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Minnesota’s BioFuel Highway

Declaring Minnesota the “renewable fuel capital of America,” Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty announced a series of initiatives focused on increasing the use of biofuels (mainly ethanol, but also biodiesel and biohydrogen) combined with conservation and the use of hybrids. The initiatives include plans and orders: To double the minimum required... Read more →

S. Korea Spurs Green Car Development

The Korea Times. The South Korean National Assembly passed a bill authorizing the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE) to establish ongoing plans every five years to support the development and commercialization of future cars like electric, solar heat and fuel cell powered vehicles. The ministry will also establish... Read more →

Panel: Viable H2 Fuel Cell Cars 15 Years Away

Autoweek reports that a panel of experts at the recent Electric Drive Transportation Association conference said the hydrogen fuel cell won’t be commercially ready for at least 15 years. The panel highlighted hurdles in the following areas: Fuel. The nation has no energy policy that calls for the creation of... Read more →

More on the Chevy Hybrid S3X: a Diesel Micro-Hybrid

Chevrolet’s prototype hybrid S3X SUV—shown at the Paris Motor Show (earlier post)—is a diesel micro-hybrid. The prototype combines the new GM-Daewoo diesel engine with GM’s Belt Alternator Starter (BAS) system to provide stop-start functionality and regenerative braking. The BAS system enables early fuel cutoff to the engine during deceleration and... Read more →

Propane Series-Hybrid Buses for Knoxville and Gatlinburg

Ebus is providing four propane-fueled series hybrid trolley buses for Knoxville, TN, and another two to Gatlinburg on a six-month trial. With the series hybrid-electric system, the bus is propelled only by an electric motor, which in turn receives its electricity from a NiCd battery pack. TheNiCd batteries provide 60... Read more →

Personal Rapid or Automated Transit

Jerry Schneider from the Innovative Transportation Technologies (ITT) group at U of Washington, Seattle, proposes the inclusion emerging non-automotive transport technologies into the overall “Green Car” mix. Makes sense to me. Ultimately, the goal is sustainable mobility, and whether the solutions look like a car, a personal pod, or something... Read more →

Ford Launches Production H2 Focus FCV-Hybrid

Ford today announced the first production of its new Focus hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, the Focus FCV-Hybrid. (Earlier post on production of the demo fleet.) This differs from prior demo cars in three ways. First, it’s the most sophisticated, according to Ford. Second, it came off a production line, not... Read more →

San Francisco Ups the GHG Ante

San Francisco Chronicle. Three days after California Governor Schwarzenegger signed the CA climate change bill regulating CO2 emissions, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome announced a climate action plan designed to slash the city’s greenhouse emissions by 2012 to a target level set at 20 percent below 1990 emissions. San Francisco—including... Read more →

Shanghai Automotive—Going for the Gold, but What About Green?

Fortune profiles the work and aspirations of Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC): JV partner with both GM and VW, and a growing powerhouse in its own right. The joint ventures have proved a bonanza for SAIC, which has more than doubled in size since 2000. Last year it produced 612,216... Read more →

Opel’s New CNG Van—and Beyond

GM’s Opel used the 60th International Show for Commercial Vehicles in Hanover, Germany (overlapping the Paris Motor Show) for the world premier of a natural-gas-powered production version of its Combo commercial van—Combo 1.6 CNG. Opel currently is the CNG marketleader in Germany, and Opel Special Vehicles (OSV)—the offshoot of Opel... Read more →

What’s the Best, Continued...

As a follow-on to the post and discussion on What’s the “Best” Green Transportation Technology, I’m reproducing some summary charts from the Delucchi study as a view into the varying emissions impact of different fuels. It’s important to remember that these are the results based on this particular model, and... Read more →

CARB Adopts CO2 Regulations

Reuters. After two days of hearings, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) passed unanimously the country’s first air-quality regulations to reduce car emissions linked to global warming. This now implements AB1493 (the Pavley Climate Change bill) passed in 2002. (Earlier post.) The new rules require cuts in emissions of carbon... Read more →

Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Hybrid HOV Lane Bill

Ignoring lobbying efforts from Ford chairman Bill Ford among others, Gov. Schwarzenegger signed AB2628 today—the bill allowing single-occupant hybrids meeting certain performance thresholds to use the High Occupancy Vehicle (Carpool lane) on California highways. (Earlier post.) The bill restricts such access to hybrids with an average fuel efficiency of 45... Read more →

What’s the “Best” Green Transpo Technology?

There are many different technology options and possible combinations available and emerging for sustainable transportation, short and long term. The complexity and number of variables makes it difficult for stakeholders to sit down and to evaluate definitively the environmental and energy impact of these systems. For automakers faced with different... Read more →

Philippines Fast-Tracking CNG Buses

ABS-CBNnews. The Philippine’s Department of Transportation and Communications is prioritizing natural gas vehicles when it issues transportation franchises for bus operation. (Earlier post on Manila’s move to CNG and the Cummins Westport engines in the buses here.) “We will issue as many franchises for as long as the buses are... Read more →

The G6 Giveaway, Fuel Economy and the Competition

The GM giveaway of 276 Pontiac G6 cars on Oprah has marketing mavens all aflutter on the next evolution of product placement. Cost to GM: a $7 million kickoff of a $50 million advertising campaign slated for the G6. My reaction: “What, they have to give them away?” But that’s... Read more →

Cinergy to Add Priuses to Fleet

In September 2003, Cinergy Corp., a $4.4 billion Midwestern energy company, announced a voluntary program to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by five percent below 2000 levels between 2010 and 2012. At that time it committed $21 million to spend on projects between 2004 and 2010 to achieve that goal.... Read more →

VW Fuel-Cell APU with On-Board Reforming

Volkswagen has tapped IdaTech to design and manufacture an integrated fuel processor system operating on diesel fuel to be used in a fuel-cell-based Auxiliary Power Unit (APU). Fuel-cell APUs are of increasing interest for cars, vans and trucks that require a great deal of additional electricity (for communications, air conditioning... Read more →

Next-Generation Nuclear for H2 Too

Chemical and Engineering News features the multiple approaches to next-generation nuclear power and provides a useful framework for understanding the differences. (Overview chart at right from DOE. Click to enlarge.) In the US, the longer-term focus seems to be on Very High Temperature Reactors (VHTR)—generation IV systems as compared to... Read more →

France Seeks to Triple Annual Biofuels Production

Oil & Gas Journal. French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin plans to launch bids before Spring 2005 for construction of four 200,000-ton biofuels production units to be built by 2007. These would triple France’s annual biofuels production capacity to some 1.2 billion tons. The four units will complement eight existing facilities... Read more →

New Mercedes Sports Tourers at Paris

Mercedes-Benz is showing its two latest clean diesel concept versions of the upcoming Sports Tourer line at the Paris Motor Show. This is the line Mercedes has already targeted for a diesel-hybrid version. The latest models move the new line closer to actual production, currently scheduled for Fall 2005. The... Read more →

Ford Delays Shipment of Three New Models

AutoWeek reports that Ford has delayed the shipment of its newest vehicles—the 2005 Ford Five Hundred sedan, Freestyle sport wagon and Mercury Montego sedan—to dealerships. Ford COO Jim Padilla would not specify last week why Ford is holding on to the vehicles. “When it’s ready, we will ship it,” Padilla... Read more →

Natural Gas Vehicle Fueling—At Home

American Honda is working directly with FuelMaker Corporation to complete development of a natural gas home refueling appliance. Honda, which has owned almost 20 percent of Toronto-based FuelMaker Corporation since 2000, is working directly with FuelMaker to complete development of Phill, the natural gas home refueling appliance. As part of... Read more →

Retrofitting Diesel to Natural Gas or Propane

After 10 years and $20 million dollars of research, IMPCO Technologies is making a push to commercialize its conversion system that allows diesel engines to burn natural gas and propane. The Eclipse Heavy Duty Management System requires taking the cylinder head off the engine, removing the injectors and electronic control... Read more →