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NADA forecasts light-duty vehicle sales of 16.94M in US in 2015; 56% trucks and SUVs

Low gasoline prices and pent-up consumer demand will combine to drive new car and light truck sales to an estimated 16.94 million in 2015, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association. NADA’s original sales forecast of 16.4 million new cars and light trucks for 2014 was on target. NADA represents... Read more →

Following its entry into the US eBike market in early 2014, Bosch has established a new headquarters office for Bosch eBike Systems in Southern California, expanding the business unit’s global operations in the US and Canada. The new office will manage sales, marketing, advocacy, application and technical support, service, project... Read more →

Fuel carbon intensity reduction from 2015-2030 from fuel deployment scenarios for the Pacific Coast region. Source: ICCT. Click to enlarge. A new study from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) and E4tech finds that the targets adopted or proposed by British Columbia, California, Oregon, and Washington to reduce the... Read more →

HARMAN acquiring Red Bend Software and Symphony Teleca for growth in connected vehicle space

HARMAN International announced the acquisition of Israel-based Red Bend Software, a leading provider of software management technology for connected devices, and over-the-air (OTA) software and firmware upgrading services. Building upon Red Bend’s strength in the mobile and carrier markets, HARMAN will accelerate Red Bend’s growth in the automotive space and... Read more →

Rice, Minnesota scientists use predictive modeling to identify optimized zeolites to aid ethanol, petroleum production

Scientists at Rice University and the University of Minnesota have identified, through a large-scale, multi-step computational screening process, promising zeolite structures for two energy-related applications: the purification of ​ethanol from fermentation broths and the hydroisomerization of alkanes with 18–30 carbon atoms encountered in petroleum refining. The results, presented in a... Read more →

GE joins Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium to support the development of sustainable alternative fuels

The UAE-based Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC), a nonprofit, research consortium established to develop technology with the promise of producing sustainable bioenergy, announced GE as its newest member. The SBRC was founded by The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (MI), together with Etihad Airways, The Boeing Company, and Honeywell... Read more →

Tang. Click to enlarge. BYD has begun taking pre-orders for the Tang plug-in hybrid SUV (earlier post) in China with a starting price of 300,000 RMB (US$48,306) before EV incentives. (The higher-performance top end model goes for twice that.) BYD said that demand for the BYD Tang, originally introduced at... Read more →

Three-dimensional vortex structures observed in the wake of a cylinder; imposing unsteady hydrodynamic loadings on structure. Such analyses can be employed to optimize new ship designs. Copyright: Agency for Science, Technology and Research Click to enlarge. Click to enlarge. A new research collaboration between A*STAR’s Institute of High Performance Computing... Read more →

DOE to award $55.8M for advanced vehicle technologies; $35M for fuel cell and hydrogen

US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced a new Vehicle Technologie program-wide funding opportunity (DE-FOA-0001201) for $55.8 million. DOE also announced up to $35 million to advance fuel cell and hydrogen technologies, including enabling the early adoption of fuel cell applications, such as light duty fuel cell electric vehicles. This new... Read more →

Ford opens new Silicon Valley research center; focus on connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, big data

Ford has opened its new Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto, growing its global research team and accelerating the company’s work in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, customer experience and big data. The new Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto joins Ford’s global network of research and innovation centers, including its... Read more →

NRG eVgo expanding national fast charging network (corrected)

NRG eVgo, a subsidiary of NRG Energy, Inc. it expanding its Fast Charger network from its current 10 national markets to more than 25 over the next two years. Currently, the company has 245 fast chargers in its national network, including a mix of SAE Combo and CHAdeMO connectors. (Tesla... Read more →

Chevrolet to begin selling Spark EV in Maryland

Chevrolet will start selling the Spark EV in Maryland this spring, the electric mini-car’s first entry into the East Coast market. The Spark EV delivers an EPA-estimated combined city/highway 119 MPGe fuel economy equivalent and 82 miles of EPA-estimated combined city/highway range. The Spark EV is also sold in California... Read more →

In a major boost to the availability of public fast charging stations with SAE Combo connectors (J1772, earlier post), Volkswagen of America and BMW of North America, together with ChargePoint, the largest electric vehicle charging network, announced at the Washington Auto Show an initiative to create more express charging corridors... Read more →

Green Biologics secures $76M in financing; repurposing MN ethanol plant for n-butanol and acetone

Green Biologics (GBL) closed an internal follow-on equity round of $42 million co-led by Swire Pacific Limited and Sofinnova Partners. Existing investors Capricorn Venture Partners, Oxford Capital Partners, Morningside Technology Partners and ConvergInce Holdings, LLC also participated in the round. In addition to the $42-million internal equity round, an additional... Read more →

Toyota increasing production of Mirai fuel cell vehicle

Toyota Motor Corporation will increase production of the Mirai fuel cell sedan, which launched in Japan on 15 December 2014. The new plan calls for production to increase from the 2015 level of 700 units to approximately 2,000 units in 2016 and approximately 3,000 units in 2017. Considering the approximately... Read more →

Isochrysis extraction and fractionation scheme with yields given in parentheses for the different products obtained from each step. Credit: ACS, O’Neil et al. Click to enlarge. Researchers from Western Washington University and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have developed a method to produce jet-fuel range hydrocarbons as a co-product of the... Read more →

Eos Energy Storage announced the commercial availability of its MW-scale Aurora system for deliveries starting in 2016. Eos’s standard Aurora 1000|4000 product, a containerized 1 MW DC battery system providing four continuous hours of discharge, offers a cost-effective energy storage solution competitive with gas peaking generation and utility distribution infrastructure.... Read more →

Petrobras saves $5M per well with new pre-salt subsea equipment deployment technique

At the end of last year, Petrobras deployed its first wet Christmas tree (equipment installed on a wellhead, comprising a set of remotely operated valves designed to control the flow of fluids such as oil, water and natural gas from a reservoir to the surface) using cables in the pre-salt... Read more →

HZB researchers characterize efficient manganese catalyst for artificial photosynthesis

Scientists at the Helmholtz Center for Materials and Energy (HZB) in collaboration with the School of Chemistry and ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science at Monash University, Australia, have precisely characterized the electronic states of a manganese (Mn) water-splitting catalyst for artificial photosynthesis. The team led by Professor Emad... Read more →

Obama issues Executive Order establishing Arctic Executive Steering Committee to enhance coordination of national efforts in the Arctic

President Obama issued an executive order establishing the Arctic Executive Steering Committee to provide guidance to executive departments and agencies and to enhance coordination of Federal Arctic policies across agencies, offices, State, local, and Alaska Native tribal governments and similar Alaska Native organizations, academic and research institutions, and the private... Read more →

DEINOVE hits first key milestone in DEINOCHEM program, receives €1M from ADEME

DEINOVE, an industrial biotech company developing innovative processes for producing biofuels and bio-based compounds from Deinococcus bacteria (earlier post), reached the first milestone of its DEINOCHEM green chemistry program, funded by the ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency) in the framework of the French government initiative “Investing for the... Read more →

Siemens developing intelligent algorithm to predict availability of carsharing vehicles; more effective inter-modal planning

Siemens is developing a service for predicting the availability of carsharing vehicles at a given location at specific times. The forecasting tool will be incorporated into the integrated SiMobility Connect mobility platform, which links carsharing firms, public transport companies, taxis, and bike-rental services. Customers will then be able to use... Read more →

In Germany, BMW and Total have officially begun the field testing of AdBlue pumps installed at three fueling stations in Munich and Berlin. AdBlue, used in Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) NOx aftertreatment systems for modern diesels, is stored in an auxiliary tank in the car. The AdBlue filler neck is... Read more →

Algenol and Reliance launch algae fuels demonstration project in India

Algenol and Reliance Industries Ltd., have successfully deployed India’s first Algenol algae production platform. The demonstration module is located near the Reliance Jamnagar Refinery, the world’s largest. The demonstration has completed several production cycles of Algenol’s wildtype host algae, but ultimately could demonstrate the fuels production capabilities of Algenol’s advanced... Read more →

ITM Power launching enhanced Power-to-Gas range; two new reference plants in Germany

ITM Power will launch an enhanced Power-to-Gas product range based on a higher current density that produces 50% more hydrogen for the same stack volume in April at the 2015 Hannover Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Group Exhibit. The company will launch its new 350 kW single stack with a three... Read more →

The Cal State L.A. (CSULA) Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility has become the first hydrogen station in California to be certified to sell fuel to the public by the kilogram measure. Although the state currently has other other hydrogen stations “open to the public”, these stations have had to sell... Read more →

Amyris to enter the industrial cleaning products market; renewable Myralene solvent for auto parts

Amyris has developed a renewable solvent produced from plant sugars. The Myralene solvent is derived from Amyris’ renewable hydrocarbon building block, farnesene. The company has now announced that it will launch the first industrial cleaning products containing its Myralene renewable solvents through US AutoForce and US Lubricants, divisions of US... Read more →

Jaguar Land Rover is developing a range of new technologies that would use colors, sounds and touch inside the car to alert drivers to potential hazards and prevent accidents involving bicycles and motorbikes. Click to enlarge. At its Advanced Research Center in the UK, Jaguar Land Rover is developing a... Read more →

CCM forecasts 5-fold growth in China Li-ion market by 2017 to meet EV demand

Growing demand for electric vehicles (EVs) in China is triggering an explosion of investment in the lithium-ion battery industry, with China’s production of power lithium-ion batteries set to jump 400% by 2017, according to market research firm CCM. CCM expects China’s power lithium-ion battery market to grow from 4 billion... Read more →

Automotive patent filings reduced to one document per DWPI family charted by category and the publication year of the earliest family member. Source: Thomson Innovation & Thomson Reuters Derwent World Patents Index. Click to enlarge. An analysis of the global automobile industry’s recent patent activity by the Intellectual Property &... Read more →

Cellulosic sugars company Edeniq raises more than $16M

Edeniq, a biorefining and cellulosic technology company, has raised more than $16 million in equity. Edeniq’s technologies efficiently break down biomass to liberate cellulosic sugars that can be converted into ethanol, chemicals, and other products. Edeniq uses combined mechanical and biological processes for maximum efficiency and lowest cost. The equity... Read more →

UQM Technologies granted patent on permanent magnet electric motor design using non-rare earth magnets

UQM Technologies Inc. has been granted a US patent (8,928,198, “Brushless PM machine construction enabling low coercivity magnets”) for an electric and hybrid electric vehicle motor design using non-rare earth magnets. The patent covers the unique magnet geometry and the method of manufacturing the motor. The majority of electric and... Read more →

Fujitsu has launched FEELythm, a new wearable sensor product that detects when drivers are drowsy based on their pulse to promote safer driving. Intended for use in the transportation sector, FEELythm will initially be sold in Japan from February 2015. FEELythm. The FEELythm primary unit (left) and receiver (right). Click... Read more →

Anellotech, IFPEN and Axens partner on bio-aromatics production from non-food biomass; targeting 2019 for industrial implementation

Anellotech Inc., IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) and its subsidiary Axens have formed a strategic alliance to develop and to commercialize a new technology for the low cost production of bio-based benzene, toluene and paraxylene using Anellotech’s process of Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis (CFP) of non-food biomass. (Earlier post.) The technology will... Read more →

EPA, ECOS and Motor Vehicle Industry Associations to sign memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the reduction of copper in brake pads

On Wednesday 21 January, representatives of the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA), the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) and motor vehicle industry associations will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the agency and the motor vehicle industry for the reduction of copper in brake pads. The signing will... Read more →

New system uses monocular camera instead of expensive laser scanners for automated vehicle navigation with comparable performance

A doctoral candidate in computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan has developed a new software system that could reduce the high cost of laser scanners used in self-driving and automated cars by enabling the vehicles to navigate using a single monocular camera with the same level of... Read more →

Thai researchers find waste chicken fat a good low-cost feedstock for renewable diesel

In a study investigating the effect of the water and free fatty acid (FFA) content in waste chicken fat from poultry processing plants on the production of renewable diesel (not biodiesel), researchers in Thailand have found that both higher FFA and water content improved the biohydrogenated diesel (BHD) yield. In... Read more →

Exxon Mobil Corporation and its partners in the Sakhalin-1 consortium have begun production at the Sakhalin-1 project’s Arkutun-Dagi field—the last of the three sub-Arctic offshore Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East to be developed. Peak daily production from the field is expected to reach 90,000 barrels. The field will... Read more →

European 2014 EV marketshare of top 5 OEMs. Data: Nissan. Click to enlarge. The battery-electric Nissan LEAF has topped its own European sales record with a 33% increase in European sales in 2014 over the previous year, taking 26% of the burgeoning electric car market with 14,658 sales out of... Read more →

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a highly effective new perovskite-promoted iron oxide redox catalyst for a hybrid solar-redox scheme they had proposed earlier for partial oxidation and water-splitting of methane. In a paper published in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science, Feng He and Fanxing Li... Read more →

Report: Hyundai to cut price of fuel cell vehicle in Korea to compete with Toyota

The Korea Herald reports that unnamed sources say that Hyundai Motor has decided to lower the price of the Tucson fuel cell sport utility vehicle (earlier post) to compete with Toyota Motor’s Mirai fuel cell car (earlier post). “Hyundai Motor recently informed Gwangju City, a major local buyer of the... Read more →

SilentHawk hybrid-electric motorcycle. Click to enlarge. Logos Technologies recently received a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) to continue development of the SilentHawk military motorcycle in partnership with California’s Alta Motors (formerly BRD). The prototype would combine Alta’s existing RedShift... Read more →

Four Motiv electric shuttle buses deployed in one-year demo in Mountain View, CA

CALSTART announced that four electric shuttle buses are being deployed in Mountain View, California. The Mountain View Community Shuttle service is aimed at moving residents and visitors through the City between neighborhoods, shopping centers, medical complexes, City facilities, and recreation areas. The buses were manufactured by Motiv Power Systems of... Read more →

ZF showcasing second-generation 8HP 8-speed transmission at NAIAS; additional 3% boost in fuel savings

At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, ZF is presenting its broad technology portfolio including the second generation of the 8HP 8-speed transmission. The new generation offers further developments ranging from lower drag torques and higher spread to an improved torsional vibration absorption. Compared to the already... Read more →

The cost of generating power from renewable energy sources has reached parity or dropped below the cost of fossil fuels for many technologies in many parts of the world, according to a new report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The report, “Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2014”,... Read more →

Norwegian Cruise Line has selected a highly innovative and efficient Rolls-Royce permanent magnet tunnel thruster (TT-PM) to upgrade the propulsion package onboard Norwegian Epic. The permanent magnet tunnel thruster offers numerous advantages over traditional tunnel thrusters including significant reduction in noise and vibration, an increase in power output of around... Read more →