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Tesla Chairman and CEO Elon Musk unveiled the long-anticipated Model 3 as the culminating step—a mass-market, affordable electric vehicle—in Tesla’s “Master Plan” to accelerate the transition to sustainable transport. Musk said that the Model 3 will start at $35,000; achieve 5-Star ratings in every safety category; accelerate from 0-60 mph... Read more →

ORNL achieves 90% efficiency with 20 kW wireless charging for vehicles; looking ahead to 50 kW

A 20-kilowatt wireless charging system demonstrated at Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has achieved 90 percent efficiency and at three times the rate of the plug-in systems commonly used for electric vehicles today. ORNL’s power electronics team achieved this world’s first 20 kW wireless charging system for passenger... Read more →

City of Montreal signs a framework agreement for the purchase of Nissan LEAF EVs for municipal fleet

The City of Montreal, Canada has signed a two-year framework agreement with Cité Nissan Gabriel SEC to supply LEAF EVs for the municipal fleet. This agreement reflects the commitment of our Administration to develop the electric vehicle sector. We move from words to actions by example; electrification of part of... Read more →

ITM Power announced the sale of a 1MW electrolyzer system with some additional equipment to ZEAG Energie AG. ITM Power currently has £11.40 million (US$16.4 million) of projects under contract and a further £7.28 million (US$10.5 million) of contracts in the final stages of negotiation constituting a total pipeline of... Read more →

ENGIE investing €100M in CNG/LNG stations in Europe to 2020

ENGIE, a global operator in electricity, natural gas and energy services markets, will invest nearly €100 million from now to 2020 to build Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) stations for filling up the European fleets of trucks with natural gas and biogas. This contribution to strengthening... Read more →

BASF 2016 science competition seeks synthetic lubricant solutions for future high-efficiency vehicles

BASF has kicked off its second annual North American Science Competition. This year’s competition focuses on chemistries that can be used to develop a synthetic fluid to meet the needs of future high-performance, high-efficiency engines and transmissions. With more advanced machinery, lubricating and functional fluids represent a steadily growing industry... Read more →

Automotive supplier Schaeffler introduced a new micro-mobility concept during the “auto motor und sport” conference. This study shows how the company envisages a solution for urban individual forms of mobility. The Schaeffler concept combines the advantages of stability and weather protection with the energy consumption and space utilization of a... Read more →

FTA to award up to $55M in 2016 Low or No Emission Program for transit vehicles

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the availability of $55 million of Fiscal Year 2016 funds (FTA-2016-003-TPM) for the purchase or lease of low or no emission vehicles as well as related equipment or facilities under the Low or No Emission Program (Low-No) Program. The main purpose of the Low-No... Read more →

PNNL study identifies one of the mechanisms behind Li-sulfur battery capacity fade; the importance of electrolyte anion selection

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) investigating the stability of the anode/electrolyte interface in Li-Sulfur batteries have found that Li-S batteries using LiTFSI-based electrolytes are more stable than those using LiFSI-based electrolytes. In their study, published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, they determined that the decreased stability is... Read more →

Navigant Research projects annual capacity of second-life EV batteries for stationary energy storage to reach 11 GWh by 2035

Annual global capacity of plug-in vehicle (PEV) Li-ion batteries available for second-life stationary ESS applications will reach 11 GWh by 2035, according to a new forecast by Navigant Research. The potential reuse of these batteries is of keen interest to both stationary ESS developers looking to reduce costs and automotive... Read more →

Saft to supply marine Li-ion battery system to Rolls Royce Marine for hybrid multi-application vessel

Saft won a major contract from Rolls Royce Marine to supply the specialized marine lithium-ion (Seanergy) battery system for an innovative hybrid multi-application vessel under construction in Denmark for Kystverket, the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA). It is Saft’s second major contract signed since the end of last year in the... Read more →

Forecast puts global lead acid battery market at $76.44B by 2022

In a new report, Grand View Research, Inc. forecasts that the global lead acid battery market will reach US$76.44 billion by 2022. Growth of the automotive industry in Indonesia, Mexico, India, Vietnam and Thailand is expected to propel the industry. Growing preference for pollution free hybrid & electric vehicles along... Read more →

PennDOT selects Trillium CNG team for $84.5M CNG fueling station project

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has selected a team led by Trillium CNG team, for the department’s $84.5-million Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) transit fueling station Public-Private Partnership (P3) project. Trillium will design, build, finance, operate and maintain CNG fueling stations at 29 public transit agency sites through a 20-year... Read more →

Federal-Mogul Powertrain has introduced two innovative piston skirt coatings: EcoTough-New Generation (for gasoline engines) and EcoTough-D (for diesel engines). Building on the proven performance of previous EcoTough coatings, the new formulations further reduce engine friction, wear and noise while dealing with the increasingly challenging loads and temperatures that exist in... Read more →

King County Metro Transit (KCM) in Washington state has completed an accelerated durability and reliability test of the Proterra Catalyst 40' FC (fast charge) battery-electric bus. Simulating one year of continuous operation with a constant 97 passenger equivalent load, this was the most rigorous test of its nature yet performed... Read more →

INRIX Traffic mobile app now learns driving habits

INRIX has released a completely redesigned version of INRIX Traffic for iOS and Android. INRIX Traffic is a next-generation navigation and traffic app that learns user preferences to take the guesswork out of driving. The app integrates with a user’s calendar and learns his or her driving habits to create... Read more →

Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle launches in Sweden and Norway this summer, Netherlands later this year

Toyota will launch the Mirai fuel cell vehicle in Sweden and Norway this summer, following other European countries that have introduced the Toyota Mirai in 2015 (UK, Germany and Denmark) or early 2016 (Belgium). The Netherlands will follow later this year. The Mirai launched in Japan in December 2014 and... Read more →

Study estimates cost of US preterm births attributable to PM2.5 in 2010 at $4.33B

A study by scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center estimates that 3.32% of pre-term births (PTBs, birth at <37 weeks gestation) in the US (corresponding to 15,808 PTBs out of 475,368 total) in 2010 could be attributed to PM2.5 air pollution. Attributable PTBs cost were estimated at $4.33 billion. The... Read more →

Researchers at Nanjing Tech University in China have developed a new pathway for the production of liquid hydrocarbon fuels from lignocellulose. The new Nanjing Tech process uses acetoin—a novel C4 platform molecule derived from new ABE (acetoin–butanol–ethanol)-type fermentation via metabolic engineering—as a bio-based building block for the production of the... Read more →

SQM and Lithium Americas announce joint venture to develop lithium project in Argentina

Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) and Lithium Americas Corp. (LAC) are forming a 50/50 joint venture to develop the Caucharí-Olaroz lithium project in Argentina. This joint venture went into effect following a capital contribution of US$25 million by SQM in exchange for a 50% ownership stake in... Read more →

Zenyatta Ventures Ltd. and Ballard Power Systems announced the successful performance testing of high-purity Albany graphite in components of a Ballard fuel cell stack. This Phase 4 testing program was designed to show viability of Zenyatta’s Albany graphite compared to synthetic graphite under realistic fuel cell operating conditions. The membrane... Read more →

US Lifted The Crude Oil Export Ban, And Exports Went Down

by Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com Just over three months after the authorities lifted the four-decade ban on crude oil exports, the US has actually exported less this year than it did over the same period the year before, when the ban was still in place. According to Clipper Data market... Read more →

Waze adds speed limits feature, planned drives

Waze, the popular “connected driver” app that combines navigation with driver contributions on traffic, accidents and other road data, is adding a speed limit feature that will automatically notify drivers when they are exceeding the speed limit. Waze is rolling out the new feature first in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia,... Read more →

Purdue study shows potential for growth in biofuels from corn stover

Making biofuel from corn crop residue could become economically viable for farmers with government support and, therefore, lead to a major shift in crop rotation practices favoring more continuous corn plantings, according to a study by researchers at Purdue University. The agricultural economists examined how the development of corn stover... Read more →

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) will receive a first-of-a-kind brain-inspired supercomputing platform for deep learning developed by IBM Research. Based on a breakthrough neurosynaptic computer chip called IBM TrueNorth (earlier post), the scalable platform will process the equivalent of 16 million neurons and 4 billion synapses and consume the energy... Read more →

New chemical route to breaking down used tires at room temperature

Researchers at Durham University in the UK have developed a new approach to breaking down the base rubber in materials such as used tires by the catalytic disassembly of polymer chains—eliminating the need for energy intensive mechanical processes. A paper on their work is published in the RSC journal Green... Read more →

The European Commission’s Joint Research Center (JRC) is proposing a test methodology for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, including a set of representative operating conditions. The resulting harmonized test protocols allow the evaluation of the performance and durability of PEM fuel cells by focusing on the membrane-electrode assemblies (MEA),... Read more →

Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle driven for 16 hours/day for 107 days in road test in Germany

Toyota’s new hydrogen fuel cell car, the Mirai, successfully completed a 100,000 kilometer (62,000-mile) European road test. The test started on 21 September 2015 and finished on 10 February 2016. Every day for 107 days, the Mirai was on the road for 16 hours. The car was refueled nearly 400... Read more →

Nissan, Savari, UC Berkeley and City of Sunnyvale collaborate on real-world V2X testbed with DSRC

Nissan Motor Company, Savari, UC Berkeley Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology (PATH), and the City of Sunnyvale have collaborated on a real-world V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) testbed spanning 4.63 square miles with three public intersections in Sunnyvale, California. The City of Sunnyvale pilot is examining the role of V2X communications and its... Read more →

Opel outlines steps in engineering initiative for WLTP-based fuel consumption numbers and improved NOx reduction

Opel has outlined the details of its engineering initiative with respect to fuel consumption numbers and improved NOx reductions as announced last December. (Earlier post.) Starting with the new Opel Astra from June 2016 onwards, and in addition to the official fuel consumption and CO2 information, Opel will publish fuel... Read more →

US$12M advanced biofuel pilot plant for Queensland, Australia

The Queensland, Australia government announced that a A$16-million (US$12-million) advanced biofuels pilot plant will be built at Southern Oil Refining’s Yarwun plant at Gladstone. If successful, the pilot plant will be expanded to a large commercial-scale refinery costing $150 million and producing 200 million liters (53 million gallons US) of... Read more →

Renewable isobutanol company Gevo announced that the ASTM International Committee D02 on Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels, and Lubricants and Subcommittee D02.J on Aviation Fuel passed a concurrent ballot this week approving the revision of ASTM D7566 (Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons) to include alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic... Read more →

Volkswagen recalling MY 2015-2016 e-Golfs to update battery management software

Volkswagen of America is recalling 5,561 MY 2015-2016 e-Golfs to update the high voltage battery management software. Under certain conditions, oversensitive diagnostics in the high-voltage battery management system may inadvertently classify a brief internal electrical current surge/peak as a critical battery condition. This can cause an emergency shutdown of the... Read more →

Global plug-in light duty vehicle (PEV) sales increased by about 80% in 2015 to 565,668 units, according to figures compiled by Argonne National Laboratory and posted by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). PEV sales in the US declined by 3% to 115,262 units (20% global share); however, sales in... Read more →

Sandia FAST method for synthesizing iron-nitride magnetic material could lead to smaller, better-performing high-frequency transformers

A Sandia-led team has developed a new method to make an iron-nitride magnetic material that could lead to lighter and smaller, cheaper and better-performing high-frequency transformers, needed for more flexible energy storage systems and widespread adoption of renewable energy. Sandia manufactures iron nitride (γ’-Fe4N) powders by ball-milling iron powders in... Read more →

USDA to award $11M loan guarantee to Oregon biorefinery

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will support Novus Energy’s new biorefinery project in Boardman, Ore. with an $11-million loan guarantee through the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program. The Novus plant will process agricultural waste into fuel, natural gas, organic fertilizer and other bio-based products. Novus... Read more →

IIT team explores combustion, performance and emissions characteristics of HCNG blends in spark ignition engine

A new study by a team from the Engine Research Laboratory at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur explores the combustion, performance and emission characteristics of a prototype spark ignition engine operating with different blend ratios of HCNG (hydrogen and compressed natural gas blends). Their paper is published in the... Read more →

Ioxus introduces ultracap-based uSTART drop-in battery replacement for Class 3-6 trucks

Ioxus, Inc. is offering the ultracapacitor-based uSTART engine starting system for Class 3-6 trucks as a drop-in replacement product that needs no special wiring. Ioxus says the product increases the vehicle bus voltage by greater than 10% during crank, reducing cranking time by more than 20%; reducing peak current to... Read more →

DARPA’s latest Grand Challenge—Spectrum Collaboration Challenge (SC2)—is designed to ensure that the exponentially growing number of military and civilian wireless devices will have full access to the increasingly crowded electromagnetic spectrum. SC2 will reward teams for developing smart systems that collaboratively, rather than competitively, adapt in real time to today’s... Read more →

KIMM team develops Euro-6-compliant HCNG engine for buses

Business Korea reports that a team at Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials (KIMM) has developed a Euro-6 compliant HCNG engine for intracity buses as part of a larger project consortium headed by Korea Gas Corporation (Kogas). HCNG is blend of hydrogen and compressed natural gas (CNG). Earlier studies by... Read more →

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff has posted a discussion document prior to a 4 April 2016 public workshop on the development of the FY 2016-17 Funding Plan for Low Carbon Transportation and Fuels Investments and AQIP. The Governor’s proposed 2016-17 budget would appropriate to ARB $500 million in... Read more →

EPA report: diesel engine grant program has delivered major air, public health benefits

Clean diesel grants aimed at cleaning up old diesel engines have greatly improved public health by cutting harmful pollution that causes premature deaths, asthma attacks, and missed school and workdays, according to a new report by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since its start in 2008, the Diesel Emission... Read more →

New DOE SBIR awards include H2 contaminants detection, fuel cell and H2 catalysis, and alkaline membrane electrolysis

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced the FY2016 Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Phase II Release 1 awards, including three projects focused on catalysis for fuel cell and hydrogen production as well as hydrogen contaminants detection. These projects are awarded through the Office of... Read more →

Study: LDV roof racks responsible for about 100M gallons of gasoline consumption per year

Roof racks on light-duty vehicles in the US were responsible for 0.8‰ (permille, parts per thousand) of light duty vehicle fuel consumption in 2015, corresponding to 100 million gallons of gasoline per year, according to a new study by a duo from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Lawrence... Read more →

A team from the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology (SIAT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has developed a novel, environmentally friendly low-cost battery. The new aluminum-graphite dual-ion battery (AGDIB) offers significantly reduced weight, volume, and fabrication cost, as well as higher energy density, in comparison with conventional LIBs. The... Read more →

International shipyard group Damen recently delivered the first of a series of three hybrid tugboats (ASD TUGs 2810 Hybrid) to the Royal Netherlands Navy (RNLN). This 28.67-meter hybrid tug is named Noordzee and is the first standard hybrid tug supplied by Damen that the RNLN will employ. Compared with other... Read more →

Lithium-metal anodes are favored for use in next-generation rechargeable Li-air or Li-sulfur batteries due to a tenfold higher theoretical specific capacity than graphite (3,860 mAh/g vs. 372 mAh/g); light weight and lowest anode potential. However, safety issues resulting from dendrite formation and instability caused by volume expansion have hampered development... Read more →

CARB seeks new $366M vehicle testing and research facility at UC Riverside

The California Air Resources Board voted 8-3 to relocate its motor vehicle and engine emissions testing and research facility from El Monte to an 18-acre site at the University of California, Riverside, representing a $366-million investment. The board decided that the site would provide the best opportunity for growth in... Read more →

At the end of this month, six automated truck platoons—representing 6 different truck OEMs and their partners—will leave several European cities of origin and drive along public roads, targeting arrival at the APM Terminals, Maasvlakte II, Rotterdam on 6 April. This European Truck Platooning Challenge represents large-scale testing of cross-border... Read more →

First minimal synthetic bacterial cell designed and constructed by scientists at Venter Institute and Synthetic Genomics; 473 genes

Researchers from the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) and Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI) have designed and constructed of the first minimal synthetic bacterial cell, JCVI-syn3.0. Using the first synthetic cell, Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0 (created by this same team in 2010, earlier post), JCVI-syn3.0 was developed through a design, build, and... Read more →