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General schematic of current thermal management systems for HVAC, ESS, ICE, and electric drive systems (assumes the ESS is cooled with cabin air) in a hybrid. The electric drive cooling system is a completely separate system while the other systems are integrated in some form. Source: Bennion and Thornton. Click... Read more →

The new Lexus premium compact hybrid CT 200h (earlier post) to be introduced next week at the Geneva Motor Show combines a 1.8-liter VVT-i gasoline, permanent magnet synchronous motor, electrically controlled continuously variable transmission (E-CVT) and NiMH battery pack. The CT 200h. Click to enlarge. Lexus’s first premium compact model,... Read more →

Toda America Building Cathode Material Plant in Battle Creek, MI

Toda America, Inc., a subsidiary of Toda Kogyo Corp. in Japan, recently concluded a $35-million award contract with the US Department of Energy (DOE), granted under the Recovery Act – Electric Device Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative last August for the production of nickel-cobalt-metal cathode material for lithium-ion batteries.... Read more →

Japan Automakers Support B5, E10 as Baseline Biofuel Blends, Recommend Specifications to ASEAN Countries

The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc (JAMA), a nonprofit industry association comprising fourteen manufacturers of passenger cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles in Japan, recently issued position statements on and recommended specifications for bioethanol and biodiesel (fatty acid methyl ester, FAME). Experts from JAMA visited six countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore,... Read more →

Left, global light-duty fleet in the electric-favoring case; right, the hydrogen-favoring case. Top, without CCS and CSP; bottom, with CCS and CSP. In both electric- and hydrogen-favoring cases, availability of low-carbon electricity and hydrogen prolonged the use of petroleum-fueled ICE vehicles. Credit: ACS, Wallington et al. Click to enlarge. Increased... Read more →

US House Members Introduce Bipartisan Disapproval Resolution to Block EPA Regulation of GHG; Mirrors Murkowski Resolution

Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo); Congressman Collin Peterson (D-Minn), and Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo) introduced a joint resolution in the House of Representatives to nullify the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) finding in December 2009 that greenhouse gases (GHG) are a threat to human health and therefore could be regulated... Read more →

IBM Research Initiative Developing Adaptive Systems to Provide Personalized Travel Routes to Avoid Gridlock

IBM has launched a new research initiative to build personalized travel routes for commuters to avoid traffic gridlock. IBM researchers are using advanced analytics to develop adaptive traffic systems that will intuitively learn traveler patterns and behavior to provide more dynamic travel safety and route information to travelers than is... Read more →

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has begun sales of the all-new CR-Z (“Compact Renaissance Zero”) hybrid (earlier post) in Japan on Friday, February 26, 2010. Honda is targeting monthly sales of 1,000 units of the new hybrid. 1.5L i-VTEC Engine + Ultra-thin DC Brushless Motor (cut-away model). Click to enlarge. The... Read more →

ClearFuels to Develop Co-Located Commercial-Scale Biorefinery for Renewable Jet or Diesel Production in Tennessee

Biomass-to-liquids company ClearFuels Technology Inc. and Hughes Hardwood International, Inc. have executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the development of a commercial scale biorefinery facility for the production of renewable jet or diesel fuel. The renewable energy facility will be co-located with Hughes Hardwood’s wood component products manufacturing facility... Read more →

Coulomb Technologies has released a free app for the iPhone and iPod Touch platforms which allows electric vehicle operators in North America to locate nearby ChargePoint charging stations; identify whether or not a given station is available; find recharging locations along a given route with a trip mapping feature; calculate... Read more →

ALTe LLC Approved to Receive an $8.4M MEDC Tax Credit for Electric Powertrain Development, New Facility in Auburn Hills

Michigan-based electric powertrain company ALTe LLC (earlier post) was approved to receive a tax credit valued at $8.4 million over seven years from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) board. ALTe is developing light- and medium-duty series plug-in hybrid electric vehicle powertrain systems—initially as conversions,... Read more →

Ford Invests $155M in Engine Plant to Support New 3.7L V-6 for Mustang

Ford Motor Company is investing $155 million at its Cleveland operations to build a new more fuel-efficient V-6 engine for the 2011 Mustang. The all-aluminum dual-overhead cam (DOHC), 3.7-liter Duratec 24-valve V-6 engine with Twin Independent Variable Valve Timing (Ti-VCT) delivers a projected 30 mpg US (7.8 L/100km) on the... Read more →

A joint Australian–French study has discovered the calving of a massive iceberg from the Mertz Glacier in the Australian Antarctic Territory. The iceberg, 78 kilometers long and 33 to 39 km wide with a surface area of 2,500 square kilometers, broke off the Mertz Glacier after being rammed by another... Read more →

Avis Europe Partners with Renault to Offer Electric Cars for Hire from 2011

Avis Europe has partnered with the Renault-Nissan Alliance to offer electric cars to its customers from 2011. We are delighted to sign this important partnership with Renault to offer electric vehicles as part of our green fleet, which is an increasingly central part of our customer offering. Despite the impact... Read more →

Perspective: Government Leadership Needed for Electric Vehicles to Succeed

Perspective by Chris Hill, Manager, Central Fleet for the City of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and author of Hamilton’s Green Fleet Implementation Plan. [Mr. Hill is currently chair of the Ontario Chapter of NAFA Fleet Management Association, and a Green Party candidate for Canada’s Parliament in the next general election. The... Read more →

The Concept 5 Series ActiveHybrid Click to enlarge. Along with the world debut of the new BMW 5 Series Sedan (earlier post) at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, BMW is also presenting the BMW Concept 5 Series ActiveHybrid—its first combination of a BMW straight-six with electric drive. Integration of BMW... Read more →

The new battery combines a Li2S/mesoporous carbon composite cathode and a silicon nanowire anode. Credit: ACS, Yang et al. Click to enlarge. Researchers led by Dr. Yi Cui at Stanford University have demonstrated a new proof-of-concept lithium metal-free battery with high specific energy consisting of a lithium sulfide (Li2S)/mesoporous carbon... Read more →

Reaction pathways for conversion of GVL to butenes and CO2, and the integrated conversion of GVL to both a liquid stream of alkenes for use in transportation fuels and a gaseous stream rich in CO2 that is appropriate for further processing options. Credit: Bond et al., Science. Click to enlarge.... Read more →

One of the K2 series ultracapacitors. Maxwell Technologies, Inc. introduced its new K2 Series large cell BOOSTCAP ultracapacitors. The K2 replaces Maxwell’s previous MC series cell, the most widely sold large cell ultracapacitor in the world with more than 1 million cells currently in service. Primary applications for Maxwell’s K2... Read more →

UK Government Announces £5,000 Grants Towards Purchase of Electric Drive Vehicles and First “Plugged-in Places”

The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed details of the financial incentives that will be made available to buyers of electric cars from January 2011. The subsidy will be worth 25% of a car’s recommended retail price up to a value of £5,000 (US$7,600) and will be available to... Read more →

California ARB Adopts Regulation to Allow Compliance with Federal Light Duty Vehicle GHG Standards Satisfy California Requirements

California fulfilled its commitment to support and establish the first US-wide greenhouse gas standard for passenger vehicles by adopting a regulation to allow vehicle complying with federal greenhouse gas standards for MY 2012-2016 to fully comply with California’s own GHG standards for those model years. The Federal and California standards... Read more →

Eaton Delivers 30 Hybrid Power Systems for City Buses in Taiwan; More Than 1,000 Now Operating in Asia-Pacific Region

Eaton Corporation, together with Master Transportation Bus Manufacturing Ltd. and Capital Bus Group, has delivered 30 hybrid-powered city buses in Taipei, Taiwan. The buses will operate in normal passenger transit duty in Taipei and are expected to generate fuel savings of 25 to 30% along with similar reductions in particulate... Read more →

AMP’s drivetrain for the electric Equinox. Click to enlarge. Ohio-based Advanced Mechanical Products, Inc. (AMP), a company engaged in the conversion of new vehicles to full battery-electric drive, unveiled its latest all-electric conversion platform, the GM Chevrolet Equinox. The “AMP’d” Equinox is an up-fitted GM Chevrolet Equinox that will reach... Read more →

Bloom Energy Debuts SOFC Fuel Cell System for Distributed Generation

Bloom Energy Corporation staged a high-profile event announcing the availability of the Bloom Energy Server, a patented solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology for distributed power generation. The event was hosted at eBay Inc., featured California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, General Colin Powell, and early customers including Bank of America; The... Read more →

Hybrid elements in the new Cayenne Hybrid are represented in red. Click to enlarge. Porsche will present the brand-new generation of the Cayenne Sports Utility at the Geneva Motor Show in early March, including the world debut of the Cayenne S Hybrid with its parallel full hybrid drive. Fuel consumption... Read more →

Webchat with Wisconsin and NC State EcoCAR Challenge Teams; 25 Feb at 3pm ET

Members from two of the EcoCAR Challenge teams—NC State and the University of Wisconsin—will participate in a webchat today at 3pm ET. The EcoCAR Challenge is a college engineering competition sponsored by GM and the US Department of Energy. The students are now halfway through the three-year competition and are... Read more →

Hydrogenics Awarded Contract for UNIDO Fuel Cell Powered Boat

Hydrogenics Corporation has been awarded a contract to supply the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) with six HyPM HD8 fuel cell power modules for a boat project coordinated by the International Centre for Hydrogen Energy Technologies (ICHET) in Istanbul, Turkey. Hydrogenics will also supply carbon composite hydrogen storage tanks... Read more →

Syncrude to Expand Its Oil Sands Synthetic Crude Output to 425,000 Barrels per Day by 2020

Canadian Oil Sands Trust, the largest stakeholder (36.74%) in the Syncrude oil sands project, announced plans to increase the synthetic crude oil production capacity at Syncrude Mildred Lake upgrader to 425,000 barrels per day by 2020 from 350,000 now. Based on preliminary scoping and design work being done by Syncrude... Read more →

New Institute at USC to Target Marine Diesel Emissions Through Research Into Advanced Combustion Technology; Investigation of Transient Plasma Ignition

Kenneth Koo, group chairman and CEO of Hong Kong-based Tai Chong Cheang Steamship Co., has pledged up to $4.1 million to fund a research program at the University of Southern California (USC) to improve combustion efficiency in marine diesel engines and thereby reduce emissions. Koo will work with the USC... Read more →

by Jack Rosebro Effects of early and late peaking of global greenhouse gas emissions. There is a tradeoff between the timing of the peak in emissions and the rate of decrease in emissions afterwards. Even if the emissions gap is closed in 2020, further emission reductions after 2020 are necessary... Read more →

The Honda 3R-C, a new one-person battery electric vehicle concept, will make its world debut in Geneva alongside the EV-N concept, previously shown at the Tokyo Motor Show (earlier post), which will be displayed for the first time in Europe. The 3R-C. Click to enlarge. The 3R-C three-wheeled battery electric... Read more →

Sale of Saab to Spyker Finalized; Sale of HUMMER Fails, Wind-Down to Begin

General Motors and Spyker Cars NV finalized the deal for Spyker to purchase Saab Automobile AB. Going forward, Saab and Spyker will operate under the Spyker umbrella, and Spyker will assume responsibility for Saab operations. The previously announced wind down of Saab operations has ended. However, Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial... Read more →

Denise Gray, GM’s Director of Battery Engineering, Leaving For California Start-Up

Denise Gray, Director of Global Battery Engineering for General Motors since 2006, will leave GM on Friday, 5 March to take a senior leadership position with an unidentified venture capital-backed battery start-up company based in California. Further details are expected in the near future. Although Gray has worked for General... Read more →

Shot of the Evora 414E Hybrid concept. Click to enlarge. Lotus Engineering will unveil the Lotus Evora 414E Hybrid concept at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. The concept is a high-performance technology demonstrator with a plug-in series hybrid drive system—featuring the Lotus Range extender engine (earlier post)—and new technologies for... Read more →

ZAP Receives Order for 100 New Electric SUVs from Samyang Optics

ZAP has received a purchase order from Samyang Optics Co. Ltd. of Korea for 100 electric SUVs to be built through a partnership with China auto manufacturer Zhejiang Jonway Automobile Co. Ltd. (Earlier post.) Samyang, known for its camera lenses, is expanding into cleantech business opportunities in Korea, focusing on... Read more →

The Enerkem process has four steps: feedstock pre-treatment; gasification; syngas conditioning; and conversion. Click to enlarge. Waste Management has made a strategic investment in Enerkem, a developer of a thermochemical (gasification and catalytic synthesis) process to produce synthetic fuels and chemicals from biomass and waste, as part of Enerkem’s new... Read more →

According to a new report from Pike Research, fuel cell vehicles (FCV) will be commercially launched in most regions of the world by 2014, and cumulative sales of light duty fuel cell cars and trucks will surpass 2.8 million vehicles globally by 2020. Projected FC light vehicle sales. Click to... Read more →

Poll Shows Decline in UK Public Conviction About Climate Change

The Guardian. A new poll by Ipsos Mori has found that the proportion of adults in the UK who believe that climate change is “definitely” a reality dropped by more than 30% over the last year, from 44% to 31%. Overall around nine out of 10 people questioned still appear... Read more →

The new two-cylinder Twin-Air. Click to enlarge. Among its displays at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, Fiat will preview its new turbocharged two-cylinder 85 hp (63 kW) Twin-Air engine fitted aboard a 500, the first Fiat model on which it will be introduced next September. CO2 output from the engine... Read more →

Ice shelves are retreating in the southern section of the Antarctic Peninsula due to changes in global climate, according to a newly study published by the US Geological Survey, prepared in cooperation with the British Antarctic Survey, the Scott Polar Research Institute, and the Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie. This... Read more →

Clean Energy Expands Southern California LNG Truck Fueling Infrastructure

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. plans to expand its existing network of liquefied natural gas (LNG) truck fueling stations in Southern California this year beyond its current two LNG stations located at the Los Angeles/Long Beach ports complex. New or upgraded Clean Energy LNG fueling facilities are planned for strategic points... Read more →

Butalco To Begin Cellulosic Ethanol Production in Summer 2010 in Germany

Butalco will use its proprietary new yeast technology to produce cellulosic ethanol from agricultural waste in a pilot plant in Southern Germany starting this summer. Butalco’s new microbial catalysts will enable up to 30% increased yields in cellulosic ethanol production, according to the company. Butalco’s core technology is based on... Read more →

CleanFUEL USA and Ferrellgas Working Together on Propane Refueling Network in US

CleanFUEL USA, a leader in alternative fuel dispensing equipment and engine technology, is working with one of the largest distributors of propane, Ferrellgas Partners, L.P., to increase the availability of propane engine fuel at retail refueling stations across the US. The Department of Energy (DOE) awarded CleanFUEL USA $12.9 million... Read more →

FEV Completes Phase 1 of EPA-Funded Project to Understand Incremental Manufacturing Costs of Advanced Powertrain Technologies

FEV Inc, (FEV) a developer of advanced powertrain and vehicle technologies, has completed the first phase of a project under contract to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine manufacturing costs in the development and operation of fuel-efficient, lower-emitting powertrain technologies. The program involved determining the incremental direct... Read more →

Ohio Advanced Transportation Partnership to Invest $29M+ in Alt Fuel Vehicles and Infrastructure Projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has cleared Clean Fuels Ohio to begin its work with the Ohio Advanced Transportation Partnership (OATP) to carry out more than $29 million in alternative fuel vehicle and infrastructure projects—the largest single investment in advanced transportation energy infrastructure and vehicle technology in the state’s... Read more →

UK TSB Awards £7M for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technology Demonstrator Projects

The UK Technology Strategy Board recently announced that it will invest £7 million (US$10.8 million) on behalf of the government in 15 fuel cell and hydrogen technology demonstrator projects. The capital funding provided by the program, devised by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Technology Strategy... Read more →

Partners Present Details of £29M Low Carbon Vehicle Technology Project in UK; 15 Separate Workstreams from Battery Cells to Aerodynamics

More details of the £29-million (US$44.7-million) Low Carbon Vehicle Technology Project (LCVTP) Based in the UK’s West Midlands were revealed at a launch event held at the Heritage Motor Centre in Warwickshire. The LCVTP involves seven industry and research partners: Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors, Zytek, Ricardo, MIRA, WMG (formerly... Read more →

Researchers Develop New Solid-State Polymer Electrolyte for Fuel Cells and Batteries

A team of researchers at MIT and Pennsylvania State University, which has been working on a new layer-by-layer (LbL) method for producing novel kinds of membranes, has developed a new solid-state polymer electrolyte for use in electrochemical devices such as fuel cells and batteries using that method. One potential advantage... Read more →

Canada Post Orders Five Azure Balance Hybrids

Canada Post has ordered five Balance Hybrid Electric delivery trucks (earlier post) from Azure Dynamics. The five vehicles will serve at Canada Post facilities across Canada and are part of Canada Post’s stated effort to replace 3,000 aged vehicles over the next five years. The vehicles will be delivered in... Read more →