• Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
  • Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Sebastian Blanco / AOL
Toyota will test hybrids with silicon-carbide (SiC) power semiconductors. In Japan, Toyota has put the SiC power semiconductors into the power control units of a Camry Hybrid prototype and a fuel cell bus for a year-long test. Research suggests the SiC units will decrease electrical losses while managing power supply, thus improving overall powertrain efficiency. Current power semiconductors account for about 20 percent of electrical losses, and success with these tests could mean more efficient hybrids on the roads in the future. Read more at Hybrid Cars.

Automakers from CCS and CHAdeMO camps are supporting dual-standard charging station networks. http://www.autoblog.com/bmw/, Volkswagen (CCS camp) and ChargePoint announced plans to build "express charging corridors" by installing about 100 DC fast chargers, many of which will support both types of charging. Kansas City Power & Light is partnering with Nissan (CHAdeMO camp) and ChargePoint to install DC chargers that "will charge any model of electric vehicle on the market." This leads the folks at Green Car Reports to look into whether this ends the looming standard war between automakers in the US. Read more at Green Car Reports.

BMW, Bosch and utility company Vattenfall are making plans for a second life for retired BMW i3 batteries. The Second Life Batteries Alliance project will recycle the old lithium ion battery packs - which can still hold a charge - in off-grid storage and grid-stabilization applications, beginning with a grid storage system in Hamburg, Germany. Bosch has created a battery management algorithm to extend the life of the batteries and make sure they don't cause harm to Vattenfall's facilities. Read more at Transport Evolved.

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