Hybrid Cars - Alternative Energy

Hybrid cars have increased in popularity as of late.Nows the time to support alternative energy solutions and technologies.

Hybrid Cars - Alternative Energy


"Hybrid Nation"

Friday, March 30, 2007

With five private jets, Travolta still lectures on global warming

His serious aviation habit means he is hardly the best person to lecture others on the environment. But John Travolta went ahead and did it anyway.

The 53-year-old actor, a passionate pilot, encouraged his fans to "do their bit" to tackle global warming.

Happy landings: John Travolta's plane collection parked at his home in Florida

But although he readily admitted: "I fly jets", he failed to mention he actually owns five, along with his own private runway.

Clocking up at least 30,000 flying miles in the past 12 months means he has produced an estimated 800 tons of carbon emissions – nearly 100 times the average Briton's tally.

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'Biofuel cell' Generates Electricity from Air

Friday March 30, 2007 6:09 AM PDT - By: Dave White
There's electricity in the air—and from it.

A group of British scientists has reported a biofuel cell that can make electricity from plain old air, as long as it has enough pure hydrogen. That's a rather simplistic explanation, but you get the idea. The key point is that their fuel cell has no platinum, which weighs down other batteries in both mass and price.

The scientists constructed their fuel cell by encasing a pair of electrodes coated with enzymes from bacteria that oxidize hydrogen inside a container filled with air and 3 percent more hydrogen. (For those who keep track of things, that's below the explosion threshold.) Interestingly, the enzymes are from Ralstonia metallidurans, a bacterium thought to have been one of the first forms of life on the planet.

Trials of the fuel cell produced enough electricity to make a watch go. Light bulb power can't be far behind. Conceivably, larger versions can power larger machines. And it probably goes without saying that the only waste product is plain old water.
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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hybrid cars cost less to build as demand grows

March 27 2007: 11:10 AM EDT

LONDON (Reuters) -- Battery makers and suppliers of other key parts for hybrid, energy-saving vehicles have one overriding question: when will the market be big enough to justify their costs?

A hybrid vehicle, which combines an internal combustion engine and an electric motor powered by batteries that can recapture energy normally lost, costs $4,500 to $6,000 more to build than a conventional vehicle, a recent report by the Sanford C. Bernstein investment management firm said.
The upfront cost and load capacity are the main challenges for hybrids due to the expensive electrical motor and battery.

"It is a chicken-and-egg problem - the car makers say to us we want an aggressive price from the beginning and we say to them we can give them an aggressive price when we have the volume," Franck Cecchi, chief operation officer of battery maker Johnson Controls-Saft, said.

Demand for hybrids was booming and the world's top producer of hybrids, Toyota Motor Corp. (down $1.99 to $130.71, Charts) forecast global sales of hybrids reaching 1 million in 2010, equaling the number of all new cars and small trucks purchased between 1997 and 2006.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Green Cars of the Future

by Dan Lienert
Robert Q. Riley Enterprises, a Phoenix-based design company, recently unveiled a "do-it-yourself" kit for building an advanced hybrid car.

For $200, you get the company's construction plans for a three-wheeled sports car called the XR-3. A completed XR-3 will reportedly deliver between 125 and 225 mpg. A three-cylinder diesel engine powers the front wheels and an electric motor run by a lithium-ion battery powers the rear wheel. The driver can switch between battery-only, diesel-only and hybrid driving modes. The DIY kit will be available this May or June.
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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Corn Can't Solve Our Problem

By David Tilman and Jason Hill
Sunday, March 25, 2007; Page B01

The world has come full circle. A century ago our first transportation biofuels -- the hay and oats fed to our horses -- were replaced by gasoline. Today, ethanol from corn and biodiesel from soybeans have begun edging out gasoline and diesel.

This has been hailed as an overwhelmingly positive development that will help us reduce the threat of climate change and ease our dependence on foreign oil. In political circles, ethanol is the flavor of the day, and presidential candidates have been cycling through Iowa extolling its benefits. Lost in the ethanol-induced euphoria, however, is the fact that three of our most fundamental needs -- food, energy, and a livable and sustainable environment -- are now in direct conflict. Moreover, our recent analyses of the full costs and benefits of various biofuels, performed at the University of Minnesota, present a markedly different and more nuanced picture than has been heard on the campaign trail.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Al "Hollywood " Gore

I have a bone to pick with Hollywood and all the annoying liberals that follow them. I think its great that they're all driving hybrid vehicles, but when you're also taking your private jet just to fly a few hundred miles to their next Hollywood party ( and winning an Oscar) then your just a complete hypocrite. For example Al Gore, great motivator, however practice what you preach before the media finds out that you're not. People need to realize the importance of "going green". We don't need flaky actors to educate us on hybrid cars and alternative energy sources. I myself think that all this hype about global warming is pure nonsense. The world has gone through changes since the beginning of time and I don't think that we have that kind of power to alter it. The oceans as we know are being destroyed by all the pollutants and wastes we throw in it. The coral reefs around the world are being diminished not only by toxins, but also by the rising temperatures of the oceans. The less waste we use the better not only will it help our pockets, but also help preserve this beautiful planet we call Earth.coral nation

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Hybrid (Japanese) cars eye the European roads

The European Union’s Commissioner for the Environment Stavros Dimas made headlines recently with his decision to swap his Mercedes for a Japanese hybrid and the European carmakers were vocal in denouncing his decision.
Now, Toyota’s new president for Germany is pushing hybrid cars and “cleaner” motoring in a bid to protect the environment in Europe’s biggest economy. “Climate protection and hybrid technology, which is not so well known in Germany, will be our main goals in the future,” says Keiji Sudo, who has been in charge of Toyota Deutschland for two months.
Hybrid engines, combining electric and petrol-driven motors, will become more efficient and have a greater variety so they can be used in “a wide range of models,” Sudo says.
Toyota has become the world’s number one in hybrid motors since it brought its first model on the market in 1997. Today the Japanese company is far ahead of its German rival BMWs, VW and others in this fuel-efficient technology.
Many competitors are only just starting to offer hybrids, while the Japanese carmaker is already developing third-generation models.
Asked about BMW’S alliance with DaimlerChrysler to develop a hybrid engine, Sudo said: “In the future, we’ll face stiff competition, but at the moment we have the advantage of being in a pioneering role.”
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Thursday, March 15, 2007

ConocoPhillips eyes alternative energy


ConocoPhillips said Wednesday it plans to boost spending on alternative energy research this year by as much as 60 percent -- a move analysts say will help the large integrated oil company catch up with rivals that already have a presence in the burgeoning sector.

At an investor meeting in New York, ConocoPhillips said it would increase research and development spending on biofuels and other alternative energies to $150 million, or about 38 percent of its total technology budget of $400 million.

Chief Executive Jim Mulva said in an interview after the meeting that the company expects to make announcements about new projects involving ethanol, biodiesel and other alternative energies this year.

"Some of the announcements you've seen from competitors -- we've been working pretty hard to do a similar sort of thing in many of the ways that they are doing, but we want to do things a little bit differently," he said, stressing the company's commitment to developing new technologies.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hyundai to build engine plant in Alabama

No. 1 Korean automaker's $270 million factory will serve U.S. facilities, create an estimated 520 jobs; mass output slated to start in Sept. '08.
March 13 2007: 7:19 AM EDT

SEOUL (Reuters) -- Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's top automaker, said Tuesday it plans to invest $270 million to build an engine plant at its U.S. car manufacturing unit in Alabama to serve growing demand in the world's No. 1 auto market.

The engine plant, estimated to create about 520 jobs, will begin mass output from September 2008 and supply engines to the Alabama plant and a Georgia plant being built by its affiliate, Kia Motors Corp., Hyundai said in a statement.

The Alabama facility currently produces Hyundai's Sonata sedan and its Santa Fe sport-utility vehicle.

Hyundai and Kia, which sell about three quarters of their cars abroad, are expanding overseas production to shield themselves from a strong won and frequent labor disputes.

Separately, Hyundai also said it would begin mass production of fuel-efficient environmentally friendly hybrid cars from 2009, with a production target of 300,000 in 2015.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

A New Battery Takes Off in a Race to Electric Cars

A123Systems, a start-up in Watertown, Mass., says it has created a powerful, safe, long-lived battery. If the cell fulfills the ambitions of its maker, that softer sound will be the future of automobiles.

To date, all-electric vehicles have failed because their batteries were inadequate. General Motors’ futuristic EV1 car of the late 1990s was doted upon by environmentally conscious drivers who admired its innovative engineering, but because the car used large, primitive nickel metal hydride batteries, its range was limited, its acceleration degraded as the batteries weakened with age, and its two-seat layout was not very comfortable for big, corn-fed North Americans.

“The problem came down to usability,” said Nick Zelenski, G.M.’s chief vehicle engineer. “You had to plan your life around when you were going to charge the EV1.” G.M. built only 1,117 of the experimental cars because it believed that American drivers would not buy such an affront to the national ideal of the open road.

Now, G.M. is planning two plug-in hybrid vehicles. Like the Toyota Prius and other available hybrids, the G.M. models will supplement their electric motors with power from internal combustion engines. What’s different is that most of the power for daily commuting will come from battery packs that can be recharged from ordinary household sockets. The new models are expected to have a range of at least 40 miles without using their gas engines. While that is less than the range of the all-electric EV1, the hybrid nature of the new models will give them far greater total range.
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Friday, March 09, 2007

Geneva motor show highlights eco-friendly cars

Fuel efficiency and the need for more eco-friendly cars are key themes at the 77th Geneva International Motor Show, which opened on Thursday.

The event, which is expected to attract more than 700,000 visitors, features over 80 European and international vehicle premieres, including models from Russia and for the first time China.

Hybrid cars are a big theme at this year's show, as was the case last year. Many new cars at the show use alternative energy or alternative engines.

According to the organizers of the show, the development of new technologies was a major concern for car manufacturers facing global warming and tougher emission limits, and many big manufacturers are showing off their green credentials at this year's motor show.

Saab, for example, is presenting its BioPower 100 concept car that runs on pure bioethanol. Honda is unveiling a hybrid sports car, while Volkswagen is bringing its Passat BlueMotion.

"You will notice that it is no longer mainly the temple of power, performance at all costs, speed, or a form of gigantism, but a temple of new technologies, invented to take account of other constraints that are vital for the future of us all," said Luc Argand, president of the motor show.

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Bush Hails Biofuels Pact in Brazil

Associated Press Writer

SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) -- At a mega fuel depot for tanker trucks, President Bush heralded a new ethanol agreement with Brazil Friday as way to boost alternative fuels production across the Americas. Demonstrators upset with Bush's visit here worry that the president and his biofuels buddy, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, really have visions of an OPEC- like cartel on ethanol.
But Bush and Silva said increasing alternative fuel use will lead to more jobs, a cleaner environment and greater independence from the whims of the oil market. In Brazil, nearly eight in 10 new cars already run on fuel made from sugar cane.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Going, Going Green

As global warming changes the planet, it is changing the sports world. To counter the looming environmental crisis, surprising and innovative ideas are already helping sports adapt

By Alexander Wolff

The next time a ball game gets rained out during the September stretch run, you can curse the momentary worthlessness of those tickets in your pocket. Or you can wonder why it got rained out -- and ask yourself why practice had to be called off last summer on a day when there wasn't a cloud in the sky; and why that Gulf Coast wharf where you used to reel in mackerel and flounder no longer exists; and why it's been more than one winter since you pulled those titanium skis out of the garage.

Global warming is not coming; it is here. Greenhouse gases -- most notably carbon dioxide produced by burning coal, oil and gas -- are trapping solar heat that once escaped from the Earth's atmosphere. As temperatures around the globe increase, oceans are warming, fields are drying up, snow is melting, more rain is falling, and sea levels are rising.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Fuel-efficient engines, vehicles on offer at Geneva Motor Show

FRANKFURT, Germany: Fuel efficiency through new technology and hybrid vehicles will be a top theme at this year's Geneva Motor Show, with DaimlerChrysler displaying a lower-emission diesel engine and Toyota unveiling its Hybrid X concept marrying an electric motor with a gas engine.

The 77th edition of the show comes amid stronger concern about global warming and the environment, and a debate about auto emission limits in Europe. One sharp focus is on making engines more fuel-efficient and more environmentally conscious — while helping to maintain a healthy bottom line.

DaimlerChrysler AG's Mercedes brand will unveil its BLUETEC emission-control technology in combination with a consumption-optimized four-cylinder diesel, an engine that could lower emissions while increasing gas mileage.

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Woodchips to fuel European cars

A NEW road fuel made from woodchips and straw will be launched in Europe later this year from a pilot plant developed by Shell and Choren Industries, the German biofuel company.
The synthetic diesel, made using a novel biomass-to-liquids (BTL) process, will eradicate many of the current concerns about the biodiesel industry by using waste plant material instead of valuable food crops. The pilot plant, near Freiberg in eastern Germany, will produce 15,000 tonnes a year of synthetic diesel, dubbed Sunfuel.
Most first-generation biofuels, such as ethanol, are made from food crops such as sugar, rapeseed and palm oil. Growing concern about global warming and the consequent rising interest in alternative fuels have caused the cost of food crops to soar.

It is the second major investment in biofuels for Shell in as many weeks after it secured a $US80 million ($102 million) grant from the US Government to build a plant in Idaho, which will produce cellulosic ethanol from plant waste and straw.

Construction of a much bigger plant in Schleswig-Holstein, costing E500 million ($839 million) and capable of producing 200,000 tonnes of BTL, will begin next year in an effort to quickly bring the product up to commercial scale.

Energy companies are under huge, and increasing, political and regulatory pressure to find low-carbon alternatives to conventional road fuels.

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BMW And Daimlerchrysler Rev Up Development of Premium Hybrid Cars

MUNICH, Germany — In the race to bring premium hybrid cars to market, the BMW Group and DaimlerChrysler announced on Thursday that they are expanding their collaboration and hustling to develop a mild hybrid-type module for rear-wheel-drive premium cars. The plan is to roll out the new system within the next three years on BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

The surprising part of the announcement is that it did not include any reference to General Motors, which formed an "alliance of equals" with the two German automakers in 2005 at the Hybrid Development Center in Troy, Michigan. The initial agreement called for the joint development of a two-mode hybrid drive system that cuts fuel consumption.

"No, we're not involved [in the expansion of the collaboration between BMW and DaimlerChrysler]," GM spokesman Brian Corbett told Inside Line. "It's my understanding all that work will be done in Europe for European cars. They want to go a different route." Corbett emphasized that the companies are "still cooperating on core two-mode hybrid technology." He added there is still the "possibility of additional luxury [GM] vehicles with hybrid" drive being developed.
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