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Telecommunications and automotive majors form global cross-industry 5G Automotive Association

27 September 2016

Audi AG, BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia and Qualcomm Incorporated have formed the “5G Automotive Association”. The association will develop, test and promote communications solutions, support standardization and accelerate commercial availability and global market penetration.

The goal is to address connected mobility and road safety needs with applications such as connected automated driving, ubiquitous access to services and integration into smart cities and intelligent transportation.

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Toyota Motor Europe hybrid sales up 45% year-to-date; targeting 50% hybrid take-rate by 2020

27 September 2016

Toyota Motor Europe (TME) reported that sales of hybrids have increased 45% so far this year compared with the same period in 2015—which was already a record year. The company is tracking to sell close to 300,000 hybrids this year, said Karl Schlicht, Executive Vice President of TME.

31% of Toyota Motor Europe’s customers have opted for a hybrid powertrain in 2016; 41% in Western Europe alone. Toyota’s target is to reach 50% of its European sales with hybrid vehicles by 2020, with a hybrid version in every major market segment.

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EEA: large-scale roll-out of EVs will help EU shift to green transport, but may challenge power grid

27 September 2016

A large scale roll-out of electric cars on European roads would result in significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions and lower levels of certain air pollutants, according to a new European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment. However, widespread use of such vehicles would pose challenges for Europe’s power grid in meeting increased electricity demand.

The EEA briefing Electric vehicles and the energy sector — impacts on Europe’s future emissions looks at the impact of different scenarios that take into account the increased use of electric cars and their effect on the European Union’s (EU) energy system, and on emissions of greenhouse gases and selected air pollutants.

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New ICCT study identifies significant potential to reduce aviation fuel consumption by up to 40% by 2034

27 September 2016

A new report from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) identifies significant potential to reduce aviation emissions through emerging fuel efficiency technologies.

The study summarizes the results of the first independent, bottom-up cost assessment of near- (2024) and mid-term (2034) technologies to improve new aircraft fuel efficiency. Carried out in cooperation with a panel of top technical experts and consultants using NASA and DoD-approved models to evaluate aviation technology programs, the study concludes that the rate of fuel efficiency improvement for new aircraft can be more than doubled through 2034, from about 1% today to 2.2% annually, by the adoption of cost effective technologies to improve engine efficiency, reduce aerodynamic drag, and trim aircraft empty weight.

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Volkswagen Group & Audi accelerate fuel cell technology solutions program with Ballard

27 September 2016

Ballard Power Systems announced that automotive OEM Audi AG has issued purchase orders to Ballard to accelerate certain key development activities under the current long-term Technology Solutions program that Volkswagen Group has with Ballard. (Earlier post.)

The current 6-year engineering services contract with Volkswagen Group runs to March 2019, with an optional 2-year extension beyond that date. The contract has an estimated value of C$100-140 million. The resulting HyMotion program encompasses automotive fuel cell stack development as well as system design support activities.

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Renault-Nissan and Microsoft enter multi-year agreement on next-gen connected driving

27 September 2016

The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Microsoft Corp. have signed a global, multi-year agreement to partner on next-generation technologies to advance connected driving experiences worldwide.

The companies will work together to develop next-generation connected services for cars powered by Microsoft Azure, one of the company’s intelligent cloud offerings. These new services are intended to improve customer experience via advanced navigation; predictive maintenance and vehicle centric services; remote monitoring of car features; external mobile experiences; and over-the-air updates. The partnership will accelerate development of best-in-class infotainment and location-based services that will:

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Study shows gasoline pre-blending in ethanol production could cut energy requirements of separation by 17-40%

26 September 2016

Researchers at the University of Witwatersrand and the University of South Africa are proposing replacing the final purification steps of conventional bio-ethanol production with a simple gasoline-blending step.

In a paper published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels, they show that gasoline pre-blending results in a spontaneous liquid phase split which produces a viable fuel with desirable ethanol content and high recovery of ethanol; reduces the energy requirements of separation by between 17 and 40%; reduces operating costs of the process; and also eliminates capital expenses.

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T&E: VW sells least polluting Euro 6 diesels in Europe; no brand meets Euro 6 in real-world driving; loopholes & defeat strategies

26 September 2016

A new study by Transport & Environment (T&E) shows that Volkswagen is currently selling the least polluting (Euro 6) diesel vehicles. However, the report “Dieselgate: Who? What? How?” also found that no brand in Europe complies with the latest Euro 6 air pollution limits for diesel cars and vans in real-world driving.

For the in-house analysis, T&E analyzed emissions test data from around 230 diesel car models. Data were taken from the investigations conducted by the British, French and German governments, as well as a large public database. The carmakers’ ranking was built with on-road performance figures mostly measured in real world driving. Among the real-world findings per car brand:

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Rolls-Royce MTU introduces new hybrid power pack for rail systems; up to 25% fuel savings

26 September 2016

At Innotrans in Berlin, Rolls-Royce Power Systems’ MTU brand introduced the new MTU EnergyPack battery system for rail as a product that is now available for ordering. The Hybrid PowerPack is a market-ready advanced development based on a test version that has demonstrated its reliability in an intensive test program consisting, among other things, of test runs covering no less than 15,000 km.

The Hybrid PowerPack combines a diesel engine with an electric machine, which can be used either as an electric motor or generator, and the MTU EnergyPack battery system, which stores the energy recovered during braking. The battery system has been significantly improved by MTU engineers since the completion of the trials with the hybrid test vehicle.

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Recargo progressing with WCEH fast-charger buildout; subcontract with Supercharger builder Black & Veach

26 September 2016

Earlier this year, Recargo, parent company to PlugShare, a leading charging station locator app, was awarded more than $1.6 million from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to help complete key routes of the West Coast Electric Highway (WCEH), a network of fast charging and Level 2 electric vehicle stations expected to stretch from Canada to Mexico. Recargo is contributing more than $575,000 of its own money toward the project.

The award was part of nearly $9 million in grants that went to four companies—Chargepoint Inc.; EV Connect Inc.; NRG EV Services LLC; and Recargo, Inc.—which will install 61 DC fast chargers at 41 sites along major routes on Interstate 5, Highway 99 and Highway 101. Fast chargers allow vehicles to fully charge in 20 to 30 minutes. Additionally, 40 sites will have one Level 2 charger, and one site will have two Level 2 chargers. Level 2 chargers allow most vehicles to go from zero to full charge in four to eight hours. (Earlier post.)

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ICCT study finds that transitioning to low-GWP MAC refrigerants in China could avoid up to US$150B in costs

25 September 2016

A new study from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) assesses the feasibility, benefits, and costs of phasing out HFC-134a as the refrigerant in mobile air conditioning (MAC) systems in the Chinese LDV fleet, focusing on three alternatives with lower global warming potential (GWP) most likely to be adopted by automakers with a global supply chain: HFO-1234yf, HFC-152a, and CO2.

Among the findings of the report, “HFC-134a phase-out in the Chinese light-duty motor vehicle sector”, was that, considering the social cost of CO2e, up to 1 trillion RMB in costs (US$150 billion) required to address climate change could be avoided through 2050 by transitioning to low-GWP alternative MACs.

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New 1.6L diesel in 2018 Chevrolet Equinox related to Opel’s 1.6L CDTi Whisper Diesel

24 September 2016

The new 1.6-liter diesel engine to be offered in the US in the 2018 Equinox (earlier post) is similar to Opel’s 1.6L CDTi Whisper Diesel (earlier post) in Europe, and is derived from a common Italian-German-American medium diesel engine design, according to GM. The first application of the 1.6L CDTi was unveiled in 2013 at the Geneva Motor Show in the Zafira Tourer. (Earlier post.)

Maximum power for the Equinox engine is estimated at 136 hp (101 kW), with 320 N·m torque. The engine has a bore x stroke of 79.7 mm x 80.1 mm and a compression ratio of 16.0:1. Fuel pressure is 2000 bar (29,000 psi).

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