Thursday, April 25th, 2013
I never know what to make of the frequent references I come across to the International Monetary Fund. Who exactly are these mysterious and terribly powerful people? How do they work? What are their true motivations?
In any case, they most certainly get some points for (more…)
Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
I have been driving a Chevy VOLT for a year and a half. I have more than 26,000 miles on it, and have used 100 gallons of gasoline. That works out to more than 250 mpg. Of course, I have been charging the VOLT at home every night, and at the office during the day but my electric bills at both places are not noticeably higher. It would be nice if the electric range were a bit longer (more…)
Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
Is it possible to make gasoline with biomass? Some people think so and this is what CORE BioFuel has set out to do since it was founded in 2008.
The company’s mission is to commercialize its biomass-to-gasoline process, a patent-pending variant of ExxonMobil’s methanol-to-gasoline (MTG). (more…)
Tuesday, September 4th, 2012
Whiz-bang car technology allows hybrids to get 50 mpg, and electric cars to earn the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon. But you don’t have to go high-tech to improve your fuel efficiency. Significant gains in mpg are available to anybody paying attention to their tires, no matter what vehicle you drive. (more…)
Monday, September 28th, 2009
Converting hybrid vehicles — particularly the Prius and Ford Escape — into plug-in hybrids has become a profitable niche industry for a few specialty companies. But the net impact of this new mini-industry has been much greater by influencing consumer and industry opinions.
Promoting the technical feasibility of PHEVs has been a significant factor in the auto manufacturers’ decision to develop the dozens of plug-in and all-electric vehicles now scheduled for delivery in the next five years.
But the earliest and strongest voice promoting PHEVs isn’t happy with that limited success. Felix Kramer, the founder of CalCars.org, says that getting to a million electrified vehicles by 2015 won’t do nearly enough to address climate change and energy independence, and now he’s setting his sights on electrifying internal combustion engine vehicles. He’s clearly on to something.
Sunday, September 27th, 2009
The United States has entered a new energy era, ending a century of rising carbon emissions. As the U.S. delegation prepares for the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen in December, it does so from a surprisingly strong position, one based on a dramatic 9 percent drop in U.S. carbon emissions over the past two years and the promise of further huge reductions.
Prominent among these carbon-cutting initiatives are stronger automobile fuel-economy standards, appliance efficiency standards, and the potential to heat, cool and light buildings with carbon-free sources of electricity.
On the supply side are efforts supporting the development of U.S. wind, solar and geothermal energy resources.
Monday, September 21st, 2009
NPR’s On Point never disappoints, and their show with Christopher Steiner, author of $20 Per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline Will Change Our Lives for the Better was no exception. Steiner’s thesis is that as liquid hydrocarbons become all the more difficult to naturally extract and regulation makes them all the more costly to refine and use, prices will inevitably rise. At $20 a gallon, we might not recognize our lives…all for the better, says Steiner.
People will live and buy their locally-grown produce in mixed-use developments clustered around high-speed rail lines. In Steiner’s view, $6 a gallon is an inflection point that begins to redefine the way we live our lives. But, will innovation (or the US government) ever allow prices to remain at that level? Not according to Mark Mills, co-author of The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy.
Wednesday, August 5th, 2009
By all accounts the cash for clunkers incentive program has exceeded all expectations in both volume of sales, as well as answering skeptics by getting fuel inefficient vehicles off the road.
The new vehicles being purchased average nearly 10 mpg higher, saving nearly 4 million barrels of oil per year and eliminating the production of tons of greenhouse gases.
More importantly, the program and its surrounding attention seems to have driven consumers towards hybrids and fuel efficient vehicles even more than a 50 cent spike in the price of gasoline. According to Brian Benstock, the VP and GM of Paragon Honda and Acura, the program is also introducing new customers to imports. Benstock said the program has reversed the ratio of domestic/import trade-ins at his dealership. Previously about 70 percent of his customers were trading one import (mostly Hondas) for another. Now it’s the opposite: 70 percent of people walking in the door are swapping American made autos for Hondas.
Friday, July 31st, 2009
The cash for clunkers program is already proving too good to be true. The $1 billion in funds allocated for the program is almost gone after less than a week, and now congress is scrambling to get an additional $2 billion to extend the program.
With sales up at Ford and at dealerships, the program can be viewed as an unabashed success for the auto industry. And the environment is also winning, as the vehicles being purchased are estimated to be 69 percent more fuel efficient than the vehicles being dumped, according to the website CashForClunkersInformation.org.
Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
by agathabrown, turtleanddove
No, it’s not the latest CD from Verve, it’s the latest rumble from industry groups and states: Raise the percentage of ethanol blended into unleaded gasoline.
The current cap is 10 percent. An ethanol trade group called Growth Energy has formally requested an increase to 15 percent, saying it will create more than 100,000 jobs and pump more than $24 billion into the economy, Reuters reports. There’s also the added benefit of increasing the demand for ethanol by 6 billion gallons a year, MSNBC says.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is studying whether a higher blend would harm older cars. Some newer vehicles are designed to run on E-85 (an 85 percent blend).