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One US Department of Energy plug-in vehicle charging-station program is geared to turn this country into ... Norway? Not literally, but the DOE's EV Everywhere Workplace Charging Challenge was launched early last year to get more companies to install on-site charging stations in order to increase plug-in vehicle adoption. And while the uptake hasn't exactly caught up the rate of citizens in that notoriously EV-friendly Scandinavian country, the results are pretty impressive.

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There is death. There are taxes. And there is the US Department of Energy (DOE) periodically funding millions of dollars worth of grants towards advancing hydrogen fuel-cell technology. This time, the DOE says it will write checks for $20 million, and the goal is pretty specific: bringing the production and distribution costs of hydrogen to less than the equivalent of $4 a gallon.

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10.7 MPG doesn't sound like a lot, but 5.8 MPG used to be standard

Think 10 miles per gallon, and your mind may harken back to muscle cars along the line of the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard. Apply that figure to a semi-truck, though, and we're talking actual fuel-efficiency gains. That's what the four-year-old SuperTruck program shot for, and two of its four teams have already hit that goal.

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Hydrogen fuel-cell technology, it's still a California thing. At least, it is according to the US Department of Energy.

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The possibility of $1-a-gallon fuel would make a lot of US governmental entities sit up and take notice. The state of Oklahoma and the city of Dallas are making that happen. Those two entities are buying up a bunch of Ford F-150 pickups retrofitted to run on compressed natural gas (CNG), all in the name of cost savings and emissions reduction.

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Think of it as a plug-in pu pu platter, albeit a rather depressing one. That's the option cash-heavy investors with an eye for electrified light-duty vehicles had as charging-station maker Ecotality joined Fisker Automotive among entities whose assets were up for auction last week.

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In Blink electric-vehicle charging-station maker Ecotality's case, less juice from the banks and government means less juice for its customers. A funding shortfall is forcing Ecotality to address a software glitch within approximately 12,000 stations by reducing the power they supply to plugged-in plug-in vehicles.

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US retailers decided to take part of the summer off when it came to deploying new public electric-vehicle chargers. The installation pace for these stations slowed slightly the last two months after reaching a pretty steady clip earlier this year at about 200 new stations a month. Between the last week of May and the first week of August, about 350 stations were added, bringing the US total to 6,395. That's up from about 5,200 at the beginning of the year, according to US Department of Energy nu

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Electric Francophiles looking to continue their July 14 Bastille Day festivities might be comforted to know that the party can run right into the following day when General Motors will celebrate the first 2014 Chevrolet Volt models rolling off the assembly line.

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In the span of about a month, four start-up car-building companies in the US have encountered serious problems. Fisker laid off 75 percent of its employees, Coda filed for bankruptcy, Carbon Motors pulled out of its Indiana assembly plant and now VPG Autos has ceased its operations. VPG has not officially filed for bankruptcy, but it is no longer building its wheelchair-accessible MV-1 (pictured) at the AM General plant near South Bend, IN.

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For those understandably confused about whether the federal government is advancing or retreating from supporting hydrogen fuel-cell transportation technologies, it looks like the government is now in its advancing stage.

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Proving once again that brevity isn't its strength, the US Department of Energy (DOE) put out its version of a request for proposals that will involve doling out $20 million to help create a plug-in vehicle that competes with gas-powered cars.

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Automotive News reports A123 Systems, an electric vehicle battery manufacturer, received a disbursement check from the federal government on the same day the company filed for bankruptcy. On Oct. 16, A123 received $946,830 as the latest portion of a clean energy grant from the US Department of Energy. That was the same day A123 Systems filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection following a failed attempt to secure funding from Chinese parts supplier Wanxiang Group. Of the original grant, $115.8

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According to the DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA), crude oil prices are expected to steadily increase over the next two years, hitting $99 per barrel by the end of 2012. Tightening of world oil markets, along with a growth in consumption, will continue to drive oil prices up from the recorded average of $89 a barrel in December 2010 to an estimated $93 per barrel for 2011.

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According to the DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA), crude oil prices are expected to steadily increase over the next two years, hitting $99 per barrel by the end of 2012. Tightening of world oil markets, along with a growth in consumption, will continue to drive oil prices up from the recorded average of $89 a barrel in December 2010 to an estimated $93 per barrel for 2011.

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Vapor vs. vapor? That could be the case as super-secretive EEStor could potentially face competition in the ultra-capacitor space from Recapping. We've never heard of Recapping before, but the startup is backed by Khosla Ventures and recently received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

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