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Ford Testing Autonomous Hybrids in California, Sensors for Mobility Data in Rural Africa
Ford Testing Autonomous Hybrids in California, Sensors for Mobility Data in Rural Africa

CLEANTECH - The Ford Motor Company is ‘going further’ with its Smart Mobility Plan, which focuses on innovation in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics. Two recent developments include the use of sensor technology on motorcycles to collect mobility data in Africa, and autonomous vehicle testing on public roads in the US.

Automakers Beat GHG Standards for Third Year Running
Automakers Beat GHG Standards for Third Year Running

NEW METRICS - Vehicle manufacturers have surpassed the more stringent 2014 standards for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the third consecutive year, while model year 2014 fuel economy remains steady at the highest level ever recorded, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).The findings were included in two reports the agency released last week: the annual report on fuel economy trends and a report on the auto industry’s progress toward meeting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for cars and light trucks.

Ford: New Manufacturing Method Could Cut Emissions By 50%
Ford: New Manufacturing Method Could Cut Emissions By 50%

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Saving engines from the scrapyard and reusing them could deliver a 50 percent reduction in CO2 emissions compared to producing a new engine, according to news from Ford Motor Company. The automaker has announced that its new, patented plasma coating technology unlocks new recycling potential.

EVgo, UC San Diego Partner to Promote EV Charging and Energy Storage Innovations
EVgo, UC San Diego Partner to Promote EV Charging and Energy Storage Innovations

COLLABORATION - EVgo, an electric vehicle (EV) DC fast charging solutions firm, has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of California, San Diego to help support developments in sustainable energy technology, according to a recent announcement. The agreement formalizes an already strong collaboration focusing on the intersection of electric vehicles and energy storage, and EVgo says it is leading two projects at the university. In the first project, EVgo has constructed a site for assessing how owners of EV DC charging sites can leverage solar, battery storage and control systems to mitigate site host demand charges and provide services to the grid.

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Whole Foods Customers Cut Carbon With EV Fast Charging
Whole Foods Customers Cut Carbon With EV Fast Charging

CLEANTECH - A detailed analysis of 10 electric vehicle (EV) fast charging NRG EVgo Freedom Station sites at Whole Foods Market locations in the San Francisco Bay Area shows a 191 percent increase in EV charging over the last year.EV drivers also show a significant preference for DC fast charging, 12 to 1 when comparing the number of charging sessions to the Level 2 charging also available at those locations. In September 2015 alone there were nearly 6,900 DC fast charge sessions at those stations.

Ford Earns Top Grade for Water Conservation
Ford Earns Top Grade for Water Conservation

PRESS RELEASE - Ford Motor Company received the top score for its work on global water conservation from CDP, the world’s only environmental disclosure agency.  Ford is one of eight corporations to receive CDP’s highest honor for its work on water issues, from among more than 400 global companies considered. The full CDP report will be unveiled today as world leaders gather in Tokyo to discuss global water challenges.

Ford, P&G Looking to Gecko for Adhesive Innovations
Ford, P&G Looking to Gecko for Adhesive Innovations

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Researchers at Ford Motor Company are looking to biomimicry in hopes of improving adhesives and increasing the recyclability of auto parts.Improving the recyclability of auto parts by replacing (or otherwise reducing or eliminating) the glue it uses to adhere foams to plastics and metals could give Ford’s sustainability performance a boost. The adhesives it currently uses make disassembling the parts for recycling nearly impossible. Ford is sharing its research findings in a partnership with Procter & Gamble (P&G) as their teams investigate potential biomimetic business solutions.

VW Scandal a Growing-Up Time for the CSR Movement
VW Scandal a Growing-Up Time for the CSR Movement

MARKETING AND COMMS - The scandal that erupted recently around Volkswagen’s “diesel” pollution scam is going to reverberate across the corporate world − and so it should. All around the world surveys have shown that a majority of consumers care about whether the companies they buy from are “green” and “good.” Yet those same surveys show that consumers are confused as to whether the companies they buy from really are good and skeptical of company claims in this regard.

VW Scandal a Jolt to 'CSR' That Reaches Far Beyond the Auto Industry
VW Scandal a Jolt to 'CSR' That Reaches Far Beyond the Auto Industry

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - What started as a sordid tale of Volkswagen rigging half a million cars with “defeat device” software has snowballed into a global scandal as the German automaker later admitted 11 million of its cars were involved in the deception.

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Ford Research & Engineering Center Goes Landfill-Free
Ford Research & Engineering Center Goes Landfill-Free

PRESS RELEASE - Ford Motor Company’s Research & Engineering Center is now landfill free, helping the automaker achieve its goal to trim global waste-to-landfill by 40 percent per vehicle produced from 2011 to 2016. The R&E Center sits on 720 acres in Dearborn, Michigan near Ford World Headquarters. With more than 12,000 employees working out of 34 buildings including research labs, design studios, and a major data center, the campus is much like a small city. Paring waste streams will allow Ford to be more efficient while helping to improve the environment.

World's first top mount with polyurethane bearing and polyamide housing
World's first top mount with polyurethane bearing and polyamide housing

PRESS RELEASE - BASF is now expanding its expertise in top mounts to enable car manufacturers an optimum combination of weight savings, pleasant acoustics and vibration damping. The unique NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) solution is made possible by combining two of BASF's plastic specialties: the micro-cellular polyurethane elastomer Cellasto® and the highly glass-fiber reinforced polyamide Ultramid® A3WG10 CR. The top mount with the Cellasto® element and the Ultramid® housing is around 25 percent lighter than conventional aluminum die-cast versions with rubber. It was developed and optimized for serial production using BASF's simulation tool Ultrasim®.Combination of polyurethane and polyamide

Tesla Smashes Consumer Reports Rating System, Branches Into Sharing Economy
Tesla Smashes Consumer Reports Rating System, Branches Into Sharing Economy

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Tesla Motors is charging forward with a new partnership with home-sharing startup Airbnb and a record-breaking variant of its Model S, the P85D.The Tesla Model S P85D smashed the Consumer Reports’ rating system, setting a new benchmark for a perfect overall score.At the Consumer Reports test track in East Haddam, Connecticut, the car initially earned a raw 103-point score in the 100-point-based rating system. Consumer Reports made changes to its scoring methodology to account for the car’s exceptionally strong performance, and awarded the Tesla Model S P85D a final score of 100 points.

UK Trialing 'Electric Highways' That Will Wirelessly Charge EVs
UK Trialing 'Electric Highways' That Will Wirelessly Charge EVs

CLEANTECH - Highways England and Under Secretary of State for Transport Andrew Jones MP announced today that off-road (test track) trials of technology needed to power electric and hybrid vehicles on England’s major roads are due to take place later this year.The trials are the first of their kind and will test how the technology would work safely and effectively on the country’s motorways and major A roads, allowing drivers of ultra-low emission vehicles to travel long distances without needing to stop and charge the car’s battery.

Novelis Unveils Next-Generation High-Strength Alloys for Automotive Industry
Novelis Unveils Next-Generation High-Strength Alloys for Automotive Industry

PRESS RELEASE - Novelis, the world leader in aluminum rolling and recycling, today announced the development of the Novelis Advanz™ 7000-series of high-strength alloys designed for safety-critical components of vehicle structures. Two to three times stronger than any automotive aluminum used in high volumes today, Novelis Advanz 7000-series products can be used to manufacture components such as bumper systems, crash ring components and door intrusion beams. The new alloy series will offer a significant weight reduction when compared to current high strength steels in the marketplace, enabling automakers to further reduce the weight of vehicles while ensuring high levels of passenger safety.

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Google Tests Air Pollution Monitoring With Street View Cars
Google Tests Air Pollution Monitoring With Street View Cars

CLEANTECH - Google and environmental sensor networks firm Aclima announced this week that they have partnered to map and better understand urban air quality.Three Google Street View cars equipped with Aclima’s mobile sensing platform took measurements of nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, black carbon, particulate matter, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) — air pollutants which can affect human health or climate change.

Trending: Ford Seeks Sustainable Rubber Alternative, While Chevy Lightweights New Corvette
Trending: Ford Seeks Sustainable Rubber Alternative, While Chevy Lightweights New Corvette

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Two major American automakers have formed innovative partnerships aimed at producing vehicles with lighter and more sustainable materials.First, Ford is in search of a sustainable alternative to rubber. Due to the extreme price fluctuations of natural rubber and the desire to lower the per vehicle environmental footprint, the company is testing several domestically sourced alternatives.

Ford, FCA US Partner with DOE to Develop Dual-Fuel Vehicles
Ford, FCA US Partner with DOE to Develop Dual-Fuel Vehicles

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - A new partnership between Ford, automaker FCA US LLC and the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory could lead to more efficient engines on the road. Announced this week, the research collaboration will explore technical concepts and development of engines that will simultaneously use natural gas and traditional gasoline.“The fact that two major players in the auto industry are partnering with Argonne on this project really shows the promise of this approach,” said project director Thomas Wallner. “The assumption here is that if you blend the fuels properly, you can make substantial gains in efficiency.”

Toyota, Nissan, Honda Funding Japanese Hydrogen Infrastructure Development
Toyota, Nissan, Honda Funding Japanese Hydrogen Infrastructure Development

CLEANTECH - Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. have shared details regarding a new joint support project for the development of hydrogen station infrastructure in Japan. In addition to partially covering the operating costs of hydrogen stations, the three automakers have also agreed to help infrastructure companies deliver the best possible customer service and create a convenient, hassle-free refueling network for owners of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs).

Wearables, Startups, 3D Printing Helping Ford Drive Progress in Autonomous Vehicles Technology
Wearables, Startups, 3D Printing Helping Ford Drive Progress in Autonomous Vehicles Technology

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Today, Ford announced progress on its commitment to developing autonomous vehicle technology, including innovations in wearable technology and collaborations with startups in Silicon Valley to make mobility solutions more accessible. The announcement, made at the Further with Ford trend conference, marks a transition from Ford’s investment in autonomous vehicle technology as a research effort to an advanced engineering program.

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Ford Leaders Discuss New Sustainability Report, Environmental Achievements, Smart Mobility
Ford Leaders Discuss New Sustainability Report, Environmental Achievements, Smart Mobility

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - On Wednesday, Ford Motor Company released its 16th annual sustainability report, highlighting progress to reduce its environmental impacts and to innovate “smart mobility” models that accommodate growing interest in alternatives to vehicle ownership and crowded cities.Notable successes in 2014 included:

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