Toyota said Wednesday it will start leasing plug-in hybrid cars, that are even greener than its hit Prius, by the end of this year in the U.S., Japan and Europe.Toyota Motor Corp., the world's top automaker, will start leasing 200 plug-ins in Japan, 150 in the U.S. and 150 in Europe, mostly for rental, such as through special government-backed programs, it said in a release. Toyota will for the first time use lithium-ion batteries in the plug-ins. The batteries are already used in some cars but more common in laptops and other gadgets. Toyota hybrids now use nickel-metal hydride batteries. Using a lithium-ion battery will produce more energy, allowing the car to run more as an electric vehicle, but there have been some technological hurdles.
Here are a couple of articles on efficiency in flywheel and electro-optical systems from Douglas Electrical Components and Wavelength Electronics.
The South Korean city of Ulsan lets water generated from processing food waste run off into the ocean, which can generate methane gas harmful to the environment. Now, with the help of a Swedish company, it is going to start converting that waste water into biogas, a type of clean fuel that can be used as power to heat buildings and even power vehicles.
President Barack Obama wants drivers to go farther on a gallon of gas and cause less damage to the environment — and be willing to pick up the tab.
GE announced today that it will open a new, state-of-the-art battery manufacturing plant in Upstate New York that will serve as the main manufacturing facility for GE’s newly formed battery business. The initial investment in the factory will be $100 million. It will be located in the Capital Region and will create 350 new manufacturing jobs at GE and thousands more in the supply chain.
Compared to ethanol used for internal combustion engines, researcher say that bioelectricity used for battery-powered vehicles would deliver an average of 80% more miles of transportation per acre of crops, while also providing double the greenhouse gas offsets to mitigate climate change.
Conventional wisdom says that “early adopters” eventually bring new technologies into the mainstream. Thus, the effort to promote solid state lighting (SSL) has ample historical precedence. Back in the late 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s an epic battle was waged between Video Home System (VHS) and Betamax (Beta). One can draw lessons from the eponymous “videotape format war”—specifically, why technologies catch on (while others fade away)
The U.S. should build 100 more nuclear plants rather than spend "billions in subsidies" for renewable energy if it is truly committed to lowering electric bills and having clean air, the Republicans say. In the party's weekly radio and Internet address, Sen. Lamar Alexander said the United States should follow the example of France, which promoted nuclear power decades ago
Former Vice President Al Gore, a leading voice on climate change, urged lawmakers Friday to overcome partisan differences and pass legislation to curb greenhouse gases. Gore, who won a Nobel prize for his work on global warming, called the climate issue the most important ever before Congress. A Democratic bill limiting carbon dioxide and other pollution linked to a warming of the Earth will simultaneously solve the problems of the climate
The United States insisted Thursday that it had a common purpose and felt a sense of urgency over climate change, taking part in environment talks with other Group of Eight nations and developing countries. Delegates are holding three days of talks in this eastern Sicilian city amid high expectations over the extent of the U.S. commitment to tackle climate change
Raser Technologies recently announced a 100 MPG version of the Hummer H3 at the 2009 SAE International World Congress. The idea of taking the most infamous gas guzzler and making it “greener than a Prius” sounds like a pipe dream. But Raser claims to have achieved it. The resultant vehicle is the best of both worlds: environmentally-friendly and attractive
The last time Congress passed major environmental laws, acid rain was destroying lakes and forests, polluted rivers were on fire and smog was choking people in some cities. The fallout from global warming, while subtle now, could eventually be more dire. That prospect has Democrats pushing legislation that rivals in scope the nation's landmark anti-pollution laws.
President Barack Obama is calling for the country to move swiftly to a system of high-speed rail travel, saying it will relieve congestion, help clean the air and save on energy. Appearing with Vice President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Thursday, Obama said the country cannot afford not to invest in a major upgrade to rail travel. He said he understands it necessarily will be "a long-term project" but said the time to start is now
There’re strange brewings in the auto industry. President Obama once remarked that “unless we free ourselves from a dependence on these fossil fuels and chart a new course on energy in this country, we are condemning future generations to global catastrophe.” Fresh off its government bailout, General Motors has devoted “significant resources” to the Chevy Volt, an "Extended Range Electric Vehicle" set for release in 2011. Obama’s response?
Tinkering with Earth's climate to chill runaway global warming — a radical idea once dismissed out of hand — is being discussed by the White House as a potential emergency option, the president's new science adviser said Wednesday. That's because global warming is happening so rapidly, John Holdren told The Associated Press in his first interview since being confirmed last month. The concept of using technology to purposely cool the climate is called geoengineering