Main | May 2004 »

An Aside for the IT-Inclined: Some Datapoints on HW and SW

In rummaging through information on diesels, I found some datapoints on hardware and software that helped me “size” the problem a bit better in my mind. First, from Magneti Marelli, a global designer and producerof high-tech components and systems for the automotive industry, serving Renault, Citroën, Peugeot, Fiat Group, Ford,... Read more →

Structural Changes Fuel Cells Would Bring to the Auto Industry

I ran across a piece of analysis from Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation, a division of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Fraunhofer is one of the larger contract engineering and science research outfits, and has been active in the discussion around the transition to a hydrogen economy. The work on Fuel Cell Innovation... Read more →

More H2 Seeds

In addition to the Ford/BP partnership (below), Toyota, Honda and Nissan are planning to put 65 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the California test fleet in the next 5 years, working with Air Products & Chemicals, which will build 24 H2 refueling stations. BMW is also working as part of... Read more →

Biotech’s First Commerical Shipment of Bioethanol

Iogen, a Canadian biotech company, released its first commercial shipment of bioethanol . Unlike conventional ethanol which is made from grain, bioethanol is made from cellulose-rich biomass such as wheat straw, sugar-cane bagasse, and corn stovers and stalks left over after harvesting. Critics say conventional grain-based ethanol requires as much... Read more →

GM, Ford Partner on Fuel-efficient Transmissions

General Motors and Ford are investing almost .75 Billion dollars into three plants to make fuel-efficient, six-speed front wheel drive transmissions. Following a pattern of increasing cooperation in R&D between rivals as a way to manage costs, the two teamed up in October 2002 to work together on the device.... Read more →

CO2 Regulations Ahead -- But What About the Buyers?

The California Air Resources Board’s Technology Assessment Workshop on Climate Change Emission Regulations for Light-Duty Vehicles provided some very good insight into short-term fixes for CO2 emissions from vehicles. The CARB focus on CO2 reduction results from the mandate of California AB 1493 to regulate CO2 -- the most prevalent... Read more →

Shell Shocked

Another write-down in global oil reserves, another exec on the bricks. Shell said in January that it was downgrading 3.9 billion barrels in reserves, or about 20 percent of its total holdings. A March announcement raised the total downgraded to 4.15 billion barrels. The latest downgrade (19 April) raised the... Read more →

CARB Climate Change Tech and Cost Review Workshop

In 2002, California enacted Assembly Bill 1493 (AB 1493) -- the Pavley climate change bill. The bill requires the California Air Resources Board to develop CO2 (greenhouse gas) standards for vehicles in model year 2009 and beyond. California has consistently led the nation in the stringency of its emission control,... Read more →

H2 Contrarian: Yellow Light for the H2 Highway

Joseph J. Romm, former acting assistant secretary of energy during the Clinton administration, takes a strong stance in the Sacramento Bee against rushing to merge onto the Hydrogen Highway. (Sacramento is the capital of California, and hence the seat of Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is outspoken about his Hydrogen... Read more →

H2 Highway #2

Via the Chicago Sun Times and Fuel Cell Works comes news that Illinois is joining California in beginning to build out the fueling infrastructure to support hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The Illinois Coalition, city of Chicago, state of Illinois and the private sector are joining forces as the Illinois 2... Read more →

Drilling for...

An AP story ran today (here's a sample) noting that Roughly a fourth of oil and gas wells with permits approved by the Bureau of Land Management have not been drilled, despite skyrocketing oil and gas prices that have prompted Republicans in Congress to demand more access by oil companies... Read more →

Biodiesel Benz

Daimler Chrysler is road testing a Mercedes C Class biodiesel auto as part of a longer term biodiesel project with the Institue of Hohenheim in Germany and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in India. The test involves a 5,000 km drive and will meet stringent Euro II emission... Read more →

H2 in CA

Decades ago, California was in the vanguard with air quality regulations and restrictions on emissions (much to the dismay of many, but to the betterment of the air). California is also being equally forward thinking in pushing for hydrogen-based energy solutions. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared that he will build... Read more →

North American Energy Summit

The Western Governors’ Association North American Energy Summit opens tomorrow (14 Apr 04) in Albuquerque, NM. (ABQ). The scope of this event goes well beyond the transportation market. Some interesting aspects to it. There is a transportation breakout in the expo area with featured participation from Blue Sun biodiesel and... Read more →

What is the Auto Industry doing about Climate Change?

I’m a Powerpoint packrat. For all the slams against the package and sneers about bad communication it’s incredibly widespread in its use as a tool for corporate or organizational communication. In other words — you find some interesting things by looking for Powerpoint files. Here’s one from Booz Allen Hamilton... Read more →