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The Week in Sustainable Mobility
Mike Millikin, 29 Jul 07


Week in Review


A team of researchers from Japan, Canada, the UK and the US has found that anthropogenic forcing—i.e., human-induced global warming—has contributed “significantly” to observed increases in precipitation in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, to drying in the Northern Hemisphere subtropics and tropics, and to moistening in the Southern Hemisphere subtropics and deep tropics. More...

Energy ministers for Canada, Mexico and the United States announced a series of collaborative actions on energy science and technology, energy efficiency, deployment of clean energy technologies and other cooperative projects. More...


New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Governor Eliot Spitzer, Speaker Sheldon Silver and Majority Leader Joseph Bruno agreed to authorize implementation of a meaningful congestion reduction plan for New York City. More...

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) adopted pioneering NOx and PM regulations aimed at reducing toxic and cancer-causing diesel emissions from the state’s estimated 180,000 off-road vehicles used in construction, mining, airport ground support and other industries. More...

A new UCLA study identifies a synergistic interaction between fine particles found in diesel exhaust and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol that enhances vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis, significantly increasing the risk for heart attack and stroke. More...

Scientists from three UK research institutes—the Met Office, the University of Exeter and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology—have found that projections of increasing levels of ozone near the Earth’s surface could lead to significant reductions in regional plant production and crop yields. More...

Particles worn away from automobile brake linings and tires continue to be major sources of potentially toxic metal emissions in urban areas despite new regulations and auto industry efforts to reduce the use of the metals, according to a new study scheduled for the 1 August issue of the journal Environmental Science & Technology. More...

Sales of the most fuel-efficient models of cars in China declined 11.67% in the first half of the year. The dip in sales of those models was in stark contrast to general automobile sales figures in China which increased nearly 30% on the previous year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. More...

HYBRIDS and PLUG-IN HYBRIDS

Avis Rent A Car System, LLC is adding 500 Nissan Altima Hybrid vehicles to its US fleet, available at select locations. More...

Citing rising environmental concerns among car buyers, Porsche said that it is developing a hybrid drivetrain for its Cayenne SUV with the intention of achieving average fuel consumption of 8.9 l/100km (26.4 mpg US), with a planned unveiling in 2009. lMore...

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announced that it has developed a plug-in hybrid vehicle and become the first manufacturer to have such a vehicle certified for use on public roads in Japan. More...

At this year’s International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Johnson Controls will present a new concept car that, among other advanced technologies, will feature a plug-in hybrid battery. More...

Hampton Roads Transit (Virginia) will spend $20.2 million on up to 40 new diesel-electric buses, replacing Norfolk’s blue NET electric buses and Virginia Beach’s red trolley service. More...

Electro Energy Inc., a provider of advanced battery technologies and associated systems, is licensing hybrid auxiliary power unit (Hybrid APU) technology from Enertek Corporation. More...

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Reservations for Tesla Motors’ all-electric 2008 Roadster now exceed 560 of a planned total 800 available Roadsters for the 2008 model year. More...

ZAP’s all-electric XEBRA city-truck traveled more than 100 miles (161 kilometers) on a single charge at a Danish laboratory using a lithium-ion battery system. More...

Miles Electric Vehicles, importers of low-speed all-electric cars and trucks manufactured in China, unveiled its new all-electric ZX40ST truck at the FedFleet Exposition in Orlando. More...

At EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2007, Sonex Aircraft and AeroConversions Products introduced their E-Flight Initiative, including a proof-of-concept prototype electric powerplant installed in a Waiex airframe. More...

ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEMS

Maxwell Technologies’ ultracapacitor products have been certified by the official testing agency of the People’s Republic of China for energy storage applications in vehicles. More...

ZAP has ordered $5.168 million of polymer lithium-ion batteries from Advanced Battery Technologies (ABAT). More...


BIOFUELS


Consumption of transportation biofuels in the 25-member European Union jumped 78% from 2005 to 2006, rising from 3 million to 5.38 million tonnes of oil equivalent (toe), according to the Biofuels Barometer published by EurObserv’ER, a renewable industry consortium. More...

VeraSun Energy Corporation plans to acquire three corn ethanol plants with a combined annual production capacity of 330 million gallons per year (MMGY) from ASAlliances Biofuels, LLC for US$725 million. This will bring the company’s total planned annual capacity to 1 billion gallons. More...

Volvo will introduce a new five-cylinder, 2.5-liter turbocharged Flexifuel engine with a power output of 200 hp (149 kW) in the Volvo V70 and S80 during the first half of 2008. Both models will also be available sooner with a 2.0-liter Flexifuel engine. More...

Managers of Utah’s state fleet are rejecting natural gas vehicles—which the governor embraces—in favor of E85 flex-fuel vehicles. More...

Sagawa Express Co. will start using a 3% ethanol blend (E3) to fuel small cargo vehicles in the Tokyo metropolitan area this fall. More...


China will shift from corn to sorghum, cassava and sweet potato as feedstock for bio-fuel over the next five years. More...

A team of researchers has discovered a novel thermophilic bacterium that transforms light into chemical energy in the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park. More...

Careful pairing of bacteria can create a microbial fuel cell (MFC) that consumes cellulose and produces electricity, according to researchers at Penn State. More...

HYDROGEN

Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc., will supply three transportable hydrogen refueling stations to General Motors. More...

ADVANCED GASOLINE ENGINE

MIT researchers have been developing a spark-ignition (SI) automobile engine that can, under the appropriate driving conditions, move into a spark-free Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) operating mode that is more fuel-efficient than the SI mode. The mode-switching capability could appear in production models within a few years, improving fuel economy by several miles per gallon in millions of new cars each year. More...

Mercedes-Benz provided some details on its DiesOtto engine project: a 1.8-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder gasoline direct injection engine that supports a switch to controlled auto ignition (CAI) under certain operating conditions. More...

SYNTHETIC FUELS

W2 Energy Inc., the developer of a GAT (Gliding Arc Tornado) plasma reactor for biomass gasification for power and fuels generation, will build a bench-scale coal-to-diesel plant at its Toronto facility. More... The company is also exploring the use of solar energy to power its reactor. More...

Eastman Chemical Company plans to develop a $1.6 billion petroleum-coke fed gasification facility to be located in Beaumont, TX. The plant will produce low-cost intermediate chemicals such as methanol, hydrogen and ammonia. The Beaumont facility will also be designed to capture and sequester the “vast majority” of its carbon dioxide." More...

Peabody Energy and ConocoPhillips are exploring the development of a commercial scale coal-to-substitute natural gas (SNG) facility using proprietary ConocoPhillips E-GAS gasifier technology. More...

POWER GENERATION

Using a novel technology that adds multiple innovations to a very high-performance crystalline silicon solar cell platform, a consortium led by the University of Delaware has achieved a record-breaking combined solar cell efficiency of 42.8% from sunlight at standard terrestrial conditions. More...

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), collaborating with Innovalight, Inc., have shown that an important effect called Multiple Exciton Generation (MEG) can occur efficiently in colloidal silicon nanocrystals. MEG results in the formation of more than one electron per absorbed photon. More...

Global wind power capacity increased almost 26 percent in 2006, exceeding 74,200 MW by year’s end, according to the Worldwatch Institute. More...

Westinghouse Electric Company LLC and its consortium partner, The Shaw Group, Inc., signed four landmark, multi-billion-dollar contracts to provide four AP1000 nuclear power plants in China. More...

OTHER

GM plans to invest more than $6 billion in its Daewoo Automotive Technology (GM DAT) subsidiary in South Korea over the next four years. GM has given DAT the task of engineering new small vehicles in the mini and subcompact class. More...

Honda engineers have improved the fuel economy of the manual transmission version of the 2008 Fit subcompact model, enabling it to qualify for a C$1,000 rebate. More...

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has developed a new catalyst for gasoline-powered cars that utilizes only half the precious metal components compared to conventional catalysts currently available. Nissan will introduce the new catalyst in future products starting in fiscal 2008. More...

LiquidPiston, developers of a new engine architecture they claim will achieve 50% fuel efficiency (compared to the ~30% of existing engines) and drastically reduce pollutant emissions (earlier post), closed a $1.25 million seed investment round with Adams Capital Management and Northwater Capital. More...


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Posted by: boussaid ammar on 5 Aug 07



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