The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive has been awarded an environmental certificate from the TÜV Süd technical inspection authority. The certificate is based not just on the vehicle's operation, but the entire lifecycle of the car, including production and recycling. The B-Class Electric Drive produces 24 percent less CO2 over its lifecycle than the Mercedes-Benz B180 when using the EU electricity mix, and 64 percent less when powered by hydroelectricity. Mercedes credits not just the use of electricity, but also the car's energy management system - such as its radar-based regenerative braking - for its carbon reductions. Read more in the press release below.
Scania will test a wirelessly charged plug-in hybrid bus in Sweden. Beginning in June 2016, the bus will be put to daily use in Södertälje. One of its stops will have a wireless charging station where the bus will recharge for six to seven minutes before continuing on its route again. The charger is located under the road surface and the bus positions itself above it to charge inductively. About $1.3 million will come from the Swedish Energy Agency to fund the test project, which could save up to 90 percent of fuel costs. If expanded to a fleet of 2,000 buses, it could save up to 13 million gallons of fuel each year. Read more at Green Car Congress, and in the press release below.
Sandia National Laboratories and Linde are teaming up to expand hydrogen fueling infrastructure. The two groups have signed an agreement to research and develop new hydrogen stations, as well as ways to make fuel cell vehicles more desirable for consumers. They are looking at ways to incorporate hydrogen into existing fuel stations where possible, and make sure that it is able to be done safely. With help from the Department of Energy, the partners will also demonstrate a design approach for a hydrogen station that meets the standards of the National Fire Protection Association hydrogen safety code as a foundation for building future stations. Read more in the press release below.
Toyota and the Electrochemical Society (ECS) are requesting proposals from "young professors and scholars" for the ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship. The two groups hope to promote research and development of green alternatives to fossil fuels, and energy sources that reduce CO2 emissions and air pollution. At least one candidate under 40 years of age will be awarded a fellowship each year, along with a grant of at least $50,000 to perform the research. The groups are looking for projects that focus on feasible green energy technology with "unique, innovative or unconventional" approaches. Read more at the ECS blog.
Dec 17, 2014 - TORRANCE, Calif.
- Honda FCV Concept demonstrates the exterior and interior styling evolution of the next-generation zero emissions Honda fuel-cell vehicle
- Next-generation Honda FCV is intended to provide significant gains in packaging, interior space, cost reduction and real-world performance, including an anticipated driving range in excess of 300-miles
The Honda FCV Concept will make its North American debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show on Jan. 12. Continuing more than a decade of Honda leadership in the area of fuel cell vehicle (FCV) technology, the Honda FCV Concept showcases the styling evolution of Honda's next fuel-cell vehicle, anticipated to launch in the U.S., following its introduction in Japan, which is scheduled to occur by March 2016.
As the next progression in Honda's dynamic FCV styling, the Honda FCV Concept features a low and wide aerodynamic body with clean character lines. The interior strives to achieve harmony between man and machine by taking advantage of new powertrain packaging efficiencies delivering even greater passenger space than the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle, including seating for up to five people.
The Honda FCV Concept made its world debut in Japan on Nov. 17, 2014, followed by an announcement that Honda will provide FirstElement Fuel with $13.8 million in financial assistance to build additional hydrogen refueling stations throughout the state of California in an effort to support the wider introduction of fuel-cell vehicles.
Honda Fuel-Cell Vehicle Firsts:
The original FCX became the first EPA- and CARB-certified fuel-cell vehicle in July 2002. The FCX also was the world's first production fuel-cell vehicle, introduced to the U.S. and Japan in December 2002.
Additional highlights include:
- The Honda FCX was the first fuel-cell vehicle to start and operate in sub-freezing temperatures (2003).
- The FCX was the first fuel-cell vehicle leased to an individual customer (July 2005).
- With the FCX Clarity, Honda was the first manufacturer to build and produce a dedicated fuel-cell vehicle on a production line specifically made for fuel-cell vehicles (2008).
- Honda was the first manufacturer to create a fuel-cell vehicle dealer network (2008).
Honda Environmental Leadership
Based on its vision of "Blue Skies for our Children," Honda is taking a portfolio approach to reducing the environmental impact of its products, advancing fuel efficiency, low emissions and fun-to-drive performance with new powertrain technologies from its Earth Dreams Technology™ lineup, which includes more fuel-efficient engines and transmissions and advanced electromotive technologies. Honda's alternative-fuel vehicle lineup includes the Fit EV, Civic Hybrid, the CR-Z sport hybrid coupe and the Accord Hybrid, the most fuel-efficient 5-passenger sedan in America1, as well as the Accord Plug-In Hybrid and the Civic Natural Gas, the only dedicated natural gas-powered passenger car available from a major automaker in America.
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1 Based on 2015 EPA mileage. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending driving conditions, how the vehicle is driven and maintained, battery pack age/condition and other factors.
B-Class Electric Drive reduces CO2 emissions by as much as 64 percent: B-Class Electric Drive awarded environmental certificate
Stuttgart. Locally emission-free, significantly more eco-friendly over its complete life cycle thanks to 64 percent lower CO2 emissions than the equivalent B 180 petrol model, generous in terms of space and range (200 km) and still dynamic on the road (output of 132 kW): the B-Class Electric Drive is a convincing proposition in all sorts of ways. Its high environmental compatibility has now also been confirmed by the inspectors at the TÜV Süd technical inspection authority, who have awarded the electric-drive Sports Tourer from Mercedes-Benz the environmental certificate in accordance with ISO standard TR 14062. This certification is based on a comprehensive life-cycle assessment of the B-Class Electric Drive, documenting every detail of relevance for the environment.
"The fact that we are able to integrate the electric motor and batteries into a perfectly 'normal' B-Class does not only mean that we can assemble the Electric Drive alongside the other B-Class vehicles on one production line, but almost more importantly means that our customers do not have to make any compromises at all in terms of spaciousness, safety or comfort", explained Professor Dr Herbert Kohler, Chief Environmental Officer at Daimler AG. "The B-Class Electric Drive is an important milestone along our journey towards emission-free driving."
Mercedes-Benz analyses the environmental compatibility of its models throughout their entire life cycle – from production, through their long years of service, to recycling at the end of their lives. This analysis goes far beyond the legal requirements. The Environmental Certificate and supplementary information are made available to the public as part of the "Life Cycle" documentation series, which can be accessed at http://www.mercedes-benz.com.
Over its entire life cycle, comprising production, use over 160,000 kilometres and recycling, the B-Class Electric Drive produces emissions of CO2 that are 24 percent (7.2 tonnes – EU electricity mix) or 64 percent (19 tonnes – hydroelectricity) lower than those of the B 180 - despite the higher emissions generated during the production process. This is due primarily to the exceptional efficiency of the electric motor, which gives rise to significant advantages during the use phase. One key factor here is its ingenious energy management system: the optional radar-based regenerative braking system, for example, ensures the optimal recuperation of braking energy back into the battery. This further enhances the efficiency of the drive system and enables even greater ranges.
CO2 emissions during the use phase here depend upon the method used to generate electricity. In 160,000 kilometres of driving use, the new B-Class Electric Drive (NEDC combined consumption from 16.6 kWh/100 km) produces 11.9 tonnes of CO2, assuming use of the EU electricity mix. When electricity generated by hydroelectric means is used to power the electric vehicle, the other environmental impacts relating to electricity generation are also almost entirely avoided. The B 180 (NEDC combined consumption 5.4 l/100 km) on the other hand emits 23.8 tonnes of CO2 during the use phase.
Scania to test wirelessly charged city bus for the first time in Sweden
Scania has become the first company in Sweden to test a wirelessly charged electric-hybrid city bus. The bus will start operating on the streets of Södertälje, Sweden, in June 2016 as part of a research project into sustainable vehicle technology.
Scania is undertaking intensive research into various types of electrification technologies that could replace or complement combustion engines. Induction is among the options being investigated and would involve vehicles wirelessly recharging their batteries via electrified roads.
Now, for the first time in Sweden, Scania and the Stockholm based Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) plan to test the technology in real-life conditions. The project will be run through their jointly operated Integrated Transport Laboratory research centre.
Swedish Energy Agency will provide 9.8 MSEK for the project's realisation. Other stakeholders include Södertälje Municipality, Stockholm County Council and Tom Tits, the tech-oriented museum for children and youths.
As part of the field tests, a Scania citybus with an electric hybrid powertrain will go into daily operation in Södertälje in June 2016. At one of the bus stops there will be a charging station where the vehicle will be able to refill wirelessly from the road surface enough energy for a complete journey in just six-seven minutes.
"The main purpose of the field test is to evaluate the technology in real-life conditions," says Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt, Head of Scania's Hybrid System Development Department. "There is enormous potential in the switch from combustion engines to electrification. The field test in Södertälje is the first step towards entirely electrified roads where electric vehicles take up energy from the road surface."
To build an infrastructure and convert bus fleets to vehicles that run exclusively on electricity will provide many advantages for a city. With a fleet of 2,000 buses, the city can save up to 50 million litres of fuel each year. This means the fuel costs decrease by up to 90 percent.
Apart from induction, Scania's research and development department is looking at different technology options, including the take-up of energy from overhead electrical wires or from rails.
"Our customers have different needs and prerequisites when it comes to switching to more sustainable transport. Therefore we don't want focus on just one technology. Instead we are continuing research in different areas," says says Nils-Gunnar Vågstedt.
Linde, Sandia partnership looks to expand hydrogen fueling network
LIVERMORE, CALIF. - Sandia National Laboratories and industrial gas giant Linde LLC have signed an umbrella Cooperative Research & Development Agreement (CRADA) that is expected to accelerate the development of low-carbon energy and industrial technologies, beginning with hydrogen and fuel cells.
The CRADA will kick off with two new research and development projects to accelerate the expansion of hydrogen fueling stations to continue to support the market growth of fuel cell electric vehicles now proliferating among the major auto manufacturers. On Nov. 17, Toyota became the latest to unveil a fuel cell electric vehicle.
Last week, Linde opened the first-ever, fully certified commercial hydrogen fueling station near Sacramento with support from the California Energy Commission.
Kickoff projects will help increase H2 fuel station openings
A recent Sandia study, funded by the Department of Energy's (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), determined that 18 percent of fueling station sites in high-priority areas can readily accept hydrogen fueling systems using existing building codes.
The development of meaningful, science-based fire codes and determinations, such as those found in that study, shows that focusing on scientific, risk-informed approaches can reduce uncertainty and help to avoid overly conservative restrictions to commercial hydrogen fuel installations.
Continuing down this path, the first project in the Sandia/Linde CRADA will be demonstrating a hydrogen fuel station that uses a performance-based design approach allowable under the National Fire Protection Association hydrogen technologies code, NFPA 2. The project will include support from the DOE.
California's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program states that Linde expects to open new fueling stations in late 2015.
NFPA 2 provides fundamental safeguards for the generation, installation, storage, piping, use and handling of hydrogen in compressed gas or cryogenic (low temperature) liquid form and is referenced by many fire officials in the permitting process for hydrogen fueling stations.
"Sections of NFPA 2 are typically not utilized by station developers, as they instead have focused more on rigid distance requirements for fuel dispensers, air intakes, tanks, storage equipment and other infrastructure," explained Sandia risk expert and fire protection engineer Chris LaFleur.
"We know we can get hydrogen systems into more existing fueling facilities if our risk analyses show how they meet the code," she said. "This will help boost the developing fuel-cell electric vehicle market significantly."
The project, LaFleur added, will provide a foundation for the hydrogen fueling industry to implement the performance-based approach to station design and permitting, leading to sustained expansion of the hydrogen fueling network. The pilot demonstration, she said, will provide clear evidence that a performance-based design is feasible.
Infrastructure, safety the focus of second project
"Linde's business interests in building and operating more hydrogen fueling stations for retail use align perfectly with our research goals aimed at accelerating clean and efficient energy technologies into the marketplace," said Chris San Marchi, lead researcher in Sandia's hydrogen safety, codes and standards program.
"We expect our investment with Sandia will lead to a broader consortium of other commercial partners," said Nitin Natesan, business development manager at Linde. "We're happy to lead the way for industry, but ultimately we need others on board to join the effort to address barriers to entry of hydrogen fueling infrastructure."
The second project currently taking place under the new CRADA focuses on safety aspects of the NFPA code and entails the modeling of a liquid hydrogen release.
"With Linde's help, we're developing a science-based approach for updating and improving the separation distances requirements for liquid hydrogen storage at fueling stations," said LaFleur. Previous work only examined separation distances for gaseous hydrogen, she said, so validation experiments will now be done on the liquid model.
Sandia's Combustion Research Facility, for years considered a pre-eminent facility for studying hydrogen behavior and its effects on materials and engines, is a key element of the research.
This focus on improving the understanding of liquid hydrogen storage systems, LaFleur said, will result in more meaningful, science-based codes that will ensure the continued expansion of safe and available hydrogen fuel to meet fuel cell electric vehicle demands.
This work is aligned with Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure Research and Station Technology (H2FIRST), an EERE project established earlier this year, and builds on over a decade of DOE investments in developing meaningful codes and standards to accelerate hydrogen and fuel cell markets in the U.S.