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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.]

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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DOE to issue funding opportunity for medium/heavy-duty, on-road natural gas engine research and development

September 12, 2017

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) intends to issue, on behalf of the Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO), a funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0001813) entitled “FY 2017 Vehicle Technologies Office Medium/Heavy-Duty, On-Road Natural Gas Engine Research and Development Funding Opportunity Announcement”.

VTO is seeking to address barriers to adoption of natural gas vehicles through early-stage research on medium- and heavy-duty on-road engine technologies. The goal is to enable natural gas engines that can cost-effectively achieve diesel-like efficiency while meeting current and future emissions standards. Through this notice, VTO is making interested parties aware of plans to release a funding opportunity announcement in the near-term.

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Van Hool consortium to deploy first hydrogen bus route in France; green hydrogen for bus rapid transit

September 01, 2017

A consortium comprising bus-maker Van Hool, ITM Power, SMTU-PPP and Engie will deploy the first hydrogen bus route in France, in Pau. François Bayrou, President of the community of Pau Béarn Pyrénées, made the announcement about the creation of this “zero emission” bus rapid transit (BRT) route, which will be operated by the Pau transport operator companies SMTU-PPP and STAP starting in September 2019 between the hospital and the railway station in Pau.

Fueled by hydrogen from renewable sources (“green hydrogen”), eight 18-meter articulated buses from the Bus Rapid Transit service line (BHNS) will be operating on the streets of Pau within two years. The buses will form an artery of the new transportation network designed by the City within its urban redevelopment project aimed at improving the perception and use of public spaces in a sustainable way.

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PACCAR joins DOE SuperTruck II initiative; 5 teams now in program

August 30, 2017

PACCAR Inc. is joining four other SuperTruck II teams to develop innovative technologies that more than double the freight efficiency of Class 8 trucks. Funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE), the SuperTruck II program is a follow-on to the successful $240-million SuperTruck I initiative (earlier post), the goal of which was to develop tractor-trailers that were 50% more efficient on a ton‐mile‐per-gallon basis than baseline models by 2015. (Earlier post.)

SuperTruck II includes more aggressive overall freight efficiency and engine brake thermal efficiency goals—specifically, a greater than 100% freight efficiency goal and greater than or equal to 55% engine brake thermal efficiency goal.

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

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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UK launching $10.4M road trial of truck platooning

August 25, 2017

The UK Department for Transport (DfT) and Highways England has commissioned the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) to lead the first real-world operational trial of platooning vehicles on UK roads. The £8.1-million (US$10.4 million) trial will see TRL lead a consortium of partners including DAF Trucks; Ricardo, which worked with TRL to deliver a HGV Platooning feasibility study for the DfT in 2014; and DHL.

The platooning trials will see up to 3 heavy goods vehicles, traveling in convoy, with acceleration and braking controlled by the lead vehicle. All trucks in the platoon will always have a driver ready to take control at any time.

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Worthington Industries introduces Type 3 Rail Mount CNG fuel system for trucks

Worthington Industries has introduced a Type 3 Rail Mount compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel system for trucks. With only five unique parts, the Type 3 Rail Mount is the lightest fuel system on the market, offering a similar operating experience to diesel trucks. It is designed to improve fuel economy and increase payload, reducing fleet total cost of ownership.

Worthington’s Type 3 Rail Mount employs truck OEM factory-installed brackets to hold an aluminum cylinder, similar to the fit and finish of a diesel tank. It utilizes a Type 3 cylinder, which provides superior impact durability, protecting the driver and the company in the event of a side impact. Additionally, truck OEM factory-installed steps provide standard driver ingress and egress; and at 27 inches width off of the frame rail, the fuel system provides a similar width profile to diesel trucks, reducing the likelihood of clipping objects on turns.

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EMA concerned that EPA’s revisiting Phase 2 GHG rules could lead to misaligned regulatory requirements

August 22, 2017

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its intent to revisit provisions of the second phase of the greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency rules for medium- and heavy-duty on-highway trucks and engines that were finalized last year. (Earlier post.) The Phase 2 program builds on the Phase 1 regulations that manufacturers have successfully implemented starting in 2014.

While the new regulations are significantly more ambitious and complex than the Phase 1 requirements, the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) and its members have consistently supported their implementation. EMA is now concerend that EPA’s revisiting the rule could lead to a misalignment of regulatory requirements.

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

August 21, 2017

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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EPA to revisit trailer and glider provisions of Phase 2 GHG and fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty engines

August 20, 2017

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) intends to revisit provisions of the Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines, citing “concerns” raised by stakeholders in the trailer and glider industry.

In September 2011, EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles for model year 2014-2018 (“Phase 1”). (Earlier post.) These standards applied to newly manufactured engines, tractors, vocational vehicles, large pickups, and vans. In October 2016, EPA and NHTSA jointly updated the standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles MY 2021-2027 (“Phase 2”), and regulated trailers and gliders—for the first time under the GHG program—with compliance deadlines beginning in 2018. (Earlier post.)

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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

August 19, 2017

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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New Flyer advances second year production of diesel-electric hybrids for SEPTA; IAP II electrification

August 15, 2017

New Flyer of America Inc., the US subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Inc., the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America, is advancing production of 105 Xcelsior diesel-electric hybrid, forty-foot heavy-duty transit buses for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). It is the second installment of a five-year contract for 525 hybrid buses approved by SEPTA in May 2016.

Separately, New Flyer also announced immediate availability of Increased Accessory Power II for the Allison Transmission Hybrid H 40 EP and H 50 EP propulsion systems. The option uses electrification to power accessory components for additional fuel economy.

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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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Hexagon Composites completes development and initial delivery of H2 storage tanks for Toyota heavy-duty fuel cell truck

August 09, 2017

Norway-based Hexagon Composites’ subsidiary Hexagon Lincoln has completed the development and initial deliveries of storage tanks for a Toyota heavy-duty hydrogen fuel cell truck. (Earlier post.) Toyota Motor North America Research and Development (TMNA R&D) has received the first hydrogen tanks to be used in the project.

With this delivery of the Type 4 high-pressure hydrogen cylinders, the Hexagon Composites Group is strengthening its position in the hydrogen heavy-duty vehicle market. The Group has established a strong position in the hydrogen value chain and is working globally on several projects with passenger car OEMs, transit bus, ground storage, gas transportation, back-up power, marine and rail applications.

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Cenex involved in large-scale UK trial of biomethane-fueled heavy-duty trucks

August 06, 2017

Cenex—the UK’s first Center of Excellence for low carbon technologies—announced its involvement in the UK’s largest trial of biomethane-fueled trucks. Led by Air Liquide and funded in part by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) in partnership with Innovate UK via the recently launched Low Emission Freight and Logistics Project (earlier post), the “Dedicated to Gas” trial will see large fleet operators—including Kuehne + Nagel; Wincanton; ASDA; Brit European, Howard Tenens and Great Bear—test the effectiveness of 81 dedicated gas-powered heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

The trucks in trial range from 12 to 44 tonnes, and are all new to the UK market. The trial will road test the HGVs across 10 different vehicle configurations, generting data on vehicle performance, fuel efficiency, reliability and cost.

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Loop Energy fuel cell range-extended yard truck in operation

August 04, 2017

Canada-based Loop Energy’s fuel cell range extender system (earlier post) is fully functional and operating in a heavy-duty terminal tractor (or yard truck) with partner China National Heavy-Duty Truck Company (CNHTC).

Offering extended range, rapid refueling and zero tailpipe emissions, the heavy-duty vehicle addresses the limitations of pure battery-electric trucks for short and regional-haul freight markets while providing an economically-viable replacement for polluting diesel engines.

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Irizar lands contracts for 15 12m electric buses in Madrid, 4 18m artic electric buses in Barcelona

July 29, 2017

Irizar has been awarded the contract for Madrid’s first 15 electric buses and Barcelona’s first four electric articulated buses. With the capture of these 22 new units for the mainland market, Irizar e-mobility has become the market leader for electric buses in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao and San Sebastián.

Barcelona Metropolitan Transport (Transportes Metropolitanos de Barcelona - TMB) is acquiring four 18.73-meter electric articulated buses. With this purchase, the Barcelona-based company is tackling the first phase of transforming the H16 line to a 100% electric, zero emissions route.

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Volvo D13 turbo compound engine delivers up to 6.5% improvement in fuel efficiency

July 17, 2017

Volvo Trucks North America’s new VNL series delivers up to 7.5% improved fuel efficiency when spec’d with Volvo’s available D13 Turbo Compound engine (D13TC). (Earlier post.) Designed for customers with long-haul, steady-speed operations, the 13-liter Volvo D13TC utilizes turbo compounding technology that recovers energy typically wasted through the exhaust, converting it into useable mechanical energy that is transferred back to the engine.

By employing a secondary exhaust turbine downstream of the main turbocharger, the normally lost energy is routed to the flywheel, recovering as much as 50 hp and helping to improve fuel economy by up to 6.5% when compared with previous GHG14 D13 engine models.

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AC Transit’s fuel cell bus breaks 25,000 hour operating record; demonstrating potential to meet diesel life cycle expectancy

July 14, 2017

The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) recently recorded a second history making event—25,000 hours of continuous operation of a Fuel Cell Electric Bus (FCEB #7). Just two years ago, the FCEB power plant set an international record for 20,000 hours of continuous operation. AC Transit says that with each accomplishment, it has advanced alternative fuel vehicles by both proving the durability of hydrogen fuel cell in daily revenue service and remaining at least one year ahead of federal recommendations.

The US Department of Energy and Federal Transit Administration established performance metrics and life expectancy for FCEBs. Traditionally, a public transit buses life expectancy is measured in terms of the number of miles on its diesel engine. A diesel engine’s life expectancy is 6 years or 250,000 miles before overhaul. The life expectancy of the fuel cell power plant is measured in terms of hours. Once AC Transit’s FCEB #7 recorded its 25,000-hour milestone, it demonstrated the potential for fuel cells to meet the equivalent life cycle expectancy similar to a diesel engine.

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Germany supporting truck platooning project with nearly €2M

July 13, 2017

Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is awarding nearly €2 million (US$2.3 million) to support a truck platooning project by DB Schenker, MAN, and Hochschule. (Earlier post.) The project will run until January 2019.

Initially the partners will test truck convoys in everyday operation at the digital test site, the A9 freeway, for several months to analyze their suitability for practical application and system safety in real traffic scenarios as well as within the logistics processes of DB Schenker. This phase is also aimed at investigating the potential effects of the new technology on the truck driver profession.

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NREL report on electric bus demo at Foothill Transit finds Proterra fuel economy >8x higher than CNG on same line

July 08, 2017

A team from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released the second report summarizing the results of the battery-electric bus (BEB) demonstration underway at Foothill Transit in California. This latest report provides data and analysis on 12 Proterra BEBs and eight CNG baseline buses from August 2015 through December 2016.

Among the findings are that the BEBs had an overall average efficiency of 2.17 kWh per mile—17.35 miles per diesel gallon equivalent (mpdge). The CNG buses had an average fuel economy of 3.89 mpgge, equating to 4.34 mpdge. However, because Foothill Transit operates its BEB and CNG bus fleets differently, the efficiency results presented are not an apples-to-apples comparison. Using data from two days of CNG bus operation on the route serviced by the BEBs line, the NREL team found that the BEB fuel economy was more than 8 times higher than that of a CNG bus operating exclusively on that route.

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IEA: improving efficiency of road-freight transport critical to reduce oil-demand growth; three areas of focus

July 03, 2017

Improving the efficiency of road-freight transport is critical to reducing the growth in oil demand, carbon emissions and air pollution over the next decades, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest report, The Future of Trucks: Implications for energy and the environment.

Although trucks are a major contributor to the growth in transport-fuel consumption and emissions, the sector receives far less attention and policy focus than passenger vehicles, the IEA noted. Only four countries have energy-efficiency standards for heavy trucks, compared with some 40 countries with passenger-vehicle standards. Yet the growth in oil demand from trucks has outpaced all other sectors—including passenger cars, aviation, industry and petrochemical feedstocks—since 2000 and contributed 40% to global oil demand growth, a similar contribution as cars.

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International Truck ships first on-highway vehicles with A26 engine; up to 9% fuel economy improvement

July 01, 2017

International Truck has started customer shipments of its first International LT Series and International RH Series vehicles with the company’s 12.4-liter engine. The company’s internal testing shows these products are delivering up to nine percent in fuel economy improvement over the comparable models built only a year ago.

Driven by a commitment to deliver customer uptime in the Class 8 market, the A26 was developed through an initiative called Project Alpha.

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Daimler introducing first active emergency braking assistant for buses to feature pedestrian recognition

June 30, 2017

Daimler Buses and its product brands Mercedes-Benz and Setra are introducing Active Brake Assist 4 (ABA 4) with pedestrian recognition—the first emergency braking assistance system in a bus to automatically brake for pedestrians. Active Brake Assist 3 already carries out maximum full-stop braking for vehicles ahead and for stationary obstacles.

The new Active Brake Assist 4 with pedestrian recognition warns the driver visually and audibly of any potential collision with pedestrians and at the same time automatically triggering partial braking.

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Renault Trucks leading FALCON project to cut heavy-duty tractor-trailer fuel consumption 13%

Renault Trucks, part of the Volvo Group, is leading the FALCON (Flexible & Aerodynamic Truck for Low CONsumption) consortium project to develop a complete heavy-duty tractor-trailer combination to consume 13% less fuel than a standard coupling towed by a Renault Trucks T.

The project team is focusing on optimized aerodynamics of the truck and trailer combination; connected low rolling resistance tires; and predictive energy-saving driving aid and fuel management functions, together with an improved powertrain using a new-generation Rankine heat recovery system and optimized lubricant formulations.

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Leclanché signs preferred partnership agreement with Škoda Electric to supply battery packs for electric buses

June 26, 2017

Energy storage company Leclanché SA and Škoda Electric, a manufacturer of electric drives and traction motors for trolley and electric buses, have signed a Joint Development Agreement and Framework Purchase Contract through which Leclanché will provide Škoda Electric with battery solutions for its electric bus expansion strategy. The agreement is worldwide in scope and will operate for an initial term of five years.

Leclanché will provide Škoda Electric with high energy (larger G/NMC batteries for overnight charging) and ultra-fast power battery solutions (smaller LTO battery packs for more regular charging, such as at bus stations during the day) for its e-buses. Its solutions will be modular, thereby enabling Škoda Electric to build e-buses from 6 meters to 26 meters across all market segments.

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Volvo Technology Award for wave piston design

June 23, 2017

The Volvo Group’s new truck engines are more fuel efficient as a result of their new piston design which adds waves to the piston crown to improve the use of oxygen. (Earlier post.) The engineers (John Gibble, Frank Löfskog, Michael Balthasar, and Jan Eismark) behind the innovation have now received the Volvo Technology Award 2017. The new wave design has now been patented.

In the case of a standard piston, the injector is located at the top of the cylinder and the fuel is sprayed toward the sides of the cylinder through a number of orifices in the injector. The combination of heat and pressure causes the fuel to ignite before it reaches the cylinder wall.

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ARB study compares in-use NOx emissions from diesel, hydraulic hybrid diesel and LNG refuse trucks

June 12, 2017

A team from the California Air Resources Board (ARB), in partnership with the City of Sacramento, has characterized the in-use emissions from model year (MY) 2010 or newer diesel, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hydraulic hybrid diesel engines during real-world refuse truck operation. A paper on their study is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.

The team used a portable emissions measurement system (PEMS) to quantify the emissions from five trucks: two diesels equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR), two LNG’s equipped with three-way catalyst (TWC) and one hydraulic hybrid diesel equipped with SCR. The engines were certified to the MY 2010 (0.2 g NOx/bhp-hr) or interim MY 2010 (0.5 g NOx/bhp-hr) standard over typical refuse operation.

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Scania introduces new generation of more fuel-efficient V8s; addressing needs of heavier, longer trucks

Scania is introducing a new generation of Euro 6 V8 engines that represents Scania’s response to the growing trend in the transport industry towards heavier, longer trucks. The engines, which are available at 520, 580 and 650 horsepower, can reduce fuel consumption by 7 to 10 percent for customers with vehicles that have higher combined truck and trailer weights, higher average speeds, or both.

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Hydrogenics to provide 1,000 fuel cell bus power modules to Blue-G in China; $50M deal

June 09, 2017

Hydrogenics Corporation, a leading developer and manufacturer of hydrogen generation and hydrogen-based power modules, has signed a Purchase and License Agreement for technology and fuel cells with Blue-G New Energy Science and Technology Corporation (Blue-G) in China.

Under the agreement, Hydrogenics will deliver 1,000 fuel cell units to Blue-G to be integrated into zero-emission electric buses and an engineering support component for an aggregate sum payable to the Company of more than US$50 million. Delivery of the fuel cells and the associated payments are expected to occur over the next two to three years. Hydrogenics also expects to generate incremental license royalties over a 10-year period.

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Ricardo collaborates with California Fuel Cell Partnership on hydrogen trucks; TCO assessment

June 07, 2017

Ricardo Strategic Consulting is collaborating with the California Fuel Cell Partnership to provide economic modeling tools that will enable the assessment of total cost of ownership (TCO) of future fuel cell trucks, and hydrogen stations necessary to support commercial operation.

Ricardo Strategic Consulting’s proprietary Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) modeling capability, provides insights on the economics of fuel efficient technologies, both today and in future. This model enables vehicle manufacturers, regulators, transport authorities, urban planners, and other stakeholders in making informed decisions about new technology implementation.

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Ballard awarded $18M follow-on fuel cell deal with Broad-Ocean to support deployment of 400 buses and trucks in China

June 06, 2017

Fuel cell system manufacturer Ballard Power Systems has entered into an $18-million supply contract with Zhongshan Broad-Ocean Motor Co., Ltd. (Broad-Ocean) to support the deployment of 400 FCveloCity fuel cell systems integrated into clean energy buses and trucks in key Chinese cities.

The transaction is part of an ongoing program with Broad-Ocean (earlier post) to implement Ballard’s fuel cell technology in support of China’s ambitious plan to address environmental concerns and advance the adoption of zero-emission vehicles. The complementary addition of fuel cell systems effectively addresses the limitations of stand-alone battery solutions in certain use cases, resulting in growing demand for zero-emission and efficient propulsion systems that provide bus, truck and commercial vehicles with the traditional range and refueling times provided by legacy diesel solutions.

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UCLA, ARB, WVU measure on-road particle numbers for heavy-duty diesel and CNG trucks in California

June 03, 2017

In a new study, a team from UCLA, with colleagues from the California Air Resources Board (ARB) and West Virginia University, measured total particle number emission factors (PNEFs) from six newly certified heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) powered by diesel and CNG totaling over 6,800 miles of on-road operation in California. They calculated distance-, fuel- and work-based PNEFs for each vehicle. A paper describing their findings is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology.

They found that distance-based PNEFs of the vehicles equipped with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) diesel particulate filters (DPFs) in the study had decreased by 355–3,200 times compared to a previous retrofit DPF dynamometer study. Fuel-based PNEFs were consistent with previous studies measuring plume exhaust in the ambient air. On-road PNEFs showed route and technology dependence.

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Study finds POMDME-diesel blends cut soot up to 34% with no NOx increase

May 31, 2017

A study by a team from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Aerothermochemistry and Combustion Systems Laboratory and the University of Kaiserslautern (Germany) has found that blends comprising poly (oxymethylene) dimethyl ethers (POMDME) and diesel show a significant reduction in soot emissions of up to to 34% with no significant increase in NOx.

The team examined blends of 5% and 10% POMDME in diesel in a single-cylinder heavy-duty diesel engine to gain an overview of the blend’s impact on engine performance and exhaust emissions. A paper on their work appears in the journal Fuel.

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First liquid nitrogen hybrid bus completes trials; HORIBA MIRA and Dearman

May 30, 2017

A hybrid bus that runs on both diesel and liquid nitrogen has completed a series of trials to bring it one step closer to the road. The hybrid bus—CE Power—is the first to be powered by liquid nitrogen and has been built by engineers at HORIBA MIRA as part of an Innovate UK consortium.

The bus utilizes alternative propulsion to address urban air pollution challenges and features a high-efficiency, zero-emission Dearman Engine (earlier post), powered by liquid nitrogen, alongside a conventional diesel engine. The hybrid system enables the bus to reduce noxious tail-pipe emissions, improving local air quality.

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Bus operators launch joint procurement for 63 fuel cell buses in Germany and South Tyrol; part of JIVE

Wuppertal-based WSW mobil GmbH last week tendered the procurement of 63 fuel cell buses for operation in public transport. WSW is coordinating the joint procurement for its partners Verkehrs-Verbund Mainz-Wiesbaden GmbH; traffiQ Frankfurt; Regionalverkehr Köln GmbH (all Germany); and SASA SpA-AG in Bolzano (Itay) which are going to operate these buses in the next years. The coordinated procurement of buses based on a joint specification sheet targets achieving lower prices for the buses.

The joint procurement activity is part of the JIVE (Joint Initiative for hydrogen Vehicles across Europe) project, an EU-funded project deploying 139 new zero emission fuel cell buses across nine cities, the first deployment of this scale in Europe. (Earlier post.) JIVE is going to become the largest fuel cell bus project in Europe.

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California ARB opens solicitations for $17M for On-Road Advanced Technology Demonstrations Projects; Class 7, 8 trucks

May 20, 2017

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is seeking solicitations for up to $17 million in grants for the On-Road Advanced Technology Demonstrations Projects approved by the Board as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016-17 Funding Plan for Low Carbon Transportation and Fuels Investments and the Air Quality Improvement Program (AQIP).

Projects funded under this solicitation will demonstrate pre-commercial Intelligent Transportation Systems and Connected Trucks; Advanced Engines and Powertrains; and Zero-Emission Short and Regional Haul Trucks.

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Volvo Trucks and Renova testing autonomous refuse trucks; driving in reverse

May 17, 2017

Swedish waste management company Renova and Volvo Trucks are currently testing and researching how automated vehicles can contribute to safer, more efficient refuse handling and create a better working environment for drivers. The automated systems being tested are in principle the same as those fitted to the autonomous Volvo truck operating in the Kristineberg Mine in northern Sweden since autumn 2016.

The refuse truck relies on a GPS and LiDAR-based system for mapping, positioning and scanning of the area around the vehicle. The autonomous system controls steering, gear changing and speed. The vehicle stops automatically if an obstacle on the road suddenly appears.

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Mercedes-Benz: electric Citaro entering production next year; e-mobility consultancy service for transport operators

At the Global Public Transport Summit (GPTS) in Montreal/Canada, the congress of the International Association of Public Transport, UITP, Mercedes-Benz again confirmed that battery-electric versions of its Citro bus (earlier post) would enter series production next year. prototypes are already undergoing testing on the roads.

The company said that the electrically powered Citaro will open up a new chapter in electric mobility, because Mercedes-Benz is not looking at the city bus in isolation, but as an integral part of a highly efficient transport system.

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New international study finds lab testing of diesel NOx emissions underestimates real-world levels by up to 50%

May 15, 2017

A new international study has found that laboratory tests of nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel vehicles significantly underestimate the real-world emissions by as much as 50%. A paper on the work is published in the journal Nature.

The research, led by the International Council on Clean Transportation and Environmental Health Analytics, LLC., in collaboration with scientists at the University of York’s Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI); University of Colorado; and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, assessed 30 studies of vehicle emissions under real-world driving conditions in 11 major vehicle markets representing 80% of new diesel vehicle sales in 2015. Those markets include Australia; Brazil; Canada; China; the European Union; India; Japan; Mexico; Russia; South Korea; and the United States.

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TM4 and Cummins jointly developing range-extended electric plug-in powertrain for Class 7/8 buses

May 11, 2017

TM4 and Cummins are jointly developing a plug-in hybrid powertrain for Class 7/8 transit buses that can reduce fuel consumption by at least 50% compared to conventional hybrid buses. The project aims to provide transit authorities with a flexible, more efficient drivetrain and a longer range zero-tailpipe-emission capability for inner-city routes.

The range-extended electric drive system comprises a gen-set (Cummins’ Euro 2019 B4.5 diesel engine coupled with TM4’s LSG130 electric generator); an external 450 kW ultrafast charging infrastructure; a power collector; a 111 kWh onboard Li-ion battery; a TM4 SUMO electric motor directly connected to the differential; a small fuel tank and power electronics.

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California Energy Commission awards more than $36M to clean transportation projects

The California Energy Commission awarded more than $24 million in grants today for clean energy freight transportation projects in Los Angeles and Long Beach and more than $12 million for other clean transportation projects.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and Long Beach Harbor Department received $10 million each and the Los Angeles Harbor Department received $4.5 million to conduct field demonstrations of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and cargo handling equipment that have zero or near-zero emissions (GFO-16-604).

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Proterra launches new diagnostic tool and cold weather package for improved operational efficiency of battery-electric buses

Electric bus manufacturer Proterra has introduced the Proterra Diagnostic Tool and the Proterra Cold Weather Package to its growing suite of products and services. The Diagnostic Tool is the only diagnostic platform that allows technicians to access all vehicle systems in one place, with one intuitive interface. 

A simple dashboard displays the vehicle’s functional layout, enabling users to monitor operation levels, see faults and resolve many issues directly through the interface without physically removing bus panels.  A virtual mechanic, the Diagnostic Tool provides access to most of the vehicle’s operational features, including monitoring of the overhead charging system.

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Wrightspeed partners with AxleTech on heavy-duty electric drive

May 10, 2017

Wrightspeed Inc., a developer and manufacturer of heavy-duty range-extended electric vehicle (REV) powertrains (earlier post), has partnered with AxleTech International, a leading manufacturer of heavy-duty specialty drivetrain systems. The partnership integrates decades of axle engineering experience into Wrightspeed’s electrification technology to meet growing demand from the company’s customers and partners, including Mack Trucks and New Zealand Bus (NZB).

Wrightspeed’s Route REV powertrain system, featuring regenerative braking and a range-extending turbine generator, the Fulcrum, enable heavy-duty electric vehicles to operate as efficiently as possible. Recently recognized as a 2016 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, Wrightspeed will now leverage AxleTech’s expertise in engineering and manufacturing to accelerate commercial deployment of its multimodal REV Route powertrain.

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US EPA settles with three trucking companies over California diesel rule; $201K in penalties

May 05, 2017

The Environmental Protection Agency announced settlements with three companies totaling $201,000 in penalties for violating California’s Truck and Bus Regulation. The companies either failed to install particulate filters on their own heavy-duty diesel trucks or failed to verify that trucks they hired for use in California complied with the state rule.

The California Truck and Bus Regulation was adopted into federal Clean Air Act plan requirements in 2012 and applies to diesel trucks and buses operating in California. (Earlier post.) The rule requires trucking companies to upgrade vehicles they own to meet specific NOx and particulate matter performance standards and also requires trucking companies to verify compliance of vehicles they hire or dispatch. Heavy-duty diesel trucks in California must meet 2010 engine emissions levels or use diesel particulate filters that can reduce the emissions of diesel particulates into the atmosphere by 85% or more.

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Four China OEMs select Efficient Drivetrains for PHEV systems for buses

May 04, 2017

Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI), a developer of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle drivetrain solutions, has been selected by four major OEMs in China to integrate its EDI PowerDrive 6000 systems into 8- and 12-meter buses across multiple territories. The company will be supplying its EDI PowerDrive Plug-in Hybrid Electric (PHEV) drivetrains and EDI PowerSuite vehicle control software to Shaanxi Automotive; Ankai; Xiamen Jinlong; and Yaxing Motors as the companies work to rapidly offer electrified buses in response to government mandates.

As government regulations and subsidy programs in China continue to drive electrification of vehicle platforms, bus OEMs are looking for partners to enable them to rapidly comply with mandates requiring them to reduce emissions significantly over the next 10 years. The selection of EDI technology by four major OEMs follows the company’s successful delivery of its largest production order of 40 bus drivetrains-placed in Q1 of this year, built on the Yaxing Motors platform for the city of Jiangsu Sheyang. The city buses will be deployed in replacement of standard diesel buses, and will reduce fuel consumption and emissions by over 40% when compared to their traditional counterpart.

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California has invested $559M in cap-and-trade funds in ZEVs; state represents more than 40% of US ZEV sales

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced that California Climate Investments in zero-emission vehicles have reached $599 million since 2013, putting hundreds of thousands of ultra-clean cars, and entire fleets of zero-emission trucks and buses on California roads and highways. ARB made the announcement at the annual Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach.

The funding is from California Climate Investments, a statewide program that invests billions of cap-and-trade dollars to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the economy and improve public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities. Since the transportation sector overall is by far the largest contributor to the state’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions, a major focus of the climate investment program has been supporting the development and deployment of next-generation zero-emission trucks, cars and buses.

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Proterra begins first autonomous bus program in the US

May 03, 2017

Electric bus manufacturer Proterra is initiating the industry’s first autonomous bus program with the University of Nevada, Reno and its Living Lab Coalition partners including the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC), the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, the Nevada Governor’s Office for Economic Development, Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI, and the cities of Reno, Sparks and Carson City, Nev.

Unlike other programs to date, this autonomous vehicle pilot will deal with real road conditions from the perspective of public transit systems, and emphasize the most challenging aspects related to mass transportation, which include dense and dynamic environments, degraded conditions, and a need for swift emergency response.

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US Hybrid unveils new Class 8 fuel cell port drayage truck for San Pedro Ports

US Hybrid has unveiled a zero-emission Class 8 fuel cell port drayage truck featuring its PEM fuel cell system during the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo at the Long Beach Convention Center. The truck, which will be operated by Total Transportation Solutions, Inc (TTSI), is one of two fuel cell demonstration tractors scheduled for delivery at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. (Earlier post.)

The fuel cell tractor, a Navistar International ProStar day cab, features US Hybrid’s FCe80, 80 kW PEM fuel cell system and a 500 hp traction motor with 2,900 lb-ft of direct drive torque (3,750 N·m). It has a gross vehicle weight rating of 80,000 pounds, an estimated driving range of 200 miles under normal drayage operation, and can be fully refueled in less than nine minutes.

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Kenworth developing hydrogen fuel cell, Near Zero NOx CNG series hybrid Class 8 prototypes for SoCal ports; CNG hybrids

Kenworth continues its advancements on low/zero emission projects focused on Kenworth T680 day cabs for drayage tractor operation in Southern California ports, which are backed by $9 million in government grants awarded last August.

Kenworth is developing a prototype Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell tractor, using the Ballard Power Systems fuel cell to recharge the battery pack. The hydrogen fuel cell series hybrid T680 day cab tractor uses lithium-ion batteries to power a dual-rotor electric motor, driving the rear tandem axle through a 4-speed automated transmission. Kenworth’s hydrogen truck is expected to be ready for initial track and on-road testing in the fourth quarter of this year.

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UPS to deploy prototype Class 6 extended range fuel cell electric vehicle delivery truck; trials begin in Q3

May 02, 2017

UPS will deploy a prototype extended range Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) in its Rolling Laboratory fleet of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. UPS is working with the US Department of Energy (DOE) and other partners to design a first-of-its-kind, zero tailpipe emissions, Class 6 medium-duty delivery truck that meets the same route and range requirements of UPS’ existing conventional fuel vehicles.

The UPS trucks are equipped with a 32 kW Hydrogenics fuel cell coupled to 45 kWh of battery storage and 10 kg of hydrogen fuel. Each FCEV produces electricity which continuously charges its batteries, thereby providing additional power and an extended range of 125 miles. This will support the full duty cycle of the truck, including highway driving.

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Ricardo collaborating with Toyota on Project Portal Class 8 fuel cell truck

Toyota’s Project Portal is designing a heavy-duty hydrogen fuel cell system for class 8 truck use at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. (Earlier post.) Ricardo provided technical assistance to the project, including areas of design, vehicle build, testing and development, and is currently supporting vehicle trials.

Project Portal is the next step in Toyota’s effort to broaden the application of zero-emission fuel cell technology that can serve a range of industries. It is a fully functional heavy-duty Class 8 truck with adequate power and torque capacity to conduct port drayage operations while emitting nothing but water vapor. Heavy duty vehicles make up a significant percentage of the annual emissions output at the San Pedro Bay ports, and the Portal feasibility study may provide another path to further reduce emissions.

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FTA announces $55M for FY 2017 Low-No funding

April 28, 2017

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the availability of $55 million of Fiscal Year 2017 funds (FTA-2017-003-TPM-LowNo) for the purchase or lease of low- or no-emission vehicles as well as related equipment or facilities (Low-No). Only $31.5 million is available under the Continuing Resolution that expires on 28 April 28 2017.

The main purpose of the Low-No Program is to support the transition of the US transit fleet to the lowest polluting and most energy efficient transit vehicles. The Low-No Program provides funding to State and local governmental authorities for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses, including acquisition, construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities.

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SunLine Transit receives $12.5M for five H2-powered buses, H2 generating station in Coachella Valley

April 21, 2017

California Climate Investments is awarding a $12.5-million grant to SunLine Transit Agency for five new zero-emission New Flyer hydrogen fuel cell buses. The grant also supports the development of the largest hydrogen fueling station in the US of its kind, from Hydrogenics, using electricity and renewable energy to generate clean hydrogen.

The grant is part of the state’s effort to use proceeds from the climate change cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gases, including a widespread effort to promote low carbon transit such as hydrogen-powered or electric buses throughout California, with a special focus on serving disadvantaged communities.

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Toyota North America unveils hydrogen-fuel-cell heavy-duty truck proof-of-concept; twin Mirai fuel cell stacks

April 19, 2017

Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMNA) revealed “Project Portal”—a hydrogen fuel cell system designed for heavy-duty trucks applied in a Class 8 truck for use at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA).

Announced at a press conference with Port officials and representatives from California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Energy Commission (CEC), the zero-emission truck proof-of-concept will take part in a feasibility study examining the potential of fuel cell technology in heavy duty applications. The study will begin this summer and contribute to the Port’s Clean Air Action Plan, which has significantly reduced harmful emissions from operations at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles since 2005.

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Efficient Drivetrains delivers Class-6 PHEV with CNG range-extender armored truck

April 07, 2017

Efficient Drivetrains has delivered the first of six plug-in-hybrid electric armored vehicles to Sectran Security. The industry-first Class-6 International brand armored truck was the first delivery from the company’s newly expanded Dixon, California hybrid and electric vehicle center of excellence.

The vehicle program is a collaboration between Efficient Drivetrains and North American Repower, California’s leading natural gas engine management and conversion technology company. Supported by a $3-million California Energy Commission grant, the companies are working to convert a fleet of six, Class-6 International armored trucks into “Zero Emission with Range Extension” vehicles—PHEV trucks that operate with electricity and renewable natural gas (RNG). The result is a full OEM-performance electric vehicle that utilizes RNG for range extension and reduces emissions by up to 99% in certain duty cycles.

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Ricardo developing advanced simultation capability for IMPERIUM project for HD emissions reductions

March 31, 2017

Current state-of-the-art heavy duty diesel engines are both highly efficient and offer low emissions. However, in real-world driving, fuel efficiency and emissions aftertreatment technologies interact with each other and also vary according to the vehicle application, its prevailing operating conditions and its mission.

The IMPERIUM project (IMplementation of Powertrain control for Economic, low Real driving emIssions and fuel ConsUMption) is a major EU-funded research initiative (€10 million total, €6.6 million from the EU) comprising a total of 17 industrial and academic partners. The main objective of the project is to reduce fuel consumption by 20% (diesel and urea) against the project’s 2014 Euro VI baseline vehicle, while keeping the vehicle within the legal limits for pollutant emissions.

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Lawrence Livermore Lab researchers significantly boost truck fuel efficiency through improved aerodynamics

March 23, 2017

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers, as part of a Navistar SuperTruck I team, helped design a new type of tractor trailer truck that improves fuel economy by 124%, compared to heavy vehicles on the road today.

Seventy-four percent out of the 124% improvement comes from aerodynamic enhancements, while the rest comes from engine efficiency, tire rolling resistance, light weighting and other advancements. On a track test, the new SuperTruck I vehicle achieved 13 mpg (18.1 l/100 km), compared to a typical truck on the road that gets around 5.8 mpg (40.5 l/100 km).

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Volvo Trucks and PATH successfully demo partially automated on-highway truck platooning in California; CACC

March 14, 2017

Volvo Trucks and Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology (PATH) at the University of California, Berkeley recently completed a successful demonstration of partially automated truck platooning, made possible by Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control technology (CACC).

Three Volvo VNL 670 model tractors hauled cargo containers at the Los Angeles Port complex and along Interstate 110, highlighting for public officials and other stakeholders the technology’s potential for improving highway safety, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing the capacity of transportation systems.

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Alstom and NTL launch electric Aptis as new mass transit mobility solution; four steerable wheels; Paris trials

March 13, 2017

Alstom and NTL presented Aptis, an innovative electric mobility solution for mass transit. Aptis’ unique and innovative design, based on that of a tram, incorporates low-floor accessibility and 360° views. Two or three large double doors enable easy on-and-off passenger flows and smooth access for wheelchairs and strollers. 95 passengers can travel on this 12-meter long bus.

Operators will benefit from a vehicle that is easy to maintain with the longest lifetime in its category. With four steerable wheels versus two for a bus, Aptis occupies 25% less surface area in curves. At bus stops, this minimizes the space needed to park while offering gains in available space for other vehicles.

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First of 27 BYD electric trucks arriving in Southern California freight and rail yards; $19.2M project

The State of California, San Bernardino Council of Governments (SBCOG) and partners Daylight Transport and BYD Motors celebrated the arrival of the first of 27 electric yard and service trucks for freight and rail yards in three disadvantaged communities in San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Fontana. The demonstration truck project is funded by $9 million from the State’s climate change-fighting cap-and-trade program and another $10.2 million in cash and in-kind matching funds.

The project demonstrates 23 battery-electric 80,000-pound (GCVWR) Class 8 yard trucks and four 16,100-pound (GVWR) Class 5 service trucks. Three yard trucks and a service truck will operate at Daylight and the other 23 will operate at two BNSF Railway rail yards in San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties. BNSF will take delivery of the electric trucks this summer.

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EDI completes integration of plug-in hybrid electric drivetrain into Freightliner platform

March 10, 2017

>Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI) has completed the integration of its EDI PowerDrive technology into a new OEM platform, Freightliner. The newly available Freightliner M2 truck rounds out EDI’s portfolio of Class 3-6 zero-emissions utility vehicles with exportable power option. EDI is currently offering Class-3 through 6 utility solutions with optional exportable power available on Ford, GM, Peterbilt, and now Freightliner platforms.

The newest utility vehicle features the EDI PowerDrive 6000 plug-in electric drivetrain, delivering more than 25 miles of all-electric, zero-emissions driving, 300 more miles of range in hybrid modes, and reduces emissions by up to 80% when compared to conventional utility vehicles. The new Freightliner utility truck operates as a powerful, all electric zero emissions vehicle for both city and highway driving situations, extends driving ranges with two high efficiency hybrid modes, and eliminates jobsite engine idle for more than 8 hours.

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Porterville, CA orders ten 40' all-electric buses from GreenPower; option for 20 more

Canada-based GreenPower Motor Company has entered into a sales contract to supply 10 GreenPower EV350 40-foot zero-emission all-electric transit buses with the City of Porterville in California for deployment on all nine Porterville Transit routes. The order includes 11 charging systems to be installed at the maintenance facility and transit center for a total purchase price of approximately $9 million.

The funds for the acquisition were granted from the competitive California Air Resources Board (ARB) Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Pilot Program.

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ConMet and Protean Electric partner to develop electric in-wheel drive system for the commercial vehicle market

March 09, 2017

Consolidated Metco, a leading global supplier of components to the commercial vehicle market, and Protean Electric, the manufacturer of ProteanDRIVE in-wheel motors, are partnering to develop an electric in-wheel drive system to provide hybrid-electric solutions for the medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicle markets.

The ConMet/Protean in-wheel electric drive system is intended to deliver a robust and efficient hybrid propulsion system designed for commercial trucks, tractors, and trailers. This will enable ConMet’s OEM and fleet customers to address the continued tightening of safety and emissions regulations, increasing demands for improved fuel efficiency, weight and drivetrain packaging optimization, and shifts in vehicle demands for long-haul and urban delivery.

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Rail Management Services (RMS) orders 9 more Orange EV T-Series electric yard trucks

March 02, 2017

Rail Management Services (RMS), an intermodal lift-on/lift-off contractor with a hostling fleet of 700+ trucks, has placed a follow-on order for nine additional T-Series battery-electric terminal trucks from Orange EV.

Orange EV offers a range of configurations built to meet site-specific requirements while managing cost. The RMS reorder is consists of nine Extended Duty (160 kWh) trucks, each with galvanized frames but built to three different configurations: new, on-road (DOT compliant), with standard onboard charging; re-manufactured (aka re-powered), off-road, with offboard fast charging; and re-manufactured, off-road, with standard onboard charging.

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Volvo Trucks testing long-haul hybrid powertrain in Concept Truck

February 28, 2017

With the Volvo Concept Truck, Volvo Trucks has developed its first hybrid vehicle designed for long-haul applications. In combination with the vehicle’s other improvements, the total reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 is around 30%. (Earlier post.)

Volvo Trucks estimates that in long haul operation, the hybrid powertrain will allow the combustion engine to be shut off for up to 30% of the driving time. This will save between 5-10% in fuel, depending on the vehicle type or specification, and its drive cycle. It also offers the ability to drive in full electric mode for up to 10 kilometers, enabling the vehicle to operate with zero emissions and low noise.

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Toyota delivers fuel cell bus to Tokyo Metropolitan Government; more than 100 planned by 2020 Olympics

February 24, 2017

Toyota Motor Corporation delivered the first fuel cell bus (FC bus) sold under the Toyota brand to the Bureau of Transportation of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. This FC bus will be put into operation as a Toei route bus in March along with a second bus that is scheduled for delivery in the same month.

Toyota plans to introduce more than 100 FC buses mainly within the Tokyo area, ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The increased use of FC buses in urban areas is expected to help raise the level of understanding by the general public regarding the use of FC buses as a form of public transportation.

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European truck manufacturers call for action to prevent aftermarket manipulation of NOx emissions controls

February 23, 2017

In the wake of a report by the German television station ZDF identifying widespread aftermarket manipulation of NOx emissions control technologies on trucks, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) is calling for government action to preclude such manipulation.

The ZDF report, based on research ZDF commissioned at the University of Heidelberg, found that some 20% of trucks operating in eastern Europe have effectively circumvented NOx reduction technology, causing around 14,000 tonnes more NOx to be emitted per year than would be the case if all trucks that say they use AdBlue were doing so. The additional 14,000 tonnes of NOx would make it twice the size of the Volkswagen “Dieselgate” scandal of 2015, noted environmental NGO T&E.

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MAN and Austria’s CNL partnering on medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks; trials this year, production 2018

February 21, 2017

MAN Truck & Bus, a member of the Volkswagen Group, and the Austrian Council for Sustainable Logistics (CNL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enter into a development partnership on electric drive medium- and heavy-duty trucks. MAN also presented an all-electric prototype of a semitrailer tractor unit for urban distribution transport.

As part of its partnership with CNL—a group of fifteen of Austria’s largest companies in the retail, logistics and production sectors—MAN will be making test vehicles available to nine CNL member companies for practical trials from the end of 2017. Further, MAN intends to begin producing electric versions of the MAN TGM series—manufactured at its Steyr, Austria site—from the end of 2018. CNL plans to up its use of eTrucks for inner-city and suburban distribution transport from 2020 onwards in order to make an active contribution towards reducing emissions in cities.

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Mercedes-Benz starting small series production of heavy-duty Urban eTruck with electric drive this year for customer trials

February 15, 2017

Mercedes-Benz Trucks is bringing its all-electric heavy-duty truck (earlier post) to market in a small series this year. Following the presentation of the Urban eTruck with 25 t perm. GVW and a range of up to 200 km at the International Commercial Vehicle Show in 2016, the first vehicles will be delivered to customers this year.

The electric truck is based on a three-axle truck, with the entire conventional drivetrain replaced by an electrically driven rear axle with electric motors directly adjacent to the wheel hubs. Maximum output is 2 x 125 kW, while the peak torque is 2 x 500 N·m. In combination with the gearing, the torque at the wheel reaches 11,000 N·m.

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Ballard in consortium with New Flyer to deploy 20 fuel cell electric buses in CA

February 14, 2017

Ballard Power Systems announced its membership in the “Fuel Cell Electric Bus Commercialization Consortium” (FCEBCC), a large-scale project for which funding has now been committed to support deployment of 20 zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric buses at two California transit agencies. Ten (10) buses are to be deployed with Alameda Contra-Costa Transit District (AC Transit) and 10 buses are to be deployed with the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).

The FCEBCC project is funded and sponsored by: the California Air Resources Board (CARB) through the California Climate Investments program; the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD); and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). The Center for Transportation and Environment (CTE), a non-profit member-based organization, is providing project management and oversight.

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Volvo Buses receives order for 90 electric hybrid buses and fast charging stations from Belgium

February 10, 2017

Volvo Buses has secured its largest order yet for complete solutions for electric bus traffic. The Belgian cities of Charleroi and Namur have together ordered 90 Volvo 7900 Electric Hybrid buses as well as 12 charging stations. The buyer is public transport company TEC Group. The charging stations will be delivered by ABB.

The order from TEC Group covers 55 buses for Charleroi and another 35 buses for Namur. ABB will supply 4 charging stations to Charleroi and 8 charging stations for Namur. Delivery and installation will get under way this autumn. After the delivery, the TEC Group will have ordered in total 101 Volvo electric hybrids and 15 ABB charging stations.

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Volvo receives order for 8 all-electric buses in UK; OppCharge opportunity charging

February 06, 2017

Volvo Buses has received an order for eight electric buses, the Volvo 7900 electric, from Transdev Blazefield, the owner of the Harrogate Bus Company in the UK. Operations start in 2018 in Harrogate, 90 km northeast of Manchester.

When the vehicles enter service in 2018, the project will be the first of its kind in the UK introducing full electric vehicles using opportunity charging via the common interface OppCharge, whereby the charging stations can also be used by electrified buses from other vehicle manufacturers. OppCharge is now starting to be used as a common interface in more than 12 countries. (Earlier post.)

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UQM partners with Meritor for full e-axle systems for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles; prototypes later this year

February 02, 2017

UQM Technologies has signed a development agreement with Meritor. The development program is expected to last for two-and-one-half years. The alliance will develop full electric axle systems to address the increasing commercial vehicle market demand requirements for improved fuel economy and reduced emissions through much higher levels of vehicle electrification.

Meritor’s mechanical drivetrain components will be combined with UQM’s motor and inverter technology and hardware to create the Meritor and UQM Electric Axle System (MUQM Electric Axles) for the medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicle markets. The companies anticipate that prototypes will be ready by early fall of 2017.

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AKASOL to provide Li-ion batteries for electric buses to Scandinavian OEM through 2030; up to 4,500 systems

January 23, 2017

Germany-based Li-ion manufacturer AKASOL (earlier post) has signed a contract for the supply of Li-ion batteries to an unnamed international commercial vehicle manufacturer in Scandinavia for its entire electric bus fleet through 2023. In total, the order includes the delivery of up to 4,500 battery systems—revenue on the order of up to some triple-digit million euro figure.

The first series production buses fitted with AKASOL-battery systems are expected in 2018. The buses will feature either hybrid or battery-electric drive and have a capacity between 150 and 300 kWh.

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Volkswagen Truck & Bus launches two truck platooning projects; Scania in Singapore, MAN and Schenker in Germany

Volkswagen Truck & Bus companies have launched two truck platooning pilot projects: one, with Scania in Singapore (earlier post), the other with MAN and Schenker DB in Germany. Platooning is system in which several trucks drive in a convoy with the support of advanced driver assistance and control systems. They are linked by an “electronic drawbar”. The driver of the first vehicle sets the speed and the direction. Each platoon truck has a driver on board who is able to intervene in an emergency.

In Singapore, in the world’s largest pilot project of this kind, Scania will be developing and testing a comprehensive platooning solution. Truck platoons each composed of four trucks will cover a distance of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) on public roads to transport containers between various port terminals. The driver of the first truck will set the speed and direction, with the following three vehicles driving autonomously. This project has been commissioned by the Singapore port authority and the ministry of transport.

During the first phase of the project, Scania will be trialing the technology at its own test facility in Södertälje, Sweden, where it will be customizing it to meet local conditions. After this has been completed, the second phase will involve testing in Singapore.

MAN and logistics specialist DB Schenker are also forging a platooning partnership. This marks the first platooning alliance between an automotive manufacturer and a logistics company. Its purpose is to test platooning under realistic conditions over an extended period of time to gain meaningful data. For this purpose, a truck platoon is to travel on the A9 motorway between Munich and Nuremberg from 2018. In the ensuing step, the platoon is to be used at DB Schenker’s facility in Nuremberg.

Given the growing volume of traffic on public roads, there is a strong need for improved traffic flows. The advantages of platooning are obvious: thanks to the small distance of only 10-15 meters between the trucks, fuel savings of up 10% can be achieved. This also results in a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions. A further advantage is the lower risk of accidents.

The pilot projects are key components of more efficient transportation of goods on the road. Platooning is beneficial for the environment, improves the flow of traffic and increases road safety. What we now need is the legislative framework allowing us to introduce platooning on public roads.

—Andreas Renschler, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG and Chief Executive Officer of Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH

The use of platooning in Europe will be technically possible from around 2020. However, implementation is contingent upon the legislative framework being duly modified in EU countries.

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Efficient Drivetrains awarded bus fleet order for the City of Sheyang, China

January 19, 2017

Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI) Awarded Bus Fleet Order for the City of Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI) has received a major order for its EDI PowerDrive 6000 systems from the city of Sheyang in China. The company is supplying its drivetrain technology to Yaxing Motor Coach for integration into a fleet of city buses to be delivered in March of this year.

The company’s EDI PowerDrive 6000 PHEV drivetrain system surpassed one million miles in a commercial fleet setting in late 2016. Utilized for a mass transportation application, EDI PowerDrive 6000, certified by the China government, delivered full OEM performance with more than 40% improvement in fuel economy and emissions reductions as the system was deployed in the field to perform standard bus routes in place of its conventional diesel fuel counterpart.

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Oberon Fuels, Mack Trucks, and New York City Department of Sanitation begin first customer demonstration of a DME-powered Mack Truck

January 12, 2017

Oberon Fuels, a producer of clean-burning Dimethyl Ether (DME) transportation fuel (earlier post), announced the first customer demonstration of a DME-powered Mack truck, a Mack Pinnacle. Oberon and Mack are working with the NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) to run the vehicle at the Fresh Kills Landfill and evaluate performance and overall drivability. The test is the first step in the city’s evaluation of both DME trucks and DME fuel as a potential long-term strategy to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 and to achieve the city’s goal of sending zero waste to landfill by 2030.

The goal of the demonstration is to gather data on the use of DME fuel and vehicles in urban, heavy-load fleets. At scale, such a program could convert hundreds of thousands of tons of organic waste into clean fuel, reducing emissions, waste, and costs for cities while improving overall air quality and creating jobs.

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New Flyer zero-emission bus deliveries increased by 48% to 213 EUs in 2016

Deliveries of New Flyer of America zero-emission buses (ZEBs) in 2016 reached their highest level in company history, delivering 213 equivalent units (EUs) in 2016. (One equivalent unit represents one 30-foot, 35-foot or 40-foot heavy-duty transit bus or one motor coach. One articulated transit bus represents two equivalent units.) This represented an increase of 48% from 144 ZEB EU’s delivered in 2015, and is represents 8.3% of New Flyer’s total heavy-duty transit bus production in 2016.

New Flyer manufactures all three current types of ZEBs, including: battery-electric, trolley-electric, and hydrogen fuel cell electric buses. This design and manufacturing capability allows transit authorities the ability to optimize charging method, infrastructure and range capability for their specific needs.

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WVU study fully characterizes pump-to-wheels methane emissions from HD natural gas vehicles and fueling stations

Researchers at West Virginia University have characterized pump-to-wheels methane emissions from heavy-duty (HD) natural-gas-fueled vehicles and the compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling stations that serve them. The study, published as an open-access paper in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, greatly expands on very limited data on methane emissions from natural gas-fueled vehicles.

The WVU pump-to-wheels study is the first end-use paper in a collaborative scientific research series designed to measure and better understand the sources and amount of greenhouse-gas methane that is emitted across the natural gas supply chain.

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BYD the recommended company for Argentinian tender for 50 electric buses

BYD has been officially selected as the recommended company by the evaluation committee in Argentina for the purchase of 50 electric buses on behalf of the Ministry of Environment.

The tender was launched by the Ministry of Environment as a pilot project for the introduction of electric public transport in different cities throughout the country. The bid evaluation committee chose BYD amongst a pool of 5 bidders for its successful 12-meter electric bus, which is already used in cities such as London, Los Angeles, Amsterdam, etc.

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Scania leading full-scale autonomous truck platoon project in Singapore; 4-truck convoys

January 11, 2017

Scania will design the world’s first full-scale autonomous truck platooning operations, based on its own advanced technology. The platoon will traffic public roads while transporting containers between port terminals in Singapore. The aim is to organize convoys of four trucks—with the following three trucks behind the lead truck autonomously driven, as well as to fully automate the processes for precise docking and undocking of cargo.

The multi-year project is organized by the Ministry of Transport and the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA Corporation). Toyota is also participating in this project.

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King County Metro Transit to purchase 120 battery-electric buses by 2020, 73 from Proterra

King County, Washington, Executive Dow Constantine announced that King County Metro Transit will acquire 120 battery-electric buses by 2020. As part of this commitment, Metro will purchase up to 73 battery buses from Burlingame, Calif.-based Proterra. The first 20 are scheduled to go into service this year and 2019. Metro serves Seattle and the rest of King County.

Eight of the buses are slated to go into service this year; 12 more in 2019. Up to eight of the new 40-foot battery buses will likely operate on Metro Routes 226 and 241 in Bellevue. As part of a pilot project last year, Metro began running three all-electric buses on these routes, which serve some of the county’s densest job centers, including the Microsoft campus and downtown Bellevue.

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ICCT: real-world NOx from Euro 6 diesel passenger cars more than 2x Euro VI diesel trucks

January 06, 2017

In Europe, the average amount of NOx present in exhaust emissions from modern diesel passenger cars under real-world conditions is more than double the levels from modern trucks and buses, according to a new briefing paper released by the independent research organization International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).

The ICCT paper shows data for 24 Euro VI buses and trucks, some tested on a chassis dynamometer by the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT), and others tested on-road using portable emissions testing equipment by the German type-approval agency KBA. On average, NOx emissions of the heavy-duty vehicles tested were approximately 210 mg/km. Currently, NOx emissions of Euro 6 diesel passenger cars under real-world driving conditions are approximately 500 mg/km, as determined by testing carried out by KBA and other European type-approval agencies. In addition, the average conformity factor—the ratio of the test result to the regulatory limit—for the heavy-duty engines was less than 1, meaning that on-road emissions stayed below the Euro VI engine type-approval test limits.

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Ballard-powered fuel cell electric buses exceed 10M km of revenue service

January 04, 2017

Ballard Power Systems fuel cells have powered buses for more than 10 million cumulative kilometers (6.2 million miles) of revenue service. This fuel cell industry milestone has been achieved across the company’s seven generations of its FCveloCity fuel cell engine, which have been deployed in buses in 15 countries on 5 continents during the past 10 years.

Over this period Ballard has worked with 13 bus manufacturers to develop a variety of fuel cell bus configurations that have been deployed in a wide range of climatic conditions and operated under a host of demanding duty cycles.

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EPA to begin work on proposed rulemaking for on-road heavy-duty ultra-low NOx standard for MY 2024

December 23, 2016

Earlier this year, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received several petitions from state and local government agencies from across the country and other organizations to increase the stringency of the on-highway heavy-duty engine NOx emission standards from 0.2 grams per brake horsepower-hour (g/bhp-hr) to 0.02 g/bhp-hr.

On 20 December, EPA formally responded, saying that it will initiate the work necessary to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with the intention of proposing standards that could begin in Model Year 2024. This timeframe is consistent with the lead-time requirements of the Clean Air Act, and is aligned with a milestone implementation year for the EPA heavy-duty Phase 2 GHG program. (In the final HD Phase 2 rule, EPA had noted the evidence supporting the need for more stringent national NOx emissions standards.)

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Electric bus wins: BYD in Nottingham, Irizar in Bilbao

Thirteen new electric buses have been added to Nottingham’s existing fleet of 45 electric vehicles, turning another two park and ride services into fully zero emission services. The Chinese-built BYD eBuses will run on the CentreLink and EcoLink routes which have been designed to cut the amount of traffic entering the city centre.

The current fleet of 45 Yorkshire-built Optare electric buses have saved more than £300,000 (US$370K) in fuel savings and an estimated 1,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases since their introduction in 2012. The investment in these zero emission buses is a part of Nottingham’s bid to reduce both greenhouse gases and improve air quality. With an expected Clean Air Zone to be in place by 2020, they are an essential part of the local authority’s anti-pollution strategy.

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Finnish electric powertrain company Visedo raises €20M to support global expansion; SRPM technology

December 22, 2016

Visedo, a Finnish manufacturer specializing in electric powertrains and components, has secured a financing package of €20 million (US$21 million) to support its international growth plans. The financing consists of an equity investment of €13.5 million, an EFSI loan of €5 million and €1.5 million in funding from other sources.

Founded in 2009, Visedo specializes in electric powertrains and components for heavy-duty machinery, commercial vehicles and the marine industry. Its powertrains are suitable for hybrid and electric systems within the power range of 30 kW to 2,000 kW. Visedo’s head office is located in Lappeenranta, Finland, and the company has a subsidiary in the Netherlands. Visedo has a broad, international client base, with exports to Europe and Asia representing 90% of its sales.

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ABB delivers OppCharge fast charger for electric hybrid buses to Bertrange, Luxembourg

December 21, 2016

ABB has inaugurated the first OppCharge fast-charging station for electric buses in Benelux, in the commuter belt town of Bertrange, Luxembourg. The fast charger, with associated electrical systems, is based on OppCharge, an open interface for DC electric bus charging using pole-mounted pantographs, as opposed to putting the pantograph on the vehicle’s roof. (The vehicle-mounted OppCharge connector rails weight about 2kg, compared to the 70-200 kg with a roof-mounted pantograph.)

The project has been delivered with ABB fast charging infrastructure and substation to the local authority MDDI Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure; with the support of the national road administration of Luxembourg (Administration des Ponts et Chausseés). Bus operator Sales-Lentz will use the charger to recharge electric hybrid buses from Volvo.

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MIT systems analysis identifies optimal vehicle platooning strategies

MIT engineers have studied a simple vehicle-platooning scenario and determined the best ways to deploy vehicles in order to save fuel and minimize delays. Their analysis, presented this week at the International Workshop on the Algorithmic Foundations of Robotics (WAFR 2016), shows that relatively simple, straightforward schedules may be the optimal approach for saving fuel and minimizing delays for autonomous vehicle fleets. The findings may also apply to conventional long-distance trucking and even ride-sharing services.

Platooning for heavy-duty trucks is on the cusp of market introduction. Peloton plans to bring its first platooning system to market in 2017, and ARPA-E is funding research into platooning technology as part of its NEXTCAR project. (Earlier post.)

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London to phase out diesel buses; all new single deckers for central London to be zero emission

December 13, 2016

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan recently committed to phasing out purchasing new pure diesel buses from the capital. No more pure diesel double-deck buses will be added to the capital’s fleet from 2018 and all new single-decks for central London will be zero-emission. The Mayor made the announcement along with unveiling the first double-decker hydrogen bus, manufactured by the Wrights Group. (Earlier post.)

London has committed to procuring roughly 300 zero emission buses by 2020, with 51 battery electric buses recently going into service on the 507/521 route, taking the number of completely electric bus routes to three, with 79 zero emission buses in total in the fleet.

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Nikola Motor unveils prototype Class 8 fuel cell range-extended electric truck, plans for H2 fueling network

December 06, 2016

At an event at its Salt Lake City headquarters last week, startup Nikola Motor Company (NMC) unveiled the first public prototype of its Nikola One Class 8 hydrogen fuel cell range-extended electric truck, as well as renderings of the Nikola Two Class 8 day cab version. The company also announced its plan for a network of 364 hydrogen fueling stations across the US and Canada (Nikola is bundling fuel with the truck), and unveiled a 107 kWh battery pack for the Nikola Zero UTV along with a business plan to sell packs to OEMs.

The Nikola One utilizes a fully electric drivetrain featuring a 320 kWh Li-ion battery pack (32,000 cells) and a nearly 300 kW fuel cell stack powering a 6x4 four-wheel electric drive (four 800V AC motors) with torque vectoring. Delivering more than 1,000 hp (746 kW) and 2,000 lb-ft of torque, the Nikola One will have an expected range of 800-1,200 miles, the company said.

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CNG Fuels launches renewable biomethane in UK; heavy-duty fleet operators committing to use

December 04, 2016

In the UK, CNG Fuels launched its renewable biomethane fuel, the most cost-effective and lowest-carbon alternative to diesel for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). The fuel is 35%-40% cheaper than diesel, and emits 70% less CO2 on a well-to-wheel basis. It therefore offers fleet operators the chance to significantly reduce running costs and emissions. Retailers Waitrose, John Lewis and Argos, as well as hauler Brit European, have already committed to using the new biomethane fuel for their long-distance articulated trucks.

CNG Fuels is the UK’s leading supplier of CNG (compressed natural gas) fuel, and it is now sourcing its entire supply from biomethane. The biomethane is made from the gas harvested through the processing of waste generated by food production, which is then injected directly into gas pipelines. The gas is subsequently compressed at CNG Fuels’ own high-capacity refueling stations in Leyland (Lancashire) and Crewe (Cheshire).

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US FTA to award up to $2.75M for zero-emissions public transportation tech

December 01, 2016

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced the availability of $2.75 million of funding for its Zero Emission Research Opportunity (ZERO) (FTA-2017-001-TRI). The ZERO program is to facilitate the advancement, production, and deployment of zero-emission public transportation vehicle technology and related infrastructure.

FTA intends to select, and enter into cooperative agreements with, multiple (up to three) nonprofit consortia to build on past research innovation and development efforts to facilitate the deployment of zero-emission vehicles and associated advanced technology. Eligibility for future ZERO funding opportunities in fiscal years 2017-2020 will be limited to those nonprofit consortia selected under this fiscal year 2017 notice.

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NREL report finds hydrogen fuel cell bus fuel economy up to 1.4x that of diesel, 1.9x CNG

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Fuel Cell Technology Office (FCTO) has released the latest edition of an annual report showing that the average fuel economy of fuel cell electric buses from three fleets is 6.8 miles per diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) (ranging from 5.56 - 7.71 DGE), 1.4 times higher than conventional diesel buses (~4.2 miles per DGE) from one fleet and up to 1.9 times higher than compressed natural gas buses (~3.3 miles per DGE) in another fleet.

This demonstrates significant fuel economy improvement toward the DOE and Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) target of 8 miles per DGE. FCEB durability has reached 23,000 hours, surpassing FCTO’s 2016 target of 18,000 hours, and range has reached up to 340 miles (547 km), more than 13% above the 2016 target of 300 miles (483 km).

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Ballard signs fuel cell supply agreement with Solaris; initial order of 10 modules as range extenders for electric trolley buses

November 30, 2016

Ballard Power Systems has signed a Long-Term Sales Agreement (LTSA) with Solaris Bus & Coach, a bus OEM headquartered in Poland, for the sale and supply of fuel cell modules to support deployment of Solaris fuel cell buses in Europe. An initial order placed under the LTSA is for 10 FCveloCity-HD fuel cell modules, with deliveries planned to start in 2017.

Each 85 kilowatt FCveloCity-HD fuel cell module that has been ordered will be deployed as a range extender in a Solaris Trollino model low-floor trolley bus. Solaris has signed a contract with Rigas Satiksme, the transport operator in the city of Riga, Latvia for 10 of the Trollino trolley buses.

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London transport operator Go-Ahead adds two Irizar electric i2e buses to fleet after successful operating results

November 29, 2016

Based on the success of two Irizar 100% i2e electric buses that have been operating in London since June 2015, London’s largest transport operator, Go-Ahead, is incorporating the buses into its fleet and has signed an agreement with Irizar that includes service and maintenance.

For over a year, these two buses have been operating on the busy routes 507, connecting Waterloo Station with Victoria Station, and 521, which connect Waterloo Station with London Bridge Station. The operating data has successfully fulfilled the objectives requested. With this change, both buses will begin to operate for longer periods on the 108 route which runs from Stratford International Station to Lewisham Station with different operating conditions. In addition, Irizar will offer comprehensive maintenance of the buses.

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Hyliion developing hybrid system for semi-trailers

November 27, 2016

Hyliion, a start-up founded by a group of graduate students at Carnegie Mellon, has developed an add-on hybrid system for semi-trailers. Combining regenerative braking and power boost for the trailer to reduce on-the-road fuel consumption, the system also functions as an auxiliary power unit to reduce engine-on idling. Their patent application describing the basics of the system was published earlier this month,

The Hyliion System—comprising motor, battery and control electronics—can power a truck cab for 20 hours, out-performing an industry standard, idle-free all-electric APU. Overall fuel savings are upwards of 30%, according the company.

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