[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.]
ICCT provides policy update on proposed China Phase 4 fuel economy regulations
March 06, 2014
A team from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has provided an update on China’s proposed Phase 4 fuel consumption standard for passenger cars. The proposal was published on 21 January 2014 by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
The proposed regulations cover passenger cars sold in China from 2016 to 2020, and project an overall fleet-average fuel consumption of 5L/100km (47 mpg US) for new passenger cars in 2020, as measured over the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), from an expected fleet average of 6.9L/100km (34 mpg US) in 2015. This works out to an overall reduction of about 28%—6.2% annually—between 2015 and 2020.
IHS forecasts 11% rise in China automotive semiconductor market in 2014 due to safety and navigation features
February 26, 2014
|Click to enlarge.|
The fast-growing semiconductor market for China’s automotive industry is set for double-digit expansion in revenue this year, propelled by an increasing desire among Chinese car buyers for added vehicle safety features and helpful infotainment applications such as car navigation, according to a new report from IHS Technology (NYSE: IHS).
Chip consumption in 2014 by the country’s automotive industry will amount to $4.6 billion, up a solid 11% from $4.1 billion last year. This year’s projected revenue growth improves on the already strong 10% rise of the China automotive chip market in 2013, and three more years of similar notable increases will take place. By 2017, revenue will reach $6.2 billion.
Tesla shipped 6,892 Model S units in Q4 2013, 22,477 full year; battery Gigafactory announcement next week
February 20, 2014
Tesla Motors announced record deliveries of 6,892 Model S vehicles worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2013, with 22,477 vehicles in the full year. For the quarter, non-GAAP revenue was $761 million, up 26% from Q3. GAAP revenue for Q4 was $615 million, up 43% from Q3. Q4 non-GAAP net income was $46 million, or $0.33 per share, while Q4 GAAP net loss was $16 million or $(0.13) per share.
The differences between GAAP and non-GAAP are primarily due to lease accounting for resale value guarantee (RVG) and employee stock-based compensation as a result of the increase in stock price last year. The results show Tesla moving closer to break-even or profitability even on a GAAP basis. (GAAP net loss per share for the quarter ending 30 Sep 2013 was $(0.32), and for Q4 of 2012, $(0.79). For the full 2013 calendar year, net loss per share $(0.62), while for all of 2012, it was $(3.69).
Dongfeng Motor Group deepens partnership with Peugeot with $1.1B stake, new industrial plan
February 19, 2014
China’s Dongfeng Motor Group (DFG) will invest at least €800 (US$1.1 billion) in France-based PSA Peugeot Citroën as part of a €3-billion (US$4.13-billion) capital increase newly approved by PSA’s board. The French government is making an equal investment at the same time.
The investment also marks a strengthening and deepening of the existing industrial and commercial partnership between PSA and DFG, China’s second largest carmaker. Since 2013, China has been PSA Peugeot Citroën’s second largest market, with around 550,000 vehicles sold in 2013 via DPCA, its 50/50 joint-venture with DFG. The capital increase and the closer ties to DFG are aimed at:
China Yuchai introduces 8 new diesel engines for on-road and off-road applications; plug-in hybrid model
January 27, 2014
China Yuchai International Limited’s main operating subsidiary, Guangxi Yuchai Machinery Company Limited (GYMCL), unveiled 8 new engine models for truck, construction and marine applications.
To better meet the needs of the truck and bus markets in China, several new engine models were introduced, all meeting the National IV emission standards (comparable to Euro IV). The new YC4E-48 is a light-truck diesel engine for urban logistical uses, special purpose vehicles and other vehicles focused on short- to mid-range transportation. This model uses a two-valve cylinder head combined with a Bosch common rail system paired with EGR, DOC and POC technologies. Its power range covers 103-118 kW (138-158 hp).
Study first to quantify amount of US pollution resulting from Chinese manufacturing for exports
January 21, 2014
|Average annual percentage of black carbon pollution related to Chinese exports. Credit: Lin et al. Click to enlarge.|
Chinese air pollution blowing across the Pacific Ocean is often caused by the manufacturing of goods there for export to the US and Europe, according to findings of a new study to be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
China is responsible for only a small percentage of the annual pollution in the US, but powerful global winds known as “westerlies” can push airborne chemicals across the ocean in days, particularly during the spring, causing dangerous spikes in contaminants. Dust, ozone and carbon can accumulate in valleys and basins in California and other Western states.
Study shows bamboo ethanol in China technically and economically feasible, cost-competitive with gasoline
December 01, 2013
Bamboo, the composition of which is highly similar to energy grasses used for biofuel production such as switchgrass, is an interesting potential feedstock for advanced bioethanol production in China due to its natural abundance, rapid growth, perennial nature and low management requirements.
Now, researchers at Imperial College London have shown that bioethanol production from bamboo in China is both technically and economically feasible, as well as cost-competitive with gasoline. An open access paper on their study is published in Biotechnology for Biofuels.
BMW Brilliance unveils Zinoro 1E BEV at Guangzhou show
November 21, 2013
BMW Brilliance, the China joint venture company formed by the BMW Group and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd., unveiled the Zinoro 1E battery-electric vehicle (BEV) at the Guangzhou Auto Show. The EV is the first product of the company’s new brand, the first e-drive SAV built in China, and the first new energy vehicle (NEV) from a Chinese premium manufacturer.
BBA said that it is not aiming at volume sales of Zinoro 1E, but is using it to build the Zinoro (Zhi Nuo, 之诺, in Chinese) brand image, increase customer understanding and acceptance of electric vehicles, and drive the commercialization of electric vehicles in China.
Daimler takes 12% stake in Chinese parter BAIC Motor; first non-Chinese automotive company to acquire an interest in a Chinese OEM
November 19, 2013
Daimler AG is taking a major step forward in its China strategy with the closing of the company’s 12% investment in long-standing partner BAIC Motor, the passenger car unit of Beijing Automotive Group (BAIC Group), one of the top automotive companies in China. This marks the first investment by a non-Chinese automotive company in a Chinese OEM.
The official closing of the transaction followed a short time after the signing of the investment agreement between the two companies in Stuttgart earlier this year and a smooth approval by the relevant Chinese authorities. Daimler’s investment will take place through the issuance of new shares corresponding to a 12% stake in BAIC Motor. With this investment, Daimler is proving its strong support for BAIC Motor’s intention to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in the future.
SAE New Energy Vehicle Forum: China’s focus on NEVs may have profound impact on future of transportation
November 13, 2013
China has a number of critical economic and environmental imperatives driving its pursuit of vehicle electrification, said the roster of plenary speakers at the SAE 2013 New Energy Vehicle Forum held in Shanghai this week. These include the increasingly problematic pollution and haze in cities; China’s projected increased reliance on imported oil; the need for rationalized multimodal transportation systems in ever more congested and space-limited cities; the growing dominance of the China auto market; and the desire to have China become the leader in the next generation of automotive technology, vehicles and mobility systems.
The shift from fossil fuels to electricity—while held in common with other countries—will be based on the “specific situation” in China, making the best use of China’s own advantages and innovations, but also with international cooperation, said Dr. Zhixin Wu, Vice President of the China Automotive Technology and Research Center (CATARC). The details of that specific situation may result in an electric vehicle parc somewhat different than in Western countries, other speakers noted, and may indeed—given the obvious scale of the China market—herald a major transformation in transportation, including the type and role of personal vehicles, others suggested.
IEA World Energy Outlook 2013 sees CO2 emissions rising by 20% to 2035; oil use on upward trend
|Energy demand growth moves to Asia. Source: IEA. Click to enlarge.|
The newly released 2013 edition of the IEA World Energy Outlook (WEO) depicts a world in which some long-held tenets of the energy sector are being rewritten; importers are becoming exporters, while exporters are among the major sources of growing demand. However, the report advises, long-term solutions to global challenges remain scarce; as one example, the report sees global CO2 emissions rising by 20% to 37.2 Gt by 2035.
WEO-2013 presents a central scenario (“New Policies”) in which global energy demand rises by one-third in the period to 2035, although energy demand in OECD countries barely rises and by 2035 is less than half that of non-OECD countries. China is about to become the largest oil-importing country and India becomes the largest importer of coal by the early 2020s. The US moves steadily towards meeting all of its energy needs from domestic resources by 2035. Together, these changes represent a re-orientation of energy trade from the Atlantic basin to the Asia-Pacific region, according to the report’s scenario.
Ballard announces definitive agreements with Azure Hydrogen for China fuel cell bus program; next-gen FCvelocity-HD7 module
September 26, 2013
Further to the MOU announced on May 28 (earlier post), Ballard Power Systems has signed multi-year definitive agreements to support Azure Hydrogen’s fuel cell bus program for the China market. Beijing-based Azure plans to partner with Chinese bus manufacturers in a phased development program for deployment of zero emission fuel cell buses in China, utilizing Ballard’s fuel cell technology.
For the first phase of the program, Ballard has agreed to provide a license, associated equipment and Engineering Services to enable assembly of Ballard’s next-generation FCvelocity-HD7 bus power modules by Azure in China. As per the agreements, once this assembly capability is established, Azure will assemble modules with fuel cell stacks to be supplied exclusively by Ballard.
Nissan project in Beijing demonstrates Dynamic Route Guidance reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions
September 13, 2013
Results from Nissan’s New Traffic Information System Model Project in Beijing (earlier post) have demonstrated that Dynamic Route Guidance System (DRGS) can help alleviate traffic congestion and reduce fuel consumption. A simulation based on the project results suggested that when 10% of all traffic in Beijing used DRGS, due to reduced traffic congestion, travel speed throughout the city would increase by approximately 10% and both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions would decrease by approximately 10%.
DRDS distributes real-time traffic information from the traffic information center to onboard devices via telematics; the onboard devices show drivers the fastest route on the display. This large-scale project, involving 12,000 vehicles, is the first to demonstrate and measure traffic dispersion effects in a real setting.
Exploring the adoption of EVs in the US, Europe and China; charging scenarios and infrastructure
August 06, 2013
|Aspirational targets among seven countries participating in the Electric Vehicle Initiative would see growth from just under 2 million EV and PHEVs to just under 20 million by 2020. Source: “Electric Vehicle Grid Integration”. Click to enlarge.|
A recently published paper by M.J. Bradley & Associates, commissioned by the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), examines key drivers of EV adoption in the US, Europe and China, with an emphasis on vehicle charging scenarios and infrastructure.
This report examines hurdles to EV adoption in these regions, and identifies critical success factors that should guide policymakers in the transportation and electric sectors. Accelerating the pace of EV market growth requires a coordinated evolution in both sectors, the report argues, from the power plant to the charging station to the vehicle. Supportive policies should work to ensure that EV owners are able to capture the full economic value of their decision to fuel switch from electricity to gasoline, including any benefits to the grid operator, and any emission reduction benefits, in addition to realizing the savings from replacing gasoline or diesel fuel with electricity.
“Big data” analysis of Beijing taxi fleet suggests maximum electrification subsidy benefit from targeting medium-range plug-in hybrids
August 02, 2013
A pair of researchers at the University of Michigan have used “big data” mining techniques to evaluate the impact of adopting plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in the Beijing taxi fleet on life cycle greenhouse gas emissions based on the characterized individual travel patterns.
Although the results are based on a specific public fleet, the study demonstrates the benefit of using large-scale individual-based trajectory data (big data) to better understand environmental implications of fleet electrification and inform better decision making, Hua Cai and Ming Xu suggested in a paper published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. This research represents the first of a series of studies exploring the role of big data in environmental systems analysis for the emerging PHEV/BEV systems.
Honda outlines short-term directions for China; local production of hybrids pushed back to 2016
June 17, 2013
Jointly with Guangqi Honda Automobile Co., Ltd. and Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., Ltd., Honda’s automobile production and sales joint venture companies in China, Honda Motor (China) Investment Co., Ltd. (HMCI), a wholly-owned Honda subsidiary, outlined Honda’s technology directions, plans for new model introductions, and increasing localization of research and development operation in China. Honda is planning to introduce 12 new models in China before the end of 2015.
Among the outlined directions was a statement that Honda “is striving to begin local production of hybrid models within the next three years”—i.e., by 2016. The company earlier had suggested that it would begin local production of hybrids, which it sells into the China market, in 2014. (Suggestions of local production of Honda hybrids in China go back further than that to at least 2004. Earlier post.)
Freescale S12 MagniV Mixed-Signal MCUs supporting mid-class vehicle growth in China
May 31, 2013
|Freescale’s S12 MagniV block diagram. Click to enlarge.|
China’s automotive market is now the largest in the world by volume, with some 22 million units produced last year, and expectations of 22-23 million units this year. Automobile sales alone in China posted a 13% year-over-year gain for April 2013, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
At the same time, the amount of electronic content per vehicle continues to increase as automakers add features to differentiate themselves in this highly competitive market. To help address the need for cost-effective vehicle electronic systems, the Freescale Semiconductor S12 MagniV mixed-signal microcontroller (MCU) portfolio (earlier post) offers Chinese automakers highly integrated, single-chip solutions that are reliable, easy to develop with, and energy and weight efficient, helping to reduce the bill of materials and hence, overall manufacturing costs.
China team engineers cyanobacterium for significant increase in alka(e)ne production
May 06, 2013
Strains of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 engineered by researchers from the Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology (China) increased their production of alka(e)nes by some 8 times compared with wildtype strains. Alkanes are the major constituents of gasoline, diesel and jet fuels. An open access paper on their work is published in the journal Biotechnology for Biofuels.
Some of the same researchers had earlier reported the application of a consolidated bioprocessing strategy to integrate photosynthetic biomass production and microbial conversion producing ethanol together into Synechocystis sp. PCC6803, with the resulting engineered organism directly converting carbon dioxide to ethanol in one single biological system. (Earlier post.)
Geely and Detroit Electric enter strategic partnership to co-develop EVs for China
April 25, 2013
|The Emgrand EC7-EV at Auto Shanghai. Click to enlarge.|
Geely Automobile Group and Detroit Electric Inc. have entered into a strategic partnership to co-develop battery-electric vehicles and related electric drive systems for the China market. Under the terms of the partnership, the first EV model—the Emgrand EC7-EV, based on Geely’s Emgrand EC7—will go on sale in 2014.
The EC7-EV will be co-branded with a “Detroit Electric – Technology” badge. The vehicle will initially be sold primarily to business users and public-sector organisations, and the two companies are forecasting sales of around 3,000 units in the first 12 months, growing to 30,000 in three years’ time.
Maxwell supplying ultracapacitors for light rail braking energy recuperation system; 2.8% energy savings
April 23, 2013
|Clockwise from upper left: ESS enclosure, power control unit and ultracapacitor modules. Source: TIGGER, Tri-Met. Click to enlarge.|
Maxwell Technologies, Inc. is supplying ultracapacitors for an energy-saving braking energy recuperation system that American Maglev Technology (AMT), is installing on light rail vehicles operated by the Portland, Oregon area’s Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District (TriMet).
The ultracapacitor-based Energy Storage System (ESS) is an embedded system that captures, stores and discharges 0.7 kWh of energy for use in commercial transit applications. The ESS consists of the ultracapacitors and the required conditioning choppers and auxiliary devices to recapture and store a transit vehicle’s kinetic energy that would otherwise be lost during braking to be re-used for future departures or for the vehicle’s auxiliary power.
GM outlines plans for China with 17 launches this year; developing advanced propulsion and electrification tech in China
April 21, 2013
General Motors discussed its future plans in China during a press conference in conjunction with the start of Auto Shanghai 2013. GM and its joint ventures are launching 17 new and upgraded models in China this year, including the Chevrolet Cruze hatchback; the new Wuling Sunshine; two new Jiefang light-duty trucks, the S230 and F330; and the Insignia Sports Tourer, Zafira Tourer and Astra GTC from Opel.
GM is also in the process of bringing Cadillac’s entire global portfolio to China, adding one locally produced model per year through 2016. Earlier this year, it introduced the locally produced XTS luxury sedan as well as the refreshed SRX luxury SUV, which is Cadillac’s best-selling model in China.
Johnson Controls to supply AGM batteries to Chery Jaguar Land Rover in China; introducing 48V micro hybrid system
April 19, 2013
Johnson Controls will provide its Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) advanced lead-acid battery technology to power the Chery Jaguar Land Rover Start-Stop and other vehicles made in China to serve the China market. Start-Stop systems help reduce fuel consumption as the engine shuts off when the vehicle comes to a stop in traffic or at a red light. The battery restarts the engine when the driver’s foot releases the brake pedal or engages the clutch.
Separately, the company will debut to the China market its 48-volt Micro Hybrid battery demonstration module (earlier post) at the 15th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition (Auto Shanghai 2013). Leveraging a dual voltage architecture, the Micro Hybrid battery system involves a low voltage lead-acid battery and a 48 volt Lithium-ion battery that enable optimization of energy generation and consumption, thus saving fuel.
Toyota to conduct verification tests of traffic alleviation system in Beijing
April 16, 2013
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (China) Co., Ltd. (TMEC), Beihang University and CenNavi Technologies Co., Ltd. have agreed to begin a joint verification testing project in which data from the Toyota-developed NETSTREAM (NETwork Simulator for TRaffic Efficiency And Mobility) traffic-flow simulator will be used in practical car-based applications to help alleviate traffic congestion in Beijing, China.
Toyota Central R&D Labs (CRDL) began developing NETSTREAM some 15 years ago, with the intention of predicting the introductory effects of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) for reducing traffic congestion, pollution reduction, and preliminary evaluation of traffic measures. In the early NETSTREAM I, CRDL used a block density method to calculate a wide-area traffic flow at high speed.
Zhongding Power to invest more than $200M to build EcoMotors opoc plant in China
April 09, 2013
Zhongding Power and EcoMotors have entered an agreement for the production of the opoc (opposed-piston, opposed cylinder) engine (earlier post). One of the largest automotive component conglomerates in China, Zhongding will finance and construct the first opoc plant in the Anhui Province.
The plant represents an investment by Zhongding of more than US $200 million and will have a capacity of about 150,000 engines per year—or more than US $1 billion in revenue potential. High-volume production is expected to begin in 2014.
Ford unveils 1.5L EcoBoost engine in new Mondeo in China (corrected)
April 04, 2013
Ford unveiled the new, fifth-generation global Mondeo in China, the first Ford to be equipped with the new 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine. The new
3 4-cylinder, 1.5L EcoBoost is the fifth and latest member to join Ford’s global family of EcoBoost engines, which includes a 1.0-liter three-cylinder, 1.6- and 2.0-liter four-cylinders, and two 3.5-liter V6 variants.
Ford’s EcoBoost technology combines direct fuel injection, turbocharging and variable valve timing to enable a downsized engine to gain fuel economy by up to 20% over larger engines with no loss of performance. The 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine is projected to produce 132 kW (177 hp) of power at 6,000 rpm and peak torque of 240 N·m (177 lb-ft) from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm.
PHEV powertrain company ALTe in new commercial vehicle JV in China with Henan Benma; target 10K units/year
March 21, 2013
ALTe Powertrain Technologies (ALTe), developer of a range-extended plug-in electric hybrid vehicle (PHEV) powertrain for light commercial fleet vehicle applications (earlier post), will establish a new commercial vehicle manufacturing Joint Venture with the Henan Benma Company (Benma) in the Henan province of China.
Henan Benma was originally part of a $200-million “mega JV”—MESA Industrial Technology Corporation—announced in August 2012, which would have seen the opening of four factories in 4 provinces in China. (Earlier post.) However, that structure with became unwieldy, explained John Thomas, ALTe Chairman, President and CEO. Two investors split off from the original 4 entity investor group. MESA is still moving forward as a powertrain entity with just one lead investor based in Beijing, Thomas said, while Henan Benma, which was part of the original MESA deal, moved out to do a specific and higher level vehicle OEM deal with ALTe in their province.