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Clean Bus Leaders

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) has recognized six state and local initiatives for leading the nation in deploying cleaner bus fleets. Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (Oakland, CA) is recognized for its leadership in investing in and developing advanced technologies. AC Transit’s $20 million hydrogen fuel cell demonstration program... Read more →

Ford’s Evolving Green Strategy Needs More Action

Detroit News columnist Daniel Howes outlines Ford’s coalescing strategy “to become a legitimate contender in the race with Toyota and Honda for global leadership in alternative technology.” Ford is pushing to boost the production of its escape Hybrid SUV. This year’s current production of 4,000 vehicles is already sold out,... Read more →

GM, Shanghai Automotive Partner on Hybrids and Fuel Cells

GM and Shanghai Automotive are jointly to develop and to commercialize hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles—and the infrastructure required to support them—in China. The broad-based agreement, presaged by the announcement two weeks ago of joint development of diesel hybrid buses (earlier post), is the first of its kind between a global... Read more →

China Forges Major Energy Ties with Iran

AFP. China is making many large-scale investments with energy producers around the world. One of the most recent is a $70 Billion oilfield and LNG (liquefied natural gas) agreement with Iran. Under a memorandum of understanding signed Thursday, China’s second-largest oil firm, Sinopec Group, will buy 250 million tons of... Read more →

Audi Picks up 10 Awards at Challenge Bibendum

Audi brought three models to the Challenge Bibendum and won 10 awards for driving dynamics, driving safety, emission behaviour and fuel consumption. The winning models were: An A2 1.2 TDI, the only five-door car that delivers 100 kilometers (combined drive cycle) on less than three litres of fuel—that’s 78 mpg.... Read more →

Update: Westport/Isuzu CNG-DI Cleaner than Diesel, More Efficient than CNG

Just last month, Isuzu and Westport entered into a new joint venture agreement through which Isuzu will provide to Westport approximately CDN$1.5 million for the design and construction of two next-generation CNG-DI ELF trucks to be delivered in 2005 (earlier post). A technical analysis presented by Isuzu this week at... Read more →

Biodiesel Tax Credit Opens the Door for Mainstream Adoption

There’s been a great deal of interest and more than a few questions on the green tax breaks embedded within the massive “JOBS” tax breaks bill (earlier post), so I’ll provide more specifics by sector as I get them. Dave wrote in first with a pointer to the website of... Read more →

Biodiesel Plant in Moscow, TN

Fayette County Review. Construction is nearing completion on West Tennessee’s first biodiesel facility. Current projections estimate a production of between 10,000 and 25,000 gallons of biodiesel per day. The owner of the plant, AMPM Environmental Services, reclaims used cooking oil from restaurants and food manufacturing plants across the Southeast United... Read more →

New Heavy-Duty Series Hybrid Drives from Enova

Enova Systems (earlier post) has introduced a new set of series hybrid drive systems for heavy-duty, urban transit and delivery vehicles. Series hybrid vehicle powertrains typically consist of an electric motor, energy storage (currently usually a battery) and management, and a small internal combustion engine (ICE) to generate electricity. (See... Read more →

Results from Shell GTL Trial

Shell has concluded a year-long Gas to Liquids (GTL) fuel trial involving six diesel delivery trucks provided by a California-based bottled water distributor, Yosemite Waters. The results show that using GTL Fuel in a conventional diesel engine reduced all regulated emissions compared to the California Air Resources Board baseline requirements.... Read more →

Quantum’s Fuel Cell Aggressor

Quantum Technologies (earlier post) has designed, developed and now shipped a high-performance, parallel-hybrid hydrogen fuel-cell off-road vehicle for the US Army. The Quantum AMVTM (Alternative Mobility Vehicle), nicknamed the “Aggressor,” couples a 10 kW (13.5 hp) fuel cell with a 60 kW (80.5 hp) battery in a parallel hybrid configuration,... Read more →

Hello, Hino! More Diesel Hybrids Coming.

Hino Motors Manufacturing, Japan’s leading domestic manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses, and a subsidiary of Toyota (which owns 50.1% of Hino) has begun its first truck manufacturing in North America. Although Hino trucks are currently sold here, they have until now been imported from Japan. The trucks... Read more →

10,000 Hythane Buses for Beijing

Brehon Energy plc, an affiliate of Australia’s Tasman Resources, has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with four leading Chinese groups to convert 10,000 diesel buses in Beijing to run on Hythane.® Hythane ® (also called HCNG—hydrogen CNG) is essentially CNG plus a small percentage of hydrogen (usually about... Read more →

Ten GM Diesel Hybrid Buses to Oahu

New Flyer Industries delivered 10 diesel hybrid buses powered by the GM-Allison hybrid drive to Oahu Transit Services. The buses will enter service in November. Earlier posts on the sales of GM-powered diesel hybrids are here, here, here, and here. In addition, GM recently announced that it would build diesel-hybrid... Read more →

Ford “Looking for Customers” for H2ICE Shuttle

Detroit News. Ford is looking for governments or private companies to test a fleet of its new H2ICE shuttle buses (earlier post). Bill Ford told attendees of Convergence 2004, an automotive electronics exhibition, that his company plans to build 100 hydrogen-powered shuttles by 2006, some of which will be deployed... Read more →

Hydrogen HUMMER for the Governor—But It’s ICE

California Gov. Schwarzenegger opened a hydrogen fueling station at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) on Friday, rolling into the station in a prototype H2ICE Hummer prototype—the H2H—loaned by GM. The H2H is an internal combustion engine (ICE) HUMMER H2 SUT (Sport Utility Truck) converted to burn gaseous hydrogen fuel. The... Read more →

French Post Office to Test French Electric Vehicle

The French post office (La Poste) will test the Cleanova II—a series hybrid light delivery van manufactured by SVE (Société de Voitures Électriques, electric car company), a joint venture between specialist car body supplier Heuliez and the Dassault group. Assuming the testing with La Poste—and presumably some others—goes well, SVE... Read more →

The Other, Bigger Growing Deficit

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has released Living Planet Report 2004—the current edition of an annual index that tracks global species abundance and human use of natural resources. This edition concludes that people are consuming the earth’s natural resources 20% faster than nature can renew them. We are spending nature’s... Read more →

Blue Sun Opens Integrated Processing and Blending Site

Colorado-based Blue Sun Biodiesel is opening a high-volume commercial biodiesel blending terminal integrated with a biodiesel processing plant. This integrated plant, which BSB claims is the first such in the US, will begin partial operation in November with the blending terminal. The $4 million production plant is scheduled for completion... Read more →

Embraer’s Ethanol Airplane

Brazilian aircraft company Embraer has received type certification for its ethanol-fueled Ipanema cropdusting aircraft from Brazilian aviation regulating agency Centro Técnico Aeroespacial (CTA). The Ipanema is the first series production aircraft in the world coming out of the factory certified for flying with ethanol. Embraer chose ethanol primarily for cost.... Read more →

Eaton and Peterbilt to Produce Hydraulic Hybrids

Peterbilt and Eaton Corporation are jointly developing refuse trucks using Eaton’s parallel hydraulic hybrid system—Hydraulic Launch Assist (HLA). Peterbilt plans to build and evaluate a production version of the vehicle during the next year. The hydraulic launch assist system uses regenerative braking to capture the energy otherwise lost in braking.... Read more →

FedEx Hybrid Update: 10 More to NYC

FedEx has put 10 of its OptiFleet E700 diesel hybrids (prior post) into service in NYC. The first two E700 hybrids have been in operation in Sacramento, CA, since March, with a 99% uptime. NYSERDA—New York State Energy Research and Development Authority—awarded FedEx federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds... Read more →

FedEx: Steps to Green Power, Green Fleet

FedEx—which Monday said it plans to build the country’s second largest private solar power system (904 kilowatts) atop its hub in Oakland, California—also reaffirmed that it intended to increase the number of hybrids in the delivery fleet. (Reuters). FedEx unveiled its first two of 20 OptiFleet E700 hybrid electric vehicles... Read more →

PG&E’s Approach to a Green Fleet

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is one of the utility companies participating in the diesel-hybrid pilot described in an earlier post. The utility plans to purchase two of the new hybrid vehicles being built by International and Eaton. The Business Journal provides more detail on the finances. WestStart-CalStart’s Hybrid Truck... Read more →

Biodiesel Deal

Dallas Business Journal. Biodiesel Industries (Santa Barbara, CA) will begin construction on a 3,000,000 gallon biodiesel plant based at the landfill of the city of Denton, Tx. The $700,000 plant will be powered in large part by methane gas from the landfill. The city of Denton is investing $670,000 in... Read more →

Comprehensive Survey of Research on Environmental Impact of Biofuels

IFEU—Institute for Energy and Environmental Research Heidelberg—recently concluded a comprehensive survey and analysis of the studies (Life-Cycle Analysis—LCA) that have been conducted to examine the cost, potential and environmental impact of biofuels for transportation. As we’ve seen in discussions here on GCC, studies of this sort can show considerable differences... Read more →

European Boom in Diesels Creates Gas Engine Glut

just-auto.com European demand for diesels continues to grow—from one-third of the market in 2000, diesels are now projected to have half of the market in 2005. As a result, automakers are scrambling to build sufficient diesel engines to meet the demand, and scratching their heads to figure out what to... Read more →

$15.6 M in DOE Hydrogen Grants

The Department of Energy made hydrogen research grants worth $15.6 million during the last week. Here’s a brief summary. The designated grantees in some projects are the lead partners of a group. DOE H2 Research GrantsDateOrganizationProjectDOE Grant 14 Oct 04 REB Research & Consulting (Ferndale, MI) Developing metallic membrane technology... Read more →

Demand for Hybrids in Florida County Fleets

The Sun-Sentinel reports on the growing use of and demand for hybrids in south-Florida county fleets. “As a government, we want to try to set a good example and reduce fuel consumption, so we’re going to buy the hybrids when they’re available,” said Doug Weichman, Palm Beach County fleet management... Read more →

International and Eaton Team on Diesel Hybrid Truck Pilot for Utilities

International Truck and Engine and Eaton are teaming up to manufacture diesel hybrid trucks for a national program serving the utility industry. This reportedly is the largest diesel hybrid pilot program to date, testing a minimum of 20 trucks using an integrated powertrain developed jointly by the two companies. The... Read more →

Challenge Bibendum Summary Results

Michelin has posted results from The Challenge Bibendum. Seventy four of the 150 vehicles present competed, more than 50% of which were electric vehicles. Average energy consumption was less than 5 liters per 100 km [47 mpg] for cars, with some vehicles achieving 3 liters/100 km [78 mpg]. Diesel was... Read more →

Mazda to Lease Rotary H2ICE, Add Mild Hybrid Support

Mazda plans to start to lease bi-fuel vehicles using rotary engines powered by hydrogen or gasoline during the next two years. Mazda started working with hydrogen-powered vehicles in 1991, and has developed seven such models since then. The company highlighted its latest H2 effort, the RX-8 Hydrogen Rotary Engine (RE)... Read more →

ELVAS Reduces Fuel Consumption and Lowers Emissions

A European Union-funded research project has successfully designed, produced and tested an improved electromagnetic valve actuation system (ELVAS) for car engines, increasing fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions. Electromagnetic valve actuation systems replace the mechanical systems used in conventional engine systems with control electronics. A conventional system involves steel valves,... Read more →

VW Brings Diesel Mild-Hybrid Concept to Shanghai

VW brought two concept cars to Shanghai for the Challenge Bibendum, along with two production vehicles running biodiesel. The Golf ECO.Power appears to be a diesel mild-hybrid, combining a 1.4-liter, 76 kW (102 hp) three-cylinder diesel engine with a 15 kW (20 hp) electric engine. I say “appears” because I... Read more →

Ford Clean(er) H2ICE w/ LNT

Ford unveiled its latest iteration of a hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engine at the Challenge Bibendum in Shanghai. The new supercharged 2.3-liter hydrogen engine with Lean NOx Trap (LNT) aftertreatment meets the stringent SULEV-Bin 2 emissions standards (0.02 grams/mile). The engine is based on Ford’s global 2.3-liter, inline-4 engine used in... Read more →

Michelin/PSI Concept HY-LIGHT Fuel Cell Vehicle

Michelin, working in partnership with the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI) developed a concept hydrogen fuel-cell car, the Michelin HY-LIGHT, unveiled at the Challenge Bibendum in Shanghai. The HY-LIGHT features twin electric motors mounted in the front wheels and an active electric suspension, combined with supercapacitors for storage of the electricity... Read more →