All-new Leaf reveal: A Nissan executive says that the next-generation Leaf will be unveiled on Sept. 6 in Tokyo. Pierril Pouret, Senior VP in Europe, confirmed the date and that the 2018 Leaf be an all-new offering. “This will be a brand new model, designed from a blank sheet, that will make sure we are still in the front,” he said. The company put out a teaser photo yesterday of the new headlights and announced that more will be revealed this summer. The automaker said that the Leaf is the world’s best-selling electric vehicle with more than 260,000 on the road globally.
Qualcomm and Mercedes bringing wireless charging forward: Qualcomm is getting ready to bring wireless electric vehicle charging (WEVC) to market in a big way, starting next year with Daimler. Mercedes-Benz S550e plug-in hybrid drivers can park over a charging pad where charging begins automatically once the plug-in hybrid is close enough to the charging platform. It’s meant to take away the problem of plug-in vehicle owners forgetting to charge. The Qualcomm Halo division has designed WEVC units that use resonant magnetic induction to transfer energy. The WEVC system will be manufactured by an automotive electronics supplier which has licensed the technology Qualcomm Halo. Qualcomm worked with Mercedes on the FIA Formula E. Besides running the Qualcomm Safety Car with wireless charging, the company has worked with the Mercedes factory Formula One team, Mercedes AMG Petronas.
Uber gets into trucking: Uber announced yesterday that it’s bringing its role as a third-party broker matching customers to drivers over the freight hauling business. Uber Freight is now available to large trucking firms and smaller independent operators nationwide; a test version had been run in Texas since September. It will be separate from its Otto driverless truck business, which has been at the center of a lawsuit by Google’s Waymo against an Uber employee who’s been accused of stealing its self-driving car technology.
Solar energy storage: Mercedes-Benz Energy and Vivint Solar will bring the Mercedes-Benz customizable home energy storage system to the U.S., starting in California. It will offer cost savings to homeowners on energy bills, backup energy during blackouts, and clean energy for those driving electric cars. Vivint Solar is one of the largest solar providers in the U.S and will bring its experience installing solar at more than 100,000 homes across the country.
RNG academic research center: The University of California, Riverside and Southern California Gas Co. this week announced the establishment of a new Center for Renewable Natural Gas. The Center is the first academic establishment in the U.S. dedicated to the study and applied research of renewable gas technologies. It was funded in part by SoCalGas with a matching donation from the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the National Center for Sustainable Transportation. It’s part of UC Riverside’s Center for Environmental Research & Technology (CE-CERT). “Renewable gas can play a key role in reducing greenhouse gases and meeting California’s renewable energy goals,” said Lisa Alexander, vice president of customer solutions and communications for SoCalGas. “In California, the agriculture and waste industries produce a great deal of methane that could – and should – be used as renewable gas to heat homes, and fuel power plants and near-zero-emissions trucks.”