Study finds automatic monitors significantly improve the quality of pollution data reported in China

A new study finds that automated pollution monitors in China led to more accurate readings and that citizens used this information to protect themselves better against the harms of air pollution. Less than a decade ago, not only was air pollution a recognized problem in China, but many didn’t trust... Read more →


Navistar settles air quality violations in California for $2 million

Truck manufacturer Navistar Inc. has paid $2 million to resolve allegations that it altered heavy-duty vehicle engines from their certified design, potentially causing excess diesel emissions and negatively impacting air quality. The Illinois-based company modified its vehicle calibrations from their certified design through “running changes” in the engines of its... Read more →


Study: traffic density, wind and air stratification influence concentrations of NO2

In connection with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, satellite measurements made headlines showing how much the air pollutant nitrogen dioxide (NO2) had decreased in China and northern Italy. In Germany, traffic density is the most important factor. However, weather also has an influence on NO2 concentrations, according to a... Read more →


EPA adds 1-bromopropane to list of hazardous air pollutants; first addition since 1990

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted petitions to add 1-bromopropane (1-BP) to the list of hazardous air pollutants regulated under the Clean Air Act (CAA). This is the first time since 1990 that EPA has granted a petition to add a hazardous air pollutant to the CAA. Petitioners... Read more →


Fewer wild animals, including threatened mountain lions, are becoming roadkill during shelter-in-place orders, according to a study on three states from the University of California, Davis. Using traffic and collision data collected from California, Idaho and Maine, the researchers found that wildlife-vehicle conflict has declined by 21-56 percent from early... Read more →


A team of researchers, led by Professor Gavin Shaddick at the University of Exeter, has shown that, despite global efforts to improve air quality, half of the world’s population is exposed to increasing air pollution. The study, carried out with the World Health Organization, suggests that air pollution constitutes a... Read more →


UC Davis study: traffic-related air pollution impacts early brain development

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have found a link between traffic-related air pollution and an increased risk for changes in brain development relevant to neurodevelopmental disorders. Their study, based on rodent models, corroborates previous epidemiological evidence showing this association. While air pollution has long been a concern for... Read more →


Though their designs have changed considerably over the past two decades, late-model SUVs still appear to be more likely to kill pedestrians than cars, a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found. Thanks to advances in safety, the number of people killed in motor vehicle crashes in... Read more →


A study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a center supported by the “la Caixa” Foundation, contributes new evidence about the negative impact of air pollution on cardiovascular health. The results of the study, which analyzed the relationship between several cardiovascular markers and personal exposure to two... Read more →


UCLA study shows how air pollution can lead to damage to brain cells; zebrafish and Parkinson’s

A new UCLA study in zebrafish identified the process by which air pollution can damage brain cells, potentially contributing to Parkinson’s disease. Published in the journal Toxicological Sciences, the findings show that chemicals in diesel exhaust can trigger the toxic buildup of a protein in the brain called alpha-synuclein, which... 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 →


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 →


Researchers from Surrey’s Global Center for Clean Air Research (GCARE) in the UK have investigated the amount of harmful air pollutants babies potentially inhale while out in a stroller with their parents or caretakers. The study looked at three different stroller types—single facing the road, single facing the adult and... 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 →


The COVID-19 has hit the Chinese EV sector hard; CRU, a provider of business intelligence on the global metals, mining and fertilizer industries, believes that weak sales will last at least until early Q2 2020. Nonetheless, it continues to forecast Chinese EV sales growth in 2020 over 2019’s total. EV... Read more →


Faced with the compelling need for more respirators, the French government asked a group of French industrial companies led by Air Liquide to study the possibility of increasing the production of respirators so as to provide 10,000 respirators in 50 days, between the beginning of April and mid-May. In response,... Read more →


As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the country, it created a critical shortage of face masks. To help protect workers in essential services across the country, GM launched a rapid-response project to produce masks at scale on 20 March. Seven days later, the team had produced its first sample on... Read more →


Ford Motor Company, in collaboration with GE Healthcare, will begin producing in Michigan the Airon pNeuton model A ventilator with the goal to produce 50,000 of the needed units within 100 days and up to 30,000 a month thereafter as needed. Established in 1997, Airon Corporation is a privately held... Read more →


The SEAT Leon line at the Martorell, Spain, plant is producing automated ventilators to collaborate with the healthcare system in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Going from producing cars to ventilators in record time is the result of the intense work of many SEAT employees. The motivation of everyone... Read more →


Study links air pollution to dementia and cardiovascular disease

People continuously exposed to air pollution are at increased risk of dementia, especially if they also suffer from cardiovascular diseases, according to a study at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal JAMA Neurology. Patients with cardiovascular diseases who live in polluted environments may require additional support from care... Read more →


The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will cancel its June 2020 show in Detroit in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic sweeping across the world and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s expected plans to repurpose TCF Center into a temporary field hospital. NAIAS will hold its next annual show... Read more →


On 20 March, GM announced a cooperation with Ventec Life Systems to increase production of Ventec’s multi-function ventilator VOCSN to support the growing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. (Earlier post.) One week later, on 27 March, President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA), directing the Scretary of Health and... Read more →


Volkswagen AG is releasing employees with medical qualifications for up to 15 working days with full pay if they volunteer for work in the public health service. As of 27 March, there were 42,288 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Germany—a country-wide average of 51 cases per 100,000 population (0.05%)—with 253... Read more →


A sudden drop in miles traveled by car in the US triggered by wide-spread social isolation measures will have immediate ramifications for gasoline demand. IHS Markit analysis finds that US gasoline demand could fall by as much as 4.1 million barrels per day (MMb/d) during the COVID-19 response period. The... Read more →


Researchers at the University of South Australia (UniSA), in partnership with DragonFly, are working to deploy a drone to monitor and to detect remotely people with infectious respiratory conditions. The drone will be fitted with a specialized sensor and computer vision system that can monitor temperature, heart and respiratory rates,... Read more →


Bosch Healthcare Solutions, together with Randox Laboratories Ltd., has developed one of the world’s first fully automated molecular diagnostic tests for COVID-19. The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is posing major challenges for healthcare systems and medical institutions worldwide. An ability to rapidly diagnose the virus is of invaluable help in curbing its... Read more →


Brazil-based oil company Petrobras will direct part of the processing capacity of its high-performance computers (HPC) to contribute to the Folding@home Project effort on studying the coronavirus behavior in the human body and how the disease progresses, from the interaction of viral proteins, making way for for the development of... Read more →


INEOS, a leading chemcial manufacturer, announced it will build a UK factory to produce 1 million bottles of hand sanitizer per month within 10 days and will replicate this in Germany. These will be produced according to World Health Organisation specifications and be specifically designed to kill bacteria and viruses.... Read more →


EEA data show air pollution goes down as Europe takes hard measures to combat coronavirus

The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) data confirm large decreases in air pollutant concentrations—of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations in particular—largely due to reduced traffic and other activities, especially in major cities under lockdown measures. Reductions of around half have been seen in some locations. The EEA’s data are measured hourly, on... Read more →


Ford Motor Company, joining forces with firms including 3M and GE Healthcare, is lending its manufacturing and engineering expertise to expand quickly production of urgently needed medical equipment and supplies for healthcare workers, first responders and patients fighting COVID-19. In addition, Ford plans to assemble more than 100,000 face shields... Read more →


INRIX has published the first in what it says will be an ongoing series of reports on road traffic demand changes from the COVID-19 virus spread. The report finds that COVID-19 has reduced traffic by 30% nationwide so far in March. Source: INRIX. Total volume first dropped nationally on 13... Read more →


Stratasys Ltd. announced a global mobilization of the company’s 3D printing resources and expertise to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, spanning its Stratasys, GrabCAD, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing and partner network with donated printing capacity across all regions. The initial focus is on providing thousands of disposable face shields for use... Read more →


COVID-19 infection at Toyota Takaoka plant

Toyota announced that a second male, full-time employee in his 20s working as a line worker at its Takaoka Plant in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee in question (Employee “B”) was a close contact of the Toyota employee who tested positive for COVID-19... Read more →


GM and Ventec Life Systems, in cooperation with StopTheSpread.org, the US’ coordinated private sector response to COVID-19, are collaborating to enable Ventec to increase production of its multi-function ventilator VOCSN to support the growing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Ventec’s VOCSN seamlessly integrates five separate devices including a Ventilator, Oxygen... Read more →


Data from the ESA’s Tropomi (TROPOspheric Monitoring) instrument on board the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite shows the variation of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions over China from December to March. A decline in NO2 corresponds to the outbreak of COVID-19 and a subsequent resurgence corresponds to the succes of measures to contain... Read more →


More auto plant shutdowns for COVID-19

Joining BMW, Ford and FCA in suspension of production in the US due to COVID-19 (earlier post) are: Toyota is temporarily suspending production at all of its automobile and components plants in North America, including Canada, Mexico and the US, through 3 April. Nissan will suspend production of its manufacturing... Read more →


Those living in polluted cities are more at risk from COVID-19, the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) warned today. Air pollution can cause hypertension, diabetes and respiratory diseases, conditions that doctors are starting to link to higher mortality rates for COVID-19. A 2003 study on victims of the coronavirus SARS... Read more →