Energy/Automotive News Dec. 11, 2023

London, 11 December, 2023, (Oilandgaspress): – U.S. gasoline futures dropped to the lowest level since 2021, suggesting that the average American pump price will continue to drop and end the year below $3 per gallon.

Hyundai Motor Group (the Group) today announced that six of its affiliates have been recognized for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance by being added to the 2023 Dow Jones Sustainability™ World Index (DJSI World). The affiliates include Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Corporation, Hyundai Mobis Co., Ltd., Hyundai Steel Company, Hyundai Engineering and Construction (E&C) Co., Ltd. and Hyundai Glovis Co., Ltd.

The DJSI World consists of the top performers in the enhancement of sustainability, as determined by S&P Global using the Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA). Based on long-term economic, environmental and social criteria, it reflects the top 10 percent of the largest 2,500 companies in the S&P Global BMI.

Hyundai E&C has been included in this index for the 14th straight year, Hyundai Steel for the sixth consecutive year, and Hyundai Motor, Hyundai Mobis and Hyundai Glovis for the third successive year. Kia has been included for the second straight year. Hyundai Motor, Hyundai Steel and Hyundai E&C each ranked first globally in the automobile, steel, and construction and engineering industries, earning international recognition for their sustainable corporate values. Read full article

Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation today unveiled a new snow chain-integrated tire technology to make it easier to stay safe in winter driving conditions. The video can be seen on the Hyundai Motor Group YouTube channel here: Link

Snow chain-integrated tire technology uses shape memory alloy modules that are located inside the wheel and tire. These modules protrude to act as a ‘snow chain’ when an electrical signal is received.

Unlike traditional snow chains that are complicated to install and remove, this technology will automatically deploy shape memory alloy snow chains at the push of a button, helping to improve safety in snowy conditions.

“This innovation, which will hopefully be introduced on Hyundai and Kia vehicles someday, reflects our commitment to turning advanced technologies into real-world solutions that benefit customers,” said Joon Mo Park, Head of Advanced Chassis Development Team. “We will continue to develop technologies that enhance safety and convenience of our vehicles and bring value to our customers.”

The snow chain-integrated tire technology consists of a wheel and tire assembly that feature radial grooves at regular intervals, like a pizza, with modules made of shape memory alloy inserted into these channels.

This technology takes advantage of the shape memory alloy’s ability to return to its original shape when an electric current is applied. During normal driving, the shape memory alloy located inside the wheel is compressed into the shape of the letter ‘L’ and does not contact the road surface. When the driver activates the function, an electric current is applied, causing the shape memory alloy to revert to its original profile; the material forms a ‘J’ shape, pushing the module out of the tire to make contact with the surface, improving grip, stability and safety on snowy roads.

If the surface of the tire is worn down to the height of the module in normal driving mode due to severe tire wear, drivers can easily recognize this degradation so as not miss the tire replacement cycle. Read full article

Hyundai Motor America today announced pricing and equipment details for the all-new, larger and more capable 2024 Hyundai Kona Electric. This second-generation model upscales the dynamic formula that made the original Kona Electric such a success, adding improved cabin and cargo space and up to 261 miles of EPA-estimated range[i]. Faster charging speeds with an upgraded 11-kW Level 2 onboard charger, and a modern new cabin help round out this futuristic-yet-attainable crossover utility vehicle. Read full article

Citroën ë-C4 and ë-C4 X offer new electric motor and battery combination

Citroën has clinched three prestigious awards at the Car Design News People Awards 2023, held in London on December 7. The prizes were bestowed upon the ground-breaking Citroën OLI concept, recognized for its innovative, sustainable and forward-thinking design. Organized by the Car Design News (CDN) People, which celebrates excellence in design across all facets of the process, they rewarded the Citroën Design Team in 3 categories: the Most Sustainable Design Team, the Best Interior Design Team, and the Best Exterior Design Team.

Citroën’s journey at the Car Design News People Awards 2023 began last July when the Citroën Design Team entered the OLI concept in three categories among 15: Best Exterior Design Team, Best Interior Design Team, and Most Sustainable Team. Read full article

Opel sets standards on the way to becoming an all-electric brand and shows how the future of the estate segment looks – exciting, efficient and above all electric, without comprising estate-car talents. The Astra Sports Tourer is now fully electric for the first time in its long success story and one of the first electric estates on the market. The new Opel Astra Sports Tourer Electric offers locally emissions-free driving pleasure even for longer journeys. According to WLTP1, up to 413 kilometres can be covered without a charging stop; and that in a quiet and light-footed manner, because the new Astra Sports Tourer Electric weighs only around 1,760 kilogrammes.

The new Astra Sports Tourer Electric underlines the electrifying driving pleasure with an equally inspiring, clear and bold design including the Opel Vizor brand fascia, and top equipment options. Many electronic aids are on board as standard. In addition, the Intelli-Drive 2.0 system with semi-automatic lane change assist and intelligent speed adaptation is available as an option. Comfort for the driver is enhanced by the optional AGR-certified ergonomic Active Sport seat (standard with GS trim), while the fully digital Pure Panel cockpit with two 10-inch displays and Multimedia infotainment system ensures the best in connectivity and entertainment.

In addition to all-electric drive, Opel Astra Sports Tourer customers can choose from several drivetrain alternatives. The compact estate is also available with highly efficient combustion engines and as an electrified plug-in-hybrid including the top-of-the-line model, the Astra Sports Tourer GSe. Read full article

Serena wins COTY Technology Car of the Year award in Japan
Nissan announced that the Serena minivan won the Technology Car of the Year award as part of 2023-2024 Japan Car of the year awards. The award for the Serena follows that for the Nissan X-Trail won last year. In line with its product pledge, “Serena is more than a thing, it is a memory,” a number of supporting technologies have been highly evaluated. The top-grade model features ProPILOT 2.0, which enables hands-off single-lane driving on highways. The aerodynamics have been meticulously designed to make the Serena resistant to crosswinds, while the 3-cylinder 1.4 liter engine, newly developed for e-POWER, was also highly rated. Read full article

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. is holding a special exhibit at its global headquarters from now through December 27 to commemorate its 90th anniversary. Displays along the wall and floor of the Nissan Walk* highlight the history of the company since its founding on December 26, 1933. Thousands of people pass through the Nissan Walk daily between Yokohama Station’s East Exit and the Minatomirai area, making it the perfect place to publicly showcase Nissan’s illustrious past and its ambitions for the future.

The exhibit highlights Nissan’s history chronologically. Each segment presents a decade of epoch-making events, pioneering technologies and notable cars along with the social context of each era. The Minatomirai side of the 75-meter timeline begins with the establishment of Nissan, while the Yokohama Station side concludes with the company’s plans for the future.

Since Nissan’s founding, the spirit to “Dare to do what others don’t” has inspired generations of employees to push the boundaries of innovation and enrich people’s lives. This remains the company’s mission as it strives to create a cleaner, safer and more inclusive world.

The Global Headquarters Gallery, located on the first floor, is also holding a 90th anniversary event through January 8 to show Nissan’s appreciation of all the people and communities that have supported it for so many years. Read More

Kia’s all-new EV9 has been awarded the highest safety rating following extensive testing by Euro NCAP, Europe’s leading independent safety testing organisation. The all-electric seven seater SUV achieved the maximum five-star rating, further demonstrating the vehicle’s impressive safety credentials.

The EV9 was assessed in four categories and performed to a high standard throughout the test process. It achieved 84% for adult occupant protection, 88% for child occupant protection, 76% for vulnerable road users including pedestrians, and 83% in the ‘safety assist’ category, which rates a vehicle based on the availability of a comprehensive suite of crash avoidance technologies.

Euro NCAP praised the EV9’s passenger compartment for remaining stable in the frontal impact test and providing good protection of the knees and femur of all occupants – regardless of their size and sitting positions. Tests revealed that the EV9 would be a moderately benign impact partner in a frontal collision. In the side barrier test the EV9 scored maximum points, providing strong protection of all critical body areas of driver and passengers. The SUV was also praised for its advanced eCall system which alerts the emergency services in the event of a crash.

The EV9 scored even higher in the child occupant tests, with the vehicle protecting all critical body areas of dummies representing six- and ten-year old passengers. The organisation took note of the EV9’s airbag flexibility as well as its intelligent child presence detection system. Read More

General Motors and Autocar Industries, LLC have signed a joint development agreement to create a range of zero tailpipe emissions vocational vehicles powered by GM’s HYDROTEC power cubes. Autocar, a market leader in customized vocational trucks, views this initiative as an important expansion in offering robust, zero tailpipe emissions solutions to customers. Fuel cell technology offers an additional energy propulsion option to support Autocar’s vocational customers’ move toward EPA requirements.

Hydrogen fuel cells are a key component of GM’s electrification strategy which extends beyond battery-powered passenger vehicles. Fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity through an electrochemical reaction. The fuel cell enables the conversion of energy stored in hydrogen into electricity to power a vehicle. Since fuel cells are lightweight and enable large payloads, excellent range, quiet operation and rapid refueling, they can meet the needs of the heaviest duty applications. With regulations rapidly changing in many countries, fuel cell-powered vehicles have the added advantage of zero tailpipe emissions when compared to diesel vehicles. Read More

Pilot Travel Centers LLC, General Motors (NYSE: GM) and EVgo Inc. (NASDAQ: EVGO) announced the opening of the first 17 locations of their previously announced national electric vehicle fast charging network. Now available in 13 states, the network features an elevated charging experience, providing EV travelers access to the same amenities offered at existing Pilot and Flying J travel center locations.

“EV drivers are eager for a better charging experience and to have more charging locations along America’s most traveled corridors. These new charging locations and the many more to come, will be critical for improving range confidence,” said Adam Wright, Pilot Travel Centers LLC chief executive officer. “As interest in EVs continues to grow, we believe our network can be a catalyst to getting more EV drivers on the road.”

Pilot Travel Centers LLC, GM, and EVgo, along with multiple public agencies and utilities, have worked together to grow the nation’s public fast charging infrastructure, creating a model for how public-private collaboration can make measurable progress in accelerating broader access to EV charging. The three industry leaders have worked to provide current and future EV drivers with a thoughtful, practical and accessible charging experience for long distance travel. Read More

Oxy Oman, the leading independent oil & gas producer in Oman, and OQ Gas Networks SAOC (OQGN), the sole transporter of natural gas in Oman, announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly study potential carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) projects in Oman. The MoU outlines the companies’ mutual collaboration to study the development and deployment of CCUS in conjunction with enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects at Oxy’s production assets in Oman.

Under the terms of the MoU, Oxy Oman and OQGN intend to exchange knowledge and technical expertise to develop strategies enabling the deployment of CCUS projects in Oman in line with the national strategic direction, including carbon capture, transport of carbon dioxide to Oxy Oman’s production assets for EOR, and supporting the development of relevant policies and procedures with the appropriate government bodies.

The strategic collaboration between Oxy Oman and OQGN demonstrates the two companies’ commitment to innovation and advancement of CCUS and future EOR projects in Oman. The MoU also underpins both companies’ dedication to enabling Oman’s long-term Net Zero strategy and global climate objectives. OQGN is committed to ensuring the timely and cost-effective delivery of Oman’s CCUS and hydrogen infrastructure. Oxy Oman is committed to progressing its vision as an innovative and sustainable energy leader with initiatives that enable a low-carbon future.

The MoU was signed by Steven Lauver, President & General Manager at Oxy Oman, and Mansoor Al Abdali, Managing Director of OQGN, on behalf of their respective organizations. The signing event was held under the auspices of H.E. Mohsin Al Hadhrami, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral, alongside the signing ceremony for the CCUS and Blue Hydrogen Policy & Regulatory Framework Terms of Reference (CCUS TOR).

The CCUS TOR aims to facilitate effective collaboration between key stakeholders across the Government and the Oil & Gas industry and supports effective implementation of CCUS in Oman. Read More

In the efforts to tackle climate change, a clear goal looms large: a 43% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to limit global heating to 1.5°C. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and leading climate scientists warn this is needed to avert the worst impacts of climate change.

However, a report recently published by UN Climate Change reveals a stark disparity between this goal and current commitments in national climate plans, which would increase emissions by 9% by 2030 compared to 2010 levels.

And yet, the challenge is not unsurmountable.

One urgent question is how developing and least developed countries can be expected to put forward ambitious climate pledges under the Paris Agreement, when many do not currently have the means or the resources necessary to enable an economy-wide transition towards a low emissions future.

This is where Article 6 of the Paris Agreement comes into play. It enables international cooperation to tackle climate change and unlock financial support for developing countries. There are three tools which countries can draw upon under Article 6: Read More

Oil and Gas BlendsUnitsOil Price US$/bblChange
Crude Oil (WTI)USD/bbl$71.25Down
Crude Oil (Brent)USD/bbl$75.93Up
Bonny LightUSD/bbl$76.66Up
Saharan BlendUSD/bbl$76.19Up
Natural GasUSD/MMBtu$2.35Down
OPEC basket 07/12/23USD/bbl$77.47Down
At press time 11 December 2023

Mountains, high-latitude areas and the cryosphere are critical components of our planet’s ecological balance. Recognizing their importance in the face of accelerating climate impacts, the COP28 UN Climate Change Conference highlighted the urgent need to bridge adaptation knowledge gaps in these regions.

The 16th Focal Point Forum, held during COP28, shed light on the challenges faced by these areas and proposed concrete steps for intervention in 2024 under the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP) – a network of over 450 organizations working to close knowledge gaps and scale up climate adaptation action in countries.

The importance of mountains for climate action

Mountains, with their rich biological and cultural diversity, play a crucial role for the livelihoods of millions of people.

In 2010, almost 10% of the global population – around 671 million people – lived in high mountain regions, a number expected to grow to 736–844 million by 2050. With climate change significantly impacting these regions, access to context-specific knowledge is essential for mountainous countries to implement effective adaptation actions.

Environmental changes in high mountain areas are evident and alarming. Central Asia, for example, has lost over 1000 glaciers in the last 50 years, glaciers in the Swiss Alps have experienced a 10% volume loss in just two years, and the lowest snow cover in the last 30 years was recorded in 2022 in the Alpine regions of the Danube, Po, Rhone and Rhine rivers. Read full article


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