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Formula E To Hold Motor Shows; USABC Awards New Battery Contract

A new study shows that using an E15 blend instead of regular gasoline would reduce smog in Chicago. Increasing the availability of the 15-percent ethanol blend could help reduce carcinogenic air pollution and improve air quality, particularly on the city's South Side. The study found that E15 reduces the risk of cancer by 6.6 percent. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions 1.5 percent compared to a 10-percent ethanol blend. Read more at Domestic Fuel.

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US, Chilean Navies Move To Alternative Fuels; CA Funds EV Charging Expansion

The US and Chilean navies have agreed to work together to develop alternative fuels for ships and aircraft. As a move toward better energy security, the two countries want to develop "drop-in alternative fuels," namely biofuels, to reduce dependence on foreign oil and ensure a reliable supply and cost. The US Navy wants to have 50 percent of "organizational consumption" come from alternative energy sources by 2020. The US is moving toward primarily using a biofuel and petroleum blend, and wants

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US And EU Considering Lowering Biofuel Targets; GM Brings Bikesharing To Tech Center

Volvo is officially introducing its 7900 Electric Hybrid bus at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Germany next month. The coach bus reduces carbon emissions by up to 75 percent, and does its part to reduce noise pollution as well. It uses 60 percent less energy than comparable diesel buses. In city routes, it runs on electricity an average of 70 percent of the time. Volvo has also introduced safety features like auto brake technology to help avoid and mitigate collisions. Read more in the pres

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Dutch King To Visit New Ethanol Plant In Iowa; Dundee, Scotland Hopes To Add EVs To Car Club

LG Chem says it has won a bid to supply batteries for Audi. LG says the deal, worth "hundreds of millions of dollars," has them providing batteries for plug-in hybrid and micro hybrid electric vehicles. The group says it also expects to be picked for battery deals for Volkswagen Group in the future. Read more at Reuters.

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Southern Illinois College Wants Biofuel Certification Program; Dongfeng Builds Aeolus E30

Southeastern Illinois College wants to create a biofuel processing certification program. The school is waiting to hear about receiving $750,000 from a US Department of Labor grant that would allow it to expand its Biofuels Education curriculum to include certification for manufacturing biodiesel and ethanol. There are currently no such programs in existence, and its development would require Labor Department approval as well as input from biofuel companies. Southeastern Illinois College believe

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Home Tests Show Anywhere Between 82 and 90 Percent Efficiency

Is the Tesla Model S an electricity guzzler? One driver trying to answer that question says it does gobble down more juice than previously thought, but it's not time to make Hummer jokes just yet.

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As is its job, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) continues to bang the drum of what it says is a stacked deck against alternative fuels like ethanol. Earlier this month it took on Big Oil. Now, it's the US Department of Energy (DOE). Go big or go home, huh?

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More Toyota Hybrid Battery Production; Pennsylvania Keeps Incentives

Tesla Model S owners can now control their car with Android Wear. A new, free app for the Android wrist devices, called Tesla Command, allows the user to control car functions such as the locks, horn, and sunroof from outside the vehicle. The developer promises more features are coming soon. Watch the video below for a demonstration, or head over to 9 to 5 Google to read more.

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New Street-Legal Polaris Utility EV; Formula E Is Free At Long Beach

A UC Davis white paper maps out "Three Routes Forward for Biofuels," balancing investment risk with carbon benefits. The first option is "incremental," in which we tinker with the existing biofuel manufacturing infrastructure for small improvements over time. The "transitional" plan suggests integrating cellulosic production and other innovations with existing operations. The third route, called "leapfrogging," would mean building refineries based on new technology such as cellulosic and algae-b

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Volvo, ABB Fast-Charging Buses; Brazilian Ethanol Gets Corny

Formula E has revealed the circuit layout for the Buenos Aires ePrix, which will take place on January 10, 2015. The 1.5-mile track designed by Santiago Garcia Remohi features 12 turns of varying speeds. Bruno Senna, driver for Mahindra Racing, says, "Looking at the track, you have to say it's got a good combination of corners. There's a chicane, some high-speed turns with a change of direction and slow-speed as well." The third race of the all-electric series' inaugural season will take place i

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Earlier, we mentioned the Renewable Fuels Association's report that most major oil companies are blocking the ethanol blends E15 and E85 from their gas stations. According to the RFA, "Distribution contracts routinely include provisions that make it difficult, needlessly expensive, or simply impossible for a retailer to offer consumers choices like E15 or E85." The report has the attention of two senators who want the Federal Trade Commission to look into the matter of Big Oil engaging in anti-c

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Nissan may bring Leaf to India

Big Oil companies help keep renewable fuels out of your tank, a new report shows. No surprise there, right? The Renewable Fuels Association published a report card grading the country's largest retail gasoline chains on fuel offerings like E85 and E15. The report gave failing grades, with less than one percent of stations offering E15 or E85, to "Big Five" companies Exxon, BP, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Shell, among other oil company and convenience/grocery store brands. The only major oil comp

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Winner Of Three-Year Student Competition Named Tonight In DC

The students spent three years transforming an ordinary Chevy Malibu into a revolutionary vehicle.

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Arguing over the pros and cons of using ethanol as a transportation fuel isn't just an American thing. The Brazilians are going at it, too. We will translate.

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At the end of the month, Missouri will begin to allow the sale of the controversial E15 fuel. Currently, most available gasoline is sold as a blend with up to 10 percent ethanol. Missouri will become the 13th state to approve the 15-percent ethanol blend to be sold at the pump.

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One recent report from Nature Geoscience will have ethanol advocates convinced that Big Oil's political influence goes far beyond the reach of US borders. That publication, according to Nebraska's Grand Island Independent, says that greater use of ethanol as a light-duty vehicle fuel actually boosts smog levels. That runs counter to many other reports on the subject, though ethanol's environmental prospects have, like everything else related to the subject, been a subject of debate.

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Over 100 teams converge on Houston for last time ever

The skies threatened rain, but aside from a few fat drops struggling down through the Texas air, the track remained dry through the end of the 2014 Shell Eco-marathon Americas. Given the haphazard way some of the vehicle bodies were held together – a bit of velcro or pieces of tape doing the job door hinges do on normal cars – this was a very good thing. The dry roads also meant that all of the teams were competing on an even footing, in this one aspect at least. After all, the 100-p

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Like a tractor harvesting an Iowa cornfield, biofuel advocates aren't using a ton of subtlety in their approach to take down Big Oil. The coalition Fuels America used April 22, i.e. Earth Day, to kick off a campaign for higher renewable fuel mandates. And, while that corn field may be a lovely shade of maize, the advocates are talking green, as in the money oil companies are pulling out of Americans' pocketbooks by insisting on reuced use of biofuels.

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The fight over converting the national supply of gasoline from a maximum 10-percent ethanol blend (known as E10) to E15 have quieted down somewhat when it comes to passenger cars. For other applications - like "motorcycles and nonroad products" - the struggle continues.

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The Department of Energy has made it clear that it favors a technology-somewhat-neutral, "all-of-the-above" strategy for developing energy alternatives for the US, as the new Strategic Plan 2014-2018 (PDF) states. What this looks like in the real world is another $10 million for "Technologies to Produce Advanced Biofuel Products from Biomass."

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It's been quite a while since we've heard anything from Sakti3, the Ann Arbor-based battery company that has been working on next-generation solid state lithium batteries for many years. Heck, even the company's website doesn't have any news that isn't a year old. Thankfully, our friend Jim Motavalli, who blogs for Car Talk, recently talked to Sakti3's Ann Marie Sastry on the eve of her company being named an affiliate of the US Department of Energy's Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JC

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