November 15, 2017 News of the Day: Continental Head-up Display with DMD Technology Goes into Production for the First Time, Fisker Automotive Has Filed Patents for Ultra-Fast Charging Solid-State EV Batteries

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【Summary】November 15, 2017 News of the Day

Eric Walz    Nov 15, 2017 12:06 PM PT
November 15, 2017 News of the Day: Continental Head-up Display with DMD Technology Goes into Production for the First Time, Fisker Automotive Has Filed Patents for Ultra-Fast Charging Solid-State EV Batteries

Continental Head-up Display with DMD Technology Goes into Production for the First Time

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., — Lincoln Motor Company, the luxury division of Ford, is putting Continental's new head-up display (HUD) with digital micromirror device (DMD) technology into production for the first time.

The solution from the technology company was first integrated into the 2017 Lincoln Continental, followed by the 2018 Lincoln Navigator and enables an even better HMI experience for drivers. Head-up displays show all relevant information in the driver's field of vision on the windshield, reducing driver distraction and therefore making a significant contribution to safety.

"It is a great achievement for the entire team that our digital micromirror device technology is going into production for the first time at Lincoln. Our solution closes the gap between the classic head-up display and augmented reality head-up displays and provides a better image with a larger display area," said Jennifer Wahnschaff, head of Instrumentation & Driver HMI business at Continental North America.

Replacing previously used TFT LCD technology, the DMD generates graphical elements in the same way as digital cinema projectors, based on mirror optics and a picture generating unit (PGU). Thanks to an intermediate screen, sequential color management and a lens-based optical path, the image is brighter and sharper than with conventional head-up displays.

The Lincoln head-up display is one of the brightest and largest in its class and allows drivers to see the display even through polarized sunglasses. Moreover, due to the increased display area, more information can be displayed from other elements of the holistic human-machine interface.

These characteristics enable Lincoln to reduce redundancy between the head-up display and cluster. The DMD technology also forms the basis for augmented reality (AR) head-up displays.

Head-up displays are a key technology in holistic human-machine interaction, enabling a wordless dialog between driver and vehicle, and displaying relevant information directly in the driver's field of view depending on the driving situation. Drivers no longer have to look away from the road to read information from the instrument cluster, they look instead at the display on the windshield. This intuitive dialog between driver and vehicle is an important step on the road to automated driving.

Fisker Automotive Has Filed Patents for Solid-State EV Batteries


ANAHEIM, Calif., — The latest company to announce a breakthrough in EV battery technology is Fisker Automotive, the company that introduced one of the world's first plug-in hybrid vehicles. Fisker has filed patents for solid-state batteries and it expects the batteries to be produced on a mass scale around 2023.

The California based start-up is currently taking deposits for its upcoming EMotion electric sedan, there are strong reasons to believe that the company could fulfill this promise. One of the members of the battery-development team was a co-founder of Sakti3, a company that formed to develop new batteries and announced its research into solid-state technology back in 2011.

That company was purchased by Dyson, the vacuum cleaner company, which also intends on producing electric cars that will feature solid-state batteries in 2020. Toyota is also expected to have solid-state batteries just ahead of Fisker around 2022.

Two major hurdles to EV battery design are greater energy density and rapid charging times. Fisker claims the batteries it's developing have an energy density 2.5 times that of current batteries, and they should be capable of providing a 500-mile driving range.

The company also says the batteries could be recharged in as little as a minute. Both claims are similar to past claims from others, including Sakti3. Other benefits include lower estimated cost than conventional lithium-ion batteries, with very little risk of fires or explosions.

Fisker also announced that it will display the new battery technology at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2018) in January. It will be on display along with a close-to-production EMotion, which will be using more conventional lithium-ion batteries from LG Chem. That car has its own impressive claims with a range of more than 400 miles and the ability to regain around 125 miles of range in about 9 minutes. It will also retail for around $130,000, and the company is taking $2,000 down payments to reserve one. Fisker intends for it to go into production in 2019.

Electric Vehicle Maker BYD to Open Assembly Plant in Canada


BYD, the Chinese electric vehicle maker backed by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, plans to open its first assembly plant in Canada, in anticipation of a surge in demand for electric trucks from municipalities and businesses there.

BYD, often described as the Tesla of China, will open the plant next year in Ontario and hire about 40 people to start with, said Ted Dowling, BYD Canada spokesman. The Shenzhen-based company has decided to "significantly" accelerate its investment in Canada, as a growing demand for electric vehicles and provincial tax incentives create a more welcoming environment than the United States in the short term, he said.

"There is less of a barrier to entry when it comes to having Chinese products in Canada compared with the US," Dowling said. The company, which is partly owned by Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, declined to say where in the province the plant will be, how much it plans to invest or if any government incentives were offered. It expects to make an announcement in a few weeks, Dowling said.

The EV market in Canada is appealing for buyers. Some Canadian provinces are offering thousands of dollars in rebates to electric vehicle buyers, and companies are moving towards electric fleets.

A spokesman for Ontario's ministry of economic development and growth declined to comment on any investment from BYD.

BYD will start its operations in Ontario by shipping technology and components from China and making short-range vehicles such as garbage and delivery trucks, said Dowling. The company intends to expand, hiring more people to add more Canadian content in the future, he said.

"BYD is a global company, but we like to localize," Dowling said. "It doesn't make sense to build everything in China and then ship it. It makes more sense to utilise the incentive programs and policy changes, and create jobs in different markets."

The company opened an electric bus manufacturing plant in Lancaster, California, starting with less than 100 employees in 2013 and has boosted that number to 700 workers.

If successful, BYD could be at the forefront of rebuilding a dormant truck-manufacturing industry, Dowling said. Canada has been losing auto investment to cheaper locations in the US and Mexico, with one of the last major commercial truck assembly plants closing in Ontario in 2011. Ontario is still home to Canada's auto industry, with General Motors and Ford Motor among companies with plants in the province.

"We're bringing back an industry and we're doing it through electrification," Dowling said. "It's a totally different game."

Tantech Appoints Chief Scientist to Develop EV & Autonomous Driving Technology


LISHUI, China — Tantech Holdings Ltd., a leading clean energy company in China, has announced the appointment Dr. Yonghua Zhu as its Chief Scientist, in a bid to develop its electric vehicle (EV) business. In this capacity, Dr. Zhu will oversee the Tantech's automotive projects and lead the research and development of autonomous driving technology for smart special-purpose electric vehicles (EVs).

Dr. Zhu has been engaged in wireless transmission technology research and development for many years, applying bioengineering and artificial intelligence technology to the automotive sector. His accomplishments include, but not limited to, taking part in formulating the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 214 and obtaining three U.S. patents including one used for testing human reactions to crashes.

Dr. Zhu has also been awarded three top prizes for his academic work in the automotive field. Since 2015, Dr. Zhu has been participating in developing electric vehicles for Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Region of China. He is currently involved in the development of 19-seat, right-hand-drive electric vans. He is also teaming up with a Taiwan-based company to develop the battery management system for electric vehicles, which will be mainly used in the Hong Kong market.

In his role as Tantech's Chief Scientist, Dr. Zhu will be responsible for building the technology platform for autonomous driving, addressing technical and quality issues, as well as providing guidance for key projects and tasks in all aspects.

Dr. Zhu said that capitalizing on the Company's research resources and R&D strength, Tantech will focus on developing autonomous driving technology in the near future for electric road sweepers and related EVs produced by Suzhou E-Motors, a subsidiary of Tantech. The move will not only help Suzhou E-Motors upgrade products but also build a professional platform to drive innovation for the future.

Mr. Zhengyu Wang, Tantech's Chief Executive Officer, said: "We are delighted to welcome Dr. Zhu to our team. The appointment is in line with the Company's strategy of developing expertise in products and services used for the electric vehicle sector to build a supply chain covering China's entire automotive industry." Mr. Wang added that with the professional team led by Dr. Zhu, the Company can further drive innovation and develop leading products to realize sustainable growth, which is in the best interests of the Company as well as all of its shareholders.

We shall remind investors that the appointment is part of the Company's efforts to build up technical reserves for long-term development, and it is not expected to have a material impact on the Company's financial performance in the short term.

Dr. Zhu, a Hong Kong resident, was born in 1951. His major research and work experience includes postdoctoral research at the Department of Automotive Engineering at the Mechanics Institute at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China and also served as the principal scientist and chief technology officer at Suzhou Automotive Research Institute, Tsinghua University in Suzhou, China.

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