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Nissan has begun testing its first prototype vehicle that demonstrates piloted drive on both highway and city/urban roads. Nissan’s “Intelligent Driving” comprises features that will be introduced in stages, all toward achieving Nissan’s “Zero Fatality” goal of eliminating virtually all fatalities stemming from traffic accidents. For Stage One, Nissan will... Read more →

ORNL tires-to-carbon technology licensed to RJ Lee Group

RJ Lee Group has signed an agreement to license an invention developed at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory that converts waste rubber into a valuable energy storage material. The technology turns rubber sources such as tires into carbon black composites through a proprietary pretreatment process invented by... Read more →

Volkswagen Group CEO Müller agrees on strategic partnership with leading China bank

Volkswagen AG and leading Chinese bank Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Beijing setting out a long-term strategic partnership. Under the MoU, ICBC will provide Volkswagen AG with a wide range of banking services in China and globally. In the... Read more →

Volvo Cars tackles kangaroo safety research; highway-speed detection and avoidance

Volvo Cars is developing kangaroo detection technology to solve one of the most costly causes of traffic collisions in Australia. A team of Volvo Cars safety experts travelled to the Australian Capital Territory this week to film and study the roadside behavior of kangaroos in their natural habitat. The data... Read more →

Engineers at The Ohio State University have developed a new welding technique—Vaporized Foil Actuator Welding (VFAW)—that consumes 80% less energy than a common welding technique, yet creates bonds that are 50% stronger. The new technique could have a significant impact on the auto industry, which is poised to offer new... Read more →

Audi has begun using a new 1,000 horsepower plug-in hybrid shunting locomotive manufactured by Alstom in daily operations at the Audi plant in Ingolstadt, Germany. The new locomotive runs without any emissions inside the plant buildings and can operate for up to two hours at a time in purely electric... Read more →

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have developed a working laboratory demonstrator of a lithium-oxygen battery which has very high energy density, is more than 90% efficient, and, to date, can be recharged more than 2000 times, showing how several of the problems holding back the development of these devices... Read more →

First production Detroit SP:01 EV rolls off assembly line

The first production Detroit Electric SP:01 (earlier post) has rolled off the line at the company’s Leamington Spa (UK) manufacturing facility. The new SP:01 is destined for one of Detroit Electric’s export markets to be delivered to the EV company’s first customer. The lightweight SP:01, which goes on sale in... Read more →

UMTRI preliminary analysis of autonomous vehicle safety

Researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) have performed a preliminary analysis of the cumulative on-road safety record of self-driving vehicles for three of the ten companies that are currently approved for such vehicle testing in California (Google, Delphi, and Audi). The analysis compared the safety record... Read more →

Using complementary microscopy and spectroscopy techniques, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have “unambiguously” described the crystal structure of lithium- and manganese-rich transition metal oxides (LMRTMOs)—materials of great interest as high-capacity cathode materials for Li-ion batteries. Despite their being extensively studied, the crystal structure of these materials in... Read more →

VW reaffirms commitment to expand Chattanooga plant despite spending crackdown

The Volkswagen Group has reaffirmed its commitment to expanding its Chattanooga facility, where it plans on producing a newly developed midsize SUV for the US market, despite a Group crackdown on spending as the company prepares to deal with the impacts of resolving the diesel emissions scandal. As previously announced,... Read more →

New EU/US lab for interoperability of e-vehicles and smart grids

Following the Transatlantic Economic Council’s decision to promote electric vehicles and smart grid interoperability, on 29 October the European Commission inaugurated the European Interoperability Centre, a laboratory operated by the JRC. Together with its partner facility in the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, the new lab will ensure... Read more →

USDA: $210M to be invested in renewable fuel pump infrastructure through the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is partnering with 21 states through the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) nearly to double the number of fueling pumps nationwide that supply renewable fuels to American motorists. In May 2015, USDA announced the availability of $100 million in grants through the BIP, and that... Read more →

US/Indonesia agreement on sustainable air transportation and aviation alternative fuels

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Indonesian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) recently signed an agreement to promote developing and using sustainable, alternative aviation fuels and additional environmental collaboration between the two nations. FAA Deputy Administrator Michael Whitaker said that the MOU’s primary focus areas are research and development... Read more →

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) unveiled the Mitsubishi eX electric crossover concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. MMC intends the eX to showcase next-generation electric vehicle technologies, as well as a new take on the Dynamic Shield front design concept. The next-generation EV system employs a 45 kWh battery pack together... Read more →

Honda opens CNG fueling station on Troy, Ohio campus; 2nd public CNG station in N America

Honda opened a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station on its property in Troy, Ohio. The CNG station, which was designed, constructed and will be operated by Trillium CNG, is the second public CNG station located on a Honda property in North America, following one opened at Honda of America... Read more →

Panda Power finances conversion of retired coal plant to natural gas; one of largest power conversion projects in US

Panda Power Funds has financed the 1,124 megawatt Panda “Hummel Station” power plant—one of the largest coal-to-natural gas power conversion projects in the United States. The plant will be located at the site of the retired Sunbury coal-fired power plant near Shamokin Dam in Snyder County, Pennsylvania. The 400 MW,... Read more →

Chairman of Volkswagen Group outlines next steps to realign the group

Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, has announced the five key steps to realign the Group following the eruption of the diesel emissions cheating scandal. Müller announced that the cornerstones of the Group’s new Strategy 2025—replacing the current Strategy 2018—will be presented next year. Volkswagen... Read more →

BASF and Volkswagen present 4th Science Award Electrochemistry to Dr. Bryan McCloskey at UC Berkeley for Li-O2 battery work

The fourth international “Science Award Electrochemistry” from BASF and Volkswagen (earlier post) was awarded to Dr. Bryan McCloskey, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of California, Berkeley. The jury of representatives from BASF, Volkswagen and from academia selected Dr. McCloskey for his outstanding research results in the area of... Read more →

Mercedes-Benz introduced a new advanced design concept at the Tokyo Motor Show: the Vision Tokyo. The concept is powered by a fuel cell electric drive system based on the F-CELL PLUG-IN HYBRID of the self-driving F 015 Luxury in Motion concept introduced at CES in January. (Earlier post.) The next... Read more →

Primus Green Energy and Jereh launch global collaboration on gas-to-liquids

Primus Green Energy Inc., a gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology and solutions company that transforms methane and other hydrocarbon gases into gasoline, methanol and diluent (earlier post), and Jereh, an international, integrated oil and gas company specializing in Oil and Gas EPC services, oilfield technology services and equipment manufacturing, have launched a... Read more →

Enevate announces ultrafast charging feature for its silicon Li-ion batteries

Enevate Corporation, developer of a silicon-dominant composite anode material and high energy density batteries (earlier post), announced ultrafast charging for their batteries with HD-Energy Technology. Enevate’s ultrafast charging feature has been demonstrated to provide a 90% charge in 15 minutes (4C charge rate) while increasing energy, capacity and performance when... Read more →

Shell to halt 80K bpd Carmon Creek oil sands project

Royal Dutch Shell plc will not continue construction of the 80,000 barrel per day Carmon Creek thermal in situ oil sands project located in Alberta, Canada. Shell originally sanctioned the project in October 2013 and announced in March 2015 that the project would be re-phased to take advantage of the... Read more →

At the Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan Motor unveiled a concept vehicle that embodies Nissan’s vision of the future of autonomous driving and EVs: the Nissan IDS Concept. Nissan Intelligent Driving, Nissan’s concept of autonomous drive technology, integrates advanced vehicle control and safety technologies with artificial intelligence (AI) and represents what... Read more →

Lexus revealed the LF-FC flagship concept, an all-wheel-drive hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, at the Tokyo Motor Show. This marks the Lexus brand’s first foray into fuel cell technologies. The high-output fuel cell power system energizes the rear wheels, and also sends power to two in-wheel motors in the front. This... Read more →

Acura unveiled the production model of the next-generation NSX at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) this past January (earlier post), and now has provided more technical detail on the high-performance hybrid sports car and its new Sport Hybrid-AWD power unit. At the core of this new hybrid power... Read more →

Rotary redux: Mazda unveils rotary-powered RX-VISION concept

Mazda Motor Corporation unveiled the rotary-powered Mazda RX-VISION sports car concept at the Tokyo Motor Show. Although Mazda earlier put production of rotaries on hold, it continued R&D efforts in that area. The next rotary engine has been named SKYACTIV-R, expressing the company's determination to take on challenges with convention-defying... Read more →

Mercedes-Benz fuel cell vehicles drive from LA to Northern California using only public hydrogen stations

Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL customers ventured beyond Southern California last week for the first time, while only filling up at existing public hydrogen stations along the route from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The opening of a new hydrogen station in Coalinga along the I-5 corridor made this opportunity possible. A... Read more →

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. unveiled the planned production model of its all-new fuel cell vehicle (FCV), called Clarity Fuel Cell, at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show 2015. This model will be on display at the Honda booth during the show. The name honors its predecessor, the FCX Clarity fuel cell... Read more →

Broadcom introduces second-generation automotive Ethernet switch; 30% reduction in power consumption, 50% reduction in size

Broadcom Corporation announced its next-generation BroadR-Reach automotive Ethernet switch portfolio with integrated PHYs for automotive central gateway, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), infotainment, head units and time-sensitive applications. The new 28 nm devices utilize a unique design that delivers 30% power savings compared to previous generation device and a 50%... Read more →

EV charging companies form new trade association

Leaders from the electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, technology and services industry have formed the Electric Vehicle Charging Association (EVCA), a not-for-profit trade association created to advance the EV charging industry. EVCA concurrently released The State of the Charge, a report documenting the charging industry’s rapid growth in California and... Read more →

UK-based Aeristech, a provider of electrically driven pressure charging solutions (earlier post), is developing electric air compressor technology that the company says could double the output from a hydrogen fuel cell. The electric compressor would enable vehicle manufacturers to increase performance or to specify a considerably more compact fuel cell,... Read more →

Novozymes introduces new enzyme for ethanol production

Novozymes has introduced Avantec Amp, an advanced enzyme product that improves yield and throughput in corn ethanol production, while increasing corn oil extraction and reducing the need for several harsh chemicals used in ethanol production. By switching from standard enzyme technology to Avantec Amp, a typical ethanol plant with a... Read more →

Ballard announces $5M strategic investment from Nisshinbo

Ballard Power Systems announced that Nisshinbo Holdings Inc. will make a $5-million strategic equity investment in Ballard. The investment will be made through a subscription and purchase of 3,322,479 common shares issued from treasury at a price per share of US$1.5049 (based on a 10-day volume weighted average price calculation).... Read more →

Researchers from the University of Waterloo and General Motors Global Research and Development Center have developed a new electrode material for Li-ion batteries that leverages the strong covalent interactions that occur between silicon, sulfur, defects and nitrogen. In an open-access paper in the journal Nature Communications, they report that the... Read more →

DuPont will officially open its cellulosic ethanol facility in Nevada, Iowa, on 30 October; the plant will be the largest cellulosic ethanol plant in the world. The US Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Director, Jonathan Male, alongside senior government officials, DuPont leaders and staff, and local farmers... Read more →

An international team of researchers led by a group at the University of California, Berkeley has developed a flexible metal-organic framework (MOF) material for enhanced adsorption and desorption of natural gas (CH4). The material, described in a paper in the journal Nature, could bolster the development of on-board adsorbed natural... Read more →

UQM Technologies in 10-year electric propulsion systems agreement with ITL in China; 3K units ordered; potential for >$400M in revenue

UQM Technologies Inc. has signed a 10-year supply agreement with ITL Efficiency Corporation in China, a subsidiary of Eastlake New Energy, to provide electric propulsion systems for three market segments: 6-8 meter shuttle buses; light- to medium-duty delivery trucks; and 10-12 meter transit buses. Over the term of the Agreement,... Read more →

Renault-Nissan Alliance to provide 200 EVs for UN climate conference; expecting 400,000 km of travel

As the official passenger-car provider for the United Nation’s COP21 climate conference in Paris, the Renault-Nissan Alliance will provide 200 pure electric vehicles to the annual summit which runs this year from 30 Nov. to 11 Dec. The vehicles are expected to cover more than 400,000 km (249,000 miles) in... Read more →

Renesas Electronics delivers group of low-power 16-Bit MCUs for vehicle control systems

Renesas Electronics Corporation announced the RL78/F15 Group of low-power 16-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) for vehicle control systems such as body control modules (BCMs), air conditioners, and power seats, where functionality is advancing rapidly. Part of the RL78 Family of MCUs, the RL78/F15 Group is a high-functionality group that combines industry-leading low-power... Read more →

OmniPhy announces availability of automotive Ethernet PHY

OmniPhy (earlier post), a member of OPEN Alliance SIG, announced the availability of an automotive Ethernet PHY on an advanced process technology node. The design implements the automotive Ethernet 100Base-T1 standard being developed by the IEEE through 802.3 initiatives. Automotive Ethernet retains the reliability and robustness of standard commercial Ethernet,... Read more →

Schaeffler awarded International Grand Prix award for new P2 hybrid module

Schaeffler was awarded the International Grand Prix Award for Automotive Innovations in the OEM New Technologies category at the automotive aftermarket show EQUIP AUTO in Paris for the newly developed high-voltage P2 hybrid module (earlier post). Located between the internal combustion engine and transmission, the hybrid module can transmit internal-combustion... Read more →

Volkswagen Group brings in new Head of Group Strategy from GM

The Volkswagen Group has appointed a former management consultant and GM executive as the new Head of Group Strategy. Dr. Thomas Sedran will assume the post with effect from 1 November and will report to the CEO, Matthias Müller. Sedran holds a Master’s degree in business administration from the University... Read more →

In an open-access invited review for the Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Oliver Gröger (earlier post), Volkswagen AG; Dr. Hubert A. Gasteiger, Chair of Technical Electrochemistry, Technische Universität München; and Dr. Jens-Peter Suchsland, SolviCore GmbH, delve into the technological barriers for all-electric vehicles—battery-electric or PEM fuel cell vehicles. They begin... Read more →

The OPEN Alliance (One-Pair EtherNet) Special Interest Group (SIG), a non-profit industry alliance established to drive wide-scale adoption of Ethernet-based automotive connectivity (earlier post), announced the industry’s first multi-vendor interoperability demonstration of single-pair automotive Ethernet technology. The demonstration highlights Broadcom, NXP and Realtek 100BASE-T1 physical layer transceivers (PHYs) working together... Read more →

by Alex Vanover Honda isn’t a car company… it never really has been. When asked to define what kind of company Honda is, company representatives bill the multinational firm as an engineering company. It is a company that strives to engineer products in a variety of different sectors of the... Read more →

Report: VW suspends head of powertrain electronics over emissions scandal

Germany’s Bild am Sonntag reported today that Volkswagen AG has suspended Hanno Jelden, Head of the Main Department for Powertrain Electronics, Powertrain Development as a result of the ongoing investigation into the diesel emission software cheating scandal. Bild reports that, “according to the VW internal investigation, Jelden is suspected to... Read more →

US Departments of Agriculture, Energy partner to award $4.9M for bioenergy research

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Department of Energy (DOE) are partnering to award nearly $5 million in grants to scientists to study the use of plants to further bioenergy development. The $4.9 million in research grants is awarded under a joint DOE-USDA program that began in... Read more →