Category: Alternative Energy

By on January 22, 2014

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For 40 years the Shell oil company has been putting out reports on what expects in the future. This year’s report titled New Lens Scenarios sees passenger road transportation being “nearly oil-free” by the year 2070. The report is in the plural, scenarios, because the futurists at Shell envision two possible outcomes, which they call “Mountains” and “Oceans”. In both scenarios the world’s population will grow to 9 billion people by 2050 and by 2070 electricity and hydrogen will be the primary means of fueling road transportation. Read More >

By on January 8, 2014

toyota-fuel-cell-vehicle-concept-13

It doesn’t have a name yet, and the prototype that Toyota unveiled at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show was covered in camo, but the Japanese automaker promises that they will be selling a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in the United States next year. The company is claiming it will have a range of 300 miles and will refuel in less than five minutes. The Corolla sized sedan has been tested in North America’s hottest and coldest locations and Toyota says that the emissions free car will have an electric motor rated at greater than 100 kW (>130 hp) and be able to accelerate from zero to sixty miles an hour in about 10 seconds.

“We aren’t trying to re-invent the wheel; just everything necessary to make them turn,” said Bob Carter, Toyota’s senior VP in charge of U.S. auto operations. Read More >

By on December 31, 2013

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Company founder Henrik Fisker and Fisker Automotive Inc.’s former directors have been sued in a Delaware court by an investor. Atlas Capital Management LP blames the defendants for over $2 million in losses it allegedly suffered when the now bankrupt hybrid car startup failed. According to the lawsuit filed Dec. 27 in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Fisker allegedly misled investors by failing to disclose problems the company knew it was having with a government loan and by keeping a 2011 safety recall secret from potential investors.

In the filing, Atlas said that if it had known the truth about the situation, it “would not have purchased or otherwise acquired its Fisker securities, or, if it had purchased such securities, it would not have done so at the artificially inflated prices which it paid.” Read More >

By on December 23, 2013

Envia-400whk-battery_1

The hagiographic article by Bloomberg/Business Week on outgoing General Motors CEO Dan Akerson did exactly what Selim Bingol and the other PR honchos in the RenCen towers wanted it to do. With other news agencies and blogs amplifying the puffery and pulling quotes, the article got GM and Akerson a lot of good press. One of the quotes that got pulled the most was Akerson’s reference to a “moon shot” project giving GM’s next generation extended range electric vehicle a 200 mile range on battery power, based on breakthroughs in battery technology. It may be more of a moon shot than Akerson let on, since GM has cancelled its contract with that battery’s likely supplier, accusing it of “material misrepresentation”. Read More >

By on December 20, 2013

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

The green warriors who hoped EVs and hybrids would be the dominate force on the highways of America may need to wait a bit longer: the United States Department of Energy predicts gasoline will be the fuel of a generation until at least 2040.

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By on December 12, 2013

Toyota FCV Concept

Toyota believes fuel cells are the future, becoming a competitive technology up against other zero-emission compliance tech by 2030 at the latest. In fact, the automaker plans to hedge their bets in the near future by setting an annual sales goal of 5,000 to 10,000 fuel-cell powered machines beginning in 2015.

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By on December 6, 2013

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Mitsubishi announced that it will cut the sticker price of its i-MiEV electric car by 20% for the 2014 model year, following price cuts at other automakers that sell EVs. Automotive News reports that the ’14 i-MiEV will start at $23,845 including destination charges when it goes on sale next spring. That’s a $6,130 reduction from the previous 2012 model, which sold so slowly that Mitsubishi didn’t offer a 2013 model year i-MiEV so they could sell down unsold units.

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By on November 21, 2013

Honda FCEV 06

Honda’s successor to the FCX Clarity isn’t set to arrive on our shores until 2015, but those in LA bore witness to what its successor would look like through the eyes of the FCEV Concept.

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By on November 18, 2013

Honda FCX Clarity

Remember this piece from the Honda Summer 2008 Hydrogen Collection? It was supposed to point the way to future of green fuel technology before the Tesla brought plug-in sex appeal down the ramp with their Roadster and, later on, the S, as well as the trend of compliance EVs from Chevrolet, Volkswagen and Kia.

But with sales of plug-in hybrids advancing far slower than originally expected regulators are taking another look at alternative ZEV powertrains.

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By on November 18, 2013

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While ethanol producers have been lobbying to increase the blend of that alcohol in standard gasoline to 15%, many in the auto industry have opposed that increase, saying that it could damage cars. Now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has, for the first time, proposed reducing the ethanol requirement in the nation’s fuel supply. Actually, what they are proposing is a smaller increase in the overall use of ethanol, which means that the national standard may not be raised to E15. Read More >

By on November 12, 2013

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Fuel cells are back in the news, with Toyota revealing the FCV concept and Tesla CEO Elon Musk comparing fuel cells to bovine excrement. Now Hyundai says that they are preparing an electrically driven CUV powered by a fuel cell for a North American debut next year. Just before he was apparently forced to resign over quality control issues, Kwon Moon-sik, Hyundai Motor Group’s president of r&d,  told Automotive News that the Korean automaker sees fuel cells and not batteries as the future for EVs. He said that money is the reason, seeing greater opportunities to reduce the cost of hydrogen fuel cells than batteries.

“There is no problem with the technology — only with the cost and profitability,” Kwon said of battery EVs. “We cannot make a profit with them.” Read More >

By on November 5, 2013

toyota-fuel-cell-vehicle-1-1

At Toyota’s recent Hybrid World Tour event, managing office Satoshi Ogiso made it clear that the company continues to see hydrogen fuel cells as part of the future drivetrain mix and that Toyota’s first commercially available hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will go on sale in 2015. Ogiso indicated that at the upcoming Tokyo and Detroit auto shows Toyota will be showing “a well-defined mid-size four-door sedan concept” powered by the company’s latest fuel cell. Images of the Toyota FCV (Fuel Cell Vehicle) Concept have now been released in advance of the Tokyo show. “Well-defined” appears to mean close to production ready. Read More >

By on October 30, 2013

Nissan e-NV200. Photo courtesy Nissan.The all-electric future creeps upon us all steadily, from Tesla’s luxury offerings more appropriate for New York Fashion Week, to Nissan’s electric blue and white jelly beans moving eco-conscious families to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.

Speaking of Nissan, the automaker has decided to unleash the e-Nv200 upon the streets of Europe in 2014, with both fleet and private sales in mind.

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By on October 18, 2013

800px-TSWLM-LotusEsprit

Elon Musk, the real-life Tony Stark of our times, has quite the extensive résumé: Founder of PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors; billionaire investor of projects and businesses such as SolarCity and the preservation of Nikola Tesla’s lab; inventor of the Hyperloop rapid mass transit concept; 007 cosplayer…

Yes, you read that right: Musk is a huge fan of the man who loves his martinis shaken and his women to have double entendre naming schemes. So much so, in fact, that he now has one of Bond’s most awesome vehicles ever conceived.

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By on October 18, 2013
Sorry, couldn't resist

Sorry, couldn’t resist

 

After months of teasing, Nissan officially pulled the wraps of the ZEOD RC. The Zero Emissions On Demand Race Car will occupy Garage 56 at the 24 Hours of LeMans in June of next year. This weekend it is expected to hit the track at round 6 of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship, October 18-20 at Japan’s Fuji International Speedway.

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