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PGE showcases 5MW Li-ion grid energy storage system; transactive control

Portland General Electric showcased its 5 MW lithium-ion energy storage system to the public today at the utility’s Salem Smart Power Center in South Salem, Ore. The energy storage facility is part of PGE’s contribution to the Battelle-led Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project. Half of PGE’s $23-million portion of... Read more →

Close-up of the charging mechanism on the demo TOSA bus. Source: ABB. Click to enlarge. ABB has developed and is demonstrating a high-capacity “flash charging” system for electric buses. The system enables onboard batteries to be charged in 15 seconds with a 400 kW boost at selected stops using a... Read more →

2014 Malibu. Click to enlarge. Chevrolet unveiled the 2014 Malibu, featuring updated styling (and more rear seat room) and a new 2.5L base engine with variable valve lift control (Intake Valve Lift Control, iVLC earlier post) and start/stop technology as standard. Estimated fuel economy with the base engine is 23... Read more →

Volkswagen Group expands research partnership with Stanford University

Volkswagen Group of America (VWGoA) has expanded its automotive research initiatives with the contribution of $1.7 million to Stanford University. The latest investment broadens an existing partnership. With this contribution, new research will begin in the areas of virtual intelligence, material research, data security, and vehicle dynamics. In addition to... Read more →

Oxis’ standard polymer Li-S pouch cell has surpassed 450 cycles. Click to enlarge. Oxis Energy, a UK-based developer of lithium-sulfur batteries, reported via Twitter that one of its standard polymer Li-S pouch cells surpassed 450 cycles this week. Oxis has developed a patented polymer lithium sulfur (Li-S) based battery technology... Read more →

Honda joins DOE’s H2USA partnership to promote fuel cell electric vehicles and infrastructure

American Honda Motor Co, Inc. has joined H2USA, a new public-private partnership launched by the US Department of Energy (DOE) earlier this month to promote the commercial introduction and widespread adoption of fuel cell electric vehicles. (Earlier post.) Honda is looking forward to working with the U.S. Department of Energy,... Read more →

NHTSA issues preliminary policy on development of autonomous vehicles to provide guidance to states

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a preliminary policy statement concerning vehicle automation, including its plans for research on related safety issues and recommendations for states related to the testing, licensing, and regulation of “autonomous” or “self-driving” vehicles. Self-driving vehicles are those in which... Read more →

Freescale’s S12 MagniV block diagram. Click to enlarge. China’s automotive market is now the largest in the world by volume, with some 22 million units produced last year, and expectations of 22-23 million units this year. Automobile sales alone in China posted a 13% year-over-year gain for April 2013, according... Read more →

US Navy launches its first solar-powered EV charging station

Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mid-South officially welcomed into service the US Navy’s first solar-powered electric car charging station. The carport will enable NSA Mid-South to recharge its current fleet of 17 electric vehicles with renewable electricity in approximately four hours, while reducing demand on the commercial power grid. In addition... Read more →

Williams F1 Team and Mercedes-Benz enter long-term engine partnership; downsized turbo hybrid Power Units

The Williams F1 Team and Mercedes-Benz signed a long-term engine partnership from the 2014 Formula One World Championship season onwards. Under the terms of the agreement, Williams will be supplied with a Mercedes-Benz Power Unit (Internal Combustion Engine plus Energy Recovery System) by Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) based... Read more →

Tesla’s vision of the Supercharger network in 2015. Click to enlarge. Tesla Motors announced an accelerated rollout of its Tesla Supercharger network, which delivers quick charging for Tesla Model S drivers over long distances (i.e., city-to-city travel), for free. The company also said that it is currently in beta test... Read more →

Russia’s Rosneft signed a cooperation agreement with Japan-based Inpex Corporation jointly to explore offshore blocks Magadan-2 and Magadan-3 in the Russian section of the Sea of Okhotsk. Estimated recoverable resources of the two blocks stand at 1.577 billion tonnes of oil equivalent (about 11.6 billion barrels). The blocks are located... Read more →

Tesoro to pay $1.1M civil penalty to resolve Clean Air Act violations

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Tesoro Corporation, Tesoro Refining & Marketing Company LLC, and Tesoro Alaska Company have agreed to pay a $1.1 million civil penalty to resolve claims that Tesoro failed to comply with with recordkeeping, reporting, sampling, and testing requirements under the Clean Air Act... Read more →

BMW X5 xDrive30d. Click to enlarge. BMW’s newly introduced third-generation BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle will launch with two diesel engine model options, to be joined by three more in December. BMW has sold more than 1.3 million units of the X5 since the launch of the first generation model... Read more →

Westport partners with GAZ Group on new CNG medium-duty vehicle range

Westport Innovations Inc. and GAZ Group, the leader of the Russian commercial vehicles market, signed a multi-year development and supply agreement for a new range of GAZ Group medium-duty compressed natural gas (CNG) commercial vehicles. Westport’s new WP580 Engine Management System will be applied to GAZ’s YaMZ-530 4.4L and 6.6L... Read more →

Ford Fusion first global vehicle program using seat fabric from recycled material

Ford Fusion is the first global vehicle program from any automaker to use seat fabric made from recycled material, with the potential to recycle enough plastic bottles and post-industrial waste to make 1.5 million yards of fabric annually. The amount of recycled material in each vehicle varies depending on region.... Read more →

GENIVI Alliance joins W3C to accelerate adoption of web technologies in the automotive industry

The GENIVI Alliance has joined the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to bring its automotive expertise into W3C’s Automotive and Web Platform Business Group. The GENIVI Alliance, an automotive and consumer electronics industry association driving the development and adoption of an open in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) reference platform, will focus on... Read more →

Lola-Drayson B12/69EV at Rockingham in January. Photo: Drayson Racing Technologies. Click to enlarge. Drayson Racing Technologies will make an attempt for the FIA World Electric Land Speed Record in the sub-1000kg class on 25 June at RAF Elvington in Yorkshire using a modified version of the Lola-Drayson B12/69EV electric Le... Read more →

Pennsylvania DEP to award ~$10M in natural gas vehicle grants for medium to light-weight vehicles

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has opened its Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant (AFIG) Natural Gas Vehicle program. The program will provide an estimated $10 million in grants to help companies and organizations purchase or convert medium to light-weight natural gas vehicles. During last year’s natural gas vehicle seminars,... Read more →

Correlation between weight reduction and life cycle primary energy demand for (a) component and (b) total vehicle scenarios. Credit: ACS; Kim and Wallington. Click to enlarge. While reducing vehicle weight (lightweighting) by replacing steel and iron with alternatives such as aluminum, magnesium, and composites decreases fuel consumption and greenhouse gas... Read more →

Toyota launches 2013 Prius Plug-in MPG Challenge in US

Toyota launched the first Prius MPG Challenge in the US, rewarding environmentally-conscious, charitable organizations in N.Y., N.J. and Conn., with contributions totaling $20,000. The Challenge—which consists of five separate waves of competition, each with up to eight challengers—awards those participants garnering the highest overall MPG over the course of a... Read more →

Zenith Motors, LLC to use UQM PowerPhase Pro 135 drive systems in electric vans

Zenith Motors, LLC has selected UQM Technologies, Inc. to provide PowerPhase Pro 135 systems as the drivetrain in its all-electric shuttle vans. Shipments of the PowerPhase Pro 135 systems to Zenith Motors are scheduled to begin in June 2013. The UQM PowerPhase Pro 135 is part of the PowerPhase Pro... Read more →

£12 million funding for 213 hybrid, electric and gas buses in UK

The fourth round of the government’s Green Bus Fund in the UK will provide £12 million (US$18 million) funding for 213 new low carbon buses. The Green Bus Fund aims to cut greenhouse gas emission levels and encourage bus operators and local councils to make the switch to more environmentally-friendly... Read more →

T-Probe traffic information (Traffic congestion status shown with color coding). Click to enlarge. Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) had developed and will launch in Japan the “Big Data Traffic Information Service”, a new traffic-information service utilizing “big data” including vehicle locations and speeds, road conditions, and other parameters collected and stored... Read more →

Ballard signs non-binding MOU with Azure Hydrogen for fuel cell bus development in China

Ballard Power Systems has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with its partner Azure Hydrogen Corporation of Beijing, China, extending the scope of their collaboration to include fuel cell buses. (Earlier post.) The MOU with Azure envisions Ballard providing a manufacturing license agreement, engineering services, fuel cell stacks and... Read more →

The divergence of real-world CO2 emissions vs. manufacturers’ type-approval (100%) in Europe from various on-road data sources. Source: ICCT. Click to enlarge. A new white paper published by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) comparing official and “real-world” fuel consumption and CO2 emission values for passenger cars in Europe... Read more →

Enterprise Holdings acquiring IGO CarSharing in Chicago

Enterprise Holdings is acquiring the business of IGO CarSharing, a non-profit organization serving more than 15,000 members, with more than 200 locations in more than 40 neighborhoods. Established in 2002 as a pilot program of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, IGO was the first car-sharing program in Chicago and has... Read more →

Navigant: sales of PEVs in India to reach 17,000 by 2018

In a new report, Navigant Research forecasts that sales of plug-in vehicles (PEVs) in India will reach 17,000 by 2018. Combined with sales of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), that number will reach more than 22,000 in the same year. Two-wheeled electric vehicles will grow to more than 1.1 million units... Read more →

Fulcrum BioEnergy demonstrates integrated process to convert MSW to jet and diesel; $4.7M DoD grant to begin plant engineering

Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc. has successfully demonstrated the conversion of municipal solid waste (MSW)—household garbage—into jet and diesel fuels. Fulcrum says its ability to produce drop-in fuels from MSW opens up an 80 billion gallon per year fuel market and expands its customer base for its national development program. This demonstrated... Read more →

Better Place lost $459M on $6.9M in sales last year; cumulative losses of $812M

Battery swap pioneer Better Place, Inc., which filed for liquidation on Sunday (earlier post), lost $459 million last year on $6.9 million in sales, as detailed in the startup’s financial statements released by private company research firm PrivCo. Better Place had raised more than $900 million in investor funding, PrivCo... Read more →

Bosch chairman expects EVs to have a range of at least 300 km by 2020

At a panel discussion on the topic of “research and development perspectives in electromobility” in Berlin, Dr. Volkmar Denner, the chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH said that he expected that by 2020, electric cars will have a range of at least 300 kilometers (186 miles).... Read more →

Hubject GmbH’s eRoaming platform goes live for Europe-wide charging of electric vehicles

Hubject GmbH, a joint venture formed by BMW Group, Bosch, Daimler AG, EnBW, RWE and Siemens (earlier post), launched its eRoaming EV charging platform “intercharge” during the International Emobility Conference hosted by the German federal government (earlier post). By starting the eRoaming platform we and our partners have provided the... Read more →

Oerlikon and Continental to cooperate on motor and transmission systems for hybrid & electric vehicles

Swiss high-tech industrial Group Oerlikon and international automotive supplier Continental have entered into an agreement to cooperate on the development and marketing of integrated axle drive motor and transmission systems for hybrid and electric vehicles featuring optimized overall powertrain efficiency. Oerlikon Graziano SpA will contribute its know-how in the development,... Read more →

Australian Smart Grid demand management project shows EV drivers could halve charging costs

In Australia, as part of the Victorian Government’s Electric Vehicle Trial (earlier post), DiUS Computing delivered a demand management demonstration project using Victoria’s Smart Grid. The project, which ran from June to December 2012, was the first end-to-end use of Victoria’s Smart Meter infrastructure for electricity demand management. The results... Read more →

Guangqi Honda building 3rd production line and new engine plant; total Honda capacity in China to hit >1M units in 2015

Guangqi Honda Automobile Co., Ltd., an automobile production and sales joint venture of Honda in China, started construction of a third production line and a new engine plant within the property of the existing ZengCheng Plant. The third line is scheduled to become operational in 2015, with an initial annual... Read more →

New LLNL technique for CO2 capture also produces green hydrogen and alkalinity to offset ocean acidification

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have discovered and demonstrated a new technique to remove and store atmospheric carbon dioxide while generating carbon-negative hydrogen and producing alkalinity, which can be used to offset ocean acidification. A paper on their work appears this week in the Proceedings of the National... Read more →

NHTSA opens investigation into Ford 3.5L EcoBoost engines in F-150s; reports of reduced power during hard accelerations

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) last week opened an investigation (PE13018) after its Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) received 95 reports alleging incidents of reduced engine power during hard accelerations in model year (MY) 2011 through 2013 Ford F150 trucks equipped with the 3.5L EcoBoost engine. The... Read more →

German-Italian agreement on standardized charging plug for electric vehicles

Representatives of German and Italian Standardization Bodies and experts of German and Italian industry have agreed to make a common proposal to CENELEC, European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization, to enhance the existing standard on charging plugs for the electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The compromise foresees using the Type 2 socket... Read more →

Annual light-duty fuel cell vehicle sales through 2030. Source: Navigant Research. Click to enlarge. In a newly published research report (“Fuel Cell Vehicles”), Navigant Research forecasts that worldwide sales of light-duty fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs) will reach the 1,000 mark in 2015 and then begin a period of strong growth, surpassing... Read more →

High-rate and long-life LNMO cathode materials for Li-ion batteries

Researchers at Nankai University in China have assembled spinel-type LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 (LNMO) porous nanorods with nanoparticles that function as high-rate and long-life cathode materials for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. The fabricated LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 delivered specific capacities of 140 and 109 mAh g–1 at 1 and 20 C rates, respectively. A paper on their... Read more →

PHEV conversion company Echo Automotive completes $3M financing, joins CALSTART

Echo Automotive, Inc., a developer of technologies enabling the conversion of existing fleet vehicles into plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, completed a $3-million financing with United Fleet Financing, LLC, through a private placement offering and mezzanine financing. Echo’s Chief Technology Officer is John Waters, the founder & CEO of Bright Automotive... Read more →

EV battery swap company Better Place files for liquidation

Better Place, a high-profile developer and proponent of a battery switch model for electric vehicles (earlier post), filed a motion with the Lod District Court in Israel to ask for the dissolution of the company and the appointment of a temporary liquidator. In its motion the company stated that in... Read more →

Shanghai ISSON Power Quality Co. deploys Maxwell ultracaps to power deep-water port electric cranes

Shanghai ISSON Power Quality Co., Ltd. has installed 126 Maxwell Technologies 125V Heavy Transportation Modules in a power system that operates 26 ship-to-shore cranes for loading and unloading container ships at the Yangshan Deep-Water Port. This installation, one of the largest ultracapacitor installations in the world and the biggest in... Read more →

Schematic chart showing included stages within OPGEE. El Houjeiri et al., Supplemental Information. Click to enlarge. A team from Stanford University and the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has developed a new open-source lifecycle analysis (LCA) tool for modeling the greenhouse gas emissions of oil and gas production using characteristics... Read more →