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The Week in Sustainable Mobility (8/27/06)
Mike Millikin, 27 Aug 06

transport1.jpg Mike Millikin covers the ongoing evolution of sustainable mobility at Green Car Congress.

LIGHT-DUTY HYBRIDS and PLUG-IN HYBRIDS

The London (UK) Metropolitan Police have ordered 117 Honda Civic Hybrids—the largest yet fleet deal for hybrid cars in the UK. (More...)

Following the successful trial of the Lexus RX 400h by Hampshire Police in August last year (earlier post), Wiltshire Constabulary will be the first police force in the UK to incorporate Lexus GS 450h to its fleet. (More...)

Hymotion has delivered one of its L5 Prius Plug-in Hybrid systems to HOURCAR, a car-sharing program that serves Minnesota’s Twin Cities. The Hymotion L5 plug-in system serves to more than double the fuel efficiency of Toyota’s Prius hybrid, delivering 100+ mpg depending upon speed and range. (More...)

PML Flightlink and its partner Synergy Innovations recently unveiled an in-wheel, plug-in series hybrid conversion of a MINI at the British Motor Show, the MINI QED. The QED supports an all-electric range of 200-250 miles and has a total range of about 932 miles (1,500 km). The car accelerates from 0-62 mph in less than 5 seconds. (More...)

HEAVY-DUTY HYBRIDS and PLUG-IN HYBRIDS

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty announced that Metro Transit will purchase an additional 150 diesel-electric hybrid buses and 164 new clean diesel buses to replace 314 older buses. Metro Transit will also double the biodiesel content of its fuel supply from a B5 blend (5% biodiesel) to B10 by mid-2007. (More...)

North American Bus Industries, Inc. (NABI)—itself acquired by Cerberus Capital in February—has acquired Optima Bus Corporation located in Wichita, Kansas. NABI produces and sells a complete line of buses available with diesel, CNG, LNG, or diesel hybrid-electric propulsion. Optima manufactures the 30-ft. and 35-ft. Opus Low-floor buses, including the series hybrid Opus based on the ISE powertrain. (More...)

BATTERIES and ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Currie Technologies, a bicycle and scooter company founded by the former chairman and CEO of Hughes Aircraft and Delco Electronics, will introduce 10 new models of hybrid-electric bicycles (human pedal power + battery power) and 3 new models of electric scooters at the Eurobike International Bicycle Trade Fair held in Friedrichshafen, Germany on August 31, 2006. (More...)

ZAP is expanding the US sales of its three-wheeled, low-speed, all-electric microcar, the XEBRA. The XEBRA can seat four (maximum load 500 pounds) and has a range of up to 40 miles (65 kilometers) and a top speed of 40 mph (65 km/h). It uses a DC motor powered by a lead-acid battery pack. (More...)

BIOFUELS

Use of biodiesel can lower the balance point temperature in diesel particulate filters (DPF) compared to Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel, and can cause a measurable increase in the regeneration rate of the DPF, according to data from the first phase of a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Cummins presented at DEER 2006. (More...)

Statoil—the Norwegian integrated oil and gas company and one of the world’s largest sellers of crude—recently began adding 5% biodiesel to all diesel sold at the group’s service stations in Sweden. (More...)

SeQuential Biofuels has opened a solar-powered retail biofuels station offering a full range of ethanol and biodiesel blends: E10, E85, B5, B20 and B100. (More...)

Colusa Biomass Energy Corporation has selected a 15-acre site within the Colusa Industrial Park (Colusa, California) for a 10-million-gallon per year cellulosic ethanol plant. Colusa will use approximately 120,000 tons per year of waste rice straw as the feedstock for the plant, which is located in a prime rice-producing area of the Sacramento Valley. (More...)

Novozymes won a 1.5-year-long case against Danisco concerning infringement of a Novozymes patent on enzymes for bioethanol. (More...)

Lotus Engineering, the engineering consultancy division of Group Lotus Plc, has developed an E85 version of the Lotus Exige—the Lotus Exige 265E—as a research car. Powered by a modified version of the 1.8-liter engine in the standard Lotus Exige S, the Exige 265E is more powerful than its gasoline counterpart, producing 264 hp (197 kW) at 8,000 rpm, and 184 lb-ft (249 Nm) of torque (at 5,500 rpm)—increases of 21% and 16% respectively over the gasoline model. (More...)

HYDROGEN

Statoil opened Norway’s first hydrogen filling station for motor vehicles as a step in creating the HyNor hydrogen highway between the capital, Oslo, and western Norway’s port of Stavanger. The station supplies hydrogen, natural gas and NaturalHy—a 8-20% hydrogen, 92-80% compressed natural gas blend. The Norwegian-produced sports car Fyk, unveiled on 21 August, runs on NaturalHy. (More...)

Shell is awarding $1 million to the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department of Ohio State University to support a research project into the use of membranes for CO2-Hydrogen separation. (More...)

Hi-Z Technology and Dynamic Fuel Systems are exploring the use of thermoelectric generation using waste heat to power an on-board electrolysis unit to produce hydrogen for supplementary injection into the intake port of an engine to increase combustion efficiency. (More...)

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is soliciting applications for R&D funding for viable hydrogen storage technologies for on-board vehicular applications. (More...)

A team of researchers in Korea announced that they have identified a new material—titanium attached to a polymer—with a structure that can store hydrogen with gravimetric and volumetric density of 7.6 wt% and 63 kg/m3 at normal temperature without pressurization. (More...)

DIESEL

Speaking in the opening plenary session today of the Department of Energy’s Diesel Engine-Efficiency and Emissions Research (DEER) 2006 conference in Detroit, heads of engine research from Ford and Caterpillar each called for a research push to increase the basic efficiency of the diesel engine platform in addition to the ongoing efforts applied to emissions control. (More...)

A panel at DEER 2006 comprising GM, DaimlerChrysler, BMW, Honda, Volkswagen, the EPA and the Martec Group noted some major hurdles to a rapid proliferation of light-duty diesel models in the US. (More...)

General Motors will introduce a new V-8 turbodiesel that improves engine fuel efficiency by 25% for North American light duty trucks after 2009. This will be GM’s first engine to use a NOx aftertreatment system along with a diesel particulate filter to help achieve the Tier 2 Bin 5 (T2B5) and LEV 2 emissions standards. (More...)

In developing its promised Tier 2 Bin 5 diesel solution for the US, Honda is concentrating on advanced combustion management with Premixed Charge Compression Ignition (PCCI) and a trap-type lean NOx catalyst (LNC). (More...)

Ford Motor will offer a new 6.4-liter Power Stroke diesel in its 2008 F-Series Super Duty pickup, to go on sale early in 2007. (More...)

Eaton Corporation is developing an aftertreatment system that combines a fuel reformer catalyst with doser, Selective Catalytic Reduction system (SCR) and Lean NOx Trap (LNT) technology to create an exhaust aftertreatment system capable of meeting 2010 EPA diesel emissions requirements without the need for a urea storage and injection system. (More...)

California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is providing the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) with a $2.224-million grant to reduce emissions from 264 heavy-duty trucks by at least 95% through retrofits with diesel particulate filters. (More...)

SYNTHETICS

Arch Coal, the US’s second-largest coal producer, has acquired a 25% equity interest in DKRW Advanced Fuels, LLC. In exchange, Arch has agreed to extend its existing option agreement with DKRW Advanced Fuels, to work with DKRW Advanced Fuels to secure coal reserves for two additional coal-to-liquids (CTL) projects outside of the Carbon Basin, and to invest $25 million in the company. (More...)

Baard Energy, which is currently building several ethanol plants, reportedly is planning a $4-billion coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant in Wellsville, Ohio. (More...)

A Texas A&M University history professor and Syntroleum Corporation, owner of a compact Fischer-Tropsch fuels technology, are posting nearly a quarter of a million pages of coal gasification research conducted from the 1920s through 1980s on the Internet. (More...)

OTHER

Gates Corporation, a provider of belts, hoses hydraulics and related products for the auto industry, has introduced the first systems in its new Energy Saving product line targeted at both heavy-duty and light-duty vehicles. The new line includes a stop/start system, a two-speed drive system for passenger subsystems, and an idle-reduction system for heavy-duty trucks. (More...)

Nissan Motor has developed two new-generation six-cylinder V-type gasoline engines for front-engine, rear-wheel-drive vehicles. The engines offer a 10% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to vehicles equipped with the existing VQ engine as well as Super Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (Japan) emissions. (More...)

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has introduced a new fuel-efficient commercial tire technology—Fuel Max—and three new tires for long-haul trucks that could deliver up to a 4% improvement in fuel economy, according to the company. (More...)

Buyers of new smart cars in Australia are automatically enrolled in smart Australia’s Carbon Zero program, independently run by two different Australian organizations: Climate Friendly and Greenfleet. (More...)

BP has launched a UK program to offset the CO2 emissions caused by driving. Called targetneutral, the non-profit initiative allows drivers to calculate the cost of the annual CO2 reduction required to make their vehicle CO2 neutral. (More...)

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Comments

Plug-ins usually deep discharge the batteries which will result in the batteries having to be replaced every few years. I believe that this will destory the advantage such a system may have.


Posted by: Charles Dollins on 28 Aug 06

has anyone got any positive (or otherwise) news of thr french compressed air car? were they ever able to deliver a working model with good dstance?


Posted by: rufus cappadocia on 29 Aug 06



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