In response to a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Kia Motors has begun the production of face shields at its manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia. Initial donations of medical use face shields assembled at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) will be made... Read more →


A study by an international team of researchers led by Aalto University finds that less than one-third of the world’s population could currently meet their demand for food with food produced in their local vicinity. The paper is published in the journal Nature Food. Globalization has revolutionized food production and... Read more →


The first VOCSN V+Pro critical care ventilators produced by General Motors and Ventec Life Systems in Kokomo, Indiana (earlier post) are being delivered by UPS to Franciscan Health Olympia Fields in Olympia Fields, Illinois and Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago at the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. With... Read more →


IHS Markit: global commercial vehicle production to drop 22% in 2020 in wake of COVID-19

IHS Markit is forecasting that global commercial vehicle production (GVW 4-8) volumes in 2020 compared to 2019 will be down 22% (more than 650,000 units) to 2.6 million units, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Individual regional forecasts are set to a downtrend, and supply chain impacts are being... Read more →


GHSA: absent traffic jams, many drivers getting more reckless

Emptier streets may be encouraging some drivers to flaunt traffic safety laws, including speed limits, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). Despite there being far fewer vehicles on the road due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, state highway safety officials across the country are seeing a severe spike in... Read more →


Traffic accidents and crash-related injuries and deaths were reduced by half during the first three weeks of California’s shelter-in-place order, which began March 20. The reductions save the state an estimated $40 million per day—about $1 billion over the time period—according to an updated special report released from the Road... Read more →


IHS Markit: OEMs expect e-mobility R&D to be more negatively hit by COVID-19 than other R&D areas

The Automotive Supply Chain and Technology team at IHS Markit recently completed a survey among automakers and suppliers across all regions to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Research and Development. The survey focused on the size of research and development (R&D) budget cuts; outsourcing vs. in-sourcing of R&D activities;... Read more →


Workhorse Group Inc., a company focused on providing sustainable and cost-effective electric vehicles to the last-mile delivery sector, has expanded its patent portfolio through a recently filed provisional application, further protecting the HorseFly Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) and several of the system’s key components and capabilities, including its ground control... Read more →


Hyundai Motor America expanded its support for COVID-19 drive-thru testing to 22 hospitals nationwide with $4 million in grants through its Hyundai Hope On Wheels program. These grants are designed to combat the coronavirus by providing increased access to testing throughout the nation. The company also announced an in-kind donation... Read more →


Ford develops and begins manufacturing new powered respirator; expanding other COVID-19 efforts

Ford, with design and testing consultation from 3M, has developed a new powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR). Production of this PAPR starts today at Ford’s Vreeland facility near Flat Rock, Mich., with paid UAW volunteers, with the ability to make 100,000 or more. In addition to the current production of more... Read more →


Current analysis by Strategy Analytics (SA) indicates that the severity of the COVID-19-induced 2020 Recession as measured by change in Real GDP will be unprecedented looking back to the Great Depression. The recession will disrupt Automotive, Consumer Electronics, Semiconductor, and IT infrastructure businesses worldwide before recovery in 2021, the firm... Read more →


Based on the number of requests for face masks for frontline workers, GM is increasing its production capacity for face masks at its Warren, Michigan facility. In addition, the company has shared its manufacturing plans with GM suppliers along with the Original Equipment Suppliers Association and the Michigan Manufacturers Association... Read more →


In order to continue the development and testing of future vehicles during the COVID-19 lockdown, Ricardo has implemented a world-first in virtual vehicle certification whereby automaker clients and certification bodies can observe tests via a secure, live 3-way feed to the automation and data management systems of Ricardo’s advanced test... Read more →


IHS Markit is projecting an 18% drop in global new vehicle sales year-on-year under an extended lockdown scenario to 73.3 million units. Regionally, that breaks out to: -26% US vehicle sales decline YoY to 12.6 million units -17% Europe vehicle sales decline YoY to 17.1 million units -14% China vehicle... Read more →


Harvard study finds small increase in long-term exposure to PM2.5 leads to a large increase in COVID-19 death rate

A new study by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health concludes that a small increase in long-term exposure to PM2.5 leads to a large increase in COVID-19 death rate, with the magnitude of increase 20 times that observed for PM2.5 and all-cause mortality. US government scientists estimate... Read more →


GlobalData: COVID-19 puts EV sales and CO2 fleet emission targets at risk

GlobalData research shows that lower oil prices as a result of the COVID-19 crisis could reduce electric vehicle demand and impair EU efforts to significantly reduce average new vehicle CO2 emissions in the European car market. GlobalData’s analysis suggests that low oil prices will lead to a longer waits for... Read more →


Researchers suggests high level of air pollution in Northern Italy a co-factor in COVID-19 mortality rate

Researchers from the University of Siena in Italy and Aarhus University in Denmark are suggesting that the high level of pollution in Northern Italy should be considered an additional co-factor of the high level of COVID-19 fatalities recorded in that area. An open-access paper on their work is published in... Read more →


IPSOS study finds private cars jump to 1st place as preferred means of transport in China; protection against infection

In a recent study by the market research institute Ipsos, two out of three respondents say that they prefer their own car to public transport—twice as many as before the COVID-19 outbreak. At the end of February, Ipsos asked 1,620 Chinese citizens about their mobility preferences, and the fear of... Read more →


GlobalData: Coronavirus threatens China’s battery sector dominance; 26 GWh hit in 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in China will impact the green energy sector, including renewable energy sources, battery energy storage, electric vehicles (EVs), and renewable heating and cooling, says data and analytics company GlobalData. China’s attempt to fight the coronavirus outbreak has led to delayed production across a number of battery... Read more →


Volkswagen of America and Faurecia are collaborating to manufacture Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items needed on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis response. Strategic planning with Volkswagen has allowed Faurecia—a fabrics and materials supplier for the brand—to begin production of facemasks and gowns to be used by medical professionals battling... Read more →


FTA allocating $25B to help US public transportation systems with COVID-19 reality

The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced a total of $25 billion in federal funding allocations to help US public transportation systems respond to shift in market reality caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding is provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed... Read more →


EPA eases several gasoline-related regulations in response to COVID-19 pandemic

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is easing several gasoline-related regulations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. First, EPA intends to provide additional flexibility to the marketplace to transition from winter-grade, high volatility gasoline to summer-grade low vapor pressure gasoline. Due to the steep fall-off in gasoline demand as a... Read more →