Project: Next-generation internal-combustion engine
Principal institutions: General Motors/University of Michigan Collaborative Research Laboratories
New technology combining elements of spark ignition and diesel engines promises to be 15 percent more fuel-efficient than conventional gas engines.
Project: Active traffic Management
Principal institutions: U.S. Department of Transportation
Wireless communication between vehicles and roadway infrastructure could reduce congestion by providing real-time information to drivers and traffic managers.
Project: Carbon-nanotube ultracapacitors
Principal institutions: MIT
Advanced ultracapacitors for hybrid and electric cars would charge and discharge much faster than batteries.
Project: National Bus Rapid Transit Institute
Principal institutions: University of South Florida
Is working to combine buses with intelligent transportation technologies to create systems that can substitute for light rail or subways in cities.
Project: Aviation biofuels
Principal institutions: Boeing
Different biofuels are being tested for use in commercial jets.
Project: The Civitas Initiative
Principal institutions: European Commission
Is developing integrated technological and policy-based approaches to energy-efficient transportation in cities.
Project: Lithium-air batteries
Principal institutions: IBM
Technology that could store 10 times as much energy as conventional lithium batteries.
Project: Next-generation train
Principal institutions: German Aerospace Center
This new system would use half as much energy as other high-speed trains and be 25 percent faster.
Project: Energy Biosciences Institute
Principal institutions: University of California, Berkeley; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; University of Illinois; BP
Plans to develop biofuels using synthetic biology.
Principal institutions: U.S. Air Force, Boeing
The first demonstration of an unmanned military space plane will take place in January 2010. In theory, a space plane could take passengers from London to Sydney in four to five hours.
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Curbing emissions isn’t enough—we need emergency solutions for climate change
Top energy scientist Daniel Schrag says we have to adapt and innovate, because we’re already signed up for centuries of higher global temperatures.
Why lithium-ion may rule batteries for a long time to come
Materials scientist Gerd Ceder is overseeing a research effort to extend the capabilities of the dominant form of energy storage, using a new class of compounds.
How California could affordably reach 100 percent clean electricity
Depending on solar and wind without nuclear, carbon capture, or other “firm low-carbon resources” would be extremely expensive, MIT researchers find.