|2018/7/22 11:05||Green Car Congress||
Kia Niro EV crossover now on sale in Korea; N American sales in Q1 2019
The new Kia Niro battery-electric CUV (crossover utility vehicle) has gone on sale in Korea, featuring an expected driving range of up to 385 kilometers (239 miles), as calculated by SAE J1364 in the United States. European sales of Niro EV will follow at end of 2018 and North America in Q1 2019.
The Niro EV sits alongside the existing Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid variants of the car—of which more than 200,000 have sold globally since the Niro’s introduction in 2016. The Korean carmaker has received more than 5,000 pre-orders for the Niro EV in its domestic market since the car was first revealed earlier this year.
The Niro EV is to be Kia’s second globally-sold electric vehicle after the Soul EV, and will go on sale in Europe at the end of 2018 and North America in Q1 2019.
A 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack affords the driving range of up to 385 kilometers; plugged into a 100 kW fast charger, it takes 54 minutes to recharge the Niro EV’s battery to 80%. Buyers will also be able to specify an optional 39.2 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack, with a range of up to 246 kilometers (153 miles) from a single charge.
Power is provided to the front wheels through a 150 kW (204 ps) motor, producing 395 N·m torque from a standstill, for acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.8 seconds. The battery pack is located low down in the body, beneath the trunk floor.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. The Niro EV offers drivers a range of Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, supporting the driver in various environments and scenarios to mitigate the risk of a collision.
Available active safety systems include Forward Collision Warning with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Smart Cruise Control with Intelligent Stop & Go, and Lane Following Assist. Lane Following Assist is a ‘Level Two’ autonomous driving technology which tracks vehicles in front of the car in traffic, and detects road markings to keep the Niro EV in its lane on the motorway. The system controls acceleration, braking and steering according to the behavior of the vehicles in front, using external sensors to maintain a safe distance. Lane Following Assist operates between 0 and 130 km/h (81 miles).
The Niro EV differentiates itself visually from the existing Niro Hybrid and Niro Plug-in Hybrid with a series of exclusive design features. Taking inspiration from the Niro EV Concept unveiled at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the exterior is based on a ‘Clean and High-tech’ design concept. Its futuristic and aerodynamic ‘tiger-nose’ grille features an integrated charging port, bearing a ‘de-bossed’ Niro logo. Redesigned air intakes and new arrowhead-shaped LED daytime running lights combine with light-blue trim highlights to help it stand out further.
A 7.0-inch touchscreen HMI (human-machine interface) remains at the center of the dashboard, but has been updated to offer a series of EV-specific features. The new infotainment system enables owners to locate nearby charging points and monitor the level of charge and range remaining from the battery pack. The instrument cluster—a 7.0-inch color-LCD display—is also unique to the Niro EV, enabling the driver to intuitively check driving and EV powertrain information on-the-move.
The redesigned center console creates more storage space at the base of the dashboard for smaller items, including a wireless smartphone charger. A lamp is integrated into the top of the dashboard, with a light displaying whether the battery pack is recharging or fully charged when plugged in. This enables owners to quickly see the car’s charge status at a glance from outside the car.
When the Niro was first launched in 2016, its new platform had been engineered to accommodate a variety of advanced powertrains. Its 2,700-mm wheelbase ensures all occupants have plenty of legroom, while the sense of space is boosted by its crossover design. Its body is 1,805 mm wide and 1,560 mm tall, ensuring maximum head- and shoulder-room throughout the cabin. At 4,375 mm in length, it offers more cargo space—451 liters (VDA) (16 ft3)—than many other plug-in and electric vehicles.
|2018/7/22 10:07||Green Car Congress||
WVU opens new research facility to extract valuable rare earth elements from acid mine drainage
West Virginia University (WVU) researchers are opening a new facility to capture rare earth elements (REEs) from acid mine drainage (AMD) from coal mining.
Through a collaborative research and development program with the US Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), WVU is opening the Rare Earth Extraction Facility to bolster domestic supplies of rare earths, reduce the environmental impact of coal-mining operations, reduce production costs and increase efficiency for processing market-ready rare earths.
WVU is partnering with Rockwell Automation to facilitate market readiness through use of their sensor and control technologies in the new WVU facility.
The facility is the researchers’ phase-two project, worth $3.38 million, funded by NETL with substantial matching funding from WVU’s private sector partners. It follows on an earlier, phase-one project, worth $937,000, to study acid mine drainage as feedstock for rare-earth extraction. The goal of the pilot facility is to test the technical and economic feasibility of scaling-up the technology to commercialize the separation and extraction process.
In addition, the team will be working to define a US-based supply chain including the sludges created during acid mine drainage treatment and upstream to the acid-mine drainage source.
Conventional rare-earth recovery methods require an expensive, difficult and messy extraction process that generates large volumes of contaminated waste. China has been able to provide a low-cost supply of rare earths using these methods, and therefore, dominates the global market.
The conventional mining and extraction processes require mining ore from mineral deposits in rock, which is crushed into a powder, dissolved in chemical solutions and filtered. The process is repeated multiple times to retrieve rare earth oxides. Additional processing and refining separates the oxides from their tight bonds and further groups them into light rare earths and heavy rare earths.
Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute and principal investigator on the project, is an expert in acid mine drainage. He found that acid mine drainage, a byproduct of coal mining, “naturally” concentrates rare earths. Active coal mines, and in many cases state agencies, are required to treat the waste, which in turn, yields solids that are enriched in rare earth elements.
Acid mine drainage from abandoned mines is the biggest industrial pollution source in Appalachian streams, and it turns out that these huge volumes of waste are essentially pre-processed and serve as good rare earth feedstock. Coal contains all of the rare earth elements, but it has a substantial amount of the heavy rare earths that are particularly valuable.
Studies show that the Appalachian basin could produce 800 tons of rare earth elements per year—approximately the amount the defense industry would need.
Conceptual Process Flowsheet
Two-step process. Ziemkiewicz, Xingbo Liu, professor of mechanical engineering in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, and Aaron Noble, associate professor of mining and minerals engineering at Virginia Tech, have designed the processing facility from the ground up using advanced separation technologies. Chris Vass, a WVU graduate student and Summersville, West Virginia, native is the operator of the new facility.
The researchers are using a two-step process to separate the rare earths from acid mine drainage: acid leaching and solvent extraction, which they call ALSX.
Researchers will dissolve the sludge in an acid. That solution will then be transferred to glass mixers and settlers that will make an emulsion that allows the oil phase and its extractant chemical to grab rare earths from the water, leaving the non-rare earth base metals like iron in the water.
When that process is completed, the rare-earth-laden organic liquid enters another series of mixers and settlers that will strip the rare earths out as a concentrated solution and precipitate the rare earths as a solid, creating a concentrated rare earth oxide that can then be refined and further concentrated into pure rare earth metals to supply the metal refining industry.
The goal of the project is to produce three grams of rare earth concentrate per hour.
Scandium, one of these rare earths, is worth about $4,500 per kilogram as an oxide, the form that it will leave the facility, Anderson said. After refining, it would be worth $15,000 per kilogram.
Unused materials will be returned to the acid mine drainage treatment plant’s disposal system, resulting in a negligible environmental footprint.
A team, led by John Adams, assistant director of business operations at the WVU Energy Institute, is also defining the supply chain, moving upstream to the source and working with coal-industry partners. By producing a purified product at the mine, researchers could reduce transportation and waste handling costs.
|2018/7/21 11:36||Green Car Congress||
U of Western Ontario team proposes Se as promising candidate for all-solid-state Li batteries
Researchers at the University of Western Ontario are proposing selenium (Se) as a promising cathode material for all-solid-state Li batteries, paired with a lithium-tin (L-Sn) alloy as an anode and Li3PS4 as the electrolyte.
In a paper in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science, the team reports that in addition to the high electronic conductivity (1×10-3 S cm-1) of Se, a high Li+ conductivity of 1.4×10-5 S cm-1 across the Se-Li3PS4 interface can be achieved. The all-solid-state Li-Se cell shows a high reversible capacity of 652 mAh g-1 (96% of theoretical capacity) and exhibits favorable capacity retention upon cycling.
(a) Schematic diagram of an all-solid-state Li-Se battery. (b) Typical discharge/charge profiles of Se and S cathodes in all-solid-state batteries at 50 mA g-1 at room temperature. Li et al. Click to enlarge.
Since the 2000s, all-solid-state Li-S batteries have been studied as a promising alternative battery system due to the high theoretical energy densities (2567 Wh/kg compared to 387 Wh/kg for LIBs). However, these systems are still confronted with major challenges in terms of rechargeability, cycling stability, Coulombic efficiency and rate performance, which are far from commercialization. The fatal weaknesses of all-solid-state Li-S batteries are poor Li+ and electron transports between the electrode and the electrolyte.
Unlike batteries with liquid electrolytes that can easily wet the electrodes and ensure smooth Li+ transport, the Li+ transport in solid-state batteries is highly limited at the electrode-electrolyte interface. Although many of sulfide-based solid-state electrolytes exhibit high Li+ conductivities (10-4 to 10-2 S cm-1 at room temperature), the Li+ transport through the interface can be lagged by several orders of magnitude. … Meanwhile, the poor electronic conductivity of S cathodes is hindering the solid-state electrochemical reactions (lithiation/delithiation). In addition to engineering the S cathodes for all-solid-state batteries, developing new cathode materials with high ionic and electronic conductivities is another important approach to realize all-solid-state lithium batteries.
Compared to S, Se has much higher electronic conductivity (1×10-3 vs. 0.5×10-27 S m-1 at room temperature). Herein, an all-solid-state Li-Se battery is developed for the first time.
—Li et al.
The reversible charge capacity of the Li-Se cell (643 mAh g-1) was substantially higher than that of a Li-S cell (527 mAh g-1). Moreover, the team found, the Li-Se cell exhibited a significantly smaller polarization than the Li-S cell, indicating a higher energy efficiency and a more feasible electrochemical process of Se than S.
Based on their results, the team suggests that compositing Se and S for an advanced hybrid cathode could be a new strategy for enabling high-performance all-solid-state Li batteries. Fine tuning the balance between the ionic and electronic conductive Se and the high capacity S is currently under investigation.
The work was supported by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Canada Research Chair Program (CRC), China Automotive Battery Research Institute, Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), and University of Western Ontario.
Xiaona Li, Jianwen Liang, Xia Li, Changhong Wang, Jing Luo, Ruying Li and Xueliang Sun (2018) “High-performance All-Solid-State Li-Se Batteries Induced by Sulfide Electrolyte” Energy & Environmental Science doi: 10.1039/C8EE01621F
|2018/7/21 10:30||Green Car Congress||
UK government launches consultation on inclusion of E10 in market
The UK Department for Transport launched a consultation on whether and how it should introduce E10 fuel—which contains more bioethanol than traditional gasoline—to the UK market.
We have launched this consultation in order to understand the impact of E10 on the UK market better, and to ensure that drivers are protected if any changes come into effect.
—Transport Minister Jesse Norman
The changes to the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) announced earlier this year require transport fuel suppliers to increase the amount of renewable fuel supplied across the UK up to 2032.
To meet these new targets, fuel suppliers could choose to increase the percentage of bioethanol in gasoline beyond the current 5% (E5) up to a limit of 10% (E10).
Filling up with E10 fuel reduces the greenhouse gas emissions of a gasoline vehicle by around 2%. However, according to industry figures, there could be around one million cars within the UK that are unsuitable for use with E10.
The consultation also includes proposals on introducing new fuel labels at filling stations and on new vehicles to help motorists select the right the fuel.
The government consultation will seek views on:
Whether and how to introduce E10 gasoline in the UK;
The reintroduction of an E5 protection grade to ensure standard gasoline remains available at an affordable price; and
The introduction of new fuel labeling at gasoline pumps and on new cars.
The 8-week consultation closes on 16 September 2018.
|2018/7/20 15:46||Green Car Congress||
Forsee Power to supply NMC Li-ion batteries for Alstom Aptis electric bus
Alstom has selected French battery manufacturer Forsee Power to provide Li-ion batteries for Alstom Aptis electric bus (earlier post), scheduled for series delivery from 2019 onwards. The vehicles will be equipped with NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide) Li-ion battery technology as a standard feature.
Alstom said it chose Forsee Power for its advanced technology in terms of yield and density, its competitiveness and its ability to provide a recyclable product, from collection to the re-use of cells.
Alstom and Forsee Power have worked together to define the most suitable product for Aptis, while retaining the vehicle’s openness to different battery technologies and charging speeds.
The vehicle’s design, with most of its equipment on the roof, coupled with the modularity of the ZEN35 battery packs, give Aptis the greatest range flexibility when compared to other vehicles in its category.
Alstom has developed precise simulation tools to establish the onboard energy required by operators and thus design the vehicle most suited to the requirements of each line (with range per charge from 150km to over 250km).
Alstom and Forsee Power are also collaborating on the best way to monitor battery use in real time, thereby optimizing usage cycles and thus battery life expectancy.
Alstom has also developed long-term battery leasing solutions that allow municipalities to reduce the financial impact of purchasing electric buses by spreading the cost of the batteries over the lifespan of the vehicle—20-year lifespan, longer than the lifespan of other electric buses, due to the structure of the vehicle and its electrical components derived from trams.
Aptis is a new electric mobility solution that offers the advantages of a tram in a bus. Designed to ensure a clean and efficient transport system for cities, Aptis offers a new passenger experience with its low floor and 20% more glass surfaces.
Seven of Alstom’s sites in France are involved in the design and manufacture of Aptis: Duppigheim for the overall engineering, bodywork, testing and certification; Saint-Ouen for the system integration; Tarbes for the traction; Ornans for the engines; Villeurbanne for the electronic components of the traction chain; and Reichshoffen for the manufacture of the central passenger module, final assembly and in-series tests. Finally, the Alstom site of Vitrolles is responsible for developing one of the charging solutions (SRS).
Fatal error: Uncaught exception 'fEnvironmentException' with message 'The file specified, /var/www/vhosts/evplatforms.com/httpdocs/app/tmp/cache/schema-evplatforms, is not writable' in /var/www/vhosts/evplatforms.com/httpdocs/libs/flourish/fCache.php:183 Stack trace: #0 /var/www/vhosts/evplatforms.com/httpdocs/libs/shecco/Shecco/Db.php(75): fCache->__construct('file', '/var/www/vhosts...') #1 /var/www/vhosts/evplatforms.com/httpdocs/libs/shecco/Shecco/Db.php(54): Shecco\Db::createDb(Array) #2 /var/www/vhosts/evplatforms.com/httpdocs/libs/shecco/Shecco/Db.php(116): Shecco\Db::getDb('main') #3 /var/www/vhosts/evplatforms.com/httpdocs/libs/shecco/Shecco/Db.php(19): Shecco\Db::getMainDb() #4 /var/www/vhosts/evplatforms.com/httpdocs/app/extensions/App.php(42): Shecco\Db::setOptions(Array) #5 /var/www/vhosts/evplatforms.com/httpdocs/libs/shecco/Shecco/Application.php(70): Extensions\App::init() #6 /var/www/vhosts/evplatforms.com/httpdocs/app/init.php(4): Shecco\Application::run() #7 /var/www/vhosts/evplatforms.com/httpdocs/web/ in /var/www/vhosts/evplatforms.com/httpdocs/libs/flourish/fCache.php on line 183