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South Korea-based Hyundai Motor Company unveiled the Blue2 concept vehicle, the company’s first sedan-style hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV), at the Seoul Motor Show. The automaker also introduced its first gasoline-hybrid vehicle, the Sonata Hybrid, to its home market. The Blue2 FCEV concept. Click to enlarge. The Blue2 (code-named... Read more →

Green e-Motion electromobility projects. Click to enlarge. The European Commission will support a cross-European electromobility initiative, Green eMotion, worth €41.8 million (US$68.2 million), in partnership with 42 partners from the industries, utilities, electric car manufacturers, municipalities, universities and technology and research institutions. The project will cover different types of electric... Read more →

VMT rose slightly in 2009 while emissions from gasoline and diesel fuel declined, a result EIA attributes as a likely result of more efficient vehicles and increased consumption of biofuels. Click to enlarge. Total US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were 6,576 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) in 2009,... Read more →

Chevrolet introduced the Mi-ray concept at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show. The Mi-ray, developed at the GM Advanced Design Studio in Seoul, combines hybrid propulsion technology and advanced styling. The Mi-Ray concept. Click to enlarge. The Mi-ray features a concept “mid-electric” propulsion system, located primarily behind and beneath the driver.... Read more →

Nanophosphate Engine Start Battery (12V): Click to enlarge. A123 Systems is targeting the emerging stop-start/microhybrid market with a 12V Li-ion battery solution based on its automotive class lithium ion AMP20 20 Ah prismatic pouch cells. The system comes equipped with battery management electronics for cell balancing and protection. Compared to... Read more →

BAE Systems and Caterpillar Inc. have signed a joint development agreement to collaborate on a parallel hybrid propulsion system for heavy-duty trucks. Under the agreement, BAE Systems will integrate Caterpillar CX Series Transmissions into its HybriDrive parallel propulsion system, recently launched at the National Truck Equipment Association Work Truck Show.... Read more →

Illustration of a three-cylinder configuration of the Pinnacle opposed-piston engine. Click to enlarge. Startup Pinnacle Engines unveiled plans to commercialize a new, more efficient combustion engine by 2013. The company says the new engine design enables significant reductions in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions without increasing vehicle cost. Pinnacle... Read more →

Principal North American trade corridors. Click to enlarge. Cross-border cooperation to improve environmental performance of the North American freight system is urgently needed not just to enhance environmental sustainability, but to safeguard regional economic competitiveness, according to a new report from the Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC).... Read more →

BMW Group and Vattenfall Europe begin second phase of MINI E fleet test in Berlin

BMW Group and Vattenfall Europe have begun a second phase of the Mini E test fleet in Berlin, with the transfer of 70 MINI E electric vehicles to private customers (30 units) and fleet users (40 units). The aim of the project, funded by the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU),... Read more →

The Naimo electric concept. Click to enlarge. Kia staged the world premiere of the Naimo electric concept car at the Seoul Motor Show. Taking its name from the Korean word “Ne-mo”, meaning “square shape”, the Naimo electric crossover utility vehicle (CUV) is the third electric vehicle design to be unveiled... Read more →

Leviton’s Evr-Green 120 Level 1 Portable Charger, which allows drivers to charge a plug-in vehicle anywhere a standard outlet is available, has received Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) Listing for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) in the United States and Canada. Evr-Green 120 portable charger. Click to enlarge. Available for purchase... Read more →

Ryder orders more than 200 heavy-duty natural gas trucks as part of SANBAG project

Ryder System, Inc., a leader in commercial transportation and supply chain management solutions, has ordered 202 heavy-duty natural gas vehicles as part of its agreement with the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) to launch a heavy-duty natural gas truck rental and leasing project in Southern California. Ryder will begin taking... Read more →

WWF-UK study finds UK needs at least 1.7M electric vehicles by 2020 to achieve climate targets; 15% of new car sales

A newly released report by WWF-UK concludes that at least 1.7 million electric vehicles—plug-in hybrid and battery-electric—will be needed by 2020 and 6.4 million by 2030 if the UK is to achieve its climate change targets. EVs would then represent 6% of all UK cars in 2020 and 18% in... Read more →

Jaguar debuts new 2.2-liter diesel with stop-start system in XF development mule

Jaguar has unveiled a new 2.2-liter diesel engine, its most efficient yet. The engine is making its debut in the Jaguar XF development mule. Developing 190 PS (189 hp, 141 kW) and 332 lb-ft (450 N·m) of torque, the new engine is capable of returning 52.3 mpg (UK) (43.6 mpg... Read more →

California gasoline consumption up 1%, diesel down 1.9% in 4Q10

California gasoline consumption increased 1% in the fourth quarter 2010 and decreased 0.4% in December, according to figures form the California Board of Equalization. Diesel consumption decreased 1.9% in the fourth quarter and decreased 5.8% in December compared to a year earlier. Gasoline consumption increased 1% in the fourth quarter... Read more →

EPA updates rules to ease commercialization of alternative fuel conversion systems

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has updated rules making it easier for manufacturers to sell fuel conversion systems—i.e., systems that alter a conventionally-fueled vehicle or engine to enable it to run on an alternative fuel. The updated final rule covers alternative fuel conversion of light-duty vehicles and heavy-duty highway... Read more →

Universal Lubricants hits 1.5M gallon production mark for recycled motor oil

Universal Lubricants has hit the 1.5-million gallon production mark for its ECO ULTRA line of recycled motor oil. (Earlier post.) The company has been selling to professional installers, but is now moving the product into retail channels, said John Wesley, CEO. The US produces approximately 1.3 billion gallons of used... Read more →

Obama sets goal of reducing US oil imports by 1/3 by 2025; domestic and Western Hemisphere production, natural gas, biofuels, electric vehicles, fleet purchases

Warning that “there are no quick fixes” and that “we will keep on being a victim to shifts in the oil market until we get serious about a long-term policy for secure, affordable energy”, US President Barack Obama announced a goal of cutting US oil imports by one-third by 2025... Read more →

The H2 yield increases when Calvin cycle flux is blocked by mutation (black bars; white bars represent the parent). Source: McKinlay and Harwood. Click to enlarge. Reducing the ability of certain bacteria to fix carbon dioxide can greatly increase their production of hydrogen gas, according to a open access paper... Read more →

International Battery to provide Li-ion system to Sunverge for Net-Zero Energy Home Project

Sunverge Energy has selected International Battery to provide a Li-ion energy storage systems (ESS) as the energy storage component of Sunverge’s Solar Integration System (SIS). This fully integrated distributed energy system will provide a turnkey solar solution to support a Net-Zero Home Energy demonstration at the Philadelphia Navy Yard’s Clean... Read more →

SIM-Drive EV has range of 333 km on JC08

Nikkei. SIM-Drive Corp., a spin-off from Keio University (earlier post), unveiled electric vehicle capable of traveling 333 km (207 miles) on a fully charged battery on the JC08 cycle. In January 2010, SIM-Drive announced that 34 companies and municipalities, including automakers Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Isuzu Motors Ltd., were forming... Read more →

Willingness to compromise on different characteristics. Click to enlarge. A survey conducted by Euro-barometer for the European Commission of nearly 26,000 people in all 27 EU member states found that most Europeans are willing to compromise on performance, size, range and price of their car in order to reduce harmful... Read more →

CTI organizing Vehicle Emissions Reduction Conference: Criteria Pollutants and CO2

The Car Training Institute (CTI) is organizing a conference on vehicle emission reduction—including both criteria pollutants and CO2—on 16-20 May 2011 in Detroit, MI. Regulators are requiring that Light-duty gasoline and diesel engine and emissions technology are needed to address the regulatory requirements that both criteria pollutants and CO2 emissions... Read more →

2010 investment by country and sector. Click to enlarge. Global clean energy finance and investment grew significantly in 2010 to $243 billion, a 30% increase from the previous year. China, Germany, Italy and India were among the nations that most successfully attracted private investments, according to new research released by... Read more →

Peugeot Scooters launches new e-Vivacity scooter with Saft Li-ion batteries

Saft has developed new modules of lithium-ion batteries for Peugeot’ latest scooter, the e-Vivacity. By integrating two Saft lithium-ion battery modules each developing 1 kWh, Peugeot Scooters has been able to provide its latest model with total power of 3 kW at 6,000rpm and 60 km (37 miles) of range... Read more →

New microwave-based pyrolysis process for recycling waste automotive engine oil to fuels

Researchers from the University of Cambridge (UK) have developed a new high-yield process for recycling waste crankcase oil into gasoline-like fuel based on microwave pyrolysis—i.e., using microwave energy as the heat source. The recovered pyrolysis oils contain substantial concentrations of paraffinic hydrocarbons with low sulphur and oxygen content, and a... Read more →

Solix BioSystems introduces 4,000 liter outdoor algae growth system

Solix BioSystems (formerly Solix Biofuels) announced the availability for sale of the Lumian AGS4000, a 4,000 liter integrated Algae Growth System (AGS) that provides an outdoor growth environment for the evaluation of algal species or as a source of clean culture inoculum for larger growth systems. Solix earlier secured an... Read more →

Molycorp and Ames Laboratory sign cooperative research and development agreement on rare earth magnets

Molycorp Inc., the Western hemisphere’s only producer of rare-earth oxides, has entered into a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with the US Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory. The Molycorp-Ames Laboratory effort will focus on developing new methods to create commercial-grade rare-earth permanent magnets. The collaboration combines Ames Laboratory’s more... Read more →

Pike forecasts annual global plug-in vehicle sales to exceed 1M units by 2015

Pike Research forecasts that global sales volumes of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) (plug-in hybrid electric and battery-electric vehicles) will cross the 1 million unit threshold for the first time by 2015. Pike notes that total PEV penetration will remain low for the foreseeable future in relation to the total light-duty... Read more →

Dynamotive and IFP Energies Nouvelles extend MOU for upgrading bio-oils to mobile fuels

Dynamotive Energy Systems Corporation and IFP Energies Nouvelles (IFPEN) have extended their Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate in the field of pyrolysis oil upgrading with the aim to produce second generation biofuels, announced in June 2010 (earlier post) to July 2011. The extension of the current Memorandum of Understanding allows... Read more →

US NSF and UK BBSRC award $10.3M+ to four teams to improve biological photosynthesis

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) and the US Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have collaborated in awarding funding to scientists in the US and UK totaling more than $10.3 million to improve the process of biological photosynthesis. NSF is contributing a total of $5.2 million to support... Read more →

US Army selects Sturman Industries to develop high pressure injection system for heavy-fuel rotary engines

The US Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM) has selected Sturman Industries to examine, develop, and demonstrate the use of an advanced high pressure injection system in a heavy-fuel (DF-2 and JP-8 compatibility), rotary diesel engine for unmanned and manned ground vehicle applications, per SBIR Topic A11-064. According to... Read more →

European Commission outlines comprehensive Transport 2050 plan to increase mobility while cutting transport CO2 emissions 60%; phasing out conventionally-fueled (non-hybrid) cars in cities by 2050

The European Commission has adopted a comprehensive strategy (Transport 2050) for a transport system that it says will increase mobility, remove major barriers in key areas and fuel growth and employment. The proposals are also intended to reduce Europe’s dependence on imported oil and cut carbon emissions in transport by... Read more →

A patented General Motors technology called Regulated Voltage Control (RVC) contributes up to a 1.5% improvement in fuel economy in the Chevrolet Cruze. RVC. Click to enlarge. With RVC, the power that runs from the alternator to the battery is reduced from 14 volts to 12.8 volts under normal driving... Read more →

The average emissions for an electric vehicle in the UK are 75 gCO2/km, when CO2 emissions at the power station are taken into account, according to an analysis by Gary Davis, Operations Director and chief greenhouse gas (GHG) analyst at Edinburgh-based carbon accounting firm Ecometrica. This is lower than any... Read more →

Researchers find that adding nanocrystals to solid electrolyte material can considerably raise the efficiency of fuel cells

Researchers at TU Delft have found that the addition of extremely small crystals to solid electrolyte material has the potential to considerably raise the efficiency of fuel cells. They have published two papers on their findings in fairly rapid sequence in the journal Advanced Functional Materials: the first in the... Read more →

MSU offers fungus that produces octane-boosting fuel additive for licensing

A fungus that produces compounds with known uses as fuel additives is available for licensing to interested parties through Montana State University’s (MSU) Technology Transfer Office. The fungus produces cineole, also known as eucalyptol, which can be used as an octane-boosting fuel additive. The fungus, Hypoxylon sp., also produces branched... Read more →

Neste Oil Secures €50M loan to fund R&D on renewable raw materials for NExBTL

Neste Oil and the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) have agreed on a €50-million (US$70.4-million) loan to fund further research on extending the range of raw materials used for producing Neste Oil’ renewable diesel NExBTL. Expanding the company’s feedstock base is an important strategic goal for Neste Oil. The loan will... Read more →

Volvo C30 Electric equipped with three climate systems; bioethanol heater

The Volvo C30 Electric is equipped with three climate systems: one supplies the passengers with heating or cooling; one cools or warms the battery pack as necessary; and the electric motor and power electronics are water-cooled. The C30 Electric features a bio-ethanol powered heater for climate control in the passenger... Read more →

Fuel Cell Black Cabs are on the roads of London for the first time since being awarded Road Legal status by the UK Vehicle Certification Authority (VCA). (Earlier post.) The Fuel Cell Black Cab on Westminster Bridge as it passes the Houses of Parliament. Click to enlarge. The project to... Read more →

Cellulosic nanocrystals from biomass waste for thermoplastics for automotive applications

Scientists in Brazil are studying the production and incorporation of cellulosic nanocrystals (also known as cellulose whiskers) derived from several sources such as pineapple, curaua, banana and coir into thermoplastics matrix composites for automotive applications. They described the work, which could lead to stronger, lighter, and more sustainable materials for... Read more →

Researchers from the University of California, Riverside and the University of Science and Technology of China synthesized monodisperse V2O5 microspheres with a porous structure. Used as a cathode material for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), the material shows a stable and highly reversible capacity. It also shows excellent low-temperature behavior with a... Read more →

MIT team claims development of first practical artificial leaf

In a presentation at the 241st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society today in Anaheim, Dr. Daniel Nocera of MIT said that his team has developed a practical “artificial leaf”—a type of solar cell that shows promise as an inexpensive source of electricity for the poor in developing countries.... Read more →

Global production of rare earth oxides. Credit: ACS, Du and Graedel. Click to enlarge. A team at Yale has used published and unpublished information from China, Japan, the United States, and elsewhere to estimate global flows into use and in-use stocks for 15 rare earth elements (REE): La (Lanthanum); Ce... Read more →

European Parliament eyeing new rules for motorbike emissions and safety

Europe would benefit from proposed new rules for motorbike environmental performance and safety, but the industry’s capacity to adapt will need to be taken into account, according to views expressed at a hearing in Parliament last week. The hearing in Parliament internal market committee concerns a legislative proposal to update... Read more →

Structure of the rechargeable Li-air battery based on GNSs as an air electrode. Credit: ACS, Yoo and Zhou. Click to enlarge. Researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) have demonstrated that metal-free graphene nanosheets (GNSs) show good performance as a catalyst for reducing oxygen in... Read more →

AllCell receives lithium-ion battery production order from Matra

France-based Matra has engaged AllCell to manufacture lithium-ion battery packs for several of Matra’s light electric vehicle models sold in the European market. The lithium-ion battery packs utilize AllCell’s passive thermal management system using phase change material (PCM) (earlier post) to maximize vehicle power, energy density, life, and safety. Each... Read more →

AT&T is putting 101 Chevrolet Express Cargo 2500 vans powered by low-emissions compressed natural gas into its customer service fleet. Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana CNG storage tanks. Click to enlarge. The vans get gasoline-equivalent fuel economy of 11 mpg city and 16 mpg highway. Fuel tank capacity ranges from 15.8 to... Read more →