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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.]

Germany now has 7,407 public charging points; 14,531 filling stations

March 24, 2017

A survey by Germany’s BDEW (Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft), an association of energy and water companies, found that the number of public charge points in the country has grown to 7,407 as of the end of 2016. 890 new charging points have been added to since mid-2016—an increase of almost 12%. 292 of the new points are DC fast charging. As a comparison, Germany had 14,531 filling stations (with multiple pumps, or “filling points”) active in 2016, down from a peak 46,091 in 1970.

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Lexus debuts in India with hybrid-focused line-up

Lexus made its debut in India today. At the launch, Lexus unveiled three models chosen with the Indian driver in mind—the RX 450h, ES 300h , and LX450d vehicles. The all-new Lexus LS made a surprise appearance in a sneak preview at the end of the show.

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Rice team fine-tunes sorbents for carbon capture, methane selectivity

Natural gas producers want to draw all the methane they can from a well while sequestering as much carbon dioxide as possible; filters optimize either carbon capture or methane flow, but no single filter will do both. New work form Rice University now shows that subtle adjustments in the manufacture of a polymer-based carbon sorbent make it the best-known material either for capturing the greenhouse gas or balancing carbon capture with methane selectivity, according to Rice chemist Andrew Barron.

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CARB approves rule for monitoring and repairing methane leaks from oil and gas facilities

The California Air Resources Board approved a new regulation aimed at methane leaks from oil and gas operations. The new rule is the most comprehensive of its kind in the country.

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Toyota launches NOx-scrubbing billboard campaign for Mirai

March 23, 2017

Toyota will launch an eco-billboard campaign for the fuel cell Mirai, in coordination with Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, from 3 April through 28 May 28. Thirty-seven billboards in Los Angeles and San Francisco will create 24,960 square feet of pollution scrubbing surface and reverse the equivalent of 5,285 vehicles worth of nitrogen dioxide (NOx) emissions per month.

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Survey shows car2go car-sharing usage increasing

A growing number of people are opting to use flexible carsharing across car2go’s European locations in favor of a blend of carsharing, bike-share, and public transport, according to a regular customer survey carried out by car2go.

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ABS issues Approval in Principle for LNG-fueled design concept for bulker

ABS, a leading provider of classification and technical services to the marine and offshore industries, has granted Approval in Principle (AIP) for the Seatransporter-DF, a dual-fuel design concept developed by Algoship Designers Ltd. of Nassau, Bahamas. The design has the capability to accommodate multiple engine types as well as Type-C or membrane containment systems for LNG fuel.

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TARDEC seeks partners for Next-Generation Combat Vehicle prototype

Army TARDEC is looking for new, innovative engineering organizations from industry, academia and defense communities to partner in the development its Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) prototype. TARDEC will reveal details of this new program at a briefing in Warren, Mich., on Wednesday, 29 March.

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J.D. Power: Tesla Model 3 buyers may not be as tolerant of quality issues as Model S, X owners

Problems associated with Tesla Model S and Model X have little influence on the overt affection owners have for these cars and the brand, according to a new J.D. Power report titled “Tesla: Beyond the Hype.” However, the J.D. Power report suggests, consumers who opt for Tesla’s next model, the Model 3, are expected to be less forgiving of quality issues.

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Daimler JV Beijing Benz Automotive named Factory of the Year by Produktion magazine

March 22, 2017

In a ceremony held in Munich on 21 March, Daimler’s largest global production facility, Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd. (BBAC), received a “Factory of the Year” award from theGerman publication ‘Produktion’. BBAC was chosen for recognition in the “Excellent Large Series Assembly” category. As the primary local production base for Mercedes-Benz vehicles in China, BBAC plays a key role in Daimler’s overall global development strategy and production network.

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Mercane Wheels introduces Version 2.0 of 3-wheel electric kickscooter

Mercane Wheels introduced version 2.0 of the Transboard, its electric “kickscooter” that combines speed, stability and safety to deliver users with a superior riding experience. An Indiegogo campaign, which has a funding goal of US$30,000, features limited Early Bird specials of $499.00 (60% off retail) and several other rewards for early backers.

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FIA grants homologation to nine manufacturers for 2018/19 Formula E season

The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) released

FIA grants homologation to nine manufacturers for 2018/19 Formula E season

The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) released the names of the nine manufacturers that have been granted homologation from the 2018/19 season of the all-electric FIA Formula E Championship.

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US EPA to implement renewable fuel volume requirements for 2017 as decided in November 2016

The 60-day Regulatory Freeze Pending Rev

March 21, 2017

The 60-day Regulatory Freeze Pending Review by the incoming Trump Administration, which was applied to the renewable fuel volume requirements for 2017, has expired. Hence, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will continue to implement the final ruling under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program as published on 23 November 2016. (Earlier post.)

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Wilmington Trust selected as trustee for $2.7B Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust

Wilmington Trust, N.A. has been appointed trustee for the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. The $2.7-billion trust, established as part of Volkswagen’s diesel emissions settlement, will be used to implement approved air pollution mitigation initiatives in US states and federally-recognized Native American nations.

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DOE: new vehicle fuel economy improved 33% from 1980-2016

According to data gathered by the US Department of Energy (DOE) from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), new vehicle fuel economy in the US has improved 33% from 1980-2016, despite a 120% increase in horsepower and 47% improvement in acceleration (measured by time to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph).

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NTU Singapore and Schaeffler set up joint lab to develop smart mobility devices

March 20, 2017

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and Schaeffler Group are establishing a joint research lab to develop smart mobility devices. The lab has a combined funding of S$5 million (US$3.4 million) over three years. The collaboration will tackle transportation challenges for Singapore within the context of the country’s Smart Nation vision.

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Divergent 3D enters partnership with SLM Solutions Group for 3D metal printing machines for automotive production

Divergent 3D has entered into a strategic development partnership with SLM Solutions Group, a manufacturer of 3D metal printing equipment. SLM Solutions Group will work closely with Divergent to develop specific hardware and software that will accelerate scaling of the patented Divergent Manufacturing Platform (earlier post) for cost-effective, high-volume production of vehicles.

SLM Solutions Group is engaged in the development, production and distribution of selective laser melting systems, which create three-dimensional objects from metal powders.

Divergent 3D has invented a patented software-hardware platform enabled by 3D metal printing that radically transforms the economics and environmental impact of designing and manufacturing complex structures such as cars.

SLM Solutions Group will work closely with Divergent to develop specific hardware and software that will enable scaling of the patented Divergent Manufacturing Platform to high-volume production of vehicle structures.

Additive manufacturing has long been used throughout the auto industry for small-scale pilot programs focused on developing individual 3D-printed components for production. Divergent 3D and SLM Solutions, in contrast, are partnering to transform the process of designing and manufacturing overall vehicle structures. The objective is to build lighter, structurally safe, more cost-efficient and environmentally responsible automobiles.

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Mkango and Metalysis partner to develop 3D-printed rare earth magnets for EVs

Canada-based Mkango Resources has entered into a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with UK-based Metalysis jointly to research, develop and commercialize novel rare earth metal alloys for use in three-dimensional (3D) printed permanent magnets.

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Arconic announces multi-year aluminum deal with Toyota

Global technology, engineering and advanced manufacturing company Arconic (formerly part of Alcoa before Alcoa split itself last year into two entities—Alcoa focused on the raw aluminum operation and Arconic on products into industries such as automotive) announced a multi-year supply deal with Toyota North America. Arconic is supplying aluminum to Toyota for its all-new Lexus RX. The vehicle debuted last year and became Toyota’s first vehicle in North America to prominently feature aluminum exterior panels.

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Porsche spent €2.2B on R&D in 2016; PHEVs, Mission E BEV, digitalization

March 17, 2017

In FY 2016, Porsche spent €2.2 billion (US$2.4 billion) on R&D to prepare for mobility of the future with an emphasis on plug-in hybrid vehicles; the battery-electric Mission E vehicle; and overall digital transformation.

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Sumitomo Electric demoing ESS for power grid in California; US’ largest redox flow battery system

Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. and New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), in cooperation with the State of California and public utility company San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), started the demonstration of the United States’ largest redox flow battery system in California.

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Nissan and Yokohama launch car sharing service featuring Nissan’s ultra-compact EV

Nissan Motor and the City of Yokohama are introducing a round-trip car sharing service today featuring the Nissan New Mobility Concept, an ultra-compact electric vehicle. The service, “Choimobi Yokohama,” enables users who register online to pick up and return cars in 14 locations around Yokohama Station. Cars can be reserved 30 minutes in advance and can be driven within the city.

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Trump proposed budget cuts DOT funding by 13%

President Trump’s proposed 2018 Budget requests $16.2 billion for DOT’s discretionary budget—a $2.4-billion or 13% decrease from the 2017 annualized CR level. The proposal reduces or eliminates programs that the Administration deems are either inefficient, duplicative of other Federal efforts, or that involve activities that are better delivered by States, localities, or the private sector.

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MAHLE to acquire Spanish electronics specialist Nagares to bolster position in vehicle electronics

March 16, 2017

MAHLE plans to take over Spanish electronics specialist Nagares SA. The purchase price will not be disclosed. The transaction is still subject to approval by the antitrust authorities.

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New Detroit DD8 medium-duty diesel engine debuts at 2017 NTEA Show

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), along with its component brand Detroit, unveiled the new Detroit DD8 Medium-Duty Engine at the NTEA Work Truck Show. Aimed at the vocational truck markets, the Detroit DD8 is a 7.7L in-line 6-cylinder medium-duty diesel engine. It offers a horsepower range of 260-350 hp and a torque range of 660-1050 lb–ft (895-1424 N·m).

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NuScale Power’s Small Modular Nuclear Reactor design certification accepted for review by US NRC

Fluor Corporation announced that NuScale Power—in which Fluor is the majority investor—has received notice that its design certification application has been accepted for review by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). (Earlier post.) By accepting the completed application for review, the NRC confirms that NuScale’s submission addresses all NRC requirements and contains sufficient technical information to conduct the review.

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Natural Resources Canada invests $800K in G4 Insights project to convert forestry waste to renewable natural gas

Natural Resources Canada is investing $800,000 in G4 Insights Inc. for the development of technology to convert forestry waste into renewable natural gas (RNG) that can be distributed through existing natural gas pipelines in Canada.

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UC Berkeley EBI, Shell sign $25M partnership to fund new energy tech research

UC Berkeley’s Energy Biosciences Institute has entered into a five-year research agreement with Shell International Exploration and Production to fund research that meets the growing demand for energy in ways that are economically, environmentally and socially responsible.

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Tesla to raise about $1.15 with offerings of common stock and convertible senior notes

Tesla announced offerings of $250 million of common stock and $750 million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due in 2022 in concurrent underwritten registered public offerings. In addition, Tesla has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 15% of each offering. The aggregate gross proceeds of the offerings, including the options granted to the underwriters, is expected to be approximately $1.15 billion.

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NVIDIA partners with Bosch for autonomous driving system based on next-generation DRIVE PX Xavier Platform

March 15, 2017

Bosch is working with NVIDIA to develop artificial intelligence self-driving systems for mass market cars. Bosch CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner unveiled the collaboration during his keynote address at Bosch Connected World, in Berlin, at Bosch Group’s annual Internet of Things conference.

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EV Trophy European EV rally to cover 2500 km

Electric Marathon International (Ukraine), in partnership with European Green Cities Network under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, is organizing the EV Trophy electric vehicle rally. Starting in Copenhagen on 24 May and finishing in Monte Carlo on 1 June, the rally will bring together like-minded enthusiasts to promote ecofriendly mobility, encourage the development of charging infrastructure and present sustainable and innovative solutions in transportation.

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Evonik and Forward Engineering establish joint venture VESTARO for automotive lightweight composites

Evonik Industries and Forward Engineering have established the joint venture VESTARO GmbH. With this project, the two companies intend to drive forward the implementation of composite solutions for the industrial mass production of fiber composite components for the automotive industry.

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Nexperia announces 80% smaller automotive power MOSFET package

Nexperia, the former Standard Products division of NXP, announced the availability of its automotive power MOSFETs in the new, LFPAK33, thermally-enhanced, loss-free package which has a footprint more than 80% smaller than industry standard devices.

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Avantium raises €103M in IPO; commercializing YXY

Sofinnova Partners, a leading European venture capital firm, announced the successful initial public offering of Avantium which raised €103 million (US$109 million) on Euronext Amsterdam and Euronext Bruxelles. Sofinnova Capital VI remains the main shareholder after the IPO. The initial public offering was multiple times oversubscribed.

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Jaguar takes I-PACE electric concept to the streets; production reveal in late 2017

Jaguar has taken its first electric vehicle—the Jaguar I-PACE SUV concept (earlier post)—onto the streets for the first time. Driving on the streets of London’s Olympic Park, the electric performance SUV concept previews Jaguar’s first electric vehicle, the Jaguar I-PACE, which will be revealed in late 2017 and will be on the road in the second half of 2018.

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Continental selects Cypress MCUs for next-gen body electronics

March 14, 2017

Continental has selected Cypress Semiconductor’s automotive microcontrollers (MCUs) (earlier post)for its next-generation body electronics platform. Cypress designed the Traveo II family specifically to deliver the performance, scalability, low power consumption and security required for emerging automotive platforms.

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Renault-Nissan Alliance forms light commercial vehicle business unit

The Renault-Nissan Alliance is creating a light commercial vehicle business unit to expand its global presence in this growing segment.

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California Energy Commission awarding $33.5M in funding for 16 more hydrogen stations

The California Energy Commission released a Notice of Proposed Awards for 16 additional hydrogen stations to continue expanding the hydrogen station network in California. Added to the retail hydrogen stations already open and under construction, California will have more than 60 stations statewide by 2020 (or sooner.)

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New method details contributions of climate change & natural variability to rapid Arctic ice loss

A new study finds that a substantial chunk of summer sea ice loss in recent decades was due to natural variability in the atmosphere over the Arctic Ocean. The study, from the University of Washington, the University of California Santa Barbara and federal scientists, is published in Nature Climate Change.

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SEA\LNG to work together with SGMF to promote LNG as marine fuel

SEA\LNG, a multi-sector industry coalition aiming to accelerate the widespread adoption of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF). The MoU creates a framework for how the two complementary organizations will work together to achieve their common goal of making LNG the fuel of choice for the shipping industry.

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Renault opens Innovation Lab in Paris to focus on future of mobility

March 13, 2017

Renault has opened a third Renault Open Innovation Lab called “Le Square” in Paris. Le Square aims to define new ways of working and to explore the future of mobility by opening up the company’s boundaries and encouraging cooperation around new kinds of business organisation with actors from the French ecosystem.

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Repsol, Armstrong Energy make largest US onshore oil discovery in 30 years; 1.2B barrels in Alaska

Repsol and partner Armstrong Energy have made the largest US onshore conventional hydrocarbons discovery in 30 years—up to approximately 1.2 billion barrels of recoverable light oil in the Nanushuk play in Alaska’s North Slope.

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UDRI leading project to develop safer, greener storage tanks for natural-gas fueled vehicles

An Ohio-based initiative to develop affordable, safer and recyclable compressed-gas fuel tanks for the trucking and automotive industry, led by the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI), is underway with the kick-off of its first collaborative project.

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Henkel showcasing composite leaf spring, resin technology at JEC 2017

March 10, 2017

Henkel will showcase a leaf spring based on Loctite MAX 2 polyurethane matrix resin and continuous glass fiber reinforcement at JEC World 2017 composites trade show in Paris next week. The leaf spring, which debuted in late 2014 on the rear suspension of the Volvo XC90 premium crossover SUV, now features at the core of a lightweight rear axle concept implemented on various models.

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NSF awards $6.1M to accelerate advanced wireless research, push beyond 5G

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a $6.1 million, five-year award to accelerate fundamental research on wireless communication and networking technologies through the foundation's Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) program.

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Volvo Cars selects Aerovironment for its first custom global EV charging station

AeroVironment announced its selection by Volvo Cars as the developer of Volvo Cars’ first custom global EV charging station. Incorporating customer design elements and branding specifically for Volvo Cars, this charging station can be conveniently wall mounted. It will enable drivers to charge their vehicles up to three times faster than is possible with a standard cordset.

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Biomass-to-sugar company Comet Biorefining completes new round of equity financing

March 09, 2017

Comet Biorefining, an industry leader in the production of high-purity cellulosic dextrose, has completed a round of equity financing led by new investor PM Equity Partner. Current investor Sofinnova Partners and new investor Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) also participated in the financing. Terms of the financing were not disclosed.

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Falken’s new ECORUN A-A tire helps extend range and efficiency of hybrid vehicles; Toyota first partner

Falken Tire Europe, the European affiliate of the Japanese tire manufacturer Sumitomo Rubber and the sixth largest tire manufacturer worldwide, has launched a new summer tire with optimized rolling resistance. The new addition is a first for FALKEN’s product portfolio.

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Honda to introduce Clarity Plug-In Hybrid and Honda Clarity Electric at 2017 New York International Auto Show

The all-new Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Honda Clarity Electric will make their worldwide debut at the 2017 New York International Auto Show. The two all-new, electrified Honda vehicles will make Clarity the first vehicle series to offer customers the choice of fuel cell, battery electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains wrapped in a sporty, spacious and comprehensively equipped five-passenger midsize sedan.

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Toshiba to launch SIP series of SCiB Lithium-ion modules for automated guided vehicles

Toshiba Corporation announced the latest addition to its SCiB line-up of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries: the SIP series of modules for automated guided vehicles (AGV) and other types of industrial equipment. The new modules will be available from April.

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DiDi Chuxing launches lab in Silicon Valley to focus on AI-based security and intelligent driving tech

Didi Chuxing—China’s leading mobile transportation platform—has launched DiDi Labs in Mountain View, California. DiDi Labs will primarily focus on AI-based security and intelligent driving technologies, with an aim to attract top engineering talents to advance transformation in the global transportation industry.

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Evonik and Forward Engineering establish joint venture VESTARO for fiber composites for automotive serial production

March 08, 2017

Evonik Industries and Forward Engineering have established the joint venture VESTARO GmbH. With this project, the two companies intend to drive forward the implementation of composite solutions for the industrial mass production of fiber composite components for the automotive industry.

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IFP Energies nouvelles launches DriveQuant start-up in the connected mobility sector

IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) is launching a dedicated start-up: DriveQuant. The company will develop and market a range of web services, launched last September under the brand of the same name, covering energy analysis, coaching, eco-driving and safety.

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Leclanché receives China certification for LTO battery

Switzerland-based Leclanché SA has received certifications recognizing its LTO battery cell’s compliance with China’s latest standards, a pre-requisite to providing battery solutions to power electric vehicles in China.

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2,150 Workhorse W-15 range-extended electric pickups under letters of intent by fleets

Workhorse Group Inc. has received Letters of Intent from fleets totaling 2,150 of the Workhorse W-15 range-extended electric pickup trucks. The Letters of Intent have come from Duke Energy, Portland General Electric, the City of Orlando, Southern California Public Power Authority, Clean Fuels Ohio and one other utility.

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GM and Honda announce executive leadership and board of directors for Fuel Cell System Manufacturing, LLC

March 07, 2017

General Motors and Honda announced the executive structure for their recently established joint venture company, Fuel Cell System Manufacturing, LLC (FCSM). Suheb Haq of GM will serve as the first president of FCSM, and Tomomi Kosaka of Honda will be the new company’s vice president.

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HARMAN introduces deep learning solution for automotive map live layer data updates

HARMAN International is introducing a dynamic map layers solution, powered by HARMAN’s compute platform, that dynamically identifies differences between on-board map data and real-world information being captured through a vehicle’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), navigation system and on-board sensors. The solution is already deployed in the market with a major German automaker.

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ON Semiconductor acquires mmWave technology for automotive radar from IBM

ON Semiconductor Corporation is acquiring and licensing mmWave technology developed by the IBM Research Haifa Lab research team for use in automotive radar applications. The acquisition positions ON Semiconductor to extend its position in automotive image sensors into the broader automotive sensing market.

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Air Products’ California fueling stations offering hydrogen below $10 per kg

Air Products, a leader in hydrogen fueling and infrastructure worldwide, has achieved a pricing milestone at several California fueling stations, which are now offering hydrogen to fuel cell electric vehicle customers at less than $10 per kilogram. Advancements in fueling technology and a greater volume of vehicles now using the stations were important factors in allowing the pricing move to less than $10 per hydrogen kilogram ($9.99/kg).

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A123 Systems opens Czech plant to produce 12V and 48V Li-ion systems

A123 Systems LLC, a developer and manufacturer of advanced lithium-ion batteries and systems, recently celebrated the opening of its new manufacturing facility in Ostrava, Czech Republic at which A123 will produce more than 600,000 units of its low voltage automotive systems annually for European customers.

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Honda begins production of new 10-speed transmission in Georgia; nearly $150M investment

Honda launched global production of a new, state-of-the-art 10-speed automatic transmission at Honda Precision Parts of Georgia, LLC (HPPG) in Tallapoosa, Georgia. Honda also announced that it has invested nearly $150 million in two US manufacturing plants for production of the industry's first 10-speed automatic transmission (10AT) for front-wheel-drive vehicles.

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ExxonMobil plans to invest $20B over 10 years to expand manufacturing capacity in US Gulf Region

ExxonMobil Corporation is expanding its manufacturing capacity along the US Gulf Coast through planned investments of $20 billion over a 10-year period.

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UMTRI: new-vehicle fuel economy in the US unchanged in February

March 06, 2017

The average fuel economy (window-sticker value) of new vehicles sold in the US in February was 25.1 mpg (9.36 l/100 km)—unchanged from the value for January, according to the latest monthly report from Dr. Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).  The value for February is up 5.0 mpg since October 2007 (the first month of their monitoring), but down 0.4 mpg from the peak of 25.5 mpg (9.22 l/100 km) reached in August 2014.

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GM delivers 246,730 vehicles in China in Feb; SUVs maintain growth momentum

General Motors and its joint ventures delivered 246,730 vehicles in February, an increase of 0.4% on an annual basis. SUVs, along with MPVs, accounted for nearly 50% of GM’s deliveries in February. Cadillac and Baojun set February delivery records.

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GM Maven introduces monthly offering for members; vehicles include the Chevrolet Tahoe and Chevrolet Volt

March 04, 2017

Maven, General Motors’ personal mobility brand, has expanded its offerings to include a new monthly service, Maven Reserve. Maven members pay a monthly fee to reserve a new GM vehicle loaded with technology for 28 days. Members can download the Maven app to view pricing by market in real time for Maven Reserve.

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BASF Catalysts doubles production capacity for mobile emissions catalysts in India

March 03, 2017

BASF Catalysts India Private Limited inaugurated its new mobile emissions catalysts manufacturing site in India. The site includes a new 47,000-square-meter production plant, which replaces an existing BASF plant in Chennai and is the culmination of a three-year expansion project, which has doubled the company’s catalyst manufacturing capacity in India.

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5G Automotive Association and European Automotive Telecom Alliance to cooperate on connected and autonomous driving

The 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) and the European Automotive Telecom Alliance (EATA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The aim of this partnership is to foster cooperation in the field of connected and autonomous driving solutions as well as standardization, spectrum and related use cases.

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Volkswagen establishes new Sub-Saharan Africa region

The Volkswagen brand has established a "Sub-Saharan Africa” region to develop and strengthen its activities in the African market. Sub-Saharan Africa refers to the area of the African continent south of the Sahara. The new fourth region joins Volkswagen’s existing regions of North America, South America and China and is the next step in the Volkswagen brand’s strategy to position itself in focus areas. Sub-Sahara comprises 49 African states with a total population of some 920 million.

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Clean Fuels Ohio signs LoI to deploy 500 Workhorse W-15 range-extended electric hybrid pickups across Ohio

Workhorse Group has received a Letter of Intent from Clean Fuels Ohio to partner with Workhorse to help deploy 500 W-15 Plug-In Electric Pickup trucks throughout the state of Ohio. (Earlier post.)

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GM China launches 2017 Green Supply Chain project

March 02, 2017

General Motors China has launched the 2017 Green Supply Chain project. The yearlong initiative aims to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions at 16 China-based parts and components suppliers that provide parts to GM’s operations around the world.

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Co-Optima stakeholder listening day report to be available to public later this year

On 19-20 January, the US Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO), and national laboratories hosted a stakeholder listening day for the Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) initiative in Livermore, California. (Earlier post.) Co-Optima is a broad, joint effort to co-optimize the development of efficient engines and low greenhouse-gas fuels for on-road vehicles with the goal of reducing petroleum consumption by 30% by 2030 beyond what is already targeted.

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ABB delivers first urban battery storage solution in Denmark to support renewables

ABB has commissioned Denmark’s first urban energy storage system. The Lithium-ion based battery energy storage system (BESS) will be integrated with the local electricity grid in the new harbor district of Nordhavn, Copenhagen. The system has been commissioned for Radius, DONG Energy’s electrical grid division.

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Green light for alliance between Volkswagen Truck & Bus and Navistar; Volkswagen acquires 16.6% for $256M

The strategic alliance between Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH—which houses the MAN, Scania, Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus, and RIO brands—and US commercial vehicle manufacturer Navistar International Corporation (earlier post) has been approved by the authorities responsible. Volkswagen Truck & Bus has acquired a stake of 16.6% in Navistar paying US$15.76 per share. The purchase price is US$256 million and takes the form of a capital increase.

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Volvo Trucks introducing OTA remote programming for trucks

March 01, 2017

Volvo Trucks North America is expanding its connected vehicle services with new Remote Programming to increase truck uptime, reduce downtime costs, and improve vehicle efficiency, all through powertrain software and parameter updates. Remote Programming, which leverages Volvo’s factory-installed telematics hardware, allows Volvo customers to perform over-the-air (OTA) powertrain software and parameter updates anywhere in the US and Canada where a cellular connection is available, and at the discretion of the vehicle’s decision maker.

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ON Semiconductor unveils modular automotive imaging platform

ON Semiconductor has introduced the Modular Automotive Reference System (MARS) that gives system and software developers a ready-to-use camera for research and development activities. The MARS platform enables users to reconfigure cameras with different lenses, image sensors, image signal processors (ISPs) and communications options for rapid prototyping and experimentation. The flexible system can be used for the full spectrum of automotive camera applications including advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), surround and rear viewing systems, in-cabin cameras (for gesture recognition, driver eye monitoring, or light level inspection purposes), and autonomous driving.

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Chevron-led consortium executes Mexico deepwater contract

An international consortium operated by Chevron Corporation’s subsidiary, Chevron Energía de Mexico, S de R.L. de C.V., signed an exploration contract with Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH), representing the Mexican government, for Block 3 in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The consortium, which also includes partners Pemex Exploración y Producción and INPEX CORPORATION, was awarded the block on 5 December 2016, during Mexico’s 1.4 bid round.

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NEVS secures battery supply for 9-3 EVs from CATL

February 28, 2017

NEVS has signed a strategic framework agreement with Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL) to secure the battery supply for NEVS 9-3 EV in the Chinese market. CATL is headquartered in Ningde, Fujian, and is focused on the research and development of Li-ion batteries (LIB) intended for electric vehicles. The company was one of the first nine battery suppliers to fulfill China domestic industrial standards and its government’s requirement for EV subsidies.

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POET-DSM plans on-site enzyme manufacturing facility at Project Liberty cellulosic ethanol plant

POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels will build an on-site enzyme manufacturing (OSM) facility in Emmetsburg, Iowa, pending state and local approvals. The facility will be integrated into the Project Liberty (earlier post) technology package, replicable in future facilities. For Project Liberty, the OSM will directly pipe enzymes into the Liberty production process without requiring downstream processing, stabilizers and other chemicals required for enzyme transportation.

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Volkswagen Group has 37 competence centers and IT labs working on future mobility solutions

The Volkswagen Group has 37 competence centers and IT labs worldwide currently developing self-driving cars, new mobility services and customized software solutions. The number of such “think tanks” will continue to increase, the company said.

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ARPA-E projects receive more than $1.8B in private follow-on funding for transformational energy technologies

February 27, 2017

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced that a group of 74 project teams has attracted more than $1.8 billion in private sector follow-on funding since the agency’s founding in 2009. The announcement was made at the eighth annual ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.

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Nissan showcases on-road autonomous vehicle testing in Europe

Nissan showed to the media its real-world testing of next generation autonomous drive prototype vehicles taking place in the east of London.

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EIA: US produced more petroleum than any other country in 2015

According to data from the US Department of Energy (DOE), gathered by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), world petroleum production was 96 million barrels per day (mmbd) in 2015 and the United States produced more than any other country—16% of the global total.

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Startup Embark unveils self-driving truck

Embark, a startup developing self-driving technologies for commercial transportation, unveiled its self-driving truck technology. The company—which gained approval by the State of Nevada earlier this year to begin testing its truck on public roads—has created a technology that allows trucks to drive from exit to exit on the freeway without any human input.

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SDG&E unveiling new 120MWh, 30MW Li-ion energy storage facility; AES Advancion 4

February 24, 2017

SDG&E is unveiling the world’s largest lithium-ion battery energy storage facility in partnership with AES Energy Storage, which will enhance regional energy reliability while maximizing renewable energy use. The 30 megawatt (MW) energy storage facility is capable of storing up to 120 megawatt hours of energy, the energy equivalent of serving 20,000 customers for four hours.

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Bosch, Cooper Standard, Honeywell, Hyundai Mobis, Lear Corporation, LG Electronics and NXP Semiconductors join Auto-ISAC for cybersecurity

Bosch, Cooper Standard, Honeywell, Hyundai Mobis, Lear Corporation, LG Electronics and NXP Semiconductors have joined the Automotive Information Sharing and Analysis Center (Auto-ISAC) as original equipment supplier members.

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Honda R&D developing high-power dynamic charging system for EVs at speeds up to 96 mph

At the upcoming WCX 17: SAE World Congress Experience, a team from Honda R&D will present a paper on their study of a dynamic charging system that uses high power to charge a traveling EV, with the goal of realizing an unlimited vehicle range.

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Volkswagen Group says making good progress in its retrofit campaign for diesel models

Volkswagen has so far successfully retrofitted around 3.4 million diesel vehicles to date; these are vehicles with the EA189 engine type and displacements of 2.0, 1.6 and 1.2 liters. Around 1.4 million German vehicles are represented in this total.

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Waymo suing Otto and Uber over autonomous driving technology

Waymo, formerly the Google self-driving car project, is suing Otto and its parent company Uber, charging that the two mis-appropriated Waymo trade secrets and infringed Waymo patents. The complaint was filed on Thursday in US District Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco Division.

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Shell opens its first hydrogen fueling forecourt station in UK

February 23, 2017

Shell, in partnership with ITM Power, opened the first hydrogen station to be situated on a forecourt in the UK. The new hydrogen station has been supplied by ITM Power and is the first fully branded and public hydrogen refueling site in the UK. It is the first of three hydrogen stations Shell plans to open in the UK in 2017. The hydrogen refueling station is located at Cobham services on the M25, the nation’s busiest refueling station. The station is ITM Power’s fourth public hydrogen refueling station to be opened in the UK.

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BMW Group to introduce Mobileye REM in new models starting in 2018; crowdsourced data for autonomous driving

BMW Group and Mobileye signed an agreement that will lead to the introduction of Mobileye’s Road Experience Management (REM) data generation technology in newly developed BMW Group models entering the market in 2018. This agreement to crowd-source real-time data using vehicles equipped with camera-based Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS) technology is a critical enabler for autonomous driving through next-generation high definition (HD) maps aimed at making driving safer and more efficient for consumers.

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Clariant enters next phase with Global Bioenergies’ renewable isobutene for high-value application

February 22, 2017

Triggered by the successful completion of a first series of tests of its renewable isobutene for a high-value application, Clariant has now ordered a larger batch of renewable isobutene from Global Bioenergies for a second phase of evaluation.

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Analog Devices introduces new 28nm CMOS radar technology platform for autonomous driving and ADAS

Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) announced the Drive360 28nm CMOS radar technology platform that builds on its established ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems), MEMS, and radar technology portfolio widely used throughout the automotive industry for the past 20 years. Analog Devices is the first to offer automotive radar technology based on an advanced 28nm CMOS process.

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Ford researchers to present paper on fast-charging Li-ion batteries at SAE WCX

At the upcoming WCX 17: SAE World Congress Experience (the re-imagined SAE World Congress) in April, Xiao Yang and Ted Miller from Ford will present a paper on the fast recharge capability of Li-ion batteries and its effect on capacity degradation. Of note in the abstract:

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UNICA says that unintended consequences from EPA proposal could limit US access to advanced biofuel

February 21, 2017

UNICA, Brazil’s Sugarcane Industry Association, has noted with potential concern that a current EPA proposal that would allow, among other things, biofuel producers to partially process renewable feedstocks at one facility and further process them into renewable fuels at another facility may unintentionally limit US access to sugarcane ethanol. Sugarcane ethanol, due to its lower carbon footprint than corn ethanol, is classified as an advanced biofuel (GHG reduction of at last 50%) under the RFS regulation.

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Novozymes launches advanced enzymes to increase corn ethanol yields and plant profits

Novozymes has introduced the Spirizyme T Portfolio, an advanced suite of glucoamylase enzymes with trehalase and other yield enhancing activities that provide the most total sugar conversion in the industry. Trehalase is an enzyme that converts trehalose, a type of sugar that cannot be fermented to ethanol, to glucose, which is easily fermentable. Trehalose makes up a significant part of the so-called DP2 peak, a measure of residual sugar in an ethanol plant. The more DP2 an ethanol plant can convert; the more ethanol it will produce.

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€8.5M INTEGRAL thermoelectric generator project with focus on vehicles kicks off in Europe (correction)

The €8.5-million (US$9-million) INTEGRAL project to develop thermoelectric generator technology for application in vehicles and remote sensors has kicked off. INTEGRAL is an Innovation Action project coordinated by CEA within the PILOTS-01-2016 call of the European Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. The European Commission is provided €7 million of the funding. The consortium is composed of 13 partners from 8 European countries:

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Toyota unveiling i-TRIL Concept at Geneva; electric and autonomous urban mobility

At the upcoming Geneva International Motor Show (7-19 March), Toyota will host the world premiere of the i-TRIL Concept. Developed by Toyota Motor Europe (TME) in collaboration with the company’s ED² design studio in Nice, this electric concept showcases numerous aspects of Toyota’s research into ever better and more engaging environmentally-friendly mobility solutions.

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Mobileye completes installation of collision avoidance technology across 4,500 New York City for-hire vehicles

February 19, 2017

Mobileye has completed the installation of collision avoidance technology across 4,500 for-hire vehicles in New York City. Together with Atlas Financial Holdings, Inc., a provider of passenger transportation insurance, Mobileye has equipped thousands of New York City-based rideshare vehicles—such as those available through Uber and Lyft—with Mobileye technologies enabled by a high-resolution vision sensor that analyzes potential dangerous scenarios in real time, alerting drivers to impending collisions and giving them enough time to react.

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NSF to award up to $4.8M for catalysis research, including fuels applications

February 17, 2017

The National Science Foundation will award up to $4.8 million (PD-17-1401) to research projects focused on obtaining new basic understanding of catalytic materials and reactions, utilizing synthetic, theoretical, and experimental approaches. Target applications include fuels, specialty and bulk chemicals, environmental catalysis, biomass conversion to fuels and chemicals, conversion of greenhouse gases, and generation of solar hydrogen, as well as efficient routes to energy utilization.

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Chemical company INEOS to build “uncompromising” 4 x 4 off-roader to replace Land Rover Defender

Following the completion of a six-month feasibility study, global chemical company INEOS confirmed that it will go ahead and build a brand new “uncompromising” 4 x 4 off-roader. Although INEOS is one of the largest manufacturers in the world, it will be the first time that INEOS has produced such a vehicle. INEOS sees a gap in the market for such a vehicle following JLR’s decision to cease production of the Land Rover Defender.

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