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Brazil’s Petrobras Exports First Shipment of Ethanol

ANBA. Petrobras, the Brazilian state-owned oil, gas and energy company, made its first export shipment of ethanol this week, destined for Venezuela. Initial forecasts are for a monthly shipment of some 25,000 cubic meters (some 6.6 million gallons US). The company had announced earlier this year that it intended to... Read more →

California’s AQMD to Acquire and to Test Plug-in Prius

The Southern California Air Quality Management District (AQMD) has decided to acquire and to test an Energy CS plug-in Prius (earlier post) in addition to the fleet of 35 Priuses it is converting to hydrogen-fueled combustion engine-hybrid drives (earlier post). This plug-in project complements another plug-in hybrid (PHEV) initiative by... Read more →

Illinois Law Expands Biodiesel Mandate for Public Fleets

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich signed into law House Bill 112 which requires state government, county and local governments, school districts, universities and community colleges and mass transit agencies to use a minimum of B2 (2% biodiesel blend) in their diesel vehicles. State facilities already useB2 in accordance with an executive... Read more →

Hydrogenics Putting More Hydrogen Forklifts into Trials

The H2 Hyster Forklift Hydrogenics is preparing to enter a second phase of one of its early-adopter, light-mobility programs by deploying fuel cell-ultracapacitor hybrid forklifts at a Fedex facility in the Toronto area. The light mobility program is designed to seed early-adopter markets for hydrogen fuel cells with Hydrogenics systems,... Read more →

Australian Medical Association Backs Mandatory Biofuels Use

The president of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, wrote Australian Government’s Biofuels Taskforce to detail the AMA’s support for the mandatory use of ethanol and biodiesel in the interests of protecting and improving human health. Dr Haikerwal said the AMA wants to see the biofuels debate in... Read more →

Hydrogen-Station Homing on Honda FCX

Honda is equipping all of its hydrogen fuel cell-powered 2005 FCX vehicles with a navigation system that incorporates the location of hydrogen fueling stations, including those being developed as part of California’s “Hydrogen Highway” initiative. Based on the Honda-developed navigation systems offered in many Honda and Acura models, the voice-activated... Read more →

China to Publish National Standards on Hybrids

CRI. The Standardization Administration of China has announced that a set of national standards on hybrid vehicles will be published and implemented in October 2005. These standards will become the testing benchmarks for certification of hybrids for sale in the domestic Chinese market. The China Automotive Technology and Research Center... Read more →

Canada Extends NGV Assistance to Conversions

The Government of Canada has extended the Natural Gas for Vehicles Market Transformation Pilot Project to include conversions as well as the buying or leasing of a new natural gas vehicle. An additional C$1.855 million (US$1.5 million), provided by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), will provide fleet owners up to C$3,000... Read more →

Univ. of Michigan Wins North American Solar Challenge

U Mich Solar Car Momentum (and driver) crossing the border into Canada. (Photo by Stefano Paltera/North American Solar Challenge) The University of Michigan won the 2005 North American Solar Challenge (NASC)(earlier post) today with a cumulative time of 53 hours, 59 minutes and 43 seconds, for an average speed of... Read more →

GM’s Matiz/Spark Mini-Car Racking Up Market Share in Europe and China

Chevrolet Matiz/Spark minicar The new third-generation Chevrolet Matiz/Spark minicar, manufactured by GM Daewoo in Korea and introduced earlier in the year, is proving to be a solid hit in its global markets. Some 7,300 units of the car sold in May and June alone in Europe, and by the end... Read more →

Cyprus to Establish Biofuels Requirement

Simerini. Cyprus’s Commerce Ministry is poised to announce a pilot project to introduce biofuels in an attempt to cut down on the cost of petroleum imports and the emissions from fossil-fuel use. Georgios Roditis, from the Applied Energy Centre of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, said that island... Read more →

Australia Planning to Adapt to Climate Change Impacts

The Australian Government has released a report published earlier this year that calls for the beginning of planning to adapt to the inevitable impact of climate change. Minister for the Environment and Heritage Senator Ian Campbell called the report an important part of the process in responding to climate change,... Read more →

TIAX: Rising Oil Prices Make Heavy-Duty Natural Gas Vehicles More Economical than Diesel

Heavy-duty natural gas powered vehicles (NGVs) in 2010 that meet strict emissions standards will be comparable in owner lifecycle costs (LCC—to own, operate and maintain) to equivalent diesel-powered vehicles when the price of crude oil is between $22 per barrel and $31 per barrel (2010 prices), depending upon the vehicle... Read more →

Syntroleum Advances with GTL; CTL Now Emerges as Further Opportunity

Nice quarter. Things are looking up at Syntroleum, owner of a relatively compact proprietary gas-to-liquids process for converting stranded natural gas into clean synthetic fuels. It’s not just that second quarter 2005 revenue increased by $6.1 million year-on-year to $6.2 million—that was due to previously deferred revenue from the DOE... Read more →

Indian Automakers Seeking Ways to Reduce Cost of Electric Motors

Sify. India’s Tata Motors is in talks with a variety of electric motor manufacturing companies to explore having them set up shop in India and thereby to reduce the cost of motors needed in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles. Tata plans to have concept prototypes ready for hybrid cars (Indica... Read more →

UQM Picks Up Additional Order from Eaton for Components for Hybrids

UQM Technologies, a provider of motors, generators and control technologies, has received an order for additional permanent magnet motors and controller systems from Eaton’s Truck Business Components business unit. Eaton will integrate the UQM systems into its hybrid-electric powertrains for trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles. Details on the order (dollar... Read more →

Argonne Bioreactor to Deliver Chemical Feedstocks from Biomass

A component resin wafer from the separative bioreactor. Researchers at Argonne National Laboratory are developing, in partnership with Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), a biorefinery technology to optimize the conversion of corn sugars into gluconic acid—a mild organic acid. A recent report from the DOE Biomass Program listed 12 chemicals produced... Read more →

Novozymes Receives Award for Work on Cellulosic Ethanol

Cellulosic Ethanol Process. Click to enlarge. Novozymes has received the 2005 Technology Leadership of the Year Award from Frost & Sullivan in the field of alternative fuel technologies for its research to reduce the enzyme cost for cellulosic ethanol. In April 2005, Novozymes announced a 30-fold reduction in the enzyme... Read more →

Toyota to Begin Thai Production of Yaris in 2006

Toyota Yaris / Vitz Nikkei. Toyota will start manufacturing its Yaris (Vitz/Echo) (earlier post) subcompact in Thailand as early as next year for sale in Southeast Asia. The production—the first for this model in the region—is expected to begin at around 50,000 units a year. Toyota makes the IMV, the... Read more →

Brits Crack SrPP Process for Stronger Plastic Auto Parts

Lotus Elise with SrPP parts. British scientists working under the aegis of the Foresight Vehicle program have perfected a way of producing self-reinforced polypropylene (SrPP) vehicle parts. SrPP is up to six times stronger than conventional polypropylene (PP). The breakthrough opens the door to a large array of lightweight car,... Read more →

Corning Plows Another $100M into Clean-Diesel Products

The DuraTrap AT Filter Corning announced that it is investing an additional $100 million to expand capabilities at its new clean-diesel products manufacturing facility in Erwin, N.Y. This expenditure is in addition to a $70-million expansion announced in February 2005. This incremental investment will provide more firing and finishing capability... Read more →

DaimlerChrysler Delivers 3 Fuel-Cell Citaro Buses to Beijing

DaimlerChrysler Citaro fuel cell bus prototype DaimlerChrysler has delivered three fuel-cell-powered Mercedes-Benz Citaro urban buses to the Beijing Public Transport Corporation (BPTC), as part of a larger fuel cell project designed specifically for the Chinese market. Starting at the end of this year and continuing through October 2007, the buses... Read more →

New Entry-Level Diesels for Different Segments of the Euro Market

New 40-mpg BMW 520d New entry-level diesels from Citroën and BMW are arriving for different segments of the European market. The new BMW 520d represents the new diesel entry-point to its popular mid-size luxury 5-Series; the new Citroën C1 diesel city car, the product of collaboration with Toyota (earlier post),... Read more →

SsangYong Tests Waste Veg Oil as Dual Fuel in New Zealand

The WVO Envirocar Red Book. South Korean car manufacturer SsangYong—known for its SUVs and now owned 51% by China’s SAIC—is apparently using New Zealand as a test-bed for Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) as a fuel. The company has provided a 2.9-liter turbo-diesel Musso that NZ firm Renewable Energy Solutions has... Read more →

Thermoelectrics Gaining More Attention and Development Focus

Exhaust heat = available energy—if you can convert it. Thermoelectrics made it into the headlines recently from an unlikely source: two Utah teenagers won the first Ricoh Sustainable Development Award in May for using Peltier chips in a prototype automotive air conditioning unit they built for the Intel International Science... Read more →

Californians: State Should Take Lead on Global Warming

Californians support more stringent fuel economy regulations. A new survey released by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) found that 86% of Californians believe global warming will affect current or future generations and that 54% lack confidence in the environmental and energy programs of the federal government and want... Read more →

CARB Mandates On Board Emissions Diagnostics for Heavy-Duty Trucks

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has adopted a regulation requiring engine manufacturers to install on-board diagnostic systems (OBD) on heavy-duty engines to monitor the performance of components of the engine and pollution control system. The regulation also tightens up the limits on NOx emissions from on-road heavy-duty trucks and... Read more →

Oregon Senate Passes Broad Biofuels Bill

The Oregon Senate today approved an amended version of House Bill 3481 that supports a growing biofuels industry in Oregon through the use of tax credits. The bill uses a broad definition of biofuel: “liquid or gaseous fuel produced from a biological source, including but not limited to waste and... Read more →

Azure Dynamics Launches Hybrid Shuttle Bus Program

Underneath the G1 (looking at the electric motor). Leveraging the work it has done on commercial delivery vans, Azure Dynamics has launched a hybrid-electric shuttle bus program in North America based on its G1 series-hybrid powertrain. The first sale of five hybrid-electric, 20-passenger shuttle buses is to the Bronx Overall... Read more →

1st International Biorefinery Workshop Emphasizes Role of Biofuels

The 1st International Biorefinery Workshop, organized by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, kicked off in Washington today, with Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman welcoming representatives from the EC, researchers, developers, policy makers and major industrial companies. The workshop is designed to provide a forum... Read more →

Clean Air Program Renews Contract for Truck Replacement

The Southeast Los Angeles County Gateway Cities Clean Air Program has awarded TIAX a $712,500 contract for the upcoming year to oversee the replacement of older, heavy-duty trucks in the Los Angeles area with newer, lower-emission vehicles. TIAX has done this since 2002, and has coordinated the replacement of approximately... Read more →

Honda CEO Outlines Three-Year Powertrain Technology and Fuel Economy Targets

Honda CEO and President Takeo Fukui In his mid-year speech outlining Honda’s business plan for the next three years, President and CEO Takeo Fukui laid out the company’s major next-generation powertrain technology and fuel economy targets for automobiles, motorcycles, and power products. Honda, said Fukui, is committed to addressing the... Read more →

Canada Boosts 10-year Total Crude Forecast by 11%; Oil Sands Production Up 2.7x

Almost 3 out of every 4 barrels of oil will be from oil sands The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) is projecting a 50% total increase in Canadian crude oil production by 2015 from 2.6 million barrels per day in 2004 to 3.9 million barrels per day. The new... Read more →

Nissan to Invest $45M to Prep for Production of New Subcompact

Nissan’s March will share its chassis with the new subcompact. Nikkei. Nissan is investing some US $45 million to upgrade its Mexican production facilities to increase output and to prepare for the launch of its planned 1.5-liter fuel-efficient subcompact. In January, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn announced that the company will... Read more →

DOE Funds Next Phase of Quantum’s Hydrogen Storage Work

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Phase 2 of its $2.6 million program for the development and advancement of next-generation gaseous hydrogen storage technologies. The Quantum project focuses on optimizing the storage capacity of the company’s ultra-lightweight composite 10,000-psi hydrogen storage tank technology, previously... Read more →

AEC Takes On-Demand Hydrogen Demo on the Road

“Black Box” H2 Production Alternate Energy Corporation (AEC) is taking its new small-scale, on-demand hydrogen production systems on the road in demonstrations before “prospective commercial customers, potential licensees, select government and institutional contacts and other interested commercial parties.” AEC claims to have an alloy which separates hydrogen from water at... Read more →

Azure Dynamics Hybrid Control System Wins Technology Leadership of Year Award

Azure Dynamics is receiving Frost & Sullivan’s 2005 Technology Leadership of the Year Award for its hybrid electric drive Azure Control System (ACS). Every year, Frost & Sullivan—a global consulting company—presents this award to the company that has pioneered the growth of an innovative technology which is likely to affect... Read more →

Seattle Biodiesel Closes $2 Million Financing; New CEO with Package

Seattle Biodiesel has closed a $2 million investment from strategic investors including Ignition Venture Partner and the new Chairman and CEO of Seattle Biodiesel, Martin Tobias. Seattle Biodiesel is the first company in the Pacific Northwest to open and operate a commercial scale (more than 5 million gallons a year)... Read more →