February, 2013

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. The XL1 is low weight (795 kg), aerodynamic (Cd 0.189) and with a low center of gravity (1,153 mm high).

2013 305

Electric Monster Truck Crushes Puny Gasoline Cars This Weekend

Green Car Reports

Remember the world's first all-electric monster truck? If you're at the AutoRama Car Show in Kansas City, Missouri this weekend, you'll be able to see it in action. We're told it'll be "participating in two car-crush demonstrations per day", which sounds like a polite way of saying it'll be causing total mechanical carnage as it pulverises a

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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

2013 82

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 [.]. Volvo CO2 emissions fuel economy

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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.” —API Chief Economist John Felmy. Gasoline deliveries were up for the month by 2.4%

2013 295

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. Additional benefits include reduction of carbon emissions and noise.

2013 292

Liox Power reports first operation of a Li-air battery with a straight-chain alkyl amide electrolyte solvent; new direction for Li-air research

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Researchers at startup Liox Power, a California-based company developing rechargeable Li-air batteries, have demonstrated for the first time the operation of a lithium-air battery with a Li anode in a straight-chain alkyl amide electrolyte solvent (N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMA)/lithium nitrate (LiNO 3 )). O 2 cell containing this electrolyte composition cycled for more than 2000 h (>80 cycles) at a current density of 0.1 mA/cm 2 , retaining >95% capacity and a consistent charging profile.

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More Trending

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) a) Specific capacities of the PVP modified sulfur cathode at C/5, C/2 and 1C cycling rates. (b) 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 ).

Achates Power opposed-piston diesel for TARDEC will demonstrate multi-cylinder configuration

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Achates Power says that its 2-stroke OP engine offers higher best point brake thermal efficiency than diesel or gasoline engines. Source: Achates Power. Click to enlarge. In December 2012, the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) awarded Achates Power, Inc., developer of a two-stroke, compression-ignition (CI) opposed-piston (OP) engine, and AVL Powertrain Engineering, Inc.

2013 272

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.

2013 264

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

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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 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.

2013 264

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 charge cycle, K?O 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 O 2 ) battery with low overpotentials.

2013 263

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.

2013 262

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.

2013 260

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. Each wind turbine creates a “wind shadow” behind it, in which the turning blades slow the air.

2013 260

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. Equipped with Opel’s “BlueInjection” SCR (selective catalytic reduction) technology, the engine already meets Euro 6 emissions limits.

2013 256

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.

2013 253

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

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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.

2013 252

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

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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.

2013 249

Ford and PlugShare partner on real-time charging station information

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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.

2013 246

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.

2008 244

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

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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).

2013 242

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

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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.

2013 241

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

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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.

2013 241

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.

2013 240

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., 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.

2013 240

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

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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.

2013 240

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.

2013 240

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.

2013 238

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.

2013 235

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

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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.

2013 235

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

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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.

2013 235

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.

Land Rover unveiling 7 battery-electric Defender research vehicles at Geneva show

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Electric Defender research vehicle. Click to enlarge. Land Rover will unveil seven new battery-electric Defender research vehicles at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. Although there are no plans for the all-terrain electric Defender to enter series production, the seven EVs will go into service in specialist real world trials later this year.

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

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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.

2013 228

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

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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.

2013 228

PSA to commercialize SwRI-developed Dedicated-EGR technology in high-efficiency gasoline engines by 2018

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The D-EGR concept dedicates one (or more) cylinders to EGR production and fuel reforming. Source: SwRI, DEER 2012. Click to enlarge. During its recent Innovation Day presentations ( earlier post ), PSA Peugeot Citroën announced that it will commercialize high-efficiency gasoline engines featuring dedicated exhaust gas recirculation (D-EGR), derived from a collaborative program with SwRI in the US. PSA has filed for two patents on its work.

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