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The Week in Sustainable Mobility (2/25/07)
Mike Millikin, 25 Feb 07
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EU environment ministers meeting in Brussels agreed in principle to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the EU to at least 20% below 1990 levels by 2020 with the intent of contributing to holding global warming to a maximum 2°C over the next century. They also agreed to commit to reducing collective GHG emissions to 30% by 2020, with a view of a cut of 60-80% from 1990 levels by 2050, “provided that other developed countries commit themselves to comparable emission reductions and economically more advanced developing countries adequately contribute according to their responsibilities and respective capabilities.?

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Ministers also adopted a draft energy action plan for Europe that includes a 10% binding minimum biofuel target by 2020. The current target is 5.75% by 2010. More...

A group of more than 85 companies and organizations from around the world—including GE, major power companies, and AB Volvo—have endorsed a post-Kyoto framework for affecting change at the levels of policy and industry, particularly in regard to creating sustainable energy systems necessary for achieving economic growth. More...

The transportation sector in the US accounts for approximately 33% of total greenhouse gas emissions from fossil-fuel combustion, and again represents the largest share of any end-use economic sector, according to a just-published draft of the US Greenhouse Gas Inventory by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). More...

The Director General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for improvements in air traffic management to reduce aviation’s CO2 emissions. More...


The University of Michigan is leading a four-university team in a $1.9-million project to develop software to help analysts craft greenhouse gas reduction policies in the transportation industry.
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President Bush promoted the goal of reducing US consumption of gasoline by 20% with a visit to Novozymes in North Carolina to discuss cellulosic ethanol and with a White House meeting with a small group of alternative fuel entrepreneurs and scientists and display of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles on the White House lawn. More...

Maryland moved closer to adopting California’s Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) standards which include the greenhouse gas reduction targets for new cars, beginning with the 2011 model year. Maryland would raise the number of states under the LEV program to 12. More...

For the second year in a row, the Harris Interactive AutoTECHCAST Europe poll indicates that vehicle owners in five countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom) have chosen enhanced fuel economy as the top automotive technology that they are very or extremely likely to purchase for their next new vehicle (39% compared to 41% last year). More...

Minnesota has enacted a new Minnesota Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The RPS requires that 25% of the state’s electricity comes from renewable power sources by 2025. Xcel Energy Inc., which delivers half of Minnesota’s electricity, would have to meet a 30% renewables benchmark by 2020. More...

HYBRIDS and PLUG-IN HYBRIDS

Venture Vehicles Inc. formally announced the development of a 2-passenger, 3-wheel, tilting, plug-in series hybrid electric vehicle under the working name VentureOne. In addition to the low-emission, flex-fuel hybrid model, Venture Vehicles is also developing a zero-emission all-electric version that will have an all-electric range of nearly 200 miles. More...

Honda is tripling the supply of its gasoline-electric Civic Hybrid in the UK to 3,000 during 2007 to meet projected demand resulting from the expansion of the London congestion charge zone. SMMT (The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) figures show that from 2005 to 2006, the percentage of hybrid cars in London rose from 1.03% to 2%—or more than 1,100 cars. More...

Aisin Seiki Co., an affiliate of Toyota Motor Corp., plans to increase its supply of core motor systems for hybrid vehicles to Ford Motor . More...

Odyne Corporation, a developer of series-configuration plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses, has entered a strategic supplier agreement with Bosch Rexroth for preferred pricing and a steady supply of electric motors and drives. Odyne plans to ramp up PHEV production in 2007. More...


The Manatee School District in Florida will unveil its two plug-in hybrid school buses from IC Corporation next month. Drivers and mechanics have been training to operate and to maintain them.
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FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp., introduced four hybrid electric medium-duty trucks into service in the Denver metropolitan area, thereby increasing its operating hybrid fleet in the US to 93 trucks. More...

The township of Woodbridge, NJ is about to announce the single-largest purchase of hybrid vehicles to date in Middlesex County—twelve 2006 Ford Escape hybrid vehicles are expected to be added to Woodbridge's fleet, which already has one. More...

In collaboration with Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL), the regional public transport company in Stockholm, Scania will carry out large-scale testing of series hybrid electric buses fueled by a E95 ethanol blend. The tests will begin during 2008 and run for at least one year. A prototype is expected to be completed in May 2007. More...


The Swedish Energy Agency has awarded SEK 9.8 million (US$1.4 million) to AB Volvo to support the application of hybrid technology in heavy vehicles—specifically, two refuse collection trucks in Gothenburg and Stockholm. The goal of the project is to achieve fuel savings of up to 30%. More...


ENERGY STORAGE AND ELECTRIC VEHICLES

AC Propulsion, the maker of the tzero electric sports car, has delivered its first eBox electric vehicle to actor Tom Hanks. The eBox, a converted Toyota Scion xB uses an AC Propulsion drive system combined with a 35 kWh li-ion battery pack to support an all-electric range of approximately 150 miles with a top speed of 90 mph and 0-60 acceleration of about 7 seconds. The eBox is also Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) capable. More...

Tesla Motors will build its new automobile assembly facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Construction on the 150,000 square foot plant will begin in April 2007, at the latest. The New Mexico plant will be the company’s first assembly facility in the United States, and will produce the WhiteStar, an upcoming four-door, five-passenger all-electric sports sedan. More...

Ener1 announced that the lithium-ion battery pack from its EnerDel subsidiary met and exceeded additional USABC (US Advanced Battery Consortium) phase-one power-assist performance goals for hybrid electric vehicles in independent laboratory testing. More...

BIOFUELS

The State of Florida has awarded $990,532 to a joint effort between Florida International University (FIU) and Florida Crystals Corporation (FCC) to determine the technical feasibility of using Florida sugarcane bagasse as a feedstock for a large-scale cellulosic ethanol industry in the state.

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A Florida start-up formed in 2006 plans to commercialize technology developed by the US Department of Agriculture in the 1990s to produce ethanol from citrus waste. Citrus waste is rich in pectin, cellulose and hemicellusic polysaccharides, which can be hydrolyzed into sugars and fermented into ethanol. More...

A federal court in Delaware ordered Danisco to pay damages of $4,088,584 plus prejudgment interest for infringing a Novozymes patent on an enzyme used to manufacture bioethanol. More...

Biodiesel producer Imperium Renewables, Inc. has closed its Series B round with $113 million of private equity and has mandated Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking to act as sole book-runner and lead arranger of a $101 million Senior Secured Credit Facility. More...

American Renewable Fuels, a subsidiary of Australian Renewable Fuels Limited, will build a biodiesel production facility in Clovis, New Mexico with capacity to produce 75 million gallons of biodiesel each year. The plant will use beef tallow as a primary feedstock. More...

Safeway, a grocery chain with 1,775 stores across the US and Canada, has begun selling B20 biodiesel at a store in Seattle. Safeway has about 270 fueling stations in the US. More...

The Toro Company announced that all its diesel-powered golf course and sports fields and grounds equipment will be “Biodiesel Ready? by 2008.

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Development of a more wide-spread E85 refueling infrastructure may hit some funding bumps in 2007, according to an update to its members, by the National Ethanol Vehicles Coaltion. More...


Marubeni Corporation, Japan’s fifth-largest trading company, is investing US$40 million to establish Agrenco Bio-Energia Ltda (ABE) in Brazil as a joint venture with Agrenco Group, a Brazilian grain trading company. ABE will produce biodiesel and soybean meal. More...

The Blue Flint Ethanol plant in NOrth Dakota began operation thius week. The plant is co-located with the 1,100 MW Coal Creek Station and will use excess heat from the adjacent power plant to process an estimated 18 million bushels of corn into 50 million gallons of fuel ethanol annually. Blue Flint may be unique in the ethanol industry in its co-location with the coal-fired power plant. More...


HYDROGEN


Nissan Motor has leased the latest version of the X-TRAIL hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle to Kanagawa Toshi Kotsu to be used as part of their chauffeur-driven hired-car fleet. This is the first time that a fuel-cell vehicle has been made available for hired-car services.

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Mazda Motor Corporation is joining forces with the Hokkaido Regional Development Bureau (HRDB) to test the cold weather performance of its Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE. More...

Autostudi, designer for Italian car companies such as Maserati, Ferrari, Fiat and Alfa Romeo, showed the Hysyrider, a prototype hybrid fuel cell scooter, at the International Engineering and Technology Fair in India. More...

Harvest Energy Technology, Inc. (HET) has been awarded a contract to deliver a 100 Nm3/h (8.41 kg/hr) High-Pressure Steam Methane Reformer (HPSMR) hydrogen generator to the Chinese Petroleum Corporation (CPC) of Taiwan. More...


Engineuity has raised $2.2 million from BHCO to further the development of its on-board hydrogen generation system.
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NATURAL GAS

Thailand’s Government has eliminated taxes on new natural gas vehicles as part of its ongoing alternative fuels policy. Exemptions now apply to dedicated natural gas vehicle and engine imports to the country. More...


SYNTHETIC FUELS

Qatar and Shell formally launched the Pearl Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) project today with the laying of the foundation stone. Pearl GTL is not only the world’s largest integrated GTL project, but also the largest energy project ever launched within the borders of Qatar. More...

Earlier in the week, Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil decided to scuttle their planned Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) project—which, in turn, would have been the largest single, fully integrated GTL project. The two entities will instead pursue the development of the Barzan Project in Qatar’s North Field. More...

Headwaters Incorporated has formed an alliance with CONSOL Energy, Inc. to investigate development of coal-to-liquids (CTL) plants utilizing CONSOL Energy’s eastern and western coal reserves.

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China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) and Syntroleum Corporation (Syntroleum) announced more details on their recently-signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on the development and marketing of Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) and Coal-to-Liquids (CTL) technology in China. More...

DIESEL

Delphi has developed the world’s first automotive ammonia sensor. The new technology will allow direct closed-loop control of the SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) systems used by an increasing number of diesel vehicles to reduce NOx. More...

OTHER

Johnson Controls, Inc. is expanding its business into designing, installing and servicing geothermal, solar, biomass, wind and other renewable sources as energy supply options for customers. More...

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