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World’s first EPR enters into commercial operation at China’s Taishan nuclear power plant

Unit 1 of the Taishan nuclear power plant has become the world’s first EPR—a third-generation pressurized water reactor—to enter into commercial operation. Comprising two 1750-MW EPR reactors, Taishan nuclear power plant is the biggest cooperation project to have taken place between China and France (China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN)... Read more →

Tsinghua University researchers have synthesized a novel layered-spinel lithium manganite hydrate for high capacity and ultrafast lithium storage. A paper on their work is published in the Journal of Power Sources. The team used a simple one-step hydrothermal lithiation process to create the material. The layered-spinel coexistence, stable intercalated water,... Read more →

Researchers at Kyoto University in Japan are proposing the selective dismantling of certain components from end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) to increase the recycling potential of precious metals (PMs). In a paper in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, they report that, in Japan, totals of 33–53% of PMs in ELVs... Read more →

Hyundai delivered its first NEXO fuel cell SUV (earlier post) to Todd Hochrad of Ventura, California—the first US customer to drive off in the new NEXO, the only mass-produced fuel cell SUV for the US market, featuring a range up to 380 miles. Hochrad purchased his first hybrid car more... Read more →

BASF invests in new mobile emissions catalysts production facility in Shanghai to meet customer demand in China

BASF is investing in a new production facility for mobile emissions catalysts at its Pudong site in Shanghai, China. The new 30,000-square-meter facility will house multiple manufacturing lines, providing a full range of emissions control technologies for heavy-duty and light-duty vehicle manufacturers. Construction is underway, with start-up planned for the... Read more →

Researchers at the University of Virginia (UVA) have devised a process for converting retired Li-ion battery anodes to graphene and graphene oxide (GO). A paper on the work is published in the ACS journal Nano Letters. … accompanying the booming expansion of the Li-ion battery market, a tremendous amount of... Read more →

Navigant forecasts 9% CAGR for global sales of electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles from 2018 to 2030

Navigant Research forecasts in a new report that global sales of electric drive medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (eMHDVs) will increase at a 9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2018 to 2030. However, if the forecasts exclude the results of China’s already aggressive push to electrify its bus market, which... Read more →

Researchers at the Northwestern Polytechnical University and Shaanxi Joint Lab of Graphene in China have synthesized onion-like nanospheres of carbon encapsulated few-layer MoS2 nanosheets for use as an anode material in Li-ion batteries. The nanocomposite delivers a specific capacity of 1119 mAh g−1 and shows excellent rate and cycling performance. A... Read more →

GAC Group completes first phase of EV factory; initially targeting 200K EVs/year

Chinese automaker GAC Group, the parent company of GAC Motor, has completed the construction of a new energy intelligent and ecological factory for its first-phase project of achieving production capacity of 200,000 electric vehicles per year. Representing a RMB 4.7 billion (US$680 million), the fFactory is the first project of... Read more →

Aemetis closes $30M equity investment for biomethane pipelines and dairy digesters to produce below zero carbon renewable natural gas (RNG)

Aemetis subsidiary Aemetis Biogas LLC closed a $30-million equity investment without any dilutive stock issuances by Aemetis, Inc. and funded the first $8.3-million tranche to subsidiary Aemetis Biogas to build, own and operate dairy biomethane digesters, pipelines and gas cleanup/compression facilities primarily under 20-year agreements with dairy farms in California.... Read more →

Tel Aviv University researchers produce bioplastic polymers using marine organisms

A new Tel Aviv University (TAU) study describes a process to make bioplastic polymers that don’t require land or fresh water—the polymer is derived from microorganisms (Haloferax mediterranei) that feed on seaweed. The polymers are biodegradable, produce zero toxic waste and recycle into organic waste. The invention was the result... Read more →

AltAir files California LCFS application for renewable naphtha; 39.75 gCO2e/MJ

AltAir Paramount LLC has filed a California LCFS Tier 2 application for converting North American tallow to renewable naphtha; the company calculates a carbon intensity of 39.75 gCO2e/MJ. AltAir operates a Renewable Diesel (RD) plant in Paramount, California, which produces RD and Renewable Naphtha (RN) using a mixture of animal... Read more →

FuelCell Energy announces $100+M construction loan facility with Generate Capital

FuelCell Energy, Inc. has signed a project finance facility with Generate Capital. The facility will be used by FuelCell Energy to finance the construction, installation and commissioning of the company’s current and future project backlog and awards. Under the terms of the agreement, FuelCell Energy will submit projects to Generate... Read more →

Rio Tinto has successfully deployed AutoHaul, establishing the world’s largest robot and first automated heavy-haul, long distance rail network. (Earlier post.) The average return distance of these trains is about 800 kilometers with the average journey cycle, including loading and dumping, taking about 40 hours. Since completing the first loaded... Read more →

Volkswagen is previewing the company’s future mobile quick charging station. The first mobile quick charging stations will be set up as early as the first half of 2019 in Wolfsburg as part of a pilot project, and will support the expansion of a charging infrastructure in the urban area. The... Read more →

Toshiba Corporation is taking its SCiB rechargeable battery business from Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corporation (TISS) to make it an independent business unit within Toshiba. The reorganization advances the strategy of the Toshiba Next Plan, announced on 8 November, which positions the battery business as a new growth business.... Read more →

AISIN, ADVICS, JTEKT, and DENSO to form J-QuAD DYNAMICS to develop integrated control software for automated driving

Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd., ADVICS Co., Ltd., JTEKT Corporation (JTEKT) and DENSO Corporation agreed to form J-QuAD DYNAMICS to develop integrated control software that will be used for automated driving, vehicle motion control, and other related functions. The new company will be established in April 2019; in August 2018, the... Read more →

AISIN and DENSO to form BluE Nexus to develop and sell driving modules for EVs

Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd. and DENSO Corporation have agreed to form a new company to develop and to sell driving modules used for electric vehicles. The new company is named BluE Nexus and will be established in April 2019. In August 2018, AISIN and DENSO first announced their basic agreement... Read more →

The amount of natural gas that can be technically recovered from future well locations has increased by 20% compared with an estimate made about five years ago—even while active drilling has depleted the resource—according to a new analysis by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and Rice University.... Read more →

The US average growth rate for plug-in vehicle (PEV) per capita from 2016 to 2017 was 30.2%. When looking at the rate of change from 2016 to 2017 for PEV registrations per capita, Vermont had a growth rate of 56.4%. Maryland, Massachusetts, and Alaska also had growth rates of 50%... Read more →

Vatican City State transport to use Eni Diesel+ renewable diesel blend; used cooking oil (UCO) from Vatican restaurants

Eni and the Governorate of the Vatican City State have signed an agreement for the use of a renewable diesel blend produced and marketed by Eni, for Vatican City State transport. Eni’s Venice and Gela biorefineries will soon recycle used cooking oil from restaurants in Vatican City. The cooking oil... Read more →

Columbia team organizes available scientific evidence on the effects of air pollution on children’s health

Researchers at Columbia University, with colleagues at Boston University and Abt Associates, have identified concentration-response (C-R) functions for a number of adverse health outcomes in children associated with air pollutants largely from fossil fuel combustion. A paper on their work is published in journal Environmental Research. The study, led by... Read more →

Hyundai Motor introducing smart fingerprint technology for vehicles; unlocking and starting

Hyundai Motor Company announced the first smart fingerprint technology that allows drivers not only to unlock doors but also to start the vehicle. Hyundai plans to implement the technology initially in Santa Fe SUV model that is to be released in select markets on the first quarter of 2019. To... Read more →

Maxwell Technologies, Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of energy storage and power delivery technology, has simultaneously signed and closed a definitive agreement to sell its High Voltage (HV) product line to Renaissance Investment Foundation. Under terms of the agreement, Maxwell sold all shares of its Swiss subsidiary, Maxwell Technologies... Read more →

Three new hydrogen filling stations opened in California within the span of one week, bringing the total to 39. The new stations are in Palo Alto, at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport), and in the Sacramento area. The Citrus Heights hydrogen station, the 37th retail hydrogen station in California, is... Read more →

Mercedes-Benz has expanded the powertrain line-up of its new G-Class with an efficient diesel variant. The new G 350 d (fuel consumption, combined: 9.8-9.6 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 259-252 g/km) is equipped with an OM 656 diesel(earlier post). The models will be available to order starting in January 2019... Read more →

US electric power sector CO2 emissions have declined 28% since 2005 because of slower electricity demand growth and changes in the mix of fuels used to generate electricity, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). EIA calculated that CO2 emissions from the electric power sector totaled 1,744 million metric... Read more →

Ottopia closes $3M in seed funding; remote assistance for autonomous cars

Israel-based Ottopia, a technology company focused on remote assistance for self-driving cars, closed $3 million in seed funding. The round was led by MizMaa Ventures with participation from Glory Ventures, Plug and Play and NextGear. Autonomous Vehicle (AV) technology has come a long way in the last decade. Within certain... Read more →

PM2.5, O3 pollution associated with development of Alzheimer’s disease; new study identifies evolving axonal damage

Exposures to concentrations of PM2.5 and ozone at or above the current standards have been linked to neuroinflammation and high risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). A 2015 study found a 138% risk of increase of AD per increase of 4.34 μg/m3 in PM2.5 suggesting long-term exposure to PM2.5, as well... Read more →

DOE announces agreement supporting power generated from small modular reactors

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between DOE, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS), and Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA) to reflect the importance of resilient power generated from small modular reactors (SMRs). Specifically, this MOU highlights the Department’s intent... Read more →

Researchers from the University of Houston and the Toyota Research Institute of America have discovered a promising new version of high-energy magnesium batteries, with potential applications ranging from electric vehicles to battery storage for renewable energy systems. The battery, reported in the journal Joule, is the first to operate with... Read more →

Finland-based Neste has submitted three new Tier 2 Pathways for California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) for renewable diesel produced at its Porvoo, Finland refinery. Two pathways are for Renewable Diesel from Tallow & Animal Fat and one is for Renewable Diesel from Used Cooking Oil (UCO). Neste already has... Read more →

Nikon makes $25M strategic investment in Velodyne Lidar; two to collaborate in technology development and manufacturing

Velodyne Lidar, Inc. announced Nikon Corporation (Nikon) as a new strategic investor with an investment of $25 million. The parties further announced they have begun discussions for a multifaceted business alliance. Nikon is one of the world’s leading suppliers of products and solutions based on advanced opto-electronics and precision technologies.... Read more →

Researchers at Jiangsu Normal University in China have devised a boron-doped carbon-sulfur (BCS) aerogel with consecutive “core-shell” stuctures as a binder-free cathode for lithium-sulfur batteries. In an open-access paper in the RSC journal Chemical Communications, they report achieving a high specific capacity of 1326 mAh/g, long cycling lifespan and a... Read more →

DAF Trucks delivered its first fully electric truck to Dutch supermarket chain, Jumbo. The CF Electric was developed in a joint venture between DAF and VDL (earlier post), and will be used by Jumbo to supply its supermarkets in the south of the Netherlands. The first DAF CF Electric to... Read more →

Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has delivered the first vehicle in its Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet—a Freightliner eM2 (earlier post)—to Penske Truck Leasing, fulfilling its promise to put an electric commercial truck in customer hands in 2018. The Freightliner eM2 106 is intended for local distribution operations in the food... Read more →

ARPA-E awarding ~$14.4M to four projects for production of hydrogen and carbon products from methane

The US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced approximately $21 million in funding for 7 projects in the next two cohorts of the agency’s OPEN+ program. These project teams will pursue methods to create high-value carbon and hydrogen from methane (four projects, $14.4 million), or to produce... Read more →

Study finds chloroform emissions, on the rise in East Asia, could delay ozone recovery by up to eight years

The ozone layer, which shields the Earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation, and which was severely depleted by decades of human-derived, ozone-destroying chemicals, is on the road to recovery as a direct result of regulations set by the 1987 Montreal Protocol. As a result of this sustained international effort,... Read more →

Bernal Institute leading €8M EU project to advance batteries for electric vehicles

Researchers at the Bernal Institute at the University of Limerick, Ireland are leading an €8-million EU-funded project called Si-DRIVE, which aims to develop battery technology to support higher performance electric vehicles. This project will tackle the major barriers to EV uptake, which relate to driving range, cost and recharge times... Read more →

Nigeria accounts for more than 34% of the proposed capital expenditure (capex) on planned and announced crude and natural gas projects in the sub-Saharan Africa over the period 2018–2025, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. The company’s report: ‘H2 2018 Production and Capital Expenditure Outlook for Key... Read more →

Canada-based MGX Minerals Inc. is funding a research consortium with the University of British Columbia (UBC) to develop a low-cost and scalable method for fabricating silicon-based anodes to improve the energy density of Li-ion batteries. The two-year research program will focus on 1) fabricating nanostructured silicon using low-cost metallurgical silicon... Read more →

Greenlots and ChargePoint partner to increase access to EV charging throughout North America with peer-to-peer roaming agreement

Greenlots and ChargePoint announced a roaming partnership that will enable charging between networks, opening access to thousands of additional charging locations throughout North America at no additional cost. Beginning in mid-2019, drivers will be able to charge on either ChargePoint or Greenlots networks without the need to create separate accounts... Read more →

Bolivia and ACISA found joint venture to extract and industrialize lithium from residual brine; €300M investment

Bolivian state-owned company Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB) and the German company ACI Systems Alemania GmbH (ACISA) have formed a joint venture: YLB-ACISA. The aim of the JV is the sustainable extraction and industrialization of lithium as well as other raw materials from Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt... Read more →

BMZ Group partners with Samsung SDI, ordering ~US$1B worth of Li-ion cells

The BMZ Group, the largest manufacturer of lithium-ion battery systems in Europe, is launching a long-term cooperation in the field of electromobility with Samsung SDI. BMZ will order just under US$1 billion worth of cells from the Korea-based battery maker over the next five years. BMZ Group is a global... Read more →

Inspired by the breathing process of mammalian alveoli, scientists at Stanford University have developed a breathing-mimicking, pouch-type, nanoporous polyethylene (PE) structure for two-way efficient gas transport from and to an electrocatalyst/electrolyte interface. Their research is published in the journal Joule. Electrocatalytic oxygen evolution and reduction reactions play a central role... Read more →

Groupe Renault to buy significant stake in China EV company JMEV

Groupe Renault said it will take a “significant part” of JMEV, a subsidiary of JMCG (Jiangling Motors Co., Group). JMCG established JMEV. JMEV produced and sold 38,000 electric cars in 2017; the company expects its sales to top 50,000 electric cars in 2018. JMEV, the future joint venture with JMCG... Read more →

Mercedes-Benz has begun sales of two diesel models of the new GLE SUV which already comply with the coming Euro 6d emissions standard. Delivery of the first vehicles begins in spring of 2019. The OM 656 six-cylinder diesel engine comes with 243 kW (330 hp) and 700 N·m of torque... Read more →

Nine states and DC to design regional approach to cap greenhouse gas emissions from transportation

A coalition of nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia announced their intent to design a new regional low-carbon transportation policy proposal that would cap and reduce carbon emissions from the combustion of transportation fuels, and invest proceeds from the program into low-carbon and more resilient transportation... Read more →

The BMW Group and Daimler AG are planning the next steps for their joint mobility company (earlier post), following approval by the responsible authorities. The basis for this is the approval of the US antitrust authorities, which was received on 18 December 2018. All antitrust authorities involved have now given... Read more →