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Bosch introduces new 48V Li-ion pack for mild-hybrids; production in 2018

19 October 2017

Bosch has introduced a new 48-volt battery for mild hybrids; similar to the Bosch e-axle, this 48-volt battery is standardized for easy integration into new vehicle models. Established manufacturers and start-ups alike can thus eliminate long and expensive development processes. Bosch intends for this pack—along with its earlier work on mild hybrid systems (earlier post)—to position it as a leader in the burgeoning 48V mild-hybrid market.

The pack configuration is 12s1p with 8Ah, NMC/Graphite cells. Charge power is 13 kW, discharge power is 11 kW. Package weight is less than 7kg. Production of the battery is scheduled to start in late 2018.

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Hyliion introduces hybrid upfit system for Class 8 trucks

19 October 2017

Hyliion, a developer of electrification systems for Class 8 trucks, introduced the 6X4HE System for long haul trucks. Easily attached to the truck frame, the 6X4HE is a self-contained system. Fuel savings of up to 30% stem from a blend of three technologies: 15% from electric hybrid, 12% from APU, and 3% from aerodynamics. Mesilla Valley Transportation, PAM Transport and Ryder all participated in testing and refining the 6X4HE.

This is the second product announcement from Hyliion. The first which occurred a year ago was a trailer-based product. (Earlier post.)

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Magna forms e-powertrain joint venture in China with SAIC Motor subsidiary

18 October 2017

To expand its global electrified powertrain offerings and strengthen its local footprint in China, Magna has entered into a joint-venture agreement with Huayu Automotive Systems Co., Ltd. (HASCO), a subsidiary of SAIC Motor. The JV will initially produce an electric-drive powertrain system for a German automaker.

For the initial customer order, the JV will leverage Magna’s highly integrated e-drive system with a focus on the production of the system mainly for the Chinese market. Both partners will give the JV full support to develop localized core competencies in terms of market development, R&D, advanced manufacturing and key parts supply such as gearboxes, inverter components and motors.

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Toyota showing two new fuel cell concepts at Tokyo Motor Show: bus and car

18 October 2017

Toyota has launched two new fuel cell vehicle concepts: the Sora fuel cell bus and the Fine Comfort Ride fuel cell car. The company will show both at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show later this month.

Toyota plans to launch sales of a commercial model based on the Sora (an acronym for Sky, Ocean, River, Air, representing the earth’s water cycle) concept vehicle in 2018 and expects to introduce more than 100 Sora, mainly within the Tokyo metropolitan area, ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Toyota developed the Sora concept model guided by two ideas: to make best use of the characteristics of the FC unit; and to enhance the comfort of passengers traveling on bus routes.

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Mitsubishi Electric field testing xAUTO autonomous-driving vehicle on expressways

18 October 2017

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has been conducting expressway-based field testing of its xAUTO vehicle and related autonomous-driving technologies for self-sensing and network-based driving since May 2016. The xAUTO will be exhibited during 45th Tokyo Motor Show 2017 later this month.

Mitsubishi Electric named its autonomous driving technologies “Diamond Safety.” Mitsubishi Electric’s self-sensing driving technology combines various peripheral-sensing technologies, including a forward-monitoring millimeter-wave radar with wide viewing angle, a forward-monitoring camera and a backward side-monitoring millimeter-wave radar. Its infrastructural driving technology uses high-accuracy 3D mapping in combination with a centimeter-level augmentation service (CLAS) broadcast from the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS). (earlier post)

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Penn State team devises new control strategy to enhance EV battery performance when driving in cold temperatures

18 October 2017

Researchers at Penn State, with a colleague from EC Power, have devised a new control strategy that can rapidly restore EV battery power and permit full regeneration while driving at temperatures as low as −40 °C. The strategy involves heating the battery internally during regenerative braking and rest periods of driving.

In a paper in the Journal of Power Sources, they report that this technique fully restores room-temperature battery power and regeneration in 13, 33, 46, 56 and 112 seconds into uninterrupted driving in 0, −10, −20, −30 and −40 °C environments, respectively. Correspondingly, the strategy significantly increases cruise range of a vehicle operated at cold temperatures—49% at −40 °C in simulated US06 driving cycle tests. Based on their findings, the team suggests that smart batteries with embedded sensing/actuation can significantly improve their performance compared to more conventionally controlled counterparts.

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ABB, Fastned support Autocharge automatic authorization for charging sessions

18 October 2017

The standards-based Autocharge feature enables automatic authorization for EV charging sessions, offering drivers an easy ‘plug in and walk away’ user experience. Autocharge enables a charge session to be automatically started after a driver connects his or her vehicle to the charger without requiring the use of an RFiD card, payment card or mobile app.

The charger will automatically recognize the vehicle based on its unique vehicle identifier (EV-ID), allowing simpler, faster and more secure user interaction. This superior user experience gives commercial charging station operators much greater flexibility to offer their customers a seamless and intuitive interaction with a charging station. ABB is now implementing Autocharge functionality in its EVSE and Fastned has begun rolling out the functionality to its stations.

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DOE to award up to $3M for R&D to improve efficiency of off-road fluid-power systems

18 October 2017

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will provide up to $3 million of new funding (DE-FOA-0001815) for fluid-power systems research for off-road vehicles. Construction, mining, and agriculture equipment represent the majority of fuel consumption in off-road vehicles, and this equipment relies heavily on fluid-power systems (i.e. hydraulics) to actuate most of their functions. They are preferred over electric motors because of their high specific power density and ability to tolerate shock and harsh environments. However, current fluid-power systems have poor efficiency. Research in this area can provide decreased operating costs for these key domestic industries.

Opportunities exist to improve the efficiency of fluid-power systems through research. On 12 September 2017, a public workshop on fluid power systems for off-road vehicles was held at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to identify early-stage research and development needs. The space is challenging—off-road, mobile fluid power spans a wide range of equipment, with large variance in operational requirements. Low production volumes for individual equipment types makes the economics of R&D challenging for OEMs, and for customer payback periods.

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Ecoclean cuts BMW engine plant robot cell power and water consumption by ~30%

18 October 2017

At the BWM Group’s engine plant in Steyr (Austria), in a reference project accompanied by the Technical University of Vienna, Ecoclean Monschau (formerly Dürr Ecoclean) has significantly raised the energy efficiency of a flexible EcoCFlex Classic robot cell that had been in service for several years. The system’s electric power and water consumption were each cut by around 30 percent.

These energy efficiency measures are now intended to be implemented on another 95 systems of the same type installed at various sites throughout Europe and Asia.

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Daimler demos self-driving snow removal trucks; premiere of Remote Truck Interface

17 October 2017

Following its successful demonstration of the Highway Pilot and Highway Pilot Connect systems (earlier post)—the latter making truck platooning possible—Daimler has demonstrated automated snow removal operations on the site of the former Pferdsfeld airbase. This application of autonomous commercial vehicle operation was based on a specific customer requirement.

Under the project name “Automated Airfield Ground Maintenance” (AAGM), four Mercedes-Benz Arocs tractor units demonstrated automated airfield clearing in a remote-controlled convoy. The benefits are obvious: Airfield clearances are hard to predict and thus difficult to plan, especially in winter. This makes snow removal units operated with pinpoint precision by a single vehicle operator to remove snow from runways especially crucial when extreme weather strikes without warning during the winter months, and they require no additional vehicle and staff scheduling.

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Volvo Cars, Geely investing US$756M to develop Polestar electrified vehicles; Polestar 1 performance PHEV revealed

17 October 2017

Volvo Cars and its owner, China-based Geely Holding, will jointly invest RMB 5 billion (US756 million) to support the initial phase of Polestar’s product, brand and industrial development. Polestar, the fully consolidated Volvo Cars subsidiary, revealed its first production model in Shanghai, the Polestar 1 performance plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. (Earlier post.)

The investment will be used, among other things, to establish a Polestar manufacturing facility in Chengdu, China, marking a new chapter in the development of China as a manufacturing hub for Volvo Cars. This will shorten the time Polestar needs to launch its cars. Volvo Cars and Polestar will also benefit from synergies in the development of next generation technologies such as shared procurement costs, joint development and economies of scale.

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Lygos partners with Agile BioFoundry and DOE to accelerate bioproduct R&D and commercialization; two-year, $5M pilot collaboration

17 October 2017

Lygos announced that the US Department of Energy is providing multi-year funding for Lygos’ collaboration with the Agile BioFoundry (ABF) to automate research technology. Lygos’ pilot collaboration is part of a multi-company two-year, $5-million effort coordinated by the ABF.

Lygos produces high-value specialty chemical traditionally produced in oil-based petrochemical processes in a process that uses commercially proven, acid-tolerant yeast and domestic sugars instead of petroleum, and has pioneered the world’s first bio-based production of malonic acid (a C3-dicarboxylic acid). (Earlier post.)

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