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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.]

Porsche reports ~60% of new Panamera models delivered in Europe are with plug-in hybrid drive; ramping up for Mission E

December 11, 2017

Porsche reports that around 60% of all new Panamera models that have been delivered in Europe were equipped with a hybrid drive. The new Panamera plug-in hybrid models were launched on the European market in June 2017. The Panamera plug-in hybrids (Panamera 4 E-Hybrid and Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Executive) have a purely electric range of up to 50 kilometers (31 miles). (Earlier post.) The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid flagship model delivers exceptional performance and maximum efficiency, with a four-liter V8 engine and an electric motor generating a system power of 680 hp. (Earlier post.)

In some countries, the proportion of Panamera hybrids is even higher. In France, for example, the figure is 70%, in Austria it is more than 80% and in Belgium it is even more than 90%. In Norway, 90% of all Panamera customers order a hybrid model, while in Finland the figure is 85%. “Electromobility is the future,” Albrecht Reimold, Member of the Executive Board for Production and Logistics at Porsche AG, said at a presentation of the new Panamera plug-in hybrid models.

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Verizon replaces 234 vans in New York City with hybrid vans using XL Hybrids technology

December 08, 2017

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Verizon announced that Verizon has replaced 234 of its existing gasoline-powered vans with hybrid-electric vans for use in New York City. Verizon purchased the new vans using rebates offered through the New York Truck Voucher Incentive Program—the largest purchase of new vans in the history of the program.

The 234 new Verizon vans feature technology installed by XL Hybrids, Inc., and will increase fuel economy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. While Verizon has upgraded some of its fleet to hybrids in the past, this is the largest commitment it has made to date and will help Verizon achieve its corporate goal of reducing its carbon intensity by 50% over the next decade.

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EU-Live project unveils electrified 3-wheeler; designed by Groupe PSA

December 07, 2017

On 30 November, the European EU-LIVE consortium unveiled a new L5e-category (3-wheeled vehicles one can use at a speed above 50 km/h and on any road) electrified mobility solution. Positioned between the two-wheel and four-wheel segments, it is equipped with a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) powertrain, two electric in-wheel motors and a gasoline internal combustion engine.

Based on an architecture similar to a tricycle, the electrified light vehicle is adapted for urban and peri-urban trips with a zero-emission mode for city driving. The hybrid vehicle is permitted to all roads, with a maximum speed of 130 km/h (81 mph). It runs in zero emission mode up to 70 km/h (43.5 mph), after which it switches to its gasoline motor. The modular powertrain can be used on a variety of L-category vehicles—one of the main foci of the EU-LIVE project.

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Kia introduces 2018 Niro PHEV crossover to US at Los Angeles Show

December 01, 2017

Kia introduced the 2018 Niro Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) (earlier post) to the US market at the Los Angeles Auto Show. As Kia’s third plug-in model after the Soul EV and the Optima PHEV, and anticipated in retailer showrooms by the end of this year, the Niro PHEV offers an estimated 26 miles (42 km) of all-electric range, 105 MPGe, 46 mpg combined, and Super Ultra-Low Emissions.

The Niro PHEV pairs an all-aluminum 1.6-liter GDI (gasoline direct injection) four-cylinder engine with an 8.9 kWh (59 kW) lithium-polymer battery pack and a 44.5 kW electric motor, a set-up for optimum fuel efficiency and electrically driven range. While the Niro PHEV boasts an MPGe rating of 105, its EPA-estimated MPG ratings of 48 mpg city, 44 mpg highway and 46 mpg/combined are similar to those of Niro hybrid. The estimated driving range when both electric and gasoline systems work together is up to 560 miles.

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Jeep introduces 2018 Wrangler with mild hybrid, diesel options; plug-in hybrid version in 2020

At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Jeep unveiled the 2018 Wrangler, with new mild hybrid (eTorque) and diesel options to be available. The 2018 Jeep Wrangler 2-door model is available in three different trim configurations: Sport, Sport S and Rubicon. Wrangler 4-door models are available in four different trim configurations: Sport, Sport S, Sahara and Rubicon.

At the reveal, Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand, FCA Global, said that a full plug-in hybrid electric Jeep Wrangler will be available in 2020. No further details were given, but the coming PHEV will likely utilize elements of the plug-in hybrid system in the Pacifica. (Earlier post.)

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BMW unveils i8 Roadster, 2019 i8 Coupe; optimized eDrive tech increases power and range

November 30, 2017

At the Los Angeles Auto Show, BMW unveiled the first i8 Roadster, along with the 2019 i8 Coupe. Optimized BMW eDrive technology delivers more power—total output increased to 369 hp (+12 hp)—and a refined high-voltage battery with increased capacity and range. The new BMW i8 Roadster and BMW i8 Coupe can cover up to 18 miles (29 km) (preliminary) in purely electric driving, up from 14 miles (23 miles) for the current i8.

With hybrid-specific all-wheel drive, the combustion engine driving the rear wheels and the electric motor driving the front wheels, acceleration from 0 to 60 mph takes just 4.2/4.4 seconds (preliminary) for the Coupe and Roadster respectively with both reaching an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. Sales will commence in spring 2018, price to be announced closer to market launch.

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Fraunhofer, KIT study finds CO2 mitigation potential of higher-range PHEVs greater than expected

November 29, 2017

In an open-access paper published in Scientific Reports, a team from Fraunhofer ISI and KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) has presented the first systematic overview of empirical findings on the electrification of vehicle mileage based on on actual PHEV (plug-in hybrid) and BEV (battery-electric vehicle) usage for the US and Germany. The team found that, contrary to common belief, a PHEV with about 60  km (37 miles) of real-world range currently electrifies as many annual vehicles kilometers as a BEV, despite having a much smaller battery.

Further, they found that when the higher CO2eq emissions generated during the production phase of BEVs compared to PHEVs (due to the much larger BEV battery) are included in the analysis, a PHEV today shows higher CO2eq savings then BEVs compared to conventional vehicles. For significant ongoing CO2eq improvements of PHEVs—and particularly of BEVs—the decarbonization of the electricity system needs to continue, the researchers said.

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Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Siemens partner on hybrid-electric aircraft; E-Fan X series hybrid to fly in 2020

November 28, 2017

Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens have formed a partnership to develop a near-term hybrid-electric flight demonstrator for commercial aircraft. The partners expect the E-Fan X series-hybrid-electric technology demonstrator to fly in 2020 following a ground test campaign, provisionally on a BAe 146 flying testbed, with one of the aircraft’s four gas turbine engines replaced by a 2MW electric motor. Provisions will be made to replace a second gas turbine with an electric motor once system maturity has been proven.

The E-Fan X demonstrator will explore the challenges of high-power propulsion systems, such as thermal effects, electric thrust management, altitude and dynamic effects on electric systems and electromagnetic compatibility issues. The objective is to push and mature the technology, performance, safety and reliability enabling quick progress on the hybrid electric technology. The program also aims at establishing the requirements for future certification of electrically powered aircraft while training a new generation of designers and engineers to bring hybrid-electric commercial aircraft one step closer to reality.

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Ford unveils its first plug-in hybrid vehicle for police and government customers

November 20, 2017

Earlier this year, Ford revealed the world’s first-ever pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicle. (Earlier post.) Now, the company is introducing a plug-in hybrid vehicle with an all-electric range of 21 miles for police and government customers.

The Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan, the first PHEV police vehicle from Ford, is designed for police and fire chiefs, detectives, and other government personnel whose jobs don’t require a pursuit-rated vehicle.

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Federal-Mogul Powertrain acquires Controlled Power Technologies; adds electrification capability; 48V

November 16, 2017

Federal-Mogul Powertrain has completed the acquisition of UK-based Controlled Power Technologies Ltd (CPT). The purchase provides a timely route for Federal-Mogul Powertrain to expand into the development and manufacture of powertrain technologies for electrification and hybridization that complement the company's existing capabilities.

Headquartered in Laindon, Essex and with a further site in Coventry (UK), CPT specializes in the development of 12V and 48V electric motor-generators for start-stop applications, mild hybridization, exhaust-driven electrification technologies, e-boosting for combustion engines, e-compressors for fuel cells and similar products. (Earlier post.)

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Opel’s PACE! plan calls for electrification of all carlines by 2024

November 10, 2017

The sale of Opel Automobile GmbH with its brands Opel and Vauxhall by General Motors to Groupe PSA was finalized at the beginning of August. The Opel/Vauxhall management team set to work on a plan for the future, now announced as its PACE! strategic plan.

Under PACE!, all of the company’s European passenger carlines will be electrified—offering a pure battery electric propulsion or plug-in hybrid version alongside efficient internal combustion engines—by 2024. By 2020, Opel/Vauxhall will have four electrified carlines on the market, including the Grandland X PHEV and the next-generation Corsa as a fully electric vehicle.

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

November 09, 2017

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

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

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Ricardo and A2Mac1 renew partnership to expand benchmarking and competitive analysis of EVs and PHEVs; online database

November 07, 2017

Ricardo Strategic Consulting and A2Mac1 today will renew their partnership providing benchmarking and competitive analysis of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Since 2011, the two organizations have partnered to develop innovative benchmarking services, including the first web-based electric and hybrid electric vehicle (EV & HEV) benchmarking and competitive analysis online database, EV/Hybrid Analysis.

Ricardo and A2Mac1 deliver essential intelligence on the current state-of-the-art electric drive systems for every stage of the product lifecycle from the early target definitions to the final technical analyses. Users of EV/Hybrid Analysis are given a look into the design and value chain strategies employed by manufactures of today’s most advanced electric vehicles.

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Porsche secures third straight FIA WEC Manufacturers’ World Championship title with the 919 Hybrid

November 06, 2017

Porsche has earned a third consecutive Manufacturers’ World Championship title with the 919 Hybrid. A second- and third-place finish at the Shanghai 6-hour race on Sunday produced an early title decision at round eight of nine on the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC calendar. At the same time, Earl Bamber (NZ), Timo Bernhard (DE) and Brendon Hartley (NZ) clinched the drivers’ title.

The Porsche 919 Hybrid has netted six world championships, three outright Le Mans wins, a total of 17 race wins including seven double victories, 19 pole positions and twelve fastest race laps from 33 races.

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BCG forecasts electrified vehicles to take half of global auto market by 2030; hybrids to dominate

November 03, 2017

In a new report (its fourth on electric car adoption) the Boston Consulting Group forecasts that a combination of hybrid and fully electric powertrains will cut the global market share of pure internal combustion engines (ICEs) by about 50% by 2030. ICEs will continue to play a major but changing role in the industry, as most electrified vehicles over time will be hybrids, according to new research by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

Three factors—technology, regulatory mandates, and consumer cost of ownership—will shape the changeover, which BCG expects to play out over three phases and about a dozen years:

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Ricardo working to reduce development time for 48V-based powertrains; THOMSON project

October 26, 2017

As part of the EU-funded THOMSON (Mild Hybrid cOst effective solutions for a fast Market penetratiON) project, Ricardo is pursuing research that aims to reduce the development cycle time of hybrid vehicles through the use of simulation for the simultaneous optimization of mechanical, thermal and electrical energy efficiency.

The €11.7-million THOMSON project (with an EU contribution of €9.1 million) aims to develop cost-effective solution based on 48V architectures as a key element to increase fuel economy and reduce environmental impact. THOMSON partners will demonstrate how the right combination of advanced engine downsizing/turbocharging technologies, coupled with a 48V motor-generator system, can provide the most cost effective solution for a rapid electrification through conventional vehicles.

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Mitsubishi Electric begins mass-producing first crankshaft-mounted ISG system for 48V hybrids; used in Mercedes-Benz vehicles

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has begun mass-producing the auto industry’s first crankshaft-mounted integrated starter-generator (ISG) system for 48V hybrid vehicles, which will be mounted in Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The system will be on display during 45th Tokyo Motor Show 2017.

Belt-driven system ISG systems use a belt to transfer power from the motor to the engine; this, said Mitsubishi, can limit both maximum torque with abrupt force transmission and the motor’s peak power output. By contrast, connecting the motor directly to the engine crankshaft eliminates the limitations of the belt system and enhances both motor output power and power generation.

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Mitsubishi Motors, NewMotion, Nuvve in vehicle-to-grid pilot in Netherlands with Outlander PHEV

October 25, 2017

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) has launched a Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) pilot, with the first charge point already being utilized with Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV’s in-vehicle storage batteries. Using V2G-technology, peak demand on the electricity grid can be better balanced, by allowing electric vehicles to not just take power from the grid, but also return it to the network and expect to introduce a new potential earnings model for electric drivers.

MMC is partnering forces with NewMotion, one of Europe’s largest providers of smart charging solutions for electric driving; grid operator TenneT in Netherlands; and Nuvve, a leader in V2G technology and grid service deployments. (University of Delaware Professor Willett Kempton, the pioneer of the grid-integrated vehicle concept, is Nuvve’s CTO.)

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Nissan introducing second non-plug-in e-POWER series-hybrid model: Serena e-POWER

October 24, 2017

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. will unveil the Nissan Serena e-POWER, a new version of the popular minivan featuring the company’s e-POWER electric drive system (earlier post), at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show. The Serena e-POWER will be Nissan’s second model to feature the technology.

e-POWER borrows from the EV technology in the Nissan LEAF. Unlike the all-battery-electric powertrain of the LEAF, e-POWER adds a small gasoline engine to charge the small, high-output battery when necessary, eliminating the need for an external charger while offering the same high-output.

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Toyota introduces new LPG hybrid taxi in Japan; trial of lane-specific congestion info from taxi data

October 23, 2017

Toyota Motor Corporation has introduced a new taxi vehicle for Japan, the “JPN Taxi.” Equipped with a newly developed liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) hybrid system, the new model offers 19.4 km/L (45.6 mpg US, 5.51 l/100 km) fuel economy and sharply reduced CO2 emissions. Toyota made enhancements to safety equipment, including adding the Toyota Safety Sense C package and six SRS airbags as standard features. The new model is now available at Toyota and Toyopet dealers nationwide.

The new model showcases a people-friendly, universal design that provides usability and comfort to a wide range of people through continual innovations and improvements, from grab handles to the overall vehicle structure. Design features include a low, flat floor, making it easy for customers to ingress and egress from the taxi, a wide-opening, power rear sliding door (left side only) and space to accommodate wheelchair users.

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New Audi A7 Sportback features mild-hybrid system as standard; V6s with 48V system

October 19, 2017

Audi has unveiled the new A7 Sportback four-door coupe. All engines used in the A7 Sportback come standard with a new mild hybrid system (MHEV) for greater comfort and efficiency. With the two V6 engines, this uses a 48-volt primary electrical system.

A belt alternator starter (BAS) works together with a lithium-ion battery and achieves a recuperation performance of up to 12 kW when braking. At speeds between 55 and 160 km/h (34.2 – 99.4 mph), the four-door coupe can coast in freewheeling mode with the engine deactivated and then restarted comfortably via the BAS.

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

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

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

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Hyliion introduces hybrid upfit system for Class 8 trucks

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

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

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

October 18, 2017

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

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

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DOE to award up to $3M for R&D to improve efficiency of off-road fluid-power systems

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will provide up to $3 million of new funding (DE-FOA-0001815) for fluid-power systems research for off-road vehicles. Construction, mining, and agriculture equipment represent the majority of fuel consumption in off-road vehicles, and this equipment relies heavily on fluid-power systems (i.e. hydraulics) to actuate most of their functions. They are preferred over electric motors because of their high specific power density and ability to tolerate shock and harsh environments. However, current fluid-power systems have poor efficiency. Research in this area can provide decreased operating costs for these key domestic industries.

Opportunities exist to improve the efficiency of fluid-power systems through research. On 12 September 2017, a public workshop on fluid power systems for off-road vehicles was held at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to identify early-stage research and development needs. The space is challenging—off-road, mobile fluid power spans a wide range of equipment, with large variance in operational requirements. Low production volumes for individual equipment types makes the economics of R&D challenging for OEMs, and for customer payback periods.

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

October 17, 2017

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

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

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Wärtsilä installs first hybrid energy storage solution on LNG-fueled offshore supply ship

October 16, 2017

The technology group Wärtsilä has completed the installation of a hybrid energy system on board Viking Princess. (Earlier post.) The Norwegian vessel is now the first offshore supply vessel in which batteries reduce the number of generators aboard the ship.

The new energy storage solution will improve engine efficiency, generate fuel savings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Viking Princess completed sea trials and the system was handed over to customer Eidesvik Offshore on 9 October 2017.

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

October 13, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 11, 2017

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

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

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

October 09, 2017

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

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

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

October 06, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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2018 Honda Accord Hybrid features third-generation MMD two-motor system; no heavy rare-earth metals in motors

October 05, 2017

The 2018 Accord is the 10th generation of Honda’s perennially best-selling midsize sedan. All new from the ground up, the new Accord is built on a new platform with a lower, wider stance, a lighter and more rigid unibody structure; a lighter and more sophisticated chassis; three advanced new power units, including Accord’s first turbocharged engines, a new 10-speed automatic transmission and the third-generation of Honda’s Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (iMMD) two-motor hybrid technology.

The new hybrid powertrain features a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine with improved thermal efficiently, now at 40% (up from 38.9% on the 2017 Accord Hybrid, earlier post), the highest for any mass-produced Honda engine. The engine is paired with two Honda-developed electric motors—a propulsion motor and a generator/starter motor—that are the first drive motors in the world to use permanent magnets containing no heavy rare-earth metals.

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Jaguar Land Rover introduces plug-in hybrid model to Range Rover Sport line-up: the P400e

October 04, 2017

Jaguar Land Rover has introduced its first plug-in hybrid vehicle as part of the Range Rover Sport line-up. Badged P400e, the new model combining a 300PS (221kW) 2.0-liter four-cylinder Ingenium gasoline engine with a 116PS (85kW) electric motor.

The 404PS (297kW) total available power output—available through the permanent four-wheel drive system—delivers 0-60mph in 6.3 seconds (0-100km/h in only 6.7 seconds) and a maximum speed of 137mph (220km/h). With 640 N·m of torque, the new powertrain mixes dynamic and sustainable performance with traditional Land Rover capability, comfort and refinement. The P400e is available to order from Land Rover retailers in the UK now, priced from £61,315 (US$82,000).

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Diesel market share in Europe drops below 50%; offset by increased gasoline engine sales; implications for climate targets

October 01, 2017

Diesel’s market share in the EU-15 fell from 50.2% to 46.3% of new car registrations in the first half of 2017, according to the European Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA). In absolute numbers, 152,323 fewer diesel cars were sold. This drop was offset by an increase in the sale of gasoline engined vehicles. Automakers are cautioning that this shift to gasoline engines—with their higher CO2 values—will pose additional challenges to meeting future CO2 reduction targets.

For the first time since 2009, gasoline vehicles have overtaken diesel to become the most sold car type in the EU-15. Gasoline vehicles now account for 48.5% of new passenger car sales, up from 45.8% a year ago—328,615 extra gasoline cars sold year-on-year. Electrically-chargeable vehicles accounted for 1.3% of total car sales (a market share which remains stable), hybrids for 2.6%, and cars powered by propane or natural gas for 1.3%.

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

September 29, 2017

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

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

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Mitsubishi bringing 2018 Outlander PHEV to US in December

September 28, 2017

Mitsubishi is bringing the plug-in hybrid crossover Outlander (the best-selling PHEV in Europe) to the US. The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) will arrive in dealerships in December 2017 with an MSRP of $34,595. Equipped with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine, two high-performance electric motors and Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the only PHEV crossover with all-wheel drive in its class. It is also the only PHEV with DC Fast Charging capability (CHAdeMO). US fuel consumption and electric range figures are still to come.

The two 60 kW full-time, high-output electric motors are separately mounted at the front and rear axles. The front electric motor is positioned transaxle-style on the left side of the engine; the front motor is a smaller, lighter and higher output enhanced version of the permanent magnet synchronous electric motor used in the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. The system features a front-mounted generator that converts mechanical power to electricity and continuously charges the drive battery, while a Power Drive Unit (PDU) helps to convert the electric power and send it to the front motor.

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XL Hybrids introduces the first hybrid electric upfit for Ford F-250 pickups and chassis for commercial fleets

September 27, 2017

XL Hybrids will begin production on the new XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive System for Model Year 2018 Ford Super Duty F-250 pickups in first quarter 2018. This will be the first time that Ford F-250 trucks can be ordered by fleet customers with hybrid-electric drive technology; the XL3 system can provide up to a 25% increase in fuel economy. The new hybrid-electric upfit solution for the F-250 is XL Hybrids’ second product for Ford pickup trucks, after the XLP plug-in hybrid electric upfit for Ford F-150 half-ton pickup trucks. (Earlier post.)

The XL3 system will be the first offered as a ship-thru upfit on Model Year 2018 F-250 pickups. XL3 will be upfit on the Ford Super Duty 6.2-liter V8 gasoline engine compatible with a range of wheelbases, cab and bed configurations in both 4x2 and 4x4 options. As with each XL3 installation, all components are installed under the vehicle, allowing the pickup bed’s full capacity.

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Meritor developing electric solutions platform for commercial vehicles

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

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

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Toyota to begin hybrid powertrain production in US; $374M investment in 5 plants

September 26, 2017

Toyota is expanding the production of its hybrid powertrains to the US. Toyota will invest $373.8 million in five US manufacturing plants to support production of its first US-made hybrid powertrain and to implement Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) at its Alabama plant. Each of the projects is scheduled to begin this year and all should be operational by 2020.

The investments will include adding new production of hybrid transaxles (hybrid vehicle transmissions) at the Buffalo, West Virginia, manufacturing facility; expanding 2.5-liter engine capacity at the Georgetown, Kentucky, plant; increasing production of 2.5-liter cylinder heads at Bodine Aluminum’s Troy, Missouri, plant; and modifying the Bodine Jackson, Tennessee, plant to accommodate production of hybrid transaxle cases and housings and 2.5-liter engine blocks. The Huntsville, Alabama, plant will undergo a comprehensive upgrade to enable it to build engines that complement TNGA.

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

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

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

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Wärtsilä introducing portfolio of hybrid tug designs

September 18, 2017

The technology group Wärtsilä is introducing a new portfolio of tug designs, to be known as the Wärtsilä HYTug series, with the emphasis on environmental sustainability. Since they typically operate in or close to harbors and populated areas, tugs are particularly affected by environmental considerations, and the need for regulatory compliance is an increasing concern for tug owners and operators worldwide.

Wärtsilä has already introduced tug designs featuring liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel technology as an efficient means for complying with environmental legislation. These latest designs have been developed utilizing Wärtsilä’s strong competences in hybrid propulsion technology, along with the company’s extensive experience with more than 1,000 tugs built based on Wärtsilä’s ship designs.

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New Mercedes-Benz S 560 e plug-in hybrid offers more power, more range; new NMC batteries

September 14, 2017

The new generation Mercedes-Benz S 560 e plug-in hybrid—the successor to the S 500 e PHEV—combines the 270 kW (367 hp) of the V6 spark-ignition engine with an electric output of 90 kW. The PHEV features combined fuel consumption of 2.1 l/100 km (112 mpg US); combined CO2 emissions of 49 g/km; weighted power consumption of 15.5 kWh/100 km; and an all-electric range of around 50 kilometers (31-miles). In conjunction with the Mercedes-Benz Wallbox, the on-board 7.2‑kW charger allows fast charging of the battery.

The third-generation hybrid transmission evolved on the basis of the 9G‑TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission. The torque converter, clutch and electric motor are housed in the hybrid drive unit. The compact design was achieved by integrating and connecting the separating clutch, torsional vibration damper and torque converter lock-up clutch within the rotor of the electric motor. The torque converter with its powerful and highly efficient hydraulic circuit offers the customary smoothness when pulling away in hybrid mode.

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

September 13, 2017

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

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

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Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL goes into preproduction; fuel-cell/battery plug-in hybrid powertrain

September 12, 2017

At this year’s IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Mercedes-Benz is presenting preproduction models of the new Mercedes-Benz GLC F‑CELL (earlier post). Under the technology designation EQ Power, the latest electric model (destined for subsequent series production) from the Mercedes-Benz family combines fuel-cell and battery technology in the form of a plug-in hybrid.

With 4.4 kg of hydrogen on board, the preproduction model produces enough energy for a total range of up to 437 km (271.5 miles) in the NEDC. F-CELL drivers will also benefit from a battery-powered range of up to 49 km (30.5 miles) from the 9.3 kWh (net) lithium-ion battery (13.8 kWh gross). An output of 147 kW guarantees both dynamic performance and locally zero emissions driving pleasure. In unveiling the preproduction vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz GLC F‑CELL, Daimler said it is taking another important step as part of its systematic “CASE” strategy.

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Mercedes-AMG Project One PHEV with F1 technology debuts at IAA; 750 kW, 800V

The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE will make its world première at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt/Main. This high-performance two-seater hybrid, equipped with technology from Formula 1, is said to produce more than 1,000 hp (750 kW) and reach top speeds beyond 350 km/h (217.5 mph). All-electric range is 25 km (15.5 miles)

The overall responsibility for the realization of Project ONE lies with Mercedes-AMG. The complex development work was carried out in close cooperation with the Formula 1 experts at Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains in Brixworth and with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team in Brackley. Together with the four-door AMG GT Concept, the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE provides another insight into the future performance-hybrid drive strategy of the sports car brand within Mercedes-Benz.

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

September 11, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 07, 2017

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

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

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

September 06, 2017

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

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

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

September 05, 2017

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

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

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Honda CR-V Hybrid Prototype to debut at Frankfurt Motor Show; no diesel CR-V model for Europe

Honda released initial details on the CR-V Hybrid Prototype set to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, previewing the brand’s first electrified SUV powertrain available in Europe. The Hybrid Prototype also features revised styling that previews the forthcoming European specification CR-V model range.

The two-motor i-MMD (Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive) system in the CR-V Hybrid Prototype comprises an electric propulsion motor, a 2.0-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder Atkinson cycle gasoline engine for electrical energy generation and propulsion, and a separate electric generator motor. The hybrid system does not need a conventional transmission, fitted instead with a single fixed-gear ratio that creates a direct connection between moving components, enabling a smooth transfer of torque within the system.

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TM4 introduces a bi-directional charger inverter

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

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

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Cadillac launches its first mild hybrid in China

August 25, 2017

At the Chengdu Motor Show, Cadillac launched a version of the XT5 SUV equipped with a mild hybrid system, the first of its kind for the brand. It also adds a new nine-speed automatic transmission. The XT5 is one of Cadillac’s most popular models in China. More than 63,000 units have been delivered since its local introduction in April 2016.

The two mild hybrid variants (XT5 28E Platinum 4WD and 28E Advanced 4WD) will replace the XT5 28T Platinum 4WD and 28T Advanced 4WD in Cadillac’s lineup. They are priced at RMB 539,900 (US$81,000) and RMB 479,900 (US$72,100) respectively—the same as their predecessors.

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

August 24, 2017

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

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

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

August 21, 2017

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

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

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

August 15, 2017

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

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

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Siemens building first stretch of eHighway on public roads in Germany

August 11, 2017

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

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

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Volkswagen to offer incentive in Germany of up to €10,000 to scrap Euro 1-4 diesels

August 08, 2017

Volkswagen is offering an incentive of up to €10,000 (US$11,815)—depending upon the model purchased—for the purchase of Euro 6 vehicles in Germany if an older diesel vehicle (Euro 1 to Euro 4 standards) is scrapped at the same time. The incentive is one of a number of elements of a new environmental program launched by the automaker in its home country.

In addition, Volkswagen is offering a future incentive of between €1,000 and €2,380 (US$1,181 to $2,812) to customers purchasing a vehicle with an electric, hybrid or natural gas powertrain.

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Canadian team proposes new propane phase-change thermal management system for hybrid electric battery packs

Canadian team proposes new propane phase-change thermal management system for hybrid electric battery packs

Researchers at the Clean Energy Research Laboratory, University of Ontario Institute of Technology are proposing a new propane phase-change thermal management system for hybrid electric vehicles that use propane as the fuel for the engine. (Further studies are possible to modify the systems for use on other kinds of electric vehicles.)

The proposed system boils liquid propane to remove the heat generated by the batteries, and the propane vapor is used to cool the part of the battery that is not covered with liquid propane. The results of their study, published in the Journal of Power Sources, show that the propane-based thermal management system provides good cooling control of the temperature of the batteries under high and continuous charge and discharge cycles at 7.5C.

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German team develops novel technique to determine fuel quality in plug-in hybrids

August 07, 2017

Series-production plug-in hybrid electric vehicles equipped with diesel engines are already available in the market or planned for the future (e.g., Volvo V60, Audi Q7 e-tron quattro, Peugeot 508 RXH Hybrid4, Range Rover SDV6 Hybrid Diesel). However, fossil diesel fuel/biodiesel blends show a tendency to form precipitates—which can be considered as oligomers with aging. This tendency of fuel blends to form precipitates during long term storage could impact the operation of diesel plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV).

Making the problem more complex is the existence of different quotas of biodiesel blend ratios in different countries. Further, HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) and GTL (gas-to-liquid)—a mixture of mainly branched and unbranched alkanes—are becoming more popular as neat diesel substitutes or blend stocks. Now, researchers in Germany hav devised a novel sensor for the onboard determination of fuel quality in diesel PHEVs to address these issues. (A variation of the approach could be used for gasoline PHEVs.) A paper on their work appears in the journal Fuel.

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SAIC-GM-Wuling launches its first EV; Buick Regal hybrid available in China

July 21, 2017

In China, SAIC-GM-Wuling officially launched the Baojun E100, the brand’s first fully-electric vehicle. Available in two variants, it is priced as low as RMB 35,800 (US$5,290) after national and local subsidies. Separately, Buick brought to market the all-new Regal for China. Ten variants, including a hybrid electric, are available priced between RMB 175,800 and RMB 269,800 (US$26,000 and US$39,900).

Baojun E100. SAIC-GM-Wuling began limited pre-sales of the E100 in Liuzhou, Guangxi on 10 July. More than 5,000 people registered for the first 200 vehicles. Another 500 vehicles will be available starting tomorrow, with sales initially limited to Guangxi.

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Hybrid and electric cars account for 7.5% of Kia 1H 2017 Europe sales, up from 1% in 2016

Kia Motors posted its best six-month sales period in Europe, with half-year sales surpassing 250,000 for the first time in the company’s history. Hybrid and electric vehicles accounted for 7.5% of European sales so far this year, up from just one per cent in the first six months of 2016, according to Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe.

The latest data released by ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association) shows that Kia sold 251,472 units across Europe during the first six months of the year, a 9.5% rise, year-on-year. In addition, Kia’s cumulative market share climbed to 3.0%, up from 2.8% (229,585 units) during the first half of 2016. Vehicles with all-electric or electrified powertrains represent the greatest area of growth for Kia sales in Europe.

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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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