IEA: time to tap into hydrogen’s potential to play a key role in a clean, secure and affordable energy future

In a major new report on hydrogen, the International Energy Agency says that the time is right to tap into hydrogen’s potential to play a key role in a clean, secure and affordable energy future. The in-depth study, which analyzes hydrogen’s current state of play and offers guidance on its... Read more →


ISS ESG awards Valeo pole position in ratings for its CSR policy and the quality of its governance

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) rating agency ISS ESG has awarded Valeo pole position in its ESG performance rating of global companies (auto components industry, 64 companies assessed). Valeo has also achieved Prime status for its excellent performance. Valeo scored particularly well in the three areas identified by ISS ESG as... Read more →


BP: world on unsustainable path; growing divergence between demands for climate change action and pace of progress

BP released the 68th annual edition of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy (BP Stats Review), a comprehensive collection and analysis of global energy data. This year’s edition highlights the growing divergence between demands for action on climate change and the actual pace of progress on reducing carbon emissions.... Read more →


IHS Markit: Cypress acquisition makes Infineon world’s top automotive chip supplier

Infineon’s planned $10-billion acquisition of Cypress Semiconductor will produce the world’s largest automotive chip supplier, surpassing current market leader NXP and giving the German firm a stronger position in the critical markets for infotainment and advanced driver assist systems (ADAS), according to IHS Markit. In 2018, Infineon ranked second in... Read more →


LevelTen Energy raises $20.5M in Series B; expanding renewable energy procurement platform

LevelTen Energy, a renewable energy procurement platform, closed a $20.5-million Series B funding round led by Prelude Ventures, with participation from Constellation Technology Ventures, the venture investing arm of Exelon Corporation, Equinor Energy Ventures, Total Ventures and participants from LevelTen’s Series A funding, including Avista Development, Element 8 Fund, Founders’... Read more →


North America-based bus manufacturer NFI Group Inc. has acquired UK-based bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) for a total transaction value of £320 million (US$405 million) on a cash-free, debt-free basis, subject to certain adjustments. The combined business creates an independent global bus OEM with market-leading positions in the United... Read more →


Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the US was seven times higher in 2017 than in 1950, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). The number of vehicles in operation was more than six times higher in that same period, while the resident population doubled. Growth of VMT and vehicles... Read more →


Volkswagen further strengthens activities in China with market entry of SEAT and Smart City Project; smaller EVs

The Volkswagen Group is further expanding its business in its most important market, China, with the entry of SEAT, a member of the Volkswagen Group, and the Smart City Project. Volkswagen Group China, SEAT and the Chinese auto manufacturer JAC, which together form the joint venture JAC Volkswagen, continue to... Read more →


UCI-led study finds crowd-sourced crash alerts beat corresponding Highway Patrol reported crashes

A new University of California, Irvine-led pilot study finds, on average, Waze “crash alerts” occur two minutes and 41 seconds prior to their corresponding California Highway Patrol (CHP)-reported crash. These minutes could mean the difference between life and death. A paper on the work is published in JAMA Surgery. According... Read more →


FCA proposes 50:50 merger with Groupe Renault

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. delivered a non-binding letter to the Board of Groupe Renault proposing a combination of their respective businesses as a 50/50 merger. The combined business would sell approximately 8.7 million vehicles annually. The combination would create a brand portfolio that would provide full market coverage with a... Read more →


Agility Robotics has unveiled a new bipedal robot named Digit, which adds an upper torso, arms, sensors, and additional computing power to the company’s Cassie robot design. Digit’s four degree-of-freedom (4-DOF) arms greatly extend both the mobility and utility of Digit, as compared to Cassie. Digit Agility is teaming up... Read more →


In 2018, plug-in light-duty vehicles on the road displaced 323 million gallons of gasoline—about one quarter of a percent of all gasoline used in the United States, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). Gasoline displacement from plug-in vehicles is about 42% more than it was in 2017 and... Read more →


Global energy investment stabilized in 2018, ending three consecutive years of decline, as capital spending on oil, gas and coal supply bounced back while investment stalled for energy efficiency and renewables, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest annual review. The findings of the World Energy Investment 2019 report signal... Read more →


Daimler targeting carbon-neutral new passenger car fleet by 2039; PHEVs and EVs > 50% of sales by 2030

Daimler AG aims to have a carbon-neutral new passenger car fleet by 2039, said Ola Källenius, the future Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, and currently still responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development as a member of the Board of Management. Let’s be clear what... Read more →


CapGemini: 1 out of 2 consumers want to get into a self-driving experience within the next 5 years

A new study from the Capgemini Research Institute has found that consumer preference for riding in self-driving cars is set to double within the next five years. While only 25% of consumers would prefer to ride in a self-driving car over a traditional vehicle in 12 months’ time, more than... Read more →


Migration has been a driving force behind some of the biggest changes around the world—particularly over the past two decades. The shift of individuals moving from rural areas to urban areas has not only driven economic development, but also created myriad challenges for policymakers who need to understand the needs... Read more →


The amount of electricity consumed by plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) in the United States has nearly doubled in the last two years—from 1.44 terawatt-hours in 2016 to 2.85 terawatt-hours in 2018, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). The share of electricity consumption from all-electric vehicles (EV) increased compared... Read more →


Europe/US team: transitioning to a low-carbon world will create new rivalries, winners and losers

In an opinion piece in the journal Nature, a team from the US and Europe suggests that the transition to a low-carbon world will create new rivalries, winners and losers, and that it is therefore necessary to put geopolitics at the heart of debates about the energy transition. … abating... Read more →


LG Chem charges Li-ion trade secrets theft, files Federal suit against SK Innovation

The wholly-owned US manufacturing subsidiary of LG Chem, Ltd. filed a pair of lawsuits against South Korean-owned SK Innovation., Ltd. for misappropriation of Li-ion battery trade secrets, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage and other claims. Brought jointly by LGCMI, the US-subsidiary, and its parent corporation, the suits were filed... Read more →


Mercom: battery storage, smart grid, and efficiency companies raise $210M in VC funding in Q1 2019, down 55.5% YoY

A combined $210 million was raised by battery storage, smart grid, and energy efficiency companies in Q1 2019—a 55.5% decrease from the $472 million raised in Q1 2018, according to a new report from Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm. Total corporate funding (including... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. In a recent article, I examined changes in distance driven in the United States during the period from 1984 through 2017. Distance driven per person reached a maximum in 2004. While this rate has been on a rebound since 2013, the 2017 rate is still down from... Read more →


Manufacturers have been adopting technologies that improve the efficiency of light-duty vehicles and allow them to achieve greater fuel economy. Of all the emerging technologies, gasoline direct injection (GDI) has seen the highest level of adoption among manufacturers, reaching 51% for the 2018 model year, according to the US Department... Read more →


Volkswagen of America (VoA) plans to show the Tarok pickup concept for the first time in the US at the New York International Auto Show. This compact unibody pickup was first seen at the São Paulo International Motor Show at the end of 2018 and is expected to enter production... Read more →


Chevron Corporation entered into a definitive agreement with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Anadarko in a stock and cash transaction valued at $33 billion, or $65 per share. Chevron said that its acquisition of Anadarko will significantly enhance its upstream portfolio and further strengthen... Read more →


The World’s Largest Oil Company And Petrochemical Company Merge

By Cyril Widdershoven for Oilprice.com. The long-awaited Saudi Aramco acquisition of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) is finally here. With a statement to the press, Aramco CEO Amin Nasser reported that Aramco has acquired a 70 percent stake in SABIC, with an estimated value of $69.1 billion. Aramco’s CEO Nasser... Read more →


Volkswagen and Amazon Web Services (AWS) will develop the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud together. Both companies announced a multi-year, global agreement jointly to develop this project. In the future, the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud will combine the data of all machines, plants and systems from all 122 facilities of the Volkswagen Group.... Read more →


UPS announced a groundbreaking new logistics service to deliver medical samples via unmanned drones through a collaboration with Matternet, a leader in autonomous drone technology. The program is taking place at WakeMed’s flagship hospital and campus in the Raleigh, N.C., metropolitan area, with oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration and... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. In this analysis, I examined the relation between crude-oil production and crude-oil reserves in the world and in the United States. The variable of interest was the amount of crude oil produced as a percentage of proved reserves of crude oil. (This variable is inversely related to... Read more →


IEA: global energy demand rose by 2.3% in 2018, fastest pace in the last decade; CO2 emissions up 1.7%

Energy demand worldwide grew by 2.3% last year, its fastest pace this decade, an exceptional performance driven by a robust global economy and stronger heating and cooling needs in some regions, according to the IEA. Natural gas emerged as the fuel of choice, posting the biggest gains and accounting for... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. Recently, the amount of retail e-commerce in the United States increased rapidly in terms of both the absolute volume and the percentage of all sales. For example, retail e-commerce sales during the fourth quarter of 2007 totaled $36.2 billion (in current dollars), or 3.5% of all retail... Read more →


In January 2019, the Chinese market saw 253% more nickel deployed in passenger EV batteries than the same month the year prior, according to a model-by-model build-up using Adamas Intelligence’s EV Battery Capacity and Battery Metals Tracker. The accelerated deployment of battery nickel in China, due primarily to an ongoing... Read more →


SEC charges Volkswagen AG, former CEO Winterkorn with defrauding bond investors during emissions fraud

The US Securities and Exchange Commission charged Volkswagen AG, two of its subsidiaries, and its former CEO, Martin Winterkorn, for defrauding US investors, raising billions of dollars through the corporate bond and fixed income markets while making a series of deceptive claims about the environmental impact of the company’s “clean... Read more →


Allison+Partners report suggests a shift from car culture to mobility culture

A new report from Allison+Partners, a global marketing and communications agency, suggests that changing definitions of transportation and an influx of new mobility solutions are paving the way for the birth of a new culture—the mobility culture. Resulting from the intersection of transportation and technology, this cultural shift will be... Read more →


Adamas Intelligence: China became a net-importer of several rare earth oxides (or oxide equivalents) in 2018

According to a new report from Adamas Intelligence, China became a net-importer of several rare earth oxides (or oxide equivalents) in 2018. The report, Rare Earth Recap 2018: Global Production, Trade and Prices, provides an overview of global primary and secondary production by country, oxide (or oxide equivalent) and value... Read more →


In 2018, 93% of all passenger BEVs, PHEVs and HEVs sold globally used permanent magnet (PM) traction motors, an increase of 1% over 2017 penetration rates, according to a model-by-model build-up using Adamas Intelligence’s “EV Motor Power and Motor Metals Tracker”. A PM traction motor has NdFeB permanent magnets mounted... Read more →


CARB fines major online automotive parts retailer $1M for selling illegal aftermarket parts in California; ~4,000 emissions violations

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced that AZAA Investments, Inc., formerly known as AutoAnything, Inc., paid $1 million to resolve violations of the California Health and Safety Code and Vehicle Code related to the sale of illegal aftermarket performance auto parts in California. Although the former AutoAnything, Inc. was... Read more →


Federal agencies release framework for advancing the bioeconomy

The federal Biomass Research and Development (BR&D) Board unveiled a multi-agency strategy to accelerate innovative technologies that harness the nation’s biomass resources for affordable biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower. The Bioeconomy Initiative: Implementation Framework was developed by the B&RD Board—an interagency collaborative which is co-chaired by the US Department of Agriculture... Read more →


The $32-Trillion Push To Disrupt The Entire Oil Industry

by Cyril Widdershoven for Oilprice.com. Global oil and gas companies are increasingly facing an uphill battle as global warming policies are taking their toll. Most analysts and market watchers are focusing on peak oil demand scenarios, but the reality could be much darker. International oil companies (IOCs) are likely to... Read more →


2018 marked a record year for the sale of battery-powered electric vehicles, according to data from JATO Dynamics. Passenger electric cars recorded 1.26 million sales throughout the year, up by 74% (about 1.5% of total global sales). It was one of the highest increases among all car categories on the... Read more →


BMW Group and Daimler AG invest more than €1B in joint mobility services provider

The BMW Group and Daimler AG are pooling their mobility services to create a new global player providing sustainable urban mobility for customers. The two companies are investing more than €1 billion (US$1.13 billion) in total to develop and more closely intermesh their offerings for car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking, charging and... Read more →


CU Boulder study: routine household activities generate air quality on par with major polluted city

Cooking, cleaning and other routine household activities generate significant levels of volatile and particulate chemicals inside the average home, leading to indoor air quality levels on par with a polluted major city, according to a study by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder. Furthermore, airborne chemicals that originate inside... Read more →


INRIX: congestion costs each American 97 hours, $1,348 a year

INRIX, Inc. published the 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard that identified and ranked congestion and mobility trends in more than 200 cities, across 38 countries. According to the study, Americans lost an average of 97 hours a year due to congestion, costing them nearly $87 billion in 2018, an average of... Read more →


Americans collectively spent $388 billion on gasoline in 2018, averaging to 34 million fill-ups a day. According to a study by GasBuddy, a smartphone app connecting drivers with the Perfect Pit Stop, the necessity, perception, and price of gasoline adversely impacts Americans across all age groups and income brackets, with... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. This article is the latest publication in a series examining recent changes in various aspects of motorization in the United States. The focus here is on distance driven per person and per household, as opposed to the absolute distance driven (which depends, in part, on the continuously... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. In a 2011 article, Brandon Schoettle and I showed that the proportion of young Americans aged 16 to 39 years with a driver’s license decreased substantially from 1983 to 2008. (In contrast, the proportion of older persons with a driver’s license increased during the same period.) This... Read more →


by Alex Kimani for Oilprice.com. It’s been a decade of lows for commodities after posting 7 declines in 11 years, but we’ve seriously underestimated lithium. It’s back with a vengeance in 2019. The commodities market endured yet another annus horribilis, with just four commodities—natural gas, uranium, cocoa and wheat—recording any... Read more →


China will drive the majority of growth in the crude oil refining industry in Asia between 2018 and 2023, contributing 44% of Asia’s crude oil refining capacity in 2023, according to GlobalData. The company’s report: ‘China Crude Oil Refinery Outlook to 2023’ finds that the total refining capacity of China... Read more →