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Land Rover Concept Showcases Hybrid System and Other Technologies for 30% Reduction in Fuel Consumption

The Land_e technology concept Ford’s Land Rover is showcasing a range of new technologies including a new mild hybrid drive—collectively known as the e-Terrain System—that, as an integrated system, can reduce both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 30%. Packaged into the Land_e concept vehicle, the e_Terrain technologies... Read more →

Mitsubishi Introduces the Concept-EZ MIEV

Concept-EZ MIEV Mitsubishi Motors introduced the Concept-EZ MIEV 4WD mono-box concept car at the 76th Geneva International Motor Show that began today. The Concept-EZ MIEV (Mitsubishi In-wheel motor Electric Vehicle) showcases another application of the company’s MIEV concept for next-generation electric vehicles using in-wheel motors and a high energy-density lithium-ion... Read more →

Toyota Announces More Details and Pricing for Lexus GS 450h Hybrid

Lexus GS 450h Toyota will put the 2007 Lexus GS 450h (earlier post), the world’s first luxury performance hybrid sedan, on sale in early May with a base price of $54,900. The GS 450h uses a completely new powertrain that combines a 3.5-liter V6 engine with a new compact, high-output,... Read more →

Dodge Introduces Hornet Subcompact Concept to Europe

Dodge Hornet At the Geneva show, the Chrysler group is introducing the Dodge Hornet, a new subcompact B-segment concept vehicle for the European and international markets. The Hornet uses a 1.6-liter 16-valve OHC supercharged four-cylinder engine putting out 127 kW (170 hp) and 224 Nm of torque @4,000 rpm. A... Read more →

International Truck Evaluating Several Enova Hybrid Drive Applications

One application of the versatile International 4200-series medium-duty truck. Enova Systems announced today that it is working with and evaluating hybrid drive systems for International Truck and Engine Corporation (International). Enova confirmed it delivered a post-transmission 120 kW parallel hybrid-electric drive application in an International 4200-series medium-duty truck to the... Read more →

VW Introduces 60-MPG Diesel Polo Bluemotion at Geneva Show

Polo Bluemotion In Geneva, Volkswagen is presenting its first series production vehicle under the new BlueMotion banner: the Polo BlueMotion. The Polo Bluemotion uses a modified version of the 3-cylinder 1.4-liter TDI diesel engine in the conventional Polo to produce the same power output—59 kW (79 hp)—and torque—195 Nm—but with... Read more →

Mayor of London Plans for 70 New Hydrogen-Fueled Vehicles by 2010

A Mercedes-Benz Citaro fuel-cell bus in London Bus livery. The Mayor of London plans to introduce 70 new hydrogen vehicles to London by 2010 and is asking the transport industry to get ready to deliver the necessary vehicles and refueling technology. Currently there are three hydrogen fuel-cell buses in trials... Read more →

Team Sets Sights on Solar Car Distance Record

Preliminary route map for the Power of One distance run. A multinational team (primarily Canadian and Brazilian) is targeting a world distance record in a solar-powered electric vehicle. The Power of One (xof1) project is planning a 22,900-kilometer (14,230-mile) run, mainly through Canada. The tour would start in Toronto, then... Read more →

Toyota and Hino to Run Fuel-Cell Hybrid Bus Trial Near Chubu Airport

FHCV fuel-cell bus. Click to enlarge to see the happy molecules decorating the bus. Toyota and Hino (the heavy-duty vehicle subsidiary of Toyota) will put a FHCV fuel-cell hybrid bus into limited service for two weeks on a route near the Chubu Centrair International Airport near Nagoya, Japan. Chitanoriai Company... Read more →

NYC Hybrid Buses Improve Fuel Economy 45% Over Diesel, 100% over CNG

The series-hybrid buses offer up to 45% better fuel economy than diesel, and 100% better than CNG. Orion VII series-hybrid buses operated by New York City Transit (NYCT) on the city’s most severe duty cycles achieved up to 45% better fuel economy than diesel buses and 100% improvement compared to... Read more →

Sasol Invests $32M in GTL and CTL Research Reactor

Sasol, the South African energy company and leader in coal-to-liquids (CTL) and gas-to-liquids (GTL) production, is investing R200 million (US$32 million) in the construction of an innovative Fischer-Tropsch design reactor at its research and development facilities in Sasolburg, South Africa. The reactor will support the engineering design of the next... Read more →

Johnson Matthey to Build Plant in Russia for Emissions-Control Catalysts

Johnson Matthey has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the First Deputy Governor of Russia’s Krasnoyarsk Region, and the General Director of the Krastsvetmet Metal Company to secure a brown field site as the first step in a multi-million pound investment to build an autocatalyst manufacturing plant in Russia.... Read more →

Does Ford Have a Better Idea About Sustainability?

Defining Sustainability: Part Three of Eight [Ed. note: We’re publishing the Ford piece in two installments. This week’s piece provides background context.] By Jack Rosebro The cover of Ford’s Sustainability Report Ford Motor Company is the automaker most closely associated with the acceleration of society’s acceptance of the private automobile.... Read more →

Smart Cars for ZAP on Their Way; DaimlerChrysler Leaning toward Direct Entry

G&K Auto Conversion is completing the conversion of several hundred Smart Cars at its facility in Santa Ana, California to be purchased and distributed by ZAP. In addition, G&K will be delivering eighty-five Smart Cars owned by ZAP within the week. G&K is in agreement with ZAP to modify the... Read more →

Mazda Donates 10 Prototype Tribute Hybrids to Orange County Fire Authority

The Tribute Hybrid at introduction. Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) has donated 10 prototype Tribute Hybrid Electric Vehicles to the Orange County (California) Fire Authority (OCFA). The Tribute Hybrid is based on the technology of the Ford Escape Hybrid. (Earlier post.) The vehicles are the first of 30 total Tribute... Read more →

The Emissions and Energy Outlook for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles

Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles represent the second-largest consumer of energy in the US transportation sector, behind light-duty vehicles but ahead of every other transportation mode, according to the Energy Information Administration. By 2030, the transportation sector’s total annual energy consumption will increase 46.5% to an estimated 39,729.9 trillion BTU (40... Read more →

Mercedes-Benz Premiers New Gasoline Direct Injection System for More Power and Lower Fuel Consumption

The direct-injection engine with aftertreatment system. Click to enlarge. Mercedes-Benz has introduced the world’s first gasoline engine with piezoelectric direct injection and spray-guided combustion—the Stratified-Charged Gasoline Injection (CGI) engine. The spray-guided direct injection system first appeared in a mild-hybrid concept car Mercedes-Benz showed at the Frankfurt show in 2005. (Earlier... Read more →

Hydrogen Storage in Organic Polymers

In another approach to developing a viable on-board storage system for hydrogen in vehicles, researchers in the UK have developed a purely organic polymer with microporous structures that can adsorb hydrogen via physisorption. Research into using a microporous material for hydrogen storage tends to focus on materials such as zeolites... Read more →

Renault Shows Hi-Flex Clio FFV in Paris

Hi-Flex Clio Renault is exhibiting a Hi-Flex Clio 1.6 16v at the 2006 Paris International Agricultural Show. Designed for the Brazilian market and introduced there in 2004, the vehicle features Renault-developed Flex-Fuel technology, with an engine that can run on fuel containing gasoline and ethanol in any proportion up to... Read more →

DOE Announces $160M for Biorefineries

Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman announced $160 million in cost-shared funding over three years to construct up to three biorefineries in the United States. The Secretary made the announcement while visiting the Archer Daniels Midland Ethanol Plant on a tour to promote the Advanced Energy Initiative announced by President Bush in... Read more →

Honda Introduces New 45 MPG Minicar: the ZEST

Honda ZEST. Honda Motor has introduced the new ZEST minicar in Japan. The ZEST is based on a low-floor platform technology, resulting in a high-capacity storage area. The ZEST features Honda’s 3-cylinder 658cc i-DSI (dual and sequential ignition) engine that delivers 38 kW (51 hp) of power and 61 Nm... Read more →

January 2006 US Hybrid Sales Almost Double from Prior Year

Hybrids continue to outperform other sectors of the new vehicle market. Hybrid sales in the US in January 2006 almost doubled from January 2005 with a total of 15,868 units sold, compared to 8,455 the year before. By contrast, sales of total light duty vehicles in the US increased by... Read more →

Volvo Trucks to Make its Belgian Assembly Plant CO2-Neutral

Inside Ghent. Volvo Trucks plans to rely on wind-power and biofuels to supply electricity and heating for its Ghent, Belgium, assembly plant, thereby resulting in no net contribution of carbon dioxide resulting from vehicle production to the atmosphere. This is the Volvo Truck’s second assembly to become “carbon-dioxide-free.” The Volvo... Read more →

DaimlerChrysler and UNEP Agree on Further Collaboration for Sustainable Mobility; Focus on Biofuels

DaimlerChrysler and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at progressing towards sustainable mobility with a specific focus on biofuels. The MoU regulates the scope of cooperation and specifies certain sustainability projects that DaimlerChrysler and UNEP will be focusing on between 2006 and... Read more →

Veridium Converting Exhaust Carbon Dioxide from Ethanol Production into Biomass for Ethanol and Biodiesel

Veridium Corporation is applying its algae-based carbon-dioxide scrubber to convert exhaust carbon dioxide from the fermentation stage of ethanol production facilities into biomass for subsequent use in ethanol or biodiesel production. Veridium, via its majority owner Greenshift, has a cynaobacteria (blue-green algae)-based bioreactor process for reducing greenhouse gases emissions from... Read more →

Frost & Sullivan: Gasoline Engines to Drop to 37.1% Share in Europe by 2015

In a new report, Frost & Sullivan, a global research and consulting firm, forecasts that the share of gasoline engines in European new passenger car sales will drop to 37.1% by 2015 from more than 53% in 2004. The firm had also earlier forecast that all Euopean automakers are likely... Read more →

DOT Secretary Commends Union Pacific’s Conservation Program, Says US Needs to Go on “Energy Diet”

Transportation industries will have to go on an “energy diet” to help end America’s addiction to oil, according to US Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. Mineta made the comments in Omaha, NE, where he commended Union Pacific railroad for its Fuel Masters fuel-reduction program. Union Pacific Railroad uses an estimated 3.25... Read more →

ETEC Hydrogen ICE Pickup Truck Conversion

A conventional Silverado 1500HD ETEC (electric transportation engineering corporation) is developing a set of hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engine (HICE) Chevy Silverado 1500HD crew cab pickup trucks. ETEC is primarily an infrastructure company for electric vehicles, providing design, engineering, construction, operation, maintenance, technical support and field services. It tackled HICE partly... Read more →

ADM to Invest $2.3 Billion Before 2009 to Expand Production of Biofuels and Plastics

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) plans to invest about $2.3 billion before 2009 to expand its capacity for the production of ethanol and other biofuels and on the development of PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate, a biodegradebable plastic made from plant sugar), according to Allen Andreas, the CEO. Speaking at the Consumer Analyst Group... Read more →

Toyota and GM Reported to End Joint Fuel-Cell Vehicle Research

The Asahi Shimbun reports that Toyota Motor and General Motors plan to end their joint research on fuel-cell vehicle development at the end of March because of a lack of progress. The two companies are expected to agree to extend their alliance on advanced technologies in other areas such as... Read more →

NextEnergy Launches Hydraulic Hybrid Working Group

NextEnergy, Michigan’s non-profit alternative energy technology incubator, has formally launched a Hydraulic Hybrid Working Group. A hydraulic hybrid system uses an accumulator (which stores energy as highly compressed gas) and one or more hydraulic pump/motors rather than the battery pack, electric generator/motor and power electronics used in electric hybrids. A... Read more →

Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engines as a Transitionary Technology

While it is apparent that the long-discussed hydrogen economy is not emerging as rapidly as some had anticipated or hoped, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles—specifically using hydrogen produced via renewable resources—remain a long-term vision for sustainable transportation. One of the key questions for the hydrogen vehicle industry is how to develop transitionary... Read more →

Clean Diesel Partners with Mitsui on Urea Quality Sensor for European SCR Market

Clean Diesel Technologies (CDT), developer of technology solutions to reduce diesel engine emissions, has entered into an agreement with Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co. / Mitsui Kinzoku to introduce of Mitsui’s urea quality sensor technology for NOx reduction via Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) into the European marketplace. SCR has emerged... Read more →

Microreactor for Distributed Production of Biodiesel

The microreactor. Click to enlarge. Chemical engineering researchers at Oregon State University have developed a microreactor for biodiesel production that promises to be efficient, fast and portable, and are looking for commercialization partners. The microreactor, developed in association with the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI), consists of a series... Read more →

Veridium Receives First Order for Corn Oil Recovery from Ethanol By-Product System

Front view of the corn oil recovery system Veridium Corporation announced the receipt of its first order for its system that extracts high-grade corn oil from a corn ethanol by-product called distillers dried grain (DDG) (earlier post). The corn oil can then be used as a feedstock for biodiesel production.... Read more →

Hymotion Unveils Plug-in Hybrid Kits for Toyota and Ford Hybrids

The PHEV Escape model Hymotion, a Canadian company, introduced plug-in hybrid (PHEV) upgrade kits for the Toyota Prius and the Ford Escape and Mariner Hybrids at the Canadian International AutoShow this week. The Hymotion PHEV kits are based on a supplementary lithium-ion battery system that can be recharged by plugging... Read more →

Denmark To Build World’s Largest Biogas Plant

Denmark is building the world’s largest biogas plant that will also serve as a research and testing platform. Biogas refers to the mix of CO2 and methane (CH4) produced by bacterial conversion of organic matter under anaerobic (oxygen-free) conditions. The facility will be built in Foulum, Jutland, and will have... Read more →

EU, EPA and CARB Cooperate to Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Mobile Air Conditioners

Regulators from the European Commission, the US EPA Mobile Air Conditioning Climate Protection Partnership, and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced their intention to harmonize Mobile Air Conditioning (MAC) testing and engineering standards to minimize leakages of fluorinated gases used in automobile air conditioning systems. Fluorinated gases are extremely... Read more →

Florida Company Looks to E-Grass as Biofuel Feedstock

A West Florida company is looking to rent 11,000 hectares (42.5 square miles) of land in the Philippines to grow e-grass as biomass input to a gasification process to produce transportation fuels. The Biomass Investment Group (BIG), based in Gulf Breeze (near Pensacola), is offering as much as $400 (around... Read more →

Honda Considering Private Lease of Fuel-Cell Vehicle in UK

Honda is considering expanding its public trials of fuel cell vehicles to include a private family in the UK. In June 2005, Honda Motor announced the lease of its FCX fuel cell car to the world’s first individual customers, a family in California. (Earlier post.) Honda has yet to commit... Read more →

EU and China to Sign Clean-Coal Technology Development MoU

Europe and China will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) this week on clean-coal technology during the 6th EU–China Energy Conference. The MoU will encourage the development of technology allowing the capture and underground storage of carbon dioxide emitted from coal-fired power stations. China is also keen to exploit coal... Read more →

Frost & Sullivan: All Euro Automakers to Hybridize by 2010

Frost & Sullivan, a global research and consulting firm, forecasts that all European automakers are likely to hybridize their vehicles to some degree—micro, mild and full—by the end of the decade due to stringent emission requirements combined with increasing fuel prices. Micro-hybrids (start-stop systems with regenerative braking) will represent the... Read more →

US Ag Outlook: Ethanol Consumption Increasing Need for Corn, Pushing Prices Higher

While corn prices will increase due to ethanol demand, total operating costs for corn production will increase as well. Demand for ethanol is capturing an increasing proportion of the US corn crop, and could become the number one factor driving farm prices higher over the next few years, according to... Read more →

Defining Sustainability, Part 2: The BMW Way

Part Two of Seven By Jack Rosebro The BMW Group comprises the automobile brands BMW, Mini, and Rolls-Royce, and employs about 106,000 full-time workers worldwide in the manufacture of about one million vehicles per year (2004 figures). Having largely built the BMW brand on the reputation of its engines, the... Read more →