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A fleet of self-driving shared cars combined with high-capacity public transport could make 90% of conventional cars in mid-sized cities superfluous under certain circumstances, according to a study published by the International Transport Forum (ITF) at the OECD. Even during peak hours, only about one-third (35%) of the current number... Read more →

GM investing $5.4B in US plant improvements over next 3 years

General Motors will invest $5.4 billion in US plant improvements over the next three years; an initial $783.5 million is headed for three Michigan facilities. $124 million for Pontiac Metal Center; $520 million for tooling and equipment for future new vehicle programs at the Lansing Delta Township assembly plant;< and/li>... Read more →

Volvo Cars announces improved fuel consumption/GHG numbers for XC90 T8 Twin Engine PHEV

Volvo Cars reports that its XC90 T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid is now rated with fuel consumption of 2.1 l/100 km (112 mpg US) and 49 g CO2/km, with 43 km (27 miles) all-electric range on the NEDC cycle for hybrids. In December 2014, the figures were 2.5 l/100 km... Read more →

HRL Labs video demonstrates principle of thermal battery based on advanced metal hydrides for EV heating and cooling

In 2011, the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) awarded $2.7 million to a team comprising researchers from the University of Utah, HRL Laboratories and GM Global R&D for a project to develop a new generation of high-density thermal battery based on advanced metal hydrides. (Earlier post.) The goal... Read more →

BRUSA Elektronik AG licenses WiTricity patent portfolio for wireless charging

BRUSA Elektronik AG, a leading global supplier of advanced power electronics for electrified vehicles, will license WiTricity’s patented intellectual property to commercialize efficient, high-performance wireless charging systems for carmakers. BRUSA’s “ICS” wireless charging system, utilizing WiTricity’s patented technology, can transfer power to a vehicle safely and at high efficiency, eliminating... Read more →

Vitamin C boosts performance of Li-sulfur cathode

Researchers from the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) in S. Korea have devised a dual-layered cathode for Lithium-sulfur batteries (LSBs) comprising a sulfur-nanoparticle–graphene composite as the sulfur active layer and a polysulfide absorption layer to minimize the effects of the performance-decaying polysulfide shuttle. Both layers are based on... Read more →

Cargill acquires OPX Biotechnologies’ fermentation-based processes and systems

Cargill has acquired OPX Biotechnologies' proprietary fermentation-based processes and systems. These technologies are used to produce bio-based chemicals from sugars for use in non-food applications such as lubricants, detergents, plastics, agrichemicals and personal care products. Cargill is already a large supplier of carbohydrates and other biotech offerings. This acquisition further... Read more →

California Governor orders more stringent GHG reduction target for the state: 40% below 1990 levels by 2030

California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an executive order (B-30-15) to establish a California greenhouse gas reduction target of 40% below 1990 levels by 2030—the most aggressive GHG reduction target enacted by any government in North America to reduce GHG emissions over the next decade and a half. Under... Read more →

VIA Motors launches Chicago voucher program for fleet and businesses for extended range EVs

VIA Motors announced a voucher program for Chicago-area fleet and business owners that will reduce the initial costs of owning a VIA Motors extended range pickup truck, extended range electric passenger van, or extended range electric cargo van. Incorporating a proprietary power train, the V-DRIVE, into new OEM vehicles, VIA... Read more →

Li-ion maker Electrovaya acquires Evonik Litarion and licenses SEPARION IP

Canada-based Li-ion developer and manufacturer Electrovaya Inc. has completed the acquisition of Evonik Litarion GmbH and the licensing of the ceramic composite separator SEPARION intellectual property from Evonik. The transaction includes an advanced and automated production plant for lithium-ion electrodes and ceramic composite separators, with a rated capacity of 0.5... Read more →

The new fuel cell stack in Mirai increases the current density by a factor of 2.4 compared to the conventional FC stack. Konno et al. Click to enlarge. At SAE 2015 World Congress last week, Toyota presented a set of four technical papers describing some of the technology innovations used... Read more →

Scientists at Rice University and the University of Minnesota recently identified, through a large-scale, multi-step computational screening process, promising zeolite structures for two fuel applications: purification of ​ethanol from fermentation broths and the hydroisomerization of alkanes with 18–30 carbon atoms encountered in petroleum refining. (Earlier post.) To date, more than... Read more →

AVIS Denmark orders 401 Nissan e-NV200 vans and 60 more LEAFs; largest fleet of Nissan EVs in Europe

Nissan and AVIS Denmark have signed a deal to create the largest fleet of Nissan electric vehicles anywhere in Europe, with a new order of 401 Nissan e-NV200 vans and a further 60 units of the battery-electric Nissan LEAF, brining its total EV fleet to date to 861 vehicles. In... Read more →

The Jaguar US lineup will expand in 2016 with the addition of the all new, aluminum-intensive Jaguar XE compact sports sedan in 20d (diesel) and 35t models each in Premium, Prestige and R-Sport trim levels and available in RWD or AWD. The Jaguar XE will be offered with a lighter... Read more →

DOE to re-fund Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis with $75M for solar fuels R&D

The US Department of Energy announced $75 million in funding to renew the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), a DOE Energy Innovation Hub originally established in 2010 with the goal of harnessing solar energy for the production of fuel. (Earlier post.) Under the renewal plan, the five-year-old center would... Read more →

Enbridge, TransCanada, Kinder Morgan working together to evaluate aerial-based pipeline safety technologies

Pipeline companies Enbridge Pipelines Inc., TransCanada Corporation, and Kinder Morgan Canada have signed a Joint Industry Partnership (JIP) agreement to conduct research into aerial-based leak detection technologies, in the interest of enhancing across-the-board pipeline safety. The goal of the project is to identify technologies capable of viably detecting small leaks... Read more →

Researchers at EPFL in Switzerland have developed a system for producing hydrogen through a simplified membrane-less water electrolysis process. By working with the balance between fluid mechanic forces, the researchers eliminated the expensive membrane that sits between the electrodes in conventional electrolysis systems. The membrane-less approach demonstrates for the first... Read more →

Volkswagen Group to tweet bits from its new sustainability report; role of EVs in China

The Volkswagen Group will present its annual sustainability report on Twitter for the first time. Snippets on topics of economic, environmental and social sustainability will appear as tweets on twitter.com/vwgroup_en (hashtag #VWCSR). The complete sustainability report for 2014 will be published next Monday, 4 May. The new report will includes... Read more →

Audi and its partners Bosch, Osram and the Lichttechnischen Institut (LTI; “Lighting Technology Institute”) of the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) are working on the project “intelligent laser light for compact and high-resolution adaptive headlights” (iLaS), sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research. The Matrix Laser technology... Read more →

A trio of recently published studies from a team of University of Toronto engineers has found that air pollution could be spreading up to three times farther than thought, contributing to varying levels of air quality across cities. Past research on tailpipe criteria pollutants has shown poor air quality anywhere... Read more →

Universal LNG Solutions rolling out Class 8 LNG truck fleet for pilot

Universal LNG Solutions (ULNG) has introduced the first four trucks in a fleet of 95 of liquefied natural gas (LNG) big rigs at the campus of Sancus Energy, an LNG processing technology company. The trucks are Freightliner Cascadia models with Cummins Westport ISX 12G 400hp engines and can haul 80,000... Read more →

In a policy update, the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) reports that Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) have finalized new proposed fuel economy standards for light- and medium-duty commercial vehicles with gross vehicle weights less than 3.5... Read more →

PATHION develops new LiRAP-based solid-state electrolytes for Li-sulfur and sodium-ion batteries

At the Spring 2015 Materials Research Conference in San Francisco earlier this month, PATHION presented two new derivative superionic solid-state electrolytes built upon LiRAP (Lithium-Rich Anti-Perovskite). PATHION has an exclusive worldwide license for LiRAP from Los Alamos National Laboratories. Supported by an ARPA-E grant, LiRAP has proven to be a... Read more →

BMW, GM sites in top 5 US generators of onsite green power

According to the latest Top 30 list for organizations generating and consuming the most green power on-site within the EPA Green Power Partnership, BMW Manufacturing in Spartanburg, SC and General Motors’ Fort Wayne Assembly Plant rank fourth and fifth, respectively, with both using biogas. BMW. BMW Manufacturing earned a 2003... Read more →

In January 2014, Navigant Research forecast a slow start through the end of this decade but then a quick ramp from 2020 to 2023 for light-duty vehicles with 48V electrical subsystems, with sales reaching nearly 13.5 million worldwide by 2023. (Earlier post.) In an update, Navigant has significantly pared back... Read more →

The European consortium SOLARJET (Solar chemical reactor demonstration and Optimization for Long-term Availability of Renewable JET fuel) (earlier post) has experimentally demonstrated the entire process chain for the first production of renewable jet fuel via a thermochemical H2O/CO2-splitting cycle using simulated concentrated solar radiation. The solar-to-fuel energy conversion efficiency was... Read more →

Volvo Group invests in Peloton Technology and its platooning technology

Volvo Group Venture Capital, a subsidiary of the Volvo Group, has invested in Peloton Technology, a developer of vehicle technologies that deliver safety and fuel savings to fleets in the trucking industry. Peloton’s truck platooning system is an integrated safety, efficiency and analytics platform that builds on advanced safety technologies... Read more →

Researchers at Battelle led by principal investigator Dr. Zia Abdullah have demonstrated the durability of a continuous hydrotreatment process that converts bio-oil from biomass pyrolysis into transportation and aviation fuels, meeting the longevity goals of a challenge from the United States Department of Energy’s (DOE) to make commercially viable transportation... Read more →

Quantum receives follow-on orders from Linde for retail dispensers to support California’s H2 infrastructure

Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide has received multiple orders from Linde North America to develop and manufacture additional retail hydrogen fueling dispensers for the further development of hydrogen fueling infrastructure in California. The hydrogen dispensers are targeted to be delivered to and commissioned by Linde North America around the fourth... Read more →

Researchers at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) have developed catalytically active micromotors that significantly increase the release of hydrogen from liquid storage media. In a paper in the journal Angewandte Chemie, they introduce their new concept with a model vehicle powered by a hydrogen–oxygen fuel cell. The new... Read more →

First integrated assessment of quality and yield of hydrocarbon blendstocks via biomass fast pyrolysis and hydrotreating

Researchers from three US national labs—Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)—have performed the first, fully integrated assessment of the quality and yield of common feedstocks from the field to hydrocarbon blendstock production using the fast pyrolysis-hydrotreating pathway. A paper describing... Read more →

Initial test results of the transient control and exhaust temperature management capability of Achates Power’s opposed piston (OP) two-stroke diesel engine show that under a typical transient maneuver—25% to 100% load step at low and constant engine speed—the engine can control both NOx and soot with a minimal torque lag.... Read more →

Germany-based Heliocentris has launched HyDrive – Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Trainer as part of its training systems product family. HyDrive—targeted at academic programs—provides students with a hands-on experiment set to examine the construction, functionality and benefits of fuel cell hybrid electric vehicles. HyDrive. Click to enlarge. HyDrive features: A modular... Read more →

A team from the University of Michigan and Ford’s Research and Advanced Engineering group in Dearborn has studied the effects of ethanol on reducing particulate emissions from a direct injection spark ignition (DISI) engine by comparing neat anhydrous ethanol with a baseline fuel of reference grade gasoline (indolene). In a... Read more →

Bayer MaterialScience names BioAmber as bio-succinic acid supplier for new bio-based polyurethanes for textiles

p> Bayer MaterialScience has chosen BioAmber Inc. (earlier post) as the supplier of bio-succinic acid used to produce a new range of innovative, bio-based polyurethanes for textile applications that Bayer MaterialScience has begun commercializing. Bayer MaterialScience has launched IMPRANIL eco, a series of bio-based waterborne polyurethane dispersions with renewable content... Read more →

Phoenix Cars LLC, a developer of electric vehicle technologies for the fleet market, delivered an electric Zero Emissions Utility Shuttle flatbed (ZEUS) to US Naval Base Ventura County Port Hueneme, California. Vehicle To Grid (V2G) charging capability will provide mobile power capability available for future needs. ZEUS. Click to enlarge.... Read more →

Navigant forecasts connected vehicle revenue to grow to $36.6B by 2025

According to a new report from Navigant Research, worldwide revenue from connected vehicle systems is expected to grow from $96.3 million annually in 2016 to $36.6 billion by 2025. Vehicle connectivity for this report includes vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V); vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I); vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P); vehicle-to-cyclist (V2C); and other combinations of communicating with vehicles.... Read more →

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata fuel economy improves 25% versus outgoing model

The 2016 Mazda MX-5 achieves an EPA-estimated 27 mpg city/34 mpg highway/30 mpg combined (8.7/6.9/7.8 l/100 km) when equipped with the standard SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission and an EPA-estimated 27 mpg city/36 mpg highway/30 mpg combined (8.7/6.5/7.8 l/100 km) when equipped with the six-speed automatic. This performance represents a 25%... Read more →

Ames Lab team replaces Dysprosium in permanent magnets with Cerium for lower-cost, high performance solution

Researchers led by a team at the US Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory have created a new lower-cost magnetic alloy that is an alternative to conventional NdFeB-based permanent magnets. The new alloy—a potential replacement for high-performance permanent magnets found in EV motors and wind turbines—replaces dysprosium (Dy), one of the... Read more →

Linde subsidiary to blend HCR188C alternative low global warming potential refrigerants in EU

TEGA GmbH, a subsidiary of The Linde Group, has signed an agreement with A. S. Trust & Holdings, Inc. to blend the low global warming potential, ASHRAE-listed hydrocarbon refrigerants HCR188C/R441A (a replacement for R134A) and HCR188C/R443A (a replacement for R22). TEGA, based in Wurzburg, Germany, will have exclusive blending rights... Read more →

LiquidPiston signs $1M agreement with DARPA to advance development of power-dense X-Mini rotary engine for JP-8

LiquidPiston, Inc. (LPI), the developer of engines based on its High Efficiency Hybrid Cycle (HEHC) (earlier post), has entered into an agreement totaling $991,557 with the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to advance the development of its efficient, power-dense rotary internal combustion engine X-Mini (earlier post) for portable... Read more →

California ARB partnering to crack down on heavy-duty diesel violations

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has teamed up with local and federal agencies to increase significantly enforcement of California’s Heavy-Duty Diesel regulations statewide. ARB says that the partnerships leverage its ability to bring vehicles that are operating illegally into compliance and level the playing field for those that have... Read more →

Injection moulding machine manufacturer ENGEL is currently building an ENGEL v-duo 3600 machine for the Open Hybrid LabFactory (OHLF) public/private collaborative research partnership in Wolfsburg, Germany where the machine will support research into functionally integrated composite technologies. (BMW uses ENGEL duo injection moulding machines to manufacture car body shell components... Read more →

Aventine sends first unit-train shipment of ethanol from Nebraska to Alabama

Aventine Renewable Energy Inc., a leading producer, marketer and supplier of ethanol, announced its first BNSF unit-train shipment of ethanol produced at its two ethanol facilities in Aurora, Nebraska. A BNSF ethanol unit train may consist of 96 ethanol tank cars, 2 buffer cars (62' in length) and 4 BNSF... Read more →

Opinion: Oil Price War May Benefit both US Shale and Saudi Arabia

by Michael McDonald on Oilprice.com Even as financial commentators on CNBC are starting to come around to the idea of a bottom in oil prices, the key question for US oil producers remains one of timing. How long will the oil price slump last? Is this a relatively short term... Read more →

The second-generation “Voltec” extended range electric powertrain applied in the MY2016 Chevy Volt (earlier post) marks a significant evolution in the electric drive technology platform from its first-generation origins. After proving a initial look at the design and capability of the different components (earlier post) late last year, GM is... Read more →

Constellium to build second Body-in-White finishing line in the US to meet increased automotive aluminum demand

Constellium N.V has decided to build a second Body-in-White (BiW) finishing line in North America to further support the growing demand for aluminum from the US automotive industry. Constellium expects the investment to reach $160 million; the investment is part of the previously announced $750-million strategic investment plan to increase... Read more →