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Honda Racing CEO Says F1 has no future without KERS

Forumula1.net. Formula One teams must embrace KERS technology if Formula One is to survive, according to Honda Racing CEO Nick Fry. KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) are to be introduced in the 2009 season. But several teams, led by Renault’s Flavio Briatore, have tried to delay the introduction of the... Read more →

Toshiba SCiB Li-Ion Battery Debuts in a Schwinn E-Bike

SCiB module and Schwinn Tailwind. Click to enlarge. Cannondale Sports Group, a global provider of branded bicycles and a division of Dorel Industries, Inc., has selected the new Toshiba fast-charging SCiB (Super Charge ion Battery) lithium-ion battery (earlier post) to provide the power battery module for a new electric bicycle... Read more →

SDG&E In-Use Study Quantifies Benefits of Two Converted PHEVs

A year-long study by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) studying two converted plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with 5 kWh Li-ion battery packs found that the converted PHEVs achieved a 60% increase in gas mileage, a 37% decrease in carbon dioxide (CO2) tailpipe emissions, and an 18% reduction in fuel... Read more →

Kenworth Expands Hybrid Offerings, Introduces New T370 Class 7 Hybrid Tractor Targeted at Local Haul Applications

The T370 hybrid. Kenworth Truck Company has introduced a new Kenworth T370 Class 7 diesel-electric hybrid tractor for local haul applications, including beverage, general freight, and grocery distribution. Kenworth, a division of PACCAR, already offers a T270 Class 6 hybrid-electric truck. Peterbilt, also part of PACCAR, also offers its version... Read more →

EPA Awards First $3.4M of Diesel Emission Reduction Program

The US Environmental Protection Agency awarded the first $3.4 million in funding for clean diesel projects under the $50 million Diesel Emission Reduction Program. This campaign is designed to save fuel and lower greenhouse gas and diesel exhaust emissions from the country’s existing fleet of 11 million diesel engines. Three... Read more →

EnCana and ConocoPhillips Begin Wood River Refinery Expansion

EnCana Corporation, through its 50-50 integrated oil venture with ConocoPhillips, will begin construction this month of a Coker and Refinery Expansion (CORE) project at the Wood River refinery in Roxana, Illinois. The project, which had been challenged (earlier post), recently received regulatory approval. The project will expand the refinery’s upgrading... Read more →

Researchers Find That Fuel Line Electrorheological Device Can Boost Fuel Economy

Fuel flows through two metallic meshes before it reaches the fuel injector. A voltage is applied on the two meshes to produce an electric field of about 1 kV/mm between them. Click to enlarge. Credit: ACS. Researchers at Temple University in Pennsylvania have developed a small electrorheological device that, when... Read more →

Continental Begins Series Production of Lithium-ion Battery Packs for Hybrid Vehicles

The battery which Continental has developed for the Mercedes-Benz hybrid weighs around 25 kilograms and requires an installation volume of some 13 liters. Click to enlarge. Continental has begun series production of lithium-ion battery packs to be used in hybrid-electric cars. The initial packs produced at Continental’s plant in Nuremberg,... Read more →

Toyota To Display CNG-Powered Camry Hybrid Concept At 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), USA, Inc., will display a compressed natural gas (CNG) Camry Hybrid concept vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. Honda is currently the only automaker with an OEM natural gas passenger vehicle—the Civic GX—on the US retail market. In 1999 Toyota marketed a CNG-powered... Read more →

Linear Technology Introduces New High Voltage Battery Stack Monitor IC for EV/HEV Systems

Linear Technology has introduced the LTC6802, a highly integrated multicell battery monitoring IC capable of measuring up to 12 individual battery cells. The device’s proprietary design allows multiple LTC6802s to be stacked in series without optocouplers or isolators, for precision voltage monitoring of every cell in long strings of series-connected... Read more →

Modec Brings Commercial EVs to Republic of Ireland

UK-based Modec has signed an exclusive distribution agreement for its electric commercial vehicles (earlier post) in the Republic of Ireland with OHM Group. The agreement with the dealership is the next step in Modec’s expansion and will result in the EVs made available in Ireland. A Modec electric van. Established... Read more →

EPA Approves Hurricane-Related Waiver for Georgia

As a result of the disruption in the supply of fuel caused by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, EPA has temporarily waived certain Georgia-specific requirements approved under the Clean Air Act for gasoline in 45 counties in and around Atlanta. The waiver will allow for the importation, distribution and sale of... Read more →

Uruguay Grants Land for ZAP Electric Vehicle Assembly Facility

The government of Uruguay, in a move to expand investment in new industries and technologies, has set aside land for an electric vehicle assembly plant expected to begin construction next month by US-based ZAP. The State of Montevideo has granted an acre of land to ZAP within an industrial and... Read more →

“Chemical Equator” Discovery Will Aid Pollution Mapping

Scientists at the University of York have discovered a “Chemical Equator” that divides the polluted air of the Northern Hemisphere from the largely uncontaminated atmosphere of the Southern Hemisphere. Atmospheric chemical transport model of the Chemical Equator during ACTIVE. Colors indicate the carbon monoxide concentrations on 30 January 2006. Essentially,... Read more →

GridPoint Acquires V2Green for SmartGrid V2G Solution

GridPoint’s SmartGrid Platform. Click to enlarge. GridPoint Inc., a developer of a smart grid platform, has acquired Seattle-based V2Green, a provider of vehicle-to-grid technology—including on-board vehicle communication devices—enabling enable utilities to “smart charge” electric vehicles anywhere within a service territory. (Earlier post.) GridPoint says that the V2Green transaction is the... Read more →

GEM Introduces Peapod Neighborhood Electric Vehicle

GEM, a Chrysler LLC company, introduced the next generation of its battery-powered neighborhood electric vehicles—the GEM Peapod. GEM also announced that it is renaming itself to GreenEcoMobility. The GEM Peapod. The Peapod is powered by six 12-volt flooded electrolyte batteries with the option of six 12-volt maintenance-free batteries. In addition... Read more →

Chrysler Unveils Production-Intent Electric Drive Technology; Three Prototypes, One to Be Produced in 2010

The three Chrysler electric-drive prototypes: battery electric Dodge EV and plug-in hybrid (extended range electric vehicle) Jeep and Chrysler. Click to enlarge. Chrysler LLC and its ENVI electric-drive organization (earlier post) unveiled new production-intent, advanced electric-drive technology packaged in three different vehicle formats: sportscar, SUV and minivan—one for each of... Read more →

Biobutanol Plans in Korea and India

UK-based Green Biologics (GBL), a biotechnology firm working on cellulosic biobutanol (earlier post) has signed an agreement with Laxmi Organic Industries to develop and construct a commercial scale demonstrator for biobutanol in India. Laxmi Organic Industries is a leading Indian biochemicals manufacturer that ranks among the world’s top 10 producers... Read more →

Bosch Highlighting Hydraulic and Electric Hybrid Systems at IAA

Components of the hydraulic hybrid Hydrostatic Regenerative Braking System. Click to enlarge. Bosch will highlight its hydraulic hybrid drivetrain at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover, Germany as one of its solutions to help reduce fuel consumption and lower emissions in the commercial vehicle sector. Bosch will also showcase... Read more →

NASA And Air Force To Establish Hypersonic Science Centers

NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate in Washington and the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Office of Science Research at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, have released a broad agency announcement describing their intent to establish three national hypersonic science centers. Hypersonic speed is defined as Mach 5, or five... Read more →

Furukawa Battery and East Penn Sign Sub-License Agreement for UltraBattery

The UltraBattery concept. Click to enlarge. Japan’s Furukawa Battery Company and US manufacturer East Penn signed an international commercialization and distribution agreement for the UltraBattery technology developed by Australia’s CSIRO. (Earlier post.) CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, is Australia’s national science agency. CSIRO’s UltraBattery combines an asymmetric... Read more →

BMW’s Mild Hybrid Concept 7 Series ActiveHybrid; Two BMW Hybrid Models to Be in Production in 2009

Components of the Concept 7 Series ActiveHybrid. Click to enlarge. BMW will introduce a mild-hybrid version of the 7 Series—the Concept 7 Series ActiveHybrid—at the upcoming Paris Motor Show. (Earlier post.) The hybrid combines a V-8 gasoline engine with a 15 kW electric motor, eight-speed automatic transmission and a lithium-ion... Read more →

New Renault Symbol Delivers 75 mpg US in Eco-Challenge with Eco-Driving

The recent Renault Symbol Eco-Challenge in Turkey saw the New Renault Symbol 1.5 dCi 85 deliver fuel consumption of 3.15 liters/100km (75 mpg US)—equivalent to CO2 emissions of 85 g/km and a range of 1,700 km (1,056 miles) on a full tank of diesel fuel. The new three-box sedan completed... Read more →

New Metal Carbide Catalyst for Cost-Effective Direct Conversion of Cellulose into Chemical Intermediate

Catalytic conversion of cellulose into polyols. Click to enlarge. Credit: Angewandte Chemie Researchers in the USA and China have developed a new inexpensive catalyst for the direct conversion of cellulose into ethylene glycol. As reported in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the catalyst is made of tungsten carbide and nickel on... Read more →

Researchers Develop Process That Could Result in Higher Yield from Oil Shale

Results from the retort experiments for oil shale (OS) samples. Click to enlarge. Credit: ACS Researchers in Canada and Turkey have developed a new process that could lead to the more economical production of oil shale with increased yield. In laboratory-scale experiments, the researchers added inexpensive iron powder to four... Read more →

RTI International and Süd-Chemie to Investigate Effects of Coal-Biomass Syngas Contaminants on Fuels Production

RTI International will partner with Süd-Chemie, Inc. to investigate the effects of a select group of contaminants present in synthesis gas—derived from gasification of a coal/biomass mixture on catalysts—used in subsequent reaction process operations to make fuels. Selected contaminants include hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, arsine, hydrogen selenide... Read more →

Chinese Consumers Put New Car Plans on Hold in Face of Escalating Fuel Prices

Chinese consumers are changing their new car purchasing plans or are postponing their purchases due to rising fuel prices, according to a recent Nielsen China survey. Automobile sales in China in August 2008 shrank 6.3% year on year to 629,000 units, the first fall in about two years. An online... Read more →

Volvo Group Plans Wide Application of Heavy-Duty Hybrid Drive

The Volvo FE hybrid refuse truck. Click to enlarge. The Volvo Group plans to apply its I-SAM (Integrated Starter, Alternator Motor) hybrid solution (earlier post)—what it calls its fourth-generation hybrid solution—across its range of products in buses, trucks and construction equipment. Volvo has been testing various types of hybrid solutions... Read more →

Caterpillar to Introduce Electric-Drive Mining Trucks

The mechanical-drive version of the 240- to 250-ton class 793F will have an electric-drive counterpart. Caterpillar is also introducing other, larger electric-drive trucks. Caterpillar Inc. will unveil new electric-drive mining trucks, along with improved safety features, Tier 2 compliant engines and new integrated technologies in the existing Cat mining fleet,... Read more →

US Natural Gas Vehicle Technology Forum (NGVTF) Revitalizing its Efforts

Relative sequence of priority RDD&D Ideas for NGV development from the CEC roadmap. Click to enlarge. The US Natural Gas Vehicle Technology Forum (NGVTF) is revitalizing its efforts to develop and deploy commercially competitive natural gas engines, vehicles, and infrastructure, according to the Department of Energy. In June 2008, NGVTF... Read more →

Ford Focuses on Improving F-150 Fuel Economy; Up to 21 mpg Highway in Special Edition

The F-150 SFE edition delivers up to 21 mpg highway while still providing 7,500 pounds of towing capability. Click to enlarge. Ford has introduced the new 2009 F-150 full-size pickup with a focus on improved fuel economy, which is up an average of 8% across the entire line-up as a... Read more →

Ginetta Cars Takes Equal Controlling Interest in Zytek Engineering

UK-based low-volume sportscar manufacturer Ginetta Cars has acquired an equal controlling interest in the UK-based automotive and motorsport engineering company Zytek Engineering. The Ginetta-Zytek LMP1. Click to enlarge. The first manifestation of the new partnership will be the entry of a Ginetta-Zytek LMP1 car in the Petit Le Mans of... Read more →

Toyota Fund for Europe Launches EcoDriving Program

The Toyota Fund for Europe has launched EcoDriving—a new program to help Europeans reduce fuel consumption and cut CO2 exhaust emissions by as much as 10% through smarter driving habits. Toyota and NGO network, Global Action Plan International, will organize up to 800 workshops, reaching an estimated 12,000 drivers across... Read more →

Quantum Leap Packaging and GM Exploring Polymer for Metal Replacement

Quantum Leap Packaging, Inc. (QLP), a provider of high performance materials for semiconductor assembly, co-presented a paper with GM at the SPE Automotive Composites Conference and Exhibition (16-18 September) entitled “Revolutionary Polymer for Metal Replacement in Automotive Applications”. Dr. Mike Zimmerman of QLP and Charles Buehler of GM co-presented. Buehler,... Read more →

Trans-Pacific ASPIRE Flight 1 Highlights Fuel-Saving Technologies and Procedures

Among the techniques used by the ASPIRE flight was a slower Cost Index—the calculation of total flight cost based on cost of time en route and cost of fuel. A recent Air New Zealand demonstration flight of a Boeing 777 from Auckland, New Zealand to San Francisco, California used a... Read more →

DUECO and Odyne Unveil Plug-In Hybrid Digger Derrick

DUECO Inc., in conjunction with Odyne Corp., is offering a Plug-In Hybrid Electric (PHEV) digger derrick—an industry first. A common piece of equipment used to dig holes and set electric poles by utility companies, the Derrick PHEV reduces fuel consumption, eliminates on-site engine emissions, and on-site engine noise. The plug-in... Read more →

World’s First Offshore LNG Terminal On Site Off Italy’s Coast

The world’s first offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal arrived at its final location off the Italian coast, where it will be capable of supplying about 10% of Italy’s natural gas requirements. The North Adriatic LNG Terminal—jointly owned by ExxonMobil (45%), Qatar Petroleum (45%) and Edison (10%)—is designed to store... Read more →

Johnson Controls-Saft Awarded US$500K State Grant for Li-Ion Hybrid Battery Work

Johnson Controls-Saft (JCS) received a US$500,000 Bio Energy Grant from Wisconsin’s Clean Energy Wisconsin Plan. The company was chosen for this grant for its work in developing innovative, clean energy projects, specifically for the advanced technology R&D and commercialization efforts for lithium-ion hybrid vehicle batteries. The company’s Battery Technology Center... Read more →

New Life-Cycle Analysis Concludes Neither GTL or CTL a “Reasonable Path” for Energy Security With Reduced GHG Emissions

High- and low-GHG emissions scenario for FT fuels. Click to enlarge. A new life-cycle study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) concludes that the use of either coal- (CTL) or natural gas-based (GTL) Fischer-Tropsch (FT) liquids will likely lead to significant increases in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to... Read more →

Mascoma Names GM Executive to Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Andreas M. Lippert, director of Global Energy Systems for General Motors Corp., will join Mascoma Corp.’s Scientific Advisory Board, expanding the automaker’s involvement with Mascoma as it moves closer to commercial production of cellulosic fuels. Dr. Lippert leads GM’s strategic analysis and outlook on global energy developments and energy... Read more →

Projected New US Light-Duty Vehicle Fuel Economy for 2008 Up 1% from 2007, 8% from 2004

Beginning with MY2005, increasing efficiency as measured by HP/displacement has been used to increase both fuel economy and performance. Click to enlarge. The average fuel economy of new light-duty cars and trucks sold in the US will rise slightly to a projected 20.8 mpg (adjusted) for 2008, according to the... Read more →

Report: Chrysler to Preview EVs to Dealers Next Week

Detroit News. Chrysler LLC will preview its new line of electric cars under development to dealers next week. Chrysler spokesman Stuart Schorr says Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep dealers will be given “insight into (the company’s) business strategies” via videoconference at high-definition movie theaters across the nation Tuesday. Schorr wouldn’t reveal... Read more →

Two Independent Research Efforts Develop Similar Processes for Conversion of Sugars into Bio-Hydrocarbon Fuels

Schematic representation of reactor sequence used in Dumesic process providing a platform for the production of liquid transportation fuels. The proposed chemistries involved in the conversion of sugars and polyols over Pt-Re catalysts are shown schematically in the lower portion of the figure. The asterisks represent catalytic sites. Click to... Read more →

Daimler to Showcase Alternative Drive Systems at the 62nd IAA Commercial Vehicles Show; Three Mercedes-Benz Hybrid Premieres

The Mercedes-Benz Econic BlueTec hybrid makes its debut at the Hanover show. Click to enlarge. Daimler AG is presenting 11 vehicles with alternative drive systems—including natural gas, hybrid-electric and fuel cell technologies—at this year’s IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hanover (25 September - 2 October). (Earlier post.) Mercedes-Benz will present three... Read more →

DOE to Provide Up to $7.3M for Advanced Water Power Projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 14 projects for negotiation of awards of up to a total of $7.3 million, with a cost-shared value of more than $18 million, for Advanced Water Power Projects R&D. The projects will advance commercial viability, cost-competitiveness, and market acceptance of new technologies... Read more →

More Hurricane-Related Fuel Waivers: District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia

As a result of the disruption in the supply of fuel caused by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has temporarily waived reformulated gasoline (RFG) requirements to allow the sale of conventional gasoline (CG) in all the District of Columbia and parts of Maryland. This latest... Read more →

Report: GM May Sell Mid-size Truck Business to Isuzu

The Nikkei reports that General Motors Corp. is in talks to sell its commercial mid-size truck operations to Isuzu Motors Ltd. GM contacted Isuzu by mid-September to sound out the Japanese firm’s interest in buying its mid-size truck business, sources close to the matter told The Nikkei. Isuzu is understood... Read more →