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Study Finds UK Power Infrastructure Has Capacity for Significant Rise in Use of EVs and PHEVs

According to the results of simulation studies by a consortium including Ricardo, Jaguar-Land Rover, E.ON and Amberjac Projects, a substantial medium-term rise in the number of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles would have a much lower impact on the UK national power grid than has previously been estimated. The research... Read more →

UK-based Electric Car Corporation Plc (ECC) has officially launched an all-electric version of the Citroën C1, the C1 ev’ie. The C1 ev’ie. Click to enlarge. The Citroën C1 ev’ie is assembled in the UK from the donor car. The 4-seater electric car offers a range of 60-70 miles when fully... Read more →

Magneti Marelli and Flybrid Systems Collaborate on “Flywheel Capacitor” for KERS

Italian motorsport electronics specialist Magneti Marelli and UK high-speed flywheel specialist Flybrid Systems are collaborating to develop a new energy storage solution for Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS). The new product is targeted to be a high-power electrical storage system for hybrid racing cars capable of deep depths of discharge... Read more →

Chrysler Files for Bankruptcy; Reaches Agreement with Fiat for New Company; Fiat Percentage Ownership Tied to Fuel-Efficiency Targets

Chrysler LLC has been unable to obtain the necessary concessions from all of its lenders which would have avoided the need for a bankruptcy proceeding. As a result, under the direction of the US Treasury, Chrysler LLC and 24 of its wholly-owned US subsidiaries today filed voluntary petitions under Chapter... Read more →

Battery pack state of charge vs. distance for the ADDZEV vehicle under all-electric power on the UDDC cycle. Source: Cranfield. Click to enlarge. A collaboration led by the UK’s Cranfield University has developed a retrofit plug-in hybrid conversion system for a conventional internal combustion engine vehicle. The Affordable Add-on Zero... Read more →

Exploded view of the OX2 Engine. Click to enlarge. Advanced Engine Technologies Inc. says it has reached the final development stage of its OX2 rotary engine, achieving a performance objective of more than 300 lb-ft (407 N·m) of torque along with 46 hp (34 kW) at an approximate operating speed... Read more →

Hydrogen Engine Center in Demo Project at Montreal Airport

Hydrogen Engine Center, Inc. (HEC) (earlier post) will participate in a C$11 million (US$9.2 million) hydrogen energy technology demonstration project at Montreal’s Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport. The airport project is focused on testing and demonstrating hydrogen technologies and fueling infrastructures. Numerous hydrogen usages will be tested within the project,... Read more →

Ames Laboratory Physicists Demonstrate Unique Mechanism of Iron-Arsenide Superconductors

Physicists at the US Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory have experimentally demonstrated that the superconductivity mechanism in the recently-discovered iron-arsenide superconductors is unique compared to all other known classes of superconductors. These findings—combined with iron-arsenide’s potential good ability to carry current due to their low anisotropy—may open a door to... Read more →

Shipping Association Files Suit Against ARB Emission Regulations

Journal of Commerce. The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, which represents shipping lines and terminal operators, is challenging California Air Resources Board (ARB) regulations in a lawsuit in Federal court, contending that the federal government preempts states in regulating vessel operations beyond a three-mile limit. In June 2008, ARB adopted a... Read more →

Configuration of the 3.5L V6 EcoBoost Combustion System. A 6-hole fuel injector is mounted between intake ports. The spark plug is at the center of the chamber. The piston has a shallow bowl designed to ensure stable combustion during engine cold-start operations. Source: Ford. Click to enlarge. Ford’s turbocharged, gasoline... Read more →

The theme of the current issue of Nature is that the climate situation may be even worse than you think. Less than a quarter of the proven fossil fuel reserves can be burnt and emitted between now and 2050, if global warming is to be limited to two degrees Celsius... Read more →

Almost $1.8B in US Funding to Support Energy Research; ARPA-E and Energy Frontier Research Centers

In a speech before the Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Sciences, in which he called for the US to surpass its record investment in research and development—set in 1964 at the height of the space race—with an R&D funding commitment to exceed 3% of GDP, President Barack Obama... Read more →

UQM Technologies PowerPhase 125 System Powers Citroen C4 Hybrid World Rally Car

The Citroën C4 Hybrid Rally Car (earlier post) currently being tested by Citroën Racing uses a UQM Technologies PowerPhase 125 electric propulsion system for electric traction in the through-the-road hybrid system. First shown at the Paris and then Bologna and Geneva Motorshows, the Citroën C4 WRC Hybrid4 made its debut... Read more →

San Diego Regional Partnership to Develop Algal Biofuels; $10M Algae Prize Enters Due Diligence Phase

Scientists from UC San Diego (UCSD), The Scripps Research Institute and other local research institutions, along with their industry counterparts, recently established the San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology, or “SD-CAB.” The primary goal of the center is to create a national facility capable of developing and implementing innovative research... Read more →

Cartoon of the proposed combined hydrogen and conventional power plant (top). Combined methane combustion, coking and generation of H2 and coke combustion (bottom). More H2 can form via the water–gas shift reaction if CO is present. Credit: RSC. Click to enlarge. Researchers at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands... Read more →

Q&A With Luca Guala of Systematica on Masdar’s Personal Rapid Transit System

Green Car Congress had an opportunity to follow up with Luca Guala of Systematica to learn more about the Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system being applied in Masdar. (Earlier post.) Systematica, a design and engineering firm based in Italy with clients throughout the world, combines a traditional engineering company with... Read more →

by Bill Cooke On 20 April, the opening day of the SAE 2009 World Congress, the AVL Technology Leadership Theater presented a forum on “Green Mobility—The Long View”. Organized by Shane Chang at Honda Research Institute USA Inc., the session counted among its panelists: Professor John Heywood, Sun Jae Professor... Read more →

Nissan and Seattle to Partner on EVs and Charging Infrastructure

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels announced that the City of Seattle and Nissan North America will work together to promote the development of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. Nissan has selected the Seattle-area as one of the first regions in the country to introduce a pure electric five-passenger hatchback in 2010.... Read more →

Greenhouse gas emissions for all fuels in this study, using one of the cultivation scenarios (Forward cultivation). Source: Shonnard and Koers (2009). Click to enlarge. A life cycle analysis (LCA) comparing camelina-derived renewable jet and diesel fuels to petroleum fuels and biodiesel found that the green jet and green diesel... Read more →

Report: Honda, Toyota Earning Profits on Hybrids

The Nikkei reports that Toyota and Honda are both making estimated profits of about ¥300,000 (about US$3,100) each on every hybrid they sell, similar to what they make on small, gasoline-engined vehicles. If Honda sells 200,000 Insight hybrids worldwide in the first year of its release, the company would generate... Read more →

Glycos Biotechnologies and Eureka Genomics Sequence the Genome of a Proprietary Bacterium for Emerging Biorefinery Industry

Glycos Biotechnologies, Inc. (GlycosBio), a pioneer in metabolic engineering, and Eureka Genomics, a leader in analysis of next-generation genomic sequencing data, have sequenced the genome of a proprietary bacterium that could initially increase the ethanol yield from corn ethanol plants and will support the growth of an emerging biorefinery industry.... Read more →

Ford Fusion Hybrid 1,000 Mile Challenge Car Sets Record with 1,445 Miles on Single Tank of Gas; Averages 81.5 mpg

Drivers trained in mileage-maximizing techniques such as smooth acceleration and coasting to red lights were able to wring 1,445.7 miles out of a single tank of gas during a fund-raising effort in Washington, DC that concluded today. They did it by averaging 81.5 miles per gallon in an off-the-showroom floor,... Read more →

Volvo Hybrid Bus In Field Test in Göteborg

The Göteborgs Spårvägar transit company is participating in a field test with Volvo’s hybrid bus—the first time the hybrid is carrying passengers. The 7700 Hybrid features a parallel hybrid system with the Volvo MD5 diesel engine and Integrated Starter Alternator Motor (I-SAM). The 4-cylinder, 4-stroke turbocharged and intercooled in-line diesel... Read more →

Total Invests in Series D Round of Butanol and Renewable Hydrocarbons Company Gevo

Oil and gas major Total has invested an undisclosed amount in the series D round of advanced biofuels company Gevo. Gevo was founded in 2005 by Drs. Frances Arnold, Matthew Peters and Peter Meinhold of the California Institute of Technology. The company is focused on the development of advanced biofuels... Read more →

Neste Oil to Postpone Gasoline Project at Porvoo, Concentrate Resources on NExBTL

Neste Oil has decided to postpone construction of a new gasoline isomerization unit at its Porvoo, Finland refinery. The decision reflects the current weaker demand for petroleum products, and will enable the company to concentrate resources on strategic growth projects, which are focused on building NExBTL renewable diesel capacity in... Read more →

Navistar First Truck and Bus Maker to Receive Hybrid Certification from California Air Resources Board

Navistar became the first truck and bus manufacturer to receive total hybrid vehicle certification from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for improving fuel economy and overall emissions. On 24 April, the CARB voted to implement a $25 million voucher incentive program as part of California Assembly Bill (AB) 118... Read more →

Inpex Holdings Inc. will spend just under ¥2 billion (US$20.8 million) to acquire a 15% stake (3,076,000 shares at ¥650 per share) of Eliiy Power, a maker of large-format lithium-ion batteries primarily owned by Sharp, Daiwa House Industry Co. and Dai Nippon Printing Co. Eliiy Power Co., is planning to... Read more →

Sirona Fuels Launches Jatropha Community Farming in Haiti

California-based Sirona Fuels began Jatropha planting operations in Haiti over the past month in a joint venture with 3C Missions, an organization that has established a relief fund for more ethan 1,100 orphaned children in Haiti. Sirona intends to harvest and crush the Jatropha in Haiti, and refine it into... Read more →

CPT electric supercharger test rig. Click to enlarge. Smoke emissions produced by turbocharged diesel engines under heavy load conditions—such as when accelerating from low engine speeds and other similar transient manoeuvres—can be all but eliminated under certain operating conditions by the addition of a relatively simple and low cost electric... Read more →

Department of Interior Seeks to Vacate “Stream Buffer Zone Rule” for Mountaintop Coal Mining

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has directed the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to file a pleading with the US District Court in Washington DC requesting that the mountaintop coal mining “stream buffer zone rule” issued by the Bush Administration be vacated due to being legally defective. In... Read more →

HyHIL: New Test Platform for the Development of Hybrid Vehicles

The HyHIL virtual hybrid test platform is now up and running. (Earlier post.) Upon completion in 2010, the HyHIL platform is expected to significantly reduce the time required for the design and development stage of a new hybrid architecture. Launched in 2008 by D2T in partnership with IFP, Renault, the... Read more →

SG Biofuels Launches Genetic Resource Center to Accelerate Large-Scale Production of Jatropha Oil

SG Biofuels opened its Jatropha Genetic Resource Center (GRC) to further accelerate profitable, large-scale production of Jatropha as a low-cost, sustainable source of feedstock for biofuel. “Based on early returns from our genetic research, as well as experience with other similar, undomesticated crops, we are confident we can double the... Read more →

Configuration of an EV with battery pack and ultracapacitor. From Li et al.(2009) Click to enlarge. Researchers at the Illinois Institute of Technology and Allborg University (Denmark) are studying a hybrid battery/ultracapacitor system for small electric vehicles. They presented a paper on their work at the recent SAE 2009 World... Read more →

GM Releases New Viability Plan, Launches Bond Exchange; Phasing Out Pontiac

General Motors presented an updated Viability Plan that accelerates and deepens the cuts in US brands and nameplates, dealers, manufacturing operations and employees intended to enable GM North America to breakeven (on an adjusted EBIT basis) at a US total industry sales volume of approximately 10 million vehicles. As part... Read more →

Siemens scientists recently presented a R&D project on the world’s first generator with coils made of high-temperature superconductors (HTS)—which has been running continuously for half a year without problems—at the Hannover Trade Fair. The connection for the use of the machine as motor or generator. Source: Siemens. Click to enlarge.... Read more →

ADB Study Finds Annual Economic Losses in Southeast Asia from Climate Change Could be More Than Twice the Global Average

Southeast Asia, one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to climate change—due to its long coastlines, high concentration of population and economic activity in coastal areas, and heavy reliance on agriculture, natural resources, and forestry—is likely to suffer more from climate change than the global average, according to... Read more →

Toyota To Increase Production of 2010 Prius 25% On Strong Pre-Orders

Nikkei. Toyota Motor Corp. will increase monthly output of the 2010 Prius starting in June by at least 25% to 50,000 units, up from an earlier planned 40,000 units per month, based on receiving more advance orders than expected. Production in fiscal 2009 is now expected to total some 500,000... Read more →

Ford E85 Direct Injection Boosting Study: A Less Expensive Alternative to Diesel

Using a separate E85 direct injection boosting system combined with gasoline port fuel injection (PFI) makes the engine more efficient in its use of gasoline, and can be viewed as a more cost-effective alternative to a modern diesel, according to a Ford study presented by Robert Stein, currently of AVL,... Read more →

Report: Hitachi Develops High-Power Automotive Li-Ion Battery: 4,500 W/kg

The Nikkei reports that Hitachi Ltd. has developed a high-power lithium-ion battery for hybrid-electric vehicles. The battery reportedly has specific power of 4,500 W/kg— a power increase of 70% over its current models, and 50% over a new version Hitachi plans to begin mass-producing next year. Hitachi aims to begin... Read more →

ARRA Funding for Plug Power and Customers Will Result in Deployment of More Than 304 Fuel Cell Drive Units for Lift Trucks

Plug Power Inc. has received more than $6 million in awards from the United States Department of Energy (DOE) for fuel cell market transformation programs. (Earlier post.) The funding was provided via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The funding will be used to integrate Plug Power’s fuel cell solutions... Read more →

Dynamotive Produces Renewable Gasoline and Diesel from Biomass in Three-Stage Process: Pyrolysis, Hydroreforming, Hydrotreating

Dynamotive Energy Systems Corporation has successfully produced renewable gasoline and diesel from biomass at its research facility in Waterloo Ontario through a novel two-stage upgrading process of its pyrolysis oil, BioOil. The BINGO (Biomass INto GasOil) process involves pyrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass to produce a primary liquid fuel, BioOil, which... Read more →

Drawing of the proposed advanced microturbine. Source: ETVM Click to enlarge. ETV Motors Ltd. (ETVM), an Israeli start-up developing a range-extended electric vehicle (REEV) technology combining a novel dual-power micro-turbine and a new high-voltage lithium-ion battery chemistry, has closed a US$12-million Series A investment round. The round was led by... Read more →

The University of Glamorgan (Wales) and Atraverda, an advanced material company that owns the intellectual property rights to a conductive ceramic known as Ebonex, are collaborating to produce a commercially viable bi-polar lead-acid battery. They made the announcement at the opening of the UK’s first Advanced Bi-polar Battery Development research... Read more →

Energtek Begins Converting Tricycles in Manila With CNG Lite Adsorbed Natural Gas System

Energtek Inc., a developer of adsorbed natural gas (ANG) storage technology, has begun converting tricycles to operate on natural gas in Metro Manila, as requested by the Government of the Philippines. (Earlier post.) The tricycles will be displayed by the company to officers of the executive government by 30 April.... Read more →

CARB Approves $42M for AB 118 Air Quality Improvement Program to Fund Clean Engine Technologies

The California Air Resources Board approved $42 million in AB 118 Air Quality Improvement Program projects that will accelerate the commercialization of on-road and off-road clean engine technologies. Beginning this fall, Californians will be able to use these grants toward the purchase of zero-emission or hybrid engine technologies. All interested... Read more →

The Linde Group Develops Process to Produce Hydrogen from Glycerine; Demonstration Plant Due in Mid-2010

The Linde Group has developed a new process for the production of hydrogen from biogenic raw materials. Hydromotive GmbH, a subsidiary of The Linde Group, will build a demonstration plant from mid-2009 at its chemical site in Leuna, Germany, which will produce hydrogen from glycerol (also called glycerine). Glycerol is... Read more →