Green Car Congress - 記事一覧
FCC Chairman proposing taking spectrum allocated for DSRC and reallocating for unlicensed WiFi use and C-V2X
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is proposing taking the 75 megahertz of spectrum in the 5.9 Ghz band currently allocated for Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) for the transportation and automotive industries and to reallocate it for different services. Under his Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which will be considered at the 12 December FCC Open Meeting, the lower 45 MHz of the band would be made available for unlicensed uses such as WiFi and the upper 20 MHz would be allocated to Cellular Vehicle to Everything, (C-V2X). Pai suggests seeking public input as to whether to allocated the remaining 10 MHz in the band to C-V2X or DSRC. Back in 1999, the FCC allocated 75 megahertz of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band for a service called Dedicated Short-Range Communications. Commonly known as DSRC, this technology was intended to enable ubiquitous transportation and vehicle-related communications. But results haven’t matched that intent. Here we are, two decades later, and the situation can at best be described as “promise unfulfilled.” DSRC has evolved slowly. It’s not widely deployed. And in the meantime, a wave of new transportation communication technologies has emerged. As a result, a lot of people are wondering whether this valuable spectrum—a public resource—is really being put to its best use. In my view, it clearly is not. After 20 years of seeing these prime airwaves go largely unused, the time has come for the FCC to take a fresh look at the 5.9 GHz band. —Chairman Pai WiFI’s popularity has created a problem for regulators, Pai said. Estimates suggest that the US will need to allow use of up to 1.6 GHz of new mid-band spectrum by 2025 to keep up with demand. Last October, the FCC began to explore opening up a massive 1,200 megahertz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band for different types of unlicensed uses. The lower 45-megahertz portion of the 5.9 GHz band proposed as being shifted to unlicensed operations is adjacent to the 5.725-to-5.850 GHz band which is currently available for unlicensed operations. That makes the 45 MHz sub-band ideally suited for unlicensed use, Pai said. Having more contiguous spectrum here is essential for the larger channels needed to support innovative use cases, he added. It’s important to note that my proposal marks a departure from our recent exploration of allowing unlicensed devices to share the same spectrum with DSRC. Preliminary testing of a sharing regime showed some promise, but further testing would be needed to carry out a complex sharing regime, and more testing would mean this valuable spectrum would likely lie fallow for several years. As it is, this valuable mid-band spectrum has been lying largely fallow for two decades. We are well past the point where American consumers should accept significant additional delays in putting this spectrum to use for them. And it’s not just that sharing spectrum between unlicensed uses and DSRC would take time. It also adds complexity and raises the question of whether, given its past, DSRC is a technology with a future. That’s why I believe the best course is to dedicate 45 MHz exclusively for unlicensed operations, and also to establish a home exclusively for transportation-related communications.Chairman Pai Pai argues that many of the features originally envisioned for DSRC are being provided today by other means, even by apps such as Waze Further, he notes that C-V2X is a promising technology that is gaining momentum in the automotive industry. Based on the evidence in the public record, I believe that we should encourage the expansion and evolution of this new vehicle-safety technology. That’s why I’m proposing that we authorize C-V2X operations in the upper 20 megahertz of the 5.9 GHz band. Our hope is that this move will unlock new vehicle safety services, using less spectrum and on a much faster timeline than we have seen or realistically could see with a DSRC-focused policy. Now, just because we’re changing course and prioritizing C-V2X technology doesn’t mean we’re closing the door entirely on DSRC. Even after 20 years, we are once again being told that DSRC technology is about to take off. Japan, for example, has a single 10-megahertz channel for DSRC that is actively used for collision avoidance around intersections. So I’m proposing that we seek public input on whether to allocate the remaining 10 MHz of spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band for DSRC or C-V2X. Advocates of each will be able to make their case.—Chairman Pai
Tesla unveils its Cybertruck electric pickup
At a livestreamed event in Los Angeles, Elon Musk unveiled his company’s latest creation, the electric pickup Cybertruck. The idiosyncratically designed truck will come in three powertrain versions: single-motor RWD; dual-motor AWD; and tri-motor AWD. Three ranges will be offered corresponding to the different powertrains, ranging from 250 miles to more than 500 miles; towing capacity is up to 14,000+ lbs; and 0-60 is as low as a blistering 2.9 seconds. Pricing starts at $39,900 for the entry-level single motor version. The vehicle is slated for start of production in late 2021, with the tri-motor AWD version expected to begin production in late 2022. Tesla is taking fully refundable $100 reservations now. The design of the truck features an exterior shell—an exoskeleton—featuring Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel structural skin and Tesla Armor Glass. (Tesla claims the stainless-steel skin, 3mm thick on the cybertruck, is bulletproof against 9mm rounds; Motortrend put some effort into analyzing the claim). Tesla Armor Glass is an ultra-strong glass and polymer-layered composite that can absorb and redirect impact force for improved performance and damage tolerance. The Cybertruck offers 3,500 lbs of payload capacity and 100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage, including a tonneau cover that is strong enough to stand on.
Lexus introduces the UX 300e, its first EV, in China; on sale in China and Europe in 2020
Lexus is introducing its first battery electric vehicle (BEV), the UX 300e, at the Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition. The UX 300e is scheduled to go on sale in the Chinese and European markets in 2020, and in Japan early in 2021. Lexus engineers kept the distinctive design and the utility characteristics of the UX crossover intact, and focused on the opportunities to build on the performance advantages unique to EVs. The UX 300e’s 150 kW, 300 N·m front motor provides a natural-yet-brisk acceleration character, and the 54.3 kWh battery pack located directly underneath the floor of the cabin deliver a low center of gravity and a driving range of 400 km (249 miles). The efficiency of the motor, inverter, gears and high-capacity battery were all maximized, utilizing the knowledge acquired developing hybrid vehicles. The batteries are equipped with a temperature management system that operates at low and high ambient temperatures. Reliability is also increased with the use of multiple monitoring systems that regulate charging and prevent conditions such as overcharging. Starting with the driving signature of the UX, Lexus engineers were able to leverage the new electric drivetrain to enhance even further the vehicle’s on-road performance. At the same time, UX 300e has one of the quietest cabins in its class. UX 300e’s Drive Mode Select function lets customers manage smooth acceleration and deceleration according to their situation. Drivers can feel the powerful acceleration and instant torque of the EV powertrain as they push the pedal, and use the paddle shift in a similar manner as engine braking, through four levels of deceleration regeneration while enjoying a natural on-road feel. The UX 300e provides excellent dynamic performance thanks to the low center of gravity resulting from motor and battery placement underneath the vehicle body, combined with optimized of front/rear weight distribution and moment of inertia. The high-performance level of the GA-C platform is enhanced with additional braces and optimization of the shock absorbers’ damping force to match the dynamic changes of electrification. While EVs are naturally quiet, UX 300e adds insulation beyond just the battery and suppresses outside noises such as wind or pebbles which would be otherwise noticeable in the absence of an engine and transmission. Lexus focus on sound management lets drivers enjoy comfortable tranquility in the cabin. Engineers also focused on sound while driving to provide a natural feeling. Active Sound Control (ASC) transmits natural ambient sounds to allow for understanding of driving conditions, and provides a natural feeling for the cabin's occupants. Connected car technology. By linking to a smartphone using a dedicated app, drivers can check the battery state of charge and driving range. Charging controls are also included such as timer function to inform the owner when the vehicle will be fully charged or to schedule the charging according to when the vehicle is expected to be driven next. The app also allows the owner to remotely control various convenience functions such as the A/C, seat heaters, and window defrosters. UX 300e adopts Lexus Safety System+, as Lexus continues to pursue the prevention of accidents and fatalities, as well as decreasing driver stress and developing driver assist systems to provide a more natural and safe driving experience.
GM and Isuzu investing $175M for plant for diesel engine components
General Motors and Isuzu announced a $175-million investment through their DMAX joint venture to build an all-new, diesel engine components plant in Brookville, Ohio. The new 251,000 square-foot facility would expand the production of critical engine components for the company’s current DMAX diesel engine manufacturing operation in Moraine, Ohio. 2017 Duramax 6.6L V-8 Turbo Diesel (L5P) for Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD DMAX is 60% owned by GM, 40% owned by Isuzu Diesel Services of America, Inc. Strong demand for GM’s all-new family of Chevrolet and GMC heavy and medium duty pickups is driving us to find ways to build more Duramax diesel engines. The Brookville investment will enable us to machine more engine blocks and heads and ultimately enable our DMAX engine plant in Moraine to build more 6.6-liter diesel engines for our Flint truck assembly plant.—Gerald Johnson, GM’s executive vice president of Global Manufacturing Heavy-duty trucks make up about 25% of full-size pickup sales in the US. GM has consolidated heavy-duty pickup production at its Flint, Michigan truck assembly plant, where the company has installed new body and paint shops and created 1,000 new jobs to support a capacity increase of 40,000 units compared to the outgoing model. GM’s launched its all-new family of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra HD pickups earlier this year and began shipping the all-new HDs to dealers in July and will build dealer inventory levels through the first half of 2020. The company is sharply increasing production of crew cab and diesel models to meet growing customer demand. Maximum towing power and capability in the all-new Silverado and Sierra HDs come from the proven Duramax 6.6-liter V-8 turbo-diesel. DMAX has built more than 2 million diesel engines since the facility opened in 1999.
Volkswagen of America collaborates with EV West to electrify a 1972 Type 2 Bus
Showcasing the possibilities of the e-Golf powertrain to motivate classic VW models, Volkswagen of America recently commissioned west coast electric vehicle conversion specialist EV West to construct an electrified Volkswagen Type 2 Bus. The professionally harvested stock powertrain and 35.8 kWh battery system from the donor 2017 e-Golf gives the e-Bus an approximate range of 125 miles. The powertrain will reside in the rear compartment of the e-Bus, which was previously occupied by the stock air-cooled 60-horsepower four-cylinder engine. The independent rear suspension of the Type 2 Bay Window makes a perfect mate to the transverse driveline which is contained in a single unit that houses the 100kW synchronous AC permanent magnet electric motor, one-speed transmission and charging system. Most of the other exterior and interior features of the e-Bus will remain, mostly unchanged. The battery units are contained inside custom engineered, reinforced and fireproof enclosures located under the front seats and in the former location of the fuel tank. The stock long-throw shifter remains but now actuates park, reverse, neutral, drive, and the regenerative braking modes (PRNDB) that are all familiar aspects of the e-Golf. To further maintain its authentic feel, the e-Bus will be fitted with a classically styled multi-function digital EV gauge in the dashboard. This gauge allows the operator to cycle through multiple views and monitor vehicle outputs.
Bogotá orders 379 electric buses from BYD
BYD will provide the Colombian capital of Bogotá with a fleet of 379 pure electric buses, in a deal awarded by the capital’s TransMilenio SA mass transport authority. This fleet will begin operations in September 2020, giving Bogotá the largest electric bus fleet on the continent and one of the largest in the world. Along with the 64 pure electric buses in Medellín, Colombia will have a total of 443 BYD electric buses, putting it at the vanguard of Latin America’s rapid push towards public transport electrification. The buses will be manufactured entirely by BYD and operate in the Integrated Public Transportation System – SITP, with the towns of Usme and Fontibón to be the first to enjoy the electric bus technology. This order also sees BYD again smashing the record for the largest electric bus order in the Americas, following its delivery of 183 buses to Chile during August 2019. It is estimated that in its first year of operation, this fleet will cancel out 21,900 tons of CO2 and 526 kilograms of PM2.5. It will also be 60% cheaper to operate these buses, compared to traditional diesel-powered buses. BYD’s zero-emission transportation solutions have gained ground in Latin America, and now successfully service markets in many other countries across the region, including Ecuador, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Panama, Uruguay and Argentina. Globally, BYD buses, taxis and other electric vehicles are present in more than 300 cities, 50 countries and regions.
Paks, Hungary orders 10 electric Solaris buses
The city of Paks, located in the central part of Hungary, has ordered 10 zero-emission electric buses from Solaris: six Solaris Urbino 12 electric vehicles and four 8.9-meter electric buses with five stationary chargers. Six Urbino 12 electric and four Urbino 8.9 LE electric will be delivered to Hungary within 11 months of signing the contract. The total contract value, including electric buses with five stationary chargers and after-sales service of the contract, amounted to €4.7 million. Urbino 12 electric According to the submitted offer, the 12-meter Solaris Urbino 12 electric vehicles will accommodate nearly 70 people on board, 28 of them in seating positions. The vehicles will be equipped with modern air conditioning with a roof heating function. There will also be USB ports mounted in the passenger compartment, thanks to which passengers will charge their mobile devices. Urbino 8.9 LE electric At the ordering party’s request, Solaris will also install a passenger information system, which will include directional boards and internal LED displays, video monitoring system, fire detection and extinguishing system and driver’s cabin of a closed type. The electrobuses will be driven by a 160 kW central traction motor. The energy necessary to drive it will be stored in Solaris High Energy batteries with a total capacity of 250 kWh. It will be supplemented via a plug-in connector. The smaller of the ordered electrobuses will share a similar standard of equipment. They will provide a travel for over 40 people, including 24 seated. Solaris will also use a 160 kW central motor to drive them. The Urbino 8.9 LE electric will be equipped with 200 kWh Solaris High Energy batteries which will be charged using a plug-in connection. The first electric buses in the city of Paks are also the first electric buses delivered by Solaris to Hungary. To date, the Polish manufacturer has already delivered almost 150 vehicles to the Republic of Hungary, including nearly 100 trolleybuses. Most of them went to the capital of the country, Budapest. Hungary has now the 18th European country to which Solaris will supply Urbino electric battery buses.
Volkswagen Group China to invest > €4B in 2020, 40% of it on emobility
Volkswagen Group China, together with its Chinese partners, plans to invest more than €4 billion next year, with around 40% of this investment going towards e-mobility. This will accelerate the Group’s electrification strategy, which will be strengthened next year through the start of production of models based on the modular electric drive toolkit MEB in Anting (SAIC VOLKSWAGEN) and Foshan (FAW-Volkswagen). Both factories are specifically designed for manufacturing all-electric cars. Today, almost every fifth car sold in China comes from the Volkswagen Group. In a challenging market environment, our strategies are paying off. I am looking forward to 2020, when our local e-car production will significantly increase in scale. Success in e-mobility will be a key driver for reaching our sustainability target, becoming net carbon neutral by 2050.—Dr. Stephan Wöllenstein CEO of Volkswagen Group China The e-mobility spending will be in fields such as production, infrastructure, development or research for electric cars. In the next few years, the company generally foresees to spend more on new energy vehicles than on combustion engine cars. The investment in 2020 will also target Volkswagen Group China’s other goals, including further optimizing its model portfolio, developing new mobility solutions, as well as making advancements in smart cities and autonomous driving. By the end of this year, Volkswagen Group China will already offer 14 electrified models, while the Group’s comprehensive electro-mobility offensive will launch next year. In 2020, production of all-electric cars on Volkswagen’s modular electric drive toolkit MEB will start in Anting and Foshan. They will start MEB-production in October 2020 with a total capacity of 600,000 units per year. Overall, the Group will offer 30 locally produced e-cars by 2025, including achieving 1.5 million e-cars sales by that point. In 2019, Volkswagen Group China has continued to deliver a solid performance, with this year achieving total cumulative sales of more than 42 million vehicles in the China market since first arriving in the country. By October, the Group has delivered 3.34 million vehicles and increased its market share to 19.5% (previous year 18.5%) in China. Despite headwinds in the market, Volkswagen Group China says that it expects to continue to outperform the overall market and is confident in the long-term potential of the Chinese auto development.
Pirelli developing tires to use 5G to send information about road surface conditions
Pirelli has developed intelligent tires that use the 5G network to transmit information regarding the road surface. In Turin, the company presented the “World-first 5G enhanced ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) services” use case. The demonstration took place during “The 5G Path of Vehicle-to-Everything Communication” event organized by 5GAA – Automotive Association, of which Pirelli is a member. Pirelli, Ericsson, Audi, Tim, Italdesign and KTH together staged a demonstration that took place on the roof of the Lingotto building showing how a vehicle equipped with the sensor-fitted Pirelli Cyber Tire and connected to the 5G network was able to transmit the risk of aquaplaning detected by the tires to a following car. This was due to 5G’s ultra-high band and low latency. The tire is the sole point of contact between the vehicle and road and, with the technology which Pirelli is developing, it communicated with the vehicle, driver and, thanks to the potential of 5G, with the entire roadway infrastructure. The Pirelli Cyber Tire, equipped with an internal sensor, will in future supply the car with data relative to the tire model, kilometers clocked, dynamic load and, for the first time, situations of potential danger on road surfaces, from the presence of water to poor grip. This information will enable the car to adapt its control and driving assistance systems, greatly improving the level of safety, comfort and performance. In addition, it will provide the same information to other cars and the infrastructure. Using the potential of 5G, Pirelli is able to place the tire inside a wider communication context which involves the entire ecosystem of on-road transportation, actively contributing to the development of solutions and services for future mobility and systems of autonomous driving. This year Pirelli also presented its Italia Track Adrenaline, a product for lovers of track days, which includes a line of sensor-fitted P Zero Trofeo tires. Track Adrenaline is a true track engineer in virtual form, which monitors tire pressure and temperature in real time and combines this information with telemetric data to provide the driver indications and suggestions on how to improve his or her on-track performance. The “sensoring” of tires is an integral part of Pirelli’s “Perfect Fit” strategy, focused on the development of tailor-made products and services to meet the needs of carmakers, fleets and drivers in general, with a view to the future and the changes underway in mobility.
BMW boosts CATL battery order to €7.3B, signs €2.9B battery order with Samsung SDI
The BMW Group is deepening its existing business relationships with battery cell manufacturers CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited) and Samsung SDI. The original CATL order volume of four billion euros announced in mid-2018 will now be increased to €7.3 billion (contract duration from 2020 to 2031), with €4.5 billion for the BMW Group and €2.8 billion for the Chinese production site of the BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. (BBA) joint venture in Shenyang. The BMW Group is the first customer of the CATL battery cell plant currently under construction in Erfurt, Germany. We strongly supported and played an active part in establishing CATL in Germany.—Dr. Andreas Wendt, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network The BMW Group has also signed a long-term supply contract for its fifth-generation electric drive trains with its second battery cell supplier, Samsung SDI. The contract, with value of €2.9 billion, extends from 2021 to 2031. In this way, we are securing our long-term battery cell needs. Every cell generation is awarded in global competition to the leading manufacturer from both a technology and a business perspective. This ensures we always have access to the best possible cell technology.—Andreas Wendt The BMW Group will source the cobalt needed as a key raw material for cell production directly from mines in Australia and Morocco and make it available to CATL and Samsung SDI. The same applies to lithium, which the BMW Group will also source directly from mines, including from Australia. This gives the company full transparency over where both raw materials come from. Compliance with environmental standards and respect for human rights have the highest priority. The BMW Group’s fifth-generation electric drive trains from 2021 on will also be produced entirely without using rare earths. The BMW Group possesses extensive in-house expertise throughout the entire value chain for battery cell technology. In-house battery production takes place at BMW Group Plants Dingolfing (Germany) and Spartanburg (USA), and at the BBA plant in Shenyang (China). The BMW Group has also localized battery production in Thailand and is working with the Dräxlmaier Group in this area. On 14 November, the company opened its Battery Cell Competence Center in Munich. The aim of the competence center is to advance battery cell technology and introduce it into production processes. The company invested a total of €200 million in the location, which is set to create up to 200 jobs. The production of battery cell prototypes makes it possible to analyze and fully understand cell value creation processes. Whether we then produce the cells ourselves at a later date, will largely depend on how the supplier market develops.—Andreas Wendt The BMW Group has formed a joint technology consortium with Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt and Umicore, a Belgian developer of battery materials, for the purpose of developing the cell technology crucial to electromobility. The cooperation will focus on creating a complete, sustainable value chain for battery cells in Europe, extending from development and production all the way to recycling. Recycling of battery components plays a decisive role in closing the materials cycle as far as possible and maximizing reuse of raw materials as demand for battery cells grows. By 2023, the BMW Group will have 25 electrified models in its line-up. The basis for this is created by flexible vehicle architectures for fully-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and models with combustion engines that enable the company to respond quickly to changing conditions. More than half of the 25 models will be fully electric. The BMW Group will double its sales of electrified vehicles between 2019 and 2021. The company expects to see a steep growth curve up to 2025: Global sales of electrified vehicles should increase by an average of more than 30% every year. In Europe, the company is also following an ambitious growth logic: The aim is to increase the percentage of electrified vehicles in the new vehicle fleet by a quarter in 2021 and a third in 2025; by 2030, they should account for half of sales volumes. 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 BMW Group will offer five fully-electric series-production vehicles: Alongside the BMW i3, with more than 160,000 units built to date, this year will see the start of production of the fully-electric MINI at Plant Oxford. 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 and the BMW i4 from Plant Munich.
BTG and GoodFuels exploring options for joint investment to convert pyrolysis oil to low-carbon fuel for ships
Biomass technology group BTG plans to set up a new high-tech technology company that can convert crude pyrolysis oil into diesel fuel suitable for the shipping sector. It will be the first refinery in the world for an advanced marine biofuel based on pyrolysis oil. The new facility will be operated by a new company named BTG-neXt. In the first phase, BTG-neXt will focus on building a pilot refinery for converting pyrolysis oil into 100% sustainable marine biodiesel for ships, in order to demonstrate that continuous production is feasible. Pyrolysis oil is made from biomass-based residues such as sawdust and roadside grass cuttings and is a sustainable alternative for replacing fossil fuels. Crucially, the new fuels will not make any concessions in terms of the sustainability of feedstocks. The new demonstration facility has a planned production capacity of a modest 1,000 tons of advanced marine fuel per year, with plans, if deemed successful, to scale up, in order to support the industry in meeting International Maritime Organisation (IMO) targets of a 50% reduction in Greenhouse Gas emissions by 2050, equivalent to an 85% reduction per vessel. This initial capacity is sufficient to demonstrate that the technology works and will serve as a basis for further scaling up our operations.—René Venendaal, CEO of BTG According to Venendaal, the pilot will require a six-figure investment. The goal is to use the pre-commercial facility as a reference for rolling out commercial refineries with a capacity of possibly hundreds of thousands of tons per year of an advanced sustainable marine biofuel for ships. BTG previously adopted a similar strategy for the production of pyrolysis oil in 2008, when it established a new company called BTG-BTL. Under the responsibility of BTG-BTL, the Empyro production facility in Hengelo, the Netherlands, was built, which demonstrated that it was not only technically feasible to produce oil from sawdust but that it was also a commercially viable proposition. In 2019, Empyro was acquired by the waste processing company Twence. In 2019, BTG-BTL received its first orders for almost identical copies of the Empyro plant for delivery to companies in Sweden and Finland, where sawmill waste such as sawdust will be used for producing pyrolysis oil. GoodFuels, a Dutch-based pioneer and market leader in sustainable biofuels for shipping, sees sufficient potential in BTG’s plans to explore the possibility of a collective investment in the demonstration plant. Over the last five years, GoodFuels has laid out a clear pathway for the use of biofuels in the shipping sector. Together with partners such as Boskalis Loodswezen, Port of Rotterdam, Norden, Jan de Nul and its portfolio of GoodShipping A-Brand clients we have shown that these fuels will play an essential role in making shipping more sustainable. Crucially, the next step is to scale up the processes without making any concessions in terms of the sustainability of the feedstocks used. BTG’s initiative meets all the success criteria, and we are very proud to work together with BTG to introduce this highly significant innovative technology in the Netherlands.—CEO of GoodFuels, Dirk Kronemijer GoodFuels intends to market the pilot volumes produced to further strengthen the commercial business case. The low-sulfur diesel fuel for the shipping sector made from pyrolysis oil will also ensure compliance with soon-to-be introduced global low sulfur fuel regulations. The ports of Rotterdam and Eemshaven are the locations being considered for the first commercial processing plant. The technology for producing oil via pyrolysis from plant-based residual waste streams such as wood residues and roadside grass was developed 30 years ago at the University of Twente.
Volkswagen first to use LNG for overseas car freighters from January 2020; MAN dual-fuel engines
Volkswagen Group Logistics is the first to use two car freighters powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) in overseas traffic. The two charter ships of Siem Car Carriers were launched last Friday in Xiamen, China. We are entering a new field here to reduce emissions. Both ships are the first overseas car freighters in the world to be LNG-powered. In addition to the increasing use of LNG trucks, conversion of our many rail transports to green electricity and the use of biofuel in the short sea segment, the two new LNG ships represent an important building block for our strategic goal of climate-neutral logistics.—Thomas Zernechel, Head of Group Logistics Both ships will replace two of the nine conventional heavy oil-powered cargo ships currently used by Group logistics on the Atlantic between Europe and North America. The SIEM CONFUCIUS will be integrated into this service from January 2020 after its transfer from Asia to Europe. The second ship will start operations in spring 2020 in the same area. The LNG engines reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 25%, nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 30%, particulate matter by up to 60% and sulfur oxide emissions by up to 100% per ship. The two ships, each 200 meters long and 38 meters wide, have 13 car decks and a capacity of 7,500 RT, which corresponds to approximately 4,700 vehicles of the Volkswagen Group model mix. So far, only a few smaller ships for rolling cargo have been built with LNG propulsion for short-haul traffic; for overseas vehicle shipments, Group logistics is a pioneer for this type of propulsion. Both vehicle transporters are powered by a 12,600 kW dual-fuel marine engine with direct injection and exhaust gas treatment from MAN Energy Solutions of the Volkswagen Group. In addition to LNG, they can also be operated with environmentally friendly e-gas produced via Power-to-X or biogas. In eco-speed mode, the ships are running 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h). With their two tanks, each holding 1,800 cubic meters, the transporters have similar vehicle capacities and ranges compared to conventional heavy oil-powered ocean freighters. We believe that the switch to LNG as marine fuel is the most important basis for a maritime energy revolution. In a second step, gas-capable ships can be operated with synthetically produced, climate-neutral fuels and are therefore future-proof. With this project, Volkswagen is pioneering the decarbonisation of global trade flows.—Uwe Lauber, CEO MAN Energy Solutions The Volkswagen Group Logistics organises, coordinates and accounts for around 7,700 ship departures worldwide each year. Several hundred liner ships and eleven car freighter charter ships sail the world’s oceans for the Group each day. Every year they ship 2.8 million new cars. In addition, there are 250,000 container loads on ships carrying construction and spare parts.
Electric Mercedes-Benz EQC to start in US from $67,900
The first fully electric Mercedes-Benz vehicle to launch globally under the new EQ brand, the EQC 400 4MATIC will arrive in US dealerships in early 2020, with prices starting from $67,900. The EQC features an all-new advanced drive system with compact electric drivetrains at each axle. To reduce power consumption, the electric drivetrains are configured differently: the front electric motor is optimized to achieve the highest efficiency in the low- to medium-load range, while the rear motor is designed to create a sporty driving experience. Together, they generate an output of 402 hp and a peak torque of 561 lb-ft (761 N·m). The 80 kWh high-voltage lithium-ion battery pack is housed in the vehicle floor. When coasting or braking, the mechanical rotation is converted into electrical energy and used to charge the battery (recuperation). During this process, both electric motors are used as generators. This achieves the maximum recuperative deceleration. The EQC is equipped with the innovative multimedia system Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) as standard, with numerous EQ-specific functions such as the display of range, charge status and energy flow. MBUX utilizes the standard EQ Optimized Navigation and Mercedes me Charge to calculate the most efficient route for any trip. MBUX recommends the shortest amount of time needed to get to destinations and uses online services to find available DC Fast Charging stations to use if the operating range is insufficient, while Mercedes me Charge provides drivers access to the largest charging network in the United States. Thanks to optimized navigation, Mercedes-Benz customers can also easily find charging stations and gain convenient access anytime via the Mercedes me Charge card, the Mercedes me App, or directly from the car, providing a truly seamless and integrated payment function and simple, monthly billing. The onboard charger makes the most from available external power, with the battery able to recharge from 10% to 80% in just 40 minutes. EQ-optimized navigation, driving modes, charging current and departure time can also be controlled and set via MBUX. At launch, there will be three available tiers: Progressive, Premium and Advanced. The Progressive and Premium tiers offer two uniquely curated paint and upholstery options, while three selections will be available for the Advanced tier. Each tier builds upon the prior with Progressive as the entry point. Standard feature highlights include DYNAMIC SELECT with EQ optimized drive modes, the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) multimedia and infotainment system with EQ optimized navigation, dual-10.25" digital displays with touchscreen, Mercedes Me Charge with 3 years service included, 64-color ambient lighting with “EQC” illuminated door sills, Active Brake Assist with autonomous emergency braking, Car-to-X Communication and LED Intelligent Light System Headlamps with adaptive highbeam assist. The Premium tier further builds upon the Progressive platform by adding the AMG Line Exterior Package, Parking Assistance Package with 360-degree surround view, wireless charging with NFC pairing, Natural Grain Wood Trim and Aero Package. The Aero Package includes aluminum-look running boards that improve aerodynamics and add extra aero elements under the body of the car to help reduce the coefficient of drag, thus improving the range. The Advanced tier offers the highest equipment level, including all Premium tier content, and also adds leather upholstery, heated outboard rear seats, ventilated front seats and the Driver Assistance Package. The Driver Assistance Package offers the latest suite of Mercedes-Benz driver assistance systems. This include new functions such as Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC predictive speed adjustment that can reduce speed as a precaution when approaching traffic. Production of the EQC started in 2019 at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen. The new EQC will be integrated into ongoing series production as a fully electric vehicle, and the very latest production technologies will be employed. The EQC will go on sale in the US in early 2020.
Anheuser-Busch completes first zero-emission beer delivery; BYD and Nikola
Anheuser-Busch, in partnership with Nikola Motor Company and BYD Motors LLC, completed its first Zero-Emission Beer Delivery in its hometown of St. Louis. The company delivered beer from the local Anheuser-Busch brewery to the Enterprise Center using only zero-emission trucks. A Nikola hydrogen-electric truck picked up the load of beer, including flagship beer brand Bud Light, and delivered it to Anheuser-Busch local wholesaler partner, Lohr Distributors – marking the first commercial delivery onboard a Nikola hydrogen-electric vehicle. Lohr Distributors then delivered the beer to the Enterprise Center, home of the St. Louis Blues, on a BYD electric truck. The delivery builds on Anheuser-Busch’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and existing partnerships with both Nikola and BYD. Through its 2025 Sustainability Goals, Anheuser-Busch has committed to reducing carbon emissions across their value chain by 25% by 2025. Last year, Anheuser-Busch placed an order for up to 800 hydrogen-electric powered semi-trucks from Nikola, a pioneer in hydrogen-electric renewable technology. The partnership will help the brewer transition their entire long-haul dedicated fleet to zero-emission vehicles. To complement the Nikola partnership within their routes, Anheuser-Busch also announced a pilot project with BYD in California last month to improve the sustainability of their fleet at four Anheuser-Busch distribution facilities across southern California. The 21 BYD electric trucks as well as a 958.5 kW solar array to charge the vehicles will be implemented this year as the largest Class 8 electric truck deployment in North America. To further highlight the power of partnership, Anheuser-Busch is hosting more than 100 strategic suppliers and partners in St. Louis this week for their inaugural Eclipse Summit to discuss best practices and align on collective action in sustainability. Both Nikola and BYD will be participating in the summit to highlight their technology and the impact of their partnerships with the brewer.
Hyundai boosts range in refreshed IONIQ EV to ~170 miles
Hyundai introduced its refreshed IONIQ car lineup in a North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. IONIQ Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid and Electric cars all receive refreshed exterior and interior designs, added infotainment technology and new Hyundai SmartSense active safety features and driving assistance systems. Drivers of the new 2020 IONIQ Electric can also enjoy 170 miles (274 km) of range thanks to an upgraded 38.3-kWh battery with 36% more energy capacity. All 2020 IONIQ models also receive revised feature packaging because of all the product enhancements. IONIQ Hybrid with an EPA estimated 58 combined MPG remains the fuel economy leader for a non-plug-in vehicle. The new IONIQ Hybrid, Plug-in and Electric are available to customers now. Introduced in 2016, IONIQ was planned from the start to offer three electrified powertrains: hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full electric. For the 2020 model year, IONIQ has a new aerodynamic exterior and interior design. New segment first features such as Highway Driving Assist (optional) and Lane Following Assist (optional) make long trips less stressful and more comfortable. All redesigned IONIQ models are equipped with a comprehensive Hyundai SmartSense technology package. The assistance system constantly monitors the environment around the car alerting drivers to potential hazards while on the road. This system includes standard Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, High Beam Assist and a Drivers Attention Warning. The new IONIQ Electric’s battery has been upgraded from 28 kWh to 38.3 kWh, and offers a total of 170 miles of estimated range. Its e-motor delivers 134 horsepower and 218 lb.-ft. of torque and is fitted standard with a 7.2-kW on-board charger—an upgrade from current 6.6-kW—for Type 2 AC charging. Using a 100-kW fast-charging station, the battery can reach 80% charge in as little as 54 minutes. The new IONIQ Hybrid and IONIQ Plug-in both feature the known 1.6-liter GDI four-cylinder engine delivering 104 horsepower and 109 lb.-ft. of torque. IONIQ Hybrid’s permanent magnet electric motor delivers 32 kW with maximum torque of 125 lb.-ft., powered by a lithium-ion-polymer battery with 1.56 kWh of capacity positioned under the rear seats. The plug-in version’s electric motor delivers 45 kW (60 horsepower) with maximum torque of 125 lb.-ft., powered by an 8.9 kWh lithium-ion-polymer battery. The 1.6-liter GDI engine combined with the electric motor in IONIQ Hybrid delivers a total system output of 139 horsepower and up to 195 lb.-ft. of torque. The IONIQ Plug-in Hybrid model delivers a total system output of 156 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. IONIQ Hybrid Blue model still has an EPA-estimated 58 MPG combined rating, the highest rating of any non-plug-in vehicle sold in the U.S. market. Drivers choosing IONIQ Plug-in can safely rely on 29 miles of pure electric driving range powered by the 8.9 kWh battery pack. The upgraded IONIQ line still feature Hyundai’s Blue Link connected car system, which uses embedded telematics to allow drivers to remote start their vehicle and control air conditioning using the MyHyundai smartphone app. The app also allows users to remote lock or unlock their doors, and find their vehicle in a crowded parking lot with Car Finder and remote horn and lights. This technology also allows owners of the plug-in or electric model to remotely check the status of their battery so they know when they need to recharge the vehicle. Thanks to Blue Link, charging can be remotely controlled and scheduled via the app. In addition, Blue Link in the new IONIQ arrives with cloud-based navigation, which offers free up-to-the-minute traffic information, POI searches, dealer locator as well as the ability to locate nearby charging stations.
Webasto announces modular battery system, thermal management and charging solutions
Webasto exhibited elements of a new modular battery system, thermal management and charging solutions in Ford Motor Company’s booth recently at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Webasto won Ford’s 2019 Best of Show Stand Award for Outstanding Achievement in Design for Mustang Lithium, a one-off battery electric prototype with 1,000 ft-lbs of torque and more than 900 horsepower. (Earlier post.) Webasto modular battery system. Webasto first entered the electric vehicle market in 2014 with the high voltage heater, as part of its strategic plan to serve its OEM customers as they moved more decisively into the e-mobility space. Our expansion into battery systems, battery testing equipment, thermal management and charging systems means that both small and large manufacturers now have a respected supplier with decades of experience working within the complex vehicle manufacturing environment, as well as with dealers across North America, Europe and China.—Mark Denny, president and CEO of Webasto Customized Solutions in North America The Webasto CV standard battery system is designed for scalability and configuration flexibility. Each battery pack has 35 kWh of energy; up to 10 packs can be used for a combined 350 kWh. With 400V and 800V versions available, the system can be easily configured via the vehicle interface box (VIB), which is the master battery management system and power distribution unit. Within the battery pack, the self-contained modules also include desiccant cartridges that reduce condensation, integrated thermal runaway detection sensors and state-of-the-art pressure equalization monitors for added safety. The compact, energy-dense format makes the battery packs easy for engineers to configure for use on virtually any vehicle platform. The commercial vehicle (CV) Standard Battery System is now available in North America. With this modular battery system, Webasto meets the requirements of several commercial vehicle manufacturers to have a cost-efficient solution even for small quantities. Thermal Management Systems. Conditioning the battery is essential for battery life and health. Webasto offers both off-the-shelf solutions for the CV Standard Battery and custom developments for OEM projects. Using both active and passive cooling, electric fluid heating and heat pump configurations, the Webasto thermal management keeps battery systems in optimum operating temperature which have a positive effect on performance and range.
LanzaTech moving forward on scale-up of sustainable aviation fuels in US and Japan
LanzaTech continues to make strides in scaling up its alcohol-to-jet (ATJ) platform. Commercialization of the ATJ process has been years in the making, starting with the partnership between LanzaTech and the US Energy Department’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. PNNL developed a unique catalytic process to upgrade ethanol to alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK) which LanzaTech took from the lab to pilot scale. After initial scale-up, qualification by ASTM and the first commercial flight with Virgin Atlantic, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) made from captured pollution is ready for full-scale demonstration and commercialization. The US Department of Energy (DOE) is in the negotiation stage with LanzaTech for a $14 million investment in a demonstration-scale integrated biorefinery at LanzaTech’s Freedom Pines site in Soperton, Georgia, according to Michael Berube, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the DOE. LanzaTech still has some remaining work to do under the initial award, and we have some negotiations to complete. But we’re very excited about the prospects of this project and what it could mean for demonstrating the viability of drop-in biofuels in the United States.—Michael Berube This investment follows the FY2015 Project Development for Pilot and Demonstration Scale Manufacturing of Biofuels, Bioproducts, and Biopower FOA, under which LanzaTech’s proposal was selected for a feasibility study to plan and design an integrated biorefinery that will produce low-carbon jet and diesel fuels. LanzaTech’s process can use any source of sustainable ethanol for jet fuel production, including ethanol made from recycled pollution. LanzaTech’s first commercial plant in China has produced more than 10 million gallons of ethanol from recycled steel mill emissions to date. The flexibility of the technology to utilize a variety of local waste feedstocks attracted the attention of All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest 5-Star airline for seven consecutive years, resulting in an offtake agreement with LanzaTech signed earlier this year, allowing ANA to purchase sustainable aviation fuel from LanzaTech’s process. Following on from this agreement, ANA, strategic investor in LanzaTech, Mitsui & Co., and JXTG Energy have been selected by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) to conduct a feasibility study on scaling the LanzaTech ATJ (alcohol-to-jet) platform in Japan. Together the partners will establish a sustainable domestic supply chain for ATJ, key to achieving full commercial deployment in Japan. ANA and Mitsui & Co. kicked off the project by conducting a Boeing 777-300ER ferry flight using sustainable aviation fuel made from recycled carbon on 30 October 2019. As the fuel producer, LanzaTech worked closely with all partners, advising how best to transport and blend the fuel for loading on the aircraft. Sustainable aviation fuel reduces carbon emissions by up to 80% and is a key element of the industry’s climate action strategy. ANA’s flight demonstrated once again that sustainable fuel blends perfectly with conventional fuel without the need for any changes to the airplane, engines or airport fueling infrastructure.—Sheila Remes, vice president of strategy at Boeing Commercial Airplanes LanzaTech’s carbon capture platform for SAF is now poised for scale-up in the United States and Japan. Also, in the UK, LanzaTech is a shortlisted applicant for a grant from the UK Department for Transport (DfT).
Hyundai’s Hydrogen Mobility Solution wins 2020 Truck Innovation Award
Hyundai Motor’s Hydrogen Mobility Solution has won the second International Truck of the Year (IToY) Truck Innovation Award. Hyundai Motor Company and H2 Energy set up its joint venture (JV), Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility, in April 2019. (Earlier post.) The goal of the cooperation is to expand Europe’s hydrogen mobility ecosystem by implementing the use of fuel cell trucks. The joint entity began its active progress toward clean mobility in Switzerland with the company’s plans to deliver 1,600 fuel cell electric heavy-duty trucks by 2025. The JV will spread its reach for an innovative pan-European solution for the commercialized fuel-cell-vehicle market. The IToY Truck Innovation Award is determined by a jury of 25 commercial vehicle editors and senior journalists that represent major trucking magazines from Europe and South Africa. They gather to evaluate technological innovations and contributions to energy transition within the commercial vehicle industry over the past few years. The jury voted at Solutrans, an industrial and urban vehicle show, held 18-23 November 2019 in Lyon, France. The jury highly acknowledged Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility Solution’s global approach to the paradigm shift toward clean energy-driven mobility in the commercial vehicle sector. The project’s fleet of Xcient fuel-cell-electric heavy-duty trucks aims to confirm the technical and commercial readiness of vehicles, fueling stations and hydrogen production techniques to be deployed across Europe. Last month, Hyundai revealed its commercial truck mobility vision at the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) Show in Atlanta, Ga. At the show, Hyundai debuted the HDC-6 NEPTUNE Concept, a hydrogen-powered Class 8 heavy duty truck and Hyundai Translead’s HT Nitro ThermoTech Concept, an energy-efficient refrigerated trailer. (Earlier post.)
Toyota’s new RAV4 plug-in hybrid SUV offers 39 miles AER, 90 MPGe
At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Toyota introduced its new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) RAV4 performance model with an estimated 302-horsepower, advanced all-wheel drive, sport-tuned suspension and exclusive design features. In addition to an ability to do 0-60 mph in a projected 5.8 seconds—the second quickest acceleration time in the Toyota lineup—the 2021 RAV4 Prime has an estimated 39 miles of all-electric range—the highest AER of any PHEV SUV on the market. The RAV4 Prime also has a manufacturer-estimated 90 combined MPGe. The Toyota RAV4 Prime will come to market in summer 2020. As a technology comparison, the 2006-2012 RAV4 offered an optional 269-hp, 3.5-liter gas V6 engine that reached 0-60 mph in 6.3-seconds—a half-second slower than the RAV4 Prime—and a 21 combined MPG fuel economy rating. The 2021 RAV4 Prime will be available in SE and XSE grades, both emphasizing athletic on-road performance and premium comfort and style. With its plug-in hybrid technology advancing, Toyota sees such vehicles as critical to an overall electrification strategy that will also include standard hybrids and battery electric vehicles (BEVs), along with fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) such as the second-generation Mirai unveiled in October. The Toyota RAV4 Prime builds on the RAV4 Hybrid. With more powerful motor-generators, a newly developed high-capacity Lithium-Ion battery and a booster converter, the 2021 RAV4 Prime yields an 83-horsepower (hp) jump in total system output over the RAV4 Hybrid and has the most horsepower in its segment. Toyota projects 0-60 mph acceleration in 5.8 seconds which is quicker than the RAV4 Hybrid (7.8 sec.) and in a league with luxury/performance SUVs that come nowhere near this Toyota’s fuel economy. Notably, the RAV4 Prime uses regular-grade gasoline. The RAV4 Prime uses a differently tuned version of the RAV4 Hybrid’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine. It produces the same projected 176 hp as in the hybrid, but paired with the electric motors, total system output equals 302 horsepower. The RAV4 Prime’s passenger space isn’t compromised by the larger Lithium-Ion battery, as it is mounted under the floor. The mounting position also gives the RAV4 Prime a low center of gravity and enhanced driving stability. The RAV4 Prime’s enhanced heat pump HVAC system, based on Prius Prime’s and tailored to fit RAV4 Prime, contributes to an increasing EV range, as energy consumption for cabin temperature control can significantly decrease EV driving range. The RAV4 Prime employs the same version of Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive (AWD) as the RAV4 Hybrid. In both models, a separate rear-mounted electric motor powers the rear wheels when needed, including proactively on acceleration startup and also in reduced-traction conditions. The AWD system also reduces understeer during cornering for enhanced steering stability. Off-pavement, AWD enhances hill-climbing performance. A driver-selectable Trail mode makes it possible to get unstuck by braking a spinning wheel and sending torque to the grounding wheel. With available paddle shifters, the driver can “downshift” to increase the regenerative braking in steps, which fosters greater control when driving in hilly areas, for example. As on the RAV4 Hybrid, the innovative Predictive Efficient Drive feature acts like an invisible “hyper-miler” co-driver. Using the available navigation system, Predictive Efficient Drive essentially reads the road and learns driver patterns to optimize hybrid battery charging and discharging operations based on driving conditions. The system accumulates data as the vehicle is driven and “remembers” road features such as hills and stoplights and adjusts the hybrid powertrain operation to maximize efficiency. All Toyota RAV4 models come equipped with standard Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0), which groups a long roster of active-safety technologies and capabilities: Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD) Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA) Automatic High Beam (AHB) Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) Road Sign Assist (RSA) The XSE Premium Package adds Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) and Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automated Braking (PA w/AB). Starting with the 2020 model year, every Toyota Hybrid Battery Warranty has been increased from 8 years or 100,000 miles to 10 years from original date of first use, or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Audi unveils e-tron Sportback electric SUV Coupé; market intro spring 2020
Audi unveiled the second model in its e-tron product line. The Audi e-tron Sportback is a battery-electric SUV coupé offering up to 300 kW of power and a range of up to 446 kilometers (277.1 miles) (WLTP) from a single battery charge. Combined electric power consumption is 26.3 - 21.6 kWh/100 km (WLTP); 23.9 – 20.6 kWh/100 km (NEDC). The Audi e-tron Sportback can be ordered as of the end of November. Market introduction in Europe is scheduled for the spring of 2020. Audi is introducing the new e-tron Sportback with two powertrain versions: the e-tron Sportback 55 quattro, and the e-tron Sportback 50 quattro, with less power, battery capacity, and range. The Audi e-tron Sportback 55 quattro. Each axle is fitted with an asynchronous electric motor that is fed with three-phase current by the power electronics. Output is 265 kW and 561 N·m (413.8 lb-ft) of torque. The Audi e-tron Sportback 55 quattro takes 6.6 seconds to reach 100 km/h (62.1 mph), and its top speed is electronically limited to 200 km/h (124.3 mph). By shifting from drive range D to S and fully depressing the accelerator pedal, the driver can activate boost mode. Here, the drive generates 300 kW of output and 664 N·m (489.7 lb-ft) of torque for eight seconds. This enables the SUV coupé to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.7 seconds. Two-stage planetary gearboxes with one gear range transfer the torque from the electric motors to the axles. A switch, which the driver can operate with the thumb and forefinger, is used to select the gears. It is embedded in a lever that is set low above the center tunnel and serves as a hand rest. Electric all-wheel drive delivers outstanding traction and dynamism on any terrain. It continuously regulates the ideal drive torque distribution between both axles within fractions of a second. In most driving situations, the Audi e-tron Sportback relies exclusively on its rear electric motor for efficiency. If the driver requests more output than it can provide, the front unit is instantly activated. This also happens predictively before slip occurs in icy conditions or when cornering fast, or if the car understeers or oversteers. A key factor behind the sporty character and outstanding transverse dynamics is the low installation position of the drive components, resulting in a center of gravity that is much lower than in a conventional SUV. All of the heaviest components are concentrated in the center of the vehicle. The axle load distribution with a ratio of almost 50:50 is perfectly balanced; the self-steering behavior is neutral. With components such as the five-link suspensions, the progressive steering and the electrohydraulic brake system, the suspension combines the latest technologies, which together ensure agile vehicle handling and a high degree of comfort. The standard 255/55 R19 size tires stand out with their ultra-low rolling resistance. On request, tires of up to 22 inches will also be available from the middle of 2020—one size larger than on the e-tron. The dynamic handling system Audi drive select—fitted as standard in the Audi e-tron Sportback allows the driver to switch the method of operation of multiple drive components between seven profiles. This creates a marked difference between smooth rolling comfort and sporty, stable handling. The adaptive air suspension with controlled dampers provides a major contribution to this versatile character. At higher speeds, the body is lowered, noticeably improving airflow around it and extending the vehicle’s range. In total, the system is capable of varying the ride height by up to 76 millimeters (3.0 in). 95 kWh battery system. The battery system of the Audi e-tron Sportback 55 quattro stores 95 kWh of gross energy (86.5 kWh net) and operates at a rated voltage of 396 volts. It is fitted as a wide flat block beneath the passenger cell, to which it is bolted at 35 points. The battery system is exceptionally rigid and crash-proof due to a solid protective frame and an aluminum laminate that holds the 36 cell modules. These are arranged on two levels, as a long lower “floor” with 31 modules and a short upper floor with five modules. Each module integrates twelve pouch cells. The cooling system is located beneath the cell chamber. During deceleration actions of up to 0.3 g—which applies to more than 90% of such actions in everyday driving—the high-voltage battery is charged by the electric motors, primarily by the rear electric motor, which act as generators in these situations. The recuperation system provides for variable regulation of energy recuperation between both electric modules—both in coasting mode when the driver releases the right-hand pedal as well as during braking. The degree of coasting recuperation can be set to three stages by means of paddles on the steering wheel and is even more strongly differentiated than on the e-tron. When braking from 100 km/h (62.1 mph), the Audi e-tron Sportback can recuperate a maximum of 300 N·m (221.3 lb-ft) and 220 kW. As with its sister model, this amounts to more than 70% of its output and more than any other production model. Overall, the SUV‑coupé attains up to 30% of its range through recuperation. The wheel brakes, the innovative electrohydraulic activation concept of which allows them to respond with exceptional speed, come into play only at deceleration forces greater than 0.3 g. Depending on the driving situation, the control system decides individually for each axle whether the SUV coupé recuperates using just the electric motors, just the wheel brakes, or a combination of both. The transition between electric and hydraulic braking is smooth and homogeneous so the driver does not even notice it. Brake forces remain constant. On the wheel brakes of the Audi e-tron Sportback, the developers have substantially reduced residual brake torque—the losses that occur during brief application of the brake pads against the disk. This benefits both efficiency and range. The same applies to three additional measures: During normal vehicle operation, the front electric motor is almost completely decoupled from the drive. An increase in the usable range of the high-voltage battery combined with a reduction in several of the volume flows in the coolant circuit means that the pump has to provide less power. The highly flexible thermal management, which comprises four separate circuits, regulates the temperature of the high-voltage components with maximum efficiency. This enables rapid DC charging, a long battery life cycle, and reproducible performance even under heavy loads. The standard heat pump, which harnesses waste heat from the high-voltage battery, can use up to 3 kW of actual power losses for heating and air conditioning the interior—which is exceptionally efficient. Depending on the outside temperature, that can boost the Audi e-tron Sportback’s range by up to ten percent in customer operation. Audi e-tron Sportback 50 quattro. At market launch, Audi will offer the all-electric drive SUV coupé with a second motor variant. The e-tron Sportback 50 quattro generates 230 kW of output and 540 N·m (398.3 lb-ft) of torque. A 71 kWh battery packs dispenses with the upper “floor;” its 27 modules each consist of twelve prismatic cells. The system, which weighs roughly 120 kilograms (264.6 lb) less than the battery of the Sportback 55 quattro, provides 71 kWh of gross energy (64.7 kWh net). This allows the SUV coupé to cover up to 347 kilometers (215.6 mi) on a full charge in the WLTP cycle. The Audi e-tron Sportback 50 quattro accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 6.8 seconds and has a top speed of 190 km/h (118.1 mph). Combined electric power consumption is 26.3 - 21.6 kWh/100 km (WLTP); 23.9 – 21.4 (NEDC). Charging. The Audi e-tron Sportback 55 quattro can charge with direct current (DC) at up to 150 kW at fast-charging stations. In just under half an hour, the battery reaches 80% of its capacity—sufficient for the next leg of a long-distance trip. The e-tron Sportback 50 quattro can charge at up to 120 kW and achieves an identical charge status in the same time. Charging at public AC charging stations can be performed using a standard mode-3 cable. Up to 11 kW of power is available here, which can be increased to 22 kW with an optional second on-board charging device that will be available in summer 2020. Audi’s own charging service, the e-tron Charging Service, provides easy access to almost 120,000 public charging points in 21 European countries – and the number is rising. Whether AC or DC, 11 or 150 kW—a single card is all that is required to start the process. The Plug & Charge function, which is also due to follow in 2020, will make charging even more convenient: The car authorizes itself at the charging station and activates it. Audi also offers a range of solutions for charging in the garage at home, depending on the capacity of the domestic power supply. The standard compact charging system is suitable for a simple 230-volt connection and for a 400-volt three-phase outlet with an output of up to 11 kW. The optional charging stem connect will be available for ordering at market launch. It offers smart charging functions, for example preferred charging at low-cost times. The combination with a suitable home energy management system allows the vehicle to be charged preferably with self-generated solar power, provided that the house is equipped with a photovoltaic system. Aerodynamics. The Audi e-tron Sportback in conjunction with an S line exterior and virtual exterior mirrors achieves a drag coefficient value of 0.25—better than its Audi e-tron sister model. This is primarily due to the coupé body shape and the associated lower aerodynamic drag behind the car. The high separating edge of the Sportback minimizes swirl in the air flow in this area, which ultimately also benefits consumption. In the WLTP cycle, the SUV coupé has a range of up to 446 kilometers on a single battery charge. Roughly 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) of the increased range compared to the e-tron can be attributed to the aerodynamically more favorable body. The optional virtual exterior mirrors, whose wing-shaped supports integrate small cameras, represent yet another efficiency factor. The captured images appear on high-contrast OLED displays in the transition between the instrument panel and the door. If the driver moves his or her finger toward the surface of the touch display, symbols are activated with which the driver can reposition the image. In addition, the mirrors adjust automatically to three driving situations: On the highway as well as during turning and parking maneuvers, they provide optimum visibility for each scenario. The aerodynamic refinement also extends to areas hidden from view. Among others, these include the controllable air intake with channels for cooling the front brakes, the aero wheels, and the fully lined underbody including the aluminum plate to protect the high-voltage battery. Digital matrix LED headlights. With digital matrix LED headlights as top-of-the range equipment, Audi presents a worldwide first in a production vehicle: Broken down into minute pixels, the light can illuminate the road in high resolution. The design is based on a technology abbreviated as DMD (digital micromirror device) and is also used in many video projectors. At its heart is a small chip containing one million micromirrors, each of whose edge length measures just a few hundredths of a millimeter. With the help of electrostatic fields, each individual micromirror can be tilted up to 5,000 times per second. Depending on the setting, the LED light is either directed via the lenses onto the road or is absorbed in order to mask out areas of the light beam. In the Audi e-tron Sportback, the digital light that will expand the offering in mid-2020, performs multiple tasks. It can generate dynamic leaving- and coming-home animations that appear as projections on a wall or on the ground. This presentation transforms the area in front of the car into a carefully illuminated stage. Not only does the digital light system deliver cornering, city, and highway lighting as versions of the low-beam light with exceptional precision, it also supplements the high-beam light by masking out other road users with even greater accuracy. Above all, however, it offers innovative functions such as lane light and orientation light. On freeways, the lane light creates a carpet of light that illuminates the driver’s own lane brightly and adjusts dynamically when he or she changes lane. In this way, it improves the driver’s awareness of the relevant lane and contributes to improved road safety. In addition, the orientation light uses darkened areas masked out from the light beam to predictively show the vehicle’s position in the lane, thereby supporting—especially on narrow roads or in highway construction zones—the safe lane centering assist. The marking light function is also used in conjunction with the optional night vision assist. The light automatically draws attention to any pedestrians it detects, thereby reducing the danger of overlooking pedestrians in the immediate vicinity of the lane. Customization after the purchase: Functions on demand. The Audi e-tron Sportback is a standard-bearer for the new digital services and business areas that the brand is opening up. One of these is the “functions on demand” offering, which covers functions from the areas of light, driver assist systems, and infotainment. The customer can book them online, on demand and at any time. Even after they have taken delivery of their car, the customer can now continually customize it to their individual requirements. Every function can be obtained for varying periods—monthly, annually, or permanently. Functions are booked either via the myAudi app or on the myAudi online portal and paid for conveniently and securely via AudiPay. At market launch: Edition model “edition one”. The Audi e-tron Sportback, which is being built in the CO2-neutral plant in Brussels, will debut on the European market in spring 2020. In Germany, the e-tron Sportback will be available in the two output variants, with the base price starting at €71,350. To celebrate the launch, Audi will offer the limited-edition model “edition one” in plasma blue. Based on the S line exterior, it also includes the virtual exterior mirrors, attachments finished in an aluminum look, exclusive 21-inch wheels, orange brake calipers, and the panoramic glass sunroof. The illuminated front door sill trims project the model name “edition one” as a logo onto the ground. The interior offers a choice between the interior design selection, supplemented with customized contour seats with exclusive Monaco gray seat covers in Valcona leather, and the S line interior with sport seats also in Valcona leather. The equipment also includes the Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System with front 3D sound, the assist package Tour and matrix LED headlights with front and rear dynamic turn signals as well as dynamic light scenarios.
VW ID. SPACE VIZZION electric concept makes global debut in LA
Volkswagen unveiled the ID. SPACE VIZZION electric concept—the seventh concept built off of the MEB platform—at a special event in Los Angeles. The Volkswagen ID. SPACE VIZZION electric concept combines the aerodynamic design of a Gran Turismo with the spaciousness and versatility of an SUV. With an 82 kWh battery and a low drag coefficient of 0.24, the vehicle has a range of 590 kilometers (367 miles) on the WLTP cycle and a predicted range of up to 300 miles (483 km) on the EPA cycle. The ID. SPACE VIZZION previews a potential production car for Europe and North America. The concept car is manufactured on Volkswagen’s modular electric drive matrix (MEB), as are all ID. family models. This creates an entirely new package as the electric drive components are extremely compact and the battery is integrated into the vehicle floor to save space, making it possible to alter a vehicle’s overall architecture. The concept car is fitted with a rear-mounted, 275 hp motor, but a second motor could be fitted to give all-wheel-drive capability and a total output of 355 hp. The ID. SPACE VIZZION is 195.2 inches long, 60.2 inches high, and 74.7 inches wide. The ID. SPACE VIZZION exhibited in Los Angeles is powered by a 275 hp rear- mounted electric motor. An 82 kWh lithium-ion battery supplies power to the electric drive motor. Power electronics on the front and rear axle control the flow of high-voltage energy between the motor and the battery. The on-board electronics are supplied with 12 volts via a DC/DC converter. Near ideal weight distribution (approaching 50:50) is achieved with the MEB architecture, which results in extremely dynamic and safe handling. The fully redeveloped running gear also has a significant influence on this, featuring electronic damping control, a multi-link rear suspension, and a strut-type front suspension. In addition to the 275-hp rear-mounted motor, the ID. SPACE VIZZION can also be fitted with a 101-hp coaxial drive, which gives the vehicle all-wheel-drive capability and a system output of 335 hp. In addition, the ID. SPACE VIZZION 4Motion can also be driven in permanent all-wheel drive. The 4Motion version of the ID. SPACE VIZZION sprints to 60 mph from rest in just 5.0 seconds and the maximum speed is electronically limited to 109 mph. Aerodynamics. Since electric vehicles don’t need a radiator or space for an engine, this creates new design freedom. In the case of the ID. SPACE VIZZION, the designers and engineers have taken advantage of this freedom to optimize the aerodynamics and thus increase the efficiency and range. Air flows under a horizontal panel between the headlights and over the extremely low hood, before being directed to the rear, where there is another horizontal panel over the tailgate that allows air to flow under it. The air also flows into ducts in the front bumper, where it is also directed rearwards. The vents in the bumper and the hood panel have been designed as functional features, but are also unique design elements. The extra focus on the aerodynamics also influences the design of the vehicle’s side panels. There are no conventional door handles to interrupt the airflow. Instead, the ID. SPACE VIZZION features illuminated touch surfaces which light up as soon as the car’s Keyless Advanced function detects someone approaching with a vehicle key or a synchronized mobile key on a smartphone. When the person makes contact with the touch-activated surface, the light pulsates, the touch pad vibrates, and the door opens. Form and function also create an aerodynamic alliance at the rear of the vehicle. One of the dominant elements is the roof spoiler, which spans the roof like a bridge and opens out at the bottom, allowing the air to flow both above and below the spoiler. This layout reduces turbulence and optimizes airflow. The roof spoiler, spoiler lip and diffuser work together to reduce turbulence at the rear end and help to optimize the vehicle’s range. All-digital cockpit. Volkswagen’s ID. SPACE VIZZION features an all-digital cockpit. The straightforward logic of the controls is reflected in the new lightness of the interior design. You can create a bespoke visual appearance in the interior using ambient lighting with a spectrum of 30 colors. For the first time, individual colors can be assigned to touch-activated surfaces in the central infotainment system for functions such as media or phone. Natural voice control is another important tool for operating the vehicle. The new multifunction steering wheel is equipped with capacitive touch panels. The right-hand steering column switch now becomes a shift lever. It is easier and more intuitive than ever before—turn the switch one notch forward out of the neutral position (N) to activate drive mode (D); turn it again to activate energy recovery mode (B); Park (P including parking brake) is activated by pressing the side of the steering column switch. Because the gearshift function is now on the right, the windshield wiper function migrates to the left-hand steering column switch for the first time in a Volkswagen. The driver automatically and intuitively takes key information from the ID. Light—an interactive light strip between the A-pillars. The ID. Light also provides the vehicle with a way to give feedback, by greeting the driver upon entry (welcome scenario); indicating that the electric motors are operational; saying goodbye when the driver leaves the vehicle (goodbye sequence); interacting visually with voice control to help the driver; and displaying important information from the assistance systems in the driver’s peripheral vision. Different colors are used depending on the function. The ID. Light highlights the instructions issued by driver assistance systems and navigation, provides information on the battery charge level, and notifies the driver of brake prompts or incoming telephone calls. For example, in navigation, the ID. Light flashes to recommend that you change lanes, and the system can also warn the driver if their car is in the wrong lane. With voice control, the driver and front passenger receive voice feedback in the form of a light signal. The light indicates whether the voice control assistant is responding to the driver or the front passenger. Colors are also used in line with intuitive perception—green indicates a fully charged battery while red is used for braking prompts. The ID. SPACE VIZZON recognizes the driver on the basis of the vehicle key or mobile key and adjusts to his or her settings before heading off. The driver can go to a central home screen to set up personalized touch-activated fields (tiles) on three different levels and use these to control all the infotainment system functions. The color spectrum of the infotainment system also changes according to the selected background lighting color. If the ID. SPACE VIZZION detects a stressful situation, such as rush hour traffic jams, the system suggests switching to a relaxation mode in which a calming ambient lighting shade is activated. The new ID. SPACE VIZZION comes with Smart Climate, which is now fitted as standard in the new Golf. The user can simply say “fresh air” or touch a corresponding touch- activated surface to get a fresh breeze blowing through the interior. Other default Smart Climate settings include “cool quickly”, “cool feet”, “warm feet”, “warm hands”, “defrost the windshield” and “quick heating.” The ventilation system can also be controlled via touchscreen.
NTSB calls for federal review process for automated vehicle testing on public roads after Uber investigation; “inadequate safety culture”
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) called upon federal regulators to create a review process before allowing automated test vehicles to operate on public roads, based upon the agency’s investigation of a fatal collision between an Uber automated test vehicle and a pedestrian. During a board meeting held to determine the probable cause of the 18 March 2018, Tempe, Arizona crash, the NTSB said an Uber Technologies Inc. division’s “inadequate safety culture” contributed to the nighttime fatal collision between an Uber automated test vehicle and a pedestrian. The vehicle operator was uninjured in the crash, the pedestrian died. Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group had modified the striking vehicle, a 2017 Volvo XC90, with a proprietary developmental automated driving system. The vehicle’s factory-installed forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems were deactivated during the operation of the automated system. An Uber ATG operator was in the driver’s seat, but the automated system was controlling the vehicle when it struck the pedestrian at 39 mph (62.8 km/h). The NTSB determined that the immediate cause of the collision was the failure of the Uber ATG operator closely to monitor the road and the operation of the automated driving system because the operator was visually distracted throughout the trip by a personal cell phone. Contributing to the crash was Uber ATG’s inadequate safety risk assessment procedures, ineffective oversight of the vehicle operators and a lack of adequate mechanisms for addressing operators’ automation complacency —all consequences of the division’s inadequate safety culture. Safety starts at the top. The collision was the last link of a long chain of actions and decisions made by an organization that unfortunately did not make safety the top priority.—NTSB Chairman Robert L. Sumwalt NTSB investigators on-scene in Tempe, Arizona, examining the Uber automated test vehicle involved in the collision. The pedestrian’s impairment at the time of the crash (toxicological tests on the pedestrian’s blood were positive for drugs that can impair perception and judgment), coupled with crossing outside a crosswalk, contributed to the crash, as did the Arizona Department of Transportation’s insufficient oversight of automated vehicle testing, the NTSB found. Among the investigation’s findings: The Uber ATG automated driving system detected the pedestrian 5.6 seconds before impact. Although the system continued to track the pedestrian until the crash, it never accurately identified the object crossing the road as a pedestrian, or predicted its path. Had the vehicle operator been attentive, the operator would likely have had enough time to detect and react to the crossing pedestrian to avoid the crash or mitigate the impact. While Uber ATG managers had the ability retroactively to monitor the behavior of vehicle operators, they rarely did so. The company’s ineffective oversight was exacerbated by its decision to remove a second operator from the vehicle during testing of the automated driving system. Uber ATG made several changes to address the deficiencies identified, including implementation of a safety management system. The NTSB issued a total of six recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the state of Arizona, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and Uber ATG. The NTSB recommended that NHTSA require entities wishing to test a developmental automated driving system on public roads to submit safety self-assessment plans before being allowed to begin or continue testing and that NHTSA should review the plans to ensure they include appropriate safeguards. NTSB has released an executive summary; the full report is expected to be released within the next few weeks. Consumer Reports (CR), which has been campaigning for some time on the issue of autonomous driving safety, said the full NTSB findings and recommendations underscore critical lessons not just for Uber, but also for the full auto industry, and for the federal and state regulators that are supposed to protect the public’s safety. The NTSB’s hearing made it clear that the US Department of Transportation and many state governments are utterly failing to make sure self-driving car testing is being done safely. It’s the Wild West right now, and it puts the public at risk. DOT and states should require self-driving car developers to prove their test vehicles’ safety before using them on public roads, based on rigorous evidence shared publicly and validated by independent third parties. If companies don’t put safety first, they’ll be risking people’s lives—not to mention their own viability—and should be held accountable under the law for the consequences.—William Wallace, manager of safety policy for Consumer Reports
Nikola Corporation to unveil novel battery cell technology; 500 Wh/kg on production cell
Nikola Corporation said that it has developed a new battery that has a record energy density of 1,100 Wh kg-1 on the material level and 500 Wh kg-1 on the production cell level—including casing, terminals and separator—more than double current lithium-ion battery cells. The Nikola prototype cell eliminates binder material and current collectors, enabling more energy storage within the cell. It is also expected to pass nail penetration standards, thus reducing potential vehicle fires. Nikola said that this free-standing electrode automotive battery will deliver a 40% reduction in weight compared to lithium-ion cells and a 50% material cost reduction per kWh compared to lithium-ion batteries. Cycling the cells more than 2,000 times has shown what Nikola called “acceptable” end-of-life performance. Projected benefits of the technology applied to Nikola’s trucks are: Nikola’s battery electric trucks could drive 800 miles fully loaded between charges. Nikola trucks could weigh 5,000 lbs. less than the competition if same battery size was kept. Nikola’s hydrogen-electric fuel cell trucks could surpass 1,000 miles between stops and top off in 15 minutes. Nikola will share the intellectual property (IP) with other OEMs, even competitors, that contribute to the Nikola IP license and a new consortium. We are not talking about small improvements; we are talking about doubling your cell phone battery capacity. We are talking about doubling the range of BEVs and hydrogen-electric vehicles around the world. Nikola is in discussions with customers for truck orders that could fill production slots for more than ten years and propel Nikola to become the top truck manufacturer in the world in terms of revenue. Now the question is why not share it with the world?—Trevor Milton, CEO, Nikola Motor Company Nikola said it will show the batteries charging and discharging in front of the crowd at Nikola World. The date of Nikola World will be announced soon but is expected to be fall of 2020. Nikola said that its new cell technology is environmentally friendly and easy to recycle. While conventional lithium-ion cells contain elements that are toxic and expensive, the new technology will have a positive impact on the earth’s resources, landfills and recycling plants, the company said. This month, Nikola entered into a letter of intent to acquire a world-class battery engineering team to help bring the new battery to pre-production. Through this acquisition, Nikola will add 15 PhDs and five master’s degree team members. Due to confidentiality and security reasons, additional details of the acquisition will not be disclosed until Nikola World 2020. Nikola’s Motor Company’s commercial truck product portfolio includes the Nikola Two, Nikola Tre and Nikola One.
SEAT creates a business unit to promote urban mobility and presents e-Scooter concept
At the 9th edition of the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, SEAT announced the creation of a new strategic business unit focused on urban mobility and presented its new e-Kickscooter concept and its first electric e-Scooter concept. The SEAT Urban Mobility business unit will integrate all the product, service and platform-based mobility solutions and is set to market launch the e-Scooter in 2020. The new e-Kickscooter concept will also be included in this unit and complement the portfolio that began with the SEAT EXS in 2018. The range of products is designed for final customers (ownership) as well as fleets and sharing services (per use basis). SEAT Urban Mobility will continue to collaborate with city and public administration representatives to analyse the suitability of a vehicle that has been engineered for urban mobility such as the SEAT Minimó concept, which was unveiled at the last edition of the Mobile World Congress. SEAT Urban Mobility will also integrate Respiro, the carsharing platform that currently operates in Madrid and since recently in the city of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat. Respiro has a fleet of sustainable vehicles that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and will soon be joined by the new Mii electric. The new business unit is also going to manage the kicksharing service offered by SEAT in partnership with the start-up UFO and will be enabled by SEAT:CODE, the company’s new software development center. This strategic business unit will enable us to focus our efforts on the user’s new mobility needs. SEAT is the micromobility centre of competence for the Volkswagen Group, and that means developing purpose designed products for all the Group’s brands, not only for SEAT. In addition, we will also deliver services and solutions for private customers and for fleets.—SEAT President Luca de Meo e-Scooter. The final version of the electric e-Scooter will ultimately be commercialized in 2020, and it will be available to both private users and shared services fleets. SEAT has a collaboration agreement with the Barcelona-based scooter maker Silence, which would be build them in its facilities in Molins de Rei, located halfway between Barcelona and Martorell. The e-Scooter concept is equipped with a 7 kW motor with a peak rate of 11 kW (14.8 hp), equivalent to 125cc, which delivers instant engine torque of 240 N·m. The scooter reaches a top speed of 100 km/h, enough to accelerate to 50 km/h in just 3.8 seconds. Furthermore, its driving range on a single charge amounts to 115 kilometers (71 miles), according to WMTC test results. The battery can be removed and easily charged at home or public charging stations at an estimated cost to all customers of €0.70 for every 100 kilometres. In addition, the e-Scooter concept has enough storage space for two helmets beneath the seat, it is connected, and users can track its battery charge level or location via a mobile app. e-Kickscooter.The new generation e-Kickscooter features a range of up to 65 km (40 miles), two independent brake systems and a much higher capacity battery that reaches 551 Wh. Sales of the current version, the SEAT EXS presented in 2018, totalled more than 10,000 units. DGT 3.0: The connected car at the service of road safety. SEAT also presented the DGT 3.0 initiative at its exhibition stand at the Congress, a pilot project in collaboration with the Spanish Traffic Authority that enables cars to communicate with traffic lights and motorway message panels in real time with the main goal of improving traffic flows and road safety, as well as the user experience while driving. SEAT has steadily intensified its commitment to urban mobility in recent years and now it is a key business unit for the company, beginning with the purchase of Respiro, the launch of the e-Kickscooter, the SEAT Minimó concept and now the presentation of the first e-Scooter concept in the history of the brand.
CEC funds $11M project to fast-track commercialization of clean energy technologies: CalTestBed
The California Energy Commission (CEC) has launched a new funded program to help speed the commercialization of clean energy technologies. The California Test Bed (CalTestBed) initiative is designed to reduce the stumbling blocks of time, cost, and bureaucracy most entrepreneurs face when trying to bring breakthrough concepts to market. The program is intended to reduce the time it takes to move new energy technologies from the prototype stage to the pilot demonstration stage by giving innovators access to a statewide network of testing facilities at University of California (UC) campuses in Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz, and at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The initiative will provide $8.8 million in vouchers ranging from $10,000 to $300,000. It also includes a streamlined agreement process allowing entrepreneurs to test the design and performance of their prototypes at one of 30 testing facilities throughout the state. CalTestBed connects clean energy entrepreneurs with the immense resources within the UC system and at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. This effort can dramatically increase the commercialization of clean energy technologies for worldwide markets.—Sandra Brown, UC San Diego’s vice chancellor for research CalTestBed is a collaboration between the CEC, the University of California Office of the President, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Momentum, the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator and New Energy Nexus. CalTestBed is funded through CEC’s Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC), which drives clean energy innovation and entrepreneurship. New Energy Nexus received an $11-million grant in December to develop CalTestBed.
Lucid’s Atieva powers Formula E Season 6 with spec battery pack
Atieva, the Silicon Valley-based technology wing of Lucid Motors, announced that the spec battery pack of its own design will power the entire 24-car Formula E field for the upcoming 2019/20 race season in association with its partners. The Formula E battery pack was conceptualized, designed, tested, and manufactured by Atieva at its Silicon Valley headquarters in Newark, California. The 2019/20 season will be the second consecutive Formula E season powered by the Atieva-designed battery pack. Prior to this, the race cars were battery-limited to a half-race distance. By enabling a full-race distance while also providing increased performance, Atieva’s battery pack will further demonstrate the potential of electric vehicle technology over the course of 14 races. We were delighted with the performance of the pack in Season 5. We are proud that our technology has played a role in advancing this important form of motorsport and we look forward to the upcoming season.—Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO of Atieva’s parent company, Lucid Motors In creating the battery pack, Atieva first leveraged its proprietary database of battery cells, with its engineers identifying a cell with the right blend of energy and power for this racing application. They next verified its suitability by simulating a full race season at pack level. With the cell determined, Atieva’s engineers proceeded to design the pack with a novel trapezium shape to best integrate into the aerodynamic and structural envelope of the race car. Finally they computer-simulated and extensively tested the pack for key attributes such as thermal management and structural performance. The Battery Management System (BMS) software was also created entirely in-house and ensures that the pack performs for the duration of the season with no significant degradation. The packs were then manufactured at Atieva’s headquarters.
Bridgestone to push for wide commercialization of new High Strength Rubber polymer, now named SUSYM
In May 2018, Bridgestone Corporation announced the development of the world’s first polymer to bond rubber and resins at the molecular level. The new polymer features unprecedented durability with crack resistance that is more than five times higher, abrasion resistance that is more than 2.5 times higher, and tensile strength that is more than 1.5 times higher than natural rubber, which itself has higher destruction resistance than common synthetic rubber. Bridgestone Corporation has now named its novel polymer SUSYM. With this new name, the company aims to increase recognition of SUSYM and to encourage its use as a next-generation polymer material in order to make contributions in various fields that exceed the scope of use as a tire material. SUSYM is the next step in the evolution of the High Strength Rubber announced in May 2018. HSR is a hybrid material to bond synthetic rubber components such as butadiene and isoprene, with resin components such as ethylene, at the molecular level by using Bridgestone’s proprietary novel gadolinium (Gd) catalyst (via copolymerization. SUSYM features the high levels of durability and resistance found in conventional rubber coupled with substantially higher levels of performance with regard to (1) difficulty of opening holes (puncture resistance), (2) fixability (recyclability, repairability), and (3) resistance to low temperatures (low-temperature impact resistance). SUSYM is capable of enhancing performance in these areas while maintaining the flexibility of rubber and durability of resin. These features make SUSYM highly applicable to various fields other than tires, Bridgestone said. Furthermore, SUSYM boasts the high levels of durability and resistance of conventional rubber and is therefore capable of realizing the various types of performance required in tires while using fewer resources. This material is also recyclable. Bridgestone will move forward with research and development of applying the benefits of this proprietary technology to various fields while collaborating with a range of companies and organizations. A concept tire utilizing numerous SUSYM functions and materials was exhibited at the 46th Tokyo Motor Show 2019. Proprietary characteristics of SUSYM: Puncture resistance. SUSYM is resistant to punctures when strong forces are applied to a single point, although it may change shape. The company anticipates this feature will result in SUSYM being used for various applications other than high-strength rubber and tire materials. Fixability (recyclability, repairability). Even if SUSYM materials are punctured, holes can be easily repaired by applying heat. Therefore, the company expects SUSYM will be used as a new rubber material that can be recycled multiple times even if damaged. Low-temperature impact resistance. Conventional rubber hardens and becomes brittle at low temperatures, making it easy to break through impacts. SUSYM maintains the flexibility of rubber even at low temperatures, creating resistance to impacts and giving this material the potential to be used under low temperatures.
Fraunhofer researchers develop technique to produce aluminum windings for motors
Researchers at Fraunhofer IFAM have developed a casting technique that can be used to produce lightweight aluminum windings with a higher groove fill factor to replace copper windings in electric motors. In one study, they found that the aluminum coils increase the continuous output of the electrical machines compared to the copper windings, reduce the operating temperature and at the same time save weight and raw material costs. After having already successfully made aluminum coils in precision casting in recent years, it was an obvious goal for the department Foundry Technology and Lightweight Construction at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Applied Materials IFAM also to produce the coils for series production in die casting. Cast coils are characterized by a flat conductor arrangement, which leads to a higher slot fill factor and thus to a better utilization of the available installation space. Die-cast aluminum coil with seven turns and a conductor height of approx. 1.5 millimeters. © Fraunhofer IFAM Although the cast aluminum coils have a higher electrical resistance relative to the wound copper coils, the larger cross-section results in less resistance with respect to the entire coil. Due to the better connection to the laminated core and more favorable utilization of the installation space results in a much better thermal and electromagnetic behavior. For this reason, it is possible to replace wound copper coils with cast aluminum coils for improved performance and lower material costs. To show this in a direct comparison, the Fraunhofer team used 250W commercial pedelec motors. Rebuilt engines with different laminated cores and coil combinations were tested on a bench. Coil arrangement within a pedelec engine with copper coils (left) and an identical motor with cast aluminum coils (right). © Fraunhofer IFAM Among the results with the aluminum windings: The groove fill factor could be increased from 32 to 60%. At the same time, there was a weight saving of 10%. Torque increased by 30%. Due to the better thermal behavior of the coils, the continuous power at operating temperature increased by almost 20%. The aluminum coil can deliver the resulting heat better to the laminated core and thus to the environment. This results in an improved continuous performance, since the coils only reach the permissible continuous operating temperature at higher currents. Even more advantageous were the measurement results for a laminated core optimized on the cast coils in another modified pedelec motor. At lower weight, the torque increased by almost 80% and the continuous power by 25% compared to the original engine. Design changes can further increase the performance of aluminum coil motors.
California prohibits state purchase of ICE sedans, effective now; to stop buying from GM, Toyota, FCA and others over emissions fight
On Friday, the California Department of General Services (DGS) that, effective immediately, it is prohibiting purchasing by state agencies of any sedans solely powered by an internal combustion engine, with exemptions for certain public safety vehicles. A second policy, currently being developed by DGS, will require state agencies, starting on 1 January 2020, to purchase vehicles only from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) that recognize the California Air Resources Board (CARB)’s authority to set greenhouse gas and zero-emission vehicle standards, and which have committed to continuing those emissions reduction goals for their fleets. This policy will apply to all non-public safety vehicle categories where departments have a choice between vehicles produced by CARB-compliant and non-compliant OEMs. The second policy targets automakers including GM, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and Hyundai which are siding with US President Donald Trump in his effort to strip California of its ability to craft greenhouse-gas emissions regulations separately from the Federal government. (Earlier post.) In July, as the Trump administration began moving ahead to freeze emission standards for light-duty cars and trucks, a consortium of four automakers—Ford, Honda, BMW of North America and Volkswagen Group of America—and California agreed on a voluntary framework to reduce emissions that could serve as an alternative path forward for clean vehicle standards nationwide. Under the new DGS policy, only vehicles from these automakers, and others who climbed on board, would be eligible to be considered for purchase by state agencies. In September, California led a coalition of 24 state attorneys general and the cities of Los Angeles and New York in filing a lawsuit against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) over the Trump Administration’s newly announced One National Program Rule (earlier post) designed to preempt California’s greenhouse gas emissions and Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) standards, also known as California’s Advanced Clean Car Standards, which were authorized by a waiver granted by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2013 (following a denial in 2007). (Earlier post.) On Friday, California again led a multistate coalition in filing a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) attempt to revoke the portions of a waiver it granted California in 2013 that permit the state to implement its greenhouse gas (GHG) and zero emission vehicle (ZEV) standards.
Volkswagen extends production of ID.3 EV to Gläserne Manufaktur in Dresden
Volkswagen will assemble its ID.3 EV at the Gläserne Manufaktur in Dresden in addition to the Zwickau plant. The ID.3 is the first model in the latest generation that Volkswagen is putting on the road under its global electric offensive. Following on from Zwickau, Dresden now becomes the second assembly plant in Germany for the ID.3. The first vehicles from the MEB family are scheduled to leave the assembly line in Dresden from fall 2020. The plant could possibly also assemble further models from the ID. family at a later point in time. The Gläserne Manufaktur will evolve into a Center of Future Mobility where innovative technologies are developed and tested in collaboration with industry partners and startups. The decision to bring the ID. family to Dresden lays a solid foundation for the future of this location in Saxony. Employment levels remain stable. And at the same time, we are stepping up the pace for e-mobility. We need the Manufaktur as an important showcase to take our customers on board for e-mobility and digitalization.—Group Board Member, Gunnar Kilian Moreover, in order to lay a solid foundation for the future of the Gläserne Manufaktur there are also plans to establish or expand new areas of business in the fields of vehicle collection, insourcing and vehicle function testing in the border tripoint of Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany. In particular, the function of the location in Dresden as a vehicle collection point is to be expanded, with a specific focus on electric vehicles. Currently, some 1,300 vehicles per year are handed over to customers in Germany. This number is to be significantly increased, thereby providing secure jobs for some 380 employees. Series production of the ID.3 in Zwickau began exactly two weeks ago at a ceremony attended by Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and Group CEO Dr. Herbert Diess. The Group plans to launch up to 75 all-electric models and some 60 hybrid vehicles in the marketplace through 2029. The Volkswagen Group is aiming to sell some 26 million electric vehicles by 2029, thus helping e-vehicles make the breakthrough. The Group is to spend some €33 billion on e-mobility alone.