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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.]

Daimler trucks delivers first FUSO eCanter all-electric trucks to customers in Europe

December 14, 2017

Daimler Trucks is delivering the first units of its all-electric FUSO eCanter (earlier post) to European customers: DHL, DB Schenker, Rhenus and Dachser. The customers are all in the logistics business, but the trucks’ areas of operation are diverse. The customers obtain their vehicles via a 24-month rental from CharterWay, Daimler’s own rental and leasing expert in the commercial vehicle business.

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Workhorse Group applies for $250M loan from DOE Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program

Workhorse Group Inc., the developer of a plug-in electric pickup truck (earlier post), has applied for a $250-million loan from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program. The company also announced that DOE has deemed its application to be substantially complete for purposes of DOE beginning its preliminary evaluation of the technical, financial, legal and other aspects of the application.

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Cal Energy Commission awards ~$3M to EV ride-sharing projects in disadvantaged communities; fuel cell and BEV

The California Energy Commission awarded nearly $3 million to car-sharing programs using electric vehicles in disadvantaged communities. The goal of the grants is to demonstrate the use of zero-emission vehicles in mobility services, such as car sharing and ride hailing, and provide an increased awareness of clean vehicle technologies.

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ExxonMobil completes LNG acquisition in Mozambique Area 4

ExxonMobil announced the completion of a transaction by ExxonMobil Development Africa B.V. to acquire a 25% indirect interest in Mozambique’s gas-rich Area 4 block from Eni and assume responsibility for midstream operations.

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German BMVI providing funding for conversion of ships to LNG fuel

Effective immediately, applications for the conversion and conversion of seagoing ships to liquefied natural gas (LNG) as marine fuel can be submitted to the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). The aim of the BMVI funding program is to promote the use of LNG in German maritime shipping. The funding is provided by the Mobility and Fuel Strategy (FMD), which will provide around €278 million (US$331 million) for all means of transport by 2020.

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ABB delivers Bulgaria’s nationwide fast charging network

Fast-charging stations from ABB can now be found on key roads across Bulgaria with plans underway to further extend the network to include all major roads and highways by the end of Q1 2018. ABB’s Terra53 fast chargers now cover the international routes from Sofia to the Greek border, with installations in key locations including Sofia, Varna, Veliko Turnovo, Blagoevgrad, Sandanski, Rakov-ski, Stara Zagora, Liubumetz and Bourgas.

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Academy Bus orders 6 New Flyer electric buses for Columbia University

December 13, 2017

Academy Express, LLC has awarded New Flyer a contract for six Xcelsior CHARGE battery-electric, forty-foot heavy-duty transit buses complete with three charging stations. The buses will be deployed in 2018 on Columbia University’s Intercampus Shuttle network, operating between locations in Manhattan, New Jersey, and Rockland County serving over 30,000 students per year, with over 20,000 students using the Intercampus Shuttle network per month.

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Renovo and Samsung Electronics partnering on highly automated vehicle technology

Renovo, a technology company that builds automated mobility operating systems, announced its collaboration with Samsung Electronics on the development of highly-automated vehicle technology. The collaboration, which has been underway since the beginning of the year, will enable the Samsung Strategy & Innovation Center (SSIC) Smart Machines Group to use Renovo’s AWare operating system in its first fleet of test vehicles in California. Samsung is also an investor in Renovo.

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Neste to double production of drop-in renewable fuels and chemicals in Singapore to approx. 2Mt per year

Neste has begun design of a new production line in its Singapore refinery for the production of renewable diesel, renewable aviation fuel and raw materials for various biochemical uses. The company is aiming to make a final investment decision by the end of 2018. If the project proceeds as planned, production at the new production line, which will add one million tons of capacity, will begin by 2022.

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KBA issues recall on VW Touareg 3.0L Euro 6 diesel over defeat devices

December 12, 2017

The German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) has issued a mandatory recall of VW Touareg 3.0L Euro 6 diesels after discovering what the agency said were two inadmissible defeat devices were detected. Of these, 25,800 vehicles are licensed in Germany and 57,600 worldwide.

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Propane Autogas fueling nearly 600 Nestlé Waters’ delivery trucks; about 30% of NA fleet

Nestlé Waters North America’s is deploying more than 400 additional medium-duty beverage delivery trucks fueled by propane autogas. The company now operates nearly 600 of these alternatively fueled trucks, which make up about 30% of its total North American fleet.

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DOE: California has 15K+ EV charging units, 10% of which are fast chargers

California has by far the most EV charging units of any state with more than 15,000 charging units (plugs)—10% of which are fast chargers, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). About one-third of states have more than a thousand charging units; those states average 11% fast chargers.

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Mitsubishi Motors, Indonesian Government to partner on EVs

December 11, 2017

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indonesian Government under which it will work to expand the use and availability of electric vehicles in Indonesia. This partnership is in support of the Indonesian Government’s ambition to encourage the development of electric vehicles as part of its strategy to reduce CO2 emissions.

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Volkswagen Truck & Bus RIO digital platform goes live

Volkswagen Truck & Bus has gone live with its open, cloud-based RIO digital services platform, announced at the IAA Commercial vehicles show in 2016. (Earlier post.) Customers can now register on the RIO platform and use the first available service, RIO Essentials, free of charge.

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Antenna company Airgain joins 5G Automotive Association

Antenna technology company Airgain, Inc. has become a member of the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA). The company joins leading telecommunications and automotive companies with the aim of accelerating the penetration of the connected and autonomous car and intelligent fleet management.

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Fleet of 10 BYD electric buses operating on Okinawa

A fleet of 10 battery-electric buses manufactured by Chinese new energy technology company BYD started operating on the Japanese island of Okinawa, marking the beginning of the island’s electrified public transportation initiative. 10 BYD K9 buses now run a shuttle service to and from the Okinawa Naha Port. BYD is the only Chinese automaker to enter the Japanese market, and only with pure electric vehicles.

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Prototype Mack heavy-duty plug-in hybrid truck part of e-Highway demo near Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles

December 09, 2017

A prototype Mack Pinnacle axle back model equipped with a proprietary plug-in hybrid electric driveline recently participated in a zero-emission eHighway demonstration in Carson, California. (Earlier post.)

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Skeleton Technologies and Sumitomo Corporation Europe sign agreement to distribute graphene-based ultracapacitors

December 08, 2017

Skeleton Technologies signed a distribution agreement with Sumitomo Corporation Europe with the aim of providing energy storage solutions for the rapidly growing hybrid electric and electric vehicle industry.

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Efficient Drivetrains adds 12-meter Foton Bus; 120 systems in China; EDI PowerDrive 6000 tops 3.1M mile mark

Efficient Drivetrains, plug-in hybrid and electric drivetrain solutions, announced the integration of the EDI PowerDrive 6000 and EDI PowerSuite vehicle control software into three 12-meter Foton buses. The company has more than 120 8-, 10.5-, and 12-meter buses operating across Asia on major OEM platforms including Ankai, Shaanxi, Xiamen Jinlong, Yaxing Motor Coach, Master Transportation, and now Foton.

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Fastned raises €12.3M in 10 days for expansion of European fast charging network

Fastned, the Dutch company building a European network of fast charging stations, has raised €12.3 million (US$14.5 million) in 10 days via a public issue of bonds. The proceeds of this issue will be used to further expand the network of fast-charging stations in the Netherlands, Germany other European countries.

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Broad-Ocean subsidiary commissions facility for Chinese produced Ballard fuel cell modules

December 07, 2017

Ballard Power Systems announced that a subsidiary of strategic partner Zhongshan Broad-Ocean Motor Co., Ltd. (Broad-Ocean) called Shanghai Edrive Co. Ltd. has commissioned its fuel cell engine manufacturing facility located in Shanghai, China. Shanghai Edrive will assemble Ballard FCveloCity 30-kilowatt (kW) and 85kW fuel cell engines at the facility under a technology transfer, licensing and supply arrangement between Ballard and Broad-Ocean that closed earlier this year. Broad-Ocean also plans to assemble Ballard-designed systems at facilities in Hubei and Shandong Provinces.

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Ford and Alibaba explore strategic collaboration to reimagine vehicle ownership experience, expand mobility services

Ford Motor Company and Alibaba Group will explore a strategic collaboration to identify new opportunities to redefine consumer retail experiences and to explore solutions for sustainable mobility.

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Wärtsilä introduces HY hybrid tug design for Chinese market

The technology group Wärtsilä has adapted its hybrid tug design (earlier post) specifically to meet the needs of the Chinese market. This version of the Wärtsilä HYTug has received an Approval-in-Principle recognition by the China Classification Society (CCS).

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Chautauqua County deploys Orange EV battery-electric terminal truck

Orange EV and Chautauqua County announced the deployment of an Orange EV T-Series pure-electric terminal truck at the North County Transfer Station in Fredonia, NY. Replacing a 15+-year-old diesel truck with 100% electric completely eliminates yard truck emissions and diesel fuel consumption while advancing efforts to meet the energy, environmental, and economic goals established in the Chautauqua County 20/20 Comprehensive Plan. With this deployment, Chautauqua County became the nation’s first county government to introduce 100% electric, Class 8 trucks into commercial fleet operations.

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Mercedes-Benz Econic compresses refuse with electric tipper body

In Lewisham, a district in the southeast of London, a Mercedes-Benz Econic 1838 4x2 with an electric tipper and crusher body has recently been put into service. Looking for an innovative rear loader tipper body, Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks located a suitable product from the Dutch waste disposal specialist Geesinknorba: the entire body is driven electrically.

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NEVS begins production of electric 9-3 in Tianjin; 2nd and 3rd gen Evs being developed with DiDi

NEVS has begun production of the 9-3 electric vehicle at its plant in Tianjin. The installed annual product capacity is 50,000 electric vehicles in Phase I of the Project, and with expansion to 220,000 planned for Phase II.

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Rocky Mountain GTL to proceed with Canadian gas-to-liquids project; Greyrock technology

December 06, 2017

Greyrock Energy, Inc. announced the final investment decision by the Rocky Mountain GTL Board of Directors to proceed with the construction of a commercial Gas to Liquids (GTL) plant 60 kilometers east of Calgary, near Carseland, Alberta, called the Caseland Enhanced GTL (EGTL) Project. The EGTL project will use Greyrock’s Direct Fuel Production system and GreyCat catalyst and will include enhancements by Expander Energy, Inc. (Earlier post.)

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IBM scientists demonstrate 10x faster large-scale machine learning using GPUs

Scientists at IBM Research, together with their colleagues at EPFL, have developed a scheme for training big data sets quickly. It can process a 30 Gigabyte training dataset in less than one minute using a single graphics processing unit (GPU)—a 10x speedup over existing methods for limited memory training. The results, which efficiently utilize the full potential of the GPU, are being presented at the 2017 NIPS Conference in Long Beach, California.

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Delphi becomes Aptiv; Powertrain spins off to become Delphi Technologies

December 05, 2017

Aptiv PLC, the new incarnation of Delphi Automotive following the completion of the spinoff of its Powertrain segment, launched today. Delphi Powertrain has now become Delphi Technologies PLC.

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GM delivers November record 418,225 vehicles in China; up 13%; SUV sales up 73%

General Motors and its joint ventures in China delivered a November record 418,225 vehicles in China, achieving growth of 13% on an annual basis. Baojun deliveries reached an all-time monthly high, while Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet set November sales records. As the key driver of the company’s sustained growth, SUVs achieved sales growth of 73% from the previous November.

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Nissan and DeNA unveil Easy Ride robo-vehicle mobility service in Yokohama

Nissan Motor and DeNA Co unveiled the Easy Ride brand for the new robo-vehicle mobility service that the two companies are developing jointly. (Earlier post.) The companies also announced plans for a field test with public participation.

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Yosemite first US national park to purchase electric buses from Proterra

Yosemite National Park will add two Proterra Catalyst electric buses to its fleet. Yosemite is the first US National Park to add zero-emission buses to its shuttle fleet permanently.

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Production of 2018 Nissan LEAF now underway in Smyrna

Production for the 2018 Nissan LEAF EV is officially underway at the Smyrna Vehicle Assembly Plant in Smyrna, Tennessee. The Nissan LEAF will be available at dealerships nationwide in the US starting next month.

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Tri Delta Transit switches fleet to 100% Neste MY Renewable Diesel

December 04, 2017

Tri Delta Transit in California has switched its entire fleet of transit buses from operating on petroleum diesel to using only Neste MY Renewable Diesel. Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a low-carbon fuel, produced from 100% renewable and sustainable raw materials. This drop-in fuel cuts greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% and significantly reduces tailpipe emissions, all while enhancing fleet performance.

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Infineon supplying components for Audi A8; autonomous driving; engine control; chassis

Infineon is supplying key components for the Audi A8, the world’s first series production car featuring level 3 automated driving.

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Long Beach Transit receives $600K grant for 40 Cummins near-zero CNG engines

Long Beach Transit (LBT) recently received a $600,000 grant from the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC) of the South Coast Air Quality Management District Near Zero Incentive Program for the purchase of 40 Cummins “near-zero” compressed natural gas (CNG) engines. (Earlier post.) The engines are upgrades to a recent bus procurement as the “near zero” engines were not available when the purchase was authorized in 2016.

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ORNL, Strangpresse sign additive manufacturing patent license agreement

December 02, 2017

The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Strangpresse LLC of Youngstown, Ohio, have signed a non-exclusive licensing agreement on a portfolio of ORNL patents related to large-scale additive manufacturing. Under the agreement, Strangpresse, a Hapco Inc. affiliate, may make, use, or sell the lab’s patented developments of materials, processes and controls that enable the manufacture of parts much larger than current standards.

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Electric cars to be prioritized in South Australian fleets

December 01, 2017

The government of South Australia and the City of Adelaide have agreed to increase the uptake of electric vehicles as part of their commitment to the Climate Action Roundtable.

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UPS putting eBike into package delivery service in Ft. Lauderdale

UPS has launched an eBike that will deliver packages along Las Olas Boulevard and in surrounding neighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The electrically-assisted tricycle supports Fort Lauderdale’s Green Your Routine program, geared toward  achieving the city’s sustainability goals, and, Vision Zero Fort Lauderdale, a citywide initiative to create safer streets for everyone. UPS’s Cycle Solutions will help reduce carbon emissions and noise, as well as improve traffic congestion and air quality in the city’s downtown corridor.

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UQM Technologies signs joint venture agreement with China National Heavy Duty Truck Group

UQM Technologie has signed a joint venture agreement with China National Heavy Duty Truck Group Co., Ltd. (CNHTC) and Sinotruk Global Village Investment Limited, a Hong-Kong-based limited liability company owned by CNHTC.

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Mahindra and Renesas launch Formula E technical partnership; road vehicles also

Mahindra & Mahindra and Renesas Electronics Corporation have formed a strategic partnership with Renesas as the official technology partner of the Mahindra Racing Formula E team.

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SONDORS unveils $10K, 3-wheel, 3-seat EV at the Los Angeles Auto Show; Protean in-wheel motor

SONDORS Electric Car Company unveiled its three seat, three wheel, all electric vehicle at the 2017 LA Auto Show. The prototype, nicknamed Model SONDORS, was funded in January of this year through equity crowdfunding and completed seven months later.

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Audi and Works Council strike agreement; two new electric SUVs to be built at Ingolstadt from 2021

In a significant step toward getting its new EVs into production, Audi management and the Audi Works Council have come to an agreement extending job security until the end of 2025. The deal covers the entire workforce of Audi AG. General Works Council Chairman Peter Mosch and Audi CEO Rupert Stadler also announced that two all-electric SUV models are to be built at the Ingolstadt site from 2021.

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Teijin to build new carbon fiber plant in US, expand precursor production in Japan

Teijin Limited will establish a new carbon-fiber production facility in Greenwood, South Carolina, and will also form Teijin Carbon Fibers, Inc. (TCF), a wholly owned subsidiary. TCF is expected to be incorporated this December and begin operating the new carbon-fiber production facility by the end of FY 2020.

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EPA finalizes RFS volumes for 2018 and biomass-based diesel volumes for 2019

November 30, 2017

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule that establishes the required renewable fuel volumes under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) program for 2018, and biomass-based diesel for 2019. The final standards for 2018, and for biomass-based diesel for 2019, are only slightly changed from the proposed standards that EPA issued earlier this year. (Earlier post.)

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CMB launching dual-fuel hydrogen-diesel ship

Cie. Maritime Belge SA (CMB) is launching the Hydroville—the first passenger shuttle that has received a Class approval to burn diesel and hydrogen in its combustion engines. The vessel completed her sea trials on 16 November.

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Alfa Romeo back in Formula 1

After an absence from the sport for more than 30 years, Alfa Romeo is returning to Formula 1. Alfa signed a multi-year technical and commercial partnership agreement with Swiss Sauber F1 Team for participation in the Formula 1 world championship beginning with the 2018 season. The official name will be Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.

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Lockheed Martin autonomous driving system tops 55,000 miles in extended Army testing

Lockheed Martin’s Autonomous Mobility Applique System (AMAS) logged more than 55,000 testing miles during the US Army Extended Warfighter Experiment (EWE) at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and Fort Bliss, Texas.

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Efficient Drivetrains introduces EDI PowerDrive 8000 series for Class 8 trucks

November 29, 2017

Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI) has expanded its PowerDrive product family to include a heavy-duty offering suitable for Class-8 vehicle applications. The new powertrain line—the EDI PowerDrive 8000—will be available in the first half of 2018 in both all electric and plug-in hybrid form factors (PHEV).

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California ARB developing Innovative Clean Transit Proposal

The staff of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is developing an “Innovative Clean Transit (ICT)”—a regulatory concept that includes a gradual transition to zero emission transit technologies without compromising transit services and that recognizes enhanced mobility options.

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New QX50 sees first automotive use of Super High Formability 980 MPa steel

INFINITI’s new QX50 (earlier post) represents the first automotive use of SHF (Super High Formability) 980 MPa high-tensile steel. The high-tensile material can be molded into unprecedented shapes, saving weight and representing a torsional rigidity improvement of 23% over the current QX50.

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Wärtsilä to equip first US ocean-going LNG fueling barge

The technology group Wärtsilä has been selected to provide a broad scope of products and solutions for a new articulated tug barge (ATB). The vessel will be used to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel to cruise ships along the east coast of Florida, USA.

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BSEE approves new drilling operations by Eni in Arctic; extended reach drilling

The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has approved Arctic exploration operations on the Outer Continental Shelf for the first time in more than two years. BSEE approved an Application for Permit to Drill submitted by Eni U.S. Operating Co. Inc. in August. Drilling the exploratory well from a man-made artificial island in the Beaufort Sea is expected to start as early as this December.

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€5.7M MORSE project seeks to improve European steel industry with software tools

November 28, 2017

The European Union has launched the €5.7-million (US$6.9-million) MORSE (Model-based optimization for efficient use of resources and energy) project to improve the products, business operations and competitiveness, as well as the energy and raw material efficiency, of the European steel industry. The focus is on developing software tools that will be used to reform, accelerate and manage heavy production processes.

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TomTom, Elektrobit and TISA commit to the future of OpenLR standard for dynamic location referencing

TomTom, Elektrobit Automotive GmbH and the Traveller Information Services Association (TISA) have founded the Open-LR e.V. Association to secure the future of the royalty-free, OpenLR standard for dynamic location referencing.

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Saudi Aramco and SABIC to develop innovative crude-oil-to-chemicals complex; 400K bpd; reducing focus on transportation

Saudi Aramco and SABIC have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop a fully integrated crude-oil-to-chemicals (COTC) complex in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which governs the execution of the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) before a final investment decision is made. The COTC complex is expected to process 400,000 barrels per day of crude oil, which will produce approximately 9 million tons of chemicals and base oils annually and is expected to start operations in 2025.

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Steelmaker SSAB to start using liquefied natural gas in Raahe mill slab reheating furnace

Steelmaker SSAB will start using liquified natural gas (LNG) in its Raahe (Finland) steel mill, where it will replace the use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the walking beam furnace in the strip mill and be as a support and additional fuel in the boiler in Raahe Voima’s power plant. Work on building the LNG storage facility is under way and the facility will be brought into use in 2018.

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Rhein Neckar Verkehr GmbH first customer for Mercedes-Benz electric Citaro bus

November 27, 2017

Rhein‑Neckar‑Verkehr GmbH will be the first customer for the fully-electric Citaro city bus from Mercedes-Benz. (Earlier post.) Representatives of the Daimler subsidiary EvoBus GmbH and Rhein‑Neckar‑Verkehr GmbH have signed a corresponding memorandum of understanding.

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Hyundai Mobis develops autonomous reverse-driving technology

Tier 1 supplier Hyundai Mobis has developed reverse driving support technology that autonomously steers when a car drives in reverse without the driver having to operate the steering wheel. Though there is already a function called Parking Assist (PA), which autonomously steers a car in reverse parking, this is the first time that a technology has been specifically developed to support reverse driving.

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Landi Renzo and Clean Energy combine natural gas compressor businesses

Landi Renzo S.p.a. and Clean Energy Fuels Corp. are combining their compressor manufacturing subsidiaries to form a new standalone company that will immediately become one of the leading global suppliers of natural gas compressors and other related products.

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Preh acquires power electronics company ePower from Kongsberg Automotive

Global automotive supplier Preh GmbH is acquiring ePower, a business unit of Kongsberg Automotive ASA in Norway. ePower Nordic AB was established in 2011 by Kongsberg Automotive and Swedish electronics company QRTECH to excel in the field of power electronics, meeting stringent requirements regarding quality, low weight and high power density. ePower currently employs 20 people and has two development centers in Gothenburg and Mullsjö in Sweden.

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Latest release of DNV GL Phast makes behavior of toxic clouds easier to predict; along wind diffusion method

The latest release of Phast, DNV GL’s software for process hazard analysis, brings in an entirely new dispersion model that increases accuracy in predicting the movement of certain types of toxic clouds. The new model significantly improves predictions of releases with short durations—a particular challenge for the modeling of hazardous dispersions.

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JBM Auto to launch 9-, 12-meter electric buses at Auto Expo 2018 in India

JBM Auto will launch its EcoLife 9- and 12-meter electric buses at the Auto Expo 2018 in February in India. JBM Auto Limited, the bus division of JBM Group, partnered with Solaris on the development of the buses.

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2018 Mazda CX-5 in US features as standard 2.5L engine with new cylinder-deactivation technology

For the 2018 model year, the Mazda CX-5 version sold in the US will offer cylinder-deactivation technology, safety, and refinement updates at all trim levels. Mazda CX-5’s SKYACTIV-G 2.5 engines received updates to reduce internal friction, which increases low-end torque, while also reducing real-world fuel consumption and particulate matter formation during combustion.

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Osaka Gas launches pilot project in Thailand to supply vehicle natural gas fuel from biogas

In collaboration with Thai company Agriculture of Basin Company Limited (ABC), Osaka Gas launched a pilot project in Thailand to assess the commercial viability of supplying natural gas to vehicles by continuously removing carbon dioxide and other impurities from biogas generated mainly from agricultural waste, and refining it into high purity methane gas.

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Weichai Power, Bosch to partner on hydrogen fuel cells, Industry 4.0; focus on commercial vehicles

November 26, 2017

China-based Weichai Power, currently a diesel engine market leader in China’s heavy-duty truck and construction machinery market, and Bosch have signed a cooperation framework agreement to establish a fuel cell technology innovation and industrial chain and jointly to develop and to produce hydrogen fuel cells and related component.

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ZF orders Concentric electric oil pumps for new driveline product

Concentric AB recently received an order from ZF, a global leader in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology, to produce electric oil pumps for a new driveline product. This is the second nominated application for the electric oil pump, with the first being a global OEM of buses and trucks.

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H&R GmbH & Co. KGaA inaugurates world’s largest dynamic hydrogen electrolysis plant

November 24, 2017

H&R Ölwerke Schindler, a subsidiary of H&R GmbH & Co. KGaA, has inaugurated the world’s largest dynamic hydrogen electrolysis plant based on PEM technology. “Dynamic” means that the hydrogen electrolysis plant can take advantage of last-minute surges in electricity production, i.e. from wind turbines, to produce hydrogen. The centerpiece of the €10-million plant is a Siemens-built electrolyzer with 5 MW of electric capacity. The plant will produce several hundred tons of hydrogen per year, which will be used as a resource in refinery processes.

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ABB powers 450kW fast charging for electric buses in Gothenburg

Göteborg Energi has ordered two 450kW ABB OppCharge (Opportunity Charging) fast chargers, facilitating more efficient operation for articulated high-capacity electric buses in Gothenburg.

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SGL Group acquires BMW Group’s minority interest in carbon fiber JV

SGL Carbon SE is acquiring BMW Group’s 49% equity investment in the joint ventures SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers GmbH & Co. KG (Germany) and SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers LLC (US)—together referred to as SGL ACF. Once the deal has been completed, SGL Group will be the sole owner of SGL ACF. As is customary, the transaction is subject to approval from the respective authorities.

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Renault Samsung Motors boosts range of new SM3 Z.E. by 57% to 233 km

November 23, 2017

Renault Samsung Motors this morning unveiled the new SM3 Z.E. electric vehicle at the Daegu International Future Auto Expo in South Korea. The SM3 Z.E., which first appeared in 2013, has had it range increased by 57% up to 233 km (145 miles) (based on the Korean approval cycle).

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Renault Trucks’ Urban Lab 2 receives Low Emission Driveline Award; medium-duty diesel hybrid

Renault Trucks has won the “Low Emissions Driveline Award” for its laboratory distribution vehicle, Urban Lab 2. This prize, awarded by the LUTB Transport & Mobility Systems cluster and the PFA Automotive Industry and Mobilities, as part of the Solutrans Innovation Awards, was presented to the manufacturer at the Lyon Chamber of Commerce and Industry on 21 November 2017.

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China Yuchai to supply 600 diesels to BAIC for SUVs

China Yuchai International, a leading manufacturer and distributor of engines for on- and off-road applications in China through its main operating subsidiary, Guangxi Yuchai Machinery Company Limited (GYMCL), announced that GYMCL has received its first order from Beijing Automotive Group Co., Ltd. (BAIC) for 600 YC4Y20 engines that will be used to power BAIC Group’s Beiqi B40L SUVs that will be launched in China in January 2018.

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GM adds 9-speed auto to 2018 Buick Envision for China

November 22, 2017

Buick launched the 2018 Buick Envision in China with a new nine-speed transmission, updated design and enhanced connectivity. The Envision originally went on sale in China in October 2014. It remains Buick’s most popular SUV and second most popular model overall, with deliveries of 169,227 units in the first 10 months of this year.

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Mahindra Automotive North America opens new HQ and manufacturing facility in Metro Detroit

As a strong indication of its growing presence in North America, Mahindra Automotive North America (MANA) has opened a new North American HQ and manufacturing operation in the Detroit area—the first such new OEM facility in Southeast Michigan in more than 25 years.

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Velodyne LiDAR Partners with UMS for autonomous vehicle testing in South Korea

Velodyne LiDAR is partnering with Unmanned Solution (UMS) of South Korea to integrate its advanced LiDAR sensors into UMS’ expansive autonomous technology development program.

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UC Riverside study to evaluate best ways to achieve California’s 100% renewable energy target

Arun Raju, director of the Center for Renewable Natural Gas at UC Riverside, recently received a $146,000 grant from Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) to examine the proposed 100% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and explore options that can help achieve emission reduction goals more efficiently and at lower costs.

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Vanderbilt battery management device reconfigures modules to extend EV pack range

November 21, 2017

Vanderbilt University’s Ken Pence, professor of the practice of engineering management, and Tim Potteiger, a Ph.D. student in electrical engineering, have developed a battery management device that reconfigures battery modules in electric cars to be online or offline depending on whether or not they’re going to pull down the other modules. The result could be an increase in range of up to 50%, seen as the battery pack ages.

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Neste US partners with 4 distributors to provide Neste MY Renewable Diesel to California

Neste US, Inc. has entered exclusive partnerships with four fuel distributors in California—IPC (USA), Inc.; Ramos Oil Company, Van De Pol Petroleum; and Western States Oil—to supply Neste MY Renewable Diesel through these partners in their respective territories.

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Wärtsilä introducing first marine application of LNG-fueled version of world’s most efficient 4-stroke diesel

The technology group Wärtsilä will supply the engines, the navigation system, and a broad scope of other products and systems for a new luxury and environmentally friendly ferry being built for the Finland based operator, Viking Line, at the Xiamen Shipbuilding Industry yard in China. Six Wärtsilä 31DF dual-fuel engines running primarily on liquefied natural gas (LNG) will provide the propulsion and power for the vessel. The diesel version of this same engine has been recognized by Guinness World Records as being the world’s most efficient 4-stroke diesel engine.

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DOE: California had the highest concentration of plug-in vehicles relative to population in 2016

In 2016, California had the highest concentration of plug-in vehicles relative to population with 6.65 PEVs per 1,000 people, according to figures from the US Department of Energy (DOE). Hawaii had the second highest concentration with nearly four PEVs per 1,000 people followed by Washington and Oregon with about three PEVs per 1,000 people.

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Axel Springer and Porsche to set up joint start-up accelerator

November 20, 2017

Axel Springer Digital Ventures and Porsche Digital will establish a new, joint start-up accelerator. The companies signed an agreement on entering into a joint venture in which each holds a half share.

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DuPont launches SYNERXIA THRIVE fermentation solution to increase ethanol yields

DuPont Industrial Biosciences launched the SYNERXIA THRIVE Fermentation System, the newest innovation in the company’s synergistic fermentation system technologies. The new fermentation system will deliver up to 4% higher ethanol yields in dry grind facilities, improved robustness during thermal excursions and improved performance.

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Volvo Cars to supply tens of thousands of autonomous-driving-compatible base vehicles to Uber

Volvo Cars has signed a framework agreement with Uber to provide “tens of thousands” of autonomous-driving-compatible base vehicles between 2019 and 2021. The base vehicles are developed on Volvo Cars’ fully modular, in-house developed Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). SPA is currently used on Volvo Cars’ 90 series cars as well as on the new XC60 midsize SUV.

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Updated Mazda 6 to offer cylinder deactivation in 2.5L SKYACTIV-G engine

Mazda Motor will unveil an updated Mazda6 sedan (known as Mazda Atenza in Japan) at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The Mazda6 is the flagship of Mazda’s passenger car lineup. The powertrain lineup in this round of updates—the third since the model was fully redesigned in 2012—adopts new technologies, including a cylinder deactivation system for the SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter gasoline engine, to improve superior fuel efficiency.

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Shell and bio-bean partner to produce B20 biodiesel using waste coffee; fuel for London buses

Shell and bio-bean are parterning to produce a B20 biofuel made partly from waste coffee grounds. The biofuel is being added to the London bus fuel supply chain and will help to power some of the buses.

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GAZ Group introduces specialized CNG trucks

GAZ Group, Russia’s largest manufacturer of commercial motor vehicles, has introduced new compressed natural gas (CNG) models of specialized vehicles: a garbage truck with rear loading and a repair mobile workshop created on the base of a GAZon Next CNG medium-duty truck.

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LA Metro and Via Join partner to offer shared rides to select transit stations; $1.35M grant

November 18, 2017

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and Via, a provider of on-demand shared rides are partnering to offer an affordable, equitable, and accessible option to connect to major train and bus stations. The project is funded in part by the largest federal grant of its kind—a $1.35-million grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for advanced technology to help bridge the first/last mile gap.

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Toyota and Suzuki partnering on EVs in India

November 17, 2017

Toyota Motor and Suzuki Motor have concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on moving forward in considering a cooperative structure for introducing electric vehicles (EVs) in the Indian market in around 2020. Specifically, Suzuki will produce EVs for the Indian market and will supply some to Toyota, while Toyota is to provide technical support.

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New Nissan LEAF makes its China debut

The new Nissan LEAF makes its China debut at the 15th China (Guangzhou) International Automobile Exhibition. Nissan is also exhibiting the Vmotion 2.0 concept car, providing a glimpse of the future of sedans. Venucia, the local brand of Dongfeng Venucia Motor Co. within Nissan’s joint venture in China, will also bring its all-new Venucia T70 to the show.

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Transloc partners with California transit agencies to begin deploying next-generation microtransit services

TransLoc, a technology provider of flexible agency-owned microtransit solutions, is partnering with three California transit agencies readying to deploy microtransit in their respective communities: Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), Central Contra Costa Transit Authority (CCCTA) and the San Joaquin Regional Transit District (SJRTD).

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Nikola Motor selects Nel to build 16-station hydrogen refueling network spanning 2,000 miles; first two underway

November 16, 2017

Nikola Motor Company, which is developing a Class 8 hydrogen-fuel-cell electric truck (earlier post) has chosen Nel ASA as the sole equipment supplier to build a 16-station hydrogen refueling network that will span 2,000 miles. Nikola has already issued a purchase order for the first two stations; the other 14 will follow immediately after installation.

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Toyota Financial Services partners with Launch Mobility to support rideshare drivers

Toyota Financial Services (TFS) is partnering with Launch Mobility, a developer of shared mobility solutions, to develop a product that will make previously leased vehicles available for short-term rentals to rideshare drivers.

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BYD delivers first all-electric automated side loader refuse truck to city of Palo Alto

BYD delivered the first all-electric automated side loader refuse truck to the City of Palo Alto and GreenWaste, the city’s waste hauler service. The BYD electric refuse truck uses its batteries for propulsion, as well as to power the hydraulic system for the body.

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DOE: Cumulative US sales of fuel cell vehicles totaled 2,748 from June 2014 through September 2017

According to figures gathered by the US Department of Energy (DOE), cumulative US sales of fuel cell vehicles from June 2014 through September 2017 are 2,748 units, spread across three available models. The DOE noted that fuel cell vehicle sales (including leases) are currently only offered in select areas that have hydrogen refueling infrastructure—mainly in California. For this reason, fuel cell vehicle sales do not directly reflect consumer demand, and sales volumes should not be compared to sales volumes of mainstream vehicles that are sold in all 50 states.

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WiTricity and Texas Instruments collaborate on wireless charging solution for EVs

Wireless power transfer company WiTricity has collaborated with Texas Instruments (TI) to use automotive-grade semiconductor components in WiTricity’s DRIVE 11 wireless charging systems and reference designs.

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DiDi Labs opens new campus in Mountain View

November 15, 2017

Didi Chuxing, the world’s largest mobile transportation platform, announced the opening of its main US research facility in Mountain View, California to facilitate the growth and expansion of its Bay Area-based team.

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Mercedes-Benz R&D North America opens Digital Hub in Seattle; focus on software development and data operations in cloud computing

Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America (MBRDNA) is opening a lab in Seattle, the organization’s sixth. Software experts there will focus on Cloud computing to expand and enhance connected car functionality in Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

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Greensboro Transit Authority buying four Proterra electric buses; North Carolina’s first battery-electric public transit bus fleet

Greensboro Transit Authority (GTA) is going forward with the purchase of four 40-foot Proterra electric buses this fall, setting in motion the potential to expand its zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) fleet over the next four years. This new procurement represents a joint effort by GTA and Proterra to minimize emissions, reduce traffic congestion and accelerate sustainable infrastructure development throughout the Greensboro community.

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Ballard and Siemens sign $9M multi-year development agreement for fuel cell system to power Mireo light rail train; deployment in 2021

November 14, 2017

Ballard Power Systems has signed a Development Agreement with Siemens AG for the development of a hydrogen fuel cell engine to power Siemens’ Mireo light rail train. The Development Agreement has a contemplated value of approximately $9.0 million to Ballard.

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