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The Week in Sustainable Mobility (11/19/06)
Mike Millikin, 19 Nov 06
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Data presented in the peer-reviewed new State of the Arctic analysis released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggest a sustained period of warming in the Arctic region. Evidence includes the continued reduction in sea ice extent, observed at both the winter maximum and summer minimum, and widespread changes in Arctic vegetation, with the tundra experiencing an increase in greenness and the boreal forest regions showing a decrease in greenness.

The global growth in the rate of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels was 4 times greater in the period between 2000 to 2005 than in the preceding 10 years, according to an analysis by the Global Carbon Project, a component of the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP). (More...)

The COP 12 meeting in Nairobi ended Friday without having established a solid timetable for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions after the Kyoto Protocol expires.

The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, announced that he will take forward the policy of reducing London’s CO2 emissions by introducing emissions-based charging to the existing congestion charge scheme. (More...)


HYBRIDS and PLUG-IN HYBRIDS

Toyota Motor plans to gain a bigger share of the Chinese market for environmentally friendly cars by introducing more hybrid models. (More...) In the US, Toyota Motor expects sales of hybrid vehicles in 2007 to grow 30% over its 2006 estimate to about 300,000 units. (More...)

Valence Technology, a provider of phosphate lithium-ion battery systems, has partnered with plug-in hybrid (PHEV) conversion company EnergyCS to deliver a converted PHEV Prius to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) for evaluation of its fuel economy and fleet adaptability. (More...)

Manitoba Hydro (Canada) recently launched a research and development project to review the potential of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and the possible impact that the new technology could have on future Manitoba Hydro electrical load growth and energy markets. (More...)

The 6th annual meeting of the Hybrid Truck Users Forum (HTUF), held this week in San Diego, California, provided an indication of the increasing momentum behind commercialization efforts for a variety of hybrid technologies—including hydraulic hybrids—for a range of truck fleet applications. (More...)

Oshkosh Truck Corporation introduced a series-hybrid drive refuse vehicle. The diesel engine powers an electric generator, which provides direct power to the wheels, eliminating the torque converter, automatic transmission, transfer case and drive shafts. (More...)

The EPA awarded $250,000 to King County, Washington, and a consortium of 13 other Washington cities and counties to help launch a program to purchase hybrid diesel-electric utility trucks. (More...)

Nissan Diesel and AB Volvo will jointly develop medium-duty trucks for worldwide sales. The companies will also conduct a joint study on advanced technologies such as hybrid engines, alternative fuels and emissions treatments. (More...)

Canada’s Nova Bus introduced the Nova LFS hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) during the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) Trans-Expo earlier in November. Nova Bus is a division of Prevost Car Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Volvo Bus Corporation. (More...)

Raser Technologies, Inc., a technology licensing company established to develop and license advanced electric motor, controller and related technologies, has received a contract for the design and development of working prototypes of a Symetron Enhanced Integrated Starter Alternator (ISA) for use by the US Army in its fleet of more than 50,000 HMMWV (“Humvee?) vehicles. (More...)

ENERGY STORAGE AND ELECTRIC

Maxwell Technologies, Inc. has introduced a compact, fully integrated, 125-volt BOOSTCAP ultracapacitor module to provide an easy-to-integrate building block for scalable energy storage and power delivery solutions for heavy hybrid and electric vehicles and heavy duty industrial applications requiring up to 1,500 volts. (More...)

Smith Electric Vehicles is evaluating Enova Systems' 120kW drive system. The first operational Smith vehicle fitted with Enova’s system is expected to be complete in December 2006. Smith is expected to complete final evaluation of Enova’s system by early 2007. (More...)


BIOFUELS

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) has issued a “winter weather advisory? for fleet managers, petroleum distributors and other consumers in response to fuel quality testing results that the trade association shared at a NBB-led industry meeting last week. (More...)

Marathon Oil Corporation and The Andersons, Inc. are beginning construction of an 110-million-gallon-per-year ethanol plant located in Greenville, Ohio. (More...)

Central Bio-Energy, LLC (CBE), a Nebraska-based firm, plans to invest more than $500 million to build three 100-million-gallon-per-year corn ethanol plants in Seward, Howard and Chase counties in Nebraska. (More...)

Green Star Products has signed an agreement with De Beers Fuel Limited of South Africa to build 90 biodiesel reactors for a total capacity of 900 million gallons per year when operating at full capacity. The companies are looking to integrated Greenfuel Technologies algae bioreactors as a feedstock source. (More...)

Renewable resources could produce 25% of the combined demand for electricity and motor vehicle fuels in the United States by 2025 at little or no additional cost if fossil fuel prices remain high enough and the cost of producing renewable energy continues falling in accord with historical trends, according to a RAND Corporation study. (More...)

A new report released by the American Academy of Microbiology outlines the potential for microbial energy conversion as a partial solution to the problems of energy shortages and climate change. (More...)

A new commentary by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) identifies the most critical research and policy issues raised by the need to sustain a rapid expansion of corn-based ethanol production. (More...)

Agricultural equipment leader Case IH is promoting the use of biodiesel in its products. All Case IH engines are now warranted for approved B5 blends and use of B20 blends is approved on all Case IH engines other than common rail. (More...)

Mascoma Corporation, a cellulosic biomass-to-ethanol company, raised $30 million in its second round of venture funding. Mascoma Corporation was founded earlier this year to pursue the development of advanced cellulosic ethanol technologies based on work developed in Professor Lee Lynd’s labs at Dartmouth College across a range of cellulosic feedstocks. (More...)

Shell Oil Products US, a subsidiary of Shell Oil Company, and Codexis Inc., a privately held biotechnology company, will collaborate to explore enhanced methods of converting biomass to biofuels. (More...)

NearBio, operated and invented by WHDC LLC, a privately held company specializing in distributed mobile applications, has introduced a service that enables mobile phone users (and computer users) to find the nearest biodiesel fueling locations based on city, zip code, or GPS coordinates. (More...)

HYDROGEN

The University of Nevada Las Vegas Research Foundation (UNLVRF) has awarded Proton Energy Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of Distributed Energy Systems Corp., a $2.3-million contract for follow-on research into advanced proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis. (More...)

Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy and EMTU/SP (São Paulo Metropolitan Urban Transport Company) have officially launched the country’s first hydrogen fuel-cell bus project, in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (PNUD), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Projects Funding Body (FINEP). (More...)

Fuel Cells 2000 and the US Department of Energy (DOE) Hydrogen Program have launched a new searchable database that documents fuel cell and hydrogen activity in the United States, including stationary installations, vehicle demonstrations, fueling stations, and policies, initiatives, and legislation designed to advance the development and use of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. (More...)

SYNTHETICS

GS AgriFuels Corporation has taken a 10% stake in ZeroPoint Clean Tech, Inc. for $2.5 million. ZeroPoint is a development stage company commercializing patent-pending and proprietary biomass gasification, gas-to-liquids, gas processing and fuel reforming, and evaporation technologies. (More...)

New Zealand’s largest coal mining company, government-owned Solid Energy New Zealand Ltd., will survey potential land-based carbon dioxide storage sites in Otago and Southland as part of a project exploring carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. Solid Energy is investigating a NZ$1 billion (US$685 million) Coal-to-Liquids project of which CCS would be a part. (More...)

DIESEL

A new assessment by India’s Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) of the trends in the peak pollution levels of Delhi during winter months since 1998 has found that pollution in winter—despite a decrease until 2003—has begun to rise once again. CSE attributes the rising pollution to the rapid growth in cars—especially diesel cars—in the city. (More...)

Nippon Kasei Chemical Co., a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., will increase production five-fold of high-grade aqueous urea solution used in SCR (selective catalytic reduction) systems to reduce NOx emissions from diesel engines. (More...)

The widespread application of new aerodynamic technologies on tractor-trailer trucks could cut US fuel consumption by nearly one billion gallons per year, according to the results of a two-year collaborative study conducted by members of the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) and the US Department of Energy (DOE). (More...)

OTHER

Formula 1’s carmakers and the FIA (the organization that governs world Formula One racing) have come to an agreement on a new framework that will govern the sport until 2012. FIA president Max Mosley and Burkhard Göschel, chairman of the Grand Prix Manufacturers Association, also reaffirmed F1’s commitment to developing energy-efficient technology as part of an effort designed to make F1 more relevant to the road car industry and more environmentally responsible. (More...)

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