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The Week in Sustainable Mobility (8/6/06)
Mike Millikin, 6 Aug 06

carsaug.jpgMike Millikin covers the ongoing evolution of sustainable mobility at Green Car Congress.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and British Prime Minister Tony Blair signed an agreement today to become partners and to act “aggressively” to address climate change and promote energy diversity. Among the commitments is a pledge to They will share information regarding efforts to reduce emissions from the transportation sector, including California’s emission standards and hydrogen highway and the United Kingdom’s experience with a renewable fuels standard and clean coal technologies. (More...)

New York Governor George Pataki signed legislation that will prohibit the use of exclusivity contracts between fuel distributors and gas stations that have limited the availability of renewable fuels for consumer use in their vehicles. (More...)

Toyota Motor has released its 2006 sustainability report, summarizing its efforts on sustainability from environmental, social and—for the first time—economic frames of reference. Toyota’s environmental costs (unconsolidated) totalled ¥237.8 billion (US$2 billion), representing a 3% increase of ¥6.7 billion from the previous year and accounting for 2.3% of net sales.(More...)

Results from a field test on CO2 sequestration in an old brine-filled oil reservoir suggest that the mixture of CO2 and brine dissolves minerals in the rock walls, including carbonate, that could lead to pathways in the rock through which the gas could escape. In a paper published in the July edition of Geology, the researchers in the Frio Brine Pilot also note the potential for the mobilization of toxic trace metals and toxic organic compounds. (More...)

The South African government may consider imposing penalties to slow the rapid growth in sales of SUVs and off-road vehicles, which have continued to rise despite soaring fuel prices, according to Nhlanhla Gumede, the chief director of hydrocarbons in the department of minerals and energy. (More...)

LIGHT-DUTY HYBRIDS and PLUG-IN HYBRIDS

Buoyed by strong results for the Prius and the Camry hybrid, sales of hybrids in the US hit a new high in July, with 25,626 units sold—a 32% increase from July 2005. Hybrids represented 1.7% of the total new light-duty vehicle market in July 2006. (More...)

Honda UK has pledged to offset the CO2 emissions of Civic Hybrid customers until they take delivery of their new car. (More...)

New York Governor George E. Pataki and Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno announced plans for a new $10-million State program to convert vehicles in the State fleet to plug-in hybrids and for the construction of a state-of-the-art alternative fuel research laboratory at the Saratoga Technology + Energy Park (STEP). (More...)

Brazilian automotive company OBVIO! has signed a development and license agreement with Rotoblock Corporation for the development and incorporation of a more compact Oscillating Piston Engine—a toroidal internal combustion engine—into flex-fuel hybrid versions of the OBVIO! 828, 012 and subsequent models. (More...)

HEAVY-DUTY HYBRIDS and PLUG-IN HYBRIDS

The San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) rolled out 6 more hybrid buses to its mass transit fleet. The buses, manufactured by Gillig, are powered by General Motors’ diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system. The 6 buses are the first to be delivered to a hybrid bus purchasing consortium, announced in January, consisting of numerous transit agencies in California and elsewhere. (More...)

BATTERIES and ELECTRIC VEHICLES

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $116 million in grants to small businesses for research under the department’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The research projects are in 49 technical topic areas including energy storage for hybrid and electric vehicles. (More...)

BIOFUELS

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will spend $250 million to establish and operate two new Bioenergy Research Centers to accelerate basic research on the development of cellulosic ethanol and other biofuels from biomass, including biodiesel, biofuels for aviation, and biologically based hydrogen and other fuels from sunlight. (More...)

SunOpta Inc. has sold a continuous process system, including SunOpta’s patented and proprietary biomass conversion technology, to Celunol (formerly BC International) for Celunol’s cellulosic ethanol commercial demonstration facility in Jennings, Louisiana. (More...)

GreenFuel Technologies Corporation, developers of algae bioreactor systems that recycle CO2 in smokestack gases into biofuels, has signed a licensing agreement with The Victor Smorgon Group headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. (More...)

Japanese biotechnology start-up Neo-Morgan Laboratory Inc. has developed a new process for breeding Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeasts that can efficiently produce bioethanol from pentose (five-carbon) sugars, the sugars contained in cellulosic biomass. (More...)

Archer Daniels Midland’s (ADM) calendar year second quarter—the fourth quarter in its fiscal year— profit more than doubled, fueled in part by ethanol prices. Quarterly profit totaled $410.3 million compared with a profit of $195.5 million during the same period last year. (More...)

Executives from DuPont Biofuels Europe, BP and British Sugar recently testified on biofuels and biobutanol specifically before a subcommittee (European Union agricultural and environmental policies) of the UK House of Lords as part of the subcommittee’s Biofuels Inquiry. (More...)

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency asking it to consider using Minnesota as a site for testing XcelPlus FlexTek E-85 conversion kits. (More...)

Globex, a waste-to-cellulosic ethanol startup, announced that trials of its new supercritical fluid (SCF) technology have demonstrated a lignin removal of more than 50% at ambient temperatures into a SCF 4-liter pressure vessel. The material used in the trial was common wood chips. (More...)

Basel-based Bank Sarasin has issued a report—Biofuels: transporting us to a fossil-free future?—that briefly assesses the sustainability of biofuels from environmental and investment perspectives. (More...)

HYDROGEN

The London Hydrogen Partnership (LHP) has launched an open tender for the acquisition of about 60 more hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles. (More...)

The California Air Resources Board is awarding grants to three proposals for new Hydrogen Highway fueling stations in California. The demonstration stations, the first to be co-funded by California, will help build hydrogen infrastructure. Criteria for the stations include a 30% reduction in greenhouse gases and 20% use of renewable energy to produce and distribute the hydrogen. The criteria also require no increases in smog-forming emissions, compared to average gasoline vehicles and infrastructure. (More...)

Modine Manufacturing Company, a specialist in thermal management systems and components, has introduced a fuel-cell idle-reduction (idle-off) air-conditioning and heating system that uses carbon dioxide (CO2) for cooling. (More...)

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have successfully integrated and operated an autothermal kerosene reformer with a high-temperature solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) designed for auxiliary power generation on-board aircraft. (More...)

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has submitted a proposal to the ministry of non-conventional energy sources to conduct pilot testing of vehicles running on a blend of CNG and 10% hydrogen in New Delhi. (More...)

NATURAL GAS

North American Bus Industries (NABI) has received an order for 35 40-foot, low-floor natural gas (CNG) buses from the Sun Metro Transit Department of El Paso, Texas. Delivery is scheduled for March 2007. (More...)

Qingdao Public Transport Group has put 40 CNG buses into service on city routes. The coastal city, which is the venue for the Olympic sailing events in 2008, plans to have a total of 856 CNG vehicles on the road by the games, with 520 of those being buses. (More...)

SYNTHETICS

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, signed a financing package for China’s Xinao Group to support a coal-to-liquids project. IFC is investing in a Xinao subsidiary—Xinneng Chemical—by buying shares worth up to $10 million and granting a $40 million loan for the plant that will convert coal into dimethyl ether (DME). The project will be one of the world’s largest producers of DME from coal and is expected to come online in 2009. (More...)

OTHER

Flexcar is piloting a new car-sharing program for college students between the ages of 18 and 20 at six universities across the US. The first campuses include the University of Portland (Ore.), University of California-Los Angeles, University of California-San Diego, University of California-Berkeley, University of Maryland and Emory University (Atlanta). (More...)

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Comments

Similarly to how the news should mention that peak oil and global warming are still the two biggest crises facing humanity every day, I think that you should post "walking and biking are still the best forms of green transportation" in every weekly post.


Posted by: Ben Wendt on 8 Aug 06



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