« April 2018 | Main

NREL develops EVI-Pro Lite tool for EV infrastructure planning

Recent predictions are that cheaper batteries and the falling cost of manufacturing will accelerate market adoption of plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) to up to 35% of the global auto fleet within the next two decades. To assist state and local governments anticipating this type of growth in PEVs, the National... 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 →


Cerro Dominador closes $758M financing for the first concentrated solar power plant in Latin America

Cerro Dominador, a Chilean company owned by investment funds managed by EIG Global Energy Partners (EIG), signed the financing for its Concentrated Solar Power plant (CSP) located in the Atacama desert, in Chile. This will allow the company to finalize the construction of the first combined CSP and photovoltaic project... 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 →


Volvo Cars to remove single-use plastics from all offices, canteens and events

Volvo Cars said that it will remove single-use plastics from all its offices, canteens and events across the globe by the end of 2019. The decision reflects the company’s active support of the UN Environment Clean Seas campaign, and underlines its ambition to minimize its global environmental footprint. The automaker... 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 →


Renesas and Magna partner to bring ADAS features to entry- and mid-range vehicles

Renesas Electronics Corporation and Magna are partnering to accelerate the mass adoption of advanced driving assistance system (ADAS) features with a new cost-efficient 3D surround view system designed for entry- and mid-range vehicles. The 3D surround view system adopts Renesas’ high-performance, low-power system-on-chip (SoC) optimized for smart camera and surround... 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 →


Report: China drafts rules to track electric car battery output, use

Reuters reports that China will launch a system to track the production, sale, use and recycling of electric car batteries by August. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a document published on its website that it would create a “traceability management platform” covering the entire lifecycle of... 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 →


Twelve FUSO eCanter, all-electric light-duty trucks by FUSO, a part of Daimler Trucks, will be operated by Dutch customers. PostNL, the logisticians Albert Heijn B.V., Cornelissen Groep B.V. and Technische Unie B.V. as well as the biggest online marketplace in foodservice, Bidfood B.V., will operate twelve 7.5-tonne FUSO eCanter within... 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 →


Metamoto joins Renovo’s AWare automated mobility ecosystem; advanced simulation technology

Metamoto, Inc., a Silicon Valley startup offering scalable simulation solutions for autonomous vehicles, has joined the AWare ecosystem of Renovo, a mobility software technology company. Automated Mobility fleet deployments built using Renovo’s AWare OS now have access to Metamoto’s Simulation as a Service offering for highly automated vehicles. Metamoto’s simulation... Read more →


US DOE to award up to $72M to advance high-temperature concentrating solar power systems

The US. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $72 million for new projects to advance high-temperature concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies. These projects will extend previous research on high-temperature components, develop them into integrated assemblies, and test these components and systems through a wide range of operational conditions. CSP technologies use... 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 →


Norsk Hydro signs new long-term wind power contract for Norwegian aluminum portfolio

Norwegian aluminum company Norsk Hydro ASA’s wholly-owned subsidiary Hydro Energi AS has signed a long-term power contract with Blakliden Fäbodberget Wind AB, a Swedish wind power company, for annual baseload supply of 0.66 terawatt hours (TWh) in the period from 2022 to 2041. Blakliden Fäbodberget Wind AB is developing an... Read more →


Mazda launching updated CX-3 in Japan with new 1.8L diesel

Mazda Motor Corporation has begun accepting pre-orders for the updated Mazda CX-3 at dealerships throughout Japan. The redesigned model adopts parts of Mazda’s next-generation SKYACTIV-Vehicle Architecture. Improvements were made to the front dampers, front stabilizers and coil springs, and the G-Vectoring Control and electric power steering systems were carefully tuned... Read more →


Freudenberg invests in fuel cell and battery technologies

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, one of the world’s leading specialists in sealing technologies for the auto industry, has strengthened its position in the energy and electric mobility sectors with an acquisition and a strategic investment. Freudenberg Sealing Technologies believes electric vehicles will reach significant production volumes by 2025; however, even as... Read more →


Blox Labs and Sonoro Energy to develop blockchain-based smart contracts ledger for oil and gas industry

Blox Labs Inc., in partnership with Sonoro Energy Ltd., has commenced development of “PetroBLOX”, a Blockchain-based smart contract supply chain management platform for the global oil and gas industry. Through the utilization of smart contracts and decentralized application technologies, PetroBLOX will aim to enable and enhance workflow, maximize project management... Read more →


Study finds rising emissions of ozone-depleting CFC-11, banned by Montreal Protocol

Emissions of one of the chemicals most responsible for the Antarctic ozone hole are on the rise, despite an international treaty that required an end to its production in 2010, a new study by researchers at NOAA and their colleagues shows. Trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11) is the second-most abundant ozone-depleting gas in... Read more →


Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc. has started site construction for Phase 2 of its first waste-to-fuels project, the Sierra BioFuels Plant (Sierra). Sierra will be the nation’s first commercial-scale plant converting a municipal solid waste (MSW) feedstock—i.e., household garbage that would otherwise be landfilled—into a low-carbon, renewable transportation fuel product. We’ve spent... Read more →


US annual hydrogen production is approximately 10 million metric tons (1.0E+10 kg), 68% of which is used in petroleum processing, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). The Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle has a hydrogen tank capacity of approximately 5 kg (0.005 metric ton); thus, the annual hydrogen... Read more →


Bitcoin’s burgeoning electricity demands have attracted almost as much attention as the cryptocurrency’s wildly fluctuating value. However, estimating exactly how much electricity the Bitcoin network uses, necessary for understanding its impact and implementing policy, remains a challenge. In a Commentary in the journal Joule, financial economist and blockchain specialist Alex... Read more →


Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) and BAE Systems have delivered the first 39 Enviro400H double-deck buses with Series-E hybrid technology to launch customer Go-Ahead London. Using ultracapacitor energy storage to further reduce life cycle costs, this next-generation hybrid bus has achieved Ultra Low Emission Bus certification with 37% lower greenhouse gas... Read more →


San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which operates MUNI (the city’s public transit), announced San Francisco’s commitment to have an all-electric bus fleet by 2035. SFMTA will only purchase all-electric buses starting in 2025 to meet the goal for 2035. The SFMTA Board... Read more →


Volvo Cars to eliminate diesel engines from the new S60 sedan

The new Volvo S60 sedan to be launched later this spring will be the first Volvo to be produced without a diesel engine option. The company said that the move highlights its commitment to a long-term future beyond the traditional combustion engine. All new Volvo models launched from 2019 will... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz Cars plants in Germany to be supplied with CO2-neutral energy from 2022

In Germany, all Mercedes-Benz plants will be supplied with CO2-neutral energy. The preparations for exclusively green electricity for a climate-friendly production in Europe are already well advanced. From 2022, the production of our Mercedes-Benz plants in Germany will operate CO2-neutral. Thereby, we completely forego coal-based electricity and obtain our electrical... Read more →


Québec introduces bill to promote the establishment of a public rapid charging service for EVs

Québec Minister of Energy and Natural Resources presented to the National Assembly (the legislative body of the province of Québec) a bill to promote the establishment of a public fast charging service for electric vehicles. The bill aims in particular: To amend the Hydro-Québec Act to allow the government to... Read more →


Global Bioenergies to take part in three more H2020 projects; second-, third-generation feedstocks for isobutene production

Global Bioenergies has been selected in more Horizon 2020 projects funded by the European Union, and will receive for this purpose about €2 million in grants over 4 years. These projects reinforce Global Bioenergies’ strategy of feedstock diversification in order to continue improving the economics and the environmental impact of... Read more →


Kokam deploys 30 MW, 11.4 MWh energy storage system in Australia

Kokam Co., Ltd, successfully deployed for Alinta Energy, a leading Australian utility, a 30-megawatt (MW) system / 11.4-megawatt hour (MWh) Energy Storage System (ESS), the largest lithium-ion battery deployed for industrial application in Australia. The ESS features Kokam’s high power Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) Oxide battery technology, and is... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. When it comes to the types of vehicles on the road, energy consumption, and road safety, we might be better off with more women drivers than men. This is the case because women are more likely to purchase smaller, safer, and more-fuel efficient vehicles; women drive less;... Read more →


More than 250,000 electrified BMW Group vehicles on the roads; BMW Group electrified sales up 52% in April

Combined sales of BMW i, BMW iPerformance and MINI Electric vehicles were up 52% in April (9,831), bringing the total number of electrified BMW Group cars sold to over 250,000, said Pieter Nota, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Sales and Brand BMW. The Group... Read more →


Toyota to invest in ALBERT; data analysis collaboration for automated driving

Toyota Motor Corporation and Japan-based ALBERT Inc. have agreed on a business alliance for big data analysis, mainly in the field of advanced development of automated driving technology, and that Toyota will invest in ALBERT. Toyota’s investment in ALBERT is expected to be in the amount of ¥400 million (US$3.6... Read more →


Kia Motors will introduce its first 48V diesel mild-hybrid powertrain in the second half of 2018. The new “EcoDynamics+” powertrain supplements acceleration with electric power from an additional 48-volt battery and extends combustion engine ‘off time’ using a new Mild-Hybrid Starter-Generator unit. The Kia Sportage will be the first model... Read more →


Subaru of America announced its first plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV), the 2019 Crosstrek Hybrid. The new Crosstrek Hybrid maintains all the capability of the traditional Subaru Crosstrek with increased fuel efficiency. 2018 Subaru Crosstrek Limited. The Crosstrek Hybrid is an advanced, eco-friendly version of the versatile compact SUV that has... Read more →


Global Bioenergies to lead $24M REWOFUEL project to demonstrate the production of isobutene-derived gasoline and jetfuel from wood residuals

Global Bioenergies will lead a consortium including Sekab, Graanul Invest, Neste Engineering Solutions, Repsol, Peab Asfalt, SkyNRG, Ajinomoto Eurolysine, IPSB, TechnipFMC and Linz University in a 3-year project (called REWOFUEL) to demonstrate the production of isobutene-derived gasoline and jetfuel from wood residuals. Global Bioenergies will combine its isobutene process with... Read more →


Study finds attribute-based fuel economy standards less effective and more costly than flat standard with credit trading

As the Trump administration weighs how to revise fuel economy standards, a new study by research fellows of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) finds that attribute-based regulations—such as the footprint-based rules in the US—are less effective and more costly than a flat standard with credit trading. At the... Read more →


Novelis breaks ground on $300M automotive aluminum facility in Kentucky

Novelis Inc., the world leader in aluminum rolling and recycling, broke ground on its $300 million automotive aluminum sheet manufacturing facility in Guthrie, Kentucky. The plant, with an annual nameplate capacity of 200,000 metric tons, will begin producing automotive aluminum in 2020. The increased adoption of aluminum in cars, trucks... Read more →


ION Energy, a startup energy storage company, launched UDYR, an intelligent, modular and portable 48V, 32 Ah lithium-ion battery supported by ION’s proprietary battery management system, software platform, and backend analytics. UDYR is built with NMC cells from LG Chem. The battery is natively compatible with most electric two-wheelers and... Read more →


Study associates in-utero exposure to PM2.5 pollution with higher blood pressure in childhood

Children who were exposed to higher levels of PM2.5 air pollution during the third trimester of their mother’s pregnancy had a higher risk of elevated blood pressure in childhood, according to new research by a team led by researchers from Johns Hopkins University in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension.... Read more →


When gasoline consumption of conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles is compared with similar sized plug-in vehicles operating on electricity, plug-in vehicles on the road displaced 216 million gallons of gasoline in 2017, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Gasoline displacement from plug-in vehicles is about 39% more... Read more →


Akasol is introducing its first cylindrical-cells battery system with very high energy density (221 Wh/kg) at The Battery Show Europe this week. AKAModule 60 CYC allows building high-energy battery systems thanks to its modular structure. This enables long distance journeys for commercial vehicles such as intercity coaches, buses and trucks... Read more →


Cummins and JAC Motors form joint venture partnership

Cummins Inc. and Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co. Ltd. (JAC Motors) will form a 50:50 joint-venture after Cummins purchased Navistar’s 50% equity of the JAC-Navistar Diesel Engine Company (JND). The new joint venture will continue its operations at the manufacturing facility in Hefei. Cummins currently supplies light-duty, mid-range and heavy-duty engines... Read more →


Infineon launches new development center for automotive electronics and artificial intelligence in Dresden

Infineon is setting up a new Development Center at its Dresden location. One focus of it will be to develop new products and solutions for automotive and power electronics, as well as artificial intelligence. It is scheduled to be launched in the course of the 2018 calendar year. In Dresden,... Read more →