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[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.]

Dearman flags diesel loophole in new London T-Charge anti-pollution scheme

October 23, 2017

Dearman, the UK-based developer of clean cold power systems based on its engine powered by liquid nitrogen (earlier post), has identified a diesel loophole in the new London T-Charge levy on the most polluting vehicles. (Earlier post.)

The £10 (US$13) per day levy applies to vehicles whose main engines do not meet the Euro 4/IV emission standard—i.e. mostly vehicles registered before 2006. Coming in addition to the congestion charge which covers the same area, the 34,000 motorists affected will now have to pay £21.50 (US$28.31) a day to drive their vehicle in the covered area in London. However, Dearman notes, many refrigerated delivery trucks use two diesel engines.

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Scientists suggest quantum control of atoms may make fusion energy production more efficient

March 03, 2017

Scientists at Rice University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Chile are proposing that quantum-controlled motion of nuclei, starting from the nanometer-size ground state of a molecule, can potentially overcome some of the difficulties of thermonuclear fusion by compression of a fuel pellet or in a bulk plasma.

Their report on quantum-controlled fusion suggests that rather than heating atoms to temperatures found inside the sun or smashing them in a collider, it might be possible to nudge them close enough to fuse by using shaped laser pulses: ultrashort, tuned bursts of coherent light.

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Reseachers attribute suddent surge in China PEV sales to massive subsidies and huge non-monetary incentives

January 09, 2017

Sales of plug-in vehicles (PEVs) in China—battery-electric and plug-in hybrid—suddenly soared 343% in 2015 to about 331,000 units—more than 3 times the number sold in the US that year. China-based BYD is now the world’s leading manaufacturer of PEVs, jumping ahead of Nissan and Tesla. Six other China OEMs are among the top 20 PEV manufacturers.

However, notes a team from the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis and CATARC (China Automotive Technology and Research Center), just the year before PEV sales were stagnant, despite large subsidies and incentives. In a new paper in the journal Energy Policy, they explore the factors behind the surge and ways to maintain the strength of the market.

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