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Westport Joins Forces with Transportation and Energy Partners to Demonstrate ICE Hydrogen-Powered Transport in Sweden

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H2 HPDI™ Fuel System-Equipped Truck Operated by Heavy Hauler, KAJ Inrikes, Transports Trailer in Älmhult

VANCOUVER, BC, Dec. 12, 2023 /PRNewswire/ –Westport Fuel Systems Inc. (“Westport” or the “Company”) (TSX: WPRT) (Nasdaq: WPRT), a leading supplier of advanced alternative fuel systems and components for the global transportation industry, today announced the successful completion of a heavy transport demonstration with KAJ Inrikes and others, of its H2 HPDI™ fuel system-equipped prototype truck hauling a trailer filled with IKEA home-furnishing products in Älmhult, Sweden. This is the second validation of the H2 HPDI system in a heavy haul application with a major fleet in the last 60 days1 and represents an important step in accelerating decarbonization in the heavy-duty transport industry.

During the event, the complete hydrogen ecosystem was represented, including green hydrogen production; hydrogen filling stations; Westport’s unique HPDI technology; vehicle manufacturers; fleet operators; and the end user, IKEA, as a buyer of sustainable transportation services.

Ola Henriksson, senior product manager at Scania, commented, “We had a great day participating in the showcasing of the Westport H2 HPDI fuel system technology and are appreciative of this collaborative initiative, and the hospitality of KAJ Inrikes and the surrounding players in the hydrogen ecosystem.” He continued, “Scania is staying true to its purpose of driving the shift towards more sustainable transport systems, and the technology of using hydrogen in the internal combustion engine is an interesting decarbonization pathway because it represents an attractive solution with high maturity and quick time to market.”

The collaboration between Westport and key transportation and energy partners includes:

  • KAJ Inrikes, fleet operator, a “green-focused” haulage company, performing transport for IKEA and other key customers in the Älmhult and Jönköping area.
  • Smålandslogistik, large fleet owner, a long haulage and distribution company, that has identified the environment and decarbonization as important areas where they can contribute meaningful impact through their daily business.
  • Metacon AB, hydrogen fuel provider, a Sweden-based supplier of energy technology, including electolyzers and reformers for refining biogas into fossil-free hydrogen.
  • Hydri AB, hydrogen infrastructure company, building and operating a complete network of green hydrogen refueling stations in Sweden.

Westport’s H2 HPDI fuel system for internal combustion engines results in a robust and affordable solution with higher power and torque than the same engine running on diesel fuel. Moreover, the European Commission has recommended a definition of a Zero Emission Vehicle as part of the upcoming HD CO2 regulation; Westport expects H2 HPDI-powered vehicles to meet this ZEV definition for a range of heavy-duty commercial vehicles. In this collaborative effort, the Westport HPDI fuel system-equipped truck operating on hydrogen pulled a trailer filled with approximately 40 tons of IKEA home-furnishing products, demonstrating the high performance of the IC hydrogen engine.

Kaj Johansson, president of KAJ Inrikes, commented, “As the first heavy transport hauler in Sweden to be Euro VI compliant, we take emissions reduction very seriously. We are pleased to have participated in this demonstration as it illustrates our commitment to IKEA, and all our customers, to support their transport decarbonization goals.” He continued, “Westport’s H2 HPDI fuel system is an affordable and efficient technology because it keeps the current driveline and compression ignition engine platform while delivering the high performance we need at low cost for decarbonization in long-haul trucking.”

“Heavy hauling is recognized as amongst the most challenging applications within transportation to decarbonize. These heavy transport fleets require sustainable technologies that are viable for their operations as well as practical and affordable for today’s market,” said Anders Johansson, vice president, Heavy-Duty OEM for Westport Fuel Systems. “We are encouraged to see a global retail giant such as IKEA field testing our H2 HPDI prototype truck as part of its decarbonization continuum, experiencing for themselves the robustness of the system and its real-life benefits.”  

“We are happy to dedicate one of our lanes, operated by KAJ Inrikes, to test the hydrogen-powered vehicle,” said Michal Silhacek, category land manager, IKEA Supply Chain Operations. “We look forward to exploring the possible role of this technical solution in our future zero-emission transportation.”

“The Westport H2 HPDI technology left us very impressed,” commented Nicklas Svensson, senior manager at Smålandslogistik. “Its high efficiency, powerful performance, and the potential of long-range operations is a very attractive solution. Our confidence is bolstered by its foundation on a traditional powertrain, ensuring minimal investment in new workshop facilities. Additionally, the adaptability of the system to biogas is a significant advantage, aligning with our vision of fuel self-sufficiency because we can utilize local biomass and excess electricity, transforming them into fuel for our truck fleet.”

Christer Wikner, president and CEO of Metacon, commented, “It was great to see Westport’s technology in action today. This means that hydrogen can now power heavy-duty vehicles and deliver higher efficiency, power, and torque than the corresponding diesel engine. The introduction of high-performance internal combustion engines for hydrogen will be able to accelerate the transformation of the transport sector without customers having to adapt to any real change other than the fuel used in their trucks.”

Westport’s technology enables heavy-duty vehicles to be powered by green hydrogen in an internal combustion engine and this is a milestone that is in line with Hydris’ ongoing rollout of Sweden’s largest network of hydrogen stations,” said Peter Enå, CEO of Hydri AB. “We are excited to contribute to a transition where high-performance hydrogen-powered vehicles become the norm, and Westport’s progress confirms that we’re on the right track. Together, we are strengthening the foundation upon which to build a sustainable transport sector.”

About Westport Fuel Systems

At Westport, we are driving innovation to power a cleaner tomorrow. We are a leading supplier of advanced fuel delivery components and systems for clean, low-carbon fuels such as natural gas, renewable natural gas, propane, and hydrogen to the global transportation industry. Our technology delivers the performance and fuel efficiency required by transportation applications and the environmental benefits that address climate change and urban air quality challenges. Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, with operations in Europe, Asia, North America, and South America, we serve our customers in more than 70 countries with leading global transportation brands. At Westport, we think ahead. For more information, visit www.wfsinc.com.

About KAJ Inrikes AB

KAJ Inrikes AB is based in Älmhult and conducts haulage operations with a focus on transport for IKEA, including deliveries from the distribution centers in Älmhult and Torsvik to the department stores in Malmö, Helsingborg, Älmhult, Kalmar, Gothenburg, Uddevalla, Karlstad, Örebro and Västerås. Deliveries to the distribution centers from IKEA’s suppliers are also a key transport initiative of the company. Visit kajinrikes.es for more information.

About Metacon AB

Metacon AB is an international energy technology company commercializing energy systems for the production of hydrogen, electricity, and heat. Metacon was established in 2011 and is based in Uppsala, Sweden. Metacon offers large scale electrolyzer systems and also develops and holds patented technology for cost-effective and electricity independent production of green hydrogen from biogas or other hydrocarbons such as ethanol, through compact catalytic reforming systems. Metacon serves the transport sector, heavy industry, and real estate markets, providing innovative products and solutions designed to positively influence the environment and climate. Read more about Metacon.

About Hydri

Hydri, an infrastructure company based in Göteborg, Sweden, is a hydrogen refueling company addressing the transport industry. Hydri is establishing the first and largest green hydrogen station network in Sweden to be rolled out from 2024 onward. Visit hydri.co for more information.

Forward-Looking Information

This press release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws (“forward looking statements”). Forward looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as “expect”, “intend”, “may”, “will”, “potential”, “proposed” and other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions “may” or “will” occur. Forward-looking statements made in this press release include statements regarding the timing and commitment to decarbonize the heavy-duty transport sector and the potential utilization of the H2 HPDI technology, and the performance, characteristics, and cost effectiveness of such. These forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees but involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and are based on both the views of management and assumptions that may cause Westport’s actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activities, performance or achievements expressed in or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and assumptions include those related to the timing and commitment to decarbonize the heavy-duty transport sector and the potential utilization of the H2 HPDI technology, the pricing and availability of hydrogen as a transportation fuel, our ability to address technological challenges, governmental policies and regulation, as well as other risk factors and assumptions that may affect our actual results, performance or achievements or financial position that are described in Westport’s continuous disclosure filings available under Westport’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com and under Westport’s EDGAR profile at www.sec.gov. Readers should not place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they were made. Westport disclaims any obligation to publicly update or revise such statements to reflect any change in its expectations or in events, conditions, or circumstances on which any such statements may be based, or that may affect the likelihood that actual results will differ from those set forth in these forward-looking statements except as required by law.

Contacts: Westport Media Relations, NA T: +1 947-339-8097, EUROPE T: +39 337-144-8438, E: [email protected]; Westport Investor Relations, T: +1 604-718-2046, E: invest@wfsinc.com

On November 29, 2023, a cold winter day in Älmhult, Sweden, transportation and energy partners successfully completed a heavy transport demonstration utilizing Westport's H2 HPDI™ fuel system-equipped prototype truck pulling a trailer filled with IKEA home-furnishing products. The truck was hauled by KAJ Inrikes with support from key companies representing the entire hydrogen ecosystem. Photo Credit to Göran Rosengren/Tidningen Proffs

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Validation Cloud Secures $5.8 Million in Inaugural Funding to Propel Web3 Infrastructure

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ZUG, Switzerland, Feb. 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — In a significant stride towards revolutionizing Web3 infrastructure, Validation Cloud has proudly announced the successful closure of its first external investment round, amassing $5.8 million. Spearheaded by San Francisco-based Cadenza Ventures, this funding round exceeded expectations with contributions from an impressive roster of international investors, including Blockchain Founders Fund, Bloccelerate, Blockwall, Side Door Ventures, Metamatic, GS Futures, and AP Capital.

Alex Nwaka, Co-Founder of Validation Cloud, expressed enthusiasm about the funding, “This investment marks a pivotal moment for Validation Cloud as we aim to address the urgent demand for scalable and compliant Web3 infrastructure. We’re honored to collaborate with our investors who are instrumental in propelling the global adoption of our platform among cutting-edge networks, developers, and asset managers.”

Validation Cloud is at the forefront of Web3 technology, having developed an innovative system architecture that paves the way for significant advancements in the sector. Known as the “Cloudflare of Web3,” the company offers a robust, scalable, and intelligent platform providing Staking, Node API, and Data services, drawing inspiration from Cloudflare’s transformative impact on Web2 infrastructure.

Founded by veterans in the Proof-of-Stake domain, Validation Cloud boasts a team of highly experienced professionals from renowned organizations such as Uber, Workday, Deloitte, Citadel, Morgan Stanley, Binance, Crypto.com, Figure, R3, and more, emphasizing a talent-first approach with a worldwide workforce.

Kumar Dandapani, Managing Partner at Cadenza Ventures, highlighted the strategic vision behind their investment, “At Cadenza, we do not invest in just any company; we invest in the future of transformative technologies. Validation Cloud’s pioneering role in Proof-of-Stake and their relentless pursuit of next-generation Web3 infrastructure have set them apart as leaders in the Web3 space.”

Aly Madhavji, Managing Partner at Blockchain Founders Fund, shared his thoughts on the investment, “We believe in the transformative power of Web3 and its ability to redefine how businesses operate. Investing in Validation Cloud aligns perfectly with our vision of supporting innovative platforms that are ready to lead the next wave of digital transformation.”

Validation Cloud has earned a reputation for its close partnerships with networks from their nascent stages, supporting a wide array of ecosystems from established ones like Chainlink, Hedera, and Stellar to emerging networks such as Aptos, Eigenlayer, and Berachain. Their platform lays the groundwork for the enterprise adoption of networks, positioning Validation Cloud as a key player in the Web3 infrastructure landscape.

For further details on Validation Cloud and its offerings, please visit www.validationcloud.io.

Please contact: Kelly Clark, Director of Communications | [email protected] 

Funding Announcement for Validation Cloud by Alex Nwaka

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Klarna says its AI assistant does the work of 700 people after it laid off 700 people

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The Swedish fintech, which was criticized for its handling of a dramatic staff reduction in 2022, is touting new efficiencies powered by OpenAI.

Klarna is bullish on bots.

One month after taking its OpenAI-powered virtual assistant global, the Swedish buy-now, pay-later company has released new data touting its ability to handle customer communications, make shoppers happier, and even drive better financial results.

The app-based AI chatbot already handles two-thirds of all customer service chats, the company said Tuesday—some 2.3 million conversations so far—with the virtual assistant earning customer satisfaction ratings at the same level as human agents. Klarna, which is expected to go public this year and will need all the hype it can get at a time when investors have been generally frosty toward IPOs, estimates that the chatbot could help improve its profits by $40 million in 2024.

Announcing a partnership with OpenAI early last year, Klarna said it was one of the first companies to integrate the firm’s groundbreaking ChatGPT technology into a plug-in for shopping. The natural-language interface initially helped customers choose items and make other shopping-related decisions based on personalized queries, a feature Klarna described as “smooth shopping.”

The company has continued to build out its AI offerings since then. Its app-based assistants are now available to customers worldwide and handle a variety of tasks including refunds, cancellations, and even disputes.

Klarna boasted in its announcement on Tuesday that the AI assistant “is doing the equivalent work of 700 full-time agents.”

That statement may raise eyebrows for anyone who remembers the middle of 2022, when the company laid off roughly the same number of employees, then about 10% of its staff. At the time, CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski cited economic uncertainty, inflation, and the likelihood of a recession as reasons for the cuts. He was criticized for his handling of the staff reduction after he shared a public spreadsheet on LinkedIn that contained the names of many of the laid-off workers.

Fast Company asked Klarna how the company arrived at its calculation for its AI assistant’s human-equivalent productivity. The company said the number of equivalent jobs the AI could perform wasn’t related to the layoffs. In a statement, a spokesperson said the company’s customer service is supported by four to five large third-parties that collectively have over 650,000 employees, and that it offers customers the option to speak with human agents if that’s what they prefer.

“This is in no way connected to the workforce reductions in May 2022, and making that conclusion would be incorrect,” the statement read. “We chose to share the figure of 700 to indicate the more long-term consequences of AI technology, where we believe it is important to be transparent in order to create an understanding in society. We think [it’s] important to proactively address these issues and encourage a thoughtful discussion around how society can meet and navigate this transformation.”

Companies have used chatbots for years to handle low-level customer queries and other interactions, although these tools are expected to become more versatile in the wake of advancements in artificial intellegence.

Source: Fast Company

The post Klarna says its AI assistant does the work of 700 people after it laid off 700 people appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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KAPSARC Launches Saudi Arabia’s First School of Public Policy

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  • Inspired by His Royal Highness, the Minister of Energy, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud’s passion for education, human capital development and innovation, the KAPSARC School of Public Policy (KSPP) was founded as the first institution in Saudi Arabia dedicated to graduate studies and executive education in public policy.
  • Through its academic offerings, KSPP empowers individuals to tackle pressing public policy challenges and embrace the promising opportunities shaping the future.
  • KSPP’s facilities will run on 100% renewable energy, setting a precedent as one of the first net-zero facilities in the Saudi educational sector.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Feb. 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) has been granted an establishment license for its School of Public Policy (KSPP) after the recent approval by the Council of Ministers, and which was announced during the Human Capability Initiative (HCI) on February 28, 2024, conducted under the patronage of Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Prime Minister, and the Chairman of the Human Capability Development Program Committee, one of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Realization Programs.

Aiming to set new standards in policy studies, the school offers a two-year master’s degree and executive education programs designed to enable and empower future policy leaders and professionals within Saudi Arabia and globally to address the most pressing domestic and international public policy challenges in the public, non-profit and private sectors.

This significant achievement was announced by His Royal Highness, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, the Minister of Energy, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of KAPSARC: “The vision for KAPSARC School of Public Policy is to develop the knowledge and skills that the new generation needs to shape public policy both locally and globally. Our mission is to empower and equip future policy leaders and professionals within Saudi Arabia and internationally to make informed socio-economic decisions.”

In a statement on the sidelines of the school’s launch, Fahad Alajlan, President of KAPSARC, stressed the Center’s mission to impact public policy on national, regional, and global levels. “Our new School of Public Policy will equip future leaders with the right skills to create data-driven and evidence-based public policy in line with Vision 2030 goals.”

Dr. Ghadah Alarifi, Founding Dean of KSPP, stated that, “Public policy serves as the foundation of societal progress. At KSPP, we aim to be a catalyst for collaboration, building a robust ecosystem that bridges academia, industry, and government in the public policy arena.”

By leveraging KAPSARC’s network, KSPP provides a platform for global engagement and career growth opportunities, offering practical application and flexible courses tailored to empower policymakers in different tracks including energy policy.

The school is committed to achieving high sustainability standards in the Saudi educational sector, including the goal of running on 100% renewable energy. This dedication ensures that KSPP meets its annual energy needs through on-site renewable resources, eliminating the use of fossil fuels.

For more information about KSPP, visit https://www.kapsarc.org/about-the-school/.

Follow KSPP on social media:

  • X: @KAPSARC_SPP
  • LinkedIn: @ KAPSARC School of Public Policy

About KAPSARC:

KAPSARC is a leading think tank dedicated to advancing knowledge on energy, environment, and regional economic issues. Accredited observer of UNFCCC, KAPSARC actively contributes to global climate action. The mission of KAPSARC is to advance Saudi Arabia’s energy sector and inform global policies through evidence-based advice and applied research. For more information about the center please visit: https://www.kapsarc.org/

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