The BMW i8 is now available as a rental from LA-based, green-car-focused MPG Car Rental. The service allows those curious about the car to give it a try without committing to buy one, or to serve as a test drive if the dealership doesn't have one available. It also allows those on a waiting list to purchase the i8 to take some of the sting out of the wait and get behind the wheel much sooner. And, of course, renting the i8 is a way to dress up your drive for a night on the town. Read more in the
USDA Funds Biofuels; Enzymes Make Better Biodiesel
Washington Governor Jay Inslee wants extend tax breaks for EVs past the July 1 expiration date. He also calls for looking into allowing EVs use of carpool lanes and creating charging infrastructure. Inslee sees encouraging electric driving as a way to help mitigate climate change, but detractors within the state don't like the idea of giving priorities to certain drivers. "I'm not enthusiastic about a subsidy that picks winners and losers and doesn't help the middle class," says representative R
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not going to decide just yet how much biofuel to add to the national fuel supply in the future. Last year, the EPA said, for the first time ever, that it might reduce the biofuel component in American gas, but is now saying that the 2014 standards rule will be "significantly delayed."
When sewage is treated at a wastewater treatment facility, biosolids are the byproduct. After being separated from the water, biosolids are usually sent to a landfill or incinerated. That doesn't mean that they're without value, however. Vitruvian Energy has created a process to make a usable fuel out of this human waste product, and while the source is pretty gross, it is undeniably abundant, and the results are much cleaner.
National Biodiesel Board Elects Leadership; DOE Reports Progress In Hydrogen Production
A couple who won a Toyota Mirai at the Los Angeles Auto Show are among the first people to own the new fuel-cell sedan. Marianne Ellis bought the winning ticket - auctioned off by the Environmental Media Association to fund environmental programs - as a possible 30th anniversary gift for her husband, David. The excited couple picked up their ceremonial keys at the LA Auto Show on Wednesday. "For us, it's about being at the cutting edge of change," says Marianne Ellis. "It's a chance to support e
EIA Predicts More Ethanol Next Year, Shorter Oil Supply In Coming Years; EV Interface Controller now available
Andromeda Interfaces has launched its Electric Vehicle Interface Controller (EVIC), which displays and allows the user to visualize various vehicle systems. Users can monitor their EVs battery usage, motor controllers and vehicle charging. The EVIC gathers various data - voltage, cell temperatures, amperage, etc. - from the car and displays it in a user-friendly way using easy-to-understand graphics. The EVIC is currently available through Andromeda Interfaces' website. Read more in the press re
Singer's Biofuel Plans Looked Good In 2008, But Not In 2014
Here's a blast from the past, the name BioWillie hasn't been heard on these pages since 2008, and its reappearance today isn't a bit of good news. The ambitious plan from country music singer WIllie Nelson to help American farmers by turning their crops into American fuel for American truckers (are you noticing a theme?) has officially come to an end.
KiOR Biofuel Company Bankrupt; Car2go To Hit 1 Million Users; VIA eREV Vans EPA Certified
Biofuel company KiOR has filed for bankruptcy. KiOR, which was born out of a partnership between Khosla Ventures and Dutch biofuel startup BIOeCON, has debts numbering $261.31 million, with just $58.27 million in assets. The company produced biocrude from cellulosic biomass, but was unable to meet its production targets at its facility in Columbus, MS, and was also facing quality problems and accused mismanagement. KiOR shuttered its biocrude plant earlier this year, and suffered a huge loss in
GKN Develops Two-Speed eAxle; Why EVs Failed The First Time Around
Honda will begin sales in Japan of the Legend Sport Hybrid SH-AWD in January. The Legend is Japan's answer to the Acura RLX Sport Hybrid sold in the US. Up front, the new flagship sedan uses a 3.5-liter V6 with cylinder deactivation and a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission with integrated electric motor. In the rear, a dual electric motor unit supplies power to the wheels. The three electric motors are also used for generating electricity during deceleration. The car has three drive modes, in
Ford F-150 To Fight Ram 1500 EcoDiesel For MPG; DOE Funds Algal Biofuel Development
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive is in a new music video for I Lived by OneRepublic. The band's singer, Ryan Tedder, has also been brought on as a brand ambassador for the German automaker. OneRepublic will also be performing the song at the Mercedes-Benz Media Night on the eve of the Paris Motor Show. No word if Mercedes plans to offer hordes of screaming teenage fans as an option package with the B-Class Electric Drive. See the video (the car shows up around the four-minute mark) or re
Chevrolet Express Van Offers Renewable Fuel Options; Renault To Build Fluence ZE In China; Germany Lifts Uber Ban
Chevrolet offers versions of its Express passenger van with B20 biodiesel and E85 capability. Customers can buy the van with the Duramax turbodiesel V8, which is compatible with the 20-percent biodiesel blend. There is also a FlexFuel V8, which can use the 85-percent ethanol gasoline blend. It's a great option for shuttling the whole soccer team to practice using renewable fuels. Read more at Domestic Fuels.
US, Chilean Navies Move To Alternative Fuels; CA Funds EV Charging Expansion
The US and Chilean navies have agreed to work together to develop alternative fuels for ships and aircraft. As a move toward better energy security, the two countries want to develop "drop-in alternative fuels," namely biofuels, to reduce dependence on foreign oil and ensure a reliable supply and cost. The US Navy wants to have 50 percent of "organizational consumption" come from alternative energy sources by 2020. The US is moving toward primarily using a biofuel and petroleum blend, and wants
US And EU Considering Lowering Biofuel Targets; GM Brings Bikesharing To Tech Center
Volvo is officially introducing its 7900 Electric Hybrid bus at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Germany next month. The coach bus reduces carbon emissions by up to 75 percent, and does its part to reduce noise pollution as well. It uses 60 percent less energy than comparable diesel buses. In city routes, it runs on electricity an average of 70 percent of the time. Volvo has also introduced safety features like auto brake technology to help avoid and mitigate collisions. Read more in the pres
Southeastern Illinois College wants to create a biofuel processing certification program. The school is waiting to hear about receiving $750,000 from a US Department of Labor grant that would allow it to expand its Biofuels Education curriculum to include certification for manufacturing biodiesel and ethanol. There are currently no such programs in existence, and its development would require Labor Department approval as well as input from biofuel companies. Southeastern Illinois College believe
New Street-Legal Polaris Utility EV; Formula E Is Free At Long Beach
A UC Davis white paper maps out "Three Routes Forward for Biofuels," balancing investment risk with carbon benefits. The first option is "incremental," in which we tinker with the existing biofuel manufacturing infrastructure for small improvements over time. The "transitional" plan suggests integrating cellulosic production and other innovations with existing operations. The third route, called "leapfrogging," would mean building refineries based on new technology such as cellulosic and algae-b
A new Minnesota law that requires biodiesel blends goes into effect in just a few days, says KELO. Diesel drivers in Minnesota will be pumping soybeans into their tank beginning July 1. Every year, diesel will be sold as a B10 blend (ten percent biofuel) from April through August, and will scale back to a cold-hardy B5 blend from September through March. The biofuel largely comes from soybean crops grown within Minnesota, and the biodiesel industry pumps more than $900 million into the state eco
The Department of Energy has made it clear that it favors a technology-somewhat-neutral, "all-of-the-above" strategy for developing energy alternatives for the US, as the new Strategic Plan 2014-2018 (PDF) states. What this looks like in the real world is another $10 million for "Technologies to Produce Advanced Biofuel Products from Biomass."
And now for something completely different. That would be from our friends at Extreme Biodiesel, which is in escrow to buy 40 acres of farmland in California. The reason? It wants to cultivate hemp specifically for the conversion to biodiesel. Tailpipe emissions have never been as sweet.
Hundreds of thousands of people are waiting for the US Environmental Protection Agency to issue its final ruling on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Over 110,000 signatures were collected by the group VoteVets.org (often politically active on energy issues), which delivered its petition with Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. Over 35,000 of those signatures were from veterans and military family members.
The green car rhetoric of President Obama's State Of The Union speech last night was much, much softer than it was three years ago. That was when he spoke about a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. It was even less vociferous than last year, when Obama said we could take money given to oil and gas companies and put it into an "Energy Security Trust." So, what is the state of the green car union for 2014? In a word: renewable. In two more words: natural gas.