« February 2010 | Main | April 2010 »

The Sonata Hybrid system. Click to enlarge. As promised (earlier post), Hyundai unveiled the Sonata Hybrid at the New York International Auto Show. The company also introduced a new turbocharged version of the Sonata, the 2.0T. The Sonata Hybrid is Hyundai’s first hybrid in the US market. The Hyundai-developed Hybrid... Read more →

Umicore to Invest €60M for Expansion of Li-ion NMC Cathode Material Development and Production

Umicore plans to invest a total of approximately €60 million (US$81 million) to increase its capacities and capabilities for the production of new generation cathode materials for lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. Umicore’s current Cellcore cathode product range includes materials ranging from lithium cobaltite (Cellcore KDS) to nickel cobalt aluminium (Cellcore QX)... Read more →

EPA and NHTSA to Sign Final Joint Rule on GHG and Fuel Economy 1 April

In a speech at Andrews Air Force Base today, President Obama said that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Deport of Transportation (DOT) will sign the joint final rule establishing greenhouse gas emission standards and corporate average fuel economy standards for light-duty vehicles for model years 2012-2016 tomorrow. Announced... Read more →

Obama Administration Opens Up Oil and Gas Development and Exploration in Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic and Arctic

The Obama Administration will expand oil and gas development and exploration on the US Outer Continental Shelf, while protecting fisheries, tourism, and places off US coasts that it says are not appropriate for development. The Administration’s strategy calls for expanded development and production throughout the Gulf of Mexico, including resource-rich... Read more →

US DOE to Invest Nearly $18M in Advanced Biofuels User Facility

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will build an advanced biofuels process development facility aimed at speeding the commercialization of advanced biofuels by allowing researchers and the private sector to test and integrate innovative technologies. The facility—funded with nearly $18 million from the Recovery Act—will be... Read more →

Ford Begins Production of New Powershift 6-speed Dual-Clutch Transmission for 2011 Fiesta

Ford has begun production of the new PowerShift dual-clutch six-speed automatic transmission (earlier post) for the 2011 Ford Fiesta. Ford is committed to six-speed transmissions, with availability across 85% of its nameplates for 2010. By 2013, these six-speed transmissions will be offered in 100% of Ford vehicles. The dual dry-clutch... Read more →

Cyclone Power Technologies Delivers Biomass-to-Power System to Robotic Technology

Cyclone Power Technologies Inc. has successfully completed its biomass-to-power engine system for Robotic Technology Inc. (RTI) under its Statement of Work, and has delivered the renewable power system to the University of Maryland to be coupled with RTI’s autonomous robotic platform in a series hybrid power system. (Earlier post.) Cyclone’s... Read more →

Air Products, the leading global hydrogen provider, and its subsidiary Air Products Canada Ltd. signed three customer supply contracts for hydrogen from its Heartland Hydrogen Pipeline in Alberta, Canada. Air Products will supply hydrogen by pipeline to Shell Canada Energy; Sherritt International Corporation; and Williams Energy (Canada) Inc. Route of... Read more →

The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. Click to enlarge. Ford’s Lincoln brand revealed its first hybrid—the new mid-size 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid—during the press preview to the New York International Auto Show. Lincoln’s premium hybrid is expected to deliver at least 41 mpg US (5.7 L/100km) in the city when it... Read more →

Nissan Sets US MSRP for 2011 LEAF EV at $32,780; As Low as $25,280 with Federal Tax Credit

Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) set the US MSRP for the 2011 Nissan LEAF electric vehicle, which becomes available for purchase or lease at Nissan dealers in select markets in December and nationwide in 2011, at $32,780. Including the $7,500 federal tax credit for which the Nissan LEAF will be... Read more →

Even the most ambitious combined scenario so far falls short of required GHG cuts. Click to enlarge. If the EU is to meet its overall target of cutting total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 80% relative to 1990 by 2050, then transport must reduce its emissions by 50-80% compared to 1990,... Read more →

GM Partners with US DOE to Develop Jatropha-to-Biodiesel Project in India

GM is entering a five-year partnership with the US Department of Energy (DOE) to help develop the potential of the jatropha plant as a sustainable biofuel energy crop. The goal of the project is to demonstrate that jatropha can produce significant quantities of oil for conversion to biodiesel and to... Read more →

California ARB To Award Up to $800K for Demo Projects for Locomotive Aftertreatment Devices

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced a grant solicitation for up to $800,000 for the Advanced Technology Demonstration Project for the demonstration of advanced aftertreatment devices on existing locomotive engines operating in California. The Advanced Technology Demonstration Project was approved by the Board as part of the AB 118... Read more →

Electric Car Company Aurica Motors Enters Two Partnerships for Manufacturing Training and Engineering

Electric car company Aurica Motors, which plans to retool the NUMMI plant in California to build not only electric cars but compatible battery charging stations (earlier post), has entered two partnerships in support of its mission. The Clean Tech Institute in Santa Clara has agreed to develop a training curriculum... Read more →

Acciona and the Renault-Nissan Alliance Partner on EVs in Spain

Acciona and the Renault-Nissan Alliance signed an agreement to promote the adoption of electric vehicles in Spain. According to the terms of the agreement, Acciona will bring its capacity to develop an intelligent charging network, provide associated services and supply electricity produced from renewable sources. This implementation will be done... Read more →

Mercedes-Benz Berlin Engine Plant to Produce New Generation of “Electric Engines”

The Mercedes-Benz plant in Berlin will produce a new generation of transmission-integrated electric engines for Mercedes-Benz hybrid vehicles from 2012 onwards. The electric engine is a transmission-integrated version, i.e. the electric engine is built in as part of the automatic transmission and can develop power of 15 kW and more.... Read more →

CODA Automotive Battery Joint Venture Secures $394M of Committed Capital for Expansion

California-based electric car and battery company CODA Automotive (earlier post), together with its China-based joint venture partner, Lishen Power Battery, has secured $394 million of committed capital. The capital will enable the company to rapidly industrialize the all-electric CODA car’s power system for commercial volume production and support its ability... Read more →

Nissan Prices LEAF in Japan Starting at ¥3.76M (US$40.5K); Mitsubishi Begins Sales of i-MiEV to Individuals at ¥3.98M

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. announced the beginning of the pre-order process for the battery-electric LEAF in Japan, as well a starting price of ¥3.76 million (US$40,500). Nissan aims to sell 6,000 units in Japan in fiscal year 2010. Other markets will announce their own pre-order process and pricing soon. Separately,... Read more →

Fiat Presents New Version of eco:Drive Software for CNG Range

Fiat is introducing the new version of the eco:Drive software dedicated to Natural Power CNG-gasoline dual fuel vehicles. The software, developed in conjunction with Eni, is designed to allow users of Fiat Natural Power vehicles fitted with Blue&Me to quantify the environmental and economic benefits of using compressed natural gas... Read more →

PHEV Charge-Depletion electric range over the UDDS and USO6 drive cycles with and without A/C. Source: Rugh, 2010. Click to enlarge. At the upcoming SAE 2010 World Congress in Detroit, John Rugh from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will present a paper proposing a vehicle-level test procedure to measure... Read more →

AMP Battery Electric 2010 GM Chevrolet Equinox Debuts at New York Auto Show

Advanced Mechanical Products, Inc. (AMP), a company engaged in the conversion of new vehicles to all-electric powertrains, will debut the upfitted battery electric AMP 2010 GM Chevrolet Equinox at the New York Auto Show, which begins on 2 April. (Earlier post.) Powered by Remy International motors, the AMP electric powertrain... Read more →

Report: Toyota To Increase Stake In Battery Joint Venture with Panasonic

The Nikkei reports that Toyota Motor Corp. will increase its stake in Panasonic EV Energy Co., its joint venture with Panasonic for hybrid batteries, from the current 60% to more than 80.5%. The move follows Panasonic’s acquisition of Sanyo Electric Co. As one of the conditions for allowing that deal,... Read more →

EPA Formally Announces Phase-in of Clean Air Act Permitting for Stationary Source Greenhouse Gases

Under a final decision issued on Monday by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), no stationary sources will be required to get Clean Air Act permits that cover greenhouse gases (GHGs) before January 2011. EPA said that it has pledged to take “sensible” steps to address greenhouse gas pollution, and... Read more →

US DOE Making $37.5M Available for Joint US-China Clean Energy Research; Buildings, Coal and Vehicles

US Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the availability of $37.5 million in US funding over the next five years to support the US-China Clean Energy Research Center. Funding from the Department of Energy will be matched by the grantees to support $75 million in total US research that will focus... Read more →

The recombinant strategy used to engineer the cyanobacterium. Source: Liu et al. Supplementary Materials. Click to enlarge. Researchers at the University of Arizona’s Biodesign Institute have engineered the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 to secrete fatty acids (C10-C18), providing a mechanism to reduce some of the cost barriers that have... Read more →

Battery Electric London Taxi Ready for Trials

A prototype electric version of the Mercedes Vito Taxi designed and built in six months by a consortium of British technology companies—Zytek, Valence Technology, Penso and Mercedes-Benz UK (earlier post)—is ready for trials. Part-funded by the UK Government’s Advantage Niche Vehicle Research & Development Programme, the prototype vehicle meets the... Read more →

Japan Researchers Use Liquefied DME to Extract Oil from Algae at Room Temperature at High Yield

Researchers at Japan’s Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI), in a project funded by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), have successfully developed a method to extract oil from algae using liquefied dimethyl ether (DME) at room temperature in high yield. Because this method utilizes... Read more →

Study Finds E20 Blends Reduce CO and Hydrocarbon Emissions in Automobiles

A recent study by the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies at Rochester Institute of Technology indicates that the use of E20 fuel (20% ethanol, 80% gasoline), reduces tailpipe emissions of hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide, compared with conventional gasoline or E10 blends. In addition, the research team found no measurable impact... Read more →

Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid Fleet Trial in London Reaches Halfway Mark; Next-Generation Euro-Specific Model Under Consideration

The halfway stage has been reached in the three-year fleet trial of the Fuso Canter Eco Hybrid in the London area. Since August 2008, ten light-duty trucks equipped with hybrid drive systems have clocked around 265,000 km (164,663 miles) in eight fleets operated by customers. The vehicles are in service... Read more →

ISE Heavy-Duty Gasoline Hybrid-Electric Drive Systems Available to Any US Transit Agency Through Minnesota DOT Contract

The State of Minnesota Department of Transportation (MN-DOT) has approved two ISE bus manufacturer partners—New Flyer and ElDorado—to supply their chassis together with ISE’s gasoline series hybrid-electric drive system as a qualified option under the terms of the recently released contract. (Earlier post.) This unique contract also allows any US... Read more →

FedEx is targeting battery electric technology for vehicles in its fleet covering less than 5,000 miles per year. Hybrids have their “sweet spot” in the 15,000-25,000 mile/hear range. Source: John Formisano, SAE 2010 Hybrid Technology Symposium. Click to enlarge. FedEx Corp. is expanding its alternative-energy vehicle fleet with the first... Read more →

Balqon Expands Distribution of Heavy-Duty Electric Vehicles into Colombia

Balqon Corporation, a developer and manufacturer of zero emissions heavy-duty electric vehicles for Class 7 and Class 8 applications (earlier post), has entered into a Dealer Agreement with Industrias IVOR, a leading distributor of heavy equipment and material handling equipment, including heavy-duty trucks, in Colombia. Under the terms of the... Read more →

Toyota and Mazda Agree to Hybrid System Technology License; Mazda to Apply in SKY Engine-Based Hybrid for 2013

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and Mazda Motor Corporation (Mazda) have reached an agreement on the supply by Toyota under license to Mazda of the hybrid system technology used in the Toyota Prius. (Earlier post.) Leveraging this agreement, Mazda plans to combine the hybrid system with its next-generation SKY direct-injection gasoline... Read more →

Pacific Road To Acquire 10% Stake In UCG Company Carbon Energy Limited from CSIRO

Private equity fund Pacific Road has agreed to acquire 10% of underground coal gasification (UCG) company Carbon Energy Limited from Australia’s national science agency CSIRO in an off-market trade. Carbon Energy owns or has exclusive rights to all the intellectual property rights to CSIRO’s UCG technology and will continue to... Read more →

Engineered Yeast Produces Ethanol and Butanol from C5 and C6 Sugars from Biomass Feedstocks

Researchers from Frankfurt University have engineered the common industrial yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to ferment pentose (C5) as well as hexose (C6) sugars derived from biomass feedstock to produce bioethanol and biobutanol. A talk on the work—“Genetic engineering of industrial yeast strains for the production of bioethanol and biobutanol from C5... Read more →

For the second year in a row, the student team from Laval University in Quebec, Canada took home the grand prize at the Shell Eco-marathon Americas, taking top place in the 2010 competition with 2,487.5 miles per gallon US (0.095 L/100km) in the “Prototype” category. And in the “UrbanConcept” category,... Read more →

Succinic acid production via E. coli fermentation. Source: Bioamber. Click to enlarge. DNP Green Technology and GreenField Ethanol (earlier post) will partner to build a $50 million bio-based succinic acid refinery that will produce a new generation of environmentally friendly de-icing solutions. This bio-renewable de-icer has a negative carbon footprint... Read more →

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco. Click to enlarge. At the upcoming New York International Auto Show, Chevrolet will reveal the compact 2011 Cruze Eco—the high-efficiency model referenced last year that will deliver an estimated 40 mpg on the highway using a 1.4L Ecotec turbo with variable valve timing mated to... Read more →

Chevrolet to Partner With Con Edison To Promote Electric Transportation In New York City Area

Chevrolet will join with Con Edison as part of a development and demonstration program to introduce electric vehicles to New York City. The arrangement will be announced at the New York Auto Show, where the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range will be on display. Chevrolet has previously announced... Read more →

EV Power Systems, Inc. (EVPS) and Energy Dimensions, LLC entered a partnership to market EVPS’ plug-in, hybrid-electric (PHEV) retrofit drive system for electric utility, light-duty trucks. The system is mounted at the U-joint of the drive shaft. Click to enlarge. The new PHEV systems increases fuel economy by 30% with... Read more →

At the press conference Sunday afternoon (CET). Left to right: Stephen Odell, CEO of Volvo Cars; Li Shufu, chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Company Limited; Lewis Booth, Ford’s chief financial officer. Click to enlarge. Ford Motor Company has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Volvo Car Corporation and... Read more →

Schneider Electric, Legrand and Scame are forming the EV Plug Alliance to promote the use of a high safety plug and socket solution for Electric Vehicle charge infrastructure. The rapid adoption of a European standard for Electric Vehicle infrastructure plugs that meets the existing security levels required for installation in... Read more →

Left: PRENFLO PDQ gasifier. Right: Flow diagram of the PRENFLO PDQ process. Click to enlarge. Uhde is contributing its proprietary PRENFLO gasification process with direct quench to the French BioTfueL research project (earlier post). BioTfueL is integrating the various technology stages of the biomass-to-liquid process with the intention of commercialization.... Read more →

Time average mixing ratio (ppbv) of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) near 13.5 km during boreal summer (June- August) derived from satellite instrument observations. Arrows denote winds at this level derived from meteorological analysis, showing that the HCN maximum is linked with the upper tropospheric Asian monsoon anticyclone. Source: Randel et al.,... Read more →

Alberta Increases Support for Bioenergy Products; Focus on Second-Generation Ethanol

The government of Alberta, Canada is expanding and extending an incentive program for producers of bioenergy products. Funding under the Bioenergy Producer Credit Program is extended for five years until 2016. The program provides incentives to develop a wide variety of bioenergy products including fuels, power and heat, which will... Read more →

NASA Study Finds Atlantic “Conveyor Belt” Not Slowing

New NASA measurements of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), part of the global ocean conveyor belt that helps regulate climate around the North Atlantic, show no significant slowing over the past 15 years. The data suggest the circulation may have even sped up slightly in the recent past. The... Read more →

Air Products’ Hydrogen Fueling Technology to Use Landfill Gas to Power Vehicles in S. Korea

Air Products has signed a contract with SK Energy to construct a hydrogen fueling station for a novel energy project to be based in World Cup Park in Seoul, South Korea. The hydrogen fueling station to be onstream in July 2010 will supply hydrogen produced solely from landfill gas to... Read more →

Sustainable Oils Produces Camelina-based HRJ Fuel for All-Engine 50-50 Blend USAF Trial

Sustainable Oils, a producer of renewable, low carbon and domestically produced camelina-based fuels, provided the hydrotreated renewable jet (HRJ) fuel used to create the 50-50 HRJ8-JP8 blend used in an all-engine biofuel flight test in a US Air Force A-10C Thunderbolt II. (Earlier post.) The 90-minute flight, which took place... Read more →