In Germany, Kia Motors revealed the upgraded Kia Sportage, introducing a range of enhancements to the brand’s European and global best-seller. The Sportage’s advanced new EcoDynamic+ 48V diesel mild-hybrid powertrain (earlier post) is the first to be launched as part of the brand’s global powertrain electrification strategy. Kia is the... Read more →


Californians for Zero Emission Vehicles (CalZEV), a coalition of public health, environmental and electric vehicle industry organizations, announced its strong support for the Innovative Clean Transit (ICT) measure currently before the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Under the proposal (earlier post), California transit agencies would be required to purchase 100%... Read more →


MIT team develops new lane-change algorithm for autonomous cars

Most existing lane-change algorithms for autonomous cars have one of two drawbacks: Either they rely on detailed statistical models of the driving environment, which are difficult to assemble and too complex to analyze on the fly; or they’re so simple that they can lead to impractically conservative decisions, such as... Read more →


BP invests in ultra-fast charging battery company StoreDot

BP Ventures has invested $20 million in Israel-based ultra-fast charging battery developer StoreDot. (Earlier post.) StoreDot has developed a lithium ion-based battery technology which enables ultra-fast charging for the mobile and industrial markets. Using this technology, StoreDot is also developing a new type of electric-car battery that will aim to... Read more →


Lightning Systems, a global developer of zero-emissions solutions for commercial fleets, announced the LightningElectric Ford Transit product line (earlier post) will expand to include a 150-mile range version, adding to the 50-mile and 100-mile versions. The LightningElectric is a battery-electric drivetrain package for the heavy-duty Ford Transit, a product used... Read more →


Punch Powertrain and XPT have signed a joint venture agreement that will establish a new manufacturing plant in Nanjing and will yearly supply hundreds of thousands of electric powertrains for pure EV applications to customers of both partners. The partners will invest €10 million in a new production facility in... Read more →


UK government launches new clean air strategy; ending sales of conventional diesel and gasoline LDVs by 2040

UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove published a new Clean Air Strategy to cut air pollution backed up through new primary legislation. The UK said it will go further and faster than the EU in reducing human exposure to particulate matter pollution. These proposals are in addition to the government’s £3.5-billion... Read more →


Exoès and Saft partner to improve Li-ion battery thermal management

Organic Rankine Cycle specialist Exoès and Saft Incubator have signed a cooperation agreement to do common tests to improve next generation battery thermal management. The temperature of a Li-ion battery has a major influence on its performance and its lifespan. Harsh climatic environments and severe solicitations can rapidly degrade cells... Read more →


New method for the precise analysis of the composition of secondary organic aerosols in PM

Researchers in Poland have developed a new precise method for the chemical analysis of secondary organic aerosol (SOA)—an important yet not fully characterized constituent of atmospheric particulate matter. The method, easily adaptable in many modern laboratories, not only determines the chemical composition of compounds, but also recognizes changes in the... Read more →


Study suggests more active commute could cut risk of developing and dying from heart disease

People who are more active when commuting to work by walking or cycling could be cutting their relative risk of developing ischaemic heart disease or stroke by 11% and their relative risk of dying from these diseases by 30%, suggests an open-access study published in the BMJ journal Heart. Physical... Read more →


Consumer Reports declines to recommend Tesla Model 3

Consumer Reports, although finding “plenty to like” about the Tesla Model 3, including record-setting range as well as exhilarating acceleration and handling that could make it a healthy competitor to performance-oriented cars such as BMW’s 3 Series and the Audi A4, declined to recommend the EV. Consumer Reports said that... Read more →


North Carolina-based Hotstick USA has exclusively licensed a direct-current detector technology developed by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory to help emergency responders safely detect high voltages. In emergency situations, first response teams often rely on voltage detectors such as Hotstick USA’s flagship product, the AC Hotstick, to... Read more →


The electrification of road transport will move into top gear in the second half of the 2020s, due to tumbling battery costs and larger-scale manufacturing, with sales of electric cars surging to 28%, and those of electric buses to 84%, of their respective global markets by 2030. The latest long-term... Read more →


Study associates ozone exposure at birth to increased risk of developing asthma

A long-term study of the health of Canadian children has found that exposure to ozone (O3) at birth was associated with an 82% increased risk of developing asthma by age three. The study, which was a 10-year follow-up to the 2006 Toronto Child Health Evaluation Questionnaire (T-CHEQ), was presented at... Read more →


Hyundai Mobis to develop full range of autonomous driving sensors by 2020; new efforts in radar

Supplier Hyundai Mobis plans to develop a full range of sensors to support autonomous by 2020 with the goal of leading the global market. The company made the announcement at its new proving ground, which opened last June in Seosan, South Korea, as a test bed for new technologies. The... Read more →


Groupe PSA and Centrale Nantes launch €4M R&D program on digital simulation techniques for powertrain design

Groupe PSA and Ecole Centrale de Nantes have launched of an R&D partnership to optimize powertrain design processes for the group’s future vehicles. The aim of the partnership is to accelerate the use of digital simulation techniques in the design, development and testing of powertrains and increase model predictability. In... Read more →


Drax, C-Capture to pilot Europe’s first bioenergy carbon capture storage project

UK-based renewable power generator Drax will pilot the first bioenergy carbon capture storage (BECCS) project of its kind in Europe, which, if successful, could make the renewable electricity produced at its North Yorkshire power station carbon negative. The demonstration project will see Drax partner with C-Capture and invest £400,000 (US$539,000)... Read more →


The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pickup truck will be offered with an all-new, technologically advanced 2.7L Turbo. Standard on LT and RST trims, the new engine delivers an SAE-certified 310 horsepower and 348 lb-ft (472 N·m) of torque—22% more torque than the 4.3L V-6 it replaces. Developed specifically for truck... Read more →


The all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 will offer updated versions of the proven 5.3L and 6.2L V-8s with Dynamic Fuel Management (DFM), based on Tula’s Dynamic Skip Fire (DSF) technology. (Earlier post.) This industry-first cylinder deactivation technology enables the engines to operate in 17 different cylinder patterns to optimize power... Read more →


DOE SBIR/STTR FY18 BES Phase 1 Release 1 awards include 15 for hydrogen and fuel cells

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the 2018 Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Phase I Release 1 awards, including 15 projects focused on high density hydrogen storage, innovative ionomers (ion-containing polymers) in the catalyst layer, gas diffusion layers, and membranes for electrochemical production... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz to invest ~€500M to produce electric compact EQ model at Hambach plant

Mercedes-Benz Cars is expanding its production capacities for electric cars in Europe. The Hambach plant in France, which currently produces smart brand electric vehicles, will produce a compact electric car of the new product and technology brand EQ. Mercedes-Benz Cars plans to launch more than ten electric cars by 2022... Read more →


In preparation for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb 2018, the Volkswagen Motorsport team has engineered the aerodynamics of the I.D. R Pikes Peak (earlier post)—the brand’s first fully-electric racing car—specifically to tackle the famous hill climb. The goal at the race, which takes place on 24 June in Colorado... Read more →


SoCalGas introduces STARS solar hydrogen generation system at California Air Resources Board Symposium

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) introduced an innovative new solar-powered hydrogen generation system during the California Air Resources Board Technology Expo and Symposium at the University of California, Riverside. The project is a partnership between SoCalGas, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the STARS Corporation. The generation system uses sunlight... Read more →


Key enzyme for production of second-generation ethanol discovered in Brazilian Amazon

Researchers have discovered a novel enzyme (a β-glucosidase) in microorganisms living in the Brazilian Amazon that could boost efficiency of the sugarcane bagasse saccharification process, which accounts for up to 50% of the global costs of cellulosic ethanol production. The team isolated, characterized and reproduced the enzyme, proving it to... Read more →


Roskill: graphite prices could push higher on tightening markets for batteries & electrodes

Synthetic graphite electrode prices rose nine-fold through the first three quarters of 2017, increasing from US$1,748/t in January 2017 to a high of US$16,309/t in September, according to Roskill Information Services. Despite some fallback during the winter months, prices remained above US$15,600/t through February and March 2018. Spot prices were... Read more →


API reports record US petroleum production in April: 10.543 million b/d; strongest April demand since 2007

April saw the US produce a record 10,543,000 barrels per day (MBD) of oil, according to data from the American Petroleum Institute. The first four months of this year also saw US petroleum demand average 750,000 barrels a day above the same period in 2017 despite higher prices. Total petroleum... Read more →


Hydro-Québec grants an exploitation license and partners with Nouveau Monde Graphite to develop materials for Li-ion batteries

Hydro-Québec (HQ) and Nouveau Monde Graphite (NMG) have signed a license and a research and development agreements respecting the processing of graphite for use in lithium-ion batteries. The partners hope that this collaboration will enable NMG to commercialize battery material technologies developed by HQ over the past 30 years. The... Read more →


Tianqi Lithium takes $4.07B stake in world’s largest lithium producer SQM

China-based Tianqi Lithium, a leading global supplier of lithium products, has agreed to purchase 62,556,568 A shares of Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM)—the world’s largest lithium producer—held by Nutrien for consideration of $65 per share in cash. The announced transaction represents the entirety of Nutrien’s A shares... Read more →


European Commission proposes 15% reduction in CO2 for new heavy-duty trucks by 2025, indicative target of 30% by 2030

In the third set of measures designed to implement the “Europe on the Move” goals of modernizing the transport system, the European Commission is proposing a 15% reduction in new heavy-duty truck CO2 emissions by 2025 from 2019 levels. For 2030, the Commission proposed an indicative reduction target of at... Read more →


On 14 May 2018, BMW Group officially obtained the Shanghai Intelligent Connected Autonomous Driving Test License, issued by the Intelligent Connected Vehicle Road Test Promotion Team—consisting of Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization, Shanghai Municipal Public Security Bureau and Shanghai Municipal Transportation Commission. The BMW Group thus has become... Read more →