Futuristic 2019 Hyundai Nexo Showcases the Company’s Technological Prowess

Hyundai’s Nexo stands out from the emerging wave of electric cars by being a limited-production fuel-cell vehicle—essentially an electric vehicle that produces its power onboard and has water as its only emission.

CR won’t be buying one for a formal test, given the Nexo’s limited availability (it’s sold in only California metro areas) and the sparse refueling infrastructure for hydrogen. Instead, we rented one from Hyundai.

We spent a couple of weeks driving the Nexo, and we’re impressed with its driving range, ride quality, and self-parking ability. 

Agility, New Flyer Ink CNG Cylinder Supply Deal

Agility Fuel Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hexagon Composites, has signed a long-term agreement with New Flyer Industries Canada ULC and New Flyer of America Inc. for the supply of compressed natural gas (CNG) cylinders for transit buses.

The multiyear deal represents an estimated overall delivery value of $75 million.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with Agility to deliver clean fuel technologies and improve the value proposition for our customers,” says David White, executive vice president of supply management for NFI Group Inc., the parent company of New Flyer. “Over the course of our 25-year relationship, we have delivered more than 13,000 CNG-equipped buses with Agility, which over their useful lives will reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 4.4 million metric tons compared to diesel.”

Fully Electric Mack LR to Go into Fleet Service

Mack Trucks says it is working with Republic Services to build and operate a fully electric Mack LR heavy-duty refuse truck.

“Mack looks forward to partnering with Republic Services to test the benefits a fully electric LR can offer in its day-to-day operations,” says Jonathan Randall, Mack Trucks’ senior vice president of North American sales and marketing. “As a leader in refuse and alternative solutions, Mack is uniquely positioned to offer a proprietary, integrated and fully electric solution for North America.”

For refuse hauling companies, the ability to operate quietly during the early morning hours is an attractive feature of electric vehicles. Further, Mack believes that a fully electric vehicle will work best in a closed loop application in which the truck returns home every night – such as in the refuse industry.

Use of EVgo Fast-Charging Network Booms

Public EV fast-charging network EVgo says drivers used its infrastructure to drive more than 75 million miles in 2018, representing 88% growth from 2017.

With more than 1,100 public fast chargers in 34 states and 66 markets across the country, EVgo now serves more than 125,000 customers who drive a full range of today’s fast charge-capable electric vehicles.

 “2018 was a banner year for EVs, and EVgo’s 88 percent growth enabled 75 million electric vehicle miles,” says Cathy Zoi, EVgo CEO. “EVgo plans to double our fast-charging capacity by the end of 2020, working with utilities to accelerate EVgo’s delivery of convenient and reliable fast charging across the U.S.”

DHL Fattens Alternative Fuel Vehicle Fleet

As part of its sustainability efforts, parcel delivery company DHL is rolling out a new fleet of electric delivery vans that will serve U.S. markets.

These 63 new vehicles add to the company’s existing alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) fleet, which includes fully electric, hybrid-electric, compressed natural gas, cleaner diesel and propane autogas.

According to the 2018 corporate responsibility report from Deutsche Post DHL Group, the parent company of DHL, its global road transport operations have a fleet of more than 97,000 vehicles, including 8,000 with alternative drive technologies.

DHL has set a target of operating 70% of its first- and last-mile delivery services with clean transport modes by 2025. This goal is part of a longer-term Deutsche Post DHL Group commitment to reduce its logistics-related emissions to zero by 2050, a goal announced in March 2017.

Shell Acquiring EV Charging Company Greenlots

Greenlots, a Los Angeles-based provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging and energy management solutions, has signed an agreement to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell New Energies US LLC, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell PLC.

Together, the companies will offer software and services that enable the large-scale deployment of smart charging infrastructure and integrate with advanced energy resources such as solar, wind and storage.

“As power and mobility converge, there will be a seismic shift in how people and goods are transported,” says Brett Hauser, CEO of Greenlots. “Electrification will enable a more connected, autonomous and personalized experience. Our technology, backed by the resources, scale and reach of Shell, will accelerate this transition to a future mobility ecosystem that is safer, cleaner and more accessible.”

Biodiesel-powered vehicles are in it for the long haul

Attendees at the National Biodiesel Conference in San Diego got a glimpse into the future Jan. 22 as equipment manufacturers, industry experts and fleets detailed why diesel engines, powered by low-carbon biodiesel blends, will continue to be a mainstay in the transportation industry for many years to come. The future of the fuels market is heavily influenced by the future of the vehicle market and vice-versa—the two are inseparable. However, transportation industry experts agree that diesel engines are in it for the long haul. And when those highly fuel-efficient and powerful diesel engines are paired with renewable, clean-burning biodiesel, the combination is hard to beat on the road to a more sustainable future.

According to recent research by The Fuels Institute and Navigant Research, diesel and hybrid diesel powertrains together are projected to make up nearly 62 percent of U.S. commercial vehicle registrations by 2025, compared to 35 percent gasoline and a total of 3 percent for all other technologies including hybrid gasoline, electric, fuel cell and natural gas vehicles. Industry experts from the Diesel Technology Forum, National Association of Fleet Administrators, and National Truck Equipment Association who spoke at the National Biodiesel Conference Jan. 22 agree that the forecast for diesel powertrains looks strong and steady. 

New Flyer Rolls out New Analytics Dashboard for Zero-Emission Buses

New Flyer of America Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., has introduced Connect 360, a real-time, cloud-based business analytics dashboard for Xcelsior CHARGE battery-electric buses, operated by New Flyer Connect (CONNECT).

CONNECT, first introduced in 2011, has been installed on over 6,500 New Flyer transit buses across North America. Connect 360 is an enhanced and added feature, specifically engineered to track battery-electric, zero-emission bus (ZEB) performance using secure cloud-based technology. Connect 360 analytics can be retrieved 24/7 via laptop, desktop, tablet or smartphone devices using the new CONNECT mobile app.

Key business analytics provided by Connect 360 include battery state-of-charge, outside air temperature trends, GPS location and average speeds, HVAC energy consumption per mile, regenerative braking, range achieved and remaining, and energy consumption (kWh/mile).

NGVi Launches Online CNG Fuel System Inspector Training

Natural Gas Vehicle Institute (NGVi), a provider of technical training for the compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry, has unveiled CNG fuel system inspector training as an e-learning option.

The course is a complete and interactive version of NGVi’s instructor-led training.

According to NGVi, the new e-learning course provides technicians an accessible and convenient way to learn how to conduct thorough CNG fuel system inspections by adhering to all applicable codes, standards and industry best practices. It also helps prepare technicians for the CNG Fuel System Inspector Certification Exam, which allows them to become NGVi-certified CNG fuel system inspectors.

Agility Picks up 2019 EPA Approval for Propane Engine

Agility Fuel Solutions, a provider of clean fuel solutions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, has received U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval for its 488LPI 8.0L V-8 propane engine for sale through Dec. 31, 2019.

The 488LPI engine is assembled in Agility’s Salisbury, N.C., plant on a base General Motors V-8 engine long block with proprietary Agility dress parts, liquid propane injection (LPI) technology and controls. The 488LPI engine is used in school bus, propane bobtail and medium-duty truck applications. A version of the 488LPI engine is available on the Thomas Built Buses Saf-T-Liner C2 Propane school bus.