed by the ATC and GM... Read more →

GM and US Army expanding collaboration on fuel cells; up to 5-year project

General Motors and the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC) are expanding their collaboration in the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology. TARDEC currently is evaluating GM fuel cell vehicles in a comprehensive demonstration in Hawaii. (Earlier post.) Through a new Cooperative Research and Development Agreement... Read more →

Toyota Chairman sees long run for hybrids; calls on automakers for 5M hybrid sales in US in 2016

Toyota Motor Corporation Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada predicted in remarks before the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., that hybrid vehicles will play a larger role in the future development of automotive propulsion systems than widely recognized. Uchiyamada became chairman earlier this year, succeeding Fujio Cho. Some people say hybrid vehicles such... Read more →

H2 Mobility initiative agrees on $474M plan for hydrogen refueling network in Germany; 400 stations by 2023

The six partners in the “H2 Mobility” initiative (earlier post)—Air Liquide, Daimler, Linde, OMV, Shell and Total—have signed an agreement in principle upon a specific action plan for the construction of a Germany-wide hydrogen refueling network for fuel cell powered electric vehicles. Under the plan, the current network of 15... Read more →

The multi-stage bioliq process produces high-quality synthetic fuels from straw and other biogenous residues. Graphic: N. Dahmen, KIT/IKFT. Click to enlarge. The synthesis stage of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology’s (KIT’s) multi-stage bioliq pilot plant has begun operation and has produced biogasoline. All stages of the bioliq process—flash pyrolysis, high-pressure entrained-flow... Read more →

5th edition of Worldwide Fuel Charter introduces Category 5 fuels for advanced emission control and fuel efficiency

Representing the vehicle and engine manufacturers from around the world, the Worldwide Fuel Charter Committee has presented the Fifth Edition of the Worldwide Fuel Charter. The Fifth Edition introduces Category 5 for markets with highly advanced requirements for emission control and fuel efficiency. The draft version was published early this... Read more →

The 100 kW/134 bhp 1.5-liter MINI TwinPower Turbo in-line gasoline engine. Click to enlarge. Future MINI models will use a new line-up of both three and four-cylinder engines. In addition, MINI will introduce electrically adjustable dampers for the first time. A common feature of the new drive units is the... Read more →

Wison Engineering signs new engineering contract for Erdos Jinchengtai coal-to-methanol project; commercializing methanol-to-olefins

Wison Engineering Services Co. Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, announced that Wison Engineering Ltd., an indirect non-wholly owned subsidiary of the Group, has been awarded a contract for the engineering of Erdos Jinchengtai coal-to-methanol Project (Phase II) for Erdos Jinchengtai Chemical Co., Ltd. Wison Engineering will partner with Erdos Jinchengtai... Read more →

DENSO and Nagoya University jointly develop in-vehicle battery-based energy management system for house and car; field testing begins

Global automotive supplier DENSO and Nagoya University have developed an in-vehicle battery-based energy management system (EMS) which uses forecasting models of household electricity demand and vehicle use to reduce electricity costs. The two organizations will start to evaluate the performance of the system in October this year under the Toyota... Read more →

The China Energy Group of the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) recently released the eighth edition of the China Energy Databook—the most comprehensive publicly available resource known to exist covering China’s energy and environmental statistics. China energy end use by sector (Mtce), 1980-2011. Click... Read more →

KAIST team engineers novel pathway for direct production of biogasoline by E. coli bacteria

A team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has developed a a novel strategy for microbial gasoline production through the metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli. The team engineered engineered platform E. coli strains that are capable of producing short-chain alkanes (SCAs; i.e., gasoline); free fatty acids... Read more →

Airbus: more than 29,000 new aircraft required in the next 20 years

According to Airbus’ latest Global Market Forecast (GMF), in the next 20 years (2013-2032) air traffic will grow at 4.7% annually, requiring more than 29,220 new passenger and freighter aircraft valued at nearly US$4.4 trillion. Some 28,350 of these are passenger aircraft valued at US$4.1 trillion. Of these, some 10,400... Read more →

Molten Salt Gasification Process. Click to enlarge. Western Hydrogen Limited reported first production of hydrogen from its Molten Salt Gasification (MSG) pilot plant in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. The MSG process, under license from Idaho National Laboratory, uses a combination of molten sodium salts (sodium carbonate and sodium hydroxide) to convert... Read more →

California Governor signs 6 bills to support burgeoning EV market, including $2B AB 8

Marking National Plug-in Day (NPID), California Governor Jerry Brown signed 6 bills to support California’s burgeoning electric vehicle market, including the $2-billion AB 8 (earlier post), which will continue clean vehicle and fuel incentives through 2023. The legislation builds on the state’s efforts to help California’s electric vehicle market grow,... Read more →

KHI’s view of a “CO2-free hydrogen chain”. Source: KHI. Click to enlarge. The Nikkei reports that Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. (KHI) will build the first ocean-going ships to carry liquefied hydrogen (LH2), with plans for a demonstration test by 2017 in which liquefied hydrogen will be shipped from the state... Read more →

McPhy Energy premieres first industrial system coupling electrolysis and solid state hydrogen storage

McPhy Energy, a France-based developer and manufacturer of solid state hydrogen storage, presented the first system coupling an industrial-scale hydrogen generator with a 100 kg solid state hydrogen storage unit. The demonstration, which showed the results of the first phase of the €12-million (US$16-million) French PUSHY (Potential Use of Solid... Read more →

Government of Canada awarding initial $734,500 to cellulosic ethanol project; funding could reach $39.8M

The Government of Canada is investing $734,500 through Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s (SDTC) NextGen Biofuels Fund in the initial phase of the Vanerco cellulosic ethanol project in Varennes, Québec. SDTC’s funding could reach $39.8 million, based on subsequent project milestones and required approvals. The Vanerco Varennes-Generation Project is a joint... Read more →

Drexel researchers demonstrate intercalation of MXenes with a variety of ions; high volumetric capacitance

Researchers at Drexel University with colleagues in France have demonstrated that titanium carbide (Ti3C2) “MXene” compounds—exfoliated 2D carbide and carbonitride nanosheets that are structurally similar to graphene, where M represents transition metals, and X is either C or/and N (earlier post)—support the spontaneous intercalation of cations from aqueous salt solutions.... Read more →

ACEEE recommends steps for enhanced data gathering and analysis essential to developing next phase of heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency and GHG regs

A newly released working paper from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) outlines the organization’s recommendations to policymakers for developing the next phase of fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles in the United States expected in 2015. The focus of the paper is... Read more →

Solar-powered family car from Eindhoven University of Technology covers 544 miles in Australia on a single charge

Students from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) covered a distance of 875 km (544 miles) last week without recharging in the solar‑powered family car which they have developed themselves. (Earlier post.) The students are in Australia preparing for the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, to be held from 6 to... Read more →

In an advance that could significantly shrink particle accelerators for science and medicine, researchers have used a laser to accelerate electrons at a rate 10 times higher than conventional technology in a nanostructured glass chip smaller than a grain of rice. The achievement was reported today in Nature by a... Read more →

Biofeedstock company Proterro hits milestones with bioreactor for sucrose produced via cyanobacteria; commissioning pilot plant

Proterro, Inc., a biofeedstock company that makes sucrose instead of extracting it from crops or deconstructing cellulosic materials, said it has met key new development milestones. We scaled up our novel photobioreactor design and conducted independent functionality tests that confirmed the unit’s robustness. The modular photobioreactors, which are made from... Read more →

GM China holds electrification workshop in Shanghai; showcases range of 4 electrified vehicles

General Motors China held an electrification workshop in Shanghai to showcase its new energy vehicles and advanced powertrains. The workshop also highlighted GM China’s long-term vehicle electrification strategy. GM China will hold similar electrification workshops in Beijing and Guangzhou. In China, GM and its joint ventures currently offer light electrification... Read more →

Sumitomo Metal Mining to almost triple lithium nickel oxide production to meet planned demand for Panasonic cells for Tesla EVs

Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. (SMM) will invest about US$48 million (¥4.8 billion) to boost its production capacity of lithium nickel oxide from the current 300 tons per month to 850 tons to meet anticipated increased Li-ion cell production by Panasonic to meet the growing demand for Tesla Model S... Read more →

Toray to enter large tow carbon fiber business via $584M acquisition of Zoltec; wind and automotive markets

Toray Industries, Inc. is acquiring Zoltek Companies, Inc. for approximately $584 million ($16.75 per share). Zoltek is a large two carbon fiber manufacturer; large tow carbon fiber is carbon fiber with 40,000 or more filaments applied for applications such as wind turbine blades and reinforced plastics compounds, and is produced... Read more →

Second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 diesel. Click to enlarge. Ford introduced the 2015 F-Series Super Duty lineup at State Fair of Texas, featuring a second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel engine and increased towing capabilities. Ford introduced the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel in 2011. (Earlier post.) A... Read more →

California adds $72.5M for cleaner diesel trucks, deployment of advanced vehicle technologies

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced an additional $72.5 million in funding for state programs that will improve public health by helping to clean up California’s fleet of cars, trucks and buses. The Air Resources Board will move $8 million from other clean vehicle projects into ARB’s Truck Loan... Read more →

California Energy Commission staff to hold Vehicle-Grid Integration Roadmap stakeholder workshop

The staff of the California Energy Commission will conduct a workshop to gather input from stakeholders on a draft outline of a Vehicle-Grid Integration Roadmap document on 8 October in Sacramento, California. In March 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order directing state government to help accelerate the... Read more →

Ford acquires software startup Livio to advance smartphone-based in-car connectivity

Ford has acquired startup connectivity application developer Livio for about $10 million. Livio—which started with Livio Radio—currently offers software development products including Livio Connect API, Livio Connect SDK, hardware emulators, reference code, libraries for iOS, Android and Blackberry, an authentication server, testing tools and a firmware update transfer feature. Livio,... Read more →

MCCA and Zipcar introduce new Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrids, charging stations, and priority parking in Boston Common Garage

The Boston Common Garage and Zipcar, Inc. introduced four new 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrids to Zipcar’s Boston fleet, as well as plug-in stations and priority parking for Zipcars and other hybrid vehicles at the Boston Common Garage. The new “green zone” on the BCG’s middle level is part of... Read more →

The study found that TCO for electric and diesel medium-duty urban delivery trucks were similar. The electric truck is relatively more cost-effective on the NYCC and when VKT demand is higher. Cost-competitiveness of the electric truck diminishes in drive cycles with higher average speeds. Credit: ACS, Lee et al. Click... Read more →

The LEAF with semi-autonomous ADAS. Click to enlarge. Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn took delivery of Japan’s first license plate for a car equipped with semi-autonomous advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). It clears the way for a Nissan LEAF equipped with the technology to be tested on the public... Read more →

KiOR seeks to double cellulosic fuels production at Columbus plant; $50M in from Khosla for Columbus II

Cellulosic gasoline and diesel company KiOR, Inc. is pursuing plans to double production capacity at its Columbus, Mississippi, facility through construction of a second facility incorporating KiOR’s commercially proven technology. KiOR estimates that the Columbus II project will cost approximately $225 million; will break ground within 90 days of it... Read more →

With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), a team of Stanford University engineers has for the first time built a tiny computer with 178 transistors made from carbon nanotubes, a semiconductor material that may replace silicon in computer chips. This change could launch a new generation of electronic devices... Read more →

Hertz introduces the Tesla Model S to expanding US Dream Cars lineup

The Hertz Corporation has expanded its Dream Cars offering with the introduction of the all-electric Tesla Model S in the US. With the expansion, Dream Cars consumers in select markets are now able to rent both the Tesla Model S and Tesla Roadster, along with a variety of other high-end... Read more →

Ballard announces definitive agreements with Azure Hydrogen for China fuel cell bus program; next-gen FCvelocity-HD7 module

Further to the MOU announced on May 28 (earlier post), Ballard Power Systems has signed multi-year definitive agreements to support Azure Hydrogen’s fuel cell bus program for the China market. Beijing-based Azure plans to partner with Chinese bus manufacturers in a phased development program for deployment of zero emission fuel... Read more →

Volkswagen Group opens new vehicle production plant in Foshan, China; first in China based on MQB

The Volkswagen Group and its joint venture FAW-Volkswagen inaugurated the new vehicle production plant in Foshan, Guangdong province. First-stage production capacity is 300,000 vehicles per year. It is planned to double capacity in the medium-term. The first vehicle to leave the assembly line in Foshan is a seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf.... Read more →

SwRI to launch Automotive Consortium for Embedded Security (ACES)

As vehicles become increasingly dependent on computers to operate integrated systems, from engine timing to anti-lock brakes, it is crucial to safeguard those systems from outside threats. To investigate leading-edge technologies and understand and reduce the risk of attack, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is forming the Automotive Consortium for Embedded... Read more →

Rock River Resources to build small refinery and crude-by-rail terminal in Utah

Houston-based Rock River Resources plans to build a small refinery and terminal for shipping crude by rail in Green River, Utah, with the goal of providing a long-term viable refining option in the region. Rock River will build a rail line to link its terminal to Union Pacific. The $320-million... Read more →

Areal discharge capacities for Miura-folded versus unfolded cells. Credit: ACS, Cheng et al.Click to enlarge. Researchers at Arizona State University have shown that paper-folding concepts can be applied to Li-ion batteries in order to realize a device with higher areal energy densities. In a paper published in the ACS journal... Read more →

Duke study finds China’s synthetic natural gas plants will have heavy environmental toll; 2x vehicle GHG if used for fuel

Coal-powered synthetic natural gas (SNG) plants being planned in China would produce seven times more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional natural gas plants, and use up to 100 times the water as shale gas production, according to a new study by Duke University researchers published in the journal Nature Climate... Read more →

Concord Energy and cellulosic biogasoline company Cool Plant to establish JV in Asia-Pacific region

Concord Energy, one of Singapore’s leading crude oil and refined petroleum product trading companies, has signed an agreement with cellulosic biogasoline company Cool Planet Energy Systems (earlier post) to establish a joint venture in the Asia-Pacific Region. The JV will develop commercial production facilities for the conversion of non-food biomass... Read more →

Ko-Fas project finds cooperative transponders and cooperative perception technology could bring significant road safety benefits

The 17 partners—including vehicle manufacturers BMW and Daimler; suppliers Continental and Delphi; and universities, institutes of applied science and research establishments—in Germany’s €25-million (US$34-million), 4-year Cooperative Vehicle Safety (Ko-FAS) research initiative presented the final results from the project last week in Aschaffenburg, Germany. The results showed that use of cooperative... Read more →

Solazyme and Unilever sign commercial supply agreement for tailored algal oil

Solazyme, Inc., a renewable oil and bioproducts company, and Unilever have executed a commercial supply agreement for the first partnered Solazyme Tailored Algal Oil. The companies have been collaborating for five years on multiple projects with increasing levels of success culminating in this initial supply agreement. The agreement covers the... Read more →

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has launched a one-way car sharing service with the City of Yokohama that is the first of its kind in Japan to involve significant use of ultra-compact EVs. Called “Choimobi Yokohama,” this new service, which will be provided in the downtown core of Yokohama, will eventually... Read more →

Buick LaCrosse eAssist to go on sale in China priced at $40,833

The Buick LaCrosse eAssist “Comfort” model will be priced at RMB 249,900 (US$40,833) when it arrives in select dealerships in China October. The car is equipped with advanced eAssist mild electrification technology. The LaCrosse eAssist is powered by a powertrain that combines a 2.4L SIDI engine, a customized 6-speed transmission,... Read more →

Linde develops new 500-bar H2 storage technology for more efficient transport in trucks

The Linde Group has developed a new storage technology that will enable a much more efficient transport of larger amounts of hydrogen. The new solution works at a higher pressure of 500 bar (7,250 psi) and uses new, lighter storage materials to more than double the amount of compressed gaseous... Read more →

New valveless electro-hydraulic steering system for off-road equipment shows significant fuel savings and productivity benefits

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a new valveless hydraulic steering system for heaving construction equipment that improves efficiency and reduces fuel consumption. The new approach eliminates valves now needed to direct the flow of hydraulic fluid in steering systems and uses advanced algorithms and models to control hydraulic pumps... Read more →

Great Wall Motors and Baosteel open joint steel laboratory

China’s Great Wall Motors (GWM) and Baosteel have opened a joint steel laboratory in Baoding, China. The laboratory will carry out technical and test projects involved in the lightweighting of GWM’s passenger vehicles, as well as the application verification and evaluation of Baosteel’s new materials and new types of steel.... Read more →

Shell selects site for proposed $12.5B GTL project in Louisiana

Shell has selected Ascension Parish in Louisiana as the location for a potential natural gas-to-liquids (GTL) facility. According to the terms of an incentive agreement with the state, the company at a minimum would spend $12.5 billion and create 740 direct jobs, should the project be built. Shell’s Gulf Coast... Read more →