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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... Read more →

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... Read more →

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. Rice scientists mixed very... Read more →

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). Texas alone provided almost... Read more →

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... Read more →

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... Read more →

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... Read more →

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. Liberty uses lithium iron phosphate batteries to reduce the weight of the coach as well as... Read more →

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... Read more →

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. The now-announced collaboration between Picosun and Bosch Corporate Research highlights the role of ALD. ALD is... Read more →

Scanning electron microscope image shows vertical polythiophene nanofiber arrays grown on a metal substrate. The arrays contained either solid fibers or hollow tubes, depending on the diameter of the pores used to grow them. Credit: Virendra Singh. Click to enlarge. A team led by researchers from Georgia Tech have used... Read more →

Sheffield engineers use 3D printing for a 1.5m-wide UAV prototype

Engineers at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield have successfully printed a 1.5m-wide prototype unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for a research project looking at 3D printing of complex designs. The engineers said the polymer craft could form the basis of cheap and potentially disposable UAVs... Read more →

Hitachi and Demansys to demo CrystEna Energy Storage System for grid frequency regulation and capacity services

Hitachi America, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. and Demansys Energy LLC reached an agreement to perform a demonstration project utilizing Hitachi’s “CrystEna” (Crystal+Energy) compact 1 MW container-type energy storage system in the market for frequency regulation and capacity services, and that site installation work will soon commence.... Read more →

Forecast: global 3-wheeler market to grow at CAGR of 13% through 2019

The value of the global three-wheeler market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13% during 2014-19, according to a recently published report by TechSci Research, “Global Three Wheeler Market Forecast and Opportunities, 2019”. The introduction of CNG/LPG three-wheelers has revived the global three-wheeler market and significantly... Read more →

NJ DOT report finds red-light cameras reduce crashes and citations; insufficient data for program conclusions

The third annual analysis of red-light safety cameras (photo enforcement) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has found overall decreases in crashes, as well as decreases in the number of annual citations issued, for all program years. A traffic control signal monitoring system—i.e., a Red Light Running (RLR)... Read more →

MIT Energy Initiative announces 2014 seed grant awards

The MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) announced its latest round of seed grants to support early-stage innovative energy projects. A total of more than $1.6 million was awarded to 11 projects, each lasting up to two years. With this latest round, the MITEI Seed Fund Program has supported 129 early-stage research... Read more →

Recargo-sponsored attempt at record solo 12,000-mile EV journey around US with Model S

Norman Hajjar, Managing Director of Recargo’s driver research division, PlugInsights, is attempting an 18-day, 12,000-mile, battery-powered journey sponsored by the electric vehicle (EV) software and information services company. Hajjar will be driving a stock Tesla Model S sedan and navigating via Recargo’s PlugShare app for locating EV charging stations. The... Read more →

About 29,000 LEAFs in ~1M vehicle Nissan recall over seat software fault

Nissan North America, Inc. is recalling approximately 989,701 model year 2013-2014 Altima, LEAF, Pathfinder, and Sentra, model year 2013 NV200 (aka Taxi) and Infiniti JX35 and model year 2014 Infiniti Q50 and QX60 vehicles. There are 29,165 LEAFs involved in the recall. In the affected vehicles, the occupant classification system... Read more →

GM recalling 656 Cadillac ELR extended range electric vehicles over calibration of Electronic Brake Control Module

GM is recalling 656 model year 2014 Cadillac ELR vehicles not equipped with adaptive cruise control and manufactured 26 September 2013 through 14 February 2014, and equipped without Adaptive Cruise Control. (NHTSA Campaign Number: 14V-144; GM’s number for this recall is 14087.) ELRs without Adaptive Cruise Control were built with... Read more →

NHTSA closes investigation into risks associated with undercarriage strikes on Tesla Model S

Following Tesla’s announcement that it is adding a three-component shield system to the underbody of the Model S (earlier post), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has closed the preliminary investigation it opened in November 2013 to examine the potential risks associated with undercarriage... Read more →

Volkswagen Group, SAIC and FAW to increase cooperation on green vehicles in China

The Volkswagen Group will cooperate more closely with its Chinese joint venture partners SAIC Motor Co. and First Automotive Works (FAW) Group in the field of forward-looking technologies, according to joint declarations signed in Berlin on Friday by Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen... Read more →

ARB announces formation of waiting list for clean vehicle rebates due to demand

With demand for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and zero-emission vehicles rapidly growing in California, the California Air Resources Board announced the immediate formation of a rebate waiting list for up to a total of $5 million of incentive funds. To accommodate expected market growth into the summer, ARB staff also... Read more →

Obama Administration outlines strategy for reduction of methane emissions

The Obama Administration has outlined its Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions. The strategy summarizes the sources of methane emissions, commits to new steps to cut emissions of the potent greenhouse gas, and outlines the Administration’s efforts to improve the measurement of these emissions. The strategy builds on progress to date... Read more →

BMW to invest $1B in Spartanburg, SC plant by 2016 to increase capacity by 50%; new BMW X7

BMW plans to invest US$ 1 billion in the company’s South Carolina plant, boosting annual production capacity by 50% up to 450,000 vehicles by the end of 2016. Today’s capacity is around 300,000 vehicles. In addition to the X3, X5, X6, and the new X4, we are today announcing another... Read more →

Synthetic biology company launches JV to commercialize gas-to-liquids bioconversion; isobutanol first target

Synthetic biology company Intrexon Corporation has formed Intrexon Energy Partners (IEP), a joint venture with a group of external investors, to optimize and to scale-up Intrexon’s gas-to-liquids (GTL) bioconversion platform. IEP’s first target product is isobutanol for gasoline blending. Intrexon’s natural gas upgrading program is targeting the development of an... Read more →

Cummins announces fuel economy improvements for heavy-duty lineup

Cummins Inc. announced fuel-efficiency improvements, a new engine rating and Connected Diagnostics for its heavy-duty engine customers. Cummins offers optimized ratings for its 15-liter ISX15 engines to provide leading fuel efficiency in a variety of applications. For the most fuel-conscious fleets, the ISX15 is available with ratings of 400 hp... Read more →

Blue Sun Energy, ARA Inc. and Chevron Lummus Global achieve production milestone for renewable drop-in fuels

Blue Sun Energy, ARA Inc. and Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) achieved a key development milestone with their 100 barrel/per day (4,200 gallon/per day) demonstration-scale Biofuels ISOCONVERSION (BIC) facility in St. Joseph, Missouri. (Earlier post.) Less than a year after beginning engineering to scale the technology, the team has completed plant... Read more →

Tesla adding underbody triple shield system to Model S to reduce risk of battery fires caused by impacts

In an effort to reduce further the already low risk of a Model S battery fire resulting from impact with road debris, Tesla Motors is outfitting new Model S cars (as of 6 March) with an underbody triple shield system consisting first of an aluminum bar; then a titanium shield;... Read more →

Image of how the driving support system utilizes traffic signal information. Click to enlarge. Honda Motor Co., Ltd. plans to begin public road demonstration testing of its driving support system utilizing traffic signal information next month. The demonstration testing will be conducted in Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture in Japan in... Read more →

More than 57% of retail F-150 pickup sales this year are V6s

More than 57% of Ford Motor Company’s F-150 retail sales so far this year are powered by V6 engines—the highest six-cylinder engine mix in the industry since 1967. Ford expects that trend to continue for the rest of the year. V8 engines led truck sales for decades until recently. Over... Read more →

Walmart showcased its Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience (WAVE) at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville, Ky. WAVE is a tractor-trailer combination that features leading edge aerodynamics; an advanced turbine-powered range extending series hybrid powertrain; electrified auxiliary components; and control systems. The project aims to demonstrate a wide range of... Read more →

Eaton launches SmartAdvantage Package with Volvo Trucks for VNL Series; 3-6% fuel economy improvement

Eaton announced that Volvo Trucks will offer the Eaton SmartAdvantage Powertrain in all VNL Series models in order to maximize fuel efficiency in linehaul and regional haul applications. In addition to lighter weight and increasing the driver pool with smooth, automated shifting, this powertrain is designed to enhance the time... Read more →

Scientists synthesize first functional designer chromosome in yeast

An international team of scientists led by Dr. Jef Boeke, director of NYU Langone Medical Center’s Institute for Systems Genetics, has synthesized the first functional chromosome in yeast, an important step in the emerging field of synthetic biology—designing microorganisms to produce novel medicines, raw materials for food, and biofuels. A... Read more →

Electrochemical performance of 1 μm Li2S@C spheres at different C-rates. (a) Cycling performances and Coulombic efficiency. (b) Rate capability of the 1 μm Li2S@C cathodes. (c) Voltage profiles of the 1 μm Li2S@C spheres. Credit: ACS, Nan et al. Click to enlarge. Researchers from UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,... Read more →

Testing shows Volvo Trucks’ 2014 engines delivering up to 3% fuel efficiency improvement over 2013 models

Volvo Trucks’ 2014 heavy-duty engines are providing greater fuel efficiency than anticipated, delivering up to a 3% fuel efficiency improvement compared with their 2013 counterparts, according to the company. A combination of in-lab and on-road testing showed that the initially announced fuel efficiency figures of up to 2% understated actual... Read more →

Audi offering A3 e-tron customers in Germany green electricity in cooperation with LichtBlick

As an accompaniment to the market launch of the A3 e tron plug-in hybrid (earlier post), Audi is offering customers in Germany green electricity: Audi energy. The cooperating partner is the Hamburg energy provider LichtBlick SE. With Audi energy, the A3 e tron is totally emission-free when operated electrically. The... Read more →

Peterbilt is showcasing Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide’s new Back-of-Cab (BOC) compressed natural gas (CNG) storage module installed on a Peterbilt 579 truck at the Mid-America Trucking Show. New Back-of-Cab CNG storage system. Click to enlarge. Quantum recently designed, engineered, and introduced this high capacity, light-weight, CNG storage system for... Read more →

BYD and Long Beach Transit terminate electric bus contract

BYD Motors, Inc. has agreed to mutually terminate its contract with Long Beach Transportation Company (LBT) for the delivery of 10 electric buses. BYD said that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) withdrew funding of the contract as a result of an error in BYD’s pre-bid disadvantaged business program certification in... Read more →

TS040 HYBRID. Click to enlarge. Toyota Racing has revealed the TS040 HYBRID car and revised driver line-up for the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship. (Earlier post.) With 480 PS (473 hp, 353 kW) of four-wheel-drive hybrid boost in addition to the 520 PS (513 hp, 383 kW) 3.7-liter V-8 gasoline... Read more →

14 global automakers reach agreement on standards for suppliers on key responsibility issues

Two leading corporate responsibility business associations, AIAG and CSR Europe, facilitator of the European Automotive Working Group on Supply Chain Sustainability, announced that 14 global automakers have reached agreement on a set of standards outlining expectations for suppliers on key responsibility issues including human rights, environment, working conditions and business... Read more →

WTW energy expended and GHG emissions for conventional fuels ICE and hybrid vehicles shows the potential for improvement of conventional fuels and ICE based vehicles. Source: EUR 26236 EN - 2014 Click to enlarge. Europe’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and its partners in the JEC Consortium—JRC, EUCAR (the European Council... Read more →

The recently introduced Wärtsilä low-pressure, 2-stroke, dual-fuel engine (DF) (earlier post) has received a second new order. A 5-cylinder Wärtsilä RT-flex50DF engine, together with the gas valve unit and other relevant equipment, has been ordered for a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier vessel being built for the Chinese ship... Read more →

Kenworth T680 Advantage. Click to enlarge. At the Mid-America Trucking show, PACCAR companies Kenworth and Peterbilt introduced more fuel efficient version of their heavy-duty models: the Kenworth T680 Advantage and the Peterbilt Model 579 with EPIQ package. Kenworth says that the T680 Advantage can deliver up to a 5% fuel... Read more →

Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in conjunction with the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have engineered tolerance to ionic liquids (ILs)—used for biomass pretreatment, but generally toxic to bacteria—into biofuel-producing bacteria. The results, reported in an open access paper in Nature Communications are likely to eliminate a bottleneck in JBEI’s... Read more →

Kinder Morgan to invest ~$1B on new CO2 system for EOR

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. will build and operate a new, 213-mile (343 km), 16-inch diameter pipeline to transport carbon dioxide from the company’s St. Johns source field in Apache County, Arizona, to the Kinder Morgan-operated Cortez Pipeline in Torrance County, NM. The new Lobos Pipeline will have an initial... Read more →

Continental launching production of short range radar sensors for ADAS in US; 3M units targeted in 2016

Continental will launch production this month of short range radar sensors for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) at its plant in Seguin, Texas. A single line will handle production initially, but additional lines are in preparation to satisfy the demand of OEMs manufacturing in the US. We plan to produce... Read more →

LanzaTech raises $60M in D Round; Mitsui leads, Siemens comes in

LanzaTech, a leader in gas fermentation technology for novel and economic routes to fuels and high value chemicals, has raised $60 million in a Series D Round. Led by Mitsui & Co. with a $20M investment, the round includes new investors Siemens via its Venture Capital unit (SFS VC), CICC... Read more →

Toyota to create foundation focused on mobility challenges

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) plans to establish a foundation to support efforts to address mobility challenges around the world. Toyota aims for the foundation, of which TMC President Akio Toyoda will be appointed chairman, to be registered in Japan by the end of August. The new foundation will utilize Toyota’s... Read more →

Rear-axle KERS unit. Click to enlarge. Volvo Car Group and engineering company Flybrid Automotive, part of the Torotrak Group, have been conducting UK tests of lightweight Flybrid flywheel KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) technology. (Earlier post.) The test car applies flywheel technology to the rear axle, while the combustion engine... Read more →