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The Week in Sustainable Mobility (2/11/07)
Mike Millikin, 11 Feb 07
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The European Commission is proposing legally binding new car fleet average CO2 emissions of 130 g/km from 2012 onward. Originally, the EU was planning to require an average of 120 g/km. To make up the remaining 10 g/km, automakers will be have to make their vehicles compatible with more aggressive biofuel blends, and add tire pressure monitors. More...

The California Secure Transportation Energy Partnership (CalSTEP) has unveiled an action plan to achieve the state’s overall goals of reducing petroleum use by 15% and increasing alternative fuel use to 20% by 2020. More...

Declaring that “the era of voluntary compliance is over, ? Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said that for the first time ever, Canada will regulate the fuel efficiency of motor vehicles, beginning with the 2011 model year. More...

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has tightened the standards for benzene content in gasoline, set non-methane hydrocarbon (NMHC) emissions standards for cars at cold temperatures and tightened standards for fuel containers to prevent the evaporation of harmful fumes. More...

A new analysis by a team led by MIT has concluded that carbon dioxide injected into deep saline aquifers can be trapped as tiny bubbles and safely stored in the briny porous rock for centuries. More...

Brazil will invest 10 billion reais (US $4.78 billion) over the next 10 years in biotechnology research focused on renewable energy, agriculture and rain forest pharmaceuticals. More...


HYBRIDS and PLUG-IN HYBRIDS


Toyota unveiled the all-new next-generation 2008 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid mid-size sport utility vehicles (SUV) at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show. The 2008 Highlander is significantly larger, heavier, roomier and more powerful than the vehicle it replaces, but with comparable fuel consumption to its predecessor. The hybrid retains a 3.3-liter V6 and uses an upgraded Hybrid Synergy Drive that slightly increases the vehicle’s total output to 270 net horsepower (up from 268 hp in the 2007 model) and maintains the hybrid’s fuel economy at 31 city and 27 highway despite the extra 500 pounds of vehicle weight in the 2008 model. More...

Honda will unveil a small hybrid sports concept at the 2007 Geneva motor show in March. More...

PlanetTran, the nation’s first all-hybrid car service, has expanded to the San Francisco Bay Area. More...

Toyota Australia has revealed it is in discussion with the corporate office in Japan to build locally a hybrid version of the Camry for the next-generation update, due in 2011. More...

Honda will recall 45,335 Civic Hybrid sedans worldwide to repair a defect in the DC/DC converter that could cause a short circuit that would stop the engine. More...

Several types of fuel-efficient hybrid cars with lone drivers will now be allowed to use the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on Arizona’s highways. Bi-fuel vehicles, however, are losing their lone-driver HOV access. More...


Eaton will begin full production this year of its hybrid electric drive system for medium-duty trucks. The Hybrid Electric System (HES), which was seven years in development, is currently deployed in 167 pre-production field units: 93 with FedEx, 50 with UPS, and 24 HTUF utility trucks. More...

Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Eaton, Ford and the California South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD), are developing a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) system for utility trouble trucks and vans. More...


The Department of Energy will soon publish its research roadmap for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The draft of the document, which is one result of a process that began last May with the convening of 120 experts by the DOE, is currently out for limited review. More...

Komatsu Ltd. plans to introduce a hybrid hydraulic excavator in Japan and overseas this fall. The machine is powered by a combination of an electric motor and diesel engine.More...


ENERGY STORAGE AND ELECTRIC VEHICLES

UQM Technologies and Altair Nanotechnologies have formed a strategic alliance to pursue opportunities for their complementary electric drive and battery technologies in advanced transportation and other high potential markets.More...

Menahem Anderman, president of Advanced Automotive Batteries, forecasts that lithium-ion batteries will have less than 5% of the hybrid vehicle market by 2009. More...

BIOFUELS

Range Fuels, Inc., formerly Kergy, a company that uses biomass gasification to produce ethanol, will build its first wood cellulosic ethanol plant in Treutlen County, Georgia. The Range system, which it calls K2, uses a two-step thermochemical conversion process. It first gasifies biomass waste such as wood chips, agricultural wastes, grasses, cornstalks, hog manure, municipal garbage, sawdust and paper pulp to create a syngas that it then converts catalytically to ethanol. More...

GM is now offering a Special Equipment Option on the 6.6L Duramax for B20 biodiesel capability. More...

A 2002 Volkswagen Golf TDi modified to run on straight canola oil (V100) produced emissions below the EPA standards for the vehicle in recent testing at the National Center for Vehicle Emissions Control and Safety located at Colorado State University (NCVECS). More...


Oregon’s C-TRAN, the mass transit agency for Clark County, is testing the use of neat biodiesel (B100) in one of its buses. The agency is also expanding its operational biodiesel program to run its entire fleet on B5, a 5% biodiesel blend.
More...

The Ionia (Michigan) County Road Commission has switched its fleet to using B20 and B10 biodiesel blends. More...

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has proposed an initiative that would enroll up to five million acres of land to promote the sustainable production of next generation biomass energy. More...

Algae BioFuels, a wholly-owned subsidiary of PetroSun, has selected Alabama for field trials in the Gulf Coast region for algae cultivation in open and closed systems. Algae BioFuels will use the algae as feedstock in fuel production. More...


The US and Brazil reportedly will soon launch a partnership to expand ethanol and other biofuels in the Americas. The goals are to introduce ethanol into more countries, and to build a global, tradable ethanol commodity market akin to that of oil. More...

China plans to plant 13 million hectares—an area the size of England—with jatropha trees for biodiesel, according to the State Forestry Administration (SFA). More...

The National Biodiesel Accreditation Commission announced that six more companies—three producers and three marketers—have achieved BQ-9000 accredited and certified status. BQ-9000 is a voluntary quality control program. More...

Neste Oil and Total have decided to discontinue their project to build a NExBTL plant to produce diesel fuel from renewable raw materials at a Total refinery in France. More...

HYDROGEN

Intelligent Energy and the Suzuki Motor Corporation are working together on the development of prototype hydrogen fuel cell motorcycles using Intelligent Energy’s advanced fuel cell power systems. More...

Dynetek Industries has accepted a purchase order representing approximately C$7 million (US$5.9 million) in sales with Magna Steyr for the development, certification and supply of 700 bar compressed hydrogen fuel storage systems, including related engineering, to Magna Steyr in connection with DaimlerChrysler’s fuel cell program. More...

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award $5.7 million under the Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (NERI) to nine universities for research in the Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems Initiative and the Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative (NHI). More...

SYNTHETIC FUELS

The Sasol Chevron joint venture is exploring the possibility of a Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) plant for the Wheatstone field in Western Australia. More...

DIESEL

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) will develop and manufacture a common rail fuel system for passenger vehicle diesel engines, with an eye toward supplying automakers as soon as 2009. More...

Tata Motors (India) introduced two new models of its best-selling Indigo line outfitted with a new 1.4-liter DICOR (Direct Injection Common Rail) diesel engine. More...

Suzuki Motor will triple its diesel engine production in India to 300,000 units by March 2010. In addition to meeting local demand, some of the additional capacity will also supply Europe. More...

Subaru will introduce a 4-cylinder horizontally-opposed (boxer) turbo diesel engine at the Geneva International Motor Show next month. This is not only its first diesel, but the first boxer turbo diesel. More...

OTHER

Tata Motors, India’s largest automobile company, has signed an agreement with MDI (Moteur Developpment International) of France for the application in India of MDI’s compressed air engines. MDI has already applied its CAT (Compressed Air Technology) engine in a prototype city car, the MiniCAT. More...

Ford Motor Company is collaborating with Boeing and Northwestern University on nanotechnology research focused on lighter weight metals and plastics with greater strength to improve the safety and fuel economy of its vehicles. More...

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