Gallup poll finds decrease in percentage of US commuters driving themselves to work

Although the vast majority of American workers remain reliant on cars to get to work, the percentage has decreased. In 2007, 85% of Americans drove themselves to work and 6% rode with someone else. By 2018, while the 6% of Americans who carpool has remained constant, there has been a... Read more →


California legislature passes SB 100: 100% renewable and zero-carbon energy by 2045

The California Assembly has passed Senate Bill 100—a bill to move California to 100% renewable and zero-carbon energy by 2045. This bill—known as The 100 Percent Clean Energy Act of 2018—increases the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirement from 50% by 2030 to 60% and creates the policy of planning to... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and Uber Technologies, Inc. (Uber) have agreed to expand their collaboration with the aim of advancing and bringing to market autonomous ride-sharing as a mobility service at scale. To accomplish this, technology from each company will be integrated into purpose-built Toyota vehicles to be deployed on... Read more →


The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) August Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) forecasts that US crude oil production will average 10.7 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2018 and 11.7 million b/d in 2019. If realized, both of these forecast levels would surpass the previous record of 9.6 million b/d set... Read more →


The turnover of household vehicles has slowed since 2009, based on US Department of Transportation surveys of household vehicle travel, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported. The 2017 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) reported that the average vehicle—including cars, trucks, and vans—has increased from 9.3 years in 2009 to... Read more →


IHS Markit: Alaska North Slope a super basin ready for resurgence; production to grow 40% in 8 years

The Alaska North Slope (ANS) Basin—a prolific source of US oil production previously limited by a number of barriers to entry including cost and access—is poised to re-emerge as a major source of US energy production, with crude oil output potentially increasing as much as 40% during the next eight... Read more →


Roskill: LG Chem locks-in more raw material to meet future Li-ion battery demand

South Korean lithium-ion battery (LIB) cell manufacturer LG Chem recently announced it will increase cell manufacturing capacity to 90 GWh in 2020 from a previous forecast of 70 GWh. Assuming 100% of output was to be NMC532, 90 GWh would require around 100kt of cathode, containing 40kt nickel, 22kt cobalt,... Read more →


The US port district of Houston-Galveston in Texas recently began exporting more crude oil than it imported for the first time on record, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Crude oil exports from the Houston-Galveston port district have increased since the restrictions on US crude oil exports were... Read more →


Los Angeles launches New Mobility Challenge 2018

For the second year running, Los Angeles is inviting innovative and environmentally-friendly entrepreneurs from around the world to push the envelope on urban mobility solutions from ride-sharing and zero-emission electric bikes and scooters to self-driving vehicles and flying cars. The LA New Mobility Challenge 2018 is a joint initiative of... Read more →


Latest generation diesels power 36% of US commercial trucks

Thirty-six percent of all commercial diesel trucks on US roads are now powered by the newest generation of diesel technologies (MY 2011 and newer), up from 30% in 2016 and 25.7% in 2015, according to analysis by the Diesel Technology Forum of operation data from 2017 of vehicles (GVW 3-8)... Read more →


Saudi Arabia And Iran Reignite The Oil Price War

by Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com The rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran is becoming increasingly evident in the oil pricing policies of the two large Middle Eastern producers. The two countries are currently reigniting the market share and pricing war ahead of the returning U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil. Saudi... Read more →


US refineries are running at record levels in response to robust domestic and international demand for motor gasoline and distillate fuel oil, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). For the week ending 6 July 2018, the four-week average of US gross refinery inputs surpassed 18 million barrels per... Read more →


California’s grid is facing an era of rapid change. Three reports from Next 10, an independent, non-profit, non-partisan think tank, explore how the grid might be challenged or helped by the rise of electric vehicles; by the increase in distributed energy resources, such as rooftop solar panels; and by the... Read more →


BP to acquire unconventional US onshore assets from BHP for $10.5B; transforming US onshore oil & gas business

BP has agreed to acquire a portfolio of world-class unconventional oil and gas assets from BHP. The acquisition will bring BP extensive oil and gas production and resources in the liquids-rich regions of the Permian and Eagle Ford basins in Texas and in the Haynesville gas basin in Texas and... Read more →


The Board of Management and Supervisory Board of Daimler AG has approved a new corporate structure for Daimler AG. The new structure comprises three legally independent entities—Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG and Daimler Mobility AG—under the umbrella of Daimler AG. In the fall of 2017 the first preparatory measures were... Read more →


Global VC funding (venture capital, private equity, and corporate venture capital) of $839 million for Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Efficiency companies in 1H 2018 was 18% lower compared to the more than $1 billion raised in 1H 2017, according to a new report from India-based Mercom Capital Group, llc,... Read more →


Spending on electricity distribution systems by major US electric utilities—representing about 70% of total US electric load—has risen 54% over the past two decades, from $31 billion to $51 billion annually, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). This increase has been largely driven by increases in capital investment.... Read more →


GTI (Gas Technology Institue) is leading a high-profile program on Hydraulic Fracturing Test Sites (HFTS) in the Permian Basin, bringing together government and industry to improve recovery, continue enhancing environmentally responsible methods of optimizing production, and lowering costs in the Midland and Delaware Basins. In January 2018, GTI was awarded... Read more →


The Chinese EV battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL) is building its first plant outside of China in Thuringia, Germany. The focus of the 14 GWh plant is on the automated production and intelligent production of batteries. CATL develops battery systems for global customers in EV, HEV and PHEV... Read more →


A team at Arizona State University has analyzed the five-year Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for representative electric, hybrid, and conventional vehicles—the Nissan Leaf (BEV), Toyota Prius (HEV), and Toyota Corolla (ICEV)—in 14 US cities from 2011 to 2015. The results, reported in a paper in the journal Energy Policy,... Read more →


CAF to acquire Polish bus manufacturer Solaris; focus on urban electromobility

Railway industry company CAF has entered into an agreement to acquire Solaris Bus & Coach, a global supplier of conventional and electric buses with presence in over 700 cities in 32 countries. With a 2017 turnover of close to €450 million, it has production plants in Poland in the cities... Read more →


The energy control stations at BMW Group Plants Dingolfing and Landshut are stepping up their activities in the balancing-power market in Germany. Together with other highly-flexible controllable systems in the BMW Group production network, they will contribute to the stability of the public grid outside of the plant. Electricity generation... Read more →


During the last three years, companies operating in the Permian basin have drilled much longer laterals and used substantially more complex well completion design in their newer wells with the aim of reaching higher initial production (IP) rates. Well lateral lengths in the Permian have increased in average by more... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. The American Community Survey (ACS), an ongoing survey by the US Census Bureau, includes estimates of how workers commute. This analysis examines the relation between earnings and commuting patterns. The 2016 data are shown in the table below. The entries are percentages. Driving alone is most likely... Read more →


Dana buys majority stake TM4 for C$165M; Hydro-Québec retains 45%; new JV

Dana Incorporated and Hydro-Québec announced a joint-venture partnership in which TM4 Inc., a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, will become Dana’s source for electric motors, power inverters, and control systems. As part of this agreement, Dana will become a majority shareholder of TM4 in exchange for CA$165 million (approximately US$127 million). Hydro-Québec... Read more →


Roskill: refined lithium supply expected to treble to 900kt by 2027, driven by use in batteries

Growth in the consumption of lithium accelerated in 2017 by more than 10% on 2016 levels to reach 211,000t lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE), according to a new report by Roskill. The lithium-ion battery industry has been, and will continue to be, the main catalyst for growth; it accounted for close... Read more →


Transportation Electrification Accord sets out multi-sector roadmap to electrified future

Fortune 100 companies, including automakers and utilities, have joined labor groups, consumer advocates, environmental organizations and others to sign the Transportation Electrification Accord— a written set of principles meant to inspire and continue the conversation around electrified transportation. Advanced Energy Economy, Energy Foundation, Illinois Citizen Utility Board, Natural Resources Defense... Read more →


Volkswagen AG, Ford explore strategic alliance

Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Company signed a Memorandum of Understanding and are exploring a strategic alliance designed to strengthen each company’s competitiveness and better serve customers globally. The companies are exploring potential projects across a number of areas—including developing a range of commercial vehicles together to better serve the... Read more →


Rüsselsheim Engineering Center developing next four-cylinder gasoline engine generation for Groupe PSA; optimized for hybrids

The Rüsselsheim Engineering Center will take on the global responsibility for the development of the next-generation of high-efficiency gasoline engines for all Groupe PSA brands (Peugeot, Citroën, DS Automobiles, Opel and Vauxhall). The next generation of four-cylinder engines will be optimized for operation in combination with electric motors and will... Read more →


How many vehicles can the earth sustain?

by Michael Sivak. ​One of the hallmarks of the good life in developed countries is the freedom to move about as we choose in personal vehicles. However, as populous developing countries are gaining in economic power, people in those countries are asking for the same mobility that people in developed... Read more →


At the Movin’On 2018 mobility summit, Michelin announced its ambition that by 2048, all of its tires will be manufactured using 80% sustainable materials (recycled and renewable materials) and that 100% of all tires will be recycled. Today, the world-wide recovery rate for tires is 70%; of that 70%, some... Read more →


How crude-oil prices influence gasoline prices

by Michael Sivak. Gasoline is one of the products refined from crude oil. Thus, the price of crude oil should have a strong influence on the price of gasoline. However, the retail price of gasoline includes other costs as well. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that in the United... Read more →


Toyota and Suzuki to start discussing joint projects for technological development, vehicle production, and market development; India and Africa

Toyota Motor Corporation and Suzuki Motor Corporation (Suzuki) agreed to start discussing new joint projects in the fields of technological development, vehicle production, and market development. After having concluded a memorandum of understanding toward business partnership on 6 February 2017 (earlier post), Toyota and Suzuki have been pursuing concrete forms... Read more →


Foton Motor and Piaggio Group signed the agreement for a joint development project for new light-duty commercial vehicle products in Italy. Since 2016, Foton Motor and Piaggio Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding and a Framework Agreement in succession. The final signing of this agreement symbolizes that the two... Read more →


API reports record US petroleum production in April: 10.543 million b/d; strongest April demand since 2007

April saw the US produce a record 10,543,000 barrels per day (MBD) of oil, according to data from the American Petroleum Institute. The first four months of this year also saw US petroleum demand average 750,000 barrels a day above the same period in 2017 despite higher prices. Total petroleum... Read more →


Bitcoin’s burgeoning electricity demands have attracted almost as much attention as the cryptocurrency’s wildly fluctuating value. However, estimating exactly how much electricity the Bitcoin network uses, necessary for understanding its impact and implementing policy, remains a challenge. In a Commentary in the journal Joule, financial economist and blockchain specialist Alex... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. When it comes to the types of vehicles on the road, energy consumption, and road safety, we might be better off with more women drivers than men. This is the case because women are more likely to purchase smaller, safer, and more-fuel efficient vehicles; women drive less;... Read more →


Moving to cut energy use in new homes by more than 50%, the California Energy Commission (CEC) has adopted building standards that require solar photovoltaic systems starting in 2020. The building energy efficiency standards, which are the first in the nation to require solar, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by... Read more →


US charges former CEO of Volkswagen AG Winterkorn with conspiracy and wire fraud in diesel emissions scandal

A US federal indictment is charging Martin Winterkorn, the former chairman of the management board of Volkswagen AG (VW), with conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with VW’s cheating on US diesel vehicle emissions requirements. The FBI and EPA Criminal Investigation Division are investigating the case. The superseding indictment was... Read more →


GM is using new generative design software technology from Autodesk to support its vehicle lightweighting efforts. Generative design mimics nature’s evolutionary approach to design. Designers or engineers input design goals into generative design software, along with parameters such as such as weight, strength, material choice, fabrication method, and more. The... Read more →


WHO: 9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe polluted air; 7M deaths per year

New data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. Updated estimations reveal a death toll of 7 million people every year caused by ambient (outdoor) and household air pollution. Air pollution threatens us all, but the poorest... Read more →


US imports of biomass-based diesel, which include biodiesel and renewable diesel, totaled 14.1 million barrels in 2017, a 36% decrease from 2016, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Although increasing Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) targets have driven increased biomass-based diesel demand in recent years, imports fell in 2017... Read more →


Japan policy shift allows imports of ETBE made from US corn-based ethanol; increased carbon-intensity requirement

The Japanese government’s new biofuel policy will allow imports of ETBE (Ethyl Tert-Butyl Ether) made from US corn-based ethanol. ETBE is an oxygenated gasoline fuel component and ether. ETBE, conventionally derived from ethanol (47% v/v) and isobutylene (53% v/v), features properties including high octane, low boiling point and low vapor... Read more →


LA Metro to begin charging solo drivers in clean air vehicles in ExpressLanes in effort to reduce increasing congestion

The Los Angeles Metro Board of Directors approved a plan last week to begin charging solo motorists in designated clean air vehicles (CAVs) a discounted toll to use the ExpressLanes on the 10 and 110 freeways, beginning in late 2018. Under the change, drivers in clean air vehicles without enough... Read more →


The United States exported nearly 1.4 billion gallons of fuel ethanol in 2017, surpassing the previous record of 1.2 billion gallons set in 2011, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). US imports of ethanol in 2017 increased compared with 2016 but remained relatively small at 77 million gallons,... Read more →


The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 13 projects to receive approximately $60 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development for advanced nuclear technologies. Of that, $40 million will go to NuScale Power to further its commercialization of small modular reactor technology. (Earlier post.) These selections are... Read more →


Volvo Cars aims for fully electric cars to make up 50% of its sales by 2025, the company announced in Beijing. The announcement builds on Volvo Cars’ 2017 announcement that all new models released from 2019 will be available as either a mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrid or battery-electric vehicle. New Volvo... Read more →