November, 2015

Obama Administration announces actions to sustain and advance nuclear energy in US

Green Car Congress

Although overshadowed by the announcement on denial of a Presidential Permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline ( earlier post ), on Friday, the Obama administration also on Friday announced and highlighted a number of actions to sustain and advance nuclear energy in the US. In 2014, nuclear power generated about 60% of carbon-free electricity in the United States, and continues to play a major role in efforts to reduce carbon emissions from the power sector.

2015 305

Expect A 500-Mile Electric Car By 2025, Says Tesla's Elon Musk

Green Car Reports

It was a relatively brief projection of the future from a man who's juggling a lot of balls in the present, but even Elon Musk's quick hits can be newsworthy. The CEO of electric-car maker Tesla Motors told attendees at the Barron's Investment Conference that he expects 500-mile electric cars to be available in just 10 years. His remarks, last. lithium-ion future Elon Musk battery pack Tesla Motors plug-in cars

2015 131
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Study finds EV deployment in China to increase Environmental Justice challenge there

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A new study by a team from the University of Tennessee, Tsinghua University and the University of Minnesota has found that the wide-scale deployment of electric vehicles in China can increase the Environmental Justice (EJ) challenge in that country. According to their findings, published in a paper in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology , most (∼77%, range: 41–96%) emission inhalation attributable to urban EVs use—i.e.,

2015 301

Daimler and partners deploying world’s largest 2nd-life EV battery storage unit for grid support

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The world’s largest 2nd-life battery storage unit will soon go into operation in the Westphalian town of Lünen. A joint venture between Daimler AG, The Mobility House AG and GETEC, it will be operated from the beginning of next year at the site of REMONDIS SE and marketed in the German electricity balancing sector. The stationary storage unit, with a total capacity of 13 MWh, uses second-life battery systems from the second generation of smart electric drive vehicles.

2015 289

How a tire company is doing its part to recycle and reuse; Michelin’s TREC

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by Derek Peterson. It’s fascinating how individuals and companies continue to find creative ways to recycle and reuse. Companies will attract negative attention for not doing their part to help protect the environment—potentially risking a loss in profits due to a shrinking consumer base because of their environmental decisions. One company, Michelin, has learned how to recycle and reuse large amounts of scrap tires in an intriguing way.

2015 289

DOE NNSA, national labs team with NVIDIA to develop open-source Fortran compiler technology

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The US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and three of its national labs have reached an agreement with NVIDIA’s PGI software to create an open-source Fortran compiler designed for integration with the widely used LLVM compiler infrastructure. LLVM is a collection of reusable compiler and tool chain technologies with a modular design that facilitates support for a wide variety of programming languages and processor architectures.

2015 266

CUE at Ryerson University testing 150 kW Li-ion battery from Electrovaya

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The Center for Urban Energy (CUE) at Ryerson University in Canada is testing a 150 kW Li-ion battery provided by Electrovaya in collaboration with Toronto Hydro to prove how off-peak electricity can be stored. Post doctorate research fellow Bhanu Opathella with the 150 kW battery. Click to enlarge. With the battery installed, a one-year pilot project will begin this month.

2015 266

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Ford offering 3 years’ complimentary public charging to C-MAX Energi customers in California and Connecticut with EV 1-2-3 Charge

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Ford Motor Company will offer three years of complimentary charging to California and Maryland customers who purchase or lease a 2016 C-MAX Energi with its pilot EV 1-2-3 Charge program. EV 1-2-3 Charge will provide unlimited, complimentary charging sessions of four hours each at more than 500 NRG EVgo and SemaConnect public stations across the nation. C-MAX Energi is capable of being fully charged in approximately 2.5 hours with the 240-volt charging stations that are included in the program.

2015 254

Fast-charging corridor from Berlin to Munich complete

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BMW, E.ON and Siemens have completed the installation of 8 DC fast-charging stations on the A9 highway linking Berlin to Munich in Germany as parat of the framework of the “Electromobility Connects” Bavaria-Saxony showcase sponsored by the German government. With the project ’s completion, Allego GmbH assumes commercial operation of the stations. The A9 fast-charging corridor links Berlin and Munich. Click to enlarge.

2015 253

VW: 430,046 MY 2016 vehicles in Europe affected by “CO2 issue”

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On 3 November, Volkswagen AG announced that during the course of its internal investigation into the diesel emission cheating issue, it had uncovered “irregularities” when determining type-approval CO 2 levels, affecting around 800,000 vehicles from the Group. Earlier post.).

2015 249

Bombardier battery-electric powered tram sets range record: 25.9 miles of catenary-free operation

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Bombardier Transportation has successfully completed a 41.6 km (25.9 miles) catenary-free test run using a Bombardier-built tram, powered entirely by its PRIMOVE battery in combination with BOMBARDIER MITRAC (Modular Integrated TRACtion system). The test run was conducted in the German city of Mannheim on the Rhein-Neckar-Verkehr GmbH (RNV) network. RNV began using SuperCaps energy storage systems in 2009, and has integrated this technology into 30 of their trams.

2015 241

NREL develops Internal Short Circuit (ISC) device to help improve Li-ion battery design

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Researchers at the US Department of Energy (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed and patented an Internal Short Circuit (ISC) device capable of emulating latent defects that can cause escalating temperatures in lithium-ion batteries and lead to thermal runaway. The intent of the ISC is to enhance the designs of Li-ion batteries by testing the effects of a latent internal short circuit and related escalating temperatures, which can lead to thermal runaway and hazards.

2015 239

Toyota researchers develop truffle-inspired cathode material for Li-S battery with layer-by-layer self-assembled polymer membrane

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A team at Toyota Research Institute of North America (TRINA) ( earlier post ) has developed a nanostructured sulfur cathode with a truffle-like architecture which comprises a sulfur particle embedded with hollow carbon nanospheres and encapsulated with an ion-selective, flexible layer-by-layer (LBL) nanomembrane decorated with conductive carbon.

2015 236

First drive: US spec Audi A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid; 83-86 MPGe with 16-17 mile EV range

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More than two and one-half years after the car was first announced ( earlier post ) and more than one year after sales began in Germany and Central Europe ( earlier post ), the US-spec version of the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid will begin arriving in US showrooms in the next few weeks.

2015 235

Neste and Boeing to partner on commercialization of renewable aviation fuels

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Neste, the leading producer of renewable diesel and Boeing, the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer, will work together to promote and accelerate the commercialization of renewable aviation fuel. The companies will work toward American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) fuel standard approval allowing the commercial use of high freezing point (hfp) renewable aviation fuel by airlines.

2015 233

ORNL team discovers mechanism behind direct ethanol-to-hydrocarbon conversion; implications for energy efficiency and cost of upgrading

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Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have discovered that the reactions underlying the transformation of ethanol into higher-grade hydrocarbons unfolds in a different manner than previously thought. The research, supported by DOE’s BioEnergy Technologies Office (BETO), has implications for the energy efficiency and cost of catalytic upgrading technologies proposed for use in bio-refineries.

2015 233

Opinion: Saudis Planning For A War Of Attrition In Europe With Russia’s Oil Industry

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by Nick Cunningham of Oilprice.com. Russia’s central bank recently warned about the growing financial risks to the Russian economy from Saudi Arabia encroaching upon its traditional export market for crude oil. Russia sends 70 percent of its oil to Europe, but Saudi Arabia has been making inroads in the European market amid the oil price downturn. The result is a heavier discount for Russia’s crude oil, the so-called Urals blend.

2015 232

BMW i and EVgo expanding ChargeNow DC Fast program; 500 more fast chargers in US; no-cost DC and Level 2 for BMW i3 drivers

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At the Los Angeles Auto Show, BMW of North America announced, in cooperation with NRG EVgo, the expansion of the ChargeNow DC Fast program. Earlier post.) As part of its ongoing commitment to the growth of a robust public DC Fast charging infrastructure, BMW is supporting EVgo’s installation of an incremental 500 DC Fast Combo chargers, to benefit BMW i3 customers and all EV drivers in the US with DC Fast Combo charging capability.

2015 228

GM and US Army to demonstrate extreme off-road hydrogen fuel cell Chevrolet Colorado

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General Motors and the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development &. Engineering Center (TARDEC) are modifying a Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup truck to run on a commercial hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system and will expose the truck to the extremes of daily military use for 12 months. Fuel cell propulsion has very high low-end torque capability useful in off-road environments.

2015 228

VW uncovers irregularities in type-approval CO2 levels affecting about 800K vehicles as part of diesel investigation

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The Volkswagen Group announced today that during the course of its internal investigation into the diesel emission cheating issue, it uncovered “irregularities” when determining type-approval CO 2 levels. Based on present knowledge, around 800,000 vehicles from the Volkswagen Group could be affected, the company said.

2015 228

Propel Fuels reports strong consumer adoption of renewable diesel in SoCal; retail sales up 300% over biodiesel

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Propel launched Diesel HPR across Southern California in August 2015, and consumer adoption of the fuel has risen 300% compared to its former biodiesel product (B20). Earlier post.) Utilizing Neste’s NEXBTL renewable diesel, Propel’s Diesel HPR is a low-carbon, drop-in renewable fuel that meets the ASTM D-976 petroleum diesel specifications for use in diesel engines, while offering drivers better performance and lower emissions.

2015 226

Heuliez Bus introduces new GX ELEC electric bus

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France-based Heuliez Bus, a brand of CNH Industrial N.V., has entered the electric bus market with its new battery-electric GX 337 ELEC, which will be tested by the French public transport operator RATP. The 12-meter bus is propelled by a 175 kW electric motor suited for low operating speeds and frequent stops. The bus is equipped for all-day use with night-time recharging and pre-heating in the winter months at bus depots.

2015 226

Prayon and Pulead to create JV for manufacture and sale of lithium iron phosphate material for Li-ion batteries

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Major cathode material producer Pulead (China) and phosphate leader Prayon (Belgium) have entered into an agreement to form a joint venture for the manufacture and sale of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) under licence from LiFePO 4 +C Licensing LLC. The two companies have also agreed to cooperate closely on other LFP-related raw material supply matters.

2015 224

ABB joins CharIN; taking Combined Charging System to the next level; 150 kW demos, targeting 350 kW

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The Charging Interface Initiative association (CharIN) announced earlier this month that ABB has been granted core membership in the association. CharIN was founded by Audi, BMW, Daimler, Mennekes, Opel, Phoenix Contact, Porsche, TÜV SÜD and Volkswagen to focus on developing and establishing the Combined Charging System (CCS) as the standard for charging battery-powered electric vehicles of all kinds. ABB—based in the Netherlands—is the first non-German member.

2015 223

Faraday Future EV startup says it will invest $1B in US manufacturing facility

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Faraday Future (FF), a new electric vehicle and future mobility startup company, announced that it will invest $1 billion in a US manufacturing facility as a phase one investment. The company has been considering several locations including California, Georgia, Louisiana and Nevada, for its facility. FF will announce the exact site in the coming weeks. FF expects to bring its first vehicle to market in 2017.

2015 223

Quanergy Systems to introduce solid-state LiDAR in 2016

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Quanergy Systems, Inc. will introduce in early 2016 the first solid-state LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensor for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and self-driving cars for less than $1,000 per car. Quanergy made the announcement at the Los Angeles Auto Show’s Connected Car Expo.

2015 218

Report: Hyundai launching new brand of electrified vehicles in January: hybrid first, then PHEV and EV

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The Korea Times reports that Korea-based Hyundai Motor will launch its new brand of electric vehicles scheduled for January. The first model of Hyundai’s new car brand—tentatively named “AE”—will be first introduced as a hybrid electric vehicle, followed by PHEV and full-EV editions, according to the report. Hyundai Motor Group vice chairman Chung Eui-sun earlier this year declared the PHEV as the answer to the future survival of the company and the industry.

2015 218

Group-buy Black Friday deal on 2015 Nissan LEAFs in Northern Colorado: $10,600

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Consumers in Fort Collins and Loveland, Colo. will have a special group-buy Black Friday opportunity to purchase a 2015 Nissan LEAF for just more than $10,000, saving up to $21,000 off the sticker price. The program, offered in partnership with Tynan’s Nissan and Drive Electric Northern Colorado (DENC), starts Friday, 27 November and runs through 31 December 2015. Tynan’s Nissan will take $9,007 off the LEAF’s retail price.

2015 217

New Ford Escape launching with two new EcoBoost engines with standard Auto Start-Stop

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The new Ford Escape, being showcased at the Los Angeles Auto Show, is the first Ford vehicle to make Auto Start-Stop standard with either of two EcoBoost engines new to the model—a 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter twin-scroll. The start-stop technology senses when the vehicle is sitting idle and shuts off the engine to conserve fuel, resulting in a 4 percent to 6 percent improvement in fuel economy in stop-and-go traffic.

2015 216

Kyocera develops first platinum-free soot-sensing element for diesel engines

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Kyocera Corporation has developed a sensing element to help monitor soot filters in diesel-engine vehicles—the first ever to withstand operating temperatures above 500 °C without the use of platinum. The new product utilizes a new base-metal alloy to withstand higher temperatures while reducing production costs and helping to improve air pollution from engine emissions.

2015 216

ICCT benchmarking report finds wide 51% gap between most- and least- fuel-efficient transatlantic airlines

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The gap between the most- (Norwegian Air Shuttle) and least- (British Airways) fuel-efficient airlines on 2014 transatlantic operations was 51%—roughly twice the performance gap between the best and worst US airlines on domestic operations (25% in 2014), according to a newly released study by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). The new report is an extension of ICCT’s work benchmarking US airline fuel efficiency on domestic operations since 2010 ( earlier post ).

2015 214

Ballard in strategic cooperation with King Long for fuel cell buses in China

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Ballard Power Systems signed a Strategic Collaboration Agreement with Xiamen King Long United Automotive Industry Co., King Long), a leading global developer, designer and manufacturer of buses, to design and deploy fuel cell-powered buses. The companies have agreed to collaborate on the development, optimization and production of a prototype fuel cell bus, with Ballard supplying its proprietary fuel cell engine along with Technology Solutions support for this purpose.

2015 214

LLNL team finds hydrogen treatment improves performance of graphene nanofoam anodes in Li-ion batteries

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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have found , through experiments and calculations, that hydrogen-treated graphene nanofoam (GNF) anodes in lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) show higher capacity and faster transport. The research suggests that controlled hydrogen treatment may be used as a strategy for optimizing lithium transport and reversible storage in other graphene-based anode materials. An open-access paper on their work is published in Nature Scientific Reports.

2015 214

Two years in, BMW i3 is the best-selling EV in Germany and the 3rd top seller worldwide; 80% of buyers new to BMW

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Two years after it went on sale, the BMW i3 has become the top selling electric vehicle in Germany (one in every four electrically-powered vehicles sold since introduction) and the third best selling model worldwide (one in 10). More than 80% of the BMW i3 buyers worldwide are new customers to the BMW Group. The most important single market for the all-electric five-door is the USA, where it ranks third as well.

2015 214

BMW to supply Karma Automotive with powertrain components for its luxury plug-in hybrid

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BMW will supply Karma Automotive—Fisker reborn—with its latest powertrain components, including high voltage battery charging systems and a wide range of hybrid and EV systems, for application in Karma’s flagship plug-in hybrid, to be re-launched next year. The next generation of Karma vehicles already in development will utilize more of BMW’s powertrain technology, the company said.

2015 214

Local Motors introduces first 3D-printed car series; pre-sales to begin in 2016

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Local Motors , which live-printed a 3D-printed car at SEMA last year, is now moving into testing and development phases that will culminate with a road-ready, fully homologated series of cars built using direct digital manufacturing (DDM), of which 3D printing is a part. Local Motors plans to begin taking orders next year.

2015 214

HARMAN contributes open source software to Open AVB Project for low-latency, real-time automotive Ethernet

Green Car Congress

HARMAN has made an open source software contribution to the Open AVB project to help drive the adoption of Ethernet AVB/TSN (Audio Video Bridging/Time Sensitive Networking) in automotive, consumer, pro audio/video and industrial markets. In AVB/TSN, the maximum latency is deterministic and thus supports low-latency applications from live A/V to machine control. Legacy Ethernet uses “best effort delivery”—i.e., data traffic flow is indeterminate, and intervening traffic can delay a data stream.

2015 214