Norfolk Southern Railway No. 999 is the first all-electric, battery-powered locomotive in the United States. But when one of the thousand lead-acid batteries that power it dies, the locomotive shuts down. To combat this problem, a team of Penn State University researchers is developing more cost-effective ways to prolong battery life.
A new study of the batteries commonly used in hybrid and electric-only cars has revealed an unexpected factor that could limit the performance of batteries currently on the road. Researchers led by Ohio State University engineers examined used car batteries and discovered that over time lithium accumulates beyond the battery electrodes—in the "current collector," a sheet of copper which facilitates electron transfer between the electrodes and the car's electrical system.
As plug-in electric vehicles become an ever-more central part of America's daily life, University of Notre Dame researchers are anticipating what that development will mean for the nation's power grid. Under funding from the National Science Foundation's Cyber-Physical Systems Program, a research group is attempting to develop mathematical algorithms to help guide the integration of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles into the power grid.
Fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States remains at its highest level ever, while emissions are at a record low, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology are partnering with GE and Ford Motor Co. to study ways to add greater efficiencies to electric driving and charging performance.
As fuel economy of new vehicles improved 18% over the past five years, billions of gallons of gas and billions of pounds of emissions have been saved, say University of Michigan researchers. To reach these results, the researchers collected fuel data on 61 million new cars, pickup trucks, minivans, and SUVs sold in the U.S. since 2007.
Engineering students and staff at the University of Birmingham have designed and built a prototype hydrogen-powered locomotive, the first of its kind to operate in the U.K. The narrow gauge locomotive is a hybrid design, combining a hydrogen fuel cell and lead acid batteries similar to the ones used in cars.
Washington University in St. Louis recently landed a $2 million U.S. Dept. of Energy grant with $1.2 million in matching funds from the university to design a battery management system for lithium-ion batteries that will guarantee their longevity, safety and performance. The development is geared toward electric vehicle technologies.
For the second straight month, fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States fell by 0.2 mpg—likely reflecting a slight drop in gas prices, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
As the United States' natural gas reserves have sparked an interest in natural gas-powered vehicles, Argonne National Laboratory is hoping to use its automotive research facilities to lead the way in natural-gas vehicle testing.
Gasoline prices this summer could stay relatively steady provided that an already-tense Middle East doesn't flare up and nothing else happens to disrupt supplies, a Purdue University economist says.
A new study by civil engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows that using stiffer pavements on the nation's roads could reduce vehicle fuel consumption by as much as 3%—a savings that could add up to 273 million barrels of crude oil per year, or $15.6 billion at today's oil prices. This would result in an accompanying annual decrease in carbon dioxide emissions of 46.5 million metric tons.
The first 3D-printed car body may set the pace for a new mode of manufacturing.
Fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States has topped 24 mpg for the first time ever, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together on the development of drop-in, affordable aviation biofuels. The collaboration agreement supports the industry's multi-pronged approach to continuously reduce the industry's carbon emissions.
Tomorrow's aircraft could contribute to their power needs by harnessing energy from the wheel rotation of their landing gear to generate electricity. They could use this to power their taxiing to and from airport buildings, reducing the need to use their jet engines. This would save on aviation fuel, cut emissions, and reduce noise pollution at airports.
As the United States transitions away from a primarily petroleum-based transportation industry, a number of different alternative fuel sources—ethanol, biodiesel, electricity, and hydrogen—have each shown their own promise. Hoping to expand the pool even further, researchers at Argonne National Laboratory have begun to investigate adding one more contender to the list of possible energy sources for light-duty cars and trucks: Compressed natural gas.
A Stanford University research team has designed a high-efficiency charging system that uses magnetic fields to wirelessly transmit large electric currents between metal coils placed several feet apart. The long-term goal of the research is to develop an all-electric highway that wirelessly charges cars and trucks as they cruise down the road.
After two months of increases, the average fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States fell by a half mile per gallon last month, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
Joint BioEnergy Institute researchers have determined the 3D crystal structure of a protein that is key to boosting the microbial-based production of bisabolane as a clean, green, and renewable biosynthetic alternative to D2 diesel fuel.
Contrary to common perception, the major automakers have produced large increases in fuel efficiency through better technology in recent decades. There's just one catch: All those advances have barely increased the mileage per gallon that autos actually achieve on the road.
Average fuel economy of all new vehicles sold in the United States is up for the second straight month, say researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. Average fuel economy of cars, light trucks, minivans, and SUVs purchased in November was 22.7 mpg, up from 22.6 mpg in October and up from 22.1 mpg in both August and September.
Strains of E. coli bacteria were engineered to digest switchgrass biomass and synthesize its sugars into gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. The switchgrass, which is among the most highly touted of the potential feedstocks for advanced biofuels, was pre-treated with ionic liquid, a key to the success of this study.
Researchers at the University of Georgia have developed a "super strain" of yeast that can efficiently ferment ethanol from pretreated pine. Their research could help biofuels replace gasoline as a transportation fuel.
On Nov. 9, Alaska Airlines initiated the first regular commercial service in the United States powered by a blend of sustainable biofuels from used cooking oil and petroleum-based jet fuel. The flights from SeaTac Airport to Washington D.C. and Portland, Ore. are important steps in a long journey that will provide a more sustainable and lower carbon future for the aviation industry.