Electric vehicles aren’t rollin’ coal anymore — or, at least, not nearly as much as they used to.
Reuters reports coal-fired electricity generation is now at a 35-year low in the U.S., and November 2015 was the fifth month in a row more natural gas than coal was used to produce electricity.
That’s not all. From Reuters:
With just one month of data missing in 2015, some analysts think power companies may have burned more gas than coal for the full year for the first time in history.
Oh, and guess what’s dirtier than natural gas when burned? You bet: gasoline.
UPDATE: Clarification on CR-Z at bottom.
Honda is doing a bit of late spring cleaning as it looks to get its hybrid house in order. The automaker announced production of the Civic CNG has ended and multiple hybrid models will soon get the axe.
Honda isn’t abandoning hybrid technology, however, as John Mendel, Executive Vice President, Automobile Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., hinted there are replacements in the pipeline in a release sent out today.
President Barack Obama’s 2014 State of the Union address was relevant to auto industry types for more than just the hosting of GM CEO Mary Barra, as President Obama also called for tougher fuel economy standards for heavy duty trucks, as well as increased exploration of natural gas as an alternative fuel.
Looking to take advantage of the natural gas boom currently occurring in America, Chevrolet will market a bi-fuel version of its Impala sedan starting next year.
“The only way to break this cycle of spiking gas prices — the only way to break that cycle for good — is to shift our cars entirely, our cars and trucks, off oil,”
So said President Obama during a speech in Illinois, where he outlined a plan to provide $200 million a year for 10 years to a fund that would promote the development of alternative fuel vehicles. The funds would be provided by royalties from oil drilling on the Out Continental Shelf.
Westport Innovations has just signed a second deal with General Motors to produce light duty natural gas engines, and it’s probably not the last time we’ll be seeing these kind of partnerships forming. Natural gas vehicles have been explored previously on TTAC, but the technology hasn’t been fully explored in-depth, aside from some well-informed comments in various articles.
Since 1998 Honda has been quietly producing one of the cleanest vehicles in America. In 2001 the EPA called its engine “the cleanest burning internal combustion engine in the world.” No, it’s not a hybrid, it’s Honda’s Civic Natural Gas (formerly known as the Civic GX). Until now, the Civic Natural Gas has only been available for retail sale in a handful of states like California and New York. For 2012, Honda expanded sales to 37 states and lent us one for a week.
“The electric things have their life too. Paltry as those lives are.”
Phillip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?
At the High School I attended, progress reports were never a good thing. Halfway through each term, students who were averaging a D or lower would receive a print-out of their grade accompanied by a line from the teacher explaining how the miscreant in question was failing to live up to expectations. True to form, the White House’s just-released “One Year Progress Report” [ PDF] on President Obama’s “Blueprint For A Secure Energy Agenda” includes some devastating evidence of abject failure. But unlike my post-progress report conversations with the parental stakeholders, Obama has a lot more to explain to voters than a simple “insufficient homework turned in.”
While both General Motors and Chrysler are putting their money on Compressed Natural Gas options for their pickup-truck lineups, Ford is going with pretty much everything but CNG as it examines alternative fuel strategies for future vehicles – and for now, the 3.5L Ecoboost V6 will be the standard bearer for light duty versions of the Ford F-Series.
This is the Honda Civic GX, a vehicle that runs on[s] propane and propane accessories[/s] compressed natural gas. Despite the Civic GX’s title as one of America’s “ Greenest Vehicles“, the Civic GX is pricey, and CNG refueling stations are few and far between – apparently there are only 830 in the entire United States, with not all of them open to the public. Honda wants to change that – but it wants dealers to bear the costs, monetary and otherwise, of building new fueling outlets.
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