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ALTe Powertrain establishes advisory board

ALTe Powertrain Technologies has formed an Advisory Board, which includes of some of the US’ leading corporate fleets. The board will help ALTe address important industry needs as the company prepares to deploy their range-extended electric powertrain into light and medium-size trucks, vans and buses early next year. (Earlier post.)... Read more →

(Part 2 of a series on low-temperature combustion) In contrast to conventional diesel combustion, the highest temperature for RCCI combustion in center of chamber (adiabatic core). The high temperature in conventional diesel combustion is next to the piston bowl surface. Source: Rolf Reitz. Click to enlarge. Researchers at the University... Read more →

Competitive Power Ventures, Inc. (CPV); GE Energy Financial Services; and Diamond Generating Corporation (DGC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation, co-owners of the planned $900-million CPV Sentinel power plant, have closed the largest project financing in the US thermal power industry this year for the facility to be built in... Read more →

Dow Kokam in strategic alliance with MotoCzysz for electric racing motorcycles

Li-ion technology producer Dow Kokam has entered a new strategic relationship with MotoCzysz, a design and engineering firm working exclusively on electric motors, as official supplier of Dow Kokam advanced lithium polymer batteries to power the MotoCzysz factory racing motorcycles for 2011. (Earlier post.) Additionally, MotoCzysz will build battery systems... Read more →

Gevo begins retrofit of first commercial-scale bio-based isobutanol plant

Gevo, Inc., a renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels company, has begun the retrofit of its ethanol facility in Luverne, Minnesota, to produce bio-based isobutanol. (Earlier post.) The retrofit, expected to be complete by next summer, will make this facility the first commercial-scale bio-based isobutanol plant, Gevo notes. Bio-based isobutanol is... Read more →

Torotrak CVT technology supporting Volvo Car’s flywheel KERS project

Torotrak plc confirmed that its continuously variable transmission (CVT) technology forms part of the Volvo Car Corporation’s evaluation of flywheel kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) technology, announced last week. (Earlier post.) Volvo’s project, part-funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, is bringing together Torotrak’s variable drive technology and Flybrid Systems (UK)... Read more →

Ricardo to assist Lifan in development of 1.2L turbocharged DI gasoline engines for downsizing applications

Ricardo will assist Lifan Automobile Group based in Chongqing, China, with the development of a family of highly downsized gasoline engines capable of meeting future Chinese and international fuel economy and emissions regulations. Under the new contract, which follows on collaboration between the two companies over the past five years,... Read more →

Engine installation D13C-gas. Click to enlarge. Volvo Trucks is expanding its alternative fuel program with the launch of the new dual-fuel Volvo FM MethaneDiesel. This makes Volvo the first truck manufacturer in Europe to offer gas-powered regional distribution trucks that can also meet long-haul application requirements. In 2010, Volvo Powertrain... Read more →

Renault launches the world’s biggest automotive industry solar roof project

In partnership with Gestamp Solar, Renault is launching the world’s biggest solar energy project in the automotive industry by installing solar roof panels at its French plants. Solar panels will cover the roofs of the delivery and shipping centers at the Douai, Maubeuge, Flins, Batilly and Sandouville sites, and the... Read more →

BASF entering into business of electrolytes for Li-ion batteries

BASF is entering the business of electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries (LIB) and is forming a global electrolytes team in its Intermediates division for this purpose. By adding electrolytes to its existing portfolio for the LIB industry, BASF will offer another key component for the battery technology. BASF is one of... Read more →

BYD Company Ltd (BYD) and Rotterdam City entered into an agreement to deliver BYD’s all-electric e6 vehicles as part of the Netherlands’ green transportation project “75-EV-RO”; these will be the first BYD e6s in Europe. Netherlands Prince Maurits van Oranje test drives the BYD all-electric e6 in Rotterdam. Click to... Read more →

Final report of Garnaut Review Update recommends carbon pricing scheme for Australia “to do its fair share” on climate change

It will be much harder and more expensive for Australia to do its fair share on climate change without a carbon pricing scheme, according to the final report of the Garnaut Climate Change Review – Update 2011, Australia in the Global Response to Climate Change. The final report recommends that... Read more →

SK breaks ground on Li-ion battery plant in S. Korea

Chosun Ilbo. SK Innovation has broken ground for an automotive Li-ion battery plant in Seosan, South Chungcheong Province, South Korea. Scheduled to be completed next year, the W250 billion facility will be able to produce batteries for some 25,000 electric vehicles per year (US$1=W1,080). They will be supplied to Hyundai... Read more →

IEA estimates energy-related CO2 emissions in 2010 highest in history; 80% of projected 2020 emissions from the power sector are already locked in

Energy-related carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2010 were the highest in history, according to the latest estimates by the International Energy Agency (IEA). After a dip in 2009 caused by the global financial crisis, emissions are estimated to have climbed to a record 30.6 Gigatonnes (Gt), a 5% jump from the... Read more →

ITS-Davis study finds social influence a key element in transitioning to more sustainable transportation such as PHEVs

Research from the Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California at Davis (ITS-Davis) suggests it will take more than a reasonable price and good information to get consumers to make more sustainable transportation choices, such as the purchase of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). Post-doctoral researcher Jonn Axsen says... Read more →

The role of OCPP. Source: E-ladd.nl. Click to enlarge. Epyon Power, a European supplier of intelligent fast-charging solutions for electric vehicles (earlier post), announced compatibility with the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP), developed by the E-laad.nl Foundation, a initiative of the collaborating gas and electricity network operators in the Netherlands,... Read more →

US Army TARDEC showcased diesel series hybrid CERV in run-up to Indy 500

The US Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) earlier in May showcased the diesel series hybrid-electric Clandestine Extended Range Vehicle (CERV) (earlier post) as part of special events ramping to the Indianapolis 500. Jointly designed by Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies and TARDEC’s National Automotive Center (NAC), the... Read more →

Bacterial enzyme converts carbon monoxide to hydrocarbons

Researchers at Utah State University report on an engineered bacterial enzyme—a molybdenum (Mo) nitrogenase—capable of converting carbon monoxide into usable hydrocarbons in a reaction similar to Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. A open access paper on their work appears in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Nitrogenase is the bacterial enzyme responsible for the... Read more →

Current reported CI for ethanol plants. Gasoline baseline of 95.86 g CO2e/MJ highlighted in red for comparison. Data: California ARB. Click to enlarge. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff has updated carbon intensities (CIs) and other information about registered biorefineries, and posted the information at the Low Carbon Fuel... Read more →

European Electric Vehicle Congress 2011

A new conference in Europe aims to foster discussion between research institutes, industry, NGOs and public authorities to ensure that the needs and constraints from these different stakeholders are mutually well understood and that the most appropriate products for electrified vehicles are selected for market introduction. The European Electric Vehicle... Read more →

APL first shipping line to cold-iron in Oakland

Singapore-based container shipping line APL became the first to cold-iron a vessel’s engines to eliminate exhaust emissions at the Port of Oakland, California. As others follow suit—as regulators require—cold-ironing will become a staple on California’s coast. The 900-foot (274-meter) APL Singapore switched off its auxiliary diesel engines after berthing at... Read more →

Projected global LED penetration in vehicle production. Source: OSRAM Sylvania. Click to enlarge. The automotive market is inevitably trending to LED lighting for reasons of reliability, appearance, functionality and efficiency, says OSRAM SYLVANIA. OSRAM SYLVANIA, together with OSRAM GmbH (owned by Siemens), is the world leader in automotive lighting for... Read more →

California gasoline demand flat, diesel declined in Feb 2011

California gasoline consumption remained flat in February 2011, while diesel fuel consumption in California declined, according to the monthly report from the California State Board of Equalization. California’s gasoline consumption remained flat in February 2011 with 1.131 billion gallons of gasoline, compared to 1.131 billion gallons in February 2010. In... Read more →

Eni and Novamont to build €500M biorefinery

Italy-based energy major Eni and Novamont Spa are forming a joint venture to design, build and manage a new €500-million (US$711-million) biorefinery at the Porto Torres petrochemical plant owned by Polimeri Europa/Syndial (Eni). Under the agreement, Novamont technologies and renewable raw materials will be used to build new production facilities... Read more →

UK to establish Offshore Renewable Energy technology and innovation center

UK Business Secretary Vince Cable announced the start of a competition to form an Offshore Renewable Energy technology and innovation centre. The new center will focus on technologies for offshore wind, wave and tidal power. The Government has committed more than £200 million (US$328 million) over the next four years... Read more →

MHI achieves 1,600°C turbine inlet temperature in test operation of efficient J-Series gas turbine

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has achieved a turbine inlet temperature of 1,600 °C—which it calls the world’s highest—with the company’s advanced J-Series gas turbine. The record were achieved during test operation of the turbine, which began in February this year, at the combined-cycle power plant for verification testing at... Read more →

Honda upping motorcycle production capacity in India 150% to 4M units per year by 1H 2013

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (Pvt.) Ltd. (HMSI), Honda’s wholly-owned motorcycle production and sales subsidiary in India, will increase its motorcycle production capacity in India by 150% to 4 million units a year from the current 1.6 million units. The company will double the production capacity of its second motorcycle... Read more →

PM10 emissions from road transport in Paris. Click to enlarge. New online maps published by the European Commission and the European Environment Agency, in close cooperation with the Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) of the Joint Research Centre, allow citizens to pinpoint the main diffuse sources of air pollution,... Read more →

Ignition drop test. The ILs presented in Schneider at al. are hypergolic with H2O2 and are hydrogen-rich, thus helping to boost performance. Credit: Schneider et al. Click to enlarge. Researchers at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) are proposing a more environmentally friendly high-performance fuel for rockets: a hydrogen-rich ionic... Read more →

Scheme of the semi-solid flow cell (SSFC) system using flowing lithium-ion cathode and anode suspensions. The SSFC could enable new models such as transportation ‘fuels’ tuned for power versus range, or cold versus warm climates, with flexible refueling and recycling options. Source: Duduta et al.Click to enlarge. Researchers at MIT,... Read more →

London adds 150 charging points in capital-wide charging network

Guardian. London has launched the Source London scheme that adds 150 charging points to the city, bringing its total to around 400. Ultimately, the plan is to have 1,300 points by 2013—i.e., no more than one mile from every Londoner. The creation of the first capital-wide charging network is an... Read more →

Flywheel KERS component details. Click to enlarge. Volvo Car Corporation (VCC) has received a grant of 6.57 million Swedish kronor (US$1.05 million) from the Swedish Energy Agency to develop and test a flywheel kinetic energy recovery system in a joint project together with Volvo Powertrain and SKF. SKF is also... Read more →

GE unveiled the FlexEfficiency 50 Combined Cycle Power Plant, engineered to deliver a combination of flexibility and efficiency in power generation. GE drew from the company’s jet engine expertise to engineer a single-shaft plant that will ramp up at a rate of more than 50 megawatts per minute, twice the... Read more →

The macro results for four scenarios showed that economic growth and employment rise with the degree and scope of transport fuel efficiency standards. % changes are relative to baseline of No standards scenario. Click to enlarge. Aggressive federal fuel economy and California emissions standards will enable California to enjoy a... Read more →

Mitsubishi Motors pitching i-MiEV to Europe’s public sector

Nikkei. Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC) is seeking to increase i-MiEV sales to the European public sector, such as police departments and municipalities. The carmaker is betting that Europe’s public sector, which places a high importance on environmental protection, will be willing to swallow added expenses for EVs. ...The firm intends... Read more →

EDTA to Congress: don’t gut one worthy program to offset another

Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY12 Homeland Security Appropriations bill. As part of the Homeland Security bill, the Committee passed an amendment to add $1 billion in funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster relief fund, offset by reducing funding from the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing... Read more →

GM adding two shifts, 2,500 Jobs to Detroit-Hamtramck Plant

General Motors is adding two shifts and about 2,500 hourly and salaried jobs at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to build the new Chevrolet Malibu mid-size sedan and the next-generation Impala large sedan alongside the Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera electric cars. Detroit-Hamtramck currently has 1,121 hourly and salaried employees. GM... Read more →

Honeywell UOP technology selected for new 300K bpd oil refinery in Iraq

The Iraq State Company for Oil Projects (SCOP), under the Ministry of Oil for Iraq, has selected Honeywell’s UOP to provide key technologies to process 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) of domestic crude oil into gasoline and diesel fuel at a new refinery in Nassiriya, Iraq. Honeywell’s UOP previously received... Read more →

Tesla announces follow-on offering of common stock

Tesla Motors, Inc. announced a follow-on offering of 5,300,000 shares of its common stock. All 5,300,000 shares are being offered by the company. In addition, the company has granted the underwriter a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 795,000 shares of common stock. Additionally, in a private placement... Read more →

Yamato Takyubin Delivery Co. orders 100 minicab i-MiEV electric vans

Integrity Exports. The Yamato Takyubin Delivery Co., which has been field testing Mitsubishi Motors (MMC) prototype electric commercial vans (earlier post), is ordering 100 units, according to media reports. The electric van is based on MMC’s Minicab Van commercial light van, and is equipped with the motor and battery used... Read more →

Engineering E. coli for direct production of 1,4-butanediol

Researchers at Genomatica report on their metabolic engineering of E. coli for the direct production of 1,4-butanediol (BDO) (earlier post), an important commodity chemical used in polymers, in a paper in the journal Nature Chemical Biology. In March, Genomatica and Tate & Lyle signed a joint development agreement for the... Read more →

Sample label for a plug-in gasoline hybrid-electric vehicle, which features fuel economy ratings for both electricity and gasoline. Click to enlarge. The US Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled the next-generation of fuel economy labels. The new labels, which are the most significant overhaul to... Read more →

Biomass resources of the US, with the Northwest circled. Source: SAFN report, via NREL. Click to enlarge. The Pacific Northwest has the diverse feedstocks, fuel-delivery infrastructure and political will needed to create a viable biofuels industry capable of reducing greenhouse gases and meeting the future fuel demands of the aviation... Read more →

Quantum receives fleet contract from Dow Chemical for 100+ plug-in hybrid F-150s; 20 kWh Dow Kokam Li-ion packs

Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. has received a contract to deliver 100+ plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) pickup truck fleet vehicles (earlier post) powered by Dow Kokam lithium ion battery technology to The Dow Chemical Company. Quantum developed the new hybrid drive system Quantum F-Drive specifically for the Ford F-150... Read more →

The new Tiguan. Click to enlarge. Volkswagen is introducing the new Tiguan, announced earlier this year and shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March. In Germany, the 2012 Tiguan will arrive on the market in mid-June; other European countries will follow at the beginning of August, and overseas markets... Read more →