Mike Millikin covers the ongoing evolution of sustainable mobility at Green Car Congress.
The price of crude oil reached an intraday high of US$78.40 on Friday before settling at US$77.03 US a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange last Friday.
In his annual state of the city address on 12 July, Denver mayor John Hickenlooper outlined a series of ambitious long-term initiatives and goals as part of his Greenprint Denver plan to make the city more sustainable. Some of the initiatives include increasing hybrids in the city fleet, moving to B20+ biodiesel, and reducing vehicle miles traveled. (More...)
The 2005/2006 National Technology Readiness Survey (NTRS), sponsored by the Robert H. Smith School of Business Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland and technology research firm Rockbridge Associates Inc., found that despite 25% of respondents citing supportive employer telecommuting policies or jobs that would allow work from home, only 11% are doing so. The NTRS determined that about 1.35 billion gallons of fuel could be saved if everyone with the potential to telecommute did so 1.6 days per week. (More...)
Zipcar, North Americas largest car sharing company, announced plans to double its San Francisco Bay Area fleet within the year, expanding into new communities throughout the region while increasing service in existing neighborhoods. The company is also expanding into Chicago. (More...)
Londons mayor has asked Transport for London (TfL) to produce proposals by September to amend the city's Congestion Charging scheme to discourage the use of cars producing high levels of carbon emissions, and to encourage drivers to switch to cars with low levels of CO2 emissions. The changes would involve discounts for cars with low CO2 emissions and substantially higher charges for cars with high levels of CO2 emissions. (More...)
Chinas domestic auto sales rose 46.9% in the first half of 2006 compared to the same period the year before, reaching 1.804 million cars, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. In 2005, new car sales in China grew 21.4%, up from 15% in 2004. (More...)
With concerns that energy use will rapidly increase over the next several years while fossil fuels diminish as well as numerous other energy uncertainties including the results of climate change, Sandia National Laboratories is proposing applying the principles of surety to energy. (More...)
An analysis by University of Minnesota researchers of the full life cycles of soybean biodiesel and corn grain ethanol concludes that biodiesel has much less of an impact on the environment and a much higher net energy benefit than corn ethanol, but that neither can do much to meet US energy demand. (More...)
LIGHT-DUTY HYBRIDS and PLUG-IN HYBRIDS
Changan Motor Corp, the Chinese partner of Ford Motor and Suzuki Motor, said it will develop its own hybrid for the Chinese market and have it in production by 2008. (More...)
The California South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) held a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) Forum and Technical Roundtable focused on the technical issues related to advanced batteries and their effect on the development and commercialization of PHEVs. (More...)
HEAVY-DUTY HYBRIDS and PLUG-IN HYBRIDS
IC Corporation, North Americas largest school bus manufacturer, unveiled the nations first hybrid school bus. The initial powertrain for the hybrid school bus will couple an International VT365 V8 diesel engine with a post-transmission 80 kW Hybrid Drive System, incorporating a transmission, batteries and an electric motor. The system is based on a parallel architecture. The company will offer two battery systems—NiMH and PbA—as well as a plug-in configuration that uses an NiMH battery pack. (More...)
BATTERIES and ELECTRIC VEHICLES
DaimlerChrysler confirmed it will launch the smart fortwo ev in a commercial trial for the UK market at the British Motorshow in London next week. The fully electric car will be made available only for leasing to selected UK corporate customers with deliveries starting in November. (More...)
UQM Technologies, a developer of alternative energy technologies, has been awarded a $749,000 Phase II contract from the US Air Force to develop electric wheel motors for aircraft ground support vehicles under the Small Business Innovation Research program. (More...)
A research team led by Carnegie Mellon University Materials Science and Biomedical Engineering Professor Prashant Kumta has discovered a nanocrystalline vanadium nitride (VN) material that is cheaper, more stable and produces a higher quality energy storage capacity for use in a variety of industrial and portable consumer electronic products. (More...)
General Motors announced that it has facilitated plans for the addition of three new E85 fueling sites in the Pittsburgh area, through a collaborative partnership with VeraSun Energy Corporation, Sheetz, Inc. and the State of Pennsylvania. (More...)
Marathon Oil Corporation and The Andersons, Inc. have signed a letter of intent which could lead to the formation of a 50/50 joint venture that would construct and operate a number of ethanol plants in the US. The initial plant from the JV is expected to have a nameplate annual production capacity of 110 million gallons of ethanol. (More...)
Suncor Energy Products announced that its St. Clair Ethanol Plant is now in production. With an expected production volume of 200 million liters (52.8 million gallons US) per year, the St. Clair Ethanol Plant is now the largest ethanol production facility in Canada. (More...)
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agencys (DARPA) Advanced Technology Office (ATO) is soliciting proposals for biofuel alternatives to JP-8 under a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) it issued earlier this month. (More...)
Bioenergy crop plants switchgrass and cassava, other important agricultural commodities such as cotton, and microbes geared to break down plant material to render biofuels, round out the roster of more than 40 projects for genetic sequencing to be tackled by the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) over the next year. (More...)
Ceres, Inc. has reached a major milestone in their switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) genomics program for enhancing biomass yield, completing the analysis of more than 12,000 switchgrass genes and characterizing the genetic variation associated with them. (More...)
Dyadic International, a biotechnology company, reported at the Third Annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing in Toronto, Canada, that it has identified and tested highly effective enzyme mixtures for the efficient conversion of renewable cellulosic biomass to ethanol. (More...)
A report by researchers from the US Department of Agriculture and Louisiana State University on the economic feasibility of the production of ethanol from sugar in the US has concluded that while such production could be economically viable in the short-term given the current high prices of ethanol, an expected moderation in prices could make it unprofitable for most sugar and raw sugar feedstocks by the summer of 2007. (More...)
Japans Denso is joining the ranks of parts suppliers such as Bosch and Delphi in developing auto fuel system components that are ethanol-compatible. (More...)
Indonesias plan to develop biofuels as a substitute for fossil fuels may require a total investment of about 200 trillion rupiah (US$22 billion), according to Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro. (More...)
Chinese biodiesel producer Gushan is seeking to raise US$200 million in an initial public offering in Hong Kong before the end of the year. Gushan would be the first biodiesel firm to list in the territory. (More...)
SiGNa Chem—a spin-off from Columbia University—has developed a promising method for using highly reactive alkali metals to produce different types of strong reducing agents and convenient sources for hydrogen. The latter application could provide an on-board mechanism for hydrogen storage and production for vehicles. (More...)
In an effort to encourage and speed up the introduction of hydrogen-powered vehicles&mdasg;combustion-engine and fuel-cell vehicles—the European Commission has issued for consultation from stakeholders and the general public a draft proposal of new rules to ensure the safe operation of such vehicles. The Commission draft proposal intends to incorporate hydrogen-fueled vehicles in the European type-approval framework, which is necessary to make sure that such vehicles can be marketed in the EU according to common standards. (More...)
The Chinese government will support the development of dimethyl ether (DME), a gas derived from coal, as a possible alternative to diesel. A circular from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said standards for the use of DME as a civil fuel were being drawn up. (More...)
A Kyoto University research team has developed a material based on microfibrillar cellulose (MFC) that is as tough as metal, but much lighter. The team projects that the material could replace metals and oil-based plastics in a number of structural applications, including auto bodies. (More...)
The City of London has implemented new, stricter emissions standards that apply to the entire taxi fleet. Taxis are currently estimated to be responsible for 18% of the NOx and 34% of the PM10 road transport emissions in central London. (More...)
SLOW MOTION HYDROGEN BOMB! REBUT IT, IF YOU CAN.
Otherwise, start watching for headlines that are more optimistic, such as these:
GLOBAL WARMING REVERSED!
DIASTER AVERTED... EARTH SAVED!
MAN-MADE CLIMATE CHANGES... PERMANENTLY NULLIFIED!
Albert Einstein provided the perfect scientific answer to Global Warming in 1905 with his paradigm, mass-to-energy equation, which is the key to unlocking all of the clean, cheap, environmentally friendly energy the inhabitants of Earth will ever need, without any pollution or waste stream, and with no carbon dioxide or other greenhouse emissions.
Even the super-powerful Energy Cartel will be unable to prevent millions of individuals around the World from freely switching to this abundant and everlasting Einsteinian cornucopia of "home-made energy," which will automatically reestablish Mother Nature as the exclusive controller of climate change.