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Shenzhen to issue only 100K new license plates per year in effort to combat congestion and pollution

On 30 December, the city government of Shenzhen, China announced that it will only issue 100,000 license plates per year via lotteries and auctions, with immediate effect, to fight congestion and pollution. Shenzhen, a major high-tech and manufacturing hub in southern China’s Guangdong province, is located just north of Hong... Read more →

Cumulative light-duty NGV sales by segment. Source: Navigant. Click to enlarge. In a new report, Navigant Research forecasts that light-duty natural gas vehicle (LD NGV) sales will grow 119% between 2014 and 2024, culminating in 42.1 million NGVs on the world’s roads and accounting for 2.8% of all vehicles on... Read more →

Schematic illustration of a Li-O2 cell employing a mesoporous catalytic polymer membrane. Credit: ACS, RYu et al. Click to enlarge. A team at Yale University has introduced a new Li-O2 cell architecture that uses a mesoporous catalytic polymer-based membrane between the oxygen electrode and the separator to achieve high reversibility... Read more →

Ford and AccuWeather partner to bring MinuteCast hyper-local weather forecasting into vehicle

AccuWeather, a leader in digital weather information, is introducing its MinuteCast to Ford SYNC AppLink customers. The technology uses an exact street address or GPS location to provide minute-by-minute hyper-local weather forecasting, information about precipitation type, intensity and duration to the driver. MinuteCast predicts start and end times for precipitation... Read more →

Power and torque curves for stock and performance-tuned Focus ST with 2.0L I-4 EcoBoost. Click to enlarge. Ford is now offering EcoBoost engines in all of its high-performance nameplates—from Fiesta ST to Mustang—enabling a new kind of aftermarket tuning. Modifying engine performance can be accomplished with hand-held programmers that adjust... Read more →

One-pot electrolytic process produces H2 and solid carbon from water and CO2. Li et al. Click to enlarge. A team at George Washington University led by Professor Stuart Licht has simultaneously co-generated hydrogen and solid carbon fuels from water and CO2 using a mixed hydroxide/carbonate electrolyte in a “single-pot” electrolytic... Read more →

Canada bans shipments of lithium metal batteries on passenger flights

The Canadian Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt announced a suite of amendments to Canada’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR), including a ban on transporting lithium metal batteries as cargo on passenger flights in Canada. The new ban does not apply to Li metal batteries already contained in devices, nor... Read more →

DOE VTO publishes summary report from 2014 Annual Merit Review (AMR) and Peer Evaluation Meeting

The Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) published its summary report (1,193 pages) from the 2014 Annual Merit Review (AMR) and Peer Evaluation Meeting held June 16-20. The VTO Merit Review is held jointly with the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) Merit Review. The objective of the... Read more →

Car Charging Group raises $6M

Car Charging Group, Inc., the largest owner, operator, and provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging services, closed an offering and raised net proceeds of up to $6 million with current institutional shareholders. The offering consisted of convertible preferred securities with a conversion price of $0.70 and warrants exercisable at $1.00.... Read more →

WSU team generates significant amounts of gasoline-range hydrocarbons from microwave-assisted pyrolysis of polyethylene

Researchers at Washington State University report microwave-induced pyrolysis of low-density polyethylene (a model of waste plastics) using ZSM-5 as a catalyst to generate significant amounts (74.73–88.49%) of gasoline-range hydrocarbons. This marks the first time that plastic was used for microwave-assisted pyrolysis over ZSM-5, the researchers said in their paper in... Read more →

Canadian study finds commuters may be exposed to increased levels of traffic-related pollution

A study by researchers led by a team from the Air Health Science Division of Health Canada (the Federal department responsible for helping Canadians maintain and improve their health) finds that commuters may be exposed to increased levels of traffic-related air pollution owing to close proximity to traffic-emissions. The study... Read more →

Ford issues 2015 trends report; the emergent role of Generation Z

Ford has issued its third annual trends report, a compilation of consumer research and insights from thought leaders around the world, which is intended to provide a look at micro-trends expected to influence products and brands for 2015 and beyond. From the growing influence of young, socially conscious consumers, to... Read more →

Autonet Mobile to showcase remote, over-the-air (OTA) software management of connected vehicles

At the Consumer Telematics Show (CTS) and Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015 in Las Vegas, Autonet Mobile, Inc., a provider of internet-based telematics application services designed for vehicles, will showcase the first end-to-end OTA solution that allows Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to adopt a phased approach towards OTA service deployment.... Read more →

Douglas-Westwood: decline in oil prices may impact development of subsea processing

In the Douglas-Westwood Monday note, Andy Jenkins from the energy research group’s London office observes that the decline in oil prices may impact deepwater production and in particular a key future enabler: subsea processing (SSP). SSP encompasses a number of technologies, all with the potential to reduce costs and improve... Read more →

Researchers from Nanyang Technical University (NTU) in Singapore have shown high-capacity, high-rate, and durable lithium- and sodium-ion battery (LIB and NIB) performance using single-crystalline long-range-ordered bilayered VO2 nanoarray electrodes. The VO2 nanoarrays are supported on graphene foam (GF) and coated with a thin (∼2 nm) layer of graphene quantum dots... Read more →

Berkeley Lab/MIT team identifies promising multivalent cathode materials for high energy-density batteries

A team from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and MIT has used high-throughput first-principles calculations to evaluate systematically the performance of spinel-structure compounds as multivalent intercalation cathode materials. Their work, reported in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science, spanned a matrix of five different intercalating ions and seven transition metal... Read more →

Study finds 2008 recession contributed to increase in age of US LDV fleet, slowing of emission reductions

The global economic recession of 2008—which severely depressed light-duty vehicle sales—resulted in an increase in the age of the light-duty vehicle fleet in the US that likely slowed the rate of decrease of fleet average emissions, according to a study by Gary Bishop and Donald Stedman at the University of... Read more →

Report: Raízen to invest ~US$927M in sugarcane cellulosic ethanol plants in Brazil over next 10 years

The Financial Times reports that Raízen, Shell’s joint venture in Brazil, will invest about R$2.5 billion (about US$927 million) on eight cellulosic ethanol plants using sugarcane bagasse, straw and leaves as feedstock before 2024 in an effort to increase its biofuel output by up to 50%. Its first second-generation ethanol... Read more →

This sheet of graphene contains an array of crown ethers that can strongly bind select guest ions or molecules. Image credit: ORNL. Click to enlarge. A team led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has discovered a way to increase significantly the selectivity and binding strength of... Read more →

Petrobras authorized to start early production in ultra-deep Búzios field

Petrobras has received authorization from Brazil’s National Oil, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANP) to initiate the early production system of well 2-ANP-1RJS, located in Búzios field (formerly known as the Franco area), in the Santos Basin pre-salt. Through this temporary system, the company will be able to produce for... Read more →

Audi boosting investment over next 5 years by 9% to €24B; 70% to new models and technology

From 2015 through 2019, Audi plans to invest €24 billion (US$29 billion)—€2 billion (US$2.4 billion), or 9% more, more than in the previous planning period. 70 percent of the investment will flow into the development of new models and technologies. Audi aims to meet stringent CO2 limits worldwide with a... Read more →

New system uses thermal camera and CO sensor to improve vehicle safety

eInfochips, a leading Product Engineering Services company, announced the availability of a new System on Module (SoM) and related engineering services. When connected to a car’s telemetry system that collects data about the car and the environment, the system module’s thermal camera can detect the presence of children in the... Read more →

Researchers with Molecular Rebar Design report that the addition of discrete carbon nanotubes (dCNT), which they call Molecular Rebar, to both the positive and negative electrodes (Positive Active Material, PAM and Negative Active Material, NAM) in conventional flooded lead-acid batteries results in: little change to reserve capacity; improved cold cranking,... Read more →

Vitruivan crowd-sourcing funding for novel biofuel from sewage treatment bio-solids

Vitruvian Energy is trying to crowd-fund its novel biofuel EEB (ethyl 3-ethoxybutyrate). EEB is produced from organic waste, including (and initially) sewage treatment bio-solids—the leftover, dirt-like organic material that remains after a community’s wastewater is treated. With 20 days left in the campaign, the company has raised $3,500 of a... Read more →

Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has selected IHI Corporation and Toshiba Corporation as co-researchers in a project to develop and to demonstrate an underwater floating-type turbine system for ocean energy power generation. The project is slated to continue until FY 2017. Ocean power generator with counterrotating... Read more →

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV now able to supply vehicle-to-home (V2H) power

Mitsubishi Motors’ Outlander PHEV is now also able to supply electrical power to the home in Japan using the SMART V2H (vehicle-to-home) system made by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, the EVPower Station made by Nichicon Corporation and the Tsubaki eLINK made by Tsubakimoto Chain Co. Connecting to the V2H system is... Read more →

Biogas2PEM-FC project converts waste from olive oil production to electricity

An EU-funded project, Biogas2PEM-FC, has developed a system to convert the toxic waste from olive oil production into electricity. The project, coordinated by Nordic fuel cell technology company PowerCell, resulted in the building of a complete pilot plant on an olive farm in Andalucía, Spain. The two-year project was completed... Read more →

ITM Power receives second contract to support deployment of Power-to-Gas technology in UK

In the UK, ITM Power, a manufacturer of integrated hydrogen energy solutions, secured a second commercial contract from AMEC Foster Wheeler plc and National Grid plc to create the business case for widespread deployment of Power-to-Gas energy storage technology to reduce the energy losses in the gas network. This second... Read more →

Blossman Services developing dual-fuel conversion systems with Prins Dieselblend technologies for Class 7 & 8 trucks

Blossman Services Inc. (BSI), a subsidiary of Blossman Gas, Inc., earlier this year announced a new joint venture in the US with BL Energie USA to develop, certify, market and sell diesel displacement systems utilizing the Prins Dieselblend technology for heavy-duty class 7 & 8 trucks. The Dieselblend system makes... Read more →

Researchers at Kitasato University in Japan, Brown University in the US, and colleagues in Japan have found that bacteria could be a rich source of terpenes—natural compounds common in plants and fungi that can be used to make drugs, food additives, perfumes, and other products, including advanced fuels (earlier post,... Read more →

Researchers at Sandia and Argonne national laboratories have demonstrated, for the first time, a method to successfully predict pressure-dependent chemical reaction rates. It’s an important breakthrough in combustion and atmospheric chemistry that is expected to benefit auto and engine manufacturers, oil and gas utilities and other industries that employ combustion... Read more →

DOE to award up to $2M to 3 projects for hydrogen and fuel cell supply chain and manufacturing analysis

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected three projects to receive up to $2 million in new funding for analysis of the hydrogen and fuel cells domestic supply chain and manufacturing competitiveness. Funded in part by the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, this funding opportunity supports the Department’s broader effort... Read more →

Eight-speed transmission housings move down the assembly line at Kokomo Transmission Plant. Click to enlarge. With sales of vehicles equipped with the popular eight-speed transmission growing, FCA US LLC (the new name for Chrysler Group LLC) will invest an additional $266 million in its Kokomo Transmission Plant (Ind.) to increase... Read more →

Hybrid in flight. Click to enlarge. Researchers from the University of Cambridge, in association with Boeing, have successfully tested a light aircraft powered by a parallel hybrid-electric propulsion system, in which an electric motor and gasoline engine work together to drive the propeller. The demonstrator aircraft—based on a single-seat, ultralight... Read more →

Navigant: gasoline and diesel stop-start vehicles to represent 58% of all new vehicles sold in 2025

In a new report analyzing the emerging global market for technologies that improve fuel economy, Navigant Research forecasts that sales of gasoline and diesel stop-start vehicles (SSVs) will reach 63 million annually by 2025, representing 58% of all vehicles sold in that year. SSVs eliminate idling when the vehicle is... Read more →

Orbital suing Daimler and Bosch for alleged patent infringement on direct injection technology

Australia-based specialized engine and vehicle systems company Orbital Corporation has filed court documents in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia alleging the infringement of Orbital patents on direct injection technology by Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz USA LLC, Mercedes-Benz US International, Inc. (Mercedes), Robert Bosch GMGH and Robert... Read more →

Google announces first fully functional build of self-driving prototype

In a post on Google+, Google engineers announced that they have assembled a fully functional prototype for fully autonomous driving; the vehicle unveiled earlier this year was an “early mockup”. Since then, we’ve been working on different prototypes-of-prototypes, each designed to test different systems of a self-driving car—for example, the... Read more →

OriginOil launches Hong Kong subsidiary to initiate its China commercial venture

OriginOil Inc., developer of Electro Water Separation (EWS)—a high-speed, chemical-free process to clean up large quantities of water—will launch a subsidiary in Hong Kong and grant it a master license for the People’s Republic of China. In turn, the subsidiary is expected to license regional joint ventures for frack and... Read more →

Mexico’s Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) has proposed new heavy-duty vehicle emissions standards, aligned with current standards in place in the rest of North America and in the European Union. The current limit values in Mexico are equivalent to Euro IV or EPA 2004 standards. The proposed modification... Read more →

UK launches $39M competition for advanced biofuels demonstration plants; targeting min. 60% GHG reduction vs. fossil fuels

The Department for Transport (DfT) recently launched a £25-million (US$39-million) competition to support the development of a domestic biofuels industry in the UK. The competition will provide capital funding for three demonstration-scale advanced biofuel plants. The projects will be selected through a competitive process, with funding provided over a three-year... Read more →

USDOT preparing to issue solicitation for Phase 1 of Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment program

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) is preparing to issue (on or before 15 January 2015) a solicitation for a full and open competition to procure services for the Connected Vehicle (CV) Pilot Deployment program, Phase 1: Concept Development. Accordingly, USDOT has issued the synopsis notice (DTFH6115R00003) for Phase 1.... Read more →

Nesscap completes US$1M convertible note financing

Ultracapacitor company Nesscap Energy Inc. has completed a non-brokered private placement of a US $1,000,000 Convertible Note with I2BF Energy. The proceeds will be used for working capital. The offering constituted the second tranche of the bridge financing previously announced on 8 April 2014. The Note has a maturity date... Read more →

Li-ion maker Boston Power secures US$290M from two local Chinese governments for expansion

Li-ion maker Boston Power has secured US$290 million in local government financial support for the expansion of its two facilities in China. The company’s Liyang facility will receive a total investment of $160 million, increasing its manufacturing capacity fivefold by 2016. The company’s Tianjin facility will grow its capacity to... Read more →

US Navy flies supersonic with 50% blend of Gevo ATJ

The US Navy, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), and isobutanol provider Gevo, Inc. announced the first successful “alcohol-to-jet” (ATJ) (earlier post) supersonic flight at the Naval Air Warfare Center in Patuxent River, Md. This is the first aviation test program comprehensively to \test and evaluate the performance of a 50/50... Read more →

Sample output. Effect of increasing the β weighting factor (problem formulation with battery) and applying a higher cooling rate (problem formulation without battery) on the cumulative fuel consumption for the UDDS at a 70% target SoC. Shaltout et al. Click to enlarge. Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the... Read more →

Schaeffler to show 48V mild-hybrid SUV concept at NAIAS; phase 2 of development meets 2025 CAFE

At the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit in January, Schaeffler will show the second phase of its concept car that meets 2025 CAFE requirements, including its mild hybridization with a 48-volt system. (Earlier post.) The vehicle is based on a modern, all-wheel-drive, midsize SUV with an... Read more →

Renovo to show electric supercar prototype at CES

Renovo Motors, Inc., will offer the first public viewing of its electric supercar prototype at the upcoming 2015 International CES in Las Vegas. (Earlier post.) Using a factory-modified Shelby American CSX9000 rolling chassis (“Cobra Daytona Coupe”), Renovo’s eponymous coupe features twin mid-mounted sequential axial-flux motors producing more than 370 kW... Read more →

BNEF: Oil price plunge to have only moderate impact on low-carbon electricity development, but likely to slow EV growth

The collapse in world oil prices in the second half of 2014 will have only a moderate impact on the fast-developing low-carbon transition in the world electricity system, according to research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance. However, the slump in the Brent crude price per barrel from $112.36 on 30... Read more →