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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.]

Magna forms e-powertrain joint venture in China with SAIC Motor subsidiary

October 18, 2017

To expand its global electrified powertrain offerings and strengthen its local footprint in China, Magna has entered into a joint-venture agreement with Huayu Automotive Systems Co., Ltd. (HASCO), a subsidiary of SAIC Motor. The JV will initially produce an electric-drive powertrain system for a German automaker.

For the initial customer order, the JV will leverage Magna’s highly integrated e-drive system with a focus on the production of the system mainly for the Chinese market. Both partners will give the JV full support to develop localized core competencies in terms of market development, R&D, advanced manufacturing and key parts supply such as gearboxes, inverter components and motors.

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ABB, Fastned support Autocharge automatic authorization for charging sessions

The standards-based Autocharge feature enables automatic authorization for EV charging sessions, offering drivers an easy ‘plug in and walk away’ user experience. Autocharge enables a charge session to be automatically started after a driver connects his or her vehicle to the charger without requiring the use of an RFiD card, payment card or mobile app.

The charger will automatically recognize the vehicle based on its unique vehicle identifier (EV-ID), allowing simpler, faster and more secure user interaction. This superior user experience gives commercial charging station operators much greater flexibility to offer their customers a seamless and intuitive interaction with a charging station. ABB is now implementing Autocharge functionality in its EVSE and Fastned has begun rolling out the functionality to its stations.

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Volvo Cars, Geely investing US$756M to develop Polestar electrified vehicles; Polestar 1 performance PHEV revealed

October 17, 2017

Volvo Cars and its owner, China-based Geely Holding, will jointly invest RMB 5 billion (US756 million) to support the initial phase of Polestar’s product, brand and industrial development. Polestar, the fully consolidated Volvo Cars subsidiary, revealed its first production model in Shanghai, the Polestar 1 performance plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. (Earlier post.)

The investment will be used, among other things, to establish a Polestar manufacturing facility in Chengdu, China, marking a new chapter in the development of China as a manufacturing hub for Volvo Cars. This will shorten the time Polestar needs to launch its cars. Volvo Cars and Polestar will also benefit from synergies in the development of next generation technologies such as shared procurement costs, joint development and economies of scale.

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Hubject expanding its eRoaming platform into the US and China

Following the successful launch of its eRoaming platform in Europe and Japan (earlier post), Hubject is expanding its business operations in the United States and China. Hubject GmbH was founded in 2012 by leading companies in the energy, technology, and automotive industries. The shareholders of Hubject GmbH include the BMW Group, Bosch, Daimler, EnBW, innogy, Siemens, and the Volkswagen Group.

For the internationalization efforts, the Berlin-based company drew up an additional investment package worth millions of Euros together with its shareholders, with the goal of establishing an open charging network for electric vehicles integrating all parties.

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Toyota expands Concept-i series; advanced AI learns from and aims to grow with the driver

October 16, 2017

Toyota Motor Corporation is expanding its “Toyota Concept-i” electric concept car into a series that embodies the future vision of a mobility society through which artificial intelligence (AI) enables cars to understand the driver, effectively allowing people and cars to become partners.

In addition to the four-wheel model Toyota Concept-i exhibited at the 2017 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January this year (earlier post), Toyota has added a universal small mobility electric vehicle and a walking area mobility electric vehicle. These will be shown at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show.

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BMW Group electrified global sales top 10,000 in single month for first time; up 64.2% YTD; 3.8% of total sales

October 13, 2017

BMW Group sales of electrified vehicles in September topped the 10,000 mark for the first time in a single month; a total of 10,786 (+50.5%) BMW i, BMW iPerformance and MINI Electric vehicles were delivered in September, bringing the year-to-date total to 68,687 (+64.2%). Sales of BMW Group electrified vehicles in the first three quarters of 2017 have exceeded those achieved in the whole of 2016; the company’s electrified line-up comprises nine models.

September also saw growth in overall BMW Group sales. Despite the current changeover of the significant BMW X3 model, deliveries in the month totalled 239,764 (+0.8%) worldwide, bringing the year-to-date total to 1,811,234 (+3.7%). Both figures represent best-ever sales for the respective period. Year-to-date, BMW Group’s electrified vehicles represent 3.8% of total sales.

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Efficient Drivetrains, Shannxi Automotive reveal PHEV Class 8 cement mixer truck

Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI) announced the expansion of its electric drive solutions portfolio into the construction industry. In partnership with Shannxi Automotive, the world’s tenth largest medium- and heavy-duty truck manufacturer, EDI is introducing a plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) cement mixer truck.

The collaboration integrates the Efficient Drivetrains EDI PowerDrive 8000 PHEV drivetrain and EDI PowerSuite vehicle control software into a Shaanxi Automotive, Class-8, 32-ton cement mixer truck. The initial vehicle is currently in final stages of integration and testing, and will be completed for field deployment in Q4 of 2017.

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Volkswagen Truck & Bus outlines roadmap for automated driving, connectivity, and alternative drive systems

October 12, 2017

At its Innovation Day in Hamburg, Volkswagen Truck & Bus—which includes the MAN, Scania, Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus, and RIO brands—outlined its technology roadmap to transform the logistics chain in a sustainable way. Volkswagen Truck & Bus is focusing on automated driving, connectivity, and alternative drive systems.

On the development side, Volkswagen Truck & Bus is pooling its brands’ resources with the aim of leveraging synergies and incorporating the strengths of the individual brands. As one key example, Volkswagen Truck & Bus is working on electric solutions for use in both medium- and heavy-duty distribution transport and city buses. The jointly developed “e-drivetrain” will form the basis of any electric architecture in the future. This electric powertrain is designed in a way that means that it can be used to drive future distribution trucks and city buses manufactured by the Volkswagen Truck & Bus brands as a universal modular element.

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Fisker and solid-state LiDAR partner Quanergy to showcase Fisker EMotion at CES in January

October 11, 2017

Fisker Inc. will showcase the all-new EMotion luxury electric vehicle with Quanergy Systems at the upcoming 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Quanergy System will be integrating five of Quanergy’s S3 solid-state LiDAR sensors (earlier post) into the Fisker EMotion.

Fisker and Quanergy Systems, are working closely in partnership to integrate autonomous hardware—specifically LiDAR—in the Fisker EMotion body design as a seamless part of the vehicle. Quanergy’s LiDAR sensors lead in all six key commercialization areas of price, performance, reliability, size, weight, and power efficiency, while meeting the mass deployment requirements of durability and dependability.

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New Flyer unveils next generation of electric Xcelsior CHARGE transit bus; LA Metro contracts for up to 100 units

New Flyer of America, the US subsidiary of New Flyer Industries (NFI), the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America, introduced the next generation of its battery-electric heavy duty transit bus: the Xcelsior CHARGE. (Earlier post.)

The Xcelsior CHARGE extended range configurations allow for up to 600 kWh battery capacity, delivering realistic transit ranges of more than 200 miles on a single charge based on Federal Transit Administration test protocol.

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Deutsche Post DHL Group, ZF deploying test fleet of autonomous electric delivery trucks based on NVIDIA Drive PX

October 10, 2017

Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL), the world’s largest mail and logistics company, and ZF, one of the world's largest automotive suppliers, have partnered together to deploy a test fleet of autonomous delivery trucks, starting in 2018.

DPDHL will outfit electric light trucks with the ZF ProAI self-driving system, based on NVIDIA DRIVE PX technology (currently the Drive PX 2 AI platform), for automating package transportation and delivery, including the “last mile” of deliveries. Taking packages from a central point to their final destinations is considered the most complex and costliest aspect of courier and e-commerce deliveries.

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Motiv Power Systems providing two battery-electric refuse trucks to LA

Motiv Power Systems is deploying two battery-electric refuse trucks to the City of Los Angeles. As a continuation of a demonstration project funded by the California Energy Commission, these Class-8 ERVs use the Motiv All-Electric Powertrain to drive a Crane Carrier chassis, with an automated side-loader body built by Amrep, Inc.

The trucks will be built by Amrep, Inc. in Los Angeles and are projected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2018. The City of Los Angeles Sanitation plans to run the ERVs on residential and recycling routes and expects to save as much as 6,000 gallons of fuel per year. Upon delivery, the Los Angeles ERVs bring the all-electric refuse trucks powered by Motiv to a total of three in California and four within North America.

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OpenLV project proposes opening up local electricity usage data to improve EV charging

A new initiative in the UK is proposing opening up data from local electricity substations to provide network operators with much-needed information about levels of capacity for charging EVs on local electricity networks.

Currently, asserts the OpenLV project, electricity network operators don’t have enough information about how much spare capacity there is on local electricity networks. This makes it difficult to know whether a cluster of EVs charging at peak times will push the demand over the limit. The OpenLV project will, for the first time, open up data from local substations, so that Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), as well as third parties such as businesses and academia, will have more information about whether networks can cope with rising EV numbers.

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BYD unveils North America’s largest electric bus factory; capacity for up to 1,500 vehicles annually

BYD, the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles, unveiled its expanded battery-electric bus manufacturing facility in Lancaster, California—North America’s largest. The growth of BYD Coach and Bus reflects a rapid transition to electric transportation and will allow BYD to build up to 1,500 battery-electric buses annually.

The opening celebration was held with bipartisan support from elected officials including US House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield); California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon; Congress members Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) and Nanette Diaz Barragan (D-San Pedro); 2018 California Gubernatorial Candidate and former mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa; California Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Lancaster); Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger; City of Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris and BYD leadership including Chairman Wang Chuanfu, President Stella Li and Senior Vice President Macy Neshati.

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California ARB to update Light-Duty Vehicle Electronic Certification System for PHEVs and ZEVs

October 09, 2017

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is going to update the Light-Duty Vehicle Electronic Certification (LDV E-Cert) system to indicate electric range and credit information of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and zero emission vehicles (ZEV) on the certification Executive Order.

LDV E-Cert system is the LDV electronic certification application submittal system which loads the data portion of manufacturer’s certification applications. The LDV module of the E‑Cert system has been required since the 2016 model-year (MY).

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GILLIG and Cummins partner on battery-electric buses

At the APTA public transportation show in Atlanta, GILLIG LLC a leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses, and Cummins Inc. announced a technical collaboration focused on integrating and optimizing new battery electric technology from Cummins that will soon power GILLIG electric transit buses. At APTA, Cummins is introducing new powertrain configurable for either a full battery electric vehicle (BEV) or a range extended electric vehicle (REEV) incorporating a compact engine-generator. (Earlier post.)

Initial development work will focus on a new battery electric GILLIG bus with a 200-mile operating range on a single charge. The bus will feature a direct-drive traction motor with peak torque of 3500 N·m (2,582 lb-ft), and utilize energy recovered from a regenerative braking system. A package of e-accessories will be powered by the Cummins system. The initial bus deployment will use a plug-in charger.

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Proterra introduces two-motor DuoPower drivetrain for its Catalyst electric buses; partnership with Van Hool

At the American Public Transit Association (APTA) Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Proterra introduced the two-motor DuoPower drivetrain for its award-winning Catalyst battery-electric vehicles. With the DuoPower drivetrain, the Catalyst bus will now have nearly twice the horsepower and acceleration, and will be five times more efficient than a standard diesel bus. In addition, the performance of the DuoPower drivetrain represents a 20% increase in efficiency over Proterra’s standard ProDrive system.

Proterra also announced that world-class coach and bus manufacturer Van Hool NV has selected Proterra to provide its highly efficient battery platform for Van Hool’s first all-electric motor coach.

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DENSO invests $1B in US automotive manufacturing; electrification and safety

October 07, 2017

Japan-based DENSO, one of the world’s largest automotive technology, systems and components suppliers, is expanding its US footprint with a $1-billion investment in its Maryville, Tennessee location. The investment is part of DENSO’s commitment to advancing automotive innovation in North America, and will significantly increase the role North America plays in the global trend toward vehicle safety and electrification.

DENSO will create more than 1,000 jobs in Maryville, Tennessee to make it a primary manufacturing center in North America for electrification and safety systems. Globally, DENSO is a leading developer of electrification systems for environmentally-friendly automobiles, sophisticated functions involved in vehicle safety and security, and new services that connect vehicles and society. These systems will play a crucial role in meeting increasing electric vehicle demand.

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Cummins to reveal battery-electric and range-extended-electric systems for transit buses

October 06, 2017

Cummins will reveal electrified power technology for transit bus applications at the APTA public transportation show opening in Atlanta on 9 October. Cummins will display a new powertrain, configurable for either a full battery electric vehicle (BEV) or a range extended electric vehicle (REEV) incorporating a compact engine-generator.

Enhanced energy storage for both the BEV and REEV systems is achieved using Cummins’ high-density battery enclosures, which are compact and modular allowing for both on-roof and chassis integration. Cummins’ unique design fits into existing bus designs.

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Renault’s new 2017-2022 plan: 8 EVs, 12 electrified models, 15 autonomous models

Groupe Renault announced “Drive The Future,” a new six-year plan to deliver annual revenues of more than €70 billion and achieve a group operating margin of more than 7% by the end of the plan, with a floor at 5%, and positive free cash flow every year. Drive The Future is aligned with the Groupe Renault vision: sustainable mobility for all, today and tomorrow.

Under the Drive The Future plan, Groupe Renault forecasts that unit volumes will grow more than 40% to more than 5 million units, compared with 3.47 million units2 sold in 2016, as the company expands its product range, including in LCV and new electric vehicles and builds on success of its global access range. The plan will also leverage the R&D and global economies of scale from Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, the world’s largest automotive alliance, while maintaining financial discipline and cost efficiency.

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Mitsubishi e-Evolution concept features three-motor powertrain with new Dual Motor active yaw control

October 05, 2017

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) will stage the world debut of the e-Evolution Concept—a new-generation, high-performance all-electric crossover SUV—at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show, indicating a direction Mitsubishi Motors can take in the near future.

The triple-motor 4WD system employs a single motor to drive the front wheels, and a new Dual Motor AYC system that couples the two rear motors through an electronically controlled torque-vectoring Active Yaw Control (AYC) unit. Whether driving around town, on expressways, or winding roads, the system always provides crisp and nimble handling that faithfully mirrors driver intent. (Audi is also featuring a three-motor all-wheel drive system on its coming e-tron SUVs, earlier post.)

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Western Governors pledge to create electric vehicle charging network

The governors of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to create a unified regional electric vehicle plan to allow electric vehicles to recharge and travel easily along the 5,000 miles of freeways in the western region. The announcement comes in the wake of a new study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) quantifying the number of non-residential L2 and DC fast charging stations needed to support a growing population of plug-ins. (Earlier post.)

The Regional Electric Vehicle (REV) West Plan, announced at the Energy Innovation Summit hosted by the National Governors Association, provides the framework for creating an Intermountain West Electric Vehicle (EV) Corridor that will make it possible to seamlessly drive an electric vehicle across the Signatory States’ major transportation corridors. The initial transportation corridors include the following interstates:

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NREL study quantifies non-residential charging infrastructure needs for growing fleet of plug-in electric vehiles

A new study from the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) quantifies how much charging infrastructure would be needed in the United States to support various market growth scenarios for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Under the study’s central scenario (15 million PEVs in 2030), the US would need 8,500 direct current fast charging (DCFC) stations with 27,500 plugs in total, plus 601,000 non-residential Level 2 charging plugs to meet projected demand.

Sales of PEVs—plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (EVs)—have surged recently. Most PEV charging occurs at home, but widespread PEV adoption would require the development of a national network of non-residential charging stations. Strategically installing these stations early would maximize their economic viability while enabling efficient network growth as the PEV market matures.

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SAIC introduces large electric panel van in Europe: Maxus EV80

October 04, 2017

SAIC Mobility Europe, a division of China’s largest vehicle manufacturer, SAIC, is introducing the Maxus light commercial vehicle brand. The Maxus EV80 van has become the first fully electric large panel van on European roads, ahead of the brand’s full launch in 2019.

The Maxus EV80 and is available as a panel van and a chassis cab, providing practicality and extensive versatility demanded by fleet operators. The panel van features a cargo area length of 3300 mm, width of 1770 mm and height of 1710 mm, resulting in a total volume of 10.2 m3, accessible through wide-opening rear and side doors. The maximum payload capacity is 950 kg (2,100 lbs). The chassis cab is similarly competitive in its capabilities and also boasts a maximum towing mass of 750 kg (1,650 lbs).

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Ford outlines strategic plan to investors; connected, smart vehicles and services, EVs and financial fitness

In New York yesterday, Ford Motor Company provided a strategic update to investors; the presentation follows a four-month deep dive into Ford’s strategy and business operations led by President and CEO Jim Hackett and Ford’s senior leadership team. Hackett said Ford will improve its operational fitness, refocus capital allocation and accelerate the introduction of smart vehicles and services. Ford reaffirmed its 2017 full-year financial guidance and said its 2018 outlook will be provided in January.

To deliver on its long-term goal of an 8% automotive operating margin (Ford delivered 6.7% in 2016), the company said it is expanding its scope to include vehicles and services—all designed around human-centered experiences. Specifically, Ford is:

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ABB launches first 150-350 kW high power charger

October 03, 2017

ABB will introduce its new Terra HP High Power Charge system—the Terra HP, the first 150-350 kW product on the market—at EVS30 in Stuttgart. Ideally suited for use at highway rest stops and filling stations, Terra HP’s ultra-high current has the capacity to charge both 400 V and 800 V cars at full power.

The 375 A output single power cabinet can charge a 400 V car at full 150 kW continuously. The addition of Dynamic DC power sharing technology allows a two-power cabinet charging system to charge a couple of EVs simultaneously, with up to 350 kW and 500 A, while dynamically optimizing the available grid connection and the power delivery to the two vehicles.

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FDG Electric Vehicles setting up new Li-ion cathode materials factory

China-based FDG Electric Vehicles (FDG) is broadening its upstream supply chain and establishing a new cathode materials factory. FDG Kinetic (FKL), Guizhou Guian Asset Investment and ALEEES (Advanced Lithium Electrochemistry) have entered into an agreement to establish a joint venture in Guizhou Guian New District to build a new production facility for cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries with a preliminary annual production target of 30,000 tonnes.

FDG is a vertically-integrated electric vehicle manufacturer. The Group’s core businesses include researching, designing and developing pure electric vehicles from the ground up, producing lithium-ion batteries, manufacturing cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries, as well as other direct investments. FDG is a partner in US-based Chanje, a start-up targeting the electric truck market. (Earlier post.) In September, FDG announced that its first shipment of electric trucks for Chanje was on its way to the US.

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Tesla reports 26,150 delivers for Q3; only 220 Model 3s due to production bottlenecks

In Q3, Tesla delivered 26,150 vehicles, of which 14,065 were Model S (54%), 11,865 were Model X (45%), and 220 were Model 3 (1%). This was the company’s best quarter yet for Model S and X deliveries, representing a 4.5% increase over Q3 2016, its previous best quarter, and a 17.7% increase over Q2 2017.

Tesla had previously indicated that second half Model S and X deliveries would likely exceed first half deliveries of 47,077; Tesla now expects to exceed that by several thousand vehicles. In total, the company expects to deliver about 100,000 Model S and X vehicles in 2017—a 31% increase over 2016.

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GM to introduce at least 20 new EVs by 2023; 2 in next 18 months; batteries and fuel cells; SURUS

October 02, 2017

General Motors said it will introduce at least 20 new electric vehicles by 2023. In the next 18 months, GM will introduce two new all-electric vehicles based off learnings from the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Given customers’ various needs, getting to a zero emissions future will require more than just battery electric technology. It will require a two-pronged approach to electrification—battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric depending on the unique requirements.

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Nissan unveils electric ecosystem for Europe: new EVs, infrastructure; charging options; V2G

At its Nissan Futures 3.0 event in Oslo, Nissan unveiled its plans around the four key pillars of its future electric ecosystem in Europe, announcing the launch of new electric vehicles; additional infrastructure investment; battery charging and home storage advances; and “free power” for Nissan EV customers using its unique bi-directional charging technology (V2G).

Headlining the event was the European premiere of the new Nissan LEAF, with a special “2.ZERO” version for Europe. The new Nissan LEAF powertrain delivers 110kW of power output and 320 N·m of torque, improving acceleration and driver enjoyment; the EV has a range of 378k (235 miles) (NEDC) on a single charge and features ProPILOT advanced driver assistance system for a safer, more comfortable drive, and ProPILOT Park for fully autonomous parking. The car’s e-Pedal technology also lets motorists drive and brake seamlessly.

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easyJet and Wright Electric: all-electric short-haul flights within a decade

European airline easyJet has outlined a strategy to progressively decarbonize and reduce noise from aviation operations. A collaboration with US company Wright Electric will support the goal for short haul flights to be operated by all-electric planes.

Wright Electric has set itself the challenge of building an all-electric commercial passenger jet capable of flying passengers across easyJet’s UK and European network within a decade.

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Final design of first autonomous and fully electric container vessel revealed; model testing at SINTEF Ocean

September 30, 2017

A six-meter, 2.4-ton model of the final design of the autonomous and fully electric container vessel Yara Birkeland (earlier post) was revealed as testing commenced at SINTEF Ocean’s 80-meter test tank facility in Trondheim. ENOVA, a Norwegian government enterprise responsible for promotion of environmentally friendly production and consumption of energy, will support the project with a NOK 133-million (US$16.7-million) financial contribution.

As announced in May, Yara and Kongsberg have partnered to build the world’s first autonomous and fully electric container vessel. Yara Birkeland, named after Yara’s founder Kristian Birkeland, will enable a reduction of 40,000 road journey’s from Yara’s Porsgrunn fertilizer plant in southern Norway to the ports of Brevik and Larvik, significantly reducing local NOx and CO2 emissions produced by haulage trucks. The vessel will be delivered and begin first tests and operations early 2019, and conduct fully autonomous operations in 2020.

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New York plug-in car sales up 74% April-June with introduction of rebate

September 29, 2017

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the state has seen a 74% increase in electric car sales over the same time period last year, resulting from the Drive Clean Rebate initiative launched on 21 March 2017. The Drive Clean Rebate provides New York residents with a rebate of up to $2,000 for the purchase of a new plug-in car from participating dealers.

For the first three full months following the implementation of the Drive Clean Rebate (April - June), New York State EV sales rose to 2,574 units, up from 1,476 units the year before. For the first half of 2017, New York saw 4,209 EVs sold, a 61% increase from the 2,609 sold in the same period in 2016.

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China issues NEV quotas for automakers: 10% of sales in 2019 and 12% in 2020

China has issued its anticipated new regulation requiring most automakers to sell a minimum number of new energy vehicles (NEVs) (battery-electric and plug-in hybrid) annually from 2019 as part of the country’s broader effort to curb carbon emissions by reducing the use of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles.

The new policy from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology requires that sales of NEVs reach a threshold equivalent to 10% of an automaker’s total sales in 2019 and 12% in 2020. The regulation applies to carmakers that produce or import more than 30,000 conventional vehicles annually—lower than the 50,000 threshold earlier mentioned in a policy draft—and includes more vehicle companies in the evaluation system.

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Mazda, Denso, and Toyota jointly to develop EV structural technologies; new company as joint development center

September 28, 2017

Mazda Motor Corporation, Denso Corporation, and Toyota Motor Corporation will jointly develop basic structural technologies for electric vehicles. The three companies have also decided to establish a new company consisting of selected engineers from the three companies to ensure the efficient implementation of the joint technological development projects.

Mazda, Denso, and Toyota jointly will develop basic structural technologies for EVs capable of covering a wide variety of vehicle segments and types to ensure flexible and rapid response to market trends. This agreement covers a diverse range of models, from minivehicles to passenger vehicles, SUVs, and light trucks, and aims to innovate the development process by combining the strengths of each company, including Mazda’s bundled product planning and prowess in computer modeling-based development, Denso’s electronics technologies, and the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform.

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Audi unveils its first all-electric racer for Formula E; new powertrain from Audi/Schaeffler

In Neuberg, Germany, Audi presented the Group’s first all-electric race car: the Audi e-tron FE04 for the Formula E series.

In Formula E, the teams and manufacturers are allowed to develop the powertrain consisting of the motor, transmission, parts of the suspension and the respective software. The combination of the motor and transmission is the centerpiece of the Audi e-tron FE04. The engineers primarily focused on designing the motor-generator unit (MGU) for greater efficiency. To transmit the power to the wheels, Team Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler will be using a high-efficiency transmission with only one gear in the 2017/2018 season.

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Bosch showcasing wide range of future commercial vehicle technologies at NACV; automated, connected and electric

September 27, 2017

At the North American Commercial Vehicle Show (NACV) in Atlanta this week, Bosch is showcasing its portfolio of automated, connected and electrified technologies for commercial vehicles.

At NACV, Bosch will debut its 15-inch freely programmable cluster, the largest digital cluster available for the commercial vehicle industry. The optically-bonded display enables future safety and automated solutions as it is easily integrated with advanced driver assistance technologies. Bosch’s 15-inch monitor has two variants, one in landscape mode as a dashboard solution and another in portrait mode as part of a mirror camera system that can replace side mirrors and improve vehicle efficiency by reducing drag.

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Meritor developing electric solutions platform for commercial vehicles

Meritor, a leading global supplier of drivetrain, mobility, braking and aftermarket solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets, is developing a platform of electric drive axles and suspensions as well as supporting systems to position Meritor as a leader in electric solutions for the commercial vehicle market.

Essentially, we’re focusing on integrating an electric motor into the differential carrier,” said Jay Craig, CEO and president for Meritor. “As we look to future emissions regulations and our customers’ desire for more efficiency, we’re developing new and innovative solutions to expand our product portfolio.

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Navistar and Volkswagen to develop electric medium-duty truck for US and Canada; targeting 2019 or 2020 launch

September 26, 2017

At the North American Commercial Vehicle Show, Navistar International Corporation announced it expects a number of new product offerings and integrations with alliance partner Volkswagen Truck & Bus (earlier post), including plans to develop an electric-powered, medium-duty vehicle for the company’s core (US and Canada) market.

Troy A. Clarke, chairman, president and CEO of Navistar, said that the company was targeting the Class 6/7 vehicle as ideal for electric powertrain solutions in the near term, given the abundance of packaging space in the vehicles; that these vehicles typically run short distances; and that they can return to base to recharge at the end of the day. Navistar expects to be in a position to launch its first such medium-duty electric-powered vehicle in late 2019 or early 2020.

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Porsche introduces Panamera Sport Turismo plug-in hybrid; high-power flagship delivers 680 hp and 0-60 in 3.2s

Porsche is expanding its hybrid range by adding a powerful plug-in hybrid to the Panamera Sport Turismo model line. Combining the 4.0-liter V8 engine from the Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo with an electric motor, the 2018 Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo delivers a total output of 680 hp and 626 ft-lb (850 N·m)of torque, making it one of the most powerful production vehicles Porsche has ever made. Average consumption in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) is 3.0 l/100 km (78.4 mpg US); US fuel consumption figures are not yet released.

Porsche says that the design, including a large tailgate, low loading edge, increased luggage compartment volume and seating for five means that the new flagship of the model line offers a high degree of “everyday practicality”. The base MSRP is $188,400, not including a $1,050 delivery, processing and handling fee. The 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo is available to order now and is expected to reach US dealers in Spring of 2018.

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BorgWarner showcasing electrification technologies for commercial vehicles; expects 32% CAGR in hybrid and electric CV market from 2017 to 2020

BorgWarner, is showcasing its range of combustion, hybrid and electric technologies at the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) Show in Atlanta, Georgia. A forecast by Knibb, Gormezano and Partners (KGP), cited by BorgWarner, predicts the hybrid and electric commercial vehicle market will experience a 32.9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), increasing from 49,000 units in 2017 to 115,000 units in 2020.

Christopher P. Thomas, Chief Technology Officer, BorgWarner, said that the growth drivers in commercial vehicle propulsion systems are changing. “While environmental impact and fuel economy continue to be key concerns, truck and transit fleets are now confronted with new challenges from a growing list of urban areas where combustion engines are restricted due to zero-emissions zones and noise-sensitive areas,” he observed.

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Anticipating increased demand for EVs, Teijin to support World Solar Challenge

September 25, 2017

Teijin Aramid BV, the core company of the Teijin Group’s aramid business, announced that its para-aramid fiber Twaron will be deployed in the solar-powered vehicles being developed by the KU Leuven and University of Michigan http://umich.edu/ teams taking part in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, the world’s biggest solar car racing event, taking place in Australia from 8 to 15 October.

Taking advantage of its advanced materials and processing technologies, the Teijin Group intends to further strengthen its ability to deliver innovative technological solutions in fields such as weight reduction and battery efficiency. It plans to do this in order to meet the expected growth in worldwide demand for electric vehicles (EV) leading up to the year 2040, by which time these are expected to become the default mode of transportation.

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PROSUME blockchain-based platform for new peer-to-peer energy models; EV platform

September 24, 2017

The PROSUME Energy Foundation has developed a blockchain-based platform to exchange electricity from renewable and fossil sources. It connects independent power producers, consumers, utility companies and energy communities in a locally shared market where each peer is free to interact in a multi-tenant ecosystem.

The decentralized and self-regulated monitoring system, promises an autonomous, independent and digitized smart place that will permit users to exchange different energy sources, promoting and accelerating new energy community models. Among the foreseen applications for the platform is electric vehicle management, data collection and identity management to empower EV rentals with energy barter systems.

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Mercedes-Benz to set up EV production in US, battery plant; $1B investment in Alabama

September 21, 2017

Mercedes-Benz will set up electric vehicle production in the United States. The company plans to produce EQ-branded SUV models at MBUSI (Mercedes-Benz US International), its Tuscaloosa, Alabama facility. At the time being launched, the EQ models will feature the latest status of automated driving—always under the premise of safety and in compliance with the statutory regulations.

In addition, a battery plant will also be built near the existing passenger-car plant ensuring availability of advanced technology for future generations of Mercedes-Benz vehicles built in the US. In total, Mercedes-Benz plans to invest $1 billion in the expansion of its industrial footprint in the region, most of which is slated for the electric initiative.

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Initial order from Sinotruk for UQM Powerphase DT drive systems for pilot trials; beginning of commercial partnership

September 20, 2017

Hong-Kong-based Sinotruk has made an initial purchase of UQM PowerPhase DT (drivetrain) systems (earlier post) for implementation and evaluation in their commercial vehicles. This is the first step towards the long term strategy of utilizing UQM electric drive products across Sinotruk’s portfolio of commercial vehicles.

The UQM PowerPhase DT pairs any of UQM’s PowerPhase HD propulsion systems with a two-speed Eaton transmission and Pi Innovo’s transmission control unit—an application-specific variant of the OpenECU M220 controller, with model-based controls developed by Pi Innovo’s systems engineering team. The PowerPhase DT provides a greater speed and torque range than direct drive systems, allowing smaller electric motors to drive large vehicles. In addition, the 2-speed transmission keeps the electric motor operating in the highest efficiency region for a greater portion of the drive cycle.

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Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi 6-year plan sees 12 pure EV models launched on common platforms, 40 models with autonomous drive

The Alliance of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi announced their six-year plan—Alliance 2022—which sets a new target to double annual synergies to €10 billion by the end of the plan. To achieve this, said Carlos Ghosn, chairman and chief executive officer of the Alliance, the three automakers will accelerate their collaboration on common platforms, powertrains and next-generation electric, autonomous and connected technologies.

The Alliance is forecasting total annual sales to exceed 14 million units with $240 billion in revenue by the end of the plan—up more than 30% on the $180 billion aggregate revenues achieved in 2016. Under Alliance 2022, the member companies will increase their use of common platforms, with nine million units based on four common platforms. The plan will also extend the use of common powertrains to 75% of total sales. Alliance 2022 plans a major expansion in shared electric vehicle technologies, alongside the development and deployment of advanced autonomous drive systems, vehicle connectivity and new mobility services.

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Nikola and Bosch partner on hydrogen-electric Class-8 long-haul truck; dual-motor commercial-vehicle eAxle

September 19, 2017

Nikola Motor Company is partnering with Bosch on the development of its hydrogen-fuel-cell range-extended electric Class 8 long-haul truck, unveiled as a prototype in December 2016. (Earlier post.)

By 2021, Nikola intends to bring to market the Nikola One and Two, a class 8 hydrogen-electric truck lineup that will deliver more than 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 lb-ft (2,712 N·m) of torque—nearly double the horsepower of any semi-truck on the road—all with zero tailpipe emissions, as previously announced by Nikola.

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Proterra and LG Chem co-develop new battery cell for heavy-duty market; Proterra sets electric distance record

Leading electric bus manufacturer Proterra and LG Chem co-developed a battery cell that has been optimized to meet the unique performance and safety demands of the heavy-duty vehicle market. The cell chemistry has been optimized for exceptional energy throughput capability, high charge rate acceptance, and industry leading energy density.

Last year, Proterra introduced the Catalyst E2, the longest-range electric transit bus on the market. Capable of traveling up to 350 miles (563 km) on a single charge, the Catalyst E2 meets the full daily mileage needs of nearly every US mass transit route. For this program, LG Chem has developed an advanced battery cell to meet Proterra’s highest standard in terms of performance and safety. The E2 battery packs represent the heavy-duty industry’s highest pack-level energy density at 160 Wh/kg and 260 Wh/L.

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USDOT awarding $55M to support purchase of Low-No buses; electric buses and infrastructure

September 17, 2017

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced $55 million in grant selections through the Low or No Emission (Low-No) Vehicle program, which funds the development of transit buses and infrastructure that use advanced fuel technologies. Fifty-one projects in 39 states will receive a share of the funding. The vast majority of the funded projects are for battery-electric buses and infrastructure; two projects are receiving a total of $3.2 million for hydrogen fuel cell buses.

Eligible projects included those that replace, rehabilitate, lease, and purchase buses and related equipment as well as projects to purchase, rehabilitate, construct or lease bus-related facilities, such as buildings for bus storage and maintenance. Projects can also include workforce development components to train the next generation of transit employees.

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GM to introduce at least 10 new New Energy Vehicles in China from 2016-2020; focus on autonomy, connectivity and sharing

September 16, 2017

At a press conference in Shanghai, General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said that the company will introduce at least 10 new energy vehicles (NEVs) in China. These include the Cadillac CT6 Plug-In, the Buick Velite 5 extended-range electric vehicle and the Baojun E100 electric vehicle—all of which have been introduced in China within the past 12 months.

By 2025, nearly all models from GM’s global brands in China—Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet—will offer electrification technology. To support GM’s growing NEV fleet planned for China, its SAIC-GM joint venture is opening a new battery assembly plant in Shanghai this year.

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Volkswagen prices 2017 e-Golf starting at $30,495; longer range, better fuel economy, more power

September 15, 2017

Volkswagen of America Inc. is pricing the 2017 e-Golf starting at $30,495, plus $820 destination. For 2017, Volkswagen is using an updated lithium-ion battery with an increased energy capacity of 35.8 kWh, up from 24.2 kWh. The revised battery helps increase the vehicle’s range from an EPA-estimated total range of 83 miles to 125 miles on a single charge.

The 7.2 kW on-board charger is now standard on all trims, which enables the battery to be charged in less than six hours at a 240V charging station. When equipped with DC Fast Charging (optional on SE, standard on Limited Edition and SEL Premium), the battery can be charged up to 80% within an hour at a DC fast charging station.

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Daimler begins deliveries of electric FUSO eCanter; UPS first commercial customer; NGO fleets

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), part of Daimler Trucks, celebrated the global launch of the FUSO eCanter (earlier post) in New York City. The FUSO eCanter is the world’s first series-produced all-electric light-duty truck and will be delivered to customers starting this year in the US, Europe and Japan. MFTBC is planning to deliver 500 units of this generation to customers within the next two years. Larger scale production is intended to start in 2019.

FUSO also announced the company’s first US commercial partner for the eCanter: UPS will place three of the new electric trucks into its fleet. In coordination with the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, FUSO also will supply a fleet of local zero‑e mission FUSO eCanter trucks to well-known New York based not-for-profits, including: Wildlife Conservation Society, New York Botanical Garden, Habitat for Humanity New York City, and Big Reuse Brooklyn.

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Lightning Systems and New Eagle unveil battery-electric upfit system for Ford Transit passenger wagon, van, cutaway, chassis cab models

September 13, 2017

Lightning Systems, a developer of efficiency and emissions improvement solutions for fleets, in partnership with New Eagle, a mechatronic control system provider, will introduce a full battery-electric upfit system for Ford Transit passenger wagon, van, cutaway and chassis cab models.

The new LightningElectric zero-emissions package is available for Ford Transit as part of Ford’s eQVM program. The product will be available first on heavy-duty Transits with a 10,360-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and will go on sale in early 2018. Conversions and service are performed by Ford QVM-certified upfitters and dealers around the world.

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Chery to launch new EXEED line; hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric

Chery Automobile Co., Ltd, China’s leading vehicle exporter, will launch a new model line of passenger cars and SUVs globally—with plans to begin sales in Europe within the next few years—under a new nameplate: EXEED.

Chery revealed the EXEED TX—a compact SUV which will be the first model offered in Europe—in pre-production form at the 2017 IAA Frankfurt International Motor Show. Chery will make the EXEED TX available in Europe with three electrified powertrains: a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV); plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV); or battery-electric vehicle (BEV). The first configuration to go on sale will be an ultra-low emission PHEV variant.

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Honda unveils Urban EV Concept, production version in 2019; electrified technology for every new model launched in Europe

September 12, 2017

Honda Motor Co. President and CEO, Takahiro Hachigo unveiled Honda’s new electric vehicle, the Urban EV Concept, at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The Urban EV Concept is built on a completely new platform, and sets the direction for the technology and design that will appear on a future battery electric Honda production model. The production version of the car will go onsale in Europe in 2019, he added.

Hachigo also said that Honda was committed to introducing electrified technology for every new model launched in Europe. At a global level, Honda aims to have electrified technology in two-thirds of its new car sales by 2030. In Europe, the target year is 2025, as interest is particularly strong.

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Audi’s Aicon autonomous concept: Level 5 with 700-800 km electric range

Audi is showcasing its autonomous driving strategy at the IAA 2017 with the production Audi A8 (conditional automated driving at level 3 as standard) and two concept cars will also be demonstrating the Audi vision for level 4 and level 5. (Earlier post.)

The four-door Level 5 design vision Audi Aicon presents an autonomous Audi of the future with no steering wheel or pedals. The Aicon is designed for purely electric operation and should be able to cover distances between 700 and 800 kilometers (435.0 - 497.1 mi) on a single charge.

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Volkswagen presents new I.D. CROZZ II battery-electric SUV concept; on sale in 2020

At the traditional Volkswagen Group Night event on the evening before the International Motor Show (IAA) opens in Frankfurt, the Volkswagen brand staged the world premiere of the newest I.D. CROZZ electric concept vehicle. The I.D. CROZZ is part of the electric campaign in which Volkswagen will be expanding its electric car model range—initially with three models from 2020. In 2025 the Volkswagen Brand will be offering 23 all-electric models. (Earlier post.) This model, which launches in 2020, is not only an important pillar of Volkswagen’s electric mobility campaign, but is also part of Volkswagen’s current SUV campaign.

The first version of the zero emission I.D. CROZZ was presented in Shanghai in April 2017. (Earlier post.) This concept vehicle has now been systematically further developed and refined in the direction of a production car as the I.D. CROZZ II. The basic concept of a crossover that combines an SUV with a four-door coupé has been further sharpened in this design. In addition, the I.D. CROZZ II has new features such as interactive voice control that can be used to open or close all doors and to activate or deactivate the fully automated I.D. Pilot mode.

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Volkswagen Group new Roadmap E: 50 BEV, 30 PHEV new Group vehicles by 2025, €50B battery tender; €20B capex earmark

September 11, 2017

At the Volkswagen Group Media Night ahead of the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany, the Volkswagen Group announced what it called the most comprehensive electrification initiative in the global automotive industry. Under the new “Roadmap E”, Volkswagen will have electrified its entire model portfolio by 2030 at the latest.

This means that, by then, there will be at least one electrified version of each of the 300 or so Group models across all brands and markets. This makes Volkswagen the first big mobility group to have put a date on the electrification of its entire fleet. The Group will need more than 150 GWh of battery capacity annually by 2025 for its own e-fleet alone. This is equivalent to at least four gigafactories for battery cells. To meet this demand, the Company has put one of the largest procurement volumes in the industry’s history out to tender: more than €50 billion (US60 billion).

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Freudenberg Sealing showcasing range of e-mobility solutions at the 2017 Battery Show North America

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies, a global developer of engineered sealing solutions, will showcase a portfolio of e-mobility products at this week’s 2017 North American Battery Show in Novi (US). The company will display components that assist with thermal management, power efficiency, friction reduction, weight reduction and compact installation spaces, among others.

Some of the company’s solutions for lithium-ion batteries, for example, include the Curve Gasket, Offset Seals, O-Rings and Large Format Gaskets. As in standard internal combustion systems, these Freudenberg components help reduce friction, emissions and weight in the lithium-ion batteries used electric vehicles. They also offer easy handling and assembly.

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GKN Driveline introducing new advanced electric driveline concept with torque vectoring at Frankfurt: eTwinsterX

GKN Driveline will reveal a new electric axle concept at the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) this week. The new eAxle eTwinsterX offers three key advantages over conventional electric drivelines, GKN says: size, efficiency and torque vectoring.

The integrated coaxial format means that the electric drive (eDrive) unit is significantly smaller than other systems with equivalent power outputs. Its size also contributes to its adaptability to suit any vehicle type, from city cars to luxury plug-in hybrid SUVs, whether front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The technologies within the eTwinsterX system also mean that it is the first eAxle to offer full off-road capabilities.

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Audi to showcase Level 4, 5 autonomous concepts, production A8 with Level 3 autonomy at IAA

September 09, 2017

Audi is showcasing its autonomous driving strategy at the IAA 2017. The new Audi A8 incorporates conditional automated driving at level 3 as standard (earlier post). Two concept cars will also be demonstrating the Audi vision for level 4 and level 5. They also provide insights into the brand’s future Audi AI technologies.

The new A8 is designed for conditional automated driving at level 3 in accordance with international standards. On highways and multi-lane motorways with a physical barrier separating the two directions of traffic, the Audi AI traffic jam pilot takes over the driving task in slow-moving traffic up to 60 km/h (37.3 mph). The system handles starting from a stop, accelerating, steering and braking in its lane.

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Capstone completes track testing of Kenworth microturbine-powered hybrid electric Class 7 truck

September 07, 2017

Capstone Turbine Corporation successfully completed track testing of a Kenworth Class 7 hybrid electric work truck using its 65kW microturbine as an on-board range extender. (Earlier post.) The successful track testing confirmed both high-speed performance as well as operation on 20% grades.

The Kenworth Class 7 work truck features a Capstone C65 microturbine that is installed onboard and operates on compressed natural gas. The microturbine acts as a range extender to charge an onboard 47 kWh Li-Ion battery pack, which in turn provides power to the electric traction motors that propel the truck.

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BMW Group to offer 25 electrified vehicle models by 2025, 12 fully electric

By 2025, the BMW Group will offer 25 electrified vehicle models—12 of them fully electric, said Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, in a preview briefing before the opening of the Frankfurt Motor Show next week.

BMW Group will deliver 100,000 electrified vehicles to customers this year, Krüger said. By the end of 2017, there will be a total of more than 200,000 BMW Group electrified vehicles on the road. The Group’s market share for electric drives in Europe is already three times higher than its market share for combustion-powered cars, added Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development.

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DOE to issue funding opportunity for batteries and electrification to enable extreme fast charging

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) intends (DE-FOA-00001807) to issue, on behalf of the Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO), a funding opportunity (DE-FOA-0001808) targeting the development plug-in electric vehicle systems that can recharge rapidly at high power levels.

Advanced battery projects will focus on early-stage research of battery cells that can enable extreme fast charging, while electrification projects will support the development and verification of electric drive systems and infrastructure for plug-in vehicle fast charging.

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Ford Transit plug-in series hybrid van makes it debut in UK; 1.0L EcoBoost range extender

September 06, 2017

Ford’s new plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) Transit Custom van (earlier post) made its debut at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle 2017 event in Millbrook, UK. The vehicle makes its first appearance as Ford prepares 20 PHEV Transits for the 12-month fleet customer trial in London that begins in late 2017.

Scheduled for volume production in 2019, the Transit Custom PHEV has an advanced series hybrid system that targets a zero-emission range exceeding 50 kilometers (31 miles), and features the multi-award winning Ford EcoBoost 1.0-liter gasoline engine as a range extender. The EcoBoost engine charges the on-board batteries when longer trips are required between charging stops, providing operators with efficiency and flexibility.

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Xtrac introduces new integrated lightweight EV transmission system

Xtrac has developed a new member of its Integrated Lightweight Electric Vehicle (ILEV) transmission systems; the new P1166 is being incorporated by Williams Advanced Engineering into its innovative modular lightweight electric car platform concept known as FW-EVX (earlier post).

The P1166 transmission, fully integrated with YASA P400 motor-generator, meets the tight packaging and lightweight requirements for the front axle of Williams’ modular lightweight electric car chassis. The unit is complemented at the rear by Xtrac’s P1227 transmission with torque vectoring capability (earlier post), which made its debut in 2016, and which has already been selected by customers for high performance EV applications.

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Nissan unveils new LEAF; 150-mile range; high-power variant with larger battery in 2019

Nissan revealed the Nissan LEAF electric vehicles in a global launch event in Yokohama, followed by its North American debut at a media event in Las Vegas. The new LEAF features greater range, a dynamic new design and three main new intelligent driving technologies. The first is ProPILOT advanced driver assistance system; the second, ProPILOT Park; and the third, e-Pedal (earlier post).

The new e-powertrain gives the new Nissan LEAF 110 kW of power output (up 38% from the previous generation) and 320 N·m of torque (up 26%) from the EM57 motor. The LEAF now offers a range of 400 km (249 miles) on the Japan JC08 cycle. Nissan puts driving range in Europe at 378 km (235 miles) on the NEDC and in North America at 150 miles (241 km). Maximum speed is 144 km/h (89 mph). The new LEAF will also be followed in model year 2019 with a high-power version with increased motor power and battery capacity.

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Williams Advanced Engineering unveils lightweight electric car platform concept

Williams Advanced Engineering is displaying an innovative lightweight EV platform concept, named the FW-EVX, at this year’s Low Carbon Vehicle Show, Millbrook, UK, 6-7 September. With the intent of maximizing vehicle efficiency, Williams Advanced Engineering reimagined how electric cars are designed and constructed. This new approach is designed to make EVs lighter, safer and greener, with longer range and better performance.

The concept features several innovations in battery pack design, cooling systems and lightweight structures, which have each been integrated into a single, scalable platform.

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Mercedes-Benz to showcase pre-production version of coming GLC F-Cell fuel cell PHEV at IAA

September 05, 2017

At the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, Mercedes-Benz will display publicly for the first time the pre-production version of the Mercedes-Benz GLC F‑CELL fuel cell plug-in hybrid. (Earlier post.)

The GLC F-CELL features a ~9 kWh lithium-ion battery pack combined with a new fuel cell stack. Around 30% more compact than previous stacks, it can be fully housed in the engine compartment for the first time. Too, the cost of the technology has been slashed due largely to a 90% reduction in the amount of platinum used in the stack. The combination of fuel cell and battery system—along with a further developed intelligent operating strategy—will offer a combined range of around 500 km (311 miles) in the NEDC.

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TM4 introduces a bi-directional charger inverter

In a strategic move to broaden its product offering, TM4 has introduced a new bi-directional charger inverter, the BCI20. TM4 developed this product in collaboration with Convertronix, a Québec-based company specialized in the design and manufacturing of power conversion equipment.

The TM4 BCI20 functions as battery charger and inverter for use in a variety of electric and hybrid vehicle applications. It is designed to use the full current range from the AC mains as defined in SAE J1772 for a maximum charge power of 18kW on 240 VAC. When the vehicle is in use, the charger becomes a dual inverter that can provide two independent three phase outputs of 9kVA each to power various AC auxiliary loads.

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Mercedes-Benz Vans sets up on-demand van-ride-sharing JV with US start-up Via; Daimler invests $50M in Via

Mercedes-Benz Vans is entering the ride-sharing sector by setting up a joint venture with the US startup company Via. Daimler Mobility Services additionally joins in as a strategic investor in Via with a $50-million stake. For Daimler Mobility Services, Volker Mornhinweg will be joining Via’s board of directors.

Unlike other ride-hailing companies, Via has focused on developing, from the ground up, a scalable and on-demand shared ride solution. The intelligent Via algorithm supports smart public transport, enabling a dynamic mass transit system that reduces traffic volume in urban areas.

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Simon Fraser study finds no free-ride for ZEV area neighbors; regions need their own policies

September 04, 2017

In study based on a dynamic technology adoption model, a pair of researchers at Simon Fraser University (British Columbia) have concluded that even if a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) manadate drives significant ZEV adoption in the area in which the mandate is implemented, there is no “free-riding” ZEV adoption in neighboring areas. Regions seeking low-carbon transportation likely will need to implement their own stringent policies, the researchers suggest. The study by Maxwell Sykes and Jonn Axsen is published in the journal Energy Policy.

Sykes and Axsen investigated the regional spillover effects and GHG impacts of the ZEV mandate in place in ten US states. They focused on their own small region (British Columbia, covering 0.7% of the market) as potentially free-riding off of ZEV States’ policy (covering 23% of the market).

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New Bosch e-axle integrates motor, power electronics, transmission; mass production in 2019

September 02, 2017

Leveraging its experience with electromobility components, Bosch has developed a new generation electric axle drive, or e-axle. The motor, power electronics, and transmission form one compact unit that directly drives the car’s axle. This makes the powertrain not only far more efficient, but more affordable as well.

Bosch has had electric axle drives in the market since 2012 (in the Peugeot 3008 and Fiat 500e, for example), but the power electronics was not fully integrated into them. With the new generation of the electric axle, Bosch is in the development phase, and is in contact with automakers from around the world. More precisely, samples of the electric axle are ready for use, and are currently being tested. Start of production is planned for 2019 at the latest.

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SK Innovation to begin production of NCM-811 batteries

September 01, 2017

Korea-based SK Innovation said it will start the first commercial production of mid-and large-size pouch-type NCM-811 batteries. NCM-811 refers to the nickel-rich layered cathode material, comprising 80% nickel, 10% cobalt and 10% manganese. SK Innovation has been producing NCM-622 cells (60% nickel, 20% cobalt, 20% manganese in the cathode). SK Innovation said that the new higher energy density cells could extend EV range by another 100 km compared to current cells.

In a 2016 review paper published in ACS Energy Letters (Myung et al.), a team of Korean researchers suggested that the vast majority of electric vehicles on the market over the next decade will use nickel-rich cathode materials—LiNi1−x−yCoxAlyO2 (NCA) and LiNi1−x−yCoxMnyO2 (NCM) in particular. Extending intrinsic capacity in these layered oxides requires, for example, increasing nickel content. Such an effort, however, also involves balancing other operational parameters (power, lifetime, safety, cost).

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nanoFlowcell planning entry into FIA Formula E with flow cell and 48V drive

August 31, 2017

Swiss R&D company nanoFlowcell Holdings (earlier post) is in discussions with Formula E Holdings on nanoFlowcell’s participation in the FIA Formula E Championship and intent to enter with a Formula E race car with nanoFlowcell 48VOLT flow-cell drive.

The nanoFlowcell is a compact flow battery operated with two ionic liquid electrolytes (bi-ION). At the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, nanoFlowcell introduced the QUANT 48V electric sports car with a new version of the company’s 48-volt low-voltage drive. nanoFlowcell said that a throttled and adapted drive system based on the type installed in the QUANT 48VOLT could be used to fulfill the Formula E criteria for the maximum battery and motor output.

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smart vision EQ fortwo autonomous electric concept for ride sharing; emodying all of CASE

smart has unveiled the smart vision EQ fortwo, embodying a new vision of urban mobility and individualized highly flexible, efficient local public transport: the autonomous concept vehicle picks up its passengers directly from their chosen location.

The smart vision EQ fortwo is also a car in which all of the individual fields of expertise that make up the CASE corporate strategy are combined, allowing users in the city intuitive access to individual mobility. CASE stands for the strategic pillars of connectivity (Connected), autonomous driving (Autonomous), flexible use (Shared & Services) and electric drive systems (Electric). (Earlier post.)

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Cummins unveils electric Class 7 tractor; plans for “revolutionary” heavy-duty diesel in 2022

August 30, 2017

During an event at the Cummins Technical Center, Cummins unveiled its latest power solutions and energy-diverse products, displaying its near-zero natural gas engine technology (earlier post); super-efficient diesel engines (the X12 and X15, earlier post); and shared plans to introduce a “revolutionary” new heavy-duty diesel engine in 2022 for Class 8 linehaul trucks. Cummins also revealed a fully electric class 7 demonstration Urban Hauler Tractor.

The electric Class 7 demonstrator is fitted with a 140 kWh battery pack; the weight of the electric powertrain is roughly equal to that of the removed engine, aftertreatment, transmission and fuel tank. The tractor day cab has a gross vehicle weight rating limit of 75,000 pounds. The concept truck has a range of about 100 miles (161 km) on a single charge for city driving. The range is extendable to 300 miles (483 km) with additional battery packs. Cummins said that the powertrain and truck will enable it to learn more about the potential electrification holds for larger vehicles.

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MINI to present MINI Electric Concept design study at the IAA; all-electric production model in 2019

MINI will present the new MINI Electric Concept design study at the IAA Cars 2017 show in Frankfurt am Main. Designed for use in urban areas, this concept car offers a window into how pure-electric day-to-day mobility might look in the years ahead. MINI will present an all-electric series-production model in 2019.

It has been nearly ten years since MINI took a significant, pioneering step with the MINI E (earlier post) and laid the foundations at the BMW Group for the development of electric mobility solutions to production readiness. The MINI E unveiled in 2008 was the first all-electric car from the BMW Group to be driven by private users in everyday traffic conditions—as part of an extensive field trial.

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Groupe Renault, Connected Energy install EV charging with 2nd-life batteries at highway rest areas

August 29, 2017

UK-based Connected Energy and Groupe Renault have installed two quick-charge stations based on Connected Energy’s E-STOR energy storage technology on highways in Belgium and Germany. Motorists there will be the first in the world to benefit from this service.

The E-STOR technology developed by Connected Energy uses second-life batteries from Renault electric vehicles. With the E-STOR system, the batteries are recharged at low power, and the stored energy is then released at high power. It thus becomes possible to offer electric vehicle charging services in locations where constructing a high power connection to the power grid would be very costly. Economical and simple to install, E-STOR will contribute to the development of a network of quick-charging stations in Europe.

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BMW to premiere new i3 and i3s EVs at IAA

BMW will introduce the latest BMW i3—including the first BMW i3s sport model—at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt in September 2017; pricing will be announced closer to market launch. The BMW i3 is the bestselling compact battery-electric vehicle in the premium compact segment worldwide since it was launched in 2014.

The BMW i3 and the more powerful BMW i3s draw their energy from the lithium-ion high-voltage battery developed by the BMW Group with a cell capacity of 94-ampere hours (Ah). The handling characteristics of the BMW i3 have been optimized with the improved Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system.

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Renault-Nissan Alliance and Dongfeng Motor Group form new JV to co-develop electric vehicles in China

The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Dongfeng Motor Group Co., Ltd. (Dongfeng) have formed a new joint venture to co-develop and sell electric vehicles (EV) in China. The new joint venture, eGT New Energy Automotive Co., Ltd. (eGT), will focus on the core competencies of each partner and will harness the full potential of the Renault-Nissan Alliance electric vehicle leadership, as well as the resources of Dongfeng in the new energy industry, to meet the expectations of the Chinese market.

eGT will design a new EV with intelligent interconnectivity, that will be in line with the expectations of Chinese customers. It will be built on an A-segment SUV platform jointly developed by the Alliance. It will draw on the global leadership on EV technologies and cost-effective car design experience from the Alliance, and the competitive manufacturing costs from Dongfeng.

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CNHTC acquiring 34% of UQM stock; forming new JV for electric propulsion systems in China

August 28, 2017

UQM Technologies has entered into a definitive stock purchase agreement with China National Heavy Duty Truck Group Co., Ltd. through its wholly owned subsidiary, Sinotruk (BVI) Limited (collectively, CNHTC), the parent company of Sinotruk, a leading Chinese commercial vehicle manufacturer. UQM and CNHTC plan to create a joint venture to manufacture and sell electric propulsion systems for commercial vehicles and other vehicles in China.

CNHTC’s investment and creation of the JV is planned to occur in two stages. First, CNHTC will acquire newly issued common shares of UQM, resulting in a 9.9% ownership interest of common shares issued and outstanding. This is expected to close within 30 days of signing of the Agreement. Second, CNHTC will acquire additional newly issued common shares resulting in CNHTC owning a total of 34% of UQM’s issued and outstanding common stock on a fully diluted basis.

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ULEMCo to offer a fuel cell range extender module for Nissan e-NV200 electric van

August 24, 2017

UK-based ULEMCo has developed a fuel-cell-based unit that will extend vehicle range by supplying additional power to the standard Nissan e-NV200 van. With the combination of the on-board hydrogen storage and fuel cell module, the van will have a range of more than 150 miles (241 km) when laden, satisfying the range requirements of most average daily delivery operations for this size of van.

ULEMCo specifically engineered the module to provide additional energy to the vehicle so that the operational practicality of the full electric vehicle can be widened to cope with seasonal range variation, working lifetime, and the impact on range when fully loaded—all things that currently limit the range of duties an operator can target for existing for zero-emission commercial vehicles.

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BMW releases more teaser shots and video of new i8 plug-in hybrid Roadster; preliminary fuel consumption figures

BMW released a new series of teaser shots and video of camouflaged versions of its new i8 plug-in hybrid Roadster (earlier post) on the road. The BMW i8 Roadster is projected to offer combined fuel consumption of 2.0l/100 km (117.5 mpg US); combined electricity consumption of 15.4 kWh/100 km (18.6 kWh/100 miles); combined CO2 emissions: 46 g/km (Fuel consumption figures based on the EU test cycle, may vary depending on the tire format specified). All figures are preliminary.

By comparison, the in-production BMW i8 plug-in hybrid offers combined fuel consumption of 2.1 l/100 km (111.9 mpg US); combined electricity consumption of 11.9 kWh/100 km (19.2 kWh/100 miles); combined CO2 emissions of 49 g/km (fuel consumption figures based on the EU test cycle, may vary depending on the tire format specified.)

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ARPA-E awards $30M to 21 projects advance new class of high-performance power converters

August 23, 2017

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced $30 million in funding for 21 innovative projects as part of the Creating Innovative and Reliable Circuits Using Inventive Topologies and Semiconductors (CIRCUITS) program. CIRCUITS project teams will accelerate the development and deployment of a new class of efficient, lightweight, and reliable power converters, based on wide-bandgap (WBG) semiconductors. (Earlier post.)

CIRCUITS projects will establish the building blocks of this class of power converter by advancing higher efficiency designs that exhibit enhanced reliability and superior total cost of ownership. In addition, a reduced form factor (size and weight) will drive adoption of higher performance and more efficient power converters relative to today’s state-of-the-art systems.

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Audi partners with Alta Devices on thin-film solar cells in panoramic glass roofs; first prototype this year

Audi and Alta Devices, a wholly-owned US subsidiary of the Chinese solar-cell specialist Hanergy, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic Cooperation in thin film solar cell technology. Through this cooperation, the partners aim to generate solar energy to increase the range of electric vehicles. The first prototype is to be built by the end of 2017.

As the first step in the joint Audi/Hanergy thin film solar cell research and development project, the partners will integrate Alta Devices’ GaAs thin-film solar cells into a panoramic glass roof. The system will extend EV range by feeding solar energy into the internal vehicle electrical system—supporting air conditioning and other electrical appliances.

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Ford to explore new 50:50 electric vehicle JV in China with Zotye Auto

August 22, 2017

Ford has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Anhui Zotye Automobile Co., Ltd., a major manufacturer of all-electric vehicles in China, to explore the establishment of a 50:50 joint venture for the development, production, marketing and servicing of a new line of all-electric passenger vehicles in China.

China is the fastest-growing market in the world for new energy vehicles (NEVs). Ford expects the market for NEVs in China to grow to six million units per year by 2025, of which approximately 4 million vehicles will be all-electric.

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Ninth annual Green Innovation Index finds California light-duty vehicle emissions spike; major challenge to 2030 climate goals

The ninth annual California Green Innovation Index—released by the nonpartisan nonprofit group Next 10 and prepared by Beacon Economics—finds that the state’s ambitious climate policies have allowed for considerable economic growth, with California outpacing the growth of other states during the recovery period following the Great Recession. Between 2006 and 2015, California’s GDP per capita grew by almost $5,000 per person, nearly double the growth experienced by the US as a whole. At the same time, per capita emissions in the state decreased by 12%. Job growth between 2006 and 2015 in California outpaced rates experienced prior to 2006, and outpaced total US employment gains by 27%.

However, although the state has made considerable progress decoupling economic growth from greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the rate of emissions decline appears to be slowing, due in part to a spike in transportation emissions attributed to an increase from light-duty vehicles. On an absolute basis, California’s total GHG emissions fell only slightly in 2015, down 0.34% from 2014. This compares to a 0.73% reduction in the previous year and sharper falls in years before.

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TUM, partners to present electric aCar prototype at IAA; transport for sub-Saharan Africa

August 21, 2017

Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and partners will present their new prototype of an electric four-wheel drive utility vehicle designed for Africa—the aCar— at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt next month. The aCar is designed for passenger and cargo transportation and is also of interest for the European automotive market.

The vehicle is primarily intended for transporting passengers and cargo, with a total load capacity of one ton. The battery offers a variety of other possible applications, either as an energy source or as a drive for high-consumption applications, for example as a winch. A number of various modules have been designed for the cargo bed which can be used on a modular basis—e.g., to set up a mobile physician’s office or a water treatment station.

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Aral car buying trends study: German new car buyers looking to gasoline, hybrid vehicles

Interest in gasoline engined and hybrid vehicles has jumped in Germany while interest in diesel is falling, according to the latest biennial study on automotive buying trends in that country by leading German fuel retailer Aral.

According to the new Trends report, 52% of buyers want a conventional gasoline engine. Compared to the previous Aral study, this corresponds to an increase of 10 percentage points. Diesel came in a distant second with only 18%; two years ago, 31 percent of the respondents identified diesel as their choice. Hybrids now come in at 15%, up from 6%.

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GreenPower Motor secures commitments for 11 electric school buses in California; ARB approval for $95K HVIP incentive

Canada-based GreenPower Motor Company (earlier post) and its California factory direct dealer, School Bus Sales of California, have secured commitments for eleven batteery-electric Synapse 72 school buses from six different school districts in South Coast and North Coast California districts. The two have been giving demonstrations of the Synapse 72 electric school bus to school districts and charter schools selected by the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District for funding directly tied to the purchases of all-electric school buses.

Additionally, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has approved the battery-electric Synapse Shuttle bus for the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) for $95,000 for each Synapse Shuttle sold in the State of California. In addition, HVIP provides increased incentives of $15,000 for fleets located in or serving disadvantaged communities and $10,000 for the first three buses acquired by an operator.

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Volkswagen to put MEB-based electric I.D. BUZZ microbus concept into production; Cargo variant too

August 19, 2017

Volkswagen announced it will put the battery-electric I.D. BUZZ microbus concept into production. Volkswagen presented the concept at the Detroit Auto Show in January. (Earlier post.) The Chairmen of the Boards of Management of the Volkswagen and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brands, Dr Herbert Diess and Dr Eckhard Scholz, announced the decision today at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California.

Within the framework of further development, Volkswagen has also set a launch date for the I.D. BUZZ, which is built off the Modular Electric Drive kit (MEB). The vehicle will arrive at dealerships in 2022, after the compact four-door I.D. makes its debut. With the I.D. BUZZ, Volkswagen is mainly targeting markets in North America, Europe and China.

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San Joaquin Regional Transit District opens 1st all-electric bus rapid transit route in US; all routes to be electric by 2025

The San Joaquin (California) Regional Transit District (RTD) is converting its existing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Express Route 44 to 100% battery-electric buses this month. That BRT route will be the first in the US to feature all-electric bus service. The BRT buses were designed and built by California-based Proterra.

At the time of the conversion, Route 44 will be extended to serve passengers from the Downtown Transit Center (DTC) in Central Stockton to as far south as Qantas Lane near Arch-Airport Road. The change will enable people who work or study at locations such as PG&E, Dorfman Pacific, Venture Academy, San Joaquin County Office of Education, and the Economic Development Department Qantas Lane office, to commute rapidly and economically.

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Hyundai previews near-production-ready next-gen fuel cell SUV; new eco-vehicle development roadmap

August 17, 2017

At a special preview event held in Seoul, Hyundai Motor provided an early glimpse of its next-generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, which is due to launch early next year. The new fuel cell SUV will spearhead Hyundai Motor’s plans to accelerate development of low emission vehicles, in line with Hyundai Motor Group’s renewed goal of introducing 31 eco-friendly models (Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors combined) to global markets by 2020.

The yet-to-be-named model shown previews Hyundai Motor’s second commercially produced hydrogen model and uses the company’s fourth-generation of hydrogen fuel cell technology. The vehicle, its capabilities and fuel cell technologies are an evolution of Hyundai Motor’s global research, development and real-world evaluation programs. The company launched its first commercial fuel cell vehicle in 2013.

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Hyundai Mobis develops on-board bi-directional charger for V2G applications

August 16, 2017

Hyundai Mobis has developed an on-board, bi-directional charger for plug-in vehicles. The bi-directional onboard charger (OBC) allows the vehicle to supply electricity in its battery to the grid.

The power supplied by the vehicle can also be used as emergency power in homes. If more than enough power is supplied, it is possible to prevent a large power outage. In Korea, the amount of industrial damage caused by power outages is estimated to be 650 billion won (US$570 million) per year.

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Deutsche Post DHL Group, Ford unveil early build StreetScooter WORK XL electric delivery van; 150 pre-production vehicles

Deutsche Post DHL Group and Ford presented the first of their jointly produced electric delivery vans in Cologne, Germany. The vehicle, called the StreetScooter WORK XL, is based on a Ford Transit chassis fitted with a battery-electric drivetrain and a body designed and built to Deutsche Post DHL specifications. (Earlier post.)

In 2017, around 150 early build e-vans will be manufactured in the StreetScooter plant in Aachen, Germany. Deutsche Post DHL will use the e-vans to support its urban parcel delivery service in Germany. Deutsche Post DHL, StreetScooter and Ford plan to build 2,500 e-vans by the end of 2018. Like StreetScooter’s existing electric models—the WORK and WORK L—the WORK XL could be also sold to third-party customers.

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Infiniti reveals Prototype 9 open-wheeled electric retro roadster; new 30 kWh pack, prototype motor

August 14, 2017

Nissan Motor Corporation and its Infiniti brand revealed a sleek, open-wheeled electric retro roadster prototype at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The car, called Prototype 9, is a re-imagining of a 1940s race car with time-honored production techniques employed to realize its retro design. The Prototype 9 is the first Infiniti to be powered by a new EV powertrain from Nissan Motor’s Advanced Powertrain Department—a 30 kWh high-voltage battery paired with a prototype electric motor, one not yet seen on a production vehicle.

Prototype 9 is the result of an after-hours endeavor by a passionate and enterprising team of employees from across the Nissan Motor Corporation. This nod to the future contrasts with the traditional materials and techniques applied for the Prototype 9’s manufacture, including panels hand-beaten by a team of Takumi—Nissan Motor’s master artisans.

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ChargEVC: New Jersey plug-in electric vehicle registration up 79% for MY 2016 vehicles over 2015

Registration of model year 2016 plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in New Jersey was up 79% over 2015, according to a recent analysis by ChargEVC, a diverse coalition of organizations and companies that support growth of the electric vehicle market. New Jersey now has more than 10,000 PEVs on the road, 60% of which have been sold in the last two years.

The uptick in New Jersey sales is over twice as robust as already strong national sales: For the first half of 2017, US consumers bought 38% more plug-in electric vehicles than in the same period in 2016, even though automobile sales are down overall.

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Siemens building first stretch of eHighway on public roads in Germany

August 11, 2017

Siemens has been commissioned by the German state of Hesse to build an overhead contact line for electrified freight transport on a ten-kilometer stretch of autobahn. The line will supply electricity for the electric drive of a hybrid truck. Siemens originally presented its innovative “eHighway” concept in 2012. (Earlier post.) The system will be installed on the A5 federal autobahn between the Zeppelinheim/Cargo City Süd interchange at the Frankfurt Airport and the Darmstadt/Weiterstadt interchange.

With this field trial, the eHighway will be tested on a public highway in Germany for the first time.

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Continental introduces novel aluminum wheel and braking concept for electric vehicles

Continental has developed a new wheel and braking concept for electric vehicles. The “New Wheel Concept” wheel rim consists of two aluminum (Al) parts: an inner Al carrier star with an Al brake disk and an outer Al rim well with the tire. In contrast to conventional wheel brakes, the New Wheel Concept brake engages the Al disk from the inside. This allows it to have a particularly large diameter, which benefits the braking performance.

To increase the vehicle’s range, deceleration in the EV generates as much electricity as possible through recuperation (= braking using the electric motor), so the wheel brake is used less frequently. The corrosion-free Al brake disk also prevents the formation of rust (as is normal on cast-iron disks) which can impair the braking effect.

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