EERE Network News
January 10, 2007
News and Events
Both General Motors Corporation (GM) and Ford Motor Company are exhibiting plug-in hybrid electric vehicles at the North American International Auto Show. The GM version recharges its battery en route using a small engine, while the Ford version employs a fuel cell as its battery charger.
Exhibiters at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, are combining high-end design concepts with fuel efficiency, including a hybrid sports car from Toyota and a flex-fuel sports car from Mazda. Ford is also unveiling its new direct-injected V-6 gasoline engine.
Mazda plans to begin selling its 2008 Tribute Hybrid sports utility vehicle (SUV) in mid-2007. The vehicle employs essentially the same propulsion system as its cousins, the Ford Escape Hybrid and the Mercury Mariner Hybrid. Mazda unveiled the vehicle in January at the Detroit Auto Show.
The production of ethanol for fuel increased by about 28 percent in 2006, reaching an estimated 5 billion gallons. According to the Renewable Fuel Association, the industry currently has the capacity to produce 5.3 billion gallons, with enough additions underway to more than double that.
The Hawaiian Electric Company is planning to build a 110-megawatt combustion turbine and is seeking a supplier for enough ethanol or biodiesel to fuel the plant. The utility plans to begin operating the new power plant in mid-2009.
Puget Sound Energy has just completed its 229-megawatt Wild Horse Wind Project in Kittitas County, Washington, but the the state's largest utility isn't resting on its laurels. Instead, the utility aims to build the Northwest's largest solar power project at the Wild Horse site.
Energy prices may have fallen in recent months, but DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA) says you shouldn't get to used to it. Prices for oil, gasoline, and natural gas are expected to increase again within the next year.