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The Week in Sustainable Mobility (6/25/06)
Mike Millikin, 25 Jun 06

Biofuel.jpg Mike Millikin covers the ongoing evolution of sustainable mobility at Green Car Congress

Worldwide total energy consumption will grow by 71% between 2003 and 2030, according to the reference case projection from the International Energy Outlook 2006 (IEO2006) released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Despite an increase in oil prices, the IEO projects petroleum consumption will grow strongly, reaching 118 million barrels per day in 2030—an increase of 47% from 2003. The United States, China, and India together account for 51% of the projected growth in world oil use. (More...)

Twenty-eight states more than doubled their carbon dioxide emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels between 1960 and 2001, according to a new analysis of government data by the US Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG). Increased combustion of oil to fuel cars and light trucks and coal for electricity drove the steep rise in emissions. (More...)

The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry plans to set up facilities both in Japan and worldwide to capture and store underground 200 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. Half will be disposed of in Japan, the other half abroad. (More...)

Four US Senators—Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Lincoln Chafee (R-RI)—introduced the “Ten-in-Ten Fuel Economy Act” to raise the average fuel economy standards for all light-duty vehicles—including trucks and SUVs—from 25 miles per gallon (mpg) to 35 mpg by model year 2017. (More...)

James Mulva, the CEO of ConocoPhillips, called for improvements in the fuel-efficiency of vehicles as an important step in resolving the current energy situation. (More...)

An California initiative proposing a state consitutional amendment that would tax oil production to fund a range of alternative energy efforts has gained enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot. (More...)

Students from around the world are participating in the MIT Vehicle Design Summit (VDS) this summer to design and build vehicles based on integrating hydrogen fuel cells, photovoltaics, biofuels, and human power, and that offer 500 mpg equivalence (or better). (More...)

LIGHT-DUTY HYBRIDS and PLUG-IN HYBRIDS

Cumulative European sales of both Toyota and Lexus brand hybrid vehicles have passed the 50,000-unit mark. Sales of the Toyota Prius have reached almost 41,000 units since going on sale in 2000. Sales of the Lexus RX 400h and GS 450h have reached a cumulative total of more than 10,000 units in just 17 months of being on the market. (More...)

Peugeot has applied its diesel parallel hybrid technology to the 307 CC (Coupé Cabriolet) Hybride HDi. The 307 CC Hybride HDi made its debut at the British International Motor Show and joins the 307 hybrid hatchback, announced in January. (More...)

General Motors reportedly is fast-tracking development of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle in response to Toyota’s success with hybrids and fuel-efficient vehicles. The vehicle may debut as early as the Detroit International Auto Show in January 2007. (More...)

HEAVY-DUTY HYBRIDS

The US EPA and its industry partners today unveiled the world’s first diesel-hydraulic series-hybrid delivery truck. The hydraulic hybrid offers an improvement in fuel economy of up to 60-70% and a reduction in CO2 emissions of 40% or more compared to a conventional diesel-powered truck. (More...)

Eaton Corporation is developing a parallel-hybrid power system for the heavy-duty (Class 8) commercial vehicle market to deliver both on-road efficiency and idle reduction for significant fuel savings and emissions reductions. (More...)

BATTERIES and ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subarus, unveiled a prototype an electric vehicle that they have been developing together since last year. (More...)

GS Yuasa plans to enter the hybrid vehicle market with NiMH and Li-ion batteries. The company is Japan’s largest manufacturer of lead-acid batteries. (More...)

BIOFUELS

BP and DuPont have created a partnership to develop, produce and market next-generation biofuels to help meet increasing global demand for renewable transport fuels. The two companies have been working together since 2003 and are now ready to bring their first product to market: biobutanol, which will be introduced in the UK in 2007 as a gasoline bio-component. (More...)

Western Milling, California’s largest grain milling company, and Khosla Ventures, a venture assistance and venture capital firm led by Vinod Khosla, one of the top venture capitalists, have formed a new ethanol producer, Cilion. (More...)

Kwikpower International has acquired Advanced Biofuel Technologies from UTEK Corporation. Advanced Biofuel Technologies holds the license to oil-producing microalgae developed at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The license is exclusive in the European Union and is non-exclusive in the United States. (More...)

PetroSun Drilling, an emerging provider of oilfield services to major and independent producers of oil and natural gas, has formed Algae BioFuels Inc. as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Algae BioFuels will engage in the research and development of algae cultivation as an feedstock in the production of biodiesel. The R&D and production facilities for Algae BioFuels will be based in Arizona and Australia. (More...)

Japan’s JGC Corp. will work with Arkenol in the US to begin production and sales of fuel ethanol made from scrap wood. The two companies will establish a joint venture before the end of the year with the goal of launching production in 2009. (More...)

Genencor International, a US-based biotech subsidiary of Danisco A/S, introduced a new acid fungal protease enzyme product for use in the ethanol industry at the Fuel Ethanol Workshop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (More...)

A Texas Agricultural Experiment Station researcher is exploring the feasibility of harvesting and using rangeland woody plants, such as mesquite and red berry juniper, as an ethanol feedstock for a distributed bio-energy industry in rural West Central Texas. (More...)

GM is extending its E85 range to include the 3.9L V-6 offered in the 2007 Chevy Uplander minivan. (More...)

HYDROGEN

Delphi has reached an important milestone in developing solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology for application in an on-board auxiliary power unit (APU) in vehicles. A Delphi-led team working jointly with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy has achieved all Phase 1 goals of the Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA), according to Wayne Surdoval, DOE’s SECA program manager. (More...)

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