Karma Automotive’s flagship store now accepts Bitcoin as form of payment

Karma Automotive, the Southern California-based creator of luxury electric vehicles and high-tech incubator, is using its flagship company-owned store in Newport Beach, Calif., to help further its shareholder’s expertise in blockchain technology by accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment. Karma Newport Beach now accepts Bitcoin as a form of... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. This is the latest in my series of analyses on the relationship between road transportation and economic activity in the United States. Of interest in this study were the changes in distance driven per inflation-adjusted GDP (gross domestic product) since the end of the Second World War.... Read more →


Volvo Cars and Geely intend to merge their existing combustion engine operations into a stand-alone business in order to establish a new global supplier that will seek to develop next generation combustion engines and hybrid powertrains. The proposed new business would clear the way for Volvo Cars to focus on... Read more →


Conventional oil and gas discoveries during the past three years are at the lowest levels in seven decades and a significant rebound is not expected, according to a new report by global business information provider IHS Markit. The low levels in discoveries come as a result of a pullback during... Read more →


Trucks in the medium/heavy truck category include tractor trailers, also known as combination trucks, and single-unit trucks. In the most recent year for which data are available, combination trucks made up only 1% of the truck population but were responsible for 6% of all vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and 17%... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. This is the latest of my occasional updates on retrospective, 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 2017. Calculated vehicle fuel economy is available going back to... Read more →


In its International Energy Outlook 2019 (IEO2019), the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that world energy consumption will grow by nearly 50% between 2018 and 2050. EIA projects most of this growth will come from regions where the consumption of energy is driven by strong economic growth, particularly in... Read more →


National Alliance for Water Innovation to lead DOE energy-water desalination hub

The US Department of Energy (DOE) selected the National Alliance for Water Innovation (NAWI) to lead a US Department of Energy (DOE) Energy-Water Desalination Hub that will address water security issues in the United States. The Hub will focus on early-stage research and development (R&D) for energy-efficient and cost-competitive desalination... Read more →


Adamas: average EV sold in 2019 H1 contained 52% more LCE than the average EV sold a year prior

From 2018 H1 through 2019 H1, the growing popularity of long-range BEVs with high-capacity batteries resulted in a 52% increase in the amount of lithium carbonate and lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) deployed globally per EV, from 7.7 kg to 11.7 kg, according to a new biannual report from Adamas Intelligence,... Read more →


Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv to form autonomous driving joint venture; autonomous platform to be available in 2022

Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv will be forming an autonomous driving joint venture to advance the design, development and commercialization of SAE Level 4 and 5 autonomous technologies. The joint venture will begin testing fully driverless systems in 2020 and have a production-ready autonomous driving platform available for robotaxi providers,... Read more →


Report: Hydrogen ministerial meeting to call for 10M fuel cell vehicles in 10 years

The Nikkei reports that the second Hydrogen Energy Ministerial Meeting—a policy platform for global utilization of hydrogen—scheduled to open in Japan on Wednesday will call for 10 million fuel cell vehicles—including trains, planes and automobiles—in 10 years. Currently, only around 10,000 vehicles around the world run on fuel cells. Japanese... Read more →


Leading banks and the United Nations on Sunday launched the Principles for Responsible Banking, with 130 banks collectively holding US$ 47 trillion in assets—one third of the global banking sector—signed up. In the Principles, launched one day ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, banks commit to... Read more →


Toyota investing additional $391M in San Antonio truck assembly plant

Toyota is investing an additional $391 million at its San Antonio truck assembly plant. Once the new investment is complete, the plant’s total investment will exceed $3 billion. This is Toyota’s third investment at its San Antonio truck plant which assembles the full-size Tundra and mid-size Tacoma pickup trucks; the... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. In this analysis I examined gender differences in travel patterns. The data came from ATUS—the American Time Use Survey. ATUS provides nationally representative estimates of the amount of time people spend doing various activities. It is an annual time-diary study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.... Read more →


Drones strike Saudi Aramco Abqaiq and Khurais sites; temporary production suspension of 5.7M barrels per day

Drones attacked two key Saudi Aramco sites in Saudi Arabia—the Abqaiq processing plant and the Khurais oil field—on Saturday; Houthi rebels claimed credit for the strikes. Saudi Aramco emergency crews contained the fires at the plants; the company announced the production suspension of 5.7 million barrels of crude oil per... Read more →


At its paint shop in Győr, Hungary, Audi is testing a new method of body sealing. Before a car is given its paint finish, a paste-like sealing material is applied to areas such as the weld seams. This improves vehicle acoustics, guards against corrosion and seals off the interior. The... Read more →


BMW i Ventures invests in data wrangler Trifacta as part of $100M round

BMW i Ventures announced an investment in Trifacta, a leader in data wrangling. The BMW i Ventures investment is part of a $100-million capital raise that includes other new investors Telstra Ventures, Energy Impact Partners, NTT DOCOMO Ventures, and ABN AMRO Digital Impact Fund. The round also includes additional investment... Read more →


New Ipsos study on autonomous driving finds most Americans simply enjoy the act of driving their vehicle

Ipsos, the global research and insights organization, explored consumer thoughts in its third annual Global Mobility Navigator Syndicated Study. The study comprises three modules, with the first focusing on Autonomous Driving. The newly released module contains results from more than 20,000 new car buyers from 10 countries. Todd Markusic, Vice... Read more →


Since 2018, Bosch has won electromobility orders amounting to ~€13 billion

Since the beginning of 2018, Bosch has won electromobility orders worth roughly €13 billion (US$14.4 billion), including production projects for electrical powertrains for passenger cars and light trucks. The Mobility Solutions business sector is again developing better than global automotive production in 2019. Despite the market’s current significant downward trend,... Read more →


CRU analysts observe that lithium prices have steadily declined since the end of Q1, finally crashing through the $10/kg LCE mark at the end of July. Weaker-than-expected demand in China is partly responsible, but the main driver has been the ongoing avalanche of new supply into the market, as plentiful... Read more →


Japan and France to explore broad-ranging cooperation on future automotive industry; autonomy, batteries, fuel cells, policy

Japan and France have agreed to share information and explore deeper cooperation on the automotive industry. In a Memorandum of Cooperation, the two governments said they had “decided to establish a policy dialogue aimed at sharing information, supporting significant transformations of the environment of the automotive industry, and exchanging opinions... Read more →


Continental considering spin-off of Powertrain Division in addition to possible partial IPO

At its meeting on Monday, Continental’s Executive Board decided to consider the possibility of a spin-off of the Powertrain division (future name: Vitesco Technologies) and subsequent stock exchange listing. This review will be conducted in parallel with the company’s ongoing preparations for a potential partial IPO of the division. This... Read more →


More than two people are killed every day on US roads by drivers running through red lights, according to data analysis performed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The most recent crash data available shows 939 people were killed in red light running crashes in 2017—a 10-year high and... Read more →


Bosch is developing e-stroller systems—an assistance system for strollers with a range of comfort and safety features including push support and an automatic braking function; connectivity via a smartphone app; an alarm function, and a variety of high-tech sensors. The variable Bosch system is equally suitable for single, twin, or... Read more →


Toyota and Suzuki enter into capital alliance agreement; collaboration to focus on new fields such as autonomous driving

Toyota Motor Corporation and Suzuki Motor Corporation entered into a capital alliance agreement to establish and promote a long-term partnership between the two companies for promoting collaboration in new fields, including the field of autonomous driving. Toyota plans to acquire 24,000,000 shares of common stock in Suzuki (4.94% ownership of... Read more →


California BEV sales in Q2 stable from Q1; 5.5% market share; 73% Tesla

Sales of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) in California during the second quarter of 2019 were largely stable from the prior quarter with a slight increase to 26,754 units from 26,053, although with a slight drop in market share from 5.6% to 5.5%, according to an analysis of new vehicle sales... Read more →


BP has agreed to sell its entire business in Alaska to Hilcorp Alaska, based in Anchorage, Alaska. Under the terms of the agreement, Hilcorp will purchase all of BP’s interests in the state for a total consideration of $5.6 billion. The sale will include BP’s entire upstream and midstream business... Read more →


The Motor Vehicles and Component Parts sector employed 3% more people in 2018 than 2017. More than 2 million employees in the sector worked with conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles in 2018, up 1.4% from 2017. About 110,000 employees worked with hybrid electric vehicles, up 10% from 2017. Electric vehicle... Read more →


Researchers demonstrate effective silicon-based thermoelectric generators

A University of Texas at Dallas physicist has teamed with Texas Instruments Inc. to demonstrate thermoelectric generators (TEGs) created using nanostructured silicon thermopiles fabricated on an industrial silicon complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) process line. Described in a paper in the journal Nature Electronics, these TEGs exhibit a high specific power generation... Read more →


Reason Foundation’s Annual Highway Report finds that, after decades of incremental progress in several key categories, US highway conditions are deteriorating, especially in a group of problem-plagued states struggling to repair deficient bridges, maintain Interstate pavement and reduce urban traffic congestion. In looking at the nation’s highway system as a... Read more →


API: total US petroleum demand topped 20.8 mb/d in July, highest since 2005; on-road fuel demand down

Total US petroleum demand averaged 20.8 million barrels per day (mb/d) in July 2019, which represented a 0.9% year-over-year increase and the highest demand for the month since 2005, according to the latest Monthly Statistical Report released by the American Petroleum Institute (API). This was a decrease of 0.9% from... Read more →


EFG Companies launches MAP Electric Vehicle Protection for EV customers; 11 years, 150k miles

EFG Companies, the innovator behind the award-winning Hyundai Assurance program, has launched the new Motorist Assistance Plan (MAP) Electric Vehicle Protection. This new exclusionary vehicle service contract is designed to meet the unique needs of electric vehicle owners and help dealers diversify their revenue streams through both the F&I office... Read more →


The transportation sector in the US consumes more petroleum than any other sector, and that share has increased over time from about 50% in 1950 to about 70% in 2018, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). US petroleum consumption increased threefold between 1950 and 2018, from 6.5 million... Read more →


Intermodal cargo continues its powerful rise at the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA), achieving 10.5% growth in July. Over the past three years, the Port of Savannah has grown its rail volume by 35.4%, completing more than 507,000 intermodal lifts in the fiscal year that ended in June. The Port of... Read more →


Reliance and BP to create major world-class fuels partnership for India’s fast-growing market

BP and Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) have agreed to form a new joint venture that will include a retail service station network and aviation fuels business across India. Building on Reliance’s existing Indian fuel retailing network and an aviation fuel business, the partners expect the venture to expand rapidly to... Read more →


Eni has released the 18th edition of the World Oil, Gas and Renewables Review, the annual statistics report on oil, natural gas and renewables sources. The first volume of the report, the World Oil Review, is devoted to oil reserves, supply, demand, trade and prices with a special focus on... Read more →


In the US, more than 50 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 traveled to school in 2017, according to the 2017 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS). More than half (54.2%) were driven to school in a private vehicle, while 33.2% typically traveled by school bus. The distance... Read more →


Apple acquiring Intel’s smartphone modem business; Intel retains option for non-smartphone apps, including autonomous vehicles; 5G

Intel and Apple signed an agreement for Apple to acquire the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business. Approximately 2,200 Intel employees will join Apple, along with intellectual property, equipment and leases. The transaction, valued at $1 billion, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, subject to regulatory... Read more →


VC funding in Battery Storage companies in 1H 2019 was up by 139% with $1.4 billion in 17 deals compared to the $543 million in 30 deals in 1H 2018, according a new report from Mercom Capital Group. The increase was spurred by Northvolt’s $1-billion funding round. The Top 5... Read more →


The used vehicle Consumer Price Index (CPI) in 2018 was 4.4 times higher than in 1970, while the new vehicle CPI was 2.8 times higher—i.e., used-vehicle prices have risen more than new-vehicle prices. Used-vehicle prices were more volatile than new-vehicle prices over the period from 1970 to 2018 and used-vehicle... Read more →


Volkswagen of America announced today that the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack and Golf SportWagen will end production with the 2019 model year. Volkswagen will continue building the Alltrack at the Puebla, Mexico plant through December 2019 to provide enthusiasts additional opportunity to own an affordable, European-designed wagon. 2019 Gold Alltrack Over... Read more →


In the US, the used light-duty vehicle market is more than twice the size of the new light-duty vehicle market for each year shown. Used vehicle sales for 2018 were 40.2 million vehicles, while new vehicle sales were 17.2 million. Used vehicle sales include pre-owned vehicles sold by dealerships, franchises,... Read more →


Study finds shifts to renewable energy can drive up energy poverty

Efforts to shift away from fossil fuels and replace oil and coal with renewable energy sources can help reduce carbon emissions but do so at the expense of increased inequality, according to a new study by researchers at Portland State University (PSU) and Vanderbilt University. Julius McGee, assistant professor of... Read more →


World population is estimated to reach 7.58 billion this month as World Population Day is celebrated on 11 July, but the US Census Bureau is projecting another milestone: Annual population growth will slip under 1.0% in 2020-2021 for the first time since 1950. The United Nations declared 11 July as... Read more →


DOE awarding >$24M to 77 projects through Technology Commercialization Fund

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced more than $24 million in funding for 77 projects supported by the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF). The TCF was created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to promote promising energy technologies. The new TCF selections will expand... Read more →


As of May 2019, there were more than 68,800 Level 2 and DC fast charging units throughout the United States. Of that total, 16%, or approximately 10,860 units, were DC fast chargers that make long-distance travel more practical for electric vehicles (EV). A DC fast charger adds 60 to 80... Read more →


The Joint Research Center (JRC), the European Commission’s science and knowledge service, has released a report exploring the future of road transport, given the advent of automated, connected, low-carbon and shared mobility. The report shows how thes massive changes on the horizon caused by automation, connectivity, decarbonization and sharing, represent... Read more →


The average age of light vehicles in operation (VIO) in the US has risen again this year to 11.8 years, according to new research from business information provider IHS Markit. This acceleration of average age can easily be seen when looking across the last 17 years. From 2002-2007, the average... Read more →


Climate Mayors EV Purchasing Collaborative: >140 cities and counties have committed to purchasing >2,100 EVs by 2020

At the second-annual Climate Mayors Summit in Honolulu, Hawaii, 127 cities and 15 counties from across 38 states joined the Climate Mayors Electric Vehicle Purchasing Collaborative, and committed to purchasing more than 2,100 electric vehicles by the end of 2020. The Collaborative also announced plans to place a competitive bid... Read more →


BLS researchers suggest automation will not eliminate truck-driving jobs

While some stories in the media present automation as having the potential to eliminate large swaths of jobs in the near future, a new study by researchers Maury Gittleman and Kristen Monaco at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics argues otherwise. In the open-access study, published in ILR Review, the... Read more →