On April 28, Rocky Mountain Institute cofounder Amory Lovins stopped by the Energy Institute to visit with faculty and give a talk titled “Astonishing Automotive Futures: Disruptive Designs, Analyses, and Strategies.” If you missed it:
If EVs are critical to significantly reducing or eliminating carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles over the next three decades – and I believe they are – we need to think about ways to appeal to desires and interests not only of consumers, but of public and private institutions with a stake in our energy and transportation systems. In short, we should extol EVs not for their low-carbon virtue, but as a way to create and to satisfy demand in both the electricity and transportation sectors.
Huei Peng has been named director of U-M's Mobility Transformation Center, an interdisciplinary research unit of the U-M Office of Research, and Carrie Morton has been appointed deputy director of the MTC.
Peng is the Roger L. McCarthy Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and he has served as associate director of MTC since its launch in 2013. His research focuses on the design and control of electrified vehicles, and connected and automated vehicles.
American consumers have been enjoying Christmas since July – that is, July 2014, when the average price for all grades of gasoline peaked at US$3.75 per gallon, according to the Energy Information Administration. Since then, prices have declined substantially, as every motorist knows: to $2.90 by Thanksgiving 2014 and to $2.14 as we approach the end of 2015. In many parts of the country, the price of regular gasoline is well below $2 per gallon today.
On November 30, as the Paris international climate conference was getting underway, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a long-overdue update of Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirements. Originally established in 2005 and then greatly expanded by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, the RFS mandates increasing use of ethanol, biodiesel and other biofuels in America's cars and trucks.
ANN ARBOR—Could vehicles that communicate with each other and their surroundings, helping drivers avoid crashes, also save energy?
The University of Michigan is working with two U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories to study whether connected and automated vehicles could help people drive more efficiently. U-M, with Argonne National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory, won a three-year, $2.7 million grant from DOE to fund the research.
The first North American roads were foot trails- trails that widened, with the centuries, to accommodate horses and then teams. A horse and wagon traveled at an average speed of four miles per hour. Our average travel speed has changed a bit since then, yet many of those same trails- made to offer the least resistance possible for animals two-legged and four- now carry millions of Americans to their destinations. Builders, policy experts, and others who plan and study transportation systems must literally build the future on top of the past.
ANN ARBOR—The opening of the University of Michigan Energy Institute's Battery Fabrication and Characterization User Facility, or Battery Lab, today further expands the Midwest's rapidly growing battery research and manufacturing capabilities.
The open-access lab will provide space to build and test battery concepts while fully protecting the intellectual property of its users. The lab's capabilities have already attracted global user interest from startups, established corporations and academics.