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Tesla Motors Opens Michigan Tech Center; Focus on Upcoming Electric Sports Sedan

Tesla Motors, manufacturers of high performance, zero emission electric vehicles (earlier post), has opened its Michigan Technical Center in Rochester Hills. The 19,240 square-foot facility will focus on R&D for future Tesla products to follow the introduction later this year of the Roadster, starting with a four-door electric sports sedan... Read more →

Nissan Reportedly Planning Luxury Hybrid in 2010

Australia’s Wheels magazine reports that Nissan is planning to build a luxury hybrid to compete with the Lexus GS450h. The Nissan hybrid is to debut sometime after 1 April 2010 and use Nissan’s own hybrid technology. Investigations can reveal however that the car Nissan is thinking about is the next... Read more →

GM May Sell Allison Transmission Commercial and Military Ops

General Motors is looking at strategic options related to its Allison Transmission commercial and military operations, including a potential sale of the business, which is not central to GM’s mission of designing, manufacturing and selling cars and light trucks globally. Among Allison products are the two-mode hybrid systems used in... Read more →

Ormat and DOE to Validate Electricity Generation from Oilfield Heat

Ormat binary geothermal power generation system. Click to enlarge. Ormat Technologies, Inc., a geothermal and recovered energy business, has signed a shared-cost Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the US Department of Energy (DOE) to validate the feasibility of using geothermal power generation technology for the production of commercial... Read more →

Nuvera Fuel Cells to Provide PowerTap to Raymond for Forklift Fleet Demonstration

The PowerTap hydrogen generation system. Click to enlarge. Source: Nuvera. Nuvera Fuel Cells will supply a PowerTap PTH-12 hydrogen refueling system to The Raymond Corporation to support working fuel cell powered forklifts at their manufacturing facility in Greene, NY. (Earlier post.) The PowerTap PTH-12 will refuel a variety of fuel... Read more →

A123Systems Closes $40 Million Round; Targeted for Expanding Product Portfolio and Scaling Manufacturing of Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid Batteries

A123Systems has completed a $40 million round of funding, bringing the total capital invested in the company to $102 million. A123Systems will use these funds to scale its technology development and manufacturing capacity for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) batteries, as well as to support the fast growing demand in... Read more →

Shell Canada Outlines Further Oil Sands Expansion

Overview of oil sands production (mining) process. Click to enlarge. Source: Shell Canada. Shell Canada is planning to expand its minable oil sands production to approximately 770,000 barrels a day—more than four times the current output—and also increasing upgrading capacity to approximately 700,000 barrels a day. In April 2005, Shell... Read more →

Toyota Targets 40% Jump in Global Hybrid Sales in ’07

Toyota aims to increase global sales of hybrids by 40% to 430,000 units this year. The automaker is also boosting domestic (Japan) production of the Prius by 40% to 280,000 units. In 2006, Toyota’s global hybrid sales increased 33% from a year earlier to 312,500 units. Toyota has forecast that... Read more →

Maruti Udyog Introduces Swift Diesel in India

Maruti Udyog Limited (MUL), Suzuki Motor’s Indian subsidiary, has unveiled the new Swift Diesel in India. The new Swift subcompact is a global car for Suzuki—designed for world markets, it is to be manufactured in Hungary, Japan, China and India. (Earlier post.) The Swift Diesel introduced by MUL is powered... Read more →

Beijing Vehicle Population Soaring; City Government Ramping Up Spending on Public Transit

Xinhua. Beijing registered a record 22,079 new motor vehicles in the first 18 days of 2007. City planners expect the total number of cars, trucks and buses to pass three million by May and to top 3.3 million by the time the Beijing Olympic Games are held in 2008. There... Read more →

President Bush Issues Executive Order to Agencies to Reduce Fuel Consumption, Use Biofuels and Buy Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles

The morning after his State of the Union Address (earlier post), President Bush issued an executive order to Federal Agencies that, among other things, requires a 2% reduction in consumption of petroleum products per year through the end of 2015 in fleets larger than 20 vehicles. The order also specifies... Read more →

Total US Petroleum Deliveries Fell 1.1% in 2006; Gasoline and Diesel Deliveries Increased

In 2006, total US petroleum deliveries—a measure of demand—fell 1.1% from 2005 to a level even lower than that of two years ago, according to the latest statistical report from the American Petroleum Institute (API). Deliveries of gasoline, however, increased a modest 0.8%, and deliveries of distillate fuel oil (highway... Read more →

Westport Awarded A$1.4 Million for LNG Truck Evaluation from Australian Government

Westport Innovations Inc has received an A$1.36 million (US$1.06 million) from the Australian Government’s Alternative Fuels Conversion Programme (AFCP) for a project to evaluate the use of LNG as a fuel for heavy-duty highway trucks in Australia. Mitchell Corp., Sands Fridge Lines and Murray Goulburn Cooperative, who each operate large... Read more →

European Commission Delays Proposal on Reducing Automotive CO2

The European Commission has delayed action on a legislative plan to mandate the reduction of CO2 from new cars to 120g/km by 2012 due to internal dissension. A senior German source in Brussels highlighted the rifts, saying: “If we force a target of 120g per kilometre on each new car... Read more →

US Microbics Forms Biofuels Unit

US Microbics, a business development and holding company with a focus on microbial bio-remediation, has formed a new business unit to research and apply its proprietary microbial blends for use in the production of biofuels. We have had many inquiries regarding the applicability of our proprietary products and processes for... Read more →

QuestAir Makes First Sale into European Biogas Market

QuestAir M-3200 QuestAir Technologies has received an order for a M-3200 PSA (pressure swing adsorption) system to recover pipeline grade methane from biogas generated by an anaerobic digester in Lavigny, Switzerland. Verdesis Suisse SA purchased QuestAir’s system as part of a new plant that will recover methane from biogas generated... Read more →

DaimlerChrysler Builds First Fuel Cell-Powered Fire Fighter Vehicle

Fire Service Mercedes-Benz F-Cell DaimlerChrysler has introduced the first fuel cell–powered fire response vehicle. The Sacramento (California) Metropolitan Fire District will operate the Fire Service Mercedes-Benz F-Cell as a supervisor’s vehicle in the Sacramento area. In the A-Class F-Cell, the entire fuel cell system is housed in the floor of... Read more →

GM and Toyota Continue to Lessen Landfill

The world’s two largest automakers, GM and Toyota, each recently announced additional progress in reducing waste to landfill from their operations. A General Motors Powertrain complex in Wixom, Michigan, has achieved landfill-free status for waste materials generated directly from its daily operations—the third such GM facility to do so. More... Read more →

Philippines Adopts Mandatory Biofuels Standard

Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recently signed into law a mandatory biofuels standard. Republic Act 9367 requires a 5% ethanol blend for gasoline within two years, increasing to 10% within four years under the approval of a new National Biofuels Board. A 1% biodiesel blend for diesel is required within 3... Read more →

Green Plus Fuel Catalyst Expands in Mexico

Four additional cities in Mexico will use Biofriendly’s Green Plus liquid fuel combustion catalyst: Guadalajara, Zapopan, Tlaquepaque and Tonalá. Guadalajara is Mexico’s second largest city. Mixed into diesel in concentrations of 50 ppm or less, the additive promotes a more complete, and lower-temperature combustion, resulting in reduced emissions and an... Read more →

ZAP Licenses Li-Ion Battery Management System for XEBRA

ZAP has signed an exclusive distribution agreement for a new lithium-ion battery management system developed by Eco Tech A/S of Denmark to be incorporated into the XEBRA line of electric cars and trucks. The new battery management system is part of ZAP’s ongoing research and development for a new generation... Read more →

State of the Union Preview: Twenty in Ten

Among the many policy initiatives President Bush will propose in his 2007 State of the Union Address tonight is the goal of reducing US gasoline usage by 20% in the next 10 years—“Twenty in Ten”—through a program that includes increasing the required use of renewable and alternative fuels and increasing... Read more →

DOE Announces $17 Million for Plug-in Battery and E85 Engine Projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it will issue $17 million in solicitations to improve automobile efficiency. The funding will be offered as two separate solicitations, one for $14 million for research on battery technology for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and another for $3 million for research to... Read more →

Ford to Deliver 20 E85 Hybrids for Fleet Testing

Ford Escape Hybrid E85. Ford Motor Company is producing and will deliver 20 new E85 flex-fuel hybrid research vehicles for use in fleets in six different states. Deliveries will begin this spring. Ford displayed the first Ford Escape Hybrid E85 scheduled for delivery this spring at the Washington Auto Show,... Read more →

DaimlerChrysler Introduces 50-State-Compliant Heavy-Duty Ram BLUETEC Pickup; New, More Efficient Light-Duty Engines After 2009

The Chrysler Group of DaimlerChrysler has introduced its first BLUETEC 50-state compliant diesel: the new Dodge Ram Heavy Duty BLUETEC with an all-new 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel engine. The new Ram models can run with B5 and B20 biodiesel. The vehicle meets the US EPA Tier 2 and CA LEV II... Read more →

Nissan to Introduce CARWINGS Telematics Service to Monitor and Analyze Individual Vehicle Fuel-Efficiency

CARWINGS web display of a driver’s average fuel efficiency and ranking. Click to enlarge. Nissan Motor Co. will introduce a new telematics service it calls CARWINGS specifically designed to educate and raise awareness amongst drivers on the impact of day-to-day driving habits on their vehicle’s fuel consumption average. The new... Read more →

Quantum Supplying Ford with Hydrogen Fuel Injectors

Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide is the supplier of hydrogen fuel injectors to Ford for its H2 internal combustion engine (HICE) powered shuttle bus program, including the three vehicles recently delivered to Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada. (Earlier post.) The three buses to be used in Ottawa are part of... Read more →

Ford Introduces Edge with HySeries Fuel-Cell Plug-in Series Hybrid Drive

The Ford Edge with HySeries Drive. At the Washington, D.C. Auto Show, Ford is introducing a real-world version of the new HySeries fuel cell plug-in series hybrid drive that made its debut two weeks ago in the Ford Airstream concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. (Earlier... Read more →

Axeon Wins First Li-ion Hybrid Electric Vehicle Battery Pack Development Contract

Axeon Holdings plc, a Scottish company which provides green energy and advanced control systems to the automotive and industrial markets, has won its first contract to develop a lithium-ion battery pack for a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) program. The contract is to develop a 2kW li-ion battery pack for a... Read more →

EOP Biodiesel Starts Production at New Plant

EOP Biodiesel AG is beginning trial production at its new 100,000 tons per year (30 million gallons US) plant at its Pritzwalk-Falkenhagen (Germany) site. The plant, which is to be inaugurated on 9 March, increases the company’s total capacity at the site to 132,500 tons. Starting 1 January 2007, each... Read more →

Diversa Corporation Joins Forces With New Zealand Crown Research Institutes to Develop Cellulosic Biofuels Industry in New Zealand

Diversa Corporation has formed a research program with New Zealand Crown Research Institutes Scion and AgResearch. The partners have agreed to coordinate their technology development initiatives to target the feasibility of a cellulosic transportation biofuel industry in New Zealand. The three organizations have recently completed a preliminary study, undertaken at... Read more →

FirmGreen Starts LFG Biomethane Plant Construction; Output for Power and Vehicle Fuel

Acrion’s CO2 Wash system. Click to enlarge. FirmGreen Energy (FGE) has begun construction of a landfill gas (LFG) clean-up project near Grove City, Ohio at the Franklin County landfill, operated by the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO). (Earlier post.) When fully operational this summer, FGE’s Bio-Fuels facility will... Read more →

Baytech Announces 6.0-Liter CNG Engine and Vehicle Certifications

Baytech Corporation has received 2006 and 2007 EPA and CARB certifications for its compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled GM 6.0L heavy duty engines, and medium- and light-duty vehicles equipped with the GM 6.0L engine. Heavy-duty engines are available in both dedicated CNG and bi-fuel (CNG or gasoline) configurations in all... Read more →

Researchers Identify Aluminum-Hydrogen Complex with Potential for Hydrogen Storage; Analog to Boranes

Through combined theoretical and experimental study, a team of researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University and Johns Hopkins University has identified a new class of aluminum-hydrogen complexes that are very stable and can potentially be created in bulk quantities, leading to possible application as a hydrogen storage mechanism, among others. The... Read more →

Sinopec and McDonald’s Partner on Drive-Thru Restaurant and Gas Station Complex in Beijing

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) and McDonald’s China have opened their first collaborative Drive-Thru restaurant and gas station complex in Beijing. The two companies formed a strategic alliance last June. The Drive-Thru restaurant—McDonald’s 16th in China, but the first in partnership with Sinopec—is situated in Sinopec’s Shahedong gas station... Read more →

Report: Mitsubishi Heavy To Enter Automotive Lithium-Ion Battery Market

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI) plans to produce lithium-ion batteries for electric and hybrid cars and market them to automakers worldwide by 2010, according to a report in The Nikkei. The company plans to conduct test drives using the batteries in prototype vehicles by as early as next year. MHI... Read more →

MIT-Led Study: Geothermal Could Supply Substantial Portion of Future US Power Need

Schematic of a conceptual two-well Enhanced Geothermal System in hot rock in a low-permeability crystalline basement formation. Click to enlarge. A comprehensive new MIT-led study of the potential for geothermal energy within the United States has found that Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) technology could supply a substantial portion of US... Read more →

Lithium Technology Corporation Delivers Cells to UC-Davis for Challenge X Plug-In

Lithium Technology Corporation (LTC) has delivered 95 lithium-ion battery cells to the UC Davis Hybrid Electric Vehicle Group to provide energy storage for the group’s converted Equinox plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) competing in the Challenge X engineering competition. The UC Davis entry—“Trinity”—is a PHEV 40—the electric motors and batteries... Read more →

Enova to Supply Electric Drive Systems to Smith Electric Vehicles

The Smith Newton. Enova Systems announced that it has entered into a significant production supply agreement with Smith Electric Vehicles, a division of The Tanfield Group Plc (TAN). Enova anticipates executing an exclusive agreement to supply a minimum of 200 electric drive trains to Tanfield during 2007. Tanfield will integrate... Read more →

Green Biologics Awarded £560,000 for Cellulosic Biobutanol Development

GBL has developed a proprietary library of thermophiles and thermostable enzymes for a variety of applications. Click to enlarge. Green Biologics (GBL), an Oxfordshire (UK) biotechnology company, has received £560,000 (US$1.1 million) in funding to support the development of its fuel biobutanol product—Butafuel—from cellulosic biomass. The Department of Trade and... Read more →

Audi Running on GTL SynFuel at Davos

Audi’s GTL-fueled A8s. Audi, which is providing the chauffeur service at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2007, 23rd to 28th January in Davos, Switzerland, is running ten of its Audi A8 fleet there solely on Shell’s Gas-to-Liquids “SynFuel” diesel. All 80 of the long-wheelbase luxury A8s in Audi’s... Read more →

More Potential Biofuels Projects for Asia

Shortly after the signing of sixty-seven contracts representing US$12.4 billion in investment for biofuels development in Indonesia earlier in January (earlier post), more potential Asian biofuel projects in Indonesia and in the Philippines are emerging. Reuters reports that Japan’s Kanematsu Corp. is considering building an ethanol plant in Indonesia that... Read more →

Canadian Prime Minister Announces C$1.5 Billion for Renewable Energy Initiative

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced more than C$1.5 billion (US$1.3 billion) in funding for the ecoENERGY Renewable Initiative to boost Canada’s renewable energy supplies. The first component of the initiative, ecoENERGY for Renewable Power, will invest C$1.48 billion to boost Canada’s supply of clean electricity from renewable sources... Read more →

DaimlerChrysler Ramps Up its Plug-In Sprinter Development Program

Schematic of the Sprinter PHEV design. Click to enlarge. DaimlerChrysler has announced that it will put more than 20 Dodge Sprinter Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) in service in the US between now and the first quarter of 2008 as part of a test fleet program. The company has been... Read more →

Vattenfall: Curbing Climate Change Would Cost 0.6% of Global GDP

Vattenfall has published its map on an interactive website. Click to enlarge. A new study released by European energy company Vattenfall concludes that curbing climate change through a sustainable reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is technically and financially feasible if existing technical solutions are applied consistently—and globally. Vattenfall’s Global Climate... Read more →