UK to implement standard to decarbonise buildings

UK to implement standard to decarbonise buildings

A group of leading industry organisations, such as the Royal British Institute of Architects, have come together to create a building standard that will verify net-zero carbon buildings in the UK. This was after a report was conducted that concluded that a more robust means of verifying buildings as net zero carbon was desired by the UK real estate sector.  

The standard will be named the UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard and it will aim to help the industry to ensure and prove that buildings claiming to be net-zero are holding up to that claim.  

It is expected that claims will be required to validated on basis on in-use measured data and interim verification of an asset at design stage or once the asset is built but not yet operating may also be considered. 

It is hoped that this standard will encourage industry to decarbonise and help the country meet its 2035 and 2050 emissions targets.  

RIBA president Simon Allford stated: “This is a really exciting and timely initiative that will help the entire industry to move forward in its efforts to reach net-zero carbon. Working together we will address current ambiguities around the much-used term and develop a common understanding, based on clear performance targets, to support all those involved in the procurement, design, construction and operation of buildings.” 

Net-zero carbon buildings are designed to eliminate all emissions over a building’s lifetime. This takes into consideration both embodied carbon, which are emissions caused by the construction supply chain, and operational carbon, which are emissions caused by a buildings use.  

The built environment is responsible for around 40 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, net-zero carbon architecture could help the UK meet its decarbonised targets.  

The UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard will verify both new and existing buildings and consider their operational and embodied carbon emissions.  

Drivers face 18-month wait for new electric cars

Drivers face 18-month wait for new electric cars

Road users face having to wait for up to 18 months to buy new electric cars, as manufacturers such as: Tesla, Porsche and Volkswagen are taking more than a year to deliver new models. Manufacturers are also having to battle with shortages caused by disruption to global supply chains.  

Making the switch to a zero-emission vehicle could now take over a year, as major car manufacturers have a waiting time of over a year for buyers to receive their new EV. Tesla fans will have to wait until late next year for a new Model S or X and potential buyers of the Porsche Taycan will have to wait between six and eighteen months for the new vehicles.  

Furthermore, drivers who hope to buy a Lexus UX 300e will have to wait until the second quarter of next year due to the company having a delay of 12 months for certain Volkswagen models, including the ID3 and ID4 models.  

Thankfully, waiting times for the BMW i4 or iX and a Mini Electric are slightly shorter, ranging between six and nine months. BMW have said that included in their waiting time is a transit time of four to six weeks, hence why it can appear longer than usual.  

Global shortages of semiconductors have been a major cause of these delays in the automotive industry and are hitting drivers just as the rising fuel prices are.  

Ginny Buckley, of electrifying.com, has said: “Cars like the Volkswagen ID3, which were freely available 12 months ago, now have waiting times of more than a year. This is down to a perfect storm of increased demand coupled with a shortage of vital components.” 

Waiting times for a Peugeot e-208 also have a shorter wait time of between three and four months, however, it is subject to change.  

Ms. Buckley has also added: “It’s also worth checking at your dealership to see if there’s a brand-new car in stock, rather than a factory order. It may not be the exact version you’re looking for, but if you’re willing to compromise on the finishing touches, like its colour and wheels, you might be able to get hold of a car in a few days rather than a few months.” 

Drivers who are fed up with these wait times are now turning to the second-hand market for electric cars, as the number of sales has almost doubled in the same period last year. 

The transition to electric vehicles is one that is inevitable in the coming years, however, global shortages may make this transition harder and slow it down completely.  

Government unleashes £200million for zero-emission HGVs

Government unleashes £200million for zero-emission HGVs

The government has launched a three-year programme, to begin later this year, that will help to decarbonise the UK’s freight industry. It has been announced that it will deliver £200 million funding into boosting zero-emission heavy goods vehicles (HGV). 

The investment aims to produce, what it claims to be, the world’s largest fleet of zero emission HGVs, adding hundreds of more eco-friendly trucks to the UK’s roads.   

The government is aiming to ensure that all new HGVs sold will be zero emission from 2035 onwards. This date will apply to vehicles weighing less than 26 tonnes, with all new HGVs having to meet the rule by 2040. 

HGVs prove to present a greater challenge in the transition to zero emission than cars and vans. Especially as the size and weight of the electric vehicle batteries are required to meet the requirements of long-haul HGVs. 

Transport minister, Trudy Harrison, has said: ‘’Our road freight industry is one of the most efficient in the world and contributes over £13 billion to the UK economy each year. 

‘’But we must accelerate our journey towards our net zero goals, and we’re committed to leading the way globally on non-zero emission road vehicles.” 

Head of Future Markets at National Grid, Graeme Cooper, has also commented saying: “We welcome the next phase of the government’s zero emission road freight demonstrator programme. 

“This will provide certainly for the trucking and freight industries, as they transition to zero emission vehicles. 

“At National Grid we have supported Phase 1 as part of the core advisory group and look forward to supporting this next step. In order for this to deliver real value to the market, it is critical that this proceeds at pace as the technologies are developing quicker than many expected.” 

The scheme aims to improve air quality, create greener jobs, and reduce reliance on oil imports. It also strives to reduce delivery costs and protect customers from rising fuel prices.  

 

 

Subaru to invest US$1.9bn in new EV plant

Subaru to invest US$1.9bn in new EV plant

Subaru has planned to spend JPY250bn to build an electric vehicle factory in Japan and in-house (EV) battery manufacturing capacity over the next five years. 

The move is part of a multi-billion-dollar investment in electrification, to step up the pace in the battery-car race.  

The Japanese automaker plans to build a new EV production line at its main assembly plant in Gunmna prefecture at a cost of JPY100bn. It is said to be scheduled for completion in 2027.  

Only this year did Subaru announce its first serious contender, the Solterra Crossover EV, which shows the all-four wheeled drive specialist, is finally turning its head to fully electric vehicles. 

Unlike their competitors, Japanese automakers fall behind in the transition to electric vehicles, with their EV sales accounting for less than 1% of total vehicle sales last year.  

Sabaru has set itself a sales target of 40% by 2030. Other Japanese automakers such as Honda, Toyota and Nissan have also aimed to step up their EV investments worldwide.  

The EVs made will be exported globally to markets including the U.S. the automotive company will begin making its own EV’s in mixed production with internal combustion vehicles at its Yajima plant in Japan within the next few years, until the plant is completed.  

Subaru CEO Tomomi Nakamura outlined plans early this week while announcing fiscal earnings. He highlighted that Subura is still contemplating what kind of segment or models the upcoming EVs will be. He added that the alliance with Toyota will also be beneficial to “build up technology and know-how” in EVs.  

Smart traffic system benefits are “highly compelling” according to new report

Smart traffic system benefits are “highly compelling” according to new report

New research, Smart Management: Use Cases, Regional Analysis & Forecast 2022-2027, by Juniper research, has identified new benefits from smart traffic management systems. Global savings from smart traffic management systems are forecast to reach 205 million metric tons (MMT) by 2027, which represents growth of 41 per cent, up from just 145.7 MMT in 2022.  

Reducing congestion through optimised traffic control is said to be the main influencing factor of change. Smart traffic management uses digital technologies to manage traffic, based on real-time data to reduce congestion, and minimise emissions. 

Environmental benefits from smart traffic management systems are identified by the report to be “highly compelling.” The report identified smart intersections as a solution to the amount of time spent in traffic, reducing it by 36 hours on average per annum per motorist globally by 2027.  

Therefore, this suggests a 250 per cent increase in the adoption of smart traffic management systems over the next five-year period, and 4.7 billion hours congestion saved by then.  

Juniper’s research expects smart intersection investment will reach $10.2bn by 2027; rising from $5.2bn in 2022. It strives for smart intersection vendors to improve connectivity between road vehicles and the local road network ecosystem, mirroring government smart city initiatives.  

The report suggests that vendors leverage the low-latency capabilities of 5G combined with machine learning algorithms, to allow network adjustments to be made in real-time and improve the flow of traffic.  

Additionally, the research highlights cybersecurity must be considered when implementing smart traffic systems to ensure public support. This is to ease the public’s minds about data collection and storage.  

Cybersecurity must be prioritised when implementing smart traffic management systems, as user data is transmitted at every stage of the process. Cyberattacks have a given potential and therefore, strong cybersecurity strategies need to be in place to avoid any disruption to infrastructure. 

Juniper Research is a key player in providing research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector providing valuable insights into the industry.  

BMW and Pasqal strengthen collaboration by applying Quantam Computing to improve car design and manufacturing

BMW and Pasqal strengthen collaboration by applying Quantam Computing to improve car design and manufacturing

Pasqal, the leading manufacturer of neutral atoms quantum processors, have just announced a new take on with BMW Group to improve the automaker’s primary manufacturing processes. 

Using Pasqal’s algorithm for solving differential equations (problems where a change in one of the variables foes not uniformly affect the outcome,) BMW group strive to analyse the applicability of quantum computing technology to metal forming applications modelling.  

Applications such as these require extensive simulations to ensure that auto parts are following specifications. Predictive and rapid virtual modelling will bring the manufacturing process towards safer designs, more sustainable products and zero-prototyping. 

Pasqal’s researchers have created a digital-analog implementation of its quantum methods, customised for its neutral-atom quantum processors, which makes these applications 30 times more efficient that competing superconducting quantum processors. 

A highly accurate computational simulation would allow BMW Group to replace costly physical build-test-improve cycles, as existing classical computational methods are unable to deal with the intricacy of stimulating a full vehicle at the required accuracy. Simulations such as these will finally help BMW Group produce lighter parts, making cars more fuel-efficient.  

Pasqal managed to gain this collaboration with BMW group by winning the BMW Group Quantum Computing Challenge late last year. Earlier collaborations have focused on optimising battery designs at the atomistic level by developing quantum computational methods for chemistry and materials-science.  

The renewed collaboration extends this scope to other relevant time and length scales adding micro-and macro-level materials simulations. 

Georges-Olivier Reymond, CEO of Pasqal said ‘’Renewing and extending the scope of our collaboration with BMW Group is a clear sign of the value Pasqal can bring to our customers. Each time we collaborate with BMW Group, we discover something more we can do to help them develop superior automobiles’’ 

He continues to say: ‘’Pasqal currently offers the only method on the market for solving these these types of differential equations with quantum technology, which are critical to execute effective and accurate simulations. We’re proud to work with BMW Group to improve manufacturing processes and safety through our technology.’’ 

Pasqal believes these use cases are excellent candidates for early quantum advantage with its proprietary quantum algorithms, which the company plans to reach within two years.

These complex simulations will run over a six-month period in Pasqal’s facilities. Real world applications for these simulations include crash testing and accelerated development of new parts and materials which are lighter and stronger, keeping passengers safe while both reducing emissions and cutting development costs. 

Oxbotica teams with NEVS to ‘reshape the future of urban mobility’

Oxbotica teams with NEVS to ‘reshape the future of urban mobility’

Picture: Oxbotica 

A long-term partnership has been signed between Oxbotica, the global leader in autonomous vehicle software, and NEVS, leading innovators of shared mobility solutions, to produce a fleet of self-driving, all-electric vehicles. These vehicles are planned to be released onto public roads by the end of 2023, reducing carbon emissions and revolutionising urban mobility. 

The collaboration will include the Oxbotica Driver autonomy system with NEVS ‘Sango’ vehicle which together, will develop a safer, more sustainable, and accessible passenger transportation solution for urban environments. 

A primary fleet will be released on geo-fenced public roads next year, followed by numerous projects in Europe 2024. The solution is planned to be scaled across the globe from 2025 onwards. This will be part of NEVS mobility ecosystem which incorporates the ‘Sango’ vehicle, a fleet management system and an app as the user interface. 

The effects of wide-scale adoption of electric vehicles would be highly impactful upon urban transportation. It has the potential to reduce congestion and radically lower emissions by replacing privately owned, carbon emitting vehicles with low emission electric multi-passenger vehicles. Moreover, less cars on the road would make the roads safer and reduce the demand for parking spaces. This, in turn, would enable city planners to reimagine urban landscapes, making room for greener spaces.  

NEVS ‘Sango’ vehicle is designed specifically for autonomous driving and optimised for shared passenger transportation in cities. Features of the all-electric, fully autonomous vehicle include: a flexible and adaptable interior with six moveable seats that can be operated in social or family mode. Therefore, you can ride with friends or family while privacy walls can still be created for more private journeys. 

The vehicle will be driven by Oxbotica’a autonomy system, Oxbotica Driver (a low energy use, high performance suite of technologies that works safely and seamlessly with any sensor, vehicle or platform. 

Both Oxbotica and NEVS share the same vision. They believe that shared, electric autonomous transport is the future of urban mobility. The partnership is the latest of Oxbotica’s autonomous vehicle deployments into key industries where the technology can transform economic, suitability, and safety metrics. 

Gavin Jackson, CEO at Oxbotica, has said: ‘’The combination of Oxbotica Driver and this stunning, next-generation, electric vehicle is a perfect match. It allows us to create an urban mobility service that will make roads safer, cleaner, and less congested and provide customers with a new way to travel. The partnership will truly change how the Earth moves and I can’t wait to see the first vehicles out on the road next year. 

President at NEVS, Stefan Tilk, has also commented saying: ‘’Having partnership with Oxbotica and being able to progress substantially with its autonomous stack as the ’driver’, will indeed make the ecosystem of our mobility solution complete. Through this partnership we will be able to make the ecosystem of our mobility complete. Through this partnership we will be able to deploy pilots and commercial fleets – ensuring a breakthrough in the movement of people in a green safe and smart way, paving the way for sustainable cities.” 

Solo Advanced Vehicle Technologies reveal the plan of its new futuristic SD1 electric truck

Solo Advanced Vehicle Technologies reveal the plan of its new futuristic SD1 electric truck

Picture: Solo AVT

Solo Advanced Vehicle Technology (Solo AVT) have just revealed the design of its futuristic SD1 electric truck. The truck is intended to have a driving range of more than 500 miles due to it being a long-haul battery-electric Class 8 truck and will be built specifically for autonomous driving.  

According to Solo AVT, the design has the lowest drag coefficient of any Class 8 truck on the road due to removing the human onboard and the active aerodynamics. Along with other elements such as low-rolling resistance tires, the truck is expected to be highly efficient.  

The truck offers a peak power output of 600kW and is powered by multi-speed tandem axles with integrated electric motors. Solo AVT emphasises the full aerospace-level system redundancy for autonomous operation, combined with exterior lighting to alert pedestrians and other road users to a unique sound signature.  

With regards to fast charging, the vehicle will be compatible with existing standard trailers and all standard loading docks- assumably the current CCS and the future high-power Megawatt Charging System (MCS) for trucks.  

The new Solo AVT SD1 is a new and innovative design that puts itself above other trucks as it has the fully autonomous element that others do not, which creates untouched territory for Solo AVT to fall into.  

Mining giant Vale lands nickel supply deal with Tesla

Mining giant Vale lands nickel supply deal with Tesla

Mining giant, Vale, has confirmed a long-term contract with Tesla to provide Class 1 nickel for its electric vehicles. This agreement is in accordance with Vale’s strategy to boost exposure to the electric vehicle industry, emphasising its low-carbon footprint and its position as North America’s largest producer of finished Nickel. The company said that it signed a long-term contract with Tesla to supply Class 1 nickel from its operations in Canada.  

 Deshnee Naidoo, Vales executive vice president of base metals, highlighted how pleased Vale was to partner with the electric vehicle manufacturer:

‘’This agreement reflects a shared commitment to sustainability and shows very clearly, we are the supplier-of-choice for low-carbon and high purity nickel products essential for long-range batteries’’

This comes just a month after the news that Canada is investing $2 billion in its mineral strategy for the electric vehicle battery supply chain.  

The deal was first reported by Bloomberg in March, when Vale Canada announced plans to supply nickel to a Swedish battery manufacturer, Northvolt AB. Around 5% of Canadas nickel production is put towards electric vehicle plans, but Vale aim to deliver 30% to 40% of Class 1 nickel sales into the EV industry. The company aims to expand its industry, and the agreement with Tesla is a step forward for the electric vehicle sector.  

Vale’s Canadian operations pride themselves in being the producer of the lowest-carbon nickel globally. Data from its Long Harbour refinery in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2020 had a verified carbon footprint of 4.4t CO2 equivalent per tonne of nickel. In comparison, pellets and powder from the Copper Cliff Nickel Refinery in Ontario had a verified footprint of 7.3t equivalent.  

Tesla has spent the last few years making agreements with several producers of battery metals, with a particular focus on companies that produce nickel and lithium. CEO Elon Musk had promised in 2020 that giant contracts would only be signed with those who produce nickel in an ‘’environmentally sensitive way’’ foreshadowing the concerns of the increasing demand for nickel. 

The deal with companies such as Vale, marks the transition to a choice of low-carbon and high purity nickel and the commitment to sustainability from both Tesla and Vale. 

UKs first lithium refinery to be funded by Trafigura

UKs first lithium refinery to be funded by Trafigura

The UK start up Green Lithium has agreed terms with commodity trading company Trafigura, to support the development of the first lithium refinery in Europe.

Under the agreement Green Lithium will produce battery-grade lithium chemicals for the EU electric vehicle and battery industries while Trafigura will supply the lithium feedstock for the UK based refinery.

Given the significance that lithium plays within the supply chain and more importantly, the role it plays in the transition to a more sustainable economy- an agreement between Green Lithium and Trafigura will be fundamental in the development of battery manufacturing and will create a major milestone in Trafigura’s international battery metals business. 

Green Lithium’s chief executive Sean Sargent has said: “Green Lithium’s refinery will accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and sustainable energy storage through the increased supply of low-carbon, battery-grade lithium chemicals – a key component of lithium-ion batteries,”.  

He continues to  say: ”Fulfilling this vision requires the right supply chain and investment partners. In Trafigura, we have found the perfect match in a company that not only has vast experience and expertise in the battery supply chain, but that is also willing to make a key equity investment to support Green Lithium in achieving its project objectives.”

There is currently no commercial lithium refining capability in Europe, leaving it solely reliant on China for battery metals. Therefore, in producing this lithium refinery, Green Lithium expects to fill a missing gap and promises upstream supply chain security.

This is the latest series of investments to revolutionise the production of batteries, and to kick start a new operation in the EU’s electric vehicle and battery industry.  

New Guinness World Record set by BrightDrop and FedEx

New Guinness World Record set by BrightDrop and FedEx

General Motor’s BrightDrop announced that, in partnership with FedEx, it set a new Guinness World Record title for the greatest distance travelled by an electric van on a single charge.  

The journey was 260 miles (418km) and was completed by the BrightDrop Zevo 600. The trip, driven by Stephen Marlin, was from New York City to Washington D.C while stopping at some iconic destinations on the way including landmarks in Philadelphia and Baltimore.  

Brightdrop President and CEO, Travis Katz has stated: ‘’since the beginning, the Zevo 600 has been a record-setting vehicle. Now we’re seeing first-hand what BrightDrop can do by pairing our zero-operating-emissions technology with FedEx, a leader in the transportation and delivery industry,’’.

He goes onto say, ‘’Having a long battery range with reliable power is critical to electrifying delivery fleets everywhere. This special delivery highlights our products’ advanced capabilities and our mission to decarbonise deliveries’’. 

BrightDrop delivered its first electric light commercial vehicles to FedEx in December after completing the production builds of the Zevo 600 in only 20 months. According to the company statement, this makes it the fastest vehicle to market in General Motors history.  

The manufacturing strength of expertise in combination with the focus and speed of a start-up, supported BrightDrop’s speed to market, while also placing the company in a position to tackle the biggest sustainability and climate issues that out world faces today.  

Mitch Jackson, Chief Sustainability Officer of FedEx states: ‘’FedEx is proud to be a part of this record-setting moment as we work toward our goal of achieving carbon-neutral operations by 2040. Electrifying our entire parcel pickup and delivery fleet is a crucial component of that goal and we’re thrilled BrightDrop is bringing real solutions to the market that can help us get there, I’ve long said sustainability is a team sport. Today’s milestone is a perfect example of how businesses can lead the charge in ushering in a more sustainable future for customers, our communities and our planet through collaboration.” 

Volta makes moves on North American electric truck market

Volta makes moves on North American electric truck market

Swedish start up Volta Trucks has announced its Zero electric trucks will be operating on the streets of Los Angeles by the end of next year.

Volta made the announcement as part of the release of its full US strategy which will see the company appoint an “experienced” US-based manufacturing partner later this year and develop its own network of service and maintenance facilities.

“Since the launch of Volta Trucks in 2019 and the reveal of the Volta Zero in September 2020, we have used London, Paris, and other European launch cities, where fleets are increasingly converting to electric, to prove that our concepts align to customers’ needs. With more than 6,000 vehicle pre-orders in hand, from some of Europe’s largest fleet operators, it is time to expand our geographic horizons and look towards the significant market opportunity in North America,” said Carl-Magnus Norden, Volta’s founder.

Volta is expecting that its Class 7 truck – equivalent to a European 16-ton vehicle – will be ready for customer evaluation next year. The smaller Class 5 and 6 models, akin to European 7.5- and 12-ton trucks, will follow shortly afterwards.

An initial fleet of 100 pilot trucks will be available next year before full production kicks into gear in 2024. To date, the company has built 24 road-going “Design Verification” prototypes which are currently undergoing testing in Europe.

Similarly, the company will set up its service and maintenance centres across the US – similar to its operations in Europe – and essential to the company’s “Truck-as-a-Service” proposition.

Truck-as-a-Service is designed to be a one-stop-shop to help companies transition to electric fleets, bundling everything into a single offering with a monthly payment. Initial site assessment of customer facilities to understand charging needs, as well as installation, are included along with the financing and insuring of the vehicles to “accelerate adoption” and “derisk” ownership. Servicing and maintenance are included over the lifetime of the trucks.

The first Class 7 trucks are to be built at Volta’s existing site in Steyr, Austria but the later Class 5 and 6 vehicles bound for North America will be built in the US starting from 2024/25.

Carl-Magnus Norden, Volta’s Founder and Executive Chairman is speaking at MOVE in London on 15/16 June. With over 600 speakers across 33 themed stages MOVE is the world’s most important mobility event. Find further details here

Bird research validates benefits of pneumatic e-scooter tyres

Bird research validates benefits of pneumatic e-scooter tyres

Research from micromobility provider Bird appears to resolve a question that probably isn’t uppermost in riders’ minds when they hire a scooter, but might be by the time they return it. Shocks or no shocks?

Most shared scooters rely on one of two tyre models, explains Bird, either solid/semi-solid tyres with suspension “shocks” or pneumatic tyres without them. A scooter’s tyres are also one of the most critical components impacting traction and stability, argues Bird, so it’s important for shared micromobility providers to invest in designs that improve vehicle safety.

Bird’s approach has been to work with a tyre manufacturer to develop an automotive-grade 6-ply tubeless pneumatic scooter tyre specifically designed for the rigors of the shared micromobility industry.

But is the right solution? That was the question Bird recently set out to address at its R&D facility in Southern California.

Its engineers compared a Bird Three scooter equipped with custom pneumatic tyres and a mass-produced scooter model used by many operators worldwide with semi-solid tyres and shocks.

The tests were designed to test the two core assumptions underpinning Bird’s approach. Firstly, pneumatic tyres tend to offer better shock absorption over a wider variety of common street surfaces including gravel and cobblestone.

And secondly, while solid tyres become rigid with dropping temperatures, decreasing their traction when it’s needed most, the air in pneumatic tyres compresses in colder temperatures making them softer and more compliant.

Both scooters were fitted with handlebar-mounted instrumentation to detect the vertical acceleration that would be experienced by riders as jolts and vibrations. Bird then ran each scooter multiple times down test tracks over a range of surfaces including gravel, cobblestone and a wide variety of other simulated street surfaces that riders encounter across the globe.

In each test, the tubeless pneumatic tyre performed better than the solid tyre with shocks, experiencing on average 33% less vertical acceleration.

“This reduction in vibrations is significant because it means 33% more stability and control for riders when experiencing everyday bumps and uneven road conditions” said Scott Rushforth, Chief Vehicle Officer at Bird. “Pneumatics are demonstrably better at damping vibration and low-frequency bumps than solid or semi-solid tyres with suspension, and this most recent testing clearly validates that.”

In addition to the safety benefits that come with fewer vibrations and better handling and stability on bumpy streets, Bird’s says its pneumatic tyres have a hidden environmental benefit. Limiting the amount of shaking cuts down on premature wear and tear, increasing sustainability. Pneumatic tyres can also easily be changed when damaged, salvaging the wheel hub, while solids are typically serviced by replacing the entire wheel or motor assembly.

MOVE, which takes place at ExCeL London on 15/16 June, is an opportunity to hear from senior Bird executives including Victoria Springthorpe, Head of UK & Ireland Public Policy and James Padden, General Manager – UK & Ireland. With over 600 speakers across 33 themed stages MOVE is the world’s most important mobility event. Find further details here

Airbus leads German multi-stakeholder urban air mobility initiative

Airbus leads German multi-stakeholder urban air mobility initiative

Airbus is leading an initiative that will look at launching urban air mobility services using eVTOL aircraft in Germany.

The aerospace company announced it is working with several other partners to launch an Air Mobility Initiative, focused on exploring how eVTOL operations could be implemented in Germany, including what would be required to support unmanned traffic management services and ground infrastructure.

“In many parts of the world, eVTOLs will offer a whole new mobility service in the near future,” said Markus May, head of operations for urban air mobility at Airbus, in a press release. “Airbus and the partners are aware that the introduction of such a system requires the cooperation of many players with different competences. Our goal is to build a transport service that benefits society and this is what we are setting up here in Bavaria.”

Along with Airbus, some of the other partners include the City of Ingolstadt, railway company Deutsche Bahn, air traffic control company Deutsche Flugsicherung, consultant Droniq, Diehl Aerospace, and Munich Airport.

The partners have secured €86 million in private and public investments that will be used over three years. This includes €17 million from the state of Bavaria, and €24 million from the German federal government.

According to Airbus, the partners will start by looking at the technological, infrastructural, legal, and social requirements needed to implement urban air mobility services in Germany, and will later use that knowledge in a demonstration project under real conditions with eVTOL aircraft.

Airbus, which is developing the CityAirbus NextGen eVTOL aircraft, will be leading the eVTOL research activities with Diehl Aerospace, the University of Stuttgart and other partners.

The aerospace company will also work with Droniq, funke, Avionics, SkyFive, BrigkAir, DFS, and Telekom, as well as universities from Munich and Hamburg to explore unmanned traffic management requirements.

Meanwhile, Munich Airport, Deutsche Bahn, Bauhaus Luftfahrt, Airport Nürnberg, and the universities of Ingolstadt and Munich will conduct research on vertiports and city integration.

Shell supports ZeroAvia’s hydrogen infrastructure in US and UK

Shell supports ZeroAvia’s hydrogen infrastructure in US and UK

The UK’s ZeroAvia, a leader in hydrogen powered aviation, has announced a collaboration with its strategic investor Shell, who will design and build two commercial-scale mobile refuellers for use at ZeroAvia’s research and development site in Hollister, California.

Shell will also provide compressed, low-carbon hydrogen supply to the facility and other locations in the Western US through ZeroAvia’s test facility in Hollister.

This strategic collaboration will support ZeroAvia’s flight testing program in the US and will advance the company’s hydrogen airport refueling ecosystem.

The deal comes as ZeroAvia has unveiled Europe’s first landside-to-airside hydrogen airport pipeline at ZeroAvia’ development hanger at the private general aviation Cotswold Airport, a former RAF base and once home to the Red Arrows.

ZeroAvia’s zero-emission powertrains use hydrogen fuel in a fuel cell to create a chemical reaction which produces electricity. That electricity then powers electric motors that spin the propellers, while producing no emissions other than water.

Arnab Chatterjee, VP Infrastructure, ZeroAvia, says, “These milestone announcements represent significant hydrogen infrastructure advancement for ZeroAvia and the industry. Hydrogen-electric aviation is the only practical, holistic, and economically attractive solution to aviation’s growing climate change impact. Fuel provision needs to be economical and convenient for airlines to achieve operational cost benefits and ZeroAvia is leading these pioneering infrastructure developments together with leading partners like Shell.”

“Shell recognises the aviation sector has unique challenges in decarbonisation and needs practical and scalable net-zero solutions,” adds Oliver Bishop, General Manager, Hydrogen at Shell. “We believe ZeroAvia’s technology is a viable option, and this agreement will allow us to demonstrate successful provision of low-carbon hydrogen supply while supporting development of codes, standards, and refuelling protocols for hydrogen-powered aviation.”

Hyundai expected to locate US EV plant in Georgia

Hyundai expected to locate US EV plant in Georgia

Hyundai is planning to build a new electric-vehicle manufacturing plant in the US and has held discussions with officials in the state of Georgia. The Korean car maker confirmed it will release its plans imminently but declined to comment on any details.

“We are excited to announce a new EV plant plan in the United States soon, but we do not have details to share at this stage,” Hyundai said in a statement to Reuters.

Hyundai is understood to have been in advanced discussions with state officials to build a dedicated EV facility in Georgia, which would serve both Hyundai and Kia as the brands move to roll out a pair of fully electric SUVs – the Ioniq 7 and EV9 – aimed at the US market.

Georgia’s Economic Department declined to comment, but a deal would mark a major economic development win for Georgia, which has set out to establish itself as a regional hub for the emerging EV industry.

The announcement of a potential investment deal comes at a time when President Joe Biden has been pushing for more investment in EVs and related suppliers to create jobs and drive a clean-energy agenda.

The Biden administration has said it will allocate more than $3 billion in infrastructure funding to finance EV manufacturing. Biden wants half of vehicles sold in the United States to be electric by 2030.

Biden is set to travel to South Korea on May 20 for meetings with South Korea’s incoming president Yoon Suk-yeol, an advocate of steps to shore-up South Korea’s ties with the United States.

Hyundai announced a $300-million investment last month to manufacture the all-electric Genesis GV 70 and a hybrid version of the Santa Fe at its Alabama plant. The Genesis model would be Hyundai’s first EV made in the United States.

Hyundai affiliate Kia also recently said it was looking to shift production to the United States but was not considering a dedicated EV factory on its own.

Kia has said it will have 14 EVs by 2027. Hyundai has said it will roll out 17 by 2030, including six for its luxury Genesis brand.

A number of senior Hyundai executives are speaking at MOVE in London on 15/16 June including Marcus Welz, Vice President Smart Mobility; Liran Golan, Head of Future Mobility; and Oxana Grishina, Head of Section, Future Retail and Transformation. With over 600 speakers across 33 themed stages MOVE is the world’s most important mobility event. Find further details here

Renault sells stake in Korean business to China’s Geely

Renault sells stake in Korean business to China’s Geely

Renault is to sell a third of its Korea business to China’s Geely Automobile Holdings for $200 million, freeing up funds for the French car maker to invest in its core markets and electric business.

Renault is implementing a turnaround business strategy designed to tackle falling global sales over the last three years, which includes splitting its electric vehicle and combustion engine businesses.

The move comes weeks after reports that Renault, the top shareholder in Nissan, may lower its stake in the Japanese company.

Renault has been making and selling cars in South Korea, mostly based on European models, for over two decades via Renault-Samsung Motors. But sales have declined dramatically in recent years.

Geely tends to operate through global partnerships. It owns Volvo Cars and a 9.7 percent stake in Daimler. The Renault acquisition gives Geely a foothold in the South Korean market, dominated by Hyundai and Kia. It also gets Geely closer to three important EV battery makers in South Korea, LG Energy Solution, SK Innovation and Samsung SDI.

Geely and Renault announced a partnership in January to develop hybrid vehicles at Renault’s factory in South Korea’s second city Busan.

Viewpoint: is Brazil the sleeping giant in the global EV transition?

Viewpoint: is Brazil the sleeping giant in the global EV transition?

While Europe, China, and the USA are leading the global electromobility transition, less is reported on what is happening in other markets. If you were to guess which country might have millions of electric cars within a few years, you might not not look to South America. But our man in Brazil, Jose Gaspar, sets out why the country is potentially poised to become a major global market for electric vehicles.

The Brazilian automotive market is big. Last year 1.56 million new cars were registered in the country. That puts it sixth in the world, and although a long way short of the sales volumes in China, USA, Japan and India, it’s not far behind Germany and ahead of other significant European markets including UK, France and Italy.

But a crucial question is whether Brazilian consumers are ready to adopt electrified cars. On first glance, it’s not obvious.

In 2021, electrified cars (that’s HEVs, PHEVs, and BEVs) represented just 1.8% of sales, at just under 35,000 units. Of these, the vast majority were hybrids, with just 8% pure battery electrics.

The president of the Brazilian Electric Vehicles Association (ABVE), Adalberto Maluf, puts that in context, “The electrified cars market share is way below the potential,” he says. “In the first quarter of 2022 it represented just 2.6% and counting only plug-in hybrids and pure battery electrics, the percentage drops to 0.8%”.

In contrast, he points out, the European PHEV/BEV market share in 2021 was 19%, 15% in China and 4% in the USA.

While there are many factors to explain the slow and low uptake, the overriding view is prices remain high, especially for pure battery electrics, and the charging infrastructure is limited. There is even a national debate over whether BEVs are appropriate in the Brazilian context. Some in the industry argue the country should pursue biofuels such as ethanol. In fact 90% of cars registered last year were flex-fuel, which means they can run using petrol, ethanol, or mix of the two.

However dig a little deeper and the signs are more positive. The volume of electrified cars (HEVs, PHEVs, and BEVs) registered in 2021 grew 77% compared to 2020. And compared to 2019, sales of electrified cars have increased by 195%, while sales of internal combustion engine cars actually plummeted in the pandemic.

Jumping to 2022, sales of electrified vehicles in the first quarter were 115% greater than in the same period the previous year. March registered a jump of 12% over February and potentially very significantly, March was also the first month in which battery electrics outsold plug-in hybrids.

Despite the challenges and the current populist political climate, there is a solid future for electrified cars in Brazil. In August last year, ANFAVEA – the Brazilian National Association of Automotive Vehicle Manufacturers, published “The Road to Decarbonization in the Automotive Industry”, which outlined three potential scenarios, namely:

  • Inertia (no strategies for electrification)
  • Leadership in biofuels (focus on biofuels)
  • Global convergence (following global trends in electrification)

Following the global convergence path, ANFAVEA forecasts 62% of the new light vehicles will be electrified by 2035, with annual sales of 2.5 million. This would require an investment of around US$ 3 billion to build out the charging infrastructure, increasing the number of public charging stations from 1,250 presently to about 150,000 by 2035.

Unquestionably the electrification of the Brazilian fleet would be a revolution for the industry and a huge economic, environmental and social opportunity for the country. It would create the need to develop a whole ecosystem for new energy vehicles, attracting global players and encouraging emerging businesses and homegrown startups.

And it feels like that movement is already starting to happen… but more on that next time.

(Photo credit: Nissan Brazil)

Jose Gaspar is founder and editor of Zev.news, a South American-focused publication on the transformations in the automotive industry, caused by the rise of zero emission vehicles – the so-called ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicles). “More than just publishing news,” says Gaspar, “it’s about explaining why it’s news. Analytical, contextualizing, Zev.News aims to offer clear perspectives, based on the facts responsible for the changes taking place.”

A look back at success from MOVE 2021

A look back at success from MOVE 2021

With the fourth MOVE event at ExCeL in London only just over a month away (15/16 June), it’s a timely moment to reflect upon how MOVE has networked thousands of budding mobility leaders across the entire value ecosystem to facilitate partnerships and challenge transport industry practices.

As the event expands many more perfect business partners are being matched, bringing outstanding sustainable solutions to provision across future fuels, energy charging, autonomous vehicles and different transport modes.

Since MOVE 2021, a powerful testimony that has come to light is by Founder of Powered by Hydrogen, Sashe Annett, whose meeting with Technology and Digital Strategist at Ricardo plc, Rushab Shah sparked a successful collaboration that continues to evolve and combine both their passion projects in hydrogen buses.

This is truly an example of a working ‘perfect match’ partnership which will be replicated again at this year’s MOVE 2022 on 15th and 16th June. Register here

Describing their positive encounter at MOVE, Sashe begins: “Part of our mission at Powered by Hydrogen is to accelerate the adoption of hydrogen technologies across the transportation sector by initiating scaleable demonstration projects.

“I was already working on a pilot hydrogen bus project when I attended MOVE 2021 last November.

“At the MOVE networking event, we met Rushab Shah, a representative from Ricardo, a global environmental, engineering and strategic consulting company headquartered in the UK. Ricardo is working on a repowering solution that coverts a diesel buses to hydrogen fuel cell buses at nearly half the cost while saving around 45,000 kg of embedded carbon relative to a new fuel cell bus. It ended up being a perfect match…”

Together they have gone on to work closely to create a meaningful ripple through the alternative fuels market.

She continues: “We have since forged a partnership with Ricardo’s UK and US commercial and hydrogen departments and are exploring further collaborations across transit authorities, academia and suppliers.”

Powered By Hydrogen is a US based non-profit organisation advancing hydrogen technology through education and legislative advocacy, which since it founded, has achieved significant visibility through the MOVE event.

A world-class environmental, engineering and strategic consulting company, Ricardo plc provides exceptional levels of expertise in delivering leading-edge and innovative cross-sector sustainable products and solutions, helping their global customers increase efficiencies, achieve growth and create a cleaner and safer future.

Their united mission is clear – to create a safe and sustainable world.

You will have the opportunity to meet and learn from these companies: Wejo, Volvo, Ford, Dassault Systemes, Ridecell, Axon Vibe, Hogen Lovells, Otonomo, Invers, Continental, Vaimoo, BMW, Rolls Royce, bp, Aurora Innovation, Nikola, Hyundai Motor Europe, TFL, Jaguar Land Rover, Marsh, Kolumbus AS, GoMetro, SAE International, SWITCH Mobility, Gorillas, Volta Trucks, plus many more!

Secure your place now to discover similar networking opportunities at #MOVE2022.

Book now for MOVE 2022

Stellantis buys Share Now car-sharing business from BMW and Mercedes

Stellantis buys Share Now car-sharing business from BMW and Mercedes

Stellantis has agreed to buy the Share Now car sharing business from BMW and Mercedes-Benz as the two German groups focus more on the software part of their mobility alliance.

Formed last year through the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot maker PSA, Stellantis wants to become a global leader in car-sharing, using this acquisition to expand its existing business in the area, reports Reuters.

The deal reflects different approaches by carmakers who are trying to tap new sources of revenues beyond selling vehicles, most notably in the developing area of mobility services.

“We think this reinforces our belief that premium OEMs like BMW and Mercedes will focus on private car ownership and less on fleet services,” Royal Bank of Canada analyst Tom Narayan told Reuters.

“Conversely, it makes sense that volume players like Stellantis are pursuing these alternative revenue streams.”

No financial details were provided for the transaction. Italian daily la Repubblica said it was worth around 100 million euros.

By selling the division, BMW and Mercedes-Benz will focus on the two remaining parts of their mobility cooperation: Free Now, an app that enables the booking of cars, taxis, e-scooters and e-bikes, and the charging infrastructure booking app Charge Now.

Brigitte Courtehoux, who heads Stellantis’ mobility division Free2move, said the deal was part of the group’s plans to grow net revenues of that business to 700 million euros in 2025 and to 2.8 billion euros in 2030.

Stellantis said the deal would allow Free2move to add 14 major European cities and 10,000 vehicles to its current 2,500-strong car sharing fleet, gaining over 3.4 million customers.

Courtehoux added the Free2Move fleet would not turn 100% Stellantis but said “step by step we’ll have more and more Stellantis cars in it”.