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The Week in Sustainable Mobility (5/13/07)
Mike Millikin, 13 May 07

Global carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise, with the world producing 16% percent more CO2 in 2003 (the year of the most recent comprehensive data) than in 1990, according to the Little Green Data Book 2007, just published by the World Bank. More...

Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) in Europe decreased between 2004 and 2005, according to preliminary data from a forthcoming report by the European Environment Agency (EEA). More...

The UK Department of Health (DH) has released an update to its 2002 report that assessed the effects of climate change on human health. More...

Citi, the financial services company, announced that it will direct $50 billion over the next 10 years to address global climate change through investments, financings and related activities to support the commercialization and growth of alternative energy and clean technology among the clients and markets it serves, as well as within its own businesses and operations. More...

General Motors announced that it will join the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), becoming the first automaker to support the non-partisan group’s call for action to address climate change through advanced technology and on an economy-wide, market-driven basis. More...

The California Air Resources Board has posted a draft technical analysis produced by the University of California in response to the governor’s Executive Order S-1-07, the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). More...

US Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) earlier this week introduced legislation (S.1324) establishing a National Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (NLCFS). The bill requires a reduction of about 180 million metric tons in vehicle greenhouse gas emissions in 2020—about 10% of the current amount. More...

Australia’s CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) has been allocated A$59.6 million (US$49 million) over four years to increase research into renewable and non-renewable natural resources which can produce low emission transport fuels. More...

The Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) has published a statement saying that it does not believe that meeting the European Commission’s proposed binding CO2 targets within the limited 2012 timeframe is possible. More...

The projected expansion of the oil sands industry will require too much water to sustain the Athabasca River system, especially with the added impact of predicted climate warming, according to a new report published by the University of Alberta and the University of Toronto. The Athabasca river, at 1,400 km, is the third longest undammed river in North America. More...

More than 80% of Asian car consumers are aware of some form of alternatively fueled vehicle, with Toyota and Honda being the brands most associated with alternative vehicle development, according to a recent Synovate Motoresearch Alternative Fuels consumer study. More...

The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, approved plans from Transport for London (TfL) for the implementation of a London-wide Low Emission Zone (LEZ) to cut emissions from the most polluting trucks, coaches and buses. More...


Amsterdam and Copenhagen, cities in which 40% and 33% of workers commute by bike, are launching new initiatives designed to accelerate a shift to bike commuting, including increased prison time for bike thieves and the construction of new parking facilities that can hold up to 10,000 bikes. More...


HYBRIDS and PLUG-IN HYBRIDS

Automobile Magazine reported that three new hybrid Toyotas—known internally as Prius A, B, and C—are scheduled to debut between 2009 and 2011. The three letters reportedly signify the three vehicle sizes.More...

Wisconsin Public Power Inc., a regional power company serving 48 customer-owned electric utilities in Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Iowa, has introduced a converted plug-in hybrid Prius to its fleet. More...

In a recent survey commissioned by international automotive supplier Continental, 30.7% of the German motorists polled said that their next car would “certainly” or “most likely” be a hybrid vehicle. More...

Creative Bus Sales, Inc., the US’ largest commercial bus dealership, is adding Odyne plug-in hybrid electric buses (PHEB) to its product mix. More...


BAE Systems will offer a lithium-ion energy storage unit from A123Systems with its next-generation HybriDrive propulsion system for hybrid electric buses.
More...

ENERGY STORAGE

Mitsubishi Corporation (MC), Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and GS Yuasa Corporation are establishing a joint venture (JV) company to manufacture large-capacity, high-performance Lithium-ion batteries that can be used in electric vehicles (EV).

More...

ExxonMobil Chemical’s affiliate, Tonen Chemical Corporation, is now producing on a commercial line its microporous films for separators for Lithium-ion batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles (HEV/EV). More...

Firefly Energy Inc., developer of an innovative carbon-graphite foam lead acid battery for commercial and military applications, announced its second major battery manufacturing partnership in less than two weeks. More...

Ultracapacitor maker Maxwell Technologies, Inc. has priced the sale of one million shares of its common stock in a public offering underwritten by UBS Investment Bank, resulting in gross proceeds to the company of $10.4 million. More...

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Tesla Motors, a manufacturer of high-performance electric cars, completed a $45 million Series D investment round. More...

Phoenix Motorcars has placed a new $2.2 million order for Altair Nano 35 kWh lithium-ion battery packs for use in its all-electric sport utility trucks (SUTs) and sport utility vehicles (SUVs). More...

Enova Systems will begin shipping power control units (PCU) to the Th!nk Group in June 2007 for use in their new production electric vehicle. More...


BIOFUELS

Modern bioenergy offers a represents a broad range of opportunities, but also entails many trade-offs and risks, according to a new report from UN-Energy, which includes all of the UN’s agencies, programs and organizations working in the area of energy. More...

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) anticipates corn ethanol production of 9.3 billion gallons for the crop marketing year 2007/2008, up 58% from the 5.9 billion gallons for the 2006/2007 year. The USDA earlier this year had expected ethanol production for 2007/08 to grow to 8.8 billion gallons. More...

Green Star Products, Inc. (GSPI) has completed Phase I of its 40,000 liter microalgae demonstration pond in Montana. More...

POET opened its 20th ethanol production facility, a plant in Corning, Iowa, with an annual capacity of 60 million gallons, becoming one of only two ethanol companies in the US with an annual production capacity of more than one billion gallons. ADM is the other. More...

The number of E85 refueling locations across the United States has now exceeded 1,200 according to figures kept by the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NEVC). More...


GM, one of NASCAR’s top sponsors, plans to file a formal petition asking that NASCAR join other racing series and switch to ethanol. More...

The city of Birmingham, Alabama is switching the more than 600 diesels vehicles in its fleet to a B20 biodiesel blend. More...

India’s Mahindra & Mahindra will launch its first B100-fueled vehicle for commercial use by this year-end.

More...

Ashland Inc., a global chemical company, and Cargill have agreed in principle to create a new joint venture devoted solely to the development and production of bio-based chemicals. The venture’s first product will be propylene glycol (PG) made from glycerin, an abundant co-product of biodiesel production. More...


NATURAL GAS


A new group dedicated to promoting bio-methane as a road transport fuel in the UK launched at the Naturally Gas conference on 1 May. More...

BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) has begun using low-emissions liquefied natural gas (LNG) hostler trucks to move containers at its Los Angeles Hobart Intermodal Facility, the busiest rail intermodal terminal in the US. More...

HYDROGEN

Plug Power Inc. has acquired General Hydrogen Corporation, a developer of fuel cell power units that provide motive power for electric lift trucks and other mobile industrial equipment. More...

Valeswood Environmental Technology Development (ETD), a UK-based provider of environmental goods and services, is marketing an electric bike that is powered by a lightweight hydrogen fuel cell with integrated metal hydride storage. More...

Nasdaq has notified Hydrogenics Corporation, a provider of hydrogen generation and fuel cell products and services, that it is not in compliance with the Nasdaq Stock Market’s requirements for continued listing due to the continued low stock price. More...

Residential fuel cell systems in a one-year test reduced primary energy consumption by an average of 15.3% (equivalent to a reduction of 200 liters of oil), and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 28% (a reduction of approximately 850 kilograms of CO2), according to a report released by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

More...


DIESEL


The Bosch Group anticipates increasing sales of its common-rail diesel direct injection technology by nearly 18% to more than eight million systems in 2007, up from 6.8 million last year. Bosch alone has equipped more than 33 million passenger-car and commercial-vehicle engines with this technology since 1997.
More...

OTHER

Volkswagen’s new 90 kW 1.4-liter TSI, introduced at the Vienna Motor Symposium, replaces the 1.6-liter 85 kW naturally-aspirated FSI engine in all vehicles while providing improvements in performance and fuel consumption and meeting Euro 5 standards. The new engine, in combination with the new VW 7-speed dual clutch gearbox with dry clutches, enables a 22% improvement in fuel consumption compared to the predecessor powertrain in the Golf, and hits a 139 g CO2/km target in the European driving cycle. More...

United Auto Group’s subsidiary, smart USA Distributor, is launching a 50-city road show 19 May to introduce the smart fortwo to US consumers. The smart fortwo is scheduled to be available in the US in the first quarter of 2008. More...

BNSF Railway Company announced a number of enhancements to its proposed Southern California International Gateway (SCIG), including a commitment that 100% of the truck fleet servicing SCIG will be model year 2007 or newer.

More...

Renault is introducing a new appellation—Renault eco2—for its most fuel-efficient and “ecological” products. Renault eco2 vehicles meet three global standards: they are produced in an ISO-14001-certified plant, their CO2 emissions do not exceed 140 g/km (or are biofuel-compatible) and, in addition to being 95% reusable at the end of their life, at least 5% of the plastics they contain have been recycled. More...

Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) will deploy 38 ships of its container vessel fleet with Alternative Maritime Power (AMP) technology over the next few years at a cost of $22 million. More...

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