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Volvo Cars introducing production S60L T6 Twin Engine PHEV at the Shanghai Motor Show; on sale next week

Pipe: Advanced tech - Wed, 2015-04-15 10:16

Volvo Cars will introduce the production version of the S60L T6 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid sedan at the 2015 Shanghai Motor Show; the plug-in sedan first made its appearance as a concept car at the Beijing auto show in 2014. (Earlier post.) Sales of the S60L T6 Twin Engine begin next week in China.

The new S60L Twin Engine is manufactured in Volvo Cars’ Chengdu Plant. The car is powered by a Drive-E four-cylinder 2–liter gasoline engine, linked to rear-axle drive 50 kW electric motor, powered by an energy-optimized 11.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This combination delivers 306 hp (238 + 68 hp) and 350 + 200 N·m with emissions of 49 g/km (NEDC, mixed driving cycle for certification). The S60L T6 Twin Engine also delivers a full 53 km (33 km) of all-electric range.

The S60L T6 Twin Engine is Volvo’s third production PHEV after the V60 diesel a and the XC90 T8. In 2012, Volvo Cars launched the diesel plug-in hybrid V60 D6 Twin Engine (earlier post); the model continues to be the bestselling premium plug-in hybrid in Europe. All-Wheel Drive is also available on demand, thanks to the innovative electric rear axle drive.

Current Volvo Twin Engine plug-in hybrid models Model XC90 T8 S60L V60 D5/D6 Markets where sold Global China EU

Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Car Group, said that the company will introduce two new Twin Engine variants every year in the coming years.

Drive modes. Twin Engine variants come with three drive modes: Pure, Hybrid or Power.

  • In Pure mode, the car is powered solely by its electric motor as much as possible. The range is up to 53 kilometers.

  • Hybrid is the standard setting whenever the car is started.

  • In Power mode, the technology is optimized to give the car the maximum possible power. The gasoline engine and electric motor combine to deliver a total power output of 238 + 68 hp (or 350 + 200 N·m). The car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds (preliminary data).

The driver can choose to save battery power in order to drive on electricity alone later on, for example in an urban green zone or in the heart of a city. When Save is activated, the on-board system ensures that there is always sufficient charge for driving later in Pure mode. If necessary, the high-voltage generator will charge the battery pack so there is sufficient capacity for driving in Pure mode.

The S60L Twin Engine battery pack can be recharged from a regular power outlet (230V/6A, 10A or 16A fuse) at home or in a parking lot. Recharging time varies with amperage. A full charge with 10A takes 4.5 hours. This is cut to 3.5 hours with 16A, while a 6A charge takes 7.5 hours.

It is possible to heat or cool the passenger compartment while recharging the car to provide a more comfortable start to a journey. This also means that more battery power is available for actually propelling the car. The pre-conditioning function can also cool the batteries if necessary.

The S60L Twin Engine has two heating systems. In electric mode the car uses a PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) air heater. The car also has a fuel-powered heater.

Google iLUC alert: Environment committee backs compromise on cleaner biofuels

ICCT ILUC - Wed, 2015-04-15 10:05
...crop production, known as indirect land-use change (ILUC) to EU countries and the Commission. The Commission ... food – a process known as indirect land use change (ILUC). But deforestation in itself increases greenhouse...

Review: 2015 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-04-15 09:30
It's a reasonably capable compact sedan that is comfortable and offers great fuel economy. But passersby are likely to comment, "A Chevrolet, huh?".

24-Stunden-Kontrolle in Europa: Das sollten Autofahrer über den Blitz-Marathon wissen

Pipe: Europe - Wed, 2015-04-15 09:10
Vorsicht, Raser! Am Donnerstag gibt es einen Mega-Blitz-Marathon - dieses Mal beteiligen sich nicht nur fast alle deutschen Bundesländer, sondern auch 21 weitere EU-Staaten. Wo stehen die Radarfallen? Wann geht es los? Der Überblick.

XL Hybrids Electrification Solution Increases <b>Fuel Economy</b> and Supports Sustainability Efforts for <b>...</b>

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-04-15 09:07
BOSTON, Apr 15, 2015 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- XL Hybrids, Inc., the leader in fleet electrification solutions for commercial and municipal fleets, today ...

XL Hybrids Electrification Solution Increases <b>Fuel Economy</b> and Supports Sustainability Efforts for <b>...</b>

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-04-15 09:05
BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--XL Hybrids, Inc., the leader in fleet electrification solutions for commercial and municipal fleets, today announced the ...

Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide limits soil storage

Pipe: Climate and Health - Wed, 2015-04-15 09:00
Soil carbon may not be as stable as previously thought, scientists report, adding that soil microbes exert more direct control on carbon buildup than global climate models represent. This study, researchers say, provides insight into the mechanisms determining long-term soil carbon storage, knowledge that can be used to improve climate model representations of the global carbon cycle.

LowCVP announces call for nominations to Low Carbon Champions Awards 2015

Pipe: Europe - Wed, 2015-04-15 08:57

The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) has announced a call for nominations from organisations that have made a real difference in the area of low carbon road transport. There are seven Award categories, covering areas ranging from cars to innovation, from fuels to publications, and the winners will be announced at a gala dinner taking place alongside Cenex’s Low Carbon Vehicle Event on Wednesday 9 September 2015.


Google iLUC alert: Future of Biofuels Use in MEPs’ Hands

ICCT ILUC - Wed, 2015-04-15 08:51
...after extensive debates on Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) in a European Council, Parliament and Commission... This prolonged and polarised debate on ILUC has reduced the level of ambition in Europe to promote...

Google iLUC alert: California Air Resources Board Held A Workshop On The Low Carbon Fuel Standard...

ICCT ILUC - Wed, 2015-04-15 08:08
0, under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The update includes improved formulas to calculate Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC), and an updated model for calculating lifecycle Carbon Intensity (CI) values...

BorgWarner Technologies Drive The 2015 World Car of the Year Winners And Finalists

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-04-15 08:00
"Improving fuel economy, reducing emissions and enhancing performance are goals shared by automakers and consumers around the world.

SEAT Alhambra MPV - 2015 update revealed

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-04-15 07:57
The idea is that as soon as you lift off the accelerator, the gearbox decouples from the engine to help increase that all-important fuel economy figure.

Urteil des Bundesgerichtshofs: Gebrauchtwagenhändler muss Rostlaube zurücknehmen

Pipe: Europe - Wed, 2015-04-15 07:51
Im Streit über einen maroden Gebrauchtwagen hat eine Frau beim Bundesgerichtshof einen Erfolg errungen: Sie kann den Wagen zurückgeben und bekommt ihr Geld wieder. Der Händler darf sich nicht allein auf den TÜV berufen.

Scientists find a 'deeply' safe way to dispose n-waste

Pipe: India - Wed, 2015-04-15 07:22
Scientists have suggested a new way of safely disposing high-emission nuclear waste -- burying it deep down into the earth.

New Chevy Trax is a smart, affordable SUV

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-04-15 06:52
It's mated to a fuel-conscious continuously variable transmission that helps give the Juke an edge over the Trax's federal fuel economy ratings of 26 ...

Three of the best business cars

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-04-15 06:30
It's also cheap to run as it returns fantastic fuel economy. This high quality extends to the inside of the car, where the materials and finish are plush, ...

Visio.M partners showcasing energy efficient passenger climate control for EVs

Pipe: Advanced tech - Wed, 2015-04-15 06:00

As part of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) collaborative project Visio.M (earlier post, earlier post), scientists of the TU München have developed an energy efficient solution for passenger climate control in EVs. The researchers are presenting the results of their work, as implemented in the Visio.M prototype vehicle, in the German government stand at the Hannover Messe.

In a combustion-engined vehicle, waste heat could be used to heat the vehicle passenger compartments directly. Many electric vehicles simply took over concepts from the combustion engined vehicles—e.g., a heater and an air conditioner. However, the energy drain of this approach can put a noticeable dent in vehicle range. The Visio.M researchers thus took a new look at all potential solutions, considering their efficiency, comfort and cost.

In their research they quickly determined that cooling in direct proximity to the body provided the most efficient alternative. In contrast to previously deployed solutions, in which the entire interior is cooled or heated to the same temperature, heat is generated or dissipated only where it can actually be felt by the passengers.

Our trials showed that uniform climate control is not necessary. When we heat the seat of a passenger on cold days, passengers find it pleasant. With only a small amount of energy we can significantly reduce the sense of discomfort.—Marius Janta, staff member of the Chair for Ergonomics at the TU München

The temperature control of the seats in the Visio.M is accomplished using Peltier elements—semiconductor elements that can be used for both heating and cooling.

Even though Peltier elements are relatively expensive, they warm up or cool down immediately. Compared to the cold start of a combustion engine in winter, they even improve the level of comfort.—Alexander Präbst, a staff member at the Chair of Thermodynamics at the TU München

Since Peltier elements are light-weight, they are also deployed in the central air conditioning unit which cools the cabin. The installed Peltier elements have a performance capacity of up to 1.6 kW. The elements installed in the seats have a peak performance of 150 W per seat. On very cold days, a supplemental bioethanol heater with a rating of 4.5 kW can be switched on without sacrificing range.

Webasto presents high-voltage-heater technology for EVs Webasto Thermo & Comfort North America will present its new High Voltage Heater (HVH) technology at the 2015 SAE World Congress and Exhibition next week in Detroit. The HVH utilizes a directly applied and thermally sprayed on thin-film resistive heating layer technology. The performance of the new HVH was verified internally and externally during development. The major performance improvements compared to existing heater systems include no inrush current, no power limitation by increasing voltage or coolant temperatures, stable voltage and current from start of operation and very short electrical and thermal response time. Webasto’s HVH will see the first production passenger vehicle application launch later this year.

The Visio.M concept car achieves maximum efficiency not only through temperature control of the passenger space, but also by integrating the performance electronics into a holistic thermal management system. This allows the use of the waste heat from the motor and the performance electronics to heat the entire passenger compartment in the winter while excess capacity of the air conditioning system can also be used to cool the performance electronics in the summer.

The thermal management system is controlled by intelligent, self-adaptive software based on an evolutionary algorithm, developed at Technische Universität München. It evaluates the various sensor signals for temperature and humidity and automatically finds the optimal settings with regard to comfort, safety and efficiency using a simplified computer model.

A further comfort improvement can be achieved using a remote control of the air conditioning system via a smart phone. Thus shortly before his arrival, the driver can start heating or cooling. A preliminary air conditioning during charging could be added as well. Thanks to the open software platform of Visio.M adding of extensions is extremely simple and can take place without workshop visit.

The intelligent coupling of all heating and cooling functions for passengers and performance electronics results in a very compact climate control unit. The approach, the researchers note, can also serve as a model for combustion engine models, as well. In a combustion engine vehicle efficient climate control would generate savings, especially with regard to air conditioning. Beyond that, the compact system requires less space, which provides additional freedom for design and safety.

Participants in the Visio.M consortium were, in addition to the automotive companies BMW AG (lead manager) and Daimler AG, the Technische Universität München as a scientific partner, and Autoliv BV & Co. KG, the Federal Highway Research Institute (BAST), Continental Automotive GmbH, Finepower GmbH, Hyve AG, IAV GmbH, InnoZ GmbH, Intermap Technologies GmbH, LION Smart GmbH, Amtek Tekfor Holding GmbH, Siemens AG, Texas Instruments Germany GmbH and TÜV SÜD AG as industrial partners. The project was funded under the priority program “Key Technologies for Electric Mobility – STROM” of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) for a term of 2.5 years with a total budget of €10.8 million (US$11.4 million).

Pearson Fuels opening 13 E85 fueling sites in SoCal

Pipe: Advanced tech - Wed, 2015-04-15 05:54

Pearson Fuels of San Diego, CA and G&M Oil Company of Huntington Beach, CA will open 13 E85 fueling sites in Southern California in San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties.

There are approximately 1 million vehicles on the road in California that are capable of using blends of ethanol as high as 85%, the partners said.

We are very proud to make this announcement. We have been opening these E85 sites one and two at a time for years but it is a whole new level to declare our plans to open 13 sites in 13 months. The alternative fuel industry is no stranger to outlandish claims of what people are going to do which so often do not come to pass. That is why we thought long and hard about making this announcement because we take great pride in being a group that does what we say we are going to do.—Pearson Fuels General Manager, Mike Lewis

Partial funding for these projects was made available through the California Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. That funding, matched with G&M’s and Pearson’s, is allowing these sites to be built.

Pearson Fuels has grown from one alternative fuel station opened in San Diego in 2003 to become California’s largest independently owned ethanol distributor. It specializes in the development of alternative fuel infrastructure and distributing alternative fuels.

Founded in 1969, G&M is one of California’s largest independently owned retail fuel station companies with sites throughout Southern California including Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego and Ventura counties.

Review: 2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4x4 discovers untapped niche market

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Wed, 2015-04-15 05:00
For Paul, the fact that these new Mercedes Sprinters are 4x4 was just the icing on the cake – an adventure vehicle that gets decent fuel economy, can ...

Solazyme and Flotek Industries partner to develop and market advanced drilling fluid technologies

Pipe: Advanced tech - Wed, 2015-04-15 05:00

Algal oil company Solazyme and Flotek Industries announced that the companies and certain subsidiaries have entered into agreements to globally commercialize Flocapso, an innovative, advanced drilling fluid additive. In addition, Flotek will market Solazyme’s Encapso lubricant—the first commercially available, biodegradable encapsulated lubricant for drilling fluids—in certain Middle Eastern markets.

Flocapso is a proprietary formulation combining Flotek’s patented Complex nano-Fluid chemistries with Solazyme’s proprietary Encapso technology to create a drilling fluid additive focused on better lubricity and greater stabilization. Laboratory and commercial testing indicate that the Flocapso additive will allow the use of water-based fluids in wells that previously require more expensive and invasive oil-based products.

Under the Joint Agreement, Flotek and Solazyme will continue the development of the Flocapso chemistries and work cooperatively to market Flocapso worldwide. The companies are currently in an active validation project with a large national oil company in the Middle East and are pursuing commercial applications in both domestic and international markets.

Winner of the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, Solazyme launched Encapso in early 2014. With its unique, targeted lubricant delivery system, Encapso has shown to increase the rate of penetration, decrease drag and reduce both rotational torque and friction in a variety of vertical and horizontal drilling applications. This can lead to lower drilling costs, reduced non-productive time, and accelerated operations. Developed from Solazyme’s proprietary technology platform, Encapso is non-toxic and biodegradable.

Flotek’s Complex nano-Fluid, or CnF#, chemistries are a series of proprietary, patented chemistries designed to enhance performance in oil and natural gas wells, including increased productivity through improved production rates and higher ultimate recoverability.

Flotek is a global developer and distributor of a portfolio of oilfield technologies, including specialty chemicals and down-hole drilling and production equipment. It serves major and independent companies in the domestic and international oilfield service industry.