Caterpillar makes strategic investment in Fisker, with interest in solid-state battery tech

Fisker Inc., an e-mobility and technology company developing electric vehicles and proprietary solid-state battery technologies, announced a strategic investment from Caterpillar Venture Capital Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric... Read more →


Continental providing next-generation power electronics for Jaguar’s I-PACE

The new Jaguar I-PACE’s (earlier post) electric powertrain can operate at currents of up to 650 amps. To handle these large currents and the resulting extreme load changes, Continental developed a next-generation power electronics system for Jaguar Land Rover that is specifically adapted to the requirements of sporty, performance-oriented powertrains.... Read more →


US EPA awards $9.6M in DERA grants to reduce harmful diesel emissions in California

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $9.6 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) grants to public and private partners in California. The funds will be used to retrofit and replace old, polluting diesel vehicles and equipment, including school buses, heavy-duty trucks, tractors and port equipment. The DERA program... Read more →


DOE awards Virginia Tech $3M for EV charging cybersecurity project

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Virginia Tech a $3 million grant for research on electric vehicle charging infrastructure cybersecurity as part of a larger $80 million investment by the department on advanced technologies research (earlier post). As the world shifts to a higher production and usage of... Read more →


MTS delivers power density improvements to motor and inverter technology for Formula E

MTS Systems Corporation, a global supplier of high-performance test systems and sensors, announced further power density improvements to its electric motor and inverter technology for motorsport. Power density is a key component of successful racing. Leveraging experience and technology gained from developing energy recovery systems for Formula 1 racecars, MTS... Read more →


Global VC funding (venture capital, private equity, and corporate venture capital) for Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Efficiency companies in the first 9 months (9M) of 2018 was 8% higher at more than $1.3 billion compared to the $1.2 billion raised in 9M 2017, according to the latest Mercom Capital... Read more →


Emerging Fuels Technology licenses its second-generation Fischer-Tropsch technology to Red Rock Biofuels

Emerging Fuels Technology, Inc (EFT) has executed a license agreement with Red Rock Biofuels LLC (RRB) under which EFT will provide its second-generation TL8a Fischer-Tropsch (FT) technology to provide additional FT capacity for RRB’s biorefinery in Lakeview, Oregon. EFT has also received a “notice to proceed” from RRB to commence... Read more →


BASF and Nornickel partner to supply cobalt and nickel battery materials

BASF and Nornickel have established a strategic cooperation to meet the growing needs for battery materials in electric vehicles. BASF has selected Harjavalta, Finland, as the first location for battery materials production serving the European automotive market. The plant will be constructed adjacent to the nickel and cobalt refinery owned... Read more →


Researchers in Drexel’s College of Engineering report the ability of stabilized titanium monoxide (TiO) nanoparticles in nanofibers to support high conductivity and to bind polysulfides in Li-S batteries. Their paper is published in the ACS journal Applied Materials & Interfaces. The developed 3-D TiO/CNF architecture with the inherent inter-fiber macropores... Read more →


JBEI researchers produce high density jet fuel precursors from bacteria

Researchers with the US Department of Energy (DOE) Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), with colleagues in China, have produced the tricyclic sesquiterpenes epi-isozizaene, pentalenene and α-isocomene—promising jet fuel feedstocks—at high production titers, providing novel, sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based jet fuels. An open-access paper on their work appears in Biotechnology for Biofuels.... Read more →


Auburn University leads $2M DOE Co-Optima project to evaluate renewable butyl acetate as diesel fuel additive

Auburn University researchers are leading a $2-million US Department of Energy Co-Optima project (earlier post) that will evaluate renewable butyl acetate (BA) as a bio-based fuel additive that can be blended with diesel fuel to reduce soot and greenhouse gas emissions and yield cleaner engine operation in cold-weather conditions. Joining... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz Trucks has delivered another all-electric eActros (earlier post) to a customer for on-road testing: Meyer-Logistik. For one year, the company based in Friedrichsdorf in Hessen will now be test-driving a 25-tonne truck with a refrigeration unit for transporting temperature-sensitive foodstuffs from the warehouse to different supermarkets in the center... Read more →


A new study led by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has found that deaths related to air pollution in the US were nearly halved between 1990 and 2010. The open-access study is published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. The team’s analyses showed that... Read more →


Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have demonstrated a 120-kilowatt wireless charging system for vehicles—providing six times the power of previous ORNL technology and a big step toward charging times that rival the speed and convenience of a gasoline station fill-up. The wireless system transfers... Read more →


Nouryon, Tata Steel, Port of Amsterdam to study feasibility of largest green H2 cluster in Europe; 100 MW water electrolysis facility

Nouryon (formerly AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals), Tata Steel and the Port of Amsterdam have joined together to study the feasibility of a large green hydrogen cluster in the Amsterdam region. The three parties consider green hydrogen as vital for reaching climate targets and building a more circular economy—e.g., by combining it... Read more →


Volkswagen Group China is beginning construction in Anting of the Group’s first factory specifically designed for the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) platform. The first model that will be produced in the factory of SAIC Volkswagen will be an electric Volkswagen brand SUV in 2020. Together with the FAW-Volkswagen factory... Read more →


LG Chem hosts open innovation contest for start-ups with new battery technologies

LG Chem, South Korea’s leading manufacturer of advanced lithium-ion batteries, is hosting its first open innovation contest—The Battery Challenge—to support start-ups specializing in new battery technology to strengthen its competitiveness in the industry. LG Chem will offer more than $1.9 million in funding to 8 selected start-up companies. The finalists... Read more →


Ballard Power Systems will provide fuel cell modules to power two port terminal yard trucks as part of a project being managed by GTI and partially funded by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). (Earlier post.) CARB has preliminarily awarded $5.7 million dollars to GTI for the Zero Emissions for... Read more →


TenCate Advanced Composites, a leading global developer and manufacturer of advanced composite materials, and Aston Martin announced a technical partnership for the Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar program. Unveiled in March 2017 as the AM-RB (Aston Martin - Red Bull Racing) hypercar, and subsequently named Valkyrie, the mid-engined hypercar features a... Read more →


Volkswagen Group rolls out diesel swapping program throughout Germany

The Volkswagen Group rolled out a new diesel swapping program in Germany. Environmental incentives for scrappage of Euro-1 to Euro-4 diesel vehicles of any make are again being offered by some of the Group’s brands throughout Germany. Vehicle keepers in the 14 cities classified by the federal government as having... Read more →


Carbon fibers have already beeen demonstrated as high-capacity Li-ion battery anodes, opening the way for their use as structural electrodes—i.e., simultaneously carrying mechanical load and storing electrical energy. Now, researchers led by Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have linked the carbon fiber (CF) microstructure to the lithium insertion mechanism and... Read more →


German BMBF launches new €16M FestBatt multi-institution cluster to focus on solid-state batteries

Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has launched a new €16-million cluster—FestBatt—to foster basic research into solid-state batteries. Fourteen scientific institutions have joined FestBatt; the competence cluster is coordinated by the University of Gießen (JLU). Solid-state batteries are fireproof and might enable larger storage capacities and quicker charging processes... Read more →


China-based autonomous driving company Momenta receives a new round of funding at a valuation over $1B

Momenta, a China-based autonomous driving company, has secured a new round of funding from industry-leading strategic investors and government funds at a valuation north of $1 billion, making Momenta the first autonomous driving unicorn company in China. Existing investor NIO Capital and Pagoda Investment increased their investments. Strategic investors, including... Read more →


Berlin-based Graforce Hydro GmbH, the developer of a plasma electrolyzer—the Plasmalyzer—is applying its technology for the highly efficient generation of hydrogen from industrial waste water. Mixing in biogas produces hydrogen-enriched compressed natural gas (HCNG)—a cost-effective, environmentally friendly fuel for vehicles that also generates electricity and heat. The technology not only... Read more →


Daimler Financial Services, the financial and mobility services arem of Daimler AG, has made a strategic investment in Soul Machines—a New Zealand company re-imagining how humans connect with machines—further to develop the combined use of artificial and emotional intelligence. Daimler is the first premium brand in the automotive sector to... Read more →


Volvo Group detects premature degradation of NOx emissions control component; in talks with EPA, CARB

The Volvo Group—a global manufacturer of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines, but not Volvo Cars—has reported that it has detected that an emissions control component used in certain markets is degrading more quickly than expected, which could cause the engines to exceed emissions limits for nitrogen... Read more →


One factor holding back the widespread use of eco-friendly hydrogen fuel cells in cars, trucks and other vehicles is the cost of the platinum catalysts that make the cells work. One approach to using less precious platinum is to combine it with other cheaper metals, but those alloy catalysts tend... Read more →


AxleTech, a provider of specialty powertrain solutions, is developing a heavy-duty e-powertrain system with Thor Trucks, a fleet-focused transportation lab building fully electric commercial trucks. AxleTech and Thor Trucks will integrate AxleTech’s e-axle technology with Thor’s proprietary battery technology to create a fully electric commercial vehicle powertrain. Thor Trucks is... Read more →


Groupe Renault and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Limited (Brilliance), who earlier this year formed Renault-Brilliance-Jinbei Automotive Co., Ltd., a joint venture to manufacture and sell light commercial vehicles (LCV), signed a Strategic Cooperation agreement with Chinese officials from Liaoning Province to further accelerate growth of LCVs in China. Renault also... Read more →


Anellotech planning commercial Bio-TCat plant based on progress in development program

Sustainable technology company Anellotech confirmed significant progress in its Bio-TCat technology development program and has begun planning for scale-up design and engineering of a commercial plant with its process development and design partner IFPEN and commercialization, engineering, and licensing partner Axens. Anellotech has developed an innovative manufacturing process to produce... Read more →