CU Boulder study: routine household activities generate air quality on par with major polluted city

Cooking, cleaning and other routine household activities generate significant levels of volatile and particulate chemicals inside the average home, leading to indoor air quality levels on par with a polluted major city, according to a study by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder. Furthermore, airborne chemicals that originate inside... Details →


INRIX: congestion costs each American 97 hours, $1,348 a year

INRIX, Inc. published the 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard that identified and ranked congestion and mobility trends in more than 200 cities, across 38 countries. According to the study, Americans lost an average of 97 hours a year due to congestion, costing them nearly $87 billion in 2018, an average of... Details →


Americans collectively spent $388 billion on gasoline in 2018, averaging to 34 million fill-ups a day. According to a study by GasBuddy, a smartphone app connecting drivers with the Perfect Pit Stop, the necessity, perception, and price of gasoline adversely impacts Americans across all age groups and income brackets, with... Details →


by Michael Sivak. This article is the latest publication in a series examining recent changes in various aspects of motorization in the United States. The focus here is on distance driven per person and per household, as opposed to the absolute distance driven (which depends, in part, on the continuously... Details →


by Michael Sivak. In a 2011 article, Brandon Schoettle and I showed that the proportion of young Americans aged 16 to 39 years with a driver’s license decreased substantially from 1983 to 2008. (In contrast, the proportion of older persons with a driver’s license increased during the same period.) This... Details →


by Alex Kimani for Oilprice.com. It’s been a decade of lows for commodities after posting 7 declines in 11 years, but we’ve seriously underestimated lithium. It’s back with a vengeance in 2019. The commodities market endured yet another annus horribilis, with just four commodities—natural gas, uranium, cocoa and wheat—recording any... Details →


China will drive the majority of growth in the crude oil refining industry in Asia between 2018 and 2023, contributing 44% of Asia’s crude oil refining capacity in 2023, according to GlobalData. The company’s report: ‘China Crude Oil Refinery Outlook to 2023’ finds that the total refining capacity of China... Details →


Westport Fuel Systems appoints former Achates Power head as new CEO

Alternative fuel engine company Westport Fuel Systems Inc. has appointed David Johnson as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Johnson most recently was the CEO of opposed-piston engine company Achates Power. Nancy S. Gougarty has decided to retire as Westport’s Chief Executive Officer and is stepping down from the Board of... Details →


Volkswagen, Ford launch global alliance starting with medium pickups and commercial vans; exploring EVs, AVs and mobility services

Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Company announced the first formal agreements in a global alliance. Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess and Ford CEO Jim Hackett confirmed that the companies intend to develop commercial vans and medium-sized pickups for global markets beginning as early as 2022. The alliance will drive significant... Details →


Volkswagen of America, Inc., unveiled the new 2020 Passat at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit today. Together with the Beetle (21.5 million units) and Golf (35 million units), the Passat is one of the three most successful Volkswagen models, with global sales of more than 29 million... Details →


DOE to award up to $88M for oil and natural gas recovery research

The Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Fossil Energy announced up to $88 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects enhancing technologies for oil and natural gas recovery under two separate funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will manage the projects selected under... Details →


US regular retail gasoline prices averaged $2.72 per gallon (gal) in 2018, 30 cents/gal (13%) higher than in 2017 and 57 cents/gal higher than in 2016. However, a rapid price decline beginning in October led to US average regular gasoline prices ending the year lower than they began for the... Details →


by Michael Sivak. This analysis was conducted to examine changes in traffic volume on rural and urban roads in the United States from 1991 through 2016. The raw data for the analysis were lane length (which takes into account all roadway lanes of travel) and distance traveled, both from the... Details →


Under current policies, home energy storage systems would also often increase carbon emissions, according to a study by a team of researchers at the University of California San Diego published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. The researchers selected 16 of the largest utilities companies in the country and... Details →


The future of the US Interstate Highway System is threatened by a persistent and growing backlog of structural and operational deficiencies and by various looming challenges, such as the progress of automated vehicles, developments in electric vehicles, and vulnerabilities due to climate change, according to a new congressionally mandated report... Details →


Volkswagen brand to spend more than €9B on electrification over next 5 years; expansion of platform model

In total, the Volkswagen brand will invest more than €11 billion in e-mobility, digitalization, autonomous driving and mobility services from 2019 to 2023, of which more than €9 billion (US$10.2 billion) will be spent on Volkswagen’s electrification offensive. The brand currently has two fully-electric cars in its program. This number... Details →


NZ study shows cycle lanes and walkways cut car use, reduce emissions

Researchers in New Zealand have shown that investing in cycle lanes and walkways encourages people to drive less and cuts carbon emissions. The researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington and Victoria University studied the impact of new cycling and walking paths built in New Plymouth and Hastings in 2011.... Details →


A new European Joint Research Center (JRC) analysis on the deployment of electric vehicles (EV) in Europe concludes that although the sector evolved significantly between 2010 and 2017, progress is still small to be characterized as full-scale commercialization. In 2010, electric vehicles still represented a niche market. Since then, the... Details →


GM restructuring; changing product development, production; 5 NA & 2 international plants shutting next year; staff reduction

General Motors on Monday outlined a series of major restructuring steps that it said would accelerate its transformation for the future, building on the strategy it laid out in 2015 to strengthen its core business, to capitalize on the future of personal mobility and to drive significant cost efficiencies. These... Details →


by Michael Sivak. This analysis examines the recent changes in the percentage of people who work at home and changes in time spent commuting to work in the United States and in the 15 largest US cities. The source of the data is the American Community Survey—an ongoing survey by... Details →


Lancet GBD 2017 finds halt to improvements in global health

The Lancet’s Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD), first published more than 10 years ago, is the most comprehensive worldwide observational epidemiological study to date. It describes mortality and morbidity from major diseases, injuries and risk factors to health at global, national and regional levels. Since its inception, every new... Details →


Nearly half of the world’s electric vehicles are in 25 cities, according to a new briefing by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). As of the end of 2017, these 25 cities were home to nearly 1.4 million of the world’s 3.1 million passenger electric vehicles. These 25 cities,... Details →


Hyundai Motor, BTIRDI to establish $100M hydrogen energy fund in China; foundation for fuel cell vehicle market

Hyundai Motor has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Beijing-Tsinghua Industrial R&D Institute (BTIRDI) to establish a Hydrogen Energy Fund. Under this agreement, the South Korean automaker and its Chinese counterpart expect to strengthen their influence in the hydrogen ecosystem while accelerating the advent of a Hydrogen Society.... Details →


Consumer Reports: Tesla and other domestic brands take big steps backwards in reliability rankings

Buick, Chevrolet, Chrysler, and Tesla are among the brands that tumbled in Consumer Reports’ (CR) latest Annual Auto Reliability Survey, which collected data from its members about their experiences with more than half a million vehicles. Every domestic automaker landed in the bottom-half of CR’s latest reliability rankings, which covers... Details →


Ford reorganizes Asia Pacific markets; establishes stand-alone China business

Ford Motor Company is reorganizing its Asia Pacific operations. As part of those actions, which include hiring a new President and CEO (Anning Chen) for Ford China, Ford China is elevated to a stand-alone business unit reporting to Ford global headquarters. Peter Fleet, president Ford Asia Pacific, will facilitate the... Details →


Caterpillar makes strategic investment in Fisker, with interest in solid-state battery tech

Fisker Inc., an e-mobility and technology company developing electric vehicles and proprietary solid-state battery technologies, announced a strategic investment from Caterpillar Venture Capital Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric... Details →


Global VC funding (venture capital, private equity, and corporate venture capital) for Battery Storage, Smart Grid, and Efficiency companies in the first 9 months (9M) of 2018 was 8% higher at more than $1.3 billion compared to the $1.2 billion raised in 9M 2017, according to the latest Mercom Capital... Details →


Daimler Financial Services, the financial and mobility services arem of Daimler AG, has made a strategic investment in Soul Machines—a New Zealand company re-imagining how humans connect with machines—further to develop the combined use of artificial and emotional intelligence. Daimler is the first premium brand in the automotive sector to... Details →


Global clean energy investment was $67.8 billion in the third quarter of 2018, down 6% from the same period last year, according to the latest Clean Energy Investment Trends report from research company Bloomberg NEF (BNEF). The slip in the July-September quarter leaves clean energy investment for the year so... Details →


Petrochemicals—components derived from oil and gas that are used in all sorts of daily products such as plastics, fertilizers, packaging, clothing, digital devices, medical equipment, detergents and tires—are becoming the largest drivers of global oil demand, in front of cars, planes and trucks, according to a major study by the... Details →


Transportation sector stakeholders launch Veloz in California to accelerate adoption of EVs

In California, public and private stakeholders in the transportation sector launched a new organization—Veloz—to accelerate the adoption of EVs. Its first project, “Electric For All,” is the largest multi-stakeholder, multi-million dollar public awareness campaign in North America. Veloz also announced major commitments from utilities and Electrify America. Veloz members include:... Details →


Ford, Uber and Lyft to share data through SharedStreets platform

Ford Motor Company, Uber and Lyft have committed to support to SharedStreets, a new data platform designed to make it easier for the private sector to work with cities around the world and leverage data to improve urban mobility. At the heart of SharedStreets is a linear referencing system which... Details →


Musk settles with SEC, to step down as Tesla Chairman; $40M in combined fines

Elon Musk, CEO and Chairman of Tesla, Inc., has agreed to settle the securities fraud charge brought by the SEC against him last week. (Earlier post.) The SEC also today charged Tesla with failing to have required disclosure controls and procedures relating to Musk’s tweets, a charge that Tesla has... Details →


by Michael Sivak. The usual focus of analyses of road transportation is on vehicle-distance traveled, without taking into account the number of passengers in the vehicle. In contrast, air-transportation analyses typically include passenger-distance traveled among the variables of interest. The present analysis examines the changes in passenger-distance traveled in both... Details →


Gallup poll finds decrease in percentage of US commuters driving themselves to work

Although the vast majority of American workers remain reliant on cars to get to work, the percentage has decreased. In 2007, 85% of Americans drove themselves to work and 6% rode with someone else. By 2018, while the 6% of Americans who carpool has remained constant, there has been a... Details →


California legislature passes SB 100: 100% renewable and zero-carbon energy by 2045

The California Assembly has passed Senate Bill 100—a bill to move California to 100% renewable and zero-carbon energy by 2045. This bill—known as The 100 Percent Clean Energy Act of 2018—increases the Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirement from 50% by 2030 to 60% and creates the policy of planning to... Details →


Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and Uber Technologies, Inc. (Uber) have agreed to expand their collaboration with the aim of advancing and bringing to market autonomous ride-sharing as a mobility service at scale. To accomplish this, technology from each company will be integrated into purpose-built Toyota vehicles to be deployed on... Details →


The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) August Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) forecasts that US crude oil production will average 10.7 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2018 and 11.7 million b/d in 2019. If realized, both of these forecast levels would surpass the previous record of 9.6 million b/d set... Details →


The turnover of household vehicles has slowed since 2009, based on US Department of Transportation surveys of household vehicle travel, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported. The 2017 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) reported that the average vehicle—including cars, trucks, and vans—has increased from 9.3 years in 2009 to... Details →


IHS Markit: Alaska North Slope a super basin ready for resurgence; production to grow 40% in 8 years

The Alaska North Slope (ANS) Basin—a prolific source of US oil production previously limited by a number of barriers to entry including cost and access—is poised to re-emerge as a major source of US energy production, with crude oil output potentially increasing as much as 40% during the next eight... Details →


Roskill: LG Chem locks-in more raw material to meet future Li-ion battery demand

South Korean lithium-ion battery (LIB) cell manufacturer LG Chem recently announced it will increase cell manufacturing capacity to 90 GWh in 2020 from a previous forecast of 70 GWh. Assuming 100% of output was to be NMC532, 90 GWh would require around 100kt of cathode, containing 40kt nickel, 22kt cobalt,... Details →


The US port district of Houston-Galveston in Texas recently began exporting more crude oil than it imported for the first time on record, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Crude oil exports from the Houston-Galveston port district have increased since the restrictions on US crude oil exports were... Details →


Los Angeles launches New Mobility Challenge 2018

For the second year running, Los Angeles is inviting innovative and environmentally-friendly entrepreneurs from around the world to push the envelope on urban mobility solutions from ride-sharing and zero-emission electric bikes and scooters to self-driving vehicles and flying cars. The LA New Mobility Challenge 2018 is a joint initiative of... Details →


Latest generation diesels power 36% of US commercial trucks

Thirty-six percent of all commercial diesel trucks on US roads are now powered by the newest generation of diesel technologies (MY 2011 and newer), up from 30% in 2016 and 25.7% in 2015, according to analysis by the Diesel Technology Forum of operation data from 2017 of vehicles (GVW 3-8)... Details →


Saudi Arabia And Iran Reignite The Oil Price War

by Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com The rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran is becoming increasingly evident in the oil pricing policies of the two large Middle Eastern producers. The two countries are currently reigniting the market share and pricing war ahead of the returning U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil. Saudi... Details →


US refineries are running at record levels in response to robust domestic and international demand for motor gasoline and distillate fuel oil, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). For the week ending 6 July 2018, the four-week average of US gross refinery inputs surpassed 18 million barrels per... Details →


California’s grid is facing an era of rapid change. Three reports from Next 10, an independent, non-profit, non-partisan think tank, explore how the grid might be challenged or helped by the rise of electric vehicles; by the increase in distributed energy resources, such as rooftop solar panels; and by the... Details →