THE Environmental Protection Agency’s latest proposed tightening of limits on sulfur in gasoline, and its previous rules, will most likely have the perverse consequence of retarding the development of cars running on batteries, advanced biofuels or hydrogen — all promising but expensive technologies that have not become mass-market products.
At the least, domestically produced gasoline and rapid advances in technology to make the internal combustion engine more efficient are likely to help the conventional automobile survive against competition from vehicles powered by electricity, natural gas and other cleaner alternatives.
The E.P.A. last week announced its proposed new Tier 3 rules sharply reducing allowable amounts of sulfur in gasoline, which would help automobiles’ catalytic converters to capture more pollutants. Tier 1, the E.P.A.’s first set of rules, was established two decades ago, under the Clean Air Act of 1990. Tier 2 was a refinement in 2000.
The EPA has proposed new standards for both cars and fuels that will help reduce pollution and improve efficiency in vehicles.
The EPA’s new standard proposal for cars and gasoline will aid in achieving lower pollution at the lowest cost. By decreasing the amount of emissions caused by motor vehicles and their fuel, the standard can help prevent up to 2,400 premature deaths and 23,000 cases of respiratory illnesses in children per year. Read the rest of this entry »
For a century, almost all light-duty vehicles (LDVs) have been powered by internal combustion engines (ICEs) operating on petroleum fuels. Energy security concerns over petroleum imports and the effect of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions on global climate are driving interest in alternatives. This report assesses the potential for reducing petroleum consumption and GHG emissions by 80% across the U.S. LDV fleet by 2050, relative to 2005. It examines the current capability and estimated future performance and costs for each vehicle type and non-petroleum-based fuel technology as options that could significantly contribute to these goals. By analyzing scenarios that combine various fuel and vehicle pathways, the report also identifies barriers to implementation of these technologies and suggests policies to achieve the desired reductions. Several scenarios are promising, but strong, effective, and sustained but adaptive policies such as research and development (R&D), subsidies, energy taxes, or regulations will be necessary to overcome barriers such as cost and consumer choice.
(Reuters) – U.S. distributors and freight hauliers have held down diesel consumption even as their business recovers from recession by making thousands of small changes to their operations.
Improved driver training, restrictions on idling and careful route planning to reduce deadheads (where vehicles travel empty) are all reducing consumption of expensive diesel while helping companies promote their green credentials.
“In 2011, we achieved almost 69 percent improvement in fleet efficiency over our 2005 baseline,” Wal-Mart boasted in its 2012 Global Responsibility Report. “We delivered 65 million more cases, while driving 28 million fewer miles, by increasing our pallets per trailer and better managing our routes.”
“Our network efficiency improvement equates to avoiding nearly 41,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent to taking 7,900 cars off the road,” the company wrote. Read the rest of this entry »
Truckers considering natural gas as an alternative to high-priced diesel say the cost of vehicles that run on the cheap and cleaner-burning fuel is still too high for them to see a timely payback on their investment.
A push to run more of the nation’s truck fleet on cleaner, domestically produced natural gas is rapidly gaining momentum.
Suppliers like T. Boone Pickens’ Clean Energy Fuels, Royal Dutch Shell and China’s private ENN Group are scrambling to build natural gas fueling stations along U.S. highways, while Cummins-Westport Inc will begin later this year selling a 12-liter natural gas engine able to power the biggest trucks on the road.
Baltimore – Making vehicle fuel from landfill gas is not just for the big boys anymore.
Disposal sites no longer have to generate thousands, or even several hundred, cubic feet of landfill gas each minute to make a vehicle fueling system economical to operate, attendees at the recent Landfill Methane Outreach Program Conference and Project Expo in Baltimore learned.
Range is increasingly becoming a non-issue with EVs as this latest story from alternative energy company Silex Power attests. On the tiny island nation of Malta, Silex Power is quietly developing a luxury EV it claims will blow all other EVs out of the water when it comes to miles-per-charge. That includes the Tesla Model S’s incredible 265-mile-per-charge title.
Called the Chreos, Silex is announcing the vehicle will go an unbelievable 621 miles between charges. While you are chewing on that, let me tell you the other astounding claim: it takes only 10 minutes to charge.
This super EV makes use of a proprietary system Silex refers to as hypercharging, and owners will have the chance to plug the Chreos into a high-voltage charging station–you guessed it–developed specifically to accommodate the car’s speedy charge.
Compare the hypercharge to Tesla’s system for the Model S, which the company calls supercharging. The latter takes over an hour to charge, however.
In a few decades from now, oil deposits throughout the world would be waning out, a sign which is being manifested in form of rising oil prices. Such escalations in the prices have brought various countries throughout the world to think about various other alternate energy sources. Countries like Spain, Japan, Germany, United States, etc have been actively researching and developing ways to harness renewable energy from sources such as wind, sun, water, geothermal, biomass fuel, etc. These efforts have produced results in various countries and they are gradually trying to lower their oil exports.
Governments throughout the world are targeting the alternative fuel sources for running their machines and creating electricity. By understanding how does solar power work, they are able to harness the solar energy to electrify cities. Biomass fuel is being used for running bio fuel cars. Besides lowering the consumption of oil, these alternative fuels for cars have lowered the carbon dioxide emission. In a few countries, buses are being run on fish oil. Waste cooking oil from restaurants is used to run the machines in parks and gaming stations. Even, there have been trial runs of aircraft using bio fuels. Some companies are coming up with engines for cars, which can run on alternative fuels for cars. Undoubtedly, renewable energy resources are being harnessed for various uses and such trysts have been successful. Encouraging signs are in plenty that alternate energy sources can be utilized, but still a few aspects need review and reconsideration. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s probably hard for detractors of electric vehicles to believe, but reports are that California is beginning to experience a shortage of EV charging stations in public parking garages like those found at malls. With only a few charging stations available and many more electric and plug-in hybrid cars parked in these garages, the need for additional infrastructure is becoming evident, at least on the West Coast.
But it isn’t as though we already aren’t seeing a lot of infrastructure growth. In the last year, the number of charging stations took a 130% jump over the number of public stations available the previous year. In fact, over the past five years, there has been an average increase of about 90% each year, according to PA Consulting Group.
Regulatory incentives by both the federal government as well as local entities for installing public charging stations have helped give a boost to on-the-go powering up potential. No doubt the drop in average cost of a station–from around $10,000 to only about $2,000 (excluding installation, which varies)–has had a dramatic influence as well.
Trash haulers continue on what one observer calls a remarkable journey toward the increased adoption of natural-gas-powered collection vehicles.
Joanna D. Underwood, as president of Energy Visionin New York City, has kept an eye on the transportation sector’s use of alternative fuels for years. Her non-profit group promotes a shift away from petroleum-based fuel and has a particularly keen interest in the garbage business.
“We have a real shift taking place now that it has become clear that this fuel is the cleanest commercially available for these large fleets, period, that it’s reducing greenhouse gases, that the technology of using natural gas is sophisticated,” Underwood said.
“The trucks are high-performance trucks, the drivers are less exposed to diesel fuels. It’s a remarkable shift that’s taking place after a century of relying only on petroleum-based fuels,” she said. Read the rest of this entry »