The next-generation Porsche 911 could use hybrid power, according to Porsche CEO Matthias Muller. "There is no reason against it and we will see if we have some reasons to do it," Muller says of the model due around 2018. He also suggests that hybrid technology could eventually make its way into all Porsche model lines, but that the Boxster and Cayman would first get four-cylinder versions. Muller cites carbon emissions and "sportiness" as reasons to use hybrid power, pointing to the 918 Spyder as a good example of both. Read more at Car Advice.

A B-Class F-Cell from the Mercedes-Benz fleet has hit a benchmark of 300,000 kilometers (about 186,411 miles) in everyday use. The achievement won Daimler an "f-cell award" for hydrogen fuel cell technology and innovation. The 300+ fuel cell cars in the Daimler fleet have driven a collective 9 million-plus kilometers (more than 5.5 million miles). The information gathered from this testing is being used to improve development as the company looks toward expanding commercialization of fuel cell cars. "We have clearly demonstrated that the fuel cell electric drive is ready for the road," says Professor Herbert Kohler of Daimler. "The last hurdles we will overcome in intensive cross-industry and cross-border teamwork." Read more in the press release below.

A company called Ecocruise has new EVs coming out soon. Along with electric scooters and service vehicles, Ecocruise develops street-legal neighborhood electric vehicles like the three-wheeled EZip-3, the four-wheeled EZip-4, and the fun looking Cruser Sport (see a prototype in the video below). The EVs are scheduled to go on sale in January of 2015, which is right around the corner. Ecocruise was started after the founder of Kasea Motorsports decided to switch to electric vehicles with the goal of offering providing affordable emissions-free driving. Learn more about Ecocruise and its vehicles at the company's website.

The new EU Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) does little to discourage dirty fuels like tar sands and coal-to-liquid, says Transport & Environment (T&E). The FQD requires suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas intensity for transport fuel in the EU by six percent by 2020. The much-delayed FQD doesn't do as much as it could, though, say critics, and it doesn't label dirtier fuel sources as such despite the urging of scientists. T&E, an organization focused on cleaning up EU transport, blames Canada, the US and Big Oil. "After a five-year siege by Canadian officials and industry lobbyists, the EU is letting oil corporations off the hook," says T&E's Nusa Urbancic. "That is not just a tragedy for the climate; excusing the oil industry from carbon reduction efforts is unfair, inefficient, and costly as well." Read more in the press release below.
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Unstoppable: B-Class F-CELL sets continuous running record

- Mercedes-Benz fuel cell electric vehicle cracks 300,000 kilometer mark
- Extreme long-term test under everyday conditions
- Record Receives Innovation Award

With more than 300,000 kilometers, a B-Class F-CELL from the current fuel cell electric vehicle fleet of Mercedes-Benz has achieved a continuous running record under normal everyday conditions. The world's unique and still running test show that fuel cell cars are reliable even under extreme stress and over several years. For this achievement, Daimler AG was honored with the "f-cell Award 2014" and therefore was, for the third time, convincing with its developments in the field of fuel cell technology in the competition for the Fuel Cell Innovation Award. "The test is a step in the direction of series-ready application of the fuel cell drive train", says the jury comprising of experts from economics, science and politics.

Produced under series production conditions, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL has already been in day-to-day use with customers in the European and American markets since 2010. Today, the total mileage of the Daimler fuel cell fleet, which now numbers more than 300 vehicles, including numerous research vehicles, reaches far more than 9 million kilometres. Based on the current and pending results, the Mercedes engineers expect to identify further potential for optimization, which will flow directly into the development of the next generation of fuel cell electric vehicles. The company has the clear objective to develop a common drive train in cooperation with Ford and Nissan and to bring competitive fuel cell electric vehicles in large numbers on the streets by 2017. Pressing ahead, Daimler is thus working on market preparation - and is involved in several initiatives, such as H2 Mobility, for the build-up of a hydrogen infrastructure. "We have clearly demonstrated that the fuel cell electric drive is ready for the road," says Prof Herbert Kohler, Vice President Group Research and Sustainability, Chief Environmental Officer of Daimler AG. "The last hurdles we will overcome in intensive cross-industry and cross-border teamwork."

The f-cell award is given for the fourteenth time by the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Protection and Energy Sector Baden-Württemberg and the Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation (WRS). Donated by the state of Baden-Württemberg, the Innovation Award honors application-oriented developments around the fuel cell topic. Its aims are to honor outstanding developments in one of the most interesting fields of technology of the new century and to stimulate further innovation.


Canada, US and Big Oil bullying dilutes EU dirty fuel law

Brussels, 07 October – For immediate release

After five years of heavy-handed lobbying by Canada, the US and oil majors [1], the European Commission today published fuel quality rules that fail to discourage oil companies from using and investing in the world's dirtiest oil such as tar sands and coal-to-liquid.

Agreed in April 2009, the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) for the first time obliges fuel suppliers in Europe to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of transport fuel by 6% by 2020. The law lacked rules on how to account for GHG emissions from different sources of crude oil, which represents 95% of EU's transport fuel market, and electricity. This meant that the enacted target could only be met with biofuels.

Today's proposed implementing measures will still encourage the use of electricity in transport and incentivise oil producers to reduce emissions from highly polluting processes such as venting and flaring. The proposal also mandates oil companies to report the origin and trade name of their products, bringing some transparency to this opaque industry.

Reacting to the proposal, Nusa Urbancic of T&E said: "After a five-year siege by Canadian officials and industry lobbyists, the EU is letting oil corporations off the hook. That is not just a tragedy for the climate; excusing the oil industry from carbon reduction efforts is unfair, inefficient, and costly as well."

Back in 2012 EU environment ministers failed to agree on proposed rules to implement the FQD. The Commission was legally obliged to produce new implementing rules 'as soon as possible', but amidst intense lobbying it was delayed by more than 32 months.

Transport is almost entirely dependent on oil: it emits 31% of the EU's total CO2 emissions and will become the biggest source of climate-changing emissions soon after 2020. The FQD is a key law to promote cleaner transport fuels and is part of the EU's wider goals to cut carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2020.

Last year, the scientific community wrote to outgoing Commission president Barroso to urge him to go ahead with labelling tar sands and other dirty forms of oil as more polluting than conventional crude, arguing that 'we cannot burn all of the fossil fuels without causing dangerous climate change'.

"After five years of delay, we will likely end up with a very flawed law that won't deliver on its original objectives of discouraging high-carbon fuel investment. Despite that, we need to implement it. Starting post-2020 work with a basic tracking system in place is better than nothing," Nusa Urbancic concluded.

A coalition of alternative fuels companies and green NGOs have written to the EU Council, European Parliament and Commission urging them to set an EU binding target to reduce GHG emissions from transport fuels after 2020.

The proposal still needs to be approved by national governments and the European Parliament in the coming months.

Footnotes:

[1]. Big European corporations with stakes in tar sands projects include Royal Dutch Shell, with US$26bn in planned investments for the next decade, BP of the UK and Total of France.

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