« August 2012 | Main | October 2012 »

Ranges of automotive fuel cell system costs at mass manufactured volume using technology from three UK companies supported by the Carbon Trust. Source: Carbon Trust. Click to enlarge. A new report released by the UK’s Carbon Trust concludes that with a continued focus on technology innovation to drive ongoing cost... Read more →

Sinopec establishes coal-to-chemical unit

Menafn. China Petroleum Corp. (Sinopec Group) formally established a coal-to-chemical unit in Beijing on September 28. Sinopec Great Wall Energy Chemical Co., Ltd. will take charge of the investment and operation of coal-to-chemical business of the parent company, construction of the coal-to-chemical projects, as well as professional management of the... Read more →

Russian oil and gas major Rosneft, 75% owned by the government, will invest $16 billion in a planned joint venture project with Venezuela’s state oil and gas company PDVSA to develop the Carabobo 2 block in the southern Orinoco extra-heavy crude belt in Venezuela, according to Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin.... Read more →

Celtic Renewables Ltd, a spin-out company from from the Biofuel Research Centre (BfRC) at Edinburgh Napier University, has signed a memorandum of understanding with malt whisky producer Tullibardine for the use of its whisky by-products for feedstock for the production of bio-butanol. Celtic Renewables’ process. Click to enlarge. Celtic Renewables... Read more →

Laboratory and in-use fuel economy results Source: NREL. Click to enlarge. The US Department of Energy’s (DOE)’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has published a report on an 18-month evaluation of in-service second-generation diesel-electric hybrid delivery vans and found significant fuel economy benefits of the hybrids compared to similar conventional... Read more →

Visteon Corporation has developed a heat pump system that effectively utilizes ambient air and ancillary heat to improve cabin conditioning for hybrid and electric vehicles. By drawing less power from the lithium-ion battery, vehicles equipped with the heat pump system can operate longer on a single charge. HVAC system diagram.... Read more →

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive. Click to enlarge. At the Paris Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz introduced the production of the SLS AMG Coupé Electric Drive (earlier post). The battery-electric supercar goes on sale in 2013. The price in Germany (incl. 19% VAT) will be €416,500 (US$535,898). (The new, conventional V8... Read more →

Left. Image of LMNO surface layer. Upper right. Simulated zone projection image based on LMNO crystal model with 20% Ni/Li disorder corresponding to blue rectangle. Lower right. Simulated zone projection image based on LMNO crystal model with 10% Ni/Li disorder corresponding to white rectangle. TM = transition metal. Credit: ACS,... Read more →

Honda has updated the sporty CR-Z hybrid with a range of improvements focusing on style and performance. The power of both the gasoline engine and electric motor has been increased to 137 PS (128 hp, 96 kW) without compromising fuel economy or increasing exhaust emissions. Updated CR-Z hybrid. Click to... Read more →

Applied Nanotech awarded DOE contract to develop ultra-lightweight hydrogen fuel tanks; seeking 20% weight reduction

Applied Nanotech Holdings, Inc. recently was awarded $999,990 for a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) from the US Department of Energy to develop ultra-lightweight hydrogen fuel tanks using carbon nanotube (CNT) reinforcement. This 24-month program has the overall objective significantly to improve the mechanical properties of the carbon... Read more →

Solvay launches rare earth recycling activity in France

Belgium-based chemical group Solvay has opened two rare earth recycling units in France. In order to diversify its sources of supply and preserve resources, Solvay has developed a process for recovering rare earths contained in end-of-life equipment such as low-energy light bulbs, batteries or magnets. First launched in 2007, the... Read more →

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announced the “Smart INSECT” (Information Network Social Electric City Transporter), a next-generation communications-linked electric concept model that uses information technology (IT) services to support its driver’s lifestyle and activities. Smart INSECT concept. Click to enlarge. The Smart INSECT is an ultra-compact, single-passenger electric vehicle (EV) based... Read more →

Stack-designed cylindrical TEG, built with TE cartridges, developed for LDVs in first project. Click to enlarge. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Gentherm (formerly Amerigon) a $1.55-million contract modification to apply the technology in its thermoelectric generator (TEG) for passenger cars to a similar program for heavy vehicles.... Read more →

Renault-Nissan and Daimler expand scope of collaboration with two projects for fuel-efficient powertrains: engine and transmission

The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler are collaborating on two new projects—an engine and a transmission— to accelerate development of fuel-efficient powertrains. Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn and Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche confirmed the new projects Friday in an annual media update about the Franco-Japanese-German partnership. (Earlier post.) The new engine project... Read more →

Building on its previously seen XIV and KEV design concepts, SsangYong Motor Company is showcasing the e-XIV (electric - eXciting user Interface Vehicle) ‘range extended EV concept at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. e-XIV concept extended range electric vehicle. Click to enlarge. SsangYong displayed its XIV 1 B segment CUV... Read more →

The new smart BRABUS electric drive, highlighted at the Paris Motor Show, is based on the technology of the new smart fortwo electric drive, but it delivers more. smart fortwo electric drive cabrio and smart BRABUS electric drive coupé. Click to enlarge. For example, peak power output moves up to... Read more →

Danish startup ECOmove is introducing an in-wheel motor unit at the Paris Motor Show. The unit is a fully functional drivetrain with traction motor, braking (hydraulic, hand and regenerative) and suspension systems built in. The ECOmove in-wheel motor unit. Click to enlarge. With the objectives of reducing the weight and... Read more →

Powertrain elements of the Panamera Sport Turismo. Click to enlarge. At the Paris Motor Show, Porsche presented the Panamera Sport Turismo concept, a plug-in hybrid that offers 416 hp (306 kW) of peak system power. The Panamera Sport Turismo is designed to be driven in pure electric mode up to... Read more →

Ford and Weyerhauser collaborating on plastic composites using cellulose fibers from trees

The Ford biomaterials research team has been collaborating for the last three years with forest products leader Weyerhaeuser to investigate the use of a plastic composite material utilizing cellulose fibers from trees in place of fiberglass or mineral reinforcements. Because the cellulose fibers in this new composite come from sustainably... Read more →

Mazda6 Sedan & Wagon (European Specification). Click to enlarge. Both the wagon and sedan versions of the new Mazda6 made their collective debut at the Paris Motor Show. The Mazda6— now in its third generation— is also the company’s first mass-production model equipped with i-ELOOP, its brake energy regeneration system.... Read more →

Dow Kokam to supply Li-ion batteries for NEOMA EV

In conjunction with the Paris Motor Show, Dow Kokam announced an agreement to supply advanced lithium-ion battery systems to the French electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer LUMENEO to power the NEOMA EV. The battery-electric ultra-compact car can seat four passengers in a vehicle that is only 2.69 m long. Dow Kokam... Read more →

ix35 Fuel Cell. Click to enlarge. In December 2012, Hyundai will begin production of the ix35 Fuel Cell crossover vehicle at its Ulsan manufacturing facility in Korea, with a target of building up to 1,000 vehicles by 2015. Hyundai called the ix35 Fuel Cell its “halo vehicle” in the Blue... Read more →

Volvo reports selling out first batch of V60 Plug-in Hybrids

At the 2012 Paris Motor Show, Volvo Car Corporation reported that it has sold out the first batch of the diesel-electric Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid (earlier post) before the car has reached the showrooms. The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid is the result of close cooperation between Volvo Car and Swedish... Read more →

Audi crosslane coupé plug-in hybrid concept car. Click to enlarge. Audi introduced its crosslane coupé plug-in hybrid concept at the Paris Motor Show, saying that the vehicle provides a glimpse of the future shape of design, and automotive and drive concepts. The vehicle is based on a lightweight Multimaterial Space... Read more →

California’s autonomous car law: adoption of standards and requirements first

The autonomous car bill (SB 1298) approved by California Governor Jerry Brown requires the state Department of Motor Vehicles to adopt regulations as soon as practicable, but no later than 1 January 2015, establishing requirements for the submission of evidence of insurance, surety bond, or self-insurance required by the bill... Read more →

Fisker secures $100+ M in initial closing of new equity financing

Fisker Automotive has completed the initial closing of its current equity financing, representing in excess of $100 million of new funding. This initial closing will provide the company with funding for continued product development, market expansion and a new global marketing campaign for the Fisker Karma extended range electric vehicle.... Read more →

Johnson Controls donates plug-in electric and all-electric vehicles to Pulaski High School in Milwaukee

Johnson Controls, Inc. is donating a plug-in electric and all-electric vehicle to the automotive program at Milwaukee Public Schools’ Pulaski High School, creating what is believed to be the first program in the nation to give students dedicated access to this advanced vehicle technology. We need to develop a talent... Read more →

The latest Golf BlueMotion. Click to enlarge. At the Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris, Volkswagen is unveiling a new Golf BlueMotion concept car. This Golf concept, powered by another new 1.6-liter TDI (turbodiesel) consumes 3.2 l/100 km (73.5 mpg US), equivalent to 85 gCO2/km. The 81 kW / 108 hp... Read more →

Proterra to provide three battery-electric transit buses to Worcester Regional Transit Authority as part of clean fuels grant

The Worcester (Mass.) Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) was recently awarded a $4.4-million Federal Transit Authority Clean Fuels grant to purchase buses from Proterra Inc. The transit authority will use the grant money to replace three of its twelve old diesel buses with Proterra’s all-electric BE-35 35-foot transit buses. (Earlier post.)... Read more →

Saft to present two new new Li-ion modules for electric and hybrid vehicles at the Paris Motor Show

Saft will preview two new Li-ion modules for vehicle applications at the Paris Motor Show: Saft’s 48 V lithium-ion battery module, developed in cooperation with Valeo’s Propulsion Systems Division, uses specific technology which renders it suitable for use in very high power applications. A new Super-Phosphate module for electric and... Read more →

Williams to process offgas in Canada’s oil sands; nearly 15,000 bpd of new NGL/olefins production by 2018; producer GHG reductions

Williams has signed a new long-term gas processing agreement with a Canadian oil sands producer. Williams will extract, transport, fractionate, own and market the natural gas liquids (NGLs) and olefins recovered from the offgas at the producer’s upgrader near Fort McMurray, Alberta. The NGL/olefins recovered are expected to be approximately... Read more →

Beijing Benz lays cornerstone for plant for Mercedes-Benz compact cars in China

Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (BBAC), the Chinese passenger cars joint venture of Daimler AG and its Chinese partner Beijing Automotive Group (BAIC) laid the cornerstone for a new section of BBAC’s Beijing plant. Vehicles of Mercedes-Benz’ new generation of compact cars are slated to roll off the production line... Read more →

Date palm juice can inhibit corrosion of aluminum alloy used in aerospace applications

Date palm juice inhibited corrosion of an aluminum alloy called AA7075, used in aerospace and other applications, in a salt solution, according to a new study by Husnu Gerengi at Duzce University in Turkey. His paper is published in the ACS journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry. Aluminum corrodes when exposed... Read more →

Comparison of brake thermal efficiency and specific fuel consumption at rated power (ICOMIA Mode 5), hydrogen vs. gasoline engines. Oh and Plante. Click to enlarge. A team at the Université de Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada has developed a prototype small-displacement (<250 cc), two-stroke, inline two-cylinder direct-injected hydrogen engine that achieves high... Read more →

Visteon launches thermal management products for Li-ion batteries in hybrid and electric vehicles

Visteon Corporation, a leading global automotive supplier, recently launched products featuring different approaches to battery thermal management on a number of new electric and hybrid vehicles. One architecture uses coolant-based contact heat exchangers, while a second employs a refrigerant-based battery cooling and heating approach. In both systems, Visteon’s battery contact... Read more →

Getrag PowerShift Transmission 7DCT300. Click to enlarge. At its fifth biennial Drivetrain Forum in Cologne, Getrag presented the seven-speed dual clutch transmission Getrag Powershift 7DCT300 and a hybrid derivative, the Getrag Hybrid Drive 7HDT300. The company said that the new transmissions complete its product portfolio to provide total coverage in... Read more →

Electrovaya launches next generation of MN series of Li-ion SuperPolymer cells; claims energy densities exceeding 200 Wh/g

Electrovaya Inc. launched the next generation of its SuperPolymer lithiated manganese oxide-based MN series of cells, first introduced in 2007 (earlier post), the “MN-HP Series”. The company says that the energy version of technology (MN-eHP) exceeds 200 Wh/kg—one of the highest energy densities for a commercial Li-ion cell in a... Read more →

Enterprise piloting program with Mansfield Oil for renewable synthetic diesel in airport shuttle buses; Dynamic Fuels product

Enterprise Holdings, owner and operator of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands, is piloting a program with Mansfield Oil Company to use renewable synthetic diesel fuel in its airport shuttle buses at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans and Houston Hobby Airport in... Read more →

RheTech, Inc. develops biocomposite using Braskem Green Polyethylene

RheTech, Inc. has developed a new grade of biocomposite using sugarcane-based, high-density polyethylene supplied by Braskem, the largest thermoplastic resins producer in the Americas and a leader in biopolymers. The new grade adds to RheTech’s line of RheVision biocomposites for application in the automotive, consumer and construction industries. We wanted... Read more →

NREL modifies organism to produce ethylene via photosynthesis: alternative to fossil-fuel based ethylene for chemicals and transportation fuels

Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a new photo-biological process for the sustained production of ethylene from CO2. The NREL team introduced a modified gene sequence encoding an ethylene-forming enzyme from Pseudomonas syringae pv. into a cyanobacterium—Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803—and demonstrated that... Read more →

Diagram of direct injector placement used in the study; future work will use a more parallel alignment of the injectors. Wissink et al. Click to enlarge. By using a new strategy entailing the direct, separate injection of both low- and high-reactivity fuels, researchers at the University of Wisconsin have found... Read more →

Daimler balks at use of low GWP R-1234yf refrigerant, citing new internal safety findings; wants to continue using R-134a (updated)

Daimler announced that findings from a new internal investigation have raised questions on the safe usage of R-1234yf as a replacement refrigerant in mobile air conditioning (MAC) systems. Due to the new findings of this study and the high safety demands at Mercedes-Benz, Daimler says that it will not use... Read more →

City of Milton Keynes adding wirelessly charged electric buses to fleet

The city of Milton Keynes in the UK is replacing the diesel buses on its Nº7 route with eight electric buses that will use wireless charging. Eight organisations led by a subsidiary of Mitsui & Co Europe signed a five-year collaboration agreement committing to the replacement of the diesel buses... Read more →

Caterpillar developing LNG-powered mining trucks and locomotives

At MINExpo, Caterpillar is previewing its Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) product initiative for mining equipment and locomotives. The company’s first LNG-powered products are expected to include three large mining trucks—the Cat 793, 795 and 797—as well as locomotives produced by Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD), a subsidiary of Progress Rail Services, a... Read more →

Tesla launches first six Supercharger locations; 100 kW charging, with 120 kW in future

Tesla Motors unveiled the first locations in its Supercharger network, which will allow the Model S to travel long distances with ultra fast charging throughout California, parts of Nevada and Arizona. The Supercharger is substantially more powerful than any charging technology to date, providing almost 100 kW of power to... Read more →

The new EQ EV offers power consumption of 104 Wh/km. Li-ion batteries are from Panasonic. Click to enlarge. In Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) outlined the progress of development of its green technologies as well as its vehicle deployment plans through 2015. Overall, the company says, it intends to continue... Read more →

Gevo shifting Luverne bio-isobutanol production to ethanol while it optimizes technology

Advanced biofuels and chemicals company Gevo is temporarily switching production in its Luverne, Minn. bio-isobutanol production facility to ethanol while the company optimizes elements of its bio-isobutanol technology in an effort to reach its desired run-rate. Over the past 17 weeks, Gevo has successfully produced and shipped commercial-quality product in... Read more →

TfL Board approves production order for 600 new hybrid buses for London

The Board of Transport for London (TfL) approved a production order for up to 600 of New Bus for London vehicles over the next four years. (Earlier post.) This will create the largest fleet of hybrid buses in Europe, according to TfL. The 600 buses represent a 200% increase in... Read more →

Chrysler Group withdraws test PHEV fleet to upgrade battery packs after overheating issues; to use a different chemistry

On Friday, Chrysler Group LLC announced it was withdrawing from service its test fleet of plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles (PHEVs) to conduct a battery-pack upgrade. Three of the fleet’s 109 pickups equipped with plug-in hybrid powertrains sustained damage when their prototype 12.9-kWh lithium-ion propulsion batteries overheated. The Li-ion batteries in the... Read more →

Balqon Corporation introduces HIQAP-GS Li-ion battery for airport ground support equipment

Balqon Corporation, a developer of electric vehicles, drive systems and lithium-ion battery storage devices, has introduced a high-capacity lithium-ion battery replacement pack for electric-powered airport baggage tractors. The new HIQAP-GS series battery pack is available in 48V and 80V configurations with capacity ranging from 400 Ah to 1,000 Ah, doubling... Read more →