New catalyst opens door to CO2 capture in coal-to-liquids process

World energy consumption projections expect coal to stay one of the world’s main energy sources in the coming decades, and a growing share of it will be used in CT—the conversion of coal to liquid fuels (CTL). Researchers from the National Institute of Clean-and-Low-Carbon Energy in Beijing and Eindhoven University... Details →

Ford has begun production of the Deutsche Post StreetScooter WORK XL electric van at its European HQ in Cologne, Germany. Based on a Transit chassis, produced at the Ford Otosan joint venture plant in Kocaeli, Turkey, the medium-sized electric delivery van is fitted with a battery-electric drivetrain and a body... Details →

Mercedes-Benz is delivering the first new third-generation plug-in hybrids—labelled EQ Power—to customers now and over the coming months. Mercedes-Benz is initially using this type of powertrain in the C-Class, E-Class and S-Class. The 13.5 kWh battery in the hybrid vehicles is paired with either a gasoline engine or, for the... Details →

Novelis breaks ground on automotive aluminum facility in Changzhou, China; $180M investment to double capacity in 2020

Novelis, the global leader in aluminum rolling and recycling, broke ground on the expansion of its automotive aluminum manufacturing facility in Changzhou, China. The $180-million investment will double the facility’s production capacity of heat-treated aluminum sheet by 100,000 metric tons in order to better meet the growing demand for automotive... Details →

Hyundai presented its new 2019 Kona Electric crossover (introduced in March at the New York Auto Show, earlier post) and 2019 NEXO fuel cell SUV (showcased at CES in January, earlier post) to US media at a driving introduction in Los Angeles. Kona Electric models will be produced in Ulsan,... Details →

Duke/York study finds long-term exposure to ozone has significant impacts on human health, but lower than prior modeling results

A team from Duke University in the US and University of York in the UK have utilized a novel method to estimate long-term ozone exposure and previously reported epidemiological results to quantify the health burden from long-term ozone exposure in three major regions of the world. The team’s observationally-derived data... Details →

UPS/Greenbiz study identifies motivators and barriers to electric fleets

Attaining environmental benefits and lower cost of ownership are driving more commercial fleets to electrify, according to a new study by UPS and GreenBiz. In the “Curve Ahead: The Future of Fleet Electrification” report, industry leaders identify the main motivations and barriers to electrification, as well as strategies to move... Details →

Argonne National Laboratory’s Systems Assessment Group announced the 2018 release of the suite of GREET models and associated documentation. The GREET model is a life-cycle analysis (LCA) tool, structured to systematically examine energy and environmental effects of a wide variety of transportation fuels and vehicle technologies in major transportation sectors... Details →

A research team led by Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute Of Science And Technology (DGIST) Professor Jong-Sung Yu in Korea, with colleagues at UC Berkeley and Xi’an Jiaotong University in China, has successfully developed a new catalyst synthesis method that can efficiently decompose water into oxygen and hydrogen using solar light. A... Details →

BMW Group extends JV contract with Brilliance to 2040, increases stake to 75%; €3B investment in plants

The BMW Group and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd. (CBA) announced the early extension of the joint venture contract for BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) and the further deepening of the existing successful collaboration. The extended contract is valid for 22 years (from 2018 to 2040). Furthermore, the BMW Group intends... Details →

Argonne’s CAMP battery testing and prototyping facility grows to meet demand for next-generation technologies

Argonne National Laboratory recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the expanded Cell Analysis, Modeling and Prototyping (CAMP) facility. The US Department of Energy (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) and Argonne funded the facility, which is used by industry, academia and national laboratories across the United States. Many of the innovations... Details →

Researchers at the National University Of Science And Technology MISIS (NUST MISIS) in Russia have proposed a technology that can double the strength of composites obtained by 3D printing from aluminum powder, and advance the characteristics of these products to the quality of titanium alloys: titanium’s strength is about six... Details →

Bollinger Motors previewed the all-electric, all-wheel-drive B2 pickup truck. The new street-legal B2 Pickup truck leverages the company’s development of the B1 Sport Utility Truck. (Earlier post.) As Bollinger Motors moves through the final stages of the B1, the B2 Pickup became a natural addition to their upcoming vehicle suite... Details →

Researchers at North Carolina State University have built an electric vehicle fast charger that is at least 10 times smaller than existing systems and wastes 60% less power during the charging process, without sacrificing the charging time. The team is now building a version that is capable of charging vehicles... Details →

Bolivian state enterprise Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB) and the German company ACI Systems Alemania GmbH (ACISA) officially sealed their cooperation on the extraction and industrialization of lithium from Salar de Uyuni. Juan Carlos Montenegro, Head of YLB, and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schmutz, CEO of ACISA, signed a partnership agreement... Details →

Cabot Corporation partnering with Argonne, SAFT in DOE-funded project for development of low-cobalt cathodes

Cabot Corporation, a leading global specialty chemicals and performance materials company, has been selected by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to participate in an advanced vehicle technologies research project that is part of a large, $80-million funding package (earlier post). Cabot will leverage its novel process technology to contribute... Details →

Novel materials can considerably improve storage capacity and cycling stability of rechargeable batteries. Among these materials are high-entropy oxides (HEO), the stability of which results from a disordered distribution of the elements. With HEO, electrochemical properties can be tailored, as was found by scientists at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).... Details →

Volvo Cars and NVIDIA to develop AI-capable core computer for next-generation Volvo cars; looking toward autonomy

Volvo Cars and NVIDIA are partnering on the development of a highly advanced, AI-capable core computer for the next generation of Volvo cars. The core computer is based on NVIDIA’s DRIVE AGX Xavier technology and will allow Volvo Cars to implement an advanced computing platform for its new cars on... Details →

The third generation of the plug-in hybrid from Mercedes-Benz is due to be launched. (Earlier post.) The new S 560 e (combined fuel consumption: 2.6-2.5 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 59-57 g/km, combined electrical consumption: 20.2-20.0 kWh/100 km) can be ordered from today. The modified components and the intelligent powertrain... Details →

By 2022, Mercedes-Benz’ entire product range will be electrified. There will be electric alternatives in every segment from smart to SUV, with well in excess of 130 variants in total, ranging from 48-volt on-board electrical system with EQ Boost to plug-in-hybrids to all-electric vehicles with batteries or fuel cells. As... Details →

European Council agrees on 35% cut in new car CO2 by 2030

The European Council agreed on setting a target of a 35% average reduction in CO2 emissions form new cars by 2030. This position is a basis on which to begin talks with the European Parliament, which just came out with its own target of 40% by 2030 (earlier post). The... Details →

Study suggests air pollution may be linked to heightened mouth cancer risk; PM2.5 and ozone

High levels of air pollutants, especially fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and to a lesser extent, ozone, may be linked to a heightened risk of developing mouth cancer, suggests a study by a team of Taiwanese researchers. Their open-access paper is published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine. The number of... Details →

Trump directs EPA to begin rulemaking to allow E15 to be available year-round

President Trump has directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to begin a rulemaking process to expand the sale of ethanol to include E15 (15 vol% ethanol blend) year-round. Proponents of the move hope to have the rulemaking in place for the summer 2019 driving season. In 1978, a Clean Air... Details →

Novozymes introduces new yeast product for greater stress tolerance and better ethanol yields

Novozymes launched its next yeast technology, Innova Lift, for the starch-based ethanol industry. The product follows the launch earlier this year of an ambitious yeast platform, Innova, and the first product, Drive. We are continuing to deliver on our promise to quickly bring innovative yeast and enzymes to a market... Details →

Global clean energy investment was $67.8 billion in the third quarter of 2018, down 6% from the same period last year, according to the latest Clean Energy Investment Trends report from research company Bloomberg NEF (BNEF). The slip in the July-September quarter leaves clean energy investment for the year so... Details →

The FCA Melfi, Italy plant is beginning preparations to produce the Jeep Renegade Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) scheduled for market launch in early 2020. The Renegade PHEV will be produced alongside the Renegade and 500X full combustion engine products that are currently produced at the Melfi vehicle assembly plant.... Details →

SK Innovation to invest $354M to build Li-ion battery separator plant in China

SK Innovation will invest 400 billion won (US$353.8 million) to build a Li-ion battery separator plant in China. The plant is set to start commercial production in the third quarter of 2020 with an annual capacity of 340 million square meters of polymer lithium-ion battery separator (LiBS) and 130 million... Details →

Global Bioenergies reaches 87% of yield target in bio-isobutene process

Global Bioenergies has achieved a yield exceeding 87% of the final target during the complete production phase, at laboratory scale, of its bio-isobutene process. The productivity is also progressing quickly. Yield and productivity have reached a threshold meeting the expectations for profitable exploitation of the process at commercial scale for... Details →

Researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have successfully produced renewable methane from a biomass-based synthesis gas mixture in their pilot plant for methanation using a new honeycomb catalyst. The quality of this synthetic natural gas (SNG) is comparable to that of fossil natural gas and can be used... Details →

EMT, the transport company of the Spanish capital Madrid, is set to receive another 276 Mercedes-Benz Citaro NGT urban buses with natural gas drive in the next two years. This will be the fourth major order from Madrid in quick succession. EMT placed its first order two years ago for... Details →

FASTLinkDTLA, Downtown LA’s transportation management-focused public-private partnership, and Daimler’s moovel launched a new ridesharing pilot that will complement the city’s public transit network. To ensure the service is available to all and grows to meet the needs of the community, FlexLA will charge a reduced fare during the pilot. In... Details →

China team proposes method for converting liquid electrolyte into quasi-solid gel electrolyte for Li metal batteries

Researchers in China report that commercialized liquid electrolyte can be easily converted into a novel quasi-solid gel polymer electrolyte (GPE) via a simple and efficient in situ gelation strategy. The newly developed GPE exhibits elevated protective effects on Li metal anodes and has universality for diversified cathodes including, but not... Details →

NSF awards Saratoga Energy grant to advance production of carbon nanotubes from CO2 for batteries closer to market

Saratoga Energy has won a National Science Foundation grant to scale up its breakthrough process for generating low-cost, top quality carbon nanotubes from carbon dioxide for use in making high-performance Li-ion batteries, such as those used in electric vehicles, grid storage, and military and aerospace applications. The $723,000 Phase II... Details →

Rice University nanoscientists have demonstrated a new catalyst that can convert ammonia into hydrogen fuel at ambient pressure using only light energy, mainly due to a plasmonic effect that makes the catalyst more efficient. Their study, published in Science, describes new catalytic nanoparticles which are made mostly of copper with... Details →

EU-funded researchers have developed an innovative climate control system (CCS) that extends the range of electric vehicles while enhancing passenger comfort. At present a substantial amount of energy is required to run the CCS within electric vehicles, creating a major drain on the battery and limiting the range of the... Details →

New study finds gasoline stations vent up to 10x more benzene fumes than previously thought

A study led by environmental health scientists at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health examined the release of vapors from gasoline station vent pipes, and found benzene emissions were 10 times higher than estimates used in setback regulations that determine how close schools, playgrounds, and parks can be to... Details →

In Marysville, Ohio, Honda held a demonstration of its “Smart Intersection” technology for vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication designed to reduce traffic collisions at roadway intersections—one of the first such deployments of V2X technology in a real-world setting. Developed in partnership with the City of Marysville as part of the 33 Smart... Details →

Boeing- and JetBlue-backed Zunum Aero has selected Safran Helicopter Engines as the turbine provider for its hybrid electric commercial aircraft, which will be available in the early 2020s. (Earlier post.) Safran Helicopter Engines will provide a new generation engine turbine, the Ardiden 3Z to drive the Zunum ZA10’s electrical generator.... Details →

Petrochemicals—components derived from oil and gas that are used in all sorts of daily products such as plastics, fertilizers, packaging, clothing, digital devices, medical equipment, detergents and tires—are becoming the largest drivers of global oil demand, in front of cars, planes and trucks, according to a major study by the... Details →

All large-scale energy systems have environmental impacts, and the ability to compare the impacts of renewable energy sources is an important step in planning a future without coal or gas power. Extracting energy from the wind causes climatic impacts that are small compared to current projections of 21st century warming,... Details →

Volkswagen intends sales of 150K e-cars by 2020; 100K ID, ID SUV; >1M in 2025; more on MEB

Volkswagen intends to sell 150,000 e-cars—of which 100,000 will be the ID and ID SUV—by 2020, according to Thomas Ulbrich, Member of the Volkswagen Brand Board of Management, E-Mobility division. As one point of comparison, customers bought 54,451 Nissan LEAFs EVs in fiscal year 2017—a 15% increase from 47,423 a... Details →

Audi unveiled the newly developed Audi e-tron FE05 for the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. Because of the new electric racers’ greater range, the drivers will compete with only one race car for the first time. Since the batteries now have the capacity to last the entire 45-minute race distance,... Details →

In a joint project, the city of Wolfsburg, Volkswagen and Siemens are currently setting up a test section on a main road in Wolfsburg in which ten traffic signal systems will transmit the traffic light phases in the vicinity via the V2X technology WLANp (ITS-G5). In February, the Volkswagen Group... Details →

European Parliament proposes 40% cut in new car CO2 by 2030; acceleration of sales of electric and low-emission cars

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) approved a proposal which would set a higher target for reducing EU fleet-wide emissions for new cars by 2030 of 40% (compared to the EU Commission’s 30%; year of reference 2021) with an intermediate target of 20% by 2025. Similar targets are set for... Details →

Ford to launch new generation of Mondeo hybrid models in 2019; first Mondeo hybrid wagon

Ford will enhance the fuel-efficient Mondeo Hybrid gasoline-electric vehicle range—including the introduction of the first Mondeo Hybrid wagon variant—from 2019. The new Mondeo Hybrid wagon will enable customers who require greater load-carrying capability to benefit from the efficiency and refinement of an electric powertrain in many driving scenarios, while maintaining... Details →

BMW unveiled the new seventh-generation 3 Series at the Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris; market launch is from 9 March 2019. The new 3 Series powertrain technology offers higher output, greater pulling power and optimized efficiency. Six engine variants will be available from launch: four-cylinder gasoline models, four-cylinder diesels, ... Details →

DEUTZ AG and Manitou Group—a world leading OEM in rough-terrain handling equipment—are partnering on the electrification of the drive line. DEUTZ has incorporated prototype electric drives into Manitou equipment for the first time. Manitou Group, the first E-DEUTZ partner, has fitted one of its telehandlers with a hybrid drive and... Details →

Electrify America announced its next $200-million investment in Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure as well as education and awareness in California which is outlined in its Cycle 2 California ZEV Investment Plan submitted to the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Cycle 2 is a 30-month investment period, which begins in... Details →

Transportation sector stakeholders launch Veloz in California to accelerate adoption of EVs

In California, public and private stakeholders in the transportation sector launched a new organization—Veloz—to accelerate the adoption of EVs. Its first project, “Electric For All,” is the largest multi-stakeholder, multi-million dollar public awareness campaign in North America. Veloz also announced major commitments from utilities and Electrify America. Veloz members include:... Details →

Toyota Motor Corporation and SoftBank Corp. agreed to form a strategic partnership to facilitate the creation of new mobility services. The two plan to establish a joint venture company, MONET Technologies Corporation, before the end of the 2018 fiscal year (April 2019). The objective of MONET is to help realize... Details →