NCSU researchers create shortcut to terpene biosynthesis in E. coli

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed an artificial enzymatic pathway for synthesizing isoprenoids, or terpenes, in E. coli. This shorter, more efficient, cost-effective and customizable pathway transforms the bacterium into a factory that can produce terpenes for use in everything from cancer drugs to biofuels. A paper on... Read more →


Volvo CE to launch electric compact wheel loaders and excavators in 2020; stopping new diesel development on those models

In an industry-first move, Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) has announced that in 2020 it will start the launch of an electric range of Volvo-branded compact wheel loaders and compact excavators. By mid-2020, Volvo CE will begin to launch a range of electric compact excavators (EC15 to EC27) and wheel... Read more →


More than 100 years after the introduction of the Haber–Bosch process, scientists continue to search for alternative ammonia production routes that are less energy-demanding. A team from the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou has now discovered that black phosphorus is an excellent catalyst for the electroreduction of nitrogen... Read more →


Foretellix, an Israel-based start-up automating the verification and measurable safety of autonomous vehicles, has closed $14 million of series-A funding. Led by 83North, Jump Capital, and Nextgear Ventures, the investment will accelerate Foretellix’s development, customer programs and deployment of its coverage-driven verification solution. The company has now raised more than... Read more →


Continental’s liquid-cooled 48-volt Eco Drive—a belt-driven starter generator with integrated inverter—supports FCA US’ eTorque mild-hybrid technology in the new Jeep Wrangler. (Earlier post.) Continental’s compact 48-volt Eco Drive with integrated power electronics contributes to the benefits eTorque technology offers, including better fuel economy, improved auto-start response, overall start-stop functionality and... Read more →


Stop & Shop is partnering with Robomart to launch driverless grocery vehicle service in the Greater Boston area beginning in Spring 2019. The vehicles will bring a selection of Stop & Shop produce as well as meal kits and convenience items directly to consumers. Stop & Shop customers in the... Read more →


Khronos Group exploring industry interest for new open standard for high performance embedded computing (HPEC) applications

The Khronos Group has created an Exploratory Group to gauge industry interest for a potential new open standard for high performance embedded computing (HPEC) applications. Khronos is seeking feedback from automotive, robotics, aerospace, industrial, medical and IoT developers, all target users that wish to focus on algorithm development—not communication intricacies—but... Read more →


BMW’s new 7 Series features a number of powertrain changes, including a plug-in hybrid drive system with a new design offering an increased electric range, enhanced performance and lower consumption. The new BMW 7 Series is also available with gasoline and diesel engines using six, eight and twelve cylinders. The... Read more →


BloombergNEF expects 40% growth in global EV sales in 2019; 2.6M vehicles, 1.5M in China

BloombergNEF (BNEF) expects 2.6 million electric vehicles to be sold globally in 2019. This will represent around a 40% growth rate, down from the 70% growth rate in 2018. BNEF said that it expects China will continue to lead, with some 1.5 million units—around 57% of the global market. China’s... Read more →


Power-To-X: Sunfire reports successful test run of co-electrolysis system of >500 hours; e-Crude demo targeted

Sunfire GmbH reports the successful start-up and test run (> 500 hours) of a high-temperature co-electrolysis system at its Dresden site, beginning in November 2018. SUNFIRE-SYNLINK—a co-electrolyzer based on solid oxide cell (SOC) technology—enables the highly efficient production (a projected ~80% efficiency on an industrial scale) of synthesis gas in... Read more →


Ford, Huayou Cobalt, IBM, LG Chem, RCS Global launch blockchain pilot to address concerns in strategic mineral supply chains; cobalt to start

Ford Motor Company, Huayou Cobalt, IBM, LG Chem and RCS Global will use blockchain technology to trace and validate ethically sourced minerals in an effort to support human rights and environmental protection while helping infuse more transparency into global mineral supply chains. The group, which includes participants at each major... Read more →


British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Ltd. (ADL) is expanding its product line, adding a double-decker model powered by a fuel cell drive. This new model is also equipped with ZF’s AxTrax AVE electric drive axle. ZF also provides additional hardware and software solutions for optimum performance. An initial prototype is... Read more →


Mcity ABC test concept to assess driverless vehicle safety

Mcity at the University of Michigan has outlined a test track-based concept for evaluating the safety of highly automated vehicles before they’re tested on public roads that could emerge as a model for a voluntary standard for safety testing. The project comes after two highly publicized fatalities last year stoked... Read more →


California ARB hosting public workshop to discuss reducing in-use emissions from HD diesel

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff will host a public workshop on 11 February to discuss ideas and strategies to reduce in-use emissions from heavy-duty diesel vehicles operating in the State of California. The objective of the workshop is to solicit stakeholder ideas and comments about potential strategies to... Read more →


Sales of diesel light-duty vehicles (Class 1-3) in the US in 2018 reached their highest annual level, coming in at more than 500,000 units—just over 3% of total vehicle sales—according to figures by Baum & Associates provided by the Diesel Technology Forum. The light-duty diesel segment is led by three... Read more →


Westport Fuel Systems appoints former Achates Power head as new CEO

Alternative fuel engine company Westport Fuel Systems Inc. has appointed David Johnson as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Johnson most recently was the CEO of opposed-piston engine company Achates Power. Nancy S. Gougarty has decided to retire as Westport’s Chief Executive Officer and is stepping down from the Board of... Read more →


Meritor has 22 electrification programs with global OEMs through 2020

Meritor, Inc. has 22 electrification programs with global OEMs that the company expects to put at least 130 fully electric medium- and heavy-duty commercial trucks on the road through 2020. These emission-free solutions offered under Meritor’s Blue Horizon technology brand have the potential to transform the industry by meeting the... Read more →


Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and Onboard Dynamics, Inc. (ObDI) announced the field demonstration of new mobile compressor technology that provides on-site backup and supplemental compression at natural gas fueling stations. The new compressor—the GoFlo CNG80—is now being demonstrated at the Antelope Valley School Transportation Agency in Lancaster, California, where... Read more →


Volkswagen, Ford launch global alliance starting with medium pickups and commercial vans; exploring EVs, AVs and mobility services

Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Company announced the first formal agreements in a global alliance. Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess and Ford CEO Jim Hackett confirmed that the companies intend to develop commercial vans and medium-sized pickups for global markets beginning as early as 2022. The alliance will drive significant... Read more →


At NAIAS 2019, Cummins Inc. unveiled its next generation 6.7L turbo diesel engine featuring a first-in-class 1,000 pound-feet (1,356 N·m) of torque. In addition to an increase in torque, the engine also has a higher horsepower output, taking the 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty RAM pickup truck customers to the next... Read more →


At NAIAS 2019, INFINITI unveiled the QX Inspiration midsize SUV concept, previewing the brand’s first fully electric vehicle. This design study previews the brand’s plan to launch a range of high-performance electrified vehicles; the INFINITI lineup of the future will consist of a range of electric, e-POWER and performance hybrid... Read more →


Nissan unveiled its Nissan IMs electric all-wheel drive concept vehicle with full autonomous drive capability at the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The IMs concept features new proportions and stretched interior space—including a unique “Premier Seat” 2 + 1 + 2 seating architecture—designed to create a new vehicle... Read more →


China-based GAC Motor introduced the ENTRANZE EV concept vehicle at the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The versatile 7-person ENTRANZE EV represents the first concept vehicle from the new California-based GAC Design Studio. GAC’s approach started by envisioning the ENTRANZE as the ultimate road-trip car: a... Read more →


In model year 2011, there were just three different models of all-electric vehicles (AEV) available and their ranges on a full charge (according to the Environmental Protection Agency) spanned from 63 to 94 miles. By model year 2018, the number of AEV models increased to 14 and the available ranges... Read more →


Baidu, Inc. has introduced Apollo 3.5, the newest and most powerful release of the open, reliable and secure software platform for the development of autonomous driving systems through on-vehicle and hardware platforms. Apollo 3.5 is the first open source autonomous driving platform that can perform in complex urban and suburban... Read more →


Last week, Ford unveiled the new 2020 Explorer, featuring lighter, leaner and stronger construction with its broadest model lineup to date, equipped with more powerful and efficient EcoBoost engines. At the Detroit Auto Show on Monday, Ford announced two new members of the 2020 Explorer lineup: the Explorer Hybrid and... Read more →


Volkswagen AG announced that Chattanooga, Tenn. will be the company’s North American base for manufacturing electric vehicles based on the modular electric toolkit MEB. This expansion of Volkswagen’s US footprint will include an investment of $800 million into the Chattanooga facility and create 1,000 jobs at the plant, plus additional... Read more →


Volkswagen of America, Inc., unveiled the new 2020 Passat at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit today. Together with the Beetle (21.5 million units) and Golf (35 million units), the Passat is one of the three most successful Volkswagen models, with global sales of more than 29 million... Read more →


China team uses ultra-thin indium sheet to stabilize Li-metal anode

Researchers from Tsinghua University and China University of Geosciences have used an ultrathin indium sheet to construct a stabilized lithium-rich hybrid anode with fast interfacial ion transport. The artificial alloy layer demonstrates an enhanced ionic conductivity with an order of magnitude higher than that of the pristine solid electrolyte interphase.... Read more →


On the heels of its announcement of the 2020 XT6 three-row crossover with 3.6L V-6 engine with cylinder deactivation and nine-speed automatic transmission, Cadillac revealed the brand’s first EV at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. This will be the first model based on GM’s future EV... Read more →