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Carbon-Pollution Levels Have Fallen Since 2005 but Remain a Critical Issue

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:18
... in the use of renewable energy, improvements in vehicle fuel economy, and increases in the efficiencies of appliances and industrial processes.

Maxwell Technologies introduces 24V ultracap-based Engine Start Modules for off-road and industrial equipment

Pipe: Advanced tech - Wed, 2015-04-22 09:00

Maxwell Technologies, Inc. is introducing two 24-volt versions of its ultracapacitor-based Engine Start Module (ESM). (Earlier post.) The new higher voltage ESM is suited for improving equipment uptime and power reliability in buses and industrial vehicles such as cranes, backhoes, bulldozers, graders, pavers, off-road trucks, portable compressors and others with diesel engines. The 24-volt ESM enables vehicles to start and operate reliably in the face of cold weather and infrequent starting.

There are two models of the 24-volt ESM: the ULTRA 31/900/24V for starting diesel engines up to 12.5 liters, and the ULTRA 31/1100/24V for engines up to 15.0 liters. Both are packaged in BCI Group 31 form factor.

The two 24V products are basically an extension of the existing 12 V engine start products. We rearranged the connection of the ultracapacitors inside the same Group 31 form factor to provide from 24 volts up to 28.5 volts to the starter, based on temperature. There’s an internal DC/DC converter, and a computer board that monitors battery input voltage, the temperature, and adjusts the output voltage. —Jeff Brakley, senior business portfolio manager at Maxwell The two models of the Maxwell 24-volt, ultracapacitor-based ESM will be generally available in May. The third terminal connects to the starter solenoid. Click to enlarge.

When subjected to extended periods of non-use or low temperatures, diesel engines are often difficult to start. As with Maxwell’s 12-volt ESM, the 24-volt product completely takes over the engine cranking and starting function by remaining fully charged, even if battery voltage drops significantly. Maxwell’s 24-volt ESM cranks and starts an engine when batteries can’t.

Unlike the 12V ESMs, the 24V system will largely be an OEM play, Brakley explained. The 12V product goes into a battery box in a truck that has from two to four 12V lead acid batteries to provide power for starting and other loads. In that situation, the Maxwell 12V ESM can simply replace one of the existing 12V batteries and be isolated to the starter. The other batteries remain for the other loads.

A 24V application typically has two 12 volt batteries in series to get the 24 volts. The Maxwell 24V ESM is thus an add-on that needs to be designed into the vehicle. Depending on the target equipment, Brakley observed, the ESM doesn’t even have to go into the battery box.

In addition to serving a new market with the 24V ESM solution, Maxwell is also gaining experience with that configuration of the technology that may prove useful if the on-road trucking industry begins to shift to a 24V starting system, as is being discussed, he added.

Unlike batteries, which produce and store energy by means of a chemical reaction, ultracapacitors store energy in an electric field. This electrostatic energy storage mechanism enables ultracapacitors to charge and discharge in as little as fractions of a second, perform normally over a broad temperature range (-40 degrees Celsius to +65 degrees Celsius/-40 degrees Fahrenheit to +149 degrees Fahrenheit), operate reliably in up to 1 million or more charge/discharge cycles and resist shock and vibration.

Maxwell offers ultracapacitor cells ranging in capacitance from one to 3,400 farads and multi-cell modules ranging from 12 to 160 volts.

Green cars gain momentum with American drivers

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-04-22 08:33
"Based on our monthly monitoring, the average EPA-rated fuel economy of new vehicles has improved from 20.1 mpg in October 2007 to 25.4 mpg in ...

Geplantes Gesetz: Dobrindt fordert Gratisparkplätze für Carsharing-Autos

Pipe: Europe - Wed, 2015-04-22 08:10
Verkehrsminister Alexander Dobrindt will das Carsharing in Deutschland fördern: Wer sich ein Auto mit anderen teilt, soll in Zukunft kostenfrei parken dürfen. Das passende Verkehrsschild hat der Minister schon mal entwerfen lassen.

EU-Spec Honda HR-V Detailed, Diesel Model Averages 4 L/100 KM

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-04-22 08:09
Honda says the new HR-V will deliver fuel economy and emissions among the best in its class. Obviously, the diesel engine will be the economy ...

Looking for a Family-Hauler? Get Ready to Compromise

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-04-22 07:37
When it comes to carting larger families around, many minivans win in the categories of fuel economy, third-row legroom and cargo area behind that ...

Adventures with an Audi A3 e-tron: why I'd have an ordinary A3 TSI instead

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-04-22 07:31
Thanks to that electric range, the e-tron's official fuel economy and emissions figures are just as arresting as you'd expect: 176mpg and 37g/km.

EPA awards $5M in Clean Diesel Grants to 4 port projects

Pipe: Advanced tech - Wed, 2015-04-22 07:00

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $5 million in grant funding for 4 clean diesel projects at ports in California, Oregon, New Jersey and Texas.

The DERA grant recipients are:

  • The City of Los Angeles Harbor Department will replace a diesel-powered crane with an all-electric crane that produces zero emissions at the San Pedro Bay.

  • The NJ Department of Environmental Protection will replace Tier 1 engines on marine vessels with Tier 4 certified engines significantly reducing particulate matter, NOx and other pollutants. These vessels operate between Atlantic Highlands in New Jersey and terminal locations in New York City.

  • The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will retrofit cargo handling equipment with diesel particulate filters and replace 23 drayage trucks with ones powered by certified engines that are model year 2011 or newer at the Port of Portland.

  • The Port of Houston Authority will replace 25 drayage trucks with drayage trucks powered by certified engines that are model year 2011 or newer. These drayage trucks operate in the Port of Houston and along the Houston Ship Channel.

Most of the country’s busiest ports are located near large metropolitan areas and, as a result, people in neighboring communities are exposed to high levels of diesel emissions, which contribute to smog and soot that can cause illness, hospitalization, or premature death. Since most ships and equipment at ports run on diesel engines, clean diesel projects at ports produce immediate emissions reductions and provide health benefits to those living and working in the area. Depending on the type of equipment, new diesel engines are 90% cleaner than the old engines they replace.

The grants are funded through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) and are located in areas where communities need the most help with local air quality. Since the start of the DERA program in 2008, EPA has awarded more than 700 grants in 600 communities across the country. 150 DERA grants have been targeted to improving air quality at or near ports, with about $175 million in funding. EPA estimates that every $1 in DERA funding generates up to $13 in health care savings. In addition, every dollar of DERA funding, leverages $2-3 from project partners.

Brandgefahr: Suzuki ruft zwei Millionen Autos zurück

Pipe: Europe - Wed, 2015-04-22 06:47
Für Suzuki ist es der bislang größte Rückruf der Unternehmensgeschichte: Der japanische Hersteller ordert rund zwei Millionen Autos in die Werkstätten. In einigen Wagen war wegen eines Defekts Feuer ausgebrochen.

India can show way to mitigate climate change: PM

Pipe: India - Wed, 2015-04-22 06:28
On the occasion of Earth Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India can show the way to the world in mitigating climate change as caring for the environment is an integral part of the country's ethos.

Report: Toyota hopes for 30% hybrid take-rate by 2020 for its sales in China

Pipe: Advanced tech - Wed, 2015-04-22 05:57

The Nikkei reports that Toyota wants a 30% take-rate for hybrids out of the vehicles it will sell in China in 2020, citing remarks by Hiroji Onishi, Toyota’s top executive in the country.

Toyota will begin building hybrids in China this fall. The company also plans to release an electric vehicle in China—unique to the Chinese market—this year through its joint venture with GAC Group.

Prius made its Chinese debut in 2005 and was followed in 2010 by a hybrid version of the Camry. Toyota has sold only around 90,000 hybrids in China so far.

Bigger, sleeker Suzuki Ciaz

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-04-22 05:56
... than the Swift DZire while still enjoying the fuel economy, safety, quality and affordability that have become synonymous with the Suzuki brand.

EV charge point procurement guide launched for fleets

Pipe: Europe - Wed, 2015-04-22 05:43
The UK Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (UK EVSE) Association has launched its first electric vehicle charge point procurement guide.

Indian 2-wheeler OEMs develop fuel sippers to stretch each litre

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-04-22 05:33
With fuel economy being a key demand driver, OEMs are taking the tech route to increase fuel efficiency. “Average kya hai?” is an oft-repeated query ...

Untreue-Verdacht: Staatsanwaltschaft ermittelt gegen ADAC Nordbayern

Pipe: Europe - Wed, 2015-04-22 05:26
Wieder mal werden Funktionäre des ADAC verdächtigt, Mitgliedsbeiträge verjubelt zu haben - in Nürnberg ist die Geschäftsstelle des Regionalclubs Nordbayern durchsucht worden.

Google iLUC alert: Rix Petroleum Hull : EU moves one step closer to capping first generation...

ICCT ILUC - Wed, 2015-04-22 05:17
...maintain food production. It is suggested that, once this indirect land use change (ILUC) has been factored into production, many biofuels are just as bad for the climate as the fossil fuels they are intended...

Registration opens for LCV2015 low carbon vehicle event

Pipe: Europe - Wed, 2015-04-22 05:06
Registration has opened for Cenex’s eighth annual low carbon vehicle event, LCV2015, which takes place in September.

Visteon and Codethink collaborate to improve development and maintainability of in-vehicle software; leveraging Baserock and Yocto

Pipe: Advanced tech - Wed, 2015-04-22 05:00

Automotive electronics supplier Visteon and Linux software specialist Codethink are partnering to improve the long-term traceability and reproducibility of software used in in-vehicle infotainment products.

Visteon and Codethink have developed a unified approach to collect and integrate Linux ecosystem source code across the wide range of third-party and open source components used in Visteon’s infotainment projects with global automakers. Both companies are members of the GENIVI alliance, a non-profit industry alliance committed to driving the broad adoption of specified, open source, In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) software.

The approach combines key elements of the Baserock and Yocto open source projects. Visteon is believed to be the first organization to use Baserock’s upstream source management functionality to support Yocto builds.

As our software platforms are becoming increasingly global, we identified several benefits of combining the best elements of the Baserock and Yocto approaches. It provides us with local capture of the Yocto upstream build “recipe” and enables teams to either cross-compile using Yocto or build natively in Baserock—depending on the requirements for each project. —Christian Feltgen, vice president of Visteon’s technology office

Mileage-savvy fleets double their gains from lower fuel prices, says TMC

Pipe: Europe - Wed, 2015-04-22 04:30
Business mileage may have risen in response to lower fuel prices, but some fleets are reaping financial rewards by maintaining mileage discipline, says TMC.

Geschasster Moderator: BBC zeigt doch noch "Top Gear"-Folgen mit Clarkson

Pipe: Europe - Wed, 2015-04-22 04:26
Kleiner Trost für Fans von Jeremy Clarkson: Der gefeuerte Moderator wird noch dreimal in der Autosendung "Top Gear" auf BBC zu sehen sein. Unterdessen versucht der 55-Jährige den Ausraster zu erklären, der ihn seinen Job gekostet hat.