« December 2017 | Main

Lithium metal—with its high theoretical capcity and low electrochemical potential—is an ideal anode for Li-ion batteries, and is the material of choice for advanced batteries such as Li-sulfur and Li-O2. However, dendritic growth on the anode leads to an unstable solid electrolyte interphase, volume fluctuation, and even shorting of the... Read more →


Saudi Aramco, CB&I and Chevron Lummus Global partner to demo and commercialize Thermal Crude to Chemicals technology

Saudi Aramco, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Saudi Aramco Technologies, signed a three-party Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with CB&I, a US-based provider of technology and infrastructure for the energy industry, and Chevron Lummus Global (CLG), a joint venture between CB&I and Chevron USA Inc., and a leading process technology licensor. The... Read more →


Volkswagen gearing up for next-gen Golf with supplier selection; investing $2.2B in family; 75 weeks and counting

The Volkswagen brand is gearing up for the production of the next generation of the Golf family—the Golf 8. Volkswagen plans to invest €1.8 billion (US$2.2 billion) in the model family. In 75 weeks, the eighth generation of this bestseller in the compact segment will roll off the production lines... Read more →


Audi Smart Energy Network pilot project: stationary home battery as energy buffer for electric car and grid management

As part of a research project, Audi is running a pilot project with households in the Ingolstadt area and the Zurich region in conjunction with other partners. This involves combining various sizes of photovoltaic systems with stationary storage batteries. The control software by the Zurich start-up company Ampard distributes the... Read more →


Technology developed by Nissan for the battery-electric Nissan LEAF will be used in an electric bus project led by a team from Kumamoto University, that starts testing next month in Japan, with the goal of making zero-emission public transit more widespread and affordable. The bus, named “Yoka ECO Bus,” will... Read more →


KAIST researchers devise method to extend lifespan of solid oxide fuel cells by doping with metals

KAIST researchers have described a new technique to improve the chemical stability of solid oxide fuel cell electrode materials by doping with a small amount of metal. Their paper is published in the RSC journal Energy and Environmental Science. The core factor that determines the performance of solid oxide fuel... Read more →


A team of researchers led by scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have designed an active polyelectrolyte binder (PEB) that actively regulates key ion transport processes within a lithium-sulfur battery, and have also shown how it functions on a molecular level. The new... Read more →


Evonik and Siemens to generate high-value specialty chemicals from CO2 and renewable electricity; Power-to-X

Evonik and Siemens are planning to use electricity from renewable sources and bacteria to convert carbon dioxide into specialty chemicals. The two companies are working on electrolysis and fermentation processes in a joint, two-year research project called Rheticus. The first test plant is scheduled to go on stream by 2021... Read more →


Navigant Research has issued a new iteration of its Leaderboard Report on Autonomous Driving (AD), reflecting the new partnerships, strategic investments and acquisitions made since the early version less than one year ago. The Navigant AD Leaderboard assesses which participants are best-equipped to be the Leaders in developing complete automated... Read more →


Ricardo aims to be the niche battery pack manufacturer of choice for premium high-performance hybrids and EVs

Ricardo said that its recent completion of a full EV sports car battery manufacturing concept program by its Performance Products division is a significant milestone in its aim to become the niche battery manufacturer of choice for high performance hybrids and EVs. Ricardo Performance Products has been in niche volume... Read more →


Volkswagen founds mobility services company in Rwanda; to begin local assembly of Polo and Passat

The Volkswagen brand has founded “Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda”, a company based in Rwanda. The objective is to provide modern integrated mobility services in Africa in future. As part of its worldwide regionalization strategy, Volkswagen is planning to expand its business presence significantly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Going forward, the brand... Read more →


Report: Toyota to cut costs of fuel cell cars’ core technologies by >50% for new model in 2020; cut by 75% by 2025

The Nikkei reports that Toyota Motor plans to slash the cost of the key components of fuel cell cars by more than half for a new model slated to launch in 2020 or later. While production for of the Mirai, Toyota’s first mass-produced fuel cell model has grown steadily since... Read more →


Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle to go on sale this year in Canada starting in Québec

Toyota Canada announced that the Toyota Mirai fuel cell electric vehicle is coming to Canada this year. As Toyota kicked off its participation in the Montréal International Auto Show, the company confirmed it would launch starting with select fleets in Québec. Hydro Québec is the world’s fourth-largest producer of clean... Read more →


At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Achates Power and new development parter Aramco Services (earlier post) showcased a Ford F-150 fitted with a 3-cylinder, 2.7-liter Opposed-Piston Gasoline Compression Ignition (OPGCI) engine. (Earlier post.) Fabien Redon, Vice President, Technology Development at Achates, said they estimate that the OPGCI pickup... Read more →


Shell, ITM Power to build world’s largest hydrogen electrolysis plant in Germany; €20M REFHYNE project

Shell and ITM Power will build the world’s largest hydrogen electrolysis plant at Rhineland refinery, Germany. (Earlier post.) With a peak capacity of 10 megawatts, the hydrogen will be used for the processing and upgrading of products at the refinery’s Wesseling site as well as testing the technology and exploring... Read more →


Dürr is building a fully automatic paint shop for a Anhui Jianghuai Automobile (JAC) plant in China. The plant is designed to handle 100,000 units per year, will commence operation in June 2018, and will produce battery-electric cars on behalf of a local electric car manufacturer. The vehicles will be... Read more →


Pony.ai, a company that builds autonomous driving solutions, has closed a Series A funding round of $112M. Pony.ai is building level 4 autonomous driving technology, meaning vehicles can perform all driving functions for an entire trip in both suburban and urban environments as well as inclement weather conditions. With offices... Read more →


China-based GAC Motor, which has now attended the North American International Auto show (NAIAS) for four years straight, each time increasing its presence, showcased its signature lineup this year in Detroit, including the new GA4 sedan and the electric concept car Enverge. GAC plans to enter the US market in... Read more →


California Energy Commission awards First Element Fuel ~$8M for hydrogen fueling stations

The California Energy Commission awarded First Element Fuel almost $8 million in Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) grants to build hydrogen fueling stations in Redwood City, Studio City, Beverly Hills, and Mission Hills. The stations will become part of the state’s growing network of publicly accessible... Read more →


PG&E launches new $130M program to accelerate EV adoption in Northern and Central California; 7,500 chargers

To help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in California, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has launched its new EV Charge Network program. Partnering with business customers and EV charging companies, PG&E will install 7,500 EV chargers at condominiums, apartment buildings and workplaces across Northern and Central California, including... Read more →


SGL Group investing €25M to expand specialty graphite production

Demand for solutions based on specialty graphite from SGL group for the automotive industry has grown steadily in recent years. The material enables solutions in applications such as bearings for water pumps and exhaust gas management, rotors and vanes in vacuum pumps or sealing rings for seals—both for vehicles with... Read more →


Researchers at the University of Alberta (Canada) have shown for the first time that road dust is photochemically active; i.e., sunlight causes chemical reactions in the dust. Road dust resuspension is a major source of particulate matter in many urban centers—especially those in which traction materials are applied to roadways... Read more →


Magna showed its growing range of active aerodynamic systems at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, with an active air dam launching on the 2019 Ram 1500 pickup truck. (Earlier post.) The air dam deploys automatically to redirect air around the vehicle and provide emissions and fuel-economy improvements.... Read more →


DOE launching HPC and big data initiative to improve transportation energy efficiency; HPC4Mobility

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has launched two initiatives—High Performance Computing for Mobility (HPC4Mobility) and Big Data Solutions for Mobility—which will utilize the computing capabilities of the national labs to find solutions to real-world transportation energy challenges. The $2-million, multi-lab research initiative will develop new algorithms and big data... Read more →


Volkswagen Group deliveries reach all-time high in 2017 of 10.7M units; 4.2M in China alone

New vehicle deliveries from the Volkswagen Group reached an all-time high in fiscal year 2017 of 10.74 million units. As a result, Group deliveries rose 4.3% compared with the previous year. At almost one million units (999,800), deliveries in December were up by 8.5%. The Group handed over 4.3 million... Read more →


GM Flint Engine plant to build new 3.0L diesel for 2019 Chevrolet Silverado

General Motors’s Flint Engine Operations will serve as the manufacturing site for the all-new Duramax 3.0L turbo-diesel for the 2019 Silverado. (Earlier post.) In 2015 GM announced a $263-million investment in Flint Engine Operations for a new engine line. The 2019 Silverado will be available with six engine/transmission combinations; one... Read more →


A low-cost, nanostructured composite material developed by researchers at UC Santa Cruz has shown performance comparable to Pt/C as a catalyst for the electrochemical splitting of water to produce hydrogen. An efficient, low-cost catalyst is essential for realizing the promise of hydrogen as a clean, environmentally friendly fuel. Researchers led... Read more →


BMW makes SCR standard on all diesels in future; more models to receive GPF (including i8); new diesel engine for X3

BMW is making a number of adjustments to its powertrain lineup from spring 2018, including new diesel aftertreatment systems for its smaller diesel models; gasoline particulate filters on more gasoline models; and a new diesel engine for the X3. SCR. BMW ensures maximum effective reduction of diesel NOx emissions from... Read more →


Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. has developed large plastic roof panels that will be used on a fuel cell bus to be launched by Toyota Motor Corporation in 2018. More than 100 of these buses will be put into use in the Tokyo metropolitan region as it readies for the 2020... Read more →


INFINITI will offer mix of BEV and e-POWER vehicles from 2021; 50% of global sales by 2025

INFINITI Motor Company will introduce new vehicles with electrified powertrains from 2021, said Nissan Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit. INFINITI will offer a mix of pure electric vehicles (EV) and e-POWER series hybrid vehicles (earlier post), demonstrating the full range of low-emission... Read more →


Chery to use NVIDIA-powered ZF ProAI technology for Level 3 autonomous cars

China automaker Chery is adopting the new ZF ProAI system to enable automated driving functions up to level 3. The ZF ProAI controller is powered by NVIDIA DRIVE AI self-driving technology. ZF and its cooperation partners NVIDIA and Chinese technology company Baidu are working together on autonomous driving. (Earlier post.)... Read more →


Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has developed what it believes to be the industry’s highest performing automotive camera technology. The technology detects various object types at distances of up to about 100 meters, enabling drivers to receive advanced warning for enhanced driving safety in coming mirrorless cars. The solution, which is based... Read more →


Toyota Tsusho, the trading arm of the Toyota Group, has signed a Share Subscription Agreement with Australian lithium miner Orocobre to become a 15% shareholder on a fully diluted basis by private placements and participation in Orocobre’s public accelerated entitlement share offering, announced in conjunction with this investment. The total... Read more →


Five trends are transforming the automotive industry, according to PWC: electrification, autonomy, sharing, connecting and yearly updating, a combination the consultancy is now labeling “eascy”. In a report exploring the impact on the trends on the industry in 2030—“eascy – The five dimensions of automotive transformation”—PwC suggests that as a... Read more →


A new study by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has analyzed the fuel efficiency of 20 airlines operating nonstop flights between the mainland United States and East Asia and Oceania in 2016. The ICCT team found that the difference in efficiency performance between two co-leaders and the least... Read more →


Magna introduces high-definition ICON RADAR for automotive applications; scans in 4 dimensions

Magna unveiled its high-resolution ICON RADAR at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). ICON RADAR incorporates advanced technology used by the US military to provide precise detection, extensive range and high resiliency. With a range of more than 300 meters, Magna’s ICON RADAR continuously scans the environment in four... Read more →


Toyota unveiled the new fifth-generation Avalon at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Avalon received an all-encompassing makeover by Toyota’s US-based design, engineering, and manufacturing entities at Calty Design Research Inc. (Calty) in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Toyota Motor North America Research and Development (TMNA R&D) in Saline, Michigan;... Read more →


At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Kia Motors America (KMA) unveiled the third-generation 2019 Forte compact sedan. With a number of improvements, Forte now offers drivers a higher level of comfort, fuel efficiency and advanced driver assistance technologies. Housed underneath the Forte’s longer hood is a second-generation 2.0-liter... Read more →


Infiniti unveiled its Q Inspiration Concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Previewing a new generation of Infiniti vehicles, the Q Inspiration Concept proposes how an innovative VC-Turbo variable compression ratio engine powertrain (earlier post), next-level autonomous drive technologies, and a unique human-centric interior could enrich the... Read more →


Evea study estimates 69% reduction in GHG emissions for Global Bioenergies’ fully renewable ETBE compared to fossil gasoline

Life-cycle analysis specialist EVEA has estimated that fully renewable ETBE produced by the Global Bioenergies’ IBN-One plant would enable 69% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil gasoline. This figure was calculated for the current design planned for the IBN-One plant using a greenhouse gases emissions calculator based on... Read more →


EPA recently released the latest edition of its annual report Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Fuel Economy Trends. The report is the authoritative reference for real-world fuel economy, technology trends and tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions, for new personal vehicles sold in the US every year since 1975. The... Read more →


The transportation sector used about 27.8 quadrillion Btu (quads) of energy in 2016 with 76% of that used by vehicles on the nation’s roads, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). Light vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, pickups, vans and sport utility vehicles, used the most energy, accounting for 55%... Read more →


Continental is supplying the 48V belt-starter generator with integrated power electronics that is at the heart of the mild-hybrid (MHEV) system that is standard on Audi’s new A8. (Earlier post.) The system replaces a conventional starter pinion and is driven by a belt connected to the engine crankshaft. Together with... Read more →


The the Detroit Auto Show, Lexus introduced the Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept—a flagship crossover. The LF-1 concept could be powered by fuel cell, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, gasoline, or even all-electric powertrains. By around 2025, every Lexus model around the world will be available either as a dedicated electrified model, or... Read more →


FCA pulled the wraps off the new 2019 Ram 1500 at the Detroit Auto Show. Overall weight for the Ram 1500 has been reduced by 225 pounds (102 kg). As the truck’s backbone, the frame uses advanced materials and engineering to eliminate 100 pounds while increasing stiffness and durability for... Read more →


German OEMs have 16% of electric car market in US

German automakers have 16% of the electric car market in the US, according to Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). Speaking at the organizations’s annual press conference at the Detroit Auto Show, Wissman observed that the 16% share of the electric car market is... Read more →


Mitsubishi Motors signs electric vehicles agreement with Vietnamese government

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of Vietnam under which they plan to explore how best to promote the use of electric vehicles (EVs) in the country. Mitsubishi Motors will work with Vietnam Industry Agency (VIA) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) to... Read more →


With the intention of becoming a key volume supplier in North America, Volkswagen will invest more than $3.3 billion in the region over the next three years. Some $1.2 billion of this will go toward projects in the US. The aim is for the Volkswagen brand to achieve a break-even... Read more →


USDA awards $3M biorefinery grant to support conversion of lignin into renewable alternative for ABS Resin

The USDA has awarded a consortium including Attis Innovations, Inc., a subsidiary of Meridian Waste Solutions, Inc.,a $3-million grant to support the commercialization of its patented and patent-pending lignin conversion and refining technologies. Attis Innovations is the combination of recent transactions with American Science and Technology Corp. and Advanced Lignin... Read more →


Achates Power, Inc. and Saudi Aramco’s US-based subsidiary Aramco Services Company (ASC) have signed a joint development agreement providing the framework for the two companies to work together on a series of Opposed-Piston (OP) Engine projects, which will speed the development of new efficient, low-emissions powertrain choices. The joint development... Read more →