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The Week in Sustainable Mobility
Mike Millikin, 24 Jun 07
Article Photo

The US Senate passed its energy bill, including a compromise version (SA 1792) of CAFE legislation that increases new light-duty vehicle fleetwide fuel economy to an average 35 mpg by 2020, but that eliminates a mandatory 4% per year increase thereafter that had been part of the original proposal. More ...

US Senate Finance Committee members Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) have introduced a bill to support the development of commercially viable plug-in electric drive vehicles (PEDVs), including pure battery-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and plug-in fuel cell vehicles. More...


The California Air Resources Board (ARB) on Thursday approved three early action measures to address climate change emissions as set forth in the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32). More...

The Oregon Senate approved House Bill 2210, creating a renewable fuels standard for the state. More...

According to a new survey released by the Mayors Climate Protection Center during The US Conference of Mayors’ (USCM) 75th anniversary meeting this weekend, mayors are acting on many fronts to enhance climate protection, without significant support from their state and federal partners. More...

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed that US air quality standards for ground-level ozone be strengthened by tightening the standards for the first time since 1997. More...

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced the establishment of a new C$650-million (US$612 million) fund which will be available to companies looking to invest in the development of clean cars, clean fuels, and clean technologies and products. Separately, he announced greenhouse gas reduction targets of 80% from a 1990 baseline by 2050. More...


A preliminary estimate by The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (Milieu- en Natuurplanbureau, MNP) concludes that China’s CO2 emissions in 2006 surpassed those of the USA by 8%, rising to 6,200 megatonnes. More...

Earth’s climate is in imminent peril of the initiation of dynamical and thermodynamical processes on the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets that will result in a situation out of humanity’s control, such that devastating sea-level rise will inevitably occur, according to a open-access paper by six leading US scientists published in the peer-reviewed journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. More...

A study by researchers from the University of California Energy Institute completed last year concludes that there has been a structural change in consumer demand for gasoline, with consumers appearing significantly less responsive to gasoline price increases now than 25 years ago. More...

The Chrysler Group announced a broad set of new initiatives targeted specifically at improving the fuel efficiency of future Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles. Among the initiatives are a 2009 Jeep Grand Cherokee BLUETEC Tier 2 Bin 5 compliant diesel; a commitment to developing mild-hybrid technology and expanding the company’s two-mode hybrid program; new six- and eight-cylinder gasoline engines, including the application of cylinder-deactivation in a V-6; dual-clutch transmission technology; a common axle program; and weight reduction, aerodynamic and drivetrain initiatives. More...

At the Paris Air Show, European Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik launched the €1.6 billion (US$2.15 billion) Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative. The Clean Sky JTI is a major public/private partnership to develop technology by 2015 that can reduce aviation CO2 emissions by 40%; NOx emissions by 60%; and noise by 50%. More...

HYBRIDS and PLUG-IN HYBRIDS

Hybrid electric vehicles have saved close to 230 million gallons—5.5 million barrels—of fuel in the United States since their introduction in 1999, according to a recent analysis conducted by the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). More...

Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google Inc., introduced its RechargeIT initiative to accelerate the adoption of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. As part of this initiative, Google.org awarded $1 million in grants and announced plans for a $10 million request for proposals (RFP) to fund development, adoption and commercialization of plug-ins, fully electric cars and related vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology. More...

Honda is considering building its Civic Hybrid in China, according to a report in the Shanghai Daily. If the plan proceeds, China would become Honda’s first hybrid production site outside Japan. More...

Enova Systems has entered into a partnership with a major unnamed Asia-based OEM to integrate and to test its proprietary Post Transmission Parallel Hybrid system. The system is targeted for integration and/or retrofit into North American delivered 2008 model year vehicles. More...

Azure Dynamics Corporation has selected Maxwell’s BOOSTCAP 390-volt heavy transportation ultracapacitor module (HTM) as the energy storage and power delivery component for its latest hybrid shuttle bus powertrain. More...


Terminal Systems Inc. (TSI), the largest port terminal operator in Canada, and Railpower Technologies Corp. have completed the preliminary testing of Railpower’s first ECO Crane diesel hybrid power plant installed on one of TSI’s 60-tonne rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTGs). More...

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Enova Systems confirmed that it has received and begun delivering a production order for 300 electric drive systems from Smith Electric Vehicles, a division of The Tanfield Group Plc (TAN). More...

UQM has developed and is taking orders for a new 150 kW (200 hp) peak power proprietary permanent magnet propulsion system. The new propulsion system is suitable for high performance automotive applications and heavy-duty commercial and military vehicles. More...

ZAP is launching a new development program for a second higher-performance electric vehicle, which will have a targeted price of $30,000. More...

ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEMS

TIAX has been issued two US patents for its Cel-X battery control technology. Cel-X is a low-cost, high-performance hardware and software system designed to improve the safety, capacity, and pack life of lithium-ion batteries through a non-dissipative approach to regulating state of charge. More...

BIOFUELS

Engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a two-stage process for converting biomass-derived sugar into 2,5-dimethylfuran (DMF), a liquid transportation fuel with 40% greater energy density than ethanol. More...

A team of researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have converted glucose directly and with high yield to a chemical intermediate for the production of fuels and plastics: 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF). [HMF is the intermediate from which the UW-Madison researchers (above) produce their DMF.] More...

Chemists at the University of Buffalo (UB) have identified what they say is a central mechanism responsible for the action of enzymes. More...


UK Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander launched a public consultation on an environmental reporting system for biofuels and a package of measures to complement the reporting requirement.
More...

Genencor, a division of Danisco A/S, is introducing a new enzyme product that increases the throughput and the value of distiller’s dried grain with solubles (DDGS), which is produced as a by-product of the corn ethanol process and used as a component in formulating animal feed. More...

Bayer CropScience AG and Monsanto Company, two of the leading global agro-companies, have entered into a series of long-term business and licensing agreements related to key enabling agricultural technologies. More...

Diversa Corporation and Celunol Corp. have completed their previously-announced merger transaction to create Verenium Corporation.More...

Eni S.p.A. will build a production facility using UOP’s “Ecofining” technology to produce diesel fuel from the catalytic hydroprocessing of vegetable oils. The facility, to be located in Livorno, Italy, will process 6,500 barrels per day of vegetable oils to supply European refineries with a high-cetane renewable diesel fuel. It will be the first facility to use the Ecofining technology developed jointly by UOP and Eni. More...

A new national association called The American Biofuels Council (ABC) has formed to advance the uses of alternative fuels and other products derived from biomass derivatives, by promoting research, development and education on the use of biofuels. More...

NearBio has established a free registry—NEEDBIO—that links local US consumer demand for biodiesel with suppliers serving their area. NearBio is the developer of the first alternative fuel locator tailored for mobile devices and author of the daily-updated and geo-coded NearBio biodiesel location database. More...

Renault has introduced its first bioethanol (E85) flex-fuel cars on the European market: the Mégane Hatch and Sport Tourer. More...

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and local production and sales company MMC Automotores do Brasil Ltda (MMCB) have developed the first full-feature four-wheel drive flex-fuel vehicle (FFV) to be released in the Brazilian market. More...

The Norwegian public transport company AS Oslo Sporveier will put 18 new Scania ethanol buses into service in Oslo in March 2008. More...

UK-based D1 Oils plans to invest 500 million to 700 million yuan (US$65.5 to US$ 91.8 million) to build a biodiesel refinery in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, with jatropha as the planned feedstock. More...

A report from the US Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS) estimates that the production of fuel ethanol in China will reach 1.45 million tonnes (484 million gallons US) in 2007, up 12% from 1.3 million tonnes in 2006. Official production of fuel ethanol in China began in 2004. More...

CFM International has successfully carried out an initial test of a CFM56-7B engine using a 30% blend of an ester-type biofuel at Snecma’s Villaroche facility near Paris. The CFM56-7B is the exclusive engine for the Boeing Next-Generation Single-aisle airliner: 737-600/-700/-800/-900. Thrust ranges from 18,500 to 27,300 lbs. More...

DIESEL

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the maker of Subaru cars, will introduce a diesel-powered Impreza in Europe in 2008. More...

Renault has coupled its newest 2.0-liter dCi 150hp and 175hp engines to the AJ0 flick-shift, six-speed, proactive transmission developed jointly by Renault and Nissan in its Espace van family. More...

Tata Motors has introduced two new diesel-powered products—the Magic and the Winger—as the first in a range that can span the requirements of both rural and urban areas in India. More...

GM India expects that 50% of its sales will come from diesel models in the next two to three years. Currently, diesels represent 30% of GM India sales. More...

CARBON CAPTURE AND SEQUESTRATION

Alstom has signed two development contracts for its chilled ammonia-based CO2 capture technology, one with E.ON for a power plant in Sweden, and one with Statoil for the Mongstad refinery in Norway. More...

Hydro announced it will participate in the development of the European test center for the capture of CO2 at Mongstad in southwest Norway. More...

OTHER

Flexcar, a car-sharing company, has partnered with TerraPass, a personal carbon offset company, to create a new type of membership—the Green Membership—to allow its members to balance the emissions from their Flexcar usage. More...

Trägerkreises Erdgasfahrzeuge reports a sharp increase in natural gas vehicle registrations in Germany. According to data from the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamtes (KBA), registrations of passenger car natural gas vehicles (NGVs) reached 1,047 in May 2006, up 82.4% from the 574 registrations in May 2006. More...

Car sharing is gradually gaining popularity in Japanese cities, according to Japan for Sustainability. More...

Pacific Gas and Electric Company today signed an agreement with the City and County of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Energy Company to conduct the most comprehensive study yet undertaken to assess the possibilities for tidal power generation in San Francisco Bay. More...


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Comments

The photo for this article is the inside of a bus, but nowhere do I see transit mentioned. It seems that "this week in sustainable mobility" most of the action was for the improvement of passenger car fuel efficiency. There are a lot of problems with making this such an exclusive focus: vehicle efficiency can just promote more driving, which doesn't improve or change many negative effects of car culture -- on our communities, land use, accidents and fatalities, transportation equity, etc. For more, check out my column, "Don't buy the hybrid hype" on the Green Wheels website.


Posted by: Aaron Antrim on 24 Jun 07

I'm very disapoited that I haven't seen any mention of bicycle use in this compilation of Sustainable Mobility. It's cheaper, healthier, user friendly and takes up less space on the road to ride a bicylce than to use any of the methods mentioned above.

"Good for the body, good for the mind and good for the planet."


Posted by: Enci on 24 Jun 07

Sierra Club’s MPG Calculator (http://www.sierraclub.org/mpg/) figures out how much current fuel-saving technology could save car owners – and the environment – based on the year and make of the car and the average cost of a gallon of gas in one’s given area. There are other links for more information and ways to take action towards better fuel efficiency etc., as well.


Posted by: Charles on 27 Jun 07



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