PolReigo signs framework agreements for 200 electric trains

PolReigo signs framework agreements for 200 electric trains

Polregio has signed framework agreements with four rolling stock manufacturers for the supply of up to 200 electric trains. 

The new trains will be ordered in two versions: one will be a shorter 2- car train that will have a maximum of 60 pcs and 130 seats, while the other will be a longer 3- car train with a maximum 140 pcs with a minimum of 210 seats. 

The company aims to buy a total of up to 200 new electric multiple units for over PLN 7 billion and the finance will come from EU grants and loans, other sources, commercial debt instruments and the carrier’s own funds according to the release. 

The trains will feature air conditioning, wireless internet access and a dynamic passenger information system.  

Artur Martyniuk, President of the Management Board of Polregio SA said: “The signing of framework agreements with rolling stock manufacturers begins a new stage of development in the history of Polregio and, at the same time, the regional railway in Poland. 200 new regional trains mean a huge qualitative leap and a significant improvement in travel comfort for millions of Poles, especially for residents of smaller towns. Despite such a large order, we do not buy off-the-shelf vehicles, but trains adapted to serve regional traffic. This is the result of extensive market consultations with producers for the benefit of both parties. Polregio will receive trains adapted to serve regional traffic, and producers will have secured production capacity for the coming years. The total value of the order is over PLN 7 billion and it will be Polregio’s measurable contribution to the development of the national economy.  

“Our order means work for thousands of people, not only among the employees of rolling stock manufacturers, but also their subcontractors. In addition, the framework agreements concluded today will shorten the total period of formalities by at least a year compared to a classic tender. This is the largest and most time-efficient rolling stock purchase process in the history of Polish railways. We are ready to take part in CEUPT competitions and to quickly announce electronic auctions immediately after granting funding. The auctions will be conducted parallel to the formalities related to the financing of the rolling stock, which will significantly shorten the order execution time.” 

PolRegio has already carried out extensive market consultations, held tenders and signed framework agreements with manufacturers in accordance with the requirements of the EU Transport Project Centre.  

As part of the signed framework agreements, electronic auctions will be held. The first of the new electric trains is expected to be delivered in 2025, with all deliveries scheduled to be completed by July 2026.

Picture and press release: PolRegio

Siemens enters partnership with Skyway

Siemens enters partnership with Skyway

Siemens and Skyway have announced a strategic partnership to determine the electrical and digital infrastructure needed to support vertiport operations.  

The collaboration will see both companies researching energy demands of vertiports and developing sustainable electrical supply, standard charging processes, and a “system of systems” to support aircraft operations.  

The company has stated that the main objective of the collaboration effort is to develop vertiports. This will include researching, developing, planning, and being part of the construction and operation of them, with each company bringing its own expertise to the table.  

“It is exciting for Siemens to contribute to the evolution of the Urban Air Mobility Industry,” said John Kasuda, Head of Airports at Siemens Smart Infrastructure North America. “The development and efficient operations of vertiports will require innovative solutions to meet the expected demands of fast aircraft turnaround times and a network of varying landing facilities.” 

Skyway will contribute its vast knowledge of airspace mission planning and management, air traffic navigation, and unmanned aircraft operations, and Siemens has infrastructure expertise in electrification, vehicle charging, and facility operations, stated the release. 

The two companies will work together to design and engineer universal eVTOL charging process by evaluating the charging, power, and software requirements to perfect operations.  

“Sustainable energy solutions will be the foundation and the necessity for adoption of Urban Air Mobility with the electrification of eVTOL aircraft,” said Clifford Cruz, Skyway CEO. “Combining our companies’ resources and industry foresight can influence vertiport construction efforts and general UAM solutions on an industry-wide scale while setting a new precedent for modern transportation.” 

As the aviation industry grows, the need for sustainable innovation within this field is vital. The work being down will bring a new aspect to the mobility market and will positively impact communities worldwide. 

Press release and picture: Siemens

Stellantis to build electric aircraft with Archer

Stellantis to build electric aircraft with Archer

Stellantis and Archer Aviation have announced that they are to embark on a joint venture to manufacture Archer’s flagship electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, Midnight. This will significantly expand their already existing partnership. 

The release stated that Stellantis will work with Archer to stand up Archer’s recently announced manufacturing facility in Covington, Georgia at which the companies plan to begin manufacturing the Midnight aircraft in 2024. 

The aircraft has been designed to be “safe, sustainable, quiet and, with its expected payload of over 1,000 pounds, can carry four passengers plus a pilot. Midnight has a range of 100 miles which means it is ideal for back-to-back short distance trips of around 20 miles, with a charging time of around 10 minutes. 

“We’ve been working closely with Archer for the past two years, and I am continually impressed by their ingenuity and unwavering commitment to deliver,” said Carlos Tavares, Stellantis CEO. “Deepening our partnership with Archer as a strategic investor with plans for growing our shareholding demonstrates how Stellantis is pushing the boundaries to provide sustainable freedom of mobility, from the road to the sky. Supporting Archer with our manufacturing expertise is another example of how Stellantis will lead the way the world moves.” 

The partnership will utilise Archer’s world-class team of eVTOL, electric powertrain and certification experts while Stellantis will contribute advanced manufacturing technology and expertise, experienced personnel and capital. 

“Stellantis’ continued recognition of Archer’s progress toward commercialization, and today’s commitment of significant resources to build the Midnight aircraft with us, places Archer in a strong position to be first to market,” said Adam Goldstein, founder and CEO of Archer. “Our two companies are taking these important steps together to realize a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine urban transportation.” 

The two companies have been in a strategic partnership since 2020. Stellantis has said that as a further sign of its commitment it will provide up to $150 million in equity capital for potential draw by Archer at its discretion in 2023 and 2024, subject to achievement of certain business milestones which Archer expects to occur in 2023. 

Amazon Web Services, Meta, Microsoft and TomTom partner to create the Overture Maps Foundation

Amazon Web Services, Meta, Microsoft and TomTom partner to create the Overture Maps Foundation

Amazon Web Services, Meta, Microsoft and TomTom have come together as founding members to form the Overture Maps Foundation. This is an open-data project that aims to build “reliable, easy-to-use and interoperable open map data”. 

The new project is being established under the Linux Foundation and aims to define a new standard for mapmaking. This is a step towards TomTom’s goal of being the smartest map on the planet. 

Overture’s mission is to enable current and next-generation map products by creating reliable, easy-to-use, and interoperable open map data. This interoperable map is the basis for extensibility, enabling companies to contribute their own data.  

Members will combine resources to build map data that is complete, accurate, and refreshed as the physical world changes. Map data will be open and extensible by all under an open data license. This will drive innovation by enabling a network of communities that create services on top of Overture data.  

“Mapping the physical environment and every community in the world, even as they grow and change, is a massively complex challenge that no one organization can manage. Industry needs to come together to do this for the benefit of all,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director for the Linux Foundation. “We are excited to facilitate this open collaboration among leading technology companies to develop high quality, open map data that will enable untold innovations for the benefit of people, companies, and communities.”  

In the company’s press release, they highlighted that Overture would deliver collaborative map building, global entity reference system, quality assurance processes and structured data schema.  

The contributions to Overture Maps Foundation will address concerns highlighted by developers of delivering map services. The company has said it will complement existing open geospatial data to support best-in-class map services. 

“Map data plays an increasingly important role both internally and for our customers across AWS. However, maintaining accurate and comprehensive map data is cost prohibitive and complex, which can put it out of reach for many customers and stifle innovation,” said Michael Kopenec, General Manager for AWS Geospatial. “Through Overture, we are facilitating greater cooperation across the industry to make comprehensive, high-quality map data available to more end users. This will allow everyone to take advantage of the same underlying data to power a wide range of established and emerging mapping use cases across industries.” 

Overture says that it expects to release its first datasets in the first half of 2023. This release will initially include basic layers including buildings, road, and administrative information. 

“Immersive experiences, which understand and blend into your physical environment, are critical to the embodied internet of the future,” said Jan Erik Solem, Engineering Director, Maps at Meta. “By delivering interoperable open map data, Overture provides the foundation for an open metaverse built by creators, developers, and businesses alike.” 

Overture plans to support next-generation map products by steadily improving the coverage, resolution and accuracy of existing data. The company also plans to introduce new layers such as places, routing or 3D building data. 

Press release: Linux Foundation

Picture: TomTom

Zipline partners with Government of Rwanda to serve country with instant logistics

Zipline partners with Government of Rwanda to serve country with instant logistics

Zipline has announced a new partnership with the Government of Rwanda with the aim to complete nearly 2 million instant deliveries and fly more than 200 million autonomous kilometers in Rwanda by 2029.  

The press release states that under the new partnership, Rwanda will triple its delivery volume by adding new delivery sites in rural and urban locations throughout the country and opening up Zipline’s service to other government entities.  

In doing so, Rwanda is bringing innovative and environmentally friendly logistics and delivery to the country, and it will be the first country in the world with the ability to make autonomous instant deliveries to its entire population.  

The new partnership expands on an already existing foundation to support the country’s financial, e-commerce and tourism industries. In fact, any agency within the government, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, the Rwanda Development Board, the Rwanda Medical Supply, and the National Child Development Agency, can use Zipline’s instant logistics and delivery system. 

“With this new agreement, we will be incorporating Zipline into many aspects of our national operations from providing a reliable healthcare supply chain, to addressing malnutrition, to creating an unforgettable eco-tourism experience. Rwanda is an innovation hub and we’re thrilled to be the first country in the world to launch a national drone delivery service,” said Clare Akamanzi, Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board. 

Zipline already delivers 75% of the country’s blood supply outside and Kigali. As a result of Zipline’s instant delivery network, more than 400 hospitals and clinics get blood, medication and the supplies they need within minutes of ordering, giving them the ability to treat both everyday medical conditions and emergencies, says the company.  

“Instant logistics has saved thousands of lives and is solving some of the world’s most important problems – hunger and malnutrition, road congestion and environmental pollution, and lack of access to healthcare,” said Daniel Marfo, Senior Vice President and Head of Zipline’s Africa business and operations. “We are honored to expand our relationship with our first customer to support additional sectors of government and create more impact together.” 

The company has stated that, this year alone, the Ministry of Agriculture delivered more than 500,000 doses of animal health vaccines and more than 8,000 units of swine semen to vets and farmers, using Zipline.  

Zipline currently operates on three continents and completes an instant delivery on behalf of businesses and governments every two minutes. To date, Zipline has delivered more than 450,000 packages, more than 4.5 million products, and flown more than 30 million autonomous miles.

Press release: Zipline

Silicon Labs partners with IIITH Smart CityLiving Lab to launch Wi-SUN

Silicon Labs partners with IIITH Smart CityLiving Lab to launch Wi-SUN

IIITH Smart City Living Lab, an initiative of the Union ministry of electronics and IT, National Cities Mission and the Telangana government, has partnered with wireless technology firm Silicon Labs to launch a campus-wide Wi-SUN (Wireless Smart Utility Network). This will aim to enable research and solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities. 

Wi-SUN is leading IPv6 sub-GHz mesh technology for smart city and smart utility applications according to Silicon Labs. It is an open-standard protocol enabling interoperable solutions through open-source software with multi-layer security.  

Wi-SUN will enable utilities, municipalities, and other enterprises to deploy long-range, low-power wireless mesh networks connecting thousands of IoT nodes. 

Additionally, the Wi- SUN network will add to the existing modes of sensor communications including Wi-Fi. There is no need for any pricey communications infrastructure and allows sensors to easily connect to the cloud said IIITH.

The project aims to convert all 100 streetlights over campus to Wi-SUN smart streetlights, to build a network which allows other sensors to utilise these lights as router nodes to send sensor data. 

Applications will be able to connect on a technology architecture designed to scale across a wide range of IoT applications such as: smart meters, streetlights, parking, weather monitoring, and waste management to coverage onto one IoT network, according to the company. 

The new Wi-SUN alliance is said to be ‘responsible for the development of the standard and is a global ecosystem of member companies seeking to accelerate the implementation of Field Area Networks and IoT.’ 

Pedestrian, bike and transit projects in D.C. area get federal funding boost

Pedestrian, bike and transit projects in D.C. area get federal funding boost

A proposed bicycle and pedestrian crossing that would create a walkable connection from Northern Virginia’s growing Crystal City neighborhood to the District’s Southwest Waterfront area is getting a $20 million federal grant. 

In Southeast Washington, a long-planned 3.8-mile trail off South Capitol Street is getting $10 million, just under half the project’s budget. Across the Maryland line, Prince George’s County is securing $20.5 million to enhance bus connections, add sidewalks and bike lanes, and improve access to the New Carrollton station. 

The projects are among five in the greater Washington region receiving nearly $60 million in federal funding under the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program. 

“We are proud to support so many outstanding infrastructure projects in communities large and small, modernising America’s transportation systems to make them safer, more affordable, more accessible, and more sustainable,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg 

The project, in the early stage of design, will connect Long Bridge Park in Arlington and East Potomac Park in the District. Recently unveiled concepts show a bridge with a deck about 14-feet wide, aligned about 25 feet north of the proposed new Long Bridge. 

Once built, the bridge will create a “safe, direct, and a more pleasant experience,” said Michael McLaughlin, the rail authority’s chief operating officer. 

Work on the trail is expected to begin next year. The remaining funding will come from a mix of federal and local funding sources, city officials said. 

BRP pushes forward with electrification plan by introducing all-electric Can-Am motorcycles and all-new electric Sea-Doo Hydrofoil

BRP pushes forward with electrification plan by introducing all-electric Can-Am motorcycles and all-new electric Sea-Doo Hydrofoil

Picture: BRP

BRP has announced that in addition to electrifying its existing product, it is aiming to seize the opportunity to enter new markets with game-changing electric products. 

BRP has unveiled the first two models of its Can-Am all-electric motorcycle lineup, the Can-Am Origin and Can-Am Pulse. Building on its already existing motorcyle legacy, BRP is opening the door to a new generation of riders and electric vehicle enthusiasts.  

Additionally, BRP is announcing a completely new electric hydrofoil board bearing the Sea-Doo signature: the Sea-Doo Rise. All of these products are said to be available in mid-2024. 

“Today, our story of innovation reaches new heights with the reveal of market-shaping electric products that will enhance consumer experience on the road and on the water, ” said José Boisjoli, President and CEO of BRP. 

“Half a century ago, Can-Am roared to victory on the track and the trail, and today, a new legacy begins. With the Can-Am Origin and Can-Am Pulse, the first two models of our electric 2-wheel family, we are gearing up to reclaim our motorcycle heritage by crafting thrilling riding experiences for a whole new generation.” 

The Can-Am Origin is a tribute to Can-Am’s Track n’ Trail heritage. This dual-purpose model is designed to bring new exhilaration to both the street and the trail for a more modern multi-terrain experience.  

The Can-Am Pulse is a balanced and agile motorcycle designed to immerse riders in the energy of the city and transform their daily commute into an electric joyride. Both models feature stunning, modern design, built to showcase state-of-the art technology, like the high-performance LED headlamp, a unique visual signature. 

While both have their own unique design and features that can benefit users in many ways, however, they both are powered by the new Rotax E-POWER technology. 

The Sea-Doo Rise on the other hand, is another unique model and is designed with innovative and dynamic features that transform the board as riders gain experience over time. Full specs are expected to be revealed in August 2023. 

Rolls-Royce says hybrid-electric propulsion could unlock new doors for eVTOL companies

Rolls-Royce says hybrid-electric propulsion could unlock new doors for eVTOL companies

Rolls-Royce is developing turbogenerator technology that could support hybrid-electric aircraft in performing longer-range, higher payload missions than those that use all-electric propulsion systems — a development, says Rolls-Royce, that could unlock new doors for eVTOL companies.

As part of Rolls-Royce’s electrical propulsion product portfolio, the company said it is developing turbogenerator technology, which includes a new small engine designed for hybrid-electric applications. The system will be an on-board power source that can be scaled to serve a power range of between 500 and 1,200 kilowatts. It will be used to either recharge batteries after take-off or power propellers directly, allowing aircraft to switch between power sources in flight.

Rob Watson, president of Rolls-Royce Electrical, said the company is aiming to be the leading provider of all-electric and hybrid-electric power and propulsions systems for the advanced air mobility (AAM) industry.

“As part of our strategy, we are looking at offering the complete sustainable solution for our customers,” Watson said in a press release. “This means extending routes that electric flight can support through our turbogenerator technology. This will advance hybrid-electric flight and mean more passengers will be able to travel further on low to net zero emissions aircraft.”

Watson said Rolls-Royce also plans to build on its existing network and offer maintenance services for electrical systems.

“Furthermore, Rolls-Royce Power Systems is able to offer mtu microgrid solutions to support fast-charging of electric aircraft and deliver reliable, cost-effective, climate friendly and sustainable power to vertiports,” he said.

Earlier this year, the company announced its partnership with Luxaviation Group to provide the charging and energy infrastructure for Luxaviation’s planned vertiport networks. Rolls-Royce had said it would also provide maintenance support services for electric aircraft, and digital solutions for Luxaviation’s vertiports.

The turbogenerator program is being led by Rolls-Royce engineers in Germany, Norway and Hungary, and is partly funded by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

Last year, Rolls-Royce announced its intention of reaching net zero carbon emissions with all of its new products by 2023, and with all existing products by 2050.

Britishvolt sets out roadmap for high-performance battery development

Britishvolt sets out roadmap for high-performance battery development

British battery technology company Britishvolt has announced it is working on a larger format high-performance lithium-ion battery cell designed specifically for high-performance electric vehicles.

The 4690 format is to be developed and prototyped at the recently acquired EAS facility in Germany before being transferred to the UK for scale-up at the company’s Hams Hall facility in the Midlands ahead of large-scale production at the company’s Northumberland Gigaplant battery manufacturing facility now under construction.

Orral Nadjari, Founder and CEO of Britishvolt, said, “Britishvolt understands the importance of larger format cells, which is why our recent acquisition of EAS, of which the importance needs to be fully grasped by the market, and our scale-up facility in the Midlands will help us deliver 4690 cells that our customers require. Critically, we will be able to build these game-changing cells in a truly sustainable, low carbon way.

The 4690 cell development makes use of Britishvolt’s digital-twin simulation and modelling capabilities to drive engineering and bring technology to market quicker and more efficiently.

“We start with digital twin simulation modelling, exactly the same way we did with our 21700 cell development, and then move on to physical prototyping. This improves efficiency, reduces waste, lowers costs and makes us leaner and more agile. We can also tailor the length of the cell to suit specific applications. This is a unique Britishvolt proposition that will also help anchor the UK as a global battery leader and home to leading battery innovation. We are helping reindustrialise the UK.”

Graham Hoare, Deputy CEO and Global President of Operations at Britishvolt, added, “It’s great to be announcing the development roadmap of our 4690 battery technology. Britishvolt will be a leader in the most important race facing humanity and our planet – the race to net zero. We will be a positive force not just for our customers in helping them to achieve their decarbonisation goals, but also to those in the communities where we and our suppliers operate, ensuring that they too have a brighter future.

Earlier this year, Britishvolt signed memorandums of understanding with both Lotus Cars and Aston Martin. The work with Lotus Cars will see Britishvolt and the Norfolk-based car maker develop an electric sports car powered by Britishvolt cells and with advanced electric propulsion technologies developed by Lotus Cars. The collaboration with Aston Martin supports plans to launch the first battery electric Aston Martin in 2025.

Eve and Fahari reveal ambition to develop urban air mobility in Kenya

Eve and Fahari reveal ambition to develop urban air mobility in Kenya

Eve Air Mobility, the eVTOL subsidiary of Brazilian multinational aerospace manufacturer Embraer, has signed a letter of intent with Kenya Airways’ subsidiary Fahari Aviation. The deal includes a pre-order for up to 40 of Eve’s eVTOL aircraft, with deliveries expected to start in 2026.

The agreement will also see the groups form a working group to conduct joint studies to develop and scale the urban air mobility (UAM) market, as well as a business model for cargo drone operations in Kenya.

This recent partnership builds off of the eVTOL developer’s existing relationship with Fahari, when the two partnered last year to develop a UAM network for Kenya Airways’ customers.

“This is a new chapter of the Eve and Fahari Aviation partnership to strengthen both companies’ commitment to establishing the foundations that will sustainably support the ecosystem for urban air mobility in Kenya,” said Andre Stein, co-CEO of Eve. “Last year, we announced a collaboration to develop operational models for Fahari Aviation’s key markets, and this announcement confirms that it is evolving successfully.”

Fahari Aviation is the unmanned aircraft systems division of Kenya Airways, with an initial focus on applying drone technology in training, operations, and traffic management. The division is also tasked with developing innovative and sustainable transportation solutions to carry out passenger services, aerial sightseeing, parcel delivery, and wildlife protection.

“Urban air mobility is the future of transport and we are honoured to be the champions of this in the region,” said Allan Kilavuka, group managing director and CEO of Kenya Airways. “The journey to realise the dream of eVTOL vehicles in Kenya is on course, and the partnership with Eve is a key achievement for us as part of the strategy to adopt new technologies as a growth strategy for the sustainable development of Africa.”

Solar acquisition could turn Belgium EV drivers into renewable energy producers

Solar acquisition could turn Belgium EV drivers into renewable energy producers

EDI, Belgium’s leading installer of charge points for electric vehicles, has acquired Belgium solar panel installation company Go-Solar

The acquisition, says EDI – a contraction of Electric by D’Ieteren – offers motorists the opportunity to be both a producer and a consumer of green energy. D’leteren will now offer photovoltaic panels and batteries, alongside EV charge points.

Denis Gorteman, CEO of D’Ieteren says, “The acquisition of Go-Solar by EDI is a strategic operation which, by simplifying the customer experience through a complete offer, will contribute to promoting electromobility in Belgium. It contributes to reducing the carbon footprint of mobility and is directly in line with our mission to work towards fluid and sustainable mobility for all.”

Founded in 2008, Go-Solar is a family business active in the Flemish regions and the plan is to extend its activities to the whole country by capitalising on the business potential offered by its merger with EDI.

Nicolas Paris, CEO of EDI added, “Vehicles equipped with a charging socket should occupy a 50% share of new vehicle sales from 2025. By acquiring Go-Solar, we are seeking to make life easier for our customers by offering them a complete electrical ecosystem and relying on the recognised expertise, the quality of the teams and the reliability of the Go-Solar installations.”