by Michael Sivak. This analysis was conducted to examine changes in traffic volume on rural and urban roads in the United States from 1991 through 2016. The raw data for the analysis were lane length (which takes into account all roadway lanes of travel) and distance traveled, both from the... Read more →


Under current policies, home energy storage systems would also often increase carbon emissions, according to a study by a team of researchers at the University of California San Diego published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. The researchers selected 16 of the largest utilities companies in the country and... Read more →


The future of the US Interstate Highway System is threatened by a persistent and growing backlog of structural and operational deficiencies and by various looming challenges, such as the progress of automated vehicles, developments in electric vehicles, and vulnerabilities due to climate change, according to a new congressionally mandated report... Read more →


Volkswagen brand to spend more than €9B on electrification over next 5 years; expansion of platform model

In total, the Volkswagen brand will invest more than €11 billion in e-mobility, digitalization, autonomous driving and mobility services from 2019 to 2023, of which more than €9 billion (US$10.2 billion) will be spent on Volkswagen’s electrification offensive. The brand currently has two fully-electric cars in its program. This number... Read more →


NZ study shows cycle lanes and walkways cut car use, reduce emissions

Researchers in New Zealand have shown that investing in cycle lanes and walkways encourages people to drive less and cuts carbon emissions. The researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington and Victoria University studied the impact of new cycling and walking paths built in New Plymouth and Hastings in 2011.... Read more →


A new European Joint Research Center (JRC) analysis on the deployment of electric vehicles (EV) in Europe concludes that although the sector evolved significantly between 2010 and 2017, progress is still small to be characterized as full-scale commercialization. In 2010, electric vehicles still represented a niche market. Since then, the... Read more →


GM restructuring; changing product development, production; 5 NA & 2 international plants shutting next year; staff reduction

General Motors on Monday outlined a series of major restructuring steps that it said would accelerate its transformation for the future, building on the strategy it laid out in 2015 to strengthen its core business, to capitalize on the future of personal mobility and to drive significant cost efficiencies. These... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. This analysis examines the recent changes in the percentage of people who work at home and changes in time spent commuting to work in the United States and in the 15 largest US cities. The source of the data is the American Community Survey—an ongoing survey by... Read more →


Lancet GBD 2017 finds halt to improvements in global health

The Lancet’s Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD), first published more than 10 years ago, is the most comprehensive worldwide observational epidemiological study to date. It describes mortality and morbidity from major diseases, injuries and risk factors to health at global, national and regional levels. Since its inception, every new... Read more →


Nearly half of the world’s electric vehicles are in 25 cities, according to a new briefing by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). As of the end of 2017, these 25 cities were home to nearly 1.4 million of the world’s 3.1 million passenger electric vehicles. These 25 cities,... Read more →


Hyundai Motor, BTIRDI to establish $100M hydrogen energy fund in China; foundation for fuel cell vehicle market

Hyundai Motor has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Beijing-Tsinghua Industrial R&D Institute (BTIRDI) to establish a Hydrogen Energy Fund. Under this agreement, the South Korean automaker and its Chinese counterpart expect to strengthen their influence in the hydrogen ecosystem while accelerating the advent of a Hydrogen Society.... Read more →


Consumer Reports: Tesla and other domestic brands take big steps backwards in reliability rankings

Buick, Chevrolet, Chrysler, and Tesla are among the brands that tumbled in Consumer Reports’ (CR) latest Annual Auto Reliability Survey, which collected data from its members about their experiences with more than half a million vehicles. Every domestic automaker landed in the bottom-half of CR’s latest reliability rankings, which covers... Read more →


Ford reorganizes Asia Pacific markets; establishes stand-alone China business

Ford Motor Company is reorganizing its Asia Pacific operations. As part of those actions, which include hiring a new President and CEO (Anning Chen) for Ford China, Ford China is elevated to a stand-alone business unit reporting to Ford global headquarters. Peter Fleet, president Ford Asia Pacific, will facilitate the... Read more →


Caterpillar makes strategic investment in Fisker, with interest in solid-state battery tech

Fisker Inc., an e-mobility and technology company developing electric vehicles and proprietary solid-state battery technologies, announced a strategic investment from Caterpillar Venture Capital Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric... Read more →


Global VC funding (venture capital, private equity, and corporate venture capital) for Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Efficiency companies in the first 9 months (9M) of 2018 was 8% higher at more than $1.3 billion compared to the $1.2 billion raised in 9M 2017, according to the latest Mercom Capital... Read more →


Daimler Financial Services, the financial and mobility services arem of Daimler AG, has made a strategic investment in Soul Machines—a New Zealand company re-imagining how humans connect with machines—further to develop the combined use of artificial and emotional intelligence. Daimler is the first premium brand in the automotive sector to... Read more →


Global clean energy investment was $67.8 billion in the third quarter of 2018, down 6% from the same period last year, according to the latest Clean Energy Investment Trends report from research company Bloomberg NEF (BNEF). The slip in the July-September quarter leaves clean energy investment for the year so... Read more →


Petrochemicals—components derived from oil and gas that are used in all sorts of daily products such as plastics, fertilizers, packaging, clothing, digital devices, medical equipment, detergents and tires—are becoming the largest drivers of global oil demand, in front of cars, planes and trucks, according to a major study by the... Read more →


Transportation sector stakeholders launch Veloz in California to accelerate adoption of EVs

In California, public and private stakeholders in the transportation sector launched a new organization—Veloz—to accelerate the adoption of EVs. Its first project, “Electric For All,” is the largest multi-stakeholder, multi-million dollar public awareness campaign in North America. Veloz also announced major commitments from utilities and Electrify America. Veloz members include:... Read more →


Ford, Uber and Lyft to share data through SharedStreets platform

Ford Motor Company, Uber and Lyft have committed to support to SharedStreets, a new data platform designed to make it easier for the private sector to work with cities around the world and leverage data to improve urban mobility. At the heart of SharedStreets is a linear referencing system which... Read more →


Musk settles with SEC, to step down as Tesla Chairman; $40M in combined fines

Elon Musk, CEO and Chairman of Tesla, Inc., has agreed to settle the securities fraud charge brought by the SEC against him last week. (Earlier post.) The SEC also today charged Tesla with failing to have required disclosure controls and procedures relating to Musk’s tweets, a charge that Tesla has... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. The usual focus of analyses of road transportation is on vehicle-distance traveled, without taking into account the number of passengers in the vehicle. In contrast, air-transportation analyses typically include passenger-distance traveled among the variables of interest. The present analysis examines the changes in passenger-distance traveled in both... Read more →


Gallup poll finds decrease in percentage of US commuters driving themselves to work

Although the vast majority of American workers remain reliant on cars to get to work, the percentage has decreased. In 2007, 85% of Americans drove themselves to work and 6% rode with someone else. By 2018, while the 6% of Americans who carpool has remained constant, there has been a... Read more →


California legislature passes SB 100: 100% renewable and zero-carbon energy by 2045

The California Assembly has passed Senate Bill 100—a bill to move California to 100% renewable and zero-carbon energy by 2045. This bill—known as The 100 Percent Clean Energy Act of 2018—increases the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirement from 50% by 2030 to 60% and creates the policy of planning to... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and Uber Technologies, Inc. (Uber) have agreed to expand their collaboration with the aim of advancing and bringing to market autonomous ride-sharing as a mobility service at scale. To accomplish this, technology from each company will be integrated into purpose-built Toyota vehicles to be deployed on... Read more →


The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) August Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) forecasts that US crude oil production will average 10.7 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2018 and 11.7 million b/d in 2019. If realized, both of these forecast levels would surpass the previous record of 9.6 million b/d set... Read more →


The turnover of household vehicles has slowed since 2009, based on US Department of Transportation surveys of household vehicle travel, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported. The 2017 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) reported that the average vehicle—including cars, trucks, and vans—has increased from 9.3 years in 2009 to... Read more →


IHS Markit: Alaska North Slope a super basin ready for resurgence; production to grow 40% in 8 years

The Alaska North Slope (ANS) Basin—a prolific source of US oil production previously limited by a number of barriers to entry including cost and access—is poised to re-emerge as a major source of US energy production, with crude oil output potentially increasing as much as 40% during the next eight... Read more →


Roskill: LG Chem locks-in more raw material to meet future Li-ion battery demand

South Korean lithium-ion battery (LIB) cell manufacturer LG Chem recently announced it will increase cell manufacturing capacity to 90 GWh in 2020 from a previous forecast of 70 GWh. Assuming 100% of output was to be NMC532, 90 GWh would require around 100kt of cathode, containing 40kt nickel, 22kt cobalt,... Read more →


The US port district of Houston-Galveston in Texas recently began exporting more crude oil than it imported for the first time on record, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Crude oil exports from the Houston-Galveston port district have increased since the restrictions on US crude oil exports were... Read more →


Los Angeles launches New Mobility Challenge 2018

For the second year running, Los Angeles is inviting innovative and environmentally-friendly entrepreneurs from around the world to push the envelope on urban mobility solutions from ride-sharing and zero-emission electric bikes and scooters to self-driving vehicles and flying cars. The LA New Mobility Challenge 2018 is a joint initiative of... Read more →


Latest generation diesels power 36% of US commercial trucks

Thirty-six percent of all commercial diesel trucks on US roads are now powered by the newest generation of diesel technologies (MY 2011 and newer), up from 30% in 2016 and 25.7% in 2015, according to analysis by the Diesel Technology Forum of operation data from 2017 of vehicles (GVW 3-8)... Read more →


Saudi Arabia And Iran Reignite The Oil Price War

by Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com The rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran is becoming increasingly evident in the oil pricing policies of the two large Middle Eastern producers. The two countries are currently reigniting the market share and pricing war ahead of the returning U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil. Saudi... Read more →


US refineries are running at record levels in response to robust domestic and international demand for motor gasoline and distillate fuel oil, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). For the week ending 6 July 2018, the four-week average of US gross refinery inputs surpassed 18 million barrels per... Read more →


California’s grid is facing an era of rapid change. Three reports from Next 10, an independent, non-profit, non-partisan think tank, explore how the grid might be challenged or helped by the rise of electric vehicles; by the increase in distributed energy resources, such as rooftop solar panels; and by the... Read more →


BP to acquire unconventional US onshore assets from BHP for $10.5B; transforming US onshore oil & gas business

BP has agreed to acquire a portfolio of world-class unconventional oil and gas assets from BHP. The acquisition will bring BP extensive oil and gas production and resources in the liquids-rich regions of the Permian and Eagle Ford basins in Texas and in the Haynesville gas basin in Texas and... Read more →


The Board of Management and Supervisory Board of Daimler AG has approved a new corporate structure for Daimler AG. The new structure comprises three legally independent entities—Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG and Daimler Mobility AG—under the umbrella of Daimler AG. In the fall of 2017 the first preparatory measures were... Read more →


Global VC funding (venture capital, private equity, and corporate venture capital) of $839 million for Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Efficiency companies in 1H 2018 was 18% lower compared to the more than $1 billion raised in 1H 2017, according to a new report from India-based Mercom Capital Group, llc,... Read more →


Spending on electricity distribution systems by major US electric utilities—representing about 70% of total US electric load—has risen 54% over the past two decades, from $31 billion to $51 billion annually, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). This increase has been largely driven by increases in capital investment.... Read more →


GTI (Gas Technology Institue) is leading a high-profile program on Hydraulic Fracturing Test Sites (HFTS) in the Permian Basin, bringing together government and industry to improve recovery, continue enhancing environmentally responsible methods of optimizing production, and lowering costs in the Midland and Delaware Basins. In January 2018, GTI was awarded... Read more →


The Chinese EV battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL) is building its first plant outside of China in Thuringia, Germany. The focus of the 14 GWh plant is on the automated production and intelligent production of batteries. CATL develops battery systems for global customers in EV, HEV and PHEV... Read more →


A team at Arizona State University has analyzed the five-year Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for representative electric, hybrid, and conventional vehicles—the Nissan Leaf (BEV), Toyota Prius (HEV), and Toyota Corolla (ICEV)—in 14 US cities from 2011 to 2015. The results, reported in a paper in the journal Energy Policy,... Read more →


CAF to acquire Polish bus manufacturer Solaris; focus on urban electromobility

Railway industry company CAF has entered into an agreement to acquire Solaris Bus & Coach, a global supplier of conventional and electric buses with presence in over 700 cities in 32 countries. With a 2017 turnover of close to €450 million, it has production plants in Poland in the cities... Read more →


The energy control stations at BMW Group Plants Dingolfing and Landshut are stepping up their activities in the balancing-power market in Germany. Together with other highly-flexible controllable systems in the BMW Group production network, they will contribute to the stability of the public grid outside of the plant. Electricity generation... Read more →


During the last three years, companies operating in the Permian basin have drilled much longer laterals and used substantially more complex well completion design in their newer wells with the aim of reaching higher initial production (IP) rates. Well lateral lengths in the Permian have increased in average by more... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. The American Community Survey (ACS), an ongoing survey by the US Census Bureau, includes estimates of how workers commute. This analysis examines the relation between earnings and commuting patterns. The 2016 data are shown in the table below. The entries are percentages. Driving alone is most likely... Read more →


Dana buys majority stake TM4 for C$165M; Hydro-Québec retains 45%; new JV

Dana Incorporated and Hydro-Québec announced a joint-venture partnership in which TM4 Inc., a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, will become Dana’s source for electric motors, power inverters, and control systems. As part of this agreement, Dana will become a majority shareholder of TM4 in exchange for CA$165 million (approximately US$127 million). Hydro-Québec... Read more →