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Santa Cruz, California -- Joby Aviation, Inc. this week became the first company to fly an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft as part of NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) National Campaign.
NASA’s AAM National Campaign is designed to promote public confidence in emerging aviation markets, such as passenger air taxis, through flight testing in realistic scenarios and data analysis that will inform the development of regulatory standards for emerging aviation platforms.
As part of the two-week test campaign at Joby’s Electric Flight Base near Big Sur, California, NASA and Joby will join forces to study the acoustic signature of the all-electric Joby aircraft, which the company intends to operate as part of a commercial passenger service beginning in 2024.
"NASA is proud to continue our relationship with Joby by gathering highly valuable aircraft safety and noise data that will contribute towards an aviation future that includes Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) operations," said Davis Hackenberg, NASA AAM mission integration manager. "Data from industry leaders like Joby is critical for NASA’s research activities and future standardization of emerging aircraft configurations. Industry partnerships are imperative for the United States to become a leader in the development of a safe and sustainable AAM ecosystem."
NASA engineers will deploy their Mobile Acoustics Facility and more than 50 pressure ground-plate microphones in a grid array that allows for multi-directional measurement of the Joby aircraft’s sound emissions. Using this data, NASA and Joby will generate noise hemispheres for the aircraft that capture the intensity and the character of the sound emitted in comparison to helicopters, drones, and other aircraft.
These readings, in combination with the noise profile of urban communities, can be used to verify how proposed aircraft operations will blend into the existing background noise. Joby has released several videos showcasing the quiet nature of the company’s aircraft during take-off, hover, and overhead flight.
“NASA has been a critical catalyst in the transition to electric aviation, and we’re proud to have partnered with them on multiple groundbreaking projects since our first collaboration in 2012,” said JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO at Joby. “It’s incredibly exciting to be the first eVTOL company to fly as part of the AAM National Campaign, leading the way toward a more sustainable future.”
“From day one, we prioritized building an aircraft that not only has an extremely low noise profile, but blends seamlessly into the natural environment. We have always believed that a minimal acoustic footprint is key to making aviation a convenient part of everyday movement without compromising quality of life, and we’re excited to fly with NASA, our long-time partners in electric flight, to demonstrate the acoustic profile of our aircraft.”
Joby’s participation in the National Campaign marks the next step in a long history of collaboration between the two parties. Over the last decade, Joby has worked with NASA on a range of aircraft projects that have explored electric propulsion, including a long-endurance eVTOL demonstrator called Lotus, the Leading Edge Asynchronous Propeller Technology (LEAPTech) project, and the design of the X-57 Maxwell experimental aircraft now undergoing systems integration testing.
With a maximum range of 150 miles recently demonstrated during flight testing, and a top speed of 200 mph, Joby’s aircraft is designed to carry four passengers and a pilot with zero operating emissions. With more than 1,000 flight tests completed and full-scale prototypes in the air since 2017, Joby Aviation aims to certify its electric air taxi with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2023.
The aircraft is powered by six propellers that tilt to enable vertical takeoff and efficient cruise flight. The number of blades, blade radius, tip speeds, and disk loading of the aircraft were all selected to minimize the acoustic footprint and improve the character of the noise produced. The propellers can also individually adjust their tilt, rotational speed, and blade pitch, helping to avoid the blade vortex interactions that cause the “wop wop” sound we associate with traditional helicopters.
Once testing is complete, a team of acoustic experts from NASA and Joby will work together to analyze the data before sharing their findings later in the year.
A blog post detailing the history of Joby’s partnership with NASA was previously published on Joby’s company website.
Joby recently listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol JOBY following its successful business combination with Reinvent Technology Partners. Proceeds raised in the transaction plus cash on the company’s balance sheet as of March 31, 2021, equal approximately $1.6 billion, which is expected to fund Joby through initial commercial operations.
Boston, Massachusetts --XL Fleet Corp., a leader in vehicle electrification solutions for commercial and municipal fleets, announced it is now offering its hybrid electric drive system for Ram 2500 and 3500 heavy duty pickup trucks. The XLH™ system represents the Company’s first electrification product to be available for Ram Commercial, Stellantis’ (NYSE: STLA) line of commercial pickup trucks.
XL Fleet’s newest product represents the fourth OEM platform on which its electrification systems are compatible, which also includes hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric drive solutions for Ford, General Motors and Isuzu fleet vehicles. With the Ram 2500 and 3500 heavy duty pickup models added to its hybrid product line, XL Fleet now electrifies four of the U.S.’s top-selling pickup brands, including Ford F-series, Chevrolet Silverado, Ram and GMC Sierra trucks.
With the addition of Stellantis, the world’s fourth largest automaker, and its popular Ram truck and commercial lineup to its roster of OEM partners, XL Fleet continues to diversify its product portfolio to meet a broader range of vehicles, applications and specifications for its fleet customers. Ram pickups are renowned among fleets for their exceptional towing capability, comfort and luxury design, and can now realize significant fuel economy improvements and CO2 emissions reductions with an XL Hybrid electric drive system installed.
“Adding a global leader like Stellantis to our network of OEM partners represents a great milestone for XL Fleet, and provides another world-class platform to our product portfolio for customers,” said Dimitri Kazarinoff, Chief Executive Officer of XL Fleet. “The Ram Commercial line of pickup trucks generates significant demand in the fleet industry, and this platform opens attractive new opportunities for our current customers and prospects to electrify their fleet. We continue to execute on our strategy of building the broadest and most diverse network of fleet electrification solutions on the market, while helping customers to immediately move forward on meeting their sustainability goals.”
The XLH hybrid electric drive system is now available for select Ram 2500 / 3500 models with the 6.4L V8 engine and a wide range of wheelbases, cab configurations and drivelines. The XLH system features a high-efficiency lithium-ion battery, inverter and electric traction motor, which helps to propel the vehicle forward during acceleration and captures energy through regenerative braking during deceleration.
As with the rest of the XLH hybrid electric upfit applications, the system requires no external power or charging infrastructure to operate, and all OEM factory warranties remain intact. The XLH system includes XL Fleet’s standard 3-year, 75,000-mile warranty, with extended warranty options available. The systems are also currently available on a wide variety of Class 2-6 vehicles from Ford, Chevrolet, GMC, and Isuzu.
*Editor's note: XL Fleet displayed an XLH hybrid-equipped Ram 2500 in its booth (#1211) during the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo event August 31 – September 1 in Long Beach, CA.
About XL Fleet Corp.
XL Fleet is a leading provider of vehicle electrification solutions for commercial and municipal fleets in North America, with more than 150 million miles driven by customers such as The Coca-Cola Company, Verizon, Yale University and the City of Boston. XL Fleet’s hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric drive systems can increase fuel economy up to 25-50 percent and reduce carbon dioxide emissions up to 20-33 percent, decreasing operating costs and meeting sustainability goals while enhancing fleet operations. XL Fleet’s plug-in hybrid electric drive system was named one of TIME magazine's best inventions of 2019. For additional information, please visit www.xlfleet.com.
Stellantis is one of the world’s leading automakers and a mobility provider, guided by a clear vision: to offer freedom of movement with distinctive, affordable and reliable mobility solutions. In addition to the Group’s rich heritage and broad geographic presence, its greatest strengths lie in its sustainable performance, depth of experience and the wide-ranging talents of employees working around the globe. Stellantis will leverage its broad and iconic brand portfolio, which was founded by visionaries who infused the marques with passion and a competitive spirit that speaks to employees and customers alike. Stellantis aspires to become the greatest, not the biggest while creating added value for all stakeholders as well as the communities in which it operates.
Source: Business Wire
Auburn Hills, Michigan – Nexteer Automotive expands the output capabilities of its pinion electric power steering (EPS) systems to meet the needs of heavier electric vehicles (EVs) in segments B through D.
Nexteer’s new high-output options for Single Pinon-Assist EPS (SPEPS) and Dual Pinion-Assist EPS (DPEPS) join Nexteer’s previously announced High-Out Rack-Assist EPS (REPS) to provide high-output options for all types of underhood EPS systems.
The Company’s new high-output options for DPEPS and SPEPS systems increase the steering capability by 12% to 20% – up to 14.5 kilonewtons (kN) for DPEPS and up to 12.5kN for SPEPS. These high-output solutions benefit OEM customers by enabling them to steer heavier EV loads in B through D segment vehicles without the need to move up to more premium EPS technologies that are traditionally employed for larger segment vehicles.
“Nexteer’s high-output EPS portfolio expansion further enhances the Company’s position within the growing electrification trend – as well as capitalizes on our global market leadership in REPS and market leadership with SPEPS in Europe,” said Robin Milavec, Executive Board Director, Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Strategy Officer, Nexteer Automotive. “We believe our expanded high-output EPS product portfolio further strengthens our ability to meet the needs of our customers globally, while also offering new opportunities to expand our customer base and market diversification in an increasingly electrified future.”
In addition to Nexteer’s new High-Output DPEPS and High-Output SPEPS systems, the Company’s High-Output REPS increases the steering capacity of Nexteer’s industry-leading REPS – steering up to 24kN of load compared with 10-17kN for a typical REPS system.
In addition to EVs, which are in many cases heavier than comparable internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, High-Output REPS can also convert heavy-duty (HD) trucks and light commercial vehicles (LCV), in the 3.5–6T segment, from hydraulic to electric power steering. Now with the ability to steer these vehicle types electrically, drivers of HD trucks and LCVs can benefit from enhanced fuel efficiency, advanced safety and comfort features such as lane keep assist, crosswind compensation, trailer assist and more.
To date, Nexteer has booked three electric applications for High-Output REPS, including a full-size electric pick-up truck, an electric LCV (delivery van) and an electric autonomous Level 4 people mover (with no steering wheel).
ABOUT NEXTEERNexteer Automotive (HK 1316), a global leader in intuitive motion control, is a multi-billion dollar global steering and driveline business delivering electric and hydraulic power steering systems, steering columns, driveline systems, as well as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving enabling technologies for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The company has 27 manufacturing plants, four technical and software centers and 13 customer service centers strategically located in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The company serves more than 60 customers in every major region of the world including BMW, Ford, GM, Stellantis, Toyota and VW, as well as automakers in India and China.
Galesburg, Michigan — Power management company Eaton today announced its Vehicle Group has launched an extensive lineup of specialized differentials for electrified vehicles with comparable performance to traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. The passenger vehicle market is increasingly transitioning to electrified vehicles (EVs), and Eaton has the expertise and experience to provide the solution EV manufacturers need.
Eaton’s Traction Control family of differentials can provide improved traction in adverse conditions, such as snow and mud, and improved stability while trailering. As a global supplier, Eaton has extensive knowledge of vehicle dynamics and safety standards, as well as decades of experience working with global automotive manufacturers to integrate differentials into new vehicle platforms. Eaton has been supplying differentials to the EV market since 2015.
“Eaton conducts a total system analysis, using state-of-the-art tools and in-house know-how, to design a differential for electrified vehicles optimized for efficiency, reliability and manufacturing,” said Brent Pawlak, business unit director, Eaton’s Vehicle Group. “We also can partner with an OEM to design and develop a differential to specifications and requirements, including torque levels, duty cycles, fatigue and size requirements, as EVs often require compact components and unique torque requirements that can be integrated into electrified drivetrains.”
Eaton offers a full range of differentials for electrified vehicles, including automatic limited-slip, automatic locking and electronic selectable locking differentials. Each differential is highly engineered, tested and validated for a variety of traction control applications. Performance is verified at Eaton’s Proving Ground testing complex in Marshall, Michigan, which is home to more than 600 acres of testing facilities and tracks.
Eaton’s Traction Control solutions include:
- Truetrac® – Helical-gear limited-slip differential maximizes wheel traction and enhances driving and handling characteristics. Easily integrated into compact packaging spaces, with high power density capacity.
- ELocker® – Allows for maximum driveline flexibility. Users can switch from a fully open to a fully locked axle at the touch of a button, or it can be integrated into the vehicle (auto-locking). High torque capacity and range, with compact designs for EV applications.
- IntelliTrac™ – Smart electronically controlled, limited-slip differential is fully integrated to the vehicle to provide instant response and optimized vehicle performance at any speed or traction condition.
- MLocker® – Automatic, mechanical locking differential which provides drivers best-in-class traction without the need for buttons, shift knobs or other driver intervention. Improves towing and off-road performance with low integration cost.
- Posi® – Limited slip differential which automatically prevents wheel slip before it can get started. Easily integrates into most axle designs and can be tuned for application requirements.
- Open – Compact open differential which allows cost-effective solution for managing torque between left and right wheels.
Eaton’s mission is to improve the quality of life and the environment through the use of power management technologies and services. We provide sustainable solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical power – more safely, more efficiently, and more reliably. Eaton’s 2020 revenues were $17.9 billion, and we sell products to customers in more than 175 countries. We have approximately 85,000 employees. For more information, visit www.eaton.com