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Motorcycles Emit “Disproportionately High” Amounts of Air Pollutants

Emissions ratios from two-wheelers and cars in the Swiss fleet. A number >1 indicates more emissions from the two-wheelers. Click to enlarge. Motorcycles collectively emit 16 times more hydrocarbons, three times more carbon monoxide and a “disproportionately high” amount of other air pollutants compared to passenger cars in the Swiss... Read more →

Ford Issues Climate Change Report

From BICC: Ford has room to improve on its fuel economy to mitigate CO2 emissions. Ford Motor has issued a report directly addressing the business implications of climate change, carbon dioxide emissions and global energy concerns. The report also outlines some of the resulting product directions Ford will take, including... Read more →

Ford Plans New FlexFuel Engine Plant in Philippines

Ford Motor plans to invest P1.1 billion (US$20 million) to add a flexible fuel engine plant in the Philippines. The engine plant will be Ford’s first flexible fuel facility in the region. Flexible fuel engines run on gasoline or ethanol blends of up to 85% (E85). The facility will produce... Read more →

Hyundai Plans to Commercialize a Fuel Cell Tucson by 2010

Yonhap. Hyundai Motor plans to commercialize a coming hydrogen fuel cell-powered version of its Tucson SUV by 2010. The company plans to conduct road test of the vehicle in the US in 2009. Hyundai just delivered two of the current generation of Tucson fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) to AC... Read more →

Petrobras Forms Japanese Ethanol Joint Venture

Petrobras, the Brazilian state-owned oil and gas company, has formed a joint venture company with Nippon Alcohol Hanbai (NAH) of Japan to produce fuel ethanol for the Japanese market. The new venture—Nippaku Ethanol—will be a 50-50 partnership between the two firms and will aim at the Japanese market. For Petrobras,... Read more →

IEA: Automakers Should Pay for CO2 Emissions

An International Energy Agency (IEA) study published just prior to the UN Montreal meetings on climate change made a number of proposals to strengthen emissions trading schemes designed to reduce CO2 emissions, including forcing automakers to pay the emissions costs of the cars and trucks they sell. In the IEA’s... Read more →

Diesel Exhaust May Impair the Functioning of Blood Vessels, Leading to Heart Attack or Stroke

A new study published in Circulation, the Journal of the American Heart Association, has found that inhaling diesel exhaust at levels typically found in large cities may disrupt normal blood vessel and clotting activity. This may prove to be a mechanism linking air pollution to the pathogenesis of heart attack... Read more →

US Trucking Industry Will Spend $87.7 Billion on Fuel in 2005, Up 33% from 2004

The real price of diesel is back up to its level during the energy crisis in the early 80s. The American Trucking Associations estimates that the US trucking industry will spend $87.7 billion on fuel in 2005—a 33% increase over the $65.9 billion spent in 2004. The ATA increased its... Read more →

Honda Entering Solar Cell Market for Homes and Vehicles

Typical layout of a CIGS solar cell (Univ. Strathclyde) Nikkei. Honda Motor is entering the market for solar cells designed for use in households and also plans to promote their use in vehicles, according to a report in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. Honda is building a ¥10-billion (US$86.5-million) factory to... Read more →

DOE Funds Four Coal Gasification and Coproduction Research Projects

The U.S. Department of Energy announced the selection of four new projects under its Coal and Power R&D Program. Project teams will research advanced coal-gasification technologies for the coproduction of power and hydrogen or substitute natural gas (SNG). A recent report published by Argonne National Laboratory concluded that coal will... Read more →

Enova in Hybrid School Bus Project with Truck Manufacturer

Enova Systems has entered into a joint Hybrid-Electric School Bus program with a major North American Truck Manufacturer. The School Bus project will feature Enova’s post-transmission 80-kW Hybrid Drive System and has the potential to lead to future production 2006 and beyond. A prototype is scheduled to be completed before... Read more →

Hyundai Delivers Tucson Fuel Cell Vehicles to AC Transit for Demonstration and Testing

The Tucson FCEV Hyundai Motor Company has delivered the first two of an eventual ten Hyundai and Kia Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) to the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) in California. The delivery of two Tucson FCEVs marks the beginning of a five-year demonstration and validation project designed... Read more →

Canadian Air Quality Deteriorating, Greenhouse Gas Emissions Climbing

Canadian Greenhouse Gas Emissions 1990-2003 Canadian air quality has deteriorated during the past 10 years, while greenhouse gas emissions rose 24%—thereby hitting a level 32% above the targets set out by the Kyoto Protocol for 2008 to 2012—according to a Canadian federal report released this week. Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators... Read more →

ExxonMobil’s Energy Outlook 2005

Click to enlarge. Each year, ExxonMobil publishes its view of the long-term trends of worldwide economic growth and energy demand: The Outlook for Energy. In the newly-released 2005 version, the energy giant’s basic conclusion—that through the year 2030, traditional fossil fuels will continue to supply the vast majority of energy... Read more →

Indonesian Oil and Gas Firm Building Country’s First Ethanol Plant

Medco Energi International, Indonesia’s largest upstream oil and gas exploration firm, plans to build a $34.13-million ethanol plant in Lampung province in 2006. This will be the first ethanol plant in the country. The joint-venture facility between Medco and PT Trade Bioenergy Indonesia will have annual production capacity of 60,000... Read more →

First East-Coast Ethanol Plant Slated for North Carolina

Agri-Ethanol Products, LLC will build a $150-million ethanol plant in Beaufort County, North Carolina. The plant will produce 114 million gallons of ethanol per year. This will be the first ethanol plant in North Carolina and the first on the East Coast of the United States. The ethanol production will... Read more →

Toyota Pushing Lithium-Ion Development

Kyodo. Toyota Motor is accelerating efforts to develop a practical lithium ion battery to power hybrid motor vehicles in a bid to reinforce its presence in the market for the environment-friendly cars. The project will be led by Panasonic EV Energy, a joint venture between Toyota and Matsushita Electric Industrial,... Read more →

Torotrak Infinitely Variable Transmission Finds Business in Outdoor Power, Targets Hybrids for the Future

Cross-section of the IVT. Torotrak, the UK developer of a fuel-efficient toroidal “infinitely variable transmission” (IVT), has formed a 50–50 joint venture with MTD Holdings Inc to apply technology to the Outdoor Power Equipment (OPE) market. The new venture, named Infinitrak, will boost Torotrak’s revenue while the company continues to... Read more →

NABI Tours its 60-Foot Articulated Hybrid BRT Bus Out West

The 60-foot hybrid in action at the Grand Canyon. North American Bus Industries (NABI) has been taking its new 60-foot articulated parallel hybrid bus on a promotional tour in the West, visiting transit agencies in Utah and Colorado, and the National Park Services in the Grand Canyon. NABI introduced the... Read more →

Oxford Spin-Off Develops New Catalysts for Hydrogen Production, Fischer-Tropsch Fuels

A new spin-off from Oxford University—Oxford Catalysts—has developed novel catalyst technology for the petroleum refining and petrochemical industry, selected areas of the fuel cell industry, and the processing of waste biogas. The founders have developed catalysts that can be used to transform waste methane into hydrogen for use with fuel... Read more →

Sichuan FAW Toyota Starts Prius Production in China

Toyota Motor announced that Sichuan FAW Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. (SFTM), a joint-venture vehicle production company established with China FAW Group Corporation (FAW), has begun assembling the Prius hybrid in China as planned. SFTM held a ceremony today marking the beginning of production at a Sichuan FAW plant in Jilin... Read more →

Wal-Mart Seeks to Double Truck Fuel Economy by 2015

New Wal-Mart trucks Wal-Mart has set a goal of doubling the fuel efficiency of its new heavy-duty trucks from 6.5 to 13 miles per gallon by 2015, thereby keeping some 26 billion pounds of carbon dioxide out of the air between now and 2020. Wal-Mart has been working with the... Read more →

Mazda to Begin Leasing Hydrogen RX-8 at Beginning of 2006

The hydrogen RX-8 Mazda has moved up the start of leasing of its hydrogen RX-8 in Japan to the beginning of next year—almost a year earlier than initially planned. The hydrogen RX-8 (earlier post), which will be featured at the upcoming Tokyo Auto Salon 2006, is a dual-fuel system that... Read more →

Digital Gas Licenses High-Temperature Fuel Cell Method for Oil Shale Production and Electricity Co-Generation

Digital Gas has signed an agreement to partner with a private US-based company that owns the exclusive rights to a high temperature fuel cell (HTFC) method to be applied to in-situ geothermic production of oil shale and other unconventional sources of synthetic crude. The method is expected to dramatically reduce... Read more →

Washington Governor’s Energy Plan Will Boost State Biodiesel Industry

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire is proposing an energy plan intended to accelerate the development of a market for biofuels as well as to help households pay power bills and to put new resources into energy conservation. The Governor is proposing funding the initiatives by using $25 million from the tax... Read more →

Shell Hydrogen Outlines Plans For Public H2 Refueling Station In LA

The future hydrogen station. During a recent hydrogen safety workshop hosted by the California Fuel Cell partnership for Southern California firefighters (earlier post), a representative of Shell Hydrogen outlined plans to sell hydrogen fuel at a Shell gas station in West Los Angeles by the end of 2006. The station,... Read more →

DynaMotive and Future Energy to Partner on Biomass-to-Liquids Production

The BioOil process. Click to enlarge. DynaMotive Energy Systems Corporation and Future Energy GmbH of Freiberg, Germany, have entered into a comprehensive Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) as a first step in the implementation of a strategic alliance based on the gasification of DynaMotive’s BioOil and BioOil-char for the development of... Read more →

Enova Hybrid Truck Prototype Reduces Fuel Consumption by 31%

Post-transmission parallel hybrid drive. Click to enlarge. Enova Systems has integrated and delivered a post-transmission 120 kW parallel-hybrid truck to a major unnamed North American truck manufacturer as an initial milestone in a joint-development program announced earlier this year. (Earlier post.) As delivered, the hybrid drive system provided an average... Read more →

First Auto Works (China) Introduces Hybrid City Bus

FAW’s Jiefang hybrid coach. First Auto Works (FAW) of China has begun producing a hybrid city bus, powered by an Enova pre-transmission 90-kW parallel-hybrid drive system (earlier post). FAW premiered the Jiefang (liberation) hybrid coach at the 4th International Clean Vehicle Technology Exhibition, in Beijing in November. According to FAW,... Read more →

EIA Significantly Increases Forecast Crude Price; Transport Consumption Slows, But Still Grows

The new EIA Energy Outlook foresees higher crude prices than its current estimate. Click to enlarge. The US Energy Information Administration has released a preview of its upcoming Annual Energy Outlook 2006 (AEO2006), in which it outlines its reference case (not alternative scenarios) for energy supply and consumption for the... Read more →

Hydrogenics Sells Hydrogen Generation and Vehicle Refueling System to KOGAS

Hydrogenics Corporation has sold a hydrogen-generation and refueling system to Korean Gas Technology Corporation (KOGAS-Tech) for refueling vehicles at the KOGAS research and development facility in Incheon, near Seoul. The hydrogen generation system reforms natural gas to produce the hydrogen—a departure (although one Hydrogenics had announced it was working on)... Read more →

Iowa Grants for Expanding BioFuels Refueling Locations

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) announced nine recipients of the newly-created Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Grant Program within the Iowa Values Fund Program. The program provides funding to gasoline retailers and biodiesel suppliers to help offset the infrastructure cost of bringing biodiesel and E85 (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) to the... Read more →

Hyundai to Partner with LS Group and LG Chem on Hybrids

Chosun Ilbo. Hyundai Motor Group announced it will collaborate with the LS Group and LG Chem on the development of hybrid cars. Hyundai recently introduced a mild hybrid version of its Accent. (Earlier post.) Hyundai will work with industrial electrical goods supplier LS Group on hybrid components such as motors,... Read more →

U. of Manchester Awarded £6M to Develop Light Alloys for Transportation

The University of Manchester (UK) has been awarded £5.98 million (US$10.6 million) to develop a new class of light alloy solutions for use in aircraft, trains and automobiles. The grant, which will span a five-year period, has been awarded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under the... Read more →

smart Shows Diesel and Gasoline Hybrids, EV and CNG Prototypes of smart Car

The smart ev. DaimlerChrysler’s smart division has developed a series of concept test cars that incorporate a range of advanced and alternative-fuel technologies: gasoline and diesel hybrids, cng-fueled, and electric. These follow on the premiere of the crosstown hybrid showcar concept presented at the Frankfurt auto show in September. The... Read more →

Chrysler to Invest $1 Billion in Pickup and Minivan Manufacturing Plants

The Chrsyler Group is pumping $1 billion into its two St. Louis assembly plants that build Dodge Ram pickups (St. Louis North) and the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Caravan and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans (St. Louis South). Part of this significant capital investment will provide St. Louis South with... Read more →

S&P Cuts GM Rating Further; Calls Bankruptcy “Not Far-Fetched”

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services today lowered its corporate credit rating on General Motors further into junk territory—to B from BB- and its short-term rating to B-3 from B-2—and removed them from CreditWatch, where they were placed on Oct. 3, 2005, “with negative implications.” According to S&P, “The outlook is... Read more →

Singapore Operator Launches First CNG Taxis: the Mercedes E200 NGT

SMART Automobile, a Singaporean taxi operator, has launched the nation’s first fleet of CNG-powered taxis. It will also establish at least two compressed natural gas (CNG) refuelling stations by the end of next year. Singapore, which currently adheres to Euro 2 standards, is adopting Euro 4 emission standards in October... Read more →

GreenShift Licenses Bioreactor Technology for CO2 Scrubbing, Biofuel Production

The bioreactor process. Click to enlarge. GreenShift Corporation, a business development company that is aggressively expanding its portfolio of renewable or sustainable energy companies, has acquired rights to Ohio University’s patented cynaobacteria-based bioreactor process for reducing greenhouse gases emissions from fossil-fueled combustion processes. In concept, this is very similar to... Read more →

Lithium Technology Supplies Li-Ion for Two Challenge X Vehicles, One a Plug-In Hybrid

Design of LTC lithium-ion polymer cell. Lithium Technology Corporation (LTC) announced that it will supply two of the vehicles in Challenge X —one of which is a plug-in hybrid—with its GAIA high-power lithium-ion polymer batteries. Challenge X, sponsored by GM, is a three-year competition to re-engineer a GM Equinox crossover... Read more →

BMW Developing Steam Assist Drive Based on Waste Heat Recovery

BMW’s Turbosteamer. Click to enlarge. BMW Group Research and Engineering is developing a steam-powered auxiliary drive—called the Turbosteamer—that uses the waste heat present in the exhaust gases and cooling system from a conventional gasoline engine as its source of power. In tests with a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine, the new auxiliary... Read more →

Ward’s 10 Best Highlights Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) Engines

Different types of gasoline direct injection. Ward’s has announced its 10 Best Engines awards for 2006 with a focus on improved fuel economy as well as performance. Ward’s editors noted the importance of two engineering developments on this year’s list: gasoline direct injection (GDI) technology and forced induction. Bill Visnic,... Read more →

Climate Change Meeting Sets Post-Kyoto Roadmap

Carbon Capture and Storage was a key technology under discussion in Montreal Capped by a grueling 20-hour session, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal (earlier post) closed with the adoption of more than forty decisions designed to further global efforts to combat climate change. Among them are a... Read more →

CARB Adopts Port and Ship Emissions Reductions Regulations

Port yard trucks The California Air Resources Board (ARB) adopted two measures designed to curb emissions from port-based cargo-handling equipment and diesel engines used to produce electric power on ocean-going vessels. The new regulations—the first of their kind in the country—are components of a larger, developing program intended to reduce... Read more →

MBTA Purchases 155 New Clean Diesel Buses

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has approved the $52.8-million purchase of 155 clean diesel buses from New Flyer. This latest procurement brings the number of new buses purchased by the MBTA over the last three years to 768. During this time period, the average age of a bus in... Read more →