|2020/1/19 10:00||Green Car Congress||
ORNL researchers use supercomputing to predict magnesium alloy ductility
Using machine learning and simulations, scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have confirmed a relationship between two mechanisms used to explain the ductility properties of magnesium alloys, according to an open-access study published in Materials & Design. The correlation between the two ductility descriptors with Pearson’s r = 0.864. Based on the mathematical signs of the two descriptors, the whole space is divided into four quadrants with the sign pairs of the descriptors to represent each quadrant. The minus sign means a solute contributes to the enhancement of ductility through the mechanism, while the plus sign means that there is no such effect. For example, solutes in the third quadrant are expected to improve the intrinsic ductility of Mg through both mechanisms, while those in the first quadrant are expected not to have the effect. Pei and Yin. Understanding the deformation mechanisms of Mg has been a long-standing and significant problem for materials scientists. Currently, there are two widely acknowledged ductility-improving mechanisms, i.e., the dislocation nucleation mechanism and dislocation mobility mechanism. Since the two mechanisms were previously investigated using very different solute sets, hitherto there is no clear understanding of the relation between them. Based on the newly proposed descriptors for the mechanisms, high-throughput calculations are performed for 63 solutes. Our results confirm that the two mechanisms are strongly correlated. In most of the cases, the same solute has the same effect on the deformation through both mechanisms.—Pei and Yin For the study, scientists analyzed data from previous research using the power of the world’s fastest supercomputer for open science, Summit at ORNL’s Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF). The method used could be applied to the study of other types of alloys. As the lightest structural metal discovered to date, magnesium has presented itself as a promising material for the next generation of automobile and aerospace products. Magnesium also provides a high strength-to-weight ratio, and it is capable of good heat and electrical conductivity. However, in its natural state, magnesium doesn’t allow for much change in its shape without breaking. To solve this problem, scientists combine it with other materials. This results in magnesium alloys with the ability to be flexible under stress, a property known as ductility. For years, the ductility of magnesium alloys has been explained through two mechanisms that have been widely acknowledged by researchers. These two mechanisms have often offered similar predictions on alloy ductility. However, they are vastly different, and for that reason, the relationship among them has remained unclear.—Junqi Yin, an OLCF computational scientist and coauthor To better understand the relationship between the two mechanisms, Yin and his coauthor, former OLCF postdoctoral fellow Zongrui Pei, performed first-principles calculations on Summit to assess the physical properties of the potential alloy materials. They needed to estimate physical quantities used for descriptors of the two mechanisms in order to make predictions about alloys’ ductility. To evaluate those predictions, they then developed a machine-learning model based on elemental properties that are readily available. Yin and Pei’s work is a continuation of an ORNL Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program-funded project led by Markus Eisenbach, a computational scientist with the OLCF who specializes in condensed matter and materials science. This work used OLCF computing resources made available through an Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) allocation also led by Eisenbach. The methodology developed for this study can also be used to further research in other areas of materials science. The next step for us is to test this method to have a better understanding of high-entropy alloys, and see if we can predict better combinations.—Junqi Yin The OLCF is a US Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility. Resources Z. Pei, J. Yin (2019) “The relation between two ductility mechanisms for Mg alloys revealed by high-throughput simulations.” Materials & Design 186 doi: 10.1016/j.matdes.2019.108286.
|2020/1/19 9:46||Green Car Congress||
Meritor acquires TransPower, advancing electrification expertise
Meritor, a leading global supplier of drivetrain, mobility, braking and aftermarket solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets, has acquired all the outstanding common shares of Transportation Power (TransPower), a provider of electrification technologies for large commercial vehicles. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. In 2017, Meritor made a strategic investment in Transpower. (Earlier post.) We are excited to welcome TransPower to the Meritor family as we continue providing our customers with sophisticated electric drivetrain solutions. This acquisition enables us to further position the company as a premier supplier of electrification technologies for commercial vehicles.—Jay Craig, Meritor’s CEO and president With the addition of TransPower’s product portfolio, Meritor advances its M2022 priorities through increased investment in next-generation technologies. It also further establishes the value of Meritor’s Blue Horizo brand, which represents the company’s emerging platform of advanced technologies centered on electrification. TransPower, a California-based company, supplies integrated drive systems, full electric truck solutions and energy-storage subsystems to major manufacturers of trucks, school buses, refuse vehicles and terminal tractors. The company has been focused exclusively on developing electrical drive solutions since its inception in 2010. Earlier this month, Werner Enterprises, a premier transportation and logistics provider, announced it is testing a 2019 Peterbilt 579 EV Class 8 electric truck for a year on a dedicated account in Southern California. Werner’s first electric-powered truck is the result of a partnership with Peterbilt, Meritor and TransPower.
|2020/1/19 9:30||Green Car Congress||
SEAT expands the fleet of duo trailers and giga trailers to promote more sustainable logistics
SEAT, a Volkswagen Group company, has expanded the number of supply routes for the transport of components using duo trailers and giga trailers, the two longest types of trucks with the greatest capacity travelling on European roads. The Spanish company currently has two duo trailer routes that link the Martorell factory with Teknia in Azuqueca de Henares (Madrid) for the delivery of interior finish parts, and with Global Laser in Ribera Baja (Álava) for the transport of sheet metal components, which began a few weeks ago. In addition, SEAT also uses two giga trailers to transport metal bodywork components from the Gestamp factory in Orcoyen (Navarre) to Martorell and a further one for the delivery of sheet metal components from KWD, also in Orcoyen. SEAT first rolled out the duo trailer in 2018 in a pilot phase, after testing the giga trailer for the first time two years earlier. The company pioneered the use of both trucks in Spain, in the framework of its firm commitment to sustainable road transport. It expects to open new routes with both trucks in order to take a leap forward in the use of this form of transport. The duo trailer features two 13.6-meter-long trailers pulled by a truck, with a total length of 31.7 meters and a maximum payload capacity of 70 tonnes. Designed for travelling on high capacity roads, the duo trailer lowers the number of trucks that travel on conventional roads, which is where the highest number of road accidents take place, and enables a 25% decrease in logistics costs. In this sense, six duo trailers take up 36.5% less space on the road compared to six regular trucks. In addition, SEAT is testing new, 520 hp nine-axle trucks that will reduce emissions by 30%, compared to the current 20%. The giga trailer, the duo trailer’s ‘little brother’, measures 25.25 meters in length and has a maximum payload capacity of 60 tonnes. It consists of two trailers, one measuring 7.8 meters and an additional one that stretches to 13.6 meters pulled by a truck, with a combined maximum payload of 60 tonnes. This truck delivers a 22% savings in logistics costs and lowers CO2 emissions by 14%. Rail transport also plays a key role in SEAT’s logistics. The company exports more than 80% of the vehicles made in Martorell and rail transport is ecological, profitable and efficient. Thanks to the Autometro service, which connects the SEAT factory in Martorell and the Port of Barcelona for the export of vehicles, SEAT does away with around 25,000 trucks annually on the route between Martorell and Barcelona. This service relies on a 411-meter train with articulated double-decker carriages that can carry 170 vehicles. In October 2018, the Autometro line posted the figure of one million vehicles transported since it opened in 2008. SEAT also benefits from another rail service called Cargometro—a shuttle train which transports parts from the Zona Franca plant to the Martorell factory. With Cargometro, SEAT Barcelona operates as an additional workshop of Martorell and replaces more than 16,000 truck trips yearly.
|2020/1/18 10:30||Green Car Congress||
Audi investing ~€100M in charging infrastructure at German sites; 10% of parking spaces by mid-2022
Audi is working to electrify one in ten parking spaces at its German plants by mid-2022; most of these charging spaces will be accessible to the public. This independent concept is the largest charging infrastructure project carried out by a German employer. The ~€100-million investment provides Audi with a head start in terms of setup and operation expertise for the hardware and software of such charging concepts while also allowing the company to pilot a new business area of mobility. At the main plant in Ingolstadt alone, there will be 3,500 charging points available in the final development. There will be 1,000 charging points in Neckarsulm, just under 100 in Brussels and Győr. Likewise, charging infrastructure will be built at the factory in San José Chiapa. The company already offers expansive charging capacities at the training centers at Munich Airport. A separate project team has therefore been preparing and structuring the concept for the implementation since the middle of 2017. The fundamental decision to electrify 10% of all parking spaces was made a year earlier. The project team is responsible for planning the entire strategy, investment, and concept, and manages the setup and operation of the charging infrastructure as well as the billing of charging procedures at the Audi sites. In this context, the charging points are expanded to suit the needs of the employees and other people using the parking lot, the charging infrastructure is designed accordingly, operating rules are set, and a hotline and support are provided. Recording that complies with calibration law and invoicing of the charging procedures are further important aspects. At the sites in Brussels, Ingolstadt, and Neckarsulm, charging infrastructure with a total power input of 21 megawatts is already available. This corresponds to the power consumption of a small town with 14,000 inhabitants. This includes 600 charging points with an output of up to 22 kilowatts (kW) and 60 direct current charging points with an output between 50 and 350 kW. By the middle of 2022, there will be 4,500 charging points, each with an output of up to 22 kW, and approx. 50 more with an output of up to 350 kW each at the plant sites alone. A dynamic and intelligent load-management system will be controlling all power input across sites this year already, so the power connection does not need be expanded. In addition, there is the equipment of the three Audi Training Center locations at Munich airport. Audi’s largest individual charging park with a power input of 2.1 megawatts is connected to the grid here. In connection with the construction of the new ATC IV building, the solar power generated is used for the charging procedure in combination with a battery buffer storage device. The project team has also created its own navigation map on the basis of Google Maps that allows employees to see in real time where charging terminals are available. Invoicing via online systems and the integration in an internal settlement system are further services.
|2020/1/18 10:00||Green Car Congress||
NY Governor Cuomo announces “Make-Ready” program for EV charging stations; >20K EV rebates approved
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the New York State Department of Public Service issued a report recommending the establishment of a statewide utility-supported “Make-Ready” Program that would provide incentives to light-duty electric vehicle supply equipment and infrastructure (EVSE&I) for both Level 2 and Direct Current Fast Charger (DCFC) stations. The Make-Ready Program would improve electric vehicle (EV) charging station economics by covering up to 90% of the costs to “make-ready” a site for EV charging; these costs currently present an economic barrier to EV charging station developers. The infrastructure required to “make-ready” a site for EV charging is a significant upfront investment for developers. Given the low penetration of EVs on the road today, it is difficult to recoup installation costs from charging revenues due to low station utilization. A typical DCFC station in New York is not expected to be profitable over the initial ten-year period of operations, barring utility investment in make-ready or another incentive source, given current station economics. By stimulating station development now and assuaging range anxiety, drivers will be more likely to transition to EVs early, accelerating achievement of the State’s goals and realizing the benefits associated with EVs. DPS Staff expects that improved charging station economics driven by increased utilization would support stepping down the incentive levels periodically during the Make-Ready Program, and the program would serve as an effective bridge to a fully self-sustained EVSE&I market.—NY Department of Public Service (DPS) whitepaper on EVSE&I In addition, the Governor announced that more than 20,000 rebates have been approved for New Yorkers to purchase electric cars under the Drive Clean Rebate initiative, which provides residents with a rebate of up to $2,000 for the purchase or lease of a new electric car from participating dealers. The report recommends that the Public Service Commission direct the State’s major electric utilities to build the grid infrastructure needed to enable installation of publicly accessible EV charging stations. To support EV deployment in New York, the report recommends a number of actions to leverage the utilities’ expertise and unique position to promote zero-emission vehicle adoption. The Commission has already approved initiatives to encourage the zero emission’s market, including residential time-of-use rates for EV charging and annual per-plug incentives to buy down the cost of installing publicly accessible direct current fast charger stations. The Commission has also approved a number of EV demonstration and pilot projects, and the utilities have developed the framework needed to rollout EVs. The “Make-Ready” Program would run through 2025 to coincide with New York’s goal of deploying 850,000 zero-emission vehicles by the end of that year. The program will improve EV economics for developers by covering up to 90% of the costs to make-ready a site for EV charging. The report also proposes that the utilities be required to incorporate EV charging scenarios into their annual capital planning processes to encourage thoughtful siting of charging infrastructure. Thoughtful siting of charging infrastructure will support reduced installation costs, improved site host acceptance and maximized use from drivers. An EV charging infrastructure forecast would require electric utilities to identify locations suitable for electric vehicle supply equipment and infrastructure siting, and to proactively educate developers on synergistic cost-saving opportunities. The report recommends that the utilities establish a common suitability criterion to identify potential public charging sites, with the objective of maximizing public charging utilization to ensure efficient use of customer funds invested and provide fair and equitable access and benefit to all utility customers, including those in disadvantaged communities. As EV prices come down and more EVs come to the market, it will be appropriate to develop more charging infrastructure in environmental justice communities—which have been disproportionately impacted by air pollution —and rural neighborhoods. Additionally, communities with low vehicle ownership rates, which are disproportionately impacted by air pollutants due to their proximity to heavily trafficked roads and highways, will benefit from a greater share of EVs on the roads. New York State has a number of initiatives to support medium and heavy-duty vehicle electrification underway, including bus fleets, which provide additional access to EVs and improved air quality for many disadvantaged communities. Fast-charger EV stations developed in the first year of the "Make-Ready" Program are expected to have positive financial returns for all regions and site configurations, except for the larger 150 kW stations located in Upstate New York. The report recommends that each region in Upstate New York be eligible for additional incentives to make four or more fast charging locations available in every region. The EVolve NY initiative, administered by the New York Power Authority, has committed $250 million to expand public fast charging along key transit corridors, creating new charging hubs in major cities and airports, and establishing electric vehicle-friendly model communities that will encourage residents to transition to driving electric vehicles. The additional infrastructure will complement the goals of the State’s Drive Clean Rebate initiative, a $70-million plug-in hybrid and electric car rebate and outreach initiative to encourage the growth of clean and non-polluting car use in New York, promote the reduction of carbon emissions in the transportation sector and help reduce vehicle prices for consumers. Of this, $55 million is dedicated to rebates of up to $2,000 for the purchase of a new plug-in hybrid electric car, all-electric car or hydrogen fuel cell car. The remaining $15 million is to support improving consumer awareness of electric cars and their many benefits, installing more charging stations across the state, developing and demonstrating new electric car-enabling technologies and other efforts to put more electric cars on New York’s roadways. The Make Ready program supports the Governor’s recent State-of-the-State announcement on electric vehicles calling on NYPA to install 10 or more fast-charging locations in every Regional Economic Development Council region by the end of 2022. The Governor’s EV policy also calls for every travel plaza on the New York State Thruway to have charging stations installed by NYPA by the end of 2024 and for at least 800 new chargers to be installed over the next five years. The recommendations in the report also build on New York’s successful EV expansion efforts through Governor Cuomo’s Charge NY initiative, which set and exceeded its ambitious goals of 30,000 EVs and 3,000 EV charging stations by the end of 2018. More than 45,000 electric vehicles have been purchased in New York since 2013—more than 48 other states—and New York has installed roughly 4,000 charging stations during the same period.