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Energy Department Money Going To Big And Small Carmakers

By Ted Nelson
October 8, 2009
File under: Alternative Fuels, Alternative Transportation, Auto Industry, Economy, Electric, Innovation


The energy department has begun to dole out $25 billion in loans designated for the development of fuel-efficient vehicles. The program is designed to grease the wheels for technological innovation that will drive the auto industry of tomorrow to occur here in the United States.

After decades of job cuts in the US auto industry, the federal government is hoping that innovation can revitalize the sector and create employment.

The first $8 billion was handed out back in July, with Fisker being announced as a loan recipient just this week. GM and Chrysler have been excluded from this program to date, since they do not meet the economic viability standard for loan recipients. …read more of Energy Department Money Going To Big And Small Carmakers here

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Details on Fuel Efficiency Standards Released

By Ted Nelson
September 17, 2009
File under: Auto Industry, Economy, Sustainable Practices


“This is the single biggest step the American government has ever taken to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.”

That’s what Daniel Becker of the Safe Climate Campaign said back in May about the Obama administration’s plans to raise fuel efficiency requirements for motor vehicles progressively over the next several years.

You could, of course, call this damning with faint praise. However, this is a strong step in the right direction that will hopefully be followed up with further environmental sustainability legislation and a strong international agreement in Copenhagen.

On Tuesday September 15, the details of this plan were filled in. The plan incorporates fuel efficiency requirements in both miles per gallon (mpg) and carbon emissions terms. …read more of Details on Fuel Efficiency Standards Released here

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The Sticking Point for EVs… Lithium

By Ted Nelson
August 31, 2009
File under: Economy, Electric


Electric vehicles (EVs) have been anointed as the green cars of the future, gaining support from the federal government, auto industry, and Silicon Valley. Some EV and PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) models are already available, with many more set to launch in the coming years.

However, EVs and PHEVs are not expected to overtake the internal combustion engine in the short-term. Part of this is due to the fact that it’s hard to change the status quo. Part of it, though, is related to price and manufacturing costs. And around half of an EVs manufacturing cost comes from its lithium ion battery. Mass adoption of EVs depends largely on improving the competitiveness of their batteries.

The demand for lithium is rising as the number of battery applications for the material rises. It is used in cell phone batteries and other electronics, and now increasingly in vehicles. As demand rises faster than supply, price increases. …read more of The Sticking Point for EVs… Lithium here

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“Cash-for-Clunkers”: The actual cars

By Ted Nelson
August 17, 2009
File under: Alternative Transportation, Auto Industry, Economy


The “Cash-for-Clunkers” program–officially the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS)–was not designed by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) only as an environmental program.

Some environmental impact was certain given the requirement that newly purchased vehicles be more fuel efficient than trade-ins, but the program is primarily a way to boost auto sales. CARS has met or surpassed expectations on both accounts.

People are rushing to trade in their “clunkers:” the initial $1 billion dollars in funding was given out quickly, prompting congress to push an additional $2 billion into the program. As of August 13th, 338,659 transactions have been submitted.

This is great news for the auto industry, …read more of “Cash-for-Clunkers”: The actual cars here

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GM Bankrupt

By Ted Nelson
June 4, 2009
File under: Auto Industry, Economy


After a decades long fight to regain its balance and stand tall once again, the auto giant has finally been brought all the way to its knees.

The news hardly came as a surprise, with government loans propping up the company for months. After failing to convince its creditors to trade $27 billion in debt for a 10% stake in the company GM had no choice but to file for bankruptcy, joining its competitor Chrysler.

The question now is what will become of GM if and when it gets back on its feet. For starters, the giant is likely to lose a few pounds in the operating room. …read more of GM Bankrupt here

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Discover the latest developments in improving technologies, tightening auto standards, fuel alternatives and how to make your current car eco-friendly. Find out which companies are investing in energy efficient vehicles.

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