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 →


DOE awards U of Houston-led team $2M to develop new “four-way catalyst” to eliminate unreacted methane in natural gas vehicles; leveraging CDTi Spinel

The US Department of Energy has chosen a team led by a chemical engineer from the University of Houston for a $2-million project to develop and optimize a lower-cost, more efficient catalyst to eliminate unreacted methane in natural gas fuel. Primarily made up of methane, natural gas is a cleaner... 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 →


Norwegian expedition cruise operator Hurtigruten has signed a Letter of Intent with Rolls-Royce for a major environmental upgrade program to hybrid power. The main engines on up to nine cruise ships will switch from diesel to gas power and the upgrade will also include installation of a hybrid battery system.... Read more →


Researchers at Jilin University in China report in a papaer in the journal Fuel that coolant temperature in a gasoline direct-injection (GDI) engine under idle has a critical effect on particulate number (PN) emissions and that optimizing other operating parameters will further reduce PN emissions. PN concentration with coolant temperatures... Read more →


The US Army Research Laboratory’s Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Propulsion has, for the first time, used X-rays with its experiment in a gas turbine combustor using X-rays. The data will help advance gas turbine engine designs for higher power density and efficiency, scientists said. Dr. Tonghun Lee, an associate... Read more →


Researchers at Jilin University (China) have investigated the effect of gasoline components on fuel economy, combustion and emissions in a GDI (gasoline-direct-injection) engine. The team subsequently followed up this first study with a second, exploring the effects in a PFI (port-fuel-injection) engine. The first paper (Han et al., 2018a) is... Read more →


Tenneco, one of the world’s leading designers, manufacturers and distributors of Ride Performance and Clean Air products and technology solutions for diversified markets, signed a definitive agreement to acquire Federal-Mogul, a leading global supplier to OEMs and the aftermarket. Tenneco is acquiring Federal-Mogul from Icahn Enterprises L.P. for a total... 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 →


Big Blue Bus investing $18.2M to upgrade bus fleet; Cummins-Westport Near-Zero NOx engines

Big Blue Bus (BBB), a bus operator serving Santa Monica and the Los Angeles area, will invest $18.3 million in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and California Proposition 1B Bond funds to replace fifty 40-foot New Flyer buses purchased between 2004 and 2006. Seven 30-foot Gillig buses are being placed in... Read more →


Global Bioenergies beginning road testing with Audi A4 fueled with 34% renewable gasoline blends

Global Bioenergies is beginning the road-testing phase of renewable gasoline derived from its fermentative isobutene pathway. (Earlier post.) Global Bioenergies will use an EN228-compliant gasoline blend containing more than 34% of renewable, isobutene-derived, compounds to fuel a car on a circuit. In preparation for commercial uses, Global Bioenergies developed several... Read more →


DOE awards $1.2M to Colorado State Energy Institute team to study ultra-low emissions, high-efficiency natural gas engines

A team of researchers from Colorado State University’s Energy Institute has received a $1.2-million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to look at making natural gas engines as efficient as diesel engines in the same class. (Earlier post.) Specifically, the researchers will... Read more →


At the New York International Auto Show, Nissan revealed the 2019 Altima. The sixth-generation of the best-selling mid-size sedan features two new powerplants, including the advanced variable compression unit first introduced in the Infinit QX50 (earlier post); the first available Intelligent All-Wheel Drive in a Nissan sedan in the US;... Read more →


Renesas introduces 1st on-chip flash memory automotive microcontroller with advanced 28nm embedded flash technology

Renesas Electronics Corporation announced the sample shipment of the industry’s first on-chip flash memory microcontroller (MCU) using a 28 nanometer (nm) process technology. To contribute to the realization of next-generation green cars and autonomous vehicles with higher efficiency and higher reliability, the RH850/E2x Series MCU incorporates up to six 400... Read more →


At the New York International Auto Show this week, Toyota will stage the premiere of the new 2019 Corolla Hatchback. The all-new TNGA-based powertrain features the 2.0-liter Dynamic-Force direct-injection inline four-cylinder engine (M20A-FKS) (earlier post) with gains in power, fuel efficiency, and cleaner emissions. Physically, the engine is smaller and... Read more →


Researchers develop overarching model of NOx formation in combustion

Researchers from the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and the Technical University of Denmark have synthesized more than a decade’s worth of combustion studies to create a new overarching model of how nitrogen oxides are produced. Even though the chemical processes that govern formation and destruction of NOx... Read more →


A team at the University of Waterloo has developed a novel variable valve actuation (VVA) system, optimized to pursue minimum energy consumption and minimum sensitivity of the valve lift to cycle-to-cycle variations of engine pressure. The product of a decade of research, this patented system could improve fuel efficiency by... Read more →


Volkswagen has developed and deployed a gasoline engine that offers diesel-like fuel economy but is significantly cheaper to buy. Currently applied in the new Golf and Golf Variant (earlier post), the 1.5 TSI ACT BlueMotion delivers 96 kW / 130 PS with combined fuel consumption of 4.8 l/100 km (49... Read more →


New report released by UK House of Commons calls for advancing date for end of sale of conventional cars to before 2040

The UK House of Commons has released a new report on air pollution that calls for urgent action by national leadership to bring about a step change in how the problem of air quality is tackled. The joint inquiry resulting in the report “Improving Air Quality” was launched in 2017... Read more →


Techrules, a China-based automotive R&D company which unveiled the final production design of its Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle (TREV) Ren RS series-hybrid supercar at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show (earlier post), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with CRRC Times Electric Co., Ltd. (TEC), a subsidiary of CRRC, the world’s... Read more →


Secondary air systems are used to reduce gasoline engine emissions by accelerating catalytic converter heat-up. Pierburg GmbH has now further developed the associated secondary air blower and provided it with a speed-controlled motor. The latter allows secondary air injection across a much wider engine map range and hence, at any... Read more →


In collaboration with Linköping-based energy recovery specialists Tekniska verken, Scania Engines is currently testing one of its engines using raw gas, biogas that is untreated—i.e., not cleaned or upgraded to remove wastewater, CO2 and other particles, as happens with the production of compressed natural gas for vehicle fuels. Instead, the... Read more →


Lexus hosted the world premiere of the new UX crossover at the 2018 Geneva Motor show. The UX marks a series of technical innovations, including the first use of the new global architecture platform GA-C, which delivers fundamental high structural rigidity and a low center of gravity, thus securing excellent... 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 →


Renault is presenting the new turbocharged gasoline 1.3 TCe engine, co-developed by the Alliance and Daimler, at the Geneva Motor Show. The new unit will feature under the hoods of Captur and Scénic, and will become available for other Renault models in the course of 2018. The new 1.3-liter powerplant... Read more →


DOE awarding $12M for early-stage research for natural gas engines and off-road fluid power systems

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $12 million to support early-stage research for natural gas engines and off-road fluid power systems. Of this, $4 million goes to three new cost-shared research projects focused on medium- and heavy-duty, on-road natural gas engines and $3 million goes to support two... Read more →


Researchers show that single Pt atoms can perform CO oxidation at low temperatures; implications for catalytic converters

Researchers from Washington State University and Tufts University have “unambiguously” shown for the first time that individual Pt atoms on a well-defined Cu2O film are able to perform CO oxidation (i.e., converting CO to CO2)—a chemical reaction that is commonly used in catalytic converters to remove CO from car exhaust—at... Read more →


Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have used on-board catalytic fuel reforming to increase the brake efficiency of a multicylinder, stoichiometric spark-ignited (SI) engine by increasing EGR dilution tolerance. In an open-access paper published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels, they report that under an engine operating condition of... Read more →


Alliance AutoGas unveils Propane Port Fuel Direct Injection system for Ford F-150

=Alliance AutoGas (AAG) has successfully engineered Propane Port Fuel Direct Injection (P-PFDI) conversion systems for the 2018 Ford F-150 in two engine choices: 3.3 Liter V6 and 5.0 Liter V8. This new technology features autogas as the primary fuel, while strategically utilizing gasoline as a combustion lubricant. At the 2018... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation has developed a new continuously variable transmission (CVT) featuring a launch gear; a new 6-speed manual transmission; a new 2.0-liter engine with 40% thermal efficiency (41% in hybrid applications); a new 2.0-liter hybrid system; and new 4WD systems—one for gasoline-engined cars, one for hybrids—based on the Toyota... Read more →


A new study by researchers at the Bourns College of Engineering, University of California, Riverside (UCR) and colleagues at the Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association (MECA) has found that catalyzed gasoline particulate filters (GPF) are effective not only at reducing particulate mass, black carbon, and total and solid particle number... Read more →


BP outlook: Energy demand grows as fuel mix continues to diversify; EVs in global car parc at 15% by 2040, but electric share of VMT at 30%

The 2018 edition of BP’s Energy Outlook considers the forces shaping the global energy transition out to 2040 and the key uncertainties surrounding that transition. The speed of the energy transition is uncertain and the new Outlook considers a range of scenarios. Its evolving transition scenario, which assumes that government... Read more →


Volvo Cars launched its new three-cylinder Drive-E powertrain in the XC40, the company’s first entry into the compact SUV segment. The new powertrain is the first three-cylinder engine in the company’s 91-year history. The new three-cylinder powertrain has been deliberately designed for integration into Twin Engine plug-in hybrid cars. A... Read more →


The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released two studies from the Co-Optimization of Engines & Fuels initiative (Co-Optima) (earlier post). The first study, Fuel Blendstocks with the Potential to Optimize Future Gasoline Engine Performance, identifies eight representative high-octane blendstocks across five chemical groups that could be blended into gasoline... Read more →


Alongside the A-Class, the G-Class and the new four-door Mercedes-AMG GT Coupé, Mercedes-Benz will hold the world premiere of the new facelifted C-Class Saloon and Estate models featuring new gasoline and diesel engines, and plug-in hybrid versions. The C-Class in its current generation was Mercedes-Benz’s top-selling model in its fourth... Read more →


Audi has unveiled the second-generation A7 Sportback, which is the essence of Audi‘s new design language. The four-door coupé brings the show car design of the prologue studies (earlier post) to production. The drive system features a new mild-hybrid system (MHEV) as standard. At market introduction the coupé will be... Read more →


A cradle-to-grave (C2G) assessment of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and costs for current (2015) and future (2025–2030) light-duty vehicles by a team from US DOE and national laboratories, major automakers, EPRI and Chevron has found that currently, hybrid and plug-in hybrid petroleum-fueled vehicles provide the most attractive cost in terms... 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 →


Ricardo has created a company—Dolphin N2 Ltd—to commercialize its CryoPower cryogenic split-cycle engine technology (earlier post, earlier post.) The Ricardo CryoPower concept aims to increase the fuel efficiency while reducing operating costs and CO2 emissions for long haul trucks and other heavy-duty applications. The technology has been the subject of... Read more →


ExxonMobil’s newly released Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040 anticipates that global energy needs will rise about 25% over the period to 2040, led by non-OECD countries. While the mix shifts toward lower-carbon-intensive fuels, the world will need to pursue all economic energy sources, the report says. The Outlook... Read more →


In an event in Amsterdam, Mercedes-Benz unveiled its new A-Class compact line. The new fourth-generation A-Class vehicles are larger than their predecessors, and feature the MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience with a number of functions that were previously the preserve of the luxury class. In certain driving situations, the new... Read more →


CMU study finds secondary organic aerosol production from PFI and GDI vehicles has been “substantially” reduced by tightening NMOG standards

Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) is a major component of fine particulate matter—which causes adverse health effects—even in urban environments; vehicles may be a dominant source of SOA in urban areas, although there is still an ongoing debate over SOA formation from on-road sources. Now, in a new study published in... Read more →


At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Achates Power and new development parter Aramco Services (earlier post) showcased a Ford F-150 fitted with a 3-cylinder, 2.7-liter Opposed-Piston Gasoline Compression Ignition (OPGCI) engine. (Earlier post.) Fabien Redon, Vice President, Technology Development at Achates, said they estimate that the OPGCI pickup... 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 →


At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Kia Motors America (KMA) unveiled the third-generation 2019 Forte compact sedan. With a number of improvements, Forte now offers drivers a higher level of comfort, fuel efficiency and advanced driver assistance technologies. Housed underneath the Forte’s longer hood is a second-generation 2.0-liter... Read more →


Infiniti unveiled its Q Inspiration Concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Previewing a new generation of Infiniti vehicles, the Q Inspiration Concept proposes how an innovative VC-Turbo variable compression ratio engine powertrain (earlier post), next-level autonomous drive technologies, and a unique human-centric interior could enrich the... Read more →


EPA recently released the latest edition of its annual report Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Fuel Economy Trends. The report is the authoritative reference for real-world fuel economy, technology trends and tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions, for new personal vehicles sold in the US every year since 1975. The... Read more →


FCA pulled the wraps off the new 2019 Ram 1500 at the Detroit Auto Show. Overall weight for the Ram 1500 has been reduced by 225 pounds (102 kg). As the truck’s backbone, the frame uses advanced materials and engineering to eliminate 100 pounds while increasing stiffness and durability for... Read more →