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Hyundai Mobis develops compact, integrated 48V mild hybrid system

27 April 2017

Automotive supplier Hyundai Mobis has developed the core technologies of a compact, integrated 48V mild hybrid system. Hyundai Mobis developed the “converter integrated 48V battery system” on its own and it is making the final preparations for mass-production scheduled for next year.

Hyundai Mobis integrated the converter and the battery system—formerly applied separately—into one system. The company not only reduced the weight, volume and cost of the system but also improved cooling efficiency.

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Sendyne introduces first isolation monitor for EVs and HEVs capable of detecting potential electrical hazards during dynamic operation

27 April 2017

Sendyn, a provider of technologies for battery system management including current, voltage and temperature measurement ICs and modules (earlier post), has introduced the SIM100, a new type of automotive-rated isolation monitoring safety device that is capable of detecting potential electrical hazards during the dynamic operation of high-voltage unearthed systems—such as electric and hybrid vehicles.

The SIM100 module is the first device of its kind capable of unambiguously detecting the electrical isolation state of a high-voltage system while the system is active and operating, and experiencing large voltage variations. State-of-the-art technology today is limited to detecting only resistive leakages and only when the system voltage does not vary significantly. In another first, the SIM100 detects both resistive leakages and capacitively stored energy that could be harmful to human operators.

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PNNL team uncovers reaction mechanisms of Li-air batteries; how batteries blow bubbles

27 April 2017

Lithium-air batteries are looked to by many as a very high-energy density next-generation energy storage solution for electric vehicles. However, the technology has several holdups, including losing energy as it stores and releases its charge.The reaction mechanisms are, in general, not well understood.

One reaction that hasn’t been fully explained is how oxygen blows bubbles inside a lithium-air battery when it discharges. The bubbles expand the battery and create wear and tear that can cause it to fail. Now, researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have provided the first step-by-step explanation of how lithium-air batteries form bubbles. The paper is published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

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California Assembly weighing integrating air pollution performance into GHG cap-and-trade

27 April 2017

The California Assembly is considering a bill (AB-378) that would integrate air quality performance into the state’s greenhouse-gas (GHG) cap-and- trade program. Assembly Bill 378 was proposed by by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, who heads the Assembly’s Committee on Natural Resources. CNR passed the proposal on Monday.

This bill creates a framework for grading industrial facilities’ air quality performance and creating a uniform air pollution standard that facilities must meet to receive allocation of free allowances from the California Air Resources Board (ARB) beginning in 2021.

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New study shows that inhaled nanoparticles can travel into the blood and accumulate

26 April 2017

A study by researchers from the University of Edinburgh and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands has found that nanoparticles, such as those found in air pollution, can travel into the blood and accumulate in diseased blood vessels. The study, published in the journal ACS Nano, suggests that air pollution nanoparticles are able to get into the bloodstream to cause heart disease.

This research shows for the first time that inhaled nanoparticles can gain access to the blood in healthy individuals and people at risk of stroke. These nanoparticles tend to build-up in diseased blood vessels where they could worsen coronary heart disease—the cause of a heart attack.

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ASTM releases new high-octane fuel standard D8067-17 to support development of more efficient engines

26 April 2017

ASTM International recently announced the release of a new high-octane fuel standard that is expected to impact the development of gasoline products compatible with vehicles that feature high-performance fuel-efficient engines. Formation and approval of the standard was led by Dr. Robert L. McCormick, an the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) transportation research engineer.

The new standard—“Specification for 100 Research Octane Number Test Fuel for Automotive Spark-Ignition Engines” (D8067-17)—covers the requirements of a high octane number fuel suitable for spark-ignition engines to be utilized in ground vehicles that will require 100 research octane number (RON) minimum rated fuel.

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Continental Powertrain: dual focus on electrification and efficient ICE; boosting electric drive spending by €300M by 2021

26 April 2017

Continental’s Powertrain division is strategically focused on two parallel efforts. The first is the full value creation from the growing demand for the most efficient combustion engine technologies that also deliver the lowest emissions. The second is to benefit from the prospective growth in environmentally friendly, electrified and fully electric drive systems.

Continental will spend an additional €300 million (US$327 million) on its business with electric drives alone by 2021. This step, as well as additional plans, are part of the new global “Powertrain Strategy 2020+”.

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Waymo adding 500 more Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivans to self-driving program; early rider program

25 April 2017

Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving car project) will add an additional 500 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans (earlier post) to expand its self-driving program. FCA previously delivered 100 minivans, modified for self-driving, to Waymo during the second half of 2016. (Earlier post.) Production of the additional 500 minivans will ramp up beginning next month. Waymo will then outfit these vehicles with its self-driving technology.

Waymo also is inviting members of the public to use its fleet of self-driving vehicles for everyday travel. Waymo’s early rider program will give selected Phoenix residents the opportunity to experience the self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans for the first time at no charge.

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Continental showcases “Super Clean Electrified” connected, optimized 48V mild hybrid diesel; post-Eu6d

25 April 2017

At the 38th International Vienna Motor Symposium this week, Continental is showcasing a 48-volt hybrid diesel vehicle which meets very stringent RDE (real driving emissions) limits on CO2 and NOx. The Continental Super-Clean Electrified Diesel combines electrification-based engine optimization and an electrically heated catalyst integrated in the exhaust aftertreatment system to achieve a 60% reduction in real-world NONOxx emissions and a simultaneous 2% reduction in CO2 emissions measured against the baseline Euro 6b vehicle.

The first 48-volt diesel hybrid has already gone into production in Europe, and a second production launch is already in the pipeline for 2017.

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New high-power, fast-charging, safe and long-life Li-ion battery

25 April 2017

Researchers from Sweden, Italy and Germany have proposed and demonstrated a novel full Li-ion cell that is able to cycle for thousands of cycles at 1000 mAg−1 with a capacity retention of 65% at cycle 2000.

The cell uniquely combines a nanostructured TiO2-based anode with a tailored 1-D tubular morphology; a LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4-based cathode (LNMO) with a finely tuned stoichiometry and a surface layer obtained through a single-stage, simple, cheap and easy-scalable mechanochemical milling route followed by high temperature annealing in air; and a composite liquid electrolyte formed by a mixture of LiPF6, ethylene carbonate, dimethyl carbonate and Py1,4PF6 ionic liquid. An open access paper on the work is published in Scientific Reports.

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Toyota, KDDI and Tokyo Hire-Taxi Association begin verification testing for connected taxis; big data for new services

25 April 2017

In Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation and KDDI Corporation, together with the Tokyo Hire-Taxi Association (THTA), have begun verification testing on data collection for making connected taxis a reality. Such taxis, by communicating with data centers, are expected to make possible new services that will, among others, improve taxi-customer convenience and support taxi drivers.

The verification testing, which will center on the collection and analysis of data from taxis in the Tokyo metropolitan area, is being done to clarify technical requirements for taxi-related connected services and to enable practical application of large volumes of driving data.

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DRIVEN consortium to test Level 4 autonomous fleet in UK in 2019

25 April 2017

The DRIVEN consortium—led by artificial intelligence company Oxbotica, which is developing next-gen autonomous vehicles—will test a fleet of fully autonomous vehicles in urban areas and on motorways, culminating in an end-to-end journey from London to Oxford. These vehicles will operate at Level 4 autonomy—with capability of performing all safety-critical driving functions and monitoring roadway conditions for an entire trip, with zero-passenger occupancy.

No connected and autonomous vehicle trial at this level of complexity and integration has yet been attempted. DRIVEN is supported by a £8.6-million (US$11-million) grant awarded by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles and delivered through Innovate UK.

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