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April 2007

April 30, 2007

ZENN Motor Company Makes Equity Investment in EEStor

Feel Good Cars Corporation, operating as ZENN Motor Company, has made a US$2.5 million equity investment in Austin-based energy storage developer, EEStor. The negotiated investment terms also grant ZENN an additional investment option of up to US $5 million on the same terms, following EEStor’s successful completion of its next major milestone: permittivity testing.


April 30, 2007 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

British Columbia Providing C$45M More for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses; Contributing to the BC Hydrogen Highway

The BC Hydrogen Highway.

British Columbia is providing C$45 million (US$40.6 million) more toward the production of 20 hydrogen fuel cell buses and accompanying fueling stations in Whistler and Victoria. Premier Gordon Campbell made the announcement at the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells 2007 international conference and trade show in Vancouver.

The Premier had earlier called for a federal-provincial partnership to invest C$89 million (US$80 million) for the hydrogen buses and fueling infrastructure as part of a larger strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Other elements of the strategy include greenhouse gas emission standards for all new vehicles sold in BC and a low-carbon fuel standard. (Earlier post.)


April 30, 2007 in Canada, Fuel Cells, Heavy-duty, Hydrogen, Infrastructure | Permalink | Comments (24) | TrackBack

Arctic Sea Ice Melting at Faster Rate Than Projected

The dotted line represents the average rate of melting indicated by computer models. The blue area indicates the spread among the different models (+/-  one standard deviation). The red line shows the observed rate of Arctic ice loss. Click to enlarge. (Illustration by Steve Deyo, ©UCAR)

Arctic sea ice is melting at a significantly faster rate than projected by any of the 18 computer models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in preparing its 2007 assessments, according to a new study by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Colorado’s National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

The study, “Arctic Sea Ice Decline: Faster Than Forecast?” will appear Tuesday in the online edition of Geophysical Research Letters. It was led by Julienne Stroeve of the NSIDC and funded by the National Science Foundation, which is NCAR’s principal sponsor, and by NASA.


April 30, 2007 in Climate Change | Permalink | Comments (55) | TrackBack

Congressman Introduces $300M Plug-In Hybrid Bill

US Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX-21) introduced legislation to provide $250 million in annual funding from 2008-2012 for the research and development of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, as well as $50 million in annual funding for pilot deployment programs.


April 30, 2007 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Firefly Energy Selects First Contract Manufacturer for Carbon-Graphite Foam Batteries

Firefly Energy Inc., developer of a carbon-graphite foam lead acid battery for commercial and military uses, has formed a battery manufacturing partnership with NorthStar Battery Company to enable prototype and production support of Firefly’s “3D” battery technology to serve the US Army. (Earlier post.)


April 30, 2007 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Ceres and Rohm and Haas Collaborate to Develop Methacrylate Monomers from Cellulosic Ethanol Crops

Energy crop company Ceres, Inc. and Rohm and Haas Company are collaborating on a three-year project to determine if energy crops planted for cellulosic ethanol could simultaneously produce methacrylate monomers, a key raw material used in the manufacture of many products including paint and coatings, building materials, and acrylic sheet and resins.

More than 1.5 billion pounds of methacrylate monomers are produced annually in the United States, a market worth $780 million. Successful development of a bio-based process could one day displace as many as 280 million gallons of oil annually with a renewable source.


April 30, 2007 in Bio-polymers, Biotech | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Beijing Temporary Traffic Restrictions Cut NOx By 40%

The Chinese government’s restrictions on Beijing motorists during a three-day conference last November succeeded in cutting the city’s NOx emissions by 40%.

Harvard University researchers Michael B. McElroy, Yuxuan Wang, and K. Folkert Boersma used data from the Dutch-Finnish Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) to assess the drop in emissions. The scientists detail their work this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.


April 30, 2007 in China, Emissions, Policy | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Chrysler Announces Hybrid Version of New Aspen Full-Size SUV

MY 2007 Aspen.

The new Aspen full-size SUV will join the Dodge Durango as Chrysler’s first volume production hybrids next year. Both vehicles will use a 5.7-liter HEMI engine coupled with the advanced two-mode hybrid technology being co-developed by GM, DaimlerChrysler and BMW (earlier post).

The HEMI engine will continue to feature Chrysler Group’s Multi-displacement System (MDS), which allows the engine to alternate between four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and V-8 mode when more power is in demand.


April 30, 2007 in Hybrids | Permalink | Comments (58) | TrackBack

Question to the Readership

Brookline, Massachusetts is in the early stages of considering a raise in the automobile excise tax (car property tax) on all vehicles under 8,500 pounds which do not exceed a specific fuel economy (mpg) standard. The details are not finalized.

The question to the readership is: what other municipalities in the US (or elsewhere) charge a higher property/excise tax or other surcharge for vehicles that are nott considered fuel efficient? Please respond in the Comments section.


April 30, 2007 in Fuel Efficiency, Policy | Permalink | Comments (24) | TrackBack

Eni Buys Dominion GOM Assets for $4.8B

Italian energy group Eni is acquiring the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) production, development and exploration activities of Dominion in a US$4.757 billion cash transaction.


April 30, 2007 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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