ACT Expo 2018

Monthly Archives: March 2012

Dynetek Hopes to Do Better

March 31, 2012 in CNG, Hydrogen, NGVs by rich  |  No Comments

Coming off what can only be described as a brutal year, Calgary-based Dynetek Industries (Toronto:DNK), a manufacturer of lightweight Type III (carbon fiber on aluminum) CNG and other fuel cylinders, says it is seeking to expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific market through joint venture relationships in Korea, India and China.
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World CNG & NatGasCar Partner on Caravan

March 31, 2012 in CNG, NGVs by rich  |  No Comments

Seattle-based World CNG and Cleveland’s NatGasCar have partnered to offer the Dodge Caravan CNG, for which NatGasCar recently secured U.S. EPA certification for 2011-2012 model vehicles with 3.6-liter Chrysler Pentastar engine.
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NAFA to Steer you Right on EVs

March 31, 2012 in Uncategorized by rich  |  No Comments

Educational Session Planned

for April’s Annual Meeting in St. Louis

Fleet managers intrigued by electric drive vehicles “can’t afford to bet on the wrong horse,” says the NAFA Fleet Management Association, promising an educational session titled Advanced and Emerging Vehicle Technologies to “point them in the right direction.”

April 21-24, 2012 NAFA Institute & Expo hosted by the NAFA Fleet Management Association. America’s Center in St. Louis, Mo. NAFA, Gary Wien, 609-986-1053; www.nafaexpo.org

April 21-24, 2012 NAFA Institute & Expo hosted by the NAFA Fleet Management Association. America’s Center in St. Louis, Mo.

The Monday morning session is one of 60 for fleets at the association’s annual meeting, the NAFA Institute & Expo
taking place April 21-24 at America’s Center in St. Louis, Mo.

Advanced and Emerging Vehicle Technologies attendees will get an overview of battery, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicle technologies for commercial applications, NAFA says. They will learn which technologies are likely to survive long-term, which applications show the most promise for the future, and get a run-down of available tools to justify advanced vehicle-technology items from a total cost-of-ownership perspective.

“This informative presentation seeks to separate science from fiction and notes which technologies will actually be there down the road,” NAFA says.

“The future looks bright with promise, but only if the technology meets the needs of fleet professionals,” said NAFA executive director Phillip Russo said in a release.

“This is a session fleet professionals will not want to miss.”


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Ioxus Is Making a Name in Ultracaps

March 30, 2012 in Electric Drive, EVs, Hybrids by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

New York State ultracapacitor manufacturer Ioxus is forging ahead in a market it says is growing by better than 50% a year, turning out product at a new headquarters facility in Oneonta and expanding its ultracap line.

The firm claims fundamental safety and performance advantages over batteries, especially for hybrid vehicle applications demanding quick pickup and release of power.
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Wrightspeed Promotes ‘The Route’ Plug-In

March 30, 2012 in CNG, Electric Drive, EVs, Hybrids by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

A Unique, CNG Version Will Be Shown in Long Beach

San Jose-based Wrightspeed is preparing a CNG-fueled Isuzu NPR HD with plug-in hybrid electric drivetrain for display at ACT Expo in Southern California in mid-May.

Wrightspeed’s plug-in hybrid electric drive offers payback in just three to five years based on fuel-savings alone — a time span that’s dropping as fuel prices rise.
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Ford Boosts EVs, Big Time

March 28, 2012 in Electric Drive, EVs, Hybrids by rich  |  No Comments

EcoBoost and Alternative Fuels, Too
As OEM Hires, Sets New Tech Center 

Recognizing the fundamental efficiency of electric drive in the context of rising fuel costs, Ford is stepping up with a new technical center and significant hiring as it commits to vehicle electrification.
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Electric Motors for Slashing Airline Costs

March 28, 2012 in Aviation, Electric Drive by rich  |  No Comments

Gibraltar-based WheelTug says that electric motors in the nose wheels of jetliners can allow them to move using neither main engines nor tugs, and can save airlines the equivalent of 6 to 7% of their fuel use.
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Azure Dynamics Files for Bankruptcy

March 28, 2012 in Electric Drive, EVs, Hybrids by rich  |  No Comments

item updated late March 29

‘We Can Come Back Stronger’

Citing tight finances, government demands for further information related to a planned stock offering, and a lack of time, Azure Dynamics (Toronto:AZD) gave word March 26 that it’s asked for protection from creditors via the Supreme Court of British Columbia under Canada’s Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act. Azure said too that it will file “a voluntary petition under Chapter 15 of title 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code to seek recognition and enforcement in the United States of the Initial Order requested in the CCAA proceedings.”

The stock offering has been be abandoned.

A pure battery electric Transit Connect with drivetrain by Azure Dynamics was among the alt fuel vehicles shown by Ford at this year's Work Truck Show in Indianapolis.

A pure battery electric Transit Connect with drivetrain by Azure Dynamics was among the alt fuel vehicles shown by Ford at this year’s Work Truck Show in Indianapolis.

Azure has laid off approximately 120 of 160 workers and has closed down operations in Michigan, Boston and the UK.

“We had to retreat back to British Columbia,” says marketing VP Mike Elwood, “and begin the process of restructuring.” Azure will do so, he told F&F, with a team of about 30.

“We’re going to be lean,” he says. All of the firm’s core engineers, Elwood adds, have been retained.

Production meanwhile has ceased, including the battery electric Transit Connect by AM General and Balance hybrids by Utilimaster. Other major creditors include Ford, Johnson Controls, and Britain’s Lotus.

Future projects, like the planned development of plug-in hybrid electric versions of Ford trucks, are for now in limbo.

‘We Need to Get the Ship Turned’

“We’re not going to abandon anything, but we need to get the ship turned,” Elwood says.

He insists that he’s optimistic, that Azure’s failure to secure approval for the new stock offering forced a move that might well have been necessary anyway.

“We can come back stronger than we were before,” he says, and “grow the business in proportion to sales.”

“The decision to abandon the offering and commence CCAA proceedings comes after several weeks of formal and informal communications with staff of the Ontario Securities Commission,” Azure CEO Scott Harrison said in a release. Azure said that OSC indicated it would not approve the offering, despite the inclusion of detailed risk factor information in the proposed prospectus language.


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Lithium Balance for BMS – Battery Management

March 28, 2012 in Electric Drive, EVs, Hybrids by rich  |  No Comments

Denmark’s Lithium Balance promoted advanced battery management systems, including network BMS designs, at Electric Vehicles Land, Sea & Air USA 2012 in San Jose. As money pours into battery improvement, “battery management has to keep up,” the company says. It “is an essential enabling technology.”

Denmark's Lithium Balance promoted advanced battery management systems, including network BMS designs, at Electric Vehicles Land, Sea & Air USA 2012 in San Jose. A 48-volt integrated BMS unit is shown here.

Denmark’s Lithium Balance promoted advanced battery management systems, including network BMS designs, at Electric Vehicles Land, Sea & Air USA 2012 in San Jose. A 48-volt integrated BMS unit is shown here.

Battery management systems are vital because of the high levels of energy and power that are an inherent attribute of lithium batteries, said marketing manager Tunji Adebusuyi. “They are very dangerous things and they need to be properly managed,” he said.

Adebusuyi described his firm’s “n-BMS,” a networked system with what he called distributed intelligence, able to handle as many as 512 lithium cells wired in series, each individually managed. “It gives you a level of multiple redundancy,” he said – “if you lose a node, it’s unfortunate, but not fatal.”

Unlike other BMS suppliers, Lithium Balance focuses solely on battery management, Adebusuyi said in San Jose. Lithium Balance does not make motors, nor does it make electric vehicle controllers.

The firm aims to supply BMS technology that is “truly universal, usable by OEMs and aftermarket producers alike but at an affordable price point both in prototype quantities and volume.” Lithium Balance was founded in 2006 by the physicist Ivan Loncarevic.


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XL Hybrids Begins Fleet Trials

March 26, 2012 in Electric Drive, Hybrids by rich  |  No Comments

XL Hybrids has commenced trials of its economical upfit system for GM 2500 series vans. Two vehicles have been delivered, says XL co-founder and VP Justin Ashton, and plans are proceeding for ship-through upfits of new vehicles by a recognized Tier One supplier.
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Freightliner Cascadia 113 with ISX12 G

March 26, 2012 in CNG, NGVs by rich  |  No Comments

The Cascadia 113 tractor from Freightliner Trucks will be available next year with the new Cummins Westport ISX12 G dedicated-natural gas engine as a factory-installed option.
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Cornerstone Environmental Group Delivers BioCNG

March 26, 2012 in Uncategorized by rich  |  No Comments

Cornerstone Environmental and its BioCNG, LLC unit are opening natural gas vehicle fueling stations based on waste methane – and delivering the fuel at bargain prices.

Cornerstone Environmental is tapping landfill gas to make up to 250 gasoline gallon equivalents of ‘BioCNG’ in St Landry Parish, La. The facility opened March 26.

Cornerstone Environmental is tapping landfill gas to make up to 250 gasoline gallon equivalents of ‘BioCNG’ in St Landry Parish, La. The facility opened March 26.

A landfill gas-based facility in St Landry Parish, La. opened today (March 26) and another, using methane from a local wastewater treatment plant, opened in Janesville, Wisc. in mid-February.

Each has a BioCNG 50 purification unit and can produce 250 gasoline gallon equivalents of CNG per day.

Cornerstone’s first installation, at the Rodefeld Landfill, in Dane County outside Madison, Wisc. (F&F, Sept. 20, 2010) opened at 100 GGE per day in late 2010 and is being expanded to 250, says VP Mike Michels. “We’re making biofuel at all three of these projects at under $1 a gallon,” he told F&F – with the cost of compression included.

BioCNG units employ Air Liquide membrane technology for carbon dioxide removal and a scavenger system dubbed SulfaTreat to remove hydrogen sulfide, Michels says.

Cornerstone Environmental is using methane from a wastewater treatment plant to make up to 250 gasoline gallon equivalents of ‘BioCNG’ in Janesville, Wisc. – which happens to be the hometown of facility fueling equipment supplier ANGI. The facility opened February 15.

Cornerstone Environmental is using methane from a wastewater treatment plant to make up to 250 gasoline gallon equivalents of ‘BioCNG’ in Janesville, Wisc. – which happens to be the hometown of facility fueling equipment supplier ANGI. The facility opened February 15.

The first vehicle was BioCNG-filled at the Rodefeld landfill in Wisconsin on March 18, 2011

The first vehicle was BioCNG-filled at the Rodefeld landfill in Wisconsin on March 18, 2011

The Janesville facility has compression and dispensing equipment from ANGI Energy Systems  – which happens to have recently relocated there. In Louisiana, Cornerstone installed equipment from New Jersey’s Air & Gas Technologies.


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Five More EVI Medium Trucks for Frito-Lay

March 25, 2012 in Electric Drive, EVs, Fleet Order by rich  |  No Comments

Following a successful trial, Stockton, Calif.-based Electric Vehicles International has kicked off an expanded electric vehicle pilot project with Frito-Lay, which EVI notes has North America’s seventh-largest privately owned fleet.
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‘Beta’ Via Trucks Handed to PG&E

March 25, 2012 in Electric Drive, EVs, Fleet Order, Hybrids by rich  |  No Comments

Declaring a new era in transportation electrification and a “game-changing” vehicle that will save money while protecting the environment and curbing oil imports, Pacific Gas & Electric welcomed the first “beta” full-size range-extended battery electric trucks from Utah’s Via Motors (F&F Strategies, January 16) in San Francisco on March 22.
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GE Energy & Chesapeake-Peake

March 24, 2012 in CNG, LNG, NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Venerable Giant Makes Commitment to NGVs,
Teams with Chesapeake for Both CNG and LNG

GE is weighing into natural gas vehicles, teaming with Chesapeake Energy for both compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas fueling.
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DoE Oil Reduction Rule from NGVAmerica

March 24, 2012 in NGVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

The U.S. Department of Energy issued proposed regulations that instruct federal agencies about their obligation to reduce petroleum consumption and increase alternative fuel use in motor vehicles.
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Lincoln Gets DoT Titan Permit

March 24, 2012 in CNG by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Nebraska’s Lincoln Composites and its Hexagon Composites parent report a special DoT permit allowing the manufacture, sale and use of high-volume carbon fiber Titan transport modules in the U.S.
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