Automakers lobby against California’s ZEV mandate, Comprehensive study released on fuel cell technology

Automakers opposing ZEV in Washington:  Automakers lobbied Tuesday in Washington against California’s zero emission vehicle model in favor of a single national standard. During testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, John Bozzella, president of the Association of Global Automakers, made the argument that California is favoring electric and fuel cell vehicles over more practical advanced gasoline engines, lighter materials, and other technologies to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. While automakers have supported the ZEV mandate adopted by California and nine other states, automakers are hoping the Trump administration and Congress will soften he standards. ”The ZEV program produces no incremental nationwide GHG emission benefits despite the high burden placed on vehicle manufacturers. Current corporate average fuel economy and GHG emissions standards already specify each manufacturer’s total fleet-wide emissions, and therefore, in a system that averages together all vehicles in a manufacturer’s fleet, the fleet-wide emissions standards act as a cap when combined with an overall compliance fleet strategy,” Bozzella said.

Largest Semi truck order placed:  PepsiCo Inc. has placed the largest order so far for Tesla Semi electric big-rig trucks with 100 of the trucks being reserved. The maker of popular soda brands and snacks such as Doritos chips is taking on goals to reduce fuel costs and fleet emissions, the company said Tuesday. Tesla is joining other vehicle manufacturers in the electric truck segment including Navistar International Corp. and Volkswagen AG’s Truck and Bus with an electric medium duty truck by late 2019; and Daimler AG has delivered the first round of Fuso eCanter electric trucks to customers in New York.

Study looks at fuel cell technology:  Consulting firm E4tech has released The Fuel Cell Industry Review 2017, a comprehensive look at the broad range of fuel cell technologies in global markets. China is playing a leading role in market growth by reducing electric vehicle subsidies and pushing vehicle manufacturers to take light duty and heavy duty fuel cells more seriously. About 2,500 trucks and buses powered by hydrogen were deployed in 2017 compared to almost none in 2016. China faces a real challenge seen in other countries – there are only seven hydrogen fueling stations in the country with range limitations placed on the fuel cell vehicles. About 30% more fuel cell power globally was shipped in 2017 than 2016, and nearly 10,000 more units, according the the study. The study looks at three fuel segments in global markets – portable units, stationary units that provide electricity to corporate customers, and transport that includes passenger vehicles like the Toyota Mirai and heavy-duty vehicles like fuel cell transit buses. Trains and marine markets are also explored in the report, with growth seen in both sectors.

 

Study says China will lead global mobility market, Looking at real range for electrified vehicles

China will lead electrified mobility market:  China will drive the global market forward for mobility services, according to a new study by IHS Markit, Reinventing the Wheel: Mobility and Energy Future. Much of that will come from being by far the largest auto sales market in the world, with the consulting firm forecasting 28 million new vehicles to be sold there next year versus 17.1 million in the second largest global market, the U.S. Didi Chuxing is leading the way in that market for growth in app-based mobility services, as Uber and Lyft have done in the U.S. Electrified vehicles and development of autonomous vehicle technology will also play a part in China and other markets. China had more than 234,000 new energy vehicles (all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) sold from January through September 2017, compared to over 140,000 unites in the U.S. market.

Robotaxis has become the buzzword among automakers and media on shared autonomous mobility services, and Nissan could be taking a leading role in the new and emerging segment. Nissan will launch a field test in Japan next year, expanding its autonomous vehicle program launched a few years ago and preparing for vehicle production by 2022. It will compete with what’s been started by Waymo this year, and by Lyft in Boston, and Renault in France. Nissan will be working with technology development company DeNA, and will operate the test project near the automaker’s headquarters in Yokohama.

Looking at real range in federal fuel economy report:  One of the more interesting parts of the federal report released last week, the 2018 Fuel Economy Guide, focuses on the range rating given by the Environmental Protection Agency. Here are the leaders in battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, along with the three commercial market fuel cel vehicles:

BEVs:
Tesla Model 3 (long range edition): 310 miles
Tesla Model S (AWD – 90D): 294 miles
Chevy Bolt: 238 miles
Tesla Model X (AWD – 75D): 238 miles
BYD e6: 187 miles

PHEVs: (total range from battery and gasoline engine combined)
Toyota Prius Prime: 640 miles
Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid: 630 miles total range
Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid: 610 miles
Ford Fusion Energi Plug-in Hybrid: 610 miles
Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid: 590 miles
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid: 570 miles
Chevy Volt: 420 miles
Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid: 340 miles

Fuel cell vehicle range:
Honda Clarity: 366 miles
Toyota Mirai: 312 miles
Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell: 265 miles

Driving range has been a critical issue for these vehicles, especially BEVs. It’s been less of a concern in other countries where short trips and use of other transportation modes is common. Drivers in the U.S. are more dependent on vehicles with a driving range of 300 or more miles in between fuel station stops or charging sessions.

Fisker Orbit autonomous electric shuttle coming to smart cities, Hyundai Ioniq Electric takes top spot in MPGe rating

Fisker shuttle serving smart cities:  Fisker Inc. will be bringing an electric shuttle to global markets through an alliance with Hakim Unique Group, a Chinese company. The Fisker Orbit will come through the two companies designing, developing, and integrating the Fisker autonomous, electric shuttle into the first project, a smart city implemented by Hakim Unique. Fisker will start delivering the first Orbit shuttles by the end of 2018. It’s built around a shared vision in where public transportation will be going into smart cities of the future. That will come through infrastructure, design, and EV innovation, Fisker said.

NEVS 9-3 in production:  NEVS began production of the NEVS 9-3 electric vehicle at its Tianjin, China facility, on December 5. The company has annual production capacity of 50,000 EVs in the first phase and up to 220,000 in the second phase. NEVS will be developing three generations of EV powertrains in Tianjin and Trollhattan, Sweden; it was founded in 2012 and acquired the main assets of Saab Automobile after its bankruptcy. The second and third generations of the 9-3 are being developed with Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing. The automaker is also working with the Global Energy Interconnection Corp. on a joint venture to provide service and infrastructure for EVs for ride-sharing services. NEVS also announced that it will launch mobility pilot programs in select European cities in 2020.

Ioniq Electric takes top MPGe spot:  The Hyundai Ioniq Electric has taken the top spot for the second year in a row in the 2018 Fuel Economy Guide with its 136 miles per gallon equivalent rating (MPGe). Published annually by the U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency, the guide is based on current model year vehicles. Some vehicles from last year, such as the BMW i3, didn’t make the list this year. Fuel economy information on some vehicles was not available in time to be printed in the guide. All electric vehicles are given an MPGe rating, and plug-in hybrids are ranked by their combined gasoline/electricity rating.

Tesla Semi brings in two new corporate customers, Propel Fuels study analyzes California’s LCFS

New customers for Tesla Semi:  Anheuser-Busch and and Sysco Corp. have been impressed enough with the Tesla’s upcoming Semi trucks to order 40 and 50 of them, respectively. The Budweiser beer maker and global foodservice distribution company will see production start of the all-electric heavy-duty semi-trucks in 2019. For Anheuser-Busch, the Semi ties into the company’s objective of making its supply chain more sustainable, efficient, and innovative; while also improving road safety and lowering the company’s environmental impact. Sysco sees the electric truck tying into its commitment to corporate social responsibility for positive environmental impacts along with reduced fuel and maintenance costs.

Ford building EV in Mexico:  Ford Motor Co. will be moving production of an electric crossover to its plant in Cautitlan, Mexico instead of Flat Rock, Mich., by the summer of 2020. While that won’t go over well with the Trump administration, Ford said it will make way for additional investment of autonomous vehicles in its home state. The electric crossover will be going at least 300 miles per charge, the automaker said. It ties into the automaker’s corporate strategy of takings it vehicle global markets and improving production efficiency. “This allows us to bring this exciting new vehicle to global customers in a more effective way to support our overreaching business goals,” Ford said in an internal memo obtained by Automotive News.

Low carbon fuels in California:  Propel Fuels issued a report yesterday analyzing the impact of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard on alternative fuel consumption and the effect on emissions in the state. While targets are being met for 2020 goals, the study indicates that the current policy model will need to change to hit 2030 targets that will more than double the volume of expected low carbon fuels to five billion gallons. Propel Fuels and study partner ICF see that possible through flex fuel, high-efficiency diesel vehicles, electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Through its network of fueling statins, Propel Fuels offers E85 made from corn and next generation sources such as switchgrass and agricultural waste material. Its stations also offer high-performance renewable diesel.

Lyft raises $1.5 billion, GNA profiled as 25 year anniversary approaches

Newsworthy:  Lyft continues to see a very strong year, now finding that its initial plan to raise $1 billion has gone up to $1.5 billion from a group of investors. Backers include Fidelity Management & Research Company and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. AllianceBernstein, Baillie Gifford, KKR, Janus Henderson Investors, and Rakuten. CapitalG led the billon-dollar round. The ride-hailing firm’s valuation is now at $11.5 billion. Alphabet, the Google parent company, played a key role in bringing in more investors for Lyft during October – after pulling away from financial support for arch-competitor Uber and filing its intellectual property theft lawsuit affecting its Waymo division……………..

A Morgan Stanley analyst expects that Tesla Inc. could lose attention from CEO Elon Musk, who may be devoting more time to his SpaceX intergalactic travel company. Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas wrote in a report Tuesday that we may see more of an alliance between Tesla and SpaceX in the future. “Investors widely expect Elon Musk to, over time, devote increasing amounts of his time and talents to SpaceX, raising the very real question of who could replace him at Tesla,” Jonas wrote. “A combination of efforts between the two firms could address this important issue.” The two companies will play on the alliance during an commercial in January. A SpaceX rocket will carry a Tesla Roadster sports car owned by Musk as payload when it travels toward Mars………….

Gladstein, Neandross & Associates was profiled in a newsletter article this week by California Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition. Along with putting on ACT Expo and other clean transportation events, GNA has played a key role in raising millions of dollars in grant funding for clients during its history. The consulting firm will celebrate its 25 year anniversary next year. The company has effectively supported the use of renewable fuels, and has provided research and analysis for all parts of the clean transportation industry. GNA also does emissions modeling, assists with technical fleet planning, monitors government affairs, and provide communications and media services to clients, CNGVC said.

Ford outlines China strategy, Comments on EPA biofuels decision

Newsworthy:   Ford Motor Co. outlined the next phase of its expansion in China yesterday, with 50 new Ford and Lincoln models going to that market by 2025. There will be at last 15 new electric vehicles under these brands, and the separate Zotye-Ford joint venture will offer a range of affordable all-electric vehicles under a new brand. Sport utility vehicles will be emphasized, with eight new utility vehicles being rolled out under the 50-vehicle launch. Connectivity will play a greater role, with all Ford and Lincoln vehicles in China connected through either embedded modems or plug-in devices by the end of 2019. As for autonomous vehicles, Ford will tap into its board member presence of Chinese company Baidu’s Project Apollo. The Apollo Open Platform will facilitate the development, testing, and deployment of autonomous vehicles, the company said………… Electric bus manufacturer Proterra announced yesterday that Yosemite National Park will add two Proterra Catalyst buses to its fleet. It will be the first U.S. National Park to permanently add zero-emission buses to its shuttle fleet, offering its visitors a modern, ecologically-friendly transportation option, Proterra said. Beginning service in late 2018, the Catalyst buses are expected annually to reduce 887,000 lbs. of greenhouse gas emissions and save approximately $150,500 on maintenance and operating costs for the national park………… Volkswagen AG’s Moia mobility service division yesterday unveiled a six-seater, all-electric minibus that will be deployed in Hamburg during the second half of 2018. The EV will be rolling out globally after the launch, Ole Harms, chief executive of the division, said on Monday at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in Berlin. Harms expects services using Moia minibuses to replace 1 million cars across European and U.S. cities by 2025. It will start with 200 units and will scale up to about 1,000 in the following years; drivers of the electric minibus will be offered by Moia, as well as the service being offered to fleet operators and municipalities, he said.

Next phase of biofuels:  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement on Thursday on the Renewable Fuel Standard volumes brings to an end a long-awaited and embattled regulatory question for biofuel producers and advocates and the oil industry. Here are a few details on the decision:
*  2018 targets require fuel companies to blend 19.29 billion gallons of renewable fuels into the nation’s gasoline and diesel supply, up slightly from the 19.28 billion gallons required for 2017. That breaks down to 15 billion gallons of conventional biofuels like corn-based ethanol, in line with 2017, and 4.29 billion gallons of advanced biofuels, up from 4.28 billion in 2017. For 2019, the agency set a target for biodiesel at 2.1 billion gallons, unchanged from 2018.
*  “Maintaining the renewable fuel standard at current levels ensures stability in the marketplace and follows through with my commitment to … upholding the rule of law,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a press release.
*  “We think this action is bad for U.S. manufacturing and American consumers,” said Chet Thompson, president and CEO of American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers. He said the EPA’s final decision showed it was “bowing the knee to King Corn.”
Biofuels groups such as Renewal Fuels Association praised the decision.
*  National Biodiesel Board and U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa were disappointed to see an increase in biodiesel levels not included in the new rule.
*  Clean Energy Fuels was pleased to see that renewable natural gas was included as an advanced renewable fuel. “Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) upheld its commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard, and particularly renewable natural gas (RNG), thereby giving the market a clear sign of confidence which will result in its continued growth. This action sent a very positive message to those who produce, sell and consume RNG,” said Clean Energy Fuels President and CEO Andrew Littlefair.

VW on making EVs profitable at dealerships, Space travel beyond SpaceX

Newsworthy:  Volkswagen has been in talks with its global dealer network to establish a profitable model for selling and servicing electric vehicles. With the ambitious I.D. lineup and other electric models rolling out over the next decade, VW is looking to follow Tesla and other automakers who’ve created strong networks that can make it work when servicing vehicles that don’t need nearly as much time in a garage, or parts replacement, as internal combustion engine vehicles. The company is simplifying its maintenance with over-the-air software upgrades, and lengthening the service relationship through longer coverage periods built into the sale of the vehicle……………… The BMW Group is bringing more mobility services to China. In partnership with EVCARD, a Shanghai-based electric car-sharing company, has launched its car-sharing service in Chengdu under the co-brand “ReachNow Powered By EVCARD”. The mobility service based in the capital city of Southwest China’s Sichuan province will offer station-based premium electric car-sharing starting with 100 BMW i3s.

Space travel is next:  If you’re spending time in Orlando for vacation or business, take some time to visit the Kennedy Space Center less than an hour away in Cape Canaveral. You can take a bus tour and see historic sites for Gemini and Apollo launches in the 1960s, and get a good look at the future of NASA and its partners that include SpaceX and Boeing.

For SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and others, the future of space travel is going to Mars. A few years ago, the last NASA space shuttle flight safely landed and ended a long-term focus for the federal agency. Now, it’s about researching minerals on Mars and helping commercial partners launch six-month long trips to the planet – where millions of Earth residents have expressed interest in living the rest of their lives.

Green Auto Market is taking a look in its Extended Edition at where these commercial partners are investing time, energy and talent – and lots of dollars – paving the way for space travel, flying cars, fast rail (or tube) systems, and electrified transportation. Bloomberg has conducted a study on companies and leading executives who have been making major investments in space travel with Microsoft’s Bill Gates coming in first, followed by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Google’s Larry Page. Tesla/SpaceX chief Musk is No. 10 on the list.

The new study will take a deeper look at why Virgin founder Richard Branson acquired Hyperloop One and services his Virgin Galactic space travel company will supply to customers. X Prize founder Peter Diamandis is leading the way on mining asteroids for rare metals, and former Blink 182 rock star Tom DeLonge has assembled an impressive list of aeronautics and space travel experts for his To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science. The academy, which launched in October, will explore the “outer edges of science” and technologies including UFOs.

Jeep Wrangler will see plug-in hybrid version, Toyota cars and trucks powered by animal waste

Newsworthy:  Fiat Chrysler Automobile is bringing its second plug-in vehicle to market – the refreshed 2018 Jeep Wrangler will come out with a plug-in hybrid version in 2020. The company hasn’t yet released specs on the variation such as fuel economy and battery-only range. The other FCA plug-in vehicle, the Chrysler Pacifica, comes with a 16 kW hour battery and has been given an 84 mpg combined fuel economy rating. The Wrangler will most likely need its own plug-in hybrid system. FCA will probably carry over technologies from its other vehicles, a typical practice by the automaker to bring economies of scale to its product lineup………….. Journalists were able to take a ride in a self-driving Chevy Bolt in San Francisco this week. Led by General Motors’ Cruise Automation unit, it was the first time the autonomous electric car had been experienced by non-GM employees. The only time one of the GM employees had to take over a ride was after it took too long for test car to wait behind a parked taco truck bringing lunch to construction workers………….. The Honda Clarity took Green Car of the Year at the LA Auto Show yesterday, with other nominees being the Honda Accord, Hyundai Ioniq, Nissan Leaf and Toyota Camry. The Clarity was acknowledged for offering all three green powertrains in one single model – all-electric, plug-in hybrid, or fuel cell vehicle with the automaker’s ability to readily shift production from one technology to another to meet future sales……………. The more costly, long-range version of the Tesla Model 3 has been given a 310-mile range rating by the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s also been given a 131 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (MPGe) city, 120 MPGe highway, and 126 MPGe rating combined. While the entry level version for the Model 3 starts at $35,000, the long-range version starts out pricing at $44,000.

Waste to energy:  The question of where hydrogen is being extracted from – and how clean and economically feasible it is – is always being asked by fleet operators and other parties. Animal waste is much more appealing than natural gas, taking the landfill mass typical to agribusiness states like California and using it for something constructive. During the LA Auto show, Toyota announced that it will using animal waste from the state’s Central Valley to power clean cars and trucks such as the Toyota Mirai and hydrogen-powered semi trucks currently being piloted at the Port of Long Beach. Called the Tri-Gen Project, Toyota hopes that participating in the demonstration will help support moving fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen fueling forward.

“We believe hydrogen technology has the potential to become the powertrain of the future,” said Doug Murtha, a group vice president for strategic planning with Toyota’s North American operations. It will be “a key milestone in Toyota’s larger commitment to clean mobility.”

The Tri-Gen Project will generate 1.2 tons of hydrogen per day. Bringing it to the port ties well in the state’s commitment to support clean air near its ports and freeways, where disadvantaged communities are especially vulnerable to the health problems caused by diesel-powered heavy-duty trucks.