Enter your Email


Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz


Archive for the 'Sustainable Transportation' Category

NEWS WATCH! CLEAN GREEN RETRO MASS TRANSIT RE-EMERGES

Posted in Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Clean Energy, Conscious Actions, Eco -Chic, Global Warming, News Brief, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Transportation on August 15th, 2008

OVER 40 US CITIES CONSIDER RESTORING STREETCAR LINES AS SMOG -FREE MASS TRANSIT ALTERNATIVE.

seattle-streetcar-opening-d.jpgMost of us are too young to remember streetcars; those early twentieth century train/bus hybrid vehicles powered by overhead electric lines that ran on rails flush with the pavement, stopping frequently to pick up and disgorge passengers from entrance/exits on both sides.

Well it appears that this novel, fun means of early twentieth century transportation is just what the doctor ordered to help relieve deadlock in today’s overcrowded clean-energy conscious world.

Citing reasons including spurring economic development, easing traffic congestion and as a way to draw hip young professionals and empty-nest baby boomers back from the suburbs, over forty US cities are considering reactivating streetcars, which for the most part fell victim in the late 1940’s through mid 1950’s to aggressive automobile and oil industry lobbying.

More than a dozen US cities already have existing streetcar lines, including New Orleans, Portland, Seattle, Tacoma and San Francisco, while Denver, Houston, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City and Charlotte, N.C., either have already introduced, or are planning to introduce streetcars.

At a cost of about $3 million dollars per streetcar and an average capacity of 130 passengers per car, it seems that this is a bargain that cities can not afford to let pass them by, particularly with all of the uncertainty surrounding future fuel prices and the crap that our country has to put up with from oil producing nations.

Now if we could only get the electricity to power the streetcars from clean renewable sources, it would be a win-win for everyone.

- – Denis

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

AMAZON RAINFOREST NUTS HELP FUEL FIRST BIOFUEL FLIGHT

Posted in Clean Energy, Conscious Actions, Eco Warriors, Ethical Business, News Brief, Sustainable Transportation on February 25th, 2008

A VIRGIN ATLANTIC JUMBO JET FLIES FROM LONDON TO AMSTERDAM WITH ONE OF ITS FUEL TANKS FILLED WITH A BIO-JET BLEND OF BABASSU OIL AND COCONUT OIL

virginjet2.jpegBritish billionaire Richard Branson, the principle shareholder of Virgin Atlantic Airways and numerous other Virgin named companies, went on record the latter part of last year pledging to incorporate bio fuels into his airline’s fuel mix. Yesterday, he did so.

A biofuel mix is reported to have provided 25 percent of the fuel for yesterdays jumbo jet flight from London to Amsterdam. The biofuel was a blend of 20 percent neat biofuel composed of among other ingredients, Babassu oil and coconut oil, and 80 percent conventional jet fuel. According to Branson, tests have shown it was possible to fly with as much as a 40 percent blend.

Branson went on to say that it was unlikely the nut of the wild growing babassu palm would play a key role as airlines turn to renewable fuel sources. The nut was used for the test, as the company did not want to use any product where they would be “competing with staple food sources.”

Branson agrees with yours truly that algae produced in places like sewage treatment farms is the most likely future source of renewable fuel for the airline industry.

This is not Virgin’s first experiment with bio-fuels. Last year, Virgin started to power some of its trains using a fuel containing 20 percent biodiesel produced mainly using British rapeseed oil blended with U.S. soybean oil and palm oil from the Far East.

READ MORE….

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

BACTERIA REACTOR BRINGS HYDROGEN FUEL CARS CLOSER

Posted in Alternative Energy, Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Clean Energy, News Brief, Sustainable Transportation on November 13th, 2007

NEW TECHNOLOGY CAN EFFICIENTLY PRODUCE HYDROGEN FUEL FROM ANY TYPE OF BIODEGRADABLE ORGANIC MATTER

altfuelcars.jpgThe dream of using hydrogen, the most plentiful element in the universe, as a green fuel to cut climate change moves a step closer today with the announcement that it can be made with the help of bacteria.

Public transport systems worldwide are moving toward hydrogen-powered engines as an alternative to petrol engines, because they burn hydrogen to produce only water. But the problem is that most hydrogen available today is produced by expensive processes that require the burning of polluting fossil fuels, such as natural gas.

Now scientists have developed a method that relies on bacteria in a specially designed reactor that can efficiently produce hydrogen fuel from any type of biodegradable organic matter, so that a glorified compost heap could protentially provide an abundant source of the clean-burning energy.

MORE….

Source: UK Telegraph

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

GENERAL MOTORS TO ROLL OUT BILLION-DOLLAR TEST OF FUEL CELL TECHNOLOGY

Posted in Alternative Energy, Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Clean Energy, Cool Products, News Brief, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Transportation on November 6th, 2007

COMPANY TIRES OF WAITING FOR THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION TO MAKE GOOD ON ITS 2003 PROMISE TO MAKE FUEL CELL TECHNOLOGY THE REPLACEMENT FOR THE GASOLINE ENGINE

altfuelcars.jpg In 2003, President George W. Bush called for a billion-dollar initiative. These clean battery-like devices produce electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen and giving off only water.

But four years down the road, not many besides California’s Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger have been behind the wheel of a fuel-cell car, and a big reason for this is the paucity of hydrogen fuel filling stations.

“The infrastructure is not evolving fast enough,” said Britta Gross, General Motors manager of hydrogen infrastructure and strategic commercialization.

Not waiting for the so-called “hydrogen highway” to be built, GM has launched its own Project Driveway, in which 110 Chevy Equinoxes equipped with hydrogen fuel cells will be lent—at no charge—to ordinary customers for 3-month test periods.

MORE….

Source: Live Science

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

CAR-SHARING SERVICES ON BOTH COASTS, MERGE

Posted in Cool Products, Eco Warriors, Sustainable Transportation on November 2nd, 2007

ZIPCAR BACKED BY BENCHMARK, GREYLOCK AND GLOBESPAN AND FLEXCAR BACKED BY STEVE CASE’S REVOLUTION, MERGE

flexcar2.jpgVenture-backed Zipcar, whose by-the-hour car-sharing service is used by college students and urban dwellers, is merging with Flexcar, a cross-continent rival service funded by Steve Case’s Revolution, the companies said Wednesday.

In a conference call, Scott Griffith, chairman and chief executive of the combined company, said the top post-merger shareholders will be venture capital funders Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, Globespan Capital Partners, and Revolution.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Jonathan Seelig, a managing director at Boston-based Globespan, said in a telephone interview that bigger is better in the car-share business. “This business is better at scale,” he said. “I love that I can use cars in San Francisco, where I travel frequently and Seattle, where I also spend some time. It’s about more people, more cars, more places.”

The only markets where the companies compete head-to-head are San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Zipcar operates in markets including New York City, Boston, Toronto, and London. Flexcar operates in Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Seattle, where its headquarters were located.

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

SALES OF HYBRID CARS UP 49% SO FAR THIS YEAR

Posted in Alternative Energy, Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Eco -Chic, Sustainable Transportation on September 20th, 2007

SALES SURGE ATTRIBUTED TO HIGH GAS PRICES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS

prius.jpg U.S. sales of new hybrid cars were up 49 percent in the first seven months of this year, due largely to a boom in sales in the Midwest, an auto information and marketing company said Monday.

Oklahoma led all states with a 143 percent increase in hybrid sales compared with January-July 2006, said Southfield-based R.L. Polk & Co. Hawaii was the only state to report a decline in hybrid sales.

Hybrid sales were up 57 percent in the Midwest, the most of any region. The Toyota Prius and the hybrid version of the Toyota Camry were the most popular models there. Hybrid sales rose 52 percent in the West, 49 percent in the Northeast and 42 percent in the South.

Lonnie Miller, director of industry analysis for R.L. Polk, said hybrids are a bright spot in a U.S. market that is otherwise down. Miller predicted total U.S. hybrid sales will exceed 300,000 this year, or more than 2 percent of all sales. U.S. consumers bought 254,545 hybrids in 2006.

MORE….

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

SCOOTING ALL OVER TOWN

Posted in Conscious Actions, Cool Products, Eco -Chic, Global Warming, Miscellaneous, Sustainable Transportation on August 20th, 2007

AN ENVIRONMENTALLY SANE MODE OF TRANSPORT OR THE LATEST FASHION STATEMENT?

SCOOTERS2.jpg All cynicism aside, in today’s era of the three dollar gallon of gas, it is good to see people making creative substitutions for their normal modes of transportation. Scooters are particularly viable in warmer climates where one does not have to concern themselves with snow and freezing rain. Maybe Audrey Hepburn had it right in Roman Holiday, after all, and we just were not paying attention.

-LIB

All over America, riding a scooter is suddenly chic, not to mention economical. Scooter sales are skyrocketing, say manufacturers, with women making up nearly half of the buyers in many cities. Every time gas prices rise, say dealers, the phones start ringing. While the concentration of riders is mostly urban, in cities such as Miami, Seattle and New York, there are emerging pockets of new scooteristas in such unlikely spots as Texas and the Carolinas.

MORE….

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

NEW BATTERY TECH MAKES THE PLUG-IN HYBRID A REALITY

Posted in Alternative Energy, Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Clean Energy, News Brief, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Transportation on August 7th, 2007

IMAGINE 100 MPG WITHOUT SACRIFICING SPEED AND EFFICIENCY?

pluginhybrid.jpg Step aside ethanol, natural gas, hydrogen and all the other forms of alternative fuels currently in development. The big news in the fight against traditional fossil fuel dependence is the development by Massachusetts-based A123 Systems of a working lithium-ion battery, which when installed would convert existing gas /electric hybrids into plug-in vehicles capable of getting 100 mpg. Best of all the cost of the electric needed to fill this battery would be less than fifty cents per day.

Well, that is the good news. The bad news is the near- unreachable price of this new technology, currently estimated in the ten thousand dollar range. But as is true in all tech creations, competition from the world’s suppliers, and the economies derived from mass production, should drive this price to where the plug-in conversation makes sense to more than just the best off among us.

Moreover, A123’s bean counters are alleged to be working to secure tax credits for those who make the conversion, virtually guaranteeing the technology catching on among those of us who already drive hybrids, as well as those new to the market.

For a review of one such plug-in Prius, keep reading after the jump.

-LIB

MORE….

Source: WSJ

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

TOYOTA TO ROAD TEST PLUG-IN HYBRID

Posted in Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Clean Energy, Eco -Chic, Global Warming, News Brief, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Transportation on July 25th, 2007

TEST VEHICLE USES LOW-CAPACITY NICKEL-METAL HYDRIDE BATTERIES

pluginhybrid.jpg Toyota Motor Corp. unveiled a “plug-in” hybrid car based on its popular Prius model Wednesday, saying it would test the fuel-saving vehicle on public roads – a first for the industry.

But the world’s biggest automaker said the car, called the Toyota Plug-in HV, was not fit for commercialization since it uses low-energy nickel-metal hydride batteries instead of lithium-ion batteries believed to be a better fit for rechargeable plug-in cars.

Unlike earlier gasoline-electric hybrids, which run on a parallel system twinning battery power and a combustion engine, plug-in cars are designed to enable short trips powered entirely by the electric motor, using a battery that can be charged through an electric socket at home.

Many environmental advocates see them as the best available technology to reduce gasoline consumption and global-warming greenhouse gas emissions, but engineers say battery technology is still insufficient to store enough energy for long-distance travel.

“It’s difficult to say when plug-in hybrids could be commercialized, since it would depend largely on advances in battery technology,” said Executive Vice President Masatami Takimoto, in charge of Toyota’s (Charts) powertrain technology, told a news conference.

MORE….

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

ZERO POLLUTION CAR TO ROLL OFF LINE IN ‘08

Posted in Alternative Energy, Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Clean Energy, Cool Products, News Brief, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Transportation on July 1st, 2007

COMPRESSED AIR TECHNOLOGY FINALLY TO MAKE BOW

airtruck.jpg The MiniC.A.T, the world’s first commonly available compressed air technology vehicle, is on the verge of mass scale production and expected to be available in selected markets sometime in 2008.

Constructed of fiberglass over a glued tubular chassis, this exciting new vehicle has a top speed of 68 mph with a range of 120 miles, making it a perfect choice for city drivers.

Developed by Moteur Developpement International (MDI) of France the MiniC.A.T will be available as a five passenger Family car and a three passenger Fun car as well as being configured as a Taxi, Pick-up truck and Delivery van, according to company founder and MiniC.A.T developer, Guy Nègre

The heart of the MINIC.A.T is a state of the art computer, which not only offers the standard array of system information, but also seamlessly integrates with virtually all of the external systems currently available, including: voice recognition, internet connectivity, GSM telephone connectivity, a GPS guidance system, fleet management systems, emergency systems, and all forms of digital entertainment.

The best part is that with the exception of one necessary cable, the entire car is wireless. Micro controllers are used throughout so that one tiny radio transmitter sends instructions to all of the cars lights, systems and indicators.

Most importantly, according to developer, Guy Nègre, the MINIC.A.T is incredibly cost-efficient to operate and is designed to be refilled at most fuel stations that are equipped with a high-pressure air compressor. According to company literature, the entire process will take less than three minutes and cost approximately $1.50.

What is unclear, however, is if the air compressor referenced above is the one used to power the hydraulics in most standard service stations, or is a piece of technology that will have to be added.

As a backup, MDI has designed into the vehicle a small stand-alone compressor, which plugs into standard household electric and will recharge the car in three to four hours.

As to maintenance, the absence of any form combustion and the toxic residue, which accompanies such a process, means that the cars oil, in this case standard vegetable oil, only needs changing every thirty thousand miles.

THE WAY THE CAR OPERATES

The first piston takes in ambient air and compresses it to
about 300psi and 200°F in the compression chamber during the first cycle of the engine.

When the pistons pause, a small amount of compressed
air from the tanks is injected with 450psi into the expansion chamber to create a low pressure, low temperature
volume.

The injected air is considerably cooler than the air in the
compression chamber and heats up rapidly, thereby expanding and increasing the pressure. Shortly before the piston begins its downward movement, the valve to the expansion cylinder is opened, what allows exploiting the available pressure to power the engine.

The air tanks, located underneath the vehicle, store the
compressed air in a reinforced carbon fiber tank with
thermoplastic liner. The tank volume is ~3,200ft3 and can store air at a pressure of up to ~4,500psi.


ZEVCAT
, a California company will make the car available initially in California. Numerous other companies throughout the world have signed licenses to distribute the car including Tata Motors of India.

In May 2007 Popular Mechanics reported that Tata Motors was scheduled to begin production in India, with cars available next year.

-LIB

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace