Skip navigation
1 2 3 Previous Next

Open MCB Community

2,534 posts

McKayCreek.jpgDEARBORN, Michigan, April 28, 2017 (ENS) - As part of their long-standing collaboration Ford Motor Company and Zipcar, the world’s largest provider of campus car sharing, will plant 20,869 trees on Saturday, April 29, as a result of their college Earth Month campaign.


Ford and Zipcar pledged to plant one tree for each student who reserved a Ford Zipcar during Earth Month in the time period April 13-23.


Ford and Zipcar have been working together since 2011 to offer a cost-effective and sustainable transportation solution on college campuses.


The car sharing service is designed to reduce the demand for always-scarce on-campus parking and decrease congestion and heat-trapping carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.


The college Earth Month campaign was open to over 500 college and university campuses with existing Zipcar programs from April 13-23.


The campaign encouraged the use of sustainable transportation on campus by committing to plant one tree for every reservation made in a Ford Zipcar, and an extra tree for students who carpooled and shared a picture using the hashtag #FordZipsters.


The two companies said the extra reward would "further encourage sustainable transportation habits."


Zipcar members can reserve any of the company’s more than 12,000 self-service vehicles across the globe, including a variety of Ford models, by the hour or day, including the cost of gas, maintenance and insurance.


Drivers apply online, reserve once approved, then hit the road; they return the car to the designated parking spot when done.


Ford offers $10 off Zipcar’s annual student membership fee and one dollar off the hourly Ford Zipcar rate for college and university students, adding value for student Zipcar members.


The 20,869 trees earned by the car-sharing Zipsters will be planted through One Tree Planted, a non-profit organization based in Shelburne, Vermont that is on a mission to reforest the planet and provide education, awareness and engagement on the importance of trees.


The trees will be planted in the Ochoco National Forest in the state of Oregon as part of the McKay Creek Floodplain Reconnection Project.

The McKay Creek project will improve spawning habitat for steelhead and redband trout by reconnecting the channel to its historic floodplain.


Replanting of riverside trees and shrubs will follow the instream work of removing berms and adding large woody debris to the creek to increase shade and complexity.


Located in the heart of central Oregon, east of the city of Prineville, the Ochoco National Forest encompasses 850,000 acres (3,440 km2) of rimrock, canyons, dense pine forests, high desert terrain, and the headwaters of the North Fork Crooked River.


A 1993 U.S. Forest Service study estimated that old growth trees in the forest cover roughly 95,000 acres (38,000 hectares).


About 150 wild horses inhabit the Ochoco National Forest, the only wild horse herd in the Pacific Northwest entirely managed by the U.S. Forest Service.


Now that's horsepower of a different kind.


PHOTO: McKay Creek flows through the Ochoco National Forest in central Oregon. (Photo courtesy Deschutes River Conservancy)


Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2015. All rights reserved.

JeepYuntu.jpgSHANGHAI, China, April 27, 2017 (ENS) - The 17th Shanghai Auto Show at the new National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai opened last Friday and runs through April 28, giving Chinese auto enthusiasts a good look at the vehicles that will populate Chinese roads of the future.


Alternating each year with Auto China, held in Beijing, this trade show for automobiles and automotive technology is organized by the China Association of Automobile Manufactures and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.


The government has been investing in encouraging drivers to choose electric and hybrid cars in an effort to fight the choking smog that blankets many Chinese urban areas, especially in the northern part of the country.


China is the largest passenger car market in the world, and it also wants to be at the head of the pack for the trending developments of electric mobility and autonomous driving. These future trends are in the foreground at Auto Shanghai 2017.


Here are a few of the most interesting electric and hybrid vehicles on the Auto Shanghai exhibition floor.


VW I.D. Crozz Concept


Volkswagen says the development stage of its Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) architecture for electric vehicles is now complete with three models.


MEB will underpin the automotive group’s future dedicated electric vehicles, starting with the I.D. concept hatchback that’s coming in 2020.


That's the I.D. Crozz, on view at Shanghai.


The I.D. Buzz electric van and an I.D. SUV are also in the works.


“By 2025, we want to have sales of pure electric vehicles up to one million units a year,” said Herbert Diess, VW’s chairman of the Board. “The I.D. Crozz will play a key role in that. Production will start in 2020.”


The I.D. Crozz generates 302 horsepower with two electric motors – 75 kW at the front axle, and 150 kw at the rear. It runs at a 112 mph top speed and offers a range of 311 miles.


Erivers can juice up with an 80 percent recharge in just 30 minutes with a 150 kW DC charger.


This concept is autonomous with a steering wheel that retracts into the dashboard when switched to I.D. Pilot mode.


VW said in a statement fully automated driving capability "gives us a glimpse of the year 2025."


The I.D. is a standard bearer for the progressive Volkswagen brand strategy called “Think New.” This strategy is based on four central areas of innovation, which are also reflected in the new Volkswagen design approach for electric vehicles:


Smart Sustainability: Volkswagen is advancing the development of innovative high-volume electric cars

Automated Driving: Volkswagen is going to make cars even safer and more comfortable thanks to automated driving

Intuitive Usability: Volkswagen has put its focus on vehicles that are intuitive to operate and feature new display and control concepts;

Connected Community: Volkswagen will interconnect humans, cars and the environment with a Volkswagen user identity in future


Audi e-tron Sportback Concept


Another EV concept using the MEB platform from the VW group is the Audi e-tron Sportback concept, which the company says is intended to demonstrate how electrification can enhance everyday practicality.


Audi is aiming for production of this model in 2019.


Rupert Stadler, chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, explained the company's EV production schedule, saying, “Our Audi e-tron will be starting out in 2018 – the first electric car in its competitive field that is fit for everyday use."


"With a range of over 500 kilometers (310.7 miles) and the special electric driving experience, we will make this sporty SUV the must-have product of the next decade.


"Following close on its heels, in 2019, comes the production version of the Audi e-tron Sportback – an emotional coupé version that is thrillingly identifiable as an electric car at the very first glance,” said Stadler.


The Audi e-tron Sportback concept accelerates from zero to 100 km/h (zero to 60 mph) in 4.5 seconds and produces up to 320 kW of power, boosting up to 370 kW.


For its drive, the e-tron Sportback uses a configuration that Stadler says will also be adopted in future production Audi models with all-electric drive. One electric motor on the front axle and two on the rear power all four wheels, transforming the high-performance coupé into a quattro in typical Audi style.


The Sportback concept combines this performance with cabin comfort and a range of up to 500 kilometers (310 miles).


Expansive touch-sensitive screens below the central display, on the center console and in the door trims supply information and interact with the on-board systems.


Small cameras replace the exterior mirrors for improved air flow and reduced wind noise.


Jeep Yuntu SUV Concept


The Jeep Yuntu concept from Fiat Chrysler is a six-seat plug-in hybrid SUV concept that was revealed at the Shanghai Auto Show last week to signal the future of Jeep in China.


“SUVs are the fastest-growing segment in China and the Jeep Yuntu Concept showcases the potential for the Jeep brand to keep expanding in the country,” said Jeep in a statement.


Jeep said that the Yuntu Concept was created for the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show, "to target the tastes of Chinese customers."


The Yuntu was built in partnership with Guangzhou Automotive Group.


The concept includes futuristic exterior design, flexible interior and a plug-in-hybrid powertrain. Its electric range is about 40 miles (65 km), although details on its powertrain were not provided.


If it does reach production, the Yuntu would use a version of the Chrysler Pacifica hybrid’s powertrain, which consists of a 16 kWh battery pack and a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine."


The Yuntu features biometric starting without a key and gesture control facial recognition software to identify the owner and passengers.


Buick Velite 5


Buick debuted the Velite 5, a named Chevrolet Volt made especially for the Chinese market.


“Equipped with GM’s latest intelligent electric drive system, the Velite 5 offers up to 768 kilometers of range in extended-range mode,” said the automaker. “Its prioritized pure electric driving mode provides 116 kilometers (72 miles) of range, fulfilling consumers’ demand to commute with zero petroleum consumption and zero emissions.”


The same Voltec powertrain in the Chevy Volt - two electric motors, a T-shaped lithium-ion battery mounted low, an electronically variable automatic transmission, and a 1.5-liter I-4 that serves as a range extender, is rated at 53 miles in EV mode and 420 miles with a full tank of gas and a full charge.


So where the 72 mile range rating originates is unclear.


Buick of China says this is its second electrified model after the LaCrosse hybrid electric vehicle which debuted last April.




Chinese electric automaker Nio is best known for its blazingly fast EP9, the world’s fastest electric hypercar, and now Nio is also making an electric vehicle for the non-racing drivers of China.


On display at Auto Shanghai is Nio's ES8 crossover, to be manufactured exclusively for the Chinese market.


Deliveries are set to start in early 2018, at which point it will be built alongside the EP9.


The automaker did not specify any powertrain details, but did say the ES8 has electric motors at the front and rear with electric all-wheel drive and active air suspension.


The SUV's entire body and chassis are made from aluminum to keep the weight low.


Powertrain specs have not been released, but the ES8 has front and rear electric motors for all-wheel drive and an active air suspension.


Drivers can exchange batteries instead of waiting hours for a recharge. The interior is elegant with the dashboard dominated by a large touchscreen, similar to Tesla's.


The ES8 crossover will be built by joint-venture partner Dongfen.


NIO will launch the new vehicle at year’s end, deliveries are expected to begin in 2018. To date, plans are only for release to the Chinese market.


Honda CR-V Hybrid


On view at Auto Shanghai, the 2018 CR-V Hybrid will be a China-only model built by Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., Ltd. It will go on sale later this year.


Instead of the standard CR-V's turbocharged 1.5-liter engine, the CR-V Hybrid uses a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder connected to two electric motors and charges up with lithium-ion batteries.


American Honda confirmed a U.S. version of the CR-V Hybrid in a statement, saying, “We have already announced our intent to electrify core volume models, including light trucks. CR-V will logically be a part of that, and we'll announce timing for the U.S. at a later date.”


Volvo CMA Platform


Volvo’s Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) will be the basis of the company’s first electric vehicle made in China and the platform off of which it will spin many other models.


Volvo says the first model will roll off the line in 2019; this model is set not only for use in China but also for global export.


“The decision to make its first electric car in China highlights the central role China will play in Volvo’s electrified future and underlines China’s growing sophistication as a manufacturing centre for the automotive industry,” the company said in a statement.


The CMA is the underpinning for Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group’s startup brand Lynk & CO's 03 hybrid concept compact sedan.


Revealed at Auto Shanghai, the hybrid 03 joins an 01 crossover, and a plug-in hybrid is planned by Geely, which is now the parent company of Volvo


Apparently, sales will be online and a home delivery service will be available, as will a subscription model similar to smartphone app services.


PHOTO: Jeep Yuntu SUV Concept (Photo courtesy Fiat Chrysler)


Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2015. All rights reserved.

TeslaChargingCircle.jpgPALO ALTO, California, April 25, 2017 (ENS) - As Tesla prepares for its first mass-market vehicle, the Model 3 scheduled for release later this year 2017 with a price of $35,000, and continues to increase its luxury Model S and Model X fleet, the company is making charging an even greater priority.


In 2017, Tesla will be doubling its charging network, expanding existing sites so drivers never wait to charge, and broadening charging locations within city centers.


Tesla started 2017 with over 5,000 Superchargers globally. By the end of this year, Tesla will double that number to total more than 10,000 Superchargers and 15,000 Destination Charging connectors around the world.


In North America, the company plans to increase the number of Superchargers by 150 percent, and in California alone it will add more than 1,000 Superchargers


"It is extremely important to us and our mission that charging is convenient, abundant, and reliable for all owners, current and future," the company said in a statement on Tuesday.


A Supercharger provides up to 170 miles of range in as little as 30 minutes.


Tesla believes the most convenient way to charge is to plug in overnight where Tesla drivers park. Yet to serve the needs of owners who are traveling or those who don’t have access to reliable home charging, the company will continue to aggressively expand its public charging networks.


Tesla is moving at "full speed" on site selection and many sites will soon enter construction to open in advance of the summer travel season.


Toward that goal, Tesla will build larger sites along the busiest travel routes that will accommodate several dozen Teslas Supercharging simultaneously.


In addition, many sites will be built further off the highway to allow local Tesla drivers to charge quickly when needed, with the goal of making charging ubiquitous in urban centers.


Since Tesla first energized the Supercharger network in 2012, the company has built over 5,400 Superchargers with the goal of enabling convenient long distance travel for the more than 200,000 Tesla owners around the world.

In parallel, the company has built a network of more than 9,000 Destination Charging connectors that replicate the convenience of home charging by providing hotels, resorts, and restaurants with Tesla Wall Connectors.


The ongoing expansion of the networks will ensure that Tesla drivers are able to quickly and easily charge their vehicles no matter what, and that a seamless charging experience remains our priority.


Tesla said Tuesday, "Our Supercharger team is constantly at work around the globe constructing new sites. The exact timing of each Supercharger station opening is difficult to predict due to the nature of construction projects. Permits, inspections, weather delays and other circumstances beyond our control all influence the actual opening date. Consequently, stations will occasionally open before or after the date projected in our maps."


Tesla vehicles use an onboard charger to convert alternating current (AC) from a wall charger to direct current (DC) stored in the battery.


Using a Supercharger is easy. You simply pull up, plug in, and in approximately 30 minutes you have enough range to get to your destination or the next station. All new Model S and Model X come standard with Supercharger technology.


Superchargers consist of multiple chargers working in parallel to deliver up to 120 kW of power directly to the battery. As the battery nears to a full charge, the vehicle’s onboard computer gradually reduces the current to the optimum level for topping off cells.


Charging from 10 percent to 80 percent is quick and typically provides ample range to travel between most Superchargers.


Charging from 80 percent to 100 percent doubles the charge time because the car must reduce current to top off cells. Actual charge times may vary.


PHOTO: Tesla Superchargers in Ukiah, California, February 1, 2017 (Photo by Bob Dass)


Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2015. All rights reserved.

Alphabet Inc's Waymo autonomous vehicle group will begin testing a self-driving car program for hundreds of families in Phoenix, Arizona and is buying 500 Chrysler minivans to do so, the companies said on Tuesday.


Waymo unveils a self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivan during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., January 8, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid


Waymo, which along with Google is owned by Alphabet Inc(GOOGL.O), recently has been quietly testing the service for a handful of families, learning what potential customers would want from a ride service, the company said in a blog post.


It urged people to apply to take part in an expanded test, which is the first public trial of Waymo's self-driving cars. The vehicles include human operators from Waymo behind the wheel, in case intervention is required and to take feedback.


The new Waymo test in Arizona is meant to help the company understand what people want out of self-driving cars and see how they use and integrate the service. Testers will get access every day at any time.


Waymo already has with 100 Chrysler Pacifica minivans and is acquiring five times more, partly to be able to support the service.


Sources :

OxboticaGeni.jpgABINGDON, England, UK, April 25, 2017 (ENS) - RACE, the UK's Atomic Energy Authority robotics technology center at Culham Science Centre, will be consolidating its position as a test site for driverless cars as a number of major investments to support this project were announced Monday.


RACE stands for Remote Applications in Challenging Environments. As part of the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), RACE is conducting R&D and commercial activities in the field of robotics and autonomous systems.


The newly funded projects will be key to putting the first driverless cars on public roads in the near future.


Most notable is the DRIVEN consortium led by award-winning driverless car developers Oxbotica.


DRIVEN has received over £8 million in funding from the Government’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles £13 million investment in this area. The funds will go towards developing and operating a fleet of driverless vehicles to operate on public roads, with complete autonomy, within the next two and half years.


The project aims to have these vehicles travel autonomously from London to Oxford, a driving distance of 97.25 kilometres (60.42 miles), as a public demonstration of the viability of this technology. Safety drivers will be on board as a precaution.


RACE will play a key role in the project, enabling testing on the Culham Science Centre site before the autonomous cars venture onto the public roads.


Oxbotica’s main field test activities are conducted from their base in the RACE building, and they make use of the 10 kilometres of roads, junctions, roundabouts, traffic lights and pedestrian crossings within the closed Culham site. These form a test track for autonomous vehicles to test their ability to monitor and react to other vehicles, cyclists and people in realistic circumstances, whatever the weather.


RACE Director Rob Buckingham said, "RACE has been working with Oxbotica for some time now. The DRIVEN team brings together the right combination of interests and enthusiasm to change the conversation in this exciting field from mostly speculation to real world detail. DRIVEN will show how autonomous vehicles will change the world, both for the public and industrial users."


Buckingham says the DRIVEN project is important because it will answer questions around cyber security and insurance as well as the underlying technology.


The DRIVEN consortium is led by Oxbotica Ltd.. The other partners in the project are the Oxford Robotics Institute, insurer XL Catlin, Nominet, Telefonica, the Transport Research Laboratory, UKAEAs RACE facility, Oxfordshire County Council, Transport for London and Westbourne Communications.


This latest funding comes at a time of strong support for the whole robotics and artificial intelligence community.


Cutting edge artificial intelligence and robotics systems that will operate in extreme and hazardous environments will benefit from a £270 million Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund announced in the 2017 Spring Budget.


To launch the UK Government’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles £100 million investment in world class test facilities for autonomous vehicles, a promotional video was released earlier this month.



Much of the video was filmed at RACE. As the video shows, safe and reliable multi-vehicle testing is already happening at Culham on a daily basis.


In the video, Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy says, "The world is on a cusp of a transformation of how we think and experience travel. In the UK we are at the forefront of these changes. Through the Industrial Strategy we are making the UK the 'go to' destination for the development of connected and autonomous vehicle technology."


The UK government expects the private sector to match its £100 million investment. And investors appear to be interested. A survey of over 1,000 UK investors carried out by UK Autodrive members Gowling WLG has revealed widespread support for the country’s autonomous vehicle sector.


In addition, a recent House of Lords Science and Technology Committee report mapped out the route ahead to harness the huge potential of connected and autonomous vehicles.


Buckingham said, "DRIVEN reinforces our aspiration to enable connected and autonomous vehicles to be widely adopted. Starting in Oxfordshire we are already thinking about how autonomous vehicles fit within a modern transport plans for both Oxford and Didcot Garden Town. DRIVEN is a very important step on this journey."


"It’s a privilege to be able to host Autonomous Vehicle testing at Culham," Buckingham said. "We started in a closed area of site and are now regularly seeing vehicles interacting with the 2,000 people who work here. We are demonstrating the safety and utility of autonomous vehicles every day."


UKAEA is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.


PHOTO: The Geni is Oxbotica's development platform vehicle that allows the company to prototype and test new algorithms. It runs Oxbotica's autonomous operating system, Selenium, navigating its way through the environment using a combination of cameras and lasers. (Photo courtesy Oxbotica)


Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2015. All rights reserved.

The Chinese internet giant announced its Apollo project that will see its platform, including vehicle platform, hardware platform, software platform and cloud data services, opened to help others in the industry, particularly car manufacturers, to develop autonomous vehicles.


The initial target is to open the technologies up for vehicles in restricted environments this July.


Baidu said it then plans to share technology for simple urban road conditions before the end of the year, with the ultimate goal of opening its full tech stack — covering fully autonomous driving capabilities on highways and open city roads — by 2020.


This move to open source much of its self-driving tech seems like a move to gain a leg-up on more developed competitors such as Google and Tesla.


Google, which is also working on the Google Car, a self-driving vehicle, had already announced in May that its prototype Car would be hitting the roads this summer near its campus in Mountain View, California. Google has also disclosed that its self-driving cars were involved in about 13 minor mishaps during six years of tests.


Another tech giant, Apple has its electric car, the “Apple Car” put under the radar, with recent news circulating that the tech giant may begin its production of the driver-less cars as early as 2020.


Read more :

ToyotaFuelCellClass8Truck.jpgLOS ANGELES, California, April 24, 2017 (ENS) - Toyota Motor North America is putting a hydrogen fuel cell-powered heavy duty truck to work at the Port of Los Angeles - a truck that moves cargo quietly and quickly, emitting only water vapor into the air.


Announced at an April 19 press conference with Port officials and representatives from California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission, the zero emission truck proof of concept will take part in a feasibility study examining the potential of fuel cell technology in heavy duty applications.


Called Project Portal, the hydrogen fuel cell system designed for heavy duty truck use at the Port of Los Angeles, will be studied starting this summer.


It will contribute to the Port’s Clean Air Action Plan, which has worked to slash harmful emissions from operations at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles since 2005.


"As they did with the Prius and the Mirai, Toyota is taking a leap into the future of technology. By bringing this heavy duty, zero emission hydrogen fuel cell proof of concept truck to the Port, Toyota has planted a flag that we hope many others will follow," said Mary Nichols, who chairs the California Air Resources Board (CARB).


"CARB will be following the progress of this feasibility study with interest, as we look to develop the best mix of regulations and incentives to rapidly expand the market for the cleanest, most efficient big trucks to meet the need for dramatic change in the freight sector," said Nichols.

Project Portal is the next step in Toyota’s effort to broaden the application of zero-emission fuel cell technology that can serve a range of industries. It is a fully functioning heavy duty truck with the power and torque capacity to conduct port drayage operations while emitting nothing but water vapor. Heavy duty vehicles make up a significant percentage of the annual emissions output at the Port of Los Angeles, and the Portal feasibility study may provide another path to further reduce emissions.


"Toyota believes that hydrogen fuel cell technology has tremendous potential to become the powertrain of the future," said Toyota Motor North America Executive Vice President Bob Carter. "From creating one of the world’s first mass market fuel cell vehicles, to introducing fuel cell buses in Japan, Toyota is a leader in expanding the use of versatile and scalable zero-emission technology.


"With Project Portal, we’re proud to help explore the societal benefits of a true zero emission heavy-duty truck platform," Carter said.


The Project Portal platform is designed to provide the target performance required to support port drayage operations.


The truck generates more than 670 horsepower and 1,325 pound feet of torque from two Mirai fuel cell stacks and a 12kWh battery, a relatively small battery to support class 8 load operations.


The concept’s gross combined weight capacity is 80,000 pounds, and its estimated driving range is more than 200 miles per fill, under normal drayage operation, said Carter.


"The Port of Los Angeles is excited to collaborate with Toyota to explore the feasibility of fuel cell technology for port drayage operations," said Tony Gioiello, deputy executive director of Port Development, Port of Los Angeles.


"Our port and industry stakeholders have demonstrated their leadership in reducing pollution from port-related operations," Gioiello said. "We see the potential of Toyota's zero-emission heavy-duty truck technology as another solution to meet the long-term goals of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan."


Project Portal is one part of Toyota’s ongoing commitment to fuel cell technology and the potential of a hydrogen society. It follows on the company’s continued work to expand California’s hydrogen refueling infrastructure, including the recently announced partnership with Shell to increase the number of hydrogen refueling stations in the state.


"Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles play a role in California’s efforts to achieve greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, improve air quality, and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels," said Janea Scott, commissioner, California Energy Commission.

"That’s why the California Energy Commission is investing in the refueling infrastructure needed to support adoption of these vehicles," she said.


Scott said the Commission "applauds Toyota for putting this cutting edge technology to use in a heavy-duty freight proof of concept."


The demonstration is expected to show how fuel cells can help support the heavy-duty sector’s efforts to increase efficiency, transition to zero-emission technologies, and increase competitiveness.


PHOTO: Toyota's new hydrogen fuel cell truck will be hauling freight at the Port of Los Angeles. (Photo courtesy Toyota Motor North America)


Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2015. All rights reserved.

HydrogenFuelingStation.jpgSACRAMENTO, California, April 21, 2017 (ENS) - Executives from three California state agencies Thursday caravaned from the state capital Sacramento to the San Francisco Bay Area and back to demonstrate how easy it is to drive and fuel hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in California.


They were celebrating the state’s global leadership in getting more zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on the road.


"To achieve California's climate change and air quality goals, we are putting our dependence on fossil fuels in the rearview mirror thanks to the availability of clean vehicles and clean fuels," said California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols from her spot in the caravan.


Also making the round-trip drive two days before Earth Day were representatives from the California Energy Commission, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), and other members of the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP). This public-private partnership to promote hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in California counts among its members state agencies, automakers, station operators, and air quality groups.


Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and other ZEVs play an important role in the state’s efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and petroleum dependence, and to improve air quality.


Nichols drives a fuel cell car as her regular means of transportation. "As a fuel cell EV driver, I am excited to hit the road to show off these fast, fun cars. With a full tank of hydrogen from one of the growing number of strategically located stations, I can go anywhere I need to go and as far as I used to on a tank of gas," she said.


"These cars are available now along with financing incentives funded by proceeds from the state's cap-and-trade program,” Nichols said.


The caravan, which included a Honda Clarity Fuel Cell car and a Toyota Mirai, drove from the State Capitol to True Zero hydrogen refueling stations in Hayward and San Jose, with a photo stop at Treasure Island before returning to Sacramento. True Zero, Honda, and Toyota are all CaFCP members.


Additionally, a hydrogen fuel cell electric bus operated by the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District was displayed in Hayward.


California state agencies collaborate on a range of initiatives to help reach the state’s goal of getting 1.5 million ZEVs such as hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on California roads by 2025.


These initiatives include Energy Commission investments in an initial network of 100 public hydrogen stations needed to help make hydrogen fuel cell vehicles a practical option for consumers.


The Energy Commission has funded 48 hydrogen stations, with 27 now open. Another 16 stations are proposed for funding, pending Energy Commission approval.


The public-private effort to build a network on this scale is the first of its kind in the world, placing California is on the cutting edge in the adoption of hydrogen fuel cell electric cars.


"The Energy Commission is committed to investing in a network of conveniently-located refueling stations to support the fuel cell electric cars that are on the road now and to encourage more consumers to consider zero emission options,” said Energy Commissioner Janea Scott.


GO-Biz helps station providers, local government and developers with planning and permitting of new stations.


“California is proof positive that investing in transportation infrastructure and the deployment of zero emission vehicles leads to statewide economic growth,” said Tyson Eckerle, GO-Biz deputy director for zero emission vehicle infrastructure.


“The state has made strategic investments to build new hydrogen fueling stations and as a result, fuel cell vehicle owners can now drive throughout the Bay Area and beyond with the absolute confidence that they will reach their destination and have enough fuel to take the scenic route home,” Eckerle said.


Incentives funded by proceeds from the state’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program are available to help Californians lease fuel cell EVs.


"More hydrogen stations are coming online in the Bay Area, and we are beginning to see the foundations of a growing statewide network," said Bill Elrick, executive director of the California Fuel Cell Partnership. "With each passing year, we will see more stations and cars, realizing our vision for a zero-emission fleet."


“Clean hydrogen powering fuel cell electric vehicles provides huge benefits for all including cleaner air, reduced carbon emissions, the elimination of petroleum dependence and economic growth,” said Joel Ewanick, president and chief executive of True Zero.


“With the support of the state of California, automakers like Honda and Toyota and the True Zero hydrogen fueling infrastructure any uncertainly about this technology is over," Ewanick said. "We have the cars, we have the fuel, we have the fueling infrastructure. Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles are in day-to-day use by drivers and this success can only grow in the years ahead.”


PHOTO: Hydrogen fueling station with 2017 Bay Area H2 Caravan cars, Hayward, California, April 20, 2017 (Photo courtesy California Energy Commission)


Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2015. All rights reserved.

TorontoNissanLeaf.jpgTORONTO, Ontario, Canada April 20, 2017 (ENS) - In celebration of Earth Day on April 22, Scotiabank has announced it is having over 30 electric vehicle charging stations installed at select Scotiabank branches across the province of Ontario.


"We believe every customer has the right to become better off. For those making an effort to create a healthier environment by driving electric vehicles, we are happy to support them by offering charging stations at Scotiabank locations," said Terri Williams, vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility at Scotiabank.


Some of the 2017 electric cars from Chevrolet and Tesla will be coming to the King St. entrance of Scotia Plaza in Toronto on April 20 and 21 so that Torontonians will be able to learn about the latest technology in electric cars ahead of Earth Day.


Scotiabank says it is proud to offer its EcoLiving Auto Loan Program, which provides preferential financing for the purchase of electric, hybrid and clean diesel vehicles.


Scotiabank donates $10 to the Nature Conservancy of Canada for every loan booked through the program. Since the program launched in 2012, it has raised over $100,000 in donations for conservation stewardship in Canada.


The donations support NCC's Conservation Volunteers program, which invites Canadians of all ages to participate in hands-on conservation activities.


The bank is betting that these charging stations will be needed as Canada warms up to electric cars and becomes interested in driverless cars.


Considered a "disruptive" transportation development, the Conference Board of Canada is exploring what driverless cars will mean for the country at its Automated Vehicles 2017 conference on April 19-20, in Toronto.


Keynote speaker on Wednesday, Minister of Transport Marc Garneau said that Canada's transportation sector is undergoing a period of transformative change.


He said connected and automated vehicles are creating new possibilities, such as improvements to safety, efficiency, environmental benefits, expansion of mobility, and the creation of new economic opportunities for jobs and investments in Canada.


The Liberal government of Justin Trudeau is launching a Smart-Cities Challenge to catalyze investment in the Internet of Things including smart roads, smart traffic systems and integrated transportation grids.


Through this investment and others, said Garneau, the Canadian government will focus on accelerating the adoption of zero-emission connected and automated vehicles – vehicles that will be cleaner and safer than today’s cars, and will help reduce the pollution caused by traffic congestion.


Ontario's first automated vehicles began operating on public roads last November in a pilot project involving three cars developed by the University of Waterloo, the Erwin Hymer Group and BlackBerry QNX.


Barrie Kirk, executive director of the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence said then, "Within Canada this is a first and it's a very important first."


At the Conference Board of Canada event Wednesday, in a panel session that included Ryan Lanyon, who chairs the city of Toronto's Automated Vehicles Working Group, speakers wrestled with the idea that despite the future movement to driverless and connected cars, today most Canadians still prefer private vehicle ownership.


Lanyon says he is the first full-time staff member dedicated to automation preparedness in a North American municipality.


“Officially, the City does not have a policy or position on vehicle automation,” Lanyon says. “As staff, we’re in the position of trying to navigate a lot of uncertainty in how automation will impact our services and what demands it will create on the transportation system. Our role right now is to ask better questions.”


Toronto will be doing thorough research between 2017 and 2019 through their working group, which will partner with universities and industry to examine the potential effects of driverless cars and report their findings back to Toronto City Council.


Panelists acknowledged that making shared mobility a viable and desirable model in Canada is still a work in progress.


Recognizing the role of policy at multiple levels of government, and the need for partnerships between the public and private sectors, this session set out the building blocks for an automated, shared and clean mobility system.


They discussed the environmental priorities that have become central to the city planning process - reducing and preventing urban sprawl, calming vehicular traffic by reducing the need to travel by car, and reducing emissions.


Participants said that for automated vehicles to help achieve these policy goals, they need to run cleanly and operate in a shared mobility system, so that private vehicle ownership becomes the exception and not the rule.


PHOTO: An electric Nissan Leaf in Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Photo by WD Wilson)


Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2015. All rights reserved.

What can India’s truckers expect in 2027? Faster, more powerful and more efficient than today. But the self-driving electric truck? That’s many decades away from India’s roads, writes Martin Kahl*.


Few single markets face greater change over the next decade than India, one of the world's fastest-growing economies – that awaits a number of policy implementations sure to change the very structure of this rapidly evolving market.


Already at 1.31 billion, by 2027 India’s population will be the largest in the world, at over 1.4 billion. Growth means urbanisation, and urbanisation requires ‘stuff’. As small villages develop into large, and as people move from rural to urban locations, so demand for ‘stuff’ will increase.


Great news for truck fleets, and the OEMs who supply those stuff-hauling fleets; but the changes to trucking in India over the next decade will be seismic in proportion. Just about the only certainty is that ‘Trucking India’ in 2027 will look very different from its 2017 ancestoro picture how different the two will be, consider how much Trucking India has changed over the last decade. In that period, the market has made serious contenders of BharatBenz, Scania, Volvo and Asia Motor Works (AMW), each posing a considerable threat to the established, dominant domestic players.


Change is already under way: India’s truck industry is now working towards a nationwide rollout of Bharat IV (BS IV), an emissions standard equivalent to Euro IV. The Indian government recently brought forward by several years the rollout of BS VI, leapfrogging BS V. That’s huge – it took Europe a decade to switch from Euro V to VI, yet in India, OEMs are expected to make the grade in just four years. A major challenge for vehicle manufacturers – and a major opportunity for suppliers.


* To read more :


To read also : The truck industry in 2020

ChuChen.jpgKAOHSIUNG, Taiwan, April 19, 2017 (ENS) - To advance sustainable transport globally, for the month of October 2017, Taiwan's Kaohsiung City will experiment with ecomobility by hosting the 3rd EcoMobility World Festival and Congress.


Throughout October, the streets of the city's historic Hamasen neighborhood will be a test area for ecomobile modes of transportation, allowing residents, and visitors from throughout the world, to experience what a sustainable future for urban transport might be like.


Kaohsiung City event organizers say biking and walking will replace the short trips made on conventional modes of transportation and public transport services will be increased and integrated into the neighborhood design.


In February, Kaohsiung City Mayor Chen Chu wrote a letter describing her plans for the event to fellow member cities of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, an international association of local governments that have made a commitment to sustainable development.


With this letter, she invited "all cities and mobility actors to this revolutionary experiment in our city, to share their expertise and work together on making sustainable urban mobility the norm in our cities."


Mayor Chu also serves as chair of the EcoMobility Alliance, a network of 22 cities from around the world created in October 2011 in Changwon, South Korea.


Mayor Chu explained that her city suffers from air pollution due to the current modes of fossil-fuel based transportation. Kaohsiung suffers from traffic congestion and accidents, and the streets are filled with cars and scooters, taking most public space away from residents.


Located in southwestern Taiwan facing the Taiwan Strait, Kaohsiung is by area the largest municipality on the island, stretching from Mt. Jade to Taiping Island. With a population of about 2.77 million, it is the second most populous city after Taipei.


Kaohsiung has grown from a small 17th century trading village into the political, economic, transportation, manufacturing, refining, shipbuilding, and industrial center of southern Taiwan. But that growth has come at a steep price.


"Today, over 90 percent of Kaohsiung residents use private cars or motorized scooters to go about their daily lives, contributing to air and noise pollution, traffic jams and accidents in the city," wrote the mayor to her ICLEI colleagues.


"To reduce these issues resulting from fossil fuel-based private transport, Kaohsiung has already implemented various measures, including the development of a bike-sharing system and different public transport options. Now, we want to take these actions even further," wrote Mayor Chu.


Kaohsiung's bike rental system has 159 stations so far, and 750 kilometres of cycle paths. The city also has multiple public transport systems, including Mass Rapid Transit, high speed rail, the Taiwan Railway, city buses, ferries, solar boats, and light rail.






Kaohsiung is driven by the vision of a livable city, a city where children are safe in the streets, where the air is pure and where all residents can travel easily and safely.


In recent years, Kaohsiung has engaged on a path to transform the city, seeking to make it more livable. Ecomobility is a key catalyst in this transformation project, the mayor explained.


"To demonstrate the transformative potential of an integrated sustainable transport system in Kaohsiung, we will make the Hamasen neighborhood, a frequently visited tourist area, exclusively open to ecomobile transport for the entire month of October," wrote Mayor Chu.


"We want to improve air quality and create safer and more livable streets by increasing people- and environment-friendly transport options," she wrote. "Through the Festival, we aim to demonstrate that ecomobility also supports the development of local economy by increasing access to local businesses."


In parallel with the Festival, Kaohsiung will host the EcoMobility World Congress on October 1-5, focusing on the three themes that will also be woven into the Festival experience: livable, shared and intelligent.


"By implementing shared mobility, cities can increase the mobility options available to their residents," wrote Mayor Chu. "When coupled with intelligent transport solutions, they can ensure easy access to transport-related information by the residents."


"The Congress will showcase examples from cities all around the world so that we all take home ideas on how to transform our urban transport systems," she wrote.


Mayor Chu says the real value of the EcoMobility World Festival lies in the fact that it takes place in a real neighborhood, with real residents. It is a living experiment in transformation, which means the city needs to reach out to its residents for support and creative input.


Photo 1: Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (Photo courtesy EcoMobility Alliance)


Photo 2: Kaohsiung light rail service at Kaisyuan Rueitian Station, 2014 (Photo by billy1125)


Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2015. All rights reserved.

Zunum Aero promises a hybrid-electric airplane for ~50 passengers for regional travels. The Kirkland, Washington–based company aims to make a $100 roundtrip flight between San Jose and Pasadena in California— about 350 miles.

hybrid-electric-airplane-Zunum-Aero-4 2.png

The Zunum website strikes a common wish for anyone who travels by air. Claiming to offer a “Fast, affordable and everywhere” solution, it asks: “What if you could get to places much faster than you can today? What if flying cost a lot less than it does today? If thousands of communities were connected by air service? What if aircraft were quieter, with far lower emissions?”


The hybrid-electric airplane Zunum Aero aims to offer 10 to 50 seats by the early 2020s. Its regional aircraft are intended to reach 700 miles, and up to 1,000 miles of range by 2030. The company wants to address the biggest problems associated with modern-day flying, decreasing door-to-door travel times, reducing operating costs, cutting emissions by 80%, and also cutting community noise 75% with its associated benefits. Those benefits include 40% less travel time on less-trafficked corridors and 40% to 80% cheaper fares.


Looking at the electric flight industry’s main obstacles, the biggest challenges are with fast charging and engines that can operate in the 20,000 to 30,000 feet flight ceiling. The other obvious problem is associated with demand and manufacturing costs, something Zunum Aero hasn’t revealed much about yet. The company says it is now in the build phase of its journey.


As far as its engineering capabilities, Zunum Aero has worked for some time with the Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems, which is an NSF-sponsored research center from the University of Illinois. Also, the company has been working closely with the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) since 2014 and is now incremental to the certification standards for electric aircrafts expected to happen by 2018.


The electric propulsion is here to stay, writes Nicolas Zart on

While the hybrid-electric airplane Zunum Aero might not challenge quickly short-flight air commuters, it could disrupt buses, slow US passenger trains, shared ride and taxi car services.


Read more :

Zunum Aero

TeslaModel3.jpgPALO ALTO, California, April 17, 2017 (ENS) - Before 2020, Tesla is planning to round out its line of electric vehicles with a pickup truck, a semi heavy haul freight mover, a bus and a convertible, in addition to its existing sedans and SUV, the company's CEO Elon Musk indicated on Twitter Thursday.


Musk outlined the Silicon Valley company's future in a series of tweets with announcements of a Tesla heavy-haul freight truck, a Tesla pickup truck and a Tesla convertible, in addition to the final unveiling of Tesla's affordable Model 3 sedan in July.


Stock market analysts estimate the four tweets by Musk led to US$1.2 billion in additional market value for Tesla.


"Tesla Semi truck unveil set for September," tweeted Musk. "Team has done an amazing job. Seriously next level."


In questions responding to that tweet, Musk said a Tesla pickup truck would be coming in 18 to 24 months, and said he envisions the next-generation version of Tesla's first model, the Roadster, as a convertible.


"Next gen Roadster will be convertible," tweeted Musk.


Tesla first gained global attention following its production of the Tesla Roadster, the first electric sports car, in 2008.


The company's second vehicle, the Model S, an electric luxury sedan, debuted in 2012 and is built at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California. The Model S has been the world's best-selling plug-in electric car for the past two years, with global sales at the 150,000 unit mark in November 2016.


As of December 2016, the Model S ranks as the world's all-time second best-selling plug-in after the Nissan Leaf.


The Model S was then followed by the Model X, a crossover SUV; deliveries began on September 29, 2015.


In an impromptu question and answer session on Twitter in March, Musk teased an SUV update, the planned Model Y electric SUV.


Tesla's next vehicle to hit the marketplace is the Model 3. In its only disclosure of how many Model 3 reservations it has collected Tesla said that as of May 15, 2016 it had taken 373,000 reservations for Model 3s.


Tesla's most affordable car yet, starts at only $35,000 before government incentives. With a range of 215 miles per charge, the Model 3 is designed to attain the highest safety ratings in every category, the company says.


In late March Musk clarified what the Model 3 really is.


On March 24 he tweeted, "Am noticing that many people think Model 3 is the 'next version' of a Tesla, like iPhone 2 vs 3. This is not true."


"Model 3 is just a smaller, more affordable version of Model S w less range & power & fewer features. Model S has more advanced technology," tweeted Musk.


The Model 3 vehicle itself will not have any new technology, tweeted Musk; that shows up only on the drawing board and on the assembly line.


"Nothing majorly new that a consumer would notice," tweeted Musk. "Lots of new tech in the design and production process though."


The first Model 3 cars will be rear-wheel drive (RWD), while the all-wheel-drive versions will come at least six months after launch.


"We are minimizing configuration complexity to keep the production ramp on schedule. RWD only for early production, just like Model S," he tweeted.


the delivery estimate for new reservations is mid-2018 or later, depending on country of delivery. Once production begins, Tesla will begin deliveries in North America starting on the West Coast, moving east. As the company ramps up production, it will begin deliveries in Europe, Asia Pacific and right-hand drive markets.


Any new reservations made will be delivered in 2018 or later as production at Tesla increases to 500,000 cars per year.


The performance version of the Model 3 will come no earlier than April 2018.


In a blog post last year about long-term next goals for the company, Musk wrote about plans that included making an electric heavy-duty truck and a "high passenger density urban transport" vehicle, in other words, a bus.


Musk said the truck and the bus are in the "early stages of development" and will likely be ready to be revealed this year.


“We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate,” Musk tweeted late in March.


So, to summarize, by 2020 Tesla plans to offer: the Roadster as a convertible sports car, the Model S luxury sedan, the Model 3 affordable sedan, an SUV, a pickup truck, a semi-truck, and a bus.


Ten years ago Musk wrote his first master plan for Tesla. It basically looked like this:

  • Create a low volume car, which would necessarily be expensive
  • Use that money to develop a medium volume car at a lower price
  • Use that money to create an affordable, high volume car


On July 20, 2016, Musk published his "Master Plan, Part Deux" of which the vehicle section is:

  • Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments
  • Develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning
  • Enable your car to make money for you when you aren't using it


It appears that Musk is geared up to accomplish these goals.


PHOTO: Tesla Model 3 (Photo courtesy Tesla)


Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2015. All rights reserved.

BYDTruck.jpgSAN FRANCISCO, California, April 14, 2017 (ENS) - A pilot project to test electrifying Goodwill’s nationwide truck fleet will begin this month in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Eleven BYD electric delivery trucks will be deployed to serve Goodwill locations in the counties of San Mateo, San Francisco and Marin.


Goodwill Industries provides employment, job training and other community-based programs for people with disabilities, people who lack education or job experience, and others facing challenges to finding employment.


To pay for its programs, Goodwill sells donated goods and other household items in more than 3,000 thrift stores across the United States and on the auction site


The Bay Area Air Quality Management District and its partners: the California Air Resources Board, San Francisco Goodwill, the Center for Transportation and the Environment, and the Chinese automaker BYD Corp., announced the test project last Friday.


"Collecting donated goods to create local jobs and take pressure off our landfills is integral to Goodwill’s mission," said William Rogers, CEO and president of Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin. “This zero-emission fleet of 11 electric trucks will reduce local emissions, improve air quality and demonstrate Goodwill’s commitment to improving the communities we serve."


Goals for the pilot project include providing a national model to electrify Goodwill’s entire truck fleet, increasing market adoption for electric trucks generally, and reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution locally.


“Diesel trucks are the largest source of unhealthy air pollution in the Bay Area," said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the regional agency responsible for protecting air quality in the nine-county Bay Area.


“Electric trucks reduce unhealthy diesel exhaust from our streets and neighborhoods providing the region with air quality benefits and greenhouse gas reductions," Broadbent said.


This $4.4 million project is funded through the State of California’s climate change-fighting cap-and-trade program, and includes matching funds from the Air District and an in-kind match from San Francisco Goodwill.


The project is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


“The future will be electric, but for Goodwill and the Bay Area it's here today," said California Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols.


“These electric 100 percent zero-emission trucks are built in California, and will demonstrate on a daily basis how smart investments of cap-and-trade proceeds are improving air quality – and the quality of life – throughout the state, including right here in Bay Area communities most affected by air pollution," Nichols said.


Electric delivery trucks offer numerous environmental and operational benefits over conventional diesel vehicles. The cost to charge an electric vehicle is a fraction of the cost of filling up with diesel fuel.


Maintenance is 50 percent less. An electric truck also has no tailpipe emissions, which provides immediate health benefits both for residents where the trucks operate, and for the drivers who use them on a daily basis, Nichols pointed out.


“This deployment with Goodwill for BYD state of the art battery electric trucks will show the skeptics that zero emission technology is reliable and ready for wide scale use in medium and heavy-duty trucking applications," said Stella Li, president of BYD Motors.


The Goodwill electric delivery truck project is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment, particularly in disadvantaged communities.


The cap-and-trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution.


California Climate Investment projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture and recycling. At least 35 percent of these investments are made in disadvantaged and low-income communities.


For more information, visit


PHOTO: BYD electric truck, made in California (Photo courtesy BYD)


Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2015. All rights reserved.

Tokyo-based Renesas Electronics announced Monday that it is launching a new open platform for advanced driving assistance (ADAS) and autonomous driving systems.

veh aut.jpeg

                                                                                               Illustration: iStockphoto


Dubbed Renesas autonomy, the platform will employ ADAS and autonomous driving technologies being developed by Renesas and a number of partners, including AutonomousStuff, Cogent Embedded, Polysync, eTrans, and the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. In addition, the platform is using technologies produced by the R-Car Consortium, that Renesas established in 2010. The Consortium now has 195 entities, including hardware manufacturers, software companies, and research institutes as members, and include NEC, Hitachi and QNX Software Systems.


These alliances have produced, among other things, Renesas’ Lincoln (model MKZ) demonstration car for autonomous driving, which was showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.


Renesas is emphasizing its autonomy platform as open, given that customers can choose where to start ADAS and autonomous driving development based either in part on their own differentiating technologies, or on the technologies provided by the Renesas autonomy platform and R-Car Consortium.


Read more :

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: