August 31, 2009
The US Department of Energy will award up to $21 million to five projects that will develop supply systems to handle and deliver high-tonnage biomass feedstocks for cellulosic biofuels production. The selection of the projects is in response to a funding opportunity announcement issued by DOE back in March.(Earlier post.)
The chosen awards were selected as the best projects to stimulate the design and demonstration of a comprehensive system to handle the harvesting, collection, preprocessing, transport, and storage of sufficient volumes of sustainably produced feedstocks. Feedstocks or combinations of feedstocks that were considered include: agricultural residues, energy crops (e.g., switchgrass, miscanthus, energycane, sorghum, poplar, willow), forest resources (e.g., forest thinnings, wood chips, wood wastes, small diameter trees), and urban wood wastes.
The first full month of sales in the US for the 2010 Ford Transit Connect light commercial van has topped 2,000 units, according to Ford. Vehicles are selling in fewer than 10 days of arriving on dealer lots, significantly quicker than industry norms.
California gasoline consumption rose 0.6% in May, while diesel fuel declined 7%, according to the latest figures from the California Board of Equalization (BOE).
Canada-based Nexterra Systems Corp., a supplier of advanced biomass gasification systems, has received C$7.7M (US$7 million) in funding from the BC Bioenergy Network (BCBN), Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), the National Research Council Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), and Ethanol BC.
The US will need to expand and modernize its outdated power transmission grid to incorporate more renewable energy sources, but balkanized ownership and regulation are going to make that process slow and difficult, according to a new Duke University analysis.
|6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbocharged diesel engine. Click to enlarge.|
Ford has provided initial details on the new Ford-engineered, -tested and-manufactured 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbo diesel engine. Debuting in the next-generation F-Series Super Duty truck, the new diesel engine will deliver improvements in torque, horsepower and fuel economy while adding more fueling flexibility—the engine is sanctioned for up to B20 biodiesel blends—and meeting 2010 emissions requirements.
The diesel engine team made improvements and changes throughout the engine architecture—including the use of an “inboard exhaust” design, a first for a modern production diesel engine—to deliver on aggressive horsepower, torque, emissions and fuel economy targets.
California Energy Commission Awards eTec $8M in Support of Transportation Electrification Project; Almost $7M to Other Plug-in Infrastructure and Vehicle Projects
The California Energy Commission (CEC) has awarded Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (eTec), a subsidiary of ECOtality, an estimated $8 million to support the deployment of charge infrastructure and electric vehicles (EVs) in the San Diego region that is part of eTec’s project awarded $99.8 million in Recovery Act funds from the Department of Energy. (Earlier post.)
As eTec’s proposed project to the US Department of Energy is anticipated to deploy up to 2,550 charging stations in the San Diego area, the additional funding from the California Energy Commission will allow for a substantial increase in the amount of charge infrastructure deployed in the region, according to Don Karner, president, eTec.
|The Punto Evo. Click to enlarge.|
The Fiat Punto Evo, the evolution of the Grande Punto, will make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. The Punto Evo will offer a range of Euro 5 engines, including a 1.3 second-generation Multijet diesel and a 1.4-liter gasoline engine with the MultiAir electro-hydraulic valve-timing system developed by Fiat Powertrain Technologies and eventually to be incorporated in all Fiat Group engines. (Earlier post.)
The new Punto Evo also offers Start&Stop, the system that switches off and restarts the engine in stop-and-go traffic. Start&Stop is being introduced as standard on all Euro5 gasoline and diesel engines. Fiat is also offering methane and LPG units with the Punto Evo.
The US Department of Energy last week published the details of the Initial H-Prize Competition—a single award for $1 million in the subject area of advanced materials for hydrogen storage in mobile systems for light-duty vehicles. Evaluation of entries will begin in approximately 15 months.
The H-Prize was originally established in Sec. 654 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-140) and establishes multiple prize categories, including advancements in technologies, components or systems related to hydrogen production, storage, distribution and utilization; prototypes of hydrogen-powered vehicles or other hydrogen-based products; and transformational changes in technologies for the distribution of production of hydrogen. The original legislation behind the H-Prize was proposed by House Science Research Subcommittee Chairman Bob Inglis in 2006. (Earlier post.)
Renault Introducing New Fluence Sedan Line; Diesels All Less Than 119 gCO2/km, All-Electric Model in 2011
|The Renault Fluence. Click to enlarge.|
Renault will extend its vehicle line-up this autumn with a new sedan, the Fluence. The Fluence is the successor to the sedan version of the old Mégane. (Renault introduced the New Renault Mégane Hatch and New Renault Mégane Coupé at the Paris Motor Show in 2008, marking the beginning of the renewal of its C-segment lineup.)
From launch, and depending on market, Renault Fluence will be available with a range of engines. All diesel models in the Fluence range have a CO2 emissions rating of 119g/km and qualify for the Renault eco² signature. Renault says it will introduce an all-electric version of the Fluence in 2011.