Chrysler hybrids planned

DaimlerChrysler AG (DCX) may sell gasoline-electric cars and trucks to U.S. consumers as early as 2006, adding another fuel-efficient option to its main strategy of diesel-powered vehicles. Chrysler, the maker of Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler brand cars and trucks, is studying whether to add gasoline-electric hybrid versions of some of its vehicles, according to Chrysler Group CEO Dieter Zetsche. He didn't say which models. Chrysler already plans to sell 100 diesel-electric Dodge Ram pickup trucks to fleet customers later this year.

Tesla Vs. Hydrogen

By Jeff Siegel One of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's dreams may soon be coming to fruition. During his time as governor, while singing the praises of renewable energy progress in the Golden State, the Terminator would often tell tree-hugging Californians about his dream of building a hydrogen highway that would enable hydrogen-powered vehicles to run from Mexico to Canada  via California. Not only did Prius drivers and vegans applaud the governor's dream, but it even got a decent amount of support from former GM Chairman Bob Lutz and President George W. Bush. Since that time, California has managed to build...

Electric Vehicles Will Increase China’s Air Pollution

John Petersen Last week the American Chemical Society published a white paper in Environmental Science & Technology from a team of researchers at Tsinghua University, Beijing, and the Argonne National Laboratory Center for Transportation Research titled "Environmental Implication of Electric Vehicles in China." This white paper concludes that: Implementing electric vehicles in China will increase national CO2, SO2 and NOX emissions; and Gasoline HEVs are more environmentally friendly, more commercially mature, and less cost-intensive. The following graph comes from page 4 of the white paper and compares the relative fleet wide CO2 emissions for gasoline ICEs,...

PHEVs and EVs; Plugging Into a Lump of Coal

John Petersen Since I've stirred up a hornet's nest over the last two weeks first by debunking the mythology that PHEVs and EVs will save their owners money and then by showing how PHEVs and EVs will sabotage America's drive for energy independence, I figured I might as well go for the triple-crown of harsh realities by showing readers that in the U.S., where 70% of electricity comes from burning hydrocarbons, PHEVs and EVs won't make a dent in CO2 emissions. They'll just take distributed CO2 emissions off the roads and centralize them in coal and gas...

Two High-Speed Rail Stocks For The Stimulus Packages

A couple of weeks ago, we received an inquiry from a reader asking us to look into potential beneficiaries of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)'s high-speed rail (HSR) provisions. This sounded like something our readers would want to read about so I decided to do it. In a nutshell, here are the two main component's of ARRA's HSR approach: $8 billion for for HSR corridors and other intercity passenger rail service (unclear at this point how much will go into each, although the companies discussed below can benefit from both) The rules around state issuance...

Zoltek: High in Fiber, Low in Valuation

by Debra Fiakas CFA   The Stohr DSR has an all carbon fiber body (Photo credit: Rhots/Wikimedia Commons)   Zoltek Companies (ZOLT:  Nasdaq) is in the business of fibers, mostly carbon fibers.  Plain, simple fibers may not seem very impressive.  However, Zoltek’s carbon fibers are in wide demand for renewable energy applications such as wind turbines blades and deep sea oil and gas wells.  After two years swimming in red ink, Zoltek has managed to bring sales back up to 2008 levels.  The company earned $22.9 million in...

Alice In EVland; Six Impossible Things

John Petersen Many of my regular readers know I'm a working securities lawyer, a humble scrivener who writes reams of deathless prose that private companies use to raise money from investors, and public companies file with the SEC in the form of registration and proxy statements, and annual, quarterly and current reports. I've spent a couple years as an oil company executive and a few more as board chairman of an advanced lead-acid battery technology developer. The balance of my 30-year career has been devoted to natural resource and technology-based businesses that needed somebody elses' money to pursue...

ePower’s Series Hybrid Electric Drive – Unmatched Fuel Economy for Heavy Trucks

John Petersen Over the last couple weeks there’s been a lot of message board chatter about ePower Engine Systems, a transportation technology company that has selected the PbC® battery from Axion Power International (AXPW) for its series hybrid electric drivetrain for over-the-road freight haulers who drive heavy Class 8 tractors. Since I introduced ePower to Axion and have tracked their progress for a couple years, I called ePower’s CEO Andy Claypole to ask his permission to share what I’ve learned about ePower’s hybrid electric drivetrain. After a series of phone calls and e-mails, Andy graciously...

Another Look at New Flyer Industries (NFI-UN.TO, NFYIF.PK)

Tom Konrad, Ph.D. CFA Should reduced liquidity at New Flyer Industries concern investors? New Flyer Industries (NFI-UN.TO, NFYIF.PK) is one of my largest single clean energy investments. The company describes itself as the "leader in the heavy-duty bus market for the US and Canada."  This is why I first brought it to the attention of readers in April 2008, as a company likely to benefit from peak oil. Increasing the fuel efficiency of our vehicle fleet can reduce our consumption of oil in North America, but not at a pace sufficient to both accommodate declining oil supplies...

Quantum Delivers First Vehicles of Hydrogen Hybrid Fleet to Santa Ana

Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW) announced the delivery of five hydrogen-fueled Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles to the City of Santa Ana, California. This is part of a larger South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) program to develop and demonstrate 30 hydrogen hybrid vehicles to fleets in Southern California. The formal delivery took place during a ceremony held today at the City of Santa Ana's vehicle fleet yard. In March 2004, the AQMD awarded Quantum a contract to engineer a state-of-the-art OEM caliber hydrogen fuel system, perform accelerated long-term durability testing, including crash testing. The complete...

Watch Out For Nissan

An interesting short piece in Wired's Autopia discussing Nissan's 2007 Altima Hybrid. This is interesting because it is available now and at a reasonable price, and so the impact on company sales can be measured in the short term. I'm always wary of announcements involving technologies (let alone mass production) that are years away. This harks back to the idea of bridge, or transition, technologies. Companies that are finding ways to make money from existing technologies while still keeping eye on promising future technologies are worth keeping on the radar.
UQM Fuel Cell comperssor

Shareholders Cry Foul as UQM Agrees to Buyout

UQM Technologies (UQM:  NYSE) has agreed to be acquired by Danfoss Power Solutions for $1.71 per share in cash, providing a deal value near $100 million.  UQM leadership expects timely review by government authorities and has recommended approval of the deal by shareholders.  A date has not been set for the required shareholder vote.  Assuming all goes according to schedule, a deal closing is possible sometime in the second quarter 2019. Electric propulsion and generation technologies are at the core of UQM’s solutions for manufacturing, transportation and power industries.  The substitution of electric motors for combustion engines has been driving demand for the UQM’s products.  Market opportunities have abounded...

Supercycle Or Not, Expensive Oil Is Unavoidable

Charles Morand In an upcoming article in the journal Resources Policy, David Humphreys, former Chief Economist at Rio Tinto and Norilsk Nickel, argues that skeptics are right to question the notion that mineral prices in the 2003 to 2008 period were rapidly uptrending as part of an emerging multi-decade supercycle. He argues that the rise in demand underpinning steep mineral price increases had two distinct causes: (1) an "extended economic upswing" driven by an ample supply of cheap credit (we know now where that got us); and (2) a "deeper-rooted structural shift in the economy" resulting from...

NREL Researchers Prove the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility in Electric Drive

John Petersen In the most under-reported cleantech story of the year, researchers from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have used an impressive array of computational and modeling tools to prove that the Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility, which holds that the first unit of consumption of a good or service yields more utility than the second and subsequent units, doesn't have a loophole for plug-in vehicles. The penultimate slide from an NREL presentation at Plug-in 2011 says it all – and proves beyond doubt that cars with plugs are less effective at saving fuel and reducing emissions than...

Toyota Considering Making Diesel-Electric Hybrid Vehicles

Toyota Motor Corp (TM) are developing a hybrid drivetrain system that can be used for gasoline, diesel, natural gas and fuel-cells.
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