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FEV GmbH Orders 12 UQM PowerPhase Systems for European Vehicle Program

FEV GmbH has ordered twelve UQM PowerPhase electric propulsion systems for a European vehicle program. Last fiscal year, FEV unveiled a Dodge Caliber-based range extended electric concept vehicle (ReEV) powered by a UQM PowerPhase propulsion system and generator at the 2009 SAE World Congress. (Earlier post.) FEV also recently ordered... Read more →

SimplexGrinnell Orders 200 Fusion Hybrids

SimplexGrinnell, a Tyco International Company and provider of fire and life safety systems and services, recently ordered 200 Ford Fusion Hybrids as part of a company-wide effort to replace 25% of its sales fleet with hybrid vehicles. The majority of SimplexGrinnell’s 7,000-vehicle fleet consists of large commercial trucks and vans;... Read more →

BP Begins Diagnostic Testing on BOP Prior to Top Kill

A series of diagnostic tests are currently underway on the Deepwater Horizon’s failed BOP to improve understanding of the status and configuration of the BOP (blowout preventer) and determine whether the ‘top kill’ procedure (earlier post) can be successfully executed. These tests involve pumping drilling fluids into the BOP to... Read more →

Mahindra & Mahindra Takes Majority Stake in REVA Electric Car Co.

India-based Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M) is acquiring a majority share in REVA Electric Car Co Ltd. Bangalore. REVA Electric Car Co Ltd. will be renamed Mahindra REVA Electric Vehicle Co Ltd. Under the new agreement signed today by both the companies, M&M will own 55.2% equity in Mahindra REVA... Read more →

Chempolis to Supply 3 formico Biorefineries to China

Finland-based Chempolis Oy has signed a licence and EPC (engineering, procurement, commissioning and start-up services) agreement with Tianjin Jiuqian Paper Co Ltd. to supply three formico biorefineries (earlier post), each capable of producing 100,000 t/a of bleached wheat straw pulp. The new plants are scheduled to start up in 2012-2013.... Read more →

Palladium/Iron-Platinum Core/Shell Nanoparticle Catalysts Promising for Practical Fuel Cell Applications

Chemists at Brown University have synthesized novel core and shell palladium/iron-platinum (Pd/FePt) nanoparticles that use far less platinum yet perform more efficiently and last longer than commercially available pure-platinum catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in hydrogen fuel cells. In testing, the current density generated from a 5 nm... Read more →

Royal Academy of Engineering Report Says EV Success Depends on Low-Carbon Electricity, Universal Broadband Provision and Smart Grids

The introduction of electric vehicles on a large scale in the UK can only have a beneficial effect on CO2 emissions if low-carbon electricity, universal broadband provision and smart grids are in place to support the transition, according to a new report published by the UK Royal Academy of Engineering.... Read more →

Petrobras announced the discovery of two new light oil accumulations (29° API) in reservoirs in the post- and pre-salt layer in deep Campos Basin waters. The discovery was made by means of the drilling of well 6-CRT-43-RJS, known as Carimbé, located in Caratinga Field, about 106 km (66 miles) off... Read more →

Umicore to Build Technology Development Center for Automotive Catalysts in China

Umicore signed a memorandum of understanding with the Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) authorities for the construction of a technology development center for automotive catalysts in Suzhou, China. The centre will be built close to Umicore’s current automotive catalyst production facility in Suzhou. The technology development center is due to be... Read more →

Navistar First Launching eStar All-Electric Truck Sales in Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon will be the initial launch market for Navistar’s new eStar electric truck. (Earlier post.) Navistar also announced its eStar dealer for the Pacific Northwest market: Cascadia International Trucks of Tacoma, Wash. The eStar all-electric truck is the first medium-duty commercial vehicle to receive US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)... Read more →

Study Finds Current Swedish Biofuels Offer Major Climate Benefits; Biogas from Manure the Best

A study by researchers at Lund University in Sweden found that Swedish biofuels produce between 65 and 148% less greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline and diesel, even when direct and indirect land use changes are taken into account. In the study, which looked at various types of biogas, ethanol and... Read more →

Projected EV charging station unit sales by region. Source: Pike Research. Click to enlarge. In a new report, Pike Research forecasts that a total of 4.7 million electric vehicle charge points will be installed worldwide during the period from 2010 to 2015 to support the transition to plug-in vehicles. Pike... Read more →

Fuel-cycle SO2 emissions of EVs compared to those of gasoline ICEVs and HEVs in China, current (left) and future (right). Credit: ACS, Huo et al. Click to enlarge. A new study by researchers from Tsinghua University (China) and Argonne National Laboratory (US) concludes that the mass use of electric vehicles... Read more →

CODA to Site Automotive Li-ion Battery Manufacturing Facility in Ohio Pending DOE Loan

CODA, a California-based electric car and battery company, plans to build an automotive-grade lithium ion battery system manufacturing facility in Ohio. CODA is considering several sites within Ohio for the facility, which could employ more than 1,000 initially. Construction of the facility is contingent upon finalizing an incentive package with... Read more →

Volkswagen Group Takes 90.1% Stake in Italdesign Giugiaro

The Volkswagen Group will take a 90.1% stake in Italdesign Giugiaro S.p.A. (IDG), including the brand name rights and patents. The shares are being acquired by Audi’s Italian subsidiary Lamborghini Holding S.p.A. The remaining shares will stay in the possession of the present owner family Giugiaro. The Volkswagen Group has... Read more →

Irish Government, ESB, Mitsubishi Motors, MC Automobile (Europe) and MMC Commercials to Promote Electric Motoring in Ireland

The Irish Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan; Electricity Supply Board (ESB); and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation; MC Automobile (Europe), N.V.; and MMC Commercials Ltd. signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the parties to promote the electric vehicle (EV) industry in Ireland. At the same time, Ireland’s first... Read more →

Cross-section of the current Hyperbrake. 1. Housing; 2. End Plug; 3. Inner Piston; 4. Outer Piston; 5. Threaded Plug; 6. Check Valve. Click to enlarge. Janel Hydro Company, in conjunction with Automation & Control Services (ACSS) of Schererville, Indiana, has completed further preliminary tests of the Hyperbrake system this week... Read more →

Report: Daimler and Toyota May Partner on Fuel Cell Vehicles

The Financial Times Deutschland reports that Daimler and Toyota are planning a comprehensive partnership on fuel cell vehicles. Neither company would comment on the report. It would be the first joint technical project of this size of the two companies and could give impetus to the alternative drive. Already, both... Read more →

California ARB Backs White House Program for Medium- and Heavy-Duty and Next Phase of Light-Duty Vehicle GHG and Fuel Economy Standards; Looking for LDV Improvements on the Order of 3-6% Annually

California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols issued a statement applauding President Obama’s announcement of the first-ever national policy to increase fuel efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution from medium- and heavy-duty trucks for model years 2014-2018. (Earlier post.) Nichols also said that California will work with Federal agencies... Read more →

BP Pledges $500M for Independent Research into Impact of Deepwater Horizon Spill on Marine Environment

BP pledged up to $500 million to an open research program studying the impact of the Deepwater Horizon incident, and its associated response, on the marine and shoreline environment of the Gulf of Mexico. On 21 May, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) sent a letter to BP America CEO Lamar... Read more →

Bob Lutz Joins Transonic Combustion’s Board of Directors

Bob Lutz, newly retired as vice chairman of General Motors, has joined the board of directors of Transonic Combustion, Inc., a start-up developing a supercritical fuel injection system (earlier post). Transonic Combustion is on course to directly supply global automotive manufacturers with its high efficiency fuel injection systems. Transonic’s TSCi... Read more →

Ford Insourcing Key Electrification Components; Will Engineer and Assemble Hybrid Battery Packs and Transaxles in Michigan

Ford Motor Company, moving to create a center of excellence in Michigan for vehicle electrification, is investing $135 million to design, engineer and produce key components for the company’s next-generation hybrid-electric vehicles. Ford engineers in Dearborn, Michigan will design the Li-ion battery packs while engineers in Livonia, Michigan will design... Read more →

Honeywell Secures $27.3M Grant From DOE to Produce LiPF6 for Li-ion Electrolytes

Honeywell has signed a contract with the US Department of Energy for a $27.3 million grant to produce high-purity lithium hexafluorophosphate (LiPF6), a conductive salt used in electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries. The grant, originally announced in August 2009, is intended to help Honeywell become the first US supplier of LiPF6.... Read more →

ORNL Gene Discovery Can Lead to More Cost-Competitive Cellulosic Ethanol; Process Demonstrates Approach for Accelerated Industrial Strain Development

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have identified a key gene in the bacterium Zymomomas mobilis—an anaerobic ethanologen—that, when overexpressed in a new Z. mobilis strain, delivers increased tolerance to acetic acid, a common inhibitor produced in biomass pretreatment. Increased tolerance can yield more cost-competitive... Read more →

GE and Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation Establish Partnership; Great Lakes Offshore Wind Farm

GE and Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) of Northern Ohio have formed a long-term partnership beginning with the development of the first fresh water offshore wind farm in the US and involving a broad range of other initiatives. Under the new partnership GE will provide direct-drive wind turbines to... Read more →

Abengoa Solar began commercial operation of Solnova 3, a new parabolic trough technology plant located at the Solúcar Complex, Seville (Spain), following the successful completion of the operation and production testing conducted over the course of three days. This plant has enabled Abengoa Solar to reach a total of 143... Read more →

NSF Awards Rapid Response Grant to Study Impact of Dispersants on Microbial Degradation of Oil In Gulf

To understand how the use of dispersants impacts the degradation of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, the US National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a rapid response grant to scientist David Valentine of the University of California at Santa Barbara and colleagues. The ongoing massive release of oil from... Read more →

Global Warming’s Influence on El Niño Still Unknown

Although the climate of the Pacific region will undergo significant changes as atmospheric temperatures rise, scientists can not yet identify the influence it will have on the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) weather phenomenon, accordingto an international science review by the World Climate Research Program’s Climate Variability and Predictability Pacific Panel,... Read more →

Survey Finds Popular Concern in the UK About Climate Change Has Dropped Significantly

Guardian. A survey by YouGov, commissioned by energy company EDF, finds that popular concern in the UK about climate change has declined significantly, now standing at 62% down from 80% in 2006 and 71% in 2009. The numbers of those interested in where Britain's electricity comes from have also slipped... Read more →

Occidental Petroleum Projects California Shale Development May Become Its Largest Business Unit Within 10 Years

Occidental Petroleum, the fourth-largest US oil and gas company, based on equity market capitalization, says that within the next 10 years, its California shale development program—which currently delivers more than 25% of its California production—could become the company’s largest business unit. Shale production here refers to oil and gas production... Read more →

RVPs (predicted DVPE) of single- and dual-alcohol blends in gasoline with different relative proportions of ethanol and 1-butanol. Credit: ACS, Andersen et al. Click to enlarge. A research team from Ford Motor Company and the University of Copenhagen has performed a systematic study of the vapor pressures of single and... Read more →

Report: Toyota, Japan Ag Ministry and Partners to Begin Algae Biofuels Research Project

The Nikkei reports that Japan’s Agriculture Ministry, Toyota Motor Corp. Chuo University and others will begin a research project by the end of may to produce biofuel from the algae Pseudochoricystis. Denso, a supplier to Toyota and a partner in the new research project, has been working on Pseudochoricystis-derived biofuels... Read more →

Study Concludes Large Scale Use of Miscanthus Could Reduce Atmospheric CO2 Concentration by 162 ppmv by End of Century; Carbon Debt Payback in 30 Years

A study by researchers at the UK’s Hadley Centre Met Office concludes that the large scale use of the energy crop Miscanthus x giganteus, a perennial grass, could effectively reduce the dependence on fossil fuels, with a best estimate scenario resulting in a reduction in the atmospheric concentration of CO2... Read more →

Temperature and Salinity of the Western Mediterranean Increasing; Rate is Accelerating

Spanish scientists have analysed the temperature and salt levels of the Western Mediterranean Sea between 1943 and 2000 to study the evolution of each variable. Their research shows that, since at least the 1940s, the deep water has become progressively hotter and saltier, and that, since the 1990s, this process... Read more →

The latest evolution of Delphi’s solenoid injector and next-generation Delphi pump help the new Volkswagen Polo achieve CO2 emissions rating of 87g/km. (Earlier post.) Click to enlarge. At the upcoming SIA International Congress in Rouen, Delphi Corp. will present new developments in fuel injection equipment and engine control systems that... Read more →

US Flow Rate Technical Group to Produce Report on Flow from Deepwater Horizon Well

The US government has created a Flow Rate Technical Group (FRTG) to develop a more precise estimate of the flow rate from the Deepwater Horizon well. Speculation on the magnitude of the flow has resulted in estimates that range up to almost two orders of magnitude larger than the rough... Read more →

The Nido EV. Click to enlarge. Leading automotive design group Pininfarina unveiled the Nido EV, the first running prototype of the “Nido Development Program”, the project for an electric car conceived, designed and built entirely by the Pininfarina Style and Engineering Centre of Cambiano (Turin). The Nido EV prototype is... Read more →

President Obama Directs Administration to Create First-Ever National Efficiency and Emissions Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks; Calls to Extend LDV Program to MY 2017 and Beyond

US President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to create a first-ever National Policy to increase fuel efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas pollution from medium- and heavy-duty trucks for Model Years 2014-2018. The President also called... Read more →

API: US Gasoline Production Hits April Record, Demand Rises

US gasoline production jumped to 9.1 million barrels per day for April 2010, the highest April level ever and the second-highest gasoline production level for any month on record behind only March 2010 (earlier post), according to the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) Monthly Statistical Report. The average US refinery utilization... Read more →

Growth of production of Canadian oil sands. Source: IHS CERA. Click to enlarge. The Canadian oil sands are now poised to become the number one source of US crude oil imports in 2010, according to new research from the IHS CERA Canadian Oil Sands Dialogue. In addition, oil sands imports... Read more →

Statoil ASA has agreed to sell 40% of the Peregrino field offshore Brazil to China’s Sinochem Group. Statoil maintains 60% ownership and the operatorship of the field which is set to start production in early 2011. Map of the Peregrino field. Click to enlarge. Sinochem Group will pay a total... Read more →

US DOE Offers $2B Conditional Loan Guarantee for Front End Nuclear Facility in Idaho

As part of a broad effort to expand the use of nuclear power in the United States and reduce carbon pollution, US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced today Department’s first conditional commitment for a front-end nuclear facility. The $2-billion loan guarantee will support AREVA’s Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility near... Read more →

A new study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics concluded that the Kerry-Lieberman “American Power Act”—the energy and climate change legislation recently introduced in the Senate (earlier post)—would reduced US oil imports by 33-40% below current levels and by 9-19% below projected business-as-usual levels by 2030. This would cut... Read more →

Daimler Buses North America’s Orion VII Transit Bus Makes World Debut with SCR

Daimler Buses North America (DBNA) unveiled the new-generation diesel Orion VII transit bus, now equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) emissions technology, at the Bus & Paratransit Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. Sales of the all-new Orion VII have already commenced in the US and DBNA has received the first orders... Read more →

Nissan Motor Co. is commencing sales of Nissan-developed quick chargers through its regional parts sales affiliates in Japan in preparation for the December release of its Nissan LEAF. Nissan Quick Charger. Click to enlarge. Nissan developed the quick charger in-house, applying its R&D expertise accumulated in development of EVs and... Read more →

Epyon Opens First Commercial Level III Fast Charging Station in Europe

Epyon, a European developer and marketer of smart charging solutions for the emerging electric vehicle (EV) market, opened the first commercial Level III fast charging station in Europe. The fast-charging station delivers 50 kW of power which can fully charge the 9-person taxi-vans of Taxi Kijlstra in 30 minutes. Taxi... Read more →

DOE Selects 42 University-Led Nuclear Research and Development Projects for $38 Million in Funding

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 42 university-led research and development projects for awards totaling $38 million. These projects, funded over three to four years through the Department’s Nuclear Energy University Program, are intended to help advance nuclear education and develop the next generation of nuclear technologies. Almost... Read more →

Study Concludes That Improving Truck Fuel Economy Would Create More Than 120K New US Jobs by 2030

Strengthening the fuel economy of medium- and heavy-duty trucks could create as many as 124,000 jobs in the US by 2030, with all 50 states experiencing net job growth, according to a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and CALSTART. Efficiency improvements could save class 8 fleet... Read more →

Tesla and Toyota Intend to Work Jointly on EV Development, TMC to Take Equity Stake in Tesla; Tesla Purchases NUMMI Factory

Tesla Motors, Inc. and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) intend to cooperate on the development of electric vehicles, parts, and production system and engineering support. The two companies intend to form a team of specialists to further those efforts. TMC has agreed to purchase $50 million of Tesla’s common stock issued... Read more →