[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.]
thyssenkrupp opens new development center for powertrain technology in China
April 25, 2017
Industrial and technology group thyssenkrupp has opened a new €10-million (US$10.9 million) development center for engine components in Dalian, China. The Group will concentrate its engine component development and prototyping activities at the 2,000 square meter development center in the future.
Neste to use May Day doughnut fat for renewable diesel feedstock
In the spirit of circular economics, Neste and Fazer Bakery in Finland are joining forces with the “Doughnut Trick” campaign. The oil used to fry Fazer Bakery’s May Day doughnuts will be recycled by refining it to produce Neste MY renewable diesel. The value of the fuel will be donated to the Finnish chapter of the charity SOS Children’s Village International. The amount of diesel that’s made from the oil used to fry every three doughnuts is enough to drive a distance of about one kilometer.
Mercedes-Benz extends Croove private-car-sharing service to Berlin
Four months after the launch of a successful pilot phase in Munich, Mercedes-Benz is gradually rolling out its Croove private car-sharing platform (earlier post) in other major German cities. The service began availability in Berlin in mid-April. The platform continues to be open to vehicles of all makes.
Ford Mustang was the top-selling sports car in the world in 2016; strong surge in exports
Ford Mustang, the top-selling sports car in the US over the last 50 years, became best-selling sports car in the world in 2016, according to Ford analysis of IHS Markit global automotive registration data in the sports car segment.
DOE: US plug-in vehicle sales increased 40% in 2016 to ~160K units
April 24, 2017
The first full year of sales for mass-market plug-in vehicles in the US was 2011; nearly 18,000 plug-in vehicles were sold. Sales of plug-in electric vehicles have grown nearly each year since, increasing nine-fold to a record high of about 160,000 units in 2016, according to figures gathered by the US Department of Energy (DOE).
A3 by Airbus and AUVSI call for cooperation in developing industry standards for urban air mobility
A3 by Airbus, the advanced projects and partnerships outpost of Airbus in Silicon Valley, in cooperation with AUVSI, the world’s largest nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to advancing the unmanned systems and robotics community, called on aviation and aerospace industry leaders, regulators, as well as technologists to cooperate in developing standards for self-piloted passenger aircraft and the regulatory pathways required to make large-scale automated passenger flight possible in urban areas.
Global Bioenergies successfully scales up renewable isobutene process in Leuna Demo plant
Global Bioenergies has succeeded in producing isobutene by fermentation at the scale of the Leuna Demo plant (a 5,000-liter fermenter), with run length and performances exceeding those performed on the pilot plant in Pomacle (a 500-liter fermenter).
Oil sands production accounted for 28.8% of total Canadian gas demand in 2016
Alberta’s oil sands operations accounted for 28.8% of Canadian natural gas demand in 2016, up from 11.8% in 2005, according to a new report by Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB). From 2005 to 2016, natural gas purchased by oil sands projects more than tripled, from 0.73 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) to nearly 2.38 Bcf/d in 2016. In contrast, total Canadian gas demand increased over the same period from 6.17 Bcf/d to an estimated 8.27 Bcf/d.
Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell drivers log more than 2 million miles
April 22, 2017
Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell drivers have accumlulated more than two million miles on the roads and highways of both Southern and Northern California. These fuel cell CUVs have replaced approximately 760 tons of CO2 emissions that would have been emitted by vehicles of similar size and capability. Hyundai has delivered more than 140 Tucson Fuel Cell crossovers since its introduction as the first mass-produced fuel cell in the US market in 2014.
Jeep Yuntu PHEV concept debuts at Shanghai
At the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show, Jeep unveiled the new plug-in hybrid Yuntu SUV Concept (without giving much detail about the powertrain itself). Yuntu is targeting the Chinese market. SUVs are the fastest-growing segment in China; Jeep said that the Yuntu Concept showcases the potential for the Jeep brand to keep expanding in the country.
Saint Jean Carbon graphene battery Phase One results show graphene anode outperforming graphite
April 21, 2017
Saint Jean Carbon (earlier post) announced the results of the first phase of its three-phase graphene battery project. Although very preliminary at this point, the graphene battery has outperformed the graphite battery, as demonstrated by a greater discharge capacity of approximately 30%. Both batteries were made with the same material, battery “A” graphite anode and “B” graphene anode.
Wind-powered offshore enhanced oil recovery concept moves closer to implementation
The DNV GL-led joint industry project, WIN WIN (WINd powered Water INjection), has completed its first phase and determined that wind power could be used to power offshore water injection. The project is currently moving into its second phase, which includes refining and testing the electrical systems, and investigating possibilities for broader applications.
DLR developing novel thermochemical air conditioning unit for fuel cell and battery-electric vehicles
The DLR Institutes of Engineering Thermodynamics and Vehicle concepts are developing innovative auxiliary units for air conditioning electric vehicles (fuel cell and battery electric) as part of the DLR Next Generation Car (NGC) project.
New Silexica SLX Automotive design tools feature Infineon TriCore models
Silexica, a provider of multicore software design automation addressing complex, multicore platforms, released of its new SLX Automotive Development package, which provides programming support for multicore automotive software. New features include source-level static/dynamic analysis and visualization of inter-component dependencies in automotive applications (i.e., dependencies across runnables and tasks), visualization of multicore runnable schedules, and compatibility with AUTOSAR configuration files, among others.
BioForming company Virent brings on Shell exec as CEO
Virent has appointed Stacey Orlandi as the company’s new CEO. Orlandi will lead efforts to commercialize Virent’s technology for the large scale production of renewable fuels and chemicals and replace Lee Edwards, who has elected to retire after serving for eight years as CEO.
HARMAN and Baidu DuerOS collaborate on AI Solutions for China automotive market
April 20, 2017
HARMAN International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung focused on connected technologies for the automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, has expanded its relationship with Baidu, the leading Chinese Internet and web services company, to develop jointly new cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) solutions aimed at Chinese automakers.
MG Motor introduces E-motion concept electric car at Shanghai
UK-based MG Motor unveiled the MG E-motion at Auto Shanghai 2017. The modular architecture platform developed in-house delivers 0-100 km/h in less than four seconds, with a range of more than 500 km (311 miles).
Continental introduces new e-axle at Shanghai; to begin production of 48V mHEV system in China this year
At Auto Shanghai 2017, Continental showcased a new compact, lightweight electrical axle drive. Weighing around 75 kilograms (165 pounds), the axle drive has a maximum output of up to 150 kW, a maximum torque of 400 N·m and overall dimensions of 400x500x320 millimeters.
EMS develops new H2 storage system targeting refueling stations
EMS, a German-Dutch engineering company with roots in the nuclear industry, is developing a new hydrogen storage system. The EMS storage solution, designed to store more than 1000 kg H2 at a nominal working pressure of 500 bar, contains high-strength lightweight composite (CFRP) pressure vessels (type 4) which will be embedded in standard containers to serve at H2 fueling stations.
LG Chem launches range of residential Li-ion battery systems in North America
LG Chem Ltd., a global leader in lithium-ion batteries for automotive, stationary and consumer applications, has formally launched its range of award-winning residential battery systems in the North American market.
Fastned expands fast-charging network into Germany; “die Autowende”
The Netherlands-based Fastned, which plans to build a European network of fast-charging stations has acquired its first 14 locations in Germany. At these locations Fastned will build and operate stations with multiple fast chargers to charge the next generation of EVs at power levels of 150 kW to 350 kW. These will be the first of such stations in Germany that are accessible to all car brands, and where EVs can be charged with up to 500 kilometers of range in just 15 minutes.
BMW of North America and partners to install up to 100 EV charging stations in and around US National Parks
April 19, 2017
BMW of North America has partnered with the National Park Foundation, National Park Service and the Department of Energy to install up to 100 electric vehicle charging stations in national parks and nearby communities across the country. The first of these was powered on today during a press conference at Thomas Edison National Historical Park, site of Edison’s West Orange, N.J., laboratory and home.
Honda unveils new CR-V Hybrid SUV at Auto Shanghai 2017
Moreover, the CR-V Hybrid comes loaded with a full complement of features including the Honda SENSING suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. The CR-V Hybrid is scheduled to go on sale in China in the second half of 2017 from Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., Ltd.
Honda plans to begin sales of a new electric vehicle, developed as a China-exclusive model, in 2018.
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In China, we are required to attain the world’s top-level targets in all three areas of making emissions cleaner, improving fuel economy and electrifying our products. We want to attain the targets faster and at a higher level than anyone else, and we want to do so with our original technologies. Toward this end, we have decided to introduce a China-exclusive electric model in 2018, and we will further accelerate our initiatives in electrifying our products. Including the introduction of CR-V Hybrid, which we unveiled today, we will continue accommodating the needs of our Chinese customers by pursuing the electrification of mobility products in China speedily.—Yasuhide Mizuno/ President of Honda Motor (China) Investment Co., Ltd.
NIO unveils production electric SUV for China market; NIO ES8 to launch end of this year
China-based electric vehicle startup NIO unveiled the NIO ES8, an electric SUV planned for serial production for the China market later this year. The company also announced it will begin taking pre-orders of its flagship supercar, the NIO EP9 (earlier post).
Bentley brings electric EXP 12 Speed 6e concept to Auto Shanghai
Bentley brought its electic EXP 12 Speed 6e concept, first unveiled at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show last month (earlier post), to Auto Shanghai. The concept showcases the British brand’s ambition to define the electric luxury segment and will allow Bentley to gauge public opinion and customer feedback to help shape its future luxury strategy.
Buick introduces Volt-based Velite 5 extended-range electric vehicle in China
The Velite 5, Buick’s first extended-range electric vehicle, made its global debut in Shanghai today. It is the latest iconic product from the brand in the new energy vehicle segment, and is based on the Chevrolet Volt.
Volvo will make its first all-electric car in China; available in 2019, exported globally
Volvo Cars announced at Auto Shanghai that it will build its first fully electric car in China. The all-new model will be based on Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) for smaller cars, and will be available for sale in 2019 and exported globally from China, Volvo said.
California ARB approves XL Hybrids aftermarket hybrid conversions for Ford Transit vans and wagons
April 18, 2017
XL Hybrids has received a California Air Resources Board Executive Order (CARB EO) allowing aftermarket conversions of gasoline-powered Ford Transit cargo vans and passenger wagons to be upgraded with the XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System. This executive order is the first awarded by CARB for electrifying Ford Transit vans and wagons and covers model years 2017, 2016 and 2015.
Volvo Cars and Autoliv autonomous driving JV Zenuity starts operations
Zenuity, the joint venture between Volvo Cars and Autoliv, Inc. (earlier post) has begun operations. Zenuity is a new entrant in the growing global market for autonomous driving software systems. It marks the first time a premium car maker has joined forces with a Tier One supplier to develop leading advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving (AD) technologies.
Toyota to begin demonstration tests of Mirai fuel cell vehicle in China
Toyota Motor Corporation will send two Mirai fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) to China in October 2017 to conduct demonstration tests in the country. Coinciding with the start of these tests, Toyota will also establish a hydrogen station at TMEC (Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing China), its Chinese research and development base.
Baidu incorporating NVIDIA Tesla P40 GPUs and deep learning software in Baidu Cloud
Baidu, the Chinese Internet giant that is partnering with NVIDIA to use artificial intelligence (AI) in the creation of a cloud-to-car autonomous car platform for local Chinese and global car makers (earlier post), is incorporating Pascal architecture-based NVIDIA Tesla P40 GPUs and NVIDIA deep learning software in the new Baidu cloud.
UK 5*StarS consortium to focus on automotive cybersecurity in autonomous and connected vehicles
April 17, 2017
The UK 5*StarS consortium, which partners HORIBA MIRA, Ricardo, Roke, Thatcham Research and Axillium Research, will receive grant funding from the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, to launch the Automotive Cyber Security through Assurance project. The project will address the increased threat from cybersecurity with the proliferation of connected and autonomous road vehicles.
Peloton closes $60M Series B to advance truck platooning
Peloton Technology, a connected and automated vehicle technology company dedicated to improving the safety and efficiency of freight transportation, closed a $60-million Series B funding round.
Honda Silicon Valley Lab takes on global role as new company: Honda R&D Innovations
April 16, 2017
Honda Silicon Valley Lab, the global open innovation hub within Honda R&D Americas, Inc., will expand its areas of focus beyond vehicles and broaden its responsibility to develop partnerships as a new company, Honda R&D Innovations, Inc., to be known as “Honda Innovations.” The new company will seek transformative collaborations within all areas of Honda's activities.
Coating developed at MIT could stop buildup of hydrate ices that slow or block oil and gas flow
April 15, 2017
A team of researchers at MIT has developed a coating that could stop the buildup of hydrate ices that slow or block oil and gas flow. These hydrates are potentially explosive and are largely responsible for the initial failure to contain the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that rocked the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Corvus Energy’s Orca ESS to power multiple hybrid RTG cranes at Changshu Port
Corvus Energy will supply Orca Energy lithium-ion energy storage systems (ESS) for four hybrid rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTGs) for CCCC Shanghai Equipment Engineering (CCCCSEE). The RTGs are the first of many cranes at the Chinese Port of Changshu to undergo a diesel-to-battery hybrid conversion using a Corvus Orca ESS.
Solvay, Bentley, Penso partner on lightweight architecture
April 14, 2017
A consortium including Solvay, Bentley and Penso has been awarded a multi-million pound grant by the UK government Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) for the Flexible Lightweight Architecture for Volume Applications (FLAVA) automotive project.
Berkeley Lab working with Alphabet Energy to develop a low-cost thermoelectric system
With a $2-million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC), Berkeley Lab is partnering with Alphabet Energy to create a cost-effective thermoelectric waste heat recovery system to reduce both energy use in the industrial sector and electricity-related carbon emissions.
Midwest EVOLVE electric vehicle project hosts first EV ride and drive at Earth Day event in Ohio
Earth Day Coalition will give consumers a chance to test drive some of the newest electric vehicles at EarthFest 2017, 22 April at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, Middleburg Heights, OH. The ride-and-drive is a part of a new seven-state project called Midwest EVOLVE (Electric Vehicle Opportunities: Learning, eVents, Experience). The drives are a part of a new three-year partnership between the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest and eight Clean Cities coalitions throughout the Midwest to demonstrate the performance and environmental benefits of electric vehicles.
GM adding more than 1,100 jobs, $14M to expand Cruise Automation self-driving operations in California
General Motors will add more than 1,100 new jobs and invest $14 million in a new research and development facility for Cruise Automation in San Francisco. (Earlier post.) These investments will allow Cruise Automation to expand development of self-driving technologies that will transform personal mobility.
Proterra delivers 100th electric bus
April 13, 2017
Proterra delivered its 100th battery-electric bus, destined for San Joaquin Region Transit District (RTD) in Stockton, Calif. Proterra is leading the industry with more 60% of electric bus sales since the industry’s inception.
Ford exploring use of bamboo in cars
Over the past several years, has Ford worked with suppliers to evaluate the viability of using bamboo in vehicle interiors and to make extra strong parts by combining it with plastic. The team has found that bamboo performs comprehensively better than other tested synthetic and natural fibers in a range of materials tests, from tensile strength tests to impact strength tests. It’s also been heated to more than 212 ˚F Fahrenheit to ensure it can maintain its integrity.
Genesis unveils plug-in hydrogen fuel cell GV80 Concept SUV at New York
Genesis, Hyundai Motor’s high-end luxury brand, unveiled its GV80 Concept SUV at the New York International Auto Show. The new fuel cell concept SUV is the brand’s first interpretation of a versatile luxury SUV. The GV80 Concept also utilizes plug-in hydrogen fuel cell electric technology to combine eco-performance and capability.
Porsche introducing flagship Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid in New York
April 12, 2017
Volkswagen introduces transferable 6-year, 72K mile bumper-to-bumper warranty on 2018 Atlas and Tiguan SUVs
Volkswagen is introducing a six-year or 72,000-mile (whichever occurs first) bumper-to-bumper New Vehicle Limited Warranty, with coverage that’s transferable beyond the first owner for the new 2018 Volkswagen Atlas and 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan.
Ford projects SUVs to be >45% of non-premium US sales in next 5-7 years; adding 5 new SUVs in NA by 2020
Ford projects the SUV segment will continue growing, accounting for more than 45% of the non-premium US retail industry in the next five to seven years. (In March 2017, SUVs/Crossovers accounted for about 40% of new vehicle sales.) Positioning to take advantage of this growth, Ford plans to add five all-new SUVs to its lineup in North America by 2020.
Enerkem achieves all production milestones at its Edmonton waste-to-biofuel facility
April 11, 2017
Enerkem Inc. said that its first full-scale commercial waste-to-fuels facility, located in Edmonton, Alberta, has met all operational milestones set by its senior lender Integrated Asset Management (IAM).
Plugless: first wireless charger to provide 1 million charge hours for PEVs
Evatran Group, the manufacturer and distributor of Plugless, announced that Plugless installations across North America (and some worldwide) crossed 1-million hours charged this month. This marks another “firsts” milestone for Plugless in the EV industry.
Volkswagen showcases 2018 Golf family at New York show
Volkswagen is showcasing its refreshed 2018 Golf line-up—featuring styling, technology and driver ssistance updates—at the New York International Auto Show this week. The revised Golf family goes on sale this Fall as 2018 models, with the exception of the updated e-Golf, which is a 2017 model.
AISIN Group to provide transmissions for Elio 3-wheeler
April 10, 2017
Elio Motors, the startup vehicle manufacturer planning to launch a three-wheeled vehicle that will get up to 84 mpg with a targeted base price of $7,450, has selected AISIN Group to supply transmissions for the Elio.
Eaton and Cummins to form JV for automated transmissions for heavy- and medium-duty commercial vehicles
Eaton and Cummins announced an agreement to form a joint venture for automated transmissions for heavy-duty and medium-duty commercial vehicles. The joint venture will be named Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies.
PEUGEOT MICRO e-Kick receives Red Dot Product Design 2017 award
The PEUGEOT MICRO e-Kick electrically assisted scooter has been awarded a Red Dot Product Design 2017 award for its high-end design and the solution that it provides in meeting sustainable urban mobility challenges. The prize will be awarded on 3 July in Essen, Germany.
Bollinger Motors shows chassis for its battery-electric sport utility truck
Bollinger Motors, a 2014 startup developing a battery-electric sport utility truck, revealed the first images of the chassis structure which will underpin its upcoming vehicle. The truck will make its global debut at a media event this summer in Bollinger Motors’ home state of New York.
Delphi partners with Rosenberger to deliver high performance automotive ethernet solutions
April 09, 2017
Delphi Automotive PLC has completed a strategic agreement with high frequency connectivity company Rosenberger to enhance capabilities in high-speed data transmission.
GM deliveries in March in China up 16% to new March record; SUVs, MPVs, luxury drive sales
April 08, 2017
General Motors and its joint ventures in China delivered a March record of 345,448 vehicles, an increase of 16% from a year earlier. It was the company’s largest year-over-year growth since last August.
Illinois Industrial CCS Project begins ethanol-plant CO2 injection into saline reservoir
The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced that the Illinois Industrial Carbon Capture and Storage (ICCS) project in Decatur, Illinois, has begun operation by injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) into a large saline reservoir. This project received a $141-million investment from DOE, matched by over $66 million in private-sector cost share.
TEPCO takes a stake in UK-based stationary storage company Moixa Energy
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (TEPCO) has made a £500,000 (US$621,000) equity investment in Moixa Energy Holdings, a UK-based provider of residential batteries and platforms for managing storage services.
PSA Group starts operations in US with carsharing services
April 07, 2017
PSA Group is beginning operations in the US with the introduction of carsharing services in Los Angeles. The progressive entry into North America is a 10-year project within the “Push to Pass” plan of the Group.
Ballard closes transaction with Broad-Ocean for fuel-cell system manufacture & sales in China
Ballard Power Systems closed the transaction announced in February 2017 relating to technology transfer, licensing and supply arrangements with strategic partner Zhongshan Broad-Ocean Motor Co., Ltd. for the assembly and sale of FCveloCity 30-kilowatt (kW) and 85kW fuel cell systems in China.
UMTRI: Average new vehicle fuel economy in US in March rose 0.1 mpg from February
The average fuel economy (window-sticker value) of new vehicles sold in the US in March was 25.2 mpg (9.33 l/100 km)—up 0.1 mpg from the value for February, according to the monthly report from Dr. Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle at University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). The value for March is up 5.1 mpg since October 2007 (the first month of their monitoring), but down 0.3 mpg from the peak of 25.5 mpg reached in August 2014.
Government of Canada awarding $1.625 million for two public hydrogen stations in Toronto
The Government of Canada is awarding $1,625,000 in funding for the construction of two public hydrogen stations in the Greater Toronto Area to support a new Canadian market for fuel-cell vehicles.
First Fastned fast-charging stations broke-even in March
April 06, 2017
The Netherlands-based Fastned, the company building a European network of fast charging stations, saw its first two stations break-even in March. This means that the operating expenses, such as the purchase of power, grid connection fees, licence costs, land lease, cleaning and maintenance costs were covered by the revenues generated at those stations. Fastned expects that more stations will pass the break-even point in the coming months. Fastned began installing stations in The Netherlands in 2015; 57 are currently in operation.
Renesas Electronics introduces new software packages to improve security and safety of connected cars
Renesas Electronics announced new software packages for the R-Car automotive computing platform to improve security and safety capabilities for next-generation connected cars. The software packages implement embedded optimized virtualization technology that enables embedded systems to have—in a single system—security features that protect the car from external threats, and functional safety features that assure continued safe operation even in the event of failures.
Canada to invest C$120M for EV infrastructure, alt fueling stations and demo projects
The Government of Canada will invest C$120 million (US$89 million) to deploy infrastructure for electric vehicle charging and refueling stations for alternative fuels such as natural gas, as well as to support technology demonstration projects.
BMW i Ventures invests in Bus.com
BMW i Ventures has invested in Bus.com, formerly ShareTheBus, an emerging startup that removes the complexity of renting a bus and coordinating group transportation anywhere in the US and Canada, and is set on revitalizing the outdated charter bus space. bus.com offers instant online bus rental, GPS bus tracking, passenger management tools, online ticketing, and more.
XL Hybrids and Knapheide partner for XLP PHEV upfits on Ford F-150
April 05, 2017
XL Hybrids, Inc. announced that The Knapheide Manufacturing Company, a commercial vehicle equipment provider in North America, will become a ship-thru installer of XL Hybrids’ XLP plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) upfits on Ford half-ton pickup trucks. Knapheide will begin XLP PHEV upfits (earlier post) on Ford F-150s in its Kansas City, Mo. facility starting in fourth quarter 2017.
EIA: US gasoline consumption hit all-time high in 2016
Consumption of motor gasoline in the US hit an all-time high in 2016, reaching 9.327 million barrels per day, up 1.6% from 2015 and exceeding the prior peak of 9.286 million barrels per day in 2007, according to revised figures in the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) Monthly Energy Review.
Neste publishes updated info about crude palm oil suppliers; feedstock for renewable diesel
Neste has published updated information about all its crude palm oil suppliers on the company’s website. The data covers the entire supply chain—i.e. all companies, mills, and estates that supplied Neste with crude palm oil in 2016.
Protean Electric & Zhejiang VIE Science & Technology partner to develop 16" version of in-wheel motor
Protean Electric and Zhejiang VIE Science & Technology Co., Ltd. (VIE) are partnering to develop a 16" version of the ProteanDRIVE In-Wheel Motor. The ProteanDRIVE® 16 (PD16) is based on Protean’s PD18 product.
Platts RigData: US rig count grows 77% year over year in March
Platts RigData, a forecasting and analytics unit of S&P Global Platts, announced that the US rig count for March 2017 was 901, up 67 (8%) from February 2017, and up 391 (77%) from March 2016. This rig count includes US onshore, US inland waters, and US offshore Gulf of Mexico drilling rigs.
Yeast and bakery ingredient leader launches new biotech division targeting fermentation and yeast innovation; biofuels
April 04, 2017
AB Mauri, a global leader in yeast and bakery ingredient products (AB Mauri sells Fleischmann’s yeast), has launched a new business division—AB Biotek—in North America and globally. Specializing in fermentation science and yeast innovation, AB Biotek is a technology-driven division that develops specialty yeast solutions and has capabilities across a range of industries including biofuel, alcohol beverage and both animal and human nutrition.
DOE: production and manufacturing represent one-third of motor vehicles jobs
Of the 2.3 million motor vehicles and component parts employees for the fourth quarter of 2016 in the US, 33% were in production/manufacturing jobs, according to data from the US Department of Energy (DOE).
LILEE partners with Fluidmesh Networks on connected rail
April 03, 2017
LILEE Systems, a provider of advanced wireless communication solutions in industrial IoT and cloud-based network solutions, is collaborating with Fluidmesh Networks, manufacturer of fast-roaming wireless networking products, to provide train-to-ground communications to railways around the world.
International team makes significant progress in engineering synthetic yeast
A global research team has built five new synthetic yeast chromosomes, meaning that 30 percent of a key organism’s genetic material has now been swapped out for engineered replacements. This is one of several findings of a package of seven papers published in March in a special synthetic yeast genome issue of the journal Science.
AVID Technology and GKN Hybrid Power strike deal to develop EVO motor for hybrid and electric vehicle industry
UK-based automotive cleantech firm AVID Technology Limited has signed a deal with GKN Hybrid Power to develop and manufacture electric motors for the automotive industry. As part of the license agreement, AVID \will take over the development, manufacture and sale of EVO axial flux motors. (Earlier post.) The production of the existing AF-130, AF-140, AF-230 and AF-240 designs has transferred to AVID’s manufacturing facility. The arrangement will also see AVID develop the high power density EVO technology further, which will deliver new variants of the motor and additional applications.
Photo-electrochemcial cell produces H2 from contaminated gas
Researchers from the University of Antwerp and KU Leuven have devised an all-gas-phase photo-electrochemical cell (PEC) that produces hydrogen gas from contaminated gas.
Etihad Airways and Boeing check on aviation biofuel progress at Masdar
Executives from Etihad Airways and Boeing checked on the progress of the Integrated Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (ISEAS) within Masdar City this past week. The facility is a first, demonstrating the use of seawater and natural fertilizer from aquaculture to grow plant biomass which can be converted into aviation fuel.
Tesla deliveries set new quarterly delivery record in Q1; 25,000+ units
Tesla delivered just over 25,000 vehicles in Q1, of which approximately 13,450 were Model S (54%) and approx 11,550 (46%) were Model X. This was a new quarterly record for the company and represents a 69% increase over Q1 2016.
BorgWarner providing dual-clutch module for Chang’An’s first DCT, applied in EADO PHEV
April 01, 2017
BorgWarner is providing its advanced DualTronic clutch and control module with integrated torsional vibration damper for ChangAn’s first self-developed dual-clutch transmission (DCT), initially available for the EADO plug-in hybrid, EADO XT and upcoming CS85 SUV.
Toyota to conduct hybrid boat feasibility study in Tokyo
March 31, 2017
Toyota Motor Corporation has developed Japan’s first leisure craft with a parallel hybrid system. Toyota will conduct a feasibility study of hybrid boats from July 2018 to March 2021 in Tokyo.
Shell opens major new technology center in Bangalore; waste-to-fuels demo plant
Shell opened a new major technology hub in Bangalore, India, expanding the company’s R&D activities in Asia. The 52-acre, custom built technology centre can house up to 1,500 experts working collaboratively on innovative projects worldwide.
Volkswagen Golf with new 1.5 TSI Evo engine now available to order in Europe; new 1.5 TSI variant coming
The new Volkswagen Golf with its most modern engine generation, the Millerized 1.5 TSI Evo (110 kW / 150 PS) (earlier post, earlier post), is now available to order in Europe. The four-cylinder gasoline engine features common rail direct injection, turbocharger and Active Cylinder Management (ACT).
ClassNK releases guidelines for liquefied hydrogen carriers
March 30, 2017
Classification society ClassNK has released its Guidelines for Liquefied Hydrogen (LH2) Carriers for the safe constructions and operation of LH2 carriers based on provisions of the IMO Interim Recommendations.
Compelling April Fool’s use case for autonomous driving: Lexus Lane Valet
Kicking off the annual April Fool’s press release season, Lexus announced a new semi-autonomous driving feature to be offered on all models: Lane Valet. This system would improve traffic flow by shunting slower moving vehicles from the left lane into the more appropriate right lane.
Audi to acquire Silvercar, expand digital mobility technology and service offerings
Audi intends to acquire fully Silvercar Inc., a shared mobility company, to expand its digital mobility solutions and services. The two companies have worked together since 2012, developing and delivering innovative consumer mobility offerings under the Audi mobility, Silvercar and Dealerware brands. In 2015, Audi led in a $28 million Series C investment in Silvercar. (Earlier post.)
World’s largest containership delivered, ready for LNG retrofit
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) announced that the world’s largest containership (400 meters in length and 58.8 meters in width), MOL Triumph was delivered from Samsung Heavy Industries on 27 March 2017. With a capacity of 20,170 TEU, the vessel is the first 20,000 TEU-class containership deployed in Asia to Europe trade via the FE2 service.
CR&R Environmental begins using carbon-neutral renewable natural gas in fleet
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and waste management company CR&R Environmental announced that renewable natural gas from CR&R’s anaerobic digestion facility in Perris, California is now being used to fuel CR&R’s waste-hauling trucks. The trucks are being fueled from special storage trailers while SoCalGas completes a 1.4-mile pipeline that will bring the carbon-neutral renewable natural gas into the SoCalGas distribution system.
Westinghouse files for Chapter 11 protection in US and secures $800M in DIP financing to fund operations
March 29, 2017
Westinghouse Electric Company and certain of its subsidiaries and affiliates, filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code. The company is seeking to undertake a strategic restructuring as a result of certain financial and construction challenges in its US AP1000 power plant projects. Westinghouse has obtained $800 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing from a third-party lender to help fund and protect its core businesses during its reorganization.
GM China opening battery assembly plant in China to support growth of new energy vehicle line-up
GM China will open a battery assembly plant in Shanghai later this year to support the growth of its new energy vehicle line-up.
Scania reports a 40% increase in sales of vehicles that run on alternative fuels and hybrids in 2016
The number of vehicles that Scania sold that run on alternative fuels and hybrids increased by 40 percent in 2016. In total, close to 5,000 such vehicles were sold in 2016.
Borgward BX5 launches in China; electric drive version in Europe in 2019
Borgward Group AG has launched the Borgward BX5 SUV in China. On the Chinese market, the vehicle is powered by a supercharged, direct-injection gasoline engine with an output of 140 kW (190 hp). The BX5 is scheduled to be launched in Europe in 2019, when the vehicle will also be available with an electric drive system. The BX5 concept car (near-series prototype) had previously celebrated its world premiere in Geneva in 2016. (Earlier post.)
DOE: 11% of motor vehicles jobs focus on alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles
March 28, 2017
According to figures gathered by the US Department of Energy (DOE), 11% of the 2.3 million jobs supported by the motor vehicles and component parts industry for the first quarter of 2016 were related to alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.
Vattenfall may provide hydrogen for Preem large-scale biofuel project
Preem, the largest fuel company in Sweden, and Vattenfall have concluded an agreement to investigate the potential Vattenfall’s providing of hydrogen gas in the large scale production of biofuel for the Swedish market. Preem’s objective is to produce three million cubic meters (793 million gallons US) of renewable fuel yearly by 2030, which would account for the bulk of the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions in the Swedish transport sector.
Hydrogenics to supply electrolyzers to Doosan Babcock for Aberdeen
Hydrogenics Corporation, a leading developer and manufacturer of hydrogen generation and hydrogen-based power modules, has been awarded a contract by Doosan Babcock Limited to install two of its HySTAT100 electrolyzers, along with compression and storage equipment, at the new Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) in Aberdeen, Scotland. The Hydrogenics electrolyzers will convert fluctuating power—up to 1 megawatt—into 20 kilograms of hydrogen per hour, at the highest efficiency possible, complementing the combined heat and power natural gas fuel cell application installed at the AECC.
UW Madison ERC 2017 Symposium focusing on impact of future regulations on engine technology
March 27, 2017
This year’s University of Wisconsin Engine Research Center Symposium will address the impact of future regulations on engine technology. The symposium will focus on technologies in four areas (sessions): Combustion Technology; Fuels Technology; Aftertreatment Technology; and Modeling Technology.
Port of Rotterdam exploring use of bio LNG in the transport sector
The Port of Rotterdam Authority and the National LNG Platform will be starting a joint study that focuses on opportunities to develop LNG from renewable sources as a transport fuel in the port of Rotterdam—Europe’s largest sea port. LNG is considerably cleaner than other fossil fuels, and engines that run on LNG also generate less noise. Relying on bio LNG rather than regular LNG allows users drastically to reduce CO₂ emission levels.
Rennovia enters piloting stage of its bio-based 1,6-hexanediol process; accelerating commercialization of bio-based 1,6-HDO and HMD
Rennovia Inc., a privately held company that develops novel catalysts and processes for the cost-advantaged production of chemical products from renewable feedstocks, has entered the piloting stage of its bio-based 1,6-hexanediol (1,6-HDO) process. The company is accelerating the commercialization of bio-based 1,6-HDO (a key monomer for high value polyurethane products) and bio-based HMD (hexamethylene diamine, a nylon-66 monomer)—both used in automotive applications.
Grafoid introduces ion-selective graphene polymer membrane for Li-ion battery electrode protection
Grafoid Inc., a Canadian graphene R&D, investment and technology licensing company (earlier post) introduced its GPURE Graphene Polymer nano-porous membrane intended for next generation Li-Ion battery applications. The GPURE graphene polymer membrane (GPM) technology is the seventh graphene-based companion to the company’s expanding GPURE Platform of new, high performing, ultra-thin materials for diverse industrial applications.
The GPURE GPM product was developed as a chemically inert, freestanding membrane using graphene composites to test ion selectivity using both monovalent and divalent ions. Ion selectivity is a key requirement for a semi-permeable membrane in a Li-ion battery structure.
2-millionth Duramax Diesel engine rolls off the line in Ohio
March 26, 2017
The 2 millionth Duramax 6.6L V-8 turbo-diesel engine has rolled off the line at the DMAX plant in Moraine, Ohio. Groundbreaking for the DMAX, Ltd. plant began in 1998, with the first engine rolling off the line July 17, 2000. DMAX, Ltd. was established in 1998. GM owns 60 percent and Isuzu owns 40 percent of the joint venture.
Schlumberger & Weatherford to form JV targeting N America unconventional resource development
Schlumberger and Weatherford will create OneStim, a joint venture to deliver completions products and services for the development of unconventional resource plays in the United States and Canada land markets. The joint venture will offer one of the broadest multistage completions portfolios in the market combined with one of the largest hydraulic fracturing fleets in the industry.