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The Week in Sustainable Mobility (9/10/06)
Mike Millikin, 10 Sep 06

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

The EPA proposed its Renewable Fuel Standard program for 2007: 3.71% renewable fuel content in the US supply. That figure is designed to represent 4.7 billion gallons of renewable fuel, as specified by the Energy Policy Act. (More...)

Members of the European Parliament (MEP) have backed a proposal to replace passenger car registration taxes throughout the EU with a tax linked to fuel efficiency, tailpipe emissions and CO2. (More...)

BP America says that it will work with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to develop workable, market-based strategies for the implementation of climate change legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout California. (More...)

China’s automobile production and sales both shot up 25% in the first eight months of the year according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Sales increased to 4.53 million units (up 24.58%). By comparison, sales of new light-duty vehicles in the US were 11.4 million units for the first eight months of 2006, down 4.3% from the same period in 2005. (More...)

LIGHT-DUTY HYBRIDS and PLUG-IN HYBRIDS

Sales of hybrids in the US continued to climb in August, with a total of 26,189 units sold. That represents an increase of 21.4% from August 2005 and an increase of 2.2% from July 2006. In August, hybrids represented 1.8% of the total light-duty vehicle market. (More...)

Ford Motor Company has delivered a Mercury Mariner Hybrid “Presidential Edition” to former President Bill Clinton—the first hybrid vehicle to be outfitted for presidential service. (More...)

Citroën will unveil a new performance hybrid concept at the upcoming Paris Motor Show—the C-Métisse—with a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain combining a 150 kW (201 hp) V-6 diesel engine with two 15 kW motors in the rear wheels. (More...)

ComEd, one of the largest US electric utilities with approximately 5.2 million customers and more than $15 billion in annual revenues, is joining the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) Project. The project, announced in January in collaboration with Chicago-based All Cell Technologies, the City of Chicago and other industrial and government partners, is an effort to convert a Ford Escape hybrid SUV in the city fleet into a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) using a lithium-ion battery pack from All Cell. (More...)

CalCars, the non-profit founded in 2002 to advance the development of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), has decided to spin-off a for-profit company that actually builds commercial products. (More...)

HEAVY-DUTY HYBRIDS and PLUG-IN HYBRIDS

Nissan will introduce a parallel hybrid Cabstar concept truck at the upcoming 61st International Motor Show (IAA) Commercial Vehicles, in Hanover, Germany. The hybrid uses a prototype ZF powertrain featuring a motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack to supplement the conventional 110 kW (147 hp) 3.0-liter diesel engine in the Cabstar. Nissan says that the Hybrid Cabstar will reduce fuel consumption by up to 30% in addition to reducing emissions. (More...)

The US EPA’s West Coast Collaborative, the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach are collaborating to develop and test hybrid technology yard tractors for use on container terminals. The hybrid vehicles would use either a hybrid-electric system to combine the cleanest available diesel engine technology with an electric motor, or a hybrid-hydraulic system that would combine the cleanest available diesel engine technology with components that use hydraulic fluid compression to store energy. (More...)

BATTERIES and ELECTRIC VEHICLES

The Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions (JCS) joint venture has signed a letter of intent with a major vehicle manufacturer to supply lithium-ion hybrid vehicle batteries. The LOI is for the development phase, which is expected to lead to volume production for a late 2008 model year vehicle. (More...)

Alcoa’s AFL Automotive business and Altair Nanotechnologies will develop an integrated lithium-ion battery pack system for medium-duty hybrid trucks. The battery pack will use Altairnano’s NanoSafe battery technology and AFL Automotive’s electrical interconnect and application technology to integrate the battery pack system into the vehicle’s electrical architecture. (More...)

Hybrid Technologies has selected Ballard Power Systems’ 312V 67 MS electric drive system for pilot projects relating to the manufacturing of lithium-ion-battery powered electric PT Cruisers for NASA and the US Navy. (More...)

BIOFUELS

Biodiesel will be critical to the success of diesel-powered vehicles in the US market, according to DaimlerChrysler. (More...)

Carlyle/Riverstone Renewable Energy Infrastructure Fund I, L.P. (CRREIF) and Bunge North America will jointly build ethanol plants resulting in ultimate production capacity of several hundred million-gallons-per-year by the end of 2008. (More...)

VW’s Chairman is calling on politicians to develop a tax model that gives second-generation biofuels preference, and provides a secure framework for investing in the development and market launch of these new fuels. Second-generation biofuels can be produced from various kinds of agricultural residue such as corn stover as well as from the whole grains or seeds that serve as the feedstock for first-generation fuels. Examples of second-generation biofuels are Biomass-to-Liquid (BTL) synthetics or cellulosic ethanol. (More...)

The Silicon Valley-based Girvan Institute of Technology has invited Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation, a New Zealand company that produces biodiesel from algae sourced from sewerage ponds, to join. (More...)

The government of the Indian state of Chhattisgarh claims to have set a world record by planting at least three million saplings of Jatropha and Karanj for biodiesel feedstock in only 11 hours. (More...)

HYDROGEN

At the upcoming Paris Motor Show, PSA Peugeot Citroën will unveil the 207 Epure Coupé / Cabriolet concept car—a new fuel-cell hybrid using a PSA-developed fuel-cell stack. (More...)

A St. Cloud, Minnesota-based trucking firm, will install Hy-Drive’s Hydrogen Generating System (HGS) throughout its entire fleet. The HGS is an on-board electrolysis unit that inject the hydrogen and oxygen produced into the fuel charge to improve efficiency and reduce emissions. (More...)

Researchers at the University of Leeds (UK) have received a £344,835 (US$657,228) grant from the engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to further the development of the process of unmixed reforming for the production of hydrogen from biomass and waste. (More...)

Nissan Motor has set a goal of lowering the cost of fuel cell vehicles to around 1.2 times that of regular mass-produced vehicles by 2015. The current X-Trail FCV prototype has a production cost greater than ¥100 million (US$862,000); a non-fuel-cell X-Trail has a production cost of approximately ¥2 million (US$17,000). (More...)

DIESEL

Chevrolet Europe will unveil its second production diesel vehicle for the European market at the Paris Motor Show. The new Chevrolet Epica Diesel will be launched in spring 2007. The mid-class sedan is powered by a 2.0-liter common rail diesel, also used in the earlier announced Captiva Diesel compact SUV, which goes on sale this fall. (More...)

DaimlerChrysler is targeting three US BLUETEC models in the R-Class, ML-Class and the GL Class as early as 2008 that will meet the 50-state Tier 2 Bin 5/CA LEV II emissions standard. There are currently no Tier 2 Bin 5 passenger diesels on—or definitively announced for—the US market. (More...)

BMW and Alpina have introduced the new BMW ALPINA diesel D3 sedan. Built from the BMW 320d, the 2.0-liter D3 delivers 200 hp (149 kW) and 302 lb-ft (409 Nm) of torque yet has one of the lowest CO2 ratings (156 g/km) in the BMW range and offers fuel economy of 5.9 liters/100km (40 mpg US) on the combined European cycle. (More...)

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