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A study by a team from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) shows that state electric vehicle incentives are playing a significant early role in reducing the effective cost of ownership and driving electric vehicle sales. As described in their white paper, “Evaluation of state-level US electric vehicle incentives”,... Read more →

Chevy byproducts provide homes for bats; helping in the fight against white-nose syndrome

General Motors is using waste adhesive from the production of the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray to build stalactites for artificial bat caves. International bat experts from such non-governmental organizations as Bat Conservation International and the Organization for Bat Conservation are reviewing the application. White-nose syndrome, a deadly fungus appearing on... Read more →

NHTSA fines Ferrari $3.5M for failing to submit early warning reports, three fatal accidents

The US Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that Ferrari will pay a $3.5-million civil penalty and has been ordered to comply with NHTSA oversight requirements as set forth in a Consent Order for failing to submit early warning reports (EWR reports) identifying potential or actual... Read more →

La Poste Group and Renault enter new eco-mobility partnership; coincides with delivery of the 5,000th Kangoo Z.E.

Philippe Wahl, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of La Poste group, and Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Renault group, signed a new partnership agreement today to pursue and strengthen their cooperation on the search for eco-mobility solutions. Since the launch of France’s low-carbon vehicle project in... Read more →

LG Chem breaks ground on Nanjing EV battery plant

LG Chem held a ground breaking ceremony for the construction of an electric-car battery plant in Nanjing, China. The Nanjing battery plant, with an annual production capacity of more than 100,000 electric vehicles when completed by the end of 2015, will supply batteries to Chinese automakers such as SAIC Motor... Read more →

DSM thermoplastics suited for lightweight tanks for CNG, H2; weight reduction up to 70%

Royal DSM says a combination of two of its most innovative thermoplastics technologies has resulted in high performance pressure vessels that are ideally suited for use as lightweight fuel tanks for automobiles running on compressed natural gas (CNG) or hydrogen. With a solution for both the inner liner and the... Read more →

Toyota to test expansion of EV and PHV charging infrastructure in Japan

Toyota Motor Corporation will be testing electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Aichi Prefecture from 1 November until 15 March 2015. The tests will involve standard chargers for use with vehicles such as plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs) and electric vehicles (EVs). The tests will be conducted jointly with four municipalities (Kariya... Read more →

Mercedes-Benz is now making its Crosswind Assist driver assistance function available as a retrofit solution for numerous variants of the Sprinter. The most important prerequisite is that the vehicle must be fitted with the current version of Adaptive ESP, available since January 2012. Almost all owners of vehicles built between... Read more →

BMW researchers and colleagues in project ABILE develop optimized ionic-liquid-based electrolyte for efficient Li-air batteries

A multinational team including researchers from the BMW Group have optimized an ionic liquid electrolyte for Li-air batteries, which resulted in a stable electrode-electrolyte interface and a highly reversible charge-discharge cycling behavior in a test Li-air coin cell. The charge process (oxygen oxidation reaction) is characterized by a very low... Read more →

Opinion: The End Of An Era: Is The US Petrodollar Under Threat?

by Andrew Topf of Oilprice.com Recent trade deals and high-level cooperation between Russia and China have set off alarm bells in the West as policymakers and oil and gas executives watch the balance of power in global energy markets shift to the East. The reasons for the cozier relationship between... Read more →

Study casting doubt on GHG benefits of corn stover ethanol draws sharp criticism by other researchers; Liska responds

A study published earlier this year in the journal Nature Climate Change that cast doubt on whether biofuels produced from corn residue could meet federal mandates for cellulosic biofuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60% compared to gasoline (earlier post) has drawn critical response published as correspondence in the... Read more →

BASF and Toda Kogyo forming a joint venture for Li-ion cathode active materials in Japan

BASF and Toda Kogyo have agreed to form a joint venture for Li-ion cathode active materials (CAM) in Japan. Under the terms of the agreement, BASF will acquire a 66% ownership stake in the new venture, with Toda Kogyo Corp. holding a 34% ownership stake. BASF and Toda Kogyo Corp.... Read more →

The Volkswagen Group was the top global R&D spender in 2014, according to The 2014 Global Innovation 1000 report from consultancy Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company) . This marks Volkswagen’s third year in a row in the top spot. Volkswagen, which spent US$13.5 billion on R&D in 2014 according to... Read more →

The Dewar Trophy was presented to Andy Cowell, Managing Director of HPP, along with members of his project team from Brixworth. Click to enlarge. The UK’s Royal Automobile Club (RAC) has awarded the prestigious Dewar Trophy, presented for outstanding technical achievement in the automotive industry, to Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains... Read more →

ZSW study finds combination of high-rate and low-temperature cycling increases hazard risks for Li-ion cells

A team from Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung (ZSW) in Germany reports in a paper in the Journal of Power Sources that the interaction of high-rate and low-temperature cycling increases the safety hazard for Li-ion batteries. In an earlier study (Waldmann 2014), also reported in the Journal of Power Sources,... Read more →

ARPA-E to award up to $25M in new GENSETS program; generator tech for residential CHP

The Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) has issued a funding opportunity (DE-FOA-0001198) for approximately $25 million for a new program: GENSETS (GENerators for Small Electrical and Thermal Systems). GENSETS seeks to fund the development of potentially disruptive generator technologies that will enable widespread deployment of residential Combined Heat... Read more →

Ford projects utility vehicles to account for 29% of its global sales by end of decade

Ford projects utility vehicles will account for 29% of its global sales by the end of the decade. Ford utility vehicles—ranging from the compact EcoSport to the eight-seat Expedition—accounted for 23% of brand sales globally in 2013, up from 17% a year earlier. Utility vehicle sales are expanding rapidly in... Read more →

DOE launches new Lab-Corps program to accelerate commercialization of clean energy technologies

The US Department of Energy (DOE) launched a new $2.3-million pilot program to accelerate the transfer of innovative clean energy technologies from the DOE’s National Laboratories into the commercial marketplace. Lab-Corps aims to better train and empower national lab researchers to successfully transition their discoveries into high-impact, real world technologies... Read more →

DOE seeking feedback on findings of hydrogen production and delivery workshops

The US Department of Energy's Fuel Cell Technologies Office has issued two requests for information (RFIs) seeking feedback from the research community and relevant stakeholders about electrolytic hydrogen production (DE-FOA-0001188) and hydrogen delivery research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) activities (DE-FOA-0001187) aimed at developing technologies that can ultimately produce and deliver... Read more →

Johnson Matthey buys Clariant’s LFP business for $75M; to combine with A123 Systems’ China facility in new Battery Materials entity

Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, has agreed to sell its Energy Storage line of business to Johnson Matthey Plc for US$75 million at closing, which is expected early 2015. The Energy Storage business of Clariant is the largest hydrothermal Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) producer in the world. The... Read more →

BASF Venture Capital leads $3M investment in SLIPS for super-omniphobic technology; joint development agreement

BASF Venture Capital has led a $3-million Series A financing with a $1.5 million investment in SLIPS Technologies Inc. based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Swiss entrepreneur and private investor Hansjörg Wyss has also participated in the financing. SLIPS Technologies develops customized, highly-repellent slippery surfaces for customers in all industries including... Read more →

Toho Tenax develops high-efficiency thermoset CFRP production technology

Toho Tenax Co., Ltd., the core company of the Teijin Group’s carbon fibers and composites business, has developed a new technology—Tenax Part via Preform (PvP)—for highly efficient production of thermoset carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP). Toho Tenax is now working with automakers worldwide to develop commercial applications for Tenax PvP. The... Read more →

EC says Honeywell and DuPont may have breached antitrust rules with R-1234yf low-GWP MAC refrigerant

The European Commission recently sent a formal Statement of Objections to Honeywell International Inc. and E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company of its preliminary view that the cooperation they entered into in 2010, based on several agreements on the production of a new low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant... Read more →

DOE launches $1M H2 Refuel H-Prize for small-scale hydrogen refueling

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) and the Hydrogen Education Foundation (HEF) launched the $1-million H2 Refuel H-Prize. The two-year competition challenges America’s engineers and entrepreneurs to develop affordable systems for small-scale hydrogen fueling. This H-Prize competition is intended to assist in expanding the hydrogen... Read more →

Study shows biodiesel blends in buses reduce PM, other harmful exhaust elements, EC and CO

A new study on the combustion properties of biodiesel for use in urban transit buses found that using biodiesel can effectively reduce the mass of particulate matter released in both hot and cold idle modes. The study, published by the Mineta National Transit Research Consortium (MNTRC), observed a reduction in... Read more →

Daimler moovel using IBM cloud infrastructure for car2go

Daimler subsidiary moovel GmbH is using cloud infrastructure from SoftLayer, an IBM Company, for its car-sharing mobile application car2go to allow the company to better serve its customers around the world by helping them find the least expensive or fastest way to travel. The moovel GmbH portfolio includes the car2go... Read more →

Indianapolis plans to add 425 PHEVs and BEVs to municipal fleet by 2016

The City of Indianapolis will upgrade 425 non-police-pursuit sedans in its muncipal fleet to plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles by early 2016, cut the size of the fleet by 100 vehicles, and save $8.7 million over ten years. The Indy fleet would be the largest municipal fleet of electrified... Read more →

Cutaway of the new power electronics unit, which is much smaller than in gen 1, and which is now integrated into the drive unit housing. The power electronics and the motors use separate cooling: water for the PE and ol for the motor unit. Click to enlarge. The second-generation Volt,... Read more →

Hyundai introducing new motor-integrated 6-speed transmission for hybrids

Hyundai Motor announced a new motor-integrated six-speed automatic transmission for hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) at the company’s annual International Powertrain Conference in Namyang, South Korea. The new six-speed automatic transmission will be fitted to future Hyundai hybrids, including the new Sonata. Almost all of the hybrid powertrain components are contained... Read more →

SoftBank leading $210M investment in Indian transportation aggregator

SoftBank Internet and Media, Inc. (SIMI) and ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (better known as “Ola Cabs” or “Ola”) announced a definitive agreement under which SIMI will lead an investment of $210 million in Ola along with existing investors. Ola, founded in 2011, has grown to become the leading transportation aggregator... Read more →

Later today at the Detroit Economic Club, General Motors CEO Mary Barra will confirm that its Warren Transmission Plant will build the new electric drive unit—the GM Voltec 4ET50 Multi-Mode EDU—for the upcoming second-generation Chevrolet Volt. As a result, most major Volt powertrain components—from the battery cells to the new... Read more →

GM Ventures invests in Telogis

Telogis has received an equity investment from GM Ventures, the venture capital subsidiary of General Motors. The investment extends the existing partnership between General Motors and Telogis that was formed earlier this year to take advantage of GM’s OnStar connected vehicle infrastructure to bring Telogis’ telematics and fleet management solutions... Read more →

California Energy Commission to award up to $3M for advanced biofuel projects

The California Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) announced (PON-14-602) the availability of up to $3 million in grant funds for biofuels projects that are in the early/pre-commercial technology development stage. This solicitation is emphasizing transformative technology solutions to significant biofuels industry problems that increase... Read more →

Researchers at the US Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have identified microbial genes that can improve both the tolerance and the production of isopentanol in engineered strains of Escherichia coli. Isopentenol is a five-carbon (C5) alcohol that is a highly promising candidate for biogasoline, but, like other... Read more →

Ferus Natural Gas Fuels commissions 1st merchant LNG facility in Canada

Ferus Natural Gas Fuels Inc. (Ferus NGF) held the grand opening of the first merchant liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Canada. The facility, which became commercially operational in May 2014, is located in Elmworth, Alberta, about 65 kilometers southwest of Grand Prairie. The LNG plant is located in the... Read more →

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has adjusted its estimates of the energy content of retail motor gasoline in its Monthly Energy Review (MER) to reflect its changing composition. Ethanol and other oxygenates, which have lower energy content than petroleum-based gasoline components, have seen their share of total gasoline volumes... Read more →

REG begins production and sales of renewable diesel from Geismar biorefinery

Renewable Energy Group, Inc. announced that commercial-scale quantities of renewable hydrocarbon diesel (RHD) produced at the company’s Geismar, Louisiana biorefinery are now available for sale. The first truckloads of REG-9000/RHD produced at the 75-million gallon nameplate biorefinery since REG acquired full ownership in June (earlier post) left the plant on... Read more →

Enerkem in partnerships to build waste-to-biofuels facilities in China

Canada-based waste-to-biofuels company Enerkem has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Shanghai Environmental Group Co. Ltd., a municipal solid waste management company and a subsidiary of Shanghai Chengtou Holding Co. Ltd., to develop a project partnership to jointly build municipal solid waste-to-biofuels and chemicals facilities in China. Enerkem also... Read more →

ORNL-led team demos 3D printing method with precise control of structure and properties of metals

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have demonstrated an additive manufacturing (3D printing) method to control the structure and properties of metal components with precision unmatched by conventional manufacturing processes. Ryan Dehoff, staff scientist and metal additive manufacturing lead at the Department of Energy’s Manufacturing Demonstration... Read more →

New analysis by Lux Research shows that carbon fiber demand will grow at an overall 13% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 36,000 tons in 2013 to 86,000 tons in 2020. In parallel, CFRP demand will also grow at 13% CAGR, from $15.4 billion in 2013 to $35 billion in... Read more →

Graphene 3D Lab Inc., which develops, manufactures, and markets proprietary graphene-based nanocomposite materials for various types of 3D printing, including fused filament fabrication, has developed a 3D printable graphene battery. CEO Daniel Stolyarov, presented the prototype 3D printable graphene battery at the Inside 3D Printing Conference in Santa Clara, CA... Read more →

UK providing £15M ($24M) for latest competition for greener transportation technologies

The UK government and Innovate UK—theTechnology Strategy Board are providing £15 million ($24 million) for the latest competition to encourage technologies for road-vehicles that will deliver significant reductions in CO2 emissions. The UK’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) has committed £11 million (US$18 million) while Innovate UK is providing... Read more →

Williams, Williams Partners L.P. and Access Midstream Partners, L.P. in $50B merger deal

Williams, Williams Partners L.P., and Access Midstream Partners, L.P. announced that Williams Partners and Access Midstream Partners have reached and entered into a merger agreement; total transaction value is approximately $50 billion. Williams owns controlling interests in the two master limited partnerships (MLP). The merged MLP will feature large-scale positions... Read more →

Neste Oil seeking California LCFS approval for gutter oil to renewable diesel pathway

Among four new California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) fuel pathway applications is a used cooking oil (gutter oil) to renewable diesel (NExBTL) pathway from Neste Oil at its Singapore plant. (Boeing and COMAC are opening a demonstration facility in China to convert gutter oil to renewable aviation fuel. Earlier... Read more →

Study identifies halogen-free superhalogen electrolytes for Li-ion batteries

Most electrolytes currently used in Li-ion batteries contain halogens, which are toxic. An in-depth study based on first-principles calculations by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University has shown that the anions of commercially available electrolytes for Li-ion batteries are all superhalogens. With this knowledge, they identified several halogen-free less-toxic superhalogen electrolytes... Read more →

HSBC joining Virgin Atlantic and LanzaTech in waste-gas-to-ethanol-to-jet-fuel effort

The UK’s largest bank, HSBC, is joining Virgin Atlantic and LanzaTech in supporting the preparation for a world-first flight using a low-carbon, synthetic jet fuel kerosene produced from industrial waste gases. LanzaTech is leading the development of the process that captures waste gases from industrial steel production and ferments them... Read more →

Mercedes-Benz received two MATERIALICA Design and Technology Awards at the MATERIALICA 2014 trade fair for materials applications, surface technology and product engineering in Munich. The first was for the new steel pistons for diesel engines (earlier post), the second for high-strength carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) struts. The MATERIALICA Award 2014... Read more →