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Pennsylvania to award ~$6M for purchase of and conversion to heavy-duty natural gas vehicles

The third round of Pennsylvania’s Natural Gas Vehicle grants opened yesterday, will provide an estimated $6 million to help pay for the incremental purchase and conversion costs of heavy-duty natural gas fleet vehicles. Since 2013, the state has awarded $14 million to 44 organizations and companies making the switch to... Read more →

The staff of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS) has released the final version of the policy assessment (PA) for the review of the ozone (O3) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Among the staff recommendations are to further reduce the primary... Read more →

Henkel partners with Formula E Team China Racing as exclusive adhesive supplier

Organizers of the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) Formula E Team China Racing announced a joint partnership with Henkel, the world leading supplier of high-tech automotive adhesive solutions, which helps promote development in the electric vehicle field. Formula E is the FIA’s first sustainable global motorsport championship featuring Formula cars... Read more →

High-entropy alloys (HEAs), which represent an emerging effort in materials science and engineering, are multi-principal-element (at least four) alloys that are promising for high-temperature applications due to their high resistance to softening at elevated temperatures and sluggish diffusion kinetics. However, HEAs so far have either high strength or high ductility;... Read more →

Opinion: New technology could end the debate over pipeline safety

by James Stafford of Oilprice.com Who could have ever imagined that North America would surpass Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas liquids? A decade ago, that would have seemed laughable. Yet that’s exactly what has happened; and it’s not just Saudi Arabia that has... Read more →

Court approves reorganization application from National Electric Vehicle Sweden

The District court of Vänersborg, Sweden, approved an application for reorganization from National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS), the company working to resurrect the SAAB brand. (Earlier post.) The District court has appointed Lars Eric Gustafsson, Attorney at Hamilton law firm in Stockholm, as administrator during the reorganization period. On... Read more →

J.D. Power: purchase consideration among consumers for domestic brands in China plummets, esp. in Tier 2 & 3 cities

Purchase consideration among new-vehicle shoppers in China for domestic brands has decreased, most notably in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2014 China New-Vehicle Intender Study (NVIS). The proportion of new-vehicle intenders who indicate they would consider buying a domestic brand has decreased... Read more →

Buick Envision. Click to enlarge. Shanghai GM officially launched the Buick Envision premium midsize SUV today in Chengdu. Four variants are being offered: the AWD Elite, AWD Luxury, AWD Versatile Flagship and AWD Versatile Sporty Flagship. The Envision comes with GM’s latest-generation 2.0T direct injection turbocharged engine, named one of... Read more →

Toyota approved to self-inspect and manufacture hydrogen tanks for fuel cell vehicles

Toyota Motor Corporation has received approval from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to self-inspect and manufacture high-pressure hydrogen tanks for fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). This makes Toyota the first company to become a registered manufacturer of 70 MPa (700 bar) hydrogen tanks under Japan’s High Pressure Gas... Read more →

TfL to test IPT wireless charging technology on 4 extended range diesel electric hybrid buses next year

TfL (Transport for London) will trial inductive charging systems provided by IPT Technology on up to four extended range diesel electric hybrid buses in east London from next year. The specially built hybrid double deck buses will operate on route 69 between Canning Town and Walthamstow bus stations. The Alexander... Read more →

Study finds external effects negate Hong Kong local efforts to reduce ozone pollution; multiregional policies needed

Researchers from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department and UC Irvine present in a paper in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology direct evidence that increasing regional effects have negated local control efforts for O3 (ozone) pollution in Hong Kong over the past decade. The researchers... Read more →

ARPA-E to provide up to $30M for R&D to aid development of fusion power

ARPA-E is making up to $30 million in funding available (DE-FOA-0001184) for a new program: Accelerating Low-cost Plasma Heating and Assembly (ALPHA). ALPHA seeks to support innovative R&D on low-cost tools to aid in the future development of fusion power. The program will focus on intermediate-density fusion approaches between low-density,... Read more →

ORNL team tailors the structure of carbon black from waste tires to create higher performance carbon anode material for Li-ion batteries

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have tailored the microstructural characteristics of carbon black recovered from discarded tires to produce a higher performance, low-cost carbon anode material for Li-ion batteries. Electrochemical studies reported in their paper published in the journal RSC Advances showed that the recovered-carbon-based anode had a... Read more →

Renesas introduces new 40 nm RH850/C1x series of microcontrollers for HEV/EV motor control applications

Renesas Electronics Corporation has introduced the new RH850/C1x Series of 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs), designed for motor control in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs). Based on Renesas Electronics’ 40-nanometer (nm) process, the RH850/C1x Series features the RH850/C1H and RH850/C1M MCUs, which enable embedded designers to enhance efficiency, reduce... Read more →

NIRA Dynamics develops algorithms that estimate friction between road and tire

Swedish signal processing and controls company NIRA Dynamics AB has developed algorithms that can estimate the friction value between the road and the tires. NIRA is now looking for automotive applications and partners to bring the new algorithms out onto the road. Driving at excessive speed or misjudging the road... Read more →

LG Innotek has developed the first “rare-earth-free” automotive dual-clutch transmission (DCT) motor. Rare earth elements are usually used in materials for in automotive motors, but there are only small and concentrated reserves worldwide of the rare earth minerals. As such, they are subject to sharp price increases when supplies dwindle.... Read more →

Hitachi begins joint research with MIT, U Michigan and UC Berkeley on next-gen nuclear reactors that use radioactive waste as fuel

Hitachi, Ltd. has begun joint research with MIT, the University of Michigan, and the University of California, Berkeley aimed at using Transuranium Elements (TRUs) as fuel, and the development of Resource-renewable Boiling Water Reactors (RBWRs) to use that fuel. TRUs are contained in the radioactive waste materials discharged by nuclear... Read more →

Chevrolet sells 3 millionth Cruze; China the top market

Sixteen months after passing the 2-million units mark, Chevrolet has sold 3 million Cruze compact cars. The Cruze made its global debut in South Korea in November 2008. China is the model’s top-selling market, with 1.13 million units sold through July 2014. The US comes in second with 900,000 units,... Read more →

New Renault Twingo. Click to enlarge. Renault has introduced its new, third-generation Twingo, which was developed in partnership with Daimler (earlier post). The latest generation of the city car is 10cm shorter than its predecessor, yet the interior of its cabin is 33cm longer; its turning circle is 4.30 meters... Read more →

Lockheed Martin purchases assets of Sun Catalytix

Lockheed Martin has completed the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Sun Catalytix Corporation, an MIT spin-out which was initially focused on developing an “artificial leaf” for water-splitting (earlier post), but which changed course to develop a grid-scale flow battery for energy storage. The former Sun Catalytix’ current... Read more →

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that the amount of crude oil and refined petroleum products moved by US railroads increased 9% during the first seven months of this year compared with the same period in 2013. In July, monthly average carloadings of oil and petroleum products were near... Read more →

California Energy Commission awards additional $1M for more EV chargers

The California Energy Commission approved an additional $1 million to fund new fast electric vehicle chargers in Southern California and expand chargers in Sonoma County. The CEC also voted at its business meeting to approve three grants totaling $623,000 for technologies to monitor this critical energy infrastructure. The California Energy... Read more →

Telefonix introduces new low-current Level 2 EV charging station

Telefonix, Inc., a developer of cord reel technology and solutions primarily for highly regulated industries, and manufacturer of the PowerPost commercial electric vehicle (EV) charging station product line, has entered the Level 2 electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE) market with UL approval of their L2 PowerPost EV charging station. The... Read more →

Unregulated open trash burning around the globe is pumping far more pollution into the atmosphere than shown by official records. A new study led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) estimates that more than 40% of the world’s garbage is burned in such fires, emitting gases and particles... Read more →

Chile, US navies to carry on working on drop-in alternative fuels

Chilean Undersecretary of Defense Marcos Robledo and United States Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus last week agreed to continue, through their respective navies, discussions on research, development and use of advanced drop-in alternative fuels to power surface ships and aircraft. The United States and Chilean navies recognize the benefits... Read more →

Nissan to begin production of Pathfinder hybrid in Russia; importance of Russian market

Nissan launched its Pathfinder range in the Russian market at the Moscow Motor Show. The Pathfinder made its debut alongside the new Russian-built Sentra sedan. Nissan’s all-new fourth-generation Pathfinder—which will be built in Russia—will be available with a standard 3.5L gasoline engine as well as the hybrid drive system. (Earlier... Read more →

GM to invest $233M more in building Ecotec small-displacement gasoline engines

General Motors will invest $185 million to make small-displacement gasoline engines at its Spring Hill, Tennessee manufacturing complex. An additional $48.4-million investment is planned for the Bedford, Ind. powertrain castings plant. Both investments support GM’s new small displacement engine, which is part of an all-new Ecotec engine family that will... Read more →

Infographic: 5 Largest US Public Transit Systems

The University of North Carolina School of Government’s MPA@UNC program has produced an infographic on the 5 largest US public transit systems. The graphic showcases the history and development, ridership and key metrics, and current and upcoming improvements of the transit systems in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Washington DC... Read more →

Mitsubishi plug-in hybrid Outlander going on sale in Russia in September

At the Moscow International Automobile Salon 2014, Mitsubishi presented its four-wheel drive SUV plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), the Outlander PHEV (earlier post); sales of the Outlander PHEV will start in Russia from September, 2014. The Outlander PHEV is the top-selling plug-in in Europe. With almost 11,000 units sold so... Read more →

The new XC90, with “Thor’s hammer” DRL lights. Click to enlarge. Volvo Cars revealed the XC90, its new 7-seat SUV, at an event in Sweden. Three years in the making and part of an $11-billion investment program, the new XC90 leverages the new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) technology, and will... Read more →

IPCC sends draft Synthesis Report to governments for comment

Authors of the Intergovernmental Report on Climate Change (IPCC) have finished drafting the Synthesis Report of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) and sent the draft to governments for comments on the text. The Synthesis Report is the final product of the Fifth Assessment cycle. It will integrate key messages from... Read more →

Ford Selects Nat G as newest Qualified Vehicle Modifier; factory-qualified natural gas upgrades in Texas

Nat G CNG Solutions, a Houston-based company specializing in compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle upgrades, has been selected as a Ford Motor Company Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM). Ford instituted the QVM Program to improve quality assurance for Ford vehicle modifications, including natural gas vehicle upgrades. Most of the Ford vehicles... Read more →

Johnson Controls invests in IHU-TUT project to combine aluminum and steel in laser-welded tailored tubes for seats

Johnson Controls is investing in a German automotive research project working to combine steel and aluminum in laser-welded tailored tubes for use in seats for the first time. The result could be a 10 to 20 percent reduction in weight, which would be beneficial for fuel and emissions balance. Tailored... Read more →

Zipcar introduces Honda Fit EV into UC Davis West Village fleet

Zipcar has introduced a 2014 Honda Fit battery electric vehicle (EV) at The University of California, Davis’ (UC Davis) West Village, the largest planned zero net energy community in the United States. In the course of a year, the community is designed to generate as much energy as it consumes.... Read more →

US MARAD study finds marine use of natural gas substantially reduces some air pollutants and slightly reduces GHG emissions

A recently released total fuel cycle analysis for maritime case studies shows that natural gas fuels reduce some air quality pollutants substantially, and reduce major greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions slightly, when compared to conventional petroleum-based marine fuels (low-sulfur and high-sulfur). The study was released by the US Department of Transportation’s... Read more →

In its latest Monday note, energy research company Douglas-Westwood wrote that the Exploration & Production industry (E&P), experiencing rising global hydrocarbon demand as well as rising costs, is facing the technical challenge of the development of High Pressure – High Temperature (HPHT) reserves. HP / Extreme HP typically refers to... Read more →

Black carbon linked to increased cardiovascular risk; exacerbated by co-exposure to motor vehicle emissions

Black carbon (BC) from incomplete biomass and fossil fuel combustion is the most strongly light-absorbing component of particulate matter (PM) air pollution and a major climate-forcing emission. A new international study led by McGill University (Canada) Professor Jill Baumgartner suggests that black carbon may also increase the risk of cardiovascular... Read more →

Toyota switches on solar array at Deeside engine plant

Toyota recently switched on a solar array at its Deeside engine factory in North Wales. The solar array, designed and installed by British Gas, can produce up to 3,475,000 kWh a year—enough electricity to build up to 22,500 engines. The Toyota plant’s carbon emissions will fall by 1,800 tonnes a... Read more →

Schematic illustration of the synthesis of SPGs. Credit: ACS, Li et al. Click to enlarge. Researchers at Rice University led by Dr. James Tour have developed a hierarchical nanocomposite material of graphene nanoribbons combined with polyaniline and sulfur (Sulfur-PANI-GNRs, SPG) using an inexpensive, simple method. The composite shows good rate... Read more →

Volvo Buses officially launching plug-in 7900 Electric Hybrid; up to 75% reduction in fuel consumption

Volvo Buses will officially launch the plug-in 7900 Electric Hybrid bus at the International IAA Commercial Vehicles show in September. The plug-in technology reduces fuel consumption and carbon dioxide by up to 75%, compared to a conventional diesel bus. Total energy consumption is reduced by 60%. Three Volvo Electric Hybrids... Read more →

Altech-Eco receives ARB certification for dedicated 2014 F-250/350 6.2L CNG conversion system

Altech-Eco Corporation has obtained Executive Order (E.O.) certification from the California Air Resources Board (ARB) for the compressed natural gas (CNG) Dedicated conversion system for the 2014 Ford 6.2L V8 F-250/350 pickups with Ford-supplied CNG gaseous prepped engine. The dedicated version converts the vehicle to operate 100% on CNG, which... Read more →

Audi moving ahead with 48V system in vehicles; mild hybrids

Audi will upgrade part of its vehicle electrical system from 12 to 48 volts. The move represents another technical building block for facilitating the integration of new automotive technologies while increasing the power and efficiency of its cars. Audi recently showcased the scope of the 48-volt electrical system with the... Read more →

Russia’s KRET develops universal charging stations for electric vehicles

KRET, part of Rostec, has developed the FORA universal charging stations for the rapid charging of electric vehicles in Russia and abroad. Prototypes will be presented at the KRET pavilion during the 3rd international forum Engineering Technologies-2014. The State Ryazan Instrument Plant, which is part of KRET, has made three... Read more →

Shvabe Holding testing ship-mounted laser cannon for cutting Arctic ice

Specialists at Shvabe Holding, part of Russia’s Rostec, are preparing to test a newly developed ship-mounted laser cannon that can cut through ice. The company developed the ship-mounted laser for exploration and development in the Arctic, said Shvabe Holding CEO Sergey Maksin at the international exhibition Defense Expo. The laser... Read more →

MIT study finds air quality co-benefits of US carbon policies can significantly offset costs, depending upon the policy

The human health benefits associated with improvements in air quality related to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions improvements can offset 26–1,050% of the cost of US carbon policies, depending upon the type of policy, according to a new study by a team from MIT. (Air quality co-benefits are additional... Read more →

DOE awarding $67M to 83 projects in nuclear energy research and infrastructure enhancement

The US Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced nearly $67 million to 83 projects in nuclear energy research and infrastructure enhancement awards. As part of the announcement, the Energy Department is awarding over $30 million through its Nuclear Energy Research Programs (NEUP) to support 44 university-led nuclear energy research and... Read more →

Report: Mercedes-Benz equipping S500 with gasoline particulate filter

DieselNet reports that Mercedes-Benz has equipped the S500 with a gasoline particulate filter (GPF), representing the first series production application of the GPF technology. The installation was confirmed in the Auto-Umweltliste 2014/2015 report published by the Verkehrsclub Deutschland (VCD, German Traffic Club). European regulations mandate a solid particle number (PN)... Read more →

More work reported on approaches to stabilizing lithium metal anodes for high energy rechargeable batteries

Metallic lithium, with a high theoretical capacity of ~3,860 mAh g-1, is one of the most promising materials for anodes in next-generation high energy rechargeable battery systems for long-range electric vehicles. (Earlier post.) Indeed, in a paper in ACS’ Chemical Reviews, Arumugam Manthiram et al. from the University of Texas... Read more →

The ACME Project Roadmap, showing the relative sequencing of major simulation campaigns, model version development, and machine deployment. Click to enlarge. Eight national laboratories—Lawrence Livermore, Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest and Sandia—are combining forces with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, four academic institutions and... Read more →