May 30, 2008
Frost & Sullivan presented its 2008 European Automotive Powertrain Company of the Year Award to Reva Electric Car Company (RECC) for demonstrating excellence in sales volumes, superior market penetration and high levels of customer satisfaction within the electric vehicle (EV) industry. In 2007, on average one REVA electric car was sold per day in the United Kingdom.
Discussion Paper Calls for Modification of Alternative Motor Fuels Act to Better Support Energy and Environmental Goals
|Collantes proposes a logic sequence to assess whether to keep, eliminate, or revise the AMFA provisions. Click to enlarge.|
The two decade-old Alternative Motor Fuels Act—the statute that currently provides automakers with incentives under the CAFE program to manufacture Flex Fuel Vehicles—needs to be overhauled or scrapped to better account for issues related to the consumer acceptance of biofuel-capable vehicles and to the geographical correlation between biofuel supply and vehicle deployment; and to enhance energy security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, according to a new discussion paper out of Harvard University.
The paper, Biofuels and the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Program: The Statute, Policy Issues, and Alternatives, was written by Gustavo Collantes at the Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Ivanhoe Energy to Acquire Oil Sands Assets; First Commercial Application of HTL Upgrading Technology
Ivanhoe Energy Inc. has signed a preliminary agreement with Talisman Energy Canada to acquire all of Talisman’s interests in three leases located in the heart of the Athabasca oil sands region in Alberta, Canada. The transaction will enable the first commercial application of Ivanhoe Energy’s proprietary HTL heavy-oil upgrading technology in a major, integrated heavy-oil project.
HTL is a field-located upgrading process that converts heavy oil to a transportable, partially upgraded synthetic crude oil and converts the upgrading byproducts to onsite energy. The process frees the heavy oil producer from the need to purchase diluent for transport, significantly eliminates the need to purchase natural gas to steam the reservoir, and allows the producer to capture the majority of the heavy oil-light oil value differential. In addition, a study by Enbridge in 2002 concluded that partial field upgrading of bitumen could reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by more than 20% from a generic Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) operation.
May 29, 2008
Dynetek Industries Ltd. has received approval from the US Department of Transportation (DOT) of their 450 bar (6,527 psi) cylinder for use in Dynetek BT450 Tube Trailer Systems for bulk transport of compressed hydrogen.
The recently-formed Algal Biomass Organization (ABO) will hold the second annual Algae Biomass Summit in Seattle, 23-24 October.
Approximately 19,000 of GM’s 74,000 US hourly employees have decided to take an early retirement or buyout package. Most of the employees participating in the company’s attrition program will leave the company no later than 1 July 2008.
Start-up algal biofuels company Sapphire Energy unveiled a renewable 91 octane gasoline that conforms to ASTM certification derived from algal a biocrude.
Although not the sole cause for the worldwide rapid increases in food prices, the biofuels market has created a new and significant source of demand for some agricultural commodities such as sugar, corn, cassava, oilseeds and palm oil. This increase in demand, according to a report prepared by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) “has been one of the leading factors behind the increase in their prices in world markets which, in turn, has led to higher food prices.”
The report, Soaring food prices: facts, perspectives, impacts and actions required, was prepared as one of the discussion documents for an upcoming conference on world food security in Rome focused on the challenges of climate change and bioenergy.
|The price gap between diesel and gasoline has been expanding, most visibly in the California market. Click to enlarge.|
The price of diesel jumped past the $5.00/gallon mark in California this week to $5.027—a 69% increase from one year ago, according to the latest data from the US Energy Information Administration. The average price for retail on-road diesel across the US was $4.731/gallon.
The average price for gasoline (all formulations) in California for the same period was $4.099/gallon. The average price of gasoline across the US as reported for this week was $3.937/gallon. The premium between diesel and average gasoline prices in California for the week is $0.928/gallon, or a 23% price premium for diesel on average. nationwide, the premium is $0.794/gallon price premium, or 20%.
Tesla Motors CTO JB Straubel has posted an engineering update on the company’s work on “powertrain 1.5”—an improved motor to handle higher current and torque; an improved inverter to deliver higher motor current; and a single-speed gearbox designed to replace its problematic two-speed transmission—on the company’s website.