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The Week in Sustainable Mobility (5/14/06)
Mike Millikin, 14 May 06

Mike Milliken covers the ongoing evolution of sustainable mobility at Green Car Congress.


A new analysis by atmospheric scientists shows how the interaction between air pollution, global warming greenhouse gases and natural fluctuations in climate can results in drought in the heavily-populated South Asian region. (GCC.)

A new automotive study conducted by Harris Interactive in the five largest European countries shows that enhanced fuel economy is the top automotive technology vehicle owners say they are very or extremely likely to purchase for their next new vehicle (41%). However, Europeans are less likely than their US counterparts to say they are very or extremely likely to purchase a new vehicle with hybrid electric technology (20% vs. 30%). (GCC.)

GM will stop production of the its iconic HUMMER H1 this year and the manufacturer, AM General, will convert the H1 assembly line to produce more military Humvees, which the company also produces. GM said it is moving away from very large, extremely low-volume vehicles to ones with broader appeal to a wider audience. (Earlier post.)

Speaking at the “Peak Oil and the Environment” conference, Sweden’s Minister for Sustainable Development, Mona Sahlin, outlined some of the approaches the country is taking in pursuit of its recently articulated policy target: the creation of the conditions necessary to break Sweden’s dependence on oil by 2020. (GCC.)


For the third year in succession, the 1.5-liter gasoline engine of the Prius Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain has won both the International Engine of the Year Award in the 1.4– 1.8-liter category and the “Best Fuel Economy” category. The awards were made at the Engine Expo in Stuttgart, Germany. (GCC.)

The Plug-in Partners coalition has called on Congress to provide incentives sufficient to transition the US Postal Service fleet to plug-in hybrid vehicles. (GCC.)

AFS Trinity has filed a patent application describing the company’s new technology for an Extreme Hybrid (XH) flex-fuel plug-in car that would offer the average American driver an effective fuel economy of more than 250 miles per gallon. (GCC.)


New Flyer Industries Inc, has been awarded a number of firm bus orders for a wide range of vehicles, including 35-foot, 40-foot and 60-foot buses with diesel, diesel-electric hybrid, compressed natural gas (CNG) and electric trolley propulsion systems. (GCC.)


Hybrid Technologies, a manufacturer of lithium-ion-powered aftermarket conversions, plans to build a taxi version of its battery-powered PT Cruiser, pursuant to negotiations with the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). (GCC.)

Feel Good Cars unveiled the all-new ZENN (Zero Emission No Noise) luxury electric Low Speed Vehicle (LSV). The ZENN has a curb weight of 1,280 pounds (581 kg) and is powered by six 12V heavy-duty valve-regulated sealed lead-acid AGM batteries and a 3.7 kW front-wheel drive electric motor. The car currently has a top speed of 25 mph (40 km/h), and a range of approximately 35 miles (approximately 56 km). A full recharge takes 8 to 9 hours, 80% rechargeable in four hours. (GCC.)


Chevron, through its subsidiary, Chevron Technology Ventures LLC (CTV), has taken a 22% stake in a Texas-based company that is building a biodiesel plant in Galveston that will have the potential to produce up to 100 million gallons per year. (GCC.)

Imperium Renewables, the parent company of Seattle Biodiesel, announced that it will build a 100-million gallon per year biodiesel plant in Grays Harbor County, Washington. (GCC.)

Greenergy, a UK-based fuel supplier, has quantified the reduction in CO2 emissions provided by its sale of biofuels for the first quarter of the year (15 December 2005 to 14 March 2006). The company calculated than on sales of 17.1 million liters (4.5 million gallons US) of biofuel, it reduced emissions by 41,226 tonnes of CO2 compared with standard fuels replaced in the tank. (GCC.)

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) will introduce legislation calling for a renewable fuels standard (RFS) of 60 billion gallons per year by 2030 to accelerate the use of ethanol and biodiesel; for far greater availability of E85 pumps; and for mandated increases in the production of flex-fuel vehicles by automakers to ensure that nearly every new vehicle made will be flex-fuel capable within 10 years. (GCC.)

Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell announced a new initiative that targets the use of ethanol, biodiesel or coal-to-liquids fuels (the last equipped with carbon offsets), with a 900-million gallon target. (GCC.)

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM)—the largest producer of fuel ethanol in the US—has selected Cedar Rapids, Iowa as the second location for its previously announced ethanol capacity expansion. (GCC.)

Syngas International Corp., the provider of a gasification technology targeted at hydrogen production for use in upgrading oil sands syncrude among other applications, has begun researching the possibility of using gases produced from its M2 modular fluidized bed gasifier and PyStR (Pyrolysis Steam Reforming) process to produce synthetic liquid biofuels. (GCC.)


A research project, sponsored by the German Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP) and Shell Research Limited, has made comparative exhaust gas studies using Shell Middle Distillate (GTL—gas-to-liquids synthetic fuel) with lubrication additives; fossil diesel fuel (DF); rapeseed oil methyl ester (RME, or biodiesel); premium diesel fuel (PDF—comprised of 60% DF; 20% RME and 20% GTL); and a blend of 95% GTL and 5% RME (B5GTL). (GCC.)

Australia’s Linc Energy, which is partnering with Syntroleum Corporation on a coal-to-liquids (CTL) project in Australia that integrates Linc’s underground coal gasification (UCG) technology with Syntroleum’s air-based Fischer-Tropsch technology (earlier post), has closed its initial public offer (IPO) oversubscribed, raising $A22 million ($US16.97 million). (GCC.)

Raytheon Company—a $22-billion company better known for its defense and government electronics, aerospace, information technology, and technical services capabilities—and its partner, CF Technologies are combining radio frequency (RF) technology from Raytheon with supercritical fluid technology from CF Technologies in a process that promises more efficient processing of oil shale. (GCC.)

Shell Canada is acquiring Canadian oil sands company BlackRock Ventures for C$24 per share—approximately C$2.4 billion (US$2.2 billion) on a fully-diluted basis. The acquisition will give Shell another 12,000 to 14,000 barrels per day of heavy oil production. (GCC.)


Hydrogenics Corporation announced the successful deployment of its fuel-cell hybrid midibus, alongside the regular fleet of diesel-powered buses, at the Hannover Fair—the world’s largest annual industrial fair—in Hannover, Germany. (GCC.)

Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide has received a purchase order for 15 hydrogen-fueled Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles from Miljobil Grenland AS, a participant and vehicle provider to the Norwegian Hydrogen Highway (HyNor). (Earlier post.) These hydrogen hybrid vehicles will be put in service in Norway in 2006 and 2007 as part of the HyNor program. (GCC.)

Hydrogen Engine Center (HEC), the manufacturer of Oxx Power engines, has introduced an official distribution network for its hydrogen-burning engines for the United States and Canada. (GCC.)

General Hydrogen Corporation will participate in a fuel-cell project at the Vancouver International Airport to examine the use of fuel-cell power packs in tugs that tow baggage to and from aircraft. (GCC.)

The European Commission released the results from the world’s largest trial of hydrogen fuel-cell powered buses at the Clean Urban Transport for Europe (CUTE) Conference in Hamburg, and announced the launch of a new three-year hydrogen transportation demonstration initiative. (GCC.)

The BOC Group plc—a leading industrial gas company—and Tongji University have signed a Letter of Intent to build the first hydrogen refuelling station in Shanghai. Shell, which is funding part of the project, is working with Tongji University on the design, construction, maintenance and operations of the refuelling station. (GCC.)

Solar Hydrogen Energy Corporation (SHEC) has released a private placement offering to raise C$10 million (US$9 million) to fund deployment of the first phase of the proposed SHEC Station #1, a Solar Hydrogen Production Facility at the Fleet Street Landfill in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. (GCC.)


Peugeot upgraded the entry-level diesel engine in its seven-seater 807 MPV for the European market with a more powerful 2.0-liter 120 hp (90 kW) turbo-diesel power unit that delivers 305 Nm of torque and also slightly reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to its predecessor. (GCC.)

Delphi is working on an on-board diesel fuel reformer that will generate small quantities of hydrogen from the diesel to use in the emissions control system to reduce NOx. (GCC.)

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing $1.5 million for clean diesel projects under the 2006 Northeast Diesel Collaborative Emissions Reductions Grant Program. (GCC.)


GM’s Tonawanda (NY) Engine Plant, the world’s largest engine manufacturing facility, has achieved landfill-free status in its manufacturing operations by reducing waste generation, recycling and converting waste to energy. (GCC.)

A Japanese industry-government-academia research project involving seven companies, two research institutes and two universities has developed an improved exterior surface quality, high-strength, heat-resistant plastic (bioplastic) made of natural materials. It can also be used for vehicle interior parts. (GCC.)

Daihatsu—in which Toyota has a 51% stake—has introduced a new compact passenger car, the COO, into the Japanese market. (GCC.)

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Where's the discussion about _planning_? Caterpillar just invested $7.5M (!) in an effort to focus on that in the world's fastest-growing cities.

Posted by: Ordinary Citizen on 18 May 06



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