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Toyota to Use its Fuel Cell Hybrid Bus at 2005 World Expo

Toyota is providing fuel cell hybrid-electric buses to shuttle visitors between the two expo sites of the 2005 Aichi World Exposition, which opens March 25. The bus, developed with Hino (a Toyota subsidiary—earlier post) will travel 4.4 kilometers between the Nagatuke and Seto areas. The FCHV-BUS2 fuel cell hybrids use... Read more →

Nissan to Introduce New Fuel-Efficient 1.5-Liter Compact in North America

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn may not think hybrids make much sense, but he is keen on compact cars to meet customer demand for fuel efficiency, as pointed out in this earlier post. Yesterday, he announced that Nissan will produce and sell a new compact car with a 1.5-liter engine in... Read more →

Thai Auto Production to Break One Million Mark in 2005

Business Day. Thailand’s car production in 2005 will top one million units for the first time. The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) forecast that total production in 2005 will rise by 18.39% to 1,098,751 units. It estimated that the domestic market would absorb almost 700,000 vehicles—696,797 units or 63.42% of... Read more →

What a Surprise

Reuters. OPEC oil producers are considering possible advance measures to head off a price drop after the northern winter, the cartel’s president said on Saturday. Concerns among OPEC nations about the detrimental impact of prices near $50 a barrel on world economic growth and fuel demand appear to have evaporated.... Read more →

EPA’s Clean Diesel Combustion Engine

EPA designed its Clean Diesel Combustion technology (earlier post) to prove the potential for a diesel engine design, using innovative air, fuel, and combustion management and conventional particulate matter aftertreatment, to achieve lower NOx levels without the need for NOx aftertreatment. Clean Diesel Combustion technology began to take form and... Read more →

USDA: BTL Diesel Could Replace 13% of Germany’s Diesel Use

The USDA estimates that Fischer-Tropsch diesel using biomass as the feedstock (Biomass-to-Liquid, or BTL) may replace up to 13% of Germany’s current diesel use. Biodiesel is the most popular biofuel in Germany, with an estimated annual production capacity of 1.1 million tons in 2004 and actual sales in 2004 of... Read more →

Ford and EPA to Test New Clean Diesel Combustion in Passenger Vehicles

The US EPA and Ford Motor are refining and testing the potential for commercial application of a new diesel combustion technology that meets stringent EPA tailpipe emission standards. This is the second phase of a research agreement between Ford and EPA to examine a new emissions control technology called Clean... Read more →

FAW Toyota to Produce Crown Sedans in China...What About the Hybrid?

AFX. Tianjin FAW Toyota Motor Co, a joint venture between Toyota Motor Co and China First Automotive Works Group Corp (FAW), will begin producing China-made versions of Toyota’s Crown luxury sedans in March. The Crown is a big Toyota sedan rarely seen outside Japan and the Middle East. In 2001,... Read more →

Normal Eases into Biodiesel Use with B2

Pantagraph.com. By April, some 100 town of Normal, Illinois vehicles will be burning a B2 biodiesel blend. Mike Hall, Normal public works director, said the city will use about 67,500 gallons of biodiesel annually. Evergreen FS in Bloomington will supply the fuel. About 100 diesel-powered garbage trucks, backhoes and other... Read more →

GM, Shell to Bring 13 FCVs and Fueling to NYC

GM will provide 13 fuel cell-powered vehicles to the New York City metro area and its partner in the project, Shell Hydrogen, will establish New York State’s first hydrogen service station in the New York City metropolitan area in 2006. The duo is the only team bringing fuel cell vehicles... Read more →

Green Scam

Denver Post. Scams are now hitting the credulous looking to reduce fuel consumption. The MPT SmogBuster Fuel Disc is a quarter-sized piece of plastic that is to be taped or glued to the bottom of your car’s gas tank. The promoter, OceanCity Network of Thousand Oaks, Ca, says it significantly... Read more →

Shell Exec: We Need to Shift from Oil

Reuters. Lord Oxburgh, the chairman of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group in Britain, said at a Greenpeace conference this week that governments should push society towards a world less dependent on fossil fuel given the potentially “disastrous” consequences of climate change. [He] added that governments needed to act to make renewable... Read more →

China Passes US as Japan’s Top Trading Partner

NYT. China surpassed the United States as Japan’s top trading partner for the first time last year, highlighting the growing economic ties between Japan and its rapidly expanding neighbor. China, including Hong Kong, accounted for 20.1 percent of Japan’s total foreign trade last year, compared with an 18.6 percent share... Read more →

US Oil Demand Grows at Strongest Rate in 5 Years in 2004

Despite high and volatile prices, U.S. petroleum demand in 2004 grew at its strongest rate in five years, reported the American Petroleum Institute in its 2004 year-end Monthly Statistical Report. The surge in demand resulted partly as a result of strong demand for highway diesel. Demand for on-highway diesel fuel... Read more →

Bill Ford Points to Hybrids and Hydrogen as “Game-Changers”

Introducing a briefing for financial analysts today in New York, Bill Ford, CEO of Ford Motor, outlined a product strategy that explicitly relies on hybrids and hydrogen as strategic differentiators—even in the short term. Presentation materials and an archived webcast of the briefing are available here. One of the ways... Read more →

Bacterial Enzyme for Improved Catalysts?

Chemical catalysts are essential in many transportation-related applications, including the treatment of engine emissions and the production of hydrogen. Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have identified a bacterial enzyme with higher predicted chemical reactivity than that of industrial catalysts currently in use. The results of... Read more →

Micro-Hybrid Diesel Delivery Van Lowers Fuel Consumption 21%

Ford Motor Company, Ricardo UK, Valeo and Gates have produced a micro-hybrid diesel delivery van that improves fuel consumption improvement by more than 21% in urban delivery drive cycles. The HyTrans vehicle—Europe’s first micro-hybrid diesel delivery van—is the result of 12 months of collaboration between the partners and the UK... Read more →

GM, Shell Bringing Fuel Cell Vehicles and Fueling to NY

On Thursday of this week, GM and Shell will announce their plans to bring fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen refueling to New York. This is part of a larger agreement with the US DOE for hydrogen fuel cell demonstrations and testing. (DOE program solicitation here.) GM will provide approximately 40... Read more →

CT Transit: Thumbs Up on GM-Allison Hybrid Buses

CT Transit (Connecticut Transit) recently wrapped up 19 months of operational testing of a pair of GM-Allison hybrid buses manufactured by New Flyer. The results, unlike those obtained in Seattle’s experience, show greater fuel efficiency. Since they were introduced in June 2003, the New Flyer hybrid buses have been tested... Read more →

Indianapolis Adds Two Diesel Hybrid Buses

Indianapolis Public Transit Corporation (IndyGo) has added two hybrid electric buses to its fleet. These models are manufactured by Gillig, and are powered by the GM-Allison hybrid drive in combination with a Cummins 5.9-liter diesel. The buses will begin servicing the city on February 1. In August 2003, IndyGo put... Read more →

Japan Tobacco To Switch Out Fleet for CNG and Hybrids

Yomiuri Shimbun. Japan Tobacco (JT) will replace all the vehicles in its fleet with CNG-powered or hybrid vehicles in an effort to curb CO2 emissions. JT will switch its fleet of 3,787 vehicles to more environmentally friendly vehicles when their leases come up for renewal. As of March 31, 2004,... Read more →

Calcutta to Phase Out Diesel Taxis for LPG

The Telegraph. In a bid to clean up Calcutta’s air, the West Bengal state government is planning to phase out diesel taxis and replace them with cars operating on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). “We’ve told taxi unions that the government plans to phase out diesel taxis to clean Calcutta’s air.... Read more →

INFORM: Transportation Boom in Asia, Crisis for the US

INFORM Inc, a nonprofit research organization, is publishing a new analysis: The Transportation Boom in Asia: Crisis and Opportunity for the United States. The report provides a very useful summary and quantitative description of critical market drivers—the growth of transportation and energy use in China and India and the ongoing... Read more →

China and Canda Sign Oil and Mineral Agreements

Reuters. Canada and China signed agreements on Friday aimed at boosting cooperation in oil and mineral exploration. China’s diplomacy has been increasingly colored by a need to secure oil and other resources from all over the world, including Canada, as its economic rise fuels a voracious appetite for energy and... Read more →

Gilbert, AZ Adds a Pair of Civic Hybrids

Arizona Republic. The town of Gilbert, AZ has added two 2005 Honda Civic Hybrids to its fleet, which already includes two Toyota Priuses. Though the hybrids make up a miniscule portion of Gilbert's 700-plus-vehicle fleet, [Scott] Sonnenberg [Gilbert's fleet service manager] said their ability to curb emissions, extend fuel mileage... Read more →

Italy May Reconsider Nuclear Power

Reuters. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi indicated a possible move away from Italy’s traditional anti-nuclear stance. Italians voted to close Italy’s nuclear power plants in a 1987 referendum, but the country imports electricity from France where nuclear power is one of the main sources of energy. “The government is preparing... Read more →

450 More CNG Engines for Beijing Transit

Cummins Westport Inc. (CWI) has received an order for 450 B-series CNG engines for transit service in Beijing. The engines will be delivered this year, and will be locally manufactured in China by Dongfeng Cummins Engine Company Ltd. (DCEC) located in Xiangfan, China. Beijing Public Transport (BPT) currently operates more... Read more →

Metaldyne CEO Calls for All-Out Press on Hydrogen

In a very succinct and focused speech at the Automotive News World Congress in Dearborn, Metaldyne Corp. Chief Executive Tim Leuliette called energy independence the most critical issue facing the US, and outlined the basics of a serious industry-government partnership to advance rapidly the advent of a hydrogen economy. [...]... Read more →

Ford Yields; Ranger EV Lessees Can Buy Their Trucks

KXTV reports that Ford has reversed its decision to repossess a fleet of Ranger electric pickup trucks leased to Californians and will allow the lessees to buy them. The reversal comes after a handful of the pickup’s lessees staged a protest at a downtown Sacramento Ford dealership. The unhappy drivers... Read more →

Major Hybrid Purchase Pending for Toronto Transit

The Toronto Star reports that the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is about to spend up to $110 million on 100–150 hybrid electric buses—one of the largest single hybrid bus purchases in North America. The inside favorite for the business appears to be Mississauga-based Orion Bus Industries, a division of DaimlerChrysler.... Read more →

Caterpillar Pledges to Reduce GHG by 20% from 2002 levels by 2010

Caterpillar has pledged to reduce its direct global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its facilities by 20% from 2002 levels by 2010. Caterpillar is a leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines. The company committed to the reduction target as part... Read more →

Prototype Bioreactor for Hydrogen Production

Infectech, a Pennsylvania biotech company, is developing a prototype bioreactor to produce hydrogen with the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering of Gannon University in Erie, PA. Originally founded in 1989 for the development of diagnostic kits for infectious diseases, Infectech is diversifying into technologies for the production of alternative... Read more →

CNG Hybrid Buses to LAX

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has taken delivery of two CNG-fueled series hybrid buses. Manufactured by Hybrid Bus Technologies and powered by UQM Technologies drivetrains, the low-floor hybrid buses will be used as passenger shuttles. A CNG-fueled 2.5-liter Ford industrial engine powers a 100 kW UQM generator, which in turn... Read more →

European Parliament Calls for Legislative Restrictions on CO2 from New Cars

Point Carbon. A resolution adopted by European MEPs at their Strasbourg plenary session last week calls on the European Commission “urgently to put forward proposals for binding CO2 limits for new vehicles”. European, Japanese and Korean carmakers are currently carrying out a voluntary agreement to reduce fleet average emissions to... Read more →

Johnson Controls Introduces New Battery for Hybrids

Johnson Controls, North America's largest manufacturer of lead-acid batteries, introduced at NAIAS a new NiMH battery designed for hybrid cars. The new 7.2-volt, 7.0 Ah prismatic nickel-metal-hydride battery was developed using technologies from the company’s Varta Battery Automotive Business in Europe, where buses have run on the supplier’s nickel-hydride batteries... Read more →

Hybrids for Rent at Portuguese Airports

AFP reports that Avis offices at Portugal’s three busiest airports are now offering arriving travelers the option of renting hybrid vehicles. A total of 25 hybrids, which combine a conventional gasoline engine with an electric motor, are available at Avis car rental offices at airports in Lisbon, second-city Oporto and... Read more →