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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.]

Tritium trials Veefil 50 kW fast chargers in China in joint venture with Oxford University Innovation

May 22, 2017

Australia-based Tritium, a developer of infrastructure solutions for the EV market, has started trials of its Veefil-RT 50kW DC charger in China, a market currently experiencing stronger growth in EV sales than the US or Europe. Tritium is developing its strategy in China in collaboration with the Hong Kong office of Oxford University Innovation (Hong Kong), which facilitates international technology transfers between the rest of the world and Asia.

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Daimler receives Porsche Prize for diesel aftertreatment system in OM 654

The Professor Ferdinand Porsche Prize was awarded by Vienna University of Technology to Anke Kleinschmit, Head of Corporate Research & Sustainability and Environmental Officer for Daimler AG, for the development of the innovative exhaust gas aftertreatment system in the new OM 654 four-cylinder diesel engine (earlier post). The went into series production in 2016 and stands out for the fact that NOx emissions stay low in real operating conditions.

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SAIC-GM upgrades paint shop pretreatment line with Henkel zirconium thin film treatment

SAIC General Motors Corporation Limited (SAIC-GM), a joint venture between General Motors Company and SAIC Motor, has upgraded its car coating line at its Jinqiao South plant, which opened in 2003. The plant used to employ a traditional zinc phosphating pretreatment process to handle 300,000 units of passenger vehicles annually. In May 2016, with full technology support from Henkel China, the paint shop upgraded its pretreatment process with zirconium thin film treatment which went into mass production after only a one-week commissioning.

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New York City awards $3.8M multi-year contract to Envision Solar to purchase EV ARC solar-powered EV chargers

May 21, 2017

New York City has issued a three-year contract to purchase Envision Solar International’s EV ARC products. The contract has a posted initial value of $3.8 million and an optional one-year renewal at the end of the three-year term. New York City’s first order will be for at least thirty EV ARC units in 2017, making it the largest single order of EV ARC products in the company’s history.

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Ford invests $350M in Livonia plant to support production of new fuel-efficient FWD transmission

May 20, 2017

Ford is investing $350 million in its Livonia Transmission Plant to support production of a new, advanced transmission for front-wheel-drive vehicles. This transmission will provide customers better-performing, more fuel-efficient vehicles. It will share software, design elements and manufacturing processes with the 10-speed and other future transmissions.

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Rheinmetall wins 7-year, €100M contract for electric motor housings for China

May 19, 2017

KS HUAYU AluTech GmbH, Neckarsulm, Germany, a member of Rheinmetall Automotive, has booked a major order from a globally operating German carmaker for electric motor housings installed in passenger cars. Worth a total €100 million, the contract will run for seven years. Rheinmetall Automotive—formerly KSPG and Kolbenschmidt Pierburg—expects electrification to account for more than half of its sales in 2020. (Earlier post.)

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11 companies agree to collaborate on large-scale construction of hydrogen stations in Japan

Toyota Motor, Nissan Motor, Honda Motor, JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy, Idemitsu Kosan, Iwatani, Tokyo Gas, Toho Gas, Air Liquide Japan, Toyota Tsusho and Development Bank of Japan have signed a memorandum of understanding on collaboration toward the large-scale construction of hydrogen stations for fuel cell vehicles (FCVs).

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Airbiquity introduces OTAmatic for connected vehicle over-the-air (OTA) software updates and data management

Airbiquity launched launch of OTAmatic, an automotive over-the-air (OTA) solution that orchestrates and automates software updates and data management for connected vehicles.

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Nissan begins teasing the new LEAF, to be unveiled later this year

Nissan has issued its first teaser shot of the new Nissan LEAF electric vehicle, to be unveiled later this year. The picture is the first in a series of images and information briefs planned for the new model leading up to the global unveiling.

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Mercedes-Benz Energy and Vivint Solar partner on US home energy storage systems

May 18, 2017

Mercedes-Benz Energy and Vivint Solar announced an exclusive strategic collaboration to bring the Mercedes-Benz customizable home energy storage system to the US. The two companies will introduce a joint offering that will provide customers with Mercedes-Benz batteries coupled with Vivint Solar’s expertise in designing, installing and servicing solar energy systems.

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ICCT: European cities driving diesel out of the market

According to a recent analysis of European diesel sales by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), European cities are setting the tone in the diesel debate. Specifically, policy announcements from major cities have raised doubts about being unable to drive a diesel in important urban areas. This is creating doubt about the resale value of diesel cars and curbing consumers’ appetite for diesel technology, the ICCT analysts said.

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AKASOL launches two new production sites for series production of Li-ion battery systems

May 17, 2017

Lithium-ion battery system company AKASOL (earlier post) is launching two additional production sites at once: a new facility featuring more than 3,000 m2 of production halls and office space in Langen, as well as an additional 700 m2 of halls at its headquarters in Darmstadt. Starting in 2018, up to 150 members of staff will begin series assembly of lithium-ion battery systems for leading European bus manufacturers at the Langen facility.

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Students of Eindhoven University of Technology are presenting bio-composite car

Students from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have designed and built a car made of bio-composite. The car, “Lina”, features chassis, bodywork and interior all made of natural materials.

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GM Fleet to offer new AT&T connected car data plans for business customers; data pooling, unlimited data and corporate billing

General Motors Fleet and AT&T announced that starting this summer, customers with GM Fleet corporate accounts will be able to activate OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspots in millions of cars, trucks and crossovers with the ability to share unlimited data and receive simplified invoices with centralized billing.

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California Clean Fuels rule reports 100% compliance in 2016

May 16, 2017

The 2016 Compliance Report for the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), released today by the California Air Resources Board (ARB), shows 100% compliance with the regulation.

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Honeywell starts up $300M plant for HFO-1234yf low-GWP MAC refrigerant

Honeywell has started commercial operations at its new manufacturing plant in Geismar, La., to meet the growing global demand for its next-generation mobile air conditioning (MAC) refrigerant. With this start-up, the plant has become the world’s largest site for producing HFO-1234yf—sold commercially as Solstice yf—a low-global-warming-potential (GWP) refrigerant. (Earlier post.)

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Audi shows integrated Android operating system in Audi Q8 sport concept

Audi is presenting a concept of a next-generation infotainment system with fully integrated Android. This world premiere, presented at the Google I/O developer conference, will allow the development of connectivity services to be greatly accelerated, the company said.

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Faurecia to develop and manufacture vehicle fuel cell tanks with STELIA Aerospace Composites IP

Faurecia, one of the world’s largest automotive equipment suppliers, has acquired an exclusive access to the intellectual property and process know-how of composite hydrogen tanks from STELIA Aerospace Composites. Faurecia is now, with the support of STELIA Aerospace Composites, able to design, industrialize and commercialize high-pressure hydrogen tanks made of carbon fiber composites for fuel cell electric vehicles.

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Cypress expands long-term collaboration with Bosch Automotive into next-generation ADAS platforms

Cypress Semiconductor announced that Bosch has selected Cypress’ automotive-grade Serial NOR Flash memories for its next-generation video-based Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). The NOR Flash memory is used to store system boot code and algorithms at temperatures up to 125 °C with utmost reliability.

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BorgWarner supplying customized dual-clutch and control modules to Great Wall Motors; higher fuel efficiency

BorgWarner is supplying customized DualTronic clutch and control modules using advanced solenoid valves and friction materials for Great Wall Motors’ (GWM’s) self-developed wet dual-clutch transmission (wet DCT).

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Aemetis wins $6M biodiesel supply contract with India Government oil companies

Aemetis, Inc. announced that its Universal Biofuels subsidiary has won a $6-million first contract to supply biodiesel to the India government-owned Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) in a public tender process. The total diesel market in India is approximately 25 billion gallons per year, of which less than 250 million gallons per year of biodiesel is currently blended. The OMC’s provide about 70% of the fuel consumed in India, and the diesel fuel market is growing at a rate of more than 5% per year.

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DOE: 23.5% of vehicles sold in Norway in 2016 were plug-ins; highest market penetration in Europe

May 15, 2017

Nearly one of every four vehicles sold in Norway in 2016 was a PEV (23.5%), giving the country the highest plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) market penetration of European countries, according to figures from Argonne National Laboratory.

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Ryder San Francisco fueling facility offers 100% renewable diesel

Ryder System, a leader in commercial fleet management, dedicated transportation, and supply chain solutions, has begun to offer 100% renewable diesel (RD) fuel at its San Francisco fueling facility. With this offering, Ryder customers will be better able to address their sustainability goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions while still utilizing diesel vehicles.

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GM Maven expanding car-sharing operations in NYC

GM’s Maven is expanding operations in New York City with more than 80 Maven City car-sharing vehicles available throughout Manhattan for hourly or daily reservations. Maven has now rolled out in 17 cities across North America and its members have covered more than 125 million miles.

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Leclanché’s launches new marine battery system; to be used in Denmark’s E-ferry

Leclanché SA announced the market launch of Leclanché Marine Rack System (MRS), a modular, Lithium-ion battery system for marine vessels. Leclanché MRS is the first marine battery system of its type approved by international certification body DNV-GL under revised rules issued in October 2015. Leclanché will use the MRS on the E-ferry in Denmark, the world’s largest, 100% electric ferry by battery capacity, equipped with a 4.3 MWh Leclanché Lithium-ion battery and scheduled for launch later this year. (Earlier post.)

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BioSolar begins engineering phase of its work on new Si alloy anode for high-capacity Li-ion batteries

BioSolar, a developer of energy storage technology and materials, has completed the lab phase and has begun the engineering phase of its development of a silicon (Si) alloy anode material. In September 2016, BioSolar, which up to that point had been focusing primarily on its development of a “Super Cathode”, announced it had begun development of an anode technology as well. (Earlier post.)

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Researchers boost efficiency of using coffee grounds for biodiesel feedstock

Researchers at Lancaster University in the UK have found a way to significantly improve the efficiency of using spent coffee grounds to make biofuels. The chemical engineers have consolidated the existing multi-stage process into one step (known as in-situ transesterification), which combines extraction of the oils from the spent coffee grounds and the conversion of it into coffee biodiesel.

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Brunel team working to develop next-generation light, thin-walled aluminum die-cast parts

May 12, 2017

Researchers at Brunel University London are developing a new generation of ultra-light car parts that will reduce fuel costs and carbon emissions. The three-year, £7.5-million (US$9.6-million) project is a partnership driven by Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST), Jaguar Land Rover and others.

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Visedo and TECO partner on heavy vehicle electric motors

Finnish manufacturer of electric drivetrains for heavy vehicles Visedo has signed a supply and purchase agreement with Asia’s largest electric motor producer TECO Electric & Machinery Company. Under the agreement, Visedo will benefit from TECO’s significant production capacity and ability to service major tender projects worldwide and particularly in Asia. In turn, TECO will have access to Visedo’s expertise in developing synchronous reluctance assisted permanent magnet (SRPM) power systems (earlier post).

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Continental counting on positive decision on automated driving from Germany’s Bundesrat

Continental is eagerly awaiting today’s decision by the Germany’s Bundesrat regarding changes to the German Road Traffic Act. This would make Germany one of the first countries in the world to obtain a legal framework for the introduction of highly and fully automated vehicles.

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Cross-border car2go rentals up 80% in Q1 2017 to 33,000 journeys

May 11, 2017

An increasing number of travelers are using free-floating carsharing from car2go. In the first quarter of 2017, the number of cross-border rentals increased by 80% to 33,000 journeys. This figure includes both business travel as well as tourist visits in European car2go locations.

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REG expanding footprint at 75M gallon renewable diesel refinery in Geismar

Renewable Energy Group will acquire approximately 82 acres of land at its Geismar, Louisiana biorefinery from Lion Copolymer. REG has agreed to purchase the land it has leased for its Geismar operations, as well as more than 61 adjacent acres, which the company plans to improve and utilize to support existing production capacity and future expansion opportunities. REG Geismar, LLC will pay Lion Copolymer $20 million for the acquisition. The lease will be terminated at closing.

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BorgWarner supplies clutch for Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

BorgWarner supplies its sprag one-way clutch for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, the first FCA US LLC mass-produced plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and the industry’s first PHEV minivan. (Earlier post.) Depending on driving mode, BorgWarner’s one-way clutch enables the secondary motor to generate electricity or work with the traction-drive motor to transfer torque through the differential to the front wheels.

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Energy companies partner with RMI and Grid Singularity to launch global blockchain initiative for energy

May 10, 2017

Centrica plc, Elia, Engie, Royal Dutch Shell plc, Sempra Energy, SP Group, Statoil ASA, Stedin, TWL (Technical Works Ludwigshafen AG), and Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) have joined forces to support the Energy Web Foundation (EWF), a non-profit organization the mission of which is to accelerate the commercial deployment of blockchain technology in the energy sector. Thanks to their support, EWF has secured the first round of funding amounting to $2.5 million.

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Praj cellulosic ethanol demo plant running in India; commercial projects coming

Nitin Gadkari, India’s Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, recently inaugurated Praj’s cellulosic ethanol demonstration plant near Pune, India. The plant is India’s first integrated bio-refinery, built to showcase Praj’s proprietary process technology to produce ethanol from agricultural waste.

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2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee qualifies for Japan’s Eco-Car tax tncentive

The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee mid-size SUV has become the second gasoline-driven, US-made, US-brand vehicle to qualify for Japan’s Eco-Car tax break. The 2016 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk was first. Jeep is Japan’s top-selling US vehicle brand; sales hit a record high of 9,388 in 2016—a 31.7% jump, year-over-year.

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Karsan unveiling “Buy America” CNG bus at UTIP World Global Transport Summit

Turkey-based Karsan will introduce its first “Buy America” compliant vehicle at the upcoming UITP World Global Transport Summit, 15-17 May at Palais des Congrès de Montréal, QC Canada. Having successfully completed Altoona testing, the 40' (12m), CNG-powered vehicle is currently completing FMVSS/CMVSS certification and will be ready for sale before the end of 2017.

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Toyota Environmental Activities Grant Program accepting application for 2017 awards

May 09, 2017

Toyota Motor Corporation has begun accepting applications today for this year’s Toyota Environmental Activities Grant Program, which is designed to support environmental revitalization and conservation activities aimed at sustainable development both in Japan and overseas.

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SwRI’S patented technology allows automated vehicles to pilot aerial drones with no human intervention

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has secured a patent for technology that allows unmanned aerial systems to cooperate with unmanned ground vehicles, providing more information about the surrounding environment and enabling safer maneuvers. The technology has immediate military applications, and the system also is helping SwRI to develop future commercial solutions for remote inspection systems.

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Allianz, Axel Springer, Daimler, Deutsche Bank, Postbank, Core, and Here to launch joint platform for online registration, e-identity and data services

May 08, 2017

Leading German and European companies have stated their intention to cooperate more closely to establish a joint, pan-industry platform for online registration, e-identity and data services.

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Porsche Digital, Inc. opens location in Silicon Valley

Porsche is opening a new Porsche Digital location in Silicon Valley. After founding Porsche Digital GmbH based in Ludwigsburg, opening a US subsidiary was the next logical step in Porsche’s digitalization strategy, said Thilo Koslowski, Managing Director of Porsche Digital.

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Amyris announces much better than expected sales of farnesene to meet accelerated demand for liquid farnesene rubber by global tire brands

May 05, 2017

Amyris, Inc. announced that its partner’s success in developing high performance liquid farnesene rubber (LFR) for use in winter tire applications has led to accelerated adoption due to the performance enhancements of LFR. (Earlier post.) This has led to commercialization plans being accelerated by two additional major tire brands that are now developing tires utilizing LFR and expanding their use beyond winter tire applications.

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California Assemblyman files ballot initiative to repeal California gas tax increase

California Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) filed ballot initiative to repeal the recently signed $52 billion gas tax (earlier post) and move it to a vote in 2018.

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Scania launches large-scale renewable diesel pilot for employees

Scania has launched a large-scale renewable diesel (HVO) pilot for employees based in Södertälje, Sweden, enabling them to fuel their cars with renewable diesel. In Sweden, HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) is mainly produced by rape seed oil and waste from the food industry. HVO can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90%.

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DeepMap raises $25M in Series A, $32M to date; high-definition mapping for safe autonomy

DeepMap—a team of senior Google and Apple mapping and cloud infrastructure software engineers and LiDAR pioneers—announced a $25-million Series A round led by Accel, with participation from seed-stage investors Andreessen Horowitz and GSR Ventures. This round of funding brings the company’s total raise to $32 million. DeepMap’s service delivers the capabilities necessary for self-driving cars to navigate in the complex and unpredictable real world by addressing three important elements: precise high-definition mapping, ultra-accurate real-time localization and the serving infrastructure to support massive global scaling.

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GM, SJTU wrap up EN-V 2.0 vehicle sharing pilot program; learnings to be shared with Maven

The Chevrolet EN-V 2.0 vehicle sharing pilot program (earlier post) launched by General Motors and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) recently concluded after two years’ operation in a real-world environment. Learnings obtained through data analysis carried out jointly by GM engineers and SJTU researchers and students will be shared with the team responsible for GM’s global personal mobility brand, Maven.

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Faurecia and ZF enter in a strategic partnership for integrated safety for autonomous driving

ZF and Faurecia, both leading global systems suppliers for cars and trucks, will cooperate in a strategic partnership for the development of disruptive and differentiating interior and safety technologies for autonomous driving.

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Researchers say policies to curb short-lived climate pollutants could yield major health benefits; methane and black carbon

May 04, 2017

A commitment to reducing global emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) such as methane and black carbon could slow global warming while boosting public health and agricultural yields, aligning the Paris Climate Agreement with global sustainable development goals, according to new analysis by an international research panel published in the journal Science.

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Average new-vehicle fuel economy in US up 0.1 mpg in April

The average fuel economy (window-sticker value) of new vehicles sold in the US in April was 25.3 mpg (9.29 l/100 km)—up 0.1 mpg from the value for March, 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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Intel unveils latest autonomous driving lab in Silicon Valley

Intel unveiled its Advanced Vehicle Lab in Silicon Valley, providing insight into the company’s R&D efforts underway on autonomous vehicles. The announcement was made during the company’s first Autonomous Driving Workshop held in San Jose, California.

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Enel, Nissan and IIT launch pilot corporate EV car charging project with V2G chargers

Enel Energia, Nissan Italia and the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) are partnering in a pilot corporate electric car sharing project with V2G chargers at the IIT headquarters in Genoa. The columns installed at the IIT will, for the moment, work uni-directionally for recharging and will be the subject of a pilot development project with IIT, pending the definition of the regulatory framework for V2G in Italy.

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ABB providing two fast chargers for Scania buses in Östersund, Sweden

ABB will provide two fast-chargers for Scania electric buses in Östersund, Sweden. The chargers are based on OppCharge, an open interface for the automated charging of electric buses from any manufacturer, and use a pantograph on the infrastructure to connect the bus to the charging point.

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Volkswagen Group and CNG operators join to support growth of CNG mobility; 10x increase in German CNG fleet by 2025

May 03, 2017

The Volkswagen Group and operators of CNG filling stations and gas networks in Germany have signed a joint declaration of intent, committing themselves to the extension of CNG mobility. The signers, together with other vehicle manufacturers, are working to grow the CNG vehicle fleet in Germany tenfold to 1 million vehicles by 2025.

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Constellium providing lightweight aluminium solutions for new BMW 5 Series

Constellium N.V. announced that it supplies aluminium automotive body sheets and crash management systems for the new BMW 5 Series, including its hybrid and touring models. The latest edition of the iconic BMW 5 Series saves 137 pounds (62 kg) compared to the previous model due to the use of lightweight materials.

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Ryder to be strategic service partner for electric truck and drone manufacturer Workhorse Group

May 02, 2017

Ryder System, Inc., a leader in commercial fleet management, dedicated transportation, and supply chain solutions, will be the strategic service partner for Workhorse Group Inc., an Ohio-based battery-electric truck and drone manufacturer. Ryder will be the exclusive maintenance provider for Workhorse’s entire light- and medium-duty range-extended electric vehicle fleet in North America and will provide a combination of warranty and maintenance services as part of Ryder’s SelectCare fleet maintenance portfolio.

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Ronn Motor Group launching Reg A+ Mini-IPO to fund all-electric roadster with hydrogen fuel cell range extender

Ronn Motor Group (RMG), the developer of the Scorpion exotic sports car featuring supplementary hydrogen fuel injection to improve the performance and fuel consumption of its gasoline engine (earlier post) announced a Regulation A+ Mini-IPO that gives anyone the opportunity to invest in its company. RONN Motor Group plans to evolve the Scorpion into an all-electric roadster called the Phoenix through its equity crowdfunding effort.

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REGI secures up to $20M for biodiesel plant capacity expansion

Renewable Energy Group, Inc. has secured financing of up to $20 million from First Midwest Bank for the $24-million capacity-expansion project at the company’s Ralston, Iowa biodiesel refinery. The upgrade project, announced last November, is expected to increase the annual nameplate capacity of the Ralston biorefinery from 12 million to 30 million gallons.

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Propel Fuels promoting E85 in California with “105 Octane Tour”; $1.05/gallon

Propel Fuels is launching a “105 Octane Tour” this week in California, offering Flex Fuel E85 for $1.05 per gallon at several retail locations to drive awareness of the fuel’s high octane rating which provides increased power and acceleration, while reducing emissions and air pollution.

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ZAF Energy nickel zinc battery in field testing with truck manufacturer

May 01, 2017

ZAF Energy Systems Inc. (ZAF), developer of a rechargeable Nickel Zinc (NiZn) battery, announced that it is in field testing with a leading US manufacturer of commercial trucks, buses, and defense vehicles. The testing began in Q1 2017 with ZAF passing the manufacturer’s rigid battery performance testing requirements and is currently in field tests that will end in the third quarter of 2017.

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Transphorm showcasing new automotive-grade AEC-Q101-qualified GaN FET for PHEVs and EVs

Transphorm Inc. is showcasing its recently announced second-generation, AEC-Q101 qualified GaN FET—the industry’s first automotive-grade GaN technology—at the 2017 Power Conversion and Intelligent Motion (PCIM) Europe expo.

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US to investigate imported thermoplastic encapsulated electric motors for potential patent violations

The US International Trade Commission (USITC) is instituting an investigation of certain thermoplastic encapsulated electric motors, their components, and products and vehicles containing them. The products at issue are different types of electric motors or parts of electric motors that are encapsulated in a heat-resistant plastic body or a body with heat-resistant characteristics. This includes motors (e.g., pumps in power steering units) used in various parts of automobiles (e.g., pumps in power steering units).

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Honda to supply power units to Sauber F1 Team from 2018 on

Honda Motor will supply power units to the Swiss Sauber F1 Team as a customer starting from the 2018 season of the FIA Formula One World Championship (F1). Ferrari is Sauber’s current, and long-time, partner; Sauber will end that relationship after this season.

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TfL launches tender for bulk procurement of fuel cell buses

Transport for London (TfL) recently launched a tender for the bulk procurement of fuel cell buses. Working in partnership with other UK cities (Aberdeen, Birmingham, Dundee), TfL is inviting potential suppliers of fuel cell buses to join a framework for the supply of single- and double-decker vehicles to cities across the UK and potentially abroad.

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SCF Group partners with Shell on LNG-fueled Aframax crude oil tankers

April 30, 2017

Russia-based SCF Group (Sovcomflot) recently signed an agreement with Shell Western LNG B.V. for the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to fuel the first Aframax crude oil tankers in the world to be powered by LNG.

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DENSO and IBIDEN to collaborate on next-generation vehicle exhaust systems and vehicle electrification

April 29, 2017

Global automotive supplier DENSO Corporation and electronics and ceramics company IBIDEN Co., Ltd. formed a capital and business alliance jointly to develop next-generation vehicle exhaust systems. This collaboration will combine IBIDEN’s advantages in high-performance ceramic materials with DENSO’s advantages in developing products as systems to develop high-performance, simple and low-cost vehicle exhaust systems.

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BorgWarner 48V eBooster electrically driven compressor debuts on Daimler engine

April 28, 2017

BorgWarner’ 48-volt eBooster electrically driven compressor is making its debut in Daimler’s latest 3.0-liter gasoline engine. The engine will feature the eBooster technology matched with a BorgWarner-supplied turbocharger to improve fuel efficiency, enhance low-end torque and deliver boost on demand without any perceptible turbo lag.

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Siemens to acquire a leading software provider for public transportation, mobility and logistics

Siemens is planning to acquire HaCon, a leading international provider of planning, scheduling and information systems for public transportation, mobility and logistics.The two parties have agreed not to disclose financial details. Pending the approval of antitrust authorities, the deal is expected to be concluded in the first half of calendar year 2017.

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Ford introduces new Intelligent Speed Limiter in Europe

Ford’s Intelligent Speed Limiter technology, being introduced in Europe, can automatically help prevent drivers from exceeding speed limits—both when driving in their own country, and while driving abroad. Intelligent Speed Limiter combines the functionality of two Ford technologies:

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Using new seismic imaging technique, BP finds significant additional resources in the Gulf of Mexico

BP announced a major breakthrough in seismic imaging that has identified more than 200 million barrels of additional resources at BP’s Atlantis field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. As a result of this early success, BP now is deploying this technique to fields elsewhere in the Gulf of Mexico as well as in Azerbaijan, Angola, and Trinidad and Tobago.

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HKG and Pininfarina introduce two more microturbine range extended EVs; graphene-enhanced LTO batteries

April 27, 2017

At Auto Shanghai 2017, China-based Hybrid Kinetic Group (HK), with its partner Pininfarina, introduced two more microturbine range-extended electric vehicles: the five-seat K550 and 7-seat K750 SUVs. These join the luxury sedan H600, introduced earlier this year at the Geneva show (earlier post), making a family of three.

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Panasonic opens its first automotive lithium-ion battery factory in China

Panasonic Corporation has opened a new automotive lithium-ion prismatic battery cell factory in Dalian, China—the company’s first automotive battery cell production site in China.

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EIA: US Permian Basin oil production and resource assessments continue to increase

Crude oil production in the US Permian Basin is expected to increase to an estimated 2.4 million barrels per day (b/d) in May, based on estimates from EIA’s Drilling Productivity Report. Between January 2016 and March 2017, oil production in the Permian Basin increased in all but three months, even as domestic crude oil prices fell. As production in other regions fell throughout most of 2015 and 2016, the Permian provided a growing share of US crude oil production.

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IEA: Global oil discoveries and new projects fell to historic lows in 2016 while US shale surged; “two-speed” market

Global oil discoveries fell to a record low in 2016 as companies continued to cut spending and conventional oil projects sanctioned were at the lowest level in more than 70 years, according to the International Energy Agency, which warned that both trends could continue this year.

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New Volvo XC60 in production in Torslanda, Sweden; PHEV model top of range

Production of Volvo Cars’ new XC60 mid-size SUV (earlier post) has begun at the company’s Torslanda plant in Sweden. The new car replaces Volvo’s highly-successful original XC60, which in the nine years since its launch became the bestselling premium mid-sized SUV in Europe with nearly a million units sold globally. The XC60 today represents around 30% of Volvo’s total global sales.

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EPA opens 2017 Request for Proposals for $11M in diesel emissions reduction funding DERA

EPA is announcing $11 million in competitive grant funding for the Diesel Emissions Reductions Act (DERA) Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. The Program is soliciting proposals nationwide for projects that achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions in terms of tons of pollution produced and exposure, particularly from fleets operating in areas designated by the Administrator as poor air quality areas.

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NEVS and ICONIQ form a joint vehicle development partnership

April 26, 2017

NEVS and ICONIQ Motors will develop future vehicles under each brand. ICONIQ’s vehicles will be manufactured in the NEVS’ joint venture manufacturing facility in Tianjin, China, while NEVS will use both its production facilities, in Tianjin and Trollhättan. As both core members of the Tianjin THT EV Eco-system, NEVS and ICONIQ Motors will strive to benefit from their respective strengths to bring high-quality electric vehicles to the Chinese market and the rest of the world.

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Landi Renzo USA to offer MY 2018 F-150 with CNG; 50,000-mile warranty

Landi Renzo USA, a division of Landi Renzo Group, a global leader in alternative fuel systems, will offer the Ford F-150 with compressed natural gas (CNG) for model year 2018 with Ford Ship-Thru strategically located adjacent to the Ford assembly plant in Kansas City, Mo. As a Ford-approved Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) system developer, Landi Renzo USA is the first to offer the all-new F-150 truck for MY2018 with 5.0L gaseous prep engine via Ford dealers as a Ship-Thru.

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ABB to provide fast charging technology in UK for electric buses; opportunity charging

ABB has won a contract to supply electric bus charging infrastructure for a fleet of Volvo electric buses that will be operated by Transdev Blazefield in the UK from 2018. ABB will supply three HVC 300P charging stations and an electricity substation for installation at a bus station serving Harrogate, a historic spa town in northern England.

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BASF and Argonne reach resolution with Umicore over Li-ion NMC patents infringement claims

BASF and Argonne National Laboratory have reached a business resolution of their pending Li-ion battery patent disputes with Umicore. Umicore is now licensed to make, use, sell, offer to sell, distribute and import nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) cathode material for lithium-ion batteries in the United States under BASF’s and Argonne’s U.S. Patent Nos. 6,677,082; 6,680,143; 7,135,252; and 7,468,223.

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Toyota begins trial operation of hybrid power generation system: SOFCs plus micro turbines

Toyota Motor Corporation has begun trial operations of the pressurized combined power generation system which has been installed at Motomachi Plant in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture. The hybrid power generation system combines the use of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and micro gas turbines. The trial operations will utilize the system as an internal power generation facility, with the aim of testing and evaluating the system’s energy efficiency, performance, and durability.

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BMW introduces most powerful diesel in a 5 Series model

BMW is expanding the new generation of its highly successful 5 Series, with the addition of another M Performance model. The new BMW M550d xDrive is fitted with the most powerful 6-cylinder diesel engine ever offered in a BMW 5 Series model.

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Mobileye to generate, share, and utilize vision data for crowdsourced mapping with Nissan

Mobileye has entered into an agreement with Nissan Motor to generate anonymized, crowd-sourced data to create next-generation precision maps utilizing Mobileye’s Road Experience Management (REM) data generation technology. The maps will be used as a source of localization, foresight, and redundancy in order to enable safe, robust autonomous vehicles in the future.

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thyssenkrupp opens new development center for powertrain technology in China

April 25, 2017

Industrial and technology group thyssenkrupp has opened a new €10-million (US$10.9 million) development center for engine components in Dalian, China. The Group will concentrate its engine component development and prototyping activities at the 2,000 square meter development center in the future.

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Neste to use May Day doughnut fat for renewable diesel feedstock

In the spirit of circular economics, Neste and Fazer Bakery in Finland are joining forces with the “Doughnut Trick” campaign. The oil used to fry Fazer Bakery’s May Day doughnuts will be recycled by refining it to produce Neste MY renewable diesel. The value of the fuel will be donated to the Finnish chapter of the charity SOS Children’s Village International. The amount of diesel that’s made from the oil used to fry every three doughnuts is enough to drive a distance of about one kilometer.

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Mercedes-Benz extends Croove private-car-sharing service to Berlin

Four months after the launch of a successful pilot phase in Munich, Mercedes-Benz is gradually rolling out its Croove private car-sharing platform (earlier post) in other major German cities. The service began availability in Berlin in mid-April. The platform continues to be open to vehicles of all makes.

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Ford Mustang was the top-selling sports car in the world in 2016; strong surge in exports

Ford Mustang, the top-selling sports car in the US over the last 50 years, became best-selling sports car in the world in 2016, according to Ford analysis of IHS Markit global automotive registration data in the sports car segment.

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DOE: US plug-in vehicle sales increased 40% in 2016 to ~160K units

April 24, 2017

The first full year of sales for mass-market plug-in vehicles in the US was 2011; nearly 18,000 plug-in vehicles were sold. Sales of plug-in electric vehicles have grown nearly each year since, increasing nine-fold to a record high of about 160,000 units in 2016, according to figures gathered by the US Department of Energy (DOE).

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A3 by Airbus and AUVSI call for cooperation in developing industry standards for urban air mobility

A3 by Airbus, the advanced projects and partnerships outpost of Airbus in Silicon Valley, in cooperation with AUVSI, the world’s largest nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to advancing the unmanned systems and robotics community, called on aviation and aerospace industry leaders, regulators, as well as technologists to cooperate in developing standards for self-piloted passenger aircraft and the regulatory pathways required to make large-scale automated passenger flight possible in urban areas.

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Global Bioenergies successfully scales up renewable isobutene process in Leuna Demo plant

Global Bioenergies has succeeded in producing isobutene by fermentation at the scale of the Leuna Demo plant (a 5,000-liter fermenter), with run length and performances exceeding those performed on the pilot plant in Pomacle (a 500-liter fermenter).

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Oil sands production accounted for 28.8% of total Canadian gas demand in 2016

Alberta’s oil sands operations accounted for 28.8% of Canadian natural gas demand in 2016, up from 11.8% in 2005, according to a new report by Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB). From 2005 to 2016, natural gas purchased by oil sands projects more than tripled, from 0.73 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) to nearly 2.38 Bcf/d in 2016. In contrast, total Canadian gas demand increased over the same period from 6.17 Bcf/d to an estimated 8.27 Bcf/d.

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Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell drivers log more than 2 million miles

April 22, 2017

Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell drivers have accumlulated more than two million miles on the roads and highways of both Southern and Northern California. These fuel cell CUVs have replaced approximately 760 tons of CO2 emissions that would have been emitted by vehicles of similar size and capability. Hyundai has delivered more than 140 Tucson Fuel Cell crossovers since its introduction as the first mass-produced fuel cell in the US market in 2014.

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Jeep Yuntu PHEV concept debuts at Shanghai

At the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show, Jeep unveiled the new plug-in hybrid Yuntu SUV Concept (without giving much detail about the powertrain itself). Yuntu is targeting the Chinese market. SUVs are the fastest-growing segment in China; Jeep said that the Yuntu Concept showcases the potential for the Jeep brand to keep expanding in the country.

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Saint Jean Carbon graphene battery Phase One results show graphene anode outperforming graphite

April 21, 2017

Saint Jean Carbon (earlier post) announced the results of the first phase of its three-phase graphene battery project. Although very preliminary at this point, the graphene battery has outperformed the graphite battery, as demonstrated by a greater discharge capacity of approximately 30%. Both batteries were made with the same material, battery “A” graphite anode and “B” graphene anode.

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Wind-powered offshore enhanced oil recovery concept moves closer to implementation

The DNV GL-led joint industry project, WIN WIN (WINd powered Water INjection), has completed its first phase and determined that wind power could be used to power offshore water injection. The project is currently moving into its second phase, which includes refining and testing the electrical systems, and investigating possibilities for broader applications.

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DLR developing novel thermochemical air conditioning unit for fuel cell and battery-electric vehicles

The DLR Institutes of Engineering Thermodynamics and Vehicle concepts are developing innovative auxiliary units for air conditioning electric vehicles (fuel cell and battery electric) as part of the DLR Next Generation Car (NGC) project.

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New Silexica SLX Automotive design tools feature Infineon TriCore models

Silexica, a provider of multicore software design automation addressing complex, multicore platforms, released of its new SLX Automotive Development package, which provides programming support for multicore automotive software. New features include source-level static/dynamic analysis and visualization of inter-component dependencies in automotive applications (i.e., dependencies across runnables and tasks), visualization of multicore runnable schedules, and compatibility with AUTOSAR configuration files, among others.

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BioForming company Virent brings on Shell exec as CEO

Virent has appointed Stacey Orlandi as the company’s new CEO. Orlandi will lead efforts to commercialize Virent’s technology for the large scale production of renewable fuels and chemicals and replace Lee Edwards, who has elected to retire after serving for eight years as CEO.

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HARMAN and Baidu DuerOS collaborate on AI Solutions for China automotive market

April 20, 2017

HARMAN International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung focused on connected technologies for the automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, has expanded its relationship with Baidu, the leading Chinese Internet and web services company, to develop jointly new cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) solutions aimed at Chinese automakers.

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MG Motor introduces E-motion concept electric car at Shanghai

UK-based MG Motor unveiled the MG E-motion at Auto Shanghai 2017. The modular architecture platform developed in-house delivers 0-100 km/h in less than four seconds, with a range of more than 500 km (311 miles).

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Continental introduces new e-axle at Shanghai; to begin production of 48V mHEV system in China this year

At Auto Shanghai 2017, Continental showcased a new compact, lightweight electrical axle drive. Weighing around 75 kilograms (165 pounds), the axle drive has a maximum output of up to 150 kW, a maximum torque of 400 N·m and overall dimensions of 400x500x320 millimeters.

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