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[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]

New pilot trial of UQM PowerPhase Electric Drivetrain System (DT) with European transit bus OEM

August 16, 2017

UQM Technologies Inc. announced a European OEM will conduct a pilot trial of the UQM full electric drivetrain solution, the PowerPhase DT. The OEM will be running two of the DT systems for evaluation with the long term goal of an all-electric transit bus production program.

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Three-layer technique helps secure additive manufacturing

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Rutgers University have developed a three-layer system to verify that components produced using additive manufacturing have not been compromised. Their system uses acoustic and other physical techniques to confirm that the printer is operating as expected, and nondestructive inspection techniques to verify the correct location of tiny gold nanorods buried in the parts.

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Florence taxi drivers choose Nissan LEAF

Last year, the municipality of Florence, Italy called a tender notice that involved 70 new electric taxi licenses, all of which have now been allocated. Nissan LEAF is now the most popular EV taxi in Florence after 67 taxi owners decided to buy a Nissan LEAF ENEL EDITION.

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BYD wins first major ebus contract in Israel

August 15, 2017

BYD has secured its first major pure electric bus order in Israel. A fleet of 17 single-deck 12m buses will service the northern port city of Haifa, Israel’s third-largest city. The buses will be operated by Egged, Israel’s largest bus operator with almost 3,000 buses.

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Finnish NGO UFF to use Neste Renewable Diesel in trucks

UFF (U-landshjälp från Folk till Folk i Finland rf), a Finnish non-profit environmental and development organization, will use Neste MY Renewable Diesel, produced entirely from waste and residues, to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced in UFF’s logistics chain. UFF is an organization that recycles clothing for non-profit purposes, and the organization’s logistics chain covers the whole of Finland. In collecting clothes for recycling and reuse, UFF clocks up about 800,000-900,000 kilometers annually with its own vehicles.

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Nissan Germany offering €2,000 scrappage bonus for Euro 1-4 diesels with EV buy

Nissan Germany is offering a €2,000 (US$2,360) scrappage bonus for Euro 1-4 diesel vehicles to buyers of a Nissan LEAF or Nissan e-NV200 electric vehicle.

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Ryder to be exclusive sales channel partner and service provider for electric truck maker Chanje Energy; first orders

August 14, 2017

Ryder System, Inc. will become the exclusive sales channel partner and service provider for Chanje, a new California based medium-duty electric vehicle (EV) and energy services company. (Earlier post.) As part of their future technology strategy, Ryder has placed its initial order of Chanje vehicles, the first of which will be distributed to Ryder locations in strategic US markets and be available for ChoiceLease customers in the coming weeks. Additionally, a portion of the new vehicles will be added to Ryder’s commercial rental fleet so that customers will have the opportunity to experience Chanje’s advanced vehicle technology on a short-term basis.

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Bosch, Geo++, Mitsubishi Electric and u-blox establish JV for high-precision GNSS positioning services; automated driving

Bosch, Geo++, Mitsubishi Electric and u-blox have created Sapcorda Services GmbH, a joint venture that will bring high precision GNSS (global navigation satellite system) positioning services to mass-market applications. Sapcorda will offer globally available GNSS positioning services via internet and satellite broadcast and will enable accurate GNSS positioning at centimeter level. The services are designed to serve high-volume automotive, industrial and consumer markets.

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VTT to develop intelligent transport systems in cooperation with ITS Russia; automated driving; links to China

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd and ITS Russia have signed a partnership agreement concerning the development of intelligent transport systems (ITS). The objective of Project CAVLANE is to develop new services, products and standards for border crossings in particular. CAVLANE is linked to an initiative of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade to create a roadmap for transport solutions that support automated driving as well as to the Autonet-2 scientific and technical initiative.

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Energy Renaissance secures government support to build 1GWh Li-ion battery plant in Darwin, Australia; partnership with 24M for semi-solid-state technology

Australian startup Energy Renaissance, backed by engineering group UGL, says that it has secured support from the Northern Territory Government to build a 1GWh Li-ion battery factory in Darwin. Energy Renaissance says it has an exclusive partnership with 24M, a developer of semi-solid lithium-ion batteries. (Earlier post.)

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Jabil and eyeSight Technologies partner to develop next-generation in-car sensing technology

Jabil Inc. and eyeSight Technologies are partnering to develop next-generation in-car sensing technology that delivers the advanced levels of driver monitoring and gesture control. The partnership combines Jabil’s automotive-grade optics capabilities with eyeSight’s computer vision and deep learning software. Together, Jabil and eyeSight are developing a system that assesses the presence of an active and aware driver and improves human-machine interface (HMI).

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Navistar to end production of proprietary medium-duty 9/10-liter diesel engine by 2018

August 12, 2017

Navistar will cease all engine production at its plant in Melrose Park, Ill., by the second quarter of fiscal 2018. The majority of engines produced at Melrose Park are medium-duty 9/10 liter engines used in International Class 6 and 7 vehicles, for which alternative engine options are currently offered in all applications.

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Tesla agrees to sell $1.80B of senior notes

Following its announcement of a proposed $1.50-billion senior notes offering on 7 August 2017 (earlier post), Tesla announced that it has agreed to issue and sell $1.80 billion in aggregate principal amount of senior notes due in 2025, representing a 20% upsize.

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Acura unveils 2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive; optimized based on NSX learnings

August 11, 2017

Acura unveiled a redesigned 2018 Acura RLX reflecting the brand’s new design direction. The 2018 Acura RLX will make its public debut during Monterey Automotive Week next week on the Monterey peninsula. The 2018 Acura RLX features Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (Sport Hybrid SH-AWD) technology, shared with the NSX supercar (earlier post).

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Maven Gig begins expanding geographically; Bolt EV the most popular

GM’s Maven Gig (earlier post) launched in San Francisco in November 2016 to provide vehicles for rideshare drivers; it since expanded the offering for package, grocery and food delivery drivers. Maven Gig is expanding geographically, and provides vehicles for freelance drivers in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Future cities include Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, Phoenix and Washington, D.C.

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ofo and SoftBank enter basic agreement to collaborate on bike-sharing in Japan

China-based bike-sharing provider ofo Inc. and SoftBank Commerce & Service Corp. have reached a basic agreement to collaborate on the deployment of ofo’s global bike-sharing business in Japan. ofo and SoftBank C&S plan to enter an exclusive partnership for a large-scale deployment, with SoftBank C&S serving as strategic partner of ofo's bike-sharing services in Japan. In addition, ofo and SoftBank C&S plan to launch initially in Tokyo and Osaka in September 2017.

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2017 sales of BMW Group electrified vehicles top 50,000 units

August 10, 2017

The BMW Group reported that it has delivered more than 50,000 BMW i, BMW iPerformance and electrified MINI vehicles to customers around the world since the start of the year.

The BMW Group now has a total of nine electrified automobiles on the market: sales of these vehicles totalled 50,711 in the first seven months of the year, an increase of 74.8% on the same period last year. This makes the BMW Group the world’s third-largest BEV/PHEV manufacturer. The BMW i3 is the best-selling compact battery-electric vehicle in the Premium Segment worldwide since 2014, with the sales curve showing a clear upward trend.

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BMW offering £2,000 incentive targeting Euro-4 and older diesels in UK

BMW Group UK has launched a new Lower Emissions Allowance scheme that offers an additional £2,000 (US$2,600) off all new BMW and MINI vehicles with emissions of 130 g/km or less. This will enable customers to drive away in a new cleaner Euro-6 BMW from under £155 (US$202) per month (plus initial rental) and MINI under £130 (US$169) per month (plus initial rental). The BMW Group Lower Emissions Allowance includes vehicles such as the electric BMW i3, i8 and MINI Countryman PHEV and will start with immediate effect, initially running until 31 December, 2017.

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California Energy Commission awards more than $16M to Equilon for 7 new H2 stations in Nor Cal; 60 funded

The California Energy Commission awarded more than $16 million to Equilon Enterprises, LLC, which does business as Shell Oil Products US, to develop seven new hydrogen stations in Northern California.

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Intel completes tender offer for Mobileye; accelerating autonomous driving

August 09, 2017

Intel Corporation and Mobileye N.V. announced the completion of Intel’s tender offer for outstanding ordinary shares of Mobileye, a global leader in the development of computer vision and machine learning, data analysis, localization and mapping for advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous driving. Intel expects the acquisition to accelerate innovation for the automotive industry and to position itself as a leading technology provider in the market for highly and fully autonomous vehicles.

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Germany awards €233K to N-ERGIE to support 84 charging points in Bavaria; part of €300M federal program

The German government has awarded €233,000 (US$274,000) to N-ERGIE from the Federal Charging Infrastructure program to build 84 charging points in northern Bavaria. The aim of the Federal Charging Infrastructure is to build 15,000 charge points across Germany. The BMVI will provide a total of €300 million (US$352 million) to that end from 2017 to 2020.

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Electrovaya to receive C$3.8M from SDTC to develop safe and long-lasting batteries for commercial vehicles

Sustainable Development Technology Canada announced an award of C$3.8 million to Electrovaya to fund the development of safe and long-lasting lithium-ion ceramic batteries for commercial vehicles.

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SGL Group to sell its cathodes, furnace linings, and carbon electrodes (CFL/CE) business to Triton for €230M cash

SGL Carbon Holdings BV, a subsidiary of SGL Carbon SE, signed the sale and purchase agreement to sell SGL Group’s cathodes, furnace linings, and carbon electrodes (CFL/CE) business to funds advised by Triton. The two parties have agreed on an enterprise value (cash and debt free) of €250 million, which, after deduction of standard debt-like items (mainly pension provisions) as well as other customary adjustments, results in cash proceeds of more than €230 million.

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Aeron.aero launches blockchain solution for aircraft and pilot log records

Aeron.aero is launching an Ethereum blockchain-based solution for tracking and verification of aircraft and pilot log records: Aeron Register. The current system for logging training and flight hours is easily manipulated, as flight logs are mostly done on paper, with the numbers, signatures, and confirmation stamps all being done manually.

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Efficient Drivetrains receives bus production order for EDI PowerDrive 6000 System

August 08, 2017

Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI) has received a new bus drivetrain production order in China to integrate its EDI PowerDrive 6000 systems into 12 meter buses for the city of Tianshui as they work to electrify their fleet to significantly reduce emissions.

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UMTRI: average new vehicle fuel economy in June up 0.3 mpg from June

The average fuel economy (window-sticker value) of new vehicles sold in the US in July was 25.4 mpg (9.25 l/100 km)—up 0.3 mpg from June, according to the latest monthly report from Dr. Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).   This increase likely reflects the decreased proportion of light trucks in the sales mix in July compared to June, they suggested.

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Report: GS Yuasa to produce new Li-ion batteries by 2020 that double range of small EVs

The Nikkei reports that by 2020, Japan’s GS Yuasa will begin mass producing lithium-ion batteries that double the driving range of small electric vehicles. Lithium Energy Japan, a joint venture with trading house Mitsubishi Corp. and carmaker Mitsubishi Motors, will develop the cells, which will be produced at its plant in Shiga Prefecture and supplied to automakers in Japan and Europe.

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Tesla announces proposed $1.5 billion offering of senior notes

August 07, 2017

Tesla intends to offer, subject to market and other conditions, $1.5 billion in aggregate principal amount of its senior notes due 202. The Notes will be senior unsecured debt obligations of Tesla. The interest rate, redemption prices and other terms of the Notes are to be determined.

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Groupe Renault forms JV in Iran

Groupe Renault, IDRO and PARTO NEGIN NASEH Co (NEGIN Holding) are forming a new joint venture company in Iran to boost Renault's presence in the country and step up the brand’s growth.

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Faraday Future signs lease on new California manufacturing facility

Electric vehicle startup Faraday Future (FF) has signed a lease on its new 1 M ft2 manufacturing facility, and has begun the process of clean-up to prepare the new site for the move-in of manufacturing equipment. The facility marks another significant step forward for the company in its planned delivery of its first production vehicle, FF 91, to market by the end of 2018.

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Minnesota B20 biodiesel standard to take effect in 2018

August 05, 2017

The state of Minnesota will implement a new biodiesel standard next spring, as Minnesota moves to a 20% biodiesel blend (B20) at pumps across the state. This new standard builds on Minnesota’s national leadership—in 2005, Minnesota became the first state in the nation to require all diesel fuel to have a blend of at least 2% biodiesel (B2).

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Honda Clarity Electric in California and Oregon dealerships; $269/mo

The 2017 Honda Clarity Electric sedan arrived at the beginning of August in select dealerships in California and Oregon. With an introductory lease price of $269 (plus tax) a month for 36 months, the lease terms include an allowance of 20,000 miles per year and 24/7 roadside assistance. (Earlier post.)

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DLR opens new Institute of Software Methods for Product Virtualization in Dresden; digitalization of aviation

August 04, 2017

The German Aerospace Centre (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has opened the new DLR Institute of Software Methods in Dresden. In Dresden, DLR will focus on product virtualization in the aircraft manufacturing sector. Before an aircraft can take to the skies, much expensive development work and lengthy tests are required. These processes can be made faster, cheaper and safer when first conducted on a virtual aircraft that behaves just like its real counterpart. In future, therefore, DLR will increasingly concentrate on the challenges posed by the entire process chain, from initial digital design to simulated decommissioning.

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Volvo Cars and Geely agree on technology sharing and the formation of LYNK & CO; next-gen electrified vehicle tech

Volvo Cars and Geely Holding have completed the formation of two new entities to share existing and future technology and provide the economies of scale that will allow them to more rapidly develop next generation electrified vehicle technology. (Earlier post.)

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GM delivers July record 287,581 vehicles in China; SUVs biggest riser

General Motors and its joint ventures in China set a July record for deliveries. Retail sales increased 6.3% from a year earlier to 287,581 vehicles. The Buick, Cadillac and Baojun brands reached all-time highs for July sales, while Chevrolet posted growth of 24% on an annual basis. GM’s performance was strong across segments, with SUVs remaining the biggest riser—generating growth of 50% year over year.

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Nissan teases aerodynamic design of new LEAF

August 03, 2017

In its ongoing series of teasers leading up to the reveal of the new LEAF EV in September, Nissan has released a rendering of the car’s improved aerodynamic design. The new design improves efficiency, and thus range on a single charge. Less drag and better stability enable the vehicle to drive longer distances before having to recharge.

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KUKA to supply battery production system for electric vehicles

Industrial robot company KUKA Industries has received an order from an unnamed leading European manufacturer in the automotive industry to supply a further battery production system. The order value lies in the mid-double-digit million euro range and was booked in the second quarter of 2017. Start of production is planned for mid-2019.

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U Warwick working on swarming intelligence for autonomous pods

WMG at the University of Warwick (UK) will receive just over £500,000 (US $661,000) from Innovate UK for its part in the £2-million (US $2.65-million) program in which it will partner with autonomous pod manufacturer RDM Group and Milton Keynes Council to create Swarm Intelligence for autonomous pods.

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Kreisel’s battery pack receives Frosts & Sullivan Tech Leadership award; new production facility opening in September

Consultancy Frost & Sullivan recently selected Austria-based Kreisel Electric (earlier post) as the winner of the 2017 European Electric Vehicle Technology Leadership Award. Frost & Sullivan said that the unique technology for next-generation lithium-ion batteries gives Kreisel Electric a distinct competitive advantage in the electric vehicle market.

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Amtrak and Lyft rideshare partnership

August 02, 2017

Amtrak and Lyft have launched a new ridesharing partnership. Customers can now use the Amtrak mobile app to access the Lyft app to request a ride. New users of Lyft will receive $5 off each of their first four Lyft rides by using the promo code AMTRAKLYFT.

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Sale of Opel and Vauxhall to Groupe PSA finalized

August 01, 2017

The sale of Opel Automobile GmbH with its brands Opel and Vauxhall by General Motors to Groupe PSA has now been finalized. The market share of the newly enlarged Groupe PSA is now around 17% in Europe, making it the continent’s second largest carmaker with first or second place in main markets.

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App-based mobile gas station Booster Fuels raises $20M in Series B

Booster, the app-based mobile gas station, has raised $20 million in a Series B round that will be used to drive growth and enhance the core experience of gas delivered to individual cars. Booster delivers and pumps gas in office parking lots, using custom-built purple mini-tankers that easily navigate tight spaces.

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Critical Materials Institute manufactures magnets entirely from US-sourced rare earths

The Critical Materials Institute, a US Department of Energy Innovation Hub, has fabricated magnets made entirely of domestically sourced and refined rare-earth metals.

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Dürr and BMW receive Surcar award for concept of smart paint shop

At the Surcar 2017 conference on automotive body finishing in Cannes, Dürr and BMW received the award for technique for their concept of a smart paint shop and how to increase production efficiency by digitization.

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Intel extends cash offer for all outstanding shares of Mobileye

Cyclops Holdings, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel, has extended the offering period of its previously announced all cash tender offer to purchase all of the outstanding ordinary shares of Mobileye N.V. (Earlier post.) Mobileye is a global leader in the development of computer vision and machine learning, data analysis, localization and mapping for advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous driving.

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Toyota wins Altair Enlighten Award for weight savings; CFRP inner panels on Prius Prime, Lexus LC 500

July 31, 2017

At the CAR Management Briefing Seminars (MBS, Toyota was presented with an Altair Enlighten Award for its use of innovative weight reducing vehicle closure systems. The award program honored Toyota’s use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) inner panels on the Prius Prime liftgate and Lexus LC 500 side doors and luggage hatch.

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Verdezyne groundbreaking for first bio-based DDDA plant; replacing petroleum

Verdezyne Inc., a synthetic biology company producing bio-based chemicals, held a groundbreaking ceremony for its VerdePalm plant, Verdezyne’s first commercial-scale renewable chemicals manufacturing facility, in southern Malaysia. The new facility is designed to produce bio-based long chain diacids via fermentation of Verdezyne’s proprietary yeast, which has been engineered to use non-food biomass to produce high value chemicals. The first product produced at VerdePalm will be dodecanedioic acid (DDDA)—a 12-carbon diacid that is a component of many consumer products currently made from petroleum.

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BASF establishes new Group company to pursue business opportunities in 3D printing

BASF SE plans to establish a new Group company, BASF 3D Printing Solutions GmbH, as of 1 September 2017. This wholly-owned subsidiary of BASF New Business GmbH will be headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, at the site of InnovationLab GmbH. It will focus on establishing and expanding the business with materials, system solutions, components and services in the field of 3D printing.

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UK, Iran team develops new materials to improve enhanced oil recovery

July 30, 2017

A new class of materials which are suitable agents for displacing oil in enhanced oil recovery operations has been developed by scientists at Swansea University (UK) and scientists at Islamic Azad University in Iran. The new nanoparticle-surfactant complexes, composed of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) surfactant and fumed silica nanoparticles (Si-NPs) improve oil recovery to 58% compared to 45% in the presence of the surfactant alone.

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Porsche recalls around 21,500 Cayenne diesel cars in Europe for emissions fix

July 28, 2017

In agreement with the German Federal Motor Transport Authority (Kraftfahrtbundesamt – KBA), Porsche has recalled Cayenne 3.0-liter V6 Diesel models in the EU6 emissions class. The sports car manufacturer discovered irregularities in the engine control software during internal investigations and has actively passed on its findings to the KBA.

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ARPA-E to present on path to solid-state battery commercialization at 13th Annual Lithium Battery Materials & Chemistries conference

The Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) is funding research into solid-state materials for improved batteries and fuel cells. (Earlier post.) Supported work includes crystalline and amorphous inorganics, and polymers manufactured with glass forming, blowing/extrusion, rolling/calendaring, tape casting, and vapor deposition. At the upcoming 13th Annual Lithium Battery Materials & Chemistries conference, Sue Babinec, Senior Commercialization Advisor, ARPA-E will present the agency’s view on research and commercialization of these technologies, including economic estimates.

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29th California retail hydrogen fuel station opens

California’s 29th retail hydrogen station has opened in San Ramon. Built by The Linde Group, this new station is Linde’s third retail hydrogen station in California. Linde developed California’s first retail station in West Sacramento and also operates one in San Juan Capistrano.

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Honda, Sauber F1 power unit partnership cancelled

July 27, 2017

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced that its technology partnership with the Sauber F1 Team, which was intended to start from 2018 onwards for the FIA Formula One World Championship (F1) (earlier post), has been cancelled.

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DENSO using Toshiba’s new Visconti 4 image recognition processor in front-camera-based active safety system

DENSO Corporation is deploying Toshiba’s Visconti 4, its latest image-recognition processor dedicated to automotive applications, in next generation, front-camera-based active safety systems. Visconti 4 is a multi-engine road-safety solution that provides drivers with real-time analytics of road conditions and potential dangers.

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China Yuchai delivers 76 diesel-electric plug-in hybrid buses to Shenzhen

China Yuchai International has delivered 76 diesel-electric hybrid buses, all powered by YC6A270-50 engines, to Siweimei Motor Transport Co., Ltd. in Shenzhen. This is the second large order from Siweimei since its purchase of 110 units at the end of 2016.

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Fraser Institute: pipelines 2.5x safer than rail for oil transportation; tankers have safest record

Transporting oil by pipelines is more than twice as safe as using rail, and marine tankers are safer still with a markedly improved safety record over the past 40 years, according to a new study released by the Fraser Institute, a Canadian policy think-tank.

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Renault Nissan Alliance cumulative electric vehicle sales hit 481,151 units

Cumulative sales of electric vehicles by the Renault Nissan Alliance rose to 481,151 units in the first half of 2017, reaffirming the Alliance’s role as the leading electric car manufacturer for the mass-market segment.

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DENSO using Cypress automotive MCUs and flash memories for 2017 Toyota Camry instrument cluster

Cypress Semiconductor announced that global automotive supplier DENSO Corporation has selected Cypress’ Traveo automotive microcontroller (MCU) family and FL-S Serial NOR Flash memory family to drive the advanced graphics in its instrument cluster for the 2017 Toyota Camry.

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Second Duke Energy project tackling truck idling in NC

36 electric power outlets will help trucks at the Merchants Distributors, LLC (MDI) distribution center in Hickory, NC cut costs and lower air emissions as part of a Duke Energy $320,000 electrification project.

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ABS joins industry partners to advance autonomous shipping; unmanned cargo ship in 2021

ABS, a leading provider of classification and technical services to the offshore and marine industries, joined the Unmanned Cargo Ship Development Alliance to work with industry partners, including class organizations, shipyards, equipment manufacturers and designers to advance autonomous shipping. The design will integrate features of independent decision-making, autonomous navigation, environmental perception and remote control.

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Leclanché has confirmed order book of 95 MWh through 2018, qualified pipeline of >450 MWh

July 26, 2017

At its 2016 Annual General Meeting in Switzerland, vertically integrated energy storage company Leclanché announced it has a confirmed order book of 95 MWh through 2018—equivalent to more than US$50 million in revenue—and a qualified pipeline of more than 450 MWh. In eTransport, Leclanché is expecting to generate more than 150 MWh per year, equivalent to more than US$45 million in revenue, from 2019.

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Ricardo forms Global Automotive Group as focus of electrified and autonomous future

Ricardo is creating a new global focus for its automotive business. The new Ricardo Global Automotive Group will provide a highly customer focused global structure that will enable it to optimally serve the demands of customers for clean powertrain technologies and all aspects of vehicle engineering, including autonomous driving applications.

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Nexar announces first driving safety Android app based on Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine SDK

Nexar, provider of a free safety AI dashcam app and an open vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication network, introduced the first driving safety application leveraging the Qualcomm Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine (NPE) SDK.

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Nouveau Monde signs LOI with Shinzoom to market Li-ion anode material in North America

July 25, 2017

Canada-based Nouveau Monde Graphite Inc. (NMG) has signed a non-binding letter of intent with China-based Hunan Zhongke Shinzoom Co. Ltd. (Shinzoom), a lithium-ion battery anode producer and developer. The purpose of the proposed collaboration is to participate actively in the growing North American Li-Ion battery anode material market.

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Navigant: China leads global smart meter market with 68% of tracked installations

China continues to lead the global smart meter market through 1Q 2017 with upwards of 408 million meters installed, accounting for 68.3% of tracked installations, according to a new report from Navigant Research.

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Navigant Research expects >$80B to be spent on global EV infrastructure development by the end of 2025

According to a new report from Navigant Research, more than $80 billion is expected to be spent on global EV infrastructure development by the end of 2025, leading to the development of nearly 230 GW of charging capacity.

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Globetouch and Verizon Telematics to work with GM for OnStar expansion

July 24, 2017

Globetouch and Verizon Telematics plan to launch upgraded network solutions that will be used by General Motors in connection with the continued global expansion of OnStar’s industry-leading connected vehicle services.

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More customers opt for XL Hybrids system

XL Hybrids announced a new set of customers are installing its XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive Systems. Fleets benefit from a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions and an up to 25% increase in fuel economy.

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Improved BASF polyether polyols reduce emissions in car interiors; average aldehyde emissions reduction of 20%

BASF has improved the process for manufacturing Lupranol (polyether polyol) so that car components which are made of BASF polyurethane systems emit an average of 20% less aldehyde. This allows automotive suppliers, that manufacture acoustic parts, seats and steering wheels or back-foam instrument panels and doors to meet the increasing requirements of car manufacturers and the law for lower VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) emissions in vehicle interiors.

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Suzuki selects Hitachi Automotive’s Li-ion battery module for new Swift hybrids

Suzuki Motor has selected Hitachi Automotive Systems’ lithium-ion battery module for the new Swift Hybrid SG and Swift Hybrid SL; the new models were launched on 12 July 2017.

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APC launches competition to support UK’s first battery manufacturing development facility; part of £246M Faraday Challenge

The UK’s Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), in conjunction with Innovate UK, has launched a competition to facilitate funding of the UK’s first automotive battery manufacturing development center. The new facility, which will be funded through the £246-million (US$321-million) Faraday Challenge, will allow pioneering battery technology to be scaled up suitable for high-volume production.

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GM gives app developers industry-first in-vehicle testing

General Motors has launched GM Dev Client, an industry-first app that gives approved developers who have created in-vehicle applications the ability to test them in a real GM vehicle. In-vehicle app testing is the next step for app developers who have already created a proof of concept using GM’s next-generation infotainment software development kit (NGI SDK).

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Hitachi Chemical acquires 43.9% of Thai lead-acid battery company, plans to buy more

Hitachi Chemical Co., Ltd. is acquiring a large portion of the Thai Storage Battery Public Company Limited (TSB Company), a manufacturer of automotive and industrial lead-acid storage batteries mainly in Southeast Asia, with a high market share in Thailand and elsewhere.

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Report: Toyota to begin mass production in China in 2019 of EVs based on C-HR

July 22, 2017

Japan’s Asahi Shimbun reports that Toyota will begin mass production of EVs in China in 2019, using the C-HR crossover (earlier post) as the base. The report says that production volume will be determined by regulations and available subsidies, but that initial volumes will likely be more than 1,000 units per year.

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UN-Habitat and DLR sign a memorandum of understanding on sustainable urban mobility

July 21, 2017

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Institute of Transport Research signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Berlin that aims to promote cooperation between the two institutions in the field of sustainable urban mobility.

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Audi offering free emissions software upgrade for up to 850,000 diesels

Audi is offering its customers in Europe and other markets—outside of the US and Canada—a retrofit program for cars with EU5 and EU6 diesel engines. A total of up to 850,000 cars worldwide with six-cylinder and eight-cylinder diesel engines (V6/V8 TDI, EU5/EU6) will get new software. This will further improve their emissions in real driving conditions beyond the current legal requirements.

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Saitama City, Honda Motor and Yamaha Motor begin electric motorcycle trials

Saitama City (Japan), Honda Motor and Yamaha Motor will begin evaluation testing towards the expansion of the use of electric motorcycles. As part of Saitama City’s “E-KIZUNA Project” policies to promote the spread of electric vehicles, this collaborative initiative by the three parties also aims to resolve the issues in areas which are lacking in transport accessibility.

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Germany awarding €22.2M to 13 new autonomous and networked driving projects

July 20, 2017

German Federal Minister Alexander Dobrindt has approved a further €22.2 million (US$25.5 million) for thirteen new research projects as part of the “Research program on automation and networking in road traffic”. Among them are projects on digital test fields in Berlin and Düsseldorf as well as on the digital test field Autobahn on the A9 in Bavaria.

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DOE to issue $36M funding opportunity for advanced carbon capture technologies

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will issue a funding opportunity (DE-FOA-0001791) for projects to design and to test advanced carbon capture technologies.

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Schaeffler creating independent E-Mobility business division in 2018

Global automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler will create an independent E-Mobility business division as of January 1, 2018 to bring together all the products and system solutions for hybrid and pure battery electric vehicles. Klaus Rosenfeld, CEO of Schaeffler AG, made the announcement during the company’s Capital Markets Day in Bühl. Schaeffler will also establish a competence center for E-Mobility in China, alongside the existing German units, to accommodate the increasing importance of the Chinese market in the field of E-Mobility.

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BMW tops emobility sales charts in Germany 1H 2017

The BMW Group was the top seller of electric mobility in Germany the first half of 2017, with just under 5,000 units registered; registrations are about 175% over the same period in 2016. The Group has 8 eletrified vehicles in the market.

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Audi’s “Jack” autonomous A7 concept hits the road in public demo drives in Germany

July 19, 2017

Audi is providing public demonstration drives on board an Audi A7 piloted driving concept nicknamed “Jack”. Selected brand customers and fans will get their first experience of piloted driving on the A9 north of Munich.

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BorgWarner to acquire Sevcon in $200M deal

Sevcon, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of controls and battery chargers for electric and hybrid vehicles, has entered into a definitive merger agreement with BorgWarner Inc.

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Tata Motors introduces engines for bio-methane buses

Tata Motors has designed and developed bio-methane engines (5.7 SGI & 3.8 SGI) for LCV, ICV & MCV buses, three of which were on display at an event in Pune, India. The presented model was the Tata LPO 1613 with 5.7 SGI NA BS-IV IOBD-II compliant technology, fueled with renewable natural gas (RNG). The model is already in operation by PMPML (Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited).

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Cambridge team develops optimization tool including LCA for developing bio-renewables-based processes

July 18, 2017

A team at the University of Cambridge (UK) has developed a decision support tool for developing optimal processes for bio-renewable-based energy solutions and chemicals manufacturing. The tool, described in a paper in the journal ChemSusChem, combines economic and environmental performance criteria, evaluated by rigorous models.

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Ballard to supply 5 fuel cell systems for buses to SunLine Transit Agency

Ballard Power Systems has received an order from SunLine Transit Agency for five FCveloCity fuel cell systems to power hydrogen fuel cell buses in Palm Desert, California. The 150 kW systems are expected to be shipped in 2017.

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Autonomous electric vehicle maker NAVYA picks Saline, MI for first US plant

In a joint announcement, French elecric autonomous vehicle manufacturer NAVYA, with project collaborators Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Ann Arbor SPARK, announced that its Michigan plant (earlier post) will be located in the city of Saline, Michigan with a 20,000+ ft2 facility. NAVYA plans to build approximately 25 of its ARMA fully autonomous shuttle vehicles at the plant before the close of 2017.

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Nanosteel introduces 3D printable tool steel

Nanostructured steel materials company NanoSteel recently launched its first product for the laser powder bed fusion additive manufacturing process. BLDRmetal L-40 is a case-hardening steel powder that provides high hardness and ductility (case hardness >70HRC, 10%+ core elongation) and prints easily on standard commercial equipment.

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Bus operators in Germany, Italy to procure 63 fuel cell buses; larger refueling stations

July 15, 2017

Bus operators from Germany and South Tyrol, Italy are partnering to procure 63 fuel cell buses for their public transport systems as part of the EU-funded JIVE project (€106 million total cost, with €32 million coming from the EU). (Earlier post.) The project is also testing new hydrogen refueling stations capable of serving fleets of more than 20 buses. This will both reduce the cost of hydrogen, as well as test the system’s capacity to offer reliability at the required commercialization level—greater than 99%.

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ClipperCreek introduces new advanced control interface for HCS series EV charging stations

July 14, 2017

ClipperCreek, Inc. recently unveiled a new expansion card for their HCS product line of charging stations. COSMOS is an option for the Level 2, 240V ClipperCreek HCS Series and can be added to any HCS Series charging station for $184.

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Mobis autonomous technology concept detects departed driver, leads vehicle to safety

Mobis, a global producer of automotive components, is researching a new near-term autonomous safety function that could prevent more than 6,000 traffic fatalities each year. The Departed Driver Rescue and Exit Maneuver (DDREM) technology detects the critical situation where the driver departs from controlling the vehicle. DDREM then mitigates the risk of a crash by taking control of the vehicle and guiding it to safety. Situations that will activate include falling asleep, suffering a heart attack or experiencing other health conditions that prevent the driver from operating the vehicle.

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Toyota looking for principal engineer for power electronics for heavy-duty fuel cell powertrains

July 13, 2017

Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America is looking to hire a principal engineer to head up power electronics system development of fuel cell Electric Vehicle (EV) powertrains for heavy-duty truck applications. In April, Toyota revealed “Project Portal”—a hydrogen fuel cell system designed for heavy-duty trucks applied in a Class 8 truck for use at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA). (Earlier post.)

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Electrovaya receives €1M Li-ion cell follow-on order from EV producer

Electrovaya Inc. announced that it has sold €1 million (US$1.14 million) of lithium ion cells for electric vehicle application to an electric vehicle producer in Europe.

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UMTRI: More driving on city streets, less on country roads

Despite a plethora of alternative transportation modes—buses, trains, bicycles—city dwellers are driving more miles than ever, say University of Michigan researchers. In a new study using data from the US Department of Transportation, Dr. Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle of the U-M Transportation Research Institute examined the annual distance driven by locale and type of roadway in both urban and rural areas in the US from 2000 to 2016.

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ABI Research: mass market automotive brands may be big losers in transition to mobility as a service

July 12, 2017

In a recent B2B technology survey, ABI Research found that only 10% of respondents expect mass market OEMs to have the most to gain from the mobility as a service (MaaS) megatrend. Though automotive incumbents recognize that new personal mobility opportunities will attract competitors from markets such as ride-sharing and autonomous system development, the overwhelming expectation remains that premium brands stand to gain the most from the prevalent automotive technology megatrends.

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London Taxi relaunches as London EV Company; order for 225 vehicles from The Netherlands

London Taxi Company (LTC) has relaunched as London EV Company (LEVC), marking the next stage in the company’s transformation. Underpinned by an investment totalling £325 million (US$420 million), LEVC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Geely, intends to be the urban commercial vehicle provider of choice for cities around the world. LEVC also revealed the final version of the new London Taxi—the TX—and its eCity technology comprising an advanced battery electric powertrain with a small gasoline generator.

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Solaris secures order for 200 hybrid buses in Belgium; BAE Systems drive, ultracap energy storage

Solaris—one of the leading bus manufacturers in Europe—has secured an order for more than 200 hybrid buses from Société Régionale Wallonne du Transport, the primary bus operator in Wallonia, Belgium. These buses will not only be the first Solaris buses to include BAE Systems hybrid systems for propulsion, but also the first buses to use BAE’s newest energy storage system, the ESS-3G-1K.

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Daimler Buses joining CleverShuttle; cooperation for on-demand mobility

Daimler Buses is joining the Berlin-based CleverShuttle mobility service as a strategic investor. As part of a minority stake, EvoBus GmbH and CleverShuttle plan a strategic cooperation for “on-demand mobility”, such as mobility offers which are flexibly adapted to suit customer demands.

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ITM Power signs hydrogen fuel contract with Honda (UK)

July 11, 2017

ITM Power has signed a fuel contract with Honda (UK), which will purchase hydrogen at £10/kg (US$12.91/kg). The contract covers fuel dispensed across ITM Power’s hydrogen refueling network. The refueling network has been financially supported by Innovate UK, Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU).

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UK Government to award US$26M to EV-to-grid projects

The UK Government will award £20 million (US$26 million) to support the development of electric vehicles capable of returning electricity to the grid. The projects will investigate technology that allows plug-in electric vehicles to not only draw power from the grid when charging but return it to people’s homes or back to the grid.

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