Transportation

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What The BP Disaster Teaches Us: Natural Gas Matters

“Perfect is the enemy of the good.” — Voltaire [Dictionnaire Philosophique — 1764] Yesterday’s news from the Gulf was better than it has been: BP has begun to make consequential strides at plugging the deep-water oil leak. Since the explosion, we’ve seen dramatic responses from the left (no more oil and gas exploration), the right […]

July 16th

Daimler’s First Electric Car

Most odd stories relating to the environment tend to revolve around researchers and scientists and their slightly off the wall discoveries. But not so today. Today, in news of the weird — or at least slightly surreal — I bring you Daimler, the German automaker, who announced last week their very first hybrid car, the […]

June 30th

More Money for the Auto Industry

Three more car companies received sizeable loans from the federal government yesterday, but don’t worry; it’s not another bailout. In fact, the$8 billion is just the start of a larger $25 billion project called the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program (ATVM for short) that was thought up back in 2007 and funded by Congress […]

June 24th

Unwrap a Smile…& Throw It in the Gas Tank

Ethanol and biodiesel. Corn? Certainly. Soybean? Of course. Sugar cane? In Brazil. Algae? Okay, sure. Why not? But McKee Foods has a new idea, and I can guarantee you aren’t expecting it. The maker of Little Debbie and Sunbelt snacks is far from the only American company to worry about the rising cost of fuel for their trucks or to consider greening their manufacturing plants. But they are currently looking into one of the more innovative possibilities to solve both problems simultaneously.

March 14th

B-cycle: Can it work in the U.S.?

Today Alex Bogusky, Chairman of Crispin Porter + Bogusky is set to speak at SXSW on the topic of bike sharing. CPB is one of the three founding partners of B-cycle, a concept which has been quietly gaining support in cities around the U.S. and which has been launched, under another company, to a degree of success in Paris. The question is, can it succeed here?

March 13th

Green Aspects at Heavenly Ski Resort

With the recent “storm watch” as the local news stations like to dramatically call it, an onslaught of much needed snow hit the Lake Tahoe region and the ski resorts. Of course, we had to be on hand to check the falling beauty. So, it appears for now that Mother Nature got a late start […]

February 20th

The Eco-Friendly Skies: Greening the Airline Industry

Yet another product has been added to the list of new and innovative things we can make from corn. Recently, Dupont Tate & Lyle Bio Products announced that, working in conjunction with Kilfrost, a major producer of de- and anti-icing fluids for aircraft, they have come up with a new de-icer derived from non-petroleum sources – namely, corn and sugar.

February 12th

A Bleak Outlook for Biofuel

The downturn in the national economy has hit just about every major industry. And now it seems that ethanol is no exception. Yesterday, Archer Daniels Midland Co., or ADM, a major U.S. producer of ethanol, stated that ethanol production in the U.S. has dropped 21% since last year. Falling oil prices, a decrease in overall demand, and low profit margins are to blame.

February 5th

Senate Stimulus Tax Plan Offers Incentives For Plug-In Electric Cars

Energy tax provisions slated for the massive economic stimulus bill include expanded incentives for plug-in electric vehicles.

Now that’s some seriously good news even though gas prices are the lowest they have been in a long time.

The Senate unveiled yesterday that they would mark up the $272 billion tax measure as they are a promising way to help curb reliance on oil imports by effectively allowing electric power to substitute for oil-based transportation fuels. The energy provisions total more than $30 billion over the course of a decade.

January 28th

The Chevy Volt: Coming Soon to a Dealership Near You

Last week at the Detroit auto show, new, battery-powered, green cars reigned supreme. General Motors announced finalized plans for its Chevrolet Volt, which will be on the market in both fully electric and plug-in hybrid forms by late 2010. LG Chem, a South Korean company, won the much anticipated contract to manufacture the Volt’s lithium-ion batteries, beating out several other contenders, including Massachusetts’s A123Systems and Germany’s Continental AG.

January 21st

Electric Innovation

Changing consumer behavior can be a slow painful process. Not only does it require educational efforts but often widespread systemic conformity is required. However innovation has radically altered some of our most fundamental behaviors. Globally, we now access cash from a machine and we carry and use mobile phones for a significant percentage of our calling. Its this type of basic change that will be required to have significant impact on socially and environmentally responsible consumption habits.

January 15th

To Build a Better Battery

In the 1980s, the United States semiconductor industry was saved from moving completely overseas by the formation of a consortium called Sematech, a coalition of businesses designed to promote research and foster partnerships among the members. In a recent and similar move, the U.S. lithium ion battery industry has formed the National Alliance for Advanced Transportation Battery Cell Manufacture, which they are thankfully just calling the “Alliance” for the sake of brevity, to support the development and manufacture of new battery technology for hybrid and electric vehicles and to maintain a competitive edge against the Asian companies currently dominating the market.

January 9th