Green Car Congress - 記事一覧
UPS to invest $130M in > 700 natural gas vehicles and infrastructure; > $1B invested in alt fuels since 2008
UPS plans to build an additional five compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations and add more than 700 new CNG vehicles including 400 semi-tractors and 330 terminal trucks. This $130-million dollar investment in CNG capacity for 2018 builds on previous UPS investments of $100 million dollars in 2016 and $90 million dollars in 2017.
UPS will have invested more than $1 billion in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations from 2008 through 2018.
We strongly believe further investment in our natural gas fleet is a key element to help us achieve our long-term goals for reducing our CO2 emissions. We demonstrated the effectiveness of natural gas vehicles and fuel in 2017 by using 77 million total gallon equivalents in our ground fleet. UPS is a catalyst for wide scale adoption of natural gas vehicles.Carlton Rose, president, global fleet maintenance and engineering for UPS
Building CNG and LNG capacity is an important enabler for increasing UPS’ use of renewable natural gas (RNG). RNG yields up to a 90% reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions when compared to conventional diesel. Last year, UPS used 15 million gallon equivalents of RNG. The company is the largest consumer of RNG in the transportation sector.
The five new CNG stations will be in Goodyear, Ariz.; Plainfield, Ind.; Edgerton, Kan.; Fort Worth, Texas; and Arlington, Texas. Four hundred semi-tractors will be supplied by Freightliner and Kenworth and 330 terminal trucks by TICO.
UPS will deploy the new CNG vehicles on routes to utilize the new CNG stations as well as adding to existing natural gas fleets in other UPS locations including Atlanta, Ga.; and Salt Lake City, Utah.
UPS currently operates more than 50 natural gas fueling stations strategically located across the US, and, outside the U.S. in Vancouver, Canada, and Tamworth, United Kingdom.
The initiative will help UPS reach its 2020 goal of one in four new vehicles purchased being an alternative fuel or advanced technology vehicle. The company has also set a goal of replacing 40% of all ground fuel with sources other than conventional gasoline and diesel. These goals support UPS commitment to reduce its GHG emissions from global ground operations 12 percent by 2025.
Using its Rolling Laboratory approach, UPS deploys approximately 9,100 low-emission vehicles to determine which technology works best in each route configuration. This includes all-electric, hybrid electric, hydraulic hybrid, ethanol, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) and propane.
Bloomberg NEF forecasts falling battery prices enabling surge in wind and solar to 50% of global generation by 2050
Wind and solar power generation will surge to almost 50% of world generation by 2050 (“50 by 50”), supported by precipitous reductions in cost, and the advent of cheaper and cheaper batteries that will enable electricity to be stored and discharged to meet shifts in demand and supply, according to the new annual Bloomberg NEF New Energy Outlook (NEO) 2018.
This year’s outlook is the first to highlight the significant impact that falling battery costs will have on the electricity mix over the coming decades. BNEF predicts that lithium-ion battery prices, already down by nearly 80% per megawatt-hour since 2010, will continue to tumble as electric vehicle manufacturing builds up through the 2020s.
We see $548 billion being invested in battery capacity by 2050, two thirds of that at the grid level and one third installed behind-the-meter by households and businesses.
The arrival of cheap battery storage will mean that it becomes increasingly possible to finesse the delivery of electricity from wind and solar, so that these technologies can help meet demand even when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. The result will be renewables eating up more and more of the existing market for coal, gas and nuclear.
—Seb Henbest, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa for BNEF and lead author of NEO 2018
NEO 2018 sees $11.5 trillion being invested globally in new power generation capacity between 2018 and 2050, with $8.4 trillion of that going to wind and solar and a further $1.5 trillion to other zero-carbon technologies such as hydro and nuclear.
This investment will produce a 17-fold increase in solar photovoltaic capacity worldwide, and a sixfold increase in wind power capacity. The levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) from new PV plants is forecast to fall a further 71% by 2050, while that for onshore wind drops by a further 58%. These two technologies have already seen LCOE reductions of 77% and 41% respectively between 2009 and 2018.
Coal emerges as the biggest loser in the long run. Beaten on cost by wind and PV for bulk electricity generation, and batteries and gas for flexibility, the future electricity system will reorganize around cheap renewables—coal gets squeezed out.
—Elena Giannakopoulou, head of energy economics at BNEF
The latest BP Annual Energy Outlook found that in 2017, renewables grew strongly in 2017, with wind and solar leading the way. However, coal consumption was also up, growing for the first time since 2013. Among the related datapoints:
Coal consumption growth in 2017 was driven largely by India (18 mtoe), with China consumption also up slightly (4 Mtoe) following three successive annual declines during 2014-2016. OECD demand fell for the fourth year in a row (-4 mtoe).
Coal’s share in primary energy in 2017 fell to 27.6%, the lowest since 2004.
World coal production grew by 105 mtoe or 3.2%, the fastest rate of growth since 2011. Production rose by 56 mtoe in China and 23 mtoe in the US.
BNEF forecasts the role of gas in the generation mix will evolve, with gas-fired power stations increasingly built and used to provide back-up for renewables rather than to produce base-load, or round-the-clock, electricity.
BNEF sees $1.3 trillion being invested in new capacity to 2050, nearly half of it in gas peaker plants rather than combined-cycle turbines. Gas-fired generation is seen rising 15% between 2017 and 2050, although its share of global electricity declines from 21% to 15%.
Fuel burn trends globally are forecast to be dire in the long run for the coal industry, but moderately encouraging for the gas extraction sector. NEO 2018 sees coal burn in power stations falling 56% between 2017 and 2050, while that for gas rises 14%.
The bearish outlook for coal means that NEO 2018 offers a more upbeat projection for carbon emissions than the equivalent report a year ago. BNEF now sees global electricity sector emissions rising 2% from 2017 to a peak in 2027, and then falling 38% to 2050.
However, BNEF notes, this would still mean electricity failing to fulfill its part of the effort to keep global CO₂ levels below 450 parts per million.
Even if we decommissioned all the world’s coal plants by 2035, the power sector would still be tracking above a climate-safe trajectory, burning too much unabated gas. Getting to two degrees requires a zero-carbon solution to the seasonal extremes, one that doesn’t involve unabated gas.
—Matthias Kimmel, energy economics analyst at BNEF
BNEF’s New Energy Outlook is underpinned by the evolving economics of different power technologies, and on projections for electricity demand fundamentals such as population and GDP. It assumes that existing energy policy settings around the world remain in place until their scheduled expiry, and that there are no additional government measures.
Among the other highlights of NEO 2018 are high penetration rates for renewables in many markets (87% of total electricity supply in Europe by 2050, and 55% for the US, 62% for China and 75% for India). It also highlights a shift to more decentralization in some countries such as Australia, where by mid-century consumer PV and batteries account for 43% of all capacity.
NEO 2018 also analyzes the impact of the electrification of transport on electricity consumption. It estimates that electric cars and buses will be using 3,461 TWh of electricity globally in 2050, equivalent to 9% of total demand. About half of the necessary charging is forecast to be done on a dynamic basis, taking advantage of times when electricity prices are low because of high renewables output.
This analysis draws on BNEF’s latest Electric Vehicle Outlook, published on May 21, which predicted that EVs would account for 28% of global new car sales by 2030, and 55% by 2040. Electric buses are expected to dominate their market even more decisively, reaching 84% global share by 2030.
Mercedes-Benz EQC EV soaking up summer heat of up to 50˚C in trials in Spain
Mercedes-Benz will run the Mercedes-Benz EQC electric vehicle through hot weather trials in Spain. Following successful winter trials, the EQC is required to endure an extensive test program in the summer heat with temperatures of up to 50° C (122 ˚F).
Particular attention is being given to aspects which are very demanding for electric cars—air conditioning and charging, as well as cooling the battery, drive system and control units in extreme heat. Criteria such as driving dynamics and ride comfort are also subjected to further, stringent tests.
With the finishing straight in sight, we are now able to absolve another extremely demanding test program with our pre-series vehicles. But after successfully completed endurance tests in winter at minus 35 degrees C, we are confident that the heat trials will confirm that we are well on schedule for the start of series production.
—Michael Kelz, Chief Engineer for the EQC
While the battery of an electric car “merely” loses power in the cold, exposure to great heat carries the risk of battery damage. Optimum management of these physical characteristics is the aim of the extreme tests in Spain. One main focus is on the battery’s cooling circuit: how does it cope with high power requirements? How does an almost fully charged battery respond to further charging? What influence does the heat have on operating range? Battery draining tests, i.e. test drives in which the battery is completely drained of power, are also part of the test program.
Another aspect is air conditioning of the interior—both during a journey and beforehand, as pre-climatization is an important comfort factor. This is when questions such as “Is the indicated time sufficient for pre-climatization?” and “Is the calculated range correct when the temperature is taken into consideration?” are answered. Furthermore, the noise characteristics of individual components such as the air conditioning compressor in the heat are specifically examined.
Fine dust is also a particular challenge during the trials in Spain, as the test technicians want to know where this dust might be deposited in the components, and whether the sealing concept works in practice.
Systematic complete-vehicle validation is among the extensive measures in the development process of every Mercedes-Benz model series. This serves to verify and to maintain the high quality standards.
Before a new product goes into production, the complete vehicle must reach a maturity level set by Mercedes-Benz. This takes place in several stages: step one is digital preliminary design and simulation. It is followed by validation—either of individual components on dynamometers or in test vehicles. This tests and validates, for example, the durability of a powertrain connection or of individual axle parts.
Digital testing covers all key areas of vehicle development: from the simulation and verification of buildability to crash, aerodynamic, ride & handling), NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) and weight tests plus fuel consumption and operating range.
Despite all the advantages of digital testing in terms of speed, data availability and efficiency, no vehicle goes into series production without extensive real-world testing. The focus is on the long-term durability of components such as major assemblies on the dynamometer, and functional testing of the complete vehicle under different climatic conditions on the roads. In the case of the EQC, of course, special attention is paid to the electric powertrain and the battery.
A special role is also played by the acoustics of an electric car. Unlike in a combustion-engined car, there is hardly a sound from the powertrain. This makes sounds such as the rolling of the tires or wind noise more prominent.
Before being released for production, the vehicle must be tested and validated by numerous individuals from many different development departments. A total of several hundred experts are involved in testing. From the specialist departments, which approve their components and modules, through to testing/endurance testing of the complete vehicle.
In the case of the EQC, the overall development time is around four years. Before coming to market in many countries around the world, the EQC will have undergone extensive testing in Germany, Finland, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Dubai, South Africa, the USA and China.
Zap&Go bringing C-Ion technology to Williams Advanced Engineering-led consortium as part of £246M Faraday Battery Challenge
Zap&Go Ltd has been selected to contribute its unique Carbon-Ion (C-Ion) technology to a consortium led by Williams Advanced Engineering to develop next-generation battery systems for electric vehicles. The project is part of the UK Government’s Faraday Battery Challenge, a £246-million (US$326-million) commitment to battery development for the electric vehicle market.
Williams Advanced Engineering is the technology and engineering services business of the Williams Group, which also includes Williams Martini Racing, one of the most successful teams in Formula 1 history and sole battery supplier to all Formula E racing cars. The consortium seeks to deliver faster-charging, higher-power, higher-energy batteries that improve upon today’s technology.
Zap&Go’s C-Ion cell is intended to combine the power density of supercapacitors and the energy density of rechargeable batteries. The C-Ion cells work in a very similar way to electrical double layer capacitors (EDLCs)—also known as supercapacitors or ultracapacitors—but use different carbon and electrolyte materials that are not only safer and easier to recycle at the end of life, but also enable the devices to operate at higher voltages resulting in higher energy densities.
Zap&Go says that its C-Ion technology offers sub-five-minute charging with slow discharge; increased safety; greater charge/discharge cycles versus Li-ion; and is easier to recycle than alternatives.
Zap&Go says that its C-Ion cell can provide specific power characteristics between one and two orders of magnitude higher than a Li-ion cell. It is designed to be classified as non-flammable and non-hazardous for transport, allowing the product to be shipped easily and to comply with both current and future regulations.
Zap&Go is focusing its current research efforts in developing gel and all-solid state C-Ion cells. C-Ion have all of the advantages of EDLCs, but are designed to operate at higher voltages through the use of their technologically advanced electrolytes. These electrolytes can operate in the 4.0V to 6.0V range, which has the potential to improve the energy density of the C-Ion cells.
Specifically, Zap&Go is creating polymer-inorganic composite electrolytes in the form of membranes. Such materials are tailored to contain interconnected nano-sized channels formed by the polymer network for easy ion migration. The polymer network weakly binds the ions to enable fast ion transport. The weak binding and fast ion transport is achieved by creating a network of vacant binding sites in the polymer.
The other members of the consortium are Imperial College London and automotive software specialists PowerOasis and Codeplay.
It’s an important validation of our technology to be invited to work with the Williams team. We want to demonstrate the viability of a hybrid battery management system that goes beyond what’s currently available to EV manufacturers. The time is right to demonstrate that our Carbon-Ion technology can deliver safe, fast charging.
—Stephen Voller, CEO and founder of Zap&Go
Zap&Go Ltd is a technology company based at the Harwell Research Campus, Oxford with a US office in Charlotte, NC.
Nissan to use SHF 980 MPa high-formability steel in more new vehicles
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. will build more models using a new type of super high formability (SHF) steel that combines high tensile strength with a previously unachievable degree of formability, resulting in lighter vehicles that can help lower emissions while protecting occupants. (Earlier post.)
Nissan is the world’s first carmaker to use the SHF steel, with a tensile strength of 980 megapascals (MPa), which was jointly developed by Nissan and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp.
The steel’s combination of stamping formability and strength makes it possible to form parts with complex shapes that are thinner and lighter than those made of conventional high tensile strength steel, while maintaining the ability to absorb energy in a collision.
The INFINITI QX50 premium midsize SUV, which went on sale in the US in March, is the first vehicle with front and rear side members made from 980-megapascal ultrahigh tensile strength steel, along with other body frame parts.
UNIPRES Corporation is producing the difficult-to-form car body structural parts using the SHF 980 MPa steel for the QX50. The SHF 980 MPa steel is applied to front side members, rear side members, and other under-body structural parts that are difficult to form.
Although the SHF 980MPa steel has elongation property close to that of conventional 590MPa steel, its application to the under-body structural parts having complex shapes was a challenge in terms of formation, UNIPRES said.
UNIPRES solved this problem by developing a unique press forming technology that enabled application for those parts that could not be formed with conventional 980MPa steel.
Nissan plans to expand the use of the material, which enhances fuel efficiency as well as driving performance by lowering vehicle weight, to other models.
Nissan launched a sustainability plan this month that calls for lowering CO2 emissions from its new vehicles by 40% by fiscal year 2022, compared with fiscal year 2000.
The company is aggressively developing technologies to expand the use of ultrahigh tensile strength steel, aiming for it to make up 25% of the company’s vehicle parts by weight. The material makes up 27% of the new QX50.
The 980-megapascal steel developed with Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal can be cold-pressed, making it suitable for mass production. This will help contain increases in vehicle cost.
DOE awarding $40M to 31 projects to advance use of microbes in production of biofuels and bioproducts
The US Department of Energy will award $40 million in funding for 31 projects to advance research in the development of microbes as practical platforms for the production of biofuels and other bioproducts from renewable resources.
Over the past decade, DOE-supported scientists have identified and modified a wide range of microbial organisms to be production workhorses, transforming microbes into effective platforms for the generation of fuels and other useful precursor chemicals from renewable plant feedstocks.
Using current advanced techniques of genomics-based systems biology, these new projects seek both to improve the production capabilities of already identified organisms and to identify new organisms as potential production platforms. They will modify the organisms to maximize their effectiveness as producers.
Organisms under study range from yeast and fungi to cyanobacteria and rare thermophilic microbes that thrive at extremely high temperatures. Products to be produced range from biofuels to alcohols to other valuable precursor chemicals with multiple possible downstream applications.
In addition to the projects focused on specific microorganisms, approximately one-third of the projects are focused on developing and improving the essential imaging tools for this work of characterizing and modifying organisms on a microscopic scale. Several of the projects also seek to enhance capabilities for real-time “in situ” imaging—i.e., observing in real-time how nature’s microscopic processes unfold in detail at the cellular level.
Projects were chosen by competitive peer review under two separate DOE Funding Opportunity Announcements, one for Systems Biology of Bioenergy-Relevant Microbes and another for Bioimaging Research for Bioenergy, both sponsored by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research within the Department’s Office of Science.
Total funding is $40 million for projects lasting three years in duration. Descsriptions of selected projects are available here and here.
Magna and BAIC to form two JVs to engineer and build premium EVs for customers in China; first production in 2020
Magna intends to form two new joint ventures with Beijing Electric Vehicle Co. Ltd (BJEV)—a subsidiary of the BAIC Group for electric cars—for the engineering and complete vehicle manufacturing of electric vehicles.
Over the coming months, Magna and BJEV will work with authorities to implement legally binding joint-venture agreements which will govern the operations of these two joint ventures.
The Zhenjiang facility where Magna and BJEV plan to engineer and build electric vehicles for the Chinese market.
The engineering and manufacturing joint ventures are expected to take over an existing BAIC manufacturing facility in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, where the first production vehicles are planned for 2020. The plant has the capacity to build up to 180,000 vehicles per year.
The joint ventures will also be set up to offer engineering and complete vehicle manufacturing capacity to other potential customers.
These joint venture operations mark an historic milestone for Magna. For the first time we will be providing our customers with cars engineered and built outside our complete vehicle manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria.
It’s a unique capability for Magna, especially with our ability to produce vehicles with conventional, hybrid and electric powertrains, and we are excited to bring it to a market like China where there is tremendous opportunity.
—Don Walker, CEO of Magna International Inc.
From a strategic point of view, the establishment of the JVs will benefit both Magna and BAIC to further strengthen our business growth in China. Based on an open and sharing platform, we will jointly develop and manufacture premium smart electric vehicles, bringing the clean energy vehicle industry to the next level.
—Xu Heyi, Chairman of BAIC Group
In April 2018, BAIC Group and Magna announced they will jointly develop a next-generation smart electric vehicle architecture for the Chinese market. (Earlier post.) It is expected that this vehicle architecture will be transferred to the engineering joint venture and will form the platform of the new electric vehicles to be launched in the joint venture.
China is currently the world’s leading market for electric mobility. By 2020, the number of all-electric cars on China’s roads is forecasted to reach around five million.
Both joint ventures are subject to a number of conditions including agreement on final joint venture agreements and obtaining all necessary regulatory approvals.
Stanford team uses nanodiamond thin film to stablize Li metal anode; significantly improved battery performance in half and Li-S full cells
Although Li metal anode are a promising enabler for high-energy-density next-generation battery systems, practical applications are severely hindered by low efficiency and potential safety hazards, largely due to the high reactivity of metallic Li toward liquid electrolytes.
Now, a team of researchers at Stanford University has demonstrated the use of nanodiamond thin film as surface protection for metallic Li; the lithium can be electroplated solely underneath the film and shielded from parasitic reactions with electrolyte.
The nanodiamond thin film possesses not only excellent electrochemical stability but also extremely high modulus for dendrite suppression. Because pinholes in the surface protection layer would undermine the uniformity of ion flux, the researchers proposed a unique double-layer structure to enhance the defect tolerance of the design. I.e., defects in one layer can be screened by the other intact layer.
In an open-access paper on their work is published in the journal Joule, the researchers conclude that the nanodiamond interface enables efficient cycling of Li metal anode, paving the way for viable Li metal batteries in the future.
The stability of the interface between Li metal and the electrolyte is particularly critical for the safe and efficient operation of batteries with Li metal anodes, which have the highest theoretical capacity (3,860 mAh g−1) and lowest potential (−3.040 V versus standard hydrogen electrodes). Specifically, owing to its high reactivity, virtually any available electrolyte can be reduced spontaneously on Li surface to form a layer of solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI). However, this passivating SEI layer is generally too fragile to withstand the significant mechanical deformation of the electrode during cycling, leading to the formation of cracks. The cracks expose fresh Li underneath and locally enhance the Li-ion flux, which often results in dendritic Li deposition that could trigger internal short circuit and compromise battery safety. Moreover, the repeated breakdown and repair of SEI brings about continuous loss of both Li and electrolyte, giving rise to low coulombic efficiency (CE) and rapid capacity decay.
Interfacial engineering is among the essential means to answer the formidable challenges of Li metal anodes caused by their unstable SEI. This approach relies on the introduction of an artificial scaffold on the current collector to reinforce the spontaneously formed SEI layer, and ideally the two can move together during battery cycling without fracturing and side reactions. To fulfill the goal, exacting requirements are imposed for the interfacial layer design: (1) it needs to be absolutely stable against Li, which precludes most of the polymeric and inorganic coatings explored so far as the ideal candidates; (2) a high elastic modulus and compact structure are especially desirable, because the mechanical strength of the Li interface can play a key role in retarding dendrite propagation; (3) a certain degree of flexibility is required to accommodate the volume change of the electrode during cycling; (4) it enables homogeneous Li-ion flux without local hot spots; (5) the interfacial layer needs to be designed with low electrical conductivity and weak binding to the substrate such that Li deposition can solely take place underneath the film. Despite the past progress, a stable enough interfacial layer that can simultaneously meet all the above requirements is yet to be developed.
Herein, we present an ultrastrong interface for Li metal that is rationally designed to strictly satisfy all the above-mentioned requirements. The interfacial layer was constructed with high-quality nanodiamonds, a material well known for its highest bulk modulus, chemical inertness, and electrically insulating nature, all of which are ideal for Li metal protection.
—Liu et al.
The Stanford team synthesized the nanodiamond interface by microwave-plasma chemical vapor deposition (MPCVD)—a technique shown to be low-cost for coating purposes.
The nanodiamond interface possessed an extremely high modulus of more than 200 GPa—the highest value of the real measurements reported so far among the artificial coatings for Li metal—which can effectively arrest dendrite propagation.
The team obtained high Coulombic efficiency of >99.4% was obtained at 1 mA cm−2; and more than 400 stable cycles in prototypical lithium-sulfur cells with limited lithium, corresponding to an average anode Coulombic efficiency of >99%.
Due to the multifold advantages, the nanodiamond interface achieved the best performance in terms of Li metal cycling CE in both half-cell and Li-S full-cell configurations. We believe that our rational design can be a viable option for the stabilization of Li metal anodes and, at the same time, shed new light on the materials selection and structural design of artificial interfaces for Li metal anodes.
—Liu et al.
Yayuan Liu, Yan-Kai Tzeng, Dingchang Lin, Allen Pei, Haiyu Lu, Nicholas A. Melosh, Zhi-Xun Shen, Steven Chu, Yi Cui (2018) “An Ultrastrong Double-Layer Nanodiamond Interface for Stable Lithium Metal Anodes,” Joule doi: 10.1016/j.joule.2018.05.007
Volvo Cars aims for 25% recycled plastics in every new car from 2025; XC60 T8 PHEV as example
Volvo Cars announced its ambition that from 2025, at least 25% of the plastics used in every newly launched Volvo car will be made from recycled material.
Volvo Cars also urged auto industry suppliers to work more closely with car makers to develop next-generation components that are as sustainable as possible, especially with regards to containing more recycled plastics.
To demonstrate the viability of this ambition, the company unveiled a specially-built version of its XC60 T8 plug-in hybrid SUV that looks identical to the existing model, but has had several of its plastic components replaced with equivalents containing recycled materials.
The special XC60’s interior has a tunnel console made from renewable fibers and plastics from discarded fishing nets and maritime ropes. On the floor, the carpet contains fibres made from PET plastic bottles and a recycled cotton mix from clothing manufacturers’ offcuts. The seats also use PET fibres from plastic bottles. Used car seats from old Volvo cars were used to create the sound-absorbing material under the car hood.
We already work with some great, forward-thinking suppliers when it comes to sustainability. However, we do need increased availability of recycled plastics if we are to make our ambition a reality. That is why we call on even more suppliers and new partners to join us in investing in recycled plastics and to help us realize our ambition.
—Martina Buchhauser, Senior Vice President of Global Procurement at Volvo Cars
The recycled-plastics XC60 was revealed at the Ocean Summit during the Gothenburg Volvo Ocean Race stopover. The race’s focus on sustainability centres on a partnership with the United Nations Environment Clean Seas campaign, focusing on the call to action, ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’.
The recycled plastics ambition is the most progressive statement to date around the use of recycled plastic by any premium automotive manufacturer. It represents another demonstration of Volvo Cars’ commitment towards reducing its impact on the environment across all operations and products. Last month, Volvo Cars committed to eradicate single-use plastics across all its premises and events by the end of 2019.
In 2017, the company announced an industry-leading commitment to electrify all new Volvo cars launched after 2019. Last month, Volvo Cars reinforced this strategy, by stating that it aims for fully electric cars to make up 50% of its global sales by 2025.
In terms of operations, Volvo Cars aims to have climate-neutral manufacturing operations by 2025. In January this year, the engine plant in Skövde, Sweden, became its first climate-neutral facility.
Study shows the significant effect of void space on ion transport in composite electrodes in solid-state batteries
Researchers from Philipps-Universität Marburg, with colleagues from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Toyota Motor Europe, have investigated the role of void space on ion tranport in a composite cathode for solid-state Li-ion batteries. Their study, published in the Journal of Power Sources, reports a significant effect of residual voids in the composite electrode on the ion transport tortuosity.
Based on their findings, the researchers caution that careful attention needs to be paid to the actual amount of void space formed during the preparation of composite electrodes as key component of all-solid-state batteries.
All-solid-state lithium batteries (ASSLIBs) are promising as next-generation energy source in electric vehicles. … However, a high power density of ASSLIBs can be achieved only if fast ion transport in their composite electrodes is realized. These composite electrodes consist of active material particles, SE particles, and (if necessary) conductive additives, such as carbon black. Unlike conventional lithium-ion batteries, in which a liquid electrolyte penetrates the entire void space of porous electrodes and wets all the active material particles, the composite electrodes of ASSLIBs are prepared by blending SE particles with active material particles. For cathode active materials like LiCoO2 (LCO), this turns out to be a challenging task.
Since a reproducible, homogeneous structure of ASSLIB electrodes is not easily achieved, a detailed understanding of the influence of microstructural properties on battery performance becomes of major interest. One key parameter with a strong impact on battery performance is the tortuosity characterizing ion transport in the composite electrodes. This parameter reflects the reduction of ion transport in a composite electrode compared to the transport in an ideal composite system, where ions migrate along straight, uniform pathways. While ion transport tortuosity has been investigated for a number of electrodes and separators in liquid-electrolyte batteries, data available for ion transport in composite electrodes of ASSLIBs remain scarce.
In their study, the researchers took two different approaches to determine the ion transport tortuosity for a typical ASSLIB cathode (LCO active material particles and a sulfide-based SE).
Determination of the stationary Li+ current across the composite electrode by an impedance spectroscopic measurement on a symmetrical cell Li metal | solid electrolyte | composite electrode | solid electrolyte | Li metal.
Combining the three-dimensional (3D) physical reconstruction of the electrode microstructure by focused ion-beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) with 3D numerical simulations of ion transport in the reconstructed electrode.
They found that the presence of the voids significantly changed the morphology of the solid electrolyte phase compared to a void-free cathode. The voids not only reduced the volume fraction of the phase available for ion transport, but also transformed the geometry of the solid electrolyte phase into a far more tortuous one through the generation of a large number of fine, highly tortuous paths hindering ion transport.
This problem associated with void space does not exist in conventional Li-ion batteries using liquid electrolytes, although entrapped air may give rise to similar consequences. The liquid electrolyte ideally saturates the complete void space in the electrodes. In contrast, close attention should be paid to the actual amount of void space formed during the preparation of composite electrodes for all-solid-state batteries. It is not unlikely that the void space problem becomes worse for composite electrodes with smaller volume fractions of the solid electrolyte than realized in the present study. Lower volume fractions are targeted to achieve batteries with high energy densities.
—Hlushkou et al.
Toyota Motor Corporation provided financial support and Rockwood Lithium provided lithium powder for the study.
Dzmitry Hlushkou, Arved E. Reising, Nico Kaiser, Stefan Spannenberger, Sabine Schlabach, Yuki Kato, Bernhard Roling, Ulrich Tallarek (2018) “The influence of void space on ion transport in a composite cathode for all-solid-state batteries,” Journal of Power Sources, Volume 396, Pages 363-370 doi: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2018.06.041
Clariant Catalysts collaborates with Hydrogenious on Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) technology
Clariant’s a Catalysts business has formed an alliance with Hydrogenious Technologies to provide reliable, scalable and safe hydrogen supply solutions for a wide variety of applications.
Hydrogen’s very low density, high flammability and extreme volatility present significant challenges to both storage and transportation. Conventional storage methods typically involve either physical compression (200–700 bar) or extreme cooling (–253°C) of hydrogen, both of which are energy intensive and can involve safety risks.
Hydrogenious Technologies has developed an innovative means of transporting hydrogen by chemically binding the molecules to Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHC). In the method, hydrogenation of the liquid organic hydrocarbon dibenzyltoluene via Clariant’s EleMax H catalyst allows hydrogen to be “stored”, while its dehydrogenation with EleMax D “releases” hydrogen on demand.
The highly active Clariant catalysts are designed to offer high selectivity for loading and unbinding hydrogen in order to optimize the life-cycle and efficiency of the LOHC.
Non-explosive, non-toxic and of low flammability, the diesel-like hydrogen-bound compound is not classified a hazardous good, and remains in a useable and convenient liquid state through a broad temperature range of -39°C to 390°C at ambient pressure.
These factors allow considerably easier installation at industrial locations as well as commercial and public fueling sites, even in close range of or within residential areas. This furthermore allows for the handling flexibility required to enable a wide spread roll-out of hydrogen production from renewable power sources (Power-to-Gas).
First commercial scale units in operation—for example at United Hydrogen Group (Tennessee)—confirm the expected technical and economic attractiveness. Clariant will continue to further broaden the applicability and efficiency of this technology offered by Hydrogenious via catalyst research and expertise.
Founded in 2013, Hydrogenious Technologies is a spin-off of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg by its CEO Dr. Daniel Teichmann and the three co-founders Prof. Wolfgang Arlt, Prof. Peter Wasserscheid and Prof. Eberhardt Schlücker.
ACO, FIA introducing new hybrid top class for Le Mans for 2020-2024; hydrogen racers in 2024
The Automobile Club De L’Ouest (ACO) and Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) will introduce a new top class for the FIA World Endurance Championship for 2020-2024. The anticipated sleeker prototypes will retain a hybrid system while leaving free the choice of combustion engine at a predetermined and fixed cost. The name of the new class will be chosen by popular vote.
A new special class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2024 will introduce hydrogen fuel cell technology. A working group is already in place and includes various parties with an interest in the subject. Seven automotive multinationals (major manufacturers and parts makers) actively developing this technology are involved in setting down the conditions required for the creation of this class, and in demonstrating the relevance and efficiency of this new engine technology. The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) is supporting the ACO endeavor.
Over the decades the laboratory that motor sport provides has driven forward the development of technology and safety that has a direct benefit to all of us. The FIA has been at the forefront of this development, and the inclusion of a class for hydrogen technology in the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2024 is the next, important, step on the road to a cleaner and sustainable future.
—Jean Todt, President of the FIA
2020-2024. The new top-class prototypes will remain hybrid, with a KERS system in front and 4WD to ensure energy efficiency. The regulations are seeking performance (3:20.00 per lap at Le Mans with limited fuel) and cost-effectiveness. Developments will be kept in check by a new homologation procedure and technical rules that will reduce budgets. There will be no restrictions on engine selection. Consumption rules will ensure fair competition between different systems.
The top endurance class is looking at a budget of around 25 to 30 million euros for two cars per season—25% of what was spent in LMP1 in recent years. In addition to all the other enhancements, the new regulations are looking to increase the level of safety of the driver survival cell.
The new look will be similar to current hypercars. Dimensions and aerodynamic rules will provide enough freedom for the brand design and are relevant to the dimensions/proportions of a Top-Class GT Car. Only one bodywork may be homologated per season. Overall weight will be 980 kg (2,161 lbs).
While the new top class enjoys a free engine architecture (small or large capacity, turbocharged or normally aspirated, whatever is the number of cylinders), fixed maximum performance target for power is 520 kW, with the maximum fuel flow and BSFC defined.
Other key parameters—such as limits on expensive materials and the minimum size, minimum weight and gravity center height of the engine—will be defined in order to prevent expensive development.
The main guidelines for Energy Recovery System (ERS) are:
Each system will be entirely homologated by FIA/ACO.
An ERS manufacturer must be able to supply a minimum of cars (number to be defined) entered in the championship.
The supply is based on a leasing per season including supply of the system, technical support and race track support.
The annual leasing per car, all services included, will be cost-capped by the regulation. The price will be set in order to comply with the original targets: performance and technology accessible to all competitors, including private ones.
The ERS system will comprise three main components: ERS hardware (motor, inverter...); battery / energy storage; and electronics (software and hardware). The system will be designed for the front axle for easier integration in different cars, and better performance vs. budget.
The ECU will feature a common ECU with homologated software. The battery and hybrid system has a 200 kW cap.
The gearbox is limited to 8 speeds with 1 set of ratios.Expensive materials will be banned; minimum weight and gravity center height will be capped; and electronic and/or hydraulic differential will be banned.
Japan NEDO launches major $90M solid-state Li-ion battery project targeting EVs; 23 companies, 15 universities/research institutes
Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) has launched the second phase of a major solid-state Li-ion battery project in a quest to achieve both high energy density and safety in batteries for electric vehicles. NEDO set a target date of fiscal 2022 for the core technologies; prior NEDO work in solid-state battery research primarily engaged materials makers.
The ¥10-billion (US$90-million) project, which involves 23 automobile, battery, and material manufacturers as well as 15 universities / public research institutes, will tackle technologies that are currently bottlenecks for mass production of solid-state Li-ion batteries (SSLIB) such as the solid electrolyte; electrolyte coating with active material, and the sheet formation of the electrolyte-electrode layer.
In addition, the project will develop simulation technology to predict the deterioration of all-solid LIB cells and battery packs, and test evaluation methods for durability and safety with international standardization.
The project ultimately aims to lower the battery pack cost to around ¥10,000/ kWh ($90/kWh) by around 2030—about one-third the cost for existing lithium-ion batteries. The research also targets a fast-charge time of 10 minutes, also around one-third of that needed for lithium-ion batteries.
Partners participating in this project include: Toyota Motor Corporation; Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.; Honda R & D Laboratories; Panasonic Corporation; GS Yuasa Corporation; Hitachi Automotive Systems Co., Ltd.; Maxell Corporation; Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.; Yamaha Mr. Motor Co., Ltd.; Asahi Kasei Corporation; JSR Corporation; Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd.; Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.; Toppan Printing Co., Ltd.; Toray Industries, Ltd.; Nippon Shokubai; Fujifilm Corporation; Mitsui Chemicals Corporation; Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation; Kuraray Co., Ltd.; Nissan Chemical Industries Ltd.; Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd.; Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co.; National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology; National Institute for Materials Science; National Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN); Osaka Industrial Technology Research Institute,; Kyushu University; Kyoto University; Gunma University; Tokyo Institute of Technology; Toyohashi University of Technology; Nagoya University; Hyogo University of Teacher Education; Hokkaido University; Osaka Prefecture University; Konan Gakuen; Japan Automobile Research Institute.
Volkswagen’s rapid-charging battery system for the I.D. R Pikes Peak
The design of the battery and charging system for Volkswagen’s fully-electric I.D. R Pikes Peak was driven by the time constraints specified by the regulations for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Should a participant be forced to suspend the run for safety reasons—for example, should it suddenly start to hail or another car require recovering—the participant has exactly 20 minutes in which to prepare for a second attempt and to return to the start line.
This time frame was a crucial factor when configuring the battery for the I.D. R Pikes Peak. Furthermore, the charging strategy and independent mobile power supply are also important aspects of the rapid-charging system.
—François-Xavier Demaison, Technical Director at Volkswagen Motorsport
Head of Electrics and Electronics at Volkswagen Motorsport, Marc-Christian Bertram’s team developed the electric drive for the I.D. R Pikes Peak, which generates a system performance of 500 kW (680 PS). (Earlier post.) When the Volkswagen Motorsport team attempts to break the existing record for the electric car class on 24 June, it must be ready for unknowns, including a possible interruption.
When determining the charging strategy, we had to bear in mind a possible re-start. With that in mind, there were two main challenges that had to be overcome: To avoid overheating the battery during the charging process, and to ensure that all the battery cells are charged equally.
When developing the battery for Volkswagen’s first fully-electric racing car, the team benefitted from the expertise in the specialist departments for E-mobility at Volkswagen in Wolfsburg. For example, the fundamental research into the battery for the I.D. R Pikes Peak was carried out in the same laboratories as are being used to develop the battery technology for the future production cars in the I.D. family.
We first tested various chemical compositions of the individual battery cells, then expanded the tests to modular level.
The best results came courtesy of a lithium-ion battery, which, in the I.D. R Pikes Peak, is split and located in two blocks next to and behind the cockpit. The battery has a particularly high power density.
For a racing car, you are not looking for maximum range, but the highest possible power output, said Bertram, explaining the differences between the racer and production cars. The I.D. R Pikes Peak is capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.25 seconds—faster than a Formula 1 car. The 19.99-kilometer route includes 156 corners—meaning the battery must be able to cope with roughly the same number of acceleration phases.
During development, particular attention was paid to the way the battery behaves during the charging process at the racetrack. This process requires a sophisticated strategy. Volkswagen Motorsport works with two rapid-charging systems at the same time in the start area on Pikes Peak, each of which supplies the battery in the I.D. R Pikes Peak with fresh energy at a relatively low total output of 90 kW. The low charging current limits heat development, said Bertram.
The great unknown is the air temperature in the paddock. Even in June, temperatures on Pikes Peak can dip to just above freezing point. However, the teams can also be faced with sweltering mid-summer heat. The ideal temperature for the battery is about 30 ˚C (86 ˚F). If necessary, air can be supplied to cool the internal battery system in the I.D. R Pikes Peak. However, cooling must not be too dramatic during the rapid-charging process, in order to avoid the build-up of condensation.
Volkswagen Motorsport is also using innovative methods to generate the energy required to charge the battery. Because the temporary paddock, located at a height of 2,800 meters above sea level, does not have a suitable power supply, a conventional looking generator is used to generate the electricity required by Volkswagen Motorsport. However, unlike conventional generators, this one does not run on diesel—it uses glycerol.
This liquid—a sugar alcohol, which is a waste product from the production of bio-diesel, for example—combusts with virtually no harmful exhaust fumes or residues. Glycerol itself is non-toxic and is even permitted as an additive (E422) in the food and cosmetics industries.
The Glycerol-powered generator not only supplies the I.D. R Pikes Peak with environmentally-sound electricity before the practice sessions and the race, but also all the electrical devices in our pit area during the race—from the engineers’ computers to the coffee machine.
Magna introduces 48V transfer case
Automotive supplier Magna is introducing a line-up of 48V products to help automakers meet increasingly stringent global CO2 and fuel-economy regulations. Among these is the new etelligentDrive eDS 48V High Performance System—one the first mild-hybrid transfer cases available to automakers.
Additionally, it’s a four-wheel drive system that provides CO2 savings of up to 10% and better fuel efficiency compared to a two-wheel drive system.
Magna’s etelligentDrive eDS 48V High Performance System is the first four-wheel drive system to provide better fuel efficiency than two-wheel drive.
With our expanding portfolio of 48-volt products, highlighted by the new mild-hybrid transfer case, we’re giving automakers the flexibility to easily integrate 48-volt drives into their existing drivetrain layouts. Our electrification strategy is focused on the need to create powertrain efficiencies while also improving driving dynamics and safety for the consumer.
—Swamy Kotagiri, Magna CTO and president of Magna Powertrain
New modified iron trifluoride intercalation-conversion cathode could triple energy density
A collaboration led by scientists at the University of Maryland (UMD), the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the US Army Research Lab have developedand studied a new cathode material—a modified and engineered form of iron trifluoride (FeF3)—that could triple the energy density of lithium-ion battery electrodes. Their open-access paper is published in Nature Communications.
The materials normally used in lithium-ion batteries are based on intercalation chemistry. While efficient, this type of chemical reaction only transfers a single electron, so the cathode capacity is limited, explains Enyuan Hu, a chemist at Brookhaven and one of the lead authors of the paper. However, some compounds like FeF3 are capable of transferring multiple electrons through a more complex reaction mechanism, called a conversion reaction.
Despite FeF3’s potential to increase cathode capacity, the compound has not historically worked well in lithium-ion batteries due to three complications with its conversion reaction: poor energy efficiency (hysteresis); a slow reaction rate; and side reactions that can cause poor cycling life.
To overcome these challenges, the team added cobalt and oxygen atoms to FeF3 nanorods through a process called chemical substitution. This allowed the scientists to manipulate the reaction pathway and make it more reversible.
Substituting the cathode material with oxygen and cobalt prevents lithium from breaking chemical bonds and preserves the material’s structure.
Iron fluoride, an intercalation-conversion cathode for lithium-ion batteries, promises a high theoretical energy density of 1922 Wh kg–1. However, poor electrochemical reversibility due to repeated breaking/reformation of metal fluoride bonds poses a grand challenge for its practical application. Here we report that both a high reversibility over 1000 cycles and a high capacity of 420 mAh g−1 can be realized by concerted doping of cobalt and oxygen into iron fluoride.
In the doped nanorods, an energy density of ~1000 Wh kg−1 with a decay rate of 0.03% per cycle is achieved. The anion’s and cation’s co-substitutions thermodynamically reduce conversion reaction potential and shift the reaction from less-reversible intercalation-conversion reaction in iron fluoride to a highly reversible intercalation-extrusion reaction in doped material. The co-substitution strategy to tune the thermodynamic features of the reactions could be extended to other high energy conversion materials for improved performance.
—Fan et al.
When lithium ions are inserted into FeF3, the material is converted to iron and lithium fluoride. However, the reaction is not fully reversible. After substituting with cobalt and oxygen, the main framework of the cathode material is better maintained and the reaction becomes more reversible.
—Sooyeon Hwang, a co-author of the paper and a scientist at Brookhaven’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)
To investigate the reaction pathway, the scientists conducted multiple experiments at CFN and the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II)—two DOE Office of Science User Facilities at Brookhaven.
First at CFN, the researchers used transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to look at the FeF3 nanorods at a resolution of 0.1 nanometers. The TEM experiment enabled the researchers to determine the exact size of the nanoparticles in the cathode structure and analyze how the structure changed between different phases of the charge-discharge process. They saw a faster reaction speed for the substituted nanorods.
While TEM is a powerful tool for characterizing materials at very small length scales, and can also investigate the reaction process in real time, TEM can only see a very limited area of the sample, said Dong Su, a scientist at CFN and a co-corresponding author of the study.
We needed to rely on the synchrotron techniques at NSLS-II to understand how the whole battery functions.
At NSLS-II’s X-ray Powder Diffraction (XPD) beamline, scientists directed ultra-bright x-rays through the cathode material. By analyzing how the light scattered, the scientists could visualize additional information about the material’s structure.
At XPD, we conducted pair distribution function (PDF) measurements, which are capable of detecting local iron orderings over a large volume. The PDF analysis on the discharged cathodes clearly revealed that the chemical substitution promotes electrochemical reversibility.
—Jianming Bai, a co-author of the paper and a scientist at NSLS-II
Combining highly advanced imaging and microscopy techniques at CFN and NSLS-II was a critical step for assessing the functionality of the cathode material.
We also performed advanced computational approaches based on density functional theory to decipher the reaction mechanism at an atomic scale. This approach revealed that chemical substitution shifted the reaction to a highly reversible state by reducing the particle size of iron and stabilizing the rocksalt phase.
—Xiao Ji, a scientist at UMD and co-author of the paper
Scientists at UMD say this research strategy could be applied to other high energy conversion materials, and future studies may use the approach to improve other battery systems.
This study was supported by the US Army Research Laboratory and DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Operations at CFN and NSLS-II are supported by DOE’s Office of Science.
Xiulin Fan, Enyuan Hu, Xiao Ji, Yizhou Zhu, Fudong Han, Sooyeon Hwang, Jue Liu, Seongmin Bak, Zhaohui Ma, Tao Gao, Sz-Chian Liou, Jianming Bai, Xiao-Qing Yang, Yifei Mo, Kang Xu, Dong Su & Chunsheng Wang (2018) “High energy-density and reversibility of iron fluoride cathode enabled via an intercalation-extrusion reaction” Nature Communications volume 9, Article number: 2324 doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04476-2
Renault investing > €1B for development and production of EVs in France
Groupe Renault is accelerating the deployment of its Drive The Future strategic plan with an investment of more than €1 billion (US$1.2 billion) for the development and production of electric vehicles in France. With the aim of strengthening the leadership of its French industrial base in the growing electric vehicle market, Groupe Renault plans to:
Introduce a new Alliance electric platform in Douai to create a second Renault electric vehicle production site;
Double ZOE production capacity and the launch of a new ZOE at Flins, the only ZOE production site in the world;
Triple electric motor production capacities at Cleon and introduce a new generation electric motor from 2021.
Invest in Maubeuge for the production of the next generation of the Kangoo family, including the electric utility vehicle Kangoo Z.E.
The acceleration of our investments in France for electric vehicles will increase the competitiveness and attractiveness of our French industrial sites. Within the framework of its Drive the Future strategic plan and with the Alliance, Groupe Renault is giving itself the means to maintain its leadership in the electric vehicle market and to continue to develop new sustainable mobility solutions for all.
—Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Renault
Renault posted 38% growth in electric vehicle sales in Europe, with a 44% increase in ZOE registrations and a 23.8% market share in 2017.
Renault previously announced that it plans to recruit 5,000 employees on permanent contracts in France between 2017 and 2019 and to spend €235 million on training over the same period. Focused on the future, Renault‘s plants are adapting to meet the demands of their customers and the new challenges of the automotive sector. The Group intends to continue the modernization and digitalization of its French industrial network.
Among the targets of Groupe Renault’s Strategic Plan—Drive The Future (2017-2022)—are more than 5 million vehicles sold, doubling sales outside Europe, with leadership in electric vehicles through 8 electric models and 12 electrified models.
EPA approves bio-isobutanol as gasoline additive at up to 16 vol %
EPA has approved the registration of bio-isobutanol as a gasoline additive at up to 16 vol % after reviewing and taking comment on the application of Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC. (Earlier post.)
Butamax, a manufacturer of bio-isobutanol, submitted an application pursuant to the regulations at 40 CFR Part 79, Registration of Fuels and Fuel Additives, for the registration of bio-isobutanol. EPA said that Butamax successfully demonstrated that bio-isobutanol meets all applicable requirements under the Clean Air Act (CAA) for registration under Fuel and Fuel Additive Registration Program.
With this registration, bio-isobutanol can be used as a gasoline additive or a “drop-in” fuel. Bio-isobutanol, which is produced from renewable resources like corn, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and is eligible to generate credits under the RFS program.
Although not required, EPA published a Federal Register notice in March 2018 to make the public aware of the likelihood of this registration and sought public comment regarding any issues the Agency should take into consideration for this registration and/or any supplemental actions the Agency should take under the CAA to further protect public health and welfare.
The comment period ended in April 2018. EPA received more than 2,000 comments; most were positive comments in support of the registration of bio-isobutanol from across multiple stakeholders.
After reviewing all comments received, EPA has determined that Butamax has demonstrated it has met all the applicable requirements under the CAA and therefore should be registered.
BMW selects TTTech Auto as partner for developing highly automated driving functions
BMW has selected TTTech Auto, a high-tech company specializing in leading safety software and hardware platforms for automated driving, as its development partner for level 3 and 4 automated driving functions. TTTech Auto will contribute its extensive cross-industry software and functional safety experience to this project.
As we develop a modular, non-exclusive platform for autonomous driving, TTTech Auto’s expertise in functional and software safety and security is extremely valuable. Together, we are determined to bring safe Level 3 automated driving to the market in 2021. We are excited to be working together here at our new BMW Group Autonomous Driving Campus.
—Elmar Frickenstein, Senior Vice President for Fully Automated Driving and Driver Assistance at BMW
The functional applications to be developed with TTTech Auto will tackle demanding new functionalities that enhance safety and will create a completely new driving experience. TTTech Auto has already gained extensive experience in automated driving programs with several key industry players and successfully developed the safety software platform MotionWise for series production.
The software framework MotionWise is a scalable software platform for automated driving up to level 5. It enables a smooth integration process and ISO 26262 ASIL D safety.
The MotionWise architecture eases integration and validation of applications by performing a separation and management of the available resources. Each application hosted by MotionWise will run encapsulated from its peers, resulting in a safe environment where applications with different safety and real-time requirements can coexist and interact.
MotionWise offers a comprehensive set of system and integration services, providing a homogeneous platform out of SoCs of different safety or performance classes. MotionWise can be scaled from level 2 to level 5 automated driving.
This cooperation is part of BMW’s enhanced activities in the field of automated driving. For the development process with partners such as TTTech, BMW is implementing “LeSS” (Large Scale Scrum) for very efficient software development.
This agile software development model with very few hierarchical levels and a large number of small teams, is intended to ensure the highest velocity in the development.
TTTech Auto is currently establishing a new team on-site in Munich and is looking for talented and motivated new employees to strengthen its engineering workforce.
TTTech is a global leader in the field of robust networking and safety controls. TTTech solutions improve the safety and reliability of electronic systems in the industrial and transportation sectors, with a portfolio of products that are helping to make the Industrial Internet of Things and autonomous driving a reality.
TTTech Auto is a global high-tech company established by TTTech with leading industrial partners in June 2018. It builds upon TTTech Group’s automotive ADAS production program experience and world class safety technologies and integrates the software engineering skills of RT-RK Automotive in one venture.
The objective of the company is to provide safety software platforms and integration services for domain ECUs and in-car computers, paving the way to highly automated driving and autonomous vehicles.
Chicago Transit Authority orders 20 Proterra electric buses for $32M
The Chicago Transit Board awarded a $32-million contract to Proterra for the purchase of 20 new, all-electric buses. The new electric buses will give the CTA one of the largest electric bus fleets in the country.
CTA has been testing two electric buses since 2014, when the agency became the first in the country to use all-electric-powered buses for regular scheduled service. Both electric buses have performed well and handled Chicago’s weather and temperatures.
In addition to lower emissions that benefit air quality, electric buses offer savings in fuel costs and maintenance costs. The two electric buses currently in operation have saved CTA more than $24,000 annually in fuel costs, and $30,000 annually in maintenance costs, when compared to diesel buses purchased in 2014. They also provide a quieter ride, producing noise the equivalent to a human conversation.
The new buses will include new passenger information screens to show real-time travel information and other service information.
CTA expects to begin receiving the first buses by the end of 2018, which will begin service along one of CTA’s busiest bus routes—the #66 Chicago route. The remaining buses are expected to arrive through 2020 and will be assigned to operate along the #66 and #124 Navy Pier
The new bus contract also includes the installation of five electric quick-charging stations at Navy Pier, Chicago/Austin and the CTA’s Chicago Avenue garage. The units will allow charging within 5-10 minutes, allowing buses to return to service quickly. Buses can run between 75-120 miles on a single charge.
CTA will monitor the performance of the new buses, using the information to guide future modernization of its bus fleet. Since 2011, the CTA has purchased 450 new buses to replace its oldest models, and overhauled more than 1,000 buses to extend their useful life and improve performance. CTA’s bus fleet includes more than 1,800 buses.
This contract for new electric buses complements other CTA “green” initiatives, including the use of hybrid (electric-clean diesel) buses; ongoing conversion to more energy-efficient lighting, such as LED or solar powered, in vehicles and facilities whenever possible; and ongoing recycling of customer and employee refuse and vehicle materials (i.e. plastics, metals, oil, lubricants, anti-freeze and batteries).
Ford introduces two new taxis: diesel and hybrid
Ford introduced two new taxis: the new 2019 Transit Connect Taxi and Ford’s most fuel-efficient, purpose-built taxi, the 2019 Fusion Hybrid Taxi.
Transit Connect Taxi, when equipped with available 1.5-liter EcoBlue diesel engine, is targeted to return an EPA-estimated Highway rating of at least 30 mpg. Actual mileage will vary. Final EPA-estimated ratings available early 2019.
The Transit Connect Taxi offers seating for five with a roomy, flexible interior well-suited for livery service. It features more than 60 cubic-feet cargo volume behind the second row, more than the Nissan NV200 Taxi.
Along with the newly available EcoBlue diesel engine, the new 2019 Transit Connect Taxi comes with a recessed second-row seat, a taxi upfit wiring harness, first-row side curtain airbags, optional roof access hole for signage and a reverse sensing system. It is also available with School Bus Yellow paint.
Standard dual sliding side doors provide riders with a wide entrance and exit. A low vehicle floor ensures easy step-ups and step-downs. The new taxi can be made wheelchair accessible through the Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier program. The modification features an easy-to-deploy ramp that doubles as a deck for cargo when stowed in the back.
The first Fusion Hybrid Taxi shares parts with the Ford Police Responder Hybrid for improved durability in a livery duty cycle (police vehicles come with many heavy-duty chassis parts, like wheels and suspension).
For Fusion Hybrid Taxi, Ford is projecting EPA-estimated ranges comparable to that of the Ford Police Responder Hybrid (projected EPA-estimated ratings of 40 mpg City/36 mpg Highway/38 mpg Combined). Actual mileage will vary.
The 2019 Fusion Hybrid Taxi includes a police-tuned suspension with increased ride height and calibrated high-performance brakes, plus steel wheels. It features heavy-duty cloth seating or optional vinyl seating, vinyl floors, available School Bus Yellow paint, a standard rearview camera, and a mounting plate on top of the instrument panel to secure taxi meters and other fleet equipment.
The 2019 Transit Connect Taxi and 2019 Fusion Hybrid Taxi can be ordered now. The 1.5-liter EcoBlue diesel on 2019 Transit Connect will be available to order soon. Both Ford taxi models go on sale by year-end.
Rüsselsheim Engineering Center developing next four-cylinder gasoline engine generation for Groupe PSA; optimized for hybrids
The Rüsselsheim Engineering Center will take on the global responsibility for the development of the next-generation of high-efficiency gasoline engines for all Groupe PSA brands (Peugeot, Citroën, DS Automobiles, Opel and Vauxhall).
The next generation of four-cylinder engines will be optimized for operation in combination with electric motors and will be used in the drive train of hybrid systems. Market-introduction will begin in 2022.
The new generation of engines is designated for use in all Groupe PSA brands in China, Europe and North America, meeting the future emission standards of these markets. The power units feature technologies such as direct-injection, turbocharging and variable valve control; are highly efficient; and will deliver low fuel consumption and low CO2 values.
Rüsselsheim already had global responsibility for engine development when we were still part of GM. With the development of the new generation of four-cylinder gasoline engines, we can exploit one of our key competencies. The economic direct-injection, in combination with hybrid technology, will consolidate the strong position of Groupe PSA in lowering CO2 emissions.
—Opel’s Managing Director Engineering, Christian Müller
The Rüsselsheim Engineering Center has decades of experience in the construction of efficient gasoline engines. The engineers are now developing the new engine generation on the basis of the current Groupe PSA four-cylinder PureTech units. These all-aluminium engine, which have a displacement of 1.6 liters, already deliver a high level of efficiency and direct throttle response.
The upcoming four-cylinder units form the second gasoline engine family of Groupe PSA from 2022 alongside the well-known three-cylinder PureTech turbo engine that recently won the “Engine of the Year” award for the fourth time in a row. In addition to the responsibility for the new engine family, the engineering team in Rüsselsheim also leads the development of light commercial vehicles (LCVs) for the entire group. This includes the development of LCV platforms and modules from advanced development to production maturity.
Groupe PSA has currently established 15 Centers of Competence in Rüsselsheim:
Hydrogen & fuel cells
ADAS: parking, active safety, danger alert
Manual transmission systems
Geometry, dimensions and tolerances
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)
Vehicle fuel function
Vehicle material engineering (for many areas)
US market federalization (vehicle and powertrain)
Automation of quality checks
3D print of assembly tools
Modular multi-energy platforms. All passenger cars and most light commercial vehicles (LCVs) of Groupe PSA are currently derived from two multi-energy modular platforms: the Common Modular Platform (CMP) and the Efficient Modular Platform (EMP2). A modular platform consists primarily of the floor assembly, the chassis and various powertrains, as well as the base electric/electronic architecture. The platform is therefore the decisive factor for cost-efficient automobile manufacturing and represents 60% of the material costs.
The Groupe PSA platforms are complemented with modules for engines, seats, restraints, cockpits and infotainment systems that can be used in various carlines.
Different variants for various segments and international markets can be developed on these modular platforms: four and five-door sedans and hatchbacks, station wagons, vans, sport utility vehicles (SUV), convertibles and coupés are possible. The Groupe PSA platform dedicated to vehicles in the B and C segments is called CMP. The new Corsa, which will make its world premiere next year, is currently being developed on this very compact platform. The Grandland X SUV and the family-friendly Combo Life leisure activity vehicle (LAV) are based on the EMP2, which is used for the passenger car C and D segments.
Electrification. By 2024, all Opel/Vauxhall passenger cars will be based on these multi-energy platforms. The new CMP is the basis both for conventional propulsion systems as well as for a generation of electric vehicles (from urban to SUV). In addition, EMP2 is the basis for the next generation of plug-in hybrid vehicles (SUV, CUV, mid-range and high-end vehicles). These platforms enable a flexible adaptation to the development of the powertrain mix according to future market demands.
Opel will have four electrified model lines on the market by 2020, including the Ampera-e, the Grandland X as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and the next Corsa generation with a battery electric variant. Moving forward, all European passenger car lines will be electrified, either with a battery electric or plug-in hybrid variant, alongside models powered by highly efficient combustion engines. Opel/Vauxhall will thus become a leader in emissions reduction and be a fully electrified European passenger car brand by 2024. The electrification of the light commercial vehicle portfolio will begin in 2020 to meet customer needs and future requirements of urban areas.
The engineering team in Rüsselsheim is currently making a major contribution to the development of the electric version of the new Corsa generation, a battery-powered variant.
Fisker’s Orbit electric autonomous shuttle to feature Protean Pd18 in-wheel technology
Fisker Inc.’s Orbit autonomous electric shuttle, will feature Protean Electric’s in-wheel eDrive technology, specifically, the Pd18 system with peak torque of 1,250 N·m and peak power of 80 kW (60 kW continuous).
ProteanDrive motors use patented technologies, digital control, and are packaged with a friction brake. Designed to withstand 300,000 km vehicle lifetime, they deliver torque vectoring, 90-degree turn radius and a digital control platform that can support a range of AI and cloud-based services, including autonomous EV sensors, digital ABS, vehicle diagnostics and road condition data.
Fisker Inc. entered an alliance with China-based conglomerate, Hakim Unique Group, to develop an appealing autonomous shuttle for smart cities across the globe. The partners’ first joint project will include the design, development and integration of a Fisker electric, autonomous shuttle—the Orbit—into a Hakim Unique-implemented smart city.
Protean’s ProteanDrive is an in-wheel eDrive system selected by Fisker engineers to help optimize interior space and simplify powertrain integration. With the vehicle not featuring a steering wheel or pedals, the configuration enables the Orbit to comfortably carry passengers without the intrusion of traditional powertrain components.
The Fisker Orbit already encompasses breakthrough automotive technology, design innovation and exciting touches that will change the way urban populations think about short trip experiences. We selected Protean’s in-wheel powertrain technology to further deliver on those promises. The fastest path to fully autonomous vehicles—without a steering wheel—is through shuttles like the Orbit, and we’re excited to lead the charge into the future of mobility with such world-class, sustainable technology.
—Henrik Fisker, chairman and CEO of Fisker Inc.
The Fisker Orbit will be available in either two-wheel or four-wheel drive configurations, depending on customer needs. The company will begin testing prototypes of the vehicle with integrated Protean powertrains this year, while full deployments of the Orbit on a set route are scheduled for next year.
DOE seeking feedback on regulatory barriers to hydrogen infrastructure
The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced increased collaboration with stakeholders to reduce regulatory barriers on the development of hydrogen infrastructure and has issued a new Request for Information (RFI) (DE-FOA-0001948) to foster this united effort with industry.
Previous feedback collected during reviews identified the need for updated codes and standards as one of the top six barriers to hydrogen infrastructure. The goal of this RFI is to identify these barriers and potential courses‐of‐action to address them to reduce deployment time and cost in implementing hydrogen technologies and to support the rollout of large‐scale applications.
The goals of this RFI, in the context of developing and using hydrogen as an energy carrier across sectors and for diverse applications, are to:
Understand the effects of regulations imposed on industry, particularly the parts of industry responsible for hydrogen infrastructure;
Identify Federal regulations, codes, and state/local laws and identify the related compliance costs; and
Recommend actions to reduce the burdens of regulatory requirements.
DOE seeks feedback on:
Infrastructure for Near-Term Transportation Applications. As current and near‐term technologies are deployed (i.e., light duty vehicles, medium duty vehicles, heavy duty vehicles) and as hydrogen technologies are more widely adopted, existing issues within the codes and standards and permitting community begin to have a greater impact. DOE is interested in identifying barriers to implementation of hydrogen technologies and potential solutions to those barriers consistent with safe practices.
Large-scale Applications. To realize widespread, nationwide hydrogen use, new challenges in terms of meeting regulatory and permit requirements are expected to lead to needed revisions in terms of codes and standards and safety. One such example is in the area of large‐scale hydrogen storage—i.e. greater than 1,000 kilograms stored or used per day. These large‐scale needs are frequently beyond the scope of existing codes and would likely necessitate new courses‐of‐action prior to their deployment. DOE requests input on barriers relating to the implementation of the applications such as heavy‐duty vehicles, marine or rail power, and information processing centers, including but not limited to the needs relating to large‐scale storage.
Large-scale Hydrogen Delivery and Storage. Large‐scale hydrogen usage inherently leads to unique needs in terms of codes and standards, permitting, and safety. One such example is the area of large‐scale hydrogen storage and delivery: these needs are frequently beyond the scope of existing codes and would likely necessitate R&D prior to their deployment. DOE requests input on barriers relating to the implementation of the large‐scale hydrogen applications, including but not limited to the needs relating to bulk storage and delivery.
Grid Support (H2@Scale). Hydrogen can be produced via water electrolysis or other hydrogen production methods for electric power grid support providing storage and/or ancillary services to grid operators (e.g., by supplying regulation—frequency control—and ramping services). By converting surplus power generation into hydrogen for later reconversion to electric power, this type of grid support is particularly useful for variable power generation characteristics associated with renewables such as wind and solar power.
On topics related to the issues within this RFI that could be considered for future prizes.
Based on the input received through this request for information, DOE will look to provide feedback to relevant agencies with regulatory authority. The comment period for the RFI will close at 5:00pm (ET) on 10 August 2018.
Electrify America, Sacramento announce Green City investments: ZEV car-sharing, ZEV bus and shuttle routes, EV charging systems
Electrify America and the City of Sacramento announced new projects that will increase access to zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV) in the Sacramento region, expand ZEV technology use, and prepare the City for future electric vehicle adoption.
The projects—which include two new car sharing services, new ZEV bus and shuttle routes and electric vehicle charging systems throughout the region—are part of Electrify America’s Green City Initiative, which was announced by the company and city officials in 2017. Electrify America is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Group of America.
CAR SHARING. Electrify America is investing between $15 and $18 million for the launch of two ZEV car share services within the City of Sacramento which complement each other with different service areas while providing the same easy access:
GIG Car Share – Free Float Car Sharing: GIG Car Share, which is powered by AAA Northern California, Nevada, and Utah, will offer free float car share service in Sacramento. This service allows users to pick up and drop off a vehicle at any legal public parking spot, including metered locations, within a 13 sq. mile “Home Zone.” Perfect for a first-mile-last-mile connection, the user either pays for rental time or distance traveled, whichever is less expensive. With the GIG app, users can locate the nearest car to reserve it for up to 30 minutes in advance or to initiate a spur-of-the-moment trip. GIG Car Share will initially launch with 260 vehicles. These cars will be easy to recognize with a roof-mounted bike rack, giving users the option of combining two different modes of transportation, bike and car, for daily commutes or weekend adventures. More than 70 percent of the census tracts in GIG’s proposed car sharing Home Zone are low-income or disadvantaged communities. This service will be available in Q1 2019.
Envoy – Round Trip Car Sharing: Electrify America is also investing in a program with Envoy Technologies, a community-based EV car-share service based at apartment buildings as an amenity. Vehicles can be reserved, picked up and returned to the same location. The Envoy fleet will feature 142 vehicles spread in pairs across 71 locations. Each car will have a dedicated Level 2 EV charger. With 75% of the fleet expected to serve low-income and disadvantaged communities, Envoy provides equitable transportation for drivers running personal errands, as well those looking to participate in the gig economy and generate income that is 30% higher than the minimum wage. These cars will be available for rental by residents as a paid service at competitive rates. Initial properties will begin offering service by the end of summer 2018 with more locations coming on board every month.
ZEV BUS/SHUTTLE SERVICES. Electrify America is investing between $11 and $14 million in a ZEV bus service and an on-demand micro-shuttle service. To support powering the fleets, Electrify America will also install charging stations with ultra-fast chargers to power each service.
Electric Bus Service – UC Davis to Sacramento: Electrify America will enhance bus service between UC Davis and Sacramento with 12 new electric buses that will run from the main campus to the UC Davis Health campus in Sacramento. The shuttle will be co-run by Sacramento Regional Transit (SacRT) and the Yolo County Transportation District. Plans include increasing route frequency and providing four bus stops, including UC Davis, West Sacramento and two stops in Sacramento, downtown and at the UC Davis Health campus, which will also will be the eventual home of the planned Aggie Square tech complex. The bus service is expected to add more than 400,000 bus rides in the first year of operation. The enhanced route will start in 12 to 18 months once the electric bus manufacturer begins deliveries.
On-Demand Electric Shuttle Service - Franklin Region: Electrify America has provided the funding for this service which will be operated by Sacramento Regional Transit. SacRT is planning an initial launch in July 2018 as a new, on- demand micro-transit shuttle service. Funding from Electrify America will allow SacRT to transition the three-shuttle fleet to ZEV shuttle buses, once the shuttle manufacturer begins deliveries. The service is expected to provide about 26,000 rides in its first year. Consumers will be able to access it through an app-based ride hailing system, an online reservation or by phone. This service provides additional mobility for residents and visitors to this area, which has been without a bus line since 2008.
The proposal for this route serving the neighborhoods of the Franklin Boulevard corridor was submitted by Franklin Neighborhood Development Corporation (FNDC), which is investing in and improving the physical infrastructure, social services, public transportation, education, and job creation for Franklin Boulevard Business District’s residents, and business and property owners. More than 90 percent of the micro-shuttle’s service territory is in a low-income or disadvantaged Sacramento neighborhood.
EV CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE. With an investment of $14 million to $16 million, Electrify America will install more than 10 ultra-fast EV charging stations in the Sacramento region which will be available to the public. The charging stations will have a range of power from 50 kilowatts (kW), which is most commonly used in today’s electric vehicles, to 150 and 350kW. This future-proof charging technology will meet the needs of all electric vehicles available today and the advanced EVs expected as early as 2020. The Electrify America ultra-fast charging technology can deliver energy for up to 20 miles of range per minute, or seven times faster than today’s 50kW DC chargers. This investment includes chargers for the bus and shuttle services, plus the Level 2 chargers for the car share program.
The specific details on each of these ZEV initiatives will be announced closer to the launch of each service, with a roll-out of initial services anticipated in late 2018.
Sacramento was chosen as Electrify America’s Green City in 2017 after a detailed and comprehensive evaluation process, which looked at city size, commuting patterns, and potential to impact disadvantaged and low-income communities.
The goals of Electrify America’s Green City Initiative are to:
Positively impact ZEV awareness
Provide ZEV access to underserved, low-income and disadvantaged communities
Increase use of ZEV technology to maximize ZEV miles traveled while reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Test the economic viability of ZEV access initiatives
Electrify America’s Green City Initiative aims to provide access to ZEVs to those who do not own ZEVs, or cannot afford to own ZEVs, and therefore represent a key underserved population. Overall, Electrify America is investing $800 million in California over 10 years to support the increased use of ZEV technology with more ZEV infrastructure and education.
Toronto Transit Commission greenlights first battery-electric bus fleet; 10 Proterra E2s to start
The Toronto Transit Commission, the third largest transit agency in North America and the most heavily used system in all of Canada, purchased ten Proterra Catalyst E2 buses in support of the transit agency’s goal to convert its entire fleet of 1,926 buses to zero-emission buses by 2040.
Canada has around 24,000 public transit buses in circulation, and around 2,000 buses turn over each year, making it a prime market for Proterra to serve as more regions including Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Montreal make zero-emission bus fleet commitments. This milestone also marks Proterra’s market entry into Canada.
The TTC is the most heavily-used urban mass transit system in all of Canada, and the third largest in North America, after the New York City Transit Authority and Mexico City Metro. TTC’s bus fleet serves nearly 2,750,000 residents with an average ridership of 253 million per year, and provides critical mass transit links throughout the broader metropolitan area.
A new study from McGill University found that each 10% increase in the kilometers of bus service resulted in an 8.27% increase in ridership. Earlier this year TTC approved a new ridership growth strategy, which aims to move more customers, more reliably, make taking public transit seamless, and innovate for the long term.
In July 2017, the City of Toronto’s TransformTO action plan set a target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% by 2050. With 10 Catalyst buses, the City of Toronto will displace more than 4,853,091 liters (1.3 million gallons US) of diesel over the vehicles’ lifetime, and eliminate more than 1,039,000 kg of carbon emissions annually, lowering the associated health risks.
In addition to the environmental benefits, the new electric buses also has the potential to save money for the TTC, since they need less energy to operate and require less maintenance. Over their 12-year lifetime, the 10 Proterra buses can result in operational cost savings of more than $5.9 million CAD.
The battery-electric buses will go into service in 2019 and operate out of the Mount Dennis Bus garage, serving routes nearby.
Braunschweig public prosecutor levies €1B fine against Volkswagen AG over diesel crisis; Volkswagen accepts fine, admits responsibility
The Braunschweig, Germany public prosecutor issued an administrative order against Volkswagen AG in the context of the diesel crisis. The administrative order provides for a fine of €1 billion (US$1.2 billion) in total, consisting of the maximum penalty as legally provided for of €5 million and the disgorgement of economic benefits in the amount of €995 million.
According to the findings of the investigation carried out by the Braunschweig public prosecutor, monitoring duties had been breached in the Powertrain Development department in the context of vehicle tests.
According to the results obtained by the Braunschweig public prosecutor, they were concurrent causes of 10.7 million vehicles in total with the diesel engines of the types EA 288 (Gen3), in the United States and in Canada, and EA 189, world-wide, being advertised, sold to customers, and placed on the market with an impermissible software function in the period from mid-2007 until 2015.
Following thorough examination, Volkswagen AG accepted the fine and it will not lodge an appeal against it. Volkswagen AG, by doing so, admits its responsibility for the diesel crisis and considers this as a further major step towards the latter being overcome.
As a result of the administrative order imposing the fine, the active regulatory offence proceedings conducted against Volkswagen will be finally terminated. Volkswagen assumes that such termination of the proceedings will also have significant positive effects on further active administrative proceedings in Europe against the Volkswagen AG and its subsidiaries.
BASF invests in LanzaTech
BASF Venture Capital GmbH is to invest in LanzaTech. Using special microbes, LanzaTech has developed a technology for gas fermentation that first enables ethanol to be produced from residual gases containing carbon monoxide and hydrogen.
By re-using waste streams instead of incinerating them, industrial companies can reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
LanzaTech’s patented technology is now being deployed at commercial scale in the steel industry where carbon monoxide from residual gases (off-gases) can be converted into ethanol. (Earlier post.) Ethanol can be used as the raw material for the production of diesel, gasoline or jet fuel and as a precursor to plastics and polymers.
LanzaTech’s commercial facility with steel producer Shougang in China, converting steel mill emissions into ethanol.
The company’s product portfolio includes additional biochemicals besides ethanol, such as chemical specialties and intermediates, that can be used as raw materials in other chemical production processes. The technology is also potentially suitable for treating and recycling waste streams in the chemical industry and for municipal waste disposal.
Investment from BASF will help us realize our goal of a Carbon Smart Future. BASF’s expertise in creating sustainable chemistry that benefits society aligns with our carbon recycling vision, where we capture and reuse waste carbon to make useful everyday items, displacing fossil feedstocks and keeping the sky blue for all.
—Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech
California ARB releases draft summary of proposed Innovative Clean Transit (ICT) regulation for comment
The California ARB has released the draft summary of its proposed Innovative Clean Transit (ICT) regulation (earlier post) for review and comments. Staff will be discussing this concept at a public workshop being held today.
The proposed ICT regulation includes a transition to zero-emission technologies while enhancing transit services. The proposal is structured to allow transit agencies to take advantage of incentive programs by acting early and is intended to provide flexibility and to encourage transit agencies to implement plans that are best suited for their own situation.
Key elements of the proposal include the following:
Transit agencies develop individual plans to transition to a zero-emission bus (ZEB) fleet by 2040.
ZEB purchase minimums at the time new bus purchases are made.
A waiver of the initial ZEB purchase requirements for transit agencies if statewide progress toward zero-emissions meets certain targets.
An option to implement innovative zero-emission mobility programs in lieu of ZEB purchases as well as other flexibility options.
Purchase of renewable fuels when diesel or natural gas contracts are renewed.
Purchase of low NOx engines if available for conventional bus purchases.
The regulation will affect all buses with gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 14,000 lbs., but does not include trolleybuses. The regulation applies to all California public transit agencies that own, operate, lease, or rent affected buses, or contract out their operation with another entity. A transit agency must meet the ZEB purchase requirements determined as a percentage of total applicable new bus purchases made in that calendar year.
Two or more transit agencies may pool their resources together and form a Joint Zero-Emission Bus Group to comply with zero-emission bus purchase requirement collectively. These transit agencies must share the same Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) or Transportation Planning Agency, or be located within the same Air Basin.
In addition, starting 1 January 2020, small and large transit agencies must purchase low NOx engines when new conventional bus purchases are made. Also starting 1 January 202, large transit agencies will be required to use renewable fuels for diesel and compressed natural gas (CNG) buses when fuel contracts are renewed to support existing programs.
Volvo Cars and Polestar launch new Polestar Engineered electrified performance offer
Volvo Cars is launching a new upgraded electrified performance offer called Polestar Engineered, specifically developed for its new 60 Series T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid cars.
The announcement comes one week before the company will reveal its new S60 premium sports sedan at the inauguration of its first US manufacturing plant in Charleston, South Carolina. The plant is the sole production site for the new S60, which is the first Volvo car made in the US.
Polestar Engineered, developed by Volvo Cars’ electric performance arm Polestar, is a complete offer, applying Polestar’s performance engineering expertise to the car’s wheels, brakes, suspension and engine control unit. The offer reflects Volvo Cars’ and Polestar’s commitment to electrification.
Electric cars are our future. Today starts a new era of Volvo electrified models enhanced by Polestar’s performance engineering prowess. This strategy is firmly grounded in our shared belief in an electric future for the car industry.
—Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO at Volvo Cars
Polestar Engineered debuts on the forthcoming new S60 premium sports sedan. The offer is exclusively available on the top-of-the-line T8 Twin Engine and is positioned above Volvo’s R Design versions.
Polestar Engineered will also be offered on the new V60 estate and XC60 SUV from next year, available globally in limited numbers via Volvo dealerships and Care by Volvo, the company’s premium car subscription service.
New lightweight wheels have an open design to show off the eye-catching golden-painted brake calipers, the new hallmark colour for Polestar Engineered components. Polestar emblems, black chrome exhaust pipes and golden seat belts also identify Volvo cars equipped with Polestar Engineered.
The Brembo mono-block brake calipers are cast in one piece and optimized for rigidity. The brake pads have increased heat tolerance while the brake discs’ slotted design further improves heat reduction.
The Polestar Engineered multi-link front and rear suspension incorporates premium Öhlins shock absorbers with a dual-flow valve that allows stiffening in the springs and dampeners while retaining comfort. The strut bar and adjustable shock absorber design are shared with the Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid performance car.
Fine-tuning of the engine’s control unit increases the S60 electrified T8 Twin Engine output to 415hp combined, with N·m of torque—the standard T8 Twin Engine delivers 400hp and 640N·m combined. The software upgrades improve fuel consumption and emissions-neutral performance, and refines the automatic gear selection.
The new S60 T8 Polestar Engineered is an electrified car that does what you want it to. All components have been fine-tuned to work together, delivering a responsive and exciting driver’s car.
—Henrik Green, senior vice president of research and development at Volvo Cars