New catalyst for production of alkanes from vegetable oils

Researchers in China have developed a new hydroprocessing catalyst—nickel (Ni) and phosphotungstic acid (HPW) supported on carbon nanotubes (CNT)—to produce alkanes from vegetable oils. In an open-access paper in the journal NANO, they report that the distribution of products can be adjusted by reaction temperature. At 320 ˚C, the yield... Read more →

Enerkem and Sinobioway Group sign agreement worth $100M including joint venture to build 100+ biofuel facilities in China

Canada-based waste-to-biofuels and renewable chemicals producer Enerkem Inc. signed an agreement with Sinobioway Group worth more than C$125 million (US$100 million) in the form of equity investment in Enerkem Inc., future licenses, equipment manufacturing and sales, as well as for the creation of a major joint venture that will lead... Read more →

SunTory invests additional $9M in Anellotech; renewable aromatics

Japan-based Suntory Holdings Limited, one of the world’s leading consumer beverage companies, has invested an additional $9 million in Anellotech’s Bio-TCat technology. This latest tranche, which is part of a new $15-million package based on Anellotech achieving specific milestones, brings Suntory’s total investment in Anellotech to more than $25 million... Read more →

Report: Wuhan to build itself into a “hydrogen city”

Xinhua reports that Wuhan, capital city of central China’s Hubei Province in Central China, will build itself into a “hydrogen city” through developing a hydrogen energy industry, according to a city development plan. The city will advance hydrogen production, storage and transport, and improve hydrogen infrastructure, along with a hydrogen... Read more →

Saudi Aramco, CB&I and Chevron Lummus Global partner to demo and commercialize Thermal Crude to Chemicals technology

Saudi Aramco, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Saudi Aramco Technologies, signed a three-party Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with CB&I, a US-based provider of technology and infrastructure for the energy industry, and Chevron Lummus Global (CLG), a joint venture between CB&I and Chevron USA Inc., and a leading process technology licensor. The... Read more →

Audi Smart Energy Network pilot project: stationary home battery as energy buffer for electric car and grid management

As part of a research project, Audi is running a pilot project with households in the Ingolstadt area and the Zurich region in conjunction with other partners. This involves combining various sizes of photovoltaic systems with stationary storage batteries. The control software by the Zurich start-up company Ampard distributes the... Read more →

KAIST researchers devise method to extend lifespan of solid oxide fuel cells by doping with metals

KAIST researchers have described a new technique to improve the chemical stability of solid oxide fuel cell electrode materials by doping with a small amount of metal. Their paper is published in the RSC journal Energy and Environmental Science. The core factor that determines the performance of solid oxide fuel... Read more →

Evonik and Siemens to generate high-value specialty chemicals from CO2 and renewable electricity; Power-to-X

Evonik and Siemens are planning to use electricity from renewable sources and bacteria to convert carbon dioxide into specialty chemicals. The two companies are working on electrolysis and fermentation processes in a joint, two-year research project called Rheticus. The first test plant is scheduled to go on stream by 2021... Read more →

Report: Toyota to cut costs of fuel cell cars’ core technologies by >50% for new model in 2020; cut by 75% by 2025

The Nikkei reports that Toyota Motor plans to slash the cost of the key components of fuel cell cars by more than half for a new model slated to launch in 2020 or later. While production for of the Mirai, Toyota’s first mass-produced fuel cell model has grown steadily since... Read more →

Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle to go on sale this year in Canada starting in Québec

Toyota Canada announced that the Toyota Mirai fuel cell electric vehicle is coming to Canada this year. As Toyota kicked off its participation in the Montréal International Auto Show, the company confirmed it would launch starting with select fleets in Québec. Hydro Québec is the world’s fourth-largest producer of clean... Read more →, a company that builds autonomous driving solutions, has closed a Series A funding round of $112M. is building level 4 autonomous driving technology, meaning vehicles can perform all driving functions for an entire trip in both suburban and urban environments as well as inclement weather conditions. With offices... Read more →

China-based GAC Motor, which has now attended the North American International Auto show (NAIAS) for four years straight, each time increasing its presence, showcased its signature lineup this year in Detroit, including the new GA4 sedan and the electric concept car Enverge. GAC plans to enter the US market in... Read more →

California Energy Commission awards First Element Fuel ~$8M for hydrogen fueling stations

The California Energy Commission awarded First Element Fuel almost $8 million in Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program (ARFVTP) grants to build hydrogen fueling stations in Redwood City, Studio City, Beverly Hills, and Mission Hills. The stations will become part of the state’s growing network of publicly accessible... Read more →

SGL Group investing €25M to expand specialty graphite production

Demand for solutions based on specialty graphite from SGL group for the automotive industry has grown steadily in recent years. The material enables solutions in applications such as bearings for water pumps and exhaust gas management, rotors and vanes in vacuum pumps or sealing rings for seals—both for vehicles with... Read more →

Magna showed its growing range of active aerodynamic systems at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, with an active air dam launching on the 2019 Ram 1500 pickup truck. (Earlier post.) The air dam deploys automatically to redirect air around the vehicle and provide emissions and fuel-economy improvements.... Read more →

Volkswagen Group deliveries reach all-time high in 2017 of 10.7M units; 4.2M in China alone

New vehicle deliveries from the Volkswagen Group reached an all-time high in fiscal year 2017 of 10.74 million units. As a result, Group deliveries rose 4.3% compared with the previous year. At almost one million units (999,800), deliveries in December were up by 8.5%. The Group handed over 4.3 million... Read more →

GM Flint Engine plant to build new 3.0L diesel for 2019 Chevrolet Silverado

General Motors’s Flint Engine Operations will serve as the manufacturing site for the all-new Duramax 3.0L turbo-diesel for the 2019 Silverado. (Earlier post.) In 2015 GM announced a $263-million investment in Flint Engine Operations for a new engine line. The 2019 Silverado will be available with six engine/transmission combinations; one... Read more →

Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. has developed large plastic roof panels that will be used on a fuel cell bus to be launched by Toyota Motor Corporation in 2018. More than 100 of these buses will be put into use in the Tokyo metropolitan region as it readies for the 2020... Read more →

Chery to use NVIDIA-powered ZF ProAI technology for Level 3 autonomous cars

China automaker Chery is adopting the new ZF ProAI system to enable automated driving functions up to level 3. The ZF ProAI controller is powered by NVIDIA DRIVE AI self-driving technology. ZF and its cooperation partners NVIDIA and Chinese technology company Baidu are working together on autonomous driving. (Earlier post.)... Read more →

The transportation sector used about 27.8 quadrillion Btu (quads) of energy in 2016 with 76% of that used by vehicles on the nation’s roads, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). Light vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, pickups, vans and sport utility vehicles, used the most energy, accounting for 55%... Read more →

The the Detroit Auto Show, Lexus introduced the Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept—a flagship crossover. The LF-1 concept could be powered by fuel cell, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, gasoline, or even all-electric powertrains. By around 2025, every Lexus model around the world will be available either as a dedicated electrified model, or... Read more →

German OEMs have 16% of electric car market in US

German automakers have 16% of the electric car market in the US, according to Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). Speaking at the organizations’s annual press conference at the Detroit Auto Show, Wissman observed that the 16% share of the electric car market is... Read more →

Mitsubishi Motors signs electric vehicles agreement with Vietnamese government

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of Vietnam under which they plan to explore how best to promote the use of electric vehicles (EVs) in the country. Mitsubishi Motors will work with Vietnam Industry Agency (VIA) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) to... Read more →

USDA awards $3M biorefinery grant to support conversion of lignin into renewable alternative for ABS Resin

The USDA has awarded a consortium including Attis Innovations, Inc., a subsidiary of Meridian Waste Solutions, Inc.,a $3-million grant to support the commercialization of its patented and patent-pending lignin conversion and refining technologies. Attis Innovations is the combination of recent transactions with American Science and Technology Corp. and Advanced Lignin... Read more →

Jumbo signs LOI to order new LNG-powered offshore Heavy Lift Crane Vessel; world’s largest X-BOW

Jumbo, a heavy lift shipping and offshore transportation and installation contractor, recently signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with China Merchants Industry Holdings (CMIH) for the provision of the detailed engineering and construction of a new DP2 Heavy Lift Crane Vessel (HLCV) estimated to be delivered in the first quarter... Read more →

Bee’ah to add 50 Tesla Semis to fleet; first in Middle East

Bee’ah, the UAE’s fastest growing environmental management company has ordered 50 Tesla Semis—the first and largest fleet of Tesla Semi trucks in the Middle East. The incoming Tesla Semi trucks, which enter production in 2019, will primarily be used for waste collection and transportation, including transportation of materials for recovery.... Read more →

ABB developing Sri Lanka’s EV fast charging infrastructure

Ceylon Electricity Board, the prime player in Sri Lanka’s electricity generation, distribution and transmission, has chosen ABB as its preferred supplier to develop the country’s fast charging infrastructure. The Sri Lankan area of Colombo City will benefit from a new fleet of connected, fast electric vehicle (EV) chargers from ABB.... Read more →

California Public Utilities Commission approves 15 transportation electrification pilot projects focusing on disadvantaged communities

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved 15 pilot projects aimed at helping to accelerate electric vehicle adoption, with a focus on disadvantaged communities. These investments are the first of their kind. These projects are aimed at maximizing benefits to disadvantaged communities by catalyzing electrification of buses, trucks, and other... Read more →

Nissan introduces two mobility services in Japan

Nissan recently unveiled Easy Ride, a new robo-vehicle mobility service, as well as e-share mobi, a car-sharing service, in Japan. Nissan and its partner DeNA, a Japanese internet company, are jointly developing Easy Ride, a mobility service that uses autonomous driving technology. It’s envisioned as a service for anyone who... Read more →

FCA to invest $1B+ in Warren Truck Assembly, move Ram Heavy Duty production from Mexico

FCA will invest more than $1 billion to modernize the Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Michigan) to produce the next-generation Ram Heavy Duty truck, which will relocate from its current production location in Saltillo, Mexico, in 2020. This investment is in addition to the announcement made in January 2017, which committed... Read more →

DOE to award $450K to two high performance computing for materials projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) announced $450,000 in funding for two projects that fall under the High Performance Computing for Materials Program. Vacuum Process Engineering, Inc.’s Compact Diffusion Bonded Heat Exchanger Fatigue Life Simulations will receive $300,000 in FE funding. The project will gain... Read more →

Nissan, KEPCO and Sumitomo Electric launch pilot program to test charging EVs by remote control

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. (KEPCO) and Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. have started testing tools to charge electric vehicles via remote control. Sixty electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles owned by customers and KEPCO will be outfitted with EV switches, which are control instruments for electric vehicle... Read more →

GS Yuasa to set up SLI lithium-ion battery plant in Hungary

GS Yuasa Corporation will establish a manufacturing subsidiary company, GS Yuasa Hungary Ltd. in Hungary and build a new plant for lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries will be assembled in a new plant with lithium-ion cells made in Japan. These batteries will be used for SLI (Starting, Lighting, and Ignition) applications... Read more →

Hagens Berman files class-action lawsuit against Ford and Bosch claiming Super Duty diesel emissions defeat devices

The law firm of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP has filed a class-action lawsuit accusing Ford and Bosch of knowingly installing emissions-cheating software devices in 2011-2017 Ford 250 and 350 Super Duty diesel pickup trucks, allowing the affected pickups to pollute at levels up to 50 times legal limits. Ford... Read more →

Volkswagen brand creating separate Board of Management division for e-mobility; headed by Thomas Ulbrich

In an effort further to strengthen its e-mobility activities, the Volkswagen brand is creating a separate Board of Management division for e-mobility. The newly created e-mobility division will be responsible for all Volkswagen electric vehicles and for the development of Europe’s largest competence center for electric vehicles in Zwickau. With... Read more →

New York to test and evaluate 5 New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE electric buses

The New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), acting through the New York City Transit Authority (NYCT), will launch its electric bus test and evaluation program of five Xcelsior CHARGE battery-electric, forty-foot heavy-duty transit buses. The program will begin January 2018. The program introduces leased zero-emission buses and rapid chargers... Read more →

Mazda, Toyota select Alabama for $1.6B new US auto manufacturing plant

Mazda and Toyota have selected Huntsville, Alabama as the site of their new joint-venture manufacturing plant. The new plant will have the capacity to build 300,000 vehicles annually, with production split evenly between two lines for each company to produce Mazda’s crossover model that will be newly introduced to the... Read more →

Tantalum launches 1000-vehicle trial of Air.Car device for real-time NOx feedback

Tantulum Corporation has teamed up with data scientists from Imperial College London to build “Air.Car”—a OBD-connected device which will produce highly accurate, real-time NOx feedback as you drive. A 1,000-vehicle trial of the device was launched in the UK lasts month; units are being installed in diesel vehicles to estimate... Read more →

Visteon and GAC Engineering sign strategic cooperation agreement for autonomous driving and cockpit electronics development

Visteon Corporation, a global leader in automotive cockpit electronics, signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd. Automotive Engineering Institute (GAC Engineering), a leading China-based vehicle manufacturer, to develop and deploy autonomous driving and other cockpit electronics solutions. Under the agreement, both companies will collaborate on the... Read more →

Proterra electric bus to begin 4-month trial in Anchorage, Alaska next week

The Municipality of Anchorage’s (MOA) Public Transportation Department (PTD) will put a new 40-foot Proterra Catalyst E2 electric/battery powered bus on trial next week. The bus will begin serving routes for the general public for a four-month trial period. The four-month trial period will test how the bus performs in... Read more →

Aquantia and Molex collaborate on multi-gigabit automotive Ethernet network

Molex and Aquantia are collaborating to leverage Aquantia Multi-Gig Automotive Ethernet technologies in a Molex 10 Gbps Automotive Ethernet Network designed to accelerate data bandwidth in connected and autonomous vehicles. The new Molex automotive solution was officially unveiled at CES. The industry-leading Molex 10 Gbps Automotive Ethernet Network (earlier post)... Read more →

ABB becomes title partner of Formula E

ABB is signing on with Formula E as the title partner for the all-electric motorsport series, which which will be now known as the “ABB FIA Formula E Championship.” Formula E serves as a competitive platform to develop and test e-mobility-relevant electrification and digitalization technologies, helping refine the design and... Read more →

Savari working with Qualcomm to support Cellular-V2X platform for enhanced road safety and future autonomous driving

Savari, Inc. is working with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, to deliver a comprehensive Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) solution. As part of the working relationship, Savari provides key software components for C-V2X modules featuring the Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipset. This solution is designed to deliver C-V2X communication capabilities,... Read more →

BYD selects Qualcomm for Integrated automotive infotainment and digital cluster platform in upcoming EVs

BYD Company Ltd. has selected Qualcomm Technologies’ automotive solutions for its upcoming electric vehicles. Anticipated to begin in 2019, BYD electric vehicles are planned to feature integrated infotainment and digital cluster systems powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820A Automotive platform. The software architecture, hypervisor support and integration capability of the... Read more →

AeroVironment introducing new TurboDX charging station at CES

At CES, AeroVironment launched a new electric vehicle charging station that offers more flexibility, durability, and reliability. A networked solution for residential, commercial, workplace, and utility customers, the new TurboDX gives business owners the option of Bluetooth-enabled access control without networking fees or networked enabled access control. Built on an... Read more →

Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ to use NVIDIA technology for AI Co-Pilot capabilities

At the kickoff of the 2018 International CES, Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess and NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang discussed on stage how AI is transforming the auto industry and highlighted the new I.D. BUZZ, Volkswagen’s electric rebirth of the iconic Volkswagen MicroBus, infused with NVIDIA AI technology for... Read more →

Velodyne demonstrating Solid State Velarray, VLS-128 LiDAR at CES

At CES, Velodyne LiDAR Inc. is demonstrating its Solid State Velarray, the smallest LiDAR, in a form factor that can be concealed behind windshields, within roof lines, and in bumpers. Velodyne says that it is the highest performance LiDAR for ADAS today. The company is also showcasing the high-resolution and... Read more →

GAC Motor to introduce signature sedan and new electric concept car at Detroit show

China-based GAC Motor will feature its existing sedan, SUV, minivan and NEV at the 2018 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. A new sedan model and a concept car will also make their world debuts during GAC Motor’s press conference. GAC Motor’s exhibition at 2018 NAIAS will feature... Read more →

UK BEV and PHEV registrations up 27% in 2017 to 46,522 units

From January to December 2017, registrations of electric and plug-in hybrid cars in the UK reached 46,522 units, up 27% from 2016, according to figures released by Go Ultra Low. Should the market retain the same rate of growth in 2018, annual plug-in car registrations could reach 60,000 for the... Read more →