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The Week in Sustainable Mobility (3/04/07)
Mike Millikin, 4 Mar 07
Article Photo

HYBRIDS and PLUG-IN HYBRIDS

Greenhouse gas emissions from transport remain a key, but avoidable, obstacle to the EU reaching its Kyoto climate change targets, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). More...


Atmospheric scientists have uncovered fresh evidence to support the theory that global warming has contributed to the emergence of stronger hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean. But the trend doesn’t hold up in the world’s other oceans. More...

At the annual winter meeting of the National Governors Association, the governors of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington signed an agreement that directs their respective states to, within the next six months, develop a regional target for reducing greenhouse gases. More...

The EPA has published estimates of the affect of the revised methods for estimating vehicle fuel economy—which apply to model year 2008 and later vehicles—on earlier model year cars as a way to educate consumers on the likely impact of the changes. More...

Automotive engineers at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) unveiled a minivan design intended to show that automakers could build affordable vehicles with existing technology that would meet or exceed the global warming pollution standards for cars and trucks that have been adopted by California and 10 other states. Automakers are currently fighting these standards in court. More...

Authorities in Germany will start selling colored stickers to owners of vehicles, at €6 each. The color scheme reflects the Euro emissions stage to which the four-wheeled vehicle was originally certified. The purpose of the stickers is to enable law enforcement in so-called “environmental zones? that individual cities in Germany will be setting up. Vehicles without a sticker are to be denied entry into such zones altogether. On days with particularly poor air quality—which an EU directive limits to 35 each calendar year—local authorities are supposed to permit entry only to vehicles with selected sticker colors. More...

EPA is proposing a new rule to significantly reduce air pollution from locomotive and marine diesel engines below 30 liters per cylinder displacement. When fully implemented, the Clean Air Locomotive and Marine Diesel Rule would cut particulate matter emissions from these engines by 90% percent and nitrogen oxides emissions by 80% compared to the current Tier 2 standards. More...

The number of privately-owned automobiles in China reached 29.25 million at the end of 2006, up 23.7% over the end of 2005, according to the latest data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) WednesdayMore...

Mahindra, Renault and Nissan are partnering in the construction of what will potentially be one of the largest automotive production sites in India, with an ultimate production capacity of 400,000 units per year. More...

HYBRIDS AND PLUG-IN HYBRIDS

The BMW Group and DaimlerChrysler AG are expanding their collaboration in hybrid drive systems and will participate as equal partners in the development of a mild hybrid module for rear-wheel-drive premium segment cars. More...

The DOE Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies (FCVT) has developed a Draft Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle R&D Plan to accelerate the development and deployment of technologies critical for plug-in hybrid vehicles. More...

The president of Toyota North American operations confirmed again that the company is working on developing a plug-in hybrid vehicle and said that the company is open to joining with other automakers in battery development. More...

A new hybrid tug boat proposed by Seattle-based Foss Maritime Company, and co-funded in part by the Port of Los Angeles, will be substantially less polluting, more fuel efficient and quieter than today’s modern tug boats. More...

ENERGY STORAGE AND ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Advanced Battery Technologies (ABAT) has signed a sales contract with Beijing Guoqiang Global Technology Development Co., Ltd. (BGTDC) to supply a total of 3,000 sets of Polymer-Lithium-Ion (PLI) battery cell packs for use in 3,000 electric garbage trucks specially designed for the 2008 Olympic Games. More...

Pacific Gas and Electric Company has added four Phoenix Motorcars all-electric sport utility trucks (SUTs) (earlier post) to its clean fuel fleet. More...

Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions has appointed Mary Ann Wright as its Chief Executive Officer. Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions (JCS) is the joint venture between Johnson Controls, Inc. and France-based Saft Groupe SA, which is the exclusive entity by which the companies participate in the hybrid battery market. More...

BIOFUELS

Saab will introduce flex-fuel options to its entire 9-3 range, including Sport Sedan, SportCombi and Convertible bodystyles, at the Geneva auto show. With this introduction, Saab will offer BioPower variants throughout its core product line-up. More...

At the International Agricultural Show in Paris next week, Renault will highlight a new E85 flex-fuel Mégane—its first flex-fuel vehicle in Europe—alongside a B30 biodiesel-compatible engine for passenger cars, the 1.5-liter dCi 85hp. More...

Delphi Corporation has increased its global development efforts of fuel-handling and injection technologies to support the rapid growth in biofuel usage. More...


The US Department of Energy will invest up to $385 million for six biorefinery projects over the next four years. When fully operational, the biorefineries are expected to produce more than 130 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year. Combined with the industry cost share, more than $1.2 billion will be invested in these six biorefineries. More...

Royal Nedalco and Mascoma Corporation have signed a license and joint development agreement to further their initiatives to commercialize ethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass. Concurrent with the announcement of the partnership, Royal Nedalco announced it will build a cellulosic ethanol plant in the Dutch town of Sas van Gent with a capacity of 200 million liters (about 53 million gallons US)—or about 2.5% of the European market for ethanol. More...

EPURON, a subsidiary of Conergy AG, AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG and MAN Ferrostaal are jointly constructing one of the largest bioethanol plants in Germany with a planned annual capacity of 200,000 m³ (52.8 million gallons US). More...

Petrobras signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Japanese Mitsui & Co. and Brazilian Construções e Comércio Camargo Côrrea S.A. to begin technical and economic feasibility studies on building a pipeline to transport ethanol produced in Midwestern and Southeastern Brazil to the coast for export. More...

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners plans to invest up to $100 million to expand its terminal facilities to help serve the growing biodiesel market. More...

Researchers at the University of Florida and Purdue University have identified four cellulase genes in the Eastern Subterranean Termite (Reticulitermes flavipes)—one in its gut and three in microscopic symbionts that live inside the termite digestive system. More...

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center has received a $25 million gift from Jack and Susan Taylor to create the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels. The Institute is named for the company founded by Jack Taylor in 1957 and still owned by the Taylor family. More...

Researchers at Mississippi State University report that ultrasonic processing used in biodiesel production delivers a biodiesel yield in excess of 99% in five minutes or less, compared to one hour or more using conventional batch reactor systems. More...

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will award a $70,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to Integrated Genomics Inc. to develop a method to produce butanol from biomass (cellulosic butanol rather than cellulosic ethanol) that is economically competitive with the chemical synthesis of butanol from petroleum. More...

Researchers at the University of Rochester have for the first time identified how genes responsible for biomass breakdown are turned on in a microorganism that produces ethanol from biomass. More...

The Government of Greece plans produce 160 million liters (ML) (42.3 million gallons US) of biodiesel and 400 ML (105.7 million gallons US) of bioethanol annually by 2010, according to a report by the USDA. More...

HYDROGEN

Ten European partners have completed the HyICE project—Optimization of the Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine—three years after the project first began. This initiative, promoted by the EU Commission, has resulted in a 100 kW per liter displacement combustion engine optimized for hydrogen fuel, with benefits in terms of performance and costs. More...

Air Products and the University of California, Irvine (UCI) unveiled a new dual 700 and 350 bar (10,000/5,000 psi) pressure capable vehicle fueling station on the UCI campus. More...

Quantum Fuel Systems has received a contract to expand and to enhance its hydrogen vehicle and Mobile Hydrogen Infrastructure (MHI) programs for the US Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). More...

SYNTHETIC FUELS

If detailed analysis of flight test data and physical inspection prove out, the US Air Force plans to certify its entire B-52 bomber fleet for use of a GTL-JP8 blend by the end of the year. The Air Force recently concluded its flight and ground tests of the 50-50 GTL (Gas-to-Liquids) blend. More...

Brazil’s Petrobras has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Energy & Mineral Resources (MEMR) of Jordan to undertake a 2-year technical and economic viability study for the use of Petrobras’ oil shale technology—Petrosix—in Jordan’s Attarat field. More...

DIESEL

Mercedes-Benz is unveiling its BLUETEC emission-control technology in combination with a consumption-optimized four-cylinder engine at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show.

More...

Autoparts manufacturer Denso Corp. will invest about ¥9 billion (US$77 million) to increase global production of diesel common rail fuel injection systems by 30% in 2010. More...

Diesel fumes pose a specific health risk to commuters, according to a new report by the Clean Air Task Force (CATF). More...

OTHER

Pacific Gas and Electric Company took the first step towards developing generation projects that could convert the abundant wave energy off the coast of Mendocino and Humboldt Counties (California) into electricity by filing two preliminary permit applications with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). More...

Honda Motor plans to spend more than ¥20 billion (US$165 million) by 2009 to make two of its coating facilities in North America more environmentally friendly. More...


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