Foton Motor and Piaggio Group signed the agreement for a joint development project for new light-duty commercial vehicle products in Italy. Since 2016, Foton Motor and Piaggio Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding and a Framework Agreement in succession. The final signing of this agreement symbolizes that the two... Read more →


API reports record US petroleum production in April: 10.543 million b/d; strongest April demand since 2007

April saw the US produce a record 10,543,000 barrels per day (MBD) of oil, according to data from the American Petroleum Institute. The first four months of this year also saw US petroleum demand average 750,000 barrels a day above the same period in 2017 despite higher prices. Total petroleum... Read more →


Bitcoin’s burgeoning electricity demands have attracted almost as much attention as the cryptocurrency’s wildly fluctuating value. However, estimating exactly how much electricity the Bitcoin network uses, necessary for understanding its impact and implementing policy, remains a challenge. In a Commentary in the journal Joule, financial economist and blockchain specialist Alex... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. When it comes to the types of vehicles on the road, energy consumption, and road safety, we might be better off with more women drivers than men. This is the case because women are more likely to purchase smaller, safer, and more-fuel efficient vehicles; women drive less;... Read more →


Moving to cut energy use in new homes by more than 50%, the California Energy Commission (CEC) has adopted building standards that require solar photovoltaic systems starting in 2020. The building energy efficiency standards, which are the first in the nation to require solar, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by... Read more →


US charges former CEO of Volkswagen AG Winterkorn with conspiracy and wire fraud in diesel emissions scandal

A US federal indictment is charging Martin Winterkorn, the former chairman of the management board of Volkswagen AG (VW), with conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with VW’s cheating on US diesel vehicle emissions requirements. The FBI and EPA Criminal Investigation Division are investigating the case. The superseding indictment was... Read more →


GM is using new generative design software technology from Autodesk to support its vehicle lightweighting efforts. Generative design mimics nature’s evolutionary approach to design. Designers or engineers input design goals into generative design software, along with parameters such as such as weight, strength, material choice, fabrication method, and more. The... Read more →


WHO: 9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe polluted air; 7M deaths per year

New data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. Updated estimations reveal a death toll of 7 million people every year caused by ambient (outdoor) and household air pollution. Air pollution threatens us all, but the poorest... Read more →


US imports of biomass-based diesel, which include biodiesel and renewable diesel, totaled 14.1 million barrels in 2017, a 36% decrease from 2016, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Although increasing Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) targets have driven increased biomass-based diesel demand in recent years, imports fell in 2017... Read more →


Japan policy shift allows imports of ETBE made from US corn-based ethanol; increased carbon-intensity requirement

The Japanese government’s new biofuel policy will allow imports of ETBE (Ethyl Tert-Butyl Ether) made from US corn-based ethanol. ETBE is an oxygenated gasoline fuel component and ether. ETBE, conventionally derived from ethanol (47% v/v) and isobutylene (53% v/v), features properties including high octane, low boiling point and low vapor... Read more →


LA Metro to begin charging solo drivers in clean air vehicles in ExpressLanes in effort to reduce increasing congestion

The Los Angeles Metro Board of Directors approved a plan last week to begin charging solo motorists in designated clean air vehicles (CAVs) a discounted toll to use the ExpressLanes on the 10 and 110 freeways, beginning in late 2018. Under the change, drivers in clean air vehicles without enough... Read more →


The United States exported nearly 1.4 billion gallons of fuel ethanol in 2017, surpassing the previous record of 1.2 billion gallons set in 2011, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). US imports of ethanol in 2017 increased compared with 2016 but remained relatively small at 77 million gallons,... Read more →


The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected 13 projects to receive approximately $60 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development for advanced nuclear technologies. Of that, $40 million will go to NuScale Power to further its commercialization of small modular reactor technology. (Earlier post.) These selections are... Read more →


Volvo Cars aims for fully electric cars to make up 50% of its sales by 2025, the company announced in Beijing. The announcement builds on Volvo Cars’ 2017 announcement that all new models released from 2019 will be available as either a mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrid or battery-electric vehicle. New Volvo... Read more →


Efforts to improve the fuel efficiency of new cars sold in the European Union (EU) stalled in 2017 compared to 2016, according to provisional data published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). While past years have seen steady declines, new passenger cars registered in 2017 emitted on average 0.4... Read more →


Short-term oil demand is still growing strong and will continue to do so through the end of 2020 despite the market’s increasing focus on electric vehicles and the forecasted future plateau in oil demand, according to new analysis from IHS Markit, a global business information provider. Five-year rolling aggregate global... Read more →


For the first time, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has published state-by-state energy and water Sankey diagrams in one location so that analysts and policymakers can find all the information they need in one place. These diagrams depict energy use and water flow during the year 2010, the latest year... Read more →


Roskill: record cobalt deals in Q1 2018 show raw material procurement for Li-ion batteries revving up

Given the rapid development of the lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery industry, analysts are predicting that industry requirements for lithium and graphite could increase five-fold within the next decade while other metals such as nickel and cobalt are expected to increase nine-fold and four-fold, respectively, reflecting changes in cathode chemistry, according to... Read more →


Volkswagen Truck & Bus and Hino Motors agree to enter into full strategic partnership

Hino Motors, Ltd. and Volkswagen Truck & Bus GmbH signed a Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement (SCFA) aiming to build a mutually beneficial strategic long-term partnership. Both companies will further explore each other’s capabilities to cooperate in logistics and traffic solution research, existing and new technologies as well as in procurement.... Read more →


A team of Japanese researchers from multiple institutions has calculated that an area of deep-sea mud in the western North Pacific Ocean near Minami-Torishima Island, Japan, contains more than 16 million tons of rare-earth elements and yttrium (REY). In an open-access paper published in Scientific Reports, they estimate that this... Read more →


Tenneco, one of the world’s leading designers, manufacturers and distributors of Ride Performance and Clean Air products and technology solutions for diversified markets, signed a definitive agreement to acquire Federal-Mogul, a leading global supplier to OEMs and the aftermarket. Tenneco is acquiring Federal-Mogul from Icahn Enterprises L.P. for a total... Read more →


Moody’s Japan says push for electrified vehicles poses credit challenges for key Japanese sectors

Moody’s Japan K.K. says that the push toward alternative-fuel vehicles—battery electric vehicles, hybrids, plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles—poses a credit challenge for multiple sectors in Japan, with the large auto sector and sectors such as steel and refining most affected. Over the next decade, Japanese auto manufacturers and associated industries... Read more →


Guest post by Clay Siegert, Chief Operating Officer at XL. Incentive programs for new vehicle technologies are often put in place to support faster adoption by commercial fleets. These incentive programs can both help justify deployments of earlier stage technologies, and enhance return-on-investment calculations. While a broad range of incentive... Read more →


In proportion to its population, the Nordic region—Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden—is strikingly ahead of the rest of the world in adopting electric cars. With almost 250,000 electric cars at the end of 2017, the five countries account for roughly 8% of the total number of electric cars around... Read more →


11 more multinationals join Hydrogen Council

Eleven international oil & gas, energy, science & technology and automotive companies from Asia, North America and Europe have joined the Hydrogen Council. The newcomers almost double Council membership one year on from its launch. Launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos in early 2017, the Hydrogen Council (earlier... Read more →


Expanding its strategic footprint in the field of New Energy Vehicles (NEV) in China, Daimler has acquired a 3.93% stake in Beijing Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd. (BJEV), a BAIC Group subsidiary. In June last year, Daimler and BAIC signed a framework agreement on further strengthening collaboration through investment for New... Read more →


Oil production growth from the United States, Brazil, Canada and Norway can keep the world well supplied, more than meeting global oil demand growth through 2020, but more investment will be needed to boost output after that, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest annual report on oil markets. Over... Read more →


Nissan’s global crossover and SUV sales increased more than 12% in 2017 to more than 2 million vehicles (more than 34% of total Nissan sales for the year), driven by the all-new Nissan Kicks small crossover, the Rogue, X-Trail and Qashqai compact models, a refreshed Armada full-size SUV and the... Read more →


President’s 2019 budget request cuts DOE Energy programs 43%; EERE, 65%; kills Loans program and ARPA-E

President Trump unveiled his FY 2019 budget request, including $30.6 billion for the Department of Energy (DOE)—a more than 3% decrease from the 2017 enacted level. The bulk of DOE funding would flow to the National Nuclear Security Administration ($15.1 billion, +$2.2 billion over FY 2017 Enacted) and Environmental Management... Read more →


Ford is increasing production of two popular full-size SUVs to meet increasing retail demand for both models. The company is increasing line speed at its Kentucky Truck Plant to build more Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition SUVs, boosting production targets approximately 25% since last fall when the SUVs hit the... Read more →


ExxonMobil adds 2.7B barrels oil equivalent to reserves; replaces 183% of 2017 production

Exxon Mobil Corporation added 2.7 billion oil-equivalent barrels of proved oil and gas reserves in 2017, replacing 183% of production. ExxonMobil’s proved reserves totaled 21.2 billion oil-equivalent barrels at year-end 2017. Liquids represented 57% of the reserves, up from 53% in 2016. ExxonMobil’s reserves life at current production rates is... Read more →


New energy research from business information provider IHS Markit has identified more than five billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) in numerous smaller, previously bypassed, or underperforming reservoirs outside North America that offer oil and gas operators a shorter-cycle path to production than new, frontier projects in undeveloped areas. The... Read more →


Why Is The Shale Industry Still Not Profitable?

By Nick Cunningham of Oilprice.com Echoing the criticism of too much hype surrounding US shale from the Saudi oil minister last week, a new report finds that shale drilling is still largely not profitable. Not only that, but costs are on the rise and drillers are pursuing “irrational production.” Riyadh-based... Read more →


Moody’s: Automakers fully engaged on BEVs, but transition will pressure returns; need to invest in multiple technologies

Auto manufacturers are fully engaged in the global movement toward battery electric vehicles (BEVs) as part of their efforts to comply with emission requirements, but the transition will pressure their returns, according to a new report from Moody’s Investors Service. Moody’s expects BEVs to represent approximately 7%-8% of global new... Read more →


Volkswagen gearing up for next-gen Golf with supplier selection; investing $2.2B in family; 75 weeks and counting

The Volkswagen brand is gearing up for the production of the next generation of the Golf family—the Golf 8. Volkswagen plans to invest €1.8 billion (US$2.2 billion) in the model family. In 75 weeks, the eighth generation of this bestseller in the compact segment will roll off the production lines... Read more →


Navigant Research has issued a new iteration of its Leaderboard Report on Autonomous Driving (AD), reflecting the new partnerships, strategic investments and acquisitions made since the early version less than one year ago. The Navigant AD Leaderboard assesses which participants are best-equipped to be the Leaders in developing complete automated... Read more →


With the intention of becoming a key volume supplier in North America, Volkswagen will invest more than $3.3 billion in the region over the next three years. Some $1.2 billion of this will go toward projects in the US. The aim is for the Volkswagen brand to achieve a break-even... Read more →


Geely Holding accelerates drive into commercial vehicles by becoming largest shareholder in truckmaker AB Volvo; $3.3B investment

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely Holding), China’s leading privately-owned automotive group, will acquire Cevian Capital’s entire 8.2% share capital holding and 15.6% voting rights in AB Volvo, the leading Swedish manufacturer of trucks, buses, construction equipment, diesel engines, and marine and industrial engines. Reuters calculated the value of the investment... Read more →


Volkswagen Saxony plants purchasing renewable power

The Volkswagen brand is stepping up the use of renewable energy in production with a view to further reducing its environmental footprint. Starting this year, the three production plants of Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH have been supplied with Volkswagen Naturstrom electric power from 100% renewable sources by VW Kraftwerk GmbH. This... Read more →


Groupe Renault, Brilliance form JV for LCVs in China in three segments with three brands; accelerating electrified powertrains

Groupe Renault and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Limited have signed a contract for the formation of a joint venture to manufacture and sell light commercial vehicles (LCV) under the Jinbei, Renault and Huasong brands with the goal of achieving 150,000 sales annually by 2022 and an acceleration of electrifying powertrains.... Read more →


DOE to award up to $30-60M for advanced nuclear energy technology in FY 2018; $400M over 5 years

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released a funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0001817) to support development of advanced nuclear energy technology. DOE expects to make up to approximately $30 million to $60 million—contingent upon the availability of funds appropriated by Congress—available in FY 2018 awards, subject to the availability of... Read more →


Groupe PSA and Nidec form JV for automotive traction motors

Groupe PSA and Nidec Corporation, through Nidec Leroy-Somer Holding, will form a joint venture in the field of electric traction motors. The JV will develop state of the art high-performance and competitive electric traction motor range for electrified vehicles—including mild-hybrid (MHEV), battery-electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles—to meet the... Read more →


DOE Lab, partners find high concentrations of rare earth elements in American coal basins

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has found high rare earth element (REE) concentrations in coal samples taken from the Illinois, Northern Appalachian, Central Appalachian, Rocky Mountain Coal Basins, and the Pennsylvania Anthracite region. These highly concentrated samples are greater than 300 parts per million... Read more →


Toronto study: bursty noise levels from public transport or biking could induce hearing loss

The noise levels to which commuters are exposed while using public transport or while biking could induce hearing loss if experienced repeatedly and over long periods of time, according to a study by researchers at the University of Toronto. Their open-access paper is published in the Journal of Otolaryngology -... Read more →


Sasol bails on $13-$15B US GTL project, divests from Canadian shale; no new greenfield GTL

At the company’s Capital Markets Day 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sasol management said that the company will no longer pursue its proposed ) project in the US (earlier post) and furthermore will not invest in additional greenfields gas-to-liquids (GTL) projects. In January 2015 Sasol announced it was delaying a... Read more →


Toyota Financial Services issues first Euro-denominated Green Bond allocated specifically to the sales of low-emission vehicles; €600M

Toyota Financial Services (TFS) issued its first euro-denominated unsecured Green Bond today, expanding its commitment to the sale of environmentally friendly vehicles. The €600-million (US$704-million) bond will be used to fund the acquisition of new retail finance contracts and beneficial interests in lease contracts for Toyota and Lexus vehicles that... Read more →


Toyota Motor revealed T-HR3, the company’s third-generation humanoid robot. Toyota’s latest robotics platform, designed and developed by Toyota’s Partner Robot Division, will explore new technologies for safely managing physical interactions between robots and their surroundings, as well as a new remote maneuvering system that mirrors user movements to the robot.... Read more →


API: US petroleum demand last month highest for October since 2007; 19.9 mbpd

Total petroleum deliveries in October moved up by 1.1% from October 2016 to average 19.9 million barrels per day, according to data from the American Petroleum Institute (API). These were the highest October deliveries since 2007. Compared with September, total domestic petroleum deliveries, a measure of US petroleum demand, decreased... Read more →


Ipsos RDA study finds traditional US dealerships often not prepared for EVs

A new study by market research company Ipsos RDA has found that the EV sales process at traditional brand dealers who sell EVs alongside other vehicles, has, in many instances, has not been differentiated from the traditional process and is, in effect, passive. The availability of inventory, as well as... Read more →