DOE awarding $40M to 31 projects to advance use of microbes in production of biofuels and bioproducts

The US Department of Energy will award $40 million in funding for 31 projects to advance research in the development of microbes as practical platforms for the production of biofuels and other bioproducts from renewable resources. Over the past decade, DOE-supported scientists have identified and modified a wide range of... Read more →


Magna intends to form two new joint ventures with Beijing Electric Vehicle Co. Ltd (BJEV)—a subsidiary of the BAIC Group for electric cars—for the engineering and complete vehicle manufacturing of electric vehicles. Over the coming months, Magna and BJEV will work with authorities to implement legally binding joint-venture agreements which... Read more →


Although Li metal anode are a promising enabler for high-energy-density next-generation battery systems, practical applications are severely hindered by low efficiency and potential safety hazards, largely due to the high reactivity of metallic Li toward liquid electrolytes. Now, a team of researchers at Stanford University has demonstrated the use of... Read more →


Volvo Cars announced its ambition that from 2025, at least 25% of the plastics used in every newly launched Volvo car will be made from recycled material. Volvo Cars also urged auto industry suppliers to work more closely with car makers to develop next-generation components that are as sustainable as... Read more →


Researchers from Philipps-Universität Marburg, with colleagues from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Toyota Motor Europe, have investigated the role of void space on ion tranport in a composite cathode for solid-state Li-ion batteries. Their study, published in the Journal of Power Sources, reports a significant effect of residual voids in... Read more →


Clariant Catalysts collaborates with Hydrogenious on Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) technology

Clariant’s a Catalysts business has formed an alliance with Hydrogenious Technologies to provide reliable, scalable and safe hydrogen supply solutions for a wide variety of applications. Hydrogen’s very low density, high flammability and extreme volatility present significant challenges to both storage and transportation. Conventional storage methods typically involve either physical... Read more →


ACO, FIA introducing new hybrid top class for Le Mans for 2020-2024; hydrogen racers in 2024

The Automobile Club De L’Ouest (ACO) and Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) will introduce a new top class for the FIA World Endurance Championship for 2020-2024. The anticipated sleeker prototypes will retain a hybrid system while leaving free the choice of combustion engine at a predetermined and fixed cost. The... Read more →


Japan NEDO launches major $90M solid-state Li-ion battery project targeting EVs; 23 companies, 15 universities/research institutes

Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has launched the second phase of a major solid-state Li-ion battery project in a quest to achieve both high energy density and safety in batteries for electric vehicles. NEDO set a target date of fiscal 2022 for the core technologies; prior... Read more →


Toronto Transit Commission greenlights first battery-electric bus fleet; 10 Proterra E2s to start

The Toronto Transit Commission, the third largest transit agency in North America and the most heavily used system in all of Canada, purchased ten Proterra Catalyst E2 buses in support of the transit agency’s goal to convert its entire fleet of 1,926 buses to zero-emission buses by 2040. Canada has... Read more →


Volkswagen’s rapid-charging battery system for the I.D. R Pikes Peak

The design of the battery and charging system for Volkswagen’s fully-electric I.D. R Pikes Peak was driven by the time constraints specified by the regulations for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Should a participant be forced to suspend the run for safety reasons—for example, should it suddenly start to... Read more →


Automotive supplier Magna is introducing a line-up of 48V products to help automakers meet increasingly stringent global CO2 and fuel-economy regulations. Among these is the new etelligentDrive eDS 48V High Performance System—one the first mild-hybrid transfer cases available to automakers. Additionally, it’s a four-wheel drive system that provides CO2 savings... Read more →


A collaboration led by scientists at the University of Maryland (UMD), the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the US Army Research Lab have developedand studied a new cathode material—a modified and engineered form of iron trifluoride (FeF3)—that could triple the energy density of lithium-ion battery electrodes.... Read more →


Renault investing > €1B for development and production of EVs in France

Groupe Renault is accelerating the deployment of its Drive The Future strategic plan with an investment of more than €1 billion (US$1.2 billion) for the development and production of electric vehicles in France. With the aim of strengthening the leadership of its French industrial base in the growing electric vehicle... Read more →


EPA approves bio-isobutanol as gasoline additive at up to 16 vol %

EPA has approved the registration of bio-isobutanol as a gasoline additive at up to 16 vol % after reviewing and taking comment on the application of Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC. (Earlier post.) Butamax, a manufacturer of bio-isobutanol, submitted an application pursuant to the regulations at 40 CFR Part 79, Registration... Read more →


BMW has selected TTTech Auto, a high-tech company specializing in leading safety software and hardware platforms for automated driving, as its development partner for level 3 and 4 automated driving functions. TTTech Auto will contribute its extensive cross-industry software and functional safety experience to this project. As we develop a... Read more →


The Chicago Transit Board awarded a $32-million contract to Proterra for the purchase of 20 new, all-electric buses. The new electric buses will give the CTA one of the largest electric bus fleets in the country. CTA has been testing two electric buses since 2014, when the agency became the... Read more →


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 →


Rüsselsheim Engineering Center developing next four-cylinder gasoline engine generation for Groupe PSA; optimized for hybrids

The Rüsselsheim Engineering Center will take on the global responsibility for the development of the next-generation of high-efficiency gasoline engines for all Groupe PSA brands (Peugeot, Citroën, DS Automobiles, Opel and Vauxhall). The next generation of four-cylinder engines will be optimized for operation in combination with electric motors and will... Read more →


Fisker Inc.’s Orbit autonomous electric shuttle, will feature Protean Electric’s in-wheel eDrive technology, specifically, the Pd18 system with peak torque of 1,250 N·m and peak power of 80 kW (60 kW continuous). ProteanDrive motors use patented technologies, digital control, and are packaged with a friction brake. Designed to withstand 300,000... Read more →


DOE seeking feedback on regulatory barriers to hydrogen infrastructure

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced increased collaboration with stakeholders to reduce regulatory barriers on the development of hydrogen infrastructure and has issued a new Request for Information (RFI) (DE-FOA-0001948) to foster this united effort with industry. Previous feedback collected during reviews identified the need for updated codes and... Read more →


Electrify America, Sacramento announce Green City investments: ZEV car-sharing, ZEV bus and shuttle routes, EV charging systems

Electrify America and the City of Sacramento announced new projects that will increase access to zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV) in the Sacramento region, expand ZEV technology use, and prepare the City for future electric vehicle adoption. The projects—which include two new car sharing services, new ZEV bus and shuttle routes and... 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 →


BASF Venture Capital GmbH is to invest in LanzaTech. Using special microbes, LanzaTech has developed a technology for gas fermentation that first enables ethanol to be produced from residual gases containing carbon monoxide and hydrogen. By re-using waste streams instead of incinerating them, industrial companies can reduce carbon dioxide emissions.... Read more →


The California ARB has released the draft summary of its proposed Innovative Clean Transit (ICT) regulation (earlier post) for review and comments. Staff will be discussing this concept at a public workshop being held today. The proposed ICT regulation includes a transition to zero-emission technologies while enhancing transit services. The... Read more →


Volvo Cars and Polestar launch new Polestar Engineered electrified performance offer

Volvo Cars is launching a new upgraded electrified performance offer called Polestar Engineered, specifically developed for its new 60 Series T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid cars. The announcement comes one week before the company will reveal its new S60 premium sports sedan at the inauguration of its first US manufacturing... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation has concluded an agreement with Grab Holdings Inc. (Grab) to strengthen their existing partnership and expand the collaboration between Toyota and Grab in Southeast Asia to drive further advances in Mobility as a Service (MaaS) across the region. As part of this agreement, Toyota will invest US$1... Read more →


With the 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb now less than two weeks away, Volkswagen outlined the drivetrain technology in the I.D. R Pikes Peak, its first fully-electric racing car. (Earlier post.) The I.D. R Pikes Peak features two interlinked, integrated lithium-ion battery blocks on board, located to the right... Read more →


Both air travel and the use of ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft are on the rise in cities around the world. Global demand for air travel is expected to double by 2035, and new airport infrastructure investments and modernization upgrades—costing tens of billions of dollars—are anticipated. In a... Read more →


The BMW Group sold more than a million vehicles worldwide (1,003,573 / +1.6%) in the first five months of 2018—the Group’s best Jan-May performance to date. This record result was achieved despite the ongoing global ramp-up of BMW X3 production and volatility in China due to changes in import duties.... Read more →


Ballard Power Systems signed a 3.5-year extension to its current Technology Solutions contract with Audi AG (earlier post), extending the HyMotion program to August 2022. The aggregate value of the contract extension is expected to be C$80-to-130 million (US$62-100 million). The program will support Audi through its small series production... Read more →


ASTM International recently revised ASTM D7566 Annex A5—the Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons—to add ethanol as an approved feedstock for producing alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK). (Earlier post.) The revision of ASTM D7566 Annex A5 clears the way for increased adoption of sustainable aviation fuels because... Read more →


How many vehicles can the earth sustain?

by Michael Sivak. ​One of the hallmarks of the good life in developed countries is the freedom to move about as we choose in personal vehicles. However, as populous developing countries are gaining in economic power, people in those countries are asking for the same mobility that people in developed... Read more →


Leading steel and mining company ArcelorMittal has begun construction of new premises at its site in Ghent, Belgium, to house a new installation which will convert carbon-containing gas from its blast furnaces into bioethanol. The technology in the gas conversion process, which utilizes microbes that feed on carbon monoxide to... Read more →


France-based global energy and services group ENGIE has launched a fleet of 50 hydrogen-powered Renault Kangoo Z.E. utility vehicles (earlier post), recently made available for long-term rental through Alphabet, a leader in mobility solutions for companies, and inaugurated the first alternative multi-fuel station in France to fuel them. These vehicles... Read more →


Recent moves by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) have signaled a strong determination by the sanctioning body to strictly enforce a tightening of marine fuel low-sulfur regulations, which will result in a period of huge upheaval in global oil markets, extraordinary margins for some oil refiners, and a potential doubling... Read more →


Mayor of London launches international study on effect of air pollution on children’s health: CHILL

More 3,000 primary school children in polluted areas of London and Luton will have their lung health monitored over a four-year period in a new international study launched by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. The CHILL study (Children’s Health in London & Luton) will test whether policies to improve... Read more →


The US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory unveiled Summit as the world’s most powerful and smartest scientific supercomputer. With a peak performance of 200,000 trillion calculations per second (200 petaflops), Summit will be eight times more powerful than ORNL’s previous top-ranked system, Titan. For certain scientific applications, Summit... Read more →


Swansea study finds 30% of the UK’s natural gas could be replaced by hydrogen without major changes

30% of the natural gas fueling UK homes and businesses could be replaced by hydrogen without requiring any changes to the nation’s boilers and ovens, a study by Swansea University researchers has shown. Over time the move could cut UK carbon dioxide emissions by up to 18%. The open-access study... Read more →


A recent analysis by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) foundthat Subaru’s EyeSight system (earlier post) cut the rate of likely pedestrian-related insurance claims by a statistically significant 35%. According to IIHS, 2016 data show pedestrian deaths account for 16% of all auto collision... Read more →


MAN Diesel & Turbo Schweiz AG has signed a cooperation agreement with ABB Switzerland for the development, production and commercialization of a three-way energy-storage system. The new Electro-Thermal Energy Storage system (ETES) stores large-scale electricity, heat and cold for distribution to consumers. ETES uses surplus renewable-electricity to generate heat and... Read more →


DOE awards $1M+ to pH Matter for continued development of COR-Cat high activity catalyst for fuel cells

pH Matter, a developer of new materials for electrochemical applications, with particular expertise in synthetic carbon materials for fuel cells, batteries, and electrolysis, has been awarded more than $1 million in funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE) for the continued development of its COR-Cat high-activity catalyst materials for... Read more →


Stena Line, one of Europe’s leading ferry companies with 38 vessels and 21 routes in Northern Europe, is introducing battery power to its operations. Stena recently signed with Callenberg Technology Group for 1 MWh of batteries which will be installed on Stena Jutlandica which operates between Gothenburg and Frederikshavn. Stena... Read more →


Series production of the first purely electric Porsche is set to begin next year. The vehicle, previously operating under the working title "Mission E”, has now been given its official name: Taycan. Porsche says that the name can be roughly translated as “lively young horse,” referencing the imagery at the... Read more →


Hydro-Québec grants an operating license and partners with Nouveau Monde Graphite to develop materials used in lithium-ion batteries

Hydro-Québec (HQ) and Nouveau Monde Graphite (NMG) recently signed a license and a research and development agreements concerning the processing of graphite for use in lithium-ion batteries. This collaboration is intended to enable NMG to commercialize battery material technologies developed by HQ over the past 30 years, helping to position... Read more →


The National Transportation Safety Bo​ard issued its preliminary report in the investigation of the fatal crash of a Tesla on US Highway 101 in Mountain View, California on 23 March 2018. According to performance data downloaded from the crash vehicle, a 2017 Tesla Model X P100D, the driver was using... Read more →


Scientists from Emory University, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Air Resources Board teamed to analyze satellite data to determine the 15-year trend of PM2.5 pollution in the state. PM2.5 is especially burdensome in California and accounts for the greatest percentage of health impacts attributable to air pollution. The... Read more →


Volvo Cars expects ½ of annual sales from BEVs by middle of next decade; ⅓ autonomous; ½ subscription-based

Volvo Cars said that by the middle of the next decade, it expects to generate half of all sales annually from fully electric cars; one third of all cars sold to be autonomous driving cars and half of all cars it offers to customers from its subscription service. Volvo Cars... Read more →


Researchers at Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) have reported that nanoporous, amorphous silicon film anodes can show excellent cycling stability with extremely high lithium storage capacity: 2962 mAh g−1 and 2.19 mAh cm−2 after 100 cycles. An open-access paper on their work appears in the Nature journal Communications Chemistry. Silicon has theoretical... Read more →


Volkswagen testing use of quantum computing in battery research

For the first time, Volkswagen researchers have succeeded in simulating industrially relevant molecules using a quantum computer. This is especially important for the development of high-performance electric vehicle batteries. In the long term, Volkswagen wants to simulate the chemical structure of a complete electric vehicle battery on a quantum computer.... Read more →


California Energy Commission providing $78.7M for replacement of oldest school buses; electric preferred

The California Energy Commission School Bus Replacement Program is making up to $78.7 million in grant funding available for the replacement of California’s oldest school buses. (GFO-17-607) Additionally, the Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) has up to $13 million in grant funds for electric... Read more →