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Map showing the location of Tamar, as well as the larger Leviathan field which is entering development. Source: Noble Energy. Click to enlarge. On Saturday, Israel’s Ministry of Energy & Water Resources reported that commercial natural gas production had begun from the deepwater Tamar field (c. 5,500 ft, 1,676 m)... Read more →

Route of the Pegasus pipeline. Source: ExxonMobil. Click to enlarge. A breach in ExxonMobil’s Pegasus crude oil pipeline occurred late Friday afternoon near Mayflower, AR (about 20 miles north northwest of Little Rock and at the southwestern end of the Lake Conway reservoir). The pipeline has been shut in and... Read more →

The California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP) has published “A Road Map for Fuel Cell Electric Buses in California: A zero-emission solution for public transit”. The roadmap suggests the steps necessary to move from the pre-commercial phase of fuel cell electric bus (FCEB) deployment and manufacturing (2012-2015) to the early commercial... Read more →

BMW introduced the 328d Sedan at the New York International Auto, ushering in the next wave of BMW Advanced Diesel models in the US. The 328d will feature BMW’s 2.0-liter TwinPower diesel 4-cylinder engine, which produces 180 hp (134 kW) and 280 lb-ft (380 N·m) of torque, available from 1,750... Read more →

EPA proposes Tier 3 standards for gasoline sulfur content and vehicle emissions; harmonized with California LEV III

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed long-anticipated Tier 3 standards for gasoline sulfur content; evaporative emissions; and tailpipe emissions from all light-duty vehicles (LDVs, or passenger cars), light-duty trucks (LDT1s, LDT2s, LDT3s, and LDT4s) and Medium-Duty Passenger Vehicles (or MDPVs). With a proposed start in 2017, the Tier 3... Read more →

NYK hybrid tugboat enters service in Japan

Wing Maritime Service Corporation held a ceremony in Yokohama Port to mark the entry into service of the NYK Group’s hybrid tugboat “Tsubasa” (Gross Tonnage: 256 tons). The hybrid propulsion system was developed and manufactured by Niigata Power Systems. “Tsubasa” is used in towing operations which help large vessels get... Read more →

European workshop on “Electric Vehicle Batteries: Moving from Research Towards Innovation”

The European Commission and the European Technology Platforms involved in the PPP European Green Cars Initiative, EPoSS and ERTRAC, are holding a workshop on 10 April 2013 in Brussels to discuss current European activities and policies for bridging the gap between research and innovation in the domain of batteries for... Read more →

Schematic illustration for the structure change of hollow porous SiO2 nanocubes during the discharge/charge process. Yan et al. Click to enlarge. A team at the University of Science and Technology of China (Hefei) has developed hollow porous SiO2 (silicon dioxide, or silica—e.g., sand, or quartz) nanocubes as an anode material... Read more →

Honda bundles enhanced safety features, including the “City-Brake Active System”, in “Safety Package”

Under the concept of offering collision-free vehicles to more drivers, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. developed the City-Brake Active System, an accident avoidance support system, and bundled it into the “Safety Package (tentative name)” with enhanced safety features that also include vehicle occupant protection technology such as side airbags and side... Read more →

Total Biofuels production by fuel type, world markets: 2013-2023. Source: Navigant. Click to enlarge. Navigant Research forecasts global biofuels production will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6% between 2013 and 2023, despite slower than expected development of advanced biofuels pathways (such as cellulosic biofuels); an expected... Read more →

ZF develops lightweight plastic passenger car engine mount; 25% weight advantage

ZF has developed a new plastic engine mount offering maximum performance coupled with a weight advantage of approximately 25% compared with rubber-metal designs. The new mount is already being produced in 6 model-specific versions for small and compact cars, as well as electric cars of Renault-Nissan. Engine mounts perform important... Read more →

Survey: nearly half of US commuters admit to texting while driving

Nearly half of commuters self-reported texting while driving in a recent poll, and 43% of those who did called it a “habit.” The commuter survey was conducted by ResearchNow on behalf of AT&T. Commuters are texting and driving even more than teens—49%, as compared to 43% for teens (teen survey... Read more →

Geely and Kandi to form EV joint venture in China

Geely Holdings and Kandi Technology Corporation have created a framework of cooperation which will see the two companies work together in a new joint venture company involved in the research and development, production, investment, and marketing of electric vehicles. The new company will be formed with Geely’s subsidiary, Shanghai Maple... Read more →

Dodge equips 2014 Durango full-size SUV with 8-speed for 9% boost in fuel economy

Chrysler’s Dodge brand introduced the 2014 Dodge Durango full-size SUV at the 2013 New York International Auto Show. The three-row SUV is equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission that improves fuel economy up to 9% (for the V-6 model) as well as a range of other enhancements. (The 2013 model... Read more →

J.D. Power survey finds declining customer satisfaction with run-flat or low-rolling-resistance tires

Satisfaction is declining among US customers whose vehicles are equipped with run-flat or low-rolling-resistance tires as part of automakers’ efforts to improve fuel efficiency, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 US Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study. As automakers explore all options to meet the Corporate Average Fuel... Read more →

Suncor Energy cancels Voyageur oil sands upgrader project; acquires Total’s stake

Suncor Energy is not proceeding with the Voyageur bitumen upgrader project in the Canadian oil sands. The decision is the result of a joint strategic and economic review launched by Suncor and its joint venture partner Total E&P Canada Ltd in late 2012. Following the decision not to proceed with... Read more →

Nissan using SABIC’s NORYL resin for terminal cover and spacer of LEAF battery pack to help reduce weight

SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business supplies lightweight NORYL resin for the terminal cover and spacer of the battery system on the automaker’s new 2013 LEAF. By using flame retardant (FR) NORYL resin for these applications in the updated EV, Nissan was able to cut part weight while taking advantage of the... Read more →

Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid. Click to enlarge. Subaru of America, Inc. unveiled its first production hybrid vehicle, the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid, at the 2013 New York International Auto Show. Based on the XV Crosstrek crossover introduced for 2013, the 2014 XV Crosstrek Hybrid model arrives in Subaru dealerships in... Read more →

M&T Olivine Lithium iron phosphate (LFP) production plant coming onstream

M&T Olivine Co., Ltd., a joint venture between Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (MES) and Toda Kogyo Corp. (earlier post) has completed construction of its Lithium iron phosphate plant (LFP). The plant is scheduled to be fully operational from April. This production plant was built in the Mitsui shipbuilding... Read more →

Researchers to evaluate Oregon’s Ecodriving program

A new Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium (OTREC) research project, in partnership with the Oregon Department of Transportation, will evaluate the effectiveness of a program to promote “ecodriving,” or fuel-efficient driving. The ODOT program seeks to help the state reduce greenhouse gas emissions by giving commercial drivers training in... Read more →

Mitsubishi introduces 2014 Mirage with estimated 40 mpg US combined

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) unveiled the 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage 5-door subcompact at the 2013 New York International Auto Show. Mitsubishi estimates that the new, non-hybrid Mirage, expected to go on sale in the fall, will achieve estimated fuel economy of 37 mpg city/44 mpg highway/40 mpg combined (6.4,... Read more →

Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi now available at Verizon Wireless

Together with Verizon Wireless, Delphi Automotive released its Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi product that provides a car-to-cloud/cloud-to-car connectivity service. Unveiled at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the product allows drivers to track, locate, access, secure and monitor their select vehicles over the Verizon Wireless network using their current... Read more →

Toyota provides further details of initiatives under Toyota New Global Architecture

In a presentation in Toyota City, Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) provided further details of its initiatives conducted under the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) (earlier post), TMC’s new development framework which balances advances in product with cost reductions. The details follow the announcement on 6 March of the establishment... Read more →

One of two new small (20,000 bbl/d each) refineries being built in North Dakota broke ground this week, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted in a brief. The Dakota Prairie facility is scheduled to be built in 20 months. The impetus for the state’s second and third refineries is... Read more →

Schematic diagram of the Primus STG+ process. Click to enlarge. Primus Green Energy Inc., developer of a proprietary process to produce gasoline and other fuels from biomass and/or natural gas (earlier post), will provide financial support to engineers at Princeton University for general research on synthetic fuels, which will include... Read more →

Ford launches app developer challenge to improve consumer understanding of personal fuel efficiency

Ford launched a $50,000 challenge for software developers to write innovative apps to help consumers better understand and improve their personal fuel efficiency. The Ford challenge echoes the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) $50,000 Apps for Vehicles challenge. (Earlier post.) Participants will have access to Ford’s OpenXC connectivity research platform... Read more →

2014 Jeep Cherokee. Click to enlarge. Chrysler introduced the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee mid-size SUV at the New York International Auto Show. The new Cherokee features a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission, developed in partnership with ZF; fuel economy improvements of more than 45% versus the outgoing Liberty model; and more... Read more →

2014 Pathfinder Hybrid. Click to enlarge. Nissan introduced the 2014 Pathfinder Hybrid at the New York International Auto Show. The new hybrid—which uses Nissan’s new FF hybrid system (earlier post)—will be available in three fully equipped trim levels when it joins the lineup in late summer 2013. It is expected... Read more →

Acura unveiled the 2014 MDX luxury SUV at the 2013 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). Built on a completely new platform, the seven-passenger MDX is powered by an all-new direct-injected 24-valve 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) (cylinder deactivation), producing 290 hp (216 kW) and 267... Read more →

Mitsubishi reports fire in i-MiEV battery pack, melting in Outlander PHEV pack

Mitsubishi Motors reported two separate incidents with Li-ion battery packs: one, a fire in a i-MiEV battery pack at the Mizushima battery pack assembly plant; the other, heating and melting in a pack installed in an Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. In the Mizushima event, the pack was connected to... Read more →

BIOX to supply Shell Canada with biodiesel via inter-terminal pipeline

BIOX Corporation (BIOX) will supply biodiesel to Shell Canada Limited via an inter-terminal pipeline. BIOX’s Hamilton biodiesel refinery is located immediately adjacent to the Shell distribution terminal which allows for a pipeline to be installed connecting the two facilities. The connection is expected to be completed by late 2013. The... Read more →

Electric vehicle drive motor revenue by region, world markets: 2013-2020. Source: Navigant. Click to enlarge. Unit sales of electric drive motors for light-duty vehicles (LDVs) will reach 3.7 million by 2020, growing from 1.5 million in 2013, according to a new report from Navigant Research (formerly Pike Research). Total global... Read more →

Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive. Click to enlarge. Mercedes-Benz staged the world premiere of the production battery-electric 2014 B-Class Electric Drive at the New York International Auto Show; a concept version had appeared last year at the Paris Motor Show. (Earlier post.) The B-Class Electric Drive is equipped with a 100... Read more →

Volvo Trucks and Shell to cooperate globally on LNG for heavy-duty trucks

Volvo Trucks and Shell will cooperate globally on the introduction of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a fuel for commercial heavy duty trucks. Based on Volvo’s MethaneDiesel concept (earlier post) whereby LNG can be used in diesel engines, and Shell’s LNG expertise and infrastructure investments, the two companies will coordinate... Read more →

Buick revealed the new 2014 Regal mid-size sedan at the New York Auto Show. Along with a more refined 2.0L turbo engine, the new Regal also introduces new radar- and camera-based safety features, including Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision... Read more →

A chart from EnerG2’s 2012 DOE Merit Review presentation shows different pore profiles for different energy storage applications. Click to enlarge. EnerG2, a manufacturer of advanced carbons for next-generation energy storage (earlier post), has begun production of nano-structured hard carbon for Li-ion battery anodes that it says can boost anode... Read more →

A3 Sedan. Click to enlarge. Audi of America, Inc. announced that the all-new 2015 Audi A3 sedan will arrive in US showrooms in the first quarter of 2014. Audi of America also confirmed that it will offer the A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in gasoline electric hybrid (PHEV) model in the US... Read more →

Federally funded R&D centers spent $17.8 billion on R&D in FY 2011

The 40 federally funded R&D centers (FFRDCs) in the US spent $17.8 billion on research and development in FY 2011, according to data from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Just over $850 million of the total was supplied by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009,... Read more →

Fuji Electric begins US production of DC quick chargers

Fuji Electric Corp. of America has begun US production of their UL-Certified DC Quick Chargers for Electric Vehicles, with the first production units shipping out of Milpitas, CA by late March. The manufacturer’s 4th-Generation 25kW DC Quick Charger features a slimmer design than previous versions, making it suited for a... Read more →

Global Bioenergies receives €740K from OSEO to create a pre-industrial strain

Global Bioenergies, an industrial biology company that develops sustainable routes to light olefins, announced a new €740,000 (US$952,000) financing from OSEO, a French SME-funding state agency, to support the creation of an isobutene production strain compatible with industrial pilot testing. (Earlier post.) This is OSEO’s third financing on the Company’s... Read more →

UGA/NCSU team engineers hyperthermophilic bacterium to produce industrial chemical building blocks from CO2 and H2; ARPA-E project

Researchers at the University of Georgia and North Carolina State University have used a unique temperature-dependent approach in engineering a hyperthermophilic archaeon, Pyrococcus furiosus to be able to use CO2 and hydrogen to produce 3-hydroxypropionic acid, one of the top 12 industrial chemical building blocks. The research, reported in the... Read more →

ABB launches cost-effective 20kW DC fast charger for the Americas

ABB launched the Terra SmartConnect (SC), a direct-current (DC) charger specifically designed for convenient fast charging in commercial and office areas in North America. ABB introduced the cost-effective fast charger in Europe last year. (Earlier post.) Terra SC will be available for delivery in the Americas in the second quarter.... Read more →

DOE launches Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative; awards $23.5M to 5 more manufacturing R&D projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative (CEMI), which will focus on growing US manufacturing of clean energy products and boosting US competitiveness through major improvements in manufacturing energy productivity. The initiative includes private sector partnerships, new funding from the Department, and enhanced analysis of... Read more →

Intelligent Energy claims highest power densities yet for automotive fuel cells

UK-based Intelligent Energy announced that its proprietary fuel cell technology is providing leading levels of power output and performance for a number of its automotive customers, with the company’s fuel cell stacks demonstrating continuous volumetric and gravimetric power densities of 3.7 kW/L and 2.5 kW/kg, respectively. We believe that our... Read more →

MIT study adds more detail to understanding of the evolution of Li2O2 particles in Li-air batteries

A new study by a team at MIT led by Dr. Yang Shao-Horn and Dr. Carl Thompson sheds more light on the morphological evolution of Li2O2 particles in Lithium-air batteries. An understanding of the interior structure of these particles and their growth processes is key to engineering air cathode electrode... Read more →

Renesas Electronics Corporation (semiconductor solutions), and Renesas Mobile Corporation (advanced cellular semiconductor solutions and platforms), announced the availability the first second-generation R-Car automotive Systems-on-Chip (SoC), the R-Car H2, which offers significantly improved performance over the current R-Car H1 SoC. Capable of delivering more than 25,000 DMIPS (Dhrystone MIPS), the R-Car... Read more →

EPA Finds California South Coast air basin meets health standard for coarse particulate matter

The US Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to find the California South Coast air basin in attainment for the coarse particulate matter standard (PM10). EPA is also proposing to approve the state’s maintenance plan that demonstrates how the area will continue to achieve the standard for at least the next... Read more →

Poland NCBJ report concludes small modular reactors unlikely to play key role as basic electricity source in Poland

A new report published by Poland’s National Center for Nuclear Research (Narodowe Centrum Badań Jądrowych, NCBJ) concludes that while small modular reactor (SMR) nuclear power plants (NPPs) might become important for Polish power industry, it is very unlikely that they will ever play a key role as basic electricity source... Read more →

Sketch describing the ZIP-Cap architecture and how it differs from that of the EDLC. Source: Ionova. Click to enlarge. Ionova Technologies, Inc. reports that its zinc-ion-based ZIP-Cap asymmetric ultracapacitor is expected to provide a 25-fold reduction in build cost and a 5-fold increase in energy density (up to 35Wh/L) without... Read more →

MHI and Imabari Shipbuilding forming JV for design and marketing of LNG carriers; preparing for large-scale projects

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Imabari Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. of Imabari, Ehime Prefecture, are establishing MI LNG Company, Limited, a company to handle the design and marketing of LNG (liquefied natural gas) carriers. The two companies intend to prepare a structure capable of responding to large-scale LNG carrier construction... Read more →