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California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger dropped by the FEV booth to see the H3 ReEV after his remarks at the SAE 2009 World Congress opening ceremony. Click to enlarge. At SAE 2009 World Congress, FEV showcased two advanced hybrid development projects it undertook with partners—the range-extended electric vehicle (ReEV) HUMMER H3... Read more →

Mazda Motor Corporation has built the first Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE vehicle with Norwegian specifications, developed specifically for participation in HyNor, Norway’s national hydrogen project. (Earlier post.) Norwegian-specification Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE. Click to enlarge. The first unit will take part in ceremonies on 11 May marking the official opening... Read more →

The LCFS is an important component in California’s effort to reduce transportation GHG. Source: ARB. Click to enlarge. At its meeting on Thursday, the California Air Resources Board adopted a regulation that will implement Governor Schwarzenegger’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (earlier post) calling for at least a 10% reduction from... Read more →

Maxwell BMOD0165 P048 module. Click to enlarge. Maxwell Technologies Inc. has received purchase orders with a total value of approximately US$13.5 million from three of China’s leading transit bus producers for BOOSTCAP ultracapacitor modules to support braking energy recuperation and torque assist functions in diesel-electric hybrid transit buses. David Schramm,... Read more →

Anthropogenic atmospheric CO2, fossil fuel emissions, world GDP, and world population for the past century. CO2 data from Antarctic ice cores (green points), Mauna Loa Observatory (red curve), and the global network (blue dots). Credit: NOAA. Click to enlarge. Emissions of two of the most important climate change gases increased... Read more →

Traffic Pollution Linked to Onset of Childhood Asthma

During its meeting on Thursday, the California Air Resources Board heard the results of a study that found childhood asthma rates could increase as much as 30% with the exposure to higher levels of traffic-related air pollution. Numerous studies have determined that traffic pollution exacerbates asthma; this study explored the... Read more →

UK Government Announces Vehicle Scrappage Scheme

In his Budget statement to the House of Commons on 22 April 2009, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling confirmed that the government will introduce a vehicle scrappage incentive scheme. Elements of the plan include: A total of £2,000 (US$2,900) will be offered in a “cash-for-scrap” scheme for 10-year-old,... Read more →

Automakers Still Targeting Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles for Long Term Sustainable Mobility

Despite the current enthusiasm for electric vehicles (EVs), hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) will be an important component of the vehicle mix in 2050, according to panelists from Nissan, Toyota and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in a conference session at the SAE 2009 World Congress in Detroit. Dr.... Read more →

Renault-Nissan Alliance Partnering with Oak Ridge National Lab on EVs and Infrastructure

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is partnering with Nissan in Tennessee to promote the development of zero-emission vehicles and a complementary charging infrastructure. This expands the scope of an existing partnership between Nissan and the State of Tennessee, which also includes the Tennessee Valley Authority. (Earlier post.) Nissan will introduce... Read more →

New UK Report Welcomes Moves to Promote Green Cars but Stresses Importance of Policies to Reduce Car Use

The UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), the focal point for UK research on sustainable energy, today launched an extensive review of policies which could significantly reduce transport CO2 emissions. The report, authored by experts from Aberdeen University, Imperial College and E4tech Consulting, finds that Government must do much more than... Read more →

California Energy Commission Adopts $176M Green Transportation Plan

The California Energy Commission has adopted the state’s first transportation Investment Plan. The Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Technology Program’s Investment Plan allocates $176 million over the next two years to stimulate green transportation projects and encourage innovation to help meet the state’s aggressive climate change policies. The Alternative... Read more →

by Jack Rosebro Active standards work. Click to enlarge. During the SAE 2009 World Congress in Detroit, Gery Kissel of General Motors presented an update of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicle standards being revised or developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Hybrid Standards Committee. Many of these... Read more →

Click to enlarge. Source: Los Alamos National Laboratory. In separate papers published in Biophysical Journal and recently in an issue of the journal Biomacromolecules, Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers identify potential weaknesses among sheets of cellulose molecules comprising lignocellulosic biomass, the inedible fibrous material derived from plant cell walls. The... Read more →

$300 Million for US Clean Cities Fleet Programs

The US Department of Energy will award $300 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to state and local governments, and transit authorities to expand the US’ fleet of clean, sustainable vehicles and the fueling infrastructure necessary to support them. This funding adds to the $11 billion... Read more →

Third-Party Lab Certifies EESTOR Relative Permittivity of 22,500

EEStor, Inc. issued a short press release announcing that a third-party has certified that EEStor’s patented and patent pending Composition Modified Barium-Titanate Powders have met and/or exceeded a relative permittivity of 22,500. In the few public statements made by the company several years ago, it had said that it anticipated... Read more →

Full Lifecycle Analysis Finds Solazyme’s Algal Biofuels Reduce Field-to-Wheels GHG Emissions by More Than 85% Versus Petroleum-Based Ultra-low Sulfur Diesel

A study undertaken by Life Cycle Associates, LLC, using the Argonne National Laboratories GREET model, concluded that full lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from field-to-wheels for Solazyme’s Soladiesel algal biofuels are 85 to 93% lower than standard petroleum based ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD). The analysis also reveals that Solazyme’s advanced... Read more →

Chrysler unveiled four all-electric Chrysler Town & Country minivan concepts to the US Postal Service (USPS) in Washington, DC, as part of the USPS Earth Day celebration. Chrysler LLC, in conjunction with the USPS and select energy service providers, also announced that the company intends to apply to the US... Read more →

Rapid discharge characteristic of lithium-ion batteries using SCMG. Source: SDK. Click to enlarge. Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) has developed a new grade of SCMG (shape-controlled micro graphite) to be used as anode material in large lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). Since the material has been adopted for use in... Read more →

Headwaters and University of Utah Form JV for Carbon Storage

Headwaters Incorporated has formed a joint venture with the University of Utah—Headwaters Clean Carbon Services LLC (HCCS)—which will provide a full range of services for CO2 geologic storage and CO2 used for enhanced oil recovery and enhanced coalbed methane recovery. The University of Utah has CO2 expertise and technology developed... Read more →

CH3I production from cellulosic feedstocks using a microbial co-culture. A. fermentans ferments cellulosic feedstocks to acetate and ethanol, which the modified S. cerevisiae uses to produce methyl halides. Adapted from Bayer et al. (2009). Click to enlarge. Researchers at the University of California San Francisco have engineered the industrial yeast... Read more →

Air Liquide Launches €8.5M Hydrogen Vehicle Demonstration Project In Canada

Air Liquide has launched a hydrogen vehicle demonstration project which will test two hydrogen-fuelled shuttle buses as well as nine airport-related passenger and utility vehicles in real conditions at Montreal Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau International Airport, Canada. Other applications for the use of hydrogen in auxiliary or stationary power are further key components... Read more →

Air Products to Build Michigan Hydrogen Plant to Supply Marathon’s Detroit Heavy Oil Upgrade Project

Air Products, the leading global hydrogen provider, will construct a hydrogen production facility in Detroit, Mich., for Marathon Petroleum Company LLC, a subsidiary of Marathon Oil Corporation. The steam methane reformer will have a hydrogen production capacity of more than 50 million standard cubic feet per day and is projected... Read more →

Leo Motors, Inc. Completes Successful Tests for Converted Midsize Highway Electric Vehicles

Korea-based Leo Motors, Inc. (earlier post) has completed testing of an electric vehicle (EV) conversion solution on Kia’s “Morning” car model. The converted Kia achieved speeds of 100 mph and a range of 150 miles on a single charge, going from zero to sixty mph in six seconds. Leo’s conversion... Read more →

Concept: Honda R&D Developing Variable Compression Ratio Engine with Dual Piston Mechanism

Engineers from Honda R&D Co., Ltd. presented a pair of papers at the SAE 2009 World Congress describing the development of a variable compression ratio (VCR) engine enabled by a dual piston mechanism. The compact VCR uses the inertia force of the piston and external hydraulic pressure to raise and... Read more →

The change in runoff inferred from streamflow records worldwide between 1948 and 2004, with bluish colors indicating more streamflow and reddish colors less. The white land areas indicate inland-draining basins or regions for which there are insufficient data to determine the runoff trends. (Graphic courtesy Journal of Climate, modified by... Read more →

Auto Alliance on Mid-Level Ethanol Blends: Build Out E85 Infrastructure First

Green Car Congress and Charles Territo of the Auto Alliance on 17 April briefly discussed the blend wall (ethanol supply greater than US’s ability to absorb it in 10% blends) and mid-level blends of ethanol being used on existing, non-flex-fuel, vehicles. Territo noted that there are 240 million vehicles on... Read more →

Group of Scientists and Economists Urge Inclusion of Indirect Land Use Change Effects for Biofuels and All Transportation Fuels in California LCFS

More than 170 scientists and economists have sent a letter to California Air Resources Board (ARB) Chairman Mary Nichols urging the board to account for greenhouse gas emissions from indirect land use change for biofuels and all other transportation fuels under the state’s proposed low carbon fuel standard (LCFS). The... Read more →

Toyota Prices the 2010 Prius for the US Starting at $21,000

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), USA, Inc., announced manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) today for the all-new 2010 Prius midsize hybrid (earlier post), scheduled to go on sale beginning in late May at Toyota dealers nationwide. The third-generation Prius will be available in one grade with a starting MSRP of $21,000.... Read more →

UQM Technologies Introduces 145 kW System for Propulsion and Generator Applications

UQM Technologies has released a new motor/generator system for use in electric propulsion applications. The new 145 kW system extends the peak power available in the company’s smaller 280 mm diameter frame size from 125 kW to 145 kW, has a continuous power rating of 85 kW, delivers peak torque... Read more →

Blue Energy Begins Construction of New Li-Ion Plant

Blue Energy Co., Ltd., the new joint venture company between GS Yuasa and Honda for the manufacturing, sales and R&D of lithium-ion batteries for hybrid vehicles (earlier post), held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction of its Osadano Plant in Fukuchiyama, Kyoto. The new plant represents an... Read more →

DENSO extended the length of the probe and developed a vibration-resistant structure to support it. Click to enlarge. DENSO Corporation has improved the temperature detection accuracy of its newly developed diesel exhaust temperature sensor. The new sensor, which is located in front of the diesel particulate filter (DPF) and used... Read more →

Perspective by Jeff H. Hassannia, Vice President, Business Development Diversified Energy Corporation The commercial viability of algae-based biofuels production is ultimately going to depend on economics. Regardless of whatever advances might come in terms of technological and biological breakthroughs, the fact remains that the commercial marketplace will not have an... Read more →

GM Debuts First Turbo Direct Injection Powertrain in a China-Built Product

The Buick New Regal 2.0 Turbo, GM’s first product built in China that will be available with a turbocharged direct injection diesel engine, is making its world premiere at Auto Shanghai 2009. The new powertrain gives New Regal buyers a choice of three engines. The new-generation 2.0-liter Turbo Direct Injection... Read more →

Diesel Brewing to Manufacture Cellulosic Biobutanol from Biomass and Manure With Thermochemical Process

Oregon-based Diesel Brewing has launched an initiative to manufacture cellulosic biobutanol from biomass and dairy farm manure. Biobutanol can be blended into conventional gasoline or diesel stocks without engine modifications. Compared to ethanol, it has higher energy content, is substantially less corrosive, and can be transported utilizing existing fuel pipelines... Read more →

The Buick Business Concept Vehicle. Click to enlarge. The Buick Business Concept, a new mild hybrid concept vehicle designed to showcase Buick’s future vision of “business class on the road,” made its global debut at Auto Shanghai 2009. The multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) was developed in China by the Pan Asia... Read more →

AG Holdings Acquires Li-ion Maker Axeon

AG Holdings Limited has acquired the entire business of Axeon Holdings Plc, which was in administration, including 100% of the share capital of the following companies: Axeon Power Limited; Axeon Technologies Limited; Axeon AG; Elektro Montage Bau GmbH (EMB); SAT Akkumulatoren Technik AG (SAT); Zaklad Montazu Ukladow Zasilajacych MAZ Sp... Read more →

Amyris Renewable Diesel Receives EPA Registration; First Such for Renewable Hydrocarbon Fuel

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has officially registered Amyris’s renewable diesel fuel, making it the first time a hydrocarbon-based fuel made from plant-derived resources (earlier post) has been registered for commercial sale. Amyris engineers new metabolic pathways in industrial microbes (bacteria or yeast) to produce a large range of... Read more →

Model of the working prototype. The engine is packaged as a research engine, with easy access for instrumentation, a balancer shaft, etc., not as a production unit. Click to enlarge. The Scuderi Group unveiled a cutaway model of the first proof-of-concept prototype for its Scuderi Split-Cycle Engine (earlier post) at... Read more →

Components of the Adura MESA powertrain. Click to enlarge. Adura Systems, Inc. unveiled its new MESA (Modular, Electronic, Scalable Architecture) electric powertrain for use in series hybrid, all electric and fuel cell mass transportation buses, large utility vehicles and other automotives. Adura’s MESA powertrain features patent-pending, highly modular systems electronics,... Read more →

GM and SAIC Promote Fuel Cell Propulsion Technology

In Shanghai, General Motors Corp. and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group (SAIC) launched SAIC’s Shanghai Brand Fuel Cell Vehicle, powered by GM’s fourth-generation fuel cell propulsion technology. The vehicle from SAIC uses the same 700 bar high-pressure hydrogen fuel cell system adopted in the Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell. (Earlier post.)... Read more →

BASF to Sell China Syngas Process Catalysts Site to Süd-Chemie

BASF has signed a definitive agreement to sell its syngas catalysts manufacturing facility in Nanjing, China, to Süd-Chemie AG, a worldwide leading speciality chemical company for catalysts and adsorbents headquartered in Munich, Germany. The facility is independent from BASF’s main Verbund site in Nanjing. Both companies have agreed not to... Read more →

Report: Cellulosic Ethanol Will Create Social, Environmental, and Financial Benefits for China

China can create millions of jobs, reduce consumption of imported oil, and reduce CO2 emissions by introducing cellulosic ethanol, according to a new report by Novozymes and McKinsey & Co. presented at the Boao Forum for Asia. By converting agricultural residues into fuel ethanol, China can reduce its gasoline consumption... Read more →

Porsche unveiled the new Panamera at the 13th Auto Shanghai show. (Earlier post.) Joining the 911, the Cayenne, and the Boxster/Cayman, this new four-door Gran Turismo is Porsche’s fourth model series, with three variants entering the market in Germany on 12 September 2009. The Panamera S. Click to enlarge. The... Read more →

US Court of Appeals Halts Alaskan Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Friday halted a 5-year oil and gas leasing program begun under the Bush Administration that had expanded previous lease offerings in the Beaufort, Bering, and Chukchi Seas off the coast of Alaska, pending further environmental review. The ruling... Read more →

Natural Gas Vehicles Use Almost 1% of Natural Gas Sold in Europe

The organization NGVA Europe estimates that natural gas vehicles in Europe annually consume about 4.7 billion Nm3 of gas—about 0.9% of total natural gas sales within Europe in 2008 (517 billion Nm3, according to figures provided by Eurogas). NGVA Europe puts the total number of natural-gas fueled vehicles (light-, medium-,... Read more →

Lotus and Harman International Collaborate on Noise Management; External Sound Synthesis for Electric Drive

Lotus Engineering and Harman Becker Automotive Systems, the automotive division of Harman International, have reached an agreement to jointly develop noise management solutions using Lotus’ patented Active Noise Control technologies. (Earlier post.) The agreement includes all of Lotus’ Active Noise Control technologies comprising Road Noise Cancellation, Engine Order Cancellation, and... Read more →

Some of the vehicles in the 2009 Shell Eco-Marathon Americas. Click to enlarge. The student team from Laval University (Quebec, Canada) took the grand prize in the “Prototype” category at the 2009 Shell Eco-Marathon Americas, held 15-18 April at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA, with 2,757.1 miles per... Read more →