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June 2015

June 30, 2015

Toyota Mirai fuel cell rated with EPA-estimated 67 mpge

The new Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (earlier post) will offer an EPA-estimated 67 miles per gallon equivalent (mpge) city/highway/combined when it hits dealerships in California this fall, and an EPA-estimated driving range rating of 312 miles (502 km) on a single fill of hydrogen.

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June 30, 2015 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (16)

Mercedes-Benz to invest €1B in Rastatt plant for production of next-gen compact cars

Mercedes-Benz will invest €1 billion (US$1.1 billion) to transform the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant to produce the next generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars, strengthening its role as the global lead plant for compact cars for the company.

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June 30, 2015 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0)

Successful run across the US on 37.6 gallons of 100% NEXBTL renewable diesel; 66.7 mpg w/ average speed 67.7 mph

On 26 June, CLP Motorsports’ Superlite Coupe crossed the finish line in Santa Monica, California, after driving across the USA on one tank of NEXBTL renewable diesel (earlier post)—the first time that this type of trip was driven using a fuel that is made exclusively from bio-based raw materials.

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June 30, 2015 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0)

Electric bus maker Proterra completes $55M strategic financing

Battery-eletcric bus manufacturer Proterra has completed a $55M strategic financing. This signals a new growth phase for the company, as Proterra scales production to meet growing demand and accelerates cash realization.

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June 30, 2015 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0)

Amyris and Total agree to restructure renewable jet fuel joint venture; Total to own 75%

Amyris, Inc. and Total Energies Nouvelles Activités USA (a wholly owned subsidiary of Total S.A.) have agreed on the restructuring of their fuels joint venture to open the way for proceeding with commercialization of Amyris jet fuel technology over the coming years. Following the restructuring, Total would own 75% of the joint venture with Amyris, up from the current 50%. (Earlier post.)

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June 30, 2015 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mercedes-Benz sets Pikes Peak diesel record with near-production C 300 d

Mercedes-Benz has set a new record for the diesels in the Pikes Peak hill-climb race with a near-production C 300 d 4MATIC. Test driver Uwe Nittel completed the 19.99 km (12.4-mile) route—which includes 156 bends with a change in altitude of 1439 meters (4,721 feet)—in just 11.37 minutes.

The 150 kW (204 hp) C 300 d 4MATIC (in Europe known as 250 d) fitted with a 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission competed in the hill-climb race in largely series-production configuration. As is customary for a racing car, the interior was cleared out. The modifications included the safety measures required by the regulations, such as a roll-over cage, racing tank, fire extinguishing system, enhanced brakes and ultra-high-performance tires (UHP).

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June 30, 2015 in Diesel, Engines | Permalink | Comments (3)

Skeleton Technologies launches new range of high-performance ultracapacitors; up to 111 kW/kg and 9.6 Wh/kg; hybrid truck application coming

Skeleton Technologies (earlier post) has launched a new range of cylindrical ultracapacitors that offers specific power performance of up to 111 kW/kg (SC450, 450F) and specific energy up to 9.6 Wh/kg (SC4500, 4500F) with ESR as low as 0.075 mΩ (SC3000, 3000F)—the highest performance cylindrical cell ultracapacitors in the market.

Through the use of its patented graphene material, the new series features a capacitance of up to 4500 farads (the SC4500 cell). By contrast, the closest competitor product has a capacitance of 3400 farads. Skeleton claims this is the single biggest increase in energy density for ultracapacitors in the past 15 years.

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June 30, 2015 in Batteries, Graphene, Hybrids | Permalink | Comments (5)

United Airlines invests $30M in Fulcrum BioEnergy; renewable jet fuel offtake agreement, potential joint development of production

United Airlines made a $30-million equity investment in US-based Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc., the developer of a process for converting municipal solid waste into low-cost sustainable aviation biofuel. (Earlier post.) The investment is so far the largest single investment by a US airline in alternative fuels.

In addition to the equity investment, United and Fulcrum have entered into an agreement that contemplates the joint development of up to five projects located near United’s hubs expected to have the potential to produce up to 180 million gallons of fuel per year.

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June 30, 2015 in Aviation, Bio-hydrocarbons, Biomass-to-Liquids (BTL), Fuels, Gasification | Permalink | Comments (3)

The Automotive Research Center at the University of Michigan’s Annual Program Review: The Driving Force Behind Autonomous Vehicles

by James Garay, ARC

In the fall of 1994, the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Command (TACOM) awarded MEAM [Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics] a three-year, $7.5-million research grant to establish an Automotive Research Center (ARC) at the U-M.1

Twenty-one years later, the ARC, which operates as a consortium of six universities[2] collaborating with partners from both industrial and government sectors, gathered once again on the University of Michigan’s North Campus for its 21st Annual Program Review. Professionals representing each of the three aforementioned domains (academia, government, industry) comprised the event’s nearly 300 attendees.

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June 30, 2015 in Autonomous driving, Driver Assistance Systems | Permalink | Comments (0)

New operando technique shows atomic-scale changes during catalytic reactions in real-time; applications for batteries and fuel cells

A new technique developed by a team of researchers led by Eric Stach at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Anatoly Frenkel at Yeshiva University reveals atomic-scale changes during catalytic reactions in real time and under real operating conditions. An open access paper on the work is published in the journal Nature Communications.

The team used a new microfabricated catalytic reactor to combine synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy for an unprecedented portrait of a common chemical reaction. The results demonstrate a powerful operando—i.e., in a working state—technique that is generalizable to quantitative operando studies of complex systems using a wide variety of X-ray and electron-based experimental probes. This may have a tremendous impact on research on catalysts, batteries, fuel cells, and other major energy technologies.

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June 30, 2015 in Batteries, Catalysts, Fuel Cells | Permalink | Comments (0)

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