Hyundai Motor Company and Cummins to Collaborate on Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology

COLUMBUS, Ind. & SEOUL, Korea–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Hyundai Motor Company and Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI), announced today that the two global powertrain leaders have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to jointly evaluate opportunities to develop and commercialize electric and fuel cell powertrains.

These new powertrains are expected to be developed by combining Hyundai’s fuel cell systems with Cummins’ electric powertrain, battery, and control technologies. The initial development will be focused on the North American commercial vehicle market, including working with North American OEMs on the integration of these systems into their vehicles. The companies will also explore ways they can work together to develop next generation fuel cell systems, and have each committed to assign a team of individuals to investigate and pursue other areas of collaboration.

“This partnership is a terrific opportunity for both companies to leverage our respective strengths and create new opportunities to grow and broaden the product portfolio we bring to our customers,” said Thad Ewald, Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Cummins Inc. “We’ve made significant investments over the past year to accelerate our fuel cell capabilities including our acquisition of Hydrogenics and this partnership is another step forward.”

“With Hyundai’s global leadership in fuel cell systems coupled with Cummins’ unparalleled electrified powertrain technologies, we expect this partnership to leave a mark in the commercial vehicle market,” said Saehoon Kim, Vice President and Head of Fuel Cell Group at Hyundai Motor Group. “Collaborations such as this will enable us to further diversify our business, as well as reinforce our global hydrogen leadership through sales of new and existing Hyundai fuel cell systems.”

This partnership provides a springboard for Hyundai Motor Company to increase its presence in the North American commercial vehicle market, and Cummins to enhance its electrified power product portfolio by adding Hyundai’s advanced fuel cell technologies.

The new collaboration may extend beyond the commercial vehicle market, as the companies will also evaluate the development of fuel cell power generators. The availability of reliable back-up power generation to prevent data loss in emergency situations is a business-critical requirement for many organizations. Fuel cell back-up power generation is attractive for its reduced carbon footprint.

A developing global fuel cell market

The MOU comes at a time of heightened demand for fuel cell technology. Hydrogen can be produced from renewable sources, stored economically, and deployed for a diverse range of industrial and residential energy-generation applications; as well as used in fuel cell passenger cars and commercial vehicles. Energy experts predict hydrogen will become increasingly important in meeting fast-growing global energy demand, while also supporting efforts to drive down carbon emissions from energy generation.

Hyundai Motor is a world leader in the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology, having opened the world’s first commercial production facility for fuel cell vehicles in 2013, and released the world’s first commercialized hydrogen-powered vehicle, the Tucson Fuel Cell, in 2015. The NEXO, Hyundai’s second-generation fuel cell electric vehicle with a range of over 610 kilometers, is a versatile, three-row SUV that emits clean water vapor and even purifies the air while driving.

Hyundai fuel cell systems are comprised of fuel cell stacks which convert stored hydrogen into electricity, as well as other sub-components — collectively referred to as balance of plant (BoP) —for thermal management and air supply among other integral processes for power generation.

Cummins is a world leader in advanced powertrains and in 2018 launched its Electrified Power business segment, which designs and manufactures fully electric and hybrid powertrain systems along with innovative components and subsystems to serve commercial markets as they adopt electrification. To date, the business has introduced complete electrified powertrain solutions in six markets across seven applications and continues to launch market leading products with customers across the world.

UPS Invests $450 Million in CNG Trucks, Stations

UPS Inc. announced it will spend $450 million to add 6,000 vehicles powered by compressed natural gas as well as supporting infrastructure beginning next year. It is the largest multiyear commitment UPS has made to date for alternative fuel vehicles.

The additions include heavy-duty trucks, medium-duty package vans, and terminal tractors.

UPS expects to have finished adding the equipment by 2022.

“We have been deploying natural gas vehicles for many years. We greatly accelerated our deployment of natural gas stations and vehicles starting in 2013. We no longer consider our natural gas fleet to be in a test or experimental phase, but rather it is mainstream for UPS now,” a UPS spokesperson told Transport Topics. “We closely follow oil and natural gas prices, but we believed back in 2013 that natural gas in the U.S. would be relatively stable in cost versus oil-based fuels. That has proven to be the case and we see that continuing for the foreseeable future.”

Agility Fuel Solutions, a business of Hexagon Composites, will supply the fuel systems. Since 2016, Agility has provided natural gas fuel storage and delivery systems to more than 1,700 UPS trucks.

Additionally, TruStar Energy will design, manufacture and install five CNG fueling stations in Lathrop, Visalia and Moreno Valley, Calif., Houston and Cleveland.

LPG Spotlight: Rhoads Energy

Propane’s versatility is one of the fuel’s best-known and unique characteristics.

It provides customers clean fuel options for a variety of uses and offers fuel marketers business flexibility.

From home heating to autogas and everything in between, the versatility of propane is attractive to energy companies looking to diversify their assets while growing sales and gallons.

Rhoads Energy, a full-service energy provider in south central Pennsylvania, saw the versatile value of propane as key to its ultimate success.

“What we like about propane is that it’s a year-round fuel,” says Mike DeBerdine, CEO of Rhoads Energy. “That’s something we don’t get from heating oil. We use propane to keep the money flowing year-round because we see year-round opportunities outside of home heating.”

Rhoads Energy added propane to its fuel offerings six years ago with zero customers and an ambitious plan to grow organically. To spearhead this objective, Jennifer Goldbach, vice president of business development, got to work providing propane autogas to local school districts and converting diesel buses to run on propane. This initiative was two-fold, accomplishing environmental and business goals for the company.

“We have been part of this community for over 100 years, and we feel it’s our responsibility to be good stewards of the environment,” Goldbach says. “Propane helps us do that.”

 

CNH Investment Deal Boosts Nikola Motor and Hydrogen Transport

Despite strong marketing, a large self-reported order book and important industry partners such as Bosch, hydrogen fuel cell truck developer Nikola Motor still needs to get the trucking industry to take it seriously.Comparisons with Tesla and its location in the notoriously conservative U.S. truck market haven’t helped its position. Still, the recent $1 billion investment round in the Phoenix, Ariz., startup led by London-based CNH Industrial, parent of truck maker IVECO, is an encouraging move. That vote of confidence by a global industry player should temper those who question the ability of Nikola to execute on its business model and introduce hydrogen-fueled heavy-duty trucks.

NIKOLA BENEFITS

Nikola will benefit significantly from production expertise, purchasing power, verified parts and logistics through this new venture. This is a major advantage for Nikola, which is looking to scale and build credible products. Other start-ups may be seeking similar major brand investments. This may spark future tie-ups or consolidation within the start-up space.

CNH Industrial has lagged behind other commercial truck companies with its vehicle electrification development. A fuel cell truck uses an electric powertrain. But it replaces the battery with a fuel cell stack that converts hydrogen into electricity to power the vehicle.

CNH has pursued a strategy focusing on natural gas to meet emission goals. With the increasing number of low and zero-emission zones, particularly in Europe, and ever-tightening regional emission norms, CNH now views electrification as the most viable option for the future. The Nikola investment gives CNH access to a raft of technologies from Nikola that will help jump-start its electrification program.

Notably, Nikola’s advances in software-over-the air and infotainment will give CNH an advantage with regard to vehicle connectivity and intelligence, a coming battleground for commercial vehicle vendors. Nikola, or fleet owners, will add functionality and fix issues remotely. This means less downtime and the ability to add functionality or integrate fleet management directly into the truck. Errors with software are a major cause of vehicles requiring service.

Penske Adds Electric Terminal Tractor to Fleet

Penske Truck Leasing is growing its electric vehicle fleet with the addition of the Kalmar Ottawa Electric Terminal Tractor (T2E).

The introduction of these new all-electric commercial vehicles into Penske’s fleet is another in a series of recent moves the company has undertaken to test and showcase electric vehicles (EVs) and help bring them to market, the company says.

“We remain committed to being at the forefront of commercial vehicle electrification for our customers,” explains Brian Hard, president and CEO of Penske Transportation Solutions. “Adding the capability of an electric terminal tractor is a natural next step, as they are an essential part of the mix for fleet operations. Penske and Kalmar Ottawa have a long-standing relationship, and we look forward to continuing to work with them to provide our customers with reliable and innovative yard trucks for their fleets.”

Penske Trucking Leasing has previously announced the addition of light-, medium- and heavy-duty battery electric vehicles to its fleet, as well as the construction of EV charging infrastructure.

The Kalmar Ottawa T2E, which is powered by lithium-ion battery technology, features an on-board inverter charger that allows the machine to be opportunity-charged during natural working breaks.

Officials Agree on Plan to Boost Ethanol, Biodiesel

The Trump administration has agreed to a new plan for boosting renewable fuels and offsetting waivers exempting oil refineries from mandates to use them, according to three people familiar with the matter who asked for anonymity before a formal announcement.

The tentative agreement, which follows weeks of negotiations, would allow the Environmental Protection Agency to offset those waivers in response to criticism from industry advocates and Midwestern politicians that the exemptions have hurt demand for corn-based ethanol and soybean-based biodiesel.

Under the deal, the EPA would factor recent waivers into new annual biofuel quotas, by adjusting the targets to reflect a three-year rolling average of exemptions. White House officials also rejected a bid by oil industry allies to prevent spikes in the prices of biofuel compliance credits refiners use to prove they have fulfilled the targets.

The agreement reflects a deal pitched by farm-state senators to the president earlier this month.

Ethanol producers surged on the news. Green Plains Inc., which had been trading below the Sept. 30 closing price, rose as much as 2.5%. Pacific Ethanol Inc. jumped as much as 9.4%.

Renewable Identification Numbers tracking 2019 conventional biofuel consumption targets jumped 12% to 19 cents a piece — the steepest one-day gain since Sept. 16, according to broker data compiled by Bloomberg.

Hyundai and Cummins Partnering on Electric, Fuel Cell Powertrains

Hyundai Motor Co. and Cummins Inc. have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to jointly evaluate opportunities to develop and commercialize electric and fuel cell powertrains.

Hyundai’s fuel cell systems will be combined with Cummins’ electric powertrain, battery and control technologies. The initial development will be focused on the North American commercial vehicle market; thus, the partners plan to work with North American OEMs on the integration of these systems into their vehicles.

“This partnership is a terrific opportunity for both companies to leverage our respective strengths and create new opportunities to grow and broaden the product portfolio we bring to our customers,” states Thad Ewald, vice president of corporate strategy at Cummins Inc. “We’ve made significant investments over the past year to accelerate our fuel cell capabilities, including our acquisition of Hydrogenics, and this partnership is another step forward.”

What Does A Gas Station With No Gas Pumps Look Like?

Once upon a time, America was covered with stagecoach stops, Pony Express corrals, and telegraph offices. The onward march of technology has rendered most of them little more than interesting relics. As the electric car revolution moves forward, another iconic sight in America — the gas station — will either adapt or disappear.

Anticipating this trend, Go Architect has created the Gas Station Of The Future Design Competition. While the number of gas stations may be declining, there are still more than 130,000 of them all across America. Many of them stand on highly valuable parcels of land on busy street corners, in shopping areas, and along major transportation routes.

Go Architect is not interested in tearing them all down. Instead, it wants to know how an existing gas station can be repurposed to meet the needs of electric car drivers and autonomous fleet operators in the future. “What will it become as drivers begin charging their cars at home, work, and the grocery store? How may they adapt to a shifting landscape of autonomous vehicles and an on-demand culture? The electric car revolution is here and it’s up to us to pave the way for the future,” Go Architect says.

There is an entry fee of $34.99 for professionals and $14.99 for students. First prize is $1,000 and there will be a People’s Choice award worth $500. Submissions are due by December 1, 2019 and people will be able to view the submissions and vote on them through the end of December. Winners will be announced on January 1, 2020.

EVgo Announces Partnership With Uber

EVgo recently announced a partnership with Uber in which the companies will share data, give drivers access to charge, and do other things to improve EV awareness and adoption.

“Promoting the transition to electrified rideshare will be the key to unlock Uber’s bold new climate commitments,” said Adam Gromis, Global Head of Sustainability at Uber. “Uber is thrilled to be partnering with EVgo, the leader in promoting rideshare electrification across the United States, to support the expansion of cleaner, greener transportation options.”

The memorandum of agreement starts by giving Uber drivers with electric vehicles access to EVgo’s DC Fast Charging Network, which they claim is “the nation’s largest and most reliable public fast charging network.” Uber and EVgo will then collaborate on data collection, using data from both companies and from the usage by Uber drivers to determine where new charging locations are most needed.

The two companies will also work to develop a series of pilot programs to make it easier for Uber driver-partners to make the switch to an EV and to develop new partnerships to accelerate the electrified rideshare ecosystem, including integrations between the Uber and EVgo apps.

Quantum Fuel Systems announces new 40-foot virtual pipeline trailer available Q1, 2020

Quantum Fuel Systems, an industry leader in compressed natural gas (CNG) gas transport trailers and heavy-duty truck fuel-storage systems, announced their newest Virtual Pipeline product line extension, the VPLite45/40′.

   The new 40-foot Virtual Pipeline trailer comes standard with 45 tanks, has a gaseous capacity of approximately 471,000 standard cubic feet and weighs less than 57,000 pounds fully loaded. Customers can customize the trailer configuration with less tanks based on project needs. Available in Q1, 2020, the VPLite45/40′ will be certified for use in the U.S. and Canada, with worldwide availability to follow.

   “We are very excited about our new product line, the VPLite45/40′,” said Mark Arold, President, Quantum Fuel Systems LLC. “For several years we have been providing our customers with the VP45, which has 45 tanks in a 45-foot container, hauls 471,000 SCF of CNG, and stays below federal highway weight restrictions. It has been by far the most efficient in the industry in terms of gas capacity versus trailer length and yet still has the flexibility to carry up to 51 tanks depending on the customer application. The VPLite45/40′ also carries 45 tanks and hauls 471,000 SCF of CNG, but now in a 40-foot container. It is optimal for those customers who only need 45 tanks (or less), in a smaller, lighter trailer that can be more easily maneuvered in tight areas while still hauling the most gas in the industry in a 40-foot container.”

   Highlights of Quantum’s new 40-foot trailer include:

  • Simplified single manifold – easier fueling and defueling with step-by-step directions
  • Increased maneuverability – the shorter trailer and close-spread tandem axle is easier to turn and drive in tight spaces
  • Increased durability – tandem axle has increased tire life and is easier on suspension components