|2020/2/23 9:30||Green Car Congress||
Porsche opens Europe’s most powerful rapid-charging park in Leipzig; 7MW, all renewable energy
Porsche Leipzig is expanding the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in central Germany with a new charging park called Porsche Turbo Charging. The total capacity of the facility, which includes six internal quick charging points, is 7 MW. Porsche Leipzig currently has Europe’s most powerful rapid-charging park, which is operated entirely with electricity from renewable energy sources. Porsche Turbo Charging, Rapid-charging park, Leipzig Twelve rapid charging points with 350 kW (direct current) and four charging points with 22 kW (alternating current) are now in operation at the customer center, running seven days a week, around the clock and for customers of all vehicle brands. During a pilot phase that is running until the end of March, rapid charging will be free of charge for all users. After that, payment will be made using the mobility providers’ standard charging cards, according to their respective conditions. The new charging park between the number 9, 14 and 38 motorways will significantly enrich the charging infrastructure in central Germany. Electric and hybrid vehicles of all brands are welcome. We are pleased that with the new charging park we can offer an attractive charging option for electric vehicle owners in Leipzig and the surrounding area, as well as transit passengers.—Gerd Rupp, Chairman of the Board of Management of Porsche Leipzig GmbH The rapid Porsche Turbo Charger charging point was developed by Porsche Engineering and sets new standards in terms of charging time: depending on the vehicle model, up to 100 kilometers can be charged in just five minutes. All vehicles with a Combined Charging System connection (CCS2) can use the fast charging function. Visitors who want to charge their vehicle at Porsche can reach the charging station at the customer center via the visitor gate in Porschestraße near the Leipzig-Nord motorway exit. During waiting times, charging customers can use the services of the Porsche Customer Center, including a historical vehicle exhibition and shop. They can also book a range of driving experiences available at the Leipzig circuit. The Porsche plant in Leipzig is currently getting ready for electric mobility. Among other things, a further body shop for the next generation of the Macan is being built at the plant, which will roll off the production line as a purely electrically powered model series. Electric drives are already playing a role at Leipzig: the Panamera hybrid models are produced there and Taycan customers can collect their car in person from Leipzig and enjoy tailored instruction on the FIA-certified circuit.
|2020/2/22 10:30||Green Car Congress||
Eurasian Resources Group plans NCM material plant for EV batteries
Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), a leading diversified natural resources group, is assessing the construction of a battery material plant to produce nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) precursor materials for batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). The Group is evaluating technical solutions offered by engineering firms BGRIMM Technology Group from China and Outotec from Finland, which will allow for the production of both NCM 6:2:2 and NCM 8:1:1 precursors depending on market conditions. The Group is planning to develop the plant in two phases. The first phase is expected to produce 90,000 tonnes of NCM annually following a two-year construction period. The expansion will be defined depending on market conditions. Our vision for a green economy is at the core of our continued commitment to supply the most critical materials for the global battery sector and we are leading industry efforts to ensure the sustainable, traceable cobalt sourcing in supply chains across Europe, North America, South Korea and Japan. Together with our partners we are currently considering multiple locations for the development of the precursor plant.—Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group The precursor plant will be exclusively supplied with cobalt hydroxide from ERG’s Metalkol RTR in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), whose operations are in accordance with recognized responsible and sustainable practices as set out in the ERG Clean Cobalt Framework. Metalkol RTR is a historic tailings reclamation and environmental restoration facility producing high quality copper cathode and cobalt in hydroxide. It is positioned to become one of the largest producers of cobalt globally upon completion of its Phase II expansion. For the precursor plant the Group plans to source nickel sulfate from third parties or produce it itself using nickel raw materials Mixed Hydroxide Precipitate (MHP) or Mixed Sulfide Precipitate (MSP).
|2020/2/22 10:00||Green Car Congress||
AXYARD, Lab1886 and Daimler Trucks automate the operation of commercial vehicles
The automated snow removal by two self-driving Mercedes-Benz Arocs in Immendingen shows a successful application for automated commercial vehicles in closed areas. The joint project of Lab1886, the innovation unit for new business models within Mercedes-Benz AG, and Daimler Truck AG has now become a product that can be used as a solution for various customer requirements in sectors such as on-site logistics and agriculture. Lab1886 and Daimler Trucks, together with Fraport AG, demonstrated the operation of self-driving snow-clearing vehicles in non-public closed areas for the first time in October 2017 as part of a pilot project on the site of the former Pferdsfeld air base. The in-house operation in Immendingen, which has now been started, is based on the findings of this project. A self-driving Mercedes-Benz Aroc in use at the automated snow removal in Immendingen. For this purpose, the approximately 20 hectares (49 acres) of test areas must always be free of snow, ice and water. To ensure this every day at the start of the tests in the morning, two self-driving Mercedes-Benz Arocs are in use overnight. Trained specialists supervise the trucks on site. Depending on the snow conditions, the vehicle’s lane is determined and adhered to with centimeter-level precision. In this way, the roadway is precisely cleared along gravel beds. The automated control of the clearing devices as well as the clearing strategies were developed in cooperation with the device manufacturer Aebi-Schmidt. Automated snow removal is one of many applications of AXYARD, the technology product jointly developed by Lab1886 and Daimler Trucks. AXYARD stands for automated solutions (A=automated) that are used in various use cases (X) in closed terrain (YARD). AXYARD’s approach is to automate Mercedes-Benz trucks by equipping them with sensors and ECUs. This allows them to complete predefined routes on closed terrain and be digitally conducted, monitored and orchestrated in a central control system—completely driverless. At the heart of AXYARD technology is Remote Truck Interface (RTI). With RTI, vehicle functions can be operated remotely and data can be exchanged. This also works in a network of several vehicles. The vehicles are equipped with a high-precision GPS location (DGPS, differential GPS) and have state-of-the-art vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V). Due to the interaction of the innovative interface RTI as well as the control and remote control unit, an extremely fast and not least secure data exchange between vehicles and the infrastructure of the test site takes place. To make this work in real time, a complete data exchange takes place every 0.1 seconds between the vehicles and the main control unit of the RTI. We focus on two specific use cases for automated driving: regular use of the highway and motorway, as well as on journeys in cordoned-off areas, such as “gated areas”, e.g. with automated snow clearing vehicles on the site of the former Pferdsfeld air base and now on the test track in Immendingen or at the Brazilian sugar cane harvest.—Dr. Christian Ballarin, Head of Advanced Engineering for Driver Assistance Systems, Autonomous Driving and Connectivity at Daimler Trucks With regard to automated driving in regular motorway traffic, Daimler Trucks offers the Mercedes-Benz Actros, the Freightliner Cascadia and the FUSO Super Great as the world’s first manufacturer of semi-automated vehicles (SAE Level 2) ex-factory. At the same time, the Autonomous Technology Group at Daimler Trucks is driving the development of highly automated trucks (SAE Level 4). The aim is to bring this technology into the series by the end of the decade. The testing on public highways in the US, which started in autumn 2019, is an important step in this direction. In addition to the use in the snow in Immendingen, automated trucks from Mercedes-Benz have also been reliably helping to harvest sugar cane in everyday use in the Brazilian sugar cane harvest since 2018.
|2020/2/21 16:35||Green Car Congress||
Volvo 48V MHEV powertrain now available on all models
In a broad portfolio upgrade, Volvo Cars announced that its 48-volt mild-hybrid powertrain options are now available on every Volvo model, further boosting the company’s electrified offerings. Introduced on the XC90 and XC60 SUVs last year, the mild hybrids are now also available on all other 90- and 60-series cars, as well as on the XC40. The mild-hybrid powertrain options on the V90 Cross Country represent the first electrified variants in the history of the Cross Country range. Volvo Cars’ mild hybrids offer drivers up to 15% fuel savings and emission reductions in real-world driving. The brake-by-wire system interacts with the energy recovery system and reduces fuel consumption and emissions by recovering kinetic energy under braking. Volvo Cars also introduced refreshed versions of the S90 and V90 estate, including a refined exterior design and a brand-new, state-of-the-art sound system by Bowers & Wilkins. In terms of exterior design, Volvo designers have introduced a number of refinements on both the front and rear of the S90 and V90, including new foglights, a new spoiler design and a new lower front bumper. On the V90, the most striking feature is a brand-new rear light design, including full LED-powered signature lighting and a sequential turn indicator. Another new feature inside is an Advanced Air Cleaner with a PM2.5 particle sensor. First developed for the Chinese market and now rolled out globally, it allows drivers to monitor interior air quality via the centre screen. If desired, the Advanced Air Cleaner can clean the cabin air of almost all tiny particles within a few minutes. Both the new Bowers & Wilkins audio system and the Advanced Air Cleaner technology are now available on all 90 and 60 series models based on the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform. All models in the 90 and 60 series now also come with double USB-C charging points in the rear, replacing the 12-volt outlet. The wireless charging functionality for smartphones, first introduced on the XC40 compact SUV, is now also available on most variants in the 90 and 60 series.
|2020/2/21 10:00||Green Car Congress||
USDA Ag Innovation Agenda targets biofuel blend rates of 15% in 2030, 30% in 2050
US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the Agriculture Innovation Agenda, a department-wide initiative to align resources, programs, and research to position American agriculture to better meet future global demands. Specifically, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will stimulate innovation so that American agriculture can achieve the goal of increasing production by 40% while cutting the environmental footprint of US agriculture in half by 2050. The first component of the Ag Innovation Agenda is to develop a US ag-innovation strategy that aligns and synchronizes public and private sector research. Research areas of focus include genome design; digitalization and automation; prescriptive intervention; and systems-based farm management. The second component is to align the work of USDA customer-facing agencies and integrate innovative technologies and practices into USDA programs. The third component is to conduct a review of USDA productivity and conservation data. USDA already closely tracks data on yield, but on the environmental side, there’s some catching up to do. Finally, USDA has set benchmarks; these targets will help measure progress toward meeting the food, fiber, fuel, feed, and climate demands of the future. The benchmarks include: Food loss and waste: Advance our work toward the United States’ goal to reduce food loss and waste by 50% in the United States by the year 2030. Carbon Sequestration and Greenhouse Gas: Enhance carbon sequestration through soil health and forestry, leverage the agricultural sector’s renewable energy benefits for the economy, and capitalize on innovative technologies and practices to achieve net reduction of the agricultural sector’s current carbon footprint by 2050 without regulatory overreach. Water Quality: Reduce nutrient loss by 30 percent nationally by 2050. Renewable Energy: Increase the production of renewable energy feedstocks and increase biofuel production efficiency and competitiveness to achieve market-driven blend rates of 15% of transportation fuels in 2030 and 30% of transportation fuels by 2050. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor praised USDA’s initiative and its recognition of the role that homegrown biofuels have in achieving the department’s goals: We applaud USDA for setting these clear goals for E15 and E30, and Growth Energy’s members are ready to deliver ahead of their timetable. Biofuels are a critical piece of meeting the demands of our future transportation needs while lowering our carbon footprint. Today’s recognition by USDA and Secretary Purdue’s unwavering support will help drive biofuel innovation in the coming years and decades. We look forward to continuing our longstanding working relationship with USDA to ensure that Americans across the country have expanded access to cleaner fuels like E15 and E30 at the pump.