2016

A Love Letter To My Other Woman

Creative Greenius

This is my love letter to Bonnie Raitt – the other woman in my life. I am here in Santa Barbara with Deb, celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary, having driven up the coast 100 miles from our home in Redondo Beach to see Bonnie play at the Santa Barbara Bowl.

2016 206

CMU study suggests difficulties in reaching targeted low price points for Li-ion batteries

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A new study by a team at Carnegie Mellon University examining the costs for varied cell dimensions, electrode thicknesses, chemistries, and production volumes of cylindrical and prismatic Li-ion batteries finds that although further cost savings are possible from increasing cell dimensions and electrode thicknesses, economies of scale have already been reached, and future cost reductions from increased production volumes are likely to be minimal. Their findings suggest that prismatic cells, which are able to further capitalize on the cost reduction from larger formats, can offer further reductions than those possible for cylindrical cells. However, none of these changes are sufficient to reach the DOE energy storage target of $125 kWh by 2020 , the study found. Even in the most optimistic scenario, when the cells are the largest (20720), electrodes the thickest (100 mm), and the production volume is 8 GWh per year, the cost per kWh for LMO cells is well above the DOE target. NCA cells are $206 kWh -1 and NMC cells are $180 kWh -1. Their paper is published in the Journal of Power Sources. Historical prices and future cost predictions for lithium-ion batteries. Estimates include both cell- and pack-level cost assessments, which is reflected in the significant variability in the cost estimates. The DOE target (advanced to 2020) and represented by the blue horizontal line, is $125/kWh. Ciez and Whitacre. Click to enlarge. Engineering and Public Policy (EPP) Ph.D. student Rebecca Ciez and Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) and EPP Professor Jay Whitacre—who earlier this year published a paper concluding that lithium market fluctuations are unlikely to impact Li-ion battery prices significantly ( earlier post )—developed a process-based cost model tailored to the cylindrical lithium-ion cells currently used in the EV market. They noted that due to current sales trends, three lithium-ion chemistries account for nearly all of the storage capacity, and half of the cells are cylindrical. However, no specific model has existed to examine the costs of manufacturing these cylindrical cells. The number of vehicles sold and the storage capacity of these vehicles varies significantly. The Tesla Model S, one of the most popular electric vehicles, has a battery pack that varies between 75 and 90 kWh, much larger than the 10.5 kWh average pack size for PHEVs and double the 42 kWh average for BEVs. These packs also use cylindrical lithium-ion cells, a departure from the prismatic cells examined in previous models. Electric vehicle sales and pack sizes also impact the most commonly used lithium-ion chemistries. Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (NCA) is the most common chemistry, accounting for half of the storage capacity on the road today, and Lithium Manganese Oxide (LMO) and Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide (NMC) account for approximately a quarter each. Other chemistries have been used in niche applications (predominantly in California compliance cars and early electric vehicle models), but have largely been phased out.… Also as a result of these sales trends, on a per kWh basis, the majority of lithium-ion batteries on the road in the US today are cylindrical. To date, manufacturing process research and cost models have focused exclusively on prismatic cells, and there is no specific model to address the costs of manufacturing cylindrical cells. To address the disparity between the current EV battery market and research, we present a process-based cost model specifically adapted for manufacturing cylindrical lithium-ion cells. —Ciez and Whitacre. Further cost reductions are possible if manufacturers can avoid markups on cathode precursor materials, and by increasing the size of the cells. In this regard, prismatic cells have a slight advantage over cylindrical cells, because they can use thicker electrodes and have a higher storage capacity per cell. However, even with these changes, none of the cells considered reached the Department of Energy cost target of $125 per kWh. Cost per kWh for lithium ion batteries made in two different configurations: cylindrical and prismatic. Even at full scale, where all economic advantages are realized, no approach is near the $125 per kWh target. Source: CMU. Click to enlarge. While initial cost savings are possible from increased production volumes, the potential for cost reductions from scale alone past 1 GWh of annual production—a level large battery manufacturers have already surpassed—is minimal, they found. At these higher production volumes, materials play a significant role in the $/kWh cost, accounting for roughly half of overall expenses. Cathode material costs can be reduced by producing them from precursors in-house instead of purchasing them from suppliers. LMO is subject to the highest markup, at almost 200%, but the markup for NCA and NMC have substantial impacts on the cost per kWh as well. Like prismatic cells, lithium prices play a small role in the cost of NMC and NCA cylindrical cells. A more than 200% increase in the price of lithium carbonate leads to a less than 10% increase in the cost per kWh for each of the cell configurations considered. —Ciez and Whitacre. Cell hardware is also a significant contributor to overall cost; with their greater design flexibility, prismatic cells can be larger, requiring less hardware per kWh and thereby reducing cost. The study found that LMO prismatic cells can be manufactured for less than half the cost of cylindrical LMO cells. Although there is potential for reducing costs using prismatic formats for NCA snd NMC cells, those cells are more rate-limited than their LMO counterparts, the study found. Many of these materials are already highly commoditized, and unlikely to see significant cost reductions. While we are open to the idea that very low-cost lithium-ion batteries can be produced, our comprehensive analysis does not show a clear pathway to this based on what we know today. —Rebecca Ciez. This work was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Resources. Rebecca E. Ciez, J.F. Whitacre (2016) “Comparison between cylindrical and prismatic lithium-ion cell costs using a process based cost model,” Journal of Power Sources , Volume 340, Pages 273-281 doi: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2016.11.054. Batteries Manufacturing

2016 168

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Chevrolet Bolt EV: Green Car Reports' Best Car To Buy 2017

Green Car Reports

Each year, Green Car Reports chooses a new car, or a family of cars, as the best green car introduced in that model year. In 2011, our very first award, we picked the first-ever modern electric car to be sold in high volumes.

2016 114

Give Me A #BreakFreeLA & Then Give Me 100% Renewables RIGHT NOW

Creative Greenius

I’ve lived in my house in Torrance, California for 23 years now. Been in L.A. since I was 19 years old in 1976, back when then Governor Brown was telling us that we were “living in an era of diminished expectations.”

2016 204

The Greatest Solar Powered Music Festival in World History! SUNSTOCK JUNE 18 Los Angeles

Creative Greenius

Out of the darkness, comes the light! Be there and shine with us! Your Creative Greenius loves him some Cults. You KNOW I dig Kaki King… In fact, there has NEVER been a greater, more talented, more entertaining musical line up than Sunstock!

HD REV powertrain company Wrightspeed gearing up for commercialization push

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Wrightspeed Inc., a developer and manufacturer of advanced range-extended electric vehicle (REV) powertrains for heavy-duty applications ( earlier post ), is gearing up for a commercialization push with the appointent of four advanced engineering and commercialization executives.

2016 159

Study finds total PM10 emissions from EVs equal to those of modern ICEVs; role of weight and non-exhaust PM

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A new study by a team from the University of Edinburgh and independent engineering company INNAS BV has found that, when factoring in the additional weight and non-exhaust PM factors, total PM 10 emissions from electric vehicles (EVs) are equal to those of modern internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs). Non-exhaust PM factors include tire wear, brake wear, road surface wear and resuspension of road dust. For PM 2.5 emissions, EVs deliver only a negligible reduction in emissions, the team found. Compared to an average gasoline ICEV, the EV emits 3% less PM 2.5 ; compared to an average diesel ICEV, the EV emits 1% less PM 2.5. Therefore, Victor Timmers and Peter A.J. Achten conclude, the increased popularity of electric vehicles will likely not have a great effect on PM levels. Their paper is published in the journal Atmospheric Environment. Comparison of the expected total emissions of PM10 for EVs, gasoline ICEVs and diesel ICEVs. Data from Timmers and Achten (2016). Click to enlarge. Non-exhaust emissions tend to contain mostly PM 10 , but a significant proportion of the emissions contains fine PM 2.5 as well. The chemical characteristics of non-exhaust PM emissions vary per source, but are mainly made up of heavy metals such as zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), iron (Fe) and lead (Pb), among others. There are several toxicological studies that have found links between non-exhaust emissions and adverse health effects, such as lung-inflammation and DNA damage, and a review of epidemiological studies concluded that PM 10 indeed has an effect on mortality. … It can be hypothesized that each of the sources of non-exhaust PM emissions should be influenced by vehicle weight. We know that road abrasion and tire wear are caused by the friction between the tire thread and road surface. Friction is a function of the friction coefficient between the tyres and the road, as well as a function of the normal force of the road. This force is directly proportional to the weight of the car. This means that increasing vehicle weight would increase the frictional force and therefore the rate of wear on both the tire and road surface. Brake wear is caused by the friction between the brake pads and the wheels. The energy needed to reduce the momentum of a vehicle is proportional to the vehicle’s speed and mass. Therefore, as the mass of the vehicle increases, more frictional energy is needed to slow it down, leading to greater brake wear. Resuspension is caused by the wake of a vehicle, which in turn is determined by the size, weight and aerodynamics of the vehicle. Furthermore, heavier vehicles are able to grind down larger particles into smaller, more easily suspended PM. In addition, many heavier vehicles will also be larger, resulting in a larger wake. These factors together should cause increased resuspension. —Timmers and Achten (2016). Timmers and Achten analyzed the existing literature on non-exhaust emissions of different vehicle categories, and found that there is a positive relationship between weight and non-exhaust PM emission factors. Further, they found that EVs are on average 24% heavier than equivalent ICEVs. For example, the Ford Focus Electric and gasoline-powered Ford Focus hatchback have almost exactly the same specifications; the EV, however is 219 kg heavier. Likewise, the Honda Fit EV is 335 kg heavier than the conventional version; the Kia Soul EV is 311 kg heavier than the regular Kia Soul, etc. A 2013 study by a team at Paul Scherrer Institute found that an increase in weight of 280 kg will result in a PM 10 increase of 1.1 mg per vehicle-kilometer (mg/vkm) for tire wear, 1.1 mg/vkm for brake wear and 1.4 mg/vkm for road wear. For PM 2.5 , these values are 0.8 mg/vkm, 0.5 mg/vkm and 0.7 mg/vkm for tire, brake and road wear, respectively. However, a different study found that the brake wear of EVs tends to be lower because of their regenerative brakes. Because there is little research which has investigated the actual reduction in emissions resulting from EV braking, Timmers and Achten assumed a conservative estimate of zero brake wear emissions for EVs. Based on a different study, they assumed a linear relationship between weight and resuspension, and used a 24% increase in resuspension for EVs (due to the on average 24% increase in weight). On the combustion side, the advent of PM emission standards and new particulate filter technology has greatly reduced exhaust particle emissions from new ICEVs. Averaging the emission factors from US and European emission inventories, Timmers and Achten obtained a PM 10 emission factor of 3.1 mg/vkm for gasoline cars and 2.4 mg/vkm for diesel cars. In terms of PM 2.5 , these values were 3.0 mg/vkm and 2.3 mg/vkm for gasoline and diesel cars, respectively. Timmers and Achten (2016). Click to enlarge. … EVs are not likely to have a large impact on PM emissions from traffic. Non-exhaust sources account for more than 90% of PM 10 and 85% of PM 2.5 emissions from passenger cars, and this proportion is likely to increase in the future as vehicles become heavier. Policy so far has only focused on reducing PM from exhaust emissions. Therefore, future European legislation should set non-exhaust emission standards for all vehicles and introduce standardized measurement methods. In addition, it is recommended that EV technology such as lightweight car bodies and regenerative brakes be applied to ICEVs, and incentives provided for consumers and car manufacturers to switch to less heavy vehicles. —Timmers and Achten (2016). Resources. Victor R.J.H. Timmers, Peter A.J. Achten (2016) “Non-exhaust PM emissions from electric vehicles,” Atmospheric Environment , Volume 134, Pages 10-17, doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2016.03.017. Electric (Battery) Emissions

2016 160

More Trending

Nissan introduces series-hybrid powertrain with Note e-POWER in Japan; small pack, small engine, LEAF motor, low price

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In Japan, Nissan Motor introduced its new series-hybrid drive system called e-POWER along with its application in the Note. This marks the first availability of e-POWER technology for consumers, marking a milestone in the electrification strategy under Nissan Intelligent Mobility.

2016 151

Heliox to fast charge Volvo electric buses in Luxembourg

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Sales-Lentz, one of the public transport operators in Luxembourg, has ordered three Heliox Fast Charge Systems with OppCharge open interface to provide fast charging services for its four Volvo 7900 electric buses.

Proterra launches new Catalyst E2 series electric bus with nominal range of up to 350 miles

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At the American Public Transit Association (APTA) Annual Meeting, Proterra unveiled the newest addition to its fleet of electric buses: the Catalyst E2 series, named for its Efficient Energy (E2) storage capacity of 440 - 660 kWh.

2016 150

ORNL team shows 3D-printed permanent magnets outperform conventional versions, conserve rare materials

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Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and colleagues have demonstrated that permanent magnets produced by additive manufacturing can outperform bonded magnets made using traditional techniques while conserving critical materials.

2016 148

Sion Power reports 400 Wh/kg, 700 Wh/L and 350 cycles under 1C for Li-ion battery with Li-metal anode technology

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Sion Power reported that a Licerion-Ion system has achieved 400 Wh/kg, 700 Wh/L and 350 cycles under 1C discharge conditions. Dr. Yuriy Mikhaylik, Sion Power’s Director of Materials, is presenting details on this performance in an invited presentation at the ECS meeting in Honolulu this week.

2016 147

Tesla debuts bigger PowerWall 2.0 battery, glass solar-roof tiles from SolarCity

Green Car Reports

Late last week, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk held a press conference whose underlying message was support for the proposed combination of Tesla with solar installer SolarCity.

2016 114

Study finds ethanol blending appears to reduce significantly genotoxic emissions from gasoline direct injection vehicles

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A research team from Empa (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology) and the University of Applied Sciences Bern, Laboratory for Exhaust Emission Control, reports that ethanol blending appeared to reduce genotoxic emissions from a flex-fuel Euro-5 gasoline direct injection (GDI) vehicle (a Volvo V60 with a 1.6 L engine) under transient and steady driving conditions. In a paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology , the researchers reported that particle number emissions when operating the vehicle in the hWLTC (hot started worldwide harmonized light-duty vehicle test cycle) with E10 and E85 were lowered by 97% and 96% respectively compared with that of E0. CO emissions dropped by 81% and 87%, while CO 2 emissions were reduced by 13 and 17%. Emissions of selected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were lowered by 67–96% with E10 and by 82–96% with E85, and the genotoxic potentials dropped by 72% and 83%, respectively. Traditional port-fuel injection vehicles are quickly being replaced by the GDI technology in many markets. It is expected that GDI vehicles will represent around 50% of the vehicle fleet in 2020. These vehicles have been introduced promising enhanced engine power and fuel efficiency and hence lower CO 2 emissions in comparison with PFI vehicles. However, an important drawback of the GDI technology is the release of nanoparticles of unknown toxicity. GDI vehicles can release up to 10 12 particles/km, exceeding those of current diesel vehicles, which are now equipped with filters, by orders of magnitude. In other words, most GDI vehicles cannot fulfill the Euro-5 particle number limit of 6 × 10 11 particles/km applied to diesel vehicles, which is valid for all new type approvals since September 2011 and for all new cars since January 2013. GDI particles resemble those of diesel vehicles without aftertreatment. They are agglomerates of soot-like nanoparticles formed in the engine under high pressure. In 2012, the WHO classified untreated diesel exhaust as a group 1 carcinogen inducing lung cancer in humans. Due to the striking similarities, concerns on GDI exhausts are on the rise because these exhausts might also be carcinogenic to humans. Therefore, detailed studies on the genotoxic potential of GDI vehicle exhausts are urgently needed to assess these new risks. —Muñoz et al. In the study, the team compared emissions of a flex-fuel Euro-5 GDI vehicle operated with gasoline (E0) and two ethanol/gasoline blends (E10 and E85) and reported effects on particle, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), and alkyl- and nitro-PAH emissions and assessed their genotoxic potential. They applied two driving cycles simulating transient and steady driving. They used the worldwide harmonized light-duty vehicle test cycle (WLTC), which includes urban, extra-urban, highway, and motorway driving. The cycle was investigated under cold- (cWLTC) and hot-start conditions (hWLTC). They also applied a steady-state cycle (SSC) representing mean velocities of the WLTC and idle. The researchers established a relationship between particle number (PN) and PAH emissions under transient and steady driving under hot- and cold-start conditions. The findings indicated that the release of particles and PAHs, including the genotoxic ones, are well-correlated and that blending with ethanol reduces particle and PAH formation in the engine. Ethanol blending improves the combustion efficiency and suppresses particle, PAH, and nitro-PAH formation in the engine, thereby lowering the genotoxic potential of GDI vehicle exhausts. Percentage PAH reduction and genotoxic potential. Upper diagrams compare PAH reductions (%) from E10 (left) and E85 (right) blends relative to gasoline (E0). The influence of ring number in hot- (red) and cold-started (blue) WLTC (first row) and boiling point (°C) of individual PAHs (second row) in the hot WLTC is given. Cumulated genotoxic potentials (ng TEQ/km) of genotoxic PAHs and respective patterns are shown in lower diagrams. Name, color code, toxicity equivalence factor of genotoxic PAHs, and fold-reduction relative to E0 data in the cWLTC are also included. Muñoz et al. Click to enlarge. Resources. Maria Muñoz, Norbert V. Heeb, Regula Haag, Peter Honegger, Kerstin Zeyer, Joachim Mohn, Pierre Comte, and Jan Czerwinski (2016) “Bioethanol Blending Reduces Nanoparticle, PAH, and Alkyl- and Nitro-PAH Emissions and the Genotoxic Potential of Exhaust from a Gasoline Direct Injection Flex-Fuel Vehicle” Environmental Science & Technology doi: 10.1021/acs.est.6b02606. Emissions Engines Ethanol Fuels Health

2016 147

Renault boosts range of ZOE EV to 400 km with new 41 kWh pack option

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At the Paris Motor Show, Renault introduced its enhanced-range ZOE electric vehicle. Equipped with the new 41 kWh Z.E. 40 battery, ZOE now has a range of up to 400 km (249 miles) NEDC—twice the distance of the original launch version of the ZOE.

2016 144

UK, Saudi team shows hydrocarbon wax is a viable, safe medium for on-board hydrogen storage

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Researchers at the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Cardiff in the UK, and the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in Saudi Arabia have shown that benign, readily-available heavy alkane hydrocarbon wax is capable of rapidly releasing large amounts of hydrogen—sufficient to meet the 7 wt% target set by the US DOE—through microwave-assisted catalytic decomposition. This discovery, reported in an open-access paper in Scientific Reports , offers a new material and system for safe and efficient hydrogen storage and could facilitate its application in a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. Hydrocarbon wax is the major product of the low temperature Fischer-Tropsch synthesis process from syngas and is currently thermally “cracked” to produce various fuels. The F-T wax can be manufactured using renewable energy and any carbon-containing resources including biomass, CO 2 , natural gas, coal—and the resulting carbon residue from the hydrogen-depleted wax. Despite strenuous efforts over the past decades covering a vast range of hydrogen storage materials, no single material has met simultaneously the critical requirements for a viable hydrogen storage and hydrogen releasing material suitable for use in HFCVs and other fuel cell applications. … Chemical, complex and metallic hydrides all present significant difficulties of pyrophoricity, accidental hydrogen release (from accidental reaction with atmospheric moisture) and heat management problems, together with troublesome changes in particle morphology in the hydrogen charging/discharging processes. Similarly, rechargeable organic liquids—used to store hydrogen in a liquid carrier form—must be handled with great care as several react violently with strong oxidants, have fire and explosion hazards and, in certain cases, carry toxicity concerns from occupational exposure. Similar safety issues and concerns surround the potential use of ammonia as an on-board hydrogen storage material. Important efforts have been made previously to liberate pure hydrogen from the catalytic decomposition of the lightest alkane, methane. Against this backdrop, we sought to investigate heavy alkane hydrocarbon waxes as cheap, safe, readily producible and widely accessible hydrogen storage materials. We reasoned that such materials—if suitably activated to rapidly release hydrogen, or hydrogen-rich mixtures—could exhibit many desirable features and yield hydrogen gravimetric densities approaching a theoretical value of ca. 14 wt%. —Gonzalez-Cortes et al. (a) Gravimetric and volumetric densities of various hydrogen storage materials and options. Inset shows the hydrogen storage density of alkanes as a function of the number of carbon atoms. (b) Dependence of the Gibbs free energy with temperature for the deep dehydrogenation reaction (or hydrogen formation reactions) of various straight-chain alkanes (i.e. CH 4 ; n-C 5 H 12 , n-C 10 H 22 , n-C 15 H 32 and n-C 20 H 42 ). Inset shows the dependence of the standard enthalpy and entropy for the hydrogen formation reactions with carbon numbers of various lineal alkanes. Gonzalez-Cortes et al. Click to enlarge. Dehydrogenating a hydrocarbon wax so as to release hydrogen effectively and rapidly while minimizing unwanted by-products is a challenge. The research team developed highly selective catalysts that, with the assistance of microwave irradiation, can extract hydrogen from hydrocarbons instantly through a non-oxidative dehydrogenation process. The researchers selected a representative wax, C 26 H 54 , and found that around 7 wt% hydrogen is rapidly produced by microwave radiation-assisted catalysis involving ruthenium nanoparticles on a carbon support (CS), intimately dispersed within paraffin wax (PW). A thermodynamic analysis showed that the deep dehydrogenation reactions necessary for efficient hydrogen formation reactions become more favorable with increasing reaction temperature and with increasing number of carbon atoms in the lineal alkane. Schematic representation of one scenario for the decarbonization of a transportation fuel economy. Gonzalez-Cortes et al. Click to enlarge. Clearly, considerable engineering work is needed to adapt this laboratory discovery to large-scale hydrogen storage applications. However, we believe that the storage of hydrogen in, and rapid evolution from, paraffin wax could usher in a new and attractive path towards a decarbonized, hydrogen economy. —Gonzalez-Cortes et al. Resources. S. Gonzalez-Cortes, D. R. Slocombe, T. Xiao, A. Aldawsari, B. Yao, V. L. Kuznetsov, E. Liberti, A. I. Kirkland, M. S. Alkinani, H. A. Al-Megren, J. M. Thomas & P. P. Edwards (2016) “Wax: A benign hydrogen-storage material that rapidly releases H 2 -rich gases through microwave-assisted catalytic decomposition” Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 35315 doi: 10.1038/srep35315. Hydrogen Production Hydrogen Storage

2016 144

Loop Energy introduces fuel cell range extender for heavy-duty vehicles; in-service operation to begin in 2017

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Loop Energy ( earlier post ) has introduced a new range-extender (REX) power module for heavy-duty electric transport vehicles. At the core of the module is Loop’s unique fuel cell design which improves performance, durability and cost.

2016 141

Wireless charging bench testing complete, proving interoperability and validating SAE TIR J2954

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SAE International is working to ensure that electric vehicle wireless power transfer systems from different manufacturers can interoperate seamlessly with each other to prepare for commercialization in 2020.

2016 139

Cumulative plug-in vehicle sales topped 500K units in US in September

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Cumulative sales of plug-in vehicles in the US topped 500,000 units in September, according to figures gathered by the US Department of Energy (DOE). The introduction of the first mass market plug-in vehicles occurred in December of 2010 with the introduction of the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf.

2016 139

Update on DOE Co-Optima project to co-optimize fuels & engines; goal of 30% per vehicle reduction in petroleum

Green Car Congress

In October 2015, the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) launched a broad, joint effort to co-optimize the development of efficient engines and low greenhouse-gas fuels for on-road vehicles with the goal of reducing petroleum consumption by 30% by 2030 beyond what is already targeted. Earlier post.)

2016 138

Rotterdam proposed location for Enerkem waste-to-chemicals plant

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A partnership comprising AkzoNobel, Van Gansewinkel, Air Liquide, AVR and Enerkem is proposing to build a waste-to-chemicals plant in Rotterdam in collaboration with the Port of Rotterdam, the City of Rotterdam, the province of South Holland and InnovationQuarter.

2016 137

Sandia study finds high-speed hydrogen-powered ferry and supporting infrastructure in SF Bay feasible

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A study by two researchers at Sandia National Laboratories has concluded that building and operating a high-speed passenger ferry solely powered by hydrogen fuel cells within the context of the San Francisco Bay is technically feasible, with full regulatory acceptance as well as the requisite associated hydrogen fueling infrastructure. Funded by the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration and led by Sandia, the feasibility study of the SF-Breeze (San Francisco Bay Renewable Energy Electric Vessel with Zero Emissions) brought together the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), the US Coast Guard, naval architect Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG), the Port of San Francisco and dozens of other contributors. Final engineering model of the SF-BREEZE as designed by Elliott Bay Design Group. The top deck holds the LH 2 storage tank, the associated vent stack, evaporation equipment, and the Pilot House of the vessel. The main deck holds the PEM fuel cell power racks and the passenger compartment. Click to enlarge. In the course of the study, we examined over 10 major issues where feasibility was initially unknown. SF-BREEZE sailed through them all. —Lennie Klebanoff, Sandia co-author of the SF-Breeze study. Tom Escher, president of San Francisco’s Red and White Fleet, first conceived of the project when he asked if it was possible to do away with emissions altogether on one of his ferries. This is a game changer. We can eliminate environmental pollution from ships. This could have a major impact on every shipyard in the country. —Tom Escher. Hydrogen-powered ferries do exist, but most are smaller, slower vessels used for tours on lakes and rivers. The SF-BREEZE study set out to discover whether it is technically feasible to build a large, fast vessel; could meet maritime regulations; and could be economically competitive with modes of transportation already available in the San Francisco Bay area. The group drew up conceptual specifications: a 150-passenger commuter ferry that would travel four 50-mile round-trip routes each day at a top speed of 35 knots (~39 mph) about 60% of the time. The ferry could refuel midday, between the morning and afternoon commutes. The project team split into two branches. One focused on technical and regulatory feasibility of the high-speed ferry, the other on the feasibility of the required land-side refueling infrastructure. Through examination of the options, the project team selected proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells for the powerplant due to their low weight and volume, commercial availability, proven track record, zero emission characteristic, and acceptable power performance. The fuel cell base model chosen for this case study was the Hydrogenics HyPM HD30. Liquid hydrogen (LH 2 ) was selected for on-board storage in order to minimize the weight that is so critical for performance of a high-speed vessel. The final specifications for the SF-BREEZE were: Passenger capacity: 150 (the maximum allowed by Subchapter T regulations). Top Speed: 35 knots. Total installed power: 4.92 MW (4.4 MW for propulsion at top speed, 120 kW for auxiliary power, and the remainder for margin) consisting of (41) 120 kW PEM fuel cell racks, each rack containing four 30 kW PEM fuel cell stacks. Fuel: 1,200 kg (~4,500 gallons) of LH 2 contained in a single Type C (pressurized vessel) storage tank on the top deck, enough for two 50 nm round trips before refueling, with 200-400 kg margin. Electrical architecture: DC power from the fuel cells converted to AC power for the motors. Either one or two motors per shaft. Propulsors: Waterjet or Voith linear jet. Amenities: Standard passenger cabin with restroom and snack bar. Zero greenhouse gas and criteria pollutants during operation. Due to the difference in characteristics between diesel engines and PEM fuel cells, the SF-BREEZE would have the following benefits in addition to its elimination of emissions: Superior response time during power changes (such as during maneuvering). Less noise and vibration on-board. Elimination of diesel fuel spills, diesel odor, and exhaust odor. This kind of boat has never been built before. Hydrogen fuel cells are heavier than diesel engines for a given power output, so achieving the right power-to-weight ratio for the vessel was tricky. —Curt Leffers, the project manager for Elliott Bay Design Group. The need for speed drove the design to a slightly longer catamaran. The engineers were able to save weight by consolidating the support equipment for the fuel cells. To achieve the necessary safety standoffs from the fuel cells, the designers placed the fuel cells on the main deck of the vessel in a separate compartment. Leffers explained that this provides physical separation between the fuel cells and passengers. Emissions. The project team investigated the SF-BREEZE GHG emissions associated with five LH 2 fuel production pathways including renewable and non-renewable (fossil-fuel based) methods. While hydrogen PEM fuel cell technology has zero emissions at the point of use, it is important to consider the fuel production pathway and delivery emissions in a “well-to-waves” (WTW) analysis. The team found that the WTW GHG emissions for the SF-BREEZE using non-renewable LH 2 are significantly higher than for the diesel-fueled Vallejo ferry on a per passenger basis. Due to the higher weight of the SF-BREEZE compared to the comparable diesel ferry, the SF-BREEZE has more on-board power in order to make 35 knots. This higher power makes the ferry consume more hydrogen, and when combined with the fact that making LH2 is much more energy intensive than making diesel fuel. However, using renewable LH 2 , WTW GHG emissions for the SF-BREEZE ferry are reduced 75.8% compared to the diesel-fueled Vallejo. Compared to Vallejo Tier 4 emissions using diesel fuel, the SF-BREEZE using LH 2 derived from steam reforming of fossil natural gas reduces WTW emissions of NO x by 51.3%, HC by 68.8%, but PM emissions increase a factor of 2.5 times. Using LH 2 made from 100% renewable electricity, there would be a WTW 99.1% reduction in NO x , a 99.2% reduction in HC, and a 98.6% reduction in PM compared to the Vallejo running on diesel fuel with Tier 4 emission constraints. Regulations and economics. ABS issued a conditional Approval in Principal to verify that the conceptual design would be compliant with applicable regulations and rules and to identify any potential gaps in compliance. Combining their assessment with feedback from the USCoast Guard, Sandia found no regulatory show-stoppers and concluded that the vessel will be acceptable from a regulatory perspective once a more detailed “ready-to-build” design is generated. The hydrogen ferry would cost about twice as much as a comparable diesel ferry with today’s prices. Much of that cost is in the fuel cell system. Right now, we can’t achieve economic parity with a comparable diesel ferry. But this is a question we need to explore further. Is economic parity necessary from the outset? Lessons from the automotive market tell us maybe not. —Joe Pratt, Sandia co-author. Vehicle manufacturers have successfully brought fuel cell electric vehicles to market even though those cars are more expensive than comparable internal combustion engine vehicles. Many experts expect mass adoption of fuel cell electric vehicles to bring down prices of hydrogen fuel cells. Optimization. The next step is to optimize the vessel design. Working with Red and White Fleet and other stakeholders, Klebanoff and Pratt are now undertaking an optimization study. They will examine the tradeoffs between speed and costs and emissions among other factors. Red and White Fleet President Escher sees SF-BREEZE as the start of a revolution in marine transportation. When this boat is launched, it will be a seed. When you add a seed to water, it grows. This seed could grow into a 40-meter tugboat, a 70-meter supply boat or a 300-meter oceangoing ship trading between the West Coast and Hawaii. And all at zero pollution. —Tom Escher. Resources. Joseph W. Pratt and Leonard E. Klebanoff (2016) “ Feasibility of the SF-BREEZE: a Zero-Emission, Hydrogen Fuel Cell, High-Speed Passenger Ferry ” SAND2016-9719. Fuel Cells Hydrogen Hydrogen Production Hydrogen Storage Ports and Marine

2016 137

Gevo enters on-road automobile gasoline market in Houston with 12.5% isobutanol blend

Green Car Congress

Gevo, Inc. announced that a 12.5% blend of its bio-isobutanol with gasoline marketed for use in automobiles has begun to be sold in the Houston area. This marks the first time that Gevo’s isobutanol has been specifically targeted towards on-road vehicles.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV: video review of 238-mile electric car

Green Car Reports

From the outside, this car looks like a tall hatchback, not all that remarkable, maybe a bit bigger than some of the smallest cars around. But from the moment you open the door and get behind the wheel, it's clear that this is no ordinary Chevrolet.

2016 114

NASA Electric Aircraft Testbed (NEAT) began testing in September; advancing electric propulsion for aircraft

Green Car Congress

Engineers at the NASA Electric Aircraft Testbed (NEAT) at NASA Glenn Research Center ran the new facility’s first test in September.

2016 134

NVIDIA introduces Xavier AI supercomputer designed for autonomous driving

Green Car Congress

At the inaugural GPU Technology Conference Europe, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang unveiled Xavier, an all-new AI supercomputer designed for use in self-driving cars.

2016 134

SAE J2954 Wireless Charging on track to make decision for WPT 2 (7.7kW) in January; planned commercialization in 2020

Green Car Congress

In a program track on Charging Infrastructure at the World of Energy Solutions Conference in Stuttgart, Germany this week, Jesse Schneider (BMW), SAE Taskforce Chair, Wireless Power Transfer and Alignment Methodology, presented the recently published SAE TIR, Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) for Light-Duty Plug-In/ Electric Vehicles and Alignment Methodology (earlier post) along with plans for standardization by 2018 to support commercialization. The SAE TIR J2954 contains a normative specification for both the vehicle and infrastructure side coils for the power level WPT 1 up to 3.7kW and informative specifications for WPT 2 to 7.7kW. The current timing plan projects a commercial rollout of Wireless Power Transfer infrastructure by 2020. The SAE J2954 Standardization plan includes coordinated bench and vehicle testing, industry consensus work (standards documents) and three milestones from 2016-2018 in support of commercialization of wireless power transfer by 2020. Currently, there is bench testing underway at Idaho National Lab (INL) between automotive and supplier WPT systems, coordinated by the SAE J2954 Team and the US Department of Energy (DOE). The bench testing has made significant headway to validate both the WPT 1 and WPT 2 specifications in J2954. The interim results have shown that the individual systems work very well to safely transfer power at high efficiencies (i.e. 85%-95%). At this time the testing is investigating “interoperable” conditions between different supplier systems also at different power levels. Test results will be available in December to the SAE J2954 team with the purpose to help find consensus on the standardization of WPT 2. The upcoming Recommended Practice SAE J2954 will also contain a normative specification WPT 2 (7.7kW)—or concept freeze—made in 2017 for SAE J2954. WPT 3 (up to 11kW) will also be specified as an informative appendix. In order to finish the standard, vehicle level testing is being proposed to validate WPT 1-WPT3 from 2017-2018. Also, for the first time, SAE and ISO will work together for standardization of wireless charging with the goal of creating “one common standard” with the content being shared by both SAE J2954 and ISO 19363. The SAE J2954 TIR, gives the wireless power transfer specification for both the vehicle and the infrastructure. The testing projects underway with the US DOE and the industry were designed to give the SAE Wireless Power Transfer Taskforce the background for the WPT 1 and WPT 2 power levels in first quarter of 2017 for the next phase of standardization, Recommended Practice J2954. —Jesse Schneider (BMW), Chair of the SAE Wireless Charging Taskforce. Infrastructure Plug-ins Smart charging Standards Wireless

2016 133

Montréal installing 50 more on-street charging points for EVs; targeting 1,000 by 2020

Green Car Congress

The city of Montréal is installing 50 more on-street charging points for electric vehicles. In August, the city installed 50 in the downtown area. The 100 terminals will now cover 7 city districts. The city said it plans to have 1,000 stations installed across all boroughs by 2020.

2016 132

DOE: US average EV CO2e/year is 4,815 lbs, vs. 11,435 lbs for average gasoline car

Green Car Congress

Although all-electric vehicles (EVs) produce zero tailpipe emissions, there are upstream emissions of greenhouse gases from electricity production.

2016 132

NC State team develops new Si/C inverter; 12.1 kW/L & greater efficiency in a smaller, lighter package

Green Car Congress

Researchers at the Future Renewable Electric Energy Distribution and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center at North Carolina State University have developed an inverter for hybrid and electric vehicles using off-the-shelf components made of the wide-bandgap semiconductor material silicon carbide (SiC).

2016 132

Delta Motorsport introduces Micro Turbine Range Extender

Green Car Congress

At the LCV 2016 event in the UK last week, Delta Motorsport unveiled a new low-cost micro-turbine applied as a range-extended in an electric car. The company developed the E-4 Coupe extended-range electric electric vehicle in a £3.1-million (US$4-million) collaborative R&D project.

2016 130

VW debuts 2017 e-Golf; more range, more technology; Q2 2017; Transparent Factory

Green Car Congress

Volkswagen of America presented the latest generation of the e-Golf in a world premiere at AutoMobility LA. Compared to its predecessor, the 2017 e-Golf offers almost 50% more range, more power and new features.

2016 130

ICCT/TNO study: Real-world vehicle fuel consumption discrepancy widens to 42% in Europe

Green Car Congress

The average gap between official fuel consumption figures and actual fuel use for new cars in the EU has reached 42%, according to the latest update by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) to its on-going research into vehicle fuel consumption and CO 2 emissions.

2016 130

MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 plug-in hybrid on sale in June 2017

Green Car Congress

MINI has officially unveiled the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4, the brand’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, as one of the three variants of the new MINI Countryman. Earlier post.)

2016 130

Tesla Model S race car revealed for Electric GT series

Green Car Reports

Earlier this year, a group called Electric GT Holdings announced plans for a race series exclusively for the Tesla Model S electric car.

2016 114

Aqua Metals produces first AquaRefined lead at first AquaRefinery; tests 99.99% pure

Green Car Congress

Aqua Metals has produced the first AquaRefined lead at its AquaRefinery in McCarran, Nevada. AquaRefining is a water-based, room-temperature process that is the only clean lead recycling method for lead-acid batteries (LAB). Earlier post.).

2016 130

UPS adding 200 more series hybrid delivery trucks

Green Car Congress

UPS will add 200 new series hybrid electric delivery trucks to the company’s growing alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet. The vehicles have the same 650cc 2-cylinder engine and E-GEN chassis as the 125 vehicles UPS announced earlier this year. Earlier post.).

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