November 29, 2009
|The 2011 Cruze. Click to enlarge.|
GM unveils the US production version of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan at the LA Auto Show on 2 December. The Cruze will compete with vehicles such as Toyota Corolla; Honda Civic; Ford Focus; Hyundai Elantra; and Nissan Sentra.
The Cruze is a GM global car; the North American version features a new Ecotec 1.4L I-4 turbo with variable valve timing that delivers up to an estimated 40 mpg (EPA ratings pending) on the highway with a high-efficiency model. GM has already introduced the Cruze in Europe and Asia.
Devil in the Details: World Leaders Scramble To Salvage and Shape Copenhagen’s UNFCCC Climate Summit
by Jack Rosebro
With little more than a week left before the 15th Congress of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) convenes in Copenhagen, and following months of increasing doubt that international agreement can be realized on a binding emissions reduction plan to replace the Kyoto Protocol, many countries have begun to solidify their positions in a whirlwind of shuttle diplomacy and behind-the-scenes negotiations that now appear certain to push climate negotiations well into 2010.
At issue is the 2012 expiration of the Kyoto Protocol, a binding but effectively unenforceable 1997 treaty that had set greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets for 40 industrialized countries, referred to as Annex 1 countries, yielding an average GHG reduction of 5.2% as compared to 1990 emissions, to be achieved between 2008 and 2012.
Study Finds That Climate Change Mitigation in Land Transport Should Benefit Public Health Substantially
A new study by an international team of researchers using Comparative Risk Assessment methods to estimate the health effects of alternative urban land transport scenarios for two settings—London, UK, and Delhi, India—concluded that although uncertainties remain, climate change mitigation in transport should benefit public health substantially.
The study, one of six published in the British medical journal The Lancet as part of a series on “Health and Climate Change” (earlier post), also concluded that policies to increase the acceptability, appeal, and safety of active urban travel, and discourage travel in private motor vehicles would provide larger health benefits than would policies that focus solely on lower-emission motor vehicles.
The Nikkei reports that Nissan Motor Co. has nearly completed development of a lithium-ion battery using a lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide cathode (NMC). The new system, which will reportedly offer almost double the capacity of Nissan/AESC’s current manganese spinel cell, is supposedly slated for deployment in electric vehicles in 2015.
November 28, 2009
Lancet Series Finds That Cutting Greenhouse Pollutants Will Have Major Direct Health Benefits Worldwide
Tackling climate change by reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions will have major direct health benefits in addition to reducing the risk of climate change, especially in low-income countries, according to a series of six papers on “Health and Climate Change” published 25 November in the British medical journal The Lancet.
The EU’s Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) (earlier post) has launched its second call for proposals (SP1-JTI-CS-2009-02). The €8.4-million (US$12.5-million) call covers a total of 24 topics. Depending on the nature of the participant, the funding will be between 50% and 75% of the Topic maximum budget indicated.
The two topics with the largest amount of maximum funding in this call for cleaner aviation technology are (1) the modelling, simulation and rig prototype development of an electric tail drive for rotorcraft (maximum funding of €1.875M) and the design and manufacture of an aircraft tractor compliant with specifications for Smart Operations on ground (max. funding €1.5 million).
ICCT Study Finds Commercial Aviation Efficiency Improvements Have Stagnated Over Last Two Decades; Need for Comprehensive CO2 Standards for Aviation
|Aircraft efficiency, measured in terms of both passengers alone (passenger-km) and passengers plus cargo (ton-km), has doubled since 1960. But little improvement has come in the past two decades. Source: ICCT. Click to enlarge.|
An analysis of sales- and activity-weighted fuel efficiency for new jet aircraft from 1960 to 2008 shows that while aircraft efficiency has doubled since 1960, advancements in the efficiency of commercial aircraft have stagnated in the last two decades. Without an effective carbon dioxide emission standard, fuel prices alone are unlikely to spur large improvements, suggests the study by researchers at the International Council on Clean Transportation.
ICCT researchers modeled the fuel consumption of more than 25,000 planes produced and delivered over the past 50 years. Fuel burn was simulated for full loads over design-range routes, and calculated on the basis of both seat-kilometers (i.e., passengers alone) and ton-kilometers (passengers plus cargo).
Canadian Pacific and Natural Resources Canada have partnered on a biodiesel fuel pilot project under the National Renewable Diesel Demonstration Initiative. The project is the first time biodiesel will be used in Canadian cold-weather rail service.
November 27, 2009
Quantum Technologies to Acquire Schneider Power, Signs Letter of Intent New Energy Systems for Investment in Quantum Solar
Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc. will acquire in a stock-for-stock exchange all of the outstanding common shares of Schneider Power, a Canada-based wind and solar power generation company. Quantum, an advanced propulsion systems, energy storage technology, and alternative fuel vehicle company, provides the Q-drive system to Fisker. The transaction is expected to close in 2Q 2010.
SAIC Displays Six Models of New Energy Vehicles to Be Used at Expo 2010; Commercialization Plans for Hybrid, PHEV and BEVs by 2012
At the China International Industry Fair held earlier in November in Shanghai, SAIC Group displayed six models of new energy vehicles, which will serve the Expo 2010. Of those models, two made their premiere at the Fair. The models were the Shenchi Brand 4-seat battery-electric car; the Shenchi Brand 11-seat fuel cell vehicle; the Shanghai Brand fuel cell car; the Shanghai Brand hybrid; the Buick LaCrosse hybrid; and the UNDP fuel cell bus.
SAIC has set clear targets for industrializing new energy vehicles in combination with the 2010 World Expo Shanghai, including the introduction of mild-hybrid (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and battery electric vehicles (BEV) by 2012: