The Department of Energy (DOE) will award $19 million in funding for a microhybrid boost system. Through its Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) program, the DOE will fund the University of Michigan's creation of a supercharger system with electric waste heat recovery and improved exhaust gas recirculation. The goal is to make smaller engines provide more potency while reducing emissions at a low cost. The project is expected to improve emissions by 20 percent over small turbocharged engines, cost less than a mild hybrid system and provide power comparable to a naturally aspirated engine. Read more at Green Car Congress, or from the DOE.
Tesla has self-reported that its Fremont factory emits more NOx than is allowed. The electric automaker notified the Bay Area Air Quality Management District that its thermal oxidizer – used to burn Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – produced more of the emissions than its limit of 0.1 pound per 1,000,000 BTUs of thermal input. However, Tesla says its paint process produces far fewer VOCs than other automotive paints. Some speculate that problems with the thermal oxidizer are a cause of Model X delays. Read more at Teslarati.