California Energy Commission approves $1.4B plan for zero-emission transportation infrastructure and manufacturing

The California Energy Commission (CEC) approved a three-year, $1.4-billion plan to close the state’s funding gap to speed up the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure build-out in support of Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order phasing out the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger vehicles by 2035. The –2023 Investment Plan Update plan... Read more →

California HVIP Wave 3 funding fully requested 9 minutes after opening

California’s HVIP Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) opened to new voucher requests on October 28 with $63 million available. All available funds were requested within 9 minutes. This was the third and final wave of funding for 2021; additional funds are expected to be available... Read more →

NXP Semiconductors is collaborating with the Ford Motor Company to deliver enhanced driver experiences, convenience and services across Ford’s global fleet of vehicles, including the 2021 Ford F-150 pickup, Mustang Mach-E and Bronco SUVs. Ford’s new fully networked vehicle architecture implements NXP’s vehicle networking processors and the i.MX 8 Series... Read more →

Archer Aviation Inc., a developer of eVTOL aircraft, announced that the FAA has issued a CoA and the Aircraft Limitations covering Maker, Archer’s flagship demonstrator aircraft. Maker is a full-scale electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, capable of traveling 60 miles at 150 mph. The CoA and the Aircraft Limitations... Read more →

At its recent “Kia Sustainability Movement” virtual presentation, Kia Corporation announced a commitment to achieve carbon neutrality throughout its value chain by 2045. Achieving carbon neutrality will be based on three key pillars: Sustainable Mobility; Sustainable Planet; and Sustainable Energy. The pillars will guide Kia in its efforts to reduce... Read more →

Koura acquires organosilicon electrolyte company Silatronix

Koura, a developer, manufacturer, and supplier of fluoroproducts and technologies and part of the Orbia community of companies, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Silatronix, a specialist in organosilicon (OS) electrolytes (earlier post). Koura is currently the largest producer of fluorspar in the world, accounting for more than 20%... Read more →

China’s Tsingshan, the world’s largest producer of stainless steel, will invest $375 million to build a lithium plant in Argentina with French multinational mining and metallurgy company Eramet. The two companies have partnered before, with the Weda Bay Nickel project in Indonesia. The construction of the plant, with an annual... Read more →

GlobalData: Western weaknesses in Li-ion supply chains will slow EV adoption, show China’s dominance of the EV market

Electric vehicle (EV) production is set to skyrocket to 12.76 million cars produced each year by 2026—with more than half coming from China. China also dominates the lithium-ion battery supply chain, specifically in terms of battery cells, cathode and anode production, and chemical refining. While the Biden Administration’s $1-trillion Infrastructure... Read more →

Toshiba splitting into three companies; first such spin-off scheme for a Japanese company of this size

Toshiba Corporation intends to split itself into three standalone companies: Infrastructure Service Co., consisting of Toshiba’s Energy Systems & Solutions, Infrastructure Systems & Solutions, Building Solutions, Digital Solutions and Battery businesses; Device Co., comprising Toshiba’s Electronic Devices & Storage Solutions business; and Toshiba, holding its shares in Kioxia Holdings Corporation... Read more →

Ballard acquires Arcola Energy to help customers integrate fuel cell systems into heavy-duty mobility

Ballard Power Systems has acquired Arcola Energy, a UK-based systems engineering company specializing in hydrogen fuel cell powertrain and vehicle systems integration. (Earlier post.) Ballard acquired 100% of Arcola for total upfront and earn-out cash and share consideration of up to US$40 million, based on the achievement of certain performance... Read more →

Alcoa outlines technology roadmap to decarbonize aluminum industry

Alcoa Corp. outlined a technology roadmap to support its vision to reinvent the aluminum industry for a sustainable future. The technologies in Alcoa’s roadmap, including a new, proprietary post-consumer scrap recycling process, have the potential to decarbonize a significant portion of the upstream aluminum supply chain and provide a competitive... Read more →

A research team at the University of Wisconsin–Madison has identified a new way to convert ammonia to nitrogen gas through a process that could be a step toward ammonia replacing carbon-based fuels. The discovery of this technique, which uses a metal catalyst and releases—rather than requires—energy, was reported in Nature... Read more →

European engineering consultancy HORIBA MIRA confirmed that its collaboration with GMV NSL to develop new and improved passenger car platooning solutions on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA) will move into a live trials phase in Q1 2022, encompassing both simulated and physical testing during 2022. The project aims... Read more →

Port of LA to begin collecting Clean Truck Fund Rate in April

Effective 1 April 2022, the Port of Los Angeles will begin collecting its Clean Truck Fund (CTF) Rate to help speed the transition to zero-emissions trucks serving the San Pedro Bay port complex. The action was unanimously approved by the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners. Revenues will exclusively fund... Read more →

Johnson Matthey to exit battery materials business; increased commoditization, lower returns

Johnson Matthey (JM) has been working to commercialize its eLNO range of high-nickel cathode materials (earlier post), principally for the automotive industry. Following a detailed review and ahead of reaching a number of critical investment milestones, the company has concluded that the potential returns from the Battery Materials business will... Read more →

Daimler Truck AG and TotalEnergies signed an agreement on their joint commitment to the de-carbonization of the road freight in the European Union. The partners will collaborate in the development of ecosystems for heavy-duty trucks running on hydrogen, with the intent to demonstrate the attractiveness and effectiveness of trucking powered... Read more →

20 airlines commit to use new technologies to minimize climate impact; Target True Zero

Twenty airline members of the World Economic Forum’s Target True Zero initiative committed to utilizing new technologies, such as electric, hydrogen and hybrid aircraft, to address the challenge of climate change. The development and delivery of novel propulsion technologies—powered by sustainable energy sources—were highlighted as key towards helping the aviation... Read more →

At COP26 in Glasgow, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced the US Aviation Climate Action Plan, published by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which sets out to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from the US aviation sector by 2050. The document focuses on technologies that could substantially reduce the... Read more →

T&E: COP26 pledge to end car emissions needs to be backed by actual targets

The COP26 pledge by governments, automakers and others to sell only zero-emissions cars and vans from 2035 in leading markets and by 2040 elsewhere (earlier post) needs to be backed up with actual targets set down in law, green NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) said. With China, the US, Germany... Read more →

COP26 declaration on accelerating the transition to 100% zero emission cars and vans

At COP26 in Glasgow, 23 country governments; 10 governments in emerging markets and developing economies; 40 cities, states and regional governments; 11 automakers; 27 fleet owners and operators or shared mobility platforms; 13 investors with significant shareholdings in automotive manufacturers; 2 financial instituions; and 17 other organizations signed a declaration... Read more →

As states continue to use less coal for electricity, driving electric vehicles becomes even cleaner

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research Battery electric vehicles are only as clean as the energy source used to generate the electricity that powers them. The calculated relative amounts of well-to-wheels emissions of greenhouse gases from eight different energy sources are shown in the table below. (The calculations were based... Read more →

Neural Propulsion Systems (NPS), a developer of autonomous sensing platforms, announced that Dr. Lawrence Burns is joining as an Executive Advisor. Dr. Burns is the former Corporate Vice President of Research & Development and Planning at General Motors (earlier post). He has also advised numerous companies—including Google Self-Driving Cars/Waymo for... Read more →

The price of US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil is near its highest level since 2014, increasing rapidly from low prices in mid-2020 as demand returns faster than supply, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Because of the economic effects, government and business responses, and personal... Read more →

Passenger electric vehicle sales are set to jump more than 80% in 2021 to 5.6 million units, up from 3.1 million in 2020 (and 2.1 million in 2019), according to the Zero-Emission Vehicles Factbook, a special report published today by BloombergNEF (BNEF), at the request of the UK COP26 Presidency... Read more →

15 countries agree to work toward 100% ZEV truck and bus sales by 2040

Fifteen countries have agreed to work together toward 100% zero-emission new truck and bus sales by 2040. Under the new Global Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Zero-Emission Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles (ZE-MHDVs), Austria, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Wales... Read more →

Rolls-Royce establishes Small Modular Reactors business

Rolls-Royce announced that following a successful equity raise, it has established the Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactor (SMR) business to bring forward and deliver at scale the next generation of low-cost, low-carbon nuclear power technology. (Earlier post.) Rolls-Royce Group, BNF Resources UK Limited and Exelon Generation Limited will invest £195 million... Read more →

Williams Advanced Engineering and Castrol announce strategic 5-year partnership to co-develop EV fluids

Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) and Castrol have entered into a five-year technical partnership to co-develop high performance Electric Vehicle (EV) fluids. As part of the agreement, Castrol will become the official supplier of EV thermal fluids for WAE’s growing electrification programs and motorsport activities such as Formula E, Extreme E,... Read more →

Finnish Minerals Group and Beijing Easpring cathode materials plant proceeding as planned

Finnish Minerals Group and Beijing Easpring Material Technology have been investigating and negotiating the possibility to establish a cathode active materials (CAM) plant in Kotka, Finland with an initial capacity of 50,000 t/a and potential for future expansion for the production of cathode active material for lithium-ion batteries. As part... Read more →

Haldor Topsoe and Hyundai Oilbank sign MOU to develop green energy solutions

Haldor Topsoe and Hyundai Oilbank have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under which the two companies will sign MOU Hyundai Oilbank and Topsoe will jointly seek to identify opportunities within blue and green hydrogen, waste plastic recycling, bio-refinery, eFuels, CCUS (carbon capture, utilization and storage) and other solutions to... Read more →

Phillips 66 to convert Alliance Refinery to terminal facility

Phillips 66 plans to convert its Alliance Refinery in Belle Chasse, La., to a terminal facility. The refinery suffered significant damage from flooding from Hurricane Ida in August. The conversion is expected to take place in 2022. We made this decision after exploring several options and considering the investment needed... Read more →

First Cobalt’s strategic shift to make battery precursor and nickel sulfate; changes name to Electra Battery Materials

Canada-based First Cobalt Corp. is expanding its strategic plan to provide battery-grade nickel and cobalt, recycled battery materials and precursor material to the North American battery supply chain. The new business model will result in the creation of the only battery materials park on the continent, providing North American automakers... Read more →

Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group expands industry’s first air traffic management consortium with new members

The Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group announced the expansion of its Airspace Management Consortium with the introduction of Skyroads (formerly D3 Technologies), Altitude Angel and OneSky to the industry working group. The Group launched the Consortium in June to serve as a resource for the advanced air... Read more →

Alcoa to restart curtailed aluminum smelting capacity at Portland Aluminium in Australia

Alcoa Corporation announced that the Portland Aluminium joint venture plans to restart 35,000 metric tons per year (mtpy) of curtailed capacity at its aluminum smelter in the State of Victoria in Australia. The process to restart the capacity, which has been idle since 2009, will begin immediately, with metal production... Read more →

Ford, Ford Credit introduce sustainable financing framework prioritizing EV, clean production, community investments

Ford Motor Company and its financing subsidiary, Ford Motor Credit Company, introduced the North America auto industry’s first sustainable financing framework, focusing on and paying for ambitious plans in vehicle electrification and other environmental and social areas. Separately, Ford today also announced a cash tender offer to repurchase up to... Read more →

Consumers Energy commits to powering 1M EVs in Michigan by 2030

Michigan utility Consumers Energy is committing to powering 1 million electric vehicles by 2030. The goal would support the auto industry’s goal to have electric vehicles be 50% of new sales by 2030. Lauren Youngdahl Snyder, Consumers Energy’s vice president of customer experience, said Consumers Energy expects to see 1... Read more →

WEF launches First Movers Coalition to drive demand for zero carbon tech

The World Economic Forum (WEF), in partnership with US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, has launched the First Movers Coalition—a new platform for companies to make purchasing commitments that create new market demand for low carbon technologies. The commitments aim to be collectively significant enough to commercialize decarbonization... Read more →

Study finds carbon emissions benefits of reduction in oil demand depend on size of drop and global oil market structure

New research led by Mohammad Masnadi, assistant professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, offers a closer look at the relationship between decreasing demand for oil and a resilient, varied oil market—and the carbon footprint associated with both. An open-access paper on... Read more →

Volvo Cars has sold 581,464 cars worldwide in the first 10 months of 2021, up 12.6% compared with the same period last year. In October, Volvo Cars global sales reached 50,815 cars, down 22.2% compared with the same period last year. The decline was related to a shortage of components... Read more →

Ford sold 14,062 electrified vehicles in October, up 195% year-on-year; F-150 Lightning reservations pass 160,000

Ford set an internal electrified vehicle sales record in October, with 14,062 electrified vehicles sold—up 195% over last year. Additionally, Ford’s E-Transit—due to start production in a few weeks—is sold out, according to Ford, and the electric F-150 Lightning now has more than 160,000 reservations. Mustang Mach-E retail sales jumped... Read more →

The decarbonization of EU road transportation will increasingly impact the demand for fossil and biofuel, especially after 2030. The long-term outlook for biofuels, beyond 2045, does not look promising, as the expected decline in demand is likely to encourage biofuel companies to look for alternative uses for their products, according... Read more →

Gridtractor launches fleet electrification services to accelerate zero-emission agriculture

Gridtractor has launched from stealth to develop charging technology, fleet electrification, and energy management services for electric tractors and heavy farm equipment. Gridtractor will help farmers integrate electric charging and vehicle to grid (V2G) into their operations to strengthen the power grid with its smart energy platform. In addition, the... Read more →

CNH Industrial has entered into an exclusive, multi-year licensing agreement for electrification technologies with Monarch Tractor, a US-based AgTech company specializing in fully electric autonomous tractors. This agreement is the latest development between the two parties, building upon the minority investment stake made by CNH Industrial in March 2021. The... Read more →

Qorvo, a provider of innovative radio frequency (RF) solutions, has acquired United Silicon Carbide (UnitedSiC), a manufacturer of silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors. The acquisition of United Silicon Carbide expands Qorvo’s reach into the fast-growing markets for electric vehicles (EVs), industrial power, circuit protection, renewables and data center power. United... Read more →

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has developed an intrusion detection and defense system (IDS) to protect military ground vehicles against cyberthreats to embedded systems and connected vehicle networks. While developed for military vehicles, the system can also be used to scan for anomalies in passenger cars and commercial vehicles. The IDS... Read more →

Germany-based MTU Aero Engines has entered into an innovation partnership with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to investigate the potential ways forward for future certification of what MTU calls a “flying fuel cell” (FFC)—i.e., hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion systems for aviation. The hydrogen-powered fuel cell is a promising propulsion... Read more →

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing comprehensive new regulations to reduce methane emissions from the oil and natural gas industry—including, for the first time, reductions from existing sources nationwide. Source: EPA Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that traps about 30 times as much heat as carbon dioxide... Read more →

NREL researchers point toward building energy efficiency instead of long-term storage

Incorporating energy efficiency measures can reduce the amount of storage needed to power the nation’s buildings entirely with renewable energy, according to analysis conducted by researchers at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). As more communities plan to eventually rely on 100% renewable energy, the... Read more →

REV Fire Group, comprising the REV Group companies E-ONE, KME, Ferrara, Spartan Emergency Response, Smeal, and Ladder Tower, will build an all-electric E-ONE Vector fire truck for Mesa Fire and Medical Department in Mesa, AZ. REV Fire Group first announced the introduction of its all-electric fire truck, now named Vector,... Read more →

Canadian Pacific expands hydrogen locomotive program; additional locomotives, fueling stations; $15M from ERA

Canadian Pacific will significantly expand the scope of its hydrogen locomotive program (earlier post) with a $15-million grant announced by Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA). The grant enables CP to increase the number of hydrogen locomotive conversions in the project from one to three and add hydrogen production and fueling facilities.... Read more →

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released a report that provides a snapshot of the state of EV charging infrastructure in the United States in the first calendar quarter (Q1) of 2021. The report also measures the current state of charging infrastructure compared with the target infrastructure volume for... Read more →