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NHTSA announces follow-up recall of 2.12 million cars and SUVs over TRW airbag defects

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced today the recall of more than 2.12 million Acura, Dodge, Jeep, Honda, Pontiac, and Toyota vehicles from model years 2002 to 2004 for a defect that may cause airbags to deploy inadvertently. The vehicles were subject to earlier recalls to address a problem with... Read more →

SolidEnergy, an MIT spin-out commercializing solid electrolyte technology enabling the use of lithium metal anodes for high energy density rechargeable batteries (earlier post), says that in 2016, it and its battery manufacturing partners will release a 2 Ah commercial battery for the smartphone and wearable market. This is to be... Read more →

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has released a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for funding projects for Phase 1: Concept Development of the Connected Vehicle (CV) Pilot Deployment Program. (DTFH6115R00003) DOT is sponsoring connected vehicle research to leverage the potentially transformative capabilities of wireless technology to make surface transportation safer,... Read more →

California ARB tightens back down on NOx requirement to 0.20 g/bhp-hr for replacement school buses

When the California Air Resources Board (ARB) initially established emissions criteria for replacement schoolbuses in 2008, the target for 2010 and newer model year school bus engines was 0.20 gram per brake horsepower-hour (g/bhp-hr) NOx and 0.01 g/bhp-hr particulate matter (PM) standards. However, due to the limited number of model... Read more →

BMW Group ConnectedDrive increases data security

The BMW Group is increasing the security of data transmission in its vehicles in response to reports from the German Automobile Association (ADAC). The motorist’s association had identified a potential security gap when data is transmitted. The BMW Group has closed this gap with a new configuration. A review by... Read more →

Bosch completes acquisition of ZF’s share of ZF Lenksysteme JV; electric steering systems for fuel efficiency, ADAS and automated driving

The Bosch Group has completed its acquisition of ZF Friedrichshafen AG’s 50-percent share in the joint venture ZF Lenksysteme GmbH (ZFLS). Bosch now owns all shares in the formerly 50:50 joint venture, formed in 1999. It will be incorporated into the Bosch Group as a new division with the name... Read more →

EaglePicher Licenses OneD Material’s SiNANOde silicon-nanowire anode technology

EaglePicher Technologies, LLC has entered into a License Agreement and an Engineering Services Agreement with OneD Material to set up a new EaglePicher production facility in Joplin to produce SiNANOde, a silicon-nanowire-based anode material originally developed by Nanosys (earlier post) for building high energy density lithium-ion cells and batteries. (In... Read more →

Volkswagen will formally introduce the new Golf GTD (“Gran Turismo Diesel”) Variant at the Geneva Motor Show; the sporty and economical long-distance cruiser is available to order now in Europe at a price of €31,975 (US$36,177). Like the Golf GTD (earlier post) the Golf GTD Variant features the 184 PS... Read more →

Researchers from Caltech and UC San Diego report very high performance catalysts to convert seed oils to olefins

Researchers from Caltech and UC San Diego have developed a family of ruthenium-based metathesis catalysts that have shown exceptional activity in the conversion of seed oils to linear-chain olefins. In many cases, catalyst turnover numbers (TONs) of more than 100 ,000 were achieved, at a catalyst loading of only 3 ppm.... Read more →

The Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department of the University of Illinois at Chicago has entered into an agreement with New Energy Innovations, Inc. (NEI), to optimize New Energy Innovations’ TPRES (Traffic Powered Renewable Energy System), a new traffic-powered source of electricity that can be deployed at intersections, municipalities, airport entrances,... Read more →

Voltage profiles of charge-discharge cycles of the solid-state Li-S battery. Current density of 0.05 C). The specific capacity is given per g of sulfur. Yamada et al. Click to enlarge. A team from Samsung R&D and the University of Rome “La Sapienza” have fabricated a novel all solid-state Li-S battery... Read more →

NEC introduces 12V Li-ion battery line for stationary applications

NEC Energy Solutions, along with NEC Corporation, has announced production availability of the Li-ion ALM 12V35 product line of 12-Volt batteries utilizing Nanophosphate lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) technology from A123 Systems. With its EverSafe battery protection technology, the ALM 12V35 is immune to short circuit, overvoltage, undervoltage, and other common... Read more →

2015 Aluminum Joining Manual

The Aluminum Association has published a manual detailing the range of commercially available production processes for joining aluminum components in automotive applications. Developed in collaboration with the European Aluminium Association (EAA) and the Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC), the joining manual is a reference for automotive designers and engineers as use... Read more →

McLaren-Honda revealed its new MP4-30 racer for the upcoming 2015 FIA Formula One (F1) World Championship. The car is fitted with Honda’s RA615H Hybrid power unit. (Earlier post.) The McLaren-Honda MP4-30 is the only chassis on the grid to be fitted with Honda’s new RA615H Hybrid power unit. The car... Read more →

ITF: Freight transport will replace passenger traffic as main CO2 source from surface transportation by 2050

In the face of shifting global trade patterns, international freight transport volumes will likely grow more than four-fold (factor 4.3) by 2050, according to the International Transport Forum at the OECD’s ITF Transport Outlook 2015. Average transport distance across all modes will increase 12%. As a result, CO2 emissions from... Read more →

SiC PCU under the hood of the Camry hybrid test vehicle. Click to enlarge. Toyota will begin the on-road testing of silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors in Japan this year, using a Camry hybrid prototype and a fuel cell bus. The tests will evaluate the performance of the SiC technology,... Read more →

Van Hool N.V. has signed a grant agreement with the EU Hydrogen Fuel Cell Joint Undertaking for deployment of 21 fuel cell buses in Europe as part of the 3Emotion Program. Ballard Power Systems and Van Hool, partners in the deployment of numerous fuel cell buses in Europe (earlier post),... Read more →

Spiky hedgehog particles could reduce VOC emissions from paints and coatings

University of Michigan researchers have developed a new process that can sprout microscopic spikes on nearly any type of particle and that may lead to more environmentally friendly paints and a variety of other innovations. The “hedgehog particles” are named for their bushy appearance under the microscope. Their development is... Read more →

Chevron Corporation’s subsidiary, Chevron USA will now work with BP Exploration and Production Inc. (BP) and ConocoPhillips Company (COP) to explore and to appraise jointly-held offshore leases in the emerging Paleogene trend in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The transaction encompasses BP’s recent Tiber and Gila discoveries, and the Gibson... Read more →

Renault Energy F1-2015 Power Unit. Click to enlarge. Renault Sport F1 has unveiled its 2015 power unit for Formula 1 racing, which incorporates a number of changes compared to its 2014 predecessor (earlier post). 2015 is the second year of competitive use for the power units that feature a V6... Read more →

Ryder’s natural gas truck fleet surpasses 30 million miles

Ryder System’s fleet of natural gas vehicles has surpassed 30 million miles. The fleet consists of liquefied natural gas and compressed natural gas tractors serving customers in California, New York, Michigan, Texas, Arizona, Utah, Maryland, Georgia and Louisiana, as well as in Canada. Since deploying its natural gas vehicle program... Read more →

1.3 CDTI four-cylinder only uses 3.1 l/100 km. Click to enlarge. Opel’s new Corsa three-door equipped with 70 kW/95 hp 1.3 CDTI ecoFlex diesel with Start/Stop technology fitted as standard, braking energy recuperation and low-rolling-resistance tires combined with the new Easytronic 3.0 transmission can reduce CO2 emissions to 82 grams... Read more →

Navigant forecasts 29.3% CAGR growth for electric-drive and electric-assisted commercial vehicles to nearly 160K units in 2023

In a new report, Navigant Research forecasts that global sales of electric drive and electric-assisted medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles (MHDV, Classes 3 to 8) will grow from less than 16,000 in 2014 to nearly 160,000 in 2023, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.3%. Powertrain type included... Read more →

Platts Report: China oil demand up 5.3% in December to historic high; overall demand in 2014 increased 3%

China’s apparent oil demand in December rose 5.3% year over year to 44.96 million metric tons (mt), or an average 10.63 million barrels per day (b/d)—the highest absolute demand on record—according to a just-released Platts analysis of Chinese government data. China’s apparent oil demand in 2014 rose 3% from a... Read more →

The C9. Click to enlarge. BYD Motors Inc. unveiled the first long range, 100% battery-electric over-the-road coach bus (as opposed to a city transit bus) at the United Motorcoach Association Expo in New Orleans. This first electric coach—the BYD C9—is a two-axle, 40' coach with the seating capacity to carry... Read more →

A new study by Energy Environmental Economics (E3) consulting suggests that low-carbon gas fuels are a viable option for meeting California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals and can simultaneously help achieve pollution emission reduction targets. Low-carbon gas fuels or “decarbonized gas” refers to gaseous fuels with a net-zero, or very... Read more →

Mercedes-Benz expanding SUV production capacities in US, bringing in AM General

Mercedes-Benz is reorganizing its SUV production and will expand production capacities in the USA. The US contract manufacturer AM General will join the production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars, producing the R-Class in South Bend, Indiana, in the future. Production capacities at the Mercedes-Benz Tuscaloosa plant (Mercedes-Benz US International – MBUSI),... Read more →

Animation of new Cummins M2 two-stage turbo in Nissan Titan XD 5L V8 diesel

The Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel which makes its debut in the upcoming 2016 Nissan Titan XD full-size pickup truck (earlier post) features a unique Cummins M² Two-Stage Turbocharger and is configured to work well at both low and high engine speeds. The series sequential turbocharging system, involving two differently... Read more →

In a study investigating switched reluctance motors (SRMs) for in-wheel motor applications, researchers at Chongqing University in China have found that the vertical component of the residual unbalanced radial force of the motor deteriorates the lateral and anti-rollover stabilities of the vehicle in addition to having a considerable impact on... Read more →

Novozymes, Cargill to continue bio-acrylic acid partnership as BASF exits; looking for new commercialization partner

Chemical company BASF has decided to exit the current R&D collaboration with Novozymes and Cargill to develop a bio-based process for producing 3-hydroxypropionic (3-HP) and acrylic acid from renewable raw materials. BASF joined the collaboration with Novozymes and Cargill in 2012. Novozymes and Cargill have collaborated on the project since... Read more →

New Kevlar-based nanocomposite serves as dendrite-suppressing Li-ion battery separator with high ionic conductivity

Researchers at the University of Michigan, with colleagues at Ford and the Harbin Institute of Technology in China, have developed a dendrite-suppressing membrane exhibiting high modulus, ionic conductivity, flexibility, ion flux rates and thermal stability for Li-ion batteries by using a composite made from Kevlar-derived aramid nanofibres assembled in a... Read more →

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) said it will unveil a world premiere compact SUV plug-in hybrid concept car on 3 March at the 85th Geneva International Motor Show. Mitsubishi said that the compact SUV concept was designed to achieve top-of-class reduced CO2 emissions and features MMC’s @earth TECHNOLOGY stable of environmental... Read more →

New membrane technology for Post-Combustion Carbon Capture begins pilot-scale test

A new carbon capture technology sponsored by the US Department of Energy (DOE) for economically capturing 90% of the carbon dioxide emitted from a coal-burning power plant has begun pilot-scale testing. The Polaris membrane system, developed by Membrane Technology and Research Inc. (MTR), uses a specially designed CO2-selective membrane—a micro-porous... Read more →

The Lotus F1 team presented its 2015 challenger, the E23 Hybrid, the successor to the E22. The 2015 racer features a Power Unit from new supplier Mercedes Benz in place of the E22’s Renault unit. (Earlier post.) Improvements within Design, Aero and Simulation departments have all contributed to the development... Read more →

HEI ACES study of lifetime animal exposure to New Technology Diesel Engine exhaust finds no lung cancer

The first study to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of lifetime exposure to new technology diesel exhaust (NTDE)—i.e., exhaust from heavy-duty diesel engines meeting EPA 2007 and later emissions requirements—has found no evidence of carcinogenic lung tumors. The Advanced Collaborative Emissions Study (ACES), released today by the Health Effects Institute (HEI),... Read more →

Researchers at the Kumoh National Institute of Technology in Korea have developed a new, high-performance Li-Tellurium (Li-Te) secondary battery system using a Li metal anode and a Te-based cathode. As described in an open access paper in Nature’s Scientific Reports, the mechanically reduced (MR) Te/C nanocomposite electrode material exhibited high... Read more →

ABI: global Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) market to exceed US$90B by 2020

Market research firm ABI Research forecasts that the market for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) will grow from US$11.1 billion in 2014 to US$91.9 billion by 2020, passing the US$200 billion mark by 2024. ADAS packages have long been available as optional extras on luxury and executive vehicles, but recent... Read more →

IHS: automotive semiconductor market up 10% in 2014 to $29B; hybrids, connectivity and ADAS major drivers

The automotive semiconductor market did exceptionally well in 2014, according to new analysis from IHS. Strong growth in vehicle production together with increased semiconductor content in cars resulted in 10% growth year over year to reach $29B. IHS reported that the fastest growing segments for automotive semiconductors are hybrid-electric vehicles,... Read more →

Swedish Energy Agency awards PowerCell $600K to develop modular fuel cell system for stationary applications; Power-to-Gas

The Swedish Energy Agency (SEA) has granted PowerCell Sweden AB SEK5 million (US$600,000) to develop a modular fuel cell system for stationary applications. The project aims to develop and demonstrate stationary fuel cell systems based on modules of 20 kW with PowerCell’s new fuel cell stack, S2. In October 2014,... Read more →

Hydrogenics to supply 1MW electrolyzer to project converting CO2 to methanol; Power-to-Gas

Hydrogenics Corporation will supply a 1MW electrolyzer and provide engineering expertise to a consortium of companies working on the European project MefCO2 (methanol fuel from CO2) in Germany. The application will take excess electricity from intermittent renewable energy sources, generate green hydrogen, and then create methanol using a low-carbon footprint... Read more →

Symbio FCell delivers first 5 Kangoo ZE electric utilities with fuel cell range extenders in La Manche

Symbio FCell has delivered the first five Renault Kangoo ZE Light commercial vehicles (LCVs) powered by its hydrogen Fuel Cell Range-Extender, as part of a full fleet project led by the Conseil Général de la Manche which will ultimately deploy 40 vehicles. (Earlier post.) La Manche is a département in... Read more →

Researchers ID structure of key intermediate in enzyme converting methane to methanol; potential for synthetic fuels

A team from the University of Minnesota and Michigan State University has identified the structure of the key intermediate “Q” in the enzyme methane monooxygenase (MMO). MMO catalyzes the O2-dependent conversion of methane to methanol in methanotrophic bacteria, thereby preventing the emission into the atmosphere of approximately one billion tons... Read more →

GM launches Green Dealer Recognition program

GM has launched a “Green Dealer Recognition” program for Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealerships across the US. Participating dealers have proven track records in areas such as energy reduction, renewable energy use, water conservation efforts, recycling, on-site nature habitats and community outreach. The program aligns with General Motors’ companywide... Read more →

On Sunday, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released its revised proposed comprehensive conservation plan and final environmental impact statement (EIS) for the 19.64-million acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The FWS’ preferred alternative recommends an additional 12.28 million acres—including the Coastal Plain—for designation as “Wilderness”. (“Wilderness” (with a capital... Read more →

China Yuchai International announced that a “K-Gold” model C&C truck equipped with the YC6K1340N liquid natural gas (LNG) engine has won the “Fuel Efficient Heavy-Duty Truck of the Year 2014” at China’s largest annual commercial vehicle event. At 13 liters, the YC6K1340N engine has the largest displacement and highest torque... Read more →

NHTSA to include 2 automatic emergency braking systems in NCAP recommendations

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) plans to add two advanced automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems—crash imminent braking (CIB) and dynamic brake support (DBS)—to the recommended advanced safety features included under its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). The addition is the latest in a long history of safety innovations... Read more →

Dana Holding Corporation is now offering its Spicer PowerBoost hydraulic-hybrid system for field testing by off-highway original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Dana engineers have conducted extensive field tests of the Spicer PowerBoost system integrated with a dual-motor hydrostatic transmission in a series configuration. These functional evaluations include more than 1,000 hours on... Read more →

DOE to issue $35M funding opportunity for hydrogen and fuel cell technology; Class 1-2 fuel cell plug-in hybrids

The US Department of Energy (DOE) intends to issue a $35-million funding opportunity (FOA DE-FOA-0001224) (earlier post) covering a broad spectrum of its Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) portfolio with topics ranging from research and development (R&D) to demonstration and deployment projects. In particular, the R&D areas of interest for... Read more →

Gurit wins multi-annual automotive supply contract for carbon fiber body panels

Gurit, a worldwide developer and manufacturer of advanced composites and technologies, has been selected as the supplier for carbon fiber based automotive body panels at a total contract value of more than CHF 30 million (US$34.2 million) calculated on a multi-annual basis. Starting in the fourth quarter of 2015, the... Read more →