Category Archives: Electric

Globetouch and Verizon Telematics to work with GM for OnStar expansion

Globetouch and Verizon Telematics to work with GM for OnStar expansion

24 July 2017

Globetouch and Verizon Telematics plan to launch upgraded network solutions that will be used by General Motors in connection with the continued global expansion of OnStar’s industry-leading connected vehicle services.

Globetouch will integrate its open platform GControl with OnStar to enable reliable, high-quality connectivity and regulatory compliance for OnStar services. Verizon Telematics will bring scale and network expertise to the solution.

GControl also collects device and user data for real time analytics, and handles critical management functions, handling lifecycle of the SIMs, user profiles and diagnostics. It also brings advanced features that support new use cases, strengthen security and enhance Quality of Service through machine learning, pattern recognition and predictive monitoring.

We are working directly with Verizon Telematics to take the complexity out of carrier and agreement management, enabling Globetouch to focus on building custom solutions that fit the needs of automotive OEMs around the world.

—Riccardo Di Blasio, CEO at Globetouch

Globetouch is a provider of global connectivity services for the connected car and the IoT. By building an ecosystem of operators with a next-generation control center, Globetouch provides car manufacturers and IoT enterprises a single interface to reach a global footprint. Globetouch backers include Verizon Ventures, CK Hutchison Holdings Limited, Digicel and NTT DoCoMo, 263 China, and Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd.

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More customers opt for XL Hybrids system

More customers opt for XL Hybrids system

24 July 2017

XL Hybrids announced a new set of customers are installing its XL3 Hybrid Electric Drive Systems. Fleets benefit from a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions and an up to 25% increase in fuel economy.

New municipalities deploying the XL3 system include the City of Long Beach, Calif., and Dakota County, Minn., while existing customer The City of Boston has also reordered. Columbia University is a new XL Hybrids customer, while existing customers Yale University and Harvard University have reordered hybrid-electric upfits.

Xanterra Parks and Resorts is now using XL3 at Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Rocky Mountain National Park. New commercial fleets ordering from XL Hybrids include Draught Services (a division of The Beer Store) in Canada and Walden Local Meat Co., while existing customer Liberty Utilities has reordered. These customers are deploying XL3 technology on many types of vehicles including Ford Transit cargo and passenger vans, Ford E-Series passenger shuttles, GM cargo vans, and GM 4500 passenger shuttles.

The company says that it has deployed “thousands” of hybrid-electric powertrains to customers in North America. XL Hybrids’ largest customers include Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and FedEx.

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VW electric cars, oldest Prius hybrid, California charging-station plans, diesel Jeep: Today’s Car News

Today, we’ve updated our glossary of green-car terms, profiled the oldest Toyota Prius hybrid in the world, read through a 24-page report on VW’s Electrify America plans for electric-car charging, and covered a future diesel Jeep. All this and more on Green Car Reports.

Over the weekend, we ran down our top green-car stories from last week.

We updated a previous story on where the future electric Mini Cooper is likely to be built.

The world of green cars gets steadily more confusing, with more to keep track of, so at the prompting of a reader, we also updated our glossary of green-car terms from four years ago.

We’ve found what’s clearly the oldest Toyota Prius hybrid in the world: it’s 71 years old, in fact. Confused? We explain.

Staff at the powerful California Air Resources Board recommend approval of VW’s “Electrify America” plan for increasing zero-emission vehicle infrastructure in the state.

Prototypes of the future Jeep Wrangler Diesel are already being tested, despite Fiat Chrysler’s so-far unresolved dispute with the EPA over emissions from its Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel models.

Volkswagen will launch at least five electric cars over the next five years: here’s what we know about them, and where they’re actually headed.

How do electric cars produce maximum torque at zero RPM? We’ve got the video.

Finally, virtual-reality showrooms may change how you shop for cars … maybe.

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Volkswagen’s 5 electric cars start in 2019: what we know so far

As Volkswagen works to look toward the future, following its damaging diesel deceit, electric cars and plug-in vehicles will be front and center in its product publicity.

The German automaker has already hinted at its future electric cars with a handful of concepts, but its first high-volume electric cars won’t arrive until 2019.

What do we know about Volkswagen’s five upcoming electric cars? We break it down below.

DON’T MISS: VW intends to price its ID electric car five-door hatchback aggressively

Above all, the overarching strategy for Volkswagen is less focused on the United States than on China, the world’s largest car market and arguably the one with the most aggressive electric-car plans.

A leaked product roadmap detailing VW’s five electric cars shows an emphasis on the Chinese market, with three of the five confirmed for that country.

Those are the I.D. Cross, I.D. Lounge, and the I.D. AEROe—note Volkswagen has not previewed the Lounge or AEROe yet.

Volkswagen ID Crozz concept, 2017 Shanghai auto show

Volkswagen ID Crozz concept, 2017 Shanghai auto show

Enlarge Photo

Volkswagen’s first I.D. electric-car concept, which simply wears the “I.D.” name, also won’t reach the U.S. market. VW plans to sell the electric Golf-sized hatchback only in Europe, where five-door compact hatches are most popular.

Circling back to the I.D. Lounge and I.D. AEROe, both nameplates have been confirmed for the United States even though they haven’t yet been revealed.

From the photo, the I.D. Lounge may be a larger crossover, while the I.D. AEROe could be a sporty hatchback of sorts.

READ THIS: First high-volume VW electric car must arrive by 2020, CEO says, mostly for China

Volkswagen may eventually add an electric sedan to its I.D. range as well.

But, where does the reborn Microbus stand in all of this? It’s not clear yet.

The product roadmap confirms the I.D. Buzz will find its way to production, but the markets it will be sold in remain “to be determined.”

Volkswagen I.D. Buzz concept, 2017 Detroit auto show

Volkswagen I.D. Buzz concept, 2017 Detroit auto show

Enlarge Photo

It seems more than likely the electric Microbus will make its way to the U.S. since VW has shown multiple conceptual variations of the vehicle over the years.

Should the I.D. Buzz be confirmed for the U.S., that will make for three electric Volkswagens.

But the emphasis remains on China; even though both China and the U.S. may receive three electric cars, the timetable prioritizes foreign markets.

CHECK OUT: VW Group plans 8 plug-in electric cars for China

China and Europe will be graced with VW’s electric vehicles much earlier than the U.S., according to the leaked product roadmap, and VW itself has said its first high-volume electric car must arrive by 2020 with China firmly in mind.

U.S. products arrive much later in the I.D. lineup’s life, with the I.D. Buzz coming in 2022 at the earliest.

The broader scope paints an even greater electrified future for China; VW wants to have eight electric cars on the market by 2025.

Volkswagen I.D. electric car concept, 2016 Paris auto show

Volkswagen I.D. electric car concept, 2016 Paris auto show

Enlarge Photo

These goals won’t be met without a fair share of hurdles, however.

At the moment, battery supplies will not meet every automakers’ ambitious goals and VW believes major investments in new gigafactories will be needed.

It may be fair to say the Volkswagen brand itself will not rely heavily on electric cars in the U.S. in the near future.

However, when looking at Audi’s future plans, Volkswagen Group’s luxury marque may carry the torch as an electric car leader instead.

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Improved BASF polyether polyols reduce emissions in car interiors; average aldehyde emissions reduction of 20%

Improved BASF polyether polyols reduce emissions in car interiors; average aldehyde emissions reduction of 20%

24 July 2017

BASF has improved the process for manufacturing Lupranol (polyether polyol) so that car components which are made of BASF polyurethane systems emit an average of 20% less aldehyde. This allows automotive suppliers, that manufacture acoustic parts, seats and steering wheels or back-foam instrument panels and doors to meet the increasing requirements of car manufacturers and the law for lower VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) emissions in vehicle interiors.

Following the process change at BASF’s Asian production sites at the beginning of 2017, the modification is now being made in Europe and will take place in the US plants during the course of this year. Alongside isocyanate, polyol is the starting product for polyurethane foam systems.

The emissions have been optimized by improving the cleaning and finishing processes of Lupranol in such a way that the mechanical properties of the material remain unchanged during the following foam and processing steps. This means that the currently used Lupranol grades can be exchanged immediately, there is no need for elaborate tests or renewed approvals of the PU systems which are based on these improved polyol grades. BASF markets the PU systems for flexible, semi-rigid and integral foams under the trademarks Elastoflex W, Elastoflex E and Elastofoam I.

Completed parts made of BASF PU systems are tested internally as well as by certified test laboratories like Imat-Uve and Institut Fresenius. The improvement of the emission values varies from part to part; an average reduction of 20% is possible, measured according to commonly accepted chamber test methods such as VDA276 and BMW GS 97014-3.

Governments around the world are continuously demanding lower emissions for vehicle interiors in order to reduce the possible impact of volatile substances on the health of car drivers, but also to lessen the typical new-car smell. The focus is currently on aldehydes such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and propionaldehyde, as well as aromatics from polyurethanes. BASF is working intensively on developing PU systems which allow for car components with lower emissions.

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New low-cost, lightweight magnesium sheet alloy with good formability for automotive applications; 1.5x stronger than aluminum

New low-cost, lightweight magnesium sheet alloy with good formability for automotive applications; 1.5x stronger than aluminum

24 July 2017

A research team at Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) and Nagaoka University of Technology has developed a new high-strength magnesium sheet alloy (Mg–1.1Al–0.3Ca–0.2Mn–0.3Zn) that has excellent room-temperature formability comparable to that of the aluminum sheet metal currently used in body panels of some automobiles.

The magnesium alloy becomes stronger than aluminum alloy after a heat treatment, uses only common metals, and could be a low-cost, lightweight sheet metal for automotive applications. A paper on the work is published in the journal Scripta Materialia.


Lightweight magnesium (Mg) alloys have attracted considerable attention for potential applications in the automotive industries. However, the low strength or poor formability at room temperature (RT) hinders the wider applications of wrought Mg alloy sheets. In general, stretch formability and yield strength are inversely correlated; therefore, it is difficult to obtain both high strength and high formability.

… Recent studies have reported that dilute Mg–Al–Ca–Mn (AXM) system could be industrially viable wrought alloys due to their extraordinary high-speed extrudability and rapid age-hardening response. If this system can be used as sheet alloys as well, then a huge impact on the automotive industries is expected. Therefore, attempts were made by the present authors to develop sheet alloys from the AXM system. During the processing of Mg–1.1Al–0.3Ca–0.2Mn at.% [atomic percentage] alloy, it was found that the addition of a small amount of Zn (0.3 at.%) to the Mg–1.1Al–0.3Ca–0.2Mn alloy substantially improved the stretch formability. Additionally, subsequent short time aging led to a significant increase in the strength of the resultant Zn-containing alloy. The purpose of the present paper is thus to report results of (i) assessments of mechanical properties of the T4 and T6 treated Mg–1.1Al–0.3Ca–0.2Mn alloy sheets, with or without Zn additions, and (ii) characterization of the microstructures and textures of these sheets.

—Bian et al.

Img_201706150
Comparison of newly developed and conventional magnesium alloy sheets after they were subjected to Erichsen tests. Credit: National Institute for Materials Science. Click to enlarge.

Named AXMZ1000, the newly developed alloy has room temperature formability comparable to that of medium strength aluminum alloys that are used in some automobile bodies. In addition, the new alloy is 1.5 to 2.0 times stronger than the aluminum alloy.

The addition of very small amounts of zinc (Zn) and manganese (Mn) led to the formation of fine grain structures; the high strength was accomplished by adding aluminum (Al) and calcium (Ca), which induced the strengthening of the alloy by the formation of atomic clusters.

The newly developed alloy is composed of only common metals, so the material cost is not expensive. It can be rolled into sheets using simple processes and heat treatments commonly used for aluminum alloys.

This study was conducted as a part of the JST Advanced Low Carbon Technology Research
and Development Program (ALCA).

Resources

  • M. Z. Bian, T. T. Sasaki, B. C. Suh, T. Nakata, S. Kamado, K. Hono (2017) “A heat-treatable Mg–Al–Ca–Mn–Zn sheet alloy with good room temperature formability” Scripta Materialia Vol. 138, page 151 doi: 10.1016/j.scriptamat.2017.05.034

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VW electric cars, oldest Prius hybrid, California charging-station plans, diesel Jeep: Today’s Car News

Today, we’ve updated our glossary of green-car terms, profiled the oldest Toyota Prius hybrid in the world, read through a 24-page report on VW’s Electrify America plans for electric-car charging, and covered a future diesel Jeep. All this and more on Green Car Reports.

Over the weekend, we ran down our top green-car stories from last week.

We updated a previous story on where the future electric Mini Cooper is likely to be built.

The world of green cars gets steadily more confusing, with more to keep track of, so at the prompting of a reader, we also updated our glossary of green-car terms from four years ago.

We’ve found what’s clearly the oldest Toyota Prius hybrid in the world: it’s 71 years old, in fact. Confused? We explain.

Staff at the powerful California Air Resources Board recommend approval of VW’s “Electrify America” plan for increasing zero-emission vehicle infrastructure in the state.

Prototypes of the future Jeep Wrangler Diesel are already being tested, despite Fiat Chrysler’s so-far unresolved dispute with the EPA over emissions from its Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel models.

Volkswagen will launch at least five electric cars over the next five years: here’s what we know about them, and where they’re actually headed.

How do electric cars produce maximum torque at zero RPM? We’ve got the video.

Finally, virtual-reality showrooms may how you shop for cars … maybe.

_______________________________________________

Follow GreenCarReports on Facebook and Twitter

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