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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.]

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

February 28, 2017

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

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

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

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

February 27, 2017

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

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Nissan showcases on-road autonomous vehicle testing in Europe

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

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

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

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Startup Embark unveils self-driving truck

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

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

February 24, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Waymo suing Otto and Uber over autonomous driving technology

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

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Shell opens its first hydrogen fueling forecourt station in UK

February 23, 2017

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

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

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

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

February 22, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

February 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

The €8.5-million (US$9-million) INTEGRAL project to develop thermoelectric generator technology for application in vehicles and remote sensors has kicked off. INTEGRAL is an Innovation Action project coordinated by CEA within the PILOTS-01-2016 call of the European Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. The European Commission is provided €7 million of the funding. The consortium is composed of 12 partners from 8 European countries:

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

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

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

February 19, 2017

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

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

February 17, 2017

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

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

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

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BIOX commissions 90M gallon biodiesel production facility in Houston

BIOX Corporation announced that World Energy BIOX Biofuels LLC (WEBB), a 50/50 joint venture between World Energy and BIOX, has completed the commissioning of its 90-million US gallon (USG) (341 million liters) nameplate capacity biodiesel production facility in Houston, Texas. The facility started operating at full capacity in December 2016.

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Ace Ethanol to install D3MAX cellulosic ethanol pilot plant; “bolt-on” technology

D3MAX announced the completion and shipment of its pilot plant employing the patented D3MAX cellulosic ethanol technology. The pilot facility will be installed at ACE Ethanol, LLC, in Stanley, Wisconsin, in late February. Installation is expected to be complete by mid-March with startup and testing at the facility taking place over the ensuing two months.

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SEAT Componentes to manufacture new 6-speed manual for Volkswagen Group MQB platform; 450K units/year

February 16, 2017

The SEAT Componentes plant has been awarded the Volkswagen Group’s new MQ281 gearbox, a 6-speed manual gearbox that will be equipped in vehicles manufactured with the MQB platform. Located in El Prat de Llobregat, this is one of the facilities owned by the Volkswagen Group worldwide for the manufacture of transmissions, together with the ones in Kassel (Germany), Mladá Boleslav and Vrchlabi (Czech Republic), Córdoba (Argentina) and the four plants located in China (Tianjin, Dalian, Changchun and Anting).

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Honda R&D partners with new smart mobility innovation center DRIVE in Israel

Honda Silicon Valley Lab (HSVL) of Honda R&D Americas, Inc. is partnering with DRIVE, a new smart mobility innovation center that today in Tel Aviv, Israel. Founded by Mayer Group, DRIVE will foster enhanced collaboration between Honda R&D and Israeli transportation innovators.

With a booming tech sector in Israel, the DRIVE center is focused on supporting startups and entrepreneurs of all stages, with a startup accelerator, advanced prototyping labs, meeting rooms and shared workspace that encourage networking and collaboration. Israel is home to more than 5,000 startups and 750 venture-capital-backed companies.

As a DRIVE partner, Honda will actively engage with startups through its Honda Xcelerator open innovation program by providing expertise, funding and rapid prototyping opportunities that may evolve into additional business relationships. These activities will enable startups to receive accelerated validation of their technology and business model and, in turn, allow Honda to deepen its relationships with Israeli entrepreneurs.

Also supporting the DRIVE initiative with Honda are sponsors Hertz Rent a Car International, Israeli telematics company Ituran and Volvo Cars.

Since announcing its partnership a year ago with OurCrowd, a leading global equity crowdfunding platform, Honda has continued to foster collaboration opportunities with Israel’s tech community.

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GENIVI Alliance and Open Connectivity Foundation to collaborate on open standards in vehicle connectivity

February 15, 2017

The GENIVI Alliance, a community developing open source software and standards for the connected car and the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF), an Internet of Things (IoT) standards body, announced a liaison agreement. Under this agreement the two organizations will co-develop open standards for vehicle connectivity and vehicle data exchange, including a unified model for secure discovery and exchange of information between smart homes, connected cars and other IoT devices.

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Nemaska Lithium achieves Phase 1 plant milestone and triggers $3M installment payment from Johnson Matthey Battery Materials

Nemaska Lithium Inc. has received a $3-million installment payment from Johnson Matthey Battery Materials Ltd (JMBM) of Candiac, Québec, a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson Matthey Plc. The installment payment was made after JMBM’s review and acceptance of the Operation Manuals for the Phase 1 Plant and receipt by Nemaska Lithium of the certificate of authorization to operate the Phase 1 Plant.

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Ballard builds out China operations center for expanding fuel cell business

Ballard Power Systems has opened its first corporate office headquartered in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province, China. This office will serve as the company’s initial operations center in China, supporting management, sales and business development, technical, after-sales and administrative support personnel. Thecompany also recently completed the registration of a wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE) with the name of 广州市巴拉德动力系统有限公司 (Guangzhou Ballard Power Systems Co., Ltd.).

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GM, PSA discussing potential acquisition of Opel Vauxhall by PSA

General Motors and PSA Group are discussing, in the framework of exploring strategic initiatives, the potential acquisition of GM’s European operations as represented by Opel Vauxhall by PSA.

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Report: A123 Systems wins $1B contract to supply Li-ion batteries for 48V systems to SAIC-GM

February 14, 2017

Automotive News China reports that Li-ion battery maker A123 Systems won a 6.9-billion CNY (US$1 billion) contract to supply 2.6 million Li-ion batteries for 48V systems to the SAIC-GM joint venture in China.

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ABB to charge the largest single network of 101 electric buses in Europe using open industry standard OppCharge

ABB has received an order for a further 12 bus charging systems from Volvo Buses to power the largest single network

of electric buses and bus charging systems in Europe. The order will include installation sites in Charleroi, Belgium, providing 15 ABB charging stations in total by 2018, to power 101 Volvo electric hybrid buses in the Wallonia public transport system, operated by TEC Group. In January, ABB inaugurated the first two OppCharge bus charging stations ordered in February 2016, to power eleven electric hybrid buses running within a new zero- emissions zone in the city center of Namur. (Earlier post.)

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NanoSteel closes new equity round led by GM Ventures; NanoSteel AHSS in validation testing with 10+ automakers

February 13, 2017

Nanostructured steel materials company NanoSteel (earlier post) closeda new round of equity investment led by GM Ventures. The financing included new investors Lear Corporation, a leading automotive seating systems and electrical systems supplier, and SPDG, a single family office based in Brussels, in addition to the company’s existing major shareholders. Proceeds from the investment round will be used for the commercialization of NanoSteel’s advanced high strength sheet steel (AHSS) for automotive lightweighting applications.

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ABB installs two OppCharge fast chargers for electric hybrid buses in Luxembourg City

ABB has installed two fast-chargers for electric hybrid buses at Luxembourg City’s central station. The chargers are based on OppCharge, an open interface for the automated charging of electric buses from any manufacturer (earlier post), and use a pantograph on the infrastructure to connect the bus to the charging point.

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State of South Carolina purchases 26 Blue Bird Vision Propane school buses

The state of South Carolina has purchased 26 new Blue Bird Vision Propane school buses to replace aging diesel buses. The first of the alternative-fueled buses are being deployed to service Dorchester and Berkeley counties.

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BMW partners with QMerit to launch new BMW Installation Services digital platform for home charging

BMW of North America announced that QMerit will provide BMW i and BMW iPerformance drivers with customized installation of home charging solutions to enable convenient and reliable vehicle charging. Customers can begin the BMW Installation Services process at www.bmwcharging.com.

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ABB and Nova Bus collaborating on electric buses and charging in North America; OppCharge overhead 300kW DC fast charge

February 10, 2017

Engineering company ABB and Nova Bus, the North American buses manufacturer and a division of Volvo Buses, announced a business collaboration that consists of the delivery of the first ABB’s electric bus DC fast charger for opportunity charging in North America. The order from Nova Bus is for complete 300 kW modular OppCharge common interface charging system with inverted pantograph technology and commissioning from the new ABB Campus in Montréal.

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Volkswagen to use Sierra Wireless for next-gen connected vehicles

Volkswagen has selected Sierra Wireless AirPrime AR Series modules and the Legato platform for its next generation of connected cars. Sierra Wireless’ integrated 4G technology will reach the market beginning in 2018 in several Volkswagen models worldwide.

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Waitrose launches fleet of biomethane-fueled trucks with 500-mile range

The UK supermarket group Waitrose has introduced a fleet of CNG (compressed natural gas)-powered trucks with a range of up to 500 miles. They trucks, which use advanced technology developed jointly with Scania and Agility Fuel Solutions, will be fueled with biomethane from CNG Fuels.

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Oerlikon expands additive manufacturing R&D and production capacity in the US

Oerlikon is expanding its global additive manufacturing (AM) business with a state-of-the-art R&D and production facility for additively manufactured advanced components in the Charlotte metro area in North Carolina, USA. Oerlikon will invest around CHF 55 million (US$55 million) in this facility in 2017 and 2018, and expects to create more than 100 new jobs at this site over the longer term.

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Jato Dynamics: global auto sales up 5.6% in 2016, SUVs continue to surge

February 09, 2017

Global automotive industry sales rose 5.6% in 2016 to 84.24 million units (LCVs and passenger cars), according to data released by JATO Dynamics. Declines in Japan, Russia and Brazil were offset by strong results in China and Europe, said Felipe Munoz, JATO’s Global Analyst. Global demand for SUVs continued, with significant sales increases in the segment across South East Asia, Europe and China.

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Allison Transmission and Cummins receive certification from ARB for MY2017 H 40/50 EP hybrid systems

Allison Transmission Holdings and Cumminshave received certification from the California Air Resources Board (ARB) for model year 2017 Allison Hybrid H 40 EP / H 50 EP hybrid propulsion systems paired with the Cummins B6.7 and L9 diesel engines used in transit buses and coaches.

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Johnson Controls partners with and invests in Aqua Metals for lead-acid battery recycling technology

Johnson Controls (JCI), the world’s largest manufacturer of automotive batteries, finalized an agreement with Aqua Metals covering North America, China and Europe for its cutting-edge electrochemical battery recycling technology. (Earlier post.) Under terms of a multi-faceted deal, the company is investing in Aqua Metals (AQMS) and licensing the technology.

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Scania starts trials of battery-electric buses

Scania will start its first field tests of coming battery electric buses in the northern Swedish city of Östersund. Three Scania Citywide LF buses will be in operation from the end of 2017 with an additional three buses added in early 2019.

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Plug Power ships first production fuel cell Progen systems for EV range extenders for FedEx Freight

Plug Power Inc. has shipped the first production ProGen fuel cell systems for use as range extenders in electric delivery vehicles. Through this application, Plug Power extends its reach into the on-road electric vehicle market, increasing its served market for fuel cell products and hydrogen fueling stations.

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Omnitek developing 18L natural gas engine for off-road construction vehicle applications

February 08, 2017

Omnitek Engineering Corp. will participate in a $1.5-million California Energy Commission grant (GFO-16-506) study with its partner Olson-Ecologic Testing Laboratories to demonstrate its clean natural gas engine technology for off-road heavy duty construction vehicle applications in the greater Los Angeles area.

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UMTRI: average fuel economy of new vehicles in US in January up from December

The average fuel economy (window-sticker value) of new vehicles sold in the US in January was 25.1 mpg (9.36 l/100 km)—up 0.1 mpg from the revised value for December, according to the latest monthly report from Dr. Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).  This change likely reflects the increased price of gasoline in January, they suggested. 

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Swedish ESPLANADE project developing common safety methodology for autonomous vehicles

The Swedish automotive industry is working alongside academia and specialists in a comprehensive research project called ESPLANADE (Efficient and Safe Product Lines of Architectures eNabling Autonomous DrivE), to create a vital common safety methodology for autonomous vehicles.

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Westport and Volvo Car to introduce V90 Bi-Fuel into Belgium and Luxembourg

Westport AB, a Westport Fuel Systems company, announced that Volvo Car will introduce the Bi-Fuel version of its new V90 station wagon in Belgium and Luxembourg. Unveiled at the 95th European Motor Show in Brussels in January, the Volvo V90 Bi-Fuel is now available for order at participating Volvo dealers; deliveries are scheduled for May 2017.

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5 European fast charging networks form Open Fast Charging Alliance

February 07, 2017

Five European fast charging networks have formed the Open Fast Charging Alliance. This alliance members will enable roaming to create a premium network of fast chargers all over Europe.

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California shipping company to fuel CWI ISL G Near Zero NOx engines with biomethane; 70% less GHG than diesel trucks

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. signed a fueling agreement with Mountain Valley Express, an express shipping company based out of Manteca, California, that has purchased nine Heavy-Duty trucks equipped with the new Cummins Westport ISL G Near Zero NOx natural gas engine. (Earlier post.) The fueling agreement will allow Mountain Valley to use Clean Energy’s Redeem brand of renewable natural gas (RNG) vehicle fuel for the new trucks.

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BMW i Ventures makes strategic investment in 3D printing company Desktop Metal in Series C round

BMW i Ventures has made a strategic investment in Desktop Metal, an emerging startup with the mission to bring metal 3D printing within reach of all design and manufacturing teams. The investment comes as part of Desktop Metal’s $45-million C round of financing, led by GV (formerly Google Ventures), as well as BMW i Ventures and Lowe’s Ventures. Desktop Metal will use the funding to continue to develop its technology and scale production as the company prepares for its product launch later this year.

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Lucid Air on the road in SF Bay area

Luxury EV startup Lucid Motors (earlier post) released a video of the Lucid Air (earlier post) on the road in the San Francisco Bay area.

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Infineon, STMicroelectronics join CharIN to support global standards in EV charging

Infineon Technologies AG and STMicroelectronics recently joined the global Charging Interface Initiative e.V. (CharIN). CharIN was founded by Audi, BMW, Daimler, Mennekes, Opel, Phoenix Contact, Porsche, TÜV SÜD and Volkswagen to focus on developing and establishing the Combined Charging System (CCS) as the standard for charging battery-powered electric vehicles of all kinds. (Earlier post.)

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First product at ENVIA Energy’s small-scale GTL plant in Oklahoma City; Velocys technology

February 06, 2017

The first Fischer-Tropsch product has been successfully produced at ENVIA Energy’s GTL plant in Oklahoma City. The ENVIA plant uses Velocys technology for small-scale GTL.

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Volkswagen to build first production MEB electric vehicle at Zwickau in 2019

Volkswagen’s Zwickau plant in Saxony, Germany will build the brand’s first production vehicle based on the MEB—the Modular Electric Drive kit, Modularer Elektrifizierungsbaukastenin—2019. (Earlier post.) Volkswagen’s main Wolfsburg plant and the Emden plant will also produce MEB vehicles.

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Toyota and Suzuki conclude memorandum toward business partnership; environment and safety, IT and mutual supply of products and components

Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) and Suzuki Motor Corporation (Suzuki) have concluded a memorandum on beginning concrete examinations for business partnership. Toyota and Suzuki have agreed to start exploring ideas directed toward business partnership on 12 October 2016. Since then, the companies, have shared with each other their challenges and have been discussing areas of collaboration in a manner that ensures fair and free competition.

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US and Belgium sign nuclear energy R&D collaboration agreement

February 04, 2017

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) and Belgium’s Studiecentrum voor Kernenergie/Centre d’Etude de l’Energie Nucléaire (SCK•CEN) (also known as the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerning cooperation in nuclear energy research and development.

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Singapore MPA, DNV GL expand R&D partnership to include autonomous systems and intelligent shipping

February 03, 2017

DNV GL and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) renewed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to promote research and development (R&D) and innovation in the maritime industry. Given the growing need to create safer and more efficient solutions for the maritime industry, this renewed MOU will have an expanded scope to include the R&D of intelligent shipping systems.

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Hexcel makes $10M 2nd round investment in 3D printing company Oxford Performance Materials

Oxford Performance Materials, Inc. (OPM), a leader in advanced materials science and high performance additive manufacturing (HPAM), closed on an additional round of strategic investment from Hexcel Corporation. In May 2016, OPM and Hexcel announced an initial strategic investment from Hexcel of $15 million. The second round of investment from Hexcel is $10 million, for a total equity investment of $25 million to date.

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Nissan to introduce diesel 4WD off-road project van at Chicago show

The Nissan NV Cargo X project vehicle, arguably the most extreme version of Nissan Commercial Vehicles’ flagship NV Cargo van ever created, will make its world auto show debut at the upcoming 2017 Chicago Auto Show. Built in partnership with legendary off-road builder Ian Johnson, the NV Cargo X stands more than seven-and-a-half feet tall on 37-inch tires and is powered by a Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel transplanted from a Nissan TITAN XD full-size pickup.

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Schaeffler and Factory Berlin enter cooperation agreement

February 02, 2017

Schaeffler and the Factory Berlin startup campus have signed a cooperation agreement for an “innovation hub.” It is intended to offer automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler a professional environment and ideal resources for its digitalization and innovation initiatives.

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McLaren introducing new generation Proactive Chassis Control with upcoming new Super Series

The second-generation McLaren Super Series, which will make its public debut at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show, will have the widest breadth of dynamic ability of any McLaren and set new standards for Super Series’ cornering performance, driver enjoyment and ride comfort. An advanced new generation of McLaren’s multi-mode, Proactive Chassis Control iskey to the elevated dynamic performance of the new McLaren supercar.

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Nissan e-NV200 was Europe’s best-selling electric van in 2016; sales up 7%

The Nissan e-NV200 was Europe’s best-selling electric van in 2016. The award-winning all-electric van ranked number one in 17 countries across Europe, ahead of its competitors in the category.

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UK government awards ULEMCo £1.3M for hydrogen dual-fuel trials

February 01, 2017

UK-based ULEMCo, a developer of a hydrogen-diesel dual-fuel conversion system (earlier post), has been awarded Government funding to trial a range of vehicles with hydrogen dual-fuel technology. The funding is worth more than £1.3 million (US$1.6 million), and will see large vans and trucks running on hydrogen dual-fuel. The overall aim of the larger £20-million (US$25-million) program recently announced by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) is to cut emissions and improve air quality through use of cleaner fuel and electric vehicles.

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ClearMotion raises $100M to commercialize digital chassis

MIT spin-out ClearMotion, Inc., an automotive technology company developing a “digital chassis”, announced a $100-million Series C preferred stock financing led by clients advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management, with participation from New Enterprise Associates (NEA); Qualcomm Ventures; World Innovation Lab (WiL); and Eileses Capital. This round brings the company’s total investment to date to over $130 million.

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Total and shipping group CMA CGM sign MoU for multifuel solutions; low-sulfur fuel oil and LNG

Total, the world’s fourth-ranked international oil and gas company, and CMA CGM, a leading worldwide shipping group, have signed a three-year memorandum of understanding to supply a range of multifuel solutions. The two partners will be combining their expertise to prepare for stricter fuel regulations in the shipping industry and further reduce the sector’s footprint by developing solutions that make container ships ever more environmentally-friendly.

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ATR and Sweden’s BRA perform first ATR biofuel flight with 45% blend

An ATR 72-600 turboprop of the Swedish carrier BRA (former Braathens Regional) took off from Stockholm-Bromma to Umeå fueled with a 45% biofuel blend, marking the first biofuel-powered flight of an ATR aircraft.

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DOE awarding up to $30M to 13 projects to integrate solar into US grid

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) SunShot Initiative will award up to $30 million to 13 new projects to support the integration of solar energy into US electric grid, while diversifying the nation’s electricity sources and improving the reliability and security of the electric grid.

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Maxwell expands partnership with CRRC to localize ultracapacitor module production for the China bus market

Maxwell Technologies, a leading developer and manufacturer of capacitive energy storage and power delivery solutions, announced a definitive agreement with CRRC Qingdao Sifang Rolling Stock Research Institute Co. Ltd. (CRRC-SRI) to localize manufacturing of its ultracapacitor-based modules for use in the China new energy bus market.

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Daimler and Uber parter on autonomous vehicles

January 31, 2017

Daimler and Uber announced an agreement on their intent to cooperate on the supply and operation of self-driving vehicles. Under the terms of the cooperation Daimler plans to introduce self-driving vehicles on Uber’s global ridesharing network in the coming years. Daimler is the first auto company to join with Uber as it opens up its platform for manufacturers to introduce their own self-driving cars.

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Volvo Buses has sold 3,000 electrified buses worldwide

Volvo Buses has sold 3,000 hybrid, electric hybrid and electric buses to customers in 22 countries in Europe, South America, Asia and Australia. In 2016 alone, Volvo sold 533 electrified buses.

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Bloomberg Intelligence: US border tax could boost gasoline prices average $0.30/gallon

If the proposed broad 20% border-adjustment tax were implemented and applied to the energy sector, the result would likely lead to a large increase in gasoline prices and a big premium in domestic oil prices vs. international, according to new analysis by Bloomberg Intelligence. Pump prices could rise an average $0.30 per gallon, with more sticker shock on the East Coast, which needs to import octane components as well as crude.

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Toyota begins using fuel cell forklifts at Motomachi plant

Toyota Motor Corporation has begun using two fuel cell forklifts, which have been manufactured by Toyota Industries Corporation, at its Motomachi Plant located in Toyota City.

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Konrad Technologies and SET collaborate on custom testing for Advanced Assistance Systems (ADAS); sensor fusion and Hardware in the Loop (HiL)

Konrad Technologies GmbH, a specialist on sensor fusion for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), and SET GmbH, a specialist on Hardware in the Loop (HiL) testing, are joining their knowledge and skills to develop custom testing systems in the area of driver assistance systems.

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Bosch collaborating with Eguana on Home Battery System

January 30, 2017

Eguana Technologies, a provider of power conversion and control systems for distributed energy storage, and Bosch are collaborating on the Home Battery System (HBS) project. The Home Battery system and a summary of results to date will be on display at DistribuTECH in San Diego later this week.

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Sales of Neste MY Renewable Diesel expands to Neste Truck stations for heavy vehicles in Finland

The distribution of Neste MY Renewable Diesel, produced entirely from waste and residues, has expanded to the Neste Truck network for heavy vehicles in Finland. The product enables up to 90% lower greenhouse gas emissions throughout the life cycle of the fuel compared to conventional fossil diesel.

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Study offers new insights into solidification cracking during welding of steel

New research led by the University of Leicester in the UK has made a novel breakthrough in understanding how solidification cracking occurs during the welding of steel, an important engineering alloy. In an open-access paper in the journal Scientific Reports, the team proposes that solidification cracks grow by linking micro-porosities in the meshing zone in the solidifying weld pool. This is the first time that researchers have observed solidification cracking in steel and sheds new light on why the alloy may crack during the process.

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Uber, Lyft respond to Trump ban on entry to US from targeted countries

Last Friday, President Trump signed an executive order suspending “immigrant and nonimmigrant entry” into the US from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen for 90 days, with the potential for adding further countries of origin to the list of proscribed. Ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft, both of which have drivers affected by the order, responded quickly with actions to stand against the order and to support their respective driver communities.

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PSA Group makes electric commercial vehicles available for car sharing in Paris

January 28, 2017

The city of Paris recently launched the electric commercial vehicle car sharing service for professionals, “VULe Partagés”. PSA Group is providing 80% of the vehicle fleet put into service.

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Stanadyne and BYC form alliance to supply integrated diesel common rail fuel systems

Stanadyne, a fuel injection systems developer based in Windsor, Connecticut, and BYC (ASIMCO Tianwei) a fuel injection systems developer based in Beijing, China, have formed of a strategic alliance to bring diesel common rail (DCR) fuel systems to the global market. Both companies, which specialize in elements of DCR fuel systems, will blend their respective expertise to create complete, co-branded fuel systems for engine makers.

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Ford SmartLink OBD plug-in upgrades Ford 2010-2016 vehicles for connectivity

January 27, 2017

Using a simple device that plugs into the OBD II port below the steering wheel, Ford SmartLink will give Ford customers who own 2010 – 2016 model year Ford and Lincoln vehicles that are not equipped with a modem access to:

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Blue Bird developing battery-electric V2G school bus in $9M+ project; demo fleet in California in 2019

In December 2016, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it would be awarding $15M to organizations in an effort to accelerate the adoption of advanced and alternative fuel vehicles. Blue Bird Corporation, a bus manufacturer located in Fort Valley, GA, was presented the largest amount at $4.4M in order to develop a zero-emissions, 100% V2G electric school bus. (Earlier post.)

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UC Irvine acquiring 20 electric buses from BYD to convert fleet to all-electric

The University of California, Irvine is poised to be the first college campus in the US to convert its buses to an all-electric fleet. The student-funded and -operated Anteater Express shuttle service is acquiring 20 buses from BYD for $15 million.

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McLaren Racing signs new four-year partnership with Stratasys to bring additive manufacturing to Formula 1

McLaren Racing and Stratasys entered a new four-year partnership under which Stratasys will supply McLaren Racing with a suite of 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions, as the Official Supplier of 3D Printing Solutions to the McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team. Stratasys will work closely with the grand prix outfit as it ramps up its rapid manufacturing capacity at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, UK.

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TransCanada re-applies for Keystone XL Presidential Permit; Trump wants permitting determination in 60 days

Two days after President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum inviting TransCanada to “promptly re-submit its application to the Department of State for a Presidential permit for the construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline,” the company has done so.

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Traveling Finnish sauna touring US to use Neste renewable diesel on the West Coast

January 26, 2017

Throughout 2017, a fully-functional Finnish sauna on wheels will travel 12,000 miles across the US. Neste’s low-carbon drop-in renewable diesel called Neste MY Renewable Diesel will be used to fuel the truck carrying the sauna while traveling along the UUS West Coast.

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New GM SDK gives developers access to 350+ simulated GM vehicle data signals

General Motors has introduced a next generation infotainment software development kit (NGI SDK) that allows software developers around the world to develop and test in-vehicle applications for GM’s infotainment systems. With the NGI SDK, apps can be built to run directly on the vehicle using HTML5 and JavaScript.

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Dutch #ichargesmart charging app boosts share of renewable energy in battery; now available for Tesla home charging

Jedlix, a subsidiary of Dutch renewable energy company Eneco, has made its smart charging app available to all home-charging Tesla drivers. A previously conducted test among 40 Tesla drivers demonstrated that the app increases the share of renewable energy in the battery and reduces costs. Jedlix’ mission is that, in time, all cars will run on renewable energy.

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3D printing auto manufacturing technology company Divergent 3D closes $23M Series A

January 25, 2017

Divergent 3D, an additive manufacturing technology development and licensing company focused on the automotive sector, has closed its $23 million Series A funding round led by technology venture capital fund Horizons Ventures. Divergent 3D will apply the new funding toward commercializing its hardware-software platform. Divergent 3D’s strategic partner Altran (earlier post), a global automotive and aerospace engineering services provider, also invested in this round.

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NEVS receives EV production license in China

The Chinese government approved NEVS’ application to start production of electric vehicles in its manufacturing plant in Tianjin. The electric vehicle production license approved by the Chinese National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) is required in order to manufacture electric vehicles in China. NEVS is the first joint venture company with investors from outside China that is granted a New Energy Passenger Vehicle Project investment approval by NDRC.

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Volkswagen develops heated wire-free windshield; benefits in the summer as well

Volkswagen has developed a windshield made with a conductive layer of silver to provide required heat for clear windshields in winter without the use of embedded filament wires. Any renewed misting or icing up is also prevented.

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BMW and Nissan again partner to add 174 more DC fast chargers in US with EVgo

January 24, 2017

BMW and Nissan have again joined forces—this time with EVgo, the nation’s largest public DC Fast charging network—to increase public access to DC Fast charging stations across the US. The partners will make an additional 174 locations in 33 states available to all EV owners in those markets, and plan to install 50 more in 2017.

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10,000 liters of Neste MY Renewable Diesel produced from waste ham fat

Last Christmas, 40,000 Finnish households donated the waste fat from their Christmas hams to the charity campaign “Kinkkutemppu”—which literally translates into Ham Trick. (Earlier post.) From this waste ham fat, Neste produced 10,000 liters of Neste MY Renewable Diesel at its Porvoo refinery for sale at Neste stations. Neste donates the value of the product (€14,500) to Hope, an association which helps low-income families, and to Icehearts, a sports club which aims to prevent social exclusion and promote well-being.

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Baker Institute experts: major parts of the US shale sector will ramp up with $60 oil prices

If West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices stabilize at or above $60 per barrel, major parts of the United States shale sector that are currently dormant will ramp up, according to an analysis by experts in the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. This as the oil production targets agreed to at the Nov. 30 OPEC meeting have created the firmest prospect in the past two years of a meaningful oil price recovery.

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LG Innotek introduces improved thermoelectric module for automotive and home appliance applications

LG Innotek has begun series production of an improved thermoelectric module, initially for heating and cooling applications, but targeting automotive in the future. LG Innotek has increased the heating and cooling rate by 20% and decreased power consumption by 25%. The module’s temperature control range extends from - 50 ℃ (-58 ℉) to 80 ℃ (176 ℉) without refrigerant compressor or hot wire.

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IUPUI-based engineering startup receives $225,000 NSF grant for solid-state H2 storage

January 23, 2017

A startup based on work conducted at the School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has received a one-year STTR Phase I grant of $225,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support development of a novel solid-state hydrogen storage system based on catalytically-modified porous silicon.

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TxDOT, TTI sign MOU to test connected and automated vehicle technologies in Texas

January 22, 2017

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) recently co-signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to begin testing connected and automated vehicle (CV/AV) technologies on the state highway system. The MOU delineates the guidelines that would allow TTI to test lab-proven technologies in a real-world environment.

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NSF director to highlight critical role of basic research in transportation technology at Washington Auto Show

January 21, 2017

National Science Foundation (NSF) Director France Córdova will participate in MobilityTalks International, a public policy forum hosted by the Washington Auto Show on 24 January.

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