Ford introduced two new taxis: the new 2019 Transit Connect Taxi and Ford’s most fuel-efficient, purpose-built taxi, the 2019 Fusion Hybrid Taxi. Transit Connect Taxi, when equipped with available 1.5-liter EcoBlue diesel engine, is targeted to return an EPA-estimated Highway rating of at least 30 mpg. Actual mileage will vary.... Read more →


Braunschweig public prosecutor levies €1B fine against Volkswagen AG over diesel crisis; Volkswagen accepts fine, admits responsibility

The Braunschweig, Germany public prosecutor issued an administrative order against Volkswagen AG in the context of the diesel crisis. The administrative order provides for a fine of €1 billion (US$1.2 billion) in total, consisting of the maximum penalty as legally provided for of €5 million and the disgorgement of economic... Read more →


Fiat Chrysler will phase out diesel engines in its passenger cars sold in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) market by 2021, according to company executives presenting at FCA Capital Markets day in Balocco, Italy. The company, however, will still offer diesel in its light commercial vehicles across its brands.... Read more →


US researchers demo separation-free, IL-based process for conversion of biomass to advanced biofuel

Researchers from three US national labs (Berkeley, Pacific Northwest and Sandia) has demonstrated a separation-free, ionic-liquid (IL)-based process to convert biomass to an advanced biofuel (the sesquiterpene bisabolene). The process, described in an open access paper in the RSC journal Green Chemistry, is also the first to demonstrate full consumption... Read more →


Dearman has launched a partnership with UK retail giant Marks & Spencer, as the retailer seeks to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its chilled deliveries. M&S will lease a dual compartment Dearman Hubbard transport refrigeration unit (TRU), on a refrigerated semi-trailer, to be operated out of its Hemel Hempstead... Read more →


Federal-Mogul Powertrain has developed a new piston ring for use in commercial vehicle diesel engines that enhances gas sealing capability by stabilizing ring dynamic motion and homogenizing oil film. The running surface profile of the new eLine rings for use in the second groove has been designed to distribute oil... Read more →


In Germany, Kia Motors revealed the upgraded Kia Sportage, introducing a range of enhancements to the brand’s European and global best-seller. The Sportage’s advanced new EcoDynamic+ 48V diesel mild-hybrid powertrain (earlier post) is the first to be launched as part of the brand’s global powertrain electrification strategy. Kia is the... Read more →


UK government launches new clean air strategy; ending sales of conventional diesel and gasoline LDVs by 2040

UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove published a new Clean Air Strategy to cut air pollution backed up through new primary legislation. The UK said it will go further and faster than the EU in reducing human exposure to particulate matter pollution. These proposals are in addition to the government’s £3.5-billion... Read more →


Mazda launching updated CX-3 in Japan with new 1.8L diesel

Mazda Motor Corporation has begun accepting pre-orders for the updated Mazda CX-3 at dealerships throughout Japan. The redesigned model adopts parts of Mazda’s next-generation SKYACTIV-Vehicle Architecture. Improvements were made to the front dampers, front stabilizers and coil springs, and the G-Vectoring Control and electric power steering systems were carefully tuned... Read more →


Volvo Cars to eliminate diesel engines from the new S60 sedan

The new Volvo S60 sedan to be launched later this spring will be the first Volvo to be produced without a diesel engine option. The company said that the move highlights its commitment to a long-term future beyond the traditional combustion engine. All new Volvo models launched from 2019 will... Read more →


Kia Motors will introduce its first 48V diesel mild-hybrid powertrain in the second half of 2018. The new “EcoDynamics+” powertrain supplements acceleration with electric power from an additional 48-volt battery and extends combustion engine ‘off time’ using a new Mild-Hybrid Starter-Generator unit. The Kia Sportage will be the first model... Read more →


With the market launch of the new A-Class (earlier post), the new diesel engines from Mercedes-Benz are now available from the compact class to the luxury class. With these engines, Mercedes-Benz vehicles achieve average NOx emissions of between 40 and 60 mg/km over many thousands of kilometers of driving on... Read more →


Velocys plc, a developer of microchannel Fischer-Tropsch (FT) biorefineries, has received a “notice to proceed” action to commence manufacturing the FT reactors and catalyst for the Red Rock Biofuels LLC (RRB) biorefinery that will be located in Lakeview, Oregon. RRB has begun construction of the biorefinery, which will incorporate Velocys’... Read more →


The New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) will, for the first time, use renewable diesel, a low-emissions, 99% petroleum-free fuel, to power more than 1,000 City government vehicles, including in large vehicles such as sanitation trucks. The renewable diesel used by NYC will be produced domestically by... Read more →


US charges former CEO of Volkswagen AG Winterkorn with conspiracy and wire fraud in diesel emissions scandal

A US federal indictment is charging Martin Winterkorn, the former chairman of the management board of Volkswagen AG (VW), with conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with VW’s cheating on US diesel vehicle emissions requirements. The FBI and EPA Criminal Investigation Division are investigating the case. The superseding indictment was... Read more →


Renewable Energy Group launched REG Ultra Clean Diesel, at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach. REG Ultra Clean Diesel, among the lowest emission diesel fuels on the market today, is a patent-pending fuel made of a proprietary blend of renewable diesel and biodiesel. REG Ultra Clean Diesel... Read more →


Researchers at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil have produced biohydrocarbons in the distillation ranges of gasoline, diesel and aviation kerosene from palm kernel oil and palm olein using beta zeolite (HBeta) under relatively mild process conditions. Deoxygenation, cracking and isomerization over HBeta were conducted in single step, without... Read more →


A team at the University of Denver has measured the emissions from two in-use California heavy-duty truck fleets—at the Port of Los Angeles and the Cottonwood weigh station in Northern California—using the On-Road Heavy-Duty Measurement System in 2013, 2015 and 2017. A report on their findings is published in the... Read more →


NUS-led study: beltway to divert diesel trucks in São Paulo improved air quality and public health

A study by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the University of São Paulo revealed that a beltway constructed to divert heavy-duty diesel vehicles traffic in the Brazilian city of São Paulo improved air quality and public health in the city. The study was published in the... Read more →


Volkswagen showcased three new drive systems at the Vienna Motor Symposium: the new 48 V mild hybrid system that will debut on the eighth-generation Golf in 2019 (earlier post); new high-tech diesel engines that will also be available as hybrid variants; and an advanced natural gas engine. The technologies showcased... Read more →


Opel is introducing a new advanced diesel in the Grandland X compact sport utility vehicle (SUV). The new 1.5-liter, four-cylinder, turbocharged diesel is more powerful and more economical than the engine it replaces. The new powertrain is designed to meet strict future emissions requirements through the use of an innovative... Read more →


Bosch says that its engineers have refined existing diesel technolgoies to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) so significantly that they already comply with future limits. Even in RDE (real driving emissions) testing, emissions from vehicles equipped with the newly premiered Bosch diesel technology are not only significantly below current... Read more →


Study finds renewable diesel blends deliver fuel consumption and CO2 benefits in Euro 5 engines

Researchers from Istituto Motori - CNR in Italy and Eni report in a paper in the journal Fuel that blends of hydrocracked fossil oil (HCK) and Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) as diesel fuels deliver fuel consumption (FC) and CO2 savings based on the NEDC cycle. The researchers said that, given... Read more →


Amminex, a Faurecia company, and its three partners the Technical University of Graz, Johnson Matthey, and ICCT have won the European Commission’s €1.5-million Horizon Prize in the Engine Retrofit for Clean Air category. It recognizes the outstanding emissions reduction potential of the ASDS technology (Ammonia Storage and Delivery System) for... Read more →


Ford has unveiled the all-new Ford Focus. The new Focus features a broad suite of Ford advanced driver assistance technologies and advanced EcoBoost gasoline and EcoBlue diesel engines offering a 10% fuel-efficiency improvement across the range. Powertrains are supported by standard Auto Start-Stop for reduced running costs and a six-speed... Read more →


Study finds blending gasoline with GTL improves efficiency and lowers emissions in compression-ignition PPC mode

A team from Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, in collaboration with Bengt Johansson at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia, reports that blending gasoline with high cetane number (CN) gas-to-liquids (GTL) fuel appears to be a promising route to improve not only efficiency, but also PM... Read more →


European car registrations increased by 4.2% to 1.16 million, 50,000 more than in February 2017. The results mark the highest February volume since 2008, when 1.19 million cars were registered, as well as constituting the highest YTD volume since 2008, with 2.44 million units registered in Europe in 2018 so... Read more →


UK-based ULEMCo—a spin-out from Revolve Technologies focused on conversions of diesel vehicles to hydrogen dual fuel operation—has collaborated with Aberdeen City Council (ACC) to deliver the first hydrogen dual fuel road sweeper. The vehicles will use hydrogen fuel for around a third of the energy used to drive and operate... Read more →


Delek sells AltAir renewable diesel/jet business to World Energy for $72M

Delek US Holdings has sold AltAir Paramount, LLC and Delek’s Paramount, California refining and pipeline assets to an affiliate of Boston-based World Energy, LLC, a major biodiesel producer. The sale includes all of Delek’s membership interests in AltAir Paramount, LLC which operates a 3,000 barrel per day renewable diesel and... Read more →


ICCT: decline in diesel sales will have negligible impact on attainment of European CO2 emission standards

The current decline is ales of diesel light duty vehicle in Europe does not put EU CO2 targets out of reach of automakers, according to a new analysis by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). Other technologies—such as efficiency improvements in gasoline engines as well as the rollout of... Read more →


PSI team finding offers way to improve performance of SCR catalysts

A common approach to reducing NOx emissions from diesel engines is the use of Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR); the system converts NOx to nitrogen and water via the addition of ammonia. However, SCR only delivers satisfactory results at an exhaust gas temperature well above 200 ˚C. In a cold start,... Read more →


Australian study finds VW diesel using up to 14% more fuel in real world driving after emissions upgrade

Emissions analysis commissioned by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has found an affected VW diesel vehicle to be using up to 14% more diesel after being recalled for the mandated emissions system fix. Conducted in partnership with the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the real world testing was commissioned to... Read more →


California ARB awards $7M for ultra-low NOx heavy-duty diesel truck demo project with Achates opposed-piston engines

The California Air Resource Board (CARB) is awarding $7 million to CALSTART to develop a Class 8 truck that will achieve a 90% reduction in NOx along with a 15-20% fuel efficiency improvement. The project will build and install diesel-fueled two-stroke compression-ignition Achates Power Opposed-Piston Engines into Class 8 demonstration... Read more →


Ford introduced the new 2019 Transit Connect Cargo Van. The best-selling compact cargo van in the US, Ford Transit Connect has a 46% market share. More than 300,000 Transit Connect vehicles have been sold since 2009 when Ford created the segment in the United States. Of those, 97% are still... Read more →


Average CO2 emissions generated by new cars in Europe increased during 2017—the first rise in 10 years—according to a new analysis by JATO Dynamics. Covering 23 European markets, the study found that average CO2 emissions increased by 0.3 g/km in 2017, finishing at 118.1 g/km. This rise in average CO2... Read more →


Toyota phasing out diesel in passenger cars in Europe, keeping diesel for commercial vehicles

Buoyed by strong European customer demand for hybrid versions on its core models, Toyota will phase out diesel engines from all its passenger cars in 2018. In 2017, hybrids represented 41% of Toyota’s European total sales, rising +38% year-on-year to 406,000 units. In contrast, Toyota’s diesel mix on passenger cars... Read more →


At the Geneva Motor Show this week, Mercedes-Benz is unveiling two new preproduction models that combine the new OM 654 four-cylinder diesel engine with the latest-generation 9G-TRONIC 9-speed hybrid transmission. Like the S 560 e (combined fuel consumption 2.1 l/100 km (112 mpg US), combined CO2 emissions 49 g/km) (earlier... Read more →


Crude palm oil is one of the more than ten renewable raw materials that Neste uses to produce a range of renewable products, including renewable diesel. Palm oil represents approximately 20% of Neste’s renewable raw material usage annually. Neste has been exploring ways to contribute to improving palm oil industry’s... Read more →


German Federal Administrative Court rules diesel bans in cities possible

In a highly anticipated decision, the German Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) in Leipzig has ruled that cities can ban highly polluting diesel cars if necessary to achieve NO2 emission limits. The verdict of the Bundesverwaltungsgericht—one of the five German federal supreme courts and the court of last resort for administrative... Read more →


The UK automotive industry warned that the current anti-diesel agenda combined with the ongoing slow take-up of electric vehicles could mean industry misses its next round of CO2 targets in 2021, with negative consequences for the UK’s own climate change goals. The warning came as a new report published by... Read more →


Kia Motors revealed the new Ceed ahead of its world debut at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show. Among its enhancements, the new Ceed is available with Lane Following Assist, a ‘Level Two’ autonomous driving technology. Lane Following Assist tracks vehicles in front of the Ceed in traffic, and identifies... Read more →


Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) and Haifa Municipality have begun operating a low-emission zone (LEZ). As of 2 February 2018, polluting heavy diesel vehicles were no longer allowed in downtown Haifa. These buses and trucks must install a particulate filter in order to enter the restricted area. The creation... Read more →


Forerunner and historical leader of the leisure activity vehicle (LAV)—i.e., small vans—segment in Europe, Groupe PSA will introduce three latest-generation models designed for its different brands: Peugeot, Citroën and Opel/Vauxhall. The new line-up stems from a single development program aimed at increasing the efficiency of investments and resources devoted to... Read more →


Ronald Grover, staff researcher at General Motors (GM) Research and Development and GM colleagues Jian Gao, Venkatesh Gopalakrishnan, and Ramachandra Diwakar are using the Titan supercomputer at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (LCF), a US Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory... Read more →


Ford unveiled the redesigned Transit Connect Wagon at the Chicago Auto Show. The wagon, which comes in 5- or 7-passenger models, offers a choice between a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with direct injection with Auto Start-Stop as standard equipment, or the new 1.5-liter EcoBlue diesel, both paired with a... Read more →


Diesel car registrations in Europe in 2017 down 7.9%; SUV sales up 19.5%; AFVs up 46% but share still low

In Europe, diesel car registrations fell by 7.9% to 6.76 million units in 2017, representing just 43.7% of market share—the lowest for the segment in the last decade, according to figures from JATO Dynamics. Gasoline car registrations benefited from the decline of diesel, growing by 10.9% (+760,000 units) to a... Read more →


BMW makes SCR standard on all diesels in future; more models to receive GPF (including i8); new diesel engine for X3

BMW is making a number of adjustments to its powertrain lineup from spring 2018, including new diesel aftertreatment systems for its smaller diesel models; gasoline particulate filters on more gasoline models; and a new diesel engine for the X3. SCR. BMW ensures maximum effective reduction of diesel NOx emissions from... Read more →


China Yuchai launches 14 new diesel and natural gas engines to meet upcoming National VI emission standards

China Yuchai International Limited, a leading manufacturer and distributor of engines for on- and off-road applications in China through its main operating subsidiary, Guangxi Yuchai Machinery Company Limited (GYMCL), launched 14 new engines compliant with China’s more stringent National VI emission standards. GYMCL’s new National VI engines include 10 diesel... Read more →


DOE awards $1.87M to 7 projects to advance high performance computing in manufacturing

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award $1.87 million to seven projects to advance innovation in US manufacturing through high performance computing. Part of DOE’s High Performance Computing for Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) program (earlier post), the seven new public private partnerships will enable greater collaboration between DOE national labs and... Read more →


Ford dealers will begin taking orders for the 2018 F-150 with all-new 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel engine (earlier post) this month. Deliveries begin this spring. The F-150 Power Stroke diesel features a targeted EPA-estimated 30 mpg (7.83 l/100 km) highway rating; a best-in-class 11,400 pounds (5,171 kg) of towing capacity... Read more →