Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, coming this fall. (Image: © Ford)
Ford has just announced their investing $135 million in the design, engineering and production of key components like advanced battery systems for its next-generation hybrid-electric vehicles, going into production this year.
They are also dedicating a 285,000-square-foot research and development lab in Dearborn, Michigan to focus almost entirely on hybrids and electrification. Formerly known as the Advanced Engineering Center, the building will be renamed the Ford Advanced Electrification Center and will house most of the approximately 1,000 engineers working on Fords hybrid and electrification programs.
The Nissan NV200 London Taxi (Image: © Nissan)
Back in September 2011, Mayor of London Boris Johnson called for a zero-emission taxi in London by the end of the decade. Today Nissan just unveiled the Nissan NV200 London Taxi, a vehicle that might just make that target achievable. The NV200 London Taxi will offer significantly reduced CO2 outputs compared to current taxi models. Something that should make the Mayor smile as it shares the same focus as his Air Quality strategy for London.
The NV200 will come in two version. One features a 1.5 dCi 89 HP EuroV diesel engine and a 6-speed manual drivetrain, that achieves 53.3 Miles per Gallon on a combined cycle. This achieves almost a 50% fuel saving compared to the, until now most efficient TX4, with it’s combined cycle figure of 35.3 Miles per Gallon. An all-electric e-NV200 concept is also set to undergo trials in the Capital.
Near-production prototype of the e-scooter BMW C evolution. (Image: © BMWBLOG.com)
With increased demands for individual mobility, and with more people moving in to the big cities, the need for an efficient, but environmentally friendly urban transportation solution is needed. You could of course buy a bicycle, a solution that has been available even longer then cars. A regular bike will take you where you want to go in your local area at zero carbon emission, and at the same time it gives you exercise. Yet today a lot of people still have a tendency to take the car, even for going to the local shop a 10 min walking distance down the road.
BMW Motorrad has seen the signs of the times and is expanding its business activities to include the facet of urban mobility. The first stage of development was an e-scooter concept vehicle presented at the BMW Motorrad Innovation Day 2011. Shortly after this, the corresponding design study of an e-scooter saw its premiere, the BMW Concept e. The latter embodies the aesthetic vision of an electrically powered scooter. On July 27th 2012 in London, BMW Motorrad presented the highly promising third stage of development. The near-production ready prototype of an e-scooter that might soon become part of everyday road traffic in cities throughout the world, the BMW C evolution.
GE’s AquaSel Non-Thermal Brine Concentrator Pilot Plant (Image © GE)
General Electric recently demonstrated a breakthrough water treatment method, they call AquaSel non-thermal brine concentrator (NTBC) technology, that virtually eliminates any water losses in ingredient water production. At a major global beverage company in Asia, GE recently conducted a pilot study were they achieved a near-zero liquid discharge (ZLD), and reduced water costs, without the normal energy expenses associated with a thermal evaporation system.
With today’s technology, bottling companies typically use 75 to 85 % of the incoming water for bottled water and the variety of soft drinks they produce, and the rest is discharged as a waste stream. Using GE’s AquaSel technology, these companies could safely treat and reuse the water, to achieve 99+ percent recovery in their plants.
German motorist organisation Automobil Kraftfahrer-Schutz (KS) has awarded Scania it’s prestigious Energy and Environmental Prize for 2012, for their intelligent cruise control system, Scania Active Prediction. (Image: © Scania)
Scania has been awarded the ‘Energy and Environmental Prize for 2012′ from the German motorist organisation Automobil Kraftfahrer-Schutz (KS), for their intelligent cruise control system, Scania Active Prediction. The system can deliver a fuel saving of up to 3% when driving on undulating stretches of road by using GPS to determine the vehicle’s position and to predict the topography of the road ahead.
At first look a reduction of 3% might not seem a lot, and for a car this might be true, but if you instead apply the percentages on a 40-tonne truck combination (tractor unit and semitrailer) running 180,000 km/year, a fuel saving of 3 percent would reduce fuel consumption by about 1,700 litres (almost 450 gallons) per year. This would be equivalent to an annual reduction in fuel costs of almost €2,300 (about $2,800), and even more important a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of over 4 tonnes.
A new pilot project by Philips and the Kenyan Urban Roads Authority to install solar-powered LED street lighting in Nairobi ( Image © Philips)
A new pilot project had been announced by Philips and the Kenyan Urban Roads Authority to install solar-powered LED street lighting in Nairobi, Kenya. It has the potential to generate up to 100% energy savings if implemented correctly, and on a wide scale across the country. The pilot was launched on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and is the first of its kind in East Africa.
Philips recently announced the development of what they hope will be the most reliable and efficient solar powered road lighting solution per km of road available in the market today. It also aims to be the most cost effective solution available. The initiative want to highlight the benefits of sustainable energy sources and alternatives to expensive and less efficient traditional lighting. The announcement was made during the Kenya leg of the Philips Cairo to Cape Town 2012 road show.
Bloom Energy fuel cells at eBay (Image Credit: Bloom Energy)
eBay Inc. has this week announced a bold new vision for powering their flagship data center, with renewable energy as its primary power source. In a partnership with Bloom Energy, eBay is building the country’s largest non-utility fuel cell installation. In a typical scenario renewable energy supplements the existing electric grid, but by designing renewable energy into the core of its global commerce platform, and incorporating 30 Bloom Energy servers into the new data center’s energy architecture, eBay plans to use the electric utility grid only as a backup.
“We believe the future of commerce can be greener”, said John Donahoe, President and CEO of eBay Inc. ”Technology-led innovation is changing retail and revolutionizing how people shop and pay. We also want to revolutionize how shopping is powered. We are embracing disruptive energy technology and designing it into our core data center energy architecture. Running our data centers primarily on reliable, renewable energy, we intend to shape a future for commerce that is more environmentally sustainable at its core.”
Improved reliability of Spintronics Logic Integrated Circuits (Image Credit: NEC)
Researchers at NEC Corporation and Tohoku University have developed the worlds first technology for improving the reliability of spintronics logic integrated circuits. The intention is to reduce the standby power of electronic devices to zero.
Spintronics logic integrated circuits use two of the properties of electrons, namely negative charge and spin, one of the properties of electrons that makes them behave like tiny magnets. By flipping the polarity of these tiny magnets between “north” and “south” according to the direction of an electric current, it is possible to remember the results of a calculation. The behavior of this technology has been verified and proven by using a prototype chip.
The solar array atop the Vietnam Assembly and Test Factory in Ho Chi Minh City. Image Credit: Intel Free Press
Intel recently installed the largest operating solar power plant in Vietnam at Intel‘s Saigon Hi-Tech Park facility in Ho Chi Minh City. Placed on the roof of the Vietnam Assembly and Test Factory is 1,092 high-efficiency photovoltaic panels, expected to generate about 321,000 kWh per year. The system came online in April and joins a previous installation in Israel as Intel‘s second solar array outside the U.S.
Solar sites converting sunlight to electricity are now located at 15 Intel sites within four states in the U.S., Israel and now also Vietnam. The power of the sun also heats nearly 100 percent of the water used in Intel‘s facilities in Bangalore, India. Intel estimates that the solar installations at it’s facilities generate up to 5.5 million kWh annually, a good thing both for Intel‘s wallet and the environment.
HP Net-Zero Energy Data Center architecture
Today Hewlett Packard unveiled research from HP Labs on how to build the first Net Zero Energy Data Center. HP Labs architecture significantly reduces the data centers power costs and energy requirements. The end goal is to create an architecture for a data center that requires no net energy from traditional power grids.
The research shows how the architecture, combined with holistic energy-management techniques, enables a company or organization to cut total power usage by 30 percent. It also reduces dependence on the power grid, and costs by more than 80 percent. With HP Labs Net-Zero Energy Data Center research, the company wants to provide a solution for businesses and societies around the world, making it possible to run a data center more sustainable and more economic. By using local renewable resources, removing dependencies such as location, energy supply and costs, it opens up the possibility of introducing IT services to organizations of all sizes.