February, 2013

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Volkswagen to produce XL1 diesel plug-in hybrid at Osnabrück; 261 mpg US

Green Car Congress

The XL1. Click to enlarge. Volkswagen has confirmed that its XL1 Super Efficient Vehicle, featuring fuel consumption of 0.9 l/100 km (approx. 261 mpg US), will go into limited production at the company’s Osnabrück factory in Germany. The plug-in diesel-electric hybrid, which Volkswagen will showcase at the Geneva show, can cover a distance of up to 50 km (31 miles) in all-electric mode.

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Japan's Electric Taxis Falling Out Of Favor With Drivers

Green Car Reports

All is not well with Japan's electric taxi drivers. Two years ago, in February 2011, the city of Osaka introduced a fleet of fifty Nissan Leaf taxis. The deal was a cooperative arrangement between Nissan, 30 taxi firms, and the government--each was being subsidized to the tune of 1,780,000 Yen--over $21,000 at the time. The car's would clean up.

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Elon Musk slams NY Times reporter for "fake" test drive of Tesla Model S

National Green Transportation

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is blasting an NY Times reporter over what appears to be a shoddy Tesla Model S test drive report last weekend. Musk's twitter posts on Monday call the article, by John Broder.

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Volvo improves CO2 emissions of automatic models

Green Cars News

Buying an automatic instead of a manual car often come at the expense of fuel economy and emissions. But not if you buy a Volvo. The Swedish carmaker has been hard at work reducing the emissions and improving the fuel economy of its models. That includes ensuring that automatic models deliver the same economy as [.].

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How serious is Norway about climate change? So much that its streetlights self-dim

emissions global warming Norway climate change carbon dioxide youtube lighting

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API: January petroleum demand in US lowest in 18 years

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Total US petroleum deliveries (a measure of demand) were down 1.7% for January against the same month a year ago to just under 18 million barrels per day—the lowest level for the month in 18 years, according to figures from the American Petroleum Institute (API). The January numbers reprise last year’s theme of weak demand. This isn’t surprising given an economy that’s still treading water.

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UPS deploys 100 commercial EVs in California

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UPS announced the deployment of 100 fully electric commercial vehicles that will be delivering packages around the state. The vehicles were manufactured in Stockton, California by Electric Vehicles International ( EVI ). ( Earlier post.). These UPS electric trucks will reduce the consumption of conventional motor fuel by approximately 126,000 gallons per year.

More Trending

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California Governor’s Office releases 2013 ZEV action plan; 1.5M ZEVs on CA roadways by 2025

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California Governor Jerry Brown’s Office and state agencies issued a 2013 Zero-emission Vehicle (ZEV) Action Plan. The Action Plan follows on Governor Brown’s Executive Order (B-16-2012) released March 2012, which set required milestones for state government to enable 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on California roadways by 2025. ( Earlier post.

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Stanford team develops new approach to overcoming capacity fading in Lithium-sulfur batteries

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Electrochemical performance of the modified hollow carbon nanofiber cathode. (a) Specific capacities of the PVP modified sulfur cathode at C/5, C/2 and 1C cycling rates. (b) Comparison of cycling performance at C/2 with and without the PVP modification. Credit: ACS, Zheng et al. Click to enlarge. Lithium sulfur batteries are of great interest due to their high specific energy and relatively low cost (e.g., earlier post ).

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Nissan LEAF passes 50,000 units in global cumulative sales

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Global sales of the Nissan LEAF EV since its introduction in December 2010 have passed the 50,000 mark. The owners of Nissan LEAF around the world have now covered a total distance of more than 260 million km (162 million miles). The highest mileage LEAF globally has been a Japanese customer who has covered more than 175,000 km (109,000 miles) in a car that has only been on sale for two years.

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Comprehensive assessment concludes black carbon second-most important human emission in warming climate

Green Car Congress

A comprehensive assessment of black-carbon climate forcing accepted for publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres estimates that black carbon, with a total climate forcing of +1.1?W?m -2 , is the second-most important human emission in terms of its climate-forcing in the present-day atmosphere. Only carbon dioxide has a greater forcing, the international team of researchers who performed the study found.

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Faurecia and Accenture partner on products and services for connected and autonomous vehicles

Brief

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OSU team demonstrates concept of potassium-air battery as alternative to lithium-air systems

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Voltage curves of the first discharge?charge cycle, K?O 2 battery (0.5 M KPF6 in DME) at a current density of 0.16 mA/cm 2. The dash lines indicate the calculated thermodynamic potentials for the batteries. Credit: ACS, Ren and Wu. Click to enlarge. Researchers at Ohio State University (OSU) have demonstrated the concept of a potassium-air (K?O 2 ) battery with low overpotentials.

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CalBattery licenses Argonne silicon-graphene material for high-energy Li-ion batteries; targeting commercial availability in 2014

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The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and California Lithium Battery , Inc. (CalBattery) have signed a licensing agreement for an Argonne-developed, silicon-graphene composite anode material for high-energy lithium batteries. CalBattery says it plans to move forward rapidly in the commercial scale-up and production of the novel composite anode material and to offer it in commercial production in the US by 2014.

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High capacity germanium oxide/germanium nanocomposite for Li-ion anode material

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Rate performance of all the samples at the 0.1 C rate, 0.5 C rate, 1 C rate, 2 C rate, 5 C rate, and 10 C rate. The GeO 2 /Ge/C sample showed the best rate performance, and the capacity at the 10 C rate was 1680 mAh/g. Credit: ACS, Seng et al. Click to enlarge. Researchers from the University of Wollongong, Australia and the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), S.

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New modeling study suggests wind farm power generation capacity has been significantly overestimated

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Research in mesoscale atmospheric modeling by the University of North Carolina (UNC) Charlotte’s Amanda S. Adams and Harvard University’s David W. Keith suggests that the power capacity of large-scale wind farms may have been significantly overestimated. Their open access paper appears in the journal Environmental Research Letters. Large-scale wind farms can comprise hundreds of tower-mounted turbines.

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ExxonMobil announces 6th oil discovery offshore Guyana with Ranger-1; Guyana may move from non-producer to regional powerhouse

Oil

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Opel to introduce new Euro 6 1.6 CDTI diesel in Geneva; 57 mpg US in the Zafira Tourer

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The new 1.6 CDTI diesel delivers 100 kW/136 hp and 320 N·m of torque for fuel consumption in the Zafira Tourer of 4.1 l/100 km and 109 g/km CO 2. Click to enlarge. At the Geneva Motorshow (7-17 March, 2013) Opel will introduce a new generation diesel engine, the 1.6 CDTI ECOTEC—its cleanest diesel yet—in the seven-seater Zafira Tourer.

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OSU team demonstrates Coal-Direct Chemical Looping for more efficient and low carbon coal heat release

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An Ohio State University team has demonstrated the successful operation of Coal-Direct Chemical Looping (CDCL)—which chemically harnesses coal’s energy and efficiently contains the carbon dioxide produced before it can be released into the atmosphere. The technology is now ready for testing at a larger scale. For 203 continuous hours, an OSU combustion unit produced heat from coal while capturing 99% of the carbon dioxide produced in the reaction.

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Geothermal energy in US grew 5% in 2012; California the leader

Green Car Congress

Preliminary industry data reveals that year-end geothermal growth in 2012 was up 5% from the previous year, according to the Geothermal Energy Association ( GEA ). This uptick in development— representing 147.05 MW of new gross online geothermal capacity—is due in part to pioneering developments in geothermal technology, GEA said. In 2012, seven new geothermal projects and additions came online in three different states.

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Consumer Reports testing finds many small turbo engines underperforming; fuel economy, acceleration no better than in larger conventional powertrains

Green Car Congress

Consumer Reports’ own fuel economy tests of vehicles equipped with small turbocharged engines has found in many cases that the turbocharged cars tested by CR have slower acceleration and no better fuel economy than the models with larger conventional engines, the organization said. Consumer Reports tests many cars with small, turbocharged engines, and many competitors with traditional, naturally aspirated engines, large and small.

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Ford and PlugShare partner on real-time charging station information

Green Car Congress

Ford is partnering with PlugShare, an aggregator of public charge stations, to provide real-time charge station information to drivers of Ford’s plug-in vehicles. Ford’s MyFord Mobile smartphone app and Web portal now features a charging station finder powered by PlugShare.com. In addition to aggregating publicly available lists of charging stations from a variety of sources, PlugShare incorporates crowd-sourced information from users to provide the most comprehensive dataset available.

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Peugeot to show 2008 HYbrid Air at Geneva show; more detail on operation

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Peugeot 2008 HYbrid Air. The energy tank can be seen in the central tunnel, and the low-pressure tank at the rear. Click to enlarge. Like its group partner Citroën ( earlier post ), Peugeot will display an application of the new Hybrid Air technology ( earlier post )—the 2008 HYbrid Air—at the upcoming Geneva show. The new hybrid combines a 3-cylinder gasoline engine with a compressed air/hydraulic motor/pump system comprising an energy tank containing pressurized air installed under

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MIT study finds fuel economy standards are 6-14 times less cost effective than fuel tax for reducing gasoline use

Green Car Congress

In a study published in the journal Energy Economics , MIT researchers have found that a fuel economy standard is at least six to fourteen times less cost effective than a fuel tax when targeting an identical reduction in cumulative gasoline use (20% by 2050). The researchers also found that a binding fuel economy standard, combined with a cap-and-trade (CAT) policy, increases the cost of meeting the GHG emissions constraint by forcing expensive reduction in passenger vehicle gasoline use, displ

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McLaren to introduce P1 production-ready 900hp plug-in capable hybrid supercar at Geneva

Green Car Congress

Powertrain of the McLaren P1. Click to enlarge. McLaren Automotive will unveil the production-ready version of its P1 plug-in capable hybrid supercar at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. (McLaren had introduced a design study version of the P1 at the 2012 Paris Motor Show.) Deliveries are expected to commence in late 2013—the year of McLaren’s 50 th anniversary.

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DOE seeking input on proposed automotive fuel cell cost and durability targets

Green Car Congress

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is issuing a Request for Information (RFI) ( DE-FOA-0000855 ) seeking input from stakeholders on proposed cost targets for fuel cells designed for automotive applications. The purpose of this RFI is to solicit feedback from developers, manufacturers, end users, and other stakeholders on proposed cost and durability targets for automotive fuel cell systems.

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XL Hybrids enters installation and distribution partnership with Leggett & Platt Commercial Vehicle Products; expands hybrid drive system to Ford E-series vans

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XL Hybrids hybrid drive unit in place. Click to enlarge. XL Hybrids, Inc., developer of a low-cost hybrid electric powertrain designed specifically for class 1 to 3 commercial fleet use ( earlier post ), signed a non-exclusive installation partnership and distribution agreement with Leggett & Platt Commercial Vehicle Products (CVP), one of the top commercial vehicle upfitters.

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Honda develops new technology to join steel and aluminum, with first application to outer door panel of mass production vehicles

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Structure of door panels. Click to enlarge. Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has developed a technology to join steel and aluminum and applied it to enable adoption of aluminum for an outer door panel, which has conventionally been made of steel. Honda will adopt this technology first to the North American version of the all-new Acura RLX, which will go on sale in the United States in March 2013, and will expand application sequentially to other models.

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DLR team develops demonstrator of free-piston linear generator as range extender for EVs; technology transfer to Universal Motor Corp.

Green Car Congress

35 kW free-piston linear generator module. Click to enlarge. Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Institute of Vehicle Concepts in Stuttgart have developed a demonstrator multi-fuel free-piston linear generator (FPLG, or Freikolbenlineargenerator, FKLG in German) as a range extender for electric vehicles.

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Researchers demonstrate sustainable integrated process for wastewater algae to biocrude via hydrothermal liquefaction

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Flow diagram of the solvent extraction and product recovery method used. Credit: ACS, Roberts et al. Click to enlarge. A team at the University of Kansas has demonstrated the feasibility of an integrated wastewater algae-to-biocrude process using hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) that can sustainably cultivate algal biomass for biofuel production. A paper on their work is published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels.

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Showa Denko starts volume production of water-based anode binder for Li-ion batteries

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Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) has begun volume production of its “Polysol LB Series” water-based anode binder for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs). The product is a water-based emulsion containing acrylic synthetic resin particles, ensuring lower environmental impact at the time of production compared with solvent-based binders. It provides such advantages as low electrical resistance, good temperature characteristics, and good adhesion to anode collectors, thereby contributing toward extending the life an

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New Corvette marks GM’s first use of heat-activated shape memory alloy to replace heavier motorized part

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Corvette’s new shape memory alloy wire replaces a heavier motorized part. Click to enlarge. As one of a number of advances to reduce its weight (90 lbs/41 kg lighter than its predecessor), the redesigned seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette is the first vehicle to use a GM-developed lightweight shape memory alloy wire in place of a heavier motorized actuator to open and close the hatch vent that releases air from the trunk.

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AC Kinetics to showcase next-generation motor control software at ARPA-E Summit; 10-40% reduction in energy consumption and improved performance

Green Car Congress

Internal AC Kinetics testing used an AC induction motor coupled to a large inertia, following a modified EPA city traffic cycle. The AC Kinetics drive used about half of the energy of competitor commercial drives, while also having the smallest tracking error. Source: AC Kinetics. Click to enlarge. Motor control company AC Kinetics, Inc. will introduce its next-generation motor control technology at the upcoming ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C., 25-27 February.

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Frost & Sullivan forecasts extended range electric vehicle market to reach more than 329K units by 2018

Green Car Congress

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan —Strategic Analysis of Global Market for Range Extenders—estimates the total market for range extenders will exceed 329,000 units by 2018. Extended range electric vehicles (eREVs) will be equipped with different applications such as internal combustion engine range extenders, fuel cell range extenders and micro-gas turbine range extenders.

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Zipcar places Honda Fit EVs into Portland fleet

Green Car Congress

Zipcar, Inc. has introduced the battery-electric 2013 Honda Fit EV ( earlier post ) into the Zipcar Portland fleet, with the first vehicles located at Portland State University (PSU). Charging stations for the EVs are provided by ECOtality, Inc. The new Honda Fit EVs are located on PSU’s campus at Parking Structure 1, and are available to all Zipcar members ages 21+ for hourly reservations, starting from $10.25 per hour.

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Continental and BMW Group working together to develop freeway-grade highly automated driving

Green Car Congress

Continental and the BMW Group are pooling their development capacities to define the long-term prerequisites for series introduction of highly automated driving on European freeways. In January 2013, the two companies signed an agreement to jointly develop an electronic co-pilot for this purpose. The overarching aim of the research partnership is to pave the way to highly automated driving functions beyond the year 2020.

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IBM and NXP report first results of connected vehicle pilot in Dutch city of Eindhoven

Green Car Congress

IBM and NXP Semiconductors N.V. announced the first results of a smarter traffic pilot conducted in the Dutch city of Eindhoven. The trial demonstrated how the connected car automatically shares braking, acceleration and location data that can be analyzed by the central traffic authority to identify and resolve road network issues. During the trial, IBM, NXP and its partners equipped 200 participating cars with a device containing the NXP telematics chip “ATOP” that gathers relevant data from th

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