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GM Announcing Volt Pricing and Ordering Tomorrow; Video Web Chat with Volt Team at 4pm ET

Joel Ewanick, GM vice president of US marketing will announce pricing and ordering details for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt tomorrow (27 July) at the Plug-In 2010 conference in San Jose, Calif today at 12:00 PM ET. Following the announcement, GM is hosting a live video webchat with Volt marketing director... Read more →

Hybrid Owners have the highest interest in PHEVs. Source: EPRI/SCE. Click to enlarge. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Southern California Edison (SCE) designed and implemented a survey to characterize consumers’ perceptions of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and their expectations of their electric utility as a supplier of... Read more →

Coulomb Technologies announced the availability of its residential charging stations for electric vehicles. The new CT500 Level II ChargePoint Networked Charging Station is a 7.2 kW single output station designed for residential and light commercial applications. The CT500 Level II station. Click to enlarge. The station delivers Level II (208/240... Read more →

UPS is targeting a 20% improvement in fuel economy for its US package delivery fleet from 2000 to 2020. Click to enlarge. UPS has set a new automotive goal to improve the miles per gallon (MPG) performance of its entire US package delivery fleet by 20 percent between 2000 and... Read more →

Mahle and Behr Sign Staged Share Agreement That Can Lead to Mahle Taking a Majority Stake

The two large Stuttgart automotive suppliers Mahle and Behr have agreed that Mahle will take over shares in Behr in several stages. The two first stages of the participation will be covered by a unilateral capital increase by Mahle. In the first stage (2010) Mahle will take on 19.9% of... Read more →

Eaton Corporation is collaborating with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on a prototype integrated solar-assisted electric vehicle charging station to be erected at EPRI’s research laboratory in Knoxville, Tenn. Additional stations are planned for Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Nashville, Chattanooga and another site... Read more →

AFS Trinity Awarded Patent for Extreme Hybrid Drivetrain; Company Arguing for Full PHEV Tax Credit

AFS Trinity Power Corporation has been awarded a patent for its Extreme Hybrid drive train that combines ultracapacitors and other power electronics and energy storage devices with off-the-shelf chemical batteries in plug-in hybrid vehicles. (Earlier post.) The company said it expects DOE and US Congressional recognition of the cost, safety... Read more →

BorgWarner Engine Timing Systems Will Drive Fiat Two-Cylinder TwinAir Engines

BorgWarner will produce engine timing systems for Fiat Powertrain Technologies’ (FPT) new two-cylinder TwinAir engine, including the 65 hp naturally aspirated, and the 85 hp and 105 hp turbocharged variants. (Earlier post.) The only two-cylinder car engine available in Europe, the new TwinAir engine achieves the lowest emissions for a... Read more →

A Porsche Boxster. Click to enlarge. Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart is researching and developing all-electric vehicles, with three electric Boxsters to be in testing as part of the Stuttgart Model Region for Electromobility project. The work is in conjunction with the ongoing development of hybrid concepts already... Read more →

Schematic drawing of a molten hydrocarbon-assisted solid-state approach for making LiMnPO4 nanoplates and their crystallographic orientation. Credit: ACS, Choi et al. Click to enlarge. Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have synthesized electrochemically active LiMnPO4 nanoplates via a novel, single-step, solid-state reaction in molten paraffin. The resulting olivine-structured LiMnPO4... Read more →

India’s HPCL to Produce Own Ethanol for Blending

Business Standard. India government-controlled Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) will become the first petroleum company in the country to produce its own ethanol. Last year, HPCL had taken over two sugar mills in Bihar, at Sugauli and Lauriya in East and West Champaran districts, on a 60-year lease, extendable by... Read more →

Amyris and São Paulo Begin Trial of Sugarcane Renewable Diesel in Buses

VNews. Amyris Brasil S.A. and the city of São Paulo, Brazil have begun a pilot project in which three urban public bus transport will be supplied with 5% renewable diesel produced from sugarcane feedstock. Three others will be fueled by 100% renewable diesel. Also involved in the trial are Daimler... Read more →

Polarization curves for H2 oxidation on different catalysts in the presence of 2% CO at room temperature. The new Pt/titanium tungsten oxide catalyst is in blue. Credit: ACS, Wang et al. Click to enlarge. A team at Cornell University has developed a new highly stable and CO-tolerant platinum/titanium tungsten oxide... Read more →

API: 1H 2010 US Gasoline Demand 0.6% Lower Than Last Year; Distillate Demand Up 2.1%

Reflecting the ongoing sluggish economic recovery, US gasoline deliveries for the first half of 2010 averaged 8.88 million barrels per day, 0.6% lower than the corresponding period a year ago, according to the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) Monthly Statistical Report for June. June gasoline deliveries of 9.18 million barrel per... Read more →

Scania and MAN Weighing Collaboration, Including on Heavy-Duty Hybrid Components

Scania AB and MAN SE are studying the potential for collaboration on component supply and pre-development. The companies are conducting feasibility studies regarding four strategic areas that are not brand-related. The studies cover the potential for: Scania and MAN to pursue joint research on hybrid components for heavy trucks and... Read more →

Univ. of South Florida Researchers Link Subsurface Clouds of Degraded Oil to BP Well

University of South Florida researchers say they have definitively connected clouds of degraded underwater oil found in the northern Gulf of Mexico to the Deepwater Horizon well (MC252) through Compound-Specific Isotope Analysis (CSIA). Biodegraded oil was found suspended at depths of 400 meters (one-quarter mile) and 1,000-to 1,400-meters (two-thirds to... Read more →

West-side approach to Sea-Tac, showing typical flight path (blue) and RNP flight path (green). Source: Alaska Airlines. Click to enlarge. Alaska Airlines demonstrated next-generation flight procedures this week during a test flight over Puget Sound that burned less fuel and reduced emissions by 35% compared to a conventional landing. The... Read more →

Boeing Forecasts Renewable Jet Fuel May Supply 1% of Global Commercial Aviation Fuel Need by 2015

Renewable jet fuel from a variety of feedstocks may supply 1% of commercial aviation fuel need by 2015, according to Billy Glover, managing director of environmental strategy at Boeing’s commercial airplanes unit, in an interview with Bloomberg. “We need to get to 1 percent to get that foundation and then... Read more →

Report: China May Require Belt-Starter-Generator Microhybrid Systems in Passenger Cars by 2012

China’s Global Times newspaper reports that the China government is considering requiring new passenger car vehicles (PCVs) to be equipped with belt-starter-generator (BSG) systems for fuel efficiency, according to General Manager of Chery New Energy Company, Yuan Tao. Such microhybrid systems could save about 5% on fuel. An industry insider... Read more →

Johnson Controls to Acquire 90% of Lead-Acid JV Delkor Corporation

Johnson Controls, Inc. signed an agreement to acquire 90% of its existing joint venture with Delkor Corporation, a leading automotive battery manufacturer based in Seoul, South Korea. The remaining 10% will be acquired by the local management team, with all transactions completed no later than 15 Aug. 2010. The Delkor... Read more →

US Senators Introduce Bill to Create National Freight Transportation Policy; Seeking a 40% Drop in Freight-Related CO2 by 2030

US Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) this week introduced legislation that would establish a national freight transportation policy. The legislation would direct the federal government to develop and implement a strategic plan to improve the nation’s freight transportation system and provide investment in... Read more →

DOE Launches “Gasifipedia”

The US Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has launched a new section of its public website called Gasifipedia, an online collection of resources to promote better understanding of gasification technology. The Gasifipedia website contains both introductory and in-depth information about gasification fundamentals, supporting... Read more →

New Efficient Iron Catalyst for Water Oxidation

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new catalyst—iron-centered tetraamido macrocyclic ligand (Fe-TAML)—that efficiently catalyzes water oxidation. Water oxidation is the second of two requisite half-reactions in the photolysis of water, the other being the reduction of protons to dihydrogen. Proton reduction is well-understood, with catalysts achieving quantum yields... Read more →

Nikkei Editorial Urges Japan to Match US, China EV Moves

An editorial in Japan’s Nikkei argues that Japanese automakers need to respond aggressively to compete in the rapidly changing global market for electric vehicles. ...both Toyota and Honda had until recently thought that the era of hybrids would continue for a while before electric vehicles began to gain popularity. But... Read more →

GM to Introduce HFO-1234yf AC Refrigerant in 2013 US Models

General Motors Co. will introduce HFO-1234yf air-conditioning refrigerant in 2013 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models in the US. This could be the first passenger vehicle application of the new refrigerant in the US, which has 99.7% lower global warming potential (GWP) than the current refrigerant. (Earlier post.) HFO-1234yf, supplied... Read more →

Diagram of the proposed closed-loop fuel cycle. CO2 is recycled into hydrocarbon fuels in a process based on: capturing CO2 from the atmosphere, high-temperature co-electrolysis of CO2 and H2O in a solid oxide cell to yield syngas (CO/H2 mixture), and catalytic fuel synthesis from the syngas. Source: Lenfest Center. Click... Read more →

Owners of most new 2011 Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC vehicles will soon be able to control key vehicle functions from their smart phones via OnStar. Screenshot of one of the OnStar apps. Click to enlarge. Each of the brand-specific apps will allow owners to activate all of the functions... Read more →

GM to Acquire AmeriCredit for Approx. $3.5B

General Motors and AmeriCredit Corp. have entered into a definitive agreement for GM to acquire AmeriCredit, a leading independent auto finance company, in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $3.5 billion. The acquisition establishes the core of a new GM captive financing arm that will enable GM to provide customers... Read more →

DOE to Award $106M to Six CO2 Conversion Projects; $156M in Matching Private Funding

The US Department of Energy has selected six projects for funding that aim to find ways of converting captured carbon dioxide emissions from industrial sources into useful products such as fuel, plastics, cement, and fertilizers. Funded with $106 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—matched with $156 million in... Read more →

The Motor Trade Association of South Australia has procured a Toyota Prius which has been upfitted with an aftermarket plug-in conversion, as part of its plans to develop hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicle training resources for automotive repair technicians throughout the state of South Australia. Left to right, MTA... Read more →

US DOE Awarding $122M to Establish Energy Innovation Hub for Direct Conversion of Solar Energy to Chemical Fuels

As part of a broad effort to achieve breakthrough innovations in energy production, the US Department of Energy is awarding up to $122 million over five years to a multidisciplinary team to establish a Fuels from Sunlight Energy Innovation Hub aimed at developing revolutionary methods to generate fuels directly from... Read more →

EPA Awards $5.6M to Spur New Clean Diesel Technologies

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $5.6 million for emerging technologies projects as part of a summer-long roll-out of $120 million in clean diesel grants. The awards will provide opportunities to advance new technologies in the marketplace, and support both environmental innovation and green jobs to reduce diesel... Read more →

Bombardier Q400 Regional Turboprop to Fly in Renewable Fuel Test Program

A Bombardier Q400 regional aircraft will fly using renewable fuel produced from camelina oil as part of a new biofuel test program. A six-partner consortium, led by Saskatchewan-based Targeted Growth Canada (TGC), expects to demonstrate the renewable jet fuel in a Porter Airlines Q400 turboprop by early 2012. The Bombardier... Read more →

More Numerical Functions for C and C++ Developers

The Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG) has expanded the NAG C Library (the largest commercially available collection of numerical algorithms for C and C++, widely used for automotive design application development) with the addition of more than 150 functions for a total of more than 1,300 user-callable functions. Many of these... Read more →

US DOT Issues Request for Information on Uses of ITS Systems and IntelliDrive to Improve Transportation’ Environmental Performance

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHA) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to obtain information from the public sector, private sector and academic communities on (1) Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) applications that can make use of IntelliDrive data and resources to improve environmental performance; (2)... Read more →

Oil Majors Plan New Spill Capture and Containment System for Gulf of Mexico; Initial $1B Investment

Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell plan to build and deploy a rapid response system that will be available to capture and contain oil in the event of a potential future underwater well blowout in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The companies have committed $1 billion to fund the initial costs... Read more →

ITOCHU Takes Equity Stake in THINK; Expanded Partnership for THINK EV and Drive System in Asia

THINK and ITOCHU Corporation announced an expanded partnership for marketing and distribution of the THINK City electric vehicle (EV) and EV drive system in Asia. The two companies have been in a cooperative relationship since 2009, through a number of demonstration projects in association with Ener1, Inc. (Earlier post.) Following... Read more →

Süd-Chemie to Build Cellulosic Ethanol Demonstration-Scale Plant for sunliquid Process in Germany

Süd-Chemie AG, a global specialty chemical companies for catalysts and adsorbents based in Munich, is to build a cellulosic ethanol demonstration plant—the largest to date in Germany—for its sunliquid process. The total project has a volume of altogether €28 million (US$36 million)and comprises an investment volume of some €16 million... Read more →

Illustration of projected ozone changes in the South Coast region due to climate change in 2050. Areas in orange and red could see ozone concentrations elevated by 9 to 18 parts per billion. Click to enlarge. In a new report released by the California Air Resources Board, scientists from the... Read more →

Lincoln’s new MKZ Hybrid (earlier post) will be priced the same as its conventional gas sibling when it goes on sale this fall, with an MSRP starting at $35,180, including destination and delivery. The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. Click to enlarge. As a comparison, the 2011 Lexus HS 250h Standard—which... Read more →

Components of the Delphi SCR system. Click to enlarge. Delphi has introduced a new selective catalytic reduction (SCR) NOx control technology for diesel engines that improves the performance, packaging and long-term reliability of the SCR system as well as reduces vehicle CO2 emissions by up to 1 g/km over any... Read more →

FTA Study: $77.7B Needed to Bring US Rail and Bus Transit Systems into State of Good Repair

A Federal Transit Administration (FTA) study estimates the cost of bringing the US rail and bus transit systems into a state of good repair at US$77.7 billion. In addition, a yearly average of US$14.4 billion would be required to maintain the systems. FTA’s National State of Good Repair Assessment Study,... Read more →

Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid to Make North American Race Debut at Petit Le Mans

Porsche’s 911 GT3 R Hybrid race car will race for the first time in North America at The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón’s signature event—the Petit Le Mans on 2 October at Road Atlanta. The hybrid is equipped with a flywheel energy recovery system (KERS). (Earlier post.)... Read more →

Air Products Building Air Separation Units for China Coal-to-Chemicals Project

Air Products has signed a contract with Pucheng Clean Energy Co., Ltd. (PCEC) for the largest single air separation unit (ASU) on-site order ever committed to an industrial gas company. PCEC, a state-owned enterprise established in 2008, will use the industrial gas products in a coal gasification process for chemical... Read more →

Pratt & Whitney Completes Advanced Core Testing for PurePower Engine Family

Pratt & Whitney has completed testing on its full-scale PurePower engine core with more than 260 test hours, successfully validating performance and operability goals. (Earlier post.) The PurePower family of engines is designed to power the next generation of passenger aircraft with reduced fuel consumption and emissions. This advanced core... Read more →

New Coated Pistons From Federal-Mogul Reduce Fuel Consumption Up to 0.8%

Federal-Mogul Corporation has developed a new coated piston for gasoline engines that combines the properties of low wear and low friction in a single application. The new EcoTough-coated piston offers superior wear resistance and reduces fuel consumption up to 0.8% compared to conventional piston coatings. The EcoTough-coated piston is compatible... Read more →