[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.]
Elio Motors completes first E-Series test vehicle
June 30, 2016
Elio Motors, the start-up vehicle manufacturer planning to launch a three-wheeled vehicle that will get up to 84 mpg (2.8 l/100km) with a targeted base price of $6,800, has completed its first E-Series testing vehicle, code-named the E1A.
Zinnov: automotive witnessing highest disruption among all industries; ~$6B invested in start-ups in FY 2015
Management consulting firm Zinnov released its latest study conducted on the Automotive R&D Globalization Landscape, presenting a global engineering R&D analysis on the top 60 automotive companies and how are they leveraging the global R&D ecosystems to improve engineering output and efficiency.
Nissan cut CO2 emissions 22.4% over past decade
Nissan Motor’s newly published annual Sustainability Report shows that the global automaker’s CO2 emissions have fallen by 22.4% over the past decade. CO2 reduction at Nissan facilities improved by 0.6% year-on-year in FY2015.
Nemaska Lithium receives 2nd $2.12M installment from Sustainable Development Technology Canada for Phase 1 lithium hydroxide plant
Nemaska Lithium has received its second $2.12-million installment from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) for the development of the Phase 1 Lithium Hydroxide Plant. To date, the company has received a total of approximately $21 million, representing about 55% of the total $38-million Phase 1 Plant budget,said Steve Nadeau, Nemaska Lithium CFO.
Dürr sells 2,000th sealing robot
June 29, 2016
One trend in automotive manufacturing is toward fully automatic sealing of welds; robots are increasingly performing this task in automobile production. Dürr has now sold its 2,000th sealing robot. The EcoRS 30L16S milestone machine will perform rough seam sealing at Škoda in Kvasiny, Czech Republic, and it will also be a first. With its shortened arm 1, the robot is particularly suitable for sealing applications inside car bodies.
ITM sells integrated hydrogen refueling station to Hydrogène de France
ITM announced the sale of an integrated hydrogen refueling station (HRS) with on-site generation to Hydrogène de France (HDF), for deployment in France. The contract is worth €1.5 million (US$1.7 million) to ITM Power before follow-on contracts such as maintenance agreements.
BIOX and World Energy JV to acquire & operate 90M USG biodiesel plant in Houston; 3rd-largest biodiesel plant in NA
BIOX Corporation and World Energy announced a 50/50 joint venture to acquire and operate a 90 million US gallon (USG) (341 million liter) biodiesel production facility in Houston, Texas. Each company has committed US$10 million to the World Energy BIOX Biofuels joint venture.
HKG becomes controlling shareholder of UQM Technologies with $48M investment
Electric propulsion system company UQM Technologies, Inc. announced the signing of a definitive stock issuance and purchase agreement with American Compass, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hybrid Kinetic Group Limited (HKG). HKG is a Bermuda-incorporated corporation with headquarters in Hong Kong. The Agreement calls for HKG, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, to purchase newly issued UQM common shares that will represent 58% of UQM, and 54% on a fully-diluted basis.
France’s RS2E launches 2nd YESS prize for young scientists in energy storage
June 28, 2016
France’s RS2E (Réseau sur le stockage électrochimique de l’énergie or “research network on electrochemical energy storage”) has launched the second edition of the YESS Award (Young Energy Storage Scientist Award)—a €12,500 prize split between two young innovative researchers/scientists in the field of electrochemical energy storage. This second edition of the award expands eligibility beyond Europe to North American scientists of no more than 35 years of age, holding at least a master’s degree. The prize money is allocated €10,000 to the winner, with the remaining €2,500 to the runner-up.
Zubie to provide auto makers with vehicle diagnostic and performance insight from its connected car/telematics data and analytics
Zubie, a connected-car platform and telematics service provider, is partnering with major auto manufacturers to leverage its repository of data and analytics to enhance the manufacturers’ understanding of vehicle performance and reliability.
Volvo Trucks D13 engine with turbo compounding improves fuel efficiency up to 6.5% and delivers more torque
Volvo Trucks North America is adding a turbo compounding option for the Volvo D13 engine. By converting wasted heat energy, the 13-liter D13 with turbo compounding improves fuel efficiency by up to 6.5 percent%, while also delivering up to 100 extra lb-ft of torque for improved performance.
JATO: Global car sales up by 2.8% in Q1 2016 due to SUV boost in China and Europe
June 27, 2016
JATO Dynamics reports that 20.44 million LCVs and passenger car units were sold across all segments globally in Q1 2016—a 2.8% increase (558,700 more units) on the same period in 2015—largely driven by growth in the Chinese and European markets. The SUV boom continued, with seven of the eight regions analyzed posting double digit growth.
The popularity of SUVs in China has been an ongoing source of growth, and the trend continued last quarter, with the country accounting for 36% of total sales in Q1 2016. Sales of SUVs in Europe (including Russia and Turkey) gave the overall market a boost with 20% growth and 1.11 million units sold.
Guy Nègre, founder of compressed air engine car company MDI, dies
Mitsubishi Motors to unveil new PHEV concept at Paris Show in October
At the 2016 Paris Motor Show in October, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will unveil a new “Ground Tourer Concept” high-end plug-in hybrid SUV coupé.
GKN has produced more than 300,000 eAxles; affordable eAWD
GKN Driveline has produced more than 300,000 units of its eAxle range at its eDrive centers of excellence in Italy and Japan. GKN introduced the eAxle technology in 2002, acquiring systems integration and production experience to transfer the technology from niche vehicles to high-volume mass-market applications.
Juniper: smart cities to ease traffic congestion, save 4.2B person-hours per year by 2021
Juniper Research forecasts that smart traffic management and smart parking initiatives will save some 4.2 billion person-hours annually by 2021—equivalent to each city driver saving nearly an entire working day per year.
Alliance AutoGas launches conversion system for Ram ProMaster van
The Alliance AutoGas has launched a single-plug connector, no cut or drill fuel system, for the RAM ProMaster van. The Ram ProMaster, in great demand in the government and service sectors and the second most popular European-style van in the market, features a 16-gallon underbody autogas tank with the conversion system.
Largest and most powerful MAN B&W-branded engine makes market debut aboard large container vessel; 103,000 hp
June 25, 2016
The largest and most powerful engine from MAN Diesel & Turbo’s portfolio ever designed and built has entered service. Built by Doosan Engine in Korea and rated at 75,570 kW (103,000 horsepower), the engine is an MAN B&W 11G95ME-C9.5 two-stroke type that acts as prime mover aboard the MSC Jade. The 19,437-teu container vessel is operated by Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the global container shipping company. Daewoo Shipbuilding (DSME) delivered the newbuilding on 20 May, which subsequently sailed the short tour to Busan.
VW dropping Jetta Hybrid from MY2017 US line-up
June 24, 2016
Among the changes in its Model Year 2017 line-up, Volkswagen of America is dropping the Jetta Hybrid. (Earlier post.) VW sold 227 units of the hybrid in the US from Jan-May of this year, down 0.9% year-on-year, according to figures from hybridcars.com. The decision to drop the model leaves Volkswagen of America without a hybrid offering at present.
Swiss team demos light-driven electron accumulation in artificial molecules; step towards artificial photosynthesis
Chemists from the Universities of Basel and Zurich have reproduced one of the crucial phases of natural photosynthesis using artificial molecules. Their results have been published by the journal Angewandte Chemie (international edition).
DOE announces $68.4M in funding to advance the safe and permanent storage of CO2; CarbonSAFE
The Department of Energy (DOE) announced $68.4 million (DE-FOA-0001584, DE-FOA-0001450) for cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects that will help to secure the safe and permanent storage of CO2 during carbon capture and storage (CCS) operations. Funding is subject to the availability of appropriations.
Borgward BX7 plug-in hybrid SUV wins Plus X Awards
German automaker Borgward received Plus X Awards for its BX7 plug-in hybrid series SUV in the categories of Design, High Quality, Ergonomics, and Functionality. The BX7 was also issued a seal of quality as SUV of the Year 2016/2017.
Lead Counsel for PSC in the VW “Clean Diesel” litigation offers statement on impending settlement
With news reports speculating about the final terms of a settlement deal in the Volkswagen clean diesel litigation in the US, Elizabeth Cabraser, Court-appointed Lead Counsel for the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, released a statement regarding the settlement negotiations.
GM and US Navy collaborating on fuel cell-powered underwater unmanned vehicles
June 23, 2016
General Motors, the Office of Naval Research and the US Naval Research Laboratory are cooperating to incorporate automotive hydrogen fuel cell systems into the next generation of Navy unmanned undersea vehicles, or UUVs. Under the ONR’s Innovative Naval Prototype program for Large Displacement UUVs (LDUUV), energy is a core technology in the Navy’s goals for vehicles with more than 60-days endurance.
Volvo Car launches new V90 BiFuel station wagon with Westport technology
Westport Fuel Systems Inc. announced that Volvo Car will launch the BiFuel version of its new V90 station wagon. This vehicle is based on the same engine technology as the Volvo V60 sports wagon which recently won second place in the Best Environmental Car in Sweden - company car category.
Toyota launches Biodiversity & Sustainability Learning Center to complement Biotope project in Thailand
Toyota has launched the Toyota Biodiversity and Sustainability Learning Center “Cheewa Panavet” at the Toyota Ban Pho Plant in Thailand. Cheewa Panavet is a combination of three Thai words, Cheewa (life), Pana (forest), and Vet (habitat). The learning center represents Toyota’s commitment to the environment as it adds a greater learning element to the Toyota Biotope, a habitat of living organisms spanning over 96,000 square meters.
First Toyota Mirai in Norway delivered to Uno-X Hydrogen
Following the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany and Belgium, Norway is the 5th European country to start selling the fuel cell sedan. Uno-X Hydrogen, a newly established joint-venture that plans to establish a 20-station hydrogen network by 2020 in Norway, is the first customer in that country to take ownership of the Toyota Mirai.
Southern Oil to build new biofuels lab in Queensland; focus on renewable diesel and jet
Australia-based Southern Oil and JJ Richards & Sons, joint venture partners in the Northern Oil Refinery at Yarwun, Australia, are building a new $5.3-million dollar biocrude and biofuel laboratory in central Queensland on the site of the recently announced Northern Oil Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant.
PNNL and Queensland University of Technology formalize bioenergy research partnership
The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia, have collaborated on bioenergy and microbial biotechnology in the past. Now they are formalizing their relationship to enhance their bioenergy research, promote education, and develop industry around and viable bioenergy solutions in their respective countries—with special emphasis on adaptive bioprocesses.
California OTS observational study finds driver cell phone use up despite dangers
June 22, 2016
Despite the well-known dangers of distracted driving, the number of California drivers who use mobile devices while they drive is on the rise. In a study conducted by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) in April 2016, at least 12.8% of California drivers were observed using a mobile device during the day, up from 9.2% in 2015 and eclipsing the previous high of 10.8% in 2013. Due to the difficulty of observing mobile device use in a vehicle, these figures are considered minimums, with actual usage likely several points higher.
ABB technology improves energy efficiency in Renault-Nissan and Daimler’s new Mexican car factory by up to 20%
ABB will supplyly state-of-the-art, energy-efficient, low-voltage power distribution solutions to COMPAS (Cooperation Manufacturing Plant Aguascalientes), the new car manufacturing facilities of Renault-Nissan and Daimler’s strategic joint venture located in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
Borgward Group enters strategic partnership with robot specialist KUKA
Borgward Group AG, the reincarnated German automaker developing a line of plug-in hybrid SUVs (earlier post), has formed a long-term strategic partnership with the Augsburg-based company KUKA Roboter AG, the world’s leading supplier of robotic systems.
Verizon acquiring Telogis to enhance connected vehicle business
Verizon Communications Inc. signed an agreement to purchase Telogis, Inc. to add best-in-class Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technology and services—specifically in the connected vehicle and mobile enterprise management sectors—as well as expanded distribution relationships to its Verizon Telematics subsidiary.
Mitsubishi Motors forecasts 41% drop in retail sales in Japan over improper fuel consumption testing
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced its forecasts for the FY2016 full-year (April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017). The announcement on the FY2016 forecasts were put on hold to assess the future impact from the improper testing of fuel consumption announced in April. (Earlier post.)
Samsung planning $1.2B investment for US R&D of Internet of Things
June 21, 2016
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman & CEO Dr. Oh-Hyun Kwon unveiled Samsung’s vision for “Human-Centered IoT”, including a strategy to spend $1.2 billion over 4 years for US-based Internet of Things (IoT) R&D and investments. This will be led by the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center, Samsung Global Innovation Center and Samsung Research America.
PSA Group and Iran Khodro sign JV agreement
The PSA Group and Iran Khodro have signed the final joint venture agreement to produce latest-generation vehicles in Iran. This 50/50 joint venture is expected to invest up to €400 million over the next five years in manufacturing and R&D capacity.
Grillo-Werke AG successfully converts methane directly into methanesulfonic acid (MSA)
Germany-based chemical company Grillo-Werke has successfully functionalized methane to high-purity methanesulfonic acid (MSA) by direct sulfonation of methane with sulfur trioxide. Start of large-scale production is planned for 2019.
Fast-charge corridor along highway 20 between Montréal and Mont-Joli
At EVS29 in Montréal this week, Québec Premier Philippe Couillard announced that a fast-charge corridor will be completed along Highway 20, one of Québec’s busiest corridors. The Premier was joined by Hydro-Québec’s President and CEO, Éric Martel, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Plan Nord, Pierre Arcand, and Jacques Daoust, Minister of Transport, Sustainable Mobility and Transport Electrification.
DuPont Industrial Biosciences launches new DuPont SYNERXIA Fermentation System for ethanol; increased yields, lower residual sugars
June 20, 2016
DuPont Industrial Biosciences launched its DuPont SYNERXIA Fermentation System, an approach to fermentation that will help ethanol producers improve their yields by up to 2%, while lowering total sugar levels at drop by up to 25%.
Harvard team develops cleaner method to separate rare-earth metals using bacteria
Current process for separating rare-earth metals is time consuming, expensive, and dangerous. Processing one ton of rare earths can produce 2,000 tons of toxic waste. Now, researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a cleaner method to extract rare earth metals. Their process, described in a paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters, uses bacteria filters and solutions with pH no lower than hydrochloric acid.
Schaeffler presenting new CVT-based plug-in hybrid concept for B- and C-segments
At the VDI Transmission Conference in Friedrichshafen, Schaeffler will be presenting a plug-in hybrid concept based on a CVT (continuously variable transmission). The combination of a hybrid drive with a CVT is not new, but Schaeffler says s=that its variation offers even more efficiency and reduced fuel consumption. What is special about Schaeffler’s solution is the parallel arrangement of the variator and the direct gear stage for the electric drive.
Intersil introduces new 12-cell Li-ion pack monitor for HEV, PHEV and EV applications
Intersil Corporation, a leading provider of power management and precision analog solutions, announced the ISL78610 12-cell lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack monitor. The device provides cell balancing and accurate voltage and temperature monitoring to safeguard Li-ion battery packs in hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and electric vehicles.
China running first >100-PFlop supercomputer
The Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer is the first system in the world that has a peak performance of more than 100 PFlops. Developed entirely in China, it is operated by the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi (NSCC-Wuxi). As the world’s fastest supercomputer, it contributes to research fields such as earth system modeling, ocean surface wave modeling, atomistic simulation, and phase-field simulation.
Cadillac CT6 features industry-first surround-view video recording system
June 17, 2016
The all-new Cadillac CT6 prestige sedan features an industry-first surround-vision video recording system designed to enhance situational awareness and safety for the driver.
Ricardo applying sound augmentation technology for NVH in sports cars, EVs and PHEVs
Ricardo’s Realistic Augmented Sound by Ricardo (RAS-R) technology provides a means by which sound quality can be enhanced and perfected through the use of a real-time software based model of the engine, or by sensor-based dynamic pressure signals from the intake manifold.
Showa Denko to expand production capacities for carbon-based anode materials for Li-ion batteries
Showa Denko will expand its production capacity for SCMG carbon-based anode material used in lithium-ion rechargeable batteries (LIBs) in response to growing demand from customers.
Gevo to supply Musket Corporation with bio-isobutanol for gasoline blending; marine and off-road markets
June 16, 2016
Gevo, Inc. has entered into an agreement with Musket Corporation to supply bio-isobutanol for blending with gasoline. Musket is a national fuel distributor under the umbrella of the Love’s Family of Companies. Initial target markets are expected to include the marine and off-road markets in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah.
SEPTA awards New Flyer a contract for up to 550 diesel hybrid buses; 90 in first order
Navy researchers convert 2,3-Butanediol to renewable gasoline, solvents, and fuel additives; dioxolanes
Researchers at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD), China Lake report on a solvent-free process for the conversion of 2,3-Butanediol (2,3-BD)—a renewable alcohol that can be prepared in high yield from biomass sugars—to a complex mixture of 2-ethyl-2,4,5-trimethyl-1,3-dioxolanes and 4,5-dimethyl-2-isopropyl dioxolanes. A paper on their work is published in the journal ChemSusChem.
Li-ion maker Electrovaya signs Letter of Intent with a major residential energy storage provider; $223M over 3 years
June 15, 2016
Li-ion battery manufacturer Electrovaya Inc. has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with a Global Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for the delivery of battery modules for Residential Energy Storage with volume quantity deliveries starting early Q1 CY2017. Electrovaya will provide its battery modules with integrated cells and battery management systems (iBMS).
VW Group of America invests $11.3M in California
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWGoA) announced the grand opening of its new $6.8-million Pacific Northwest Parts Distribution Center (PDC) in Rocklin, California. The company also confirmed that it will invest an estimated $4.5 million to open a new training center in Eastvale, Calif., just outside of Los Angeles. These facilities, which represent an estimated $11.3 million investment, are part of the company’s long-term commitment to the US market and a broader strategy to invest more than $7 billion in North America from 2015 through 2019.
Clean Energy introduces new CleanCNG compressor
June 14, 2016
Clean Energy Fuels Corp., the world’s largest manufacturer of non-lubricated Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) compressors, introduced a new, advanced heavy-duty non-lubricated compressor for the natural gas fueling market. The CleanCNG, developed by engineers at Clean Energy’s subsidiary Clean Energy Compression in British Columbia, incorporates improvements in compressor design and intelligent engineering, resulting in ultra-low vibration and noise in a compressor that offers scalability, parts commonality and overall performance.
Electrovaya’s Litarion signs MOU with a leading OEM for Li-ion cells for electric buses
Electrovaya’s fully owned subsidiary Litarion GmbH signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a leading European battery OEM which designs and integrates battery systems for e-mobility applications especially Electric buses. Electrovaya will provide its cells to the OEM, which will assemble the cells into electric bus batteries.
Johnson Matthey licenses IP for CAMX-7 high energy cathode materials from CAMX Power
Johnson Matthey and CAMX Power LLC (CAMX) announced that Johnson Matthey has been granted a licence under the intellectual property of CAMX relating to the CAM-7 platform of nickel based cathode materials for use in lithium-ion batteries. CAM-7 is a patented cathode material that harnesses the properties of high-nickel compounds to deliver high energy density with high-power capability. (Earlier post.)
Plastic Omnium introducing new generation plastic fuel tank for PHEVs
June 13, 2016
Plastic Omnium is introducing a new-generation plastic fuel tank for plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Johnson Controls investing $245M to double AGM battery production in N. America
Johnson Controls, the world’s largest manufacturer of AGM batteries, is investing $245 million between 2016 and 2020 to double AGM production capacity in North America.
New MOF material has potential to cut costs and make nuclear fuel recycling cleaner
A team of international researchers are investigating a new metal-organic framework (MOF) material that might help in nuclear fuel recycling and waste reduction by capturing volatile radionuclides such as xenon and krypton that evolve into reprocessing facility off-gas in parts per million concentrations. An open-access paper on their work is published in the journal Nature Communications.
MAHLE Powertrain first engineering services provider to offer VCA-approved RDE test process in UK
MAHLE Powertrain is the first independent engineering service provider (ESP) to have its real driving emissions (RDE) test process and routes approved by the UK Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA).
Amyris fuels first delivery of new Airbus A350-900 for Cathay Pacific as part of two-year biojet agreement
Amyris, Inc. announced that on 29 May 2016, Cathay Pacific commenced a two-year program of flights from Toulouse to Hong Kong using a 10% blend of Amyris renewable jet fuel.
Panasonic commercializes conductive polymer hybrid aluminum electrolytic capacitors for automotive use
Panasonic Corporation has developed conductive polymer hybrid aluminum electrolytic capacitors realizing large capacitance and large current in a compact form factor (SMD type), suited for automotive ECUs (Electronic Control Units) power supply circuits of HEV, EV and gasoline-powered vehicles, etc.
Kokam conducts ballistic tests on NANO Li-ion cells; no thermal runaway
June 12, 2016
Kokam Co. has conducted ballistic tests on battery cells using its unique Lithium Ion NANO battery technology and determined that even when these cells are shot they do not experience thermal runaway.
NVIDIA, NYU join forces to use deep learning for autonomous driving
NVIDIA is teaming up with New York University and its pioneering deep learning team to start a research collaboration at NVIDIA’s new auto tech office in New Jersey.
GM expands connected and autonomous vehicle engineering & software development work in Canada; new Markham Software Center
June 11, 2016
General Motors, joined by Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne, announced a major expansion of its engineering and software work in Canada with focus on supporting the development of innovative new automotive systems and technologies for the future.
FCA using Dow “green foam” for NVH
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is using a new noise-reducing expanding foam that uses a soy-based plasticizer—replacing a petroleum-based plasticizer—in the Chrysler 200, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans.
Schaeffler and Southwest Jiaotong University collaborate on research on future rail vehicles
June 10, 2016
Schaeffler signed a cooperation agreement with Chinese Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU) to establish a joint research laboratory. The research institution is located in the National Key Laboratory for Traction Drives and will be dedicated to the research and development of axlebox bearings for rail vehicles.
EEA: Air pollution in 10 EU countries still above legal limits; road transport and agriculture
Air pollution from sources such as transport and agriculture is still being emitted above legal limits in 10 European Union (EU) Member States according to new data published by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The main reasons for the exceedances are emissions from road transport (NOx) and agriculture (NH3).
Toyota Motor awards MP2 Energy 5-year contract for 100% renewable energy for Plano headquarters
Toyota Motor North America has awarded MP2 Energy, a full-service power company based in The Woodlands, Texas, a five-year retail electricity contract to provide 100% renewable energy solutions to Toyota’s new North American headquarters in Plano, Texas.
US added almost 330K new diesel cars and SUVs in 2015
The US added 329,700 new diesel vehicles in 2015. California led the way in growth with a 15.4% increase in the number of registered diesel cars and SUVs in 2015, according to a Diesel Technology Forum analysis of the latest Vehicles in Operation (VIO) data compiled by IHS Automotive. Texas was number one in the nation in total number of registered diesel vehicles ahead of California, Florida, Washington and Pennsylvania.
Johnson Controls building 4th automotive battery plant in China; AGM for start-stop
Johnson Controls is forming a joint venture with Binzhou Bohai Piston Co., Ltd., an auto parts affiliate of Beijing Automotive Industry Group Co., Ltd. (BAIC Group), to build its fourth Chinese automotive battery manufacturing plant. Aimed at serving both automakers and aftermarket customers, the facility will be located in Binzhou, Shandong Province.
California Superior Court strikes ARB amendments to diesel rule
A decision by the Superior Court of California in Fresno agreed with the California Trucking Association’s request to erase a range of amendments to the state’s major rule to clean up diesel trucks and buses. The case is not against the rule itself, which remains fully in effect, but amendments adopted in 2014, which provide flexibility to smaller fleets (three trucks or less); lower-use vehicles including those operated by small farmers; and fleets in some rural areas.
Nucor and JFE Steel form plate joint venture to supply growing demand in automotive market in Mexico
June 09, 2016
Nucor Corporation is forming a 50-50 joint venture with JFE Steel Corporation of Japan to build and operate a plant in central Mexico to supply that country’s automotive market. The plant is expected to have a cost of $270 million and a capacity of 400,000 tons per year of galvanized sheet steel.
Dassault Systèmes and Airbus Group extend collaboration to additive manufacturing
Dassault Systèmes announced that Airbus Group, after a two-year comprehensive benchmarking process, is extending its use of Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform to its additive manufacturing programs integrating design, simulation and production.
Airbiquity integrates EnGIS technology into new software & data management offering for automotive
Airbiquity, a global leader in connected car services, announced an agreement with EnGIS Technologies to integrate the EnGIS DM Differential Tool and Software Installer Client into Airbiquity’s recently launched Software & Data Management offering.
Queensland Government invests A$2.5M in Tritium to support 50 kW fast charger Veefil
The Queensland (Australia) Government has made a A$2.5-million (US$1.87 million) investment in Brisbane-based technology developer and manufacturer Tritium—the first company to receive investment under a new Business Development Fund (BDF) scheme established to encourage innovative businesses. The BDF investment has been matched by an additional $2.5m raised from private investors and will help accelerate international growth of the company’s Veefil fast charger for electric vehicles. (Earlier post.)
Automotive Grade Linux membership growth expands globally
Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), a collaborative open source project developing a Linux-based, open platform for the connected car, announced that bright box, Tier 1 supplier Continental, ForgeRock, Hyundai MOBIS, Toshiba and Ubiquitous have joined The Linux Foundation and Automotive Grade Linux.
Movimento and HCL Partner to deliver global car-to-cloud systems integration and managed services
Over-the-Air automotive software and data management leader Movimento and HCL Technologies Ltd, a leading global engineering, IT, systems integration and infrastructure management services company, are partnering to deliver a comprehensive managed services offering for automotive software lifecycle management, operation and updates, along with support for on-and off-board software in one place.
Luxembourg bus operator orders five Volvo 7900 plug-in hybrid buses; ABB fast chargers
June 08, 2016
Volvo has received an order for 5 Volvo 7900 plug-in hybrid electric buses (earlier post) from bus operator AVL (Autobus de la ville de Luxembourg). Electric bus fast chargers will be supplied by ABB. The five buses and chargers will be delivered towards the end of this year; one of the bus chargers will be placed at the central station in Luxembourg.
EPIC Fuels supports Alaska Airlines and Gevo commercial aviation flights with alcohol-to-jet fuel
EPIC Fuels, a fuel supplier to the general and commercial aviation industries, provided expertise in fuel blending as well as technical and logistical support to Alaska and Gevo, Inc., a next generation biofuels company, to enable the first commercial flights using a blend of petroleum based fuel and Gevo’s alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ).
SAKOR provides belt noise test stand to Ford; meeting SAE J2432-2012 specs on vehicle belt noise
SAKOR Technologies has supplied a belt noise test stand to Ford Motor Company, which the company will use to meet new SAE specifications for belt noise in vehicle Front End Accessory Drive (FEAD) applications, as well as other noise testing requirements.
Marseilles putting first 12m electric bus into service
June 07, 2016
Marseille’s Réseau des Transports Marseillais (RTM) has put its first 12m electric bus into service. The Irizar i2e, which will serve on line 82 / 82S in the French city, is the first 12m electric city bus in revenue service in France.
Turboden to supply a 10 MW heat recovery ORC unit for Arvedi steel plant in Italy
Turboden, a group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), leader in Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) turbogenerators for distributed power generation employing renewable sources and waste heat, has signed an order with Acciaieria Arvedi for a 10 MW waste heat recovery ORC unit to be installed at the Arvedi Steel plant in Cremona, Italy.
Less than 2 months in, car2go has more than 78K customers in Chongqing
In less than two months, more than 78,000 customers have registered with car2go in Chongqing, China. For comparison, after between four to five years, the biggest car2go locations in Europe and North America have approximately 100,000 to 130,000 registered customers per city.
GM shows newest connected vehicle technology in China
General Motors demonstrated for the first time in China its latest version of connected vehicle (V2X) technology, including Intersection Collision Alert and Emergency Brake Alert, at the National Intelligent & Connected Vehicle Test Demo Base in Shanghai.
Two Tier 1 suppliers back Aeristech 48V electric supercharger
Aeristech has secured backing from two separate major Tier One suppliers to further develop its 48V eSupercharger. (Earlier post.) The commitment has been made following successful durability and performance testing at the company’s recently uprated test facility in the UK.
S. Korea bans sales of Nissan Qashqai diesel over emissions; imposes fine, files complaint
Charging that Nissan faked emissions results on the diesel Qashqai, South Korea’s Ministry of Environment (MOE) has ordered Nissan Korea Co., the local unit of the Japanese carmaker, to recall 814 units of the SUVs already sold in the country; banned sales of the vehicle; imposed a 340 million won (US$294,000) fine; and has filed a complaint with the prosecutor’s office against the head of Nissan Korea. In May, MOE charged that the Nissan Qashqai sold in S. Korea was arbitrarily setting its engine system to illegally control exhaust emissions. (Earlier post.)
Redpine Signals introduces multi-protocol wireless V2X solution with ultra-low power and low cost
Redpine Signals has introduced a multi-protocol wireless solution with ultra-low power and a low cost designed to drive the emergence of the connected car. Redpine’s new WaveCombo solution enables dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) as well as non-DSRC applications while also featuring low power consumption ideal for use in bicycles, helmets, smart phones, and any such non-vehicular applications for rider as well as pedestrian safety.
AT&T reaches speeds above 10 gigabits/second in 5G lab trials; enabler for autonomous driving
June 06, 2016
AT&T has reached speeds above 10 gigabits per second in early lab trials with Ericsson, according to Tom Keathley, senior vice president – wireless network architecture and design, AT&T.
Australian researchers find wild-type sorghum that can yield more than 10K liters ethanol per hectare
Scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls at the University of Adelaide have discovered that a variety of sorghum growing wild in Australia—Arun—theoretically has the potential to yield some 10,344 liters of bioethanol per hectare (1,106 gallons US per acre) from stem tissues alone.
Air Liquide and Hyundai commit to accelerate deployment of H2 fuel cell vehicles and infrastructure in Korea and Europe
South Korea President Park Geun-hye visited Air Liquide’s Sassenage site, near Grenoble, France, on 4 June. On the occasion of this state visit, Air Liquide and Hyundai committed to accelerate the deployment of hydrogen infrastructure and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) in Korea and in Europe.
Kemetco to perform proof-of-concept testing on American Manganese Li-ion cathode recycling process
American Manganese has contracted Kemetco Research to perform proof-of-concept testing of the company’s proprietary hydrometallurgical process for the recycling of cathode materials of Li-ion batteries from electric-drive vehicles (EDVs).
GM delivers record 295,282 vehicles in China in May; demand up 16.9% on annual basis
June 05, 2016
General Motors and its joint ventures delivered a May record 295,282 vehicles in China, up 16.9% on an annual basis. Its Buick, Cadillac and Baojun brands, and SUV lineup reached all-time highs for deliveries as well in May.
S. Korea to crack down on old diesels, promote alt fuels over PM; targeting 30% EV sales by 2020
Yonhap reported that the South Korean government will toughen restrictions on old diesel vehicles while promoting sales of more environment-friendly cars to address public health concerns over fine particulate matter.
S. Korea president promotes fuel cell vehicle cooperation with France
On a trip to Europe, South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Seoul and Paris can stay ahead in the hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle market if Air Liquide S.A.—the world’s largest supplier of industrial gases—and South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co. join forces. Hyundai already has a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle version of its Tuscon SUV on the market; Air Liquide has hydrogen liquefaction technology.
New method for recovering lithium from natural salt pools with purity up to 99.9%
June 04, 2016
Researchers at Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT), Finland, have developed new methods for the increasingly effective recovery of lithium from brine. The purity of the lithium solution increased from 95% to 99.9%—difficult and resource-intensive to accomplish using traditional methods.
Walmart pilot-testing grocery deliveries with Uber, Lyft and Deliv
June 03, 2016
Walmart will begin pilot-testing a last-mile grocery-delivery test through services such as Uber, Lyft and Deliv.
UMTRI: average new vehicle fuel economy in US in May up 0.2 mpg from April
Average fuel economy (window-sticker value) of new vehicles sold in the US in May 2016 was 25.4 mpg (9.26 l/100 km)—up 0.2 mpg from the value for April 2016, according to the latest monthly report from Dr. Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle at University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). This improvement likely reflects the increased price of gasoline in May, and the consequent increased interest in more fuel-efficient vehicles by buyers of all vehicle classes, they suggested.
Kia Motors America providing 6 Soul EVs to UC Irvine for V2G and smart charging development
June 02, 2016
Kia Motors America (KMA) and Hyundai America Technical Center, Inc. announced an expanded partnership with the Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) to help develop and demonstrate Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) advanced smart charging software algorithms. Kia will provide six Soul EVs with the shared goal of creating software algorithms for use in coordinating the charging of plug-in electric vehicles to support grid resource operation.
Air Products licenses patented hydrogen fueling protocol to Air Liquide; J2601
Air Products, a leader in hydrogen fueling and infrastructure worldwide, has signed an agreement to provide a technology license allowing Air Liquide Advanced Technologies US LLC to practice the patented Air Products technology incorporated in the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J2601 hydrogen fueling protocol. (Earlier post.) Air Products makes such hydrogen fueling technology licenses available for use around the world under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.
ABI: 5G to be unifying connectivity technology for future cars; enabling V2X
By 2025, 67 million automotive 5G vehicle subscriptions will be active—three million of which will be low latency connections mainly deployed in autonomous and driverless cars. ABI Research highlights that 5G will unify connectivity in autonomous vehicles; enabling broadband multimedia streaming, cloud services for vehicle lifecycle management, the capturing and uploading of huge volumes of sensor data, and cooperative mobility through V2X (vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure) communication.
Ballard Power subsidiary Protonex receives $5.8M purchase order for power manager units
Ballard Power Systems’ subsidiary Protonex has received a $5.8-million purchase order for the supply of Squad Power Manager (SPM-622) Special Operations Kits for end customer US Special Operations Command. The purchase order is the largest order in its history and represents follow-on business from the $2.8-million SPM order from the same customer received in December 2015. All products under this new order are expected to be shipped in 2016.