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The 9.5 MW solar park at Chattanooga is owned and operated by Silicon Ranch; VW has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement. Click to enlarge. Volkswagen inaugurated its largest solar facility in the world—also the largest solar facility operated by an automaker in the US—at its plant in Chattanooga, TN,... Read more →

GM and PSA Peugeot Citroën provide update on their global strategic alliance; new generation of 3-cylinder engines

GM and PSA Peugeot Citroën provided an update on their global strategic alliance, announced in February 2012. (Earlier post.) Steve Girsky, GM Vice Chairman, and Philippe Varin, Chairman of the PSA Peugeot Citroën Managing Board said that the final agreements concerning purchasing, logistics and the development of common vehicle projects... Read more →

BMW and Toyota expand collaboration with work on fuel cell system, sports vehicle, light-weight technology and Li-air battery

BMW Group and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) signed binding agreements aimed at long-term collaboration between the two companies for the joint development of a hydrogen fuel cell system; joint development of architecture and components for a sports vehicle; and joint research and development of lightweight technologies. These agreements follow a... Read more →

Beijing to implement stricter China V emission standard next month

Xinhua reports that Beijing plans to implement the China V emission standard—similar to Euro V—starting next month in an effort to reduce the city’s air pollution. Beijing implemented China IV (Euro IV) standards for light-duty vehicles in 2008; the implementation of the more stringent standards for motor vehicles has been... Read more →

Plug-in readiness reports show wide difference between California regions

The California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) released two reports assessing the readiness of two different areas of California—the San Diego and the Central Valley regions—for the widespread use of electric vehicles. The reports show a wide difference in preparedness between the two. During 2012, CCSE conducted research to evaluate... Read more →

ORNL team develops high-performance solid electrolyte for Li-ion batteries; enabler for high energy density

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have developed a high-performance, nanostructured solid electrolyte for more energy-dense lithium ion batteries. Lithium-ion-conducting solid electrolytes could enable high-energy battery chemistries, circumventing safety issues of conventional lithium batteries, which use liquid electrolytes. However, achieving the required combination of high ionic conductivity and a... Read more →

Li-ion battery maker Leyden Energy raises $10M in Series C financing; targeting stop-start

Leyden Energy, Inc., a developer and manufacturer of advanced batteries, has raised $10 million in Series C financing from existing investors, including New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Lightspeed Ventures, Sigma Partners and Walden International. The company closed a $20-million Series B round in August 2011. The new round will help fund... Read more →

Governments of Canada and Ontario investing almost $34M to support hybrid production at Toyota plant

The Ontario (Canada) government announced an investment of almost $16.9 million toward hybrid vehicle production at the Toyota plant in Cambridge, Ontario. The Government of Canada is also contributing $16.9 million to the project. The investment will allow the plant to produce the Lexus RX450h hybrid and will create 400... Read more →

Nikkei reports announcement pending on Toyota providing BMW with hydrogen fuel cell technology; BMW prototype by 2015

The Nikkei reported that Toyota Motor Corp. is close to an agreement with BMW AG to provide that company with drivetrain and storage technology for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. In June 2012, the two companies had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at long-term strategic collaboration in four fields:... Read more →

Cycling performance of the Si-C composite and porous Si at 400 mA/g. Source: Yi et al. Click to enlarge. A team at Penn State University has synthesized a micro-sized silicon-carbon (Si-C) composite consisting of interconnected Si and carbon nanoscale building blocks as anode materials for Li-ion batteries (LIBs). The Si-C... Read more →

Toyota Motor to sell electricity management system using recycled NiMH vehicle batteries to Toyota dealers in Japan

Starting this April, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) will sell an electricity management system that uses recycled nickel-metal hydride batteries from hybrid vehicles to Toyota vehicle dealers throughout Japan. The 10 kWh systems will be sold via TMC’s energy business company, Toyota Turbine and Systems Inc., and will be sold in... Read more →

Elements of the PSA mild Eco Hybrid system. Click to enlarge. At its Innovation Day in Paris—at which the company described its Air Hybrid technology and rollout plans (earlier post)—PSA Peugeot Citroën aso showcased a next-generation mild-hybrid technology that significantly reduces fuel consumption, by 10% to 15% for an equivalent... Read more →

MAN Diesel & Turbo recently showcased its new 35/44G four-stroke natural gas engine, designed for baseload, peaking and cogeneration plants. The newly developed Otto gas engine has an electrical efficiency of 47.2%, and is available for Combined Heat & Power (CHP) and/or jointly with a MAN steam turbine of the... Read more →

UDRI and Air Force researchers ramping up production of new renewable fuel formula for aviation

University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) and Air Force researchers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base have ramped up production of a new research fuel formula and a fuel derived from seed oils, and now have enough fuel to move from lab testing to testing in engines and auxiliary power systems.... Read more →

Nebraska Governor approves revised Keystone XL pipeline route through state

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman approved the revised route of the Keystone XL pipeline through his state. The governor sent a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, notifying them of the accepted Nebraska route. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality’s evaluation of the 194.5-mile proposed pipeline reroute determined... Read more →

Elements of the “Hybrid Air” hydraulic hybrid powertrain under development for B, C, and D vehicles. Click to enlarge. Following the introduction of the Bosch electric axle-split hybrid in PSA Peugeot Citroën diesel vehicles (earlier post), the two companies are now planning to develop a hydraulic hybrid powertrain for passenger... Read more →

GE Transportation Class 70 PowerHaul locomotive. Click to enlarge. Recent testing commissioned by GE Transportation and overseen by Ricardo found that GE’s Class 70 PowerHaul diesel-electric freight locomotive would save 18% of fuel in comparison with the Class 66 currently representing the majority of the UK’s locomotive fleet. The Class... Read more →

UQM motors and controllers power new all-electric outboard motor

UQM Technologies, Inc. electric motors and controllers are powering the new Regen Nautic E180 all-electric outboard motor introduced this week at the Dusseldorf Boat Show. Regen Nautic has also developed series-hybrid electric systems for yachts, trawlers, and sailboats over 50 feet using UQM components. The E180 uses a UQM PowerPhase... Read more →

Well-to-wheels results for greenhouse gas emissions in CO2e for six pathways. Source: Wang et al. Click to enlarge. A new lifecycle analysis of five bioethanol production pathways by a team from Argonne National Laboratory led by Dr. Michael Wang found that, relative to petroleum gasoline, ethanol from corn; sugarcane; corn... Read more →

Pike Research forecasts smart city technology market to grow to $20.2B annually in 2020; smart transportation component to be worth $5.5B by 2020

In a new report, Pike Research forecasts that the smart city technology market will grow from $6.1 billion annually in 2012 to $20.2 billion in 2020—a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.2%. Globally, Pike anticipates cumulative investment of more than $117 billion in smart city technologies between 2012 and... Read more →

New metabolic engineering tool for microbial cell factories for chemicals, fuels and materials

A South Korean research team led by Sang Yup Lee at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has developed a new metabolic engineering tool to construct efficiently microbial cell factories producing desired chemicals, fuels and materials. The new tool allows fine control of gene expression level by... Read more →

Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid on sale at select New York and California dealerships

The 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle, rated by the EPA at 115 MPGe1 in all electric mode went on-sale at select New York and California Honda dealers on 15 January 15 with an MSRP of $39,780 and a monthly lease price of $429. (Earlier post.) The Honda Accord... Read more →

SK Continental E-motion launches automotive Li-ion battery business; 48V mild hybrid program

At the beginning of this year, SK Continental E-motion—the joint venture between SK Innovation, and Continental—closed the transaction and officially started operations following the approval of the relevant authorities. (Earlier post.) SK Continental E-motion will jointly develop, produce and distribute lithium-ion based battery systems for cars and light commercial vehicles.... Read more →

Daimler creates subsidiary for innovative mobility services; targeting €100M revenue within next 24 months

As part of its plan to significantly expand the mobility services business operations, Daimler Financial Services AG (DFS) has created a subsidiary known as Daimler Mobility Services GmbH (DMS). Daimler’s car2go, moovel, and other mobility services have been consolidated into DMS. The new company’s headquarters are in Stuttgart. Daimler Financial... Read more →

Goodenough perspective on Li-ion batteries; in transportation, PHEVs for the near-term, longer term requires new electrochemical strategies

Dr. John Goodenough at the University of Texas at Austin and colleague Kyu-Sung Park have written a perspective paper on Li-ion batteries (LIBs), published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Dr. Goodenough invented lithium cobalt oxide cathode materials while at Oxford University; his technology was used in the... Read more →

Tokyo Gas and Panasonic launch new, smaller, lower-cost Ene-Farm home fuel cell co-generation system

Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. and Panasonic Corporation have jointly developed a new smaller, lower-cost version of the Ene-Farm home fuel cell co-generation system. Panasonic manufactures the fuel cell unit and supplies it to Tokyo Gas in combination with a hot water unit and backup heat source produced by Gastar Co.,... Read more →

Fraunhofer and Univ. of British Columbia to partner on sustainable energy production; wind, fuel cells, biomass

Fraunhofer and The University of British Columbia UBC in Vancouver, Canada will partner to develop technologies for sustainable energy production and supply; on 21 December 2012, Fraunhofer and the Canadian university signed a framework agreement for a collaboration spanning several years. Fraunhofer Institutes for Environmental Safety and Energy Technology, UMSICHT... Read more →

Jack Rosebro One of approximately twenty VW Golf blue e-motion prototypes under test in the United States, with Eaton’s 50kW DC Quick Charger, at Volkswagen’s Electronics Research Laboratory, near San Francisco. Click to enlarge. Earlier this month, Volkswagen and Eaton executives met with a small group of journalists at the... Read more →

The Port of Los Angeles broke ground on a new $137.7-million intermodal storage railyard that will function as a critical link between the Port of Los Angeles and the Alameda Corridor, providing staging and storage for trains using the corridor. When completed, the rail project at Berth 200, also known... Read more →

BNSF plans 2013 capital program of $4.1B; capacity expansion to accommodate Bakken Shale products

BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) announced a planned 2013 capital commitment program of approximately $4.1 billion, approximately a $450-million increase over its 2012 capital spend of $3.6 billion. The largest component of the capital plan is spending $2.3 billion on BNSF’s core network and related assets. BNSF also plans to spend... Read more →

NTSB 3rd investigative update on Boeing 787 battery fire in Boston; battery not overcharged

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a third update on its investigation into the fire aboard a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 at Logan International Airport in Boston on 7 January. (Earlier post.) NTSB said that examination of the flight recorder data from the JAL B-787 airplane indicated that the... Read more →

Norbert Dentressangle and Mitsubishi Electric introduce DAF LF diesel hybrid to distribution fleet

Norbert Dentressangle and Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V. – UK Branch (MEU-UK) have jointly invested in a DAF LF diesel hybrid truck (earlier post) for the distribution fleet. Originally appointed by MEU-UK in 2008, Norbert Dentressangle is responsible for the distribution of products, including large industrial air conditioning units, Ecodan heating... Read more →

MacArthur Foundation grant supports Urban Center for Computation and Data

A new Chicago-based research center using advanced computational methods to understand the rapid growth of cities will receive a $500,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The funds help launch the Urban Center for Computation and Data (UrbanCCD), an initiative of the Computation Institute (CI) dedicated... Read more →

Blue Sun to build and operate renewable jet, diesel and gasoline demonstration facility; next step commercial volumes

Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) and Blue Sun Energy, Inc. announced a partnership for the design, construction, and operation of a Biofuels ISOCONVERSION Process (BIC) demonstration system using the ARA and Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) process for the production of certification quantities of 100% drop-in renewable jet, diesel, and gasoline.... Read more →

France’s Ecotechnologies invests €10M in hydrogen storage company McPhy

France’s Ecotechnologies fund made a €5-million (US$6.7 million) investment—on a total €10-million (US$13.3 million) round—investment in McPhy Energy, an company dedicated to hydrogen production and to low pressure hydrogen storage for industrial and energy players. The equity investment aims to support the commercial development of the company following the acquisition... Read more →

Nations agree on global, legally binding treaty on mercury emissions: Minamata Convention on Mercury

At the conclusion of the International Negotiating Committee on Mercury (INC5) meeting in Geneva (earlier post), nations agreed on a global, legally-binding treaty to prevent mercury emissions and releases. The Committee, chaired by Fernando Lugris of Uruguay, will present the Convention text to the UNEP Governing Council for adoption next... Read more →

Evonik Corporation is featuring the Wind Explorer—a lightweight, electric vehicle that crossed Australia on less than $15 of electricity—at its administrative center in Parsippany, N.J. The vehicle produced virtually zero emissions during the 3,000 mile (4,828 km) Australian journey, a distance roughly 200 miles (322 km) further than from New... Read more →

A123 expects assets sales to Wanxiang and Navitas to close by 1 Feb

A123 Systems expects that the agreements for the purchases of its assets by Wanxiang America Corporation and Navitas Systems LLC to close, pursuant to the terms set forth in the agreements, by 1 February 2013. (Earlier post.) In a short statement, the company said that it continues to work with... Read more →

The E-JET concept range extended electric vehicle from GAC. Click to enlarge. At least two Chinese automakers are bringing some of their new energy vehicles—hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric—to two of the major international auto shows in the first quarter of this year. Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd. (GAC) brought... Read more →

John F. Thomas, Brian H. West and Shean P. Huff Fuels, Engines and Emissions Research Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Figure 1. Vehicle installed on the chassis dynamometer in the ORNL vehicle research laboratory. Click to enlarge. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) staff have been performing vehicle research and testing... Read more →

IEA raises forecast global oil consumption in 2013 to 90.8 mb/d

In its latest Oil Market Report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) raises its forecast for global consumption of oil to 90.8 mb/d in 2013, 240 kb/d more than in last month’s report and 930 kb/d (1.0%) up on 2012. A raised 4Q12 demand estimate and heightened expectations for China are... Read more →

The ExxonMobil MTG process flow diagram. Source: EMRE. Click to enlarge. G2X Energy, Inc., a developer of natural gas to gasoline projects, entered into a licensing agreement to use ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company’s (EMRE’s) methanol-to-gasoline (MTG) technology (earlier post) in the development of a world-scale natural gas to gasoline... Read more →

Mazda and Fiat sign agreement for new Alfa Romeo roadster

Further to the joint announcement of May 23, 2012, Mazda Motor Corporation and Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A. (Fiat) signed a final agreement which will see Mazda produce an open-top two-seater sports car for Fiat’s Alfa Romeo brand at its Hiroshima, Japan, plant starting from 2015. The new Alfa Romeo roadster... Read more →

2nd Better Place CEO out; company to be managed by Chairman of Board and CFO

Better Place CEO Evan Thornley, who took over in October 2012 ago after the departure of founding CEO Shai Agassi (earlier post), is now out, according to the company. Globes in Israel reported that sources said that Thornley left over differences with Chairman Idan Ofer over Better Place’s future, especially... Read more →

European consortium developing modeling and simulation tools for optimal integration of EVs into grids

A European consortium, comprising DNV KEMA, Fraunhofer ISE, EMD International, RAH and RFVV , has begun an EU funded project to develop modeling and simulation tools for optimally integrating electrical vehicles (EVs) into electricity grids. The project—Novel E-Mobility Grid Model (NEMO)—plays a key role in the further development of electric... Read more →

Balqon Corporation, a developer of electric vehicles, drive systems and lithium battery storage devices, announced release of a complete line of next-generation electric vehicle motor controllers, named ZEVQON, designed for emerging zero emission commercial truck and bus markets. 240 kW ZEVQON electric vehicle motor controller. Click to enlarge. ZEVQON EV... Read more →

City of Cologne completes smarter traffic pilot with IBM

The City of Cologne, Germany, and IBM have completed a smarter traffic pilot to predict and manage traffic flow and road congestion in the city. The pilot demonstrates how the city of Cologne can anticipate, better manage, and in many cases, avoid traffic jams and trouble spots across the city... Read more →

Schematic showing CO2 laser pyrolysis synthesis of silicon nanoparticles transferred to a custom stainless steel prototype cartridge used to generate hydrogen for fuel cell applications. Credit: ACS, Erogbogbo et al. Click to enlarge. A team of researchers from the University at Buffalo (SUNY) have demonstrated that hydrogen generation from ultra-small... Read more →

Sunshine Oilsands Ltd. and China Oilfield Services Ltd. intend to cooperate on oilsands technology; possible testing of new thermal recovery technique

Canada-based Sunshine Oilsands Ltd. signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China Oilfield Services Ltd. (COSL) amicably to negotiate and communicate with each other in respect of cooperation in developing multiple thermal fluid oilsands exploration technology in Canada. COSL is a majority owned subsidiary of Chinese state-owned company CNOOC Group.... Read more →

Siemens and KIT cooperating on more-efficient production of large-scale batteries

Working with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Siemens plans to enhance its automation and control systems technology for the manufacturers of large-scale batteries, leveraging its experience in the production of energy-storage devices. In a recently signed cooperation agreement, KIT and Siemens agreed to collaborate on an overarching concept for... Read more →