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Biofuel Companies Look Beyond the Gas Tank

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-10-17 09:30
This direction poses a problem for the Department of Energy, whose aim was to ignite the development of clean fuels, said Wallace E. Tyner, ...

Xcel Colorado Utility Completes $110M Gas Pipeline

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-10-17 09:30
... milestone" in Xcel's ongoing efforts to improve air quality in the state under the 2010 law and to meet federal greenhouse gas emissions standards.

Production Begins at Second US Cellulosic Biofuel Facility

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-10-17 09:18
And strong regional policies like the California Low Carbon Fuels Standard and related clean fuels policies in Oregon and Washington can accelerate ...

2015 Chevrolet Colorado - GMC Canyon

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-10-17 08:56
The former boasts segment-best 27 mpg EPA highway fuel economy, the latter (with a heavy-duty towing package) can tow a segment-best 7,000 ...

US <b>Fuel Economy</b> reaches all-time high.

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-10-17 08:56
Fuel economy has now increased in 8 of last 9 years. Average carbon dioxide emissions are also at record low of 369 g/mile in model year 2013.

2015 Subaru BRZ offers huge surprise in mpg marathon

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-10-17 08:33
This was an improvement of 53.1 percent over the official European combined fuel economy cycle. In doing so, the pair picked up second place in the ...

Researchers look at roads with asphalt-rubber mix

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-10-17 08:13
He said officials want to know if adding crumb rubber to asphalt will allow crews to meet Michigan's current air quality emissions standards. “They want ...

Eskom urged to comply with <b>air quality</b> legislation

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-10-17 08:11
“Today we are rolling out the green carpet for the National Air Quality Officer, because we believe that her decision to approve or deny Eskom's ...

World's most fuel efficient production car takes to Dublin streets

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-10-17 08:09
Its quirky looks - in particular those gullwing doors - brings a smile to faces, while the fuel economy stats provoke looks of disbelief and the odd ...

2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque: Around the Block

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-10-17 08:00
A new, nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the previous six-speed and improves both fuel economy and drivability. Fuel economy jumps by 1 ...

Möglicher Defekt: VW ruft eine halbe Million Autos in Deutschland und China zurück

Pipe: Europe - Fri, 2014-10-17 07:59
Die Sorgen einer chinesischen Behörde bringen den Autobauer VW dazu, mehr als eine halbe Million Autos in die Werkstätten zu holen. Die Aktion betrifft aber nicht nur China: Auch in Deutschland werden einige Tausend Beetle und Jetta zurückgerufen.

SAE International publishes revised SAE J2880 standard for recommended Green Racing protocols

Pipe: Advanced tech - Fri, 2014-10-17 07:00

SAE International has published the revised J2880_201406 Standard, superseding the older J2880_200810 Standard. The Department of Energy (DOE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and SAE International, along with partners and representatives from the motorsports industry, developed these protocols to be used by those automotive racing series who seek recognition as a Green Racing Series.

The Recommended Green Racing Protocols establish guidelines enabling motorsports competition to further develop technologies and fuels that respond to the current and future needs of on road vehicles, while they provide a sustainable future for motorsports worldwide. SAE J2880 aligns motorsports with evolving transportation demands, to promote and improve energy efficiency and diversity, and demonstrate environmental responsibility while supporting motorsport that is entertaining, exciting, cost effective and safe.

The SAE J2880:

  • Provides sanctioning bodies with recommendations to help them align competition rules with the objectives of sustainable transportation;

  • Supports environmentally responsible and sustainable technology that is transferable to production vehicles;

  • Promotes environmentally friendly operations of motorsports venues, competition events, and racing team facilities; and

  • Assists sanctioning bodies in the establishing a roadmap to increase green initiatives.

The elements of J2880 identify a range of technologies, fuels and operational procedures that support development of a sustainable future for both motorsports and personal mobility, and organizes them into a matrix of five Green Racing elements and four levels of commitment within each element. These elements are:

  • Propulsion systems
  • Fuel/Energy Carriers
  • Energy Recovery
  • Improved Efficiency
  • Emission Reduction

Within each element there are four possible levels of commitment, i.e., Core, Enhanced, Elevated, and Pinnacle, which is the highest level of Green Racing commitment.

Since 2008, The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), in a partnership with, EPA, DOE, and SAE, promote the development and use of alternative technologies and renewable fuels in the motorsports industry.

Ward's 10 Best Engines Spec Sheet: Hyundai Sonata Eco 1.6L Turbo

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-10-17 06:52
Sport mode is more fun, with transmission shift points coming at higher RPM, but fuel economy is bound to suffer. So then the question is, does this ...

Motor Mouth: Not everyone is rejoicing falling gas prices

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-10-17 06:07
This last is particularly pertinent because, countering a trend of steady increases in the average fuel economy of new cars purchased in the United ...

Study finds New York would benefit from proposed new coal standards

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Fri, 2014-10-17 06:07
This summer, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed new emissions standards for coal-fired power plants. They would reduce emissions by ...

Shanghai GM to be first automaker to introduce 4G LTE service in China

Pipe: Advanced tech - Fri, 2014-10-17 06:00

Shanghai General Motors will become the first automaker in China to offer embedded 4G LTE services in its vehicles. The first Shanghai GM offering to be equipped with OnStar 4G LTE will be a Cadillac model in 2015.

The high-speed data service is made possible by a new OnStar 4G LTE connection in the vehicle. Deployment of OnStar 4G LTE connectivity technology will provide improved OnStar safety and security services and new features such as a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. It will be the most comprehensive in-vehicle safety and connectivity system available in China, the company said. Shanghai GM expects to announce its 4G LTE carrier partner in the coming months.

The built-in OnStar 4G LTE system is specifically designed for in-vehicle use, as it is integrated into the vehicle’s electrical system and includes an external antenna to maximize coverage and connectivity. Customers will not be required to have a smartphone to use connected services.

Existing OnStar services include Automatic Crash Response, Turn-by-Turn Navigation and On-Demand Diagnostics. A 4G LTE connection enhances the speed and performance of these services, in addition to introducing new features such as Wi-Fi.

With mobile data speeds up to 10 times faster than today’s speeds, increased responsiveness, and the ability to support simultaneous voice and data connections, a built-in 4G LTE connection will enable advances in a wide range of in-vehicle communication and entertainment capabilities.

GM has made a global commitment to embed OnStar 4G LTE technology in millions of vehicles across its brands around the world, starting with the US and Canada in 2014, and Europe and China in 2015. GM says that no other automaker is putting the technology into as many vehicles in as many segments.

The pairing of OnStar with high-speed mobile broadband will serve as a platform for future innovations in traffic, safety and customer care.

Siemens integrates EV motor and inverter in single housing; common cooling and SKiN

Pipe: Advanced tech - Fri, 2014-10-17 06:00

Siemens has developed a solution for integrating an electric car's motor and inverter in a single housing. Click to enlarge.

Siemens has developed a solution for integrating an electric car’s motor and inverter in a single housing. The motor and the inverter, part of the power electronics which converts the battery’s direct current into alternating current for the motor, have up to now been two separate components. The new integrated drive unit saves space, reduces weight, and cuts costs.

The solution’s key feature is the use of a common cooling system for both components. This ensures that the inverter’s power electronics don’t get too hot despite their proximity to the electric motor, and so prevents any reduction in output or service life.

Because range is a decisive criterion for purchasing an electric car, automakers are always striving to reduce vehicle weight. This was also the aim of the Siemens engineers. Their idea was to integrate the inverter into the motor, as this would reduce weight because only a single housing would be needed.

In addition, it would create six to seven liters of additional installation space, which could be used for a charging unit, for example. Integration would also eliminate the costs of wiring the motor to the inverter and fewer assembly steps would be needed to produce the vehicle.

Siemens developed the integrated drive unit—Sivetec MSA 3300—on the basis of a series electric motor. The engineers adapted the housing in such a way that the inverter could be integrated into the motor.

One problem they faced was the heat generated by the electric motor. At high temperatures, the output of the IGBT modules—the high-performance semiconductors that convert the battery’s current into alternating current—has to be limited. For this reason, inverters in electric cars always have their own cooling system.

A key feature of the integrated drive unit was therefore the creation of a special cooling water system around the motor and inverter. The coolest water first flows around very thermally sensitive components such as the IGBT modules and the intermediate circuit capacitor, after which it is led into the motor’s cooling jacket.

The water flow system is designed in such a way that a kind of water screen is created between the inverter electronics and the motor. As a result, it thermally isolates the two units from one another.

Another component of the overall solution is the very robust power modules featuring SkiN technology. Introduced in 2011 by power electronics leader Semikron, SKiN technology comprises the consistent application of sintering technology on all material combinations significant to load-cycling in a power module—i.e., sintered compositions replace all soldering and bond connections. When thermal load fluctuates, the electrical contact between the chip and the bonding wire is a weak point of semiconductor components.

(Siemens began collaborating more closely with Semikron on automotive power electronics in 2013, and took over Semikron subsidiary VePOINT. VePOINT developed power electronic components and systems, based on Semikron SKiN technology, specifically for the hybrid and electric vehicle market. (Earlier post.)

SKiN flex layers allow an increase of about 25% surge current in the power module due to the sintered layer on the chip tops. Compared to conventional power modules, the additional performance allows an approximate doubling of the current density. Excellent thermal and electrical properties of the sintered layers increase the module lifetime up to tenfold, Semikron says.

If, in addition, the DCB substrate is sintered directly onto the heatsink, the thermal resistance to the heatsink is reduced drastically over traditional interface materials—such as thermal pastes or foils. This decreases the thermal resistance Rth[j-a] between the semiconductor chip and coolant by up 30%, which enables a power increase or a reduction in volume by up to 35%.

Top: Comparison of standard connection technology (solder/bonding) and SKiN technology. SkiN is a bonding technology that connects the surface of the semiconductor chip without requiring bonding wire. When the thermal load fluctuates, the electrical contact between the chip and the bonding wire is a weak point of semiconductor components.

Bottom: Comparison of the partial thermal transfer resistances in a standard module and a SKiN power module with sintered heatsink. Click to enlarge.

The integrated motor/inverter concept’s feasibility has already been demonstrated in a lab under the typical load curves and operating conditions of an electric motor in an automobile. Siemens said that the industry has expressed interest in Sivetec MSA 3300, and the system was recently nominated for the eCarTec Award 2014, which is the Bavarian State Award for Electric and Hybrid Mobility.

BMW car hire scheme to rival London’s ‘Boris Bikes’

Pipe: Europe - Fri, 2014-10-17 05:57
BMW will launch a four-wheeled rival to the ‘Boris Bike’, when its grab-and-go car hire scheme launches in London by early 2015.

EU-Vorgabe: Bundestag senkt Lkw-Maut

Pipe: Europe - Fri, 2014-10-17 05:34
Der Bundestag hat eine Senkung der Lkw-Maut beschlossen. Ab 2015 verringert sich die Abgabe für Lastwagen gemäß einer Vorgabe der EU. Nun will Berlin die gebührenpflichtigen Strecken ausweiten.

MCT Engineering chooses Mitsubishi plug-in hybrids

Pipe: Europe - Fri, 2014-10-17 05:27
A Northamptonshire engineering company that works with the world of Formula One has gone green with three new Mitsubishi plug-in hybrid vehicles.