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Hyundai’s lifetime hybrid battery guarantee

Initially announced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this month, Hyundai’s Lifetime Hybrid Battery Replacement Guarantee applies to all US 2012 model year Sonata Hybrids and is the first-of-its-kind in the industry. The Hyundai Lifetime Hybrid Battery Replacement Guarantee ensures that if the 2012 Sonata Hybrid... Read more →

Navistar to take stake in Brazilian bus builder Neobus; to partner on fully integrated commercial buses for the Americas

Navistar, Inc. is planning to enter into a global commercial bus partnership with Brazilian commercial bus body manufacturer San Marino Onibus e Implementos Ltda (Neobus) and will invest in the company. Navistar intends to leverage the bus body building expertise of Neobus and Navistar’s strengths in powertrain and chassis development.... Read more →

New coalition to advance integration of mixed materials for automotive down-weighting

The Center for Automotive Research announced the launch of the Coalition of Automotive Lightweighting Materials (CALM) to support efforts by auto manufacturers to aggressively down-weight vehicles to improve performance, fuel economy and safety. CALM will coalesce the strengths and knowledge of the aluminum and plastics/composites industries with technology providers in... Read more →

Lux forecasts micro-hybrids to grow to 39M vehicles in 2017, creating a $6.9B battery market

Micro-hybrids will grow nearly eight-fold to 39 million vehicles in 2017 and create a $6.9 billion market for energy storage devices, according to a Lux Research report titled, “Every Last Drop: Micro- And Mild Hybrids Drive a Huge Market for Fuel-Efficient Vehicles.” Micro-hybrids, which use a small battery to provide... Read more →

New version of CHEMKIN-PRO adds particle-size prediction capability

Reaction Design, a leading developer of combustion simulation software, has added the ability to accurately simulate particle size distributions, as well as total particulate-matter emissions, to CHEMKIN-PRO. The new particle tracking technology in CHEMKIN-PRO was derived from and inspired by the accomplishments of the Model Fuels Consortium (MFC). (Earlier post.)... Read more →

Borla Performance Industries developing muffler/membrane unit for exhaust water extraction with ORNL nanopore membrane technology

Borla Performance Industries, a leader in the design and manufacture of stainless steel performance exhaust, has an option to license a novel nanopore membrane technology developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Borla will combine this with its diesel exhaust technology to create a low-cost, novel system that doubles as... Read more →

BRUSA and Swiss Forum for Electric Mobility launching sponsorship award

BRUSA Elektronik AG together with the Swiss Forum for Electric Mobility is launching an international sponsorship award for outstanding projects in the field of electric mobility. The award is dedicated to the late Arno Mathoy, an innovator of modern electric mobility development and the Chief Technical Officer at BRUSA Elektronik... Read more →

A4A, Boeing recommend steps to accelerate commercial viability of aviation biofuels

Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading US airlines, and Boeing released several recommendations to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to accelerate the commercial viability and deployment of aviation biofuels. The recommendations were announced in conjunction with the publication of the working-draft Farm to Fly... Read more →

Novozymes and Sea6Energy collaborating on the conversion of seaweed to sugars for production of fuels and chemicals

Novozymes and India-based Sea6Energy have entered an exploratory research agreement jointly to develop a process for the production of biofuels from seaweed. The research alliance will use enzymes to convert seaweed-based carbohydrates to sugar, which can then be fermented to produce ethanol for fuel, fine chemicals, proteins for food, and... Read more →

Honda targeting resumption of production in Thailand by end of March 2012

Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (HATC), the Honda automobile production subsidiary in Thailand, which experienced damage from the major flooding in the country last year, reports that it expects to resume production by the end of March 2012. HATC said it is making progress in restoring plant facilities and manufacturing... Read more →

Cycling behaviors of Ge@C/RGO nanocomposites and Ge@C nanoparticles under a current density of 50 mA g−1. Credit: ACS, Xue et al. Click to enlarge. With a theoretical specific capacity of 1,600 mAh g-1, germanium (Ge) is a promising anode material for Li-ion batteries; by comparison the common graphite anode has... Read more →

GE Oil & Gas launches Micro LNG integrated plant

GE Oil & Gas announced the development of a Micro LNG integrated plant that meets the small-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) requirements of powering remote industrial and residential locations and fueling motor vehicles. The product introduction was among the opening day highlights of the 2012 GE Oil & Gas Annual... Read more →

Statoil moving forward on first deepwater production in Norwegian Sea

Statoil, together with its Luva field partners, has selected a Spar platform to develop the field, which is located outside of existing infrastructure and has a water depth of 1,300 meters (4,265 feet). As a gas transport solution has also been decided, a major step has now been taken towards... Read more →

EQT awards more than $900K in grants to five regional NGOs to promote use of natural gas vehicles

EQT Corporation, an integrated energy company with emphasis on Appalachian area natural gas production, gathering, transmission, and distribution, announced that the EQT Foundation awarded more than $900,000 in grants to five Pittsburgh area non-profit organizations to support community programming and promote the use of Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs). EQT has... Read more →

A four-tank option enables a 300+ mile range in the CNG Express vans. Click to enlarge. AT&T has ordered 1,200 Chevrolet Express dedicated compressed natural gas (CNG) cargo vans for deployment to AT&T service centers nationwide. It is the largest-ever order of CNG vehicles from General Motors. AT&T, which has... Read more →

Waste Management piloting Rotopress collection trailers in North America; natural gas tractors

In a pilot program, Waste Management, Inc. is introducing Rotopress waste collection trailers for the first time in North America. The Rotopress modular technology, combined with a decoupled tractor-trailer configuration using natural gas as its fuel source, provides a number of operational and environmental benefits. The Rotopress, manufactured by Germany-based... Read more →

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. unveiled the Nichioh Maru, a more energy efficient coastal car carrier which will transport completed vehicles and parts on one of Japan’s main maritime shipping routes. The Nichioh Maru, newly built by Shin Kurushima Dockyard Co., Ltd., has installed solar power panels for the first time... Read more →

DENSO EGR cooler. Click to enlarge. DENSO Corporation has developed its first EGR cooler for gasoline engines. The newly developed EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) cooler is 30% smaller than the smallest one currently available on the market, while offering equal performance. This EGR cooler is installed in Toyota’s Camry and... Read more →

Nikkei: Panasonic considering making Li-ion automotive batteries in China to meet customer needs

The Nikkei reports that Panasonic Corp. is considering expanding production of lithium ion batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles to China. The electronics manufacturer has been making automotive lithium ion batteries solely at its Kasai and other Japanese plants. It has relied exclusively on domestic production because of the technological... Read more →

Schematic representation of the working principle behind a complete cycle of the desalination battery, showing how energy extraction can be accomplished: step 1, desalination; step 2, removal of the desalinated water and inlet of seawater; step 3, discharge of Na+ and Cl− in seawater; step 4, exchange to new seawater.... Read more →

Eco Marine Power unveils Aquarius eco ship concept

Japan-based Eco Marine Power Co. Ltd. (EMP) unveiled a concept ship design incorporating its Aquarius Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) System. This concept design is called the Aquarius Eco Ship and is part of Eco Marine Power’s ongoing development efforts aimed at moving shipping towards a more sustainable future. The Aquarius... Read more →

New method for the fast pyrolysis of lignin into chemicals and fuels

A team from the University of Maine has developed a new method for the fast pyrolysis of lignin at atmospheric pressure and without catalysts into value-added chemicals and fuels. As reported in their paper in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels, the method provides improvements over conventional fast pyrolysis of... Read more →

California’s new ZEV rule introduces the BEVx; ARB staff expects these vehicles to play a longer-term role than plug-in hybrids

On Friday 27 January, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) adopted the new Advanced Clean Cars (ACC) package that sets out the regulatory emissions and technology requirements for light-duty automobiles through model year 2025. (Earlier post.) The Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulation—one of the three main regulatory packages that constitute... Read more →

Researchers discover new way seawater could corrode nuclear fuel

In the aftermath of Japan’s use of seawater to cool nuclear fuel at the stricken Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant after the tsunami in March 2011, a team from the University of California, Davis, University of Notre Dame and Sandia National Laboratories have discovered a new way in which seawater can corrode... Read more →

Odyne Systems delivers 7 plug-in hybrid work trucks through the Wisconsin Clean Transportation Program

Odyne Systems, LLC has delivered seven trucks featuring the Odyne plug-in hybrid propulsion system to utilities and municipalities throughout Wisconsin. Communities and utilities receiving the new technology were partially funded under the Wisconsin Clean Transportation Program jointly administered through the Wisconsin State Energy Office and the US Department of Energy... Read more →

Mitsubishi Heavy, Hitachi and Mitsubishi Corp. to begin $65M project on EV transportation infrastructure for smart community system demo project in Spain

Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has selected Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), Hitachi, Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) as contractors for the Smart Community System Demonstration Project in Spain, as the result of a feasibility study which was conducted from March through October 2011 by the... Read more →

Hydrogenics awarded contract by US Hybrid Corporation for 5 HyPM HD fuel cell modules

Hydrogenics Corporation has received orders for the delivery of five new generation HyPM HD Series Fuel Cell Power Modules from US Hybrid. US Hybrid specializes in the design and manufacture of power conversion systems for medium and heavy duty electric, hybrid and fuel cell commercial buses and trucks. The power... Read more →

Ballard signs MOU with Tata Motors to power clean fuel cell bus demonstrations in India

Ballard Power Systems signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Tata Motors (India) for 12 FCvelocity-1100 fuel cell stacks. These stacks are expected to power zero-emission buses planned for demonstration in various Indian cities. Delivery to Tata Motors is planned for 2012 and 2013, in-line with Tata’s plans. Tata... Read more →

ACC combines three sets of regulations to reduce emissions from light-duty vehicles and build the market for advanced zero emission vehicles. Source: ARB. Click to enlarge. In a unanimous vote on Friday, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) adopted the Advanced Clean Cars (ACC) regulatory package (earlier post), launching California... Read more →

Simplified palm oil biofuel lifecycle system diagram. Source: EPA. Click to enlarge. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has conducted lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) analyses on biodiesel and renewable diesel produced from palm oil and estimated GHG emission reductions of 17% (81 (kgCO2e/mmBtu) and 11% (87 (kgCO2e/mmBtu) respectively for these... Read more →

BioJet forms strategic alliance with Council of Energy Resource Tribes (CERT); envisioning up to $1B in joint projects over 10 years

The Council of Energy Resource Tribes (CERT) and BioJet International have formed a strategic business relationship. The two expect to conclude a Memorandum of Agreement in the next 60 days to define the terms of their participation. We envision the scope of our business relationship broadly with CERT to include... Read more →

Rhodia and Avantium to jointly develop bio-based polyamides; applications include automotive

Specialty chemical company Rhodia, member of the Solvay Group, and Avantium, which spun off from Shell in 2000 to develop furan-based biofuels and biomaterials (earlier post), have entered into a partnership to jointly develop a range of new bio-based polyamides targeting a variety of applications. This partnership expands and completes... Read more →

Renewable fuels company KiOR closes $75M loan

Renewable fuels company KiOR, Inc. (earlier post) has closed a $75 million four-year term loan with a lender group comprising an affiliate of Vinod Khosla and two Canadian corporations owned by certain pension fund clients of Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo). The additional capital de-risks KiOR’s near-term business plan, decreases... Read more →

Chevrolet announced its vehicles sold in the United States will have Ecologic environmental labels, starting with the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic, that let customers see some of the environmental features of the vehicle relating to manufacturing, driving and recycling. Chevrolet is the first automotive brand to include a label of this... Read more →

Team discovers new catalytic process to upgrade hydrocarbon by-products of sulfur-free diesel production from natural gas and biomass

Researchers at the Cardiff Catalysis Institute (Cardiff University, UK) have found a potential catalytic route for upgrading by-products resulting from the production of sulfur-free diesel from natural gas and biomass. These byproducts, hydrocarbons such as decane and other low-value alkanes, currently have little practical use. In the past, they note... Read more →

As part of its overall effort to make vehicles more sustainable, Ford is making the material inside the door—known as the bolster—in part from kenaf. Kenaf is a tropical plant that looks similar to bamboo and is related to cotton. The plant replaces oil-based materials inside the doors of the... Read more →

Berkeley Lab developing novel metal-organic framework materials for high-capacity hydrogen storage

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is working to synthesize novel metal-organic framework materials with high hydrogen adsorption capacities sufficient to provide safe and cost-effective storage that could support a 300-mile (483-km) range on vehicles. The US Department of Energy recently awarded Berkeley Lab a three-year, $2.1 million grant for... Read more →

California ARB hearing on Advanced Clean Cars regulation package carries over to Friday

Thursday’s California Air Resources Board (ARB) hearing on the Advanced Clean Cars (ACC) regulation package (earlier post)—comprising LEV III for criteria and greenhouse gas emissions, modifications to the ZEV regulation for zero-emission vehicles, and modifications to the CFO (Clean Fuels Outlet) regulation to build a hydrogen fueling infrastructure in the... Read more →

President Obama calls for push on natural gas vehicle adoption and new technology

In remarks made at UPS in Las Vegas, Nevada, President Barack Obama urged getting more natural gas vehicles on the road. He said that while the federal government can lead by example, “we’ve got to help not only the federal government but also local governments upgrade their fleet. If more... Read more →

Li-ion manufacturer Ener1 files pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Li-ion manufacturer Ener1, Inc. has initiated a pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy case to implement a restructuring plan agreed on by its primary investors and lenders. Ener1 says the plan will significantly reduce its debt and provide up to $81 million to recapitalize itself to support its long-term business objectives and... Read more →

DENSO Corporation has developed a new and more efficient radiator that is 40% smaller and lighter, compared to DENSO’s previous radiators. Also, the radiator’s tank is made with a plant-derived resin making it more environmentally friendly than conventional radiators. With higher heat radiation efficiency, the new radiator is only 16... Read more →

Initial design layout of the Rotrak system with the corresponding block diagram. Source: Stone (2010). Click to enlarge. Rotrak, the 50:50 joint-venture between traction drive specialist Torotrak plc and centrifugal supercharger company Rotrex A/S, is testing an advanced variable drive supercharger technology at Torotrak PLC’s test facility in Leyland, UK.... Read more →

USDA approves conditional $232.5M loan guarantee commitment to ZeaChem cellulosic biorefinery

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved a conditional loan guarantee commitment in the amount of $232.5 million to ZeaChem Boardman Biorefinery, LLC (ZBB) through the Biorefinery Assistance Program. ZBB will operate a 25 million gallon per year biorefinery, which will be constructed on an industrial site in Boardman,... Read more →

BOEM announces proposed Central Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sale; nearly 38 million acres available

The US Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will hold the consolidated Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 216/222 in New Orleans on 20 June 202012. The sale will include all available unleased areas in the Central Planning Area offshore Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Lease... Read more →

Ford to offer EcoBoost engines in 11 vehicles in 2012, up from 7 in 2011

Ford will offer fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines in 11 vehicles in 2012, up from seven in 2011, tripling the production capacity of EcoBoost-equipped Ford vehicles. In 2011, Ford sold 127,883 EcoBoost-equipped vehicles. The high-volume Escape compact utility vehicle and the Fusion sedan gain a 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine option. The full-size Taurus... Read more →

BMW has introduced a new range of M Performance Automobiles featuring a new 6-cylinder in-line diesel developed exclusively for those applications. The engines, which feature three turbochargers, deliver maximum output reaching 280 kW/381 hp and peak torque of 740 N·m (546 lb-ft). The new engine is applied in the BMW... Read more →

Iowa State engineer working to increase efficiency of electric motors by optimizing performance in preferred direction of rotation

Supported by a five-year, $400,000 grant (Award Nº 0846337) from the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Program, Iowa State University assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering Dionysios Aliprantis is working to increase the efficiency of electric motors by optimizing performance in a preferred direction of rotation. The... Read more →

The CX-5. Click to enlarge. Mazda Motor Corporation has begun production of the all-new Mazda CX-5 with its new-generation SKYACTIV-D 2.2-liter diesel engine (earlier post) at its Ujina Plant near Mazda’s headquarters in Hiroshima. The CX-5 will be the first model of the company’s new-generation products that adopts SKYACTIV Technology... Read more →

US Sen. Brown introduces legislation to extend advanced energy manufacturing tax credit

The Security in Energy and Manufacturing (SEAM) Act, authored by US. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), would extend the advanced energy manufacturing tax credit (48C credit). To be eligible for the tax credit, manufacturers must produce solar, wind, or geothermal energy equipment; fuel cells, microturbines, or batteries; electric cars; electric grids;... Read more →