[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
Celanese and Airborne Oil & Gas partner on deepwater thermoplastic composite pipes
March 07, 2014
Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, and Airborne Oil & Gas B.V., a leading, global supplier of spoolable thermoplastic composite pipe systems for deepwater offshore operations, signed a strategic supply agreement for the development and supply of composite materials for these pipe systems.
City of Dalian orders 1,200 BYD electric buses
The municipal government of Dalian, China has signed a cooperative agreement with BYD for the purchase of 600 BYD electric buses in 2014 and another 600 in 2015, totaling 1,200 units.
EIA: E85 fueling station availability is increasing, but slowly; in 2% of all retail stations
The number of retail fueling stations offering E85 blend (up to 85% ethanol) has grown rapidly since 2007, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Currently, 2% of all retail stations (approximately 156,000 outlets) in the United States offer E85, serving the approximately 5% of the US light-duty vehicle fleet capable of running on E85.
FuelCell Energy receives $2.8M continuation of DOE award for tri-generation Direct FuelCell power plant
FuelCell Energy, Inc. announced a $2.8-million continuation of an award from the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office to showcase the tri-generation capabilities of a Direct FuelCell (DFC) power plant for industrial applications.
Echo Automotive signs motor supply agreement with Remy for PHEV system; co-developing advanced induction motor
Echo Automotive, Inc., a developer of technologies enabling the cost-effective aftermarket addition of plug-in hybrid (PHEV) capability to new or existing vehicles (earlier post), signed a supply agreement with Remy International that secures supply of critical components for the Echo’s EchoDrive plug-in hybrid system.
Porta Hnos licenses Gevo’s bio-isobutanol technology for Argentina
Porta Hnos S.A. has signed a letter of intent to become the exclusive licensee of Gevo’s GIFT technology in Argentina to produce renewable isobutanol.
California ARB proposing changes to Truck and Bus Regulation to offer new flexibility options
The California Air Resources Board has unveiled proposed amendments to its Truck and Bus Regulation. The amendments are designed to provide new flexibility to truckers working to clean up their aging diesel fleets while still protecting the emission benefits the regulation provides. Board members will consider the changes at the 24 April hearing.
Cummins and Cummins Westport recalling 25,013 natural gas engines over exhaust fire risk
Cummins Inc. and Cummins Westport Inc. are recalling a total of 25,013 Cummins Westport Model ISL G and ISX12 G natural gas engines manufactured between 2007 and 2014 due to a risk of elevated exhaust temperatures or flames from the exhaust under certain conditions.
NTSB to examine the safe transportation of crude oil and ethanol by train
The US National Transportation Safety Board will hold a public forum on 22-23 April in Washington that will examine the safety issues associated with the transportation of crude oil and ethanol by rail.
Canada’s NEB approves Enbridge pipeline reversal plan to carry crude to refineries in Ontario and Québec
Canada’s National Energy Board has approved, with conditions, the Line 9B Reversal and Line 9 Capacity Expansion Project application submitted by Enbridge Pipelines Inc. (Enbridge). As a result, Enbridge will be permitted to operate all of Line 9 in an eastward direction in order to transport crude oil from western Canada and the US Bakken region to refineries in Ontario and Québec. (Earlier post.)
Dürr Ecoclean water jetting system enables up to 80% reduction in water jet pressure for engine cylinder bore activation
March 06, 2014
High-pressure water jetting at pressures of up to 3000 bar (45,500 psi) is becoming increasingly widespread as a method of activating the cylinder bore surfaces of engine blocks prior to thermal coating. Now, however, Dürr Ecoclean’s PulseBoreCenter permits the use of no more than 600 bar (8,702 psi) in this application—up to an 80% reduction.
Researchers discover two novel algal strains that can produce hydrogen under aerobic conditions
Eukaryotic algae and cyanobacteria can produce hydrogen under anaerobic and limited aerobic conditions. Now, a research team from South Korea and the US reports finding two novel microalgal strains (Chlorella vulgaris YSL01 and YSL16) that can produce hydrogen via photosynthesis using CO2 as the sole source of carbon under aerobic conditions with continuous illumination.
Toyota begins public road trials of i-Road 3-wheeled electric personal mobility vehicle
UK and China launch 3-year, £20M low carbon innovation program
The UK and China have agreed to a new £20-million (US$33-million) three-year program that will support research to develop new low carbon manufacturing processes and technologies, low carbon cities and offshore renewables in the two countries.
Liquid Light unveils cost-advantaged catalytic process to make chemicals from CO2
Liquid Light unveiled its new process for the production of major chemicals from carbon dioxide, showcasing its demonstration-scale “reaction cell” and confirming the potential for cost-advantaged process economics. Liquid Light’s first process is for the production of ethylene glycol (MEG), with a $27-billion annual market, which is used to make a wide range of consumer products such as plastic bottles, antifreeze and polyester clothing.
Nanjing, China orders more than 1,000 BYD electric buses and taxis
March 05, 2014
Nanjing, China and Nanjing Public Transportation Group ordered more than 1,000 fully electric transit buses and taxis from BYD Company Ltd. The city will be taking delivery of more than 600 BYD K9 battery-electric Buses, 50 of which were delivered for the city’s Youth Olympic Games in August 2014.
Revised Nissan Juke offers 1.2 DIG-T turbocharged engine
Nissan introduced a significantly revised Nissan Juke compact crossover at the Geneva Motor Show. First introduced to the market a little more than three years ago, the Nissan Juke has posted total sales of 420,000 units. Nissan says that Juke is the best seller in the European premium B-segment—outperforming all direct competitors including those from the top German brands—and is Nissan’s second-most popular model in Europe.
UPS plans to purchase 1,000 propane-fueled package delivery trucks, install fueling stations; $70M investment
UPS plans to purchase 1,000 propane package delivery trucks and install an initial 50 fueling stations at UPS locations. The investment in propane vehicles and infrastructure is approximately $70 million. The propane fleet will replace gasoline- and diesel-fueled vehicles used largely in rural areas in Louisiana and Oklahoma with other states pending. The vehicles on these routes can travel up to 200 miles on a tank of propane. Operations will begin by mid-2014 and be completed early next year.
XL Hybrids expands its hybrid electric powertrain technology to Ford E-Series cutaway and strip chassis
XL Hybrids, Inc., developer of hybrid electric powertrain technology for commercial fleets, introduced its new XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System for cutaway and strip chassis vehicles, extending its patent-pending technology to a new vehicle platform. (Earlier post.)
Frost & Sullivan: Daimler and Volvo to lead in implementation of V2V communication systems in Europe
In a new report, “Strategic Analysis of the European Market for V2V and V2I Communication Systems”, Frost & Sullivan finds that Daimler and Volvo are expected to lead the implementation of V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) communication systems among vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) across Europe. V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure) communication systems have also been finding significant traction in Europe, especially in the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Germany, and France.
Kia introduces two e-bike prototypes at Geneva
Kia unveiled two prototype electric bikes today at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show—70 years on from the vehicle manufacturer’s inception as Korea’s first mass producer of bicycles and coinciding with the European debut of the firm’s first globally-available electric vehicle:the Soul EV. (Earlier post.) The Kia Electric Bicycle (KEB) is a ‘pedelec’ electric bike, shown in both ‘City’ and ‘MTB’ (Mountain Bike) versions.
Ssangyong unveils 48V diesel mild hybrid concept SUV
SsangYong unveiled its new XLV concept (eXciting smart Lifestyle Vehicle) diesel mild hybrid B-segment SUV at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show. (Earlier post.) The 48V hybrid system combines a 1.6-liter diesel engine and a 10kW electric motor powered by a high performance 500 Wh lithium-ion battery.
GM sets another February sales record in China
General Motors and its joint ventures sold 257,770 vehicles in China during February, setting a new record for the month. Sales increased 19.9% from 215,070 vehicles sold in the same month last year.
UMTRI: Average new vehicle fuel economy in US in February hit 25.2 mpg
The average fuel economy (window-sticker value) of new vehicles sold in the US in February hit 25.2 mpg (9.3 l/100 km)—up 0.1 mpg from the revised value for January, and up 5.1 mpg from the value for October 2007, according to the latest monthly report from Dr. Michael Sivak and Brendan Schoettle at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).
EcoMotors and a subsidiary engine company of First Auto Works (FAW) in JV to build opoc engines in China (updated)
March 04, 2014
EcoMotors, Inc., (EM), developer of opposed-piston opposed-cylinder (opoc) engine technology (earlier post), has formed a joint venture with First Auto Works Jingye Engine Company (FAW JY) to develop, manufacture, sell and service the opoc engine technology in China.
New steering wheel concept from TRW supports automated driving
TRW Automotive Holdings unveiled a new steering wheel concept, being shown on the Rinspeed XchangE showcar at the Geneva Motor Show. The steering wheel offers a number of multi-functional features including hands on/off detection to help support the driver during semi-automated and automated driving situations.
Tesla to open 30 new service centers and stores across Europe, expand Supercharger network
Tesla Motors will open more than 30 new service centers and stores across the continent, the company announced at the Geneva Motor Show. Tesla will also continue rapidly expanding its Supercharger network, allowing Model S drivers to travel long distances across Europe for free.
German consumption of E10 blend increased by 5.4% in 2013; now 15% of shrinking market
The Federal Association of the German bioethanol industry (BDBE, Bundesverband der deutschen Bioethanolwirtschaft) announced that sales in 2013 of 10% ethanol blend (called Super E10) increased by 5.4% to 2.8 million tonnes and reached a 15% share in a shrinking market gasoline.
Avalon enters into rare earth refining agreement and strategic partnership with Solvay
Ontario-based Avalon Rare Metals has entered into an agreement with Solvay to have Solvay process Avalon’s rare earth concentrate into pure rare earth oxides for an anticipated period of 10 years from the start of deliveries to Solvay’s rare earth separation and refining plant located in La Rochelle, France. In addition, effective immediately, Solvay will provide Avalon with technical support for the further design optimization, engineering and commissioning of Avalon’s hydrometallurgical processing plant.
Enbridge to undertake $7B pipeline replacement program; from Alberta to Wisconsin
Enbridge Inc. and Enbridge Energy Partners have received shipper support for a $7-billion investment in their Canadian and US mainline system running from Edmonton, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin. The $7-billion Line 3 Replacement (L3R) Program is the largest project in Enbridge history, and includes replacing an existing pipeline with modern pipe materials utilizing modern construction methods, resulting in restoration of one of Enbridge’s primary pipelines along its Mainline crude oil system.
Tenneco’s selective catalytic reduction technology featured on Ram Heavy-Duty trucks
Tenneco announced that it is supplying key emissions control technologies on the 2014 Ram Heavy Duty diesel truck series, which includes the 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty diesel pickups and the 3500, 4500 and 5500 chassis cab trucks. Tenneco supplies aftertreatment components, including the diesel oxidation catalyst, diesel particulate filter and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system on the full truck line.
Berkeley lab researchers identify key steps in artificial photosynthesis reaction
March 03, 2014
Researchers at Berkeley Lab, led by Dr. Heinz Frei of the Physical Biosciences Division, reported the first direct temporally resolved observations of intermediate steps in water oxidation using the Earth-abundant catalyst cobalt oxide (Co3O4). Their paper is published in the journal Nature Chemistry.
Study finds soot particle morphology significantly affected by driving conditions and vehicle age, type
An analysis of the morphological and mixing properties of soot particles collected at six different cloverleaf freeway on-ramps in Southern Michigan by researchers at Michigan Technological University found that driving conditions, vehicle age and vehicle type have significant influence on the morphology of soot particles. The study appears in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology
ASTM revises D975 specification for diesel fuel oils; new designation for sulfur content
ASTM has published a revision to the D975 specification for diesel fuel oils; the new D975-14 covers seven grades of diesel fuel oils suitable for various types of diesel engines. The new specification adopts an “Sxxx” designation to distinguish grades by sulfur content rather than using qualitative descriptors such as “Low Sulfur” as previously because the number of sulfur grades is growing and the word descriptions were thought to be not precise.
Apple introduces CarPlay for iPhone integration into cars
Apple and its automotive partners are introducing CarPlay for iPhone integration into vehicles. CarPlay offers iPhone users an intuitive way to make calls, use Maps, listen to music and access messages with just a word or a touch. Vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo will premiere CarPlay this week, while additional auto manufacturers bringing CarPlay to their drivers down the road include BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp.
ADB: Projected cost of Uzbek Oltin Yo’l GTL plant increases by 37% to $5.6B
The projected cost of the Olin Yo’l GTL project in Uzbekistan (earlier post) will hit $5.6 billion, according to a project update by Asian Development Bank (ADB), which is supporting the project with a $125-million loan. As originally outlined by founding project partners Sasol, Petronas and Uzbekneftegaz, the project was estimated to cost some $4.1 billion.
GE, BP and Oceaneering exploring use of medical X-ray technology for undersea pipeline examination
March 02, 2014
Engineers at GE Healthcare, GE Oil & Gas, Oceaneering and BP are exploring the use of X-ray technology to see if it can spot microscopic cracks and corrosion in underwater pipelines.
Schlumberger launches degradable alloy technology frac balls to optimize well productivity
Schlumberger has introduced degradable alloy frac balls for multistage stimulation treatments. The technology demonstrates predictable and complete degradation of the alloy balls ensuring maximum well productivity, the company says. The complete degradation of the aluminum-based material within hours or days eliminates the risk of stuck frac balls and the need to mill them. Because the balls don’t stick, they don’t delay or hinder production.
MY 2014 Fiat 500 to receive 2-cylinder 105 hp 0.9 TwinAir Turbo
March 01, 2014
At the Geneva Motor Show, Fiat will introduce the MY 2014 Fiat 500, featuring a wide range of engines including the new two-cylinder 105 hp 0.9 TwinAir Turbo also offered in the Alfa Romeo MiTo sport mini. (Earlier post.)
Renault group leader in Europe for low CO2 emissions in 2013
Renault Group has moved into pole position in Europe in terms of low CO2 emissions, with an average of 114.7g of CO2/km per vehicle (source: AAA-DATA) based on its passenger car sales over the full year 2013.
UK LowCVP says road transport CO2 reductions require both improved vehicle efficiency and lower carbon fuels; need for advanced liquid fuels
February 28, 2014
In its response to the UK Department for Transport’s call for evidence on advanced fuels, the LowCVP (Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership) says that delivering the level of CO2 reductions required from road transport will require both improved vehicle efficiency and reduced carbon intensity of fuels.
ICCT analysis finds some research studies may overstate energy crop yields by as much as 100%
New analysis by researchers from the International Council on Clean Transportation in the journal Biomass and Bioenergy suggests that estimates for potential energy crop yields from some widely cited research studies may overstate those yields by as much as 100%. The findings could have significant implications for long-term renewable energy targets.
Virginia Tech hosting debut student competition to design 3-D printed aircraft, ground vehicles
Virginia Tech will host a university-wide competition for students to design on-demand, remote-controlled 3-D printed aircraft and ground vehicles. The Spring 2014 Additive Manufacturing Grand Challenge launches 4 March and offers $15,000 in cash prizes, including $3,000 for first prize in each of the air and ground vehicle competitions, and $250 for each team that creates a functional vehicle.
ŠKODA showing VisionC dual-fuel design concept at Geneva
ŠKODA will showcase a five-door concept coupé—ŠKODA VisionC—powered by a CNG/gasoline bivalent 1.4 TSI/81 kW turbo engine, at the Geneva Motor Show. On natural gas, the vehicle consumes 3.4 kg (5.1 m3) CNG per kilometer, equating to CO2 emissions of 91 g/km.
BOEM publishes final environmental review for geological and geophysical survey activities off the Atlantic Coast
February 27, 2014
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) published a final environmental review of geological and geophysical (G&G) survey activities off the Mid- and South Atlantic coast that establishes multiple mitigation measures designed to minimize the impacts to marine life while setting a path forward for survey activities that will update nearly four-decade-old data on offshore energy resources in the region.
High-capacity tungsten disulfide/graphene nanocomposite anodes for Na-ion batteries
A team from the University of Wollongong (Australia) and the University of Technology, Sydney reported the successful synthesis by a simple hydrothermal approach of high-capacity WS2 (tungsten disulfide)@graphene nanocomposite anodes for sodium-ion batteries. Their paper is published in the RSC journal Chemical Communications.
Evonik presenting technical paper on fluid properties and efficiency of hydraulic hybrid vehicles
Oil additives specialists from Evonik will deliver two presentations during the International Fluid Power Exposition (IFPE), 4-8 March Vegas. Steven Herzog, oil additives OEM liaison manager, will deliver a presentation titled “The Effects of Fluid Properties on the Efficiency of Hydraulic Hybrid Vehicles”.
Kaiser Aluminum and Boeing form multi-year closed-loop aerospace aluminum recycling program
Kaiser Aluminum Corporation and Boeing have formed a closed-loop scrap recycling program that is expected to involve approximately 22 million pounds of aluminum during the 2014-2015 production period.
Cool Planet breaks ground on its first biomass-to-renewable gasoline plant
Cool Planet Energy Systems, a technology company producing green fuels and biochar products, broke ground on the company’s first commercial facility in Alexandria, Louisiana, dubbed Project Genesis. Permits have been received to begin earthwork and grading, with construction to immediately follow. The facility is designed to produce 10 million gallons per year of high-octane, renewable gasoline blendstocks, as well as biochar, all made from sustainable wood residues. (Earlier post.)
Clariant focusing on wet process technology for lithium-iron phosphate cathode materials for automotive
February 26, 2014
Clariant, a leader in specialty chemicals, is focusing on its Wet Process Technology to ensure benchmark quality, premium lithium-iron phosphate cathode materials for automotive OEMs and battery manufacturers. (Earlier post.)
Proterra sells seven battery-electric transit buses to Nashville MTA
US-based Proterra Inc recently announced the sale of seven battery-electric buses and an electric charging station to Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (Nashville MTA). The buses are slated to be built at Proterra’s manufacturing facility in Greenville, S.C. and delivered to Nashville this year.
SMR company NuScale Power successfully completes helical coil steam generator testing
NuScale Power, a company developing small modular reactor technology (SMR) (earlier post), recently successfully completed its helical coil steam generator (HCSG) testing activities at the SIET S.p.A. (SIET) facilities in Piacenza, Italy. During that same time period, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) conducted a successful quality assurance (QA) inspection of the testing activities.
22 ARPA-E projects have attracted more than $625M in private-sector investment
To date, 22 ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy) projects have attracted more than $625 million in private-sector follow-on funding after ARPA-E’s investment of approximately $95 million. In addition, at least 24 ARPA-E project teams have formed new companies to advance their technologies, and more than 16 ARPA-E projects have partnered with other government agencies for further development.
Improvement in polymers for aviation
Researchers at the Polymer Technology Group, part of the UPV/EHU’s Department of Polymer Science and Technology and the Institute for Polymer Materials, POLYMAT, in Spain, recently reported the synthesis of high-performance poly(etherimide) (PEI)-based nanocomposites (PNs) with multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) via melt mixing. The research aimed to improve the mechanical properties of poly(ether imide).
Toyota Green Grand Prix at Watkins Glen in April
The Toyota Green Grand Prix returns to Watkins Glen International race course Friday, 11 April. The day-long 2014 Toyota Green Grand Prix will present a two-stage road rally and NYElectrathon races. Educational seminars and displays by appropriate manufacturers and vendors are also part of the day’s activities.
European Parliament backs law for 95g/km CO2 from new cars by 2020
February 25, 2014
The European Parliament backed new rules designed to achieve the CO2 emission reduction target of 95g/km for new cars by 2020. The text—approved by 499 votes in favor, 107 against and 9 abstentions—retains this target, albeit with a one-year “phase-in” period in 2020. It also allows “super credits”, whereby the cleanest cars in each manufacturer’s range count for more than others, to apply from 2020 to 2022.
WSU researcher creates cooking-oil based bio-asphalt
Haifang Wen, assistant professor of Civil Engineering in the Washington State University (WSU) Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has developed a technology to substitute restaurant cooking oil for the crude oil used traditionally in the production of asphalt, creating a sustainable bioasphalt that looks and handles just like its petroleum-based counterpart.
Norsk Hydro boosts aluminum capacity for growth market in automotive products
Norsk Hydro ASA will invest in a new production line at its rolled products plant in Grevenbroich, Germany. The new line will increase annual capacity for aluminium car body sheet to 200,000 metric tons.
Volvo V40 D4 with new Drive-E powertrains; diesel up to 71.3 mpg
Volvo Car Group’s new Drive-E powertrains (earlier post) are now also available on the Volvo V40 and V40 Cross Country. Fuel consumption in a diesel Volvo V40 D4 with a manual gearbox is down to 3.3 l/100 km (71.3 mpg US) (EU Combined), which corresponds to CO2 emissions at 85 g/km. The figure for the V40 Cross Country is 4.0 l/100 km (58.8 mpg US) (104 g/km) with the manual gearbox. All figures are preliminary.
Global production of Mazda3 reaches 4M units; currently ~30% of total sales
Mazda Motor Corporation announced that cumulative production of the Mazda3 (known as Mazda Axela in Japan) reached four million units on 22 January 2014—ten years and seven months after production of the first-generation model commenced in June 2003.
BP starts up Na Kika Phase 3 in ultra-deepwater Gulf Of Mexico
February 24, 2014
BP announced the start-up of Na Kika Phase 3, a project supporting BP’s strategy of growing high-margin production at four BP-operated hubs in the ultra-deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The first Na Kika Phase 3 well began oil production on 19 February, with a second well expected to start up in the second quarter.
Xilinx expands all programmable Artix-7 FPGA family with new automotive qualified devices
Xilinx, Inc. has expanded its Artix-7 Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) family for automotive applications. The new XA Artix-7 portfolio extends the Xilinx Automotive (XA) family of AEC-Q100 qualified FPGAs, providing best-in-class system performance per watt in applications such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS); in-vehicle infotainment (IVI); and driver information (DI). In addition to performance, system designers benefit from significant power advantages over previous technologies and small footprint packaging for space-challenged automotive electronic control unit (ECU) designs.
Researchers convert sugarcane to a cold-tolerant, more photosynthetically efficient, oil-producing crop
A multi-institutional team led by researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign reports that it can increase sugarcane’s geographic range, boost its photosynthetic rate by 30% and turn it into an oil-producing crop for biodiesel production. These are the first steps in a larger research initiative—supported by $3.2 million from the Department of Energy—to convert sugarcane and sorghum, two of the most productive crop plants known, into even more productive, oil-generating plants.
Hyundai showing next-generation fuel cell powertrain at Geneva show with Intrado concept
Hyundai Motor will introduce the Intrado concept at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show next week. Intrado incorporates Hyundai’s next-generation hydrogen fuel cell powertrain, along with advanced lightweight body construction.
Visteon partners with Autonet Mobile on connected car technology
Visteon Corporation and Autonet Mobile, Inc., an Internet-based telematics and apps service provider, have entered into an exclusive agreement for Visteon to integrate Autonet’s telematics technology into Visteon’s next-generation products for global vehicle manufacturers.
XL Hybrids and Knapheide Manufacturing complete more than 100 installations of XL3 powertrain on fleet vehicles
XL Hybrids, Inc., developer of hybrid electric powertrains for commercial vans and trucks, and Knapheide Manufacturing Company, one of the leading commercial vehicle equipment providers in North America, announced that Knapheide has completed more than 100 installations of XL Hybrids’ XL3 powertrain on fleet vehicles: Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana cargo vans. (Earlier post.)
Qualcomm, Red Bend and QuickPlay sign on to AT&T Drive Studio
AT&T announced that three additional companies—Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Red Bend, and QuickPlay Media—have signed on to work at the AT&T Drive Studio, a center for innovation and research in the connected car industry. (Earlier post.)
Hong Kong PolyU and Sino Parking jointly develop smartphone parking application
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and Sino Parking Services Limited (Sino Parking) have jointly developed and launched a new parking application for Android smartphones.
Honda Accord takes Nº 1 spot in US retail sales in 2013
February 22, 2014
The Honda Accord was the best-selling car with individual car buyers in the US in 2013, according to new-vehicle registration data compiled by Polk. Accord retail sales in 2013 rose 12.2% to 360,089 units, displacing the Toyota Camry, with retail sales of 342,007 units, from the lead spot.
Major freight railroads and DOT agree to new operating practices for moving crude oil by rail
The nation’s major freight railroads joined US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in announcing a rail operations safety initiative that will institute new voluntary operating practices for moving crude oil by rail. The announcement only covers steps related to crude by rail operations; additional issues, such as tank car standards and proper shipper classification of crude oil, are being addressed separately.
Volkswagen AG makes $9.2B offer for remaining shares of Scania; common toolkit strategy for commercial vehicles
Volkswagen AG is making a voluntary tender offer worth approximately €6.7 billion (~US$9.2 billion) for all remaining shares (298,910,903) of Scania. Volkswagen has been invested in Scania since 2000 and today indirectly and directly holds a total of 89.2% of the voting rights and 62.6% of the capital of the Swedish commercial vehicles company. The offers works out to approximately €22.26 per share—a premium of 57.0% per Scania A share and 53.3% per Scania B share on the volume-weighted average prices of Scania’s shares in the 90-day period up to 21 February.
Halla Visteon Climate Control supplying components for Hyundai fuel cell vehicle
February 21, 2014
Halla Visteon Climate Control Corp. (HVCC) is supplying a number of technologies to support the hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle manufactured by Hyundai Motor Group. Introduced in Europe in 2013, the ix35, also known as the Tucson, is slated for a limited US distribution this spring.
California Senate President pro tem proposes carbon tax on transportation fuels
California Senate President pro tempore Darrell Steinberg proposed a carbon tax on fossil transportation fuels to replace the coming cap and trade mandate on that sector in 2015. Under Steinberg’s proposal, the price of carbon fuel would rise steadily, starting at an estimated 15¢/gallon in the first year. In 2020, the tax is estimated at 24¢/gallon—lower than the upward price risk under cap and trade at 40¢/gallon. In 2029, the carbon tax on gasoline would pass the upward price risk of cap and trade, Steinberg said.
Nissan to show production e-NV200, BladeGlider EV concept at Geneva
Among the highlights on the Nissan stand at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show will be the production version of the e-NV200 electric van and the BladeGlider EV concept.
Nissan and Bhutan partner on national EV strategy
Nissan has entered into an agreement with the Royal Government of Bhutan with the shared goal of achieving the nation’s transition to an electric vehicle fleet.
Mazda to introduce new small displacement diesel SKYACTIV-D 1.5 at Geneva
At the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, Mazda Motor Corporation will introduce the SKYACTIV-D 1.5, a newly developed small displacement diesel engine. The 1.5-liter diesel will join the SKYACTIV-D 2.2 diesel and SKYACTIV-G 2.0 gasoline engine already in the product lineup.
ARB staff posts five more LCFS fuel pathways: biodiesel, RD, ethanol
California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff has posted five new Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) fuel pathway applications to the LCFS public comments website: two for biodiesel, one for renewable diesel, and two for ethanol.
Clean Air Power receives about $1.3M in orders for dual-fuel trucks, natural gas components
Clean Air Power, the UK-based developer and manufacturer of Dual-Fuel (natural gas and diesel) engine management systems for heavy duty vehicles, has received an order for 19 Genesis-EDGE, Dual-Fuel trucks from a major distribution company in the UK. The order has a value to Clean Air Power of around £0.5 million (US$0.83 million).
Schlumberger introduces new fracturing technique for enhanced productivity
February 20, 2014
Schlumberger has introduced its BroadBand Sequence fracturing technique, which enables sequential stimulation of perforation clusters in wells drilled in unconventional reservoirs. This new technique sequentially isolates fractures at the wellbore to ensure every cluster in each zone is fractured, resulting in greater production and completion efficiency compared to conventional methods. BroadBand Sequence is the first release of a family of BroadBand completion technologies aimed at maximizing well productivity in unconventional reservoirs.
Constellium launches new aluminum high-strength technology for Crash Management Systems
Constellium N.V. launched new aluminum high-strength Crash Management Systems (CMS) technology designed for the front and the rear of a vehicle for enhanced structural protection in the event of a collision. Constellium’s technology enables the production of aluminum CMS that are 15% lighter and 10% stronger than the current aluminum CMS on the market, the company said.
Volvo Cars pilots “Roam Delivery” service; deliveries direct to connected cars enabled with one-time digital keys
Volvo Cars will showcase a new service for direct delivery to a connected vehicle at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Using Volvo’s new digital keys technology, car owners will be able to select their car as a delivery option when ordering goods online. Via a smartphone or a tablet, the owner will be informed when a delivery company wants to drop off or pick up something from the car.
DENSO to test wireless charging system using refrigerated truck
DENSO Corporation will begin a ten-month field test of its wireless inductive battery charging system in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. The field test is intended to identify any potential operational issues and also look at ways to enhance the convenience of wireless charging. The field test will begin on 24Feb. and end in December 2014.
Saft delivers first Intensium Flex Li-ion system to ECO-H Technologies for oil and gas industry
Saft has been awarded a contract from ECO-H Technologies, Inc. for the delivery of the first Intensium Flex Li-ion battery system to power and store energy for the ECO-H System. Saft delivered the battery in December 2013 and will continue working with distributors on systems opportunities in the coming years.
DENSO develops EGR valve unit with integrated air intake throttle valve
Global automotive supplier DENSO has developed a new exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve unit that is the first to integrate an air intake throttle valve and an EGR valve; the new unit is half the size of conventional models and requires fewer components, thus reducing costs. The unit will be installed in a diesel passenger vehicle to be sold in Europe from later this year.
United becomes first airline to fly with Split Scimitar Winglets; up to 2% reduction in fuel consumption
A United Airlines Boeing 737-800 aircraft freshly retrofitted with new Split Scimitar Winglets became the first commercial flight worldwide to operate with the advanced winglet technology. United flight 1273 on Tuesday took off from the airline’s Houston hub and flew to Los Angeles. The airline installed the innovative winglets on the Boeing 737-800 after the FAA approved the technology made by Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) earlier this month.
Univ. of Delaware and state partner on EV charging station project to support longer electric trips
February 19, 2014
Faster charging stations for electric vehicles will be strategically placed at key locations in Delaware to enable long trips in the state by next year, through a new collaborative research agreement between the University of Delaware (UD) and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).
Boulder Ionics signs exclusive licensing agreement with CSIRO for pyrrolidinium-based ionic liquids in battery electrolytes
Boulder Ionics Corp., developer and producer of high-performance electrolytes and electrochemical-grade ionic liquids for advanced energy storage devices (earlier post), signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency, to develop and commercialize the use of pyrrolidinium-based ionic liquids in electrolytes for lithium-ion and advanced chemistry batteries.
ICCT, NACFE report on adoption of fuel-efficiency technologies for truck trailers
The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has published a report summarizing the results of its 2013 collaboration with the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) on a survey-based study aimed understanding how the market for fuel-efficiency technologies for truck trailers has evolved and identifying opportunities for capturing additional efficiencies.
ASU and Argonne researchers report progress on artificial leaf for solar conversion of water to H2 and O2
Researchers at Arizona State University and Argonne National Laboratory reported advances toward perfecting a functional artificial leaf in a paper in Nature Chemistry. Designing an artificial leaf that uses solar energy to convert water cheaply and efficiently into hydrogen and oxygen is one of the goals of BISfuel (Bio-inspired Solar fuel production)—the Energy Frontier Research Center, funded by the Department of Energy, in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Arizona State University.
CASL, Westinghouse simulate neutron behavior in AP1000 reactor core
Scientists and engineers developing more accurate approaches to analyzing nuclear power reactors have successfully tested a new suite of computer codes that closely model “neutronics” — the behavior of neutrons in a reactor core. Technical staff at Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC, supported by the research team at the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL), used the Virtual Environment for Reactor Applications core simulator (VERA-CS) to analyze its AP1000 advanced pressurized water reactor (PWR).
Echo Automotive to extend plug-in hybrid conversion system to GM 2500 and 3500 vans
February 18, 2014
Echo Automotive, Inc., a developer of technologies enabling the cost-effective aftermarket addition of plug-in hybrid capability to new or existing vehicles (earlier post), plans to extend its EchoDrive plug-in hybrid system to GM 2500 and 3500 vans, including the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana, model years 2010-2014. Production is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2015.
AT&T and IBM form alliance on “Internet of Things”; initial focus on city governments and utilities
AT&T and IBM have formed a new global alliance agreement to develop solutions that help support the “Internet of Things.” The companies will combine their analytic platforms, cloud, and security technologies with privacy in mind to gain more insights on data collected from machines in a variety of industries. The new AT&T and IBM alliance will initially focus on creating new solutions targeted for city governments and midsize utilities.
Volkswagen Group France and SNAM partner on recycling hybrid and EV batteries
Volkswagen Group France et la Société Nouvelle d’Affinage des Métaux (SNAM) signed a partnership agreement through which the hybrid and EV batteries from group brands—Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA and Volkswagen Utilities—will be recycled in the two French factories owned by SNAM, Saint-Quentin-Fallavier (Isère) and Viviez (Aveyron).
Ricardo-AEA to lead 4-year EC-funded study on the future of sustainable urban transport in Europe
The European Commission has selected Ricardo-AEA to lead a project to help cities across Europe take action to improve the performance of their transport systems.
Imec introduces first 79 GHz radar transmitter in 28nm CMOS; mm-wave radar-on-chip
Imec, in collaboration with Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium), has introduced the first 79 GHz radar transmitter implemented in plain digital 28nm CMOS. With an output power above 10dBm, the transmitter front-end paves the way towards full radar-on-chip solutions for automotive and smart environment applications.
Williams announces new partnership with Petrobras for new F1 fuel
Williams has signed a new multi-year partnership agreement with Brazilian multi-national energy company Petrobras for the development of a new specialist motorsport fuel for use by the team starting in the 2015 F1 season.
Rice study shows carbon nanotube fibers can carry up to 4x current as copper wire of same mass
On a pound-per-pound basis, wet-spun carbon nanotube-based fibers developed at Rice University can carry up to four times as much electrical current as copper cables of the same mass, according to new study by researchers there. This higher current-carrying capacity (ampacity), said the researchers, makes these nanotube-based cables attractive for lightweight power transmission in systems where weight is a significant factor, such as aerospace applications.
ORNL, Cincinnati Inc. partner to develop commercial large-scale polymer additive manufacturing system
The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory is partnering with Cincinnati Incorporated, a manufacturer of high quality machine tools located in Harrison, Ohio, to develop a large-scale polymer additive manufacturing (3-D printing) system.
Oregon governor directs DEQ to move ahead with Clean Fuels Program
Oregon Governor Kitzhaber recently announced a new initiative to maximize the economic development potential of clean fuels in Oregon, directing the Department of Environmental Quality to move forward with full implementation of Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program and announcing a new Clean Fuels Work Advisory Committee.
Babcock & Wilcox and TerraPower to partner on development of Gen IV traveling wave reactor
February 17, 2014
The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) and TerraPower have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support the development of TerraPower’s Generation IV traveling wave reactor (TWR). Unlike B&W’s Generation III++ small modular reactor (SMR) mPower which is based on PWR technology and standard fuel enriched to 5% (earlier post), TerraPower’s TWR is a larger reactor based on Generation IV technology and designed to use depleted uranium as fuel.