Groupe Renault and Google Cloud announced a new industrial and technology partnership to accelerate the digitization of Groupe Renault’s industrial system and of Industry 4.0 transformation. A recognized contributor to Industry 4.0, Groupe Renault has been developing its own digital platform since 2016 to connect and to aggregate industrial data... Read more →


Volkswagen has begun conversion of its Emden, Germany plant to support the production of Evs; the first electric cars are to roll off the production line there from 2022. With the conversion of our plant at Emden into a production location for electric vehicles, Volkswagen is forcing the pace of... Read more →


Rheinmetall Automotive AG, part of technology group Rheinmetall AG, has received a major order from an international OEM for electrical vacuum pumps. The order extends to a lifetime volume of €250 million. The components will be manufactured by Pierburg Huayu Pump Technology (PHP), a Shanghai-based joint venture company of Rheinmetall... Read more →


Semcon developing new robotic cell with vision technology to streamline fuel cell production

International technology company Semcon is currently deepening its collaboration with fuel cell manufacturer PowerCell (earlier post) through a new framework agreement and by developing and deploying an entirely new robotic cell for testing new fuel cell production technology with the aim of making the fuel cells more efficient. This new... Read more →


Demand for raw materials used in the production of electric car batteries is set to soar, prompting the UN trade body, UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), to call for the social and environmental impacts of the extraction of raw materials, which include human rights abuses, to be... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz AG has taken numerous measures to sustainably improve its cost structure and become significantly more efficient. An important lever for this is the adjustment and realignment of capacity within its global production network. Against this backdrop, the company intends to start talks on the sale of its car plant... Read more →


Ballard Power Systems has received a $7.7-million purchase order for membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for use in manufacturing FCvelocity-9SSL fuel cell stacks from Guangdong Synergy Ballard Hydrogen Power Co., Ltd. (Synergy-Ballard JVCo), a joint venture in which Ballard holds a 10% ownership interest. Ballard FCvelocity-9SSL fuel cell stacks (CNW Group/Ballard... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz has entered a far-reaching strategic partnership with the Chinese battery cell manufacturer Farasis Energy (Ganzhou) Co., Ltd., including taking an equity stake. Key elements of the agreement include the development and industrialization of advanced cell technologies, accompanied by ambitious goals for cost competitiveness. The technological focus is on significant... Read more →


Daimler Truck AG is pushing forward with series production of fuel cells with Daimler Truck Fuel Cell GmbH & Co. KG. Over the past ten years, experts from Daimler have built up extensive know-how in this field and have developed production methods and processes. In close cooperation with their colleagues... Read more →


BASF develops engineering plastic with optimized sliding friction properties; for automotive parts in contact with hot oil

BASF is launching an engineering plastic that is particularly suited for automotive parts that come into contact with hot oil. The new polyethersulfone (PESU) Ultrason E0510 C2TR shows very good tribological properties, high oil resistance and excellent dimensional stability also with broad ranges of temperature fluctuations. The injection-molding grade with... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation has developed a world’s stamping-type plating technology that uses a polymer membrane (solid electrolyte membrane), through which metal ions can pass, to apply plating, like a stamp, only to areas requiring plating. The technology is used in the plating process for forming copper, nickel, and other metal... Read more →


The BMW Group’s battery cell suppliers to use only green power to produce its fifth-generation cells

The BMW Group now has a contractual agreement with it cell manufacturers so that they will use only green power to produce BMW’s fifth-generation battery cells, according to BMW AG Management Board Chairman Oliver Zipse. The production of high-voltage batteries is energy-intensive, and accounts for up to 40% of a... Read more →


The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) announced a request for information (RFI) (DOE-FOA-0002358) on challenges and opportunities in the upstream and midstream critical-materials battery supply chains. In this RFI, DOE specifically seeks input on the current state of the battery cathode materials... Read more →


The BMW Group has officially opened its new Additive Manufacturing Campus. The new center brings together production of prototype and series parts under one roof, along with research into new 3D printing technologies, and associate training for the global rollout of toolless production. The €15-million campus will allow the BMW... Read more →


Volkswagen Zwickau car factory now producing only electric models

The end of production of the Golf Variant concludes the Volkswagen Zwickau plant’s 116-year history of building combustion engine vehicles. The last model with a combustion engine—a seventh-generation Golf R Estate with 2.0-liter gasoline engine—left the assembly line on Friday at the Zwickau car factory. Going forward, only electric models... Read more →


With more than $32 million in pending orders from commercial and government fleets, commercial electric vehicle supplier Lightning Systems is more than tripling the size of its manufacturing, research and development facility in Loveland, Colorado. Lightning moved its headquarters, manufacturing, and R&D into the former Hewlett-Packard/Agilent campus in southwest Loveland... Read more →


The COBRA (CObalt-free Batteries for FutuRe Automotive Applications) project has been awarded a €11.8-million grant to develop Next Generation Cobalt-free batteries. COBRA, which aims to develop lithium, cobalt-free batteries made with new energy storage materials that incorporate intelligent sensors to help enhance their energy efficiency, is funded by the European... Read more →


Ampcera announces a low-cost and scalable solid electrolyte technology for solid-state batteries

Silicon-Valley-based Ampcera announced a low-cost flexible solid electrolyte (SE) membrane technology for solid-state batteries (SSBs). Unlike conventional lithium ion batteries (LIBs) that include a flammable liquid or gel polymer electrolyte, SSBs use a safe SE and promise to double the driving range of electric vehicles when loaded with the same... Read more →


DOE selects 11 manufacturing and materials projects to receive $3.3M for high performance computing research

The US Department of Energy (DOE) selected 11 projects to receive $3.3 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development. The projects will use high performance computing to address key technical challenges in US manufacturing and materials development. Through DOE’s High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) initiative, selected... Read more →


DOE to fund national laboratories to establish industry partnerships for battery manufacturing innovation

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is soliciting proposals from the National Laboratories and industry partners that pursue radical innovations for American battery manufacturing leadership. Under this opportunity, DOE will directly fund the National Laboratories to establish public-private partnerships that solve engineering challenges for advanced battery materials and devices, with... Read more →


Oy ECE EcoCooling Engineering Ltd, part of a portfolio of Finnish high-tech companies developing world-leading technologies, such as the front-lit technology used in Amazon Kindle-devices, is bringing to market the EcoCooling method to replace conventional metalworking fluids with ionized, cooled air. EcoCooling was developed and industrialized by the portfolio company... Read more →


Fort Worth approves $68.9M incentive package for Linear Labs for electric motor manufacturing

The City of Fort Worth, Texas has approved a $68.9-million economic incentive package for electric-motor-manufacturer Linear Labs (earlier post) to further solidify the city as the next tech innovation hub. Linear Labs plans to secure a 500,000-square-foot facility for advanced, smart manufacturing to support thousands of new, skilled jobs over... Read more →


The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €125-million loan with Umicore, the Belgian-based global materials technology and recycling group, to finance part of the greenfield production facility for cathode materials in Poland. The cathode materials will be supplied to battery manufacturers of high-tech lithium-ion batteries that are primarily used... Read more →


Cranfield: switching from aluminum to zinc alloys could greatly improve longevity and sustainability of automotive parts

A new study by researchers at Cranfield University in the UK finds that switching from aluminum to zinc alloys in the production of automotive parts could greatly enhance their longevity and sustainability. The study, conducted by Cranfield’s Sustainable Manufacturing Systems Center, evaluated the performance of three different alloys (aluminum-A380, magnesium-AZ91D... Read more →


Henkel introduced Bergquist Gap Filler TGF 7000, its latest thermal interface material (TIM) innovation. The liquid TIM is a major formulation breakthrough, as it effectively marries high thermal conductivity of 7.0 W/mK with a maximum possible speed tested of 18 grams per second, a combination which is currently the only... Read more →


Dürr is announcing the availability of the first market-ready AI application for paint shops: Advanced Analytics. The solution, which combines the latest IT technology and mechanical engineering expertise, identifies sources of defects and determines optimal maintenance schedules. It also tracks previously unknown correlations and uses the knowledge to adapt the... Read more →


Audi began using aluminum in 1994 with the first Audi A8 with the Audi Space Frame. Audi continues to use the lightweight metal in various components of what is now the fourth generation of the luxury sedan as part of an innovative multi-material mix. The production of aluminum is very... Read more →


The BMW Group will release the new BMW iX3 EV (earlier post)onto the market by the end of 2020. Standard production of the BMW core brand’s first pure electric model will get underway at the BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture (BBA) in China in late summer as planned: BBA Plant... Read more →


After more than two years of preparation, Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia (TMMWV) produced Toyota’s first hybrid transaxle in North America this previous week. An initial $113-million investment was announced in late 2017 for TMMWV to yearly produce 120,000 hybrid transaxles, which replaces the conventional transmission in hybrid vehicles. The... Read more →


The Volvo Cars manufacturing plant in Chengdu, the company’s largest in China, is now powered by 100% renewable electricity, taking the company’s global renewable electricity mix in its manufacturing network to 80%. The 100% renewable electricity mix in Chengdu is the result of a newly signed supply contract and will... Read more →


Constellium SE signed a multi-year contract with Airbus. The new 10-year agreement supports all Airbus programs. Under this agreement, Constellium will supply Airbus with a broad range of advanced aluminum rolled and extruded products, including wing skin panels, sheets for fuselage panels, and rectangular and pre-machined plates for structural components.... Read more →


The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Critical Materials Institute (CMI) announced up to $4 million in funding (CMI OPI Call) to address challenges in establishing domestic supply chains for critical materials with specific emphasis on industrial relevance, participation, and adoption. Critical elements important to clean energy technologies currently included in... Read more →


Roskill: Nickel sulfate to be the key growth area of nickel demand over the next decade; driven by EVs

As a crucial raw material in Li-ion batteries used to electrify vehicles, a significant volume of nickel sulfate will be required in the decade ahead from the booming automotive sector. In a newly-released report (Nickel Sulphate Outlook to 2029, 3rd Edition) on the nickel sulfate industry, Roskill forecasts that growth... Read more →


SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall, the partners in the joint venture HYBRIT (earlier post), are preparing for the construction of a demonstration plant for the production of fossil-free steel on an industrial scale. Consultations have begun for deciding on placement of the plant in Norrbotten, Sweden. The plan is for construction... Read more →


Leclanché announces strategic reorganization; partnership with Eneris Group

Swiss energy storage company Leclanché SA announced a strategic reorganization which will convert the company into a market-oriented, research-driven, software and systems integration company with expanded production and R&D capabilities based on a partnership agreement with Eneris Group. Eneris Group will make direct investments in Leclanché totaling up to CHF... Read more →


Capgemini and Audi launch XL2 joint venture to support digital transformation of auto industry

Capgemini and Audi have launched a joint venture: XL2. Following regulatory approvals, the company was founded at the end of April. It will provide digital technology and consulting services, specifically in the fields of SAP S/4HANA and cloud services primarily for Audi and the entire Volkswagen Group. XL2 was founded... Read more →


Volkswagen intensifies e-mobility activities in China with additional €2B investment; JAC Volkswagen and battery-maker Gotion

Volkswagen plans to increase its share in JAC Volkswagen, its joint venture for e-mobility. Around €1 billion is to be invested. This amount includes the acquisition of 50% of JAG, the parent company of the Volkswagen partner JAC, and an increase in the stake in JAC Volkswagen from 50 to... Read more →


Local battery production is an important success factor for Mercedes-Benz AG’s electric offensive and the key element to meet the global demand for electrified vehicles flexibly and efficiently. The company is therefore investing more than €1 billion to establish a global battery production network. The network will consist of nine... Read more →


1st development phase of Autostack Industrie project for commercialization of fuel cell stacks complete

In 2017, Germany launched a consortium of leading industrial companies to investigate high-volume production of automotive fuel cell stacks. (Earlier post.) Now, the first development phase—Evolution 1—of the stack development is complete; the level achieved will be evaluated by the partners. The complexity and number of parts of a fuel... Read more →


Australia-based Argosy Minerals Limited confirmed the successful export shipment of five tonnes of >99.5% lithium carbonate product from its industrial-scale pilot plant operations at the Rincon Lithium Project in Salta Province, Argentina. The preliminary five tonne cargo was loaded onto the ship on Wednesday and set sail overnight from Buenos... Read more →


Ricardo joins Digital Twin Consortium; targeting multiple transportation/mobility industries

Ricardo has become a “Groundbreaker,” one of a handful of international companies collaborating in the newly formed Digital Twin Consortium, which seeks to drive consistency in vocabulary, architecture, security and interoperability. Led by a steering committee consisting of founders Ansys, Dell, Lendlease and Microsoft, the open-membership Consortium represents an international... Read more →


InoBat Auto acquires Slovakia site for battery R&D and prototype production

European R&D and battery production company InoBat Auto has acquired a 290,000 sq ft (27,000 sq m) facility close to Bratislava, Slovakia. The property will house a 100MWh facility combining proprietary High Throughput Process (HTP) R&D with prototype battery cell-manufacturing capabilities. InoBat says the facility will produce batteries to specifications... Read more →


DOE to award $67M to stimulate manufacturing technology innovation

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced a $67-million funding opportunity (DE-FOA-0002252) to stimulate technology innovation, improve the energy productivity of American manufacturing, and enable the manufacturing of cutting-edge products in the United States. Projects selected under this funding opportunity announcement will... Read more →


BASF and DiDi, the world’s leading mobile transportation platform, signed a strategic cooperation agreement in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, where Xiaoju Autocare (Xiaoju Yangche), a subsidiary of DiDi, is headquartered. Under the agreement, BASF will provide DiDi with sustainable automotive refinish products developed at its research and production site in... Read more →


BMW Group has selected the new NVIDIA Isaac robotics platform to enhance its automotive factories, utilizing logistics robots built on advanced AI computing and visualization technologies. The collaboration centers on implementing an end-to-end system based on NVIDIA technologies—from training and testing through to deployment—with robots developed using one software architecture,... Read more →


The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $30 million in funding (DE-FOA-0002322) for research and development that focuses on field validation and demonstration, as well as next-generation extraction, separation, and processing technologies for critical materials. Through this funding opportunity announcement (FOA), the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) seeks to... Read more →


General Motors expects its Spring Hill Manufacturing plant will be powered by 100% solar energy beginning in late 2022. A green tariff agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority is expected to supply up to 100 megawatts of solar energy per year, or the amount of electricity consumed by 18,000 United... Read more →


OXIS Energy to build Li-S manufacturing plant in Brazil

OXIS Energy and the Minas Gerais Development Company CODEMGE have signed a 15-year lease agreement with Mercedes Benz Brazil (MBB) to take possession of a plant located at the MBB manufacturing site in Juiz de Fora in southeast Brazil to build a Li-sulfur battery manufacturing operation. NORDIKA Pharmaceutical of Brazil... Read more →


London-based sustainability consultancy Kumi, a market leader in responsible sourcing practices for global supply chains, has launched a due diligence tool called CAHRA Map to enable companies in the minerals and metals sector to identify “conflict-affected and high-risk areas” (CAHRAs). The identification of CAHRAs is a critical step in the... Read more →


The California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded $7.8 to two lithium recovery projects. Uniquely high concentrations of the dissolved soft metal are found in the brine produced by the state’s geothermal hotspots. The Salton Sea Known Geothermal Area contains an estimated six million tons of recoverable lithium within presently available geothermal... Read more →