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Lexus to Unveil New Hybrid Luxury Sedan

Lexus will unveil its all-new GS 450h high-performance hybrid luxury sedan, the first rear-wheel drive hybrid ever offered, at the 2005 New York International Auto Show. The SULEV (Super Ultra Low Emissions) vehicle reflects the emerging trend of using hybrid powertrains to deliver high-peformance and luxury balanced with fuel efficiency.... Read more →

New Method for Reducing NOx in Diesel Exhaust

Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a new catalysis process to reduce NOx in diesel engine emissions. “Reformer-assisted catalysis” has three stages: creation of a “syngas”, using the syngas to create a reductant, and the subsequent catalytic reduction of NOx in emissions. In this process, a... Read more →

New UK Site on Fuel Efficiencies and Emissions

The Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) of the Department of Transport in the UK has set up a new website on New Car Fuel Consumption and Exhaust Emissions Figures. Climate Change is recognised as one of the greatest environmental threats facing the World today and it has long been appreciated that... Read more →

Canada Plans to Regulate Greenhouse Gases as Pollutants

Globe and Mail. The Canadian federal government says it plans to regulate greenhouse gases as pollutants under the purview of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and will introduce a bill to that effect as early as next week. Environment Minister Stéphane Dion says the government has no qualms about invoking... Read more →

Washington House Passes Bill Adopting California Emissions Regulations

Post-Intelligencer. The Washington state House passed a bill adopting California’s emission standards for light- and medium-duty passenger vehicles. The House bill now heads to the Senate. The Federal Clean Air Act allows states to either adopt federal standards or California’s more stringent policy. So far, eight other states have adopted... Read more →

VW Supports B5 Use in All Its US-Market Diesel Cars

Volkswagen announced today that it will extend warranty protection for the use of B5 biodiesel (5% biodiesel) to all of its US-market diesel automobiles. VW made the announcement with Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM). The two companies entered into a joint research agreement (JRA) on biodiesel last year. Volkswagen sees... Read more →

Burbank, AQMD to Convert 5 Priuses to H2ICE-Electric Hybrids

The city of Burbank, California, is partnering with the California South Coast Area Quality Management District (AQMD) to convert five Toyota Priuses to hydrogen-electric hybrids for testing and use in the Burbank fleet. The converted cars will use hydrogen as a fuel in the existing internal combustion engine rather than... Read more →

Johnson County, KS, Bus Fleet Switches to Ethanol-Diesel

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority is phasing in the use of O2Diesel’s ethanol-diesel blend in the 75-bus fleet serving Johnson County, KS, which falls within the authority’s purview. Phase one of the implementation, beginning immediately, involves a trial with 11 Johnson County buses, and is expected to last approximately... Read more →

Japanese Accelerate Development of Hybrid Trucks

Asahi Shimbun. Japanese truck makers are accelerating their rollouts of hybrid models, especially diesel hybrids. Toyota’s Hino (earlier post) is currently the market leader in Japan. Domestic sales of hybrid trucks and buses surged 14-fold in 2004 from a year earlier, due largely to the brisk sales of Hino's Dutro... Read more →

Intelligent Energy’s ENV Fuel Cell Motorcycle

Fuel Cell Today. Intelligent Energy unveiled its new ENV (Emissions Neutral Vehicle) prototype fuel-cell motorcycle yesterday in London. The ENV bike is based around Intelligent Energy’s 1 kW CORE fuel cell. To improve performance during spikes in power demand (i.e., acceleration), the fuel cell is hybridized with a lead acid... Read more →

DaimlerChrysler Targets 2012 for Sales of H2 Fuel Cell Cars

Reuters. DaimlerChrysler’s first hydrogen-powered car using fuel cell technology will be on sale from 2012, according to a company executive. “It (commercialization) will start in 2012,” Herbert Kohler, Vice President of the Body and Powertrain research unit at DaimlerChrysler told reporters in Brussels, on the margins of a hydrogen car... Read more →

Ceria Nanoparticles for Better Catalytic Converters

Experiments on ceria (cerium oxide—CeO2) nanoparticles carried out at Brookhaven National Laboratory may lead to catalytic converters that are better at cleaning up auto exhaust, and/or to more-efficient ways of generating hydrogen. Current generations of three-way converter (TWC) catalysts use noble metals (rhodium, platinum and/or palladium) finely dispersed on a... Read more →

H2 Generating and Fueling Station for Vermont

Distributed Energy Systems’s subsidiaries Proton Energy and Northern Power are partnering with EVermont to build a PEM electrolysis hydrogen fueling station in Vermont. The project is supported by a nearly $1 million Department of Energy (DOE) grant, which will be administered by the DOE’s Hydrogen, Fuel Cell, and Infrastructure Technologies... Read more →

New Zinc Energy Storage Consortium (ZEST) to Target EVs for Asia

Formed earlier this month, the Zinc Energy Storage Technology (ZEST) Consortium is focused on developing the technology and the market for zinc-based energy storage devices. The Consortium is initially focusing on the electric vehicle market in Asia, with a push for the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008. The... Read more →

Chrysler CEO: We Misjudged the Impact of Hybrids

In a speech Monday to the Detroit Economic Club, DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche said that several automakers—including DaimlerChrysler—had misjudged the market impact of Honda and Toyota’s hybrids. We put too much weight on the business case and the physical limitations of hybrids and were late to educate the public on... Read more →

Japanese Government to Promote Manual “Idling Stop”

Kyodo News reports that the Japanese government is planning to take its “idling stop” campaign from buses and taxis and other commercial vehicles to the general car-owning population in an effort to save fuel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The proposed idling-stop campaign is the low-tech version of a hybrid... Read more →

California Clean Energy Fund Partners with Three VC Heavyweights

The California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), a new $30-million public benefit investment fund created as part of the Pacific Gas and Electric’s bankruptcy settlement, has struck fund management and matching deals with three leading venture capital firms: Nth Power, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and VantagePoint Venture Partners. CalCEF is a non-profit... Read more →

Gujarat, India Begins First Biodiesel Bus Service

The Business Standard reports that Gujarat is the first State in India to run commercial buses using biodiesel fuel. Initially, four buses using a B5 (5% biodiesel) blend will service a route between Gandhinagar (the capital city of the State) and Ahmedabad (India’s worst-polluted city—earlier post) . Trial runs had... Read more →

Pennsylvania’s CATA Completes Bus Fleet Conversion to CNG

Pennsylvania’s Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) recently completed the conversion of its 54-bus fleet to run on compressed natural gas (CNG), making it the first all-CNG transit agency on the East Coast. CATA is a joint municipal authority comprising the Borough of State College (the home of Penn State) and... Read more →

Chinese Engine Manufacturer Develops Euro III Heavy-Duty Diesel

Asia Pulse. Weichai Power, one of China’s largest diesel engine manufacturers, announced it has independently invented and produced the country’s first 10– and 12–liter diesel engines meeting Euro III emission standards. The engine is targeted for application in heavy-duty vehicles, coaches, construction machines, vessels and power generators. Production of the... Read more →

Canadian Pacific Buys 35 Hybrid Locomotives

Canadian Pacific Railway is purchasing 35 Green Goat series hybrid switch locomotives over a four-year period from RailPower Technologies of Vancouver. The companies signed a letter of intent last November, but the Buyer—CPR—remained unnamed until now. (Earlier post.) Under the agreement, seven of CPR’s yard locomotives will be converted in... Read more →

Renewable Fuels Standard Re-introduced to Senate

The National Corn Grower’s Association reports that Senate Republicans have re-introduced legislation for a Renewable Fuels Standard. The new measure, introduced by John Thune (R-S.D.), Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Sens. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and Kit Bond (R-Mo.) would reportedly require 6 billion gallons... Read more →

MIT, Cambridge and Massport Retrofit Diesels

The EPA has awarded more than $165,000 to MIT, the city of Cambridge and Massport for diesel retrofits. MIT and Cambridge, working together through the Clean Diesel Collaborative for a Healthy Cambridge, will retrofit 34 medium- and heavy-duty vehicles with a range of pollution control equipment, including oxidation catalysts, crankcase... Read more →

Algeria: OPEC Has Reached its Production Limit

The AP reports that Algeria’s minister for energy and mines has said that OPEC has essentially reached its production limit. Algeria is one of the 11 members of the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries. “OPEC has reached its production limits. It doesn't have much production capacity,” [Chakib Khalil] said at... Read more →

Indian Supreme Court Extends CNG Order from Delhi to Surrounding Region

Times of India. The Supreme Court of India has ordered the extension of mandated CNG use in heavy vehicles from Delhi to the National Capital Region (NCR) surrounding the capital city. The Supreme Court directed the neighboring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to open an adequate number of CNG... Read more →

“We’re Big on Small”; ZAP Books $100M+ in Smart Car Orders

ZAP (earlier post) has crossed the $100 million threshold for purchase orders for its Smart Car vehicles. ZAP debuted its Smart Car at the annual convention of the National Automobile Dealers Association Dealers (NADA) in New Orleans, where it booked approximately $21 million in purchase orders. ZAP “Americanizes” the European-made... Read more →

House Approves $65M National Fuel Cell Bus Technology Program

The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved HR 3, The Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy For Users—a six-year bill that provides $284 billion for the federal highway, transit and highway safety programs. Tucked within the welter of spending programs and projects (3,315 highway projects, 414 bus projects) is a $65-million... Read more →

Washington Metro Plans $877M Clean Bus Buy

Washington (DC) Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA) unveiled its five-year bus plan which budgets $877 million for buying 919 new buses along with other improvements. Of the 919 buses to be ordered, roughly 75% are replacements for older diesels and will include 250 CNG and 455 clean diesel and hybrid-electric... Read more →

DKRW to Acquire Coal Reserves for Coal-to-Liquids Facility

Houston-based DKRW Energy has signed an option agreement with Arch Coal to acquire undeveloped coal reserves in the Carbon Basin of Carbon County, Wyoming to provide the feedstock for a integrated power and coal-to-liquids (CTL) facility to be located near Medicine Bow, Wyoming. DKRW announced plans for the $2.75B facility... Read more →

Mapping the Soybean Genome

Genaissance Pharmaceuticals, Monsanto Company and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the chief scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), are teaming to map the soybean genome. Soybeans are a major feedstock for biodiesel, in addition to their other uses. The project’s intent is to map single nucleotide... Read more →

Maxwell Gets the Nod to Develop Ultracapacitors for Passenger Vehicles

The United States Advanced Battery Consortium (USABC) (earlier post) has selected Maxwell Technologies to begin development of a compact, low-cost, high-performance, 48-volt ultracapacitor-based electrical energy storage module for use in passenger vehicles. Ultracapacitors, like batteries, are energy storage devices. Batteries store charges chemically, whereas ultracapacitors store them electrostatically. Currently, ultracapacitors... Read more →

EPA Will Attempt to Develop Consistent Anti-Idling Laws

Building off of its voluntary SmartWay campaign, the EPA is hosting a series of state/industry workshops to develop a model state or local idling law for heavy-duty trucks and buses. To reduce emissions, about half the country has state or local laws limiting the amount of time such a vehicle... Read more →

$1.6M for H2 Storage with Aminoborane

The DOE has awarded RTI International $1.6 million to develop a hydrogen storage technology that could provide a stable and recyclable hydrogen source for fuel cell-powered vehicles. The four-year project is to develop synthesis and extraction processes for aminoborane, a nitrogen/boron hydride compound. Aminoborane (H3BNH3) is a stable solid at... Read more →

Lincoln, NE, Switches Transit Fleet to E-Diesel

StarTran, the municipal transit authority in Lincoln, NE, is switching its entire fleet of 67 transit and paratransit buses to O2Diesel’s ethanol-diesel blend. O2Diesel uses 7.7% ethanol, with up to 1% proprietary additive and a cetane improver. Cetane is a measure of a fuel’s ignition delay—the period between the start... Read more →

RideShare Alliance Website

The RideShare Alliance is offering a free interactive database application that facilitates the development of a ridesharing network over the Internet. The organization is dedicated to promoting ridesharing in the United States, with all the attendant benefits of reducing oil consumption and emissions. The database supports local or national events.... Read more →

Japanese System for In-Vehicle Instruction on Fuel-Efficient Driving

In an attempt to promote behavior that ultimately reduces fuel consumption and reduces CO2 emissions, Kyotango City, located in Kyoto Prefecture, launched a project in October 2004 that is investigating the use of an in-vehicle system that instructs the driver on fuel-efficient driving. (Earlier post) As reported in Japan for... Read more →

New NOx Reduction Catalyst for Lean-Burn Engines

Most gasoline engines today run at a chemically correct (stoichiometric) air-to-fuel ratio (about 14.7:1) that allows the three-way catalysts used for emissions control to operate at high efficiency. Lean-burn engines mix more air with the fuel under lighter load conditions. The enhanced oxidation improves the thermal efficiency of the engine,... Read more →