Efficient Drivetrains launches electric drive for school buses
Efficient Drivetrains (EDI) is making its EDI PowerDrive 4000ev available in North America. It is suited for Type-A school buses and comes as a kit for easy electrification. With 26M students, the U.S. school bus fleet is bigger than commercial buses, trains, and air travel services combined.
Cummins taking over Efficient Drivetrains
Cummins incorporates yet another e-mobility specialist as they acquire Efficient Drivetrains (EDI). The maker of electrified solutions for commercial vehicles is the third such acquisition for Cummins with which (ex) diesel-pros buy into the Zeitgeist.
Miles Consultancy, Bollinger Motors.
Reading tip: According to a new report of the Miles Consultancy (TMC), PHEVs are among the highest-polluting company cars when comparing greenhouse gas emissions. The data was collected by observing real-world use of corporate fleets.
Video tip: Bollinger Motors has published three video clips showing its new electric SUV Bollinger B1 through a test run as well as in a technical animation.
Tesla, BorgWarner, Efficient Drivetrains, Saft.
Tesla chases after last percentage points: Long-term data of Tesla owners has shown that even after 320,000 km battery capacity is still at 90 percent. Yet, the company seeking to further improve battery performance, signed battery researcher Jeff Dahn, who just presented his newest findings: By improving the chemistry of NMC Li-ion, the cells shall be able to keep 95 percent of their original capacity after no less than 1,200 charging cycles (about 480,000km).
BorgWarner’s high-voltage heater: The American supplier presents a PTC cabin heater for EV and HEV, which is independent of waste heat. Controlled via CAN interface, it warms up the air stream coming from the blower. It also provides dual-zone functionality to regulate the temperature for driver and passenger individually.
Major order for Efficient Drivetrains: Four Chinese OEMs have decided to equip their buses with the American supplier’s PHEV drive EDI PowerDrive 6000. Efficient Drivetrains calculates with “several hundred” drives supplied to Shaanxi Automotive, Ankai, Xiamen Jinlong and Yaxing Motors until the third quarter of the year.
New concept for solid-state battery: A research team of the French battery company Saft and the University Paris Est have found a new approach to generate next-gen batteries. Their solution bases on a nanocomposite metal hydride as the anode in a complete solid-state battery with a sulfur cathode and Lithium borohydride electrolyte.
Renault, eHighway, MS innogy, Efficient Drivetrains.
Open Innovation Lab in Paris: ‘Le Square‘ is Renault’s third research centre charged with finding transport solutions for the future. The Paris Open Innovation Lab is to go beyond the corporation and build a hub for start-ups and other external partners. The research focus is electric transport, connectivity as well as automation. Other OI Labs can be found in Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv.
eHighways in India? The government in Delhi is exploring plans to dedicate one lane on each national highway for electric trucks. A pilot is under consideration to run on a motorway between Mumbai and Delhi with 50t trucks powered by electricity from overhead cables just like on Siemens’ eHighways that are under construction in Sweden and Germany. If the trial in India is successful, the system could be introduced across the country.
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Flagship project: MS innogy is the first ship in Germany to be powered by a methanol fuel cell. It will serve on Lake Baldeney in Essen this Summer. Maker innogy represents the project’s entire value chain – from the production of the fuel using renewables to use of a fuel cell in a boat.
Freightliner now electric: Efficient Drivetrains Inc. (EDI), has completed the integration of its plug-in electric drivetrain into a new OEM platform, Freightliner. The truck now has an all-electric range of 25 miles and 300 more miles in hybrid modes.
Hydrogen, Color Hybrid, Efficient Drivetrains, Green Watt Power.
Hydrogen and diesel: A joined British-Chinese undertaking is to promote the use of hydrogen fuel for Chinese commercial vehicles. It is working on a hydrogen-diesel hybrid drive said to lower emissions by 70 percent. The project is also looking into the production of H2 using locally produced renewable energies, and helping set up H2 infrastructure.
The allegedly largest hybrid vessel worldwide has now been commissioned by Color Line in Ulstein. The plug-in hybrid ferry can sail on electricity only and has room for 2,000 passengers and 450 cars. It will go into service between Sandefjord (Norway) and Strömstad (Sweden) from 2019.
New division: U.S. drivetrain manufacturer Efficient Drivetrains announced the creation of a new development centre for electric and plug-in hybrid commercial vehicles. The division will be operated out of the company’s recently leased facility in Dixon, California, and will kick off new OEM and end-user customer projects before April.
DC/DC for EVs: California-based Green Watt Power presented its new EVD 500 Series DC/DC converters for EV applications with input ranges of 30 to 65 VDC and 50 to 120VDC. Efficiency is rated at 93 percent.
Lucid Motors, BMW, Efficient Drivetrains, TU Delft.
LG Chem to supply Lucid Motors: The EV start-up forged yet another battery coalition, this time with LG Chem, after closing a deal with Samsung only recently. The strategic supply agreement with LG will deliver cells with a proprietary chemistry that has been developed together. Lucid said, it deems it best to retain as much flexibility as possible, esp. as it looks at possible other applications for its batteries that may differ in performance requirements.
BMW project i 2.0: A new campus is to combine all R&D activities for autonomous, connected and electric drives from the German carmaker in a centre close to Munich from mid-2017. Project i 2.0 that will bundle all competencies at one location comes prior to the iNext, due to debut in 2021.
bmwgroup.com (in German)
5,000 hybrid and electric drive trains shall soon roll off the lines of Efficient Drivetrains after it relocates to a bigger site. The drive train maker will be moving its current Dixon operations in California into a new 10,000 square foot space in February of 2017.
Integrated battery electrolysis: Researchers at the TU Delft developed the ‘battolyser’ – a battery system that can store or supply electricity but can also split water into hydrogen and oxygen using electrolysis. They claim 90% efficiency for their nickel-iron based battery. The next step is to scale up.
Bosch, Berkeley lab, Xalt Energy, Efficient Drivetrains.
E-Mobility diagnostics: A Bosch-led consortium has come up with DINA, a project on diagnosis and repairs for electric vehicles. The system is able to detect and localise faults in the EV powertrain, including the high-voltage battery, inverters and charging equipment, thus making full replacements redundant. The project is funded with 2.8 million euros by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
New electrolyte for solid-state batteries: Researchers from Berkeley Lab and the University of North Carolina developed a hybrid electrolyte that combines polymer and glass. It is said to show high conductivity at room temperature and excellent electrochemical stability.
Batteries for PHEV trucks: XALT Energy and Efficient Drivetrains (EDI) forged an agreement that will see XALT supply EDI with its NMC graphite lithium-ion battery packs. They will be first used in EDI’s plug-in hybrid power utility vehicle. Shipment of the order has already begun.
Paragon, Subaru, Umicore, Efficient Drivetrains.
Paragon plant in China: The factory in Kunshan will initially focus on air quality sensors. The company’s sub-brand Voltabox will assemble battery systems for Chinese electric (commercial) vehicles from Q1 2016. The proprietary lithium ion battery cells will be produced exclusively for its sub-brand Voltabox by a specialist manufacturer in China.
Subaru plans carefully: The manufacturer will introduce its first plug-in hybrid by 2018, but will sell it only where emission regulation requires it. Fuel cells are a future option as well, German paper Die Welt reports. In general, Subaru intends to cap its sales at 1m vehicles annually to keep its niche position.
autonews.com, welt.de (FCV, in German)
Share transfer: Umicore wants to sell all of its shares of beLife, a producer of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathode material, to its joint venture partner Prayon. The latter just recently formed a JV with Chinese Pulead to manufacture and sell lithium iron phosphate (LFP).
Plug-in truck: Efficient Drivetrains presents a new plug-in truck with 40 miles of electric range. The retrofitted Class-4 JAC truck also runs on Compressed Natural Gas to increase range to a total of 300 miles and was realised together with Greenkraft, CALSTART and the California Energy Commission.
DoE, UC Riverside, Efficient Drivetrains & Ford, Sandia National Lab.
20m dollars for fuel cell research will be spent by the DoE on ten projects in the States concerning fuel cell and hydrogen technologies. Furthermore, the energy department has published its latest “Fuel Cell Technologies Market Report 2014″ online.
greencarcongress.com, energy.gov (download report as pdf)
Mushroom battery: Scientists at University of California Riverside found a natural graphite substitute for battery anodes: Portabello mushroom skin. It is porous and also contain high amounts of potassium salt. The research might eventually lead to cheaper and more efficient batteries.
Hybrid deal: Efficient Drivetrains (EDI) and Ford entered into a license agreement for hybrid vehicle patents. Some of the patents are owned by the University of California-Davis and include the work of Dr. Andrew A. Frank, who is also a founder of EDI.
H2 production: A team from Sandia National Lab boosts hydrogen production activity four-fold by replacing platin in catalysts with molybdenum disulfide, Molly in short. The process decreases the cost of hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) as Molly is a low-cost catalyst in solar-driven water splitting.
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Most clicked link on Tuesday was the show race in Japan serving Tesla to present a rather rough side of the Model S – slide on the wild side.
Efficient Drivetrains, Tesla, solar-power, dairy business.
Port of Shanghai plugs in: Collaborating with truck manufacturer Shaanxi Automotive, Efficient Drivetrains has developed a truck with plug-in technology for the Port of Shanghai. Shaanxi says it will acquire some 200 of the PHEV Port trucks over the course of 2016.
New Tesla destinations: The carmaker is partnering with Secure Parking in Australia in order to install 18 new destination chargers along the country’s east coast. Secure Parking operates some 450 car parks across the country and there is talk about a national rollout of charging opportunities for Tesla drivers.
Powered by the sun I: As part of a government launched pilot project, Indian companies Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd and Rajasthan Electronics are developing a solar-powered EV charging station. A prototype should be ready in the next month or two and will be tested for three months. The stations could then be installed across the country.
Powered by the sun II: Indian Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation plans (NMRCL) wants to use solar-powered EVs for its feeder services. The vehicles will have six to eight seats and their batteries will be charged by solar panels installed at stations and along the boundary. The panels will produce enough energy for the stations and trains, as well.
Electric moo-bility: According to dairy business owner Carlos Nicholls, New Zealand’s first hybrid milk delivery trucks are about to hit the street. The two vehicles are much quieter, to not disturb residents during early morning calls and are, of course, much more environmentally friendly that the previous delivery pair.
Inductive charging, Nimbus Boat + Torqeedo, CalCharge, Efficient Drivetrains.
Wireless boost: Researchers from North Carolina State University and Carnegie Mellon University are working on making wireless charging more effective. Their Magnetic Resonance Field Enhancer (MRFE) uses a simple copper loop to augment transmission, making it at least 100% more efficient than transmission via air alone.
Electrified yachts: Nimbus Boats Sweden and German Torqeedo agreed to develop yachts with electric and hybrid drivetrains. They are already working on a hybrid demonstration vessel that will cruise on Lake Starnberg, where the use of combustion engines is strictly limited.
Battery development extended: With Toyota and Bosch, the California CalCharge platform has gained prominent new charter members. Both companies will now join in the development of energy storage technologies. Other new general members include Blue Current, Ensor, EnZinc and ITN Energy.
New drivetrain factory: Efficient Drivetrains held a soft opening of its new 30,000-square-foot facility in Milpitas, California. The facility will be used to manufacture electric and hybrid motors for on and off-road light, medium and heavy duty vehicles.
Bess-Tech, Supercapacitors, Efficient Drivetrains, Fraunhofer IFAM.
Faster charging rates: U.S. startup Bess Technologies has been awarded its first patent in Japan for its Li-ion batteries, said to offer more energy storage capacity and faster charging rates. Bess has also applied for patents in the U.S., Europe, Singapore, Canada and China.
Ion behaviour: Researchers from Cambridge and Toulouse have developed a new method to visualize the behaviour of ions during the charging process of a supercapacitor, using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The technique could be used to improve supercapacitors for i.e. electric vehicles.
Armored hybrids: Efficient Drivetrains and North American Repower will convert six armored trucks operated by Sectran Security into PHEV vehicles that run on electricity and renewable natural gas. With the modernized trucks, Sectran can eliminate engine idling by operating in all-electric mode during stop-and-go operations on urban routes and in hybrid-mode during highway operations.
Fraunhofer IFAM gets more room: Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM recently inaugurated an extension of its research facility in the German city of Bremen. At approximately 6,200 square meters, reserchers will i.e. work on advanced electric powertrains and material science solutions for future batteries, in particular the development of solid-state batteries.
idw-online.de (in German)
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Most clicked link on Thursday was the report on the BMW i5, which is said to become available both as an all-electric and a plug-in hybrid version.
Zinoro, Qoros, Volvo, Efficient Drivetrains, Lamborghini.
New Zinoro EV: The Chinese joint venture by BMW and Brilliance is teasing their upcoming study Next Concept, which will premiere at the Shanghai Auto Show next week. Just like the Zinoro 1 E, this concept will be powered by an electric drivetrain. More details will be released at the trade show.
Qoros SUV with plug: The Chinese brand will present a subcompact SUV concept in Shanghai, which will be equipped with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The car will apparently be able to charge inductively and feature an automated charging arm which automatically connects to specialized chargers.
auto-motor-und-sport.de (charging details in German); tradearabia.com
Volvo becomes even more luxurious: The Swedes will debut their plug-in hybrid XC90 Excellence in Shanghai, a more luxurious variant of the SUV. Instead of seven seats, this version only has four, which feature massage and ventilation functions as well as an increased legroom. The Volvo XC90 Excellence will also be equipped with folding tables and a refrigerator.
Plug-in SUV for Asia: U.S. drivetrain specialist Efficient Drivetrains introduces a plug-in hybrid SUV for Asian markets, with an all-electric range of 50 kilometres. The PHEV is said to be especially affordable, but the exact price has yet to be announced.
No Lamborghini hybrid: CEO Stephan Winklemann denied production plans for the Asterion concept shown in Paris last year. He says that the plug-in hybrid sports car is for technology demonstrations only and will not go into serial production. Too bad.
Chevy Volt, Hyundai, Greenkraft & Efficient Drivetrains, Amlin Aguri.
GM invests in Volt drivetrain plant: The new Chevrolet Volt, which debuts at NAIAS Detroit in January, will receive its new drivetrain from Warren, Michigan. There, General Motors will invest 240 million dollars to build the new electric drive unit for the Volt. The range extender will be a 1.5-liter four-cylinder which is part of an all-new engine family.
freep.com, greencarcongress.com, electriccarsreport.com
New hybrid transmission: Hyundai unveiled a new six-speed automatic transmission for its future hybrid cars. Hyundai says it was able to integrate almost every hybrid component, including the electric motor. The mechanical oil pump has been replaced by an electric one to increase efficiency.
Plug-in gas truck: The California Energy Commission now approved Greenkraft’s and Efficient Drivetrains´ joint application for a grant to develop a compressed natural gas Class-4 truck combined with a plug-in hybrid powertrain (we reported).
Aguri plans ahead: In the second season of the Formula E, teams will be allowed to use their own drivetrains and battery systems (we reported). The Japanese Amlin Aguri is already in the process of developing a year-two powertrain together with partners.
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Most clicked link on Tuesday was EV manufacturer Cenntro Automotive starting production of its electric light commercial utility vehicle called Citelec for the U.S. market at its production site in Nevada.