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US: senators give alternative fuel research program another try

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Thu, 2015-05-21 03:07
While the governments of the world have been hard at work imposing new, tougher emissions and fuel economy standards, the consumers have not ...

Airbus says Brexit would pose 'huge' risks

Pipe: Europe - Thu, 2015-05-21 02:27

European aerospace giant Airbus has weighed into a debate about Britain's future in Europe, warning of job losses and "huge" economic risks if the country votes to leave the European Union in a referendum to be held by 2017.


Honda Begins Sales of All-new Gasoline-powered "JADE RS", New Addition to the JADE Lineup

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Thu, 2015-05-21 02:00
Moreover, top-in-class level(4) fuel economy of 18.0km/liter (JC08 mode) was realized by enabling the engine to maintain and expand its fuel efficient ...

Autogramm Peugeot 208: Zähnchen zeigen

Pipe: Europe - Thu, 2015-05-21 00:03
Die Baureihe Peugeot 208 verkauft sich prima, entsprechend dezent wurde das Auto jetzt überarbeitet. Immerhin gibt es nun ein brauchbares Automatikgetriebe - und ein wirklich witziges Design-Detail.

The world's best sports car? Chevy Corvette ZO6 review

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Thu, 2015-05-21 00:01
The ZO6's EPA fuel economy rating of 15 m.p.g. in the city, 22 on the highway and 18 combined is impressive. It's the most powerful car in its class, but ...

Obama Recasts Climate Change as a More Far-Reaching Peril

Pipe: Climate and Health - Thu, 2015-05-21 00:00
In planned remarks to graduating Coast Guard cadets, the president describes climate change as an environmental issue with large economic and security implications.

One-third of Kiwis feel judged by the car they drive

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-05-20 23:45
They are also most likely to buy a car based on fuel economy (80 per cent) and to prioritise technology features over safety features (25 per cent).

newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for May 20, 2015.

Pipe: Advanced tech - Wed, 2015-05-20 17:47
ARB Newsclips for May 20, 2015.

Eidesvik Viking Queen retrofitted with 650 kWh energy storage system for hybrid system; 18% fuel savings; ThinkGlobal connection

Pipe: Advanced tech - Wed, 2015-05-20 15:53

Eidesvik is retrofitting its offshore support vessel (OSV) Viking Queen with a 650 kWh, 1600 kW energy storage system. The Viking Queen is the first OSV to get such a system installed as a retrofit solution. The agreement is made possible through targeted cooperation between Lundin Norway AS which has the vessel on hire; ZEM AS, the supplier of the system; and Eidesvik.

Viking Queen.

ZEM is partnering with electric drive technology company Nidec ASI in this project. ZEM was founded in 2009 by Jan Olaf Willums, former CEO of EV company ThinkGlobal (earlier post), and Salman Farmanfarmaian to create a hub for battery-related knowledge and to pursue opportunities in the electric maritime, mobility and microgrid storage markets. ZEM’s technology development is led by Egil Mollestad, the former CTO of Think.

Eidesvik said the commercialization of the technology is now possible much because of the R&D project FellowSHIP, in which the partners have worked with battery technology for 5 years.

Use of the energy storage system will result in a fuel saving of approx. 18% for the vessel from the hybrid system. Further, NOx and greenhouse gas (CO2e) emission levels will be reduced by approximately 25%.

In addition to the agreement for energy storage system, Lundin Norway AS and Eidesvik have agreed an extension of the vessel’s contract.

Volvo Showcases All-New XC90

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-05-20 15:52
ECO – Fuel economy conscious drive that activates the eco-coast feature when releasing the throttle above 40 mph. The climate settings change ...

arbcombo -- Notice of Public Availability of Modified Text ~ Cap and Trade Regulation

Pipe: Advanced tech - Wed, 2015-05-20 15:46
The California Air Resources Board has posted the 15-day Notice of Public Availability of Modified Text and Availability of Additional Documents for the Amendments to the California Cap on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Market-Based Compliance Mechanisms.

2016 Honda Pilot reinvents mainstream 8 passenger SUV

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-05-20 15:30
Offering greater standard features, superior passive and active safety technology, improved fuel economy and class leading aerodynamic body styling.

Connecticut providing up to $3K cash rebate for buyers of BEVs, FCEVs, and PHEVs while funding lasts

Pipe: Advanced tech - Wed, 2015-05-20 14:45

Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced the Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate Program (CHEAPR). Under this new initiative, a cash rebate of up to $3,000 is now available for Connecticut residents, businesses, and municipalities who purchase or lease an eligible electric vehicle (EV). EVs covered by CHEAPR include battery electric (BEV), fuel cell (FCEV), and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles.

CHEAPR rebates are being offered at three levels:

  • The maximum $3,000 rebate is available for vehicles with a battery capacity of 18 kWh or greater of for any fuel cell electric vehicle. Vehicles in this category include the Nissan Leaf, VW e-Golf, Ford Focus Electric, BMW i3, and Mercedes Benz B class.

  • A $1,500 rebate is available for vehicles with a batter capacity of seven to 18 kWH. Vehicles in this category include the Chevy Volt, Ford C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi.

  • A $750 rebate is available for vehicles with a battery capacity of less than 7 kWH, such as the 2015 model year Toyota Prius Plug-In.

Rebates will be available until the $1 million in funding is distributed to consumers. If additional funding becomes available, the program may be extended.

Funds for the CHEAPR pilot program, which is being administered through the EVConnecticut program, come from $1 million that was made available to the state as a result of an agreement that allowed for the merger of Northeast Utilities and NSTAR. The merger of those companies, now known as Eversource Energy, was completed on 12 April 2012.

The CHEAPR program will also help Connecticut achieve the goals of the eight-state, bi-coastal Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Action Plan designed to put 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025.

According to R.L. Polk and Company, there are 2,754 EVs currently registered in Connecticut.

In addition to CHEAPR rebates, consumers can take advantage of a Federal Income Tax Credit to help drive down the cost of purchasing a new plug-in electric vehicle. The credit ranges from $2,500 to $7,500, based on the battery capacity of the vehicle.

Marchionne Says 2018 Jeep Wrangler Won't Be All-Aluminum

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-05-20 14:33
Some rumors floating around in the last year or so indicated an aluminum-intensive plan would be the best way to improve the Jeep's fuel economy.

MARAD to award up to $750K for projects demonstrating emissions reduction on ships

Pipe: Advanced tech - Wed, 2015-05-20 14:16

Under a newly-issued RFP (DTMA91R1500012) the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) will award up to $750,000 for projects that demonstrate the use of exhaust gas cleaning systems (i.e. scrubbers) or Tier III-compliant selective catalytic reduction on marine vessels with Category 3 engines.

MARAD will provide cost-share funding for US-flagged vessels that operate on coastal waterways, the Great Lakes, or in international waters.

Eligible applicants include vessel owners, operators, or sponsors. The awardee(s) will be required to conduct emissions testing at three distinct intervals to verify the efficacy of the technology on criteria pollutant emission reduction.

Data must be made available to MARAD and can be used publically.

For projects that focus on scrubber installation, only closed-loop, hybrid (i.e. can be used as open loop or closed), or dry scrubbers will be funded.

2015 Ram EcoDiesel Review

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-05-20 13:37
Those of us who have experienced the fuel economy of diesel engines in cars such as the Jetta TDI have long wondered: What would it be like to have ...

Google iLUC alert: FEDIOL – EU Vegetable Oil and Protienmea : Commission recognises that Mandatory...

ICCT ILUC - Wed, 2015-05-20 12:57
...occurrence of iLUC. As far as the indirect land-use change emissions are concerned, iLUC is driven by the ... 161 publications on iLUC and concluded by consensus that iLUC science is inconclusive and unable to...

Fiat Chrysler CEO Indicates Toledo May Be Close to Winning New Wrangler

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-05-20 12:41
Switching to aluminum would help reduce weight and increase fuel economy, but the material is more difficult to work and requires a revamp of the ...

Sandia researchers demonstrate thermoelectric behavior in a MOF

Pipe: Advanced tech - Wed, 2015-05-20 12:12

Sandia National Laboratories researchers, with colleagues at the University of Virginia, have made the first measurements of thermoelectric behavior by a nanoporous metal-organic framework (MOF), a development that could lead to an entirely new class of materials for such applications as cooling computer chips and cameras and energy harvesting. “These results introduce MOFs as a new class of thermoelectric materials that can be tailored and optimized,” said Sandia physicist François Léonard.

This work, published in a paper in the journal Advanced Materials, builds on previous research in which the Sandia team realized electrical conductivity in MOFs by infiltrating the pores with a molecule known as tetracyanoquinodimethan (TCNQ), as described in a 2013 paper in Science (Talin et al. 2013). (Earlier post.)

Molecular cluster calculations indicate that TCNQ can bind to two Cu(II) dimer units within the MOF pores, and a partial charge transfer of ≈0.3 e− between the TCNQ and the framework was estimated by infrared and Raman spectroscopic measurements. Temperature dependent conductivity measurements indicated hopping carrier transport with a very low activation energy of ≈0.04 eV. The creation of an electrical conductor from the insulating Cu3 (BTC)2 framework immediately raises the question: could this conducting Guest@MOF material be technologically useful? One application for which the unique combination of properties of conducting MOFs and Guest@MOFs could be advantageous is thermoelectricity.—Erickson et al.

The Sandia team found that not only is the TCNQ-filled MOF material thermoelectric but the efficiency of its temperature conversion approaches that of the best conducting materials such as bismuth telluride, said Sandia senior scientist Mark Allendorf.

The researchers also gained a fundamental understanding of the charge transport properties of these novel materials that furthers the long-range goal of molding MOFs into electronic and optoelectronic devices.

MOFs have a crystalline structure consisting of rigid organic molecules linked together by metal ions. The hybrid of inorganic and organic components produces an unusual combination of properties: nanoporosity, ultra-large surface areas and remarkable thermal stability, which are attractive to chemists seeking novel materials. The empty space framed by the organic molecules and metal ions can be filled with practically any small molecule a chemist chooses.

We describe this concept as Guest@MOF, with the guest being practically any molecule small enough to fit in the MOF pores. The great thing about chemistry is you can synthesize a wide variety of molecules to be inserted inside a MOF to change its properties. In optimizing materials, this gives you a lot of knobs to turn.—Alec Talin, a materials scientist at Sandia

The researchers had to devise a method to measure the thermoelectric properties of TCNQ@MOF, where TCNQ was the guest molecule. They created a thermoelectric device by connecting Peltier heaters and coolers to each end of a thin film of TCNQ@MOF to generate a tiny temperature gradient. They then accurately measured the temperature gradient with an infrared camera while simultaneously measuring the generated voltage. From these data they obtained the Seebeck coefficient—i.e., the measure of the magnitude of an induced thermoelectric voltage in response to a temperature difference as induced by the Seebeck effect.

Patrick Hopkins, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Virginia, and his graduate student Brian M. Foley used a laser technique to measure the thermal conductivity.

The resulting measurements showed great promise. TCNQ@MOF has a high Seebeck coefficient and low thermal conductivity, two important properties for efficient thermoelectricity. The Seebeck coefficient was in the same range as bismuth telluride, one of the top solid-state thermoelectric materials.

The measurements also captured data that has advanced the team’s fundamental understanding of the TCNQ@MOF electronic structure. Sandia physicist Catalin Spataru and materials scientist Mike Foster conducted detailed electronic structure calculations of TCNQ@MOF and Sandia materials scientist Reese Jones performed thermal conductivity simulations.

The simulations allowed the researchers to verify the source of the charge transport and establish that TCNQ@MOFs is a p-type material. Applications such as transistors and diodes require semiconductors of both p-type and n-type.

We’re now looking for a molecule that in combination with a MOF creates an n-type semiconductor with similar properties to TCNQ@MOF. Once we find that, we’ll be at the early stage of creating a full thermoelectric device.—François Léonard

The researchers are now improving the thermoelectric efficiency of TCNQ@MOF. One avenue is to change the MOF films from the polycrystalline structures used in the initial research to single-crystal.

A unified structure should conduct electricity better. However, we believe the interfaces between the polycrystal grains contribute to the low thermal conductivity. So the best energy conversion efficiency will likely be achieved by balancing these two parameters.—Sandia chemist Vitalie Stavila

The researchers are also turning their thermoelectric measurement technique to other MOFs and materials, such as carbon nanotube thin films.


  • Erickson, K. J., Léonard, F., Stavila, V., Foster, M. E., Spataru, C. D., Jones, R. E., Foley, B. M., Hopkins, P. E., Allendorf, M. D. and Talin, A. A. (2015), “Thin Film Thermoelectric Metal–Organic Framework with High Seebeck Coefficient and Low Thermal Conductivity” Adv. Mater. doi: 10.1002/adma.201501078

  • A.A. Talin, A. Centrone, A.C. Ford, M.E. Foster,V. Stavila, P. Haney, R.A. Kinney, V. Szalai, F. El Gabaly, H.P. Yoon, F. Léonard and M.D. Allendorf (2013) “Tunable electrical conductivity in metal-organic framework thin-film devices,” Science doi: 10.1126/science.1246738

CFA: Auto makers show spotty success for CAFE goals

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-05-20 11:49
WASHINGTON—Overall 2015 results for corporate average fuel economy show improvement, but individual auto makers show significant variation in ...