In France, Luca de Meo, CEO Groupe Renault, presented the group’s new strategic plan— “Renaulution”—which, among other more specific elements, aims to shift Groupe Renault’s strategy from volumes to value. In accordance with this value-driven organization, the company will no longer measure its performance on market shares and sales but... Read more →


European aviation sector and NGOs agree on sustainability of future fuels

As the European Union is about to unveil new targets for sustainable aviation fuel in 2021, a group of major European aviation companies—including KLM, Easyjet, Air France, International Airlines Group—as well as research organizations and environmental groups are calling for a more stringent policy approach to sustainability and the sector’s... Read more →


After developing an innovative new process to extract scandium from the by-products generated during the production of titanium dioxide, Rio Tinto Fer et Titane (RTFT) announced that it will become North America’s first producer of high-quality scandium oxide with a new plant under construction at RTFT’s metallurgical complex in Sorel-Tracy,... Read more →


Geely & Foxconn form JV to help automakers transition to new manufacturing processes and business models based on CASE

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely Holding) and Foxconn Technology Group (Foxconn) signed a strategic cooperative agreement that will establish a 50-50 joint venture company to provide OEM production and comprehensive customized consulting services relating to whole vehicles, parts, intelligent drive systems, automotive ecosystem platforms, electric vehicle industry value chain, and... Read more →


Total and Engie signed a cooperation agreement to design, develop, build and operate the Masshylia project, France’s largest renewable hydrogen production site at Châteauneuf-les-Martigues in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur South region. Located at the heart of Total’s La Mède biorefinery and powered by solar farms with a total capacity of more... Read more →


Blue World Technologies, developer and manufacturer of methanol fuel cells, is acquiring Danish Power Systems, a 25-year-old High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (HTPEM) membrane electrode assembly (MEA) research and development company. The transaction follows Blue World’s August 2019 purchase of 15% of the shares in Danish Power Systems. (Earlier post.)... Read more →


Linde to build, own and operate 24MW PEM electrolyzer for green hydrogen

Linde will build, own and operate a 24MW PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) electrolyzer plant at the Leuna Chemical Complex in Germany. The new 24-megawatt electrolyzer will produce green hydrogen to supply Linde’s industrial customers through the company’s existing pipeline network. In addition, Linde will distribute liquefied green hydrogen to refueling... Read more →


DOE awards $123.6M to 46 projects to bolster domestic manufacturing through innovation

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced approximately $123.6 million in funding, as well as $44.7 million of cost share, for 46 projects in 23 states to stimulate technology innovation, improve the energy productivity of American manufacturing, and enable the manufacturing of... Read more →


General Motors has launched a new business, BrightDrop, which will offer an ecosystem of electric first-to-last-mile products, software and services to empower delivery and logistics companies to move goods more efficiently. BrightDrop solutions are designed to help businesses lower costs, maximize productivity, improve employee safety and freight security, and support... Read more →


Groupe Renault and Plug Power to form JV for hydrogen-fuel-cell light commercial vehicle market in Europe

Groupe Renault and Plug Power Inc. have signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) to launch a 50-50 joint-venture based in France by the end of the first half of 2021, targeting more than 30% share of the fuel cell-powered light commercial vehicle (LCV) market in Europe. Bringing complementary and competitive... Read more →


Bus manufacturer Solaris has joined the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, an initiative led by the European Commission. The aim of the Alliance is to scale-up, by 2030, the production and deployment of hydrogen as a fuel produced by means of low-emission technologies and renewable energy sources. The European Clean Hydrogen... Read more →


Automotive test system supplier AB Dynamics has showcased its capability to replicate simulated swarm tests quickly and accurately in the real world and vice-versa. By using a common toolchain, complex scenario testing can be transferred from one environment to the other with centimeter accuracy. This enables the testing and development... Read more →


How much did we use different classes of vehicles just before the pandemic?

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. This analysis examines distances driven per vehicle in different vehicle classes in 2019 (the last year before the pandemic) and compares them with the corresponding values in 2009. The raw data were, for each vehicle class, the total vehicle distance traveled and the number... Read more →


China EV maker XPeng inks strategic cooperation agreement with banks for $2B credit facilities

China-based EV company XPeng signed a strategic cooperation agreement with leading domestic banks at a signing ceremony held in Guangzhou, China, pursuant to which it will secure a credit line of RMB12.8 billion (US$1.98 billion) with an extensive range of credit facilities. Under the terms of the agreement, five domestic... Read more →


Prices for new light trucks—pickups, vans, and sport utility vehicles (SUVs)—averaged 43% more than new cars in 2019. From 1990 to 1995, cars had a higher average price than light trucks. With the increasingpopularity o f SUVs and high-end pickup trucks, the average price of light trucks grew from about... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz Cars tripled global sales of xEVs in 2020; 7.4% of sales

Mercedes-Benz experienced a sharp increase in xEV deliveries in 2020, with more than 160,000 plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles sold worldwide (+228.8%), including about 87,000 units in the fourth quarter alone. We more than tripled sales of our plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars. Demand for these vehicles increased sharply, especially... Read more →


OYSTER consortium receives €5M funding to investigate offshore hydrogen production

The OYSTER project consortium—ITM Power, Ørsted, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, and Element Energy—has been awarded €5 million in funding from The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH2-JU) under the European Commission to demonstrate and to investigate the feasibility and potential of combining an offshore wind turbine directly with an... Read more →


Baidu to establish an intelligent EV company and form strategic partnership with Geely

Baidu, Inc., a leading China-based Internet platform and AI company, plans to establish a company to produce intelligent electric vehicles (EV), and that it has entered into a strategic partnership with multinational auto manufacturer Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. Baidu will provide intelligent driving capabilities to power the passenger vehicles for... Read more →


El Paso Electric files transportation electrification plan with the New Mexico PRC

El Paso Electric (EPE) has filed its Transportation Electrification Plan (TEP) with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC) for approval. The overarching goal of this two-year plan is to increase the use of electric vehicles (EVs) by incentivizing the installation and usage of smart charging infrastructure through rebate and... Read more →


Chile’s SQM signs long-term contract to supply LG with lithium

SQM (Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A.) reached a long-term agreement to supply lithium products to LG Energy Solution (LGES). As pat of the agreement, which runs from 2021 to 2029, SQM will supply battery-grade lithium carbonmate and lithium hydroxide for the production of high-quality cathode materials for EV... Read more →


Roskill: Yahua-Tesla deal indicative of increasing capability and numbers of Chinese lithium convertors

On 29 December 2020, Sichuan Yahua Industrial Group announced thatits subsidiary, Yahua Lithium, had signed a five-year supply agreement with Tesla. The total value of the contract is reported to be US$630-880 million, with Yahua Lithium to provide battery-grade lithium hydroxide to Tesla from 2021 to 2025. Roskill observes that... Read more →


California Governor proposes $1.5B in new budget to achieve ZEV goals

Governor Gavin Newsom has submitted his 2021-22 State Budget proposal to the state Legislature. Among the many provisions, the Governor’s budget proposes $1.5 billion to achieve the state’s zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) goals by 2035 and 2045, including securitizing up to $1 billion to accelerate the pace and scale of the... Read more →


Volvo Cars is tripling electric car manufacturing capacity at its plant in Ghent, Belgium as it prepares to meet fast growing demand for its Recharge line-up of chargeable cars. By 2022, electric car capacity at the Ghent plant will have more than tripled from today’s levels and will amount to... Read more →


The Continental Mobility Study 2020 shows that enthusiasm for electric cars is strong in China, while reservations still need to be overcome in Germany, France, the US and Japan. The study also shows that acceptance of electric mobility has increased in all five countries surveyed in recent years. The Continental... Read more →


Renewable diesel producer AltAir settles with ARB over LCFS violations

The California Air Resources Board announced a settlement with AltAir-Paramount, LLC addressing reporting violations under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). The settlement is valued at $132,500. AltAir produces renewable diesel and renewable jet fuel from tallow at its facility in Paramount, CA. CARB staff determined that Altair made unauthorized... Read more →


The world has experienced significant urbanization in recent decades. According to the latest report from the United Nations (UN), the global population in 2018 was 7.6 billion and the urban population was 4.2 billion. By 2050, the global population is expected to soar to 9.7 billion, with 68% of the... Read more →


SK Group to invest $1.5B in Plug Power; strategic partnership and JV to accelerate H2 economy in Asia

Plug Power Inc., a leading provider of hydrogen fuel cell and fueling solutions enabling e-mobility, and SK Group, one of the leading South Korean business groups, intend to form a strategic partnership to accelerate hydrogen as an alternative energy source in Asian markets. Through this partnership, Plug Power and SK... Read more →


by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. This is the latest of my occasional updates on long-term trends in U.S. vehicle fuel economy. Specifically, this study examines actual fuel economy of cars and light trucks (pickup trucks, SUVs, and vans) from 1966 through 2019. (My previous update included data through 2017.)... Read more →


KBA: Alternative drives accounted for around 25% of new vehicle sales in Germany in 2020; 13.5% with electric drive

In 2020, e-mobility became more popular in Germany, despite a 20% decline in registration numbers in the year of the COVID 19 pandemic. Alternative drives (battery-electric, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, hydrogen fuel cell, gas, and hydrogen) took up around a quarter of all new light-duty vehicle registrations in Germany in 2020,... Read more →


GM delivered 2.9M vehicles in China in 2020 for third straight annual drop; NEV sales up 4x from 2019

General Motors and its joint ventures delivered 2.9 million vehicles in China in 2020. Sales were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter and started to recover in the second quarter. Deliveries posted a strong rebound in the second half, led by SUVs, MPVs and luxury vehicles, with... Read more →


Hitachi Automotive Systems, Keihin, Showa, and Nissin Kogyo begin operations as Hitachi Astemo; CASE-driven mobility solutions

On 1 January 2021, Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd., Keihin Corporation, Showa Corporation and Nissin Kogyo Co., Ltd. concluded management integration to form Hitachi Astemo, Ltd., a provider of mobility solutions to the automotive industry. The name “Astemo” is derived from the words “Advanced Sustainable Technologies for Mobility” and describes the... Read more →


When ridesourcing companies Uber and Lyft show up in urban areas, vehicle registrations per capita increase by 0.7% on average, increasing even more in car-dependent cities, according to a new study led by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University. In an open-access paper in the journal iScience, the team estimates the... Read more →


Oxbotica, a developer of software for autonomous vehicles, completed a $47-million Series B investment with partners across the globe led by bp ventures. The funding will accelerate Oxbotica’s commercial deployment of its autonomy software platform across multiple industries and key markets. Oxbotica’s flagship product is Selenium: a full stack autonomy... Read more →


Amazon announced its first purchase—rather than a lease—of eleven Boeing 767-300 aircraft. The purchases include seven aircraft from Delta and four aircraft from WestJet; the aircraft will join the Amazon network by 2022. Amazon Air’s fleet expansion comes at a time when customers are relying on fast, free shipping more... Read more →


Heritage Environmental Services, a provider of environmental and recycling services, and battery-maker Romeo Power launched a program to select fleet electrification partners to execute on HES’ fleet electrification strategy. HES and Romeo Power intend to select commercial Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) value chain participants such as Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs),... Read more →


AUDI AG is the first automobile maker to be awarded the Chain of Custody certificate of the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI). This certifies that Audi can comply with the materials flow chain for sustainably produced aluminum in accordance with the ASI standard and can also input correspondingly certified material to... Read more →


Since 2011, significant improvements in battery technologies and overall EV efficiency have led to an expanding number of EV models and increased driving ranges. The median EPA estimated range for all EV models offered in the 2020 model year exceeded 250 miles, according to figures from the US Department of... Read more →


ArcelorMittal Dofasco invests to add capability to produce Alusi-coated Usibor Press Hardenable Steel (PHS)

ArcelorMittal Dofasco announced a coating addition of its Nº 5 Hot-Dipped Galvanizing Line in Hamilton (Ontaria, Canada) to Aluminum Silicon (Alusi) for the production of ArcelorMittal’s patented Usibor Press Hardenable Steel for automotive structural and safety components. Alusi is a steel covered on both sides by an aluminum (90%) and... Read more →


DOE to invest $6.4M to develop hydrogen-fueled turbines

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) announced $6.4 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects under the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) FE-FOA 0002397, University Turbines Systems Research (UTSR) — Focus on Hydrogen Fuels. The UTSR Program conducts research to increase the efficiency... Read more →


€12M Current Direct project seeks to support marine electrification with swappable containerized battery system

Current Direct, a new €12-million research and innovation project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program, is proposing an innovative lithium-ion cell optimized for waterborne transport, using novel manufacturing techniques allowing for a consistent cost reduction compared to the current market prices. Additionally, a swappable containerized energy storage system... Read more →


Xpeng delivered 27k EVs in 2020; 5,700 in December

Xpeng Inc, a Chinese smart electric vehicle company, announced its vehicle delivery results for December 2020, the fourth quarter and year-ended December 31, 2020. Xpeng achieved a record monthly delivery of 5,700 Smart EVs in December 2020, consisting of a record high 3,691 P7s, the company’s sports smart sedan, and... Read more →


FCA to build new hybrid and electric Jeep, Fiat and Alfa Romeo cars at Tychy in Poland

The FCA Group will invest more than $200 million in its plant in Tychy, Poland, where new hybrid and electric Jeep, Fiat and Alfa Romeo models will be built. The investment will involve the expansion and modernization of the FCA Poland plant and will last several years. The goal is... Read more →


BYD won an order to deliver another 406 battery-electric buses to the Colombian capital of Bogotá, coming shortly after a previous announcement on 17 December of the delivery of the 470 pure electric buses to the city. (Earlier post.) BYD will co-work with Superpolo, a Colombian bus manufacturer, on the... Read more →


In 2020, Tesla produced and delivered half a million vehicles (509,737 and 499,550, respectively), in line with it most recent guidance. In addition, Model Y production in Shanghai has begun, with deliveries expected to begin shortly. Tesla will announced net income and cash flow results along with the rest of... Read more →


Global aviation data firm Cirium released its new Airline Insights Review 2020 which reveals the deep impact on aviation of worldwide travel restrictions to curb COVID-19. The report shows that the pandemic and its consequences wiped out 21 years of global passenger traffic growth in a matter of months, reducing... Read more →


Toyo Engineering Corporation and Irkutsk Oil Company (IOC), Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), and Itochu Corporation are partnering on a joint feasibility study of a blue ammonia value chain between eastern Siberia and Japan. The project aims to establish a future blue ammonia value chain at a commercial... Read more →


Saga Pure takes 12% stake in blue hydrogen, ammonia developer Horisont Energi

Saga Pure ASA, an investment company focusing on opportunities within renewable energy, hydrogen, circular economy and CO2 reductions, has invested NOK 35 million (US$4.1 million) in a gross NOK 150-million (US$17.6-million) private placement of new shares in Horisont Energi AS, corresponding to an ownership of 11.7% in Horisont Energi. Horisont... Read more →


Daimler Trucks NA to pay $30M penalty for slow recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a consent order with Daimler Trucks North America following an investigation that found the company failed to recall vehicles in a timely fashion and to comply with other reporting requirements. The consent order includes a total civil penalty of $30 million. The consent... Read more →


Scottish Enterprise, Transport Scotland and the Hydrogen Accelerator, based at the University of St Andrews, have appointed Arcola Energy and a consortium of industry leaders in hydrogen fuel cell integration, rail engineering and functional safety to deliver Scotland’s first hydrogen powered train. A key objective of the project is to... Read more →


Qatar invests $125M in energy storage company Fluence

Fluence, the global energy storage solutions joint venture between Siemens and AES, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) pursuant to which QIA will commit to invest $125 million in Fluence through a private placement transaction. Consummation of the transaction is subject... Read more →