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The Week in Sustainable Mobility (7/30/06)
Mike Millikin, 30 Jul 06

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

GM reported a second quarter net loss of $3.2 billion. It's automotive operations, however, earned $362 million on an adjusted basis—an improvement of $1.3 billion year-over-year. (More...)

A new bill introduced into Congress proposes opening up ANWR for drilling and placing the resulting lease and royalty income to the US into a fund that would support increased the tax credits for cellulosic biomass ethanol, extended tax incentives for solar and fuel cell property, nd promoting coal-to-liquid fuel activities. (More...)

Kuwait’s parliament is considering a bill that would link the rate of oil production to the assessed amount of the country’s crude oil reserves. A decline in assessed reservers would result in a decrease in production. (More...)

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says that the oil industry must move faster at developing alternative fuels to further improve efficiency and environmental performance. (More...)

The California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), a $30-million public benefit investment fund created via the PG&E bankruptcy settlement to spur investment and innovation in California’s clean energy economy, has taken positions in Tesla Motors , makers of an all-electric high-performance sports car, and Imperium Renewables, a biodiesel producer. (More...)

The Government of Northern Ireland is proposing changes to the Building Regulations which will make renewable micro-generation, such as solar panels to heat hot water, solar photovoltaic panels on roofs to generate electricity or small wind turbines for houses, mandatory in less than two years. (More...)

LIGHT-DUTY HYBRIDS and PLUG-IN HYBRIDS

Honda plans to build a new manufacturing plant to produce key components to be used in its hybrid cars, including a new small hybrid targeted for a 2009 release. Due to come online in 2008, the new plant will enable the automaker to quadruple its annual output capacity for electric motors to 200,000 units and reduce the cost of making the new 2009 hybrid. (More...)

Electro Energy Inc., a developer and manufacturer of bi-polar rechargeable batteries, has joined the Plug-In Hybrid Development Consortium. (More...)

BAE Systems, the provider of the hybrid drive system in the Orion hybrid transit buses, has developed a human-in-the-loop simulation capability to support the design of Hybrid Electric Drive systems for future vehicles. (More...)

HEAVY-DUTY HYBRIDS and PLUG-IN HYBRIDS

Eleven states will receive the first 19 hybrid school buses built by IC Corporation in collaboration with Enova Systems. The parallel-hybrid school bus—which has a plug-in hybrid option—is expected to attain a 40% increase in fuel efficiency along with reductions in emissions. (More...)

Hydrogenics Corporation has received an order for a Fuel Cell Hybrid MidiBus from Rheinbahn Rheinische Bahngesellschaft AG, the public transit authority of the greater metropolitan Dusseldorf area in Germany. (More...)

BATTERIES and ELECTRIC VEHICLES

A research team consisting of members from Fudan University in Shanghai and the Chinese Academy of Sciences has been exploring the use of an AlI3 ethanol electrolyte for inexpensive and environmentally benign electrochemical energy conversion and storage devices. (More...)

BIOFUELS

Two-thirds of consumers surveyed are familiar with E85 flexible fuel vehicles, and more than one-half are interested in purchasing such a vehicle, according to the latest Harris Interactive AutoTECHCAST, a study conducted bi-annually among adult vehicle owners in the United States. (More...)

Minnesota—which leads the US in the per-capita use of ethanol and biodiesel—has added more than 60 new E85 fueling sites in seven months. The state now has more than 250 E85 stations with another 20 expected by mid-August. On average, two new E85 outlets have opened every week since January. If trends continue, Minnesota motorists will purchase 15 million gallons or more of E85 in 2006—5.8-times the 2.6 million gallons in E85 sales in 2004. That would represent about 0.6% of the total 2.7 billion gallons of gasoline the state consumes annually. (More...)

Delphi is developing flex-fuel capability for its coming Multec direct injection gasoline (DIG) systems, thereby giving automakers the ability to extend the performance and efficiency benefits of direct injection gasoline engines into a flex-fuel application. (More...)

New Mexico’s new Rail Runner commuter train will use a B20 blend of biodiesel supplied by Amigo Petroleum, beginning immediately. The Rail Runner is one of the first commuter rail systems in the country to use biodiesel. (More...)

GS CleanTech Corporation has signed an agreement with ZeroPoint Clean Technology, Inc. for the exclusive rights to distribute and use ZeroPoint’s proprietary biomass gasification, biomass gas-to-liquids (BTL) and fuel-reforming technology in the ethanol production industry. GS CleanTech initially plans to offer the gasification and BTL technology as an element in a suite of technologies designed to increase the yield from corn ethanol production. (More...)

Brazil is evaluating the possibility of accelerating the implementation of a mandated B5 biodiesel blend (5% biodiesel) from 2013 to 2010. A transition to a B2 blend is targeted for 2008. (More...)

Archer Daniels Midland Company announced plans to build a biodiesel production facility in Rondonopolis, Mato Grosso, Brazil with an annual capacity of 180,000 metric tons (54 million gallons US). (More...)

China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), China’s third-largest oil company, is partnering with a Malaysian firm to develop palm-oil biodiesel. (More...)

Indonesia is targeting a 10% domestic usage of biofuels by 2010, according to Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Purnomo Yusgiantoro. The Minister said that the biofuel would be made from casava, sugar cane, palm and castor. (More...)

The US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) has determined the DNA sequence of Laccaria bicolor, a fungus that forms a beneficial symbiosis with trees and inhabits one of the most ecologically and commercially important microbial niches in North American and Eurasian forests. The sequence of the Laccaria genome is a resource that researchers will use to develop faster growing trees for producing more biomass that can be converted to fuels, and for trees capable of capturing more carbon from the atmosphere. (More...)

HYDROGEN

DaimlerChrysler estimates that the marketing of hydrogen fuel-cell drive systems will begin sometime between 2012 and 2015, according to a recent fuel-cell workshop held by the company in Germany. The company is thus readying its second-generation of F-Cell B-Class fuel-cell test vehicles with the beginning of series production with that marketing timeframe in mind. (More...)

Hydrogenics Corporation has received an order for a HyPM Fuel Cell Power Pack (FCPP) to be integrated into a Japanese OEM’s Class 1 forklift, with delivery scheduled for late in 2006. (More...)

Two hydrogen fuel-cell-powered vehicles have emerged from Dutch labs recently: the HydroGEM, a fuel-cell powered version of a GEM Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV), built using a Dutch fuel-cell stack; and the Fhybrid scooter. (More...)

Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University have described a potential new hydrogen storage system for vehicular applications based on lithium-coated buckyballs. The new material promises a gravimetric storage density of 13 wt.%. (More...)

NATURAL GAS

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge) is introducing natural gas versions of its Caddy van in both cargo and passenger (Caddy Life) models. (More...)

Westport Innovations and Cryostar SAS, a division of the BOC Group and a leader in cryogenic pump products, completed a License and Supply Agreement for the development, manufacture and supply of cryogenic liquid natural gas (LNG) fuel pumps, based on Westport’s cryogenic technology. (More...)

Westport also announced a 50:50 joint venture with Beijing Tianhai Industry Co to market liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel tanks for medium- and heavy-duty transportation applications. (More...)

DIESEL

Cummins Inc. has reached agreement with a major automotive manufacturer serving the North American market to produce and market a light-duty, diesel-powered engine. (More...)

SYNTHETICS

Qatar Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell have launched the massive integrated Pearl Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) project in Qatar, with an eventual projected GTL fuel output of 140,000 barrels per day. (More...)

Shell Canada has formally proposed to its joint owner partners in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) proceeding with a 100,000-bpd (barrel per day) expansion of the oil sands mining operation despite surging costs. (More...)

OTHER

GE Plastics has introduced two new resins derived from 85% post-consumer plastic waste to its portfolio: Valox iQ and Xenoy iQ resins. The new products, which the company announced in Japan, are immediately available to global automotive and non-automotive manufacturers. (More...)

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has launched a new Cooperative Research Program to develop mobile air-conditioning systems that are more efficient and less harmful to the environment. (More...)

Honda plans to enter the HondaJet in the growing very light jet (VLJ) market, with the process of accepting sales orders expected to begin in the US in fall 2006. (More...)

Railpower Technologies, makers of systems for hybrid locomotives and switch engines and derivative markets, recently announced that it does not expect to meet its unit production target of 90 to 100 locomotives for 2006 and its gross margin target of 30% by the end of the fourth quarter. (More...)

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Comments

You got my hopes up with the picture of the Volvo 3CC EV, but there doesn't seem to be anything about it.

It's been a while since we had news from that car. Anybody knows what happened to it?


Posted by: Michael G. Richard on 31 Jul 06

Um, so I might be on the market for a vehicle soon & I'm wondering if you know how well any of these hybrid/alternative fuel vehicles make out in fairly cold wintery places (e.g. -30ºC or colder).

thx.
Clevergirl.


Posted by: CleverGirl on 4 Aug 06



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