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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.]

Mercedes-Benz 48V system debuts in new S-Class

July 19, 2017

Mercedes-Benz’ new S-Class will enter the market this month with an all-new engine range (diesel and gasoline variants of 6-cylinder in-line engines and a new V8 biturbo gasoline engine) with a series of new technologies for electrification of the powertrain (earlier post), including a 48V system (S 450 and S 500 models) and Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) for mild hybrid functionality, an electric booster compressor, and an upgraded plug-in hybrid model.

The 48 volt system establishes a third on-board power network. It fills the gap between the 12 volt network already established for decades and the high-voltage network required by electric vehicles. The latter makes special safety precautions necessary, can therefore only be used to good effect for a small number of components and is limited to driving functions. As the power requirement increases, the limited voltage of the conventional 12 volt network leads to a constant increase in current levels, and therefore to supply lines with large cross-sections. It is however not being replaced, but rather supplemented by the 48 volt network.

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Volvo LX1 series hybrid wheel loader demonstrates 50% improvement in fuel efficiency; renewable diesel in the engine

July 13, 2017

With funding provided by the California Energy Commission,  Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) demonstrated its LX1 prototype mid-sized (20 ton) hybrid-electric wheel loader (earlier post), a piece of equipment widely used in the construction, refuse, and agricultural industries, that achieved a 50% improvement in fuel efficiency.

The LX1 is a series hybrid that incorporates a driveline that consists of electric drive motors mounted at the wheels, electric driven hydraulics, a battery energy storage system, a significantly smaller diesel engine (3-liter vs. 13-liter) and new machine architecture. As well as the improvement in fuel efficiency and reduction in emissions, the LX1 also offers a significant reduction in noise pollution compared to its conventional counterparts. The prototype—which has 98% new parts and a fundamentally new machine design—is capable of doing the work of a wheel loader that’s one size larger.

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New Audi A8 comes with 48V mHEV standard; plug-in e-tron model with wireless charging

July 11, 2017

In a brand event in Barcelona, Audi unveiled its fourth-generation A8 luxury sedan. The new A8 features a new design language, an innovative touchscreen operating concept and a systematically electrified drive. The Audi A8 has also been developed for highly automated driving. From 2018, Audi will gradually be taking piloted driving functions such as parking pilot, garage pilot and traffic jam pilot into production.

All five engines options—3.0 TDI and TFSI; 4.0 TDI and TFSI; and 6.0L W12— operate in conjunction with a 48V mild hybrid (mHEV) belt alternator starter (BAS) system. (Earlier post.) This mHEV technology enables the car to coast with the engine switched off, and to restart smoothly. It also has an extended start/stop function and an energy recovery output of up to 12 kW. The combined effect of these measures is to bring down the fuel consumption by as much as 0.7 liters (0.2 gallons US) per 100 kilometers (62.1 mi) in real driving conditions.

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Every Volvo car launched from 2019 to have an electrified powertrain; “the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car”

July 05, 2017

Volvo Cars announced that every Volvo it launches from 2019 on will have an electric motor, marking the historic end of cars that only have an internal combustion engine (ICE) and placing electrification at the core of its future business.

Volvo Cars will introduce a portfolio of electrified cars across its model range, embracing fully electric cars, plug in hybrid cars and mild hybrid cars. The announcement represents one of the most wide-reaching moves by any car maker to embrace electrification. The company said that its decision highlights how—more than a century after the invention of the internal combustion engine—electrification is paving the way for a new chapter in automotive history.

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LiquidPiston receives $3M Rapid Innovation Fund award from US Army for 2kW hybrid-electric genset

June 28, 2017

LiquidPiston, Inc. (LPI), a developer of advanced multi-fuel-capable rotary combustion engine technology, has been awarded a $3-million Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) award from the US Army to develop an innovative ultra-portable 2kW diesel Compact Artillery Power System (CAPS). The RIF process is extremely selective, with only five percent of whitepapers ultimately being selected for the award.

CAPS is a compact, lightweight, quiet, low-vibration and efficient hybrid-electric diesel generator set capable of supplying up to 2kW of electric power while running on Jet Propellant 8 (JP8) or diesel fuel. The CAPS Genset prototype objectives include less than 30 pounds (13.6 kg) (dry weight), 1.5 ft3 (bounding volume), and less than 60db at 7 meters. This is a 75% reduction in generator weight compared to the MEP-501A, the current 2kW JP8 generator in use today, which weighs 124 pounds (56.3 kg).

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UPS commits to aggressive goals for more alternative vehicles, fuel and renewable power by 2025

June 27, 2017

UPS announced new sustainability goals to add more alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles to its fleet while increasing its reliance on renewable energy sources. The goals, available in the company’s 2016 Corporate Sustainability Report, support UPS’ commitment to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from global ground operations 12% by 2025, a goal developed using a methodology approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.

UPS has a goal that 25% of the electricity it consumes will come from renewable energy sources by 2025—a significant increase from the 0.2% in 2016. In addition, by 2020 UPS plans that one in four new vehicles purchased annually will be an alternative fuel or advanced technology vehicle, up from 16% in 2016. The company also set a new goal that by 2025, 40% of all ground fuel will be from sources other than conventional gasoline and diesel, an increase from 19.6% in 2016.

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ZF showcases mSTARS electric axle system for axle hybrids or fully electric vehicles

June 23, 2017

ZF is using its plug-in Vision Zero concept vehicle to showcase a number of new safety and zero local emissions technologies. The vehicle features a 150 kW electric axle drive system for dynamic acceleration. The entire propulsion system, including the integrated power electronics, is housed in an innovative, space-saving modular ZF rear axle system called mSTARS (modular Semi-Trailing Arm Rear Suspension).

This modular axle system makes it easier to electrify volume production vehicle platforms—even existing ones as demonstrated in the Vision Zero Vehicle. The system offers vehicle manufacturers the opportunity to respond to a diverse range of market requirements using just one car platform variant.

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Audi A8 fully active electromechanical suspension powered by 48V electrical system; predictive adjustment using front camera

June 22, 2017

The new Audi A8 will feature a fully active, electromechanical suspension system which drives each wheel individually and adapts to the prevailing road conditions. Each wheel has an electric motor which is powered by the A8’s 48-volt electrical system—used for the first time as the main electrical system. (The Audi SQ7 TDI introduced in 2016 offered a 48V subsystem as well as a 12V system for the alternator. Earlier post. The new A8 also features a 48V mild hybrid capability (mHEV).)

Additional components include gears, a rotary tube together with internal titanium torsion bar and a lever which exerts up to 1,100 Nm (811.3 lb-ft) on the suspension via a coupling rod. The new Audi A8 makes its world debut at the Audi Summit in Barcelona on 11 July.

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Toyota’s new conventional and hybrid powertrains for 2018 Camry deliver significant boost in efficiency

The 2018 Toyota Camry, the new eighth-generation of the most popular mid-size sedan in the world and the best-selling car in America for the past 15 years, will be going on sale in the US in late summer. Toyota unveiled the 2018 Camry at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in January. (Earlier post.)

The new Camry is based on the TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) (earlier post), manifested with the use of the GA-K platform. Along with the new platform, an all-new 2.5-liter four-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine, new Direct Shift-8AT eight-speed automatic transmission and a new double wishbone rear suspension design are all representative technologies that have evolved through TNGA.

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Waterloo team develops adaptive anti-idling regenerative power system for service vehicles

June 19, 2017

A team at the University of Waterloo in Canada has developed a novel adaptive auxiliary battery-powered anti-idling system for service vehicles (e.g. delivery trucks or public buses); the energy storage system in the regenerative auxiliary power system (RAPS) is able to electrify the vehicle auxiliary systems.

Service vehicles generally have pre-determined routes, making it feasible to use a model predictive control strategy to improve fuel economy. However, the team noted, the mass/load of such service vehicles is time-varying during a drive cycle. The researchers developed an adaptive model predictive controller to account for this variation. A vehicle can save up to 7% fuel by using anti-idling system and the adaptive model predictive controller, compared to a prescient model predictive controller. A paper on their work is published in the journal Energy.

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Cummins to begin electrified powertrain delivery in 2019; alternative fuels and power, digitalization

June 15, 2017

During a teleconference yesterday, Cummins Inc. executives outlined plans to provide a range of power technologies spanning diesel and natural gas engines to fully electric and hybrid powertrains. Cummins will begin electrified powertrain delivery in 2019, including full battery-electric and plug-in hybrid systems. Cummins said those are just the first steps as it signals its intention to be the leading provider of electrified powertrains in its commercial and industrial markets.

Longer term, Cummins’ Research and Technology Department continues to investigate the viability of alternatives such as biofuels, synthetic fuels and hydrogen. Cummins has also invested in exploratory projects focused on Proton Exchange Membrane and Solid Oxide Fuel Cell technologiesboth with increasing potential to offer superior power density over the traditional internal combustion engine.

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DS brand accelerating development of electric cars

June 14, 2017

Peugeot’s premium brand DS is accelerating the development of electrified cars. Starting with DS 7 CROSSBACK, it will be releasing a new model every year, all with an electrified version (hybrid or all-electric).

DS Automobiles is competing in Formula E—a valuable test-bed for gaining experience and accelerated development. The recent city-located ePrix races provide opportunities to show the advancing technologies that are being tested and evaluated for future production models, with three specific projects already in their advanced stages.

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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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10th Generation Honda Accord launching this year with advanced new powertrain lineup; next-gen two-motor hybrid

June 10, 2017

Honda will launch the tenth-generation Accord ever later this year. A new-from-the-ground-up design that features a more aggressive stance and proportion than any previous Accord complements the lineup of three advanced new powertrains. The Accord is the US’ best-selling midsize sedan, the number one choice of individual American car buyers cumulatively since 2010 (according to Urban Science cumulative cumulative retail sales data for all car models in the industry for 2010-2017CYTD May).

The three powertrains in the 2018 Accord will include two direct-injected and turbocharged 4-cylinder engines, a new Honda-developed 10-speed automatic transmission and a sporty 6-speed manual transmission that will be available on both turbo engines, as well as a new next-generation two-motor hybrid powertrain system (Honda is using the second-generation two-motor hybrid system in the 2017 Accord, earlier post).

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Buick adding new eAssist mild hybrid to 2018 Buick LaCrosse as standard powertrain

June 06, 2017

The Buick LaCrosse is adding eAssist light electrification for the 2018 model. This new eAssist system, when coupled with the four-cylinder engine, has a 19% increase in city fuel economy compared to the LaCrosse’s advanced V-6 and leverages a compact lithium-ion battery pack to provide select benefits found in fully electric vehicles, such as torque-assisted launch, energy-saving regenerative braking and exceptionally smooth stop/start.

Compared to previous Buick eAssist executions (earlier post), this newest iteration is more sophisticated, powerful and compact. It will be the standard powertrain for the 2018 LaCrosse, which goes on sale this fall.

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Audi’s new 3.0L diesel; ready for 48V mild hybrid system

June 05, 2017

Audi engineers have intensively further developed the new 3.0 TDI diesel engine for the European market. In the new Audi A5 and Q5 models, the V6 diesel outputs 210 kW (286 hp) as well as 620 N·m (457lb-ft) of torque (this engine version is not yet for sale. Since it still lacks an overall type approval, it is not subject to Directive 1999/94/EC), the latter from 1,500 to 3,000 revolutions per minute.

The six-cylinder engine has a displacement of 2,967 cm3 (bore x stroke 83.0 x 91.4 millimeters (3.3 x 3.6 in)). As with all V engines from Audi, its two banks lie at a 90-degree angle from one another. Inside the cylinder crankcase, made of high-strength cast iron with vermicular graphite, a balancer shaft rotates in order to reduce engine vibrations and to improve acoustics. The ignition pressure reaches the 200 bar mark over wide areas of the characteristic map.

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Audi’s mild-hybrid systems: 12V for 4-cylinders, 48V for 6- and 8-cylinders

June 02, 2017

Audi will begin introducing new mild-hybrid drive vehicles (MHEVs) this year. The next generation of luxury sedans, the Audi A8, will have 48V MHEV systems regardless of engine type.

Audi offers the MHEV drives in two variants. For the four-cylinder engines they are based on the familiar 12-volt electrical system. The six-cylinder and eight-cylinder engines, as well as the W12 cylinder units, will receive a new 48-volt system generally serving as the main vehicle electric system. In particular, this technology offers many ways for making driving more efficient, sportier and more comfortable in the future.

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CPT, TU Wien study finds 48V mild diesel hybrid cuts engine-out NOx 9%, 4.5% fuel economy improvement

May 31, 2017

A joint study by Controlled Power Technologies (CPT) and Austria’s Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien) into 48V diesel mild hybrid technology verified a 9% reduction of NOxin raw engine-out emissions, while retaining the fuel economy and CO2 benefits of diesel engine technology.

The cost effectiveness of this approach is further underscored by its impact on lean NOx trap (LNT) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) aftertreatment systems, which have less raw NOx emissions to process, potentially allowing for a reduction in exhaust system cost and complexity, and a longer service life.

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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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Volkswagen apprentices unveil 48V hybrid Golf GTI, enhanced Golf GTE PHEV at at Wörthersee meeting

May 25, 2017

At Volkswagen’s Wörthersee meeting this week, 13 apprentices from Volkswagen Wolfsburg and Sitech are presenting the first GTI that also features electric propulsion: the Golf GTI First Decade. A different team of 14 apprentices from Volkswagen Sachsen are also unveiling a Wörthersee show car, the Golf GTE Variant impulsE—a show version of the production plug-in hybrid featuring enhanced all-electric range.

The Golf GTI First Decade combines a 410 PS (300 kW) gasoline engine driving the front wheels with a 48-volt electric motor that drives the rear wheels with a maximum output of 12 kW. The two drive systems can be used separately but also work hand-in-hand when required.

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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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IAV 8-speed hybrid dual-clutch tranmission can reduce fuel consumption 18% over 6DCT

May 05, 2017

IAV has developed a high-power, high-torque eight-speed hybrid dual-clutch transmission (8H-DCT) that is capable of reducing fuel consumption by up to 18% in the NEDC over a conventional six-speed dual-clutch transmission (6DCT) due to its high number of speeds and integrated hybrid functionality. A further advantage of the IAV 8H-DCT450 lies in its extremely small package requirement.

IAV said that its design target was maximum efficiency at all operating points and in all driving situations; the high number of speeds plays a key part here. The unit makes optimum use of the map range when the combustion engine is the main source of propulsion, said Dr. Jörg Müller, head of the Transmission, E-Motor and Hybrid Systems department at IAV. “This alone cuts fuel consumption in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) by 4.3 percent over a six-speed transmission.

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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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Lightning Hybrids renames itself Lightning Systems; rollout of new lineup of fleet efficiency products

May 03, 2017

Lightning Hybrids, developer and manufacturer of hydraulic hybrid systems, has changed its name to Lightning Systems, effective immediately. Tim Reeser, CEO of Lightning Systems, made the announcement today at the ACT Expo. Lightning Systems also announced that in the next two years it will introduce a new lineup of fleet efficiency products to support commercial and government fleets.

To keep up with demand, support manufacturing of new products, and to service its customers, Lightning Systems also will be moving its corporate headquarters to the Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation & Technology in Loveland at Southwest 14th Street and Taft Avenue. The new space has 45,000 square-feet, nearly doubling the size of the company’s existing headquarters. Lightning Systems announced that its current portfolio of product offerings will include:

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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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DOE: 58% of BEV sales in US in 2016 were large cars and standard SUVs; PHEVS mainly compact and midsize

May 01, 2017

The largest share of all-electric vehicle (EV) sales in calendar year 2016 in the US were large cars (35%) and standard sport utility vehicles (SUV)(23%), according to figures gathered by the US Department of Energy (DOE). Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) sales were mainly compact and midsize cars, with 42% and 40% of the market share, respectively.

Of the nearly 347,000 hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) sold in 2016, close to three-quarters were midsize cars. There were 17.3 million light vehicles sold in the United States in 2016—more than half were SUVs, pickups, and vans.

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Volkswagen introduces new Coasting 2.0 micro hybrid system and new natural gas engine at Vienna Motor Symposium

April 27, 2017

At the 38th Vienna Motor Symposium Volkswagen is introducing a new, more fuel-efficient “Coasting - Engine off” micro hybrid system—which shuts off the engine completely—as well as a new, compact three-cylinder natural gas engine for the Polo.

Volkswagen is also highlighting its spectrum of efficiency and electrification solutions all the way to further optimized battery-powered propulsion as in the new e-Golf and the coming new MEB-based electric vehicles exemplified by its series of I.D. concepts.

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Hyundai Mobis develops compact, integrated 48V mild hybrid system

Automotive supplier Hyundai Mobis has developed the core technologies of a compact, integrated 48V mild hybrid system. Hyundai Mobis developed the “converter integrated 48V battery system” on its own and it is making the final preparations for mass-production scheduled for next year.

Hyundai Mobis integrated the converter and the battery system—formerly applied separately—into one system. The company not only reduced the weight, volume and cost of the system but also improved cooling efficiency.

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Sendyne introduces first isolation monitor for EVs and HEVs capable of detecting potential electrical hazards during dynamic operation

Sendyn, a provider of technologies for battery system management including current, voltage and temperature measurement ICs and modules (earlier post), has introduced the SIM100, a new type of automotive-rated isolation monitoring safety device that is capable of detecting potential electrical hazards during the dynamic operation of high-voltage unearthed systems—such as electric and hybrid vehicles.

The SIM100 module is the first device of its kind capable of unambiguously detecting the electrical isolation state of a high-voltage system while the system is active and operating, and experiencing large voltage variations. State-of-the-art technology today is limited to detecting only resistive leakages and only when the system voltage does not vary significantly. In another first, the SIM100 detects both resistive leakages and capacitively stored energy that could be harmful to human operators.

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Continental Powertrain: dual focus on electrification and efficient ICE; boosting electric drive spending by €300M by 2021

April 26, 2017

Continental’s Powertrain division is strategically focused on two parallel efforts. The first is the full value creation from the growing demand for the most efficient combustion engine technologies that also deliver the lowest emissions. The second is to benefit from the prospective growth in environmentally friendly, electrified and fully electric drive systems.

Continental will spend an additional €300 million (US$327 million) on its business with electric drives alone by 2021. This step, as well as additional plans, are part of the new global “Powertrain Strategy 2020+”.

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Waymo adding 500 more Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivans to self-driving program; early rider program

April 25, 2017

Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving car project) will add an additional 500 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans (earlier post) to expand its self-driving program. FCA previously delivered 100 minivans, modified for self-driving, to Waymo during the second half of 2016. (Earlier post.) Production of the additional 500 minivans will ramp up beginning next month. Waymo will then outfit these vehicles with its self-driving technology.

Waymo also is inviting members of the public to use its fleet of self-driving vehicles for everyday travel. Waymo’s early rider program will give selected Phoenix residents the opportunity to experience the self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans for the first time at no charge.

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Ford confirms five fleets in London for Transit Custom Plug-in Hybrid Van pilot program

April 24, 2017

Ford announced five fleets that will participate in the Ford Transit Custom plug-in hybrid van pilot program in London, starting this fall. (Earlier post.) The pilot program is designed to explore how lower-emission plug-in hybrid electric vans could support cleaner air targets, while boosting productivity for operators in urban conditions.

The project, supported by Transport for London, features a 12-month pilot of 20 new Ford Transit Custom plug-in hybrid vans that reduce local emissions by running solely on electric power for the majority of inner-city trips. Equipped with range extenders, the fleet is not limited by battery range, making them capable of the longer journeys that may be required by businesses and police and emergency vehicle services.

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DOE SBV Pilot selects 38 small business for labs partnerships; 2 fuel cell and 4 vehicle projects

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Small Business Vouchers (SBV) Pilot has selected eight DOE national labs for collaborations with 38 small businesses in the third round of funding. Among these are two projects in the fuel cells area and four projects in the vehicle area. Other projects address advanced manufacturing, bioenergy, buildings, geothermal, solar, water and wind technologies.

In the first two rounds of the program, 12 DOE national labs received funding to partner with 76 small businesses. With the latest announcement, SBV will have awarded approximately $22 million to support partnerships between 114 US small businesses and the national labs.

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GKN Driveline presents fully integrated compact eDrive system in Shanghai; less weight, lower cost, easier integration

April 19, 2017

GKN Driveline has presented an advanced technology concept for a fully integrated, compact eDrive system at the 2017 Auto Shanghai motor show. All of the components of GKN’s eDrive system are contained within a bespoke housing, resulting in optimized packaging and greatly simplifying the integration process for car manufacturers. The system generates a maximum 65kW of power and can deliver up to 2,000 N·m of torque to the rear wheels.

GKN’s complete eDrive system packages the water-cooled electric motor, power inverter and single-speed eAxle reduction gearbox within a single casing. The all-in-one eDrive system replaces external wiring with a bus bar to eliminate unnecessary mechanical interfaces. The close proximity of the components results in improvements in both mechanical and electrical efficiency compared to today’s technology.

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New Mercedes-Benz S-Class to offer upgraded PHEV, new 48V mild hybrid models; advances in autonomy

Mercedes-Benz chose Auto Shanghai 2017 as the venue for the world première of the new S-Class. Among the highlights is new efficient engine range and a series of new technologies for electrification of the powertrain. Several new engines are planned for the new S-Class: in-line six cylinder diesel and gasoline engines as well as a new V-8 biturbo gasoline engine.

In addition, Mercedes-Benz plans a plug-in hybrid with an electric range of about 50 kilometers (31 miles). Technologies such as the 48-volt Integrated Starter Alternator and the electric booster compressor celebrate their world première in the lineup as well. The market launch of the new S-Class starts in the European markets in July.

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GE and SCE unveil first battery-gas turbine hybrid system

April 18, 2017

GE and Southern California Edison (SCE) unveiled the first battery-gas turbine hybrid system in Norwalk, California: the LM6000 Hybrid Electric Gas Turbine (Hybrid EGT). The hybrid system, the first of two to be deployed at SCE sites, was developed in response to changing regulations and grid requirements in the wake of the devastating gas leak from California’s Aliso Canyon storage facility and will ultimately support increasing renewable energy capacity on the California grid.

This hybrid system supports SCE’s increasing renewable energy capacity by providing quick start, fast ramping capabilities when they are needed. The unit integrates a 10 MW, 4.3 MWh Li-ion battery energy storage system, capable of immediately providing power with GE’s proven 50MW LM6000 aeroderivative gas turbine, which offers 56% combined cycle efficiency.

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Workhorse releases specs for coming W-15 extended range electric pickup

April 14, 2017

Workhorse has released initial specifications of its W-15 pickup truck, for which it has accumulated letters of intent for 2,150 units. (Earlier post.) A drivable prototype of the W-15 will be unveiled at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach, California, on May 2. Production models are scheduled for delivery in 2018.

Designed specifically to meet the needs of commercial fleets, the W-15 is believed to be the first plug-in, range-extended pickup truck built from the ground up by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

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Suzuki, Toshiba and Denso to form JV to produce automotive Li-ion battery packs in India

Suzuki Motor Corporation, Toshiba Corporation, and Denso Corporation have reached basic agreement on establishing a joint venture company for production of automotive lithium-ion battery packs in India, and signed the agreement. The initial capital expenditure will be ¥20 billion (US$184 million). The joint venture company will be capitalized at ¥2 billion (US$18.4 million), with the planned participation ratio of Suzuki 50%, Toshiba 40% and Denso 10% respectively.

The battery pack manufacturing joint venture by the three companies will provide a stable supply of lithium-ion battery packs in India. The joint venture company will be established within 2017 and will move to manufacturing phase at earliest possible timing.

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Honda introduces Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Clarity Electric at New York show; targeting 75K Clarity vehicles in 4 years

April 12, 2017

Honda revealed its all-new Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Clarity Electric (earlier post) alongside the already available Clarity Fuel Cell (earlier post), saying it will target US sales of 75,000 Clarity vehicles in the first four model years. Honda expects the Clarity series will contribute to an anticipated five-fold increase in Honda’s US sales of electrified vehicles over the next four years as the company works toward its target that two-thirds of its global automobile sales will come from electrified vehicles by 2030.

The two all-new electrified Honda vehicles will join the Clarity Fuel Cell, launched in December 2016, to make Clarity the first vehicle series offering customers an expanded array of electrified vehicle choices with fuel cell, battery electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains in a five-passenger sedan.

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UK APC awards US$77M to seven low-carbon transportation R&D projects

April 11, 2017

The UK Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) has awarded £62 million (US$77 million) from its sixth round of funding to projects led by BMW Motorsport, New Holland Agriculture, Jaguar Land Rover, Williams Advanced Engineering, Penso Consulting, Ford Motor Company and Westfield Sportscars, to develop innovative low carbon transportation technology in the UK.

Projects cover a wide range of innovations, which will are intended to help the UK to become a global leader in low emissions technology. They include the development of an affordable hybrid powertrain for niche vehicle applications, such as autonomous pods, as well as a project to address significant gaps in the UK electrification supply chain. Projects include:

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Renesas introduces small, 100kW-class inverter solution for HEVs and EVs

April 10, 2017

Renesas Electronics Corporation announced its new 100kW-class inverter solution that achieves industry-leading small volume of 3.9 liter (L) for high-power 100kW-class motors in mid- to large-sized hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) including SUVs, and mid- to small-sized electric vehicles (EVs).

Renesas will provide a solution kit including software that maximizes the HEV/EV motor performance and hardware components such as microcontrollers (MCUs), Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) and fast recovery diode (FRD), and other power semiconductor devices.

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Ford introduces first pursuit-rated hybrid police car

Ford revealed the industry’s first pursuit-rated hybrid police car, the Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan. The new hybrid, based on the Fusion, is the second of 13 new electrified vehicles the company plans to introduce over the next five years.

A pursuit-rated vehicle is an authorized emergency vehicle specially designed and equipped for use during high-speed pursuits meeting certain vehicle dynamics and safety standards, such as 75 mph rear-end crash testing. Pursuit-rated vehicles are certified by different police agencies to be able to handle police pursuits for longer periods at different speeds and over obstacles such as curbs and flooded intersections.

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Ford announces China electrification push with new Mondeo PHEV and long-range electric SUV; 70% electrified line-up by 2025

April 07, 2017

In Shanghai, Ford Motor Company outlined an ambitious vehicle electrification strategy for the China market, confirming two new electrified vehicles for China and a broad range of electrified vehicles by 2025. The Mondeo Energi, to be launched in early 2018, will be the first plug-in hybrid to be manufactured by the Changan Ford JV.

Ford also confirmed plans to bring an all-new fully electric small SUV to China within five years; the electric SUV will feature a range of up to 450 km (279 miles) and will also be marketed in North America and Europe.

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A123: Increasing 48V battery power up to ~25 kW enables advanced mild hybrid capabilities with greater fuel savings

April 06, 2017

In a paper presented at SAE WCX 2017 this week in Detroit, engineers at Li-ion battery maker A123 Systems conclude that 48V battery packs with strong power (up to ~25 kW) and HEV-level energy capabilities (<200Wh for most scenarios) are needed to enable advanced mild hybird (MHEV) capabilities, with optimal power-to-energy ratios between 30 and 160.

Improving battery power to such as level would further enable hybridization to near-HEV levels as well as engine downsizing, thereby enabling fuel economy improvements beyond the current 10-15% MHEV limit. Additionally, new electrified features could be added, such as electric turbo/supercharging, electric traction, electric power steering, electric suspension and electric air conditioning. To address these needs, the A123 team presented a high-power, lithium-iron-phosphate chemistry with excellent rate capabilities.

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Boeing and Jet Blue back Zunum Aero, startup developing hybrid electric aircraft; focus on regional airports

Startup Zunum Aero, founded in 2013, is developing regional hybrid-electric aircraft for the early 2020s. Zunum is targeting 700 miles of range at launch to more than 1,000 miles by 2030. Zunum Aero intends for its 10- to 50-seat aircraft to enable frequent service to the nation’s network of more than 5,000 underutilized regional and general aviation airports. Zunum Aero is backed by Boeing and JetBlue Technology Ventures, a subsidiary of JetBlue Airways.

Zunum estimates that its hybrid aircraft will deliver 80% lower emissions, dropping to zero over time as battery densities improve, along with a 75% drop in community noise, opening up all-hours access to smaller airports.

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Eberspaecher starting production of Gen 3 PTC heater for hybrids and EVs; 30% higher performance density, lighter weight

Eberspaecher catem is starting production of the third generation of its high-voltage PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) heaters. The new solution, designed specially for hybrid and electric vehicles, delivers significantly higher heat output despite a lighter weight. Improved heat transfer between the PTC elements and coolant, together with the in-house developed electronic control unit, provide more efficient energy and heat management.

The heating systems discharge the temperature-controlled air into the vehicle’s interior by way of an on-board heat exchanger. The third-generation system has been optimized in terms of both performance and weight. Significantly improved heat transfer between the PTC elements and coolant increases the performance density at zero degrees coolant temperature by more than 30%.

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Siemens-powered electric plane sets two new speed records; first aerotow

April 04, 2017

The Extra 330LE aerobatic plane, powered by a propulsion system from Siemens (earlier post), set two new speed records. At the Dinslaken Schwarze Heide airfield in Germany, the electric aircraft reached a top speed of around 337.50 km/h (209.7 mph) over a distance of three kilometers. The speed achieved by pilot Walter Extra was 13.48 km/h faster than the previous record, which had been set by US pilot William M. Yates in 2013.

The World Air Sports Federation (FAI) officially recognized the record flight in the category “Electric airplanes with a take-off weight less than 1,000 kilograms.” The Extra also set a new FAI world record in the category “above 1,000 kilograms”: in a slightly modified configuration with an overall weight exceeding one metric ton, test pilot Walter Kampsmann flew the electrically powered plane at a speed of 342.86 km/h (213.0 mph).

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Porsche unveils 2017 version of 919 Hybrid Le Mans prototype

March 31, 2017

Porsche unveiled the new 919 Hybrid at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza (IT). The Le Mans prototype, with a system output of around 900 PS (662 kW), was comprehensively reworked.

The 2017 model of the Porsche 919 Hybrid deploys a range of new innovations, particularly in the vehicle’s aerodynamics, the chassis and the combustion engine. Team Principal Andreas Seidl, who continues to serve as acting technical director, said that for the 2017 season, 60 to 70 percent of the vehicle is newly developed.

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Ascend Energy and Atrex Energy demo tubular SOFC electric ATV, fueled by natural gas

March 29, 2017

Ascend Energy, in collaboration with solid oxide fuel cell manufacturer Atrex Energy, released the results of a joint project to demonstrate a newly developed tubular solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) in an electric all-terrain vehicle (ATV). The project was supported by a $146,283 Energy Innovations Small Grant (EISG) from the California Energy Commission.

Ascend worked with Tructronics Inc., idea Solutions Design, and JB Mechanical to integrate and install a commercial 1000 Watt Atrex Energy fuel cell power generator fueled with compressed natural gas in an all-electric Polaris Ranger ATV. ATVs are in common use in California farms, ranches and orchards as a utility vehicle but the gasoline-fueled versions make a significant contribution to poor air quality in the farm regions of the state.

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New Buick, BMW PHEVs for China

March 24, 2017

Buick announced that it will shortly launch the Velite 5, its first extended range electric vehicle (EREV), in China. Leveraging GM’s proven EREV technology as shown in the Chevy Volt and the Cadillac CT6 Plug-In, the Velite 5 also offers advanced connectivity and safety technologies.

The Velite 5 is equipped with GM’s latest electric drive system that features the company’s patented EVT electronic controlled intelligent variable transmission. The system has a double high-performance, permanent-magnet electric motor drive unit. This supports its hybrid-exclusive 1.5L direct injection engine as well as its new-generation liquid-cooled, high-performance ternary lithium battery pack.

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Buick to introduce extended-range electric vehicle in China this year; also new generation 1.0T/1.3T Ecotecs and 9-speed

March 23, 2017

Buick will adopt GM’s proven extended-range electric vehicle (EREV) technology, a new-generation of 1.0T/1.3T Ecotec engines and a nine-speed transmission in new or refreshed models launched in China this year. In the coming two years, Buick will also introduce plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in China—the brand’s largest market.

The EREV combines GM’s patented EVT electronic controlled intelligent variable transmission, double high-performance, permanent-magnet electric motors drive unit, a hybrid-exclusive direct injection engine, as well as an industry-leading liquid-cooled and high-performance ternary lithium battery pack.

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London Taxi opens £300M plant for range-extended EV taxis; announces second model, an LCV

The London Taxi Company (LTC) officially opened the UK’s first car plant dedicated solely to the production of range-extended electric vehicles. The new vehicle plant in Ansty, Coventry, will build the world’s first purpose-built, mass-market electric taxi. LTC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Geely, has invested more than £300-million (US$374-million) in the new site and the next-generation London taxi, which will be produced at the plant and exported around the world.

LTC also announced that the second vehicle model to come off the new line will be a dedicated, range-extended electric light commercial van (LCV), based on the same extended-range EV platform as the taxi.

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ICCT: incremental technology can cut vehicle CO2 by half and increase fuel economy >60% through 2030 with ~5% increase in price

March 22, 2017

With the EPA re-opening its Mid-Term Review of GHG standards for 2022-2025 for light-duty vehicles (earlier post), and with NHTSA yet to weigh in on its Mid-Term evaluation of fuel economy standards for the same period, a team from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has published a report analyzing emerging vehicle efficiency technologies; their ability to achieve lower emission levels; and their costs in the 2025–2030 timeframe.

Starting from a baseline 26 mpg (9.04 l/100 km) in 2016, the The ICCT team assessed increased consumer label fuel economy (as opposed to the regulatory test fuel economy) to 35 mpg (6.71 l/100 km) in 2025 and to 42–46 mpg (5.6-5.11 l/100 km) (under three scenarios) by 2030. These fuel economy levels are achieved based on a sustained 4%–6% annual reduction of fuel use per mile with incremental technology additions that do not compromise vehicle size or utility at an incremental cost of $800–$1,300 from 2025 to 2030. The resulting trajectory would reduce CO2 emissions by half and increase fuel economy by more than 60% from 2016 through 2030. Based on a detailed analysis of the efficiency technologies used to achieve these lower CO2 emission levels, the ICCT study concludes that vehicle prices would increase by about 5% by 2030.

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Volvo CE unveils the next generation of its autonomous electric load carrier concept

Volvo Construction Equipment (CE) presented the HX2 autonomous, battery-electric, load carrier at CONEXPO/CON-AGG 2017. The second-generation concept machine is part of an electric site research project that aims to transform the quarry and aggregates industry, reducing carbon emissions by up to 95% and total cost of ownership by up to 25%.

Volvo CE showcased the first-generation of the prototype HX machine—HX1—at the company’s Xploration Forum in September last year. Since then, Volvo CE’s engineers have been further developing the machine.

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Hybrid Kinetic H600 microturbine range-extended electric vehicle concept runs 0-100 km/h in 2.9 seconds

March 20, 2017

At the Geneva Auto Show, the China-based Hybrid Kinetic group unveiled the H600 microturbine range-extended electric vehicle sedan concept, produced together with its vehicle design and engineering partner, Pininfarina. The 60 kW microturbine range extender delivers 40% efficiency, low emissions, and a 10000-hour maintenance interval.

The 30 kWh battery pack has a long life span (50,000 charging/discharging cycles) as well as high energy density (300 Wh/kg); it can sustain a very high charging rate (50C). The fast charging capability allows the H600 to recover up to 30% of kinetic energy. The H600 features all-wheel torque vectoring, and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.9 seconds; the electric motors deliver combined maximum power of more than 600 kW. Range is more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles).

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2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid on sale in April; 3-motor sport hybrid system

March 15, 2017

Acura’s first hybrid SUV, the 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid (earlier post), will arrive at showrooms in early April with more than 30 additional horsepower and a 45 percent higher EPA city fuel economy rating as compared to the conventionally-powered MDX SH-AWD.

With a manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) starting at $51,9601, a premium of $1,500 over the conventional MDX SH-AWD, the MDX Sport Hybrid applies Acura’s innovative three-motor Sport Hybrid Super Handling-All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, a technology first offered in the RLX Sport Hybrid (earlier post) and more recently, the NSX supercar (earlier post).

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Ford names Lightning Hybrids, XL Hybrids, Motiv Power its first eQVM upfitters

March 14, 2017

Ford is expanding its Advanced Fuel Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) program to include companies that develop and install electrified and hydraulic hybrid powertrains for Ford trucks and vans.

The new eQVM program kicks off with three developers: XL Hybrids, Motiv Power Systems and Lightning Hybrids. These companies offer electrification or hydraulic hybrid solutions for a range of Ford vehicles popular with fleet and commercial customers, including F-150, F-250 to F-550 Super Duty, F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks, Transit and E-Series vans and chassis, and F-53/F-59 stripped chassis.

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

March 10, 2017

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

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

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

March 09, 2017

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

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

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Mitsubishi Electric develops world’s smallest SiC inverter for HEVs; reduced losses, improved fuel efficiency

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has developed a working model of an ultra-compact silicon carbide (SiC) inverter for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) that is believed to be the world’s smallest SiC device of its type at just five liters volume.

It also is believed to offer the world’s highest power density of 86 kVA / L for two-motor HEVs, thanks to incorporation of full-SiC power semiconductor modules that achieve superior heat dissipation.

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Lexus LS 500h performance luxury hybrid makes its world premiere at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show; Multi Stage Hybrid System (corrected)

March 08, 2017

Lexus unveiled the 2018 Lexus LS 500h, the full hybrid version of its new flagship sedan, in Geneva. The model follows on the world premiere of the twin-turbo gas V6-powered LS 500 at the 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit in January.

The LS 500h is equipped with the new Lexus Multi Stage Hybrid System, which provides enhanced responsiveness and linear acceleration, particularly when accelerating from a full stop. (Earlier post.) (Toyota Motor engineers are presenting five papers on the MSHS at the upcoming SAE WCX 17 next month in Detroit.) The powertrain features a normally aspirated V6 3.5-liter engine with the new Multi Stage Hybrid System (MSHS). The MSHS is set up in such a way that it simulates a 10-speed AT.

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Kia introduces Niro Plug-in Hybrid crossover and Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid at Geneva

At the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show, Kia Motors unveiled four new models. The new Kia Stinger fastback sports sedan makes its European premiere, alongside the all-new Kia Picanto city car, which makes its global debut. Advanced powertrain technology features in two other new Kia models on show for the first time—Niro Plug-in Hybrid crossover and Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid.

The new Niro Plug-in Hybrid, revealed for the first time in Geneva, combines crossover versatility and design appeal with maximum fuel efficiency from its advanced new plug-in hybrid powertrain, which it shares with the Hyundai Ioniq. (Earlier post.) The Niro will be the first car on the market to capitalize on two significant trends: rising sales of plug-in hybrid models (forecast to expand in Europe to more than 600,000 units per year by the end of 2023) and continued growth in the compact crossover market.

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Volvo Cars reveals new XC60 premium SUV, led by PHEV model, at Geneva

March 07, 2017

Volvo Cars revealed the much-anticipated new XC60 premium SUV at the Geneva Motor Show. The new car replaces Volvo’s highly-successful original XC60, which in the nine years since its launch became the bestselling premium mid-sized SUV in Europe with nearly a million units sold globally. The XC60 today represents around 30% of Volvo’s total global sales.

The new XC60 offers Volvo’s award-winning T8 Twin Engine gasoline plug-in hybrid (PHEV) system (earlier post) at the top of the powertrain range, delivering 407 hp and acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 5.3 seconds.

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Mercedes-AMG GT Concept performance hybrid leverages Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 hybrid technology

At the Geneva Motor Show, Daimler unveiled the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept as a preview of its third completely autonomously developed sports car, which also extends the AMG GT family to include a four-door variant. The AMG GT Concept is powered by a V8 biturbo gasoline engine and a high-performance electric motor and modular battery concept.

This performance hybrid powertrain generates a system output of up to 600 kW (805 hp). It covers the sprint from 0-100 km/h in less than three seconds. After the Formula 1 vehicle, the show car is the second AMG model to bear the new designation “EQ Power+”, which all performance hybrids from Mercedes-AMG will be given in future.

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Audi unveils Q8 sport concept with 48V mild hybrid system (mHEV); drive system coming to “many” Audi models

At the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show, Audi is presenting the Audi Q8 sport concept, a new performance-oriented take on the Q8 concept study introduced at the 2017 Detroit Motor Show. Equipped with a 3.0 TFSI six-cylinder engine featuring a 48V mild hybrid system (mHEV) and an electric compressor, the SUV delivers a total 350 kW (476 hp) output and 700 N·m (516.3 lb-ft) of torque, and sprints from 0 - 100 km/h (0 ‑ 62.1 mph) in 4.7 seconds. Top speed is 275 km/h (170.9 mph). Its range of more than 1,200 kilometers (745.6 miles) ensures it is also suitable for long journeys.

Compared with a model equipped with a regular TFSI six-cylinder engine without the mHEV system, the Q8 sport concept with its 20 kW greater performance consumes around one liter less fuel per 100 km —corresponding to a reduction in CO2 emissions of 25 g/km (40.2 g/mi).

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INFINITI/Renault Sport Project Black S hints at performance hybrid powertrain, inspired by Formula 1 ERS

March 06, 2017

At the Geneva Motor Show, INFINITI is unveiling the Project Black S concept, exploring the potential for a new INFINITI performance grade, featuring on-road technology inspired by Formula One. Suggesting a radical reinterpretation of the INFINITI Q60 coupe, the Project Black S features an aerodynamically-optimized new design with a performance hybrid powertrain developed in close collaboration with the Renault Sport Formula One Team.

The performance hybrid powertrain being explored through Project Black S features an energy recovery system (ERS) to harvest energy, deploying recovered electric power to boost power and torque. The ERS could contribute to a 25% increase in power for INFINITI’s new 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine; the result is instant, significant, lag-free acceleration. Inspired by the dual-hybrid system proven in Formula One, the technology does not yet exist in a current road car.

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Symbio targets European taxi market with fuel cell range extender in Nissan e-NV200; 500 km range

March 02, 2017

Symbio has integrated a 15 kW (net) fuel cell range extender in a Nissan e-NV200 electric van, with plans to introduce the vehicle to the European taxi market. The new plug-in hybrid hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will deliver at least 500 km of range. Symbio unveiled the van at the FC Expo 2017 in Tokyo.

The customized e-NV200 offers taxi drivers a similar total cost of ownership to a hybrid taxi, but with the range of an internal combustion engine. Thus, this vehicle could be used for intensive urban taxi operations or for online passenger transportation network services. It can be recharged from a low-cost power supply, and refueled with hydrogen in three minutes (3.8 kg hydrogen at 700 bar).

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First XL Hybrids XLP plug-in hybrid upfits to be installed on Ford F-150 pickups

March 01, 2017

XL Hybrids’s XLP plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) upfit solution (earlier post) will roll out on Ford F-150 pickup trucks beginning fourth quarter 2017. Ford, with its top-selling half-ton truck for any make and model, was chosen as the first OEM based on XL Hybrids’ order commitments from major fleet customers. The XLP Fleet-Ready technology is the industry’s first ship-thru upfit on pickup trucks from a leading OEM.

The XLP technology will be installed in MY17 Ford F-150 pickups with the 2.7L EcoBoost engine and Ford’s Auto Stop-Start technology. The XLP will also be available for the upcoming MY18 Ford F-150 pickup with the 2.7L EcoBoost engine and the new 3.3L base engine, both featuring Ford’s Auto Stop-Start technology. XLP will be compatible with a range of wheelbases, cab and bed configurations.

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DS introducing DS 7 CROSSBACK at Geneva show; PHEV model, autonomous driving features

February 28, 2017

DS Automobiles, the recent brand addition to the PSA Group, will introduce the DS 7 CROSSBACK SUV at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. Powered by a 300 hp,four-wheel drive E-TENSE system, a plug-in hybrid version will be available from spring 2019.

Alongside the E-TENSE plug-in hybrid, DS 7 CROSSBACK will ultimately be available with a choice of five internal combustion engines compliant with the Euro 6.2 standard: three gasoline power units (THP 225 S&S EAT8, THP 180 S&S EAT8, PureTech (twice voted engine of the year in 2015 and 2016) 130 S&S 6-speed manual) and two diesel units (BlueHDi 130 S&S—with a choice of 6-speed manual or EAT8—and the BlueHDi 180 EAT8).

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Volvo Trucks testing long-haul hybrid powertrain in Concept Truck

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

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

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SCPPA signs letter of intent for 500 Workhorse W-15 4WD range-extended electric pickup trucks

Workhorse Group Inc. (WKHS), an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of battery-electric vehicles, received a Letter of Intent from Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) for 500 W-15 Plug-In Electric Pickup trucks. (Earlier post.) The Workhorse W-15 light duty platform design is an extension of the E-Gen electric technology used in Workhorse medium-duty delivery trucks. (Earlier post.)

With expected all-electric 80-mile range using Panasonic 18650 Li-ion batteries, the battery pack is expected to cover the vast majority of miles driven in a day by fleet owners of locally driven trucks. If needed, the gasoline generator (from BMW) will then operate after battery power has been depleted, providing a full hybrid range of 310 miles per tank.

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Peugeot unveils autonomous plug-in hybrid INSTINCT Concept; Samsung ARTIK Cloud for IoT; Sentiance for data analysis

February 27, 2017

In Spain, in conjunction with the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Peugeot unveiled its INSTINCT plug-in hybrid concept, a Shooting Brake which offers the option of fully autonomous driving. However, the driver remains fully in control at all times and is able to determine whether he or she has a hands-on or autonomous drive.

The PHEV powertrain offers 300 PS, and the car features both ‘Drive’ and ‘Autonomous’ modes, affording the driver the choice between an engaging drive and the convenience of a fully autonomous vehicle. Peugeot INSTINCT is programmed with four distinct driving settings. In ‘Drive’ mode, drivers can opt for ‘Drive Boost’ or ‘Drive Relax’, and in ‘Autonomous’ mode they have the option of ‘Autonomous Soft’ or ‘Autonomous Sharp’.

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New Turbo S E-Hybrid PHEV to be the flagship model in the Panamera line

February 24, 2017

Porsche is launching the new Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid plug-in hybrid as the flagship of a model line for the first time. The four-liter V8 engine from the Panamera Turbo is combined with an electric motor, resulting in 500 kW/680 hp of system power and outstanding power delivery—even when just above idle speed, the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid—the second hybrid variant in the Panamera lineup—offers an 850 N·m (627 lb-ft) of torque. The new PHEV accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of 310 km/h (193 mph).

The boost strategy of the all-wheel drive Panamera comes from the 918 Spyder super sportscar. (Earlier post.) In the New European Driving Cycle, the average fuel consumption is 2.9 l/100 km (81 mpg US), and the new flagship Panamera can drive on fully electric power for up to 50 kilometers. Porsche says that the new Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid underlines the high importance of electromobility to the company.

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Driving Hyundai’s electrified Ioniq line-up; cost-effective efficiency and dynamics

February 21, 2017

Hyundai has begun the US roll-out of its Ioniq line-up of electrified vehicles: hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric. (Earlier post.) The Ioniq Hybrid offers up to the highest fuel economy in the US (up to 58 mpg / 4.05 l/100 km) for a non-plug-in vehicle and the Ioniq Electric is the industry’s most efficient EV (136 mpge / 25 kWh/100 miles).

In addition to efficiency and value, a key design goal for the Hyundai team was driveability: specifically, a fun-to-drive, “segment-appropriate” driving experience. During the media launch last week in Santa Barbara, California, Hyundai provided production versions of the hybrid and battery-electric vehicle, and a pre-production version of the plug-in hybrid. Based on relatively short drives in all three variants, we conclude that Hyundai nailed its goals. In addition to the fuel efficiency of the powertrains (described in this earlier post), the Ioniqs are quiet, comfortable, and appropriately dynamic—although not high-performance, all models are a pleasure to drive.

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Hyundai begins rollout of Ioniq Hybrid, PHEV and EV; most efficient non-plug vehicle, most efficient EV in US; powertrain discussion

February 16, 2017

Hyundai has begun the US sales rollout of its Ioniq line of electrified vehicles, which come in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric variants. (Earlier post.) At a media preview in Santa Barbara this week, Hyundai executives said the the hybrid will be moving into showrooms shortly, the battery-electric version in April (in California initially), and the plus-in hybrid in Q4. The Ioniq Hybrid boasts the highest fuel economy in the US (up to 58 mpg) for a non-plug-in vehicle and the Ioniq Electric is the industry’s most efficient EV (136 mpge).

All three variants were available for media drives this week (drive impressions embargoed until next Monday); the hybrid and EV versions were production cars, the plug-in was still characterized as “prototype.” Nevertheless, technical executives and engineers from Korea and from the Hyundai-Kia America technical center in the US were on hand to provide market and technical background. Furthermore, two engineers from the US technical center gave presentations last week at the SAE 2017 Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Technologies Symposium in San Diego, discussing aspects of the hybrid and battery-electric powertrains, including some of the unique features and Hyundai “firsts” represented in the Ioniq.

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Hyundai begins rollout of Ioniq Hybrid, PHEV and EV; most efficient non-plug vehicle, most efficient EV in US; powertrain discussion

Hyundai has begun the US sales rollout of its Ioniq line of electrified vehicles, which come in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric variants. (Earlier post.) At a media preview in Santa Barbara this week, Hyundai executives said the the hybrid will be moving into showrooms shortly, the battery-electric version in April (in California initially), and the plus-in hybrid in Q4. The Ioniq Hybrid boasts the highest fuel economy in the US (up to 58 mpg) for a non-plug-in vehicle and the Ioniq Electric is the industry’s most efficient EV (136 mpge).

All three variants were available for media drives this week (drive impressions embargoed until next Monday); the hybrid and EV versions were production cars, the plug-in was still characterized as “prototype.” Nevertheless, technical executives and engineers from Korea and from the Hyundai-Kia America technical center in the US were on hand to provide market and technical background. Furthermore, two engineers from the US technical center gave presentations last week at the SAE 2017 Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Technologies Symposium in San Diego, discussing aspects of the hybrid and battery-electric powertrains, including some of the unique features and Hyundai “firsts” represented in the Ioniq.

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TÜV lifecycle analysis shows Mercedes-Benz E 350 e PHEV cuts GHG footprint 44% compared to E 350 CGI; equivalent NOx

February 15, 2017

The Mercedes-Benz E 350 e plug-in hybrid (earlier post) has successfully completed the TÜV validation audit and received the Environmental Certificate. This award is based on a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in which the independent experts at TÜV Süd (the German Technical Inspection Authority) comprehensively assess the environmental impact of the passenger car over its entire life cycle.

The Mercedes-Benz E 350 e is rated with an NEDC fuel consumption of 2.1 l/100 km (112 mpg US), and electric energy consumption (NEDC) of 11.5 kWh/100 km. The LCA found total CO2 emissions around 44% lower than the previous E 350 CGI model, which has comparable performance data and a conventional engine, during its life cycle (material manufacture, production, driving for 250,000 kilometers (155,000 miles) calculated with certified consumption figures and recycling) when the hybrid model is charged externally with the European energy mix.

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Cumulative worldwide sales of Toyota hybrids surpass 10 million units; Europe outpaces N America in 2016

February 14, 2017

Cumulative worldwide sales of Toyota Motor Corporation hybrids reached 10.05 million units as of 31 January, scooting past the 10-million unit mark. Toyota said that this milestone demonstrates the staying power of a technology that is now emerging as a mainstream solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants.

Toyota launched the Coaster Hybrid EV in August 1997 and the Prius—the world's first mass-produced hybrid passenger vehicle―in December of the same year. This latest milestone of 10 million units was achieved just nine months after total sales reached 9 million units at the end of April 2016. Although hybrid sales in Japan have stalled, and have dropped in North America, Europe and other regions have been the growth engine.

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

February 10, 2017

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

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

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Volvo Cars to introduce 3-cylinder FWD PHEV in 2018, BEVs & 48V mild hybrid in 2019; Modular Electrification Platform

February 09, 2017

Volvo Cars will introduce a front-wheel drive (FWD), 3-cylinder engine variant of its Twin Engine plug-in hybrid electric vehicle system in 2018, followed by its first production battery-electric vehicles and a new 48V mild hybrid system in 2019, according to Mats Anderson, Senior Director of Electric Propulsion Systems. Anderson was speaking at the SAE 2017 Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Technologies Symposium in San Diego.

Currently in its line-up, Volvo offers the T8 Twin Engine all-wheel drive (AWD) system, currently on the XC 90 T8 Drive-E Twin Engine (earlier post). The 4-cylinder engine T8 AWD is intended to match the performance of 6- and 8-cylinder engined competitors, said Anderson. The new Twin Engine FWD platform will use a 3-cylinder engine, with the system matching the performance of 4- and 6-cylinder engined competitors.

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Norwegian Electric Systems to provide hybrid electric systems for three new ferries; Odin’s Eye DC grid system

Norwegian Electric Systems (NES) has signed a new contract with Havyard Ship Technology, Leirvik for the delivery of hybrid electric systems for three new ferries owned by Norway`s largest ferry company Fjord1. The ferries—with capacity for 50 cars and 199 persons—are designed by Multi Maritime. The first ferry is schedueled for delivery in May 2018.

All three ferries will be capable of all-electric operation with fast charging. Diesel engines, capable of pure biodiesel operation, will be installed as well, enabling hybrid and plug-in hybrid operation. The ferries have been designed with energy efficient hulls, equipment and systems.

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New hybrid electric ferry launches in Taiwan with Visedo electric propulsion system

February 02, 2017

The Taiwanese harbor city of Kaohsiung has launched a new hybrid electric ferry. The Cijian Island passenger ferry is retrofitted with a Visedo electric propulsion system, replacing the original diesel engine. It heralds Asia’s first hybrid electric ferry and, if successful, the Kaohsiung City Government plans to retrofit the rest of its diesel fleet to help reduce pollution levels around Taiwan’s largest harbor.

Visedo OY, a leading Finnish manufacturer of electric drivetrains for marine vessels, commercial vehicles and heavy duty applications, worked alongside Taiwan’s Ship and Ocean Industries R&D Center (SOIC) to complete the retrofit.

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Torotrak shifting strategic focus in response to electrification trend; focus on KERS, away from V-Charge

January 31, 2017

UK-based Torotrak, a developer and supplier of emissions reduction and fuel efficiency technology for vehicles, is refocusing its strategy based on its understanding of how the priorities for many players in the European passenger car market—Torotrak’s customers—have profoundly changed in recent months.

The Torotrak Group has three main product lines: Flybrid flywheel-based kinetic energy recovery (KERS); Torotrak variable drive transmissions for use in powertrains and auxiliary devices; and V-Charge, a supercharging product containing Torotrak variable drive technology. Torotrak has been in commercial discussions with passenger car Tier 1s and OEMs as they seek to understand the full capability of V-Charge—Torotrak’s variable-drive mechanical supercharger that can enable ambitious engine downsizing (earlier post).

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Report: Nissan to unveil new e-Power Juke concept at Tokyo show; 2nd application of new series-hybrid powertrain

January 30, 2017

Car and Driver reports that Nissan will unveil a Juke e-Power concept at the Tokyo auto show this fall. In November 2016, Nissan introduced the new series-hybrid e-Power drive system in the Note. Although e-Power borrows technology from the LEAF, unlike the all-battery-electric powertrain of the LEAF, e-POWER adds a small gasoline engine to charge the high-output battery when necessary, eliminating the need for an external charger while offering the same high output. (Earlier post.)

The non-plug-in e-POWER system features full electric-motor drive with the EM57 traction motor from the LEAF, which delivers a maximum 254 N·m. The power from a high-output battery is delivered to the e-POWER’s compact powertrain comprising a gasoline engine, power generator, inverter, and a motor.

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Mitsubishi Motors to supply 635 Outlander PHEVs to National Police of Ukraine

January 27, 2017

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced that through its local importer and distributor MMC Ukraine, MMC will supply the National Police of Ukraine with 635 units of the Outlander PHEV. These vehicles are to be delivered around July 2017.

The supply stems from an emissions trading agreement signed by a number of Japanese companies with the Government of Ukraine. As part of its policy to reduce CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions using the Green Investment Scheme under the Kyoto Protocol, the Ukrainian government will use the Outlander PHEVs as police vehicles.

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Viking Grace LNG ferry to install rotor sail; first LNG/wind electric propulsion hybrid ship

January 26, 2017

Norsepower Oy Ltd., a provider of low- maintenance, software-operated, and data-verified auxiliary wind propulsion systems, signed an agreement with Finnish shipping company Viking Line to install its Rotor Sail Solution onboard the M/S Viking Grace, an LNG-fueled cruise ferry.

The 57,565 GT M/S Viking Grace currently operates in the archipelago between Turku (Finland) and Stockholm (Sweden), and is already one of the most environmentally-friendly cruise ferries in the global maritime industry. With the addition of Norsepower’s technology, the vessel will further reduce its emissions, fuel burn and fuel costs; reducing carbon emissions by around 900 tonnes annually; equivalent to cutting 300 tonnes of LNG fuel per year.

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Ford running 12-month trial of 20 plug-in hybrid Transit Custom vans in London

January 20, 2017

Ford is launching a multi-million pound project designed to help improve air quality in London. The project, supported by Transport for London, features a 12-month trial of 20 new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Transit Custom vans that reduce local emissions by running solely on electric power for the majority of city trips such as deliveries or maintenance work.

Ford plans to introduce a Transit Custom PHEV van on the market in 2019; the Transit Custom PHEV vans in the London trial are an advanced prototype design that allows them to be charged with mains electricity for zero-emission journeys, while featuring an efficient on-board combustion engine for extended range when longer trips are required. Ford is the first volume manufacturer to offer PHEV technology in this segment of the van market.

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CARB releases Midterm Review of ZEV regulation, LEV III GHG and PM standards; calls for post-2025 standards

January 19, 2017

When the California Air Resources Board (ARB) adopted the Advanced Clean Cars (ACC) program in 2012 (earlier post), the agency committed to conduct a comprehensive midterm review of three elements of the program: the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) regulation; the 1 mg/mi particulate matter (PM) standard; and the light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas standards for 2022 and later model years. ARB has now released the Midterm Review of Advanced Clean Cars Program—an extensive evaluation of the California passenger vehicle market and technology.

The Review finds that the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards currently in place for model years 2022-2025 are readily feasible at or below the costs estimated back in 2012. The report also finds that ZEV technology has seen significant development that, in many cases, is beyond what was envisioned just four years ago. The report indicates that existing programs in California will add at least 1 million zero-emission vehicles on its roads and highways by 2025.

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

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

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

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Hard parts supplier Rheinmetall Automotive expects electrification to account for more than half of sales in 2020

January 17, 2017

Global Tier 1 supplier Rheinmetall Automotive—formerly KSPG and Kolbenschmidt Pierburg—expects electrification to account for more than half of its sales in 2020. Rheinmetall Automotive AG is the management company of the Automotive sector of Germany’s Rheinmetall Group. Sales amounted to around €2.6 billion (US$2.8 billion) in 2015, including around 16% from the companies located in NAFTA.

Rheinmetall Automotive is more known as a supplier of hard parts (e.g., pistons, blocks, cylinder heads, etc.) and mechatronics. However, said Horst Binnig, Rheinmetall Automotive CEO, “products with a cable” already constitute roughly 40% of the company’s total sales.

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UCR team’s new evolutionary-algorithm-based EMS for PHEVs can deliver >30% fuel savings than conventional controls

January 11, 2017

Engineers at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) have developed a new online energy management system (EMS) based on an evolutionary algorithm for plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) that they say can improve PHEV fuel efficiency by more than 30%. A paper describing the research was recently accepted for publication in the journal IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems.

PHEVs, which combine an internal combustion engine (ICE) with an electric motor and a large rechargeable battery, offer advantages over conventional hybrids because they can be charged using grid electricity, which reduces their need for fuel. However, improving the efficiency of current PHEVs is limited by shortfalls in their energy management systems (EMS), which control the power split between engine and battery when they switch from all-electric mode to hybrid mode.

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Schaeffler Group sees e-mobility and digitalization as key opportunities

January 10, 2017

The Schaeffler Group, a global integrated automotive and industrial supplier, sees e-mobility, Industry 4.0 and digitalization as the key opportunities for the future, said CEO Klaus Rosenfeld at the company’s press conference at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

Schaeffler is placing a strong emphasis on hybrid and electric drive technologies, ranging from P0 belt starter on up to full electric drive. Some of these technologies include P2 arrangements that place the electric motor between the internal combustion engine and the transmission, and electric axle architectures.

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ARPA-E to award up to $20M in new CIRCUITS program for redesigned WBG power electronics

The Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) will award up to $20 million to projects under the new Creating Innovative and Reliable Circuits Using Inventive Topologies and Semi Conductors (CIRCUITS) program (DE-FOA-0001727). CIRCUITS seeks to accelerate the development and deployment of a new class of efficient, lightweight, and reliable power converters based on wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductors through transformational system-level advances that enable effective operation at high switching frequency, high temperature, and low loss.

ARPA-E is also awarding up to $10M in a companion SBIR/STTR FOA for CIRCUITS (DE-FOA-0001736). The submission deadline for concept papers is 20 February 2017.

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Honda to add new dedicated hybrid model with i-MMD in US in 2018; hybrid system to expand to light trucks

Honda will produce a new dedicated hybrid model in the US for nationwide in 2018, as part of the Honda Electrification Initiative, which will expand the company’s portfolio of electrified vehicles. Honda set a global target for two-thirds of all sales to come from electrified models by 2030 and to halve its total company CO2 emissions from 2000 levels by 2050.

The new, dedicated hybrid vehicle will utilize Honda’s second-generation two-motor hybrid system, which is currently deployed in the Accord Hybrid (earlier post). The new model will be produced at an existing plant in the United States. Additional details on the vehicle and its manufacturing will be announced closer to launch.

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Eighth generation Toyota Camry makes its debut in Detroit

January 09, 2017

Toyota unveiled the eighth-generation Camry in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Sold in more than 100 countries, the Toyota Camry is the most popular mid-size sedan in the world and is the segment leader in many global markets where it is available. Introduced in Japan in 1982, the Camry was Toyota’s first mass-produced vehicle with a transverse engine layout.

The new Gen8 Camry utilizes TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) which represents a completely new strategy to the way the company designs, engineers, and packages its vehicles. TNGA retains all of Toyota’s traditional values of superlative build quality and safety while injecting a fun driving experience that plays on all the senses. The physical manifestation is the usage of a new engine, transmission and GA-K platform.

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Audi unveils Q8 plug-in hybrid concept full-size SUV; production version in 2018

Audi presented the Audi Q8 concept at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2017. Combining the spaciousness of an SUV with the lines of a coupe, the Q8 concept features a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The concept full-size SUV is the basis for a production model that Audi will launch on the market in 2018; whether or not the first production version will be a plug-in hybrid has yet to be determined.

The Audi Q8 concept uses production technologies for the drive system and suspension. The combustion engine in the Q8 e-tron concept is a 3.0 TFSI producing 245 kW (333 hp) and a maximum of 500 N·m (368.8 lb-ft) of torque. The electric motor—100 kW of power and 330 N·m (243.4 lb-ft)—is integrated into the eight-speed tiptronic along with a decoupler. The complete system produces 330 kW and 700 N·m (516.3 lb-ft) of torque.

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Ford adding hybrid F-150 & Mustang, PHEV Transit, new BEV SUV by 2020; $700M for Flat Rock for EV production; cancels $1.6B Mexico plant

January 03, 2017

Ford detailed seven of the 13 new global electrified vehicles it plans to introduce in the next five years, including hybrid versions of the iconic F-150 pickup and Mustang in the US, a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Transit Custom van in Europe and a fully electric SUV with an expected range of at least 300 miles (483 km) for customers globally.

The automaker also announced plans to invest $700 million to expand its Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan into a factory that will build high-tech autonomous and electric vehicles along with the Mustang and Lincoln Continental. The moves are part of a $4.5 billion investment in electrified vehicles by 2020.

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

December 21, 2016

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

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

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Schaeffler acquires motor manufacturer Compact Dynamics; power electronics agreement with SEMIKRON

December 20, 2016

Automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler finalized a purchase contract with SEMIKRON International GmbH for the acquisition of 51% of the shares of Compact Dynamics GmbH, a manufacturer of high-performance electric motors.

At the same time, Schaeffler and SEMIKRON have agreed a cooperation for the development of power electronics systems and the integration of power electronics components. With this acquisition and cooperation, Schaeffler is expanding its expertise in electric motors and power electronics for the development and production of electric drives.

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