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March 2014

March 31, 2014

NHTSA issues final rule requiring rear visibility technology

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a final rule requiring rear visibility technology in all new vehicles under 10,000 pounds (4,536 kg) by May 2018. NHTSA says that its new rule enhances the safety of these vehicles by reducing the risk of fatalities and serious injuries caused by backover accidents.


March 31, 2014 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Berkeley Lab study finds hybrids more fuel efficient in India, China than in US

Improvement in fuel consumption in India of a hybrid vehicle over a conventional vehicle. Click to enlarge.

In a pair of studies using real-world driving conditions, scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) found that hybrid cars are significantly more fuel-efficient in India and China than they are in the United States due to traffic and driving conditions in those countries.

They found that driving a hybrid would achieve fuel savings of about 47 to 48% over a conventional car in India and about 53 to 55% in China. In the United States, hybrids are rated to produce a fuel savings of about 40% over their conventional counterparts. Currently hybrid and electric vehicles have a tiny share of the market in India and China and are seen as a higher-end product.


March 31, 2014 in China, Hybrids, India | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Nanodiamond-based thermal fluids outperform others

A mixture of diamond nanoparticles and mineral oil easily outperforms other types of fluid created for heat-transfer applications, according to new research by a team led by researchers at Rice University. The results appeared this month in the American Chemical Society journal Applied Materials and Interfaces.


March 31, 2014 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

EIA: 5 states and the Gulf of Mexico produce more than 80% of US crude oil; shales drive the growth

Five states (Texas, North Dakota, California, Alaska, and Oklahoma) and the Gulf of Mexico supplied more than 80%, or 6 million barrels per day, of the crude oil (including lease condensate) produced in the United States in 2013, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).


March 31, 2014 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Ryder’s natural gas fleet surpasses 20 million miles

Ryder System, Inc., a leader in commercial transportation and supply chain management solutions, reports that its fleet of over 500 natural gas vehicles has surpassed 20 million miles (32 million km). The fleet consists of liquefied natural gas and compressed natural gas tractors serving more than 40 customer operations in California, New York, Texas, Arizona, Michigan, Utah, Georgia, and Louisiana.


March 31, 2014 in Brazil | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Renewable fuels and biochar company Cool Planet closes on $100M Series D financing

Cool Planet Energy Systems, a renewable fuels and biochar company (earlier post), closed on its targeted $100 million Series D financing. All of the current strategic and venture investors added to their investment in this round, and the company significantly broadened its investor base with more than 50% of equity funds from new investors coming from outside the US. The private placement has been jointly led by UBS and Goldman Sachs.


March 31, 2014 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Full lifecycle CO2 of new Mercedes C-Class 10% less than outgoing model

CO2 emissions of the C 180 in comparison to its predecessor [t/car]. Source: Mercedes-Benz. Click to enlarge.

Over the course of its entire life cycle—from its manufacture through 200,000 kilometer of driving to its recycling—the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class (earlier post) produces around 10% fewer CO2 emissions than its predecessor at the time of its market exit (compared to the time of its launch in 2007 the improvement is much higher, at around 28%). The C 180 (115 kW) with manual transmission was taken as the base variant of the new C-Class at market launch for the lifecycle analysis; it was compared with the corresponding preceding model. The analysis was validated by TÜV SÜD Management Service GmbH.

Over the entire lifecycle of the C 180, the lifecycle analysis yields a primary energy consumption of 521 gigajoules (corresponding to the energy content of around 16,000 liters of gasoline); an environmental input of approx. 35 tonnes of CO2; around 19 kilograms of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC); around 25 kilograms of nitrogen oxides (NOx); and 37 kilograms of sulfur dioxide (SO2). For CO2 emissions—and likewise for primary energy consumption—the use phase dominates with a share of 78 and 74% respectively.


March 31, 2014 in Emissions, Fuel Efficiency, Lifecycle analysis | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Liberty Coach introduces communication link for remote monitoring of motor coach Li-ion batteries

Liberty Coach, a company that converts Prevost luxury motor coaches to RVs, has introduced a new communication link that facilitates monitoring of a coach’s lithium-ion battery systems from both inside and outside the vehicle.


March 31, 2014 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

DOE awards $17M to FY 2014 SBIR Phase II projects; includes Si/graphene anodes, motor windings, exhaust treatments

The US DOE recently awarded $17 million to 17 FY 2014 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II projects to further develop Phase I projects and to produce a prototype or equivalent within two years. The selected 17 awards represent the best of nearly 1,000 ideas submitted for the FY 2012/13 Broad Based Topic Solicitation, DOE said.

The selected projects include 6 vehicle-related technologies and 2 hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, as well as new hydropower, heat pump, solar and manufacturing technologies. Vehicle technologies span a range from new Si/graphene Li-ion anode materials and composites for motor windings to diesel aftertreatment and advanced lubricants. Selected vehicle and hydrogen technology projects are:


March 31, 2014 in Batteries, Catalysts, Diesel, Emissions, Fuel Cells, Hydrogen, Lubricating Oils, Motors | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Picosun delivering ALD technology to Bosch

Picosun Oy, the manufacturer of Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) equipment, is delivering advanced ALD technology to Bosch’s Corporate Sector Research and Advance Engineering for development of novel ALD processes for new products and applications.


March 31, 2014 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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