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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.]

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

July 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 20, 2017

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

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

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

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Schaeffler creating independent E-Mobility business division in 2018

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

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BMW tops emobility sales charts in Germany 1H 2017

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

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

July 19, 2017

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

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BorgWarner to acquire Sevcon in $200M deal

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

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Tata Motors introduces engines for bio-methane buses

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

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

July 18, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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Nanosteel introduces 3D printable tool steel

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

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

July 15, 2017

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

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

July 14, 2017

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

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

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

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

July 13, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 12, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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Daimler Buses joining CleverShuttle; cooperation for on-demand mobility

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

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ITM Power signs hydrogen fuel contract with Honda (UK)

July 11, 2017

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

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

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

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€6.1M EU project to develop advanced balance of plant components for fuel cell vehicles

The EU-funded INN-BALANCE (INNovative Cost Improvements for BALANCE of Plant Components of Automotive PEMFC Systems) project launched earlier this year with the aim of developing a novel and integrated development platform for developing advanced Balance of Plant (BOP) components in current fuel cell based vehicles.

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China Yuchai wins order for 100 diesel-electric hybrid bus engines

July 10, 2017

China Yuchai International Limited, through its main operating subsidiary, Guangxi Yuchai Machinery Company Limited (GYMCL), won an order for 100 diesel-electric hybrid engine from Liuzhou Bus, which operates Liuzhou’s public transportation system.

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Mercedes-Benz Düsseldorf plant to become competence center for electric-drive Sprinter

The Mercedes-Benz plant in Düsseldorf, which will produce the next-generation of the Sprinter van, will also produce the electric-drive version.

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Intersil ships first full automotive HD LCD video processor

Intersil, a subsidiary of Renesas Electronics Corporation, has introduced the TW8844 LCD video processor that interfaces with the latest generation of automotive SoCs. The highly integrated TW8844 is the first high-definition (HD) 1080p LCD video processor with analog video decoder, two scalers and MIPI-CSI2 SoC interface.

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Borgward expanding to the Middle East; westwards from China

Borgward will systematically continue to globalize its activities by entering the markets of Middle Eastern countries such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Iran. In accordance with this roadmap, the company will expand westwards from China before entering the European market.

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Tatung Fine Chemicals terminates patent agreement with LiFePO4 Licensing AG

Taiwan-based Tatung Fine Chemicals (TFC) has terminated its lithium iron phosphate patent agreement with LiFePO4+C Licensing AG—the organization established in 2011 by the patent holders to handle licensing of the widely used cathode material for Li-ion batteries.

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Boeing, FedEx Express to collaborate on new 777 ecoDemonstrator testing

July 09, 2017

As part of the continuing effort to accelerate aerospace innovation, Boeing and FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the world’s largest express transportation company, will work together to fly the next ecoDemonstrator (earlier post). Starting in 2018, a new Boeing 777 Freighter made for FedEx Express will test emerging technologies, such as propulsion advancements and flight deck innovations.

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Continental acquires Singapore-based mobility intelligence provider Quantum Inventions for ITS portfolio

Continental has acquired Singapore based mobility-intelligence provider Quantum Inventions. Quantum Inventions will add to Continental’s growing intelligent transportation systems (ITS) portfolio with its city data including next generation navigation systems that are highly responsive to real-time information such as traffic data; road incident information; and dynamic road pricing. Continental plans to double its current sales with mobility services by 2020.

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NHTSA to reexamine civil penalty rate adjustment for inflation for CAFE standards

July 08, 2017

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reexamining a rule that adjusts civil penalties related to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for inflation.

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Alfen delivers 3MW storage system with BMW batteries

Dutch grid technology and services company Alfen has delivered a 3MW stationary storage system using BMW batteries to Nuon’s Prinses Alexia Windpark in Zeewolde, the Netherlands. The system will be expanded to 12 MW over the coming period, making it the largest storage project in the Netherlands.

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UMTRI: average US new vehicle fuel economy drops in June

July 07, 2017

The average fuel economy (window-sticker value) of new vehicles sold in the US in June was 25.1 mpg (9.36 l/100 km)—down 0.2 mpg from May, according to the latest monthly report from Dr. Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle at University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).  This drop likely reflects the decreased price of gasoline in June, and the consequent increased proportion of pickup trucks, SUVs, and crossovers in the sales mix, they said.

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Tesla to supply 100MW/129 MWh Powerpack to South Australia wind farm

Through a competitive bidding process, Tesla was selected to provide a 100 MW/129 MWh Powerpack system to be paired with global renewable energy provider Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown, South Australia. Tesla was awarded the entire energy storage system component of the project.

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ATI and GE Aviation form meltless titanium JV

Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (ATI), a producer of technically advanced specialty materials and components, announced a joint venture (JV) with GE Aviation for the development of a new meltless titanium alloy powder manufacturing technology. The JV will construct a new R&D pilot production facility. The titanium alloy powders are being developed for use in additive manufacturing applications, including 3D printing.

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TomTom and Cisco developing ultra-fast lane level traffic technology supporting autonomous driving; acoustic sensing

July 06, 2017

TomTom, in partnership with Cisco, is developing ultra-fast lane level traffic technology supporting autonomous driving and smarter mobility. Research will be done in cooperation with Cisco to leverage roadside data captured by Cisco’s array of sensors, routers and controllers to create the next generation of traffic information technology. The research combines Cisco’s data with TomTom’s traffic fusion technology and expertise, supported by Cisco’s Internet of Things platform.

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INRIX powers first on-street parking service in a production connected car

INRIX, Inc. announced the availability of its On-Street Parking service in the new BMW 5 Series Sedan. The real-time on-street parking service uses historical and up-to-the-minute parking data to predict the availability of parking spaces.

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HORIBA MIRA opens $10M advanced emissions test center; WLTP and RDE

HORIBA MIRA has enhanced its test and engineering capabilities following the official launch of its dedicated Advanced Emissions Test center (AETC). Developed in response to increased scrutiny around tailpipe emissions, as well as new legislation requiring extensive and increasingly complex testing methodologies, the AETC represents a total of almost £8-million (US$10 million) investment into HORIBA MIRA’s engineering facilities.

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Argonne’s Theta supercomputer goes online

Theta, a new Intel-Cray production supercomputer located at the US Department of Energy’s Argonnne National Laboratory is officially open to the research community. The new machine’s massively parallel, many-core architecture continues Argonne’s leadership computing program towards its future Aurora system.

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TomTom high definition map for autonomous driving now covers Western Europe

TomTom has completed the expansion of its High Definition (HD) Map product to cover all highways in Western Europe—175,000 km (108,740 miles) of highways across 19 countries—bringing the total coverage of TomTom’s HD Map and RoadDNA for autonomous driving to 360,000 km (223,694 miles) worldwide.

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NVIDIA, Baidu partner to accelerate AI; cloud data centers, self-driving cars and the home

July 05, 2017

NVIDIA and Baidu announced a broad partnership to bring artificial intelligence technology to cloud computing, self-driving vehicles (earlier post) and AI home assistants. NVIDIA and Baidu have a long history of working together on AI. Speaking in the keynote at Baidu’s AI developer conference in Beijing, Baidu president and COO Qi Lu described his company’s plans to work with NVIDIA to:

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Torqeedo using BMW i3 batteries in electric propulsion system for boats; 30.5 kWh for $33K

The BMW Group is supplying lithium-ion batteries from its Dingolfing plant to German company Torqeedo. The marine drive system manufacturer is using them for energy storage in its high-performance Deep Blue electric drive systems. Torqeedo was founded in 2005 in Starnberg, Germany and is leading on a global basis as a provider of electric and hybrid propulsion systems for motorboats from 1 to 160 HP for sailing yachts and commercial marine applications, such as ferries and water taxis.

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Groupe Renault and Brilliance China Automotive to form JV for LCVs

Groupe Renault and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Limited (CBA) signed a binding framework cooperation agreement covering the main principles of the formation and operation of a joint venture (JV) in China focusing on the manufacturing and sale of light commercial vehicles (LCV).

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Volkswagen starts automotive business in Iran

Volkswagen will begin the sale of vehicles in Iran in August. Initially, Volkswagen’s Tiguan and Passat models are to be imported under a contract concluded with the Iranian automotive company Mammut Khodro. The Volkswagen brand will thus again have a presence in the Iranian market after more than 17 years.

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SEAT and GAS NATURAL FENOSA partner to promote natural gas as vehicle fuel in Spain

SEAT, a member of the Volkswagen Group, and GAS NATURAL FENOSA signed a strategic agreement to promote joint innovation projects and expand the use of natural gas as a vehicle fuel in Spain. Both companies have been collaborating in this field since 2013.

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Global Industry Alliance (GIA) launched to support low carbon shipping

Leading shipowners and operators, classification societies, engine and technology builders and suppliers, big data providers, and oil companies have signed up to a new Global Industry Alliance (GIA) to support transitioning shipping and its related industries towards a low carbon future.

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Wärtsilä to provide engines, emissions control and navigational control for new Virgin Voyages cruise ship fleet

July 04, 2017

Wärtsilä has been contracted to provide a comprehensive scope of solutions for three new 2800 passenger cruise vessels being built for Virgin Voyages. The ships will be built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. The order for Wärtsilä engines, hybrid exhaust cleaning scrubber systems, and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems was booked in 2016, while the order for the Wärtsilä integrated navigation systems was booked in March 2017.

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AK Steel to purchase Precision Partners Holding Company; tooling and stamping for automotive

AK Steel signed an agreement to acquire Precision Partners Holding Company, a leading North American automotive market company that provides engineering, tooling, die design and hot and cold stamped steel parts, for $360 million in cash. Precision Partners is headquartered in Ontario, and employs more than 1,000 employees, including about 300 engineers and skilled tool makers, across eight plants in Ontario, Alabama and Kentucky.

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BMW teaser video of upcoming i8 Roadster

July 03, 2017

BMW has released a teaser video for the upcoming i8 Roadster—the third member of its electrified i family, arriving in 2018.

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Honda and Hitachi Automotive establish their electric motor joint venture

Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. have established the a joint venture company for the development, manufacture and sales of motors for electric vehicles on the premises of Hitachi Automotive Systems in Hitachinaka-shi, Ibaraki Prefecture. (Earlier post.) Hitachi Automotive hods 51%; Honda holds 49%.

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U Kentucky CAER receives $1M for carbon fiber research

July 02, 2017

The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) received a $1 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant to continue their research in developing low-cost, high-strength carbon fiber.

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Global Bioenergies completes private placement of approximately €10.25M

June 30, 2017

Global Bioenergies, the developer of a process to convert renewable resources into hydrocarbons through fermentation, has completed a private placement with qualified French and international investors. The Company has placed 640,00 new shares of a nominal unit value of €0.05, at a unit price of €16.00, inclusive of the share premium, for a total amount of approximately €10.25 million (US$11.7 million), representing 17.48% of the company’s share capital.

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GM targeting sales of 500K New Energy Vehicles by 2025

At the recent celebration of the 20th anniversary of the launch of its initial two joint ventures in China with SAIC, GM said it is targeting sales of 150,000 new energy vehicles by 2020 and 500,000 units by 2025 under the Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet brands.

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15 GWh Li-ion battery plant investigated for Australia

A consortium led by Boston Energy and Innovation (BEI) has signed an exclusive memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Townsville, Australia City Council to investigate the financial viability of building a 15GWh battery manufacturing plant in Townsville.

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Applanix and University of Waterloo collaborate on advanced guidance and control technologies for autonomous vehicles

Applanix, a Trimble Company, is collaborating on advanced research for autonomous vehicle guidance and control systems with the University of Waterloo Center for Automotive Research (WatCAR). Applanix will provide WatCAR with its Positioning and Orientation System (POS) for testing autonomous guidance and control systems in real-world conditions. Applanix will also provide the Trimble GNSS-Inertial board set for integration with car systems and sensors to enable precise positioning.

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Tenneco introduces DRiV electronic suspension technology; improved ride performance without suspension system redesign

Tenneco Inc. has introduced its digital suspension technology DRiV. DRiV automatically adapts to road surfaces using 16 discrete damping curves and mitigates packaging constraints by placing sensors, valves and intelligence inside the damper. With a wide range of vehicle applications globally, DRiV offers ride and handling benefits targeted for the light truck market segment.

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Efficient Drivetrains expands PowerDrive portfolio with additional all-electric drivetrains

June 29, 2017

Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. has expanded its EDI PowerDrive solution portfolio to include additional models of all-electric drivetrains and full vehicle electrification kits for commercial vehicles spanning class 4 through 8.

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Cypress introduces new automotive microcontrollers for secure, high-speed networking in instrument clusters and body applications

Cypress Semiconductor Corp. is sampling new devices in its Traveo automotive microcontroller (MCU) family that provides secure, high-speed networking for classic instrument cluster applications. The new MCUs support the Controller Area Network Flexible Data-rate (CAN FD) standard for high-speed, in-vehicle networking, allowing large amounts of data to be exchanged between each CAN node.

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Continental to showcase new efficient hoses and lines for EV battery pack thermal management at IAA

Continental will exhibit hoses and lines that increase the efficiency—and thus the range delivered and durability—of the batteries in electric vehicles at the IAA 2107 show in Frankfurt am Main in September.

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Ricardo to help FMC engineer a new family of electric vehicles for global markets

Ricardo has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with China-based startup Future Mobility Corporation (FMC) to provide engineering support in the development of a family of state-of-the-art electric vehicles, aimed at offering affordable quality and performance to customers in Asia, North America and Europe.

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Siemens invests more in ChargePoint, helps bring Series G round to $125M; bolstering Euro expansion

ChargePoint has secured an additional $43 million in funding. With participation from technology leader Siemens, this new funding will help to further accelerate the company’s commitment to e-mobility across Europe. The latest funding follows an initial $82 million investment and closes the total Series G round at $125 million, led by Daimler.

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MacGregor and ESL Shipping jointly develop and test autonomous discharging feature on cranes on two LNG bulk carriers

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, and ESL Shipping Oy, part of Aspo Plc, have agreed to develop and test jointly an autonomous discharging feature on MacGregor bulk handling cranes. The cranes will be fitted on board ESL Shipping’s two new liquefied natural gas-powered handysize bulk carriers.

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EIA: US ethanol production capacity continues to increase

Fuel ethanol production capacity in the United States reached 15.5 billion gallons per year, or 1.01 million barrels per day (b/d), at the beginning of 2017, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) most recent US Fuel Ethanol Plant Production Capacity report. Total capacity of operable ethanol plants increased by about 4%—more than 600 million gallons per year—between January 2016 and January 2017.

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PG&E launches $4M rebate program for customers using compressed natural gas as transportation fuel

June 28, 2017

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) launched the new Clean Fuel Rebate program for customers driving vehicles using compressed natural gas as a clean transportation fuel. Eligible customers already have a compressed natural gas account and fill up at PG&E stations across Northern and Central California. The first rebate will be issued in 2017 and is expected to be an annual rebate through 2020.

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Xylogenics releases new strain design for patented GX-1 yeast technology

Xylogenics released a new strain design for its patented GX-1 yeast production and fermentation process.  The efficiencies created by the newest strain design will have an immediate impact on industries that rely on micro-organism technologies—most notably the ethanol industry wherein individual production plants are planning to invest upwards of $350 million annually on yeast technology advancements.

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Daimler and LBBW successfully utilize blockchain technology for launch of corporate Schuldschein

Daimler AG and Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW) for the first time have jointly used blockchain technology to execute a financial transaction. Daimler and LBBW successfully tested this innovative technology for capital markets in parallel with the process that is required by regulatory authorities.

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BASF to sell electrolytes manufacturing site in Suzhou to Shenzhen Capchem

BASF recently signed an agreement to sell its electrolytes manufacturing site in Suzhou, China, to Shenzhen Capchem Technology Co., Ltd. (Capchem), one of the leading suppliers in the global electronic-chemicals and functional materials industry. Financial details of the transaction will not be disclosed.

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BMW i Ventures makes strategic investment in Xometry; manufacturing on demand

BMW i Ventures has made a strategic investment in Xometry, an on-demand manufacturing platform that provides product designers and engineers access to a nationwide network of manufacturing facilities.

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Every tenth kilometer driven in a car2go is electric

June 27, 2017

Daimler’s carsharing company car2go now has 300,000 customers at three purely electric locations who regularly drive 1,400 electric vehicles. Around 10,000 journeys are made per day. car2go customers have already driven a total of 57.3 million purely electric kilometers. That is equivalent to 1,429 trips around the earth or as many tons of CO2 that 12.3 million oak trees or 24,000 hectares of spruce forest could absorb in a year. “We are convinced that the future of carsharing is electric”, says Olivier Reppert, CEO of car2go.

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German government setting up National Forum on measures to reduce diesel car #NOx emissions

German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt and Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks have agreed to establish a National Forum on measures to reduceNOx emissions from diesel passenger cars while at the same time ensuring mobility.

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Mexico CRE approves 10% ethanol blend in country except for three metropolitan zones

The Governing Body of Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) recently approved improvements to the Official Mexican Standard NOM-016-CRE-2016 Oil quality specifications, with the intention of introducing more options in products to the Mexican market, while simplifying regulation. Among the changes, the standard now allows the increase of the percentage of ethanol in gasolines from six to ten percent in the whole country, except for the Metropolitan Zones of the Valley of Mexico, Guadalajara and Monterrey.

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Aston Martin confirms limited production run of all-electric RapidE for 2019

Aston Martin confirmed that the all-electric RapidE (earlier post) will enter production in 2019 in a limited run of 155 units.

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Volvo Cars and Autoliv team up with NVIDIA to develop advanced systems for self-driving cars

Volvo Cars, automotive safety systems provider Autoliv, and NVIDIA are teaming up to develop advanced systems and software for self-driving cars. The three companies will work together with Zenuity, a newly-formed automotive software development joint venture equally owned by Volvo Cars and Autoliv (earlier post), to develop next generation self-driving car technologies. Volvo Cars is committed to having Level 4 autonomous cars for sale by 2021.

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BMW Spartanburg plant now largest manufacturing facility in the BMW Group production network

June 26, 2017

On 23 June 1992, the BMW Group announced its decision to build its US plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Continuous expansion of the plant with extensive additions and the decision to build the successful BMW X models in Spartanburg have made the plant the largest manufacturing facility in the BMW Group production network within the space of 25 years. During the ceremony to mark the anniversary, the all-new BMW X3 rolled off the production line in Spartanburg. More than 1.5 million BMW X3 vehicles have been delivered to customers worldwide since it was first launched at the end of 2003. The new BMW X3 will be launched in fall 2017.

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Faurecia to equip 20,000 Seoul buses and trucks with Amminex NOx reduction technology

Faurecia has won a contract to retrofit 20,000 Seoul buses and commercial vehicles using its Amminex technology. Amminex has developed an Ammonia Storage and Delivery System (ASDS) which has demonstrated its efficiency to almost completely eliminate NOx from diesel engines. (Earlier post.)

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Toyota invests in V2X chipset company Autotalks

Israel-based Autotalks, a developer in V2X (Vehicle to Everything) communication chipsets (earlier post), has completed its Series D round with about $40 million in investments, an oversubscription of $10 million. The increased investment amount is a result of new investments from investors such as Mirai Creation Investment Fund, of which the principal investors are Toyota Motor Corporation and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and is managed by SPARX Group. Additionally, current Autotalks’ investors increased their investment in the company.

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ECS and Toyota announce three 2017-2018 Fellowship winners for projects in green energy technology

The ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship Selection Committee has selected three winners who will receive $50,000 fellowship awards each for projects in green energy technology. The awardees are Dr. Ahmet Kusoglu, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Professor Julie Renner, Case Western Reserve University; and Professor Shuhui Sun, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS).

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Small-scale GTL company Velocys targeting biomass to diesel and jet for US market

Velocys plc, a provider of technology for smaller scale gas-to-liquids (GTL), is planning a new strategy under which it will focus on building plants that convert woody biomass to high-specification renewable diesel and jet fuel for the US market.

Currently, Velocys technology is producing Fischer-Tropsch (FT) product at ENVIA. The operational data from the FT units meet the set performance requirements at commercial scale, according to David Pummell, Velocys CEO.

Our route to the production of renewable fuels from woody biomass uses cost effective, abundant and entirely sustainable feedstock, allowing our solution to be highly scalable to meet the increased demand for renewable fuels. All of this contributes to our differentiated value proposition to the market.

We believe our business model will enable Velocys, with its strategic partners, to build a supply leadership position in this market over the next 10 years, by delivering economically differentiated, financed, operations ready plants, and do it reliably again and again.

—David Pummell

Pummell said that Velocys has engaged IHI E&C to carry out the pre-FEED engineering study for our first biomass-to-liquids (BTL) plant; Velocys has also selected TRI as its strategic partner for gasification technology and is now in the process of selecting other licensed technologies.

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Long term exposure to aircraft noise linked to high blood pressure

A study by researchers in Greece, the UK and The Netherlands links long term exposure to aircraft noise, particularly during the night, to an increased risk of developing high blood pressure and possibly heart flutter and stroke as well. The paper is published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

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Nemaska Lithium delivers battery-grade lithium hydroxide to Johnson Matthey

June 25, 2017

Canada-based Nemaska Lithium has sent a second shipment of 3.5t of lithium hydroxide to Johnson Matthey, a large and globally recognized cathode manufacturer for lithium-ion batteries. Both Johnson Matthey and Nemaska Lithium confirm that this shipment meets Johnson Matthey's lithium hydroxide specifications.

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California opens 28th retail hydrogen station

June 24, 2017

The 24th hydrogen retail station in California has opened. Sited in the City of Lawndale, the station is open 24 hours—like most of California’s retail hydrogen stations.

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Maker of 3-wheeler EV Arcimoto files for IPO under Reg A

Arcimoto, the maker of a three-wheeled electric “Fun Utility Vehicle”, has filed its Form 1-A Offering Circular for the offering of common stock under SEC Regulation A, setting the stage for a potential future listing on the NASDAQ Capital Market. The relatively new changes to Regulation A provide a more capital-efficient pathway for market-entry technology companies, such as Arcimoto, to offer equity to the general public. WR Hambrecht + Co is acting as the sole and exclusive underwriter for the Reg A+ IPO for Arcimoto.

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Volvo Buses receives order for 13 electric buses from Malmö; largest single order to date

June 23, 2017

Bus operator Nobina has ordered 13 electric Volvo buses, which will operate in Malmö, Sweden from the end of next year. This is the biggest single order so far for the Volvo 7900 Electric and marks one of the biggest drives for all-electric bus traffic in Sweden.

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Park City Transit deploying six Proterra electric buses; battery-lease financing model

Park City Transit has deployed Utah’s first zero-emission, battery-electric mass transit fleet, which will include six Proterra Catalyst FC+ buses.

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Frost & Sullivan: safety & emission regulations drives top 30 tech features of N. American OEMs

Frost & Sullivan’s latest Analysis of Top 30 Features of Mass Market and Luxury OEMs in North America, 2016-2025, finds that government mandates on emission and safety innovation in automotive technology is driving OEMs to make major investments in technology development across six clusters including powertrain; chassis; safety; comfort; connectivity; and EV technology within the mass and luxury OEMs market in North America.

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Peugeot returns to the pick-up market in Africa; 2.5L diesel

Peugeot has unveiled the new Peugeot Pick Up. This signals the return of Peugeot to the pick-up market within the African continent to accelerate the internationalization of the brand. The new Peugeot Pick Up goes on sale in September.

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Massachusetts approves testing of Optimus Ride autonomous vehicles in Boston

Optimus Ride, a MIT spinoff company developing self-driving technology, recently received approval from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to test highly automated vehicles in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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Shenzhen Wuzhoulong Motors unveils 12m electric bus for China market; UQM PowerPhase DT drive system

Shenzhen Wuzhoulong Motors, a new energy bus manufacturer, recently unveiled an electric 12-meter bus for the China market, powered by the UQM electric drive system. Wuzhoulong Motors announced this bus at the Shenzhen International Electric Tradeshow as the Wuzhoulong F2 Felicity 12-meter fast charge high performance bus.

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USDOT releases integrated ITS Reference Architecture with connected vehicle capabilities

June 22, 2017

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Joint Program Office has released of the first version of the ITS National Reference Architecture to fully incorporate connected vehicle capabilities in detail. Version 8.0 of the Architecture Reference for Cooperative and Intelligent Transportation (ARC-IT) and its accompanying software tools are available at no cost from www.arc-it.net.

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Lightning Systems receives California ARB executive order for aftermarket hydraulic hybrid vehicle conversions for Ford E-450s

Lightning Systems announced that its LightningHybrids hydraulic hybrid system has received an Executive Order from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) allowing aftermarket conversions of gasoline-powered 2016 model year Ford E-450 vehicles.

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DOE to invest $20M in new oil and gas research projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced the availability of $20 million for cost-shared oil and gas research projects to increase recovery efficiency from unconventional oil and gas wells and to prevent offshore spills and leaks. DE-FOA-0001722 Funded projects will cover three topic areas—two addressing unconventional oil and gas recovery and one focused on offshore oil and gas leak prevention.

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ElectriPlast’s conductive plastic selected by European electric car maker

ElectriPlast Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Integral Technologies, Inc., has been chosen by a leading European electric luxury SUV maker to provide conductive plastic material for use in a high-voltage connector. ElectriPlast has been engaged with a North American automotive Tier 1 for the past year in bringing this application to market. The electric SUV is expected to make its European debut in late 2017. This marks the second ElectriPlast order for use in an electric vehicle platform so far this year.

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Audi to begin production of e-tron Sportback in 2019; second new electric model for Brussels

June 21, 2017

Audi will begin production of the Audi e-tron Sportback—Audi’s second production electric car—at Audi Brussels (Belgium) in 2019. The Audi e-tron electric SUV—the first electric model—will drive off the assembly line there as of 2018.

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EIA: US refineries running at record-high levels; increased capacity; inventory, product and exports

Gross inputs to US petroleum refineries (refinery runs) averaged a record high 17.7 million barrels per day (b/d) for the week ending 26 May, before dropping slightly to 17.5 million b/d for the week ending 2 June and 17.6 million b/d for the week ending 9 June, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Product supplied to the US market as well as inventories and exports are also at relatively high levels.

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Polestar to develop electrified performance brand for Volvo Cars

Volvo Cars announced that Polestar, its performance car arm, is to become a new separately-branded electrified global high performance car company, marking the latest stage in Volvo’s ongoing transformation.

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GM Maven Gig expands to San Francisco

GM’s Maven Gig (earlier post) is expanding its initial offering in San Diego to now include San Francisco. The service will launch in Los Angeles later this year. Maven has partnered with industry-leading apps in package delivery, food delivery and ride-hailing, creating a one-stop shop to maximize earning potential for gig drivers. Initial partners include GrubHub, Instacart, Roadie and ridesharing services.

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