« March 2016 | Main | May 2016 »

A new study by consultancy Roland Berger defines an integrated roadmap for European road transport decarbonization to 2030 and beyond; the current regulatory framework for vehicle emissions, carbon intensity of fuels and use of renewable fuels covers only up to 2020/2021. The study was commissioned by a coalition of fuel... Read more →

IEEE publishes new 1609.3-2016 WAVE standard supporting connected vehicle deployment

IEEE has published the 1609.3-2016 Standard for Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments (WAVE) -- Networking Services. IEEE 1609.3 defines network (Layer 3) and transport layer (Layer 4) services that support secure WAVE data exchange, including addressing and routing. The lack of ubiquitous high-speed communications between vehicles and service providers and... Read more →

DOE and DOT collaborate to support smart transportation systems and alternative fuel technologies

The US Departments of Energy (DOE) and Transportation (DOT) announced a collaboration to accelerate research, development, demonstration, and deployment of innovative smart transportation systems and alternative fuel technologies. The agencies formalized this collaborative relationship through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was unveiled at a symposium this week called Achieving... Read more →

Study: long-term exposure to PM2.5 associated with numerous types of cancer

Long-term exposure to ambient PM2.5, a mixture of environmental pollutants, was associated with increased risk of mortality for many types of cancer in an elderly Hong Kong population, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. Long-term exposure... Read more →

Study: Even small amounts of PM2.5 may have long-term health effects on developing fetus

Even small amounts of PM2.5 pollution appear to raise the risk of a condition in pregnant women linked to premature births and lifelong neurological and respiratory disorders in their children, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests. Fine particles from car exhaust, power plants and other industrial... Read more →

At Auto China in Beijing, Qoros Auto unveiled a concept car showcasing a new Qoros “Qamfree” engine featuring FreeValve’s Pneumatic-Hydraulic-Electric-Actuator (PHEA) technology. FreeValve and Qoros also announced a partnership for the continued development of the camless technology. FreeValve AB is a sister company to Koenigsegg Automotive. FreeValve’s PHEA technology replaces... Read more →

The Bakken Formation, a shale oil and gas field in North Dakota and Montana, is emitting roughly 2% (about 250,000 tons per year) of the globe’s ethane, according to new study led by researchers at the University of Michigan. The paper appears in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Ethane is... Read more →

Neste Renewable Isoalkane to be used for Avantherm’s renewable products for transferring heat and cold

Avantherm, a Swedish company specializing in heat transfer media products, has started using Neste Renewable Isoalkane to produce the next generation, high-performance and more environmentally friendly heat transfer media. Avantherm thus becomes one of the first companies to market Heat Transfer Media produced from renewable raw materials. Neste Renewable Isoalkane... Read more →

Regulating water content in polymeric membranes is important in a number of applications—such as in the proton-exchange fuel-cell membranes used in automotive fuel cell stacks. Researchers from CSIRO in Australia and Hanyang University in Korea have now developed a new type of hydrocarbon polymer membrane that has the potential to... Read more →

Volkswagen starts recall of the first EA 189 Golf model in Europe for diesel emissions fix

In Europe, the Volkswagen passenger car brand is starting the technical modification of the non-compliant diesel vehicles with engine type EA 189 and the software defeat device. The first model is the Golf TDI Blue Motion Technology (BMT) with a 2.0l engine. In Europe around 15,000 Golf cars affected with... Read more →

Volkswagen again reaffirms 20 new PEV models coming across the Group; MEB development

In his remarks at the Annual Media Conference, where the Group presented 2015 results, Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, said that 2016 will be a year of transition for Volkswagen, and will also see the accelerated transformation of the company. The Group is currently... Read more →

Daimler investing €500M to modernize Mercedes-Benz Hamburg plant; production of e-mobility components

Daimler is investing €500 million (US$567 million) to modernize the Mercedes-Benz Hamburg plant and is expanding its product portfolio to include key components for electric driving. The production of axles and axle components, lightweight structural components and steering columns, along with exhaust technology, will remain an integral part of the... Read more →

VW introduces new, more efficient TSI engine generation; Miller cycle with higher compression and electric VTG turbo

Volkswagen is presenting the latest generation of the EA211 TSI evo at the 37th International Vienna Motor Symposium. The first model in this future generation of spark ignition engines is the 1.5-liter TSI. The fuel-efficient and high-torque gasoline-fueled TSI engine is set to launch in late 2016, initially with outputs... Read more →

Small-scale gas-to-liquids (GTL) company Velocys says that it has successfully scaled up its Fischer-Tropsch (FT) reactor design to individual reactors with capacities in the range 350 to 1,000 barrels per day (bpd) by adding further standard reactor cores within a single pressure vessel. Extensive modelling carried out on the design... Read more →

Fuel cell company PowerCell Sweden cooperates with Swiss Hydrogen SA to market fuel cell systems

Fuel cell company PowerCell Sweden AB has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Swiss Hydrogen SA, a Switzerland-based company that develops hydrogen fuel cell systems for mobile and stationary applications. The two companies will cooperate to market and sell high performance fuel cell systems based on PowerCell’s stacks. PowerCell Sweden... Read more →

PARC, ORNL and Ford collaborate on high-energy, high-power battery production for EVs using CoEx printing

PARC, a Xerox company, is collaborating with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Ford Motor Company in a DOE-funded project that will use PARC’s novel CoEx printing technology (earlier post) to fabricate thick, higher energy and higher power battery electrodes with the end goal of enabling longer range and low... Read more →

Porsche offering Platinum Edition of Cayenne Diesel and Cayenne S E-Hybrid

Porsche is offering a new Platinum Edition of the Cayenne Diesel and Cayenne S E-Hybrid—the latter a plug-in hybrid with a 10.8 kWh battery pack. In addition to their enhanced appearance—for example, large 20-inch wheels in RS Spyder design housed in wider wheel arches and interior features, the models’ expanded... Read more →

Researchers at Beihang University in Beijing have developed a new Li-sulfur battery using honeycomb-like sulfur copolymer uniformly distributed onto 3D graphene (3D cpS-G) networks for a cathode material and a 3D lithiated Si-G network as anode. In a paper published in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science, they reported... Read more →

Alliance AutoGas launches 5300-mile, 12-city Coast-to-Coast Clean Air Ride with converted F-150

Supported by partners, Clean City Coalitions and corporate sponsors, Alliance AutoGas is embarking on a 5300+ mile, 12-city, cross-country road trip—the Alliance AutoGas Coast-to-Coast Clean Air Ride—with its record-setting propane autogas F-150. The event is being hosted by the Metropolitan Energy Center/Kansas City Regional Clean Cities in conjunction with Veolia/Kansas... Read more →

China-based internet company LeEco unveiled its LeSEE electric car concept this week at Auto China 2016—The 14th Beijing International Automobile Exhibition. (Earlier post.) The LeSEE electric concept features an advanced autopilot and driver assistance systems, intelligent inductive charging and car sharing capabilities. To increase driver safety and awareness, the front-end... Read more →

March 2016 was another positive month for European new car registrations, ending a strong Q1 which saw sales of 3.93 million units, up by 8.1% over the first three months of 2015, according to JATO Dynamics. Although volumes grew at a slower rate (+5.6%) than recorded in February 2016 (+13.8%),... Read more →

Study: strong interactions with voice-guided vehicles result in more crashes

A recent study by researchers at Michigan State University, Eindhoven University of Technology, and Stanford University found that giving a car a more personal voice led to more car accidents. Rabindra Ratan, Young June Sah, Will Renius (Michigan State University), Dave Miller, Rob Semmens (Stanford University) and Frank Verberne (Eindhoven... Read more →

Wrapping up the track on the commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen infrastructure held at the 2016 SAE World Congress (earlier post), a panel of technical experts agreed that while significant progress has been made with the technology, and while the first generation of consumer-available fuel cell vehicles... Read more →

DLR presents HY4 4-passenger fuel cell hybrid electric aircraft at 2016 Hannover Messe

DLR is presenting the HY4—a four-seater passenger fuel cell hybrid electric aircraft prototype (earlier post)— at the 2016 Hannover Messe, along with research and development partners Hydrogenics, Pipistrel, H2FLY, the University of Ulm and Stuttgart Airport. The HY4 is due to take off for its maiden flight in the summer... Read more →

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) material scientists have found that 3D-printed foam works better than standard cellular materials in terms of durability and long-term mechanical performance. Foams, also known as cellular solids, are an important class of materials with applications ranging from thermal insulation and shock-absorbing support cushions to lightweight... Read more →

Germany pumping €1B into plug-in vehicle subsidies, infrastructure; base price cap of €60K

The German government will put approximately €1 billion (US$1.1 billion) into subsidies for plug-in vehicles and the supporting charging infrastructure, beginning next month. Electric car buyers will receive a €4,000 (US$4,500) subsidy; buyers of plug-ins will receive €3,000 (US$3,400). Half of the amount will be provided by the government, the... Read more →

Onboard Dynamics receives $3M from ARPA-E, others for innovative CNG refueling technology

Onboard Dynamics, Inc. (ObDI), an innovator in compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling, has received $3 million from the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E), Portland Seed Fund, NW Natural and other utilities, and private investors. Onboard Dynamics is currently pursuing two compressed natural gas refueling... Read more →

Volkswagen, a partner in SLAM fast charging project, shows “Golden Test Device” at Hannover Messe

Volkswagen is working with partners from industry and science on the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy’s SLAM research project (Schnellladenetz für Achsen und Metropolen, Fast charging network for road axes and metropolitan areas). The SLAM project has a total budget of €12.9 million (US$14.6 million) and will... Read more →

Volvo Cars to launch UK’s largest autonomous driving trial

Volvo Cars will begin the UK’s most ambitious autonomous driving (AD) trial next year. Volvo’s UK-based test will be called ‘Drive Me London’ and will differentiate itself from other AD programs by using real families driving AD cars on public roads. Volvo said it will source its data from these... Read more →

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) will showcase its award-winning Ranger precision localization solution at the AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2016 conference and trade show in New Orleans 2-5 May. Ranger is a patented approach to vehicle localization that enables precise navigation for automated vehicles using commercially available hardware in combination with SwRI algorithms.... Read more →

FCA US to invest $74.7M in Trenton Engine Complex for new 4-cylinder

FCA US will invest $74.7 million in its Trenton Engine Complex (Mich.) to retool the north plant to produce the next generation four-cylinder engine. The new engine will be assembled on the flexible production line that was installed in 2012 and will provide increased power, while improving fuel economy and... Read more →

Comet Biorefining signs sugar supply agreement with BioAmber, announces investment

Comet Biorefining recently signed an off-take agreement with bio-succinic acid producer BioAmber for high-purity dextrose from Comet’s planned commercial plant in Sarnia, Ontario. The dextrose will be produced from agricultural residues using Comet’s innovative technology. (Earlier post.) The off-take agreement also includes provisions for Comet to supply dextrose to future... Read more →

Mitsubishi establishes special external committee to investigate improper fuel economy testing

The board of directors of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) is establishing a special investigation committee, consisting of only external experts, to investigate the improper fuel economy testing and certification of mini-cars to which it admitted recently. On 20 April, MMC revealed that it had conducted fuel economy testing for mini-cars... Read more →

The US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced up to $30 million in funding for a new program for technologies that use renewable energy to convert air and water into cost-competitive liquid fuels. (DE-FOA-0001562) ARPA-E’s Renewable Energy to Fuels through Utilization of Energy-dense Liquids (REFUEL) program seeks... Read more →

DOE to issue $22.3M funding opportunity for vehicle technologies; MD and HD PEVs, DI propane engine and partner projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will issue (DE-FOA-0001534) a $22.3-million multi-topic funding opportunity for vehicle technologies (DE-FOA-0001535). The FOA will include the three areas of interest: medium- and heavy-duty plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs); direct injection propane engine; and alternative fuel vehicle community partner projects. PEVs. The objective of this... Read more →

In Europe, Ford revealed the all-new 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel engine—the first in a new range of diesels that will offer optimized fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 and NOx emissions. Building on the performance and technology of Ford’s award-winning EcoBoost gasoline engines, the EcoBlue diesel range will deliver power outputs ranging... Read more →

Ballard’s Protonex subsidiary delivers PEM fuel cell propulsion modules for UAVs to Boeing’s Insitu

Ballard Power Systems subsidiary, Protonex, has delivered prototype PEM (proton exchange membrane) fuel cell propulsion modules to Insitu, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company, for use in its ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The ScanEagle platform has logged more than 800,000 flight hours in military and civilian applications,... Read more →

Ricardo Software will partner with Modelon to expand Ricardo’s IGNITE product capabilities. IGNITE is a physics-based system simulation package operating in Modelica (earlier post) focused on complete vehicle system modeling and simulation. With comprehensive powertrain and thermofluid component libraries, users can quickly and accurately model conventional to highly complex vehicle... Read more →

ABB introduces Dynamic AC concept to marine offerings; up to 6% annual fuel savings for large cruise ships

ABB has introduced a new Dynamic AC (DAC) concept that optimizes marine engine speed, leading to significant fuel savings. It joins a number of established ABB products, such as Azipod propulsion and the Onboard DC Grid, which maximize energy efficiency for vessel owners. In the Dynamic AC (DAC) concept, the... Read more →

In a paper presented at the 2016 SAE World Congress, Tula Technology, developer of Dynamic Skip Fire (DSF) cylinder deactivation technology, reported significant fuel economy gains of up to 18% over a conventional GM 6.2-liter V8 by operating using Dynamic Skip Fire. DSF—a software-enabled powertrain technology that integrates advanced digital... Read more →

Hyundai Motor and Cisco collaborate for global connected car project

Hyundai Motor Company is collaborating with Cisco on connected vehicle technology. The cooperation is part of Hyundai Motor’s wider strategy to establish an industry-leading connected car platform through collaboration with leading technology partners. Hyundai Motor will initially focus on the next generation of in-vehicle networks at the core of connected... Read more →

NEC Corporation, NEC TOKIN Corporation and TOHOKU UNIVERSITY have jointly created a thermoelectric (TE) device using the spin Seebeck effect (SSE) with conversion efficiency 10 times higher than a test module that was produced based on a multi-layered SSE technology published by the Tohoku University group in 2015. The spin-Seebeck... Read more →

Continental has developed and tested car tires and engine mounts with rubber made from dandelion roots. In 2014, Continental brought onto the road the first sample of a premium winter tire featuring tread made from dandelion rubber. (Earlier post.) At the end of 2015, ContiTech tested the new renewable resource,... Read more →

Survey: consumers in China less enthusiastic for autonomous vehicles than consumers in US

Consumers in China are less enthusiastic than their counterparts in the United States about the prospect of an autonomous vehicle future, according to J.D. Power and Tencent Auto joint research. Drawing on a Pulse survey of approximately 5,000 consumers in China, J.D. Power finds that just 9% are very positive... Read more →

At Auto China 2016 in Beijing, Audi is presenting the Audi connected mobility concept, a concept car based on the Audi Q3, the brand’s urban compact SUV. The concept offers sporty and multi-functional mobility for megacities with dense traffic and road restrictions. Tailored to markets with growing urbanization such as... Read more →

FHI and IBM Japan collaborating on advanced driver assistance systems; cloud-based data analytics

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the manufacturer of Subaru automobiles, and IBM Japan, Ltd. are exploring a collaboration in the development of a data analytics system for test images from the advanced safety system—including output from Subaru’s EyeSight driver assistance system—and evaluation using cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. EyeSight... Read more →

Volkswagen unveiled the T-Prime Concept GTE all-wheel drive plug-in hybrid in a world premiere at Auto China 2016 in Beijing. The concept fulls-size SUV previews the future Volkswagen SUV. The T-Prime Concept GTE features Volkswagen’s new Curved Interaction Area—a new digital display and control concept. The innovative curved infotainment display... Read more →

On the eve of the 2016 Beijing International Automobile Exhibition, Toyota announced that it will launch plug-in hybrid versions of the Corolla and Levin—two mass-market models, both of which have conventional hybrid variants—in China during 2018. In 2005, based on long-term plans to encourage the widespread use of environmentally-friendly vehicles... Read more →

UTA and the University of Utah received a $5.4-million Low-No grant from the US Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to purchase five New Flyer battery-electric buses. (Earlier post.) Three of these will be used on route 2 in Salt Lake City and two that will serve the University of Utah campus... Read more →

Ford recycles as much as 20 million pounds (10,000 short tons, 9 million kg) of aluminum stamping scrap per month using the closed-loop system at Dearborn Truck Plant, which builds F-150. That amount is the equivalent of more than 30,000 F-150 bodies in the largest configuration—a SuperCrew body including doors,... Read more →