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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.]

Ford offering adaptive steering on Super Duty and Edge

September 25, 2016

Ford is offering adaptive steering on the Ford F-Series Super Duty pickup and Ford Edge SUV. Ford has been awarded eight patents, with 11 more filed, on the technology which has been offered in select vehicles for several years. (Earlier post.)

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nuTonomy and Grab partner to expand public trial of on-demand self-driving car service in Singapore

September 23, 2016

nuTonomy, a developer of software for self-driving cars, and Grab, a Southeast Asia ride-hailing app, are partnering to expand nuTonomy’s ongoing public trial of self-driving cars in Singapore. (Earlier post.) The trial will give select Grab users a chance to experience the full end-to-end experience of e-hailing and riding in a nuTonomy self-driving vehicle (SDV).

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International Truck first OEM to make collision mitigation standard on Class 8 tractors

International Truck announced that the soon-to-be-launched LT Series on-highway Class 8 tractor will come standard with an advanced driver assistance safety system that includes a combination of collision mitigation and full stability technologies.

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ChargePoint introduces waitlist feature for EV public charging

September 22, 2016

ChargePoint has introduced Waitlist, a new service that enables drivers to use their mobile phones or RFID card to “line up” to use a public charging station. ChargePoint drew on extensive data and customer feedback to create a solution that makes EV charging in public/shared spaces, such as workplaces, a more efficient and pleasant process, both for drivers and station owners.

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Camborne Energy Storage to install first Tesla Grid-Scale Powerpacks in Europe

Camborne Energy Storage, a UK-based developer of large-scale energy storage projects, is installing the first grid scale Tesla Powerpacks in Europe. With the recent arrival of the batteries to a site in Somerset, Camborne is co-locating them with a ground mounted solar PV site.

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Hyperdrive goes in to production using Nissan LEAF batteries

UK-based Hyperdrive Innovation has become the first company to secure the supply of Nissan’s LEAF lithium-ion battery technology for its own commercial products. The company is incorporating the Nissan-developed, UK-made new and used battery modules in its new intelligent battery systems which can be deployed by manufacturers to power electric and hybrid electric vehicles, as well as providing energy storage for off-grid and back-up utility supplies.

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Velocys announces construction complete at ENVIA’s GTL plant

September 21, 2016

Velocys plc announced that construction of ENVIA Energy’s GTL plant in Oklahoma City is now complete. On-site loading of catalyst into the Fischer-Tropsch reactors has been completed by Velocys with support from its partner Mourik.

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U Waterloo researcher awarded 2016 Distinguished Dissertation Award for work on fuel cell catalysts

Dr. Drew Higgins from the University of Waterloo has won the 2016 Canada’s Distinguished Dissertation Award from the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies (CAGS) in the category of Engineering/Medical Science/Natural Science for his work on fuel cell catalysts.

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NanoXplore awarded $3.3M from SDTC to explore use of graphene-enhanced plastics in electric motors

Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) will partner with Group NanoXplore Inc., a Montreal-based company specializing in the production and application of graphene and its derivative materials, to support the commercialisation of lighter, more reliable and higher-efficiency components for electric motor systems using graphene-enhanced engineering plastics in place of metals. The total value of the project is $10.4 million; SDTC is contributing $3.3 million.

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Alaska Railroad to demo hauling LNG in intermodal containers; 1st railroad permitted to haul LNG

The Alaska Railroad (ARRC) will demonstrate the transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in intermodal LNG ISO containers from southcentral to interior Alaska during a month-long operational performance project in early fall 2016. ARRC is the first railroad in the country to obtain permission to haul LNG by rail.

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Efficient Drivetrains raises initial $7.5M in Series C; forecasting $15M

Efficient Drivetrains has closed initial funds in its Series C financing round, highlighted by an initial infusion of $7.85 million in new capital, led by new investor H&Q Asia Pacific, in conjunction with Jiaxing Daxin Investment Partnership. The Series C round, forecasted at $15 million is expected to close in Q4 2016, subject to final agreements.

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Renault-Nissan acquires French software-development company Sylpheo to accelerate connectivity and mobility technology capabilities

September 20, 2016

The Renault-Nissan Alliance is acquiring the French software-development company Sylpheo to accelerate the expansion of its connected vehicle and mobility services programs.

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GENIVI Alliance launches new open source vehicle simulator project

The GENIVI Alliance, a non-profit alliance focused on developing an open in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) and connectivity software platform for the transportation industry, launched the GENIVI Vehicle Simulator (GVS) open source project, with both developer and end-user code available immediately.

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Schaeffler axlebox generator permits self-sufficient power supply for rail freight cars

Schaeffler will present a self-sufficient power supply system for rail freight cars at the 2016 InnoTrans—a generator integrated into the housing cover of the axlebox bearing. The generator produces around 200 watts that is available for supplying electricity, thus enabling additional functions.

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Chevy prices 2017 Bolt EV at $37,495; $29,995 after federal tax credit

Chevrolet will offer the Bolt EV with a base Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $37,495 including destination charge. Depending on individual tax situations, customers may receive an available federal tax credit of up to $7,500 for a net value of $29,995. The battery-electric Bolt EV has an EPA estimated 238-mile range.

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ENGIE joins Michelin in investing in Symbio FCell

September 19, 2016

Fuel cell company Symbio FCell, which has introduced the first fuel-cell range extender for electric vehicles (earlier post), has conducted a second round of fundraising and brought global energy operator ENGIE into the ranks of its investors, which include Michelin. Michelin is now Symbio FCell’s main shareholder.

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Bluesky and University of Leicester form joint venture for air quality monitoring

Aerial mapping company Bluesky and the University of Leicester are forming a new joint venture—EarthSense Systems—focused on air quality monitoring. Building on more than four years of collaboration between the two organisations, the new company will initially deliver static sensors, data modelling and derived datasets to UK local and central government organizations.

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ABB launching SiC-based charger for rail applications; 10x smaller, 80% lighter than previous generations

At the InnoTrans trade show in Berlin this week, ABB will launch a next-generation battery charger based on silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors for use in all rail applications. The new compact battery charger of the series, BORD­LINE BC, complements ABB’s large stand-alone auxiliary converter product family and is compatible with all standard train battery voltages.

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Lyft co-founder projects private car ownership will all but end in major US cities by 2025

Lyft co-founder John Zimmer projects that private car ownership will all but end in major US cities by 2025; as the enabler for that, he projects that autonomous vehicle fleets will quickly become widespread and will account for the majority of Lyft rides within 5 years. In a piece published in Medium, Zimmer proposed that the coming transportation revolution—which will shape the future of our communities—will be defined by three key shifts:

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Strategy Analytics: consumers showing less interest in autonomous driving systems

September 18, 2016

After reaching an all-time high in 2015, consumers’ interest in autonomous driving systems has fallen in 2016, reflecting hesitance about the reliance of self-driving technology, according to a recent survey from the In-Vehicle UX (IVX) group at Strategy Analytics.

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Google Maps acquires mapping analytics startup Urban Engines; improved urban mobility

Google Maps has acquired mapping analytics startup Urban Engines. Urban Engines, two of whose four co-founders were originally at Google, has developed a mapping, visualization, analytics, and optimization platform that uses the information from the billions of movement data points each day to provide a better understanding of how traffic flows change throughout the day and over time.

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Fuel cell vehicle breaks 24-hour electric mileage record with True Zero hydrogen-fuel network in California

September 17, 2016

Driving a fuel-cell-electric Toyota Mirai, the founders of True Zero completed a scenic drive throughout California, covering 1,438 miles (2,314 km) in a 24-hour period, thus breaking the official Guinness World Record for electric miles driven in 24 hours.

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Volkswagen teases release of EV concept at Paris; production version to be 1st MEB vehicle

September 16, 2016

At Mondial de l’Automobile Paris, Volkswagen will present a new EV concept; the production vehicle which follows will be the first Volkswagen to hit the market based on the new modular electrification kit (MEB) being developed by the brand.

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Volkswagen enters into cooperation with top Israeli experts to establish an automotive cyber security company

Volkswagen, three leading Israeli experts and their team are jointly establishing an automotive cyber security company. The newly founded CYMOTIVE Technologies led by Yuval Diskin, Tsafrir Kats and Dr Tamir Bechor will develop advanced cyber security solutions for next-generation connected cars and mobile services.

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Cellulosic sugars company Renmatix raises $14M from Bill Gates, Total

Cellulosic sugars company Renmatix has raised $14 million. The investment, intended to support the commercializing of the company’s Plantrose process, was led by Bill Gates.

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Baidu awarded autonomous vehicle testing permit by California DMV

The California Department of Motor Vehicles recently issued Baidu USA an Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permit, allowing the company to test its autonomous driving technologies in the state.

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Tesla selected to provide 80 MWh Li-ion storage system for Southern California Edison

Last week, through a competitive process, Tesla was selected to provide a 20 MW/80 MWh Powerpack system at the Southern California Edison Mira Loma substation. Tesla was the only bidder awarded a utility-owned storage project out of the solicitation.

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Toyota Research Inst. and Open Source Robotics Foundation to partner on robotics and automated vehicle research

September 15, 2016

Toyota Research Institute (TRI) will partner with the Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) and its newly-formed for profit subsidiary Open Source Robotics Corporation (OSRC) to expand the development of both open source and proprietary tools for Toyota’s fast-growing robotics and automated vehicle research initiatives.

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FedEx Freight adds 100 Class 8 CNG tractors, CNG fueling station in Oklahoma City

Less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier FedEx Freight has purchased more than 100 Class 8 CNG tractors from Paccar units Kenworth and Peterbilt, and has installed a CNG fueling station to serve the new CNG fleet at its Oklahoma City Service Center. FedEx Freight contracted with Clean Energy Fuels Corp to design, build and maintain the fueling station.

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USDOT holding next Connected Vehicle PlugFest in November

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) will hold its next Connected Vehicle PlugFest in Novi, Michigan, 15-18 November 2016. These events provide a venue for vendor-to-vendor connected vehicle device testing as needed to develop certification services for multi-vendor connected vehicle networks.

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BMW Connected integrates with Alexa in the UK and Germany; joins US

The BMW Connected personal digital mobility assistant will be available via an Alexa skill on all Alexa-enabled devices when the service is available in the UK and Germany. (Alexa, the voice service that powers Echo, provides capabilities, or skills, that enable customers to interact with devices in a more intuitive way using voice.)

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Velodyne LiDAR announces Puck Hi-Res LiDAR sensor; higher resolution to identify objects at greater distances

Velodyne LiDAR Inc. unveiled its new Puck Hi-Res sensor, a version of the company’s LiDAR Puck that provides higher resolution in captured 3D images, which allows objects to be identified at greater distances. Puck Hi-Res is the third new LiDAR sensor released by the company this year, joining the standard VLP-16 Puck and the Puck LITE. (Earlier post.)

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Peugeot introducing eU01s 45 km/h electric bicycle

Peugeot is introducing the eU01s, a 45 km/h (28 mph) electric bicycle. Bridging the gap between traditional 25 km/h electric bicycles and scooters, the eU01s offers the rider an agile and rapid cross-town journey. The eU01s will be presented at the Paris Motor Show and launched at the end of 2016.

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ABI Research forecasts global mobility as a service revenues to exceed $1 trillion by 2030

September 14, 2016

ABI Research forecasts global Mobility as a Service (MaaS) revenues will exceed $1 trillion by 2030. MaaS provides aggregated, single account, on-demand multimodal transportation services in a seamless and convenient way. Its anticipated disruptive impact on traditional transportation modes such as car ownership, buses, trains, aviation, taxis, and rental cars is stirring up not just the automotive but also the entire transportation industry.

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ExxonMobil and Princeton select five energy research projects; including batteries and solar

ExxonMobil and Princeton University announced the selection of five research projects associated with their partnership focused on energy technologies. The projects will center on solar and battery technologies; plasma physics; Arctic sea-ice modeling; and the impact of carbon dioxide absorption on the world’s oceans.

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DOE BETO hosting alternative aviation fuel workshop

The US Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is hosting a 2-day workshop gathering lead experts in the field of aviation biofuels on 14–15 September. The Alternative Aviation Fuel Workshop, which is being held in Macon, Georgia, will advance the understanding of current opportunities to increase the competitiveness of alternative jet fuels.

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DOE awards two grants to UPS for research on reducing emissions and electric truck wireless charging

The US Department of Energy (DOE) recently awarded two grants to UPS to support research aimed at reducing emissions and developing wireless charging for electric trucks.

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XALT Energy to supply Li-ion cells for world’s largest electric ferries; 4.16 MWh packs

September 13, 2016

XALT Energy announced a Li-ion cell supply contract for the two largest battery-powered ferries in the world with Plan B Energy Storage (PBES). Each of the two Scandlines Helsingborg-Helsingör ferries will have 4.16 MWh battery packs to provide power for primary propulsion. The electric ferries will carry their part of more than 7.4 million passengers and 1.9 million vehicles annually with zero emissions.

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Daimler Trucks in up to $500M supply agreement with Northstar Battery

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has entered into a 7-year agreement with Swedish-American energy storage manufacturer NorthStar Battery Company as the supplier of Ultra High Performance Pure Lead AGM batteries as part of the improvements being made to the next-generation Cascadia truck. NorthStar is also available as an extended life option on the majority of DTNA platforms creating a strategic partnership valued at up to $500 million.

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Digital mapmaker Zenrin invests in Abalta to accelerate growth of connected car solutions

Japan’s biggest digital mapmaker, Zenrin Company Ltd, is making a “substantial” investment in the US-based Abalta Technologies, Inc., a supplier of connected vehicle solutions.

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Chevy Bolt offers EPA-estimated 238 miles of electric range (updated with Opel e-Ampera)

When the 2017 Chevy Bolt EV goes on sale later this year, it will be with an EPA-estimated range of 238 miles (383 km).

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Ecole Centrale Nantes and Renault launch Research Chair dedicated to the propulsion performance of EVs

September 12, 2016

Ecole Centrale Nantes and Renault launched the first Research Chair dedicated to the propulsion performance of electric vehicles. With a budget of €4.6 million (US$5.2 million) over 5 years, this new Chair of electric propulsion performance is led by Malek Ghanes. University professor at Centrale Nantes, he received in 2015 the prize for applied research from the Federation of Electrical, Electronics and Communications Industries (FIECC) for his pioneering work on the development of robust and inexpensive automation.

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PowerCell in deal with Chinese company for fuel cell range extender with methanol reformer

PowerCell Sweden AB has received an order and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a Chinese company focusing on green energy solutions, specialized in fuel cell applications for commercial light-duty trucks. The two companies see potential for cooperation within range extenders (REX) for commercial light-duty electrified distribution vehicles. They will develop a fuel cell system with the Chinese customer’s methanol reformer based on PowerCells’s S2 fuel cell stack and extensive know-how in reformer technology.

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Toyota installs stationary fuel cells at Honsha Plant

Toyota Motor Corporation has installed stationary hydrogen fuel cells at the energy management facility at its Honsha Plant in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture; the fuel cells started operations on 12 September.

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Lux Research: EVs and AVs will inevitably merge; “terrifying prospect” for value-chain incumbents

Lux Research argues that while it will be possible to make a competent self-driving car using older internal combustion engine (ICE) technology as the power source that drives the wheels, there are six reasons why it is most likely that self-driving cars will be overwhelmingly electric—i.e, six reasons why the two technologies will “merge”.

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University of Waterloo opens new automotive research facility

The University of Waterloo has opened a new automotive research and testing facility, setting the stage for technological advances that will benefit both consumers and the environment. The $10-million Green and Intelligent Automotive (GAIA) Research Facility is supported by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, the University of Waterloo, and equipment suppliers.

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Boeing and NASA testing Blended Wing Body model in Langley subsonic wind tunnel

September 11, 2016

Boeing and NASA researchers are testing a 13-foot-wingspan, 6% scale Blended Wing Body (BWB) model at a subsonic wind tunnel at the NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia. Boeing is readying the BWB for the next step in maturing the concept—a manned demonstrator. The BWB concept is unique in that it forgoes the conventional tube and wing shape of today’s airplanes, in favor of a triangular tailless aircraft that effectively merges the vehicle’s wing and body. (Earlier post.)

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ClipperCreek introduces new power-sharing EV charging stations; Share2

September 09, 2016

ClipperCreek, Inc. has introduced Share2, allowing two electric vehicle charging stations to share power from one branch circuit. Share2 is an option for the Level 2, 240V ClipperCreek HCS-40 product line. A bundle of two stations enabled with the Share2 is priced starting at $1,498.

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Renault sells its 100,000th electric vehicle

Renault handed over the keys to its 100,000th electric car, a ZOE, in the Norwegian capital of Oslo on 9 September. Renault is the European electric car leader with 27% market share for electric private and utility vehicles.

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Review: “Getting Ready for Model 3”

Roger Pressman, the founder of EVANNEX, the largest Tesla aftermarket accessories company and owner of a Model S and Model X and a pre-orderer of the Model 3, has written a short, accessible book—“Getting Ready for Model 3”—that is a combination of BEV basics, recap of known Model 3 features, and informed speculation on Model 3 technology and production dates.

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Apache confirms significant new resource play in Texas: 75 Tcf gas, 3B barrels of oil

Apache Corporation has confirmed the discovery of a significant new resource play—the “Alpine High”—in the southern portion of the Delaware Basin, primarily in Reeves County, Texas. The company estimates hydrocarbons in place on its acreage position are 75 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of rich gas (more than 1,300 British Thermal Units) and 3 billion barrels of oil in the Barnett and Woodford formations alone. Apache also sees significant oil potential in the shallower Pennsylvanian, Bone Springs and Wolfcamp formations.

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GoodFuels Marine and Boskalis successfully test UPM’s sustainable wood-based biofuel for marine fleet

Boskalis, a leading global dredging and marine expert, and GoodFuels Marine, a leading provider of sustainable marine biofuels to the global commercial shipping fleet, have successfully performed live tests on a sustainable wood-based drop-in biofuel called UPM BioVerno. (Earlier post.) The tests were conducted on a vessel working on the Dutch Marker Wadden nature restoration project in the middle of the Markermeer lake.

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Gevo to supply Lufthansa with alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ)

Gevo, Inc. has entered into a heads of agreement with Deutsche Lufthansa AG to supply Gevo’s alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ) from its first commercial hydrocarbons facility, intended to be built in Luverne, MN. (Earlier post.)

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KLM to operate biofuel flights out of Los Angeles

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has signed a three-year contract for the supply of sustainable biofuel in Los Angeles. KLM will purchase sustainable biofuel for all its flights at this airport for a period of three years. The biofuel will be produced by the local biofuel refinery AltAir Fuels and supplied by SkyNRG.

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Civil Maps debuts augmented reality maps for self-driving cars

September 08, 2016

Civil Maps, a software provider for crowdsourcing continental scale 3D maps for fully autonomous machines , unveiled a passenger-facing augmented reality (AR) experience that integrates the company’s localization technology with 3D dynamic maps. The Localization & AR Maps launch follows Civil Maps’ successful seed round in July 2016, funded in part by Ford (earlier post).

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SUVs became the largest and fastest-growing automotive segment in 2015; up 22% from 2014

Global sales of SUVs surged 22% in 2015, supporting an overall increase in global sales of light vehicles of 1.7% in 2014-2015, according to data released by global market research company Euromonitor International.

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Efficient Drivetrains and First Priority Greenfleet partner to produce commercial plug-in vehicles for fleets

Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI) and First Priority GreenFleet, Ltd (FP GreenFleet), a division of First Priority Global, Ltd (FPG) are collaborating to provide public and private commercial fleet operators access to a suite of plug-in vehicle solutions, spanning Class 2 through Class 8.

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Jaguar unveils Formula E team’s official name, title sponsor, driver line-up and electric racing livery

Jaguar, which last December announced its return to motorsport with a Formula E team (earlier post), unveiled its first all-electric Jaguar Racing car, the I-TYPE 1, in full race livery, with Panasonic as title partner.

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Ricardo supplying single-cylinder diesel research engine with TVCS to DongFeng Commercial Vehicles

Ricardo has been selected by DongFeng Commercial Vehicles Ltd (DFCV) to supply a complete turnkey solution for an advanced single-cylinder diesel research engine and associated vital laboratory equipment, to support the firm—one of China’s biggest truck makers—in fundamental engine research.

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Solaris Bus to offer BAE Systems hybrid electric drive on its vehicles

Solaris Bus & Coach S.A. of Poland, a major supplier of city, intercity, and special purpose buses, which has delivered more than 14,000 vehicles across 30 countries, will now offer BAE Systems’ hybrid electric drive propulsion system on its vehicles.

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Advanced Biofuels USA receives USDA grant for feasibility study of eastern shore energy beet-to-jetfuel project

September 07, 2016

The US Department of Agriculture has provided $16,893 to Advanced Biofuels USA, a Maryland-based 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization, for a feasibility study of producing bio-jetfuel from energy beets grown on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

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Mercedes-Benz delivers its four-millionth SUV; SUV sales up 40% in August

Mercedes-Benz delivered more than 156,000 vehicles to customers in August—an increase of 11.8%. The main contribution towards this increase came from the strong rise in unit sales of SUVs of approximately 40% during the month, which also saw the company deliver its four-millionth SUV since market launch. The company said it surpassed its strongest August to date in the previous year due to double-digit growth in the Asia-Pacific region and in the domestic market.

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UMTRI: average new vehicle fuel economy in US in August down from July

September 06, 2016

The average fuel economy (window-sticker value) of new vehicles sold in the US in August was 25.3 mpg (9.29 l/100km)—down 0.1 mpg from the value for July, according to the latest monthly report from Dr. Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle at University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).

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Shell starts production at Stones in the Gulf of Mexico; deepest offshore oil and gas project

Shell has begun production from the Stones development in the Gulf of Mexico. Stones is expected to produce around 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) when fully ramped up at the end of 2017. The host facility for the world’s deepest offshore oil and gas project is a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.

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Neste and IKEA partner on renewable, bio-based plastics

Neste and IKEA announced partnership to deliver renewable, bio-based plastics; they invited other companies to join the initiative.

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New Azipod XL from ABB increases fuel efficiency by up to an additional 10%; most efficient electric propulsion system for marine vessels

Azipod XL, the latest version of ABB’s market-leading podded electric propulsion system (earlier post), further increases vessel fuel efficiency to an unprecedented level of up to 20% compared to modern shaft line propulsion systems. The efficiency gain of the new version is achieved by a unique nozzle system that accelerates the water flow into the propeller to increase thrust, and by redesigning the thruster for reduced water resistance.

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Connecting home door to car: Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect & the Door Bird app

Together with DoorBird, the Berlin-based start-up, and Hörmann, the gate and door manufacturer, Volkswagen is presenting a world exclusive at the IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung) in Berlin: the means to connect to the door station at home using your vehicle’s infotainment system.

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ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport FE02 ready for a new season in Formula E; MGU01+ improved motor/transmission unit

Testing of the ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport FE02 racer marks the beginning of final preparations for the new season of Formula E, which launches with its first race in Hong Kong on 9 October. ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport will enter the seasons with an improved powertrain and with Audi as a new partner. (Earlier post.)

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GM delivers August record 293,537 vehicles in China

General Motors and its joint ventures delivered an August record 293,537 vehicles in China—up 18% year-over-year. The Cadillac, Buick, Chevrolet and Baojun brands reached all-time highs for the month.

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Daimler introduces digital loading assistant app “pactris”

September 05, 2016

At the International Consumer Electronics Fair (ifa) in Berlin, Daimler introduced a digital loading assistant app: “pactris”. The app determines whether and how all products and parcels fit in the smart’s luggage compartment. After the “smart ready to drop” logistics service, which has just been presented (earlier post), pactris is the second new innovation relating to urban mobility from smart.

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Yadea launches Z3 electric scooter with connectivity app

China-based Yadea has launched its Z3 electric scooter, initially into 15 countries including China, Germany, Korea, and Colombia. Starting price is US$3,388.

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Safety Institute: auto manufacturers fail to meet NHTSA deadline for replacement airbags

September 04, 2016

Many manufacturers have failed to deliver sufficient replacement airbags to vehicles that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) deemed at the highest risk of a rupture, despite a 31 March agency deadline to do so. A study of Vehicle Owner Questionnaires from April through July 2016 shows that the agency has received 155 complaints from consumers with vehicles registered in hot and humid states, who attempted to have their recalled driver and passenger-side airbags repaired, only to be turned away by dealers for lack of parts.

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TDK and Toshiba establish JV for automotive inverters for HEVs, PHEVs, EVs

September 03, 2016

TDK Corporation and Toshiba Corporation have agreed to establish a joint venture—TDK Automotive Technologies Corporation—that will develop, manufacture and sell automotive inverters for hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles.

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ORNL licenses rare earth magnet recycling process to Momentum Technologies

The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Momentum Technologies have signed a non-exclusive licensing agreement for an ORNL process designed to recover rare earth magnets from used computer hard drives.

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PowerCell Sweden receives order from Chinese company for PowerCell S2 to be used as an EV range-extender

September 02, 2016

PowerCell Sweden AB has received an order for the PowerCell S2 fuel cell stack from a Chinese company within the automotive industry. The PowerCell S2 will be used as a hydrogen-based range extender for electrified passenger cars.

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Nifco develops thermoplastic oil pan for Jaguar Land Rover ALIVE6 project

Nifco UK has developed a thermoplastic oil pan as part of the Jaguar Land Rover ALIVE6 Project with government funding from the Advanced Propulsion Centre. The thermoplastic composite part weighs in at 1kg less than a steel equivalent, and has been engineered with continuous glass fibres that are longer than those used in normal reinforced plastics to deliver optimum performance while remaining lightweight.

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DOT awards more than $45M to three Connected Vehicle Pilot sites for phase two

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) awarded three cooperative agreements collectively worth more than $45 million to initiate the design/build/test phase of the Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program. Selected in 2015, the Connected Vehicle Pilot sites include Wyoming, New York City, and Tampa. (Earlier post.)

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Ceres Power and Cummins win DOE award to develop SOFC systems for data centers

Ceres Power Holdings plc will play a key development role in a recently selected US Department of Energy program awarded to Cummins. Ceres Power will benefit from up to US$2.6 million of the total US$4.9-million project, which includes contributions from Cummins, US DOE and other parties, subject to final contract.

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Nissan supplies 20 LEAFs to Uber in London for EV trial

September 01, 2016

Nissan has supplied 20 all-electric Nissan LEAFs to Uber for use as part of a new EV trial in London. It is the first time pure EVs have been available for hire through the Uber app in London.

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IMPCO introduces new GS2 high flow CNG fuel injector

IMPCO Technologies, Inc., a division of Westport Fuel Systems Inc., has introduced of a new GS2 high flow CNG fuel injector, available globally.

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Report: Audi electric four-wheel-drive “A9 e-tron” confirmed

August 31, 2016

The UK’s Autocar reports that Audi will put a four-wheel-drive electric sedan rivaling the Tesla Model S into production. Perhaps to be called the A9 e-tron, the car will share much of its technology with the upcoming e-tron quattro SUV, including the advanced torque vectoring capabilities. (Earlier post).

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Eaton’s new Bussmann series EV fuses allow drivers to go further, faster

Power management company Eaton has introduced its new Bussmann series electric vehicle (EV) fuses designed to provide superior circuit protection while incorporating innovative technologies that promote a vehicle with higher performance and longer range.

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SAKOR Technologies provides dual-dynamometer testing system to major global powertrain manufacturer in China

SAKOR Technologies, Inc. has provided a large dual-dynamometer system to a major global powertrain manufacturer’s technical center in Beijing, China. The system will be used for testing drivetrain components for light vehicles, as well as small and mid-size trucks.

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Hyundai Mobis develops Electronic Parking Brakes (eDIH) for large pickup trucks

Hyundai Mobis has successfully developed electronic parking brakes for large pickup trucks (eDIH: electronic Drum in Hat)—a first for the global market. Hyundai Mobis expects to take a dominant position in this segment. Hyundai Mobis is accelerating its pace in applying the new eDIH system to mass production.

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IBN-One awards FEED contract to Technip and IPSB for 1st plant converting renewable resources into isobutene

August 30, 2016

IBN-One, a subsidiary of Global Bioenergies and Cristal Union, awarded the first engineering contract for its bio-isobutene plant to Technip and IPSB. Following a consultation process by IBN-One in spring 2016, the initial engineering work contract has been awarded to a consortium that includes Technip, a global leader in engineering for the energy, petrochemical and chemical industries, and IPSB, an engineering firm specializing in sugar and biotechnologies.

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TI reference design adds Wi-Fi capability to electric vehicle charging stations

Texas Instruments (TI) introduced the first reference design that adds Wi-Fi connectivity to an electric vehicle (EV) charging station. Electric vehicle owners will now be able to remotely monitor and control the charging of their vehicles from just about anywhere with Wi-Fi, presenting dozens of potential use cases from home automation to checking the availability of nearby public charge points.

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Mazda more than tripling gasoline and diesel SKYACTIV engine production capacity at powertrain plant in Thailand

Mazda Motor Corporation will increase the annual production capacity of the engine assembly plant at Mazda Powertrain Manufacturing (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (MPMT) in Chomburi, Thailand, to 100,000 units in the first half of 2018. The company also announced a plan to construct a new engine machining factory with production capacity similar to that of the engine assembly plant.

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DOE: trends in engine compression ratio and gasoline octane are diverging

Starting in the 1970s, the average compression ratio of engines—which up to that period had evolved pari passu with octane ratings—began diverging from the octane trend due to advanced engine design and controls, as illustrated by data compiled by the US Department of Energy (DOE).

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Final NHTSA data show traffic fatalities up 7.2% in 2015

Final data released by the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed traffic deaths rising across nearly every segment of the population in 2015, with a 7.2% increase in deaths from 2014. Total fatalities were 35,092 people; the last single-year increase of this magnitude was in 1966, when fatalities rose 8.1% from the previous year.

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Skyworks powering LG’s next-gen connected car solutions; applied in Volkswagen units

August 29, 2016

Skyworks Solutions, Inc., an innovator of high-performance analog semiconductors, announced that several of its semiconductor solutions are powering LG Electronics’ latest Online Connectivity Units (OCU) being leveraged across Volkswagen automobiles to enhance connectivity and convenience. Specifically, LG is leveraging eight Skyworks products, including advanced analog control ICs and integrated front-end modules.

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DOE issues RFI on cellulosic sugars and lignin production capabilities

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The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a request for information (DE-FOA-0001615) from industry, academia, national laboratories and other biofuels and bioproducts stakeholders to identify existing capabilities to produce lignocellulosic sugars and lignin for use by the research community.

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ADB approves $240M to help Kazakhstan modernize transport, improve connectivity

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $240.3-million loan to help Kazakhstan modernize its transport system. Improved transport connectivity will help increase trade links between Kazakhstan and the markets in East Asia, the Caspian Sea region, and further to Europe.

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ChargePoint offering 10% off Home 32 Amp EV charging station

August 28, 2016

For National Drive Electric Week, ChargePoint is offering 10% off its 32 Amp ChargePoint Home EV charger.

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UK’s OLEV and Innovate UK announce £24M low-emission freight and logistics trial competition

A new £24-million (US$31.5-million) funding competition has been launched by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) with support from Innovate UK to enable industry-led research trials and development of innovative vehicles or on-vehicle technology. The competition’s aim is to trial or develop low-emission vehicles in the freight, logistics, utilities and emergency industries.

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GM recycles 2M Flint water bottles into fleece for homeless, car parts and air filters

August 27, 2016

General Motors is adding 2 million water bottles from Flint, Michigan residents into its Do Your Part water bottle recycling initiative. The company partnered with Schupan Recycling to collect the bottles. The plastic is washed, flaked and turned into fleece to make three products: Chevrolet Equinox V-6 engine covers; insulation for The Empowerment Plan coats for the homeless; and air filters for 10 GM plants.

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NSC: US motor vehicle fatalities up 9% in 1H 2016; trending toward deadliest driving year since 2007

August 26, 2016

Preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council (NSC) indicate motor vehicle deaths were 9% higher through the first six months of 2016 than in 2015, and 18% higher than two years ago at the six month mark. An estimated 19,100 people have been killed on US roads since January, and 2.2 million were seriously injured. The total estimated cost of these deaths and injuries is $205 billion.

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Porsche launches Digital Lab in Berlin

Porsche has opened the Porsche Digital Lab in Berlin, which will be used to identify and test innovative information technology solutions. The Lab provides a platform for collaboration with technology companies, start-ups and the scientific community. Porsche is partnering with its subsidiary, the Ludwigsburg-based company MHP—one of the leading management and IT consultants in the automotive industry.

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Report: Hyundai to introduce new fuel-cell vehicle in 2018 at half the price of Tucson Fuel Cell

The Korea Herald reported that Hyundai Motor plans to unveil a new fuel-cell electric vehicle with a price tag of 60 million won (~US$53,900)—around half the price of the current Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell. With Korean government subsidies of 27.5 million won (~US$24,700), the purchase price for customers could be lowered to about 33.5 million won (~US$30,100). At the same time, the driving range will increase from the current 415 kilometers (258 miles) to 600 kilometers (373 miles).

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BNEF forecasts cumulative 26 GWh of second-life EV battery storage by 2025

In a new report for clients, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) forecasts that there will be 29 GWh of used EV batteries coming out of cars in 2025. This far exceeds the size of the current stationary storage market. Of this, almost a third will get a second life as stationary storage (10GWh), bringing the cumulative total to 26 GWh.

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GM outlines short-term electrification roadmap for China

In Shanghai, GM Executive Director for Electrification Larry Nitz outlined the company’s short-term electrification roadmap for China. Expansion of GM’s electrified vehicle portfolio in China will be led by the Chevrolet Malibu XL Hybrid (earlier post) and Buick LaCrosse Hybrid (earlier post) as well as the Cadillac CT6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) (earlier post) that will be introduced in the market later this year.

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