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The Week in Sustainable Mobility (7/8/2006)
Mike Millikin, 9 Jul 06

transit.gif Mike Millikin covers the ongoing evolution of sustainable mobility at Green Car Congress.

A new study led by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, implicates rising seasonal temperatures and the earlier arrival of spring conditions in connection with a dramatic increase of large wildfires in the western United States. The authors conclude that the increased frequency of large and devastating wildfires may significantly change forest composition and reduce tree densities, transforming the western US forests’ role as a storage sink for sequestering some 20 to 40% of all US carbon to a source for increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.(More...)

A new report finds that worldwide emissions of carbon dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuels are dramatically altering ocean chemistry and threatening marine organisms—including corals—that secrete skeletal structures and support oceanic biodiversity. (More...)

In a report adopted by 439 votes in favor to 74 against and 102 abstentions, Members of the European Parliament (MEP) proposed that the EU takes action to reduce the climate change impact of aviation by devising a scheme for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from aviation, and the immediate introduction of kerosene taxes by requiring a tax on all domestic and intra-EU flights (with the possibility to exempt all carriers on routes on which non-EU carriers operate). (More...)

A report on sustainable development prepared by two French Senators for the French Office Parlementaire D’Evaluation des Choix Scientifiques et Technologiques (OPECST) calls for the EU to lead a global energy transition to avoid the worst impact of climate change and an oil shock they predict occurring by 2020 at the latest. (More...)

The Japanese auto industry is “doing its best” to meet the European Union’s carbon-dioxide emissions targets for vehicles, but is hampered by vehicle safety rules and lack of subsidies and incentives to support hybrids, according to Fujio Cho, chairman of Toyota and chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. (More...)

The US House of Representatives passed H.R. 4761—the Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act of 2006—by a vote of 232-187. The bill lifts a 25-year ban on oil and natural gas drilling off most of the Pacific and Atlantic coasts and the eastern part of the Gulf of Mexico. The bill also calls for the United States to use Canada’s approach to oil sands development as a model for the development of the western oil shale. (More...)

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have introduced a draft of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, a comprehensive plan aimed at significantly reducing the health risks posed by air pollution from port-related ships, trains, trucks, terminal equipment and harbor craft. (More...)


Hybrids in the US had their second-strongest sales month of the year and third-strongest month ever, posting a total of 23,048 units, an increase of 20% from June 2005. May 2006 remains the peak month, with 23,554 units sold. Total light-duty vehicle sales in the US declined 10.5% to 1.5 million units in June 2006 from 1.68 million units in June 2005. Hybrids represented 1.54% of all US light duty vehicles sold in June 2006, up from 1.15% in June 2005. (More...)

Siemens VDO Automotive has accelerated the development of its family of hybrid systems, and plans to have a full hybrid system in an on-road demonstration vehicle as early as the end of 2006. (More...)

Toyota will compete in Japan’s only 24-hour semi-international racing event with a modified Lexus GS450h hybrid sedan. (More...)

Ford reportedly Ford plans to offer a more fuel-efficient version of its full-size SUV, the Expedition, that could be powered by either a new European V-8 diesel engine or a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain. (More...)


Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corporation (MFTBC), 85% owned by DaimlerChrysler and a member of DaimlerChrysler’s Truck Group, launched its new Canter Eco Hybrid parallel diesel-electric truck into the Japanese market. The Canter Eco Hybrid system combines a 3.0-liter, four-cylinder inline diesel engine; an ultra-slim 35 kW electric motor/generator installed between an automatic clutch (for disengaging the engine from the driveline) a high-efficiency automated mechanical transmission; and a 1.9kWh Li-ion battery pack consisting of 96 cells connected in series. (More...)


Toyota recently outlined its policy to keep RAV4 EVs in service for as long as they are sustainable. (More...)

Oxygen S.p.A., an Italian provider of electric transporters, has placed orders for Valence’s new U-Charge XP lithium-ion battery systems which will power a new line of electric scooters designed for delivery fleets across Europe. (More...)

Altair Nanotechnologies has received a $750,000 initial order for its fast-charge, lithium-ion batteries from Phoenix Motorcars, a company founded in 2001 to mass produce a full-function, freeway-ready electric pickup truck. (More...)

Phoenix, which has introduced a prototype of the truck using Valence batteries and an Enova drive, is also evaluating a UQM drive system. (More...)

Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) has approved C$48 million (US$43 million) in new funding for 22 projects that develop and demonstrate clean technologies, one of which is an all-electric urban delivery vehicle. Other supported projects include biofuels production, and tidal and wind power generation. (More...)


The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released a detailed research agenda for the development of cellulosic ethanol as an alternative to gasoline. The 200-page research roadmap—Breaking the Biological Barriers to Cellulosic Ethanol: A Joint Research Agenda—resulted from the Biomass to Biofuels Workshop held in December 2005. (More...)

SunOpta has signed a Joint Development Agreement with the Dutch company Royal Nedalco—one of the largest ethanol suppliers in Europe—under which SunOpta will license Nedalco’s patented pentose fermenting yeast for the production of cellulosic ethanol in North America. (More...)

Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt today signed House Bill 1270—the Missouri Renewable Fuels Standard (MoRFS)—requiring gasoline sold in Missouri contain 10% agriculturally-derived ethanol (E-10) by 1 January 2008. (More...)

The Kroger Co., one of the US’s largest grocery chains, will begin selling E85 ethanol fuel at stations in central Ohio beginning in August. The first Ohio Kroger fuel station with E85 will be in Columbus. (More...)

Hansen Construction NQ (Australia) will test the use of B100 in heavy earth-moving equipment by fueling a Caterpillar 615 scraper at a construction site at Fairfield Waters (a new residential community under development near Townsville) with 100% biodiesel for two months. (More...)

Svensk Etanolkemi AB (Sekab), a Swedish ethanol company, will spend €343 million (US$436 million) to build four ethanol plants in Hungary to meet increasing demand for biofuels. (More...)

Vietnamese catfish processor and exporter Agifish plans to convert catfish fat into biodiesel. (More...)

The government of Malaysia has issued a temporary freeze on the new biodiesel licenses due to the “overwhelming” number of applications for the construction of new biodiesel plants in the country. (More...)


TucTuc Limited announced the launch of Europe’s first TucTuc (motorized three-wheelers, or rickshaws) route service, with the introduction of a small fleet of CNG-fueled three-wheelers imported from Bajaj in India. (More...)

The City District Government Karachi (Pakistan) has devised a program to replace old buses with 8,000 new CNG buses over the next four years. The federal government is offering Rs 4 billion (US$66.4 million) to help the local transporters to get these buses imported at subsidized rates. (More...)


Hydrogen Engine Center (HEC) has sold a 50kW hydrogen-fueled generator set to Xcel Energy for use in a wind-to-hydrogen research, development and demonstration project. Researchers will analyze and compare hydrogen production directly from wind power versus using the electric grid. The hydrogen will be produced from electrolysis using an electrolyzer. (More...)

Ballard Power Systems has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and fuel cell supply agreement with Shanghai Fuel Cell Vehicle Powertrain Co., Ltd. (Powertrain) to cooperate on the development of fuel cell vehicles for demonstration and field trial programs planned in China in 2006 and 2007. (More...)

FuelCell Energy has developed a more cost-efficient system to separate pure hydrogen from a gas mixture that then can be sold as fuel for hydrogen vehicles or industrial uses. Fuel Cell Energy is a leader in the development and manufacture of high-temperature direct fuel cells (DFC) for electric power generation, with more than 45 installations worldwide. (More...)


Rolls-Royce has entered a multi-year partnership with Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) to develop new high-temperature superalloys for use in gas turbine engines. Both competitive and environmental benefits result from increasing the temperature capabilities of materials operating in the hottest parts of a gas turbine to improve fuel efficiency, which in turn reduces the emissions of carbon dioxide. (More...)

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Sustainable transport?
Isn't that really limited to electric trains running on wind + solar chimney's and other renewable electricity sources in a smart grid? Surely we aren't stuck thinking of transport as a liquid fuels concept. We don't have time to much around with bad science... biomass schemes just can't grow the volumes we need, and most have a very questionable ERoEI. (See

It's time to get on the bike, and move closer to work and schools etc.... and massively upgrade light rail to the suburbs. Time to get that New Urbanism and Transit Orientated Developments happening so we don't NEED so much transport.

It's time to get to know our neighbours, to walk out our front door and find an interesting highly dense and diverse world to explore, rather than the bland sameness of suburbia that you have to escape in a car.

It's time to get REAL about PREVENTING transport needs in the first place. Then we'll have sustainable transport solutions. ;-)
There is no "silver bullet" to peak oil. It's time to get serious, and get very, very real with the science. No more cliche's about biodiesel if the volumes just cannot be manufactured.

Posted by: David Lankshear on 9 Jul 06


Posted by: KERMIT WILLIAMS on 27 Jul 06



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