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UK LowCVP says road transport CO2 reductions require both improved vehicle efficiency and lower carbon fuels; need for advanced liquid fuels

In its response to the UK Department for Transport’s call for evidence on advanced fuels, the LowCVP (Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership) says that delivering the level of CO2 reductions required from road transport will require both improved vehicle efficiency and reduced carbon intensity of fuels. Advanced liquid fuels—in particular advanced... Read more →

ICCT analysis finds some research studies may overstate energy crop yields by as much as 100%

New analysis by researchers from the International Council on Clean Transportation in the journal Biomass and Bioenergy suggests that estimates for potential energy crop yields from some widely cited research studies may overstate those yields by as much as 100%. The findings could have significant implications for long-term renewable energy... Read more →

Cycling performance of Li−S battery from 10% by mass DIB copolymer batteries to 500 cycles with charge (filled circles) and discharge (open circles) capacities, as well as Coulombic efficiency (open triangles). The C-rate capability of the battery is shown in the figure inset. Credit: ACS, Simmonds et al. Click to... Read more →

Smart rearview mirror. Click to enlarge. Nissan Motor Company, Ltd., has developed what it is calling a “smart” rearview mirror—an LCD monitor that not only provides clear rearward visibility under various conditions, but also allows the driver the ability to switch between the LCD monitor and the traditional rearview mirror,... Read more →

Neste Oil and DONG Energy partner on renewable diesel and jet fuels from ag residues via microbial oil

Neste Oil, the world’s largest producer of premium-quality renewable fuels, is working with DONG Energy, one of the leading energy groups in Northern Europe, to develop an integrated process to produce renewable diesel and aviation fuel derived from agricultural residues. DONG Energy’s Inbicon technology will be used in the first... Read more →

Virginia Tech hosting debut student competition to design 3-D printed aircraft, ground vehicles

Virginia Tech will host a university-wide competition for students to design on-demand, remote-controlled 3-D printed aircraft and ground vehicles. The Spring 2014 Additive Manufacturing Grand Challenge launches 4 March and offers $15,000 in cash prizes, including $3,000 for first prize in each of the air and ground vehicle competitions, and... Read more →

Bar chart showing the specific activities of Pt/C, Pt poly-crystal electrode, IL-encapsulated Pt3Ni nanoframes/C, PtNi-Meso-TF, and Pt3Ni(111)-Skin electrode, and the corresponding improvement factors vs. Pt/C. Source: Chen et al. Supplementary Materials. Click to enlarge. A team led by researchers at Berkeley and Argonne National Labs have discovered a new class... Read more →

ŠKODA will showcase a five-door concept coupé—ŠKODA VisionC—powered by a CNG/gasoline bivalent 1.4 TSI/81 kW turbo engine, at the Geneva Motor Show. On natural gas, the vehicle consumes 3.4 kg (5.1 m3) CNG per kilometer, equating to CO2 emissions of 91 g/km. VisionC. Click to enlarge. Based in the Czech... Read more →

Sketch of the T-ROC. Click to enlarge. At the Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen will introduce the 4WD T-ROC SUV concept. Equipped with the 2.0L diesel featured in the sporty GTD (earlier post), the T-ROC design is based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform, and fits into the Volkswagen line-up... Read more →

Hitachi Vehicle Energy’s Li-ion design and R&D ops to be moved into Hitachi Automotive Systems’ operations

Hitachi is transferring and integrating Hitachi Vehicle Energy’s (HVE) design and research & development operations relating to lithium-ion batteries for hybrid electric vehicles and electric vehicles into Hitachi Automotive Systems (HAS) on 1 April. The aim of the move is to optimize synergies involved in the development and design of... Read more →

Navigant projections of wireless EVSE sales. Click to enlarge. In a new report, “Wireless Charging Systems for Electric Vehicles”, Navigant Research forecasts that worldwide sales of wireless EV charging equipment for light-duty vehicles will grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 108% from 2013 to 2022, reaching annual... Read more →

BOEM publishes final environmental review for geological and geophysical survey activities off the Atlantic Coast

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) published a final environmental review of geological and geophysical (G&G) survey activities off the Mid- and South Atlantic coast that establishes multiple mitigation measures designed to minimize the impacts to marine life while setting a path forward for survey activities that will update... Read more →

A team from the University of Wollongong (Australia) and the University of Technology, Sydney reported the successful synthesis by a simple hydrothermal approach of high-capacity WS2 (tungsten disulfide)@graphene nanocomposite anodes for sodium-ion batteries. Their paper is published in the RSC journal Chemical Communications. Schematic diagram of the WS2@graphene nanocomposites. Su... Read more →

Evonik presenting technical paper on fluid properties and efficiency of hydraulic hybrid vehicles

Oil additives specialists from Evonik will deliver two presentations during the International Fluid Power Exposition (IFPE), 4-8 March Vegas. Steven Herzog, oil additives OEM liaison manager, will deliver a presentation titled “The Effects of Fluid Properties on the Efficiency of Hydraulic Hybrid Vehicles”. Herzog will describe the research program created... Read more →

Kaiser Aluminum and Boeing form multi-year closed-loop aerospace aluminum recycling program

Kaiser Aluminum Corporation and Boeing have formed a closed-loop scrap recycling program that is expected to involve approximately 22 million pounds of aluminum during the 2014-2015 production period. This program, the largest aluminum recycle program to date, captures 7XXX and 2XXX aluminum alloy recyclables generated at multiple Boeing facilities during... Read more →

The UK’s Technology Strategy Board has awarded Torotrak, in collaboration with lead technology partner Lotus Cars, a grant to develop a new application of the Flybrid KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) technology for integration into a manual gearbox. (Torotrak completed its acquisition of Flybrid in January. Earlier post.) The project... Read more →

Cool Planet breaks ground on its first biomass-to-renewable gasoline plant

Cool Planet Energy Systems, a technology company producing green fuels and biochar products, broke ground on the company’s first commercial facility in Alexandria, Louisiana, dubbed Project Genesis. Permits have been received to begin earthwork and grading, with construction to immediately follow. The facility is designed to produce 10 million gallons... Read more →

President Obama, DOT Secretary Foxx announce $600M for 6th round of TIGER funding for transportation projects

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx joined President Barack Obama to announce that $600 million will be made available to fund transportation projects across the country under a sixth round of the US Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) competitive grant program. The announcement was made at the... Read more →

The planned cell output of the Gigafactory in 2020 exceeds 2013 global production by current manufacturers, Tesla said. Click to enlarge. Via a post on its website, Tesla Motors outlined its plan for its future battery “Gigafactory”, projected to require between $4-5 billion in investment from Tesla and its partners... Read more →

A team led by researchers at the University of Cordoba (Spain) have used a CaO alkaline heterogeneous catalyst to produce what they call a “second-generation biodiesel” blend composed of 2:1 molar mixture of conventional fatty acid methyl esters (FAME, or regular biodiesel) and monoglyceride (MG). The process integrates glycerol—the conventional... Read more →

Compact EGR valve. Click to enlarge. Pierburg GmbH, a member of the KSPG Group, has been awarded contracts worth a lifetime total of €250 million (US$342 million) for a newly developed compact exhaust-gas recirculation valve. (Earlier post.) Ordered by European and North American automakers, the valve will be installed in... Read more →

MILA Blue. Click to enlarge. To showcase its capabilities, global automotive supplier Magna International Inc. will showcase the MILA Blue vehicle concept at the Geneva Motor Show 2014. MILA Blue is a natural-gas powered, A-segment lightweight vehicle that produces less than 49g CO2/km. MILA Blue, the seventh concept vehicle in... Read more →

Clariant focusing on wet process technology for lithium-iron phosphate cathode materials for automotive

Clariant, a leader in specialty chemicals, is focusing on its Wet Process Technology to ensure benchmark quality, premium lithium-iron phosphate cathode materials for automotive OEMs and battery manufacturers. (Earlier post.) Clariant’s Life Power P2 lithium-iron phosphate cathode materials product family is produced at its Candiac (Phostech Lithium) site in Canada.... Read more →

Click to enlarge. The fast-growing semiconductor market for China’s automotive industry is set for double-digit expansion in revenue this year, propelled by an increasing desire among Chinese car buyers for added vehicle safety features and helpful infotainment applications such as car navigation, according to a new report from IHS Technology... Read more →

Proterra sells seven battery-electric transit buses to Nashville MTA

US-based Proterra Inc recently announced the sale of seven battery-electric buses and an electric charging station to Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (Nashville MTA). The buses are slated to be built at Proterra’s manufacturing facility in Greenville, S.C. and delivered to Nashville this year. The funds for the zero-emission electric buses... Read more →

NuScale Power, a company developing small modular reactor technology (SMR) (earlier post), recently successfully completed its helical coil steam generator (HCSG) testing activities at the SIET S.p.A. (SIET) facilities in Piacenza, Italy. During that same time period, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) conducted a successful quality assurance (QA) inspection... Read more →

22 ARPA-E projects have attracted more than $625M in private-sector investment

To date, 22 ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy) projects have attracted more than $625 million in private-sector follow-on funding after ARPA-E’s investment of approximately $95 million. In addition, at least 24 ARPA-E project teams have formed new companies to advance their technologies, and more than 16 ARPA-E projects... Read more →

DOE soliciting projects in advanced coal gasification for high carbon-capture power production and/or liquid fuels

The US DOE is soliciting (DE-FOA-0001051) projects for up to $10 million in awards to target technological advancements to lower the cost of producing hydrogen and/or high-hydrogen syngas from coal for use in 90% carbon capture power generation and/or gasification-based liquid (transportation) fuel production: methanol or diesel. Liquid fuel production... Read more →

Improvement in polymers for aviation

Researchers at the Polymer Technology Group, part of the UPV/EHU’s Department of Polymer Science and Technology and the Institute for Polymer Materials, POLYMAT, in Spain, recently reported the synthesis of high-performance poly(etherimide) (PEI)-based nanocomposites (PNs) with multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) via melt mixing. The research aimed to improve the mechanical... Read more →

Toyota Green Grand Prix at Watkins Glen in April

The Toyota Green Grand Prix returns to Watkins Glen International race course Friday, 11 April. The day-long 2014 Toyota Green Grand Prix will present a two-stage road rally and NYElectrathon races. Educational seminars and displays by appropriate manufacturers and vendors are also part of the day’s activities. On Saturday, festivities... Read more →

European Parliament backs law for 95g/km CO2 from new cars by 2020

The European Parliament backed new rules designed to achieve the CO2 emission reduction target of 95g/km for new cars by 2020. The text—approved by 499 votes in favor, 107 against and 9 abstentions—retains this target, albeit with a one-year “phase-in” period in 2020. It also allows “super credits”, whereby the... Read more →

President Obama announces two new public-private manufacturing innovation institutes; new manufacturing innovation institute competition

President Obama announced two new manufacturing innovation institutes led by the Department of Defense supported by a $140-million Federal commitment combined with more than $140 million in non-federal resources: (1) a Detroit-area-headquartered consortium of businesses and universities, with a focus on lightweight and modern metals manufacturing; and (2) a Chicago-headquartered... Read more →

Fuso Canter 7C15 Eco Hybrid, box body. Click to enlarge. Mitsubishi Fuso, 90% owned by Daimler AG, has improved the performance of its Fuso Canter light-duty truck. With 140,000 units produced worldwide, the Fuso Canter is an international hit in the light-duty-truck sector and easily the best-selling truck model at... Read more →

WSU researcher creates cooking-oil based bio-asphalt

Haifang Wen, assistant professor of Civil Engineering in the Washington State University (WSU) Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has developed a technology to substitute restaurant cooking oil for the crude oil used traditionally in the production of asphalt, creating a sustainable bioasphalt that looks and handles just like its... Read more →

Norsk Hydro boosts aluminum capacity for growth market in automotive products

Norsk Hydro ASA will invest in a new production line at its rolled products plant in Grevenbroich, Germany. The new line will increase annual capacity for aluminium car body sheet to 200,000 metric tons. In the search for light-weighting vehicles and reducing CO2 emissions, automotive customers are looking for innovative... Read more →

Volvo Car Group’s new Drive-E powertrains (earlier post) are now also available on the Volvo V40 and V40 Cross Country. Fuel consumption in a diesel Volvo V40 D4 with a manual gearbox is down to 3.3 l/100 km (71.3 mpg US) (EU Combined), which corresponds to CO2 emissions at 85... Read more →

Sandia Labs project team building fuel cell cold ironing system for deployment at Port of Honolulu in 2015

A Sandia National Laboratories project team, including a number of industry partners, is designing and building a cold-ironing fuel cell system that will be deployed in the Port of Honolulu in 2015. The work comes on the heels of last year’s study and analysis that confirmed the viability of hydrogen... Read more →

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has built a demonstrator vehicle, based on a 2012 Buick Regal GS, incorporating the latest D-EGR (dedicated EGR) technology (earlier post), an outgrowth of SwRI’s HEDGE (High Efficiency Dilute Gasoline Engine) consortium projects (earlier post). The vehicle is currently delivering about a ~13% improvement on the... Read more →

200 kJ capacity TorqStor prototype to be shown at CONEXPO. Click to enlarge. Ricardo will introduce TorqStor—the latest generation of Ricardo’s high speed flywheel energy storage technology—at the CONEXPO 2014 show in Las Vegas as a pre-production prototype for OEM product integration. Ricardo’s TorqStor technology combines a modular, high-efficiency, carbon-fibre... Read more →

Global production of Mazda3 reaches 4M units; currently ~30% of total sales

Mazda Motor Corporation announced that cumulative production of the Mazda3 (known as Mazda Axela in Japan) reached four million units on 22 January 2014—ten years and seven months after production of the first-generation model commenced in June 2003. No other Mazda model has reached the milestone as quickly. The Mazda3... Read more →

BP starts up Na Kika Phase 3 in ultra-deepwater Gulf Of Mexico

BP announced the start-up of Na Kika Phase 3, a project supporting BP’s strategy of growing high-margin production at four BP-operated hubs in the ultra-deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The first Na Kika Phase 3 well began oil production on 19 February, with a second well expected to start up in... Read more →

Xilinx expands all programmable Artix-7 FPGA family with new automotive qualified devices

Xilinx, Inc. has expanded its Artix-7 Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) family for automotive applications. The new XA Artix-7 portfolio extends the Xilinx Automotive (XA) family of AEC-Q100 qualified FPGAs, providing best-in-class system performance per watt in applications such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS); in-vehicle infotainment (IVI); and driver... Read more →

A multi-institutional team led by researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign reports that it can increase sugarcane’s geographic range, boost its photosynthetic rate by 30% and turn it into an oil-producing crop for biodiesel production. These are the first steps in a larger research initiative—supported by $3.2 million... Read more →

Oerlikon Fairfield will unveil its new patent-pending off-highway hybrid electric drivetrain technology at the upcoming ConExpo-Con/Agg trade show from March 4-8 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The drivetrain technology utilizes a Tier 3 or Tier 4 engine driving a 227kW switch reluctance generator with step-up gearing to produce electrical... Read more →

Hyundai Motor will introduce the Intrado concept at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show next week. Intrado incorporates Hyundai’s next-generation hydrogen fuel cell powertrain, along with advanced lightweight body construction. Intrado (Hyundai says the name is derived from “intrados”—the inner curve of an arch, or, in aviation terms, the curve on... Read more →

Visteon partners with Autonet Mobile on connected car technology

Visteon Corporation and Autonet Mobile, Inc., an Internet-based telematics and apps service provider, have entered into an exclusive agreement for Visteon to integrate Autonet’s telematics technology into Visteon’s next-generation products for global vehicle manufacturers. Visteon and Autonet Mobile will provide vehicle manufacturers a complete end-to-end software and app platform, designed... Read more →

XL Hybrids and Knapheide Manufacturing complete more than 100 installations of XL3 powertrain on fleet vehicles

XL Hybrids, Inc., developer of hybrid electric powertrains for commercial vans and trucks, and Knapheide Manufacturing Company, one of the leading commercial vehicle equipment providers in North America, announced that Knapheide has completed more than 100 installations of XL Hybrids’ XL3 powertrain on fleet vehicles: Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana... Read more →

Kia is using lithium-ion polymer battery cells supplied by SK Inovation in the battery pack for the new Soul EV (earlier post). The pack, featuring an energy density of 200 Wh/kg (on the high end of specific energy ratings for current EVs), is the result of a three-year joint development... Read more →

Qualcomm, Red Bend and QuickPlay sign on to AT&T Drive Studio

AT&T announced that three additional companies—Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Red Bend, and QuickPlay Media—have signed on to work at the AT&T Drive Studio, a center for innovation and research in the connected car industry. (Earlier post.) Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated and a world leader in 3G, 4G... Read more →

A new in situ transmission electron microscopy technique enabled researchers to image the snowflake-like growth of the solid electrolyte interphase from a working battery electrode. Source: Sacci et al. Click to enlarge. Using a new microscopy method (earlier post), researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, with... Read more →