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Category Archives: ‘Transportation’
Published: May 13, 2013
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Dan Mauney keeps misplacing his car.
Mr. Mauney, 42, lives in an apartment tower in this city’s Uptown neighborhood, a pedestrian-friendly quarter with new office buildings, sparkling museums and ambitious restaurants. He so seldom needs to drive that when he does go to retrieve his car in his building’s garage, he said, “I always forget where I parked it.”
Charlotte and other American cities have not abandoned their cars or their sprawling growth. But people like Mr. Mauney are part of the reason that American driving patterns have downshifted — perhaps for years to come.
For six decades, Americans have tended to drive more every year. But in the middle of the last decade, the number of miles driven — both over all and per capita — began to drop, notes a report to be published on Tuesday by U.S. Pirg, a nonprofit advocacy organization.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/14/us/report-finds-americans-are-driving-less-led-by-youth.htmlShare This Post
Oil trains — pipelines on wheels — headed to Northwest terminals and refineries from North Dakota fracking
on May 13, 2013 at 6:50 PM, updated May 13, 2013 at 9:40 PM
The boom in North Dakota's Bakken oil field is speeding to the Northwest, a boon for ports and refineries that could bring in upwards of 200 million barrels of crude each year on mile-plus oil trains.
The first oil train arrived last September. Today, all five Washington refineries handle or plan to handle oil trains, called "pipelines on wheels."
A train-fed terminal near Clatskanie, originally built as an environmentally friendly ethanol plant with millions in subsidies from the state of Oregon, is now shipping crude on the Columbia River.
Five other terminals are proposed for Washington ports. The largest is in Vancouver, where Tesoro wants a Columbia River terminal that could ship more than 100 million barrels a year to West Coast refineries.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/05/oil_trains_--_pipelines_on_whe.htmlShare This Post
By Tony Bizjak
Published: Monday, May. 13, 2013 - 7:33 am
The Siemens rail company, one of the Sacramento region's manufacturing mainstays, unveiled a major new product line Monday, rolling out the first of 70 electric locomotives it will produce over the next two years for Amtrak's East Coast passenger lines.
The $466 million contract is the largest in the south Sacramento plant's two-decade history. Officials say it represents a key step for the French Road facility into the burgeoning electric passenger rail market.
"This is a door-opener for us to other inter-city rail products," said Michael Cahill, president of Siemens Rail Systems division in the United States.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/05/13/5416127/amtrak-unveils-locomotives-to.htmlShare This Post
By Donna Littlejohn, Staff Writer
@donnalittlejohn on Twitter
Posted: 05/13/2013 06:09:58 PM PDT
Updated: 05/13/2013 07:50:48 PM PDT
Two wheels, handlebars and a seat.
The humble bicycle has been around since the 1800s, beloved as a treasured staple of childhood transportation for generations.
Now, a cycling revival of sorts is sweeping across America's cities, especially among adults seeking a healthier alternative to the automobile. And maybe a bit more fun in their lives.
Over the next 30 years, the city of Los Angeles plans to install 1,600 miles of bikeways.
To connect the sprawling, car-loving metropolis and make it more bike-friendly.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_23234985/riding-wave-future-cities-plan-sprawling-nework-bicycle?source=rss&utm_source=feedlyShare This Post
DETROIT — Dozens of companies from China are putting down roots in Detroit, part of the country’s steady push into the American auto industry.
Chinese-owned companies are investing in American businesses and new vehicle technology, selling everything from seat belts to shock absorbers in retail stores, and hiring experienced engineers and designers in an effort to soak up the talent and expertise of domestic automakers and their suppliers.
While starting with batteries and auto parts, the spread of Chinese business is expected to result eventually in the sale of Chinese cars in the United States.
“The Chinese are well behind the Japanese when they hit our shores 30 years ago,” said David E. Cole, a founder of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich. “They lack the know-how, and they’re coming here to get it.”
To read the entire article go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/13/business/global/chinese-automakers-quietly-build-a-detroit-presence.html?hpShare This Post
Tesla Motors is a bright spot amid high-profile, federally-funded electric car flops. Tesla Founder Musk has found a way to bring high-tech pizzazz to a 'green' car drawing comparisons to Steve Jobs and Apple.
By David J. Unger, Correspondent / May 10, 2013
The luxury electric carmaker posted its first profit late Wednesday. The next day, Tesla's Model S tied for Consumer Reports’ highest testing score ever. Wall Street rejoiced, pushing shares of Tesla up 24 percent on the news.
Tesla Motors is a bright spot amid high-profile, federally-funded electric car flops. CEO Elon Musk's innovative approach to carmaking suggests the energy industry can benefit from borrowing a page from the tech sector's playbook.
The two sectors have borne some resemblence of late. New computer software has changed the way we look for oil. Smart thermostats are saving on residential energy consumption. The lithium-ion batteries that have powered our consumer electronics for a decade, are beginning to transform the way we fuel our cars.
But if you're expecting the electrical grid to transform as quickly as the superconductor, you may be disappointed.
"There’s no Moore’s Law in energy," Hal Harvey, CEO of Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology LLC., a San Francisco-based energy and environmental policy firm, said in a telephone interview.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2013/0510/Tesla-Motors-Lots-of-buzz.-Is-it-warranted?nav=92-csm_category-topStoriesShare This Post
- By Damon Lavrinc
- 2:26 PM
Electric vehicle prices are coming down, but the cost of chargers has always hovered in the $1,000-$2,000 range. That’s changing with the introduction of a residential charger for a scant $450.
The new charging system is produced and sold by Bosch, the behemoth automotive supplier that provides car makers with everything from window switches to advanced electrical components. Currently, Bosch has a $950 charger, the Power Xpress on sale, but the company has distilled that same technology into a more affordable package with its new Power Max system.
“We believe that for the foreseeable future most EV drivers will primarily charge at home,” says Tanvir Arfi, President of Bosch’s automotive service solutions. “Because many of the incentives available to offset the costs of purchasing and installing residential Level 2 charging stations are expiring, we believe it’s critical to maintain the momentum towards Level 2 by offering high quality, but lower cost charging solutions.”Share This Post
May 6, 2013, 12:17pm PDT
Silicon Valley Business Journal
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is making California tech companies and startups a unique offer: cut rate access to its cache of pricey, one-of-a-kind battery equipment.
The goal? Accelerating commercialization of emerging technology in the estimated $40 billion energy storage industry.
In a new public-private partnership known as CalCharge, the federal laboratory is joining forces with cleantech advocacy group CalCEF, Stanford's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and San Jose State University with the goal of creating a "center of gravity" for the emerging industry in the Bay Area. We met with the researchers, academics and organizers behind the new program at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory last Friday.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2013/05/03/40b-energy-storage-industry-sparks.html?ana=RSS&s=article_search&utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bizj_sanjose+%28Silicon+Valley+%2F+San+Jose+Business+Journal%29Share This Post
The sequester should not excuse the US military from making the important investments into the future, Holland writes. It is strategically important for the military to develop new sources of energy like biofuels.
By Andrew Holland, Guest blogger / May 9, 2013
The military has been a leader in the development of biofuels – for good reason. As I’ve written before, the military’s single-source dependence on petroleum for fuel is a strategic vulnerability. Oil has a monopoly on energy supply for 80% of our military’s energy needs, including virtually all of the non-nuclear transportation. To simply accept that oil is going to remain as the sole source of liquid fuel that the US military relies on for its transportation, operations, and training is to say that we should accept the long-term strategic risks of price volatility and dependence upon uncertain foreign countries.
We should remember that, even if the military uses oil solely from the United States and its allies, the price that the Defense Logistics Agency pays for oil is largely set by global market conditions – and saying that those are highly vulnerable to conflict and unrest in the Middle East is an understatement. (Related: The Operational and Strategic Rationale Behind the U.S. Military’s Energy Efforts)
Last year, in an attempt to address this threat, the Department of Defense, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Energy were authorized under the Defense Production Act (DPA) to support the development of an alternative source of fuel. The funding agreed in a joint memorandum, and appropriated by Congress, each agency will invest $170 million over three years in helping to build a domestic biofuel industry (read more about the DoD’s biofuels policy here). This funding will be matched by investment from the private sector. Over the past several months, the agencies have been deliberating over which companies will partner with the government.Share This Post
Getting more American drivers into electric vehicles carries both environmental and national security benefits. But to get Americans to really buy EVs, the Obama administration needs to learn from the past and plan better today.
By Steve A. Yetiv / May 1, 2013
Getting more American drivers into plug-ins carries both environmental and national security benefits. Because most of America’s oil goes into vehicles, moving to EVs would decrease oil consumption and pollution. But to get Americans to really buy EVs, the administration needs to learn from the past and plan better today or an EV initiative will surely fail or be more costly than it is worth.
Around the turn of the last century, electric vehicles were heavily pushed by such notables as Thomas Edison and President Woodrow Wilson. They accounted for 38 percent of American automobiles, while only 22 percent were gasoline powered. However, consumers started to prefer cheaper gas-driven cars which also had better range and didn’t need to be juiced by electric outlets. Efforts to market electric vehicles were inadequate.
Fast forward more than 100 years. The EV may try to make a comeback, with the Obama team’s urgings, but it faces similar problems.
Washington has legislated much higher fuel efficiency standards for automakers, requiring a 54.5-miles-per-gallon fleet average by 2025. And automakers are building EVs to hit these targets, as well as hybrid electric cars that also use gas. But America is on the wrong course for making EVs succeed.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2013/0501/Six-ways-to-boost-electric-vehicles?nav=90-csm_category-topStoriesShare This Post
Tesla joins Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt in the race for electric car sales. After a recording-breaking March for the Nissan Leaf, sales of electric cars dipped in April.
By David J. Unger, Correspondent / May 2, 2013
The race for acceptance of electric vehicles has gone from a two-car competition to a three-car free-for-all.
Why It Matters
Energy: The transportation sector consumes 70 percent of the oil used in the US. Electric vehicles (EVs) diminish that reliance.
Environment: Depending on where their electricity comes from, EVs could reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
For the second month in a row, the Nissan Leaf beat the Chevy Volt in sales and could soon take over in sales year to date. Now, luxury carmaker Tesla Motors is joining the fray. Even though sales of electric cars cooled in April, the appearance of Tesla is livening up the competition.
"It’s a neck-and-neck race for those three," said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst for Kelley Blue Book, in a telephone interview.Share This Post
BYD head wants utility bill demand charges waived during nighttime battery recharge.
Herman K. Trabish: May 2, 2013
The first Chinese vehicle manufacturing facility in the U.S., an electric bus plant, was formally launched by China’s BYD Motors and the City of Lancaster, California. BYD’s local head called on California to alter its utility rates to support electric vehicles.
Scheduled to be ready to begin manufacturing in October, the plant will manufacture BYD’s zero-emissions ebus. BYD’s $50 million commitment, according to VP Michael Austin, will also cover a nearby facility where the electric car maker will manufacture its lithium-ion iron phosphate battery packs.
A 2012 Navigant Research study predicted the world market for electric buses will see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.4 percent between 2012 and 2018. Lithium-ion battery capacity for battery buses was predicted to see a 57 percent CAGR, from 69,742 kilowatt-hours to over 1 million kilowatt-hours, in the same time period. It is early to name market leaders, but BYD seems to be among them, with operations around the world.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/BYD-Launches-Electric-Bus-Plant-With-Call-For-Utility-Rate-RedesignShare This Post
The board overseeing California's high-speed rail project has voted to give its largest private contractor another $96 million and two more years to perform architectural and engineering work, but warned that it will exercise rigorous oversight.
Thursday, May 02, 2013
Board members on Thursday told contractor Parsons Brinckerhoff that the California High-Speed Rail Authority has beefed up its senior management since the first contract was signed with the company in 2006 and will not act as a rubber-stamp, as critics have charged.
The rail authority has been criticized for relying too heavily on outside contractors.
The board also approved carrying over $24 million in unspent money from the previous $199 million contract with the firm.
The authority's chief executive, Jeff Morales, was a senior vice president at Parsons Brinckerhoff before being hired last June.
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By John Upton
Original source: http://grist.org/news/electric-vehicles-could-stabilize-grid-make-money-as-batteries/?utm_campaign=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&kmi=dkschultz%40gmail.com&km_subscriber-email=1&km_subscriber-daily=1
Electric vehicles aren’t just cars that are cleaner to operate than internal combustion dinosaurs. They’re also powerful batteries on wheels. Andthat quality could spur EV owners to buy electricity at night, or operate their own solar panels or wind turbines, and store the excess energy in their cars. Then they could sell that electricity onto the grid from their parked vehicles during the day, when energy prices are highest.
The University of Delaware began working with NRG Energy in late 2011 to try to realize and commercialize that concept. Last week, the project hit a landmark: It has begun selling power from parked EVs into an energy market being developed by wholesale electricity dealer PJM.Share This Post
May 1, 2013, 1:52 pm
A new survey has found that consumers want more fuel efficient cars and also support the new federal fuel economy standards that the federal government plans to reach by 2025.
The survey, conducted by the Consumer Federation of America, polled 1,001 adults by telephone. The results, released on Monday, indicate strong public support for the 54.5 mile per gallon federal fuel economy standards. It also suggested strong intentions on the part of most vehicle buyers to seek improved fuel economy on their next vehicle.
According to the survey, 85 percent of respondents said they supported the 54.5 m.p.g. rule and 54 percent strongly supported it. Those results cut across political lines, according to the poll, with support from 77 percent of the Republicans surveyed, 92 percent of the Democrats and 87 percent of the independents. Eighty-eight percent of those participating in the poll said that fuel economy would be an important factor in their next car purchase, the survey said, and 59 percent said it would be a “very important” consideration.
To read the entire article go to: http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/01/survey-shows-strong-support-for-fuel-efficiency-standards/?src=recgShare This Post