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NASA awarding $6 million to 3-year ULI project to develop approach to electric aircraft fueled by liquid hydrogen
NASA will provide $6 million over the course of three years to support a University Leadership Initiative (ULI) project focused on the development of a fully electric aircraft platform that uses cryogenic liquid hydrogen as an energy storage method. The Center for Cryogenic High-Efficiency Electrical Technologies for Aircraft (CHEETA) project is led by the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The project includes participation from eight additional institutions: the Air Force Research Laboratory, Boeing Research and Technology, General Electric Global Research, The Ohio State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Arkansas, the University of Dayton Research Institute, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The hydrogen chemical energy is converted to electrical energy through a series of fuel cells, which drive the ultra-efficient electric propulsion system. The low temperature requirements of the hydrogen system also provide opportunities to use superconducting, or lossless, energy transmission and high-power motor systems. It’s similar to how MRIs work, magnetic resonance imaging. However, these necessary electrical drivetrain systems do not yet exist, and the methods for integrating electrically driven propulsion technologies into an aircraft platform have not yet been effectively established. This program seeks to address this gap and make foundational contributions in technologies that will enable fully electric aircraft of the future.—Phillip Ansell, assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Urbana-Champaign and principal investigator The co-principal investigator on the project is Associate Professor Kiruba Haran in U of I’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Concept sketch of a fully electric aircraft platform that uses cryogenic liquid hydrogen as an energy storage method. NASA ULI. NASA created ULI to initiate a new type of interaction between NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) and the university community, in which US universities take the lead, build their own teams, and set their own research path. The award to the University of Illinois was one of three in the second round of ULI funding, which will provide a total of about $15 million over three years. The two other awards are: Carnegie Mellon University. This team will explore new methods for using additive manufacturing to reduce costs and increase the speed of mass-producing aircraft without sacrificing quality, reliability and safety. Key challenges faced are to come up with a scientifically sound basis for qualifying the 3D printed parts, as well as demonstrating that facilities for the efficient large-scale production of these parts can be designed and used. University of Wisconsin, Madison. This team will explore new ways in which humans can use robotics to improve the efficiency and flexibility of aviation-related manufacturing processes in a manner that enhances the safety of human workers. NASA ARMD will soon open ULI - Round 3. Resources H. D. Kim, A. T. Perry and P. J. Ansell, (2019) “A Review of Distributed Electric Propulsion Concepts for Air Vehicle Technology,” 2018 AIAA/IEEE Electric Aircraft Technologies Symposium (EATS), Cincinnati, OH, 2018, pp. 1-21.
Neste and Air BP bring sustainable aviation fuel to Caen airport in France
Neste and Air BP are supporting the business aviation sector’s Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel (SAJF) initiative and helping drive its adoption with operators and aircraft manufacturers. The European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) will take place in Geneva on 21-23 May 2019, and European business aviation community has an option to refuel with sustainable aviation fuel at Caen airport in France. The fuel has been produced by Neste and supplied by Air BP to Caen Carpiquet (CFR/LFRK) airport in France. Neste’s sustainable aviation fuel is produced from non-palm renewable and sustainable raw materials. The fuel supplied will produce up to 80% fewer emissions over its life-cycle compared with conventional jet fuel. The availability of sustainable aviation fuel at Arlanda and Caen airports follows the announcement last month that as part of a collaboration agreement signed in October 2018, Air BP and Neste are ready to supply sustainable alternative fuel to airline and airport customers in Sweden. Air BP has supplied its sustainable aviation fuel to commercial airlines customers at more than 10 airport locations, including at Oslo airport in Norway, where together with Neste it was the first to supply sustainable aviation fuel through the existing airport fuelling infrastructure. In 2018 Bombardier’s demonstration fleet was refueled with BP Biojet in Stockholm Arlanda en-route to EBACE and Air BP has also supplied airlines on an ad-hoc basis at airports including Stockholm Bromma (BMA/ESSB), Karlstad (KSD/ESOK) and Göteborg Landvetter (GOT/ESGG). Neste is increasing renewable jet fuel production volumes significantly over the course of the next few years. Currently Neste is ramping up capacity to produce up to 100,000 tons per year total in the US and Europe. With the planned Singapore refinery expansion Neste will have the capacity to produce up to 1 million ton of low-emission renewable jet fuel by 2022.
UW Madison, ExxonMobil researchers convert alcohols to diesel-range ethers and olefins
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin Madison and ExxonMobil Research and Engineering have devised a two-stage process by which an alcohol such as ethanol or 1-butanol can be converted with high yields into distillate-range ethers and olefins by combining Guerbet coupling (the coupling of two alcohol molecules) and intermolecular dehydration. The ethers can be used as cetane-improvers in diesel fuel, while the olefins can be hydrogenated and blended with gasoline or oligomerized and hydrogenated to jet-range paraffins. A paper on their work appears in the RSC journal Green Chemistry. The synthesis of liquid transportation fuels from abundant, bio-derived feedstocks is motivated by the drive toward lower GHG fuels. Today the most widely-used biofuel is ethanol produced from starch fermentation, though fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass and waste COx streams has recently received considerable attention. While ethanol production is well- established commercially with over 25 billion barrels produced per year, its fuel applications are currently confined to gasoline with blending levels that have been historically limited to around 10 vol% in the United States. Several companies are working to commercialize second generation ethanol from cellulosic biomass which would result in significantly lower GHG emissions and additional volumes of alcohol fuel production. The demand for gasoline is also projected to decrease over the next few decades, while the demand for heavier C8-C22 distillate fuels such as jet fuel and diesel is projected to increase. Technologies for the conversion of ethanol into diesel and jet fuel blendstocks which can take advantage of the existing ethanol infrastructure are therefore desirable. … An alternative oligomerization chemistry which can be performed in a single step, is hydrogen neutral, and introduces branching in a more predictable manner is Guerbet coupling, a chemistry which has recently received considerable attention mainly for 1-butanol synthesis. The potential for using this chemistry to oligomerize ethanol to distillate-range alcohols is uncertain, however. … In this study, we aim to first clarify the general challenges with using Guerbet coupling to oligomerize ethanol to the distillate range and to then provide a novel method for combining selective Guerbet coupling with etherification to produce high-cetane distillate-range fuels from ethanol.—Eagan et al. Block diagram for the conversion of ethanol to distillate-range ethers and paraffins through a combination of Guerbet condensation, etherification, olefin oligomerization, and hydrogenation. The numbers depicted are carbon flows based on a process in which Guerbet coupling is performed at 50% conversion and etherification is performed at 65% conversion. Olefin oligomerization is assumed to be 80% selective to jet-range olefins, which can be fully hydrogenated to paraffins. The byproducts are comprised of aldehydes and unidentified species. Eagan et al. The first stage of the new process uses calcium hydroxyapatite to produce higher linear and branched alcohols at above 80% selectivity at up to 40% conversion with high stability for over 400h time-on-stream operation. Increasing conversion decreases selectivity, producing predominantly mono-ene and diene byproducts. Etherification conversion was performed using the acidic resin Amberlyst 70 at around 65% conversion. Linear alcohols were converted at above 90% selectivity while branched alcohols were far more selective to olefins (65-75%). Etherification occurs via two mechanisms: a direct mechanism involving the reaction of two alcohols and an indirect mechanism between an alcohol and equilibrated pool of olefins. The team observed cross-etherification was observed between linear and branched alcohols, improving the selectivity to ethers in conversion of the latter. In a process involving ethanol coupling at 50% conversion, etherification at ~65% conversion, and recycle loops with separations, C8-C16 ethers can be theoretically produced at a 62% yield. The olefins produced in the two stages can also be theoretically oligomerized and hydrogenated with proven technologies to jet-range paraffins with an overall estimated yield of 14%. Using this approach we show that distillate yields above 80% may be produced from ethanol. —Eagan et al. Resources N. Eagan, B. J. Moore, D. J. McClelland, A. M. Wittrig, E. Canales, M. P. Lanci and G. Huber (2019) “Catalytic Synthesis of Distillate-Range Ethers and Olefins from Ethanol through Guerbet Coupling and Etherification ” Green Chem. doi: 10.1039/C9GC01290G.
SMUD to invest up to $15M in California Mobility Center; electric and autonomous vehicle technologies
The SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) Board of Directors formally approved its Founding Membership in the California Mobility Center, including an initial investment of $5 million to establish the Center. An additional $10 million will be made available once matching funds are committed by other partners. The California Mobility Center is a joint initiative between SMUD and local and regional institutions, including: the Los Rios Community College District; California State University, Sacramento; University of California, Davis; Valley Vision; City of Sacramento; and, the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, to build a world-class, electric vehicle prototyping facility that will develop and promote electric and autonomous vehicle technologies in the greater Sacramento region. The California Mobility Center is envisioned as a public-private consortium that will bring together technology companies, automakers, utilities, entrepreneurs, top researchers, and investors to provide innovative products and services in the rapidly expanding mobility market. The Sacramento region is uniquely positioned to leverage public policy, research, electric vehicle expertise and advanced manufacturing as we position Sacramento as a leader in clean transportation. The California Mobility Center will help redefine our region, spur economic development, and provide new workforce opportunities throughout our region.—SMUD CEO and General Manager Arlen Orchard This Mobility Center is intended to be a financially sustainable policy and technology focused consortium, comprising public and private entities collaborating to: Promote the development of clean transportation and autonomous vehicle technology to cut emissions. Accelerate the commercialization of electric mobility technologies and services. Facilitate development of open-sourced standards and policies for connected and autonomous vehicles. Establish a mobility network in Sacramento that will provide an innovative environment for new and prospering companies, entrepreneurs, advanced technologies and investors. Conduct advanced research, development and demonstration projects that can be quickly commercialized for worldwide adoption of electric mobility. The Center will tie together with the Autonomous Transportation Open Standards (ATOS) Lab, launched by the City of Sacramento in 2017 to develop regulations and standards for autonomous vehicles. PEM Motion and EnerTech Capital are key industry partners supporting the Center. PEM Motion is a German engineering consulting group that has successfully launched a prototyping facility in Aachen Germany for the automotive mobility sector, creating a revival of manufacturing and technology jobs in that city. PEM Motion has demonstrated that their approach can assist with commercialization of technologies twice as fast as traditional automotive practices for one tenth of the cost. Once established here, the Center will support, fund and commercialize new electric mobility technologies, including electric vehicles, autonomous transportation, battery storage, shared mobility solutions, public transit, and new business and policy models for adoption on the international stage. The initial investment from SMUD will provide the necessary capital to recruit other Founding Members, and support third-party contracts required to establish Center operations, including planning for the construction of an advanced electric mobility technology prototyping and testing facility in Sacramento. SMUD has already funded two feasibility studies to support the development of the California Mobility Center and has garnered international interest from potential investors. SMUD is the US’ sixth-largest community-owned, not-for-profit, electric service provider. SMUD’s power mix is about 50% non-carbon emitting.
Volkswagen bringing 48V MHEV to eight-generation Golf
The eighth-generation of the bestselling Volkswagen Golf bestseller will feature a 48V mild hybrid electric drive system. In 2018, Volkswagen announced at the Vienna Motor Symposium that it would make the innovative low-voltage concept accessible to a broad public. The Group is now delivering on its promise and bringing the technology into series production this year with the eighth generation Golf, one of the best-selling vehicles in the world. Initially, the 48V hybrid drive will be available with the EA211 evo family, 1.0 and 1.5l displacement and dual-clutch gearbox (DSG). Volkswagen will then gradually extend the electrification of the drive system to the entire fleet. Compared to current Plug-in Hybrids (PHEV), for example in the Golf GTE and Passat GTE, the MHEV drive equipped with 48V technology offers a reduced range of functions, but is significantly more cost-effective. While the Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) charges the battery via the grid with a plug, the MHEV does not have a battery that can be recharged via a plug, but is equipped with a 48V belt starter generator. As an electric motor, this supports the combustion engine in order to increase the drive power according to the situation—for example when accelerating. In deceleration phases, the generator converts the vehicle’s kinetic energy and charges the battery with energy that would otherwise be lost. This combination offers Volkswagen the opportunity to electrify conventional powertrains without making major changes. Depending on the driving style, the MHEV system can save about 0.4 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. In the mHEV engines offered in the new Golf, the Belt-Driven Starter Generator (BSG), an electric motor with 48V operating voltage, acts as a powerful replacement for the generator. When starting up, it also boosts the drive torque via the boost function, thus ensuring greater dynamics and comfort. The starter generator is coupled to the combustion engine. Its power is transmitted to the crankshaft by the belt drive. In addition to the regular 12V on-board battery, the mHEV drive has a 48V lithium-ion battery mounted under the passenger seat. When the driver steps on the brake, the kinetic energy is converted into electrical current. This allows up to 40 percent of the braking energy to be recovered and stored in the battery. A DC/DC converter supplies the conventional 12V grid with voltage. The 48V mild hybrid offers a number of helpful system functions. In FMA (Freewheel, Motor Off) mode, the engine shuts off as soon as the driver takes his foot off the accelerator. The car then continues without consuming fuel. The engine is also hardly noticeable as soon as it is restarted. It is switched on and off without delay or loss of comfort, making the new Golf more efficient. To ensure that the driver does not feel any loss in driving comfort, the system has a “Change-of-Mind-enabled” Comfort Start function. This means that if the driver presses the accelerator pedal again, the combustion engine starts immediately, with very few vibrations. This is another advantage of the BSG: in contrast to the sprocket starter, the driver experiences a quick and comfortable transition to the drive phase when starting. On 48V mild hybrid vehicles, however, the sprocket starter is only used for the first start. In contrast, the driver experiences a comfortable, fast and powerful transition when starting with the BSG—for example from sailing to a subsequent drive phase. In order to use FMA operation as frequently and efficiently as possible, a predictive assistance function takes into account navigation data such as speed limits or bends in order to reach route points at the optimum speed and thus make the best possible use of the vehicle’s kinetic energy. For the year 2030, Volkswagen expects an electric share of its new vehicles of around 40% in Europe and China. The proportion of new vehicles with combustion engines will therefore continue to dominate for a long time to come. However, the efficiency of combustion engines is reaching its physical limits—which is where 48V technology will open new avenues up.
SEAT reduces waste by 34% since 2010, expects to achieve 60% reduction by 2025
Since 2010, SEAT, a member of the Volkswagen Group, has improved its production-related environmental footprint by 34% on average with measures to emit less CO2 and fewer volatile organic compounds, generate less waste and consume less water and energy. Over the next few months, the company will implement measures designed to reduce production waste by up to 60% in the next six years. Among other initiatives, SEAT is going to prevent waste generation and address optimizing separation in order to obtain more recycling and reuse of production waste. The company also aims to further refine the waste generated at different stages of the production process, such as paint and sealant slurry. Since 2010, when SEAT launched its Ecomotive Factory environmental strategy, the company has lowered its power and water consumption by 21.6% and 30.9%, respectively. In addition, it has decreased its CO2 and volatile organic compound emissions by 63.3% and 21.4% and generated 34.2% less waste. W aim to continue to improve in order to become a model company in every aspect—for the quality and production efficiency of our factories, as well as for finding solutions to the paradigm shift that businesses and society are faced with, where recycling, emissions reduction and environmental care are becoming increasingly more important.—SEAT Vice-president for Production and Logistics Dr. Christian Vollmer In 2018 SEAT invested €16 million euros in environmental initiatives in production related areas. The next milestone in SEAT’s environmental strategy is to improve its indicators by 50% by 2025. The company is already working on additional systems, such as an installation that aims to recover the heat emitted by the Martorell factory chimneys, which in terms of energy will enable a savings equivalent to the annual consumption of 760 households, as well as a reduction in CO2 emissions that is equal to the absorbing capacity of 250,000 trees. Furthermore, SEAT is going to extend the use of water-based paint in the entire paint process, including priming. This initiative will prevent the emission of volatile organic compounds equivalent to using solvent-based paint to paint 38,000 cars. One of SEAT’s landmark environmental initiatives is the SEAT al Sol solar power park on the roofs of the Martorell factory, the largest facility of its kind in Europe and one of the largest in the global auto industry. Featuring 53,000 photovoltaic panels covering an area equivalent to 40 football fields, SEAT generates 17 million kWh annually—enough energy to charge the SEAT el-Born 293,100 times, enabling SEAT’s first-ever electric car to cover an average yearly distance of 105 million kilometers. With the goal of reducing volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, a new, high efficiency paint application system was installed in SEAT Martorell in 2018. This innovative measure has reduced the rate of VOC emissions generated by this process by 40%, the equivalent of 10 tonnes per year. Also in the paint division, a new spray booth was implemented in 2018 to paint the two-tone chassis of the SEAT Arona and the Audi A1. Likewise, the maximum painting capacity was increased from 2,300 to 2,400 cars per day by completely automating one of the lines. The company invested €23 million on these implementations. SEAT’s ambitious environmental strategy with a view to 2025 is aligned with the commitment made by the company and the Volkswagen Group to comply with the environmental targets set out in the Paris Agreements. In line with this goal, SEAT is going to implement measures to obtain a CO2-neutral balance in the entire value chain of vehicles and in every company division by 2050.
Six start-ups move into Volkswagen Gläserne Manufaktur from fourth competition
Six new start-ups have been decided on for the founders program in the Future Mobility Incubator at the Gläserne Manufaktur in Dresden. The winners of the final pitch were: AVILOO from Vienna; Kopernikus from Berlin; NAVENTIK from Chemnitz; Visualix from Berlin; home-IX UG from Stuttgart; and LiGenium from Chemnitz. They will start work in the Gläserne Manufaktur in mid-May 2019, where they will be able to develop their ideas for market readiness with the support of Volkswagen and the business development team of Saxony’s capital, Dresden. 114 start-ups entered the fourth founders class competition. At the end, the eleven teams presented their innovative ideas for future mobility, five of which won over the jury of eight experts at the start-up-pitch. A further start-up (LiGenium) was selected specifically for a site logistics project related to the Incubator. The winners will develop diagnosis solutions for batteries, new vehicle navigation systems, innovative image processing, smart-home solutions for cars, and retrofit kits for autonomous driving. AVILOO is in the process of developing a diagnosis system for batteries for electric vehicles. The health status of the battery can be assessed quickly and cheaply during a short test drive. By doing so, the founders aim to provide a basis for stable resale prices for electric vehicles. home-iX specializes in smart living solutions. Its platform means that industries and companies, such as car manufacturers, can be involved in networked life and the Internet of Things. Furthermore, home-iX makes smart ecosystems compatible with one another (smart home, smart energy, smart services). This is done by using an integration platform based on artificial intelligence and a uniform interface for existing digital ecosystems. Kopernikus develops solutions for automated driving. Its mission: to complement today’s production vehicles with a range of automated driving functions as quickly as possible. They aim to achieve this by bundling global self-driving software solutions onto one platform. The technology is manufacturer-specific, the software is adapted to the vehicle models and local conditions. The first usable solution is Kopernikus’ own development and is based on artificial intelligence. It is paving the way to fully autonomous vehicles: Kopernikus is already capable of enabling cars to drive autonomously on private premises – for example on factory premises, for loading or in workshops. LiGenium develops, manufactures and sells machine elements, machines and complete systems using renewable materials. The start-up uses high-quality wood-based materials for light, robust and environmentally friendly applications in conveyor technology, including modular loading systems for the automotive industry. NAVENTIK is active in satellite navigation for highly automated and autonomous driving. Its goal is to overcome the technological boundaries of traditional satellite navigation receivers and to guarantee precise localisation in urban areas through innovative software algorithms. Visualix is an expert in image processing. It enables mapping and localization on standard smartphones accurate to the centimeter. The Incubator in Dresden is aimed at students and researchers interested in establishing new projects. Each start-up receives financial support of up to €15,000 as part of the Incubator program. The Incubator has been around since August 2017.
DHL launches its first regular fully-automated and intelligent urban drone delivery service
DHL Express and intelligent autonomous aerial vehicle company EHang entered into a strategic partnership to launch a fully automated and intelligent smart drone delivery solution to tackle the last-mile delivery challenges in the urban areas of China. The new customized route, which has been exclusively created for a DHL customer, covers a distance of approximately eight kilometers between the customer premises and the DHL service center in Liaobu, Dongguan, Guangdong Province. Using the most advanced Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in EHang’s newly-launched Falcon series, featuring the highest level of intelligence, automation, safety and reliability, the new intelligent drone delivery solution overcomes the complex road conditions and traffic congestion common to urban areas. It reduces one-way delivery time from 40 minutes to only eight minutes and can save costs of up to 80% per delivery, with reduced energy consumption and carbon footprint compared with road transportation. The EHang Falcon smart drone, with eight propellers on four arms, is designed with multiple redundant systems for full backup, and smart and secure flight control modules. Its high-performance features include vertical take-off and landing, high accuracy GPS and visual identification, smart flight path planning, fully-automated flight and real-time network connection and scheduling. As a fully-automated and intelligent solution, the drones, which can carry up to 5kg of cargo per flight, take off and land atop intelligent cabinets that were specifically developed for the fully autonomous loading and offloading of the shipment. The intelligent cabinets seamlessly connect with automated processes including sorting, scanning and storage of express mail, and will feature high-tech functions such as facial recognition and ID scanning. This smart drone delivery solution will enhance DHL’s delivery capabilities and create a new customer experience in the logistics sector that opens up even more opportunities for sustainable growth and greater economic contribution. Given the growing prominence of B2C business operations and delivery in China, employing drones in express delivery services offers an innovative solution for meeting the increasing demands for time-sensitive delivery, particularly for last mile delivery in urban areas. DHL said it will continue to identify new routes that can be developed for clients in need of tailored customer services and logistics solutions and will work closely with EHang to create a second generation of drones in the near future that will further improve capacity and range in drone-operated express delivery.
IHS Markit: more than 11.2M Vehicles will be equipped with V2X in 2024
More than 11.2 million light vehicles equipped with some form of Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) system will be produced globally in 2024, representing 12% of the light vehicle fleet, based on new research and forecasts from business information provider IHS Markit). IHS Markit expects that production of light vehicles equipped with V2X systems will be just under 15,000 units in 2019 and will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 277.5 percent in 2024. The automotive telematics forecasts from IHS Markit analyze technology deployment, monitor OEM sourcing strategies and identify specific new business opportunities through a six-year forecast calendar of new programs. The data represents production forecasts of factory-installed telematics systems in new light vehicles. A major driving force for the implementation of enhanced connectivity in vehicles today is the demand for safer roads and the minimization of road fatalities. While automatic crash notification systems are doing their part in this matrix, the introduction of V2X is expected to revolutionize the way consumers drive, if not the entire transportation system. In the debate over which technology upon which V2X should be based, dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) solutions lead the global automotive V2X market in the near term as it represents a proven technology with chips for system implementation readily available from several semiconductor companies. However, by 2020, although overall deployment numbers will still be relatively low, according to IHS Markit forecasts, cellular V2X (C-V2X) solutions will already have surpassed DSRC based solutions, due to expected rapid deployment in China. China is expected to lead the global V2X market, with an estimated 629,000 light vehicles produced in the region equipped with C-V2X technology in 2020, with the country expected to stay in the lead through to 2024. Europe is expected to be the second largest V2X market but with reliance mostly on DSRC-based solutions and just over 411,000 light vehicles produced during 2020. By 2023, Europe will also produce a significant amount of C-V2X based vehicles. Japan and Korea also will achieve more noticeable deployments of DSRC-based solutions by 2021, showing a total of over 61,000 of such light vehicles produced between the two countries. In the North American market, production of C-V2X equipped cars is also expected to start in 2021 with just under 56,000 vehicles produced during that year. India isn’t expected to see any type of V2X production in vehicles until 2023, while the South America region falls outside of the forecast period (2017-2024) altogether. DSRC is a well-proven technology, but early testing of C-V2X based solutions are now being done by several companies. C-V2X is gaining market momentum quickly in most regions and is likely to become the winning technology of choice over time, while a combined approach, in which both technologies are used, is also a real possibility in the near term while the technology is still developing.—Anna Buettner, connected car principal analyst at IHS Markit 5G regulations are developing rapidly throughout many regions. Initial proposals made by governmental bodies, such as the one made by the European Commission in early March, could have potentially delayed cellular-based V2X deployment in Europe. However, since the announcement, the EU Parliament’s transport committee has come forward to reject the proposal alongside a number of OEMs. The latest vote by the European Commission now enables future 5G deployment, which would support C-V2X in automotive. Meanwhile, the US Federal Communications Commission has recently delayed a vote to once again review a key technology that would pave the way for DSRC in the United States, highlighting the differences in regional approach that exist within key regulatory bodies. While regulatory bodies can greatly influence the fate and speed of deployment of V2X technologies, the momentum of V2X technology development will not be slowed down at the OEM and supplier level. This technology is here to stay.—Anna Buettner
Proterra launches Energy Fleet Solutions
Proterra launched Proterra Energy fleet solutions, a full suite of options that enable turnkey delivery of a complete energy ecosystem for heavy-duty electric fleets, including design, build, financing, operations, maintenance and energy optimization. With this comprehensive solution, operators of medium- and heavy-duty vehicle fleets such as transit bus, school bus, truck and others can lower upfront cost, reduce risk, and simplify the transition to electric vehicles. Implementing and maintaining a complex energy ecosystem introduces a new set of challenges and upfront costs. Proterra designs, builds, deploys and maintains proprietary electric buses, batteries, chargers and charging infrastructure that are purpose-built for heavy-duty electric vehicle application and can deliver a comprehensive solution with a single point of contact for a streamlined transition to an electric fleet. As more fleet operators transition a larger percentage of their fleet to electric vehicles, they encounter a new set of challenges beyond simply buying new vehicles. We’ve taken our significant experience in designing, implementing and managing EV infrastructure projects for transit bus fleet operators throughout North America, and launched Proterra Energy fleet solutions to provide a customizable and comprehensive one-stop shop for customers transitioning to an electric fleet.—Proterra CEO Ryan Popple Customers deploying battery-electric vehicle fleets can engage with Proterra experts in a planning process which includes high-fidelity route simulations, fleet modeling, and a detailed total cost of ownership analysis to determine the right vehicle, battery and charging configurations to meet individual route requirements now and as the fleet scales. In addition to planning, Proterra offers turnkey charging infrastructure installation for fleet depots and charging yards, including management of the entire build process from design to implementation. Experienced Proterra engineers and project managers have implemented more than 45 charging infrastructure projects to date. Included in this process, Proterra engages with utilities and electricity providers across the continent to install utility make-ready equipment, help its customers secure the best possible electricity rates, and identify clean, reliable electricity options. The Proterra Energy fleet solutions program also offers smart energy management, which includes a charging-as-a-service model for management and maintenance of vehicle batteries and charging systems, as well as tools for energy optimization. Because Proterra designs and builds its own proprietary, high-power, battery and charging systems for heavy-duty vehicles, this provides customers with an opportunity for smart energy management and full-lifecycle management of energy storage assets. The Proterra APEX connected vehicle intelligence system integrates the data streams from vehicles, batteries and charging systems, offering customers access to historical and real-time performance information about their electric vehicle fleet, to improve vehicle and charging operational efficiency. Further, the APEX system offers charge management features such as scheduled charging, monitoring and control of charging stations, to manage power demand and reduce electricity costs. With Proterra Energy fleet solutions, Proterra offers innovative financing models to lower upfront costs and mitigate risk. Recently, Proterra announced a partnership with Mitsui & Co., Ltd. to create a $200-million credit facility to support and scale its battery lease program for transit buses, which enables electric buses to be competitively priced against diesel buses and introduces options for second life applications. In addition, Proterra can retain ownership of the entire energy delivery system, further reducing the customer’s risk and upfront cost. Customers can choose to invest upfront or “pay-as-you-go,” paying for the infrastructure and batteries over time.
BorgWarner introduces onboard battery charger
BorgWarner introduced its Onboard Battery Charger (OBC), adding to the company’s impressive portfolio of technologies for plug-in hybrid and pure-electric vehicles. This technology uses silicon carbide technology and is best-in-class for power density, power conversion efficiency and safety compliance, the company says. The OBC is installed in hybrid or electric vehicles to convert alternating current (AC) from the power grid to direct current (DC) for charging batteries. This technology accepts an extended range of AC inputs including 7.4 kilowatt (kW), 11 kW and 22 kW power ratings with DC-to-DC converter rating integration from 2.3 kW to 3.6 kW as an option. It is compatible with all battery chemistries and voltages of 400 volts, 650 volts and 800 volts. BorgWarner OBCs have a wide range of charging powers and capabilities. The OBC with a rated charging power of 7.4 kW can also be used for charging powers of 1.8 kW, 3.3 kW and 6.6 kW and uses a single-phase supply from the power grid. The OBC with a rated charging power of 11 kW is more efficient with its three-phase grid supply and fast charging strategy, while the onboard charger rated at 22 kW is even more efficient with its three-phase supply and therefore much faster charging.
NTSB investigation of Model 3 fatal crash in March finds Autopilot was active
The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report on the fatal March 2019 crash of a Tesla Model 3 with a semi-trailer in Delray Beach, Fla., stating that the Autopilot driver-assist system was active at the time of the crash. The 2018 Tesla Model 3 EV was southbound in the right through lane of the 14000 block of State Highway 441 (US 441) in Delray Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida, when it struck an eastbound 2019 International truck-tractor in combination with a semitrailer. As the Tesla approached the private driveway, the combination vehicle pulled from a driveway and traveled east across the southbound lanes of US 441. The truck driver was trying to cross the highway’s southbound lanes and turn left into the northbound lanes. According to surveillance video in the area and forward-facing video from the Tesla, the combination vehicle slowed as it crossed the southbound lanes, blocking the Tesla’s path. The Tesla struck the left side of the semitrailer. The roof of the Tesla was sheared off as the vehicle underrode the semitrailer and continued south. The 50-year-old male Tesla driver died as a result of the crash. The 45-year-old male driver of the combination vehicle was uninjured. he driver engaged the Autopilot about 10 seconds before the collision. From less than 8 seconds before the crash to the time of impact, the vehicle did not detect the driver’s hands on the steering wheel. Preliminary vehicle data show that the Tesla was traveling about 68 mph when it struck the semitrailer. Neither the preliminary data nor the videos indicate that the driver or the ADAS executed evasive maneuvers. Autopilot also was active at the time of a 2016 fatal crash in Florida involving a semi-trailer and several other serious crashes since that incident. Either Autopilot can’t see the broad side of an 18-wheeler, or it can’t react safely to it. This system can’t dependably navigate common road situations on its own and fails to keep the driver engaged exactly when needed most. Yet Tesla claims that it’s leading the way toward lifesaving, self-driving cars. If Tesla really wants to be a leader on safety, then the company must restrict Autopilot to conditions where it can be used safely and install a far more effective system to verify driver engagement.—David Friedman, Vice President of Advocacy for Consumer Reports Consumer Reports sai that taking these steps would mean embracing the NTSB’s safety recommendations arising from the 2016 crash, which Tesla has failed to fully address despite those recommendations being made more than a year and a half ago. In light of this latest tragic death and those preceding it, a disturbing pattern is becoming clearer—these kinds of crashes appear to be happening with some frequency in Teslas and not in other brands with similar technology. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should investigate whether Tesla Autopilot is the outlier it appears to be. If it is, then it poses an unreasonable risk to consumers’ safety and is defective.—David Friedman Consumer Reports urges all drivers to pay close and consistent attention to the driving task, including when using a vehicle with driving automation features. CR has previously called on Tesla to improve the safety of its Autopilot system. Last month, following an event for investors, CR urged Tesla to stop treating its customers like guinea pigs and instead demonstrate a driving automation system that is substantially safer than what is available today, based on evidence that is transparently shared with regulators and consumers; backed by rigorous simulations, track testing, and the use of safety drivers in real-world conditions; and validated by independent third-parties. CR also urged the company to focus in the meantime on making sure that proven crash avoidance technologies on Tesla vehicles, such as automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, are as effective as possible.
Swiss team finds particle emissions from aircraft turbine engines at ground-idle induce oxidative stress in bronchial cells
In a study on the effect of exhaust particles from aircraft turbine engines on human lung cells, Swiss researchers have found that cells reacted most strongly to particles emitted during ground idling. The study also showed that the cytotoxic effect is only to some extent comparable to that of particles from gasoline and diesel engines. For around 20 years, studies have shown that airborne particulate matter negatively affects human health. Now, in addition to already investigated particle sources such as emissions from heating systems, industry and road traffic, aircraft turbine engine particle emissions have, in the wake of increasing air traffic, also become more important. As a result, scientific research of the particulate matter from air traffic is important for the development of environmental standards in the aviation sector. Turbine engine in the testing facility (not running). Image: University of Bern /SR Technics Switzerland AG The primary solid particles, i.e. those emitted directly from the source, have the strongest effect on people in its immediate vicinity. However, the toxicity of solid particles from aircraft turbine engines is still widely unknown. Now a multidisciplinary team, led by lung researcher Marianne Geiser of the Institute of Anatomy at the University of Bern, together with colleagues from Empa and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW), has shown that primary soot particles from kerosene combustion in aircraft turbine engines also cause direct damage to lung cells and can trigger an inflammatory reaction if the solid particles—as simulated in the experiment—are inhaled in the direct vicinity of the engine. The researchers demonstrated for the first time that the damaging effects also depend on the operating conditions of the turbine engine, the composition of the fuel, and the structure of the generated particles. The open-access study was published in the journal Nature Communications Biology. Particles emitted from aircraft turbine engines are generally ultrafine, i.e. smaller than 100 nm. When inhaled, these nanoparticles—like those from other combustion sources—efficiently deposit in the airways. In healthy people, the well-developed defense mechanisms in the lungs normally take care of rendering the deposited particles ineffective and removing them from the lungs as quickly as possible. However, if the inhaled particles manage to overcome these defense mechanisms, due to their structure or physico-chemical properties, there is a danger for irreparable damage to the lung tissue. This process, already known to researchers from earlier experiments with particle emissions from gasoline and diesel engines, has now also been observed for particle emissions from aircraft engines. In innovative, combined experiments, the researchers investigated the toxicity of particles from the exhaust of a CFM56-7B turbofan—the most commonly used aircraft turbine engine globally. The turbine was run in climb mode (simulating aircraft take-off and climb) and at ground idling speed at the SR Technics testing facility at Zürich Airport. Within this framework, the researchers were able to use a globally standardized measurement method, applied for the environmental certification of aircraft engines. Fuel composition was also investigated: the turbine engine was run using conventional kerosene Jet A-1 fuel or biofuel. The latter is composed of kerosene fuel with 32% HEFA (hydrogenated esters and fatty acids) from old frying oil, animal fats, algae and plant oils. An aerosol deposition chamber developed specifically for investigating the toxicity of inhaled nanoparticles in vitro and built at FHNW, made it possible to deposit the generated particulate matter in a realistic way on cultures of bronchial epithelial cells, which line the inner surface of bronchi. Thus, the researchers were able to deposit an aerosol directly on human lung cells, which would not have been possible in an experiment with human test persons for ethical reasons. Moreover, the particles were analyzed for their physico-chemical and structural properties to examine possible links with the effects of the particles. The cells were exposed to the aerosol for 60 minutes. During this time, a particulate mass of 1.6 to 6.7 ng (billionths of a gram) per square centimeter of cell surface area was deposited while the turbine was running at ground idling, and 310 to 430 ng while it was in climb mode. This is equivalent to the daily airway intake of mildly polluted rural air with 20 µg (millionths of a gram) of particles per cubic meter of air up to heavily polluted air in a large city (100-500 µg of particles per cubic meter of air). Evidence of increased cell membrane damage and oxidative stress in the cell cultures was identified. Oxidative stress accelerates ageing of cells and can be a trigger for cancer or immune system diseases. The particles turned out to cause different degrees of damage depending on the turbine thrust level and type of fuel: the highest values were recorded for conventional fuel at ground idling, and for biofuel in climb mode. These results were surprising to the team. The cell reactions in the tests with conventional kerosene fuel at full engine thrust—comparable with takeoff and climb—in particular, were weaker than expected. These results can be partly explained by the very small dimensions and the structure of these particles.—Anthi Liati, specialized in the nanostructure of combustion aerosols at Empa Moreover, the cells responded to biofuel exposure by increasing the secretion of inflammatory cytokines, which play a central role in our immune system. This reaction reduces the ability of airway epithelial cells to react appropriately to any subsequent viral or bacterial infections.—Marianne Geiser Overall, according to the researchers, it has been demonstrated that the cell-damaging effect caused by exposure to particles generated by the combustion of gasoline, diesel and kerosene fuel are comparable for similar doses and exposure times. Additionally, a similar pattern was found in the secretion of inflammatory cytokines after exposure to gasoline and kerosene fuel particles. Aerosols are the finest solid or fluid substance suspended in the air. In combustion processes, the composition of ultrafine particles is highly variable. In addition, aerosols are unstable, and they are modified after their formation. Primary ultrafine solid particles have a high diffusion velocity. As a result, at high concentrations such particles either stick together or attach to other particles. Therefore, the effect of primary ultrafine particles depends on the distance from the source, implying that there is a difference depending on whether a person is close to the source (such as people at the roadside ) or at a greater distance (aircraft taxiing or taking off). Further research is needed to clarify how strong the impact would be at a greater distance from an aircraft engine. Resources HR Jonsdottir, M Delaval, Z Leni, A Keller, BT Brem, F Siegerist, D Schönenberger, L Durdina, M Elser, H Burtscher, A Liati, M Geiser (2019) “Non-volatile particle emissions from aircraft turbine engines at ground-idle induce oxidative stress in bronchial cells,” Nature Communications Biology doi: 10.1038/s42003-019-0332-7
Cleaner fuels have replaced more than 3B gallons of diesel under California Low Carbon Fuel Standard
New 2018 data from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) indicates that the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) continues to drive production of a growing volume of cleaner transportation fuels for California consumers. To date almost 3.3 billion gallons of petroleum diesel have been displaced by clean, low-carbon alternatives. The 2018 data also shows fuel producers are in 100% compliance with the LCFS. The program aims to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by considering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at all stages of production, from extraction to combustion. CARB developed the program to help support a return to 1990 levels of climate-changing gases by 2020, as required by AB 32, the 2006 landmark climate bill. California reached that overall goal in 2016. Now a climate target of an additional 40 percent overall reduction of climate-changing gases is in place for 2030, under SB 32. To help California reach that goal, CARB built on the success of the LCFS by doubling the required reduction level and setting a 2030 target for vehicle fuels of 20% less carbon than is now found in gasoline and diesel fuel. Those cleaner fuels will displace millions more gallons of fossil fuels, helping pave the way for California to achieve full carbon neutrality by 2045. The standard provides consumers with a growing variety and volume of cleaner fuels. Renewable liquid fuels—including renewable and biodiesel—displaced more than 568 million gallons of diesel in 2018. Nearly 120 million gallons of diesel were displaced by renewable natural gas, and electricity—used to run hundreds of thousands of plug-in cars and trucks—displaced about 96 million gallons of petroleum. Of the 317 companies reporting under the program, the vast majority supplied sufficient amounts of clean fuels to meet the 2018 standard; however, 52 companies generated deficits for supplying fuels that were dirtier than the program benchmark. Those companies were required to make up for their shortfall by purchasing credits from fuel providers who had supplied cleaner fuels. Since its start in 2011 the program has generated credits representing a total reduction of 47.1 million metric tons of climate-changing gases. That equals an over-compliance of 8.7 million metric tons, meaning that greenhouse gas reductions under this program have been occurring ahead of schedule. Those clean fuels also reduced emissions of toxic pollutants as well as those that cause smog. The LCFS works with other California GHG reduction programs to reduce emissions across the economy. These include the cap-and-trade program, the Advanced Clean Car program and the Renewable Portfolio Standard.
BloombergNEF: electrics to take 57% of global passenger car sales, 81% of municipal bus sales by 2040
BloombergNEF (BNEF) is out with an aggressive forecast that projects electric vehicles taking up 57% of the global passenger car sales by 2040—slightly higher than it forecast a year ago—and electric buses with 81% of municipal bus sales by the same date. Compared to other major organizations, BloombergNEF continues to hold the most aggressive view on EV adoption. BNEF expects there to be 508 million passenger EVs on the road globally by 2040; including commercial EVs, this brings the BNEF 2040 EV fleet size forecast to about 550 million. BNEF’s Electric Vehicle Outlook 2019 incorporates in the forecast detailed work on the commercial vehicle market. These projections show electric models taking 56% of light commercial vehicle sales in Europe, the US and China within the next two decades, plus 31% of the medium commercial market. Heavy trucks will prove the hardest segment for electrics to crack, with the latter’s sales limited to 19% in 2040. Their use case will mostly be in shorter-distance applications. However, conventional heavy trucks on long-haul routes will also face other, non-battery-electric competition from alternatives using natural gas and hydrogen fuel cells. Our conclusions are stark for fossil fuel use in road transport. Electrification will still take time because the global fleet changes over slowly but, once it gets rolling in the 2020s, it starts to spread to many other areas of road transport. We see a real possibility that global sales of conventional passenger cars have already passed their peak.—Colin McKerracher, head of advanced transport for BNEF The role of shared mobility services such as ride-hailing and car-sharing will be important in this evolving picture, according to BNEF. These services account for less than 5% of all passenger miles travelled globally at the moment, but this is set to rise to 19% by 2040. The BNEF team does not expect autonomous driving to have an impact on global transport and energy patterns until the 2030s. Providers of shared mobility services will choose to go electric faster than private individuals. There are now over a billion users of shared mobility services such as ride-hailing globally. These services will continue to grow and gradually reduce demand for private vehicle ownership.—Ali Izadi-Najafabadi, who leads BNEF’s coverage of shared mobility The main driver for the electrification trend over the next 20 years will be further sharp reductions in EV battery costs, making electric cars cheaper than internal combustion engine (ICE) alternatives by the mid-to-late 2020s in almost every market, on the basis of both lifetime costs and upfront costs. Since 2010, the average cost of lithium-ion batteries per kilowatt-hour has fallen by 85% on a mixture of manufacturing economies of scale and technology improvements. The BNEF report sees China continuing to lead in electric cars, accounting for 48% of all passenger EVs sold in 2025 and 26% in 2040 when other markets are catching up. Europe pulls ahead of the US as the number two EV market globally during the 2020s. Electrification in non-China emerging markets will be much slower, leading to a fragmented global auto market. BNEF expects passenger EV sales to rise from 2 million worldwide in 2018 to 28 million in 2030 and 56 million by 2040. Meanwhile conventional passenger vehicle sales fall to 42 million by 2040, from around 85 million in 2018. Policy support such as fuel economy regulations and China’s new energy vehicle mandate are expected to drive the EV market in the next 5-7 years before economics takes over the latter half of the 2020s. The oil, electricity and battery industries will all be impacted by the rise of EVs. A year ago, BNEF estimated their impact on road fuel demand at 7.3 million barrels per day by 2040. However, it has now nearly doubled this to 13.7 million barrels per day, partly because of new forecasts for electrification of the commercial vehicle sector and partly, paradoxically, because ICE fuel efficiency is expected to proceed more slowly than previously thought. That means that every EV displaces a conventional car that would have used a greater quantity of road fuel.
New Flyer, Robotic Research partner on autonomous bus technology for public transit
New Flyer of America Inc. is partnering with Robotic Research, LLC to advance autonomous bus technology through developing and deploying advanced driver- assistance systems (ADAS) in heavy-duty transit bus applications. New Flyer invested more than two years in assessing technology providers for autonomous vehicle development. New Flyer ultimately selected Robotic Research based on the company’s AI-based technology, coupled with its extensive experience delivering successful Level 5 autonomous vehicle applications for customers within the defense and intelligence community, including the US Department of Defense. Our ADAS vision supports the mobility needs of all Americans relying on public transit for safe and reliable transportation every day. Partnering with Robotic Research furthers our commitment to utilize the best expertise and technology available, while reaffirming our responsibility to work with regulators and stakeholders on standards and test protocols that integrate automated vehicles safely into the existing transportation system.—Chris Stoddart, President, New Flyer The partnership between New Flyer and Robotic Research will pursue development of an Xcelsior CHARGE battery-electric bus equipped with SAE J3016 Level 4 ADAS technology. SAE J3016 Level 4 is defined as high automation where the vehicle performs all driving tasks autonomously while actively monitoring the driving environment. The technology will be tested at Robotic Research facilities in late 2019, with closed course operation anticipated for 2020. To simulate realistic public transit applications, a trained onboard safety attendant will be utilized for evaluation and demonstration. Robotic Research is a privately held, US-based engineering and technology company providing software, robotic technology, and autonomous solutions to commercial and government customers. Its testing facilities are located in Gaithersburg and Clarksburg, Maryland. In 2017, New Flyer opened its Vehicle Innovation Center, the first and only innovation lab of its kind in North America dedicated to the advancement of bus and coach technology. Since opening, the VIC has welcomed more than 1,500 attendees for industry-wide collaboration, education, and workforce development related to zero-emission, connected, and automated vehicle technologies. With the announcement of its Robotic Research partnership, New Flyer further supports the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Strategic Transit Automation Research Plan to assess potential risks, barriers and mitigation strategies associated with the implementation of automation technologies in transit buses. This plan also adopts SAE J3016 levels and definitions.
Hyundai Motor Group develops intelligent air purification system for fine particulates
Hyundai Motor Group has developed an intelligent ‘Smart Air Purification system’ that monitors interior air quality automatically to filter the air inside a car. The innovation builds on the Group’s prior work to enhance in-car air quality by introducing a new automated monitoring system, which continually checks interior air quality until it achieves an ‘Excellent’ status. Combined with advanced filtering innovations, the technology can remove fine particulates before passengers enter the car, and purify cabin air throughout a journey. The new development, already under consideration for future Hyundai and Kia vehicles, responds to growing concerns about the health impact of fine particulates, especially in highly-congested urban areas. Conventional air purification systems only operate for a set period when activated, turning off after a designated time regardless of current cabin air quality. However, the new Smart Air Purification system constantly monitors the car’s air quality, activating the purification function if the air quality decreases to ‘Fair’ level. It then maintains the cleaning process until the air quality improves to an ‘Excellent’ level. Even if the exterior air quality is at ‘Poor’ level, the system can purify air inside to ‘Excellent’ quality in almost instantaneously. Passengers can monitor interior air quality levels via the car’s audio-video navigation (AVN) screen, with a visual 16-bar digital display of air quality that fluctuates in real-time. This is categorized according to Korea Environmental Corporation Standards, which categorizes four levels of air quality based on the presence of fine particulate matter: Excellent, Good, Fair and Poor. Hyundai Motor Group designed an integrated, laser-based sensor to ensure the system’s durability and reliability. Typical sensors are prone to reliability issues as fine particulates can gradually build up on the measurement lens. A laser-based design sidesteps this problem, giving room for innovation by the Hyundai Motor Group R&D team. Furthermore, testing finds that the purifier’s fan motors and sensors will maintain full functionality at environments of both extreme heat and cold. The new interior purification system is paired with advanced high-performance air filters which enhance the collection rate of fine particulates from 94% to 99%. Moreover, the new filtration system features a charcoal-based deodorization function and can automatically close car windows to assist the purification process.
Rheinmetall Automotive books first UpValve order; series production in China; fuel savings up to 5%
Pierburg GmbH based in Neuss (Germany), a subsidiary of technology group Rheinmetall, has received an order worth more than €90 million for its new variable valve control system UpValve. Production of the valve trains, which are also manufactured at the automotive supplier’s Neuss plant, will start in 2019. The start-up of series production of the corresponding vehicles will begin in 2020. UpValve will be used by several Chinese automobile brands at the same time. The new valve control system can achieve fuel savings of up to 5 percent. The ordered system will be installed in a 4-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine co-designed with the Pierburg engineers at Neuss. These latter were the development partner for the complete valve control system, including actuators and electronic peripherals. On the basis of its existing UniValve, Pierburg has designed an optimized system called UpValve and integrated it into the newly developed engines. Compared to the previous solution, UpValve has been improved in terms of speed stability, footprint and dynamics. In addition, the system enables the cylinder to be switched off as required, which makes additional fuel savings possible. UpValve is installed on the intake side of the engine and enables a reduction in losses incurred during intake/exhaust switchover. Torque is also beefed up. The mechanics have been further optimized in terms of rigidity at low inertial masses, the abated friction losses and high operational reliability. In addition to fuel consumption savings, the dynamics of the engine are improved. Trials on the assembled engine have been carried out with manufacturers inside and outside Germany.
New Delphi Technologies 500+ bar GDi system cuts gasoline particulate emissions by up to 50%, reduces fuel consumption
In a paper presented at the 2019 Vienna Motor Symposium this week, Delphi Technologies will unveil a new 500+ bar GDi system that can reduce particulate emissions by up to 50% compared to state-of-the-art 350 bar system without expensive engine design modifications. Delphi 500+ bar GDi pump Reducing the number of exhaust gas particulates, including those smaller than 23 nm, will help manufacturers meet increasingly stringent future global emissions standards. Reducing engine-out emissions cuts tailpipe emissions in the crucial period before catalyst light-off and reduces the need for costly aftertreatment systems. This reduces emissions in regulated testing including RDE (Real Driving Emissions). At the end of 2016, Delphi Technologies entered production with its industry first 350 bar GDi system, which reduces exhaust particulates by up to 70% compared with industry-standard 200 bar systems. The industry has long recognized that increasing injection pressure to 500+ bar could substantially cut engine-out particulates while improving CO2 emissions and fuel economy.—Walter Piock, chief engineer, Gasoline Systems, Delphi Technologies Delphi 500+ bar GDi injector The challenge has been to achieve such pressures without increasing the drive loads from the pump. As most engines power the GDI pump through the camshaft drive, a conventional approach would usually require a costly redesign and strengthening of the camshaft mechanism. By designing an innovative new internal sealing system for our GFP3 500+ bar pump, in some applications, we have designed a downsized plunger diameter which prevents increasing the loads in the drive mechanism.—Walter Piock With the new Delphi Technologies system, engine designers can benefit from 500+ bar injection pressures without having to make costly changes to the majority of existing camshaft drive systems. With combined demands for improved urban air quality and lower greenhouse gas emissions, the fuel injection system is an important building block for meeting future legislative targets. Delphi Technologies’ 500+ bar system can help vehicle manufacturers meet both challenges. Our 350 bar GDi system reduces exhaust particulates by up to 70 percent compared with industry-standard 200 bar systems and we are going one step further with our new 500+ bar GDi system which further reduces these emissions by up to 50 percent compared to the 350 bar system.—Walter Piock To complete the new 500+ bar system, Delphi Technologies has developed all system components including Multec 16 injectors, pumps, forged rail as well as the appropriate engine control system and software. These components, which further improve durability and reliability, also require no or only minor physical changes to existing engines because they match existing packaging constraints and interfaces. The 500+ bar system could be used in production from 2022 onwards.
Honda, American Electric Power developing 2nd life applications for used EV batteries
Honda is conducting research with Ohio-based electric utility American Electric Power to develop a network of used electric vehicle (EV) batteries that could be integrated into AEP’s electricity system. The project seeks to address multiple challenges related to the expansion of EVs, including the repurposing of used EV batteries, the expected impact of EV demand and renewable energy on the nation’s utility operators and the integration of EV batteries as a storage solution for the electric grid. The increasing volume of EVs has the potential to strain the power grid, including spikes in demand during early evening hours when drivers plug in their EVs after work. Storing additional power in used EV batteries can help utilities meet demand by using renewable energy resources. Together with AEP, we are exploring opportunities to use the 2nd life battery to improve energy security, reduce CO2 and prepare for broad scale electrification of the transportation ecosystem. Neither automakers nor utilities can address these complex technical, policy and business issues alone.—Ryan Harty, manager of Connected and Environmental Business, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Honda will provide used Fit EV batteries to AEP, which will study integrating the batteries into the utility’s electricity grid. AEP and Honda will jointly gain knowledge and expertise from the pilot project that will help both companies to develop technology and standards for future vehicle grid integration, as well as new business models to improve the value of EVs. The Honda Fit EV launched in 2012 with a fuel economy of 118 MPGe. Although replaced by the Honda Clarity family of electrified vehicles, including the Clarity Electric, the Fit EV’s durable battery will continue to support Honda’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions through its second life in the vehicle grid integration project. Honda has set a voluntary goal to reduce CO2 emissions from its vehicles and operations by 50% by 2050 compared to the year 2000, and toward this goal has announced plans to electrify two-thirds of its fleet by 2030. In addition to producing zero emission vehicles, the company is developing vehicle grid integration solutions, including the beta Honda SmartCharge program, which incentivizes Honda EV customers to charge their vehicles when more renewable energy resources are online. At CES 2019, Honda introduced its prototype Wireless Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) bi-directional energy management system that has the potential to reduce CO2 and create new value for Honda customers.
MAN Engines releases first IMO Tier III engines for workboats; low-cost, SCR-only solution
MAN Engines—a business unit of MAN Truck & Bus, itself a member of the Volkswagen Group—is now offering 12-cylinder, IMO Tier III emission standards engines for workboats, spanning a power range from 551 to 1,213 kW. The engines are immediately available. This is particularly relevant to customers in Canada and the US’ East and West Coast Emission Control Areas (ECAs), which are now subject to regulatory limits around 70% stricter than IMO Tier II. Customers in the North Sea and Baltic Sea ECAs needing to prepare for the mandatory limits, which will come into force on 1 January 2021, now have a series of options in the MAN Engines range. MARPOL Annex VI NOx emission limits The solution ensuring compliance with the IMO Tier III limits is MAN Engines’ modular exhaust gas aftertreatment (EAT) system, which was exhibited at the SMM trade fair last year. Two of the variants that are possible due to the installation flexibility of MAN Engines’ modular exhaust gas aftertreatment system. The system features a high level of flexibility and is extremely compact, which makes it suited for meeting the diverse requirements associated with professional shipping. The modular EAT allows for a wide range of installation possibilities, as the individual SCR catalytic converter components can be positioned differently, enabling flexible system integration tailored to specific customer needs. The essentially maintenance-free exhaust gas aftertreatment system is extremely lightweight, as well. The key to cost savings and greater system simplicity was the manufacturer’s decision to avoid a complex exhaust gas recirculation system and heavy, bulky components like diesel particulate filters and oxidation catalytic converters. The IMO Tier III compliance solution is based on the expertise of MAN Truck & Bus SE. As one of the leading European commercial vehicle manufacturers, the Group has been successfully using SCR systems in the its own trucks in high-volume production since 2006. MAN Engines also benefits from the experience in fitting and installation gained from the agricultural and industrial sectors, where the technology has been in serial production since 2015 for in-line and V-engines. The EAT is also showing how practical it can be in field trials for working boats, which are currently running.
Volvo Car Group signs multi-billion Li-ion dollar battery supply deals with CATL and LG Chem
Volvo Car Group has signed long-term agreements with leading battery makers CATL and LG Chem to ensure the multi-billion dollar supply of lithium-ion batteries over the coming decade for next generation Volvo and Polestar models. The agreements cover the global supply of battery modules for all models on the upcoming SPA2 and the existing CMA modular vehicle platforms and represent a major step towards realizing Volvo Cars’ ambitious electrification strategy. In 2017 Volvo Cars committed that all new Volvo cars launched from 2019 would be electrified. The company has since reinforced this strategy, by stating that it aims for fully electric cars to make up 50% of its global sales volume by 2025. The future of Volvo Cars is electric and we are firmly committed to moving beyond the internal combustion engine. Today’s agreements with CATL and LG Chem demonstrate how we will reach our ambitious electrification targets.—Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars CATL of China and LG Chem of South Korea have long and successful track records supplying lithium-ion batteries to the global automotive industry. They fulfil Volvo Cars’ strict sourcing guidelines in terms of technology leadership, responsible supply chains and competitive cost models. In China, battery supply will benefit from the scale of the wider Geely Group. With today’s agreement we effectively secured our battery supply for the upcoming decade. By having two suppliers available in each region we also ensure that we have flexibility in our supply chain going forward.—Martina Buchhauser, senior vice president for procurement at Volvo Cars Volvo Cars’ first battery assembly line is currently under construction at its manufacturing plant in Ghent, Belgium. It will be finalized by the end of this year and the first fully electric Volvo to be built in Ghent is the award-winning XC40 small SUV. Plug-in hybrid variants of the XC40 are already manufactured there. The Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) currently underpins the XC40, as well as the fully electric Polestar 2 fastback and several models sold by LYNK & CO, Volvo’s sister brand which it co-owns with Geely. As of this year, all three models will be built on a single production line at a Volvo-operated manufacturing plant in Luqiao, China. The upcoming SPA2 architecture is the next generation of Volvo’s in-house developed Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) and will be launched early next decade. SPA currently underpins all Volvo models in the 90 and 60 Series. The first Volvo to be launched on SPA2 will be the next generation of the XC90 large SUV. Earlier this year, Volvo Cars revealed a number of upgraded and newly-developed electrified powertrain options, to be made available across its entire model range going forward. It has upgraded its existing T8 and T6 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrains, with plug-in options now available on every model it produces.
Audi introducing V2I Traffic Light Information service in Europe
Audi is introducing the vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) service “Traffic Light Information” in Europe. From July, Audi will network new models with the traffic lights in Ingolstadt/Germany; further European cities will follow from 2020 onwards. Equipped cars will be more likely to catch a “green wave” in the city; Audi drivers will see in the cockpit what speed is required to reach the next traffic light on a green. If that is not possible within the permitted speed limit, there will be a countdown to the next green phase. In the US, Audi customers have been using this service since late 2016. Audi is the first manufacturer worldwide to network its series-production models with traffic lights in cities. Stop-and-go traffic in cities is annoying. By contrast, we are pleased when we have a “green wave”—but we catch them far too seldom, unfortunately. With the Traffic Light Information function, drivers are more in control. They drive more efficiently and are more relaxed because they know 250 meters ahead of a traffic light whether they will catch it on green. In the future, anonymized data from our cars can help to switch traffic lights in cities to better phases and to optimize the traffic flow.—Andre Hainzlmaier, head of Development of Apps, Connected Services and Smart City at Audi This service is now available at more than 5,000 intersections in the US, for example in cities including Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Portland and Washington D.C. In the US capital alone, about 1,000 intersections are linked to the Traffic Light Information function. Since February Audi has offered a further function in North America. The purpose of this is especially to enable driving on the “green wave”. “Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory” (GLOSA) shows to the driver in the ideal speed for reaching the next traffic light on green. Both Time-to-Green and GLOSA will be activated for the start of operation in Ingolstadt in selected Audi models. These include all Audi e-tron models and the A4, A6, A7, A8, Q3, Q7 and Q8 to be produced from mid-July (“model year 2020”). The prerequisite is the “Audi connect Navigation & Infotainment” package and the optional “camera-based traffic sign recognition”. Explaining the lagged introduction of the service in Europe, Hainzlmaier said that the challenges for the serial introduction of the service there are much greater than in the USA, where urban traffic light systems were planned over a large area and uniformly. In Europe, by contrast, the traffic infrastructure has developed more locally and decentrally—with a great variety of traffic technology. How quickly other cities are connected to this technology depends above all on whether data standards and interfaces get established and cities digitalize their traffic lights.—Andre Hainzlmaier On this project, Audi is working with Traffic Technology Services (TTS). TTS prepares the raw data from city traffic management centers and transmits them to the Audi servers. From here, the information reaches the car via a fast Internet connection. Audi is working to offer Traffic Light Information in further cities in Germany, Europe, Canada and the US in the coming years. In the large east Chinese city of Wuxi, Audi and partners are testing networks between cars and traffic light systems in the context of a development project. In future, Audi customers may be able to benefit from additional functions, for example when “green waves” are incorporated into the ideal route planning. It is also conceivable that Audi e-tron models, when cruising up to a red traffic light, will make increased used of braking energy in order to charge their batteries. Coupled with predictive adaptive cruise control (pACC), the cars could even brake automatically at red lights. In the long term, urban traffic will benefit. When cars send anonymized data to the city, for example, traffic signals could operate more flexibly. Every driver knows the following situation: in the evening you wait at a red light – while no other car is to be seen far and wide. Networked traffic lights would then react according to demand. Drivers of other automotive brands will also profit from the development work that Audi is carrying out with Traffic Light Information – good news for cities, which are dependent on the anonymized data of large fleets to achieve the most efficient traffic management. In future, V2I technologies such as Traffic Light Information will also facilitate automated driving.
New coating for layered lithium transition metal cathodes addresses performance and safety issues
Layered lithium transition metal oxide cathodes feature a relatively high capacity, making them of importance for Li-ion batteries. However, they also suffer from crystal and interfacial structural instability under aggressive electrochemical and thermal driving forces; this leads to rapid performance degradation and severe safety concerns. Now, researchers at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, with colleagues in China and the US, have developed a new coating for layered lithium transition metal oxide cathodes that can help solve these and several other potential issues with lithium-ion batteries all in one stroke. A paper describing the development is published in Nature Energy. … we report a transformative approach using an oxidative chemical vapour deposition technique to build a protective conductive polymer (poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)) skin on layered oxide cathode materials. The ultraconformal poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) skin facilitates the transport of lithium ions and electrons, significantly suppresses the undesired layered to spinel/rock-salt phase transformation and the associated oxygen loss, mitigates intergranular and intragranular mechanical cracking, and effectively stabilizes the cathode–electrolyte interface. This approach remarkably enhances the capacity and thermal stability under high-voltage operation. Building a protective skin at both secondary and primary particle levels of layered oxides offers a promising design strategy for Ni-rich cathodes towards high-energy, long-life and safe lithium-ion batteries.—Xu et al. An illustration of the structural stability of both secondary/primary particle coating and secondary particle coating only after long-term cycling. The oCVD process led to conformal PEDOT coating on both secondary and primary particles, resulting in no particle cracking after a long cycle life, while secondary particle coating only by conventional processes resulted in particle cracking after a long cycle life. Xu et al. The coating we’ve discovered really hits five or six birds with one stone.—Khalil Amine, Argonne distinguished fellow and battery scientist and co-corresponding author In the research, Amine and his colleagues took particles of Argonne’s pioneering nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) cathode material and encapsulated them with a sulfur-containing polymer called PEDOT. This polymer provides the cathode a layer of protection from the battery’s electrolyte as the battery charges and discharges. Unlike conventional coatings, which only protect the exterior surface of the micron-sized cathode particles and leave the interior vulnerable to cracking, the PEDOT coating had the ability to penetrate to the cathode particle’s interior, adding an additional layer of shielding. In addition, although PEDOT prevents the chemical interaction between the battery and the electrolyte, it does allow for the necessary transport of lithium ions and electrons that the battery requires in order to function. This coating is essentially friendly to all of the processes and chemistry that makes the battery work and unfriendly to all of the potential reactions that would cause the battery to degrade or malfunction.—Argonne chemist Guiliang Xu, first author The coating also largely prevents another reaction that causes the battery’s cathode to deactivate. In this reaction, the cathode material converts to another form called spinel. The combination of almost no spinel formation with its other properties makes this coating a very exciting material.—Khalil Amine The PEDOT material also demonstrated the ability to prevent oxygen release, a major factor for the degradation of NMC cathode materials at high voltage. The PEDOT coating was also found to be able to suppress oxygen release during charging, which leads to better structural stability and also improves safety. Amine indicated that battery scientists could likely scale up the coating for use in nickel-rich NMC-containing batteries. With the coating applied, the researchers believe that the NMC-containing batteries could either run at higher voltages—thus increasing their energy output—or have longer lifetimes, or both. To perform the research, the scientists relied on two DOE Office of Science User Facilities located at Argonne: the Advanced Photon Source (APS) and the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM). In situ high-energy X-ray diffraction measurements were taken at beamline 11-ID-C of the APS, and focused ion beam lithography and transmission electron microscopy were performed at the CNM. The research was funded by DOE’s Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Vehicle Technologies Office. Resources Gui-Liang Xu, Qiang Liu, Kenneth K. S. Lau, Yuzi Liu, Xiang Liu, Han Gao, Xinwei Zhou, Minghao Zhuang, Yang Ren, Jiadong Li, Minhua Shao, Minggao Ouyang, Feng Pan, Zonghai Chen, Khalil Amine & Guohua Chen (2019) “Building ultraconformal protective layers on both secondary and primary particles of layered lithium transition metal oxide cathodes” Nature Energy doi: 10.1038/s41560-019-0387-1
IHS Markit: sales of automotive ECUs to hit $211B in 2030, 5% CAGR
Electronic control units (ECUs) are playing an increasingly critical role in the automotive industry, driving the development of safer, smarter, cleaner and better-connected cars. As a result, IHS Markit expects global automotive ECU revenue to soar to $211 billion in 2030, rising at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% from $122 billion in 2018. This robust expansion follows a strong year in 2018, when revenue rose 6.9% from $114 billion in 2017. ECUs are essential for managing automotive subsystems including the engine, power-steering and transmission. As vehicles have added more features—like infotainment, telematics and advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS)—the number of ECUs in each vehicle has increased. A single modern luxury vehicle now can integrate as many as 150 ECUs.—James Priyatham, research analyst, automotive electronics and semiconductors at IHS Markit The rise in ECU usage reflects the broader trend of increasing amounts of electronics in each new vehicle. The average value of in-vehicle electronics is projected to increase to $1,832 in 2030, up from $1,296 in 2018, according to IHS Markit forecasts. The biggest contributors to the rising electronic content of cars during the coming years are ADAS, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Collectively, HEV and BEV ECUs accounted for just 3% of the total automotive electronics market in 2018, but are expected to rise to 15% in 2030. ADAS will grow to account for 29% of car electronics revenue in 2030, up from 17% in 2018. While the proliferation of ECUs is enabling many new features in cars, the sheer multiplicity of devices is creating new challenges. In particular, the management of all the ECUs has become a complex task. To address this issue, carmakers are seeking to reduce the number of ECUs in each vehicle by consolidating capabilities into fewer devices. New electronic architectures are emerging to help manage cost, power consumption and weight. One emerging architecture is the cockpit domain controller (CDC). With a CDC architecture, ECUs require less functionality, with many of their capabilities centralized on the domain controller. As a result, some ECUs are becoming ‘dumb,’ meaning they lack features like a system-on-chip or memory.—Brian Rhodes, connected car research lead at IHS Markit The consolidation will cause global automotive infotainment electronics revenue to flatten out, according to IHS Markit forecasts. This is expected to occur as some infotainment-oriented ECUs are replaced partially or completely by a CDC. Big suppliers dominate the ECU business. Major automotive suppliers Continental and Bosch dwarf the competition in the global ECU market. The two companies together accounted for 28% of the total ECU market in 2018. Despite attempts to consolidate, ECU usage is set to continue to expand in the coming years as the growing feature-set of cars outstrips efforts to reduce ECU usage, IHS Markit says.
Anaheim Transportation Network orders 40 BYD electric buses; 57% electric fleet by 2020
The Anaheim Transportation Network has awarded an order for 40 battery-electric buses to BYD. The ATN fleet order will increase the number of BYD electric buses the agency can deploy to serve one of the nation’s busiest tourism and employment regions. The buses range in size from the 30-foot BYD K7M to the articulated 60-foot K11M. One-half of the order will be the popular 40-foot BYD K9M. The variety of BYD buses will allow ATN to efficiently service a range of routes in the Anaheim Resort. We’ve been operating four of BYD’s 40-foot K9Ms on our routes over the past two years, and based on their performance, we are confident in BYD’s quality product and their support of our efforts to electrify our fleet. These new buses will provide ATN a 57 percent zero-emission fleet by 2020.—ATN Executive Director Diana Kotler A private, non-profit transportation management association, ATN was created to develop and operate the Anaheim Resort Transit (ART) for the Anaheim Resort District system and surrounding areas in the city with clean fuel shuttles. Each year more than 9.5 million residents, visitors and employees use ART to connect with local destinations and the ARTIC regional transportation center as part of the citywide #ElectrifyAnaheim program. ATN was one of 28 California projects selected in 2018 to receive a grant from the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP), which provides awards from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to help finance transformative, reduction-of-emission capital improvements. In addition to TIRCP, ATN was also awarded funds for this project from the State of California HVIP vouchers, Anaheim Tourism Improvement District and the City of Norwalk. The bus order will be placed through two existing statewide contracts in Washington and Georgia, which local governments and transit agencies can access to benefit from the leveraged purchasing power, convenience and competitive pricing of these pre-established contracts.
Hyundai Motor Group to invest €80M in Rimac; collaborating on high-performance EV and FCEV prototypes by 2020
Hyundai Motor Group and Rimac Automobili (Rimac) announced a strategic partnership aimed to strengthen the Group’s efforts to lead the high-performance electrified vehicle market and enhance its status as a game changer in Clean Mobility. Under the new partnership, Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation will each invest €64 million and €16 million, respectively, for a total combined investment of €80 million in Rimac. The companies will work closely together to develop prototypes for an electric version of Hyundai Motor’s N brand midship sports concept car and a high-performance fuel cell electric vehicle with the intent to bring them to market at a later time. Rimac is an innovative company with outstanding capabilities in high-performance electric vehicles. Its startup roots and abundant experience collaborating with automakers combined with technological prowess makes Rimac the ideal partner for us. We look forward to collaborating with Rimac on our road to Clean Mobility.—Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group Rimac was founded in 2009 by Mate Rimac as a garage project in Croatia with the vision to build the sports car of the 21st century. It has since grown rapidly, with its expertise ranging from high-performance electric powertrains to various control technologies and battery systems. Hyundai Motor Group will leverage the partnership to build on its existing R&D capabilities to meet its electrification plan, which includes deployment of 44 eco-friendly models by 2025. Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor’s N brand, dedicated to high-performance vehicles, has been introducing acclaimed high-performance models such as the i30N and the Veloster N since its launch in 2015. Rimac is vertically integrated with many of the components produced in house. The next challenge ahead is to grow from a low-volume manufacturer of complex high-end electrification components, to an established Tier-1 supplier for the industry. In the new facilities that are currently under way, Rimac is planning new high volume production lines for battery packs, powertrain systems and the C_Two hypercar production starting in 2020.
Cree selected as silicon carbide partner for the Volkswagen Group FAST program
Cree, Inc., a leader in silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductors, has been selected as the exclusive silicon carbide partner for the Volkswagen Group’s “Future Automotive Supply Tracks” Initiative (FAST). The aim of FAST is to work together to implement technical innovations quicker than before and to realize global vehicle projects even more efficiently and effectively. The Volkswagen Group has committed to launch almost 70 new electric models in the next ten years, which is up from our pledge of 50 and increases the projected number of vehicles to be built on the Group’s electric platforms from 15 million to 22 million in that timeframe. An effective network is our key to success. Our FAST partners are our strategic partners, each of them outstanding in their respective field. We want to shape the automotive future together.—Michael Baecker, Head of Volkswagen Purchasing Connectivity The use of silicon carbide accelerates the automotive industry’s transformation to electric vehicles, enabling greater system efficiencies that result in electric cars with longer range and faster charging, while reducing cost, lowering weight and conserving space. The Volkswagen Group and Cree will be working with tier one and power module suppliers to engineer silicon carbide-based solutions for future Volkswagen Group vehicles. This partnership announcement follows Cree’s 7 May announcement of its $1-billion manufacturing capacity expansion of silicon carbide MOSFETs and wafers in support of its customers. (Earlier post.)
Audi offering 12V mild hybrid versions of new A4; 48V MHEV for S4 TDI diesel
Audi is offering the revamped A4 with many engine options equipped with 12V and 48V mild-hybrid systems (MHEV). This also applies to the Audi S4 TDI (combined fuel consumption 6.3 – 6.2 l/100 km (37.3 - 37.9 US mpg); combined CO2 emissions 166 – 163 g/km (267.2 – 262.3 g/mi), with a diesel V6 TDI under the hood for the first time, a 48-volt main electrical system and an electric powered compressor (EPC). Audi S4 Avant TDI Audi will offer the A4 model line with six turbocharged engines at sales launch in Europe. Their power outputs range from 110 kW (150 PS) to 255 kW (347 PS) – from the Audi A4 35 TFSI (combined fuel consumption 6.0 – 5.5 l/100 km (39.2- 42.8 US mpg); combined CO2 emissions 138 – 125 g/km (222.1 - 201.2 g/mi) up to the Audi S4 TDI (combined fuel consumption 6.3 – 6.2 l/100 km (37.3 - 37.9 US mpg); combined CO2 emissions 166 – 163 g/km (267.2 – 262.3 g/mi). All engines—whether the four-cylinder diesel unit, V6 TDI or four-cylinder TFSI—undercut the limits of the Euro 6d-temp emission standard. For the market launch three engine variants will feature a mild-hybrid system (MHEV) based on 12 volts, which reduces fuel consumption while improving comfort. (Earlier post.) In everyday use, the MHEV system reduces fuel consumption by up to 0.3 liters per 100 kilometers according to individual Audi measurements. Whether manual transmission, seven-speed S tronic or eight-speed tiptronic, whether front-wheel or quattro drive—each of the six engine variants delivers tailor-made power transmission. All A4 models come off the production line with an automatic transmission as standard. The sportily balanced suspension ideally harmonizes with the character of the Audi A4. Customers can choose between the standard setup and the sport suspension. There are also two adaptive suspensions. One option is the comfort suspension with damper control, which reduces the ride height by 10 millimeters (0.4 in) and offers superb ride comfort. The other is the sport suspension, either with or without damper control, which is lowered by 23 millimeters (0.9 in). With its even more dynamic basic setup, it underscores the sporty character while maintaining comfort. Both controlled suspensions are integrated into the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. The same applies to the steering, with dynamic steering, the automatic transmission and the throttle valve available for customers as an option. Audi drive select allows the driver to determine which of up to five profiles these systems use. Diesel and 48V mild hybrid. Both S models of the A4 family—the Audi S4 Sedan TDI (combined fuel consumption 6.3 – 6.2 l/100 km (37.3 - 37.9 US mpg); combined CO2 emissions 164 – 163 g/km (263.9 - 262.3 g/mi) and the S4 Avant TDI (combined fuel consumption 6.3 l/100 km (37.3 US mpg); combined CO2 emissions 166 – 165 g/km (267.2 - 265.5 g/mi)—are now equipped with a V6 diesel engine as a power package. The 3.0 TDI combines hefty torque, smooth running and a long range and provides a power output of up to 255 kW (347PS) and maximum torque of 700 N·m (516.3 lb-ft). It accelerates the S4 Sedan TDI from zero to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 4.8 seconds on the way to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph). This combination of power, torque and efficiency makes the Audi S4 TDI unique in the segment. The electric powered compressor delivers powerful drive-off performance and virtually seamless power buildup when accelerating. As such, it eliminates any turbo lag, providing instant responsiveness in all driving situations. The electric powered compressor is integrated into a new 48-volt main electrical system, which also incorporates the mild-hybrid system. This provides even more efficiency potential than the MHEV system in the 12-volt electrical system on the A4 models. In the S4 TDI this is the next expansion stage in which the mild-hybrid technology will be rolled out based on 48 volts. The 12-volt subsidiary electrical system is connected to the 48-volt main electrical system via a powerful DC/DC converter. For the first time a powerful 48-volt belt alternator starter is being used in the S4 TDI as the heart of the mild-hybrid system with a maximum recuperation power of up to 8 kW when braking. A compact, air-cooled lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 0.5 kWh, which is located under the luggage compartment floor, acts as an energy management center. The mild-hybrid system on the S models has the potential to reduce customer fuel consumption by up to 0.4 liters per 100 kilometers. An eight-speed tiptronic and the quattro permanent all-wheel drive make up the drivetrain. If desired, an optional sport differential is available to actively distribute power between the rear wheels. In this way, more power can be directed specifically to the wheel on the outside of the bend when cornering at speed, which combats the tendency to understeer early on. The S sport suspension is standard. With its S-specific setup it provides a sporty driving sensation. This can be enhanced even further with the optional S sport suspension with damper control. The Audi A4 models and the S4 models with a TDI engine and sporty new look can be ordered in Europe from May 2019. The A4 allroad quattro will be available in the early summer and both models will be in the dealerships from fall 2019. Audi offers the S4 and the S4 Avant with the 3.0 TFSI in markets outside Europe. The turbocharged gasoline direct injection engine has an output of 260 kW (354 PS) and produces torque of 500 N·m (368.8 lb-ft) from 1,370 to 4,500 rpm. The V6 accelerates the S4 Sedan TFSI from zero to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 4.7 seconds on the way to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph). The standard sprint takes two tenths of a second longer in the S4 Avant TFSI.
Opel presents PHEV version of Grandland X SUV
Opel presented the new all-wheel drive PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) version of the Grandland X. Topping Opel’s SUV offer (that also comprises the Crossland X and the Mokka X), the Grandland X Hybrid4 combines the power of a 1.6 turbocharged gasoline engine and two electric motors for a system output of up to 300hp. Preliminary WLTP/NEDC fuel consumption (weighted, combined) is 2.2 l/100 km (107 mpg US) with 49 g/km CO2. Planned to go on sale within the next weeks for first deliveries to customers in early 2020, Opel’s first plug-in hybrid will contribute to the electrification of the German brand’s entire product portfolio by 2024. It is also part of the carmaker’s strategy for meeting future CO2 targets. Another step in the process, which also includes highly efficient internal combustion engines, will be the introduction of the fully battery electric version of the next-generation Opel Corsa that goes on sale this year. The propulsion system of the Grandland X Hybrid4 comprises: A WLTP-certified, Euro 6d-TEMP-compliant 147 kW/200 hp, 1.6-litr†e turbocharged direct injection four-cylinder gasoline engine specially adapted to the hybrid application; and an electric drive system with two 80 kW/109 hp electric motors, all-wheel drive and a 13.2 kWh lithium-ion battery. The front electric motor is coupled to an electrified eight-speed automatic transmission. The second electric motor, inverter and differential are integrated into the electrically powered rear axle to provide all-wheel traction on demand. The engine will mostly be driven at medium to high vehicle speeds, while the lower speeds of transient driving are covered by the electric component of the powertrain. The Opel Grandland X Hybrid4 can cover up to 50 kilometers in pure electric mode in the WLTP driving cycle (60 km according to NEDC). Studies have shown that in Germany, 80% of all daily journeys cover a distance of less than 50 km, so for these customers the Grandland X Hybrid4 could potentially drive with zero emissions all of the time. In order to further improve efficiency, the Grandland X Hybrid4 features a regenerative braking system to recover the energy produced under braking or deceleration. The driver can switch to “Regeneration on Demand” for maximum energy recuperation. The drag torque of the electric motor is so high that the brake pedal need not be applied to reduce speed to a full stop in normal traffic. The Grandland X Hybrid4 is thus controlled via the accelerator (One Pedal Driving). To further leverage the high voltage (300 V) electrical system, the Grandland X Hybrid4 is equipped with an electrical air-conditioning compressor and an electrical heater. The Grandland X Hybrid4 will offer four driving modes—electric, hybrid, AWD and Sport—allowing drivers to tailor the car’s characteristics to their wishes or to specific driving conditions. For example, choosing the hybrid mode allows the car to automatically select its most efficient method of propulsion, with the possibility of switching to electric mode for zero-emission driving when reaching a city centre. Selecting AWD mode activates the electrified rear axle for maximum traction on all kinds of roads. The plug socket for charging the battery via the 3.3 kW on-board charger (a 6.6 kW version is optional) is positioned on the opposite side of the vehicle to the fuel filler, while the battery is installed under the rear seats in order to optimize space in the interior and the trunk. To make charging even more convenient, the Grandland X Hybrid4 will benefit from the dedicated solutions for electrified vehicles supplied by Free2Move Services, the Groupe PSA mobility brand. The offer will include a charging pass, giving access to more than 85,000 charging points in Europe, and a trip planner, which proposes the best routes based on the car’s residual range and the location of charging stations along the routes. Connected navigation via the Navi 5.0 IntelliLink infotainment system takes care of finding the routes and the guidance to the chosen charging station. The Grandland X Hybrid4 will also offer the new Opel Connect telematics service. Functions such as Live Navigation with real-time traffic information, checking key vehicle data via an app, direct connection with roadside assistance and emergency call, give the driver and passengers additional peace of mind. Help can be reached within seconds via the red button. If the seatbelt tensioners or the airbags are deployed, the emergency call is activated automatically. The new Grandland X Hybrid4 belongs to the vanguard of Opel’s next-generation in electrified vehicles. While the Ampera-e remains on sale in selected markets, the manufacturer will globally launch within 20 months the new Corsa, the new Zafira Life MPV, the new Vivaro LCV and the successor of the Mokka X – each of which will feature a fully battery electric version.