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Technologies, issues and policies for sustainable mobility.



Updated: 2017-09-22T10:50:00Z

 



Navigant Research expects 2017 sales of plug-in electric vehicles in N America to be 50% greater than in 2016

2017-09-22T10:50:00Z

According to a new report from Navigant Research (Market Data: EV Geographic Forecasts), 2017 sales of PEVs in North America are on track to be 50% greater than in 2016. Beyond 2017, sales are likely to continue to grow, but...

According to a new report from Navigant Research (Market Data: EV Geographic Forecasts), 2017 sales of PEVs in North America are on track to be 50% greater than in 2016. Beyond 2017, sales are likely to continue to grow, but the rate of growth will slow. Overall, in North America, the PEV market has grown by a factor of 10 since 2011.

Part of this slowdown is simply the increase in the year-over-year denominator; another part is the likely phaseout of government subsidies in the first half of the 2020s. At that point, Navigant Research expects growth to be around the low teens. Once BEVs cross the cost parity threshold with internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs), the market is projected to return to a faster pace of growth that is longer lived. This inflection is likely to occur around 2025, when battery pack prices drop to around $150/kWh. By 2026, Navigant Research expects PEV penetration to be between 7% (in the conservative scenario) and 11% (in the aggressive) of overall LDV sales.

—“Market Data: EV Geographic Forecasts”

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California continues to lead the United States with strong PEV penetration. However, growth from Northeastern states should pick up soon, and quickly, with increased stringency of ZEV mandates and multiple state PEV purchase rebate programs.h

—Scott Shepard, senior research analyst at Navigant Research

To date, PEV populations have clustered in urban areas where census data indicates consumers have high levels of educational attainment and wealth, as well as driving patterns well-suited to the current class of PEVs. According to the report, this correlation is likely to weaken as the used PEV market develops and cheaper PEV offerings enable greater adoption among a wider range of vehicle owners.

Additionally, the expanding PEV population has wide-reaching implications for the electric power sector and key industry stakeholders looking to address the needs of this new class of vehicle owner.

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Johnson Matthey targets coming EV market with $270M investment in battery material technology

2017-09-22T10:00:00Z

During its Capital Markets Day presentations, specialty chemicals company Johnson Matthey said it will invest an initial £200 million (US$270 million) starting in 2018 to build capacity to drive growth in a market which could be more than $30 billion... During its Capital Markets Day presentations, specialty chemicals company Johnson Matthey said it will invest an initial £200 million (US$270 million) starting in 2018 to build capacity to drive growth in a market which could be more than $30 billion sales when battery electric vehicle penetration increases to around 10%. In addition to what it projects as “breakout growth” in Battery Materials, Johnson Matthey also said it expects to deliver sustained growth in Clean Air markets—including automotive exhaust treatment solutions—driven by share gains in European light duty and upcoming tighter legislation. Batteries. In his presentation, Dr. Alan Nelson, Sector Chief Executive, New Markets and Group CTO, said that Johnson Matthey was working on three new market opportunities: alternative powertrains, life science technologies, and medical device components. Of those, battery materials to support alternative powertrains represent the most developed opportunity, he said. Johnson Matthey first entered the Li-ion battery market in 2012. Nelson said that the £200-million investment in high-energy battery materials was intended to manufacture up to 10,000 metric tons from FY2021-2022. The company expects to be on automotive platforms from that same time frame. Johnson Matthey is focusing on a broad portfolio of cathode materials to support a range of electrified vehicle applications. The company is focused on material cost, energy density, and countering the deactivation of chemistries. Johnson Matthey has IP across a range of battery materials including LNO, NMC and LFP; it also has strategic partnerships with cell manufacturers and automotive OEMs. Of particular interest is Johnson Matthey’s eLNO, a material that the company says represents a step change in energy density compared to NMC(622), NMC(811) and NCA materials. Clean Air. The company expects strong single-digit sales growth over the next two to three years; after that, the company expects growth to slow as a move away from light duty diesel engines in Europe and the expansion of the battery electric light duty vehicle market offset growth in Asia and strength in the heavy duty sector in North America. [...]



BorgWarner cabin heater extends driving range for new EV

2017-09-22T09:42:00Z

BorgWarner will be supplying its advanced high-voltage positive temperature coefficient (PTC) cabin heating technology for a new electric vehicle (EV) for a globally known EV automaker. BorgWarner’s technology features more efficient use of energy while providing rapid cabin heating. Limited...

BorgWarner will be supplying its advanced high-voltage positive temperature coefficient (PTC) cabin heating technology for a new electric vehicle (EV) for a globally known EV automaker. BorgWarner’s technology features more efficient use of energy while providing rapid cabin heating.

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Limited waste heat impedes heating the cabin. Independent of waste heat, BorgWarner’s high-voltage cabin heater warms the air stream coming from the blower, delivering a comfortable and odor-free cabin environment, while saving battery power due to efficient operation.

Featuring ceramic PTC components as core elements of the design, the cabin heater self-regulates to ensure high power heating is available in cold temperatures, when it is needed most. As temperatures rise and heating demand decreases, the energy is automatically reduced.

The cabin heater offers up to 7 kW of power, provides dual-zone functionality for reduced waste compared with single-zone solutions, and contributes to nearly silent operation of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

BorgWarner’s product portfolio also includes numerous other technologies for HEVs and EVs, such as high-voltage liquid heaters, eBooster electrically driven compressors, eGearDrive transmissions and auxiliary thermal coolant pumps.

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OmniVision’s new automotive reference design system (ARDS) for automotive imaging system development

2017-09-22T09:00:00Z

OmniVision Technologies, Inc., a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, announced the availability of an automotive reference design system (ARDS) that provides a plug-and-play platform for developing automotive imaging systems. The modular approach of OmniVision’s ARDS allows automotive imaging-system...

OmniVision Technologies, Inc., a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, announced the availability of an automotive reference design system (ARDS) that provides a plug-and-play platform for developing automotive imaging systems.

The modular approach of OmniVision’s ARDS allows automotive imaging-system and software developers to mix and match image sensors, image signal processors and long-distance serializer modules. With its compact form factor, OmniVision’s ARDS is suited for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), rear video mirrors, camera monitor systems (CMS) and dash cameras.

The imaging-system industry is anticipating significant growth in ADAS, including surround-view and rear-view camera systems. The New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), a government car-safety program, mandates all new vehicles in the US to be equipped with rear-view cameras by 2018. Surround-view systems (SVS) are also expected to become an even more popular feature for the luxury-vehicle segment within the same timeframe. SVSs typically require at least four cameras to provide a 360-degree view. OmniVision's ARDS enables an ecosystem to design next-generation ADAS systems for the automotive industry.

OmniVision’s ARDS demo kits feature OmniVision’s OV2775 image sensor, the optional OV495 image signal processor (ISP) and serializer camera module. The OV2775 is built on 2.8-micron OmniBSI-2 Deep Well pixel technology, which offers a 16-bit linear output from a single exposure with best-in-class low-light sensitivity. The sensor is capable of recording 1920 x 1080 resolution video at 30 or 60 frames per second with a dynamic range exceeding 120dB. OmniVision’s ARDS is available in two configurations, with or without the OV495 ISP.

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Baidu announces Apollo 1.5 and $1.5B autonomous driving fund

2017-09-22T08:56:00Z

Baidu, Inc. announced the release of Apollo 1.5, the latest iteration of the company’s Apollo open-source autonomous driving platform that has gathered 70 strong partners so far. (Earlier post.) The company also announced a 10 billion RMB ($1.5 billion) Apollo... Baidu, Inc. announced the release of Apollo 1.5, the latest iteration of the company’s Apollo open-source autonomous driving platform that has gathered 70 strong partners so far. (Earlier post.) The company also announced a 10 billion RMB ($1.5 billion) Apollo Fund to invest in 100 autonomous driving projects in the next three years. Building on Apollo 1.0, Apollo 1.5 opens up five additional core capabilities which include obstacle perception; planning; cloud simulation; High-Definition (HD) maps; and End-to-End deep learning, providing more comprehensive solutions to developers and ecosystem partners to accelerate the deployment of autonomous driving. The obstacle perception capability enables vehicles to accurately identify obstacles during both day and night. With the planning capability, vehicles can plan the correct driving path and make optimal driving decisions. The cloud simulation system on Apollo is the only platform that provides open, built-in HD maps tailored for autonomous driving. Based on large scale cloud computing capacity, Apollo has a vast amount of real traffic data in China, and has a virtual running capacity of one million kilometers per day. First announced in April, Apollo is an open platform that provides a comprehensive, secure, and reliable all-in-one solution that supports all major features and functions of an autonomous vehicle. Its first iteration, Apollo 1.0, with capabilities enabling vehicles to do autonomous waypoint driving in enclosed venues, was announced in July at Baidu’s inaugurate AI Developers Conference in Beijing. Over the past 2 months, Apollo has seen dozens of code updates each week and the addition of more than 65,000 lines of new code. At the same time, Apollo has received a positive response from global developers. To date, more than 1,300 companies have downloaded Apollo source code and nearly 100 companies have applied for open data via the Apollo website. Apollo has attracted 70 global and Chinese partners, including OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, developer platforms and technology start-ups. Newly joined members include Hyundai Motor, ROS, esd electronics, Neousys Technology, and autonomous driving startups such as Momenta and iDriver+ Technologies. Baidu has signed more than 50 cooperation agreements with Apollo partners on mass production or joint product development plans. King Long, a Xiamen-based commercial vehicle manufacturer, performed autonomous waypoint driving in enclosed venues using buses deployed with Apollo’s 1.0 capabilities. Momenta, a Beijing-based autonomous driving startup, successfully conducted testing on designated lanes using Apollo 1.5 enabled cars, which were able to accurately recognize obstacles, passengers, and make optimal decisions even at night when visibility is very low. Baidu and Velodyne have announced that Velodyne will provide Apollo ecosystem members with priority access to product information, technical support as well as a shorter lead time to product purchase. Baidu will also partner with Udacity, a Silicon Valley based online education platform, to foster autonomous talent globally by introducing autonomous courses, certifications, special competitions and talent services. Developers and Apollo ecosystem partners can access the Apollo website for more information. [...]



Report: Japan to ease regulations on H2 fueling stations to cut setup and operating costs in half

2017-09-22T08:31:00Z

The Nikkei reports that the Japanese government will ease regulations on hydrogen refueling stations, with the goal of making the refueling points less costly to set up and to operate in the hope of spurring the adoption of fuel cell...

The Nikkei reports that the Japanese government will ease regulations on hydrogen refueling stations, with the goal of making the refueling points less costly to set up and to operate in the hope of spurring the adoption of fuel cell vehicles.

Setting up a hydrogen station costs 400 million yen to 500 million yen ($3.5 million to $4.4 million), and operating one costs 40 million yen to 50 million yen per year, according to METI. The body aims to have both setup and operating costs slashed in half by 2020 through development of lower-cost facilities and loosened regulations.

According to the report, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will revise about 20 points in rules governing the facilities by 2018.

As of the end of August, Japan had 91 hydrogen stations in operation. The government aims to have 160 up and running by fiscal 2020 and to have 320 by fiscal 2025.

One step in the regulatory easing will be lowering operating costs by loosening the requirements for station supervisors. Those supervisors currently must have experience at a facility that handles hydrogen, but in the future, experience with natural gas and other high-pressure gases will suffice, according to the report.

Stations will also no longer be required to have an employee who takes down cars’ license plates and keeps track of who buys hydrogen, a change that should cut labor costs.

METI will also reevaluate safety standards by fiscal 2019, incorporating the latest technology and knowledge to avoid overly strict rules.

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New study suggests PM air pollution damages the kidneys

2017-09-22T08:00:00Z

Studies have shown that air pollution can have negative effects on cardiovascular health and life expectancy. Now new research indicates that it is also harmful to the kidneys. The study, which appears in an open access paper in the Journal... Studies have shown that air pollution can have negative effects on cardiovascular health and life expectancy. Now new research indicates that it is also harmful to the kidneys. The study, which appears in an open access paper in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), shows that the effects on the kidneys are seen at low levels of particulate matter and increase linearly with rising levels of pollution. Information on the relationship between air pollution and kidney disease is very scarce. To investigate, a team led by Ziyad Al-Aly, MD (Director of Clinical Epidemiology at the VA Saint Louis Health Care System) linked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs databases to examine information on 2,482,737 US veterans who were followed for a median of 8.5 years. Air pollution levels were also assessed using space-borne sensors from NASA satellites. Data on the relationship between air pollution and kidney disease in humans has been scarce. However, once we analyzed the data, the link between air pollution and the development of kidney disease was clear.—Dr. Al-Aly The researchers found a linear relationship between air pollution levels and risk of experiencing kidney function decline and of developing kidney disease or kidney failure. Fine particles can damage the kidneys in the same way they damage other organs such as the heart and lungs. Airborne and invisible, microscopic pieces of dust, dirt, smoke, soot and liquid droplets often become destructive when they invade the bloodstream. The kidneys filter the blood, and these harmful particles can disrupt normal kidney function. The results suggest that each year in the United States, 44,793 new cases of CKD and 2438 new cases of kidney failure are attributed to particulate matter air pollution exceeding the EPA’s recommended limit of 12 μg/m3. Even levels below the limit set by the EPA were harmful to the kidneys. This suggests that there is no safe level of air pollution.—Dr. Al-Aly Dr. Al-Aly noted that the burden is not evenly distributed geographically: the highest toll seems to be in southern California and in large swaths of the Midwest, the Northeast, and the South. The findings have implications outside the United States and may help explain the substantial variation in the burden of kidney disease observed around the world. Study co-authors include Benjamin Bowe, MPH, Yan Xie, MPH, Tingting Li, MD, Yan Yan, PhD, and Hong Xian, PhD. Resources Particulate Matter Air Pollution and the Risk of Incident CKD and Progression to ESRD Benjamin Bowe, Yan Xie, Tingting Li, Yan Yan, Hong Xian, and Ziyad Al-Aly (2017) “Particulate Matter Air Pollution and the Risk of Incident CKD and Progression to ESRD” JASN doi: 10.1681/ASN.2017030253 [...]



Magellan Midstream Partners expand E15 services

2017-09-22T08:00:00Z

Growth Energy reports that Magellan Midstream Partners, the Tulsa, Okla.-based transportation, storage, and distribution company, is now offering blending services for E15—a fuel with 15 percent ethanol—throughout their midcontinent terminal system. Magellan owns the longest refined petroleum product pipeline system...

Growth Energy reports that Magellan Midstream Partners, the Tulsa, Okla.-based transportation, storage, and distribution company, is now offering blending services for E15—a fuel with 15 percent ethanol—throughout their midcontinent terminal system.

Magellan owns the longest refined petroleum product pipeline system in the country.

Leading retailers including Casey’s, Cenex, Family Express, Kum & Go, Kwik Trip, MAPCO, Minnoco, Murphy USA, Protec Fuel, QuikTrip, RaceTrac, Sheetz, and Thorntons offer E15 currently at more than 900 locations in 29 states.

This is a major win for consumer choice and a testament to the momentum behind E15, which is a high-octane, cleaner burning fuel that gives American drivers a more earth-friendly, economical, and engine safe option at the pump.

Now that the infrastructure is prepared for year-round blending of E15, we will continue to push to get Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) relief applied to E15 to finally give American drivers a choice at the pump all year.

—Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor

Magellan is offering blending services for E15 on a seasonal basis, which will comply with all laws and regulations.

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Mercedes-Benz to set up EV production in US, battery plant; $1B investment in Alabama

2017-09-21T20:04:59Z

Mercedes-Benz will set up electric vehicle production in the United States. The company plans to produce EQ-branded SUV models at MBUSI (Mercedes-Benz US International), its Tuscaloosa, Alabama facility. At the time being launched, the EQ models will feature the latest... Mercedes-Benz will set up electric vehicle production in the United States. The company plans to produce EQ-branded SUV models at MBUSI (Mercedes-Benz US International), its Tuscaloosa, Alabama facility. At the time being launched, the EQ models will feature the latest status of automated driving—always under the premise of safety and in compliance with the statutory regulations. In addition, a battery plant will also be built near the existing passenger-car plant ensuring availability of advanced technology for future generations of Mercedes-Benz vehicles built in the US. In total, Mercedes-Benz plans to invest $1 billion in the expansion of its industrial footprint in the region, most of which is slated for the electric initiative. Once completed,these investments will create more than 600 additional jobs. Final details of the plans are still being worked on in partnership with the State of Alabama. With this one-billion dollar investment, we are significantly growing our manufacturing footprint here in Alabama, while sending a clear message to our customers across the US and around the world: Mercedes-Benz will continue to be on the cutting-edge of electric vehicle development and production. With production locations for EVs and batteries in Europe, China and, now, the US, our global network is ready for the era of electric vehicles. Thanks to our plant modernization in Tuscaloosa, we will be able to quickly ramp up US production of EQ models, while also being more flexible to our customers’ demands for innovative vehicles that live up to the excellent quality that is synonymous with the Mercedes-Benz brand.—Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain In addition to the electric initiative, the logistics activities in the US will be expanded with a new Global Logistics Center and a new after-sales North American hub, exporting car-kits to global assembly plants and spare parts from the US and North America to worldwide markets. The plant in Tuscaloosa exclusively provides worldwide customers with the SUV models GLE, GLS and GLE Coupé. With the upcoming production of the next SUV generation, the plant will enhance its proven production portfolio with modern plug-in hybrids, responding flexibly and efficiently to market demand. With the additional integration of electric vehicles, the plant is shaping the future of electric mobility worldwide. The announcement was part of the 20-year celebration at MBUSI. Dignitaries attending the event included Alabama Governor Kay Ellen Ivey as well as other local and state officials. Tuscaloosa is home to Mercedes-Benz’s SUV production for the world market, having started production of the former M-Class (today the GLE) in 1997. As the first automotive manufacturing location in the State of Alabama, the plant also served as the catalyst for additional OEMs, automotive suppliers and supporting businesses to come to the area, creating thousands of jobs in the region and leading to Alabama’s position as one of the key automotive business clusters in the United States. Mercedes-Benz exports more than 70% of its SUVs to markets around the globe. With an earlier investment of $1.3 billion announced in 2015, the plant is currently being expanded to prepare for the production of the next SUV generation including plug-in hybrid models. The plant expansion comprises a new Body Shop, major enhancements to the SUV Assembly Shop as well as upgraded logistics and IT systems. Mercedes-Benz will start producing SUV mode[...]



ArcelorMittal S-in motion seat study cuts weight by up to 18.3% with AHSS; introduction later this year

2017-09-21T16:44:07Z

In 2010, leading global steelmaker ArcelorMittal launched its S-in motion range of lightweight steek solutions. (Earlier post.) Since then, the company has steadily expanded the range of solutions, which now cover many other types of vehicles and vehicle parts, including... In 2010, leading global steelmaker ArcelorMittal launched its S-in motion range of lightweight steek solutions. (Earlier post.) Since then, the company has steadily expanded the range of solutions, which now cover many other types of vehicles and vehicle parts, including hybrid and electric vehicles, pick-up trucks, mid-size sedans and SUVs. Front seats are the latest vehicle component to be examined as part of the ongoing development of lightweight S-in motion solutions, with a reduction in weight of up to 18.3%. The S-in motion Front Seats project identified where advanced high strength steels (AHSS) could be used to optimize and lightweight components while maintaining safety and performance. The scope of the study was a typical front seat for a C-segment passenger vehicle. Top: Steel frame structure of S-in motion front seats. Bottom: Potential weight savings for each component of the Ultimate S-in motion seat. Click to enlarge. Commercially available seats weigh between 11.5 and 12.8 kilograms (25.35 and 28.22 lbs); the S-in motion team first defined a baseline seat which weighed in at 12.4 kilograms (27.34 lbs). The team’s goal was to cut this to around 10 kilograms (22 kg) per seat using an optimized design and the latest AHSS (advanced high-strength steel). The Global R&D team looked at a range of steel solutions including high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) grades, and more advanced dual-phase and complex-phase steels. Fortiform—ArcelorMittal’s range of steels for cold forming was also considered. As a third-generation AHSS, Fortiform provides the opportunity for additional weight reduction thanks to its higher mechanical properties and excellent formability. Fortiform is particularly suitable for automotive parts with complex shapes which require crash resistance. The use of AHSS was combined with part redesign to take maximum advantage of the advanced mechanical characteristics of the new steels. These parts included the backrest side-member, cushion side-member, gusset, and brackets. Some parts, such as the backrest side-member were redesigned by the S-in motion team to reduce the number of parts. This reduced both weight and assembly time without affecting safety. The research team developed two S-in motion front seat designs as a part of the project. The Ultimate design reduced the weight of the seat from 12.4 to 10.1 kilograms (22.27 lbs), a saving of 2.3 kilograms (18.3%) per seat. With two front seats, the total saving could be 4.6 kilograms (10.14 lbs) per vehicle. The Efficient design reduced the weight of the seat to 10.4 kilograms (22.93 lbs), a saving of 2.0 kilograms (15.5%) per seat. However, this solution is achievable at a slightly lower cost to manufacturers. In high-volume production (over half a million seats per year), both S-in motion seat designs can reduce costs. The two options allow seat makers to achieve a compromise between weight savings and cost without affecting safety. Both options were validated against crash load cases (front and rear crashes and luggage retention) and static load cases (seatbelt anchoring, and backrest and cushion stiffness). Material failure analysis was also performed. In all cases, both S-in motion seat concepts performed according to design standards for passenger vehicles. Although the S-in motion Front Seats study looked at front seats for a C-segment vehicle, the solutions are applicable to other vehicle segments. The S-in motion seats would fit most C- and D-segment vehicles. The new S-in motion seat de[...]



Cornell team uses indium coating to enable use of high-capacity lithium metal anodes

2017-09-21T14:27:11Z

Researchers at Cornell led by Professor Lyndon Archer, in collaboration with Professor Ravishankar Sundararaman at Rensselaer Polytechnic, have demonstrated a new technique for enabling the use of high-capacity lithium metal anodes in rechargeable batteries. In a paper in the journal... Researchers at Cornell led by Professor Lyndon Archer, in collaboration with Professor Ravishankar Sundararaman at Rensselaer Polytechnic, have demonstrated a new technique for enabling the use of high-capacity lithium metal anodes in rechargeable batteries. In a paper in the journal Angewandte Chemie the team shows that the indium (In) coatings stabilize the Li metal via multiple processes, including exceptionally fast surface diffusion of lithium ions and high chemical resistance to liquid electrolytes. Indium coatings also undergo reversible alloying reactions with lithium ions, facilitating design of high-capacity hybrid In-Li anodes that use both alloying and plating approaches for charge storage. The resultant In-Li anodes exhibit minimal capacity fade in extended galvanostatic cycling when paired with commercial-grade cathodes. Batteries with metallic anodes, such as lithium metal, promise significantly higher storage capacity. However, a significant hurdle barring their successful implementation has been the uneven deposition of the metal during the charging process, which leads to formation of dendrites. After longer uses of the battery, these dendrites can grow so extensive that they short-circuit the battery. In addition, there are undesirable side-reactions between the reactive metal electrodes and the electrolyte, which significantly reduces the lifetime of the batteries. The formation of a stable, passivating layer that prevents further contact would be an ideal solution; however, the constant expansion and contraction of the electrode upon charging and discharging destroys the layer and exposes the metal to the electrolyte for more reactions. Other approaches include artificial films or physical barriers. The success of these methods in simultaneously suppressing dendritic deposition and parasitic side reactions appear to hinge upon formation of a SEI enriched with species such as LiF that facilitate fast Li-ion diffusion at the electrolyte–metal interface. It also underscores the importance of fundamentally based strategies able to control the dendrite nucleation processes at reactive metal/liquid electrolyte interfaces. … Here, we report a new approach to diffusion barrier minimization that exploits the effects of the solvent (and electrolyte) at the interface. The key idea is to use strong interactions of the solvent with the electrodeposited atom to weaken its binding to the electrode surface and flatten the energy landscape for atom motion in the plane. Aprotic solvents used in battery electrolytes will interact most strongly with charged species. Stable charging of the surface atom should be possible under these conditions by employing a difference in electropositivity between the deposited atom and the electrode. We illustrate these ideas using indium metal coatings on lithium metal anodes formed by an in situ electroless plating technique. The high electropositivity of lithium relative to indium is expected to result in (partially) positively charged lithium atoms on the In surface.—Choudhury et al. Using straightforward electroless ion-exchange chemistry, the team produced indium coatings on lithium. Some of the indium is deposited on the surface of the lithium electrode as metal and the lithium ion concentration in the electrolyte simultaneously increases. The indium layer is uniform and self-healing when the electrode is in use, if small amounts of the indium salt are added to the electrolyte. It remains intact during ch[...]



Stuttgart Airport ground fleet vehicles fueled by Neste MY Renewable Diesel

2017-09-21T13:44:07Z

Stuttgart Airport has started using Neste MY Renewable Diesel to reduce its CO2 emissions and as part of the climate program of Baden-Württemberg’s state airport in Germany. All the ground fleet vehicles which are not electrified, such as the trucks...

Stuttgart Airport has started using Neste MY Renewable Diesel to reduce its CO2 emissions and as part of the climate program of Baden-Württemberg’s state airport in Germany. All the ground fleet vehicles which are not electrified, such as the trucks of the airport fire department and winter service equipment, will be using Neste MY Renewable Diesel.

The state airport is the first transportation company in Baden-Württemberg that extensively fuels its vehicle fleet with renewable diesel. The climate-friendly fuel adds to the targeted support of e-mobility and alternative drives on the ground and in the air. This is another important step for climate and health protection.

—Winfried Hermann, Minister of Transport of Baden-Württemberg and Board Chairman of Flughafen Stuttgart GmbH

Neste MY Renewable Diesel is supplied locally with the brand name C.A.R.E. Diesel by Neste’s distribution partner Tool Fuel Service GmbH, a company specialized in the distribution of renewable fuel in Germany.

Neste MY Renewable Diesel outperforms conventional biodiesel and conventional fossil diesel in terms of engine performance and environmental impact. The fuel’s performance is also excellent in cold weather.

Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a drop-in fuel which can be used to replace conventional fossil diesel without any modifications to the existing diesel engines or investments in storage or logistical systems.

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HRL engineers 3D print high-strength aluminum, solve welding problem using nanoparticles of nucleants

2017-09-21T10:45:00Z

HRL Laboratories researchers have developed a technique for successfully 3D printing high-strength aluminum alloys—including types Al7075 and Al6061—that opens the door to additive manufacturing of engineering-relevant alloys. These alloys are very desirable for aircraft and automobile parts and have been... HRL Laboratories researchers have developed a technique for successfully 3D printing high-strength aluminum alloys—including types Al7075 and Al6061—that opens the door to additive manufacturing of engineering-relevant alloys. These alloys are very desirable for aircraft and automobile parts and have been among thousands that were not amenable to additive manufacturing—a difficulty that has been solved by the HRL researchers. An added benefit is that the method can be applied to additional alloy families such as high-strength steels and nickel-based superalloys difficult to process currently in additive manufacturing. A paper on the technique is published in the journal Nature. Metal-based additive manufacturing, or three-dimensional (3D) printing, is a potentially disruptive technology across multiple industries, including the aerospace, biomedical and automotive industries. Building up metal components layer by layer increases design freedom and manufacturing flexibility, thereby enabling complex geometries, increased product customization and shorter time to market, while eliminating traditional economy-of-scale constraints. However, currently only a few alloys, the most relevant being AlSi10Mg, TiAl6V4, CoCr and Inconel 718, can be reliably printed; the vast majority of the more than 5,500 alloys in use today cannot be additively manufactured because the melting and solidification dynamics during the printing process lead to intolerable microstructures with large columnar grains and periodic cracks. Here we demonstrate that these issues can be resolved by introducing nanoparticles of nucleants that control solidification during additive manufacturing. —Martin et al. Additive manufacturing of metal alloys via selective laser melting. The central schematic represents an overview of the additive manufacturing process, whereby a direct energy source (laser or electron beam) melts a layer of metal powder (yellow), which solidifies (red to blue), fusing it to the previous (underlying) layer of metal (grey). a, Conventional Al7075 powder feedstock. b, Al7075 powder functionalized with nanoparticles. c, Many alloys including Al7075 tend to solidify by columnar growth of dendrites, resulting in cracks due to solidification shrinkage. d, Suitable nanoparticles can induce heterogeneous nucleation and facilitate equiaxed grain growth, thereby reducing the effect of solidification strain. e, Many alloys exhibit intolerable microstructure with large grains and periodic cracks when 3D-printed using conventional approaches, as illustrated by the inverse pole figure. f, Functionalizing the powder feedstock with nanoparticles produces fine equiaxed grain growth and eliminates hot cracking. g, A 3D-printed, topologically optimized Al6061 piston on the build plate. h, 3D-printed Al7075 HRL logo. Martin et al. Click to enlarge. Additive manufacturing of metals typically begins with alloy powders that are applied in thin layers and heated with a laser or other direct heat source to melt and solidify the layers. Normally, if high-strength unweldable aluminum alloys such as Al7075 or AL6061 are used, the resulting parts suffer severe hot cracking—a condition that renders a metal part able to be pulled apart like a flaky biscuit. HRL solves this problem by decorating high-strength unweldable alloy powders with specially selected nanoparticles— nanoparticle func[...]



Tulane, SACHEM collaborate on SSZ-39 zeolite for improved SCR systems

2017-09-21T10:00:00Z

Members of Tulane University’s Shantz Lab will collaborate with scientists from chemical science company SACHEM to develop next-generation materials to reduce automotive emissions. SACHEM is funding the effort. Under the direction of Daniel Shantz, a professor of chemical and biomolecular... Members of Tulane University’s Shantz Lab will collaborate with scientists from chemical science company SACHEM to develop next-generation materials to reduce automotive emissions. SACHEM is funding the effort. Under the direction of Daniel Shantz, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and the Entergy Chair of Clean Energy Engineering, the lab members and SACHEM scientists will collaborate to improve the performance of the zeolite SSZ-39 in the selective catalytic reduction of NOx in automotive exhaust. In a 2012 paper (Moliner et al.), a team from the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia and Haldor Topsoe reported the synthesis of a Cu-exchanged SSZ-39 zeolite that showed an excellent catalytic activity for the selective catalytic reduction of NOx. The material also exhibited extraordinary hydrothermal stability. This material is a three-directional small pore zeolite containing large cavities with D6R, which can stabilize Cu2+ species, avoiding dealumination effects and copper migration during catalytic tests. Cu–SSZ-39 performs extremely well for the NH3-SCR of NOx, better than CHA structure, and shows an extraordinary hydrothermal stability. These preliminary results would suggest that Cu–SSZ-39 can be a very attractive catalyst for NOx SCR converters in the automotive industry.—Moliner et al. (2012) In a paper published earlier this year in the ACS journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Shantz and his team presented a thorough study of SSZ-39 formation. (Ransom et al. 2017) The Tulane team will now test the ability of SSZ-39 in vehicles’ selective catalytic reduction (SCR), the system in cars that reduces harmful emissions. Specifically, the Tulane team will test SSZ-39’s efficiency in reducing nitrogen oxides, which contribute to the production of acid rain. The focus of this program is to help better understand the properties of SSZ-39, with the goal of demonstrating whether SSZ-39 could be a commercially viable SCR catalyst. The grant project is certainly relevant in the context of energy and the environment. This focused project will validate the ability of SSZ-39 to eliminate nitrogen oxides from automotive emissions systems by converting them to molecular nitrogen, the main component of the air we breathe. I am delighted that we will be able to work with scientists from SACHEM on this problem.—Prof. Shantz According to Shantz, one of the challenges for SCR catalysts are their ability to handle temperature increases from typical operating conditions. If the system typically operates between 300-400 degrees Celsius, materials are needed that can handle higher temperatures for short periods of time. The inability of current materials to be able to handle these high-temperature excursions is a limitation of the current technology. The zeolite SSZ-39 material is something that could be potentially implemented in the next three years. What we are trying to do in the lab is to identify what this material can and cannot do: is it a good enough material catalytically? Will it be able to handle the temperature excursions better than the current state of the art? Improvements in SCR technology will result in emissions systems in diesel trucks that will be able to operate longer, and emission systems will be replaced with less frequency. It goes without saying decreased nitrogen oxide emissions are beneficial to the environ[...]



U. Houston-led project looking for new exhaust treatment catalysts for low-temperature lean-burn combustion engines

2017-09-21T09:35:00Z

A chemical engineer from the University of Houston is leading a $2.1-million project to find new catalytic materials that work at lower exhaust temperatures, allowing automakers to build vehicles that operate more efficiently while retaining the ability to clean emissions... A chemical engineer from the University of Houston is leading a $2.1-million project to find new catalytic materials that work at lower exhaust temperatures, allowing automakers to build vehicles that operate more efficiently while retaining the ability to clean emissions before they leave the tailpipe. Michael Harold, chairman of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UH, will serve as principal investigator on the grant, funded by the US Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory (DOE NETL). The project also includes researchers from the University of Virginia (UVA); Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL); and Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). Engineers from Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles Inc. and Johnson Matthey Inc. also will be involved in the project. Catalytic converters clean vehicle exhaust into nitrogen, water and carbon dioxide. Current catalytic converters use precious metals, including platinum and palladium, to eliminate the main pollutants emitted by internal combustion engines. These expensive precious metals may work, but it’s important to find less expensive materials that have enough activity at the low exhaust temperatures. Not only that, we have to come up with operating strategies so the new catalysts work over the wide range of conditions encountered during driving.—Michael Harold In his research at the University, Professor Harold has been investigating the catalytic reduction of NOx to nitrogen in the oxidizing atmosphere of lean burn and diesel vehicles. One approach he has explored involves the use of an adsorptive reactor in which the NOx is trapped as a nitrite/nitrate on an rare earth oxide and then reduced by the intermittent feed of a reductant. This is a complex system involving the abatement of a key pollutant contained in a time-varying feed utilizing a periodic catalytic process. The challenge is to achieve high NOx conversion with minimal fuel penalty while sustaining long catalyst life. The new engines, based on a lean-burn, compression-ignition technology, can’t be commercialized without a way to ensure they run cleanly to meet emission rules. Although the conventional three-way catalytic converter doesn’t work for the new engines, Harold said the new converters might be transferrable to current vehicles. Harold and Lars Grabow, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UH who works in fundamental catalysis, will work to discover and determine the effectiveness of new catalytic materials, working both with a class of known materials and developing new ones. Researchers at UVA will conduct high throughput materials synthesis and screening, ORNL researchers will contribute in materials synthesis and characterization and SwRI will provide evaluation of fuels. Fiat-Chrysler and Johnson Matthey will bring their industrial expertise in vehicles and catalysts, respectively. [...]



Volkswagen Group Logistics and Scania support LNG trucks

2017-09-21T09:00:00Z

Trucks powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) produce significantly lower CO2 and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, cause virtually no particulate emissions and are significantly quieter than conventional diesel trucks. Hence, Volkswagen Group Logistics, together with Scania, a brand of the...

Trucks powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) produce significantly lower CO2 and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, cause virtually no particulate emissions and are significantly quieter than conventional diesel trucks. Hence, Volkswagen Group Logistics, together with Scania, a brand of the Volkswagen Truck & Bus Group, and the forwarders of the Volkswagen Group are in favor of the use of LNG as a truck fuel.

The German Federal Ministries of Transport and Economic Affairs and associations support this commitment, together with gas suppliers. At an LNG Truck Day event held in Wolfsburg, all concerned spoke in favor of a shared objective of making the transport activities of the Volkswagen Group more environmentally compatible. In future, more than 100 Scania LNG trucks will be used on the roads of north Germany. To achieve this objective, forwarders are to receive support for the purchase of trucks and new LNG refueling stations are to be constructed.

Lower-emission trucks are a key element in our Green Logistics sustainability initiative. With yesterday’s LNG Truck Day, we provided impetus for the use of trucks with alternative powertrains. However, we can only succeed with strong partners – a concerted effort will bring us onto the right track.

—Thomas Zernechel, Head of Volkswagen Group Logistics

Scania trucks with an LNG powertrain emit up to 20% less CO2 than comparable diesel engines. The use of regional and local biogas even reduces CO2 emissions by as much as 90% in addition to the improvement in the carbon dioxide balance, these powertrains emit some 95% less nitrogen oxides (NOx). Less particulate matter is produced during combustion and particulate emissions are virtually completely avoided (-95%). Compared with diesel-engined trucks, the noise levels produced by combustion are reduced by about 50% (-3 db).

The commitment to the use of LNG trucks is part of the Green Logistics initiative of Volkswagen Group Logistics. This is based on the “TOGETHER 2025” strategy under which the Volkswagen Group has committed itself to responsible management of the environment and the continuous reduction of emissions. The objective of the Green Logistics initiative is to ensure sustainable logistics within the Volkswagen Group.

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DOE selects eight integrated biorefinery projects for up to $15M total in funding

2017-09-21T09:00:00Z

The Department of Energy (DOE) has selected eight projects to negotiate for up to $15 million in total DOE funding to optimize integrated biorefineries. These projects will work to solve research and developmental challenges encountered for the successful scale-up and... The Department of Energy (DOE) has selected eight projects to negotiate for up to $15 million in total DOE funding to optimize integrated biorefineries. These projects will work to solve research and developmental challenges encountered for the successful scale-up and reliable operations of integrated biorefineries (IBRs); decrease capital and operating expenses; and focus on the manufacture of advanced or cellulosic biofuels and higher-value bioproducts. This Integrated Biorefinery Optimization funding opportunity is coordinated and supported jointly between DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Each of the selected IBR projects is focused on one or more of the following topic areas: Topic Area 1: Robust, continuous handling of solid materials (dry and wet feedstocks, biosolids, and/or residual solids remaining in the process) and feeding systems to reactors under various operating conditions Topic Area 2: High-value products from waste and/or other undervalued streams in an integrated biorefinery Topic Area 3: Industrial separations within an integrated biorefinery (no projects have been selected from topic area 3) Topic Area 4: Analytical modeling of solid materials (dry and wet feedstocks and/or residual solids remaining in the process) and reactor feeding systems. Under Topic Area 1 (DOE selection): Thermochemical Recovery International Inc. (Baltimore, Maryland)—Thermochemical Recovery International (TRI) will study and improve feedstock and residual solids handling systems targeted to commercial pyrolysis and gasification reactors. TRI’s work in these systems will promote feedstock flexibility and enable the processing of low-cost feedstock to enhance IBRs’ economic viability. Under Topic Area 2 (DOE selections): Texas A&M Agrilife Research (College Station, Texas)—Texas A&M will work on achieving a multi-stream integrated biorefinery (MIBR), where lignin-containing IBR waste will be fractionated to produce lipid for biodiesel, asphalt binder modifier, and quality carbon fiber. The MIBR will improve IBR sustainability and cost-effectiveness. White Dog Labs (New Castle, Delaware)—White Dog Labs’ project will use the residual cellulosic sugars in cellulosic stillage syrup to produce single-cell protein (SCP) for aquaculture feed. Currently, the syrup content is used for biogas production and as the solid fuel for boilers. The SCP is a higher-value product that could be generated from an existing stream and could enhance the economic feasibility of IBRs. South Dakota School of Mines (Rapid City, South Dakota)—The South Dakota School of Mines will demonstrate the cost-effective production of biocarbon, carbon nanofibers, polylactic acid, and phenol from the waste streams generated from the biochemical platform technology. These products will generate revenue for IBRs and help lower the fuel cost from these facilities. Under Topic Area 4 (DOE selections): National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, Colorado)—The National Renewable Energy Laboratory will leverage and extend state-of-the-art modeling and simulation tools to develop integrated simulations for feed handling and reactor feeding systems. The experimentally validated simulation toolkit will be generalized to aid in optimizing and de-risking b[...]



Delphi and Blackberry partner: QNX operating system for Delphi autonomous driving system

2017-09-21T08:00:00Z

Delphi Automotive PLC signed a commercial partnership agreement with BlackBerry Limited under which Blackberry will provide the QNX operating system for Delphi’s autonomous driving system. Delphi and BlackBerry QNX will collaborate to bolster software performance and safety in their operating...

Delphi Automotive PLC signed a commercial partnership agreement with BlackBerry Limited under which Blackberry will provide the QNX operating system for Delphi’s autonomous driving system. Delphi and BlackBerry QNX will collaborate to bolster software performance and safety in their operating system to advance autonomous driving technology.

Delphi’s fully integrated automated driving solution, Centralized Sensing Localization and Planning (CSLP), to launch in 2019, provides car manufacturers and Automated Mobility on Demand (AMoD) a best in class turnkey automated driving solution. The BlackBerry QNX OS for Safety will facilitate Delphi’s proprietary Ottomatika software algorithms and middleware, to enhance performance and safety.

BlackBerry QNX will provide a robust software infrastructure for CSLP and help advance Delphi’s autonomous driving system. Safety in high performance computing systems is paramount to a production ready autonomous driving solution.

—Glen De Vos, Delphi senior vice president and chief technology officer

QNX Software Development Platform (SDP 7.0) includes the next generation 64-bit QNX Neutrino RTOS and the award-winning QNX Momentics Tool Suite.

QNX SDP 7.0 provides high performance and enhanced kernel-level security through an array of features, including microkernel architecture, file encryption, adaptive time partitioning, a high availability framework, anomaly detection, and multi-level policy-based access control.

BlackBerry QNX’s OS helps guard against system malfunctions, malware, and cyber attacks by implementing a multi-level, policy-driven security model that incorporates best-in-class security technology from BlackBerry.

The OS also offers a safety pedigree proven by certification to ISO 26262 ASIL D (the highest level achievable) for automobiles and to IEC 61508 SIL 3 for industrial automation systems, and by compliance with IEC 62304 for life-critical Class III medical devices.

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Russia, China partner on engine for a long-range wide-body aircraft

2017-09-20T14:43:48Z

The United Engine Corporation (UEC, part of Rostec State Corporation) signed a memorandum with the Chinese company AECC Commercial Aircraft Engine Co., Ltd. (AECC CAE). The Memorandum determines the objectives and main principles of interaction in the joint development of...

The United Engine Corporation (UEC, part of Rostec State Corporation) signed a memorandum with the Chinese company AECC Commercial Aircraft Engine Co., Ltd. (AECC CAE). The Memorandum determines the objectives and main principles of interaction in the joint development of a gas turbine engine for a prospective long range wide-body aircraft (LRWBA/C929).

Under the Memorandum, the primary objectives of the program for creating an engine for the LRWBA will include engaging in joint research and competitive analysis, defining the potential customers’ requirements to the engine, forming the appearance of the engine, and determining its basic technical parameters.

The signing of the Memorandum on the development of the engine for the LRWBA is a milestone for the civil aviation of Russia and China. It’s not just a matter of being competitive, it is a matter of technological independence for our countries. Our ultimate goal is the creation of our own powerful world-class engine certified in accordance with the highest international standards.

—Sergey Chemezov, CEO of Rostec State Corporation

The UEC has previously started to develop a high-thrust civil engine PD-35 for prospective wide-body long-haul aircraft. There is currently research and development groundwork under way under the PD-35 program in order to bring the degree of its development up to level 6 that will allow implementing research and development work as a whole with minimal technical risk. During the implementation of the PD-35 project, the scientific and technical groundwork carried out during the development of the new Russian PD-14 engine for aircraft MS-21-300 will be widely used.

AECC CAE is part of the Aero Engine Corporation of China, created in 2016, and is engaged in the development, manufacture and maintenance of civil gas turbine engines. The UEC is working closely with AECC and its divisions.

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Navigant forecasts transportation demand for hydrogen to accelerate Power-to-Gas growth

2017-09-20T14:21:49Z

Navigant Research forecasts that the transportation segment, with hydrogen demand as a catalyst, will jump-start power-to-gas (P2G) demand and further drive down electrolyzer and other infrastructure costs. P2G—the conversion of electrical power into gaseous energy carriers—has been held back from... Navigant Research forecasts that the transportation segment, with hydrogen demand as a catalyst, will jump-start power-to-gas (P2G) demand and further drive down electrolyzer and other infrastructure costs. P2G—the conversion of electrical power into gaseous energy carriers—has been held back from mass adoption by high costs, regulatory hurdles, and difficulties with infrastructure. However, Navigant suggests, as the levelized cost of renewable energy falls and as electrolyzer technologies improve and decline in price, P2G business models are taking shape. Navigant notes that P2G offers benefits to the electric grid through the integration of renewable energy sources. By ramping production up or down from a 50% setpoint, a P2G plant can emulate a load or generator from the grid’s perspective—thus ramping and smoothing renewables power output and time-shifting energy supply on a scale from hours to months. P2G business models are reaching an inflection point, thanks to improving electrolyzer technology and falling capital costs among renewables like PV and wind. With hydrogen demand from the transportation sector as a catalyst, P2G is forecast to take off since it can both provide high-value clean fuels and support the electric grid with flexible operation—on timescales from seconds to months.—Adam Forni, senior research analyst with Navigant Research As costs fall, Navigant expects growth in the non-transport segments, creating opportunities for a variety of market players. According to the report, Power-to-Gas for Renewables Integration, electrolyzer vendors scaling up operations should seek partnerships with a ranges of companies from renewable energy developers to software storage companies. Navigant also suggests that renewables developers should consider P2G on any project of sufficient scale, and gas utilities should consider what it means that hydrogen could be the fuel of the low carbon future. Meanwhile, electric utilities and grid operators should recognize the value electrolyzers can provide to the grid. [...]



ABB receives order for additional 117 rapid charging station in Germany

2017-09-20T13:50:11Z

ABB has received another major order from energy supplier EnBW for the expansion of the charging column network on German highways. By the end of 2017, ABB will have delivered an additional 117 50 kW rapid-charging columns at the locations...

ABB has received another major order from energy supplier EnBW for the expansion of the charging column network on German highways. By the end of 2017, ABB will have delivered an additional 117 50 kW rapid-charging columns at the locations of service station operator Tank & Rast. The charging stations can be installed in almost every parking configuration and vehicles can be recharged within 30 minutes.

The latest generation of charging columns is connected to the Internet via a cloud solution, enabling cashless payments, among other things.

Last year, EnBW awarded an order to ABB for 68 such rapid-charging stations with a high-charging capacity of 50 kilowatts (kW). With this latest order, ABB is further expanding its market leading position in the charging infrastructure for electric mobility in Germany. In Europe and the US, ABB is already the market leader, with no other company having such a large installed base.

ABB has been offering rapid charging solutions since 2010. More than 5,000 networked systems for passenger cars and commercial vehicles have been installed worldwide.

ABB’s portfolio in DC fast charging solutions ranges from 20kW wall boxes to Ultra-Fast Charging solutions for cars and 600kW electric buses.

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thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel sign MoU to combine European steel activities in 50/50 joint venture

2017-09-20T10:59:00Z

thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to combine their European steel activities in a 50/50 joint venture. Their aim is to create a leading European flat steel player to be positioned as quality and technology leader.... thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to combine their European steel activities in a 50/50 joint venture. Their aim is to create a leading European flat steel player to be positioned as quality and technology leader. The new entity is set to have pro-forma sales of about €15 billion (US$18 billion) and a workforce of about 48,000, currently at 34 locations. Shipments are envisioned to be about 21 million tons a year. To be named thyssenkrupp Tata Steel, the planned joint venture will be managed through a lean holding company based in the Netherlands. It is to have a two-tier management structure comprising a management board and a supervisory board. Both boards are to have equal representation from thyssenkrupp and Tata. The codetermination structures in Germany, the Netherlands and Great Britain will be retained. thyssenkrupp intends to contribute its Steel Europe business to the planned joint venture. There are also plans for the joint venture to include thyssenkrupp MillServices & Systems GmbH, a steel mill services provider that is part of the Materials Services business. Tata would add all of its flat steel activities in Europe. Under the planned joint venture, we are giving the European steel activities of thyssenkrupp and Tata a lasting future. We are tackling the structural challenges of the European steel industry and creating a strong No. 2. [ArcelorMittal is the top EU steel producer. -Ed.] In Tata, we have found a partner with a very good strategic and cultural fit. Not only do we share a clear performance orientation, but also the same understanding of entrepreneurial responsibility toward workforce and society.—Dr. Heinrich Hiesinger, CEO of thyssenkrupp AG The Tata Group and thyssenkrupp have a strong heritage in the global steel industry and share similar culture and values. This partnership is a momentous occasion for both partners, who will focus on building a strong European steel enterprise. The strategic logic of the proposed joint venture in Europe is based on very strong fundamentals and I am confident that thyssenkrupp Tata Steel will have a great future.—Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Steel In the initial years—from closing onward—the joint venture partners plan to focus on establishing the joint venture and leveraging synergies. These are anticipated among other things from integrating sales, administration, research and development, joint optimization of procurement, logistics and service centers as well as improved capacity utilization in downstream processing. After the ramp-up phase, the joint venture partners expect annual synergies of €400 million to €600 million. The production network is to be reviewed starting in 2020 with the aim of integrating and optimizing the production strategy for the entire joint venture. The two companies said that is not yet possible to quantify the additional synergies from this integration in detail. The scope for optimization also depends on numerous external factors such as the outcome of the Brexit negotiations and the implications that follow. Other external parameters include the development of the regulatory environment in areas such as emission tradin[...]



Initial order from Sinotruk for UQM Powerphase DT drive systems for pilot trials; beginning of commercial partnership

2017-09-20T10:00:00Z

Hong-Kong-based Sinotruk has made an initial purchase of UQM PowerPhase DT (drivetrain) systems (earlier post) for implementation and evaluation in their commercial vehicles. This is the first step towards the long term strategy of utilizing UQM electric drive products across... Hong-Kong-based Sinotruk has made an initial purchase of UQM PowerPhase DT (drivetrain) systems (earlier post) for implementation and evaluation in their commercial vehicles. This is the first step towards the long term strategy of utilizing UQM electric drive products across Sinotruk’s portfolio of commercial vehicles. The UQM PowerPhase DT pairs any of UQM’s PowerPhase HD propulsion systems with a two-speed Eaton transmission and Pi Innovo’s transmission control unit—an application-specific variant of the OpenECU M220 controller, with model-based controls developed by Pi Innovo’s systems engineering team. The PowerPhase DT provides a greater speed and torque range than direct drive systems, allowing smaller electric motors to drive large vehicles. In addition, the 2-speed transmission keeps the electric motor operating in the highest efficiency region for a greater portion of the drive cycle. The UQM electric drivetrain system also allows for improved packaging, greater efficiency, greater payload capacity and lower cost when compared with direct drive or single-speed drivetrain strategies. All combined, this is a bolt-on, fully electric drivetrain system. This turnkey approach allows customers in the medium- and heavy-duty EV commercial markets to achieve increased performance in areas of gradability, acceleration and efficiency. Sinotruk is a leading heavy-duty commercial vehicle manufacturer in China and one of the largest commercial vehicle groups in the world, and this order signals the beginning of the commercial partnership with UQM. China National Heavy Duty Truck Group Co., Ltd. (CNHTC) is the parent company of Sinotruk. UQM recently announced the execution of a Definitive Stock Purchase Agreement with China Heavy Duty Truck Group, under which CNHTC will acquire 34% of UQM’s issued and outstanding common stock on a fully diluted basis. UQM and Sinotruk plan to form a joint venture for the manufacture and sales of electric propulsion systems in China. The parties expect Sinotruk to be a significant purchaser of electric propulsion systems from the JV for Sinotruk’s commercial vehicles and other customers will be identified for sales as well. After finding the right strategic partner in Sinotruk to enter the China market and expand globally, this is the first step in our business relationship. This initial order signals the beginning of UQM’s now increased access to the largest electric vehicle market in the world, leading to a much stronger competitive position for propulsion systems in the global electric vehicle market.—Joe Mitchell, President and CEO of UQM UQM Technologies is a developer and manufacturer of power-dense, high-efficiency electric motors, generators, power electronic controllers and fuel cell compressors for the commercial truck, bus, automotive, marine, and industrial markets. A major emphasis for UQM is developing propulsion systems for electric, hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell electric vehicles. UQM is TS 16949 and ISO 14001 certified and located in Longmont, Colorado. Since its founding in 1950, CNHTC has had a history of cooperation with international p[...]



Mitsubishi to unveil new EV concept at Tokyo Motor Show

2017-09-20T10:00:00Z

Mitsubishi Motors will unveil a new flagship concept car—the Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept—at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show 2017 in October. This very high performance automobile will blend Mitsubishi Motors’ signature 4WD and electric powertrain know-how with advanced Artificial Intelligence technology...

Mitsubishi Motors will unveil a new flagship concept car—the Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept—at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show 2017 in October. This very high performance automobile will blend Mitsubishi Motors’ signature 4WD and electric powertrain know-how with advanced Artificial Intelligence technology under a low-slung aerodynamic SUV Coupe shape.

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As part of The Alliance with Renault and Nissan, Mitsubishi is now operating under the new Alliance 2022 plan, a new six-year plan which calls for a major expansion in shared electric vehicle technologies, alongside the development and deployment of advanced autonomous drive systems, vehicle connectivity and new mobility services. (Earlier post.)

The Alliance plans to launch 12 new EVs by 2022, utilizing new common electric vehicle platforms and components for multiple segments. Over the same period, 40 vehicles will be introduced with different levels of autonomy, all the way to fully autonomous capability.

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Audi launches premium mobility service Audi on demand+ in Beijing

2017-09-20T09:10:00Z

Audi has launched the Audi on demand+ mobility service in Beijing. Users select the car desired from a range of top models from a high-performance vehicle to an upper class sedan. Customers can use their smartphones to book their preferred...

Audi has launched the Audi on demand+ mobility service in Beijing. Users select the car desired from a range of top models from a high-performance vehicle to an upper class sedan. Customers can use their smartphones to book their preferred models and pay while on the move. A concierge service brings the car to the customer by request.

Beijing is the first location for Audi on demand+ in China, and plans call for the offering to become available in major medium and large-sized cities across China to form a regionwide mobility service network within the next years.

Users specifically select the car they want with an individual configuration and use their smartphones for booking. Time periods range between four hours and 30 days; use of the service is billed by the hour. The all-inclusive rate contains a complete service package that includes unlimited driving mileage and insurance coverage. The Audi on demand+ selection consists mostly of new products with a full range of equipment. Audi Sport models as well as premium, long version sedans are available for booking.

An exclusive concierge service delivers the booked car to the preferred place of the customer in an area of at least 150 square kilometers, which contains the central business district (CBD) and other relevant boroughs. After the customer is finished using the car, the concierge service picks up the Audi again. Furthermore, the concierge desk assists customers to acquaint themselves with their Audi. Clients may collect the vehicle by themselves at a central office, as an alternative.

Customers can choose from a number of options for fast, convenient digital payment, including WeChat, AliPay and UnionPay.

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DOE launches new high performance computing initiative to develop materials for severe environments: HPC4Mtls

2017-09-20T09:00:00Z

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new high-performance computing (HPC) initiative to help US industry accelerate the development of new or improved materials for use in severe environments. The High Performance Computing for Materials (HPC4Mtls) program will will... The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new high-performance computing (HPC) initiative to help US industry accelerate the development of new or improved materials for use in severe environments. The High Performance Computing for Materials (HPC4Mtls) program will will initially focus on challenges facing the development of new or improved materials that can sustain extreme conditions—including extreme pressure, radiation, and temperature, corrosion, chemical environment, vibration, fatigue, or stress states. Challenges include materials and structures discovery and design; predicting behavior in specific severe environments; scaling up production from grams to kg; and better understanding detailed processes in areas such as oxidation, corrosion, other electrochemical interactions, matter-matter, matter-energy, and matter-plasma interactions, and behavior under multiple fields and loads. The program will focus on developing improved lightweight material technologies, as well. The program aims to enable a step change in the cost, development time, and performance of materials in severe environments and save millions of dollars in fuel and maintenance across sectors. The High Performance Computing for Materials Program will provide opportunities for our industry partners to access the high-performance computing capabilities and expertise of DOE’s national labs as they work to create and improve technologies that combat extreme conditions. This initiative combines two, crucial elements of the Administration’s mission at DOE—advances in high-performance computing and the improved transition of energy technologies to market.—US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry Through HPC4Mtls, industry will be able to address common materials issues, discover new or improved materials and structures, and enhance products and processes using the labs’ world-class computational resources and capabilities. These capabilities include: Access to HPC systems, including five of the world’s ten fastest computers; Higher-fidelity simulations to augment products or processes; Prediction of material behavior in specific severe environments; Modeling of missing physical phenomena to enable more realistic simulations; Development of more complex models to capture interactions between physical phenomena; Access to expertise in computational fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, kinetics, materials modeling, and additive manufacturing. Companies will be selected to participate in the initiative through an open, two-stage, competitive process and will contribute at least 20% of project costs. DOE will hold a workshop on 12 October 2017 in Pittsburgh, PA to provide more information on the program and to engage US-based companies, industry, universities, and government stakeholders. The HPC4Mtls program is expected to begin soliciting proposals in early calendar year 2018. Sponsored by DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy, HPC4Mtls is part of the larger HPC4 Energy Innovation Initiative, a Department-wide effort comprising the Office of Fossil Energy, the Office of Energy Eff[...]



Airbus installs first 3D-printed titanium part on series-production commercial aircraft; part manufactured by Arconic

2017-09-20T08:45:00Z

Airbus and Arconic, a global technology, engineering and advanced manufacturing company, have achieved a 3D printing first—the installation of a 3D printed titanium bracket on a series production Airbus commercial aircraft, the A350 XWB. Arconic is 3D printing these parts...

Airbus and Arconic, a global technology, engineering and advanced manufacturing company, have achieved a 3D printing first—the installation of a 3D printed titanium bracket on a series production Airbus commercial aircraft, the A350 XWB. Arconic is 3D printing these parts for Airbus’s newest widebody aircraft at Arconic’s additive manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas.

This first installation of a 3D printed titanium part on a series production Airbus commercial aircraft marks a milestone for additive manufacturing in aerospace. While airplane makers have been using 3D printed parts for quite some time, largely for components inside the cabin, equipping airframes with metal parts produced via additive manufacturing is new.

In addition, Airbus’s installation of this 3D-printed titanium bracket on a series production commercial airplane, as opposed to a test airplane, marks a significant step forward in the qualification of more complex 3D-printed parts for production aircraft.

3D-printed parts, including metal printed cabin brackets and bleed pipes, are already flying on Airbus A320neo and A350 XWB test aircraft.

This 3D printed titanium bracket is part of an ongoing partnership between Airbus and Arconic. Last year, Arconic announced three agreements with Airbus to produce titanium and nickel 3D-printed parts for commercial aircraft, including the A320 platform and A350 XWB. These agreements draw on Arconic’s advanced 3D printing technology capabilities, including laser powder bed and electron beam processes.

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Electrovaya secures C$4.3M purchase orders from Walmart Canada for forklift battery systems

2017-09-20T08:00:00Z

Electrovaya Inc. has secured initial purchase orders worth approximately C$4.3 million (US$3.51 million) under a contract with Walmart Canada for its forklift battery systems. The retailer will convert the forklifts in one distribution center from lead acid batteries to Electrovaya’s...

Electrovaya Inc. has secured initial purchase orders worth approximately C$4.3 million (US$3.51 million) under a contract with Walmart Canada for its forklift battery systems. The retailer will convert the forklifts in one distribution center from lead acid batteries to Electrovaya’s drop-in lithium ion battery systems.

Electrovaya’s lithium-ion forklift battery line, ELivate, features the company’s ceramic separator and industry-leading cycle-life. The ELivate product line is available in various 24V, 36V and 48V configurations suitable for Class I, II and III material handling equipment. Deliveries are to be made by Q1, CY 2018.

The benefits of Electrovaya’s ELivate batteries were demonstrated through extensive testing by the retailer in its distribution warehouses and by the forklift OEM, before this purchase order was issued.

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Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi 6-year plan sees 12 pure EV models launched on common platforms, 40 models with autonomous drive

2017-09-20T07:56:00Z

The Alliance of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi announced their six-year plan—Alliance 2022—which sets a new target to double annual synergies to €10 billion by the end of the plan. To achieve this, said Carlos Ghosn, chairman and chief executive officer... The Alliance of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi announced their six-year plan—Alliance 2022—which sets a new target to double annual synergies to €10 billion by the end of the plan. To achieve this, said Carlos Ghosn, chairman and chief executive officer of the Alliance, the three automakers will accelerate their collaboration on common platforms, powertrains and next-generation electric, autonomous and connected technologies. The Alliance is forecasting total annual sales to exceed 14 million units with $240 billion in revenue by the end of the plan—up more than 30% on the $180 billion aggregate revenues achieved in 2016. Under Alliance 2022, the member companies will increase their use of common platforms, with nine million units based on four common platforms. The plan will also extend the use of common powertrains to 75% of total sales. Alliance 2022 plans a major expansion in shared electric vehicle technologies, alongside the development and deployment of advanced autonomous drive systems, vehicle connectivity and new mobility services. Twelve new zero-emission electric vehicles will be launched by 2022, utilizing new common electric vehicle platforms and components for multiple segments. Over the same period, 40 vehicles will be introduced with different levels of autonomy, all the way to fully autonomous capability. Becoming an operator of robo-vehicle ride-hailing services is a major part of the new mobility services strategy. The Alliance also launched a new logo and online presence, symbolizing the growing convergence and cooperation between the member companies. This year, Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors became the world’s largest automotive group by sales volume. In the first half of 2017, volumes increased by seven percent year-on-year to 5.27 million units, while aggregate sales of electric vehicles reached a combined total of more than 500,000 units. The increased synergy target of €10 billion by the end of the plan follows a 16% rise in synergies in 2016 to €5 billion. The doubling of synergies will be achieved partially by contributions from Mitsubishi Motors, specifically through deeper localization, joint plant utilization, common vehicle platforms, and an expanded presence in mature and emerging markets. Alliance management expects additional synergies from light commercial vehicles (LCV), aftersales and technology-sharing in electric vehicles, autonomous drive, connected cars and new mobility services. This will complement synergies from existing converged functions in engineering; manufacturing engineering and supply-chain; purchasing and human resources. Extension of common platforms and powertrains. Alongside the three technology building blocks, the member companies will extend their use of shared common platforms and powertrains. New developments include: In 2022, more than 9 million vehicles will be built on four common platforms, up from 2 million vehicles on two platforms in 2016. By the end of the plan, the member companies will [...]



Born to Drive project investigating self-delivering cars

2017-09-20T07:20:00Z

About 80 million vehicles are produced around the world every year, but the logistics for transport from the factory to the end customer are extensive, costly and completely manual. A new vehicle is moved up to 30 times manually before...

About 80 million vehicles are produced around the world every year, but the logistics for transport from the factory to the end customer are extensive, costly and completely manual. A new vehicle is moved up to 30 times manually before it reaches the end customer.

The Swedish research project Born to Drive has now developed a new software solution that lets the vehicles move themselves. The system was developed by Semcon in collaboration with seven other companies; a prototype is already up and running.

We are seeing autonomous technology starting to become a reality in more and more industries. The technology is now ready to move from vision to practical application. The transformation will be rapid.

—Markus Granlund, CEO of Semcon

At present, Born to Drive is designed to steer vehicles from the production line out to a collection point to await further transport. However, the system can be evolved to streamline other parts of the logistics chain, such as moving the vehicles onto trucks, trains or ships. The new software works with the sensors that already exist in today’s vehicles, which means that no extra hardware is needed.

Besides the software in the vehicles, Born to Drive also consists of a back-end system. The system controls the entire logistics flow and keeps track of the cars’ locations and fuel levels.

Born to Drive has been under implementation for two years and is a collaboration between technology companies, government agencies, component manufacturers and Volvo Cars. Vehicle ICT Arena at Lindhomen Science Park is coordinating the innovation project with a number of key players involved in system and software development connected to the automotive industry. The project is mainly financed by ViNNOVA’s FFI program.

Semcon has had a central role in the project, with overall technical responsibility including the development of the vehicle’s control algorithms, positioning and communication with the traffic routing system.

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