Hybrid Cars - Alternative Energy

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Hybrid Cars - Alternative Energy


"Hybrid Nation"

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Honda introduces Civic Hybrid to Ireland

With the focus on the environment, Honda welcomes the arrival of the Civic Hybrid to its model line-up. Civic IMA is the first commercial application of Honda’s new petrol-electric system known as Integrated Motor Assist (IMA). Having already sold over 150,000 models in Japan and the US, the Civic IMA now comes to Ireland. The IMA was recently awarded World Green Car for 2006 by a jury of 46 international motoring journalists at the World Car of the Year Awards.

Civic IMA will go on sale with immediate effect and will retail in Ireland at €27,995* ex works which includes Continuously Variable Transmission and a very high specification.

Frank Kennedy of Universal Honda, at the introduction of the car, said: “The new Civic has been a tremendous success across Europe since its introduction last year. It has raised the image of Honda with its distinctive styling, setting it apart from other cars on the road and placing it in the premium sector. The arrival of the Civic IMA adds another dimension not only to the Civic range but the Honda range in general”
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Oil Prices End Up After Sagging to $57

Oil prices sagged nearly all day Tuesday, then zipped higher toward the end of the trading session. The late-day buying spree was a technical rally, brokers said, as traders who had expected prices to fall even further rushed in to cover losing bets.

After falling as low as $57.05 a barrel, light sweet crude for December delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange settled 37 cents higher at $58.73 a barrel. In London, Brent crude rose 35 cents to settle at $59.03 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
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Ethanol injection for cars? MIT team thinks so

BOSTON - Injecting small quantities of ethanol into car engines at moments of peak demand -- such as accelerating sharply or climbing a steep hill -- could improve the fuel economy of gasoline engines by 20 percent to 30 percent, according to MIT scientists.

A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is working on the system, which scientists say would allow carmakers to use smaller engines in their vehicles, reducing weight and improving fuel economy at a lower cost to consumers than by adding a hybrid engine.

“To have a big impact on reducing oil consumption, one needs a low-cost way of improving efficiency, so a lot of people buy the car,” said Daniel Cohn, senior research scientist at MIT in Cambridge, Mass.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Agriculture secretary makes pitch for cellulosic ethanol

INDIANAPOLIS | It will take more than corn to meet the country's growing thirst for renewable fuels, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said Thursday.

Cellulosic ethanol, an emerging technology to tap the energy found in switch grass, wood chips and plant waste, will be needed to meet future biofuel needs, Johanns told an audience at the National Future Farmers of America conference in Indianapolis.

more on this story

Friday, October 27, 2006

Saturn sprouts green for Vue hybrid's debut

WASHINGTON -- General Motors Corp.'s Saturn division is going to great lengths to tout its green credentials with the launch of a hybrid version of its Vue SUV.

At 10 p.m. Wednesday, workers began building 27-foot by 10-foot greenhouses at three locations in Washington. By 5 a.m. Thursday, they were open for business.

Through Sunday, Saturn expects to hand out 50 bushels of Virginia-grown Granny Smith green apples adorned with Saturn stickers to visitors to the greenhouses, where the automaker is displaying the Green Line Vue.

The four-day Saturn "Greenhouses" event, marking the launch of the Green Line Vue, is designed to introduce consumers to the idea of "going green." Saturn will give away fruit smoothies and seedlings. There will be lectures about gardening. And the automaker will pass out green flip-flops Sunday to finishers of the Marine Corps Marathon, which Saturn is sponsoring. Every automaker wants to be thought of as eco-friendly. And with today's volatile gas prices, being perceived as a maker of fuel-efficient models is an even bigger plus.

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Ethanol Could Corrode Pumps, Testers Say

CHICAGO, Oct. 26 — The farm-produced fuel that is supposed to help wean America from its oil addiction is under scrutiny for its potentially corrosive qualities.

E85, a blend of 85 percent corn-based ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, could be eating away at metal and plastic parts in pumps being used to dispense the fuel at gasoline stations, Underwriters Laboratories, the private product-safety testing group, said this month.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Nippon Oil, Toyota to develop biofuel

Nippon Oil Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. are to jointly develop a new diesel fuel made from palm oil, in conjunction with the Malaysian state-run petroleum company Petronas, sources said Monday.

The three companies will start joint research in fiscal 2007, and begin test production in Malaysia in fiscal 2009.

It will be the first major attempt in the world to convert palm oil, which is extracted from coconuts and commonly used in margarine and pastry, into automotive fuel, the sources said.

If palm oil gains widespread acceptance in Japan as an alternative to petroleum, which is expensive, it would help diversify the nation's readily available fuel sources, as there would be a stable supply available from neighboring Asian countries.

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Squirting ethanol could save petrol bill

Injecting small quantities of ethanol into car engines at moments of peak demand could improve fuel economy, US scientists say.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) say a little squirt into the engine when the car is accelerating sharply or climbing a steep hill could improve fuel economy by 20-30%.
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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Ethanol Emergency?

Everything has been going right for ethanol, the corn-mash moonshine that began getting the country truly giddy earlier this year. But now that giddiness is gone.

Back in the giddy days, high gasoline prices had drivers complaining. Ethanol endorsements were coming from the White House, Silicon Valley and, as always, from those in the corn-growing heartland in between. A protracted war in the Middle East had rekindled the on-again, off-again talk of reducing dependence on foreign oil. We even had corn surpluses. Anybody and anything associated with ethanol was attracting attention and capital.

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Green motoring: an ABC

Know your hybrids from your biodiesel? Sean O'Grady explains the basics of eco-friendly driving
24 October 2006
In case you hadn't noticed, tomorrow is "Green Wheels Day" and the Energy Saving Trust is promoting "Eco Driving", to encourage us to change our driving styles and eliminate fuel-wasting bad habits. The Energy Saving Trust, by the way, is a non-profit body funded by the Government and the private sector to encourage us to, well, save energy.

It used to run an excellent scheme called PowerShift which gave out grants for converting cars to greener energy sources, buying hybrid and electric cars, and that sort of thing. No longer, sadly, so the trust is reduced to issuing booklets with tips about greener driving. Laudable enough, but not the kind of incentive the motorist needs to take more radical action.

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Monday, October 23, 2006


OSCO, Ill. -- Gary Asay raises thousands of hogs in this small town near the Mississippi River, and for years he's had nothing much around him but farmland stretching in every direction.

Now an ethanol plant will be opening just 25 miles to the south in Galva. Another is coming to Annawan, about 25 miles to the east, and another just 30 miles across the river in Buffalo, Iowa. The town of Fulton, 44 miles to the north, will be getting a big one, too, leaving Asay to wonder if all those factories amount to too much too soon: "Anyone who has looked into it is concerned," he says. "There are too many plants too close together."
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Mitsubishi plans single motor for electric car

TOKYO - Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is dropping plans for in-wheel motors for its electric vehicle.

Rather than jump on the hybrid-car bandwagon, Mitsubishi is developing an electric car. Its prototype uses the same body as its i minicar.

As reported previously, Mitsubishi plans to bring the electric car to North America. It has not said when, but current plans call for fleet testing to continue in Japan through 2008.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Biofuel potential 'needs exploration'

A new study launched today aims to explore the potential of biofuels to help the UK meet its energy needs.

The Royal Society (RS), an independent academy promoting the natural and applied sciences, will focus their analysis on how scientific developments could address problems with biofuels currently on the market.

These include competition between food crops and fuel crops and issues with the efficiency of the production process.

If these are addressed then the RS believes biofuels could potentially provide more economic, low-carbon fuel for cars and other forms of transport.
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Drive green, save green

As the operator of a Xenia auto-salvage yard, Marty Luckoski is a fair judge of automotive sheet metal.

So when his wife, Ann, expressed an interest in a new Toyota Prius gas-electric hybrid to replace her 5-year-old Chrysler PT Cruiser, he didn't hesitate.

"Someday hydrogen-(powered) autos will make more sense, but we're not there yet," he said a week ago as they took ownership of a bright red Prius at Kings Toyota in Deerfield Township. "Right now, hybrids make a lot of sense."

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ethanol demand turns corn into a growing cash crop

STEAMBOAT ROCK, Iowa — Though surrounded by some of the nation's most fertile cropland, prosperity for this town of 336 people has been elusive. Even as farmers' corn yields have soared, Main Street has withered, losing two grocery stores, a hardware store and a cheese plant.

"They're all gone now, and that's a common story, more or less, all over this area," said Larry Meints, a local corn farmer.

Meints wants to reverse that trend. Joining 400 other farmers and local investors, he raised $34.5 million to build a distillery that last year began turning corn into motor fuel. This fall, Pine Lake Corn Processors will double capacity, as rising demand for ethanol generates a surge of cash and optimism for a new energy industry based in rural America.

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Boycott Citgo & Venezuelan Oil

I would like to praise 7eleven for not renewing there contract with Citgo as there lone gas supplier. Although this might not put a major dent in the pockets of Mr. Chavez or end the arrogance that comes along with high oil prices, I must say that this without question put a huge smile on my face along with I'm sure many others. It was also a welcome sign to see democrats put aside partisan bickering and defend the president from the ugly comments that were made at the U.N. by "El presidente". I don't believe Chavez and his cronies were expecting such a major backlash from our leaders especially those on the other side of the aisle. I myself just ordered a few bumper stickers with the words "boycott citgo" on them. I'm prepared to continue my boycott until chavez ends his hostile attitude towards the United States and Israel.
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Friday, October 13, 2006

New combatant against global warming: insurance industry

The world's second-largest industry, worried about losses related to climate change, offers incentives to 'go green.'

By Ron Scherer | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

NEW YORK – Insurance companies, who like to stay out of the limelight, are becoming leading business protagonists in the assault on global warming.
• Next week, Travelers, the giant insurance firm, will offer owners of hybrid cars in California a 10 percent discount. It already offers the discount in 41 other states and has cornered a large share of the market.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006


Are existing plants really producing the projected impact?

Yes. A study of two 22-million-gallon plants in northern Missouri, conducted by the University of Missouri, found the plants added $24 million to the state's economy, created 1,815 new jobs, generated $17.7 million in tax revenue for the state, and boosted the price of corn by between 23 cents and 50 cents per bushel.

How does ethanol benefit the environment?

As a gasoline additive, ethanol raises the oxygen level of gasoline, making it burn more completely. Tailpipe emissions of carbon monoxide are reduced by 30 percent and fine particulate matter is reduced by 50 percent.

Is ethanol energy-efficient?

Yes. Numerous academic, independent and government researchers concur that ethanol has a positive energy profile. The balance has increased dramatically with improved technology developed in the last five years. New processes coming online are expected to further improve efficiency.

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First Kentucky-made Camry hybrid rolls off assembly line

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (AP) - The first Kentucky-made Toyota Camry hybrid rolled off the assembly line today. The achievement puts the Japanese automaker in position to take a larger share of the U-S gasoline-electric vehicle market.

Plans call for production of up to 48-thousand more at the Georgetown Toyota plant this year. The new hybrid provides better gas mileage than most conventional compact vehicles with 43 miles per gallon on the highway and 37 in the city
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Future for hybrid cars hinges on U.S. growth: Audi

Wednesday, October 11, 2006; 11:38 AM

AACHEN, Germany (Reuters) - Carmaker Audi (NSUG.DE) said the success of hybrid vehicles, which shave around a quarter from fuel costs, hinged on faster U.S. sales growth, even though high prices at the pump mean they are enjoying rising demand.

"The future market development has only limited predictability so any decision (on hybrid models) is tainted with uncertainties," Marius Lehna, project manager for the hybrid Audi Q7 sport utility vehicle, told automotive engineers attending the Aachen Colloquium industry congress on Wednesday.Around 70 percent of the some 283,000 hybrid vehicles sold worldwide go to buyers in the United States, compared with 21 percent in Japan and just 8 percent in western Europe, he said. story continued

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Oil Trades Near Eight-Month Low on Saudi Shipments, Inventories

Gavin Evans

Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil traded near an eight-month low after falling yesterday on speculation Middle East shipments and a seasonal dip in demand will increase global stockpiles.

Oil closed at its lowest since Feb. 16 yesterday after Saudi Arabia's state oil company told customers in Asia and Europe to expect no cutbacks in their November supplies. A U.S. government report tomorrow will probably show already above-average stockpiles in the world's biggest oil consumer gained an extra 1.5 million barrels last week.

``I think we're going to consolidate around here,'' said Mark Waggoner, president of Excel Futures Inc. in Huntington Beach, California. OPEC has ``already started slowing down production. They're just trying to make it formal now.'' story continued

Discounted Hybrid Vehicles Now Offered by Fox Rent A Car Through Its Corporate Account Program

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Fox Rent A Car, the nation's leader in discount car rentals, said it is discounting its selection of hybrid vehicles to business customers who rent through its new corporate account program.

Robert Rogener, Fox Rent A Car marketing director, said, "Starting today, all customers who sign up for the free corporate program through our company website will receive 5% off on all our cars, including our extensive fleet of Ford, Toyota, and Honda hybrid models." In many instances, he said, customers renting from Fox can save up to 40% off the rates charged by industry competitors. The company manages the largest hybrid fleet in the country through Fox airport locations in California and Arizona. story continued

Toyota branches out into ethanol

TOYOTA CITY, Japan--Hybrid cars aren't the only fuel-efficient concept to have grabbed Toyota's interest.

The Japanese company, now the second-biggest automaker in the world, will come out with a car in Brazil in Spring 2007 that can run on 100 percent ethanol, as well as on a blend of gas and ethanol, Yusei Higaki, a project manager in the global external affairs division, told CNET News.com during a tour of the company's facilities here. story continued

Friday, October 06, 2006

Dupont technology helps Broin boost ethanol output

CHICAGO, Oct 6 (Reuters) - A large producer of U.S. ethanol plans to use not only corn to produce the alternative fuel but cellulosic materials such as corn cobs and stalks.

The Broin Companies in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, announced this week it has licensed technology to covert cellulosic biomass into ethanol from chemicals group DuPont (DD.N: Quote, Profile, Research).

The Broin plants would extract fiber from corn and convert it into ethanol, producing a higher-protein distillers dried grain for the livestock market.

The plants would also convert corn stalks and cobs into ethanol, plus use some of that material to fuel the plant. The duel-processing plant would use 83 percent less natural gas than a plant processing only corn, the company said.story continued

Mercury aims for stylish niche

MIAMI -- Ford Motor Co. will pull the curtain back on the future of Mercury today with the unveiling of the all-new-for 2008 Mariner and Mariner Hybrid at the South Florida International Auto Show.

Challenged to refocus the brand as part of its North American restructuring effort, Ford is reinventing Mercury as a niche marque designed to appeal to more women, minorities and shoppers who typically don't consider Ford products. Mercury will have fewer models than in the past, but they will be lavished with more design attention inside and out.

"We've targeted a new audience with Mercury," said Kim Irwin, brand manager for Mercury. "The new Mariner is the first vehicle that really hits the new direction dead-on." story continued

Monday, October 02, 2006

The world’s first commercially-available electric-solar hybrid, and a sporty one at that

October 2, 2006 It’s not often we get lead stories on consecutive days from the same company (never before in fact) but French transportation futurists Venturi have done it again – this time with the first solar electric hybrid to be commercialised in the world. Named Astrolab (latin astro = star, labe = to take) because it takes its energy from the sun in order to move, the solar commuter is capable of working with very little energy (16 kW engine) and of recharging even when in motion, and does not need to be permanently exposed to the sun in order to move. more on this story

Australian government moves toward ethanol mandates

Federal and state elections in Australia in the next year are creating opportunities to nurture growth in the biofuels industry, according to Bob Gordon, executive director of Renewable Fuels Australia. Progress came in August as two states announced plans to consider ethanol blending mandates. “We’re hoping that we can get over those remaining barriers for getting ethanol and biodiesel into the main transport fuel markets,” he told EPM.

There is a growing realization that perhaps the only way to get oil companies to accept ethanol is to introduce mandates, Gordon said. Queensland and New.. story continued

Oil Slips Nearly $2 Despite Nigeria, Venezuela Supply Plans

NEW YORK — Oil fell 3 percent to $61 a barrel Monday as healthy fuel inventories in top consumer the United States countered plans by OPEC members Nigeria and Venezuela to trim output.

U.S. crude settled down $1.88 at $61.03 a barrel, after dipping as low as $60.90 after BP said it had restarted production at the Lisburne oil field in Alaska over the weekend. London Brent dropped $2.03 to $60.45. story continued