|2018/5/24 14:33||Green Car Congress||
Efficient Drivetrains receives 30-unit PHEV bus order for City of Kunming, China
Efficient Drivetrains, Inc. (EDI) has received a production order for PHEV bus drivetrain systems from the city of Kunming, China. The 30-unit order brings EDI’s total China fleet size to 168 vehicles, all of which are deployed on leading OEMs across urban and rural routes in China.
China’s continued push towards nationwide vehicle electrification is set to grow steadily through the rest of the year. Forecasts indicate that Chinese bus markets will see more than 200,000 PHEV and EV buses by 2020, with full electrification by 2027. Government regulations and subsidy programs in China grow increasingly stringent, leading bus OEMs to seek partners who can enable them to rapidly comply with mandates that require significant emission reduction over the next decade.
Replacement of traditional diesel buses with PHEV versions enables fleet operators to observe 40-50% of savings for fuel on average. Emissions are also reduced by 40-50%, and significant reductions in fleet maintenance expenses are also being realized.
Since 2015, the Chinese-certified EDI PowerDrive 6000 technology has logged more than 6 million miles and has been integrated into major OEMs across China such as Ankai, Shaanxi, Yaxing Motor Coach, Foton, and Master Transportation. EDI expects to work with more OEMs as the market in China continues to grow.
China’s aggressive push to move from traditional diesel vehicles to electrified options has changed the dynamics of the bus market. As demand extends throughout mass transportation sectors in, EDI anticipates an increase in OEM integrations and clean energy solutions in the form of our PowerDrive technology to enable their move to electric fleets.
—Taylor Yu, Head of China Development, EDI
EDI has also experienced strong growth in the North American market for full-electric buses. The company recently announced the production release of the EDI PowerDrive 7000ev (earlier post), after successfully delivering on multiple contracts in 2017 and the first half of 2018. The EDI PowerDrive 7000ev is suited for full electric school and mass transit buses, work and utility trucks, as well as logistics vehicles. With a base of more than 100 miles of all-electric driving, the battery capacity of the EDI PowerDrive 7000ev can be expanded to enable OEMs to extend driving ranges as required by customers.
|2018/5/24 11:15||Green Car Congress||
Toyota moves to expand mass-production of fuel cell stacks and hydrogen tanks towards ten-fold increase post-2020
Toyota projects that global sales of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) will increase significantly after 2020 to at least 30,000 per year from today’s 3,000. To prepare for this growth, the company unveiled plans for two major new facilities: a brand-new building near its original automobile factory for expanding fuel cell (FC) stack mass production, and a new line in an existing plant to manufacture high-pressure hydrogen tanks.
Manufacturing both components at scale is critical to achieving lower system costs and wider availability for further growth and sales of FCEVs.
To increase FC stack output, Toyota will move production from its current location, within one of the existing buildings at its Honsha Plant in Toyota City, to a brand-new, eight-floor high-tech facility on the same premises, near the original site of the company’s first automobile factory in 1938.
The production of high-pressure hydrogen tanks will be handled by a new, dedicated line to be added inside the nearby Shimoyama Plant (Nº 3) in Miyoshi City (Aichi Prefecture). Previously, the hydrogen tanks were assembled at the Honsha plant on a smaller scale. Toyota’s hydrogen tanks are made of extra-thick carbon fiber and are built to withstand major impacts.
Artist rendering of the FC stack production building within the Honsha Plant premises.
The new facilities are expected to help significantly reduce CO2 emissions during the production stage. This is one of the initiatives for the Plant Zero CO2 Emissions Challenge in the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 announced in October 2015.
Construction of the new hydrogen tank line at Shimoyama is starting now, while the exterior for the new stack production facility is already finished and work will now begin on the interior. Details of the respective facilities will be announced later with a view to start operations around 2020.
Expanding sales. Toyota introduced the mass-produced fuel cell sedan, the Mirai, in December 2014. Annual production and sales have increased yearly, going from about 700 units in 2015, to around 2,000 units in 2016, and, most recently, approximately 3,000 units in 2017. However, in order to encourage more widespread use of hydrogen-powered zero-emission vehicles, popularization needs to start by the 2020s. Toyota aims for annual sales of FCEVs to top 30,000 units globally from around that time.
At present, Mirai is sold in eleven countries: Japan, the United States, and nine countries in Europe. Toyota is working to develop an environment that will allow FCEVs to be sold in more countries and regions in the future. As part of this, demonstration tests of Mirai are currently under way in Australia, Canada, China, and the U.A.E., and Toyota is examining demand for FCEVs while continuing to help with initiatives to promote hydrogen infrastructure development.
In the Japanese market, Toyota aims to reach sales of at least 1,000 FCEV units per month and more than 10,000 units annually, from around 2020. Sales regions within Japan will be expanded further from the current four major metropolitan areas to allow even more customers to enjoy Mirai.
On the commercial side, Toyota started sales of FC buses to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in February 2017, and introduced the final version, the Sora, in 2018 with three additional units. Toyota aims to sell at least 100 such buses ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Going forward, Toyota will expand its FCEV product range and continue to strengthen product appeal, aiming to bring the cost down. Also, Toyota will keep working with Toyota Group and other companies to develop a hydrogen supply infrastructure and construct a low-carbon hydrogen supply chain.
|2018/5/24 10:45||Green Car Congress||
Ohio State takes first place in DOE/GM EcoCAR 3 competition
The Ohio State University has taken first place in the final year of EcoCAR 3, an Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition, sponsored by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM). This is OSU’s fourth consecutive win. The team earned 895 out of 1000 overall points.
Ohio State EcoCAR built a series-parallel plug-in hybrid electric vehicle powered by E85. The powertrain components included a 2.0-liter engine, five-speed automated manual transmission, 150 kW electric machine, and an 18.9 kWh energy storage system.
EcoCAR 3 is the latest Energy Department Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition (AVTC) series and challenges 16 North American university teams to redesign a 2016 Chevrolet Camaro to further reduce its environmental impact, while maintaining the performance expected from this iconic American car. Teams spent the last four years (2014-2018) harnessing those ideas into the ultimate energy-efficient, high performance vehicle.
Year Four finals began with a week of rigorous safety, technical, drive quality and emissions testing at General Motors Desert Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona. For the second leg of competition, teams headed to southern California for track events, including autocross, acceleration, and consumer appeal at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. Teams also spent several days presenting to judges and proving how they have developed into the next generation of engineers and business leaders who are prepared to enter the auto industry and related careers. Industry and government officials judged the presentations.
Following presentations, teams hit Los Angeles roads for a 150-mile over-the-road event where the Chevrolet Camaros were scored based on performance with everyday driving applications. At the end of the second week, students had the opportunity to display their completed hybrid-electric Chevrolet Camaros with a car show at Hollywood’s famed Magic Castle.
West Virginia University and University of Alabama teams finished second and third place, respectively.
Additional sponsors joining the DOE and GM include: MathWorks; National Science Foundation; California Air Resources Board; NXP; AVL Powertrain Engineering; The Bosch Group; ETAS; PACCAR; dSPACE, Inc.; Snap-on Tools; Siemens PLM Software; GKN Driveline; Transportation Research Center (TRC, Inc.); Horiba; DENSO; Champlain Cable Corp.; Woodward; Proterra; Ricardo; Mentor Graphics; New Eagle; Gage; tesa tape; Vector CANtech, Inc.; Delphi Foundation; EcoMotors; Electric Power Research Institute, Inc.; A123 Systems; Flextronics; and Samsung SDI.
EcoCAR 3 sponsors have provided more than $87 million in software, hardware and cash donations to the 16 participating universities throughout the four years.
The 16 competing teams were: Arizona State University; California State University-Los Angeles; Colorado State University; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Georgia Tech; McMaster University; Mississippi State University; Ohio State University; Penn State University; University of Alabama; University of Tennessee; University of Washington; University of Waterloo; Virginia Tech University; Wayne State University; West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.
|2018/5/24 10:00||Green Car Congress||
Nissan begins deliveries of new extended-range electric e-NV200 van to global markets
Nissan’s upgraded e-NV200 is now being shipped to customers. Built for global markets in Nissan Barcelona plant, the upgraded model features a new 40 kWh battery, combining the features of the award-winning Nissan NV200 van with the best-selling Nissan LEAF. Nissan’s Barcelona plant is responsible not only for the manufacturing of the vehicle, but also the assembly of the new 40kWh battery packs, in a specialist facility.
Deliveries to customers have now begun, with more than 4,600 orders taken since sales began in January. This reflects the strong demand Nissan is also experiencing for the new Nissan LEAF.
The new generation van will further support efforts to cut the level of emissions in city centers by making 100% electric last mile deliveries achievable for businesses and professional drivers everywhere, Nissan said.
Nissan Barcelona Plant has been the global manufacturing location for the e-NV200 since 2014, which was the best-selling electric van in Europe last year. With more than 18,000 of the original version sold worldwide, the upgraded van is now being shipped to customers in Europe and to Hong Kong, with Japan deliveries to follow.
The 40 kWh battery allows customers to drive up to 301 km (187 miles) (city WLTP cycle) on a single charge. This represents an increase of more than 60% compared to the previous generation, with longer journeys supported further by the extended European CHAdeMO Quick Charging network.
Customers can choose from two body options: the e-NV200 van and e-NV200 Evalia. Both have a versatile interior that allows users to configure racks, bins and seating to suit their needs. With 4.2m³ of load space, there is enough room to hold two Euro pallets, or cargo weighing up to 742 kg.
For customers looking to move passengers or crew, the e-NV200 Evalia makes an ideal people carrier. With its modular seating there is still plenty of room for luggage or tools, and as the only 100% electric seven-seater van available in Europe, it presents a solution for taxi and chauffeur businesses.
The introduction of the upgraded e-NV200 follows the launched of a new range of leading pickups in Nissan’s Barcelona plant: the Nissan Navara, Renault Alaskan and Mercedes Benz X-Class.
|2018/5/24 9:00||Green Car Congress||
Bolivia chooses ACI Systems as strategic partner to industrialize lithium deposits
Salar de Uyuni in the Andes in southwestern Bolivia is the world’s largest salt flat (10,582 km2 / 4,086 mi2) and holds the world’s largest known deposit of lithium. The Bolivian state is creating a value chain to use the deposits of this raw material for industrial purposes. The state-owned company Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB) has now selected the German company ACI-Systems as a strategic partner for this project.
According to a 1978 study by the US Geological Survey, widely scattered brine samples from Salar de Uyuni show lithium values ranging from 80 to 1500 ppm. High values of 300-700 ppm are most prevalent in an area of about 2500 km2 in the east-central and southeastern part of the salar. A few brine samples in small areas in Coipasa and Empexa Salars have values ranging from 170 to 580 ppm Li. All the brines are essentially saturated with halite and are moderately high in sulfate (5000-15,000 ppm SO4) but low in carbonate (<500 ppm HCO3).
Potassium and magnesium values are relatively high, chiefly in the range of 2000-20,000 ppm, and the K:Mg ratio is about 1:1. The Li:K and Li:Mg ratios are relatively constant at about 1:20.
In 2013, COMIBOL completed the construction of a pilot plant for processing brines at the Salar de Uyuni, but commercial production was not expected until the fourth quarter of this year. Despite this, and other early work, the lithium desposit in Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is currently largely untouched.
This situation is now going to change. The state enterprise Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB), which is responsible for extracting, utilizing and marketing the raw material, was founded specially for this purpose. The project was divided into three phases.
Phase three involves establishing a value chain from extraction of the raw material to the finished product, in which Bolivia has a majority stake.
The industrialization phase involves extracting and producing raw materials from residual brine, developing production capacities, as well as manufacturing and marketing cathode material and battery systems in Bolivia. YLB invited eight international consortia to submit proposals to realize this step. One of them was the German company ACI-Systems GmbH.
The concepts submitted were intensively examined, evaluated and analyzed by YLB according to their specified criteria. After numerous iteration and discussion phases, on 20 April 2018 the state-owned company selected ACI-Systems as a strategic industrialization partner.
The company is a member of the ACI Group, which specializes in developing and constructing innovative and sustainable production solutions for photovoltaics and battery system manufacture, as well as in extracting and utilizing raw materials and materials for these branches of industry.
By entering into this Bolivian-German partnership, Germany will also gain access to the lithium. The decision in favor of ACI-Systems is therefore also of strategic importance to Germany and Europe.
The decisive factor was, on the one hand, the combined high level of technical expertise of the experts in the ACI-System team, reinforced by the cooperation with K-UTEC AG Salt Technologies from Sondershausen. On the other hand, integrated approach of the concept and project content were also convincing.
Potassium sulphate, magnesium hydroxide and sodium sulphate are extracted from the residual brine in addition to lithium hydroxide, and subsequently processed or marketed. Among other things, potential partners and customers were identified for this purpose.
Another important point is the transfer of knowledge through training and enhancing the skills of Bolivian employees. Environmental aspects were also pivotal. These include the environmentally compatible extraction of the raw materials, the use of renewable energies and the establishment of a decentralized power supply which, for the first time, will enable batteries and cathodes to be produced ecologically.
Joint venture. The next step, which is to be completed by the middle of this year, is to form a public-private joint venture between YLB and ACI-Systems in Bolivia, in which the Bolivian state-owned company will hold a 51% majority stake. The tasks of this company, which will be solved jointly, are to clearly define the areas of activity, as well as to draw up detailed business and environmental plans for the subsequently-founded project companies for extracting and processing lithium.
The differentiated conception of the technical and economic implementation of the project also falls within the company’s common field of activity. As project manager, ACI-Systems will be responsible for the final selection of technology and implementation partners, right up to the construction of the necessary production lines to ensure innovative, efficient and sustainable production.
4th EU Electromobility Stakeholder Forum
Projects FREVUE, I-CVUE and ZeEUS, together with the European Commission, are glad to invite you to the 4th edition of the EU Electromobility Stakeholder Forum. This key e-mobility event will offer 2 days of learning, discussions and networking. A range of electrifying topics will be covered from urban design opportunities, multimodal and interoperable charging infrastructure, operational impact of electric vehicles right through to results achieved so far.
Electric Car Batteries Just Hit A Key Price Point
Electric vehicle demand in the past five years has soared in the US. The same is true worldwide. By the end of 2014, more than 700,000 total plug-in vehicles had been sold worldwide (plug-in hybrids and pure battery electrics), up from about 400,000 at the end of 2013. As of 2015, dozens of models of electric cars and vans are available for purchase, mostly in Europe, the United States, Japan, and China.
A major reason for the rapid jump in EV sales is the rapid drop in the cost of their key component -– batteries. The energy stored in a battery is measured by kilowatt-hour (kWh). The more kWh stored, the further the car can go on one charge, so a key metric for battery economics is the cost per kWh. The lower the cost, the cheaper it is to build an electric car with a significant range.
New steering system proposed to increase electric-car efficiency
The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany and automotive supplier Schaeffler are working to develop a new type of steering system specifically for electric cars that could improve their efficiency.
As with most internal-combustion cars, electric cars use a power assist to decrease steering effort. This draws electricity from a car’s battery pack, affecting range, the two partners note. KIT and Schaeffler propose a system that does away with the standard apparatus of a steering column linked to the wheels by tie rods. Instead, the prototype system uses individual electric motors for each of the front wheels to steer.
Energy Ministry touts Thailand as electric vehicle hub
The Energy Ministry plans to give its full support to promoting Thailand as an electric vehicle (EV) production hub. Energy Minister Narongchai Akrasanee said his ministry would amend regulations and electricity transmission to allow access to electricity chargers at petrol stations. The policy is expected to help increase the sales of EVs at home, which would attract car makers to choose Thailandas a production base, he said.
Electric cars could cut oil imports 40% by 2030, says study
Electric cars could cut the UK’s oil imports by 40% and reduce drivers’ fuel bills by £13bn if deployed on a large scale, according to a new study.
An electric vehicle surge would deliver an average £1,000 of fuel savings a year per driver, and spark a 47% drop in carbon emissions by 2030, said the Cambridge Econometrics study.
The paper, commissioned by the European Climate Foundation, said that air pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and particulates would be all but eliminated by mid-century, with knock-on health benefits from reduced respiratory diseases valued at over £1bn.