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EPA nudges up volume of renewable fuel in final requirements for 2014-2016 under RFS

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the final volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program today for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016, and final volume requirements for biomass-based diesel for 2014 to 2017. This rule finalizes higher volumes of renewable fuel than the levels EPA proposed... Read more →

Global billionaires unite in “Breakthrough energy coalition” to support development of zero-carbon energy

As the UN climate conference COP21 opened in Paris, Bill Gates announced the formation of the “Breakthrough energy coalition”, an investment grouping of global billionaires focused on developing the technologies that will create a new zero-carbon energy mix. While governments play the key role in large-scale funding commitments for basic... Read more →

NEVS cooperates with Renesas Electronics to facilitate new energy vehicle development

NEVS (National Electric Vehicle Sweden) has entered a strategic cooperation with Renesas Electronics for new energy vehicles in China. Based on NEVS’ EV-optimized automotive architecture and Renesas Electronics’ mature technology system, the two parties will develop system solutions tailor-made for new energy vehicles. NEVS has a long-term commitment to the... Read more →

Emissions Analytics to launch real-world NOx accreditation scheme for new cars; complementary to RDE

UK-based Emissions Analytics, a specialist in real-world, on-road vehicle emissions measurement and analysis, plans to launch a new initiative in 2016 to help consumers, policy makers and vehicle manufacturers better understand the real-world emissions of NOx from new cars. The accreditation scheme will assess cars using objective performance criteria, recognizing... Read more →

Lear acquires V2X company Arada Systems

Lear Corporation, a leading global supplier of automotive seating and electrical distribution systems, has acquired Arada Systems, a Troy, Michigan-based automotive technology company that specializes in Vehicle-to-Vehicle and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2X) communications. Lear is a leader in managing power and distributing signals within a vehicle. The acquisition of Arada Systems, in... Read more →

Eleven states currently assess fees on electric vehicle owners in lieu of traditional fuel taxes, according to the US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Highway maintenance has traditionally been funded from a combination of Federal and state taxes collected at the fuel pump. Because... Read more →

SEAT has developed the Parkfinder app, which indicates where there is available street parking thanks to data gathered via Barcelona's iCity platform. Drivers simply enter where they are headed, or once at their location, ask the app where there is available parking. As any other iCity Project App, it can... Read more →

TMFB researchers investigate engine performance of two possible future tailor-made biofuels

Researchers at RWTH Aachen University in Germany report on their evaluation of two possible future biofuels—tailor-made from biomass—in a paper in the journal Fuel. The team investigated the use of 2-butanone (also referred to as methyl ethyl ketone, MEK) and 2-methylfuran, both of which had been identified within the Cluster... Read more →

Stanford team increases power of corrosion-resistant solar cells; advance for solar fuels

Researchers at Stanford, with colleagues at University College Cork in Ireland, have shown how to increase the power of corrosion-resistant solar cells, setting a record for solar energy output under water. Instead of pumping electricity into the grid, the power these cells produce would be used in the production of... Read more →

U Mass team develops quick and easy coating process to make surfaces omniphobic

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts have introduced a new method for making transparent, dirt-repellant coatings that can be applied very quickly and easily. The coatings repel both water and oily liquids and are stable at higher pressures and temperatures. A paper on their work is published in the journal... Read more →

The new Audi R18 made its world premiere on the occasion of the Audi Sport Finale at the Audi Training Center Munich on Saturday. Audi Sport has fundamentally re-designed the Audi R18 for the 2016 season. The LMP1 race car that will compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours and... Read more →

Dearman has begun on-vehicle testing of the Generation 2 zero-emission transport refrigeration system. The system is powered by an innovative, liquid nitrogen Dearman engine, which replaces the standard diesel engine. (Earlier post.) As a result, the Dearman system is zero-emission, producing no harmful NOx or particulates, and it helps to... Read more →

A team at Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA) (earlier post) has developed a nanostructured sulfur cathode with a truffle-like architecture which comprises a sulfur particle embedded with hollow carbon nanospheres and encapsulated with an ion-selective, flexible layer-by-layer (LBL) nanomembrane decorated with conductive carbon. In a paper in the... Read more →

Researchers in Japan explore pathway to produce renewable diesel from rapeseed oil

A team at Kyoto University in Japan has investigated the production of renewable diesel hydrocarbons from rapeseed oil using hydrothermal hydrogenation and subsequent decarboxylation in a batch-type reaction vessel. By blending the obtained hydrocarbons from rapeseed oil with an adequate amount of fossil diesel, the blended fuel could satisfy the... Read more →

Study finds increased CO2 enhancing plankton growth; opposite of expected

Coccolithophores—unicellular, eukaryotic phytoplankton (algae)—have been increasing in relative abundance in the North Atlantic over the last 45 years, as carbon input into ocean waters has increased. Their relative abundance increased by an order of magnitude during this sampling period. This finding was diametrically opposed to what scientists had expected since... Read more →

EOS enters a three-year technical partnership with Williams on additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing developer and supplier EOS has entered a technical partnership with Williams Grand Prix Engineering and Williams Advanced Engineering. The partnership aims at providing Williams with direct and high level insights into the latest additive manufacturing (AM) technologies offered by EOS to complement their existing manufacturing processes, and to... Read more →

The Norwegian postal service Posten, which already has a fleet of 900 electric vehicles (cars, bikes, quadricycles, trailers), is ordering 240 units of Renault’s battery electric Kangoo Maxi Z.E. With a range of 170 km (106 miles) NEDC (80 to 125 km under usual driving conditions), Kangoo Maxi Z.E. is... Read more →

Researchers within the RS2E network on electrochemical energy storage (Réseau sur le stockage électrochimique de l’énergie) in France have developed the first sodium-ion battery in an 18650 format. The main advantage of the prototype is that it relies on sodium, an element far more abundant and less costly than lithium.... Read more →

Navitas Systems awarded $7.2M contract to develop Gen 2 Li-ion military vehicle 6T batteries

Navitas Systems LLC recently was awarded a four-year $7.2 million contract to develop second generation (Gen 2) lithium-ion batteries for military vehicles. The US military and most NATO countries to-date have used lead-acid batteries in the 6T form factor to provide starting and energy storage for its ground vehicles. While... Read more →

Innovations in autonomous vehicles, connectivity, and mobility-on-demand will have a profound impact on consumers, particularly among younger and older people, according to a new study by KPMG. With these age groups set to embrace these technological and transformational changes, vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the US will soar by approximately... Read more →

Saft signs ~€4M contract with SNCF for MRX Ni-Cd on-board train battery systems

Saft has signed an on-board battery system replacement contract valued at around €4 million with SNCF, France’s national state-owned railway operator. In its largest single contract with a European railway operator for the past 10 years, Saft is enabling SNCF to migrate its entire fleet of more than 200 TER... Read more →

LG Chem providing batteries for 140 MWh ESS project in Germany

LG Chem is providing 140 MWh worth of batteries for use in ESS systems for STEAG power plants in Germany. (Earlier post.) As part of the world’s largest ESS (energy storage systems) project, STEAG GBS (Großbatterie-Systeme) plants belonging to the German power supplier in North-Rhine Westphalia and Rhineland Palatinate will... Read more →

Oil Jobs Lost: 250,000 And Counting; Texas Likely To See Massive Layoffs Soon

by Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com Crude oil just capped off a third straight week of declines, as WTI nears the $40 per barrel threshold. Goldman Sachs is once again raising the possibility of oil dipping into the $20s per barrel. That spells more pain for the energy sector. Many companies... Read more →

California ARB instructs Volkswagen Group to begin recall and repair process for 3.0L diesels

The California Air Resources Board sent an In Use Compliance letter notifying Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche to start the process necessary to recall and repair illegal emissions software in all 3-liter diesel vehicles, model years 2009 – 2015, sold in California. The companies will now have 45 business days to... Read more →

Jaguar Land Rover to invest US$679 million to expand its Engine Manufacturing Center in UK

Jaguar Land Rover will double the size of its Engine Manufacturing Center (EMC) in the UK as part of a £450-million (US$679-million) expansion program. Total investment in the site, which opened a year ago, now stands at £1 billion (US$1.5 billion) making it the most significant new automotive manufacturing facility... Read more →

Group-buy Black Friday deal on 2015 Nissan LEAFs in Northern Colorado: $10,600

Consumers in Fort Collins and Loveland, Colo. will have a special group-buy Black Friday opportunity to purchase a 2015 Nissan LEAF for just more than $10,000, saving up to $21,000 off the sticker price. The program, offered in partnership with Tynan’s Nissan and Drive Electric Northern Colorado (DENC), starts Friday,... Read more →

The Volkswagen Group has proposed the specific technical fixes for the non-compliant 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter diesel EA 189 engines equipped with the software defeat device resulting in excessive NOxemissions to the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (Kraftfahrtbundesamt, KBA). Following an examination, these measures have been ratified by the KBA. (The... Read more →

Open Charge Alliance selects OASIS as the standard development organization for Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP)

The Open Charge Alliance (OCA) consortium has decided to standardize the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) at OASIS, an international open standards development organization (SDO). OCA said that the move to OASIS will provide an expeditious standardization process and potential pathway to integrate OCPP with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)... Read more →

In its latest Leaderboard report on what it sees as the top 8 automotive Li-ion battery companies, Navigant research has put LG Chem in first place, followed closely by Panasonic and Samsung SDI in the “Leaders” segment. To qualify for the Leaders category, a company must perform exceedingly well in... Read more →

Federal-Mogul Powertrain, a division of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation, has developed a new piston ring for two-stroke diesel engines that reduces oil consumption and marine pollution by allowing the quantity of lubricant used to be greatly reduced. The patented surface topography of the new eWAVE rings has been designed to distribute... Read more →

NXP & Tongji University collaborate on Shanghai Intelligent And Connected Vehicle Demonstration Program

NXP Semiconductors N.V. and Tongji University announced the continuation of their successful collaboration through the new Shanghai Intelligent and Connected Vehicle Demonstration Program. Launched in October, the Shanghai Intelligent and Connected Vehicle Demonstration Program is one of 46 pilot programs under the Made in China 2025 plan, created with the... Read more →

Ensyn granted EPA Part 79 approval for renewable gasoline

Ensyn (earlier post) has been granted a key regulatory approval from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its renewable gasoline product, RFGasoline. This approval, pursuant to Title 40 CFR Part 79 promulgated under the Clean Air Act, is required for the sale of RFGasoline into US commerce. This approval... Read more →

ARPA-E awards $2.1M to Marine BioEnergy for open ocean farming of kelp for hydrocarbon biofuels

Marine BioEnergy, Inc. was awarded $2.1 million in funding from the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) under the agency’s OPEN 2015 solicitation (earlier post). The funding will be used to research and develop open ocean farming of kelp as a biomass feedstock. The kelp... Read more →

Dürr, a global mechanical and plant engineering firm, is for the first time supplying a complete robot cell for human-robot collaboration (HRC) to the car manufacturing industry. In this plant design, humans and robots are working together “hand-in-hand” in final assembly without a separating safety device. The specific innovative HRC... Read more →

The 1.6-liter Renault Espace diesel is the latest vehicle to come in the emissions crosshairs of German environmental NGO Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH). DUH published results of emissions testing by the University of Bern showing that NOx emissions from New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) driven tests with a warm engine exceed... Read more →

U of Maryland inventors receive patent for cellulose-digesting bacteria that make ethanol; looking for licensees

The US Patent and Trademark Office has issued patent Nº 9,193,979 for ethanol-tolerant microorganisms that convert cellulosic biomass to ethanol. Inventors Richard A. Kohn and Seon-Woo Kim are faculty members at the University of Maryland where the organisms were first discovered. (Earlier post.) The patent describes using the microorganisms to... Read more →

BASF announces winners of the open innovation contest on energy storage

BASF announced the winners of the BASF Energy Contest at the “Creator Space Summit” in Ludwigshafen. From 122 applications submitted on the online platform NineSights, a jury of BASF experts and external specialists chose the four best proposals which will be funded with €100,000 (US$106,000) each. The winning concepts were:... Read more →

Global Bioenergies hits two milestones in renewable isobutene project

Global Bioenergies has reached two milestones—the labscale performance and the industrial process scale-up—of its process to produce renewable isobutene, one of them more than 2 months in advance. The BioMA+ project is financed by the ADEME in the context of the French “Investissements d’Avenir” State program. The project targets the... Read more →

Hyundai Motor America picks AeroVironment to provide dealer charging stations for 2016 Sonata Plug-in Hybrid

Hyundai Motor America has selected AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVAV) as the preferred provider for charging system installation at its dealerships across North America for its 2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid (earlier post). Hyundai is the seventh plug-in electric vehicle (EV) auto manufacturer to choose AeroVironment as one of its suppliers. The... Read more →

GM promoting DSRC for connected vehicle (V2X) technology development in China

General Motors is promoting the adoption of dedicated short range communications (DSRC) in China. The Chinese government is soliciting advice on the development of its V2X (connected vehicle) communication protocol. To move toward the world of V2X, it is essential for China to allocate the spectrum for intelligent connected vehicles.... Read more →

Achates Power wins $9M from ARPA-E to develop gasoline compression ignition medium-duty multi-cylinder opposed-piston engine

Achates Power, the developer of a family of two-stroke compression-ignition opposed-piston engines (earlier post), has been selected by APRA-E under its OPEN 2015 solicitation (earlier post) for an award of more than $9 million to develop a multi-cylinder opposed piston engine operating with compression ignition that uses gasoline as the... Read more →

ORNL, Solid Power sign exclusive license for lithium-sulfur battery technology

The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Solid Power Inc. of Louisville, Colo., have signed an exclusive agreement licensing lithium-sulfur materials for next-generation batteries. Solid Power licensed a portfolio of ORNL patents relating to lithium-sulfur compositions that will enable development of more energy-dense batteries. ORNL’s proof-of-concept battery research... Read more →

Toyota Transport, the automaker’s in-house vehicle transportation trucking company, is using its first car hauler that runs on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). The Long Beach, CA-based truck/trailer emits 85% less overall particulate matter and 10% less carbon dioxide than its diesel counterparts. The CNG truck was commissioned by Toyota and... Read more →

Report: Volkswagen chief says diesel engine refits manageable; Germany’s KBA signs off on plans for 1.6 and 2.0L engines

Reuters reports that Volkswagen Group chief executive Matthias Müller has told managers in Wolfsburg that the steps needed to fix about 8.5 million Volkswagen cars in Europe fitted with illegal emissions-control software are technically and financially manageable. Reuters quoted Müller as saying “The efforts (needed) to carry out the refits... Read more →

Audi to revise auxiliary emission control devices for US V6 TDI 3L diesel, resubmit to EPA and ARB; mid-double-digit million euro cost

Audi will revise, document in detail, and resubmit for US approval certain parameters of the engine-management software used in the US version of the V6 TDI 3 liter diesel engine. The action plan is the result of the discussions held between a delegation from Audi AG and the US Environmental... Read more →

Nissan has more than 550 electric taxis on European roads

With more than 550 electric taxis on European roads, Nissan is now Europe’s best-selling manufacturer of 100% electric taxis. During 2015, more than 100 electric vehicles were delivered to taxi companies across Europe. Nissan electric vehicles—the Nissan LEAF and the e-NV200, a passenger and light commercial vehicle—are becoming increasingly popular... Read more →

Daimler Trucks to produce new medium-duty diesels in Detroit; $375M investment

Daimler Trucks will begin production of the new medium-duty DD5 and DD8 diesel engines for the NAFTA market in Detroit effective 2018. The plant is currently beginning localized series production of the DT12 automated transmission for the NAFTA market as well. Daimler Trucks invested $100 million for the new production... Read more →

KIT researchers developing low-pressure carbonitriding process for hardening steel with methylamine; applications in downsized engines

A team at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is developing a new low-pressure process for hardening steel using methylamine. The new low-pressure carbonitriding (enriching low-alloy steels with carbon and nitrogen) process saves time and process gas. Steels hardened in this way are suited for use in components subjected to... Read more →

In a departure from its usual approach of supplying high-capacity prismatic Li-ion cells for automotive applications, Samsung SDI will supply cylindrical 18650 format Li-ion batteries for JAC Motors’ new electric SUV iEV6S, unveiled at the 2015 Guangzhou International Auto Parts & Accessories Exhibition. JAC Motors says that its iEV6S will... Read more →