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Reduced graphene oxide separator improves performance of Li-sulfur battery

Researchers in have shown that a lithium-sulfur (Li-S) battery with a reduced graphen oxide (rGO) -coated separator exhibits much smaller impedance and much better electrochemical performance than cells with an uncoated separator. After coating with rGO, the initial discharge capacity can be as large as 1067 mAh g−1 at 0.2... Read more →

DARPA program integrates non-mechanical optical scanning tech on microchip; new class of low-cost, miniature LIDAR could support autonomous vehicle apps

DARPA’s Short-range Wide-field-of-view Extremely agile Electronically steered Photonic EmitteR (SWEEPER) program has successfully integrated breakthrough non-mechanical optical scanning technology onto a microchip. Freed from the traditional scanning architecture of gimbaled mounts, lenses and servos, SWEEPER technology has demonstrated that it can sweep a laser back and forth more than 100,000... Read more →

Infineon and Google ATAP developing technology for gesture sensing and presence detection; automotive applications

Infineon Technologies AG is working with Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP) to develop a sensing solution. Potential applications include wearables, internet of things and automotive applications. First implementations which provide gesture recognition and presence detection capability for a range of future devices were demonstrated by Google ATAP this... Read more →

Voith receives order for high-volume production of CFRP components for future Audi model

Audi AG has placed an order with Voith for the high-volume production of a CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) component for a future Audi model. Voith and Audi will jointly prepare the manufacturing ramp-up for the CFRP component. The order is one more important step in developing the industrialization of... Read more →

UMD Engineers made a battery of all one material simply by sprinkling carbon (red) into each side of a new material (blue) that forms the electrolyte and both electrodes at the ends of the battery. Credit: Maryland NanoCenter Click to enlarge. Engineers at the University of Maryland have created a... Read more →

USDA to invest up to $100M to boost infrastructure for renewable fuel use; seeks to double number of higher blend ethanol fuel pumps

US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will invest up to $100 million in a Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership to support the infrastructure needed to make more renewable fuel options available to American consumers. USDA will post a Notice of Solicitation of Applications in June.... Read more →

EPA proposes volume requirements for Renewable Fuel Standard for 2014-2016

Adhering to a schedule in a proposed consent decree (earlier post), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its long-awaited proposed volume requirements (renewable volume obligations, RVO) (earlier post) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016, and also proposed volume requirements for biomass-based... Read more →

The first in a series of 27,500 cbm Dragon-class ethane carriers ordered by Evergas is being delivered from the Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering (SOE) shipyard in China. The vessel features a comprehensive Wärtsilä solutions package, including two Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines, Wärtsilä propulsion equipment including the gearbox, two Wärtsilä 20DF... Read more →

MIRA and FPTI partner in Brazil to develop new Li-ion battery for stationary and transportation applications

UK-based advanced vehicle and systems technology consultancy MIRA Ltd. announced a collaborative agreement with Fundação Parque Tecnológico Itaipu (FPTI) to develop a new centre of excellence for energy storage in Brazil. Their first project together will focus on the research and development for a new and flexible architecture lithium battery... Read more →

Daimler is entering the commercial and residential stationary energy storage system (ESS) market with its wholly-owned subsidiary Deutsche ACCUmotive. The announcement comes four weeks after Tesla Motors announced its own entry into the ESS market with the home PowerWall Li-ion battery system (earlier post), although Daimler has been considering the... Read more →

Vanadium oxide microspheres as high performance Li-ion anodes

Researchers at the Beijing Institute of Technology have developed hydrangea-like amorphous mixed-valence VOx (vanadium oxide) microspheres (a-VOx MSs) for use as Li-ion anode materials. The a-VOx MSs—composed of intercrossed nanosheets, thus constituting a 3D network structure—show excellent lithium-storage performance in terms of high capacity, good rate capability, and long-term stability... Read more →

Researchers in S. Korea have designed a novel silicon-based multicomponent anode material for high energy density Li-ion batteries. The Si-based multicomponent anode delivers high capacity of ~1000 mAh g-1, highly stable cycling retention (~65% after 1000 cycles at 1C), excellent rate capability (~800 mAh g-1 at 10 C), and remarkably... Read more →

Toyota’s 2015 Auris range in Europe features significant improvements in five key areas; design; sensory quality; the hybrid model; safety; and, improving the model’s segment coverage by some 40%, powertrains. Toyota had introduced the facelifted Auris at the Geneva show earlier this year. (Earlier post.) Reflecting changing trends in the... Read more →

RAPTOR, a turbulent combustion code developed by Sandia National Laboratories mechanical engineer Dr. Joseph Oefelein, was selected as one of 13 partnership projects for the Center for Accelerated Application Readiness (CAAR). CAAR is a US Department of Energy program located at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility and is focused... Read more →

DOE announces $26.6M SBIR/STTR FY15 Phase 1 Release 2 awards; fuel cells, batteries, power electronics and efficient combustion engines

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 162 projects to receive about $26.6 million in the 2015 Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Phase I Release 2 Awards. (Earlier post.) Of these, 16 are vehicle-related, encompassing projects developing batteries, power electronics and improved combustion engine... Read more →

UK study provides observational evidence linking ocean circulation to weather and decadal-scale climate change

A new study by scientists from the University of Southampton and the UK’s National Oceanography Centre (NOC) suggests that the global climate is on the verge of broad-scale change that could last for a number of decades. The change to the new set of climatic conditions is associated with a... Read more →

IHS forecasts global EV charger market to grow to more than 12.7M units in 2020

The global EV Charger (EVC) market is forecast to grow from more than 1 million units in 2014 to more than 12.7 million units in 2020, according to a new EV Charging Infrastructure report by IHS Inc. IHS Automotive foresees that AC charging—i.e., Level 1 and 2 charging, the dominant... Read more →

U Waterloo team identifies key reaction in sodium-air batteries; implications for improving Li-air

Chemists at the University of Waterloo have identified the key reaction that takes place in sodium-air batteries. The researchers from the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology, led by Professor Linda Nazar who holds the Canada Research Chair in Solid State Energy Materials, have described a key mediation pathway that explains why... Read more →

Volkswagen Tiguan gets new range of diesel engines; up to 17g/km cut in CO2

Volkswagen has updated some key equipment specifications of the Tiguan for the new model year. Along with a new generation of engines, the compact SUV now also offers new radio and radio navigation systems. The Tiguan has been one of Volkswagen’s global best sellers for more than seven years. The... Read more →

DENSO International America, Inc. has entered into an investment agreement with Peloton Technology, a developer of platooning systems for large truck transportation fleets. Peloton’s truck platooning system is an integrated safety, efficiency and analytics platform that builds on advanced safety technologies such as collision mitigation and adaptive cruise control systems.... Read more →

Oxea launches new phthalate-free plasticizer as C8/C10 trimellitate replacement

Oxea is expanding its phthalate-free plasticizer portfolio with the introduction of Oxsoft L9 (linear trinonyltrimellitate). Oxsoft L9 is suited for special applications where products must meet the most rigid demands, such as the manufacture of resilient and durable high temperature automotive cables that comply with the most severe requirements in... Read more →

In coordination with local air officials, the California Air Resources Board is initiating a retire-and-replace pilot program in the Greater Los Angeles area and San Joaquin Valley to help people of low income replace old, polluting cars with cleaner, more fuel efficient vehicles that also cut greenhouse gas emissions. The... Read more →

Ford opens portfolio of patented technologies to competitors to accelerate industry-wide electrified vehicle development

Ford Motor Company is offering competitors access to its electrified vehicle technology patents in a move to help accelerate industry-wide research and development of electrified vehicles. In 2014, Ford filed more than 400 patents dedicated to electrified vehicle technologies. This is more than 20% of the patents the company filed,... Read more →

Ford partners with Haier, Trina Solar and Delta Electronics to launch MyEnergi Lifestyle in China

At Consumer Electronics Show Asia, Ford launched a strategic collaboration with Haier (home appliance), Trina Solar (solar power) and Delta Electronics (power management) to introduce MyEnergi Lifestyle (earlier post) to China, a holistic approach for lowering the energy costs and carbon footprint of Chinese families. MyEnergi Lifestyle, designed to address... Read more →

Novvi LLC, a joint venture of Amyris, Inc. and Cosan S.A. Industria e Comercio, unveiled two new 100% renewable base oil—the main component of motor oils—products: a renewable polyalphaolefin (PAO) Group IV and a renewable version of its NovaSpec Group III+ base oil. The new base oil products add to... Read more →

Honda targets new Guinness World Records title for fuel efficiency with 8,500-mile diesel drive across Europe

Honda aims to win a new Guinness World Records title for fuel efficiency in an 8,500-mile (13,679 km) drive across all 24 contiguous EU countries in a 1.6 i-DTEC diesel engined Honda Civic Tourer. In the Civic Tourer, the 1.6 i-DTEC engine provides 120 PS (118 hp, 88 kW) of... Read more →

General Motors and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) have begun a two-year vehicle sharing pilot program in Shanghai featuring 16 Chevrolet EN-V 2.0 (earlier post) electric concept vehicles. (Earlier post.) The EN-V 2.0 pilot vehicles will be integrated into the multi-modal transportation system at SJTU’s Minhang campus alongside bicycles, cars... Read more →

UN Secretary-General urges transport ministers to reshape world’s transport systems

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the world’s transport ministers meeting at the International Transport Forum 2015to accelerate efforts to combat climate change and “find new green solutions”. Ban called sustainable transport “a common thread” linking the upcoming UN Summit in September in New York and the COP21 climate change... Read more →

Renault-Nissan Alliance to provide 200 EVs for Paris climate conference

The Renault-Nissan Alliance will provide a fleet of 200 all-electric vehicles as the official passenger-car provider for the United Nation’s COP21 climate conference in Paris later this year. The fully electric car fleet will shuttle delegates during the event from 30 November to 11 December. More than 20,000 UN participants... Read more →

Hydrogenics and Alstom Transport to develop and commercialize H2 fuel-cell commuter trains in Europe; €50M, 10-year agreement

Hydrogenics Corporation, a leading developer and manufacturer of hydrogen generation and hydrogen-based power modules, signed a 10-year exclusive agreement to supply Alstom Transport with hydrogen fuel cell systems for Regional Commuter Trains in Europe. Alstom Transport is a unit of Alstom, a France-based global leader in power generation, transmission and... Read more →

A study by Carnegie Mellon University researchers comparing life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from different natural gas pathways for medium and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) found that the GHG reduction potentials of the pathways vary sharply between non-Class 8 MHDVs (e.g., pick-up trucks, parcel delivery trucks, and box trucks), Class... Read more →

Indiana U study suggests cost-effectiveness of EPA air quality regs more uncertain than commonly believed

The US EPA estimates that its air pollution regulations save thousands of lives annually. A new study by researchers at Indiana University suggests the estimates are more uncertain than commonly accepted. An open-access paper on their study appear in the Journal of Cost-Benefit Analysis. Researchers Kerry Krutilla, David H. Good... Read more →

Navigant forecasts annual plug-in electric vehicle sales in N America to exceed 1.1M by 2024

In a new report, Navigant Research forecasts that North American plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) sales will exceed 1.1 million annually by 2024. The report, Electric Vehicle Geographic Forecasts, provides data and forecasts for LD PEV sales in North America, including US states, MSAs, and utility service territories and Canadian provinces... Read more →

GM to invest $1.2B in full-size truck plant

General Motors is investing $1.2 billion in its full-size pickup truck plant in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, for upgrades and technology that will improve the plant’s competitiveness in assembling high-quality light- and heavy-duty models. Construction of the new pre-treat, electro-coat paint operation and sealing facility, expanded body shop, expanded and new... Read more →

Ford makes GoDrive car-sharing available to public in London

Ford Motor Company will begin making its London-based GoDrive car-sharing service available to the public. (Earlier post.) The service offers flexible, practical and affordable access to a fleet of cars for one-way journeys with easy parking throughout the city. The project started as one of more than 25 experiments that... Read more →

Delivery of renewable isooctane to Audi tips interesting potential non-biomass pathway for biogasoline; “e-benzin” as solar fuel

Last week, Audi and its partner Global Bioenergies announced that the first batch of renewable isooctane—which Audi calls “e-benzin”—using Global Bioenergies’ fermentative isobutene pathway (sugar→isobutene→isooctane) had been produced and presented to Audi by Global Bioenergies. (Earlier post.) Global Bioenergies, founded in 2008, has developed a synthetic isobutene pathway that, when... Read more →

GM Powertrain Europe strengthens collaboration with Politecnico di Torino; diesel engine focus

To mark the 10th anniversary of the foundation of GM Powertrain Europe Turin, GM President Dan Ammann visited the engineering site and announced plans to strengthen the collaboration with the Politecnico di Torino, further expanding the engineering development center. The letter of intent with the Politecnico and the Regione Piemonte... Read more →

Volkswagen Group inaugurates vehicle plant in Southern Chinese city of Changsha; 300,000 units per year; “carbon-neutral production”

The Volkswagen Group continues to expand its production capacity in China with a new vehicle plant for Shanghai-Volkswagen (SVW) in Changsha, southern China. This plant is the Group’s 119th global facility and its 20th in China. China is not only the Volkswagen Group’s largest and most important market; it has... Read more →

Gexpro partners with LG Chem, Geli and Ideal Power on stationary ESS

Gexpro, a worldwide electrical distributor, solutions provider and a subsidiary of Rexel, will offer, in conjunction with Geli, Ideal Power and LG Chem, a Battery Energy Storage Solution (BESS)—Gexpro Power IQ—to commercial and industrial customers. Gexpro will be the system integrator. Using Gexpro Power IQ, commercial and industrial customers will... Read more →

IRENA: Mexico can more than quadruple share of renewable energy by 2030

Mexico can increase the use of renewable energy in its energy mix from 4.4% in 2010 to 21% by 2030, according to a report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Renewable Energy Prospects: Mexico, prepared in collaboration with the Mexican Energy Secretariat (SENER), also finds that Mexico could... Read more →

Ballard to move to next phase of PEM fuel cell catalyst development project with Nisshinbo

Ballard Power Systems has received a purchase order from Nisshinbo Holdings Inc. for the next phase of Technology Solutions project work related to the development of a breakthrough catalyst technology intended to reduce manufacturing cost of certain proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The project has now been underway for... Read more →

At CES Asia 2015 in Shanghai, Audi is showcasing a piloted driving technology study version of its new R8 e-tron battery-electric sports car, introduced earlier this year at the Geneva show. (Earlier post.) Audi is also featuring a piloted driving version of its A7 Sportback. (Earlier post.) The R8 e-tron—340... Read more →

At CES Asia, which opened today in Shanghai, Cadillac and GM’s Shanghai OnStar joint venture are showing China’s first automotive 4G LTE telematics service along with the CarLife app; the My Cadillac app; and an Apple Watch app. Later this year, Cadillac will become the initial vehicle brand in China... Read more →

Platinum-chromium alloy outperforms platinum as fuel cell catalyst

A team from Germany reports that a 40 wt% Pt3Cr/C alloy fuel cell catalyst shows enhanced activity under both half-cell and full-cell conditions as well as excellent corrosion stability compared to those of the 40 wt% Pt/C benchmark catalyst. As presented at the Meeting of the Electrochemical Society earlier this... Read more →

Researchers find injecting tiny grains of lithium improves performance of fusion plasmas

Scientists from General Atomics and the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), together with a team of researchers from across the United States, have found that upon injecting tiny grains of lithium into a plasma undergoing a particular kind of turbulence under the right conditions, the... Read more →

In partnership with General Motors, Alcoa and TWB Company LLC, researchers from the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a high-speed friction stir welding (FSW) process (earlier post) to join aluminum sheets of varying thicknesses—a key to producing auto parts that are light yet retain strength where... Read more →

Daimler and Qualcomm announce strategic collaboration on connected car technologies, wireless EV charging

Daimler AG and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI), a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, announced a strategic collaboration focused on connected car technologies. In the first phase of the collaboration, the companies will focus on transforming future vehicles with mobile technologies that enhance in-car experiences and vehicle performance such as 3G/4G connectivity;... Read more →

Michelin and Barito Pacific form JV to produce natural rubber in reforestation project; WWF cooperation agreement

Michelin and the Barito Pacific Group (BPG) have formed a joint-venture in Indonesia with Barito Pacific Group (BPG) for producing natural, eco-friendly rubber. According to the terms of the agreement, this new joint-venture will be owned 53% by BPG and 47% by Michelin, with Michelin’s contribution to the joint-venture amounting... Read more →