[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.]
Volkswagen Truck & Bus launches RIO: open cloud-based platform for transportation industry digitization
September 21, 2016
At the IAA Commercial Vehicles 2016 show in Hanover, Volkswagen Truck & Bus is presenting itself to the public for the first time as a group of strong brands: MAN, Scania, Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
In addition to numerous new products, Volkswagen Truck & Bus is emphasizing alternative drives and connected commercial vehicles. In addition to electromobility for commercial vehicles—from the Volkswagen e-load up! to MAN’s heavy-duty distribution eTruck—Volkswagen Truck & Bus is launching RIO—a new brand bundling digital solutions for transportation & logistics into a cloud-based open platform that can serve as the “operating system” for the entire transportation industry.
Proterra launches new Catalyst E2 series electric bus with nominal range of up to 350 miles
September 12, 2016
At the American Public Transit Association (APTA) Annual Meeting, Proterra unveiled the newest addition to its fleet of electric buses: the Catalyst E2 series, named for its Efficient Energy (E2) storage capacity of 440 - 660 kWh. Last month, an E2 series vehicle achieved a new milestone at Michelin’s Laurens Proving Grounds where it logged more than 600 miles (966 km) on a single charge under test conditions.
Its nominal range of 194 - 350 miles means the Catalyst E2 series is capable of serving the full daily mileage needs of nearly every US. mass transit route on a single charge and offers the transit industry the first direct replacement for fossil-fueled transit vehicles. The high-mileage Catalyst E2 series joins the existing Catalyst FC and XR series vehicles, designed for circulator and intermediate-mileage routes, respectively.
Ballard providing ten 30 kW fuel cell modules to UpPowerTech; expanding into China’s Guangxi Province
September 08, 2016
Ballard Power Systems has signed a purchase order from Shenzhen UpPower Technology Co., Ltd. (UpPowerTech), a leading fuel cell bus systems integrator in China, for the supply of 10 FCveloCity-MD 30 kW fuel cell power modules to be integrated by UpPowerTech into clean energy buses manufactured by Gaungxi Yuanzheng New Energy Co. Ltd. (Yuanzheng), a Chinese bus manufacturer, for deployment in the City of Nanning in the Province of Guangxi.
UpPowerTech previously demonstrated a hydrogen fuel cell bus, using Ballard’s new FCveloCity-MD 30-kilowatt fuel cell power module as a battery range extender, during the “4th Shenzhen International Low Carbon City Forum.” The bus was a 12-meter (40-foot) city bus with a powertrain built by UpPowerTech. The coach was manufactured by Xiamen King Long United Automotive Industry Co., Ltd. The Forum, held in Longgang District of Guangdong Province, featured low carbon urban development and innovation technologies designed to tackle global environmental challenges.
Mercedes-Benz Vans strategic initiative adVANce: holistic system solutions for transport; electric Vision Van
September 07, 2016
Mercedes-Benz Vans has launched an initiative it calls adVANce, focused on the company’s transformation from solely a vehicle manufacturer to becoming a provider of holistic system solutions for goods and passenger transport.
Mercedes-Benz Vans also presented the "Vision Van" van study as part of the adVANce initiative. This all-electric vehicle combines various innovative solutions for last-mile delivery in urban and suburban environments. It is the first van worldwide to fully digitally connect all people and processes involved, from the distribution center to the consignee. Furthermore, it is the first van ever to feature a fully automated cargo space and integrated delivery drones.
Ballard MOU with strategic partner Broad-Ocean targets fuel cell modules for buses and commercial vehicles
September 01, 2016
Ballard Power Systems has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with strategic partner Zhongshan Broad-Ocean Motor Company Limited with the goal of producing fuel cell modules for use in buses and commercial vehicles in select cities and regions in China.
In July, Broad-Ocean announced a $28.3-million strategic equity investment in Ballard, through which Broad-Ocean acquired a 9.9% ownership position in Ballard, making it the company’s largest shareholder. (Earlier post.)
XL Hybrids awarded DOE Small Business Vouchers Pilot; testing of first diesel/XL3 combo at Argonne
August 30, 2016
XL Hybrids, Inc. has been awarded test funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Vouchers Pilot (SBV). Testing validation and analysis of its XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System for Reach walk-in commercial vans will be performed at Argonne National Laboratory. The goal of the SBV-funded project is to overcome specific technical challenges, the company said.
The Reach van from Utilimaster is a high-roof Class 3 delivery van that comes with a standard 151.4 inch wheelbase and the high efficiency 3.0L, 150 hp, Isuzu DOHC I-4 diesel engine. The XL3 hybrid system is available on the Reach van with 2,500 pounds payload capacity with the XL3 system installed. (Hybrid system weight is 385 lbs / 175 kg.)
Select truck fleets boosted fuel economy 3% in 2015 compared to national Class 8 average
August 28, 2016
Seventeen trucking fleets operating more than 62,000 tractors and 217,000 trailers recorded a 3% increase in fuel economy in 2015, saving an accumulative $501 million on fuel when compared to the 2015 national average fuel spend of 1.7 million over-the-road class 8 trucks. They achieved these gains by purchasing a variety of fuel efficiency technologies, according to the Annual Fleet Fuel Study released by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE).
As a result of these investments, fleet-wide mpg increased from 6.87 to 7.06 in 2015, the largest margin of improvement in eight years of consecutive improvements. The trade cycle for these fleets is a little over five years, meaning that the new trucks are about 16% more efficient than the 2010 model year trucks they replaced.
BC government unveils climate plan
August 23, 2016
The government of British Columbia recently unveiled its Climate Leadership Plan, targeting the reduction of net annual greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25 million tonnes below current forecasts by 2050 and the creation of up to 66,000 jobs over the next ten years. BC’s target is to reduce 2050 emissions 80% below 2007 levels.
The plan’s initial 21 action items include making electric vehicles more affordable and boosting the Low Carbon Fuel Standard from 10% to 15%. Government is also targeting making buildings more efficient, sequestration opportunities in forests and emission reductions in natural gas production and processing.
Sumitomo and US Hybrid partnering to grow hydrogen fuel cell business for commercial vehicles and mass transit
August 12, 2016
Sumitomo Corporation together with Sumitomo Corporation of Americas (collectively, SC Group) announced a strategic collaboration agreement with US Hybrid to grow US Hybrid’s fuel cell production business through the expansion of fuel cell stack production capacity. (Earlier post.) SC Group will play an integral role in the project by coordinating discussions with OEMs using the integrated trading company’s global network.
US Hybrid, together with its Fuel Cell division, US FuelCell, has more than 26 years of experience in fuel cell balance of plant components and vehicle development and deployment. US FuelCell was established in 2013 after US Hybrid purchased the UTC Power PEM fuel cell Transportation division along with the global PEM IP license. The company currently offers an 80 kW integrated fuel cell system (FCe 80) and a 150 kW system (FCe150).
Urban Drive Cycle Testing shows a 26% mpg improvement on Ford Transits with XL Hybrids drive system
August 10, 2016
XL Hybrids announced vehicle testing results showing a 26% improvement in miles per gallon on the EPA UDDS (Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule) drive cycle for Ford Transit vans upfitted with XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive Systems. (earlier post) The fuel economy improvement on the EPA UDDS drive cycle also includes a more than 50% reduction in NOx emissions.
Conducted at an independent, EPA-certified chassis dynamometer testing lab, the test results mirror earlier EPA UDDS chassis dyno performance for Chevrolet and GMC 2500 Express and Savana vans equipped with XL Hybrids’ technology.
UPS hits target of 1 billion alternative-fueled miles one year early
August 02, 2016
UPS has achieved its goal of driving 1 billion miles in its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet one year earlier than planned, and marked more than 10 years of learning from its “Rolling Laboratory” of now more than 7,200 alternative fuel vehicles.
UPS’ long-term commitment to sustainability is transforming commercial transportation and logistics, spurring growth in the clean fuels market and enabling critical engineering advances. The company’s wider sustainability progress is detailed in the newly released 14th annual Sustainability Report.
TARC rolls out six new Proterra battery-electric buses; fleet total of 15
The Transit Authority of River City (TARC), serving the Greater Louisville area, has begun adding six new all-electric Proterra buses along the Fourth Street corridor between downtown and Iroquois Park, stopping at some of the city’s most popular destinations. With the new buses, TARC will have a total of 15 all-electric buses on the road, making it one of the largest electric bus operators in the country.
The buses, a $4.65 million investment, were funded primarily with a $3.3 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s Low or No Emission Vehicles Deployment Program. Other federal and local funding covered the remaining costs. With the six new buses, TARC’s all-electric fleet is the second largest of its kind in the country, and the largest east of the Mississippi.
Ballard Power signs deal for production of fuel cell stacks in China; est. $168M over 5 years; buses and commercial vehicles
July 18, 2016
Ballard Power Systems signed definitive agreements with Guangdong Nation Synergy Hydrogen Power Technology Co. Ltd. (Synergy) for the establishment of an FCvelocity-9SSL fuel cell stack production operation in the City of Yunfu, in Guangdong Province. The fuel cell stacks will be packaged into locally-assembled fuel cell systems and integrated into electric buses and commercial vehicles in China.
Subject to closing, the transaction has a contemplated minimum value to Ballard of $168 million over 5-years and includes these key elements:
ABB wins 1st commercial order for 600 kW 15-second flash charging technology; electric buses in Geneva
July 15, 2016
ABB has been awarded orders totaling more than $16 million by Transports Publics Genevois (TPG), Geneva’s public transport operator, and Swiss bus manufacturer HESS, to provide flash charging and on-board electric vehicle technology for 12 TOSA (Trolleybus Optimisation Système Alimentation) fully electric buses (e-buses) which will run on Line 23, connecting Geneva’s airport with suburban Geneva.
ABB will deliver and deploy 13 flash-charging stations along an urban transit bus route, as well as three terminal and four depot feeding stations. This will be the world’s fastest flash-charging connection technology taking less than 1 second to connect the bus to the charging point. The onboard batteries can then be topped-up in 15 seconds with a 600-kilowatt flash charge at the bus stop. (Earlier post.)
Opinion: Feet where our heads should be: Are we going about EVs the wrong way round?
July 08, 2016
by Roger Bedell, Founder, Opbrid
Are we looking at vehicle electrification upside down? Why are we focusing on electrifying smaller vehicles like cars and delivery trucks when electrifying really big trucks makes the most economic sense?
Electricity is about ½ the cost of diesel or gasoline. This means the more fuel you burn, the more money you save. Heavy long-haul trucks are the kings of fuel consumption, so therefore they are the best target for electrification from an economic standpoint. A 40-ton long-haul truck driving at 60 mph (about 100 km/h) uses between 8 to 13 gallons of diesel per hour according to a detailed Swedish survey. This is 20 to 30USD per hour, or in the UK, 40 to 60 USD per hour! This makes fuel costs much higher than a driver’s salary on a per hour basis, and is the largest percentage cost item for trucking companies. If fuel costs can be cut in half by switching to electricity, electrification can be very interesting indeed for a truck operator.
Route Monkey and Sygic parter on route optimization for EVs
June 27, 2016
Scotland-based route optimization specialist Route Monkey (earlier post) has signed a partnership agreement with global GPS navigation expert Sygic. The partners aim to develop jointly a fully integrated optimization and navigation platform for electric vehicles (EVs).
The new platform will see Route Monkey schedule a fleet’s EVs—as well as its conventional vehicles—in a way that optimizes the fleet as a whole. It then sends the best route for the entire itinerary to each driver, directly into the Sygic Navigation app. Working together, Sygic and Route Monkey can also schedule stops at charge points en route to top-up the batteries, and provide real-time navigation to recharging stations.
BYD announces its first 16 electric buses sold in France; RATP trial; expanding capacity in China
June 19, 2016
At the Transport Publics event this last week in Paris, BYD announced orders for 16 of its all new battery-electric buses and coaches to French operators. BYD also announced a six-month trial with Paris operator RATP and unveiled its 12 meter single deck bus—displayed for the first time in France. BYD is the world’s largest manufacturer of battery-electric buses, having produced 10,000 units so far.
BYD France’s first customer is B.E. Green of Yvelines near Paris which has ordered three BYD pure electric coaches and one 12m BYD ebus to add to its 100% electric fleet. The Nedroma Group of Athis Mons, also close to Paris, has ordered 12 BYD electric coaches—the largest order so far for this new model from a Western customer.
BMW to supply 100 i3 EVs to LAPD
June 09, 2016
BMW of North America won its bid to supply the Los Angeles Police Department with 100 battery-electric BMW i3 vehicles for use in the department’s transportation fleet. (Earlier post.) Los Angeles currently has a 50% EV procurement guideline for all new light duty fleet vehicles, which will go to 80% by 2025 as called for in the Los Angeles Sustainable City pLAn.
The announcement comes after a field trial during which a BMW i3 was evaluated alongside other EVs on the streets of Los Angeles as part of the LAPD’s every day fleet. Ultimately, the BMW i3 was selected due to a combination of EPA rated best-in-class efficiency, reliability and state-of-the-art ConnectedDrive services, which can be used to support fleet management applications. BMW’s knowledge of charging infrastructure and the availability of a large network of BMW i centers for servicing the fleet in a convenient and cost effective way also played into the decision, the company said.
Santa Monica signs 5-year deal with Clean Energy for renewable LNG for bus fleet; deploying CWI Near-Zero NOx engine
June 02, 2016
The City of Santa Monica, California has awarded Clean Energy a multi-year liquefied natural gas (LNG) contract to fuel its Big Blue Bus (BBB) fleet of vehicles. The 5-year deal, worth an estimated $3 million per year, will enable BBB to continue using Clean Energy’s Redeem brand of renewable natural gas (RNG), rated up to 90% cleaner than diesel. BBB began using Redeem by Clean Energy in January 2015. (Earlier post.)
BBB, one of the first transit agencies in the nation to contract for Redeem, will also become one of the first agencies to incorporate the new Cummins-Westport 8.9L ISL G Near-Zero 0.02 NOx engine, the first mid-range engine in North America to receive emission certifications from both US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Air Resources Board (ARB) in California that meet the 0.02 g/bhp-hr optional Near Zero NOx Emissions standards. (Earlier post.) ARB has defined this certified Near Zero NOx emission level as equivalent to a 100% battery truck using electricity from a modern combined cycle natural gas power plant.
Furrer + Frey proposes tractor swapping as solution for electrification of long-haul trucking
May 30, 2016
Furrer + Frey, a provider of rail electrification and rapid charging systems for transport, is proposing tractor swapping as a solution for the electrification of long-haul trucking. Furrer + Frey is a long-time partner of Opbrid, the provider of the overhead pantograph-based ultra-fast charging Opbrid Bůsbaar for buses (earlier post).
At IAA 2014, Opbrid introduced the Trůkbaar for heavy-duty trucks; the Trůkbaar is one element for the Furrer + Frey tractor swapping solution. Furrer + Frey has also acquired Opbrid, and folded it into its operations. (Earlier post.)
Pasha, Port of LA and California ARB partner on $26.6M Green Omni Terminal demo project; emerging zero and near-zero emission tech
May 26, 2016
Pasha Stevedoring and Terminals L.P. and the Port of Los Angeles are launching the Green Omni Terminal Demonstration Project, a full-scale, real-time demonstration of zero and near-zero emission technologies at a working marine terminal.
At full build out, Pasha will be the world’s first marine terminal able to generate all of its energy needs from renewable sources. The $26.6-million project is funded in part by a $14.5-million grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for reducing greenhouse gases and other pollutants. As part of the project, Pasha will integrate a fleet of new and retrofitted zero-emission electric vehicles and cargo-handling equipment into its terminal operations and demonstrate the latest generation of advanced technology for capturing ship emissions from vessels unable to plug into shore power at berth.
Geely raises $400M via Green Bonds sale to develop and produce TX5 range-extended electric London taxis
May 22, 2016
China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (ZGH) has raised $400 million through the first Green Bond sale on the offshore market from a Chinese automobile company to support the design, development and production of range-extended electric vehicles by its UK subsidiary, the LondonTaxi Company (LTC), manufacturer of the iconic London Black Cab. The plug-in hybrid TX5 London Cab will be launched in the UK at the end of 2017 and in international markets in 2018.
ZGH is investing £300 million (US$435 million) in LTC’s new research and production facility in Ansty in the West Midlands region of the UK to develop the next-generation TX5. The new model was unveiled last October in London in the presence of the Chinese President Xi Jinping during his state visit to the UK. In addition to a new light-weight aluminium body structure and composite paneling, the TX5 benefits from a range-extended battery-electric vehicle system.
Peapod adds two LH hydraulic hybrids delivery trucks to fleet
May 20, 2016
Peapod, the leading online grocer in the US, took delivery of its first two hydraulic hybrid delivery trucks this month. The vehicles, existing Workhorse walk-in vans with GM gasoline engines and equipped with the Lightning Hybrids Energy Recovery System (ERS), are in service on the streets of Chicago and were partially paid for by the Drive Clean Chicago voucher program for clean vehicles.
The trucks, the first hydraulic hybrids in Peapod’s fleet of approximately 130 vehicles in the Midwest, are expected to reduce fuel consumption, reduce brake maintenance costs and cut emissions significantly in Peapod service neighborhoods.
Nissan lands world’s largest electric taxi fleet deal; 110 new LEAF 30 kWh units to Madrid
May 19, 2016
Nissan and La Ciudad del Taxi have announced the world’s largest 100% electric taxi fleet deal that will see 110 Nissan LEAF 30 kWh vehicles providing taxi services in Madrid.
Announced at the Madrid Motor Show, the agreement signed between Nissan and La Cuidad del Taxi will introduce electric taxis into the Spanish capital, putting Madrid up there with other like-minded capital cities such as Amsterdam (earlier post), which has taken delivery of 100 Nissan LEAFs and e-NV200s, and Budapest with 65 LEAFs.
Scania delivering 51 hybrid buses to Madrid
May 12, 2016
In June, Scania, part of Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH, will begin delivering 51 hybrid Scania Citywide buses to Madrid. These complete buses feature cost-saving and emission-reducing hybrid technology that meets the EU suburban and short distance Class II regulations.
The City of Madrid recently enforced tough temporary measures to tackle pollution, including limiting speed limits and banning passenger car access to the city center if NOx levels exceed acceptable levels. In parallel, the Madrid transport authorities have required bus operators to gradually switch to greener technology; conventional diesel has not been permitted in new bus acquisitions since 2010.
California to award $23.6M for zero-emission drayage trucks at seaports; BYD, Kenworth, Peterbilt, Volvo
May 05, 2016
The State of California is awarding $23.6 million to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) for a statewide zero-emission drayage truck development and demonstration project. This is the first large-scale demonstration of zero-emission Class 8 trucks that involves major manufacturers, including BYD, Kenworth, Peterbilt (both Paccar companies) and Volvo. The companies receiving funds have the engineering resources, manufacturing capabilities and distribution networks to support commercialization of advanced technologies related to moving freight to and from the ports.
The South Coast air district is teaming up with air districts in the Bay Area, Sacramento, San Diego and San Joaquin Valley to make the project a statewide demonstration of 43 zero-emission battery electric and plug-in hybrid drayage trucks built by the four manufacturers serving major California ports. Demonstration trucks and charging infrastructure will be used in all five air districts, providing emission reduction benefits in key areas of California with drayage truck activity.
Study suggests high-mileage light-duty fleets contribute higher emissions and emissions share than expected
May 04, 2016
A study by researchers from the University of Denver and the University of Puget Sound indicates that high-mileage light-duty fleets contribute higher emissions and emissions share than expected based on their actual numbers in the fleet.
In their open-access paper, published in the ACS Journal Environmental Science & Technology, they estimate that these small fleets, which represent less than 1% of the total, may be overlooked as a significant emission source (>2−5% of fleet emissions).
UPS updates 125 Workhorse E-GEN series hybrid electric step vans with smaller genset engine for better fuel economy
May 03, 2016
UPS announced an update to 125 Workhorse E-GEN series hybrid electric delivery trucks that improve fuel economy as part of the company’s broader Rolling Laboratory approach.
A compact, quiet-running 650cc 2-cylinder engine replaces the previous 2.4L 4-cylinder engine; charging capability remains the same, as does the electric range. The smaller engine will improve fuel economy, however. The updated trucks, which were originally purchased in September 2015, deliver up to four times the fuel economy of a gasoline-powered vehicle, UPS said. The trucks will be deployed in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio and Texas later this year.
Utah Transits Authority adding 5 battery-electric New Flyer buses to fleet
April 23, 2016
UTA and the University of Utah received a $5.4-million Low-No grant from the US Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to purchase five New Flyer battery-electric buses. (Earlier post.) Three of these will be used on route 2 in Salt Lake City and two that will serve the University of Utah campus (also in Salt Lake City).
Each all-electric bus in service with UTA will save the equivalent of 6,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year. For the three electric buses UTA will be operating on route 2, that’s a savings of approximately 175 metric tons of gas emissions per year. New Flyer has focused its electrification development on its Xcelsior platform, which also offers diesel, CNG, electric trolley, hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell variants. (Earlier post.)
Hyundai Motor powers world’s first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle car-sharing service
April 07, 2016
Zero-emission car sharing service BeeZero, run by a newly founded subsidiary of The Linde Group, will feature 50 Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell electric vehicles for public use. BeeZero, which will launch in Munich this summer, will be the first car sharing service using hydrogen fuel cell cars.
The BeeZero car sharing service will be run on a zone-based model. The fleet of fifty ix35 Fuel Cell cars will be available in Munich’s city centre and also in the areas of Schwabing, Haidhausen, Au and Glockenbachviertel. As with conventional car sharing services, the cars can be easily booked online or via a smartphone app.
PennDOT selects Trillium CNG team for $84.5M CNG fueling station project
March 30, 2016
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has selected a team led by Trillium CNG team, for the department’s $84.5-million Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) transit fueling station Public-Private Partnership (P3) project. Trillium will design, build, finance, operate and maintain CNG fueling stations at 29 public transit agency sites through a 20-year P3 agreement.
Stations will be constructed over the next five years and the firm will also make CNG-related upgrades to existing transit maintenance facilities. When the project is completed, the fueling stations will supply gas to more than 1,600 CNG buses at transit agencies across the state.
Six automated truck platoons to compete in European Truck Platooning Challenge
March 25, 2016
At the end of this month, six automated truck platoons—representing 6 different truck OEMs and their partners—will leave several European cities of origin and drive along public roads, targeting arrival at the APM Terminals, Maasvlakte II, Rotterdam on 6 April. This European Truck Platooning Challenge represents large-scale testing of cross-border automated truck-platooning; its aim is to bring platooning one step closer to implementation.
Truck Platooning involves trucks driving a short distance apart using automated driving technology; platooning offers benefits in terms of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, safety and the flow of traffic. The Truck Platooning Challenge will demonstrate that a second vehicle is technically capable of automatically following the combination ahead using wireless communications, radar and cameras.
Daimler demonstrates autonomous truck platooning; Highway Pilot Connect delivers ~7% lower fuel consumption
March 22, 2016
Daimler Trucks demonstrated the new Highway Pilot Connect system for autonomous truck platooning on the A52 autobahn near Düsseldorf. Three WiFi-connected, autonomously driving trucks operated on the autobahn with authorization for public traffic in a platoon formation.
Such a combination can reduce fuel consumption by up to 7% and the road space requirement on motorways by almost half, while improving traffic safety at the same time, Daimler said. Based on the Daimler Trucks Highway Pilot system for autonomously driving heavy trucks (earlier post), the three trucks link up to form an aerodynamically optimized, fully automated platoon.
UPS to invest $100M more in compressed natural gas, CNG vehicles and related infrastructure
March 16, 2016
UPS plans to build an additional 12 compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations and add 380 new CNG tractors to its growing alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet. The CNG fueling stations and vehicle purchases totaling $100 million are part of UPS’ ongoing commitment to diversify its fuel sources and reduce its environmental impact.
UPS is working to meet its goal of logging one billion miles with its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet by the end of 2017, using a Rolling Laboratory approach to determine the right alternative fuel solutions to meet the unique needs of route-specific driving environments.
ViriCiti, Simacan tool predicts energy usage and savings per route by driving electric
March 04, 2016
ViriCiti B.V., a provider of telematics systems for electric city buses and trucks, and Simacan B.V., a provider of real-time traffic information, are partnering to develop a new online tool that predicts the energy usage and savings per route by driving electric.
The EV Fleet Analyzer provides insights into when the deployment of electric distribution vehicles is profitable. With this tool, ViriCiti and Simacan aim to increase the use of electric vehicles.
EPA announces availability of $26M for projects to reduce diesel emissions from existing fleet
February 26, 2016
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of $26 million in grant funding to establish clean diesel projects aimed at reducing emissions from the US’ existing fleet of diesel engines. Diesel-powered engines move approximately 90% of the nation’s freight tonnage, and today nearly all highway freight trucks, locomotives, and commercial marine vessels are powered by diesel engines.
EPA is soliciting proposals nationwide for projects that significantly reduce diesel emissions and exposure, especially from fleets operating in areas designated as having poor air quality. Priority for funding will be given to projects that engage and benefit local communities and applicants that demonstrate their ability to promote and continue efforts to reduce emissions after the project has ended.
Volvo sells 11 electric hybrid buses with 2 ABB automated fast-chargers to Namur, Belgium
February 25, 2016
Volvo has received an order for 11 electric hybrid buses and 2 ABB automated electric bus fast-chargers to the city of Namur in Belgium with public transport authority and operator TEC. This is the largest order to date for the company’s electric bus system.
TEC is buying the bus system as a turn-key solution. Volvo takes full responsibility for vehicle servicing, battery maintenance as well as maintenance of the standard-based charging stations for a fixed monthly cost. Start in-service is planned towards the end of 2016. Every year the TEC Group transports more than 250 million passengers.
AmeriPride Services receives first of 10 new electric delivery trucks from Motiv Power Systems; 20% of fleet to go electric
February 16, 2016
AmeriPride Services, a leading textile rental services and supply company in North America, announced plans to replace 20% of the fleet at its Vernon branch with electric delivery trucks equipped with Motiv Power Systems All-Electric Powertrains. Motiv has delivered the first of ten zero-emission step vans.
The company’s new delivery vehicles feature up to 20% gradeability, 80 miles of range and a 50% battery charge time of 2.5 hours. Installed by Morgan Olson on a Ford F59 Chassis, the walk-in step vans are the first Motiv-powered vehicles installed on a previously-used body.
NREL analysis of Proterra electric bus demo finds average fuel economy nearly 4x that of CNG baseline buses
February 12, 2016
Proterra battery-electric buses in service in a 12- vehicle demonstration by Foothill Transit in California offered significant fuel savings compared to similar conventional vehicles, according to a recently published analysis of the results of the demonstration by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
The NREL team found, inter alia, that the battery-electric buses (BEBs)had an overall average efficiency of 2.15 kWh per mile on the service route, which equated to 17.48 miles per diesel gallon equivalent (DGE). The baseline CNG buses had an average fuel economy of 4.04 miles per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE), which equates to 4.51 miles per DGE. These results indicated that the BEBs have an average fuel economy that is nearly 4 times higher than that of the CNG buses.
Antelope Valley Transit orders up to 85 electric buses from BYD; first US all-electric public transit fleet
The board of directors of the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) in California voted to award BYD a contract to manufacture up to 85 electric buses over a five-year period. Under the order from AVTA, BYD Motors will build and deliver a variety of all-electric bus models including a 40-foot low floor transit bus, a 60-foot low floor articulated bus, and a 45-foot commuter coach.
All 85 buses will have a range of more than 160 miles on a single battery charge. AVTA is also installing a wireless charging system to extend the fleet’s range to ensure the electric buses will be able to serve the agency’s longest rural routes.
Gen 2 low-cost flywheel-based Torotrak KERS for buses en route to production in mid-2016
January 05, 2016
Torotrak Group and Wrightbus have completed the in-service trial of a Wrightbus StreetLite midi bus fitted with Torotrak’s Flybrid mechanical kinetic energy recovery system (KERS). The trial was made possible by and conducted with Arriva, one of the largest bus operators in the UK.
The trial, conducted on a standard bus route in Gillingham, Kent from March 2015, successfully demonstrated the performance of the Flybrid KERS under real-world operating conditions including the capture, storage and release of energy from the brakes and the drivability of the system. The learnings from the trial have already proven invaluable in selecting the operating strategy for the volume production system, which will be a second generation design, the partners said.
Navigant forecasts global annual natural gas vehicle sales to reach 3.9M in 2025, up 62.5% from 2015
December 28, 2015
In its new Natural Gas Vehicles report, Navigant Research forecasts that global annual NGV sales—light-, medium- and heavy-duty—will grow 62.5% from 2.4 million vehicles in 2015 to 3.9 million in 2025.
Navigant forecasts that the number of light-duty NGVs on the world’s roads will double by 2025 to 39.6 million, accounting for 2.6% of all LDVs. Overall, Navigant expects the worldwide market for light-duty NGVs to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.3% between 2015 and 2025.
UPS to use biomethane for Memphis and Jackson alternative fuel fleet
December 21, 2015
UPS will supply its fleet in Memphis, Tenn., and Jackson, Miss., with an estimated 15 million diesel gallon gas equivalents of renewable natural gas (RNG)—biomethane—as part of a multi-year agreement with Memphis Light, Gas and Water and Atmos Energy Marketing, LLC.
Atmos will secure landfill gas and provide it to MLGW for conversion to LNG, which will be delivered to the UPS facility by tractor-trailer. The deal is part of an initiative announced earlier this year by UPS to significantly expand its use of renewable natural gas in UPS’s alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet. The company has a goal of driving one billion miles with its alternative fuels fleet—known as the Rolling Laboratory—by the end of 2017.
$12B EV deal: NEVS to provide Panda with 150K 9-3 EVs through 2020, 100K other EV products and services
December 17, 2015
National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) and the Chinese company Panda New Energy Co., Ltd. have signed a strategic collaboration agreement under which NEVS will provide Panda with 150,000 9-3 sedan electric vehicles through the end of 2020. In addition, the agreement also includes 100,000 other EV products and services from companies associated to NEVS and its owners. The total value of the agreement is 78 billion RMB (US$12 billion).
Panda New Energy is a new energy vehicle leasing company with focus on low emission mobility solutions. Cooperating with many chauffeured car service platforms in China, Panda aims to become one of the biggest EV leasing companies in the world.
Navitas Systems awarded $7.2M contract to develop Gen 2 Li-ion military vehicle 6T batteries
November 26, 2015
Navitas Systems LLC recently was awarded a four-year $7.2 million contract to develop second generation (Gen 2) lithium-ion batteries for military vehicles.
The US military and most NATO countries to-date have used lead-acid batteries in the 6T form factor to provide starting and energy storage for its ground vehicles. While this system is reliable and fairly inexpensive, it suffers from a number of significant drawbacks including low cycle life, low energy density/specific energy, poor recharge rate compared to other battery chemistries, high weight, and must be used in series pairs to meet the 24V electrical bus requirements on today’s more sophisticated military vehicles.
Ryder to fuel natural gas fleets in California with 100% biomethane from Clean Energy Fuels
November 12, 2015
Ryder System, Inc. and Clean Energy Fuels Corp. announced an agreement for Ryder to switch the fuel at their stations in Orange and Fontana, CA, to Clean Energy’s Redeem renewable natural gas (RNG)—i.e., biomethane. (Earlier post.) The fuel at the two stations will be available in both compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) to individual and public fleet vehicles.
Clean Energy’s renewable natural gas vehicle fuel is derived from biogenic methane or biogas—methane that is naturally generated by the decomposition of organic waste. The methane gas is then processed, purified and sent into the interstate natural gas pipeline and made available exclusively to Clean Energy customers.
1-year customer field trials of FUSO electric Canter in Portugal show 64% lower costs, 37% reduction in CO2 given local power mix
November 02, 2015
Daimler has concluded customer field trials with eight pre-production Fuso Canter E-Cell electric trucks (earlier post) in Portugal. In addition to delivering a 64% savings in operating costs compared to conventional diesel trucks, the Canter E-Cells also reduced CO2 emissions by 37% compared to diesel, taking into account the current power production mix in Portugal.
FUSO developed the battery-powered and locally emission-free Canter E-Cell at the Daimler Trucks Center of Competence for Hybrid Technology. To prove the practicality of the Canter E-Cell, FUSO sent eight of them on a field trial in mid-2014. All eight vehicles travelled the roads of Portugal and were permanently monitored and analyzed during the one-year field trial. The Canter E-Cell trucks were equipped with platforms and box bodies. They were operated by couriers and freight forwarding agents as well as by municipalities and public works departments.
Nissan partners with Scoot Networks mobility service with 10 Nissan New Mobility Concept EVs
October 18, 2015
Nissan has provided 10 all-electric Nissan New Mobility Concept vehicles to the Scoot Networks mobility service in San Francisco. The Nissan New Mobility Concept, also known as a Scoot Quad, is a battery-electric, two-seater compact vehicle with a range of 40 miles (64 km) and top speed of 25 mph (40 km/h), based on Renault’s Twizy. Nissan is also testing the EV in car sharing services in Japan. (Earlier post.)
The Scoot Quad joins the Scoot family of light electric vehicles—including a classic electric moped and a larger cargo outfit—and it is Scoot’s first foray on four wheels. The Scoot fleet currently comprises 400 customized electric scooters that go up to 30 mph (48 km/h) and have a range of 20 to 25 miles (32 to 40 km). San Francisco residents use Scoots for a variety of activities such as quick commutes across town, running errands or as a fun way to explore the city.
ARB sees beginning of market penetration of battery-electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses
October 16, 2015
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has released its draft technology assessment of medium- and heavy-duty battery-electric trucks and buses. The draft assessment identifies the status of battery-electric vehicle (BEV) technology that can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) and criteria pollutant emissions from Class 2b through Class 8 vehicles (gross vehicle weight of 8,501 pounds and up).
Overall, the assessment finds that BEVs are beginning to penetrate the medium- and heavy-duty vehicle markets. Battery electric transit buses are increasingly available from a variety of manufacturers and some school buses are commercially available. Battery electric shuttle buses are also increasingly available, as are other medium-duty BEVs, primarily delivery vehicles. Currently, BEVS in the marketplace typically use lithium-ion battery chemistries. Class 8 heavy-duty trucks remain a significant challenge, according to the report.
AKASOL supplying Li-ion battery systems for eight fast-charging electric buses in Cologne
October 15, 2015
AKASOL, a Germany-based provider of high-performance Li-ion battery systems (earlier post), is supplying the Li-ion battery systems for 8 all-electric articulated 18-meter buses, manufactured by VDL Bus & Coach, to be operated by the Cologne public transport company Kölner Verkehrs-Betriebe. Both AKASOL and VDL are displaying their battery systems and Citea SLFA Electric articulated bus, respectively, at Busworld.
The VDL buses use AKASOL’s modular AKASYSTEM lithium-ion battery system in a 4 x 15M configuration in every bus. Each AKASYSTEM 15M is rated at 460 kW, 35 kWh, and 666 V and weighs 314 kg. The high-performance liquid-cooled battery system offers a charging capacity of more than 300 kilowatts and has an overall useable energy content of more than 100 kWh.
ABB launches automated fast charging system for electric buses; inverted pantograph
ABB is introducing an automated fast charging system which allows electric city buses to drive 24/7. With its automated rooftop connection and a typical charge time of 4–6 minutes, the system can easily be integrated in existing bus lines by installing fast chargers at end points, terminals, depots and/or intermediate stops. The modular design offering 150 kW, 300 kW or 450 kW of charging power provides any city bus with enough energy in only a few minutes to run its inner-city route continuously throughout the day.
The robust automated connection is based on a pantograph: a proven system used commonly on trains, trams and metro’s, but mounted in inverted position on a stylish infrastructure pole. When a bus arrives at the charging stop, wireless communication will be established between bus and charger and the pantograph will come down automatically. After all safety checks are performed the system will provide the bus with a powerful fast recharge. (A Combo 2 connector can also serve to link bus with charger.)
Proterra introduces 35-foot electric bus
October 05, 2015
Tracking the broader transportation trend towards advanced safety systems, the new 35-foot Catalyst electric bus provides customers with nimble maneuvering and enhanced automated features, including collision avoidance and traction control in a smaller model for dense urban areas, building on the performance of the 40-foot Catalyst vehicle. Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) will be the first customer for the new bus, receiving seven 35-foot Catalyst FC buses and two overhead semi-autonomous fast chargers.
California ARB announces $24M grant solicitation for zero-emission truck and bus pilot commercial deployment projects
October 02, 2015
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced a grant solicitation for Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Pilot Commercial Deployment Projects. Up to $23,658,000 is available for this project from FY 2014-15 funds. Up to an additional $60,000,000 may be available for projects under this solicitation from future funds appropriated by the California legislature on or before 30 June 2016.
This project complements the Zero-Emission Drayage Truck and Multi-Source Facility Demonstration Projects solicitations released in June of this year as part of a $50-million allocation for advanced technology freight demonstrations.
Ballard lands $17M deal for deployment of ~300 fuel cell buses in China; new 30 kW and 60 kW modules
September 26, 2015
Under a newly signed long-term license and supply agreement, Ballard Power Systems will supply Guangdong Synergy Hydrogen Power Technology Co., Ltd., an existing partner in China, fuel cell power products and technology in support of the planned deployment of approximately 300 fuel cell-powered buses in the cities of Foshan and Yunfu, China.
The deal has an estimated initial value of $17 million through 2016, with the opportunity for significant recurring royalties starting in 2017. The agreement includes supply and sale of fully-assembled fuel cell power modules; ready-to-assemble module kits; a technology license for localization of assembly; supply of proprietary fuel cell stacks; and long-term recurring royalties leveraged to unit volumes of locally assembled modules.
DOT announces $22.5M in latest round of low or no emissions bus deployment (LoNo) funding
The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the availability of $22.5 million (FTA-2015-006-TRI) through the latest round of the Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program (LoNo).
The LoNo Program is a capital program focused on deploying new low- or no-emission production buses that are market-ready or near market-ready; i.e., it is not a program for designing and developing prototypes. The program gives priority consideration to the deployment of buses with the lowest energy consumption and least harmful emissions. The previous round of LoNo funding, announced in February 2015, awarded $55 million in grants to ten organizations nationwide. (Earlier post.)