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GM and PSA Peugeot Citroën enter long-term strategic alliance; considering new common platform for low-emission vehicles

General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroën are forming a long-term and broad-scale global strategic alliance intended to leverage the combined strengths and capabilities of the two companies; contribute to the profitability of both partners; and strongly improve their competitiveness in Europe. The alliance is structured around two main pillars: the... Read more →

Sapphire Energy licensing Earthrise Nutrionals’ spirulina for high-yield green crude production

Algae-based crude oil producer Sapphire Energy, Inc., has entered into a licensing agreement with Earthrise Nutritionals LLC, a producer of spirulina and spirulina-based products for more than 25 years. Sapphire Energy will integrate Earthrise Nutritionals’ spirulina strain into its growing inventory of cyanobacteria and algae strains for algae-to-energy production. As... Read more →

Microfluidic chips for bitumen-gas analysis could support CO2 injection for bitumen extraction

A University of Toronto research team has developed a process to analyze the behavior of bitumen in reservoirs using a microfluidic chip, a tool commonly associated with the field of medical diagnostics. The process may reduce the cost and time of analyzing bitumen-gas interaction in heavy oil and bitumen reservoirs.... Read more →

Larry Burns: Holistic approach required to achieve transformational change of transportation and the automobile; the power of “And”

Larry Burns, former head of GM R&D and strategic planning and currently Professor of Engineering Practice at the University of Michigan and Director, Sustainable Mobility at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, used his presentation at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit (EIS) in Washington to call for a holistic approach to... Read more →

Shanghai to spend $1.63B over next 3 years to target air pollution, especially PM2.5

Shanghai Daily. The city of Shanghai, China will spend 10.3 billion yuan (US$1.63 billion) on 53 projects targeting air pollution, especially for PM2.5 control, over the next three years. The city will begin publicly reporting PM2.5 in June. Exhaust from motor vehicles and boats account for 25% of the PM2.5,... Read more →

Hybrid-electric off-road car powered by EVO Axial Flux technology first electric-drive vehicle to complete Dakar Rally

A vehicle powered by EVO Electric Ltd.’s advanced Axial Flux motor and generator technology completed the Dakar Rally, held this year in South America. The EVO-powered OSCar eO, designed, built and operated by the Latvian company OSC, is the first electric-drive car to complete the rally. (Earlier post.) Only 78... Read more →

Average measured mixed fleet, HDDV, and reconstructed LDGV fuel-based BC emission factors (mixed fleet, left; HDDV, center; reconstructed LDGV, right,) compared with recent literature (reported means values), and the MOBILE 6.2C derived emission factors. Credit: ACS, Liggio et al. Click to enlarge. A study by researchers from Environment Canada making... Read more →

Daimler Trucks North America’s complete MY 2013 medium- and heavy-duty vehicle lineup certified GHG14-compliant

Daimler subsidiary Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has been certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as fully compliant with the new “Greenhouse Gas 2014” (GHG14) regulation (earlier post) for its complete product portfolio of model year 2013 long-distance haulage, medium-duty, construction and municipal vehicles. DTNA achieved compliance ahead of... Read more →

Update on ALTe; EREV powertrain company tracking for production-caliber units by December, production ramp in 1Q 2013

Extended range electric vehicle powertrain company ALTe (earlier post) is tracking to produce a limited number of production-caliber vehicle powertrains by December, and plans to ramp up production in the first quarter of 2013, said CEO John Thomas in a recent interview with Green Car Congress. ALTe is targeting fleet... Read more →

NIST releases final Smart Grid Framework 2.0

An updated roadmap for the Smart Grid is now available from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which recently finished reviewing and incorporating public comments into the NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 2.0. The 2.0 Framework lays out a plan for transforming the... Read more →

EERC awarded $906K contract for alternative liquid fuels for US military applications

The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) has been awarded a $906,000 contract from the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. (CCAT), in East Hartford, Conn., to develop alternative liquid fuels for US military applications. The EERC will be demonstrating gasification-based technologies for converting non-petroleum feedstocks, such as coal and... Read more →

Cabot launches new performance additive for advanced Lithium-ion batteries

Cabot Corp. has launched its new LITX50 carbon conductive additive, which is designed to increase the power and energy for lithium-ion batteries used in electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as high-end consumer electronics. A multi-function product, the LITX50 additive enables more particles to be incorporated in a given electrode... Read more →

Shell builds drop-in biofuels pilot plant using Virent process technology

Royal Dutch Shell plc has built a next generation biofuels pilot plant at Shell’s Westhollow Technology Center in Houston to produce drop-in biofuels rather than ethanol. The plant uses a thermo-catalytic process technology licensed from Shell commercial partner Virent, which is similar to the process being used at the Virent... Read more →

Researchers create first large-scale model of human mobility that incorporates human motive; population distribution rather than size

Researchers from MIT, Northeastern University and Italy’s University of Padua have identified an underlying flaw in the “gravity law”—a statistical formula used in modeling the movement of people and goods between cities, states or countries. The gravity law, which measures the “attraction” between two places, assumes that the number of... Read more →

EPA GHG draft inventory shows overall emissions rose 3.3% in 2010 from previous year; transport CO2 emissions up 1%

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “Inventory of US Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2010” draft report shows that in 2010, overall greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions increased by 3.3% from the previous year. This trend is attributed to an increase in energy consumption across all economic sectors, due to increasing... Read more →

Ford envisions a future of intelligent vehicles and a smart transportation system that will tie all modes of travel into a single network and payment system. Public and personal transportation will be fully integrated to save time, conserve resources and lower emissions. Click to enlarge. During his keynote address at... Read more →

Westport and leading engine OEM to develop heavy-duty natural gas truck engine for North American Market

Westport Innovations Inc. has signed a development agreement with an unnamed leading global engine manufacturer to develop a heavy-duty truck engine featuring Westport proprietary high pressure direct injection (HPDI) technology for the North American market. The Westport HPDI system uses natural gas as the primary fuel, along with a small... Read more →

Nippon Carbon Company, GE and Safran to establish silicon carbide continuous fiber joint venture for next-gen aircraft engine components

Nippon Carbon Company, Ltd., GE and Safran are creating a joint venture to manufacture and sell silicon carbide (SiC) continuous fiber (Nicalon), an important material for CFM’s next-generation of high performance aircraft engine components. Nicalon shows high strength, high elasticity and heat resistance up to 1300 °C in an inert... Read more →

A3 e-tron BEV. Click to enlarge. Audi introduced the battery-electric Audi A3 e-tron US pilot program at TED2012 in Long Beach, California. This marks Audi’s first foray into the rapidly developing US electric vehicle landscape. The A3 e-tron BEV pilot program will run in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington... Read more →

Valeo highlighting its micro-hybrid solutions for the US market: i-StARS and ReStart

Valeo is highlighting its two micro-hybrid systems—the i-StARS belt-driven starter-alternator (earlier post) and ReStart, a reinforced starter—for the US market. Both solutions enable stop-start functionality and can help reduce the fuel consumption of a traditional internal combustion engine by 2-3% during the standard driving cycle and by up to 15%... Read more →

Prius Plug-In eligibile for a $1,500 California consumer incentive plus $2,500 Federal tax credit

Toyota Motor Sales, Inc. announced that the 2012 Prius Plug-in has been approved for the State of California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP). Designed to promote the use of Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV) and related clean vehicle technologies, the CVRP is a consumer incentive made available in addition to a... Read more →

TransCanada Corporation has informed the US Department of State (DOS) that it plans to file a Presidential Permit application (cross-border permit) in the near future for the Keystone XL Project from the US/Canada border in Montana to Steele City, Nebraska. TransCanada would supplement that application with an alternative route in... Read more →

Statoil, operator Repsol Sinopec, and Petrobras have confirmed a high-impact discovery in the Pão de Açúcar prospect offshore Brazil. Statoil defines a high-impact well as offering a total of more than 250 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), or 100 million boe net to Statoil. Pão de Açúcar. Click to... Read more →

Percentage of consumers having extremely or very favorable views of 13 clean energy technologies, 2009-2011. Data: Pike Research. Click to enlarge. According to a new survey from Pike Research, general consumer support for clean energy concepts—ranging from renewable energy to alternative fuel vehicles to smart grid technologies—has eroded in the... Read more →

Engineers confirm feasibility of aircraft regenerative braking from landing gear

A team of engineers from the University of Lincoln, with funding from the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), has confirmed the feasibility of aircraft regenerate braking from the landing gear to provide power for taxiing to and from airport buildings, reducing the need to use jet engines.... Read more →

ITM to provide Boeing withPEM electrolyzer for trials for unmanned aircraft

ITM Power has signed an Equipment Development and Lease Agreement with Boeing Research & Technology Europe S.L.U. for the development, assembly and field trials of a 1 Nm3/hour (2.1 kg/day) PEM electrolyzer. The containerized electrolysis equipment will form part of Boeing’s current off-grid refueling station for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).... Read more →

Airbiquity showcasing connected vehicle solutions at Mobile World Congress; new developer program

Airbiquity is participating in the GSMA Connected House at Mobile World Congress 2012 as a partner of Vodafone. The GSMA Connected House showcases key industry milestones, the vision for the future, and numerous cutting edge connected solutions over two floors. Airbiquity will demonstrate its Mobile Integration capabilities, a solution for... Read more →

Future improvements in P2 hybrid systems should drop high-volume direct manufacturing costs to about $1,200 by 2020—very close to the approximately $1,000 cost threshold required for mainstream customer acceptance, according to John German, Senior Fellow and the US Lead for the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). Combined with the... Read more →

A New Battery of Tools to Fight Patent Pollution

Perspective by David K.S. Cornwell and Richard D. Coller, III The America Invents Act (AIA) of 2011 is the most sweeping reform of the US patent laws since 1952. The new law seeks in part to harmonize the US with the rest of the world by converting the US from... Read more →

China targeting adding 45 kt/a advanced Li-ion cathode materials capacity by 2015

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) posted its New Material Industry Development Program 2011-2015 on its website. Among the targets are the development of high efficiency, high-capacity (≥ 150 mAh/g), long life (>2000 cycles), high safety performance cathode materials, including the Li-ion phosphate system, NMC, and LMO series.... Read more →

Envia has developed Li-ion cells with an energy density of 400 Wh/kg using its proprietary HCMR cathode and Silicon-Carbon Composite anode. Credit: Envia Systems. Click to enlarge. Envia Systems, the developer of high energy density Li-ion batteries using nano silicon-carbon composite anodes and high capacity layered-layered manganese composite cathodes (earlier... Read more →

BP Deepwater Horizon trial postponed for one week

BP and the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) on Sunday confirmed that the US District Court has adjourned the start of the Deepwater Horizon Multi-District Litigation 2179 civil trial by one week, until Monday, 5 March. This adjournment is intended to allow BP and the PSC more time to continue settlement... Read more →

The integrated inverter in the current DENSO e-compressor is stacked above the motor. The new e-compressor debuting on the Ford vehicles improves the packaging by moving the inverter in-line with the motor. Click to enlarge. DENSO’s new inline electric compressor will make its global debut on Ford Motor Company’s Focus... Read more →

Statoil and partner ExxonMobil have made a large gas discovery offshore Tanzania. Statoil announced on 17 February that the partnership had encountered indications of natural gas in the Zafarani exploration well in the Block 2 licence offshore Tanzania. The logging results now show that the discovery is a high impact... Read more →

Songa Offshore SE’s 100% owned subsidiary, Songa Rig AS, has received and accepted a Letter of Award (LOA) from Statoil for two newbuild category D semisubmersible rigs. This award follows the agreement of July 2011 between Songa Rig AS and Statoil for the first two cat D rigs. The contract... Read more →

North American Council for Freight Efficiency announces results from its fleet fuel management efficiency study

The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) recently announced the results from its fleet fuel efficiency study with eight of the world’s largest fleets—Werner Enterprises, Frito Lay, C.R. England, Challenger Motor Freight, Schneider National, Con-Way Truckload, GTI and Ryder—representing 75,000 tractors and 130,000 trailers. The study highlights successful applications... Read more →

NC State researchers identify mechanism enabling PVDF-based capacitor’s high-speed energy storage

Researchers at North Carolina State University have identified the origin of the nonlinear dielectric response and high energy density of polyvinylidene-fluoride-based (PVDF) polymers enabling capacitors to store and release large amounts of energy quickly. NC State physicist Dr. Vivek Ranjan had previously found that capacitors which contained PVDF in combination... Read more →

CMU team proposes scheme to improve packet error rate of DSRC in vehicle-to-vehicle communications

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a dynamic equalization scheme atop existing IEEE 802.11p Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications that significantly improves the packet error rate (PER) of data transmissions without changing the DSRC standard. In a paper published in the IEEE Transactions on Vehicular... Read more →

Mitsubishi Motors North America adds AeroVironment to authorized list of charger suppliers

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) has added AeroVironment, Inc. as an additional authorized and approved nationwide supplier of EV home charging systems, on-site installation services and support for the 2012 i-MiEV. AeroVironment’s turnkey solution includes its UL-listed home charging station, permit acquisition, installation, customer training, 24/7 customer service and... Read more →

Belfer Center offering Geoengineering Policy Fellowships for 2012-2013

The Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center’s Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group is offering research fellowships in geoengineering policy for 2012-2013. The purpose of these fellowships is to improve understanding of the options for governance of geoengineering—deliberate large-scale manipulation of the Earth’s climate to partially offset the climate risks caused... Read more →

Output from Self-Organizing Map of attributes and component sizing. Each pixel in each 3d contour represents a design which plots an attribute against a design feature or a design feature against another design feature to identify optimum combinations to deliver desired effects. This is a very important tool for Ford,... Read more →

The US Geological Survey has released its first estimate of the potential of undiscovered, technically recoverable onshore shale oil and gas resources in Alaska’s North Slope. The estimates range from 0 up to 2 billion barrels of oil and from 0 up to 80 trillion cubic feet of gas—representing technically... Read more →

Ford opens new plant in Chongqing; 3rd in China brings total capacity to >600K vehicles/year

Ford Motor Company and its joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automobile (CFMA), opened a new assembly plant, CFMA Chongqing Assembly 2 or CQ2. CFMA is investing US$490 million in CQ2, which will increase its production capacity in China by 150,000 units to more than 600,000 vehicle units overall. The new... Read more →

IBM collaborating with City of Zhenjiang, China to transform its public transportation system; Smarter Cities

IBM is working with the City of Zhenjiang, China to transform the city’s public transportation system. Zhenjiang will use hardware, software, services and technologies from IBM’s Research labs, all brought together through the IBM Intelligent Operations Center (IOC) for Smarter Cities (earlier post)—a solution that will serve as the central... Read more →

OriginOil analysis suggests production cost as low as $2.28/gallon for algae-derived renewable gasoline or diesel using feedstock blending

An in-house analysis by algae technology company OriginOil, Inc. points to a potential production cost as low as $2.28/gallon ($0.60/Liter) for gasoline or diesel using a blend of algae and waste feedstocks, using the latest growth, harvesting and fuel conversion technologies from OriginOil and other innovators. The company cautions that... Read more →

Lithium-ion battery cell for plug-in hybrid vehicles (left) and hybrid electric vehicles (right). Click to enlarge. Panasonic Corporation will supply prismatic lithium-ion battery cells for Ford Motor Company’s Fusion Hybrid Electric and C-Max Hybrid Electric as well as the Ford Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids. Ford is doing... Read more →

FuelCell Energy and Fraunhofer IKTS partner to develop European market for baseload distributed generation with stationary fuel cell power plants

FuelCell Energy, Inc. signed a memorandum of understanding with Fraunhofer IKTS (Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems) to form a German-based joint venture to develop the market in Europe for Direct FuelCell (DFC) stationary power plants. Additionally, Fraunhofer IKTS will contribute certain assets and their expertise in fuel cells and... Read more →

New Zealand issues new guidelines for EV manufacturers and importers

New Zealand has issued new guidelines for electric vehicle manufacturers and importers to provide clarity about the regulations and rules for the safe use of electric vehicles in New Zealand. The guidelines—Deploying electric vehicles in New Zealand: A guide to the regulatory and market environment—was developed by the Energy Efficiency... Read more →