Some top clean transport news from the last week or so (other than our own clean transport stories):
New York and the US federal government are partnering to fund 325 new electric-vehicle charging stations across the state. “Dana Rubinstein asks if this investment will be enough to persuade East Coasters to start buying EVs in droves.”
Aquion Energy’s potentially disruptive battery tech has landed a $15 million loan.
While the market for viable energy storage is dependent on regulatory and financial market structures as well as technology, it would be helpfule to have a disruptive, cheap, and safeelectrochemical storage technology — one that had superior performance and management characteristics compared to the predominant lithium-ion materials system.
Aquion believes it has that technology and the startup just picked up a $15 million loan facility from Horizon Technology Finance Corporation and Silicon Valley Bank to build its business.
Aquion’s battery consists of an anode made of activated carbon, a cathode made from sodium and magnesium oxide, and a water-based electrolyte. The firm wants to build a factory with a capacity of 500 megawatt-hours worth of batteries a year in 2013 and 2014. The plan is to build it in the U.S. In 2015, with the goal of replicating that factory in other parts of the world.
Germany may miss electric-cars goal without funding. “Germany’s goal of 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2020 may only be achieved if state funding of fossil fuel-free mobility is raised substantially.”
Hertz and Italo-NTV (the first European private high speed railway operator) have launched a program in which “Italo customers will be able to rent stylish smart fortwo electric drives from the Hertz locations at the Rome Tiburtina and Rome Ostiense train stations. These electric vehicles can be booked from just 8 euros per hour through the website http://www.hertzitalo.it using the special Italo discount code, and will be powered at charging units provided by Enel, Italy’s largest electric utility. The program is an important step in the Manifesto di Roma Capitale (Rome Manifesto) to increase the number of electric vehicles and other sustainability initiatives in Italy’s capital city. Electric vehicles in Rome have free of charge access to designated parking areas and no ZTL (city center zone) limits.”
Eaton has announced that it is supplying EV charging stations for a federal government pilot program.
The contract is an element of the federal government’s Electric Vehicle Pilot Program, a targeted investment to incorporate EVs and charging infrastructure into federal vehicle and building portfolios.
To prepare for program expansion, Eaton and veteran-owned AutoFlex engaged with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Community College of Baltimore County to create VETCARS, a pilot training and occupational program instructing veterans how to install and service EV charging infrastructure, as well as, earn a certificate to maintain new advanced battery technology. The program will also help provide employment for deserving veterans.
Axion Power has received $150,000 from the US DOE for commercialization of lead-carbon PbC® batteries in “low-cost, high-efficiency” dual battery architecture for micro-hybrid vehicles.
Saab is to become an electric vehicles company. “Bankrupt carmaker Saab has been sold to a Chinese-Swedish investment group which aims to turn the company into a maker of electric vehicles,” BBC writes. “Saab’s administrator said the buyer was National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs). No sale price was given.” We actually covered this back in April when it was just a rumor.
“Nissan has announced that its Japanese customers will now start receiving Leaf-based EV Power Stations with the capability of powering a home for a couple of days — that’s on top of its ability to keep your car charged for travel of up to 100 miles.”
House Republicans have ramped up their war on safe biking and walking. “If some House Republican negotiators get their way, safe biking and walking could be increasingly hard to find. More and more, Americans are biking and walking to work, on errands, and for fun. Just last year, cyclists saved $4.6 billion by biking instead of driving. Nationwide, biking and walking account for almost 12% of all trips, yet biking and walking infrastructure receives less than 2% of all federal transportation funding.”
Advocacy Advance has awarded $25,000 in grants for “young advocacy organizations and dramatically increase biking and walking in Mississippi and Tucson, Arizona.”
Capital Bikeshare = less driving and money saved according to a new independent study. “The Washington, D.C. region’s Capital Bikeshare (CaBi) service released the third-party analysis of its 2011 member survey yesterday and it has some impressive results. Analysis shows that members save an average of $891 per year and collectively reduce their driving miles by 5 million annually.”
US Mayors have urge Congress to preserve traditional funding for bike/ped programs. “Adding a very powerful voice to the call for continued federal funding for sidewalks and bikeways, the U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution at its annual meeting last weekend that urges Congress to ‘protect and increase funding for bicycle and pedestrian programs in the next transportation reauthorization law.'”
Bike-sharing programs in China keep growing. “On Saturday, June 16, Beijing Public Bicycle Service began in a section of the Chinese capital south and east of Tienanmen Square. With 2,000 bikes in 63 stations the service run by the Municipal Government of Beijing expects to expand to 50,000 bikes in 1,000 station by 2015. The service will offer the first hour of use at no extra charge, then a small overage charge thereafter. Watch the video below for more explanation.”
“According to the Jinghua News Service, Wuhan will be increasing the size of its bike-share system from 70,000 bikes by adding 20,000 new bikes and 200 new stations by the end of this year. 90,000 bikes – incredible!”
Streetsblog takes a look at the upside of iPads without Google Transit directions.
As we reported last week, the new Apple mobile operating system, iOS 6, will come with a new, Apple-designed Maps application that eschews Google’s mapping tools and comes without standard transit directions. The Apple Maps app will provide driving and walking directions, but transit riders will have to access third-party plug-ins to figure out the best way from point A to point B.
While that could pose a hurdle for millions of iPhone and iPad users, the new system could also encourage the creation of a much richer assortment of transit apps for mobile devices, according to Kevin Webb, who develops mapping and trip planning tools at OpenPlans, Streetsblog’s parent organization.
International deal to cut aviation emissions delayed a year.
Draft proposals to tackle the carbon impact of aviation look set to be delayed until March 2013, according to the head of the UN body overseeing long-running negotiations to deliver a global deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions from the sector.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is next week expected to discuss four proposals for market-based mechanisms designed to curb emissions, including a global emissions trading scheme and mandatory offsetting requirements.
The body has come under pressure to negotiate a solution after countries such as China, the US and India vehemently objected to the launch this year of emissions trading rules for all flights in and out of the EU – a policy Brussels says it will only reverse if an equally stringent global agreement for curbing aviation emissions comes into force.
EU Car Emissions Policy
EU vehicle emissions standards are projected to create €9 billion worth of new jobs.
Forcing new vehicles to meet proposed tighter emissions standards could create €9bn of new jobs and save €36bn in fuel costs by 2030, according to draft EU estimates.
Brussels is considering setting a goal of 95 grams of CO2 per kilometrefor new cars from 2020, following on from the current goal of 130g/km by 2015, while the same target for vans may be set at 147g/km from the end of the decade, down from 175g/km by 2017.
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