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newsclips -- Newsclips for October 20, 2014

Pipe: Advanced tech - Mon, 2014-10-20 15:52
This is a service of the California Air Resources Board s Office of Communications.

Nissan will reportedly unveil a new Titan pickup next year

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-20 15:07
Late this year, Ford will bring its new aluminum-body F-150 to market with engines that could push the truck's highway fuel-economy to more than 25 ...

How a Koch-Funded Group Attacking <b>Clean Fuels</b> Standards Flubs the Math

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-20 15:03
The calculations in the study demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of the Clean Fuels Standard. Their estimates assume the oil industry is ...

Open Letter to the European Council, by Orgalime

Pipe: Homepage Latest Headlines - Mon, 2014-10-20 14:50

President, Hon. Heads of State and Members of the European Council,

Orgalime, the European engineering industries association, whose members’ annual turnover is some 1800 billion euro and which employ over 10 million staff in the EU, is writing to you to urge you to adopt of an integrated European 2030 Energy and Climate Change Framework at the occasion of the European Council meeting on 23/24 October 2014.

Such a decision is urgently needed to encourage investments into innovative areas of cutting edge technologies that will pave the way towards Europe´s future low carbon, energy efficient economy with higher levels of energy independence, greater security of supply and overall sustainability of the energy system.

We believe that a binding EU 40% lead carbon target, coupled with EU-level commitments for energy efficiency and renewable energy sources beyond 2020, will provide a new impetus for sustainable growth and jobs in Europe and will overall boost the competitiveness of EU industry.

We particularly welcome the fact that the Commission has now closed the gap in its initial 2030 Framework proposal with a 30% energy efficiency target*, which we consider as both, feasible and reasonable, provided that the right instruments for implementation are put into place.

Indeed, if Europe wishes to deliver on its carbon target, control energy prices, increase the integration of renewables into its energy system and become world leader in this area, action inevitably needs to go hand in hand with energy efficiency and the development of an integrated energy system, including interconnected infrastructures. Increasing the efficiency of equipment, which is often reaching its technical limits, will not suffice. The challenge is to better exploit the energy savings potentials at system and market level, which requires a future energy retail model that facilitates greater involvement of energy end users and distributed generation in a truly consumer-centric, competitive energy market.

This can only be achieved through instruments, such as the governance process, the Energy Efficiency and Energy Performance of Buildings Directives rather than through further product regulation under the Ecodesign Directive or its pending review, which risks breaking today´s delicate balance between cost efficiency, environmental improvement, product functionality and affordability.

To conclude, we call upon European regulators to set in place a robust 2030 Energy and Climate Change Framework in support of the EU´s Industrial Policy, and particularly the overall aim to reach a 20% share of
manufacturing output in the EU’s GDP by 2020.

Considering the international dimension of this debate, we encourage the EU to make the necessary efforts to obtain a global and legally binding climate agreement at the UN-FCCC in Paris in 2015. It is essential that other regions of the world show a comparable degree of ambition and take similar action.

Yours faithfully,

Sandro Bonomi

President, Orgalime

* Previously, Orgalime felt that a 40% energy efficiency target should be set considering the 2050 perspective. We consider the suggested
30% as a step in the right direction, which should be supported, while we ask for maintaining a forward looking, proactive attitude.

Russland: Sturer Falschparker wird zum Helden

Pipe: Europe - Mon, 2014-10-20 14:31
Konstantin Altuchow wollte einfach nicht einsehen, dass sein Auto in Moskau abgeschleppt wird. Deshalb ging er am Steuer seines Wagens in Sitzstreik - 22 Stunden lang. Seine Aktion hat eine hitzige Debatte ausgelöst.

Scootin' and savin' gas on 3 cylinders with Ford Fiesta (Video)

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-20 13:48
This little hatch further surprises as fun to drive with a solid build and attractive, ergonomic interior. Fuel economy is about as good as it gets for all-gas ...

Denmark's plan to offset transport emissions sparks EU row

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-20 13:26
... take a carbon price of €271 between 2020-2030 to achieve the same fuel economy standards as with a legally-binding target like the 2021 one.

Runners Brave 'Hazardous' Smog During Beijing

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-20 13:26
China is infamous for its air pollution, which is caused by a combination of coal plants and car exhaust. The pollution led to marathon great Haile ...

KOSLOV: Vote YES for Proposition 1

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-20 13:26
In addition, fuel economy continues to improve; drivers are using less fuel, paying less in fuel taxes and, therefore, contributing less to the State ...

Denmark's plan to offset transport emissions sparks EU row

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-20 13:26
... backs these concerns, finding that it would take a carbon price of €271 between 2020-2030 to achieve the same fuel economy standards as with a ...

NIMS team develops new magnetic compound with lower neodymium content

Pipe: Advanced tech - Mon, 2014-10-20 13:24

A research group led by Dr. Kazuhiro Hono at Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) has synthesized a new magnetic compound which requires a lower amount of rare earth element than the currently used neodymium iron boron compound.

The ratio of neodymium, iron and nitrogen in the new compound (NdFe12N is 1:12:1). Its neodymium concentration is 17% of the entire mass compared to 27% for the neodymium iron boron compound known as Nd2Fe14B, the main component used in the strongest permanent magnets. Furthermore, the intrinsic hard magnetic properties of the new material were found to be superior to those of Nd2Fe14B.

In particular, the Curie temperature of the new compound is higher than that of Nd2Fe14B by 200 ˚C. This feature is particularly attractive for the application to traction motors of hybrid and pure electric vehicles, where the operation temperature exceeds 150 ˚C. The results of this research are published in Scripta Materialia.

Temperature dependent anisotropy field and magnetization of the new NdFe12Nx compound. For comparison, the values of Nd2Fe14B compound are also shown. Source: NIMS. Click to enlarge.

Neodymium permanent magnets are the strongest magnets used in many industrial applications such as hard disk drives, cell phones, hybrid electric vehicles and wind turbines. Recently, their usage is increasing rapidly due to the growth of the production of hybrid and electric vehicles.

Rare earth elements such as neodymium and dysprosium are essential components of these magnets. Since China dominates the production of rare earth metals, there is some concern regarding the stable supply of rare earth elements for the increasing demand of these magnets. This has led to worldwide intensive research to reduce the content of rare earth elements in high-performance permanent magnets (e.g., earlier post, earlier post).

The neodymium permanent magnet, invented by Dr. Masato Sagawa in 1982, is composed of the Nd2Fe14B compound and some minor nonmagnetic components. No magnetic compound has been able to challenge this compound during the last 32 years.

A different type of magnetic compound, NdFe11TiN, has been known to exist in the long history of rare earth permanent magnet research. However, the alloying of the non-magnetic Ti was necessary to stabilize this compound, causing its magnetic properties to be inferior to those of Nd2Fe14B; therefore, not much attention has been paid to it.

Since the compound becomes unstable without Ti, no one has succeeded in synthesizing it only with magnetic elements. In this new study, the NdFe12N compound was synthesized successfully without non-magnetic Ti.

The NdFe12Nx compound with a ThMn12 structure (space group I4/mmm) was successfully synthesized by nitriding an NdFe12 layer grown on a W underlayer on a single-crystalline MgO(001) substrate. The c-axis expanded from 0.480 to 0.492 nm while the a-axis showed a slight contraction from 0.852 to 0.849 nm after the nitriding. Excellent intrinsic hard magnetic properties of μ0Ms ≈ 1.66 ± 0.08 T, μ0Ha ≈ 8 T, and Tc ≈ 550 °C, which are superior to those of Nd2Fe14B, were obtained.—Hirayama et al.

The NdFe12 thin film was grown on a tungsten layer using a sputtering method, and then the NdFe12N was obtained by nitriding the NdFe12 layer. The small lattice misfit with the tungsten layer made the growth of the unstable NdFe12N compound possible. Although the compound was processed in the form of a thin film, they found it can be grown to the thickness of 350 nm.

Looking ahead, the team will seek to establish a processing route to synthesize a large quantity of powders of this compound and to manufacture bulk magnets.

This research was performed at the Elements Strategy Initiative Center for Magnetic Materials (ESICMM), which was established at NIMS in the scheme of Elements Strategy Initiative Project by MEXT, Japan. The work was in part supported by the Japan Science and Technology Agency, CREST.


  • Y. Hirayama, Y.K. Takahashi, S. Hirosawa, K. Hono (2014) “NdFe12Nx hard-magnetic compound with high magnetization and anisotropy field,” Scripta Materialia doi: 10.1016/j.scriptamat.2014.10.016

Running on empty: How we drove 834 (smelly) miles on an Audi's single tank

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-20 13:15
When I evaluate a car, I look for fuel economy first, which is why I've been a Prius owner since 2006. I hate spending money on gas. My daily driving ...

Navitas Systems receives $1.55M contract for 2nd-gen 6T Li-ion battery; double energy density, +50% power density

Pipe: Advanced tech - Mon, 2014-10-20 12:54

Alion Science and Technology Corporation has awarded Navitas Systems LLC a contract worth up to $1.55 million to develop a next-generation lithium ion “6T” battery system for use in military applications, with a focus on ground combat vehicle applications. (Earlier post.)

Currently, there are three companies funded by Alion to develop a first-generation lithium 6T Battery: Navitas Systems, Saft (earlier post), and Eagle Picher. Navitas is the first, and so far the only, company to be awarded an additional contract for the development of a second-generation Li-ion 6T battery. Navitas Systems will leverage the award to enhance the capabilities of its current Ultanium Military 6T Battery by significantly increasing the energy and power density over the current first generation lithium version.

The first-generation Ultanium 6T battery will be undergoing testing by the United States Army by the fourth quarter this year, with production scheduled for mid-2015 conditioned on a successful test outcome.

The lithium iron phosphate first-generation Ultanium 6T battery is available in 24V and 12V models, and is approximately 40% lighter than lead-acid batteries of equivalent capacity.

The 24V version is targeted to the 24V electrical systems of military vehicles. The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (“JLTV”) is targeted to replace a portion of the Army and Marine Corps’ Humvee fleets, and Lockheed Martin, AM General, and Oshkosh Defense are vying for the production contract. The JLTV is the first United States military vehicle to include in its specifications the use of lithium-ion 6T batteries.

The 12V version can be used in either military or in commercial starting/deep cycle applications. Earlier this year, prototypes of the Ultanium 6T 12 volt battery underwent successful hot and cold weather testing on commercial Class 8 highway delivery trucks in a project funded by the US Army TARDEC and CALSTART.

Ragone plot show’s TARDEC’s goals for Gen 1 and Gen 2 Li-ion 6T batteries compared to lead-acid 6T. Source: TARDEC. Click to enlarge.

For the second generation, Navitas is tasked with improving upon the 6T battery platform for use in high demand environments. TARDEC’s (US Army Tank Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center) goal for the second-generation is to double the energy density of the Gen 1 6T Li-ion batteries from 80 Wh/kg to >160Wh/kg and to increase power density by 50%.

The goal is to develop a battery that will enable high efficiency to vehicles that spend extended time with engines idling to power onboard electronics. Navitas will be developing both the cell and pack technology for the second-generation Ultanium 6T lithium ion battery. In addition, Navitas plans to commercialize the cell for dual-use applications.

The features of the new technology will ultimately address long cycle and calendar life, high charge acceptance rate, reduced weight and an intelligent battery management system designed to maximize the performance of the overall system. The Ultanium 6T Generation II battery will be designed and assembled in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The standard battery for the Unites States and many NATO ground combat vehicles, is the 6T battery which has to-date been based on lead acid chemistry. For example, a HUMVEE vehicle has two 6T batteries, and an Abrams tank can have from six to twelve 6T batteries.

In early 2012, Navitas acquired the Government Solutions Group of lithium-ion battery manufacturer A123 Systems, which introduced a Military 6T Battery in February 2012.


Obama To Delay Major Climate Regulations Until After The Election

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-20 12:30
“We urge you and your administration to build on this legacy by announcing enforceable national methane emissions standards for new and existing ...

Advocacy Group Says That <b>Fuel Economy</b> Is America's #1 Criteria When Shopping For A New Car

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-20 12:14
But according to a new study from the American Chemistry Council, the thing at the top of most shopper's must-have list is good fuel-economy.

China's smoking run

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-20 11:56
Air quality has long been an issue of concern in Beijing. In the weeks leading up to the 2008 Olympic Games, factories were closed and road traffic ...

Coates International, Ltd. Executives at US Pentagon Meeting

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-20 11:11
Passed emissions standards and was registered for use on US roads. This engine was retrofitted in 1993 and is still operational today. No servicing ...

Looking forward to 2017 greenhouse gas standards

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-20 11:11
... Administration (NHTSA), on behalf of the Department of Transportation, initiated the strong federal greenhouse gas and fuel economy program.

Coates International, Ltd. Executives at US Pentagon Meeting

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2014-10-20 11:03
Passed emissions standards and was registered for use on US roads. This engine was retrofitted in 1993 and is still operational today. No servicing w ...

Autogramm Ford Mondeo: Hätte, hätte, Fertigungskette

Pipe: Europe - Mon, 2014-10-20 10:42
Er hätte die Mittelklasse aufmischen können - wäre er wie beabsichtigt vor zwei Jahren fertig gewesen: Aber Probleme bei der Produktion des neuen Mondeo verhagelten Ford den Plan. Trotzdem bietet der Wagen ein paar Überraschungen.