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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.]

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

June 28, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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BASF to sell electrolytes manufacturing site in Suzhou to Shenzhen Capchem

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

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

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

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Every tenth kilometer driven in a car2go is electric

June 27, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 26, 2017

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

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

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

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Toyota invests in V2X chipset company Autotalks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—David Pummell

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

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Long term exposure to aircraft noise linked to high blood pressure

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

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Nemaska Lithium delivers battery-grade lithium hydroxide to Johnson Matthey

June 25, 2017

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

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California opens 28th retail hydrogen station

June 24, 2017

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

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

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

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

June 23, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Massachusetts approves testing of Optimus Ride autonomous vehicles in Boston

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

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

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

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USDOT releases integrated ITS Reference Architecture with connected vehicle capabilities

June 22, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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ElectriPlast’s conductive plastic selected by European electric car maker

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

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

June 21, 2017

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

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

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

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Polestar to develop electrified performance brand for Volvo Cars

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

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GM Maven Gig expands to San Francisco

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

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Mercedes-Benz begins construction on new €250M passenger car plant in Russia

Mercedes-Benz is starting construction on a new fully flexible passenger car plant in Russia. Daimler’s industrial commitment in Russia has so far has concentrated on commercial vehicle production. The new passenger car plant in the Moscow region is scheduled to start local production in 2019 beginning with the E-Class Sedan; the SUV models GLE, GLC and GLS will follow subsequently. In total, the company is investing more than €250 million in the location.

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Michelin logs 20th consecutive Le Mans win for its tires

After providing Michelin with the first of its recent sequence of victories at Le Mans with Laurent Aïello, Stéphane Ortelli and Allan McNish in 1998 (Porsche 911 GT1-98), Porsche earned the tire firm’s 20th straight victory in the endurance racing classic over the weekend.

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Volkswagen Group and Hamburg partner to bid to host 2021 ITS World Congress

June 20, 2017

The Volkswagen Group and its partner city, the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, have submitted a bid to host the 2021 ITS World Congress. Under their strategic mobility partnership concluded in 2016 (earlier post), the partners have joined forces to shape the urban mobility of the future and to develop the city as a model for forward-looking, sustainable and integrated urban mobility. To this end, intelligent mobility solutions for both personal mobility and freight transport are to be brought together in an integrated approach.

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VTT developing autonomous ship navigation systems; Apilot steers during evasive maneuvers and docking

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is developing safe steering for the remote-monitored and controlled autonomous ships of the future. The new technology has been developed for navigation systems and ship autopilots, which steer ships automatically.

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Magna to produce BMW 5-Series plug-in hybrid; second electrified vehicle program to Graz line-up

BMW’s new 530e plug-in hybrid (earlier post) will be produced at Magna’s contract manufacturing plant in Graz, Austria, starting in summer 2017. Magna’s Graz facility will then be the production home for two premium electrified vehicles: the BMW 530e and the previously awarded Jaguar I-PACE.

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Juniper forecasts consumer connected car revenues to near $50B by 2022; half of vehicles world-wide connected

In a new report, Juniper Research forecasts that, by 2022, 50% of consumer vehicles on the road will have at least one connectivity service, such as telematics, V2X (vehicle-to-everything) communications, or connected car commerce services. Further, the new report, Consumer Connected Cars: Applications, Telematics & V2V 2017-2022 forecasts that revenues from consumer connected car services will rise from $18.4 billion in 2017 to $49.2 billion in 2022, a 21.6% CAGR (compound annual growth rate).

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Norsk Titanium delivers first FAA-certified, additive manufactured Ti64 structural aviation components

Norsk Titanium AS, a supplier of additive manufactured structural titanium components, announced the first (on-time) delivery of FAA-approved structural components for installation on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The company said that this key milestone demonstrates the production maturity and readiness of the Rapid Plasma Deposition technology to compete against traditional manufacturing processes.

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Mercedes-Benz begins construction of new €500M engine plant in Jawor, Poland

June 19, 2017

Mercedes-Benz has started construction of its first plant in Poland. The new site in Jawor, comprising an area of around 50 hectares, is the second engine production plant run by Mercedes-Benz Cars outside of Germany. Daimler is investing around €500 million in the new production site for four-cylinder engines for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars; around 500 jobs will be created.

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10 years of Neste renewable diesel

Neste began production of renewable diesel 10 years ago at the Neste Porvoo refinery in Finland. (Earlier post.) Neste has since become the leading circular economy company in biofuels and reduced GHG emissions from traffic by more than 33 million tons, based on production of the renewable bio-hydrocarbon fuel. The figure is almost equal to the total annual GHG emissions from road transport in Finland and Sweden.

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Proposed LCFS pathway for recycled beverage-derived ethanol

Parallel Products, a leader in unsaleable beverage destruction and recycling, has filed a proposed pathway for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) for recycled beverage-derived ethanol. Parallel Products is requesting a carbon intensity (CI) of 69.82 gCO2e/MJ for the proposed pathway.

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California ARB fines two companies $507K for selling illegal aftermarket parts for cars & trucks

The California Air Resources Board reached settlements with Derive Systems, Inc., and Hypertech, Inc. to resolve violations of the California Health and Safety Code related to the advertising and sales of illegal aftermarket performance parts in California, especially tuner products made for diesel pick-up truck engines.

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US Coast Guard evaluating diesel outboards; final report due June 2018

The US Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC) is evaluating the use of available diesel outboard engines on its small boats. Although diesel is the dominant fuel for cutters and many boats, the Coast Guard operates hundreds of gasoline-powered outboard engine boats. Conversion to a single-fuel fleet could improve operational performance, efficiency and resiliency.

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BorgWarner delivers first commercial regulated two-stage (R2S) turbocharging system in Chinese passenger vehicle; Great Wall Motors diesel

BorgWarner’s regulated two-stage (R2S) turbocharging technology boosts performance for Great Wall Motor’s new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine. Utilized in a Chinese passenger car for the first time, BorgWarner’s R2S turbocharging technology optimizes performance, provides an enhanced driving experience and reduces fuel consumption for Great Wall’s Haval H8 and H9 SUVs.

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Tesla releases latest version of Autopilot; Model X first SUV to achieve 5-Star crash rating across the board

June 17, 2017

Tesla has released the latest version of its Autopilot software, with enhanced features including Traffic-Aware Cruise Control, Autosteer, Auto Lane Change, Parallel + Perpendicular Autopark, and Summon. Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward + Side Collision Warning, and more advanced safety features are also active and standard.

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ExxonMobil greenlights Liza development in offshore Guyana; $4.4B Phase 1 investment

Exxon Mobil Corporation will proceed with the first phase of development for the Liza field, one of the largest oil discoveries of the past decade, located offshore Guyana.

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Ontario studying use of fuel cells to electrify its GO rail network

Ontario is taking a major step forward to electrify the GO rail network. The Canadian province has begun the GO Rail Network Electrification Transit Project Assessment Process. The process builds on public consultations held last year and will assess the environmental impacts of converting core segments of the GO rail network, including the UP Express, from diesel to electric. In tandem with the assessment process, Ontario is also undertaking a feasibility study on the use of hydrogen fuel cells as an alternative technology for electrifying GO rail service and the UP Express.

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DOE awarding up to $12M for projects to advance wave energy

June 16, 2017

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $12 million in new projects to support the development of innovative technologies capable of generating reliable and cost-effective electricity from US water resources. The four projects will advance marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) energy technologies, which can harness energy from the nation’s oceans and rivers.

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California Energy Commission awards $17M to expand hydrogen refueling infrastructure

During its latest business meeting, the California Energy Commission approved more than than $17 million was approved for nine new hydrogen stations that will expand the refueling infrastructure network in California.

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Gotheburg expands ElectriCity with two more electric buses, other electric heavy-duty vehicles

After two successful years with electric buses on route 55 in Gothenburg, Sweden, the partners in the ElectriCity venture have decided to expand electric bus operations in the city. In June next year two electrically powered high-capacity buses will start operating on route 16. At the same time, plans are under way to expand the demo arena with heavy vehicles for quiet and emission-free urban traffic.

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Ballard’s Protonex subsidiary receives first order for fuel cell system to power commercial UAVs

June 15, 2017

Ballard Power Systems’ subsidiary Protonex has received an initial order for its fuel cell propulsion system, together with design services, from FlyH2 Aerospace, a South African-based developer of hydrogen fuel cell powered unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for commercial applications. Commercial details of this order are confidential.

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Mercedes-Benz begins production of new fuel-efficient truck axle featuring active oil regulation

Mercedes-Benz has begun production of its new fuel-efficient truck axle at the Kassel plant. The rear axle reduces fuel consumption of the Mercedes-Benz Actros by up to 0.5%. In addition to the weight savings, the New Final Drive (NFD) particularly benefits from the actively controlled oil regulation in the final drive, the heart of the axle.

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LINE and Toyota partner for connected car services using LINE’s Clova & Toyota-supported SDL

LINE Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore the business opportunities in utilizing LINE’s cloud AI platform Clova (Cloud Virtual Assistant) and the SmartDeviceLink (SDL), a technology standard that connects automobiles with smartphone and tablet apps.

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ZEV systems provider ADOMANI completes IPO, raises $9.2M

ADOMANI Inc., a provider of advanced zero emission vehicle solutions, completed its Regulation A common stock offering and listing on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the ticker symbol ADOM. The company and certain selling stockholders sold more than 2.5 million shares in the offering at $5 per share, yielding proceeds to the company of approximately $9.2 million.

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Valeo launches global research center in AI and deep learning for automotive applications

Valeo launched a global research center in artificial intelligence and deep learning dedicated to automotive applications. will leverage Valeo’s position in autonomous driving and link with the scientific community. Artificial intelligence and deep learning are increasingly becoming key drivers for the challenges of the automated cars of tomorrow, from high performing perception sensors for vehicle context understanding to advanced automated driving functions in complex environments, smart interaction with users and learning capabilities through connected cars.

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IBM integrates with BMW CarData to enable new and innovative services for drivers

IBM announced today that it is a pilot partner of BMW CarData. Recently released, BMW CarData will allow up to 8.5 million BMW customers globally to make use of third party services in a secure and transparent way. BMW is the first OEM to release an open data platform with the introduction of BMW CarData. BMW CarData gives BMW ConnectedDrive customers the ability to share telematics data from their BMW vehicles with third parties of their choice.

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LA, Long Beach mayors commit to move ports to zero emissions

June 14, 2017

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia signed a joint declaration today that sets ambitious goals for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to make the transition to zero emissions in their Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP). The mayors also affirmed that the CAAP will include new investments in clean technology, expanding at-berth emission reductions, and launching a zero emissions drayage truck pilot program in the next few years.

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GM has built 130 Bolt EVs with next-generation autonomous technology

June 13, 2017

General Motors has completed production of 130 Chevrolet Bolt EV test vehicles equipped with its next generation of self-driving technology at its Orion Assembly Plant located in Orion Township, Michigan. The vehicles will join the more than 50 current-generation self-driving Bolt EVs already deployed in testing fleets in San Francisco; Scottsdale, Arizona; and metro Detroit.

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Audi first to demo automated vehicle in NY; Level 3 Highway Pilot

Audi became the first company to demonstrate an automated vehicle in New York, at an event near the state capitol today. Audi offered rides and demonstrations of Audi Highway Pilot technology—SAE International Level 3 automation—to legislators, their staffs, media and other stakeholders.

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Porvoo using Neste MY Renewable Diesel in all its diesel-fueled vehicles

Porvoo is the first city in Finland to start using Neste MY Renewable Diesel, produced 100% from waste and residues, in all of its diesel-fueled vehicles during this year. The municipal engineering department of Porvoo and the free summer bus Rinkeli will start using the product immediately.

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Audi teases AI remote parking on new A8

In July, Audi will host the “Audi Summit” in Barcelona to showcase pioneering solutions for the urban mobility of tomorrow and to stage the premiere of the brand’s new flagship, the Audi A8. In the run-up to the event, Audi has released a teaser video of AI remote parking in the new A8.

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DOE announces $3M for high performance computing for manufacturing

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to $3 million for manufacturers to use supercomputers at the department’s national laboratories to tackle major manufacturing challenges. The High Performance Computing for Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) Program enables the use of high performance computing (HPC) expertise and resources for the manufacturing sector to address research and development challenges with HPC and investigate its use to support advanced energy and manufacturing issues.

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BMW i Ventures makes strategic investment in electric bus company Proterra; part of $55M round

Electric bus manufacturer Proterra has closed a $55-million Series 6 round, on the heels of an oversubscribed $140-million Series 5 in January. Generation Investment Management LLP, a long-term, sustainability focused investment firm led the round, which was joined by BMW i Ventures, the corporate venture capital team founded by BMW Group in 2011.

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Strategy Analytics report finds ridesharing may not negatively impact future vehicle purchases

A new report from the Automotive Connected Mobility (ACM) service at Strategy Analytics has found that ridesharing usage may not negatively impact the future vehicle purchase intention of current vehicle owners.

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Ricardo to collaborate with Kailong on clean heavy-duty diesel aftertreatment technology

Ricardo and China’s Kailong High Technology Co., Ltd have signed a collaboration agreement on Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) technologies for heavy-duty diesel engine applications.

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Groupe PSA and ChangAn investing €500M in their JV; New Energy Vehicles

June 12, 2017

ChangAn Automobile and Groupe PSA signed an in-depth strategic cooperation agreement to further deepen their cooperation started 6 years ago to establish the DS premium brand in China. The partners will make an equally shared investment in the CAPASA JV of 3.6 billion RMB (€ 500 million) over 2017. The partners are planning one DS launch per year from 2018, with New Energy Vehicles to be considered by both partners.

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Renault launches new version of My Renault connected app; direct connection to vehicle for remote access to services and car functions

Renault is launching a new version of the MY Renault application, which now connects directly to the vehicle. With the MY Renault application, motorists can manage their cars and their services from their smartphones, any time, any place. The new MY Renault vehicle-connected services are compatible with the R-LINK, R-LINK Evolution and R-LINK 2 multimedia systems.

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New MAHLE unit for aftermarket R1234yf service in US

The new ArcticPRO ACX1250 air conditioning (A/C) service unit by MAHLE Service Solutions economically services R1234yf vehicles. R1234yf is the new low global warming potential (GWP) worldwide A/C refrigerant that has entered the US market and is designed to be environmentally friendly with the intent of reducing its impact on global warming.

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Millbrook designated RDE testing provider for type approval

In the UK, Millbrook Group, the leading independent vehicle testing and validation services provider, is designated to provide real driving emissions (RDE) testing on behalf of Dutch approval authority, RDW.

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NGVA Europe study quantifies GHG reduction of natural gas use in light- and heavy-duty vehicles compared to gasoline and diesel

NGVA Europe, the European Natural & bio Gas Vehicle Association, has published its own study about the impact on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the use of natural gas as transportation fuel. The study “Greenhouse gas intensity of natural gas” shows that natural gas reduces GHG emissions from passenger cars on a well-to-wheel (WtW) basis by 23% compared with petrol and by 7% compared with diesel.

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Airbus: nearly 35,000 aircraft valued at US$5.3T required in the next 20 years; growth and replacement of less fuel-efficient aircraft

The world’s passenger aircraft fleet above 100 seats is set to more than double in the next 20 years to over 40,000 planes as traffic is set to grow at 4.4% per year, according to Airbus’ Global Market Forecast 2017-2036.

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PSA Group fitting gasoline particulate filters on all GDI engines from December 2017

June 09, 2017

The PSA Group has developed a Gasoline Particulate Filter (GPF), to treat particle emissions from gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines. This technology offers 75% higher efficiency in terms of the number of particles captured.

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eSync Alliance initiative seeks to drive industry-wide secure automotive OTA and diagnostics

Excelfore, a provider of Cloud platform and connectivity applications for transportation, has introduced the eSync Alliance, a global automotive initiative to drive multi-company solutions for over-the-air (OTA) updates and diagnostic-data in the automotive electronics eco-system.

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Cognata raises $5M to launch deep learning simulation to speed time to market for autonomous vehicles

Cognata, Ltd., launched of its simulation engine, supported by $5 million in funding from Emerge, Maniv Mobility, and Airbus Ventures. The company will use the funding to accelerate product development and commercialization of its new solution, which combines artificial intelligence, deep learning, and computer vision in a simulation platform. The platform is designed to allow autonomous vehicle developers to shave years off the long, costly process of road-testing autonomous vehicles.

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Nissan making Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) standard across best-selling models for MY2018

Nissan is making Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) standard on a projected one million vehicles sold in the United States for model year 2018, including seven of the company’s most popular models—Rogue/Rogue Sport, Altima, Murano, LEAF, Pathfinder, Maxima and Sentra (except manual transmission-equipped and all NISMO versions).

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CARB certifies ROUSH CleanTech propane engine to .05 g/bhp-hr NOx

June 08, 2017

ROUSH CleanTech has developed the first propane autogas engine available in class 4-7 vehicles and Blue Bird Type C buses certified to the optional low NOx level .05 g/bhp-hr. These new Environmental Protection Agency- and California Air Resources Board-certified propane engines are 75% cleaner than the current emissions standard.

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Nissan releases X-Trail with ProPILOT autonomous drive function in Japan

The Nissan X-Trail today became the brand’s second car available with ProPILOT, Nissan’s autonomous-drive technology that reduces the hassle of stop-and-go highway driving. The updated X-Trail is now on sale at Nissan dealers throughout Japan today. ProPILOT, the car’s main new feature, supports drivers by helping control acceleration, braking and steering during single-lane driving on the highway. The technology has until now only been available in the Nissan Serena, which was fully redesigned in August.

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Parkopedia to provide Audi with global in-car parking service

Parkopedia, the world’s largest parking service provider, has been selected to be the new global provider of Audi’s premium in-car parking services as of June 2017.

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GM, Honda fuel cell manufacturing JV unveils logo

June 07, 2017

Fuel Cell System Manufacturing LLC (FCSM), the joint venture company established by General Motors and Honda for the production of advanced hydrogen fuel cell systems (earlier post), revealed its company logo at an event recognizing local elected officials for helping bring the operation to metro Detroit.

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DOE to award $13.5M to advance solid oxide fuel cells to commercialization

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy’s Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) Program will award up to $13.5 million to research projects to develop solid oxide fuel cell technology to the level necessary for broad commercial success. (DE-FOA-0001735) The funding opportunity announcement (FOA) comprises two topic areas:

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USC study associates PM2.5 air pollution with poor survival in liver cancer patients

A study by researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) has significantly associated exposure to particulate air pollution after being diagnosed with liver cancer with an increased risk of premature death. The study appears in the International Journal of Cancer.

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NEVS’ Tianjin JV partners with Microsoft on car connectivity

NEVS’ Tianjin Joint Venture NNEV (National New Energy Vehicle Co., Ltd) will adopt Microsoft’s advanced Cloud technology to power NEVS’ mobility solutions globally.

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California Governor signs agreement with China national government to cooperate on green tech

June 06, 2017

In China, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed an agreement with China’s Minister of Science and Technology to deepen cooperation on the development of green technology. Governor Brown also met with China President Xi Jinping for approximately 45 minutes at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The Governor and President discussed the importance of expanding cooperation on green technology, innovation and trade.

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Proterra joins CharIN as first NA electric bus company member

The Charging Interface Initiative (CharIN e.V.), an international organization developing and establishing the Combined Charging System (CCS) as the standard for charging battery-powered electric vehicles of all kinds, announced that Proterra has become its first North American electric bus company member.

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DOE to award nearly $4M for projects on recovering rare earth elements from coal and coal by-products

The US Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will award an estimated $3.95 million (DE-FOA-0001718) to projects to develop new technologies or technology advancements that result in improvements in technical, environmental, and economic performance of existing technologies to recover rare earth elements (REE) from domestic US coal and coal by-products.

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Average new vehicle fuel economy in US in May unchanged from April and May 2016

The average fuel economy (window-sticker value) of new vehicles sold in the US in May was 25.3 mpg (9.29 l/100 km)—unchanged from April and the same as a year ago, according to the latest monthly report from Dr. Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle at University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI).  The value for May is up 5.2 mpg since October 2007 (the first month of their monitoring), but down 0.2 mpg from the peak of 25.5 mpg reached in August 2014.

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NASA green-lights 3 research projects on unmanned aviation systems

NASA has given the green light to three teams of NASA researchers working on different aspects of Unmanned Aircraft Systems. The trio of investigations are part of NASA’s Convergent Aeronautics Solutions (CAS) project and are expected to take between 24 and to 30 months to complete.

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Hydrogenics to provide fuel cell systems for four Scandia fuel-cell trucks in Norway

Hydrogenics Corporation, a developer and manufacturer of hydrogen generation and hydrogen-based power modules, has been awarded a contract to deliver four HyPM-HD90 fuel cell systems to be integrated into Scania hydrogen trucks owned and operated by ASKO, Norway’s largest grocery wholesaler. (Earlier post.) Additional terms were not disclosed. The first Scania hydrogen-powered vehicles are expected to be operational by late 2018.

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New fleet customers for XL Hybrid’s plug-in hybrid upfit for Ford F-150 pickups

June 05, 2017

XL Hybrids announced new fleet customers who intend to purchase its XLP plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) upfit solution for Ford F-150 pickup trucks. The Fleet-Ready technology is the industry’s first ship-thru upfit on half-ton pickup trucks from a leading OEM. XLP will provide a 50% improvement in miles driven per gallon for major fleets across the United States, as well as significant reductions in CO2 emissions.

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SEAT aims to reduce its environmental footprint by 50% by 2025

SEAT, a member of the Volkswagen Group, aims to cut its environmental footprint in half by 2025, compared with its 2010 consumption and emissions figures. By the end of 2016, the company had already improved its five major environmental indicators (energy and water consumption, as well as the generation of waste, volatile compounds and CO2) by 33.6%. With this figure, the company successfully concluded the challenge of improving its environmental impact by 25% by 2018 a full two years ahead of schedule.

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Virtual power plant project starts in Toyota City; leveraging PHEVs

Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc., Denso Corporation, Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Turbine and Systems Inc., together with Toyota City, have launched a “virtual power plant” demonstration project, which aims to achieve the local production and consumption of renewable energy. The project outlines the construction of a virtual power plant that will regulate electric power demand according to the supply of electric power generated from renewable energy in Toyota City and that will enable multiple user-side energy resources to function as if they were a single power plant.

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Continental partnering with NTT DOCOMO to advance 5G technology for connected cars

Continental has started a joint research and development collaboration to realize 5G vehicle communications with the Japanese telecommunications company NTT DOCOMO, Inc. to enhance connected infotainment functions and build the foundation for cellular based vehicle-to-everything (V2X) wireless communications systems.

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Canadian Nuclear Laboratories seeks input on small modular reactor technology

June 03, 2017

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) has begun a discussion around Small Modular Reactor (SMRs) technology in Canada, and the role that Canadian Nuclear Laboratories can play in bringing this technology to market, by launching a Request for Expressions of Interest on SMRs.

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Nissan Chile delivers fleet of 25 LEAFs to Enel, the country’s largest electricity group

Nissan Chile delivered a fleet of 25 LEAF electric vehicles to employees of Enel, Chile’s largest electricity group in terms of installed capacity. The initiative is part of the first electric vehicle sales program exclusively for fleet customers in Chile.

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ARPA-E to issue FOAs for advanced modular nuclear reactors, ultra-high efficient hybrid systems for gas-to-electricity

June 02, 2017

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) will issue two new funding opportunities (FOAs): one to support R&D on advanced nuclear reactor technologies, the other for the development of hybrid fuel cell and engine systems for the ultra-high efficiency conversion of natural gas to electricity.

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Samsung Heavy Industries and DNV GL sign partnership for new LNG carrier designs

DNV GL and Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd (SHI) signed a joint development project (JDP) agreement focused on the development of new designs for LNG carriers. The JDP aims to develop two 30K (30,000 m3) LNG carrier designs, one with membrane-type LNG tanks and one with type-C (pressurized) LNG tanks.

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Intel predicts autonomous driving will spur new “Passenger Economy” worth $7T by 2050

Intel Corporation released the findings from a new study that explores the yet-to-be-realized economic potential when today’s drivers become idle passengers. Coined the “Passenger Economy” by Intel and prepared by analyst firm Strategy Analytics, the study predicts an explosive economic trajectory growing from $800 billion in 2035 to $7 trillion by 2050.

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$9.5M from California Climate Investments will support purchase of 10 battery-electric buses and solar charging stations

June 01, 2017

California will award $9.5 million to bring 10 battery-electric buses and supportive infrastructure to serve disadvantaged communities in the south San Joaquin Valley city of Porterville. In addition to the buses, the project will include installation of charging stations and solar panels. Funding is from the California Climate Investments (CCI), the state’s cap-and-trade program.

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