« July 2016 | Main | September 2016 »

Report: Audi electric four-wheel-drive “A9 e-tron” confirmed

The UK’s Autocar reports that Audi will put a four-wheel-drive electric sedan rivaling the Tesla Model S into production. Perhaps to be called the A9 e-tron, the car will share much of its technology with the upcoming e-tron quattro SUV, including the advanced torque vectoring capabilities. (Earlier post). The vehicle... Read more →

Volvo Group selected to participate in DOE’s SuperTruck II Program; 55% BTE

Under a SuperTruck II award announced by the US Department of Energy (DOE) (earlier post), Volvo Group North America is scheduled to receive $20 million in federal funding that it will use to improve the freight-moving efficiency of heavy-duty trucks. The Volvo Group and its partners will match the development... Read more →

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced a $2.7m investment in UK-based QinetiQ’s electric hub-drive technology. As part of an electric propulsion system, QinetiQ’s hub-drive replaces multiple gearboxes, differentials, and drive shafts with compact and extremely high-powered electric motors contained completely within the wheels. This approach significantly... Read more →

Samsung SDI has decided to use Hungary as its Li-ion battery production base in Europe. The new battery plant will be built in Goed, north of Budapest in a 330,000 m2 site, using existing facilities previously used for display production. The new facility in Hungary will enable Samsung SDI to... Read more →

Eaton’s new Bussmann series EV fuses allow drivers to go further, faster

Power management company Eaton has introduced its new Bussmann series electric vehicle (EV) fuses designed to provide superior circuit protection while incorporating innovative technologies that promote a vehicle with higher performance and longer range. The fuses are specifically designed to protect sensitive electric and hybrid automotive equipment, including high voltage,... Read more →

DOE HPC4Mfg program funds 13 projects to advance US manufacturing; welding, Li-S batteries among projects

A US Department of Energy (DOE) program designed to spur the use of high performance supercomputers to advance US manufacturing has funded 13 new industry projects for a total of $3.8 million. Among the projects selected are one by GM and EPRI of California to improve welding techniques for automobile... Read more →

SLAC, Utrecht Univ. team visualize poisoning of FCC catalysts used in gasoline production; seeing changes in pore network materials

Merging two powerful 3-D X-ray techniques, a team of researchers from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Utrecht University in the Netherlands revealed new details of the metal poisoning process that clogs the pores of fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalyst particles used in gasoline production, causing them... Read more →

SAKOR Technologies provides dual-dynamometer testing system to major global powertrain manufacturer in China

SAKOR Technologies, Inc. has provided a large dual-dynamometer system to a major global powertrain manufacturer’s technical center in Beijing, China. The system will be used for testing drivetrain components for light vehicles, as well as small and mid-size trucks. The dual-dynamometer system consists of two 224 kW AccuDyne AC motoring... Read more →

Ten H2 and fuel cell companies received DOE SBV round 2 awards

Among the 43 small businesses participating in the newly announced second round of the US Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Vouchers (SBV) pilot are 10 projects in the area of hydrogen and fuel cells. These selected projects are aimed at reducing the costs and improving the performance of hydrogen... Read more →

Hyundai Mobis develops Electronic Parking Brakes (eDIH) for large pickup trucks

Hyundai Mobis has successfully developed electronic parking brakes for large pickup trucks (eDIH: electronic Drum in Hat)—a first for the global market. Hyundai Mobis expects to take a dominant position in this segment. Hyundai Mobis is accelerating its pace in applying the new eDIH system to mass production. eDIH is... Read more →

LeMond Composites, founded by three-time Tour de France champion Greg LeMond, has licensed a low-cost, high-volume carbon fiber manufacturing process developed at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). (Earlier post.) The agreement will make Oak Ridge-based LeMond Composites the first company to offer carbon fiber produced... Read more →

IBN-One awards FEED contract to Technip and IPSB for 1st plant converting renewable resources into isobutene

IBN-One, a subsidiary of Global Bioenergies and Cristal Union, awarded the first engineering contract for its bio-isobutene plant to Technip and IPSB. Following a consultation process by IBN-One in spring 2016, the initial engineering work contract has been awarded to a consortium that includes Technip, a global leader in engineering... Read more →

TI reference design adds Wi-Fi capability to electric vehicle charging stations

Texas Instruments (TI) introduced the first reference design that adds Wi-Fi connectivity to an electric vehicle (EV) charging station. Electric vehicle owners will now be able to remotely monitor and control the charging of their vehicles from just about anywhere with Wi-Fi, presenting dozens of potential use cases from home... Read more →

General Motors and the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) will reveal a Chevrolet Colorado-based fuel cell electric vehicle in October at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) in Washington, D.C. The fuel-cell version of the mid-size pickup is being... Read more →

Mazda more than tripling gasoline and diesel SKYACTIV engine production capacity at powertrain plant in Thailand

Mazda Motor Corporation will increase the annual production capacity of the engine assembly plant at Mazda Powertrain Manufacturing (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (MPMT) in Chomburi, Thailand, to 100,000 units in the first half of 2018. The company also announced a plan to construct a new engine machining factory with production capacity... Read more →

For MY 2017, Audi has updated its A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid electric vehicle for the US with improved technology offerings such as the available Audi virtual cockpit and standard driver assistance systems including Audi pre sense front. The A3 Sportback e-tron continues to feature a 1.4-liter TFSI engine and... Read more →

XL Hybrids, Inc. has been awarded test funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Vouchers Pilot (SBV). Testing validation and analysis of its XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System for Reach walk-in commercial vans will be performed at Argonne National Laboratory. The goal of the SBV-funded project is... Read more →

Neah Power wins DOE award to work with Argonne to increase capacity of PowerChip Li-metal battery

Neah Power Systems, Inc., a provider of fuel cell-based power solutions and rechargeable lithium battery storage solutions for defense, commercial, and consumer applications, has won a grant from the US Department of Energy through the Small Business Vouchers Pilot Program. Neah will work with Argonne National Laboratory to increase the... Read more →

Starting in the 1970s, the average compression ratio of engines—which up to that period had evolved pari passu with octane ratings—began diverging from the octane trend due to advanced engine design and controls, as illustrated by data compiled by the US Department of Energy (DOE). From the 1920s to the... Read more →

Volkswagen and Hamburg enter 3-year strategic mobility partnership; e-bus development with MAN

The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and the Volkswagen Group will collaborate over the next three years to jointly develop innovative solutions for making urban mobility more environmentally-friendly, safer, more reliable and more efficient. The cooperation aims to develop Hamburg as a model city for forward-looking, sustainable and integrated... Read more →

Final NHTSA data show traffic fatalities up 7.2% in 2015

Final data released by the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed traffic deaths rising across nearly every segment of the population in 2015, with a 7.2% increase in deaths from 2014. Total fatalities were 35,092 people; the last single-year increase of this magnitude was in... Read more →

NOHMs raises $5M for commercializing non-flammable, ionic-liquid containing electrolytes for EV batteries

NOHMs Technologies Inc. (NOHMs), a Cornell University spin-out founded in 2010, raised $5 million in Series B venture capital financing to commercialize its non-flammable electric vehicle (EV) battery electrolyte technology. Phoenix Venture Partners II LP (PVP) led the round with Solvay Ventures, New York State Innovation Venture Capital Fund (NYSIVCF),... Read more →

Researchers at Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (China) have synthesized an advanced catalytic layer in the membrane electroide assembly (MEA) for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) using vertically aligned polymer–polypyrrole (PPy) nanowire arrays as ordered catalyst supports. In a paper published in the Journal of Power Sources, they report... Read more →

Quanergy Systems, Inc., the provider of solid-state LiDAR sensors and smart sensing solutions (earlier post), has acquired the Otus People Tracker software from Raytheon BBN Technologies. The software complements Quanergy’s existing software portfolio and, when used with Quanergy’s LiDAR sensors, creates an integrated hardware and software solution for advanced people... Read more →

Skyworks powering LG’s next-gen connected car solutions; applied in Volkswagen units

Skyworks Solutions, Inc., an innovator of high-performance analog semiconductors, announced that several of its semiconductor solutions are powering LG Electronics’ latest Online Connectivity Units (OCU) being leveraged across Volkswagen automobiles to enhance connectivity and convenience. Specifically, LG is leveraging eight Skyworks products, including advanced analog control ICs and integrated front-end... Read more →

DOE issues RFI on cellulosic sugars and lignin production capabilities

@Energy The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a request for information (DE-FOA-0001615) from industry, academia, national laboratories and other biofuels and bioproducts stakeholders to identify existing capabilities to produce lignocellulosic sugars and lignin for use by the research community. Many conversion technologies that produce drop-in biofuels or biomass-based... Read more →

A team of researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has developed an optimization framework and an analytical closed-form solution that addresses the problem of optimally coordinating connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) at merging roadways to achieve smooth traffic flow without stop-and-go driving. They validated the effectiveness of the efficiency... Read more →

ADB approves $240M to help Kazakhstan modernize transport, improve connectivity

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $240.3-million loan to help Kazakhstan modernize its transport system. Improved transport connectivity will help increase trade links between Kazakhstan and the markets in East Asia, the Caspian Sea region, and further to Europe. The project will reconstruct and upgrade about 299 km... Read more →

Amtrak is contracting with Alstom to produce 28 next-generation Avelia Liberty high-speed trainsets that will replace the equipment used to provide Amtrak’s premium Acela Express service. The contract is part of $2.45 billion that will be invested on the heavily traveled Northeast Corridor (NEC) as part of a multifaceted modernization... Read more →

UK’s OLEV and Innovate UK announce £24M low-emission freight and logistics trial competition

A new £24-million (US$31.5-million) funding competition has been launched by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) with support from Innovate UK to enable industry-led research trials and development of innovative vehicles or on-vehicle technology. The competition’s aim is to trial or develop low-emission vehicles in the freight, logistics, utilities... Read more →

Select truck fleets boosted fuel economy 3% in 2015 compared to national Class 8 average

Seventeen trucking fleets operating more than 62,000 tractors and 217,000 trailers recorded a 3% increase in fuel economy in 2015, saving an accumulative $501 million on fuel when compared to the 2015 national average fuel spend of 1.7 million over-the-road class 8 trucks. They achieved these gains by purchasing a... Read more →

UTA study indicates air contamination near fracking sites result of operational inefficiencies, not inherent to the extraction process

A study led by chemists at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) indicates that highly variable contamination events registered in and around unconventional oil and gas developments are the result of operational inefficiencies and not inherent to the extraction process itself. The study, published in Science of the Total... Read more →

General Motors is adding 2 million water bottles from Flint, Michigan residents into its Do Your Part water bottle recycling initiative. The company partnered with Schupan Recycling to collect the bottles. The plastic is washed, flaked and turned into fleece to make three products: Chevrolet Equinox V-6 engine covers; insulation... Read more →

2017 Chevrolet Colorado updated with all-new V-6 and class-exclusive 8-speed automatic; cylinder deactivation

For 2017, the Chevrolet Colorado mid-size pickup offers an all-new V-6 engine and class-exclusive eight-speed automatic. It is the latest major update for Colorado, which entered the market in model year 2015. Chevrolet is on track to sell more than 160,000 Colorados in the first 24 months on the market,... Read more →

USDOT proposes speed limiters for large commercial vehicles; potential savings up to ~$1B in fuel each year depending on limit

The US Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are proposing equipping heavy-duty vehicles with devices that limit their speeds on US roadways, and requiring those devices be set to a maximum speed, a safety measure that could save lives... Read more →

Researchers at Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) and Georgia Tech have jointly developed unique Si-iron (Fe) based nanomaterials connected by Ge nanostructures for use as a high-capacity anode material for Li-ion batteries. As described in a paper in the journal Nano Energy, the Si-Fe based new nanostructures showa... Read more →

Preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council (NSC) indicate motor vehicle deaths were 9% higher through the first six months of 2016 than in 2015, and 18% higher than two years ago at the six month mark. An estimated 19,100 people have been killed on US roads since January, and... Read more →

Porsche launches Digital Lab in Berlin

Porsche has opened the Porsche Digital Lab in Berlin, which will be used to identify and test innovative information technology solutions. The Lab provides a platform for collaboration with technology companies, start-ups and the scientific community. Porsche is partnering with its subsidiary, the Ludwigsburg-based company MHP—one of the leading management... Read more →

Report: Hyundai to introduce new fuel-cell vehicle in 2018 at half the price of Tucson Fuel Cell

The Korea Herald reported that Hyundai Motor plans to unveil a new fuel-cell electric vehicle with a price tag of 60 million won (~US$53,900)—around half the price of the current Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell. With Korean government subsidies of 27.5 million won (~US$24,700), the purchase price for customers could be... Read more →

In a new report for clients, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) forecasts that there will be 29 GWh of used EV batteries coming out of cars in 2025. This far exceeds the size of the current stationary storage market. Of this, almost a third will get a second life as... Read more →

GM outlines short-term electrification roadmap for China

In Shanghai, GM Executive Director for Electrification Larry Nitz outlined the company’s short-term electrification roadmap for China. Expansion of GM’s electrified vehicle portfolio in China will be led by the Chevrolet Malibu XL Hybrid (earlier post) and Buick LaCrosse Hybrid (earlier post) as well as the Cadillac CT6 plug-in hybrid... Read more →

Study finds in-cabin particulate pollution up to 40% higher in traffic jams or at red lights

A new study by a team at the University of Surrey has found that particulate pollution levels inside cars are up to 40% higher when the vehicle is stuck in a traffic jam or stopped at a red traffic light compared to free-flowing traffic conditions. The study, published as an... Read more →

Report: Daido Steel to make neodymium magnets in US for motors in hybrids and EVs

The Nikkei reports that Daido Steel will build a neodymium magnet factory in the US to meet growing demand from automakers there for motors used in hybrid and electric vehicles. Daido Steel recently worked with Honda to develop a neodymium magnet that does not use any heavy rare-earth materials (earlier... Read more →

DOE to award up to $6.7M to projects to convert captured CO2 to useful products, including fuels

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award approximately $6.7 million in federal funding for cost-shared projects that will develop technologies that utilize CO2 from coal-fired power plants to produce useful products. DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy is seeking these projects as part of the Department’s Carbon Storage program, which... Read more →

DENSO enters into AI technical advisory conntract with CMU Professor Take Kanade

In an effort to deepen and advance its knowledge in artificial intelligence, DENSO has entered into a technical advisory contract with one of the world’s foremost researchers in computer vision, Carnegie Mellon University Professor Dr. Takeo Kanade. Through this contract, DENSO is looking to advance its artificial intelligence technology and... Read more →

Opinion: Could A Lithium Shortage De-Rail The Electric Car Boom?

by James Stafford of Oilprice.com We’ve gone electric, and there’s no going back at this point. Lithium is our new fuel, but like fossil fuels, the reserves we’re currently tapping into are finite—and that’s what investors can take to the bank. You may think lithium got too popular too fast.... Read more →

New FordPass service allows booking and pre-paying for parking

FordPass (earlier post) now offers users the ability to find, book and pay for parking at garages in more than 160 cities in the United States—all before they even step into the driver’s seat; FordPass is free for Ford owners and non-owners alike. Paying for parking is easy and secure... Read more →

Volkswagen, VW-branded franchise dealers in US reach agreement in principle to resolve diesel litigation

Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. has reached an agreement in principle to resolve the claims of VW-branded franchise dealers in the United States relating to TDI vehicles affected by the diesel emissions cheating matter and other matters asserted concerning the value of the franchise. Volkswagen has agreed to make cash... Read more →