EREN Network News
April 12, 2000
News and Events
- Ford to Sell Hybrid-Electric Sport Utility Vehicle by 2003
- DaimlerChrysler to Sell Fuel-Cell Buses by 2002
- Earth Day 2000 is Just 10 Days Away
- Northern States Power Buys 50 Megawatts of New Wind Power
- Green Power Comes to Maine Electric Customers
- DOE to Encourage High Performance Commercial Buildings
Energy Facts and Tips
- AGORES A Global Overview of Renewable Energy Sources
- Report: Diesel Fumes are Major Source of Cancer
About this Newsletter
News and Events
Ford to Sell Hybrid-Electric Sport Utility Vehicle by 2003
Ford Motor Company announced last week that it plans to
produce a hybrid-electric sport utility vehicle that will achieve
40 miles per gallon in urban driving. Ford's hybrid-electric
vehicle (HEV) will be a modified version of the new Ford
Escape. It will feature a four-cylinder gasoline engine with an
electric boost that will achieve performance equal to the new
six-cylinder vehicle. It will also use regenerative braking to
recharge its batteries and will shut down the engine when
coasting or stopped. And while saving gasoline, it will also
meet California's Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle
DOE hailed the announcement as "a major milestone in the
quest to build fuel-efficient and eye-pleasing vehicles that
can help consumers save hundreds of dollars in fuel costs
each year." See the DOE press release.
See Ford's Web site just for hybrid electric vehicles.
DaimlerChrysler to Sell Fuel-Cell Buses by 2002
DaimlerChrysler announced last week that it plans to build
20 to 30 fuel-cell-powered buses to be sold over the next
three years. The company expects the first of the buses to
be delivered to customers by 2002, making them the first
commercially available fuel-cell-powered vehicles.
EvoBus GmbH, a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler, will supply
the Mercedes-Benz Citaro city buses with fuel cells at a price
of $1.2 million each. The price includes comprehensive
technical consulting and on-the-spot maintenance by
EvoBus for a period of two years. DaimlerChrysler will
provide the transport operators with guidance and expertise
on preparing a fuel infrastructure.
The Citaro's fuel cell unit delivers more than 250 kilowatts of
power. It was developed and manufactured by the
DaimlerChrysler subsidiary XCELLSIS Gmbh, with fuel cell
stack provided by Ballard Power Systems. Gas pressure
bottles containing compressed hydrogen are mounted on the
roof of the bus. The bus can travel up to 186 miles at a top
speed of 50 miles per hour and carry roughly 70 passengers.
See the DaimlerChrysler press release.
In related news, Ballard, XCELLSIS, and the Chicago Transit
Authority announced last month the successful conclusion of
a two-year demonstration and testing program for fuel-cell
buses. Three buses there covered 30,000 miles while in
service for more than 5,000 hours. The successful test likely
led to the latest DaimlerChrysler announcement. Additional
tests are also planned this year in Vancouver, Canada, and
in Palm Springs, California. See the Ballard press release.
Earth Day 2000 is Just 10 Days Away
The 30th anniversary of Earth Day arrives with great fanfare
on April 22nd. The Earth Day Network is coordinating the
global celebration of Earth Day, with a focus on the flagship
U.S. event, EarthFair 2000, to be held on the Mall in
Washington, D.C. The EarthFair, featuring celebrities, free
musical performances, and a large number of exhibits, will
be entirely powered with renewable and clean energy
sources off the grid the first time this has ever been done
for an event of this size. See the Earth Day Network.
A hybrid-electric Toyota Prius will be given away at the
event. The high-mileage, four-door vehicle will go on sale in
the United States in June. See the Earth Day Network.
More than 500 million people are expected to participate in
Earth Day 2000 events worldwide. For more information on
the 4500 organizations in 180 countries participating in the
worldwide Earth Day 2000 campaign, see the Earth Day
Network home page.
DOE helped kickoff the year-long drive leading up to Earth
Day 2000 and is also participating in EarthFair 2000. To find
out more about events, test your clean energy knowledge,
and learn ten simple things you can do for Earth Day, see
the "Clean Energy for the 21st Century" Web site on EREN.
Northern States Power Buys 50 Megawatts of New Wind Power
The first "all-source" request for proposals for new electrical
capacity by Northern States Power Company (NSP) will
result in 50 megawatts of new wind capacity in Minnesota by
2001. The wind energy supplier, Northern Alternative
Energy, is one of three companies selected to supply nearly
900 megawatts of new electrical capacity to NSP, which
provides power to customers in Minnesota and North and
South Dakota. Northern Alternative Energy will also build a
300-megawatt natural gas facility as part of its contract. See
the NSP press release.
In related news, Minnesota Power announced late in March
that it will begin selling wind energy in 100-kilowatt blocks.
Under the terms of a 15-year agreement with Great River
Energy, Minnesota Power will purchase half the output from
three new wind generators to be installed at Great River
Energy's existing Chandler Hills Wind Farm in southwestern
Minnesota. See the Minnesota Power press release.
Green Power Comes to Maine Electric Customers
Energy Atlantic is the first electricity provider to offer green
power in Maine's newly restructured electricity market. The
company's PureGreen Energy electricity product will draw on
existing hydropower and biomass resources, along with
some wind energy, to provide electricity that comes entirely
from renewable energy resources. See Energy Atlantic's Web site.
For an official list of electricity suppliers in Maine by
distribution company, see the Maine Public Utilities
Commission's Web site.
DOE to Encourage High Performance Commercial Buildings
DOE last week initiated a new project to encourage energy
efficiency in commercial buildings. The High Performance
Commercial Buildings project will identify and publicize
innovative "whole building" approaches that increase the
quality and energy efficiency of commercial buildings.
Architects using the whole building approach consider a
building as a complete system, instead of a collection of
independent components. This can have significant effects
in design and construction, resulting, for example, in a
smaller, more efficient, and less costly heating and cooling
system. See the DOE press release.
AGORES A Global Overview of Renewable Energy Sources
As the official European Union (EU) Web site for renewable
energy sources, the AGORES site aims to be the central
gateway for renewable energy activities and information in
the EU, its Member States, and Europe in general. The Web
site features sections on energy policy and sources of
renewable energy, and includes an extensive directory of
key players in the European Community. Also included are
news and events, searchable project and publications
databases, and information on EU-funded programs.
For this and other recent additions see the EREN Web site.
Energy Facts and Tips
Report: Diesel Fumes are Major Source of Cancer
A recent report compiled by state and local clean air
regulators finds that more than 125,000 people in the United
States may get cancer as a result of diesel fumes. The
report, from the Association of Local Air Pollution Control
Officials (ALAPCO) and the State and Territorial Air Pollution
Program Administrators (STAPPA), notes that diesel
exhaust contains more than 40 chemicals that are listed by
the EPA as toxic air contaminants, known or probably
human carcinogens, reproductive toxins or endocrine
The report is a follow-up to a fall report by California's South
Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), which
found that mobile sources were responsible for 90 percent of
the cancer risk in the Los Angeles area, and that 70 percent
of that risk was due to diesel particulates. See the ALAPCO/
STAPPA report on the organizations' Web site.
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