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Toyota Mirai fuel cell rated with EPA-estimated 67 mpge

The new Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (earlier post) will offer an EPA-estimated 67 miles per gallon equivalent (mpge) city/highway/combined when it hits dealerships in California this fall, and an EPA-estimated driving range rating of 312 miles (502 km) on a single fill of hydrogen. Toyota North America... Read more →

Mercedes-Benz to invest €1B in Rastatt plant for production of next-gen compact cars

Mercedes-Benz will invest €1 billion (US$1.1 billion) to transform the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant to produce the next generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars, strengthening its role as the global lead plant for compact cars for the company. Capacity utilization at the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant, which has a workforce of around 6,500... Read more →

Successful run across the US on 37.6 gallons of 100% NEXBTL renewable diesel; 66.7 mpg w/ average speed 67.7 mph

On 26 June, CLP Motorsports’ Superlite Coupe crossed the finish line in Santa Monica, California, after driving across the USA on one tank of NEXBTL renewable diesel (earlier post)—the first time that this type of trip was driven using a fuel that is made exclusively from bio-based raw materials. The... Read more →

Electric bus maker Proterra completes $55M strategic financing

Battery-eletcric bus manufacturer Proterra has completed a $55M strategic financing. This signals a new growth phase for the company, as Proterra scales production to meet growing demand and accelerates cash realization. Proterra closed a $30-million Series 4 equity round led by $19 million from several new strategic investors. The existing... Read more →

Amyris and Total agree to restructure renewable jet fuel joint venture; Total to own 75%

Amyris, Inc. and Total Energies Nouvelles Activités USA (a wholly owned subsidiary of Total S.A.) have agreed on the restructuring of their fuels joint venture to open the way for proceeding with commercialization of Amyris jet fuel technology over the coming years. Following the restructuring, Total would own 75% of... Read more →

Mercedes-Benz has set a new record for the diesels in the Pikes Peak hill-climb race with a near-production C 300 d 4MATIC. Test driver Uwe Nittel completed the 19.99 km (12.4-mile) route—which includes 156 bends with a change in altitude of 1439 meters (4,721 feet)—in just 11.37 minutes. The 150... Read more →

Skeleton Technologies launches new range of high-performance ultracapacitors; up to 111 kW/kg and 9.6 Wh/kg; hybrid truck application coming

Skeleton Technologies (earlier post) has launched a new range of cylindrical ultracapacitors that offers specific power performance of up to 111 kW/kg (SC450, 450F) and specific energy up to 9.6 Wh/kg (SC4500, 4500F) with ESR as low as 0.075 mΩ (SC3000, 3000F)—the highest performance cylindrical cell ultracapacitors in the market.... Read more →

United Airlines invests $30M in Fulcrum BioEnergy; renewable jet fuel offtake agreement, potential joint development of production

United Airlines made a $30-million equity investment in US-based Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc., the developer of a process for converting municipal solid waste into low-cost sustainable aviation biofuel. (Earlier post.) The investment is so far the largest single investment by a US airline in alternative fuels. In addition to the equity... Read more →

by James Garay, ARC “In the fall of 1994, the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Command (TACOM) awarded MEAM [Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics] a three-year, $7.5-million research grant to establish an Automotive Research Center (ARC) at the U-M.”1 Twenty-one years later, the ARC, which operates as a consortium of six... Read more →

A new technique developed by a team of researchers led by Eric Stach at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Anatoly Frenkel at Yeshiva University reveals atomic-scale changes during catalytic reactions in real time and under real operating conditions. An open access paper on the work is published in the journal Nature... Read more →

Tire-integrated triboelectric generator harvests electricity from rolling tire friction; est. up to +10% fuel econ

A group of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers and a collaborator from China have developed a triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) that harvests energy from a car’s rolling tire friction. An innovative method of reusing energy, the nanogenerator ultimately could provide automobile manufacturers a new way to squeeze greater efficiency out of their... Read more →

Four additional cities—Amsterdam, Lima, Catalonia (Barcelona) and Rome—signed up to the Global Clean Bus Declaration at the 1st global Clean Bus Summit in London. The Global Clean Bus Declaration, developed by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson in partnership with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, launched in Buenos Aires... Read more →

Wireless charging company Evatran gains $1.6M strategic investment from China Tier 1 supplier

Evatran Group, Inc. has completed a strategic investment from Zhejiang VIE Science and Technology Company (VIE), a manufacturer of automotive parts based in Zhejiang Province, China. The initial investment of $1.6 million is the first phase of a planned further partnership with Evatran to introduce wireless electric vehicle (EV) charging... Read more →

Audi has unveiled the new-generation Audi A4 and A4 Avant, developed with a high priority on the reduction of CO2 emissions. Among other developments, the new A4 is the launch vehicle for the new high-efficiency 2.0L TFSI based on Miller cycle, introduced by Audi earlier this year at the Vienna... Read more →

Europe’s BBI JU issues new €200M call for proposals for bioeconomy projects

Europe’s Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) has issued a new, more than €200-million (US$223-million) call for proposals for bioeconomy projects. This latest call for proposals follows a €100-million (US$111-million) call launched in May. The BBI JU, a €3.7-billion (US$4.1-billion) public-private partnership aimed at supporting the development of Europe’s emerging... Read more →

Evident Thermoelectrics has launched the first commercial thermoelectric product using skutterudite material technology: the Evident Skutterudite Test Kit. This thermoelectric material, which was originally developed by NASA to power deep space probes, operates in the mid- to high-temperature range—suited for, among other applications, automotive. This launch comes shortly after Evident... Read more →

Fuel cells: Ballard Power Systems buying Protonex for $30M

Ballard Power Systems signed a definitive agreement to acquire Protonex Technology Corporation, a designer and manufacturer of advanced power management products and portable fuel cell solutions, in a transaction valued at $30 million. Ballard is assuming and paying Protonex’s debt obligations at closing, currently estimated at approximately $4.4 million, and... Read more →

Volkswagen announces successful completion of 2-year drop-in renewable diesel evaluation with Solazyme and Amyris

Volkswagen of America announced the successful completion of its Renewable Diesel Evaluation Program in collaboration with Solazyme and Amyris. (Earlier post.) Beginning in 2012, Volkswagen measured the environmental impacts from the use of pre-commercial renewable diesel formulas with TDI Clean Diesel technology found in the 2012 Passat TDI (which uses... Read more →

Sumitomo Electric has developed a new silicon carbide (SiC) power transistor which achieves low on-state resistance, high stability and other excellent performance characteristics that are suited for for electric vehicles (EV)/hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), solar power conditioners and other applications. With the increasing need for energy efficiency, reducing power conversion... Read more →

Studies show that roughly half of drivers take defensive action (such as sudden braking or steering) to avoid collisions, with vehicle occupants commonly bracing themselves at the same time. Occupant posture—whether braced or relaxed—has a significant effect on body movement during a collision. However, current human surrogate models used in... Read more →

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a funding opportunity (DE-FOA-0001202) that will award an estimated $20 million to projects quickly to develop bench scale and pilot scale projects for recovering Rare Earth Elements (REE)—a set of seventeen chemical elements in the periodic table and key components of electronics... Read more →

National Electric Vehicle Sweden celebrates ground breaking for production and R&D in China

National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) held its project launching ceremony for the production and research & development joint ventures in Tianjin Binhai Hi-tech zone on 28th June, marking the start of NEVS’ strategic setup in China. NEVS’ Tianjin factory will be focused on new energy vehicles with an annual capacity... Read more →

by Henry Hewitt for Oilprice.com During the late innings of the ICE-age (as in the Internal Combustion Engine age) it has become clear that feeding gasoline and diesel to the next billion new cars is not going to be easy, or cheap. In China alone, 500 million new vehicles can... Read more →

Mercedes-Benz increases engine range for refreshed A Class compact With the refresh of its A-Class, Mercedes-Benz has increased the range of available engines. The A 160 with 75 kW (102 hp) is the new entry-level model. The new efficiency champion is the 80 kW (109 hp) A 180 d BlueEFFICIENCY... Read more →

A team at Samsung Advanced Institue of Technology (SAIT, Samsung’s global R&D hub) reports in an open access paper published in the journal Nature Communications on a new approach to advance high-capacity silicon (Si) anodes for Li-ion batteries (LIBs) to commercial viability, with a particular focus on improving the volumetric... Read more →

Volkswagen Group receives 2015 KS Energy and Environment Prize for the Golf GTE and Audi A3 e-tron PHEVs

The German automobile club Kraftfahrer Schutz e.V. (KS) awarded the 2015 Energy and Environment Prize to the Volkswagen Group for the plug-in hybrids Golf GTE (earlier post) and Audi A3 e-tron (earlier post). Accepting the award in Munich was Hanno Jelden, Head of Powertrain Electronics at Volkswagen. The organization Kraftfahrerschutz... Read more →

Morgan State NTC researchers seeking EV owners input in survey on buying decisions

Researchers at the National Transportation Center at Morgan State University are curious about the decisions that led EV owners to buy their vehicles. If you own or lease an EV, they would like to include you in a brief research survey. Although the survey says participants must own/lease a plug-in... Read more →

Application process now open for 2015 BASF/VW “Science Award for Electrochemistry”

The application process for the fourth (2015) BASF/VW “Science Award for Electrochemistry” (earlier post) is now open. Researchers have until 24 July 2015 to apply. The International Science Award offers total prize money of €100,000, including €50,000 for the first rank. The entries submitted will be judged by a jury... Read more →

Ricardo signs MoU for strategic cooperation with Foton, collaboration on new 1.0L gasoline engine

Ricardo has signed two contracts with Beiqi Foton Motor Co. Ltd (Foton), a designer and manufacturer of commercial vehicles, including medium and heavy-duty trucks, light-duty trucks, vans, pickups, and buses. The first of the contracts is a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Strategic Cooperation in Powertrain Products Development between Foton... Read more →

LanzaTech gas fermentation technology at core of €14.6M EU Steelanol project; 25K t/year demo plant

LanzaTech’s gas fermentation technology (earlier post) is at the core of the new Horizon2020 Steelanol project (2015-2018), which seeks to produce bioethanol via an innovative gas fermentation process using exhaust gases emitted by the steel industry. The €14.6-million (US$16.3-million) project is coordinated by steelmaker Arcelormittal Belgium NV. Steelanol’s main objective... Read more →

Volkswagen AG coordinating new €6M EU research project on drop-in biocatalytic solar fuels

Volkswagen AG is coordinating a new €6-million (US$6.7-million) research project, selected for funding under the Horizon 2020 Programme, to advance the biocatalytic production of drop-in liquid hydrocarbon transportation fuels, requiring only sunlight, CO2 and water. The basic approach of the new 4-year Photofuel project is to develop and to advance... Read more →

California ARB approves $373M funding plan for advanced vehicle technologies in FY2015-2016; up from $150M last year

The California Air Resources Board today approved a $373-million funding plan that covers all investments in advanced technologies for fiscal year 2015-16, from zero-emission heavy-duty trucks and buses to rebates for low- and zero-emission passenger vehicles. The budget for the annual Funding Plan for Low Carbon Transportation Investments and the... Read more →

In a new, comprehensive study, a team from Argonne National Laboratory, Stanford University and UC Davis ITS has estimated the well-to-wheels (WTW) GHG emissions of US production of gasoline and diesel sourced from Canadian oil sands. The analysis uses an expanded system boundary including land disturbance-induced GHG emissions and also... Read more →

Road traffic noise linked to deaths and increased strokes

Living in an area with noisy road traffic may reduce life expectancy, according to a new study by a team from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in partnership with Imperial College London and King’s College London. The findings, published in the European Heart Journal, suggest a link... Read more →

LowCVP: 5 Ps for influencing uptake of low emission vehicles at local level

The UK’s Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership has launched a Good Practice Guide for Local Measures to Encourage the Uptake of Low Emission Vehicles. A key recommendation is that policy measures implemented at the local level should be consistent with each other, that common definitions and vocabulary for low emission vehicles... Read more →

Cummins CTO John Wall receives California’s premier air quality award

Dr. John Wall, Vice President and Chief Technical Officer of diesel engine manufacturer Cummins Inc., is one of the three recipients of the 2014 Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards, California’s premier award recognizing individuals who have made outstanding contributions to improving air quality. Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards are given annually to... Read more →

In an event in Bern, Switzerland, Swiss National Council member and president of the Clean Fuel Now initiative Thomas Böhni filled up his Audi A2 with 100% synthetic diesel (Audi e-diesel) produced by sunfire GmbH to draw attention to the need to remove what he terms unjustified Swiss restrictions on... Read more →

“Better off sharing”: Opel launches CarUnity brand-agnostic carsharing concept

Opel has launched CarUnity, its new carsharing concept. CarUnity enables vehicle owners and users to offer their own car for rental or to rent a car of their choice quickly, easily and flexibly. It does not matter if the car is an Opel or a different brand. The CarUnity app... Read more →

NAR and EDI converting 6 Class-5 armored trucks to natural gas PHEVs

North American Repower (NAR)—a California-based natural gas engine management and conversion technology company—and Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI)—a developer of plug-in hybrid electric drivetrains—will convert a fleet of six 26,000-pound, Class-5 medium-duty armored vehicles operated by Sectran Security into PHEV vehicles that run on electricity and renewable natural gas. The Sectran... Read more →

Audi is supporting the German team (the “Part-Time Scientists”) in the Google Lunar XPRIZE (GLXP) competition with its know-how in several fields of technology from quattro all-wheel drive and lightweight construction to electric mobility and piloted driving. The lunar rover is powered by a solar panel the total surface area... Read more →

Toshiba introduces new efficient motor driver IC for DC brushed motors for vehicle engine applications

Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC) announced a small-sized motor driver IC for DC brushed motors used in vehicle engine applications such as electronic throttles and valve controls. The new TB9051FTG, housed in a small, flat 6mm x 6mm P-QFN28 package, employs double-diffused MOSFET (DMOS FET) transistors as driver circuits.... Read more →

Momentum Dynamics CEO: 25kW wireless charging will be the norm in 5 years

In his remarks at the IEEE-PELS (Power Electronics Society) meeting in Korea, Momentum Dynamics Corporation’s CEO Andy Daga said he believes that 25 kW wireless chargers will be the norm for all EVs within 5 years, with commercialization beginning next year (2016). Momentum Dynamics is developing high-power inductive (wireless) chargers... Read more →

OnStar expanding to Brazil in Chevy Cruze

GM OnStar will launch its Emergency, Security, Navigation, Diagnostics and Connectivity services in Brazil on the Chevrolet Cruze later this year. OnStar, with more than 7 million customers in North America and China and 19 years of experience, is the leading global provider of connected safety and security solutions, value-added... Read more →

HELLA introduces new 24GHz radar-based system; new exit alert function

HELLA is introducing an enhancement of its 24GHz radar-based driver-assistance technology. With production starting in June 2015 at HELLA’s US manufacturing plant in Flora, Illinois, the new 3.5 radar sensor system is a complement to its generation 3.0 system, which has been in production since last year. In addition to... Read more →

Microvi engineered biocatalysts significantly improve ethanol production

Microvi Biotechnologies, a developer of biocatalytic processes, working with the Advanced Biofuels Process Demonstration Unit (ABPDU) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), has demonstrated significant improvements to biological ethanol production. Microvi’s technology uses engineered biocatalyst composites which have been synthetically designed to 1) alleviate ethanol toxicity on the... Read more →

Chevrolet introduced the all-new 2016 Cruze—larger, lighter, and more efficient than its predecessor. The new Cruze will be offered in more than 40 global markets and goes on sale first in North America in early 2016. A new, standard 1.4L turbocharged direct injection engine (for North America) helps enable a... Read more →

DOE seeking input on use of advanced biofuel blends in small engines

The US Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has released a Request for Information (DE-FOA-0001373) seeking stakeholder input on the use of advanced biofuel blends in small engines. The two specific areas of interest are: the potential to optimize and/or modify small... Read more →

Over the last three years, Germany’s €18-million (US$20-million) CONVERGE (Communication Network for Vehicles on the Road with a Global Extension) research initiative, funded by the Federal Government, has been developing the technical and operational framework of a cooperative architecture for the communication of vehicles with the transport infrastructure, service providers... Read more →

Alphabet Energy introduces PowerModules for modular thermoelectric waste heat recovery; partnership with Borla for heavy-duty trucks

Alphabet Energy, founded in 2009 at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, announced the availability of its thermoelectric generator PowerModule as a standalone product, available to meet the specific application needs of a range of industries, including transportation. The company also announced it will partner with Borla jointly to develop and to... Read more →