|2018/9/19 15:32||Green Car Congress||
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles unveils 5 battery-electric and fuel cell vehicles; I.D. BUZZ CARGO
At the 69th IAA Commercial Vehicles show, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is unveiling five new zero-emission vehicles:the I.D. BUZZ CARGO, ABT e-Transporter, ABT e-Caddy, the Cargo e-Bike and the Crafter HyMotion which is equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell drive system.
I.D. BUZZ CARGO. One month ago, Volkswagen introduced the first new model in its electric mobility campaign, the new e-Crafter, with pre-sales of the electric van beginning this month. The electric campaign is now gaining momentum at the 2018 IAA Commercial Vehicles show. One highlight is the I.D. BUZZ CARGO concept—the first commercial vehicle to be based on the new I.D. Family and the modular electric drive kit (MEB). The vehicle could be launched as soon as 2021.
The I.D. BUZZ was developed jointly by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Volkswagen Passenger Cars. Volkswagen Passenger Cars focused on the van (people carrier) and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles on the cargo version.
The models can be delivered with different battery sizes according to the vehicles’ intended use and budget. With the MEB it is possible—dependent on battery size and the model concerned—to achieve ranges of about 330 to more than 500 km (as per WLTP). If the transporter covers fairly normal distances in the city on a daily and weekly basis, a lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 48 kWh is recommended. If greater range is needed, the energy capacity can be increased up to 111 kWh.
Last year, the company presented the brand’s first all-electric van with the world premiere of the new e-Crafter. (Earlier post.) While the e-Crafter launched as a panel van with an overall length of 5,986 mm and a maximum payload of 1.75 tonnes, the I.D. BUZZ CARGO concept is positioned in the size class beneath the Crafter.
The payload of the concept vehicle is 800 kg; the I.D. BUZZ CARGO is 5,048 mm long, 1,976 mm wide and 1,963 mm tall. Its wheelbase measures 3,300 mm. By the way, the rear overhang was extended by 106 mm, making the cargo version of the I.D. BUZZ significantly longer than the van shown in Detroit.
The electric drive of the I.D. BUZZ CARGO consists mainly of the electric motor with power electronics and 1-speed gearbox integrated into the driven rear axle, the lithium-ion battery and auxiliary units integrated in the front body.
The flow of high-voltage energy between the motor and the battery is controlled by the power electronics. Here, the direct current (DC) stored in the battery is converted into alternating current (AC). A DC/DC converter supplies the on-board electronics with 12 volts.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has combined the battery in the I.D. BUZZ CARGO being presented in Hannover with a 150 kW electric motor. The vehicle’s top speed is electronically limited to 160 km/h. An all-wheel drive system like the one implemented in its sibling model is conceivable.
The high-voltage battery of the I.D. BUZZ CARGO is charged by cable connection. Using fast charging systems operating at 150 kW direct current, the 48-kWh battery can be charged to 80% capacity in 15 minutes; for the largest battery expansion stage with an energy capacity of 111 kW it takes 30 minutes.
As an alternative, the high-voltage battery can be charged from any conventional household socket, charging stations with a wide variety of power outputs or wallboxes. Although the Bulli can be charged at 2.3 kW via a normal 230V mains, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles offers wallboxes that operate at much higher power levels up to 11 kW. They are especially advisable for charging batteries to 100% at a company’s vehicle depot overnight (when electricity prices are often lower).
The battery system of the future production version has also been prepared for inductive charging, likewise with 11 kW of charging power. The concept vehicle has this technology already.
Crafter HyMotion. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is also demonstrating a new alternative fuel direction with the world premiere of the Crafter HyMotion—a van with a hydrogen fuel cell drivetrain.
The Crafter HyMotion was specially designed for longer journeys: the longer the daily distance covered, the greater the appeal of the hydrogen fuel cell in large commercial vehicles.
The tanks integrated in the Crafter HyMotion have a capacity of 7.5 kg hydrogen. This enables the 4.25-tonne van to cover driving ranges of more than 500 km. The time required to refill the Crafter HyMotion is comparable to that for conventionally powered models.
Instead of the large traction battery of the e-Crafter, a smaller lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 13.1 kWh is at work in the Crafter HyMotion. The fuel cell system that delivers 30 kW of power serves as a range extender. Meanwhile, the Crafter HyMotion utilizes the same 100‑kW electric motor and gearbox as in the e-Crafter. The van’s fuel consumption is 1.4 kg hydrogen per 100 km.
Despite its significantly longer driving range, the Crafter HyMotion offers an even larger payload than the e-Crafter. The Crafter HyMotion is still a concept vehicle—but as soon as the infrastructure is right, according to Volkswagen, the van could launch with its zero emission electric motor.
The Crafter HyMotion is the second concept vehicle from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles to feature a hydrogen fuel cell; it follows the Caddy Maxi HyMotion, which was first introduced in the “Hydrogen Road Tour” in 2009.
ABT e-Transporter. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has offered its Transporter model series for eight decades. Now the brand is connecting the best-selling vehicle’s drive system with electricity in a world premiere of a taxi concept: the ABT e-Transporter1. This concept car, designed together with the company Abt e-Line GmbH, is a zero-emission van designed to generate electricity at IAA Commercial Vehicles.
The battery system of the ABT e-Transporter is constructed to be scalable so that it can satisfy the needs of a wide variety of potential applications and budgets in a possible production model. In its base configuration, the Transporter comes with a lithium-ion battery that has an energy capacity of 37.3 kWh; the second battery version offers an energy capacity of 74.6 kWh. Driving ranges of the two versions are between 208 and 400 km.
ABT e-Caddy. The second model designed jointly by Abt e-Line GmbH and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is the ABT e-Caddy, which is also being shown in a world premiere at the IAA. It will arrive on the market in the middle of next year. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is also presenting the ABT e-Caddy as a taxi; it is based on the extended Caddy Maxi and therefore offers ample space for five people plus luggage.
With a range of up to 220 km (forecast NEDC figures), the zero-emission vehicle has been tailored for urban use in the environmental restriction zones of European cities. An 82-kW electric motor operates in the ABT e‑Caddy. The electric motor is supplied with electricity from a 37.3 kWh lithium-ion battery. The ABT e-Caddy, which has a top speed of 120 km/h, will be one of the most spacious electric vehicles in its class with a cargo compartment volume of 4.2 m3.
Cargo e-Bike. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is also introducing the brand’s first electric bike: the Cargo e-Bike. Market introduction of the three-wheel cycle will be in 2019.
The Cargo e‑Bike is a pedelec (pedal electric cycle) that adds power assistance to its rider’s pedalling with a 250 Watt (48V) mid-mounted motor at speeds up to 25 km/h.
The pedelec can be used anywhere, even in pedestrian zones. Energy for the electric motor is supplied by a lithium-ion battery. The drive and rugged architecture of the cargo bike are designed for a maximum payload of 210 kg (including rider).
This vehicle—the smallest Volkswagen commercial vehicle ever—is equipped with two wheels at the front, with the load platform positioned low between them. Mounted on this load platform is a cargo box with a storage volume of 0.5 m3. Innovative kinematics of the front axle ensure that the goods being transported on the load platform do not tilt with the cargo bike when cornering, rather they remain horizontal and thereby stable. The new electric Cargo e-Bike will be produced at the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles plant in Hannover.
|2018/9/19 13:54||Green Car Congress||
Daimler invests in electric bus company Proterra; exploring electrification of Daimler’s Thomas Built school buses
Daimler Trucks & Buses is investing in the US company Proterra Inc. Martin Daum, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG with responsibility for Daimler Trucks & Buses, made the announcement at the 67th IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hannover. Proterra was founded in 2004 with headquarters in California and is a leader in the business with electric buses for local transport.
Daimler’s investment was part of a $155-million round co-led by Daimler and Tao Capital Partners.
In conjunction with the investment, Proterra and Daimler have entered into an agreement to explore the electrification of select Daimler heavy-duty vehicles. The first of these efforts will be to explore potential synergies with Daimler’s Thomas Built Buses division by bringing Proterra’s proven battery and drive train technologies to the North American school bus market.
Similar to public transit vehicles, school buses provide mission-critical community infrastructure and offer an excellent use case for vehicle electrification, as most school buses travel a predictable distance per day that is well within the capability of Proterra’s EV technology.
We started working on electric trucks and buses at a very early stage and we aim to set the standards here in each relevant segment. We expect the cooperation with Proterra to deliver additional impetus for the development of heavy-duty commercial vehicles with electric drive. In this way, we are broadening our scope in particular concerning the key technology of the battery – also with regard to North America.
|2018/9/19 13:40||Green Car Congress||
Cummins debuts PowerDrive plug-in-hybrid system; both series and parallel capabilities
Cummins Inc. unveiled PowerDrive, a suite of plug-in hybrid electric powertrain solutions spanning light-, medium- and heavy-duty applications, at the 2018 IAA Commercial Vehicle Show. The Cummins PowerDrive offers both parallel and series capabilities.
The PowerDrive replaces the conventional transmission and switches in real time between two hybrid and two pure electric modes, optimizing the powertrain for the best fuel economics in any driving situation.
The flexible hybrid architecture seamlessly shifts between pure electric for environmentally sensitive areas with a 50-mile (80 km) range and hybrid for jobs requiring more than 300 miles (480 km). It operates as a hybrid in either series or parallel configuration modes.
Series is better suited to low road speeds such as urban driving (stop/start conditions), while parallel is ideal for higher road speeds on the highway.
In a series hybrid, the electric motor is the only means of providing power to the wheels. The motor receives electric power from either the battery pack or from the engine-generator. In a parallel hybrid, the engine and electric motor combine to provide the power that drives the wheels. The third mode of electric plus comes online when higher energy is required when the system senses gradient climbing or acceleration for overtaking.
This hybrid system is showcased in the Cummins booth in an electric hybrid utility truck, a Kenworth T370. The vehicle is also configured with exportable grid-quality electric power to recharge vehicles and a recovery crane operating on either electric or engine power take-off.
The Cummins PowerDrive system has travelled more than six million miles in a fleet setting in the United States and China, and work is underway to introduce it to the European market in the near future. Its flexible architecture means the PowerDrive system can be combined with various sizes of diesel or natural gas engines and battery pack outputs.
The Cummins PowerDrive is intelligent, versatile and compact, providing our on-highway customers the flexibility needed to meet the demands of their diverse jobs and markets. Cummins is ready to offer the new PowerDrive suite through our OEM partners.
—Julie Furber, Cummins Executive Director of Electrified Power
The Cummins PowerDrive 6000 is paired with a Cummins B6.7 in the Kenworth T370, a US Class 6 truck. The vehicle’s gross weight is 33,000 lbs (15 mt gvw). The service vehicle was commissioned by Cummins to support EV and PHEV vehicle field tests and pilot routes. It showcases three vehicle charging stations (1: 100 kW fast charge and 2: 6.6 kW standard chargers) with direct charging cables from the truck to the PHEV or EV vehicle requiring charging.
|2018/9/19 10:30||Green Car Congress||
USC study finds particulate matter in air pollution affects thyroid development in fetuses
In a cohort study of a subset of 2050 newborns from the Children’s Health Study in southern California, researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) found that an increase of 2 standard deviations in prenatal exposure to particulate matter in air pollution was associated with higher newborn total thyroxine (TT4) measures. Thyroxine is a major hormone secreted into the bloodstream by the thyroid gland.
Months 3 to 7 and 1 to 8 of pregnancy were identified as critical windows of exposure to particulate matter and associated higher thyroxine levels. The newly published open-access research paper appears in JAMA Network Open.
Thyroid hormones are critical for regulating fetal growth and metabolism and play important roles in neurodevelopment. Even subtle changes in maternal thyroid function during pregnancy have been associated with reduced fetal growth and cognitive deficits in children, with detrimental effects observed for both low and excess levels of thyroid hormones.
Two major hormones are secreted from the thyroid gland: thyroxine (T4), the predominant circulating form of thyroid hormone, and triiodothyronine (T3), the metabolically active form of thyroid hormone, which is largely derived from T4.
—Howe et al.
This is one of the few studies to monitor air pollution effects on a developing fetus and the first to track pollution changes month by month on thyroid hormones.
USC scientists have been studying the health impacts of urban air pollution for a generation under the Children’s Health Study. It’s one of the world’s largest ongoing research efforts looking exclusively at how dirty air harms kids. USC is situated in the Los Angeles region, home to historically severe urban smog, an ideal laboratory to study air pollution health effects and environmental change across time.
Since the effort began in 1992, various USC researchers have documented how air pollution contributes to school absences, asthma, bronchitis and lost-lung function. Conversely, as air quality has improved due to regulations and technology innovations, scientists have been able to track improvements in children’s health.
In the new study, the research team focused on 2,050 newborns, people who had been enrolled in the Children’s Health Study previously. They selected them using birth data from the mid-1990s, when they were elementary school students at 13 Southern California schools. About 60 percent were white, 30 percent Latino and the remainder black or other races.
The participants were included only if they had blood tests taken right after birth and had complete monthly exposure measures for air pollution throughout pregnancy. The scientists checked blood levels for TT4.
The researchers found that when exposure to PM2.5 increased by 16 micrograms per cubic meter of air, TT4 levels in blood increased 7.5% above average levels in babies. When exposure to PM10 increased by 22 micrograms per cubic meter, TT4 levels increased by 9.3%, according to the study. They did not see the same increases associated with other air pollutants, such as ozone or nitrogen dioxide.
Exposures during months three to seven of pregnancy were most significant for PM2.5. PM10 exposure during one to eight months of pregnancy was associated with significantly higher newborn TT4 concentrations.
The findings show that the fetal thyroid gland seems particularly susceptible to airborne particulate, especially during early- to mid-pregnancy, according to the study. It’s consistent with previous studies by other researchers that show industrial chemicals, tobacco smoke and indoor air pollution impact the thyroid gland.
However, the study did not assess the health effects of the air pollution exposures. Also, the study only looked at one hormonal pathway associated with the thyroid gland, which the authors acknowledge is a limitation.
Nonetheless, the findings underscore that air pollution penetrates deeply within the human body to reach unborn babies. Carrie V. Breton, corresponding author of the study and associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, said that the findings are a wakeup call not only for smoggy places such as California and the United States, but rapidly industrializing cities around the world.
There are several places around the world where air pollution is skyrocketing. This is another example of an environmental exposure that affects early development in subtle ways, and we don’t know the health consequences.
The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grants 1R21 ES025870, P30 ES007048, 1UG3OD023287 and T32 ES013678).
Caitlin G. Howe, Sandrah P. Eckel, Rima Habre, et al. (2018) “Association of Prenatal Exposure to Ambient and Traffic-Related Air Pollution With Newborn Thyroid Function. Findings From the Children’s Health Study” JAMA Network Open 1(5):e182172 doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.2172
|2018/9/19 10:00||Green Car Congress||
Ford reveals production version of Transit Custom PHEV at IAA Commercial Vehicles
Ford revealed the production version of the new Transit Custom plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) at IAA Commercial Vehicle show in Hannover, Germany. The Transit Custom PHEV targets an all-electric driving range of 50 kilometers (31 miles), and uses the multi-award-winning Ford 1.0-liter EcoBoost gasoline engine as a range extender for total range exceeding 500 kilometers (310 miles).
Ford is the first volume manufacturer to offer PHEV technology in this segment of the van market. The technology enables the vehicle to be charged with grid electricity, contributing to reduced local emissions and allowing the vehicle to enter low-emissions zones. The PHEV model will enter volume production in the second half of 2019.
Ford also announced major enhancements to the Transit Custom line-up, including an upgraded 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel with more powerful 185 PS variant, a segment-first diesel mild hybrid powertrain option, and advanced new connectivity and driver assistance features.
The Transit Custom PHEV uses a series-hybrid driveline configuration, the front wheels being driven exclusively by an electric motor, rather than by the combustion engine.
Power for the motor is provided by a compact 14 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack located under the load floor, which has been carefully positioned to preserve the full cargo volume offered by the standard Transit Custom van, and a payload exceeding 1,000 kg. Ford’s compact and fuel-efficient 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine generates additional charge for the batteries when required.
Three selectable EV modes enable the driver to choose how and when to use the available battery charge:
EV Auto – default setting determines how to use the energy sources
EV Now – uses only electric power until the battery is depleted
EV Later – system aims to maintain current level of battery charge
Using the charge port located within the front bumper, the Transit Custom PHEV can be charged using a domestic 240 volt 10 amp power supply, achieving full charge in five hours, or a commercial 240 volt 16 amp or 32 amp supply, which can bring the pack to full charge in three hours.
The FordPass Connect on-board modem technology is a standard feature, allowing fleet operators to improve vehicle utilization and optimize running costs, and enabling a range of features to be accessed via the FordPass mobile app to make the vehicle ownership and operating experience easier and more productive.
Within the cabin, a power/charge gauge replaces the standard rev counter, and a smaller gauge for battery state of charge replaces the engine coolant temperature indicator. Trip computer functions are configured specifically for the PHEV powertrain, and EV mode indicators, maintenance alerts, and a warning when the vehicle is plugged into a charging point, appear on the instrument display cluster. A status line showing distance to empty for both the battery and range extender is visible on all screen displays.
The new Transit Custom interior provides class-leading stowage and all-new displays and control panels designed for enhanced ergonomics and ease of use. Ford’s voice-activated SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system is available for high-series models, featuring an 8-inch colour touchscreen that can be controlled with pinch and swipe gestures.
The Transit Custom PHEV will be offered in a range of high-specification series, and offering driver assistance technologies including Active Park Assist and Lane-Keeping Aid supported by standard electric power-assisted steering that is optimized for city driving and easy maneuvering in busy commercial environments.
Ford Transit Custom PHEV prototypes are undergoing a 12-month fleet trial with real-world customers in London, covering in excess of 50,000 km (31,000 miles) to date, and Ford recently announced further trials will begin in Valencia, Spain.
The vans—equipped with telematics systems—gather data on operational and environmental performance, including charging patterns, journey patterns and real electric-only range, while in use by commercial fleets including delivery and construction companies, utilities and services such as the police.
The data collected is helping Ford to better understand how to optimize the benefits of the hybrid powertrain and explore how lower-emission plug-in hybrid electric vans could support cleaner air targets, while boosting productivity for operators in urban conditions.
The new Transit Custom PHEV van is a key component of Ford’s global electrification commitment, with an investment of $11 billion to create a portfolio of 40 electrified vehicles globally, including 16 fully electric vehicles through 2022.