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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.]

TransLink orders 106 New Flyer CNG buses with 2018 Cummins L9N ultra-low NOx engines

November 21, 2017

The South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority (TransLink) has awarded New Flyer with a contract for 106 Xcelsior compressed natural gas (CNG) forty-foot, heavy-duty transit buses. The CNG buses will be equipped with 2018 Cummins L9N engines, which provide a significantly reduced carbon footprint supporting TransLink’s planned fleet rejuvenation initiative and vision for increasingly sustainable transit.

The 2018 L9N continues the evolution of lower emitting natural gas engines from Cummins Westport, with the lowest certified Ultra Low NOx emission engines in North America; 90% lower than current North American EPA standards, with a reduction from 0.2 to 0.02g/bhp-hr. (Earlier post.) With 320 hp / 1,000 lb-ft torque and near-zero NOx, the L9N is very suited for urban transit, refuse, and truck applications.

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Emirates Transport to launch the first electric school bus in the UAE; air conditioner efficiency a point of focus

Emirates Transport (ET), the UAE government owned public transport provider, recently launched the final phase of testing for the first electric-powered school bus in the region. The 45-seater bus was manufactured in close cooperation with the Shanghai Sunwin Bus Cooperation.

During the pilot phase, the bus will operate on full routes in conditions that accurately simulate the normal school bus's daily journeys, as well as daily operating conditions. Amer Al Harmoudi, executive director of ET’s Auto Services Division, said that one of the most important technical factors during the manufacturing phase was adjusting the efficiency of the air conditioning system to suit the specific climatic conditions in the country and the nature of operation in school transport.

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UPS to purchase 10 million gallon equivalents a year of renewable natural gas from Big Ox Energy; largest RNG commitment to date

November 20, 2017

UPS announced an agreement with Big Ox Energy (a wholly owned subsidiary of Environmental Energy Capital LLC) to purchase 10 million gallon equivalents of renewable natural gas (RNG) per year. This is the largest investment in RNG to date for the company, and the agreement runs through 2024. Use of RNG yields up to a 90% reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions when compared to conventional diesel.

In addition to the agreement with Big Ox, UPS signed a five-year agreement earlier this year with AMP energy for 1.5 million gallon equivalents of RNG per year from the Fair Oaks dairy farm in Indiana. The RNG agreements will help UPS reach a key sustainability goal: 40% of all ground transportation fleet fuel from sources other than conventional gasoline and diesel by 2025.

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Musk unveils Tesla Semi; 500-mile range at highway speed with 80,000 lbs GVW; next-gen Roadster appears

November 17, 2017

Emphasizing “BAMF” performance, Tesla CEO Elon Musk introduced the Tesla Semi in an evening event. The sleek electric truck, with a 0.36 coefficient of drag (supported by intelligent flaps that support a range of trailers), will accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5 seconds, charge up a 5% grade at 65 mph, and deliver 500 miles of range, Musk said.

According to Musk, 80% of truck routes are less than 250 miles; the Tesla Semi thus in theory could make a round trip on those routes without charging, he suggested.

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NAIT partnering with Oberon, Mack and Westcan to advance use of DME fuel in long-haul trucks

November 15, 2017

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is partnering with Mack Trucks, Oberon Fuels and Westcan Bulk Transport to develop fuel moisture management technology for dimethyl ether (DME), a cleaner-burning (sulfur-free and no PM), high-cetane (55-60), diesel fuel alternative that can be made from natural gas or methanol produced from biomass feedstock, such as wood chips.

The technology will remove any residual water from the DME before injection into the engine, eliminating the risks of corrosion and reduced performance. The researchers hope to test the technology using Mack trucks from Westcan’s fleet, traveling Alberta Highway 2 between Edmonton and Calgary—a distance of about 300 km (186 miles).

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Embark, Frigidaire, and Ryder partner to pilot Level 2 automated driving technology for Class 8 trucks

November 13, 2017

Embark, a startup developing self-driving truck technology (earlier post), is partnering with Frigidaire and Ryder System to pilot a series of automated driving technology tests. During the pilot, Frigidaire refrigerators were successfully transported 650 miles at a time, in semi-trucks using automated driving technology.

Begun in October, the pilot has involved several hauls of appliances through four states using Embark automated tractors on the highway segments and Ryder tractors and drivers on surface streets. The pilot focused on highway driving, which is more structured, allows for faster commercialization, and also solves a critical challenge for the freight industry.

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Scania launches new 13-liter natural gas engine

Scania, a member of the Volkswagen Group, has launched its new OC13 13-liter (swept volume 12.7 liters) natural gas engine, based on Scania’s well-proven inline 6-cylinder, 13-liter engine. The Euro 6 engine works according to the Otto principle with spark plugs and complete combustion and delivers 410 hp (302 kW) @ 1,900 rpm with 2,000 N·m torque @ 1,100–1,400 rpm—well in line with diesel engines of a similar size.

There is a growing interest in operating vehicles on biogas or natural gas in countries such as Italy and France as a result of increased availability, improved infrastructure and good economic viability for truckers. FPT Industrial also recently introduced its newest and most powerful natural engine, the 13-liter Cursor 13 Natural Gas, specially developed for long-haul missions. (Earlier post.)

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Battery-electric Mercedes-Benz Citaro city bus to debut in 2018 at IAA

November 10, 2017

Mercedes-Benz will introduce its all-electric Citaro city bus (earlier post) in September 2018 at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hanover.

The all-electric Citaro will feature a modular design for the Li-ion battery pack, enabling individually customized solutions for a wide range of applications and requirements in city traffic. The vehicle is driven by electric wheel hub motors at the rear axle, a system already proven over recent years in the Citaro G BlueTec Hybrid.

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Nikola Motor names Bosch and PowerCell AB as key suppliers for fuel-cell Class-8 truck; field testing in Fall 2018

Nikola Motor Company has named Bosch and PowerCell AB as key suppliers for the Nikola class 8 hydrogen-fuel-cell electric truck, unveiled as a prototype in December 2016. In September, Nikola had said that it was working with Bosch on the development of the vehicle’s powertrain. (Earlier post.)

PowerCell Sweden AB will be the primary supplier of fuel cell stacks for Nikola’s pre-production testing vehicles. The PowerCell S3 (100 kW) is a fuel cell stack with best-in-class power density and is primarily designed for automotive application. The full Nikola fuel cell system is anticipated to output more than 300 kW continuously. The truck’s powertrain will deliver more than 1,000 hp (746 kW) and 2,000 lb-ft (2,712 N·m) of torque.

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UPS, NYSERDA project to convert UPS diesel delivery trucks to electric; UES 225 kW switched reluctance motor

November 09, 2017

UPS and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced that new technology will be developed to convert UPS package delivery vehicles from diesel to electric.

UPS and Unique Electric Solutions LLC (UES LLC) will design, build, test and make the conversions. NYSERDA is providing $500,000 in funding to develop and test the conversion system. If successful, the Bronx-based project is expected to bring a production version of the converted truck to the streets of New York City by Spring 2018.

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Daimler, Blue Bird, IC Bus introduce electric school buses at NAPT

Three major school bus manufacturers—Daimler subsidiary Thomas Built Buses, Blue Bird and Navistar subsidiary IC Bus—introduced battery-electric school buses at the recent National Association for Pupil Transportation Annual Conference and Trade Show in Columbus, Ohio (NAPT). Two (Thomas Built Buses and Blue Bird) use an electric powertrain from Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI); the third, IC Bus, uses a common Volkswagen Group electric drivetrain from Volkswagen Truck & Bus.

The North American Daimler subsidiary Thomas Built Buses introduced the “Saf-T-Liner C2 Electric Bus” or “Jouley” with intended production to begin in 2019. Jouley will drive up to 81 children. During the development of the Saf-T-Liner C2 Electric Bus Thomas Built Buses was able to draw upon Daimler’s electric technology resources.

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First US eHighway demonstration running in California; battery-electric, CNG-hybrid and diesel-hybrid trucks

Siemens and the California South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) are conducting a one-mile, zero-emission eHighway demonstration in Carson, Calif., near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. (Earlier post.)

Three big-rig trucks hauling freight are running along the stretch of highway that uses Siemens technology to electrify select highway lanes via an overhead catenary system. This catenary system supplies the trucks with electric power; the system also allows for truck operation outside of the electrified sections of infrastructure.

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Proterra beats out BYD for Mineta San José International Airport electric bus contract; 10 Proterra electric buses to be in service by late 2018

November 08, 2017

The San José, California, City Council approved the purchase of ten Proterra Catalyst E2 battery-electric transit buses and related charging infrastructure for use at the Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport (SJC).

Proterra’s E2 series 35-foot electric buses feature a 440 kWh battery pack to deliver an estimated range of 251 miles. Proterra was bidding against BYD for the airport contract. With a per-bus price of $759,824, Proterra beat out BYD with a per-bus price of $969,498.

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FPT Industrial unveils new Cursor 13 natural gas heavy-duty engine

November 05, 2017

FPT Industrial has introduced its newest and most powerful natural engine. The Cursor 13 Natural Gas is the most powerful 100% natural gas engine available on the on-road segment market today, and is the first purely NG engine on the market specially developed for long-haul missions.

The Cursor 13 NG delivers power up to 460 hp @ 1,900 rpm and torque up to 2,000 N·m @ 1,100 rpm—15% more power and 18% more torque than FPT Industrial’s 8.7-liter NG engine. Cursor 13 NG is a mono-fuel 100% Natural Gas and an easy-to-use solution for end-users, since it can run with CNG (Compressed Natural Gas), LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) starting from “methane number” 70 and bio-methane. The bio-methane solution is capable of reducing CO₂ emission levels near zero.

Cursor13NG_02

The use of bio-methane has the added benefit of reducing dependency from fossil fuels, as it can be generated from agricultural and urban waste, sewage, or waste from the food industry. It can be produced locally, significantly reducing the need for transporting energy and the related CO₂ emissions. In addition, its production process creates valuable by-products, such as bio-CO₂ for refrigerated units and bio-fertilizer for agriculture.

The new Cursor 13 NG engine, as well as other FPT Industrial NG engines, uses stoichiometric combustion to generate its power. Since 1995 this has been FPT Industrial’s chosen technology, and has proven to be a viable and cost-efficient solution available today to meet Euro VI Step C emission limits.

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The Cursor 13 NG complies with this standard with a simple and easy-to-install 3-way catalyst with no-EGR, no-SCR and no-DPF (regeneration free solution). The new engine’s CO₂ emission level is lower (-9%) compared to diesel and can reach near zero by using bio-methane. At the same time, Cursor 13 NG allows a 98% PM reduction and NOx emissions which are 48% lower when compared to Euro VI compliant diesel engines.

Furthermore, Natural Gas engines decrease noise pollution with a smoother and quieter engine combustion cycle (Otto cycle, 12:1 compression ratio, far below the 17:1 ratio of the Diesel cycle), slashing vehicle noise pollution operation at less than 71 dB.

The EGR-free combustion, as well as the multipoint fuel injectors and fuel rails, grant class leading fuel consumption: fuel cost savings is up to 30%-40% (depending on the fuel cost) compared to the Cursor 460 hp diesel engine. The new Cursor 13 NG engine achieves high reliability standards both on mechanical and thermal stress thanks to the Nickel-Resist cast-iron exhaust manifold, water cooled wastegate turbocharger and Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI) cylinder head.

Cursor13NG_04

FPT Industrial’s lean technology that avoids diesel and Ad-Blue for SCR supports a lighter and more compact solution, allowing optimization of the truck payload and space availability. This attribute enables mounting more capacious fuel tanks on the vehicle, widening the mission range.

The FPT Industrial Cursor 13 NP engine is protected by two patents: the first, for which patent protection is in progress, is the FPT Industrial proprietary knock control that makes it possible to increase the performance, enables the widest fuel compatibility, and protects engine and 3-way catalyst from misfiring. The second one is FPT Industrial’s proprietary reactive air-flow control management system, a new stoichiometric ratio control logic that is applied during gearshifts. This ensures a continuous torque delivery when coupled with AMT gearshifting, which enables maximized performance and the fastest gearshift.

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ABB wins $20M order from HESS for e-bus flash-charging technology

October 25, 2017

ABB has won a $20-million order from Swiss bus manufacturer HESS to supply its flash-charging technology (earlier post) for 20 e-buses and related infrastructure for the French city of Nantes. The buses will be operated by public transport operator, Société d’Economie Mixte des Transports de l’Agglomération Nantaise (Semitan).

Batteries mounted on the roofs of the Nantes buses will be charged in 20 seconds with a 600-kilowatt boost of power at selected stops while passengers are embarking and disembarking. It takes less than one second to connect the bus to the charging point, making it the world’s fastest flash-charging connection technology. A further 1 to 5 minutes of charging at the terminus at the end of the line—at 400 kW—enables a full recharge of the batteries.

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Daimler Trucks launches E-FUSO electric truck brand, all-electric heavy-duty truck; possible market entry within 4 years

At the Tokyo Motor Show, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), part of Daimler Trucks, announced that it will electrify its complete range of trucks and buses in upcoming years. MFTBC also unveiled the E-FUSO brand, which will be exclusively dedicated to electric mobility of trucks and buses.

As further proof of this strategic move, MFTBC also unveiled an all-electric heavy-duty truck concept with a range of up to 350 kilometers (217 miles). The truck—named E-FUSO Vision One—marks the top end of the electrification path of the company’s portfolio in the upcoming years. This initiative will be backed by access to Daimler know-how in the fields of battery and charging technology.

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ABB unveils smart Heavy Vehicle Charging solution for bus depots at Busworld 2017

October 24, 2017

ABB is showcasing its new HVC (Heavy Vehicle Charger)-Overnight products and smart charging functionality at Busworld 2017. The system offers an intelligent and cost-effective solution for charging larger fleets during the night and ensuring zero emission transportation during the day.

The global electric bus market is expected to witness a compound annual growth rate above 30% from 2017 to 2025; ABB has 12 years of research and development experience in EV charging solutions as well as experience from commercial products in the field since 2010. The new HVC-Overnight Charging products incorporate smart charging features with a future-proof and modular design, safe and reliable operation and remote service and data management as part of the ABB Ability portfolio of solutions.

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Visedo introducing new SRPM motor design for buses; 10% increase in power, better cooling

October 20, 2017

Finnish manufacturer Visedo is unveiling a new electric motor design at BusWorld 2017 that is optimized for the bus market and ready for mass manufacture. With the new S-model PowerDRUM, Visedo has achieved a 10% increase in power output as well as better cooling. Visedo says that the upgrades enable it to offer the highest efficiency in the market across the RPM range, with the Visedo system being 31% more efficient than average.

The new S-model is part of a design upgrade across the entire PowerDRUM line. The upgraded range includes motors in 4 different sizes: XS-short, XS, XSe and S, ranging from 50 to 343 kW. The whole range will benefit from better cooling and a 10% increase in power output.

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Daimler Buses introduces Citaro hybrid bus; available on diesel and gas models; separate 48V network

October 19, 2017

Among its numerous debuts at Busworld Europe in Belgium, Daimler Buses took the wraps off the new Citaro hybrid urban bus. The hybrid powertrain is optionally available for a large number of model variants of the best-selling urban bus, even for the natural-gas-engined Citaro NGT.

Together with the new electrohydraulic steering, the Citaro hybrid further reduces the fuel consumption of the Citaro by up to 8.5%. The hybrid drive takes up little space; the outer contours of the bus, like the passenger compartment, remain unchanged; the extra weight is low.

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Hyliion introduces hybrid upfit system for Class 8 trucks

Hyliion, a developer of electrification systems for Class 8 trucks, introduced the 6X4HE System for long haul trucks. Easily attached to the truck frame, the 6X4HE is a self-contained system. Fuel savings of up to 30% stem from a blend of three technologies: 15% from electric hybrid, 12% from APU, and 3% from aerodynamics. Mesilla Valley Transportation, PAM Transport and Ryder all participated in testing and refining the 6X4HE.

This is the second product announcement from Hyliion. The first which occurred a year ago was a trailer-based product. (Earlier post.)

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Daimler demos self-driving snow removal trucks; premiere of Remote Truck Interface

October 17, 2017

Following its successful demonstration of the Highway Pilot and Highway Pilot Connect systems (earlier post)—the latter making truck platooning possible—Daimler has demonstrated automated snow removal operations on the site of the former Pferdsfeld airbase. This application of autonomous commercial vehicle operation was based on a specific customer requirement.

Under the project name “Automated Airfield Ground Maintenance” (AAGM), four Mercedes-Benz Arocs tractor units demonstrated automated airfield clearing in a remote-controlled convoy. The benefits are obvious: Airfield clearances are hard to predict and thus difficult to plan, especially in winter. This makes snow removal units operated with pinpoint precision by a single vehicle operator to remove snow from runways especially crucial when extreme weather strikes without warning during the winter months, and they require no additional vehicle and staff scheduling.

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Foton Motor to extend cooperation with Cummins; second stage of the “China Super Truck” program

At the 8th US-China Energy Efficiency Forum in Denver, Foton Motor and Cummins signed a Memorandum of Green Power and Smart Truck Cooperation Development. Under the MoU, Foton Motor and Cummins will launch an in-depth cooperation to boost energy-saving, low-carbon and green development.

The signing also marked the launching of the second stage of the “China Super Truck” program. The target of this programis to reduce fuel consumption up to 15-20%, decrease carbon emissions up to 20% and enhance transport efficiency up to 50%.

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AKASOL to showcase high-performance battery systems for e-buses at Busworld Europe; expanding production

October 13, 2017

At Busworld Europe in Belgium later this month, AKASOL will present its AKASYSTEM OEM battery system as a complete roof installation including the chiller and other additional components. From 2018, two well-known European bus manufacturers will use the technology in Germany, with plans to equip around 10,000 e-buses over the next few years. AKASOL is now expanding its production facilities in order to meet growing demand and further customer orders.

With its compact dimensions (150 x 700 x 1,700 mm) and modular design, AKASYSTEM OEM is especially suitable for use in commercial vehicles such as buses or trucks. AKASOL has succeeded in integrating standardized PHEV battery modules (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) from major manufacturers which are also used in the passenger car segment.

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

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

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

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

October 12, 2017

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

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

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Toyota fuel-cell Class 8 prototype to start drayage routes at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach

Unveiled earlier this year (earlier post), Toyota Motor North America’s (TMNA) “Project Portal” fuel-cell-powered Class 8 truck proof-of-concept has completed more than 4,000 successful development miles, while progressively pulling drayage rated cargo weight, and emitting nothing but water vapor.

With testing and development miles completed, Project Portal will begin initial feasibility study routes, moving goods from select Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach terminals to surrounding rail yards and warehouses for distribution. Toyota estimates the truck’s daily trips will total around 200 miles (322 km).

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TM4 introduces new motor/generator for the commercial heavy-duty hybrid market: SUMO HP HV900

October 11, 2017

TM4 is expanding its SUMO family of electric powertrains (earlier post) with the introduction of the new SUMO HP line which is dedicated to high-power applications. As part of this new line, TM4 is launching the SUMO HP HV900, a new motor/generator and inverter combination for the commercial heavy-duty market.

The SUMO HP HV900 is currently being used as part of the plug-in hybrid powertrain system being developed in a joint effort with Cummins that was announced in May. (Earlier post.) This new motor/generator will be shown at Busworld Kortrijk, taking place from 20-25 October 2017 in Kortrijk, Belgium.

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

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

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

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

October 10, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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GILLIG and Cummins partner on battery-electric buses

October 09, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 06, 2017

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

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

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Allison Transmission introduces new 9AT for release in 2020; extends xFE fuel-saving to Series 1000, 2000

Allison Transmission recently introduced its first nine-speed model at the North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta. The innovative, fully automatic transmission, for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, will be available globally and is targeted for release in 2020.

With its deep first gear ratio and industry-leading ratio coverage, the Allison nine-speed transmission provides significant fuel savings as the efficient gear train allows the torque converter to lock up early in first gear. Additionally, the nine-speed includes an integral engine stop-start system that provides immediate transmission engagement and vehicle hold while the engine is restarted. Providing value for a variety of applications, the nine-speed model is suited for distribution trucks, rental and lease trucks, and school buses.

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New Euro6 trucks from Volvo running on LNG offer the same performance as diesel, but with 20-100% lower CO₂ emissions

October 04, 2017

Volvo Trucks is now introducing Euro 6-compliant heavy duty trucks running on liquefied natural gas or biogas. The new trucks have the same performance, driveability and fuel consumption as Volvo’s diesel-powered models. Furthermore, the new trucks’ CO₂ emissions are 20–100% lower compared with diesel, depending on choice of fuel. The new Volvo FH LNG and Volvo FM LNG are available with 420 or 460 hp for heavy regional and long-haul operations.

Instead of an Otto cycle engine, which is the conventional solution for gas-powered vehicles, the Volvo FH LNG and Volvo FM LNG are powered by gas engines utilizing Diesel cycle technology. This means that an operator who chooses gas can do so without compromising on driveability, fuel efficiency or reliability. Volvo’s 460 hp gas engine delivers maximum torque of 2300 N·m while the 420 hp version produces 2100 N·m. This is the same as Volvo’s corresponding diesel engines. Fuel consumption is on a par with Volvo’s diesel engines, but 15 to 25% lower than for conventional gas engines.

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

September 27, 2017

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

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

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Volvo Trucks intensifying development of LNG trucks for heavy regional and long-haul transport operations

Volvo Trucks is taking the position that by replacing diesel with liquefied natural gas or biogas, CO2 emissions from heavy trucks can be drastically reduced. Volvo Trucks is intensifying its development of gas-powered trucks for heavy regional and long-haul operations.

Reducing climate-impacting emissions from heavy commercial traffic is a challenge that engages politicians and transport purchasers, haulage companies and vehicle manufacturers. In May the EU presented a regulation demanding declaration of CO2 figures from heavy vehicles as of 2019, with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions.

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Meritor developing electric solutions platform for commercial vehicles

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

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

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

September 26, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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Daimler Trucks testing truck platooning on public highways in the US

September 25, 2017

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) is testing connected trucks in platooning operations on public roads in the US. In truck platooning, connectivity and automated driving improve safety within the vehicle convoys, support drivers and enhance efficiency through closer distances between the connected trucks.

Having started with successful trials on Daimler Trucks North America’s proving ground in Madras, Oregon, DTNA has received the appropriate permission from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). In a first step called “pairing”, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) is testing its platooning technology in two connected Freightliner New Cascadia truck trailer combinations.

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Eaton Cummins JV unveils 12-speed automated transmission

Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies has introduced the new Endurant 12-speed automated transmission—the lightest, most efficient 1,850 lb-ft (2,508 N·m) capable heavy-duty transmission. Designed for linehaul applications, Endurant weighs up to 105 pounds less than competitive automated manual transmissions (AMTs).

Endurant is the first automated heavy-duty transmission to be introduced as part of the newly formed joint venture between Eaton and Cummins. (Earlier post.) The announcement was made at the inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle Show.

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

September 19, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 17, 2017

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

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

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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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