US lawmakers pave way to fund vertiport infrastructure

US lawmakers pave way to fund vertiport infrastructure

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill that aims to provide $25 million in grants over two years to plan and build vertiport infrastructure for advanced air mobility (AAM) and future eVTOL operations.

The Advanced Aviation Infrastructure Modernization (AAIM) Act is a starting point to addressing how vertiports could be paid for in the US. The bill is the result of advocacy efforts led by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), with the support of a broad group of aviation stakeholders.

“We applaud the House of Representatives for passing this important legislation, which will support the future of on-demand aviation,” said Ed Bolen, president and CEO of NBAA, in a press release. “The targeted investments outlined in this legislation will assist in creating new, innovative and sustainable air transportation networks throughout our country that will support hundreds of thousands of green jobs while also ensuring our nation’s global leadership in aviation.”

If signed into law, the bill directs the Secretary of Transportation to administer the grant program, prioritising eligible recipients, such as state and local governments, airport sponsors, transit agencies, port authorities, and metropolitan planning organisations that propose working with AAM entities in their application.

With the passage of the House bill, NBAA said it will work with its coalition partners to advance the legislation in the Senate.

Once the Senate approves, it can go to the president to be signed into law, after which time, an interagency working group will be established within 120 days, as stipulated in the bill.

The task force will also consult with various stakeholders, including aviation operators and manufacturers, airports, labour groups, state, local and tribal officials, consumer groups, and first responders.

Pete Bunce, president and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) said, “The support of Congress will be instrumental in the emergence of AAM and its facilitation of additional transportation options, job creation, economic growth, further environmental sustainability, and advancement in aerospace technology.”

 

Rotterdam green hydrogen trials support maritime net zero transition

Rotterdam green hydrogen trials support maritime net zero transition

The Port of Rotterdam is supporting a trial in which green hydrogen will be produced from wind power at the Sif factory on the Maasvlakte, a man-made extension of Rotterdam’s giant Europort.

Sif, the Dutch fabricator of steel monopiles used as foundations for offshore wind turbines, is working on the AmpHytrite project with renewable energy consultants Pondera, construction and design consultant KCI The Engineers and GE Renewable Energy.

The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on the project to establish the potential of producing green hydrogen at a full-scale offshore windfarm.

Green hydrogen is widely seen as the best option to transition the shipping industry away from fossil fuels.

The AmpHytrite trial is designed around three phases. The first is a feasibility study into offshore offgrid production of green hydrogen. The second involves developing and building a production unit near the Sif factory which will run exclusively on power generated by GE’s Haliade wind turbine and should produce 750 tons of green hydrogen a year. The third phase consists of scaling up the concept and applying it at full scale at a wind farm at sea.

The plans build on the findings of a previous feasibility study and are in line with the new hydrogen infrastructure and other projects planned by the Port of Rotterdam in its mission to achieve sustainability across the maritime industry.

Start-Ups: Are you playing Chess or Poker?

Start-Ups: Are you playing Chess or Poker?

There is an important, intangible presence within start-ups, an energy and enthusiasm that fosters new and exciting ideas. It creates a deep sense of engagement so that they can keep their edge within the market. 

However, we all know that creating start-up business is never easy, and all too often companies lose their passion and spark as they grow. The wrong investment can mean substantial change, not just for their business, but for the investors as well. 

At MOVE: Mobility reimaged Stefan Krause, Chairman and CEO of B-ON took to the stage to give us some great tips of what investors look for in businesses and how to play ‘the game of the start-up’.  

Despite the challenges that we have faced in previous years, a record of 800,000 new businesses were created last year. There are 5.5 million small business enterprises in the UK that account for a huge amount of the UK’s business population. However, while most people could start a business, it’s how you make decisions and execute ideas that really put you in front of the race. 

“When you create a start-up it’s like playing chess and poker at the same time. The chess part is that you make some decisions under certainty, you see the other move (that’s your competitors, that’s the market, that’s regulation) you just have to figure out how you are going to fit into it. 

“You have to be a good player to win on a chess game and then it’s the decisions you make and a higher level of certainty because you saw the move and responded to the move. It doesn’t always mean that you make the right move which is fine,” said Stefan. 

He continues to say, “When you fund a start-up, that’s when the poker starts. You don’t know what the moves are, you don’t know what hand is going to be given to you and when it comes to evaluation discussions you have to hold your cards very close to your chest. You need to have both skills.” 

Investing within a start-up company can offer risk and reward. Founder, investor and sometimes even friends’ money can easily be lost with very little to show for it. In the initial phases of start-ups, Krause highlights the issues with investing in only a growth plan. 

“We are an animal of hope, we are an animal of positive thinking…in 2020 there was suddenly, a fear of missing out. Suddenly, we had all these SPACS and evaluations that couldn’t go faster because someone had set a very high ceiling…,” said Krause 

“The market is reverting to fundamentals. It’s not betting on huge growth plans, it just wants to see companies executing their business plans, selling, producing…my advice is to go back to the fundamentals, create a company, focus on the core, forget the dreams right now and build a good company with a good team that investors can see” 

Start-up investment is imminent within the mobility industry, to see growth and change. The agenda for electrification needs to be moved along and arguably, the way to do this is to invest in new ideas, companies and business that will provide innovative solutions. But how can investors tell which solution is right?  

“It’s how you present yourself. There are people that are passionate about something, and believe in something, and want to do good for the world. The other group is people that are just too focused on money…you can’t hide it when you present to investors. It becomes obvious very very quickly,” said Stefan 

No matter what sort of business you are, we can all agree that within the mobility sector, a collective agreement is made that we need to create cleaner energy, push harder on sustainability and at MOVE we hope that we can provide change and spur the agenda towards a better future forward. 

Stellantis tests in-road inductive charging on Italy’s Arena del Futuro circuit

Stellantis tests in-road inductive charging on Italy’s Arena del Futuro circuit

Stellantis has released outline details of its on-going in-road inductive charging trials at the Arena del Futuro circuit in Chiari, Italy.

The programme, set up to assess the capability of Aleatica’s Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer (DWPT) technology, a system of inductive coils positioned under the asphalt that transfers energy directly to electric vehicles as they travel along the road.

The testing saw a modified Fiat New 500 travelling at typical highway speeds without consuming any of the energy stored in its battery. According to Stellantis the tests suggest the efficiency of the energy flow from the asphalt to the car is comparable to the typical efficiency of fast charging stations. Furthermore, measurements of the magnetic field intensity suggest there is no impact on the vehicle occupants.

Anne-Lise Richard, Stellantis’ Head of Global e-Mobility Business Unit said, “Working with this incredible group of partners, we have proven that inductive recharging technology can power our electrified future. These joint projects are exciting steps as we work to achieve longer battery lifespan, lower range anxiety, greater energy efficiency, smaller battery size, outstanding performance and lower weight and cost.”

At the event in Chiari, Stellantis also displayed a Maserati Grecale Folgore to announce Maserati’s upcoming involvement in the project. Folgore identifies the full electric version of Maserati, which will electrify its entire product range by 2025. The Grecale Folgore will be outfitted and run on the Arena del Futuro circuit to collect data and deploy a detailed performance analysis.

The Arena del Futuro inductive system is powered by direct current (DC), which offers a number of advantages over AC induction, namely: reduced power losses in the energy distribution process; guaranteeing a direct integration with renewable energy sources without the need to convert DC into AC; and using thinner aluminium cables for current distribution, aluminium being easier to source, half the price of copper, and lighter and easier to recycle in a circular economy business model.

DWPT is available in both dynamic and static inductive versions. In addition to applications on roads and motorways, it is also also suitable to support the electrification of transportation vehicles at other infrastructure hubs such as harbours, airports, and parking lots.

 

Siemens backs wireless charging tech and pushes for global standardisation

Siemens backs wireless charging tech and pushes for global standardisation

Siemens has invested $25 million and acquired a minority stake in US wireless charging technology company WiTricity. The companies will primarily work together to drive adoption of global standards for wireless charging of electric passenger and light duty commercial vehicles, to enable interoperability between vehicles and infrastructure. In addition, both parties will collaborate to advance the technical development of wireless charging systems.

Siemens maintains that for autonomous vehicles to fulfill their promise key friction points such as charging will need to be removed. “Wireless power transfer will be the key technology to enable contactless automatic charging with least maintenance requirements and pave the way to an all-electric, fully autonomous mobility future,” it says.

The ultimate goal of the collaboration is to accelerate the development of wireless charging and together with OEMs and infrastructure partners ensure their cost-effective availability worldwide.

Markus Mildner, CEO of Siemens eMobility said, “Combining Siemens’ global footprint and EV charging portfolio with WiTricity’s innovative technology is the first step towards elevating our offering in the wireless charging space. This will speed up deployment of wireless charging technology, support standardisation, and advance public charging infrastructure with interoperable solutions for drivers’ convenience.”

Alex Gruzen, CEO of WiTricity added, “Wireless charging enables a driver to just park and walk away, returning to a charged vehicle. Wireless charging makes EVs more appealing for individual owners and more cost-effective for commercial operators. We are excited to partner with a leader like Siemens to help drive this new world of compelling solutions.”

Siemens will also become a technology license partner, benefitting from WiTricity’s deep know-how and decade-long collaboration with global automotive OEMs to develop proven, field-tested, interoperable wireless charging solutions.

A recent survey of more than 1,000 current and future EV owners interested in purchasing an EV in the next two years indicated that wireless charging was one of the highest-rated add-ons and a more preferred option to other amenities, including park-assist, performance, or premium audio packages.

US Standards to establish minimum requirements for government funded EV chargers

US Standards to establish minimum requirements for government funded EV chargers

The US Transportation Department (USDOT) has proposed minimum standards and requirements for electric vehicle (EV) charging projects funded under a $5 billion government program.

The rules would require government-funded EV charging stations to use DC Fast Chargers and have at least four ports capable of simultaneously charging four EVs and each must be at or above 150 kW. It would also prohibit charging stations from requiring a membership to use them.

Deploying a nationwide network of fast, reliable EV charging stations is critical to the Biden administration’s efforts to prod more Americans to switch to electric vehicles even as efforts to win substantial additional funding for EVs in Congress have stalled.

By 2030, President Joe Biden wants 50% of all new vehicles sold to be electric or plug-in hybrid electric models and 500,000 new EV charging stations.

The standards aim to ensure the government-funded EV charging network “is user-friendly, reliable, and accessible to all Americans, and interoperable between different charging companies, with similar payment systems, pricing information, charging speeds, and more,” USDOT said.

The new proposed rule from the Federal Highway Administration would ensure EV owners could use charging stations nationwide that would have “similar payment systems, pricing information (and) charging speeds.”

“Everybody should be able to find a working charging station when and where they need it – without worrying about paying more or getting worse service because of where they live,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.

The rules would ensure EV stations built nationwide can communicate and operate on the same software platforms. States will need to operate federally funded charging ports for at least five years.

EV chargers would need to be working 97% of the time and set data standards that third-party apps can provide real-time charging status information.

Source: Reuters

Woven City will explore everyday hydrogen cartridge applications

Woven City will explore everyday hydrogen cartridge applications

Toyota and its subsidiary Woven Planet have developed a working prototype portable hydrogen cartridge to transport and supply hydrogen energy to power a broad range of everyday applications including mobility and household uses.

Toyota and Woven Planet will conduct proof of concept trials in various locations, including Woven City, their “human-centered smart city of the future” living lab, currently under construction in Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture, in Japan.

Hydrogen can be used to generate electricity in fuel cell systems or used as a combustion fuel. Provided hydrogen is made using renewable energy sources such as wind, solar or geothermal, CO2 emissions are minimised during the production process.

Today, most hydrogen is generated from fossil fuels and used mainly for industrial purposes such as fertiliser production and petroleum refining. But Toyota expects that in the future hydrogen will be generated with very low carbon emissions and used in a wider variety of applications.

A key challenge is that to use hydrogen as an energy source in our homes and daily life, the technology must meet different safety standards and be adjusted to new environments.

Together with Asian energy company ENEOS Corporation, Toyota’s goal is to help hydrogen become commonplace by making it safe, convenient, and affordable. And by establishing the underlying supply chain, Toyota hopes to facilitate the flow of a larger volume of hydrogen and fuel more applications.

The ultimate goal is to realise a “carbon-neutral society where everyone can access clean energy, first in Japan and then throughout the world.” The real-life experiences at Woven City will help establish how to “best transform hydrogen into a familiar, well-used, and popular form of energy”.