Recharge Wrap-up: meet the '66 ZelectricBug, DOE announces home-scale H2 refueling competition

New Hyundai Hybrid Transmission Integrates Electric Motor; Battery Startup Plans $1 Billion Factory In NC; Shanghai Waives Tesla Plate Fees

The US Department of Energy has launched the $1 million H2 Refuel H-Prize competition to create small- to medium-scale hydrogen refueling systems. The systems could be home-scale systems that produce hydrogen using utilities at home for refueling, or medium-scale systems to supply locations such as retail centers, apartment complexes or small fleets. The DOE sees hydrogen fueling infrastructure as the biggest obstacle to fuel-cell vehicle adoption and putting the production and refueling in the hands of the consumer could be a way around that obstacle. Read more at and at Green Car Congress.

Hyundai has announced a new six-speed automatic transmission with integrated electric motor for new hybrid models. The new configuration puts most of the hybrid powertrain components within the transmission, and the torque converter has been eliminated. The new engine clutch reduces drag with fewer clutch discs, and the mechanical oil pump has been replaced with an electric one. The result is fewer energy losses, improved efficiency and greater mileage. Read more at Hybrid Cars in Reuters or in the press release from Hyundai below.

Zelectric Motors has completed its electric 1966 Volkswagen Beetle rebuild, and has put it up for sale. The '66 ZelectricBug, as it's called, is powered by a 50-kW electric motor and 20-kWh battery pack, and offers 120 pound-feet of torque. It has a range of 80 miles, and is capable of at least 100 mph. The stock transmission has been rebuilt. It also has some new goodies like high-performance sway bars, custom shocks, and LED lighting. The '66 ZelectricBug is priced at $45,000. Check it out in the video below and read more at Hybrid Cars.

A startup called Alevo says it will build a billion-dollar factory in North Carolina to make longer-lasting lithium iron phosphate batteries. Alevo has purchased an old cigarette factory in Concord for $68.5 million, but it's unclear whether or not the company has secured the $1 billion investment to begin producing batteries. The company plans to create 2,500 to 6,000 jobs and produce several gigawatts worth of batteries per year, which is a tall order for a relatively unknown company. Read more at Gigaom, or in Alevo's press release below.

Tesla owners in Shanghai will be exempt from the city's $12,000 registration fee. About 400 people have already received the free license plates in Shanghai, where the government wants to encourage alternative fuel vehicles. Hangzhou also offers free plates to Tesla owners, and more Chinese cities might offer the same in an effort to reduce harmful emissions. Read more at Automotive News.
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Hyundai Motor Launches Motor Integrated Six-Speed Transmission For Latest Hybrid Models

- New technologies within motor-integrated six-speed automatic will achieve an improved fuel economy of latest hybrid models
- High performance downsized 1.0-litre Kappa Turbo engine meets Euro6

October 28, 2014 – Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's largest automaker, has announced a new six-speed automatic transmission for hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) at the company's annual International Powertrain Conference held today in Namyang, South Korea.

The new six-speed automatic transmission integrates the electric motor and applies a number of new technologies that deliver tangible benefits to the customer. The new unit will be fitted to future Hyundai hybrids, including the All-new Sonata.

The innovative set-up means that almost all of the hybrid powertrain components are contained within the transmission, minimizing energy losses and increasing fuel economy. A new traction motor and electric oil pump (EOP) have been fitted, while the torque converter has been removed completely. A lighter torsion damper, and new engine clutch, which features fewer clutch discs, reduce drag and contribute to a more efficient transfer and use of power.

The most significant change is within the oil pump system. The new transmission with the new oil pump system achieves improved fuel efficiency, by removing the mechanical oil pump (MOP) causing hydraulic losses and by applying a new electric oil pump (EOP) which automatically optimizes the system according to all driving conditions.

With fewer components, the new transmission weighs 130 kg (wet) – making it lighter than its previous version – yet still delivers 280 Nm (28.5 kg.m) of torque.

New 1.0-litre T-GDI
First displayed at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, the new Kappa 1.0-litre T-GDI is a high performance downsizing engine which could replace larger displacement natural-aspirated engines offering high fuel efficiency and low CO2 emission. The 998 cc three-cylinder unit is based on the established Kappa 1.0-litre MPI engine, carrying various enhancements and new technologies, including direct gasoline injection and a small, single-scroll turbocharger.

The 1.0-litre T-GDI engine produces 120PS (88.1kW) and peak torque of 17.5kgfm (172Nm) and will enhance Hyundai's engine line-up in 2015.

The new engine comes with an electronically-controlled waste-gate to improve low-end torque and transient response with better fuel economy by reducing pumping friction. The unit features a six-hole laser-drilled GDI injector, high pressure fuel supply system of maximum 200 bar, securing clean combustion and improving fuel economy and emissions to fulfill Euro6 emission standards.

It uses a split-cooling concept to manage different temperatures in the cylinder head and block area. The cylinder block is heated up quickly for lower friction and more efficient run, while the cylinder head operates at moderately low temperatures to suppress knock tendency hence improve fuel economy. The exhaust manifold is integrated within the cylinder head which efficiently cool down the exhaust gas temperature using the cylinder head water jacket around the exhaust port. These efforts result in faster warm-up reducing real-world fuel consumption and emissions.

Alevo Opens Victory Industrial Park In Concord, North Carolina

October 27, 2014

Innovative Energy Service Provider will generate 2,500-6,000 new jobs

Alevo Group, the Energy Service Provider, today announced that it will deploy and commission production lines at the Victory Industrial Park in Concord, North Carolina, for the manufacture of its innovative battery technology and GridBanks.

Alevo, a vertically-integrated manufacturer with global operations, has purchased the 3.5 million square foot former Philip Morris cigarette manufacturing facility in Concord, North Carolina, for $68.5 million. The manufacturing facility, renamed Victory Industrial Park (VIP), joins established operations in Europe. Alevo plans to deploy and commission production lines at VIP commencing in 2015 which will produce 40 GridBanks per month by July 2015.

Duke Energy has a 38MW substation on the property and natural gas, water, sewer and fiber infrastructure all exceed Alevo Manufacturing's requirements. The facility is in a preferred logistical location in the central eastern region of the US with rail on property and next to Interstate I-85. Alevo will manufacture its own batteries for its energy storage systems and co-locate with many of its partners to assemble finished goods.

The active ingredients of the Alevo cell are LFP (lithium-iron-phosphate) and graphite. Unlike typical rechargeable lithium ion batteries, such as those found in most consumer electronics devices, the Alevo lithium cell contains a new inorganic electrolyte technology, which is non-flammable and non-volatile. The process of electrode manufacturing, cell assembly, cell drying and fill, formation and aging, GridBank packaging/assembly that will bring the Alevo Battery Technology to a high volume manufacturing system will be in place in early 2015.

The Alevo VIP manufacturing plant will create 500 jobs in the first 12 months, rising to 2,500 skilled jobs within three years as manufacturing lines are added, ultimately rising to 6,000 jobs if and when additional manufacturing elements are located at the plant. Staff will be sourced using combinations of online recruiting, specialty recruiting services, North Carolina Works-Career Center and Rowan Cabarrus Community College.

"Our current energy environment sees dependence on polluting fossil fuels from unstable states coupled with an aging grid infrastructure that is based on a 100 year old design. Energy waste is rampant with an estimated 30% of all generated electricity lost before consumption. Alevo is an Energy Service Provider that uses a combination of innovative battery technology and smart data analytics to reduce a substantial part of the 30% of generated electricity that is currently wasted through reducible inefficiencies," said Jostein Eikeland, CEO Alevo Group SA.

About Alevo

Alevo is a leading provider of energy storage systems designed to deliver grid-scale electricity on demand. Its innovative battery technology and GridBanks enable new source-agnostic architecture for electrical grids that reduce waste, greenhouse gases and other emissions, create efficiencies and lower costs for the world's energy producers. Founded in 2009, Alevo Group is headquartered in Martigny Switzerland. For more information visit

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