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Tesoro to support development of renewable biocrude for its refineries; Fulcrum, Virent, Ensyn partners

Tesoro Corporation plans to foster the development of biocrude, made from renewable biomass, which can be co-processed in its existing refineries along with conventional fossil crude oil to produce lower-carbon drop-in fuels. Tesoro expects that converting renewable biomass into biocrude will enable existing refining assets to produce fuels with lower... Read more →

Nissan announces UK production for future generation EV batteries

Nissan will produce a future generation of EV batteries at its manufacturing base in Sunderland, UK. Nissan’s UK battery plant is one of three Nissan battery production sites globally, also providing battery modules for Nissan’s all-electric van, the e-NV200, which is manufactured in the company’s plant in Barcelona, Spain. Paving... Read more →

Orbital ATK successfully tests hypersonic engine combustor produced through additive manufacturing

Orbital ATK successfully tested a 3D-printed hypersonic engine combustor at NASA Langley Research Center. The combustor, produced through an additive manufacturing process known as powder bed fusion (PBF), was subjected to a variety of high-temperature hypersonic flight conditions over the course of 20 days, including one of the longest duration... Read more →

New BMW Brilliance engine plant with light metal foundry in China; high-voltage battery production to come

BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) opened a new engine plant with a light metal foundry in Shenyang today. The new location will produce the latest generation of the BMW TwinPower Turbo three and four-cylinder gasoline engines and forms part of the BBA production network based in Shenyang in Northeastern China. In... Read more →

Bosch has begun on-road testing of autonomous driving in Japan, its third location for the development work after Germany and the US. Bosch’s initial goal is the development of the highway pilot, which will allow cars to drive autonomously on freeways and freeway-like roads starting in 2020. Worldwide, nearly 2,500... Read more →

Ballard signs $12M agreement for 15 kW fuel cell stacks for commercial bus range-extenders in China

Ballard Power Systems signed an Equipment Supply Agreement (ESA), valued at $12 million, with Guangdong Synergy Hydrogen Power Technology Co., Ltd. (Synergy) to provide FCvelocity-9SSL fuel cell stacks for use in commercial buses in China. Ballard expects to deliver the stacks in 2016 and 2017. Each FCvelocity-9SSL fuel cell stack... Read more →

An 8.75MW battery storage network which will capture and reuse the energy created by braking subway cars will help Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) reduce operating costs, ensure energy resiliency, and support the stability of the electrical grid. Constellation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, will fund, own, and operate the... Read more →

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering are working with metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) to develop a new type of natural gas storage system that would adsorb the gas like a sponge and allow for more energy-efficient storage and use. In the journal Physical Review Letters, the team... Read more →

PNNL managing new Lightweight Materials National Lab Consortium

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is establishing a new consortium to support a vision of developing and deploying lightweight materials twice as fast, at a fraction of the cost, while increasing US competitiveness in manufacturing. It can take as long as 20 years to get a lightweight material from... Read more →

Ballard receives follow-on order from Nisshinbo for development of fuel cell catalyst; targeting 70% reduction in platinum loading

Ballard Power Systems has received a follow-on purchase order from Nisshinbo Holdings Inc. for a further phase of a Technology Solutions program related to the development of a breakthrough catalyst technology intended to reduce the cost of certain proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The program, now entering its seventh... Read more →

Ford making start-stop standard across 2017 EcoBoost-equipped F-150 lineup

Ford is making Auto Start-Stop technology standard across the entire lineup of EcoBoost-equipped 2017 F-150 pickups. The 2016 F-150 with 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine comes standard with Auto Start-Stop. That offering continues for 2017, with the addition of the technology as standard equipment for all 3.5-liter EcoBoost engines including the all-new... Read more →

TM4, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Exagon Motors and the Gouvernement du Québec partner on new electric drivetrain

TM4, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Exagon Motors, Hydro-Québec and the Gouvernement du Québec are collaborating to develop a new electric drivetrain for light-duty vehicles. TM4 will act as the developer of the electric powertrain in the pre-development phase of the project. The government’s contribution will be made up of a CAD... Read more →

DOE announces $58M in funding for advanced vehicle technologies

US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz used the Washington DC Auto show as the venue to announce $58 million in funding for vehicle technology advancements. (Earlier post.) (DE-FOA-0001384: Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Vehicle Technologies Program Wide Funding Opportunity Announcement) DOE also released a report highlighting the successes of itsAdvanced Technology Vehicles... Read more →

At Washington, D.C. Auto Show, Honda said that it will begin retail leasing of the new 5-passenger, hydrogen-powered Clarity Fuel Cell sedan (earlier post) to customers in select California markets before the end of 2016. Honda expects to price the Clarity Fuel Cell at around $60,000 with a targeted monthly... Read more →

GM launches Maven car sharing brand

General Motors announced a new car-sharing service it calls Maven, which combines and expands the company’s multiple programs under a single brand. Maven’s mission is to give customers access to highly personalized, on-demand mobility services. The global Maven team includes more than 40 dedicated employees from the connected car technology... Read more →

Schneider Electric and EverCharge collaborate to accelerate EV charging in multi-tenant buildings

Schneider Electric and EverCharge, a provider of intelligent, scalable, and fully managed electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions, announced a global collaboration to accelerate the build-out of EV charging infrastructure in urban buildings with multiple occupants including apartments, condominiums and office buildings. EV charging currently presents multi-tenant facilities and their occupants... Read more →

Penn State team develops self-heating battery; addressing Li-ion energy loss in cold temperatures

Researchers at Penn State, with colleagues at EC Power, a Penn State spin-off, have developed a lithium-ion battery structure—the ‘all-climate battery’ (ACB) cell—that heats itself up from below 0 degrees Celsius without requiring external heating devices or electrolyte additives. The self-heating mechanism creates an electrochemical interface that is favorable for... Read more →

At the Awards Ceremony at the SAE 2016 Government/Industry Meeting, SAE International honored the recipients of the Ralph H. Isbrandt Automotive Safety Engineering Award, including the lead author, Jesse Schneider, (BMW); along with co-authors Jihyun Shim (Hyundai); Graham Meadows (IMPCO); Steven R. Mathison (Honda); Michael J. Veenstra (Ford); Rainer Immel... Read more →

Volkswagen brand restructures development organization; distinct BEV group

The Volkswagen brand has restructured its vehicle development organization. The new organization bundles competencies into four series groups containing several model series: small; compact; mid- and full-size; and BEV. The brand’s management intends for cross-functional collaboration to be strengthened as a result—from the concept to the end of the life-cycle... Read more →

Bristol University team develops new 3D printing technique for composites

A team of engineers at the University of Bristol has developed a new type of 3D printing that can print composite materials. Their technique, described in an open-access paper in Smart Materials and Structures, uses ultrasonic waves to position carefully millions of tiny reinforcement fibres as part of the 3D... Read more →

3M introduces new magnet bonding adhesive system for electric motors

3M has introduced a new magnet bonding adhesive system designed to provide electric motor design and manufacturing engineers with an advanced tool for bonding permanent magnets to rotors and stators in high-efficiency permanent magnet (PM) electric motors. The 3M Magnet Bonding Adhesive AU-205 is a high-performance structural bonding adhesive system... Read more →

As of 2018, Audi Brussels will produce exclusively the commercial version of Audi’s e-tron quattro battery-electric SUV (earlier post). The plant will also produce its own battery packs. The site in Belgium will thus become a key plant for electric mobility at the Volkswagen Group. Audi will transfer production of... Read more →

DuPont and ADM develop process for production of FDME from fructose; platform molecule for high-value bio-based chemicals

DuPont Industrial Biosciences (DuPont) and Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) have developed a new breakthrough process for the production of furan dicarboxylic methyl ester (FDME) from fructose. FDME is a high-purity derivative of furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA)—one of the 12 building blocks identified by the US Department of Energy that can... Read more →

Ricardo and GTI partner on new lower-emissions medium- and heavy-duty natural gas engine technologies for California

Ricardo will partner with Gas Technology Institute (GTI) on two major contracts to enable natural gas engines to provide a viable, fuel-efficient, and less polluting alternative to diesel power for medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles on the highways of California. Despite California’s substantial progress in reducing emissions from heavy-duty trucks... Read more →

Motorola Solutions invests in Mg-ion battery company Pellion Technologies

Pellion Technologies, a startup commercializing magnesium-ion battery technology (earlier post), announced an investment by Motorola Solutions. Because magnesium is divalent, it can displace double the charge per ion (i.e., Mg2+ rather than Li+). As an element, magnesium is much more abundant than lithium, and more stable. Magnesium-ion batteries theoretically could... Read more →

Battery cost reductions, government funding programs and utility tenders led to a 45% increase in the global energy storage pipeline in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2015 compared to the previous quarter. According to IHS Inc., the global pipeline of planned battery and flywheel projects had reached 1.6 gigawatts (GW)... Read more →

Leclanché to supply Li-ion Energy Storage Systems in one of largest grid storage projects in North America

Hecate Canada Storage II, LLP, an emerging Canadian Project Development and Electrical Systems Integrator, has selected Switzerland-based Leclanché as the exclusive partner to provide 13MW / 53MWh Li-ion battery Energy Storage Systems in one of the largest Grid Ancillary Services energy storage projects in North America. All the contracted facilities... Read more →

Chevrolet offers the 2015 Impala full-size sedan as an all-new bi-fuel model—the only manufacturer-produced full-size sedan in North America that can run on both compressed natural gas (CNG) and gasoline. Available at the end of 2015 to both fleet and retail customers in either LS or LT trims, the bi-fuel... Read more →

MINI partners with HAX to launch startup accelerator program

MINI and HAX, a division of venture capital firm SOSV, have launched a startup accelerator program to support, educate, and invest in compelling new businesses. Urban-X by MINI and HAX will combine the core competencies of MINI, including design, engineering, and usability, with HAX’s best-in-class acceleration processes, investing experience, and... Read more →

Westport secures EPA certification for the Dedicated CNG and Bi-fuel CNG 2016 Ford F-150

Westport Innovations Inc. received certification from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the dedicated compressed natural gas (CNG) and bi-fuel CNG Westport WiNG Power System models of the Ford 5.0L F-150 trucks for Model Year (MY) 2016. This marks the first time that Ford has offered gaseous prep in the... Read more →

Study finds recent decreases in percentage of licensed drivers across all age groups

An analysis by Dr. Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle at University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) has found recent decreases in the proportion of persons with a driver’s license across all age groups in the US. The study examined data came the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) from 1983 to... Read more →

European Parliament to vote on proposal to veto increased diesel emissions limits

The European Parliament will vote at the next plenary session on a proposal to veto a draft decision to raise diesel car emission limits for NOx by up to 110% when the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test procedure is introduced. Parliament’s Environment Committee argues that MEPs should veto plans to... Read more →

Argonne/JCESR team demonstrates first rechargeable calcium-ion battery

One potential path for delivering higher energy density storage than current Li-ion batteries is to use a multivalent ion such as Ca2+ or Mg2+. (Earlier post.) Now, researchers at Argonne National Laboratory and the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) have demonstrated the first rechargeable calcium-ion battery. Utilizing manganese... Read more →

Zhejiang VIE Science and Technology leads US$10M Series B for wireless charging company Evatran

Evatran Group, Inc. and Zhejiang VIE Science and Technology Company (VIE), a leading manufacturer of automotive parts based in Zhejiang Province, China earlier this month moved to the second phase of a planned global expansion with Evatran’s Plugless EV charging technology. VIE’s total $3.2-million investment to date formally kicks off... Read more →

Opel rejects VRT News report of modified diesel emissions software

Belgium-based VRT News has charged that Opel dealers have been modifying the software in the Zafira Tourer 1.6 diesel to change the emission behavior of the vehicles. Opel swiftly rebutted, noting that (a) service update 15-P-0444 (cited in the VRT News report) has nothing to do with changing emission levels;... Read more →

Argonne-led team demonstrates Li-air battery based on lithium superoxide; up to 5x Li-ion energy density

Researchers from Argonne National Laboratory, with colleagues in the US and Korea, have demonstrated a lithium-oxygen battery based on lithium superoxide (LiO2). The work, reported in the journal Nature, could open the way to very high-energy-density batteries based on LiO2 as well as to other possible uses of the compound,... Read more →

PowerCell Sweden receives 1st order for 100 kW PowerCell S3 prototype fuel cell stack for automotive application

Fuel cell company PowerCell Sweden AB has received a first order for a prototype of a 100 kW PowerCell S3 fuel cell stack from a European company that will use it in an automotive application. PowerCell expects to deliver the S3 prototype during the second quarter of this year. PowerCell... Read more →

ABN AMRO bank new partner in KLM’s Corporate BioFuel Program for biojet fuel

The ABN AMRO bank has become the 12th partner in KLM’s Corporate BioFuel Program. Corporations participating in the KLM program pay a surcharge that covers the price difference between sustainable biofuel and conventional aviation fuel. KLM uses the surcharge to purchase sustainable biofuel, which is added to the fuel pumped... Read more →

SOFC company Ceres Power and Honda sign new joint development agreement for power equipment

Ceres Power Holdings PLC has signed a new Joint Development Agreement with Honda R & D Co Ltd jointly to develop Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) stacks using Ceres Power’s metal-supported Steel Cell technology for a range of potential power equipment applications. Ceres produces the Steel Cell by screen printing... Read more →

The potential for using low temperature combustion (LTC) in compression ignition engines (i.e., diesel) to reduce NOx and PM while maintaining high efficiency has attracted a great deal of research interest over the past several years. While achieving LTC with diesel fuel over a wide operating range has been shown... Read more →

Toho Tenax Co., Ltd., the core company of the Teijin Group’s carbon fibers and composites business, has developed innovative microwave carbonization and plasma surface treatment technologies to support the increased production and use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) in automobiles, high-speed railcars and aircraft. Toho Tenax is now working... Read more →

Report: Mercedes-Benz introducing fuel cell GLC SUV next year, 4 EVs starting in 2018

Autocar quotes Mercedes-Benz’ head of R&D Dr. Thomas Weber as saying that the company will introduce a fuel cell version of its GLC SUV next year. The release of the GLC F-Cell will be followed by the introduction of four battery-electric cars starting in 2018. Mercedes-Benz has amassed a large... Read more →

Report: Honda and GM to build fuel cell plant, mass production by 2025

The Asahi Shimbun reports that will set up a factory for the joint manufacture of automotive fuel cells, with production beginning by 2025 at the latest. In 2013, the two companies announced a long-term, definitive master agreement to co-develop next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies, aiming for the... Read more →

California Public Utilities Commission authorizes So Cal Edison to develop pilot program for 1,500 EV charging stations

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) authorized Southern California Edison to develop a pilot program to incentivize the deployment of approximately 1,500 electric vehicle charging stations and conduct education and outreach in support of electric transportation. Edison is authorized to spend $22 million on implementation of Phase 1 of its... Read more →

DOE to award up to $15M for Advancements In Algal Biomass Yield, Phase 2

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award (DE-FOA-0001471) up to $15 million in funding to develop technologies that are likely to succeed in producing 3,700 gallons of algal biofuel intermediate (or equivalent dry weight basis) per acre per year (gal/acre/yr) on an annualized average basis (not peak or projected)... Read more →

DOE to award $12M to two companies to further next-generation nuclear reactor designs

The US Department of Energy (DOE) selected two companies—X-energy and Southern Company—for a combined $12 million in awards ($6 million each) to develop further advanced nuclear reactor designs. These awards, with a multi-year cost share of up to $80 million for both companies, will support work to address key technical... Read more →