Researchers have genetically modified a plant for lower-viscosity seed oil to make biodiesel. With the viscosity of many plant-based oils being too high for use in modern high-pressure conditions required by emissions laws, this breakthrough is promising. Kansas State University scientists have added Euonymous Alatus (burning bush) genes to the Camelina Sativa plant to produce a thinner seed oil more suited for use in biofuels. Camelina grows easily, and since it isn't a food crop, concerns of genetic modifications are minimal. Testing of the oil in fuel could begin next year, after harvesting a large enough supply. Read more from Green Car Reports and from The Topeka Capital-Journal.
The EPA's Mobile Vehicle Emissions Simulator (MOVES) could cause problems for higher ethanol blends. According to an editorial from Urban Air Initiative president David VanderGriend, MOVES is biased against ethanol blends, using test fuels that don't reflect the characteristics of real-world consumer fuels. "We must stop the MOVES model from being implemented, or all of the industry's other initiatives will be undermined," says VanderGriend. "States will have their hands tied and will simply not be allowed to approve higher blends." Read the column from Ethanol Producer Magazine.
A Citroën C-Zero driver experienced unexpected fees when turning in the car at the end of its lease. The final bill included inspection and transportation fees under the "Damages" section of the report, totaling over £300 (about $470). The author has found no mention or documentation of such fees prior to collection, and is contesting the charges. Read more at EV Meerkat, where the author will update readers while Citroën customer service looks into the matter.