California Energy Commission approves first local energy efficiency standards that go beyond 2019 statewide requirements

The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved six applications for local energy ordinances that exceed statewide requirements of the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards. There is a clear mandate to decarbonize our energy systems and our economy. At the state level, we should partner with, learn from, and support local jurisdictions... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. Ten years ago, I published an analysis showing that the risk of driving in the United States was lowest during late winter and early spring and highest during fall. That analysis covered years 1994 through 2006. The present study examined whether this pattern still holds. The calculations... Read more →


Intel Labs unveiled what it believes is a first-of-its-kind cryogenic control chip—code-named “Horse Ridge”—that will speed up development of full-stack quantum computing systems. Horse Ridge will enable control of multiple quantum bits (qubits) and set a clear path toward scaling larger systems—a major milestone on the path to quantum practicality.... Read more →


Annual petroleum production in the United States doubled from 6.8 million barrels per day (mmbd) in 2008 to 15.3 mmbd in 2018, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). Record levels of production began when the 11.8 mmbd in 2014 topped the previous high of 11.3 mmbd from 1970.... Read more →


Volkswagen has successfully launched its sub-brand JETTA in China with the new SUV VS5 and the VA3 sedan. Since market entry in September, nearly 30,000 vehicles were delivered to customers; almost 80% of JETTA deliveries were SUVs. This makes the JETTA launch the most successful recent brand introduction in China,... Read more →


OC&C survey finds US consumers lag behind major industrialized countries in embracing electric/hybrid vehicles

Americans are much less likely than consumers in other major industrialized countries to purchase an electric vehicle or hybrid, largely because of concerns over access to charging stations away from home, according to a survey by global consulting firm OC&C Strategy Consultants. The survey, which included 10,000 respondents across five... Read more →


China continues to be the leading country for e-mobility in terms of industry and market, according to the E-Mobility Index 2019 from fka GmbH and Roland Berger GmbH. Although Germany takes the lead from France in terms of technology for this latest report, China is catching up quickly and ranks... Read more →


According to the Federal Highway Administration, the average fuel economy for all light vehicles on the road today is 22.3 miles per gallon (mpg) and the average annual miles driven is 11,484 miles. The Federal tax on gasoline is 18.4 cents per gallon, and each state has a gasoline tax,... Read more →


Haldor Topsoe and Sasol unite to offer customers single-point licenses for proven gas-to-liquids solutions

Sasol and Haldor Topsoe, two of the global leaders in gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology, have entered into a collaboration agreement to offer single-point licensing of proven and bankable GTL solutions to produce diesel, kerosene and naphtha from natural gas. The Sasol-Topsoe partnership is a response to growing worldwide demand for efficient... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. This article is the latest in a series that examines recent changes in various aspects of road transportation in the United States. The focus here is on distance driven per person as opposed to total distance driven (which depends, in part, on the continuously increasing size of... Read more →


Audi increases upfront expenditure for electric mobility; €12B by 2024

Audi AG plans an outlay of approximately €37 billion for research and development expenditure and investment in property, plant and equipment over the next five years (2020 to 2024). The current planning reflects a significant improvement in investment and cost discipline, as well as the strong prioritization of investments in... Read more →


Skeleton Technologies launches SkelCap SCA0300 ultracapacitor platform

Skeleton Technologies, a European provider of ultracapacitors and ultracapacitor energy storage systems for automotive, transportation, and grid applications, is bringing to market a new ultracapacitor product platform, the SkelCap SCA0300, to address the fast-growing markets in manufacturing and warehouse logistics. The strict power quality requirements in manufacturing are driving the... Read more →


Starting 1 January 2020, the Volkswagen Group’s Car.Software organization will operate as an independent business unit. As a Group company, the Car.Software organization will centralize the associates and subsidiaries within the Group that develop car software and software for the digital ecosystems. Initially, around 3,000 digital experts from the software-related... Read more →


CEC funds $11M project to fast-track commercialization of clean energy technologies: CalTestBed

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has launched a new funded program to help speed the commercialization of clean energy technologies. The California Test Bed (CalTestBed) initiative is designed to reduce the stumbling blocks of time, cost, and bureaucracy most entrepreneurs face when trying to bring breakthrough concepts to market. The... Read more →


California prohibits state purchase of ICE sedans, effective now; to stop buying from GM, Toyota, FCA and others over emissions fight

On Friday, the California Department of General Services (DGS) that, effective immediately, it is prohibiting purchasing by state agencies of any sedans solely powered by an internal combustion engine, with exemptions for certain public safety vehicles. A second policy, currently being developed by DGS, will require state agencies, starting on... Read more →


The number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) often mirrors changes in the price of gasoline, according to data presented bybthe US Department of Energy (DOE). The figure below shows the percentage change in gasoline prices and VMT from one year to the next (e.g., January 2009 data were compared with... Read more →


Qantas Group targets net zero carbon emissions by 2050; $50M investment in sustainable aviation fuels

The Qantas Group announced it will reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 in a major expansion of the airline’s commitment to a more sustainable aviation industry. With actions starting from today, the Australian national carrier will immediately double the number of flights being offset; cap net emissions from 2020... Read more →


Adamas: EV sales to hit 12.5M in 2025; 350% increase in demand for rare earths used in traction motors

A new report from Adamas Intelligence, “Electric Growth: EVs, Motors and Motor Materials”, forecasts that global annual EV sales (excluding mild and micro hybrids) will increase from 4.3 million units last year to 12.5 million in 2025 and 32.0 million in 2030. With upwards of 80% of all EVs projected... Read more →


Adamas: globally, 12.2 kilograms of LCE deployed per EV but use varies widely by region

In September 2019, the average new passenger EV sold globally (including HEVs, PHEVs and BEVs) contained 12.2 kilograms of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) in its battery, a modest increase of 4% over the same month the year prior, according to Adamas Intelligence’s latest “EV Battery Lithium Monthly” report. On a... Read more →


Government of Alberta takes steps to encourage investment in new conventional oil wells

The Government of Alberta, Canada, is now allowing curtailed operators to drill new conventional oil wells without being restricted by production limits. Existing producing wells will remain under curtailment. The government said that this measure will drive positive investment, lead to increased drilling activity, and support economic growth in communities... Read more →


IHS Markit: US oil production growth heading for a major slowdown, as capital discipline and weak prices play out

US shale production—the chief source of rapid growth that made the United States the world’s largest oil producer—is slowing down fast, says a new report by IHS Markit. The new IHS Markit outlook for oil market fundamentals for 2019-2021 expects total US production growth to be 440,000 barrels per day... Read more →


IEA: global energy efficiency progress drops to slowest rate since start of decade

Energy efficiency has tremendous potential to boost economic growth and avoid greenhouse gas emissions, but the global rate of progress is slowing, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency. Global primary energy demand rose by 2.3% in 2018, driven in large part by the People’s Republic of... Read more →


Groupe PSA and FCA plan a 50/50 merger

The Supervisory Board of Peugeot S.A. and the Board of Directors of FCA N.V. have each unanimously agreed to work towards a full combination of their respective businesses by way of a 50/50 merger. Both boards have given the mandate to their respective teams to finalize the discussions to reach... Read more →


Volkswagen AG has established Volkswagen Autonomy GmbH (VWAT GmbH) with headquarters in Munich and Wolfsburg. Another subsidiary in Silicon Valley will follow in 2020. A further subsidiary is planned in China in 2021. As a center of excellence for autonomous driving from Level 4 up, VWAT will serve to build... Read more →


Transportation accounted for 8.8% of all US Gross Domestic Product in 2017

By category, transportation accounted for the fourth-greatest share of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017. Transportation was at 8.8%, following housing at nearly 20%, healthcare at 16.5%, and food at 9.5%. Over time, transportation’s share of the GDP has remained fairly stable, varying from a high of 10.4%... Read more →


Rio Tinto started the commissioning of industry-leading filter press technology at its Vaudreuil alumina refinery in Québec, Canada, six weeks ahead of plan and under its CAD $250-million budget. The new filter presses will deliver environmental benefits by moving the refinery to dry stacking of bauxite residue and extend the... Read more →


NHTSA: highway fatalities down, but pedestrian and cyclist fatalities up

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released highway crash fatality data for 2018, showing a 2.4% decline in overall fatalities, the second consecutive year of reduced crash fatalities. The data, compiled by NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, shows that highway fatalities decreased in 2018 with... Read more →


J.D. Power, SurveyMonkey find automakers not making progress in persuading consumers to want electric or self-driving vehicles

As auto manufacturers invest billions to bring self-driving vehicles to market and to increase consumer choice in battery-electric vehicles, many consumers still lack confidence in these technologies. According to the J.D. Power 2019 Q3 Mobility Confidence Index Study fueled by SurveyMonkey Audience, the Mobility Confidence Index is 36 (on a... Read more →


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 →