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JATO: European car registrations up 5.2% in November; SUVs post record market share

New car registrations in Europe climbed 5.2% year-on-year in November 2017 to 1,250,281 units, according to JATO Dynamics. France, Spain and Germany, along with mid-sized markets including the Netherlands and Austria, experienced the biggest increases in volume for the month, off-setting a decline in the UK market where registrations were... Read more →


Lloyd’s Register and University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS) released a new study—Zero Emission Vessels 2030—that aims to demonstrate the viability of zero emission vessels (ZEVs) by identifying what needs to be in place to make them a competitive solution for decarbonization. The first milestone in the IMO greenhouse gas (GHG)... Read more →


German partners start testing of optimized aviation engine compression system

Long-term partners MTU Aero Engines, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and GKN Aerospace Engine Systems have been working together within the European research program Clean Sky 2 to optimize an engine compression system and make it lighter. The resulting new technologies could be incorporated... Read more →


The technology group Wärtsilä will supply two Wärtsilä HY 2 hybrid power modules for a new escort tug being built for the Swedish port of Luleå located on the Gulf of Bothnia in the northern end of the Baltic Sea. The vessel is being built at GONDAN Shipbuilders, in Asturias,... Read more →


UPS pre-orders 125 Tesla electric Semis

UPS, which operates one of the largest commercial trucking fleets in the world, reserved 125 of Tesla’s new battery-electric Semi tractors. (Earlier post.) The new tractors will join UPS’ extensive alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicle fleet, comprising trucks and tractors propelled by electricity, natural gas, propane and other non-traditional... Read more →


Beijing to cut annual new car registration quota by one-third to 100,000; 60% for new energy vehicles

Xinhuanet reports that beginning next year, the Beijing municipal government will slash the annual new car registration quota by one-third, from 150,000 license plates to 100,000. Of the 100,000, 60% are reserved for new energy vehicles. Beijing currently has registered a total of 137,800 electric cars. The Chinese capital intends... Read more →


EU Council of Ministers adopts position on Renewable Energies Directive; bumps renewables in transport to 14% in 2030

The EU Council has adopted its position on a directive promoting the use of renewable energy across the EU. This agreement paves the way for the Council to start negotiations with the European Parliament as soon as it agrees on its negotiating mandate. The EU is committed to reach a... Read more →


Honda will unveil the Honda Insight Prototype at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January as the precursor to the new third-generation 2019 Honda Insight—an upscale, stylish five-passenger sedan positioned above the Civic in Honda’s passenger car lineup. The new Insight features the latest generation of... Read more →


Novel laser welding technique could expand use of advanced high-strength steel alloys

A Brazilian researcher has developed an innovative method of laser welding at high temperatures that enhances the properties of advanced high-strength (AHS) steel for applications in the automotive and aerospace industries The automotive industry’s demand for high-performance AHS alloys has increased in recent years owing to increasingly stringent passenger safety,... Read more →


Georgia Tech study suggests one in five materials chemistry papers may be wrong; MOFs as example

The replicability of results from scientific studies has become a major source of concern in the research community, particularly in the social sciences and biomedical sciences. But many researchers in the fields of engineering and the hard sciences haven’t felt the same level of concern for independent validation of their... Read more →


Continental successfully conducts Cellular-V2X field trials in China; demo’ing results at CES

Continental and Huawei have conducted field trials to test the efficiency of the Cellular Vehicle to Everything (C-V2X) communication standard (earlier post) in Shanghai with positive results. C-V2X is emerging as a promising wireless communication technology, demonstrating strong potential for use in automated driving and intelligent mobility. (Earlier post.) C-V2X... Read more →


Germany launches €12.1M Fab4Lib project to develop large-scale production of Li-ion batteries; 6 GWh gigafactory

In January, a consortium of 17 companies and research institutes in Germany will begin researching and developing processes for the large-scale production of lithium-ion battery cells. The Fab4Lib project aims to explore innovative solutions along the value chain of lithium-ion technology and to validate them in demonstrators. The project is... Read more →


Tritium Veefil-RT 50 kW fast chargers chosen for EV and V2G research project in Slovakia

As part of a research project into e-mobility and Vehicle to Grid (V2G) charging in Slovakia, a Tritium Veefil-RT 50kW DC fast charger has been installed at the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava. ZEROEMISSION, Tritium’s distributor in the region, has joined with Nissan Sales Central & Eastern Europe and... Read more →


Airbus and Williams Advanced Engineering have signed a memorandum of understanding under which the two companies will focus on the ways in which ultra-lightweight materials, battery technologies and electrical cell chemistries can be integrated on Airbus’ Zephyr High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) program. In 2015, Airbus Defence and Space and Sion... Read more →


From 2011 to 2017, the median of the all-electric vehicle ranges in the US increased by 41 miles, or 56%—from 73 to 114 miles—according to data gathered by the US Department of Energy (DOE). In model year 2011, there were just three different models of AEVs available and their ranges... Read more →


The BMW Group has delivered more than 100,000 electrified vehicles to customers worldwide in 2017, as promised at the beginning of the year. In recognition of the miletone, BMW used a light installation to transform its Group headquarters—the world-famous “Four-Cylinder” in the north of Munich—on the evening of 18 December... Read more →


Electrify America to install 2,800 charging stations at workplaces and multi-unit dwellings across US

Electrify America LLC announced it will install more than 2,800 workplace and residential charging stations by June 2019 in 17 of the biggest metropolitan areas in the United States. The initiative is part of Electrify America’s $2-billion investment in electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and education in the United States over... Read more →


Volkswagen appoints Frank Blome to head Battery Cell Center of Excellence

Volkswagen has appointed Frank Blome, previously Chairman of the Management Board of Daimler subsidiary Deutsche ACCUmotive GmbH, to head the Battery Cell Center of Excellence of the Volkswagen brand. Blome will assume the newly created function with effect from 1 January 2018. Blome holds a degree in electrical engineering and... Read more →


Italgas is renewing its entire company fleet with methane-powered vehicles from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.The first deliveries have begun in Turin, with similar deliveries to be made in Rome and Naples—two of the main cities where the Italgas Group operates—over the next few days. Currently, the Italgas Group’s fleet comprises 2,500... Read more →


NIO officially launched the ES8 7-seat, 3-row (2-3-2) battery-electric SUV at an event in Beijing. The NIO ES8 has a base price of RMB 448,000 (US$67,700) before subsidies, with 10,000 Founder’s Editions available for RMB 548,000 (US$82,800). A battery rental plan is available to NIO users, which provides a RMB... Read more →


The BMW Group and Solid Power partner to drive solid-state battery adoption in EVs (updated with chemistries)

The BMW Group is partnering with Solid Power, a developer of solid-state rechargeable batteries, in a joint effort to develop Solid Power’s solid-state batteries for electric vehicle applications. In this effort, the BMW Group will assist Solid Power to advance its technology in order to achieve performance levels required for... Read more →


Toyota aims for sales of more than 5.5M electrified vehicles including 1M ZEVS per year by 2030; no models developed without electrified version

Toyota Motor Corporation announced its plans regarding the mass adoption of electrified vehicles for the decade 2020-2030. Toyota’s electrified vehicle strategy centers on a significant acceleration in the development and launch plans of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), and fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).... Read more →


Researchers propose new approach for estimating health of battery pack

A team from the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei is proposing a new approach to estimate the state of health of EV battery packs using an artificial intelligence (AI) optimization algorithm. A paper on their work is published in the Journal of Power Sources. Accurately estimating... Read more →


DENSO Corporation and Toyota Tsusho Corporation will conduct the first test using a quantum computer to process data from a traffic IoT platform. The companies will process vehicle location and travel data in real-time from about 130,000 commercial vehicles in Thailand, aiming to establish best practices for quantum computer applications... Read more →


Los Angeles-based startup Thor Trucks announced its electric Class 8 tractor “semi-prototype” ET-One, with 80,000 pound carrying capacity. ET-One is targeted at short-haul markets where daily miles traveled rarely exceed 250. ET-One and company co-founders Dakota Semler and Giordano Sordoni Thor plans to offer modular battery packs, with up to... Read more →


German researchers develop technique capable of determining Li metal plating during Li-ion battery charging; benefit for EVs

A new technique—operando electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy—developed by researchers at Technische Universität München (TUM), Forschungszentrum Jülich, and RWTH Aachen University provides a unique insight into how the charging rate of lithium-ion batteries can be a factor limiting their lifetime and safety. The study is published in the journal Materials... Read more →


An international research team from Tsinghua University, MIT and Argonne National Laboratory has discovered a series of novel lithium titanate hydrates that show better electrochemical performances compared to all the Li2O–TiO2 materials reported so far—including those after nanostructuring, doping and/or coating. Reported in an open access paper in the journal... Read more →


Groupe Renault, Brilliance form JV for LCVs in China in three segments with three brands; accelerating electrified powertrains

Groupe Renault and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Limited have signed a contract for the formation of a joint venture to manufacture and sell light commercial vehicles (LCV) under the Jinbei, Renault and Huasong brands with the goal of achieving 150,000 sales annually by 2022 and an acceleration of electrifying powertrains.... Read more →


Study finds heavy-petroleum fuels raising vanadium emissions; human emissions outpacing natural sources by factor of 1.7

Human emissions of the potentially harmful trace metal vanadium into Earth’s atmosphere have spiked sharply since the start of the 21st century due in large part to industry’s growing use of heavy oils, tar sands, bitumen and petroleum coke for energy, a new Duke University study published in the Proceedings... Read more →


Aerion and Lockheed Martin announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to define a formal and gated process to explore the feasibility of a joint development of the world’s first supersonic business jet, the Aerion AS2. Over the next 12 months, the companies will work together to develop a framework... Read more →


Port of Los Angeles sets new record for highest monthly container volumes; 924,225 TEUs in November

The Port of Los Angeles moved 924,225 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in November, the most containerized monthly cargo the Port has processed during its 110-year history. The previous record of 877,564 TEUs was set in November 2016. Through November 2017, cargo volumes are 8,563,982 TEUs, an increase of 6.3% compared... Read more →


ADB approves $499M loan to establish facility for improved air quality in greater Beijing area; includes hydrogen transport

The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors approved a €428-million ($499-million) loan to set up a regional emission-reduction and pollution-control facility as part of a multiyear and multisector support program to improve air quality in the greater Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) region, which suffers from heavy air pollution. Cities in the... Read more →


Scania invests $178M in new foundry; 50% cut in energy consumption through process improvements and heat recovery

Scania plans to invest about SEK 1.5 billion (US$178 million) in a new foundry in Södertälje, Sweden, in order to triple production capacity and achieve a 50% reduction in energy consumption compared to the technology and methods used in the current foundry. Through more efficient materials handling and recycling, a... Read more →


California Air Resources Board approves $663M funding plan for clean cars, trucks, buses

The California Air Resources Board approved a $663-million low-carbon transportation plan to increase the use of clean cars, heavy-duty trucks, buses and freight equipment. The funding will help the state cut climate-changing gases while promoting technologies that reduce harmful diesel emissions, particularly in disadvantaged and low-income communities. These investments support... Read more →


Magna to showcase etelligentDrive systems at CES 2018; 3-motor e1 concept

Magna will present its etelligentDrive systems at CES 2018 using the company’s e1 demonstration concept vehicle. The e1 system consists of one highly integrated e-drive system on the front axle and one on the rear axle with two electric motors. With this layout, the demo car achieves superior longitudinal and... Read more →


Johns Hopkins study links exposure to coarse particulate matter to increased risk of asthma in children

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University report that coarse particulate matter—created by physical processes such as tire and break wear, agricultural tilling, salt spray and dust created in manufacturing—appears to put children at greater risk for asthma, independent of exposure to fine particulate pollution. A paper on the work will... Read more →


Renesas Electronics, Dibotics deliver real-time, power-efficient LiDAR processing based on R-Car SoC for autonomous driving; SLAM on a chip

Renesas Electronics Corporation and Dibotics, a leader in real-time 3D LiDAR processing, have collaborated to develop an automotive-grade embedded solution for LiDAR processing used in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving applications. The jointly-developed solution will enable system manufacturers to develop real-time 3D mapping systems with high level... Read more →


UF/IFAS researchers develop new sorghum cultivars that could produce up 10.5 kL ethanol per hectare

Researchers from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) \ have found that three UF/IFAS-developed sorghum varieties could produce up to 10,500 liters of ethanol per hectare (about 1,100 gallons US per acre). Sorghum is the fifth-largest cereal crop in the world and the third-largest in... Read more →


FEV, Lightspeed Technologies to demo fiber optic-based optical and electronic architecture for automotive applications

FEV North America, Inc. (FEV) and Lightspeed Technologies have jointly created an automotive O/E (Optical and Electronic) system architecture technology that transmits photons over plastic optical fiber in lieu of E/E (Electricity and Electronics) technologies that typically conduct electrons over copper. This will significantly reduce weight, the number of vehicle... Read more →


Lawrence Livermore partners with GALT on $1.5M project to improve biofuel algae

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has been awarded a 3-year, $1.5-million grant by the US Department of Energy to improve the growth and efficiency of biofuel-producing algae through the alteration of their microbiomes. LLNL will partner with San Francisco-based General Automation Lab Technologies (GALT) in the use of a novel high-throughput... Read more →


Researchers develop effective exhaust catalyst for lower temperature exhaust

To improve fuel efficiency, advanced combustion engines are being designed to minimize the amount of waste heat in the exhaust. As a result, future generations of exhaust after-treatment catalysts must perform at temperatures that are 100 °C lower than current catalysts. Researchers at Washington State University, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory... Read more →


Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, along with experts from industry and academia, have developed predictive engineering tools for designing new, economical, and lightweight automotive composites. This approach should speed the development of more economical carbon fiber materials. Fiber orientation prediction in 3D complex part using... Read more →


California ARB approves 2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan; requires doubling the rate of GHG cuts

The California Air Resources Board unanimously approved the 2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan, which sets the state on an aggressive course to reduce greenhouse gas emissions an additional 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 under SB 32. This will require California to double the rate at which it has been... Read more →


Petrobras and ExxonMobil form strategic alliance

Petrobras and ExxonMobil signed a memorandum of understanding regarding a strategic alliance jointly to identify and evaluate potential business opportunities. Petrobras and ExxonMobil will evaluate areas of mutual interest that can bring together their world-class experience across all sectors of the oil and gas production value chain, including opportunities for... Read more →


China Lake team devises new class of bio-based high-cetane renewable diesel fuels: dioxolanes

Researchers at the Naval Air Warfare Center, China Lake have synthesized a new class of renewable diesel fuels from a methyl ketone and diols including 2,3-butanediol, 1,2-propanediol, and ethylene glycol. These fuels exhibit comparable net heats of combustion (NHOCs) to conventional biodiesel, while maintaining derived cetane numbers between 82-91. These... Read more →


Daimler Trucks is delivering the first units of its all-electric FUSO eCanter (earlier post) to European customers: DHL, DB Schenker, Rhenus and Dachser. The customers are all in the logistics business, but the trucks’ areas of operation are diverse. The customers obtain their vehicles via a 24-month rental from CharterWay,... Read more →


Workhorse Group applies for $250M loan from DOE Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program

Workhorse Group Inc., the developer of a plug-in electric pickup truck (earlier post), has applied for a $250-million loan from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program. The company also announced that DOE has deemed its application to be substantially complete for purposes of DOE... Read more →


Cal Energy Commission awards ~$3M to EV ride-sharing projects in disadvantaged communities; fuel cell and BEV

The California Energy Commission awarded nearly $3 million to car-sharing programs using electric vehicles in disadvantaged communities. The goal of the grants is to demonstrate the use of zero-emission vehicles in mobility services, such as car sharing and ride hailing, and provide an increased awareness of clean vehicle technologies. Stratosfuel,... Read more →


Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) are proposing a new design concept for lithium-ion batteries that introduces slits in the electrodes—a feature which may mitigate the risk of battery failure during automobile accidents. The concept, presented in a paper in the journal Joule, could allow manufacturers to scale down... Read more →


ExxonMobil completes LNG acquisition in Mozambique Area 4

ExxonMobil announced the completion of a transaction by ExxonMobil Development Africa B.V. to acquire a 25% indirect interest in Mozambique’s gas-rich Area 4 block from Eni and assume responsibility for midstream operations. ExxonMobil will lead the construction and operation of all future natural gas liquefaction and related facilities, while Eni... Read more →