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Ulstein introducing hydrogen fuel cell off-shore vessel; sea trials could happen in 2022
Recently, DNV GL identified the five most promising alternative fuels for shipping, with hydrogen as the ultimate zero-emission solution. The first complete hydrogen-fueled prospect has now been assembled by Ulstein Design & Solutions BV and Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology BV. The ULSTEIN SX190 Zero Emission DP2 construction support vessel is Ulstein’s first hydrogen-powered offshore vessel, featuring a Nedstack fuel cell power system. The DP2 vessel can cater for a large variety of offshore support operations. Sea trials of a newbuild ULSTEIN SX190 Zero Emission could happen as soon as 2022. This design uses proven and available technology, enabling clean shipping operations to reduce the environmental footprint of offshore projects. CO2, NOx and PM emissions are eliminated when using hydrogen fuel cells. The maritime industry needs to align and be ambitious in bringing green solutions forward for a sustainable future. With this hydrogen-fueled vessel, we aim for future zero-emission operations of long endurance.—Tore Ulstein, deputy CEO, Ulstein Group With today’s technology, the ULSTEIN SX190 design is already capable to operate 4 days in zero-emission mode. However, with the rapid developments in hydrogen storage and fuel cell technologies, a future zero-emission endurance of up to two weeks is targeted. For extended missions and capabilities, the vessel can fall back on its more conventional diesel-electric system using low sulfur marine diesel oil. The ULSTEIN SX190 Zero Emission design is based on Ulstein’s existing SX190 vessel platform and has a total installed power of 7.5 MW, of which 2 MW is generated by a fuel cell power system, typically Nedstack Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells, which are located in a separate, second engine room. Nedstack fuel cell systems have already been built and proven in the multi-megawatt power ranges and have now been marinized to meet the requirements of the marine industry, including class requirements and supply chains. Ulstein is constantly looking to improve marine operations and to reduce the environmental footprint of the vessels we deliver to the market. Implementing fuel cell technology in a workhorse like the SX190 CSV design is one of the steps we take to move the marine industry into a more sustainable future, in addition to our X-BOW hull shape, ULSTEIN ZED ‘get-in-and-leave-no-trace solution’ and plug-in hybrid solutions.—Ko Stroo, product manager at Ulstein Design & Solutions BV The PEM fuel cells used in the SX190 Zero Emission design are fueled by hydrogen from containerized pressure vessels, a well-proven and readily available technology. These hydrogen storage containers can be loaded and unloaded by normal container handling operations and equipment, thus eliminating the need for expensive bunkering infrastructure and providing worldwide operational flexibility. The hydrogen containers can be refilled at hydrogen production sites, either from industry by-product hydrogen or green hydrogen from electrolysis, making the vessel globally employable.
Cummins announces PLANET 2050 strategy; net-zero carbon emissions by 2050
Cummins Inc. announced its next environmental sustainability strategy—PLANET 2050—which includes science-based goals that meet or exceed the goals in the United Nations Paris agreement on climate change. By 2050, Cummins is targeting net-zero carbon emissions. PLANET 2050 focuses on three priority areas: addressing climate change and air emissions; using natural resources in the most sustainable way; and improving communities. It includes eight specific goals, timed to 2030, as well as aspirational targets for 2050. It is the most comprehensive and ambitious environmental sustainability strategy ever pursued by the company. Specific 2030 goals related to parts, products, and company-managed facilities and operations are: Reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions from facilities and operations by 50% (science-based target). Reduce absolute lifetime greenhouse gas emissions from newly sold products by 25% (science-based target). Partner with customers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from products in the field by 55 million metric tons. Reduce volatile organic compounds emissions from paint and coating operations by 50%. Create a circular lifecycle plan for every part to use less, use better, use again. Generate 25% less waste in facilities and operations as a percent of revenue. Reuse or responsibly recycle 100% of packaging plastics and eliminate single-use plastics in dining facilities, employee amenities and events. Reduce absolute water consumption in facilities and operations by 30%. Cummins will invest to achieve the goals, which will require new technology and capabilities. The company has a history of developing challenging goals and then finding ways to achieve them. Cummins reports results transparently even when falling short of goals. As Cummins has done with past environmental goals, the progress on 2030 goals will be periodically evaluated and communicated including consideration of whether more can or should be done in line with global energy and environmental challenges. In 2020, Cummins will launch a strategic community environmental program to align its efforts and affirm its commitment to the environment as one of the company’s three community priority areas. Also, as part of its focus on communities and natural resources, Cummins joined the CEO Water Mandate, which is focused on addressing global water challenges through corporate water stewardship, in partnership with the United Nations, governments, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders. Cummins will continue to work in partnership with others to advocate for tough, clear and enforceable regulations across the globe to address air emissions and for science-based climate policies. Earlier this year, Cummins’ executives testified before two US Congressional committees, advocating that legislation should include national-level emissions targets for product-specific applications, regulatory certainty and realistic implementation schedules. They also supported robust federal investment in research and development, grant programs for adoption of new technologies, and tax incentives. We recognize that achieving our strategy requires Cummins to invest in new technologies along with the development, implementation and enforcement by governments of clear regulations that drive down economy-wide air and greenhouse gas emissions. We will continue to work with trade associations, our customers, suppliers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to advocate for policies in line with our 2050 targets.—Brian Mormino, Executive Director Worldwide Environmental Strategy and Compliance A team of experts created Cummins’ plan after consulting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, analyzing best practices globally, considering the unique needs of the company’s stakeholders, and undertaking significant internal review. In 2017, Cummins formally committed to developing science-based targets under the Science Based Target Initiative, which provides a framework for the calculation of greenhouse gas goals for products and facilities that are in line with recommendations by climate scientists. In 2019, Cummins was named to the S&P Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America for a 14th consecutive year. In 2006, the company set its first facility energy and greenhouse gas goal and joined US EPA Climate Leaders program, firmly stating its commitment to addressing climate change. In 2014, the company released a global environmental sustainability plan with facility goals in water, waste, and energy. Progress against the goals is publicly reported annually in Cummins’ Sustainability Progress Report. From our perspective, it is hard to overstate the significance of the leadership Cummins is demonstrating with PLANET 2050. Two things in particular stand out: 1) a commitment to carbon neutral products and operations as one of the world’s leading power companies and, no less importantly, 2) a call to action and commitment to positive public advocacy supporting the policies that will be essential to enabling a prosperous low-carbon economy.—Eric Olson, Senior Vice President at BSR BSR (Business for Social Responsibility) is a global nonprofit organization that works with its network of more than 250 member companies and other partners to build a just and sustainable world. From its offices in Asia, Europe, and North America, BSR develops sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration.
Bunched Pt-Ni alloy nanocages as efficient catalysts for fuel cells
An international team of researchers has synthesized one-dimensional bunched platinum-nickel (Pt-Ni) alloy nanocages with a Pt-skin structure for the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells. The nanocages display high mass activity (3.52 amperes per milligram platinum) and specific activity (5.16 milliamperes per square centimeter platinum)—nearly 17 and 14 times higher respectively as compared with a commercial platinum on carbon (Pt/C) catalyst. A paper on their work is published in Science. The catalyst exhibits high stability with negligible activity decay after 50,000 cycles. Experimental results and theoretical calculations reveal the existence of fewer strongly bonded platinum-oxygen (Pt-O) sites induced by the strain and ligand effects. The fuel cell supported by this catalyst delivers a current density of 1.5 amperes per square centimeter at 0.6 volts and can operate steadily for at least 180 hours. Platinum (Pt) is the most active electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in fuel cells and metal-air batteries with promising stability. Nevertheless, the state-of-the-art Pt catalysts still lack activity and stability with respect to the cost and availability for large-scale commercial implementation. Engineering the near-surface composition of nanostructured Pt alloys represents one promising approach to enhance the electrocatalytic performance of Pt-based electrocatalysts, in which the exposure of highly active sites with optimum performance can be maximized. Adding other transition metals can enhance the catalytic performance via ligand and strain effects through modifying the binding strength of Pt-oxygen intermediates. The introduction of open nanostructures, including hollow and porous nanoparticles such as nanocages (NCs) and nanoframes, may help in achieving this goal and also enhance mass transfer.—Tian et al. To prepare the nanocages, the team first prepared 1D Pt-Ni bunched nanospheres (BNSs) by reducing Pt and Ni precursors with varying ratios by a one-pot solvothermal method. Treatment under acidic conditions selectively removed Ni species to leave 1D Pt-Ni BNCs with ultrathin walls composed of a platinum skin and a residual platinum-nickel alloy below this skin. Schematic illustration of the preparation of Pt-Ni BNCs. Tian et al. This work provides an effective strategy for the rational design of Pt alloy nanostructures and will help guide the future development of catalysts for their practical applications in energy conversion technologies and beyond.—Tian et al. Resources Xinlong Tian, Xiao Zhao, Ya-Qiong Su, Lijuan Wang, Hongming Wang, Dai Dang, Bin Chi, Hongfang Liu, Emiel J.M. Hensen, Xiong Wen (David) Lou, Bao Yu Xia (2019) “Engineering bunched Pt-Ni alloy nanocages for efficient oxygen reduction in practical fuel cells” Science Vol. 366, Issue 6467, pp. 850-856 doi: 10.1126/science.aaw7493
Velodyne Lidar introduces Alpha Prime lidar sensor
Velodyne Lidar, Inc. introduced Alpha Prime, the next-generation lidar sensor utilizing Velodyne’s patented surround view technology to deliver the combined highest performance specifications for the autonomous mobility industry in one sensor. Offering a new level of power efficiency, the Alpha Prime is available now for orders and delivery. The Alpha Prime allows vehicles to navigate in unfamiliar and dynamic settings. Its best-in-class capabilities help improve vehicle safety and enable more precise mapping. These include: Field-of-view: 360-degree surround view perception and a 40-degree vertical field-of-view. Performance in a wide variety of lighting conditions, including retro reflectors and sunlight mitigation. Detection of dark or low reflectance objects at long distances, such as tires, dark vehicles, low reflectivity pavement and low visibility pedestrians. Advanced negative obstacle perception, such as potholes and cracks in the road. The highest resolution along with robust reflectivity returns from more than 4.8 million points per second, simplifying detection and tracking of vehicles, pedestrians and other obstructions. High resolution and laser calibration enable the sensor to easily localize vehicles—outdoors or indoors—without a GPS, for precise positioning. Improved eﬃciency for extended vehicle operating time within broad temperature and environmental ranges without the need for active cooling. Advanced sensor-to-sensor interference mitigation. Automotive mass production options from multiple sources for qualified programs. Velodyne provides technical support for the sensor across North America, Europe, and Asia.
Volkswagen Group to invest ~€60B in hybridization, electric mobility and digitalization over next 5 years; ~€33B on electromobility
Planned investments and development costs for future areas such as hybridization, electric mobility and digitalization will total roughly EUR 60 billion between 2020 and 2024 Share of planned spend for future topics increased in Planning Round 68 to approximately 40 percent from approximately 30 percent in the previous Planning Round Under the Volkswagen Group’s Planning Round 68, the investment plan for 2020 to 2024, the Group plans to spend nearly €60 billion (US$66 billion) on the future areas of hybridization, electric mobility and digitalization over the next five years. This amounts to slightly more than 40% of the company’s investments in property, plant and equipment and all research and development costs during the planning period. Compared with the Group’s last Planning Round, it represents an increase of around 10 percentage points. The Group intends to invest around €33 billion (US$36 billion) of this figure in electric mobility alone. We will step up the pace again in the coming years with our investments. Hybridization, electrification and digitalization of our fleet are becoming an increasingly important area of focus. We intend to take advantage of economies of scale and achieve maximum synergies. In light of the worsening economic situation, we are also working on increasing our productivity, our efficiency and our cost base so as to secure meeting our targets.—Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Group During Planning Round 68, the long-term plan for the next 10 years was also modified. Through 2029, the Group plans to introduce up to 75 all-electric models to the market along with about 60 hybrid vehicles. The number of projected e-vehicles will rise to about 26 million, largely due to the addition of a year to the planning period to include 2029. Volkswagen is also planning to sell nearly 6 million hybrid vehicles by 2029. About 20 million of the e-vehicles planned through 2029 will be based on the Group’s Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB). Most of the remaining 6 million vehicles will be based on the High Performance Platform (PPE). E-vehicles are scheduled to be made outside Germany by the company’s plants in Mlada Boleslav, Chattanooga, Foshan and Anting. Others will be produced by German plants in Zwickau, Emden, Hannover, Zuffenhausen and Dresden. Plans for the Emden site were confirmed, according to which production of the electric A-SUV (ID.Next) should start in 2022. A camouflaged version of the ID.Next was already presented at this year’s Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA). A decision about a planned multi-brand plant is scheduled to be made by the end of the year. The Chinese joint ventures are not included in the consolidated group and are therefore excluded from the above-mentioned planning. These joint ventures finance investments in plants and products from their own resources.
Hyundai Mobis develops ultra-short-range-radar-based Rear-Autonomous Emergency Braking
Hyundai Mobis has developed a new rear-autonomous emergency braking (R-AEB) technology that uses ultra short-range radar (USRR) for the first time. The new technology is expected to contribute greatly to prevent unexpected backover crashes since it responds faster and has a wider detection range than conventional ultrasound sensors used in such systems. R-AEB detects humans or objects at the rear via sensors and forcefully stops the car if the driver does not step on the brake even after the alarm went off to prevent collisions. Hyundai Mobis is the first to apply radar sensors instead of ultrasound sensors in R-AEB. Until now, ultrasound sensors have been commonly applied to R-AEB systems and sometimes cameras were also additionally used to improve performance. The concept was to apply radar in parking assist technology by removing stereotypes that radar is only used with autonomous driving technology. This enabled Hyundai Mobis to solve the short-comings of both ultrasound (affected by wind or noise) and camera (insufficient to identify objects in darkness) for improving the performance of the system, achieving price competitiveness over a combination of different sensors. To apply radar to parking assist technology, the company developed USRR. The existing short-range radars were not sufficient to recognize objects in ultra-short range. During the technology development, Hyundai Mobis successfully secured technologies ranging from sensors to control algorithms, and applied for a patent at home and abroad. USRR applied to R-AEB technology is evaluated to improve detection range, responsiveness, resilience to unfavorable conditions and car design. While ultrasound sensors can detect objects up to 3m in rear parking, Hyundai Mobis’ USRR can detect up to 5m. Longer detection range facilitates proactive response since it is possible to predict unexpected collisions in advance. The system can detect distant objects in advance and deliver warning and emergency braking once the object comes in the effective collision range. While ultrasound sensors are not sufficient to respond to moving pedestrians or objects, USRR can detect moving ones more effectively due to its wide detection range. USRR is also good at responding to unfavorable conditions. Ultrasound is influenced by temperature, moisture or wind as it is a sound wave using air as a vehicle. So the detection performance of ultrasound sensors can be decreased in case of strong winds. They are also affected by ultrasound signals from other cars or road noises generated by motorcycles and trucks. In contrast, USRR using electromagnetic wave delivers reliable performance without being affected by such factors. In terms of design, USRR, which can be installed inside the bumper, does not impair the aesthetic aspect of the bumper design while the existing ultrasound sensor requires drilling holes in the bumper. Hyundai Mobis has already verified the technology’s performance in actual driving in 12 situations, involving nearby pedestrians and objects, narrow parking spaces and detection of speed bumps. Overseas, the new technology has also been proved satisfying Euro-NCAP and the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) R-AEB test. With raising concerns about backover crashes, Europe will rate R-AEB in Euro-NCAP from next year, and the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently preparing testing standards for the technology.
ZF and Danfoss partner on silicon- and silicon-carbide power modules for electric drivelines
ZF Friedrichshafen AG and Danfoss Silicon Power GmbH have extended their existing cooperation with a new strategic partnership for silicon- and silicon-carbide power modules. The partners plan to improve the efficiency of electric drivelines by leveraging engineering and cost benefits at the interface between power modules and inverters. The partnership will see the two companies engage in joint research and development, with Danfoss also supplying power modules for silicon applications. This is a robust long-term partnership that enables ZF and Danfoss to pool their strengths. Coming together on this opens up significant innovation potential to improve the technical and commercial competitiveness of our inverters. We will utilize this advantage in all our drivetrain applications, from hybrid up to full electric applications.—Jörg Grotendorst, Head of ZF’s E-Mobility Division One of the first major milestones in this new initiative is a supply contract for Danfoss power modules destined for large-scale ZF volume production projects. Beside 400V standard applications the two companies have also begun co-developing an 800V silicon-carbide power module for a large volume production project, aiming to position themselves at the forefront of this new segment. ZF’s E-Mobility division supplies electric drive systems and components, while Danfoss Silicon power GmbH (DSP) is a specialist in silicon- and silicon-carbide power modules. By joining forces to produce innovative open technology solutions for e-mobility drivelines, they aim to make a vital contribution to cutting vehicle emissions. In electric and hybrid vehicles, power modules control the efficiency of the energy supply to the drive, battery and onboard electronics. This means that the development of space-saving inverters and more efficient power modules is crucial to reducing emissions over the long term. Danfoss’ power modules could also use power-chips developed by ZF in the recently announced cooperation with semiconductor specialist Cree. As one of the leading manufacturers of electromobility solutions, ZF aims to further advance electric driveline technology through the strategic partnerships. Since January 2016, ZF has bundled its electromobility activities in the E-Mobility Division headquartered in Schweinfurt, Germany. More than 9,000 employees work in this division, spread across various locations around the world. Danfoss Silicon Power is a subsidiary of the Danfoss Group, the largest industrial company in Denmark. For decades, Danfoss Silicon Power has been helping top tier manufacturers and system suppliers meet stringent reliability, design and cost targets by designing, developing and manufacturing customized power modules for automotive, industrial and renewable applications.
Pierburg introduces air conditioning components specifically for EVs
In vehicles with a conventional internal combustion engine, the a/c compressor is usually driven via a pulley and the V-belt but in electric vehicles, this mechanism is not available. Here, the a/c compressor is driven by an electric motor that is integrated into the vehicle’s high-voltage network. Pierburg GmbH has developed an electric a/c compressor (eCC) that incorporates the supplier’s many years of experience in the field of mechatronic components. The new unit is of compact design so that it can fit in the usual installation spaces and serves the regular voltage levels HV2 and HV3. The three modules—mechanical compressor unit, electric motor and power electronics—are modularly integrated. During development, particular emphasis was placed on low weight and high operating efficiency. This ensures economical power management with the limited electrical energy available from the high-voltage storage unit in the vehicle. The design of the machine allows not only classical air conditioning operation at warm outside temperatures but also heat pump operation at low ones. By using a heat pump to heat the driver’s cab, the energy flow from the high-voltage storage unit can be reduced as required, thus increasing the vehicle’s travel range. A further development focus was the low noise of the compressor, since its sound and vibrations are perceived as disturbing by the driver and occupants. In addition, Pierburg developed an electronically controlled expansion valve for the refrigerant circuit. The new valve is usually mounted on an evaporator or chiller and controls the refrigerant flow; these heat exchangers are suitable for use in air conditioning, cooling battery packs or electric driveline components. Thanks to its compact design, the valve developed by Pierburg can be completely integrated into heat exchangers; the refrigerant flow can be regulated as required by means of an electric actuator, thus increasing the overall efficiency of the system.
Adamas: NCM 811 is now the second-most used cathode chemistry in China’s passenger EV market
Up from just 1% in January 2019, NCM 811 is now the second-most used cathode chemistry in China’s passenger EV market, according to Adamas Intelligence’s latest “EV Battery Capacity Monthly” report. In September 2019, sales of new passenger EVs with NCM 811 battery cells were responsible for 18% of all passenger EV battery capacity (in MWh) deployed in China, and 7% of all capacity deployed globally. In China, for the second month in a row, NCM 811 was second-only to NCM 523 by capacity deployed, while the once-popular NCM 622 now finds itself in fifth spot with a mere 5% of the market. In the pursuit of lower costs and higher energy density, a growing number of automakers in China have seemingly opted to bypass NCM 622, shifting instead straight from LFP or NCM 523 cathode chemistries into high-nickel NCM 811. Since January 2019, the market share of NCM 811 in China’s passenger EV market has rapidly increased from less than 1% to 18% and shows little signs of slowing its ingress, Adamas says. Although automakers have been slow to adopt NCM 811 to-date outside of China, Adamas expects to see the chemistry make inroads in Europe and North America by as early as next year.
Hankook Tire using AI for development of optimal tire compounds
Global tire maker announced that the company showed tangible results in its efforts for technology based innovation and digital transformation by developing the Virtual Compound Design (VCD) system, a predictive model for tire compound properties using artificial intelligence. The VCD system predicts the characteristics of compounds and draws the most optimal combination of the materials through artificial intelligence analysis, which is based on accumulated data without actual testing during the tire compound development. The development process for tire compounds is very complicated as the compound, a mixture of more than 15 types of materials such as natural rubber, synthetic rubber and carbon black, has different properties depending on diverse variables, including temperature, facilities, order of combination, and pressure, as well as the ratio of combinations of each material. Generally, it takes six months to three years to develop a new compound, but this period is expected to be reduced by 50% if artificial intelligence is used. The new development system operates within the cloud platform by creating a digital twin—a twin of real-life objects—repeating the process of reflecting results derived from virtual simulations into reality and affecting each other over reality and virtual reality to find improved results. Tens of thousands of units of data have been analyzed through cloud computing platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google’s TensorFlow, an artificial intelligence engine, continuing their evolution through machine learning. Hankook Tire’s efforts for innovation started as an internal research project and has been accelerated and solidified by collaboration with Korea’s top research institute. As Hankook signed an agreement with Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) early this year on research on future technologies, cooperation was undertaken on the project. Since then, the accuracy of data analysis has been greatly improved, currently showing an increased reliability of more than 95%. Successfully applying artificial intelligence in predicting compound properties, Hankook Tire is planning to expand the technology to the entire process of developing tires that range from material selection, design, tire test, production including mass production. In addition, the company plans to accelerate the introduction of data-based innovative technologies based on accumulated data throughout the tire industry ecosystem, ranging from materials supply and demand, design, R&D, testing, production, distribution (SCM), and customer usage, without limitations on certain development areas. Hankook Tire is utilizing a global R&D network that is built around Hankook Technodome, Hankook Tire’s state-of-the-art research and development (R&D) facility.
Empa researchers investigate release of micro-rubber particles from tires into environment
Although the presence of microplastics in the environment is raising concerns, the amount of microplastics in air and water is small compared to another polymer that pollutes air and water: micro rubber. These are the finest particles resulting from tire abrasion, which enter soil and air via the road surface or are removed by artificial turf. Empa researchers have now calculated that over the last 30 years, from 1988 to 2018, 219 ± 22 kilotonnes of micro rubber have accumulated in the environment in Switzerland. This work used dynamic probabilistic material flow analysis to quantify the flows of rubber particles from tires to roads and further onto soils and surface waters of Switzerland. The model considered the whole life-cycle of tires from import over the use phase to the end-of-life and the re-use of scrap tires. Uncertainties of model parameters and data variability were considered by using a probabilistic approach. Mass flows onto soils and through road drainage by both uncontrolled dispersal and engineered systems are considered. In addition, the release of rubber from artificial turfs was included. —Sieber et al. The researchers from Empa’s “Technology and Society” lab identified car and truck tires as the main source of micro-rubber. Only three percent of the rubber particles emitted come from rubber granulate from artificial green areas. Tire abrasion is responsible for the remaining 97%. Of the particles released into the environment, almost three-quarters remain on the left and right side of the road in the first five meters, 5% in the remaining soils and almost 20% in water bodies. The team based its calculations on data on the import and export of tires and then modeled the behavior of rubber on roads and in road waste water. Since the year 2000, the guidelines for the recycling of water and the prevention of soil pollution have been significantly tightened. Through measures such as the construction of road wastewater treatment plants (SABA), part of the microrubber can now be removed from the water. A part of the micro rubber is first transported by air into the first five meters left and right of the road, deposited and partly whirled up again. Christoph Hüglin from Empa’s “Air Pollution / Environmental Technology” lab estimates the impact on humans to be low, as a study from 2009 shows. The proportion of tire abrasion in inhaled fine dust is also in the low single-digit percentage range at locations close to traffic.—Christoph Hüglin Resources Ramona Sieber, Delphine Kawecki, Bernd Nowack (2019) “Dynamic probabilistic material flow analysis of rubber release from tires into the environment,” Environmental Pollution, doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2019.113573.
Hyundai Motor Group launches new mobility service venture in LA: MoceanLab
Hyundai Motor Group has launched MoceanLab, a mobility service venture, as part of the Group’s larger initiative to create a sustainable, connected future. MoceanLab will provide mobility services in the City of Los Angeles, and expand its services to autonomous ridesharing, shuttling, multimodal transportation, and personal mobility. After a comprehensive thorough review, Hyundai Motor Group identified Los Angeles as the city to launch the MoceanLab. The opportunities posed by LA’s large and diverse population, challenges with traffic congestion, and demonstrated commitments to transportation innovation and sustainability, including LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s initiatives and leadership, made it the ideal city for MoceanLab. Left: Hyundai Motor Company, EVP KyoungLim Yun. Right: LA Mayor, Eric Garcetti Hyundai Motor Group plans to explore and integrate new mobility innovations—such as micromobility and multimodal transportation—and ensure the effectiveness and growth of mobility services throughout LA. Hyundai Motor Group will introduce innovative mobility platforms and demonstrate diverse mobility services in Los Angeles. More and more customers, including citizens of LA and tourists, will greatly benefit from MoceanLab as its service gradually covers a larger area of LA and diversify its mobility services. With such efforts, Hyundai Motor Group aims to lead the technology development for clean mobility.—Kyounglim Yun, Executive Vice President of Hyundai Motor Group Mocean Carshare, a pilot program from MoceanLab, will be a part of the City of Los Angeles’ carsharing permit pilot program offered by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA METRO). The Group will utilize up to 20 Hyundai IONIQ Plug-in Hybrid Electric vehicles for the pilot program, set to start at the end of 2019. The goal is to transition the fleet to fully electric vehicles with a gradual expansion of a combined 300 vehicles of Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation. MoceanLab will further expand beyond the initial carsharing pilot program. In anticipation of the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, MoceanLab aims to alleviate traffic and increase convenience. Ultimately connecting customers to mass transit options and reduce traffic congestion around the city. This includes services offering autonomous ridesharing, shuttling, multimodal transportation, and personal mobility. Hyundai Motor Group is continuing its developments in mobility services through active establishments of joint ventures and partnerships. In September, the Group formed a joint venture with Aptiv, focused on the efficient development of driverless systems using world-leading autonomous technology. Hyundai this month also began testing BotRide, a fleet of self-driving KONA Electric SUVs in Irvine, California in collaboration with Pony.ai and Via.
LADOT orders 130 BYD electric buses
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) has ordered 130 BYD battery-electric K7M buses, the largest single order of battery-electric buses to date in the United States. BYD considers the LADOT purchase as a signal to the market that zero-emission buses are here to stay and that their use will continue to spread. The project fits with the City of Los Angeles’ “Green New Deal,” a set of sustainability goals that includes converting the entire LADOT fleet to zero-emission buses by 2030. The City of Los Angeles has set a goal of converting every city vehicle to zero-emission technology by 2050. It is estimated the 130 buses will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8,225 metric tons per year and by 98,700 metric tons over the buses’ 12-year life, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 81% compared to LADOT’s compressed natural gas buses. The buses will be built at BYD’s Coach & Bus factory in Lancaster, California, in northern Los Angeles County. BYD’s zero-emission buses not only meet but also exceed Federal Transit Administration “Buy America” requirements, incorporating more than 70% US content. The 30-foot K7M has 22 seats, a range of up to 150 miles, and can be charged in 2.5 to 3 hours. The K7M is one of BYD’s top products. It has no air emissions and runs quietly. With lower fuel and maintenance costs, the K7M has lower total cost of ownership than diesel or CNG. BYD offers a 12-year warranty on its batteries, the longest in the industry. LADOT has been working with BYD since 2014 when it conducted a 90-day trial of a battery-electric bus. In January 2017, city officials introduced the first of four K9S battery-electric buses acquired by the LADOT with a grant from the California Energy Commission. LADOT is one of more than a dozen customers who have shown their confidence in BYD’s product performance and service to make additional orders. Earlier this year, Anaheim Resort Transportation added to its initial purchase by ordering 40 more buses from BYD. With this purchase, BYD has now sold more than 460 electric buses to customers in Southern California including airports, universities, private operators and transit agencies.
Ford to reveal new electric SUV Mustang Mach-E on Sunday; on-line reservations open then
Ford will reveal its new all-electric SUV Mustang Mach-E on Sunday at an event in Los Angeles that will be streamed on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Autohome (China). Immediately following the broadcast— which is scheduled to end at approximately 6:30 p.m. PST—reservations will open for the Mustang Mach-E at Ford.com. Customers can reserve their spot in line for the Mustang Mach-E by making a $500 refundable reservation deposit. Customers in the US and Europe who wish to reserve a vehicle can select their desired specification of the Mustang Mach-E, create a Ford account, select their preferred Ford dealer, and enter their credit/debit card details and address. Customers who reserve a vehicle will be able to finalize their configuration next year when the ordering window opens. Reservation timing for China will be announced at a later date.
Study finds climate impact of hydropower varies widely
Although hydropower is broadly considered to be much more environmentally friendly than electricity generated from fossil fuels (e.g., earlier post), a new study by a team at Environmental Defense Fund finds that the climate impact of hydropower facilities varies widely throughout the world and over time, with some facilities emitting more greenhouse gases than those burning fossil fuels. The researchers report their results in an open-access paper in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology. Currently, hydropower contributes two-thirds of the electricity generated from renewable sources worldwide, according to the International Energy Association, with thousands of new hydroelectric facilities either planned or under construction across the globe. This popularity stems partly from the perception that hydropower is an environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuels. It is commonly thought that the greenhouse gas emissions from hydropower plants are similar to those of wind-generated power facilities. However, most studies of hydropower’s climate impact have neglected certain factors, such as changes in carbon dioxide emissions that occur when natural landscapes are flooded to create reservoirs for hydropower plants, as well as the near-term warming from associated methane emissions. Ilissa Ocko and Steven Hamburg of EDF wanted to conduct a more comprehensive analysis of the climate impacts of hydropower facilities over time. They analyzed the climate impacts over time of carbon dioxide and methane emissions from a dataset of 1,473 hydroelectric facilities in 104 countries. They also estimated emissions caused by flooding the reservoir. The team found that hydropower emissions on average were far greater and thus worse for the climate than emissions from nuclear, solar and wind power installations, but better for the climate than emissions from coal and natural gas utilities. However, some individual hydropower facilities were worse for the climate than coal and natural gas plants both in the near- and long-term. The climate benefits of using hydropower instead of fossil fuel-generated power were much smaller in the near-term than the long-term because of the large impact that methane emissions have on warming, Ocko says. The analysis also indicated that emissions varied by region: New hydropower facilities in Western Europe were estimated to have near-zero climate impacts, whereas those in Western Africa yielded climate impacts greater than coal and natural gas plants over all timescales. These results should be considered when designing and constructing new hydropower plants, the researchers say. Climate impacts of hydropower vary considerably over time, especially for newly developed plants. There are major differences between the impacts of individual hydropower facilities and also over time. The specific characteristics of future hydropower plants matter greatly if efforts to address climate change in both the near- and long-term are to be effective. Storage is also a factor in creating a reliable electrical system, and as such, this is a useful potential attribute of hydropower. However, it too needs to be low impact to be useful in meeting global deep decarbonization goals. Given the limited data on the annual cycle of direct hydropower emissions globally and its potential importance in impacting climate change, there is a need for collecting more comprehensive data on greenhouse gas emissions from hydropower reservoirs to reduce uncertainty and fully understand the climate implications of hydropower. The underlying message that hydropower is not universally beneficial to the climate needs to be more widely understood if the global commitment to reduce global warming rates are to be met.—Ocko and Hamburg (2019) The authors acknowledge funding from the Robertson Foundation and Heising-Simons Foundation. Resources Ilissa B. Ocko and Steven P. Hamburg (2019) “Climate Impacts of Hydropower: Enormous Differences among Facilities and over Time” Environmental Science & Technology doi: 10.1021/acs.est.9b05083
UCLA Health Center receives electric Winnebago as mobile surgical instrument lab; MOTIV EPIC chassis
Winnebago Industries, Inc. delivered the first all-electric mobile surgical instrument lab (eMSIL) to University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Health Center. The zero-emission mobile medical unit will travel between UCLA’s Ronald Reagan and Santa Monica campuses to collect, clean, repair, disinfect and sterilize surgical suite instruments. The eMSIL is powered by an all-electric EPIC F-53 33-foot chassis from Motiv Power Systems. The eMSIL is based on the standard Winnebago J33SE all-electric commercial shell platform, which earlier this year won a Sustainability Award by the RV Industry Association (RVIA) for its efforts in bringing an all-electric option to this vehicle segment. The Motiv system features a TM4 electric drivetrain with 250 kW and 2,300 N·m peak motor and a 127 kWh sodium-nickel battery system. The eMSIL joins other mobile medical initiatives at UCLA Health including a Mobile Stroke Unit, a Mobile Eye Clinic, and the Mobile Clinic Project serving homeless and low-income individuals. We’ve been told the vehicle is expected to save UCLA Health Center close to $750,000 a year compared to contracting with a third-party to service surgical instruments off-site. That adds significant value to the system’s bottom line. We applaud UCLA for its innovative application of a mobile medical unit to transform a critical and costly service, normally fixed in a building, into one that can be transported to any location. The mobile medical market is a growing industry, with countless applications, from cancer screenings and primary care to opioid treatment and dental services. The variety of services these vehicles can deliver to communities is limited only by the imagination.—Ashis Bhattacharya, Winnebago’s Vice President of Business Development, Specialty Vehicles, and Advanced Technology As a mobile unit, the eMSIL is a turnkey solution for receiving, decontaminating, preparing, packaging, sterilizing and distributing nearly any type of surgical equipment hospitals use. It was built by Winnebago Specialty Vehicles and one of its preferred commercial EV platform upfitters Summit Bodyworks. The eMSIL is designed to hold enough battery charge for eight hours of typical service plus round-trip travel to and from its home facility. For the eMSIL, this is more than enough capacity, considering the distance between the two hospitals. The vehicle has completed significant road testing and delivers an expected range of 85 to 125 miles on a full charge. Like all specialty vehicles, the eMSIL is eligible for service at more than 300 Winnebago locations across the US. The eMSIL includes all the equipment needed to deliver the same level of performance, productivity and compliance from decontamination through sterilization as a lab located in a building. The vehicle upfit includes two desks in the slide-out area, two workbenches, an industrial sink and two stations for 5.5 gallon ultrasonic cleaners, among other custom cabinetry and equipment. A portion of the funds used to purchase of the UCLA eMSIL were provided by the Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP), a California Air Resources Board (CARB) program administered by clean transportation accelerator CALSTART and funded with cap-and-trade proceeds through California Climate Investments (CCI). HVIP cuts air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions while accelerating the development and commercialization of clean transportation technologies.
Irizar introduces next-generation of electric ie bus
The new generation of the Spain-based Irizar ie bus, an electric bus launched in July 2014, has now arrived on the market. New features include weight reduction, improved passenger capacity to meet the regulations of several countries, and new batteries providing greater range. This new generation is available in 10-, 12-, 15- and 18-meter configurations. The space has been optimized, achieving greater passenger capacity and improved modularity. A new generation of more efficient batteries combine with a regenerative braking system to further reduce consumption and offer greater vehicle range. In urban environments, with a charge of 350 kWh and in standard weather conditions, Irizar obtains an approximate range of 250 km (155 miles)—equivalent to around 17 hours of operation. The new Irizar ie bus offer up to 5 interoperable slow charging point positions using a combo 2 connector. Charging time has decreased and the vehicle can be slow charged in 3 hours. There is also the option of fast charging via pantograph. The charging capacity can vary from 50 kW to 600 kW. In addition to complying with the rollover safety regulations—ECE-R66/02, the European regulation that measures the structural strength of large passenger transport vehicles—the AVAS (Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System), an acoustic warning system that complies with R138, has now been incorporated. A new dashboard which complies with fire regulations 118R annex 6, 7, and 8 has also been included. The new generation of the Irizar ie bus also enables easier and more ergonomic vehicle maintenance based on optimized and improved accesses at different points. The new generation of the 12 m Irizar ie bus also includes the Group’s full range of technology for its charging, traction and energy storage systems. This highly tested and proven technology enables operators to offer comprehensive maintenance service for the entire life of the vehicle.
Cal Tech’s Dr Kimberly See awarded this year’s Science Award Electrochemistry
This year’s international Science Award Electrochemistry was presented to Dr Kimberly See of the California Institute of Technology at the Science Award Electrochemistry & Science Dialogue held in Wolfsburg’s Autostadt. The award has been presented seven times as a joint initiative of Volkswagen and BASF and is aimed at young scientists of excellence. Prizes total €70,000, of which €50,000 is awarded to the overall winner. Dr See was recognised by the six-member jury of experts for her outstanding contribution to research into multivalent ion and sulfur batteries. She was selected out of four other applicants for the science award presented by Volkswagen and BASF. Close collaboration with scientists is critical for Volkswagen in order to continue to optimise our energy accumulators. High-performance batteries are the key to the success of electric mobility. That is why we are focussing on research and development into electrochemical battery concepts for the next generation and beyond.—Frank Blome, Head of the Center of Excellence (CoE) for battery cells at Volkswagen BASF is conducting intense research into innovative cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries that will help increase the range of electric vehicles and shorten charging times. In addition to the development of high-performance materials, we also have to consider issues such as suitable recycling options for batteries, the responsible use of resources and a sustainable supply chain.—Dr. Detlef Kratz, President of Research for Process Research and Chemical Engineering at BASF The award ceremony was preceded by a two-day event attended by top experts from science and industry, including this year’s Nobel Prize-winner for chemistry, Professor Dr. Stanley Whittingham. The experts discussed the battery materials of the future, alternatives to raw materials such as lithium, sustainable cell production for lithium-ion batteries and the role of digitalisation in the development of new materials. The designated Nobel Prize-winner in chemistry, Professor Dr. Stanley Whittingham, believes that lithium will continue to be the main material used for batteries for the next two decades. But we need to be able to double the energy density and range with the same size of battery we currently have. And hopefully the price will stay the same as it is now. This means reducing costs, increasing energy density and increasing safety. Such battery cells will be available to everyone.Dr Whittingham The guests also visited the Center of Excellence (CoE), the newly opened pilot plant for battery research at Volkswagen’s Salzgitter site. In addition, they discussed the latest findings in research and development, specifically in the automotive industry. The Science Award Electrochemistry was initiated by BASF and Volkswagen in 2012. The goal is to support excellence in the natural and engineering sciences and provide a catalyst for the development of high-performance energy accumulators.
Volkswagen breaks ground on $800M expansion for MEB-based EV production in US; battery assembly plant also
Volkswagen of America marked the start of construction for its electric vehicle production facility. The Chattanooga site, where EV production will begin in 2022, will be Volkswagen’s North American assembly base for electric vehicles based on the Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB). The company also announced it intends to build a 198,000–square-foot plant for the assembly of battery packs for EVs at the Chattanooga site. Rendering of expansion for electric vehicle production. This is a big, big moment for this company. Expanding local production sets the foundation for our sustainable growth in the US. Electric vehicles are the future of mobility and Volkswagen will build them for millions of people. —Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America Volkswagen began long-range EV production of ID.3 earlier this month in Zwickau, Germany, and will then roll out assembly worldwide, including in Anting and Foshan, in China, in 2020. By 2022, MEB vehicles are to be produced at eight locations on three continents. The Chattanooga site will be VW’s North-American hub for EV manufacturing. Volkswagen’s investment of about $800 million in the Chattanooga facility will require the addition of about 1,000 jobs. Tom du Plessis, Volkswagen Chattanooga CEO, said the expansion signals the start of new, high-tech processes in the plant. Hiring for the new assembly will begin in early 2020 and will continue as needed for ramping up production, he said. Positions added for the expansion include supervisors, specialists and a variety of engineers specializing in electrical, software, mechanical, manufacturing, chemical and quality. Electric vehicle and electric-vehicle battery production require new and different technical skills than those we currently use. We’re working with our colleagues abroad, as well as with the Volkswagen Academy, to ensure our team members are well-prepared.—Tom du Plessis The production version of the ID. CROZZ will initially be assembled in Zwickau; production of that vehicle is set to begin in Chattanooga in 2022. The expansion of the plant includes a 564,000-square-foot addition to the body shop. Volkswagen currently builds the midsize Atlas SUV and the Passat sedan at the Chattanooga factory.
Rheinmetall Automotive books €200M order in China for lightweight pistons
China-based Kolbenschmidt Huayu Piston Co. Ltd. (KSHP) (belonging to Rheinmetall Automotive AG) has received an order from one of the world’s biggest car producers with a lifetime volume totaling more than €200 million for modern lightweight pistons for gasoline engines with ring carrier and coolant gallery technology. Lightweight gasoline piston with ring carrier and coolant passage. The pistons form part of KS Kolbenschmidt’s Liteks program. The design caters to direct-injection and multi-turbo engine technologies. The convex pin boss abutting surface hub in conjunction with the newly configured connection to the piston skirt provides for well-balanced piston crown support which, in turn, better distributes strain concentration over the entire combustion surface. These are particularly low-weight, low-friction components. The pistons owe their weight reduction to alloy KS 309 and the design engineers’ consistent exploitation of this material’s specific advantages. Thus the wall thickness of the piston crown was reduced by up to 30%. The increased size of the ring zone undercuts is made possible by an optimized casting tool design. Friction was lowered by fine-tuning the basic piston structure and optimizing piston profile, which is asymmetrically barrel shaped. On the thrust and anti-thrust sides, differing and variable ovalities have been used along the skirt height. Skirt width has also been reduced. As a result, friction is now down by 28% under full-load conditions and 7% under part load. The pistons meet strict requirements for reduced fuel consumption and emissions, enabling them among other things to meet the latest exhaust emission standards in China. Developed by Rheinmetall subsidiary KS Kolbenschmidt, the components will go into production at KSHP in Shanghai starting in 2022. The order runs until 2028. Made for a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, in the future these pistons will be used in all of the customer’s new four-cylinder series in China. The customer will mount them locally at three of its engine plants according to the “local for local” principle, thus benefiting from the efficiency of a relatively short supply chain. Another important criterion for the award was KS Kolbenschmidt’s extensive global network of locations and the Chinese subsidiary’s close cooperation with Rheinmetall Automotive headquarters in Neckarsulm. On site in Shanghai, KSHP also has a local tech center staffed by more than thirty highly qualified engineers. The center offers direct service to automotive manufacturers and covers all customer requirements, making the company a valued development partner for both local and international OEMs.
Workhorse adds EnerDel as battery supplier for new C-Series electric delivery vehicle
Workhorse Group Inc. announced that EnerDel would be an additional key battery supplier for its next-generation C-Series delivery vehicle. In conjunction with this announcement, Workhorse placed an initial order for 5,200 EnerDel Vigor+ battery packs, which will be used in the production of its growing backlog of C-Series customer orders. Workhorse has secured financing to be able to provide battery leasing packages for the entire EnerDel partnership. EnerDel’s advanced cell technology features a low-profile modular pack design that supports Workhorse’s lightweight C-Series vehicles, enabling fleet customers to customize the pack size for each vehicle based on its duty cycle. Workhorse’s selection of EnerDel as its latest battery supplier of choice complements the company’s existing utility partnership agreement, which seeks to generate second-life uses for its batteries. EnerDel’s proven performance and its production capacity are an important supplement to our in-house battery manufacturing operation as we gear up for growth at scale. As an additional data point, during prototype testing, Workhorse’s fully loaded C-Series vehicles, equipped with EnerDel 70kWh packs, have demonstrated a range in excess of 125 miles on a single charge. With that level of performance, we are eager to begin leveraging the benefits of this powerful technology.—Workhorse COO Dr. Robert Willison EnerDel Inc. is a privately-held supplier of advanced lithium-ion batteries and electric systems solutions (ESS) for heavy-duty transportation, including full battery electric vehicle (BEV) and hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), industrial, and utility applications. The company’s Vigor+ product line is Buy America Compliant and manufactured in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Chinese EV company Xpeng Motors raises US$400M in Series C; Xiaomi strategic investor
China-based Xpeng Motors has closed a US$400-million Series C capital funding from a group of strategic and institutional investors. Xiaomi Corporation, a global leader in the technology and consumer electronics sector, is joining as a strategic investor. Xiaomi Corporation and Xpeng Motors have achieved significant progress through in-depth collaboration in developing technologies connecting smart phones and smart cars. We believe that this strategic investment will further deepen our partnership with Xpeng in advancing innovation for intelligent hardware and the Internet of Things.— Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi Corporation We are a strong believer that smart mobility and autonomous driving are going to transform our daily lives, and we share the same vision with Xiaomi that technology innovation is the key driver in reshaping our future transportation. Xiaomi’s experience and insight in consumer behavior, technology knowhow and market trends can add tremendous value to what Xpeng Motors is set to achieve.—He Xiaopeng, Chairman and CEO of Xpeng Motors, who also participated in the Series C round In addition to the latest equity raising, Xpeng Motors has also successfully diversified its funding sources by securing several billions of RMB-denominated unsecured credit lines from leading Chinese and international banks including China Merchants Bank, China CITIC Bank and HSBC. Xpeng G3 Xpeng Motors achieved numerous milestones this year. The company unveiled its second production model, the P7 sedan in April, rolled out the 10,000th unit of its first production model, the G3 2019 smart SUV, in June, and in July it released the enhanced version, the G3 2020 with a 520 km (323-mile) NEDC driving range. Also in July, the G3 obtained the highest total score of 92.2% among electric vehicles in the latest China New Car Assessment Program (C-NCAP) safety test. Xpeng P7 The company plans to launch the P7 sedan in the spring 2020 and will start delivery in 2Q 2020. The P7 will be the first to implement Internet Finance Authentication Alliance (IFAA) standards-compliant authentication digital car key technology. The P7 will also be the first to implement Alibaba’s In-Car Mini APP platform, leading the entry of the Alibaba-powered platform into the automotive space. The P7 is built on the SEPA - Smart Electric Platform Architecture, with advanced autonomous driving features and fusion-based perception powered by its dual-chip system: NVIDIA DRIVE Xavier and Qualcomm Snapdragon 820A. The In-Car Mini APP will initially focus on driver-centric functions related to location, navigation, traffic status, travel assistant or driver condition monitoring and will gradually expand to a host of other mobility, lifestyle and infotainment functions. Xpeng Motors’ initial backers include its Chairman He Xiaopeng, the founder of UCWeb Inc. and a former Alibaba executive. Xpeng was co-founded in 2014 by Henry Xia and He Tao, former senior executives at Guangzhou Auto with expertise in innovative automotive technology and R&D. It has received funding from prominent Chinese and international investors including Alibaba Group and IDG Capital. The company launched its first production model, the G3 SUV, in December 2018. The company is building its fully-owned intelligent factory in Zhaoqing, Guangdong Province. Xpeng Motors is headquartered in Guangzhou, China.
Wind River partners with Xilinx on secure and safe platform for automated driving applications
Wind River is collaborating with Xilinx on the development of a comprehensive automated driving platform that integrates Xilinx’s Versal adaptive compute acceleration platform (ACAP) and Wind River automotive software. The collaboration will provide carmakers with a flexible, high-performance compute platform for delivering safe and secure connected and automated driving vehicles. Using IP from both companies, the platform will provide a foundation that rapidly enables and scales critical functions for automated driving applications. The new platform will deliver the foundation to enable a software architecture approach needed for autonomous driving applications, and make integration nearly plug and play. The platform also provides customers with a path to certification up to the highest levels of international safety standards, such as ISO 26262 ASIL-D. The autonomous vehicle market must take into consideration a variety of challenges, such as maintaining the highest levels of safety and matching the business needs of automakers. By teaming up with Wind River, we are creating new approaches and offerings that address a myriad of obstacles to help automakers accelerate their path to production using Xilinx adaptive technology.—Willard Tu, senior director of Automotive at Xilinx For autonomy to reach mass scale, the industry must begin to rationalize its investments. Spending millions to build inflexible discrete solutions must give way to platforms that leverage industry standards and can scale over multiple product generations. By joining forces with Xilinx, we can help carmakers not only address complex demands around the need for increased compute, AI, safety, and security but do it in a way that works for their business.—Matt Jones, general manager of Automotive at Wind River The new offering will combine the compute software platform Wind River Helix Virtualization Platform (Helix Platform) and Xilinx Versal ACAP (adaptive compute acceleration platform) devices. Wind River Helix Virtualization Platform architecture Helix Platform brings together the industry-leading commercial real-time operating system (RTOS) VxWorks along with its virtualization technology and embedded Linux into an edge compute software platform. It allows other operating systems to run unmodified within the same framework, providing a software development environment spanning across the Wind River portfolio. Helix Platform also integrates Wind River Simics for system simulation. It meets the stringent safety-certification requirements of the DO-178C, IEC 61508, and ISO 26262 safety standards. Coupled with the Wind River functional safety-oriented AUTOSAR Adaptive software and Wind River Edge Sync over-the-air (OTA) update solution, the combined Wind River and Xilinx solution presents an architectural framework that can abstract applications and algorithms to system services and that developers can deploy with confidence, without worrying about the underlying infrastructure. The result is the ability to rationalize development expenses and align development spending with the functions that yield the greatest consumer value. Carmakers can be confident that the framework enables systems delivering on critical functional safety requirements.
3.0L EcoDiesel available across the 2020 Jeep Wrangler four-door lineup; 1st diesel-powered Wrangler in N America
Jeep will offer a diesel-powered Wrangler for the first time in North America with the introduction of the 2020 Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel. Wrangler four-door models will offer the new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine (earlier post), rated at 260 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque in this application, with engine stop-start (ESS) technology standard. 2020 Jeep Wrangler Sahara EcoDiesel To handle greater torque loads, the EcoDiesel V-6 connects to a newly added TorqueFlite 8HP75 eight-speed automatic transmission, calibrated for low RPM shifts and the on- and off-road rigors of Jeep Wrangler duty. There are more than 40 individual shift maps to optimize shift points for fuel economy, performance and 4x4 capability. All Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel models—Sport, Sahara and Rubicon—feature third-generation Dana 44 front and rear heavy-duty axles. Additionally, all Wrangler EcoDiesel models feature a 3.73 axle ratio. Two transfer cases are offered: the Rock-Trac two-speed transfer case with a 4.0:1 low-range gear ratio on Rubicon models and the Command-Trac part-time two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio on Sport and Sahara models. The third generation of the turbocharged 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine delivers increased torque and horsepower, along with excellent fuel economy and minimal levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). A new 5.1-gallon diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank is located immediately behind the fuel tank with refill location next to the diesel fuel filler. DEF refills align with oil changes lasting up to 10,000 miles. Levels are monitored via a new DEF gauge in the front cluster. The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine is produced at the FCA Cento facility in Ferrara, Italy. The 2020 Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2019. Other 2020 Wrangler powertrain options include a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with engine stop-start (ESS); 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with mild-hybrid e-Torque technology; 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with ESS; and a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with mild-hybrid e-Torque technology. To meet consumer demand around the world, all Jeep models sold outside North America are available in both left- and right-hand drive configurations and with gasoline and diesel powertrain options.
DOE awards $3.6M to High Performance Computing projects in manufacturing, materials and mobility
The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $3.6 million to 12 projects under its High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) initiative. Selected projects will receive access to the National Laboratories’ high-performance computing (HPC) facilities and expertise to help address key challenges in US manufacturing, material, and mobility development. HPC4EI is the umbrella program for DOE’s HPC for Manufacturing, HPC for Materials, and HPC for Mobility initiatives. DOE maintains world-class HPC expertise and facilities, currently hosting seven of the top 12 most powerful computers in the world. From detailed atomic-level simulations to massive cosmological studies, researchers use HPC to probe science and technology questions inaccessible by other experimental methods. Successful applicants will work collaboratively with the DOE National Laboratories to conduct project activities across the various HPC areas of expertise. Selected projects include: HPC for Manufacturing United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) - UTRC will partner with Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) to develop innovative and affordable machine learning enabled high-fidelity flow-physics models to be used in the design cycle of a gas turbine engine project titled “Deep Learning-Augmented Flow Solver to Improve the Design of Gas-Turbine Engines.” General Motors LLC (GM) - GM will partner with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to develop residual stress models for laser-welded dissimilar joints (HSLA/CE steel) for car light-weighting in a project titled “Simulation Tools for Characterizing Stress Distribution in Laser Welded Dissimilar Joints.” United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) - UTRC in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories will aim to develop a first-principles based simulation framework for predicting deposition of dirt, sand, volcanic ash and other particulates on aero-engine components operating in polluted urban environments in a project titled “Fully-Resolved DNS Simulation of Particulate Deposition for Aeroengine Combustor Applications.” Praxair Inc., a member of the Linde group - Praxair, Inc. will partner with ORNL to develop a multi-physics 3D CFD model of an Oxygen Transport Membrane (OTM) reactor module in a project titled “High Performance Computing for Improvement of Syngas Production Efficiency with OTM Technology.” Dow, Inc. - Dow Chemical Company will partner with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to model how flow in plastic impacts polymers at a molecular level in a project titled “Non-equilibrium Molecular Simulations of Polymers under Flow: Saving Energy through Process Optimization.” Saint Gobain Ceramics & Plastics, DBA SEFPRO (Partnering Institution) - Owens Corning & Saint Gobain Ceramics & Plastics., DBA SEFPRO and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) will collaborate to optimize the operating conditions in the glass manufacturing process in a project titled “Spectral Radiative Modeling of Glass Furnaces.” United Technologies Research Center - United Technologies Research Center and Los Alamos National Laboratory will collaborate on developing a multiscale model to predict the mechanical behavior of additively manufactured components, particularly for creep applications in a project titled “Integrated Predictive Tools for Property Prediction in Additive Manufacturing.” HPC for Materials PPG Industries, Inc. | DBA PPG Coatings and Resins R&D (Allison Park, PA) will work with LLNL and PNNL to develop a computational screening algorithm based on experimental data that predicts corrosion inhibition performance of organic molecules. New environmentally-friendly pretreatments are needed to provide corrosion protection to the mix of lightweight metals being incorporated in more fuel-efficient vehicles. Sinter Print Inc. dba Elementum 3D (Erie, CO) will partner with ANL to develop and validate a multi-scale model that enhances the control of nucleant formation and solidification structures for improved aluminum alloy properties. The improved alloys increase energy efficiency for automotive applications and reduce energy requirements for production of complex, high-performance components. LM Industries Group, Inc. (Knoxville, TN) will partner with ORNL to improve predicting layer temperature profiles to reduce print time and waste and optimize large-scale additive manufacturing process and reduce its energy cost. HPC for Mobility City of San José – Department of Transportation (San Jose, CA) will partner with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to develop a quasi-dynamic traffic assignment model that reduces compute times of from days to hours for a metropolitan area. Chicago Transit Authority (Chicago, IL) will partner with ANL to use HPC and modeling to evaluate regional travel behavior and better understand interplay between variables affecting the Chicago Transit Authority’s operations and inform future decisions, such as pricing strategies, fleet electrification, and equitable distribution of transit services to optimize the region’s transportation energy use.
2020 Keeling Curve Prize application period open; transportation and mobility category
The application period has opened for the 2020 Keeling Curve Prize, which awards $25,000 to each of 10 projects designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or increase their uptake. Each year, this prestigious competition attracts entries from around the world. The prize is named after scientist Charles David Keeling’s iconic graph showing a sharp increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere since the 1950s. Earlier this year, the Keeling Curve showed atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide topping 415 ppm. Prizes will be awarded to two projects in each of the following five categories: Capture & Utilization – Activating and accelerating natural or human-made systems for carbon capture, utilization and sequestration; Energy – Decarbonizing energy, supporting zero-carbon energy, or leading the way in the supply, distribution, access, infrastructure, or improvements of low- or zero-emissions energy systems; Finance – Making the economics or financial mechanisms work for heat-trapping gas reduction or reversal ventures; Social & Cultural Pathways – Changing the way people consider, understand, and act on humanity’s impacts affecting the livability of planet Earth; and Transport & Mobility – Reimagining and reinventing all types of vehicles, fuels, and mobility options for both people and products. The 2020 Keeling Curve Prize application period closes on Feb. 10. Finalists will be named in the spring, and winners will be announced in the summer. Keeling Curve Prize finalists and winners are chosen by a panel of climate scientists, public policy experts, and researchers, including Achala Abeysinghe, Ph.D., of the International Institute for Environment and Development; Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel, Ph.D., of the Union of Concerned Scientists; Lucas Joppa, Ph.D., of Microsoft; George Polk of Tulum Trust; and Jonathan Silver of Tax Equity Advisors, LLC. Winners of the 2018 and 2019 Keeling Curve Prize are listed here.
Volkswagen using Continental in-car application server in ID. electric vehicles
The electronics architecture of the modern generation of vehicles is undergoing a profound transformation, moving away from the many individual control units of current cars towards a small number of high-performance functional domain computers. Volkswagen is now putting a server unit developed by Continental into production as an in-car application server (ICAS1) for its upcoming ID. electric vehicles based on the modular electric drive matrix MEB. The ICAS1 supports a range of vehicle connectivity features such as the ability to install new functions and safety updates in the vehicle via a wireless connection. The server is based on Continental’s many years of experience with gateway control units, the functions of which now form part of the more comprehensive ICAS1. The conceptual framework for the server is a high-performance computer platform developed by Continental in cooperation with Elektrobit. Electric vehicles benefit particularly strongly from the digitalization facilitated by the server architecture. This includes functions such as range-optimized route planning and the locating of charging stations. At the same time, the server architecture offers a seamless connection to the digital world of mobile services and data. The ICAS1 covers the previous gateway functions as well as comprehensive functions from the body control domain. It also coordinates over-the-air updates and controls charging management for the battery. —Johann Hiebl, head of the Body & Security and Infotainment & Connectivity business units at Continental Depending on the ID. vehicle model and features, in future, two or three servers will provide the computing power for the entire vehicle. Since the beginning of the development, Continental has designed the ICAS1 for the increased service life requirements in electric vehicles. In addition to much greater computing power compared with classic automotive systems, the ICAS1 features a consistent separation of hardware and software through the basic software developed by Elektrobit on an Adaptive AUTOSAR basis. This allows both Volkswagen applications and third-party software to be integrated and updated. The middleware also supports connectivity via Gigabit Automotive Ethernet, which provides the necessary data throughput for the applications.
Pierburg, Swoboda, BASF and GM develop the first all-plastic fuel vapor pump assembly in series production
Pierburg (Rheinmetall Automotive), Swoboda, BASF and General Motors (GM) have developed the first all-plastic fuel vapor pump assembly in series production. It is currently produced at Pierburg’s facility in Fountain Inn, South Carolina and placed on the 2019 Cadillac XT4. The assembly is mounted on the engine and directly transfers evaporated fuel emissions from the evaporative emission control (EVAP) system into the engine, which maintains the low level of vehicle emissions as well as improving engine efficiency. We worked with GM to get this part ready for the Cadillac XT4. The design is a major achievement for emissions reduction as it enables a leak-proof seal for gasoline vapors.—Stevan Zivanovic, President Pierburg North America This design incorporates some enhancements such as an integrated pressure sensor that provides real-time performance feedback to the vehicle and also includes the addition of a purge pump that enables the OEM to perform more complex leak diagnostic checks on the EVAP system. Overmolding and laser welding eliminate separate seals and fasteners, creating a leak-proof seal. Multiple tooling and process innovations were required to produce the complex assembly. This can be scaled easily to other OEMs, mitigating gasoline vapor emissions from millions of vehicles. This design is a major achievement for emission reduction. The use of BASF’s Ultramid polyamide 6 and 66 grades were crucial to enabling a leak-proof seal for gasoline vapors. This allows the system to function in a corrosive environment.—Peter Woschni, Executive Director Engineering, Swoboda KG Tough injection molded PA 6 and 6/6 provide parts consolidation and hold dimensional tolerances on key parts to 0.002 in./0.05 mm. The application also made it to the finals of the SPE’s Automotive Innovation Awards program, the oldest and largest competition of its kind in the automotive and plastics industries.
The majority of vehicle buyers are older than 54
by Michael Sivak. In this analysis, I compare the age composition of buyers of new light-duty vehicles (cars and light trucks) in 2007 and 2017. The data for 2007 came from IHS Markit and they apply to the buyers during the calendar year, while the data for 2017 were calculated from the information published by Wards Intelligence and they apply to the buyers of the model-year vehicles. (The original source of the latter information was, in part, J.D. Power and Associates.) The results are shown in the table below. The main findings are as follows: Middle-aged persons purchased proportionally fewer vehicles in 2017 than in 2007 (down from 29% to 14% for those 35 to 44, and from 24% to 20% for those 45 to 54). Older persons purchased proportionally more vehicles in 2017 than in 2007 (up from 18% to 25% for those 55 to 64, and from 13% to 27% for those 65 and older). In 2007, a majority of buyers (53%) were age 35 to 54, while in 2017 a majority (52%) were age 55 and older. Michael Sivak is the managing director of Sivak Applied Research and the former director of Sustainable Worldwide Transportation at the University of Michigan.
Lifecycle CO2 balance of Mercedes-Benz EQC as low as 17.1t CO2 with hydropower
The lifecycle CO2 balance of the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400 4MATIC is as low as 17.1 tonnes of CO2 when the electricity is produced by hydropower; 16.4 tonnes of that is from the production of the vehicle itself. On the average EU electricity mix, the lifecycle CO2 balance almost doubles to 32.4 tonnes CO2, based on the 360˚ environmental check by Mercedes; the results were verified by TÜV Süd. The calculations for the EQC are based on a driving distance of 200,000 kilometers (124,000 miles). EVs have a higher production phase CO2 burden than conventional vehicles. During subsequent operation, and depending on their power source, electric vehicles can compensate the initially higher CO2 emissions that occur during production, due to the production of the battery cells. If one is able to operate electric vehicles only with renewable energy sources, the CO2 emissions compared to those of vehicles with combustion engines shrink by up to 70% over the lifecycle. The 360° environmental check is not just about CO2 emissions and energy requirements. In order to gauge a vehicle’s environmental compatibility, the experts consider all emissions and the use and consumption of resources over the entire lifecycle. In production, the drive components specific to the EQC also require a greater use of material and energy resources compared to a conventionally powered vehicle. The proportion of steel and iron is reduced by the omission of a combustion engine and transmission plus their peripheral units. On the other hand, the proportion of polymers, light alloys and other metals is increased. The curb weight of the EQC 400 4MATIC is 2420 kilograms (5,335 lbs). The largest proportion omitted is 39% for steel and iron, followed by light-alloys (23%) and polymers, i.e. plastics (18 percent). For this reason, one developmental focus is on further reducing the use of resources and the environmental impacts of the materials used. Compared to current electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, Mercedes-Benz intends to reduce the use of primary resources in the powertrain and battery technology by 40% by 2030. To this end, the use of resource-saving materials such as recycled plastics and renewable raw materials in the vehicles is constantly being extended. As just one example, the high-quality “Response” upholstery fabric that has been newly developed for the EQC is made completely from recycled PET plastic bottles. Recycled plastic materials are likewise used in typical applications such as for the lining of the spare wheel recess or the covers for the underside of the engine compartment. Renewable raw materials such as hemp, kenaf, wool and paper are also used. Kenaf fibres are for example used for the lining of the load compartment, while a paper honeycomb is used within the load compartment floor. In the new EQC a total of 100 components plus small parts such as push studs, plastic nuts and cable fasteners with a total weight of 55.7 kilograms can be produced partially from resource-friendly materials. The EQC has a compact electric drivetrain at each axle, giving the vehicle the driving characteristics of an all-wheel drive. The asynchronous motors have a combined maximum output of 300 kW. The centerpiece of the Mercedes-Benz EQC is the lithium-ion battery arranged in the vehicle floor. With an energy content of 80 kWh (NEDC), it employs a sophisticated operating strategy to supply the vehicle with power, enabling an electric range of 445 - 471 km (NEDC).