September 30, 2005
New York governor George E. Pataki is joining the Governors’ Ethanol Coalition, a bipartisan organization that is working to promote the development and use of ethanol-based fuels nationally and globally.
Governor Pataki is the first Northeast governor to join the coalition of 31—now 32—states, Puerto Rico and four foreign countries (Sweden, Canada, Mexico and Brazil).
The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reports that Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Transport have decided to set the world’s first fuel economy standards for large trucks and buses in an attempt to curb Japan’s CO2 emissions.
Such an unprecedented step (heavy-duty vehicles are untouched by fuel economy regulations worldwide) would put additional pressure on engine makers, who are already putting a great deal of effort into meeting increasingly strict emissions regulations.
Altair Nanotechnologies has expanded its research, product development, manufacturing and marketing groups with the addition of eleven advanced battery scientists, engineers, manufacturing and marketing specialists.
The mission of the enlarged battery team is to accelerate the development of Altairnano’s nano-structured battery electrode materials and provide new capabilities to manufacture in-house prototype lithium-ion cells, batteries and battery packs and increase testing capabilities.
|The Pivo EV|
Nissan Motor unveiled Pivo, an electric car concept, in partnership with renowned Japanese artist Takashi Murakami at the company’s Nissan Ginza Gallery in downtown Tokyo.
Pivo, which Nissan will show at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, features an innovative cabin that revolves 360 degrees, eliminating the need to reverse. Thanks to its compact body, the car is also exceptionally easy to maneuver.
September 29, 2005
Oxygen will use the U-Charge U1 Power System in its Oxygen E, which is designed to address the need for low-cost transportation in congested urban areas, recreational areas such as beaches or resorts, and restricted communities where gas-powered vehicles are prohibited.
|The CARB-certified Capstone MicroTurbine HEV engine.|
The installed fleet of the Capstone Turbine’s MicroTurbine energy systems has surpassed the 10-million-hour mark—equivalent to more than 1,000 years of continuous operation—in documented runtime operation.
Although the large majority of the more than 3,200 units in the field function in on-site power generation or combined heat and power applications, some have been installed as gensets in series-hybrid mass transit applications.
Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell has announced the formation of a consortium that will purchase nearly the full output of synthetic diesel fuel to be produced by the nation’s first Coal-to-Liquids (CTL) plant that uses waste coal as a feedstock.
The plant, to be built by Waste Management and Processors Inc. (WMPI) of Gilberton, Schuylkill County, will produce as much as 40 million gallons of synthetic diesel annually. WMPI expects to break ground and start construction as early as spring of 2006.
DaimlerChrysler will collaborate with Detroit-based NextEnergy and Biodiesel Industries on biodiesel development and technical innovation, as well as the development and refinement of industry standards for the rapidly-growing biodiesel industry.
Worldwide, DaimlerChrysler is putting increasing emphasis on renewable and synthetic fuels. The company has promoted use of biodiesel fuel in the US with the launch of the Jeep Liberty CRD diesel, the first mid-sized SUV with a diesel powertrain in the U.S. market. Every Jeep Liberty CRD leaving the factory in Toledo, Ohio, is fueled with B5 (5% biodiesel). (Earlier post.)
|International-Eaton Hybrid Utility truck|
Initial independent test results of prototype hybrid utility trucks being used in the WestStart’s Hybrid Truck Users Forum (HTUF) pilot program (earlier post) have shown a decrease in fuel consumption of 40%–60% measured against driving and work cycles typical of the utility industry. The target requirement for the hybrids was a 50% reduction in fuel consumption.
Larger-scale testing involving 24 of the hybrid utility trucks jointly developed by International and Eaton Corporation will begin by year’s end.
|The decline in sea ice extent from 1978-2005|
Accelerating melting has shrunk Arctic ice to its smallest extent in at least a century, according to scientists from NASA, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), and the University of Washington.
For the fourth consecutive year, NSIDC and NASA scientists using satellite data have tracked a “stunning” reduction in arctic sea ice at the end of the northern summer. The persistence of near-record low extents leads the group to conclude that Arctic sea ice is likely on an accelerating, long-term decline.