Green Car Congress - 記事一覧
Boeing and Kitty Hawk form strategic partnership on electric urban air mobility
Boeing and start-up Kitty Hawk Corporation have entered a strategic partnership to collaborate on future efforts to advance safe urban air mobility. The strategic partnership will bring together the innovation of Kitty Hawk’s Cora air taxi division with Boeing’s scale and aerospace expertise. Cora is an electric, autonomous fully fledged air taxi that takes off like a helicopter and flies like a plane. Working with a company like Kitty Hawk brings us closer to our goal of safely advancing the future of mobility. We have a shared vision of how people, goods and ideas will be transported in the future, as well as the safety and regulatory ecosystem that will underpin that transportation.—Steve Nordlund, vice president and general manager of Boeing NeXt Kitty Hawk Corp., headquartered in Mountain View, California, builds electric transportation solutions to free people from traffic and decrease carbon footprint. The company gets its name from the beaches of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina where the Wright Brothers took flight for the first time in 1903. The company’s portfolio of vehicles includes Cora, a two-person air taxi and Flyer, a vehicle for personalized flight. Sebastian Thrun, Kitty Hawk’s CEO, was the founder of X (previously Google X), where he led the development of the self-driving car, Google Glass, and other projects. He spent several years as a professor at Stanford University where he led the Stanford Racing Team, whose “Stanley” won the DARPA Grand Challenge. The agreement with Kitty Hawk Corp. is part of Boeing’s long-term strategy of entering into value-added partnerships that enhance and accelerate growth and deliver key differentiators for customers.
France’s first refueling station for hydrogen buses opens
The Artois-Gohelle transport authority (SMT-AG) has inaugurated France’s first refueling station for hydrogen buses. The entire clean hydrogen production, storage and distribution chain is equipped with McPhy technologies. The SMT-AG has attributed to ENGIE, via its subsidiary GNVERT, the design, supply, installation and maintenance of the Houdain-Divion hydrogen gas distribution station. It will enable the refueling of six hydrogen buses that will be deployed on the new BHNS (High Level Service Bus) bus line connecting Bruay-La-Buissière and Auchel. The project is equipped with McLyzer and McFilling technologies. Clean hydrogen will be produced on site by electrolysis, from renewable electricity of certified French origin, before being distributed by the station. Fifteen minutes of refueling will give the buses more than 300 km of autonomy. We are proud to contribute, with our technologies and products, in this innovation in France that has enabled us to set up, in the Hauts-de-France region of northern France, the first McPhy station for hydrogen buses. With its state-of-the-art research and innovation and first-rate industrial infrastructure, McPhy provides its expertise in producing and distributing hydrogen. Our McLyzer electrolyzer will produce on site and from renewable electricity of certified French origin supplied by ENGIE, the clean hydrogen for a high-capacity McFilling hydrogen refueling station with a high service rate. The public transport sector is in the midst of a revolution. By opting for hydrogen mobility, the SMT-AG is combining passenger comfort and service continuity while helping reduce atmospheric pollution and improve public health. We would like to thank the SMT-AG and our client, ENGIE, via its subsidiary GNVERT, for their trust.—Pascal Mauberger, Chairman and CEO of McPhy In its current configuration, the McPhy station can produce and deliver more than 200 kg of clean hydrogen a day. Its capacity can be increased by 30% without changing the facility’s total surface area, if required by the SMT-AG’s future needs.
AKASOL entering N. American market with new battery production facility for commercial vehicles
Germany-based AKASOL, a manufacturer of high-performance lithium-ion battery systems for commercial vehicles, plans to open a production facility in the metro Detroit area of Michigan. Opening dedicated operations in North America comes in response to specific demand for the firm’s high energy battery modules from major international manufacturers and will allow AKASOL to pursue ambitious growth plans for the region. The State of Michigan has given its full backing to AKASOL’s plans, awarding the firm a Michigan Business Development Program grant towards the construction of the production facility. The new facility will generate considerable investment and create more than 200 jobs in the next five years. The location of the site will also ensure that AKASOL’s customers comply with Buy America Act regulations, which dictate that they must purchase locally produced battery systems. With almost 30 years of experience in battery systems technology, AKASOL develops and manufactures high-performance lithium-ion battery systems for buses, commercial vehicles, trains, industrial vehicles and the marine sector. The German firm made its successful initial public offering on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in June 2018, employs 180 people across its two sites in Darmstadt and Lange and is due to start construction of its new, significantly expanded headquarters in Darmstadt in July 2019. AKASOL’s new Michigan production facility will have a similar capacity to the firm’s current series production site in Lange, Germany. Two-thirds of its initial capacity will cater to new customers, with the remaining third dedicated to AKASOL’s existing customers. Initial production, which is due to begin in 2020, will focus on the second-generation AKASystem OEM PRC battery system (currently in 25 kWh and 33 kWh configurations), with high energy density battery systems following soon after. By 2021, AKASOL expects production to have increased to 400 MWh in a three-shift operation. AKASystem OEM PRC battery system
Government of Canada investing $275M in $40B Kitimat LNG complex
The Government of Canada is investing $275 million to support LNG Canada’s major liquefied natural gas (LNG) complex in Kitimat, British Columbia. This $40-billion project represents the largest single private sector investment in the history of the country. The federal investment will include $220 million to help fund highly energy-efficient gas turbines for LNG Canada, minimizing both greenhouse gas emissions and fuel use. The additional $55 million will be for the replacement of the Haisla Bridge in the District of Kitimat to support and service existing and increased traffic in the region. The LNG project includes a liquefaction facility, a 670 km pipeline from Dawson Creek and a marine terminal. LNG Canada received required regulatory approvals in 2015 and is the first Canadian LNG project to reach a final investment decision. Construction activities began in October 2018, with a target in-service date of the middle of the next decade. At full capacity, the terminal will convert and export as much as 26 million tons of LNG per year, primarily to Asia. This represents roughly 20% of overall gas production in Canada. The $220-million investment is being made through the Strategic Innovation Fund. The Strategic Innovation Fund is designed to attract and support high-quality business investments in Canada’s most dynamic and innovative sectors. The $55-million investment for the replacement of the Haisla Bridge is being made through Western Economic Diversification Canada.
Canada and California to work together on cleaner transportation
Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, and the Chair of the California Air Resources Board, Mary Nichols, today signed a new cooperation agreement to advance cleaner vehicles and fuels. The transportation sector is the source of nearly a quarter of Canada’s carbon emissions and more than 40% of California’s. The Memorandum of Understanding commits both governments to work together on developing their respective regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions from light-duty vehicles, such as those currently in effect in Canada, California and the 13 US states that have adopted California’s standards. Canada is currently completing a mid-term review of its light duty vehicle regulations. California conducted a similar review in 2016 for vehicle standards through the 2025 model year and found the standards achievable, cost-effective and appropriate. The partnership will see Canada and California work together to accelerate the adoption of zero-tailpipe-emission vehicles such as electric cars. This could include sharing lessons learned by both jurisdictions about requirements, incentives, and dealer inducements to boost sales, along with sharing approaches to developing charging infrastructure. The two jurisdictions will also share technical information and best practices in regulating cleaner fuels, as California does today though its Low-Carbon Fuel Standard. Canada is developing a Clean Fuel Standard that will cut emissions by 30 million tonnes in 2030. The cooperation will take a variety of forms, including establishing a working group that meets annually, sharing policy information and program design, providing capacity building and technical support, exchanges of personnel, cooperative research and development, and joint organization of symposia and trainings. The two regulatory agencies will also work together on emissions testing and enforcement of vehicle regulations. In the 2019 budget, the Government of Canada announced rebates of up to $5,000 for consumers on the purchase of zero-emission vehicles. Businesses that buy zero-emission vehicles are also now eligible for a tax benefit estimated to be worth around $13,000 in the year they purchase the vehicles. California has allocated $238 million in its 2019 budget for incentives to purchase electric and fuel cell vehicles, with a focus on low-income consumers and in disadvantaged communities. To date, California has invested $820 million in incentives for zero-emission and plug-in vehicles. Today in California, one in ten new car sales is a plug-in car; and half of all plug-in cars sold in the United States to date—almost 600,000—are in California. Canada aims to have 100% of vehicles sold in this country be zero-emission by 2040. California requires automakers to ensure that a growing fraction of their sales are zero-emission vehicles and aims to have five million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2030. The 13 states working with California on regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Combined, these states and California constitute more than 40% of the US passenger vehicle market.
Hyundai Motor and Saudi Aramco to collaborate on hydrogen, advanced non-metallic materials and future technologies
Hyundai Motor Company signeda memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco). The MOU provides a framework to accelerate expansion of a hydrogen ecosystem in the Korean and Saudi Arabian markets, and to explore the use of advanced non-metallic materials in various fields including the automotive industry. In addition to collaborating on hydrogen supply and the deployment of hydrogen refueling stations in Korea, Hyundai Motor and Saudi Aramco will grow awareness of Hyundai’s hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The companies will also team-up to expand the adoption of non-metallic materials across a wide range of applications, including the use of carbon fiber and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic. Additionally, the companies will cooperate on the development of future automotive technologies. According to the International Energy Agency’s recently released report during the G20 Energy and Environment Ministerial meeting in Japan, hydrogen is currently enjoying unprecedented political and business momentum, with the number of policies and projects around the world expanding rapidly. (Earlier post.) The report concludes that now is the time to scale up technologies and bring down costs to allow hydrogen to become widely used. At an exclusive investor event held on the day ahead of the G20 Ministerial meeting, Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of Hyundai Motor Company, shared the company’s belief that a ‘hydrogen-powered society’ is the most viable solution to a successful energy transition. In turn, the company has made important steps toward a hydrogen society lead by its commitment to sustainable transportation, as part of its FCEV Vision 2030. The vision aims to create a worldwide hydrogen society that leverages hydrogen technologies beyond the transportation sector.
Saudi Aramco signs 12 agreements with South Korean partners worth billions of dollars
Saudi Aramco and its affiliates signed 12 agreements with major South Korean companies to reinforce relationships with South Korea, expand international operations, and support the region’s energy security with the expansion of Arabian crude oil supply to Asian markets. Among these agreements is a partnership with Hyundai Motor on hydrogen. (Earlier post.) Only a few decades ago, Korean companies played a vital role in Saudi Aramco’s upstream offshore growth development. Since then, they have moved into other sectors matching Saudi Aramco’s diversification strategy. Today’s agreements mark a new era of cooperation with our Korean partners who will play an increasingly important role in our strategy to capitalize on new initiatives that include long-term energy supply, maritime and infrastructure development, and breakthrough research and development in the automotive, crude to chemicals, and non-metallic sectors.—Saudi Aramco President and CEO, Amin H. Nasser The agreements, part of Saudi Aramco’s long-term downstream growth and diversification strategy, were signed with the following South Korean companies: Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) An agreement between Saudi Aramco, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), and The Saudi Arabian Industrial Investments Company (Dussur). The agreement will establish a joint venture (JV) for a world class engine manufacturing and aftersales facility in Saudi Arabia. Under the partnership, Saudi Aramco will own 55% of the JV, while HHI and Dussur will own 30% and 15% respectively. An MoU between Saudi Aramco and HHI that extends the existing collaboration to develop ship building, engine manufacturing, refining, and petrochemicals. An agreement between Saudi Aramco and HHI to increase HHI’s equity share in the International Maritime Industries (IMI) from 10% to 20%. An MoU between HHI, Bahri, and IMI (Joint Venture between Saudi Aramco, HHI, Lamprell, Bahri), covering ship building, and transportation as potential areas of cooperation. An MoU between HHI and IMI to explore business opportunities in the shipbuilding business. Hyundai Oilbank A crude oil sales agreement between Saudi Aramco and Hyundai Oilbank for Saudi Aramco to supply Arabian crude oil to Hyundai Oilbank. Aramco Trading Company signed a crude oil agreement to supply non-Arabian crude oil to Hyundai Oilbank. The Hyundai Motor Group An MoU between Saudi Aramco and Hyundai Motor Company will create a strategic collaboration to accelerate the expansion of the hydrogen ecosystem in the Saudi Arabian and South Korean markets, and to explore the use of advanced non-metallic materials in various fields including the automotive industry. Korea National Oil Corporation An MoU between Saudi Aramco and Korea National Oil Corporation that will allow Saudi Aramco to explore the potential of crude oil storage in South Korea to complement its marketing and supply activities. Hyosung An MoU with Hyosung Group to build a carbon fiber manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia. This MoU will also provide a collaboration platform for the two companies on research and development, and deployment of carbon fiber technology. GS Holdings An MoU between Saudi Aramco and GS Holdings is aimed at identifying specific investment opportunities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Daelim Industrial Saudi Aramco and Daelim Industrial are collaborating on petrochemical projects and signed a new MoU to foster collaboration on value-added chemical products in the Kingdom.
First snapshots of CO2 molecules trapped in MOFs shed new light on carbon capture
Scientists from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have taken the first images of carbon dioxide molecules within a molecular cage—part of a metal-organic framework (MOF), with great potential for separating and storing gases and liquids. Cryo-EM (cryogenic electron microscopy) images show a slice through a single MOF particle in atomic detail (left), revealing cage-like molecules (center) that can trap other molecules inside. The image at right shows carbon dioxide molecules trapped in one of the cages—the first time this has ever been observed. Bottom right, a drawing of the molecular structure of the cage and the trapped CO2. (Li et al.) The images, made at the Stanford-SLAC Cryo-EM Facilities, show two configurations of the CO2 molecule in its cage, in what scientists call a guest-host relationship; reveal that the cage expands slightly as the CO2 enters; and zoom in on jagged edges where MOF particles may grow by adding more cages. The new cryo-EM images also reveal step-like features at the edges of MOF particles (upper right) where scientists think new cages may form as the particle grows (bottom right). (Li et al.) The research team, led by SLAC/Stanford professors Yi Cui and Wah Chiu, described the study in the journal Matter. This is a groundbreaking achievement that is sure to bring unprecedented insights into how these highly porous structures carry out their exceptional functions, and it demonstrates the power of cryo-EM for solving a particularly difficult problem in MOF chemistry.—Omar Yaghi, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley and a pioneer in this area of chemistry, who was not involved in the study MOFs have the largest surface areas of any known material. A single gram can have a surface area nearly the size of two football fields, offering plenty of space for guest molecules to enter millions of host cages. Despite their enormous commercial potential and two decades of intense, accelerating research, MOFs are just now starting to reach the market. Scientists across the globe engineer more than 6,000 new types of MOF particles per year, looking for the right combinations of structure and chemistry for particular tasks, such as increasing the storage capacity of gas tanks or capturing and burying CO2 from smokestacks to combat climate change. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, limiting global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius will require some form of carbon capture technology. These materials have the potential to capture large quantities of CO2, and understanding where the CO2 is bound inside these porous frameworks is really important in designing materials that do that more cheaply and efficiently.—Yuzhang Li, Stanford postdoc and lead author One of the most powerful methods for observing materials is transmission electron microscopy, or TEM, which can make images in atom-by-atom detail. But many MOFs, and the bonds that hold guest molecules inside them, melt into blobs when exposed to the intense electron beams needed for this type of imaging. Cryo-EM is a version of electron microscopy, which was invented in the 1930s. In the mid-1970s, scientists came up with the idea of freezing samples to preserve the natural structure of biological specimens and reduce damage from the electron beam, and cryo-EM was born. The technology slowly evolved, and then a few years ago took a giant leap, thanks to significant advances in detectors and software. In 2017 three scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their roles in developing cryo-EM. A few years ago, Cui and Li adopted the method and used an advanced TEM instrument at the Stanford Nano Shared Facilities to examine flash-frozen samples containing lithium dendrites in atomic detail for the first time. For this latest study, Cui and Li used instruments at the Stanford-SLAC Cryo-EM Facilities, which have much more sensitive detectors that can pick up signals from individual electrons passing through a sample. This allowed the scientists to make images in atomic detail while minimizing the electron beam exposure. The MOF they studied is called ZIF-8. It came in particles just 100 billionths of a meter in diameter. It has high commercial potential because it’s very cheap and easy to synthesize. It’s already being used to capture and store toxic gases.—Stanford postdoc Kecheng Wang Cryo-EM not only let the team make super-sharp images with minimal damage to the particles, but it also kept the CO2 gas from escaping while its picture was being taken. By imaging the sample from two angles, the investigators were able to confirm the positions of two of the four sites where CO2 is thought to be weakly held in place inside its cage. Major funding for this study came from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Energy.
Updated Audi Q7 SUV has 48V MHEV as standard, new PHEV option
Audi’s updated Q7 SUV will have the company’s 48V mild-hybrid system (MHEV) as standard. In customer operation, this technology can reduce consumption by up to 0.7 liters per 100 kilometers. Its central component, the belt alternator starter (BAS), powers a 48-volt main electrical system in which a compact lithium-ion battery stores the energy. During braking, the BAS can recover up to 8 kW of power and feed it back into the battery. If the driver takes their foot off the accelerator at speeds between 55 and 160 km/h (34.2 and 99.4 mph), the Audi Q7 recuperates energy, rolls in idle or coasts for up to 40 seconds with the engine switched off. The BAS restarts the engine the next time the accelerator is depressed, and does so faster and more gently than a conventional starter. The start‑stop range begins at 22 km/h (13.7 mph). A choice of two diesel engines will be available at market launch. Shortly after the market introduction in September, a gasoline unit, followed also by a plug-in hybrid model, will join the lineup. All of the engines in the Audi Q7 are coupled to an eight-speed tiptronic and permanent all‑wheel drive. Audi connect and assist systems. The MMI navigation plus features LTE Advanced, a Wi-Fi hotspot, natural voice control and the extensive Audi connect portfolio. The latter ranges from traffic information online, navigation with Google Earth, to the hybrid radio. The cloud-based Amazon voice service Alexa, which is integrated into the MMI operating system, is also new. The same applies to the Car-to-X service traffic light information, which is being rolled out in stages in selected European cities. Interconnection with the city’s infrastructure allows the vehicle to receive information from the central traffic light computer via a server, enabling the driver to select a speed to match the next green-light phase. The all-digital Audi virtual cockpit—and the optional head-up display—provide an individual speed recommendation as well as the remaining time until the next green-light phase if the driver is already waiting at a red light. The system thus contributes to a predictive and efficient driving style and facilitates a steady flow of traffic. The adaptive cruise assist, which combines the functions of adaptive speed assist, traffic jam assist and active lane assist, reduces the driver’s workload—particularly on long journeys. In combination with efficiency assist it brakes and accelerates the Audi Q7 in anticipation of the conditions ahead. The emergency assist is also new: If the driver is inactive, the system brings the car to a stop and initiates protective and rescue measures. This function is active in assisted and manual modes.
Voltaiq survey on battery industry finds analytical challenges and resource constraints as major obstacles to product development
Voltaiq, a developer of advanced battery analytics solutions, has released, in partnership with Total Battery Consulting, an industry survey examining many of the challenges and opportunities battery manufacturers, suppliers and integrators currently face. The global battery industry is facing unprecedented growth and change. Over the next decade, as we continue the shift to an electric economy, we will see an increase in demand and production for lithium-ion battery technologies. Performance, capability, and reliability of batteries are paramount to industry growth, but there are significant challenges standing in the way. This survey sheds light on some of these challenges, and we hope it will kickstart a conversation on how to best address them to ensure the industry remains on a path to keep up with demand.—Tal Sholklapper, CEO of Voltaiq Conducted in Q1 2019, the survey polled professionals from a broad spectrum of industry segments, including battery cell producers, battery pack and component developers, academic and national labs, and companies involved in transportation, consumer electronics, and energy storage. While more than half of the respondents were located in North America, other regions, including Europe and Japan, were also represented. Nearly 35% of respondents said that time to market was their biggest concern about their latest battery project. (Battery reliability was number two at 19%.) This survey sheds light on what might be hindering time to market. When asked to note the biggest bottlenecks in their workflow, respondents’ answers fell into three main themes: Scarcity of expertise and resources. Nearly 40% of respondents cited a shortage of battery engineers as a constraint in their development work. An even greater proportion—more than 44% of respondents—noted that there were insufficient resources for the number of battery projects underway. Time-consuming evaluations. More than a quarter of respondents—nearly 27%—listed the amount of time required to estimate battery life as a key bottleneck. Nearly the same number—just over 25%—said there were too many battery vendors to evaluate, while more than 20% said there were too many battery materials to evaluate. Data challenges. Survey participants also highlighted their difficulties working with battery data. More than 22% cited the challenge presented by data silos: information they needed was available but not readily available to their team. Another 17% noted problems with data quality: often the required data was messy, inconsistent, or hard to use. Looking at data issues specifically, the survey found several key trouble spots: Data management is a time sink. Nearly a third of respondents spend 1 to 5 hours per week looking for and preparing data before it analyzed. And engineers and scientists are not the only ones devoting sizeable chunks of their time to data. The survey revealed that two thirds of managers and directors are working directly with battery data—with a full third devoting more than six hours a week to that work. Data volume is expected to grow. Most respondents—approximately 68%—expect the volume of battery data to at least double in the next five years. Indeed, more than a third believe it will grow by 5x or more in that time period (with nearly 5% expecting it to increase more than 100 times over). The challenges of extracting insights and leveraging them to spark fast-paced but astute decision-making are only going to increase. Not only will data volumes grow, but so too will the complexity of the requisite analytics. For those who responded that they work with battery data, more than 40% of respondents anticipate a doubling or more of analytical effort over the next five years. Nearly 24% expect at least a 5x increase.
Volvo Trucks to introduce next iteration of Volvo Active Driver Assist in VNR, VNL & VNX models
Volvo Active Driver Assist (VADA) 2.0, a comprehensive collision mitigation system, will be made standard in the new Volvo VNR and VNL models, and available on VNX models, later this year. The system enhances the original VADA platform by integrating radar and camera capabilities to help drivers maintain a safe following distance through alerts and improved traffic awareness, as well as emergency braking to reduce the risk of collisions. The Volvo Active Driver Assist technology we first introduced with Bendix Wingman Fusion in 2017 was a groundbreaking achievement for increased efficiency and safety through automation. Continuing that partnership, we have improved the capabilities of this collision mitigation technology across the board and are confident that VADA 2.0 will further enhance safety for all motorists.—Johan Agebrand, product marketing director, Volvo Trucks North America VADA is a comprehensive collision mitigation system launched by Volvo Trucks North America in 2017 which uses camera and radar sensors to detect motorized vehicles within the vehicle’s proximity. The technology enables a series of features to activate driver alerts and foundation braking according to information detected by these advanced sensors. Available in Q3 2019, with improvements scheduled to roll out through late 2020, VADA 2.0 offers enhancements to many features including: Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) uses camera and radar sensors to determine how traffic is behaving around the truck. When a vehicle is detected, audible and visual warnings alert the driver to take action. If the driver does not respond, AEB engages to mitigate potential collisions. VADA 2.0 expands the capability of AEB beyond the current VADA, allowing it to operate across multiple lanes of traffic. Lane Departure Warning (LDW) alerts the driver when an unintentional lane departure occurs. VADA 2.0 allows for adjustable volume and audio mute override options and enables drivers to turn off the system momentarily (10 minutes) for select functions. Highway Departure Warning and Braking (HDB) automatically activates if the driver does not take corrective action after a Lane Departure Warning and the system detects that the vehicle may leave the drivable roadway, slowing the vehicle by a pre-defined mph. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Cruise Auto Resume enables the truck to revert back to cruising speed with Cruise Auto Resume (also known as “Slow & Go”) at speeds above 10 mph, an improved feature in VADA 2.0. Driver Awareness Support offers an in-cab windshield-mounted camera with data capture support to enhance driver coaching and data availability. Future updates to VADA 2.0 will include Adaptive Cruise Control with Traffic Stop & Driver Go, Lane Change Support with audible alert adjustment, and standalone data capture options without the need for Lane Departure Warning.
Hyundai dealers that subscribe to CDK Hailer service to offer Lyft rides for service customers
In the next several months, Hyundai dealers in the US that subscribe to CDK Global’s Hailer service can offer Hyundai owners easy access to Lyft rides while their vehicles are being serviced. The Lyft rides can either be offered free of charge or at a cost that can be automatically added to the customer’s service bill for seamless payment at each individual dealership’s discretion. These Lyft rides help address significant customer hurdles around transportation while a vehicle is being serviced or inspected, minimizing time spent waiting at the dealership. Previously, service customers could take the dealer-offered shuttle or loaner vehicle, wait for their car to be serviced or find their own transportation to and from the dealership. Hailer has the opportunity to increase customer satisfaction through a decline in wait times, which reflects an industry shift that has the potential to improve customer experience and business efficiency. As an example, a Hyundai customer calls their service advisor to schedule an appointment at a participating dealership. At the dealership, the service advisor offers a Lyft ride after writing up the work order. The Lyft ride arrives a few minutes later to take the customer to work, and when the work is complete, the service advisor arranges another Lyft ride back to the dealership. The customer gets a text message through Hailer when the Lyft ride is in route, and the rides are automatically added to the customer’s service bill by the dealership. The process is simple for customers and does not require that they have the Lyft app on their smartphone to order rides. The integration is also easy for participating Hyundai dealers because it allows them to automate billing, set ride spending limits and approve service. The improved Hailer experience simplifies a dealership’s service to customers and ultimately reduces the number of customers waiting in service lounges.
BMW Group accelerating e-mobility expansion: 25 electrified models by 2023
The BMW Group is accelerating its electromobility expansion program, with the 25 electrified models to be introduced by 2023, two years earlier than the initial 2025 target. With flexible vehicle architectures for fully-electric, plug-in hybrid and combustion engine drive trains, the company is able to respond quickly to changing conditions. More than half of the 25 models will be fully electric. We expect to see a steep growth curve towards 2025: Sales of our electrified vehicles should increase by an average of 30 percent every year.—Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG By the end of 2019, the company aims to have more than half a million vehicles with fully-electric or plug-in hybrid drive trains on the roads. Within two years, the company will offer five fully-electric series-production vehicles.Alongside the BMW i3, with more than 150,000 units built to date, this year will see the start of production of the fully-electric MINI at Plant Oxford (UK). This will be followed in 2020 by the fully-electric BMW iX3 from Shenyang (China) and, in 2021, by the BMW iNEXT, which will be produced in Dingolfing (Germany), and the BMW i4 from Plant Munich (Germany). Updated, extended electric-range plug-in-hybrid versions of the BMW 3 Series, BMW 7 Series and BMW X5 were presented alongside the new BMW X3 plug-in hybrid at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. A few weeks later, the updated plug-in hybrid variant of the BMW X1 Long Wheelbase Version, which is produced locally for the Chinese market, was shown at the Shanghai Auto Show. Later this summer, plug-in hybrid versions of the BMW 5 Series and BMW 2 Series Active Tourer with next-generation technology and longer electric range will also be released. These will be followed next year by the BMW X1 and the BMW 3 Series Touring as plug-in hybrid models. This diversity of electrified drive concepts underlines the importance of technology openness on the road to sustainable mobility. The BMW Group has always promoted emission-free mobility and advocated for its effective support. However, the demands of future mobility will be multifaceted. There will not be just one single solution that meets the mobility needs of all customers around the world. People living in rural areas, for instance, need different technological solutions for mobility than those in cities. BMW eDrive Zones standard in plug-in hybrids from 2020. The effective role plug-in hybrids can play in achieving emission-free mobility in cities is demonstrated by the BMW eDrive Zones function, which will be standard in BMW plug-in hybrids from 2020: In cities that establish “green zones” solely for emission-free driving, geofencing technology will be able to recognize these automatically. When the vehicle enters one of these zones, it will automatically switch to pure electric driving mode. In this way, BMW is paving the way for plug-in hybrids to receive the same access rights to green zones as fully-electric vehicles, since they behave the same in these areas. This new type of operating strategy boosts the potential of plug-in hybrid vehicles to reduce emissions, BMW says. After the idea was born, the first real-life test for the BMW eDrive Zones function is the BMW Group’s “Electric City Drive” pilot project, in conjunction with the City of Rotterdam and the local Erasmus University.
EEA: average CO2 emissions from new cars and new vans in Europe increased in 2018
According to provisional data published by the European Environment Agency (EEA), the average CO2 emissions from new passenger cars registered in the European Union (EU) in 2018 increased for the second consecutive year, reaching 120.4 grams of CO2 per kilometer. For the first time, the average CO2 emissions from new vans also increased. Manufacturers will have to reduce emissions of their fleet significantly to meet the upcoming 2020 and 2021 targets. After a steady decline from 2010 to 2016, by almost 22 grams of CO2 per kilometer (g CO2/km), average emissions from new passenger cars increased in 2017 by 0.4 g CO2/km. According the provisional data, the upward trend continued with an additional increase of 2.0 g CO2/km in 2018. Vans registered in the EU and Iceland in 2018 emitted on average 158.1 g CO2/km—2.0 grams more than in 2017. This is the first increase in average CO2 emissions from new vans since the regulation came into force in 2011, following a sharp decrease in 2017. The main factors contributing to the increase of new passenger cars’ emissions in 2018 include the growing share of gasoline cars in new registrations, in particular in the sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment. Moreover, the market penetration of zero- and low-emission vehicles, including electric cars, remained slow in 2018. With the 2021 target of 95 g CO2/km approaching, much faster deployment of cars with low emissions is needed across Europe, according to EEA. Many factors affected the increase in CO2 emissions from new vans in 2018, including an increase in the mass, engine capacity and size of the vehicles. The market share of gasoline vehicles also increased, constituting 3.6% of the new vans fleet (2.4% in 2017). The share of zero- and low-emission vans remained at the same level (1.7%) as in 2017. Further efficiency improvements are needed to reach the EU target of 147 g CO2/km set for 2020, EEA said. Other key findings include: Gasoline cars were the most sold passenger vehicles in the EU and in Iceland, constituting almost 60% of all new registrations. Diesel vehicles constituted 36% of the new registrations, marking a drop of 9 percentage points from 2017, and 19 percentage points from 2011 when diesel cars peaked with a 55% share of new registrations. On average, the CO2 emissions of diesel cars (121.5 g CO2/km) are now very close to those of gasoline cars (123.4 g CO2/km). The difference of 1.9 g CO2/km was the lowest observed in the past 5 years. Around 4.5 million new cars sold in the EU and in Iceland in 2018—almost one out of three—were SUVs. Compared to cars in similar segment, SUVs are typically heavier and have more powerful engines and larger frontal areas—all features that increase fuel consumption. The majority of new SUVs sold were powered by gasoline, with average emissions of 133 g CO2/km, which is around 13 g CO2/km higher than the average emissions of other new gasoline cars. Sales of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and battery-electric vehicles (BEV) continued to increase. With around 150,000 registrations, sales of BEVs increased by 50% compared to 2017. However, the combined share of PHEVs and BEVs in all car sales remains low (2% compared to 1.5% in 2017). The combined shares of PHEV and BEV sales were highest in Iceland (15%), Sweden (8.4%) and the Netherlands (6.8%). Together with Estonia, Finland and Malta, these were the only countries where the average emissions of new cars decreased from 2017 to 2018. In 2018, 1.66 million new vans were registered in the EU and in Iceland, which is an increase of 3.5% compared with 2017. Higher sales in Poland (+46%), Croatia (+28%) and Hungary (+21%) were accompanied by lower sales in Italy (-6%) and Spain (-5%). Diesel vehicles continue to make up the vast majority of the new van fleet, constituting 94.7% of sales in 2018. However, the market share of gasoline vans has been increasing since 2016. Two out of three new vans (70%) registered in the EU and in Iceland were sold in just five Member States: the United Kingdom (20%), France (19%), Germany (15%), Italy (9%) and Spain (7%). The average fuel-efficiency of new vans varied widely across Member States due to the different models and sizes of vehicles sold in each country. As in recent years, average emissions were lowest in Portugal (133.7 g CO2/km), followed by Bulgaria (134.4 g CO2/km) and Cyprus (135.1 g CO2/km). Average emissions were highest in Germany (173.4 g CO2/km), the Czech Republic (170.0 g CO2/km) and Slovakia (169.7 g CO2/km). The average weight of new vans registered in 2018 was 1839 kg, which is a slight increase of 1%, if compared with 2017. It also varied across countries: smaller vehicles were sold in Bulgaria and Cyprus (< 1 590 kg); larger vehicles (>1 955 kg) in Slovakia, Finland and Czech Republic. In addition to the increase in the average mass of registered vans, a larger average engine capacity (+1%) and a larger average vehicle size (+1.4% in the average distance between front and rear wheels) also contributed to the increase in average CO2 emissions from new vans in 2018 compared to 2017. The emissions of new vehicles are systematically tested using type approval procedures. Since 2017, the new Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) has been put in place, with the objective to gradually replace the outdated New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). The WLTP allows to obtain more realistic information on vehicle emissions in the type approval tests. In 2018, Member States reported both NEDC and WLTP emission factors for around 4.4 million cars (around 30% of new registrations). For those vehicles, the WLTP emission factor was on average 20% higher than the NEDC emission factor.
Volkswagen Group continues to push with CNG
In parallel with the advancing electrification of its fleet, Volkswagen Group and its brands continue to rely on CNG (compressed natural gas) as an alternative drive technology for decarbonizing road transport; Volkswagen Group[ has revised and expanded its product range again with this in mind. Volkswagen Group currently offers the widest selection of CNG vehicles of any manufacturer, by a substantial margin. At the annual general meeting in mid-May 2019, Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, announced that CNG will continue to play an important role for the Group in the future. Volkswagen is committed to the Paris Climate Agreement. CNG has an important role to play in the alternative drive systems strategy that runs alongside the Group’s electrification offensive. It is sufficiently proven, immediately available, efficient and cost-effective. Furthermore, CNG cars are not affected by driving bans in city centers. Refueling with biomethane or e-gas results in an even better CO2 balance. Biomethane is obtained from organic residues, while e-gas is produced from excess green electricity (power-to-gas). Both can easily be fed into the gas network and mixed with any amount of fossil natural gas.—Stephen Neumann, Volkswagen Group Representative for CNG Mobility Volkswagen Group brands and their industry partners have been working in this field for some time; Audi has been operating the world’s first industrial power-to-gas plant in Werlte (Emsland) since 2013, with the Audi e-gas produced from wind power being fed into the natural gas grid. Green energy is made available to vehicle customers, while at the same time the storage of fluctuating eco-power and its research in practice enables the rapid expansion of wind and solar energy, which is also important to the success of e-mobility. Volkswagen Group currently offers 17 models in various vehicle segments. Two more models will soon be added, in the form of the ŠKODA Scala, which will celebrate its world première as a CNG variant at the CNG Mobility Days in Berlin this week, and the ŠKODA Kamiq. The range encompasses everything from the small car segment through the compact class at Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT and ŠKODA, to Audi premium vehicles in the business segment and light commercial vehicles. With the ever-expanding CNG model range, sales figures in 2018 almost doubled compared to the previous year. In the new CNG models such as the Polo TGI (66 kW/90 PS) and Golf TGI (96 kW/130 PS), the fuel tank has been significantly reduced in size, an additional CNG cylinder has been installed in the vehicles, and a quasi-monovalent CNG drive system has been developed. This combination of factors represents Volkswagen’s response to many customers’ preference for increased range in natural gas operation—a fully established concept as seen in the long-range Caddy from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. In addition, the VW Golf TGI and Golf Estate TGI (96 kW/130 PS) have been equipped with an engine optimized for CNG use, featuring particularly low fuel consumption, higher power output and improved engine output even at low engine speeds. In the latest ADAC Ecotest, the Polo TGI proved that CNG models can be economical, clean and at the same time very attractive. It was one of seven models with the highest rating of five stars, and the only vehicle with a combustion engine in this group. With 95 points, it achieved the best result so far in 2019. With the SEAT Arona 1.0 TGI, the Spanish company is the first manufacturer worldwide to offer CNG technology as a model in SUV format, the fastest-growing vehicle segment. The new 2.0 TFSI engine from Audi, as used in the A5 Sportback g-tron for example, emphasizes that a CNG model can also be very sporty and dynamic. The power unit, which recently won the International Engine of the Year award in the 150 to 250 PS category, can also be used as a CNG engine. For the first time, the MAN and SCANIA brands will also be reporting on the latest developments for trucks and buses as part of the CNG Mobility Days. According to the new emissions standards in the European Union, by 2030 CO2 emissions must fall 30% from 2019 levels—a goal that is virtually unattainable using conventional drive types. CNG, which already has 15% lower fuel consumption than diesel vehicles, is an immediately available and usable alternative for trucks and buses. At present, a particularly persuasive argument in favor of using CNG—especially for haulage companies—is the exemption from tolls for natural gas-powered trucks. The action alliance of Volkswagen Group with industry partners gained further momentum recently, with the accession to the CNG industry group of natural gas filling station operator OrangeGas and Italian natural gas transmission system operator Snam S.p.A. (Società Nazionale Metanodotti). The objective of the CNG Mobility industry group is to proportionately expand the vehicle range, infrastructure and filling station network together.
Electrified vehicles count for 7.1% of new vehicles in Europe in May; SUVs continue to dominate full market
Registrations of pure electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid cars totalled 94,000 units in 18 European markets in May 2019, counting for 7.1% of the total volume, up from 5.3% in May 2018, according to figures from JATO Dynamics. The majority of registrations came from hybrid vehicles, but the growth was driven by pure electric cars, where registrations jumped from 12,300 units in May 2018 to 22,300 (+81%) last month. The Renault Zoe was the top-selling electric car in Europe last month, but the Tesla Model 3 continues to lead the year-to-date rankings. However, registrations for the Model 3 fell from 15,755 in March to 3,659 in April, and 2,820 in May. A large part of Tesla’s global plans depend on how the brand can maintain the sales growth of the Model 3. The sedan needs to continue to grab the attention of consumers in Europe, as US demand has almost peaked already. The initial good start we saw in March has somewhat dissipated in April and May.—Felipe Munoz, JATO’s global analys Overall, the European car market remained stable in May 2019 for the second month in a row. In total, 1.44 million vehicles were registered—a 0.2% increase on May 2018. The stable results from April and May signify an end to the market’s extended period of decline between September 2018 and March 2019. However, year-to-date figures show 6.91 million vehicles have been registered so far in 2019—a decline of 2% on the same period last year. SUVs once again drove market growth in May, offsetting the drops posted by the traditional segments. While demand for subcompact, compact, midsize and executive/luxury cars and MPVs fell during the month, demand for SUVs was up by 10% to 534,700 units. SUVs continued to dominate the European market, as they counted for 37.2% of total registrations and posted a market share increase of 3.2 percentage points on the same time last year. Year-to-date figures show 2.56 million SUVs have been registered so far in 2019 in Europe—an increase of 8%. SUVs’ growth came from the strong results posted by small and compact SUVs, which when combined counted for 81% of the segment’s total registrations. This was largely due to the good reception for the latest small SUV arrivals to the market, such as the Volkswagen T-Roc and T-Cross, Hyundai Kona and the new Dacia Duster, which led to a volume increase of 13% to 209,600 registrations. This is a remarkable increase over the last 10 years, considering there were only 125,000 small SUV registrations across the whole of 2009, JATO noted. Meanwhile, demand for compact SUVs grew by 10% to 225,900 units, led by the Volkswagen Tiguan, Peugeot 3008 and Nissan Qashqai. When including all subsegments (small, compact, midsize and large), Volkswagen Group was the clear leader in the SUV segment. In May, the German maker recorded 123,100 SUV registrations, up by 29%. PSA came second with 93,100 registrations, up 12%. Meanwhile, Renault-Nissan posted a decline in the segment, as volume dropped by 5% to 83,300 registrations. By models, the Dacia Duster led the SUV rankings, followed by the Volkswagen Tiguan and T-Roc.
Non-hybrid stop/start systems installed on 35.7% of US light-duty trucks produced in MY2018
In 2012, less than one percent of all cars and light-duty trucks were produced with a non-hybrid stop/start system. Through 2015, cars had the greatest share of stop/start systems installed. After 2015, the greatest share of start/stop systems was installed on light-duty trucks, rising to 35.7% of all light-duty trucks produced in model year (MY) 2018. Stop/start systems are designed to conserve fuel by reducing idle time when a vehicle is stopped. In city driving, where traffic lights are frequent, the stop/start system will shut down the engine as the vehicle comes to a stop and will automatically restart the engine when the brake pedal is released. Hybrid vehicles have always done this but, in recent years, manufacturers have been installing stop/start systems on greater numbers of non-hybrid vehicles as well. Non-hybrid stop/start technology penetration for model years 2012 to 2018 for cars and and light-duty trucks. Notes: Data for 2018 are preliminary. The car category includes cars and car sport-utility vehicles. The light-duty truck category includes pickups, vans, and truck sport utility vehicles.Source: U.S. DOE, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, The 2018 EPA Automotive Trends Report: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Fuel Economy, and Technology since 1975, EPA-420-R-19-002, March 2019.
KAIST researchers engineer oleaginous bacterium to produce fatty acids and fuels
A team at S. Korea’s KAIST has engineered an oleaginous bacterium, Rhodococcus opacus, to produce fatty acids (FFAs), fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs) and long-chain hydrocarbons (LCHCs). A paper on their work is published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology. Culture conditions were optimized to produce 82.9 g l−1 of triacylglycerols from glucose, and an engineered strain with acyl-coenzyme A (CoA) synthetases deleted, overexpressing three lipases with lipase-specific foldase produced 50.2 g l−1 of FFAs. Another engineered strain with acyl-CoA dehydrogenases deleted, overexpressing lipases, foldase, acyl-CoA synthetase and heterologous aldehyde/alcohol dehydrogenase and wax ester synthase produced 21.3 g l−1 of FAEEs. A third engineered strain with acyl-CoA dehydrogenases and alkane-1 monooxygenase deleted, overexpressing lipases, foldase, acyl-CoA synthetase and heterologous acyl-CoA reductase, acyl-ACP reductase and aldehyde deformylating oxygenase produced 5.2 g l−1 of LCHCs. Metabolic engineering strategies and engineered strains developed here may help establish oleaginous biorefinery platforms for the sustainable production of chemicals and fuels.—Kim et al. Metabolic engineering for the production of free fatty acids (FFAs), fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs), and long-chain hydrocarbons (LCHCs) in Rhodococcus opacus PD630. The newly developed strain, created by Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee and his team, showed the highest efficiency in producing fatty acids and biodiesels ever reported. Professor Lee’s team has already engineered Escherichia coli to produce short-chain hydrocarbons, which can be used as gasoline (published in Nature as the cover paper in 2013). However, the production efficiency of the short-chain hydrocarbons using E. coli (0.58 g/L) fell short of the levels required for commercialization. To overcome these issues, the team employed oil-accumulating Rhodococcus opacus as a host strain in this study. First, the team optimized the cultivation conditions of Rhodococcus opacus to maximize the accumulation of oil (triacylglycerol), which serves as a precursor for the biosynthesis of fatty acids and their derivatives. Then, they systematically analyzed the metabolism of the strain and redesigned it to enable higher levels of fatty acids and two kinds of fatty acid-derived biodiesels (fatty acid ethyl esters and long-chain hydrocarbons) to be produced. This work was supported by the Technology Development Program to Solve Climate Changes on Systems Metabolic Engineering for Biorefineries from the Ministry of Science and ICT through the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea (NRF-2012M1A2A2026556 and NRF-2012M1A2A2026557). Resources Hye Mi Kim, Tong Un Chae, So Young Choi, Won Jun Kim & Sang Yup Lee Nature Chemical Biology (2019) “Engineering of an oleaginous bacterium for the production of fatty acids and fuels” Nature Chemical Biology doi: 10.1038/s41589-019-0295-5
Study forecasts even with modest warming, global energy demand to increase by mid-century
A new study published in Nature Communications by researchers from IIASA, Boston University, and the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice found that by mid-century, climate change will increase the demand for energy globally, even with modest warming. The world is dependent on energy both for human wellbeing and society’s continued development. Energy use is however also one of the human systems that is most directly influenced by changes in climate, which makes it crucial to gain insight into the impacts of climate change on energy demand. Most previous studies explored this topic for a single country or continent, or for a single sector (mostly households). In addition, researchers only employed climate projections from either a single, or just a few climate models. In this new study, the authors did a global analysis using temperature projections from 21 climate models, and population and economy projections for five socioeconomic scenarios. This information was fed into a statistical model to calculate changes in demand for three fuels and four economic sectors, to determine how energy demand would shift relative to today’s climate under modest and high-warming scenarios around 2050. The findings indicate that, compared to baseline scenarios in which energy demand is driven by population and income growth alone, climate change increases the global demand for energy around 2050 by 11-27% with modest warming, and 25-58% with vigorous warming. Large areas of the tropics, as well as southern Europe, China, and the USA, are likely to experience the highest increases. The largest changes in demand are due to electricity needed for cooling, and occur in the industry and service sectors of the economy. The magnitude of the increase depends on three uncertain factors: the future pathways of global greenhouse gas emissions; the different ways that climate models use this information to project future hot and cold temperature extremes in various world regions; and the manner in which countries’ energy consumption patterns change under different scenarios of future increases in population and income. An important way in which society will adapt to rising temperatures from climate change is by increasing cooling during hot seasons and decreasing heating during cold seasons. Changes in space conditioning directly impact energy systems, as firms and households demand less natural gas, petroleum, and electricity to meet lower heating needs, and more electricity to satisfy higher cooling needs.—coauthor Enrica de Cian from the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC) Whether future warming will cause the demand for energy to increase or decrease is a crucial question. If energy use rises and leads to additional emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, increased energy consumption for space conditioning could make it more difficult and costly to mitigate future warming. Quantifying this risk requires understanding how the demand for energy by different types of consumers in different climates will be affected by warming. The results of our study can in the future be used to calculate how energy market dynamics will ultimately determine changes in energy consumption and emissions.—coauthor Ian Sue Wing, a researcher at Boston University According to the authors, an important qualification is that the study’s findings represent the initial impacts of global warming. They do not account for the additional adjustments in fuel supplies and prices, and subsequent substitution responses by producers and consumers across the world that impacts will trigger. While these forces are likely to lead to ultimate changes in energy consumption that are less extreme, they also incur adaptation costs that will affect the broader economy and household incomes. The lower the level of income per person, the larger the share of income that families need to spend to adapt to a given increase in energy demand. Some scenarios in our study assume continued population growth and in those cases temperature increases by 2050 could expose half a billion people in the lowest-income countries in the Middle-East and Africa to increases in energy demand of 25% or higher. The poor face challenges to adaptation that are not only financial—in areas that have unreliable electricity supplies, or lack grid connections altogether, increased exposure to hot days increases the risk of heat-related illnesses and mortality.—lead author Bas van Ruijven, a researcher with the IIASA Energy Program Resources van Ruijven BJ, De Cian E, Wing IS (2019) “Amplification of Future Energy Demand Growth due to Climate Change.” Nature Communications doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-10399-3
Leading UK scientists set out resource challenge of meeting EV targets by 2050
UK Natural History Museum Head of Earth Sciences Prof Richard Herrington and fellow expert members of SoS MinErals (an interdisciplinary program of NERC-EPSRC-Newton-FAPESP funded research) recently wrote a letter to the UK Committee on Climate Change pointing out that meeting UK electric car targets for 2050 would require production of just under two times the current total annual world cobalt production, nearly the entire world production of neodymium, three quarters the world’s lithium production and at least half of the world’s copper production. A 20% increase in UK-generated electricity would be required to charge the current 252.5 billion miles to be driven by UK cars. Last month, the Committee on Climate Change published a report—Net Zero: The UK’s Contribution to Stopping Global Warming—which concluded that “net zero is necessary, feasible and cost effective.” Using its scientific expertise and collection of geological specimens, the Museum is collaborating with leading researchers to identify resource and environmental implications of the transition to green energy technologies including electric cars. The urgent need to cut CO2 emissions to secure the future of our planet is clear, but there are huge implications for our natural resources not only to produce green technologies like electric cars but keep them charged. Over the next few decades, global supply of raw materials must drastically change to accommodate not just the UK’s transformation to a low carbon economy, but the whole world’s. Our role as scientists is to provide the evidence for how best to move towards a zero-carbon economy—society needs to understand that there is a raw material cost of going green and that both new research and investment is urgently needed for us to evaluate new ways to source these. This may include potentially considering sources much closer to where the metals are to be used.—Prof Richard Herrington The challenges set out in the letter are: The metal resource needed to make all cars and vans electric by 2050 and all sales to be purely battery-electric by 2035. To replace all UK-based vehicles today with electric vehicles (not including the LGV and HGV fleets), assuming they use the most resource-frugal next-generation NMC 811 batteries, would take 207,900 tonnes cobalt, 264,600 tonnes of lithium carbonate (LCE), at least 7,200 tonnes of neodymium and dysprosium, in addition to 2,362,500 tonnes copper. This represents just under two times the total annual world cobalt production, nearly the entire world production of neodymium, three quarters the world’s lithium production and at least half of the world’s copper production during 2018. Even ensuring the annual supply of electric vehicles only, from 2035 as pledged, will require the UK to annually import the equivalent of the entire annual cobalt needs of European industry. The worldwide impact: If this analysis is extrapolated to the currently projected estimate of two billion cars worldwide, based on 2018 figures, annual production would have to increase for neodymium and dysprosium by 70%, copper output would need to more than double and cobalt output would need to increase at least three and a half times for the entire period from now until 2050 to satisfy the demand. Energy cost of metal production: This choice of vehicle comes with an energy cost too. Energy costs for cobalt production are estimated at 7000-8000 kWh for every tonne of metal produced and for copper 9000 kWh/t. The rare-earth energy costs are at least 3350 kWh/t, so for the target of all 31.5 million cars that requires 22.5 TWh of power to produce the new metals for the UK fleet, amounting to 6% of the UK’s current annual electrical usage. Extrapolated to 2 billion cars worldwide, the energy demand for extracting and processing the metals is almost 4 times the total annual UK electrical output Energy cost of charging electric cars: There are implications for the electrical power generation in the UK needed to recharge these vehicles. Using figures published for current EVs (Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe), driving 252.5 billion miles uses at least 63 TWh of power. This will demand a 20% increase in UK generated electricity. Challenges of using “green energy” to power electric cars: If wind farms are chosen to generate the power for the projected two billion cars at UK average usage, this requires the equivalent of a further years’ worth of total global copper supply and 10 years’ worth of global neodymium and dysprosium production to build the windfarms. Solar power is also problematic: it is also resource hungry; all the photovoltaic systems currently on the market are reliant on one or more raw materials classed as “critical” or “near critical” by the EU and/ or US Department of Energy (high purity silicon, indium, tellurium, gallium) because of their natural scarcity or their recovery as minor-by-products of other commodities. With a capacity factor of only ~10%, the UK would require ~72GW of photovoltaic input to fuel the EV fleet; over five times the current installed capacity. If CdTe-type photovoltaic power is used, that would consume over thirty years of current annual tellurium supply. Both these wind turbine and solar generation options for the added electrical power generation capacity have substantial demands for steel, aluminium, cement and glass. The co-signatories, like Prof Herrington, are part of SoS MinErals, an interdisciplinary program of NERC-EPSRC-Newton-FAPESP funded research focusing on the science needed to sustain the security of supply of strategic minerals in a changing environment. This program falls under NERC’s sustainable use of natural resources (SUNR) strategic theme. Co-signatories are: Professor Adrian Boyce, Professor of Applied Geology at The Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre Paul Lusty, Team Leader for Ore Deposits and Commodities at British Geological Survey Dr Bramley Murton, Associate Head of Marine Geosciences at the National Oceanography Centre Dr Jonathan Naden, Science Coordination Team Lead of NERC SoS MinErals Programme, British Geological Society Professor Stephen Roberts, Professor of Geology, School of Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton Associate Professor Dan Smith, Applied and Environmental Geology, University of Leicester Professor Frances Wall, Professor of Applied Mineralogy at Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter
Leclanché picks Comau to develop automated industrial-scale manufacturing lines for Li-ion battery modules for transport
Leclanché has commissioned Comau to develop an automated manufacturing line for lithium-ion battery modules for transport applications. Comau, a member of the FCA Group, is a worldwide leader in delivering advanced industrial automation products and systems. Its portfolio includes technology and systems for electric, hybrid and traditional vehicle manufacturing, industrial robots, collaborative and wearable robotics, autonomous logistics, dedicated machining centers and interconnected digital services and products able to transmit, elaborate and analyze machine and process data. The all-in-one solution selected by Leclanché is capable of automating the entire battery manufacturing process, from pouch cell stacking and welding to the final assembly of up to 32 different product configurations. In defining the scope and design specifics during the Simultaneous Engineering process, the joint engineering team was able to validate the production process and propose modifications to the battery module design to further increase the efficiency of the proposed manufacturing solution. Furthermore, the use of Comau’s LHYTE laser welding machine will enable Leclanché to improve its welding process by granting increased productivity and model flexibility. The project, which was developed using Simultaneous Engineering, features multiple articulated Comau robots and the company’s cutting-edge hybrid laser solution, LHYTE, that combines a direct diode and fiber laser source within the same modular system. The line also includes in.Grid, Comau’s interactive IoT and MES (Manufacturing Execution System) platform, which will enable data management and complete production, processes and maintenance monitoring, with the option to include remote assistance and teleservice capabilities. Mass and industrial transport is increasingly moving to electric means of propulsion while public authorities enforce regulations. The marine transport alone produces 13% of greenhouse gas emissions and on current projections, emissions are expected to rise by at least 50% by 2050 under a business-as-usual scenario. The collaboration between Comau and Leclanché will drive industrial scale production of energy storage solutions that will help to accelerate the conversion of maritime transport towards more sustainable power solutions. Leclanché made an early investment in developing a DNV GL-certified battery system for marine applications, and is the first battery supplier to fully comply with the stringent 2015 regulations. Our partnership with Comau will enable Leclanché to produce our leading energy storage solutions for e-transport and e-marine applications at an industrial scale, securing Leclanché’s position as the provider of energy storage solutions to the sizeable and fast growing electric and hybrid mass transport market.—Anil Srivastava, CEO of Leclanché
Study suggests new strategy for storing hydrogen, using natural gas as stabilizer
A recent study has suggested a new strategy for storing hydrogen, using natural gas as a stabilizer. The research proposed a practical gas phase modulator based synthesis of a hydrogen-natural gas blend (HNGB) without generating chemical waste after dissociation for the immediate service. A paper on the work is published in the journal Energy Storage Materials. The research team of Professor Jae Woo Lee from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in collaboration with the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) demonstrated that the natural-gas-modulator-based synthesis leads to significantly reduced synthesis pressure simultaneously with the formation of hydrogen clusters in the confined nanoporous cages of clathrate hydrates. This approach minimizes the environmental impact and reduces operation costs since clathrate hydrates do not generate any chemical waste in both the synthesis and decomposition processes. Schematics showing the storage method for hydrogen in a natural gas hydrate using a substitution method and storage method directly from ice to a hydrogen-natural gas hydrate. Credit: KAIST. For the efficient storage and transportation of hydrogen, numerous materials have been investigated. Among others, clathrate hydrates offer distinct benefits. Clathrate hydrates are nanoporous inclusion compounds composed of a 3D network of polyhedral cages made of hydrogen-bonded host water molecules and captured guest gas or liquid molecules. In this study, the research team used two gases, methane and ethane, which have lower equilibrium conditions compared to hydrogen as thermodynamic stabilizers. As a result, they succeeded in stably storing the hydrogen-natural gas compound in hydrates. According to the composition ratio of methane and ethane, structure I or II hydrates can be formed, both of which can stably store hydrogen-natural gas in low-pressure conditions. The research team found that two hydrogen molecules are stored in small cages in tuned structure I hydrates, while up to three hydrogen molecules can be stored in both small and large cages in tuned structure II hydrates. Hydrates can store gas up to about 170-times its volume and the natural gas used as thermodynamic stabilizers in this study can also be used as an energy source. The research team developed technology to produce hydrates from ice, produced hydrogen-natural gas hydrates by substitution, and successfully observed that the tuning phenomenon only occurs when hydrogen is involved in hydrate formation from the start for both structures of hydrates. They expect that the findings can be applied to not only an energy-efficient gas storage material, but also a smart platform to utilize hydrogen natural gas blends, which can serve as a new alternative energy source with targeted hydrogen contents by designing synthetic pathways of mixed gas hydrates. This study was funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea and BK21 plus program. Resources Yun-Ho Ahn, Seokyoon Moon, Dong-Yeun Koh, Sujin Hong, Huen Lee, Jae W. Lee, Youngjune Park (2019) “One-step formation of hydrogen clusters in clathrate hydrates stabilized via natural gas blending,” Energy Storage Materials doi: 10.1016/j.ensm.2019.06.007
BLS researchers suggest automation will not eliminate truck-driving jobs
While some stories in the media present automation as having the potential to eliminate large swaths of jobs in the near future, a new study by researchers Maury Gittleman and Kristen Monaco at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics argues otherwise. In the open-access study, published in ILR Review, the authors projected that the employment loss among US truck drivers will be significantly less than the 2-3 million reported by some media accounts. They found that three factors attributed to the inflation of this report: The count of truck drivers is increased due to a misunderstanding of its occupational classification used in federal statistics; Truck drivers do more than drive and these non-driving tasks will continue to be in demand; and Some segments of trucking will be easier to automate than others. Expanding off this last point, the research suggests while autonomous trucks will change how goods travel through the nation’s transportation system and impact how trucks and cars interact on major freight corridors, not all trucking will be easily automated. Technology will transform the existing design of the trucking industry but will not eliminate the need for all truck drivers. Long-haul trucking (which constitutes the minority of jobs) will be easier to automate than short-haul trucking (in which the bulk of the employment lies). Their conclusions stress the need for paying close attention to the breadth of tasks performed, as well as certain factors that may impact the ease of automation. Resources Maury Gittleman, Kristen Monaco (2019) “Truck-Driving Jobs: Are They Headed for Rapid Elimination?” ILR Review doi: 10.1177/0019793919858079
Adamas: high-nickel cathodes making significant gains in passenger EV market
In April 2019, 6.7 GWh of battery capacity was deployed globally in newly-sold passenger BEVs, PHEVs and HEVs, an increase of 69% year-over-year, according to a model-by-model build-up using Adamas Intelligence’s ‘EV Battery Capacity and Battery Metals Tracker’. Among the NCM cathode family, NCM 622 saw a surge in deployment (in GWh) year-over-year, up 247% in April 2019 versus the same month the year prior. Similarly, the more widely-used NCM 523 cathode chemistry saw an 87% jump in deployment year-over-year, expanding its already-imposing market share at the expense of legacy cathode chemistries, such as LFP. Lastly, in April 2019 the nascent NCM 811 cathode chemistry saw a blistering 251% increase in deployment year-over-year with the recent launch of the Geely Geometry A BEV and the BMW X1 xDrive25Le PHEV, the latter of which boasts an industry-leading 24 kWh battery and 110 km driving range (NEDC). The cell supplier for both models is CATL. Although NCM 811 currently claims just 1% of the passenger EV market by GWh deployed, its share is poised to rise further in the coming months with the release of the Nio ES6 BEV and the GAC Aion S BEV, both of which will also be equipped with NCM 811 cells from CATL.
Kyocera to validate 24M process for low-capital, cost-effective Li-ion battery manufacturing
Kyocera, a long-time partner of an investor in 24M, plans to install capacity to validate the novel 24M SemiSolid manufacturing platform for Li-ion batteries. (Earlier post.) The facility, under construction in Osaka, Japan, will support pilot production of residential solar + storage systems in the Japanese market. The 24M SemiSolid manufacturing platform delivers a significant structural bill of materials advantage and requires substantially less upfront capital. Using electrolyte as the processing solvent in a binderless system, the SemiSolid platform allows for production of electrodes 4-5 times thicker than a conventional process. The use of thick electrodes significantly reduces inactive materials content—copper, aluminum and separator—yielding substantial cost savings. Moreover, using electrolyte as the processing solvent results in the elimination of numerous capital- and energy-intensive steps such as drying, solvent recovery, calendaring and electrolyte filling. The elimination of these steps, and the reduction in plant footprint associated with the steps, yields a capital reduction of up to 50%. In conjunction with the thick-electrode-driven structural bill of materials advantage, the reduced capital cost structure contributes to industry-leading cost of goods. Kyocera considers the unique 24M SemiSolid approach the emerging standard for lithium-ion battery manufacturing. The ability to cost-effectively manufacture advanced lithium-ion batteries can enable Kyocera to expand residential sales throughout Japan.—Masahiro Inagaki, Senior Executive Officer at Kyocera Kyocera is a leading supplier of solar power generating systems, industrial and automotive components, electronic devices, semiconductor packages, printers, copiers and mobile phones with annual sales of $14.6 billion.
Daher, Airbus and Safran team up to develop distributed hybrid propulsion aircraft demonstrator: EcoPulse 2019
Daher, Airbus and Safran are partnering for the design and development of the wing-mounted EcoPulse distributed hybrid propulsion demonstrator with a maiden flight scheduled in 2022. Based on Daher’s TBM platform, this project, kick-started by CORAC (the French Civil Aviation Research Council) with support from DGAC (the French Civil Aviation Authority), will develop technologies that boost the environmental efficiency of aircraft and meet the future needs of the air travel industry. The overall approach spans 3 areas of research and development: The distributed hybrid propulsion system will be provided by Safran; Airbus will have responsibility for the aerodynamic optimization of the distributed propulsion system, the installation of high energy density batteries and the use of those batteries to power the aircraft; Component and systems installation, flight testing, overall analysis and regulatory construction will be undertaken by Daher using its TBM platform. The purpose of this three-way collaboration is to validate technologies designed to reduce CO2 emissions, noise pollution, and create new uses for air transportation. Safran will supply the entire EcoPulse distributed hybrid propulsion system (excluding batteries), consisting of a turbogenerator (a combined turbine and power generator); an electric power management system; and integrated electric thrusters (or e-Propellers) including electric motors and propellers. The electric thrusters will be integrated into the EcoPulse wing and will provide propulsion thrust, at the same time as delivering aerodynamic gains (reducing wing surface area and wingtip marginal vortices, and therefore drag). The installation of a distributed propulsion system on a TBM aircraft is an opportunity to boost its efficiency, diversify its missions, reduce its environmental footprint and cut its operating costs. Safran has developed a technology roadmap for the installation of electric thrusters on aircraft. EcoPulse offers us an excellent opportunity to evaluate and identify the specific features expected by this market, particularly in terms of new hybrid propulsion aircraft projects. Safran intends to position itself as the market leader in this type of propulsion system by 2025.—Stéphane Cueille, Head of R&T and Innovation at Safran Airbus will be involved in the aerodynamic modeling of the demonstrator, both to support configuration choices and to enable the development of flight control laws. All these considerations should make it possible to demonstrate the benefits of distributed propulsion, and provide the baselines for the design of optimized distributed propulsion aircraft in terms of methods, tools and outcomes. This distributed hybrid propulsion demonstrator is a very important step towards preparing the certification standards for a more electric aircraft. It also gives us the opportunity to improve our simulation models and consider their use on larger aircraft.—Jean-Brice Dumont, Executive Vice President Engineering at Airbus
Airbus, Groupe ADP, RATP Group partner to study the integration of VTOL vehicles into urban transport
Airbus, Groupe ADP and the RATP Group, along with the Paris Ile-de-France region and the French civil aviation authority (DGAC), have launched a feasibility study to demonstrate an urban system of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. This collaboration, encompassing all components of land and air mobility, marks the creation of a team of recognized experts to develop not only French technology, but also a model for urban mobility, associated services and export potential. The goal is to integrate the entire value chain: design and production; maintenance; flight operations; low-altitude air traffic management; urban integration and planning; infrastructure, both physical and digital; and passenger interfaces. The project is based on technological building blocks such as electric propulsion and autonomy, in order to comply with energy and sustainable development requirements. Work will include the investigation of secure public digital infrastructure standards involving public and private stakeholders to promote the development of the project. For Airbus, the objective is to establish best practices for the integration and operation of these new systems in a manner that is safe and respectful of users and the general public. Airbus is already present in the on-demand mobility sector, with its Voom service offering, based on the use of helicopters in urban areas, and it is developing the Vahana and CityAirbus VTOL vehicle demonstrators (earlier post), which are 100% electric. The RATP Group, a leader in urban mobility solutions, will focus on inter-mobility, urban insertion and acceptability issues in order to ensure that the flying autonomous vehicle is accessible to the greatest number of people while connecting with existing mobility services. The airport complex is the archetypal intermodal center where VTOL technology has a role to play: city/airport connections will be the first applications. Groupe ADP is prepared to act as a catalyst in the development of this service in the Paris Ile-de-France region, thanks to a network of airport platforms unique in Europe and worldwide, based on its infrastructure engineering expertise, which today includes “vertiport” platforms. The latter constitute veritable test laboratories: operations on the ground and in flight, passenger wayfinding, energy supply and maintenance.
Imec doubles energy density of its solid-state Li-metal batteries to 400 Wh/liter
Imec, a research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics, digital and energy technologies and partner in EnergyVille—a collaboration between the Flemish research partners KU Leuven, VITO, imec and UHasselt—has developed a solid-state Li-metal battery cell with an energy density of 400 Wh/liter at a charging speed of 0.5C (2 hours). Imec also announced that it has started to upscale the materials and processes in a pilot line for fabrication of solid-state pouch cells at the EnergyVille Campus in Genk (Belgium) and is set-up in collaboration with the University of Hasselt. With its engineering roadmap for solid-state batteries, imec aims to surpass wet Li-ion battery performance and reach 1000 Wh/L at 2-3C by 2024. Today’s rechargeable Li-ion battery technology still has room for improvement, but not enough to significantly improve e.g. the range and autonomy of electrical vehicles. Therefore, imec’s researchers are working to replace the wet electrolyte with a solid material, which provides a platform to further increase the energy density of the cell beyond that of cells based on liquid electrolyte. The solid nanocomposite electrolyte that the R&D center has developed has an exceptionally high conductivity of up to 10 mS/cm with a potential for even higher conductivities. A distinguishing feature of the new material is that it is applied as a liquid—via wet chemical coating—and only afterwards converted into a solid when it is already in place in the electrodes. That way it is perfectly suited to be casted into dense powder electrodes where it fills all cavities and makes maximum contact, just as a liquid electrolyte does. Using that solid nanocomposite electrolyte in combination with a standard lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathode and lithium metal anode, imec has now fabricated an improved battery with an energy density of 400 Wh/liter at a charging speed of 0.5C (2 hours)—a record combination for a solid-state battery. With this result, imec managed to double its results of last year, following its roadmap to eventually reach densities over 1,000 Wh/liter at a charging speed of 2-3C (less than half an hour). Volumetric energy density for selected cathode materials in full cell configuration with metallic Li as anode from a paper by BMW researchers published in Journals of Material Chemistry A in 2015. The different curves refer to different loadings. Calculation based on practical volumetric energy density values for the cathode. Yellow dots indicate for the various materials the typical coating densities nowadays achievable. Green bands: targets at cell level. In addition, imec has commenced the upscaling of the cells in a state-of-the-art lab for this new solid-state battery technology, including a 300 square meter battery assembly pilot line which includes a dry room of 100 square meters. This conventional A4 sheet-to-sheet wet coating-based line is well suited for processing of imec’s innovative solid electrolyte. As such, the assembly of the new cells could be done by slight modification of existing manufacturing lines for Li-ion batteries. This means the new technology would not need expensive investments to switch from wet to solid-state cells. The new pilot line, which is located at the EnergyVille Campus, and is set-up together with the university of Hasselt, allows manufacturing of prototype pouch cells of up to 5Ah capacity. It is ready to become a cornerstone for research groups and companies doing R&D projects on these batteries. Resources Dave Andre, Sung-Jin Kim, Peter Lamp, Simon Franz Lux, Filippo Maglia, Odysseas Paschosa and Barbara Stiaszny (2015) “Future generations of cathode materials: an automotive industry perspective” Journal of Materials Chemistry A doi: 10.1039/C5TA00361J
Tenneco’s PRIME 3D simulation cuts engine cylinder component development time by up to 70%
At the 2019 IAA Frankfurt in September, Tenneco’sPowertrain division will present its award-winning PRiME 3D simulation software which has been shown to cut development time for engine cylinder components by up to 70%. In an industry first, the software tool enables the generation of a physically realistic virtual model of the power cylinder unit in a running combustion engine during the design process, allowing emissions and fuel consumption reductions to be achieved through the early optimization of piston and piston ring design. PRiME 3D enables the optimization of piston and piston ring performance with an accuracy level close to 95%. It has already supported engine manufacturers in more than 450 projects to achieve emissions targets on relevant driving cycles such as WLTP. Successfully completed developments have shown reductions of up to 70% in blow-by; up to 20% in friction; up to 40% in oil consumption; and up to 70% in particulate emissions. PRiME 3D combines accurate simulation of both gas flow physics and physical behavior of the power cylinder unit to provide a clear vision of the effects of potential design changes. It solves the physics of compressible fluid flow through the clearances of the piston and the closed gap of the piston ring under conditions of subsonic gas flow in real engine operating conditions. The detailed calculation of gas flow and its pressure gradients is fundamental in predicting the reactions and behavior of a real running combustion engine. PRiME 3D has the capability to determine pressure gradients, heat exchange and gas velocity in the flow channels. This is important, as the magnitude of the gas pressure contributes directly to the reaction forces, twisting and arching of the piston rings. PRiME 3D simulation makes friction, oil consumption and blow-by loss data for any piston and ring pack directly visible under all driving cycle conditions. —Dr. Steffen Hoppe, Director of Technology, Global Rings & Liners, Tenneco Powertrain This allows accurate and immediate assessment of the effects of design changes on emissions and fuel consumption without requiring multiple iterations of physical prototypes. It is particularly valuable in helping customers gain early confidence that new designs will produce optimum results under test conditions of relevant driving cycles, not just at maximum power and torque.—Richard Mittler, Senior Expert, Pre-Development and Analysis, Global Rings & Liners, at Tenneco Powertrain Input data for the simulation can be simply transferred from design drawings using the “drag & drop” functionality provided by the PRiME 3D Wizard. Animations combine 2D and 3D results to produce easily interpreted output, enabling rapid identification of potential design improvements. To enhance customer interaction, PRiME 3D has been developed as a web-based server solution, providing users with secure worldwide access to their developments and improving communication between different locations. Following Tenneco’s expected separation to form two new, independent companies, an Aftermarket and Ride Performance company (DRiV), as well as a new Powertrain Technology company, the new Tenneco will be one of the world’s largest pure-play powertrain companies serving OE markets worldwide with engineered solutions addressing fuel economy, power output, and criteria pollution requirements for gasoline, diesel and electrified powertrains. The new Tenneco would have 2018 pro-forma revenues of $11.4 billion, serving light vehicle, commercial truck, off-highway and industrial markets.
Mainline testing of UK’s first hydrogen train HydroFLEX gets green light
Porterbrook and the University of Birmingham’s Center for Railway Research and Education (BCRRE) announced that the UK’s first hydrogen train—HydroFLEX (earlier post)— will be tested on the mainline railway following a successful proof-of-concept. The mainline testing of HydroFLEX marks an important step in the development of a zero-carbon emission propulsion system that could help to decarbonize Britain’s railway. The HydroFLEX pilot involves the fitment of a hydrogen powerpack to an existing Class 319 train, which would eventually allow it to run on conventional electrified routes as well as independently. This results in a highly flexible train that can operate on different parts of Britain’s rail network. Many collaborators have been key to the success of HydroFLEX so far: Chrysalis Rail for installation, Denchi Group for traction batteries, Ballard Fuel Cell Systems for the fuel cell, Luxfer for hydrogen storage tanks, DG8 design support, Derby Engineering Unit for panels and brackets, SNC Lavalin for design and hazard identifications, Aura for exterior livery design and DB Cargo Crewe for the recommissioning of the unit. The HydroFLEX project has recently been awarded funding from Innovate UK through its First Of A Kind competition to take the prototype forward towards mainline testing. The same funding competition has enabled for Porterbrook to pair up with Eminox to create a catalyst converter for diesel trains, extending the green credentials of the rail leasing company. Porterbrook Leasing Company Limited is a leading participant in the rail leasing market and has a rolling stock fleet with over 4,000 vehicles on lease or on order, which includes around 4,200 passenger vehicles. In October 2014, the Porterbrook Group of companies was acquired by a consortium of investors including Alberta Investment Management Corporation, Allianz Capital Partners on behalf of certain insurance companies of the Allianz Group, EDF Invest and a consortium of Utilities Trust of Australia, The Infrastructure Fund and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Pension Fund.