Virgin Hyperloop transports first passengers
Virgin Hyperloop has completed its first crewed test drive. A Hyperloop capsule with two of the company’s managers on board was transported at over 170 kph through a test tube near Las Vegas. Virgin Hyperloop is aiming for commercial operation of the transport system by 2030.
The hard and fast Australians
When it comes to vast distances, Australia is a country of superlatives. Western Australia’s capital Perth is the world’s most isolated city. Here, electric racing motors specialists HyperPower have developed a superlative motor. The QFM-360-X boasts 1,000 kW or 1,341 horsepower.
13-year-old girl invents more doable Hyperloop
In New York, 13-year-old student Caroline Crouchley has made some waves with her invention of a more sustainable Hyperloop solution. Crouchley’s idea is to build pneumatic tubes next to existing train tracks, where magnetic shuttles would travel connected via a magnetic arm to trains, allowing pods to travel more than twice as fast as a […]
CATL, GKN, Hyperloop, Ford, Domino’s.
Batteries from China at IAA: Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), who recently opened offices in Berlin and Munich, will put its five main products on display at the show in Frankfurt. The battery modules EnerSpeedy, EnerDura, EnerMagic, EnerClimate and EnerLasting bear telling names.
automobil-industrie.vogel.de (in German)
GKN drive for electric and hybrid cars: Based on its Twinster tech, GKN has developed an eAxle equipped with a two-speed powershift transmission and will bring it to the IAA. It can be utilised for both hybrid and electric vehicles, no matter if they got a front-wheel, rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.
TU Munich wins Hyperloop: Elon Musk is seeking the best Hyperloop pod prototype and part two of the contest has just taken place at SpaceX in Los Angeles. Again it was TU Munich’s team WARR that got the fastest capsule. It shot through the test tube with a speed of 324 kph driven by a 50 kW electric motor. The pod weighs only 80 kg and was the smallest in the race against the Swissloop team from ETH Zurich and Paradigm Hyperloop from Newfoundland.
Autonomous pizza delivery: Ford and pizza chain Domino’s will begin delivering pizzas in Michigan in a Ford Fusion Hybrid equipped with self-driving technology. The delivery vehicles initially will be piloted by human drivers but in New Zealand, Domino’s already tested drones to take the box to the doorstep.
Hyperloop, Patents, Loop Energy, SGL Carbon.
Musk building “the entire thing”? Various start-ups working on concepts to realise hyperloops based on Elon Musk’s brainchild could be left empty-handed as it seems that he could develop the high speed transportation system and the according technology on his own, reports Bloomberg referring to a “person close to Musk”. Initially, he did not plan to execute the tech in order to remain focussed on Tesla and SpaceX. Besides, Musk also holds a trademark for “Hyperloop” through his company SpaceX, other companies would not be allowed to use the term.
Promising patents: InsideEVs has successfully dug for further patents targeting electric mobility evolution. This time eye-catching: Rollable solar panels for electric cars and Ford’s idea to enable the stowage of electric bikes in electric cars and to charge both at the same time.
Heavy-duty truck with FC range extender: Canadian company Loop Energy’s fuel cell range extender has been successfully implemented in a heavy-duty terminal tractor of China’s National Heavy-Duty Truck Company (CNHTC). In this case, Loop Energy’s system is combined with an electric battery system to enable peak power and to capture energy derived through regenerative braking.
SGL to take over JV with BMW? SGL Carbon is considering a complete take-over of a joint venture founded with BMW in 2009 and specialised in carbon fibre production. Exclusivity agreements have been expired, according to SGL CEO Jürgen Köhler, who assumes that “BMW does not want to become a manufacturer of carbon fibre”. His assessment derives from the fact that BMW did not make use of carbon fibre anymore in its new 5-series, whereas it still was utilized in its i3, i8 and 7-series.
automobilwoche.de, produktion.de (both in German)
ZF, eJIT, Hyperloop, Hyper Chariot.
ZF integrates electric drive in rear axle: The ‘Vision Zero Vehicle’ is ZF’s take on future mobility. The concept relies on a 150 kW electric axle drive with the entire propulsion system integrated into the rear axle called mSTARS. That construct simplifies electrification of existing platforms.
Electric truck project launched: Porsche Leipzig is testing an all-electric truck in its logistics network. The trial is part of the research project eJIT of Porsche Leipzig, IAV GmbH, Schnellecke Logistics, Volkswagen Sachsen and the Saxony Automotive Supplier Network. They all seek to know more about electric truck use under real work conditions. A second electric powered truck shall be tested by Volkswagen Sachsen from August.
South Korea to enter Hyperloop: 320 km in 30 minutes is what South Korea’s government wants after it signed a contract with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (Hyperloop TT) in order to realise what Elon Musk had in mind when he thought about vacuum tube transportation. The first line shall go live by 2021 to connect Seoul and Busan.
Passenger catapult: Hyper Chariot wants to be 6 x faster than the Hyperloop. Its engineers intend to catapult passengers in car-sized capsules through airless tubes, reaching top speeds around 6,400 kph. Ticket for this futuristic vision shall even be available for competitive prices.
Hyperloop, Future of the Fjords, Ballard, Scania.
Paris – Amsterdam in 30 min? Europe shall see the first Hyperloop by 2021 if plans by Hardt Global Mobility come to pass. The Dutch start-up had won the Hyperloop competition and has since completed a first test track with backing from the Technical University of Delft, Dutch railway company Nederlandse Spoorwegen, and construction company BAM. The real thing shall start within the next 4 years and could reduce travel time between the Dutch and French capital to 30 minutes.
Norwegian dreams: The ‘Future of the Fjords’ is an all-electric ferry destined to move in and out the cliffs from April next year. Two 300 kW motors powers the catamaran currently under construction. Upon completion it will be able to carry 400 passengers at 16 knots.
Ballard convinces China: A new bulk order from Chinese Broad-Ocean has been received in Canada. The contract is worth 18m dollars for Ballard and includes fuel cell systems to electrify buses and trucks. The first part of the order had already been received last February, when the partners agreed on 200 FCVeloCity system. Now, another 400 will follow.
More hydrogen truck news reach us from Scania who scored a (much smaller) contract with Asko from Norway. The grocer now officially ordered four trucks with HyPM-HD90 system, which will be tested on routes over 500 km (we reported).
Volkswagen, Hyperloop, Saarland University, Delta-Q.
VW part of new battery research centre? A new centre for battery research and development will be set up by Fraunhofer IKTS and IFAM together with TU Braunschweig in Germany (we reported). Now, Fraunhofer president Reimund Neugebauer brought a close cooperation with Volkswagen into the game and said “firm commitments” were made albeit not formally yet.
standort38.de (in German)
Hyperloop to replace airplanes? Germany’s biggest airline Lufthansa shows interest in Elon Musk’s brainchild Hyperloop, German Bild am Sonntag has learnt. First conversations with Hyperloop Transport Technologies (HTT) already took place. Allegedly, Lufthansa has calculated which routes the Hyperloop concept of high-speed travel in tubes could potentially replace, namely Berlin-Munich, Berlin-Cologne, Düsseldorf-Munich and Hamburg-Munich.
bild.de (in German)
From space to street: Computer scientists of the Saarland University in Southwest Germany managed to develop a procedure that allows for better planning of solar battery operations in nano satellites orbiting Earth. According to the researchers, this approach can also be applied down here – for example to calculate battery charges for electric cars much more precisely.
Delta-Q to release new charger: Delta-Q intends to present its first lithium-specific battery charger, the ICL1200 at the ProMat in April. The company seeks to addresses various OEMs and thus, their 1200W charger is suitable for use on any electric machine including scooters and low-speed EVs.
CATL, Vigo Motorcycles, Hyperloop.
CATL eyes Europe: Chinese battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology, who reportedly wants to increase production capacities to 50 GWh per year by 2020, is getting ready to conquer Europe. It has bought 22 percent of Finnish company Valmet Automotive, saying that its goal is to supplier European OEMs with battery packs and drivetrains for electric vehicles.
Too good to be true: That’s how British start-up Vigo Motorcycles advertises its new 90 kW strong high-voltage e-bike on its website. It is said to go 640 km on one charge, have a top speed of 290 kph, and go from 0 to 100 kph in 3.2 seconds. All while it costs just 8,000 pounds. That really does sound too good to be true.
Hyperloop update: As part of SpaceX’s Hyperloop Pod Competition, contestant teams got to present their concepts over the weekend. A total of three teams were allowed to test their idea in a one-kilometre-long vacuum tube. The TU Delft emerged as the overall winner, while the TU Munich was able to reach the highest speeds.
Chevy Bolt, Oerlikon Graziano, Mercedes, Hyperloop.
Severe battery aging: Journalist pouring over the Chevy Bolt’s owner’s manual have made a sobering discovery. According to GM, the battery could lose between 10 and 40 (!) percent of its capacity during the eight-year warranty period or first 100,000 miles driven. To compare: Tesla just released its long-time data, showing that the battery will only lose about 5% of its capacity after the first 50,000 miles and that degradation after that slows even further.
New transmissions: Company Oerlikon Graziano has developed a new single speed transmission for electric vehicle designed for a maximum input torque of 270Nm and maximum input speed of 14000rpm. The transmission specialist also unveiled a new hybrid transmission concept, said to offer a 40% improvement in acceleration and reduce CO2 emissions by 25% when compared to traditional technologies.
oerlikon.com (EV transmission), oerlikon.com (hybrid transmission concept)
Mercedes plugs in: Both the next generation A- and B-Class could be offered as plug-in hybrid variant. The vehicles will be based on Mercedes’ new MFA 2 platform, designed to support PHEV drivetrain solutions. Technical details are being kept under wraps, but the system is expected to feature a turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine and a twin-clutch automated transmission.
Fast trains in India: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has officially made the Indian government an offer regarding a pilot project involving its high-speed train. It could cut travel time between Mumbai and Pune from now 3 hours to only 25 minutes. The government has yet to give the green light.
Thrive, Eaton, Green Microcycle, Hyperloop.
Self-sustaining EV concept: Student Patrick Carton from the Royal College of Art has won a design contest with his EV called Thrive. The car features piezoelectric materials that convert rain, wind and sunlight to energy, making the EV never have to stop at a charger again.
Powered by Leafs: A data centre in French Saint-Romain de Colbosc is the first that now features Eaton’s Li-ion energy storage using old batteries from the Nissan Leaf. The solution will ensure that the centre will never be without power, even though it relies on renewable energies. Eaton and Nissan had presented their concept during the COP21 in Paris last year.
E-bike as generator: The Green Microcycle is the first e-bike that can also be used to generate electricity for the home. And while the capacity is not very high, it keeps you fit and saves money for the exercise bike.
Hyperloop from Finland to Sweden? Hyperloop One is planning a connection from Helsinki to Stockholm that would cut travel time between the two capitals to 28 minutes. Based on a feasibility study, the high-speed connection would cost around 19bn euros.
EVERLASTING, Pen Test, battery recycling, Hyperloop.
Everlasting batteries: EVERLASTING stands for EV Enhanced Range, Lifetime and Safety Through INGenious battery management and is the latest Horizon 2020 project. The EU will spend 8.2m euros over four years to finance the development of battery management systems (BMS) designed to optimise thermal management, power density, and durability. The consortium is led by Swiss Lion E-Mobility AG.
globenewswire.com, ec.europa.eu (project)
Hybrid hacked: The Mitsubishi Outlander hybrid’s alarm can be turned off easily, IT security expert Pen Test Partners finds. Hackers could (virtually) enter the car via the on-board w-lan and even drain the battery. Mitsubishi recommended that drivers disable the wi-fi while it tries the findings.
bbc.com, pentestpartners.com (with video)
100% recovery: Finnish scientists managed to recycle crucial metals from battery waste with nearly 100 percent purity. With a so-called liquid-liquid extraction, they recovered lithium at 99.9% purity, cobalt at 99.6%, and nickel at 99.7% thus making the metals suitable for new power packs.
Russia on Hyperloop: The vast country considers to build a Hyperloop-like transport system à la Elon Musk. A first track could connect Moscow and St. Petersburg and Hyperloop One is in talks with the national railway company. Private investor Gordon Atlantic also backs the 13bn dollar project.
Delhi, Hyperloop, battery swapping, Amazon, Go Ultra Low, Proterra.
Delhi welcomes electrification: The Indian capital has reduced VAT on hybrid and electric cars as well as e-rickshaws from 12.5 to 5 percent with immediate effect. Delhi’s government further decided to launch 25 electric buses, which will likely be procured by July.
indiatimes.com (VAT), hindustantimes.com (electric buses)
Hyperloop hype: One of the start-ups hoping to make very high speed trains a reality has issued a global call for applications. Regions, projects, and really anyone is invited to make a case for the first Hyperloop location. Hyperloop One just collected 80m in funding. Germany’s railway company Deutsche Bahn is among the investors.
electrek.co, hyperloop-one.com (Global Challenge)
Battery swapping comeback? BAIC BJEV trials a strategy of replacing batteries rather than just charging them. It sees the idea as particularly useful for electric taxi applications, but also rental EV fleets. A first such swapping station has been erected in Beijing.
Electric delivery: Amazon expanded its electric cargo bike delivery service to Berlin. Prime customers can now receive their orders within one or two hours. The couriers ride pedelecs by Bullit and shall mainly deliver perishable goods in time.
ebike-news.de (in German)
Go Ultra Low Company is a new status awarded by the UK government initiative of the same name. Among the first 11 organisations to be recognised for their commitment to electrify up 5 percent of their fleet by 2020, were Microsoft, the London Fire Brigade, and the Environment Agency.
Though testing: Proterra’s Catalyst electric bus has undergone rigorous testing in the King County Metro Transit fleet. The electric bus was in service 24/7 for 106 days, transporting the equivalent of 97 passengers and driving an average 325 miles a day with stops at the rapid-charger in between.
insideevs.com (with video)
GeoOrbital, Hyperloop, project FEVER, Loop Energy.
Spinning round: The GeoOrbital turns any bicycle into an e-bike by replacing the front wheel. The 500 W in-wheel drive consists of three smaller wheels fixed on arms serving as spokes. Hugging the rim, they drive the wheel forward at the push of a throttle. A crowdfunding campaign raised more than half a million dollars. First kits will be available for 950 dollars this November.
ecowatch.com, digitaltrends.com, gas2.org
Hovering Hyperloop: Start-ups working on Elon Musk’s vision for high speed public transport say they licensed a technology hardly requiring any electricity. The so-called “passive magnetic levitation” levitates by matching unpowered loops of wire in the track with magnets in the train pod.
Mild fever: Controlled Power Technologies, Ricardo, Provector, and Tata Motors’ European Technical Centre have developed a 48-Volt mild hybrid system. The so-called project FEVER (Forty-Eight Volt Electrified Rear-axle) is aimed at compact cars. Innovate UK funds the consortium with 1.8m GBP.
Hydrogen heavy-duty trucks: Loop Energy agreed to collaborate with Hunan CRRC Times Electric Vehicle to develop zero emission power trains for large trucks and the like. The first system will be a combination of CRRC’s electric drives and Loop Energy’s fuel cell technology called eFlow.
Momentum Dynamics, Fraunhofer ILT, Hyperloop, Komatsu.
Better charge: Momentum Dynamics intends to deliver a 200 kW wireless charging system for municipal buses this year. They previously provided 25 and 50 kW systems and drastically increased output to meet demand. Two systems are set to be delivered this year in Maryland and Washington state, USA.
Lightweight tech: Material experts Outokumpu and scientists from the German Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT are working on stainless steel lightweight solutions for electric vehicles. The latest innovation is an EV battery pack that combines various lightweight technologies and new cooling and structural strategies.
Engineers wanted: Hyperloop Technologies plans to triple its number of engineers by the end of next year, from 140 to 420. The company is focused on passenger travel capsules that can travel as fast as 700 mph in pressurized air tunnels. “This is real. This is happening,” said co-founder Brogan BamBrogan.
autoblog.com (with video)
Excavating savings: Komatsu Europe has introduced a new 36-ton hydraulic hybrid excavator. The hybrid saves 20 percent of fuel compared to standard PC360LC-11. Though it sports the same engine as the PC360LC-11, it can be supplied with up to 53 kW of extra electric power from the hybrid system.
Hyperloop, Electric GT World, Tracked Electric Vehicle, Audi.
Hyperloop in Slovakia? Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and the government of Slovakia agreed to look into the feasibility of building the high-speed Hyperloop in the Eastern European country. It could connect the biggest cities there, as well as go as far as Vienna, Austria and Budapest, Hungary, making it a three-country Hyperloop system that transports passengers across borders in 10 minutes or less.
theverge.com, engadget.com, gizmodo.com
Electric GT race series: The Electric GT World series will debut in 2017 and brings ten teams in 20 cars to the track. The teams will compete in Tesla Model S P85+ as base model, but every electric carmaker is welcome. Seven races in Europe, the United States, and Asia are planned.
electricautosport.com, motorsport.com, transportevolved.com
Road range: A Scottish father-daughter team founded Tracked Electric Vehicle (TEV) that looks to charge electric cars via metal strips embedded in motorways. A test track will be constructed in 2017 at costs of 1.2-1.8m dollars per mile – that is less than the cost for traditional highways.
Electric Audi mini-series: These models build on a scale of 1:8 will compete in the Audi Autonomous Driving Cup. Eight student teams will steer their mini electric Q5 with software they wrote themselves.
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Thursday was Norway’s National Transport Plan for 2018 – 2029, which says that all new cars, light utility vehicles and buses have to be electric by 2025.
Accumotive, Swatch, Eco-driving, Hyperloop.
Daimler battery storage: Daimler subsidiary Accumotive announced a new cooperation with Hannover’s utility enercity. Together, they will set up a 15 MW battery storage facility before the year’s end. 3,000 battery modules reserved for existing electric Smarts will be stored and serve as stationery energy storage at the same time. It is the Daimler’s second storage project, following the first in Lünen.
Swatch battery update: The “super battery,” which Swatch says will have 30 percent more capacity, utilises vanadium pentoxide and an unconventional electrolyte. A first production line for prototypes was recently set up and serial batteries for light-electric vehicles can be expected this year.
nzz.ch (in German)
Eco-driving research: Researchers from TU Chemnitz and the University of Southampton studied eco-driving behaviour in hybrid vehicles. They found that green technologies alone are insufficient and have to be backed up by systems that facilitate and not only encourage eco-conscious driving.
greencarcongress.com, sciencedirect.com (guidelines)
Hyperloop pod by MIT: After Space X just asked Aecom to build a test track for Elon Musk’s high speed tube, a team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) won the design competition. It will now build the capsules for the Hyperloop.
Samsung, Kinetic Safar, fuel cell, Hyperloop.
Samsung focuses on batteries: 3bn won (2.5bn dollars) will be invested to expand Samsung’s electric car battery business over the next five years. The company secured the funds by selling its chemical unit. Three bases will be established, including in Xi’an, Ulsan, and Europe.
Electric trike: Together, Indian Kinetic Green Energy and Power Solutions present the Kinetic Safar. Uttar Pradesh ordered 27,000 units to improve public transport. The electric tricycle can carry up to 4 passengers with a speed of 25 kph over 115 miles on its batteries by Exide.
cardekho.com, economictimes.indiatimes.com, business-standard.com
Fuel cell advances: Researchers from universities in Germany, China, and USA have built a highly efficient catalyst for fuel cells that works without noble metals. The scientist used a layer of graphene oxide and then applied a so-called polyoxometalate (POM). This POM serves as catalyst and the group claims efficiency to be even higher than that of a standard platinum catalyst. Meanwhile, teams at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and at the TU Darmstadt have come up with another low-cost catalyst. It is made of iron-nitrogen complexes (FeN4 centres) in the carbon structures that ensure an catalytic effect approaching that of platinum.
jacobs-university.de (graphen oxide), idw-online.de (graphen centres, in German)
Hyperloop realisation: SpaceX asked Aecom to build a testing stretch over 1.6km to test Elon Musk’s highspeed tube rail in California. Construction will begin this spring. Contenders are lined up, as Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) asked to build testing grounds as well.
heise.de (in German), aecom.com
Hyperloop, Urban Rush, Rice University, CMI.
Hyperloop update: The project appears to move forward, as Hyperloop Transportation Technologies signed agreements with Cologne-based Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum and global engineering design firm Aecom. It exchange for their engineering know-how, the latter companies will have the option of purchasing stock options.
In a rush: Together with bike manufacturer Canyon, industry designer Florian Mayer has thought up a design study of an e-bike concept for urban cyclists called ‘Urban Rush.’ Its ‘e-boost technology’ is said to allow for more acceleration at traffic lights, minimizing the difference in speed between bike and cars during the acceleration phase.
Platinum alternative: Researchers at Rice University have improved a cost-effective approach to create metal oxide-induced graphene (MO-LIG). They are using direct laser scribing to embed various typed of metallic nanoparticles in graphene, which could therefore be an alternative to costly platinum in catalysts for i.e. fuel cells.
Rare earth recycling: The U.S. Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute (CMI) has developed a recycling technology for rare earth materials. It is said to be able to extract more than 90 percent of neodymium, dysprosium and praseodymium from permanent magnets. U.S. Rare Earth is the first who will apply the technology.
Nissan, Airbus, Hybrid aircraft propulsion, Hyperloop.
2nd life for Nissan EV batteries: Nissan now partnered with Green Charge Networks to deploy second-life Li-ion vehicle batteries for stationary commercial energy storage internationally. Market entry is set for the last quarter of this year. Prices are not yet know, but the second-life energy storage unit is said to have a cost advantage over traditional units.
greencarcongress.com, electriccarsreport.com, transportevolved.com
E-Fan 2.0 in sight: Airbus presented the prototype of its electric plane at the Paris Air Show. The E-Fan 2.0 ist destined to go into serial production and might spread its wings in service already by 2017.
Hybrid propeller: A new hybrid propulsion system (HPS) for light aircraft has been unveiled at the Paris Air Show. The system can be retrofitted and employed in six modes including generator functionality for charging a battery, but also serves as electric propulsion up in the air.
Enter the Pod competition Elon Musk has set up to further boost its idea of the Hyperloop. A SpaceX challenge is calling on students and engineers to give their ideas of how such a passenger projectile could look like. The best entries will be realised and tested on a short SpaceX test track in June 2016.
spacex.com (competition) via techcrunch.com
– Feedback –
Most clicked link on Tuesday was the Tesla driver that alerts pedestrians with an old-school brass bell that is activated electrically.
Renault, Hyperloop, Schaeffler, Chevy Volt.
Twizy truck: On Twitter, Renault posted a picture of its Twizy featuring a one square metre large cargo area. The six-wheeled Twizy delivery concept was conceived as part of the VELUD (Electric Vehicle for Sustainable Urban Logistics) project and will first be tested in Paris. If it ever makes serial production, remains to be seen.
twitter.com (photo) via autoblog.com
Hyperlooping Texas? Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced he wants to build a test track for the Hyperloop train – most likely in Texas. There, students and companies will be able to test their prototypes that run up to 4,000 mph. Musk is even considering an annual pod racer competition. The deal with Texas is also part of Tesla’s move to the U.S. state to allow Tesla stores.
Schaeffler showed its line-up of engine technologies in Detroit, allowing carmakers to meet 2025 CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) requirements. It also presented a close-to-production vehicle based on a Ford Kuga that already meets the standards due to its mild 48V hybridization.
automotiveworld.com, automobil-industrie.vogel.de (in German)
Prius fighter? The new Volt’s drivetrain has two motor-generators with its total drive power of 111 kW (149 hp). While one motor acts as a 45-kW generator, it can be used as a second motor to provide extra torque. Green Car Reports believes it could be GM’s technological answer to the upcoming new Prius.
Chinese researchers are working on the Super-Maglev – a magnetic train that can travel up to 3,000 kph inside a vacuum tube. So far, researchers have built a 6-meter diameter model of the Chinese Hyperloop, which reaches a dizzying top speed of 48 kph. But hey, Elon Musk only has some manuals!