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The Week in Sustainable Mobility (1/28/07)
Mike Millikin, 28 Jan 07
Article Photo

In his State of the Union Address, President Bush proposed the goal of reducing US gasoline usage by 20% in the next 10 years—ìTwenty in Tenî—through a program that includes increasing the required use of renewable and alternative fuels and increasing fuel-efficiency standards for cars. The plan would result in reducing oil consumption by 10% in 2017, or 2 million barrels per day. More...

The morning after his State of the Union Address, President Bush issued an executive order to Federal Agencies that, among other things, requires a 2% reduction in consumption of petroleum products per year through the end of 2015 in fleets larger than 20 vehicles. The order also specifies an increase of total fuel consumption that is non-petroleum-based by 10% and requires the use of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) when the plug-ins are commercially available at a cost reasonably comparable, on the basis of life-cycle cost, to non-PHEVs. More...

In 2006, total US petroleum deliveries fell 1.1% from 2005 to a level even lower than that of two years ago, according to the latest statistical report from the American Petroleum Institute (API). Deliveries of gasoline, however, increased a modest 0.8%, and deliveries of distillate fuel oil (highway diesel and heating oil) rose 1.3%. More...

Children who live near a major highway are not only more likely to develop asthma or other respiratory diseases, but their lung development may also be stunted, according to a study by the University of Southern California appearing in the 17 Feb issue of The Lancet. More...

Beijing registered a record 22,079 new motor vehicles in the first 18 days of 2007. City planners expect the total number of cars, trucks and buses to pass three million by May and to top 3.3 million by the time the Beijing Olympic Games are held in 2008. There are now 2.88 million motor vehicles in Beijing, including 2.06 million private vehicles. The number of people with driverís licenses now exceeds 4.24 million. More...

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) and McDonaldís China have opened their first collaborative Drive-Thru restaurant and gas station complex in Beijing. The two companies formed a strategic alliance last June. More...

Coming out of Davos is news of the formation of a new international partnership of seven organizations to establish a generally accepted framework for climate risk-related reporting by corporations. More...

The European Commission has delayed action on a legislative plan to mandate the reduction of CO2 from new cars to 120g/km by 2012 due to internal dissension. More...

A comprehensive new MIT-led study of the potential for geothermal energy within the United States has found that Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) technology could supply a substantial portion of US electricity well into the future, probably at competitive prices and with minimal environmental impact. More...

HYBRIDS and PLUG-IN HYBRIDS

Ford Motor Company is producing and will deliver 20 new E85 flex-fuel hybrid research vehicles—versions of the Escape Hybrid—for use in fleets in six different states. Deliveries will begin this spring. More...

At the Washington, D.C. Auto Show, Ford also introduced a real-world version of the new HySeries fuel cell plug-in series hybrid drive that made its debut two weeks ago in the Ford Airstream concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The HySeries Edge combines a 336V li-ion battery pack with a fuel cell range extender. More...

Nissan reportedly is planning to build a luxury hybrid to compete with the Lexus GS450h. More...

Toyota aims to increase global sales of hybrids by 40% to 430,000 units this year. The automaker is also boosting domestic (Japan) production of the Prius by 40% to 280,000 units. More...

ENERGY STORAGE AND ELECTRIC VEHICLES

A123Systems has completed a $40 million round of funding, bringing the total capital invested in the company to $102 million. A123Systems will use these funds to scale its technology development and manufacturing capacity for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) batteries, as well as to support the fast growing demand in the power tool, hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) and consumer applications markets. More...

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it will issue $17 million in solicitations to improve automobile efficiency. The funding will be offered as two separate solicitations, one for $14 million for research on battery technology for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and another for $3 million for research to improve E85 flex-fuel engine efficiency. More...

Lithium Technology Corporation (LTC) has delivered 95 lithium-ion battery cells to the UC Davis Hybrid Electric Vehicle Group to provide energy storage for the groupís converted Equinox plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) competing in the Challenge X engineering competition. More...

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI) plans to produce lithium-ion batteries for electric and hybrid cars and market them to automakers worldwide by 2010. More...

Axeon Holdings plc, a Scottish company which provides green energy and advanced control systems to the automotive and industrial markets, has won its first contract to develop a lithium-ion battery pack for a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) program. More...

ZAP has signed an exclusive distribution agreement for a new lithium-ion battery management system developed by Eco Tech A/S of Denmark to be incorporated into the XEBRA line of electric cars and trucks. More...

Enova Systems announced that it has entered into a significant production supply agreement with Smith Electric Vehicles, a division of The Tanfield Group Plc (TAN). Enova anticipates executing an exclusive agreement to supply a minimum of 200 electric drive trains to Tanfield during 2007. More...

Tesla Motors, manufacturer of all-electric Tesla Roadster, has opened its Michigan Technical Center in Rochester Hills. The 19,240 square-foot facility will focus on R&D for future Tesla products to follow the introduction later this year of the Roadster, starting with a four-door electric sports sedan to be built by the Silicon Valley-based company. That project, named ìWhiteStar,î will be a five-passenger, lightweight, high-performance sedan planned for production around 2009. More...

BIOFUELS

Green Biologics (GBL), an Oxfordshire (UK) biotechnology company, has received £560,000 (US$1.1 million) in funding to support the development of its fuel biobutanol product—Butafuel—from cellulosic biomass. More...

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, in collaboration with Cargill, have devised a new process that can improve the cost- and energy-efficiency of corn-based ethanol production using advanced process design methods combined with mathematical optimization techniques. More...

Diversa Corporation has formed a research program with New Zealand Crown Research Institutes Scion and AgResearch. The partners have agreed to coordinate their technology development initiatives to target the feasibility of a cellulosic transportation biofuel industry in New Zealand. More...

The Alabama state motor pool will be the first state agency to operate its vehicles on E85. More...

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue has introduced a bill that would give a 4% sales tax exemption for materials and equipment used in the construction of biofuel facilities in Georgia. More...

Novozymes, a global biotech-based world leader in enzymes and microorganisms, saw its earnings increase 11% in 2006 on a sales increase of 8%. Much of the growth occurred in its technical enzymes sector, specifically driven by sales for ethanol production. More...

US Microbics, a business development and holding company with a focus on microbial bio-remediation, has formed a new business unit to research and apply its proprietary microbial blends for use in the production of biofuels. More...

China plans to use liquid biofuels produced in rural areas to cut the countryís consumption of petroleum products by 10 million tons, or more than 25%, by 2020. More...

Mitsubishi Motors will introduce E100 flex-fuel vehicles into Brazil in FY2007. The Company also announced that flex-fuel vehicle models are in development for the US market for a fiscal 2009 launch. More...

Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recently signed into law a mandatory biofuels standard. More...

HYDROGEN

Researchers with the US Department of Energyís Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) have identified a new variation of a familiar platinum-nickel alloy that is the most active oxygen-reducing catalyst ever reported. The new discovery could result in fuel cells with higher power densities without a loss in cell voltage. More...

Through combined theoretical and experimental study, a team of researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University and Johns Hopkins University has identified a new class of aluminum-hydrogen complexes that are very stable and can potentially be created in bulk quantities, leading to possible application as a hydrogen storage mechanism, among others. More...

DaimlerChrysler has introduced the first fuel cellñpowered fire response vehicle. The Sacramento (California) Metropolitan Fire District will operate the Fire Service Mercedes-Benz F-Cell as a supervisorís vehicle in the Sacramento area. More...

Nuvera Fuel Cells will supply a PowerTap PTH-12 hydrogen refueling system to The Raymond Corporation to support working fuel cell powered forklifts at their manufacturing facility in Greene, NY. The PowerTap PTH-12 will refuel a variety of fuel cell powered forklift trucks in an indoor setting. More...

NATURAL GAS

Westport Innovations Inc has received an A$1.36 million (US$1.06 million) from the Australian Governmentís Alternative Fuels Conversion Programme (AFCP) for a project to evaluate the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a fuel for heavy-duty highway trucks in Australia. More...

FirmGreen Energy (FGE) has begun construction of a landfill gas (LFG) clean-up project near Grove City, Ohio at the Franklin County landfill, operated by the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO). When fully operational this summer, FGEís Bio-Fuels facility will generate 250 kW of renewable electricity for use in the landfill gas cleanup process. In addition, the project will produce compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel for use by SWACOís truck fleet. More...

Prometheus Energy Company has begun producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the worldís first landfill gas-to-LNG plant. The plant was installed in late 2006 at the Frank R. Bowerman Landfill in Orange County, California. The entire output of the plant will be used as an alternative fuel in public transport vehicles in the Orange County Transit Authority fleet. More...

QuestAir Technologies has made its first sale into the European biogas market—a M-3200 PSA (pressure swing adsorption) system to recover pipeline grade methane from biogas generated by an anaerobic digester in Lavigny, Switzerland. Verdesis Suisse SA purchased QuestAirís system as part of a new plant that will recover methane from biogas generated by the anaerobic digestion of organic wastes at the Lavigny site. More...

DIESEL

Volkswagen of America unveiled its cleanest diesel yet for the US, the Jetta TDI, at the Washington, D.C. Auto Show. (Earlier post.) The new clean diesel, which meets the 50-state EPA Tier 2 Bin 5 / CA LEV II emissions standard, will be available to the US market in the spring of 2008. More...

Maruti Udyog Limited (MUL), Suzuki Motorís Indian subsidiary, has unveiled the new Swift Diesel in India. The Swift Diesel introduced by MUL is powered by a new 56 kW (75 hp) turbocharged 1.3-liter DDiS (Diesel Direct Injection System) engine that develops 190 Nm (140 lb-ft) of torque with fuel consumption of 4.6 l/100km (51 mpg US). More...

The Chrysler Group of DaimlerChrysler has introduced its first BLUETEC 50-state compliant diesel: the new Dodge Ram Heavy Duty BLUETEC with an all-new 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel engine. The new Ram models can run with B5 and B20 biodiesel. The vehicle meets the US EPA Tier 2 and CA LEV II emissions requirements. More...

Several German L‰nder (states) are presently conducting trials of so-called gigaliner heavy duty vehicles (HDV). These consist of a tractor-trailer towing a second large trailer, for a combined length of up to 25.25m (82.8ft). On long-haul routes, gigaliners could reduce diesel consumption per ton of cargo by almost 1/3. More...

OTHER

The worldís two largest automakers, GM and Toyota, each recently announced additional progress in reducing waste to landfill from their operations. More...

Nissan Motor Co. will introduce a new telematics service it calls CARWINGS specifically designed to educate and raise awareness amongst drivers on the impact of day-to-day driving habits on their vehicleís fuel consumption average. The new service will provide drivers with data on their average fuel-consumption according to day-to-day driving habits, and allows drivers to track and monitor improvements to their eco-driving skills over a period of time. CARWINGS is currently available only in Japan. More...

At a briefing on the first anniversary of the founding of Plug-In Partners, Jon Wellinghoff of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission outlined the benefits of the “Vehicle-to-Grid” (V2G) aspect of a plug-in hybrid—having the car provide power back to the grid. Wellinghoff calls the plug-in the “Cash-Back Plug-In”. FERC is the federal agency with jurisdiction over interstate electricity sales, wholesale electric rates, hydroelectric licensing, natural gas pricing, and oil pipeline rates. More...

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Comments

Also, coming out of Davos and the World Economic Forum is mostly intentional action to "make a buck", ubiquitous examples of conspicuous consumption, plans to "pass the buck" to emasculated politicians and little action to save the world as we know it for our children.

It appears to me that the exclusive group of people at the WEF know how about “making a buck? but when that option is not readily available to them, they become masters of the fabled “pass the buck? game.

If businesses cannot make a buck on environmental problems, for example, then they pass the buck through “bought-and-paid-for? politicians to some agency in government that is ostensibly ‘charged’ with responsibility for solving these problems. In the pass the buck game, government then issues the agencies, both public and profit, unfunded mandates.

So goes the political economy…........

So much “making a buck?, so much “chin music?, so much glad-handing and back slapping, so much obscene ingestion of resources, so much “passing the buck? and so little action by the masters of the universe attending the WEF to save the world we inhabit from pernicious, predominant effects of human avarice and gigantic corporate greed machines.


Posted by: Steven Earl Salmony, Ph.D., M.P.A. on 28 Jan 07



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