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The Week in Sustainable Mobility
Mike Millikin, 12 Nov 06
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In its just-released World Energy Outlook 2006 (WEO-2006), the International Energy Agency forecasts that under a business-as-usual reference scenario, world primary energy demand would increase by 53% between now and 2030, and global carbon dioxide emissions would reach 40 Gt, a 55% increase over today’s level. “WEO-2006 reveals that the energy future we are facing today, based on projections of current trends, is dirty, insecure and expensive.” (More...)

Japan is at risk of falling well short of its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, with fiscal 2005 combined discharges of all greenhouse gases having increased 8.1% from fiscal 1990 levels. Carbon dioxide emissions rose 13.3% to 1,296.7 million tons in 2005, according to preliminary data released by the Ministry of Environment. Corporate efforts to save energy are reaching their limits amid a lack of new countermeasures, while exhaust from automobiles and households continues to grow. (More...)


DaimlerChrysler unveiled the new smart fortwo gasoline- and diesel-powered city cars yesterday evening in Stuttgart, Germany. The company said it will introduce a micro-hybrid version (starter/generator with stop-start capability) on one of the models in 2007. (More...)

Peterbilt, a division of PACCAR, will display a production-representative, hybrid-electric medium-duty truck—outfitted with a fully integrated bucket lift body—at the Hybrid Truck Users Forum (HTUF) National Meeting in San Diego this week. Peterbilt expects the hybrid model will result in a 30- to 40-percent reduction in fuel. (More...)

In the context of reporting an almost doubling of its net losses for the third quarter to C$9 million (US$8 million) from C$4.6 million the prior year, hybrid powertrain manufacturer Azure Dynamics said that it will focus on four core products and curtail other activities. (More...)

Odyne Corporation landed new orders for heavy-duty hybrids, one for a CNG hybrid, and another for plug-in diesel hybrids. (More...)

The DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has published the final version of a study comparing 10 new compressed natural gas (CNG) and next-generation diesel series-hybrid electric bus propulsion systems operated at New York City Transit (NYCT) against a baseline of conventional diesel buses. The study found that the hybrids had 37% better fuel economy than conventional diesels, and 88% higher fuel economy than the CNG fleet. (More...)

The Optare Group, a leading British independent bus maker, is to be the first UK producer to offer the GM Allison two-mode diesel-electric hybrid system in its vehicles. (More...)

Fraunhofer engineers are now testing a prototype of the AutoTram: a rubber-wheeled, trackless, flywheel-hybrid tram. The basic version of the AutoTram is a three-axle diesel-electric hybrid. A 245 hp (183 kW) V8 Euro-3 diesel powering three 45kW asynchronous motors (one for each axle) and uses a 4 kWh flywheel energy storage system. Fraunhofer is also developing an 80kW fuel-cell variant. (More...)

AutoWeek reported that General Motors may soon introduce a series-hybrid prototype as a step in its development path to future electric vehicles. (More...)

Hyundai Motor’s head of hybrid research has requested that the South Korean government give subsidies to manufacturers and buyers of hybrid vehicles because Korean companies are about 10 years behind Japanese makers. (More...)


Enova Systems is partnering with Norway-based Inspire investment group and its newly acquired investment Think Group to provide Power Control Units (PCU) for the resurrected Th!nk Electric Vehicle. Their goal is to prepare for the production and introduction of the second-generation Th!nk City model which Ford Motor Company and Th!nk developed while Ford owned Th!nk. (More...)

Altairnano offers two nano-Titanate battery pack configurations for application in the Phoenix Motorcars electric sport utility truck (SUT) and sport utility vehicle (SUV): a 35 KWh and a 70 KWh NanoSafe pack. (More...)

Valence Technology, providers of Saphion lithium-ion phosphate rechargeable batteries, will have prototypes for manufacturing of the Saphion II technology ready by year’s end. (More...)


A recent study by the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) concludes that vehicles using a B20 biodiesel blend (20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel) do not produce an increase in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. These findings counter those of an earlier Environmental Protection Agency 2002 report showing a two-percent increase in NOx emissions for B20. (More...)

ASTM International recently released a new standard for biodiesel that will help ensure that biodiesel blends of up to 20% (B20) will be compatible with future diesel exhaust emissions technology. (More...)

According to data provided by the Renewable Fuels Association, US ethanol production is currently averaging nearly 4.7 billion gallons a year, a 20.5% increase from the 3.9 billion gallons produced in 2005. (More...)

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) outlined its strategy to be the global leader in bioenergy while expanding its premier position in the agricultural processing value chain during its Analyst Day Meeting today in Chicago. (More...)

India plans to introduce the mandatory blending of 10% ethanol (E10) into gasoline across the entire country from June 2007, according to Shri M. S. Srinivasan, Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. (More...) The country also plans to produce 60 million tonnes (18 billion gallons) of biodiesel per year by 2030, according to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. (More...)

New Century Lubricants (NCL) has entered into an exclusive worldwide agreement with National Chemical Laboratory (NCL-India), a constituent laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in India, to demonstrate and commercialize NCL’s new simpler and lower-cost transesterification catalyst and process for the production of biodiesel fuels and biolubricants. (More...)

CHS Inc., one of the US’ leading energy and grain-based foods companies, and US BioEnergy Corporation, a producer and marketer of ethanol and distillers grains, today jointly introduced Provista, a new ethanol and biodiesel marketing joint venture. Provista will market 450 million gallons of ethanol from seven plants at the end of 2006—with plans to grow to 800 million gallons over the next year—and currently has 95 million gallons of biodiesel per year under contract. (More...)

Volvo Cars is launching FlexiFuel models into eight new European markets this fall and is also extending its range of E85 models to include the new C30. (More...)

Toyota Motor reportedly plans to introduce E85 flexible-fuel vehicles in North America starting with the Tundra pickup truck as early as 2008. Currently, all of Toyota’s gasoline engines can run on fuel that contains 10% ethanol. (More...)


The Department of Energy has awarded $4.5 million to Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and its partners to further the development of nitrided metallic bipolar plates for automotive PEM fuel cells. The award is a follow-on to an earlier $1.65-million project designed to demonstrate the potential for metallic bipolar plates to meet 5,000-hour durability goals at a cost of <$6/kW. (More...)

Microbiologists at Nanologix, Inc., a nano-biotechnology company engaged in the research, development and commercialization of technologies for alternative sources of fuel, have succeeded in tripling the output from their hydrogen bioreactors by using a new nutrient mix. (More...)

Energy Conversion Devices has been awarded a cost-shared contract by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to continue its work on small hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engines. (More...)

Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. has received a multi-million dollar purchase order from GM for hydrogen-storage systems to be used in GM’s recently announced Chevrolet Equinox Fuel-Cell vehicle program. (More...)

China’s first hydrogen refueling station opened at the Zhongguancun Yongfeng High-Tech Industrial Base in the Beijing Hydrogen Park. BP operates the station, which is in the Beijing suburbs. It is BP’s largest hydrogen station yet. (More...)


Methanex and China’s XinAo Group have entered into a long-term arrangement under which Methanex will, beginning in late 2007, supply an initial quantity of approximately 300,000 tonnes per annum of methanol to XinAo. This methanol will be used in a new 200,000-tonne dimethyl ether (DME) production facility that XinAo is developing near Shanghai. (More...)

New alloy materials developed by scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory could enable a complete redesign of reforming systems with improved efficiency. (More...)


Toyota Motor and Isuzu Motors are collaborating on the development of small diesel engines and alternative- and bio-fuels. Toyota is purchasing a 5.9% stake in Isuzu. (More...)


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed new air toxics standards that would reduce the evaporation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in gasoline vapors from smaller emitting gasoline distribution sources (“area sources?) including bulk terminals, bulk plants, pipeline facilities, and gasoline dispensing facilities (such as service stations, convenience stores, rental and fleet gasoline tanks). (More...)

Researchers from Cambridge University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have unveiled their revolutionary concept for a “silent aircraft?: the SAX-40 (Silent Aircraft eXperimental). Originally conceived in 2003 to make a huge reduction in the noise experienced by people in the vicinity of airports, the design of the SAX-40 also offers improvements of around 25% in the fuel consumed in a typical flight compared to current aircraft. (More...)

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