"Brown" continues to try to get all the more "green" via propane. UPS, known for its famous brown vehicles, is adding to its fleet of alt-fuel trucks with an additional 1,000 propane-powered delivery trucks that will start going into service in the middle of this year in rural areas in Louisiana and Oklahoma.
The Audi A3 Sportback G-Tron has been on our natural gas-powered radar since it was unveiled at last year's Geneva Motor Show. Just before the big show starts up again this year, Audi put the new G-Tron vehicle on sale in Germany today, starting at 25,900 euros ($35,400 US). Anyone who opts for the Audi e-gas fuel card will be able to cruise the Autobahn knowing that their emissions will be CO2-neutral.
As promised, the 2014 Honda Civic is about to get a little green update. A hybrid gas-electric version will join the standard 2014 Civic in Honda showrooms nationwide tomorrow and a natural gas-powered model will join the party on February 15th, but only in 37 states.
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.
Audi continues to try to build its green-car cred with one more partnership to produce synthetic fuels made from renewable resources. The German automaker is hooking up with France-based Global Bioenergies to make a synthetic biofuel called e-gasoline. Audi says making this e-gas "does not create competition with food production and farmland," nipping that argument in the bud.
Luxury SUV and non-luxury car shoppers are the most inclined to consider alternative fuel vehicles. Not surprisingly, consumers looking for trucks are the least likely, according to a 2013 study from Phoenix Marketing International (PMI). Fuel-efficient "clean diesel" luxury SUVs from German automakers are warming up luxury SUV shoppers to alt-fuel powertrains like electric, hybrid, hydrogen or natural gas – but those options haven't been enough yet for truck shoppers.
The Ford Motor Company is getting competitive on the compressed natural gas (CNG) truck front. While Detroit counterparts General Motors and Chrysler have a head start, Ford has begun manufacturing its 2014 F-150 – the first CNG/LPG-capable half-ton pickup – and the CNG engine will be extended to eight of its commercial vehicles.
Sales of natural-gas powered big rigs could jump as much as fivefold this year as falling prices for both natural gas and the carbon fuel tanks required for such trucks come down, the Wall Street Journal says.
The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze now comes in three fueling choices – gasoline, diesel, and natural gas. Conversion company Impco Automotive is offering a bi-fuel Cruze – compressed natural gas (CNG) and gasoline – that it claims is the first and only EPA certified 2014 model year bi-fuel passenger sedan on the US market.
General Motors is broadening its inventory of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles with the addition of two CNG passenger-van models for the 2014 model year. GM is also upgrading its two bi-fuel pickup lines for 2015.
Automakers have a tough sell reaching fuel economy standards in the US and Europe. Swiss researchers think the solution will have to come from a fusion of the technologies. Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich have developed a new engine that they say could get the equivalent of 80 miles per gallon. It's a hybrid that gets its power from a diesel engine, natural gas and an electric motor. That combination could achieve fuel economy numbers that are much, much higher
The US Department of Energy (DOE) is trying out a new solution to loans that have flopped – auctioning them off. A $50-million loan previously award to Vehicle Production Group LLC (VPG) through the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program (ATVMP) has gone unpaid. VPG, a maker of compressed natural gas-powered wheelchair-accessible vans, shut its doors in May after running out of cash.
At least one author is warning consumers not to be fooled by relatively steady gas prices and prognostications of plentiful petroleum. Richard Heinberg, in his book Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future is warning people that any prediction that the world has staved off the prospect of diminishing returns on continued oil drilling is inaccurate, and that the recent increase in supply may merely accelerate the overall decline.
US production of natural-gas vehicles is nothing new (Ford just announced a CNG F-150 today), it's not a huge market segment here. Nissan is banking on some pretty steady demand in Thailand, though, where the Japanese automaker is introducing a compressed natural gas (CNG) version of the Navara (known here as the Frontier) pickup truck, Green Car Congress reports. Nissan's first bi-fuel CNG motor will supply 154 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque to the truck. Nissan says "running costs" will be
UPS' gains on the emissions-reduction front may be more in the air than on the ground, but the massive shipping company does continue to make strides when it comes to reducing pollution with its vehicles. The company's sustainability report stated that UPS reduced its greenhouse-gas emissions by 2.1 percent last year, despite increased shipments. UPS airplanes reduced fuel-use by 1.3 percent as shipments rose 4.8 percent. Earlier this year, the shipper said it planned to add 1,000 liquefied natu
Yo-Auto, the Mikhail Prokhorov-owned automaker that's been making plans to build the first Russia-made hybrid car, will scale down production of its Yo-Mobile to less than half of its previous goal when the car goes live in 2015, Ria Novosti reports, citing company executive Andrei Ginzburg. The company, part of Prokhorov's Onexim Group, will make about 40,000 units a year, down from its prior target of about 90,000. There are also reports that Fiat will supply the engine for the hybrid, though
Congress is considering a revised version of the Open Fuel Standard Act, an Act that was originally introduced two years ago but failed to pass. Representatives Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced a bipartisan bill that would require more and more new vehicles to be able to run on at least some non-petroleum fuels. The requirements would be for 30 percent of new vehicles to be alt-fuel ready in 2016, 50 percent in 2017 and 50 percent in each subsequent year.
When one thinks of Russia and cars, innovation does not immediately spring to mind. One company may be changing that, however. The delightfully named Yo-Auto – or as it is only slightly less delightfully known in Russian, Yo-Avto – is taking a road technologically less-traveled with it ё-mobile (ё-мобиле) vehicles.