Tuesday, April 29, 2008

NRGSPOTS: public charge spots for electric transport in Rotterdam

Eneco, Epyon and Qwic have today expressed their intent to cooperate with the purpose of making environmentally friendly scooters in Rotterdam accessible to everyone. This cooperation is unique, because it is based on a fast charge technique, which means that it will be possible to charge electric scooters within 15 to 30 minutes, a process which normally takes hours. Electric transport is a topical subject in view of pollution reduction in the Dutch cities.

At this moment Eneco is developing public (fast) charge spots for electric transport named NRGSPOTS. The company TNT and the Rotterdam Climate Initiative cofinance the NRGSPOTS. Eneco in addition supplies its environment friendly power Ecostroom to the charge spots, Epyon is responsible for the fast charge technique and Qwic supplies the scooters.

Polluting transport will increasingly be opposed in the city centres. Last week a study by the Cyclists' Union and Utrecht University also demonstrated that ordinary petrol scooters and mopeds emit twice as many fine particles as lorries.
Electric transport, and fast charge spots in particular, is therefore becoming increasingly essential. With electric transport combined with fast charge spots on the basis of Ecostroom, pollution is practically zero.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

PSA presents H2Origin fuel cell prototype

Intelligent Energy and PSA Peugeot Citroën today presented the results of their H2Origin collaborative research project, which has successfully integrated fuel cell technology into a zero emissions urban delivery vehicle with an electric powertrain.

The three year partnership between the two companies has culminated in the delivery of a demonstrator vehicle powered by an electric battery with a highly successful hydrogen fuel cell range extender. The demonstrator is based on one of PSA Peugeot Citroën’s van range, the Peugeot Partner Origin.

The Intelligent Energy 10kWe fuel cell system was specifically designed for the vehicle. The fuel cell offers the following advantages:
- the range of the electric vehicle is trebled thanks to the fuel cell to 300km;
- the fuel cell is compact enough to fit under the bonnet of a small delivery vehicle;
- the vehicle can be started at temperatures as low as -20°C.

PSA Peugeot Citroën’ offers a novel hydrogen storage system. Compressed hydrogen is securely stored in an exchangeable rack, which provides a practical alternative to refuelling at a traditional fuel station, thus overcoming a major hurdle. Henri Winand, CEO of Intelligent Energy, commented: “Our fuel cell expertise and systems integration capabilities have been proven yet again in developing the power system and incorporating it into this vehicle. We have made the fuel cell system robust and compact enough for real-world clean motoring applications, and have gained invaluable experience through the collaboration with PSA Peugeot Citroën.”

Jean Pierre Goedgebuer, Scientific Director of PSA Peugeot Citroën, said: “As a leader in low carbon vehicles, we have already demonstrated several zero emissions vehicles. The Intelligent Energy fuel cell in the H2Origin extends its range from approximately 100km to three times that distance. This sort of range increases the attractiveness of electric vehicles for urban delivery, which is one of the most promising future markets for electric vehicles.”

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Two leading US Cleantech investors launch joint venture with Norwegian electrical vehicle company Think

The Norwegian electric car producer Think reaches across the Atlantic and establishes TH!NK North America in partnership with the leading clean-tech investors RockPort Capital Partners and Kleiner Perkins, Caulfield and Byers.

“The TH!NK city is the world’s only crash-tested and highway-certified EV and is ideal for markets such as California where we will initiate demonstration projects offering an exceptionally safe and fun car to drive” says Jan-Olaf Willums, CEO of Think Global. –“We are therefore proud to partner with the two pioneering investors in the clean tech field and to launch TH!NK city in North America with them.”

The new venture was announced at the 2008 FORTUNE Brainstorm Green Conference held in Pasadena, California, that brought chief executives from all over North America together to talk about the business opportunities of “going green”.

Ray Lane, a Kleiner Perkins Managing Partner and Chairman of TH!NK North America, says, “The transportation industry is undergoing its largest transformation since Henry Ford built the model T. Today we are witnessing a seminal event - the first highway-capable electric vehicle intended for mass production, representing a big step towards a zero emission transportation industry.”

“We believe there is a dramatic shift underway of how people think about mobility. Global consumer demand is forcing industry to come up with sustainable solutions, including the development of zero emission vehicles” says Wilber James, a Managing General Partner of RockPort Capital Partners, and acting President of TH!NK North America.

TH!NK city is an environmental vehicle, emission free and 95 percent recyclable. It reaches a top speed of 100 km (65 miles) per hour and can drive up to 180 km (110 miles) on a single charge.

TH!NK city meets all European and US federal motor vehicle safety requirements.
At the Geneva Motorshow earlier this year, Think announced a strategic partnership with energy giant General Electric, also an investor in Think. At the Show, Think unveiled its future car, the TH!NK Ox, the first 4/5-seater fully electric vehicle which is slated to begin production in 2010/11.

Think has also established partnerships in the US with battery suppliers A123 and EnerDel.
The TH!NK city is currently produced in Norway and international sales are slated to begin in Scandinavia, with Switzerland and France also being the initial focus areas. Sales other than initial trial and demonstration projects will begin in The North American market in 2009.
Vicki Northrup, an electric car veteran, has been retained by TH!NK North America as Operations Manager and will initially be based out of TH!NK North America’s Menlo Park Office.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Scania in comprehensive biofuel tests: Bio-based synthetic diesel sharply cuts emissions

Scania joins forces with Neste in Finland to try out a new low-emission biobased diesel fuel. Produced in a facility in southern Finland, the new fuel is tailored to diesel combustion. Efficiency remains high, while NOx emissions are down almost 20% and particulates close to 30% compared to standard diesel. In addition, the fuel reduces fossil CO2 emissions by up to 80%.

“Scania's laboratory tests corroborate that bio-based synthetic diesel has great potential,” says Hasse Johansson, Group Vice President R&D at Scania. “Simply switching to such fuel from standard diesel can significantly improve emissions. The possibility of mixing it freely with standard diesel makes the fuel interesting for old vehicles and engines as well. We look forward to participating in these trials.

Another attractive renewable heavy vehicle fuel on the market today is bioethanol. Emissions of fossil CO2 are reduced by up to 90%, it is readily available, production is booming, the technology is firmly established and it gives very low emissions. Scania’s third generation ethanol engines achieve the same efficiency as a conventional diesel engine, while meeting emission levels according to Euro 5, which will be introduced in 2009, as well as the tougher EEV standard, which has been adopted for city traffic in some large European urban areas.

“There is no reason to wait ‘a few more years’ for better alternatives. With the renewable fuels and the technologies available today we are off to a head start, making a significant contribution in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Once new solutions, e.g. hybrid technology and potential new fuels, have proven their worth, they can also contribute by further speeding up the process,” concludes Mr Johansson.

Different fuels give different emissions

Bioethanol has been used as fuel for adapted diesel engine in Scania city buses sine the late 1980s with excellent environmental results, according to Stockholm Public Transport (SL). Fossil carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by up to 90% for ethanol produced from sugar cane in Brazil.

Scania has carried out laboratory tests to examine the environmental effects of other diesel fuels. The tests prove that the composition of a fuel has a direct bearing on its environmental performance and that there is scope to optimise engines for different fuels. Comparisons are made with reference used for certification according to the Euro 4 exhaust emission standard.

Swedish low-emission diesel, for example, introduced on the market in the early 1990s, in itself cuts NOx by 8% and particulates by a stunning 24%. Biofuels and synthetic fuels are also very promising in this respect.

Synthetic diesel fuel also gives considerably lower emissions of nitrogen oxides (down 18%) and particulates (down 28%). Synthetic diesel can be produced from natural gas (GTL, gas-to-liquid) or biomass (BTL, biomass-to-liquid).

With fossil carbon dioxide cut by up to 80%, BTL-fuels have the best environmental properties of synthetic diesel fuels.

Large-scale fuel trials in Stockholm and Helsinki

The new fuel from Neste, NExBTL, produced at a new facility in southern Finland, will now be subjected to environmental and operational trials, starting in autumn 2007 and lasting until the end of 2010. The tests involve monitoring of exhaust emissions and engine condition with different mixes of the fuel into standard diesel in distribution vehicles and shuttle vessels in the Stockholm region, as well as city buses in Helsinki.

Six Scania city buses form part of the trial. Four of them will run on 100% NExBTL and two on normal diesel. The project also involves tests with various mixes on some 100 vehicles operated by Posten Logistik, the logistics division of Swedish Post, and 2-3 ships in the Stockholm archipelago operated by Waxholmsbolaget.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Germany Cancels Plans to Introduce E10 in 2009

More than 3 million cars in Germany cannot run on a new biofuel the government wants to introduce, well over a limit the administration has set as a pre-condition for its use, industry sources said.

Around 330,000 cars made by German manufacturers, plus more than 3 million imported cars, are unable to run on the new fuel, industry sources familiar with the data said. The environment ministry declined to comment on the figures.

In a newspaper, Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said he would annul a government decree that the fuel, called E-10, be introduced if too many cars were unable to run on it. "We won't implement it if the number exceeds a million vehicles," he told the Stuttgarter Nachrichten daily.

E-10 mixes regular gasoline with biofuel. The biofuel component accounts for up to 10 per cent of the total fuel content. The ADAC motorists' association called for the introduction of E-10 to be delayed until 2012.

Mr Gabriel is waiting for figures from the auto industry on the number of cars unable to use the fuel before taking a final decision on whether or not to introduce it. The government's push to introduce E-10 is part of a broader drive to curb emissions.

European Union states agreed in principle last year to cut emissions by at least one fifth by 2020 from 1990 levels, to use 20 per cent of renewable energy sources in power production and 10 per cent of biofuels from crops in transport by the same date.

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