October, 2014

ICCT study finds state EV incentives playing a significant role in driving sales

Green Car Congress

A study by a team from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) shows that state electric vehicle incentives are playing a significant early role in reducing the effective cost of ownership and driving electric vehicle sales. As described in their white paper, “Evaluation of state-level US electric vehicle incentives”, the researchers found that some of the states with the largest electric vehicle incentives—i.e.,

2014 299

Michigan Gov Snyder Signs Anti-Tesla Bill Called 'Corrupt Politics At Its Worst'

Green Car Reports

As expected, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder yesterday signed a bill that bans Tesla Motors from selling its electric cars directly to buyers online in the state. The bill removes one word--"its"--from existing state franchise law, which had originally been enacted to prevent franchised dealers from competition by the automakers whose cars they

2014 131
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Running on LPG: What’s it really like?

Green Cars News

In recent years, LPG has been a bit of a side-show in the field of alternative fuel vehicles, and unjustifiably so, when you actually consider its eco-credentials. So we were delighted to get the chance to drive our first LPG-converted vehicle; after all it has to be one of the most affordable ways[.]. Road Tests LPG Editor Pick

2014 60

Tesla Motors unveils dual drive Model S, and advanced self-parking autopilot

National Green Transportation

Last week Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk taunted us with a vague tweet about showing us his D, and on Thursday he made good on that promise. In front of a packed crowd in Hawthorne (near Los Angeles), Elon

Graphene 3D Lab showing prototype 3D printed battery; potential for structural batteries

Green Car Congress

Graphene 3D Lab Inc., which develops, manufactures, and markets proprietary graphene-based nanocomposite materials for various types of 3D printing, including fused filament fabrication, has developed a 3D printable graphene battery. CEO Daniel Stolyarov, presented the prototype 3D printable graphene battery at the Inside 3D Printing Conference in Santa Clara, CA last week.

2014 291

Month-long study finds heat released by Rossi E-Cat and isotope changes in fuel suggest low-temp nuclear reaction taking place

Green Car Congress

Researchers from Uppsala University, KTH and the University of Bologna have reported that during a 32-day test, an “E-Cat” reactor developed by Andrea Rossi ( earlier post ) released an abundance of heat that cannot be explained by chemical reactions alone. They further reported that isotope changes in the analyzed fuel (lithium and nickel) indicate that nuclear reactions might have occurred at low temperatures.

2014 285

Volvo Cars reveals triple-boosted 4-cylinder, 450 hp Drive-E powertrain concept

Green Car Congress

Drive-E Powertrain Concept. Click to enlarge. Volvo has developed a concept 2-liter, 4-cylinder, triple-boost Drive-E concept engine that delivers 450 hp (336 kW). The 450 hp High Performance Drive-E Powertrain Concept is based on a set of technologies not usually found in a four-cylinder engine. The engine utilizes two parallel turbochargers, which are fed by an electrically powered turbo-compressor.

2014 282

More Trending

First look at all-new Voltec propulsion system for 2G Volt; “the only thing in common is a shipping cap”

Green Car Congress

Cutaway of the new power electronics unit, which is much smaller than in gen 1, and which is now integrated into the drive unit housing. The power electronics and the motors use separate cooling: water for the PE and ol for the motor unit. Click to enlarge.

2014 277

Abengoa opens cellulosic ethanol plant in Hugoton; 1st commercial deployment of Abengoa enzymatic hydrolysis

Green Car Congress

The Hugoton cellulosic ethanol plant covers 400 acres, more than 380 of which will be used to store biomass from local farmers. Click to enlarge. Abengoa held the grand opening of its cellulosic ethanol plant in Hugoton, Kansas, located about 90 miles (145 km) southwest of Dodge City. Abengoa’s new biorefinery finished construction in mid-August and began producing cellulosic ethanol at the end of September with the capacity to produce up to 25 million gallons (94.6 million liters) per year.

2014 273

New “2-in-1” EV unit integrates traction motor and A/C compressor for increased range in hot climates

Green Car Congress

Engineers from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) have designed a “2-in-1” electric motor unit which can increase the range of electric vehicles in hot climates. This innovative electric machine integrates the A/C compressor, the compressor drive motor and the traction motor into a single housing physically clutching with the compressor during braking events.

2014 267

IHS teardown of Tesla Model S finds more commonality with smartphones and tablets than autos in user-facing electronics

Green Car Congress

An initial report from IHS’ Teardown Analysis Service finds that, in terms of design, components and manufacturing, the Tesla Model S user-oriented subsystems—i.e., the infotainment and instrumentation system—have more in common with a tablet or smartphone than they do with a conventional automobile.

2014 265

ORNL solid-state 5V Li-ion battery shows cycle life of 10,000, 90% capacity retention

Green Car Congress

Researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory have demonstrated a solid-state high-voltage (5 V) lithium battery with an extremely long cycle life of more than 10,000 cycles, with 90% capacity retention. The solid electrolyte enables the use of high-voltage cathodes and Li anodes with minimum side reactions, leading to a high Coulombic efficiency of 99.98+%. ORNL solid-state Li-ion battery. Click to enlarge. A paper on their work is published in the journal Advanced Energy Materials.

2014 262

CMU/MIT study finds large-scale battery manufacturing will do little to reduce unit costs past a 200-300 MWh annual production level

Green Car Congress

A new techno-economic analysis by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and MIT has found that economies of scale for manufacturing current Li-ion batteries for light-duty EV applications (in this case, prismatic pouch NMC333-G batteries and packs) are reached quickly at around 200-300 MWh annual production. Increased volume beyond that does little to reduce unit costs, except potentially indirectly through factors such as experience, learning, and innovation, they determined.

2014 262

EPA Trends on EVs and PHEVs; beginning of a “measurable and meaningful impact” on new vehicle fuel economy and emissions

Green Car Congress

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual report “Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends” ( earlier post ) has, in its past editions since its inception in 1975, treated alternative fuel vehicles—electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles—separately from gasoline and diesel vehicles, with the vast majority of its analysis limited to gasoline and diesel vehicles only.

2014 258

Study shows biodiesel blends in buses reduce PM, other harmful exhaust elements, EC and CO

Green Car Congress

A new study on the combustion properties of biodiesel for use in urban transit buses found that using biodiesel can effectively reduce the mass of particulate matter released in both hot and cold idle modes. The study, published by the Mineta National Transit Research Consortium (MNTRC), observed a reduction in amount of particulate matter, number of elements, and elemental carbon; the reduction is considered beneficial to promoting the clean air and human health.

2014 258

Major refresh on 2015 Honda CR-V with new Earth Dreams powertrain provides fuel economy gain of up to 12%

Green Car Congress

2015 Honda CR-V. Click to enlarge. Honda has given its 2015 CR-V compact SUV, which launched in US dealerships on 1 October, the most significant mid-model cycle refresh in the 17-year history of the model.

2014 257

Neste Oil de-emphasizing microbial oil R&D for renewable diesel; seeking other uses for cellulosic biomass

Green Car Congress

Neste Oil, the producer of NExBTL renewable diesel, is realigning its long-term R&D and switching from an emphasis on research into the production of microbial oil as a feedstock for NExBTL renewable diesel and renewable jet fuel ( earlier post ) to other areas of technology for using cellulosic forestry and agricultural waste, due in part to feedstock cost issues.

2014 256

Volkswagen XL1-based XL Sport concept powered by Ducati V2 joins Passat GTE plug-in hybrid on Paris stage

Green Car Congress

Volkswagen XL Sport concept. Click to enlarge. On the evening before the Paris Motor Show, the Volkswagen Group presented not only the production-bound Passat GTE plug-in hybrid ( earlier post ), but also staged the world premiere of the XL Sport—a highly efficient sports car concept based on Volkswagen’s XL1 diesel plug-in hybrid ( earlier post ). The XL Sport is a sister model of the XL1; both share the same basic design—although not the same powertrain.

2014 256

USDA provides $91M loan guarantee to Cool Planet for biogasoline blendstock plant; biomass pyrolysis and catalytic conversion

Green Car Congress

Gas chromatography comparison of Conoco fuel and a Conoco-CoolPlanet blend. Cool Planet’s biogasoline blendstock is 100% compatible with pump gasoline. Source: Cool Planet. Click to enlarge. USDA has reached an agreement with Silicon Valley Bank to provide a $91-million Biorefinery Assistance Program loan guarantee to Cool Planet to help the company finish construction on an advanced biofuel plant at the Port of Alexandria in Louisiana. Earlier post.).

2014 255

ONR developing offensive autonomous swarming capability for unmanned surface vehicles; adapting JPL’s CARACaS

Green Car Congress

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is developing an autonomous offensive swarming capability for unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) not only to protect Navy ships, but also, for the first time, to attack hostile vessels. The technology under development—based on the Control Architecture for Robotic Agent Command and Sensing ( CARACaS ) developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)—can be put into a transportable kit and installed on almost any boat.

2014 255

Autonomous Audi RS 7 concept completes Hockenheimring lap at racing speed

Green Car Congress

System components of the Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept. Click to enlarge. At the DTM season finale, an autonomous Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept completed a lap on the Grand Prix track in Hockenheim at racing speed—without a driver. It took the Audi RS 7 piloted driving concept just slightly over two minutes to complete a lap on the track, piloted with high precision and accuracy to within centimeters.

2014 254

Linde close to completing its first retail H2 fueling station in the US; next-generation ionic compressor

Green Car Congress

Design of the IC 90 ionic compressor. (US+EU US+EU Version) Source: Linde. Click to enlarge. Linde LLC is close to completing the first retail hydrogen fueling station the company will operate in the US. The station, which Linde expects to be online before the end of the year, is being installed at the Ramos Oil Company multi-fuel station in West Sacramento, California, where Ramos currently retails gasoline, diesel, bio-diesel, ethanol-85, methanol, and racing fuels.

2014 253

DOE launches $1M H2 Refuel H-Prize for small-scale hydrogen refueling

Green Car Congress

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) and the Hydrogen Education Foundation (HEF) launched the $1-million H2 Refuel H-Prize. The two-year competition challenges America’s engineers and entrepreneurs to develop affordable systems for small-scale hydrogen fueling.

2014 250

Lockheed Martin pursuing compact nuclear fusion reactor concept

Green Car Congress

Lockheed Martin revealed yesterday that its Skunk Works team is working on a new compact fusion reactor (CFR)—the size of a Class 8 trailer rather than a building—that could be developed and deployed in as little as 10 years. There are several patents pending that cover their approach, the company said, although the team has yet to publish scientific papers on its approach.

2014 250

La Poste Group and Renault enter new eco-mobility partnership; coincides with delivery of the 5,000th Kangoo Z.E.

Green Car Congress

Philippe Wahl, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of La Poste group, and Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Renault group, signed a new partnership agreement today to pursue and strengthen their cooperation on the search for eco-mobility solutions.

2014 246

Swedish Energy Agency awards PowerCell $960K toward developing modular fuel cell range extender system for EVs

Green Car Congress

The Swedish Energy Agency has awarded Volvo Group spinout PowerCell SEK7 million (US$965,000) for the MoRE Zero project to develop a fuel cell system for use in a modular range extender system for electric vehicles in the European ERA-NET project. The kick-off meeting of the MoRE Zero project took place on June 2014. PowerCell will develop a modular and scalable fuel cell system in the order of 20-25 kW.

2014 246

UT Austin to lead $58M study of methane hydrate in Gulf of Mexico; $41M from DOE

Green Car Congress

A research team led by The University of Texas at Austin has been awarded approximately $58 million to analyze methane hydrate deposits under the Gulf of Mexico. The grant, one of the largest ever awarded to the university, will allow researchers to advance the scientific understanding of naturally occurring methane hydrate so that its resource potential and environmental implications can be fully understood.

2014 246

Freescale introduces world’s smallest integrated tire pressure monitoring system

Green Car Congress

Freescale Semiconductor introduced the FXTH87 tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) family—the smallest integrated package TPMS solution available at an extremely light weight of 0.3 grams. The FXTH87 family is 50% smaller than competing products, helping designers reduce overall bill of materials costs.

2014 246

Daimler restructures cooperation with Tesla; termination of share-price hedging and sale of 4% stake

Green Car Congress

Daimler AG has restructured its cooperation with Tesla Motors. Daimler has terminated the share-price hedge it initiated in 2013 and has sold its stake in Tesla of approximately 4%. The cooperation between the partners on the automotive projects is unaffected. Development work for the Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive ([link] is completed, and the partnership with Tesla remains in place, Daimler said. Daimler initially acquired a 9.1% interest in Tesla in May 2009.

2014 244

Solazyme and Amyris receive Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge awards

Green Car Congress

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the 5 winners of the 2014 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards, including biotechnology companies Amyris and Solazyme, Inc. Solazyme received the award for Greener Synthetic Pathways for its tailored oils produced from microalgal fermentation. Amyris received the Small Business award for its renewable hydrocarbon farnesane for use as diesel and jet fuel.

2014 243

NTU Singapore team develops ultra-fast charging Li-ion battery with new TiO2 gel anode material

Green Car Congress

Researchers from Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) led by Professor Xiaodong Chen have developed a new TiO 2 gel material for Li-ion battery anodes. A battery equipped with the new anode material can be recharged up to 70% in only 2 minutes. The new battery will also be able to endure more than 10,000 charging cycles. A paper on their work is published in the journal Advanced Materials.

2014 243

UC Davis ITS study suggests hastening consumer adoption of plug-ins will require innovation on the sales side

Green Car Congress

XXXXX Click to enlarge. A study by researchers at the Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis finds that buyers of plug-in vehicles (PEVs) are substantially less satisfied with the dealer purchase experience than buyers of conventional vehicles—with the notable exception of Tesla buyers. A fundamental problem appears to be divergent expectations regarding the level of support buyers receive from dealerships.

2014 243

TomTom and VW Group Research to partner on developing new NDS-based digital map for highly automated driving systems

Green Car Congress

TomTom and Volkswagen Group Research have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to join forces for the development of Highly Automated Driving (HAD) systems. The goal of this research co-operation is to develop jointly the digital map that is essential for automated driving. The two partners bundle their competencies by combining TomTom’s expertise in map content and map-making with Volkswagen’s know-how about the car as well as automated driving.

2014 243

Indianapolis plans to add 425 PHEVs and BEVs to municipal fleet by 2016

Green Car Congress

The City of Indianapolis will upgrade 425 non-police-pursuit sedans in its muncipal fleet to plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles by early 2016, cut the size of the fleet by 100 vehicles, and save $8.7 million over ten years. The Indy fleet would be the largest municipal fleet of electrified vehicles in the US.

GMZ Energy announces new, high-power thermoelectric module: TG16-1.0

Green Car Congress

Click to enlarge. GMZ Energy, a developer of high temperature thermoelectric generation (TEG) solutions, has introduced the TG16-1.0 , a new thermoelectric module capable of producing twice the power of the company’s first product, the TG8-1.0. By doubling the power density, GMZ’s new module substantially increases performance while maintaining a minimal footprint.

2014 241

Neste Oil seeking California LCFS approval for gutter oil to renewable diesel pathway

Green Car Congress

Among four new California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) fuel pathway applications is a used cooking oil (gutter oil) to renewable diesel (NExBTL) pathway from Neste Oil at its Singapore plant. Boeing and COMAC are opening a demonstration facility in China to convert gutter oil to renewable aviation fuel. Earlier post.). Neste Oil Singapore Pte Ltd. produces approximately 250 million gallons annually of drop-in renewable diesel (RD)—i.e.,

2014 240

Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept hybrid delivers 550 hp with 42.8 mpg fuel economy

Green Car Congress

Infiniti unveiled the Q80 Inspiration concept car at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, it what it called a signal of its intent to break into the top tier of the premium sedan category; the concept will lead to a future model. The four-door fastback is powered by a hybrid electric powertrain that is expected to deliver 550 hp (410 kW) with fuel consumption of 5.5 L/100 km (42.8 mpg US) and CO 2 emissions of about 129 g/km.

2014 237