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As of 1 September, all new cars sold in Europe must meet the Euro 6 emissions requirements. To mark this occasion the automotive and motor trading industries have launched an online clean diesel campaign to raise awareness among consumers and policy makers about clean diesel—a three-part solution comprising cleaner diesel fuel, advanced engines and effective emissions control technology.
The campaign partners—the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), the Association for Emissions Control by Catalyst (AECC), the European Council for Motor Trades and Repairs (CECRA) and the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA)—are calling for technology-neutral and results-oriented policy to ensure the uptake of the latest low-emission vehicles.
Since 1992, the EU has introduced increasingly stricter limits on vehicle emissions through a series of Euro standards. The latest and most stringent of these standards is Euro 6. New car models have complied with Euro 6 since September 2014, and as of today all new cars sold must meet this standard. Over the last 15 years, NOxlimits for diesel car engines have been reduced by 84%, and particulates (PM) by 90%. Diesel cars also have 15% lower CO2 emissions per kilometer than equivalent gasoline-powered vehicles.
ACEA’s members are BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford of Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Iveco, Jaguar Land Rover, Opel Group, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, Volvo Group.
AECC is an international non-profit scientific association of European companies making technologies for engine exhaust emissions control. The members of AECC are companies operating worldwide in the research, development, testing and manufacture of key technologies for emissions control.
CECRA, the European Council for Motor Trades and Repairs, is the European federation bringing together 24 national professional associations, which represent the interests of motor trade and repair businesses, and 12 European Dealer Councils on behalf of vehicle dealers for specific makes. The main aim of CECRA is to promote the interests of its members and above all maintain a favorable European regulatory framework for the 380,000 enterprises of motor trade and repair businesses it represents through national associations and European Dealer Councils.
CLEPA is the European Association of Automotive Suppliers. 113 of the world’s most prominent suppliers for car parts, systems and modules and 24 national trade associations and European sector associations are members of CLEPA, representing more than 3,000 companies, employing more than 5 million people and covering all products and services within the automotive supply chain. Based in Brussels, CLEPA is recognised as the natural discussion partner by the European Institutions, United Nations and fellow associations (ACEA, JAMA, MEMA, etc).
Agnik, a leading data analytics company, has received a US Department of Transportation Phase II Contract to develop an advanced connected car platform for insurance solutions. This project will advance Agnik’s smartphone and device-based connected life platform with advanced driver analytics, privacy-preserving machine learning, game theoretic social incentives, and mechanism design for usage-based insurance.
The project will be supported by numerous leading insurance carriers and several Agnik distribution channels and partners. This integrated platform will power Agnik’s Connected Insurance Program (CIP). CIP offers a low-cost way for insurance carriers to execute the full spectrum of insurance solutions for connected cars. This Phase II project is the result of Agnik’s successful demonstration of the core technology during the Phase I project.
Blending social experience with connected car applications is creating new opportunities for insurance carriers. Some key considerations include: Privacy protection and making use of smartphone sensors in order to reduce the overhead of the connected car infrastructure.
The Phase II project will provide connected car services for insurance carriers including usage-based-insurance in novel forms, customer relationship management, claims analytics, and smartphone-based insurance analytics. Additionally, this platform will be backed by Agnik’s ecosystem of Big Data Analytics products for vehicle repair service providers, OEMs, and automotive suppliers among others.
Hilton Worldwide and Uber are partnering to offer expanded digital features that will further simplify and streamline the travel experience for Hilton guests. Through the partnership, Hilton guests around the world can set Uber Ride Reminders—automated notifications to request Uber rides to and from the hotel.
Through the HHonors app, HHonors members can already book a stay, check-in, select their room, pre-order amenities and use their smartphone to enter their hotel room door with Digital Key. Later this month, HHonors members will also be able to explore the Local Scene in select US cities through a digital guide of the top trending restaurants and nightlife spots selected for being the most frequented destinations with Uber riders.
Hilton is a leader in digital innovation and has a unique mobile-first approach that makes them a natural partner for Uber We are always looking for new ways to make the Uber experience even better for our millions of riders worldwide and are excited to offer these new features for the first time exclusively to Hilton guests and HHonors members.—Jonathan DiOrio, head of Travel Partnerships at Uber
Westport Innovations Inc. and Fuel Systems Solutions, Inc. have entered into a merger agreement to create a premier alternative fuel vehicle and engine company. The transaction will result in a combined equity value of $351 million based on the closing trading prices for the shares of both companies on 31 August 2015 and combined annual revenues ranging from $380 to $405 million projected for 2015.
Traditionally, Westport Innovations has focused the majority of its technological development and commercialization efforts in the heavy-duty and high horsepower natural gas arena, while Fuel Systems has significant experience and focus with gaseous fuel systems and components for light- and medium-duty automotive and industrial applications. The complementary industry expertise provides a rationale for the merger, as the combined company’s product development efforts will span passenger car to heavy-duty trucks to locomotives and marine applications to stationary power.
Fuel Systems brings long standing relationships with several key global OEMs, including but not limited to, General Motors Company, Ford Motor Company, Nissan Motor Company, Kia Motors Corporation, Subaru of Fuji Heavy Industries, and Mitsubishi Group. Westport has key relationships with complementary global OEMs, including but not limited to Volvo Car Group, Volkswagen, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Tata Motors, GAZ Group, PACCAR Inc., Daimler AG, Weichai, Cummins, Ford, Volvo AB.
Both companies have a long history of technology innovation and engineering capabilities, which have garnered the interest and demand from global vehicle and engine OEMs. The combined company will have filed more than 500 patents in CNG/LNG/LPG parts and systems worldwide.
The merger combines 17 brands in the automotive and industrial space and will allow customers and stakeholders to benefit from the consolidation of technologies, and the expansion of product portfolios, OEM relationships, and global distribution networks. The new entity will conduct business in more than 70 countries, represent a combined 100 years of experience and will trade on both the TSX and Nasdaq under the Westport Fuel Systems name, with a new business unit called Fuel Systems Automotive and Industrial Group. The companies’ respective boards of directors have unanimously approved this transaction.
Under the terms of the merger, Westport will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Fuel Systems common stock in a stock-for-stock transaction under which Fuel Systems shareholders will receive 2.129 Westport shares for each share of Fuel Systems common stock they own at closing, representing a 10% premium to Fuel Systems shareholders based on the closing trading prices of Westport’s and Fuel Systems’ shares on 31 August 2015 or an implied value to Fuel Systems shareholders of $7.54 per share.
Following closing, existing Westport shareholders will hold approximately 64% of the combined company and Fuel Systems shareholders 36% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, including expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary closing conditions. The transaction is also subject to the required approval of both Fuel Systems and Westport’s shareholders.
To date, shareholders owning 34% of Fuel Systems and 15% of Westport outstanding shares have each agreed to vote their shares in favor of the merger. Subject to the satisfaction of closing conditions and receipt of required approvals, the companies anticipate closing the transaction in the 4th quarter of 2015. Westport and Fuel Systems will operate as separate companies until that time.
The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has awarded Iteris a $5.8-million task order for continued support and evolution of the National Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Architecture and the Connected Vehicle Reference Implementation Architecture (CVRIA) through 2018. This award extends Iteris’ working relationship with the USDOT to more than 20 years.
This new task order continues the evolution of the National ITS Architecture and supports its application at the regional, state and local agency levels for the planning and development of ITS projects. The work defined in the task order covers architecture content and software tool maintenance, ITS standards support, and technical support for architecture application.
It also provides for Iteris’ development and implementation of workshops and training on the National ITS Architecture; its application to the regional, state and local levels; and an introduction to the CVRIA and its related tools.
Iteris is leading the development and evolution of the USDOT’s CVRIA, which identifies key interfaces and standards for the Connected Vehicle Environment. Connected Vehicle technology allows vehicles to communicate with one another (V2V), as well as with transportation infrastructure (V2I). This technology has the potential of significantly improving the efficiency of the nation’s transportation system and enhancing the safety and user experience for all travelers. Iteris complements its working relationship with the USDOT by assuming leadership positions in many other initiatives that relate to connected and autonomous vehicles.
The Connected Vehicles initiative is focused on the development and deployment of a connected transportation environment that makes effective use of multimodal transportation systems, as well as other transformational applications that require a robust, underlying technological platform. This environment can ensure safe, reliable, interoperable system operations that minimize risk and maximize efficiencies for the traveling public.
Electrovaya Inc.’s wholly owned subsidiary, Litarion GmbH, has signed a contract for about €18.5 million (US$21 million) to supply Lithium-ion battery products to a German company in the non-automotive space.
About €2.8 million (US$3.2 million) of the contract will be delivered in 2015.
As part of our business development activities, we are finding tremendous interest for our lithium ion battery products in Germany and Europe across all business segments including emobility and energy storage. This contract is a strong start to the very large demand for our products across these multiple sectors.—Maxime Vidricaire, Head of Business Development at Litarion