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Monsanto and Evogene Collaborate on Yield and Stress Research

Monsanto Company and Israel-based Evogene Ltd. have entered into a five-year research and development collaboration focused on identifying key plant genes related to yield, environmental stress and fertilizer utilization. The agreement is intended to enhance research efforts to discover and deliver novel, yield-enhancing technologies at a time of increasing demand... Read more →

California Gasoline Consumption Down 4.8%, Diesel 11.0% in May 2008

Gasoline consumption in California in May 2008 continued its downward trend, with Californians using 4.8% less gasoline in the month than during the same period the year before, according to figures from the State Board of Equilization (BOE). Diesel consumption in May 2008 was 11.0% below that of May 2007.... Read more →

Mayor of London Launches Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

Surface temperature of London at 21:30 on 7 August, 2003 showing the signature of the urban heat island during the killer heatwave. Click to enlarge. Source: NASA Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, launched the London Climate Change Adaptation Strategy—one of the first comprehensive climate change adaptation strategies produced by... Read more →

Detroit Electric Claims New Investment and Technology Partners from Europe

Detroit Electric, the 100-year-old brand re-established in 2007 as a joint venture by ZAP and China Youngman Group (earlier post), said that a vehicle distributor and additional technology partners in Europe have agreed to provide capital financing and electric drive system technology for the venture. CEO Albert Lam expects to... Read more →

Oil and Gas Operators Evacuating Platforms and Rigs in GOM; 76.77% of Oil Shut-In

Offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) are evacuating platforms and rigs in the path of Hurricane Gustav. Models now suggest that the hurricane will grow to Cat 5 status, and pass directly over the warm water of the Loop Current. The official National Hurricane Center... Read more →

Three New Toyota Vehicles to Debut at Paris Motor Show

The diesel Urban Cruiser. Toyota will introduce three new vehicles at the upcoming Paris Motor Show (Mondial de l’Automobile, 04-19 Oct): the third-generation Avensis, the production model of the iQ, showcased in design form earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show (earlier post), and the 1.4-liter D-4D diesel All... Read more →

Researchers Developing Floating Power Plant

Yomiuri Shimbun. Researchers at Kyushu University in Japan are developing a large-scale at-sea power plant combining photovoltaics and windmills designed to match the output of a nuclear power reactor. The planned plant will measure two kilometers by 800 meters and will be equipped with light-emitting diodes that shine light into... Read more →

DOE to Provide Up to $7M to Accelerate Commercialization of Energy Technology from Labs

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will provide up to $7 million to accelerate the movement of clean energy technologies from DOE’s national laboratories to the marketplace. The funding will help post-research technologies move toward commercial viability by providing pre-venture capital funding for activities such as prototype development, demonstration projects... Read more →

EPA Approves Hurricane-Related Clean Fuel Waiver for 16 Parishes in Louisiana

In anticipation of Hurricane Gustav’s expected landfall in the northern US Gulf Coast on Monday evening, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) temporarily waived certain Federal clean fuel requirements for 16 parishes in the state of Louisiana until 8 September 2008. Models are suggesting that Louisiana could take a direct hit... Read more →

Saft, Conergy and Tenesol Launch Li-ion Residential PV Energy Storage Project

Saft, Conergy and Tenesol have launched SOLION, a Franco-German project to develop an integrated energy storage system able to be produced on an industrial scale for decentralized on-grid, residential PV systems. This project will introduce large lithium-ion batteries into PV systems on the largest scale yet tested in Europe. Example... Read more →

Nidec to Bolster R&D for Automotive Electric Motors

Nidec Corporation is building an annex laboratory on the premises of its largest R&D plant in Shiga, Japan to bolster its new development efforts, particularly in the automotive motor section. Completion of the facility is planned for the end of July 2009. Overall cost of construction and production setup is... Read more →

Corsa Motorsports Teams with Zytek to Field Hybrid with Li-Ion Pack in American Le Mans Series

The Zytek hybrid. Click to enlarge. Corsa Motorsports and UK-based Zytek Group have formed a strategic alliance to produce the first Le Mans Prototype car fitted with a hybrid powertrain. Corsa will compete as a works team in the LMP1 class of the American Le Mans Series. The car will... Read more →

Enbridge and BP to Develop Delivery System for Canadian Crude Oil From Illinois to Gulf Coast

Enbridge Inc. and BP Pipelines (North America) Inc. have entered into an agreement to develop a new delivery system to transport Canadian heavy crude oil from Flanagan, Illinois, to Houston and Texas City, Texas, using a combination of existing facilities and new pipeline construction where required. The new delivery system... Read more →

FTA Solicits Proposals for Regenerative Braking and Energy Storage Systems for Rail Transit

The US Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) is soliciting proposals for the demonstration of regenerative braking and energy storage technologies (on-board or/and wayside) for trail transit propulsion systems. Total funding available for the project is $300,000. There are a total of 11,110 heavy rail vehicles and 1,645 light rail vehicles in... Read more →

Researchers Develop LiFePO4 Cathode Material with High Capacity and Long Cycle Life; New Process Applicable to Other Materials

Capacity of the new olivine-structure LiFePO4 material. Click to enlarge. Researchers at the Institute of Energy Technology, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan have developed a new process to produce an optimized LiFePO4/carbon composite cathode material that offers high capacity and long cycling life. The... Read more →

Linde Opens Hydrogen Fueling Station for Fuel Cell Passenger Ships

The Linde Group has opened a hydrogen filling station for fuel cell passenger ships in Hamburg to support the Zemship project. (Earlier post.) The Zemship filling station is located in the Hamburg city park. The first passenger ship to be operated via a hydrogen fuel cell will convey up to... Read more →

Toyota to Begin Leasing New Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) will begin leasing its new fuel cell hybrid vehicle model, the FCHV-adv (earlier post), to Japan’s Ministry of the Environment on 1 September. TMC also plans to lease the FCHV-adv to other national government entities, local governments and companies in or related to the energy industry.... Read more →

Flowserve and Linde Group Form JV for Natural Gas Refueling Systems Using Ionic Liquid Compressor

Flowserve Corp., a global provider of flow control products and services for the global infrastructure markets, has formed a joint venture with The Linde Group to commercialize and deploy ionic liquid compressor iKompressor natural gas and biogas refueling systems in Europe. Called Flowserve Compression Systems GmbH, the joint venture plans... Read more →

FuelClinic.com Logs More Than 1M Miles of Fuel Economy Records Since May 08

Since its public debut in May 2008, FuelClinic.com has logged more than one million miles of fuel economy records. Members of FuelClinic.com enter their fuel pump receipts and odometer readings into the website. FuelClinic then creates a variety of metrics, charts and graphs that illustrate spending habits and fuel costs... Read more →

Sasol and Shenhua To Focus Solely on Ningxia Hui Coal to Liquids (CTL) Plant

Sasol and Shenhua have agreed to focus their full attention on the feasibility study for an 80,000 barrels per day Coal-to-Liquids (CTL) plant in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. Sasol had also been engaged in exploring a potential coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant with Shenhua in the Shaanxi Province, about 650 kilometers... Read more →

Daimler Trucks Opens Global Hybrid Center in Japan

Daimler Trucks inaugurated its new Global Hybrid Center at Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) in Kawasaki. Located within the company’s R&D facilities, the new center will be the worldwide hub for Daimler Trucks’ hybrid development. MFTBC is an integral part of the Daimler Trucks division of Daimler AG,... Read more →

Australia, Iceland and US Launch International Partnership to Promote Enhanced Geothermal Systems

The US, Australia and Iceland have formed the International Partnership for Geothermal Technology (IPGT), designed to foster and promote enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). The US Department of Energy (DOE) will work with Australia’s Ministry of Resources, Energy and Tourism and Iceland’s Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism to identify and... Read more →

French Government Declares Car Feebates System a Success

Basic parameters of France’s feebate system. Click to enlarge. French environment minister Jean-Louis Borloo declared a bonus/malus (“feebate”) system introduced to encourage car buyers to make greener purchase choices a success. According to official figures, sales in France of vehicles consuming less than 130 g/km CO2 increased 45% increase in... Read more →

Con Edison of New York Orders Three E450 Hybrids from Azure Dynamics

Con Edison of New York has placed an initial order with Azure Dynamics for three Balance Hybrid Electric vehicles, based on the Ford E450 chassis. The Azure Balance Hybrid Electric system specified by Con Edison has attributes such as engine-off at idle and at below 20 miles per hour, while... Read more →

Toyota to Accelerate Development of HEVs, PHEVs and EVs; Downgrades Sales Target for FY2009

Watanabe characterized the rapid change is the US market toward more fuel-efficient vehicles as structural. Click to enlarge. Outlining Toyota’s response to rapidly changing global market conditions, growing environmental issues and increasing material costs, President Katsuaki Watanabe said that the company was accelerating its development of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and... Read more →

Mazda Debuts Kazamai Direct-Injection Crossover Concept at Moscow Show

The Mazda Kazamai. Mazda Motor Corporation used the Moscow Motor Show (28 August-1 September) to debut its Mazda Kazamai concept car—an implementation of Mazda’s current ‘Sustainable Zoom-Zoom’ strategy. The Kazamai concept crossover showcases how Mazda could combine its aggressive design with 30% improved average fuel economy and fewer emissions than... Read more →

California Toyota Dealer Taking Deposits for 2010 PHEV Prius

Felix Kramer of CalCars reports that Magnussen’s Toyota of Palo Alto (California), one of the US’ top Prius dealers, has decided to begin taking $500 deposits for plug-in 2010 Priuses. One Toyota dealer moving ahead of the pack will encourage others, and help speed the arrival of PHEVs into the... Read more →

MAN Introduces Euro 5 and EEV Diesels Without SCR, Hybrids

The MAN D08 CR engines meet Euro 5 and EEV limits without any SCR aftertreatment. Click to enlarge. At the 62nd IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hanover, Germany (25 September - 2 October), MAN Nutzfahrzeuge will premiere a range of new diesel engines with EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) that meet... Read more →

Ford Testing Shows Eco-Driving Improved Fuel Economy an Average 24%

Tests performed by Ford Motor Company and Pro Formance drivers found that 48 motorists coached by eco-driving experts saw results ranging from 6% fuel economy improvement to more than 50%, depending on their driving style and ability to master eco-driving behaviors. The average fuel economy improvement was 24%. Eco-driving instructors... Read more →

DNV Leading Project for CO2 Pipeline Standards

DNV, a Norway-based provider of global risk management services, together with major industry partners, is developing new standards for the transportation of CO2 in pipelines. Current pipeline standards do not take into account considerations related to the pipeline transmission—both onshore and submarine—of dense, high-pressure CO2 from large-scale capture plants to... Read more →

UNEP Report Urges Global Energy Subsidy Reform, Including Cutting Fossil Fuel Subsidies; Reductions in GHG Emissions and Increase in Global GDP

Economic value of energy subsidies in Non-OECD countries, 2005. Click to enlarge. Source: IEA World Energy Outlook 2006. Globally, approximately US$300 billion—0.7% of global GDP—is spent annually on energy subsidies. The bulk of this is being used to artificially lower or reduce the real price of fuels like oil, coal... Read more →

Lignol Confirms Site for its Cellulosic Ethanol Demo Plant

Lignol’s biorefinery technology. Click to enlarge. Lignol Innovations Inc., the US subsidiary of Canada-based Lignol Energy Corp., will build its cellulosic ethanol demonstration plant in Grand Junction, Colorado—an approved change from the originally proposed site adjacent to Suncor Energy (USA) Inc.’s refinery in Commerce City, Colorado. In January 2008, the... Read more →

Mitsubishi Motors to Make 2,000 i-MiEV EVs in 2009

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC) will produce 2,000 i-MiEV electric vehicles in 2009, the year the model will be launched in Japan, President Osamu Masuko said Tuesday. The Japanese automaker will raise its annual output to 4,000 units in 2010 and then accelerate mass production, Masuko told Japanese reporters in Tokyo.... Read more →

Flint Approves Tax Breaks for GM Engine Plant for Volt and Cruze

Detroit News. The Flint, Michigan City Council approved GM’s request for tax incentives to support a $359 million investment in a 530,000-square-foot plant in Flint, where workers will build 1.4-liter engines for the Volt as well as its new compact car, the Chevrolet Cruze (Family 0 engine plant). The automaker’s... Read more →

Mitsui Chemicals to Build Pilot Facility to Study Process for Methanol Synthesis from CO2

MCI’s methanol synthesis process. Click to enlarge. Mitsui Chemicals Inc. (MCI) will begin construction of a pilot facility which will be used to continue the company’s efforts to develop a process to synthesize methanol from CO2. MCI has been pursuing the development of a process for the synthesis of methanol... Read more →

Shifts in Energy Supply/Demand and Biofuels Capacity Challenging Refining Industry; US Could Become a Net Exporter of Gasoline

Refiners face changes in regional supply/demand balances, affecting global trade flows and refining margins. North America will reduce its need for gasoline; Europe will get shorter in diesel;, and Asia will continue to be thirsty for fuels in general. Click to enlarge. The refining industry is grappling with shifting scenarios... Read more →

Report: Costs for New ZAP EV Plant More Than 2x Initial Estimates

Greentechmedia reports that the currently projected cost for the plant for Integrity Automotive, a new joint venture to produce ZAP electric vehicles in the United States, is more than double the initial estimate. The new plant is expected to begin rolling out vehicles in a year, said Randall Waldman, CEO... Read more →

ADM, Deere, Monsanto to Collaborate on Corn Stover Research

Current availability of biomass from croplands, under current crop yields, tillage practices and average 40% recovery potential. About one-fifth of this 194 million dry/tons per year is currently used. Click to enlarge. Source: DOE, USDA (2005) Archer Daniels Midland Company, Deere &Company and Monsanto Company will collaborate on research to... Read more →

Ford Invests $75M to Prepare Truck Plant for Small-Vehicle Production

Ford Motor Company will invest $75 million in Michigan Truck Plant’s body shop to prepare for small-vehicle production. The move paves the way for Michigan Truck to convert to a car plant that will begin producing global C-car based vehicles in 2010. The plant will begin converting its body shop... Read more →

Report: BMW Shows Most Improvement in European Fuel Efficiency; Auto Industry Will Fall Short of CO2 Targets

European automakers’ average CO2 emissions for 2007, and the calculated targets for 2007. (See notes below.) Click to enlarge. BMW AG improved fuel efficiency in 2007 at four times the average rate of other major manufacturers, according to an analysis of European Union data commissioned by Transport & Environment (T&E),... Read more →

Oxygen Expands Lithium-ion Battery Orders from Valence for Electric Cargoscooter

Valence Technology, Inc. has expanded its relationship with Oxygen SpA, a company based in Padua, Italy, and a developer and distributor of light electric vehicles. (Earlier post.) As part of a recently signed $2 million purchase order, Valence will supply lithium phosphate battery systems over the next four months to... Read more →

SunEthanol Collaborates With MBI to Scale-Up Cellulose BioEthanol Process

SunEthanol, a biofuels company developing consolidated bio-processing (CBP) technology based on the “Q Microbe” (Clostridium phytofermentans) (earlier post), is collaborating with MBI International to scale-up a fermentation method for producing ethanol from non-food agricultural feedstocks. MBI is a Lansing, Michigan biotechnology firm specializing in fermentation process development and scale-up. MBI... Read more →

Coalition of 12 States Sues EPA Over GHG Emissions from Refineries

The state of New York is leading a group of twelve states, the District of Columbia, and the City of New York in a suit that challenges the EPAs refusal to require new or renovated oil refineries to install technologies that control greenhouse gas emissions. New York Attorney General Andrew... Read more →

Mahindra & Mahindra Delays Entry of Diesel Pickup in US to 4Q 2009

LA Times. Mahindra & Mahindra has pushed back the launch date of its diesel compact pickup trucks (earlier post) for the US from next summer to the fourth quarter of 2009. The reason? Execs at Global Vehicles, based in suburban Atlanta, say Mahindra ordered up more testing to make sure... Read more →

Report: Toyota’s Limited Price Hikes Highlight Internal Differences in Strategy

The Nikkei reports that Toyota Motor Corporation’s (TMC) restriction of price increases in Japan to hybrids and commercial vehicles (earlier post) resulted from internal dissension in the company over whether to prioritize sales or profitability. Focused on improving earnings, Toyota’s planning and finance divisions pushed for price hikes. Barely profitable... Read more →