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January 2015

January 31, 2015

NHTSA announces follow-up recall of 2.12 million cars and SUVs over TRW airbag defects

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced today the recall of more than 2.12 million Acura, Dodge, Jeep, Honda, Pontiac, and Toyota vehicles from model years 2002 to 2004 for a defect that may cause airbags to deploy inadvertently.

The vehicles were subject to earlier recalls to address a problem with an electronic component manufactured by TRW that caused some airbags to deploy in the absence of a crash. The recalls will provide vehicle owners with a new remedy after the manufacturers’ original attempts to fix the defects proved ineffective in some vehicles.


January 31, 2015 in Safety, Vehicle Systems | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

SolidEnergy targeting rechargeable Li-metal smartphone battery in 2016, EV battery with 2x range in 2017

SolidEnergy, an MIT spin-out commercializing solid electrolyte technology enabling the use of lithium metal anodes for high energy density rechargeable batteries (earlier post), says that in 2016, it and its battery manufacturing partners will release a 2 Ah commercial battery for the smartphone and wearable market. This is to be followed in 2017 by a 20 Ah electric vehicle battery offering more than two times the driving range of current Li-ion batteries.

In 2014, the company announced a prototype 2Ah pouch cell with a volumetric energy density of more than 1200 Wh/L; subsequently the company said it had achieved 1337 Wh/L in a 2Ah pouch cell. Its Solid Polymer Ionic Liquid (SPIL) electrolyte enables the use of an ultra-thin lithium metal anode, and improves the cell-level energy density by 50% compared to graphite anodes and 30% compared to silicon-composite anodes.


January 31, 2015 in Batteries | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

USDOT releases broad agency announcement for the Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has released a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for funding projects for Phase 1: Concept Development of the Connected Vehicle (CV) Pilot Deployment Program. (DTFH6115R00003)

DOT is sponsoring connected vehicle research to leverage the potentially transformative capabilities of wireless technology to make surface transportation safer, smarter, and greener. These efforts have resulted in a considerable body of research that is now in hand to support pilot deployments. The Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program is now seeking operational deployments of connected vehicle applications that synergistically capture and utilize new forms of connected vehicle and mobile device data to improve multimodal surface transportation system performance and enable enhanced performance-based systems management.


January 31, 2015 in Connected vehicles, Infrastructure, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

California ARB tightens back down on NOx requirement to 0.20 g/bhp-hr for replacement school buses

When the California Air Resources Board (ARB) initially established emissions criteria for replacement schoolbuses in 2008, the target for 2010 and newer model year school bus engines was 0.20 gram per brake horsepower-hour (g/bhp-hr) NOx and 0.01 g/bhp-hr particulate matter (PM) standards. However, due to the limited number of model year 2010 school buses that were manufactured and certified at or below the 0.20 g/bhp-hr NNOxOx emission levels, the NOx criterion for replacement school buses was changed to 0.50 g/bhp-hr.


January 31, 2015 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 30, 2015

BMW Group ConnectedDrive increases data security

The BMW Group is increasing the security of data transmission in its vehicles in response to reports from the German Automobile Association (ADAC). The motorist’s association had identified a potential security gap when data is transmitted. The BMW Group has closed this gap with a new configuration.


January 30, 2015 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Bosch completes acquisition of ZF’s share of ZF Lenksysteme JV; electric steering systems for fuel efficiency, ADAS and automated driving

The Bosch Group has completed its acquisition of ZF Friedrichshafen AG’s 50-percent share in the joint venture ZF Lenksysteme GmbH (ZFLS). Bosch now owns all shares in the formerly 50:50 joint venture, formed in 1999. It will be incorporated into the Bosch Group as a new division with the name Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH.

ZFLS is a leading manufacturer of electric steering systems, with which it currently generates around 60% of its sales, which were around €4.1 billion (US$4.6 billion) in 2013. Alongside its potential to save up to 0.8 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers, electric steering is the basic technology required to realize a number of assistance systems in cars as well as automated driving.


January 30, 2015 in Autonomous driving, Driver Assistance Systems, Fuel Efficiency, Vehicle Systems | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

EaglePicher Licenses OneD Material’s SiNANOde silicon-nanowire anode technology

EaglePicher Technologies, LLC has entered into a License Agreement and an Engineering Services Agreement with OneD Material to set up a new EaglePicher production facility in Joplin to produce SiNANOde, a silicon-nanowire-based anode material originally developed by Nanosys (earlier post) for building high energy density lithium-ion cells and batteries. (In 2013, OneD Material acquired Nanosys’ nanowire technologies and related assets including its R&D activities.)

This new technology will be used in part with EaglePicher’s initiative to increase lithium-ion cell production and expand the product portfolio for defense and aerospace applications. (Earlier post.) The addition of SiNANOde raw material is a key component for improving the performance of lithium-ion cells and batteries for niche applications.


January 30, 2015 in Batteries | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Volkswagen will premiere diesel Golf GTD Variant at Geneva show

Volkswagen will formally introduce the new Golf GTD (“Gran Turismo Diesel”) Variant at the Geneva Motor Show; the sporty and economical long-distance cruiser is available to order now in Europe at a price of €31,975 (US$36,177). Like the Golf GTD (earlier post) the Golf GTD Variant features the 184 PS (135 kW) TDI engine.


January 30, 2015 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Researchers from Caltech and UC San Diego report very high performance catalysts to convert seed oils to olefins

Researchers from Caltech and UC San Diego have developed a family of ruthenium-based metathesis catalysts that have shown exceptional activity in the conversion of seed oils to linear-chain olefins. In many cases, catalyst turnover numbers (TONs) of more than 100 ,000 were achieved, at a catalyst loading of only 3 ppm. Remarkably, the most active catalyst system was able to achieve a TON of 340,000 at a catalyst loading of only 1 ppm.


January 30, 2015 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

U of I at Chicago team to optimize new traffic-powered source of electricity

The Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department of the University of Illinois at Chicago has entered into an agreement with New Energy Innovations, Inc. (NEI), to optimize New Energy Innovations’ TPRES (Traffic Powered Renewable Energy System), a new traffic-powered source of electricity that can be deployed at intersections, municipalities, airport entrances, toll booths, as well as entrance and exit ramps.


January 30, 2015 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

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