June 30, 2007
The MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change recently applied its Emissions Prediction and Policy Analysis model to evaluate a set of cap-and-trade proposals under consideration by the US Congress.
The proposals, which specify emissions reductions to be achieved through 2050 for the standard six-gas basket of greenhouse gases, fall into two groups: one specifying reductions of 50% to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050; the other establishing a tightening target for emissions intensity and stipulating a time-path for a “safety valve” limit on the emission price that approximately stabilizes US emissions at the 2008 level.
The Nikkei reports that Isuzu Motors and Hino Motors, the Toyota commercial vehicle subsidiary, are teaming up to develop technology for diesel engine emissions reduction.
Rigzone. Alberta (Canada) has granted China National Petroleum Corp. exploration rights for 11 oil sands fields with estimated reserves of 2 million barrels of bitumen, marking the first instance of major Chinese oil company winning a majority stake in a Canadian oil sands project.
June 29, 2007
PSA Peugeot Citroën and Chinese carmaker Hafei will study the feasibility of a 50-50 joint venture that would manufacture people movers with a capacity of 10 passengers or less for the Chinese market.
British Company Developing Home Electrolyzer for Hydrogen Production; Dual-Fuel Conversion Offers Hydrogen Range of 25 Miles
|The home electrolyzer unit. Click to enlarge.|
A British company is developing a low-cost home electrolyzer for the production of hydrogen to refuel a converted dual-fuel vehicle that uses both low-pressure hydrogen and gasoline.
The ITM Power electrolyzer uses a 10 kW electrolyzer operating at 75 bar pressure. ITM Power modified a gasoline engine Ford Focus to make it a dual-fuel vehicle, and has fueled the converted car with the output from the electrolyzer.
The leadership of the US House of Representatives yesterday staged a press event to broadly discuss the package of energy legislation that is on its way for consideration in the full House floor in July, after appropriations measures are finished.
The package does not contain vehicle fuel-efficiency standards. During the event, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-MI) noted that the question over altering fuel economy rules (CAFE) will re-emerge in the climate change/global warming legislation that his committee will tackle beginning in September. However, one of the elements of the legislation currently heading to the floor is a bill to promote plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and components.
In a memo sent to the US Senate Finance Committee during their deliberations, Toyota outlined its concerns with the conversion of existing hybrids such as the Prius to plug-in hybrids (PHEV) in the context of proposed incentives to spur PHEV adoption. CalCars published the document.
Toyota’s view, according to Charles Ing, Director, Government Affairs Toyota Motor North America, is that PHEV converters should comply with existing standards governing second-stage manufacturers; that NHTSA and EPA should be required to establish new regulations for the certification of conversions of used vehicles—thereby putting the product liability and warranty risk onto the converter; and that the government should assure that there be no degradation in emissions and vehicle safety before it provides taxpayer incentives for conversion.
BP and D1 Oils plc are forming a 50/50 joint venture, to be called D1-BP Fuel Crops Limited, to accelerate the planting of Jatropha curcas—a drought-resistant, inedible oilseed bearing tree which does not compete with food crops for good agricultural land or adversely impact the rainforest—in order to make more sustainable biodiesel feedstock available on a larger scale.
Under the terms of the agreement, BP and D1 Oils intend to invest around $160 million over the next five years. D1 Oils will contribute into the joint venture their 172,000 hectares of existing plantations in India, Southern Africa and South East Asia and the joint venture will have exclusive access to the elite jatropha seedlings produced through D1 Oils’ plant science program.
|The coming ecoFLEX Corsa 1.3 CDTI emits 119 g/km of CO2 (equivalent to about 4.4 l/100km fuel consumption or 53 mpg US). Click to enlarge.|
In a press briefing in Berlin today, GM Europe outlined an environmental strategy that focuses in the short-term on reducing CO2 emissions through engine downsizing, systems optimization (through the use of technologies such as start/stop) and alternative fuels (including CNG and E85); and in the long-term on introducing new propulsion technologies.
The strategy includes the use of downsized ecoTurbo engines in ecoFLEX models in each Opel/Vauxhall model line, with new models making their debut at the Frankfurt motor show (IAA) in September. GM will also use the IAA for the introduction of its next-generation HydroGen4 (the European counterpart to the fuel-cell Equinox in the US), and for an Opel diesel-engine variant of the E-Flex architecture (currently embodied in the two variants of the Chevrolet Volt). E-Flex, said GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz during the briefing, “is the top priority program for GM.”
GM and VeraSun Energy announced the opening of the first retail pump for VE85, VeraSun’s branded E85 ethanol, in Washington, D.C. Concurrently, Enterprise Rent-A-Car designated its premier rental location in Washington, D.C. as an official “E85/FlexFuel branch.”