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July 2014

July 31, 2014

First international commercial flight completed with direct sugar to hydrocarbon (DSHC) fuel

Amyris has partnered with Brazilian airline GOL to fly the industry’s first commercial flight with sugarcane-derived farnesane, the recently approved renewable jet fuel. (Earlier post.) The first flight, GOL flight 7725, departed from Orlando, Florida on 30 July 2014 and traveled to Sao Paulo, Brazil.

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July 31, 2014 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Ultracapacitor manufacturer Skeleton Technologies raises €3.9M (US$5.2 M) in Round A financing (corrected by mfr)

Skeleton Technologies, a manufacturer of high power- and energy-density ultracapacitors (earlier post) has completed Round A financing of €3.9 million (US$5.4 million). The financing will be used for production scale-up and product development in addition to sales and marketing efforts. The total Round A financing, led by Estonian venture capital investor UP Invest AS includes the first financing tranche of €2.2 million announced in April 2013.

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Continental acquires 100% ownership of exhaust aftertreatment JV Emitec

Continental has acquired 100% ownership of the exhaust technologies specialist Emitec. Until now, it was a 50/50 joint venture with Continental and Continental’s partner GKN. The acquisition takes effect today, with Emitec becoming part of Conti’s Powertrain Division.

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Ford holding auto app developer conference; hackathon with LA data

Ford Motor Company will hold an automotive app developer conference on 8 September as part of the Connected Car Expo taking place at CTIA’s Super Mobility Week at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. The conference will be followed by an overnight hackathon where developers will be provided data generated by Ford vehicles and from the City of Los Angeles to create innovative apps.

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Fraunhofer researchers take a different angle on wireless charging: from the front

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology IISB in Erlangen, Germany are pursuing an alternative approach to inductive (wireless) charging for electric vehicles. Rather than mounting induction coils on the underside of the vehicle to work with floor-mounted charging stations, the Fraunhofer team has developed a system for charging the plug-in from the front end. This, they say, addresses a number of problems.

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Audi A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid sales start in Europe; 157 mpg US

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A3 e-tron. Click to enlarge.

Audi’s first plug-in hybrid, the A3 Sportback e-tron (earlier post), is now available to order for customers in Europe. Approximately 410 Audi dealers in Europe—including 105 in Germany—are selling the A3 e-tron. Pricing on the German market is €37,900 (US$50,800).

The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron brings together a 1.4 TFSI gasoline engine and an electric motor, giving the compact automobile a system output of 150 kW (204 hp). The A3 Sportback e-tron’s fuel consumption in accordance with the NEDC standard for plug-in hybrid vehicles is 1.5 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (157 mpg US), with CO2 emissions of 35 grams per kilometer (56.3 g/mi).

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July 31, 2014 in Hybrids, Plug-ins | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Mercedes-Benz S 500 Plug-In Hybrid goes on sale; 84 mpg US

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S 500 Plug-In Hybrid. Click to enlarge.

Mercedes-Benz has begun taking orders for the new S 500 Plug-In Hybrid (earlier post), with prices (in Germany, including 19% VAT) from €108,944.50 (US$146,000); the sedan will begin arriving at dealerships in September.

The Mercedes-Benz S 500 Plug-In Hybrid offers a combined system output of 325 kW (442 hp) and 650 N·m (479 lb-ft) torque; acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes 5.2 seconds, and the plug-in hybrid has an all-electric range of up to 33 km (20.5 miles). The certified fuel consumption is 2.8 liters/100 km (84 mpg US), which corresponds to 65 g CO2/km emissions. (Earlier, Daimler had projected fuel consumption of 3.0 l/100 km.)

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July 31, 2014 in Hybrids, Plug-ins | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Panasonic and Tesla sign Gigafactory agreement

Panasonic Corporation and Tesla Motors, Inc. signed an agreement that lays out their cooperation on the construction of a large-scale battery manufacturing plant in the United States (the specific location yet to be announced) known as the Gigafactory. (Earlier post.) During Tesla’s Q4 earnings call in February, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had noted that because Panasonic is Tesla’s primary partner on battery production, the “default assumption” was that Panasonic would continue to partner with Tesla in the Gigafactory.

According to the agreement, Tesla will prepare, provide and manage the land, buildings and utilities. Panasonic will manufacture and supply cylindrical lithium-ion cells and invest in the associated equipment, machinery, and other manufacturing tools based on their mutual approval. A network of supplier partners is planned to produce the required precursor materials. Tesla will take the cells and other components to assemble battery modules and packs.

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July 31, 2014 in Batteries, Electric (Battery) | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack

Chromatin and California ethanol producers to support sorghum feedstock program with CA Energy Commission’s $9M grants

Chromatin, Inc., a leading producer of innovative crop breeding technology, sorghum seed products and feedstocks, announced a collaborative sorghum feedstock program with Pacific Ethanol, Inc.; Calgren Renewable Fuels; and Aemetis, Inc. The California Energy Commission announced on 18 July 2014 that it had awarded the ethanol companies with a total of $9 million in grants. (Earlier post.)

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UT and ORNL researchers develop new class of pseudocapacitor; anion-based intercalation pseudocapacitance

Scientists in the The University of Texas at Austin’s College of Natural Sciences and the Cockrell School of Engineering, in collaboration with a researcher at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have developed the first of a new class of pseudocapacitor that may eventually lead to devices that can store electricity more densely and charge/discharge more quickly than other types of pseudocapacitors built to date.

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